Memphis Tigers Head Coach Pastner with Goodwin, Black, Thomas and Crawford during the second half of their third round NCAA tournament basketball game in Auburn Hills

Memphis, Oklahoma State set for two year home-and-home series

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With Marcus Smart making the decision to come back for his sophomore season, paired with other key players and a solid recruiting class, Oklahoma State is threatening to be one of the favorites for a Final Four berth next season.

Memphis loses studs like Tarik Black and Adonis Thomas, but return Joe Jackson and bring in a top-flight 2013 haul themselves.

That doesn’t necessarily mean either team will need a tough non-conference schedule. But nonetheless, Oklahoma State and Memphis have signed on to play a two-year home-and-home series, beginning this November.

The first game will be Nov. 19 in Stillwater, with the return game in 2014-15 in Memphis.

Both teams already plays in the Old Spice Classic this season, where they could possibly meet again. Memphis plays the likes of Florida as well.

I’m all for top teams playing one another and not fearing what a loss might do to their tournament resume. Both of these teams have enough firepower to not have to worry about much when it comes to making the NCAA Tournament. It’s one in a long line of great non-conference games we’ll see in the 2013-14 season.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
AP Photo
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.

Arizona’s Tarczewski out 4-to-6 weeks

Kaleb Tarczewski, Sean Miller
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Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.

The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.

Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.