Mo Bamba, a top five prospect in the Class of 2017 and the potential No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, announced on Thursday that he will be attending Texas for what is expected to be his one and done season.
Bamba is a 7-foot-1 center with a 7-foot-9 wingspan and the potential to be a Rudy Gobert-esque defensive presence around the rim. He picked Texas over Kentucky, Duke and Harvard, among others.
Texas has already added point guard Matt Coleman in the class, and the expectation is that Andrew Jones will be returning for his sophomore season. If wings Eric Davis and Kerwin Roach take a step forward, the Longhorns have the kind of young talent to make some noise in the Big 12.
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Texas transfer Tevin Mack is headed to Alabama.
Mack, a 6-foot-6 wing who spent the last two seasons playing for Shaka Smart, will sit out the 2017-18 season and have two years of eligibility remaining.
Mack averaged 14.8 points as a sophomore, but he never returned to the court after a suspension for violating team rules of Jan. 11th.
We cannot go a week these days without LaVar Ball finding a way to make headlines, and he did just that on Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after it became clear that Lonzo would very likely end up getting drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers.
The latest drama came as Ball, who is the father of departing UCLA point guard Lonzo and incoming UCLA shooting guard LiAngelo, squared off with Kristine Leahy, who is Colin Cowherd’s co-host. Leahy has been critical of Big Baller Band and Ball decided that he did not want to speak to or look at her during the interview.
So he spent the entire interview with his back to Leahy, telling her to “stay in her lane” on two different occasions. Ball also said that “I never disrespect women, but if you act like that, guess what: something’s coming to you.”
Ball also managed to sneak in a shot at another FOX talking head, Jason Whitlock, who he said “can’t comment on anything but snacks.”
SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — The University of Rhode Island and its men’s basketball coach have agreed to extend his contract.
The Kingston school said Tuesday that Dan Hurley will continue to lead the Rams through the 2023-24 season.
URI says Rhode Island beat Virginia Commonwealth in March in the Atlantic 10 championship in Pittsburgh, winning the conference crown for the second time in program history. The win caused URI to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 18 years. Rhode Island beat Creighton University in the first round before losing to the University of Oregon in the second round.
The Rams finished the 2016-17 season with a 25-10 record.
Hurley says he looks forward to working with URI officials as they continue to increase the profile and growth of Rhode Island basketball.
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State’s Ray Kasongo is leaving the program without ever playing a game for the Cyclones.
Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said Tuesday that he and the 6-foot-9 Kasongo agreed that it would be best if the Canadian finished his career at another school. The move came just one day after the Cyclones announced that former Princeton big man Hans Brace will join them next season as a graduate transfer.
Kasongo signed with Tennessee after a year of junior college, but he left for Ames after playing sparingly in 2015-16. He sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules.
Iowa State still has two open scholarships for next season.
BYU center Eric Mika announced on Tuesday that he will be signing with an agent and remaining in the NBA Draft.
“My wife and I are excited for the next step in this journey and we know it’s just one among many,” Mika said in a statement. “I loved my time at BYU and it truly was a dream come true playing and studying here and I wouldn’t trade the memories I made here for anything. I have tremendous love and respect for the coaches, staff and players and loved working with them all. I’m excited to see what happens in the next five weeks.”
Mika is a 6-foot-10 center that averaged 20.3 points and 9.2 boards as a sophomore for the Cougars. But he also spent two years on a Mormon mission and is now 22 years old. With or without him, the Cougars are likely the third best team in the WCC next season, but if Mika had returned, BYU had a very real shot at being an at-large team in the 2018 NCAA tournament.
“We’re very excited for Eric and support him in this decision,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said in a statement. “He has the potential to be a great pro because of his amazing work ethic and the great support system around him. It was a privilege to coach Eric and he will always be remembered as a great player at BYU.”