Steve Lavin, D'Angelo Harrison

D’Angelo Harrison, Jakarr Sampson to return to St. John’s next season

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It’s not often that you see a player get suspended for the remainder of the season and return to the team the following year. Generally speaking, that suspension is usually a way of kicking someone off the team or forcing the player to transfer or go pro.

Many thought that would be the case with St. John’s guard D’Angelo Harrison, who was suspended on March 1st and missed the final six games of the season. But both Harrison and head coach Steve Lavin told reporters on Monday that the plan is for Harrison to return next season.

“[Harrison’s] gotten off to a strong start, both in his response to the suspension and in his academic and workout responsibilities as well,” coach Steve Lavin said Monday evening. “Couldn’t be more pleased for this stage of the process, in terms of him working his way back into the fold.”

Harrison, who averaged 17.8 points as a sophomore, later said that his suspension was the result of a string of smaller issues and insubordination. “I just violated a bunch of team rules,” things like being late for a bus or not shaving on game day, he said.

The other big news for the Johnnies is that Jakarr Sampson, the Big East Rookie of the Year, has decided to return to school instead of head to the NBA. He averaged 14.9 points and 6.7 boards this season, and when combined with the addition of Orlando Sanchez and top 30 recruit Rysheed Jordan, the Johnnies might have a team capable of making a run at a tournament bid in 2014.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

North Carolina to wear black jerseys December 19 vs. UCLA

UNC Athletic Communications
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While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.

Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.

Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.

Villanova forward to undergo hip surgery

Jay Wright
Associated Press
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Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.

“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”

Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.

Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.