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


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 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, “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.

Lawyer: Pierre suspended due to ‘unfair and defective process’

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Dayton forward Dyshawn Pierre, who is suspended from school for the fall semester stemming from a sexual assault allegation, has sued the university over what his lawyer calls an “unfair and defective internal process”.

Peter R. Ginsberg, Pierre’s lawyer, released a statement to on Wednesday stating that his client intends to file suit over the ruling, saying that the school arrived at a suspension through “fundamentally unfair and defective internal process that deprived him of vital rights and protections and has resulted in a disruption in his education, a drastic blow to his reputation, and a potentially fatal interference” with basketball.

Pierre was suspended due to an incident that allegedly took place in mid-April and was reported in May, according to the Dayton Daily News. The prosecutor declined to press charges in the case due to a lack of evidence, the paper reported.

Pierre, a 6-foot-6 wing that averaged 12.7 points last season, is not currently enrolled at the school.

“What has been done to me has been grossly unfair. The allegations against me are false,” he said. “And now I find myself with my reputation tarnished, my schooling interrupted and my dream of helping the basketball team win a national championship being threatened. I want justice, and I want a return to my normal life.”

Ginsberg represented Dez Wells in a similar case. Wells, then at Xavier, was expelled by the university in 2012 following a sexual assault allegation, but he won a settlement from the school in 2014. The crux of Ginsberg’s claims regarding Pierre’s case is that the process by which Dayton reached this conclusion is fundamentally flawed.

Skal Labissiere has not been cleared by the NCAA

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While the timeline surrounding Cheick Diallo’s eligibility has made headlines for months now, another elite recruit at a blue blood program is still awaiting word on whether or not he will be allowed to play college basketball this season.

Kentucky center Skal Labissiere, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2015 and a potential No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, has not yet been cleared to play this season. His guard, Gerald Hamilton, confirmed as much to ESPN earlier today.

“Not yet,” Hamilton said. “We’re just trying to get everything squared away. They are asking a few questions.

“They haven’t cleared him, but we’re sticking with our faith. There’s no real concern about anything from the Kentucky compliance people.”

Labissiere has more red flags than you can count, almost all of them pertaining to Hamilton. It was the worst kept secret in high school basketball that Hamilton more or less had Labissiere for sale. It’s why he played three different AAU programs and two different high schools in four years. Hamilton runs a non-profit called Reach Your Dream and, after a transfer rendered him ineligible for his senior high school season, Labissiere played for a team called ‘Reach Your Dream Prep’, which Hamilton founded simply to ensure Labissiere had a place to play.

Here’s how summarized things back in November:

Multiple coaches who have recruited Labissiere told Hamilton either directly indicated or strongly suggested pursuing Labissiere would mostly be a waste of time if they couldn’t offer assistance in helping fund his foundation. One coach from a prominent staff said: “We couldn’t even get in the door.” Another added: “We recognized what it was about early on and decided not to get involved.”

In other words, no one is surprised that the NCAA is looking into Labissiere’s situation, and it’s not hard to look at Kentucky bringing in Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard as a sign that they’re not completely certain that Labissiere will make it through this. The surprise is in how quiet that investigation has been over the course of the last few months.

The shame in all of this is that Labissiere is a sweet kid with an incredible back-story. He survived the devastating earthquake in Haiti despite having a house collapse on him. If he can get through this investigation, he’ll easily be one of the biggest and most likeable stars in the sport this season.