(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

Leave a comment

SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

Wichita State hires former UCF head coach Donnie Jones as assistant coach

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
2 Comments

Wichita State has its replacement for departed assistant coach Chris Jans as the Shockers have hired former UCF head coach Donnie Jones.

The 50-year-old Jones has previously been the head coach of both the Knights and Marshall while he was also an 11-year assistant coach under Billy Donovan at Florida–where Jones helped the Gators win two national championships.

Jones gives the Shockers some valuable perspective since he’s a former head coach in the American Athletic Conference, the league that Wichita State is joining from the Missouri Valley Conference. Since Jones has a good feel for the league’s coaches and some of the players, he gives the Shockers an immediate game-planning presence that should greatly help Marshall on the sidelines while Wichita State makes the conference transition.

Wichita State has relied greatly on assistant coaches like Jans, Steve Forbes (East Tennessee State) and Greg Haier (LSU assistant) over the last few years and Jones should be able to recruit and coach at a similar level.

 

South Florida lands Penn State graduate transfer Payton Banks

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
1 Comment

South Florida has landed Penn State graduate transfer Payton Banks, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

The Bulls have quickly tried to turn its roster around by going with veteran players as Banks is the team’s third graduate transfer commitment in the last week. The 6-foot-6 Banks averaged 10.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game while shooting 36 percent from three-point range for the Nittany Lions last season.

Banks joins Fairleigh Dickenson point guard Stephan Jiggetts and another Penn State transfer in guard Terrence Samuel as recent players to join the Bulls.

New head coach Brian Gregory clearly wants to add some experience to a roster that was last in the American last season and Jiggetts and Banks are potential starters that he can potentially lean on during his first season.

Markel Crawford becomes sixth Memphis player to transfer this offseason

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
3 Comments

Memphis lost another experienced player from its program on Monday as guard Markel Crawford said on ESPN 929 local radio that he will transfer from the Tigers.

The 6-foot-5 Crawford averaged 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game last season for the Tigers as head coach Tubby Smith loses another proven scorer.

Crawford is the sixth player to transfer from Memphis this offseason after the departure of the Lawson brothers, big man Chad Rykhoek, and guards Craig Randall and Keon Clergeot.

Dedric and K.J. Lawson committed to Kansas on Monday as they have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules. If Crawford graduates from Memphis then he is eligible to immediately become a graduate transfer who can play anywhere next season.

Smith is going to have to completely rebuild the Memphis roster after losing so many key pieces to transfer. It will be interesting to see how the roster fills out before the season.

Don’t let Final Four loss blind you to how incredible UConn’s run was

(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
2 Comments

The last time the UConn women’s basketball team lost in the NCAA tournament, President Barack Obama was just a few months into his second term in office.

That feels like a forever ago, but it points out how dominant the Huskies have been over the past few years before Friday night’s stunning buzzer-beater loss at the hands of Mississippi State in the Final Four.

Winners of four consecutive national championships and 111 games in a row overall, UConn losing to the Bulldogs is one of the most stunning upsets in recent sports history. During the last five NCAA tournaments, the Huskies won every single game by at least double digits until Morgan William’s buzzer-beater changed everything.

Even just last year, UConn beat Mississippi State by 60 in the Sweet 16 and it sparked a debate about the state of women’s basketball.

It’s easy to overlook everything that UConn has accomplished because we’ve become so accustomed to Geno Auriemma’s teams dominating the entire landscape of women’s college basketball. Everyone just expects the Huskies to never make any mistakes.

But losing in the Final Four was a bigger national story for UConn than winning another national title. If the Huskies had just blown through the Final Four with two more wins we might not be paying that much attention.

We should be paying attention to UConn’s greatness because what they accomplished with this winning streak is completely absurd. It seemed like nobody would ever surpass the Huskies’ previous record-breaking winning streak of 91 games that was snapped in 2010. A couple of years later, UConn topped that with another ridiculous winning streak.

It’s going to be fascinating to see where UConn women’s basketball goes from here. The Huskies have already made 10 consecutive Final Four appearances and won numerous national championships. People are just going to assume that UConn women’s basketball will return to its dominant ways once next season tips off.

We’ll just have to see if it is the start of another memorable multi-year run for UConn women’s basketball.

No. 14 SMU overwhelms Memphis 103-62 for outright AAC title

(Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

DALLAS — Sterling Brown had 26 points and 10 rebounds in his final home game for No. 14 SMU, and the Mustangs clinched the outright American Athletic Conference title with a 103-62 victory over Memphis on Saturday.

Brown, one of three seniors playing their Moody Coliseum finale, was part of his school-record 106th victory as the Mustangs (27-4, 17-1) won their second conference title in three seasons.

Brown had a long inbounds pass to Semi Ojeleye for a breakaway one-handed dunk and hit consecutive 3-pointers in an early 15-2 run that put SMU in control of the game.

Ojeleye, coming off a 9-of-9 shooting game Thursday, made his first three shots on the way to 19 points while finishing 5 of 6 with three 3-pointers. Ben Moore, another senior, had 16 points.

Keon Clergeot had 14 points, while Dedric Lawson had 13 and Jeremiah Martin 12 for Memphis (19-12, 9-9), which trailed by as many as 48 points in the second half.

SMU takes a 13-game winning streak into next week’s AAC Tournament in Hartford, Connecticut as the top seed, and then back to the NCAA Tournament after being banned from all postseason play last season.

The Mustangs celebrated with confetti and streamers after the finale at Moody, where they won all 18 games this season and have won 22 in a row.

The crowd included former President George W. Bush, a frequent attender, along with Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and Larry Brown, the Hall of Fame coach who led SMU’s impressive turnaround the past four seasons before unexpectedly leaving the job last summer when unable to come to terms on a new contract.

With two-time American Athletic Conference player of the year Nic Moore and AAC top sixth man Markus Kennedy, SMU won 25 games last season but couldn’t advance to the postseason again in their senior seasons because of NCAA penalties from a September 2015 ruling involving a case of academic fraud under Brown.

While the postseason ban was for only one year, the Mustangs are still short-handed because of scholarship reductions that extend past this season. They played several games this season with only six available scholarship players.

Jonathan Wilfong, a walk-on senior who started for only the second time in his 52 career games, had a nifty pass to Moore that broke the game’s only tie, which was 4-4. That was also the first of 10 consecutive SMU points in less than 2 1/2 minutes.

When Wilfong hit a jumper with just over 6 minutes left for his first points, the Mustangs led 87-44 and the crowd erupted.

BIG PICTURE

Memphis: The Tigers were off to an 18-7 start in their first season under Tubby Smith, but have lost five of their last six games.

SMU: While the Mustangs put up a lot of points, they are one of the nation’s top defensive teams — allowing only 59 points a game. They have held 22 of their last 24 opponents to 66 points or less. … SMU shot 61 percent (34 of 56), including 14 of 28 on 3-pointers.

UP NEXT

Memphis: Tigers wait until rest of AAC regular season games played Sunday to find out if they will be seeded fifth or better to avoid a first-round game in the tournament.

SMU: Quarterfinal game in the AAC tournament Friday against East Carolina or Temple.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25