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NCAAB News Wire
  • Wisconsin assistant Moore injured, wife and daughter killed in crash
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, May 25, 2019

    Wisconsin assistant coach Howard Moore and his family were involved in a three-car accident early Saturday morning near Ann Arbor, Mich., that reportedly killed his wife and daughter.

    • Moore and his son, Jerell, survived the crash and reportedly were admitted to University of Michigan Hospital, with Moore seriously injured and his son with minor injuries. Reports say Moore's vehicle was hit head-on by a car traveling on the wrong side of the road, with Moore's daughter, Jaidyn, being pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, Jennifer, died after being taken off life support.

      Michigan State Police responded to the crash at 2:04 a.m. ET. Police said the driver who struck Moore's vehicle was a 23-year-old woman from Ann Arbor who was heading west in the eastbound lanes of M-14. She also was killed in the accident, according to police.

      Police didn't publicly release Moore's identity or the names and ages of members of his family due to a privacy request. Moore's involvement was revealed in social media circles and reports.

      Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin: "Heartbreaking news. Praying for Coach Howard Moore & my thoughts are with he and his family during this difficult time."

      Louisville coach Chris Mack: "Please pray for Howard Moore and his family with @BadgerMBB. Tragic car accident & their lives are changed forever in an instant. Sickening."

      Moore is in second stint as a Wisconsin assistant. The Chicago native was on the staff from 2005-09 before becoming head coach at Illinois-Chicago. He went 49-111 in five seasons with the Flames before being fired in March 2015.

      Illinois-Chicago expressed its support on the basketball program's Twitter account.

      "Please keep former #UIC head coach Howard Moore and his family in your thoughts. The Moore Family was involved in a serious automobile accident and can use positive thoughts today."

      Moore returned to Wisconsin in December of 2015 and has been a key figure on coach Greg Gard's staff.

      Moore also has been an assistant coach at Bradley, Ball State and Loyola-Chicago.

      Moore played in 47 career games for Wisconsin between 1991-95. He averaged 2.1 points and 1.7 rebounds.

      Jordan Taylor (2008-12) was one of many former Badgers to chime in with his feelings.

      "All the amazing people at Wisconsin.. nobody put a smile on your face like Jen and Coach Moore. Prayers up."

      The driver of the third vehicle involved suffered minor injuries.

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA reinstates Kansas F De Sousa
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 24, 2019

    The NCAA has reinstated Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa, making him eligible to play in the 2019-20 season.

    • Kansas had appealed a two-season suspension given to De Sousa in February after testimony in the NCAA basketball corruption trial. On the witness stand, former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola claimed to have given $2,500 to De Sousa's guardian.

      "Kansas men's basketball student-athlete Silvio De Sousa is eligible to play the upcoming season after sitting the 2018-19 season due to NCAA rules violations," the NCAA said in a statement issued Friday. "Kansas appealed the NCAA staff decision of a two-season withholding to the Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, which determined additional relief was appropriate."

      In February, coach Bill Self blasted the NCAA's ruling.

      "In my 30-plus years of coaching college basketball, I have never witnessed such a mean-spirited and vindictive punishment against a young man who did nothing wrong," Self said. "To take away his opportunity to play college basketball is shameful and a failure of the NCAA."

      The 6-foot-9 De Sousa, a native of Angola, averaged 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds as a freshman during the 2017-18 season and registered 4.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in five NCAA Tournament games. He did not play in a game this past season as the NCAA reviewed his eligibility.

      --Field Level Media

  • Stackhouse adds Patton to Vanderbilt coaching staff
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 23, 2019

    First-year Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse added former Colorado and Northern Illinois coach Ricardo Patton to his staff as a senior adviser, the school announced Thursday.

    • Stackhouse, 44, had never worked at the collegiate level before signing a six-year deal in April. After 18 seasons in the NBA, Stackhouse was an assistant with the Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies.

      Patton, 60, brings more than 30 years of coaching experience to the Commodores. He was 184-160 at Colorado from 1995-2007 with two NCAA Tournament appearances and 35-83 at Northern Illinois from 2007-11.

      Patton also has local ties as a Nashville native who played college basketball at Belmont.

      Stackhouse's staff already includes David Grace, Adam Mazarei and Faragi Phillips.

      Grace has been an assistant at Cal, UCLA and Oregon State. Mazarei was a Grizzlies assistant. Phillips is a former Memphis high school coach.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rose: Howard hiring heals UM wounds, rivalries
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 23, 2019

    Hiring Juwan Howard is the end of rivalries between members of Michigan's Fab Five according to Jalen Rose, the point guard from that star-studded 1991 recruiting class.

    • Rose and Wolverines teammate Chris Webber have not been on speaking terms for years. Rose said bringing Howard home as head coach means any ill will between him and his former UM peers is water under the bridge.

      "There will be no splintering. There will be no disrespect," Rose said. "It's about following Juwan as the leader of the program."

      Webber and Rose have been at odds for more than a decade. Webber chose not to participate in the ESPN "30 for 30" documentary on the team and its two national championship game appearances in 1992 and 1993.

      Howard was hired as head coach at Michigan on Wednesday, replacing John Beilein, who experienced great success in 12 seasons in Ann Arbor.

      Webber, who is calling NBA playoff games for TNT, said last week that Michigan hiring Howard would definitely bring "everyone back together." Jimmy King and Ray Jackson were the other members of the Fab Five. Rose called on the entire group to get behind Howard.

      "We're not going to bring that to Ann Arbor's campus with Juwan Howard as our head coach," Rose said.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ohio State adds Cal transfer F Sueing
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Ohio State has added Cal transfer Justice Sueing, who led the Golden Bears in scoring last season.

    • Sueing, a 6-foot-7 forward, will have two years of eligibility left after sitting out the 2019-20 season under NCAA transfer rules.

      "He brings experience, positional versatility, ability to score as well as a natural ability to impact the game in a variety of ways," Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann said in a news release.

      "He is hungry to continue to grow and develop as a player. This upcoming season, where he will sit out, will be important for his overall growth. We were really impressed with his maturity in recruiting him and we believe his experiences his first two years in college are going to benefit him moving forward here at Ohio State."

      Sueing averaged 14.3 points and 6.0 rebounds, with a team-high 52 steals, as Cal went 8-23 last season and fired coach Wyking Jones after he posted a 16-47 record in two seasons. Sueing averaged 13.8 points and 5.4 rebounds as a freshman in 2017-18.

      Cal, who hired former Nevada and Georgia head coach Mark Fox on March 29, also lost guard Darius McNeill (Cal's second-leading scorer with 11.0 points per game last season) and 7-3 forward Connor Vanover (7.5 ppg) to transfer. McNeill signed with SMU, while Vanover is headed to Arkansas.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan hires Howard as head coach
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Juwan Howard was officially hired by Michigan, his alma mater, as the head basketball coach on Wednesday, accepting a five-year deal starting at $2 million annually.

    • "I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the University of Michigan's storied basketball program," Howard said in a statement. "...As a 'Michigan Man' I know the place our program has in college basketball and I embrace the chance to build onto that history and lead us to championships both in the Big Ten and national level.

      "...I cannot wait to get started. It feels great to be coming home. Go Blue!"

      Howard, a Miami Heat assistant coach, became the frontrunner for the Michigan job after Providence's Ed Cooley withdrew from consideration Tuesday and signed a multiyear contract extension to stay with the Friars.

      "We have found someone with high integrity, great character and a coach who has unbelievable knowledge of the game of basketball," athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. "Juwan has proven himself to be a tremendous leader, a wonderful communicator and a developer of talent. We couldn't have asked for a better role model for the young men in our program. We are excited to welcome back a member of the family to Ann Arbor."

