Monday, August 25, 2014

Morning News: Aaron Brown, Vanderbilt Transfers, Briante Weber, And More

Aaron Brown is a nice pick-up for Boston College

This week marks the start of the college football season, which is always one of the signs that college basketball is right around the corner. In fact, there was an FCS football game on Saturday, though everybody else kicks off later this week. So with kids all back on campus now, we are finishing up with the last of the player transfers that will impact the coming season.

Let's get to some of those stories from the last week or so:

Aaron Brown Has Transferred From Southern Miss To Boston College Aaron Brown will be eligible to play next season, and he'd been considering quite a few different schools before choosing Boston College on Friday. Brown is a good pickup for BC as he was the most complete scorer for Southern Miss last season, leading the team in three-point shooting (38.7%) and finishing second in free throw attempts (145).

Once Oliver Hanlan decided that the Steve Donahue firing was sufficient to cause his return, we knew Boston College wouldn't be too bad next season. Hanlan could be first team All-ACC preseason. Throw in Aaron Brown and Boston College will now have two good scoring options. But with Ryan Anderson and Joe Rahon stil transferring out of a Boston College team that was perhaps the most disappointing in the nation this past season and the Eagles should still expect to spend Jim Christian's first season near the bottom of the ACC.

Southern Miss is heading into a rebuilding season under new head coach Doc Sadler. With the loss of Aaron Brown they have now lost all five starters from last season's NIT team. It's not unreasonable to think that if everything goes right next season that they could contend near the top of a Conference USA that does not have a dominant team, but most likely they're going to finish in the middle of the pack.

Dai-Jon Parker And Kedren Johnson Leaving Vanderbilt It's been a rough offseason for Vanderbilt, to say the least. Eric McClellan was kicked off the team, and Parker and Johnson might have gotten something of the same treatment. Kevin Stallings wasn't clear about the reasons for the transfer, but it was some sort of "non-academic university policy" that was violated. Parker, in particular, is a blow. He was second on the team in minutes this past season, averaging 8.3 points and 3.2 assists per game.

Next season will be a rebuilding season for the Commodores for sure. They have six incoming freshmen, though none is a blue chipper (point guard Riley LaChance is probably the highest rated by the scouting services). Those young players will be thrown into the fire a bit earlier than Stallings probably wanted.

Kedren Johnson has already announced his transfer to Memphis, where he will appeal for a waiver to play right away. As far as I know, Parker has not yet announced where he's going.

Briante Weber Will Be Suspended For VCU's Opener Briante Weber will miss VCU's season opener after stealing an iPhone. And while this wouldn't matter if VCU was opening up against a cupcake, they're actually opening up against Tennessee on a neutral court. You should still expect VCU to be favored, as Tennessee has undergone quite a bit of change after a coaching transition, but if they do get upset on opening day, you can be sure that they'll wish they'd had their best player on the court.

Colorado State Adds Antwan Scott Antwan Scott isn't well known to casual fans, but he averaged 15.7 points per game last season for Grambling State, which was third best in the entire SWAC. Even though it turns out that Chane Behanan will not end up playing for Colorado Sate, Larry Eustachy still has four quality transfers coming in to play this coming season (Dantiel Daniels, Stanton Kidd and John Gillon are the other three). Expect the Rams to sneak up on people this season. I already had them as an at-large team in my last bracket projection, and the addition of Scott should slide them up another line or two.

Oregon Adds Dillon Brooks, Who Reclassified It's been a rough offseason for Oregon, with a sexual assault leading the exit of Dominic Artis, Damyeon Dotson and Brandon Austin. In all, six of their top nine minute earners from last season will not play for the team next season. But the effort to refill up the roster is underway, as four-star recruit Dillon Brooks not only committed to Oregon but reclassified to 2014, meaning he'll be eligible to play this fall. With the Ducks likely to end up in the vicinity of the bubble, Brooks might be the key addition that puts them over the top and back into the NCAA Tournament.

By the way, it's worth noting that blue chip 2014 recruit JaQuan Lyle has still not been completely academically cleared for this coming season. Oregon seems confident that the issues will eventually be cleared up, but there will be some panic in Eugene if we get close to the season opener with Lyle still in limbo.

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