Eron Harris

Who’s left?: The best available college basketball transfers

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Now that we’ve entered the month of May, rosters are beginning to take shape for the 2014-15 college basketball season but there are still plenty of talented available players available.

CBT already profiled the best high school seniors that are left in the college basketball recruiting world earlier on Friday and now we take a look at some impact transfers that are still without a new home.

WHO’S LEFT?: High School Prospects | Junior College Transfers

Here’s an update on some of the best college basketball transfers that are still out there:

1. Ryan Anderson, Boston College: A 6-foot-8 junior and California native, Anderson was supposed to help Boston College turn it around this season as he averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on solid 48 percent shooting from field and 73 percent shooting from the free-throw line. The Eagles never found their footing during the 2013-14 season, however, as they finished near the bottom of the ACC and head coach Steven Donahue was let go. Anderson has official visits lined up to Iowa State (May 2), Indiana (May 5) and Arizona (May 8), per his Twitter account. Anderson will only have one season left of eligibility, but he’s talented enough on the interior to be a major contributor in his senior season.

2. Kareem Canty, Marshall: The 6-foot-1 freshman point guard from New York led Marshall in scoring (16.3 ppg) and assists (5.5 apg) during his initial campaign but tallied poor shooting percentages as he shot 37 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three. Canty has already taken a visit to Auburn and is scheduled for three more  official visits to South Florida (May 2-4), Penn State (May 9-11) and UNLV (May 12-14). Canty was wild at times during his freshman season, but he has two years of eligibility left (he began as a partial qualifier) and is talented enough to be a difference-maker down the road.

3. Ian Chiles, IUPUI: The 6-foot-1 senior guard from Louisville has one season of eligibility remaining after averaging 15.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists last season while shooting 41 percent from the field and 31 percent from three-point range. With Chiles having immediate eligibility, he’s a valuable graduate transfer as Chiles has already taken a visit to Auburn and has interest from Maryland, South Florida, Tennessee and Western Kentucky, according to ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman. Chiles was asked to do a lot for struggling IUPUI last season, but could be a nice complimentary player in his final season if he opts to go to a power conference.

4. Eron Harris, West Virginia: Harris had a tremendous sophomore season for the Mountaineers as the 6-foot-3 sophomore averaged 17.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 43 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range. Harris won’t receive his official release until the end of the semester at West Virginia — so not much is known on his current recruiting situation — but he does want to play closer to his native Indianapolis, according to Rivals.com‘s Jeff Rabjohns. Don’t be surprised if local programs Butler, Indiana and Purdue all inquire about Harris once he receives his release.

5. Danuel House, Houston: The 6-foot-7 sophomore wing had a solid season in the American as he averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game on 42 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent shooting from three-point range. UCLA is already involved with House and will likely receive a visit, while USC is also in the mix according to ESPN.com‘s Jeff Goodman. House has some transfer restrictions to work through as he leaves Houston, but the sophomore is still big enough and athletic enough to be an impact wing in his final two seasons.

6. Cole Huff, Nevada: The 6-foot-8 sophomore had a breakthrough sophomore season for the Wolfpack as Huff saw his minutes and seasonal averages increase across the board. Huff averaged 12.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting it well from all over the floor (45% FG, 82% FT, 40% 3PT). The forward is now down to Creighton and Iowa, according to grassroots coach Clint Parks, and Huff visited the Bluejays last week and is currently on a visit in Iowa City. With another year of development, it will be interesting to see how Huff would contribute in the Big East or Big Ten.

7. TaShawn Thomas, Houston: The 6-foot-8 junior forward averaged 15.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game on 59 percent field goal shooting for the Cougars. Once new head coach Kelvin Sampson was hired at Houston, however, Thomas wanted to pursue other options. Those other options include a visit to Miami and schools like Oklahoma and Oregon showing interest, according to ESPN.com‘s Jeff Goodman. Thomas could be a major impact as an interior scorer and defender in his final season of college basketball, as he led the Cougars in points, rebounds and blocks.

8. Byron Wesley, USC: The 6-foot-5 junior had a solid season during head coach Andy Enfield’s first year on the job as Wesley put up 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor and 33 percent from three-point range. Wesley is down to three now, as he’s scheduled visits to Oklahoma State (May 2), Gonzaga (May 9) and Pitt (May 16), according to Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com. Wesley will have one more year of college basketball left and any of those three programs could use an additional scoring threat from the wing.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.