Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • No prison for ex-Auburn assistant Person in bribery case
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Former Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person avoided prison time at his sentencing Wednesday for bribery charges connected to the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball.

    • U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan sentenced Person to time served and two years of supervised release.

      Person, 55, pleaded guilty in March in a federal court in Manhattan, acknowledging he accepted $91,500 in bribes in exchange for directing players toward a specific financial adviser.

      He was one of four assistant coaches among 10 people arrested in September 2017 when the FBI probe into college basketball corruption became public. All four coaches pled guilty, with two receiving prison time.

      Former Arizona assistant Emanuel "Book" Richardson was sentenced to three months in prison and two years of probation. Prosecutors said Richardson had accepted $20,000 to influence Wildcats players to sign with aspiring agent Christian Dawkins, who has been convicted on bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery charges.

      Former Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans also was sentenced to three months in prison and 100 hours of community service for accepting $22,000 in bribes in exchange for convincing college players to pick specific advisers when they turned pro.

      Former Southern California assistant Tony Bland was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

      Person was an All-American at Auburn who played 13 seasons in the NBA with five teams. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year with the Indiana Pacers in 1986-87.

      --Field Level Media

  • Binghamton's Anyichie drowns in state park
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Binghamton basketball player Calistus Anyichie drowned Sunday. He was 19.

    • The school made the announcement Monday morning, and coach Tommy Dempsey expressed his sorrow on Twitter.

      "There are no words ..." Dempsey wrote. "There is no blueprint for how to deal with such a painful loss. We all loved Calistus so much. He was such a special young man. We are devastated."

      According to multiple reports, Anyichie's body was found at the base of a 15-foot bank in Buttermilk Falls State Park near Ithaca, N.Y. First responders needed to use a rope system to pull his body from the ravine.

      His death is under investigation.

      The 6-foot-9 Anyichie, a Nigeria native who attended high school in New Jersey, was entering his second year at Binghamton. He was a political science major.

      In the 2018-19 season, the forward appeared in 32 games for the Bearcats, averaging 1.9 points and 2.1 rebounds in 9.1 minutes.

      "A talented young person has been tragically taken from us," Binghamton president Harvey Stenger said in a statement. "This is a heartbreaking loss for our community. We will do all that we can to be there for his family, for the team and everyone who knew Calistus."

      --Field Level Media

  • Cleveland State fires Felton, entire staff
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 12, 2019

    Cleveland State coach Dennis Felton and his staff were fired by Cleveland State on Friday.

    • Athletic director Scott Garrett said Felton and his staff didn't meet university standards when it came to dealing with student-athletes.

      "We take our mission to provide (Cleveland State) student-athletes with a transformational experience very seriously," Garrett said in a news release. "Our coaches operate with the expectation that they should build a culture supportive of our student-athletes in the classroom, accountable for their conduct as representatives of the University, and for their performance on the court.

      "We will seek a new leader for our program who can deliver on this commitment."

      Felton, 56, was 22-44 in two seasons at the school. The Vikings were 10-21 last season.

      The assistants fired were Lou Dawkins, Bryan Tibaldi and Sam Ferry.

      The firings come after Cleveland State's top player, guard Tyree Appleby, announced he was transferring earlier this month. Appleby averaged 17.2 points and 5.6 assists last season as a sophomore.

      Patrick Vuyancih, who is an analyst on the basketball broadcasts, will serve as special assistant to the director of athletics and assist with administration until a new coach is hired.

      Felton has a 206-189 career mark in 13 seasons as a head coach. He guided Western Kentucky to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances in five seasons at the school (1998-2003), and also made one NCAA appearance during six campaigns (2003-09) at Georgia.

      --Field Level Media

  • UNC to play December game at Carmichael Arena
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 11, 2019

    This December the North Carolina men's basketball team will play its first regular-season game since 1986 at Carmichael Arena, the historic gym where Michael Jordan and James Worthy became superstars.

    • Due to a scheduling conflict with the 21,750-seat Dean Smith Center, the Tar Heels will host Wofford at the 6,822-seat arena in Chapel Hill on Dec. 15.

      The university's December commencement ceremonies will be held that day at the Smith Center, according to a school spokesperson.

      The Tar Heels compiled a 169-20 (.894) record at the formerly named Carmichael Auditorium, which opened in 1965, before moving to their current home in 1986.

      The men's team has only played there once since, a first-round victory against William & Mary in the National Invitation Tournament on March 16, 2010.

      Carmichael Arena is currently the home of the UNC women's basketball program.

      --Field Level Media

  • Burns transfers from Tennessee to hometown Winthrop
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 11, 2019

    Former Tennessee forward D.J. Burns announced Thursday that he is transferring to Winthrop.

    • Winthrop is located in Rock Hill, S.C., which is Burns' hometown.

      "IT FEELS GOOD TO BE HOME!!" Burns tweeted while showing himself wearing a Winthrop uniform.

      The 6-foot-9 Burns redshirted in 2018-19 at Tennessee in his first season on campus. He entered the NCAA transfer portal on July 1.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan State, Kansas, UCLA headline Maui Invitational bracket
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 11, 2019

    Michigan State, Kansas and UCLA are the headliners in the 2019 Maui Invitational to be played in Hawaii, with the bracket for the event released Thursday.

    • The first games at Chaminade University are scheduled for Nov. 25. All games in the event will be broadcast by ESPN networks.

      Georgia-Dayton tips at 2:30 p.m. ET (9:30 a.m. local time), followed by Virginia Tech-Michigan State at 5 p.m. ET, Kansas-Chaminade at 9 p.m. ET and BYU-UCLA at 11:30 p.m. ET.

      The championship game will be played at 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 27.

      Last year, Gonzaga beat Duke in the final to win the Maui Invitational for the second time.

      --Field Level Media

  • NC State faces NCAA charges relating to Smith
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    The NC State basketball program received notice of allegations from the NCAA on Tuesday relating to information that emerged from a 2018 federal trial on college recruiting corruption.

    • The school released the documents -- which levy allegations of two Level I violations (highest severity) and two Level II violations -- on Wednesday. Three of the four allegations relate to the recruitment of former star guard Dennis Smith Jr., and to former head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early.

      During a trial last October that saw three men convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Adidas consultant Thomas Gassnola testified that he gave Early $40,000 in October 2015 to give to Smith's family, with hopes to secure Smith's commitment to NC State. Gassnola testified for the government after pleading guilty to wire fraud.

      In the documents sent to the Wolfpack on Tuesday, the NCAA levied a Level I allegation against Early and a Level I allegation against Gottfried for "failure to monitor."

      The Level II allegations involve the distribution of complimentary tickets to Wolfpack home games and a parking pass provided to Smith before he enrolled at the school.

      "NC State is committed to the highest levels of compliance, honesty and integrity," NC State chancellor Randy Woodson said in a statement. "As the university carefully reviews the NCAA's allegations and thoroughly evaluates the evidence in order to determine our response, we are prepared to be accountable where we believe it is appropriate and to vigorously defend this great university and its Athletics program where we feel it is necessary."

      Smith starred for the Wolfpack in 2016-17 before becoming the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. He is now with the New York Knicks after being traded in a package for Kristaps Porzingis in January.

      Gottfried, 55, coached NC State from 2011 to 2017, going 123-86 and leading the team to four NCAA Tournament appearances. He left after consecutive losing seasons, joined the Mavericks as an assistant coach during the 2017 NBA summer league and was hired as Cal State Northridge's head coach in March of 2018, going 13-21 this past season.

      Early, 51, was on Gottfried's staff for the duration of his NC State tenure, also leaving the school after the 2016-17 campaign. He has not coached at the college level since.

      The school, Gottfried and Early have 90 days to respond to the NCAA, which will then have 60 days to reply. A potential hearing would follow a month or two afterward, and a decision likely a few months beyond that.

