Chane Behanan, Achraf Yacoubou

Villanova guard Achraf Yacoubou decides to transfer

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With playing time being scarce this season and that likely to be the case next season as well with Rice transfer Dylan Ennis becoming eligible, Villanova sophomore guard Achraf Yacoubou has decided to transfer.

The news was first reported by Jeff Goodman of A native of the Bronx, Yacoubou averaged 2.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 12 minutes per game this season.

In an interview by Adam Zagoria of SNY, Yacoubou stated that he’s interested in Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Georgia Tech, Miami and UNLV as possible destinations. With Ennis and incoming freshman wing Josh Hart entering the mix, Yacoubou noted that the playing time he hoped for was unlikely to be available.

“I averaged the highest 3-point percentage and field goal efficiency and was the best defensive player on the team and I also played well  against Louisville and Syracuse and when I played 25 minutes I led the team in points and rebounds,” he said. “But after the last Syracuse game I ended up averaging 12 minutes and I wanted to play more but I wasn’t.

“Since there are the freshmen coming in and they are mostly guards I felt it was best for me to leave.”

Following Villanova’s 65-60 loss at Notre Dame on January 30 Yacoubou played double-digit minutes just once, receiving 16 minutes (eight points, three rebounds) in a 68-40 win over South Florida on Feburary 9. Yacoubou did not play in three of Villanova’s final six games, one of which being their NCAA tournament loss to North Carolina.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.