Brian Gregory, Brandon Reed

Georgia Tech junior guard Brandon Reed to transfer

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On the same day that former Georgia Tech forward Julian Royal announced his decision to transfer to George Mason, the Yellow Jackets announced the departure of another player from the program.

6-3 junior guard Brandon Reed has made the decision to transfer, and he will do so after completing his degree during summer school. The hope is that as a result Reed will be eligible to play immediately at his next school.

“We appreciate everything Brandon has done for our program,” head coach Brian Gregory said in a statement released by the school. “He has been an integral part of this team over the last two years. We’re excited that he will be earning a Georgia Tech degree and wish him success in his final year of eligibility.”

Reed began his collegiate career at Arkansas State, where he averaged 15.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest during the 2009-10 season. After earning Sun Belt Freshman of the Year honors Reed made the decision to return to his home state and play at Georgia Tech.

Reed started 43 games in two seasons at Georgia Tech but saw his playing time decrease to 16.6 minutes per game as a redshirt junior. Last season Reed shot just 35.9% from the field and averaged 5.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Georgia Tech was a young team on the perimeter last season despite the presence of Reed and Mfon Udofia, with Chris Bolden and Marcus Georges-Hunt seeing plenty of minutes.

There’s also the presence of Solomon Poole (who joined the program mid-year) and 2013 signee Travis Jorgenson to be accounted for, and that likely meant that Reed would have a tougher time earning minutes in 2013-14.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.