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Mateen Cleaves
AP

Judge: Video of Cleaves, accuser may be evidence in sex case

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FLINT, Mich. (AP) A judge overseeing Mateen Cleaves’ criminal sexual conduct case says a video featuring the former Michigan State basketball star and his accuser may be allowed into evidence.

The 38-year-old Cleaves is charged with assaulting the woman at a motel last summer. He denies the charge.

The Detroit Free Press reports (http://on.freep.com/2akjOL5 ) Genesee District Judge Catherine Dowd discussed the video on Friday.

The judge also requested affidavits from Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Cleaves’ accuser that detail any relationship between a county task force on which the alleged victim may have served.

Defense attorney Frank Manley wants Worthy’s office removed from the case. Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey says her office should remain on the case.

Genesee County’s prosecutor did not take the case due to a possible conflict of interest.

Three black women’s basketball players sue Missouri college

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Three black women’s basketball players allege in a lawsuit that a small southwest Missouri college treated them differently than white students before expelling them without justification.

Breauna Carter, Amalia Harris and Dajanae Wilson, all of Kansas City, filed the lawsuit Tuesday against Cottey College, a women’s college of about 350 residential students in Nevada, which had offered them all athletic and academic scholarships for the 2015-16 school year. The lawsuit contends the school violated the women’s civil rights by creating a racially hostile environment, selectively enforcing its policies and procedures, and retaliating against them for complaining.

The women allege that during the 2015-16 basketball season, Stephanie Beason, athletic director and women’s basketball coach, treated them differently than the white players, punished them more severely than white players, ridiculed them and did not give them equal playing time.

The suit claimed Beason referred to the black players as the “Black Attack,” and often divided the team into black and white players during practice. But she then wouldn’t play many of the black players at the same time during games, even though seven of the 13 players were black, according to the lawsuit.

Mari Ann Phillips, vice president of student life, expelled the three students after one semester, saying they had “repeatedly engaged in behavior that has been disruptive and intimidating and that has created an unreasonable risk or danger to the safety of other students.” No one at the school ever presented any evidence to back up that complaint, according to the lawsuit.

The school violated its own policies and procedures throughout the semester by offering the players no chance to appeal or contest the decision, according to the lawsuit.

After their expulsions, the college withheld the women’s transcripts, making it impossible for them to enroll in another school the next semester. The women are now trying to enroll at other institutions for this fall, said their attorney, Daniel Zmijewski.

Cottey officials did not immediately respond Thursday to a phone call and email seeking comment. The non-denominational college was founded in 1884 by Virginia Alice Cottey, who bequeathed it in 1927 to the P.E.O. Sisterhood, a philanthropic educational organization that supports women’s education.

The lawsuit comes about four months after Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly was sued by a former player for race discrimination and retaliation. Nikki Moody, who is black, sued Fennelly in April, saying the coach demeaned, harassed and discriminated against her while she played point guard for the Cyclones from 2012-15. She also sued the university and the state of Iowa.

Fennelly has declined to address her allegations, except to deny that he’s not “the person I’ve been accused of being.” Iowa State’s administration has said the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity could not substantiate Moody’s complaints of racial discrimination.

Nick Marshall ‘sticking with’ decision to leave Memphis

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The saga of Nick Marshall appears, for now, to be over.

The lone returning center on the Memphis roster was AWOL from campus for much of the offseason. According to a report from CBSSports.com, he left the school to be with a pregnant girlfriend after telling head coach Tubby Smith that he would be spending time with his sick mother.

It’s a good thing for Marshall to try and take care of his family. It’s not such a good thing to lie about it to the coach of a program that has you on scholarship, can help you earn a degree and might be able to turn you into a professional basketball player. On paper, that seems like the best route, but as a father that travels for work, I can tell you it’s not as easy as it seems to spend days, let alone weeks or months, away from your family.

Regardless, it seems that Marshall’s tenure with the Tigers is kaput.

“[I know] people want me to come back to Memphis but I can’t,” Marshall tweeted right before setting his account to private. “It’s a choice I made and it’s a choice I’m sticking with. I’m very sorry.”

In basketball terms, this is a major blow for Tubby’s program. Marshall was a top 60 prospect in the Class of 2015 and a guy that was going to play a major role alongside Dedric and K.J. Lawson on the Tiger front line. As a freshman, Marshall averaged 3.1 points and 2.7 boards last season playing behind Shaq Goodwin.

N.C. State’s Dennis Smith Jr. fully recovered, ready to go

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Dennis Smith Jr. sure looks ready.

