Between Richard Pitino accepting the head coaching job at Minnesota and the school learning that low APR numbers may result in a postseason ban for the 2013-14 season, the offseason hasn’t been a smooth one for the FIU basketball program.
New head coach Anthony Evans has made an addition to the roster, as it was reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com on Sunday that former Kansas State forward Adrian Diaz will transfer to the school. In two seasons at Kansas State, the 6-10 Miami native played just nine minutes per game and averaged three points and two rebounds per game.
With the move Diaz becomes the second former Wildcat to transfer to a school located in Miami, as point guard Angel Rodriguez is now a Miami Hurricane.
FIU has lost its second-leading scorer from last season (guard Malik Smith, who is transferring to Minnesota) and three recruits who were talented enough to make the move from the Sun Belt to Conference USA a smooth one.
The good news for Evans (at this point) is that leading scorer Tymell Murphy (14.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and promising forward Jerome Frink (10.2, 6.3) are both expected to return, but the Panthers are still lacking in the depth department.
Diaz likely won’t be able to help FIU immediately due to NCAA transfer rules, but his commitment gives the Panthers some much-needed front court size for the future.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.
Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.
A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.