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Michigan’s Juwan Howard commits minor NCAA violation by publicly talking about recruit

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Michigan head coach Juwan Howard is still learning the ropes of college basketball.

The former NBA star and assistant coach took the Wolverines head coaching job in late May as he’s trying to figure out the subtle nuances that come with recruiting. Howard appeared to commit a secondary NCAA violation on Monday during a radio appearance on the Jim Rome Show.

In an interview with guest hosts the Sklar Brothers — known for their comedic take on sports; “Cheap Seats” is an underrated gem — Howard was asked about Michigan recruit Franz Wagner, the younger brother of former Wolverines star Moritz Wagner. Since Franz is uncommitted, and could stay overseas instead of playing college basketball, Howard speaking publicly about his future recruiting decision is technically an NCAA violation.

“Our communication has been great,” Howard said of Franz on the show. “Right now, he is making a decision if he is going to play with his national team to represent his country in the (FIBA) World Cup championship tournament. I highly recommend that he does. That’s a chance of a lifetime.

“At the end of the day, we’ve been communicating on whenever that process is over with, we’d love to have him on campus, wear a Michigan jersey just like his brother, and at some point compete for the University of Michigan and help this team in any way possible, and become a student-athlete at the university.”

The Sklar Brothers were jokingly pushing Howard to announce Franz’s potential commitment on the show as they are Michigan alums who are former classmates with the Fab Five standout. Clearly, the question-and-answer of this particular part of the segment is light-hearted and not Howard trying to give a hard pitch on the air.

Michigan will likely report a secondary violation with the NCAA — which usually results in a slap on the wrist. If anything, it’s a learning experience for Howard as he continues to figure out the NCAA’s rules.

Perhaps the most interesting part of Howard’s answer, however, is Franz’s potential decision timeline. The national team dilemma for the FIBA World Cup is an interesting one as the event doesn’t start until late August. It means that Germany, where the Wagners are from, will likely have to make some national team decisions soon before training camp begins — which could lead to a potential decision from Franz on playing at Michigan.

H/t: Dylan Burkhardt of UMHoops.com

Former lacrosse star Pat Spencer commits to Northwestern for basketball

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Northwestern landed a unique graduate transfer on Thursday as Loyola lacrosse star Pat Spencer will spend his final year of college eligibility hooping for the Wildcats, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

A former high school basketball standout at Boys’ Latin (MD), Spencer was one of the best lacrosse players in the country for the Greyhounds the past four years in college. He was selected in two drafts during the Spring. Spencer was taken first overall in the inaugural PLL College Draft while getting taken seventh overall in the MLL’s Collegiate Draft. Loyola remains in the NCAA tournament as Spencer is playing out his senior season of college.

Spencer is passing up multiple professional lacrosse opportunities to play Big Ten basketball for Northwestern. For a stud athlete in a sport to pass up money to pursue another athletic dream is one of the college basketball’s best things to follow next season.

As if Spencer’s background wasn’t unique enough, he’ll be at a Northwestern team starving for an identity since making the NCAA tournament a few seasons ago. By playing in the Big Ten, Spencer will be thrown against Final Four contenders and potential draft picks, which makes this transition particularly intriguing. It’s a cool story to follow this season as college hoops doesn’t often get athletes from other sports playing in such prominent conferences.

Greg Paulus famously went from Duke point guard to Syracuse quarterback as a graduate transfer, but he was leaving the sport to pursue an opportunity to play football. Spencer choosing basketball over a sure pro shot in lacrosse is an interesting opportunity for him this season. It’ll be interesting to see if he can still contribute anything on the hardwood.

(Ht: Jeff Goodman, Stadium)

Marquette’s Hauser brothers go separate ways in transferring to new schools

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After surprisingly transferring from Marquette following a successful season, Joey and Sam Hauser announced on Tuesday that they are heading to separate schools to continue their college basketball careers.

