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Former Kansas guard Anrio Adams transfers to Ohio University

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On Saturday evening, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported that Kansas guard Anrio Adams would be transferring to Ohio University. Per NCAA rules, Adams will be forced to sit out for the 2013-14 season. Just finishing his freshman year though, Adams will have three years of eligibility remaining for Jim Christian.

This news comes as no surprise for Kansas fans as Adams made it known during his first year in Lawrence that he believed he should be seeing more minutes on the floor. The problem? An NBA lottery pick Ben McLemore, senior point guard Elijah Johnson, and Naadir Tharpe were all ahead of him in the rotation. As a result, Adams saw limited action playing just 83 minutes all season in 24 games averaging just 1.1 points per game.

While Adams was frustrated at times during his first year in the college game, he was all smiles yesterday officially committing to Ohio.

Although he played sparingly, this is a significant addition to the Ohio program for Jim Christian. Hailing from Seattle, Adams’ transfer to Ohio came as a surprise to some who believed he’d transfer back home to his native state. His commitment to the Bobcats speaks volumes to how far this program has come in recent years. Ohio was always a competitive program under the tutelage of Tim O’Shea, but were put on the map by current Illinois coach John Groce who won three NCAA Tournament games in his four years at Ohio.

Given Adams’ remarks when he announced his decision to transfer, it’s safe to say Christian made quite the impression on Adams: “I feel like going home and playing closer is better for me and my family,” Adams said. “This was definitely a family decision and it was a decision I wanted to do that would be best for my situation.”

Under Christian, Ohio went 24-10 last year. Landing Adams, along with highly regarded 2014 recruit Tariq Owens — a 6-foot-9 forward out of Laurel, MD — Christian is capitalizing on the success of his predecessors.

While it is difficult to say much about his game given his lack of playing time last season, Adams was considered a Top 100 recruit by Rivals in the class of 2013, and held offers from nearly every school in the Pac-12. The knock on Adams is that he is a raw offensive player, but is supremely athletic and a tough defender. Said Bill Self after Adams informed him of his decision:

Anrio and I met about his future, both academically and athletically, and we believe it is in his best interest to look into potential opportunities that may exist closer to home. Anrio is a very talented kid. We’ve enjoyed him being here. He was a good teammate and I know frustration can set in when you don’t play a lot, but he kept a good attitude and we should all support him in whatever decision he makes. I know our staff is 100 percent in support of him doing what’s best for his life.

Despite having to sit out for the upcoming season, if his bench antics at Kansas are any indication of the kind of swagger and jovial attitude he’ll bring to Ohio, Bobcat fans will be entertained by Adams. He became a GIF sensation with his dance moves and propensity to eat cereal (or was it ice cream?) during games.

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.