HoopsHype NCAA rumors

January 26, 2015 Updates

If there is some good to come out of the rotator cuff injury that sidelined Kobe Bryant for the remainder of the season, it is that the Lakers could lose a whole lot of games the rest of the way and finally be in position to draft a Kobe guy—this time, Arizona’s Stanley Johnson. Several times in recent years, Bryant has formed a connection with a top prospect in the upcoming draft, with an introduction and the possibility of workouts and friendship. Those players wind up signing with Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka. Such was the case with Dante Exum last year, Derrick Williams in 2011 and James Harden in 2009. But the Lakers could, finally, wind up with a Kobe draftee. According to league sources, Pelinka is in position to sign the fast-rising Johnson, should Johnson do the inevitable and leave school early. As Arizona has pushed its way up the rankings—they’re 18-2 and currently No. 6—Johnson’s stock has soared. Sporting News

January 25, 2015 Updates
January 22, 2015 Updates

Providence junior forward Tyler Harris has plans to enter the NBA Draft in June in spite of a puzzling role reduction that has fueled a belief that he’s being regressed to stay in school for his senior season of eligibility, sources told RealGM. One season after starting in all 35 games of Providence’s run to the NCAA Big East tournament championship, Harris has started 11 of 19 games. Harris – the younger brother of Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris – has seen his minutes reduced by an average of 3.7 compared to a season ago when he played 32.2 per game. RealGM

January 19, 2015 Updates
January 8, 2015 Updates
January 5, 2015 Updates

When the University of Washington played Cal last week, there was, in attendance, a growing flock of stone-faced note-takers observing. They were NBA scouts—about a dozen of them—and while both the Huskies and the Bears have players who have garnered interest, there should be no doubt about who was headlining: Washington’s 7-0 center, Robert Upshaw. “I would agree that he was a sleeper to start this season, maybe,” one league scout told SN. “He is not a sleeper anymore.” Sporting News

Upshaw wound up at Fresno State, but he was immature and probably stayed too close to home. He failed to do much on the court, averaging 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds, struggling to keep up in practices and in the classroom. He was suspended twice and dismissed from the team the summer after his freshman year. He also had some knee problems, which will surely be monitored by league executives. Upshaw spent that summer working with former NBA star John Lucas, and transferred to Washington last year, which required that he sit out last season. While there were rumors he might not last with the Huskies, either, he managed to pull himself together—on and off the court—during his time off. Sporting News

January 3, 2015 Updates
December 17, 2014 Updates
December 14, 2014 Updates

Stevens has never even discussed returning to college coaching, and NBA sources said he is totally invested in the Celtics. He wants to restore the organization to a contender and also has four more years on his contract. The organization made a sizable investment in his talents. “I know he enjoys the hell out of the Celtics,” Dakich said. “I know he enjoys the challenge that is the NBA. I know that. We’ve talked about that. That’s not media [talk]. I’m not going to say that ultimately the Indiana job wouldn’t appeal to him, but I’m saying I honestly don’t think people think, ‘Of course he would come back.’ “I bet you Brad probably thought about it when he was at Butler, but I would venture a guess he hasn’t given that two thoughts since he’s been with the Celtics. I would bet my life on it.” Boston Globe

Dan Dakich, a former IU player, assistant, and head coach, is a colleague of Stevens’s and a close follower of the Indiana program. He said there are many alumni who would love Stevens to return home. “I get asked all the time, ‘Hey, who would you hire?’ ” said Dakich, a college basketball analyst who hosts a radio show in Indianapolis. “I said before the question even finishes, I’d hire Brad Stevens and [Virginia Commonwealth coach] Shaka Smart. I don’t care if it’s the Celtics. I don’t care if it’s the Lakers. I don’t care if it’s Duke. I don’t care if it’s Indiana. I don’t care if it’s to be my accountant. They’re so smart. They’re so good with people and they just have a way of relating. I can’t imagine that any major [college] job is going to open up and they’re not going to get a call.” Boston Globe

December 4, 2014 Updates

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