Cal-Stanford game has plenty at stake (San Francisco Examiner)
On the heels of their win over then-No. 1 Arizona, California’s looking to keep the momentum going with a win over Stanford on Wednesday night. However the game represents an opportunity for Stanford as well, with the Cardinal looking to move closer to earning the first NCAA tournament appearance of the Johnny Dawkins era.
Temple living with conference woes (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Before the 2013-14 season began the general feeling about the Temple Owls was that even with their low numbers, Fran Dunphy’s team had the pieces needed to factor into the middle of the American Athletic Conference pecking order. But things haven’t gone as planned, and that can be said for the entire athletic department as well.
Gary Waters reflects on his successful run at Cleveland State (Lake County News-Herald)
Last week Gary Waters became the winningest coach in the history of Cleveland State basketball, winning his 150th and 151st games. With the Vikings currently tied for second place in the Horizon League, there’s a chance that this season could result in a trip to the NCAA tournament as well. Waters reflected on his tenure at CSU to date after grabbing those victories.
Alabama’s season could be on downward spiral (Associated Press)
Conference play has been a struggle for the Alabama Crimson Tide, as they’ve dropped four of their last five games with the average margin of defeat being 15 points per game. Those struggles make their game at Arkansas even more important, with Alabama looking to avoid the first losing season of the Anthony Grant era.
Guards help Gators to another 20-win season (Gainesville Sun)
With the debut of freshman forward Chris Walker on Tuesday night, Florida’s front court received the majority of the attention entering Tuesday’s game against Missouri. But by the end of that game, a 68-58 win, it was the backcourt that stood out for a Florida team that has now won 14 games in a row.
Road victory gives Ohio State morale boost (Columbus Dispatch)
On the heels of a tough win at Wisconsin on Saturday, Ohio State was able to follow up that result with a much-needed win at No. 17 Iowa on Tuesday night. The 76-69 win may have represented a step forward for a team that has struggled offensively, with the Buckeyes scoring 45 points in the second half.
Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall puts teeth into coaching (USA Today)
No. 4 Wichita State is 23-0 on the season entering its game at Indiana State on Wednesday night, with the Shockers utilizing a very good defense and a balanced offensive attack. The architect is head coach Gregg Marshall, with his team taking on the fighting spirit that has made him such a successful coach.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell has announced that sophomore forward Alexis Jennings will transfer, the seventh Wildcat to leave the program since last fall.
Jennings’ departure comes a week after Mitchell publicly addressed the mass exodus of players and assistant coaches and stressed the need for building stability. Jennings figured to be part of that process and the coach said in a release Wednesday night that “it saddens us that Alexis did not see a path for her at Kentucky. … She felt it was in her best interest to finish her career elsewhere and we owe her that opportunity.”
The 6-foot-2 Jennings started 18 of 33 games last season and averaged 10 points and 7.1 rebounds.
Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.
Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.
DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.
Jamie Dixon’s presence is already being felt in the Big 12 and on the recruiting trail.
TCU received its first commitment of the Dixon era when four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher announced his decision to join the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.
“Due to how comfortable my family and I are with the coaching staff,” Fisher posted from his Twitter account, “and the emphasis the university has put on making basketball a priority, I’m committing to be a student-athlete at TCU.”
Getting a consensus top-75 prospect, who was once committed to UNLV, is a heck of a coup for being just a couple months on the job. It instantly shows the Frogs are going to be a player for some of the country’s top players, which is a necessity if you have designs on making a move up the ladder of arguably the country’s best league in the Big 12.
Maybe the most gratifying thing for TCU, though, is the reason Fisher publicly stated for making his decision, the school’s “making basketball a priority.” The hoops program has suffered immensely in the Big 12 (while the football program has flourished), winning a total of eight games in their four seasons (including a winless 2014), but the school sank $72 million into renovating its arena, made an aggressive move in firing Trent Johnson and then went out and got its dream candidate, Dixon, an alum. Fisher’s commitment is the first time those moves have shown that commitment to basketball paying off.
Washington State transfer Valentine Izundu will be visiting San Diego State after all.
Coach Ernie Kent has rescinded his restriction on the 6-foot-10 graduate transfer from visiting the Aztecs, according to a report from the Spokesman-Review, citing an anonymous source. Izundu will also be reportedly visiting Fresno State and UNLV.
Izundu had previously been barred from considering the Aztecs by Kent because of suspcisions of tampering. Izundu vigorously denied that was the case as at the center of the dispute was a trip he made to San Diego for spring break. He publicly said he did not have any contact with the SDSU coaching staff , though he attended an Aztecs NIT game.
Kent, though, appears to have relented, as many coaches who have similarly faces public pressure in such situations before him have. In this era where so much attention is being paid to player rights and welfare, there only seems to be growing public sentiment against programs restricting transfers beyond the absolute bare minimum is rarely going to go over well. It may make things more difficult for coaches and programs, but it’s the deck is largely already stacked in their favor in most every other instance.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) Authorities say former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling faces charges including carrying a concealed weapon after he was found in possession of guns and marijuana in suburban Detroit.
The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says 24-year-old Appling was arrested outside a Dearborn club on Sunday night. Club security called police after seeing a man pull a gun from the trunk of a car.
Prosecutors say Appling was in the driver’s seat of the car when police arrived. Officers found a handgun under the driver’s seat, a loaded weapon in the trunk and a small amount of suspected marijuana.
Weapons and marijuana possession charges were announced Wednesday.
The court says he doesn’t have a lawyer on record.
Appling played for the Spartans from 2010-2014 and plays for the NBA’s development league.