Brandon Johnson, Carlin Hughes

Brandon Johnson, San Diego’s all-time leader scorer, sentenced to jail for six months

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Brandon Johnson, the all-time leading scorer in University of San Diego history, was sentenced to six months in prison on Friday for his involvement in his game-fixing scheme during his playing career.

According to the Union-Tribune, Johnson, who was indicted in April 2011 and is now the fifth defendant in this case to be sentenced, while three others entered guilty pleas.

“I just feel like things could have turned out differently, but there’s cause and effect to everything,” Johnson said outside the courthouse on Friday. “I apologize to the fans and the school and everybody else that had faith in me.”

According to the report Johnson, the former 6-foot standout guard for the Toreros, fixed four games during his senior season in 2009-2010 and even attempted to convince a teammate to join in on it. The government wanted to give him a year.

Johnson admitted only to recruiting a teammate but remains adamant he never fixed any games. His attorney recommended probation without incarceration, suggesting 1,000 hours of community service instead.

Mark Zeigler of the Union-Tribune, went onto report that the sentencing included transcripts of phone conversations about fixing schemes between Johnson and former USD assistant coach T.J. Brown, who was allegedly connected to the bettors. They also referenced a conversation Johnson had when he was in the NBA Developmental League in Feb. 2011, mentioning game-fixing.

Johnson is San Diego’s all-time leading scorer, with 1,790 career points. He scored 18 points in the first round of the 2008 NCAA tournament, helping lift No. 13 San Diego over No. 4 UConn 70-69 in overtime.

Johnson reports to prison May 31.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.