Hakim Saintil commits to South Alabama

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Highly recruited 2013 guard Hakim Saintil has committed to South Alabama, he announced via his Twitter account on Sunday morning.

Saintil is a 5-foot-11 point guard hailing from Roselle Catholic High School in West Orange, NJ.

There was speculation that Saintil may do a post-graduate year and reclassify to the 2014 class, but he became very comfortable with South Alabama and the direction of the program under first-year head coach Matt Graves. Saintil told Adama Zagoria, “I felt comfortable over there. They are like a family and with the new direction of the program it was hard for me not to go there.”

https://twitter.com/HakimSaintil20/status/348796891221331970

Saintil was courted by a wide range of schools during his recruitment process, ranging from Cincinnati, South Carolina, and St. Louis to mid-majors such as Fairfield and Florida Gulf Coast among many others.

In March, Saintil spoke with BillikenReport.com about his recruitment by St. Louis:

Saint Louis is my style of play. They have recruited small guards in the past. They know how to develop them. I see some of myself in them…Outside the power conferences, it’s right there. It’s one of the best. SLU was probably the most underrated team in the country until people started noticing how good they were.

While Saintil is certainly right about the guard-play at St. Louis, his commitment to South Alabama demonstrates what he thinks about the direction Matt Graves will have this program headed in. Is there any doubt that Graves’ recent hiring of former Butler point guard Ronald Nored played a pivotal role in Saintil’s decision? If Saintil is looking to be developed as a point guard, there aren’t many young assistants out there that will do as good of a job as Ronald Nored.

A primary factor in Saintil’s commitment was the opportunity to play immediately, and he should be able to see early minutes for the Jaguars.

This is the second commit Matt Graves has received. In early May, Austin Karazsia committed to South Alabama.

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.

 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)