Duke is the favorite to win the NCAA championship and junior guard Grayson Allen is favored to win AP National Player of the Year honors, according to Bovada.lv.
Led by Allen and a crew of stud freshmen including Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, Frank Jackson and Marques Bolden, Duke faces odds of 4/1 to win the national championship in Glendale, Az. Kentucky follows at 15/2 with Kansas and reigning NCAA champion Villanova at 10/1. Arizona, which also has several elite freshmen in Kobi Simmons and Rawle Alkins, is next at 14/1.
Allen, who leads the AP odds at 6/1, opted to return to Duke for his junior season after he could have declared for the NBA Draft last year. He's currently projected at No. 25 by DraftExpress.com.
Tags: Duke University, Adam Zagoria
Kris Wilkes is down to three schools.
The 6-foot-7 small forward from Indianapolis (IN) North Central is down to Indiana, Illinois and UCLA, according to Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star. He has visited all three.
He cut Xavier and UConn, which he was to visit later this month or in November.
While his mother was enduring a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer, Tariq Owens was just a young teenager growing up Odenton, Md.
His daily routine involved sitting by Cassandra Owens' bedside and trying to comfort her, but he withdrew into himself.
"Every day I used to come home from school, I'd drop my book bag by the door, go upstairs and just sit in the room," Owens, a 6-foot-11 redshirt sophomore forward who was born in New York City and now plays at St. John's, said Thursday. "Most times she'd be asleep by the time I got home or I'd just be sitting in the room with a chair, watching TV and wait for her to wake up."
Alabama enjoyed a huge recruiting day on Thursday.
Herb Jones, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard from Hale County (AL), committed to the Crimson Tide over Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Georgia Tech.
Alex Reese, a 6-9 power forward from Pelham (AL), announced for Alabama over UAB later Thursday.
Here's a look towards this weekend's recruiting visits and other news. Some visits will depend on the status of Hurricane Matthew. This list will be updated throughout the weekend.
**Brandon Randolph, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard from the Westtown (PA) School and the PSA Cardinals, hits Arizona Thursday night and begins his official on Friday, a source said. A tremendous scorer and high-quality kid, Randolph has already visited Oregon and Syracuse, and is also considering Wake Forest. He also had a home visit with Indiana.
**Nojel Eastern, the 6-foot-6 point guard from Evanston (IL) Township, takes an official to Seton Hall beginning today (Thursday). He previously visited Michigan State.
Kentucky is expecting close to 90 NBA personnel for its pro days on Sunday and Monday, a school spokesman said.
Freshmen Bam Adebayo (No. 10), De'Aaron Fox (12) and Malik Monk (18) are all projected one-and-done first-round picks in the latest DraftExpress.com mock for 2017.
"All 90 scouts are there to certainly see the development of Monk, Bam and Fox since arriving on campus," one NBA scout said.
Tags: Kentucky, Adam Zagoria
HILLSIDE, N.J. -- Nick Richards, the 6-foot-11 big man from St. Patrick's High School, enjoyed his official visit to Kentucky this past weekend and will return to the campus in two weeks for Big Blue Madness.
Richards also plans to visit Arizona and Syracuse in the coming weeks as he heads toward a college decision.
"[Kentucky] was cool, I liked it," Richards told me Tuesday before an open gym. "I got to watch two practices and it was pretty fun. I got to talk to talk to all the coaches, they showed a lot of interest in me. It was a fun visit overall."
Tags: Nick Richards, St. Patrick's, Adam Zagoria
Keith Williams, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound shooting guard from Brooklyn Bishop Loughlin, committed to Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Ranked the No. 38 shooting guard in the Class of 2017 by 247Sports.com, Williams averaged 15 points and 4.3 rebounds this summer with New Heights. Dayton and Oklahoma State were also in the mix.
"It felt like it was the perfect fit for me," Williams said. "My playing style fits how they operate, playing hard, tough and gritty defense. And also the coaching staff are some great guys. Our relationship was very good. I felt comfortable and they prioritized me throughout the whole spring, building a great relationship with me and my parents and coaches."
Walter Whyte, the 6-foot-5 small forward from St. Luke's (CT) School and the PSA Cardinals, announced his commitment to Boston University on Tuesday.
Whyte becomes the first commit in coach Joe Jones' 2017 class. Ranked the No. 41 small forward by 247Sports.com, he took his official visit to Boston University last month (Sept. 23) and had plans to visit Davidson in October. Whyte held offers from schools such as Davidson, Northeastern, Pennsylvania, Yale, among others.
