Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • Calipari sort of sorry for unintended Pitino dig
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, June 23, 2016

    John Calipari is sorry if Rick Pitino took personally comments about coaches knowing what happens on campus.

    • The Kentucky coach said his comments about campus awareness were not intended as a dig at Pitino, who coaches archrival Louisville and spent the past year fighting off allegations that he was aware of campus improprieties involving strippers performing for recruits in dormitory rooms.

      "The stuff is blown up more than it should be, and if he took it wrong, I apologize," said Calipari, who was a guest host on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike.

      Calipari was defending comments he made earlier this month of the Mike Lupica Show: "If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on."

      Pitino said Monday that he would ask Calipari for an explanation if they "cross paths this summer."'

      Calipari's comment was widely interpreted as a comment on the Cardinals, although he didn't specifically mention the NCAA investigation into a sex-for-pay scandal at Louisville that led the school to self-impose a postseason ban in 2015-16.

      "The thing I said specifically, about Louisville, if it happened, it's not good [for] any of us and it's not good for college basketball," Calipari said. "I said: 'I don't think their coach knew. I just can't believe that,' and that's what I said. And I haven't changed my opinion of that."

      The college basketball powerhouses play annually, including the week of Dec. 20 this season in Louisville. Calipari said this flap shouldn't impact an already intense rivalry.

      "We're 90 miles from each other and we're trying to rip each other's throats out when we play, but other than that, I don't have time," he said. "I've got to coach my guys, he's got to coach his guys. We both got our own things going. I respect him as a coach. He's a Hall of Famer!"

  • College basketball notebook: Pitino hushes Calipari for throwing stones
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino wants a direct translation from Kentucky coach John Calipari, who made comments implying Pitino likely knew about the scandal involving strippers hired to perform for basketball players and recruits.

    • "If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on," Calipari told the Mike Lupica radio show.

      Pitino, who has denied knowledge of the improprieties related to the scandal, appeared on 840 WHAS in Louisville on Monday to respond.

      "I don't have time to figure out what he did or didn't mean," Pitino said. "If our paths cross this summer, I'll ask him."

      --Former Kentucky Wildcats guard Charles Matthews has decided to transfer to Michigan, according to multiple reports.

      The 6-foot-6 Matthews averaged 1.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 10.3 minutes in 36 games last season. A former top 100 player coming out of Chicago, Matthews was concerned about his role at Kentucky and visited Xavier and Michigan before making his final decision to join the Wolverines, according to ESPN.

      Matthews will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

      --Combo guard Markell Johnson announced he will enroll at North Carolina State and be eligible for the 2016-17 basketball season.

      Ranked 40th in the class of 2016 by Rivals.com, interest from major programs increased after the 6-foot-1 Johnson reclassified from the class of 2017 in May.

      He gives coach Mark Gottfried depth with Cat Barber turning pro and Dennis Smith Jr. coming off surgery for a torn ACL.

  • Pitino hushes Calipari for throwing stones
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino wants a direct translation from Kentucky coach John Calipari, who made comments implying Pitino likely knew about the scandal involving strippers hired to perform for basketball players and recruits.

    • "If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on," Calipari told the Mike Lupica radio show.

      Pitino, who has denied knowledge of the improprieties related to the scandal, appeared on 840 WHAS in Louisville on Monday to respond.

      "I don't have time to figure out what he did or didn't mean," Pitino said. "If our paths cross this summer, I'll ask him."

      Pitino took his own jab at Calipari over another verbal joust aimed at Duke and coach Mike Krzyzewski during the recent recruiting cycle.

      "Whether it's Duke last month now us this month, these types of comments - we're here to build up the image of college basketball, not tear people down," Pitino said. "I don't live in a glass house, and I don't throw stones. ... We have a rule in the ACC amongst the coaches that unless you're praising each other and building each other up, keep it to yourself and mind your own business."

      If there is no chance meeting between the coaches this summer, the rival programs meet annually before the start of conference play, with the 50th meeting of the archrivals likely to be played before Christmas for the first time in five seasons in December. Per recent tradition, the game was scheduled the Saturday after Christmas, but this year it will be moved up to Dec. 20 or Dec. 21 and be held at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.

      Louisville begins a new series with Indiana on New Year's Eve.

  • N.C. State adds top 40 guard Johnson
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Combo guard Markell Johnson announced he will enroll at N.C. State and be eligible for the 2016-17 basketball season.

    • Ranked 40th in the class of 2016 by Rivals.com, interest from major programs increased after the 6-foot-1 Johnson reclassified from the class of 2017 in May.

      "Thanks To Everybody That Have Been On My Side Through This Process I Have Decided To Join The Pack," Johnson tweeted Monday.

      He gives coach Mark Gottfried depth with Cat Barber turning pro and Dennis Smith Jr. coming off surgery for a torn ACL.

      The Cleveland native played in the King James Shooting Stars grassroots program during the spring, and joins Smith, forward Darius Hicks and center Omer Yutseven in NC State's freshman class.

  • Michigan lands former Kentucky G Matthews
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Former Kentucky Wildcats guard Charles Matthews has decided to transfer to Michigan, according to multiple reports.

    • The 6-foot-6 Matthews averaged 1.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 10.3 minutes in 36 games last season. A former top 100 player coming out of Chicago, Matthews was concerned about his role at Kentucky and visited Xavier and Michigan before making his final decision to join the Wolverines, according to ESPN.

      Matthews will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

      Kentucky coach John Calipari did not want to lose Matthews, but granted him a full release in May.

      "The hardest thing as a coach is to lose a player that you really want to coach," Calipari said at the time. "In Charles’s case, I believe he is going to be a productive college player who has the ability to play at the next level. I know Charles' best basketball is ahead of him, and while I'm saddened to see him go, I support his decision and will help in any way I can."

      The Wolverines lost one player to graduation and four to transfers this offseason. Coach John Beilein does have a roster anchored by senior Zak Irvin and junior Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rakhman. Matthews will become available in 2017, along with four-star recruit Jordan Poole.

  • Calipari on scandals: Coaches know what happens on campus
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari says coaches always know when scandals occur on their campuses and should be held accountable.

    • Calipari did not mention rival Louisville and coach Rick Pitino, who has maintained he had no knowledge of the paid escorts and did nothing wrong after the scandal kept the school out of this past season's NCAA Tournament. The scandal prompted the school to self-impose a postseason ban in 2015-16 and could result in severe sanctions by the NCAA.

      "All I can tell you is this: If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on," Calipari said Tuesday on the "Mike Lupica Show."

      Calipari, who dealt with his own scandals during his tenures at UMass and Memphis, said coaches should not be blamed for the incidents that unfold when athletes go home.

      "It happens back in their hometown, it happens back with their family ... there's no way you can know," Calipari said. "You just can't know. All I can say is most coaches have an idea if it happened on their campus. You might not be the first to know about it, but you eventually hear about it."

      Calipari called the NCAA's investigations of scandals "selective" and inconsistent.

      "It's unfortunate," Calipari said. "You wish there was more consistency about how they do things in the NCAA. There's a belief out there of selective enforcements and some people will call right to (NCAA president Mark Emmert) and say, 'Get these people off me,' and it changes. It's selective. If it isn't, it appears to you and me and everybody else (that it is)."

  • Former Kentucky F Lee plans transfer to Cal
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, June 12, 2016

    Kentucky forward Marcus Lee, who removed his name from the 2016 NBA draft, plans to transfer to play for California.

    • Lee verbally committed Saturday to Cal, a team source told the San Francisco Chronicle.

      After removing his name from draft consideration last month, Lee announced he would be transferring from Kentucky, where he played from 2013-16.

      Lee will have to sit out the upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules and will become eligible to play for the Bears in 2017 .

      When Lee, a Antioch, Calif., native, announced his intention to transfer, Kentucky coach John Calipari said the 6-foot-9, 224-pound forward would be moving west to be closer to his family.

