Friday afternoon it was announced that sophomore point guard JaQuori McLaughlin has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer from Oregon State. McLaughlin, who started 30 games and averaged 10.5 points and 3.3 assists per game as a freshman, struggled to reach that level in Oregon State’s first six games of the season.
Making five starts, McLaughlin was averaging 2.7 points, 3.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds per contest while shooting just 23.8 percent from the field. In addition to the on-court struggles, McLaughlin mentioned challenges away from the court in the release sent out by the school Friday.
“Being a student-athlete is a lot of work and there are some challenges that I’ve been faced with that have impacted me and kept me from being able to compete to the best of my ability in a way that would help my team win games,” McLaughlin said in the release.
With McLaughlin no longer in the fold, redshirt sophomore Kendal Manuel is the player most likely to see an increase in minutes with both Stephen Thompson Jr. and Ethan Thompson averaging more than 30 minutes per game. Manuel, who’s played 12.7 minutes per game this season, is averaging 2.8 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
The Thompson brothers, and even leading scorer Tres Tinkle, should have even more opportunities to make plays with the basketball in their hands moving forward as a result of McLaughlin’s departure from the program.
Johnny Jones is in charge of a college basketball program once again.
The former North Texas and LSU head coach will be the next head coach at Texas Southern, replacing Mike Davis, who left to take over at Detroit.
“I’m really excited about it,” Jones told Fox 26 in Houston. “This is a terrific opportunity with a great university in a great city.”
Jones went 90-72 in five seasons in Baton Rouge, but finished his final year, the 2016-17 season, with just a 10-21 record. He’s best-known for failing to get to the NCAA tournament with a team that featured Ben Simmons.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the greatest college basketball coach this side of John Wooden, said on Monday that he has given on thought to the idea of when he will call it quits.
“I have no plans to retire,” Krzyzewski said on the College Hoops Today Podcast. “I feel better than I have in a long time. I feel healthier than I have in a long time. There’s no end in sight.”
The question of whether or not Coach K will be around all that much longer has been something that has lingered over the sport given the numerous health issues that he has dealt with in recent years. He’s undergone surgery six times in the last two years and, at 71 years old, is at an age where most everyone is hoping to retire while working one of the most strenuous and time-consuming jobs imaginable.
Put another way, no one would blame Krzyzewski if he wanted to hang it up.
But instead, he is arguably at the top of his game. He’s churned out elite recruiting classes in each of the last four seasons, he’s won two National Titles in the last eight seasons and he has three of the nation’s top five prospects enrolling for the 2018-19 season.
He’s not slowing down.
So why would he thinking about leaving the game?
Last week, after the NBA draft officially concluded, we posted a mock draft for the lottery in 2019.
At the top of that list was R.J. Barrett, a Duke-commit and Canadian-native that has NBA scouts wowed and intrigued. This mixtape should give you a good feel for why.
Texas Southern guard and NCAA tournament darling Trae Jefferson announced on Saturday that he’s leaving the school.
The 5-foot-7 Jefferson was sensational at times during his sophomore season with the Tigers as he put up 23.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, helping lead Texas Southern to a victory in the 2018 NCAA Tournament’s First Four in Dayton over North Carolina Central. One of the most entertaining talents in college basketball, Jefferson is leaving Texas Southern in-part because former head coach Mike Davis took the job at Detroit this offseason.
While Detroit is going to be the favorite to land Jefferson, because of his connection to Davis, it’ll be interesting to see what his transfer market looks like. Jefferson also made it clear on his Twitter page that he would like to be closer to his hometown of Milwaukee so that he can be closer to his ailing grandfather.
Given NCAA transfer rules, Jefferson would likely have to sit out next season before getting two more years of eligibility. But he could be applying for a waiver if he’s trying to be closer to home to deal with his family situation.
Nevada lost a talented player from last season’s team as rising junior Josh Hall opted to transfer to Missouri State on Friday night.
The 6-foot-7 Hall is a former top-150 recruit who played a key part in the Wolf Pack’s postseason run as he elevated his play to average 13 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Hall also made the game-winning bucket to lift Nevada past No. 2 seed Cincinnati in the second round.
Although Hall picked up his play late in the year, he was coming off the bench most of his sophomore campaign as he averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season.
Since Nevada took in some talented transfers, while players like Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins opted not to turn pro, it left head coach Eric Musselman with too many scholarship players for the 2018-19 season. It looks like some of those issues are now going away as Hall is leaving for Missouri State and graduate transfer guard Ehab Amin opted to decommit from the school.
Nevada is expected to be a preseason top-10 team next season with all of the talent they have returning to the roster, along with the addition of some new pieces like McDonald’s All-American big man Jordan Brown.
Hall will likely have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules as he still has two years of eligibility remaining.