Juan'ya Green

Hofstra announces addition of Niagara transfers Juan’ya Green, Ameen Tanksley

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The Hofstra basketball program was in a bad place this past season, with four players being dismissed from the program following their arrests on charges of burglary and other players running into disciplinary issues as well.

And that’s not even mentioning their on-court struggles, as the Pride managed to win just seven games. That led to the hiring of former Niagara head coach Joe Mihalich, and it’s safe to say that the move has already paid dividends.

Hofstra’s gains since the hire increased exponentially on Friday as the school announced the addition of three players, with two of them being highly productive transfers from…Niagara.

Guards Juan’ya Green and Ameen Tanksley will have to sit out the 2013-14 campaign per NCAA transfer rules, but there should be little doubt that those two can be the best backcourt in the CAA when they become eligible.

Green was named MAAC Rookie of the Year following the 2011-12 season (17.7 ppg, 4.5 apg), and he followed that up with averages of 16.5 points and 4.9 assists per game. Tanksley is a 6-6 guard who can score and rebound, as he averaged 11.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

Also joining the program is 6-5 guard Jamall Robinson, who helped lead Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va. to a WCAC title as a senior. Given the number of players who won’t be back next season, Robinson stands to see plenty of playing time in 2013-14 (as well fellow signees Chris Jenkins and Eliel Gonzalez).

“This is a very exciting day for the Hofstra Basketball program,” Mihalich said in a school release. “The addition of Juan’ya, Ameen and Jamall to our team gives us three additional outstanding student-athletes to showcase to the Hofstra community.

“These three, along with Chris, Eliel and our current returning players will allow our program to grow into the winning product we know it can be. I look forward to continuing recruiting efforts that will help Hofstra return to the NCAA Tournament.”

How long the turnaround takes in Hempstead remains to be seen, but with the addition of Green and Tanksley don’t be surprised if Hofstra finds itself in the thick of the CAA race when the 2014-15 season rolls around.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.