Apr 09, 2014 10:08 AM EDT
Derrick Gordon of UMass has come out as the first openly gay Division I basketball player.
The decision to step forward publicly was a long time in the making for Gordon, a starter who averaged 9.4 points and 3.5 rebounds a game this season.
"I was thinking about summer plans and just being around my teammates and how it was going to be," Gordon said. "I just thought, 'Why not now? Why not do it in the offseason when it's the perfect time to let my teammates know and everybody know my sexuality."
Gordon was an All-Sun Belt Third Team selection as a freshman at Western Kentucky before deciding to transfer to UMass to be closer to his family in New Jersey.
Gordon was inspired by the reception given to Jason Collins' announcement and return to the NBA.
"When Jason came back to the league, that's when I started to build a little more confidence about myself," Gordon said. "If the NBA can accept him, then everything is going to be fine in my book."
Apr 08, 2014 10:23 PM EDT
Mike D'Antoni felt sympathy for John Calipari after rumors surfaced that he would replace him as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Rex Chapman tweeted that Calipari would leave Kentucky to coach the Lakers just hours before Monday's National Championship Game.
"You deal with it, and I hate it for John more than anybody because that puts an undue pressure on something before a big game that he doesn't need to be distracted with," D'Antoni said after the Lakers' shootaround Tuesday.
Chapman joined "The Dan Patrick Show" on Tuesday to clarify his remarks, saying he now believes Calipari is likely to stay with the Wildcats.
"You try not to hear the noise, although yesterday was deafening so you could not not hear it," D'Antoni said. "I live in a cocoon but I still live in the same country, so you did hear it.
"But it's part of our business. And if you don't like that and if you can't take it, then don't be in our business. And if you can't get up the next day and do your job, then go find another job."
Apr 08, 2014 10:44 AM EDT
Kevin Ollie has instantly become one of the hottest coaching commodities in basketball after winning the 2014 National Championship in his second season at Connecticut.
NBA teams will certainly pursue Ollie given his excellent reputation over a long career as a player.
“It’s just a matter of time,” said one NBA general manager. “The league will come calling. He’s a great communicator and has a calm demeanor. This win alone, however, doesn't just tilt the scale. It breaks it.”
“He would be excellent,” another GM said following Monday night’s victory. “He’s a stud. He understands the NBA, he’s a leader, has faced adversity and fought through it.”
One NBA executive said that whichever teams pursue Kevin Durant when he becomes a free agent will want to hire Ollie.
Durant has spoke often about how much he respected Ollie as a teammate.
Apr 07, 2014 11:55 PM EDT
Connecticut defeated Kentucky by a final score of 60-54 to win the 2014 National Championship.
Shabazz Napier had 22 points, 6 rebounds, three assists and three steals in the game and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
Ryan Boatright added 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
James Young led Kentucky with 20 points and seven rebounds.
Apr 07, 2014 10:19 PM EDT
The Los Angeles Lakers have denied a report from Rex Chapman that John Calipari would be the next head coach of the franchise.
Calipari has been at Kentucky since 09-10 and was previously in the NBA with the Nets.
"I spoke to (GM) Mitch (Kupchak) and he said there is no truth to it," said Black to Sam Amick of the USA Today.
"Mike (D'Antoni) is our coach and there have been no conversations that have discussed any specific names about anyone to replace him."
Apr 07, 2014 8:01 PM EDT
Shabazz Napier was asked about the possibility of compensation for college athletes.
“We as students athletes get utilized for what we do so well, and we’re definitely best to get a scholarship to our universities. But at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed. I don’t think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing, because a lot of times guys don’t know how to handle themselves with money.”
Napier expressed concerns about universities profiting off jersey sales.
“I feel like a student athlete. Sometimes, there’s hungry nights where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities. I don’t see myself as so much of an employee, but when you see your jersey getting sold, it may not have your last name on it, but when you see your jersey getting sold, to some credit, you feel like you want something in return.”
Apr 07, 2014 7:30 PM EDT
Marcus Smart has announced he will declare for the 2014 NBA Draft.
