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  • Kentucky G Diallo withdraws from NBA Draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 25, 2017

    Promising Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo withdrew his name from the NBA Draft prior to the deadline and will play for the Wildcats this season.

    • Diallo graduated early from high school and enrolled at Kentucky in January but didn't play for the Wildcats last season. He entered the NBA draft process and was eligible to return to college because he didn't retain an agent.

      He created some waves at the NBA draft combine in Chicago by posting a vertical leap of 44 feet, five inches, the second-highest in combine history.

      The 6-foot-6 Diallo was forecasted as a late first-round pick. He withdrew his name just minutes prior to the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline on Wednesday night.

      "I hope to play in the NBA one day -- just not this season," Diallo said in a statement on his Twitter feed. "Based on the information I received by testing the waters, I believe it's in my best interests to return to school.

      "Although I was a part of the team last season and trained with my teammates, I never fulfilled another one of my dreams, which was to play for a major college program and win a national title. I am excited about returning to Kentucky for the 2017-18 season. I can't wait to play in a Kentucky jersey for the first time."

      Naturally, Wildcats coach John Calipari was pleased with Diallo's decision. Kentucky needs to replace all five starters from last season's Elite Eight squad, including the standout backcourt of Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox.

      "I'm really proud of Hami. He took in all the information, asked a lot of questions, including questions to the NBA teams," Calipari said in a statement. "I love the fact that he wants to put himself in a better position and help lead this new team to a championship.

  • Xavier G Bluiett to return for senior season
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    CINCINNATI -- After testing the NBA waters for the second straight offseason, Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett has decided to return for his senior season, giving the Musketeers a likely preseason top-25 team hoping to make another deep NCAA Tournament run.

    • "Trevon is one of the best players in all of college basketball and we're excited to have him back in the role of senior leader," said Xavier head coach Chris Mack. "Tre has been a part of three straight NCAA appearances including trips to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. He competes every day and continues to improve in every facet of the game. I know our fans are ecstatic."

      Bluiett worked out for his hometown Indiana Pacers on Monday then reportedly had a workout scheduled with the New York Knicks on Wednesday before cancelling hours before making his return to Xavier official.

      Bluiett, a two-time First Team All-Big East Conference selection, ranked second in the league in scoring 18.5 points per game.

      During Xavier's run to the Elite Eight ending with a loss to top-seed Gonzaga on the doorstep of the Final Four, Bluiett averaged 21.3 points per game to earn a spot on the five-member all-West Regional team.

      The Indianapolis native is on track to become only the fifth 2,000-point scorer in Xavier history. Bluiett, who has moved up to 15th place on XU's all-time scoring list with 1,585 career points, is actually on pace to finish as high as second on XU's all-time scoring list. His 665 points as a junior rank fifth-best all-time for Xavier single season scoring totals.

  • Alabama F Key withdraws from NBA Draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    Alabama forward Braxton Key withdrew from the NBA draft and will return for his sophomore season, the school announced Tuesday.

    • The 6-foot-8 Key didn't sign an agent when he entered the draft, which allowed him the option to pull out.

      "I made that official when I sent my paperwork to the NBA league office Monday morning," Key said in a statement. "I want to express my appreciation to my teammates, Coach (Avery) Johnson and the entire coaching staff for giving me their full support while I went through this process.

      "I am excited for the future of the Alabama basketball program and looking forward to getting to work as we prepare for next season. Roll Tide and Buckle Up!"

      Key averaged 12 points and 5.7 rebounds as a freshman. He scored in double figures on 20 occasions.

  • College basketball notebook: F Delgado will stay at Seton Hall
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, May 22, 2017

    Seton Hall forward Angel Delgado, the leading rebounder in the country, announced that he will withdraw his name from next month's NBA Draft and return to the school for his senior season.

    • Delgado said in a statement that it "feels just right" to come back for his final year.

      A native of the Dominican Republic, the 6-foot-10 Delgado averaged 15.2 points and nation-best 13.1 rebounds for the Pirates during his junior season, leading Seton Hall to a 21-12 overall mark and 10-8 record in the Big East.

