Expert Cappers Picks
Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • Kansas PG McBride leaving school
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 21, 2019

    Kansas freshman Isaac McBride is withdrawing from the university and looking to play elsewhere.

    • Coach Bill Self made the announcement on Friday night, and McBride confirmed the news on social media.

      "I decided the program was not a good fit for me," McBride wrote in part, reiterating what Self said. "I will continue to pursue a future basketball career."

      McBride, a point guard from Little Rock, Ark., signed with the Jayhawks last November and arrived in Kansas in June. He was the nation's No. 137 prospect in the Class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

      McBride was expected to back up starting point guard Devon Dotson this season.

      In announcing his decision, McBride made no mention of a notice of allegation from the NCAA citing major recruiting violations in the program that Kansas is expected to receive.

      The Jayhawks were among the schools that were mentioned in the FBI's investigation into corruption in the sport that led to the arrest of 10 people, including four assistant coaches, in September 2017.

      Stan Wilcox, the NCAA executive vice president for regulatory affairs, said during the summer that at least six schools would receive notice of allegations.

      Level I allegations -- the most severe under NCAA rules -- could lead to penalties and possibly a suspension for Self, who won an NCAA title at the school in 2008.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Kansas to receive notice of allegations
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Kansas is expected to soon receive a notice of allegation from the NCAA citing major recruiting violations in the program, the Kansas City Star reported Friday.

    • The Jayhawks were among the schools that were mentioned in the FBI's investigation into corruption in the sport that led to the arrest of 10 people, including four assistant coaches, in September 2017.

      Stan Wilcox, the NCAA executive vice president for regulatory affairs, said during the summer that at least six schools would receive notice of allegations.

      Level I allegations -- the most severe under NCAA rules -- could lead to penalties and possibly a suspension for coach Bill Self, who won an NCAA title at the school in 2008.

      Kansas was among the schools associated with Adidas that came under scrutiny during the federal investigation.

      Former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola testified that he made payments of $90,000 to the mother of former Kansas player Billy Preston.

      Gassnola also admitted two payments totaling $22,500 were made from Adidas to Silvio De Sousa, a current Kansas player who was initially suspended for two seasons. Kansas appealed the second season penalty and the NCAA recently ruled De Sousa is eligible to play this season.

      Gassnola avoided prison time at his sentencing date on Sept. 10 due to his cooperation with authorities. He received one year of supervised release, two months of home confinement and a $100 fine, according to reports.

      During trial last October, an FBI wiretap was introduced in which Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend and Adidas consultant Merl Code were heard discussing what was needed for highly sought recruit Zion Williamson to sign with the Jayhawks. Williamson later chose Duke.

      Code's attorney, Mark Moore, read the transcript in the court, detailing what Townsend told Code.

      "Hey, but between me and you, you know, (Williamson's stepfather Lee Anderson) asked about some stuff. You know? And I said, 'Well, we'll talk about that after you decide.'

      "And then Mr. Code says: 'I know what he's asking for,'" Moore continued. "... 'He's asking for opportunities from an occupational prospective. He's asking for money in the pocket. And he's asking for housing for him and the family.'

      "And they go on to talk. And Mr. Townsend says: 'So I've got to just try to work and figure out a way. Because if that's what it takes to get him for 10 months, we're going to have to do it some way.'"

      North Carolina State is the only school thus far to have received a notice of allegations from the NCAA, stemming from the FBI's look into corruption.

      --Field Level Media

  • Iowa suspends F Pemsl after OWI arrest
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 20, 2019

    Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl has been suspended indefinitely after he was arrested early Friday morning for first-offense drunken driving, according to the school.

    • Pemsl, a 22-year-old redshirt junior from Dubuque, was charged with operating while intoxicated in Iowa City.

      An Iowa City police criminal complaint stated that Pemsl failed to obey a traffic control device and made an improper left turn, and the vehicle he was driving also had a cracked taillight.

      According to the criminal complaint, when Pemsl was stopped at around 3 a.m., he failed sobriety tests, with breath testing showing his blood alcohol content to be in the range of .122 to .151 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of .08 percent.

      The Iowa athletic department announced Friday that facts about the case are still being gathered, and Pemsl's indefinite suspension prevents his involvement from all basketball-related activities.

      Pemsl has averaged 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 68 games in two-plus seasons for the Hawkeyes,

      He is eligible for two more seasons after playing only two games last season and being granted a waiver following complications he faced as the result of knee surgery he underwent in high school.

      --Field Level Media

  • Duke gets commitment from third five-star prospect
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, September 19, 2019

    Duke improved an already strong 2020 recruiting class, receiving the commitment of five-star combo guard DJ Steward.

    • He announced his decision Wednesday on Twitter.

      Only Kentucky has a higher-ranked class, per the 247Sports composite.

      Steward, who plays at Whitney Young High School in Chicago, chose Duke over a number of regional and national programs, including North Carolina, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville and DePaul.

      "I'll be heading to Duke University to play under Coach K," Steward said, per 247Sports. "Me and my family went on the visit this weekend, and it was amazing. We love the principles of Duke and how united Duke was as a program."

      Steward joins two other five-star recruits: top-10 prospect forward Jalen Johnson (IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.) and point guard Jeremy Roach (Paul VI Catholic, Fairfax, Va.) in Duke's 2020 class.

      Steward averaged 22.9 points per game in the Nike EYBL this summer.

      --Field Level Media

  • UConn’s Hurley working again after spinal surgery
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, September 18, 2019

    After experiencing "one of the toughest summers I've had in a long time," UConn men's basketball coach Dan Hurley went back to work on Wednesday.

    • Hurley's return came less than two weeks after he underwent surgery for a herniated disk and spinal cord compression. Two disks were replaced with artificial ones during the surgery.

      "I've been on a great run, going from high school coach to coach at UConn in 10 years," the Huskies coach said Wednesday during a post-practice conference call with state reporters. "My toughest adversity was bouncing back from a tough loss, which pales in comparison to feeling that your health is failing. I'm going to have a so much better [of] a perspective on my purpose and what the essence of my purpose is in my life on this earth -- how important my faith is to me when it was reinforced, how important my family is to me when it was reinforced, how important I am to my players. My true purpose as coach came into much clearer focus for me."

      Hurley's health issues began during the summer, when his left shoulder and arm felt the effects of tingling in his neck. He also felt chest tightness as the result of a chronic problem with his stomach and esophagus.

      In August, he drove himself to Hartford Hospital's emergency room.

      On Sept. 6, he underwent surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical Center for Comprehensive Spine Care in New York.

      After he was examined Tuesday in New York, Hurley was cleared to return to full-time coaching duties, and he was in charge of Wednesday's practice.

      "They know I'm back now," Hurley, 46, said. "I was getting on guys today. Any feeling sorry for me or good will about the coach being back went out the door today when I got on guys for their lack of defensive prowess. All that love is gone."

      UConn's season opener against Sacred Heart is on Nov. 8.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pitino settles suit vs. Louisville
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, September 18, 2019

    Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino has reached a settlement in a breach of contract lawsuit he filed against the University of Louisville Athletic Association almost two years ago.

    • Neither Pitino nor the school will receive any money in the settlement, but his departure from the school will be changed to a resignation in his personnel file.

      The agreement comes a week after the sides participated in a mediation session lasting nine hours in Louisville.

      "I think it's a terrific outcome," said Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra.

      Pitino was fired in October 2017 in the fallout from an FBI investigation into bribery and fraud in college basketball.

      The coach sued for $38.7 million the following month, arguing there is nothing in a federal criminal complaint unsealed in September of that year that tied him to any improper activities. The school countered with a suit against Pitino seeking damages from vacated games and bonuses.

      -- Field Level Media

  • Virginia coach Bennett extends deal, turns down raise
    By Field Level Media / Monday, September 16, 2019

    Virginia coach Tony Bennett extended his contract by another year Monday but turned down a raise.

    • Coming off the Cavaliers' first national championship, Bennett asked instead that more money go to his staff and for improvements to his program and other Virginia teams.

      "Tony's decision -- to turn down a well-deserved raise and instead invest in his players and UVA athletics more broadly -- tells you everything you need to know about him as a leader and as a human being," UVA president Jim Ryan said in a news release. "Tony is one of the most selfless people I've ever met, and this is just the latest example."

