UCLA loses top 100 guard Allerik Freeman as he reopens recruitment


UCLA’s recruiting class suffered a blow last night when Allerik Freeman announced that he will be seeking a release from his letter of intent and reopen his recruitment. 

The No. 81 recruit in the Class of 2013, per Rivals, Freeman is a strong, 6-foot-4 scoring guard known for his ability to get to the rim and finish through traffic. He immediately becomes the best available recruit nationally not named Andrew Wiggins. 

“I think Al just wants to exercise all due diligence in making this major life decision with the change in circumstances at UCLA,” Freeman’s high school coach told

That change in circumstances was a month ago, when Steve Alford was hired from New Mexico to takeover for Ben Howland. So why did it take this long for Freeman to reopen his recruitment? Jeff Eisenberg has a theory:

One possible explanation is that once Alford had time to evaluate his roster thoroughly, he realized Freeman was unlikely to earn much immediate playing time. Even with the early departure of Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA has an abundance of options at shooting guard next season, between sophomore Jordan Adams, junior Norman Powell and incoming freshmen Zach Lavine and Bryce Alford.

UCLA does have minutes available at the point guard spot, as Larry Drew II is graduating and there really isn’t a natural replacement for him to run the team. Kyle Anderson is a playmaker, but he’s not a point guard. Zach Lavine isn’t a point guard. Neither is Bryce Alford. 

Perhaps the reason he decommitted is that he saw the writing on the wall: he was going to play sparingly on the wing or be forced into a situation where he was playing out of position at the point. 

Neither are ideal.

It will be interesting to see where he winds up. He picked UCLA over Duke, Kansas, Villanova and Ohio State back in November.

(Image via Findlay Prep)

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Big South moving 2016 conference tournament

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The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.

The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.

Virginia Tech could redshirt sophomore guard

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Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.

The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.

Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.

“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”

It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.