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LSU lands Southern Utah graduate transfer Randy Onwuasor

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LSU landed a high-scoring graduate transfer for next season as Southern Utah guard Randy Onwuasor committed to the Tigers.

The 6-foot-3 guard started his career at Texas Tech and had a breakout junior campaign with the Thunderbirds last season as he averaged 23.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game last season.

New head coach Will Wade has done an admirable job of adding backcourt talent on the fly this spring as he’s brought in Onwuasor and talented freshman floor general Tremont Waters.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Freshman point guard Tremont Waters earning summer praise at LSU

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LSU head coach Will Wade had high praise for freshman point guard Tremont Waters as he made a radio appearance this week. Joining 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge’s “After Further Review” with guest host Cody Worsham, Wade said that his new floor general is already making an impact despite committing in early June.

The four-star point guard, previously committed to Georgetown before they opted to make a coaching change, has already added eight pounds of muscle, according to Wade, while he’s also been a positive presence with his teammates.

“Yea, a big one. We’re counting on that. He’s a good player,” Wade said on the show about Waters. “He’s still learning everything that goes with college basketball and the speed and pace of the game. Boy, he’s a tremendous learner. He has a phenomenal background. He’s a great listener.”

“He’s someone we’re counting on in a huge way. Our team is confident in him.”

Wade goes on to speak about the rest of the summer workouts the Tigers are going through, which is broken down by Billy Embody of Tiger Blitz. It includes some interesting anecdotes on Wade bringing strength and conditioning coach Greg Goldin from VCU with him to LSU and how that has been an early impact.

As for Waters, he’s going to be an intriguing freshman to watch because it appears that he’ll have full control of the LSU early.

One of the more steady floor generals in the Class of 2017, I’m anxious to see how Waters plays in Wade’s system. If Wade follows a “Havoc” style that has been popular among VCU disciples, then Waters doesn’t fit the traditional mold of size and athleticism you’d desire in a pressing guard. But he’s also very talented as an offensive playmaker and he could be a huge boost to the Tiger offense. Either way, look for Waters to be one of the more productive freshman guards in college basketball this season.

(H/t: Billy Embody from Tiger Blitz)

LSU keeps five-star Class of 2018 prospect home as Javonte Smart pledges to Tigers

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LSU is keeping a crucial in-state recruit at home as five-star Class of 2018 guard Javonte Smart pledged to the Tigers on Friday.

The 6-foot-4 Smart is currently regarded as the No. 11 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2018 rankings as he’s been one of the most productive guards in the class over the past few years. New head coach Will Wade has given himself a very important backcourt piece for the future with Smart’s commitment, and it also sends a message to the rest of the SEC that Wade means business when it comes to maintaining his home recruiting base. Smart is a native of Scotlandville, Louisiana as he’s the best prospect from the state in his class.

With LSU also landing four-star point guard Tremont Waters this spring for the Class of 2017, the Tigers have two very good pieces to build around the next few seasons when it comes to their backcourt.

Smart is LSU’s first commitment in the Class of 2018.

Playing in the Nike EYBL with Houston Hoops this spring, Smart averaged 15.1 points, 4.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. A much-improved all-around scorer, besides being a solid distributor, Smart is the type of guard who can come in and immediately make an impact as a freshman for the Tigers.

Now that LSU has its main target locked up before the July live evaluation period, it’ll be interesting to see who else the Tigers pursue in the next few weeks. Five-star Nazreon Reid, a Class of 2018 big man, is already scheduled to take an official visit to Baton Rouge this weekend.

Missouri AD wants Border War rivalry with Kansas to resume

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Could we see a return of the Border War? Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk is certainly hoping so.

In an appearance at a golf outing in Kansas City on Monday, Sterk was asked about Missouri’s dormant rivalry with Kansas as the two schools haven’t played since the Tigers left for the SEC a little over five years ago.

“I’d like for that to happen,” Sterk said Monday. “I think they made it a point when we left the (Big 12) that they weren’t going to play anymore, but we’re certainly open to that and I know (new men’s basketball coach) Cuonzo (Martin) will work on that behind the scenes and see if that can happen.”

While Missouri has been open to renewing the Border War, Kansas officials have publicly refused to play Missouri. Sterk is hoping that a new head coach, Cuonzo Martin, might be able to help get the series going again.

 “In order to have a game, you need two willing partners, so we’re open to doing that in football and basketball and some of our other sports,” Sterk said. “That would be great to do.”
Sterk’s comments means there is some reason to be optimistic about this rivalry having a revival but Kansas is still the driving force behind making the Border War happen again.
I’m hopeful the Border War can return. The final season of the Border War, the 2011-12 season, featured two high-level games between top-10 teams.  Missouri has obviously taken a dip in national stature since then but both fanbases would probably like to see this happen again.

(H/t: Tod Palmer, Kansas City Star)

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.