Skal Labissiere may be the best NBA prospect in the Class of 2015 not named Ben Simmons. He’s a long and athletic 6-foot-11 rim protector that can hit threes and make plays on the perimeter. His back problems limited him during the high school season, which is part of the reason that he is only ranked No. 15 in the class by Rivals, but make no mistake: Skal is legit.
That’s why North Carolina, Memphis and Kentucky are three of the four schools that he is still considering. The fourth? Ole Miss.
And how did Andy Kennedy manage to get onto a list that included those other three schools? Well, because he’s kept his third assistant coaching position open on the off-chance that he would be able to hire Labissiere’s guardian, Gerald Hamilton, in order to get Labissiere.
Kennedy acknowledged as much without really acknowledging it today.
“You guys are pretty smart,” Kennedy told Hugh Kellenberger of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. “You probably realize what I’m doing, if it evolves like I want it to.”
And Ole Miss has a real chance here, as Gary Parrish laid out in this column. To summarize, Hamilton wants to keep Labissiere close to home because he doesn’t want to lose control of him. Labissiere goes to high school in Memphis, but he actually lives in Olive Branch, Mississippi, which is just an hour from Oxford. Beyond that, going to Ole Miss would give Labissiere immediate minutes in the SEC. At Memphis, he’ll be playing in the American and battling then-senior Shaq Goodwin and then-junior Austin Nichols for playing time. Labissiere is also a native Haitian, meaning those typical ties that Memphis kids have to their home school aren’t there.
And, as Kennedy said, “if it evolves like I want it to”, the Rebels will be getting one of the best big men in the country.
N.C. State, whose season has been something of a disaster to date, face a must-win game against Wake Forest in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon, and since nothing can be easy for Mark Gottfried’s club, they’ll have to find a way to win the game after their bus broke down en route to PNC Arena:
This is why you can’t have nice things, N.C. State.
The Atlantic 10 invades NBCSN and the NBC Sports app on Saturday with two games that will air as part of a doubleheader.
It starts with Fordham at UMass at 12:30 p.m. and concludes with Rhode Island heading to Duquesne at 2:30 p.m.
CLICK HERE to watch the Atlantic 10 on NBCSN
During North Carolina’s blowout win over N.C. State on Jan. 8, the Tar Heels weren’t the only ones in the building who were feeling it.
As it turns out, North Carolina ball boy Asher Lucas was the hottest shooter of anyone in the building that night.
During halftime of that Jan. 8 game, Lucas nailed three consecutive halfcourt shots, as his father, Adam Lucas, a North Carolina columnist, released the video this week to YouTube. The video quickly went viral as Asher’s unreal streak of shots was all over TV and the Internet.
The Tar Heels have been struggling to find consistent perimeter shooting for the last few seasons, so maybe they need to start scouting Asher for a future roster spot.
Milwaukee picked up a Horizon League win on Friday night as guard Brock Stull knocked in a buzzer-beater to topple Cleveland State.
Stull only had four points on the night as he played 30 minutes and finished with five assists and six rebounds.
Oregon released a statement on Friday afternoon that said star forward Dillon Brooks had seen doctors and was in a walking boot, but gave no further update on his condition.
Brooks suffered what the program termed a “lower leg injury” on Thursday night against Cal. The injury was to his left leg – on replay, it looked like he rolled his ankle – which is concerning because his left foot is the foot that he injured over the summer, which caused him to miss the first three games of the season.
“He’ll be evaluated in the next couple of days and see where he’s at,” head coach Dana Altman said after Thursday’s game.