Savon Goodman, Brandon Spearman

Forward Savon Goodman decides to leave UNLV program

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In late August it was announced by UNLV head coach that while sophomore forward Savon Goodman would remain a member of the UNLV program, he would sit out the entire 2013-14 season in order to properly address off-court issues. Chief among the concerns was an arrest on charges including first degree burglary and grand larceny, with Goodman being accused of stealing sneakers, money and video games from a friend.

However there’s been a change, as UNLV announced on Friday afternoon that Goodman has decided to leave the program.

“I have enjoyed my time at UNLV and am thankful for the support of the fans, my teammates and coaches since I have been here,” Goodman said in the release. “However, I have felt a lot of pressure the last few months. I feel it is best for me to leave the program at this time. Even though I am from Philadelphia, I will always think of Las Vegas as another home.”

Goodman played an average of nine minutes per game last season, accounting for 3.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per contest. With Anthony Bennett now in the NBA and Mike Moser deciding to transfer to Oregon, it looked as if Goodman was in line for an increase in playing time this summer. But then the August arrest occurred, ruling him out for the upcoming season.

Goodman’s preliminary hearing in the case will take place on November 12, and it will be interesting to see where he winds up college-wise.

Stanford loses key veteran guard to stress fracture

Marcus Allen
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Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.

“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”

The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.

What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.

The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.