      The allegations are the first made by the NCAA relating to information revealed by multiple trials related to corruption in basketball recruiting over the last year. Other schools that appear likely to face NCAA allegations include Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, LSU and USC.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan lands G Franz Wagner, Moritz’s brother
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 6, 2019

    Brotherly love apparently has helped the Michigan men's basketball team land German guard Franz Wagner, the younger sibling of former Wolverines standout Moritz Wagner. Franz Wagner signed a tender of financial aid and became the second member of Michigan's Class of 2019, head coach Juwan Howard announced Saturday.

    • "We are extremely excited to announce Franz has committed to join the University of Michigan in the fall," Howard said in a statement. "Franz gives us another talented guard with size who possesses a wonderful basketball IQ and a growing skill set that could be impactful for us right away."

      Four-star signee Cole Bajema from Lynden, Wash., is the other member of Michigan's 2019 class.

      Before arriving in Ann Arbor, Mich., Berlin's Franz Wagner plans to play for Germany in the FIBA Under-18 European Championship in Greece from July 27 to Aug. 4.

      "I am extremely excited about this opportunity," Wagner said in a Michigan press release. "I cannot wait to get on campus and meet everybody."

      Listed at 6-foot 7, Wagner reportedly chose Michigan over signing a professional contract with Alba Berlin of the Basketball Bundesliga, the top professional basketball league in Germany.

      Last season, Wagner played on a dual contract with Alba Berlin and SSV lok Bernau Alba in the German ProB league. In 35 games (six starts) with Alba Berlin, he averaged 4.6 points and 1.3 rebounds a game, shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from 3-point range.

      Moritz Wagner, a native of Berlin who averaged career highs in points (14.6) and rebounds (7.1), among other categories, while playing 27.6 minutes per game as an All-Big Ten player with the Wolverines in 2017-18, decided to forgo his final season of college eligibility to enter the 2018 NBA Draft. The 6-11 forward was a first-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers and is a current member of the Washington Wizards.

      --Field Level Media

  • Duke lands top-five 2020 prospect Johnson
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 4, 2019

    Duke added another five-star prospect from the class of 2020, as forward Jalen Johnson committed to the Blue Devils on Thursday.

    • Johnson announced the news on Twitter in a highlight video.

      A five-star prospect from Milwaukee who attends Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wis., Johnson is rated fourth in the class nationally by the 247Sports Composite rankings. He was also considering Wisconsin, Arizona and Kentucky.

      Johnson averaged 19.9 points per game last season after transferring from nearby Sun Prairie High School.

      Duke had already drawn a commitment from five-star point guard Jeremy Roach, who is ranked 18th on 247Sports' list. Roach and Johnson are the only two players in the top 20 who have committed.

      --Field Level Media

  • Florida F Stokes latest player to transfer from program
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 3, 2019

    Florida power forward Isaiah Stokes has decided to transfer after struggling with injuries, his weight and inconsistency the past two years, according to multiple reports.

    • The younger brother of former Tennessee star big man Jarnell Stokes entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal Wednesday. Listed currently at 6-foot-8, 270 pounds, Isaiah Stokes had trouble recovering from knee surgery before enrolling at Florida and had difficulty losing enough weight to get into top physical condition.

      He reportedly weighed around 300 pounds at one point and redshirted as a freshman. In 2018-19, he averaged 2.7 points and one rebound in 7.1 minutes per game across 26 appearances.

      Stokes' departure comes a week after former Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. announced on Instagram that he would join head coach Mike White and the Gators as a graduate transfer.

      Stokes is one of several players who have transferred from the Florida program in the past few months. Others have included Keith Stone (to Miami), Chase Johnson (Dayton), Mike Okauru (UNC Wilmington) and Deaundrae Ballard (South Alabama).

      --Field Level Media

  • Holy Cross hires Marquette assistant Nelson as coach
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 3, 2019

    Marquette assistant coach Brett Nelson, a former standout player at Florida, was named head coach at Holy Cross on Wednesday.

    • Nelson, 38, replaces Bill Carmody, who retired last month. Carmody went 58-73 in four seasons with the Crusaders.

      "Holy Cross has a rich basketball history while being one of the best academic institutions in the entire country," Nelson said in a press release. "I'm eager to lead our student-athletes, and, together, we will work relentlessly to reach new heights as a program."

      Nelson was a former McDonald's All-American in addition to being a three-year starter at Florida. He scored 1,417 points and made 274 3-pointers during his career, and was a key freshman reserve when the Mike Miller-led Gators reached the 2000 NCAA Tournament title game before losing to Michigan State.

      Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan, who coached Nelson at Florida, said in the Holy Cross news release, "I have never seen a harder worker and a more committed player and coach to the game of basketball. Brett has taken that same passion for the game and has developed into an outstanding basketball coach. Holy Cross is filled with passion and rich tradition, and Brett Nelson will embrace Holy Cross' history."

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA penalizes UConn men's basketball, ex-coach Ollie
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 2, 2019

    UConn's men's basketball program was placed on two years' probation and former coach Kevin Ollie received a three-year sanction for NCAA violations that occurred under his watch.

    • In a news release, the NCAA said the violations were linked to three circumstances: a video coordinator being counted as a coach, therefore exceeding the permitted number of coaches; unallowed pickup games; and a booster giving extra benefits to student-athletes.

      The NCAA said Ollie "violated NCAA head coach responsibility rules when he failed to monitor his staff and did not promote an atmosphere of compliance," according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.

      UConn fired Ollie in March 2018 after back-to-back sub-.500 seasons, citing cause. The school and Ollie are in arbitration over more than $10 million remaining on his contract that Ollie contends he is entitled to receive. The NCAA's findings could back up UConn's case that he was fired for cause.

      UConn self-imposed penalties in January, including the loss of one scholarship for the 2019-20 season, and the NCAA largely accepted the university's actions.

      Additionally, UConn must vacate wins in which ineligible players took part in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The NCAA also imposed a reduction by one of the number of officials visits recruits can make through 2020. Other punishments include a $5,000 fine.

      The Huskies' national title in 2014, won in Ollie's first season, is unaffected.

      Ollie was given a three-year "show cause order" by the NCAA, which means that any NCAA institution that wants to hire him must restrict him from athletic-related duties unless it can show the NCAA why Ollie shouldn't be restricted in his work.

      UConn officials said it is time to put the NCAA investigation behind them.

      "This validates UConn's actions and decision-making in this case from the outset in early 2018 based on our knowledge of NCAA rules and matters of compliance," UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement. "However, this is a serious matter and nothing about it merits celebration. This is an unfortunate chapter in the history of UConn men's basketball, but it is time to move on."

      Ollie's attorney, Jacques Parenteau, released a statement critical of the NCAA ruling.

      "We are disappointed with the NCAA Committee on Infractions decision," the statement read, "but not surprised that the Committee acted to support its member institution in the dispute between the University of Connecticut and Kevin Ollie where more than $11 million is at stake."

      Last week, UConn decided to rejoin the Big East. The school was one of the founding members of the league in 1979 but moved to the American Athletic Conference for the 2013-14 season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former top-10 recruit Grimes chooses Houston
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 28, 2019

    The next stop for former Kansas guard Quentin Grimes, a top-10 recruit out of high school only a season ago, is Houston.

    • Grimes, a native of The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston, made the announcement on Thursday, selecting the Cougars and coach Kelvin Sampson over Texas A&M.

      NCAA transfer rules mean Grimes must sit out next season, although Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports cited multiple sources in reporting Grimes is expected to request a waiver from the NCAA and play right away.

      Observers expected Grimes to spend only one season at Kansas, but for a quite different reason. He was expected to vault from the Jayhawks into the NBA draft.

      Instead, Grimes failed to live up to expectations, managing only 8.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He shot just 34 percent from the 3-point line and 38.4 percent from the field. He played in all 36 of the Jayhawks' games.

      While Grimes did declare for the draft this spring and took part in the combine, he withdrew his name from the pool in late May. He announced then that he would not be returning to Kansas.

      --Field Level Media

  • F Blackshear transfers from Virginia Tech to Florida
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 27, 2019

    Kerry Blackshear Jr. will move from Virginia Tech to Florida as a graduate transfer for the 2019-20 season.

    • The 6-foot-10 forward made the announcement Wednesday on his Instagram feed.

      Blackshear wrote, "I am so fortunate to have stepped out onto the Cassell coliseum floor (to) walk away from Blacksburg as a graduate of Virginia Tech. ... My next chapter will begin in Gainesville, Florida."

      ESPN rated Blackshear as the top available graduate transfer this summer, and Rivals.com listed him as one of the best in that category. After entering his name in the NBA draft pool and then withdrawing it, he took visits to Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee in addition to Florida, according to multiple media reports.

      Blackshear, 22, averaged 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season for the Hokies, who lost to Duke in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 to end a 26-9 campaign. He recorded 18 points, 16 rebounds and five assists in the defeat to the Blue Devils.

      After averaging 6.2 points as a freshman in 2015-16, Blackshear missed a season due to a leg injury, then returned to produce 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in 2017-18. He will be immediately eligible to play his final collegiate season.

      Florida went 20-16 last season, losing to Michigan in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

      --Field Level Media

  • UConn trustees approve move to Big East
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    The University of Connecticut board of trustees voted Wednesday to approve the school's move from the American Athletic Conference to the Big East Conference.

    • An official announcement is expected Thursday.

      Under the agreement, all UConn sports except football will move to the Big East beginning with the 2020-21 academic year. Since the conference doesn't support football, and the AAC reportedly won't allow the Huskies as a football-only member, UConn must find another conference, play an independent schedule or drop down to the FCS level.

      Big East school presidents gave their approval on Monday in a league conference call to invite and accept UConn as a member.

      UConn was one of the founding members of the Big East, where it had a storied men's basketball rivalry with Syracuse and the women's basketball program became dominant. The conference was founded in 1979 but fell apart earlier this decade when a number of schools left to join Power Five conferences.

      The old Big East folded into the AAC beginning with the 2013-14 school year, and UConn went along as a member. In its place, a new Big East assumed the name and started initially with seven non-football schools - all Catholic institutions -- that had been in the original conference.

      The Big East has 10 member schools, not including UConn, which include 2017-18 NCAA men's basketball champion Villanova.

      UConn has been seeking a return to the basketball-centered Big East, primarily for its men's and women's basketball programs. As Big East members, the men's program won three NCAA titles (1999, 2004 and 2011) and eight in women's basketball (1995, 2000, 2002-04, 2009-10 and 2013).

      Both the men's and women's basketball coaches -- Dan Hurley and Geno Auriemma -- were in attendance on Wednesday.

      UConn will have to pay at least $10 million as an exit fee to the AAC and will owe the Big East a $2.5 million entry fee, the Hartford Courant reported.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Texas A&M coach Barone dies at 72
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    Former Texas A&M and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Tony Barone died Tuesday at age 72 after a long battle with cancer.

    • Barone led the Aggies for seven seasons (1991-98) after a six-season run at Creighton (1985-91), posting an overall 178-202 record with two NCAA Tournament appearances (1989, 1991).

      "Coach 'B' was a special person and the impact he made on me and countless others transcended basketball," Eddie Molitor, a former A&M assistant under Barone, told the Houston Chronicle. "He had a contagious energy that lit up every gym and room he was in. We've lost a great one."

      Barone spent most of the 2000s with the Grizzlies, serving as an assistant coach, interim head coach (16-36 record in 2006-07) and director of player personnel.

      Barone, a Chicago native, played basketball at Duke from 1965-68 before pursuing a career in coaching.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Big East prepared to invite UConn to return
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 24, 2019

    The Big East voted Monday to extend an invitation to Connecticut, a former member of the conference that left for the American Athletic Conference in 2013, to return to the league, according to multiple media reports Monday.

