D1Circuit/Nike Basketball

Florida State lands its first 2015 verbal commitment

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After being one of the schools to fall short in their quest to land Donovan Mitchell earlier this month, Florida State is on the board in the Class of 2015. 6-foot-5 shooting guard Terance Mann, who attends Tilton School in New Hampshire, announced his decision to verbally commit to Leonard Hamilton’s program via Twitter on Wednesday night.

Florida State beat out Arizona State, Boston College, Indiana, Marquette and Rhode Island for Mann’s pledge, with the four-star prospect cutting his list to those six schools in early August. Basketball runs in the family as well, with Mann’s mother entering her first season as the head coach at Rhode Island. Danyia La-Force played four years of college basketball at Georgetown as well, helping lead the Hoyas to a Big East title and a Sweet 16 appearance in 1993.

As for the program Mann has decided to join next season, he’ll be another talented option for a perimeter that won’t lack for options. Both Aaron Thomas and Montay Brandon will have eligibility remaining in 2015-16, and the same goes for Devon Bookert, Xavier Rathan-Mayes and junior college transfers Kedar Edwards and Dayshawn Watkins.

In addition to playing at Tilton, Mann played his grassroots basketball for the BABC program and averaged 10.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest in Nike EYBL play. Scouts have praised Mann for his ability to break teams down off the dribble, and he’s a solid creator and defender as well. Should he become a more consistent perimeter shooter, Mann will be an even tougher matchup for opponents.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
AP Photo
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.