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The top national college basketball news, featuring a daily roundup of the big national college basketball stories that matter. Also hit our college basketball forum.

College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from January, 2019

January 19

Ethan Happ finished with 26 points, 10 boards, seven assists and a pair of steals as Wisconsin handed No. 2 Michigan their first loss of the season, 64-54, in the Kohl Center on Saturday after. Michigan was one of two remaining undefeated teams entering Saturday. The other, No. 4 Virginia, plays at No. 1 Duke on Saturday evening. Michigan’s 17-0 start to the season was the best start in program history. --

January 18

If you wanna jump with Ja Morant, God bless you, but it ain’t going to work out well for you. Eastern Illinois learned that lesson Thursday as Morant unleashed yet another must-see dunk. On top of that, the future lottery pick had 27 points and nine assists while shooting 11 of 16 from the floor and 4 of 5 from 3-point range. He’s an unsolvable problem for the OVC. --

January 17

Duke may not be at full strength for its showdown with Virginia on Saturday, but the Blue Devils are on their way to that eventuality. Cam Reddish is expected to play after missing Monday’s loss to Syracuse with an illness while Tre Jones will not miss an extended amount of time and is not initially ruled out for Saturday after suffering a shoulder injury, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told The Athletic on Thursday. --

January 16

Oklahoma State basketball players Michael Weathers, Maurice Calloo and Kentrevious Jones are no longer with the team because of a violation of team rules, coach Mike Boynton said in a statement. --

January 15

The biggest game of the night ended up being one of the most boring games of the night, as No. 4 Virginia put away No. 9 Virginia Tech before we reached the under eight media timeout. The Wahoos hit nine of their first 11 threes, finished 13-for-24 from beyond the arc on the evening and took a 44-22 lead into halftime, eventually knocking off the Hokies, 81-59. It was an utterly dominant performance from Tony Bennett’s club, and one that had our Travis Hines convincing himself that this is the year for UVA. --

The Cavs weren’t the only big dog to handle their business in impressive fashion on Tuesday. No. 3 Tennessee jumped out to a 23-6 lead on Arkansas and never looked back, beating the Razorbacks 106-87 in a game where the Vols never seemed to get out of third gear. While that was happening, No. 12 Kentucky was in the midst of going into Stegeman Coliseum and dropping a hammer on Georgia, 69-49. Ashton Hagans — who was previously committed to the Bulldogs — put a career-high 23 points on the board. --

January 13

There was no celebration after or even a hint of extra excitement. They shook hands in a line, walked off the court and into the locker room -- all in under two minutes after the buzzer sounded. Michigan won its 17th consecutive game in an 80-60 hammering of Northwestern on Sunday. It set a school record for the best start to a season and tied the longest winning streak in program history, but the way the Wolverines acted, it was like winning an early-season nonconference game instead. --

January 5

Penn State has suspended basketball coach Pat Chambers one game following an incident on Thursday during the Nittany Lions' game against Michigan in which he pushed a player during a timeout. He will be out Sunday as they take on Wisconsin on their home court. --

January 4

The Miami Hurricanes haven't yet decided whether they'll declare Dewan Hernandez ineligible and seek his reinstatement after an NCAA membership committee upheld the governing body's ruling regarding potential rules violations involving the junior forward. NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn told ESPN on Friday that Miami officials submitted the facts of Hernandez's case to the NCAA to determine what rules violations occurred and what the potential penalties would be. --

January 3

Dewan Hernandez season will continue on as it has for the last two months – as a spectator. The Miami junior lost his appeal to the NCAA and has been declared ineligible in the latest fallout from the federal investigation into college basketball. --

January 2

Former Southern California assistant basketball coach Tony Bland has pleaded guilty in the FBI's college basketball corruption case alleging his involvement in taking bribes to steer athletes to colleges. Bland, who was charged in September 2017, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. He was scheduled to go to trial in April. --

January 1

The news that we were all waiting for hit right around 2 a.m. on the east coast on Monday morning: Steve Alford is now the former head coach of the UCLA basketball program. Rumors had been swirling all weekend that UCLA would buyout the rest of Alford’s contract after a 15 point home loss to Liberty, the fifth consecutive defeat suffered by the Bruins, dropped the team to 7-6 on the season. Seth Davis of The Athletic was the first to report the UCLA brass had made the decision to move on. --

College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from December, 2018

December 30

UCLA hit a new low on Saturday during a season that has been filled with them, falling 73-58 to Liberty on its home floor. It's the Bruins' fourth consecutive loss in a string of disappointing performances, dropping them to 7-6 on the season as they prepare for Pac-12 play next Thursday. --

December 28

Hawaii Pacific basketball player Emil Isovic died Wednesday, a little more than a week after he collapsed during a game. He was 21. Isovic's collapse happened during a timeout while sitting on the bench during HPU's game against Southern Nazarene on Dec. 18, according to the Star Advertiser. --

December 24

Virginia is the new No. 1 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, leaping Kansas, which suffered its first loss at the hands of Arizona State this weekend, and Duke. The Cavaliers barely edged out the Blue Devils, garnering 757 points to Duke's 755. They received 10 first-place votes to Duke's 9. --

Duke is back on top this week in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, due to former No. 1 Kansas taking its first loss of the season. The Jayhawks lost Saturday at Arizona State, which is now ranked 17th. The Christmas Eve update has five teams receiving first-place votes: Duke, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and Kansas. The teams have a combined record of 54-3. --

December 23

There are really just four results that we need to discuss when it comes to where teams are ranked this week: N.C. State’s win over Auburn, Kentucky beating North Carolina, Duke outlasting Texas Tech and Arizona State knocking off Kansas. Let’s start with Texas Tech first. Anybody that watched the Red Raiders play knows that the final scoreline — 69-58 — does not do justice to their performance. Texas Tech was the better team for roughly 30 minutes, and nothing about that loss makes me think any less of the Red Raiders. They bumped up from No. 11 to No. 8 in my rankings, but the only team I really jumped them over was Florida State. --

December 16

There’s not really all that much to discuss in the top 25 this week. Kansas beat a Villanova team that has lost to Furman and Penn, so they get a bump up over Gonzaga, who lost at North Carolina on Saturday. The Tar Heels jump up over Auburn after Auburn struggled to put away UAB. Purdue, Syracuse and Villanova all drop out of the top 25 after more losses while Indiana, Oklahoma and Maryland all make their first appearance in the rankings. --

December 12

A large number of high school basketball players, including ones from the most prominent programs in the country, are ineligible to be seen by college coaches in June, multiple sources told ESPN. In August, the NCAA implemented new recruiting rules, specifically ones that impact the recruiting calendar and when coaches can watch prospects. They changed the July evaluation periods and added two weekends in June for college coaches to watch recruits. --

Western Kentucky announced on Wednesday morning that DeSean Murray, a graduate transfer from Auburn, has left the program “to pursue professional opportunities.” Murray is a 6-foot-4 forward that began his playing career at Presbyterian. He transferred to Auburn after the 2015-16 season and averaged 10.1 points for the Tigers last year. --

December 5

There weren’t exactly monumental expectations for Texas coming into this season. Still, with Kerwin Roach, Dylan Osetkowski, Matt Coleman and Jericho Sims all back, the idea was the Longhorns would be pretty good. At least good enough to keep mentions of Shaka Smart’s 50-50 record in three seasons in Austin to a minimum. That theory is being tested early. Texas lost its third-consecutive game Wednesday, the second-straight at home to a mid-major, with Smart’s former program, VCU, outlasting the Longhorns 54-53 at the Erwin Center. The Longhorns lost to Michigan State, no shame there, to start this slide, but after a loss to Radford and now the Rams, both of whom ranked outside the KenPom top-100, there is a bit of reason for alarm. --

December 3

The Gonzaga Bulldogs remain atop the latest USA Today Coaches Poll after another flawless week. Followed up by a win over then-No. 1 Duke in the Maui Invitational, they cruised to 2-0 this past week -- including an impressive double-digit win over Creighton on the road shorthanded -- to move to 8-0 overall. It's the third time since 2012 they've opened the season with at least eight consecutive wins. --

Meanwhile, the rest of the top seven -- filled with Kansas, Duke, Virginia, Michigan, Nevada and Tennessee -- remained exactly as it were a week ago. The Jayhawks began the season as the preseason No. 1 and have yet to lose, but only received 10 of a possible 32 first-place votes this week. Gonzaga garnered 21 while Michigan, unbeaten with double digit wins over reigning national champion Villanova and a top-15 North Carolina squad, received one. --

December 2

On Gonzaga: The Bulldogs went into Omaha on Saturday as the No. 1 team in the country and quickly realized why we always talk about how the CHI Health Center is one of the most difficult places to play in America. The Bluejays got on an early role, with Ty-Shon Alexander and Mitch Ballock burying some threes and Davion Mintz dunking on the entire frontline of the Zags, and with all 18,000 people in the building going absolutely bonkers, the Zags slowly but surely cut away at what was at one point an 11 point lead. By the time it was all said and done, the Zags had a 103-92 road win that will carry some weight come Selection Sunday. --

College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from November, 2018

November 30

Top-ranked Gonzaga is heading into a tough stretch without two of its key players. Star forward Killian Tillie and guard Geno Crandall are sidelined for at least the next month with injuries suffered in practice. --

Roy Williams didn't mince his words after North Carolina's ugly 84–67 loss to No. 7 Michigan, ripping his team's play and his own coaching skills during a post-game press conference Wednesday night. After the Wolverines smotherered the Tar Heels in the paint and dominated the team on both ends of the court, Williams took to the podium to vent his frustrations. "The job that the head coach is doing right now, we stink," Williams said bluntly. "We work screens on ball every day in practice. Three plays in a row they set a screen in the middle of court for a dunk or a layup. I have no positive things. If you want to find some positive things you better go out and find somebody on the streets. I've got no positives from this. I've been coaching for 31 years. Right now my coaching sucks." --

November 29

Michigan finished third nationally in defensive efficiency last season, won 33 times and played in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Now, this season, the Wolverines are ranked first nationally in defensive efficiency thanks, in part, to Wednesday's 84-67 victory over North Carolina that created a 7-7 tie in the 20th annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Preseason All-American Luke Maye missed eight of the 12 shots he took against Michigan. Projected top-five pick Nassir Little missed four of his five field-goal attempts. As a result, North Carolina -- which still ranks fourth nationally in offensive efficiency as of Thursday morning -- only shot 39.4 percent from the field while scoring 30 fewer points than the Tar Heels averaged through their first seven games of this season. --

At some point, no more statements need be made. No. 7 Michigan more or less ended No. 11 North Carolina in 24 minutes of clock time Wednesday night, staunch defensive play and timely shooting putting a double-digit stranglehold on one of the top offensive teams anywhere. There has been no hangover from falling in last season’s title game, no drop-off after the departure of a talismanic scorer, and there should be no more questions about the Wolverines’ place among the nation’s elite teams. The margin was 84–67. It was not for show. --

November 27

I’m going with Rui as the leader for National Player of the Year as of today. His numbers justify it, as do his performances against the best teams in the country. In Maui, he averaged 22.3 points and 6.0 boards while shooting 54.5 percent from the field. His best game of the season came in Gonzaga’s win over Duke, in which he went for 20 points, seven boards, five assists and three blocks and not only scored the game-winning bucket but notched a pair of game-saving blocks in the final minutes. --

Vanderbilt star Darius Garland, a potential future lottery pick in the NBA Draft, had surgery Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee suffered in last week's loss to Kent State. He's expected to miss the rest of the season. --

Garland was averaging 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists prior to the injury. A top 15 prospect in the class of 2018, Garland was — and is — a potential first round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. --

Gonzaga will be without reserve guard Geno Crandall for the next four-to-six weeks with a fracture in his right hand... Crandall has averaged 18.2 minutes per game so far this season, as he’s putting up 5.0 points, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. --

November 26

AP Top 25 poll
1. Gonzaga (32)
2. Kansas (31)
3. Duke (1)
4. Virginia (1)
5. Nevada
6. Tennessee
7. Michigan
8. Auburn
9. Michigan State
10. Kentucky
11. North Carolina
12. Kansas State
13. Virginia Tech
14. Iowa
15. Florida State
16. Ohio State
17. Texas
18. Oregon
19. Purdue
20. Texas Tech
21. Buffalo
22. Wisconsin
23. Villanova
24. Maryland
25. Mississippi State

Gonzaga pulled off what some considered impossible, stopping the Duke juggernaut in the Maui Invitational title game without one of its best players. Now the Zags are No. 1 again. Third in last week's poll, Gonzaga leapfrogged No. 2 Kansas to the top spot in The Associated Press Top 25 poll released Monday. The Zags received 32 first-place votes from a 65-person media panel, edging the Jayhawks by one. --

