Thursday, September 30, 2010

Khem Birch Allows Pittsburgh to Continue Big East Dominance

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
On a day that was overshadowed by Austin Rivers’ commitment to Duke, came another big recruiting announcement.

Khem Birch, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Notre Dame Prep High School verbally committed to the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Birch is a very good athlete that is possibly one of the top players in the country right now. His length and athleticism sets him apart from the other players in his recruiting class. He blocks shots and rebounds better than anyone in the country right now.

He will bring that to a physical-known program and tough coach in Jamie Dixon.

Birch is the second player to commit in the 2012 class for Coach Dixon and the Panthers. He joins another physical post presence in Steven Adams who is 7-foot, 230 pounds.

With both of these players Coach Dixon will have the chance to embrace one of the best frontcourts in the Big East.

Not to mention, remember what happened with Aaron Gray the last lengthy frontier athlete Coach Dixon embraced. He can curb both of these players and turn them into the players they should be.

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2011 G Austin Rivers Headed to Duke

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Duke Blue Devils 2010 class featured one of the best guards in Kyrie Irving. In the 2011 recruiting class, the Blue Devils were after the top guard in this class as well.

Austin Rivers was spotted sporting Duke wear back when the U-17 Team won the gold medal. His father Doc Rivers said don't believe in the hype, and that he wears a lot of different things.

Nonetheless, Rivers decided Wednesday night that the Duke Blue Devils was the best program for him.

Rivers chose Duke over Kansas, and North Carolina. The thing he liked about Duke is the "freedom" that comes with being a Blue Devil guard.

This commitment means a lot for the Blue Devil program. They have acquired the best guards in both of the last recruiting circuits, but this commitment could also mean Kyrie Irving is one-and-done.

Rivers joins an already stacked 2011 recruiting class that features Michael Gbinije, Marshall Plumlee and Tyler Adams.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

D'Angelo Harrison Scheduling Visit

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
D'Angelo Harrison, a 6-foot-3 combo guard from Missouri City, Texas has emerged as one of the better athletes in the 2011 recruiting class.

He is very versatile, and his scoring ability is off-the-charts. He is highly-rated by Scout, ESPN, and Yahoo Rivals.

There are four teams in the mix for Harrison, and he has set up official visits to Baylor, Oklahoma State, Marquette and St. Johns.

Oklahoma State will take place first on September 30 through October 1st, following Baylor the second and third.

Marquette is scheduled the weekend of October 15th, and St. Johns will take place the weekend of the 22nd.

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Ky Madden Commits to Arkansas

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Ky Madden, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard gave the Arkansas Razorbacks their fourth verbal commitment of the 2011 recruiting class.

Madden brings intensity from both ends of the floor. Out of the backcourt, he plays like a forward. He has great size, which he uses well when it comes to the defensive side of the ball. He times things perfectly, and his decision-making pays off big time.

Out the backcourt, he brings a physical, lean 200 pound frame. He drives the lane and finishes strong with contact.

He is a great guard that strives on both ends of the floor. Nonetheless, he still needs to work on his dribble-drive penetration, as well as his jump shot.

Madden joins B.J Young, Aaron Ross and Hunter Mickelson as future Razorbacks.

With the four recruits collectively, Arkansas' 2011 recruiting class fits the description of a top-five team.

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Korie Lucious Out Due to Knee Surgery

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Last year, junior Korie Lucious is one of the reasons why the Michigan State Spartans went to the Final Four. If it wasn't for his last second shot against Maryland the Spartans would have been sent home earlier than expected.

However, thanks to the composure of Lucious the Spartans were able to ride him all the way to the Final Four.

Next season, for two to six weeks the Spartans will be without their back-up guard. Lucious had arthroscopic surgery for a meniscus tear in his left knee.

With such a talented recruiting class the Spartans will rely on Keith Appling to pick up the slack while Lucious is recovering.

However, if you ask Spartans Head Coach Tom Izzo he'll be back quicker than expected.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Kentucky Wildcats Need Trevor Lacey

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Kentucky Wildcats have the best 2011 recruiting class without a question. The Wildcats have acquired four of the best players in the country. Not to mention, they have players still considering the program, and could possibly commit.

With so much talent you wouldn't assume the Wildcats would need another top-tier player to commend their already talented four superstars. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

The Wildcats are still contenders for 2011 combo-guard Trevor Lacey. According to sources, Assistant Coach Orlando Antigua recently visited the guard and let him know they were still interested.

Lacey, a 6-foot-3 threat out of the backcourt, has a lot of qualities that Kentucky could use. His range and jump shot would be a key asset to Kentucky in 2011-12.

Not to mention, he can finish strong around the rim, does not play selfish, and is the definition of a team player.

Lacey could commend the four players that already committed very well. He usually takes what the defense gives him, and doesn't force anything. That is very beneficial, especially when playing with athletes that Kentucky was able to acquire.

With little or no interest in acquiring Tony Wroten Jr, the Wildcats need Lacey to commit to there program. He is a huge asset, and could play both positions in the backcourt. With Lacey, the Kentucky 2011 recruiting class is extraordinary, without him they're elite.

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Marshall, Robert Morris Score First 2011 Recruits

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

As the month of September begins to dwindle down, both Marshall and Robert Morris hold two similarities. They both have new head coaches heading into the season and both of them have scored their first recruits from the class of 2011.

Marshall and head coach Tom Herrion picked up the verbal commitment from DeVince Boykins. Boykins a 6-foot-3 guard out of North Carolina will join the Thundering Herd in 2011. He becomes the first addition by Herrion since taking over for Donnie Jones, who left for Central Florida.

