Less than two months after ending his recruitment early, four-star 2015 power forward Alex Owens is back on the boards.
The 6-foot-8 Owens committed to Central Florida back on Sept. 17, but on Tuesday morning, Buddy Collings of the Orlando Sentinel reported that he had decided to decommit from UCF.
“He came to my office this morning and said he wants to reopen his recruitment,” Owens’ coach Alex Jackson told Collings on Tuesday.
“He still likes UCF, but he wants to enjoy the process.”
In mid-September, the Orlando native mentioned he wanted a school that was close to home while UCF’s move to the American also played a role in his decision. At that time several other in-state schools such as Florida, Florida State and Miami had offered him. Cinnicinnati, Maryland, Missouri, N.C. State and Providence were also in the mix as well.
Louisville had also seen him weeks before he picked UCF.
This summer, Owens was on the Each 1 Teach 1 (Fla.) team that won the Nike EYBL Peach Jam. He averaged 9.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. He also represented USA South in the Nike Global Challenge, averaging 11.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per contest while also posting a pair of double-doubles in the showcase.
He is ranked No. 71 overall in the Class of 2015. Owens was the first member of the Golden Knights’ Class of 2015, but during his short commitment UCF has landed Deltona High (Fla.) power forward Chad Brown and Lakewood Senior High (Fla.) small forward Anthony Lawrence Jr.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.
For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.
The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.
2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.
3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.
4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.
5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
- No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
- No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.
Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.
But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.
It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:
After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: