Bob Knight a fan of St. Louis, Jim Crews

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Bob Knight is a brash and brazen kind of guy — he was as a coach and is as a color commentator. Love him or hate him, that’s just who he is as a person. As a color guy, he is fantastic in this regard. There is no holding back and he tells everything just like it is, which is what one hopes for in a color commentator.

For the aforementioned reasons, Knight’s praise of Jim Crews and the St. Louis basketball program holds serious merit.

St. Louis is 22-2 and is undefeated in Atlantic 10. They are on track for what may be the best season in program history. For the success the Billikens are experiencing, they are doing so without playing the most aesthetically pleasing brand of basketball. In fact, it is almost remarkable that St. Louis currently stands at 22-2, considering they rank 156th in offensive efficiency, according to kenpom.com.

They don’t win the game on the offensive end, but rather the defensive. Senior guard Jordair Jett is a menace on that end — actually, he resembles a bull with his style of play.

Bob Knight told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “They have offense with movement. They don’t rely on the 3-point shot. They do a lot of screening. They just don’t come down and take a shot. Look at the number of free throws they shoot (534) compared to the other team (450). They’re not an easy team to play. They understand the value of defense.”

Knight is no stranger to Crews. Crews played for The General at Indiana and then was an assistant under him for eight seasons. As a player, he was a member of the 1975-76 team that went 32-0.

The two also have ties to West Point. Knight coached there from 1965-71, and Crews was at Army from 2002-09, prior to his current job at St. Louis.

Suffice to say, the two know each other well.

“Jimmy’s a very good coach. He understands the game very well,” Knight said. “Coaches are coaches but not all coaches are teachers of basketball. He is…His appreciation for what his responsibilities were was excellent,” Knight recalled. “There wasn’t anything about Jim Crews as a player that hasn’t translated into an asset as a coach.”

Crews and St. Louis face their most challenging test in the Atlantic 10 thus far as they play host to Virginia Commonwealth tomorrow — a game Knight will be providing the color for on ESPN.

Report: North Carolina won’t attend White House

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After capturing a national championship earlier this year, the North Carolina men’s basketball team will not be visiting the White House, a North Carolina spokesman said to Andrew Carter of the The Charlotte Observer.

Although the Tar Heels were invited to go to the White House from the staff of President Donald Trump, the team couldn’t figure out a date that worked.

“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” North Carolina team spokesman Steve Kirschner said to Carter. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”

According to Carter’s report, Kirschner also said that North Carolina players, “were fine with going.”

With Trump’s recent comments towards NFL players and the national anthem and his Saturday morning tweet at Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the President with regards to athletes over the past 24 hours.

Although the timing of this may seem like North Carolina is making some sort of political statement, the school is downplaying any sort of politics by focusing on the bad timing.

Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer

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Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer from the program to move closer to home, according to a release from the school.

The 6-foot-7 Ridder hails from Springfield, Missouri as he was regarded as a top-150 prospect by Rivals in the Class of 2017.

“After much consideration and talking with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to move home,” Ridder said in the release.

“Jared has indicated to the coaching staff that he has a desire to be closer to home,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. “While we are disappointed, we all want Jared to be happy moving forward. We wish him nothing but the best.”

A potent scorer and noted perimeter shooter at the high school level, Ridder helped MoKan win the Nike Peach Jam during the summer of 2016 playing alongside talented players like Missouri’s Michael and Jontay Porter and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. With a desire to move closer to home, could Ridder potentially land at a spot where one of his talented former teammates is playing?

Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season of high school ball at Kickapoo as he was a first-team, All-State selection in Missouri.

Four-star 2018 forward Ian Steere decommits from Creighton

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Creighton took a big hit to its recruiting efforts late this week as Class of 2018 forward Ian Steere is decommitting from the Bluejays, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Steere’s decommitment was first reported by Julius Kim of Elevate Hoops.

The 6-foot-8 Steere is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals as he is coming off of a very solid spring and summer playing with Team Charlotte in the Under Armour Association. A plus athlete who isn’t afraid to bang on the interior, Steere showing an improving skill level throughout the spring and summer as he could see his recruiting soar after opening things up.

According to a report from Jon Nyatawa of the World-Herald, one of the reasons that Steere is opening up his recruitment is his desire to be closer to his native North Carolina. With so many top programs looking for quality help on the interior, it’ll be interesting to see which programs jump in and try to recruit Steere the second time around.

John Wall emotional in Kentucky Hall of Fame induction speech

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John Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night as he delivered an emotional speech while talking to his mother.

The first inductee into the Hall of Fame to play for current Wildcat head coach John Calipari, Wall only spent the 2009-10 season in Lexington but he became the first national player of the year to play at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Thanking his mother, Calipari, his family, friends and Big Blue Nation, the Washington Wizards guard gave a very moving speech, including an emotional part directed to his mother at around 4:35.

Ohio State snags third 2018 commitment in a week with four-star guard Luther Muhammad

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Ohio State continued a strong week on the recruiting trail on Friday night by landing a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Luther Muhammad.

Regarded as a four-star prospect, the 6-foot-4 Muhammad is a tough and rugged perimeter defender who can attack the basket. Also showing some ability to play on the ball as a secondary handler, Muhammad is a very solid addition to Ohio State’s recruiting class since they need to overhaul their roster under new head coach Chris Holtmann.

Muhammad is the third player to commit to the Buckeyes in the Class of 2018 this week as he joins four-star forward Jaedon LeDee and three-star guard Duane Washington in the current Ohio State recruiting class. Since Washington is a three-point threat and Muhammad is more of an off-the-bounce specialist, the two guards are a good start for Ohio State in this class as they will likely try to find a true floor leader to play with them on the perimeter.