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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

Indiana lands four-star Class of 2017 wing Justin Smith

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Indiana landed an athletic wing commitment on Monday night as four-star small forward Justin Smith pledged to the Hoosiers on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6 Smith is a native of Lincolnshire, Illinois and comes from Stevenson High School as he’s regarded as the No. 105 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2017 rankings.

A high-flying wing who is great in the open floor, Smith should fit the Hoosiers’ uptempo system perfectly and if he’s able to get a more consistent perimeter jumper then he has a chance to be a really nice piece for Indiana.

Smith joins three-star guard Al Durham in Indiana’s recruiting Class of 2017.

Michigan State addingTom Izzo Hall of History wing in remodeled Breslin Center

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 22:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has already been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this fall and the longtime Spartans head coach is receiving another unique honor in the remodeled Breslin Center.

The school announced over the weekend that the Tom Izzo Hall of History will be added to the Breslin Center renovations as the building is supposed to be completed by the fall of 2017.

“The Tom Izzo Hall of History will become a great gathering place on our campus where together we can celebrate the excellence of Spartan Basketball and MSU Athletics,” athletic director Mark Hollis said in a release. “When this facility project is complete it will be the finest college basketball facility in the country, so it’s only fitting that Tom’s name will be a permanent part of it.”

Overall, this is a nice addition to the Breslin Center, especially since Izzo and Michigan State basketball will forever be associated with one another. It should be cool for fans to go through it and re-live great moments in Michigan State history and the wing is another nice recruiting tool that can help point out all of Izzo’s biggest accomplishments.

 

Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament moving to Orlando amid Zika concerns

Lon Kruger
(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
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Amid concerns over the Zika virus, the annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off announced a change in venue on Monday. Rather than staying on the island, the tournament will move to Orlando and all games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney.

The dates and teams will remain the same for the event as it will be played Thursday, Nov. 17, Friday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 20. The field for the event includes Arizona State, Clemson, Davidson, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Tulane and Xavier.

“We enjoy the beauty and accommodations that are afforded in Puerto Rico and wanted to make every effort in playing the event in San Juan, but the concern for student-athlete and spectator welfare became the primary driver in the decision,” Pete Derzis, senior vice president of ESPN Events said in the official release.  “We intend to return to Puerto Rico in the future.”

Puerto Rico is currently under a Level 2 alert for Zika according to the CDC. Since there have been cases of Zika on the island with native mosquitoes, it’s probably a smart move to eliminate all concerns over the virus if they can easily move the tournament elsewhere. It probably isn’t ideal for fans who purchased travel packages to Puerto Rico to watch the event, but it’s a small price to pay for the safety of everyone involved.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company is also upset with the decision as Executive Director Ingrid Rivera Rocafort released a statement on Monday night.

“We are disappointed about this decision that we believe has been based on fear not the facts about Puerto Rico,” the statement read.

“There is no public health reason to cancel the Puerto Rico Tip Off or any sporting event in Puerto Rico. There is no doubt that our strong fan base and local spectators would have turned out to support their teams. Less than one percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million population has contracted Zika, a far cry from projections. The hype and misinformation is fostering irrational decisions.”

PHOTO: Purdue unveils statue of John Wooden outside Mackey Arena

John Wooden (Purdue Athletics)
Purdue Athletics
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John Wooden will forever be associated with the UCLA program for what he did while coaching there.

10 national titles in 12 years, including seven in a row. Not bad, right?

What some people may forget is that before he got into coaching, Wooden was one of the best basketball players in the world. He played his collegiate ball at Purdue, where he was a three-time all-american and the 1932 National Player of the Year.

To honor Wooden’s legacy as one of the greatest Boilermakers ever, Purdue built a statue of Wooden and unveiled it in front of Mackey Arena this weekend:

“Not many people think of Johnny Wooden as a Boilermaker, but when I got here in 1957, some of the old-timers still remembered him as a player,” Jim Hicks, the alumnus that donated the statue, said. “I’m so delighted that people will see this statue and read his Pyramid of Success because I think the pyramid was his most important contribution.”

One of the neat touches of the statue: Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is right there for all to see.

North Carolina lands third commitment in 2017 class

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 23: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Iowa State Cyclones at the AT&T Center on March 23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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North Carolina picked up their third commitment in the Class of 2017 on Monday in big man Brandon Huffman.

A four-star prospect who will play his final season of high school ball at Word of God Academy in North Carolina, Huffman’s strength at this point in his development is as a defensive presence around the basket. He stands 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and should be able to help replace Kennedy Meeks, who graduates this spring.

Huffman’s development on the offensive end of the floor isn’t quite there yet. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Huffman is still learning how to be more influential on that end.

Huffman joins Jalek Felton and Andrew Platek in UNC’s 2017 class.