O.J. Mayo

2013 five-star guard Isaac Hamilton commits to UTEP

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Friday was a big day in the future of UTEP basketball, as 2013 shooting guard Isaac Hamilton (Los Angeles, CA/St. John Bosco HS) announced his decision to attend the Conference USA school next season.

The move surprised many as Hamilton, who made the announcement on ESPNU, was dressed in a powder blue sweater and yellow bow tie, colors of the school (UCLA) that made a late rise in his recruitment.

Hamilton chose the Miners over UCLA, San Diego State, Washington and Baylor, becoming the third member of UTEP’s 2013 recruiting class. UTEP announced the receipt of his Letter of Intent on Saturday afternoon.

“This is a great day for UTEP,” Miner head coach Tim Floyd said. “I feel like we have just signed a young man who will play in the NBA. We intend to play Isaac at the point guard position. We see a lot of Seth Curry in him – a big guard who can score. Isaac is not only a really capable scorer and shooter, but has the instincts to make players around him better.

“We feel like with Isaac andMcKenzie Moore, we’re returning to how our teams looked at USC with big point guards like O.J. Mayo [Dallas Mavericks] and Gabe Pruitt [Boston Celtics) who can play together and play off of each other.”

Head coach Tim Floyd already held commitments from shooting guard Andre Speight (Pasadena, CA) and small forward Jake Flaggert (Allen, TX), and his connection to the Hamilton family was just one aspect that Isaac cited in making his decision.

“A lot of people don’t know that Coach Floyd coached my uncle (Kevin Hamilton) years ago and that he has been friends of our family for a long time,” Isaac Hamilton said. “He was very close to my grandmother, who has passed away.”

Floyd also recruited Isaac’s older brother Jordan while head coach at USC (Jordan eventually chose Texas), and younger brother Daniel is one of the better prospects in the 2014 recruiting class.

Could there eventually be two Hamiltons on the UTEP campus? We’ll have to wait and see on that.

A look at the Miners’ rosters shows that this could be a program ready to make a jump and become one of Conference USA’s flagship programs with Memphis (and others) headed to the Big East in 2013.

As noted in Floyd’s quote above Hamilton and McKenzie Moore will be two very good guards for UTEP next season, and one must not forget about current freshman Twymond Howard and sophomore wing Julian Washburn. Add in a front court led by John Bohannon and Cedric Lang and UTEP has (on paper) a pretty good nucleus to call on next year.

Memphis’ imminent departure has opened the door for a program to climb to the top of Conference USA, and the landing of a player the caliber of Isaac Hamilton could provide UTEP with the push they need to do just that.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

The Morning Mix

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We’re only just 72 hours away from the beginning of college basketball season. The anticipation is palpable.

 

#ReadoftheDay: ESPN’s Jason King on the landscape of college hoops in 2012 and how it looks similar to the landscape in the 1980s. Read it. (ESPN)

 

Top Stories:

What top-25 team will miss the NCAA Tournament?: Our tremendous crew of @CBTonNBC writers explain their thoughts on which preseason top-25 team has the best chance of missing the NCAA tournament. Check  the homepage later for Today’s installment.

What team outside the top-25 has the best chance to make the Final Four?: Everybody has penciled in Indiana, Kentucky and Louisville. But this season’s Final Four, maybe more than ever, could feature a team well outside the preseason top-25.

Kentucky guard Julius Mays survived an injury scare in Wildcat’s’ exhibition win over Transylvania: The fifth-year senior transfer from Wright State knocked knees with a Pioneer’s player midway through the second half. Mays left the game and did not return, but no significant damage was done. You may remember back to a month ago when Nerlens Noel nearly rolled his ankle during a Big Blue Madness pep rally. Seems like Calipari dodged yet another bullet.

Is Georges Niang the next Doug McDermott?: Iowa State freshman forward Georges Niang spent last season battling Nerlens Noel during practice at The Tilton School in New Hampshire. While Niang is undersized at 6-foot-7, has the elite game-IQ and superior skills that will remind Cyclone fans of Ames’ native son Doug McDermott.

