Category Archives: 2015-16 Post-Season

Tennessee Transfer Ray Kasongo Commits to Iowa State

Toronto, ON native Ray Kasongo has committed to Iowa State, where he will sit out the 2016-17 season and have two years of eligibility left starting in 2017-18.
Toronto, ON native and former Tennessee forward Ray Kasongo has committed to Iowa State, where he will sit out the 2016-17 season and have two years of eligibility left starting in 2017-18.

Coming into the 2015-16 season, Rick Barnes and the Tennessee Volunteers had a talented Canadian duo on their roster, both of whom looked to play big roles for the team.

Freshman big man Kyle Alexander was Barnes’ first big-time commit after taking over the head coaching position, and sophomore forward Ray Kasongo added more size to the front court rotation.

While neither played significant minutes, both showed flashes of promise for the Volunteers. However, following the season, Kasongo opted to transfer from the program.

After several teams vying for his services, Kasongo made his decision on Friday as to where he would play next.

According to CBS Sports, Ray Kasongo has committed to the Iowa State Cyclones. Continue reading Tennessee Transfer Ray Kasongo Commits to Iowa State

Little Rock Graduate Transfer Mareik Isom Commits to Texas

Little Rock forward Mareik Isom (#14) announced his intention to transfer after the Trojans' magical season came to an end. He will play for Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns in 2016-17. (Source: USA Today Sports)
Little Rock forward Mareik Isom (#14) announced his intention to transfer after the Trojans’ magical season came to an end. He will play for Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns in 2016-17. (Source: USA Today Sports)

In 2015-16, the Little Rock Trojans underwent a rebrand in terms of their image and name off the court. On the court, they quickly emerged as one of the top mid-major teams in the country, and became one of America’s favourites in the process.

Their five losses were tied for the fewest in the entire NCAA last year. They won both the regular season and tournament Sun Belt titles, and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament after a double-overtime win over the Purdue Boilermakers in Denver, CO.

Looking ahead to next season, the roster will be vastly different. Leading scorer Josh Hagins has graduated, along with Roger WoodsDaniel Green, and Jermaine Ruttley.

Now, you can add Mareik Isom to the list of players who won’t be back for the Trojans, as he has found his new home for the 2016-17 campaign.

Isom is joining Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns as a graduate transfer for the 2016-17 season. Continue reading Little Rock Graduate Transfer Mareik Isom Commits to Texas

Texas Longhorns Get Commitment from Class of 2016 Five-Star Big Man Jarrett Allen

Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns raised their fists in excitement on Friday, as Class of 2016 five-star center Jarrett Allen committed to the Longhorns after a lengthy recruiting process.
Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns raised their fists in excitement on Friday, as Class of 2016 five-star center Jarrett Allen committed to the Longhorns after a lengthy recruiting process.

Slowly but surely, the pieces have been falling into place for the recruiting class of 2016.

One by one, the top recruits in the country have made their final decision on where they will play their collegiate basketball next season. Some schools, like the Kentucky Wildcats or the Duke Blue Devils, have their fair share of top-tier recruits. Others, however, were hoping to land that one impact recruit that could change their season for the better.

On Friday, the Texas Longhorns landed their impact recruit.

Center Jarrett Allen was the last five-star prospect on the board who hadn’t chose his collegiate home. He is ranked as the top center in the Class of 2016 by ESPN.

He was relatively quiet during his recruiting process, although it was a well-known fact that there was an instate battle for the Austin, TX native between the Longhorns and the Houston Cougars.

In the end, Allen committed to Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns, and could have very well turned them into an NCAA Tournament team in doing so. Continue reading Texas Longhorns Get Commitment from Class of 2016 Five-Star Big Man Jarrett Allen

Michigan State Transfer Javon Bess De-Commits from Akron, Commits to Saint Louis

After two seasons with the Michigan State Spartans in a reserve role, Javon Bess announced his intentions to transfer following the 2015-16 season. After committing to Akron in mid-May. Bess decommitted on Thursday and has reportedly committed to Travis Ford and the Saint Louis Billikens. (Source: Bleacher Report)
After two seasons with the Michigan State Spartans in a reserve role, Javon Bess announced his intentions to transfer following the 2015-16 season. After committing to Akron in mid-May. Bess de-committed on Thursday and has reportedly committed to Travis Ford and the Saint Louis Billikens. (Source: Bleacher Report)

After two seasons with the high-powered Michigan State Spartans, forward Javon Bess found himself somewhat lost in the rotation of forwards. Despite showing flashes of high-major abilities over his two years, he came off the bench more often than not.

So, Bess decided to transfer elsewhere.

Following the 2015-16 season, where the Spartans were upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, Bess announced his intentions to transfer.

In mid-May, it appeared that he had found his new home, as he committed to the Akron Zips. But, less than a month later, he has seemingly had a change of heart.

It was reported Thursday that Bess was no longer committed to Akron, and had decided to transfer to elsewhere. Now, Javon Bess has committed to Travis Ford and the Saint Louis Billikens. Continue reading Michigan State Transfer Javon Bess De-Commits from Akron, Commits to Saint Louis

Three Biggest Winners from the NBA Draft Early Entrant Deadline

With both Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey back for the 2016-17 season, the Oregon Ducks could be in store for a special year.
With both Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey back for the 2016-17 season, the Oregon Ducks could be in store for a special year.

With the new NBA Draft rules, there were a number of underclassmen who declared early for the draft without signing with an agent. Players were able to go through the pre-draft process, and 70 players were invited to the NBA Draft Combine.

Depending on the feedback players heard, projections, and how the players felt in general, they were able to return to school if they so chose. The deadline to either sign with an agent or return to school was May 25th.

As the deadline came and went, several key players opted to return to school for another kick at the can in the NCAA. Some are back to improve their game with the hopes of becoming a lock for a first-round selection in future years, while others simply went through the process to get noticed and the experience.

After the decisions came, several teams were considered ‘winners’. Three teams stood out from the rest, as the decisions for key players to return to school will give each team a better shot at not only a conference title, but possibly a national title.
Continue reading Three Biggest Winners from the NBA Draft Early Entrant Deadline

2015-16 Year in Review: Back to the Drawing Board for the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks

Senior forward Dominique Elliott and the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks took a step backwards after their breakout campaign in 2014-15. (Source: UMES Sports Information)
Senior forward Dominique Elliott and the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks took a step backwards after their breakout campaign in 2014-15. (Source: UMES Sports Information)

The success for the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks during the 2014-15 season was well-documented. Their 18-wins were more than they had in the previous three years combined, and they were invited to the 2015 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

Their success led to an increase in optimism heading into the 2015-16 campaign, which was Bobby Collins‘ second as the head coach of the team. Forward Michael Myers, a CCR Mid-Major All-American following the 2014-15 season, was the only notable player to be gone from the roster. So, the Hawks were flying high in advance of the 2015-16 season.

What goes up, must come down.

Instead of building off of their success, the Hawks fell flat in 2015-16, struggling out of the gate and never being able to recreate the magic from the previous year. The Hawks won just once in their first 11 games, and were never able to dig themselves out of the hole they dug for themselves.

After taking a step backwards this past season, the Hawks must return to the drawing board and get ready for the 2016-17 season. Even with the struggles of this past year, there is still reason to believe the Hawks can contend for a MEAC title in the coming years. Continue reading 2015-16 Year in Review: Back to the Drawing Board for the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks