Duke announced on Friday that Amile Jefferson has received a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA making him eligible for the 2016-17 season.
Jefferson will be a fifth-year senior. Last season, the 6-foot-9 forward broke his foot after nine games. The NCAA mandates that in order for a player to be eligible to receive that waiver, he must play in no more than 30 percent of a team’s games during the regular season. Nine games was the cut-off.
This ruling was more a formality than a surprise, but it is still big news for the Blue Devils. Jefferson is the perfect, veteran power forward to slide in next year’s lineup alongside Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles. Last season, Jefferson averaged 11.4 points and 10.3 boards.
O.G. Anunoby to return to school for sophomore season
Indiana freshman O.G. Anunoby announced on Friday morning that he will not be testing the waters of the NBA Draft this spring.
“I will not be declaring for the NBA Draft this year and will return to Indiana University,” Anunoby said in the statement. “I love my teammates and coaches and look forward to getting better every day with their help.”
Anunoby was one of the most pleasant surprises in college basketball this season. He averaged just 5.8 points and 3.3 boards, but his size, athleticism and versatility defensively makes the Jefferson City, Mo., native a tantalizing prospect.
If Anunoby develops the way many expect him to and plays a bigger role next season, there’s a good chance he could end up being a first round pick down the road.
Heath Schroyer resigns at UT Martin, expected to join N.C. State staff
Heath Schroyer is expected to accept a position as an assistant coach on N.C. State’s staff, a source told NBCSports.com.
On Thursday, UT Martin released a statement saying that Schroyer had resigned his position as head coach. Assistant Anthony Stewart has been promoted to interim head coach.
An announcement from N.C. State regarding the hire is expected soon.
Mark Gottfried’s staff with the Wolfpack has been in flux this offseason. Rob Moxley and Bobby Lutz were both reassigned, Moxley into an basketball operations position and Lutz to a role as an assistant to the Athletic Director. Gottfried added Butch Pierre, formerly of Oklahoma State, to his staff, and while it initially appeared that FGCU head coach Joe Dooley was going to accept the position as the third assistant on the staff, he opted to remain in Fort Myers, a source told NBCSports.com.
Schroyer won 41 games in two seasons with UT Martin. He has also been the head coach at Portland State and Wyoming.
Stephen Curry inducted into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame
The SoCon announced this week that Stephen Curry will be inducted into their Hall of Fame in the Class of 2016, a fact that’s only surprising in that today’s biggest name in all of basketball has not yet made it to the Hall.
Curry is the lone member of the five-person class that you’ll have heard of — unless you’re a Michigan football fan, Armanti Edwards will be inducted as well — and while it remains to be seen just how long he can sustain the pace of this two-year run that he’s on and whether or not that will allow him to get into the Naismith Hall of Fame, there’s no question that his collegiate exploits were enough to get him recognized.
Curry scored 2,635 points in just three seasons at Davidson and still holds an NCAA record with 162 threes during the 2007-08 season; he also set the record for threes made during an NBA season, with 402 this year. His career averages during those three seasons? 25.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.1 steals, 41.2 percent shooting from deep while hitting 414 career triples. And while Curry missed the NCAA tournament during his junior season, he carried the Wildcats to within one shot of the Final Four as a sophomore, as they lost to Kansas 68-66 in the Elite 8.
Steph will always be remembered for what he did in the NBA, but what he did in college was just as unbelievable. Six times in those three seasons, Curry scored at least 40 points, including a first round game in the 2008 NCAA tournament — a tournament where he averaged 32.0 points — when the Wildcats beat Gonzaga:
Arizona transfer Justin Simon is headed to St. John’s
For the second straight day, St. John’s has landed a high-profile transfer.
Former Arizona guard Justin Simon has committed to the Johnnies, he announced on Thursday.
“My next chapter has me in an Empire State of Mind,” Simon tweeted. “Happy to be a part of the St. John’s family.”
Simon was a top 50 recruit coming out of high school, but he was unable to find a way into Arizona’s back court rotation this season. With a load of talented perimeter players entering the program this summer, it didn’t make sense for Simon to return to Tucson to get buried on the bench.
“Having the opportunity to play for a Hall of Famer who has surrounded himself with an incredible staff that is all about getting their guys better was a huge draw in my decision to continue my college career at St. John’s,” said Simon. “I feel like I can be myself at St. John’s and reach my full basketball potential.”
The 6-foot-6 guard will sit out the 2016-17 season and have three years of eligibility remaining.
On Wednesday, the Johnnies landed a commitment from Marvin Clark, a transfer from Michigan State.
Ex-Loyola player says Swoopes created hostile environment
CHICAGO (AP) A former Loyola University basketball player says women’s coach Sheryl Swoopes created a hostile environment and routinely threatened to cut players from the roster or have their scholarships scrapped.
The university said last week it was investigating the women’s basketball program after allegations of player mistreatment surfaced. Details of the allegations were not released.
Former player Cate Soan told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in a segment broadcast Thursday that Swoopes, who has coached at Loyola for three seasons, made her feel “belittled” and “humiliated.”
“It made it hard to play,” she said. “It wasn’t about working hard and having fun anymore. It was about surviving.”
The environment became so hostile that players were turning on one another and mistrust spread throughout the athletic department, Soan said.
Ten of the 12 players that were expected to return from the current team have been granted or asked for releases to transfer from the private Chicago university.
Deputy athletic director Jermaine Truax said last week the allegations were “more than concerning” and Swoopes “will fully cooperate” with the investigation. Team spokesman Leo Krause said in an email Thursday that there were no updates on the investigation, which remains ongoing.
Swoopes did not respond to an email seeking comment Thursday.
Swoopes led Texas Tech to the 1993 NCAA title and was the first player signed by the WNBA. She won four straight titles with the Houston Comets, earned three Olympic gold medals and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this month.
Swoopes was hired in 2013 with only limited coaching experience, having served as an assistant at Mercer Island High School in Washington state in 2010, according to Loyola’s website. Her Loyola teams have gone a combined 31-62.