Connect with us

NCAA Basketball

Instant Reaction: Tommy Hamilton IV lands at Texas Tech



Chris Beard is looking to build a consistent winner in Lubbock, a team that competes on a yearly basis in the Big 12, and a squad that has a goal of making the Big Dance with a chance to advance.

One way to do that is to land impact transfers, and the new Texas Tech head coach pulled off another solid addition on Monday morning.

DePaul transfer Tommy Hamilton IV has committed to the Red Raiders after leaving the Blue Demons following another rough season in the Big East. The 6’11” forward from Chicago will sit out the 2016-17 season before having one year of eligibility remaining.

Hamilton had a career year during his sophomore campaign as he averaged 10.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, and shot 51 percent from the field. But last year in his junior stint, the big man struggled, averaging just 8.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while shooting an inefficient 47 percent from the field.

The Illinois native’s minutes fluctuated, especially during Big East play, and he found himself to be a distraction to the program at times. Hamilton was suspended for one game in 2014 because of a violation in team rules and often had battles with weight issues, struggling to run up and down the floor.

His inconsistencies were well known, but DePaul believe in his potential to eventually develop into a lethal stretch four that could spread the floor and allow Billy Garrett Jr. to attack off the bounce.

At Texas Tech, Beard will hope that Hamilton’s year off will help him improve his conditioning, and develop some short area quickness and much needed speed. He’s not a great athlete or rim protector, and he’s not laterally quick, but there is certainly positives with this addition.

Hamilton doesn’t need to be the savior at Texas Tech. Instead, he needs to play quality spot minutes and hit shots from the perimeter. If he can find his post game and block some extra shots that would just be a bonus for the Red Raiders.

With Tubby Smith out and Beard in, Texas Tech is looking to supplement what already is a talented roster.

The Red Raiders lose Devaugntah Williams and Toddrick Gotcher, but have Zach Smith, Keenan Evans, Aaron Ross, Norense Odiase, Devon Thomas, Justin Gray and Matthew Temple in the fold for 2016-17. Beard also added immediate eligible transfers in Anthony Livingston, Niem Stevenson (JUCO) and Giovanni McLean.

Texas Tech should compete for a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016-17, but the addition of Hamilton will help them try to eventually battle for a THIRD straight bid.

The Red Raiders have six seniors on their roster, however, they keep the majority of their core group for a 2017-18 run. They also add Florida transfer Brandone Francis and of course, the presence of Hamilton is an extra body that can increase their depth/rotation.

Beard may have no experience when it comes to coaching major programs. However, it seems that he has already put his footprint on Texas Tech’s grounds in his first off-season on the job.

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



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.”

Continue Reading

NCAA Basketball

The Madness is Underway




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!

Continue Reading

NCAA Basketball

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



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.




Continue Reading