Daily Headlines: McClung Transfers, Arizona Lands Twin International Recruits

The biggest name on the NCAA basketball transfer market made his decision on Wednesday, as former Georgetown star Mac McClung announced his intent to transfer to Texas Tech, the 2019 NCAA runner-ups. It’s a huge pick-up for the Red Raiders, who have lost a few of their top options, including Davide Moretti, who left collegiate ball for pro ball in Italy. McClung became a viral star in high school, and he tore it up with the Hoyas for two seasons before declaring for the draft, while maintaining eligibility. However, McClung recently withdrew his name from draft consideration, and Texas Tech immediately became a favorite to land his services. The Red Raiders are known for their fierce defensive system, but McClung’s fireworks offensively will be a welcome sight in Lubbock, where Chris Beard hopes to compete with Kansas and Baylor for Big 12 supremacy.

Arizona lands twin brother recruits
Arizona basketball received some big-time upgrades via their international recruiting, as they landed twin brothers Azuolas and Tautvilas Tubelis out of Lithuania. Azuolas led Lithuania in scoring in the U16 and U18 European championships, and he is the top-rated international prospect. Tautvilas spent four seasons playing for the elite Vilnius Basketball School, while also competing at the FIBA U16 and U18 European championships. They both cited Arizona’s campus and fans as reason for their commitment. The Wildcats were strong contenders in a wide-open Pac-12 last season, but they lost seven of eight players who got major playing time. They’ll hope these victories on the recruiting front keep them in conference contention.

Johnny Juzang gets immediate eligibility

UCLA got some welcome news as well for their basketball team, as transfer Johnny Juzang got approved to play immediately for the Bruins, after transferring from Kentucky. Juzang was originally a Class of 2020 recruit, but he re-classified and played 28 games for Kentucky, starting two. His numbers (2.9 points per game) didn’t dazzle, but he also didn’t see much playing time until the back-end of the year, and he put up a few impressive performances, including 10 points in a comeback effort versus Florida, as well as thirteen points against Tennessee. The 6’6 shooting guard hails from Los Angeles, and he’s headed back to his home state to play for the Bruins, where he will be an intriguing option for a team that finished second place in the Pac-12 last season, finishing the year as one of the hottest teams in the country.

Houston’s Fabian White out for the season

Houston lost a key contributor for the upcoming season, as senior Fabian White suffered a torn ACL while working out on his own, forcing him to take a red-shirt for 2020-2021 season to preserve his eligibility. It’s really bad luck for White, who started all 31 games in his junior campaign, and for Houston, ranked nineteenth in the country in ESPN’s way-too-early Top 25, they’ll need to replace one of their best players if they want to be contenders for the NCAA Tournament.

Daily Headlines: Jalen Kitna Commits to Florida

The Florida Gators may be leaning on Kyle Trask this season for their College Football Playoff hopes, but their quarterback room of the future got a big upgrade on Tuesday, as four-star Jalen Kitna expressed his verbal commitment to the Gators. The Texas product had seven major offers on the table, and BC, Arizona, and Georgia Tech were also heavy players in his recruitment. Although he checks in as a pro-style quarterback, several scouts have lauded his ability to make plays with his legs. Kitna currently clocks in with a 4.7 40-yard dash, and he threw for over 1500 yards last season – he’s an intriguing addition to the Florida quarterback room.

Pac-12 makes call on return of athletes, Clemson and Oklahoma also make decisions

In a big decision, the Pac-12 announced they would allow athletes to return to campus for voluntary workouts. It’s unclear how this works with California’s plan to host online classes. But, at least the Pac-12 is open to the possibility of sports returning – so keep your fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, Clemson announced that they are authorizing their athletes to return to campus June 8, although Oklahoma is staying a little more cautious, announcing they will be waiting until July 1. However, these timelines still keep the college football schedule on pace for an on-time start, so hopefully July 1 is at late as it gets.