      Lee posted career highs in averaging 6.4 points and 6.0 rebounds while recording 59 blocks and 11 assists as a junior last season. He also shot a team-best 68.0 percent from the floor and led the team with 216 total rebounds.

  • Illinois G Abrams granted extra season
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, June 10, 2016

    Illinois guard Tracy Abrams has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA after missing the past two campaigns with injuries.

    • Abrams missed the 2014-15 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee. He sat out last season after tearing his left Achilles' tendon prior in July.

      "I am so proud of the perseverance and determination Tracy has displayed through his injuries," Illinois coach John Groce said in a statement. "We are looking forward to having him back on the court this season, setting the tone for our team with his leadership, toughness and competitive drive. There is no one more deserving of having a healthy and successful senior year than Tracy Abrams."

      Abrams, who has already graduated from Illinois, last played in 2013-14 when he averaged 10.7 points.

  • Former Oklahoma State standout Thompson dies
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, June 10, 2016

    Former Oklahoma State basketball standout and NBA player Brooks Thompson died on Thursday. He was 45.

    • Thompson died of double organ failure in San Antonio. He fell ill in April and spent most of the past two months in a hospital.

      Thompson was fired as head coach at Texas-San Antonio in March after 10 seasons with the school. The university confirmed his death on Friday.

      He was best known for his two seasons at a starting guard for Oklahoma State. Thompson ranked second on the Cowboys in scoring as a senior with a 16.9 average in 1993-94.

      Thompson was a first-round pick by the Orlando Magic -- 27th overall -- in the 1994 NBA draft. He played for five different teams during a four-year NBA career and averaged 4.5 points in 168 career games.

      Thompson turned to coaching and became the head coach at UTSA in 2006 and went 133-178 with one NCAA Tournament appearance. He was fired in March after the Roadrunners went 5-27.

  • Cal coach Martin finally signs his contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 7, 2016

    California Golden Bears coach Cuonzo Martin has finally signed his coaching contract at the school more than two years after being hired.

    • Martin was hired in April, 2014 and had been working under an offer sheet. His contract is for $1.64 million per season, plus signing and retention bonuses.

      The university announced the signing of the contract but did not divulge the length of the deal.

      Martin was hired away from Tennessee and has gone 41-26 in two seasons with Cal. The Golden Bears made the NCAA Tournament this past season but were upset in the first round by Hawaii.

      The university also cleared Martin from any wrongdoing in the incident in which former basketball assistant coach Yann Hufnagel was accused of sexual harassment.

      Hufnagel is no longer with the program and was hired by Nevada.

  • Arizona recruit Ferguson could head overseas
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 7, 2016

    High School All-American Terrance Ferguson, a five-star recruit headed to the University of Arizona, might instead sign a pro contract to play overseas.

    • Ferguson could sign a contract with Under Armour this week, 247 Sports' recruiting expert Jerry Meyer reported.

      The Dallas Advanced Prep standout would follow point guard Brandon Jennings, a former Wildcats signee who bolted for Italy and signed a shoe deal with Under Armour.

      Others have gone the preps to Europe route to dodge the NBA rule mandating one year between high school and entry into the league's draft.

      Ferguson attends the same academy that produced current Denver Nuggets guard Emmanual Mudiay. He played overseas after first committing to SMU.

      Ferguson has not signed a National Letter of Intent and uncertainty clouded his recruitment well beyond his April 13 commitment to Arizona. To date, the strongest sign of possible college enrollment in Tucson was filing non-binding financial aid papers.

  • Former St. John's G Jordan charged with attempted murder
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, June 2, 2016

    Former St. John's standout Rysheed Jordan has been charged with attempted murder over an incident last Friday, according to Philadelphia police.

    • Jordan, 22, also is facing charges of aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy and simple assault.

      He was arrested on Wednesday after trying to evade police after a traffic stop, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

      Jordan allegedly shot a man in the arm during last Friday's robbery attempt.

      Jordan averaged 14.1 points in 2014-15 in his second and final season at St. John's. He was ruled ineligible for the first semester of the 2015-16 season and decided to leave school and purse a professional career.

