Jeff Eisenberg

  • Stanford loses its top perimeter player to a stress fracture

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 7 hrs ago

    The best player in an already thin Stanford backcourt likely won't be available next month when the Cardinal open the season. 

    Junior guard Marcus Allen sustained a stress fracture in his right foot and is out indefinitely, the school announced Monday night. The stress fracture is not expected to be season-ending for Allen, however, such an injury can often sideline a player several months.

    “We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”

    Even though Allen averaged a modest 6.4 points and 3.5 rebounds as a part-time starter last season, those numbers don't demonstrate how damaging a loss this is for Stanford.

    Without Allen, Stanford appears to lack a perimeter threat capable of consistently scoring in double figures or breaking down the defense off the dribble in late shot clock situations.

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  • Sixteen freshmen who will make the biggest impact this season

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 17 hrs ago

    Our 2015-16 season preview continues with a look at the freshmen most likely to make an immediate impact next season. Check back the next five weeks for more college hoops preview content.

    1. Ben Simmons, F, LSU: One of the most diversely skilled players to enter college basketball in the past few years, Simmons will create matchup problems for all of LSU's opponents this season. The Australian-born future lottery pick handles the ball well enough to lead a fast break and creates for himself or for others off the dribble. Yet at 6-foot-10, 240 pounds, he's also plenty big and strong enough to defend opposing post players.

    2. Skal Labissiere, F/C, Kentucky: The only way Labissiere doesn't emerge as one of the nation's top freshman big men next season is if eligibility issues intervene. The athletic 7-foot native of Haiti can alter shots on defense and score from multiple spots on the floor on offense, yet it's unclear if he'll be able to showcase those abilities right away because the NCAA is looking into red flags concerning Labissiere's guardian.

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  • Best of Midnight Madness: Arizona State guard puts on a show

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Midnight Madness produces some memorable moments each year, so The Dagger is chronicling the best ones from this October's lineup. If you spot something we missed, let us know here or here.

    More from the Best of Midnight Madness series:

    Half-court shot costs Kansas coach Bill Self $10,000• Arizona State guard puts on a show in dunk contest

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    Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

    Follow @JeffEisenberg

  • Best of Midnight Madness: Half-court shot costs Bill Self $10,000

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    Midnight Madness produces some memorable moments each year, so The Dagger is chronicling the best ones from this October's lineup. If you spot something we missed, let us know here or here.

    Bill Self's director of basketball operations cost him $10,000 on Friday night. When Kansas sophomore Jerrod Martin Castro won a contest at Late Night in the Phog enabling him to either attempt a half-court shot for prize money or have someone shoot it for him, he selected director of basketball operations Brennan Bechard to take the shot. Bechard, a former Jayhawks walk-on, buried the $10,000 shot, earning a huge hug from Bechard and landing him at the bottom of a dog pile of Kansas players. The half-court shot was one of several fun moments from this year's Late Night event. Freshman Carlton Bragg also showed off his piano skills and Self appeared in a pair of funny Rob Lowe-esque skits in which he poked fun at himself and took a funny jab at Kansas State.

  • SMU won't appeal postseason ban or Larry Brown's suspension

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    For all its tough talk when the NCAA handed down its penalties two weeks ago, SMU won't be fighting the most serious of them. 

    The Mustangs announced Friday afternoon that they will not appeal the postseason ban that will prevent them from participating in the 2016 NCAA tournament, nor will they try to get coach Larry Brown's 10-game suspension reduced.

    "Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred," SMU president R. Gerald Turner said in a release. "In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward."

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  • Why recruiting is the biggest challenge for an openly gay coach

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 4 days ago

    The next time Division I men's basketball's first openly gay coach visits talent-rich St. Andrew's School, he can expect to be treated the same as he has always been.

    St. Andrew's coach Mike Hart intends to swap stories and crack jokes with Chris Burns just like he did before the Bryant University assistant revealed his sexuality in a first-person essay published Thursday morning.

    "Today's announcement doesn't change what I think of Chris at all," Hart said. "He's a top-level recruiter, he's funny as hell and he's a great guy. I hope one day a couple of our kids go to Bryant because it's such a great school and he's a tremendous ambassador for it."

    Whether the rest of the basketball community in the Northeast is as enlightened as Hart could go a long way toward determining the fate of Burns' coaching career.

    Thibodeau even goes a step further.

    What that highlights is the importance of having a supportive boss and administration, something Burns definitely has at Bryant.

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  • Bryant assistant becomes Division I's first openly gay basketball coach

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 5 days ago

    The lone openly gay coach in Division I college basketball is relieved his secret is finally out. 

    In anarticle published Thursday by USA Today, Bryant University assistant coach Chris Burns described the gradual process that led to him nervously standing in front of the entire team a few weeks ago and revealing his sexuality. Many players responded by hugging him and telling him they loved him, imbuing him with the confidence to share his story with the media. 

    “I can’t say enough about believing in the good in people, the good in human beings,” Burns said. “They can surprise you, energize you, give you a reason to believe in the good in the world."

    The announcement from Burns will likely make him one of college basketball's most recognizable assistant coaches even though he works at a little-known Rhode Island school that until seven years ago wasn't even part of Division I.

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  • Report: NCAA has yet to clear Kentucky's Skal Labissiere

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 5 days ago

    Two months ago, Kentucky coach John Calipari downplayed a question regarding whether he was confident coveted freshman Skal Labissiere would be eligible by the start of the season, telling reporters in Lexington, "Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah."

    Turns out it may not be so simple.

    With Kentucky's season opener only five weeks away, Labissiere still has not been cleared to play by the NCAA, his guardian Gerald Hamilton told on Wednesday. At issue are some red flags in how Hamilton handled the 6-foot-10 forward's high school years after he immigrated from Haiti in 2010 following the massive earthquake that hit the country.

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    Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

  • Five-minute season preview: West Coast Conference

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 5 days ago

    Yahoo Sports will break down the top 10 leagues for the upcoming college basketball season working backward from No. 10 to No. 1. Here's a look at our No. 10 league, the West Coast Conference.

    If the central question facing the West Coast Conference for the past 15 years has been whether anyone can truly challenge Gonzaga, then the answer this season is the same as most previous ones.

    No, not even close.

    The gap between the Zags and the rest of the WCC is as wide as ever thanks to the return of a trio of big men who comprise one of the nation's elite frontcourts. Skilled forward Kyle Wiltjer is a national player of the year candidate because of his ability to score inside and out, massive center Przemek Karnowski clogs the lane and scores effectively around the rim and promising Domantas Sabonis has the combination of strength and mobility to rebound effectively and defend in the paint or out to the perimeter.

    The program best equipped to take advantage should Gonzaga unexpectedly falter is once again BYU, which should contend for a third straight NCAA tournament bid despite the graduation of all-time leading scorer Tyler Haws. 



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  • West Coast Bias: Why a top recruit chose Nevada over big-name schools

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 6 days ago

    One of the programs that offered Devearl Ramsey a scholarship is an ACC school that has made the NCAA tournament 12 of the last 13 years. Another is a Big 12 power that has produced eight first-round draft picks in the past decade. A third is a Pac-12 team whose campus is less than an hour from his home.

    Pittsburgh, Texas and USC were among the dozen or so high-major programs who have shown interest in Ramsey, but the speedy point guard spurned them all in favor of a lesser-known school that last reached the NCAA tournament eight years ago.

    Ramsey,'s No. 106 prospect in the class of 2016, announced Monday that he has committed to Nevada, a massive recruiting coup for new Wolfpack coach Eric Musselman and his staff. Musselman enticed Ramsey by making him a top priority for the past six months and offering him the chance to compete for a starting job right away in a pick-and-roll-heavy system similar to what most NBA teams run.