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Xavier lands 6-8 forward Aleksandar Vezenkov

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A few days after landing a verbal commitment from 2014 point guard Edmond Sumner, the Xavier basketball program made an addition to its 2013 recruiting class on Thursday.

6-8 forward Aleksandar Vezenkov, a native of Bulgaria, will attend Xavier next season according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Vezenkov played in 20 games this past season for Aris BC in Greece, averaging 14.3 minutes, 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

As a member of Bulgaria’s U18 team last summer Vezenkov led the team in scoring (16.7 ppg) during the U18 European Championships in August while also averaging nearly six rebounds per game. In what was a busy summer for the young forward, Vezenkov also helped Bulgaria’s U20 team gain promotion into Division A the month prior.

Vezenkov is expected to once again represent his country this summer, making the move to the States just before the start of the fall semester.

Vezenkov joins Brandon Randolph and Kamall Richards in Xavier’s 2013 class, but it must also be noted that two players forced to sit out due to academic issues will be eligible as well.

Shooting guard Myles Davis and power forward Jalen Reynolds will be able to play, adding both depth and talent to a program that’s making the move from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East this summer.

Guards Semaj Christon (15.2 ppg, 4.6 apg) and Dee Davis (8.3 ppg, 3.4 apg) return, but Xavier did lose Travis Taylor and Jeff Robinson to graduation. Isaiah Philmore returns, and the new additions (especially Reynolds) will help the Musketeers in the paint.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: