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Syracuse forward Oshae Brissett staying in 2019 NBA Draft

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Syracuse sophomore forward Oshae Brissett is keeping his name in the 2019 NBA Draft, he announced on Tuesday.

Following a promising freshman season with the Orange, Brissett’s numbers dipped slightly in his second season as he put up 12.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest. After shooting 33 percent from three-point range as a freshman, Brissett saw that number dip to 27 percent as a sophomore — although he did raise his overall field-goal percentage from 35 percent to 39 percent from season-to-season.

If Brissett can figure out the perimeter jumper then he has a lot of enticing things to bring to the pro game, including multi-positional versatility and good bounciness around the basket. Brissett’s stock will be fascinating to follow up to draft time as tries to work his way into draft-pick status. At the very least, Brissett is an enticing two-way option who could develop over time.

Duke lands five-star 2020 point guard Jeremy Roach

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Duke landed its point guard of the future on Wednesday night as five-star Class of 2020 point guard Jeremy Roach pledged to the Blue Devils.

The 6-foot-2 point guard will likely be the heir apparent to current Duke floor general Tre Jones (if Jones decides to turn pro after his sophomore season) as Roach is one of the winningest players in high school basketball.

Playing for Team Takeover in the Nike EYBL last grassroots season, Roach helped the program capture the Nike Peach Jam. Roach was also a member of USA Basketball’s U17 squad which won a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup last summer.

Although Roach doesn’t put up jaw-dropping numbers, averaging 6.6 points, 3.1 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game in 22 EYBL games last spring and summer, he’s the perfect fit for a potential star-laden Duke recruiting class. A great change-of-pace guard who is very effective with look-ahead passes to move the ball quickly up the floor, Roach is a naturally unselfish leader.

Team Takeover was loaded with high-major prospects and Roach was one of the key reasons the program was able to achieve such great success thanks to his willingness to share the ball. For a program that regularly recruits five-star players who want to take a lot of shots, Roach is the perfect fit to get those types of players all of the shots they desire. It also doesn’t hurt that Roach is a solid shooter who can defend multiple spots on the perimeter thanks to his solid strength and basketball IQ.

Regarded as the No. 20 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2020 rankings, Roach is the great start for Duke’s recruiting efforts in that class. Roach will have to get healthy after a torn ACL prevented him from playing during his junior season, but his commitment is an important one for Duke. The Blue Devils will likely have a lot of scholarships to fill in the 2020 class and Roach is the type of unselfish point guard that other talented players want to run with.

College basketball trial names big-name head coaches during Christian Dawkins video

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The college basketball corruption trial directly mentioned a few of the sport’s most prominent head coaches in a video played during testimony on Wednesday.

As college basketball’s second corruption trial began its second day in New York, known runner and convicted felon Christian Dawkins mentioned names such as Arizona’s Sean Miller and Louisville’s Rick Pitino during a video played for the courtroom. Dawkins seems to imply that Miller cheated in order land center Deandre Ayton while also appearing to absolve Rick Pitino of knowing any improper recruiting existed during his time at Louisville.

According to a report from CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, the video was played as government witness Marty Blazer was directly examined by the prosecution. Blazer was among two who met with Dawkins in New York on a yacht in 2017 when the video was recorded. Blazer will continue to take the stand when the trial resumes as the defense will get to question him later this week.

“And the the thing with (former Arizona assistant) Book (Richardson), Arizona is like, Sean Miller has to know everything that’s going on,” Dawkins said on the FBI’s video. “I can call Sean and have a conversation like, this is what’s going on. Like, this is what’s needing to be done.”

Dawkins also paraphrased Miller speaking about Ayton in the video by saying, “‘I’m taking care of everything myself. I wanna bring you in. I’ll turn everything over to you.'”

Blazer’s testimony then backed up Dawkins’ notion that Miller cheated to get Ayton.

“I understood him to mean that Sean Miller was talking about inappropriate things with recruiting, paying the money and those sorts of things,” Blazer said during testimony. “Sean Miller was taking care of everything for Deandre Ayton and his family.”

This is the first time Miller has been directly named in court since initial ESPN reports in February 2018 tied him to allegedly cheating to get Ayton. While Dawkins is merely speculating that Miller is cheating, the under-oath testimony of Blazer adds another element to what Dawkins is claiming. Dawkins’ theory, and Blazer’s testimony, still doesn’t directly provide proof of Miller, or Arizona, cheating to land Ayton. It’s merely speculative at this point. But it lends more credibility to the argument that it could have happened and will be a subplot to watch as the trial continues.

It’ll be interesting to see if Miller is also asked to testify in court as defense attorney Steve Haney said Wednesday that he will ask the judge to reconsider the initial ruling that Miller won’t be apart of the trial. If he were to testify, Miller wouldn’t be on federal trial for any wrongdoing, but Arizona and the NCAA would be interested in what he has to say if asked about any of these implications under oath.

Dawkins also gave his thoughts on fired Louisville head coach Rick Pitino — as he appeared to back up Pitino’s claim that he didn’t know about cheating going on to help land Brian Bowen. Pitino was ousted from the Cardinals before the 2017-18 season as he remains in an ongoing lawsuit with the school over the rest of his lucrative contract.

