Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014
    Kentucky great 'Wah Wah' Jones dies
    By The Sports Xchange

    Legendary Kentucky multi-sport standout Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones died at age 88 on Sunday in Lexington, Ky.

    • The 6-foot-4 Jones played on the Wildcats' "Fabulous Five" teams that won NCAA championships in 1948 and 1949. The All-American also won an Olympic gold medal at the 1948 Games. His Kentucky jersey was retired in 2012 along with Fav Five teammates Cliff Barker, Ralph Beard, Alex Groza and Kenny Rollins.

      "Sad to hear of the passing of arguably the greatest UK athlete, Wah Wah Jones. He was an All-American under Adolph Rupp and Bear Bryant," Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari tweeted. "#BBN, please join me in praying for both his family and friends. He will be missed."

      As a football player, Jones lettered from 1945 to 1948 on teams coached by Bear Bryant and was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference in 1946 as a defensive end. His football number also was retired -- the only athlete with two uniform numbers retired at Kentucky.

      The versatile Jones played baseball and ran track at Kentucky.

      After college, he was drafted by the Chicago Bears, offered a baseball contract by the Boston Braves and drafted by the Washington Capitols in the Basketball Association of America.

  • Tuesday, July 22, 2014
    Mudiay agrees to $1.2 million deal in China
    By The Sports Xchange

    Southern Methodist University signee Emmanuel Mudiay reached a deal to play for Guangdong Southern Tigers in the China Basketball Association.

    • According to multiple reports, Mudiay agreed to a one-year, $1.2 million contract, the richest deal ever for a high school player in that league.

      Yahoo Sports first reported that the 6-foot-5 guard projected as a 2015 lottery pick, a Congo native, was considering the China Basketball Association. Former Texas guard Royal Ivey and Milwaukee Bucks lottery pick Yi Jianlian played for the Southern Tigers in 2013-14.

      Questions arose about eligibility as an amateur and academically after Mudiay spent two seasons at Prime Prep Academy.

      Mudiay and SMU coach Larry Brown engaged in conversation with university officials about his eligibility status as a freshman, Yahoo Sports reported. Mudiay is from Dallas and attended Prime Prep Academy in the city.

      Brown said Mudiay was accepted to SMU and enrolled in summer classes only "to be safe."

  • Sunday, July 20, 2014
    Lawson commits to Memphis
    By The Sports Xchange

    Highly-touted recruit Dedric Lawson said Sunday that he will follow his father and commit to Memphis.

    • Keelon Lawson was recently hired by the school as an assistant coach and the younger Lawson indicated he would follow him there.

      "With (my father) being on staff, there's no other college I would rather go to," Dedric Lawson said Sunday after helping Team Penny beat Boo Williams in the semifinals of the EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam.

      Team Penny will play in the championship game Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. The Peach Jam is considered the top summer tournament for high school prospects in the nation.

      Lawson, a 6-foot-8 forward, is ranked No. 7 nationally among the 2016 class, according to 247Sports. His older brother, K.J., is ranked 43rd in the 2015 class. He committed to Memphis last year.

      Dedric Lawson is the first top-10 prospect from the '16 class to commit.

  • Sunday, July 20, 2014
    NCAA refs chief to step down
    By The Sports Xchange

    NCAA head of college basketball officials John Adams plans to retire after the 2014-15 season.

    • The 65-year-old Adams made the announcement on Thursday. He has held the position since 2008 after succeeding Hank Nichols.

      "Since I've been out of the military I've only had six jobs," Adams said. "I told the first (NCAA) committee I worked for that I felt like I was living the dream, and I told the committee yesterday that I was still living the dream. How else does a guy like me get involved in arguably the best sporting event?"

      Adams started as a ref for intramural games at Indiana State and later officiated high school games. He became the officials coordinator for three conferences based in the Indianapolis area -- Horizon League, the Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference and the Division III Heartland College Athletic Conference.

      Among Adams' duties with the NCAA were to evaluate referees at the NCAA Tournament each year and at games throughout the country.

      "We've gotten younger, more athletic and more diverse in officiating, and I think the officiating has gotten better," Adams said. "So the goals I set out six years ago, we accomplished. It is time and it's also a chance to do it in my hometown. It's kind of a perfect storm."

  • Sunday, July 20, 2014
    Memphis makes father of elite recruits assistant coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    Memphis coach Josh Pastner added prominent high school coach Keelon Lawson to the Tigers' staff on Wednesday.

    • Lawson, also related to current Memphis assistant Robert Kirby, played at UAB and is the father of three elite high school recruits, including one Memphis commit and another from the Class of 2016 who is leaning toward the Tigers.

      "I'm thrilled and grateful for this opportunity," Lawson said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to working with Coach Pastner and his staff to help carry on the great tradition of Tigers basketball."

      Lawson coached at Hamilton High in Memphis. He was the last prep coach to go unbeaten as state champions in the largest classification.

      His children include K.J. Lawson, a 6-foot-7 swingman committed to play at Memphis.

      Dedric Lawson, 6-8 power forward in the Class of 2016, is ranked as a top-10 overall recruit by some services and could decide Saturday where he will play in two years. The best of the bunch is Chandler Lawson, a 6-6 wing and the favorite by multiple recruiting sites to be the No. 1 overall player in the Class of 2019.

      Keelon Lawson was hired to fill the place of Jason Gardener, who became head coach at IUPUI in April.

      He is not the first father of coveted recruits to find his way to a full-time job with a school chasing his son.

      While at Memphis, current Kentucky head coach John Calipari did the same to land Dajuan Wagner, hiring Milt Wagner. Bill Self at Kansas brought on Mario Chalmers' father, Ronnie, to bolster an eventual national championship roster.

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014
    CBK roundup: SMU in danger of losing Mudiay
    By The Sports Xchange

    Southern Methodist University signee Emmanuel Mudiay could be weighing a career overseas and has reached out to prospective agents.

    • Yahoo Sports reported that the 6-foot-5 guard projected as a 2015 lottery pick, a Congo native, has considered the Chinese Basketball Association.

      Mudiay and SMU coach Larry Brown are in conversation with university officials about his eligibility status as a freshman, Yahoo Sports reported. Mudiay is from Dallas and attended Prime Prep Academy in the city.

      Brown said Mudiay was accepted to SMU and enrolled in summer classes.

      ---Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg underwent surgery to replace his heart pacemaker and was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

      The 41-year-old Hoiberg traveled from Ames, Iowa, to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for the procedure. The pacemaker originally was implanted during open-heart surgery in 2005 for enlargement of the aortic root. Hoiberg learned last weekend while working out at home that the pacemaker's batteries needed to be replaced.

      Hoiberg, a former Iowa State and NBA player, became the school's head coach in 2010 and has guided the Cyclones to three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.

      ---Eric McKnight's transfer from Florida Gulf Coast University to Tennessee was shot down by the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday.

      The 6-foot-9 McKnight had hoped to play for the Volunteers next season as a graduate transfer after three years at Florida Gulf Coast that included a Sweet 16 appearance in 2013.

      The NCAA granted McKnight a transfer exception, but the SEC rejected the waiver and his appeal because McKnight had received disciplinary action while at Florida Gulf Coast. He was suspended for the Eagles' first six games of last season because of a school or team policy violation. McKnight averaged 6.9 points and 5.1 points for FGCU during the 2013-14 season.

      ---Iowa freshman guard Peter Jok was arrested Tuesday on his second moped-related incident this offseason.

      Jok, 20, was pulled over at 11:45 p.m. Monday for improper rear lights and failure to have a safety flag, according to reports. That followed an April 26 arrest for drunken driving on his moped along with improper lights and without a safety flag. He pleaded guilty to drunken driving on May 2, and this latest arrest for driving under suspension carries a serious misdemeanor charge.

      Jok averaged 4.4 points and 9.4 minutes last season, and has been expected to compete for a starting position next season.

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014
    SEC rejects Tennessee transfer
    By The Sports Xchange

    Eric McKnight's transfer from Florida Gulf Coast University to Tennessee was shot down by the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday.

    • The 6-foot-9 McKnight had hoped to play for the Volunteers next season as a graduate transfer after three years at Florida Gulf Coast that included a Sweet 16 appearance in 2013.

      The NCAA granted McKnight a transfer exception, but the SEC rejected the waiver and his appeal because McKnight had received disciplinary action while at Florida Gulf Coast.

      McKnight was suspended for the Eagles' first six games of last season because of a school or team policy violation.

      "We have been informed that Eric McKnight has been denied the graduate transfer waiver by the SEC," Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall said in a statement. "We pursued this issue through the proper protocol, and I respect the process. Although we are disappointed that Eric will not be joining our program, we are focused on moving forward."

      Tyndall was hoping that McKnight, who averaged 6.9 points and 5.1 points for FGCU during the 2013-14 season, would help fill the void left at Tennessee by the departure of front-line players Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon.

      The SEC had lifted a ban on graduate transfers in June.

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014
    Iowa's Jok arrested for second moped incident
    By The Sports Xchange

    Iowa freshman guard Peter Jok was arrested Tuesday on his second moped-related incident this offseason.

    • Jok, 20, was pulled over at 11:45 p.m. Monday for improper rear lights and failure to have a safety flag, according to reports. That followed an April 26 arrest for drunken driving on his moped along with improper lights and without a safety flag.

      He pleaded guilty to drunken driving on May 2, and this latest arrest for driving under suspension carries a serious misdemeanor charge.

      "Fran (McCaffery) and I were made aware of the incident involving Peter Jok and a moped this morning," Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said in a statement Tuesday. "We don't yet know all the facts, but we are gathering those today. I'm very disappointed to learn about this, especially in light of the fact that Peter had a previous incident earlier this summer. We will work through this in accordance to our student-athlete Code of Conduct and team rules."

      Jok averaged 4.4 points and 9.4 minutes last season, and has been expected to compete for a starting position next season.

      "I made a mistake and I need to learn from it and move on and not make the same mistake again," Jok said after the April arrest.

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014
    Hoiberg heads home after pacemaker surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg underwent surgery to replace his heart pacemaker and was expected to be discharged from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

    • The 41-year-old Hoiberg traveled from Ames, Iowa, to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for the procedure.

      "The surgery performed this morning at the Mayo Clinic to replace my pacemaker was successful," Hoiberg said. "The plan is for me to be discharged and allowed to return to Ames this afternoon.

      "I want to thank my doctors and nurses at the Mayo Clinic, as well as everyone that has extended their well-wishes to me. Our family truly appreciates your support."

      Hoiberg's wife, Carol, tweeted afterward, "Surgery went well and @ISUMayor32 is RECHARGED"

      The pacemaker originally was implanted during open-heart surgery in 2005 for enlargement of the aortic root. Hoiberg learned last weekend while working out at home that the pacemaker's batteries needed to be replaced.

      "I'm so hypersensitive that I can feel every heartbeat," Hoiberg said, according to The Des Moines Register. "My (heart rate) isn't supposed to go below 70, but I could feel it was lower. I could just feel it. I'd do a workout, and when I got done, I could tell my heart rate wasn't elevating. It wasn't going past 65."

      Hoiberg, a former Iowa State and NBA player, became the school's head coach in 2010 and has guided the Cyclones to three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.

  • Monday, July 14, 2014
    Report: SMU's Mudiay weighs overseas option
    By The Sports Xchange

    Southern Methodist University signee Emmanuel Mudiay could be weighing a career overseas and has reached out to prospective agents.

    • Yahoo Sports reported that the 6-foot-5 guard projected as a 2015 lottery pick, a Congo native, has considered the Chinese Basketball Association.

      Mudiay and SMU coach Larry Brown are in conversation with university officials about his eligibility status as a freshman, Yahoo Sports reported. Mudiay is from Dallas and attended Prime Prep Academy in the city.

      Brown said Mudiay was accepted to SMU and enrolled in summer classes.

  • Wednesday, July 9, 2014
    Ex-Kansas G Tharpe headed to D-League
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe has decided to forgo his final season of college eligibility and play in the NBA's Development League, CBSSports.com reported Wednesday.

    • Tharpe announced in May his decision to transfer to another school.

      "I didn't want to sit out," Tharpe told CBSSports.com. "At this point, I'd rather just try the D-League instead of sitting out a year to play a year (in college)."

      Tharpe left Kansas after playing three seasons for coach Bill Self, including a stint as the starting point guard during his junior year.

      In a joint statement with Self released on May 1, Tharpe said he was leaving Kansas to be closer to his 2-year-old daughter, Amara Grace, who had battled health issues during his time in college. Tharpe, a native of Worcester, Mass., said at the time he was interested in playing somewhere closer to home.

      Tharpe averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 assists last season for the Jayhawks.

  • Monday, July 7, 2014
    Georgia lands former UConn recruit Jackson
    By The Sports Xchange

    Point guard Will "Turtle" Jackson has decommitted from the University of Connecticut to stay closer to home to play for the University of Georgia.

    • Jackson committed to the national champion UConn Huskies in February, but the 6-foot-4 Athens, Ga., native had second thoughts after evaluating coach Kevin Ollie's deep backcourt.

      "They have a lot of guards and they signed a couple," Jackson told Scout.com. "We just thought me going somewhere else would help (and) would be better for my future."

      Jackson, who averaged 23.7 points, 7.7 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game for Athens Christian last season, is Georgia's first committment for Georgia's 2015 class. He is the No. 34 overall prospect, according to Scout.com.

      "Coach (Mark) Fox and Coach (Jonas) Hayes played a big role in my decision to switch," Jackson told Rivals. "Even after I committed to Connecticut, they still told me they will support me. They always told me what I needed to work on and that really helped me out. They never gave up on me."

      Jackson is the second guard to decommit from Ollie's program, with Prince Ali saying in May that he is keeping his options open for now.

  • Monday, July 7, 2014
    Hoosiers pick up transfer guard from ISU
    By The Sports Xchange

    Nick Zeisloft, a 6-4 redshirt junior guard who played last year at Illinois State, officially became the newest member of Tom Crean's Indiana Hoosiers on Monday.

    • Since he already has earned a degree at Illinois State, Zeisloft will be eligible this season. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

      "I really enjoyed my time with the team there on my visit," Zeisloft told The Indianapolis Star. "I felt very close with the guys when I was working out with them. They communicate and play well together. I really enjoyed how they work out together and how they kind of brought me in very easily."

      Zeisloft started 30 games for the Redbirds last season. He averaged 6.9 points while shooting 35.5 percent from 3-point range.

      "The addition of Nick allows us to spread and space the floor even more and play with more pace," Crean said.

  • Wednesday, July 2, 2014
    Report: Wojcik investigated for verbal abuse
    By The Sports Xchange

    College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik is being investigated by the school for verbal abuse of players, according to reports Wednesday.

    • ESPN.com confirmed multiple reports that Wojcik, 50, has been under investigation for the past few weeks. The Post and Courier reported that Wojcik is expected to be placed on probation for the month of August and will also undergo counseling.

      Players reportedly didn't react well to Wojcik's style after having played for former coach Bobby Cremins. According to ESPN.com, Wojcik's rigid style was dramatically different than the laid-back Cremins.

      Wojcik is 38-29 in two seasons since arriving at Charleston. He has three years left on a five-year contract. He was previously the head coach at Tulsa, where he compiled a 140-92 mark in seven seasons.

  • Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    Matchups set for Coaches vs. Cancer
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Coaches vs. Cancer 2K Classic championship round matchups, scheduled for Nov. 21-22 in the Barclays Center in New York, were announced Wednesday.

    • Stanford will take on UNLV at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 21, with Duke-Temple to follow the opener. The winners and losers will meet on Saturday, Nov. 22, beginning with the consolation matchup at 7 p.m. ET. The games will be televised by TruTV.

      The event previously was played in Madison Square Garden in New York. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

      The rest of the field for the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament will be announced at a later date.

  • Sunday, June 22, 2014
    Baylor C Austin has Marfan syndrome
    By The Sports Xchange

    Baylor center Isaiah Austin, an NBA hopeful, is ending his playing career after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

    • Marfan syndrome affects the body's connective tissue. According to the Mayo Clinic, complications from it can weaken the aorta, the artery that supplies blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

      "Words can't explain how thankful I am for the time I had to play this wonderful sport. It changed my life forever," Austin wrote on Twitter. "... I would love to thank EVERYONE who has reached out to me. Toughest days of my life. But not the last! Life goes on. GOD IS STILL GREAT!"

      Baylor coach Scott Drew said in a statement on Sunday that the diagnosis means Austin will not be able to play in the NBA. Drew said he hopes Austin will return to Baylor and complete his degree.

      Austin, a 7-foot-1 sophomore, announced in April that he was leaving Baylor to enter Thursday's NBA draft.

      He averaged 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds last season for the Bears.

