Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year Stephen Hurt taking the JuCo route

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Northwest Florida State has added an intriguing player to their roster, as Stephen Hurt, this season’s Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year, announced that he would be spending next season in the program.

Hurt, a 6-foot-10 center, averaged 11.5 points and 7.8 boards for Lipscomb as a freshman, but he transferred out of the program when longtime head coach Scott Sanderson was let go earlier this spring. Northwest Florida is a powerhouse JuCo program, one that routinely produces a high number of Division I recruits, including the 2013 JuCo National Player of the Year Chris Jones, who is headed to Louisville.

This is an interesting move made by Hurt, and one that could end up making him one of the most sought-after JuCo transfers in the Class of 2014. He won’t have to sit out the 2013-2014 season, instead spending the year developing while playing for Steve Forbes, who was an assistant under Bruce Pearl at Tennessee. He will have just two seasons of eligibility left when he makes it back to the Division I ranks, but by playing for Forbes for a season, he could end up earning himself a scholarship at a school in a higher profile league that he could have simply by enrolling this spring.

Where he ends up will depend on how well he performs at the JuCo level.

But it’s yet another path that can be utilized by athletes looking to play at the highest level of the sport.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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.