Daniel Martin

Ricky Tarrant

Leading scorers Ricky Tarrant, Josh Davis receive releases from Tulane

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Sophomore Ricky Tarrant will not be returning to Tulane next season and has decided to transfer to another institution, he announced via his Twitter page on Tuesday.

The 6-2 native of Pleasant Grove, Ala., was the team’s second-leading scorer last season with 15.7 points per game to go along with 3.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds. He reached the 20-point mark 11 times, including 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting in a Feb. 23 win over Rice.

He was a three-star prospect coming out of high school, according to Rivals.com, and was offered a scholarship by a number of mid-majors including Wichita State, Murray State, Cleveland State, and UAB before choosing Tulane.

In addition to Tarrant leaving the program, leading scorer Josh Davis has received his release from the school, Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com is reporting. Davis was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder last season, averaging a double-double of 17.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.

According to Goodman, Davis could return to Tulane, begin a career overseas, or transfer to a high-major program, the last of which is the most likely.

Tulane finished 20-13 this past season and was invited to the CIT, where it lost to Bradley in the second round.

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

All-American Keith Frazier commits to Larry Brown, SMU

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Larry Brown has landed a few key transfers during his short time thus far at SMU, but now he has made his first big splash on the recruiting trail.

Brown secured a commitment from McDonald’s All-American guard Keith Frazier Tuesday, the high school senior announced via his Twitter page. He chose SMU over Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

The addition of Frazier from the Class of 2013 gives the Mustangs an elite scorer in the backcourt and the fourth member of this recruiting class. He joins Sterling Brown, Ben Moore, and junior college transfer Yanick Moreira.

Frazier will help an offense that was ranked 248th in the country this past season with 64.5 points per game. The Mustangs finished 15-17, including 5-11 in Conference USA.

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

Is Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall disliked? (VIDEO)

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Dan Patrick talks with Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall as his team prepares for the Final Four in Atlanta.

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

Louisville guard Kevin Ware leaves hospital after surgery

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Louisville guard Kevin Ware has left an Indianapolis hospital after undergoing surgery to repair a compound fracture in his right leg that he suffered Sunday in a Cardinal win over Duke.

According to the Associated Press, Ware is headed back to Louisville’s campus and coach Rick Pitino would like him to travel with the team to the Final Four in Atlanta.

Ware suffered the injury during the first half of Louisville’s 85-63 Elite Eight win over Duke when he jumped to block a shot and came down awkwardly near the sideline. The severity of the injury drew an immediate emotional reaction from players on the Louisville bench and on social media. Pitino was seen holding back tears as Ware was taken to the locker room.

From the AP:

Pitino and his son, Richard, spent Monday at the hospital with Ware, who was pictured holding the championship trophy in his bed. Ware later posted a comment on Facebook saying, “the first step is always the hardest one to take” along with a photo of him on crutches.

Doctors have yet to clear Ware to travel with the team to the Final Four, despite the team’s desire to bring him along for the trip. He will be sidelined for around one year, according to reports. That long road back begins with rehab, but he seems to be off to a good start when judged by his attitude.

“When they took me off the court,” Ware told the Louisville Courier-Journal, “I heard so many cheers, and I’m like `When I’m out of surgery, there’s gonna be some good news.’ ”

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

Michigan controlled tempo from the start and now it’s in the Final Four

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There were a few things Florida needed to do to beat Michigan on Sunday to advance to the Final Four.

The Gators needed to force Michigan into turning the ball over, thus allowing them to get out in transition and score points. The Gators needed to contain perimeter shooters that allow the Wolverines to get on a run. And Florida needed to exploit any advantage it would have on the interior against Michigan’s front.

It didn’t work out that way.

Michigan turned the ball over just nine times, shot 10-of-19 from three-point range, and got 11 points and nine rebounds from freshman Mitch McGary in a 79-59 win Sunday afternoon at Texas Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The win gives Michigan a berth in the Final Four in Atlanta.

Coming into Sunday, that was the biggest obstacle for Florida. For a team that makes its living forcing turnovers and turning that into offense, the matchup with Michigan gives them the opposite. Trey Burke led a transition attack in the first half that pushed the lead to as much as 24 points after a Nik Stauskas three with 4:01 remaining.

MORE: Photos from the Elite Eight

Florida seemed to lose track of Stauskas in the first half. Nearly every look he got from the perimeter was an open one and he converted with 22 points on 6-of-6 shooting from three-point range. He and Spike Albrecht, who had seven points on the night and was a defensive factor in the second half with four steals, overextended the Florida defense.

MORE: Mental miscues, questionable coaching decisions doom Gators

Michigan now moves on to play Syracuse in the Final Four in Atlanta. Wichita State, who beat Ohio State to advance to Atlanta, awaits the winner of Duke and Louisville. It is the first time the Wolverines have reached the Final Four since the famed “Fab Five” did it in 1993 and it is the first appearance for coach John Beilein.

Florida has now lost in three straight Elite Eights.

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

Bobby Hurley welcomes head role in Buffalo, set to hire staff

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Bobby Hurley was a star in his own right, earning three trips to the Final Four as a member of the Duke Blue Devils and going on to play in the NBA. Now he has a different starring role in a different situation, hired this past week to become the next head coach at Buffalo after the firing of coach Reggie Witherspoon.

He inherits a veteran Buffalo team that finished 14-20 last season, including 7-9 in the MAC.

“We have plans right out of the gate to begin to set a high standard,” Hurley told NBCSports.com. “Every transition is difficult. I’ve been involved in two of them in the last three years. There’s uncertainty and players have relationships with prior coaching staffs, but I’ve got a great feeling.”

Hurley comes to Buffalo after serving as an assistant alongside his brother Dan Hurley at Rhode Island. Hurley took over with the Rams after the firing of coach Jim Baron after last season.

“Dan has been exteremely supportive of my decision and it’s a complex thing with all the relationship and how much I’ve enjoyed coaching and working with them,” he said. “I know he’s going to miss for a lot of different reasons, but he understands what a great opportunity this is for me.”

He comes from a great lineage of basketball coaches, including his father Bob, Sr., who has become a legend in New Jersey high school basketball as the coach of St. Anthony in Jersey City, N.J.

His hiring comes at the same time he has linked up with Thuzio, a business that seeks to reconnect athletes with fans online, through speaking engagements and other avenues.

He now moves on to the next step in the process, which is building a staff and working the recruiting trail for his new program.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of people and looking to put together a great staff,” he said. “Looking for people who care about the kids and have their best interest at heart and help them get the job done. That’s the main obstacle.”

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