      He was ineligible for the NBA draft due to the lateness of the decision but was drafted in the D-League by the Delaware 87ers. Jordan was cut by the 87ers in January.

      Jordan's time at St. John's included punishment for disciplinary issues.

  • Calipari wants SEC to move tournament to November
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 1, 2016

    If John Calipari gets his way, the college basketball landscape would undergo a significant transformation.

    • The University of Kentucky coach wants to see the Southeastern Conference move its tournament from March, following the regular season, to November, early in the season. He wants to see the SEC's automatic NCAA Tournament berth go to the regular-season champion rather than the tourney champ.

      "Let's not have a postseason tournament," Calipari said Wednesday at the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla. "Let's have a preseason tournament where you're guaranteed three games. So if you lose, you play, you play, and you go somewhere and all the fans come in and you celebrate our league and they're great games to start the year."

      Calipari noted that last season, the Wildcats topped Texas A&M in the SEC title game, but the Aggies emerged with a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament while the Wildcats received a No. 4 seed.

      "If you win the conference tournament, it doesn't mean anything," Calipari said. "It doesn't move the needle."

      According to Calipari, his idea wasn't embraced by his fellow SEC coaches.

      Georgia coach Mark Fox told ESPN. "I don't think we seriously debated the topic. It's an interesting conversation, but I'd fight to keep it in March."

      Calipari added, "I don't think we should hold back on anything. If it's something not quite working, no reason to just blame the kids, the coaches or the ADs or the league or football. Football has nothing to do with this. OK, let's get the formula right and we get six to seven teams in the (NCAA) Tournament. We just haven't hit it yet, but we're not afraid to try to some stuff.

      "You have to do it in November. Play a game or two, and then, out of the gate, you have a conference tournament. You know you have it for one week. Maybe you have two sites in the same city. Maybe it's in Atlanta. You're doing it every year. Let's all (have) our fans go to Atlanta and everything is geared for the SEC."

      Just three SEC teams made the NCAA field in three of the past four years.

      Kentucky won each of the past two SEC tournaments, both played in Nashville, Tenn. Since 2005, the Wildcats and Florida are each four-time champions of the event, with Georgia, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Mississippi winning the title one time apiece.

  • Canisius hires Reggie Witherspoon as coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 29, 2016

    Canisius hired Reggie Witherspoon to be its head basketball coach on Saturday. Williams, who spent the 2015-16 season on Matt McCall's staff at Chattanooga, signed a five-year contract.

    • "I am excited to take over at Canisius on a number of levels," Witherspoon said. "Having grown up here in the area, I remember going to see a lot of Canisius games as a kid, and then as I grew older, I started to become friends with guys that played or were playing at Canisius. The College has such a great academic reputation, and I know the school's alumni base and fans are dedicated and passionate. I want to thank President Hurley and Director of Athletics Bill Maher for giving me this opportunity to return to Western New York as a head coach and I am really looking forward to building on the long history of the men's basketball program."

      Before Chattanooga, Williams spent one season on the staff at Alabama. He also has ties to Western New York, leading Buffalo's program for 14 years from 1999-2013, posting a 198-228 record and was twice named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. He also played for former Canisius and current Michigan coach John Belein at Buffalo.

      "I am incredibly excited for our men's basketball program, our College and for Western New York to welcome Reggie Witherspoon as our new head coach," Maher said. "Reggie brings with him a proven record of building strong basketball teams and developing young men. He is highly respected as both a man and as a basketball coach. I had the opportunity to work directly with Reggie for six years, and having known him for over 16 years, I am confident in his abilities and his fit for Canisius. Our goal is to win the MAAC Championship and I look forward to working with Reggie to accomplish that here at Canisius."

  • North Carolina coach Williams has right knee replaced
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, May 27, 2016

    North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams is recovering after undergoing knee replacement surgery on Friday.

    • Williams had his right knee replaced in Charlotte N.C. The school said on its Twitter feed that the surgery was performed by Dr. Walt Beaver.

      The tweet also said that the surgery went well and that Williams is "resting comfortably."