      Bennett, who turned 50 in June, is now under contract in Charlottesville through the 2025-26 season.

      He guided Virginia to a 254-89 record in his first 10 seasons, winning four ACC regular-season titles and two ACC Tournament championships before claiming the national title in 2018-19.

      "[My wife] Laurel and I are in a great spot, and in the past, I've had increases in my contract," Bennett said in the release. "We just feel a great peace about where we're at, all that's taken place, and how we feel about this athletic department and this community and this school. I love being at UVA. ... I have more than enough, and if there are ways that this can help out the athletic department, the other programs and coaches, by not tying up so much [in men's basketball], that's my desire."

      The defending champion Cavaliers open the 2019-20 season on Nov. 6 at Syracuse.

      --Field Level Media

  • 5-star G Clarke commits to Kentucky
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 14, 2019

    Five-star guard Terrence Clarke committed to Kentucky and will reclassify to the Class of 2020, he told multiple media outlets on Saturday.

    • "I'm committing to the University of Kentucky because basically just the environment and everybody that's there," Clarke told 247Sports. "They have welcomed me ever since last year. I just felt the atmosphere that I wanted to be there."

      He chose coach John Calipari's program over Duke, UCLA, Texas Tech, Memphis and Boston College.

      The updated 247Sports composite lists the 6-foot-7 Clarke as the nation's No. 1 shooting guard in the 2020 class and the No. 4 overall prospect.

      From Boston, Clarke plays at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H.

      He becomes the highest-ranked commit in Kentucky's 2020 class, joining five-star guard BJ Boston Jr. and four-star forwards Lance Ware and Cam'Ron Fletcher.

      With Clarke's commitment, Kentucky passed Virginia for the No. 1 2020 recruting class, according to 247Sports.

      --Field Level Media

  • N.C. State coach Keatts receives two-year extension
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 13, 2019

    North Carolina State men's basketball coach Kevin Keatts received a two-year contract extension, the school announced Friday.

    • The extension was approved by the board of trustees and will keep Keatts under contract through the 2025-2026 season.

      Keatts, who will continue to receive $2.7 million per year on the new deal, was presented a six-year contract in December that initially ran through 2023-24.

      "NC State has become home for my family and I, we're grateful to Chancellor Woodson and Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan for their commitment and the opportunity to continue to lead the Wolfpack," the 47-year-old Keatts said. "I look forward to building on the foundation we've created, and to leading NC State for many years to come."

      Keatts has posted a 45-24 record in two seasons at North Carolina State and led the team to the NCAA Tournament in 2018. The program missed the tournament last year after finishing 24-12.

      Keatts has a career record of 117-52. He coached three seasons at North Carolina-Wilmington before landing the NC State post.

      -- Field Level Media

  • Transcript: Arizona assistant paid $40K to solve Alkins' eligibility issue
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, September 11, 2019

    Former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson told undercover FBI agents in June 2017 that he paid $40,000 to a high school coach to make sure Rawle Alkins was academically eligible to play for the school.

    • Alkins was a highly coveted guard who played two seasons with the Wildcats from 2016-18. Richardson said Alkins didn't receive any of the money.

      During a June 20, 2017, meeting that involved runner Christian Dawkins, financial planner Munish Sood and two undercover FBI agents, Richardson disclosed that Alkins needed one more class to be eligible under NCAA rules and that an unidentified coach wanted $40,000 to add the class to the official transcript.

      It was unclear which school Richardson is referencing, as Alkins attended Christ the Kings Regional High in Queens, N.Y., for three years and Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., for one.

      "I felt that the kid was being done an injustice and a disservice because what -- the high school coach again, it was ingenious, but when you bamboozle everyone and that kid didn't get any of the 40 (thousand), that's the problem I have," Richardson said during the meeting, according to transcripts.

      Richardson said that the coach had the records sealed, meaning there would be no way the NCAA could investigate. Yahoo Sports reported that NCAA investigators are aware of the payment.

      A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York told ESPN that the transcript was part of the evidence in this past spring's criminal trial in which Dawkins and former Adidas consultant Merl Code were convicted for paying bribes to Richardson and other coaches.

      Richardson pleaded guilty in January to accepting $20,000 in bribes to steer players to Dawkins' sports management companies and other financial planners.

      Richardson accepted a plea agreement in which he was sentenced to three months in prison and two years probation. He is currently serving his sentence at Federal Correctional Institute in Otisville, N.Y.

      Richardson served as an Arizona assistant from 2009-17 under Sean Miller. He was arrested in September of 2017 and formally fired in January of 2018.

      Alkins went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft. He played in 10 games for the Chicago Bulls last season and averaged 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds.

      --Field Level Media

  • Duke: No evidence Nike paid Williamson
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 7, 2019

    A Duke-led investigation into whether former Blue Devils star Zion Williamson received improper benefits from Nike turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer reported Friday.

    • Lawyer Michael Avenatti had alleged that Nike paid Williamson and other players to attend schools with which the shoe company had a relationship.

      "As soon as Duke was made aware of any allegation that might have affected Zion Williamson's eligibility, we conducted a thorough and objective investigation which was directed by individuals outside the athletics department," Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld wrote in a statement given to the News & Observer. "We found no evidence to support any allegation. Zion thrived as both a student and an athlete at Duke, and always conducted himself with integrity and purpose."

      Avenatti responded to the newspaper that Duke's investigators never contacted him.

      "I was never asked a single question," he wrote in a statement given to the News & Observer. "I was never asked what information or documents that I was aware of. Who the hell conducted this investigation? Inspector Clouseau? The documents and the hard evidence do not lie. Zion Williamson was paid to attend Duke. Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) has made and facilitated payments to players for years. And when the truth comes out -- and eventually it will -- Coach K and Duke's reputation will be forever and rightfully tarnished.

      "And if what I am saying is untrue, I challenge Coach K and Duke University to file a defamation lawsuit against me tomorrow and we can let the chips fall where they may."

      Avenatti, 48, was charged by federal prosecutors in March of attempting to extort $25 million from Nike. He faces numerous additional charges of fraud and embezzlement, many unrelated to sports.

      Williamson, 19, spent just one season at Duke, and he was honored as the consensus national player of the year. He averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 steals for a Blue Devils team that lost in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight to Michigan State.

      The New Orleans Pelicans made Williamson the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft on June 20.

      In July, Williamson agreed to a reported five-year, $75 million shoe deal with Jordan Brand, a Nike subsidiary.

      --Field Level Media

  • Stokes transfers from Florida to Memphis
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 28, 2019

    Florida transfer Isaiah Stokes will continue his career at Memphis, the Tigers announced Wednesday.

    • Stokes will sit out this season unless the NCAA grants him immediate eligibility.

      The 6-foot-8, 270-pound Stokes played AAU ball for current Memphis coach Penny Hardaway.

      "He's a veteran player that's physical, tough and has a great (basketball) IQ," Hardaway said in a news release.

      Stokes redshirted his first season at Florida to recuperate from a torn ACL. He played in 26 games last season as a redshirt freshman and averaged 2.7 points and 1.0 rebounds.

      Stokes is the younger brother of former Tennessee standout Jarnell Stokes, who was a second-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • IUPUI coach resigns after drunken driving arrest
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 28, 2019

    IUPUI men's basketball coach Jason Gardner resigned following a weekend arrest on drunken driving charges.

    • Gardner, 38, was arrested Sunday in Hamilton County, Ind., after police found him asleep behind the wheel at an intersection.

      Gardner was released from the Hamilton County Jail on Tuesday on his own recognizance.

      He coached for five seasons at IUPUI, compiling a 64-94 overall record with the Jaguars.

      A former Indiana Mr. Basketball in high school, Gardner starred at point guard at Arizona from 1999-2003. He helped the Wildcats to a runner-up finish against Duke in the 2001 NCAA Tournament and was named a second-team All-American as a senior.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mountain West to have real-time analytics in conference games
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 27, 2019

    The Mountain West will have access to real-time analytics during conference games for the upcoming season after the NCAA approved a waiver that allows the conference to use the technology.

    • The Mountain West will be the first conference in college basketball to use real-time analytics during men's and women's games.

      NCAA rules currently prohibit the use of electronic transmission of information.