      Wednesday is the deadline for players to pull out of the draft and retain college eligibility.

      --Texas guard Andrew Jones announced his withdrawal from next month's NBA Draft and his return to the Longhorns for his sophomore season.

      Jones participated in the NBA combine and workouts with individual teams but did not hire an agent.

      Jones, who played in 33 games as a freshman as Texas struggled to an 11-22 season, led the team in assists with 3.5 per game and was third in scoring (11.4 points).

      --Five-star prospect Emmanuel Akot announced that he will graduate from high school early and enroll at Arizona for the 2017-18 season.

      His coach at Wasatch Academy in Utah, Curtis Condie, confirmed the decision of Akot, who originally committed to the Wildcats in March as a 2018 prospect. Akot, a product of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is listed at 6 feet 8 and 205 pounds but is expected to play a wing role off the bench for the Wildcats as a freshman.

      Akot averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists during the two April live periods for Exum Elite Utah Prospects on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit. He shot 47.2 percent from 3-point range.

  • Blue-chip recruit Akot to join Arizona early
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, May 22, 2017

    Five-star prospect Emmanuel Akot announced Monday he will graduate from high school early and enroll at Arizona for the 2017-18 season.

    • His coach at Wasatch Academy in Utah, Curtis Condie, confirmed the decision of Akot, who originally committed to the Wildcats in March as a 2018 prospect.

      "After much thought, my family and I have decided to join the 2017 class and become a member of the Arizona Basketball family next season," Akot wrote on Twitter.

      Akot, a product of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is listed at 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds but is expected to play a wing role off the bench for the Wildcats as a freshman. He also played backup point guard at Wasatch.

      "He was our backup point, we posted him up and he worked a lot on his outside shot," Condie told the Arizona Daily Star. "He was more consistent about (his shot) and when he wants to be, he can be an outstanding defender."

      Akot averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists during the two April live periods for Exum Elite Utah Prospects on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit. He shot 47.2 percent from 3-point range.

      Arizona coach Sean Miller's 2017 recruiting class was already ranked in the top five nationally.

      Akot's decision comes a day after freshman Rawle Alkins announced he was withdrawing from the 2017 NBA Draft and returning to Arizona for his sophomore season. Star guard Allonzo Trier announced last month he was returning for his junior year.

  • Seton Hall F Delgado withdraws from NBA draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, May 22, 2017

    Seton Hall forward Angel Delgado, the leading rebounder in the country, announced he will withdraw his name from next month's NBA Draft and return to the school for his senior season.

    • The 6-foot-10 Delgado said in a statement that it "feels just right" to come back for his final year.

      "It's very important to my family and me that I finish what I started," Delgado said. "This was a difficult decision that took time and patience. Coming back feels just right."

      A native of the Dominican Republic, Delgado averaged 15.2 points and nation-best 13.1 rebounds for the Pirates during his junior season, leading Seton Hall to a 21-12 overall mark and 10-8 record in the Big East.

      Wednesday is the deadline for players to pull out of the draft and retain their college eligibility.

      Delgado, a first-team All-Big East selection, reportedly was set to sign with an agent but received lukewarm interest and was not invited to the NBA scouting combine.

      He averaged just over nine points and nine boards in each of his first two seasons with Seton Hall, which will return three starters for the 2017-18 season.

  • Texas G Jones withdraws from draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, May 22, 2017

    Texas guard Andrew Jones announced his withdrawal from next month's NBA Draft and will return to the Longhorns for his sophomore season.

    • Jones participated in the NBA combine and workouts with individual teams but did not hire an agent.

      "I've matured and learned a lot through this process," Jones wrote Monday on Twitter, two days before the NCAA's withdrawal deadline for players who have not hired agents. "I enjoyed the experience and opportunity that I had to be able to participate in the (NBA combine) and team workouts."

      Jones, who played in 33 games as a freshman as Texas struggled to an 11-22 season, led the Longhorns in assists with 3.5 per game and was third in scoring (11.4 points).

