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Indiana has fired head coach Tom Crean

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Tom Crean has been fired by Indiana after nine seasons as head coach.

“After deliberative thought and evaluation, including multiple meetings with Tom about the future, I have decided to make a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program,” athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement released at the exact moment that the NCAA tournament kicked off on Thursday afternoon.

Crean was coming off of a Big Ten regular season title and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2016, but the Hoosiers took a step back this season. After knocking off Kansas and North Carolina in November, Indiana missed the NCAA tournament and lost in the first round of the NIT. That was a road game despite the fact that the Hoosiers were a higher seed, a decision that was made to hide the fact that Assembly Hall would have been empty.

The Hoosiers went 18-16 this season and just 7-11 in the Big Ten.

The decision to part ways with Crean is not all that surprising. There was some speculation that he may get another year, but another year wouldn’t have solved the problems. The relationship between Crean and the Indiana fan base had reached the point where there wasn’t going to be a reconciliation. This was a marriage that needed to end so both parties could move on.

And let it be known, Tom Crean had a successful run with the Hoosiers. He won the outright Big Ten title in 2013 and 2016. He rebuilt a program that was driven into the ground by Kelvin Sampson.

But this was a move that needed to happen.

You may love your ex-wife, but that doesn’t mean you should still be married.

The question now becomes who Indiana can and will target, and that list is where things get fun.

The first name that Indiana has to call is Brad Stevens, the former Butler and current Boston Celtics head coach. He’s probably going to say no, but Indiana has to shoot their shot.

Once Stevens says no is when things get interesting. The trendy name of late has been Steve Alford, the former Indiana star and native Hoosier whose son is graduating from UCLA this year. But Indiana is a job that can attract some big names, names that have said no to other high-major openings in the past — Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall, Dayton’s Archie Miller, Xavier’s Chris Mack — and I’d be surprised if Butler Chris Holtmann didn’t get a look as well.

Indiana was the big domino that needed to fall.

Now the coaching carousel can kick into high gear.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.