Power forward becomes Missouri’s first 2015 commitment

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One of the issues new Missouri head coach Kim Anderson had to address when he was brought in to lead his alma mater was their lack of front court depth. With there being three returnees, it was clear that Anderson and his staff would need to reel in some players for the 2014-15 season. And in short order the staff did just that, putting the program in a better position than it was in upon their arrival.

They did enough to ensure that Jakeenan Gant, who committed to the program when Frank Haith was in charge, would remain committed and added both D’Angelo Allen and Montaque Gill-Caesar. That triumvirate joins returnees Keanau Post, Ryan Rosburg and Johnathan Williams III for the upcoming season, and on Thursday evening Missouri landed a verbal commitment from a power forward in the Class of 2015.

6-foot-7 power forward Kevin Puryear, who hails from Blue Springs, Missouri, verbally committed to the SEC program according to Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. Puryear posted the following message via his Twitter account:

As a junior Puryear posted averages of 19.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, helping lead Blue Springs South to a 21-5 record. Puryear filled multiple roles for his high school team, serving as a point forward on the offensive end of the floor. Blue Springs South head coach Jimmy Cain discussed some of his star player’s strengths in a story written by Bill Althaus of The Examiner back in April:

“He really played a point-forward type role for us this year,” Cain said. “He was able to be effective anywhere on the floor. He can obviously score, but he also does a great job reading defenses and finding teammates when he is doubled. He would be the first to also mention the luxury of having some great teammates who he trusted.”

Puryear played his grassroots basketball for the KC Run GMC program, and his versatility is something that can help Missouri upon his arrival on campus next summer. Post is Missouri’s lone senior in the front court, so the depth questions Anderson had to deal with when he was hired shouldn’t be an issue at that time.

VIDEO: Top 2018 recruits Zion Williamson and Romeo Langford go head-to-head at adidas

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This weekend is the first live evaluation period of the spring recruiting calendar as college coaches from all over the country are scouting (and babysitting) the top recruits in the Class of 2018 and 2019.

Friday night the adidas Gauntlet in Dallas opened with a marquee matchup of two star players as five-star forward Zion Williamson and five-star guard Romeo Langford went head-to-head in what should be one of the best games of the spring.

Most scouting services have Williamson and Langford as the No. 2 and No. 3 overall prospects in the Class of 2018 as the duo didn’t disappoint in front of the huge crowd in Fort Worth.

Williamson helped his team to a win with 26 points and seven rebounds while Langford had 28 points, four rebounds and four assists. You’ll be hearing plenty about both of these guys over the next few months as both are still wide open in the recruting process.

(H/t: Ball is Life)

Report: Coppin State hires Juan Dixon as new head coach

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Coppin State has hired former Maryland star guard Juan Dixon to be its next head coach, according to a report from Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun.

The 38-year-old Dixon is best known for leading Maryland to the 2002 national championship as he was the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four that year. Now Dixon will have a chance to lead a Division I program for the first time.

Dixon spent seven years in the NBA and also played professionally in Europe before joining the Maryland coaching staff in 2013 as a special assistant to head coach Mark Turgeon. Not retained by Maryland after the 2015-16 season, Dixon took the head coaching job for the women’s team at the University of the District of Columbia last season as the Division II program finished only  3-25.

Coppin State finished last season with an 8-24 record after losing its first 12 games of the season. While Dixon will generate some positive local buzz given his background, he’s going to have an uphill battle trying to rebuild that program.

Nebraska scores important Class of 2017 commitment from four-star guard Thomas Allen

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Nebraska landed an important commitment from the Class of 2017 on Friday as four-star guard Thomas Allen is heading to Lincoln next season.

The 6-foot-1 guard is considered the No. 99 overall prospect by Rivals in the national Class of 2017 rankings as Allen was previously committed to N.C. State before head coach Mark Gottfried was fired.

A scorer with a good amount of skill, Allen has a chance to come in and make an immediate impact at Nebraska as he can play a bit on or off the ball. Allen should help offset the loss of senior Tai Webster in the Husker backcourt.

Allen joins wing Nana Akenten in Nebraska’s Class of 2017 recruiting efforts.

North Carolina lands four-star Class of 2017 big man Garrison Brooks

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North Carolina pulled in a late Class of 2017 commitment to begin the weekend as the Tar Heels secured a pledge from four-star Class of 2017 big man Garrison Brooks.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Brooks was previously committed to Mississippi State, but he was granted his release this spring to explore other opportunities.

The Tar Heels pounced as they’re getting a low-post threat who could develop into a potential double-double threat. A solid rebounder who isn’t afraid to play with physicality, Brooks has a chance to earn some immediate rotation minutes with seniors like Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks exhausting their eligibility.

Brooks is regarded as the No. 120 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, according to Rivals, as he is a four-star prospect. The native of Auburn, Alabama joins a North Carolina recruiting class that includes point guard Jalek Felton, shooting guard Andrew Platek and big men Brandon Huffman and Sterling Manley.

Report: NCAA ‘anticipates’ hearing UNC case in mid-August

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Today, the AP churned out a story on Greg Sankey’s involvement with the NCAA’s investigation into the academic scandal at North Carolina, and buried within that story is this little nugget:

UNC must respond to the latest charges by May 16. The NCAA enforcement staff then has until July 17 for its own response. Sankey wrote that his panel will hear the case in August with “anticipated” dates of Aug. 16 and 17.

Rulings typically come weeks to months later.

We’ve been down this road before, as the current iteration of the Notice of Allegations is the third that the NCAA has provided the university. The first was given out back in May of 2015 for an investigation that began back in 2010.