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.

  • 'Awful' fourth quarter can't tarnish Tim Duncan's big night

    LOS ANGELES — Forty-eight minutes into his second-highest-scoring playoff performance in five years, Tim Duncan entered the San Antonio huddle and did something none of his teammates expected.

    He apologized.

    The same guy who sank 10 of his first 11 shots and kept the otherwise cold-shooting Spurs in the lead for most of Wednesday's game was in no mood to celebrate any of that. Duncan felt responsible for the Clippers rallying from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime after blowing a couple of fourth-quarter shots he thought he should have made and committing a costly turnover that led to a pair of late J.J. Redick free throws.

    "I was awful," Duncan said. "I missed two or three layups. I made two or three defensive mistakes where I got out of position and gave up dunks. I was awful in that fourth quarter."

    Duncan certainly never had reason to apologize after a performance in which his brilliance far outweighed his blunders, but the 38-year-old perennial All-Star

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  • Kevin Ollie addresses speculation he could leave for NBA gig

    Hoping to douse the speculation over whether he'll leave for an NBA job this spring, UConn coach Kevin Ollie released a carefully worded statement Wednesday reaffirming his commitment to the Huskies.

    Ollie insisted he will not pursue another job this spring but stopped well short of guaranteeing he'd be at UConn next season.

    "As I have said many times, I am proud and honored to be the head basketball coach at the University of Connecticut and I have no plans to pursue other opportunities," Ollie said. "We are already excited about next season and I am looking forward to preparing our team to be the best we can be on the court, in the classroom, and in our community."

    Ollie's statement came only hours before Oklahoma City formally parted ways with Scott Brooks. My Yahoo Sports colleague Adrian Wojnarowski wrote last week that the Thunder were still evaluating Brooks and that Ollie and Florida coach Billy Donovan were both potential candidates should the job open.

    Ollie is potentially a

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  • Long-dormant Maryland-Georgetown rivalry will restart

    The last time Maryland and Georgetown scheduled a regular season game against one-another, a handful of current players on both teams weren't even born yet.

    The 21-year wait will finally end next season.

    CSNWashington.com reported Tuesday that the Terps and Hoyas will finally meet in College Park as part of the inaugural Gavitt Tip-Off Games pitting teams from the Big East against teams from the Big Ten. Maryland and Georgetown will play a return game at the Verizon Center during the 2016-17 season.

    While it's ridiculous that the two regional rivals have played so infrequently, the timing of the renewal of the series is at least ideal.

    Maryland will likely begin next season in the top five in the polls as a result of the return of standouts Melo Trimble and Jake Layman and the arrival of transfer Robert Carter and top recruit Diamond Stone. It wouldn't be a surprise if Georgetown joins the Terps in the preseason rankings thanks to the return of star D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and the

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  • Duke finds potential solution to looming point guard problem

    When Tyus Jones announced he will enter the draft last week, it left reigning national champ Duke without a point guard on next season's roster.

    Six days later, the Blue Devils found a creative solution to that problem.

    Highly touted point guard Derryck Thornton committed to Duke on Tuesday and intends to reclassify from the high school junior class to the senior class, Rivals.com and other media outlets reported. Thornton, who had been a consensus top 15 prospect in the Class of 2016, will join the Blue Devils in the fall and likely will be given every chance to replace Jones as the team's starting point guard. 

    Whereas Jones arrived at Duke as a polished decision maker who could shoot from the perimeter or create for himself or his teammates off the dribble, Thornton is a different type of point guard. The 6-foot-1 Chatsworth, Calif. native might be a bit more erratic with the ball in his hands than Jones was as a freshman, but he also should be a better on-ball defender.

    Landing

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  • Caris LeVert returns to school, making Michigan a Big Ten title threat

    As Michigan fans awaited Caris LeVert's decision whether to enter the NBA draft or not, assistant coach Bacari Alexander offered a subtle hint which way the standout guard was leaning.

    On Tuesday morning, Alexander tweeted a picture with the Michigan logo and the phrase "THOSE WHO STAY," a reference to the famous Bo Schembechler quote, "Those who stay will be champions."

    Hours later, Michigan confirmed Alexander's tweet. The school announced Tuesday that LeVert will return for his senior season, a decision that solidifies the Wolverines as a preseason top 25 team and gives them hope of challenging Maryland, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Indiana for next year's Big Ten title.

    All signs had been pointing toward LeVert forgoing his final year of eligibility and entering the draft until the projected mid-to-late first-round pick suffered a January foot injury that cost him the rest of this past season and complicated his decision. Suddenly, it was no longer such a sure thing LeVert would

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  • Baylor players spent Monday perfecting their trampoline dunks

    Whether it's taking batting practice at the baseball diamond, rowing with the crew team or playing flag football on the practice field, the Baylor basketball team has spent the first couple weeks of the offseason dabbling with other sports.

    The Bears joined the gymnastics team at a trampoline park Monday, the perfect setting for them to bring along a Fisher Price basketball hoop and have a little fun.

    It was 6-foot-8, 280-pound Rico Gathers who delivered the most impressive dunk, a flying one-handed dunk preceded by bounces on three different trampolines. The agility Gathers displayed at his size was a reminder why many think he has the athleticism to switch to football if pro basketball doesn't work out for him.

    A close second for dunk of the day? This slam ball-esque alley-oop slam from Royce O'Neal to Taurean Prince.

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  • Kyle Wiltjer's return ensures Gonzaga's elite frontcourt stays intact

    One of this past season's elite frontcourts will return intact next year.

    Kyle Wiltjer made that certain Monday when he joined fellow Gonzaga big men Przemek Karnowski and Domantas Sabonis in deciding to remain in school.

    Whereas Sabonis revealed his decision soon after Gonzaga's Elite Eight loss to Duke and Karnowski made his plans known last week, Wiltjer's process dragged out the longest most likely because of his age. The skilled 6-foot-9 forward already has spent two years at Kentucky and two at Gonzaga and will turn 23 years old before the start of next season, young by real-life standards but not for a NBA prospect.

    What surely kept Wiltjer from making the leap is the uncertainty over whether he would have been drafted. Concerns about whether he has the strength, quickness or athleticism to guard either NBA small forwards or power forwards have diminished his NBA stock despite his multifaceted offensive game.

    Wiltjer made tremendous strides on offense while sitting out a year

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  • Brandon Sampson bolsters already solid LSU recruiting class

    For a team that lost its two best players to the NBA draft earlier this month, LSU still has a chance to be awfully good next season.

    The Tigers are bringing in a recruiting class more than capable of offsetting the departure of all-conference forwards Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey.

    LSU landed another impact player Monday when Rivals.com's No. 41 prospect Brandon Sampson chose the Tigers over St. John's and Oklahoma State. The Baton Rouge native joins a recruiting class that already includes No. 1 overall prospect Ben Simmons, five-star scoring guard Antonio Blakeney and Arizona transfer Craig Victor.

    A slender but sweet-shooting 6-foot-4 wing who excels in transition and can also finish at the rim, Sampson initially chose St. John's but reopened his recruitment when the Johnnies and fifth-year coach Steve Lavin parted ways earlier this spring. He considered St. John's anew after Chris Mullin was hired but opted instead to stay at home and join his talented classmates at LSU.

    Sampson

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  • Potential first-round pick Jakob Poeltl's return is a coup for Utah

    Had Utah center Jakob Poeltl entered this year's the NBA draft, the smooth, fluid 7-footer probably would have been selected in the first round. 

    Instead Poeltl will return to the Utes for his sophomore season, gambling that an offseason spent adding muscle and diversifying his offensive repertoire can improve his stock next spring.

    "I really enjoy it here at the University of Utah," Poeltl said in a statement released Monday morning. "I love my teammates, coaches and college in general. I think another year will help my development and I'm looking forward to next season."

    Poeltl's patience gives Utah a good chance to remain nationally relevant next season. Do-it-all star Delon Wright and productive 7-footer Dallin Bachynski both are gone from this past season's 26-win Sweet 16 team, but Poeltl is the centerpiece of a returning core strong enough to keep the Utes in the Pac-12's upper echelon next year.

    Rising senior guards Brandon Taylor and Jordan Loveridge will be responsible for

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  • Albany hero Peter Hooley to deliver commencement speech

    If the ideal commencement speaker should be both successful and inspiring, then the University of Albany is making a great choice.

    School officials called on junior guard Peter Hooley, the hero of the Great Danes' America East tournament title game victory over Stony Brook.

    Six weeks after his mother's death after a 4.5-year battle with colon cancer and four weeks after he returned from a period of bereavement in his native Australia, Hooley felled Stony Brook with a top-of-the-key three just before the buzzer sounded. The shot earned top-seeded Albany a one-point victory and propelled the Great Danes into the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season.

    “It’s an honor for me to speak on behalf of our graduating class,” Hooley said in a release issued by the school. “I’m looking forward to congratulating everyone on our last four years together, as well as wishing the Class of 2015 the best going forward.”

    Hooley's story attracted nationwide attention in March both because of his

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