NCAA Rumors

Louisville had the then-Vancouver Grizzlies in hand in 2001. “We fumbled on the one-yard line,” Steve Higdon, chairman of NBA2LOU, tells CBS Sports. A combination of local politics and the inability to raise funds for a new arena killed the deal, and the Grizzlies landed in Memphis. A year later, Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville exerted their own influence to keep the then-Charlotte Hornets out of Kentucky. Toss in a failed bid at the Houston Rockets, and the home of the 1975 ABA champions had grown sick of losing out on professional basketball.
It started eight months ago with a tweet: Chris Murphy, a Democratic U.S. senator from Connecticut, told the world how much he enjoyed Draymond Green’s op-ed in The Washington Post labeling the NCAA “a dictatorship” and calling for increased compensation to college athletes. Green reached out to Murphy’s office to thank him for the tweet. Murphy is a huge sports fan — the Boston Celtics are his NBA team — so he was thrilled to hear from an All-Star on the three-time champion Golden State Warriors. They have been collaborating since.
Before teaming up with Green, Murphy had already made fair pay for college athletes one of his pet causes. Starting in March 2019, his office released three reports under the title “Madness Inc.” highlighting what Murphy views as structural inequalities undergirding high-profile college sports. The reports focused, respectively, on: how small a chunk of the estimated $14 billion in annual revenue generated by college sports filters to scholarship athletes; the tendency at top programs to prioritize sports over academics, sometimes to a scandalous degree; and the lack of guaranteed health care and scholarships for players who suffer career-threatening injuries. Murphy has also highlighted the disparity in graduation rates between white and Black athletes, and for both Green and Murphy, the fight for what they see as fair compensation is very much a part of the larger fight for social and racial justice.
New Arizona Wildcats assistant Jason Terry is entering his first season as a college basketball coach, but it turns out he actually tried entering the industry in 2016. In March of that year, the Stanford Cardinal hired Jerod Haase away from UAB and Terry, 39 at the time, was willing to walk away from his NBA career to be the Blazers’ new head coach. He interviewed for the position (and well, according to him) but was turned down in favor of Haase’s top assistant Robert Ehsan. Terry returned to the NBA for two more seasons, both with the Milwaukee Bucks, more determined than ever to coach one day.
This is an oral history of O’Neal’s time at LSU. Kent Lowe, LSU sports communication staff (1988-present): He was very raw. He was a big kid. There were a few games where Dale (Brown) early on didn’t start him and brought him off the bench, like at the first TV timeout or radio timeout. Dale Brown, LSU head coach (1972-97): He was struggling. I told him before practice, “Come to my office an hour early.” He came in. I said, “Shaquille, I’ve got a question for you. Do you know how good you could really be?” Whenever he got nervous, he stuttered. “N-n-n-no. Not really.” I said, “You don’t have to shut your eyes. This isn’t a seance. You don’t need a Ouija board. You don’t need a crystal ball. This is how good you can be.”
T.J. Pugh, LSU guard (1990-92): You really didn’t know what to do, basically. I didn’t see anybody in the country who could match up one-on-one with him in any shape or form. Lowe: He had a way of when people came up and asked, “How did you play tonight?” He would give percentages. He’d say, “I played 77% tonight. The team played about 68%.” Everybody writes it down at first. Then everybody kind of got the joke.
The Hoosiers won 89-79 and, like Georgia Tech in 1990, advanced to the Final Four. O’Neal had 36 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in the final college game of his career. Jones: Shaq goes 12 for 12 at the free-throw line. He’s capable. But that was one of those games that meant something to him. Tracey: The mechanics of Shaq’s body do not allow him to shoot a free throw. He cannot get his elbow under the ball to shoot it. People say, “Why doesn’t he practice?” I want to punch people right in the mouth. You … think we didn’t practice? Mechanically, he couldn’t get his elbow under the ball. It’s mechanically not possible.
Tracey: He had these turntables. He would scratch to the point where you have to go in there and say, “Dude, are you serious? Can you please stop. I’ll pay you. Do you want McDonald’s? Do we need to go to Burger King?” We used to go to Blimpie. That was our big deal. He loved Blimpie. I said, “I’ll give you a Blimpies to stop this s*** right now because it’s awful, and I can’t put up with it.”
Jonathan Kuminga and his camp are exploring professional options for the 2020-21 season, including the NBA G League and potentially playing in the Australian NBL. The 6-foot-8 forward recently graduated from The Patrick School (N.J.) and thus accelerated his clock to be eligible for the 2021 NBA Draft. He’s currently projected as the No. 4 pick in 2021, per ESPN.com. Kuminga recently told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi on a podcast his ultimate goal was “To get to the NBA, play at the highest level and go out there and compete.”
