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Thursday, April 27, 2017

College Basketball

Report: Steve Fisher retiring from San Diego State

Steve Fisher SDSU

Longtime San Diego State basketball coach Steve Fisher is reportedly retiring.

Fisher, an NCAA title-winning coach who has been with the Aztecs since 1999, told his players and staff on Monday of his decision, according to Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The 72-year-old will be replaced by assistant Brian Dutcher, who had been the school’s designated coach-in-waiting since 2011.

Fisher was an NCAA champion in 1989 as Michigan coach. He also famously oversaw the team’s Fab Five teams as well, twice finishing as national runners-up. He took San Diego State to eight NCAA Tournaments and two Sweet Sixteens during his lengthy tenure. He’ll be remembered as a class act and a great success as head coach and has certainly earned a happy and peaceful retirement.

Grayson Allen dons ‘Don’t Trip’ hat

Grayson Allen

Duke guard Grayson Allen is making light of his tripping habits.

Allen was apparently spotted out wearing a hat with a rather interesting slogan on the side: “Don’t trip.”

Allen, of course, has become rather notorious for a series of tripping incidents during games. His most prominent one came last season and carried severe repercussions. He at least managed to behave himself over the latter part of Duke’s season, so this actually comes off as funny rather than idiotic — although Allen is so reviled by some, it probably doesn’t matter. Maybe he just wants the constant reminder with him.

Johnathan Motley undergoes knee surgery for torn MCL

Johnathan Motley is expected to be out 4-6 weeks to recover from surgery on his knee to repair a torn meniscus.

Motley suffered a torn meniscus in his knee during Baylor’s Sweet 16 loss to South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament last month, as Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony first reported. Baylor confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that Motley underwent the operation.

Motley is a redshirt junior and expected to be picked potentially as high as the late first round if he enters the draft. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game last season for the Bears.

Motley has not yet made a decision about the draft.

Grayson Allen considering a return to Duke for senior season

Grayson Allen

The most controversial player in college basketball may be returning for another season.

While three of his Duke teammates have declared for the NBA draft, Grayson Allen is considering a return to school, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Luke Kennard have all announced their intention to go pro.

Allen is an interesting case because he could probably rebuild his draft stock with a more successful senior season.

Allen enjoyed a stellar sophomore season in which he averaged 21.6 points per game on 46.6 percent shooting. However, his recently completed junior season was forgettable, as Allen averaged 14.5 points per game on 39.5 percent shooting.

The Jacksonville native was stripped of his captain status at Duke, suspended for his tripping problem, and started coming off the bench. He might be best served returning to school to remind pro teams and NBA scouts of what he can do.

Report: Josh Jackson gaining buzz as potential No. 1 overall pick

The 2017 NBA Draft may have to prepare for a third-party run at the very top.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News reports on Wednesday that Kansas freshman Josh Jackson “has been getting a lot of buzz as a potential No. 1 [overall pick] lately,” particularly if a team without a need at point guard lands the pick.

A pair of dynamic Pac-12 floor generals have dominated the conversation for top overall pick consideration thus far, but it’s hard to discount Jackson’s argument for going No. 1. He averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game for the Jayhawks last season to go along with strong defensive play and borderline-elite athleticism for a 6-foot-8 wing player.

Jackson’s off-the-court troubles might scare off some teams, particularly with so many marquee talents coming out of this year’s class. But nevertheless, it’s starting to look like a very real possibility that the 20-year-old could crash the party at the front of the draft next June.

Image via KUSports.com on YouTube

New Mexico reportedly contacts James Borrego about head coaching job

New Mexico is dipping into the ranks of the NBA as they search for their next head basketball coach.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports Wednesday that the Lobos have contacted San Antonio Spurs assistant James Borrego to gauge his interest in their head coaching vacancy, noting that Borrego grew up in New Mexico.

Borrego joined the Spurs staff in 2003 and was on their championship-winning teams in 2005 and 2007. He left to become an assistant on the then-New Orleans Hornets in 2010 before joining the Orlando Magic in 2012 and briefly becoming their interim head coach in 2015, compiling a record of 10-20 (.333). Borrego finally returned to San Antonio later that year.

New Mexico fired head coach Craig Neal last month after four seasons at the helm of the team. Borrego does have some coaching experience at the college level as well, having been an assistant on the San Diego Toreros from 2001 to 2003. As such, he may be a strong choice to help return the Lobos to some relevance in the Mountain West.

Image via Adam Papageorgiou on YouTube

10 biggest takeaways from the college basketball season

Archie Miller Indiana

No sport features the insanity that college basketball is able to muster each and every year. Not only does college hoops feature 351 teams playing every night of the week for four straight months, but it gives us the gift of conference tournaments and the wildness of March Madness.

Every college basketball season has its own charms and highlights, though every single one is as exciting as the last. This season was no exception, making waves that we’ll remember or feel the effects of for years to come.

With the 2016-2017 season now in the books, here’s a look at the 10 biggest takeaways from theyear.

1. Gonzaga pushed mid-majors forward

Though the Zags lost in Monday’s championship game, the Bulldogs reaching the final game was historic. Gonzaga was the first mid-major program to play for a title in five years, but the first school without a football program to play for the national championship since Seton Hall in 1989.

In recent seasons, top seeded mid-majors have not lived up to the task. Gonzaga reaching the Final Four as a top seed, while Kansas and Villanova did not, could do wonders on Selection Sunday moving forward. Seeing is believing. Committee members who in the past had been less trusting of mid-major resumes could now be more comfortable rewarding small school achievements.

2. Wichita State wants to upgrade its status

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