TaShawn Thomas,Geron Johnson

Oklahoma adds Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas

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Oklahoma has landed one of the top available transfers remaining, with former Houston forward TaShawn Thomas committing to join Lon Kruger’s program. The news was first reported by Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle, and it’s a big development for the Sooners.

In three seasons at Houston, Thomas averaged 14.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game and last season was a member of the American Athletic Conference’s second-team all-conference squad. Thomas shot 59.1% from the field as a junior, and he reached double figures in 30 of the 33 games he played in (eight double-doubles).

Thomas and former teammate Danuel House made the decision to leave Houston following the departure of James Dickey, but they ran into roadblocks as they attempted to gain their respective scholarship releases. The two were finally given conditional releases in mid-April.

Thomas picked Oklahoma over Miami, and according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com there’s a chance that the forward could apply for a waiver that would make him eligible immediately. And if that were to happen, Oklahoma would be well-positioned to account for the 15.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game that the now-departed Cameron Clark provided in his senior season (OU lost Tyler Neal as well).

Oklahoma returns three of its top four scorers in guards Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins and Jordan Woodard, and formidable interior presence Ryan Spangler will be back as well. But the addition of Thomas would give Oklahoma a valuable piece in the paint, with his ability to score on the low block consistently being an asset Kruger and his staff can put to good use.

In addition to Thomas the Sooners are adding four players to the program this summer, junior college guard Dinjiyl Walker,  forwards Dante Buford and Khadeem Lattin and center Jamuni McNease. Given the lack of experience in the front court (senior D.J. Bennett played just 9.8 mpg last season) outside of Spangler the addition of Thomas is a big one, especially if he’s able to play immediately.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.

A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.