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.

  • Four teams banned from 2015-16 postseason for low APR scores

    The NCAA's annual release of the newest Academic Progress Rate data will once again have minimal impact on the upcoming college basketball season.

    None of the teams penalized for substandard scores hail from major conferences or even quality mid-major leagues.

    Alcorn State, Florida A&M, Stetson and Central Arkansas are the only four teams that received postseason bans for the upcoming season. Alcorn State, Central Arkansas and Savannah State also face practice time restrictions, while Florida A&M faces that and other potential penalties including scholarship reductions, coach-specific punishment and contest restrictions.

    To avoid a potential postseason ban, teams must achieve a multi-year APR score of at least 930. The power-conference programs with the least margin for error are Texas Tech (935), TCU (937), Mississippi State (938) and Washington State (938).

    The NCAA used the release of APR scores to issue a press release trumpeting that the overall four-year APR scores had increased

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  • Kentucky will pay top assistant Kenny Payne lavishly to stay put

    Thanks to an annual salary that has ballooned to nearly $8 million per year, John Calipari has priced himself out of the market for many NBA gigs because all but the most lucrative ones would require him accepting a pay cut.

    Now the Kentucky coach's top assistant is in a similar position in terms of landing a head coaching job at the college level.

    Kenny Payne has signed a three-year deal worth a total of $2.1 million, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Monday. His average annual salary of $700,000 is higher than at least 22 of last season's NCAA tournament head coaches, according to USA Today's annual study, and more than twice as high as at least 14 of them.  

    What that means is Payne probably won't leave Kentucky until a power-conference program offers him a head coaching job — or at least not until a deep-pocketed mid-major comes along. Payne would have to take a significant pay cut to coach at even the most successful small-conference programs.

    It's unclear where Payne ranks

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  • Billy Donovan thanks Florida fans with full-page newspaper ad

    Three weeks after he left to become the new coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former Florida coach Billy Donovan found a unique way to express how much his two decades in Gainesville meant to him.

    He and his wife took out a full-page ad in Sunday's Gainesville Sun to say goodbye to Gators fans and thank them for their understanding and support.

    One reason saying goodbye was tough for Donovan is because he has so many good memories from his Florida tenure. He built a program that had previously only been to five NCAA tournaments into a national power, winning two national titles, reaching four Final Fours and advancing to the Elite Eight seven times.

    Credit Donovan for a great gesture that will surely further solidify the affection Florida fans have for him. Here's the full text of the message from

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  • North Carolina has received Notice of Allegations from NCAA

    North Carolina coach Roy Williams insists he was not involved in any academic impropriety. (AP)North Carolina coach Roy Williams insists he was not involved in any academic impropriety. (AP)In a wide-ranging interview with the Asheville Citizen-Times earlier this week, North Carolina coach Roy Williams explained his greatest frustration with the NCAA's investigation into the academic fraud that took place at the school.

    "It would help if the NCAA would just tell us what the allegations are," Williams said.

    Williams apparently got his wish soon afterward. North Carolina announced Friday it has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, but chancellor Carol L. Folt and athletic director Bubba Cunningham said the school will not release the details of the report until a later date.

    “We take these allegations very seriously, and we will carefully evaluate them to respond within the NCAA’s 90-day deadline,” Folt and Cunningham said in a joint statement. “The University will publicly release the NCAA’s notice as soon as possible.

    "The notice is lengthy and must be prepared for public dissemination to ensure we protect privacy rights as required by federal and state law.

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  • Formidable non-league schedule will test revamped Kentucky

    The departure of seven key players from last year's 38-win juggernaut didn't cause John Calipari to scale back his non-conference schedule for next season.

    (via UK Athletics)(via UK Athletics)The Kentucky coach has assembled a non-league slate loaded with marquee games against name-brand opponents.

    A Champions Classic matchup against reigning national champion Duke will provide the first test of how good next year's Wildcats will be. The Blue Devils lost four starters from their title team, but they'll reload behind returning standouts Matt Jones and Grayson Allen and the nation's most decorated recruiting class. 

    Among the challenging games Kentucky will play in December include a visit to UCLA, a neutral-court matchup with Ohio State in Brooklyn and a home game against rival Louisville. The Bruins should be highly motivated after the Wildcats embarrassed them in an 83-44 rout last December and the Cardinals should again have a Top 25 caliber team despite the loss of stars Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier. 

    Perhaps the

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  • LSU's new ad campaign shamelessly promotes top recruit Ben Simmons

    At a time when the NCAA is fighting the perception it profits from the images and likenesses of its unpaid athletes, one of its member schools has launched an advertising campaign that will only further weaken that already shaky argument.

    LSU's Ben Simmons-themed ad campaign (via LSUSports.net)LSU's Ben Simmons-themed ad campaign (via LSUSports.net)LSU is using highly touted incoming freshman basketball player Ben Simmons as the centerpiece of a 2015-16 season ticket promotional blitz that will include billboards and print and social media advertising. The "25 is Coming" campaign is such a blatant reference to Simmons' jersey number that the school didn't even bother to pretend otherwise in the release it sent out Wednesday.

    "This year’s campaign will focus on the arrival of the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Ben Simmons, and his chosen jersey number '25,'" the release stated. Through this '25' campaign, fans wishing to become season ticket holders will have the opportunity to lock in their season tickets for the 2015-16 men’s basketball season in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center."

    Did LSU have

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  • John Calipari: Top goal was getting eight drafted, not winning a title

    John Calipari's "Players First" recruiting philosophy and the Kentucky fan base's thirst for championships clashed again Wednesday when the Wildcats coach addressed a crowd of 3,000 business executives after receiving a humanitarian award at Rupp Arena.

    Most of the 15-minute speech consisted of Calipari describing the qualities a good leader should have and explaining how he gets his players to come together in pursuit of a common goal. The only potential surprise was what Calipari insisted Kentucky's primary objective last season was.

    "Last year we started the season with a goal," Calipari said. "You may think it was to win a national title or win all the games, [but] it was to get eight players drafted. Well, how can you be about your team if you're worried about getting players drafted? We kind of work it the other way. What are your dreams? What are you looking for? What are you trying to get out of life? How can we help you with that?

    "For me, the mission for me is to be a vehicle

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  • Virginia upgrades schedule to reflect its newfound elite stature

    The past two years, Virginia's modest non-conference slate didn't reflect its sudden emergence as a national power.

    That will change next season when the two-time ACC champions will play a non-league schedule worthy of their newfound elite status. 

    The marquee non-league game on Virginia's schedule next season will be a potential top 10 clash against reigning Big East champion Villanova. The Cavaliers will host the Wildcats next December and play a return game in Philadelphia the following season, CBSSports.com reported Tuesday.

    In addition to that intriguing matchup, Virginia will also host a loaded Cal team expected to crack the top 20 in the preseason polls next year. The Cavaliers will also visit Ohio State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, face Big 12 power West Virginia on a neutral floor in the Jimmy V Classic and travel to George Washington in a return game of a home-and-home series that began last season.

    The rest of Virginia's non-league schedule won't be known until the

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  • Stephen Colbert mocks Wake Forest sports in graduation speech

    When Wake Forest invited comedian Stephen Colbert to deliver its commencement address on Saturday, athletic director Ron Wellman had to know a joke at his department's expense was surely going to be part of the speech.

    The Demon Deacons endured a dismal 2014-15 school year in the major sports, finishing with a 3-9 record in football, a 13-19 record in men's basketball and a 13-20 record in women's basketball.

    Sure enough, Colbert didn't disappoint. He mocked the state of the Wake Forest athletic department with a joke that referenced the student body's longtime tradition of toilet-papering the trees in the quad after memorable victories.

    "Still, while Wake has been a trailblazer, this is a school that respects tradition," Colbert said. "Traditions like rolling the Quad with toilet paper after big wins. And this is actually an eco-friendly tradition because, looking at this season’s win-loss record, you guys saved a lot of paper."

    To be fair to the 2015 Wake Forest graduating class,

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  • Caleb Swanigan's commitment creates a challenge for Matt Painter

    Purdue will certainly be bigger after landing a McDonald's All-American for the first time in 19 years on Tuesday afternoon.

    Whether the Boilermakers will also be drastically better will depend on Matt Painter's ability to turn a logjam at center into a strength rather than a weakness.

    Five-star prospect Caleb Swanigan is a strong, sure-handed low-post scorer who is most comfortable in the paint on both ends of the floor. He joins a frontcourt that already possesses a pair of centers with similar skill sets — 7 footers A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas.

    For that arrangement to work, Swanigan is probably going to have to spend the majority of his time at power forward.

    The upside will be that Purdue will frequently have two dominant rebounders and low-post threats on the floor, which should create mismatches against smaller opponents who play only one true big man at a time. The downside will be that Swanigan will have to prove on defense that he can stay in front of more nimble Big Ten

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