Royce O'Neale, D.J. Cooper

Baylor forward Royce O’Neale granted immediate eligibility

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Back in May 6-foot-5 forward Royce O’Neale requested to be released from his scholarship by Denver University, with the health of a relative back in Texas (O’Neale hails from Killeen) being the reason cited as to why. The school granted his request and O’Neale ultimately landed at Baylor, where he joined one of the nation’s deepest front court rotations.

The next question was whether or not the junior would be able to help the Bears during games this season, and on Thursday afternoon the program provided the answer. O’Neale’s request for an immediate eligibility waiver was granted by the NCAA, giving Baylor another wing to call upon as they look to compete with Kansas and Oklahoma State at the top of the the Big 12.

O’Neale, who averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a sophomore at Denver last season, has two years of eligibility remaining. He joins a rotation at the small forward position that includes sophomore Taurean Prince and highly-touted freshman Ishmail Wainright.

O’Neale’s versatility will be an asset for Baylor head coach Scott Drew, as he’s a capable scorer, rebounder and distributor.

Tennessee G Hubbs undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery

Robert Hubbs III, Anton Beard
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs won’t practice this week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday.

The school said in a news release that Hubbs had it done “to address chronic swelling issues that have been present since the preseason.”

No timetable has been set for when Hubbs could return to action, but he is considered doubtful for Tennessee’s next game on Dec. 12 at Butler. Tennessee (4-3) is in the midst of a 13-day break from games, which marks the program’s longest layoff during a season since December 1967.

Hubbs is averaging 15.3 points per game to rank third on the team. The 6-foot-4 junior has scored at least 13 points in each of Tennessee’s seven games.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
AP Photo
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.