Syracuse junior forward C.J. Fair to return for senior season

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Having already lost starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams (leaving school for the NBA Draft), shooting guard Brandon Triche and small forward James Southerland (both out of eligibility), the Syracuse Orange were anxious to hear the plans of junior forward C.J. Fair.

After averaging 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for the Orange this season, there was the feeling in some circles that the Baltimore native would forego his final year of eligibility.

But in a press release Fair announced his intention to return for his senior campaign, which will also be Syracuse’s inaugural season in the ACC.

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

“After talking it over with my family and my coaches, I decided another year at Syracuse was best for me,” Fair said in the release. “I’m excited about working hard with my teammates to put together another great season and graduating has also been a goal of mine.”

Had Fair decided to leave school early head coach Jim Boeheim would have to go about replacing four starters from a team that reached the Final Four in 2012-13.

“This is great news for our basketball program and for C.J.,” said Boeheim. “I believe he’s just going to keep getting better and better as a basketball player and earning his degree is important.”

Fair’s return gives the Orange not only an experienced leader to help shepherd the likes of freshmen Tyler Ennis (who will likely be the starting point guard), Ron Patterson and Tyler Roberson, but also a player who should factor into the preseason ACC Player of the Year conversation.

And with an eye towards the professional ranks there are still areas in which Fair needs to improve, as Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard noted that NBA scouts would like to see Fair “become less dependent on his left hand when driving to the basket and increase the speed of the release on his jump shot.”

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

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:

VIDEO: Kentucky’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/889947577734574085

That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.

But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?

VIDEOS: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges puts on another show at local summer Pro-Am

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Watching Michigan State’s Miles Bridges throw down high-level dunks in local summer pro-ams has been a good way to pass the time the last few weeks.

The 6-foot-7 Bridges has been annihilating rims all summer as he had more ridiculous dunks on Tuesday night. Playing with former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine and some of his current Spartans teammates, Bridges had more crowd-pleasing plays to add to his summer reel.

Lansing State Journal reporter James Edwards III has been on the scene for Bridges’ games all summer as he has more dunks from the future lottery pick.

Minnesota keeps in-state three-star 2018 guard Gabe Kalscheur at home

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Minnesota is keeping a big-time shooter at home as Class of 2018 shooting guard Gabe Kalscheur pledged to the Golden Gophers on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4 Kalscheur is the third in-state prospect to pledge to head coach Richard Pitino in the Class of 2018 as he joins three-star forward Jarvis Thomas and four-star big man Daniel Oturu. The three-star Kalscheur gives Minnesota a valuable floor spacer and a winner as he’s a three-time state champion at DeLaSalle. All three of these commitments also played together with Howard Pulley in the Nike EYBL.

During this spring and summer in the Nike EYBL, Kalscheur averaged 14.9 points and shot 39 percent from three-point range as he made 61 treys in 21 games.

Pitino has certainly done a nice job of keeping local players home as he’s hoping that trend continues with upcoming in-state five-star prospects like 2018 point guard Tre Jones and 2019 forward Matthew Hurt. The Golden Gophers will have to win national recruiting battles to keep those guys home, but they’ve done a nice job of getting the other guys that they need to keep home.

North Carolina and NCAA set August hearing

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North Carolina and the NCAA have released additional responses and set the dates for a future hearing on Tuesday amid an investigation into paper classes given by the university’s African-American Studies Department.

The NCAA’s allegations center around UNC’s athletes — most notably members of football, men’s and women’s basketball teams — allegedly being guided to the fake classes in order to keep GPAs high enough to remain eligible. The fake classes typically had a high number of athletes enrolled each semester.

While North Carolina argued in May that this should be a school matter and not an NCAA matter, the NCAA responded to the matter in its belief that it has the right to investigate the classes. North Carolina is facing five top-level charges in the case with lack of institutional control among the charges.

A two-day hearing will be held with the NCAA in Nashville on August 16-17.

“The hearing is the next step in bringing closure to this longstanding issue by allowing us the opportunity to address the Committee on Infractions and present the facts,” said Joel Curran, vice chancellor of University communications. “The NCAA has requested certain individuals from the University attend the proceedings. It is standard practice for the current head coaches of programs referenced in a notice of allegations to attend. Therefore, Coaches Larry Fedora (football), Sylvia Hatchell (women’s basketball) and Roy Williams (men’s basketball) will accompany University representatives to the hearing.”