After being dismissed from the Cincinnati basketball program in May 2012 for off-court issues, 6-foot-10 forward Octavius Ellis made the move to Trinity Valley CC in Texas in hopes of getting his career back on track. Ellis’ time at Cincinnati wasn’t particularly smooth, with a hand injury and a six-game suspension ultimately leading to his playing just four games as a Bearcat (1.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg).
But at Trinity Valley Ellis has proven to be a valuable player, as he posted averages of 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season. On Sunday Ellis verbally committed to attend Arizona State, giving the Sun Devils some needed interior depth for the 2014-15 season as they’re due to lose starting center Jordan Bachynski at the end of the upcoming campaign.
According to Hod Rabino of Devils Digest, Ellis took an official visit to the school last week.
“Arizona State plays in the Pac-12 and it’s a good conference to play in,” Ellis said. “I like it that they are on the West Coast and have such a great coaching staff. I liked everything I saw on the visit, the weight room, the (basketball) facility, the whole campus and meeting with the coaches and players.”
While Bachynski (9.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.4 bpg) is the biggest personnel loss the Sun Devils will definitely have to account for in the front court after this season (grad student Richie Edwards being the other), the 7-footer was one of the most improved players in the Pac-12in 2012-13. Ellis averaged more than three blocks per game at Trinity Valley last season, and that’s an area the Sun Devils can use some production in with Bachynski on the way out.
Ellis’ best performance last season came in a 75-64 win over Panola JC on February 20, in which he tallied 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.
Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.
It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.
Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.
The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.
Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.
Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year
“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”
The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.
CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.
The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.
The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.
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