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2014 forward Justin Tillman pulling high-major offers

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Justin Tillman is on the back end of the Rivals’ 150 for the 2014 class, but with the way he’s played at the Under Armour Summer Jam presented by NY2LA Sports, he might be on his way up the rankings.

The 6’7″ forward from Pershing High School in Detroit is currently rated as the No. 148 prospect in the class and with the way he rebounds, college coaches are taking notice.

Tillman told NBC Sports that Iowa, Iowa State, Xavier, Kent State, Bowling Green, Rhode Island and Oakland have offered him scholarships while in-state schools Michigan and Michigan State as well as Marquette and Georgetown are showing interest.

Although a long-armed 6’7″ rebounding machine, Tillman is a tad undersized, so he feels like he’s more of a combo forward at the next level. That still doesn’t stop his primary focus of rebounding and defense.

“I’d say I’m a 3/4,” Tillman said. “My father always told me to focus on defense instead of offense so that’s what I try to do.”

One of the interesting things Tillman is looking for in a school is something rarely mentioned by high school recruits: classroom size.

“(I’d like to attend) a school with small classroom sizes and (play for) a fast-paced team that runs the court,” Tillman said.

Currently Tillman said Iowa, Xavier and Michigan are standing out in his recruitment. Although the local Wolverines have yet to offer a scholarship, NBC Sports was at one of Tillman’s games with R.E.A.C.H. Legends and Michigan head coach John Beilein was in attendance.

“They play fact-paced, they play aggressive and it’s close to home,” Tillman said of the Wolverines.

Iowa has also been aggressively pursuing Tillman since offering him a scholarship last week — although he’s still doing research about his newest high-major offer.

“I’ve seen Iowa play on TV but I don’t really know much about them,” Tillman admitted.

But could Xavier be the team to beat for Tillman? The Muskateers have been recruiting Tillman for far longer than the other high-major schools involved and Tillman cited his strong relationship with head coach Chris Mack and assistant coach Travis Steele as a big factor in his recruitment.

“I’m really close with Coach Steele and Coach Mack and I have a good relationship with Xavier,” Tillman said.
Whichever school lands Tillman — and many are spending their week at the Summer Jam checking his progress — it’s likely he’ll rebound and defend at a high level.

VIDEO: Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson throws down under-the-legs dunk after making 3-pointer

"CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 9: Terrance Ferguson during the 2015 Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 9, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)"
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Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.

Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.

It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.

VIDEO: Manute Bol’s 6’11” son Bol Bol throws down in-game under-the-legs dunk

McPherson's Jacob Loecker attempts to steal the ball form Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege's Bol Bol during the first quarter of the boys' Class 4A Division I state championship basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Salina, Kan. (Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
(Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
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Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.

The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.

Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.

Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year

Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long defends Buffalo guard Jarryn Skeete during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 84-63. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
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Iowa State got a boost to its roster for next season as senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long has been granted a hardship waiver by the Big 12 conference.

“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”

The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.

CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.

The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.

The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.

 

VIDEOS: Stephen Curry personally invites athletes to his select camp

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, holds the championship trophy and Andre Iguodala holds the series MVP trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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As he did last year, the NBA’s MVP is sending out personal invites to Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp for some of the best high school and college point guards in the country.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the kids. Can you imagine how you would feel as a high school junior getting a personalized invitation to a camp from Stephen Curry himself?