Kevin Ollie

UConn freshman guard Terrence Samuel cleared to enroll

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Freshman point guard Terrence Samuel was one of two UConn freshmen still awaiting word regarding his status for the 2013-14 season. On Thursday it was reported by Kevin Duffy of the Connecticut Post that the guard has been cleared to enroll at the school.  

A talented and physical guard, Samuel has the ability to be a factor. But the question to be asked is just how much of a dent can he make in a perimeter rotation that’s loaded. Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier combine to form one of the nation’s best perimeter tandems, and there’s also sophomore Omar Calhoun (recovering from offseason hip surgery) and experienced George Washington transfer Lasan Kromah to consider as well. 

The good news however is that Samuel’s able to enroll at UConn; one would assume that at some point in the near future there will be a decision in regards to whether or not he’ll be cleared to play. Samuel missed out on summer workouts due to his need to take an additional high school course, so he’ll likely be a little behind his teammates when fall workouts begin. 

The other decision UConn’s waiting on involves freshman center Kentan Facey, and a ruling against Facey has the potential to be more damaging given the Huskies’ lack of front court depth. 

Samuel’s AAU teammate, Kentan Facey, is still awaiting clearance. Facey under review because the NCAA believes his “eligibility clock” may have started ticking, a source said. A long 6-foot-9 forward, Facey transferred from Jamaica at age 16 and spent three years in U.S. high schools. The timetable for a decision on his eligibility is unknown.

If all players are available to head coach Kevin Ollie, UConn has the pieces needed to be Louisville’s biggest challenger in the American Athletic Conference. Even without a piece or two they’ll be a factor thanks to the presence of Boatright, Napier, Calhoun and forward DeAndre Daniels, but the Huskies will need the depth if they’re to make some noise in the NCAA tournament. 

Top-100 guard commits to Xavier

Chris Mack has Xavier back in the Sweet 16 (AP Photo)
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Xavier has added a top-100 prospect into its 2017 recruiting class Wednesday.

Elias Harden, a shooting guard from Georgia, pledged to the Musketeers via social media to become the second member of Chris Mack’s next class.

“The recruiting process was not EASY AT ALL,” Harden wrote on Twitter. “I wanna thank all the coaches that took time to recruit me.

“WIth that being said I will continue my academic and athletic career at Xavier University.”

The 6-foot-6 guard is ranked 92nd overall by 247Sports and had offers from Auburn, Maryland, Texas Tech and Ole Miss. He joins Jared Ridder, a Missouri guard, as part of the 2017 Xavier class.

The Musketeers return the bulk of last year’s 28-6 team that narrowly missed out on the Sweet 16.

Clemson recruit to enroll early

Brad Brownell
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Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.

A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.

“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”

Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.

A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017

The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.

Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training

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Kentucky Sports Radio
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Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.

You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:

“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”

Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”

Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”

And that led to “I’ll kill you”:

(h/t KSR)

VIDEO: Shaq’s son, Shareef O’Neal, with monster dunk in Vegas

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Shareef O’Neal is a top 50 prospect in the Class of 2018. In Vegas this past weekend, he threw down a monster put-back dunk.

South Dakota State gets two commits

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Tuesday was a busy and productive one for South Dakota State on the recruiting trail.

The Jackrabbits secured two 2017 commitments from the state of Wisconsin in Ryan Krueger and Alex Arians, a source tells NBCSports.com.

Krueger is a 6-foot-5 wing player from New London, Wisc. while Arians is a 6-foot-4 guard from Madison, Wisc., who also held an offer from Wright State, which is coached by former SDSU coach Scott Nagy. Both players spend their summers playing for the Wisconsin Swing grassroots program.

The pair make it a trio of commits for the Jackrabbits in 2017 with another Wisconsinite, Alou Dillon, pledging to first-year Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger, himself a Wisconsin native, earlier this summer.

South Dakota State went 26-8 last year and the bulk of the team that made the NCAA tournament last year, including sophomore Mike Daum, who led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.