Kansas announces donor for basketball players’ apartments (Kansas City Star)
Some of the nation’s richest college basketball programs have taken strides in recent years to make sure that their players have everything they need right at the fingertips. Usually that focuses on where the team trains, with practice facilities seemingly being built every year. However for some programs, such as Kansas, that has also meant upgrading where the players live.
Georgetown forward Nate Lubick has eclectic musical taste (USA Today)
When you ask most college basketball players what they’re listening to, be it to get ready for a game or away from the court, you tend to get the same general answers. That isn’t the case for Georgetown senior forward Nate Lubick, who was raised in a musical family and spends more time listening to genres such as jazz.
Challenging week ahead for Valparaiso men’s basketball team (NW Times)
Green Bay has already wrapped up the top seed in next week’s Horizon League tournament, but there’s still much to be decided when it comes to seeding. The most important matter: figuring out which team will earn the two-seed, thereby earning a double bye to the semifinals. Valparaiso is one of the teams in the running, but they’ll have their work cut out for them with games against Wright State and Cleveland State.
How one-and-dones fit into college basketball history (Sports on Earth)
Players who seem destined to be a part of June’s NBA Draft will figure prominently in the race for the national title this season. Kansas has two such players in Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, with both having figured prominently on a team that has now won ten straight Big 12 titles. So how do all of these players fit into the history of college basketball? Here’s one look at it.
DePaul’s foundering ship has been no better under Oliver Purnell (Chicago Sun-Times)
When Oliver Purnell was hired to replace Jerry Wainright as head coach at DePaul, Purnell’s history of success in rebuilding moribund programs was cited as a reason for the move. Unfortunately for Purnell and his employer things haven’t worked out as they would have hoped, and some of the natives are getting restless as a result.
Ken Bone hasn’t been able to make his plan work at Washington State (Seattle Times)
Washington State head coach Ken Bone has also run into trouble, with his Cougars in danger of finishing last in the Pac-12 for the third time in his five seasons in Pullman. This season hasn’t been a smooth one either, with Danny Lawhorn leaving the team before practice began and DaVonte Lacy missing time for health reasons.
UConn running out of time to redefine itself (Hartford Courant)
After dropping a 64-55 decision to SMU at home on Sunday, UConn finds itself running out of the time needed to get things in order ahead of the conference tournament. And with that result comes the realization that they’ll likely end up in the 4/5 games in the American Athletic Conference tournament, which will make for a tougher road to the league’s automatic bid.
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.
Former UNLV center Ben Carter announced on Wednesday that he will be transferring to Michigan State to finish his collegiate career.
Carter, who began his career at Oregon, averaged 8.6 points and 6.0 boards in his one season with UNLV before tearing his ACL in late January. He spent two seasons with the Ducks before transferring to Vegas, which is why he’s eligible immediately for the Spartans.
And that’s the biggest reason that Tom Izzo and company targeted him.
The Spartans lost Deyonta Davis to the NBA Draft after one season, a fact that became an inevitability midway through the year but one that the Spartans didn’t necessarily plan for heading into last season. Carter isn’t going to be an instant impact kind of player, particularly not when he’s coming off of an ACL injury, but he is a big body and a veteran presence on a front line that wasn’t going have much of either.