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Nik Stauskas apologizes for, clarifies father’s early-entry comments

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If I put together mock drafts, I would, at this point, have Nik Stauskas projected as a lottery pick.

He’s 6-foot-6, he’s athletic, he’s a lights-out shooter, he can handle the ball in the pick-and-roll, he can create off the dribble for his teammates, he can break your ankles with a cross over and go dunk on you.

Offensively, there really isn’t anything that Stauskas can’t do. Would it be nice if he was a bit quicker? Yeah, probably. Can he use some work on the defensive end of the floor? Definitely. But given the total package, I’d have a hard time finding 14 better prospects, which is kind of surprising for those that haven’t seen much of him this season. Last year, Stauskas spent the majority of his time on the floor tucked in the corner, hitting the open threes Trey Burke created for him.

Which is why the only thing that surprised me about his father’s quote to SI.com this week was the fact that, you know, he actually said it on the record.

“He knows all he has to do is keep his nose to the grindstone for another couple of months,” Stauskas’ father, Paul, told SI.com, “and there’s a really good possibility he might be able to go pro. He’s working really hard to achieve that.”

We all know that. We’ve all seen it. And only the truly naive believe that the goal for any college hooper is anything other than getting to the NBA. Also note that Stauskas’ father said there’s a “good possibility” he “might be able” to enter the draft. Nothing definitive, meaning, to me, it read more like a boastful father proud of his son than a dad announcing that his kid is entering the draft.

There was no need to Nik to apologize or clarify the comments, but he did.

“I apologize for my father’s comments, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Stauskas said after the Wednesday’s game. “I haven’t really thought anything about that yet and we’ll just address that after the season.”

If you don’t want your dad to say it, Nik, I’ll say it for him: if Nik Stauskas keeps playing the way that he has been playing since Mitch McGary went out, there’s a really good possibility that he’ll be able to go pro and get picked in the first round.

Alleged victim of Carlton Bragg Jr. assault held in jail

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Carlton Bragg Jr.’s battery case took an interesting twist Saturday morning.

On Friday afternoon, a 19-year old woman was arrested at the same address that Bragg was arrested. She was charged with suspicion of battery at 4:42 p.m., after Bragg’s appearance in court, and it was filed under the same case number as Bragg’s. The Kansas City Star is reporting that the woman is Bragg’s girlfriend.

According to Douglas County Sheriff’s records, the woman is still in custody.

NBC Sports is not identifying the woman as she has not yet been charged with a crime.

Bragg was charged with battery, a misdemeanor, Friday afternoon after an early morning arrest. He was accused of striking his girlfriend and pushing her down stairs. He has been suspended indefinitely by Kansas head coach Bill Self and will not play in Saturday afternoon’s game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse against Nebraska.

Oklahoma State adds 2017 commitment from guard Amauri Hardy

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Oklahoma State added an important commitment from one of the best available Class of 2017 guards on Friday as Amauri Hardy pledged to the Cowboys.

The 6-foot-2 Hardy is regarded by some recruiting services as a top-100 player as he gives head coach Brad Underwood a key commitment for Oklahoma State. A quick scoring guard who plays with a lot of energy, Hardy had a solid summer with The Family as the Michigan native offers up some insurance for Oklahoma State at guard.

Since Phil Forte is exhausting his eligibility after this season and sophomore point guard Jawun Evans is having a monster year and could go pro, having Hardy’s commitment is a good backup plan. If Evans does return for his junior season, Hardy can provide valuable backup minutes while also being able to play a bit off the ball alongside Evans.

Hardy joins four-star guard Zach Dawson and three-star forward Latravian Glover in Oklahoma State’s Class of 2017 recruiting efforts.

VIDEO: Taylor University celebrates 20th anniversary of Silent Night tradition

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Taylor University celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Silent Night Game on Friday night.

The Division III school in Upland, Indiana has one of the best traditions in college sports as Taylor has its fanbase stay completely silent until the team scores its 10th point of the game. Upon scoring the team’s 10th point, the Taylor students go ballistic as they storm the court and temporarily stop the game. Dressing up in all sorts of group costumes, the Taylor students bring out some of the best ideas you’ll see from any college fanbase in the country.

As for the game, Taylor jumped out to a 37-9 lead on Lincoln Christian University and never looked back as they won 99-68. The win moves Taylor’s record to 20-0 all-time in Silent Night games.

Jake Heggeland was the game’s high scorer with 18 points for Taylor while Evan Crowe broke the Taylor silence for the second consecutive year.

Kansas forward arrested on suspicion of battery

Douglas County Sheriff
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Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. was charged today with one count of battery.

According to a press release sent out by the Douglas County district attorney’s office, police received a call around 1 a.m. from a woman who said that “her boyfriend had struck her and pushed her down stairs during an argument.”

The DA also included a note in the statement that, essentially, said the only reason Bragg wasn’t charged with domestic violence – he was initially arrested on suspicion of domestic battery – was due to a technicality. Since the couple is only dating and not married, under Kansas law, the assault does not constitute domestic violence.

Battery is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison.

Bragg, who was still in custody until an appearance in court on Friday afternoon, was held on bond of $500. Bragg plead not guilty.

“We are still trying to gather information,” head coach Bill Self told The Star. “But it is a charge which we take very seriously.”

Bragg is a 6-foot-8 sophomore that lost his spot in the starting lineup earlier this year. He is averaging 7.8 points and 5.3 boards in 16 minutes. No. 3 Kansas hosts Nebraska on Saturday.

St. John’s to lose center to transfer

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 13: Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats has his shot blocked by Yankuba Sima #35 of the St. John's Red Storm at the Wells Fargo Center on February 13, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Villanova won 73-63. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Yankuba Sima will transfer out of the St. John’s program, the school announced on Friday.

“I want to thank the coaching staff and the administration for all of their support since I arrived at St. John’s,” said Sima. “I enjoyed my experience at St. John’s, but right now I feel it is best for me to explore options that will be a better fit for me as I work toward my goals.”

“We wish Yankuba the best of luck,” said head coach Chris Mullin. “I know this wasn’t an easy decision for him, but we respect and understand it. He’s a good basketball player and a good person with a bright future ahead.”

Sima started 26 of the 34 games he played with the Johnnies, including eight starts this season. He was averaging 6.0 points and 3.5 boards this year.