“Rick Pitino may be the only person who doesn’t know what’s going on” when it came to what was happening in his program,” Dawkins said.

“Rick has no clue what’s going on at his school. Most of the bigger guys, they know,” he continued.

The NCAA will likely continue to investigate Louisville regardless of what Dawkins says in this trial, but Pitino and his team will undoubtedly try to use this claim from Dawkins to help their case against the school to claim the rest of his contract.

According to The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, during Wednesday’s testimony a screenshot of a text from Dawkins that said, “these are my guys” listed names that included Arizona’s Sean Miller and Book Richardson, Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Dwayne Stephens and Dane Fife, LSU’s Will Wade and Greg Heiar, N.C. State’s Kevin Keatts and UNLV’s Marvin Menzies.

There is no direct evidence that Dawkins actually spoke to all of these people as that evidence has not been presented in court yet. It’s also important to remember that Dawkins did not know he was being recorded during this meeting as he’s attempting to land business on a yacht. It’s entirely plausible that he name-dropped high-profile coaches and linked assistants he spoke to with their bosses in order to impress who he was speaking with.

But now that those names have been listed during the actual corruption trial, it’ll be fascinating to see what else plays out as Blazer’s testimony likely continues through the week.

North Carolina lands second 2019 guard commitment of the day

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North Carolina added another top-100 talent on the perimeter on Tuesday as four-star Class of 2019 guard Anthony Harris pledged to the Tar Heels.

The commitment from Harris comes on the same day that North Carolina made a major splash by landing five-star 2019 guard Cole Anthony.

The 6-foot-4 Harris was previously committed to Virginia Tech, but he opted to re-open his recruitment once head coach Buzz Williams left and took the same position at Texas A&M.

Missing most of his senior season with a torn ACL, Harris gives the Tar Heels another solid perimeter option who should contribute as early as next season. Playing with notable programs on the high school level like Team Takeover in the Nike EYBL and Paul VI during the high school season, Harris can contribute in many different ways.

Team Takeover was arguably the best AAU team in the country last spring and summer as Harris put up 8.6 points, 2.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range. More importantly, Harris is a strong and willing defender who is capable of locking down opposing perimeter options.

The commitment of Harris gives North Carolina’s thin perimeter group even more depth for next season as they now have Anthony, Harris, seniors Seventh Woods and Brandon Robinson and fellow freshman Jeremiah Francis. Sophomore shooter Andrew Platek is also returning.

Regarded as the No. 65 overall player in the Class of 2019 per the 247Sports composite, Harris is a quality late pickup for the Tar Heels as North Carolina’s perimeter depth looks far better at the end of Tuesday than it did entering the day. While Anthony is likely a one-and-done player, Harris will likely stay and contribute for at least a few seasons as he comes from a winning background.

Louisville lands key grad transfer in guard Lamarr Kimble

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Louisville has landed a key graduate transfer for the 2019-20 season as St. Joseph’s guard Lamarr Kimble pledged to the Cardinals, according to a release.

After infusing Louisville with graduate transfers to lead them to a surprising 2018-19 season, head coach Chris Mack is continuing to remain aggressive pursuing talented transfers who can contribute right away. Kimble returned from a season-ending injury in 2017-18 to put up 15.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game as a redshirt junior last season.

A double-figure scorer during his last two healthy seasons, Kimble’s three-point shooting dipped to 29 percent in 2018-19 after starting his career as a promising 37 percent three-point shooter (with a smaller sample size) as a freshman.

Although Louisville has a loaded six-man high school recruiting class in the Class of 2019 coming in, which some say is the deepest of any group in the country, the addition of a veteran guard like Kimble is a big addition for the Cardinals. Kimble’s experience should be key for a young Louisville rotation, and if he can get his shooting numbers back up a bit, he’ll be a nice addition.

Report: Louisville receives verbal NCAA notice of inquiry

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Louisville has received a verbal notice of inquiry from the NCAA, the school confirmed to The Athletic’s Jeff Greer on Wednesday.

Stemming from the FBI’s college basketball corruption case that gave new details about Louisville and other schools during trials that played out the past several months, the Cardinals are expected to receive a follow up written notice of inquiry from the NCAA at a later time.

According to a Louisville spokesperson, the NCAA called on March 8th in an initial step in its process.

Arizona and Kansas have been the other schools reportedly contacted by the NCAA after similar evidence against them was presented in federal court during those same trials.

Louisville has already fired athletic director Tom Jurich, head coach Rick Pitino and assistant coaches Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair since the four were linked to the FBI’s case. The recruit linked to Louisville during the trial, former McDonald’s All-American Brian Bowen, enrolled at the school but never played a game for the Cardinals as he sat out in the midst of ongoing investigations.

It’s hard to say what the NCAA will try to accomplish in its investigation of Louisville since most of the people associated with these accusations have been fired — or never played for the school. But as Greer notes, since Louisville was already on probation for a prior infractions case, it makes the Cardinals’ situation with the NCAA more complicated than some of the other schools that are being investigated.

The last NCAA investigation involved Louisville resulted in the school forfeiting the 2013 national title, 2012 Final Four and 123 wins as the school lost scholarships and was placed on probation through 2021.

A proper written notice will be a clearer sign of where things stand between the NCAA and these schools as we can only speculate on the investigations until they actually begin.