Tim Miles

Tai Webster ruled eligible at Nebraska

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Nebraska’s chances of making a run to finish in the top half of the Big Ten are slim this season and there isn’t much beyond Andrew Wiggins transferring that could change that fact, but on Tuesday evening, Tim Miles got some big news for the future of his program.

Tai Webster has been ruled eligible by the NCAA, according to multiple reports. (These guys broke it, I saw it first here.) Webster has been on campus and taking classes for a couple of weeks, but he didn’t get word that he had made his way through the NCAA’s Eligibility Center until Tuesday.

The hold-up was reportedly his transcript, as Webster is from New Zealand, where he averaged 18.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists with the Waikato Pistons. He also played for New Zealand in qualifying rounds for the 2012 Olympics.

A 6-foot-3 combo-guard, Webster was rated as a three-star recruit by ESPN, but there are folks that believe he would be a top 100 recruit had he played his high school ball in the states. Per Rivals, Pitt, St. Mary’s, Virginia and LSU had all offered Webster a scholarship.

“If Tai Webster were in Chicago or Detroit or Los Angeles, I’m not sure a youngster like this would have considered Nebraska at the top of his list,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, an international basketball expert, said. “He’s a kid who would have been a Top 50 high school player in the United States, if not even better.”

It will be interesting to see the immediate impact that Webster has, but at the very least he should help the program through the graduation of leading scorer Dylan Talley.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
AP Photo
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.

Arizona’s Tarczewski out 4-to-6 weeks

Kaleb Tarczewski, Sean Miller
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Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.

The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.

Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.