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UCLA 97 – Missouri 94 (OT)



Missouri Falls To UCLA In Overtime, LSU Beats Houston Baptist



Q&A With Hoops Prospect Deas

Our Joseph Thompson recently caught up with New York point guard prospect Alvin Deas as part of his ongoing series of Q&As with future SEC hoopsters. Deas has heard from a pair of league schools already.


Joseph Thompson: Who is interested in you?

Alvin Deas: Ohio State, Auburn, Rutgers, Iona, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Nebraska, Memphis, Penn State, UNLV and LSU.

JT: Do you have any offers?

AD: I have three offers from Boston College, Utah and Marist University.

JT: What teams did you grow up watching?

AD: I grew up watching UCLA.

JT: Who would you compare your game to?

AD: I will compare my game to like Bradley Beal that got drafted to
the Washington Wizards.

JT: What are you looking for  in a NCAA program?

AD: I’m looking for in a NCAA problem where they will make me better on and off the court and a place where I can fit in quick an play.

JT: Do you have a dream school?

AD: My dream school is Kansas.

JT: Do you have any visits planned?

AD: I’m working on visiting West Virginia and Temple right now.

JT: Do you think New York basketball should be mentioned along with Florida and Texas basketball?

AD: Yes I think it should cause we have an lot of tough players I just think a lot of people forgot about New York.

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Derrick Henry No Longer Committed To Georgia

It’s a move that many people following his recruitment have expected: running back Derrick Henry from Yulee (Fla.) High School has decommitted from Georgia.

Henry, who was the first prospect to commit to the Bulldogs in the 2013 class, announced the decision Wednesday afternoon following a trip to Alabama last weekend. Henry issued the following statement:

“This has been a great experience getting to know so many great coaches and visiting some of the best college football programs in the country. Even though I’ve worked really hard to put myself in this situation, I know I’m blessed to have this opportunity. I’m very thankful for that.

“For me personally, this is one of the biggest decisions I’ll make in my life and probably the most important to this point. I want to be 100 percent sure I am making the best choice on where I go to college and to play football. I’m going to open up my recruitment and take some more visits, get as much information as I can, and then decide from there. I was probably a little too quick in making my initial decision and got caught up in the moment so I apologize for that. I’m still considering Georgia and I have nothing but great things to say about their program, but I want to be honest with everyone in the fact that I am going to go over all my options and do what is best for me and my athletic and academic career. 

“For the rest of the summer, I am focusing on helping my team have the best season that we can have and achieve our team goals. Please refer any questions about my recruitment to my head coach. I’m not sure when I’ll make a final announcement, but when I have no doubts at all about where I’m going, I’ll let everyone know.”

So where will Henry go? Alabama is certainly a team to watch now that he’s visited Tuscaloosa. He also took a trip to Tennessee in late March, and the Vols will continue to push as they look for a highly-touted running back in the 2013 class.

And then there’s Georgia, which had told prospects it planned to only sign one running back (Henry) in 2013.

The Bulldogs will likely continue to pursue Alvin Kamara from Norcross (Ga.) High School. There’s also UCLA running back commit Keyante Green, who tried to commit to Georgia in February and recently told MrSEC he still has interest in the Bulldogs.

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UCLA Commit Still Has Interest In SEC

Running back Keyante Green is still committed to UCLA but plans to visit other schools before he makes a final decision.

The standout from Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, Ga., told MrSEC he will visit UCLA on June 22 and plans to make trips to Vanderbilt, Purdue and Syracuse this summer.

Tennessee could enter the mix if the Vols decide to reach out to Green. He said he received a scholarship offer from Tennessee “a couple months ago” but hasn’t heard from the school since.

Green said he would call Tennessee if he could.

“I don’t really have any of their numbers so I can’t call them,” he said.

But Green was able to post a message about the Vols on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

“I said no matter what school I go to I’ll always be a Tennessee fan,” Green told MrSEC. “I always grew up a Tennessee fan. I like Tennessee.”

Green said he became a fan of the Vols after he moved from New York to Georgia when he was five years old. He had seen Peyton Manning play for Tennessee and decided that would be his favorite school.