Jonathan Kuminga, previously the top prospect in the class of 2021, has graduated high school and will reclassify to the class of 2020, according to multiple reports. Kuminga participated in The Patrick School’s 2020 online graduation ceremony, and the Twitter account HOOPGATE posted video confirming that he was a member of the graduating class.
Cade Cunningham is the best and brightest incoming freshman in college basketball next season. And he plays for a team that’s banned from the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions revealed its punishments for Oklahoma State on Friday for misdeeds committed by former assistant coach Lamont Evans as part of the FBI scandal, and among the penalties is a postseason ban in 2020-2021.
Mike Miller: The past two years have been amazing, and I have so many people to thank: Coach Hardaway for believing in me, all our players for their commitment , the University of Memphis and its incredible fans, my wonderful wife and kids, and the entire city of Memphis for everything you have done for me and my family. All of you made this opportunity possible for me, and I’m truly grateful. As much as I’ve loved this job and had a blast being part of the special program Coach is building, the past few months have made me realize that it’s time for me to spend more time focused on family and wherever the journey will take me next. I will find a way to stay in basketball and continue to make an impact on this city that I love so much! I will always be a TIGER. GTG!!
Webber said he doesn’t worry about the Hall of Fame, and Rose agrees. “Webb shouldn’t spend a second worrying about that — it’s going to happen,” Rose said. “And also, it’s well deserved. And it’s the basketball Hall of Fame, so he’ll get in. He should get in solely on his impact with the Fab Five because the Fab Five should be in. If you just took his high school and his pro (career), he should be in.”
Storyline: Hall of Fame Selections
“No. 1, the NCAA doesn’t own (the) Fab Five — Isiah Thomas taught me this,” Rose said. “The same way the NBA doesn’t own (Detroit’s) Bad Boys, so if that was like ‘March Madness’ or ‘One Shining Moment,’ something that they owned, that’s something they would acknowledge and give love to. When you see highlights of teams going in and out of the commercials, they show teams that didn’t win the championship, so they could show us if they really wanted to. So that has to be a conscious decision, and that’s fine. It’ll happen, and it’s just like him going to the Hall of Fame; I believe it will happen.”
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Redick couldn’t turn down an offer from coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski and was a four-year starter, averaging 19.9 points per game during his career. “I almost did go to UVA. Basically, Duke was my dream school. I had wanted to go there since I was 8 years old,” Redick said during his latest podcast episode with Tommy Alter. “As I was in high school and playing for Boo Williams, I realized UVA would be a great option, too. I took a couple campus tours, unofficial visits or whatever.”
“I get back to Virginia and I’m supposed to go to Florida with my sister. My parents weren’t even going with me. It was their Midnight Madness. David Lee and I were friends. He was coming down from St. Louis. This weekend is going to be awesome. And then by like Tuesday night, I was like ‘man I don’t even want to go.’ The Duke thing was so heavy on me. So I was like ‘I’m just going to commit.’ I wanted to get the commitment out of the way and just enjoy the last two seasons of my high-school career so I committed that Wednesday to Duke. I got on the phone with Coach K and told him I was coming. If I had went to Gainesville, who knows?”
Back in 2015, when he was a Charlotte assistant, Ewing told me he’d never want a college head-coaching job because of the recruiting. So I don’t expect him to be a lifer. And I do think there’s a chance one day the 57-year-old Ewing will coach the Knicks. One NBA source says a Georgetown run to the Sweet 16 would be invaluable to his NBA head-coaching chances.
Storyline: Patrick Ewing to Knicks?
On Thursday, Arizona made the hiring of Jason Terry official. Sean Miller sat down with Brian Jeffries for a quick interview and started by describing what makes Terry so qualified to be a coach. “Jason Terry is somebody that I have gotten to know, like a lot of people here at the U of A, during my 11 years,” Miller said. “At first, I was just a huge fan of his. Anybody that is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds that can play in the NBA for 18 seasons. Right now he is seventh all time in the NBA in three-pointers made, he is a NBA world champion, a NBA Sixth Man of the Year.”
For Miller, the most impressive aspect of Terry may be just how passionate he is about the game of basketball. “I love his passion for the game,” Miller said. “When you think of Jason Terry, don’t you think of someone that loves the game of basketball? When you combine everything I have talked about, he has been there and done it 1,000 times over. Yet I know he would love to be in the gym with our players. Imagine him working out with our guards,”
Ty Lawson posted a cryptic message on his Instagram story Monday in which he seemed to call out UNC head coach Roy Williams. “Who talks s— about someone who won them a championship …” Lawson wrote in his Instagram story. “(You’re) weird… I got messages from 10 NBA GMs that said it came out your mouth … That’s why I don’t f— with Carolina or support anything y’all do.”
