Former Vanderbilt forward Sheldon Jeter loses appeal regarding transfer restrictions

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When it was announced that freshman forward Sheldon Jeter made the decision to leave the Vanderbilt program, more than a few outlets believed that the Beaver Falls, Pa. native would eventually land at Pittsburgh.

With the stated desire to play at a school closer to home, not to mention the heavy personnel losses incurred by the Panthers this offseason, Pittsburgh seemed to be a good fit. Only one problem: Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings informed Jeter that he would be cleared to transfer to any school…with the exception of Pittsburgh.

Stallings is allowed to do so under NCAA rules, and Jeter was allowed to appeal the decision to Vanderbilt officials. According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jeter’s appeal was denied on Thursday.

What does the denial mean for Jeter? Jeter can still transfer to Pittsburgh, but he would have to pay his own way for his first year at the school. How much of an impact does this development have on Pittsburgh’s chances of landing Jeter? That’s unknown at this point in time.

Jeter spoke publicly today for the first time about his dilemma. He said he would make a decision “in the next few weeks. When asked if Pitt was still under consideration, Jeter said he could not answer the question.

Pittsburgh has just nine scholarship players on its roster for the 2013-14 season, and former Marshall guard DeAndre Kane’s decision to transfer to Iowa State as opposed to his hometown school didn’t help matters either. The question for head coach Jamie Dixon and his staff is whether or not there are any available prospects that can help the Panthers from a depth standpoint.

As for Vanderbilt’s denial of Jeter’s appeal, this isn’t the first time a college program has taken this kind of step and it certainly won’t be the last. There was Phil Martelli denying Todd O’Brien’s request to be cleared to play at UAB, and despite media pressure Martelli refused to budge.

And there’s also the case of former Wisconsin forward Jarrod Uthoff, who would ultimately be cleared to transfer to Iowa after head coach Bo Ryan was criticized publicly for prohibiting the move.

Will Stallings eventually have a change of heart? If Jeter’s heart is set on attending Pittsburgh, all he can do at this point is wait and hope that the case.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Arizona PF Ira Lee cited for DUI

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Tuesday afternoon it was announced that Arizona sophomore power forward Ira Lee was been cited for driving under the influence on Saturday.

Lee was ultimately released, and according to the Arizona Daily Star he faces misdemeanor charges for failing to yield at an intersection, driving under the influence as a minor (Lee is 20 years old) and extreme DUI involving a blood-alcohol content above .20. Lee is set to be arraigned on September 10.

In a release the Arizona basketball program announced that the incident has been referred to the Dean of Students for review and “the Athletics Department is reviewing the incident for team consequences.”

As a freshman Lee served as a reserve behind starters Deandre Ayton and Dusan Ristic in the Arizona front court, averaging 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game. With Ayton and Ristic both off to the professional ranks, Lee is expected to be a key contributor in an Arizona front court that includes transfers Chase Jeter (Duke; sat out last season) and Ryan Luther (Pittsburgh), sophomore Emmanuel Akot and freshman Omar Thielemans.

Loyola celebrity nun Sister Jean celebrating 99th birthday

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CHICAGO (AP) — Sister Jean is celebrating her 99th birthday months after gaining national attention as chaplain of the Loyola-Chicago basketball team that reached the NCAA Final Four.

The university held a campus party with students and school staffers Tuesday for Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt. The Catholic nun became a celebrity last March for her fandom and for praying before each game for her Ramblers — and for their opponents.

Schmidt says her health is better some days than others as she’s been recovering since last year from a broken hip. She received a number 99 basketball jersey and a birthday cake frosted in the team’s maroon and gold colors.

Players say they’re still inspired by her example.

Ramblers guard Marques Townes describes her simply as “Genuine, sincere, passionate, loving, caring, sweetheart.”

NC State PG Blake Harris granted immediate eligibility

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When former Missouri point guard Blake Harris transferred to NC State in January, the expectation was that he would not be eligible to compete until the end of the fall semester. However that will not be the case, as Tuesday afternoon NC State announced that Harris has been granted immediate eligibility.

Harris started nine of the 14 games in which he played at Missouri, averaging 3.8 points and 3.1 assists in just under 14 minutes per game. The addition of the former 4-star prospect gives NC State head coach Kevin Keatts additional depth and talent at the point, which is key given the up-tempo, pressure style the Wolfpack generally play.

In addition to Harris, NC State will also be able to call upon sophomore Braxton Beverly and junior Markel Johnson, with those two being part of a team that won 21 games and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015 last season.

In total NC State will have three transfers from Division I schools eligible to compete in 2018-19, with guards Devon Daniels (Utah) and C.J. Bryce (UNCW) ready to go after sitting out last season.

One player who will not be available for the Wolfpack this season is forward Manny Bates, with it being announced that he will redshirt after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder. Bates, a 6-foot-11 forward from Fayetteville, North Carolina, dislocated the shoulder in early August.

The NC State front court will be led by newcomers, with grad transfer Wyatt Walker (Samford) and junior college transfer Derek Funderburk among the options.

Xavier lands commitment from four-star big man

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Xavier picked up their third commitment in the Class of 2019, adding an under-the-radar prospect in Zach Freemantle, a 6-foot-9 forward out of New Jersey.

Freemantle currently ranks 129th in 247 Sports composite ranking, but will likely move up after a strong July landed him a handful of high-major offers.

He’ll join Elias King and Daniel Ramsey, two more four-star prospects, in Travis Steele’s first real recruiting class for the Musketeers.

VIDEO: You need to see this Zion Williamson mixtape

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Zion Williamson made waves across the internet over the weekend as we got our first chance to get a glimpse of college basketball’s resident Viral King in Duke’s exhibition trip up to Canada.

So with that in mind, let’s go back and look at Williamson’s mixtape from his senior season of high school. I’ve never seen someone make in-game windmills and between-the-legs dunks look so commonplace.