Celtics’ Kara Lawson Named Duke Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Bleacher Report

Boston Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson was named Duke women's basketball head coach after agreeing to contract terms Saturday, per Steve Wiseman of the News and Observer.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe first reported the news Friday, noting "Lawson completed her final interviews and is expected to finalize a deal."

Lawson played college ball for Pat Summit at the University of Tennessee, where she made four All-SEC teams and three Final Fours from 1999-2000 to 2002-03.

She was picked fifth overall by the Detroit Shock in the 2003 WNBA draft and played 13 seasons, averaging 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for the Sacramento Monarchs, Connecticut Sun and Washington Mystics.

She won the 2005 WNBA Finals with the Monarchs and made the WNBA All-Star Game two years later. In 2008, she and Team USA won gold at the Beijing Summer Olympics.

Lawson has worked as a television broadcaster for ESPN and the Washington Wizards. She joined the C's coaching staff in June 2019.

Her decorated resume includes coaching experience outside of Boston, as she led USA Basketball's U19 boys and girls three-on-three hoops teams to four world championships.

#basketball, #collegebasketball

Michigan basketball gets commitment from Grand Rapids Christian 4-star Kobe Bufkin for 2021

Detroit Free Press

Michigan basketball just added another recruit to the 2021 class.

Grand Rapids Christian guard Kobe Bufkin, a four-star prospect, announced his commitment to the Wolverines on Friday, becoming the second prospect to pick U-M this week after three-star forward Will Tschetter publicly committed Monday.

Listed at 6-foot-4, 175 pounds, Bufkin is ranked as the No. 78 overall prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. 

His final five schools — announced Tuesday — included DePaul, LSU, Michigan State and Ohio State.

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NCAA VP confident March Madness will return in 2021

The Score

NCAA senior executive vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt is optimistic that next year's March Madness tournament will run as scheduled.

"We have great confidence that – while things may be different with this season and with the tournament – we're going to be able to do it in a very safe and responsible manner," Gavitt told NCAA.com's Andy Katz.

He added: "If there's basketball being played safely anywhere in 2021, we're going to have March Madness."

Gavitt said the men's basketball committee discussed how it might determine automatic and at-large tournament bids should other conferences follow the Ivy League's lead and limit their schedule by limiting or eliminating non-conference matchups.

#basketball, #collegebasketball

Makur Maker chose Howard over blueblood programs, so now comes the big question: Will others soon follow?

CBS Sports

When five-star 2020 prospect Makur Maker announced his commitment to Howard on July 3, it amounted to a thunderclap in college basketball recruiting. 

The news cracked the top of the daily headline cycle in the sports world, going so far as to prompt LeBron James to congratulate Maker on Instagram. 

Six days removed from his announcement, Maker is doing a mini media tour and going into detail about why he chose Howard over UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis. Today, July 9, is South Sudan's Independence Day (Maker's parents are from South Sudan), so his intentions have been specific about this. It's a day of extreme importance for him, the most appropriate time to divulge what went into his pledge to Howard. 

"Independence to me means freedom to choose," Maker said on Thursday's edition of the ESPN Daily podcast. 

His verbal commitment to Howard is unparalleled in the past four decades in college basketball. Top-50 prospects do not choose to play in the MEAC — but Maker has. And his choice has plenty wondering if he can prompt a revolution of similar commitments in the years to come.

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Zion Williamson Accused of Accepting $400K for Marketing Rights While at Duke

Bleacher Report

Zion Williamson and his stepfather are alleged to have accepted $400,000 from an agency for exclusive marketing rights while Williamson was attending Duke University in October 2018. 

According to Daniel Wallach of The Athletic, Prime Sports Marketing and Gina Ford are the defendants in a lawsuit filed by Williamson in North Carolina and introduced "newly discovered evidence" related to the alleged October 2018 payment.

Wallach added that witness Donald Kreiss contacted Ford and provided a copy of a marketing agreement between Williamson and Maximum Management Group, which is based in Canada.

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Georgia State schedules basketball-football doubleheader at Ole Miss

Gwinnett Daily Post

Georgia State has scheduled a unique weekend in 2026 for its men’s basketball and football programs as both squads will travel to Oxford, Miss., to face Ole Miss during a 24-hour period.

The men’s basketball team will face Ole Miss on Friday, Nov. 20, 2026, followed by a match-up for the football team on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2026.

This continues a trend of adding more regional match-ups for the football team, while the men’s basketball team will be making a third trip to Oxford in recent years.

#basketball, #collegebasketball

Will the rest of college athletics follow the Ivy League’s lead?

