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NCAA Basketball

2017 Three Star Power Foward Raiquan Gray Commits to Florida State

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Three-star 2017 power forward  Raiquan Gray is now a Florida State Seminole. He announced his commitment to the Seminoles Monday afternoon, August 8. He became the second commit in Florida State’s 2017 recruiting class. With his commitment, Florida State has the 57th ranked 2017 recruiting class nationally and ninth in the ACC. They beat out Maryland, Memphis, Baylor, Virginia Tech and Ole Miss for his services.

Raiquan Gray is the 38th best power forward and 16th best player in Florida according to the 247Sports Composite.  The Florida State Seminoles are getting a power forward that can dribble, shoot the basketball, rebound and even bring it up the floor in transition. He averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in 2015 as the Dillard Panthers won a state championship. They won that state title riding a 20 game winning streak. Click the link to see his Sports Rants profile or read it below.


Dillard High School senior power forward Raiquan Gray grew up in a football family and he wanted to be different. Build a legacy that was his.

Gray is a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida native and he said living there, you have some crime but he likes where he’s from.

“It’s a calm city, everybody knows each other so it’s a fun city to me. You’ll enjoy yourself. Everybody knows each other but it can get crazy sometimes,” he said.

Gray’s head basketball coach, Darryl Burrows was familiar with the Gray family since Raiquan was really young.

“When we first saw him, and believe it or not, his dad used to coach for me when [Raiquan] was just a baby. His family is a Dillard family. He’s always kind of been on our radar. He’s come a long in the three years that he has spent with Dillard,” Burrows said. “We’ve had some pretty good teams, at Dillard, he has steadily progressed every year to the point where he, I think, could possibly be a candidate for McDonald’s All-America.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F5WTEo7IS8]

Gray plays the game for his mother and his sister because in seeing them work every day when he was younger, he wants to give back to them everything they gave him.

The six-foot-eight, 240 pound, power forward has received 19 scholarship offers from schools including: West Virginia, Tennessee, Auburn, Baylor, Virginia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Memphis, Oklahoma State, and more. According to the 247Sports Composite, Raiquan Gray is a four star recruit in the 2017 class, the 38th best power forward and 16th best player in Florida.

He has high interest in Baylor, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Auburn, West Virginia and Ole Miss and plans to make his commitment decision sometime in early August.

“He’s a big guard in actuality. … [He] can rebound [the ball], take it off the dribble, bring it down [the court] and he’s extremely unselfish,” Burrows said. “He loves to make the pass. He doesn’t get concerned with scoring the ball himself; all those attributes tend to make up a special player.”

In 2015, with the Dillard Panthers, Gray averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists as Dillard went 28-5 (6-0 District) and won the FHSAA state title beating the Largo High School Packers, 66-55.

“It was a good experience, my team, we won 20 straight games toward the end of the year. That was a big, big, year. Everybody on the team stepped up. …Knowing that we can get to that stage and get beyond that point, I think will, get us more accolades and get back there next year,” Gray said.

In order to become a complete player and better power forward, Raiquan Gray said he needs to work on playing with his back to the basket. His mentality is defense first and play hard. If that shows on the court and the Panthers win another title, he could see his recruiting stock rise significantly.

UPDATE: 9/2/2016

Four Star Dillard High School (FL) power forward  Raiquan Gray has chosen his top six schools: Ole Miss, Maryland, Memphis, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Baylor. Expect his decision to come later this month.

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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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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