Daniel Martin

Gary Johnson

Former Texas Longhorn Gary Johnson to make recovery after skull fracture

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Former Texas standout Gary Johnson is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a skull fracture and being put into a medically induced coma following an injury in a game with his professional team in Israel, the Associated Press is reporting.

According to Israel Basketball Association spokesman Hagai Segal, Johnson was awake and communicative and will undergo plastic surgery, but will recover.

Johnson reportedly caught an elbow from Johndre Jefferson, a former South Carolina and current Elitzur Ramla forward. Jefferson recounted the incident to the AP:

“Gary made a step-through move, and when he was going up I was close enough to block the shot and I blocked it on the backboard,” Jefferson said. “I don’t know how it happened, but when I was coming down my elbow caught him in the forehead.

“When we both came down I was standing over his feet trying to tap him on his side to ask him if he was OK. He was holding his head and kind of rolling around.”

Johnson played at Texas from 2007-11 and reached the NCAA tournament four times. During his freshman season, the Longhorns reached the Elite Eight. He averaged 11.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game as a senior.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Kevin Parrom to make second straight start Wednesday vs. Washington

Kevin Parrom

Arizona turned to senior Kevin Parrom in the face of a two-game losing streak, putting him in the starting lineup Sunday in a win over Utah. Coach Sean Miller and the Wildcats will keep with that plan Wednesday when they meet Washington and look to hold their ground in the Pac-12 race, the Tucson Citizen is reporting.

“Coach pretty much knows when I’m out there I’m going to play my hardest, whether I’m starting or the sixth man or whatever role I get,” Parrom told the paper. “He trusts me in whatever role he puts me in.”

Parrom started in place of freshman Brandon Ashely against Utah and responded with a near double-double of nine points and nine rebounds.

“Like a lot of seniors, when you come down the home stretch, sometimes you want to play so well it works against you,” Miller said, as reported by the paper. “Injecting him into the starting lineup I think is a good way for us to show how much we believe in him.”

Parrom and Mark Lyons have been the senior leaders for an Arizona team that started off hot in the non-conference, but has cooled off a bit in Pac-12 play. Starting Parrom takes some size out of the initial lineup on the floor, but he can still produce. Shifting Ashley toward coming off the bench had its benefits, too.

“Brandon was as big a reason why we beat Utah as any player,” Miller said. “To me, his role is as significant, if not more significant, moving forward because of how important his play is overall to our team’s success.”

Arizona tips off against Washington at 9 p.m. ET.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Former Miami assistant Jake Morton receives Notice of Allegations from NCAA

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Western Kentucky director of basketball operations Jake Morton, formerly an assistant at Miami, has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, the Miami Herald is reporting.

According to the report, the notice alleges that Morton and fellow Miami assistant Jorge Fernandez allowed convicted Ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro “to promote the institution’s athletics programs and to assist the institution in the recruitment of three men’s basketball prospective student-athletes.”

It specifically details the incident below:

On October 4, 2008, Morton and Fernandez arranged for Shapiro to have in-person, off-campus recruiting contact in Shapiro’s suite at Dolphin Stadium during a home football game with Marlon Williamson, the nonscholastic boys’ basketball coach of then men’s basketball prospective student-athlete Donovan [sic] Kirk, while Williamson was visiting the locale of the institution.

Kirk, a Top 100 recruit, ultimately signed with Miami and played two seasons in Coral Gables before transferring to DePaul. The report goes on to cite two other specific incidents of a similar nature, one involving current Hurricanes guard Durand Scott, and the other current Washington Wizards guard John Wall.

Of those named in the notice though, a key allegation is not present. Shapiro had previously claimed that he supplied Morton with $10,000, which he was supposed to provide to a family member of former Miami forward DeQuan Jones during his recruitment. That alleged incident is not cited in the NCAA’s notice.

To read the entire report, click here.

Photo via WKU Athletics

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Florida’s Damontre Harris arrested Wednesday

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Florida big man and South Carolina transfer Damontre Harris was arrested Wednesday for failing to appear at an arraignment on Aug. 16, Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun is reporting.

Harris received a citation on July 16 for driving without a valid license, which is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, the report says.

The 6-9 native of Fayetteville, N.C., played two seasons at South Carolina before transferring in the off-season after a coaching change. South Carolina coach Darrin Horn was fired and replaced by former Kansas State coach Frank Martin. Harris chose to transfer to Florida over Kansas and other possible suitors.

