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Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope enters the NBA Draft

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Georgia has lost another talent to the NBA, as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope announced on Monday morning that he would be forgoing his final two seasons of college eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.

“I want to thank the University of Georgia for all it has done for me,” Caldwell-Pope said in a statement.  “I want to thank my coaches, teammates and fans for the love and support.”

“It’s been a pleasure to coach Kentavious and to see him grow as both a player and a person,” head coach Mark Fox said.  “I wish him nothing but success as he pursues his dreams.  He will always be a part of the Georgia family.”

(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

Caldwell-Pope is an intriguing prospect, as he’s long and has quite a bit of athleticism but has somewhat pigeon-holed himself as a jump-shooter. He could be a late-first rounder, but he may also drop into the second round of the draft.

The bigger concern is what happens with the Georgia program from here. The Bulldogs, who went 15-17 last season, are losing a guy that averaged 18.5 points and led the team in rebounding, steals and minutes played. With a recruiting class that doesn’t include anyone of note, it looks like it’s going to be a long 2013-2014 season for Fox.

And if the Bulldogs once again struggle, how long will it be before he’s out of a job? He’s had Travis Leslie, Trey Thompkins and Caldwell-Pope come through his program and he has just one NCAA tournament appearance to show for it despite playing in the SEC. With no promising talents in the pipeline, things are not looking good down in Athens.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.