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Wednesday News and Notes

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

North Carolina will be short handed to start the season with multiple players expected to miss time. Guards Anthony Harris and Jeremiah Francis as well as Sterling Manley are all dealing with knee injuries.

Georgia picked up two commitments in the class of 2020 from Mikal Starks and Jonathan Ned. Starks is a 6’0″ point guard that despite being undersized he can make plays with the ball in his hands, as well as knocking down jump shots from the outside. Ned is 6’9″ generally playing on the wing, where he has shown a versatile offensive game being able to shoot three point shots and score inside of the paint. Starks and Ned both Easter Florida State College that competes on the JUCO level, with Rivals and 247 Sports have them ranked as three star recruits.

Kendall Munson committed to Pepperdine over Washington, Washington State, and others. Munson is a 6’9″ power forward who plays mostly inside of the paint doing a lot of the dirty work that every team needs a player to do over the course of a game. Not being a great athlete and lacking a versatile offensive skill will limit his potential to a degree but with a high motor and a knack for producing on the interior he should be able to make an impact on the college level with some development. Rivals has him ranked at #139, 247 Sports ranks him at #189, while he is unranked by ESPN. This is a solid pick up when you consider that home state high major schools Washington and Washington State have enough confidence in his game to offer scholarships.

Keishon Poter announced his commitment to Radford over Texas A&M, Hampton, Hofstra and UNC Greensboro. Porter is not ranked by any of the major recruiting services but he has strong athletic abilities possessing a vertical leap that allows him to make plays at the rim. There was a question at one point regarding what sport he will play in college as he is a star on the football field as well, however Porter elected to move forward with basketball over football scholarship offers.

Three star point guard Jalin Anderson will be heading to UC Irvine turning down offers from New Mexico, Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona, and UTEP. A 6’2″ point guard he can make plays with the ball in his hands whether it is getting to the basket, pulling up for a jump shot or distributing to teammates. How well he can shoot the ball going forward will play a big role in his production on the college level in addition to his ability to run the offense efficiently. Anderson is an unranked three star by Rivals, and 247 Sports have him at #215 in the class of 2020.

Minnesota picked up a commitment from 2020 four star forward Martice Mitchell. At 6’10” he has upside with his ability to hit jump shots at the mid range level as well as scoring inside and blocking shots. He will need to add weight as he enters college to not get pushed around down low weight just under 200 pounds at this point. Mitchell is ranked #129 Rivals, #125 by 247 Sports, and ESPN has him as unranked three star.

Florida got another commitment in the class of 2020 with the announcement of Niels Lane. He has good size for a shooting guard at 6’5″ with an attacking mindset on the offensive end that he uses his high motor to make plays with the ball in his hands. His athleticism has brought some impressive dunks on the AAU circuit, so he should be able to fit in well with the length and athleticism that Florida has been targeting on the recruiting trail. Lane is ranked #63 by Rivals, #107 by 247 Sports, and he is an unranked four star by ESPN.

Tommy Murr will be headed to Lipscomb after announcing he will be joining their class of 2020 recruits. Murr is a deadly scorer on the high school level being able to knock down shots from long range and get to the basket with solid ball handling skills. His shooting ability is his biggest strength and an area of his game that should help him get early minutes once arriving on campus. A 6’2″ point guard, Murr is not ranked by the major recruiting services.

Alex Anderson, a 6’6″ small forward in the class of 2021 committed to South Alabama. Not ranked by any of the major recruiting services, he is not a name that will get many headlines for committing but he has shown the ability to score both inside and out on the high school level. The main negative to his game at this point is outside shooting and his shooting motion is going to need major work going forward by the South Alabama staff.

Maryland has announced plans to open a new practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The facility is budgeted to cost the school $36 million dollars and would house a weight room, practice gym’s, a new locker room and more. 19 million dollars has been raised already through donors, and the plan for now is for the project to be completely funded by private donors. The location of the new facility is going to be connected to the Xfinity Center with a tunnel connecting the two buildings.

Coach K weighed in on the California Fair Play Act calling out the NCAA for not being proactive enough in potential changes to the rules of amateurism in college sports, and Bruce Pearl voiced support for the bill. These are not exactly going out on a limb type of comments considering if a coach distinctly says they believe players should not be able to profit off of their likeness it could potentially hurt them on the recruiting trail, but it shows that many people believe changes need to be made.

Class of 2020 four star has set his announcement date for November 1st, while cutting his list of schools to a final three. Duke, Michigan, and UCLA are the last schools standing in his recruitment with Duke being considered the favorite at this point. Williams is a 7’0″ center ranked #38 by Rivals, #29 by 247 Sports, and #30 by ESPN.

The NBA continues to take hits on their Chinese business after the tweet by Rockets general manger Daryl Morsey. With most of the official partners of the NBA in China now deciding not to continue their relationships going forward this how now become a dollar and cents issue for the league rather than just a public relations story. With the influence of the Chinese government on their business institutions this is not a situation that is going to be dealt with quickly, and Adam Silver will have to try and figure out a way to protect their business interest abroad as well as not appear to be going against an employee of the league.

• Michael Porter Jr. made his preseason debut with the Nuggets, showing off his immense potential after dealing with injuries in college and sitting out his rookie season. Porter Jr. had some nice step back jump shots he is going to be a mismatch for many defenders, especially in pick and roll situations. He finished with 9 points and 3 rebounds in 16 minutes on the floor.

• Ben Simmons made his first three pointer in an NBA game giving hope that his shot is improving even if it is just the preseason.

• Zion Williamson did what Zion Williamson does and produced some impressive highlight dunks in his debut. He showed a willingness to take some outside shots but missed both of his three point attempts. His high motor and athletic ability will allow him to put up numbers while he improves his jump shot. Williamson finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Cam Reddish and Deandre Hunter also made their debuts in the preseason with Reddish putting up 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist while Hunter finished with 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.

 

 

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