The NCAA released their NET rankings for the first time all season long, and whoooooooo boy, are these things going to cause a stir. If you have forgotten, the NET is a metric that the NCAA created in an effort to eliminate the RPI from the NCAA tournament selection process. No one is quite sure exactly how the formula is put together, but what we do know is this: After the first three weeks of the season, it is quite clear that there is not enough data for the NET to properly evaluate these teams in a manner that makes any kind of sense. Ohio State is No. 1 in the NET, which more or less says all you need to know about where this metric is as of today. Virginia is No. 2. Texas Tech, Michigan and Gonzaga round out the top five. Duke check in at sixth, with Michigan State, Wisconsin and Virginia Tech rounding out the top ten. --

The new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings were published for the first time Monday and, as it was with the RPI, there are some counter-intuitive results with so few games having been played. For example, Ohio State leads the way in the NET, but is only 13th in the RPI and 16th in the AP Top 25 and CBS Sports' Top 25 and 1. The No. 1 team in the CBS Sports' Top 25 and 1 and in the current RPI is Kansas, but the Jayhawks check in at No. 11 in the first edition of the NET. In what will likely prove to be an early anomaly in both systems, Loyola Marymount rounds out the top 10 in the NET and is No. 3 in the RPI. --

The NET ratings consider strength of schedule and margin of victory and will be the primary measurement the tournament selection committee will use to finalize the field of 68 in March. Among the head-scratchers in the initial rankings released three weeks into the 2018-19 season: Kentucky is ranked 61st. The Wildcats have one, 34-point neutral site loss to Duke, the Associated Press poll's No. 1 team last week. --

Gonzaga is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25, leapfrogging Kansas after winning the Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs were third in last week’s poll and moved ahead of No. 2 Kansas following Wednesday’s thrilling win over former No. 1 Duke in the Maui title game. Gonzaga received 32 first-place votes from a 65-person media panel in the poll released Monday, edging Kansas by one. --

November 20

In terms of immediate and nationally consequential recruiting impact, Penny Hardaway is the most successful hire in college basketball since John Calipari took over at Kentucky in 2009. That reality materialized Tuesday afternoon when big man James Wiseman, the No. 1 overall player in the 247Sports Class of 2019 Composite rankings, pledged to Hardaway and his hometown Memphis Tigers. From embarrassing attendance numbers to declining ticket sales to strike out after strike out in recruiting, no program has turned its momentum for the better in quicker fashion than the Tigers. --

Wiseman wields a 7'6" wingspan and a standing reach of over nine feet. He's a talented rim runner on both sides of the ball and shows promising athleticism for someone of his size. He has room for improvement as a shot blocker and rebounder, but is still projected to be a one and done prospect and will be in contention to be the top pick in the 2020 NBA draft. --

November 19

It's not often the team that starts the season at the No. 1 spot in the rankings loses its foothold atop the polls without losing, but such is the case with the Kansas Jayhawks. They were the preseason No. 1 in the Coaches Poll and are a perfect 3-0 to start their season, but fell from No. 1 to No. 2 in the first Coaches Poll of the regular season released on Monday. --

While top-ranked Duke and No. 2 Kansas did little to hurt their status as early national title contenders, Villanova and Syracuse slid all the way out of the Top 25 on Monday. The Wildcats lost a rematch of last year's championship game with Michigan, then lost in overtime to Furman on Saturday to give coach Jay Wright's team back-to-back losses for the first time in five years. --

November 18

Defending national champion Villanova lost its second game in a row on Saturday, the first time the No. 8 Wildcats had dropped back-to-back contests since the end of the 2012-13 season. Three days after being blown out by No. 18 Michigan 73-46 in a rematch of April's national championship game, Villanova (2-2) lost at home to Furman 76-68 in overtime. -- News Services

'Nova attempted 44 threes on the night, making only 14 (31.8%). Seniors Phil Booth and Eric Paschall particularly struggled from the perimeter, going a combined 5 of 24 from three. The Paladins are now 5–0 on the season. They have defeated two 2018 Final Four teams on the road, beating Loyola Chicago on Nov. 9. --

Jim Boeheim has never been one to mince words. Over the past two days, he has watched his team look flustered on offense, struggle on defense and overall look nothing like the preseason top-25 team that was expected to be among the best in the ACC. Syracuse came into Madison Square Garden the favorite to win the 2K Classic. It leaves empty-handed and in need of a reset. The Orange fell to an emotionally-charged UConn team on Thursday, then lost 80–65 to Oregon a day later. After both games, Boeheim didn’t hold back his frustration. “I’m more than concerned,” he said Friday. “We gotta play much better offensively. Our defense is nowhere near where it was last year. There’s no doubt that we have a lot of work to do.” --

November 16

Moments after the final buzzer had sounded on a statement UConn victory, Dan Hurley and his players let their emotions loose as they walked off the Madison Square Garden floor. In front of a frenzied pack of Huskies fans, sophomore Tyler Polley grabbed the front of his jersey with both hands and puffed out the UCONN on his chest. Senior Jalen Adams, the longest-tenured member of the team, gave a visceral yell of joy as he passed the jubilant crowd. Hurley, the coach that those fans hope can return this program to its position amongst the college basketball elite, indulged in a celebratory scream of his own as he jogged to the tunnel. --

For all kinds of reasons, this win meant as much to UConn as any mid-November win possibly could. Eight months removed from the school’s worst season in 31 years, the Huskies took down No. 15 Syracuse 83-76 behind an impassioned effort on both ends from a group of players that has bought into their new coach. “We all got the right mindset,” said Adams, who came to the podium with the remains of locker-room tears still in his eyes. “Once you got a group of players and coaches all connected with one common goal, it’s a whole different energy throughout the facility, whenever we’re together.” --

The difference in the way UConn played Thursday night was night and day compared to a season ago. Not because the roster has been overhauled; many of the key contributors to the victory were on the roster that went 14-18 last year. Rather, it came from matching the intensity and energy of Hurley, the 45-year-old coach who has already changed the Huskies’ culture. UConn won because it got infectiously hot from three, but also because it played harder than Syracuse. The latter was the first thing Jim Boeheim said at his postgame press conference. --

October 30

Iona senior forward Roland Griffin said he was kicked off the team after a physical altercation in which he punched an assistant coach earlier in the week. Griffin told Stadium in a story published Friday that he punched Garfield "Ricky" Johns multiple times Monday morning but said he did so in self-defense after Johns "tried to wrestle me down" after a face-to-face verbal confrontation in the locker room. --

