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NCAA Basketball Notebook: Two 2017 prospects cut lists

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2017 6’11” center Malik Williams has become a rising prospect this spring/summer for his excellent play on the AAU circuit. While he was the only top-45 prospect that didn’t compete with on a shoe company circuit, he shined bright with Team Legit, showing off his athleticism, length, frame, and mobility.

Williams cut his list down to eight schools on Monday. The list consisted of North Carolina State, Georgetown, Michigan State, Iowa, UCLA, Louisville, Purdue and hometown Indiana.

Williams, a four-star prospect that is ranked 42nd in ESPN’s top 100, has great hands (which can help him mold into an excellent pick-and-roll big) and he scores effectively in the paint. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native looks like a player that eventually has high NBA upside because of his physical tools, developing offensive game and impressive ability to protect the rim defensively.

D.J. Harvey Jr. chops list to 10

A 6’5″, 205 pound 2017 shooting guard/small forward, D.J. Harvey Jr., has cut his list to 10 schools: Notre Dame, Texas, UConn, Maryland, Arizona, Oklahoma, Villanova, UCLA, Duke and Louisville.

The two most significant offers are from Duke (which he received last summer) and the defending National Champion Villanova Wildcats.

Harvey is a four-star recruit from Bowie, MD, who is ranked 36th in ESPN’s top 100 for the class of 2017. He is the number one player in the state of Maryland (one of the reasons the Terps are after him), and is the eighth ranked player at this position.

The DeMatha Catholic High School star has solid size for a wing, is an excellent transition player (can handle the ball very well), can attack the rim and finish through contact, and can knock down open shots from the perimeter. He is also a very effective rebounder at his position.

If he improves his defense, strength and decision making, Harvey could be a great college talent and a future pro.

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.

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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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