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SMU’s Semi Ojeleye to sign with an agent

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SMU’s Semi Ojeleye officially announced on Sunday that he will be signing with an agent and remaining in the NBA Draft.

Ojeleye was one of the biggest difference-makers that had yet to make a decision. He had an all-american caliber season as a junior with the Mustangs, averaging 19.0 points and 6.9 boards while shooting 42.4 percent from three to lead SMU to a 30-win season. If he had returned to SMU, the Mustangs would have been a top 15 team and he would have been a contender for National Player of the Year.

But Ojeleye turns 23 in December. He has a very good chance to be a first round pick this year. It makes sense for him to head to the NBA.

Ojeleye was one of the ten most influential NBA Draft early entry decisions left to be made.

Duke lands commitment from four-star forward Jordan Tucker

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After missing out in top ten recruit Kevin Knox, who surprisingly committed to Kentucky last weekend, Duke landed themselves a big forward as four-star recruit Jordan Tucker picked the Blue Devils over Syracuse.

Tucker is a 6-foot-7 shooter from New York that will likely play an immediate role for Duke on the wing and as a stretch-four. He’s not as skilled as the like of Justise Winslow, Jabari Parker, Brandon Ingram or Jayson Tatum, but he’s the only player on Duke’s roster that can play that role next season.

Duke now has a five-man recruiting class for next season – Tucker joins five-stars Wendell Carter and Gary Trent Jr., four-star Alex O’Connell and three-star Jordan Goldwire – and they may not yet be done. Mike Krzyzewski is still awaiting word on whether or not he’ll be coaching Trevon Duval next season.

The Blue Devils, for the first time ever, have lost four players to early entry, as Tatum, Harry Giles III, Luke Kennard and Frank Jackson all entered the NBA Draft. Grayson Allen opted to return for his senior season.

Investigators meet with woman at center of UNC probe

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — A woman at the center of North Carolina’s multi-year academic scandal interviewed with NCAA investigators after previously declining to cooperate in the probe.

Raleigh attorney Elliot Abrams told The Associated Press on Wednesday night that his client — Deborah Crowder — met all day with investigators. Crowder is a retired office administrator in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department.

“She has never wavered in terms of what happened,” Abrams told the AP, “and I think she knew that this was a chance to actually tell her story, and she did a good job of doing that.”

UNC faces five top-level charges, including lack of institutional control, in the long-running probe centered on irregular AFAM courses featuring significant athlete enrollments.

The school was due in March to respond to the charges. But the case hit one of its many delays after Abrams wrote the NCAA to say that Crowder was willing to talk with investigators.

Crowder, who graded many of the papers in the problem classes, also filed an affidavit defending the courses’ quality. She said she didn’t create courses to provide special assistance for athletes while saying athletes and non-athletes received equal treatment.

NCAA spokeswoman Emily James and UNC spokesman Rick White didn’t immediately return emails for comment Wednesday night.

Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey, the chief hearing officer for the infractions panel handling UNC’s case, wrote in a latter last month that Crowder’s interview should take place in time to allow his panel to hear the case in August.

UNC is due to respond to the latest charges by Tuesday.

The website InsideCarolina.com was first to report that Crowder was interviewed.

Filipino celebrity, Creighton transfer Kobe Paras says Northridge his next stop

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Filipino basketball celebrity Kobe Paras has announced he will transfer from Creighton to Cal State Northridge.

Paras said in a Skype interview with Filipino media this week that he would leave the Bluejays after one season to play at Northridge, which is about an hour from where he attended high school in Los Angeles.

Paras’ father, Benjie, was a two-time MVP in the Philippine Basketball Association who’s become a popular television actor. Kobe has attracted a large fan following in his home country. He boasts a social media following that includes 461,000 on Instagram and 114,000 on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6 wing played sparingly in 15 games last season. Northridge has not announced the addition of Paras, who would sit out next season because of transfer rules.

Duke’s Frank Jackson to sign with an agent

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Duke point guard Frank Jackson will keep his name in the NBA Draft, signing with an agent and giving up his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility, according to reports from The Vertical and ESPN.

Jackson averaged 10.9 points and 1.7 assists while shooting 39.5 percent from three for the Blue Devils playing primarily off-the-ball as a freshman. A projected second round pick, Jackson joins Jayson Tatum, Luke Kennard and Harry Giles III as the fourth player to enter the NBA Draft early. Grayson Allen opted to return to school.

The question for Duke now is whether or not they are going to land point guard Trevon Duval, a top five player in the Class of 2017. Duke is thought to be the leader for Duval, meaning that he would immediately take over the point guard role that Jackson coveted. And with Allen returning, Jackson would then be the second-best wing in Duke’s back court.

With Jackson gone, Duke is down to nine scholarship players.

UNLV’s Dwayne Morgan suspended over incident involving police, cab driver

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UNLV’s Dwayne Morgan was suspended from the basketball team on Wednesday due to an incident involving the police from over the weekend.

According to a report from FOX5 in Las Vegas, Morgan was involved in an altercation with a cab driver.

“We are aware of the situation regarding UNLV men’s basketball student-athlete Dwayne Morgan,” the school said, “and are continuing to gather all of the facts. Coach (Marvin) Menzies has met with Dwayne and he has been suspended indefinitely from all basketball activities.”

A former five-star recruit, Morgan averaged 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds as a junior this past season, although injuries limited him to just eight games.