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Washington lands second 2019 verbal commitment

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With three of its four seniors heading into the 2018-19 season being perimeter players, Washington has some holes to address in its 2019 recruiting class. Thus far Mike Hopkins and his staff have done just that, with both of the program’s commits to date being perimeter players.

The second verbal commitment was received Tuesday afternoon, as three-star combo guard Marcus Tsohonis announced that he will be a Husky. Tsohonis, a Jefferson HS (Portland, Oregon) product who played his grassroots basketball for Seattle Rotary Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit, joins four-star wing RaeQuan Battle in Washington’s 2019 class to date.

The 6-foot-4 Tsohonis, who can play on or off the ball, held offers from multiple Pac-12 programs but ultimately made the decision to make the trek north from Portland to Seattle for his collegiate career. His verbal commitment comes on the heels of an official visit to Washington that was taken this past weekend.

As noted above Washington will loose some key contributors on the perimeter after the upcoming season, with David Crisp, Mathysse Thybulle and Dominic Green all entering their final season of eligibility (big man Noah Dickerson is also a senior). The additions of Tsohonis and Battle should help Washington when it comes to filling those holes and continuing to build upon the foundation laid during Hopkins’ first season at the helm.

Oregon State announces addition of transfer Payton Dastrup

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Tuesday afternoon Oregon State announced that former BYU power forward Payton Dastrup has joined the program as a transfer. Dastrup, who averaged 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in just under eight minutes per game last season, has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Oregon State will file a waiver on his behalf in hopes that Dastrup will be granted immediate eligibility.

Should the waiver request be denied, Dastrup will not be eligible to play until the 2019-20 season. For Oregon State’s sake, even with Dastrup’s career numbers he would fill a need for a team that bid farewell to its best big man during the spring.

Drew Eubanks’ decision to turn pro left a noticeable hole in Oregon State’s interior rotation, with senior Gligorije Rakocevic and junior Ben Kone being the most experienced returnees. Those two combined to average 3.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 2017-18, with Rakocevic averaging 10.6 minutes per game in 27 appearances off the bench.

In addition to those two the Beavers add three scholarship newcomers to the mix this season in junior college transfer Kylor Kelley and freshmen Warren Washington and Jack Wilson. Dastrup has the ability to step away from the basket, which would give Oregon State a little versatility in the interior to go along with a perimeter/wing rotation led by Tres Tinkle, Stephen Thompson Jr. and Ethan Thompson.

Five-star 2019 guard Nico Mannion down to two schools

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Five-star Class of 2019 point guard Nico Mannion appears to be inching closer to his college decision after announcing that he’s down to two schools on Friday night.

The 6-foot-3 Mannion recently reclassified into 2019 after being in the Class of 2020 the past few years, as big-name colleges immediately offered. Mannion was down to a final four that included Arizona, Duke, Marquette and Villanova.

Now, Mannion is focused on Arizona and Marquette as the Blue Devils and Wildcats have been dropped from his list. With Villanova taking a recent commitment from five-star guard Bryan Antoine, it makes sense that it might be a crowded backcourt situation. Duke is a potentially crowded backcourt situation as well, with multiple five-star point guard offers in 2019.

Arizona is the in-state option for Mannion, as he plays at Phoenix Pinnacle High School. Marquette would also give Mannion plenty of freedom in the backcourt as high-scoring guard Markus Howard could be a recent example of what the Golden Eagles could look to do with Mannion.

It’ll be interesting to see how long Mannion takes to announce from here, as he hasn’t set a decision date or next step in the timeline. One of the top scoring lead guards in the Class of 2019, Mannion should have an instant impact at the college level.

Ankle surgery expected to sideline USC guard Elijah Weaver three months

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USC will be short a member of its highly regarded 2018 recruiting class when the season begins, as the program announced Thursday that freshman guard Elijah Weaver has undergone surgery on his right ankle.

The procedure was done to repair the tissue that supports the tendons in Weaver’s ankle, which he injured last week, and the freshman is expected to miss up to three months. The 6-foot-5 freshman from Cocoa, Florida is a four-star recruit who was expected to be a part of the Trojans’ perimeter rotation.

Weaver’s ability to play either on or off the ball is an important attribute for a USC roster that, with the graduation of Jordan McLaughlin, has just one traditional point guard in Derryck Thornton Jr. Weaver and fellow freshman Kevin Porter Jr. join a group of perimeter players that includes Thornton, Shaqquan Aaron, Jonah Mathews, Charles O’Bannon Jr. and Jordan Usher.

6-foot-8 forward J’Raan Brooks, who like Weaver and Porter was considered to be a four-star prospect, rounds out the freshman class for a USC program that should be a factor in the Pac-12 this season.

Five-star guard Cole Anthony announces 12 finalists

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For a kid that’s the son of an NBA player (who also is prominently on TV as an analyst) and a top-five recruit, Cole Anthony has kept his recruitment remarkably quiet. Our own Rob Dauster wrote 2,500 words on him earlier this summer, and still had to “read the tea leaves” as to who, exactly, was recruiting the talented guard.

Anthony finally provided some clarity on the situation ahead of his senior year.

Twelve schools made the cut for Anthony, who will now consider Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Oregon, Villanova, Wake Forest, Pitt, Georgetown, Notre Dame and Miami as his college destination.

Anthony essentially had his pick of any school in the country, so this list is a trim, but considering the size of it, Anthony is still keeping his options open. Those options basically being all the top programs in the country. And Pitt.

(Sorry, that was mean to the Panthers. Clearly the hiring of Jeff Capel, who spearheaded Duke’s recruiting of recent seasons, is putting them in contention for top-level players.)

Anthony has said previously he’s looking to make a spring decision on where he’ll attend school.

 

Arizona PF Ira Lee cited for ‘super extreme’ DUI

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Tuesday afternoon it was announced that Arizona sophomore power forward Ira Lee was been cited for driving under the influence on Saturday.

According to the Arizona Daily Star Lee faces misdemeanor charges for failing to yield at an intersection, driving under the influence as a minor (Lee is 20 years old) and super extreme DUI involving a blood-alcohol content above .20. Lee, who had a blood-alcohol level of .215 per the Daily Star, will be arraigned on September 10.

In a release the Arizona basketball program announced that the incident has been referred to the Dean of Students for review and “the Athletics Department is reviewing the incident for team consequences.”

As a freshman Lee served as a reserve behind starters Deandre Ayton and Dusan Ristic in the Arizona front court, averaging 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game. With Ayton and Ristic both off to the professional ranks, Lee is expected to be a key contributor in an Arizona front court that includes transfers Chase Jeter (Duke; sat out last season) and Ryan Luther (Pittsburgh), sophomore Emmanuel Akot and freshman Omar Thielemans.