Former Illinois forward Jereme Richmond facing jail time

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The life of Jereme Richmond took another sad turn on Thursday, as he was found guilty on two of three counts of harassment of a witness in connection with an incident involving his probation officer.

According to the court Richmond, who played one season at Illinois before leaving the school to turn pro, made verbal threats and a shooting gesture in response to the officer’s refusal to allow him to take a makeup drug test instead of requiring him to appear in court for violating the terms of his probation.

Just before the probation office closed on April 25, Richmond came in and wanted to submit a urine test in lieu of the previously missed tests. The probation officer refused him, saying the office was closing for the day and she would see him in court the next morning.

Officials said Richmond, who was upset, told the officer to “be safe. be real safe,” as he was leaving the building. He then waited across the street in his parked car for several minutes before backing out of the spot and making what two secretaries and an IT employee, who were watching out of a window, described as shooting gestures with his hand before circling the office in the car and being pulled over by sheriff’s deputies.

Richmond, who’s been in jail on $250,000 bond since the April 25 incident, will be sentenced on September 26 and faces anywhere from probation to 3-7 years in prison. Richmond’s legal troubles began in August 2011, when he was arrested on a number of charges including battery, possession of a firearm and domestic violence.

That occurred just months after Richmond, who averaged 7.6 points per game in his lone season at Illinois, went undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft. Richmond was disciplined by then-head coach Bruce Weber on multiple occasions during the 2010-11 season, and those issues played a role in his not being selected. Richmond had a brief stint with the Sauk Valley Predators of the Premier Basketball League this past spring, leaving the team a few weeks before the April incident with his probation officer.

Before leaving the Predators, Richmond told the [Chicago] Tribune he wasn’t focused on getting to the NBA — “I just want to be happy, man” — but hoped to further his basketball career once his probation was over.

Unfortunately for Richmond, his basketball career may be coming to an end.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.