“I grew up in New York with Syracuse fans and then moved down south and there were Georgia fans,” Green said. “I didn’t like Georgia when I was younger so I liked Tennessee.”

Green liked Georgia enough as a recruit to try to commit to the Bulldogs in February. But Georgia told Green it couldn’t accept his commitment because the Bulldogs had already accepted a pledge from Yulee, Fla., running back Derrick Henry.

Green, who’s considered the nation’s No. 21 running back by ESPNU, said he still has interest in Georgia but understands the school’s reason for not taking his commitment.

Vanderbilt will be another school to watch. The Commodores have a commitment from one running back in the 2013 class: Johnathan Ford from New Hope, Ala.

Green said he’s developed a strong relationship with Vanderbilt’s coaching staff.

“I like coach (James) Franklin a lot,” Green said. “They come to my school a lot. We have a good vibe.”

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No Surprise: Kentucky Has Nation’s Top Recruiting Class

Kentucky’s basketball signing class for 2012 moved to No. 1 in the nation on Wednesday night when center Nerlens Noel from Everett, Mass., announced he would play for the Wildcats.

“It was the toughest decision of my entire life,” said Noel, who chose Kentucky over Georgetown and Syracuse.

Noel, who’s ranked the No. 1 player in the nation by ESPNU, helped move Kentucky’s class to the No. 1 ranking by ESPNU. Guard Archie Goodwin, forward Alex Poythress and center Willie Cauley signed with the Wildcats in the fall.

Noel said he noticed the recent success for young players at Kentucky under the guidance of head coach John Calipari.

“Coach Cal recruited me real hard,” Noel said. “He is a good person who cares about his players, he helps them reach their goals and the team’s goals. They play as a unit and are very unselfish. Also the fans were incredible on my visit. They are behind the program 100 percent.”

Kentucky’s 2012 class might not be 100 percent complete. Forward Anthony Bennett from Henderson, Nev., is still on the board and considering Kentucky. The Wildcats will have to battle Florida, Oregon, UNLV and Washington for Bennett’s services.

Evan Daniels of predicted on Wednesday that Bennett’s recruitment will come down to an SEC battle.

Wednesday wasn’t a complete success for Kentucky. The Wildcats lost out on forward Shabazz Muhammad, who announced he will play at UCLA. But that news shouldn’t be surprising when you consider the influence of Adidas, writes Gary Parrish of

Just check out this tweet from Jeff Goodman, Gary Parrish’s colleague at CBSSports, shortly after Muhammad made his announcement.

Ah, college basketball recruiting.

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Calipari Doesn’t Like The One-And-Done Rule… Or The Knicks’ Job For That Matter

John Calipari has for three seasons built dominant basketball teams at Kentucky thanks in very large part to one-and-done players.  That doesn’t mean he’s in favor of the rule:

“I don’t think it’s a good rule.  I hope we change it before this week’s out so all these guys have to come back.  But it is a rule.  It’s not my rule.  It’s a rule we have to deal with.”

As we noted yesterday, NBA commissioner David Stern would also like to change the rule.  He’s stated that he would be in favor of raising the NBA’s minimum age limit to 20 (or two years removed from high school).

For pro teams, they would have a better idea of the type player they are drafting/signing.  They would also have to spend less time developing a first-year player.  That means less risk on both fronts.

But the NBA Players’ Association is against such a move.  Why?  Because it means athletes have to stay in school longer — risking injury while not being paid. 

The hold-up in this matter is not the NBA, the NCAA or Kentucky’s coach… it’s the NBA players’ union.  Calipari says he’s met with the head of the union — Billy Hunter — “three times already”

“You’ve got to negotiate,” Calipari told The Lexington Herald-Leader.  “We’ve got to go to Billy Hunter and say, ‘How do we get this done?’ Then you’ve got to get the NBA involved.”

If Calipari could keep his current batch of likely one-and-doners in school he’d have a better chance at catching UCLA in national championship banners, his new stated goal.  The Bruins have 11 and UK now has eight. 

Kentucky’s coach made that comment yesterday while nuking the annual Calipari-to-the-Knicks rumors that have emerged in the last week:

“Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching.  Why would I leave?  We just won the national title.  We’re chasing UCLA…

All of those (NBA) teams know I’m not doing anything.  I’m not changing.  I’m going to continue to see my friends who coach in the NBA and see my former players who play in the NBA.  I’m going to continue to go to games…

I’ve always said I have more money than I can spend, than my children can spend.  It’s not about that.”

