On the heels of a season that tumbled downhill shortly after the dismissal of guard Luke Martinez (who was averaging 14.5 ppg at the time of his arrest on assault charges), the Wyoming Cowboys made some changes to the way in which they do things.
To strengthen team unity Derek Cooke Jr. and Charles Hankerson Jr. created “624,” which also allows players to avoid the potential risks that can come with a trip to the clubs and bars in downtown Laramie. As a result Larry Shyatt’s team has become a closer-knit group, and the atmosphere throughout the program certainly had an impact on 2014 forward Diontae Jones.
Jones, a 6-foot-6 forward praised for his defense and rebounding, instantly fell in love with the Wyoming program. His parents accompanied him on the trip and felt the same way.
“The trip was awesome. It’s such a beautiful place,” Jones said. “The people there are nice and genuine. I felt the love once I got there.”
The 6-6 Jones helped lead Clark High School to the Nevada Class 1A state title game, averaging 12.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, and his versatility is seen as an asset that will help Wyoming down the line.
The Cowboys have just one player at his position for the upcoming season in former North Florida wing Jerron Granberry. Granberry, who averaged 10.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game at UNF, has just one year of eligibility remaining so landing Jones is an important transaction for the Wyoming coaching staff.
Granberry and guard Nathan Sobey (3.5 ppg) are the lone seniors on this season’s squad, meaning that Jones will join an experienced group that includes the aforementioned Cooke and Hankerson, as well as forward Larry Nance Jr. in 2014.
Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.
Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.
It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.
Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.
The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.
Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.
Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year
“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”
The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.
CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.
The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.
The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.
VIDEOS: Stephen Curry’s personally invites athletes to his select camp