      Jones was one of two Longhorns to test the draft, with freshman center Jarrett Allen staying in and he is projected as a lottery selection.

      Jones' decision comes days after a five-star 6-foot-11 center Mohamed Bamba committed to the Longhorns last week, giving third-year coach Shaka Smart one of the nation's top recruiting classes.

      "Andrew has taken a mature approach to gathering feedback from NBA teams about areas where he can continue to grow," Smart said in a statement. "His work ethic has been terrific, and he is highly motivated to develop and help his team win. Our coaching staff is very excited to help him continue to move forward, on and off the court."

  • Prep star Bamba selects Texas
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, May 19, 2017

    Mohamed Bamba, the top remaining uncommitted men's basketball recruit in the class of 2017, announced Thursday he will attend Texas next season, choosing the Longhorns over Kentucky.

    • Bamba is a McDonald's All American who is ranked as the nation's second-best prospect in the 2017 class by Scout and is ranked third by ESPN.

      He is the top recruit during Shaka Smart's time as Texas coach. Scout ranks Texas' 2017 recruiting class the third best in the nation.

      Bamba announced his choice on The Players' Tribune.

      Bamba, a 6-foot-11 Harlem, N.Y., native who played his high school ball at Westtown School in West Chester, Pa., said he bonded with Smart when he played under Smart coach on the under-18 Team USA last summer. He also noted that he liked the progress his friend Jarrett Allen made last season. After one season with the Longhorns, Allen is now projected to be a first-round NBA pick.

      "I can't say enough about the strides my friend Jarrett Allen made this past year," Bamba wrote. "I saw his footwork improve. I saw the spots they put him in -- where he was shooting, passing and stretching the paint like a modern 5. Most importantly, I saw his confidence grow throughout the season as he distinguished himself as a possible lottery pick. I'm thankful for the blueprint he laid down and I hope to follow in his footsteps."

      Besides losing Allen, Texas lost Tevin Mack, the team's leading scorer last year, who was suspended multiple times, then dismissed. Mack announced this week that he is transferring to Alabama.

      "I'm extremely excited that Mo has chosen Texas," Smart said in a statement. "He's as unique a person and player as I've been around. Mo's combination of talent, intellect and ability to impact others will make him a catalyst in our program and on our campus from day one."

      As a senior, Bamba averaged 12.8 points and 9.3 boards per game.

      "He has so much to offer," Westtown coach Seth Berger said, according to Philly.com. "He's got intelligence, character, length, athleticism, and talent. He's 100 percent a one-and-done kid. He'll be a No. 1 or No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA draft."

  • Texas transfer Mack commits to Alabama
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 18, 2017

    Texas small forward transfer Tevin Mack committed to Alabama, multiple outlets reported on Wednesday.

    • Mack visited the Crimson Tide's campus on Tuesday.

      Mack, who was one of the top recruits in the 2015 class, had signed with Virginia Commonwealth before following Longhorns coach Shaka Smart to Austin after receiving a release from his National Letter of Intent.

      The 6-foot-7 Mack was suspended twice last season for a violation of team rules, including indefinitely by Smart on Jan. 12. He didn't appear in another game for the rest of last season and received his release from the school in late February.

      Mack averaged a team-high 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds before the suspension. He will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2018-19 season because of NCAA transfer rules.

  • Duke transfer Chase Jeter picks Arizona
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 17, 2017

    Former five-star recruit and McDonald's All-American Chase Jeter is transferring from Duke to Arizona.

    • Jeter played in 16 games last season but was limited by a back injury.

      Jeter, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, announced his decision via Instagram. He posted a picture of himself wearing a Wildcats jersey and wrote:

      "I'm heading to Tucson... #BearDown"

      Due to NCAA transfer rules, Jeter will have to sit out the 2017-18 season before having two years of eligibility at Arizona, starting in the 2018-19 season.

      Like UCLA, USC and Gonzaga, Arizona actively recruited him out of Bishop Gorman High School before he chose Duke.

      Jeter visited Tucson with Pitt grad transfer Cameron Johnson, who has yet to announce his decision but is eligible immediately as a graduate student.

  • Rhode Island coach Hurley lands extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 16, 2017

    Rhode Island extended the contract of basketball coach Dan Hurley two years through the 2023-24 season after he guided the Rams to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999.

    • Hurley, 44, is entering his sixth season at Rhode Island. He has led the Rams to two postseason appearances -- also the NIT in the 2014-15 campaign -- and owns a 87-73 coaching record at the school and is 125-95 overall in his career.

      "I appreciate the opportunity to continue to lead the Rhode Island men's basketball program. So much goes into building a championship culture and I am proud of the efforts we have made in all facets of our program," Hurley said in a statement.

      Rhode Island posted a 25-9 record last season (13-5 in Atlantic 10) and won the Atlantic 10 Tournament title en route to earning a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tourney.

      The Rams defeated sixth-seeded Creighton 84-72 in the NCAA Tournament's opening round but fell to third-seeded Oregon 75-72 in the second.

      Hurley also spent two seasons coaching at Wagner, going 38-22.

  • Duke lands top PG Duval
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 16, 2017

    Should Mike Krzyzewski bring another national championship to Duke, he might look back at the past week on the recruiting trail as the impetus behind the next banner.

    • Trevon Duval, regarded as the best point guard in the 2017 class, joined Duke's steller 2017 haul days after the Blue Devils brought in Jordan Tucker, who was considering Syracuse until a last-minute visit to Durham.

      Krzyzewski already landed two other five-star recruits, Wendell Carter and Gary Trent Jr., to pair with Duval.

      "I'm excited to evolve as a student, as a basketball player and now, and forever, as a Blue Devil," Duval said in a video shared via The Players' Tribune.

      Duval averaged 16.1 points and 7.5 assists as a senior at IMG this past season and was chosen as a McDonald's All-American.

      The roster is dotted with holes after a mass exodus following the 2016-17 season, including Frank Jackson, Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles to the NBA Draft and seniors Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones.

      Sean Obi and Chase Jeter transferred.

  • G Hutchison returning to Boise State; PG Austin departs
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 11, 2017

    Boise State leading scorer Chandler Hutchison withdrew from the NBA Draft on Thursday and will play his final college season, the school announced.

    • But while Hutchison is returning, second-leading scorer Paris Austin has elected to transfer for his final two college seasons. Austin was granted a release from his scholarship, the school announced.

      Hutchison didn't sign with an agent, which gave him the option to return. He was not invited to the NBA combine, which began Thursday.

      "I am extremely grateful for the opportunities, interest and feedback I received from many NBA teams," Hutchison said in a statement. "The time is right to put my focus back on winning a Mountain West Championship. Everything I learned the last month will help me be a better player, teammate and future draft pick."

      The 6-foot-7 Hutchison averaged 17.4 points and 7.8 rebounds last season.

      Austin, a point guard, averaged 12.3 points and a team-leading 2.8 assists last season. The 6-foot guard struggled with his outside shooting as he hit just 21.2 percent of his 3-point attempts.

      Austin must sit out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

  • Missouri Valley Conference adds Valparaiso to replace Wichita State
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 9, 2017

    The Missouri Valley Conference extended an invitation to Valparaiso to join the conference, the league confirmed on Tuesday.

    • The Crusaders will replace long-time basketball power Wichita State, which recently departed for the American Athletic Conference.

      The MVC said Valparaiso would become a member effective July 1, 2017. The conference said it would have no further comment on expansion plans.

      The addition of Valparaiso keeps the MVC at 10 teams. The vote to add the Crusaders was unanimous, according to the MVC.

      Valparaiso's men's basketball program has won 20 or more games in six of the past seven seasons. The Crusaders have made nine NCAA Tournament appearances and have two wins in that event, both coming in 1998 when the Bryce Drew-led team advanced to the Sweet 16.

      The MVC also considered Murray State, Milwaukee and Nebraska-Omaha before deciding on Valparaiso.