      Howard, 46, has been an assistant coach with the Miami Heat since September 2013, when he retired after playing more than 1,200 games with eight NBA franchises from 1994-2013. He reportedly interviewed this offseason for the head coaching vacancies with the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

      Howard, a member of the famed "Fab Five" 1991 recruiting class at Michigan, was the No. 5 pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. He was an All-Star with Washington in 1995-96 and won an NBA championship with the Heat in 2011-12.

      He averaged 13.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in 19 NBA seasons.

      Former Wolverines teammate Jalen Rose said last week that hiring Howard was a "no-brainer" for Michigan.

      "Now that there's a vacant job in Ann Arbor, let's do a blank canvas as to who should be the No. 1 candidate. To me, that should be a no-brainer," Rose said Friday on ESPN's "Get Up" morning show. "There's a guy named Juwan Howard that's from Chicago, which means he's going to help recruit that market. ...

      "For those who don't know, he was always the adult in the room among us."

      Howard replaces John Beilein, who left on May 13 to become head coach of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

      --Field Level Media

  • Retired Louisville coach Crum suffers stroke
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Former Louisville basketball coach Denny Crum suffered his second stroke in two years.

    • The news was disclosed Tuesday night on the Facebook page of the Denny Crum Scholarship Foundation.

      "Hall of Fame basketball coach Denny Crum suffered a stroke this past week and is now recovering in a local hospital. Coach Crum and his family appreciate the thoughts and prayers and also their privacy while he is recovering. No further statements will be made at this time," the post read.

      Crum, 82, also suffered a stroke in August 2017 while on a fishing trip in Alaska.

      Crum coached the Cardinals from 1971 to 2001 and led the team to national championships in 1980 and 1986 and six Final Four appearances in all.

      He holds a career coaching record of 675-295, all at Louisville. He was enshrined in The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994.

      --Field Level Media

  • Five-star recruit McDaniels picks UW over Kentucky
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    Suburban seattle kid Jaden McDaniels passed on his "dream school" to stay home and play college basketball, choosing Washington over Kentucky.

    • The five-star recruit -- a 6-foot-10 forward and McDonald's All-American -- is ranked seventh by ESPN.com in the 2019-20 recruiting class, and he didn't covet the attention or spotlight that came with being one of the final big-ticket prospects left uncommitted until early Wednesday.

      At 1 a.m. ET, McDaniels announced he would join another McDonald's All-American -- top-five recruit Isaiah Stewart -- and play for the Huskies beginning this fall.

      "Sorry for the wait," McDaniels wrote via Instagram, with a series of photos that ended with McDaniels in a Washington uniform.

      He averaged 23.3 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks per game as a senior at Federal Way High School.

      McDaniels labeled Kentucky as his "dream school" in an interview about his love of the game, and had UCLA, San Diego State and Texas in his final five schools.

      --Field Level Media

  • Iowa G Bohannon slated for hip surgery
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    Iowa senior guard Jordan Bohannon will undergo hip surgery on Wednesday and will be sidelined indefinitely, the school announced.

    • Bohannon suffered the injury last season, when he averaged 11.6 points. He is the school's all-time leader with 264 3-point baskets.

      "This is an unfortunate setback for Jordan, but he will work hard during his rehab and is expected to make a full recovery," Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery said in a news release. "He has the support of his teammates and coaches, and we look forward to having a healthy Jordan back when he is given clearance from our medical staff."

      The school said Bohannon was hoping the hip would heal with rest and rehab. But recent conversations with the medical staff determined surgery was the best route.

      Bohannon is aware the surgery could cause him to miss the entire 2019-20 season. He told the Des Moines Register he would likely redshirt if he isn't ready when November arrives.

      "I want a shot at playing, but I've been hurt so much these past couple years, I just want to take some time and get my body right," Bohannon said. "Especially having just one year left, I want to make sure I'm 100 percent going into the season for once."

      Bohannon has scored 1,222 career points in 102 games and ranks seventh in school history with 471 assists. He is one of seven players in program history to record three straight 100-assist seasons.

