BasketBull Summer Championships Recap: Donovan Mitchell to take officials to Indiana, Louisville

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The first weeks of the July Live Evaluation Period is dominated by the shoe companies, with the Reebok Breakout Challenge in Philadelphia and adidas Unrivaled in Chicago. While LeBron James stole headlines all throughout the week, his skills academy out in Las Vegas received plenty of buzz, as well.

Still, coaches have found talent at other events this weekend, as dozens have made their way to the BasketBull Summer Championships at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

Some teams were working without full rosters, as players were participating in different showcases across the country, but those absences allowed for others the opportunity to shine. With Jalen Adams, the UConn commit, in Chicago, 2016 recruit Saul Phiri, who has received an offer from Rhode Island was able to lead Mass Rivals in scoring with 23, including four 3-pointers.

Bruce Brown, the No. 53 overall recruit in 2016, according to Rivals, suited up with BABC 16u team. He got going early offensively with shots from behind the arc and transition layups, but his highlight of the day was when he dunked over a 6-foot-11 center. Brown will be with BABC next week for the Nike EYBL Peach Jam.

Dupree McBrayer continued his strong play on the grassroots circuit with New Heights. The lanky 6-foot-2 guard, who is averaging 15.6 points per game in the Under Armour Association, was one of the top scorers in the field, as New Heights cruised to three wins on Friday and Saturday. He may find himself in New England this fall, as several prep schools are pursuing him.

Donovan Mitchell has added offers, will visit Indiana and Louisville: The City, out of New York, was upset in its second game on Saturday by a gritty Maine Athletic Club team. That seems to be the only bump in the road for guard Donovan Mitchell so far this live period. The 6-foot-3 rising senior picked up three offers this past week from Louisville, Memphis, South Florida.

He told NBCSports.com that he plans to take official visits to Indiana and Louisville. Schools like Boston College, Cincinnati, Creighton, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Providence have all offered him. BC head coach Jim Christian was front row to watch both of Mitchell’s games on Saturday while assistants from Florida State and Providence were in attendance.

Mitchell, ranked No. 101 in the Class of 2015 by Rivals, was aiming for a September decision, but with new offers and new teams showing interest that timetable has been altered.

MOREAll our content from the 2014 July Live Recruiting Period

Mustapha Heron is “100 percent” committed to Pittsburgh: In January, Mustapha Heron, the No. 23 overall recruit in 2016, verbally committed to Pittsburgh. Pitt assistant Barry “Slice” Rohrssen helped land the early commitment, but this offseason was hired by Kentucky.

In April, after Rohrseen had accepted the spot at Kentucky, Heron said he was looking to build a good relationship with Jamie Dixon and his coaching staff.

“I’m a 100 percent committed to Pittsburgh,” Heron told NBCSports.com on Saturday. “I stay in contact with Coach Dixon and Coach [Brandin] Knight.”

Memphis lands commitment from 2018 center Connor Vanover

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Memphis picked up its first commitment in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night as unique center prospect Connor Vanover announced his decision on Twitter.

At 7-foot-2, Vanover brings elite size to the interior for the Tigers and he’s also skilled enough that he was a 43 percent three-point shooter during his stint playing with Pro Skills in the Nike EYBL this spring. Although Vanover needs to add strength and athleticism to adapt to the college level, he simply has size that you can’t teach. Pair that size with an intriguing perimeter jumper and it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Tubby Smith is able to develop Vanover the next few years.

A three-star prospect according to Rivals, Vanover averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the spring. Originally from Arkansas, Vanover is spending his senior season of high school ball at prep school powerhouse Findlay Prep.

Bill Self unsure of how long he will continue to coach

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Kansas head coach Bill Self is one of the most decorated college basketball coaches of all time.

Recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month, Self has won a record 13 consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships while also claiming a national title for the Jayhawks during his storied career.

But while most legendary coaches in contemporary college basketball have stayed around to coach well into their late 60s or early 70s, the 54-year-old Self doesn’t necessarily see his career playing out that way.

Speaking with ESPN.com reporter Myron Medcalf on Wednesday, Self acknowledged that he’s thinking about potentially retiring once his next contract ends after the 2021-22 season. With five more years left on his current deal, that would mean that Self would be retiring before he would even turn 60.

“I’ve said all along that if I could go to my late 50s, that’d be good for me,” Self said to Medcalf. “Now that I’m getting close to my late 50s, I’m like, ‘Well…’ but my contract runs until I’m 59, so I’ve got five more years left. I definitely want to do that. Then whatever happens after that I’d be happy with whatever. But I don’t want to [coach too late].”

While Hall of Fame coaches like Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (72 years old), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (70 years old) and North Carolina’s Roy Williams (67 years old) are showing no signs of slowing down, Self acknowledged to Medcalf that coach, and specifically recruiting, has started to take its toll on him.

“With recruiting the way that it is, it just wears you down,” Self said to Medcalf.

With Kansas pursuing so many potential one-and-done prospects over the past few seasons, it means that Self usually has to recruit sizable recruiting classes

Self is certainly entitled to do what he wants with his career and his life but it would be a shame to see one of the game’s greats hang it up at that point in his career. Potentially retiring at that age means that Self won’t chase 1,000 wins or any additional longevity records

Ohio State lands second pledge in two days with 2018 guard Duane Washington

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Ohio State stayed hot on the recruiting trail on Wednesday as the Buckeyes landed a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Duane Washington.

The 6-foot-3 Washington is the second commitment for Ohio State and new head coach Chris Holtmann in the last two days after four-star forward Jaedon LeDee pledged to the Buckeyes on Tuesday.

One of the better shooters in the Class of 2018, Washington averaged 14.9 points per game on tremendous shooting splits (48% FG, 87% FT, 45% 3PT) playing with The Family in the Nike EYBL this spring. A Michigan native who now resides in California, Washington gives Ohio State a much-needed guard commitment in the Class of 2018.

With the Buckeyes needing to fill a lot of scholarships due to roster turnover, Washington is a solid start to their perimeter class. While Washington isn’t likely to play point guard, he can play multiple perimeter spots and should be a solid addition to the Buckeye rotation.

Syracuse walk-on accused of sexual assault

Syracuse Post-Standard
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Dominick Parker, an 18-year old freshman who was added to the Syracuse roster as a walk-on just 12 days ago, was arrested last Friday and charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, reports Syracuse.com.

Parker is accused of having sexual contact with an 18-year old female student while she was incapable of giving consent. His name and picture have been removed from the Syracuse athletics website.

“Sexual and relationship violence is not tolerated at Syracuse University,” the school said in a statement. “We are now doing all that we can to support and provide assistance to those affected by the alleged incident. As this is an ongoing investigation, Syracuse University will not be providing further comment.”

Wichita State to sell beer at Koch Arena

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As if it wasn’t already hard enough to win games at Koch Arena.

Starting this season, Wichita State fans will be able to buy beer during games at their home arena, a fact that should ensure that the raucous home environs that have made the Shockers so difficult to beat in Wichita remains the same.

That’s not a bad thing to add to a home court advantage while making the move into a new conference, the American, for the 2017-18 season.

Once a rarity, beer at college sporting events in a growing trend. Minnesota, Florida and Texas, among a number of others have added alcohol sales in recent years. Given the money that would seem likely to be generated, it’s a trend that will probably become even more pervasive in college athletics.

Let’s just make sure that everyone partakes in moderation.