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 CBSSports.com 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.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.