      Iowa went 23-12 last season and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament before suffering an 83-77 overtime loss to Tennessee.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cooley gets extension at Providence after Michigan interview
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    One day after interviewing for the Michigan vacancy, Ed Cooley withdrew from consideration and signed a multiyear contract extension to stay at Providence on Tuesday.

    • "While it's very flattering to be considered for other head coaching jobs, after talking with my family I have decided to remain in my hometown of Providence," Cooley said in a press release. "The Friars are my family. Most importantly, my commitment is to my players and my team at Providence."

      Cooley, 49, met with Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel on Monday about replacing John Beilein, who left the Wolverines to coach the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

      Cooley has compiled a 162-110 record at Providence since 2011, guiding the Friars to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2014 to 2018.

      "We are excited to announce that Ed Cooley will continue to lead our men's basketball program," said Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll in a statement. "We believe that Ed is one of the top coaches in the country. His leadership over the last eight years has had a tremendous impact on Providence College and the Big East."

      Terms of Cooley's new contract were not released.

      Before he was hired, the Friars had finished under .500 in five of the previous seven seasons.

      Cooley coached five seasons at Fairfield before that, capping that run with a 25-8 record and a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season title in 2010-11.

      Meanwhile in Ann Arbor, Manuel was scheduled to meet with Miami Heat assistant coach and former "Fab Five" Michigan star Juwan Howard on Tuesday.

      Howard, 46, has been on the Heat staff since ending his 19-year NBA playing career after the 2012-13 campaign.

      The Detroit News said Michigan assistants Luke Yaklich and Saddi Washington spoke with Manuel last week. Butler coach LaVall Jordan and Texas' Shaka Smart have also been mentioned in the search. Sources told the newspaper that a new coach could be named by the end of the week.

      --Field Level Media

  • McDonald's All-American Watford chooses LSU
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 20, 2019

    Five-star forward and McDonald's All-American Trendon Watford announced Monday that he will attend LSU.

    • Watford chose the Tigers over Alabama. Memphis and Indiana were the other finalists.

      The 6-foot-8 Watford led Mountain Brook High (Alabama) to three straight Class 7A state titles. He averaged 23.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.5 blocked shots and 2.1 steals as a senior.

      "This by far has been the biggest and toughest decision of my life but with great support and prayer from my family and closest friends I will be attending Louisiana State University," Watford said in a ceremony at his school, located outside of Birmingham.

      Watford said he no concerns over the future of LSU coach Will Wade, who was suspended in March and later reinstated after his name was associated with recruiting irregularities.

      "It's the trust, the trust I have with those coaches and them helping me reach my potential," Watford said of the LSU staff.

      "... They have made me a priority since they took the job. They plan on putting me at different spots on the floor. I can play the game both inside and out."

      Watford is the younger brother of Christian Watford (2009-13), a four-year starter at Indiana who averaged 13.1 points and made 164 3-pointers during his college career.

      --Field Level Media

  • College basketball notebook: Howard in running for Michigan job
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, May 19, 2019

    Michigan reportedly will interview former Wolverines star and current Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard in its search for a head coach.

    • Howard, 46, will meet with athletic director Warde Manuel on Tuesday, according to 247Sports.com and The Michigan Insider. John Beilein left Ann Arbor to become head coach of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers last weekend.

      Howard has been on the Heat staff since September 2013, when he retired after playing more than 1,200 games with eight NBA franchises from 1994-2013. A member of the famed "Fab Five" 1991 recruiting class at Michigan, Howard was the No. 5 pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. He was an All-Star with Washington in 1995-96 and won two NBA championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013.

      --South Dakota State guard David Jenkins is transferring to UNLV, where he will be reunited with former Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger.

      Jenkins averaged 19.7 points and shot 45.3 percent from 3-point range in 32 games as a sophomore in 2018-19. He scored a career-high 35 points against Memphis on Dec. 4 and earned first-team All-Summit League honors.

