Monday News and Notes

Breaking down the latest news around college basketball, recruiting, and the NBA

AJ Hoggard has committed to play his college years at Michigan State over other offers from some big names like Florida, Louisville, Maryland, Oregon and others. Not the type of player who will wow you with athleticism, he is able to use his strong frame to get to the basket as well as showing off an ability to run the offense well on the AAU circuit. At 6’2″ pushing 200 pounds he is a bit of a throwback type of point guard that should fit in well with the grit that many Tom Izzo teams have played with in the past. Hoggard is ranked #71 by Rivals, #100 by 247 Sports, and #56 by ESPN.

Butler picked up a commitment from 2020 power forward Jakobe Coles. Somewhat undersized at 6’7″ he generally plays inside scoring with his back to the basket or on put back situations, but he has shown the ability to step out and knock down an outside jump shot. Not a great athlete mainly playing below the rim, he will most likely be put into a stretch four type of role in college providing he can continue to work on his shooting. Coles is ranked #124 by Rivals, #151 by 247 Sports, and ESPN has him as an unranked four star.

Justin Wright, a 2020 point guard committed to North Carolina Central. Standing at 6’1″, Wright is a play making guard with the ball in his hands who has been able to score at a high rate on the high school level with his outside shooting being one of the strengths to his game. He was receiving interest from multiple bigger schools but he never received an official offer leading to him choosing NC Central over East Tennessee State, Elon, and High Point. Wright is not ranked by any of the major recruiting services entering the 2019-2020 high school season.

TCU got a big commitment from 2020 power forward Terren Frank. Currently apart of the loaded Sierra Canyon roster, he held some impressive offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Southern California and others. At 6’7″ he can score both inside and out with solid athleticism, with the most intriguing aspect to his game being the fact that he showed off some impressive range this past summer. If he can knock down three point shots at the college level to go with his high motor he has a chance to make a big impact at TCU. Frank is ranked #135 by Rivals, #199 by 247 Sports, and #78 by ESPN.

After seeing a decline in his production the last few seasons, but much more team success overall, the Raptors have finalized an one year extension with Kyle Lowry. This news does not come as a big surprise with the idea being that Lowry can possibly finish off his career with Toronto if he chooses to retire after the 2020-2021 season but the price tag is very surprising. The deal is one year for 31 million dollars making him one of the higher paid players in the league and it is a bit of a confusing move from a salary cap standpoint. It is being sold in the media as a bigger than basketball type of move, or a “Legacy” contract, but whatever the case may be, the Raptors will be vastly overpaying Lowry.

NBA scouts will not be allowed to attend practices that involve Lamelo Ball or RJ Hampton this season. The move comes as many teams were ready to get a look at Hampton while he is back in the U.S. to play exhibition games with the New Zealand Breakers. It would not be a shock to see the NBA change stances on this going forward but for now they will continue to keep those practices closed due to the no-contact rules the NBA employs.

In a bigger than basketball kind of story, senior guard Keshon Henderson has lost his leg after being shot during a robbery. What makes this story even worse is the fact that the attack occurred the day after he committed to play his college basketball at Judson College on a full scholarship. The family has set up a GoFundMe account for anyone who is interested in donating towards his medical expenses.

• Kentucky held their annual Pro Day, which is aimed at giving all 30 NBA teams a first hand look at the new talent in Lexington. John Calipari is making headlines due to his custom shoes worn at the event, white and blue Nike’s with the names of all 38 draft picks he has had since becoming the Wildcat’s coach. Memphis will have their version of a Pro Day today with over 75 scouts and NBA executives expected to attend the event.

Nolan Dorsey committed to New Mexico giving them their second commit in the 2020 class in the last couple of days. Dorsey is a 6’6″ point guard who can pass the ball at a high level which should make him a favorite of his teammates once he steps on campus. Despite not being ranked by the major recruiting services there is a lot to like about his game. His size for a legitimate point guard is well above average, and his play making is something that he should have no issue replicating on the college level. If he can score the ball at a decent rate in college this could end up being a recruiting steal for the Lobos.

The NBA Hong Kong controversy continues after James Harden has now apologized for the tweet by GM Daryl Morey. For a league that believes their players have a platform and should use it to advance issues they care about, they are in a tough situation at this point. On the one hand it is not good for business when the general manager of the most popular team in China says something that many Chinese citizens did not agree with, but on the other hand the league has supported many players speaking out on political issues going domestically.

• Two fan favorites, Tacko Fall and Ja Morant made their debuts. Fall finished with five points, three rebounds, and two blocked shots in 8 minutes of play while Morant finished with 10 points and 7 assists in 18 minutes.

• Player heights have been officially released now that the preseason is underway. There are many players that have gone up and down in height due to the new rules, and especially due to the fact that the players are being measured without shoes on. The most anticipated measurement was Kevin Durant who has now been moved from 6’9″ to 6’10” coming in at just a quarter of an inch under 6’11”. This means that Durant is most likely 7’0″ with shoes which people have been saying in NBA circles for years, but Durant has been constantly denying somewhat as a trolling move but also to avoid being labeled as anything other than a guard or small forward.

• Lamelo Ball played in his first regular season game, scoring 12 points to go with 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and no turnovers.

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