October 29

Now, on the dawn of the 2018–19 season, Duke’s shift over this decade—from the program that sat out the one-and-done era to the program that has mastered it—appears to be reaching its zenith. The Blue Devils enter the year with three of the country’s consensus top-four recruits (forwards R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson and guard Cam Reddish), plus 13th-ranked Tre Jones and 37th-ranked Joey Baker. Barrett, Reddish and Williamson are all projected to be among the top picks in next June’s draft, but regardless of when they turn pro, given Duke’s dearth of high-usage returnees, those three and their classmates are likely to make history. As Krzyzewski’s change in philosophy has increased both roster churn and the level of incoming talent, the team he fields this year may be among the most freshman-heavy we have ever seen. --

October 25

Question: How much of a step back does Villanova take without Jalen Brunson, Miles Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman? Jeff Borzello: The Wildcats will undoubtedly take a step back, but they're still the heavy favorites in the Big East. Jay Wright always seems to have a long list of breakout players in his back pocket, and veterans Eric Paschall and Phil Booth are going to take big steps forward. Paschall could be in store for an All-American-type season, while Booth is going to become a go-to guy in the backcourt. Incoming five-star freshman Jahvon Quinerly is one of the most dynamic guards we've seen come through Villanova in several years, and there's a host of returning role players. Keep an eye on Albany graduate transfer Joe Cremo, too. He'll bring some toughness and experience. Wright told me recently that roles are up for grabs besides Paschall and Booth, so it might take a few weeks (or months) for Villanova to really hit its stride. -- October 23

Carsen Edwards went through the NBA draft combine and multiple workouts before deciding to return for his junior season at Purdue. The Boilermakers are surely happy he did after losing four seniors and most of their scoring. The prolific guard was the leading vote-getter in The Associated Press preseason men's All-America team released on Tuesday, appearing on 63 of 65 ballots from a national media panel. Edwards was joined by North Carolina's Luke Maye, Duke freshman RJ Barrett, Kansas big man Dedric Lawson, Nevada's Caleb Martin and Wisconsin's Ethan Happ. --

October 22

Missouri sophomore men’s basketball player Jontay Porter tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee during a secret scrimmage Sunday against Southern Illinois and is out for the season. Porter tested the NBA Draft waters this spring but decided to return to school for his sophomore year. He participated in the Mizzou Madness preseason event Saturday and showed athleticism and quickness, dunking a ball in the 10-minute scrimmage. -- Kansas City Star

October 19

In a move that could challenge the NCAA's monopoly on elite talent, the NBA's G League is creating a new venture as an alternative to the one-and-done route for the best American basketball prospects, it was announced Thursday. As part of a newly formed professional path starting in the summer of 2019, the G League will offer "Select Contracts" worth $125,000 to elite prospects who are at least 18 years old but not yet eligible for the NBA draft. The G League will target recent or would-be high school graduates who otherwise would have likely spent just one season playing college basketball, enticing them not only with a six-figure salary but also the opportunity to benefit from NBA infrastructure, as well as a bevy of off-court development programs "geared toward facilitating and accelerating their transition to the pro game," league president Malcolm Turner told ESPN. --

October 15

There are no Jayhawks on trial at the U.S. District Court in southern Manhattan. Nor were any Kansas coaches ensnared in the larger FBI probe that begat the ongoing simultaneous cases against Adidas executive Jim Gatto, former Adidas consultant Merl Code, and burgeoning player rep Christian Dawkins. And still for yet another day the actions and interactions of the staff of one of college basketball’s most storied programs took center stage in a federal courtroom, where the unseen machinations of amateur basketball’s “underground” continue seeing rare light. This is a weird case in many ways. The FBI’s entire years long corruption investigation rests on a peculiar premise: that because NCAA-member universities impose amateurism rules to prevent athletes from being directly, financially compensated for their talents and labor, conspiring to circumvent those rules in order to benefit schools’ teams amounts to criminal fraud against said schools, who would in turn bear the punishment if and when such schemes are uncovered. Backchannel payments to high school and college athletes, once scandalous in their own right, are thus treated matter-of-factly in this trial, as the general public has grown increasingly blasé toward such news and the defense, rather than deny the documented transactions took place, tries to argue that they involved no fraud. --

October 4

Dick Vitale's All-Solid Gold teams: FIRST TEAM -- Luke Maye (North Carolina Tar Heels), Caleb Martin (Nevada Wolf Pack), Grant Williams (Tennessee Volunteers), Carsen Edwards (Purdue Boilermakers), Tyus Battle (Syracuse Orange). SECOND TEAM -- Kyle Guy (Virginia Cavaliers) Ethan Happ (Wisconsin Badgers), Rui Hachimura, (Gonzaga Bulldogs), Mike Daum (South Dakota State Jackrabbits), Shamorie Ponds (St. John's Red Storm). --

October 1

In a brutal blow for New Mexico, the school announced Sunday night that guard JaQuan Lyle is expected to miss the entire 2018–19 season with an Achilles injury. Lyle sat out last season after transferring from Ohio State, where he averaged 11.3 points through two seasons. He was expected to play a major role for a Lobos team that seemed poised to make noise near the top of the Mountain West and have a shot at an at-large NCAA tournament bid, expectations that are now far less clear. --

Lyle averaged 11.3 points in two seasons for the Buckeyes, starting 54 of the 66 games in which he appeared. The 6-foot-5 guard had been set to play a key role for the Lobos, who are expected to be one of the better teams in the Mountain West Conference. --

College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from September, 2018

September 28

UCLA freshman forward Shareef O'Neal, son of NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, will redshirt the 2018-19 season due to a heart condition that will require surgery, he told TMZ Sports. O'Neal, 18, was having a routine checkup when UCLA doctors found "a medical issue" dealing with his heart. Specifics of his condition were not discussed. --

September 6

Tennessee extended men's basketball coach Rick Barnes' contract through the 2023-24 season on Thursday... Barnes was named the SEC Coach of the Year last season after leading the Volunteers to the conference's regular-season title in his third year at the school. --

September 5

Rick Pitino left no doubt on Wednesday, saying "I'm finished coaching" during an appearance on ESPN's "Get Up." The former Louisville coach is making the rounds promoting his new book, "Pitino: My Story." He had written in the book that his "coaching career is possibly finished." It's been nearly a year since an FBI investigation into college basketball led to his termination at Louisville. He maintained Wednesday that he was unaware that Adidas allegedly paid $100,000 to the family of five-star prospect Brian Bowen to steer him to Louisville. --

