Alex Kirk

New Mexico center Alex Kirk to enter 2014 NBA Draft

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With Cameron Bairstow and Kendall Williams all out of eligibility, New Mexico head coach Craig Neal was already going to have a much different team to work with in 2014-15. And on Friday the program lost another starter, as redshirt junior center Alex Kirk will enter the 2014 NBA Draft. The news was first reported by The Lobo Lair, with Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal confirming the news with Kirk’s father.

Kirk redshirted in 2011-12 after undergoing back surgery and he returned to the court a much-improved player in 2012-13, posting averages of 12.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game on a team that won the Mountain West’s regular season and tournament titles.

As a junior Kirk averaged 13.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, earning spots on the Mountain West’s third team All-Conference and All-Defensive teams. A 7-footer from Los Alamos, N.M., Kirk is currently ranked 28th amongst juniors by Draft Express.

With three starters from this season’s Mountain West tournament champion squad moving on the most experienced Lobos will be guard Hugh Greenwood and wing Deshawn Delaney, with rising junior Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas and rising sophomore Cullen Neal also being rotation players in 2013-14. New Mexico currently has two signees in its 2014 class in forwards Xavier Adams and Joe Furstinger.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.