      The Mountain West announced a partnership with ShotTracker -- a basketball analytics provider -- in May. The two had previously worked together during select conference games in the 2018-19 season and the 2019 Mountain West Men's Basketball Tournament.

      "When we partnered with ShotTracker in May, the Mountain West identified an opportunity to lead the college basketball community into the analytics era in earnest," Mountain West senior associate commissioner Dan Butterly said in a statement. "We're thrilled that the NCAA shares in our vision and is allowing Mountain West men's and women's basketball to lead testing in what we believe will ultimately help increase team performance on the court."

      The technology had also been used during the 2018 Hall of Fame classic.

      "This approval marks the beginning of an era, one in which the highest level of college basketball ushers in analytics that will provide an advanced understanding of player performance, help coaches make more detailed in-game adjustments and put a better overall product out on the basketball court," ShotTracker co-founder and President Davyeon Ross said. "I cannot thank the Mountain West enough for its continued support and willingness to join in our desire to innovate the ways in which the game of basketball is analyzed."

      --Field Level Media

  • Osabuohien transfers to West Virginia
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 21, 2019

    Former Arkansas forward Gabe Osabuohien has transferred to West Virginia, coach Bob Huggins announced on Wednesday.

    • Osabuohien was recently dismissed by Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

      "Gabe's a player who can come in and can make an immediate impact to our team defensively," Huggins said in a news release. "He's accustomed to a fast style of play pressing and running from his days at Arkansas. His athleticism and toughness will be an addition to the frontline as well as being a capable shooter to help spread the defense."

      The 6-foot-7 Osabuohien averaged 3.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 34 games last season as a sophomore. He played in 54 games (eight starts) in two seasons with the Razorbacks and averaged 2.4 points and 2.5 rebounds.

      No reason was stated for Osabuohien's dismissal from Arkansas.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Michigan State star Cleaves acquitted of sexual assault
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    Former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves was acquitted of sexual assault charges by a jury Tuesday in a case that stemmed from a reported September 2015 incident at a motel room.

    • Cleaves, 41, was facing charges of unlawful imprisonment and assault with the intent to commit criminal sexual penetration. He was facing a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.

      The trial in a Genessee County courtroom in Cleaves' hometown of Flint, Mich., included testimony from the alleged victim who said she was trying to leave a Mundy Township motel room but Cleaves would not allow it. Video evidence showed a woman trying to pull herself away from Cleaves, a member of Michigan State's 2000 NCAA championship team.

      Cleaves did not testify in the case and his attorneys argued that their client had consensual sex with the woman and was only pulling her back into the motel room because she was not fully clothed. A police official testified in the case that the victim did not say she was assaulted on the day in question.

      Cleaves and the woman were reportedly at a charity golf tournament on the day of the alleged incident and also a bar.

      The case had been dismissed once in 2016, but the charges were reinstated a year later on appeal from the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. The Michigan Supreme Court declined to review that decision leading to a trial.

      Cleaves was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2000 Final Four when the Spartans beat Florida in the title game.

      Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo attended closing arguments Tuesday.

      Cleaves played in 167 games over six seasons in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers and Seattle SuperSonics.

      --Field Level Media

  • Top 2020 PG Nix commits to UCLA
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    Five-star recruit Daishen Nix, the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2020, has given his verbal commitment to UCLA.

    • The 6-foot-5 Nix, who plays at Trinity International School in Las Vegas, is ranked as the top point guard and the No. 14 player overall in the class by the 247Sports composite. He committed after taking an official visit with the Bruins over the weekend.

      UCLA was on his top five list along with Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky and Maryland.

      "Most of my family is round the west coast, so if I leave to go to UCLA it's not that hard for them to fly over and drive over to see me," Nix said, per 247Sports.

      His commitment is UCLA's first in the 2020 class and the first for new coach Mick Cronin, who was hired in April. Nix cited Cronin's presence as one of the reasons for his choice.

      "They develop players well and Coach Cronin says he's changing his system where he's running more. It'll be perfect for me because I like open space and passing the ball," he said.

      Nix added about Cronin:

      "He prioritized me from the start. As soon as he got there, and it was only him recruiting me, none of the assistant coaches."

