Colorado adds commitment from Class of 2017 point guard McKinley Wright

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Colorado landed one of the best available point guards for next season on Friday as Class of 2017 floor general McKinley Wright committed during an official visit.

A former Dayton commit who opted out of his recruitment after former head coach Archie Miller took the Indiana job, Wright was one of the best available point guards left as he played last weekend on the adidas Gauntlet in front of college coaches with D1 Minnesota.

The 6-foot-0 Wright gives the Buffaloes another ball handler and distributor as he was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball during this past season. As a senior, Wright averaged 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

It’s always hard to say if spring recruits who elevate a level in recruiting after decommitting are making the correct decision, but Wright looked the part of a high-major lead guard last weekend, and Colorado wasn’t the only high-major program that was pushing hard to add Wright at this late stage.

USC forward Bennie Boatwright returning for junior year

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USC has a chance to be really good next season as forward Bennie Boatwright announced that he’s returning for his junior season.

The 6-foot-10 forward put up 15.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 36 percent from three-point range as his return means that the Trojans should be a major contender in the Pac-12 next season. Elijah Stewart also announced this week that he is returning as USC could start Jordan McLaughlin, De’Anthony Melton, Stewart, Boatwright and Chimezie Metu next season.

With Duke transfer Derryck Thornton Jr. also becoming eligible and McDonald’s All-American guard Charles O’Bannon Jr. entering the program, the Trojans are a potential top-10 team.

UCLA freshman big man Ike Anigbogu stays in 2017 NBA Draft after signing with agent

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UCLA freshman big man Ike Anigbogu will stay in the 2017 NBA Draft after signing with agent Jason Glushon.

The 6-foot-10 big man only averaged 13.0 minutes per game in his only season in Westwood but he showed an ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor as he averaged 4.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game last season.

Anigbogu joins point guard Lonzo Ball and forward T.J. Leaf as a trio of one-and-done freshmen for the Bruins after the team made the Sweet 16 last season.

Anigbogu has a chance to develop into a solid NBA big man because he gets quickly off the floor and can protect the rim and rebound at a high level. If Anigbogu can improve his offensive game and get a go-to move, he could become a solid pro big man.

UCLA nabs four-star Class of 2018 guard David Singleton

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The Pac-12 recruiting arms race escalated again on Thursday night as four-star Class of 2018 guard David Singleton committed to UCLA.

The 6-foot-4 Singleton is regarded as the No. 57 overall prospect in the Class of 2018 national rankings as he gives the Bruins their first commitment for that class.

A native of Torrance, California, Singleton gives the Bruins a proven perimeter scorer and playmaker as he should be able to make an impact on the offensive end in head coach Steve Alford’s uptempo offense.

With schools like Arizona, Oregon and UCLA recruiting at such a high level over the past few classes, it will be intriguing to see how these three schools continue to recruit in the upcoming classes. Both the Bruins and Arizona have picked up important Class of 2018 pledges this week after the Wildcats earned a commitment from Shareef O’Neal, the son of Shaquille O’Neal, earlier this week.

Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey entering 2017 NBA Draft and signing an agent

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Oregon sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey will declare for the 2017 NBA Draft and sign with an agent, he announced on Monday night.

The 6-foot-4 Dorsey was one of the Pac-12’s most lethal perimeter scorers the last two years as he averaged 14.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 42 percent from three-point range.

Dorsey was one of the NCAA tournament’s better clutch performers over the last two years, earning the nickname “Mr. March” as he helped lead Oregon to the Final Four this season.

Now Oregon will await the decision of Dillon Brooks as the junior All-American could be one of the best players in the country if he returns next season.

NCAA tournament breakout star Jordan Bell will be remembered for costly missed boxouts

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jordan Bell has been perhaps the most productive and consistent player in the 2017 NCAA tournament. The Oregon junior center emerged as a breakout star in March when regular starter Chris Boucher went down with a torn ACL right before the tournament started.

Many people wrote off Oregon’s chances at making a deep tournament run when Boucher was lost with his season-ending injury. Bell quickly made people forget about the injury with double-doubles in four of five tourney games while helping carry the Ducks to the Final Four.

But for as good as Bell has been over the past few weeks, he’ll forever be associated with the final six seconds of North Carolina’s 77-76 win over Oregon in the second national semifinal on Saturday night.

With Tar Heels big man Kennedy Meeks shooting free throws with a one-point lead, the Ducks just needed a couple of misses and a big defensive rebound to get one more chance to tie or win the game. Meeks did his part by missing both free throws, but the second miss was back-tapped by North Carolina’s Theo Pinson, as he out-jumped Bell for the rebound. Tar Heel point guard Joel Berry II ended up with the ball and was fouled with four seconds left.

Once again, Berry did everything he could to help Oregon stay in the game by missing both free throws but Bell was again outrebounded after missing a boxout — this time by Meeks.

Bell was so emotional after the loss that he buried his head in his hands in the corner of the court for a good 20 seconds as the magnitude of everything that had happened finally hit. With tears in his eyes and his voice barely reaching a whisper, Bell recounted his version of the final six seconds as cameras and reporters surrounded his locker.

“The first one, he just out-jumped me,” Bell said of Pinson’s back-tap. “He wanted it more. I guess…”

“I thought I had the second one, then [Meeks] just took it from me.”

“If I had just boxed out… I had two opportunities. People can tell me whatever they want, but I lost the game for us.”

Bell’s blunders on the defensive glass are going to be remembered by many as one of the primary reasons that Oregon was eliminated from the Final Four. It should also be noted that Bell had another productive night, finishing with 13 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks, when other key players Oregon like Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey couldn’t get much going offensively. Brooks and Dorsey combined to go 5-for-22 from the field on Saturday as Oregon was 7-for-26 from three-point range.

The other Ducks were quick to come to Bell’s defense when asked about the missed defensive rebounds.

“They told me it wasn’t my fault and that it didn’t come down to one play,” Bell said.

“He’s been playing great for us. He’s been snatching those boards. We felt that we should have boxed out and gotten one of those rebounds,” Dorsey said. “But without him, we wouldn’t be in this position. So, you can’t look at that and say it was the key to the game because it wasn’t. There were other opportunities before that. We just didn’t capitalize. But it hurts him a lot that he didn’t get that rebound because he’s been doing that this whole tournament.”

People will likely forget that Bell had a key offensive putback off of an Oregon missed free throw late in the Sweet 16 win over Michigan. Or that Bell was the most dominant player on the floor against No. 1 seed Kansas in the Elite Eight when he had 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks.

Bell might have blamed himself for the loss but it’s not his direct fault that Oregon is out of the NCAA tournament. Anyone who watched the Ducks take bad shots down the stretch time-after-time against North Carolina can attest to that. But, fair or not, people will remember Bell’s missed boxouts more than anything else he accomplished in the 2017 NCAA tournament.