Georgia Southern tabs Burg as new coach
Georgia Southern announced Sunday that it hired Texas Tech assistant Brian Burg as its new head coach.Burg spent the past four seasons with Texas Tech, a program that lost in the 2019 NCAA Tournament title game to Virginia."This is a dream come true! A year ago, this weekend, we were playing Gonzaga for a spot in the Final Four, and today I am named head basketball coach at Georgia Southern University," Burg said a statement. "I couldn't be more excited. What a year it's been!"Burg has earned a reputation as a strong recruiter during a career that also includes stops as Campbell, North Carolina Central and Little Rock."Brian's commitment to the comprehensive development of our student-athletes on-and-off the court resonated with the search committee," Georgia Southern athletic director Jared Benko said in a statement. "As we spoke to some of the best and brightest college basketball minds in the country, his name continued to come up time and again.
Colorado's Bey declares for NBA draft
Colorado junior forward Tyler Bey announced Sunday night that he is declaring for the NBA draft.Bey was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year this season and averaged 13.8 points and 9.0 rebounds. He also notched 48 steals and 36 blocked shots."Ever since I picked up a basketball, it was a dream to play in the NBA," Bey said in the announcement posted on Twitter. "That being said, after talking with my coaches and parents, I've decided that I will be declaring for the 2020 NBA draft."
Mississippi State's Perry declares for NBA draft
Mississippi State forward Reggie Perry announced Sunday that he is declaring for the NBA draft.Perry averaged 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds in the just-concluded season and shared SEC Player of the Year honors with Mason Jones of Arkansas."... A special thank you to my teammates that loved me through thick and thin, believed in me, pushed me and the brotherhood that we established in this two years that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you coach (Ben) Howland for pushing me to places I never knew I would be able to go and always telling me the truth."Perry is currently rated as the 20th selection in the latest mock draft at nbadraft.net.
C Omoruyi commits to home-state Rutgers
Big man Cliff Omoruyi committed to in-state Rutgers on Sunday, giving coach Steve Pikiell a major recruiting win in the Class of 2020.The 6-foot-10 Omoruyi is a four-star prospect ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 8 center and the nation's No. 41 overall player."120% committed," he posted to Twitter on Sunday, with a photo illustration of him wearing a Rutgers uniform.
DePaul junior Reed declares for NBA Draft
DePaul junior forward Paul Reed declared for the NBA Draft on Saturday night.The 6-foot-4 Reed, who averaged a double-double for the Blue Demons, is projected to be a first-round pick. Reed took to Twitter to announce his decision."After three great years of learning, improving and developing my game at DePaul, I am blessed to say that I will be declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft," Reed said in a statement. "I want to thank the coaching staff for giving me this opportunity and being great mentors and role models for me.
Quinnipiac G Kelly transferring to Boston College
Quinnipiac guard Rich Kelly is transferring to Boston College for his final season of eligibility.Kelly made the announcement Sunday in a video posted to Twitter by All Facts Media.As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play in 2020-21.
Western Michigan promotes Bates to head coach
Western Michigan named Clayton Bates its head men's basketball coach, canceling a national search and staying within its program.Formerly the Broncos' associate head coach, Bates replaces Steve Hawkins, whose contract wasn't extended after 17 seasons. Bates joined the Broncos staff in 2000, and twice stepped away from the school before returning. In all, he has spent 15 seasons on the Western Michigan bench.In a statement released late Saturday, athletic director Kathy Beauregard conceded the coronavirus pandemic impacted her search."I decided to change leadership of our program days before the COVID-19 crisis emerged," she said. "A comprehensive national search in this time of anxiety, despite exceedingly strong national interest in the position, just didn't sit well with me."Western Michigan has suspended external hires amid the coronavirus threat, the statement said."Clayton is the best person for the job at hand," Beauregard said. "He brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience and he has a close bond with the young men on our team.
St. John's standout Figueroa declares for NBA draft
St. John's swingman LJ Figueroa announced Saturday that he is declaring for the NBA draft.The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in the just-concluded season. He made 72 3-pointers and accumulated 62 steals in 32 games.Figueroa scored 956 points in 66 games (64 starts) over two seasons with the Red Storm. He said he will consider returning to school after going through the process."These past two years at St. John's have presented me with tremendous opportunities for growth both on and off the court," Figueroa said in a statement. "My family, coaches, teammates and my hometown Lawrence, Massachusetts, have helped me develop into the man I am today, and I cannot begin to thank everyone enough. After speaking with my family and coaching staff, I have decided to declare for the 2020 NBA draft. I intend to keep all of my options open and look forward to the learning experience this process will offer."
Georgetown G McClung to test NBA draft, retain eligibility
Sophomore Georgetown guard Mac McClung announced Sunday he will enter the 2020 NBA Draft but keep open his options to return to college.In a Twitter post, he thanked his family, Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing, and the Georgetown fans.Known for his powerful dunks, McClung was limited to 21 games in 2019-20 because of a foot injury. He averaged 15.7 points per game.In two seasons at Georgetown, McClung has played in 50 games (49 starts), averaging 14.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists.From Gate City, Va., he broke Allen Iverson's single-season state high school scoring record in 2018 and scored 2,801 points in his high school career.
Alabama F Jones declares for NBA draft
Alabama junior Herbert Jones announced on Instagram that he is entering the 2020 NBA Draft."For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to play in the NBA," he wrote Saturday. "... I am excited to take this next step in reaching a dream that I've had since I first learned to dribble a basketball."The 6-foot-7 forward said he will maintain his eligibility through the pre-draft process, leaving open the possibility of returning to Tuscaloosa for the 2020-21 season.
Report: Arizona F Nnaji to enter 2020 draft
Zeke Nnaji, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, is leaving Arizona and will enter the 2020 NBA Draft, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported.The 6-foot-11 forward started all 32 games for the Wildcats and led the team in scoring (16.1 points), rebounding (8.6) and field goal percentage (57.0). He had 14 double-double games and also was named to the first-team All-Pac-12 squad.Nnaji, from Minnesota, is ranked as the No. 34 pro prospect by ESPN. He was one of three freshmen to start for the Wildcats last season, joining guards Nico Mannion and Josh Green. Both Mannion and Green are projected first-round draft picks.
Kentucky G Juzang enters transfer portal
While Kentucky is accustomed to losing freshmen to the NBA draft every year, Johnny Juzang is leaving the Wildcats through the transfer portal.The 6-foot-6 guard declared his intention to leave Lexington via Twitter on Friday."What a ride," Juzang wrote. "This last year at Kentucky was one of the best experiences of my life. I grew so much not only as a player, but as a young man as well."... From the bottom of my heart I'm going to miss this place. With lots of thought and consideration, I've decided to put my name into the transfer portal."Juzang averaged 2.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 12.3 minutes in 28 games (two starts) during the 2019-20 season. He shot 32.6 percent from 3-point range and 83.3 percent at the foul line.
Conferences, schools taking financial hit without 'March Madness'
The NCAA is reducing its distribution to Division I conferences and school from approximately $600 million to $225 million, the entity announced Thursday.The sharp decline is largely because of the cancellation of the Division I men's basketball tournament due to the coronavirus outbreak."March Madness" pulled in over $1 billion in 2019, according to multiple media reports, and NCAA board of governors chairman Michael Drake said more cost-cutting maneuvers could be on the way."The association has prepared for a financial catastrophic event like the one we face now," said Drake, the president of Ohio State. "While we certainly have challenges ahead, we would be in a far worse position had it not been for this long-standing, forward-focused planning."The tournament was canceled on March 12, one day after NBA player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.Thursday would have marked the start of the Sweet 16 round, and the championship game was slated for April 6 in Atlanta.NCAA chief financial officer Kathleen McNeely told USA Today that the financial distributions will be made in June.Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said his conference keeps an operating reserve for circumstances outside of its control.
Texas AD declares embattled Smart will return
Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said embattled men's basketball coach Shaka Smart will return in 2020-21."Shaka's our coach," Del Conte told the Austin American-Statesman on Friday. "Nothing's changed. We won five of the last six down the stretch, finished third in the conference. We have a good team coming back. Nothing's changed on my end."The Longhorns finished the abbreviated 2019-20 season with a 19-12 record, improving Smart's record to 90-78 in five seasons with the program. That includes a 40-50 record in Big 12 play and a 17-34 mark against ranked opponents.Texas made the NCAA Tournament in 2016 and 2018 but lost in the first round both years.Although Del Conte acknowledged there is "angst around our basketball program," he told the newspaper he like "the direction, the energy" of the team.
Vanderbilt G Nesmith declares for NBA draft
Vanderbilt forward Aaron Nesmith announced Thursday that he is entering the NBA draft.Nesmith's sophomore season ended due to a foot injury in January. He averaged 23.0 points and 4.9 rebounds in 14 games, and made 52.2 percent of his 3-point attempts."I have decided to enter the 2020 NBA Draft and intend to hire an agent," Nesmith wrote in his announcement on Instagram. "I am so grateful for what life has brought me so far and I cannot wait for this next step in my journey."The 6-foot-6 Nesmith is viewed as a probable first-round pick despite the interrupted campaign. Currently, nbadraft.net pegs him as the No. 25 overall selection in its 2020 mock draft.Nesmith underwent surgery in late January after suffering a stress fracture in the right foot. He was leading the SEC in scoring at the time of the injury.
Florida State freshman Williams declares for draft
Florida State freshman Patrick Williams said Thursday he will enter the 2020 NBA Draft.The 6-foot-8 forward from Charlotte, N.C., made the announcement on Twitter."This entire year has been filled with moments I will truly never forget," Williams wrote. "After careful consideration and with the support of my family and coaches, I have decided to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft."Williams, 18, was the Atlantic Coast Conference's Sixth Man of the Year and helped the Seminoles (26-5) win their first ACC regular season title in 2019-20. They finished the abbreviated season ranked No. 4.
Northern Arizona removes interim tag from Burcar
Northern Arizona took the interim label off Shane Burcar and made the full-time head basketball coach, the university announced Wednesday.Burcar guided the Lumberjacks to a 16-14 record in the recently concluded season. He took over the program in June after Jack Murphy departed to take an assistant coaching position at Arizona."Despite very broad interest from outstanding coaches throughout the western United States and beyond, at the end of the day, Shane Burcar exhibited the most impassioned and thoughtful vision for Lumberjack Basketball," Northern Arizona athletic director Mike Marlow said in a statement. "I could not be more excited to announce that Shane emerged as our top choice."The 16 victories under Burcar represented the program's most since a 23-15 season in 2014-15. The program had lost more than 20 games in four straight seasons and was just 29-96 during the stretch prior to this season's improvement.
Dayton F Toppin entering 2020 NBA Draft
Dayton forward Obi Toppin said Wednesday he's entering the 2020 NBA Draft, a day after he was named AP National Player of the Year.He made the announcement in a video that included a montage of highlights from his two seasons with the Flyers.The 6-foot-9 sophomore led the Flyers, who finished No. 3 in the final AP Top 25 poll, with 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Toppin was a unanimous pick for the All-America team."This whole year has been more than just basketball," he said in the video. "It's been a brotherhood like no other. Our team was not just playing for ourselves, we were playing for our whole community."He acknowledged the NCAA Tournament cancellation because of the coronavirus was rough for the potential No. 1 seed -- "We are grateful for what we did accomplish this year" -- before thanking his family, coaches, teammates and community.
USC freshman F Okongwu declares for NBA draft
Southern California freshman Onyeka Okongwu is entering the 2020 NBA Draft, he told ESPN on Wednesday.The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks for the Trojans in 2019-20 and is ranked as the No. 6 available draft prospect in the ESPN Top 100."I am declaring for the draft, forgoing my final three years of school (and) planning on signing with an agent in the near future," Okongwu wrote in a text message.
Alabama G Lewis announces he'll enter NBA draft
Alabama sophomore guard Kira Lewis said Wednesday he will test the waters and enter his name in the 2020 NBA Draft.In a Twitter post thanking his coaches, teammates, family and Crimson Tide fans, Lewis said he is leaving the option open of returning to school. The NCAA allows players to get a pre-draft evaluation and return to their programs, if desired.Recent mock drafts project Lewis to be selected in the bottom third of the first round.Lewis' announcement was expected. Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats said Tuesday that both Lewis and junior guard John Petty would enter the draft."Based on feedback that they get, they both may leave," Oats said. "We're planning on possibly not having either of them back."Lewis was a first-team All-SEC selection and averaged 18.5 points and 5.2 assists per game.