Sam Hauser, a junior with one season left of eligibility, will head to Virginia to play for head coach Tony Bennett. Joey Hauser, a freshman with three seasons left of eligibility, will play for head coach Tom Izzo at Michigan State. Both brothers were considered two of the best transfers available on the market a year removed from regularly contributing to a team that was consistently in the top 25 last season.

Sam put up 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season while shooting 45 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three-point range. Joey averaged 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds per game in his freshman year while shooting 44 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range.

Many expected the high-scoring brothers to continue to play with one another at their next destination, so the split recruiting decisions come as a bit of a surprise after the duo took official visits together during the recruiting process. Both brothers are expected to sit out the 2019-20 season due to NCAA transfer rules before resuming their careers the following season.

While Sam could be an immediate boost offensively to a Virginia team that has sometimes struggled to score, Joey is a nice rotation piece that should add shooting to a promising young Michigan State core.

Kaleb Wesson returning to Ohio State after testing NBA draft waters

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Ohio State received some important news on Tuesday afternoon as the school announced that junior big man Kaleb Wesson will be back for his junior season.

During a surprising run to the Round of 32 last season, the 6-foot-9 Wesson was one of the key pieces for the Buckeyes as the wide-bodied big man averaged 14.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 34 percent from three-point range.

A gifted offensive player who can score in the post or out to the three-point line, Wesson should be counted on as one of the most productive centers in the country next season. Demanding a double team nearly every time he touches the ball, Wesson is an intelligent player who is a threat to score or find an open shooter.

Since Ohio State returns most of last season’s core, while bringing in a very solid recruiting class with multiple top-100 prospects, expectations will be high for head coach Chris Holtmann as the Buckeyes should be a team to keep track of in the Big Ten race.

Michigan’s Jordan Poole staying in 2019 NBA Draft

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Michigan sophomore guard Jordan Poole will remain in the 2019 NBA Draft, according to a post on his Instagram.

The 6-foot-5 Poole already announced his intention to declare for the NBA draft while signing an agent. But Poole has made it clear that he’ll not be returning to school before the May 29th deadline as he’s set on turning pro.

“I need to thank God for putting me in the position to walk along the right path. There has been much consideration, but after weighing all my options and having many positive discussions, my family and I, along with the help of coach (John) Beilein and the rest of the coaching staff, believe now is the right time for me to begin my professional basketball career,” Poole said in a statement. “It has been a dream of mine to play in the NBA. I feel I am ready to go after that dream.”

As a sophomore, Poole became a key piece for the Wolverines as he averaged 12.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 rebounds per game. Shooting 43.6 percent from the floor and 36.9 percent from three-point range, Poole is a talented shot creator who can be very streaky.

Poole’s decision to leave has major ramifications on Michigan for next season as the Wolverines currently sit at No. 2 in the NBCSports.com Preseason 2019-20 Top 25. Without Poole, Michigan will likely turn to Eli Brooks to earn more minutes.

The pro decision of freshman wing Ignas Brazdeikis now becomes a major focus for the Wolverines this offseason as his return would likely solidify Michigan as a top-five preseason team. If Brazdeikis also opted to go pro like Poole, and junior Charles Matthews, then the Wolverines would need to figure out where their offense will come from next season.

Purdue’s Carsen Edwards declaring for 2019 NBA Draft

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Purdue’s Carsen Edwards is declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft, he announced on Sunday.

Following a memorable 2019 NCAA tournament in which he dropped two separate 42-point outings to help lead the Boilermakers to the Elite Eight, Edwards is planning on signing an agent and staying in the draft.

A 6-foot-1 junior known for his electric perimeter scoring ability, Edwards put up 24.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game this season. While Edwards was one of the main national storylines during the NCAA tournament, his play was up-and-down during the season for Purdue as he shot 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range.

Edwards should be one of the draft’s most intriguing prospects thanks to his perimeter abilities and inconsistent play. In the right system, Edwards could thrive as a microwave scorer. But Edwards also has some questions about his ability to play lead guard, as well as what kind of contributions he’ll bring on the defensive end.