      The 6-foot-2 shooting guard announced his commitment Saturday, choosing the Runnin' Rebels over Gonzaga and Oregon. Jenkins will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2019-20 season under NCAA transfer rules.

      --LSU guard Javonte Smart withdrew from the NBA draft and will return to Baton Rouge for his sophomore season in 2019-20.

      Smart started 18 of his 34 games with the Tigers last season, averaging 11.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals for the SEC regular-season champions.

      Smart's freshman season wasn't without controversy, however. The school held him out of the regular-season finale against Vanderbilt following reports that an FBI wiretap had recorded LSU coach Will Wade discussing a strong "offer" for a recruit. That recruit was believed to be Smart.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Michigan to interview Howard for coaching job
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, May 19, 2019

    Michigan reportedly will interview former Wolverines star and current Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard in its search for a head coach.

    • Howard, 46, will meet with athletic director Warde Manuel on Tuesday, according to 247Sports.com and The Michigan Insider.

      John Beilein left Ann Arbor to become head coach of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers last weekend.

      Howard has been on the Heat staff since September 2013, when he retired after playing more than 1,200 games with eight NBA franchises from 1994-2013.

      A member of the famed "Fab Five" 1991 recruiting class at Michigan, Howard was the No. 5 pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. He was an All-Star with Washington in 1995-96 and won an NBA championship with the Heat in 2011-12.

      Former Wolverines teammate Jalen Rose said hiring Howard was a "no brainer" for Michigan.

      "Now that there's a vacant job in Ann Arbor, let's do a blank canvas as to who should be the No. 1 candidate. To me, that should be a no brainer," Rose said Friday on ESPN's "Get Up" morning show. "There's a guy named Juwan Howard that's from Chicago, which means he's going to help recruit and market."

      --Field Level Media

  • South Dakota State G Jenkins transferring to UNLV
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, May 19, 2019

    South Dakota State guard David Jenkins is transferring to UNLV, where he will be reunited with former Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger.

    • Jenkins averaged 19.7 points and shot 45.3 percent from 3-point range in 32 games as a sophomore in 2018-19. He scored a career-high 35 points against Memphis on Dec. 4 and earned first-team All-Summit League honors.

      The 6-foot-2 shooting guard announced his commitment Saturday, choosing the Runnin' Rebels over Gonzaga and Oregon.

      "I could not be more thrilled for the opportunity to continue coaching David," said Otzelberger, who was hired at UNLV in March. "He will quickly become a fan favorite here in Las Vegas because of his personality and his competitive drive. David is a gifted scorer, a proven winner and a fantastic teammate."

      Jenkins will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2019-20 season under NCAA transfer rules. He was ranked as the No. 2 sit-out transfer in ESPN's transfer rankings.

      --Field Level Media

  • LSU G Smart withdraws from NBA draft
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, May 19, 2019

    LSU guard Javonte Smart withdrew from the NBA draft and will return to Baton Rouge for his sophomore season in 2019-20.

    • Smart announced his decision Saturday night on social media.

      He started 18 of his 34 games with the Tigers last season, averaging 11.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals for the SEC regular-season champions.

      Smart's freshman season wasn't without controversy, however. The school held him out of the regular-season finale against Vanderbilt following reports that an FBI wiretap had recorded LSU coach Will Wade discussing a strong "offer" for a recruit.

      That recruit was believed to be Smart, who was reinstated for the SEC tournament and ultimately helped the Tigers reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

      "Smart has fully cooperated and participated in a joint inquiry with LSU and the NCAA resulting from reports of wiretapped conversations purportedly involving Head Coach Will Wade," the university said in a statement when Smart was reinstated. "Though the inquiry is not closed, after multiple additional interviews, there has been no wrongdoing identified to date."

      A native of Baton Rouge, Smart was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2018 and ranked as the state's No. 1 player by the 247Sports composite.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Rodman Jr. signs with Washington State
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, May 18, 2019

    Dennis "D.J." Rodman Jr. has reportedly signed with Washington State.