Boykins had a number of offers from high-major schools, including the likes of Miami (FL), Marquette, and South Carolina. A tough, physical guard who has no problem penetrating the paint and scoring the basketball, should be a great addition to a program who has not made the NCAA Tournament since 1987.

Andrew Toole, who will enter the season as one the youngest head coaches in the country, took over at Robert Morris following the decision of Mike Rice to take the position at Rutgers. Rice, has been all over the recruiting circuit for the Scarlet Knights and now his former program has scored its first pick-up for 2011.

David Appolon, an in-state Pennsylvania native has verbally committed to Robert Morris. Appolon reigns from Philadelphia and had been considering a number of mid-to-low majors, among them included Marist, George Washington, Long Island, Delaware, Mount St. Mary's, and Austin Peay.


*Photo: DeVince Boykins *Credit: northcarolina.scout.com

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Tony Wroten Jr Really Likes Louisville

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Before the  U-17 team took the Gold Medal not many people knew Tony Wroten Jr. In fact, because of his play during the tournament his recruiting elevated and his name grew as a result.

Wroten Jr, a 6-foot-4 guard, opened eyes with his sensational play off the bench for the U-17 team, and during summer camps.

If you ask someone with knowledge of Wroten Jr's recruitment, you understand that his two favorites are the Louisville Cardinals, and Washington Huskies.

The weekend of September 25th, Wroten Jr took a visit to Louisville. If you're a follower on his Twitter account you knew just how much fun he had. Not to mention, he was really impressed with the new Yum Center.

Foregoing his college visit to Louisville there were already rumors out that Wroten Jr committed to the Cards. He silenced the rumors, but did say "really liking Louisville now."

Wroten Jr to Louisville could lure more top-tier talent in hopes of competing with John Calipari's 2011 recruiting class. Nonetheless, we still have a while before Wroten Jr makes his final discretion. Washington is still in the running for Wroten Jr and we're prepping for another mini-decision on October 7th at Garfield High.

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2012 Guard Eron Harris Recruitment Picking Up Steam

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Eron Harris, a 6-foot-2 guard from Lawrence, Indiana recruitment has picked up steam as of late.

The lengthy guard has raised eyebrows with his leadership ability. He has decent ball-handling ability that should improve, but make precise passes and sets his teammates up for the score.

His defensive ability is aiding by his magnificent wingspan. He harrasses defenders, jumps into passing lanes and times blocks perfectly.

He has a very good basketball I.Q and a lot of upside. Not to mention, his slashing and ability to finish at the rim is above average as well.

However, his shot needs a lot of improvement. So does his ball-handling and decision-making ability.

According to him, he has received an offer from Southern Illinois University, Ball State and Evansville, along with IPFW coming to watch him workout at his school.

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Tom Crean Works Magic, Trey Lyes Commits

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
When we think of powerful recruiter, Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari is always the first name that comes to mind. He pulls in elite talent every year, and usually has the best recruiting class.

However, the 2014 recruiting class belongs to Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers—for now.

The Indiana Hoosiers Coach Tom Crean has acquired two recruits in the 2014 recruiting class thus far. James Blackmon Jr, and yesterday Trey Lyles followed suit. Lyles and Blackmon Jr are AAU teammates, and could create havoc for teams once they arrive on the college scene.

Tre Lyes a 6-foot-7 post threat will no doubt advance his skills as his high school career progresses. His progression as of now solidifies his place at the top of the 2014 class.

When senior year comes around for Lyes, I assume he will make his way to the wing. He already possesses a decent mid-range jumper, and expanding it will be beneficial.

You have a very versatile forward in Lyes, and scoring threat in Blackmon Jr. For those who think Tom Crean is on the hot seat at Indiana, think again. Coach Crean is pulling in talent and should have the Hoosier back on track in no time.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Texas Tech Gets Stronger With Toddrick Gotcher Commitment

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Toddrick Gotcher isn't the most favorable name in the 2011 recruiting circuit but it does provide buzz for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

The Red Raiders already have four commitments coming from three forwards, and one guard. However, Coach Pat Knight received a verbal commitment from athletic combo guard Toddrick Gotcher.

Gotcher, a 6-foot-3 guard, should be used right away, assuming that he adds more weight to his frame.

Not to mention, the Red Raiders will need a player out of the backcourt to fill the shoes of John Roberson after this season, and Gotcher is the guy.

According the Alex Kline of The Recruit Scoop Gotcher said "There is a great feel and environment. I love the Big 12 and felt at home there" when asked about his commitment.


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Thursday, September 23, 2010

2011 Recruits Pollard, Gore Both Headed to New England

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

A pair of New England area schools have scored recruits from the class of 2011. Both Northeastern and Brown picked up the commitments of two guards outside their home regions.


Brown, a member of the Ivy League, earned the verbal consent of Texas guard Christian Gore. Gore, a 6-foot-2 El Paso native joins Joe Sharkey in the class.

After an 11-20 season overall a season ago, in an Ivy League dominated by Cornell the past three years, the Bears have added Gore who has a knack for scoring the basketball.

With great athleticism, Gore has the ability to get off his jump shot without needing much space, as well as, get out on the break and finish.

The Northeastern Huskies, a member of the CAA, also picked up a verbal commitment for 2011 with guard Demetrius Pollard.

Pollard, a 6-foot-2 guard in his own right, is a Virginia native who will head north up the east coast to Boston, Massachusetts for his collegiate career. He also considered Jacksonville before settling with the Huskies.

Head coach Bill Coen notched his first 20 win season at Northeastern last year, after fighting atop the crowded CAA for a while before fading and ultimately landing in the NIT.

Pollard becomes the first member of Coen's class of 2011.


