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Three-star guard Wade Baldwin commits to Vanderbilt

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Kevin Stallings and Vanderbilt received the first commit in the Class of 2014. St. Joseph’s High (N.J.) senior shooting guard Wade Baldwin announced that he had verbally committed to the Commodores on Sunday morning.

Baldwin had been on an official visit to the Nashville campus, and used his Twitter account to break the news. In early August, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard cut his list of offers to five: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech.

It appears that Vanderbilt’s hiring of former Harvard assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel is paying dividends. The Crimson had offered the New Jersey native in July 2012, and some recruiting insiders believe he helped sway Baldwin to the Commodores.

This addition should bring optimism to a Vandy program that was looking for some this summer. Once sophomore guard Kevin Bright elected to turn pro in July, Stallings’ entire 2012 recruiting class had left the program. Vanderbilt has a two-man class beginning this season, which includes four-star center Damian Jones.

Baldwin, ranked No. 177 overall in the Class of 2014, is high school teammates with Kentucky commit Karl Towns.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.