Duke v Virginia

Stress reaction in left foot sidelines Virginia guard Joe Harris

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Virginia rising senior guard Joe Harris was planning on taking part in training camp for the United States World University Games team beginning on June 24. The 12 players selected for the team will play in the World University Games July 7-16 in Kazan, Russia.

Unfortunately, Harris will not be one of the players taking part in the training camp.

The reason why? It was announced by Virginia that a stress reaction in Harris’ left foot has forced the First Team All-ACC selection to withdraw from the training camp. The injury is expected to sideline Harris anywhere from three to six weeks.

“Obviously, we are disappointed for Joe because he was really looking forward to this opportunity with USA Basketball,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said in the release. “Joe has worked really hard and he was excited about competing and measuring his game against some great players.

“His senior season and future professional career are the main priorities moving forward. We’ll ensure he gets the proper rest and rehabilitation, so he’ll be ready for the 2013-14 season.”

Harris averaged 16.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game as a junior, shooting 46.8% from the field and 42.5% from beyond the arc. Per Ken Pomeroy’s numbers, Harris ranked fourth in the ACC in offensive rating (111.6) among players who factored into at least 24% of their team’s possessions.

Obviously Harris is a key cog in the attack for the Cavaliers, who hope to return to the NCAA tournament after landing in the Postseason NIT last season. Virginia loses starting point guard Jontel Evans (graduation), but with Harris and forwards Justin Anderson, Akil Mitchell and Mike Tobey all returning to Charlottesville getting back to the Big Dance is a realistic goal.

In addition to the returnees mentioned above Virginia adds two point guard prospects in Devon Hall and London Perrantes, and sophomore Malcolm Brogdon returns after missing all of last season due to a broken bone in his left foot that proved to be more serious than originally thought.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, CBSSports.com reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.