    • The son of Hall of Famer and five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman signed a financial aid agreement with the Cougars, CougCenter reported Friday.

      The 6-foot-6 forward from JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., averaged 24.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game as a senior.

      Unranked by 247Sports and listed as a two-star prospect by VerbalCommits.com, Rodman also had offers from Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside and Sacramento State.

      His father played 14 NBA seasons with the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks from 1986-2000. A two-time Defensive Player of the Year and two-time All-Star, "The Worm" led the league in rebounding seven times.

      Rodman was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

      --Field Level Media

  • Memphis holds No. 1 recruiting class with Achiuwa addition
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 17, 2019

    Memphis secured a commitment Friday from five-star forward Precious Achiuwa, giving the Tigers the nation's No. 1 recruiting class for 2019, as ranked by the 247Sports composite.

    • In his first full recruiting cycle since becoming coach at his alma mater, Penny Hardaway also has brought in the nation's No. 1 player, 7-footer James Wiseman of Memphis, forward D.J. Jeffries (No. 25), guards Boogie Ellis (No. 38) and Lester Quinones (No. 81), and center Malcolm Dandridge (No. 100), all listed in the ESPN Top 100.

      Damion Baugh, a four-start recruit from Memphis, also is in the class.

      Achiuwa is a 6-foot-9 forward from New York who attends Montverde Academy in Florida. He is No. 17 on the ESPN 100 and was a McDonald's All-American.

      With his commitment, Memphis vaulted ahead of Kentucky, Arizona, Duke and Villanova in the recruiting standings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan signee Wilson asks for release
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 16, 2019

    Jalen Wilson, Michigan basketball's top-ranked signee in the Class of 2019, has asked to be released from his letter of intent following coach John Beilein's departure.

    • "First, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to join the Michigan family last May," Wilson, from Denton, Texas, tweeted. "I would also like to thank the coaching staff and the city (of) Ann Arbor for showing an unbelievable amount of love and support. Due to the sudden head coaching change, I have requested my release from the University of Michigan and will re-open my recruitment."

      Wilson, a 6-foot-8 forward, was a four-star recruit and the No. 50 player in the Class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite. He gave his verbal commitment to the Wolverines in May 2018 and signed in November.

      On Monday night, Wilson told the Detroit Free Press that he was shocked when Beilein left to become the head coach of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

      "I was just in shock," he said. "I didn't want to believe it. It's news, so I was really just shocked, you know?"

      If Michigan does not grant his request, Wilson will need to sit out a year.

      The other 2019 signee for the Wolverines, 6-foot-7 forward Cole Bajema from Washington state, has yet to comment on Beilein's departure.

      --Field Level Media

  • Arkansas lands 7-foot-3 Cal transfer Vanover
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 15, 2019

    Cal big man Connor Vanover is heading home and transferring to Arkansas.

    • The 7-foot-3 Little Rock native will sit out the 2019-20 season due to NCAA transfer rules and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

      "Connor has tremendous upside," Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman said Wednesday. "He is an incredibly unique player. At 7-3, he can stretch the floor offensively by shooting the 3-pointer and be a rim-protecting shot blocker on the defensive end."

      Vanover averaged 7.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 28 games (15 starts) as a Golden Bears freshman in 2018-19. He made 27 3-pointers (35.5 percent accuracy) and led Cal with 35 blocked shots.

      Vanover averaged 12 points, 4.8 boards and 2.1 blocks over his last 11 games, including a 24-point effort against Stanford in the regular-season finale.

      --Field Level Media

  • Low academics put UCLA tourney chances on brink
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 14, 2019

    The UCLA men's basketball program is in danger of becoming academically ineligible for the NCAA Tournament because of a four-year accumulation of Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores, a report from bayareanewsgroup.com showed.

    • UCLA was last in the Pac-12 Conference with a four-year average academic score of 933, while Stanford led the conference at 997. A cumulative average score of 930 over the previous four years would rule a program ineligible to participate in the NCAA Tournament.

