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.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.