With the April 27th deadline looming for underclassmen to enter the 2014 NBA Draft, LSU freshman forward Jordan Mickey is one of the more intriguing names yet to make a decision.
The 6-foot-8 Mickey averaged 12.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game last season for the Tigers while making the Freshman All-SEC team. Mickey also garnered second-team All-SEC honors.
According to a report from Ben Love of Tiger Sports Digest, Mickey has yet to come to a decision on his future. Love spoke with Mickey’s father, James Wright Sr., who gave the latest.
“Still haven’t made any decision as of yet,” Wright Sr. said in the report. “Right now we’re just waiting for additional information. Coach [Johnny] Jones is quite aware of everything we’re doing. I’ve kept him close to what we’re doing. Once again everyone is just waiting for us to make a final decision.”
Wright Sr. went on to say that Mickey and LSU head coach Johnny Jones have met and discussed the future, but Wright Sr. wasn’t apart of that conversation personally. Matthew Harris of The Advocate spoke with Wright Sr. on Monday evening regarding the timeline of events going on this week:
Any communications between Wright and Jones have been handled over the phone.
“I’ve spoke with him several times,” Wright said. “I just told Coach Jones that we’re trying to get the best information and take the best approach for our family.”
Yet Wright also said he plans to take a trip to Baton Rouge “around the middle, to later this week” for a face-to-face chat Jones. After that meeting, a decision about Mickey’s future in Baton Rouge may be handed down.
Obviously, no decision has been made regarding Mickey’s future but it’s a positive sign for a potential return to LSU if Mickey and his family are communicating everything with Jones about regarding the NBA Draft decision. Sometimes when players leave for the NBA Draft there is minimal communication between the player and coaching staff and that doesn’t appear to be the case here.
The Tigers are really hoping Mickey returns after LSU already lost junior forward Johnny O’Bryant to the 2014 NBA Draft. Freshman big man Jarell Martin appears to be returning and along with incoming freshman center Elbert Robertson, the Tigers could have a nice rotation of frontcourt players with good size if Mickey returns for his sophomore season.
Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.
Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.
“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.
“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”
Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.
This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.
Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.
“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.
This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.
He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.
The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.