  • Tuesday, June 17, 2014
    LSU hires Musselman
    By The Sports Xchange

    LSU men's basketball Coach Johnny Jones said on Tuesday that the school has hired ex-NBA head coach Eric Musselman as associate head coach. Musselman has spent the previous two years as associate head coach at Arizona State.

    • "We are excited about the addition of Coach Eric Musselman," Jones told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "He brings a wealth of NBA and college experience that will be beneficial as we strive to continue to take LSU Basketball to new heights. He will be involved in all aspects of our program."

      Musselman was the Golden State Warriors' head coach from 2002-2004. He also guided the Sacramento Kings in 2006-2007. Musselman has made coaching stops in the CBA, USBL and NBADL.

      "I really am excited to join the LSU family, a place that has such a storied athletic program, and help Coach Jones and the staff continue to make strides," Musselman said. "It will be challenging to learn about another great conference as the SEC. Anytime you can join a program that has a Final Four appearance in the past decade and 20 NCAA Tournaments overall, you know great things can happen again."

      Musselman and his father, the late Bill Musselman, hold the distinction of becoming the first father-and-son duo to be head coaches in the NBA.

      The LSU Board of Supervisors still has to approve the hire.

  • Saturday, June 14, 2014
    Dorsey decommits from Arizona
    By The Sports Xchange

    Highly-touted high school guard Tyler Dorsey confirmed Saturday that he is decommitting from Arizona.

    • Dorsey, who was expected to join Arizona in 2015, said in a statement that he will open himself up to the recruitment process. He committed to Arizona in January.

      "As much as I love the Arizona basketball program as well as the awesome Wildcat fans and highly respect head coach Sean Miller and the entire Arizona staff, I realize that, in hindsight, I rushed my college choice and did not provide myself with the greatest opportunity to explore and thoroughly investigate all my possible college options," he said.

      Dorsey said in the statement that he informed Miller of his decision.

      "I believe that I am entitled to make sure that my ultimate college choice will provide me with the best possible experience and opportunity to maximize my potential as a player, student and person," he said.

      The 6-foot-4 guard from St. John Bosco (Calif.) is ranked the No. 12 overall among Class of 2015 recruits, according to 247Sports.

      Rumors surfaced that Dorsey was becoming ambivalent about Arizona after the team received commitments from other highly-recruited guards.

      Dorsey is expected to be recruited by top programs from all over the country.

  • Friday, June 13, 2014
    Tennessee C Ndiaye suffers torn ACL
    By The Sports Xchange

    Tennessee senior Rawane "Pops" Ndiaye suffered a torn ACL in his right knee that will end his playing career with the Volunteers, according to reports Friday.

    • First-year coach Donnie Tyndall told the Knoxville News Sentinel that the 6-foot-10 reserve center will no longer be on the team, but will remain at Tennessee.

      Tyndall said Ndiaye will be shifted to a medical scholarship that will not count toward the team's NCAA-mandated limit of 13. This means UT has one vacant scholarship remaining for the 2014-15 season.

      Ndiaye played one year at Tennessee after arriving from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa. Ndiaye played 22 games last season and averaged 0.9 points, 1.0 rebounds and 3.3 minutes.

      Ndiaye was injured during a pickup game last week, Tyndall told the newspaper.

  • Tuesday, June 10, 2014
    Delaware removes top scorer from program
    By The Sports Xchange

    Delaware dismissed potential 2015 Colonial Athletic Association player of the year candidate Jarvis Threatt from the team for a violation of team rules, the university announced Tuesday.

    • The school declined to provide more specifics and said there would be no further comment.

      Threatt, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 18.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.5 steals in 25 games last season for the Blue Hens, who reached the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 37 minutes per game.

      In what turned out to be Threatt's final game for Delaware, he scored 14 points in a loss to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in March.

      Threatt was suspended for nine games during the season for a violation of athletic department policy but returned to lead the Blue Hens in the CAA tournament and to a win over William & Mary in the final. He was named tournament MVP after averaging 19.7 points and 4.3 assists in three games.

  • Monday, June 9, 2014
    O'Bannon takes stand in NCAA trial
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon took the stand in federal court Monday in the first day of an antitrust trial against the NCAA in Oakland, Calif.

    • O'Bannon is the lead plaintiff in a case in which former Division I college athletes are seeking compensation for the billions of dollars schools earn in revenues.

