Explorers guard Peterson battles for a rebound with Wildcats forward Henriquez during the second round of their NCAA men's basketball tournament in Kansas City

Sophomore guard D.J. Peterson to remain at La Salle

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On Monday, La Salle sophomore guard D.J. Peterson was granted a release from his scholarship, as the Burnsville, Minn. native cited a desire to attend a school closer to his hometown.

But after considering his options and discussing the situation with both his parents and teammates, Peterson has decided to return to La Salle for his junior season.

“D.J. is close to his family and has missed them during his long absences from home,” head coach Dr. John Giannini said in a statement released by the school. “He also is close to his La Salle teammates. After deciding to transfer, he spoke with his parents and teammates and has since decided to stay at La Salle. D.J.’s decision is strictly personal and not basketball-related.”

“It is hard for a young person to be pulled in two different directions,” Giannini continued. “I respect that D.J. has had to make a difficult personal decision. Our recent success is largely due to our chemistry and family atmosphere. We would support any decisions D.J. makes for his future and we are happy that we will continue to be a part of our team.”

Peterson started 17 of the 34 games in which he played this past season, averaging 3.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest for the Explorers.

His numbers certainly aren’t as flashy as those posted by the likes of Ramon Galloway, Tyreek Duren or Ty Garland, but Peterson proved to be a solid member of a rotation that reached the Sweet 16.

His decision to return next season gives Dr. Giannini more depth on the perimeter as Galloway is out of eligibility. La Salle adds newcomer Amar Stukes on the perimeter, and they’ll also have the services of Cleon Roberts (redshirted in 2012-13).

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

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.