Smart decided to return for his sophomore season and averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season for Oklahoma State.
"I had a great season here at Oklahoma State," Smart told the newspaper. "It's weird, because I didn't go to the NBA Draft last year, I chose to come back -- which I do not regret at all. A lot of people say I made the wrong decision. But who are they to tell me what I should have done? It's me, not them.
"I believe I made the right decision. I get to do what I love to do."
Oklahoma State was eliminated in the second round of the season.
"I've told my teammates and my coaching staff, this year was my last year here and I am declaring for the NBA Draft," Smart told the Oklahoman. "I have picked an agent, with the Wasserman Group, a great group of guys.
"Ready to rock and roll. I'm getting ready for the NBA Draft and I'm ready to start training."
Apr 07, 2014 1:26 PM EDT
Connecticut is in the National Championship Game against Kentucky despite not having a McDonald's All-American on its roster.
Maryland in 2002 is the only team since 1979 to win the National Champions without a McDonald's All-American.
Shabazz Napier is a First Team All-American but wasn't a five-star recruit.
Apr 07, 2014 12:30 PM EDT
John Calipari credits a "tweak" to the Kentucky offense in early March for turning around their season.
Calipari blamed himself for not making the switch earlier in the season and he has been coy to reveal what has actually changed.
“When you figure out what it is, you’re going to say, ‘You should have done it earlier,’ ” Calipari said. “I’m here to tell you I should have.”
“I’m not supposed to talk about it,” forward Julius Randle said.
“Nope,” guard Dominique Hawkins said. “Can’t even talk about the tweak.”
College basketball analyst Tim Welsh says Kentucky has been playing less of the dribble-drive motion system and more designed offensive sets.
“It seems like John’s tightened up things,” Welsh said by telephone Sunday. “He’s been more controlling, calling plays. I think he’s taken a lot of the thinking out of the game.”
The result, Welsh said, has been “better spacing, better confidence.”
Apr 06, 2014 11:09 AM EDT
Ohio University has hired Saul Phillips as their next head coach.
Phillips just completed his seventh season at North Dakota State.
Phillips is replacing Jim Christian, who left Ohio last week for the Boston College job.
Fifteen of Kentucky's 21 current NBA players have entered the league since John Calipari arrived in 09-10.
Danny Manning attended high school in North Carolina.
Doug McDermott is the 11th three-time All-American and first in almost 30 years.
James Michael McAdoo earned second-team All-ACC honors as a sophomore and junior.
Boston College has hired Jim Christian of Ohio University as head coach.
Jahlil Okafor had 17 points and seven rebounds, while Justin Jackson had 23 points and five rebounds.
Jabari Brown was a First Team All-Southeastern Conference selection and 1,000-point scorer at Missouri.
Apr 02, 2014 | Chad Ford/ESPN
Kyle Anderson almost certainly will need to be given playing time with the ball in his hands to maximize his abilities.
Apr 02, 2014 | Chad Ford/ESPN
Jabari Parker has yet to make a decision about whether to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft or return to Duke for his sophomore season.
Johnny O'Bryant led LSU in scoring at 15 points per game and was second in rebounding.
Steve Wojciechowski has been on Mike Krzyzewski's coaching staff at Duke since 1999.
Shabazz Napier, Sean Kilpatrick and Russ Smith joined Doug McDermott and Jabari Parker on the All-American team.
Orlando Antigua has accepted the head coaching position at South Florida.
Jordan Clarkson is expected to be a late first round pick as a big, athletic guard capable of playing both shooting guard and point.
Andrew Wiggins averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for Kansas.
Mar 30, 2014 | Andy Katz/ESPN
Mike Montgomery is believed to be leaning toward retiring.
Walter McCarthy is considered an intriguing candidate due to the potential he has in recruiting in the Boston area.
Anthony Lee averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for Temple last season.
Marquette is targeting Cuonzo Martin and Ben Howland as its top candidates to replace Buzz Williams.
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Kevin Ware hopes to transfer somewhere close to his family and is considering Auburn and Georgia State.
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