Could Alabama’s ‘Fab Five’ be a package deal?

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I’m getting kind of sick of all this talk about package deals in recruiting.

Most of it is smoke, a quote that gets twisted around or a kid that’s looking to get attention by saying that he’s linked to another player. Think about it like this: one top 40 recruit rooms with another top 40 recruit at an all-star camp, they become friends, they tell a reporter they’d be open to going to the same school because they get along well, and all of a sudden they’re a package deal.

That’s usually how it happens.

And I get annoyed hearing all the talk about it.

But there’s a potentially cool story brewing down in Alabama, because the “Fab Five” — the crop of elite recruits in Alabama’s 2014 class, Justin Coleman (Rivals No. 92), Riley Norris (No. 95 Rivals), William Lee (Rivals No. 125), Isaac Haas (No. 58 Rivals) and Demetrius Houston — could all end up enrolling at the same school, and it looks like that school could end up being UAB. From AL.com:

Why? Well, the AAU culture that high school coaches worry so much about could benefit the Blazers in this instance. The state’s top players have grown close from their years on the AAU circuit playing in camps and showcase events.

Coleman noted a strong chemistry among the state’s top players and the versatile talents of Coleman, Norris and recent verbal Lewis Sullivan do mesh well together on the floor.

Haas, the 7-foot-2 giant, said during All-Star Sports Week that UAB was his leader among schools like Purdue, Texas A&M and UCLA. He also brightened up considerably at the thought of playing college ball with Coleman.
Then there was this comment about UAB.

“I believe that if we can get the right recruitment and the right people to step up and play for UAB then I believe we can get the ‘Fab Five’ and go all over again and put UAB back where it used to be,” Haas said.

There’s also this nugget: UAB can sign five players in the class of 2014. Alabama and Auburn would have to run a couple of people off to open up that much space on their roster.

I’d say the odds of this happening are pretty low, but it would be pretty awesome if Jerod Haase and his UAB staff are somehow able to pull it off. Five Alabama kids heading to the third-biggest program in the state to bring glory back to Blazer basketball?

That’s a sportswriter’s dream!

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.