Shaquille O’Neal

(Gatorade/Susan Goldman)

PHOTO: LSU’s Ben Simmons meets Shaq

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The hype surrounding LSU this preseason is immense, thanks in large part to the addition of freshman forward Ben Simmons, who many believe is the best newcomer in the country.

The 6-foot-10 native of Australia got a chance to meet with former LSU legend Shaquille O’Neal on Friday night, as Shaq is in town this weekend for the big Auburn/LSU football game.

While there isn’t much to gain from a simple photo of two really good basketball players in a college locker room, Simmons does look pretty tall standing next to the 7-foot-2 O’Neal, especially considering Simmons is in socks and Shaq has shoes on.

Also, props to Simmons for the “CANNN YOU DIGGG IT!!!!” caption.

Mixtape of Shaq’s 15-year-old year old son Shareef O’Neal (VIDEO)

Shaquille O'Neal
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Shaquille O’Neal’s 15-year-old Shareef O’Neal spent the summer playing on the 15U level and making some highlight-reel plays as a young high school player.

The 6-foot-8 Shareef is helped by some early height, but hopefully he can maintain some development over time as his last name will force some to carry high expectations no matter what he does.

Here’s a mixtape of O’Neal from Ball is Life.

Gary Williams, Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill elected to Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame


On Tuesday morning, the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame committee announced its eight-person Class of 2014. Headlining the list of inductees are former Maryland head coach Gary Williams, LSU center Shaquille O’Neal and Grant Hill, a two-time national champion at Duke.

The Class of 2014 will officially been inducted on Sunday, Nov. 23  at the Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland in Kansas City, Mo.

Rounding out the class are players Zelmo Beaty (Prairie View A&M) and Darrell Griffith (Louisville), coach Dale Brown (LSU) along contributors Howard Garfinkel, who started Five-Star Basketball Camp and  Glenn Wilkes, Sr., who coach at Stetson, but also directed clinics and camps and authored multiple books.

Williams had three coaching stops — American, Boston College and Ohio State — before returning to his alma mater in 1989. Williams retired in 2011, leading the Terrapins to back-to-back Final Four appearances, ending that run with a National Title in 2002. On Tuesday evening, Williams joined SportsNet Central on Comcast SportsNet to discuss his latest honor.

The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 2006. This will be the hall’s ninth.

Shaquille O’Neal says players should have to stay three years

Shaquille O'Neal

As part of a 30-minute question-and-answer session, as part of the NCAA convention on Wednesday, Shaquille O’Neal talked with the president of the NCAA, Mark Emmert about a variety of topics. Which included the one-and-done rule.

O’Neal spent three years at LSU, before being drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic, going onto win three titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, another with the Miami Heat, retiring and waiting for his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which should happen the second he’s eligible.

However, when it comes to one-and-done Shaq disagrees with the current rule. O’Neal told Emmert that if he could, he would make it “three-and-done.”

This is one of the more controversial topics, and O’Neal did address the exceptions for why some players choose to leave school early.

“A lot of guys do it because of their financial situation and they need to do it. That’s the only way to provide a better means for their family. So when you look at it from that aspect, I understand it,” said O’Neal.

O’Neal went on to advise anyone that leaves early to go back and finish their education, like he did.

There are players, who leave for the wrong reasons, but there are too many variables to change it to three years. For example, look at Anthony Davis and his season at Kentucky. He won a national title and national player of the years as a freshman. What more did he have to prove in two more mandatory years in Lexington?

Or guys like who are tagged with the potential label, such as Andre Drummond Connecticut? Drummond was high in various mock drafts because of his size and tremendous athletic ability. He stock was as high as it probably could be – ended up being a top-10 pick – and he chose to leave Storrs for the NBA. If he came back, had a lackluster sophomore campaign, or unfortunately injured himself, he costs himself millions.

If the rule was changed, as Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News mentioned it almost was during the NBA lockout last year, it would be interesting how the game changes if players were forced to stay longer. John Wall, the top pick in 2010, would just be eligible for the draft now under the three-and-done rules.

Changing the one-and-done rule up to three years could also have other consequences. Do more players jump to Europe like Brandon Jennings and get paid? Does the D-League become a route for players?

The one-and-done rule is always a topic of discussion in college basketball. It’s a system that’s not designed for everyone. Those who are ready for the NBA should have the option to leave early. There’s no clear-cut answer for how this should be addressed, but adding increasing the years might not be it.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne