Appeal denial ends ODU guard Donte Hill’s college career

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Two months after learning that his initial appeal of the decision that cost him a season of eligibility was denied, Old Dominion guard Donte Hill’s final appeal has met the same fate as announced by the ODU athletic department.

That means Hill, who averaged 8.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game last season, has played his final game as a Monarch. The issue that cost Hill a season of eligibility was his playing in a closed scrimmage at Clemson just before deciding to transfer to ODU in 2010. Hill played eight minutes in that scrimmage, and they turned out to be a costly eight minutes at that.

“I am very disappointed by the NCAA’s decision to deny my appeal, as I was hopeful there would have been reconsideration for my case, I am very appreciative of the efforts on my behalf by Old Dominion,” said Hill in the release. “I enjoyed my time here and I will be a Monarch forever.”

Rules certainly have to be followed, but this ruling seems very harsh. In a climate of enforcement that has “successfully” managed to confuse the very adults asked to make sure their schools are compliant with NCAA rules, we’re to expect a student-athlete to automatically know that playing in a scrimmage could potentially cost him a full season of eligibility?

A similar situation involving former Montana State forward Mohamed Fall occurred last spring, when his playing in two junior college showcases counted as a full season due to the fact that he turned 21 before enrolling at the Big Sky school.

If the powers that be want to hold out an “offending” party for a few games as a trade-off for being allowed to play their senior seasons, then fine. Not exactly ideal, but at least a player like Hill or Fall would be able to finish their careers on the court.

But taking away a player’s entire season over eight minutes? As many pointed out back in June when the initial decision regarding Hill’s status was made, the NCAA has far bigger fish to fry. Or at least they should.

On the bright side, at least Hill leaves ODU with his degree.

“Obviously, this news is extremely disappointing to our staff and team and of course to  Donte,”  ODU head coach Jeff Jones said. “He had a short, but successful career at ODU and more importantly has his sociology degree from the university.

“Donte is a great representative of the ideals the NCAA encourages in its student athletes. We know Donte has a bright future ahead of him.”

Virginia, Seton Hall, Rhode Island, Vandy in NIT Tip-Off

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NEW YORK (AP) — Virginia and Vanderbilt will meet in one semifinal of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Thanksgiving Day at Barclays Center.

Rhode Island and Seton Hall face off in the other semifinal with the winners meeting on Friday, Nov. 24.

This is the third straight year the Tip-Off has been held at Barclays Center. Eventual NCAA champion Villanova won the event in 2015. All games will be televised on ESPNU.

Non-bracketed teams in the NIT Season Tip-Off who will play games at campus sites are: Austin Peay, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Oakland City and UNC Asheville.

Miles Bridges explain why he returned to Michigan State

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Miles Bridges changed the landscape of the 2017-18 college basketball season on April 13.

The Michigan State forward spurned the NBA for another year in East Lansing. The decision not only meant that Bridges was a frontrunner for national player of the year, but solidified the Spartans as a national title contender.

But Bridges’ choice to return was still puzzling to many. The 6-foot-7 forward was projected as a lottery pick. Bridges explained his decision to Mike Decourcy of Sporting News in a story published on Thursday.

“He says, ‘You know what, Coach? I want to get better. I don’t want to be in the D-League. I’ve got buddies that are, and I just want to make sure when I go, I’m ready,’ ” Izzo recalled to Sporting News. “I looked at him and I said, ‘Done deal.’ For me, that was a done deal. It was a reasonable, sensible argument.”

Agents, friends, reporters, scouts, acquaintances, fans, strangers and family members — oh and, as we said, coaches — all had one opinion about how Bridges should spend the next year of his life. Miles had another, opposing, viewpoint.

Bridges told Decourcy that support came from his teammates, many of whom were returning to the team as well. Assuming the backcourt of Cassius Winston and Josh Langford make a leap forward, as well as incoming freshman Jaren Jackson providing an immediate impact, the Spartans’ title hopes could become a reality.

Bridges averaged 16.9 points, 8.3 boards, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks as a freshman at Michigan State. He’s rated as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.