Players who enter stands now guaranteed to be ejected


In the aftermath of Marcus Smart shoving Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr in early February, many wondered why Smart was merely assessed a technical foul for “unsportsmanlike conduct” and not ejected from the game. The reason for this: the officials did not have the power to eject Smart, and that revealed a problem with the rule governing player/fan altercations.

According to Andy Katz of the NCAA has tweaked the rule in order to make it clear that players who engage in that kind of behavior will receive an flagrant two (non contact) foul and be ejected from the game. With the change being made there should be no further confusion for officials who have to deal with a similar situation in the future.

Big 12 coordinator of officials Curtis Shaw told Katz the following in regards to why the change was made:

“We had a rule that if a player left the court in order to participate in a fight but not one to interact with the fans,” he said. “We discussed that the rule was intended to cover (a player interaction with a fan), but it wasn’t in there. Now if any player leaves the court to have a physical altercation with a fan it is a flagrant 2 and an automatic ejection.”

The original rule, 10-1.3.h, only touched on players entering the stands when a fight “may break out or has broken out” but did not mention anything about player/fan confrontations. While many were under the assumption that a player would be ejected for this kind of interaction with a fan, the fact that it wasn’t clearly stated in the rules left the officials who worked the Oklahoma State/Texas Tech game in a tough spot.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.