Rob Dauster

Marvin Bagley (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Marvin Bagley III, nation’s top prospect, to announce college decision Monday night

Leave a comment

The best basketball prospect in America will be announcing where — and when — he will be playing his college basketball late on Monday night.

Marvin Bagley, who is currently the top prospect in the Class of 2018, will not only be announcing where he intends to play in college, but he will also be announcing whether or not he will be enrolling in college as a member of the Class of 2017. The three schools that are the finalists for the Arizona-native are Duke, USC and UCLA. He visited all three programs within the last four weeks. Bagley is currently living in Southern California but his family has roots in Durham, North Carolina.

Sources told NBC Sports that the staffs recruiting Bagley were not told of his decision as of Sunday night.

Bagley’s story is fairly well known at this point. He’s far and away the best prospect in the Class of 2018, but he’s also old enough that, should he graduate high school prior to the start of the 2017 NBA season, he’ll be eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft, where he’d be in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick with Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. and Arizona freshman Deandre Ayton.

And that, in the end, is the goal for Bagley, sources told NBC Sports: getting drafted next June. It means he gets NBA paychecks a year earlier and is a year younger when, after his second NBA contract, he would theoretically be up for one of the massive contracts the current CBA allows. It would also mean that, at the back-end of Bagley’s career, he’ll be signing his final contract a year earlier and he’ll get an extra season of big money salary on the back-end. It’s not an exaggeration to say that, over the course of his professional career, getting into the draft a year early could be worth in the mid-eight figures.

Whether or not Bagley is able to play in college it is secondary to ensuring that he does, in fact, get eligible for the 2018 draft. Sources told NBC Sports that the process for getting Bagley eligible to reclassify was started months ago and that he should be able to reclassify if he wants to, although the final decision will be left up to the NCAA.

Duke lands commitment from Tre Jones, Tyus’ little brother

Tre Jones, Jon Lopez/Nike

For the second time in the last four years, Duke’s recruiting class is going to be headlined by a Jones.

On Sunday, Tre Jones, the younger brother of Tyus Jones and a top ten prospect in the Class of 2018, announced that he has committed to play his college ball for the Blue Devils. He is their first commitment in the class, and he may not be their last point guard commitment, either. Duke is also targeting Darius Garland, another five-star point guard.

While Tre and Tyus come from the same bloodline and play the same position, they are total opposites in the way that they attack the point guard spot. Tyus was more cerebral, a floor general that read the game, set up his teammates and embodied the “pure point guard” ideal that we talk so wistfully about.

Tre, on the other hand, is more dynamic and demonstrative, both in personality and the style that he plays. He a little bigger, longer and more athletic than Tyus was, and while he’s not yet on the same level as a shooter, he is an elite on-ball defender and a player that thrives in transition and when he’s allowed to attack the rim. There are people that believe that he is a better prospect that Tyus, that he has a higher ceiling.

But that’s not the biggest question surrounding his decision to head to Duke.

How will Tre handle following the path his brother blazed? What will the pressure be like heading to the same school where your brother won a national title and the NCAA tournament MOP?

To date, it has not bothered Tre. I wrote a long feature on the dynamic between the Jones brothers — they have an older brother named Jadee who is their trainer — and the topic of following in Tyus’ footsteps is something that they discuss often.

“We don’t feel like there is any pressure to outperform or live up to anything. It’s something we talk about quite a bit,” Jadee told me.

Part of the reason may be that Tre has surpassed just about every standard that Tyus set. He, too, played varsity in eighth grade. He’s also won a state title at Apple Valley High School; two, to be exact, one more than Tyus and one of which came after current Duke player Gary Trent Jr. left the program.

Tre has left his own legacy.

And he’ll look to do the same at Duke.

As I wrote last week, “maybe, one day, Tyus will be known as Tre’s older brother.”

Louisville appeal calls NCAA ruling ‘draconian’, ‘unjust’, ‘grossly disproportionate’

Rich Barnes/Getty Images

In appeal paperwork filed with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, Louisville called the sanctions handed down earlier this summer “draconian”, “unjust” and “grossly disproportionate”.

After an investigation that lasted more than a year, the NCAA ruled that, in addition to the self-imposed penalties from early 2016, which included a ban from the 2015-16 postseason, Rick Pitino was to be suspended for five games and the Cardinals would have to forfeit every game in which a retroactively ineligible player participated. This would mean that Louisville’s 2012 Final Four and 2013 National Title would be vacated.

