On Wednesday afternoon, Virginia announced that guard Taylor Barnette would be transferring out of the program.
“Taylor has informed me that he has decided to transfer from our program,” Bennett said. “His main reason is that he wants a bigger role as a player at another school. His release will be granted and we wish him well.”
Barnette averaged 2.6 points as a freshman for the Cavaliers, shooting 43.2% from three and seeing action in 26 games. His career-high of 13 points can in the NIT against St. John’s. Barnette was a three-star recruit according to Rivals, picking UVA over a handful of mid-major programs.
That wasn’t the biggest news of the day, however.
According to a report from Whitelaw Reid, Akil Mitchell broke his right hand at “a recent basketball camp”. Mitchell was fine the final day of the Nike Skills Academy when I saw him last month, which means he likely injured the hand while competing earlier this week at the LeBron James Skills Academy out in Las Vegas.
Mitchell averaged 13.1 points and 8.9 boards last season, and has impressed thus far during the summer.
Bennett told Reid that Mitchell’s injury will keep him out 4-6 weeks, which means he’ll be back before the end of the summer.
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.