Wichita State entered the 2014 NCAA Tournament with a 34-0. An instant classic with Kentucky in the Round of 32 sent the Shockers home. For much of their unbeaten run, the Shockers were criticized for their schedule, despite defeating five tournament teams in the regular season.
The Shockers non-conference schedule this season figures to be better with a neutral site game — in South Dakota — against Memphis. Wichita State also takes on Utah and could also potentially square off with Nebraska. In years to come, it will hard to knock the team’s out-of-conference schedule, as the Shockers are set to appear in several high-profile early season tournaments, according to a report on Tuesday from Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle.
2015: Orlando Classic (previously known as the Old Spice Classic)
2016: Battle 4 Atlantis
2017: Maui Invitational
The Battle 4 Atlantis field for this upcoming November includes Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, Georgetown, UCLA and Oklahoma. That cast separates the Battle 4 Atlantis from the rest of the holiday events, in only it’s fourth year. Last season, Villanova and Kansas headlined the field and the season before that Duke and Louisville met in the final.
“We consider that one of the premier (tournaments) at this time,” Senior associate athletic director Darron Boatright told the Eagle. “(Tournament director) Lea Miller, the founder of that tournament, has really partnered with the Bahamian government and made that into a special, special tournament.”
In 2015, Wichita State will be in Orlando with Dayton, Notre Dame and Xavier. In 2017, the Fighting Irish and Wisconsin are both reportedly heading to Maui as well.
Wichita State reached the Final Four in 2013 and rallied off 35 straight wins following season. By the looks of upcoming schedules, Gregg Marshall intends on building off those two years.
Think that’s too strong?
Look at this dunk:
He also did this over the summer:
Williams is a 6-foot-7, 215 pound JuCo transfer that should provide UConn with some minutes in the frontcourt this season.
LSU has announced the addition of Oregon transfer Kavell Bigby-Williams, a 6-foot-11 junior that was the National Junior College Player of the Year as a sophomore.
Bigby-Williams, who is a native of London, averaged 3.0 points and 2.8 boards last season as the Ducks reached the Final Four, but he played the majority of the season while under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that occurred while he was at Gillette College in Wyoming.
The local County Attorney declined to charge Bigby-Williams with a crime, and Gillette College police consider the case closed.
“The university conducted a responsible and comprehensive review before approving the transfer,” a release posted on LSU’s Athletics site read, “including close coordination with Title IX officials, multiple discussions with Gillette and Oregon officials and a thorough examination of available public records.”
LSU head coach Will Wade was quoted in that release as well: “This is an issue we all take seriously and we made absolutely sure we did our due diligence before considering moving forward. Kavell understands that and has made clear to me that he’s going to repay our confidence by representing LSU with his very best on and off the court.”
Rutgers has made a potentially significant addition to their 2017 recruiting class, as four-star big man Mamadou Doucoure appears to have reclassified.
According to the Asbury Park Press, Doucoure has already enrolled in classes at Rutgers, citing a search of the university’s online database. The 6-foot-9 Doucoure was initially a member of the Class of 2017 before reclassifying to 2018, although there have been rumors that he has been trying to enroll this year.
It’s not yet clear if Doucoure will be eligible to play this season — he has not even been added to Rutgers’ roster online — but if he’s eligible, he should be able to provide rotation minutes for the Scarlet Knights.
Even if he’s not cleared to play this season, his addition matters. He’ll be able to workout with and develop in a Big Ten locker room before getting cleared to play alongside a massive 2018 recruiting class that already includes four-stars Mac McClung and Montez Mathis along with three-star prospect Ron Harper Jr.
It’s looking less and less likely that we’ll see Mitchell Robinson on a college campus this season.
Robinson, if you’ve forgotten, committed to and signed with Western Kentucky, enrolling at the school and practicing with the team over the summer. But he left Bowling Green after two weeks and has received a release to transfer out of the program.
And that’s where the difficultly here lies.
He’s a transfer, which means that, as a top ten prospect and a likely one-and-done player, he will be redshirting the only year that he is on campus unless the NCAA would provide him with a waiver, which is unlikely. After Robinson left WKU, three schools have emerged as potential landing spots: LSU, Kansas and New Orleans. LSU ended their recruitment two weeks ago. Over the weekend, Kansas head coach essentially confirmed that Robinson will not be a Jayhawks.
“I would think that we probably won’t sign anybody,” Self told the Kansas City Star.
That leaves New Orleans, his hometown school, or overseas, which is a rumor that has followed Robinson since the spring. The other option? Sitting out and training for a year, which FanRag Sports reported on Sunday is a possibility.
However you slice it, Robinson’s one-and-done year has turned into a mess. He’s still likely to end up as a first round pick — seven-footers that can do the things he does defensively don’t grow on trees — but I can’t imagine that teams are going to be clamoring to use a lottery pick on a player that just spent a year sitting out.
Texas is in Australia for their team’s summer trip, and Jericho Sims gave Longhorn fans a glimpse of why they may not miss Jarrett Allen’s athleticism all that much this season.