HoopsHype NCAA rumors

April 9, 2014 Updates

Derrick Gordon, a University of Massachusetts guard, became the first openly gay male basketball player in Division I. He was a high school teammate of Irving’s. “I’m proud of him,” Irving told the Associated Press. “It’s a big step, not only in his life, but in his career.” Morning Journal

Ryan Wolstat: Random Kevin Ollie note: Am told Raptors tried to bring him in as veteran backup PG in Casey’s first year but Ollie happy moving to coaching. Raptors brought in Anthony Carter instead and, it didn’t really work out. Twitter @WolstatSun

Michigan sophomores Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas have all requested evaluations from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. The committee, consisting of NBA player personnel experts and chaired by NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson, is offered by the NBA to provide potential early entries to the NBA draft with hard information regarding their standing as professional prospects. Booth Newspapers

A Michigan athletic department spokesman confirmed early Wednesday that all three have indeed already filed their requests. Requesting an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee does not equate to declaring for the draft. The committee analyzes participating players and delivers a narrow window of where the individual could be selected in the draft. These evaluations are typically cautious in the projection of a prospect's draft position. Michigan coach John Beilein is scheduled to meet with the media on Wednesday afternoon and is expected to update where McGary, Robinson and Stauskas are in the process. The deadline for the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee's response is April 14. The NBA's early entry eligibility deadline is April 27, while the draft is scheduled for June 26 in New York. Booth Newspapers

Alba Berlin, Brose Baskets Bamberg and EWE Baskets Oldenburg are interested in NCAA Champion Niels Giffey. The German forward won his second NCAA title with the Huskies averaging 8.4 points and 3.8 rebounds as senior in college. There were already reports about a deal reached with Alba Berlin but the rumors were denied. Giffey hopes to play NBA Summer League this summer and see if he can get a spot in the NBA. It is more likely that he will start his pro career in Europe and the German bigs are already pursuing him for next seasons. Sportando

John Calipari says his immediate future will remain at Kentucky, not in the NBA. After Monday's night's 60-54 loss to Connecticut in the national championship game, Calipari denied a rumor that he was headed to the NBA. "No. I'm right [here] at Kentucky," Calipari told ESPN's Jeannine Edwards. "I got the best job. I've got a good group of kids. Love what I'm doing. Speculation? That's there every year I coach." ESPN.com

But as D'Antoni discussed Tuesday his disappointing lot in LakerLand life, from this injury-ravaged season that is already tied for the Lakers' worst since moving to Los Angeles to the rebutted notion that Kentucky coach John Calipari is in line to have his job, there was nothing more revealing than his decision to reach for a particular quote again. "I've said it before, and it's because, (expletive), it seems like I'm always in it," D'Antoni told USA TODAY Sports,"but it's like Winston Churchill said, 'If you're in hell, just keep your head down and keep on going.' " USA Today Sports

No active male athlete in Division 1 college basketball, football, baseball or hockey had ever said those words publicly. After years of waiting for someone else to break the barrier, Gordon wasn’t going to wait any longer. With the players and assistant coaches gathered in a room, Kellogg addressed the team. Gordon sat to the side, along with two confidants he had recruited for support: You Can Play’s Wade Davis and high school basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo. The two men had been instrumental in guiding Gordon through the coming out process. Kellogg regaled the men with talk about the importance of diversity. Everyone on the team comes from a different background, he said; everyone brings something different to the court. Then, Kellogg broke the ice. "I just wanted you all to know," Kellogg said, "I'm gay." OutSports.com

Gordon did feel safe in New York City, where he would venture out to gay clubs. He spent this past New Year’s Eve in the gay clubs of Manhattan – getting no sleep and taking two trains to get there – simply to be in an environment where he felt he could be himself, anonymously. A couple times in the last year someone did recognize him in a gay bar, driving him deeper into the closet and depression. "It was the worst four years of my life," Gordon said, despite the accolades and opportunities he’s received in those four years. "It was torture. I was just going around faking my whole life, being someone I'm not. It's like wearing a mask because everyone else was wearing that mask. Now that I’m taking the mask off, people can finally see who I really am." OutSports.com

Now that the transformation of his personal life is nearly complete, he’s looking ahead to the rest of the week, year, and his burgeoning career. Gordon said the 2014-15 UMass basketball season has the potential to be special on the court. They should return three starters plus key reserve Trey Davis, a sophomore. Gordon won’t be satisfied until he hears the Minutemen in the conversation for a national championship. Off the court, Gordon feels he now has a responsibility to other young gay athletes. He never expected to come out publicly now. Somewhere in the back of his mind he thought maybe after graduating from UMass or, if he plays pro ball, maybe after a few seasons there. "God put me in this situation for a reason, so I have to take advantage of it. Maybe he wants me to be the starter of something big. Maybe he doesn't want me to feel the way I felt anymore. Whatever he has in store for me, I’m ready." OutSports.com

April 8, 2014 Updates

Joel Embiid will announce his plans to enter the NBA Draft during a press conference with Kansas coach Bill Self on Wednesday at 2 p.m central time, multiple sources told SNY.tv. “He’s coming out,” one NBA source said. “Shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s a lock for the Top 5.” ZagsBlog.com

Napier played as a freshman on the team Walker led to the national championship in 2011. They are remarkably similar in physical stature – both 6-foot-1 and about 185 pounds. They both are extremely difficult to contain off the dribble in the pick-and-roll. So Napier has come to be thought of as “Kemba 2.0.” Napier finished off his college career with 22 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists against Kentucky. He made eight of 16 shots from the field and four of eight from 3-point range. Walker had the highest praise for him at Bobcats practice Tuesday. “There are always going to be comparisons, especially since I played with him. I’m happy for him,” Walker said. “He showed he’s the best point guard in college basketball right now. I don’t think there’s anybody better than him.” Charlotte Observer

T.J. Warren, the 2014 ACC Player of the Year and one of college basketball's top scorers, has announced he will enter the NBA Draft. "I would like to thank my coaches and teammates at NC State for allowing me to compete for this great university. It's been a fun ride the last few years. I've had some great experiences and now I feel I'm ready to play at the next level. Playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine and playing at NC State has prepared me well to achieve my dream." NC State University

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