Kansas coach Bill Self says he has COVID-19
Kansas coach Bill Self announced Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19.Self said he initially tested positive on Thursday.Self said he was planning to spend the weekend recruiting but got tested for the virus after experiencing "some minor symptoms.""That's when I learned my results came back positive, and a second test today confirmed that," Self said in a statement. "I am fully vaccinated and feeling pretty good right now."Self went on to encourage others to receive a COVID-19 vaccine."If you have not, please get vaccinated so we don't have to worry about this virus continuing to affect our communities and loved ones," he said. "I fully believe I would be in a much worse condition if not for the vaccine."
VCU extends coach Mike Rhoades through 2027
VCU announced Thursday head coach Mike Rhoades agreed to a two-year extension, extending his contract through the 2026-27 season.Rhoades, 48, has served as the Rams head coach since 2017 and was associate head coach under Shaka Smart from 2009-14."I'm very fortunate to be here," Rhoades said, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "And be here for a long time. And I love working for [VCU athletic director Ed McLaughlin], I love working at VCU. And let's keep moving forward to keep reaching the goals and the places we want to be."He has an 80-43 record over four seasons as head coach with two NCAA tournament appearances and one Atlantic 10 regular-season title."Coach Rhoades did an exceptional job with our young team this season under very unusual circumstances," McLaughlin said. "Sustainable success in any business requires continuity in leadership, but especially in college athletics. We have an exciting, talented team with a bright future, and we want to make sure Coach Rhoades leads our program for years to come."
Prep hoops star, 17, to earn 'millions' in NIL deal with Excel
High school basketball phenom and social media star Mikey Williams could earn "millions" in a historic name, image and likeness deal announced Thursday with Excel Sports management.The 17-year-old shooting guard from San Diego is rated as the No. 7 overall prospect in the Class of 2023 by ESPN and won't be eligible for the NBA Draft until 2024.Williams, who will attend Lake Norman Christian in Huntersville, N.C., this season and play for Vertical Academy, is the first prep basketball player to sign with a sports agency to pursue NIL endorsements and sponsorships."I am excited to be the first high school athlete to make this move," Williams told ESPN. "I love to hoop and I love engaging with my fans and look forward to continuing to share my journey with everyone."Including the likelihood of a major shoe deal, Excel vice president Matt Davis told ESPN he believes the deal "will generate millions of dollars for this young man."
Howard center Makur Maker withdraws from NBA draft
The NBA announced Tuesday night that center Makur Maker has withdrawn from next month's NBA draft.Maker, the cousin of NBA player Thon Maker, made waves last year when he became the highest-ranked basketball recruit to commit to an HBCU. The consensus five-star prospect chose Howard over other offers from the likes of Kentucky, Memphis and UCLA.Maker only got into two games for the Bison during the 2020-21 basketball season before he was "shut down" due to a groin injury. He averaged 11.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.5 turnovers in those two games.
Jaden Shackelford announces return to Alabama
Alabama leading scorer Jaden Shackelford announced Tuesday night that he would withdraw from the transfer portal and return to Alabama for his junior year."Now it's time to finish what we started ... RUN IT BACK!" he posted to Twitter, in part.The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 14.0 points per game in 33 contests (32 starts) for Alabama, which finished first in the SEC and won the SEC tournament. The Crimson Tide earned a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16, where they lost to Final Four-bound UCLA in overtime.
Amile Jefferson returns to Duke, joins program staff
Amile Jefferson, a three-time basketball captain at Duke, is returning to the program as director of player development.Jefferson, 28, was a five-year letter winner with the Blue Devils (2012-17) and a member of the 2015 national championship team. He played in a program-record 150 games with 103 starts, averaging 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds, and his .971 home winning percentage (67-2) ranks as the second best among any Duke player.He returns to Duke in the final season of coach Mike Krzyzewski's career and will be part of the staff as the team transitions to Jon Scheyer, already announced as the Blue Devils' next coach."This is an honor to be back at Duke and I'm so grateful to Coach Krzyzewski for considering me for this opportunity," Jefferson said. "I'd also like to thank Coach Scheyer for his help through the process and look forward to his leadership in the future. Duke has been a part of my story and my life and it's a privilege to give back to the program and the University that has meant so much. I can't wait to work with these guys -- helping them develop, grow and learn -- and be a small part of something bigger than myself."
Ex-Jayhawk Silvio De Sousa transfers to Chattanooga
Former Kansas played Silvio De Sousa, a lightning rod of controversy during his time in Lawrence, Kan., announced Tuesday that he's transferring to Chattanooga."I'm officially a Moc," De Sousa tweeted Tuesday.De Sousa opted out of the 2020-21 because of legal troubles stemming from an incident on New Year's Day 2020 in Lawrence.De Sousa will stand trial on Aug. 2 on a charge of aggravated battery after being accused of hitting a man in the face, causing him to lose vision in his left eye. De Sousa pled not guilty in May after being denied diversion in April.He played on Kansas' Final Four team in 2017-18, averaging 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds, but then missed the entire 2018-19 season when he was one of the central figures in the FBI's investigation of corruption in college basketball.The NCAA ruled De Sousa ineligible for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons "because his guardian received payment from a university booster and agent and agreed to receive additional funds from the same person." Kansas won an appeal regarding his eligibility in May 2019, allowing De Sousa to play in the 2019-20.
G Marcus Carr, four-star Arterio Morris commit to Texas
Texas and coach Chris Beard picked up commitments Saturday from Minnesota transfer Marcus Carr and four-star prospect Arterio Morris.Carr can help immediately, while Morris is a member of the Class of 2022.A 6-foot-2 guard, Carr started his college career at Pittsburgh, then spent the past two seasons with the Golden Gophers. He announced his transfer in March after Minnesota dismissed head coach Richard Pitino.Last season, Carr averaged 19.4 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.He also considered Louisville and Kansas but announced on Instagram that he chose Texas.
Kofi Cockburn to return to Illinois in 2021-22
After testing the NBA draft pool and entering the NCAA transfer portal, Illinois center Kofi Cockburn announced Friday he will return to the Fighting Illini for the 2021-22 basketball season.Cockburn entered the portal July 1 and withdrew from the draft July 6. In a social media post earlier this week, he listed Illinois, Kentucky and Florida State as his final three options.CBS Sports ranked Cockburn the No. 1 player available in the portal. Cockburn averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds last season as the Fighting Illini earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before being upset by Loyola Chicago in the second round.
Ex-Seton Hall star Myles Powell sues program over injuries
Former Seton Hall standout Myles Powell filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the university, head coach Kevin Willard and the team's director of sports medicine for allegedly misleading him about the extent of a knee injury and damaging his chances of reaching the NBA.Powell claims that he was told his injury, later revealed to be a torn meniscus in his right knee, was not a serious injury and would not be aggravated if he kept playing through the 2019-20 season. He said the pain worsened throughout the season but he was told it was a bone bruise and nothing worse.Although Powell averaged 21 points as a senior, down from 23.1 the prior season, and led the Pirates to a 21-9 record as the Big East Player of the Year. However, he was not selected in the NBA draft.
Memphis C Moussa Cisse transferring to Oklahoma State
Big man Moussa Cisse is leaving Memphis after one season and transferring to Oklahoma State.A five-star recruit in the class of 2020, the 6-foot-10, 220-pound center announced his decision Thursday on ESPN."I see what they did with Cade Cunningham," Cisse said, referring to the one-and-done Cowboys guard who is widely projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft on July 29."I had to decide whether to go to the NBA or college. I watched a lot of film and saw the way they developed players. That was attractive to me. Coach Mike Boynton has been talking to me for a while now, trying hard. I can tell that he really likes me, and he can give me a chance to develop my game and take it to the next level."Cisse was named the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in 2020-21 after averaging 6.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 28 games (all starts) with the Tigers.
Kofi Cockburn will announce school choice Friday; Illinois in mix
Center Kofi Cockburn will announce Friday where he will play the 2021-22 college basketball season.He posted a note to Twitter Wednesday that teased a Friday announcement and included a photo illustration with three logos: Illinois, Kentucky and Florida State. He entered the transfer portal on July 1 and later decided to withdraw from the NBA draft.Still, multiple reports Wednesday pointed toward a return to the Illini for Cockburn, a junior.The Lexington Herald Leader said Cockburn never really expressed much interest in Kentucky, despite having ties with two new assistant coaches on coach John Calipari's staff. And other college basketball insiders expect him to return to Illinois, where he was a second team All-America and first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020-21.Cockburn averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds for the Fighting Illini last season, but big changes are afoot in Champaign.
Four-star G Derrian Ford commits to Arkansas
Four-star combo guard Derrian Ford is staying home to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2022.Ford is the 50th-best player in the Class of 2022 and the ninth-best combo guard, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He's the third four-star prospect signed by the Razorbacks."I am pleased to announce that I will be staying home to further my education and basketball career," Ford posted to Twitter. "I will be committing to the University of Arkansas."The 6-foot-3 Ford plays at Magnolia (Ark.) High School. He's the third-best prospect out of the state, per 247Sports.
Tennessee gives Rick Barnes 2-year extension
Tennessee announced Tuesday that head coach Rick Barnes has received a two-year extension on his contract, which now runs through the 2025-26 season.Financial terms were not released. Barnes is the fifth-highest paid coach in the country with a total package of $4.7 million, per the USA Today database.The extension was one of nine announced Tuesday by Tennessee athletic director Danny White, in his first year as AD in Knoxville."First, I'd like to acknowledge the fact that I inherited a very impressive roster of head coaches when I arrived at Tennessee back in January," White said in a statement. "That's a credit to those who came before me. Extending contracts for successful coaches is one indicator of a healthy athletics program, and we plan on continuing to be aggressive with extensions and rewarding success moving forward."Barnes, who turns 67 on Saturday, is 123-73 after six seasons at Tennessee. He's led the Volunteers to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including this past season when UT was a No. 5 seed. The Vols lost in the first round to upstart Oregon State.
Former friend convicted in Josh Pastner accusation
A former friend of Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner was convicted in Arizona on Monday for attempting to falsely accuse Pastner of sexually assaulting a woman in 2016, ESPN reported.Ron Bell was convicted of six misdemeanor counts related to the scheme that stemmed from a fallout in the relationship between Bell and Pastner, Oro Valley Magistrate Court Judge Bobbi Berry wrote in her verdict.Two of the counts were related to influencing a witness, while two more related to witness tampering.In 2019, Bell's girlfriend Jennifer Pendley allegedly called police to report that she had been sexually assaulted by Pastner in a Houston hotel room in 2016. Pastner was the University of Memphis head coach at the time.A former Georgia Tech security guard also claimed that Pastner inappropriately touched Pendley before a game in 2016, but later recanted that claim. The security guard, Chris Meegan, originally had been in on Bell's plan, according to Berry.Pastner became the head coach at Georgia Tech in advance of the 2016-17 season.
Ohio State lands G Cedric Russell from Louisiana
Former Louisiana guard Cedric Russell, a fifth-year senior for the 2021-22 season, will transfer to Ohio State, multiple outlets reported.Russell will be counted on to produce solid minutes in the wake of Duane Washington's decision to make himself available for the 2021 NBA Draft, filling a backcourt void for the Buckeyes.Russell, who was also considering a transfer to Oklahoma, Marquette, St. John's or Texas Tech, averaged 17.2 points for the Ragin' Cajuns last season. In four seasons at Louisiana, the Alexandria, La., native averaged 11.4 points with 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
Five-star C Jalen Washington commits to North Carolina
Five-star Class of 2022 center Jalen Washington announced on Instagram Friday he has committed to play for North Carolina.Washington, a 6-foot-9 center from Gary, Indiana, chose the Tar Heels over in-state Indiana, Stanford, Alabama and Michigan State.He was ranked No. 21 overall in his class, and the No. 4 center, in 247 Sports' composite rankings. ESPN ranked Washington No. 21 as well, and Rivals pegged him No. 26.
Kentucky 2022 commit Skyy Clark (knee) to miss summer season
Five-star prospect Skyy Clark, a point guard committed to Kentucky's 2022 class, announced Friday he injured the ACL and meniscus in his left knee and will miss the rest of the summer season.He did not disclose the severity of his injury."I've gotten great news from one of the top surgeons in the world that my left leg will come back stronger than ever," Clark posted on Twitter. "This will not affect my decision to attend Montverde Academy this fall and the University of Kentucky in 2022."
Former coach Eddie Payne dies at 69
Former Oregon State, East Carolina and South Carolina Upstate coach Eddie Payne died Wednesday from complications due to a stroke. He was 69.Payne suffered the stroke over the weekend and underwent surgery on Sunday night, according to East Carolina.Payne guided East Carolina to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1993 during a four-season stint (1991-95) and coached Oregon State from 1996-2000. He took over USC Upstate in 2002 and guided that program through its transition to Division I before retiring shortly before the start of the 2017-18 after undergoing his second ankle replacement surgery.Payne had an overall record of 484-474 as a head coach in 32 seasons at six different stops."I'm heartbroken to learn about the passing of Coach Payne," current East Carolina coach Joe Dooley said in a news release. "He was more than a mentor, he was a friend. He taught me a lot about coaching on and off the court and gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion."He was a man of great faith and character, and I will always cherish the relationship we had both personally and professionally," said Dooley, who was an assistant while Payne went 56-58 at East Carolina.Payne went 50-90 in his stint at Oregon State before being released and was head coach at UNC Greensboro for two seasons before moving over to USC Upstate, which was known as USC Spartanburg for his first two seasons.
Draft Roundup: Scotty Pippen Jr. returning to Vandy
Vanderbilt guard Scotty Pippen Jr. has decided to return for his junior season after exploring his options for the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft.Pippen announced his decision late Wednesday night on social media under the heading, "Nashville, I'm back.""After testing the waters of the NBA Draft process, I have decided to return to Vanderbilt for my junior season. Run it back," Pippen wrote on Twitter.The son of Hall of Fame member Scottie Pippen, he was an All-SEC First Team selection in 2020-21. He set a school record for a sophomore by averaging 20.8 points per game, which was good for second in the conference and 16th in the NCAA.Pippen also was second in the conference with 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He scored a career-high 36 points on March 4 in a win at Cincinnati.--Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas announced late Wednesday on Instagram that he is returning to the school for his junior season.