*Photo: Demetrius Pollard *Credit: rivals.com
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Can Iowa State Contend For a Big 12 Championship in 2011-12?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Big 12 conference has been one of the toughest basketball conferences for the past couple of years. Kansas has emerged as a national powerhouse, with Kansas State and Baylor on the rise. With that, the Big 12 hoops conference looks stronger than ever this upcoming season.

Already looking ahead into next season (2011-12), it assume it will be a huge scramble at the top of the Big 12.

The last time the Iowa State Cyclones advanced in the NCAA Tournament was back when Curtis Stinson was scoring 17 points per game, while grasping other players like Jared Homan and Will Blalock.

However, during the last decade, the Cyclones achieved three Big 12 Tournament wins, one NCAA Tournament and two NIT appearances.

Luckily for the Cyclones, in the year 2011, they'll possess a tough roster that can actually compete at a high level in the Big 12. Coach Fred Hoiberg has acquired Royce White, the transfer from Minnesota, and Chris Allen, the transfer from Michigan State.

Not to mention, Coach Hoiberg has done an exceptional job with recruiting. The Cyclones acquired a 6-foot-6 wing threat in Elgin Cook, a decent lead guard in Tyrus McGee, and frontcourt presence Anthony Odunsi.

With the notion that Scott Christopherson, Jordan Railey, Eric McKnight and other standouts from Iowa State return after this season, Iowa State will have a talented roster to compete with any team in the Big 12.

With Chris Allen in the backcourt, he could bring you leadership and scoring. Playing under a Coach like Tom Izzo has progressed Allen's game a lot. He can bring that same intensity to a hungry Iowa State team, if not more.

Not to mention, hoisting players like Elgin Cook and Royce White on the wing, will present a lot of problems for opposing defenses. Cook and White collectively could score on every possesion. With such high basketball I.Q's, it'll be tough trying to outsmart both of them if you are the defense.

Point guard prospect McGee will have a huge impact on their 2011 roster. He was an All-State point guard in High School, but switched to the off-guard position during his tenure with Cowley County CC.

However, that will not stop him from coming to Ames, Iowa and helping right away. McGee is the band-aid to the Cyclones point guard problems.

He can shoot lights out from three, shooting an unprecedented 44 percent last season, and lead an offense. According to GoCyclones.com McGee has been working on his point guard skills.

Now just imagine a starting rotation that would feature McGee, Allen, White, and Cook. These four players collectively could establish ground in the Big 12, and possibly compete for the conference title.

With such a talented roster on paper, the Cyclones will have to put it together nicely for it to work. Basically saying, the Cyclones will need to establish depth, leadership and most importantly, an offensive attack.
The Cyclones will have enough talent to compete in the Big 12, but the real question is will they contend?


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Iowa State Picks Up a Juco Point Guard

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Iowa State Cyclones got a potential guard to address their point guard issues. Tyrus McGee, a junior college point guard gave Iowa State the thumbs up on the scholarship offer.

He is 6-foot-2, 180 which is ideal size for a college point guard. Not to mention, he is equipped with a decent three point shot, and has the tendency to lead his team in the right direction.

Iowa State continues to be placed in the right position to excel in 2011-12. Coach Fred Hoiberg nabbed Chris Allen, Royce White, Elgin Cook, Anthony Adunsi and now McGee.

With this nucleus of players, watch out for the Cyclones in 2011-12.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

College Basketball: Can Wofford Dance Again?

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

There is nothing like a ten-win improvement and a school's first ever NCAA Tournament bid. Wofford and head coach Mike Young, got them both last year, finishing with an overall record of 26-9 and a near upset over fifth-seeded Wisconsin in the first round.

Mike Young is back for his ninth season, leading the Terriers into what will be their first Southern Conference title defense and a search for back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.

The key for Wofford, last season and again this upcoming season, will be stud senior forward Noah Dahlman. Dahlman, an honorable mention as an AP-All American a season ago and the brother of former Michigan State guard Isaiah Dahlman, returns for his final year as a Terrier, with the goal of returning to the Big Dance on his mind.

Dahlman led Wofford in minutes per game and points per game on way to earning the Southern Conference Player of the Year award. Head coach Mike Young followed suit, being named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year.

The two will be back, along with a roster that returns six of the seven leading scorers from a season ago and a program that lost only two seniors from their first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Freshmen Josh Corry and Aerris Smith join the program this season, but the Terriers will likely rely on a more veteran and experienced lineup in their quest for back-to-back conference championships. Alongside Dahlman, Wofford returns guards Jamar Diggs and Cameron Rundles in the back court, along with the team's leading rebounder, Tim Johnson.

The Southern Conference lost its star player Stephen Curry last season, but still boasted four 20+ win programs from 2009-2010.

Mike Young wants to test his Terrier squad and they will be tested early, with match-ups at Minnesota and at Clemson to open the season, before an appearance in the Charleston Classic, which includes the likes of the Georgetown Hoyas. Wofford's schedule also notes road games at both Xaiver and South Carolina as part of their non-conference campaign.

Dahlman will return in search of his second consecutive Player of the Year award, but more importantly a shot at another appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Possibly the most experienced and most talented team in school history will embark on yet another season in search of more success and exposure.

Can the Wofford Terriers dance again in 2010-2011?


*Photo: Noah Dahlman *Credit: washingtonpost.com
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Monday, September 20, 2010

2011 Recruit Ryan Anderson Headed to Boston College

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

New Boston College head coach Steve Donahue has scored another California recruit for the class of 2011.

6-foot-8 power forward Ryan Anderson has announced his intentions to play for the Eagles.

With the addition of Anderson, Donahue has now reeled in four members of the class to Chestnut Hill, moving forward in what will be the first steps in opening up a new era in Boston College basketball.

