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.

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.