Thursday News and Notes

Breaking down the latest news around college basketball and the NBA

• Sports Illustrated released their list of the top 100 players in the NBA heading into the 2020 season. Reining MVP Giannas Antetokounmpo came in at number one followed by Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James, Stephen Curry, and James Harden. These types of list are very subjective as far as the order is concerned, with many players using it as extra motivation going into the new year. Click here to see the full list. 

Joe Johnson has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Detroit Pistons after taking home MVP honors in the Big3 this off season. Johnson at one time was a star player in both Phoenix and Atlanta, before bouncing around the league on multiple teams in his 30’s. He is considered to be competing for the last roster spot with center Christian Wood.

Team USA lost again in the World Cup, this time to Serbia in the consolation game after losing to France in the previous round. While the loss is definitely a surprise given the talent disparity between the two teams, a lackluster performance following the loss to France is not a big surprise. After injuries and personal decisions by many top tier players to pass on playing in this years cup, Team USA will look to bounce back in the Olympics next summer with a much more loaded roster.

Trevor Booker is reportedly in the mix for a contract offer from the Bucks, Nuggets and Clippers as teams look to fill out the back end of their rosters. The 31 year old has been playing in China and is coming off of a shortened season due to foot surgery.

• In a bit of an odd story Border Patrol agents have seized 28 fake NBA championship rings at Los Angeles airport. The shipment had come from China on it’s way to Arizona with a reported value of $560,000 for the rings of 11 teams.

• ESPN and Jeff Borzello updated the “Way Too Early” top 25 as we have around two months before meaningful college basketball games begin. Michigan State comes in at #1 with Kansas, Kentucky, Florida and Louisville will rounding out the top five. To see the full rankings click here.

Duke will be wearing jerseys that more closely resemble their uniforms from the 1980’s and 90’s, adding the Blue Devils to the list of teams that have been recently teasing out their uniforms for the upcoming season.

Another sentence was handed down stemming from the investigation into the “Pay for Play” college basketball scandal. Thomas Gassnola received a year of probation for his role as an Adidas consultant admitting he was directly involved in paying top recruits families such as Deandre Ayton. The leniency comes after Gassnola testified against other individuals caught up in the scandal, with authorities saying he helped secure multiple convictions.

Cassius Winston was selected as the best player in college basketball in a poll of college coaches. He received 50% of the votes ahead of Markus Howard and Cole Anthony. The main focus of this site is to project a players pro potential and while Winston will most likely be a second round pick or possibly go undrafted in next years draft, he will no doubt be one of the most important players in the college game this year.

• High school recruit Lance Ware committed to Kentucky this afternoon picking the Wildcats over Michgan, Ohio State, Miami and Providence. A 6’9″ power forward, Ware is ranked #33 by 247 Sports, #31 by Rivals, and #42 by ESPN. Having good size and length with the ability to run the floor well, Ware fits the mold of the Calipari big men as he should have a high ceiling when he arrives in Lexington, especially on the defensive side of the floor.

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