Anderson joins a class that also features California big man Kyle Caudill, a 6-foot-11 center from Brea Olinda High School. Alongside the two big men, Florida forward Eddie Odio and Massachusetts native Dennis Clifford make up the rest of the group.

Donahue was brought in this past spring to try and usher in a new start for the Eagles and their program and with four commitments already under his belt he has begun to do just that. Three of his four commitments are front court players, sending an indirect message that BC wants to strengthen their front line in the tough ACC conference.

Anderson is considered as the 21st best power forward in the class of 2011 and should instantly give the Eagles a tough, face-up presence inside once he steps on campus next season. He also had interest from California, Washington, Arizona and San Diego State before ultimately choosing BC.

With another player from California heading cross-country to the Heights, Donahue has already proven he will get players from all across the nation to attend BC.

The Eagles will have a more veteran lineup in 2010-2011, however will likely appear much younger come next season. With already four commitments, Boston College appears ready to fill the voids no matter how far they have to go to do so.


*Photo: Ryan Anderson *Credit: premierball.com
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A Look at This Past Weekend's 2011 Commitments

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

The Georgetown Hoyas locked up their first commitment of 2011 this past weekend. 6-foot-4 wing man Jabril Trawick chose G'town over Virginia, Charlottle, VCU, and Rutgers.

Georgia has picked up another in-state prospect for 2011. Head coach Mark Fox continues to earn the commitment of in-state talent, most recently that of Tim Dixon, who committed to the Bulldogs during his weekend visit to campus.

At the tail end of last week, Niagara earned the verbal commitments from a pair of Philadelphia guards. Juan'ya Green and Ameen Tanksley both shared their intentions to head to the MAAC school, giving the Purple Eagles a quick start on their class of 2011.

One of the top centers in the country, Kenyatta Smith is headed to the Ivy League and more so, he's headed across the country. The 6-foot-8 big man and California native is headed to Harvard, making his decision known during his visit this past weekend. Smith chose Harvard over the likes of Penn, Vanderbilt, and Northwestern.

Maryland native Julian DeBose is headed to Conference USA following his decision to play his collegiate ball at Rice. DeBose, a 6-foot-4 guard will join the Owls in 2011 after receiving attention from DePaul, VCU, Delaware, Mount St. Mary's, and Siena.

Sam Thompson, rated as the 56th best prospect in the nation from the class of 2011, is headed to Ohio State. Thompson, a 6-foot-7 small forward out of Chicago, Illinois chose the Buckeyes over Florida, Georgetown, Oregon State, and Kansas.

The three-time defending Ivy League champions have received a verbal of their own. The commitment comes from 6-foot-6 Ohio native Shonn Miller.

7-foot-2 big man and Sudan native Chier Ajou is headed to New Mexico. Ajou is New Mexico's third commitment already for 2011, joining Dominique Dunning and Abdel Nader.

Tulane has earned the verbal commitment of Alabama point guard Ricky Tarrant. The 6-foot PG also considered Murray State, UAB, Cleveland, and Wright State.

Shortly after receiving the verbal commitment of Jordan Baker, Pepperdine received their second commitment for the class of 2011. This time it was 6-foot-8 power forward Ramon Eaton offering his intentions to head to the WCC, choosing Pepperdine over USC and Loyola Marymount.

Zaid Hearst has verbally committed to Quinnipiac. The Maryland shooting guard chose the Bobcats over Lehigh, Siena, American, Lafayette, and UC-Irvine.

Missouri State received its second commitment for the class of 2011 after Andrew Wilson offered his verbal intentions. Wilson, a 6-foot-7 power forward chose Missouri State over Tulsa and Oral Roberts.

Texas wing man Terran Pettway is headed to Texas Tech. The 6-foot-5 small forward chose the Red Raiders over UTEP, SMU, Colorado, and Auburn and is considered the 30th best SF in the class of 2011 according to ESPNU.

New Charlotte head coach Alan Major landed his first commitment for 2011. Mike Thorne is one of the higher rated centers in the country, 19th at his position according to ESPNU, and at 6-foot-10 should be able to help the 49ers down low.


*Photo: Sam Thompson *Credit: illinois.scout.com

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College Basketball Rumors: Tony Wroten Reached His Decision?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Tony Wroten's name has been mentioned in a lot of speculation lately. Every since Anthony Davis decided to attend Kentucky, sources thought Wroten Jr couldn't turn down a chance to play with such a talented roster.

Wroten Jr, a 6-foot-4 guard broke out during his time with the USA team. He played the back-up role and exceeded expectations.

His recruitment picked up from there and never slowed down. As a result, Wroten Jr has been faced with a very tough decision.

Last time we heard from Wroten Jr his top list looked like this: Louisville, Washington, Kentucky, UConn, Villanova and Miami.

Now according to his Twitter account and many sources, Wroten Jr has made a decision. His discretion will become public news October 8th at his High School, according to sources.

All signs seem to point at Louisville. However, don't be surprised if he selects Washington.

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How Big Is Josiah Turner's Commitment to Arizona?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Arizona Wildcats took a dip in the pool of shame last season. The Wildcats missed the tournament for the first time of the decade, after making 25 straight appearances.

Arizona racked up a (6-6) record before entering conference play. That almost sealed the deal for their NCAA Tournament hopes. Not to mention, playing in a weak Pac-10 conference didn't help either.

Credit most of their struggles to the 4.5 turnovers coming from the starting guards Nic Wise and Kyle Fogg.

In the history of Arizona Basketball sure handed point guards are displayed. Think Mike Bibby, or Salim Stoudemire, Jason Gardner etc...

