Friday, April 17, 2015

Alabama Mr. Basketball Dazon Ingram Announces College Choice

Alabama Mr. Basketball Dazon Ingram has just announced his commitment to Alabama and head coach Avery Johnson.

He chose Alabama over Kentucky, although he didn't have an apparent scholarship offer from the Wildcats.

Ingram scored 1,538 points during his high school career, a Theodore High School record.

Calloway County's Skyler Hunter Signs with Bellarmine University

Calloway County senior Skyler Hunter has signed with Bellarmine University for the 2015-16 season.

Here's a release from BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Bellarmine University Men's Basketball Coach Scott Davenport has announced the signing of Skyler Hunter of Calloway County High School to a national letter of intent. The 6-7, 185-pound forward is the third high schooler to sign with the Knights this year, joining Daniel Ramser of Trinity and Adam Eberhard of Reitz Memorial in Evansville, Ind.

Hunter averaged 11.3 points and 7.8 rebounds this past season for Calloway County, which was 30-4 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the "Sweet 16." He also shot 46 percent from the field, including making 82 of 189 (43.4 percent) three-pointers.

"Skyler is a very exciting addition to the Bellarmine basketball program," said Davenport. "He has a tremendous upside, he comes out of great program that won at a high level. He is very versatile at both ends of the court, inside and outside. I am thrilled to have such a fine young man on and off the floor join our basketball family!"

Hunter's high school coach agrees with Davenport's assessment. "Skyler has the biggest upside of anyone I've coached in my 19 years as a head coach," said Calloway County Head Boys' Basketball Coach Terry Birdsong. "He can shoot the cover off the ball. He shot over 40 percent last year and some of his shots were really deep. I think (in college) he's going to put defenses in a dilemma of whether or not to go out and guard him."

Hunter's assessment of his own game is that he considers himself a "stretch 4" player. "I think I have a decent post game. I've got the skill set; I just need to hone it (for college)." He added that he played mostly on the perimeter in high school, which he sees fitting in well at Bellarmine. "The way Bellarmine plays with their ball movement and shooting, I think I can really help in that system."

The Knights were not high on Hunter's list until rather late in the recruiting process, but after making a visit last summer, Bellarmine made it to the top. "I hadn't given Bellarmine much thought really until early this (school) year," Hunter said. "I was being recruited by a lot of Division I programs—great programs—just far away. Then I got in contact with Bellarmine and got to know Coach Davenport. I came up before the season and got to meet the guys, and then I came for a game, and the atmosphere there is awesome. The fans really fill up the gym, and they get loud." Hunter said the combination of coaching staff, players and atmosphere sealed his decision to play for Bellarmine.

Photo: Bellarmine

Former Pikeville Forward Ray Kasongo Will Visit Mississippi State Today

Former Pikeville High School big man Ray Kasongo will visit Mississippi State over the weekend.



Kasongo, an improved 6-foot-8 power forward, played last season at College of Southern Idaho.

Morehead State Gets Commitment from JUCO Forward Dejuan "Rico" Marrero

I have confirmed with a good source that Chipola College forward Dejuan "Rico" Marrero has committed to Morehead State University.

Marrero, a 6-foot-6 forward, started his career at DePaul University before transferring to Chipola.

Last season, he averaged 14.4 points and 12.2 rebounds per game for Chipola.

Brad Winton of JucoRecruiting.com describes Marrero as a "very good rebounder" and a "great pickup" for the Eagles:


Stephen Zimmerman Announces Commitment on Twitter

Stephen Zimmerman has announced on Twitter that  he has committed to UNLV:


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wesley Christian's Pepper Ben and Shaq Athie Add New Offers

Shawnee State University has extended scholarship offers to the Wesley Christian duo of Pepper Ben and Shaq Athie.
 
Ben is a 6-foot-8 forward and Athie is a 6-foot-4 wing.
 
Shawnee State University is a Mid-South Conference school located in Portsmouth,Ohio

5-Star Center Stephen Zimmerman Will Reportedly Pick UNLV

According to David Woods of Scout.com, 5-star center Stephen Zimmerman has picked UNLV over Kentucky, Kansas and  UCLA.

Here is an excerpt:

We're hearing that five-star center Stephen Zimmerman has made his college decision...

Sources have indicated that five-star center Stephen Zimmerman, who was considering UCLA, has decided on UNLV.

Read More

Photo: Scout.com

Tennessee High School Standout John Payne Inks with Lindsey Wilson College

Lindsey Wilson College has signed Tennessee high school standout John Payne for the 2015-16 season.