      O'Bannon explained that he spent most of his time in college focused on basketball and just enough on academics to stay eligible to play.

      "I was an athlete masquerading as a student," O'Bannon said. "I was there strictly to play basketball. I did basically the minimum to make sure I kept my eligibility academically so I could continue to play."

      O'Bannon said his job at UCLA was to play basketball. That is why he spent time after games working on his shot instead of studying for his classes.

      O'Bannon led UCLA to an NCAA title in 1995. He was a first-round draft pick of the New Jersey Nets that year but only played two seasons in the NBA. He played professionally overseas and in other leagues until 2004.

      In college, O'Bannon said he dedicated at least 40 hours per week playing or preparing for games and about 12 hours a week on school work. He said he changed his major from communications to U.S. history after an academic adviser told him that it was a better fit for his athletics schedule.

      "There were classes I took that were not easy classes but they fit my basketball schedule so I could make it to basketball practice," O'Bannon said.

      The lawsuit was filed five years ago. O'Bannon and 19 other plaintiffs are requesting that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken allow college athletes to sell the rights of their likeness in television broadcasts and rebroadcasts.

      If the plaintiffs succeed, it could lead to some of the vast amounts of money generated by television contracts going to athletes for their participation after they complete their college careers.

      O'Bannon joined the lawsuit after seeing his likeness used in a video game branded by the NCAA.

      O'Bannon never received a degree from UCLA. After his professional career ended, he moved to Las Vegas and sells cars for a living. He admitted to receiving perks while at UCLA, including a free education and room and board. He also met his wife at school and enjoyed his relationship with coach Jim Harrick and the late John Wooden.

      "Everyone who came in contact with (Wooden) loved him," O'Bannon said. "I was envious personally that I was born a little bit too late. I wished I could have played for him; he's that kind of man."

      However, O'Bannon said under cross-examination that he believes athletes should be paid for some of the money schools make from the athletes' work.

      "If they are generating revenue for their school, I believe they should be compensated at some point," he said.

      Earlier Monday, the NCAA announced it reached a $20 million settlement in a similar case involving a different group of plaintiffs led by former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller. That case related to the use of athletes' images in video games without permission.

  • Monday, June 9, 2014
    G Harris transferring to Michigan State
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former West Virginia guard Eron Harris is transferring to Michigan State, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

    • Harris is widely considered the top transfer in the nation.

      Harris, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, averaged 17.2 points per game for the Mountaineers last season as a sophomore.

      Harris will have two years of college eligibility remaining, but will be forced to sit out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

      Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has three commitments for this season. Aside from Harris, the Spartans also have guard/forward Kyle Ahrens and power forward Deyonta Davis.

  • Friday, June 6, 2014
    McCants claims he took bogus classes at UNC
    By The Sports Xchange

    University of North Carolina's academic fraud scandal has turned toward the basketball program with claims made by former star Rashad McCants telling ESPN that he took bogus courses, rarely went to classes and tutors wrote his term papers.

    • McCants said the extra help kept him eligible during the 2004-05 season when the Tar Heels won the NCAA championship.

      McCants discussed the "paper-class" system at North Carolina, which allowed students to write a term paper instead of actually attending courses. Also, McCants was on the Dean's List in the spring of 2005 even though he did not go to class.

      McCants claimed that coach Roy Williams and the athletic department knew about the fraud, including the "paper-class" system.

      "I remained eligible to finish out and win the championship, his first championship, and everything was peaches and cream," McCants said.

      Williams denied knowing about the so-called paper classes.

      "In no way did I know about or do anything close to what he says," Williams said Friday.

      The school's academic fraud scandal has been in the news since 2011, though it mainly involved the football team until McCants' accusations. The scandal has centered on its African-American Studies program. McCants took 18 AFAM classes, according to McCants' academic transcript that was obtained by ESPN.

      North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham responded to McCants' claims via a statement.

      "It is disappointing any time a student is dissatisfied with his or her experience," Cunningham said. "I welcome the opportunity to speak with Rashad McCants about returning to UNC to continue his academic career -- just as we have welcomed many former student-athletes interested in completing their degrees.

      "The university hired former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein in January to conduct an independent investigation into past academic and athletic irregularities. While these are the first allegations we have heard from Mr. McCants, I encourage him to speak with Mr. Wainstein. ...

