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Georgetown’s Alexander, Gardner both to transfer

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Georgetown forward Galen Alexander announced on Friday that he is transferring out of the university, citing a lack of support from the school and the basketball program in the wake of some troubling allegations that were levied at him and a pair of teammates.

His teammate, freshman Myron Garnder, will be transferring out of the program as well. His lawyer sent a statement to the Washington Post announcing this.

Earlier this month, after James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc announced that they were transferring out of the Georgetown program, NBC Sports obtained court records that detailed restraining orders that were granted against Alexander, LeBlanc and Myron Gardner stemming from allegations of sexual harassment, assault, burglary and intimidation.

One of the two complaints was resolved earlier this week with no admission of or finding of guilt.

“I have been publicly shamed, threatened and criminalized,” Alexander wrote in a statement posted to his twitter account. “I have been falsely accused and targeted by the media and my peers of crimes I did not commit. My character has been defamed and that needs to be cleared up more than anything else. Very soon it will.

“The University has allowed me to become a target and subjected to unfair treatment, with little or no support.”

According to court records, a Georgetown student accused Myron Gardner, a 6-foot-6 freshman from Detroit, of “sexual harassment and assault on September 15th at my home,” adding that the following day her home was allegedly burglarized by Gardner, LeBlanc and Alexander. The victim reported the assault and the burglary to both the DC police and the Georgetown police.

The victim reported the burglary to DC Metropolitan Police on Nov. 4th of this year, according to a public incident reports that correspond to two police report numbers listed in a restraining order against LeBlanc. The incident report was obtained by a former Deadspin reporter. When reached by NBC Sports, a police spokesperson confirmed the reports.

The items stolen from the victim’s residence include a Playstation 4 and two controllers, a Nikon D5300 camera, a camera lense and a pair of Bape shoes, valued at more than $3,000. The victim told police that when she confronted the suspects via FaceTime, they told her, “If you tell anyone we’ll send people after you.”

The second incident report includes this passage: “The complainant reported the suspect showing her his erect clothed penis.”

After allegedly being threatened and harassed by the three players in an effort to keep her from reporting the incident, the court granted her a temporary restraining order on November 12th against Gardner, LeBlanc and Alexander. She has not yet had her court date to receive a preliminary injunction.

The victim’s roommate separately filed for a temporary restraining order against LeBlanc and teammate Galen Alexander on Nov. 5th. On Nov. 20th, the court granted a preliminary injunction against LeBlanc and Alexander.

LeBlanc did not play in Georgetown’s Nov. 6th game against Mount St. Mary’s, the season opener. He has played at least 11 minutes, and averaged 19.2 minutes in every game since. Alexander and played in every game. Gardner only missed the Nov. 21st game against Texas.

The victim accused LeBlanc of “burglary and threats to do bodily harm if I reported this incident,” adding that “Joshua and his friends stole items from my house” on September 16th and that he threatened them physically and “continued to threaten me verbally and via text message in the following week. Joshua has also committed violence against women in the past.”

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.