This time last year, Texas head coach Rick Barnes was considered to be on the hot seat. His Longhorns were coming off a 16-18 (7-11 Big 12) campaign. There wasn’t much optimism heading into the 2013-2014 season either, as Texas lost its four top scorers to transfers or the pros.
However, Barnes orchestrated an impressive turnaround with a 24-win season, finishing fourth in the conference standings and returning to the NCAA tournament. In April, Barnes received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-11 center Myles Turner, keeping the top 10 talent in-state, something Barnes and staff had difficulty doing so in previous years. Turner joins the cast of key returners, as Texas should be the favorites with Kansas in the Big 12.
According to Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman, Barnes could be going from hot seat rumors to a contract extension in less than a year. Davis reported on Friday that the University of Texas System Board of Regents released a meeting agenda on Friday. One of the topics for next week’s meetings will be Barnes’ contract status. His current deal runs through 2017. He has been with the university since 1998.
Barnes has won 382 games in his tenure with the Longhorns, though, they haven’t made it past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament since 2006. That includes first round exits — 2010 and 2012 — during that span.
Today, we have video of Western Michigan walk-on Ryan Wade getting a scholarship … at the top of the Eiffel Tower?
In a really cool moment, Steve Hawkins, WMU’s head coach, asks two players to try and read a piece of paper in French. He then has Wade read the translation of what the players were saying and … well … just watch:
DETROIT (AP) Former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling has been charged with another weapons violation and other crimes.
Appling was arraigned Tuesday in Detroit on charges including carrying a concealed weapon and fleeing and eluding.
Prosecutors say police stopped Appling Sunday for a suspected traffic violation. Investigators say he offered identification but drove off while an officer had his hand in the window.
It’s Appling’s third encounter with Detroit-area police since spring. Gun charges are pending in two separate cases in Dearborn and Detroit. A bond motion on the other cases is scheduled for Wednesday.
Prosecutors say Appling’s attorney will be Otis Culpepper. The Associated Press called Culpepper but didn’t get an answer.
Appling played for Michigan State from 2010-2014 and had two contracts with the Orlando Magic last season.
Kawhi Leonard to be inducted into SDSU Hall of Fame
Kawhi Leonard is, and probably always will be, the greatest player to ever come through the San Diego State ranks.
And this week, the Aztecs announced that they will be honoring the all-NBA wing due to his accomplishments in Viejas Arena: Leonard will be enshrined in the SDSU Hall of Fame this October.
Leonard is a terrific story, one that most people probably already know. A former Mr. Basketball in California, Leonard was somewhat under-recruited, winding up at SDSU where he proceeded to post monster numbers for an Aztec team that climbed into the top five in the country his sophomore season. He went pro after just two years with the program, getting picked 15th by the Spurs due to concerns about his ability to adjust to the perimeter full-time.
And we all know how that worked out.
VIDEO: South Dakota walk-on Logan Power get surprised with a scholarship
Sometimes moments like this can feel like artificial, like a production designed to boost a coach’s Q rating as much as it is to award the player that scholarship. This doesn’t feel like that at all, as head coach Craig Smith barely can even offer a speech about the player as he fights to hold back tears.
It’s a touching moment.
Well done, USD.
Why did Trevon Duval list Seton Hall, St. John’s and not Duke, Kentucky?
Trevon Duval is the reason that mixtapes were created.
A top five player and the top point guard in the Class of 2017, Duval is 6-foot-3 and super-athletic, boasting the kind of handle that would make Uncle Drew blush. It’s not possible to do any kind of scouting off of a mixtape; judging what a player can and can’t do based off of a highlight package doesn’t happen.
But given what Duval is capable of doing, it makes him the perfect player to have game film cut and edited so that his highlights fit seamlessly within the beat of an instrumental.
That’s why this mixtape is so good.
But unlike a lot of mixtape phenoms, Duval’s game goes beyond the tricks that look good in slow motion.
His ranking isn’t a fluke. He’s far and away the best point guard in 2017, but you wouldn’t know that based on his offer list.
On Monday, “trimmed” his list to ten schools, but he’s not following a typical path for the top point guard in the class. Much has been written in the last six months about how Duke and Kentucky, the two preeminent programs on the recruiting trail, have been targeting second tier point guards in the Class of 2017, the likes of Trae Young and Quade Green and Tremont Waters.
Young and Green and Waters are all terrific players, top 30 recruits with a shot at becoming McDonalds All-Americans, but Duval is in a tier all by himself. He’s the only surefire one-and-done point guard in the class.
And he listed Seton Hall and St. John’s in his final ten.
He didn’t list Duke and Kentucky.
What do Seton Hall, St. John’s and Trevon Duval all have in common?
Duval plays for We-R-1 on the travel circuit, a program that is sponsored by UA. He played his junior season at API, a high school program in Texas that was sponsored by Under Armour. Emmanuel Mudiay and Terrence Ferguson, the last two elite prospects to forego college to head directly to the professional ranks overseas, both came from API — along with eligibility concerns due to API’s standing with the NCAA — and reportedly signed sponsorship deals with UA. If UA has a reputation at the grassroots level, it’s that they’re as loyal as any of the three major shoe companies. They do everything they can to keep it all in the family.
The best example of this?
Diamond Stone, a product of the Under Armour Association circuit and Wisconsin native that bucked in-state powers Wisconsin and Marquette to play for Maryland, the program that is to UA and Oregon is to Nike.
It doesn’t always work that way — see: Josh Jackson — and of the final 10 schools on Duval’s list, only four are programs sponsored by Under Armour.
But it’s not an accident that Seton Hall and St. John’s made the cut, and it’s not a coincidence that UCLA — who just this summer signed a massive sponsorship deal with the apparel company — is now considered to be the favorite to land Duval.
The idea that shoe companies control where elite prospects go to school is a bit overblown in this day and age. If it wasn’t, Kansas, an adidas school, wouldn’t have landed Andrew Wiggins or Josh Jackson, two of the last four No. 1 players in the country, neither of whom played with an adidas sponsored team before college.
But it does happen.
And when it does, it’s not all that hard to identify.