      Valpo was a member of the Horizon League for most of its sports. Its football program will continue playing in the FCS Pioneer Football League.

      The loss of Wichita State is the second recent big blow suffered by the Missouri Valley. Creighton departed to the Big East in 2013.

  • Indiana's Blackmon Jr. to sign with agent, remain in draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 7, 2017

    Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. has decided to hire an agent and remain in the NBA Draft, according to published reports Sunday.

    • Blackmon averaged 17 points and 4.8 rebounds last season but skipping his senior season rates as a gamble. He isn't listed in the latest 60-player mock draft by nbadraft.net.

      Blackmon joins two teammates, forward OG Anunoby and center Thomas Bryant, in signing with agents per the June draft. Hoosiers guard Robert Johnson also entered the draft but hasn't signed with an agent and has until May 24 to withdraw his name.

      Blackmon scored 1,235 career points in three seasons at Indiana. He played in just 13 games as a sophomore due to a knee injury.

      The Hoosiers hired Archie Miller as coach following the season and the former Dayton head man will be overseeing a revamping of the roster due to the defections.

      The draft will be held June 22.

  • Louisvlle G Mitchell stays in NBA Draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, May 5, 2017

    University of Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell is staying in the NBA Draft, opting to sign with an agent and forgo his final two years of college eligibility.

    • Mitchell announced his decision Friday in a post on his Instagram account.

      "I want to thank Card Nation for a great two years," Mitchell wrote while thanking Louisville's coaching staff and his family. "I have decided to forego my junior season and stay in the 2017 NBA Draft."

      The 6-foot-3 Mitchell averaged a team-leading 15.6 points to go with 2.7 assists as a sophomore, guiding the Cardinals to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

      An All-ACC First Team selection, Mitchell shot 42 percent overall from the floor and 37.1 percent from 3-point range last season.

      Mitchell is among 67 players expected to participate in the NBA scouting combine next week in Chicago, the NBA announced Friday. Yahoo! Sports reported that he will sign with Ty Sullivan of Creative Artists Agency.

  • Richard Pitino, Minnesota agree to contract extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 4, 2017

    Richard Pitino received a contract extension after guiding Minnesota to the best single-season turnaround in the country last season.

    • Pitino's pact was extended by one season on Wednesday and runs through the 2021-22 campaign, the school announced. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed for the 34-year-old, who is the son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.

      The Golden Gophers answered an eight-win season in 2015-16 by finishing the following campaign with a 24-10 mark. They ended up as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

      "Since I came back to Minnesota as the AD last May, I have been impressed with Coach Pitino and his management of our men's basketball program," athletic director Mark Coyle said. "I've seen accountability, commitment and focus from every student-athlete and member of the men's basketball staff, led by Coach Pitino. The team's success on the court this year generated a lot of excitement on campus and around the state. I'm looking forward to much more of that with Coach Pitino leading our program."

      Pitino was just as pleased with working with Coyle.

      "My family and I love living in the Twin Cities and look forward to continuing to build a strong men's basketball program on and off the court," Pitino said. "I have loved getting to know and working with Mark Coyle this past year. Mark and President (Eric) Kaler's commitment to athletics is second to none. The future of Gopher basketball is very bright and I am excited to be a part of it."

  • Butler extends Holtmann through 2024-25 season
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 28, 2017

    Butler coach Chris Holtmann received a contract extension through the 2024-25 season, the university announced Friday.

    • Holtmann guided Butler to a 25-9 record this past season and to its first Sweet 16 since 2011. He has compiled a 70-31 record in three seasons.

      "Chris is a tremendous ambassador for Butler and the Butler Way, and his leadership has resulted in success both on and off the court for the talented young men in our program," vice president and athletic director Barry Collier said in a statement. "This commitment -- both by our university and by Chris -- allows the momentum within our program to continue."

      The Bulldogs recorded two wins over both Villanova and Xavier last season and also posted a nonconference victory over Arizona. Butler's NCAA Tournament run was halted by eventual national champion North Carolina.

      Butler has topped 20 victories and qualified for the NCAA field in each of Holtmann's three seasons.

