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Former top-50 recruit transferring out of Arizona State

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Arizona State is losing a key freshman to transfer as former top-50 prospect Sam Cunliffe plans to transfer.

The 6-foot-6 Cunliffe started all 10 games and averaged 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Sun Devils as the freshman was playing 25.4 minutes per game. Cunliffe showed some flashes of being a talented scorer this season but he was only shooting 34 percent from the field. The last four games Cunliffe struggled to find his shot even more as he was 11-for-44 over that span.

Cunliffe will have to sit out due to NCAA transfer rules, but he’s talented enough to be a major priority for teams looking for a wing for next season. The Seattle native is a big loss for Arizona State as he was the program’s signature recruit in a solid class for head coach Bobby Hurley.

Top-50 2017 wing Kimani Lawrence commits to Arizona State

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Arizona State landed a huge commitment on Saturday afternoon as head coach Bobby Hurley and the Sun Devils reeled in top-50 Class of 2017 wing Kimani Lawrence.

Regarded as the No. 48 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-6 Lawrence picked Arizona State over his other finalists of Florida, Pittsburgh and USC at a press conference.

A versatile wing forward who can do a bit of everything, Lawrence will have to improve his perimeter skills, but he’s a great grab for the Sun Devils.

Lawrence joins three-star guard Remy Martin in the Class of 2017 recruiting class for Arizona State. Hurley has done a nice job of adding talent in these last few classes as he’s starting to piece together a roster that should be talented enough to fight for the postseason soon.

Arizona State dealing with potentially thin frontcourt

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Arizona State is going to have some new faces this season and their frontcourt is going to be a question mark thanks to some injuries.

According to Chris Karpman of Scout.com, freshman Vitaliy Shibel has a torn ACL and will be out for the season. Besides the 6-foot-9 Shibel being gone, top-100 prospect and power forward Romello White is awaiting word on his eligibility.

Redshirt freshman Andre Adams is also coming off of his second knee injury, so it will be interesting to see how he’s able to look in the early stages of the season.

The Sun Devils do have two freshman entering in Jethro Tshisumpa and Ramon Vila and senior forward Obinna Oleka is also back. They’ll have some talent but the rotation is far from set as practice begins in a few months. For Arizona State’s sake, they have to hope White is eligible and Adams is healthy so that it gives them more depth to start the season while also developing young players.

Top 2018 prospect trims college list to six

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As one of the top players in high school basketball regardless of class, 2018 forward Marvin Bagley III doesn’t lack for attention on the recruiting front. But even with many high-major programs looking to land his commitment, and there’s being two years before he’ll set foot on a college campus, Bagley has decided to narrow the focus on his recruitment down to six schools.

Thursday evening the Sierra Canyon (California) HS student announced via Twitter that Arizona, Arizona State, Duke, Kentucky, Oregon and UCLA are the six programs that remain in contention for his commitment.

The 6-foot-10 forward is currently ranked tops in the Class of 2018 by Rivals.com, and this has remained the case despite the fact that California transfer rules kept him off the court at Sierra Canyon this school year. In early January Bagley made the move to Sierra Canyon from Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix, only to be declared ineligible to compete this season by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).

Bagley played his freshman season at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Arizona, leading the program to a 34-1 record and a Division I state title in 2014-15.

Bagley’s performed well on the Nike EYBL circuit for the Phoenix Phamily program, and obviously his status during the high school season did nothing to deter the college programs looking to sign him. There’s still a long way to go in Bagley’s recruitment, but his announcement Thursday provides a little more clarity to the situation.

Video credit: Rivals.com

Pac-12 all-star team to tour Australia in July

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While the majority of summer tours in college basketball consist of teams making the trek overseas (or to Canada) together, there are all all-star teams put together to represent a conference or some other entity. The Pac-12 has put together an all-star team of sorts in recent years, and on Tuesday they announced the 12-member squad that will visit Australia to play three games in early July.

Two of those games will be played against the Australian men’s national team, which will be preparing for the Summer Olympics to be played in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.

The coaching staff will be led by Mike Montgomery, who led the programs at both Stanford and California before retiring in 2014, with former Stanford head coach Trent Johnson and former Stanford players Casey Jacobsen and Brevin Knight serving as his assistants. Ten of the conference’s 12 teams will be represented on the roster, with Oregon (which has some players hoping to reach the Olympics for other countries) and UCLA being the teams without a player making the trip.

Also of note for Oregon is the fact that they’ll be taking a summer trip to Spain in August, so their players are already set up for a busy summer.

Arizona and Oregon State will each have two players on the roster, with Kadeem Allen and Chance Comanche making the trip representing Sean Miller’s program and Drew Eubanks and Stephen Thompson Jr. doing so for Wayne Tinkle’s program. Of the 12 players two earned honorable mention all-conference honors (USC’s Jordan McLaughlin and Washington State’s Josh Hawkinson), and Colorado’s Wesley Gordon was a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection.

Below is the full roster, and the team is scheduled to depart for Australia from Los Angeles July 7.

G Kadeem Allen (Arizona)
C Chance Comanche (Arizona)
G Tra Holder (Arizona State)
G Stephen Domingo (California)
F Wesley Gordon (Colorado)
F Drew Eubanks (Oregon State)
F Stephen Thompson Jr. (Oregon State)
G/F Dorian Pickens (Stanford)
G Jordan McLaughlin (USC)
G Lorenzo Bonam (Utah)
F Matisse Thybulle (Washington)
F Josh Hawkinson (Washington State)

Arizona State reels in former Georgia Tech signee

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With Willie Atwood and Savon Goodman among the departures from last season’s team, Arizona State was in a position where they could use another front court option in 2016-17. NBCSports.com confirmed Thursday night that Bobby Hurley and his staff added help in the form of 6-foot-9 forward Romello White, who during the course of his recruitment made pledges to Tennessee (verbal) and Georgia Tech (signed).

With Georgia Tech firing Brian Gregory the Marietta (Georgia) Wheeler product was released from his National Letter of Intent, ultimately landing with the Sun Devils. White joins fellow front court prospects Vitaly Shibel and Jethro Tshisumpa, and wing Sam Cunliffe in Arizona State’s 2016 recruiting haul.

And with rising senior Obinna Oleka being Arizona State’s most experienced returnee in the front court, the newcomers have a good shot at earning immediate minutes.

White’s ranked 87th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, with Cunliffe (36th) also a top 100 prospect and Tshisumpa (110th) just outside. Given the number of departures at the end of last season, and multiple conference foes reeling highly regarded classes of their own, this quartet represents an important haul for Arizona State.

News of White’s commitment was first reported by Scout.com.