      UCLA's individual 2018 academic score was 905, dragging its four-year score down to the point of ineligibility. The program did post a 977 score in 2017.

      The academic scores were accumulated for the past four seasons under head coach Steve Alford, who was fired on New Year's Eve after the Bruins got off to a 7-6 start against nonconference competition.

      Alford was replaced by Murry Bartow on an interim basis, but the UCLA failed to reach the NCAA Tournament. UCLA hired Cincinnati's Mick Cronin in April as its new head coach.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ellis, former Duke commit, joins Memphis' strong class
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 13, 2019

    Rejean "Boogie" Ellis, who was released from his commitment to Duke earlier this month, committed to Memphis on Tuesday.

    • The guard, from Mission Bay High School in San Diego, was rated No. 38 in ESPN's list of the nation's top prep prospects and No. 37 by 247Sports. He had originally committed to the Blue Devils in November.

      Ellis joins an excellent recruiting class for Memphis coach Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, a former NBA point guard who compiled a 22-14 record in his first year on the job last season.

      The Tigers previously landed consensus No. 1-rated prospect James Wiseman, a center from Memphis; forward D.J. Jeffries of Olive Branch, Miss., a consensus top-50 prospect; and shooting guard Lester Quinones of Bradenton, Fla., and center Malcolm Dandridge from Memphis, both consensus top-100 prospects.

      Ellis told 247Sports he chose Memphis for "the opportunity to learn from Penny at the point guard spot and (have him) be able to show me first hand on how to be a point guard and the opportunity to come and play right away with some great pieces around James Wiseman, D.J. Jeffries and Lester (Quinones)."

      In addition, guard Rayjon Tucker is transferring from Little Rock to Memphis. Tucker averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Trojans last season.

      Memphis' recruiting class is ranked fourth in the country by 247Sports and eighth in the nation by ESPN.

      Even without Ellis, Duke's class is still ranked No. 1 by ESPN and No. 3 by 247Sports.

      --Field Level Media

  • Memphis lands Little Rock grad transfer Tucker
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, May 11, 2019

    High-scoring swingman Rayjon Tucker is joining coach Penny Hardaway and Memphis as a graduate transfer, ESPN reported Saturday.

    • The 6-foot-5 Tucker averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds and shot 41.1 percent from 3-point range last season at Little Rock, earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors.

      "Just the relationship I built with Penny and [assistant coach Tony] Madlock," Tucker said of his decision to choose the Tigers after visiting Kansas, Auburn, Iowa State and West Virginia. "And the learning I can get from the staff to get me to the next level."

      Tucker, who also entered his name into the NBA draft and has been working out for teams, is ranked No. 2 by ESPN in its graduate transfer rankings.

      Tucker played his first two seasons at Florida Gulf Coast (2015-17), averaging 6.9 points and 3.0 boards in 68 games (seven starts) before transferring to Little Rock.

      If Tucker withdraws from the draft, he will join an elite incoming class that includes four recruits from the ESPN 100, including the No. 1 overall prospect, 7-footer James Wiseman.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: USC point guard Thornton to transfer
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 10, 2019

    Point guard Derryck Thornton Jr., who transferred from Duke after his freshman season in 2015-16, plans to leave the Southern California program as a graduate transfer, according to multiple reports Friday.

    • Sources told ESPN that he is expected to enter his name into the transfer portal and will be eligible to suit up in the 2019-20 season.

      Thornton, who turns 22 on May 30, is a southern California native from Woodland Hills, who played the past two seasons for Trojans head coach Andy Enfield after the former five-star recruit began his college career under Mike Krzyzewski.

      Thornton averaged a respectable 7.1 points in 26 minutes per game in his sole season at Duke, which had five eventual NBA players on its roster at the time.

      But Thornton returned to Los Angeles at USC, where after sitting out a year he came off the bench in his first season for the Trojans before handling starting point guard duties in 2018-19. Last season he averaged a career-best 7.7 points and 1.2 steals as well as a team-high 4.3 assists on 38.2-percent shooting.

      USC finished 16-17 last season and missed the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA to consider proposal to move back 3-point line
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 10, 2019

    A proposal has been submitted to the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee that suggests moving the 3-point line to the international distance of 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches.

    • The Playing Rules Oversight Panel will consider the proposal at a June 5 meeting. If approved, the current distance of 20.75 feet would be eliminated immediately at the Division I level. The Division II and II levels would have until 2020 to change to the longer distance.

      The international 3-point line distance was used at the 2018 and 2019 NIT Tournament.

      The rational for moving back the 3-point line, according to the NCAA, would be to help unclog the lane for players driving to the basket, slowing the prevalent nature of the 3-point shot and assistance in offensive spacing.

      "After gathering information over the last two seasons, we feel it's time to make the change," committee chair and Colorado coach Tad Boyle said in a statement. "Freedom of movement in the game remains important, and we feel this will open up the game. We believe this will remove some of the congestion on the way to the basket."

      While teams averaged slightly more shots per game from behind the 3-point line in the 2019 NIT Tournament, the field goal percentage of 33 percent was down slightly from the 35.2 percent from the regular season.

      The 3-point line was moved to its current distance after the 2008-09 season. In that time, 3-point field goal percentage increased from 34.4 percent in 2008-09 to the 35.2-percent mark of last season, matching what it was in 2007-08 before the line was last moved.

      --Field Level Media

  • Arizona president backs Miller: 'Sean's our coach'
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 9, 2019

    University of Arizona president Robert Robbins gave a vote of confidence to Wildcats coach Sean Miller.

    • "Sean's our coach and we look forward to continuing to participate and cooperate in all the investigations that are going on," Robbins told Tucson TV station KGUN on Wednesday. "But Sean's our coach."

      Arizona confirmed last week that the NCAA is investigating the men's basketball program, but Robbins declined to address possible sanctions.

      "I have no idea," he told KGUN. "That's up to the NCAA. We'll just cooperate with them and see what they have to say at the end."

      Miller, the Wildcats' coach since 2009, was not charged in a long-running federal corruption probe that produced two more convictions in New York City on Wednesday.

      Christian Dawkins, an aspiring sports agent/business manager, was convicted of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. Merl Code, a former Adidas consultant, was found guilty of bribery conspiracy.

      The verdict came after a two-week federal trial that focused on alleged payoffs to prominent players and coaches in order to steer prospects to certain financial advisers and handlers.

      In March, Dawkins and Code were sentenced to six months in prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in an October trial. Former Adidas executive James Gatto received a nine-month sentence in that trial.

      Dawkins and Code had been accused of facilitating bribes to multiple assistant coaches, including four -- Arizona's Emanuel "Book" Richardson, Auburn's Chuck Person, Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans and Southern California's Tony Bland -- who have pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy without a trial and are scheduled for sentencing later this month.

      Arizona has been connected to the recruiting scandal in college hoops since the beginning, when Richardson was arrested in September 2017 as a result of a federal investigation.

      Richardson entered a guilty plea in January to charges he accepted $20,000 in bribes to influence certain Arizona players to hire Dawkins and other financial advisers once they entered the NBA.

      At the trial in New York, federal prosecutors played a recording in a courtroom that suggested Miller paid former player Deandre Ayton $10,000 a month while he was in the Wildcats' program.

      In February 2018, when allegations surfaced that Miller was involved with paying Ayton, he vehemently denied them.

      "Let me be very, very clear: I have never discussed with Christian Dawkins paying Deandre Ayton to attend the University of Arizona," Miller said. "In fact, I had never even met or spoke to Christian Dawkins until after Deandre publicly announced that he was coming to our school. Any reporting to the contrary is inaccurate, false and defamatory."

      After court Wednesday, Dawkins told the Arizona Daily Star he "never had conversations" with the 50-year-old Miller about delivering Ayton to Arizona.

      --Field Level Media