In the last month Southeast Missouri has seen its front court depth take some hits. In late-September senior guard/forward Michael Porter saw his injury-riddled career come to an end, with a labral tear in his right hip requiring a second surgery. And on Saturday it was reported by Catlin Bogard of OVCBall.net that 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Wayne Martin has been dismissed from the program for a violation of team rules.
Martin joined the program as a transfer from UCF last season, paying his own way while sitting out per NCAA transfer rules. But after working hard enough to earn a scholarship, off-court issues led to Martin’s dismissal.
Among Martin’s transgressions was that he reportedly missed classes on a regular basis and that trend continued even after Southeast coaches warned him that he would face consequences if it didn’t stop.
“You hate to lose him. I don’t like to lose any players, but school comes first,” Southeast Missouri head coach Dickey Nutt said. “He’s a great kid. He’s got a great mom and dad. They’re all disappointed, but the bottom line is you’re a student first and then a basketball player.”
Martin played in just 11 games during his one season at UCF, and he wasn’t a player the Redhawks were counting on for major minutes/production this season so this isn’t a major loss. Senior Tyler Stone (15.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and junior Nino Johnson (11.1, 8.8) will once again lead the way inside for the Redhawks, who finished the 2012-13 season with a 17-16 record (8-8 OVC).
Southeast Missouri also adds small forwards Jarekious Bradley and Josh Langford (Auburn transfer; eligible at the end of the fall semester) to the rotation this season.
James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.
Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.
“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”
He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.
Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.
Memphis just cannot catch a break.
It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.
Today, CBSSports.com reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.
Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.
This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.
That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.