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NCAA Basketball

Northwestern State guard Jalan West injures knee…again



It’s a sad day for Northwestern State and die heart college basketball fans, as one of the best scorers in the nation is likely done for the season.

Demons point guard Jalan West suffered a torn ACL and damaged cartilage in the same knee that shut him down for the entire 2015-16 season. West received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA following the initial knee injury, however, he is all but finished playing college basketball at this point in his career.

And that’s unfortunate because Northwestern State had one of the top 1-2 punches in all of NCAA basketball in West and Zeek Woodley.

When West was healthy, he was one of the top scorers in the nation. He went from averaging 10.2 points per game during his freshman season to averaging 20 points per outing in 2014-15. The Louisiana native averaged 34.5 minutes, 7.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds, shot 46 percent from the field and shot 42 percent from long range.

Even though he plays mid-major basketball, he was virtually impossible to limit when the ball was in his hands.  He did struggle against Texas A&M (eight points on 2-of-8 shooting), Oklahoma (five points on 2-of-13 shooting), and Texas Tech (four points on 2-of-9 shooting) in 2014, but he dropped 25 and seven against Arkansas, 33 against Incarnate Word, and 34 against UT Martin.

On the other hand, Woodley averaged 22.2 points per game the last two seasons, while grabbing 5.0 and 5.2 rebounds per game respectively. He shot a deadly efficient 53 percent from the field in 2015-16 and 41 percent from beyond the arc.

While Woodley was incredible last season, Northwestern State greatly missed his sidekick as they finished 8-20 overall and 5-13 in conference play.

Without West in the fold for the entire 2016-17 season, the Demons will likely be an average squad in the Southland Conference (better than last year). But with both players in the fold, they could have made a run for the conference title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

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

Louisiana Tech Sports Facilities Damaged by Tornado



A deadly tornado, which has been linked to the death of at least 5 people across two states, damaged several sports facilities located on the campus of Louisiana Tech, according to ESPN.

While no injuries have been reported among the students at the school, two people were killed when the storm ripped through Ruston, Louisiana and caused a tree to fall onto their home.

The school is closed on Thursday and Friday, and the following images were shared on Twitter by the Athletic’s Department, showcasing some of the damage.

National Weather Service hydrologist C. S. Ross said that the deadly tornado cut a track over 130 miles from eastern Texas to near the Louisiana-Arkansas border.

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NCAA Basketball

Video Surfaces Showing Agent Christian Dawkins Promoting Connections to Top Coaches



Another layer has unraveled in the college basketball corruption trial on Wednesday when a video recording of a conversation about paying college coaches and athletes was played on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Paula Lavigne.

In the video dated June 6th 2017, aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins brags about his connections to top NCAA basketball coaches, including Arizona head coach Seam Miller.

When referring to incoming (at the time) Arizona player Deandre Ayton (who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns) Dawkins says Miller told him, “I’m taking care of everything myself. I wanna bring you in. I’ll turn everything over to you.”

Dawkins is currently on trial for allegedly bribing college coaches.

Marty Blazer, a former financial advisor who was being questioned by prosecutors and who was present for the conversation, said the reference was about Miller “taking care” of payments for Ayton.

“Sean Miller has to know everything that’s going on. I can call Sean and have a conversation … like this is what is needing to be done,” Dawkins said on the video. He said that Miller is, “talking on the phone about stuff he shouldn’t be talking on the phone about.”

Unites States District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled back on Friday that defense attorneys could not subpoena Miller and LSU’s Will Wade to testify during the federal bribery trial.

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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.”

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