George Mason Old Dominion Basketball

Former Old Dominion guard Donte Hill signs a contract in … Kazakhstan

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Donte Hill caused a minor uproar across the college basketball world when the NCAA denied his appeal to play for Old Dominion this season.

Hill played eight minutes in a secret scrimmage for Clemson back in 2010, but decided to leave the program and transfer to ODU afterwards. The NCAA ruled that those eight minutes constituted a year of eligibility, which means that instead of playing as a senior this season Hill was no longer a collegiate athlete.

There were folks in the media pushing to get the ruling overturned, but alas, that saga is now over.

Hill’s gone pro. He signed a contract with Barsy-Atyrau, a team in Kazakhstan. A school spokesman confirmed the news to NBCSports.com.

There’s something to be said for accountability, and it’s certainly not a good look for Hill to walk out on his team like that once the season has begun. But it’s tough for me to wrap my head around the idea that eight minutes in a secret scrimmage that the schools are not even allowed to acknowledge exist could cost a kid a year of eligibility. Suspending him a couple of games or a semester would have made more sense.

Hopefully he finds his footing as a pro, but starting your career as a 22 year old heading to live in Kazakhstan doesn’t exactly sound ideal.

Rick Pitino: ‘We should be penalized … but not this team’

Rick Pitino
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.

Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.

How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?

Well, it seems.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.

And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.

“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”

He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.

But credit the Cardinals for responding.

Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.

Oklahoma State without Jawun Evans, questionable moving forward

Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans (1) goes up for a shot between Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) and forward Perry Ellis (34) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. Oklahoma State won 86-67. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.

Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.

According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.

Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.