September 2

This month, Duke played 237 possessions of basketball during a three-game exhibition swing in Canada, and Kentucky did the Blue Devils one better with a four-game slate of friendly competition in the Bahamas that clocked in at 310 total possessions. That's enough basketball to sink our teeth into, and, besides, this is Duke and Kentucky we're talking about. So what have Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari seen so far from their teams? They've seen their talent post a collective 7-0 record with an average margin of victory of 31 points against so-so competition. --

College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from August, 2018

August 23

Duke: Tre Jones is the first of four five-star, top-25 recruits for coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils that are being featured in our series. Coming in with Jones (No. 13 in the RSCI rankings) in the 2018 class are three potential lottery picks in R.J. Barrett (No. 1), Cameron Reddish (No. 2), Zion Williamson (No. 4) and four-star small forward Joey Baker (No. 37). The five top-50 recruits are the reason behind Duke’s No. 1 ranking for this class, and all should see serious minutes for the Blue Devils. --

August 17

Duke, ranked third, boasts the top recruiting class in America. Two key players in that group, Tre Jones and Cam Reddish, will miss the games in Canada because of a hip injury and strained groin, respectively. Zion Williamson (29 points), the viral phenom who dunked from the free throw line in a practice this week, and R.J. Barrett (34 points), the No. 1 player in the 2018 class, led the Blue Devils to an 86-67 win over Ryerson University on Wednesday. --

August 16

We move to the No. 20 and No. 6 overall recruits, Oregon's Louis King and Bol Bol, respectively: Bol Bol, the top-ranked center in the class of 2018 and a near consensus lottery pick for 2019, is Oregon’s highest-rated recruit in history. Bol gives the Ducks' third-ranked recruiting class a tremendous boost with his No. 6 overall ranking, as does 6’8” standout small forward Louis King (No. 20 in the RSCI rankings). King, a New Jersey native, and Bol, a Sudanese seven-footer, add needed depth to the Ducks' frontcourt. The two-five start recruits will be joined by three four-star players in shooting guard Will Richardson (No. 40), center Francis Okoro and power forward Miles Norris (No. 66). Bol alone is an impressive get for Oregon, but the complement of King, a skilled wing and another potential 2019 NBA prospect, and Norris, gives the Ducks tons of talent down low. --

August 13

The season started early for Kentucky men's basketball, which finished 4-0 against a collection of teams during an exhibition trip to the Bahamas that concluded Sunday. The Wildcats played four games in five days and showcased the talent and promise that elevated the program to the No. 1 slot in's Way Too Early Top-25 poll after Stanford grad transfer Reid Travis joined the squad over the summer. On Wednesday, the Wildcats defeated the Bahamas select team 85-61 before recording a 91-68 victory over San Lorenzo, an Argentinian professional squad, the next day. Then they beat Mega Bemax, a professional team from Serbia, 100-64 on Saturday before ending the exhibition trip Sunday with a 93-60 win over Team Toronto, a squad full of Canadian talent. --

August 9

NBA and USA Basketball officials were caught off guard by the NCAA announcement regarding prospects who are seeking to play professional basketball, reports's Adrian Wojnarowski. After the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation started looking into the college basketball and arresting some former assistant coaches in a corruption scheme last year, the NCAA announced they were forming a commission that could address the future of the sport. The commission sought to give USA Basketball the job of choosing which prospects would be deemed elite so those players could hire agents. But according to the ESPN report, USA Basketball wants NBA make those decisions, because the league is already in charge of combine process that happens after the college basketball season. --

In a landmark declaration, the NCAA announced on Wednesday that, among other rule changes, (1) college basketball players can hire an agent so long as the player requests an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee (which consists of NBA team executives who provide candid advice to college players on their draft prospects); (2) assuming the NBA and National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA) consent to the following arrangement, high school basketball players who have been identified as an “elite senior prospect” by USA basketball can also be represented by an agent beginning July 1 before their senior year in high school; and (3) agents must be certified by the NCAA in order to work with high school and college athletes (however, until Aug. 1, 2020, NBPA-certified agents will be automatically considered NCAA certified and family members or those who act solely on behalf of a pro team aren’t required to be certified at all). --

August 7

Former McDonald's All-American and Louisville commit Brian Bowen has signed a professional contract with the Sydney Kings in Australia. Bowen, the No. 14-ranked recruit in ESPN's Top 100 in 2017, is the first player signed to the NBL's Next Stars program, which was launched in March in an effort to provide alternative pathways for NBA prospects who are unable or decide not to play college basketball. --

Shareef O'Neal is officially a UCLA Bruin. The school announced Monday that O'Neal, a son of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, will enroll in school this month and join the men's basketball program as a freshman in September. O'Neal committed to UCLA in February, but he did not sign a National Letter of Intent in the spring period, reportedly because of academic reasons... As a senior, he led Crossroads School (of Santa Monica) to a California Division III state title, scoring 27 points per game. --

August 5

The North Carolina Tar Heels will name the court at the Dean E. Smith Center after head coach Roy Williams, the school announced Thursday. It will officially become Roy Williams Court in August 24. "It's very hard to believe; it's just so flattering," Williams said in a release. --

August 1

The NCAA is expected to announce new legislation next week. Reported proposals would prevent college coaches from attending any grassroots events in July, including any Nike, Adidas or Under Armour event. Instead, the NCAA, in conjunction with USA basketball and the NBPA, would run regional camps with up to 2,500 players, and there would be two weekends in June where college coaches could go to high school team camps. Recently, however, there have been reports of allowing one event run by the shoe companies at the start of the month and then running the regional camps later in July, while also still keeping the high school team camps. We should know specifics soon, but it appears that July will be very different next year. --

College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from July, 2018

July 26

Virginia, Florida and Wisconsin will headline a solid field in this year's Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, officials announced Tuesday. The tournament, which runs from Nov. 21 to 23 in the Bahamas, will also include Butler, Oklahoma, Middle Tennessee State, Stanford and Dayton. Both Butler and Oklahoma, then led by the since drafted Trae Young, reached the NCAA tournament last year. --

July 23

With his father now in Los Angeles, LeBron James Jr. headed to the East Coast on Monday and took a tour of Duke's basketball facilities with his AAU team, the North Coast Blue Chips, according to 247Sports. The team was in the area for a tournament in Charlotte. --

July 19

Considered a recent "hot-seat" candidate, Clemson's Brad Brownell has the chance to become the longest-serving men's basketball coach in Tiger history. Brownell received a new six-year contract on Thursday that will pay him $15 million through 2024. He's spent eight seasons at Clemson, and his previous contract was through 2021. --