A year from now, the Wildcats will embrace a sure-handed guard to lead their offense. Josiah Turner has verbally given the Wildcats a commitment. He will join both Nick and Sidiki Johnson at Arizona University.

Turner a highly-rated point guard has the skill set to become a superstar in college. He has ideal size for a point guard at 6-foot-3.

He also displays leadership and the ability to attack the basket on every play. His speed and quickness helps him blow by the defender and make a move to score the basketball.

His passing ability is top-notch. He has the ability to see the floor and become a complete floor general. He will be able to attack the basket, create shots for teammates or himself.

Turner is tabbed as one of the better point guards in the 2011 recruiting class. Picking up Turner, and Nick Johnson to play in the same backcourt will work wonders to Arizona.

The Arizona recruiting class has gotten a lot better with the commitment of Turner. It has picked up steam and Coach Sean Miller will have a sensation year with the current and future recruits that commit to the program.

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Florida International's Future Looks Bright

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
On April 14, 2009 Isiah Thomas, a NBA veteran, took on the challenge of reshaping a slacking College Basketball program.
After five straight losing seasons, Coach Thomas decided he would do whatever he could to turn the Golden Panthers into a solid team.

Before the season started, he had already made a huge decision that would affect the school in the long run.

Coach Thomas decided he would donate his first year’s salary back to the school. He said "I didn't come here for the money."

In his first year, the Panthers were 7-25, with a 4-14 conference record. Now, Coach Thomas is putting the first year behind him and looking forward to the future.

With the 2010 recruiting class Coach Thomas has pulled together, I suspect a better season from the Panthers.

The Panthers pulled in six recruits that will impact their roster, and most importantly, nabbed Dominique Ferguson, a 6-foot-8 forward.

Coach Thomas' recruiting tactic seems to keep working him wonders. His 2010 class was special, but the 2011 will have a bigger impact.

Coach Thomas has pulled in four recruits thus far. Two being highly-skilled, and should come in and contribute right away.

After letting Rakeem Christmas slip away to Syracuse, Coach Thomas addressed the backcourt and grabbed one of the best guards in the 2011 class.

Cedrick McAfee, a 6-foot-2 point guard decided FIU was the best choice for him. McAfee makes FIU's 2011 recruiting class special.

His physical talents and explosive mindset will be beneficial to a turnaround at FIU. Not to mention, under Coach Thomas, McAfee will grow into one of the better point guards in the game.

With McAfee, the FIU Panthers have a guard for the future. He joins Darnell Harris, Chris Coleman, and Yvan Ngirabakunzi.

His decision-making needs to improve before the Panthers can think about emerging as a Sun Belt power.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

2011 Recruits Belfield, Atkins, Bourne Make Their Calls

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

Three east coast guys are off the board from the class of 2011, each of their decisions ranging from the ACC to the Big South to the Southern Conference.

North Carolina native Keith Belfield will head to the Southern Conference after giving his verbal commitment to Furman on Friday. The wing man from Davidson, North Carolina joins Jordan Loyd in Furman's class of 2011.

Belfield's decision to play for the Paladins was decided over the likes of Davidson and Liberty.

Moving slightly north to the state of Virginia, Arlington native and 6-foot-6 power forward James Bourne is headed to Winthrop. Bourne, a slightly undersized PF has tremendous aggressiveness and should be a great addition to the Eagles.

He will join Florida guard Andre Smith at Winthrop in the class 2011.

Maryland native, Darion Atkins also also made his collegiate decision and he is headed to the ACC. Atkins informed the University of Virginia of his intentions to become a Cavalier in 2011.

The 6-foot-8 power forward is considered the 38th best prospect at his position and settled on Virginia after receiving attention from Notre Dame, Maryland, George Mason, and VCU.

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett has begun to string together a pretty solid recruiting class for 2011. Alongside Atkins, Bennett will also bring in Paul Jesperson and Malcolm Brogdon.


*Photo: Darion Atkins *Credit: rivals.com

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Catching Up on Some More Recent 2011 Commitments

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

6-foot-7 prospect Wayne Martin has verbally committed to Central Florida. Martin, a native of Jacksonville, chose UCF over the likes of Arkansas, Ole Miss, Colorado, and Miami (FL).

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have earned the verbal commitment from Georgia guard Josiah Moore. Moore, a 6-foot-5 swing man can play both the two and three positions with his impressive all-around play.

Connecticut prospect Phil Gaetano has decided to remain in-state with his collegiate decision, offering his verbal intentions to attend Sacred Heart in 2011. The 5-foot-10 guard is a native of Wallingford, Connecticut.

6-foot-8 power forward Taylor Abt, a native of Bethesda, Maryland, is headed to the Patriot League. The big man will attend Holy Cross over the likes of Loyola (MD), Bucknell, Cornell, and Iona.

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott has picked up yet another verbal commitment. 6-foot-5 forward Nevin Johnson joins the Blue Jays class of 2011, alongside Avery Dingman and Geoffrey Groselle who have each committed in the recent weeks.

Jordan Baker, one of the top guards in Arizona, will attend Pepperdine. Considered the 53rd best point guard in the class by ESPNU, Baker choose to head to Pepperdine over the likes of Fresno State, Weber State, and UC-Riverside.

Jervon Pressley, a 6-foot-7 power forward out of Charlotte, North Carolina, is headed to Georgia State. Pressley is considered one of the top power forwards in the class and with his excellent size and hands should be a great addition. Pressley made his decision to attend Georgia State over Clemson and South Carolina.

Mid-major prospect Xavier Ford is headed to the MAC after giving his verbal commitment to attend Buffalo. Ford, a 6-foot-8 forward also considered Northeastern, Tulsa, Northern Colorado, Portland, and Loyola-Marymount.

