NIT St. John's Virginia Basketball

Report: Former Virginia guard Taylor Barnette picks Belmont

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With the start of classes for the upcoming academic year rapidly approaching, college basketball transfers who have yet to pick a new destination are running out of time to do so. 

However former Virginia guard Taylor Barnette knows where he’ll continue his college career, as it was reported by Jeff Borzello of on Saturday that Barnette has decided to transfer to Belmont. In his lone season as a Cavalier Barnette played in 26 games, averaging 2.6 points in 9.5 minutes of action per contest. 

In mid-July it was announced that Barnette made the decision to leave Charlottesville, with head coach Tony Bennett stating that the 6-3 guard made the decision because he desired a larger role. 

Barnette will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2013-14 season, and that year off (in regards to his ability to play in games) should help him learn the style of play preferred by head coach Rick Byrd. And it goes without saying that Barnette’s going to be playing at a higher pace than he did at UVA. 

According to Ken Pomeroy’s numbers Belmont ranked 117th in adjusted tempo (67.1 possessions/40 minutes) last season, and their average possession lasted 16.6 seconds (37th). By comparison Virginia ranked 328th in adjusted tempo (61.0 possessions/40), and their average of 20.0 seconds per possession ranked 314th. 

Belmont lost two key components to their backcourt rotation at the end of the 2012-13 season in Ian Clark (18.2 ppg; was named NBA Las Vegas Summer League MVP) and Kerron Johnson (14.0, 4.8 apg), and they’ll lose another after the 2013-14 season as J.J. Mann is entering his senior campaign. 

Outside of Mann the Bruins don’t have a great deal of experience on the perimeter, with many of the young players who will have opportunities to earn playing time this season slated to be around when Barnette becomes eligible to play in 2014. 

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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.