"I have an amazing relationship with Coach Jones and he has the faith and confidence in me as a player to step in and make an immediate impact as a freshman." Whyte said.
HILLSIDE, N.J. -- Marcus McClary is headed to Monmouth.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard from St. Patrick's High School committed to the MAAC school during a press conference on Tuesday. He visited Monmouth officially this past weekend.
McClary also considered Old Dominion.
Tags: Monmouth, Adam Zagoria
The Philadelphia 76ers announced Tuesday that forward Ben Simmons underwent successful surgery to repair an acute Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. Simmons, the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft out of LSU, suffered the injury when he rolled his ankle after landing on the foot of another player during a 76ers team scrimmage on September 30, 2016.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O'Malley, Associate Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon and Fellowship Director of the Foot and Ankle Service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
Simmons' rehabilitation will fall under the supervision of Sixers Director of Performance Research and Development Dr. David T. Martin.
Tags: Ben Simmons, Adam Zagoria
Rick Pitino, who coached one of the greatest college basketball teams ever in the 1995-96 Kentucky Wildcats, says this year's incarnation of the Duke Blue Devils could rival his historic club.
That Kentucky club featured eight future NBA players and had Nazr Mohamed as its 13th man.
"They've got a fifth-year guy (Amile Jefferson) who's a terrific rebounder and basketball player and they've got great shooting, great coaching and a great system," Pitino told Jon Rothstein on his Podcast. "They've got it all. They're very deep and they've got two of the best in Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles - the one-and-two ranked high school players in the nation. They're as good of a team as I've seen in the modern era."
Tags: Duke University, Adam Zagoria
Chase Johnson, the 6-foot-8 Power Forward from Huntington (W.V.) Prep School, announced his commitment to Florida on Monday.
- Chase Johnson (@_johnson_1) October 3, 2016
Tags: Jacob Polacheck
Following an official visit to Kansas over the weekend, Billy Preston, the 6-foot-10 Class of 2017 forward from Oak Hill Academy (VA), picked up a scholarship offer from Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim on Monday.
Boeheim visited Preston at Oak Hill, the powerhouse that also produced former Syracuse and current Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.
"He's [a] top-5 [player] in the country, I don't care what scouting services say," Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said of Preston. "Nobody has his skill level and upside at 6-9. He can score off the bounce, get to the rim, shoot the three, and pass and handle like a guard."
Jordan Nwora, the 6-foot-7 Class of 2017 small forward from Vermont Academy and the NY Rens, has trimmed his list to 12 schools and will take an official visit to Georgia Tech this weekend, his father told me.
Nwora will take his first official to Georga Tech, where head coach Josh Pastner has been aggressively recruiting players he deems winners.
Tags: Jordan Nwora, Adam Zagoria
Kentucky coach John Calipari extended an offer to Class of 2018 point guard Immanuel Quickley during a visit to see Quickley on Monday.
The 6-foot-3 Quickley out of John Carroll (MD) just came off an unofficial visits to Kansas and still has visits planned to Miami (Oct 8-9), Kentucky (Oct 14), Louisville (Oct 15), Virginia (Oct 22) and Duke (Oct 28) for the next four weeks.
Duke freshman forward Harry Giles underwent a left knee arthroscopy on Monday and is expected to be out six weeks, the team announced.
"We're very pleased with the outcome of today's procedure," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. "This is the right step for Harry at the moment as it will help him be 100 percent going forward. Harry has done a tremendous job in rehabilitation over the last year and I'm sure he'll continue to do the same after this procedure."
The 6-foot-11 Giles is part of Duke's heralded freshmen class that also includes fellow forwards Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden.
Tags: Duke University, Adam Zagoria
Clifton Moore , the 6-foot-10 Class of 2017 small forward from Hatboro-Horsham (Pa.), committed to Indiana after his official visit this weekend.
Moore, whose stock exploded this summer at the Elevate Hoops events in Philadelphia and Ardsley, N.Y., also considered Ole Miss, Lafayette, Temple, St. Joe's and Northwestern.
Tags: Clifton Moore, Indiana, Adam Zagoria
Bruno Fernando, a 6-foot-10, 225-pound center who one Division I coach compared to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, committed to Maryland on Sunday.
A native of Angola, Fernando initially committed to SMU in April 2016 before opening up his recruitment and doing a post-grad year at Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy.
Chaundee Brown, the 6-foot-5 four-star Class of 2017 wing from First Academy (FL), announced his commitment to Wake Forest and had coach Danny Manning on Sunday.
