Duke lands commitment from Trevon Duval, top point guard in 2017

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Trevon Duval, a top five player in the Class of 2017 and the potential No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, announced on Monday that he had committed to play his college basketball at Duke.

Duval picked the Blue Devils over Kansas, Seton Hall, Baylor and Arizona, although his selection, in the end, wasn’t all that much of a surprise. Duval is the sixth commitment Duke has received in the Class of 2017, joining fellow five-star prospects Gary Trent Jr. and Wendell Carter, along with four-stars Alex O’Connell and Jordan Tucker and three-star recruit Jordan Goldwire.

This is a massive commitment for the Blue Devils. They have struggled to find a replacement at the point guard spot since Tyus Jones went one-and-done after leading Duke to the 2015 national title. The lack of a natural point guard last season was one of the major reasons that the Duke, as talented as they were, ended up with a thoroughly underwhelming season.

Landing Duval is the difference-maker. Even after missing out on Kevin Knox, who committed to Kentucky, and losing Frank Jackson to the NBA Draft, Duke will have a chance to compete for ACC and National titles this year. The biggest question now becomes who will play the four. Grayson Allen, who returned for his senior season, will likely start along Trent on the wing while Wendell Carter starts in the pivot. Will Coach K play two bigs, with Carter alongside Marques Bolden, or will he use a wing like Alex O’Connell or Jordan Tucker as an undersized four?

That’s where losing out on Knox hurt. He would’ve fit perfectly in that spot. Duke has not played with two big men on the front line since Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee patrolled the paint, and even Kelly shot better than 40 percent from three while attempting more than three threes per game his last two seasons. You have to go all the way back to 2010, the year when Duke won a national title, to find a team that played two paint-oriented players in their front court.

Virginia, Seton Hall, Rhode Island, Vandy in NIT Tip-Off

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NEW YORK (AP) — Virginia and Vanderbilt will meet in one semifinal of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Thanksgiving Day at Barclays Center.

Rhode Island and Seton Hall face off in the other semifinal with the winners meeting on Friday, Nov. 24.

This is the third straight year the Tip-Off has been held at Barclays Center. Eventual NCAA champion Villanova won the event in 2015. All games will be televised on ESPNU.

Non-bracketed teams in the NIT Season Tip-Off who will play games at campus sites are: Austin Peay, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Oakland City and UNC Asheville.

Miles Bridges explain why he returned to Michigan State

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Miles Bridges changed the landscape of the 2017-18 college basketball season on April 13.

The Michigan State forward spurned the NBA for another year in East Lansing. The decision not only meant that Bridges was a frontrunner for national player of the year, but solidified the Spartans as a national title contender.

But Bridges’ choice to return was still puzzling to many. The 6-foot-7 forward was projected as a lottery pick. Bridges explained his decision to Mike Decourcy of Sporting News in a story published on Thursday.

“He says, ‘You know what, Coach? I want to get better. I don’t want to be in the D-League. I’ve got buddies that are, and I just want to make sure when I go, I’m ready,’ ” Izzo recalled to Sporting News. “I looked at him and I said, ‘Done deal.’ For me, that was a done deal. It was a reasonable, sensible argument.”

Agents, friends, reporters, scouts, acquaintances, fans, strangers and family members — oh and, as we said, coaches — all had one opinion about how Bridges should spend the next year of his life. Miles had another, opposing, viewpoint.

Bridges told Decourcy that support came from his teammates, many of whom were returning to the team as well. Assuming the backcourt of Cassius Winston and Josh Langford make a leap forward, as well as incoming freshman Jaren Jackson providing an immediate impact, the Spartans’ title hopes could become a reality.

Bridges averaged 16.9 points, 8.3 boards, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks as a freshman at Michigan State. He’s rated as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.