      "Butler truly is a special place, and my family and I are thankful to be part of a great academic institution and an athletics department that is a source of pride for those who embrace Butler and The Butler Way," Holtmann in a statement. "Our student-athletes, our staff, and so many throughout our campus are remarkable at what they do, and I'm excited to continue to work alongside them.

      This is the third straight year that the 45-year-old Holtmann received a contract extension. His previous renegotiated deal ran through the 2021-22 campaign.

  • Northwestern extends Collins through 2024-25 season
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    Northwestern coach Chris Collins has signed a contract extension through the 2024-25 season, the university announced Tuesday.

    • Collins was rewarded after guiding the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance this past season. Northwestern also set a school mark for victories.

      The Wildcats (24-12) defeated Vanderbilt in the first round of the tourney before losing to Gonzaga in the second.

      "My family and I could not be more excited to be a part of the Wildcats' community for many years to come," Collins said in a statement. "I have absolutely loved coaching here, the support that we've received from the university, its leadership and our fans has been exceptional.

      "We love being a part of the Northwestern family and we can't wait to continue building on the foundation established over the last four seasons."

      Collins, 43, has led the Wildcats to back-to-back 20-win campaigns -- the program had just two such seasons prior to his arrival -- while compiling a 73-60 mark over four seasons.

      Collins attended high school less than 10 miles away from the Northwestern campus and is well attached to the Chicago area. He is the son of former NBA player and coach Doug Collins, who is now an ESPN hoops analyst.

      Chris Collins played collegiately at Duke and was a member of the school's coaching staff before Northwestern hired him prior to the 2013-14 campaign.

      Northwestern also announced an extension for football coach Pat Fitzgerald through the 2026 season on Tuesday.

  • Coppin State to hire ex-Maryland star Dixon as coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 22, 2017

    Coppin State is expected to hire former Maryland star guard Juan Dixon to be its next head basketball coach.

    • Sources told the Baltimore Sun on Saturday that the 38-year-old Dixon has accepted the job.

      Dixon is best known for leading Maryland to its only national championship in 2002. He was the all-time leading scorer for the Terrapins and the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.

      Dixon will run a Division I men's program for the first time.

      Dixon spent seven years in the NBA and also played professionally in Europe before joining the Maryland coaching staff in 2013 as a special assistant to head coach Mark Turgeon. Dixon spent three seasons at his alma mater but was not retained after the 2015-16 campaign.

      Dixon took his first head coaching job last fall with the women's team at the University of the District of Columbia, a Division II program. His team finished 3-25 with only nine players, including four freshmen.

      Coppin State finished last season with an 8-24 record after losing its first 12 games. Michael Grant was fired in March after a third straight losing season.

  • South Carolina coaches Martin, Staley get contract extensions
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 21, 2017

    South Carolina rewarded men's basketball coach Frank Martin and women's basketball coach Dawn Staley with contract extensions on Friday.

    • Martin, who guided the seventh-seeded Gamecocks to a surprising run to their first Final Four, received a one-year extension that runs through the 2022-23 season.

      Staley, who led the school to its first national championship, inked a four-year extension that runs through the 2024-25 season.

      Martin originally signed a six-year deal in 2012 when he took the job with South Carolina following five seasons with Kansas State. He signed a four-year extension in April 2016 after the Gamecocks won 25 games but were left out of the NCAA Tournament.

      "Not only did Frank Martin and Dawn Staley lead their teams to record-setting seasons, but through their leadership, teaching and development of student-athletes, they have established highly successful all-around college basketball programs," athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement.

      "I believe that through the core principle of growing the student-athlete experience, Frank and Dawn are set for continued success in their programs for years to come."

      Besides leading the men's program to its first Final Four appearance, Martin led the school to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2004. The Gamecocks also won their first tournament game in 44 years while knocking off higher seeds Duke, Baylor and Florida to win the East Regional.

      Martin is 213-128 overall and 96-74 at South Carolina. In the last two seasons, his record is 51-20.

      Staley spent eight seasons playing in the WNBA before starting a coaching career. She spent her first nine seasons coaching Temple and took the South Carolina job in 2008.

      Staley has a career record of 393-160, including a 221-80 mark with South Carolina.

  • Gonzaga's Williams to gauge NBA draft interest without agent
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 21, 2017

    Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams declared for the NBA draft on Friday, but the junior forward will not sign with an agent.

    • Not signing with an agent means Williams has until May 24 to decide if he wants to remain in the draft or return for his senior season.

      Williams averaged 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in his first season for Gonzaga. He transferred from Missouri and scored 19 points in a blowout win over Xavier that clinched the school's first Final Four spot, earning him the Most Outstanding Player award for the West Regional.

      "After talking with the GU coaches and my family, I'm going to test the NBA Draft process," Williams said in a statement on Gonzaga's official website. "I will not be hiring an agent. It's my dream to play in the NBA and not going with an agent allows me to see where I stand."

      In the national championship game loss to North Carolina, Williams scored nine points while being hampered with foul trouble.

      Williams became the third Gonzaga player to declare for the draft. Zach Collins and Nigel Williams-Goss also declared they were turning pro, but both players said they intend to hire agents.

  • G Brunson returning to Villanova
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, April 20, 2017

    Villanova guard Jalen Brunson will return for his junior season, the school announced on Thursday.

    • Brunson, who is listed at 6-foot-2, averaged 14.7 points and a team-leading 4.1 assists in 2016-17 to fuel the Wildcats to the Big East regular-season and tournament titles.

      The 20-year-old shot 54.1 percent from the field and 87.6 percent from the free-throw line en route to being named a unanimous All-Big East first team selection. He was also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's outstanding point guard.

      "Jalen is an outstanding student who loves being at Villanova and wants to complete his degree by the end of his junior year," coach Jay Wright said in a statement. "This was a simple decision made by Jalen's family. Jalen wants to graduate, be a leader on this year's team, and compete for a championship."

      Brunson's father, Rick, played in the NBA and is an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

  • Shaq's son commits to Arizona for 2018
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Power forward Shareef O'Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, committed to Arizona on Wednesday for 2018.

    • O'Neal's AAU team, California Supreme made the announcement of his verbal commitment via Twitter.

      The five-star junior recruit from Crossroads School in Santa Monica, Calif., is ranked No. 19 in the ESPN 60 for the class of 2018.

      The 6-foot-9, 210-pound O'Neal averaged 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds a game last season for Crossroads School.

      UCLA, Kentucky and LSU -- his father's alma mater -- were among the schools in contention for O'Neal.

      Arizona head coach Sean Miller now has two five-star prospects committed for the 2018 class, with O'Neal joining small forward Emmanuel Akot at the Pac-12 program.

  • Oregon's Bell, Gonzaga's Williams-Gross declare for draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    Two players from the Northwest who played prominent roles in this year's Final Four have decided to declare for the NBA draft.

    • Oregon junior forward Jordan Bell and Gonzaga junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss announced Tuesday they will enter the draft. Both also said they plan to hire agents, which would automatically end their college eligibility.

      Bell joins Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey as Oregon players who have entered the draft this year before their college eligibility was exhausted.

      Bell announced his decision on the website riselongbeach.com.

      "Oregon has become my home. I've gained lifelong friends and made unforgettable memories here," Bell wrote. "After talking it over with my family and friends, I have decided now is the best time for me to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA."

      Oregon finished 33-6 this season and lost to North Carolina 77-76 in the national semifinals.

      Bell averaged 10.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this season.

      Nbadraft.net projects Bell to be the selected early in the second round this year.

      Williams-Goss was a second-team All-American who led Gonzaga to its first appearance in the Final Four before losing in the finals to North Carolina.

      Williams-Goss played his first two college seasons at Washington, then sat out a year after transferring Gonzaga before becoming eligible this past season.

      Williams-Goss averaged 16.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season for Gonzaga, which finished with a 37-2 record.

      Nbadraft.net projects Williams-Goss to be taken midway through the second round.