Indiana Hoosiers guard Abell shoots over Temple Owls guard Wyatt during the first half of their third round NCAA tournament basketball game in Dayton

Former Indiana guard Remy Abell commits to Xavier

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A good week on the recruiting front for the Xavier coaching staff got even better Friday afternoon.

6-4 guard Remy Abell, who spent his first two seasons at Indiana, announced his decision to transfer to Xavier as reported by multiple outlets.

Abell won’t be eligible to play this season per NCAA transfer rules, but he will help the Musketeers in practice as he’s a solid perimeter defender.

The key for Abell during his season as a practice player: improving enough offensively to warrant more opportunities on that end of the floor. In two seasons at Indiana the Louisville native averaged 3.5 points per game, shooting 45.9% from the field and 45.8% from beyond the arc.

While those are good percentages it’s important to note that Abell attempted just 161 field goals with 48 of those attempts being three-pointers. But on a team with as much offensive talent as Indiana had during the last two seasons, not everyone stood to get the number of scoring opportunities they may have desired.

Ultimately it was Abell’s connection with the Xavier program, which made two prior attempts to land Abell before he committed to Indiana, that influenced his decision to pick the Musketeers instead of Saint Louis.

“They’ve been recruiting me since high school. Things didn’t work out then or when I de-committed from Bradley,” Abell said according to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Like they say, the third time’s a charm.”

Abell joins a backcourt that currently features returnees Semaj Christon and Dee Davis, with Myles Davis eligible after being forced to sit out all of last season for academic reasons and the highly-regarded Brandon Randolph making his Xavier debut as well.

That quartet is a talented one for the Musketeers to bring into their new conference (Big East).

If all four were to return in 2014, head coach Chris Mack would also have the services of Abell and 2014 commit Edmond “Skinny” Sumner at his disposal.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.