Committed to the University of Wake Forest��������⭐️Go Deacs pic.twitter.com/OXe8gTYx7U- ⭕️Chaundee️⚠️Brown (@cbrownballin935) October 2, 2016
Brown was on an official visit to Wake Forest when he made the decision to end his recruitment, choosing the Demon Deacons over Florida, Maryland and Kansas.
Tags: Wake Forest
Markese Jacobs, a 5-foot-10, 155 pound Class of 2019 point uard from Chicago (IL) Academy, announced his commitment to Kansas on Sunday after visiting for "Late Night in the Phog."
"Being able to watch Late Night, watching them practice and seeing how they are with their guards and how hard they get on them and want to make them better, that impressed me," Jacobs told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's all about basketball here. You can see and feel the passion."
He added: "This has always been a dream school for me growing up. So when there is chance to have your dream, you take it. There was no reason to wait."
Jamir Moultrie, a Class of 2017 point guard out of District Heights (MD) Bishop McNamara, has added a planned official visit to Georgetown for later this month and is targeting a late-October decision.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Moultrie had previously been focusing on Georgia, La Salle and Monmouth and will now take officials to Georgia Oct. 14 and Georgetown Oct. 21 after picking up a Georgetown offer during an unofficial visit this weekend. He also took an official to Monmouth last weekend.
"Georgetown's message was basically Coach [John] Thompson [III] was impressed with Jamir's ability to convert into more of a set-up point guard, get guys involved," his father Jeran Moultrie said by phone. "He saw him a few times his freshman and sophomore year and at that time he was a big-time scorer but he was always just questioning to see if in addition to getting his own buckets, he could create for others.
Tags: Georgetown, Jamir Moultrie, Adam Zagoria
After visiting Syracuse this weekend, Neumann-Goretti (PA) and PSA Cardinals point guard Quade Green will trip to Kentucky on Oct. 14 for Big Blue Madness, a source said.
As previously reported here, Syracuse and Kentucky have been most aggressive in their recruitment of Green, although Duke and Villanova are among the others involved.
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and assistant Gerry McNamara visited Green last month at Goretti, which also produced former Orange standouts Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson.
Ben Simmons has a broken bone in his right foot and the No. 1 overall pick could miss up to 8 weeks, according to initial reports.
That would put his return in late November.
Simmons was injured Friday during the final training camp scrimmage at Stockton University in New Jersey. The Sixers said Simmons rolled an ankle, and X-rays and an MRI revealed a fractured fifth metatarsal bone.
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The Knicks' decision to hold training camp at West Point for a third straight year has inspired split opinions within the team on matters related to current events.
Veteran Joakim Noah came out Friday and announced he had skipped a team dinner with Cadets on Thursday night because he's opposed to war, while rookie Marshall Plumlee, a member of the Army reserves, told me he thinks it was a great idea to hold camp at West Point.
"It's hard for me a little bit," Noah said Friday afternoon, according to Newsday. "I have a lot of respect for the kids who are out here fighting. But it's hard for me to understand why we have to go to war, why kids have to kill kids around the world? So I have mixed feelings about being here.
With the addition of Trevon Duval to the list of visitors for Kansas' "Late Night in the Phog" this weekend, the Jayhawks have a highly impressive list of recruits.
Kansas is also hosting guards Tremont Waters and Collin Sexton, wing Troy Brown and forwards Billy Preston and Cody Riley.
The 6-foot-3 Duval is the No. 3-ranked prospect in the Class of 2017 by Scout.com, Sexton is No. 9, Brown No. 11, Preston No. 16, Riley No. 30 and Waters No. 36.
Tags: Kansas, Trevon Duval, Adam Zagoria
Xavier Tillman, the 6-foot-8 power forward from Grand Rapids Christian (MI) High School, committed to Michigan State over Marquette and Purdue.
"I just feel that Michigan State is the place where I can best reach my goals as a basketball player and as a student," he told Scout.com
Tillman joins Jaren Jackson as the second commit in Michigan State's 2017 Class. According to 247Sports, Michigan State now has the 21st ranked recruiting class in 2017.
With the recent passing of John Robic's father, Kentucky coach John Calipari has officially elevated Joel Justus to assistant coach and said Justus will primarily focus on recruiting younger players.
Robic has been named special assistant to the head coach.
Calipari also said he did not envision his program "offering scholarships to freshmen and sophomores."
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Lance Thomas knows all about the Plumlee family, having played alongside Miles and Mason Plumlee on the 2009-10 Duke team that won an NCAA championship.
