For the second time since June, Arizona head coach Bobby Hurley has landed a 2016 recruit ranked in the Rivals150.
Jethro Tshisumpa, a 6-foot-9 center out of Mountain Mission School (Virginia), committed to the Sun Devils, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.
“Jethro Tshisumpa is a great addition for head coach Bobby Hurley and Arizona State because he’s an elite rim protector and rebounder in the 2016 class,” NBCSports.com recruiting insider Scott Phillips said. “While he’s still raw on the offensive end, Tshishumpa should help immediately on the defensive end. Hurley is off to a solid start on the recruiting trail with the Sun Devils.”
Bobby Hurley brought a second former member of the Buffalo Bulls program with him to Arizona State on Friday evening.
Maurice O’Field, a 6-foot-6 junior college wing, committed to Arizona State, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN. The Midland College (Texas) product had committed to Buffalo back in March. At the time, he held offers from Maryland, Marquette and Virginia Tech, according to Brad Winton of JUCORecruiting.com.
Hurley took over the Sun Devils’ program last month after leading the Bulls to an NCAA tournament in only his second season as a head coach. Several weeks later, Shannon Evans, the second-leading scorer for Buffalo during the 2014-15 season, transferred to ASU.
O’Field joins JUCO guard Andre Spight in Hurley’s incoming class.
Evans, a second-team All-MAC selection, averaged 15.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game as a sophomore, helping the Bulls reach the NCAA tournament. He will have to sit out the 2015-16 season and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Second-team All-MAC selection Shannon Evans is transferring from Buffalo, according to multiple reports. The 6-foot-1 sophomore had a breakout season under former head coach Bobby Hurley in helping the Bulls reach the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance. But with Hurley leaving and former assistant coach Nate Oats taking over, Evans will seek a fresh start.
Evans was seventh in the MAC in scoring at 15.4 points per game and was third in the league in assists at 4.6 per game. The talented guard also averaged 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals and shot 41 percent from the field, 38 percent from the 3-point line and a shade under 80 percent from the free-throw line.
According to a report from Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News, Evans wanted the chance to play in front of more professional scouts and it’s a primary reason for his desire to transfer elsewhere. Although Evans seemed okay with Oats, he was clearly not pleased with athletics director Danny White not taking time to speak with him on his future.
“I wanted to talk to Danny White today,” Evans said to Gaughan. “I saw him. He said, ‘I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do this. Talk to Nate Oats, I told him everything.’ . . . It’s like he was in a rush.”
White clearly felt compelled to respond to this allegation from Evans, but did not specify Evans — or the men’s basketball team — by name in a tweet later on Monday.
Just learned, TODAY, that a student-athlete wants to meet with me. Of course, I will always make time for that. S-A's are our #1 priority.
Evans said Oats informed him that UB would allow him to transfer but would block a move by Evans to go to Arizona State, Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion or another MAC school. Evans is a native of Suffolk, Va.
“They’re basically going to block all the schools I want to talk to,” Evans said. “I just feel like they don’t want my best interests and what’s best for me personally, and I really don’t like that. I feel like if I want my release, OK, any MAC school, I understand. But they shouldn’t block me from any school in a higher conference than Buffalo.”
“That’s giving me a chance to potentially play in the NBA one day, and I want to have that opportunity,” Evans said. “It hit me real hard today. That’s when I decided I’m not going to stay.”
To restrict Evans from going anywhere is terrible treatment of a player trying to enhance his career choice by going elsewhere to challenge himself. It’s tough to say what really happened in the Evans and White situation, but for both sides to say something publicly about it doesn’t bode well.
Nance was terrific in the first week of Mountain West play, leading the Cowboys to a 2-0 start and putting them in a position where they look like the favorite to win the league. On New Year’s Eve, Nance out-dueled UNLV’s Christian Wood, finishing with 29 points, five boards, three blocks and two steals in an impressive 76-71 win. He followed that up with 18 points, 13 boards and two assists as the Pokes came from behind to knock off San Jose State on the road. In the two games, Nance shot 17-for-27 from the floor.
As good as Wyoming has been in stretches this season, if they are going to be a Mountain West contender, they’re going to have a chance to prove it this week. They’ll be paying a visit to Colorado State on Wednesday night.
THE ‘ALL THEY WERE GOOD, TOO’ TEAM
Jahlil Okafor, Duke: In wins over Elon, Wofford and Boston College, Okafor averaged 26.3 points, 8.0 boards, 2.3 blocks and shot 30-for-39 from the floor.
Kyle Collinsworth, BYU: Collinsworth notched his third triple-double of the season in a win at San Francisco and averaged 13.7 points, 11.7 boards and 6.7 assists in three WCC wins.
London Perrantes, Virginia: Perrantes has been in a shooting slump this season but busted out of it in a big way on Saturday, finishing with 26 points and eight assists, hitting five threes, in a double-overtime win at Miami.
Shannon Evans, Buffalo: There have been six triple-doubles on the season, Evans has one of them, going for 14 points, 10 boards and 10 assists in a win at Binghamton. He followed that up with 33 points, five boards and four assists against Cornell.
Phil Forte, Oklahoma State: Forte led the Pokes to a pair of wins over Kansas State and Missouri last week, averaging 20.5 points and shooting 14.for-22 from the floor and 6-for-12 from three.
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Seton Hall Pirates
Things didn’t look bright for Seton Hall entering this week, as the Pirates kicked off Big East play with home games against No. 15 St. John’s and No. 6 Villanova without their star guard, Isaiah Whitehead. That didn’t matter, however, as Kevin Willard’s club landed the two upset wins, which included a thrilling overtime win against the Wildcats.
The star of the week for the Pirates was Sterling Gibbs, who averaged 22.5 points and 6.0 assists in the two games. There is not a player in the conference who has been in better form than Gibbs, and his play — along with that of Jaren Sina and Khadeen Carrington — made the fans in Newark forget about Whitehead’s absence really quickly. Here’s the question: what happens when Whitehead, a high-volume and low-efficiency scorer, returns to the mix?
THEY WERE GOOD, TOO
South Carolina: The Gamecocks made a statement on Saturday as they knocked off No. 9 Iowa State at the Barclays Center.
Maryland: The Terps moved to 2-0 in their first season in the Big Ten, picking up a win at Michigan State and knocking off Minnesota in College Park.
New Mexico: The Lobos lost Cullen Neal for the season, but they won their first two Mountain West games, including a blowout win over previously undefeated Colorado State.
Dayton: The Flyers put together a 2-0 week, including a win over Ole Miss, despite playing shot-handed.
Cincinnati: Mick Cronin won’t be coaching for the rest of the season, but the Bearcats played well without him. They blew out N.C. State in Raleigh and followed that up by beating SMU at home.
DePaul: The Blue Demons are 2-0 in the Big East. Seriously.
SET YOUR DVR
No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 19 North Carolina, Mon. 7:00 p.m.
No. 18 Oklahoma at No. 11 Texas, Mon. 9:00 p.m.
Wyoming at No. 24 Colorado State, Wed. 9:00 p.m.
No. 13 Kansas at No. 22 Baylor, Wed. 9:00 p.m.
No. 5 Louisville at No. 19 North Carolina, Sat. 2:00 p.m.
No. 3 Virginia at No. 14 Notre Dame, Sat. 6:00 p.m.
No. 9 Iowa State at No. 17 West Virginia, Sat. 8:00 p.m.