6-foot-5 Brooklyn native Manny Thomas is headed to Marist. The Red Foxes who are coming off a horrendous season this past year will look to move forward and the verbal from wing man Manny Thomas should help.

Brian Darden is headed to Radford. The 6-foot-2 Virginia native is a consistent shooter who can score in bunches.

New DePaul head coach Oliver Prunell has picked up a strong verbal from one of the top shooting guards in the state of Illinois. Macari Brooks is headed to the Big East after choosing DePaul over the likes of Southern Illinois and Dayton.

Remy Abell, a 6-foot-4 guard out of Louisville, Kentucky, is headed to Bradley. Abell chose the Braves over the likes of Marshall, Penn State, Seton Hall, Akron, Morehead State, and Wright State.


*Photo: Macari Brooks *Credit: ny2lasports.com

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Traevon Jackson to Wisconsin

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Do you remember the famous Ohio State Buckeye Jim Jackson? His son, Traevon Jackson ended his college quest with Wisconsin. He didn't take the same route as his father, but did end up in the same conference.

The 6-foot-2 guard from Westerville, Ohio received five other offers from different programs, but chose Wisconsin over Akron, Arizona State, Cleveland State, Miami (OH), and Ohio.

The combo guard impressed a lot of scouts with his ability to play both positions. He could play point guard, which seems like the most comfortable place for Jackson, or shooting guard, and produce on the wing.

He is a solid basketball prospect with a lot of upside. Jackson needs to improve his jump shot, mid-range and ability to finish at the rim with both hands.

Wisconsin's 2011 recruiting class got stronger with the acquisition of Jackson. With this upcoming recruiting class, I don't think getting over Trevon Hughes will be as tough.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

J'Mison Morgan Will Have A Big Effect for Baylor

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
If you ask most, the biggest player in the Big 12 this season will be Kansas State, for obvious reasons. The Wildcats returned more than they lost. However, the biggest improvement will be the team from Waco in Baylor.

Baylor returned LaceDarius Dunn, and Quincy Acey. They also brought in a top-tier freshman talent in Perry Jones from Duncanville, Texas.

With that roster, the Bears were said to compete with every team in the Big 12. However, after a major transfer, the Bears can set their eyes on a Big 12 championship.

J'Mison Morgan, a former center from UCLA, was granted the eligibility to play right away for the Bears during the 2010-11 season.

Morgan, who has two years of eligibility left, will come in and pose a physical post threat.

Looking into his previous statistics, he doesn't seem like the biggest acquisition for the Bears. However, with his 6-foot-10 frame, and ability to play physical in the post, the Bears have themselves a solid post presence.

With Jones and Morgan boasted in the frontcourt, and Acey and Dunn, the Bears have a lot to look forward to next season.

If the Bears establish a second-unit to commend their starters, they will have a chance to play for a Big 12 championship. 

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tennessee Facing NCAA Investigation, Bruce Pearl Punished

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl, has issued an apology claiming he misled the NCAA investigators who were looking into the Vols basketball program.

Pearl's apology comes less than 24 hours after the news broke that the NCAA was investigating the men's basketball program. Tennessee's football program is already being investigated following the aftermath of Lane Kiffin's one year in Knoxville.

Pearl was teary-eyed in his apology, saying he made a mistake in misleading the investigators.

The Tennessee men's basketball program has had plenty of off-the-court issues over the course of the past few years. From arrests to suspensions to dismissals, Tennessee has continued to move forward, making their first appearance in the Elite 8 in school history this past season.

And, Bruce Pearl has been there leading the way.

Pearl has worked hard his entire coaching career, working his way up to Tennessee through success at previous schools.

Tennessee athletic director, Mike Hamilton says the troubles in the Tennessee men's basketball must end, and now the NCAA is getting involved.

The most recent news explains that Bruce Pearl has accepted self-imposed sanctions from the university. Tennessee has cut Pearl's pay by 1.5 million dollars over a five year period, as well as, preventing him from participating in off-campus recruiting for a full year. The pay of his assistants was also cut.

The self-imposed sanctions are a first step of punishment issued, but Hamilton has said he is happy to have Pearl as their head men's basketball coach.

As the Vols will move forward the question will remain whether or not Tennessee's recruiting will take a hit as a result of the self-imposed sanctions and NCAA investigation.


*Photo: Bruce Pearl *Credit: midwestsportsfans.com

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Shaquille Thomas Commits to Cincinnati

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

Considered one of the top small forwards in the country, Shaquille Thomas has made his collegiate decision.

The 6-foot-6 Thomas will attend Cincinnati.

Thomas is rated as the 17th best small forward in the class of 2011 and the New Jersey product is heading slightly west to Ohio for his collegiate career.

The decision to join the Bearcats was one decided upon over the likes of Seton Hall, Marquette, UTEP, Providence, Syracuse, and South Florida.

Thomas is known for his athleticism and a consistent jump shot, something that should immediately help Cincy in 2011.

Coming off a 19-16 season last year, the Bearcats and head coach Mick Cronin are working towards improving in the loaded Big East. With ESPNU Top 100 PF Justin Jackson coming in this year, Cronin has already scooped up four commitments from the class of 2011, Thomas being the most recent.

Cincinnati added power forward Octavious Eillis last week, alongside the likes of already committed guards Ge'Lawn Guyn and Kristian Smith.

Thomas is labeled as the No. 82 prospect in the class of 2011 by ESPNU and No. 97 overall by scout.com.


*Photo: Shaquille Thomas *Credit: westvirginia.scout.com

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Peter Aguilar adds three schools, Interested in USC?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Peter Aguilar picked up interest from three schools. His last top three featured Fordham, Long Island University and Hofstra. This time around, more schools started to take notice and his recruitment opened up as a result.He said, Canisius, North Carolina State and Iowa all expressed interest in landing the 6-foot-2 guard.