Now the youngest Plumlee, 7-foot Marshall, is Thomas' teammate with the Knicks as both players look to fortify a revamped front line highlighted by the signing of free agent Joakim Noah.
"Yeah, I knew Marshall, I remember when Marshall was in high school," the 6-8 Thomas told me Thursday at Knicks' training camp at West Point. "He was coming to visit his brothers, who I played with, Miles and Mason. It's very good to have him here."
Tags: Duke University, Adam Zagoria
A parade of high-major coaches has come through Putnam (CT) Science Academy in recent weeks to recruit Hamidou Diallo, maybe the most explosive player in the Class of 2017.
UConn's Kevin Ollie, UNLV's Marvin Menzies and Arizona's Sean Miller were all in this week, while Indiana's Tom Crean, Kentucky's John Calipari, Kansas' Bill Self and assistants from Syracuse and Arizona State have all been through recently.
The 6-foot-6 Queens, N.Y., native has yet to set any official visits, but will take an unofficial visit to Syracuse this weekend, a source said.
Tags: Hamidou Diallo, Adam Zagoria
Here's a look towards this weekend's recruiting visits and other news.
**Nick Richards, the 6-foot-11 big man from St. Patrick's (N.J.) High School, will take his first official visit to Kentucky this weekend before heading to Arizona next weekend. He's also considering Syracuse, UConn and Indiana.
**Hamidou Diallo, the 6-6 shooting guard from Putnam (CT) Science Academy, is taking an official to Syracuse, as reported here.
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- When Ron Baker first signed with the Knicks this summer, he was hoping to pair up with his former Wichita State teammate Cleanthony Early, the team's second-round draft pick in 2014.
"We played two years together at Wichita State," Baker told me Thursday at Knicks training camp at West Point. "At first we thought we both were going to be here."
But after Early was shot in the right leg during an attack in Queens last December, the Knicks did not bring him into training camp this year and he is currently out of the NBA.
St. John's announced Thursday that Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond has been elevated to assistant coach under head coach Chris Mullin.
Richmond, a six-time NBA All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection, enters his second season with the program, previously serving as a special assistant for the 2015-16 campaign. He joins fellow assistants Matt Abdelmassih and Greg St. Jean.
Richmond effectively replaces former associate head coach Barry "Slice" Rohrssen, who officially parted ways with the program Aug. 31. Rohrssen's split with St. John's was first reported by SNY.tv in June.
Brian Bowen, the 6-foot-7 small forward from La Lumiere (IN), has trimmed his list to six schools, cutting Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, Oregon and UNLV in the process.
Bowen is down to Michigan State, Creighton, UCLA, Arizona, N.C. State and Texas.
Following a home visit Wednesday with Arizona head coach Sean Miller and assistant Book Richardson, Nick Richards will take an official visit to the Pac-12 school the weekend of Oct. 7, sources said.
Had a great home visit today with Arizona����- Nick Richards�� (@iamnickrichards) September 28, 2016
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Joakim Noah isn't afraid to mix it up with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers -- and Carmelo Anthony thinks that's exactly what the Knicks will need to compete with the NBA champions.
Coincidentally enough, the Knicks will open the regular season in Cleveland on Oct. 25 when the Cavs will be feted with their NBA championship rings.
"You ain't got to worry about that with Joakim, I mean he gonna bring it," Anthony said Wednesday after the first day of training camp at West Point, which was also Noah's first practice with the team after he became the father of a baby girl on Tuesday.
Jamir Moultrie, a Class of 2017 point guard out of District Heights (MD) Bishop McNamara, is focusing on three schools and is targeting a decision next month, his father said.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Moultrie is focusing on Georgia, La Salle and Monmouth, where he took an official visit this past weekend, and could decide soon after his Oct. 14 official visit to Georgia.
"That's their homecoming weekend so we'll go down and visit for that and hopefully not too long after that we'll make a decision," Jeran Moultrie said by phone. "Things kind of boil down right now to La Salle, Monmouth and Georgia."
Wabissa Bede, the 6-foot-1 point guard from Cushing (MA) Academy and the Mass Rivals AAU program, committed to Virginia Tech, giving coach Buzz Williams a point guard of the future.
Ranked the No. 16 point guard in the Class of 2017 by 247Sports.com, Bede also considered Butler, LaSalle, Minnesota and UMass.
"I love coach [Buzz] Williams," he told Scout.com before his official visit this weekend. "[He] reminds me of Vin [Mass Rivals coach Vin Pastore]. He's tough with a soft heart. He believes in me a lot and I can play at that level and produce there. Also they've been recruiting me a lot this summer."
