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Oregon sued by former recruit who tore ACL during official visit

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The University of Oregon and members of the men’s basketball staff, including head coach Dana Altman, are being sued by a former recruit who tore his ACL during an official visit to campus.

Crisshawn Clark, a junior guard at Portland, suffered his injury during an official visit to the Ducks which began on Oct. 16, 2015. At the time, Clark was a junior college recruit at Canada College and he suffered the injury as Oregon assistant coach Mike Mennenga ran him through a basketball workout during the visit. Clark was treated by an Oregon trainer, and after the injury was believed to be serious, an MRI confirmed a torn ACL.

Clark eventually committed to Pitt and sat out last season rehabbing his knee before ending up at Portland.

Even though Clark had a bad knee injury that required surgery, he is not seeking money for medical expenses. Clark’s lawsuit said that his medical expenses were paid for by Oregon. But Clark is suing for compensation for pain and suffering along with damages for the loss of future income. Clark estimates it will be over $100,000. And he might have a case.

That’s because the lawsuit alleges that Oregon violated an NCAA rule that prohibits on-campus evaluations of prospective student-athletes who are playing at a junior college. Oregon self-reported this violation in Oct. 2015, according to a report from Jack Pitcher of the Daily Emerald, citing athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton. The NCAA classified this as a level 3 violation.

If Clark was put through an illegal workout by Oregon — who admitted to violating a rule by self-reporting — then he might have a case. Along with Altman and Mennenga, Oregon assistant coaches Kevin Mckenna and Tony Stubblefield are also named in the lawsuit along with Oregon director of basketball operations Josh Jamieson.

Clark is sitting out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer rules as he is hoping for two years of eligibility after. Due to his torn ACL, Clark and Portland can apply for an extra year of eligibility for the 2019-20 season.

(H/t: Jack Pitcher, Daily Emerald)

USC loses four-star recruit amid FBI investigation

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USC lost a commitment from a four-star prospect on Friday as Class of 2018 forward J’Raan Brooks announced that he’s opening up his recruitment.

Regarded as the No. 70 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, Brooks is de-committing as the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption centers in-part on Trojan assistant coach Tony Bland. Among 10 people indicted by federal authorities on fraud and corruption charges, Bland’s arrest could hurt USC in recruiting.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances stemming from the recent news that has come to light in regards to the Trojan basketball program – I have decided to reopen my commitment to examine other options,” Brooks said on Twitter.

A 6-foot-8 native of Seattle, Brooks will likely become a hot name on the West Coast as he should have plenty of options to choose from.

USC still has two verbals from two four-star prospects in the Class of 2018 as forward Taeshon Cherry and guard Kevin Porter remain committed.

UCLA lands 4-star SG Jules Bernard

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UCLA received its second verbal commitment in the Class of 2018 on Tuesday, as 6-foot-6 shooting guard Jules Bernard announced that he will be a Bruin. Bernard, considered to be a four-star prospect, joins another perimeter prospect in four-star guard David Singleton III in Steve Alford’s 2018 class to date.

Bernard, who averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds per game at the Winward School in Los Angeles, was also a standout for the Compton Magic grassroots program on the adidas Uprising circuit.

“This has been a humbling and amazing journey over the last few years,” Bernard said in the release. “I’ve been fortunate to have met some special people who have taught me, mentored me, molded me, and guided me. I would like to thank all the college coaches and schools that believed in me, recruited me, and those who put time and effort into getting to know me and my family. I am excited and honored to continue my education and growth as a basketball player in my hometown at UCLA.”

Bernard’s size and versatility makes him a good addition to the UCLA program, which does not lack for young talent on the perimeter. This year’s team has four freshmen among its perimeter players, including point guard Jaylen Hands, shooting guard LiAngelo Ball and wings Kris Wilkes and Chris Smith.

