New Mexico v Harvard

New Mexico’s Tony Snell enters name into NBA Draft

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Looks like Tony Snell is joining the host of others trying their luck in the NBA Draft.

The Albuquerque ESPN affiliate 101.7 The Team is reporting that the New Mexico guard is going to enter his name into the NBA Draft. He reportedly will not hire an agent.

The 6-7, 200-pound junior averaged 12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 31.2 minutes per game for the Lobos this season, who were upset by Harvard in the second (first) round of the NCAA Tournament.

His three-point shooting has improved every year, culminating with his 39-percent clip this season. He’s also a great free throw shooter at 84.3 percent (86-for-102 this season).

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This would be a blow to Steve Alford’s team if Snell does stay in the draft. The Lobos were slated to have all five starters back in the fold for next year and should be even better as a result. And with San Diego State definitely losing guys like James Rahon and Chase Tapley and possibly losing Jamaal Franklin, paired with UNLV losing Anthony Bennett, they could be in position to dominate the Mountain West.

It wouldn’t kill any chances if Snell goes, it would just further them if he stays. New Mexico will be fine as long as no one else leaves, should Snell stay in the draft.

As far as Snell’s stock, he’s tall and athletic and can play well in big games (he scored 21 in the MWC title game against UNLV), most of the time. However, you wonder how bad that nine-point performance in the Lobos’ first-round exit will resonate with him. But this seems like a 50/50 chance for Snell on whether he stays or goes.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman¬†that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
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Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.