The Adreian Payne Story: How Michigan State star became the ultimate role model (Bleacher Report)
The story of Michigan State senior forward Adreian Payne is one that anyone can draw inspiration from. From his path to Michigan State, which included a lot of hard work in the classroom, to his relationship with 8-year old Lacey Holsworth as she fights cancer, Payne has become a man we all can learn from.
Iowa State’s DeAndre Kane making the most of second chance (Sports Illustrated)
Iowa State’s enjoyed a great deal of success during Fred Hoiberg’s tenure when it comes to adding transfers to the program, with senior guard DeAndre Kane being the most recent. Kane’s path to Ames was anything but smooth, as he lost his father and also had bouts with immaturity at Marshall before head coach Tom Herrion informed him that his scholarship would not be renewed.
Friday Preview: Wildcats lead from within (Phila Hoops)
No. 6 Villanova has exceeded preseason expectations, winning 20 of their first 22 games and currently sitting in a tie for first place in the Big East. One of the reasons for that: the leadership that begins with head coach Jay Wright, and on the floor a solid group of upperclassmen led by senior James Bell.
Amid talk of NBA prospects, KU’s Tarik Black gets NFL attention (Lawrence Journal-World)
While Kansas has two freshmen in Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins who have been the focus of much NBA chatter, they aren’t the only Jayhawks with designs on a professional career. One of those other players is senior forward Tarik Black, with head coach Bill Self stating that the big man should consider trying out for an NFL team.
No. 22 UConn can make a statement against No. 7 Cincinnati (Hartford Courant)
One of the biggest games on Thursday’s schedule is UConn’s trip to Cincinnati, with the Bearcats currently holding a two-game lead in the American Athletic Conference. And the game represents an opportunity for the Huskies, who can add another quality win to their resume while closing the gap at the top of the conference.
Washington takes on Utah and Colorado, the toughest road trip of the Pac-12 season (Seattle Times)
Conference realignment has forced many schools to adjust the way in which they attack their schedules, and the Pac-12 would be one example of this. With the addition of Colorado and Utah, this two-game swing has become the toughest according to a number of the league’s coaches. Not only is there the travel to be concerned with but also the altitude, a challenge that no other road trip in the Pac-12 poses.
NEW YORK (AP) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s next book will be a fond look back at his long friendship with John Wooden, the celebrated basketball coach at UCLA.
“Coach Wooden and Me” will be published next June and will combine personal memories and lessons learned from his friend and mentor, Grand Central Publishing told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Wooden, who died in 2010, coached 10 NCAA championship teams at UCLA. Three titles were won while Abdul-Jabbar, then called Lew Alcindor, was the Bruins’ star center.
Abdul-Jabbar, who went on to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, remained close to Wooden. In a statement released through Grand Central, he called Wooden a great coach and “an even better teacher and friend.” Abdul-Jabbar’s other books include the memoir “Giant Steps” and the novel “Mycroft Holmes.”
Five-star 2017 prospect Brian Bowen has trimmed his list of possible collegiate destinations to six.
Creighton, North Carolina State, UCLA, Michigan State, Arizona and Texas are still under consideration, Bowen announced Wednesday evening.
Bowen, a consensus top-20 recruit, is a 6-foot-8 small forward out of Sagniaw, Mich., but he currently is attending the prestigious La Lumiere School in Indiana. He’s also the cousin of former Michigan State star Jason Richardson, leaving many to believe that he’s a heavy Spartan lean.
“People think I’m 100 percent to Michigan State,” Bowen told Brendan Quinn of MLive.com earlier this month. “I love them to death and I’ve been there my whole life and everything — it’s a great coaching staff and everything — but I’m not 100 percent to a school until I commit there. Right now, I’m open to the schools that are recruiting.”
Bowen hasn’t said when he plans on making a final decision.
Indiana senior Collin Hartman underwent surgery to repair damage on his left knee, the school announced Wednesday.
The Hoosiers provided no timetable for Hartman’s return following a non-contact injury he suffered in practice last week.
“Any time you see one of your players go down to injury,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said in a statement, “it tears you up as a person and as a program — even more so when it’s someone like Collin Hartman, who has been a huge part of our success and is in his senior year. We all look forward to helping him recover and rehabilitate.”
After playing sparingly as a freshman, Hartman has been a role player for the Hoosiers the last two seasons, averaging right around 20 minutes per game. He put up 5.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists last year as a junior.
The school hasn’t released the nature or severity of the Hartman’s injury, so it’s impossible to even guess when he might be able to suit up next for the Hoosiers, who are a likely top-15 team heading into the season.
Indiana opens the year in a big way on Nov. 11, facing off against Kansas in the Armed Forces Classic in Honolulu.
The upward trajectory of Virginia Tech basketball under Buzz Williams continued Wednesday.
Wabissa Bede, a Class of 2017 point guard, committed to the Hokies to give them their second top-100 player in the class.
The 6-foot-1 Massachusetts native choice Virginia Tech after taking official visits to both Blacksburg and Butler with UMass and LaSalle also in the mix. He’s ranked 77th in the 247Sports composite rankings.
“Wabissa Bede is a rugged guard who helps his team win games by defending and playing smart basketball,” NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said. “He can stand to improve his perimeter jumper, but he has a high IQ and can make plays for others as a passer.
“Bede is a perfect Buzz Williams fit.”
Williams is developing quite the backcourt in this class with top-50 shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker already committed to the Hokies.
It’s becoming a good time to be a Virginia Tech basketball fan after a couple of lean years to start the Williams era. The Hokies are a likely top-25 team and expected to end a 10-year NCAA drought this season with Seth Allen and Zach LeDay returning.
With the improvement of the on-court product and the recruiting successes, Virginia Tech certainly looks like a program on the rise.
Indoor basketball courts.
A kitchen that’s nicer than what is in my home.
A pool table.
A rooftop patio overlooking the baseball field.
Flat-screens literally everywhere.
The $12 million building also houses 17 students that don’t play on the basketball team. I wonder how much money their parents had to donate to the school to get them on that list?
[Video via KUHoops.com, a Jayhawk-centric vertical launched by the Kansas City Star this month. Go ahead and bookmark that page. You’ll want it.]