Jerod Haase

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

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.

George Washington lands 5-foot-3 point guard

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George Washington landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard, from Georgia on Tuesday night.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported the commitment.

Rogers is the son of Shawnta Rogers, the 5-foot-4 point guard who played for the Colonials from 1995-99, earning Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honors as a senior.

“My dad is an alum, and I have a family relationship with the coaching staff,” Darnell Rogers told ESPN. “Their starting point guard is leaving when I come in. It’s a great situation for me and I also love D.C.”

In July, during the Nike Peach Jam, you may have seen clips or photos of the diminutive floor general playing for CP3, alongside arguably the nation’s top recruit, Harry Giles. In 22 appearances with CP3 in the Nike EYBL, Rogers averaged 10.0 points, 3.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game.

By the time Rogers reaches campus, Joe McDonald and Alex Mitola will have both exhausted their eligibility, while Paul Jorgensen and Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will both be juniors.

He joins power forward Collin Smith in GW’s Class of 2016. The two commits are separated by 18 inches.

Louisville campus police reviewing escort allegations

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Louisville campus police now say they are reviewing allegations that a former men’s basketball staffer hired escorts to dance and have sex with recruits and players in a dormitory.

Katina Powell has alleged in a book released online over the weekend that former Cardinals director of basketball operation Andre McGee paid her $10,000 for dancers to perform 22 shows from 2010-14 at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory. The school reported those allegations to the NCAA and has launched an investigation.

“The University of Louisville Police Department, in consultation with the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, is reviewing allegations regarding the men’s basketball program,” University police chief Wayne Hall said Tuesday in a statement.

It was the first confirmation that police are looking into the allegations. When contacted last week, a campus police operator said they weren’t aware of the book allegations, and it was unclear at that time if an investigation had been launched.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino has said that McGee denied Powell’s allegations.

McGee left in 2014 and is currently an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City, which has put him on paid leave.

Pitino said Saturday that he hasn’t read Powell’s book titled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” and doesn’t plan to. The 104-page book was published by an affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal and is scheduled for hardcover release Oct. 12.

The woman said that she and three of her daughters, along with other women, danced and stripped for Louisville recruits and players and performed sex acts with them, according to the book. Powell, 43, also said McGee offered recruits alcohol at those parties.

Upon hearing of the allegations, Pitino said he did some investigating on his own before being told by the school’s compliance department not to talk to players. But the coach said he talked to other assistants about the allegations and all of them denied knowing of the activities outlined in Powell’s book.

“I’m going through 15 people who worked here, and not one person even had a premonition of something wrong,” Pitino said. “Not one person living in the dorm had even the slightest premonition. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Louisville has hired Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group, which assists schools in NCAA cases, to review the allegations.

McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City under Kareem Richardson, who was a Cardinals assistant from 2012-13. He was placed on paid administrative on Friday and has been unavailable for comment. McGee’s Louisville attorney, Scott Cox, didn’t comment because the investigation is ongoing.