Nevin Shapiro’s admission adds another twist to Miami investigation

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Much of the NCAA’s case against the University of Miami was built thanks to the words of Nevin Shapiro, a former Miami booster who is currently serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison for running a Ponzi scheme valued at $930 million.

But in light of Shapiro’s admission Sunday that he lied on the stand during a separate trial, does the governing body’s case against the school take another hit?

According to the Miami Herald Shapiro admitted to committing perjury during the trial of Juan Rene Caro, who is currently serving an 18-year sentence due to his running of a $132 million check-cashing scheme.

Shapiro told U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard that Caro, owner of the La Bamba chain of check-cashing stores, did not receive a fair trial because Shapiro committed perjury on the witness stand and his high-profile lawyers, Guy Lewis and Michael Tein, knowingly allowed him to lie.

In the accompanying Florida Bar complaint filed this month, Shapiro said he lied when he was asked about his investment company. He testified that he operated a grocery brokerage business, but the operation actually was a front for the Ponzi scheme that he later was convicted of running.

Obviously, the Caro case has nothing to do with Shapiro’s alleged involvement with the Miami athletic department. But his actions on the stand do open the door for skeptics to question the validity of his claims regarding Miami violating NCAA rules.

Shapiro’s credibility has already been questioned multiple times throughout the investigation of Miami, and Sunday’s news is the latest hit for a man who has proven to be anything but trustworthy.

And the more news along these lines comes out, the tougher it is to assume that all of the allegations made by Shapiro are true.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.