Curtis Malone is the co-founder and president of one of the most high-profile AAU basketball programs in the country, the DC Assault.
Michael Beasley, Keith Bogans, Nolan Smith, DerMarr Johnson and Jeff Green are just a few of the alumni that the Assault have sent through the college ranks and onto the NBA. Malone is Smith’s stepfather.
But on Friday, Malone was arrested in DC in connection with a year-long DEA investigation into heroin, per a report from Will Sommer of the Washington City Paper. He has been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine.
A search warrant executed on Malone’s home yielded a kilo of cocaine, 100 grams of heroine, a handgun and “assorted paraphanalia associated with the distribution of controlled substances. This would be Malone’s second drug arrest, as he was convicted of selling crack cocaine in 1991, serving three months of a five month sentence. Malone was charged with assault stemming from an altercation with another AAU coach last year, but was acquitted of those charges.
A report from Jeff Ermann of Inside Maryland Sports says no one else affiliated with the Assault has been implicated.
Malone’s name has popped up quite a bit in the past few years.
He was responsible for Jamar Samuels being suspended for Kansas State’s Round of 32 NCAA tournament game against Syracuse in 2012. Malone had wired Samuels $200 too make sure that Samuels had enough money to be able to eat. Malone was also sued by Michael Beasley in 2011 in which Beasley accused Malone of steering his players to NBA agent Joel Bell in exchange for Bell’s help funding the Assault program.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.