Antoine Mason,Jerian Grant

Niagara transfer Antoine Mason receiving high-major interest

Leave a comment

Two of the top three scorers in college basketball this season were National Player of the Year Doug McDermott and ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren.

Sandwiched in between the two projected first round picks was Niagara redshirt junior Antoine Mason. While McDermott and Warren are bound for the professional ranks, Mason, son of former NBA veteran Anthony Mason, is also on the move, announcing his transfer last Wednesday.

Mason, who will be eligible to play next season due to the graduate transfer rule, has quickly drawn interest from programs in the AAC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC.

“Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Providence, Auburn, Wake Forest, Maryland, Missouri, Texas A&M, and a few more have all reached out so far,” Mason told 247Sports late last week.

Anthony Mason spoke with Zach Braziller of the New York Post and said his son intends on taking multiple visits.

“We just want to go somewhere with a little bit more exposure, maybe play at a higher level,” Anthony Mason told the Post. “We have a lot to sit down and think about.”

Mason, the 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 25.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game this past season for Niagara, which finished last in the MAAC a season after winning the regular season title.

Knee injury temporarily sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
Associated Press
Leave a comment

With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.

Duke figuring out approach for this season

Duke University head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks with the media about the Blue Devils' 2013-14 basketball season, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.

“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.

“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”

Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group.  Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.

As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.