The Score

Four months ago, the Ivy League was ahead of the curve.

On March 10, it canceled its men's and women's basketball conference tournaments because of growing concern about the coronavirus. Two days later, after the Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and the NBA paused its season, the rest of college basketball – and the sports world – followed suit.

In the immediate aftermath of the Ivy League's decision, the conference caught flack for what some thought was a hasty decision.

It turned out to be prescient. And now, it begs the question: Is the Ivy League once again foreshadowing what's to come?

The eight-school league took another pioneering step amid the pandemic Wednesday, canceling its fall sports seasons and putting a moratorium on all sports until at least the end of the fall semester. It means no football season, at least in the traditional sense. It also means that if a college basketball season begins on schedule, Ivy League schools would likely miss at least the nonconference portion.

The Ivy League Council of Presidents made its stance clear in a statement: Safety matters most.

"With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall," the eight Ivy League presidents said in a joint statement.

"We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility – and that is the basis for this difficult decision."

The Ivy League being the first to take this step makes sense. As an FCS conference that doesn't even participate in the football postseason, the Ivy League doesn't rely on football revenue the way many power-conference universities do. In the near future, it'll be interesting to see if the Ivy League's decision affects how other FCS conferences handle their fall sports. Already, the Patriot League announced it would return athletes to campus at the same time as other students and would not fly to games. Fordham, a Patriot League member in football, canceled its first three games Tuesday.

But while conferences like the SEC, the Big Ten, and the Big 12 have more to think about in terms of revenue, the Ivy League's decision is a reminder of what matters. While the Ivy League might not have a direct influence on college football's top-tier programs, its line of thinking should rub off.

Whether or not the Ivy League pursues a spring football season remains to be seen. In a news release, the conference said it would make a decision on the remaining calendar for winter and spring sports, as well as whether any fall sport would be feasible in the spring, at a later date.

#basketball, #collegebasketball

Cade Cunningham: Mike Boynton reason he stayed at OK State

The Oklahoman

Cade Cunningham first felt the wave of emotions and realized he needed to take a step back — at the very least for a day.

Those 24 hours were all the No. 1-ranked player in the country needed last month to reaffirm his college choice of Oklahoma State.

He just didn’t really tell anybody.

“I announced that I was gonna come back later, just because I let the media do their thing,” Cunningham said. “It didn’t really matter too much to me. So, I was just kinda chilling away from my phone.

“But I knew where I was going.”

OSU was dealt a tough blow June 5 with a one-year postseason ban and loss of three scholarships over three seasons from the NCAA after former associate coach Lamont Evans accepted bribes to influence student-athletes in 2016-17

#basketball, #collegebasketball

How two former Dayton players plan to make up for a lost NCAA tournament


Moments after entering a room at a New York City hotel this past March, Anthony Grant turned around, walked out and tried to collect himself.

When the Dayton men's basketball head coach returned, his players knew Grant, who had guided them through an undefeated Atlantic 10 season to secure a projected No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, had bad news.

The Atlantic 10 tournament at Brooklyn's Barclays Center had been canceled, and the Flyers would soon lose their shot at the school's first national championship after the NCAA tournament also was canceled amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

"He walked in first and then he walked back out," said Trey Landers, a senior who averaged 10.5 points per game during the 2019-2020 season and will represent the Dayton community as a member of Red Scare in The Basketball Tournament (TBT). "You could tell he was kind of emotional. He stood me up in front of everybody and hugged me and he just started crying. It was an emotional time."

As Ryan Mikesell, who also will play for Red Scare, listened to Grant four months ago, he tried to process the sudden ending of a magical season.

"All these assistants were hugging me and stuff and I still didn't want to believe it," said Mikesell, another senior, who averaged 8.5 PPG last season. "[Assistant coach Ricardo Greer] was holding me. I just walked out of the room. I was just so emotional. I couldn't believe it."

Red Scare, a team led by former Dayton standouts, will face Big X, a squad anchored by former Big Ten standouts Nick Ward and Trevon Hughes, on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN.

#basketball, #collegebasketball

Michigan State basketball lands 5-star guard Max Christie for 2021 recruiting class

Detroit Free Press

Tom Izzo continued his recent recruiting run with another five-star commitment Tuesday.

Max Christie announced his pledge to play for Michigan State in 2021. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Rolling Meadows High in suburban Chicago is rated the No. 1 shooting guard in the country and 13th-best overall prospect in the class, according to 247Sports.com's composite rankings.

#basketball, #collegebasketball

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