Here's a quick update on some college announcements:
**Dre Perry, a 6-6 small forward from Baltimore Polytechnic (MD), will announce Friday at 6 p.m. between Temple, Kansas State and Virginia Tech.
**Andre Rafus, the 6-9 small forward from Baltimore (MD) Lake Clifton, said he will "delay" his decision after initially planning to announce on Friday between Seton Hall, Kansas, TCU and Georgetown.
Billy Preston, the 6-foot-10 Class of 2017 forward from Oak Hill Academy (VA), has opted to open up his recruitment.
Preston had been focusing on Kansas, USC and Maryland, and he's slated to take an official visit to Kansas this weekend for "Late Night in the Phog."
"After talking with my family and starting my senior year at Oak Hill Academy, I have decided to open my recruitment up and explore what schools would best fit for me as a student-athlete," Preston said. "I am looking forward to taking official visits and have no time table for making my final decision."
Scout.com on Monday released its latest team recruiting rankings for the Class of 2017 and Duke, Kentucky and Kansas were nowhere to be found.
It's a bit jarring for those of us following college basketball recruiting to see a Top 25 list without all three of those bluebloods anywhere to be seen.
After all, Kentucky and Duke have been 1-2 (in differing orders) in the Scout rankings for eight straight years, and Kansas is usually near the top, too.
This figures to be another busy week for Nick Richards and his teammates at St. Patrick's High School in New Jersey.
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim came in on Tuesday to see the 6-foot-11 Richards and have a home visit, while Arizona coach Sean Miller is expected Wednesday.
"I'm considering every school," Richards told me last week, referring to a group that includes Kentucky, Indiana, UConn, Syracuse and Arizona.
NEW YORK (AP) - NBA players aren't just worried about their teams as they start a new season.
They're concerned for their country.
The usual basketball clichés that dominate media days gave way to serious talk about social injustice and violence in communities, with players wanting to be involved in finding solutions but acknowledging they don't know yet how.
After visiting Maryland and Georgetown unofficially over the weekend, Class of 2018 point guard Immanuel Quickley has slated more visits to some of the nation's top college programs.
The 6-foot-3 Quickley out of John Carroll (MD) has scheduled unofficial visits to Kansas (Oct 1-2), Miami (Oct 8-9), Kentucky (Oct 14), Louisville (Oct 15), Virginia (Oct 22) and Duke (Oct 28) for the next four weeks.
Tags: Immanuel Quickley, Adam Zagoria
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Knicks are set to open training camp on Tuesday, but don't ask Carmelo Anthony what type of offense the team will run under first-year coach Jeff Hornacek.
"I honestly don't know what this offense is going to be," Anthony said Monday at Knicks' Media Day. "I think everybody is speculating something. I honestly don't know. I haven't talked to Jeff about what type of offense we're gonna run, what we're going to be doing."
Hornacek is on record saying the triangle "will be part of our offense." He was hired by President Phil Jackson in part because of his familiarity with the triangle offense from playing for former Phoenix Suns coach Cotton Fitzsimmons, a disciple of triangle founder Tex Winter.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- With his civil trial for sexual assault set to begin Oct. 4, Knicks point guard Derrick Rose says he hasn't been contacted by the police and expects to be "proven innocent."
"As far as the trial, that's something I can't think about," Rose said Monday at Knicks' Media Day. "It's not true, I will be proven innocent and I haven't been thinking about it. I'm letting my [legal] team handle it."
USA Today reported Monday that Los Angeles police continue to investigate Rose over the allegations, according to federal court records.
R.J. Cole, the 6-foot-1 Class of 2017 point guard at St. Anthony's, verbally committed to Howard University on Monday, spurning Monmouth and Boston University in the process.
For Howard, Cole could end up being a program-changer who could change how other recruits look at coming to the school.
"I got really close with the coach [Kevin Nickelberry] and he's been there from the beginning," Cole said of choosing the historically black institution.
Tags: St. Anthony's, Adam Zagoria
North Carolina has landed a big man for the future in Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God center Brandon Huffman.
The 6-foot-10 Huffman is ranked the No. 45 center in the Class of 2017 by 247Sports.com. He also held offers from Missouri, Virginia Tech, Providence, Indiana, Oklahoma State, UNLV, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, Pitt, LSU, UConn and others.
It happened!! My brother committed to UNC ����✊�� pic.twitter.com/qHoFBN6Wkz