      Williams is expected to be back by the July recruiting period.

      Williams, 65, underwent surgeries on both knees last year but was still in pain and had a noticeable limp last season.

      The Tar Heels lost to Villanova in last season's national championship game.

  • College basketball notebook: Maryland PG Trimble witihdraws from NBA draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Maryland point guard Melo Trimble heads the list of three players who revealed Thursday that they withdrew their name from the upcoming NBA draft prior to Wednesday night's deadline.

    • Trimble said in a press release that he was "excited to return for my junior season at Maryland." He was considered a potential second-round pick at best and his stock reportedly fell after a disappointing showing at the recent draft combine in Chicago.

      In his sophomore season, Trimble averaged 14.8 points, 4.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds. As a freshman in 2014-15, he contributed 16.2 points, 3.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game.

      --Nebraska guard Andrew White III also will be back after making his decision to pull out of the draft.

      White said in a statement released by the school that he "wanted one more year to fine-tune my game and put myself in better position for the NBA next summer."

      White, a transfer from Kansas, produced 16.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his first season with Nebraska in 2015-16. He grabbed honorable mention All-Big Ten honors after a season that included a 35-point game against Penn State.

      --Valparaiso forward Alec Peters withdrew his name from the NBA draft and intends to use his senior season of eligibility, the school announced.

      Peters averaged 18.4 points and 8.5 rebounds as a junior while leading the Crusaders to the NIT title game, where they lost to George Washington.

      There has been speculation that Peters may consider transferring after Bryce Drew departed Valpo to become the new coach at Vanderbilt.

  • Valpo F Peters withdraws from NBA draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Valparaiso forward Alec Peters withdrew his name from the NBA draft prior to Wednesday night's deadline and intends to use his senior season of eligibility, the school announced Thursday.

    • Peters averaged 18.4 points and 8.5 rebounds as a junior while leading the Crusaders to the NIT title game, where they lost to George Washington.

      There has been speculation that Peters may consider transferring after Bryce Drew departed Valpo to become the new coach at Vanderbilt.

  • Clemson's Blossomgame forgoes NBA draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Clemson's Jaron Blossomgame opted to withdraw from the NBA draft before Wednesday night's deadline and come back to school for his senior season.

    • The 6-foot-7 forward announced his intentions after returning to campus following a workout with the Phoenix Suns.

      Blossomgame was not projected to be a first-round draft pick next month despite scoring 27 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in two games at the NBA combine.

      "This was a very difficult decision, but I'm at peace with it," Blossomgame said.

      Blossomgame was named first-team All-Atlantic Conference and the most improved player after averaging 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds last season.

      Clemson, which finished 17-14 overall and 10-8 in the ACC, returns a strong nucleus next season led by Blossomgame.

      "He knows the type of team we can have next season and feels there are bright things in our program for our team and for himself," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said.

  • College basketball notebook: Blackmon among players withdrawing from NBA draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    A number of college players withdrew their name from the upcoming NBA draft and will return to school for another college season. A few reportedly will remain in the draft. The deadline to withdraw was Wednesday.

    • --Indiana junior Troy Williams reportedly will keep his name in the 2016 NBA Draft, while sophomore guard James Blackmon Jr. has withdrawn his name and will return to the Hoosiers for the 2015-16 season.

      The IndyStar reported that Williams will stay in the draft, a move that was expected despite a wide variety of opinions within the draft community on his draft stock.

      --Kentucky forward Marcus Lee will remove his name from the 2016 NBA Draft, but plans to transfer to another school.

      Wildcats freshman Isaiah Briscoe also announced he will return for his sophomore season after averaging 9.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 2015-16.

      --Purdue power forward Caleb Swanigan is returning for his sophomore season.

      He was he Boilermakers' top rebounder as a true freshman last season.

      --Oregon stars Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey will return to school after withdrawing from the NBA Draft.

      --Mississippi State freshman guard Malik Newman will remove his name from the NBA Draft, but reportedly is considering a transfer.

      A source told ESPN that Newman was "unhappy with his role and how he was utilized" by coach Ben Howland.

