Robin Scholz/Champaign News-Gazette

Report: Former Illinois forward Ibby Djimde headed to Southern Illinois

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In two seasons at Illinois 6-8 forward/center Ibby Djimde didn’t see much playing time, playing in just 28 games and averaging 2.9 minutes per contest. At the end of the 2012-13 season Djimde decided to move on with the hope of landing a larger role at another school.

Djimde’s reportedly decided on a destination, as according to Scott Burgess of Chicago Hoops the big man will transfer to Southern Illinois. Djimde, who will have to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules, was reported back in July to have decided that he would transfer to Coastal Carolina.

Former Coastal Carolina center Sam McLaurin, who transferred to Illinois, played a role in bringing Djimde to the Conway campus. McLaurin thought Djimde’s international background would mesh well with four others with foreign backgrounds.

“I am excited. I talked to Sam (McLaurin) and (assistant coach)Mamadou (N’Diaye) and I liked it,” Djimde said by phone on Monday night.

Apparently things have changed, and his decision gives the Salukis another big man after losing Dantiel Daniels earlier in the offseason.

Daniels, who averaged 7.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game last season, transferred to Colorado State. SIU will also have to account for the loss of guard Josh Swan, who underwent career-ending knee surgery last week.

In addition to Daniels and Swan head coach Barry Hinson also has to account for the graduation of leading rebounder Jeff Early, who averaged 7.2 rebounds per game last season despite being a 6-3 guard.

The Salukis lose one front court player at the end of the 2013-14 season: 6-9 power forward Davante Drinkard, who averaged 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. With a season of practice the hope for Djimde is that he’ll be ready to contribute consistently once he becomes eligible in 2014.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.