Here's a release from LWC:

COLUMBIA, Ky. – The Lindsey Wilson men's basketball program signed John Payne to its 2015-16 recruiting class, head coach Paul Peck announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-5, highly decorated wing player joins the Blue Raiders from Goodpasture High School in Nashville, Tenn., where he averaged 23.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game during his senior season. He had previously attended Cookeville High School in Cookeville, Tenn.

Payne collected numerous awards and honors while at both Goodpasture and Cookeville.

He earned District 8A Player of the Year honors as well as Region 4A Player of the Year honors while attending Goodpasture. Payne was named to the Tennessee Sportswriters and Associated Press First-Team All State his senior year.

He was selected to the Tennessee Athletics Coaches Association All-Star Team where he won the Slam Dunk Contest. Payne finished with the third-highest single season point total in Goodpasture history during his senior campaign.

At Cookeville, Payne was named both the 6AAA District and 5AAA Region Player of the Year, as well as a three-time All-District and All-Region performer.

In his high school career, Payne played all four years on varsity, starting three seasons. He was a starter on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) 15 and under National Championship Team, Tennessee Edge, and named a Tennessee Prep Hoops Mr. Basketball Finalist.

"John is one of the most talented freshmen we have ever signed," Peck said. "I believe he has an opportunity to be one of the better players in the Mid-South Conference during his career."

"Not only is he a very good player, but he is also one of the nicest young men I have ever met. He has a great family that will follow along with every step of his collegiate career."

Photo: LWC

Taylor County's David Sloan Picks Up a New D1 Offer

Taylor County point guard David Sloan has picked up an offer from Eastern Kentucky University.

Sloan, a 5-foot-8 point guard in the Class of 2017, announced the offer on Twitter:



Sloan now holds offers from EKU, Wright State, Kentucky Wesleyan, Samford and Western Kentucky University.

Boyd County's Conner Gauze Signs with Kentucky Christian University

Boyd County big man Conner Gauze will continue his basketball career at Kentucky Christian University.

Here is a release from KCU:

Boyd County High School standout Conner Gauze has chosen to continue his basketball career with the Knights.

The BCHS All-Area post player was tabbed by the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches as the 16th Region Player of the Year. He will bring great skill and depth to the front line for the Knights 2015-16 season.

In the picture with Conner (L-R): Brian and Belinda Gauze; KCU Head Coach Grady Lowe

Photo: KCU

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Owensboro's Justin Miller is Headed to Coppin State

Owensboro big man Justin Miller announced his commitment to Coppin State earlier tonight.



Miller, who was named MVP of the Sweet Sixteen, is a 6-foot-7 power forward.

Campbellsville University Extends Scholarship Offers to Boyle County Teammates

I am told by a good source that Campbellsville University has extended scholarship offers to Boyle County guards Hagen Tyler and Jeremiah Bell.

Tyler, a 6-foor-4 shooting guard, averaged 21.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for the Rebels last season.

Bell put in 20.8 points and pulled down 6.4 rebounds per game from his point guard position.

Bellarmine, Scott Davenport Agree On Deal Through 2020

Bellarmine University and head coach Scott Davenport have agreed on a deal that will keep Davenport at the helm of the men's basketball program through 2020.

Here's a release from BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Bellarmine University announced today that the school and head basketball coach Scott Davenport have agreed to extend their relationship through the 2019-2020 academic year.Per university policy, contracts are not created for employees, but Bellarmine President Dr.Joseph J. McGowan has confirmed that the two have made the arrangement.

"We are thrilled to have made assurances to keep Scott Davenport as the Bellarmine head basketball coach for another five years," McGowan said."He has demonstrated an absolute dedication to excellence both as coach and as an ambassador of Bellarmine University."

Coach Davenport, who came to Bellarmine in 2005, has accumulated a record of 232-82 (.739).This year, he led the Knights to a 31-4 record and an appearance in the NCAA Division II "Final Four." It was the third time in the past five years Bellarmine has reached the national semifinals. Davenport led Bellarmine to the national title in 2011 when he also was named the national and Great Lakes Valley Conference "Coach of the Year."

"Coach Davenport has set a high standard for the Bellarmine basketball program, and that is the level we want across our athletic programs," said Bellarmine Director of Athletics Scott Wiegandt. "The basketball program is among the most competitive in the nation, and our student athletes are also successful in the classroom."

The Knights have seen extraordinary improvement under Davenport. In his debut season, Davenport took a team that had finished last in the GLVC the year before and led them to Bellarmine's first .500 finish since 2001, and the first conference tournament appearance since 2002. In each of the last seven seasons, the Knights have eclipsed 20 wins and qualified for the NCAA tournament.

"I have been thrilled to be the head basketball coach at Bellarmine the last ten years," Davenport said. "I am very appreciative of the players, Dr. McGowan, Scott Wiegandt, the entire university, my family and especially the very, very loyal fans who have supported our program. Our university is a very special place, a place where everyone works together to be the best they can be every day. This is where I want to be, just like I tell the players every day when you find a GREAT situation spend all your efforts, energy and enthusiasm making that the best decision you have ever made. Bellarmine is a tremendous environment to coach super young men on and off the floor. I am looking forward to spending the rest of my career at Bellarmine because sincerely, I LOVE BELLARMINE!"

Complete Release

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Southeast Missouri State Hires Rick Ray as Head Coach

Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) has hired Rick Ray as head coach.

Ray spent the last three seasons at Mississippi State University.

Here's a release from SEMO:

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Director of Athletics Mark Alnutt introduced Rick Ray as the new head men's basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State University.

Ray spent the last three seasons as head coach at Mississippi State. In his three-year tenure at MSU, Ray compiled an overall record of 37-60. He led the Bulldogs to a 2-2 mark in the SEC Tournament, including an upset win against Vanderbilt in 2013-14. Ray helped the development of two All-SEC Freshmen in Craig Sword and Gavin Ware, as his recruiting classes received national attention.

"The thing that really impressed me outside of talking to Rick on the phone and meeting with him in person is understanding how interested he was to come here to Southeast Missouri State University, his plans to make this program a winner and his commitment to the overall development of our basketball student-athletes," said Alnutt. "I'm so excited to introduce Rick Ray as our next head coach here at Southeast."

Ray, the 20th head coach in Southeast men's basketball history, agreed to a four-year contract which will run through 2019. He will earn a base salary of $175,000 plus a $20,000 annuity. Additional incentives and contract details are being finalized. Ray is the first African-American head coach in the 108-year history of the program.

Certainly no stranger to NCAA postseason play, Ray has been an assistant at three different institutions that enjoyed success at the highest level.

Prior to his arrival in Starkville, Miss., he spent two seasons at Clemson, where he was associate head coach to Brad Brownell. Ray also spent four successful years on the staff of Matt Painter at Purdue. He began his Division I coaching career at Indiana State, serving seven seasons.

All three programs participated in the NCAA Tournament.

Complete Release

Rick Ray Coaching Experience

1995-97 - Graduate Assistant at Nebraska-Omaha
1998-2004 - Assistant Coach at Indiana State
2005-06 - Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator at Northern Illinois
2007-10 - Assistant Head Coach at Purdue
2011-12 - Associate Head Coach at Clemson
2013-15 - Head Coach at Mississippi State (37-60 overall, 13-41 SEC)

Tayler Persons Announces That He Is Leaving NKU Via Transfer

Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year Tayler Persons has announced that he is leaving Northern Kentucky University via transfer.



Persons averaged a team-high 13.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game for the Norse last season.

Sources: Reece Gaines to Join Dan McHale's Staff at Eastern Kentucky

I am told by two sources that Bellarmine assistant Reece Gaines is finalizing a deal to be one of Dan McHale's assistant coaches at Eastern Kentucky University.

Gaines, a former Louisville and NBA player, joined the Bellarmine staff as an assistant coach in August of 2012.

Lincoln County's Jacob Conway Has College Visits Set for Next Week

Lincoln County wing Jacob Conway has come college visits lined up for next week.

According to Hoop Dreams AAU coach Steve Quattrocchi, the 6-foot-5 Conway will visit Cleveland State on Sunday and IPFW on Monday.

Conway, who ended his high school career as Lincoln County's all-time leading scorer, currently holds an offer from Georgetown College.

Louisville's Montrezl Harrell Wins Inaugural Karl Malone Award

Louisville's Montrezl Harrell recently won the inaugural Karl Marlone Power Forward of the Year Award.

Here is a release from UL:

LOS ANGELES, Ca. - University of Louisville junior forward Montrezl Harrell has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award presented by cConnect by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Harrell averaged 15.7 points (eighth in the ACC), 9.2 rebounds (second in the ACC, 32nd in the nation) and shooting 56.6 percent from the field (third in the ACC, 22nd in the nation). He helped the Cardinals post a 27-9 record and reach their fifth NCAA Elite Eight in the past eight years.

Malone presented the award to Harrell at the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's from Club Nokia in Los Angeles on Friday night in a live presentation on ESPN2. The other four finalists for the Malone Award included Gonzaga's Kyle Wiltjer, Iona's David Laury, Iowa State's Georges Niang, and Kansas' Perry Ellis. The winner was determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame's selection committee.

Honored on the All-ACC second team, Harrell is Louisville's career leader in dunks with 221. He slammed 80 dunks this season, second only to himself in a single season at UofL. He had a school-record 97 dunks as a sophomore.

Vocal team leader has scored in double figures in 40 of his last 47 games, including 26 games with 15 points or more. He has 25 career double-doubles, including 13 as a junior (led ACC, 32nd in the nation). He grabbed at least seven rebounds in 24 games and blocked a shot in 25 games.

Complete Release

Boyle County's Hagen Tyler Receiving New Interest After Breaking Off NKU Commitment

Boyle County senior Hagen Tyler is receiving interest from a number of schools after asking for his release from Northern Kentucky University.

Tyler, a 6-foot-4 scoring machine for the Rebels, asked for and was given his release from NKU.

In less than 24 hours, he has already received offers or interest from Samford, Stetson, Georgetown College, Campbellsville, Pikeville, Kentucky State, Kentucky Wesleyan and Cedarville.


Kentucky Offers Scholarship to Charlotte Transfer Mike Thorne

Kentucky has offered a scholarship to Charlotte graduate transfer Mike Thorne.

Thorne, a 6-foot-11 center, will visit UK April 25-26.




Louisville's Shaqquan Aaron Will Transfer

Louisville wing Shaqquan Aaron plans to transfer  after just one season with the Cardinals.

Here is a release from UL:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville freshman guard/forward Shaqquan Aaron will leave the Cardinals' program at the conclusion of the spring semester.

"We are in total agreement with Shaqquan transferring and we wish him the best," said UofL Coach Rick Pitino.

Aaron averaged 1.3 points and 0.7 rebounds in 23 games as a freshman. He totaled a season-best 11 points and five rebounds at Wake Forest on Jan. 4, but scored 15 points for the remainder of the season. He had to sit out the Cardinals' first nine games of the season due to an NCAA eligibility issue.

The 6-7 wing from Seattle, Wash., led Rainier Beach High School to the 2014 Washington Class 3A state championship. A two-time first-team AP Class 3A all-state selection and the state player of the year as a senior, he was ranked among the nation's top 35 high school prospects by most media outlets.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Jalen Perry Commits to Middle Tennessee State...For Real This Time

Ballard's Jalen Perry has announce via Twitter that he has officially committed to Middle Tennessee State University.



It was originally reported that Perry committed to MTSU on Sunday but Perry disputed that report on social media.

He said he was going to wait until Wednesday to announced but decided to pull the trigger today.

Charlotte Transfer Mike Thorne Plans to Visit Kentucky

Charlotte graduate transfer Mike Thorne, a 6-foot-11 center, plans to visit several schools soon, including Kentucky.



Thorne averaged 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game last season for Charlotte.

Ashland Hires Jeremy Howell as Head Coach

Ashland has hired former assistant Jeremy Howell to replace Buddy Biggs as head coach.


Bardstown's Eljay Cowherd Picks Up An Offer

Bardstown's Eljay Cowherd has picked up an offer from Georgetown College.



Cowherd also has a visit planned to Lincoln Memorial University this weekend.


Anthony Grant Reunites with Billy Donovan at Florida

Former Alabama head coach Anthony Grant will be back on the SEC basketball sidelines next season.

Grant has been hired as an assistant on Billy Donovan's staff at Florida.

Here is a release from UF:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In the aftermath of Alabama’s decision last month not to retain Anthony Grant, the coach sat down with his wife to discuss their next move. The most attractive option was to sit out a year and spend time with his family.

The Grants decided they could do that in Gainesville, a place they still called “home.”

But then a spot opened up on Florida coach coach Billy Donovan’s staff and, lo and behold, Grant and the Gators officially were reunited Monday when he was hired to replace outgoing assistant Matt McCall, who Sunday was named head coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga.

For Grant and his family, the developments were as whirlwind as they were fortuitous.

“Pretty easy call, man. It’s all about relationships,” Grant told GatorZone.com of his return alongside not only Donovan, but also assistant coach John Pelphrey, director of basketball operations Darren Hertz, head trainer David “Duke” Werner and executive assistant Tracy Pfaff, each of whom he shared years of success with before embarking on his head-coaching career. “Pretty much everyone in that office is like family to me. So this is like coming home. The way it all worked out? God has a plan.”

Grant accompanied Donovan from Marshall when the staff made the jump to UF in 1996. He remained with the Gators for 10 seasons, leaving in 2006 -- after the first of Florida's two NCAA championships -- to become head coach at Virginia Commonwealth.

In three seasons at VCU, the Rams went 76-25 under Grant, including two NCAA Tournament berths (with an upset of Duke in ’07) and one trip to the NIT. In 2009, Grant was hired at Alabama, where he went 117-85 over the last six seasons, with one NCAA bid and three trips to the NIT.

Now, he’s back.

“Obviously, Anthony is one of my best friends,” Donovan said. “He’s also a great coach.”

Complete Release


Texas Officially Adds Darrin Horn as Assistant Coach

Texas has officially announced that Darrin Horn will be joining Shaka Smart's coaching staff as an assistant coach.

Here is a release from UT:

AUSTIN, Texas — A former head coach at the University of South Carolina and Western Kentucky University, Darrin Horn has been named assistant coach at The University of Texas, Head Coach Shaka Smart announced Thursday. The 42-year-old Horn begins his appointment immediately.

"Darrin has an impressive playing and coaching background," Smart said. "He has extensive experience as a head coach, including taking Western Kentucky to the 'Sweet 16.' I've always been impressed by Darrin's intensity as a coach and teacher of the game."

During his nine seasons as a head coach (2003-12), Horn posted an overall record of 171-111 (.606) and guided his teams to one NCAA Tournament and three Postseason NIT appearances. Every player who completed his eligibility under Horn, both at South Carolina and Western Kentucky, earned his degree. Prior to his hire at Texas, Horn worked for the last three years as a college basketball analyst with ESPN and the SEC Network.

Horn spent four years as head coach at South Carolina (2008-12), recording a 60-63 (.488) overall mark and leading the Gamecocks to one Postseason NIT appearance. In his first season (2008-09), he led South Carolina to a 21-10 mark and a Southeastern Conference Eastern Division Co-Championship with a 10-6 league record. The Gamecocks recorded their first 20-win season and made their first postseason appearance (NIT First Round) since 2005-06.

He developed Devan Downey into an Associated Press honorable mention All-American and All-SEC First Team selection in 2008-09. Horn also was a finalist for the 2009 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. His squad earned its highest GPA on record (3.007) in the spring of 2009.

His second season (2009-10) was highlighted by a home upset of then-No. 1 Kentucky. The win over the Wildcats was South Carolina's first in eight games against a top-ranked opponent in the school's 102 seasons of basketball. Horn also helped Downey become a finalist for the 2010 Bob Cousy Award, honoring the nation's top point guard. During the 2010-11 campaign, senior Sam Muldrow collected just the second triple-double in program history and went on to earn SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Horn served as head coach at Western Kentucky, his alma mater, for five years (2003-08). He guided the Hilltoppers to a 111-48 (.698) overall mark, highlighted by a 29-7 record, Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles, and a trip to the NCAA "Sweet 16" in 2007-08. The 29 wins tied the school record for a single season. The No. 12 seed Hilltoppers posted victories against fifth-seeded Drake and 13th-seeded San Diego in the first two rounds before falling in the regional semifinals to top-seed and eventual semifinalist UCLA.

Complete Release

Alabama Mr. Basketball Pushes Back Commitment Date After Speaking to John Calipari

Alabama Mr. Basketball Dazon Ingram has pushed back his commitment date after talking to UK head coach John Calipari.

Ingram, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, originally committed to Alabama but decided to consider other options following a coaching change in Tuscaloosa.

He was planning to announce his commitment today, but has pushed that date back after talking to Calipari.



Ingram is rated as a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com.

Photo: Rivals.com

Newport Central Catholic's Zack Pangallo Commits to Carson-Newman

Newport Central Catholic point guard Zack Pangallo announced over the weekend that he has committed to Carson-Newman University.



Carson-Newman is an NCAA Division II school located in Jefferson City, Tennessee.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jalen Perry: I have not committed yet

It was reported earlier tonight that Ballard guard Jalen Perry had committed to Middle Tennessee State.

Perry quickly issued a statement on Twitter saying that he has not committed:



"I'm not committed yet," Perry told me tonight. "I will be announcing Wednesday where I'm going."

UK's Barry "Slice" Rohrssen is Headed to St. John's

The University of Kentucky will soon lose assistant coach Barry "Slice" Rohrssen.

Rohrssen is reportedly finalizing a deal to become Chris Mullin's assistant at St. John's.



Special assistant Tony Barbee will likely replace him on the staff.


JUCO Forward Phabian Glasco Commits to Western Kentucky

Western Kentucky University has picked up a commitment from JUCO forward Phabian Glasco.



Glasco, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 12.5 points and 10.6 rebounds as a sophomore at Connors State.

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