The Dagger

  • With seniors Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter graduating next spring and freshman Miles Bridges likely to turn pro, Michigan State desperately needed to land some frontcourt talent in its 2017 recruiting class.

    On Thursday, the Spartans took a huge first step toward filling that void.

    Jaren Jackson, Rivals.com’s No. 15 prospect in the 2017 class, announced on his 17th birthday that he’ll attend Michigan State next year. The fast-rising 6-foot-10 forward chose the Spartans over his parents alma mater Georgetown and fellow finalists Purdue, Maryland and Notre Dame.

    Jaren Jackson (AP)
    Jaren Jackson (AP)

    The commitment from Jackson continues the recruiting momentum Tom Izzo began building last year with perhaps the best haul of his decorated career. The class the Spartans welcome this fall includes Bridges, Josh Langford, Nick Ward and Cassius Winston, each consensus top 50 prospects in the 2016 class.

    What makes Jackson special is his ability to knock down outside shots at his size. He averaged 16.1 points,

    Read More »from Michigan State lands five-star recruit at position of need
  • Dewan Huell (AP)
    Dewan Huell (AP)

    One of the most celebrated basketball prospects to ever sign with Miami has gotten in trouble before playing his first game for the Hurricanes.

    Six-foot-11 McDonald’s All-American Dewan Huell was arrested for battery Tuesday, Miami sports radio station WINZ reported Wednesday afternoon.

    According to a police report obtained by WINZ, Huell entered his ex-girlfriend’s dorm room at FIU without invitation and discovered her hiding in the closet with another man. He then allegedly grabbed the man by his shirt and dragged him out of the room, leaving the man with scratches on his chest and neck.

    “I am aware of the reported incident involving Dewan Huell last night, and we are still gathering information,” Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement “I have very high expectations for all of our student-athletes, as I know Coach [Jim] Larrañaga does for his team, and any misconduct will be addressed.”

    Huell, Rivals.com’s No. 28 recruit in the 2016 class, chose Miami

    Read More »from Report: Prized Miami freshman Dewan Huell arrested for battery
  •  

    Not even two months after the NBA yanked the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte in response to a controversial bill passed by the North Carolina General Assembly, NCAA officials have made a similar decision.

    They announced Monday evening that they’re relocating all seven championship events previously awarded to North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year.

    The most high-profile event to be pulled will be first- and second-round games of the Division I men’s basketball tournament that were scheduled to be played in Greensboro. The state will also lose the women’s soccer College Cup, the women’s lacrosse championships, a women’s golf regional and three other lower-division championships.

    The NCAA’s decision to pull those seven events is its way of condemning House Bill 2, which became law in North Carolina in March. HB2 is best known for requiring transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding with their birth gender and for limiting the ability of employees to sue for

    Read More »from North Carolina GOP issues scathing response after NCAA pulls events from the state
  • Two weeks after he began speaking out against an oil pipeline that could threaten sacred tribal land in North Dakota, college basketball’s most renowned Native American player decided Twitter and Instagram posts were no longer enough.

    He wants to stand side-by-side with his people.

    Wisconsin point guard Bronson Koenig, older brother Miles and trainer Clint Parks intend to leave Madison on Friday afternoon and drive about 11 hours until they reach one of several protest camps 30 to 45 minutes south of Bismarck. They’ll set up camp there for the weekend alongside thousands of other Native Americans whose colorful tribal flags line the dirt access roads and whose teepees, tents and RVs cover the prairie.

    Bronson Koenig (AP)
    Bronson Koenig (AP)

    Koenig and Parks are also hoping to organize a free three-hour basketball clinic for Native American kids on Saturday evening. They’re in the process of seeking out a gym close enough to the protest site but big enough to accommodate a potential large turnout.

    “I hope

    Read More »from Why Wisconsin's Bronson Koenig is joining the Dakota Pipeline protest
  • Jalen Poyser is one of just two returning scholarship players for UNLV (AP)
    Jalen Poyser is one of just two returning scholarship players for UNLV (AP)

    Since most of this coming season’s non-conference schedules have finally been released, it’s a good time to assess whose slates are the most daunting and who didn’t challenge themselves enough. Yahoo Sports will go league-by-league the next two weeks. Up next: The Mountain West.

    Toughest non-league schedule: UNLV

    With a new coach, only two returning players and mostly unheralded recruits, rebuilding UNLV is at minimum a year or two away from regaining its former status as a Mountain West contender. The only characteristic of the program that doesn’t reflect that is the Rebels’ loaded non-conference schedule.

    Three games against potential preseason top-five opponents highlight UNLV’s schedule: a Dec. 10 matchup with Duke in Las Vegas, a Dec. 17 visit to Portland to play Oregon and a Dec. 22 home game against Kansas. The Rebels also visit Arizona State and host the Global Sports Classic, where they will meet TCU

    Read More »from Non-conference scheduling studs and duds: The Mountain West
  • Georgetown fans unveil a tifo before last year's Syracuse game (AP)
    Georgetown fans unveil a Jim Boeheim-themed tifo before last year’s Syracuse game (AP)

    Since most of this coming season’s non-conference schedules have finally been released, it’s a good time to assess whose slates are the most daunting and who didn’t challenge themselves enough. Yahoo Sports will go league-by-league the next two weeks. Up next: The Big East.

    Toughest non-league schedule: Georgetown

    Expected to contend in the Big East last season thanks to the presence of star guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and a talented supporting cast, Georgetown instead crumbled in February and March en route to a disappointing 15-18 record. Now the Hoyas will look to rebound in spite of a non-conference slate that is undeniably the Big East’s toughest.

    Three marquee rivalry games highlight Georgetown’s schedule: a Nov. 15 rematch of last year’s narrow loss to Maryland, a Dec. 17 visit to hated Syracuse and a Jan. 14 home game against long-time Big East foe UConn. Each of those teams are Top 25

    Read More »from Non-conference scheduling studs and duds: The Big East
  • Bill Self (AP)
    Bill Self (AP)

    Since most of this coming season’s non-conference schedules have finally been released, it’s a good time to assess whose slates are the most daunting and who didn’t challenge themselves enough. Yahoo Sports will go league-by-league the next two weeks. Up next: The Big 12.

    Toughest non-league schedule: Kansas

    Though the majority of Kansas’ early schedule is actually fairly manageable this year, three games elevate the Jayhawks’ non-conference slate above the rest of their Big 12 peers:  A season-opening showdown against Indiana in Honolulu on Nov. 11, a Champion’s Classic matchup in New York with likely preseason No. 1 Duke four days later and a visit to Kentucky on Jan. 28.

    All three of those games are away from Allen Fieldhouse. All three of those games come against potential preseason top 12 teams. And all three of those games will test a Kansas team with a senior-laden backcourt, a deep frontcourt and an elite freshman wing.

    The rest of Kansas’ non-league schedule is

    Read More »from Non-conference scheduling studs and duds: The Big 12
  • Deandre Ayton (AP)
    Deandre Ayton (AP)

    In a surprising announcement aired live on SportsCenter on Tuesday night, the Class of 2017’s No. 1 prospect held up a “Bear Down” T-shirt and chose Arizona over fellow national powers Kansas and Kentucky.

    Now the big question is whether Deandre Ayton will ever play a game for the Wildcats.

    Ayton has insisted for months that he desires to play college basketball in 2017, but many schools were hesitant to fully invest in his recruitment. They feared that he’d fail to qualify academically, that he’d run afoul of the NCAA or that he’d choose to play professionally right after high school rather than attend college.

    At one point last April, the supremely talented 7-footer told the Louisville Courier-Journal that only Kansas was aggressively pursuing him. Normally the line of suitors would be a few dozen long for such a heralded prospect late in his junior year of high school.

    After all, this is a kid who tallied 17 points and 18 rebounds against North Carolina in a 2014

    Read More »from Deandre Ayton chooses Arizona, but will he ever play for the Wildcats?
  • Michigan State has the nation's toughest November schedule (AP)
    Michigan State has the nation’s toughest November schedule (AP)

    Since most of this coming season’s non-conference schedules have finally been released, it’s a good time to assess whose slates are the most daunting and who didn’t challenge themselves enough. Yahoo Sports will go league-by-league the next two weeks. Up first: The Big Ten.

    Toughest non-league schedule: Michigan State

    No other program in the country will play a tougher November schedule than Michigan State. Before the calendar turns to December, the Spartans could play as many as five games against Top 25 opponents — all away from East Lansing.

    The gauntlet begins in Honolulu where Michigan State opens the season against a young but loaded Arizona team. Four days and six time zones later, the Spartans meet likely preseason top three Kentucky in New York. Then comes the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, which features the likes of Louisville, Baylor, VCU and Wichita State. And as if that’s not enough, looming on Nov. 29 is a

    Read More »from Non-conference scheduling studs and duds: The Big Ten
  • Rutgers got a little too creative with its latest social media recruiting pitch (AP)
    Rutgers got a little too creative with its latest social media recruiting pitch (AP)

    Rutgers hasn’t made the NCAA tournament in a quarter century, hasn’t produced a winning season in a decade and hasn’t landed a player in the NBA since little-known Hamady N’Diaye was taken 56th overall in 2010.

    Given that dearth of basketball pedigree, perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Scarlet Knights are borrowing from another program’s history.

    On Tuesday night, Rutgers basketball sent out a red-and-black-tinted tweet noting that players coached by current Scarlet Knights staffers have earned $1.1 billion dollars playing in the NBA or overseas. Among the players prominently featured are Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Andre Drummond and Shabazz Napier, all of whom have one thing in common: They attended UConn, not Rutgers.

    Granted new Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell and

    Read More »from Rutgers resorts to taking credit for NBA players from other schools
  • Andrew White announced Sunday he'll transfer to Syracuse (AP)
    Andrew White announced Sunday he’ll transfer to Syracuse (AP)

    Almost four months after learning that Malachi Richardson would stay in the NBA draft, Syracuse finally found a suitable replacement.

    The Orange on Sunday received a commitment from the last marquee graduate transfer still on the market this offseason.

    Andrew White III, who averaged 16.6 points per game at Nebraska last season, announced on Twitter that he will spend his final year of college at Syracuse. The 6-foot-7 wing also visited Miami, Michigan State and Virginia Commonwealth.

    The addition of White is massive for a Syracuse team that has only three other perimeter players on its roster. The Orange were very thin at guard after Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney graduated, Kaleb Joseph transferred in search of more playing time and Richardson parlayed a strong postseason into becoming a first-round draft pick.

    What White gives Syracuse is a proven perimeter scorer capable of attacking the rim off the dribble or knocking

    Read More »from Syracuse bolsters perilously thin backcourt with marquee late addition
  • Tyrek Coger (AP)
    Tyrek Coger (AP)

    Not content to merely challenge himself against some of the nation’s top players his own age, Tyrek Coger sought a step up in competition.

    The high school junior goaded budding NBA star John Wall into a game of 1-on-1 at the 2012 Reebok Breakout Challenge in Philadelphia.

    In front of a few dozen onlookers, several of whom were filming with cell phone cameras, Coger showed no fear, promising to “show John how to play ball.” The 6-foot-8 forward actually knocked down a couple jumpers and even swatted away one of Wall’s shots before the Washington Wizards guard got serious, punctuating his victory by blowing by Coger off the dribble and drawing gasps with a ferocious left-handed dunk.

    Video of the game hit YouTube within hours and spread quickly on social media, generating more than 12 million views. The title of the YouTube clips were “John Wall shuts up high school kid” and “John Wall teaches high school kid a lesson,” but Coger painted a slightly different picture when

    Read More »from Oklahoma State forward had just begun to blossom before his death
  • Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood and his program were rocked by tragedy Thursday (AP)
    Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood and his program were rocked by tragedy Thursday (AP)

    The Oklahoma State basketball program has been rocked by tragedy.

    Tyrek Coger, a 21-year-old junior college transfer from Raleigh, N.C., collapsed following a team workout Thursday afternoon. Coger was immediately transported to Stillwater Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m.

    Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood was in Las Vegas recruiting on Thursday when he learned the news. He was expected to fly back to Stillwater as soon as possible to be with his team.

    “Tyrek was excited to be at Oklahoma State and had such passion for the game and was looking forward to being an OSU Cowboy,” Underwood said in a statement. “Losing a member of the team is like losing a member of the family. But we know our loss pales in comparison to the pain his family is going through.”

    Once hailed as a high-major Division I prospect while starring at Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, Coger

    Read More »from Oklahoma State forward dies after collapsing at a team workout
  • Watch: High schooler shatters backboard with Darryl Dawkins-esque dunk

    (Photo via @rodgerbohn on Twitter)
    (Photo via @RODGERBOHN on Twitter)

    You probably haven’t heard of Isaiah Stokes. He’s a rising high school senior from Memphis who plays both football and basketball. He’s a three-star recruit.

    Now you have heard of Isaiah Stokes. And this backboard (RIP) at the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas has definitely heard of him:

    Stokes had to be treated for the cuts from the shattered glass:

    Despite the initial shock, Stokes seemed rather proud of his accomplishment:

    Read More »from Watch: High schooler shatters backboard with Darryl Dawkins-esque dunk
  • George Washington coach Mike Lonergan (AP)
    George Washington coach Mike Lonergan (AP)

    When Mike Lonergan signed a contract extension two years ago after leading George Washington to the NCAA tournament, the relationship between the school and its basketball coach appeared strong.

    Athletic director Patrick Nero said Lonergan “has done everything we have asked of him.” Lonergan called it his “truest hope” that George Washington would be where he retires.

    A long-lasting marriage between Lonergan and George Washington seems less certain now, however, in the wake of an ugly Washington Post story published Thursday. Current and former players and staffers anonymously told the Post that Lonergan verbally and emotionally abused them, creating a toxic environment that caused many of them to leave the program.

    Thirteen players have transferred from George Washington during Lonergan’s five-year tenure, an unusually high number even in an era in which the transfer rate has soared nationwide. Players who spoke to the Post cited Lonergan’s

    Read More »from Players accuse George Washington coach of verbal, emotional abuse
  • ACC commissioner John Swofford (Getty Images).
    ACC commissioner John Swofford (Getty Images).

    When the ACC network launches in three years, the league will have some extra basketball inventory to offer.

    Commissioner John Swofford announced Thursday that the ACC will increase from 18 to 20 conference games beginning during the 2019-20 season.

    The timing of the switch makes it obvious it’s television-driven. Men’s basketball and football games are the ACC’s most-watched content, and the league can now draw extra eyeballs with two extra conference games per year.

    How a 20-game league schedule will affect non-conference scheduling is unclear at this point, but it’s a safe bet that many ACC teams will compensate by reducing the strength of their non-league slates.

    It wouldn’t be a surprise to see some ACC teams annually schedule two fewer non-league games against major-conference opponents. Most will surely replace at least one marquee non-conference game with a buy game against an inferior foe in order to make up for the loss of a home

    Read More »from ACC will adopt 20-game league slate when its network launches
  • A South Florida assistant resigned Wednesday amid a report of an NCAA investigation (AP)
    A South Florida assistant resigned Wednesday amid a report of an NCAA investigation (AP)

    The younger brother of University of South Florida coach Orlando Antigua resigned on Wednesday in the wake of an ESPN.com report that the Bulls are under NCAA investigation for academic fraud.

    Oliver Antigua has been an assistant coach under his older brother for the past two seasons. He has been forbidden from venturing off campus to recruit during the July evaluation period, the ESPN.com report said.

    “The University of South Florida and the NCAA enforcement staff are working together to investigate and resolve an inquiry into potential violations of NCAA bylaws and university standards by one of our intercollegiate athletic programs,” the school said in a statement Wednesday. “Because the University of South Florida is committed to protecting the integrity of the investigation and ensuring those involved receive fair treatment, we cannot provide any details about the investigation at this time.”

    Read More »from South Florida assistant resigns amid NCAA investigation
  • North Carolina was the big winner on Tuesday after the unveiling of next season’s Maui Invitational bracket.

    The Tar Heels received by far the most favorable draw of any of the the contenders in the eight-team field.

    North Carolina will open play Nov. 21 against Division II Chaminade, which is 7-84 all-time at the Maui Invitational, and will face either Connecticut or Oklahoma State the following day. The Tar Heels also landed on the opposite side of the bracket from Wisconsin and Oregon, both of which may join North Carolina in the preseason top 10 next fall.

    Maui Invitational bracket
    Maui Invitational bracket

    Of course there are no truly easy draws in a Maui Invitational field rife with name-brand programs. Seven of the eight teams in next season’s tournament hail from major conferences and Connecticut could easily give the Maui Invitational four preseason top 25 teams.

    North Carolina could be close to as strong as it was last season despite the loss of senior leaders Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige. Three

    Read More »from Newly released Maui Invitational draw favors North Carolina
  • The NCAA announced changes to its selection, bracketing and seeding process on Monday (AP)
    The NCAA Tournament selection committee announced changes to Its process on Monday (AP)

    College basketball’s elite teams have a new incentive to vie for the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

    Starting next March, the No. 1 overall seed will have the chance to select the regional site where it plays first- and second-round games.

    Geography has previously been the determining factor for which site the No. 1 overall seed is assigned. Contenders now will be able to share their preferences with the NCAA tournament selection committee in advance.

    The eight cities hosting first- and second-round NCAA tournament games next March are Buffalo, Greensboro, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Orlando, Sacramento, Salt Lake City and Tulsa. Michigan State could now request to play in a familiar arena in Indianapolis even if it’s 50 miles farther from campus than Milwaukee and Arizona could now ask to play in Wildcats-friendly California even if Sacramento is 100 miles farther from Tucson than Salt Lake

    Read More »from Selection committee creates new incentive to land No. 1 overall seed
  • Michael Porter Jr. (AP)
    Michael Porter Jr. (AP)

    One of the top prospects in the 2017 class is spurning higher-profile offers and following his father to Washington.

    Michael Porter Jr., an athletic 6-foot-8 small forward, announced via Twitter on Friday evening that he has committed to the Huskies. Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri were among the other programs pursuing Rivals.com’s No. 2 prospect.

    Washington emerged as the clear favorite to land Porter after Lorenzo Romar hired his father, Michael Porter Sr., as an assistant coach in May. Romar had already been heavily recruiting Michael Jr. for years and also previously secured a commitment from younger brother Jontay Porter last August.

    While luring Michael Jr. was surely part of the impetus for hiring his dad, this isn’t quite as cynical a move as when Larry Brown hired Danny Manning’s father at Kansas or John Calipari invented a job for DaJuan Wagner’s father at Memphis.

    Romar has been a close friend of Michael Sr. since they played together for Athletes

    Read More »from Elite recruit Michael Porter will follow his dad to Washington