Jeff Eisenberg

  • Cal is poised for a huge year after landing elite recruit Jaylen Brown

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 22 hrs ago

    One of the schools on Jaylen Brown's list has been to the Final Four four of the past five seasons. Another played for the national championship two years ago. A third has captured the title twice in the past decade and could start next season atop the polls. 

    Brown didn't select any of them late Friday night. To the surprise of fans from Kentucky, Michigan and North Carolina, the nation's best small forward prospect chose California instead.

    The stunning commitment from Brown was a fitting way to end a high-drama recruitment that kept even the coaching staffs involved guessing until the very end. At different points over the past year, UCLA, Kentucky and Michigan were perceived as the favorites to land Rivals.com's No. 3 overall prospect. None of them got him in the end.    

    That quintet is among the most talented starting fives in the nation. With Arizona replacing four starters and Utah trying to overcome the loss of do-it-all star Delon Wright, Cal should be considered no worse than the co-favorites to win the Pac-12 next season. 

    Rivals.com video of Jaylen Brown:

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  • Which school on Jaylen Brown's list needs him the most?

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    The top unsigned prospect in the class of 2015 has narrowed his list of prospective schools to four.

    Six-foot-7 forward Jaylen Brown, Rivals.com's No. 3 prospect, eliminated Kansas on Thursday, leaving only Cal, Kentucky, Michigan and North Carolina in contention.

    Wherever Brown chooses, his decision will have a profound impact both on that school's prospects next season and on the national landscape. Here's a look at how Brown fits in at each of his four remaining schools and which one needs the Georgia native most:

    CALIFORNIA

    If Cuonzo Martin were to add Jaylen Brown to a recruiting class that already includes elite big man Ivan Rabb, then next season might be Cal's most anticipated since the days of Jason Kidd and Lamond Murray. The Bears conservatively would crack the top 15 in preseason polls thanks to the return of perimeter standouts Tyrone Wallace, Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews and the arrival of Rabb, Brown and slashing wing Tyson Jolly.

    KENTUCKY

    MICHIGAN

    NORTH CAROLINA

    Rivals.com video of Jaylen Brown:

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  • Florida's next hire may determine what it becomes without Billy Donovan

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    As Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley begins his search to find a replacement for Billy Donovan, this is the challenge he faces.

    He must identify someone capable of proving that the school's recent emergence as a basketball juggernaut is a product of the caliber of its program and not merely the caliber of its former coach.

    Though Florida made a surprise Sweet 16 appearance in 1987 under Norm Sloan and an unexpected Final Four run in 1994 under Lon Kruger, the Gators were hardly a perennial national power before Donovan. They had only made the NCAA tournament five times in program history until Donovan arrived 19 years ago and willed Florida to two national titles, four Final Fours and seven Elite Eight appearances.

    What will aid Foley in his search is that he's pitching a top 20 college basketball job that should be attractive to plenty of potential candidates.

    Foley's history in coaching searches suggests he'll target an up-and-coming head coach from a program outside the power conferences. That's what he did when he plucked Donovan from Marshall in 1996, Urban Meyer from Utah in 2005 and current football coach Jim McElwain from Colorado State this year.

  • Oddsmakers say the 2015-16 national title favorites are ...

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    The surest sign that the 2015-16 college basketball season will be wide open arrived this week when the gambling site Bovada released its championship odds.

    Not one team has better than 10/1 odds to capture the title. 

    Below is a look at Bovada's early favorites to win the national championship and some analysis from me on where there could be some value for gamblers:

    TIER 1: FAVORITES

    Duke (10/1), Kentucky (10/1), Michigan State (10/1), North Carolina (10/1)

    TIER 2: CONTENDERS

    Maryland (14/1), Kansas (16/1), Iowa State (18/1), Virginia (18/1)

    TIER 3: DARK HORSES

    Arizona (20/1), Gonzaga (20/1), Villanova (22/1), Indiana (25/1), Oklahoma (28/1), Louisville (33/1), Michigan (33/1), Wichita State 33/1

    TIER 4: LONG SHOTS

    Notre Dame (40/1), Texas (40/1), Texas A&M (40/1), Utah (40/1), Wisconsin (40/1), California (50/1), Florida (50/1), LSU (50/1), Miami FL (50/1), Ohio State (50/1), SMU (50/1), Syracuse (50/1), UConn (50/1), Baylor (66/1), NC State (66/1), Butler (75/1), Dayton (75/1)

    TIER 5: SHOTS IN THE DARK

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  • Ex-Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon denies sexual assault allegations

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    Three months after he was dismissed from Duke and three weeks after he watched his former teammates celebrate winning a national championship without him, Rasheed Sulaimon finally broke his public silence.

    The ex-Duke guard conducted an interview with ESPN.com on Wednesday in which he denied that he had committed sexual assault and insisted those allegations were not the primary reason coach Mike Krzyzewski booted him off the team in late January.

    "I have never sexually assaulted, not only anyone on the Duke campus, but anyone period," Sulaimon told ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman. "It's not in my nature at all. I have great respect for the role of women in society. I would never demean or do anything to a woman in this manner. No, I've never done anything like this in my life."

    Sulaimon would not specify what specific incident led to his dismissal, but he intimated that most of the problems between he and Krzyzewski stemmed from his poor attitude over diminishing playing time during his sophomore and junior seasons.

  • Grand jury opts not to indict former Louisville star Chris Jones

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    Former Louisville point guard Chris Jones will not have to defend himself in court against rape and sodomy charges.

    A grand jury decided Wednesday not to indict Jones and co-defendants Jalen D. Tilford and Tyvon Walker after hearing two days of testimony.

    The charges stemmed from an incident that allegedly occurred at an off-campus apartment early on the morning of Feb. 22. Jones plead not guilty to the charges a few days later and his lawyers later predicted the evidence against him would be insufficient for the case to go to trial. 

    "Police never should have charged Jones." Jones' attorney Scott C. Cox told WDRB in Louisville on Wednesday. "If he had been a regular person, no charges would have been filed."

    The grand jury's ruling ends a tumultuous year for Jones in which he went from senior starter on a Final Four contender to basketball exile.

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  • Oklahoma-Villanova will headline doubleheader at Pearl Harbor

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    On the 74th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, one of the buildings that withstood the attack will host a special commemorative event.

    Pearl Harbor's Bloch Arena will host a college basketball doubleheader that will pit likely preseason top 15 teams Oklahoma and Viilanova in the marquee game and Oregon and Navy in the nightcap.

    "We are honored to play in this Pearl Harbor event and we will use this occasion to pay our respect to the fallen," Navy coach Ed DeChellis said in a release announcing the event. "It will be very special for Navy to play on the base on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack and we are looking forward to joining Oregon, Villanova and Oklahoma in a great field."

    The Oklahoma-Villanova should attract plenty of attention since it figures to be one of next season's most anticipated non-conference games.

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  • Elite prospect Cheick Diallo could be the piece Kansas needed

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 4 days ago

    The missing element in Kansas' frontcourt this past season was a big man who could alter shots at one end and finish above the rim or in transition at the other. 

    The Jayhawks may have filled that void Tuesday.

    Cheick Diallo, MVP of the McDonald's All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic, committed to Kansas, selecting the Jayhawks over a long list of schools including Kentucky, Iowa State and St. John's. The 6-foot-9 native of Mali is rated Rivals.com's No. 5 recruit in the class of 2015 even though he didn't begin playing basketball until four or five years ago.

    Diallo is the perfect complement to rising senior Perry Ellis in the Kansas frontcourt because their strengths are so different.

    The presence of Diallo and and Ellis eases the pressure on incoming freshman Carlton Bragg to make an immediate impact and enables Jamari Traylor to remain in a reserve role. Diallo's defensive presence should also give Kansas' guards the security to play the passing lanes and apply increased ball pressure without fear of surrendering an uncontested layup if they get beat.

  • Seton Hall transfer Sterling Gibbs will have a long list of suitors

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 4 days ago

    Another option has emerged for programs in pursuit of an impact transfer guard this spring.

    Seton Hall's leading scorer Sterling Gibbs reportedly is leaving the Pirates and should be eligible right awayat the school of his choice after his graduation this spring.

    The list of marquee suitors should be long for Gibbs, a deadly spot-up shooter with the ability to create for himself off the dribble as well. The 6-foot-2 combo guard averaged 16.3 points and 3.8 assists per game as a junior and shot 43.6 percent from behind the arc, briefly leading Seton Hall into contention for an NCAA bid before injuries and chemistry issues sent the Pirates into a February tailspin.

    Ohio State and UConn are potential destinations for Gibbs, the Asbury Park Press reported. It's unclear who else will express interest, but Gonzaga, Maryland and Marquette have been among the name-brand programs in the market for a transfer guard this spring.

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  • Report: Maryland among schools pursuing Rasheed Sulaimon

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 4 days ago

    Even though Maryland fell short in its pursuit of coveted former Drexel star Damion Lee earlier this month, the Terrapins still haven't given up on landing a transfer guard this spring.

    They're reportedly one of 10-15 schools in pursuit of former Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon.

    Already lots of love for Maryland in pre-preseason hoops, also hearing College Park could be a possible landing spot for Rasheed Sulaimon

    Can confirm earlier reports from a source that Maryland is one of the schools recruiting former Duke player Rasheed Sulaimon.

    Maryland's interest in Sulaimon is a risk considering the circumstances preceding his January dismissal at Duke. The Duke Chronicle reported in March that two female students had accused Sulaimon of sexual assault during the 2013-14 school year, but neither formally reported the incidents to the police or Duke's Office of Student Conduct.

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