New York prep scoring leader Girard chooses Syracuse
Guard Joseph Girard III, the all-time leading scorer in New York high school basketball history, has committed to Syracuse.Girard announced his choice Sunday night at a news conference. He selected in-state Syracuse over finalists Duke, Michigan, Boston College, Notre Dame and Penn State.He is a senior at Glens Falls High School, which is about 160 miles east of Syracuse. Midway through his junior season, he broke the state scoring record, averaging 50 points per game. He has 3,306 career points entering his senior season.Girard has passed a legion of New York legends on the scoring list, including Jimmer Fredette, who also attended Glens Falls. He's also leapfrogged over Lance Stephenson, Elton Brand, Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair, Greg Paulus, Christian Laettner and Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."It's the hardest decision of my life," Girard said Sunday. "It came down to every single school but what put it over was just being comfortable. You want to be somewhere where you can thrive, but you can also see yourself if you're not playing basketball and the best place for that was Syracuse."
Defense attorneys: Texts show Kansas coaches knew of payments
Defense attorneys on Monday disputed claims by a former Adidas consultant that Kansas basketball coaches had no knowledge of payments made to Kansas players and their families, producing evidence they claim shows otherwise as the federal government's wire fraud case against three men continued in a New York courtroom.According to the Kansas City Star, witness T.J. Gassnola claimed in court Thursday that he made payments to several former college basketball stars, along with their family and friends. But on the second day of cross-examination on Monday, Gassnola claimed Kansas coaches knew nothing about his payments to Fenny Falmagne, the guardian of top recruit and current Kansas player Silvio De Sousa.But defense attorneys for the three men on trial displayed text messages between Gassnola and Kansas head coach Bill Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend, texts they claim show the coaches may have known about the payments.Gassnola is a government witness in its case against Adidas executive James Gatto, Adidas consultant Merl Code Jr. and agent runner Christian Dawkins. They are accused of committing wire fraud conspiracy by paying top recruits and their families. Gassnola has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.Among the texts submitted as evidence and shown on a screen in the courtroom was an Aug. 9, 2017, text from Gassnola to Self stating he talked with Falmagne. Self reportedly asked, "We good," to which Gassnola replied, "always," adding it was up to Falmagne what would happen next.Gassnola and Self later talked on the phone for five minutes that day, but Gassnola said he did not remember the subject of the call.On Sept. 19 that same year, just days before Kansas and Adidas announced a 12-year contract extension, Gassnola reportedly texted Self to thank him for help getting the deal done. Self reportedly replied, "Just got to get a couple real guys."Among other texts exchanged between the two was this one reportedly sent by Gassnola:
Transfer Heron eligible to play at St. John's
Auburn transfer Mustapha Heron has received a waiver from the NCAA and can play basketball at St. John's in the 2018-19 season, the school announced Saturday.Heron, a guard, played two seasons for the Tigers but announced his transfer in May, citing the need to be close to his Connecticut home because his mother is ill."I'm incredibly thankful that the NCAA has decided to allow me to play right away closer to home," said Heron, a native of Waterbury, Conn., in a statement. "I would like to thank all of the staff at St. John's that fought to make this a possibility for me and my family.""We're very grateful for the NCAA's decision to grant Mustapha a legislative relief waiver," coach Chris Mullin said. "It is important for Mustapha to be close to his family during this difficult time, so providing him the opportunity to play immediately will be a great benefit as he continues to pursue his personal goals. Mustapha is a high-character young man with loads of talent who will now be able to showcase it on the highest stage."In his two seasons at Auburn, he averaged 15.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. He went to Auburn as a consensus five-star recruit in the Class of 2016.The 6-foot-5 Heron is expected to be a key player for Mullin, who is rebuilding the program at his alma mater. Mullin played for the Red Storm from 1981-85 and remains the program's all-time leading scorer.
Arizona, Illinois schedule home-and-home series
The Illinois basketball program is ending a near-decade drought of going out of conference to schedule a home-and-home series with a Power 5 opponent.The Illini and the Arizona Wildcats have reached agreement to visit each other in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, with Arizona hosting a game on Nov. 10, 2019, and Illinois doing the honors on Dec. 12, 2020."It's a win-win for everyone; these are the types of games that players want to play in, recruits want to be part of, and fans want to watch and attend," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said in a statement.
Texas G Jones out indefinitely with toe injury
Texas junior guard Andrew Jones is facing another challenge after breaking a toe on his right foot and being ruled out indefinitely, the school announced Saturday.Jones returned to the program last month after an eight-month absence due to leukemia.The 6-foot-4 Jones suffered the toe injury during Thursday's practice. There isn't yet a timetable for his return.Jones averaged 11.4 points as a freshman and considered leaving for the NBA before deciding to return to school. He averaged 13.5 points in 10 games last season prior to his health battle.
Ex-Adidas consultant tells of paying Bowen, Smith Jr.
An ex-Adidas consultant discussed new details of payments made to several former college basketball stars along with family and friends in federal court testimony in New York on Thursday.One day after admitting that he paid the family of 2018 No. 1 overall draft pick Deandre Ayton as well as families of four other players in an attempt to influence them, T.J. Gassnola answered questions and explained how he says he paid associates of Ayton, Brian Bowen, Dennis Smith Jr., Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa.Government and defense lawyers examined Gassnola in the wire fraud case against Adidas executive James Gatto, Adidas consultant Merl Code Jr. and agent runner Christian Dawkins. The cross-examination of Gassnola is scheduled to resume Monday as the trial surrounding allegations of corruption in college basketball continues.Gassnola shared details of the process behind Adidas making a $100,000 payment to the father of Bowen, a one-time five-star prospect, who signed to play for Louisville under then-head coach Rick Pitino. Gassnola told the courtroom that he was called by Dawkins as Bowen's family was allegedly looking for money to attend Louisville before learning that Dawkins had tried to secure a signing by calling Code.Despite saying he did not speak with any member of the Louisville basketball staff about an agreement, Gassnola said in testimony that he texted Code the same night Bowen pledged his commitment to the Cardinals, saying, "By the way this Bowen thing looks good for us. Perception wise. I think."Gassnola also testified that he paid an ex-assistant coach at NC State $40,000 to deliver to the family of Smith in hopes of landing the star guard. Gassnola said in court that he gave the money directly to assistant Orlando Early after flying to North Carolina at Early's request.
Izzo denies trying to conceal accusations against players
Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo emphatically denied ever trying to conceal allegations of physical and sexual assault against players in his program, saying Thursday the mere suggestion "makes me sick."Speaking at Big Ten media day in Rosemont, Ill., Izzo spoke for the first time about allegations that were reported in January by ESPN. The report talked about a pattern of denying any assaults took place, failing to take action, and burying the allegations, which came against football and basketball players.The basketball program's involvement centered on how Izzo dealt with two sexual assault allegations made against players, and it also detailed a misdemeanor physical assault allegation student assistant Travis Walton in early 2010.None of the assault cases led to criminal charges. Walton's case was eventually reduced to littering.Izzo said on Thursday that while perhaps it could be argued that he should have gone beyond what the school required, "The procedures and policies were followed to the Nth degree.""The thought that I was going to hide something like what happened makes me sick," Izzo said. "The thought of that makes me sick. It's never been, it never was. That was the big complaint on me and (Mark) Dantonio and (Mark) Hollis. It was never hidden and it never will be hidden."
Ayton latest player linked to NCAA scandal
A former Adidas consultant testified Wednesday that he paid the family of 2018 No. 1 overall draft pick Deandre Ayton and the families of four other players in an attempt to influence them.The testimony of T.J. Gassnola marked the first time the jury has heard the name of Ayton, now with the Phoenix Suns.The government called Gassnola as a witness as part of its wire fraud case against Adidas executive James Gatto, Adidas consultant Merl Code Jr. and runner Christian Dawkins. Gassnola is expected back on the stand Thursday as the trial concerning allegations of corruption in college basketball continues.Gassnola, who had run the Adidas-sponsored AAU New England Playaz program since 2004 and began as an Adidas consultant in 2013, already has entered a guilty plea to wire fraud. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he must testify in the ongoing case.He testified Wednesday that he also paid the families of Dennis Smith Jr., Brian Bowen II and Billy Preston, as well as the guardian of Silvio De Sousa. His testimony detailed an agreement he had with Brian Bowen Sr. to steer his son to the Adias-sponsored Michigan Mustangs program in exchange for $25,000."I told [Dawkins] I would get it done and take care of it," Gassnola told the jury.
Bowen Sr. testifies he took $1,300 from ex-Louisville assistant
Brian Bowen Sr. testified in court Tuesday that he received $1,300 from former Louisville assistant coach Kenny Johnson during the recruitment process of his son, Brian Bowen II.Text messages revealed in court show Bowen Sr. and Johnson had planned to meet up in August 2017. Bowen Sr. asked Johnson if he wanted to "get together to square up." Johnson replied, "OK, call you later on."Bowen Sr. said Johnson came to this residence, and the $1,300 was exchanged.The development is the latest in the trial regarding the recruitment of Bowen II. Bowen Sr. is accused of accepting $100,000 from Adidas to send his son to Louisville. The younger Bowen was ruled ineligible by Louisville in October after the scandal broke and later briefly transferred to South Carolina before deciding to enter the NBA draft and being bypassed.According to Bowen Sr., the offer to attend Louisville was originally between $60,000 and $80,000. He previously testified it was increased to $100,000 because Adidas paid Billy Preston that amount to attend Kansas.Bowen Sr. said Tuesday that Johnson initially was shocked at the request to give money and refused to do it. It was during their second meeting that he said the exchange was made."He made it pretty clear this was a one-time deal for him," Bowen Sr. said.Former runner Christian Dawkins -- who worked for an agent -- is a defendant in the current case and charged with felony wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Dawkins was said to have facilitated the meeting between Bowen Sr. and Johnson.
Miami F Huell changes name to Hernandez
Miami Hurricanes junior forward Dewan Huell has changed his legal last name to Hernandez in tribute to his mother, Christina Hernandez, per multiple reports Tuesday.Hernandez has edited his name on his Twitter profile and told reporters that the name switch was something that had been on his mind before he legally made the switch earlier this month."It's not just honoring my dad or anything," Hernandez said, per the Miami Herald, "But I'm honoring my mom for always being there for me whenever I needed her from when I was born."A former three-time high school state champion and McDonald's All-American out of Miami Norland High School in Miami, the 6-foot-10 Hernandez averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in his sophomore season in 2017-18 for the Hurricanes.
Duke lands Moore, No. 3 small forward for 2019
Duke has landed the third-ranked small forward in the 2019 recruiting class, the Blue Devils' first scholarship signee in next year's crop.Wendell Moore, a 6-foot-6 wing player from Cox Mill High School, about two hours from the Duke campus, chose the Blue Devils over North Carolina, Wake Forest and North Carolina State.He told ESPN on Tuesday that Duke was his final visit, Sept. 22, and he never officially visited the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, N.C."It's always been a dream of mine to go to Duke, but just being on the official visit kind of put me over the top," Moore said.
Bruins PG Campbell lost to season-ending knee injury
UCLA Bruins freshman point guard Tyger Campbell is out for the season with a torn ACL.Campbell suffered the injury Sunday during a team practice, the Los Angeles Times reported, and joins high-profile freshman Shareef O'Neal (heart surgery) on the sideline for the 2018-19. O'Neal, the son of Shaquille O'Neal, is expected to make a complete recovery and play at UCLA next season.Campbell averaged 15.5 points and 7.2 assists as a senior at La Porte (Ind.) High School last season.
Dad of prized recruit lists payment offers during trial
The father of former Louisville recruit Brian Bowen listed Arizona, Creighton, Oklahoma State and Texas as additional schools who offered money for his son's playing services during Thursday's federal trial involving college basketball corruption in New York.Brian Bowen Sr. is accused of accepting $100,000 from Adidas to send his son, Brian, to Louisville. The younger Brian Bowen was ruled ineligible by Louisville in October after the scandal broke and later briefly transferred to South Carolina before deciding to enter the NBA draft and being bypassed.Bowen Sr. testified that Arizona assistant coach Joe Pasternack (now head coach at UC Santa Barbara) offered $50,000, Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans offered $150,000 cash, $8,000 for a car and additional money to purchase a house, Creighton assistant Preston Murphy (now head coach at UNC Asheville) offered $100,000 and a "good job, a lucrative job," and Texas assistant Mike Morrell offered to help with housing.According to Bowen Sr., the offer to attend Louisville was originally between $60,000 and $80,000. He testified it was increased to $100,000 because Adidas paid Billy Preston that amount to attend Kansas.Evans is one of three assistant coaches who are charged in a separate federal case, stemming from allegedly accepting bribes from Christian Dawkins -- who worked for an agent -- to influence players to sign with specific agents and financial advisers.Dawkins is a defendant in the current case and charged with felony wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.Oregon was mentioned earlier this week by defense attorneys as a school that made an offer but Bowen Sr. said Thursday, "I don't recall that."Oregon released a statement prior to Bowen Sr. taking the stand, saying there was no evidence of NCAA violations.
Details of pay-for-play come out in college hoops bribery trial
The federal college basketball corruption trial got off to an explosive start on Tuesday, as a defense attorney reportedly acknowledged an Adidas executive made numerous payments to players and recruits, all in violation of NCAA rules.Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel reported Tuesday that attorney Casey Donnelly said in her opening statement that her client, Jim Gatto, acknowledged committing numerous NCAA violations. Specifically, Gatto admits to:--Agreeing to send $100,000 to the family of top 2017 recruit Brian Bowen to exchange for Bowen enrolling in Louisville.--Paying $40,000 to the family of Dennis Smith Jr. while Smith was playing at North Carolina State. (He is now with the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA.)--Paying $20,000 to recruit Silvio De Sousa, who attends Kansas. Adidas sponsors Kansas.According to the report, Gatto only payed De Sousa after "Under Armour had paid for De Sousa to [commit] to the University of Maryland." Though Donnelly did not state who specifically made the request, she claimed someone asked Gatto to match Under Armour's offer so that De Sousa would enroll at Kansas.De Sousa is still at Kansas, and is entering his sophomore season.Donnelly also alleged the existence of a bidding war to land Bowen, who now plays professionally in Australia.A third player, North Carolina freshman Nassir Little, was also part of a bidding war, per Donnelly."The University of Arizona was going to pay, or offered to pay, $150,000 for [recruit] Nassir Little to go to Arizona," Wetzel reported her as saying. She added that Gatto was then involved in a discussion about matching that payment for Little to go to Miami.
NCAA charges ex-UConn coach Ollie with violations
Former Connecticut men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie has been hit with an unethical conduct charge and other charges by the NCAA.Ollie and the university received notification from the NCAA on Friday of the charges. The most serious among them alleges that Ollie provided false information about phone calls that took place between a top recruit and former UConn players Ray Allen and Rudy Gay, ESPN reported.UConn fired Ollie, who led the Huskies to the national championship in 2014, on March 10, contending it was for just cause. Firing Ollie with cause would eliminate a buyout of almost $10 million per his contract, which was extended to run through 2021.According to ESPN, the NCAA contends Ollie also didn't tell the truth about what he knew about the workouts led for players by Derek Hamilton, a professional trainer and Ollie's friend.In all, according to the notice, Ollie was charged with violations that include exceeding limits on practice times, allowing unfair recruiting benefits and failing to monitor outside workouts, ESPN reported.Specifically, Ollie, 45, has been accused of arranging the calls between a five-star recruit and the former UConn players; having unallowed contact with a recruit; providing meals to recruits who were on unofficial visits; failing to monitor Hamilton; and providing Hamilton with football tickets, which was a violation because his son was eligible to be recruited.The university was not listed as a party to the charges.
Arrest made in shooting death of LSU's Sims
Police in Baton Rouge, La., announced Saturday that a suspect has been arrested in the shooting death of LSU basketball player Wayde Sims on Friday.The Baton Rouge Police Department announced the arrest of Dyteon Simpson, 20, at an 11 a.m. ET news conference. They had released a video of the shooting on Friday, asking for help identifying a man seen in the footage.Sims, 20, was shot and killed near Southern University's campus early Friday."Wayde Sims suffered a gunshot wound to the head and ultimately died as a result," police chief Murphy J. Paul told the media Saturday, per 247sports. "Wayde stepped in to defend his friend and was shot by Simpson. Simpson was questioned and admitted to being on scene, in possession of a weapon, and admitted to shooting Wayde Sims. Simpson was arrested without incident and taken into custody at East Baton Rouge Parish Police Department."Sims was taken to the hospital around 12:25 a.m. Friday after being shot while on a street just south of the SU campus, police said.
Shaq's son, UCLA freshman Shareef O'Neal, to miss season
UCLA freshman Shareef O'Neal will miss the 2018-19 season due to a heart issue that was discovered in a routine physical, according to UCLA."Freshman Shareef O'Neal will be sidelined for the 2018-19 season (medical). He will remain enrolled in class and on the men's basketball team during this redshirt year. The UCLA men's basketball program completely supports Shareef and his family as he gets this issue resolved," UCLA said in a statement Friday.O'Neal is one of five top-100 freshman in UCLA's vaunted recruiting class. For now, he said, he will focus on being a "normal student."
LSU's Sims, 20, shot and killed in Baton Rouge
Wayde Sims, a 20-year-old LSU basketball player, was shot and killed near Southern University's campus early Friday, the Baton Rouge Police Department has confirmed."We are all devastated," said LSU coach Will Wade. "We need your prayers for Wayde, for his family, for all of us. We are heartbroken."Police are investigating Sims' death as a homicide.Sims was taken to the hospital around 12:25 a.m. Friday after being shot while on a street just south of the SU campus, police said.
Michigan's Beilein ready for season after heart procedure
Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein is ready for the upcoming season after undergoing a double bypass heart procedure in August.Beilein was on hand as the Wolverines opened practice Tuesday. The 65-year-old coach said he's still dealing with soreness following the operation."I can't throw a chest pass. I can't yell yet," he told reporters. "But I expect to be able to do that."Beilein's procedure was performed at Michigan's Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center on Aug. 6. He missed the team's exhibition trip to Spain from Aug. 17-26, with assistant coach Saddi Washington serving as interim head coach in his place.Beilein described his mindset following the operation."I think the initial shock that you're going to have this done, and then when you wake up and realize what just happened to you ... your heart's been stopped for a long period of time, and you have been carved open," he said. "You just think about, 'Wow, what just happened?' and it's great. The doctors were incredible, but you realize that was literally life-changing for everybody."
Oklahoma State suspends basketball G Weathers
Oklahoma State has suspended redshirt sophomore guard Michael Weathers from its basketball team after learning he was arrested earlier this month, according to CBS Sports.Weathers was charged with felony grand larceny and concealing stolen property after the theft of a wallet and its contents, according to police and court documents. According to the incident report, it happened on Sept. 9 at a bar in Stillwater, Okla., and the estimated value of the wallet's contents was $85."Michael was suspended from team activities as soon as we learned of the incident. He remains suspended indefinitely," Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said in a statement provided to CBS Sports.