La Salle v Ole Miss

The Secondary Break: Thursday’s Links

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Stanley Johnson to announce college decision Friday (Scout)
The early signing period began on Wednesday, and Friday’s setting up to be a busy day on the recruiting trail. In addition to Cliff Alexander, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor , five-star guard Stanley Johnson will announce his decision as well. The three schools in the running for the Mater Dei HS (Calif.) product are Arizona, Kentucky and USC.

After tragedy, Andre Dawkins shares his personal journey (Sports Illustrated)
Duke senior guard Andre Dawkins returned to the program after spending the 2012-13 year away from the program as he dealt with the passing of his sister, taking the time to not only address that but his own bout with depression.

He’s back! Marshall Henderson to return to the court Saturday (Associated Press)
Ole Miss’ lone senior will make his season debut on Saturday against Coastal Carolina, with Henderson’s three-game suspension having run its course. Henderson helped lead the Rebels to an SEC tournament title last season, but he’ll have more heavy lifting to do with Reginald Buckner and Murphy Holloway no longer in the front court.

“Miscommunication” led to Dez Wells playing just five first-half minutes (CSN Washington)
Maryland struggled for the first 25 minutes or so of their 69-44 win over Abilene Christian, and as the first half wore on many wondered why Dez Wells remained on the bench. According to head coach Mark Turgeon Wells playing just five minutes in the first half was a result of “miscommunication,” but there will be no lingering issues regarding the matter.

New rules mean more zone for Pitt (Beaver County Times)
Pitt’s man-to-man defense has been a staple of the Jamie Dixon era (and Ben Howland before him), but with the new rules aiming to remove contact both on and off the ball adjustments need to be made. One of those for the Panthers: play more zone, with the defense proving to be a catalyst in their comfortable win over Fresno State.

Eastern Kentucky ties OVC record with 20 three-pointers (Louisville Courier-Journal)
A record nearly fell in the Colonels’ 114-45 win over Warren Wilson College, as EKU tied the OVC record for made three-pointers in a game with 20. EKU needed 39 attempts to do so, and they led 61-17 at the intermission.

Jones makes most of opportunity against VCU (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Virginia’s free throw shooting left something to be desired in their 59-56 loss to VCU, but one positive was the play of Teven Jones. With Evan Nolte out due to injury Jones took advantage of his nine minutes on the floor, and not sulking after receiving little playing time in the Cavaliers’ season-opening win over James Madison.

Jeff Walz to run up $5,000 beer tab (Louisville Courier-Journal)
In order to say “thanks” to fans who attend his team’s games, Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz is buying the first 2,500 (of age) fans a beer at the team’s Preseason NIT semifinal game against LSU on Thursday

Florida freshman will miss the season with stress fracture

GAINESVILLE, FL - JANUARY 19: Head coach Mike White of the Florida Gators gestures during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on January 19, 2016 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Florida freshman forward Dontay Bassett is out for the season with a stress fracture, according to a release from the school.

Bassett will require surgery in his right foot and his projected recovery time will be four-to-six months. The injury will force Bassett to redshirt the 2016-17 season.

A three-star recruit coming out of Oldsmar Christian in Florida, the 6-foot-9 forward wasn’t expected to be a big contributor during his first year with the Gators, but his loss does hurt some of the team’s frontcourt depth. With John Egbunu, Devin Robinson, Justin Leon and Kevarrius Hayes all returning, the Gators should have plenty of players to use in the frontcourt this season without Bassett.

Once Bassett is healthy and able to play next season he showed good athleticism and an ability to hit the glass hard while he was in high school. Bassett should be able to join Florida’s rotation as an energy defender and rebounder right away.

Iowa State lands four-star Class of 2017 guard Lindell Wigginton

GREENVILLE, SC- July 9, 2016:  adidas Gauntlet Finale at Upward Stars Center (Jeff Hinds/adidas)
GREENVILLE, SC- July 7, 2016:  adidas Gauntlet Finale at Upward Stars Center (Jeff Hinds/adidas)
Jeff Hinds/adidas
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Iowa State has its point guard of the future as four-star Class of 2017 prospect Lindell Wigginton pledged to the Cyclones on Friday.

The 6-foot-1 Wigginton is regarded as the No. 40 overall prospect on as the Canadian has spent the last few seasons at powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. With an ability to play both guard spots and defend a few spots, Wigginton is a valuable addition to head coach Steve Prohm’s ballclub as Wigginton could help replace Monte Morris after he exhausts his eligibility.

Wigginton is going to need to improve his consistency on his perimeter jumper, but he’s a good pull-up scorer who can make plays for himself or others off the bounce. Iowa State’s Class of 2017 recruiting haul now includes Wigginton, four-star wing Terrence Lewis and three-star guard Darius McNeill.

This commitment is huge for Prohm as Wigginton is the most highly-regarded recruit that he has landed with the Cyclones. With Prohm’s point guard history with guys like Isaiah Canaan at Murray State and Monte Morris now with Iowa State, Prohm did a nice job of finding his next young guard to mold for the future.

Davidson star Jack Gibbs to miss a few weeks with shoulder injury

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 11:  Jack Gibbs #12 of the Davidson Wildcats celebrates a basket against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies during the Quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament at the Barclays Center on March 11, 2016 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Davidson senior guard Jack Gibbs is one of the most under-the-radar players in college basketball as he will be among the nation’s leading offensive threats this season if he’s healthy.

But health is going to be a question for the 6-foot-1 guard as Gibbs is dealing with a shoulder injury that will sideline him for 2-to-3 weeks, according to head coach Bob McKillop. McKillop told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that tests came back negative for Gibbs and he’s expected to be back for the Wildcats’ season-opener. The injury for Gibbs occurred during Thursday’s Davidson practice.

As a junior, Gibbs averaged 23.5 points, 4.9 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game as he became one of the nation’s premier offensive players.  Gibbs is going to be a huge key for Davidson this season as he needs to be healthy in order for the Wildcats to make it back to the NCAA tournament.


VIDEO: Dennis Smith Jr. electrifies N.C. State fans at team’s scrimmage

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(Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images)
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N.C. State freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. excited fans with some absurd plays at the team’s Primetime with the Pack event last night.

The highly-touted, five-star prospect is the most electric prospect to come to the Wolfpack in years and Smith had the crowd buzzing with some highlight-reel dunks during the team’s 20-minute scrimmage.

Smith made one teammate look silly by putting it between his legs and throwing down a vicious dunk during one play while he also threw an alley-oop to himself to finish another break.

(h/t: Ball is Life)

VIDEO: Kentucky freshman Malik Monk throws down vicious dunks during scrimmage

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15:  West Team MVP Malik Monk (L) (Bentonville, AR) in action during the 15th iteration of the Jordan Brand Classic at Barclays Center on April 15, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Jordan Brand )
(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Jordan Brand )
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Kentucky freshman guard Malik Monk is going to be one of the newcomers to keep an eye on this season as the 6-foot-3 Arkansas native is an explosive scorer who packs vicious athleticism.

Monk showed Big Blue Nation some of what they can expect to see during Friday night’s Blue/White Scrimmage as he unleashed a ferocious dunk in some traffic and also had another good dunk in transition. While Monk has great lift off the floor, he also isn’t afraid to cock the ball back and put some authority on his dunks. He’s going to be a ton of fun to watch this season.