AAU Nationals Friday Recap: Event moves to Louisville, Bruce Brown plays well, Noah Dickerson updates recruitment

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LOUISVILLE — The end of the July live evaluation period is fast approaching, and besides Vegas, most of the college coaches in the country are attending AAU Nationals and the Super Showcase in Kentucky. Many players are worn out, playing through injury or just sitting out completely, but there are still a lot of talented players making an effort to be seen and earn scholarship offers.

AAU moves to Louisville — This season, AAU (the actual organization, not the incorrect label many tag onto grassroots or club basketball) moved its main boys basketball operation from Orlando and Disney to the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville.

With 18 courts under one roof — including court one being Freedom Hall, the former Louisville Cardinals arena — Louisville has the facility to host the four events going on at the same time.

Being played this week are the 17U and 16U Nationals and each age division also has a Super Showcase Tournament. While having the 18 floors in one building is nice to limit traveling between gyms for coaches, players, fans and media, it’s also chaotic at times and difficult to sift through. I’ll have more on the Amateur Athletic Union this week.

Noah Dickerson still open to Georgetown — Class of 2015 four-star big man Noah Dickerson recently decommitted from Georgetown before the live evaluation period began in July.

As the No. 56 overall prospect in Rivals‘ 2015 national rankings, Dickerson has drawn a lot of interest this July playing with the Georgia Stars.

But Dickerson told NBCSports.com that he’s open to a return to the Hoyas, as well. Dickerson said he couldn’t name all of the scholarship offers he’s accumulated but mentioned Georgetown, Michigan, Virginia and Louisville as schools that are standing out.

“I still really like Georgetown a lot,” Dickerson said to NBCSports.com. “I [decommitted] not because I didn’t want to go to Georgetown, I did it because I didn’t get a chance to take a look at all of the other schools like I looked at Georgetown. I have to take visits to these other schools to see what they’re like because I know Georgetown like the back of my hand. I don’t know the other schools like that.”

Michigan has yet to offer, but Dickerson mentioned that they’ve been evaluating him for two years now.

It will be interesting to see where Dickerson’s recruitment goes from here and he also mentioned that he’s going to make a decision this spring.

Bruce Brown continues a strong July — Last week at Peach Jam, BABC guard Bruce Brown put together some strong showings.

That trend has continued this week at AAU. The Class of 2016 guard was very good on both ends of the floor in a BABC win over the Jackson Tigers in a Super Showcase tournament game on Friday night.

Brown used his physicality and intensity to make multiple steals and take them coast-to-coast for baskets while also putting in a tip dunk on a putback. As the No. 53 overall prospect in Rivals‘ 2016 rankings, Brown is a known commodity, but he’s had some good showings the last few weeks and will be a fun guard to track going into his junior season.

VIDEOS: Villanova team bus stuck on icy roads trying to leave campus

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Villanova’s road to the Sweet 16 hit its roughest patch yet on Wednesday as the team attempted to leave campus for the team’s flight to Boston.

Since the Philadelphia area has been slammed with a snowstorm, the Wildcat team bus had issues leaving to get to the team’s chartered flight.

A struggle between team bus and ice ensued. The bus was delayed by 30 minutes before finally being able to leave.

Villanova continues its NCAA tournament journey on Friday when the No. 1 seed Wildcats play No. 5 seed West Virginia in Boston.

Wake Forest guard Keyshawn Woods to transfer or go pro after graduation

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Wake Forest will be down a key player next season as the school announced that guard Keyshawn Woods will either transfer or go pro after graduation.

The 6-foot-3 Woods was the team’s second-leading scorer this season as he put up 11.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Woods shot 43 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point range for the 2017-18 campaign.

Also a key member of last season’s NCAA tournament team for the Demon Deacons, Woods transferred to Wake Forest after spending his first season at Charlotte.

“I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Manning gave me to be a part of this program and to graduate from this great university,” said Woods in the release. “I am proud that I was able to help the coaches change the culture of the program and build a foundation for the future.”

The loss of Woods won’t be easy for Wake Forest, but the team is scheduled to return some talented guards like Bryant Crawford and Brandon Childress next season. Incoming freshmen like Jaime Lewis and Sharone Wright Jr. are also signed to add to the perimeter depth.

David Padgett not retained as Louisville coach

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Louisville announced on Wednesday afternoon that interim head coach David Padgett would not be retained.

Padgett, who is 32 years old, stepped in and took the program over in the wake of a scandal that cost Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino his job.

“We all owe a great debt of gratitude to David for his leadership and poise this season,” said U of L Interim Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “He took over during incredible circumstances, has handled himself respectfully throughout the season and I believe he has a bright future in coaching. We expect to determine a new head coach in a short period to build upon the great basketball tradition of this university.”

Pitino was fired because an FBI complaint contained an allegation that he and his staff had arranged for a $100,000 payment to be funneled to Brian Bowen from Adidas.

In his one season with the Cardinals, Padgett went 22-14 and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Louisville will now conduct a search for their next head coach, and current Xavier coach Chris Mack has long been considered the favorite to take that job.

Kansas State’s injured star hoping to play Thursday

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One of the most surprising parts about Kansas State’s run to the Sweet 16 is that they have done it without the services of their leading scorer, Dean Wade.

Wade injured his foot prior to the Big 12 tournament loss to Kansas. He did not play in that game or in either of Kansas State’s first two tournament games, but it is looking more and more like he’ll be on the floor on Thursday night when they play Kentucky.

“I don’t play percentages very well, but I’m feeling good,” Wade said, via SEC Country. “I’m very positive about it. It’s getting better every day and today I felt great out there, doing a little more than usual. It felt good.”

Wade averaged 16.5 points per game, but the big question is going to be whether or not he is actually healthy when he takes the court. Just because he’s on the floor doesn’t mean he’s at 100 percent.

“Really just trying to get it out of my mind that it’s not hurt,” Wade said. “Just more of a mental thing, just getting out there and running around. I think I got moved past that and it’s feeling better.”

Arizona’s Sean Miller: ‘I am not a candidate’ at Pitt

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With speculation mounting about who Pitt will hire to replace Kevin Stallings as their new head coach, current Arizona head coach Sean Miller released a statement saying that he is not in the running to fill the opening.

“I am not a candidate for the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball head coaching vacancy. I wish them well in their search for a new coach,” the statement read.

Miller is a native of Pittsburgh and an alumni of the school — he’s the guy that had the assist on Jerome Lane’s famous dunk — and with the issues that are currently swirling around him and the Arizona program, there was speculation that he was looking for an escape plan.

Maybe he wasn’t.

Maybe he was and the Pitt administration decided they couldn’t risk hiring someone who had an assistant coach arrested in the FBI’s sweep of college basketball and who himself may be on wiretaps talking about who knows what. Releasing this statement would then be a way for him to save face and say he was never interested.

And then maybe there’s option No. 3: Pitt has won the Dan Hurley sweepstakes.

As it stands, both the Panthers and UConn are in the process of chasing after the Rhode Island head coach, and it’s not uncommon in coaching searches for a coach to announce that he is not a candidate for the job after the job decides they want someone else. Call it a professional courtesy.

But that’s neither here nor there.

What we do know now is that Sean Miller will not be the next head coach at Pitt.