DeAndre Daniels

Report: High ankle sprain sidelines UConn’s DeAndre Daniels for tonight’s game

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Two games after putting together his best performance of the season, scoring 31 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a win over Temple, UConn junior forward DeAndre Daniels will miss the Huskies’ game against Houston on Thursday night due to a sprained ankle. The news was first reported by Andrew Catalon of CBS Sports.

Daniels suffered a high ankle sprain in the first half of UConn’s win at Rutgers on Saturday night, playing the second half but leaving the RAC in a walking boot. Head coach Kevin Ollie said on Wednesday that Daniels, who hadn’t practiced since suffering the injury, was probable for Thursday’s game.

The matchup with Houston is the second this season, with the Cougars beating the Huskies on New Year’s Eve in the American opener for both. The Huskies, faced with an opponent that was without three starters, did not show up with the intensity needed to win such a contest and trailed by as many as 20 in the first half before fighting back only to fall four points short.

Houston’s TaShawn Thomas proved to be a handful for UConn, scoring 23 points and grabbing eight rebounds with Jherrod Stiggers (17 points) and Chicken Knowles (13) proving problematic off the bench. Houston’s lost four of its last six games but this has the potential to be a difficult game for UConn, especially with Daniels sidelined.

With the junior unable to play more playing time is likely for Lasan Kromah and Niels Giffey, with both already being key members of the UConn rotation.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.