Ray Kasongo

ray kasongo

Ray Kasongo, three-star JUCO forward, commits to Tennessee

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Tennessee landed its second commit of the day when former Oregon signee Ray Kasongo pledged to be a Volunteer.

“I feel truly blessed to officially announce that I will be attending the University of Tennessee,” he tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.

Kasongo, the 6-foot-9 forward who spent last season at the College of Southern Idaho, was denied admission to the University of Oregon last August; the first of two 2014 recruits to be denied admission. He was later linked to a number of high-major schools before spending a year in the junior college ranks.

In 34 games at Southern Idaho, he averaged 6.0 points and 4.9 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game.

Earlier on Tuesday, new head coach Rick Barnes landed his first recruit in Knoxville, as point guard Lamonte’ Turner committed to the Vols. Turner and Kasongo join Shembari Phillips and Admiral Schofield — holdovers from Donnie Tyndall’s only recruiting class — in Tennessee’s incoming class.

Oregon head coach Dana Altman: ‘We have had a bad year and we do have to address that’

Dana Altman
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For Oregon head coach Dana Altman, four 20-plus win seasons and two consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament have been overshadowed by the growing list of off-the-court issues involving members of his basketball team.

In the spring, three players — Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin — were all accused of sexual assault by a female student. While no charges were filed, all three were dismissed from school and are barred from campus for the next four years. Austin, who transferred midway through last year, had a been accused of sexual assault at his previous school, Providence.

Sine late July, Ray Kasongo and JaQuan Lyle, two Oregon commits, failed to enroll into school. Just this past week, Elgin Cook and Jalil Abdul-Bassit, two of the three returning scholarship players, were cited for shoplifting.

MORE: Oregon one of five teams on the decline in 2014-2015

On Thursday, after months of turmoil within his program, Altman spoke to reporters.

“We have had a bad year, and we do have to address that,” Altman said, via Austin Meek, columnist for the Register-Guard.

According to Meek, Altman has altered the team’s living arrangements. The Ducks are required to live across from the Matthew Knight Arena, in the same apartment complex as the graduate assistants. Whether or not those changes occurred after the Oct. 5 shoplifting incident was not stated.

With only nine scholarship players — just one standing taller than 6-foot-7 — the Ducks are in for an uphill battle in 2014-2015. It’s something Altman, who has exceeded on-the-floor expectations before at Oregon, will have to do again in Year 4, as he needs to also restore the image of the program in the process.

Oregon begins the season on Nov. 14 against Coppin State.

After long, strange recruitment Ray Kasongo reportedly going to JuCo

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The long and strange journey in the recruitment of Ray Kasongo appears to finally be over as the Class of 2014 forward is reportedly heading to the College of Southern Idaho, according to Joshua Parrott of the Basketball Times.

The 6-foot-9 Canadian forward was originally slated to go to Oregon but was denied admission from the school in July before he was linked to schools like Kansas, LSU, Cal, Memphis, Indiana and Michigan State.

SNY.tv‘s Adam Zagoria confirmed with College of Southern Idaho head coach Jared Phay that Kasongo is heading to the school.

“He did,” Phay told Zagoria by text Saturday morning. “He is on a plane to our campus as we speak. He is enrolled in classes and we start Monday. He is a great kid and we are excited to have him here.”

So we finally have a destination for Kasongo after weeks of reported visits and speculation. Although he isn’t heading to a Division I program this season, the College of Southern Idaho has produced a lot of high-level Division I players the last few years and Kasongo could be an intriguing junior college recruit in the near future.

Kasongo was regarded as a three-star prospect according to Rivals.

The Ray Kasongo saga takes another turn on Wednesday

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Ray Kasongo was an Oregon commit up until July 30, when it was reported that he had been denied admission to the university despite having qualified. Several weeks later, and the 2014 power forward is still without a school.

He initially keyed in on three programs — Cal, Kansas and Memphis — when his recruitment was reopened. Kasongo even took a trip to Lawrence, Kansas. A week later, none of those teams remained in contention. Last week, it was reported the Canadian power forward was down to Indiana and LSU, but LSU was out of the running because international admissions had already been completed, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. The 6-foot-9 Kasongo has also planned a visit to Indiana after the team returned from its Canadian tour, but his visit was cancelled after he failed to gain admissions at IU.

The next move for Kasongo will take place on Wednesday as he heads to East Lansing for a visit. Michigan State has a scholarship available after redshirt sophomore forward Kenny Kaminski was dismissed from the program in early August.

Kasongo is listed as a three-star prospect by Rivals.

Former Oregon commit Ray Kasongo down to Indiana and LSU

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It’s been an eventful two weeks for 2014 power forward Ray Kasongo. It began on July 30 when he was not admitted to the University of Oregon. As his recruitment reopened he keyed in on three programs. A week later and none of those teams remain in the picture. However, according to a report on Tuesday, the former Duck commit is down to two schools.

Kasongo is down to Indiana and LSU, Kasongo’s mentor, Brandon Bender, told Jordan Littman of InsidetheHall.com.

The 6-foot-9 power forward will visit Indiana as early as Sunday. The Hoosiers are wrapping up their five-game Canadian tour in Quebec this week. Indiana is playing without its only inside presence, Hanner Mosquera-Perea. Tom Crean still has a scholarship offer available for this season and is looking to add a player to his frontline. On Tuesday, it was reported that Emmitt Holt, a 6-foot-7 forward, intends to visit Indiana next week. Holt had elected to do a postgraduate year at Vermont Academy, but is still a member of the Class of 2014.

Kasongo could visit LSU this week, a source to Adam Zagoria. The Tigers lost leading scorer Johnny O’Bryant to an early entry. However, head coach Johnny Jones brings back rising sophomores Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin, both of whom averaged double figures last season. Elbert Robinson, a four-star 7-foot-1 center, joins the program, and has slimmed down considerably this summer.

After being denied admission to Oregon, Kasongo visited Kansas while Cal and Memphis were reportedly in the mix.

Kasongo was rated as a three-star recruit, according to Rivals.

Kansas, Cal and Memphis in the mix for former Oregon commit Ray Kasongo

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Ray Kasongo, the 2014 power forward, is looking at three schools after being forced the reopen his recruitment last week. On Wednesday, the 6-foot-9 commit was denied admission to the University of Oregon.

He had committed to the Ducks over UConn in October.

Back on the market, Kasongo has heard from multiple teams, but he told Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that he keeping his list short, considering Cal, Kansas and Memphis.

“I’m supposed to go there [Kansas] this Friday and visit with my parents,” he told Zagoria. “I’m supposed to visit California and Memphis next week.”

Despite losing Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, the Jayhawks have top-5 talent with returners Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis joined by another high-profile recruiting class. Top commit Cliff Alexander will team up with Ellis, KU’s second leading scorer last season, in the Jayhawks front court. Cuonzo Martin left Tennessee in April for Cal, bringing 7-foot-1 incoming freshman center Kingsley Okoroh with him, half of the two-man recruiting class for the Golden Bears. Memphis has lost four pieces on the perimeter, but has Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols back on the frontline.

Kasongo is listed as three-star recruit, according to Rivals.