July 5

In what could be a major addition in Gonzaga’s pursuit of its first NCAA basketball championship, the Zags picked up graduate transfer point guard Geno Crandall from North Dakota to add significant depth and flexibility to their backcourt. Crandall averaged 16.6 points and 3.6 assists for the Fighting Hawks last season who struggled to a 12-20 record and eighth place finish in the Big Sky Conference. He improved dramatically as a junior in terms of 3-point shooting, connecting on 41.7 percent of his attempts and making a career-best 50 3s. --

College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from June, 2018

June 28

John Calipari won't rely on one star as he chases his second national championship with a stacked Kentucky men's basketball team led by P.J. Washington, Stanford transfer Reid Travis and the what ESPN ranked as the No. 2 recruiting class in the country. "I said I'd like to have six or seven guys in double figures in scoring," Calipari said on an SEC teleconference call Thursday. "There is no one that's going to average 25 [points per game]. ... And this isn't communism. If you don't deserve to play, you won't play." --

June 22

Fresno State has hired Terry Tumey as athletic director... Tumey replaces Jim Bartko, who resigned in November. -- AP

June 21

Reid Travis, an All-Pac-12 player last season at Stanford and the most coveted graduate transfer on the market, announced Wednesday that he's transferring to Kentucky, where he'll be eligible to compete in the 2018-19 season. Travis, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 19.5 PPG and 8.7 RPG last season, graduated from Stanford on Sunday and visited Kentucky on Monday and Tuesday. --

June 19

Former Chicago Bulls point guard Chris Duhon has joined the staff of Illinois State University as an assistant men's basketball coach. -- AP

June 13

Former NBA Coach of the Year Sam Mitchell is joining Anfernee Hardaway's first coaching staff at the University of Memphis. --

Former Duke guard Greg Paulus has been hired as an assistant basketball coach at George Washington. --

June 11

Dick Vitale: "I was not surprised that John Beilein chose to remain as head coach at Michigan. The Wolverines are a better job than the Detroit Pistons right now. He has a solid recruiting class coming in and Wolverine fans can expect more success. If I was Beilein's agent, I would want a big contract extension... Utah Valley men's basketball coach Mark Pope received a new six-year deal that will keep him with the Wolverines through the 2023-24 season." --

June 7

The vast majority of the intrigue that surrounds college basketball’s offseason is over. NBA draft decisions are in, most transfer destinations have been determined and the top uncommitted recruits have chosen schools. There’s still a few moving parts out there (such as Stanford grad transfer Reid Travis) and we could always see a summer surprise (hello, Marvin Bagley’s reclassification last year), but for the most part, teams now know what their rosters will look like come October. All of that means it’s time to revise our post-national title game Way-Too-Early Top 25, taking into account what’s unfolded over the last two months: 1) Kansas, 2) Duke, 3) Kentucky, 4) Gonzaga, 5) North Carolina, 6) Virginia, 7) Nevada. --

June 4

If you thought Auburn might extend the contract of coach Bruce Pearl without telling anyone, or maybe while whispering the news to its most ardent supporters and coveted recruits — or maybe that it wouldn’t extend Pearl at all — you probably were surprised by the news that arrived Monday morning and the pride with which it was released. “It was a historic season for Auburn basketball and one that was matched by excellence in the classroom as well,” athletic director Allen Greene said in statement that revealed Pearl’s contract term would run through the 2022-23 season. --

Auburn got a real boost as three players decided to pull out of the NBA draft and return to school -- Austin Wiley, Jared Harper and Bryce Brown. The Tigers did lose guard Mustapha Heron, who also pulled out of the draft. He decided to transfer closer to home, going to St. John's. --

June 2

College players who entered the NBA draft without hiring an agent had until Wednesday night to finalize their decision if they wanted to retain their eligibility... Here is an updated Way-Too-Early Top 25 after the NBA draft early-entry deadline. 1. Kansas. 2. Duke. 3. Kentucky. 4. Gonzaga. 5. Tennessee. 6. Nevada. 7. Virginia. --

On Kansas: Bill Self will boast one of the nation's most potent frontcourts in 2018-19 with Udoka Azubuike and Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson (19.2 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.1 BPG in 2016-17) in his starting rotation. Self has been successful at Kansas when he has multiple big, talented bodies around the rim, dating back to the Jayhawks' national championship team in 2008 which featured Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson alongside guards Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers. --

On North Carolina: The Tar Heels’ loaded incoming recruiting class—a three-member haul highlighted by Orlando Christian (Fla.) Prep small forward Nassir Little, who’s ranked No. 3 in the 247Sports Composite—would have lessened the blow of forward Luke Maye staying in the draft. Instead, after a stellar junior season that saw him evolve from a one-shot hero into a legitimate star, Maye opted to return to the Tar Heels. That decision ensured head coach Roy Williams would have the undersized five (6'8", 240 pounds) he needs to power potent small-ball lineups and positioned North Carolina to enter the season alongside Virginia as Duke’s main competition for the ACC title. --

Jimmer Fredette, the former BYU star and first-round NBA draft pick, will compete in this year's edition of The Basketball Tournament with one goal in mind -- earn another spot in the NBA. "I would always love to get another chance in the NBA," Fredette told "I've gotten better in China and improved every year. ... You hope somebody takes notice." The Basketball Tournament is a $2 million winner-take-all event that will air on ESPN this summer. --

College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from May, 2018

May 28

Former Maryland basketball player Cliff Tucker was killed Monday morning in a car accident in Texas. Tucker was 29. Tucker played for Maryland from 2007-2011, appearing in 131 career games. He led the Terrapins in three-point makes as a senior in 2011. --

May 24

A matchup of potential top-five programs Kansas and Kentucky will serve as the centerpiece of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, Jan. 26... The schedule will feature six first-time Challenge matchups: Alabama at Baylor, Iowa State at Ole Miss, Kansas State at Texas A&M, Vanderbilt at Oklahoma, Florida at TCU and West Virginia at Tennessee. --

May 22

South Carolina's leading scorer and rebounder Chris Silva is withdrawing from the NBA draft and returning to the Gamecocks for his senior year. -- AP

From the moment he arrived at Kentucky as head coach in April 2009, John Calipari has been a master of one-and-done-era recruiting. Then, by 2013, Mike Krzyzewski had adopted that same approach wholeheartedly, with the result that Duke and Kentucky have now produced the top two recruiting classes nationally in each of the past five seasons. For 349 other programs, however, recruiting is a far different matter. None of these "other" programs has been able to attain and hold onto the luxurious position of signing multiple one-and-done stars year in and year out. Programs such as Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA have done so at times; but at the end of the day, the duopoly maintained by the Blue Devils and the Wildcats is still standing. --

