The Dagger

  • Auburn and Alabama add five-star prospects on back-to-back days

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger10 days ago

    Even though the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama will forever be associated with football, the annual hoops showdowns between the two programs may not be an afterthought much longer.

    The Tigers and Crimson Tide both landed five-star recruits in the last 48 hours, further raising hopes that both may emerge as contenders in the SEC before too long.

    On Sunday, Auburn received a commitment from Waterbury, Conn. resident Mustapha Heron, a big, strong, physical 6-foot-5 wing ranked's No. 19 prospect in the Class of 2016. On Monday, Alabama answered back with a pledge from Texas native Terrance Ferguson, an elite 6-foot-6 shooting guard rated's No. 11 prospect in the class of 2016.

    The recruiting coups further validate the investments Auburn and Alabama made on splashy coaching hires the past two springs.

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  • Notre Dame is the most high-profile Big Monday snub

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger15 days ago

    The biggest surprise from ESPN's release of its Big Monday schedule on Wednesday was one of the schools that did not make the cut.

    Notre Dame will not make a single appearance on Big Monday next season despite returning a handful of key players from a team that not only reached the Elite Eight but also fell just a basket shy of upsetting unbeaten Kentucky to advance to the Final Four.

    The exclusion of the Irish probably reflects the strength of the ACC more than it does questions about Notre Dame's ability to replace stars Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton. A core of guards Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia and forward Zach Auguste should be enough to help the Irish begin the season in the AP Top 25 and end the season in the upper half of the ACC standings.

    Notre Dame is the most high-profile of the eight ACC teams that won't appear on Big Monday next season, though Pittsburgh probably can't be thrilled being excluded either. Kansas State, Texas Tech and TCU are the only three Big 12 teams who won't make an appearance. 

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