La Salle v Ole Miss

Andy Kennedy: ‘With Marshall things get sensationalized’; he’s right

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Marshall Henderson has still not spoken to the media since he was suspended on July 10th, but his head coach Andy Kennedy has taken multiple opportunities to publicly support his best player.

Henderson was one of the most polarizing players in the country during the 2012-13 season. He averaged 20.1 points for a team that won the SEC tournament, but he also found himself making headlines for things outside of basketball: drinking, run-ins with the law, social media exploits, an explosive personality on the court.

He was suspended indefinitely from the team, and while it’s unknown just how many games he’ll end up missing — Kennedy said that will be Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork’s call — Henderson has returned to practice and, according to Kennedy, he’s been a model teammate.

“Marshall’s play has not changed,” Kennedy told USA Today’s Hugh Kellenberger. “Again when you see him today he’s the same guy from an emotional standpoint, from an energy standpoint. He’s taken a leadership role as it relates to he’s always going to be the way that he is when it relates to passion and being engaged and being on that edge from a position standpoint. The thing that I’ve been the most proud about is that he’s winning the sprints at the end, he’s encouraging the young guys when they make mistakes.”

That’s not a surprise, as Kennedy has always lauded Henderson’s ability as a teammate and a leader to the media.

What was interesting, however, was that Kennedy tried to downplay the severity of what got Henderson suspended.

“As is typical with Marshall things get sensationalized, quite frankly,” Kennedy said. “There have been a lot of different speculation and based on his rights and based on respect for those rights, we can’t delve into anything. But here’s a kid though that has not been arrested, knock on wood, and has certainly owned some of his mistakes. He was suspended for an internal matter. It wasn’t something that we had to involve authorities outside of our roof, and we’ll deal with it internally.”

He’s right. Henderson is a sparkplug. He draws attention to himself, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when the attention you get is a result of wild (and, at times, hilarious) trash-talking on the court and routinely being photographed drinking, past issues with drugs and a weekly party known as #WhiteGirlWednesday off the court, the legend grows.

If Henderson didn’t embrace the persona, if he didn’t build his brand about The Fratboy Ideal, his transgressions wouldn’t be as scrutinized.

So does it surprise you that part of Kennedy’s punishment for Henderson has been no more twitter?

Illinois dismisses Kendrick Nunn

Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn (25) tries to go up for a basket against Indiana center Thomas Bryant (31) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at in Champaign, Ill., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Heather Coit)
(AP Photo/Heather Coit)
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Illinois announced on Tuesday that they have dismissed Kendrick Nunn from the basketball program.

Nunn was sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to a battery charge that stemmed from a domestic violence incident. He was alleged to have hit a woman in the head and pushed her to the ground before pouring water on her.

“We have made the decision to dismiss Kendrick Nunn from the men’s basketball team, effective immediately,” a statement put out by head coach John Groce and athletic director Josh Whitman read. “After extensive deliberation, we think it best for our program to reaffirm our core values of trust and respect, to send a strong message about what is acceptable behavior.”

Nunn averaged 15.5 points as a junior last season.

Delaware hires Martin Inglesby as head coach

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Joe Raymond, AP
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Delaware has finally hired a head coach, a little more than two months after Monte’ Ross was fired.

The man that earned the right of taking over a program with just four returning scholarship players is Martin Inglesby, a Notre Dame assistant that has been under Mike Brey’s tutelage for more than a decade. A source confirmed the news with NBCSports.com. Brey spent his first six seasons as a Division I head coach in Newark.

The reason that the search for a new basketball coach took so long is that the university was in the midst of looking for a new athletic director. Chrissi Rawak was hired as AD on May 13th, and one of her first orders of business was finding a replacement for Ross.

CBS Sports was the first to report Inglesby’s hiring.

Report: UCLA signs record apparel deal with Under Armour

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(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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The latest arms race in the collegiate ranks centers around apparel deals, and UCLA has reportedly signed the largest in the history of amateur athletics.

Under Armour will pay the university $280 million over the next 15 years, according to ESPN.com, in exchange for their athletes to work as unpaid models, turning Pauley Pavilion and the Rose Bowl into a runway for the athletic apparel company to hawk their wares.

Here are the details from ESPN:

At those numbers, the deal would be the largest in college football history. In January, Ohio State said its 15-year deal with Nike was worth $252 million. Texas signed a 15-year deal with Nike worth $250 million in October, and Michigan signed an 11-year deal, with a four-year option, that could be worth up to $173.8 million.

Landing UCLA only furthers Under Armour’s presence on the west coast. Their most famous client is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Kentucky-Kansas headlines the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge

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The Big 12 and the SEC announced the matchups for the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Tuesday, and the highlight is, of course, Kansas and Kentucky.

The two schools, who played an instant classic in Phog Allen Fieldhouse last season, will square off in Lexington this season. If that wasn’t enough, Kentucky and Kansas are currently sitting second and third, respectively, in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25.

So that should be fun.

The game will be played on January 28th along with the rest of the matchups in the series. Those matchups are:

Texas at Georgia
Texas A&M at West Virginia
Florida at Oklahoma
Baylor at Ole Miss
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Kansas State at Tennessee
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
Auburn at TCU
LSU at Texas Tech

To be frank, the rest of that schedule is not all that enticing. West Virginia should be a top 25 team, and they host a Texas A&M team that is talented but young. Florida and Georgia are arguably the two best non-Kentucky teams in the league, but they face off with a rebuilding Oklahoma and a young Texas squad, neither of whom are guaranteed to make the tournament.

The problem here?

Both the SEC and the Big 12 are likely going to be down this season, which puts a damper on just how excited we can get about this challenge.

Purdue forward to return to school, withdraw from NBA Draft

Purdue center A.J. Hammons (20) celebrates with forward Vince Edwards (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan State in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Purdue defeated Michigan State 82-81 in overtime. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Purdue announced on Tuesday that forward Vince Edwards will be returning to school for his junior season.

Edwards declared for the NBA Draft without signing with an agent and went through the process to gauge his value at the next level.

“After getting the NBA experience and going through the evaluation process, I have talked with my family and Coach Painter and decided it is best for me to return for my junior year,” Edwards said in a statement. “Although the NBA is still a dream for me one day, I am coming back to Purdue to make next year a special one. Thank you to all the organizations who gave me the chance to not only showcase my talents, but also the chance to know me as a young man and not just an athlete.”

Edwards averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 boards last season.

Purdue now has to wait to hear from Caleb Swanigan, a rising sophomore that was a top 20 recruit in the Class of 2015. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is Wednesday.