Rob Dauster

Nation’s No. 1 prospect Josh Jackson commits to Kansas

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Kansas may have found their star for the 2016-17 season, as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016, according to Rivals, has committed to play for the Jayhawks.

Josh Jackson, a 6-foot-8 wing originally from Michigan that is currently playing for Prolific Prep in California, announced on Monday that he will spend his one-and-done season in Lawrence.

Jackson picked Kansas over Arizona and Michigan State and, as one of the best shooting guard prospects in recent memory, is a perfect fit for a Kansas team that just lost Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene to the professional ranks. He’s a tough, athletic wing who will provide immediate help defensively and on the glass, and he’s as competitive as anyone. He’s excellent in transition and has the explosiveness and body control to make things happen when he attacks the rim in a half court set. As he becomes a more consistent perimeter shooter he’ll only become a more dangerous player.

His addition to the Jayhawks should give them arguably the nation’s best perimeter defense, as he’ll join Devonte’ Graham and Frank Mason on a team that will be a nightmare for opposing guards to deal with. With this piece, the Jayhawks move to No. 3 in the NBCSports.com preseason top 25.

The memory that this will draw for most Kansas fans is that of Andrew Wiggins, who arrived in Lawrence to much fanfare and left as the No. 1 pick after averaging 17.1 points and 5.9 boards on a team that couldn’t get out of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. It’s not hard to find people willing to call Wiggins a disappointment.

Jackson will be in a better spot than Wiggins, however. For starters, this is not going to be a roster dominated by freshmen. Frank Mason will be the decided leader on the Kansas roster, as he has been the last two seasons. Devonte’ Graham will play a major role as an off-guard while the Jayhawks — led by Landen Lucas, Carlton Bragg, Udoka Azubuike and Svi Mykhailiuk — will have size, depth and versatility along their front line.

Three of the top four scorers when Wiggins was a freshman were, well, freshmen. The other was sophomore Perry Ellis. The veteran leader? Naadir Tharpe, who transferred out of the program after the season.

The Jayhawks are adding a talented, super-competitive and uber-athletic 6-foot-8 shooting guard that will be one of the best perimeter defenders in the country. Only time will tell whether he ends up living up to the hype or failing to meet expectations the way Wiggins, Selden, Kelly Oubre and Ben McLemore did, but as long as Kansas fans keep their expectations in check — the second-coming of Andrew Wiggins as opposed to freshman year Kevin Durant — they’re really going to enjoy watching this kid play.

Josh Jackson, from Napa, Calif.,, dunks over Nancy Mulkey, from Cypress, Texas, as he competes in the slam dunk contest during the McDonald's All-American Jam Fest, Monday, March 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Josh Jackson (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Indiana’s Troy Williams declare for the NBA Draft

Indiana forward Troy Williams (5) goes up for a dunk over Purdue center Isaac Haas (44) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Indiana forward Troy Williams announced on Monday that he will be declaring for the NBA Draft. He will not be hiring an agent, which will allow him to return to school after the NBA combine.

“After much thought and family discussion, I’ve decided to declare for this year’s NBA Draft but will not hire an agent,” said Williams in a statement released by the school.  “This gives me the opportunity to explore future possibilities, while keeping my options open.  Coach Crean is always supportive and makes sure that you have the best information to help you make a decision like this and I value his input.  I’m excited to go through this process.”

Williams averaged 13.3 points and 5.8 boards this past season for the Hoosiers, who won the outright Big Ten regular season title. Indiana already got the news that Thomas Bryant will be returning to school. If Williams opts to withdraw from draft consideration, the Hoosiers will likely end up being a top 20 team heading into next season.

Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman: allowing student-athlete endorsements is ‘under review’

Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman stands with a jersey after a news conference during the Big East Conference NCAA college basketball media day in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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Big East commissioner Val Ackerman had some really interesting things to tell SI.com’s Maggie Gray when asked about the possibility of NCAA athletes being allowed to receive endorsements: that there’s a real possibility that it happens.

“That’s one that’s actually under consideration I believe by the NCAA,” Ackerman said. “It’s actually a time right now where student athlete interests are being closely examined. I don’t have an answer for you on that one today but I will say that and a number of other topics are under review, and I think rightly by the NCAA and it’s very possible that over the course of the next year or two as these these ideas work their way through the legislative system you could see changes.”

Well now.

This is something that proponents of student-athletes rights have been fighting for for a long time, and may have to do with the fact that the association is currently facing a lawsuit brought on by former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon regarding the legality of their ability to restrict the student-athletes from generating revenue via the use of their name and likeness.

Allowing college athletes to sign endorsement deals would be the exact opposite amateurism. And, to be clear, that would be a good thing.

Ackerman is quite clear in saying she “doesn’t have an answer” and that it is all “under review”, so this will be something to monitor moving forward.

VIDEO: Adorable little kids write cards to Tar Heel players

Villanova's Kris Jenkins (2) reacts to his gamne winning three point basket at the conclusion of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
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After North Carolina’s crushing loss to Villanova in the national title game, a preschool teacher at Triangle Day School decided to teach her students a lesson in compassion … by having them write cards to the UNC players.

Now that is adorable (via Raleigh News & Observer):

Reports: Kaleb Joseph to transfer to Creighton

Syracuse guard Kaleb Joseph (14) grabs a loose ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
(AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
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Syracuse transfer Kaleb Joseph has committed to Creighton, according to multiple reports.

Joseph played in just 17 games as a sophomore with the Orange, a significant reduction in his role after he started 30 games as a freshman. The combination of Michael Gbinije taking over the starting point guard role and Franklin Howard emerging as the primary back-up meant that Joseph lost his confidence and his minutes.

As a freshman, Joseph averaged 5.9 points and 3.8 assists. He averaged less than six minutes as a sophomore.

Joseph was a top 75 recruit coming out of Cushing Academy, but he was thrust into a starting role his first season after Tyler Ennis left for the NBA after one year.

At Creighton, he’ll sit out the 2016-17 season before taking over starting point guard duties from Mo Watson the following season. Joseph will pair with Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster in the back court for a season.

ESPN.com was the first to report the news.

Cincinnati lands commitment from Cane Broome

Sacred Heart guard Cane Broome (1) is defended by Northwestern center Alex Olah (22) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in Evanston Ill. (AP Photo/David Banks)
(AP Photo/David Banks)
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Cincinnati has landed a commitment from Sacred Heart transfer Cane Broome.

Broome announced the news on his twitter page on Monday morning.

“I have officially committed to spend my next three years at the University of Cincinnati,” Broome wrote.

Broome was the Northeast Conference Player of the Year, averaging 23.1 points for the Pioneers as a sophomore, which ranked him eighth nationally in scoring. When he becomes eligible, Broome will provide the Bearcats with some much-needed back court scoring pop.

The Connecticut native will have to sit out the 2016-17 season, but he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining.