2014 forward Paul White commits to Georgetown

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John Thompson III and Georgetown picked up a big commitment over the weekend as Paul White, a 6-foot-8 forward from Chicago, IL, announced that he will be a Georgetown Hoya beginning in the fall of 2014.

White, the #57 player in ESPN’s 2014 Top 100 recruiting rankings, made his second visit to Georgetown this weekend, and simply knew that this was the school and program for him. White told Joe Henricksen of the Chicago Sun Times: “While on my visit here it made me realize this is the place for me. I felt that comfort level I was looking for with the coaching staff, the players and the environment here. It’s a wonderful school with a great basketball tradition and atmosphere. This was the place I could easily see myself going to school and playing.”

Ironically, Georgetown’s recruitment of White seriously picked up when Tavaras Hardy joined the coaching staff this past June. Hardy came to Georgetown after spending seven years at Northwestern. It was while at Northwestern Hardy developed a relationship with White, and that relationship transitioned over to Georgetown.

More than anything, however, it was Jeff Green that may have sold White on Georgetown. While Green did not have any direct involvement with his recruitment, Thompson III equated his style of play in Georgetown’s system to the kind of player he foresees White eventually becoming: “They showed film of Jeff Green, a player they believe has capabilities similar to what I have. They showed how he excelled in their system and in their style of play.”

Unfortunately for White, he broke his arm at the Nike Peach Jam Tournament in July, but that didn’t deter the interest of other major programs such as DePaul, Minnesota, Miami, and Connecticut.

White joins forward Isaac Copeland, wing LJ Peak and point guard Tre Campbell in Georgetown’s 2014 recruiting class — Copeland is #47 and Peak #54 in ESPN’s Top 100 recruiting rankings.

Prior to his visit, White tweeted on Thursday afternoon:

Then, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, he tweeted:

I’d say he enjoyed himself this weekend. Below is White’s junior season AAU mixtape:

Louisville backcourt struggles in first scrimmage

Quentin Snider, Jerian Grant
Associated Press
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While a few teams did manage to hold special events for the official start of practice this weekend, most simply went about their business with drills and conditioning. One team that was the exception to all of this was Louisville, which held the first of its two intersquad scrimmages on Saturday. The Cardinals had a head start of sorts on the season, as they played six exhibition games in Puerto Rico this summer.

One hope heading into Saturday’s scrimmage was that guards Trey Lewis and Quentin Snider would have better chemistry than they did in Puerto Rico. But according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal, that remains a work in progress for the Cleveland State transfer (Lewis) and rising sophomore (Snider).

They struggled in Puerto Rico, and they struggled again in Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage, the first public intrasquad practice since August. They played one half of the game together, paired with the presumed starting lineup with Mangok Mathiang out with an eye injury, a group that also included Damion Lee, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku.

That team lost the first half by 13 points to a younger group of Louisville players, and Lewis and Snider combined for eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, five turnovers, five steals, four assists and three rebounds.

“I thought (Snider) and (Lewis) did not play well together,” U of L coach Rick Pitino said. “They’ve got to get used to that. Neither guy made other guys better. That’s what they need to learn to do.”

As Greer also noted in his story the Cardinals have in recent years employed backcourt tandems in which both guards are capable of making plays for themselves and others. On the 2013 national champion team Peyton Siva and Russ Smith led the way, with Smith being joined by Terry Rozier or Chris Jones the following season and Rozier/Jones being the grouping last season before the latter was dismissed from the team.

Once Jones was dismissed Snider saw more time on the court, and his development was one of the keys for a Louisville team that fell one win short of the Final Four. Louisville needs him to take another step forward heading into the 2015-16 season, because even with Lewis’ experience at the Division I level Snider has more experience playing in Pitino’s system.

But while Saturday’s scrimmage didn’t go as well as anyone involved hoped, there’s still plenty of time for Louisville to work out the kinks before they open the season November 13 against Samford.

Knee injury sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
Associated Press
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.