    • UConn has a Board of Trustees media set for Wednesday, and the invitation could be accepted that day with a formal announcement by the Big East expected to follow on Thursday.

      AAC bylaws call for UConn to pay a $10 million withdrawal fee as well as provide 27 months' notice. But ESPN reported that departure terms were being negotiated on Monday.

      The return of UConn would give the Big East 11 basketball programs.

      "I know a little bit about the back and forth on it. I think it could be a great thing for the state," Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont told reporters at an unrelated news conference Monday. "Let's face it: UConn, in particular UConn basketball, we can compete with anybody. We're ready to take on the very best. Let's see how the negotiations go."

      UConn was a founding member of the Big East in 1979, and its men's basketball program flourished in the conference. The Huskies won the 1999, 2004 and 2011 national titles under coach Jim Calhoun while they were members of a league that once was considered on par with the Atlantic Coast Conference as the top basketball leagues in the nation.

      UConn also won the 2014 national crown under Kevin Ollie in its first season in the AAC but is currently in the midst of three straight losing seasons, the first two under Ollie and last year's 16-17 mark under Dan Hurley.

      The UConn women's basketball program has continued to shine in the AAC but also has gone three straight seasons without winning the national crown. The Huskies won 10 of the previous 17 national titles.

      Women's coach Geno Auriemma said the current Big East isn't the same one as from the league's glory days.

      "It's like saying you're moving back to your hometown, but the block that you lived on and half the city is gone," Auriemma told reporters at a charity golf event. "It's not the same."

      The future of UConn's football program isn't clear as the AAC isn't expected to have any interest in letting the school stay aboard as a football-only member. The Huskies went 1-11 last season and are 18-55 in six seasons since joining the AAC.

      UConn was part of the Big East for football from 2004-12, but the conference quit sponsoring the sport after the 2012 campaign.

      The current Big East is filled with programs considered "basketball schools," including former UConn rivals Georgetown, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova.

      The other schools in the league are Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Marquette and Xavier.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: UConn on verge of rejoining Big East
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 22, 2019

    The University of Connecticut's basketball programs could rejoin the Big East Conference as early as the 2020-21 season, multiple outlets reported Saturday.

    • The Huskies joined the American Athletic Conference in 2013 after more than three decades in the Big East (1979-2013).

      Boston-based Digital Sports Desk first reported the news, which was confirmed by the Hartford Courant.

      The fate of the Huskies' struggling football program remains unclear, as the Big East has not sponsored the sport since 2012.

      The AAC is "highly unlikely" to retain UConn as a football-only member, according to the Courant. The school would have to find another conference for football in 2020 or operate as an independent.

      A UConn spokesperson responded to Saturday's reports. "It is our responsibility to always be mindful of what is in the best interest of our student athletes, our fans and our future," read the statement. "With that being said we have been and remain proud members of the American Athletic Conference."

      --Field Level Media

  • Arizona signee Armstrong to skip college, turn pro
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    Arizona signee Terry Armstrong will skip college and instead pursue professional options, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

    • Armstrong, from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Bella Vista Prep, was a four-star recruit and the No. 7 shooting guard in the nation, as ranked by the 247Sports composite.

      He is the fourth player in the Class of 2019 to bypass college and turn pro.

      Guard RJ Hampton, the nation's No. 5-ranked player, signed with the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League. LaMelo Ball, the No. 22-ranked player who likely would not have met NCAA eligibility requirements, also announced this week he will play in the NBL.

      KJ Martin, a three-star recruit who had signed to play at Vanderbilt, said earlier this month he would pursue a pro career, though he isn't believed to have signed a contract yet.

      --Field Level Media

  • Vitale to stay with ESPN through at least 2021-22
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    Dick Vitale has agreed to a contract extension with ESPN that will keep the octogenarian on college basketball broadcasts through the 2021-22 season.

