Duke lands commitment from Cameron Reddish

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For the third time since August and the fourth time since May, Duke has landed a commitment from a player considered to be the best in their class.

Trevon Duval and Marvin Bagley III pledged to the Blue Devils in the Class of 2017. Two weeks ago, Tre Jones became the highest-rated prospect in the Class of 2018 to commit to a school when he announced that he would be following in the footsteps of his brother, Tyus, to play the point for Coach K.

And on Friday night, Cameron Reddish, a top four prospect — and potentially the top player — in the Class of 2018, announced that he will be joining Jones in Durham. A natural wing, Reddish is more likely to fill the void left by Grayson Allen and Gary Trent next season than he is to play the role of small-ball four that Jayson Tatum, Brandon Ingram and Justise Winslow did before him.

Reddish ultimately picked the Blue Devils over Kentucky, Villanova, UCLA and UConn, as the Blue Devils are once again loading up their roster with one-and-done prospects.

He also happens to be another example of a recruit Mike Kryzewski brought in that has been in the news for reasons other than basketball.

There was Duval, who had major eligibility question marks stemming from time that he spent at Advanced Preparatory Institute, which was where Prime Prep’s basketball team ended up. That same school was the reason that Emmanuel Mudiay and Terrance Ferguson opted to go overseas instead of risk the NCAA declaring them ineligible.

Then there was Bagley. He had just as many academic red flags stemming from multiple transfers during his high school career, and that was before he made the decision to enroll in college a year early. He is still waiting word on whether or not he will be eligible to play this season.

Using the term ‘red flag’ is probably too strong with Reddish. He was caught by TMZ’s cameras in August leaving a restaurant with LeBron James and Rich Paul, the founder of Klutch Sports Group. To be clear, Reddish is doing nothing wrong taking that meeting so long as he’s paying for his own food and his own drink — players are allowed to talk to and have a relationship with NBA agents as long as they aren’t signing anything or being represented in any capacity by that agent — and frankly, the way that agents are viewed as villains in the world of NCAA sports is absurd. Reddish, in all likelihood, is going to be heading off to the NBA after one year at Duke to sign a contract that could be worth more than $10 million. Why, again, is it wrong with that player having a relationship with a professional who makes a living guiding kids just like him into the deep waters of the NBA?

If anything, this is more of an issue at the NBA level than the college level. The NBA has investigated whether or not LeBron has any ownership in Klutch Sports before. They found nothing, but it does seem as if he is an active recruiter for the agency.

Which, again, does not mean that Reddish doing anything wrong.

Frankly, it’s quite normal.

But it is another example of Duke finding themselves in the midst of the business of basketball at this level that tends to make the ‘They should be students first!!’ types uncomfortable.

That’s who Duke is these days.

Pretending otherwise would be silly.

And if they weren’t they would not be entering this season as the preseason No. 1 team in the country, just like they did last year and, at this rate, just like they will next season.

If you want Coach K to get that sixth national title, you probably won’t be complaining about it, either.

Report: North Carolina won’t attend White House

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After capturing a national championship earlier this year, the North Carolina men’s basketball team will not be visiting the White House, a North Carolina spokesman said to Andrew Carter of the The Charlotte Observer.

Although the Tar Heels were invited to go to the White House from the staff of President Donald Trump, the team couldn’t figure out a date that worked.

“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” North Carolina team spokesman Steve Kirschner said to Carter. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”

According to Carter’s report, Kirschner also said that North Carolina players, “were fine with going.”

With Trump’s recent comments towards NFL players and the national anthem and his Saturday morning tweet at Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the President with regards to athletes over the past 24 hours.

Although the timing of this may seem like North Carolina is making some sort of political statement, the school is downplaying any sort of politics by focusing on the bad timing.

Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer

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Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer from the program to move closer to home, according to a release from the school.

The 6-foot-7 Ridder hails from Springfield, Missouri as he was regarded as a top-150 prospect by Rivals in the Class of 2017.

“After much consideration and talking with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to move home,” Ridder said in the release.

“Jared has indicated to the coaching staff that he has a desire to be closer to home,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. “While we are disappointed, we all want Jared to be happy moving forward. We wish him nothing but the best.”

A potent scorer and noted perimeter shooter at the high school level, Ridder helped MoKan win the Nike Peach Jam during the summer of 2016 playing alongside talented players like Missouri’s Michael and Jontay Porter and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. With a desire to move closer to home, could Ridder potentially land at a spot where one of his talented former teammates is playing?

Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season of high school ball at Kickapoo as he was a first-team, All-State selection in Missouri.

Four-star 2018 forward Ian Steere decommits from Creighton

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Creighton took a big hit to its recruiting efforts late this week as Class of 2018 forward Ian Steere is decommitting from the Bluejays, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Steere’s decommitment was first reported by Julius Kim of Elevate Hoops.

The 6-foot-8 Steere is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals as he is coming off of a very solid spring and summer playing with Team Charlotte in the Under Armour Association. A plus athlete who isn’t afraid to bang on the interior, Steere showing an improving skill level throughout the spring and summer as he could see his recruiting soar after opening things up.

According to a report from Jon Nyatawa of the World-Herald, one of the reasons that Steere is opening up his recruitment is his desire to be closer to his native North Carolina. With so many top programs looking for quality help on the interior, it’ll be interesting to see which programs jump in and try to recruit Steere the second time around.

John Wall emotional in Kentucky Hall of Fame induction speech

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John Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night as he delivered an emotional speech while talking to his mother.

The first inductee into the Hall of Fame to play for current Wildcat head coach John Calipari, Wall only spent the 2009-10 season in Lexington but he became the first national player of the year to play at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Thanking his mother, Calipari, his family, friends and Big Blue Nation, the Washington Wizards guard gave a very moving speech, including an emotional part directed to his mother at around 4:35.

Ohio State snags third 2018 commitment in a week with four-star guard Luther Muhammad

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Ohio State continued a strong week on the recruiting trail on Friday night by landing a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Luther Muhammad.

Regarded as a four-star prospect, the 6-foot-4 Muhammad is a tough and rugged perimeter defender who can attack the basket. Also showing some ability to play on the ball as a secondary handler, Muhammad is a very solid addition to Ohio State’s recruiting class since they need to overhaul their roster under new head coach Chris Holtmann.

Muhammad is the third player to commit to the Buckeyes in the Class of 2018 this week as he joins four-star forward Jaedon LeDee and three-star guard Duane Washington in the current Ohio State recruiting class. Since Washington is a three-point threat and Muhammad is more of an off-the-bounce specialist, the two guards are a good start for Ohio State in this class as they will likely try to find a true floor leader to play with them on the perimeter.