During the 2011-12 season with South Carolina, Harris averaged 6.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. He is currently sitting out a season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Indiana gets a big win, Miami shows its versatility

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Game of the Day: No. 1 Indiana 72. No. 4 Michigan State 68

Indiana made a statement Tuesday night with a win over a quality Michigan State team. The Hoosiers worked to break down the Spartans’ defense and, with another Player of the Year-type performance from Victor Oladipo, held their ground in the Big Ten on the road.

The Indiana defense took Michigan State point guard Keith Appling out of the game and forced the offensive pressure on Gary Harris and Adreian Payne. That was enough for grind out a win Tuesday. Cody Zeller continues to be consistent and finished with 17 points and five rebounds.

Important Outcomes

1. Missouri 63, No. 5 Florida 60

Missouri needed a win like this. The Tigers still haven’t had success away from home and have their fair share of flaws, but a resume-building win like this Tuesday night is what helps NCAA bubble teams fall on the right side of the fence, come Selection Sunday. Florida’s Kenny Boynton took a questionable three-pointer when the Gators trailed by just one, but a win is a win for Missouri.

2. No. 2 Miami 54, Virginia 50

Miami is perhaps most dangerous because it has proven that it can still win games, regardless of the pace at which the opponent tries to force it to play. If the Hurricanes are hot from the floor, they can reach into the 70s. If a team like Virginia or Clemson tries to slow the game down and grind it out, Miami can win anyway. That versatility in March is key.

3. Saint Louis 76, No. 24 VCU 62

Virginia Commonwealth and Butler have been in the spotlight for much of the season, but this Saint Louis team has now beaten both at home in dominating fashion. The biggest test will come on Friday when the Billikens travel on the road to meet Butler again with the top of the conference at stake.


1. Victor Oladipo, Indiana (19 points, 7-of-11 FG, 9 rebounds, 5 steals)

Oladipo continues to build his case for National Player of the Year as the do-it-all engine behind No. 1 Indiana’s attack. As important as Cody Zeller is, this Indiana team is not the elite team that it is without Oladipo in the lineup and producing as he has been.

2. T.J. Warren, NC State (31 points, 13 rebounds)

NC State needed this win at home to hold its ground in the ACC race. Warren’s dominating performance sparked a Wolfpack offensive attack that put up 84 points. The rest of the NC State regular season schedule is favorable, but that also means there is little room to slip up and lose ground.

3. Jordan McRae, Tennessee (34 points, 13-of-18 FG, 6 rebounds, 3 steals

Tennessee is likely an NIT team, but McRae’s performance in a win over LSU cannot go unnoticed. he was efficient from the floor and hot from behind the arc with 6-of-6 shooting from three.

More of Note: Tristan Carey, Longwood (40 points, 12 rebounds) | Olivier Hanlan, Boston College (26 points, 7 rebounds)


1. Keith Appling, Michigan State (6 points, 1-of-8 FG, 4 TOs)

Appling’s recent struggles are likely because of a combination of things, including a heavy load of minutes and the absence of injured backup Travis Trice. Michigan State needs Appling back on track either scoring or distributing (or both) for the start of March.

2. Alex Len, Maryland (4 points, 1-of-5 FG, Fouled Out)

Len had foul troubles and was unable to get in a groove offensively against a Boston College team that Maryland needed to beat to keep its NCAA hopes alive. Without this win, Maryland can ultimately say goodbye to its NCAA tournament aspirations.

3. Desmar Jackson, Southern Illinois (5 points, 1-of-9 FG, 3 TOs)

Southern Illinois needed Jackson to contribute in order to beat one of the conference’s best teams, but Jackson had trouble finding his shooting stroke.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Saint Louis takes first in A-10 with win over No. 24 VCU

Jordair Jett
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Virginia Commonwealth and Butler have taken the biggest share of the national spotlight of teams in the Atlantic 10 this season. Newcomers to the league having so much success and finding their way in the national polls will do that.

But with first place in the conference (at least for the time being) on the line Tuesday, Saint Louis defended its home floor and made a statement with a 76-62 win over VCU at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo.

VCU and coach Shaka Smart have built their success on the effectiveness of the “Havoc” defense, forcing turnovers and translating those miscues into points. In response to that Tuesday, Saint Louis turned the ball over just eight times and shot 55 percent from the floor. The Billikens forced VCU to foul and converted 17-of-23 shots from the free throw line.

Ultimately, it comes down to toughness, experience, and defense for the Billikens, which is why they are built to compete down the stretch in the A-10 race and even the NCAA tournament. They handled VCU with poise, while flipping the script and forcing the Rams into rushed shots, bad possessions, and a long night overall. A VCU team that averages close to 80 points per game was held to just 62.

They did the same to No. 9 Butler earlier in the year. The big question will be, can they do it again? Saint Louis travels to Butler for a big-time matchup Friday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_