Ball State Cardinals

Ball State v San Diego State

Ball State frosh wins free tuition for a semester with half-court shot (VIDEO)

1 Comment

As part of its new student orientation, Ball State allows a student to attempt a half-court shot in hopes of winning free tuition for a semester. And Thursday, for the second time in three years a student managed to make the shot.

Lem Turner, who’s a member of the school’s volleyball team and played basketball in high school, knocked down the shot and as a result has one less bill to worry about. Maybe basketball coach James Whitford is considering giving the 6-foot-6 Turner a call.

Video credit: Ball State Sports Link


Reigning A-Sun Freshman of the Year transferring to Ball State

Northern Kentucky v Nebraska
Leave a comment

On the heels of a freshman season in which he won Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year honors, guard Tayler Persons made the decision to leave Northern Kentucky following the firing of head coach Dave Bezold. Friday evening the Indiana native announced his next college stop, as he’s decided to play for James Whitford at Ball State.

In his lone season as a member of the NKU program Persons averaged 13.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the field. Persons will have three seasons to play after sitting out the 2015-16 season per NCAA transfer rules.

Persons is essentially the first piece to Ball State’s 2016 recruiting class, and he’s an important one as the Cardinals have to account for the fact that guards Jeremiah Davis III (rising senior) and junior college transfer Naiel Smith are both upperclassmen. Francis Kiapway, who made 20 starts and averaged 6.6 points per game as a freshman, will be a sophomore next season.

In addition to Ball State, Persons held an offer from Xavier with Purdue showing some interest before landing graduate student Johnny Hill earlier this week.

Former Northern Kentucky guard receiving interest from Purdue, but no offer just yet

Northern Kentucky v Nebraska
Leave a comment

The 2014-15 season was a productive one for 6-foot-3 guard Tayler Persons, as he averaged 13.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest at Northern Kentucky. However things changed for Persons shortly after the end of the season, as NKU made the decision to replace Dave Bezold as head coach.

Persons decided to transfer, and at this time he’s one of the best available players heading into the summer. Going through a transfer process that includes offers from Ball State and Xavier, Persons’ available options became slightly more complicated earlier this week. The change: Caleb Swanigan de-committing from Michigan State, with many expecting Purdue to be a major player.

So how does that impact Persons? Nathan Baird of the Journal and Courier touched on that in an article written Friday night:

The Boilermakers like Persons but have not yet offered, in part because of a potential roster crunch. Purdue has two open scholarships but awaits decisions from Homestead big man Caleb Swanigan, who became available again this week, and potential graduate transfer Johnny Hill.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Persons says his own decision may be “a couple of weeks away,” and he thinks he fits in at Purdue.

“I feel like I fit the way they’re built — toughness, leadership, how hard they play on the floor,” said Persons, who must sit out a year but has three years of eligibility remaining. “I like how that transfers to my game.”

Baird will have to sit out the 2015-16 season and he’ll have three years left to play after that, and the reigning Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year would be a valuable pickup for whichever program he selects. Obviously there’s interest on both ends when it comes to Purdue, but the Boilermakers’ pursuit of Swanigan and Hill complicates things.

With Persons noting that his decision won’t come for “a couple of weeks” there’s still time for everything to shake out. This will be one recruitment to keep an eye on throughout the month of May.