Putting one last exclamation on the point, Calipari told ESPN: “No one is stealing our joy (with rumors).  I’ve made statements that I’ve got the best job in basketball and I’m not going to change my lifestyle.  I’m not leaving.”

(But that hasn’t stopped speculation over who might replace him in Lexington if he did leave.)

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UK To Go For Title #8 Tonight; SEC Looking To Continue Major Sports Dominance

It’s a big night in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and across the entire Southeast.

Kentucky is poised to finally reach the summit of the college basketball world once more.  The Southeastern Conference is set to continue its dominance in the three biggest men’s sports.

When UK steps on the floor against Kansas tonight, the Cats will be playing for their eighth national title all-time, second only to UCLA.  Fittingly, the winningest program in basketball history will have to best the second-winningest team in history for the title.  With a victory John Calipari will get a King Kong-sized monkey off his own back while allowing his employer to hang its first NCAA championship banner since 1998.

But Kentucky is also representing the SEC tonight in New Orleans.  Since the calendar turned to January 2006, the league has dominated college football, college basketball and college baseball:

BCS Football Champ
NCAA Tourney Champ
College World Series Champ
Oregon State
Oregon State
Fresno State
N. Carolina
S. Carolina
S. Carolina

A Wildcat victory tonight would give the SEC 12 national titles out of a possible 21.  No other league has more than two in that span in that seven-year span.

So while Kentucky will be trying to usher in a new golden age tonight, the SEC will be hoping to keep its golden age rolling right along.

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McCrary Plans To ‘Change History’ At Vanderbilt

Johnathon McCrary sees plenty of potential in Vanderbilt’s football program.

That’s why the quarterback from Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood, Ga., committed to Vanderbilt on Thursday over offers from such schools as Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State and Ohio State.

McCrary, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 80 prospect by, said he noticed the success of first-year head coach James Franklin in 2011 and the way prospects responded in the 2012 class.

McCrary said he believes he can help elevate Vanderbilt’s program to a higher level.

“It feels like it needs someone just to put it on blast and I think I can help,” McCrary said. “I can at least try. That’s a place where you want to start a legacy so when you come back to Nashville you’re legendary. And having Nashville on my back, I think I could change history to my name.”

McCrary will try to bring more talented names with him to Vanderbilt. The first prospect he mentioned was Loganville, Ga., defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who’s considered by many to be the nation’s top prospect for the 2013 class.

“He said he’s actually interested in Vanderbilt,” McCrary said of Nkemdiche. “That says a lot about his character.”

Of course, every program in the nation is interested Nkemdiche. A signature from him would appear to be a longshot for Vanderbilt. But McCrary believes there are other top prospects in the 2013 class with an interest in the Commodores.

“I have a lot of other athletes in the class of 2013 that look up to me and I look up to them,” McCrary said. “And if I go to Vanderbilt then there’s going to be a lot more recruits come in later on in the year.”

There’s still a question whether McCrary will sign with Vanderbilt. He said he plans to visit other schools, including Alabama, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Oregon and UCLA.

McCrary said it was the advice of his father to make sure he explores all of his options.

“You can’t just sit in one direction and say you can’t go in the other direction,” McCrary said. “Because if you do that, then you’re not going to be successful.”

Still, McCrary insisted he’s “very committed” to Vanderbilt. He’s taking an unofficial visit to the school’s campus this weekend.

“There’s no better place than Nashville,” McCrary said. “Vanderbilt’s a great place to me.”

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Georgia Calls On California Defensive Back

Cornerback Brandon Beaver from Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., is considering an official visit to Georgia.

The Bulldogs haven’t offered Beaver but have continued to show interest.

“They’ve recently been in contact with me and they’re a big-time school in the SEC so I’m very interested,” Beaver told “I am thinking about taking a visit. I want to see what it’s like in Athens.”

Beaver has already taken official visits to Nebraska and Washington. He plans to take an official visit to California on Dec. 9 and is considering UCLA and Utah.

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