Jeff Eisenberg

  • Florida's top recruit intends to seek release from letter of intent

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 19 hrs ago

    In the past six weeks, Florida has lost its head coach to the NBA, its second-leading scorer to the draft and its third-leading scorer to a transfer.

    Now the Gators may also have to wave goodbye to their top recruit too.

    Shooting guard KeVaughn Allen, Rivals.com's No. 67 prospect in the class of 2015, will seek a release from his letter of intent, his stepfather John Curry told Arkansas radio host Bo Mattingly on Tuesday. Curry said that Allen could still end up at Florida depending on who the Gators hire to replace Billy Donovan, but he also wants to consider other schools.

    "I guess the best way to put it is he's going to keep his options open," Curry said.

    “His whole draw to Florida, besides a beautiful university, [was] the coaches. And that goes for a lot of high school kids. They go to a coach, that’s who they go to.”

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  • Quinn Cook's speech at Duke's banquet was emotional and inspiring

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Even though a historic freshman class propelled Duke to its fifth championship last month, the unsung hero for the Blue Devils was their lone senior.

    Quinn Cook set the tone for the season when he ceded the starting point guard job to Tyus Jones without complaint, thrived despite moving off ball and evolved into the veteran leader such a young team needed.

    An emotional Cook reflected on his journey at Duke's end-of-the-year banquet in the video above. He began by sharing the story of the nadir of his Duke career, a 2011 Maui Invitational matchup with Michigan in which he went scoreless and barely played.

    "My team's doing well, and we're playing great," Cook recalled. "Every time someone made a shot, the bench goes crazy, but you see little Quinn not cheering at all. I wouldn't get up, nothing, because I was embarrassed I wasn't playing.

    Cook became a productive player for Duke the next two years, but Mike Krzyzewski needed more from him as a senior. The Duke coach had a heart-to-heart chat with Cook last offseason that the senior guard says has stuck with him ever since.

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  • John Calipari hints that platooning hurt Kentucky's recruiting

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    If the perception before this spring had been that John Calipari can land whichever recruits he wants, that changed in a hurry the past few weeks. 

    All five of Calipari's primary targets during the spring signing period selected other schools over Kentucky, forcing the Wildcats to scramble to identify second-tier options.

    The sting of losing a series of recruiting battles for the first time in his Kentucky tenure led Calipari to write a blog post Monday morning in which he seemed to speak directly to potential targets in future classes. Calipari hinted that the platoon system he implemented this past season hurt Kentucky with prospects this spring and repeatedly insisted it was a one-time experiment.

    In all my coaching career, I’ve always played six, seven or eight guys. As a matter of fact, at UMass in 1996 I played five – the sixth man played single-digit minutes. My guards played 39 minutes a game. I’ve done this all kinds of ways, playing as many as eight or nine guys, which I thought was a bit much, but never have I ever tried to play 10 until this year.

  • Ex-Kentucky center changes name to Willie 'Trill' Cauley-Stein

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    No longer will Willie Cauley-Stein merely be known as the most versatile defender in this year's NBA draft.

    Now the former Kentucky 7 footer also is receiving attention for an unusual name change.

    Cauley-Stein has filed an order to legally change his middle name to "Trill," his mother told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday. Marlene Stein told the newspaper that her son's full name now is Willie "Trill" Cauley-Stein because "Trill" is the "nickname his 'boys' call him."

    Cauley-Stein was actually born "Willie Durmond Cauley Jr." but his father fell out of his life when he was young. He has gone by Willie Cauley-Stein since enrolling at Kentucky in order to honor his mother, but he hadn't filled out the paperwork to legally change his name until now.

    The only downside to Cauley-Stein's new name is that he didn't go all the way with it. How great would it be to hear NBA commissioner Adam Silver introduce him as "Trill Cauley-Stein" when he gets drafted?

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  • Texas abandons its efforts to trademark 'Havoc' slogan

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    They've printed the phrase "Havoc Lives Here" everywhere at VCU the last five years, from billboards, to T-shirts, to giant banners in the student section.

    The slogan still rings true even though the coach who coined it left for Texas a month ago.

    Texas has withdrawn its attempt to federally register variations of the “Havoc” trademark, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday. The same day Smart was hired as the next coach of the Longhorns last month, Texas officials applied to register the marks “HORNS HAVOC” and “HOUSE OF HAVOC” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

    Retaining the "Havoc" slogan is momentous for VCU because it is central to the program's marketing and branding efforts.

    VCU has already trademarked "Havoc" with the State Corporation Commission of Virginia, which would have given the Rams a good chance to win a legal battle had Texas opted to go that route. The strongest argument the Longhorns could have made was that their variations on "Havoc" were sufficiently different not to be confusing.   

  • UTEP gambles by offering Dominic Artis a second chance

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    It's difficult for Tim Floyd to lure top-tier talent to UTEP, so the Miners coach took a risk others may not have to secure a former top 50 prospect.

    He has signed former Oregon standout Dominic Artis just over a year after the standout point guard and two teammates were at the center of a sexual assault investigation.

    Oregon dismissed Artis, fellow starter Damyean Dotson and Providence transfer Brandon Austin last year after a female student accused them of raping her the night of the Ducks' March 8 victory over third-ranked Arizona. Investigators concluded there was "no doubt the incidents occurred," but authorities declined to charge the three players, citing conflicting statements and actions by the alleged victim.

    "I understand where some may be concerned. I have a daughter of my own. This was not a quick decision. A lot of research and conversation occurred before we chose to move forward. Dominic made a poor decision, and as a result has learned a tough life lesson. But I believe he is a good person and is worthy of a second chance."

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  • Gonzaga adds elite transfer point guard Nigel Williams-Goss

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    The last time a point guard transferred from Washington to Gonzaga, Dan Dickau became the WCC player of the year and a first-team All-American. 

    The Zags can only hope history repeats itself. 

    Gonzaga landed another former Washington point guard Sunday when ex-Huskies star Nigel Williams-Goss committed to the Zags. Williams-Goss, one of the most coveted transfers on the market, will sit out next season and have two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2016-17 season.

    The addition of Williams-Goss should help keep Gonzaga nationally relevant after next season when it will lose Przemek Karnowski and Kyle Wiltjer to graduation and could see NBA prospect Domantas Sabonis declare for the draft. Williams-Goss averaged 15.6 points and 5.9 assists as a sophomore at Washington and is a pass-first point guard who makes his teammates better.

    Williams-Goss' decision to opt to go that route was a mature one. He didn't feel he was improving rapidly enough at Washington and he wasn't projected as a first-round pick in the NBA draft, so he opted to remain patient and transfer even if it meant sitting out a year.

  • Recruit's decision is a boost for North Carolina, a blow to Virginia

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    When sweet-shooting wing Kenny Williams committed to North Carolina on Saturday, it was a potential coup for the Tar Heels for two reasons.

    It provides North Carolina a pure shooter who could crack the rotation as soon as next season if he spreads the floor with his 3-point prowess and proves to be a competent defender. It also prevents fellow ACC and national title contender Virginia from adding a recruit who could have addressed its biggest weakness.

    Outside shooting is a concern for both the Tar Heels and Cavaliers entering a season in which both should begin in the top 10 in the polls.

    North Carolina lacked any consistent shooters around Marcus Paige two years ago and still finished 256th in the nation in 3-pointers made last season despite the emergence of Justin Jackson and Nate Britt as threats from the perimeter. Virginia tailed off dramatically from behind the arc after Justin Anderson went down with a fractured pinkie in February and then the Cavaliers lost Anderson to the NBA draft last month. 

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

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 4 days 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 5 days 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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