N.C. State, Tennessee agree to home and home series

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Tennessee has moved one step closer to finalizing its non-conference schedule for the upcoming season, as it was reported by Brendan F. Quinn of the Knoxville News Sentinel that the Volunteers have agreed to play a home-and-home series with N.C. State.

Cuonzo Martin’s Volunteers will host the first meeting during the 2013-14 season, with the return meeting being played during the 2014-15 season in Raleigh. Also on Tennessee’s non-conference schedule are Virginia (home), Wichita State (road) and Xavier (road).

The Volunteers will also participate in the Battle 4 Atlantis over Thanksgiving weekend. Joining Tennessee in what should be a solid in-season event are Kansas, Villanova, USC, Iowa, Xavier, Wake Forest and UTEP.

Tennessee (20-13, 11-7 SEC) missed out on the NCAA tournament last season, instead landing in the Postseason NIT where they lost at home to Mercer in the first round.

With guard Jordan McRae and forward Jarnell Stokes back, and the return of Jeronne Maymon after missing all of last season due to a knee injury, Tennessee can be one of the teams in the SEC that works its way into the NCAA tournament conversation.

Tennessee also adds Memphis transfer Antonio Barton at the point, and he should make them a better defensive team at the point of attack. While Trae Golden did manage to average 12.1 points and 3.9 assists per game last season, Barton is expected to be an upgrade from a defensive standpoint.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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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’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.

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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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.