 

Hoops Housekeeping:

– Marquette got terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news on Monday. Turns out that potential breakout star Todd Mayo, the younger brother of Dallas Maverick’s star O.J. Mayo, was ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA and will have to sit out the entire season. That’s a major loss for a team already looking to replace both Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom. (Paint Touches)

– Michigan recruit Austin Hatch, who was seriously injured in a 2011 plane crash that killed his father and stepmother has been cleared by doctors to participate in high school practice. It is still uncertain if he will be able to participate in games. Awesome news nonetheless. (MLive.com)

– Arkansas’ sophomore guard B.J Young is expected by many (As you will read later) to be one of the nation’s top guards this season. But he will have to sit out the first two games of the season (Arkansas Democrat-Republic)

– Syracuse added their first recruit from the class of 2014 in 6-foot-8 Chris McCullough (Syracuse Post-Standard)

– During a Q&A session on Monday, Rick Pitino revealed that Louisville freshman center Mangok Mathiang was denied eligibility by the NCAA and will redshirt the season (Cardinal Authority)

– Highly touted class of 2014 forward Dakari Johnson has decided to reclassify to 2013, joining the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Seldon and Noah Vonleh (SNY.tv)

 

Observations & Analysis:

– Missouri’s Phil “Flip” Pressey was the preseason pick for SEC Player of the Year, but could a much less heralded guard end up hoisting the award at the end of the season? (Sports Illustrated)

– Jeff “Two Scoops” Goodman provides a 2013 NBA mock draft. Clearly Goodman and the CBS guys have run the well dry of season preview posts (CBS Sports)

– Northwestern gets all the publicity, but William & Mary has made the NCAA tournament just as many times as the Wildcats. Zero. But will the tide change for the Tribe in 2012-13? (College Chalktalk)

– In case you forgot, the Loyola Greyhounds represented the MAAC in the NCAA tournament last season and find themselves as league favorites, a position the program has been held in nearly 20 years (Baltimore Sun)

– Much of North Carolina State’s success will depend on the production provided by the team’s star players. But in order for guys like C.J. Leslie and Rodney Purvis to be productive, they will need to master Mark Gottfried’s variation of “the UCLA high post offense”. (Backing the Pack)

– The season has not even begun yet, but it’s pretty evident that Minnesota’s Tubby Smith and Northwestern’s Bill Carmody appear to be on the coaching hot seat. Depending on what happens between November and April, Jon Beilein, Tom Crean and John Groce could join them (Rush The Court)

– With Moe Harkless in the NBA, St. John’s must rely heavily on the performance of sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison (New York Daily News)

– I guarantee this will be the most you read about Youngstown State all season. But since this is a season preview, this will last you until April. Well, more like early March since the Penguins have never made the postseason as a Division-I member (Horizon League Hoops)

 

Odds & Ends:

– This is the longest Q&A session you will ever read. But since it’s in the words of Marquette head coach Buzz Williams, I highly recommend you read it. Buzz is never not entertaining. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

– Somebody actually values Rob Dauster’s opinion of the Florida State Seminoles. I’m shocked. I only value Rob’s opinion when it comes to bar food and the best formations to use in FIFA ’12 (Tomahawk Nation)

– A rather entertaining season preview for the Atlantic-10. Language somewhat NSFW. (Blackburn Review)

– A quick preview of the favorites to win each of the 13 major conferences (The Back Iron)

– Here is close to 9,000 words previewing the Big Sky Conference. Make sure you give some of it a read. Eastern Washington and Montana should be fun to watch this season. (Big Sky Basketball)

– In case you forgot how the Colorado Buffaloes won the Pac-12 last year, here’s a very solid review of 2011-2012 (The Ralphie Report)

– Eight teams will unveil special camouflage uniforms on Friday as part of the four military appreciation games (The Dagger)

– Tonight’s exhibition game between St. John’s and Concordia is being endorsed by the Johnnies student section as “Dress like Lavin night”. Phenomenal. (Sweet, Sweet Lavin)

 

Video(s) of the Day:

Doug Wojcik enters his first season as head coach at College of Charleston and will lean heavily on senior Andrew Lawrence and talented big-man Adjehi Baru. Here’s what went down at the school’s “Maroon Madness” event over the weekend. (College of Charleston Hoops)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hhZzNn5AhU%5D

 

Players from Arkansas-Little Rock are not happy about their 2011-2012 Sun Belt Tournament exit against Western Kentucky. Can you say “Bulletin board material”? (Burn The Horse)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PLFJIps9rg%5D

Do you like the new Morning Mix? Hate it? Have a suggestion or wanted something featured? Troy Machir will take all your praise, insults and inquiries via Twitter (@TroyMachir)

Report: Man at center of corruption investigation says he gave cash to former USC forward Davon Jefferson

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According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, a man at the center of a corruption case within the LA County assessor’s office says he provided former USC forward Davon Jefferson with cash benefits, which would be in violation of NCAA rules.

The report identifies the man as Scott Schenter, a former appraiser whose e-mails suggest he gave Jefferson close to $3,700 in cash.

Jefferson played for the Trojans during the 2007-08 season, his one and only year with USC, where he averaged 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He then declared for the NBA draft, but was not selected.

He has since been playing basketball overseas.

The connection between Schenter, 49, and USC is still unclear, according to the report, but e-mails suggest that he was exploring venture business options and was looking to Jefferson as a potential marketer.

The inquiry also involves former USC running back and current New York Jet Joe McKnight.

E-mails obtained by the LA Times show intent for payment to Jefferson, but there are no return e-mails or indications as to whether the transaction was ever made.

Among the possible business ventures that Schenter was reportedly looking into were themed vans, adorned with hot tubs and an exterior featuring Jefferson and former USC star O.J. Mayo.

To read the full report, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Mayo associate sues NCAA for $25 million

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Rodney Guillory, the events promoter in the middle of the O.J. Mayo scandal and ensuing sanctions at USC, says the NCAA defamed him and mischaracterized his relationship with Mayo (even though he wasn’t named in the NCAA’s report). So he’s doing what most mad people do today.

He’s suing.

His $25 million suit against the NCAA claims defamation, false light invasion of privacy and negligent misrepresentation. Yes, Guillory gave Mayo guidance and monetary assistance, but it was years before the player arrived at USC, according to an L.A. Times story.

“The relationship that Rodney and O.J. had, it was akin to the relationship a student would have with an uncle or a close family friend,” Edward Y. Lee, Guillory’s attorney, told the paper.

“Rodney was providing a lot of things that [Mayo’s] own parents weren’t providing.”

Ummm … yeah. Wasn’t that the whole problem?

The NCAA said it hasn’t seen the lawsuit yet, but is confident it did not defame Guillory. I’m confident this is a mess that won’t be resolved anytime soon.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

USC hoops did its penance

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ss_070323_NCAA2_04_standard.jpgKevin O’Neill is a happy man.

USC’s self-imposed ban from postseason play, a reduction in scholarships and vacating victories from O.J. Mayo’s lone was enough to ensure the NCAA didn’t levy serious penalties on the men’s basketball team.

Then again, given what the NCAA did to the Trojans football program, maybe it just forgot about the men’s team…not that O’Neill cares. He’s simply glad the worst is over.

“I know this, had we been hit with another year of postseason ban, our program would have been in shambles,” O’Neill told Andy Katz. “I definitely was concerned that we might get another year, especially as long as it went [from Feb. 18 to June 10, long past the six-to-eight week timetable given normally by the COI]. That was my concern — the time.”

The additional minor penalties include:

  • Four years probation (June 2010 through June 2014)
  • Prohibition of non-university employees, including boosters from traveling on charters, attending practices, participating or donating to camps or accessing locker rooms before during or after games.
  • No contact with Mayo or Rodney Guillory. (That sounds like a no-brainer, but it means no financial or recruiting help from Mayo.)

Oddly enough, Tim Floyd, the coach at the center of all this, emerged relatively unscathed. (Unless you consider this punishment.) So why’d he resign and take the heat for the Mayo mess if he was innocent? Who knows. Maybe he was forced out, maybe he wanted out.

Or maybe the NCAA forgot about him.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops.