Tyler Cavanaugh, Kyle Cain

Tyler Cavanaugh explains reasons for leaving Wake Forest in report

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Wake Forest took a rather large blow to their 2014-15 season when sophomore forward Tyler Cavanaugh opted to transfer earlier this month and in a report from Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com, the 6-foot-9 Cavanaugh explained the rationale for his decision.

For the stretch four, it mostly came down to winning and making the NCAA Tournament in his final two seasons of eligibility.

“I wrote down my goals — I want to make the NCAA Tournament, I want to compete for a conference championship,” Cavanaugh said to Ditota. “I mean, I loved my time at Wake. My two years were great; up and down and I learned a lot about myself as a player. But I felt like it was time for me to move on to something else.”

After the resignation of former head coach Jeff Bzdelik, Cavanaugh waited to meet with new Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning and ultimately decided that moving on was his best option. With the loss of senior Travis McKie and friend Arnaud William-Adala Moto to transfer, Cavanaugh felt like Wake Forest didn’t have the horses to compete in the ACC the next two seasons.

“It wasn’t an easy decision because I really loved Wake and all the guys and I think Coach Manning is eventually going to do a good job,” Cavanaugh said to Ditota. “But I just didn’t feel like it was the right spot for me anymore and I wanted to pursue a better opportunity. I think the team can have success, but I just really wasn’t feeling it any more.”

Cavanaugh told Ditota that he’s heard from Colorado, Davidson, Dayton, George Washington, Oregon and Providence and he’s likely to make a list of three schools and take official visits in the near future.

In his sophomore season, Cavanaugh averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game and the 6-foot-9 forward also shot 42 percent from the field, 31 percent from three-point range and 79 percent from the free-throw line.

If Cavanaugh wants to make the NCAA Tournament or compete for a conference championship, he likely made the right decision to leave Wake Forest. Although Danny Manning did a nice job at Tulsa and could be successful in Winston-Salem, it wouldn’t likely come in the next two seasons while Cavanaugh still had eligibility.

Top-100 guard commits to Xavier

Chris Mack has Xavier back in the Sweet 16 (AP Photo)
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Xavier has added a top-100 prospect into its 2017 recruiting class Wednesday.

Elias Harden, a shooting guard from Georgia, pledged to the Musketeers via social media to become the second member of Chris Mack’s next class.

“The recruiting process was not EASY AT ALL,” Harden wrote on Twitter. “I wanna thank all the coaches that took time to recruit me.

“WIth that being said I will continue my academic and athletic career at Xavier University.”

The 6-foot-6 guard is ranked 92nd overall by 247Sports and had offers from Auburn, Maryland, Texas Tech and Ole Miss. He joins Jared Ridder, a Missouri guard, as part of the 2017 Xavier class.

The Musketeers return the bulk of last year’s 28-6 team that narrowly missed out on the Sweet 16.

Clemson recruit to enroll early

Brad Brownell
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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

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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.”

And that led to “I’ll kill you”:

(h/t KSR)

VIDEO: Shaq’s son, Shareef O’Neal, with monster dunk in Vegas

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Shareef O’Neal is a top 50 prospect in the Class of 2018. In Vegas this past weekend, he threw down a monster put-back dunk.

South Dakota State gets two commits

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Tuesday was a busy and productive one for South Dakota State on the recruiting trail.

The Jackrabbits secured two 2017 commitments from the state of Wisconsin in Ryan Krueger and Alex Arians, a source tells NBCSports.com.

Krueger is a 6-foot-5 wing player from New London, Wisc. while Arians is a 6-foot-4 guard from Madison, Wisc., who also held an offer from Wright State, which is coached by former SDSU coach Scott Nagy. Both players spend their summers playing for the Wisconsin Swing grassroots program.

The pair make it a trio of commits for the Jackrabbits in 2017 with another Wisconsinite, Alou Dillon, pledging to first-year Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger, himself a Wisconsin native, earlier this summer.

South Dakota State went 26-8 last year and the bulk of the team that made the NCAA tournament last year, including sophomore Mike Daum, who led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.