May 20

Trae Young believes he's not just the best scorer in the NBA draft this year, he's the best player. Asked Friday whether he felt he was the best scorer in this year's class of potential picks, the Oklahoma guard felt he needed to add a little more to the description. "I think I'm the best overall player in this draft," Young said. "My main focus isn't necessarily to be the best player in this draft. My focus is to be the best player in the NBA. That's what I'm focusing on each and every day." --

Missouri's Michael Porter Jr., who says he is "100 percent" after rehabbing from back surgery most of the year, also said Thursday he feels he is "the best player in this draft." --

May 18

The University of Louisville has reached a $4.5 million settlement with former athletic director Tom Jurich, who was fired in the wake of a national federal corruption investigation of college basketball. -- AP

May 17

Center Ikechukwu Obiagu is transferring from Florida State to Seton Hall, he announced Thursday on Twitter. --

May 15

Villanova will host Michigan in a rematch of the 2018 NCAA tournament final on Nov. 14 as part of the fourth annual Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Gavitt Tipoff Games is an early-season series matching Big East programs against Big Ten schools. The event is named in honor of Big East founder Dave Gavitt. -- AP

May 10

Last week, five-star prospect Joey Baker announced that he was reclassifying to join the 2018 recruiting class and would enroll at Duke in the fall. Baker's decision means Mike Krzyzewski will enter 2018-19 with no fewer than five freshmen ranked in the top 40 of the 2018 ESPN 100. R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, Tre Jones and Baker will form the nucleus of a Blue Devils roster that has lost its entire starting five from last season. --


College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from February, 2018

February 4, 2018

Mike Krzyzewski didn't want to use inexperience or looking past a below-.500 opponent as an excuse for Duke's 81-77 upset loss to St. John's at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. The Duke coach didn't mince words in his criticism. "We didn't play basketball the first 32 minutes worthy of our program," Krzyzewski said. "It was disgusting, really." --

For one there is the matter of the Blue Devils’ defense, decent in the scheme of things but lacking for a team with title hopes, ranking 69th nationally in efficiency and on Saturday allowing St. John’s to have its best per-possession offensive showing since a Dec. 2 win over Sacred Heart, which currently sits ninth in the 10-team Northeast Conference. The occasional deployment of a 2-3 zone has provided temporary remedy at times this season, but against the Red Storm it did little to stem the tide, and by the time Duke clamped back down in man, it was trading punches while already backed against the ropes. --

Ohio State guard Kam Williams has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. --

Georgia sophomore guard Jordan Harris has been suspended indefinitely by the team. --

As the pile of celebrating bodies grew, Washington's Dominic Green started to get uneasy. He'd never been in the situation of celebrating a game-winning basket like this, let alone where he was the one hitting the shot. "I was really nervous," Green said. "Just because something like that had never happened, so it gave me the butterflies." Green was at the center of Washington's raucous celebration on Saturday night after his 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Huskies a 78-75 upset of No. 9 Arizona. --

College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories from January, 2018

January 21, 2018

Zion Williamson, the most-hyped recruit from the class of 2018, committed to Duke, he announced Saturday at his Spartanburg High School. The five-star power forward from South Carolina chose the Blue Devils over Clemson, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and more. --

Krzyzewski pulled the proverbial rabbit out of a hat, landing Williamson -- and securing the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 prospects in the 2018 class, something that’s never been done since the ESPN recruiting database started in 2007. Williamson joins a class that already had No. 1 prospect R.J. Barrett and No. 3 Cameron Reddish, as well as No. 1 point guard Tre Jones, the No. 10 overall player in 2018. --

Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young scored a career–high 48 points in the Sooners' loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday. Young, who leads the nation in points per game and assists, went 14-39 from the floor, including 8-20 from 3-point range. --

Clemson senior forward Donte Grantham will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL during Saturday's game, the team announced. Grantham suffered the injury in the second half of a 67-58 win over Notre Dame. His right knee buckled after he was fouled from behind. --

January 20, 2018

TCU point guard Jaylen Fisher had surgery Thursday to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee and will miss the rest of the season for the No. 24 Horned Frogs. --

January 19, 2018

An unimpressive start to the season for much of the Big Ten has made it hard for some of the league's emerging talent to stand out. That might not be the case for much longer. Michigan State's Miles Bridges is one of two players from the Big Ten to make the 25-player midseason Wooden Award watch list, released last week. The Spartans have been prohibitive favorites to win the conference since the preseason, but after a rough week in which they lost two of three games, other teams have made it clear that there are legitimate threats to contend for the title. It's time to give the players who are leading that charge their due. --


January 2, 2018

Michigan State was passed by Villanova for the No. 1 ranking after Duke and Kansas lost three weeks ago. The Spartans were No. 3 at the time, but voters moved the fourth-ranked Wildcats to the top spot. Look who's No. 1 now. Michigan State (14-1) moved up to No. 1 in the poll released on Monday, receiving 43 of 65 first-place votes following previously top-ranked Villanova's loss to Butler on Saturday. --

The Lithuanian coach who is set to welcome LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball this week told ESPN that he expects the brothers to "play a lot" once they get on the court. Virginijus Seskus, the head coach of Prienu Vytautas, said that he has watched plenty of footage of the Ball brothers -- on YouTube and also highlights sent by their agent, Harrison Gaines. --

Maryland forward Ivan Bender will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Bender has a torn meniscus in his right knee, an injury that occurred Friday night in a game against Maryland-Baltimore County. --

January 1, 2018

I'm writing this in the aftermath of a loss suffered by Villanova at Butler. The Bulldogs beat Jay Wright's No. 1-ranked team Saturday with a remarkable display of outside shooting, and when it was over, LaVall Jordan's men had a 101-93 victory over the previously undefeated Wildcats. The conventions of sportswriting require that I must now tut-tut sternly and say that Villanova's defense has been exposed. I should insist that the Wildcats will be vulnerable until they learn to do a better job of chasing opponents off the 3-point line. Last, I should warn Nova fans that they are in for a nervous time this season until and unless their team proves that it can buckle down on defense. I'm not going to do any of that, however, because I really don't believe any of that. Villanova will be fine.

