Matt Giles

Kareem Canty

Has Marshall’s Kareem Canty entered transfer limbo?

Leave a comment

When ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported Tuesday morning that Marshall, despite repeated requests, was denying Kareem Canty’s transfer, it opened a window into the murky situation that is guard’s transfer. At first glance, Goodman’s report confirmed what the freshman himself had tweeted in mid-March. At that point, Canty, who was one of the nation’s best newcomers this past season, had an assist rate around 30 percent, which ranked in Ken Pomeroy’s top 100 (and seventh best of frosh point guards) and was expected to be a cornerstone for whomever Marshall hired to replace coach Tom Herrion, who recruited Canty to Huntington but had been bought out by the school.

Canty tweeted weeks ago, “Smh bad year bad news I loved playing for him not his fault we lost games,” as well as, “But I can’t hold this in any longer I will not be returning back to Marshall next year! It’s been fun.” However, since both tweets were deleted, it appeared Canty would remain at the school until the new coach’s hiring, which is why Zach Braziller’s NY Post report this past weekend that Canty was no longer a member of the Thundering Herd was surprising.

NBC Sports emailed men’s basketball sports information director Andrew Piper on Saturday morning to confirm Braziller’s report, and we were told Canty had, in fact, not asked for his transfer. With regards to Goodman’s tweet, though, that seems contradictory. NBC Sports reached out to Jason Corriher, the school’s assistant athletic director for media relations, on Tuesday and were informed that Mike Hamrick, Marshall’s athletic director, had “…told those guys there wouldn’t be a release until meet with new coach.” Since Marshall’s coaching search is entering its fourth week, that obviously has not happened. Corriher was also asked to confirm his colleague’s statement that Canty hadn’t even asked for a transfer — according to Corriher, “I don’t know and I am not going to comment on whether Kareem has requested his release.”

It isn’t surprising that Marshall wants desperately to keep Canty on the roster. He is a guard who will be a future all-Conference USA first team performer, a player who instinctively understands how to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. Without Canty, a team with promise becomes more of a rebuild. But the combination of Goodman’s reports and the conflicting stances within Marshall’s communications department indicates there is a strange situation developing in Huntington. And in the absence of any reports, or even rumors, regarding the conclusion of Marshall’s coaching search, Canty could be in limbo for the foreseeable future.

Wolverines to go overseas prior to 2015 season

John Beilein
Leave a comment

Every four seasons, programs are allowed by the NCAA to travel internationally. For some teams, that means going to Canada; others, going overseas. Michigan last took a trip in prior to the 2010-11 season, a year that ended with a 21-14 record (just the second 20-plus winning season for John Beilein at the time), and the coach recently revealed he plans to take his Wolverines to Europe in the coming months.

Beilein revealed on the “Coffee with the Coach” segment of a television program that Michigan will take the ten allotted days and “…we can practice and improve and we have some young kids coming in that can now go to Europe, so it will be a good time for us.”

The Wolverines have a four-prospect incoming class, and as there could be some turnover, there will be a few players potentially adjusting to new roles next season. Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas are still debating whether they should return for their junior seasons, or declare for the NBA draft, and after a year rehabbing for Mitch McGary, the big will need the extra repetitions to adjust to game speed. The extra time will also be crucial for Derrick Walton; the then-sophomore point guard will have to expand his offensive role in 2015, and his continued work to thread the balance between distributor and scorer could be fine-tuned on this trip.

Not every seat at AT&T Stadium is the best in the house

AT&T Stadium
Leave a comment

The doors just opened at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and fans of all four teams are beginning to stream to their seats, taking in the final moments before the contests tip. The bare-bones honesty of this man’s booth — no bells or whistles, just a simple black and white sign for ‘Binocular Rentals’ — is brilliant, and he deserves credit for best vendor of the weekend.

