Jeff Eisenberg

  • Duke gets 'best possible news' on Jayson Tatum's foot injury

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Turns out that Jayson Tatum’s left foot injury is not as serious as first feared.

    Tests revealed Wednesday that the prized Duke freshman suffered only a sprain during the program’s pro day the previous day. The injury will sideline Tatum for just two weeks, meaning the 6-foot-8 freshman will sit out both Duke’s exhibition games but could be healthy enough to play in the Blue Devils’ season opener against Marist on Nov. 11.

    “This is the best possible news,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement released by the school. “It is a manageable injury that will not impact Jayson long-term. We look forward to having him back very soon.”

    Only losing Tatum for a couple weeks is welcome news for Duke because he appeared to be the team’s most polished, college-ready freshman. The high-scoring swingman has drawn frequent praise for his performance in practice so far including an 18-point shooting clinic at last Saturday night’s Countdown to Craziness event.

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  • Travis Ford has Saint Louis recruiting at an unprecedented level

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    In the 13-year history of the Rivals rankings, Saint Louis had only landed one top 150 prospect prior to this year.

    New coach Travis Ford and his staff have now pulled in three in barely three months.

    In August, they outdueled Illinois for wing Jordan Goodwin, an Illinois native rated the No. 56 prospect in the 2017 class. Last week, they held off UMass to secure a commitment from power forward Hasahn French, a Massachusetts native ranked 139th in the 2017 class. Then Ford struck again on Wednesday, nabbing a player Rivals considers one of the 20 best prospects in the 2018 class.

    Carte’Are Gordon, a powerfully built, physically tough power forward from Saint Louis, announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning that he has committed to play for his hometown school. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Gordon had just recently narrowed his list of suitors to Kansas, Missouri and the Billikens.

    — Carteare Gordon (@CarteareGordon) October 26, 2016

    The way Ford is recruiting, perhaps it will be.

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  • Duke awaits word on the severity of Jayson Tatum's foot injury

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    The NBA scouts who attended Duke’s pro day on Tuesday afternoon didn’t get to see as much of Jayson Tatum as they hoped.

    The prized freshman reportedly suffered an unspecified foot injury midway through the event and had to be helped off the floor.

    Duke officials did not immediately return messages left by Yahoo Sports seeking further information about the severity of Tatum’s injury or a timetable for his return. As a result, specific information is scarce aside from a handful of reports relying on information gleaned from NBA personnel in the building.

    60-70 @nba personnel staff members in attendance at @DukeMBB pro day. Jayson Tatum goes down with some type of foot injury. Didn't look good

    — Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) October 25, 2016

    NBA scout at Duke Pro Day today said Jayson Tatum appeared to suffer "a stress reaction in his foot." No official word or timetable yet.

    — Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) October 25, 2016

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  • Which early-entry players made NBA opening day rosters?

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    The best time to assess early-entry decisions made by underclassmen isn’t once we see which players were selected and which weren’t on NBA draft night.

    In reality, it’s not fair to pass judgment until the opening day of the NBA season after teams have made their final roster cuts.

    Of the 51 Division I players who entered the NBA draft with college eligibility remaining last spring, 29 made an NBA roster on Monday. Among the most high-profile early-entry players who will begin their pro careers overseas or in the D-League are former Kansas guard Wayne Selden, former Texas guard Isaiah Taylor and ex-USC standouts Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic.

    Three undrafted early-entry players showed enough promise in training camp to survive final cuts and make NBA rosters. Ex-LSU guard Tim Quarterman latched on with the Portland Trail Blazers, former Indiana swingman Troy Williams stuck with the Memphis Grizzlies and former UNLV guard Derrick Jones will get a chance with the Phoenix Suns.

    It’s worth noting that not every player who failed to make an NBA roster made an ill-advised decision leaving school early.

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  • Which schools put the most players on NBA opening day rosters?

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    For the second straight year, Kentucky coach John Calipari has a recruiting spiel at his disposal that no other coach can match.

    He can tell prospects that his program has produced more players on opening day NBA rosters than any other school.

    Rookies Jamal Murray, Tyler Ulis and Skal Labissiere each survived final cuts on Monday, increasing the number of ex-Wildcats in the NBA to 23. Duke is second and charging hard with 20, followed by Kansas (15), North Carolina (15), UCLA (13), Arizona (12) and Syracuse (11).

