Part I: One year later, a look back at ’11 Jordan Brand rosters


source: AP

With the 2012 Jordan Brand Classic rosters being announced today, let’s take a look back at the rosters of the 2011 game. Just a year out, we’ll consider it a “Where Are They Now?” Take a look at Part 1, the East rosters from 2011:

Khem Birch | Forward | Pittsburgh/UNLV

After averaging just over four points and five rebounds in 10 games with Pittsburgh, Birch announced he was transferring. He is now in Sin City with Dave Rice at UNLV, who is stockpiling arms in his 2012 class and is still in the running for top recruit Shabazz Muhammad.

Michael Carter-Williams | Forward | Syracuse

Carter-Williams hasn’t seen the consistent playing time that some other recruits have enjoyed, which speaks to the talent of No. 2 Syracuse. In about 12 minutes per game, he has tallied right around three points and two assists. His strongest performance came against Tulane, when he put up seven points and had three assists.

Rakeem Christmas | Forward/Center | Syracuse

Considering Fab Melo’s emergence in his sophomore season, Christmas’ minutes have been limited. In Melo’s absence against Yancy Gates and Cincinnati, Christmas had one of his best games of the season, with four points and nine rebounds.

Michael Gbinije | Forward | Duke

Make that three straight freshman who have had limited minutes in their first season. He had his best game against UNC-Greensboro when he had eight points and four rebounds in 14 minutes. He is an athletic forward with some perimeter skills, but a solidified rotation has made  it difficult for him to get significant playing time.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist | Forward | Kentucky

Kidd-Gilchrist is arguably the best freshman in the country, possibly only beaten out for that honor by his teammate, Anthony Davis. He is averaging close to 13 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats, and who could forget this monstrous slam against Portland (shown above)?

PJ Hairston | Guard | North Carolina

Hairston has been a solid contributor for the Tar Heels in his freshman season, with over seven points per game. Now that Dexter Strickland is out for the year with a torn ACL, Hairston and fellow guard Reggie Bullock will pick up more minutes.

James Michael McAdoo | Forward | North Carolina

Make that two players (and we’re not done yet) who have slightly tweaked their formal names since playing in the 2011 Jordan Brand Classic. He was Co-MVP of the 2011 game. At UNC, he has fallen short of some expectations, with many having chalked him up to be a 2012 lottery pick, but he may be finding his stride down the stretch.

Quincy Miller | Forward | Baylor

Miller started out the season on a tear, then ran into some freshman struggles, only to pick it back up in conference play. His 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting weren’t quite enough to lift Baylor over then-No. 5 Missouri, but it showed that Miller is healthy and will be an integral part of any Baylor run in March.

Austin Rivers | Guard | Duke

Early in the season, it seemed Austin Rivers was one of the most polarizing figures in college basketball. There was very little middle ground, as some defended him to the end, while others refused to give credit where it was due. Rivers remains Duke’s leading scorer and best dribble-drive option, meaning he’ll need to show up for the Blue Devils down the stretch.

Shannon Scott | Guard | Ohio State

Scott, like Michael Carter-Williams at Syracuse, hasn’t gotten big time minutes in his first season. He has seen solid minutes in some Big Ten action, but didn’t play much against highly-ranked Indiana and Michigan. Scott is a good young point guard with a strong handle, but is still developing his jump shot.

Marquis Teague | Guard | Kentucky

Teague was dubbed as the next in line of NBA-bound Calipari point guards. Looking at their numbers, it may not be fair to compare because John Wall, Brandon Knight, Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose were, in most cases, centerpieces. But at the same time it is unfair, as some have done, to call him a disappointment. Fans may just not be used to a different brand of point guard at the helm for Calipari.

Coming soon: Part II, when we recap the West’s roster from 2011.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

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SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.

South Carolina, Staley cancel BYU games over racial incident

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent racial incident where a Cougars fan yelled slurs at a Duke volleyball player.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.