(h/t ESPN’s Mike Humes)

Report: Charlotte loses a top three-point threat

Denzel Ingram 2
Leave a comment

During the past two seasons, Charlotte’s coach Alan Major has significantly cut down the amount of three-point attempts his squad takes. The team’s three-point rate ranked among the lowest in DI in 2013 and 2014, and though the 49ers don’t take many long-range shots, they did make quite a few this season — Charlotte made 36 percent of their shots. According to a report from Jon Rothstein, though, Charlotte will lose one of their top shooters to transfer: sophomore Denzel Ingram will transfer from the Conference USA program and have two years of eligibility remaining.

Ingram used more than 50 percent of the team’s minutes as a freshman, and while his usage rate remained essentially stagnant as a soph, he spent his offseason refining his three-point shot. Ingram increased his percentage to 44.1 percent, making nearly twenty more threes in his second year, and emerged as one of the team’s best scoring threats from the perimeter.

The 49ers should still be a threat in conference play in 2104-14; other than Ingram and departing senior Ben Cherry, Major shouldn’t lose any other players. The trio of Willie Clayton, Shawn Lester, and Pierria Henry should be able to offensively carry the team, but Ingram’s loss deprives Major of a complimentary scoring threat.

Siena primed for a return to prominence?

Brett Bisping
Leave a comment

Some may snark that the College Basketball Invitational isn’t a true postseason tournament, but the CBI affords teams to continue their season for up to six games, furthering development especially for teams chock full of underclassmen. For the two finalists in this season’s CBI — Fresno State and Siena — those six games were crucial: both teams are among the least experienced in DI (only ten teams had fewer returning minutes than Siena), and the extra games allowed both Rodney Terry and Jimmy Patsos more minutes to work with their teams before the offseason starts. After a deadlocked start to the tournament, the deciding game tilted in the Saints’ favor, and the MAAC squad took the 2014 CBI title, 81-68.

It has been some time since Siena was a factor in the MAAC race. When Fran McCaffery left Loudonville for Iowa, the program was turned over to longtime assistant Mitch Buonaguro, and while Buonaguro struggled to keep the squad relevant in conference play (Siena never finished above .500 during his three seasons), he did bring some talent to the school. As Patsos noted during the finale’s post-game presser, “Mitch Buonaguo left us some good players.”

More importantly, those good players are, for the moment, all returning next season. The team is bereft of seniors, and the team’s most efficient and high usage players — Lavon Long, Brett Bisping, and Rob Poole — are all scheduled to be back. Siena was picked to finish ninth (out of eleven squads) in the MAAC’s preseason poll, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Saints are ranked in the top half of the league in 2014-15. Siena isn’t a dark-horse — as evidenced by their CBI performances, this team isn’t sneaking up on anyone — and an extra offseason and year under Patsos’ tutelage should further transform this team into one that could easily challenge Manhattan, Quinnipiac, and Iona for the league title.

Update on Jelan Kendrick’s status

Jelan Kendrick
Leave a comment

Towards the end of the 2014 season, UNLV’s Jelan Kendrick, the Memphis transfer via junior college, began to earn more minutes during Runnin’ Rebels games. In a loss to Nevada, Kendrick played 33 minutes and scored 16 points, and in another loss (to San Diego State) two games later, Kendrick again used more than 30 minutes. The pedestal was set for a breakout senior season, one where Kendrick would likely receive more playing time due to transfers and players declaring for the NBA draft, but Kendrick may not be on the UNLV roster in 2015: the wing is set to graduate by summer’s end and is deciding whether to use his fifth season at the MWC program.

Coach Dave Rice has already lost Bryce Dejean-Jones (to transfer) and Roscoe Smith (to the NBA draft), and there is a chance that, along with Kendrick, Khem Birch might take his game beyond Las Vegas’ city limits in 2014-15.

The UNLV coaching staff is assuredly not done on the recruiting trail — there have been reports that Ryan Miller, replete with ties to the California recruiting scene, has been offered a spot on the UNLV staff — and even if Kendrick and Birch return, there could be a few new bodies who’ll join the team in the coming weeks.