Pac 12 Basketball Tournament - First Round

Arizona State adds transfer Brandan Kearney to roster on Saturday

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Arizona State will get an immediate boost to its rotation as Michigan State transfer Brandan Kearney is eligible to play for the Sun Devils on Saturday against Texas Tech after sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.

Kearney averaged 2.3 points in 16.9 minutes last season as a sophomore at Michigan State, but opted to transfer last December to find more consistent playing time. The 6-foot-5 junior should give head coach Herb Sendek another body on the wing, as Kearney will compete for minutes with senior starter Shaquielle McKissic and freshman Egor Koulechov.

Doug Haller of AZ Central caught up with Sendek to get his take on how Kearney might fit into the Sun Devils’ plans.

“I don’t think we have any conclusive rotation at this point,” Sendek said of Kearney’s return. “We’re going to try and insert Brandan where we can and just kind of see how his addition affects rotation.”

Kearney was regarded as a three-star prospect coming out of high school, according to Rivals. The Detroit native was also regarded by Rivals as the 127th best player in the class of 2011.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
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Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.