Most of the attention in the sports world right now is on the NBA. But let’s not forget the world of college basketball, where the excitement never ceases, even in the offseason. Let’s check out the top college basketball stories of the past week.
Are we at the point where 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament just isn’t enough? Well, the ACC thinks so. The ACC plans to propose to the NCAA that the tournament field expand, essentially adding four extra play-in games. The league says the coaches are on board with the move, which could potentially create two different first-four sites to better convenience teams in different parts of the country. The ACC also plans to propose rule changes that would widen the lane, extend the three-point line, and only put 20 seconds on the shot clock following an offensive rebound.
Former Florida State center Ikechukwu Obiagu has announced he will transfer to Seton Hall. Obiagu first announced his intentions to transfer last month. The seven-footer from Nigeria started 14 games as a freshman at Florida State last season, averaging 2.3 points and 2.6 rebounds. He will have to sit out the 2018-19 season, but after that, he will have three seasons of eligibility left. Considering how raw he still is, Obiagu could benefit greatly from a year of only being able to practice and hit the weight room. Of course, when he does become eligible at Seton Hall, the Pirates could have at least three other players who are 6’10’’ or taller on the roster, so it could be a couple years until Obiagu makes much of an impact.
Joining the Pack
Former Kentucky forward Sacha Killeya-Jones announced last week that he’s leaving the Wildcats and will transfer to N.C. State. Despite being a five-star prospect coming out of high school, Killeya-Jones struggled to make his mark at Kentucky in a sea of blue-chip talent. As a sophomore this past season, he played in all three games, averaging 13 minutes per game. However, he only scored 3.3 points per game. North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Pitt were also interested in the Chapel Hill native, but Killeya-Jones ultimately chose the Wolfpack. The 6’10’’ forward will sit out next season and have two years of eligibility remaining.
Panther Turned Golden Gopher
Last week, Minnesota added Pitt transfer Marcus Carr, and this week, the Golden Gophers added another former Panther in Brock Stull, a graduate transfer from Wisconsin-Milwaukee, another school that uses the Panthers moniker. Stull averaged 13 points per game in each of the past two seasons at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The 6’4’’ guard shot 38% from three-point range last season. The Gophers were a disappointing 4-14 in Big Ten play last year, so they need all the help they can get. Stull will help to replace Nate Mason, the team’s second-leading scorer last season who has exhausted his eligibility.
Return of the King
More than six years after retiring as the head coach of UConn due to health reasons, Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun is getting back in the game. Calhoun is poised to take a job as the head coach at the University of Saint Joseph, a small school that competes at the division three level and is located just outside of Hartford, Connecticut. Saint Joseph used to be an all-women school, but they have recently started to admit men and will begin their first ever basketball season this fall. Calhoun will also continue to serve as an advisor at UConn, who fired Kevin Ollie, one of Calhoun’s former players, after last season and hired Dan Hurley, the longtime coach at Rhode Island.
A Quick Fix
It wouldn’t be college basketball without some controversy. Last Week, Metta World Peace, who you may also know as Ron Artest, came clean about being offered money to fix games while playing at St. John’s. He claims that in one instance someone he didn’t know found him in his neighborhood and offered him $35,000 to fix a game. Artest says he passed on the offer but did consider it. He also said that a lot of college players without much money would have been tempted to take the offer, which is why he’s against the recent ruling that will enable legalized gambling on sports.
Said Artest: “These guys that are betting, some of them are bullies, and they’ll force a kid into a situation, and then, when the kid’s trying to go the NBA, they hold it against the kid.”