      --Field Level Media

  • Oregon adds 4-star G Patterson to 2019 class
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 19, 2019

    Four-star guard Addison Patterson verbally committed to Oregon and reclassified to the 2019 recruiting class.

    • "I'm 100 percent committed to the University of Oregon," the 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Scottsdale, Ariz., said Sunday at a press conference.

      The standout from Bella Vista Prep is ranked No. 42 overall by the 247Sports Composite. He is also No. 2 in the state of Arizona and No. 4 among shooting guards nationwide.

      Patterson had also considered Arizona State, Illinois and Southern California.

      He is the Ducks' second late addition this month. Last week, coach Dana Altman's program landed five-star center N'Faly Dante from Wichita, Kan.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ducks add four-star guard for 2019-20 season
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, August 18, 2019

    The Oregon Ducks continued their good week on the recruiting trail on Sunday, when four-star shooting guard Addison Patterson announced he would join the team this season.

    • Patterson, 6-foot-6, reclassified from the 2020 class, where he was ranked as the 35th-best prospect in the 247Sports composite ratings. The website adjusted him to No. 42 in the 2019 class and elevated the Ducks to having the fourth-best class in the nation.

      On Tuesday, five-star center N'Faly Dante from Wichita, Kan., committed to Oregon after also reclassifying from the 2020 recruiting class.

      Patterson, a Canadian by way of Bella Vista Prep in Scottsdale, Ariz., also had offers from Arizona State, Florida, Oklahoma, USC, Maryland, Illinois and others.

      The Ducks lost three players early to the NBA Draft but are reloading after surging late last season, winning the Pac-12 tournament and reaching the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual champ Virginia. Senior point guard Payton Pritchard is back to lead the roster, which was boosted by the addition of grad transfers Anthony Mathis (New Mexico) and Shakur Juiston (UNLV), plus five-star freshman forward CJ Walker.

      --Field Level Media

  • Arkansas dismisses Osabuohien
    By Field Level Media / Friday, August 16, 2019

    Arkansas forward Gabe Osabuohien has been dismissed from the team by new coach Eric Musselman.

    • Osabuohien averaged 3.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 34 games last season as a sophomore. He played in 54 games (eight starts) in two seasons with the Razorbacks and averaged 2.4 points and 2.5 rebounds.

      "We have set a level of expectations for our student-athletes on and off the court," Musselman said in a statement. "After discussions with Gabe, it was decided that it would be best to part ways. We thank him for his time at Arkansas and wish him well."

      Musselman formerly coached at Nevada. He replaced Mike Anderson, the coach who recruited Osabuohien to Arkansas.

      --Field Level Media

  • LeBron's 'nephew' commits to Ohio State
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 14, 2019

    Four-star guard Meechie Johnson Jr., often referred to by LeBron James as his "nephew," committed to Ohio State's 2021 recruiting class.

    • The 5-foot-11, 160-pound junior from Cleveland was also being recruited by Michigan State, Wisconsin, Indiana and Xavier.

      "I am staying home and it is a great feeling," he told 247Sports after announcing his decision Tuesday. "I know we are going to get a great class and we are going to do some special things. I just couldn't be more excited about being an Ohio State Buckeye."

      Johnson is the No. 3-ranked player in Ohio, the No. 5 combo guard in the nation and the No. 71 overall prospect in his class, per the 247Sports Composite.

      His father, Meechie Johnson Sr., and James grew up together. The Los Angeles Lakers star has routinely referenced the younger Johnson as his nephew.

      --Field Level Media

  • Five-star C Dante commits to Oregon
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 13, 2019

    Five-star prospect N'Faly Dante committed to Oregon and will reclassify from the 2020 recruiting class to 2019 in order to join the Ducks later this month.

    • The 6-foot-11 center from Sunrise Christian in Wichita, Kan., announced his decision in a letter written to his mother in Mali and published Tuesday on The Players' Tribune.

      "I've put a lot of thought into it, and I'm excited to tell you that next year I'm going to be attending college and playing basketball at the University of Oregon," he wrote. "Oregon has a program that reflects a lot of the values you taught me when I was growing up. And I hope that someday I get to show you around Eugene. It's beautiful there!"

      Dante, ranked as the No. 12 recruit in the nation in the 2020 class by the 247Sports Composite, chose coach Dana Altman's Ducks over offers from Kentucky, LSU and Kansas.

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA amends controversial 'Rich Paul Rule'
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 12, 2019

    The NCAA amended its certification process for agents on Monday after drawing criticism for what was dubbed as the "Rich Paul Rule."

    • The NCAA said last week that agents representing players deciding whether to stay in college or leave for the NBA would have to possess a bachelor's degree. On Monday, that policy was changed and now agents who don't have a B.A. degree will be required to be in good standing with the NBA Players Association.

      "We are committed to providing student-athletes who are deciding whether to stay in school or explore NBA draft options with access to a wide array of resources to make their decision," the NCAA said in a statement on Monday.

      "NCAA member schools developed the new agent certification process to accomplish that goal and reflect our higher education mission. However, we have been made aware of several current agents who have appropriately represented former student-athletes in their professional quest and whom the National Basketball Players Association has granted waivers of its bachelor's degree requirement."

      Last week's decision drew criticism as some agents didn't attend college. The requirement of the bachelor's degree led to the belief it might be aimed at Paul, who doesn't have a college degree but represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green and Ben Simmons among other NBA players.

      Monday's reversal came on the same day in which Paul slammed the NCAA in The Athletic.

      "NCAA executives are once again preventing young people from less prestigious backgrounds, and often people of color, from working in the system they continue to control," Paul wrote. "In this case, the people being locked out are kids who aspire to be an agent and work in the NBA and do not have the resources, opportunity, or desire to get a four-year degree."

      James sharply criticized the NCAA after last week's ruling as well.

      The NCAA denied that Paul was targeted in the initial decision.

      "While specific individuals were not considered when developing our process, we respect the NBPA's determination of qualification and have amended our certification criteria," the NCAA said.

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA suspends BYU F Childs nine games
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, August 10, 2019

    The NCAA upheld a nine-game suspension for BYU forward Yoeli Childs for mistakes he made while testing the NBA draft waters this spring.

    • Childs, the Cougars' leading scorer last season, did not submit the appropriate paperwork and received impermissible expenses while working with an agent.

      "There was some confusion with this new process, and I made decisions that have caused an outcome that none of us like," Childs said Friday. "I just want everyone to know that my intent was never to do something wrong."

      The two-time All-West Coast Conference selection decided in May to return for his senior season.

      The school said Childs had paid back all the expenses, with interest, but the NCAA rejected BYU's appeal. Childs will have to sit out the first nine games in 2019-20.

      "Amid the confusion of the NCAA allowing student-athletes to sign with agents and still return to school, Yoeli was caught in the transition of a changing landscape," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement.

      Childs averaged 21.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 32 games in 2018-19. His three-year career averages include 16.1 points, 8.8 boards, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocked shots per game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Arizona loses G Williams (knee) for season
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 7, 2019

    Arizona starting guard Brandon Williams will miss the 2019-20 season after undergoing knee surgery, the school announced Wednesday.

    • Williams averaged 11.4 points and 3.4 assists as a true freshman.

      The combo guard missed six games late last season because of a problem with his right knee, the same knee in which he had surgery in January 2017 because of a congenital issue that affects blood flow.

      "Brandon is one of the most talented guards we have recruited during my tenure as head coach at Arizona," coach Sean Miller said in a statement. "A year ago, Brandon quickly became one of our team's best players and one of the Pac-12's most exciting freshmen. The news of Brandon's season-ending surgery is beyond disheartening."

      Williams was one of two returning starters -- the other being center Chase Jeter -- from an Arizona team that went 17-15 and missed the NCAA Tournament.

      The Wildcats bolstered their backcourt with the addition of five-star freshman point guard Nico Mannion and the addition of grad transfer Max Hazzard, who averaged 12.5 points per game last season for UC Irvine as the Anteaters won a game in the NCAA Tournament.

      Sophomore guard Devonaire Doutrive also decided to return after announcing his transfer and taking recruiting visits this summer.

      "I've overcome obstacles before in my life and will work with our strength and medical staffs to overcome this one," Williams said in a statement. "I'm dedicated to continuing my work in the classroom as a student, and I look forward to supporting my teammates and coaches as I spend this season focusing on my health."

      --Field Level Media