However, he isn't going to pick his school until he is comfortable with the programs recruiting him. Temple, the school his father attended, is one of the schools Aguilar plans to visit. Not to mention, USC has recently gained Aguilar's interest.


"I'm also trying to reach out to USC. That is one of my dream schools," Aguilar said.

With that said, many of schools will have the chance to land the potent scoring guard from New York. Despite the interest of the recent schools, and personal favorites USC and Temple, Aguilar’s recruitment is wide open.


"I have a long way before I pick my school," Aguilar said.

Nonetheless, a shooting guard that can score the ball on every possession doesn't run many college coaches away. Whatever program lands Aguilar will receive a steal in the 2011 class.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

2011 PF Christian Kirk Commits to Missouri State

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

Cuonzo Martin and Missouri State have received the verbal commitment of 6-foot-7 power forward Christian Kirk.

The Bears have made the NIT tournament four times in the past decade, however have not made the NCAA Tournament since 1999. After winning 24 games a season ago, Missouri State looks to continue to move forward and end their NCAA Tournament drought.

The commitment of Kirk is a good step in doing so.

An in-state prospect, Kirk is rated as the 58th best power forward in the class of 2011, according to ESPNU. The 6-foot-7, 195 pound, big man certainly will be a solid addition for the Bears in the coming years.

Christian Kirk's decision to go with Missouri State was one that was made over the likes of Butler, Southern Illinois, and St. Louis, among attention, but no offers from some Big Ten and Big 12 schools.

Kirk is the first commitment to Martin's class of 2011 at Missouri State.


*Photo: Christian Kirk *Credit: rivals.com

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

IUPUI Locks Up Pair of 2011 Commitments

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

IUPUI head coach Ron Hunter has been at the helm of the basketball program since 1994. In 2003, he guided the Jaguars to their one and only NCAA Tournament appearance. It ended with a 95-64 blowout loss at the hands of then No. 1 seeded Kentucky.

Focusing back on the present day, Hunter, just like any other college coach out there, is hitting the recruiting trails and for 2011 he has headed into the home state of the school that eliminated IUPUI from their only NCAA Tournament game.

IUPUI has received the verbal commitments of two prospects out of the state of Kentucky. A 6-foot-4 swing man from Louisville and a 6-foot point guard from Bowling Green are on board at IUPUI for 2011, each of their decisions coming over the course of the last few days.

On Saturday, Louisville native Lyonell Gaines verbally committed to Ron Hunter and IUPUI. Gaines is a good athlete and can compete on the glass at just 6-foot-4 along with having the ability to get out and run in transition.

Two days later, on Monday, Bowling Green native Jordan Shanklin followed Gaines' decision and also issued his verbal decision to attend IUPUI. Shanklin is a solid point guard whose decision to commit to the Jaguars followed consideration from Charleston Southern, The Citadel, Gardner-Webb, Portland State, and South Dakota, among others.

IUPUI, a member of the Summit League, is coming off one of their better seasons in school history, registering a 25-11 record overall. The good news is the Jaguars only graduate three members of that team, however, it is three of their top five scorers from a season ago.

One thing is clear though, Ron Hunter will continue towards leading IUPUI back to the NCAA Tournament for a second time in school history, even if he has to go to Kentucky to do so.


*Photo: Ron Hunter *Credit: espn.go.com

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Perry Ellis "Enjoyed" His Visit to KU

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Photo Credits to Sportspresstv.com
Perry Ellis, arguably the best prospect in the 2012 class, made an official visit to KU yesterday. According to his mother, things went beyond expectations. "It was great, we had a really good time" his mother said via email.

Ellis experienced life as a Kansas Jayhawk Student-Athlete. He attended classes and had enough time to play a few pickup games.

Ellis, has the choice to attend almost any University in America. His set of physical skills, combined with his understanding of the game, and hard work, solidifies that notion.

Despite the enjoyment of the KU visit, OU, K-State, Memphis and Kentucky, will embrace the chance to overwhelm the phenom from Kansas.

Oklahoma is next to host the 6-foot-8 forward. The Oklahoma Sooners play Florida State, and Ellis will be attendance. His mother has also expressed a lot of excitement involving the OU visit. "I am excited about going to the football game."

Nonetheless, before Ellis finishes his visits, no favorite will be insight.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chane Behanan Heading to Louisville

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

Rick Pitino's 2011 recruiting class got even stronger on Tuesday, as the Cardinals received a verbal commitment from Chane Behanan.

The 6-foot-7 power forward is rated as the No. 32 overall prospect in the class by ESPNU and becomes the fourth to commit to Louisville for 2011.

Although the Cardinals still await the decisions of potential targets Deuce Bello, Tony Wroten Jr., Josiah Turner and Quincy Miller, Behanan gives Louisville one of the top recruiting classes in the country already.

Behanan joins the likes of fellow four-star prospects Wayne Blackshear, Zach Price, and Ryan Taylor, three of which, Behanan included, are from the state of Kentucky. Wayne Blackshear, an Illinois native, is the only out-of-state commitment thus far.

Known for his power and ability to finish at the rim with contact, Behanan has been compared to current Boston Celtics power forward Glen Davis. The Bowling Green native stands at 6-foot-7 and measures in at 230lbs.

Behanan made his decision after also considering interest from Cincinnati, Indiana, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Texas.

The in-state rival Kentucky Wildcats boast some of the top talent in the class of 2011, receiving verbal commitments themselves from four of the top twelve prospects in the class. However, many people believe Pitino might be nipping at their heels in terms of his own class and the commitment of Behanan only furthers that opinion.