      "I have gotten to know some of Mr. McCants' teammates, and I know that claims about their academic experience have affected them deeply. They are adamant that they had a different experience at UNC-Chapel Hill than has been portrayed by Mr. McCants and others."

      McCants left the Tar Heels after three seasons and was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He averaged 17.6 points per game during his collegiate career. After four seasons with the Timberwolves, he was traded to the Sacramento Kings. He has spent the last five years playing in the NBA D-League and overseas in France, Philippines, China and Brazil.

      Sixteen players from the 2005 championship team issued a statement that read:

      "We are proud of our accomplishments both on and off the floor at UNC. With conviction, each one of us is proud to say that we attended class and did our own academic work. We want to thank our advisers and counselors who supported us, while also maintaining the integrity of the institution. We also want to make it clear that Coach Williams and his staff operated with the highest level of ethics and integrity within their respective roles. We are forever grateful for the lessons we learned on the court, in the classroom and during our time in Chapel Hill.

      "In light of the comments made by Rashad on ESPN Outside the Lines, we want to state that our personal academic experiences are not consistent with Rashad's claims. We know that Coach Williams did not have any knowledge of any academic impropriety, and further that Coach Williams would not have tried to manipulate a player's schedule. Rashad will always be our teammate and we wish him well on all of his future endeavors."

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014
    Virginia's Bennett gets raise, extension
    By The Sports Xchange

    Virginia reached agreement Tuesday with coach Tony Bennett on a new seven-year contract with annual compensation of $1.924 million.

    • The new deal extends through the 2020-21 season and supersedes an extension that he signed with 2012 with a payout of $1.7 million per year.

      The Cavaliers won both the ACC regular-season and tournament titles in 2014 for the first time in school history. Virginia received the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached its first Sweet 16 since 1995. Bennett was named ACC coach of the year.

      "I'm thankful for receiving this new contract," Bennett said. "I love coaching at the University of Virginia and living in Charlottesville where the community has been wonderful to my family. I feel we are building something special here and this commitment by the University is another great step towards ensuring we continue to compete at a high level."

      In five seasons at Virginia, Bennett has a 106-60 record. He was at Washington State for three years before moving to Charlottesville.

      "We are pleased with Coach Bennett's commitment to the University of Virginia," Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage said. "Tony believes in the goals of the athletics department and the mission of the University. The vision he had for our program when he accepted the head coaching position is developing according to his plan. It will be exciting to watch the development of our players and the program in the coming years."

      Virginia returns a strong nucleus of players next season and likely will be considered a preseason contender in the ACC and potentially a top-10 team nationally.

  • Saturday, May 31, 2014
    $40 million settlement reached in EA Sports case
    By The Sports Xchange

    EA Sports reached a $40 million settlement with college football and basketball players in the case involving the use of the likeness of athletes, ESPN.com reported Saturday.

    • The settlement was reached in an Oakland, Calif., federal court Friday night.

      It leaves the NCAA alone to defend itself in the upcoming antitrust trial led by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon. That case is scheduled to begin June 9.

      After attorney fees, as many as 100,000 current and former NCAA athletes could receive up to $4,000 each. The settlement applies to athletes whose likeness appeared in EA Sports college basketball and college football video games since 2003.

      "I'm thrilled that for the first time in the history of college sports, athletes will get compensated for their performance," said Steve Berman, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. "It's pretty groundbreaking."

      Berman represents former Nebraska and Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller, and 77 percent of the latest proposed settlement applies to players represented by Berman. O'Bannon's group would receive 12 percent of the settlement while former Rutgers football player Ryan Hart and former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston would receive the remaining 10 percent for the group of players they represent.

      O'Bannon, Keller, Hart, Alston and all other named plaintiffs also receive between $2,500 and $15,000 for representing the groups in the case.

      The settlement still requires approval from U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken. If approved, the lawyers in the case will receive up to one-third of the settlement. That equates to $13.2 million and a maximum of $2.5 million in legal fees.

      To collect on the settlement, each player must register, and their portion will be based on a formula related to how many years they appeared on rosters in EA Sports video games. According to the plaintiffs lawyers, there are about 140,000 to 200,000 annual roster appearances in all three classes.

      Last September, an agreement was reached between EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Corporation, but the two sides could not agree on financial terms.

      EA Sports did place its college football series on hiatus and has not made a college basketball video game since 2010.