Credit: University of Texas

Thursday News and Notes

Highlighting the news around college basketball and the NBA draft

RJ Barrett declared for the draft, which is no surprise considered he is a lock to in the top five, and more thank likely top three. The freshman averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, which is one of the more impressive freshman seasons in the one and done era.

Mick Cronin was introduced as the new UCLA coach head coach. Cronin will have big expectations as with any coach of the Bruins, and it will be interesting to see how his fiery personality meshes with the recruits on the west coast and the city of Los Angeles in general.

Steve Alford is reportedly going to be get the Nevada job after Eric Musselman left for Arkansas. Alford who was most recently at UCLA, went 124-63 as the head coach of the Bruins. Alford showed the ability to recruit talent at UCLA, but his teams never had the success that is required to remain the coach in Los Angeles.

BYU introduced their new head coach, Mark Pope, who has been at Utah Valley State for the past 4 seasons with a record of 77-56. Pope spent some time in the NBA as a player, and has been in assistant at various colleges since 2009.

• The NBA and Players Union are beginning to discuss the steps necessary to end the “One and Done Rule” which as long as a better system for NBA prospects in put in place, it is a good move for the product on the floor in the pro game. Whatever ends up happening, a main point of emphasis will need to be preventing the issue that came up in the early 2000’s with many high school players declaring for the draft, then going undrafted. With no real option to turn to at the time, there is now the G League, that with an increase in salaries could help alleviate that particular problem.

Louisville has been given verbal notice from NCAA that possible violations could be coming down due to the pay-for-pay scandal that has hit college basketball with Kansas and Arizona being involved as well.

Quentin Grimes declared for the draft. Coming into college as a 5 star recruit, some where projecting he would go in the lottery this year, but after an up and down season that will not be happening. There is a belief that he may come back, however he could stay in the draft believing in his ability to make a roster should he go in the second round.

Rick Pitino has reached out to St. John’s to let them know he is interested in the opening, although it is unclear whether or not he would be considered a candidate. There is no doubt that Pitino can coach, with 2 national championships under his belt, but his time at Louisville was marred with a personal scandal, a team scandal involving prostitution, and the Adidas pay-for-pay scheme.

Jaxson Hayes has declared for the draft, with the freshman big man being viewed as a first round pick. Some sites have him going as high as the top ten, while we have been projecting him in the 20-30 range for most of the season.

Keldon Johnson has also declared for the draft, surprising no one as the freshman is seen as a lock to go in the lottery. His stock has taken a bit of a hit from where he stood at the beginning of the season, but in all likelihood he will be in consideration to go in the top ten.

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