George Washington v Notre Dame

George Washington guard Lasan Kromah transfers to UConn

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The Connecticut back court was already in good shape with the return of Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun. On Tuesday afternoon, Kevin Ollie added to his guard depth with George Washington transfer Lasan Kromah.

This news came according to, who confirmed the transfer through a source.

Kromah is graduating from George Washington, which means he does not have to sit out a year and can use his last season of eligibility next season in Storrs. Ollie has already added N.C. State freshman guard Rodney Purvis earlier this offseason, although he will have to miss the entire 2013-2014 campaign per NCAA transfer rules.

Through his first two years at GW, Kromah played for current UConn assistant coach Karl Hobbs. Kromah averaged 10.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game this past season. He missed the 2010-2011 season, giving him the extra year of eligibility.

The 6-foot-5 Kromah will join incoming-freshman guard Terrence Samuel (South Shore High/Brooklyn, N.Y.) as newcomers in the Husky back court. Power forward Kentan Facey (Long Island Lutheran High/Glen Head, N.Y.) and center Amida Brimah (Archbishop Carroll High/Miami, Fla.) round out the UConn incoming class.

For the second time through his first two seasons as a head coach, Ollie has landed a fifth-year senior guard. Last season, Ollie got Connecticut native R.J. Evans to use up his last year of eligibility at UConn, following his career at Holy Cross.

UConn won 20 games this past season, but was banned from the NCAA tournament. Heading into next season, the Huskies return Napier, Boatright, Calhoun and DeAndre Daniels — players to average double digits in points per game last season. Kromah scored in double figures in each of his three seasons with the Colonials.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Louisville backcourt struggles in first scrimmage

Quentin Snider, Jerian Grant
Associated Press
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While a few teams did manage to hold special events for the official start of practice this weekend, most simply went about their business with drills and conditioning. One team that was the exception to all of this was Louisville, which held the first of its two intersquad scrimmages on Saturday. The Cardinals had a head start of sorts on the season, as they played six exhibition games in Puerto Rico this summer.

One hope heading into Saturday’s scrimmage was that guards Trey Lewis and Quentin Snider would have better chemistry than they did in Puerto Rico. But according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal, that remains a work in progress for the Cleveland State transfer (Lewis) and rising sophomore (Snider).

They struggled in Puerto Rico, and they struggled again in Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage, the first public intrasquad practice since August. They played one half of the game together, paired with the presumed starting lineup with Mangok Mathiang out with an eye injury, a group that also included Damion Lee, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku.

That team lost the first half by 13 points to a younger group of Louisville players, and Lewis and Snider combined for eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, five turnovers, five steals, four assists and three rebounds.

“I thought (Snider) and (Lewis) did not play well together,” U of L coach Rick Pitino said. “They’ve got to get used to that. Neither guy made other guys better. That’s what they need to learn to do.”

As Greer also noted in his story the Cardinals have in recent years employed backcourt tandems in which both guards are capable of making plays for themselves and others. On the 2013 national champion team Peyton Siva and Russ Smith led the way, with Smith being joined by Terry Rozier or Chris Jones the following season and Rozier/Jones being the grouping last season before the latter was dismissed from the team.

Once Jones was dismissed Snider saw more time on the court, and his development was one of the keys for a Louisville team that fell one win short of the Final Four. Louisville needs him to take another step forward heading into the 2015-16 season, because even with Lewis’ experience at the Division I level Snider has more experience playing in Pitino’s system.

But while Saturday’s scrimmage didn’t go as well as anyone involved hoped, there’s still plenty of time for Louisville to work out the kinks before they open the season November 13 against Samford.

Knee injury sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
Associated Press
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.