North Carolina State’s prized freshman point guard is pushing through a workout in the practice gym on a hot July afternoon, and there’s no sign of the knee injury that defined his past year.

He’s sprinting along the baseline to bury a catch-and-shoot corner 3-pointer. He’s dribbling between chairs and stutter-stepping his way to a pull-up jumper. He’s launching himself at the rim for a dunk off the dribble.

“I don’t expect to be rusty at all,” Smith said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I was feeling kind of nervous at one point, but I went in and did a workout and then I was thinking, `I’m putting in all this work so all the nervousness should be out of my mind.’ I had no reason to be timid.

“I just have to go out there and perform, no excuses.”

A lot has happened for Smith in 12 months. The Fayetteville native suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in a game during the Adidas Nations event featuring top prospects. He had surgery, picked N.C. State, graduated from high school early and enrolled in college in January to rehab and learn the Wolfpack’s system before his debut later this year.

Tuesday marks one year since the injury for the 6-foot-3 Smith, ranked by ESPN as the nation’s No. 1 point guard when he signed last fall.

“We’ve tried to be real conservative with him as far as not letting him do too much too fast,” coach Mark Gottfried said. “At his age, he can’t wait. He’s dying to play every day.”

Smith started earning his leadership role as soon as he arrived in Raleigh, pointing out instructions to teammates or calling them to the gym for extra work even though he couldn’t play. He figures that time observing from the sideline has prepared him to replace high-scoring floor leader Anthony “Cat” Barber.

“I feel like I’ve gotten smarter, definitely,” Smith said. “I see the game totally different now. I read pick-and-roll easier. I feel like I’ve gotten more sound on defense because I understand angles better.”

The physical work to get back has been tougher.

Roughly a year ago, Smith was lying in a bed after surgery trying to stay positive. He asked trainer Ja-Rell Bailey to bring him some free weights for upper-body exercises even if he couldn’t do much else, an example of why Bailey described Smith as “a man determined.”

Smith’s father said the rehab emphasized building leg strength to protect and stabilize the injured knee, something his son said he will keep doing in both legs for years to come. Smith’s work has helped him go from 180 pounds to a college-ready 192-pound frame.

“He’s got his bounce back, so he can dunk and everything,” Dennis Smith Sr. said. “But what Junior has got, God gave it to him. . A lot of times you run into kids who are built off of hype because they do a fancy move or have a good game. Junior ain’t hype. He’s the real deal.”

Regardless, Gottfried expects Smith to have “a learning curve.”

“For me,” he said, “I think what you see in November is going to be much different than what you see in January.”

The Wolfpack will look much different, too, after missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five seasons. N.C. State welcomes Scout.com’s No. 6-ranked recruiting class that includes five-star Turkish big man Omer Yurtseven. Senior guard Terry Henderson returns from an ankle injury that sidelined him 7 minutes into last season. Charlotte transfer and former Conference USA freshman of the year Torin Dorn Jr. will play after sitting out last year.

Still, Smith is the guy stirring the most buzz for Wolfpack fans – something he has no trouble embracing.

“I really don’t feel that pressure though,” Smith said. “I feel like if you come in and you expect to play well, then you should have those expectations of people talking. It’s just playing basketball to me. I’ve been doing it my whole life.”

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP’s college basketball site at http://collegebasketball.ap.org

Washington lands commitment from Mamoudou Diarra

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For the second time this summer, Washington has landed a commitment from a forward in the Class of 2017.

On Friday, it was Mamoudou Diarra that pledged his future to Lorenzo Romar. Diarra is a 6-foot-8 combo-forward that is currently unranked by Rivals but was targeted by a number high major program.

Washington landed a commitment from Michael Porter Jr. earlier this summer, and given Porter’s standing as the potential No. 1 player in the class, the Huskies will be in the mix for the best crop of freshmen in the country in 2017-18. Romar has also landed commitments from four-star guard Jaylen Nowell and three-star guard Blake Harris.

RELATED: How the Michael Porter Package Deal came to fruition

Diarra played his high school basketball in St. Louis.

Xavier lands second top 100 commitment in 2017

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Xavier landed a key commitment on Friday morning in Naji Marshall, one of the Musketeers’ top targets in the Class of 2017.

Marshall is a la 6-foot-5 wing from Washington D.C. that is currently ranked 62nd in the 2017 class by Rivals. He’s a scorer that has shown off a versatile offensive game, averaging better than three assists on the Under Armour Association circuit.

This is the third commitment from head coach Chris Mack in the class and the second top 100 player to pledge to the Musketeers. Marshall picked Xavier over Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia Tech, among other.