    • Front Office Sports was the first to report the deal but did not reveal contract terms.

      Vitale, 80, was on the microphone during ESPN's first college basketball telecast in December 1979. Last month, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Emmy Awards.

      Vitale, known for his enthusiastic calls and his signature phrases -- "He's a diaper dandy!" -- told Front Office Sports that he can see himself calling games until he's 100.

      "I'll be able to tell when the time comes. If I feel like it's not there, I will just tell them," Vitale said of retirement. "I would not try to embarrass them, I would not try to embarrass my family and most of all I would not embarrass myself. But I feel as young as ever. I feel like 20, I act about 12. Then reality sets in when I look at the mirror. At my age, it can happen overnight. Bottom line? I feel really great. I don't feel any different than when I was 45 or 50. I really don't."

      Vitale, who is active on social media, retweeted a link to the article and added a comment:

      "I can't believe 40 years have passed on @espn / hey it has been a blast doing something I love talking hoops !"

      --Field Level Media

  • Idaho fires Verlin after investigation
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 14, 2019

    The University of Idaho fired men's basketball coach Don Verlin for cause Friday.

    • The school had placed Verlin on administrative leave May 28, the same day the university self-reported three possible violations to the NCAA. A consulting firm found the potential violations after an investigation into the program.

      "As with all personnel matters, we weigh many factors before we make a decision," interim athletic director Pete Isakson said in a release. "These are not easy conversations or decisions, but we have a direct responsibility to do what is best for the university.

      "Our fundamental goal in U of I athletics is that each sports program be a source of pride for the Vandal community -- pride in our competition performance, in how we educate our student-athletes and in how we run our department. Foundational to meeting that goal is an absolute commitment to compliance and excellence."

      Assistant coach Zac Claus will serve as the interim head coach through the 2019-20 season. Kirk Earlywine and Tim Murphy will continue as assistant coaches.

      The school said the decision to fire Verlin was reached after consultation with university administration, including current university president Chuck Staben and incoming president C. Scott Green.

      Verlin, who turns 54 on Saturday, coached the Vandals since 2008 and is the winningest coach in program history with a record of 177-176 in 11 seasons. Idaho was 5-27 last season, 2-18 in the Big Sky Conference.

      --Field Level Media

  • Wichita State F Allen accused of domestic violence
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 14, 2019

    Wichita State forward Teddy Allen was arrested and booked on suspicion of domestic violence, theft and criminal damage to property.

    • He was taken into custody early Thursday after a woman - identified only as a woman in her 20s - accused Allen of battering her. He was booked into Sedgwick County Jail in Wichita and later released on bond.

      "We are aware of the situation regarding men's basketball student-athlete Teddy Allen and are gathering additional details in order to gain a broader understanding of the situation," school athletic director Darron Boatright said in a statement. "We will have no further comment at this time."

      Allen, 21, transferred from West Virginia a year ago and sat out the 2018-19 season after the NCAA declined his request to play immediately.

      A redshirt sophomore, he was projected as a starter and expected to be a key contributor for the Shockers.

      The 6-foot-5 Allen played in 35 games as a freshman for West Virginia, averaging 7.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Calipari's new contract at Kentucky: 10 years, $86M
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 13, 2019

    While coach John Calipari isn't ruling out ever talking to other schools about making a career move, the University of Kentucky made clear that it wants him to stick around -- perhaps for the next decade.

    • The school on Thursday announced the terms of its new contract -- 10 years, $86 million -- with Calipari, who has led the school to one NCAA championship amid four Final Four appearances in his 10 seasons on the job.

      The contract was hammered out earlier this year amid talk that UCLA was wooing Calipari. The Athletic reported that the extent of UCLA's offer spurred Kentucky to offer a long-term, if not a lifetime, contract.

      According to the Louisville Courier Journal, Calipari will make $8 million each of the next two seasons, $8.5 million annually from July 2021 to June 2025, then $9 million annually from July 2025 to June 2029.

