San Diego forward John Sinis signs professional contract

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In two seasons at the University of San Diego, 6-9 forward John Sinis averaged 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game for a program that has the look of a team primed to make a move in the WCC this season. Sinis won’t be around to see if a team led by guard Christopher Anderson and Johnny Dee can make good on that promise however, as it was announced by the school on Wednesday that the native of Greece has signed a professional contract with Greek club AGO Rethimno.

“After long consideration I made the difficult decision to leave my studies and college basketball to pursue my life’s goal and start my professional career,” Sinis said in the release. “I would like to thank USD from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to fulfill one of my dreams to play basketball in the NCAA, develop as a player and to be part of such a prestigious university like USD.”

Obviously the timing isn’t great if you’re San Diego, and head coach Bill Grier pointed out as much in the release. With leading rebounder Chris Manresa having graduated it was likely that Sinis would have been asked to do more in his junior season, and the same goes for sophomore Jito Kok (3.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and senior Dennis Kramer (4.2, 2.7). However it should be noted that Sinis spent a large portion of his time offensively on the perimeter, with 70 of his 118 shot attempts last season coming from beyond the arc. In his two seasons at USD 57.5% of Sinis’ shot attempts were three-pointers.

Losing a player at this point in the school year, while not ideal, does give coach Grier and his staff some time to figure out how much their rotation will be impacted before practices begin. But with the likes of Anderson and Dee back on campus, San Diego will be fine in 2013-14.

“It was always a goal of John’s to play at the highest level professionally in his home country,” Grier said in the release. “Obviously the timing isn’t great but I don’t know if there ever is good timing when you lose a player. His departure doesn’t change the top 8-9 players in our rotation, nor our excitement for the upcoming season. We wish John well as he starts a new phase in his career.”

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.