December, 2017 College Basketball News, Rumors and Hot Stories

December 14, 2017

Charlotte has fired former NBA standout Mark Price after two-plus seasons, the school announced Thursday. Price had a 30-42 mark since taking over the 49ers program, including a 16-20 record in Conference USA play. Charlotte is 3-6 this season and on a four-game losing streak. --

December 13, 2017

The University of Louisville has filed a counterclaim to former basketball coach Rick Pitino's lawsuit and is seeking monetary damages from vacated games and bonuses. WDRB-TV reports the university alleges that negligence and "wrongful conduct" by Pitino has tarnished the school's reputation. --

December 12, 2017

LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have reached an agreement to sign professional basketball deals with Lithuanian club Prienu Vytautas, the team's coach/GM Virginijus Seskus and Ball family agent Harrison Gaines told ESPN's Jeff Goodman... LiAngelo and LaMelo are the younger brothers of Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball. LiAngelo withdrew from UCLA after the basketball team suspended him indefinitely following a shoplifting incident on the Bruins' tour of China. LaVar said he would have both LiAngelo and LaMelo bypass college basketball and planned to search out pro jobs overseas. LaMelo was a junior in high school but dropped out. --

December 4, 2017

The father of UCLA guard LiAngelo Ball says he plans to withdraw his son from school because of concerns related to the freshman's indefinite suspension for his participation in a shoplifting incident during the Bruins' trip to China. The younger Ball, along with freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, have been barred from all team activities as part of their suspension for shoplifting from three high-end stores last month when UCLA opened its season overseas. LaVar Ball told the Los Angeles Times and ESPN on Monday that he's going to explore other options for LiAngelo because ''I'm not going to let him sit back and not practice.'' -- AP/Yahoo Sports

There were a number of reasons then-No. 11 Cincinnati lost convincingly to No. 21 Xavier on Saturday. For one, the Musketeers are very good, especially when Trevon Bluiett is in All-America form, and they generally played very well. The Bearcats were also in hostile territory in front of a frothing crowd in a bitter rivalry game (more on that in a second), and they could hardly knock down an outside shot or find any complementary offense outside of their four primary scorers, and they got pushed around on the offensive glass. Basketball games are complicated puzzles with a lot going on. It’s rarely ever just one thing. --

But it’s also worth noting that Xavier might have just been more ready, not from a coaching or game-study perspective but when it comes to recent experience. Coaches often describe how non-conference schedules prepare them for league play, or league play prepares them for the postseason, and so on. Looking at the teams’ previous opponents through that prism, a disparity emerges. Undefeated Cincinnati’s only remotely notable wins were against Wyoming and Buffalo in the Cayman Islands. Xavier, meanwhile, was coming off a home win against No. 16 Baylor after a neutral-site loss to surging No. 20 Arizona State, which came a week after a never-a-pleasure trip to Wisconsin. In order words, we knew Xavier’s talent and expected success could be measured within the context of similar-caliber competition. For Cincinnati—a talented team nonetheless—the same could not really be said. --



October 27

The NAIA has agreed to move its Division II men's basketball tournament from a private Missouri college because of the school's stance on the national anthem. The Springfield News-Leader reports that the College of the Ozarks asked for the tournament to be moved because the NAIA had refused its request to require players to stand during the national anthem and would not plan a forum to discuss the issue before the tournament began. --

October 26

George Mason has signed men's basketball coach Dave Paulsen to a one-year contract extension that runs through the 2021-22 season. Athletic director Brad Edwards announced the extension Tuesday. Edwards said that in Paulsen's two years as the coach, he has built a strong program "and a team that's been recognized as one of the most improved on the court."

October 24

Michigan State snuck into the NCAA tournament last season as a No. 9 seed, and, historically, a spot on the No. 9 or 10 line has represented the absolute floor for how "low" (ha) this program can get under Tom Izzo. Improvement would be the safe prediction for 2017-18 even if we didn't know anything else. But what we do know about this particular group of Spartans is so striking that there's a case to be made for them as the No. 1 team in the nation. Miles Bridges is back for his sophomore season, and he'll be joined in the starting lineup by fellow returnees Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford and Nick Ward. That still leaves one spot open on the floor for Jaren Jackson, the No. 9-rated freshman in the ESPN 100. --

October 23

North Carolina senior point guard Joel Berry II broke a bone in his right hand and will likely miss the start of the regular season... Berry averaged 14.7 points and 3.6 assists last season and was the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player after scoring 22 points in the win over Gonzaga in the national title game. Berry was named a Preseason First Team All-American by ESPN on Monday. --

October 21

Louisville interim coach David Padgett has promoted R.J. Evans to acting assistant coach to "unofficially round out our staff." The announcement of Evans' promotion Friday comes a day after Padgett introduced Greg Paulus as an assistant coach. Evans worked under Rick Pitino, who was fired earlier this week. Evans was given on-court responsibilities after assistants Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair were placed on paid administrative leave. --

October 19

USA Today’s preseason coaches poll is out, and there are familiar faces all around as Duke returns to the No.1 spot for the second straight season. The Blue Devils are followed by Michigan State at No. 2, Kansas and Kentucky at Nos. 3 and 4, and Arizona in fifth. Duke brings back the mercurial Grayson Allen and has surrounded him with a number of elite freshmen recruits, including potential No. 1 NBA draft pick Marvin Bagley, big man Wendell Carter and guards Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr. After an early exit in last year’s tournament, the Blue Devils are positioned to bounce back as quickly as the new pieces start to jell. --

October 11

Villanova's Jay Wright will receive the John R. Wooden Award Legends of Coaching honor. The annual award is given to college basketball coaches who exemplify the late UCLA legend's standard of coaching success and personal integrity. Wooden's daughter Nan announced the selection on Tuesday. --

October 9

Hopefully, college basketball fans won’t lose any sleep over this news: ESPN is abandoning its 24-Hour College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon for 2017. There still will be games televised by the company’s various channels on Tuesday, Nov. 14, notably the Champions Classic doubleheader in Chicago matching Michigan State vs. Duke and Kentucky vs. Kansas. But the joy of watching a team like Winthrop playing Manhattan just as the workday begins will be no more. -- Sporting News

October 6

The University of Louisville placed basketball assistant coaches Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair on paid leave Friday, the school announced, according to the Courier-Journal. It's the latest development for Louisville in the FBI's investigation into a college basketball corruption scheme that has already effectively cost head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich their jobs. Federals investigators allege that Pitino helped a top-rated prospect take a $100,000 bribe to join the the school, facilitated by Adidas. --

October 4

Josh Pastner has signed a one-year contract extension to remain Georgia Tech's coach through the 2022-23 season after exceeding expectations in his debut season. --

Much older college basketball news stories and features are here.

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