Some college basketball news and notes:
• Former Mississippi State swingman Rodney Hood has announced he is transferring to Duke. That's noteworthy because he is just the fourth transfer that Mike Krzyzewski has accepted since he became the Blue Devils' coach in 1980.
Hood, from Meridian, Miss., was a five-star recruit who was the No. 17 prospect overall in the class of 2011. He had an OK freshman season, averaging 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds. Then again, the Bulldogs weren't exactly noted for their chemistry. His loss was a huge blow to a Mississippi State team that lost its top four scorers; he would've been the Bulldogs' go-to guy next season.
He will sit out one season at Duke, then have three years of eligibility starting in 2013-14. Krzyzewski has had success with his other transfers: Roshown McLeod (St. John's) and Dahntay Jones (Rutgers) later became first-round picks, and Seth Curry (Liberty) is heading into his senior season and was Duke's second-leading scorer last season.
• Only two of the top 10 prospects in the latest version of the recruiting rankings for 2013 have chosen their college destination: No. 7 Kasey Hill, a point guard from Montverde (Fla.) Montverde Academy who is a Florida commitment, and No. 10 Isaiah Hicks, a power forward from Oxford (N.C.) Webb who has picked North Carolina.
The top prospect is Chicago Simeon F Jabari Parker, currently playing for the United States U17 team in the FIBA U17 World Championship in Lithuania. The U.S. team was 5-0 in preliminary-round play and begins medal-round play Friday against Canada. The leading scorer is G Conner Frankamp, a 6-foot guard from Wichita (Kan.) East who already has committed to Kansas. C Jahlil Okafor, a 2014 prospect from Chicago Whitney Young, is the No. 2 scorer and leading rebounder. Other top 2013 prospects on the team are F Johnathan Williams of Memphis Southwind (No. 24 prospect; uncommitted); F Stephen Domingo of San Francisco St. Ignatius Prep (No. 30; Georgetown commitment); C BeeJay Anya of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic (No. 32; uncommitted); and G Kendrick Nunn of Chicago Simeon (No. 37; uncommitted).
The other five players are 2014 prospects: G Joel Berry of Orlando Lake Highland Prep, F/C Dakari Johnson of Montverde Academy, F Stanley Johnson of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, G Tyus Jones of Apple Valley (Minn.) High and F Justise Winslow of Houston St. John's.
• The father of Ohio State G Aaron Craft told the Columbus Dispatch that his son had surgery June 18 to
remove a bone chip from his ankle. Craft reportedly had been playing hurt since he was in high school. He is expected to be fine by mid-August.
• The Las Vegas Classic officially unveiled its field. Truthfully, the city's marketing campaign ("What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas") fits this field. Does anyone truly care who wins a tourney that features Bradley, Cal State Bakersfield, Colorado State, Georgia Southern, Portland, Mississippi Valley State, North Florida and Virginia Tech? Each team will play four games – the first two at campus sites and the final two rounds in Las Vegas on December 22 and 23.
• Boston University will be barred from playing in the America East tourney this season. The school is headed to the Patriot League next summer. BU won the 2011 America East tourney title.
• VCU coach Shaka Smart has ramped up his recruiting efforts since his Rams advanced to the 2011 Final Four, and it again has paid off. For the second year in a row, VCU is poised to sign a member of the Rivals150. SG Jairus Lyles, the No. 145 player nationally, committed to VCU earlier this week. Lyles, who is 6-1, plays for Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic and also had an offer from Oklahoma State. Lyles is quick and should be a good fit for VCU's up-tempo attack. VCU signed SF Jordan Burgess, a four-star prospect who was No. 101 nationally, in the 2012 class.
• The NCAA already has announced that Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman will be the chairman of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee for the 2013-14 season. Xavier AD Mike Bobinski will be the chairman next season.
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