  • Oregon's Brooks, Dorsey to return to school
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Oregon stars Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey will return to school after withdrawing from the NBA Draft before Wednesday's deadline.

    • The 6-foot-6 Brooks averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a sophomore, but did not sign with an agent and did not receive an invitation to the draft camp. He was projected by most services to go undrafted had he elected to keep his name in.

      The 6-4 Dorsey also did not receive an invite to the combine after averaging 13.4 points last season while shooting 40.6 percent from three-point range.

      "I'm back #GeauxDucks," he tweeted Wednesday.

  • Miss. St.'s Newman withdraws from draft, may transfer
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Mississippi State guard Malik Newman will remove his name from the NBA Draft, but reportedly is considering a transfer.

    • After completing his freshman season with the Bulldogs, Newman declared for the draft but left open the option of returning to school by not hiring an agent.

      The 6-foot-3 Newman was one of the nation's heralded recruits coming out of high school last year, but his freshman season at Mississippi State was marred by injuries. He averaged 11.3 points and shot 39 percent from the field while playing in 29 of 33 games.

      Should he transfer, Newman would have to sit out a season due to NCAA transfer rules. The highly-recruited star from Jackson, Miss. chose to stay in-state despite receiving offers from Kentucky and Kansas, among others.

      A source told ESPN that Newman was "unhappy with his role and how he was utilized" by coach Ben Howland.

  • Indiana's Williams stays in draft, Blackmon returning
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Indiana junior Troy Williams reportedly will keep his name in the 2016 NBA Draft, while sophomore guard James Blackmon Jr. has withdrawn his name and will return to the Hoosiers for the 2015-16 season.

    • The IndyStar reported that Williams will stay in the draft, a move that was expected despite a wide variety of opinions within the draft community on his draft stock. Williams is a three-year starter who scored more than 1,000 career points for Indiana, including averaging 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in 35 games last season.

      IU coach Tom Creen added junior college forward Freddie McSwain in the spring with the expectation that Williams would leave for the NBA.

      "It's not going to kill my pride or anything like that if I have to go to the D-League," Williams said at the combine, per the IndyStar. "I know I'll have to work even harder."

      Meanwhile, Blackmon returns to a veteran backcourt that includes Robert Johnson and Josh Newkirk.

      "Guess who else is returning for his junior year? #iubbm" Blackmon Jr. tweeted Wednesday morning, the final day for players to withdraw from the draft.

      The Marion, Ind. native averaged 15.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 13 games including 12 starts before suffering a season-ending torn ACL in December that required surgery.

      Blackmon suffered two previous knee injuries -- a torn anterior cruciate ligament in high school and a torn meniscus last summer.

  • Wildcats pair withdraws from NBA Draft; Lee to transfer
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Kentucky forward Marcus Lee will remove his name from the 2016 NBA Draft, but plans to transfer to another school.

    • Wildcats freshman Isaiah Briscoe also announced he will return for his sophomore season after averaging 9.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 2015-16.

      The Wildcats announced Lee will be granted a full release with no restrictions, but the Antioch, Calif. native will have to sit out a season due to NCAA transfer rules.

      "Marcus Lee informed us today that he is pulling his name out of the draft but has decided he is going to transfer to a school out west to be closer to his family," Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a statement. "We talked it through together and discussed the team next season, which he said had no bearing on his decision. I also told him he was a semester away from graduating. With that said, he was still adamant that, after the combine experience, a year off and regrouping would be the best thing. As always I support my players and their decisions."

      Lee posted career highs in averaging 6.4 points and 6.0 rebounds while recording 59 blocks and 11 assists as a junior last season. He also shot a team-best 68.0 percent from the floor and led the team with 216 total rebounds.

      "I want to thank the University of Kentucky, the basketball staff and the Big Blue Nation for supporting me over the years," Lee said. "I'm sorry it took me so long to come to this decision, but I'm trying to do what's right for me and my family. I'll always think fondly of my time at Kentucky."

      The 6-3 Briscoe was not invited to the draft combine and decided to withdraw before Wednesday's deadline.

