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College Basketball Roundup for Monday, May 20
Report: Former Charlotte forward Darion Clark transferring to USC: Following the departure of four seniors (not counting guard Jio Fontan) and the decision of center Dewayne Dedmon to enter the 2013 NBA Draft, it’s safe to say that first-year USC head coach Andy Enfield is in need of some front court depth. USC’s most experienced returnee next season will be 7-2 center Omar Oraby, who averaged 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest after transferring to the Pac-12 school from Rice. With commitments from 6-6 small forward Roschon Prince and 6-10 power forward Nikola Jovanovich already in tow, USC reportedly landed a commitment from former Charlotte forward Darion Clark on Sunday. -- NBC Sports
New logos represent ‘new beginning’ for Sun Belt Conference: One byproduct of conference realignment has been the rebranding of some leagues, mainly to display the charting of a new path. That’s the case for the Sun Belt Conference, which will welcome multiple new members on July 1. The Sun Belt unveiled new primary and secondary logos on Sunday, as well as its new mantra of “Together We Rise.” Also unveiled were team-specific logos for each of the 14 schools that will call the league home in 2014... Four current members (FAU, FIU, Middle Tennessee and North Texas) will join Conference USA on July 1, with Western Kentucky following suit on July 1, 2014. -- NBC Sports
Fellow student and fraternity brother charged with disorderly conduct in assault of Brown guard Joseph Sharkey: The story continues to unfold on the assault of Joseph Sharkey, a sophomore guard on the Brown University baskstball team, who was found in critical condition in the early hours of Sunday morning (May 12th) with an injury to the head. According to the Providence Journal: Dillon J. Ingham, 22 of New York, was charged with disorderly conduct and is being held for the next session of District Court, police said Friday afternoon. His specific involvement in the incident was not disclosed. Brown University has confirmed that he is a student at the school, is on the wrestling team and was on the football team. He and Sharkey are both brothers of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. -- NBC Sports
College Basketball Roundup for Sunday, May 19
Steve Alford, New Mexico agree on buyout: Steve Alford and his former employer, the University of New Mexico, reached an initial agreement Friday to settle the buyout dispute stemming from his abrupt March departure. Only days after agreeing to a 10-year deal with New Mexico in late March, Alford opted to take the same position at UCLA instead. On Friday, the two parties agreed to a deal in principle which will net the school $625,000, according to a release from UNM. -- CBS Sports Blog
Kansas State picks up Georgetown transfer Brandon Bolden: It's been an offseason of personnel changes for Kansas State. Already having lost Rodney McGruder, Martavious Irving and Jordan Henriquez to graduation, the Wildcats also saw starting point guard Angel Rodriguez, backup big man Adrian Diaz, and seldom-used guard Michael Orris all transfer. Coach Bruce Weber countered those losses with a five-man recruiting class -- and the acquisition of Justin Edwards, who transferred from Maine after averaging nearly 17 points. On Friday, Weber officially announced the addition of another transfer. -- CBS Sports
A-Sun tourney will abandon neutral sites: The Atlantic Sun tournament was played in front of a near-capacity crowd at Mercer’s Hawkins Arena last March. Hawkins was chosen as the tourney site ahead of time, and the whole event played out there. The reported crowd of 4,394 was packed with Mercer fans who simply had to roll out of bed and find parking. Had the Bears not made the final game, the turnout might have been much less impressive. It’s a scenario we’ve seen play out before with small-conference tourneys – two teams playing their only nationally televised meeting of the season in front of a handful of disinterested fans. The A-Sun, fresh off of the explosive NCAA showing of Florida Gulf Coast, is taking steps to make sure hot teams will henceforth be rewarded with home games and partisan crowds, which make for good TV when an auto-bid is on the line. -- NBC Sports
Damon Stoudamire back at Arizona as assistant: Damon Stoudamire was one of most popular players in Arizona history, an electrifying, high-scoring guard with a cool nickname. Now Mighty Mouse is headed back to the desert. Stoudamire was hired as an assistant coach under Sean Miller on Friday, a move that's sure to be a big hit with one of college basketball's most fervid fan bases. "We are thrilled to welcome back Damon Stoudamire to the University of Arizona to become a part of our coaching staff," Miller said in a statement. "Damon is an immensely talented recruiter, and is also very comfortable teaching and coaching the game. More importantly, his credibility in all aspects of our game is unmatched -- he simply has 'been there and done that' at the highest level. I believe strongly that he will be invaluable in helping many of our current and future student-athletes do the same." -- AP
