Caris LeVert

Caris LeVert would be at Illinois if John Groce had picked up the phone

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Caris LeVert has been tearing up the Big Ten this season, averaging 13.4 points as one of the nation’s most improved sophomores.

He’s been terrific, carrying the Wolverines at times when Nik Stauskas has struggled. Beilein has called him his most indispensable player.

The craziest part about it is that LeVert wasn’t even supposed to be at Michigan. He was supposed to go to Ohio, but backed off of that when then-Bobcat head coach John Groce took over the job at Illinois.

And LeVert would have followed him … if Groce had only picked up the phone and made the call. He never did. From Brendan Quinn of MLive.com:

According to LeVert, Illinois assistant coach Dustin Ford called him about a week after Groce took the Illinois job. He told LeVert that Groce would be reaching out shortly to discuss Illinois.

The call never came.

A few days later, on May 11, 2012, LeVert committed to Michigan during an official visit.

“I haven’t ever talked to (Groce), except for, like, ‘Good game,’ and stuff like that after (last year’s game),” LeVert said.

Michigan swept the Illini last season. They play them again on Tuesday.

VIDEO: Marquette’s Henry Ellenson shows off his versatility

Marquette's Henry Ellenson is fouled by Providence's Ben Bentil as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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I’m on record saying that I would consider Marquette freshman Henry Ellenson if I had the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, and while, at this point, I think that Brandon Ingram is probably going to end up going No. 2 — (Maybe No. 1???) — I still believe that Ellenson is going to be one of the best players from this draft class.

Why?

Well, just take a look at these highlights from the 26-point, 16-rebound performance he had in a win over Providence last night.

Then remember that Ellenson is 6-foot-11:

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.