Todd Mayo, Derrick Randall

Rutgers forward Derrick Randall asks for release from scholarship

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In the latest news regarding the Rutgers basketball program a sixth player has requested to be released from his scholarship while one who already received his release has decided to stay.

Sophomore forward Derrick Randall has requested a release from his scholarship according to the New York Post, and the move will make Rutgers even more inexperienced inside next season.

Randall played just 8.2 minutes per game last season but saw action in 26 of the Scarlet Knights’ 31 games, averaging 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per contest. With the graduation of Austin Johnson, the 6-8 Randall may have been in position to earn more minutes in 2013-14.

Randall joins Eli Carter (committed to Florida), Mike Poole (Iona), Jerome Seagears (Auburn) and Vincent Garrett on the list of players who have elected to leave Piscataway. With that being five players, what happened to the sixth to ask for his release?

According to head coach Eddie Jordan, 6-5 wing Malick Kone has changed his mind and decided to remain at Rutgers.

Kone, who averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game last season, requested his release before the scandal that ultimately led to the firing of former head coach Mike Rice.

“Malick will be back. Malick is coming back. We officially lost (Jerome) Seagears, (Eli) Carter and (Mike) Poole,’’ said Jordan according to Brian Lewis of the Post. “Not officially lost [Garrett], but he wants to leave. He asked for his release and Derrick asked for his release.’’

This news comes just one day after 2013 power forward Junior Etou verbally committed to attend Rutgers next year.

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

WATCH LIVE: Hofstra travels to Delaware on NBCSN

James Madison forward Yohanny Dalembert (40) prepares to shoot against Hofstra forward Rokas Gustys, behind, during the first half of an NCAA basketball game in Harrisonburg, Va., Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)
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Hofstra tries to keep pace with the conference’s elite as they travel to Delaware on Saturday afternoon. You can watch this CAA battle live on NBCSN at 5:00 p.m. EST.

The Pride (17-8, 9-4) are currently two games behind conference leader UNC-Wilmington and they’re trying to make a run to close out the season. Senior guard Juan’ya Green leads the Pride in points (17.7 ppg), assists (7 apg) and steals (1.8 spg) and he’s surrounded by a dangerous supporting cast.

Delaware (6-18, 1-12) had lost 15 consecutive games before beating Drexel in their last game. The Blue Hens have struggled in CAA play but Kory Holden (17.5 ppg, 4 apg) will try to help lead the upset.

These two teams met on Dec. 31 with Hofstra winning that one, 90-80, at home.

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Saturday afternoon.

Michigan gets Caris LeVert back in a win over No. 18 Purdue

Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) tries to steal the ball from Michigan guard Caris LeVert (23) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
(AP Photo/Tony Ding)
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Zak Irvin scored 22 points and Michigan’s outmanned front line held Purdue’s redwoods to just seven offensive boards, six second chance points and just 22 points in the paint as the Wolverines landed a critical, 61-56, win over the No. 18 Boilermakers.

Depending on who you listen to, Michigan entered the day, at worst, on the bubble and at best, in headed for the 8-9 game.

And they picked up a top 25 win.

So yes, this win was big for them moving forward.

But more important than the win itself was that Wolverine fans got a glimpse of all-american guard Caris LeVert. He played just 11 points and didn’t return in the second half, he didn’t score and he missed the only shot that he took, but LeVert took the court for the first time since Dec. 30th. That day, LeVert rolled his left ankle and most likely reinjured a foot that had had a broken bone surgically repaired twice in the last 20 months. Michigan never confirmed what the actual injury was and never gave a timetable for when he would be back in the lineup, which is what made his brief appearance so important.

LeVert isn’t done for the season.

And since the Wolverines managed to post a 9-4 Big Ten record with LeVert acting as little more than a spectator, they have a chance to make a run in the Big Ten tournament and get into the NCAA tournament.

That will happen with LeVert in the rotation and, if all goes according to plan, the starting lineup.

So even with a loss against Purdue, the Wolverines had a good day. Bolstering their NCAA tournament profile was an added bonus.