Eddie Sutton, who built the University of Arkansas basketball program into a national power and won more than 800 career games as a college coach, has died at age 84. Sutton died on Saturday in Tulsa, multiple sources confirmed to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, after being in hospice care. His death comes less than two months after he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on April 3.
Jonathan Kuminga announced Friday that he is considering the NBA G League along with four schools for his next stop in the basketball world. The 6-foot-8 Kuminga, who played last year at The Patrick School in Hillside, N.J., and with the NY Rens on the Nike EYBL circuit, announced that he is considering Auburn, Duke, Kentucky and Texas Tech, along with the NBA G League path for the 2020-21 season.
Storyline: G League Prospect Signings
Calipari has five players from last year’s Kentucky squad — Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, EJ Montgomery and Ashton Hagans — who have declared for next month’s draft. Although Calipari’s players have fared well in the draft, this one will be much different because of the COVD-19 pandemic.
Calipari said his “biggest worry” is working out for players working out for teams before the draft and isn’t sure how that will work out in moving forward. “If they spend two months and don’t do anything, and they try to go work out for an NBA team, it ain’t going to work for them,” he said. “So, there are no gyms, there are no health clubs, unless they have a gym in their house. None of them do. Unless they have a health area, a workout area within their home. None of them do. How is this? How are we doing this? So, my worry is more about that. We’re getting information to the kids.”
Penny Hardaway, speaking to ESPN’s The Jump in an interview aired Thursday, said it came as an unpleasant surprise when the NBA began allowing high schoolers to sign with a G League pathway program. “It’s going to have a huge impact, because it’s just a recruiting war right now when it comes to that,” Hardaway said. “But I think it’s going to affect us because we’re recruiting a bunch of five stars.”
The NBA’s initial designs last year called for offers of $125,000. But contracts for players in the G League’s yearlong developmental program will now reportedly reach as much as $500,000. “When they took the money from a smaller level to a larger level, then that’s fair,” Hardaway said. “That’s definitely more appealing to a certain group of guys as we saw this year.”
Darren Heitner: Zion Williamson has filed a motion for partial judgment on the pleadings in his federal court litigation against former marketing agents. Focus is on failure to register as an athlete agent & include requisite disclosures under NC’s athlete agent law.

Storyline: Zion Williamson Lawsuit
Jordan was named co-Most Outstanding Player at Pittsburgh 2 with John Flowers, a 6-9 center who wrote “Chocolate Thunder 2” all over his T-shirts. Jordan also was named MVP of the Orange-White Classic, the Five-Star All-Star Camp. “The next week he was there but he hurt his ankle and he only played in half the games,” Konchalski said of the Pittsburgh 3 session.
“Roy Williams (then a young UNC assistant) told us a great story about how everyone got one chance to play in Carmichael (Auditorium) during the UNC camp week,” Hehir said. “Michael killed everybody. After seeing him play, Dean Smith pulled Roy aside and told him, ‘This kid can’t go to any other camp.’ But Roy insisted that he had to go to Five-Star to see how he would do against Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin and all these other kids. “I knew that we were going to do an episode on the making of Michael Jordan. Brendon Malone appears with us (in ‘The Last Dance’) primarily as Chuck Daly’s assistant for the Pistons, but back then he was a Syracuse University assistant basketball coach and Michael’s coach at Five-Star. He told us stories about Michael’s will to win as a 16- and 17-year-old.”
Storyline: Michael Jordan Documentary
If you’re still feeling nostalgic about Michael Jordan while watching “The Last Dance” (Episodes 9 and 10 begin at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN), there’s a new hotel you might want to visit. Graduate Hotels is opening a Chapel Hill, North Carolina, location this fall, and it will feature a detailed reconstruction of Jordan’s University of North Carolina dorm room, as featured in a 1983 Sports Illustrated photo shoot. “The room is an identical replica,” said Graduate Hotels CEO Ben Weprin. “From the ceiling, to the brick wall, to the record player and records, the posters, the pennants — every single piece in that room, we have it.”
As an assistant basketball coach at Southeastern from 1981-87, Lonn Reisman regularly recruited in Dallas — just a 90-minute drive but a world away down U.S. 75. That’s why he was so confused when he first saw Rodman practice at Cooke County College (now North Central Texas College) in Gainesville. Reisman, upon inquiring, was told Rodman attended South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas. “I’m going back through my notes and I couldn’t find his name,” Reisman said. That’s because Rodman, who was shy of 6-feet in high school, never played varsity basketball. He made it to Gainesville after someone saw him play at a rec center.