Brittney Griner: Baylor's Mulkey told players to keep sexuality secret: Former Baylor star and recent No. 1 draft pick Brittney Griner said she was told by Bears coach Kim Mulkey to keep her sexuality quiet while at school. Mulkey wanted to keep the players' sexual orientations out of the public light because she thought it would hinder recruiting and negatively portray the program. “It was a recruiting thing,” Griner said in an interview with ESPN The Magazine. “The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn't let their kids come play for Baylor.” -- CBS Sports
College Basketball Roundup for Friday, May 17
Get to know Chris Collins, coach of Northwestern: Bill Carmody couldn't get the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. He got close, but wasn't able to get over the hump. Northwestern went to four consecutive NIT's before finishing 13-19 last season and 4-14 in Big Ten play. That was enough for the administration to decide to go in a different direction. Carmody left with a 192-210 overall record... Collins is smart. He hasn't taken guys just to fill out his roster. He'll honor the commitment of skilled 6-foot-7 shooter Nate Taphorn, who committed to Carmody. But that's the only new face coming into the program for the 2013-14 campaign. He's saving his scholarships in an attempt to get guys who help him take the program to the next level, rather than just grabbing bodies at this late date. -- CBS Sports
2014 guard Brandone Francis continues to pick up offers: Entering the spring evaluation period, Brandone Francis had some buzz but wasn't a household name by any stretch. After winning MVP honors at the Adidas Exclusive run in Dallas in April, though, Francis became one of the hottest recruits in the country. The 6-foot-5 guard vaulted to five-star status in the 247 Sports rankings, and his recruitment reflected the rise. Francis now has offers from Indiana, Florida, Washington, Connecticut, Miami, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Florida State, Minnesota, Illinois, St. John's, USC, Oklahoma State and South Carolina. Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut and Florida State are coming at him the hardest. -- CBS Sports
McLemore talks for first time about allegations AAU coach took money: Ben McLemore is no longer playing for Kansas, and therefore he is no longer a part of the NCAA. However, McLemore said on Thursday that if NCAA investigators wanted to interview him about alleged payments made to his former AAU coach, he would be willing to meet with them.
"I would tell them the truth and tell them what I know, and just cooperate with them," McLemore said at the NBA's predraft combine. "Hopefully they'll cooperate with me and hear my side."
McLemore's comments were the first time he extensively addressed the revelations made in a May 3 USA Today story that could potentially put his former school in the NCAA's crosshairs. In the article, Darius Cobb, McLemore's former AAU coach from St. Louis, said that he accepted $10,000 in cash from Rodney Blackstock, the founder of a sports mentoring organization in Greensboro, N.C., and someone who had designs on becoming McLemore's agent. Cobb also provided USA Today with itineraries and photographs that supported his claim that he received three all-expense paid trips to Los Angeles during the college basketball season to meet with agents hoping to represent McLemore if he made himself eligible for the NBA draft. -- Sports Illustrated
Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan fills out coaching staff: With the decision to keep assistants David Cox and Van Macon on board due in large part to their ability to recruit the Washington, D.C. and New York areas respectively, new Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan has one assistant position left to fill. According to multiple reports Jordan has found his man, as former Los Angeles Lakers staff member Kyle Triggs will make the move to the college ranks. Triggs was the assistant to the head coach the last two seasons in L.A., originally being hired by Mike Brown and remaining on board after Brown was fired by the organization five games into the 2012-13 season. Triggs does have experience at the collegiate level, as he served as a manager at West Virginia for four years and then moved into a graduate assistant position under head coach Bob Huggins. -- NBC Sports
Xavier lands 6-8 forward Aleksandar Vezenkov: A few days after landing a verbal commitment from 2014 point guard Edmond Sumner, the Xavier basketball program made an addition to its 2013 recruiting class on Thursday. 6-8 forward Aleksandar Vezenkov, a native of Bulgaria, will attend Xavier next season according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Vezenkov played in 20 games this past season for Aris BC in Greece, averaging 14.3 minutes, 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. As a member of Bulgaria’s U18 team last summer Vezenkov led the team in scoring (16.7 ppg) during the U18 European Championships in August while also averaging nearly six rebounds per game. In what was a busy summer for the young forward, Vezenkov also helped Bulgaria’s U20 team gain promotion into Division A the month prior. -- NBC Sports
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