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Western Kentucky loses Kene Anyigbo, Eddie Alcantara to transfer

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Western Kentucky head coach Ray Harper released a statement Sunday evening announcing the transfer of two players off last season’s roster in Kene Anyigbo and Eddie Alcantara.

“After multiple discussions with Kene and Eddie about their basketball futures, we have come to the decision that it is in the best interests of both of them to continue their playing careers elsewhere,” Harper said in the statement. “We thank them for their contributions to our program, and our doors will remain open to help them with the next step.”

The losses are minor for the Hilltoppers, who have won back-to-back Sun Belt Conference tournament championships. Anyigbo would’ve been a senior next season and never averaged more than 2.1 points and two rebounds in a season in his collegiate career. A 6-5 forward, Anyigbo contributed 1.9 points and two rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game this season.

Anyigbo spent the spring practicing at defensive end for Bobby Petrino on the Hilltopper football team, but was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and tampering charges. He plead guilty and served 100 hours of community service along with being sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation.

Alcantara, a Chicago native, spent just one season in Bowling Green, with the freshman struggling to gain minutes behind the likes of George Fant, O’Karo Akamune, Teeng Akol and Aleksejs Rostov, clocking 5.6 minutes per and finished with averages of 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds and hitting 5-of-16 shots this season. He battled a shoulder injury throughout the latter half of the season.

“I believe that Eddie’s best days on the court are ahead of him,” Harper said about Alcantara. “His injury last season limited him, but he is one of the nicest kids I have ever had the privilege of coaching. We wish both of them much success in the future.”

Harper returns Fant, Akamune and Rostov, as well as adding two junior college transfers in 6-7 Aaron Adeoye and 6-10 Daouda Soumaoro and 6-9 incoming freshman Alassane Kah in the post for 2013-14.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Iowa State lands three-star SG Jakolby Long

Steve Prohm
Associated Press
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Iowa State received its fourth verbal commitment in the Class of 2016 Friday morning, as 6-foot-4 shooting guard Jakolby Long made his pledge to Steve Prohm’s program. A native of Mustang, Oklahoma, Long attends Mustang HS and played for the Athletes First grassroots program this summer.

In Nike EYBL play for Athletes First, Long averaged 16.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

According to Cyclone Fanatic, Long was also considering Georgia, Texas and Utah before deciding that he’ll play his college basketball at Iowa State. Long will join junior Matt Thomas, sophomore Hallice Cooke and transfer Nick Babb in the competition for minutes off the ball when he arrives on campus next year. According to Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune, Long could be a in a position where he sees solid playing time immediately.

Long joins junior college products Donovan Jackson and Emmanuel Malou, and 2016 forward Solomon Young in Iowa State’s 2016 class to date. And the Cyclones, who won’t use all 13 scholarships this season, still have room for a couple more additions for next season.

Iowa State has four seniors (Naz Long, Abdel Nader, Georges Niang and Jameel McKay), and junior point guard Monte’ Morris is considered by some to be a candidate to enter the 2016 NBA Draft.

UofL foundation hires firm to review escort allegations

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An independent Louisville affiliate has hired a law firm to review an escort’s allegations that former men’s basketball staffer Andre McGee hired dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

The University of Louisville Foundation announced the hiring Thursday of the Stites & Harbison law firm. The foundation does fundraising for the university.

Louisville President James Ramsey also said Thursday he “fully” supports athletic director Tom Jurich “as we work to identify the facts in this situation.” Ramsey reiterated the school has hired former NCAA enforcement official Chuck Smrt to lead the athletic department’s investigation.

Men’s basketball spokesman Kenny Klein had no comment on a CBS Sports report that former Cardinals recruit JaQuan Lyle, now an Ohio State freshman, confirmed the “gist of allegations” detailed in Katina Powell’s book during a meeting Tuesday with the NCAA.

Lyle originally signed with Louisville before de-committing and eventually landing with the Buckeyes. OSU spokesman Dan Wallenberg confirmed the NCAA meeting via email on Wednesday but said there were no issues with Ohio State. He did not mention Louisville.

Powell’s book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” was released online last weekend by a publishing affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal. A hardcover version of the 104-page book is scheduled for release on Monday.

The book states that McGee hired Powell and other dancers, including three of her daughters, for 22 shows allegedly performed from 2010 to 2014 at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory.

McGee left Louisville in 2014 for Missouri-Kansas City, which placed him on paid leave Friday. A message left Thursday with his Louisville attorney, Scott C. Cox, was not immediately returned. A spokeswoman for IBJ’s publishing arm could not be reached either.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino has said McGee denied Powell’s allegations. In a radio interview Tuesday he denied knowledge of what took place and said last week that others he talked to didn’t know about the activities described in the book.

“I’m going through 15 people who worked here, and not one person even had a premonition of something wrong,” Pitino said Friday. “Not one person living in the dorm had even the slightest premonition. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

The Hall of Fame coach wasn’t mentioned in Ramsey’s statement in which the chancellor praised Jurich’s athletic program as “exemplary” at the school.

“It is important that the university – all of us – stay focused on our day-to-day work of providing our outstanding students with a world-class education,” Ramsey said. “The investigation of the allegations may take time and we must, as one university, continue doing the work we do to move our university and our community forward.”