Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg returns to practice, but not to recruiting

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Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg is back on the court after a surgery to replace the pacemaker he was given after his career-ending open-heart surgery back in 2005.

Hoiberg had the procedure, which was nothing more than routine maintenance on the pacemaker as he essentially needed to get the batteries recharged, last Tuesday and was back home within a few hours.

Hoiberg made it back to practice on Tuesday, as the NCAA allows coaches some limited court time with their teams during the summer months.

The bad news for Hoiberg is that he wasn’t able to be out on the road recruiting last week and he will be remaining in Ames this week as well. Wednesday marked the start of the third and final live evaluation period this month, but with the rest needed after this surgery, Hoiberg has been unable to log the miles that it would take to fly to-and-from places like Georgia, Vegas, Milwaukee and Louisville this month.

In his stead has been Director of Basketball Operations Micah Byars, who was the fourth member of the Cyclone staff on the road along the program’s three assistant coaches. Only four staff members are allowed to be on the road recruiting at once, and without a waiver, it’s limited to the head coach and his three full-time assistants.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, CBSSports.com reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.