    While the presence of so many of college basketball’s juggernauts on that list is hardly shocking, there were some surprises from my analysis of this year’s NBA opening day rosters. Here are a few notable stats:

    Colleges that produced the most NBA players on opening day rosters: Kentucky (23), Duke (20), Kansas (15), North Carolina (15), UCLA (13), Arizona (12), Syracuse (11), Florida (10), LSU (8), Michigan State (8), Texas (8), Washington (8)

    Power-conference programs with no NBA players on opening day rosters: Auburn, Iowa, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon State, Rutgers, South Carolina, TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia

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  • Five programs poised for a fall entering the new season

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    Our 2016-17 season preview continues with a look at five programs poised for a fall. Check back every day for more college hoops preview content.

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

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  • Fractured foot sidelines North Carolina's Theo Pinson indefinitely

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 6 days ago

    On the verge of breaking into North Carolina’s starting lineup for the first time in his career, Theo Pinson suffered an ill-timed injury.

    The junior swingman fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during practice earlier this week. It’s unclear how long Pinson will be unable to play because North Carolina has not yet determined a treatment plan for the injury.

    “I’m so disappointed for Theo,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said in a statement. “Number one, he’s been playing well and he does so many positive things for our team. Theo’s our energy guy, he defends, he’s our best passer, a threat on the offensive boards, he can play four different positions, and he gives our team personality, and I mean that in a good way. Hopefully we can get him back before the end of the season.”

    An extended absence for Pinson is a massive blow for a North Carolina team that already must replace stars Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson from last year’s national runner-up squad. Pinson was a key player off the bench for that team, averaging 4.5 points, leading the Tar Heels in assists per minute and bringing out the best in his teammates with his hustle and enthusiasm.

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  • Five-minute season preview: The SEC

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 6 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. 6 league, the SEC.

    Optimism abounded in SEC basketball circles last fall after an influx of talent, money and established coaches appeared to bolster the long-struggling league.

    Then the season began and the quality of hoops in the SEC was no better than before.

    Only three SEC teams made the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years, and none would have advanced to the second weekend were it not for Northern Iowa’s historic final-minute collapse against Texas A&M. Worse yet, 13 of the 16 members of the SEC’s all-league teams either graduated or turned pro, suggesting that this season may not be any better.

    Of course, the one program keeping the SEC nationally relevant year-in, year-out is Kentucky, which has finished either first or second in the league in each of John Calipari’s seven seasons and has made four appearances in the Final Four during that span. The Wildcats begin this season as a massive favorite to once again win the SEC thanks to Calipari’s latest star-studded recruiting haul.



  • Favorable Notice of Allegations will benefit both Rick Pitino, Louisville

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 7 days ago

    The most noteworthy aspect of the Notice of Allegations released Thursday by Louisville is what it doesn’t contain.

    There was not one word from the man who could have done the most damage to Rick Pitino and the Cardinals basketball program.

    Had former Louisville staffer Andre McGee chose to cooperate with NCAA investigators, he could have revealed who knew about the sex parties he arranged for Cardinals recruits or where he got the money to hire the strippers that performed at them. By choosing to remain silent instead, McGee made his best legal play but also allowed himself to become the scapegoat Louisville desperately needed.

    The NCAA portrayed McGee as acting covertly and alone in arranging for strippers to dance for and have sex with Louisville recruits at an on-campus dormitory. The Notice of Allegations did not suggest that Pitino or anyone else at the university had any knowledge of the parties McGee organized from 2010-14 as a way of enticing top prospects to enroll at Louisville.

    For Pitino and Louisville, that’s the most favorable way the NCAA could have framed one of the most salacious recruiting scandals in college sports history.

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  • Gavin Schilling's injury further depletes Michigan State's frontcourt

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 8 days ago

    It’s mid-October, and Michigan State is already running out of healthy big men.

    The Spartans announced Wednesday that projected starter Gavin Schilling suffered a non-contact injury to his right knee during Friday’s practice. The injury will require surgery, and there is no timetable yet for the 6-foot-9 senior’s return.

    “This is certainly an unfortunate setback for Gavin, as he had been practicing very well,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “He had an incredible summer and was in excellent shape as he was ready to make his senior season the best one yet.”

    Schilling’s injury comes about two weeks after his primary backup Ben Carter suffered a knee injury of his own. Carter, a graduate transfer from UNLV, underwent surgery last week, and there is no timetable for his return either.

    With sophomore forward Kenny Goins just now returning to practice after offseason knee surgery, the lack of depth in the Michigan State frontcourt is a major concern. Freshmen Miles Bridges (6-7) and Nick Ward (6-8) are the only players left on the Spartans’ active roster who are taller than 6-5 and not dealing with injuries.

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