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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.

CBT Podcast: Constructing a 2017 NBA Draft Mock Draft

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Today I partnered up with my buddy Kurt Helin, who runs Pro Basketball Talk, to put together a mock draft on a podcast for your listening pleasure. Does Markelle Fultz go No. 1? Does Lonzo Ball end up in Los Angeles? How long will it be before we reach a European player whose name we can’t pronounce? There are so many questions, and all the answers are right here:

Missouri Valley invites Valparaiso to replace Wichita State

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The Missouri Valley Conference announced on Tuesday afternoon that the Presidents Council had unanimously voted to extend a membership invitation to Valparaiso.

Valpo has not yet announced whether they will be accepting the invitation, but the decision had reportedly been down to Murray State and Valparaiso, and Murray State announced earlier on Tuesday that they had not been accepted as a member of the MVC. According to a report from Paul Oren of the Northwest Indiana Times, Valpo’s beat writer, the Horizon League believes that Valpo will be headed out of the conference.

The Crusaders would be replacing Wichita State in the Valley. The Shockers, earlier this spring, accepted an invitation into the American Athletic Conference.

The Valley is expected to remain at just ten teams, according to a report from CBS Sports. There was speculation that the conference could expand to 11 or 12 teams, but that would seem to make it more difficult to reach the NCAA tournament, particularly if the second team to be added was a basketball program as strong as Murray State’s.

Valpo has a long and storied basketball tradition and is one of the better mid-major programs in the midwest. They’re reached the NCAA tournament twice in the last five years and won five of the last six Horizon League regular season titles. The Crusaders will be in a bit of a rebuilding mode, however, as Alec Peters, arguably the best player in the history of the program, graduates this spring, a year after Bryce Drew, a former Valpo star, left the program to take over at Vanderbilt.

But as good as Valpo has been, it does not replace the loss of Wichita State, and they still are struggling to deal with the weight of losing Creighton to the Big East. The Valley is going to need a program like Northern Iowa or Illinois State to step up into that void.

As far as the Horizon League is concerned, that conference has also been mined for the best basketball programs. Remember, Butler, when they reached back-to-back national title games under Brad Stevens, did so as a member of the Horizon.

LISTEN: Lonzo Ball freestyles over Drake’s ‘Free Smoke’ beat

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Lonzo Ball’s signature shoes aren’t the only thing named “ZO2”.

It’s also the name that Ball raps under.

And he’s actually pretty good. Rapping over Drake’s ‘Free Smoke’ beat, his best line, given what’s dominated headlines in recent weeks, in his line “I be ballin’ like I’m sponsored.”

This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen Lonzo rap. In a spoof video that he did with ESPN, Ball spit a few bars while trying to prove to LiDicky that he isn’t the best rapper in the family:

Report: Less than 300 Big Baller Brand shoes were sold on first day

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Over the weekend, rumors swirled that the Ball family had netted themselves a seven-figure payday, selling upwards of 5,000 pairs of Lonzo Ball’s new, signature Big Baller Brand shoe, the ZO2.

That probably isn’t true.

The sneakerheads over at NiceKicks.com did the legwork, tracking invoice numbers — staffers there not only bought a pair of ZO2s, but they also snagged a pair of BBB shorts — and inventory levels to determine that the real number of shoes sold in the first day that the ZO2s were on sale was probably less than 300.

From Nice Kicks:

Out of the 328 transactions that happened on BigBallerBrand.com in the first 24 hours that the shoes were offered for sale, we tracked that a total of just 263 pairs of sneakers had sold in both signed and unsigned versions of the ZO2 Prime.

While we have no access to sales receipts, transactions or traffic data, we have been monitoring the inventory levels of the footwear listed on BigBallerBrand.com. After noting the initial product levels at the start and deducting the current units sold, we can confidently say that 210 pairs of unsigned ZO2 Primes had sold (103 pairs in sz 8.5 alone), along with 53 autographed ZO2 Primes.

By their count, the Ball family did a little more than $150,000 in total revenue in their first day in business.

That’s not bad, and it’s a nice little pool of cash to get their operation up and running, but it’s not millions and it’s certainly not, as LaVar Ball likes to put it, “about them B’s — billions.”

Where BBB goes from here will be fascinating. Personally, I’m rooting for the Ball family. I respect the hustle and the ambition, and I think that LaVar himself is pure comedy. But with the amount of attention that he got when this shoe was finally released last Thursday — Darren Rovell said on The Dan Le Betard Show that the social traction he got was worth $50 million in advertising — it’s not a great sign that he was only able to move 263 pairs.

Report: Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. to sign with an agent

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Archie Miller is losing a third underclassmen to the professional ranks.

James Blackmon Jr., who averaged 17.3 points for the Hoosiers as a junior, will not be returning to school. He is signing with an agent and will remain in the NBA Draft. Blackmon is not projected as a first round pick and there is a good possibility that he will end up going undrafted on June 22nd.

The news was first reported by FanRag Sports.

Blackmon joins sophomores O.G. Anunoby and Thomas Bryant in signing with an agent. Robert Johnson, another junior, has declared for the draft but has yet to make a decision on whether or not he will hire an agent.

Blackmon, to his credit, received his degree from Indiana over the weekend.