UCLA also has three returnees on the perimeter from last season’s Sweet 16 team, junior Aaron Holiday and redshirt sophomores Prince Al and Alex Oleshinski. Ali, who averaged 3.9 points in just under 12 minutes per game as a freshman, sat out last season after undergoing offseason knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Report: Arizona commit Jahvon Quinerly hires lawyer amid FBI investigation on college hoops

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Arizona five-star point guard commit Jahvon Quinerly has hired an attorney for his family but they have not been contacted by any federal authorities after the FBI investigation into college basketball began a few weeks ago.

One of four college coaches arrested by the FBI included Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson. Although not directly named in FBI documents, Quinerly is believed to “Player-5” in the probe. The documents allege that Richardson paid Player-5 a $15,000 bribe who, “verbally committed to attending” (Arizona) “on or about August 9, 2017,”

Quinerly publicly made a commitment to Arizona on Aug. 8, so that timeline would seem to make sense.

When asked by reporters Saturday at the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Mini-Camp if he had accepted money, Quinerly said, “I have no comment.”

According to a report by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, Quinerly and his family have hired Alan Milstein, who is notable for representing former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett when he tried to fight the NFL’s age minimum in 2004.

Arizona’s Rawle Alkins out 8-to-12 weeks with broken foot

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Arizona will be without sophomore guard Rawle Alkins for the next eight to 12 weeks after he had surgery to repair a fractured bone in his right foot, the school announced

The 6-foot-4 Alkins was one of the most productive freshmen in the Pac-12 last season as he was expected to be a key part for a national title contender this season. Alkins suffered the injury during voluntary workouts on Tuesday afternoon with the team.

Alkins put up 10.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game for the Wildcats last season while shooting 37 percent from three-point range. Opting to return to school after testing the NBA Draft waters, Alkins was expected to be paired with junior Allonzo Trier to form one of the best backcourts in the country.

With Alkins now likely out until at least December, Arizona will rely more on senior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

Arizona lands five-star 2018 point guard Jahvon Quinerly

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Arizona landed perhaps the most important piece of its Class of 2018 recruiting haul on Tuesday night as five-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly pledged to the Wildcats during the televised Steph Curry Select All-Star Game.

The 6-foot-2 Quinerly picked Arizona over his other finalist, Villanova, as Rivals has him as the No. 16 overall prospect in the Class of 2018 national rankings.

The pledge of Quinerly is important for head coach Sean Miller and Arizona. Not only is Quinerly the highest-rated player to commit to Arizona so far in this class, but he’s also possibly the most important player they could get in this entire recruiting class.

Others that Arizona might eventually land could be better during freshman season or be ranked higher in national rankings, but Quinerly gives Miller something he hasn’t had in years: a five-star, pass-first point guard who wants to make other players around him better.

While other recent five-star Arizona guards like Rawle Alkins, Allonzo Trier and Kobi Simmons are all immensely talented players, all three of those players have been more ball-dominant scoring types. Quinerly is the highest-rated pure point guard that Miller has recruited since taking over the program.

Things didn’t work out for Arizona with lead guards like Josiah Turner or Justin Simon and they’re hoping Quinerly can make more of an impact at point than Parker Jackson-Cartwright. If Quinerly can play at all like T.J. McConnell did during the height of his Arizona tenure, then Miller can finally rely on having a consistent coach-on-the-floor type of guard. That should make things a lot easier for Arizona’s offense as Miller shouldn’t have to worry too much with his new five-star guard running the show.

The commitment of Quinerly gives the Wildcats another five-star prospect as he joins five-star big man Shareef O’Neal, the son of Shaq, and four-star guard Brandon Williams in the Arizona Class of 2018 recruiting haul. The hope is that Quinerly can now help recruit more talented players with him to Arizona.

Many elite Class of 2018 players have expressed their approval of playing with Quinerly at camps and many of his Under Armour peers cited him as having the best handles of any player in the league. This is the type of commitment that other players will notice and it’ll be interesting to see if Quinerly can get more talent to come with him to Arizona.