- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger14 hrs ago
If Kansas endures massive roster turnover as anticipated next spring, the Jayhawks at least now have some insurance.
They secured a commitment on Friday from one of the most intriguing transfers available this offseason.
Ex-Mississippi State guard Malik Newman, a former top 10 prospect in the 2015 class, will continue his career at Kansas. The 6-foot-3 sophomore will sit out the 2016-17 season per transfer rules but has three years of eligibility remaining thereafter.
Hailed as one of the elite prospects in his class after earning MVP honors at the FIBA U-17 World Championships two years ago, Newman did not live up to expectations in his lone season at Mississippi State. Newman averaged 11.3 points per game, but he shot barely 40 percent from inside the arc, turned the ball over nearly two times per game and earned just 67 trips to the foul line.
At Mississippi State, Newman played mostly off ball and struggled to adjust to Ben Howland’s oft-rigid system. He should have the opportunity to create more via ball screens for a Kansas team whose backcourt could look drastically different by the time Newman is eligible to play.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
No longer does Arizona have such a glut of talent at wing next season.
The school confirmed on Thursday that McDonald’s All-American shooting guard Terrance Ferguson will pursue professional opportunities instead of playing for the Wildcats. Ferguson, Rivals.com’s No. 14 prospect in the 2016 class, is expected to sign with the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s National Basketball League.
“I hope this next chapter of his basketball career goes well, and his goal of one day becoming an NBA player is realized,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said in a release from the school.
While Ferguson’s decision to turn pro may reignite the conversation about whether more elite prospects will consider skipping college, the reality is it shouldn’t. The high-profile prospects who have passed on college to play professionally overseas have typically done so because of eligibility concerns.
Brandon Jennings was unsure if he could meet the academic requirements to play for Arizona when he opted instead to sign with Italy’s Lottomatica Virtus Roma in 2008. Emmanuel Mudiay faced the possibility of a lengthy NCAA investigation into his eligibility when he chose to head to China instead of playing for SMU in 2014.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
Seldom has there been a more perfect marriage between a company and the athlete endorsing it.
Perry Ellis, the former Kansas basketball star, shared on social media on Wednesday that he has landed a sponsorship deal with Perry Ellis, the clothing brand.
A photo posted by Perry Ellis (@pelliz34) on Jun 29, 2016 at 8:36am PDT
The sportswear brand released a statement to Yahoo Sports on Thursday morning confirming the clever partnership between namesakes. Lisa Kauffman, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Marketing Officer for Perry Ellis, said the company is “very excited about the association” because the “playful partnership stays true to the fun, lighthearted nature of the brand.”
Asked to provide further details about how the sponsorship deal was conceived and what the campaign will include in the future, Perry Ellis clothing brand publicist David Shulman said he had no further information at this time.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger2 days ago
Whether as the head coach at Mississippi State or an assistant at Texas A&M, Rick Stansbury has shown he can attract elite prospects to high-major programs.
Now the new Western Kentucky coach is proving he can also do it at a less prestigious destination.
Stansbury on Wednesday received a commitment from center Mitchell Robinson, Rivals.com’s No. 11 prospect in the 2017 class and one of high school basketball’s top shot blockers and rebounders. Robinson’s Dallas-based AAU team confirmed the commitment on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
Congrats to @kodakmitch23 on his decision to play at Western Kentucky. ???????????????????? player that is hands down the best rim protector in America.
— NikeProSkills (@NikeProSkills) June 29, 2016
How does a five-star big man commit to an out-of-state program that fired its coach this past spring after losing 16 games and finishing below .500 in Conference USA? His loyalty to Stansbury apparently outweighed offers from the likes of Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and others.
- Henry Bushnell at The Dagger2 days ago
LOS ANGELES — Candace Parker remembers the moment pretty vividly. She remembers the sobs. She remembers the sadness. She remembers the phone call.
It was August 2011. The call was to her college coach, Pat Summitt. Summitt, the winningest coach in college basketball history, had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Parker had just heard the news.
“Coach, I’m so sorry,” Parker said through the phone, and through the tears. “I love you. I care about you. I’m here for you.”
Summitt responded as only she could.
“Well don’t throw a pity party,” she told her former player. “Because you’re gonna be the only one there.”
That was nearly five years ago. Summitt, the legendary Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach, succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease on Tuesday. She was 64.
- Jay Busbee at The Dagger3 days ago
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Pat Summitt, legendary former basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, died Tuesday morning of complications from Alzheimer's disease. Summitt, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I basketball history, was 64.
Summitt was diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type in 2011, and stepped down from her role as head coach at the University of Tennessee a year later. From 1974 to 2012, Summitt led the Lady Vols to a 1,098-208 record with eight national titles.
Her remarkable career began when she took the head coaching reins at Tennessee at just 22 years old. Two years later, as a player she was named an assistant captain for the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team, and in 1984 took over head coaching duties. Under her guidance, the American women went undefeated and won their first-ever gold medal.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger4 days ago
Some of the best players ever to play for coach Pat Summitt at Tennessee traveled to Knoxville in recent days to hold the hand of the legendary coach who is struggling in her brave battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Summitt announced in August 2011 that she had been diagnosed with the disease. She went on to coach the 2011-12 season before retiring with eight national titles, 32 SEC championships and 1,098 wins. She coached the Vols for 38 seasons and became the winningest coach, regardless of gender, in NCAA Division I history.
WNBA stars Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings are among nearly 20 of those who traveled back to the city where they attended college in order to connect with their coach again over the weekend, The Tennessean reported. Many other former Vols and thousands outside the program have posted well wishes to the 64-year-old former coach on social media sites using the hashtag #PrayForPat
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger7 days ago
Here's a statistic that should serve as a lesson for the 2017 draft class.
Of the 44 college players selected Thursday night in this year's NBA draft, all but two received invites to the draft combine in Chicago last month. The exceptions were Iowa State senior Abdel Nader and Cal senior Tyrone Wallace, two of the final three players selected in Thursday's second round.
What that suggests is future NBA hopefuls would be wise to take advantage of the new rules governing the early-entry process and wait until after the May combine to decide whether to stay in the draft or not. Those not among the roughly 70 draft combine invitees have little chance of being drafted and even less hope of being taken high enough to receive a guaranteed contract.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger23 days ago
The NCAA released its entire attendance report for the 2015-16 college basketball season on Wednesday morning. Here's a look at eight stats that stood out the most:
• Highest attendance per game: 1. Kentucky (23,361) 2. Syracuse (21,592) 3. Louisville (20,859)
Comment: Syracuse's two-year run as average attendance leaders ended this season at the hands of the team the Orange briefly eclipsed. Before the 2013-14 season, the Wildcats finished No. 1 in 17 of the previous 18 years.
• Lowest attendance per game: 1. Bryant (436) 2. South Carolina State (439) 3. Saint Peter's (479)
Comment: How did Bryant manage to draw smaller crowds than many high school teams last season? It had a lot to do with the product the Bulldogs put out on the floor. They went 8-23 and finished second-to-last in the Northeast Conference.
• Highest per-game attendance among non-major conference schools: 1. BYU (14,699), 2. New Mexico (13,030) 3. Dayton (12,941)
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger24 days ago
When Villanova visited the White House last week to celebrate its national championship, health issues kept revered former coach Rollie Massimino from joining the Wildcats.
President Obama noticed Massimino's absence and sent the 81-year-old a heartfelt note shared by Villanova coach Jay Wright on his Twitter account Monday afternoon.
President Obama's letter to Coach Mass ! Great respect for POTUS and RVM pic.twitter.com/IugcOlxEw7
Massimino became a hero in Villanova circles for leading the 1985 Wildcats to an improbable national title. Eighth-seeded Villanova became the lowest seed to win the NCAA tournament, winning five games against top-five seeds capped by a monumental upset over Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown in the championship game.
For the past 10 years, Massimino has been the head coach at Keiser University, an NAIA powerhouse in West Palm Beach, Fla. Massimino sat courtside in Houston in April when Villanova edged North Carolina in the national title game on Kris Jenkins' game-winning buzzer beater.