Jeff Eisenberg

  • Jamie Dixon makes a big splash with his first recruit at TCU

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 hr ago

    In the 13 years since the birth of Rivals.com, TCU's struggling basketball program landed only two top 150 prospects.

    The Horned Frogs matched that total in this year's class alone.

    Guard Josh Parrish, Rivals.com's No. 149 recruit, signed with TCU in November and did not renege on that commitment even after coach Trent Johnson was fired. Then new coach Jamie Dixon added to that haul on Wednesday when he landed Rivals.com's No. 55 recruit, guard Jaylen Fisher.

    🙏🏻 #TCU pic.twitter.com/VHnMqXpNYx

    Fisher is the highest rated recruit TCU has landed since the first edition of the Rivals rankings back in 2003. He had originally committed to UNLV but reopened his recruitment when the Rebels fired head coach Dave Rice and chose not to retain assistant coach Ryan Miller.

    What TCU is getting in Fisher is a physical, aggressive point guard capable of attacking the rim at one end and containing opposing perimeter scorers at the other.

    The Memphis native should be able to contribute right away and be a key piece of the Horned Frogs' rebuilding process.

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  • Michigan State bolsters thin frontcourt by adding Ben Carter

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 6 hrs ago

    All-Big Ten center Matt Costello is graduating. Fellow starter Deyonta Davis is off to the NBA. Key reserve Marvin Clark is transferring.

    Michigan State had little choice but to explore the graduate transfer market in search of further frontcourt depth, and the Spartans appear to have found the late addition they coveted.

    Former UNLV forward Ben Carter will transfer to Michigan State, he announced via Twitter on Wednesday. The 6-foot-9 senior has one year of college eligibility remaining and will be eligible to play right away for the Spartans next season.

    A former Rivals 150 prospect in the Class of 2012, Carter spent the first two years of his college career at Oregon before transferring to hometown UNLV. He averaged 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 24 minutes per game for the Rebels last season before tearing the ACL in his left knee midway through conference play.

    At Michigan State, Carter is likely to be a key reserve. 

    Carter's transfer is one that appears to be a good fit for both sides.

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  • If healthy, Spike Albrecht could stabilize Purdue's point guard situation

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    The improbable hero of Michigan's 2013 national title game appearance will finish his college basketball career at another Big Ten school.

    Spike Albrecht announced Tuesday that he is transferring to Purdue.

    Excited to announce that I'll be playing my 5th year for Purdue University!! #BoilerUp

    A graduate transfer who has one more year of eligibility remaining, Albrecht should provide leadership for a Boilermakers team otherwise without a single scholarship senior. He also should have an opportunity to vie for playing time at point guard next season if he can stay healthy.

    Albrecht's Michigan career ended last December due to a genetic hip condition that has hampered him for the past two seasons. The 5-foot-11 senior underwent two hip surgeries last offseason and only managed 1.9 points and 1.4 assists in 8.6 minutes per game last season.

    When healthier, Albrecht has shown the ability to contribute far more than that at the Big Ten level even though he was lightly recruited out of high school.

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  • Amended notice of allegations seems more favorable to North Carolina

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 9 days ago

    When the NCAA dragged its feet for months in sending North Carolina an amended Notice of Allegations, many wondered whether the lengthy delay suggested that investigators had found new evidence that might lead to additional charges.

    That doesn't appear to be the case.

    The amended Notice of Allegations that North Carolina received on Monday isn't strikingly different from the original one the university received last May. North Carolina still faces five top-level violations, but the gentler wording suggests there's less reason to believe the Tar Heels will be hammered with severe sanctions by the committee on infractions later this year.

    The biggest change is to the first of the five major rules violations the NCAA discovered while investigating academic fraud in African Studies classes that benefited Tar Heels athletes in disproportionate numbers. Whereas that allegation in the first NOA was very broad and left the committee on infractions ample options for how it could choose to punish North Carolina, this one seems to be more narrowly focused on women's basketball. 

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  • Ivan Rabb may be the best NBA prospect not to declare for the draft

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 9 days ago

    In a year in which virtually every other potential first-round pick at least declared for the draft to get a better idea of his NBA stock, Cal's Ivan Rabb is the rare exception.

    The 6-foot-11 freshman announced he will return to the Bears next season soon after the deadline to enter the draft passed on Sunday night.

    Rabb is probably the most decorated NBA prospect who will definitely return to college next season. Had he chosen to enter the draft, he likely would have been selected in the first round and perhaps would have gone in the top 15 or 20.

    "Ivan is an tremendous person and student-athlete to have on our team," Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said in a statement. "He and his family have put a lot of thought into making a decision that was right for him. He is a talented basketball player with a very bright future, and we are excited to have Ivan continue as a member of our Cal basketball program."

    Cal will need Rabb to be exceptional to finish in the upper third of a Pac-12 that could be very good next season.

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  • Why an alleged 29-year-old posed as a teenage basketball player

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 12 days ago

    One morning last spring, Gregory Dole received a call from a friend with whom he'd played high school basketball in Tanzania nearly two decades ago.

    Deng D'Awol asked Dole for help finding a school in Canada that would be interested in a 16-year-old basketball phenom he'd discovered in war-weary South Sudan.

    "Deng told me, 'There's this amazing kid I want to help get a scholarship,'" Dole told Yahoo Sports on Thursday. "He told me this kid is the best player he's seen in Eastern Africa. He told me this kid reminds him of a young Kevin Durant.' When someone says that, your ears tend to perk up."

    Such sky-high praise typically would have inspired skepticism in basketball circles, but Dole trusted his friend's assessment. After all, Deng is a 7-foot-1 center who set shot-blocking records at NAIA Wayland Baptist University, played professionally in the American Basketball Association and overseas and now helps coach and train kids in his native South Sudan.

    "I had no questions whatsoever about his age," D'Awol said. "I saw the documentation. There was no reason for me to doubt him."

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  • There may be more to Dedric Lawson's draft flip flop than just indecision

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 14 days ago

    Just eight days ago, Dedric Lawson announced he was returning to Memphis for his sophomore season. Then on Wednesday afternoon, ESPN.com reported the freshman forward is planning to test the waters again.

    It's possible Lawson is merely experiencing some indecision. It seems more likely this sudden flip flop is more calculated than that.

    Keelon Lawson, the father of Dedric and fellow Memphis freshman K.J. Lawson, was an assistant coach on Josh Pastner's staff for the past two seasons. Keelon was all but certain to retain that job for a third season until Pastner left for Georgia Tech on April 8 and Memphis hired Tubby Smith as his replacement nearly a week later.

    That theoretically leaves one remaining spot on Smith's staff, which could be earmarked for Keelon Lawson or any other potential candidate including one of Smith's sons. Saul Smith was an assistant under his dad at Minnesota before a 2012 DUI and a video coordinator under his dad at Texas Tech the past three years.

    (Of course, this could just be code for, “Tubby, you’d better keep my dad on staff or else I’m leaving for sure.”)

  • Syracuse legend Dwayne 'Pearl' Washington dies at age 52

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 14 days ago

    Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, one of the most beloved basketball players in Syracuse history, died Wednesday at age 52, the school announced.

    The heralded point guard was diagnosed with a brain tumor last summer and underwent surgery and various other treatments since the tumor was detected.

    Washington became a legend at Syracuse during a three-year college career in which he earned first-team all-Big East honors three times. He averaged 15.7 points and 2.3 steals and still ranks third all-time in school history in assists despite turning pro after his junior year in 1986.

    While Washington's stats alone are impressive, it was the flair and pizazz with which he played that made him a fan favorite. He had a handle so tight he could practically dribble through a crowded subway and a crossover dribble so lethal it often sent hapless defenders sprawling.

    Washington also had a knack for coming up big at the biggest moments. His most memorable shot was a half-court buzzer beater during his freshman season that toppled 16th-ranked Boston College and helped a previously unranked Syracuse team gain national relevance.  

    You will forever be in our hearts. We love you.

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  • Antonio Blakeney's return gives LSU a star to build around next year

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 15 days ago

    Though Ben Simmons and Tim Quarterman have both already turned pro this spring, LSU will at least get one of its stars back next season. 

    Freshman Antonio Blakeney will return to the Tigers, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.

    Blakeney originally declared for the NBA draft without hiring an agent earlier this month, leaving open the possibility of a return to school. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard decided to return without even waiting to see if he'd receive an invite to next month's NBA draft combine.

    "After consulting with my coaches and with my family, I have decided to return to LSU for my sophomore season," Blakeney said in a statement. "I believe I can further improve my skill set in different areas to become even more effective for my team in the future.

    "Although I finished the year strong and posted a solid season, I think it is in my best interest to return and continue to improve as I strive and prepare to be the best I can be. This will also allow me to continue with my schoolwork and continue to move forward on my college degree."

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  • UNLV moves quickly to hire New Mexico State's Marvin Menzies

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 18 days ago

    One day after new UNLV coach Chris Beard bolted for Texas Tech, Rebels athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy moved quickly to identify a replacement.

    She hired the coach Beard initially beat out for the job less than three weeks ago.

    New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies will be UNLV's next coach pending approval of the Nevada Board of Regents next week. Menzies worked as an assistant under Steve Fisher, former UNLV coach Lon Kruger and Rick Pitino before becoming head coach of the Aggies nine years ago.

    In his past five years at New Mexico State, Menzies has presided over the Aggies' most successful era since their heyday in the early 90s. He has won 23 or more games each season, captured a pair of WAC regular season titles and made the NCAA tournament four times.

    The one hole in Menzies' resume is a lack of signature victories. New Mexico State did not win an NCAA tournament game during his tenure, nor did the Aggies defeat a power-conference opponent. They did have a pair of near-misses in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, however, against both Michigan State and San Diego State.

    Now she can only hope Menzies is capable of the same.

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