Early this month 2014 combo forward Ray Kasongo reportedly decided that he would attend Oregon, picking the Ducks over UConn. But within hours of making that decision Kasongo had a change of heart, announcing that he needed more time to make his decision.
On Friday Kasongo made that decision, re-committing to Oregon via his Twitter account.
Kasongo’s commitment caps a good day for Dana Altman’s program, with the NCAA clearing Houston transfer Joseph Young to play immediately. Young will help Oregon on the perimeter immediately, and in regards to Kasongo the hope is that the athletic forward will be ready to do the same when he arrives on campus next year.
Oregon loses three front court players, UNLV transfer Mike Moser and seniors Richard Amardi and Waverly Austin after this season. That means both Kasongo and junior college transfer Dwayne Benjamin (he’ll arrive in 2014 as well) will have the opportunity to earn significant playing time in 2014. Oregon has two other wings on the current roster in juniors Elgin Cook and Jalil Abdul-Bassit, and underclassmen Ben Carter (sophomore) and Jordan Bell (freshman) will factor into the Ducks’ plans as well.
Kasongo is Oregon’s third verbal commitment in the 2014 class, joining the aforementioned Benjamin and point guard Casey Benson.
Auburn junior point guard Kareem Canty, the team’s leader in both points and assists, has missed the Tigers’ last two games as a result of a suspension handed down by head coach Bruce Pearl for a violation of team rules. Thursday night Canty announced via Twitter that he will be turning pro, ending his Auburn career with less than one full season of play.
In 21 games this season Canty averaged 18.3 points and 5.3 assists per contest, shooting 40.1 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from three. Given Auburn’s lack of perimeter depth Canty had ample opportunities to score from the point guard position, but he struggled in the four games following standout performances in wins over Kentucky and Alabama.
Auburn’s lost six straight since beating the Crimson Tide, most recently falling 71-45 at Tennessee Tuesday night. Without Canty, Bruce Pearl called upon TJ Lang and Bryce Brown as the perimeter starters in that game with Patrick Keim and New Williams playing a combined 33 minutes off the bench. They’ll continue to see those minutes moving forward.
As for next season, Auburn brings in four-star point guard Jared Harper and currently injured point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen will be available as well.
Canty began his college career at Marshall, playing the 2013-14 season for the Thundering Herd before deciding to transfer. Canty committed to Auburn in mid-April of 2014, only to change his mind in favor of USF before making the switch back to Auburn.
Canty’s name wasn’t showing up in early draft projections, and making this decision while in the midst of a suspension likely won’t help matters when it comes to getting selected.
Tonight’s schedule. This post will be updated as the games are completed.
UConn (KenPom: 19, RPI: 46) at Temple (KenPom: 95, RPI: 69), 7:00 p.m.
Florida State (KenPom: 37, RPI: 38) at Syracuse (KenPom: 39, RPI: 44), 7:00 p.m.
VCU (KenPom: 32, RPI: 40) at UMass, 7:00 p.m.
Arkansas-Little Rock (KenPom: 41, RPI: 63) at Louisiana Monroe, 8:00 p.m.
Northern Kentucky at Valparaiso (KenPom: 22, RPI: 48), 8:00 p.m.
No. 4 Iowa at Indiana (KenPom: 24, RPI: 51), 9:00 p.m.
No. 11 Oregon at Cal (KenPom: 44, RPI: 32), 9:00 p.m.
Washington State at Colorado (KenPom: 56, RPI: 29), 11:00 p.m.
Gonzaga (KenPom: 33, RPI: 66) at Portland, 11:00 p.m.
Pepperdine at Saint Mary’s (KenPom: 26, RPI: 52), 11:00 p.m.
Oregon State (KenPom: 81, RPI: 31) at Stanford (KenPom: 104, RPI: 71), 11:00 p.m.