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Ohio’s Maurice Ndour to represent Senegal in FIBA World Cup

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The FIFA World Cup has captured the nation’s attention over the last couple of weeks, but perhaps more relevant — at least for this particular website — is the FIBA World Cup, which will be held for the first time ever in September.

The event will take place in Spain, and don’t be surprised to see a number of relevant names for college hoops fans pop up.

Karl Towns, a top ten recruit in the Class of 2014 and a soon-to-be star center for Kentucky, is listed on the roster for the Dominican team, which will be coached by former Kentucky assistant and current South Florida head coach Orlando Antigua.

Australia’s roster is chock-full of names that college basketball fans will know, from former St. Mary’s stars Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova to Cameron Bairstow, a second-team all-american for New Mexico this past season, to Ben Simmons, who is the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2015.

Senegal will feature Maurice Ndour on their roster. Ndour averaged 13.8 points and 7.0 boards as a junior for the Ohio Bobcats.

“For me, this is just a blessing,” Ndour said. “I can remember being young and playing basketball in Senegal. All the guys would tell me, ‘Keep playing hard, we hope to see you on the national team some day.’ When I first got the call, it was just overwhelming because I was so happy. I’m so proud and excited to represent my country.”

But here’s the confusing part: Ndour isn’t actually listed on Senegal’s roster on the FIBA World Cup site, which means that the rest of the rosters may not accurately portray who is going to be making their way to Spain. But keep an eye out for posts like this, as there will assuredly be a number of college basketball players that will participate.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.