Jeff Eisenberg

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of the Dagger. Prior to joining Yahoo! Sports in Feb. 2010, Eisenberg worked for 4 1/2 years at The Press-Enterprise covering everything from UCLA basketball, to USC football, to the Los Angeles Lakers. If he's not watching basketball, you'll usually find Eisenberg enjoying the California sunshine, sampling craft brews or cooking on the grill.

  • Kentucky already was certain to have the nation's deepest, most formidable frontcourt when forward Marcus Lee and center Willie Cauley-Stein announced they were returning earlier this month.   

    Now that forward Alex Poythress and center Dakari Johnson announced Wednesday that they'll also be back, it begs the question whether there's such a thing as too much frontcourt talent.

    Kentucky will boast three 7-footers on next year's roster: Projected 2015 first-round picks Cauley-Stein and Johnson and 2014 McDonald's All-American Karl Towns, Rivals.com's No. 11 prospect. Throw in skilled 6-foot-10 McDonald's All-American forward Trey Lyles, a 6-foot-7 projected second-round pick in Poythress and an underutilized 6-foot-10 former top 30 recruit in Lee, and it's easy to see how John Calipari could be hard-pressed to find enough minutes to satisfy everyone.

    One key for Kentucky this offseason will be Poythress improving his jump shot and ball handling skills sufficiently so he can play almost

    Read More »from Dakari Johnson's return makes Kentucky's loaded frontcourt even more crowded
  • Alex Poythress (campus insiders)
    For a program known for putting players in the NBA as quickly as possible, Kentucky sure has an awful lot of pro prospects returning next season.

    Sophomore forward Alex Poythress became the third likely draft pick to pass on NBA riches for now when he announced Wednesday he will instead come back to Kentucky. Earlier this month, both near-certain first-round pick Willie Cauley-Stein and potential second-round pick Marcus Lee both revealed that they too intend to return to the Wildcats.

    Keeping Poythress another year is not as big of a surprise as Cauley-Stein's return because the 6-foot-7 forward was likely to slip to the second round after an up-and-down sophomore season. He came off the bench to average 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds, showing elite athleticism in bursts around the rim but also disappearing for long stretches too.

    “Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, but I want to make sure that I’m NBA-ready before I make that jump,” Poythress said in a school-issued

    Read More »from Alex Poythress becomes the latest pro prospect to return to Kentucky
  • Georgia State coach Ron Hunter has an intriguing philosophy toward recruiting.

    Unlike most coaches who only pursue prospects they believe they have a chance to land out of high school, Hunter will also woo players he realizes are far more likely to initially sign with major-conference programs. His thought is that could pay off at a later date if the prospect eventually transfers in search of more playing time or a fresh start.

    "If you don’t do that, there’s no way to win these days." Hunter told Georgia State's official athletics site in a Q&A last year. "It didn’t used to be that way when I first got in this business, but now that’s a big part of it. So you have to recruit kids the first time around knowing you won’t get them, but then you might get a chance the second time."

    Hunter's approach worked in Georgia State's favor once again Tuesday afternoon when ex-Indiana forward Jeremy Hollowell committed to the Panthers. The 6-foot-8 sophomore will have two seasons of eligibility

    Read More »from Can a fresh start at Georgia State help Indiana transfer Jeremy Hollowell finally thrive?
  • A bleak situation gets worse for Oregon State with Hallice Cooke transferring

    Three days after Oregon State's NCAA tournament hopes ended last month with an opening-round Pac-12 tournament loss to rival Oregon, guard Hallice Cooke expressed frustration at the Beavers' place in the national pecking order.

    "Smh I gotta know what that NCAA tourney feels like ASAP," he tweeted. "There's nothing more important than the NCAA tourney."

    Perhaps that tweet helps explain to an extent why Cooke is reportedly leaving Oregon State after just one season in Corvallis. With leading scorers Roberto Nelson, Angus Brandt and Devon Collier graduating and fellow starter Eric Moreland unexpectedly turning pro a few weeks ago, the Beavers don't appear to have much hope of ending their 24-year NCAA tournament drought anytime soon.

    Cooke's departure is especially damaging for Oregon State because he would have been the Beavers' best returning player next season as just a sophomore. As a freshman, the 6-foot-3 combo guard averaged 8.2 points and 2.6 assists and shot 45.6 percent from

    Read More »from A bleak situation gets worse for Oregon State with Hallice Cooke transferring
  • Donnie Tyndall has the personality and coaching acumen to succeed at Tennessee

    Rehiring Bruce Pearl wasn't an option for Tennessee since he had already landed the Auburn job by the time Cuonzo Martin found the fresh start he was looking for at Cal six days ago. 

    Instead the Vols did the next best thing, nabbing an up-and-coming coach who possesses some of the same qualities Pearl had when he came to Tennessee from Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2005.

    Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall reached an agreement to become Tennessee's next coach, the school confirmed Tuesday morning. Tyndall will be introduced at a 2 p.m. news conference.

    Like Pearl, Tyndall has a larger-than-life personality capable of luring recruits and energizing a football-first fan base. Like Pearl, Tyndall won big in two lower-profile jobs before before making his major-conference debut at Tennessee. And like Pearl, Tyndall favors full-court pressure, though his teams have traditionally played at a much slower tempo than Pearl's Tennessee teams did. 

    The quality that probably made Tyndall most attractive

    Read More »from Donnie Tyndall has the personality and coaching acumen to succeed at Tennessee
  • Eight high-profile programs are in the running for coveted USC transfer Byron Wesley

    Unwilling to finish his college career without ever playing in the NCAA tournament and unsure rebuilding USC would improve enough to be in contention next season, Byron Wesley decided to transfer last week in hopes of latching on with a winning program.

    So far it appears the 6-foot-5 senior-to-be will have plenty of options.

    Dozens of high-profile coaches from across the nation have called to express interest in Wesley during the past week alone. He is still in the process of setting up in-house visits for later this week but he has tentatively whittled his list to eight prestigious programs: Cincinnati, Baylor, Indiana, Providence, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Oklahoma State.

    "It's really exciting," Wesley said. "I didn't get to go through this experience when I was in high school since I committed so early to USC my junior year. Now that I'm really getting a chance to hear from a lot of the schools I always dreamed of going to, it's a blessing."

    The torrent of interest in

    Read More »from Eight high-profile programs are in the running for coveted USC transfer Byron Wesley
  • Five schools with the most at stake as the NBA early-entry deadline approaches

    A handful of top prospects are still weighing their options in the week leading up to Sunday's deadline for players to submit their names to the NBA in order to enter the draft. Here's a look at the five schools with the most at stake the next six days:

    1. Kentucky
    Undecided players: Andrew Harrison, G, Fr.; Aaron Harrison, G, Fr.; Dakari Johnson, C, Fr.; Alex Poythress, F, So.
    Outlook: Willie Cauley-Stein, Marcus Lee, James Young and Julius Randle have each made their decisions, but Kentucky still has a lot at stake the next few days. The Wildcats have four key players still weighing their options: The Harrison twins, Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress. The most important decisions for Kentucky are those of Andrew and Aaron Harrison simply because the Wildcats have a greater need on the perimeter than in the paint. Sophomore Dominique Hawkins and newcomers Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker would likely share the majority of the playing time in the backcourt were the Harrisons to leave. Andrew

    Read More »from Five schools with the most at stake as the NBA early-entry deadline approaches
  • Kentucky fan fulfills pledge to tattoo Willie Cauley-Stein's face on his body

    Michael Gray's tattoo (via @Therealmjeezy)

    When Willie Cauley-Stein announced last Monday evening he was returning to Kentucky rather than entering the NBA draft, the 7-foot sophomore didn't just bolster an already formidable Wildcats frontcourt next season. 

    Michael Gray (via WKYT)Cauley-Stein also ensured one Kentucky fan would be making an appointment with a tattoo artist. 

    Michael Gray, a resident of Richmond, Ky., tweeted last Monday morning that if Cauley-Stein came back for his junior season, he'd tattoo the center's face on himself prior to the start of the new season. When Cauley-Stein responded to Gray's tweet asking him to put it in writing, the Kentucky fan responded succintly, "Word is bond."

    It would have been easy for Gray to laugh off his tweet as a joke once Cauley-Stein revealed his surprising decision to stay in school despite being a near lock to be selected in the first round of the draft. Instead Gray tweeted Cauley-Stein that he planned to fulfill his promise. 

    "Man of my word," Gray wrote. "Looks like I need to be setting up

    Read More »from Kentucky fan fulfills pledge to tattoo Willie Cauley-Stein's face on his body
  • Scheduling concessions to Gonzaga leave Washington State fans disgusted

    Gonzaga defeated Washington State 90-74 in Spokane this past season.

    Buried in the middle of a lengthy story in the Gonzaga student newspaper earlier this week was a tidbit that had Washington State fans snarling with anger.

    The annual matchup between the Zags and Cougars will take place at Spokane Arena next season even though Gonzaga hosted last year's game and the schools have traditionally alternated home games since the series restarted in the mid-90s.

    What further reporting from the Spokesman Review uncovered is that Gonzaga balked at extending the series as a home and home. To prevent the rivalry from going on hiatus, Washington State athletic director Bill Moos agreed to a three-year contract in which the first game was at Gonzaga last November, the second will be at Spokane Arena next season and the third will be in Pullman the year after that.

    It's easy to understand the frustration of Washington State fans at that arrangement. Though both teams play occasional home games at Spokane Arena, the venue is a 90-minute drive from Washington State

    Read More »from Scheduling concessions to Gonzaga leave Washington State fans disgusted
  • The stormy relationship between Frank Haith and Missouri ended via text message

    The more details emerge about Frank Haith's stormy tenure at Missouri, the more it resembles the average high school relationship.

    They first got together against the advice of peers who insisted Haith wasn't good enough for the Tigers. They endured three chaotic, drama-filled years together. And they broke up abruptly in the most impersonal, awkward manner possible. 

    Missouri athletic director Mike Alden told reporters in Columbia on Friday afternoon that Haith indicated he  was leaving for Tulsa via text message earlier in the morning. Haith insisted during his introductory press conference at Tulsa that he'd tried to reach Alden by phone before informing his boss he was leaving by text. 

    It's a shame we'll probably never see that text exchange because the possibilities are hilarious. 

    Haith: Off to Tulsa :) Sorry the last two years didn't go better. Tell the players I'll miss them.

    Alden: Tulsa?!? LOL. Are their games even on TV? Enjoy obscurity, bro.

    Though publicly Alden was

    Read More »from The stormy relationship between Frank Haith and Missouri ended via text message

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