Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Morning News: Oregon Situation, LSU Loses Three, Ryan Anderson Transfer, Kareem Canty, And More

Once again I'm piling up a week's worth of news into one Morning News post. Hey, it's the offseason...

Dominic Artis, Damyeon Dotson And Brandon Austin All Officially Done At Oregon This seemed inevitable, and now it's official. I talked about this story last week. Really, the only question left is figuring out what happened here. Oregon is claiming that while they knew about the sexual assault prior to the Pac-12 tournament, they were told by police not to move to suspend the players (huh?). The other confusing part of Oregon's story is their claim that they didn't know about Brandon Austin's previous sexual assault at Providence (nobody bothered to ask him why he'd been kicked off the team prior to offering him a scholarship?). The whole thing is a mess.

LSU To Lose Anthony Hickey, Two Others Three players are leaving LSU via transfer, including starting point guard Anthony Hickey. With a roster already due not to return much of its starting rotation, this might be the death blow to whatever at-large hopes they had. Johnny Jones is only heading into his third season, so it would be silly to give up on him already, but there isn't a lot of positive momentum with the LSU program.

Arizona Lands Boston College's Ryan Anderson Ryan Anderson was Boston College's best big man this past season, and the 6'9" transfer has decided that he's heading to Arizona. He'll have to sit out next season, but he likely wouldn't have gotten much playing time behind Rondae-Hollis Jefferson, Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski anyway. He only has one year of eligibility left, but expect him to be a key piece for Arizona in 2015-16.

South Florida Lands Kareem Canty Marshall's primary playmaker and best player from this past season is the first big signing for new South Florida coach Orlando Antigua. He'll likely have to sit out next season, but he'll have three years of eligibility left, and will be a cornerstone to build around.

Brian Williams Transfers To Louisiana-Lafayette After losing Elfrid Payton to the NBA Draft, Louisiana-Lafayette was desperately in need of another perimeter player to stay the favorite in the Sun Belt. Brian Williams isn't the level of offensive playmaker that Payton was and he only has one year of eligibility left, but he has a level of athleticism not often seen in the Sun Belt, and he'll be a key piece next season. Still, right now I'm leaning toward moving Georgia State into the spot of preseason favorite, particularly if Louisville transfer Kevin Ware is eligible to play right away.

Seth Allen To Virginia Tech Buzz Williams has his first non-Marquette transfer at Virginia Tech, and it's Seth Allen, from Maryland. He won't be eligible next season, but Virginia Tech isn't going anywhere next season anyway. Buzz's top priority is putting together talent to try to compete for a postseason appearance in 2015-16, and Allen could be the starting point guard on that team.

Jamal Jones Leaves Texas A&M The Aggies were due to return nearly their entire roster from last season, with a chance to make a run at an at-large bid. But the offseason is off to a bad start, as leading-scorer Jamal Jones will transfer out. I'm not sure this is a huge problem, though, as Jones was more of a volume-scorer than a particularly efficient basketball player. But the Aggies need to find some scoring this summer to go Dancing next season.

Ronnie Johnson Transfers To Houston We knew Kelvin Sampson would upgrade the talent level at Houston. After signing Juco transfer Torian Graham  he now adds Ronnie Johnson, who had been Purdue's starting point guard. Johnson will have to sit out next season, and Sampson is going to need a lot more than him to get the Cougars competitive again, but there's definitely some positive momentum for the program.

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