Posted on: September 9, 2011 2:20 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 2:28 pm
By Jeff Goodman
Kevin Ware wasn't the only one who was awaiting his fate.
Louisville's freshman failed to meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements. The school received the news on Friday and Ware, a 6-foot-4 wing from Georgia, will attempt to become eligible for the spring semester.
CBSSports.com has learned that there are several other high-profile players who are still making their way through the NCAA clearinghouse due to academic concerns:
- Kansas freshmen Ben McLemore, Jamari Taylor and Braeden Anderson
- Arizona State's prized point guard Jahii Carson
- Ohio State's LaQuinton Ross
- St. John's frosh Amir Garrett and Norvel Pelle
- Maryland late signee, Ukraine native Olexiy Len
- DePaul's Macari Brooks
Bill Self told reporters on Thursday that Ben McLemore, Jamari Taylor and Braeden Anderson - three of his freshmen - have not been cleared to play. McLemore and Taylor are allowed to attend class while Anderson isn't on campus.
McLemore and Taylor both attended three schools while Anderson, according to sources, is being scrutinized for non-traditional classwork in which he was home-schooled.
Seven of Steve Lavin's nine freshmen have been cleared, but according to sources, he's still waiting for the NCAA to clear Garrett and Pelle. Both players are Top 100 players and finished summer school last week.
Carson, a consensus Top 50 recruit nationally, was a huge coup for Herb Sendek and the Sun Devils and is expected to run the team from day one in Tempe. Carson attended Mountain Pointe and Mesa High in Arizona and has yet to be cleared by the NCAA.
Another player whose status is unclear is that of Ross, another Top 50 player. The Ohio State freshman spent his first two seasons of high school in his home-state of Mississippi before transferring to Life Center in New Jersey for his junior and senior campaign.
Len is a 7-foot-1 Ukrainian who is being researched by the NCAA, according to sources, due to his background overseas.
Two more players in Scout.com's Top 100 didn't qualify: Chris Jones, who signed with Bruce Pearl's staff at Tennessee, is playing for former Vols assistant Steve Forbes in the junior college ranks at Northwest Florida State while Central Florida signee Michael Chandler is headed to prep school.
Brooks, a Chicago native who is a piece of Oliver Purnell's class that he is hopeful will help him rebuild the program, also attended multiple schools - including an alternative high school.
Notre Dame freshman Eric Katenda, who suffered a serious eye injury, still has not been cleared. However, Katenda is in no rush since the plan - according to a source - is for him to enroll for the second semester.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 2:01 pm
In our Trippin' series we're talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin' related stories
By Jeff Goodman
Rick Pitino admits his team overachieved last season.
Photo via Louisville athletics
Posted on: August 10, 2011 3:19 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:18 am
By Jeff Goodman
Andre Drummond has kept it close to the vest, made his future plans secretive beyond his inner circle.
Well, top big man in the Class of 2012 has broken his silence – and told ESPN.com’s Adam Finkelstein (the New England recruiting guru, by the way) on Wednesday afternoon that he will not go to college this fall and will instead do another year of prep school.
The talented 6-foot-10 Connecticut native is leaving St. Thomas More and heading to Wilbraham & Monson in Massachusetts to do a post-grad year.
``I just want to focus on school and basketball and get a chance to be a kid,” Drummond told ESPN.com. ``It’s been crazy, the amount of rumors that have been floating around lately, but I just try to ignore it and stay focused on what’s important.”
Drummond also revealed a college list for the first time, telling Finkelstein that he is considering home-state UConn along with Kentucky, Louisville, Georgetown and West Virginia.
However, I’m not buying that Drummond ever winds up on a college campus. If that was the case, he could – and should have just gone somewhere this season.
Instead, unless the rules change dramatically, look for Drummond to go the NBA route after this season. He would meet the current requirement - which is to be 19 years of age and also a year removed from his graduating class.
The interesting aspect of that is he’ll be somewhat of a mystery to NBA personnel – since they are unable to see him play in pep school and Drummond won’t be eligible for the McDonald’s All-American Game due to the fact he’s a fifth-year kid.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:06 am
Edited on: August 8, 2011 9:08 am
By Jeff Goodman
Posted on: August 5, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: August 5, 2011 12:15 pm
The major story surrounding Derek Willis on Thursday was the news of his decommitment from Purdue.
The father of Willis, a top-50 junior from Bullitt East High School in Kentucky, later denied the commitment withdrawal, but said we would all know more on Sunday.
If this were solely a decommitment story, though, you would find it on the recruiting blog.
This is about a quote found at the bottom of an article at Rivals.com’s Purdue affiliate site, made by Del Willis, Derek’s father.
“I don’t know if I can trust a Coach [Rick] Pitino or Coach [John] Calipari,” Willis said. “Their agenda is more for their benefit than the kid’s. They’re more worried about themselves.”
Remember, Willis is a four-star recruit from the state of Kentucky – and his father is disparaging the two biggest coaches in the commonwealth, if not the country. Besides the implications that his father clearly doesn’t want him staying in-state for college, it’s very interesting that he would alienate two of the most successful programs.
What makes it even more interesting is the fact Willis’ high school coach said Kentucky and Louisville have already reached out since news of Willis’ decommitment leaked out on Thursday.
This will certainly be fun to follow in the next few weeks, especially if Willis has indeed decommitted. One can assume his father will fight to keep Calipari and Pitino far, far away from his son’s recruitment.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 11:59 am
"It's a free country, and the KFC, last time I checked, was part of this country."
Oh, you bet, Rick Pitino. You bet your esteemed coif that KFC is part of this great, great country. Pitino was more specifically referring to the KFC Yum! Center, where Louisville plays its home games. It's also where John Calipari will coach the Dominican National Team against former Kentucky players on Aug. 16.
Calipari will scheme against former Kentucky players in an exhibition match that the state is eagerly anticipating. It's just another not-so-obfuscated way of Calipari milking whatever he can out of the system. It should be a blast for folks in Kentucky who will take any semblance of organized, Wildcats-infused basketball they can get.
But, yeah, the game's taking place at Louisville's digs. According to our former colleague Matt Jones, Louisville and Pitino were so anti-Kentucky when this new joint got built, they had it put into the contract that Kentucky could not play any games at the Yum! Center. And, technically, they're not -- it's former Kentucky players going up against the Dominican National Team. Still, Pitino is biting the inside of his cheeks as much as he can on this. Just (not really) grinning and (barely) bearing it. And I'm sure he hated having to address it to the media yesterday, when a press conference was scheduled so he could discuss his team's upcoming summer plans.
Pitino and the Cardinals will be just getting back from the Bahamas when this game is taking place. And then there's this, from the AP:
When an obviously irritated Pitino was asked why isn't the exhibition game being played at Freedom Hall, he said: "Why don't you ask them that?"So we have another little drama inside the Bluegrass State. Amazing how much blogging material can be borne out of Kentucky and Louisville's programs, right? Think about it: Duke and North Carolina, two programs that collectively have more impact and history on college basketball than the aforementioned two, don't produce half the amount of news or conversation that UK and U of L do.
The rivalry extends beyond the maniacal fanbases. And with this thorn in Pitino's side, the feud between he and Calipari plunges to another depth.
Posted on: July 1, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 11:08 am
By Matt Norlander
The Big East intra-conference schedule was released yesterday. Here's what Rick Pitino had to say about it:
"We have one of the premier commissioners in athletics, but whoever's doing our scheduling must be doing it with a Ouija board. How can you play two of the top three (projected) teams in the league twice and have to play another top team that's a rival game (at Cincinnati) on the road for a second straight year? It just doesn't make any sense to me. West Virginia has a similar argument. They must be doing it with a Ouija board."
OK, that was in Louisville's press release. Crafted by the school and looked over by a few people before it was shot out to the public. And that's the quote Pitino chose to supply and the school was cool going with.
All I can say is ... awesome.
If that was the quote that was allowed, then Pitino must be really pissed. Without the filter of Louisville's athletic department offices, who knows what sort of disgust Pitino would have spit had a reporter got him one-on-one. By the way, here's Louisville's schedule: home games against Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, USF, Syracuse and Villanova; on the road versus Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Syracuse and West Virginia.
Yeah, it's tough, but not the toughest. Look at that link, and you'll see other schools who have harder 18-gamers within the conference. And, to channel Dan Hawkins, it's the Big East! Tough games are coming, and the better you are and more high-profile you are, the more rigorous the schedule, generally, because TV dictates a lot of what goes on here. Pitino and Louisville are big sells. He knows that.
This is his only way of fighting back. Let's wait and see what the non-conference schedule looks like for Louisville, when the school releases it in a few weeks. If it's loaded, we'll know why Pitino's got his britches in a bunch. If it's weak, then this is nothing more than whining.
Posted on: June 17, 2011 3:05 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 3:20 pm
By Jeff Borzello
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Gary Harris has been notoriously quiet when it comes to recruitment, keeping it close to the vest.
At the NBAPA camp on Thursday, Harris made it clear he’s making advancements in the process.
“Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville, Notre Dame and Purdue are coming at me the hardest,” Harris said. “That’s my top five.”
Harris, a 6-foot-4 guard from Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.), is one of the more intriguing prospects in the class of 2012. He is physical and long, which makes him tough on the defensive end and difficult to stop on the offensively. Harris is deadly with his mid-range game, and is working on getting to the basket.
The five schools on his list will have to wait to see him make his next move.
“After the summer is over, or after this June and July, my parents and I are going to sit down and talk about it,” Harris said. “I’m looking for a school where I can get playing time.”
Harris, rated as a five-star recruit by most services, is also looking to demonstrate his ability to run an offense and facilitate for others.
“I want to come here, play my total game, show off my versatility,” he said. “I want to show what I can do, show that I’m not one-dimensional.”
“I want to be a combo guard, I’m working on my ball-handling,” Harris added.
If the Midwesterner is able to consistently handle the ball and switch between the two guard positions, he will have no problem making an impact at the next level.
Photo:Nation of Blue