Credit: UK Athletics

Thursday News and Notes

Highlighting the latest news around college basketball and the NBA draft

Jemarl Baker confirmed that he will be transferring from Kentucky. Baker dealt with injuries sitting out in his first year of college, and this past season he averaged only 9.1 minutes per game. There is some belief that Kentucky will look to add another guard with the departure of Baker, but that is unclear at this point. The shooting guard can score as a knock down shooter, while being a decent defender to go with a better ability to attack the basket than he is given credit for. He will likely end up at another big school with his skills, with a west coast school making the most sense considering he is from California.

Brandon Clarke put his name in the draft and although there is a chance he could return to school, it seems unlikely at this point. As a junior after sitting out last year due to transfer rules, Clarke averaged 16.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He is viewed by most as a first round round lock, with some sites having him in the lottery while others have him going in the 20’s. We currently have him going #24, but it would not be a surprise to see him go higher with his athleticism and play making ability.

Mamadi Diakite also entered the draft after a strong NCAA tournament helping lead UVA to the championship. If he were to stay in the draft this year, we would have him going undrafted and starting out in the G League or overseas. He has athleticism and length that make him a solid defensive player, but he is very raw offensively and will need to do more on that end of the court to impress teams. It should be noted that with Virginia’s style of play, it could be possible that Diakite brings more to the table offensively than we have seen.

4 star recruit Harlond Beverly committed to Miami electing to stay in Florida. At 6’4″ he has athleticism, and can score in multiple ways that should allow him to see significant minutes as his college career begins. It was a big in state pick up for Miami to get a skilled guard this late in the game.

Iona coach Tim Cluess has turned down St. John’s for their head coaching vacancy, the third coach to do so in the search. This is a different search than UCLA’s, which saw their lack of willingness to pay buyouts leading to not being able to land a coach until after going through multiple negotiations. As a New York native, I am sure St. John’s thought Cluess would be very interested, but the search continues with no clear answer on where they will turn next.


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