*Photo: Chane Behanan *Credit: espn.go.com

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Kuemper, Stewart Both Go Local With Collegiate Decisions

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

Pac-10 schools Washington and Oregon each received good news from local targets on the 2011 recruiting circuit.


The Washington Huskies received the verbal commitment from 6-foot-3 guard Hikeem Stewart. Rated as the 36th best shooting guard in the class, according to scout.com, Stewart a resident of Seattle, Washington decided to remain home with his collegiate decision.

Stewart had a great summer, turning some heads, and moving up the rankings. He is great shooter in transition and Huskies fans should be thrilled to have him, however they will continue to hold out hope on Tony Wroten Jr., a Washington native himself, who is considered one of the top point guards in the nation.

Stewart chose the Huskies over the likes of Colorado, Oregon State, UNLV, and Washington State.

Oregon, on the other hand, picked up the verbal commitment from big man Austin Kuemper. The 6-foot-9 center is a native of Portland, Oregon and becomes the first member of new Ducks head coach Dana Altman's class of 2011.

Kuemper is considered the 22nd best center in the class, according to scout.com and has a high upside with a nice skill set around the basket. He also considered Iowa State, Oregon State, San Diego State, and Washington State.

The local pick-ups for both Oregon and Washington are key as each of the Pac-10 schools look to stay on top of the talent in the area. Some of the top Northwest talent most recently has included the likes of Terrence Jones and Kyle Wiltjer, members of the class of 2010 and 2011, respectively, both of whom decided to head to Kentucky with their collegiate decisions.


*Photo: Hikeem Stewart *Credit: espn.go.com

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Monday, September 6, 2010

2011 PF Jacob Lawson Heading to Purdue

Posted by CoHoops Paul Seaver

Oak Ridge, North Carolina native Jacob Lawson has given his verbal commitment to the Purdue Boilermakers.

The 6-foot-6 member of the Oak Ridge Military Academy is an athletic power forward that should instantly give Purdue head coach Matt Painter an athletic addition to the front court in 2011.

Rated as the 29th best power forward in the class by scout.com, Lawson is a quick forward who looks to get above the rim and run out in transition, something that should benefit Purdue against the more slowed down defenses in the Big Ten.

Lawson narrowed his decision down to the likes of Seton Hall, Maryland, Mississippi, West Virginia, Colorado, and Alabama before ultimately deciding to join the Boilermakers.

With the addition of Lawson, Matt Painter now has the likes of him and Donnie Hale on board for 2011.

Purdue brings back a plethora of bodies for 2010-2011 which should once again have them amongst the Top 5 in the nation for the beginning of the season.

Lawson's aggressive and rebounding abilities should allow Purdue to move forward in 2011 as they will have to replace the likes of seniors-to-be Robbie Hummel and JaJuan Johnson when the time comes.


*Photo: Jacob Lawson *Credit: rivals.com

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B.J Young To Arkansas Means No Ky Madden?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell

Ky Madden, a native of Arkansas, has been watched by Coach John Pelphrey closely. Before his emergence, Madden reportedly told sources he had a top two of Ole Miss and Arkansas. However, with his progression, more schools have called, and he opened up his recruitment.

Madden, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, has great physical tools to succeed. According to his father, his son has no favorite, but does plan to visit schools before announcing his discretion.

UConn will be first, September 8-10, Baylor, September 11th, then Ole Miss and Arkansas. Since Arkansas and Ole Miss are close to home, Madden isn't so sure about the dates, but did say either the 17th or 24th of September.

However, seeing that B.J. Young announced his decision to be a Razorback, Madden seems out of reach.

Madden plays the same position as Young. He has the physical abilities, scoring mentality and continues to create buzz that recruiters like. 

Madden does have a dark-side that many recruiters would like to throw to the side. His temper continues to flare on court, and that throws red flags to many programs.

Nonetheless, Madden is too talented to pass up if you’re any college program. But trying to acquire both Madden and Young will be tougher than adding Quincy Miller to an already stacked Kentucky recruiting class.

Don't count it out. With the progression of Young, I assume he will make his way to the point guard position before the end of his senior year in High School. With that, Young could be placed at the lead position in the backcourt, which opens up room for Madden on the wing.

Collectively with Madden and Young, Arkansas can be dominant. But don't expect to see them together. It's tough trying to acquire two highly touted recruits that play the same position. Don't forget, it has happened!


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B.J. Young Brings Another Meaning To Arkansas' 2011 Recruiting Class

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell


There is no question about who has the best 2011 recruiting class. John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats have grabbed the top spot once again. However, that isn't stopping other programs from recruiting top-tier talent.

For example, look at the job Arkansas has done with their 2011 recruiting class. The Razorbacks acquired highly-touted forwards Aaron Ross and Hunter Mickelson, before the latest acquisition of scoring threat B.J. Young.

Young, a 6-foot-3 guard from Missouri, added Kansas and Memphis to his recruitment September 1st, but according to ESPN, he liked Arkansas better. "I just felt it was the best fit for me," Young told ESPN.

Now, with Young, Ross and Mickelson verbally committing, the Razorbacks grasp the chance to compete in the SEC.

Ross and Mickelson will bolster the frontcourt, while Young commends their duties in the backcourt. Not to mention, assuming Courtney Fortson stays for his senior season, the two could produce a deadly backcourt tandem. Now mix that with the wing threat of Ross, the low-post option of Mickelson, and you have a significant starting lineup.

Don't assume the recruiting will stop after the acquisition of Young. The Razorbacks still have recruits that consider their program.

It wouldn't be surprising to see more highly-touted recruits signify the 2011 recruiting class for the Razorbacks.



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