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Coming off of a redshirt year it was anyone’s guess what 7-foot center Kelly Olynyk would give the Gonzaga Bulldogs this season.
All Olynyk did was become one of the best players in the country, helping to lead Gonzaga to its first-ever number one ranking in the national polls and a one-seed in the NCAA tournament.
And as first reported by Jim Meehan of the Spokesman-Review Olynyk has played his last game in a Gonzaga uniform, choosing to forego his senior season to enter the 2013 NBA Draft. Olynyk averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season, making a significant jump after sitting out the entire 2011-12 campaign.
Olynyk earned WCC Player of the Year honors and was named an All-American by the NABC, Associated Press and John R. Wooden Award selection committees. He is expected to be a first-round selection in June’s draft with a spot in the lottery considered to be within reach.
“It was tough. When you talk to people no one really tells you to go or not go; everyone says it’s your decision,” said Olynyk in a release from the school. “Everyone tells you why you should go and why you could come back. Everyone kind of leaves you hanging in that sense. They just say go with your heart, go with your gut and that’s what will make the best decision.”
With Olynyk, Elias Harris and Guy Landry Edi departing head coach Mark Few has some major holes to fill in the front court. Sam Dower returns for his senior season, and the departures make this offseason an important one for 7-1 center Przemek Karnowski.
Karnowski averaged 10.7 minutes per game as a freshman, accounting for 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest. Gonzaga was in a position where they didn’t have to ask too much of the highly-touted prospect from Poland, but that will change in 2013.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Taylor University celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Silent Night Game on Friday night.
The Division III school in Upland, Indiana has one of the best traditions in college sports as Taylor has its fanbase stay completely silent until the team scores its 10th point of the game. Upon scoring the team’s 10th point, the Taylor students go ballistic as they storm the court and temporarily stop the game. Dressing up in all sorts of group costumes, the Taylor students bring out some of the best ideas you’ll see from any college fanbase in the country.
As for the game, Taylor jumped out to a 37-9 lead on Lincoln Christian University and never looked back as they won 99-68. The win moves Taylor’s record to 20-0 all-time in Silent Night games.
Jake Heggeland was the game’s high scorer with 18 points for Taylor while Evan Crowe broke the Taylor silence for the second consecutive year.
Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. was charged today with one count of battery.
According to a press release sent out by the Douglas County district attorney’s office, police received a call around 1 a.m. from a woman who said that “her boyfriend had struck her and pushed her down stairs during an argument.”
The DA also included a note in the statement that, essentially, said the only reason Bragg wasn’t charged with domestic violence – he was initially arrested on suspicion of domestic battery – was due to a technicality. Since the couple is only dating and not married, under Kansas law, the assault does not constitute domestic violence.
Battery is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison.
Bragg, who was still in custody until an appearance in court on Friday afternoon, was held on bond of $500. Bragg plead not guilty.
“We are still trying to gather information,” head coach Bill Self told The Star. “But it is a charge which we take very seriously.”
Bragg is a 6-foot-8 sophomore that lost his spot in the starting lineup earlier this year. He is averaging 7.8 points and 5.3 boards in 16 minutes. No. 3 Kansas hosts Nebraska on Saturday.
Yankuba Sima will transfer out of the St. John’s program, the school announced on Friday.
“I want to thank the coaching staff and the administration for all of their support since I arrived at St. John’s,” said Sima. “I enjoyed my experience at St. John’s, but right now I feel it is best for me to explore options that will be a better fit for me as I work toward my goals.”
“We wish Yankuba the best of luck,” said head coach Chris Mullin. “I know this wasn’t an easy decision for him, but we respect and understand it. He’s a good basketball player and a good person with a bright future ahead.”
Sima started 26 of the 34 games he played with the Johnnies, including eight starts this season. He was averaging 6.0 points and 3.5 boards this year.
South Carolina head coach Frank Martin commented on Sindarius Thornwell’s suspension during his call-in show on Thursday.
Thornwell, who was the leading scorer for the 8-0 No. 19 Gamecocks, was suspended indefinitely last Sunday. Martin has yet to provide a reason for the suspension.
“He’s been with us at practice, he’ll travel with us, he’s excited about our team, his role on the team,” he said, according to South Carolina’s 247 site. “Sindarius is one of my favorite guys I’ve ever come across. He messed up and it is what it is. He’s like a son to me. He messed up and he’s owned up to his mess up.”
“Outside of that, I’m not going to get into anything else. He has my full support. Our job is to prepare our team to play, we don’t prepare individual players to play. It’s no different to someone rolling an ankle. We’re down because of a bad decision. We’ll be fine.”
Thornwell is averaging 18.7 points, 6.0 boards and 4.1 assists. The Gamecocks play Seton Hall in New York City on Monday night.
Sophomore guard B.J. Taylor is out indefinitely after suffering a hand injury, UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins confirmed at a press conference earlier today.
According to a report from 247 Sports’ UCF site, the injury is a broken thumb, which was suffered in Saturday’s win over UMass.
Taylor is not expected to miss the rest of the season but will be out for an extended amount of time. He missed all of 2015-16 season dealing with a foot injury.
On the season, Taylor, a 6-foot-2 point guard, was having an all-AAC caliber season, averaging 17.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.3 boards.