Alec Brown

UW-Green Bay center Alec Brown: ‘A lot of the stuff [that’s been] said is not true’

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Late last night, the details of the accusation that former walk-on Ryan Bross has levied against UW-Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle were made public as Bross spoke with a local paper.

The accusations are ugly.

But at this point, they are only accusations, and Wardle has plenty of supporters and defenders. Included on that list is the star of the UWGB team, center Alec Brown. Brown went on a local radio show to defend his coach, and went as far as to say that he believes that his former teammates are lying.

“Honestly, I don’t agree with the things that are being said,” Brown told the Maino and Nick Show. “I’ve been there the longest out of all the guys, and I feel like if I had recently seen any of this happening, I wouldn’t still be here. A lot of the stuff is not happening the way it’s being said.”

“The way that some players viewed certain situations, and the way they can lie about them. Some of these guys were really close to us.”

When the hosts asked him to clarify that statement, if, in his opinion, the accusers were actually lying, Brown said, “Yes, I believe so.”

“A lot of the stuff [that’s been] said is not true,” Brown added, “and it will all come out when the investigation is over.”

Keifer Sykes, the leading scorer for the Pheonix this past season, reiterated when Brown said, telling the Maino and Nick show that the accusations “came out of nowhere” and “blindsided all of us”.

“Clearly, the guys that are making these allegations are not in our program anymore,” Sykes told the radio station. “I guess when you leave they wanted to tear ir down. The truth will come out. There were 20 people that were there, and some people writing letters were never there when the allegations happened. The truth should come out.”

Sykes went on to say that while the incident where Bross soiled himself during a preseason conditioning drill did happen, the context of the interaction “is definitely skewed” in the allegation made in the paper. Sykes said that he was present for the entire incident, calling the drill “by far the hardest” that the team did all year.

“He was given the option to stop or keep going, and he decided to keep going,” Sykes said. “No one made anyone do anything. He’s a grown man. … He was being a team guy and didn’t want to quit, and I was there the whole time trying to motivate him to keep going.”

“I just remember after it happened, coach clearly stated that if anyone says anything about the situation, they will be removed from the team. So for the allegation to come out that coach made fun of it and basically cursed him out after it happened is not true. He actually protected him. Everyone knows that because there was clearly a team meeting and he asked everyone that was there that.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.