      "I really grew from this experience and I appreciate the opportunity to be evaluated by these NBA teams," Briscoe said in a statement. "I also want to thank the coaching staff and the fans for their support during this time. The NBA is my ultimate goal, so I'm returning to build on last year. There's no better place to grow as a player or to win a championship, and I want to do both."

      Briscoe was viewed as a late pick in the second round at best by most analysts.

      "Without his impact and competitive spirit, last year's team would not have been nearly as successful," Calipari said. "I fully expect him to come back and be a leader on and off the court for this young team. I'm excited to have him back."

  • College basketball notebook: Illinois dismisses G Nunn
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    Illinois dismissed senior guard Kendrick Nunn from the squad less than a week after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery.

    • The school announced the dismissal on Tuesday. Nunn received probation for the mid-March incident in which he hit a woman.

      Nunn was second on the Fighting Illini in scoring (15.5) and was the team's leading rebounder (5.0) last season. He averaged 10.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in his three seasons on the team.

      --Purdue forward Vince Edwards withdrew from the NBA draft and will return to school for his junior season, the school announced.

      The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Edwards averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 rebounds last season.

      The Boilermakers are still waiting to learn whether power forward Caleb Swanigan will remain in the draft or return to school. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is Wednesday.

      --Connecticut center Amida Brimah and guard Rodney Purvis have withdrawn their names from the NBA draft and will return to school for their senior seasons, the school announced.

      Forward Daniel Hamilton is remaining in the draft and has retained an agent. Hamilton averaged 12.5 points as a sophomore last season.

      The 7-foot Brimah has averaged 6.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots in 100 career games for the Huskies. The 6-foot-4 Purvis averaged a team-best 12.8 points last season in his second campaign for the Huskies after beginning his career at North Carolina State.

      --UC Irvine 7-foot-6 center Mamadou Ndiaye has elected to remain in the NBA draft, according to published reports.

      Ndiaye would be one of the tallest players in NBA history should he make a roster. He holds the Anteaters' record for career blocked shots with 218.

      Ndiaye averaged 12.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game last season as a junior. Ndiaye is vying to join the likes of Gheorghe Muresan and Manute Bol - both 7-foot-7 - and Yao Ming and Shawn Bradley (both 7-6) on the list of tallest NBA players.

      --Perennial national contenders Duke and Michigan State will meet in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in November as one of the marquee matchups in the 18th annual series between the power conferences.

      The games will be played Nov. 28-30 at home sites. Duke has won 15 of its previous games in the Challenge, the best record of any team in either conference. The Blue Devils are projected in several polls to be ranked No. 1 to start the 2016-17 season.

      In addition to Duke-Michigan State, three other possible top-25 matches are on the schedule. Syracuse travels to Wisconsin for a rematch of last year's Challenge meeting that the Badgers won 66-58 in overtime, NCAA runner-up North Carolina goes to Indiana and Louisville plays host to Purdue.

  • Illinois dismisses G Nunn
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    Illinois dismissed senior guard Kendrick Nunn from the squad less than a week after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery.

    • The school announced the dismissal on Tuesday. Nunn received probation for the mid-March incident in which he hit a woman.

      "We have made the decision to dismiss Kendrick Nunn from the men's basketball team, effective immediately," the school said in a joint statement from athletic director Josh Whitman and coach John Groce. "We have not reached this decision easily; we care deeply about Kendrick and want him to be successful. But after extensive deliberation, we think it best for our program to reaffirm our core values of trust and respect, to send a strong message about what is acceptable behavior for our student-athletes at the University of Illinois, and to part ways with Kendrick.

      "As it is on college campuses across the country, relationship violence is of significant concern at our University, and we expect Fighting Illini student-athletes to be leaders in promoting healthy, respectful, caring relationships. We wish Kendrick all the best as he prepares for the next chapter of his life."

      Nunn was second on the Fighting Illini in scoring (15.5) and was the team's leading rebounder (5.0) last season. He averaged 10.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in his three seasons on the team.