According to the appeal, Louisville “fully agrees … that McGee committed egregious misconduct” and “does not dispute in the slightest that his actions warranted serious penalties” for both himself and the university. That, they say, is why they self-imposed sanctions, which, at the time, was a massive deal. In other words, Louisville’s argument is that they already gave themselves a significant punishment, and that the COI incorrectly did not factor that into their decision-making process when handing out a punishment.

The other argument that Louisville makes is that none of the three players that were ruled retroactively ineligible were “properly deemed ineligible,” saying that one player left the room before the dance had started, one received benefits below the NCAA’s restitution threshold and one was “shielded by the COI’s grant of limited immunity.”

“Not one student who later competed in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons engaged in a sex act,” the appeal read. “Even if these student-athletes were technically ineligible, they would unquestionably have been reinstated.”

To prove this point, Louisville argued that a player who was still playing in the fall of 2015, when the story first broke, had a petition for reinstatement for $205 of benefits filed, and granted. The player’s “eligibility restored without any loss of competition.”

Essentially, Louisville is saying that not only is vacating the wins from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 season too harsh of a punishment, but that the punishment would not have been given has they learned about what was happening in Billy Minardi Hall during those seasons.

Louisville has a valid argument, but it may fall on deaf ears.

The salacious details of this scandal — a staff member paying for hookers and strippers for underage recruits — carry more weight for the NCAA than does precedence or any argument Louisville can make about the value of a lap dance.

The COI has a month to respond to the appeal.

Police searching for former all-SEC guard on drug trafficking charges

Memphis Police
1 Comment

Former all-SEC guard Scooter McFagdon is one of ten people still at-large after the Memphis Police Department indicted 36 alleged drug dealers in a six-month investigation called ‘Operation Cocaine Cowboys’.

McFagdon is a Memphis native that began his career with the Tigers before transferring to Tennessee for his final two seasons. He made an all-SEC team while there and averaged more than 17 points as a junior for the Vols.

Back in 2014, McFagdon was arrested when police found one kilogram of cocaine and 193 pounds of weed in a car he was driving in Texas. According to police, the origin of the cocaine being sold in the bust this month was also Texas.

Police released McFagdon’s mugshot in an effort to locate him.

Former Brown assistant Dan Doyle sentenced to 15 years for embezzlement

1 Comment

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A former boxing promoter, ex-college basketball coach and founder of a Rhode Island-based sport institute who was convicted of embezzlement has been sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison, with seven years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation.

Dan Doyle of the Institute for International Sport was convicted in December after a nearly three month trial of seven counts of embezzlement, one count of obtaining money under false pretenses, five counts of forgery, and five counts of filing a false document.

Prosecutors say the 68-year-old West Hartford resident used the institute as a personal piggybank, taking out money to cover the cost of college tuition, plastic surgery, and wedding expenses for his children.

Doyle was an assistant coach at Brown before spending three seasons as the head coach at Trinity College (D-III) in Connecticut. He would go on to promote fights for legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard.

Investigators say Doyle embezzled approximately $1.14 million from the institute, a nonprofit he founded in 1986 with the mission to use sports and the arts to forge relationships on a global scale and to address societal issues.

Of the Institute’s programs, one of the best known was the World Scholar Athlete Games held at the University of Rhode Island.

Doyle had sought a new trial. A judge denied that motion earlier this year.

Doyle was also ordered to pay $550,000 in restitution to the Hassenfeld Foundation and was ordered to undergo an evaluation for counseling.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said Thursday that Doyle “bilked honest and admirable individuals out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and destroyed the mission and purpose of the International Institute of Sport, which he founded, in order to sustain a lifestyle he felt he was entitled to.”

Mike Krzyzewski to under go knee surgery, Duke to cancel team trip to the Dominican Republic

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Duke announced on Thursday that Mike Krzyzewski will be undergoing surgery to get a total knee replacement on his right knee this weekend.

Due to the surgery, the team will be canceling their upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic.

“While it’s disappointing that we aren’t able to make the Dominican Republic trip, this is a positive development for both our team and myself because it will allow us to be at full strength for the start of practice this fall,” Krzyzewski said. “After three consecutive days of working with the team, it became clear that the condition of my knee wouldn’t be sustainable through next season. The best course of action is to correct the problem now rather than later, when our team would be more profoundly impacted.”

Coach K missed seven games last season after undergoing surgery on his back.

The knee replacement will be the sixth surgery that Coach K, who turned 70 in February, will have undergone in the last 16 months.

Duke is currently sitting at No. 5 in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25.