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NCAA Basketball

Five-star recruit Gary Trent Jr. to play at Findley Prep in 2016

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Before he takes his talents to college basketball, five-star 2017 shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. has opted to play his final season of high school basketball at Findley Prep in Nevada.

https://twitter.com/THAT_KID_GARY/status/754039221287948288

“First and foremost, I would like to thank the faculty and staff at Apple Valley High School, your support has been a driving force for my growth. I would also like to thank my past and present teammates and the coaching staff for pushing (me) beyond my limits. The last three years have been phenomenal and I have accomplished a lot on and off the court. We have been fortunate enough to win conference and state championships, and we have won a countless amount of games. Most importantly, I have made lifelong bonds with both teammates and students. Although it was very difficult, my family and I have made the best decision for me. We have decided that I will be attending Findlay Prep High School and playing basketball for the Findley Prep Pilots for my senior year of high school. I will truly appreciate all of your continued support.”

Trent is native of Apple Valley, Minn and is currently ranked 9th in ESPN’s top 100 for the class of 2017. He is the number one shooting guard in the nation, and was the top off-guard in Minnesota.

The 6’5″, 200 pounder has offers from Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas Tech and UCLA.

The Blue Devils seem to be the favorite at this point, but even if he doesn’t chose Duke, Trent will almost certainly head to a blue blood program that has the potential to eventually win a National Title. Trent has had discussions with Wendell Carter Jr. and Mohamed Bamba about teaming up at the college level, however, they are not expected to form a package deal.

Trent was a member of Team USA, who won the gold medal at the U17 World Championships in Spain. He averaged 12.7 points per game and shot 43 percent from the field.

While Trent shot just 26 percent from long range, he is typically an efficient shooter from beyond the arc due to his nice shooting stroke and ability to get his feet set quickly. The Minnesota native is strong, athletic and aggressive, and uses those traits to attack the rim and finish amongst the big men.

Trent is not the greatest defender in the world, but his size and strength give him the upside to potentially mold into a multi-positional defender. He is an excellent player in transition and is capable of playing effectively in pick-and-roll situations.

While West Coast teams like Arizona, Oregon and UCLA will feel good about their chances (Trent is moving to Nevada for a year), I still believe Coach K and the Blue Devils have the upper hand and are likely to land the shooting guard regardless of what region he plays in.

I am a college basketball fanatic and a current St. John's University student. I also write for Rumble in the Garden and I am the editor of Busting Brackets FanSided.

NCAA Basketball

Rick Barnes Says He Would Have Left Tennessee if UCLA Paid Buyout

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Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes could have been the next head coach for UCLA, instead of Mick Cronin, if only the Bruins were willing to open up their wallets.

Barnes says that if UCLA would have promised to pay Barnes’ $5 million buyout, he would have left Tennessee to take the job at UCLA.

“I think I would’ve been the coach at UCLA,” Barnes said (h/t ESPN). “I’ve said that to people before. I really felt at that time that’s what would happen.”

Barnes was honest and open with his decision process during the news conference, saying that he struggled with making a final decision due to financial matters.

Barnes has since agreed to a new deal with Tennessee that will pay him $4 million per year before increasing to a $6 million annual sum by the end of the contract and provide more cash for his assistants.

“I’m supposed to be at Tennessee,” Barnes said. “And it’s really above and beyond the basketball program. I’m in love with this community. I’m in love with this state. I just think we got a lot of great things going on in this town.”

“A lot of praying went into it, I can tell you that,” Barnes said. “There was a lot going on. When you get down to a situation like that, it has to make sense from a financial standpoint. Bottom line is we couldn’t work it out with the buyout.”

Barnes also informed UCLA that he would not depart Knoxville without talking to athletic director Phillip Fulmer and others in the community.

I told them point blank, ‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with my team,'” Barnes said. “‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with people here that have been really good to me.’ … I said, ‘You just can’t say send a plane tomorrow and we’re leaving. I’m going to make sure this is done the right way.'”

“There was one time in my mind I truly felt that’s what would happen,” Barnes said about potentially taking the UCLA offer. “It got to that point where I felt like my prayers had been answered.”

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NCAA Basketball

The Madness is Underway

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NCAA

As we inch closer to selection Sunday, many conference tournaments are underway finding teams who will automatically make the NCAA Men’s basketball. Here are the teams that currently in the tournament:

Atlantic Sun: Liberty

Big South: Gardner–Webb

Colonial: Northwestern

Horizon: Northern Kentucky

MAAC: Iona

Missouri Valley: Bradley

MEC: Fairleigh Dickinson

Ohio Valley: Murray State

Patriot: Colgate

Southern: Wofford

Summit League: North Dakota State

Summit League: Saint Marry’s

Out of the 32 conferences with automatic bids in the tournament, 12 of them have been clinched. All the until selection Sunday the remaining 20 conferences will have their tickets punched. Who will that be? Stay tuned!

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Tennessee Basketball Ranked 4th In (Early) Preseason Top 25

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A school built on football lure now has a thriving basketball team to get behind. In a early CBS basketball poll, the Volunteer squad is ranked 4th in the preseason. This should bring relief to a fan base whose struggled with a lackluster football team in recent years.

Under Coach Rick Barnes (SEC Coach of the year 2017)  the Vols went 26-9 last year, won a share of the regular season SEC title and reached the final of the SEC tournament. Tennessee should return most of their pivotal pieces for the 2018-19 season.

Admiral Schofield (2017-2018 ALL SEC second teamer) who tested the NBA waters has returned for his senior year to play along side Grant Williams (SEC player of the year) and Kyle Alexander. If they can stay healthy along with the supporting cast, this team has a legitimate chance to reach the final four.

According to Andy Katz, “Tennessee is the team to beat in the SEC this year,” and did I mention Coach Barnes recruiting is nothing to take lightly. Recently committed 5 star combo guard, Josiah James added his name to the class of 2019 and pushed the Vols recruiting into the top 10 nationally.

Although it’s too early to tell how this season will play out its certain the hype is warranted and reaching heights it hasn’t seen since the Bruce Pearl era.

Could it be!? Tennessee – a basketball school?

Follow the journey when the Volunteers tip off against Louisiana Lafayette on November 9th.

 

 

 

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