One of the keys for UConn in its run to the national title was junior guard Ryan Boatright’s play on both ends of the floor. Always a high-energy offensive weapon for the Huskies, it was Boatright’s defensive play that helped key some big wins for the Huskies as they won the program’s fourth national title.
This weekend the guard was back in his native Aurora, Ill., where he was honored by the city for his accomplishments to date. But the trip home also afforded Boatright the opportunity to attend to a major piece of business: sitting down with his family and discussing whether to enter the 2014 NBA Draft or return to Storrs for his senior season and attempt to win another national title.
“I really don’t know yet,” Boatright said Saturday at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora where Mayor Tom Weisner presented him a key to the city and hundreds of fans cheered him at a rousing homecoming celebration.
“I’ve gotta talk to my mother and my family tomorrow. It’s a big decision. I just want to make the right one. I’ve got ‘til the 27th (of April to declare for the NBA draft). That’s the last day. That’s another reason I came home, to talk to my family about it.”
What Boatright and junior forward DeAndre Daniels decide to do will have a significant impact on the Huskies’ chances of winning a second consecutive national title. Head coach Kevin Ollie will have to account for the loss of two key seniors in Shabazz Napier and Niels Giffey (UConn also loses Lasan Kromah and Tyler Olander), and the addition of N.C. State transfer Rodney Purvis and highly-regarded wing Daniel Hamilton will certainly help matters on the perimeter.
But the most logical options with regards to who the leadership “torch” gets passed to are Boatright and Daniels. They have until the 27th to enter their names into the NBA Draft pool, and it would be wise to leave no stone unturned as they work through the process.
One of the top points guards in the Class of 2017 has trimmed his list of potential collegiate destinations to six.
Trae Young, a consensus top-25 recruit, listed Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Oklahoma State and Kentucky as the schools he is considering as he readies to begin his senior year of high school.
The list of the 6-foot-2 point guard is largely provincial as it includes Oklahoma, whose campus is just minutes away from Young’s Norman North High School, and fellow in-state school Oklahoma. Another pair of Big 12 schools make the list in powerhouse Kansas and the Red Raiders, whose first-year coach, Chris Beard, has spent the bulk of his career working in Texas. Texas Tech is also Young’s father’s alma mater. Washington has been on a role sending its players to the pros and recently received the commitment of top-five 2017 recruit Michael Porter, Jr.
Kentucky, of course, needs no explanation as to its attractiveness to high-level players.
Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.
A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.
“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”
Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.
A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017
The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.
Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training
Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.
You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:
“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”
Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”
Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”