      Calipari, who has a 708-209 record in 27 seasons, including eight years at Massachusetts and nine at Memphis before leaving for Kentucky, said his current employer made it quite clear that it wanted to make a commitment.

      "The university talked to me, most of the year. 'We want you to be here the rest of your career. How do we do this? What do we do? Let's sit down and talk.' And that was ongoing," Calipari told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.

      When asked about the offer from UCLA, Calipari said he gets "calls every year from different people, and you know why I'll talk? At the end of the day, I may be able to help somebody else. If I know that I can help somebody else who's helping assistants, I'll do that. But I'll listen to people talk to me. I owe that to the profession, to myself. To say, 'I'll never talk to somebody,' ... some of these people that I talk to I've been on committees with. I know the guy really well or I know who this person is."

      The new contract does not require Calipari to buy his way out should he decide to leave, but he is required to tell the school about other employment opportunities before he begins talks elsewhere.

      Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky's athletic director, talked about what Calipari means to the school and its basketball program.

      "One of the truly unique things about Kentucky men's basketball is its legacy of head coaches who have made their own lasting mark on this program. John is a perfect illustration of that," Barnhart said, according to a news release from the school.

      Six years into his new contract, Calipari receives an option to shift from coaching duties into an administrative role, referred to as a "special assistant to the athletic director/university representative."

      The Courier Journal describes that role as fundraising and promotions for the athletic department.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan State named 2020 title favorite
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 12, 2019

    Now that draft chips have been played, Michigan State is viewed as the favorite to win the 2020 national championship according to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

    • Michigan State stands as the 8-1 betting favorite to be the last team standing in college basketball next season, only a step ahead of Kentucky (10-1) and Duke (10-1).

      The Blue Devils are projected to lose three starters -- Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish -- in the 2019 NBA Draft lottery.

      All-American point guard Cassius Winston, the Big Ten Player of the Year, pulled out of the draft and is back as the leader of the Spartans for head coach Tom Izzo.

      Down a peg are defending champions Virginia -- losing guards Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy and forward De'Andre Hunter -- and Gonzaga, teams that lost key players to the draft since the initial season-ending championship odds were released.

      Gonzaga subtracted Brandon Clarke and Rui Hachimura, and was bumped down from 12-1 to 20-1 odds.

      Virginia was the favorite to win again in 2020 in the immediate aftermath of the net-cutting ceremony in Minneapolis. The Cavaliers are now also on the 20-1 line.

      Up are Memphis -- on the momentum of a star-studded recruiting class for Penny Hardaway -- and Kansas. The Tigers and Jayhawks have matching 12-1 odds.

      North Carolina, like Duke, is losing talent to the draft but quickly and easily replenished its roster.

      North Carolina and Villanova are 16-1.

      --Field Level Media

  • Kansas adds 3-point threat in ex-Iowa G Moss
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 10, 2019

    The Kansas Jayhawks added Iowa transfer guard Isaiah Moss on Monday.

    • Moss started 96 of his 102 games at Iowa, averaging 8.9 points and shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range (126 of 322) in his three seasons with the Hawkeyes.

      The 6-foot-5 Moss will be immediately eligible at Kansas.

      "We've obviously been looking for shooting throughout this recruiting period and we feel like we have addressed some of those needs with Isaiah's addition," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said in a release.

      "When Isaiah is on the court, he's going to be a guy that could be a 40-45 percent 3-point shooter and with the line moving back, I think it's going to be even more important to have somebody who's consistently good from beyond the arc."

      Moss last season shot 42.1 percent (48 of 114) from behind the arc, which will be moved back to the international distance of 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches starting this season. The previous college distance was 20 feet, 9 inches.

      Moss has scored at least 20 points in seven career games. He started all 35 games last season for an Iowa team than went 23-12.

      "Isaiah was a very good player on a very good team at the University of Iowa," Self said. "He's played in big games. He's certainly used to the physicality of our sport after playing in the Big Ten and has been very well-coached and drilled."

      --Field Level Media