Coleman-Lands transfers to Iowa State

Jalen Coleman-Lands announced his intention to transfer to Iowa State, where he will complete his sixth and final collegiate season with his third team. Coleman-Lands spent two seasons with Illinois, sat out the 2017-2018 season due to transfer, then red-shirted a year due to injury in his first year with DePaul. Last season, Coleman-Lands put up 11.1 points per game in the Big East, and he’s headed back to the Big 12, where he will play for the Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State struggled last season, putting up a 5-13 record in a top-heavy Big 12, but the addition of Coleman-Lands gives them a solid player who has lots of experience playing big games will give them a nice asset as they try to surge back to Big 12 relevancy.

Daily Headlines: Michigan gets 2nd LB Commit in 2 days with entertaining commit video

Just yesterday, Michigan got the welcome news of linebacker Junior Colsen’s commitment, and they got a double dosage of good news on Memorial Day, with linebacker/athlete Jaydon Hood announcing his intentions to don the maize and blue. The Wolverines have been producing NFL-talent at linebacker, and that prowess is showing with these recent commitments. Hood, a four-star commit out of Florida, was seriously pursued by several teams, including Louisville, Virginia Tech, Miami, West Virginia, and others. However, he ultimately joins Colsen in Ann Arbor, and he released his decision in entertaining fashion – featuring some impressive (?) gymnastics from the Michigan coaching staff.

The video was entertaining, but Michigan fans will also certainly enjoy the highlights of Hood terrorizing opposing offensive lines, as he will look to do the same in the Big 10, with Michigan’s pursuit of conference supremacy an ongoing struggle.

Terrance Ferguson narrows list to 5

Recruiting was a little slow over Memorial Day Weekend, but on of the best tight ends in the 2021 class narrowed his official list to five schools, spread over three conferences. Auburn, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Oregon, and USC remain in play for Terrance Ferguson’s services. The Colorado product did not leave any in-state schools on his list. Oregon and Wisconsin are considered slight favorites, but it’s been tough to get a read on Ferguson, who hasn’t taken an official visit to any of these schools. He took multiple visits to Colorado, and visited LSU, Georgia, and Arkansas, but he ultimately left all of those teams off his list. Ferguson is the seventh-ranked tight end in the 2021 class, and he has the athleticism to play wide receiver too – he’ll be a great pick-up for whoever can secure the Colorado talent.

Daily Headlines: College Coaching Legend Eddie Sutton Passes Away

Legendary NCAA Basketball coach Eddie Sutton passed away on Saturday at the age of 84 – he leaves a legacy as one one of the greatest ever to coach at the collegiate level. He coached for 16 seasons with Oklahoma State, eleven with Arkansas, four with Kentucky, five with Creighton, and a final part of a season with San Francisco. In those 16 seasons with the Cowboys, Sutton never suffered a losing season. He reached three Final Fours – one with Arkansas and two with Oklahoma State – and racked up 806 wins, good for ninth all-time.

Texas Tech loses key player to overseas

Texas Tech lost a key contributor from their 2019 national runners-up team, as Davide Moretti opted to leave the Red Raiders in favor of Olimpia Milano in his native Italy. Moretti started 68 games in the previous two seasons, averaging over 11 points per games in both campaigns. He’s nearly a 90% free throw shooter, and 42% from beyond the arc. Head coach Chris Beard and the Texas Tech staff will be looking for immediate replacements for blow to their starting lineup. They are considered players for former Georgetown star Mac McClung on the transfer market, as well as Jonathan Kuminga, the top 2021 recruit who is considering reclassifying to enter the NCAA next season.

Big 12 cleared to return June 15

On Friday, the SEC announced they would allow teams to report to their athletic facilities on June 8, while the Big 10 said they would leave it up to the schools. Saturday, the Big 12 handed down their decision, clearing their football players to return on June 15. Although a week later, this keeps college football on pace for a on-time start. We can only hope.

Caylin Newton heads to Auburn

In a somewhat surprising decision, Cam Newton’s younger brother, Caylin, has elected to transfer to Auburn, where Cam won a national championship, to complete his collegiate career. He’s been one of the best players in the MEAC, with Howard, but he chooses Auburn as his grad transfer destination, despite sophomore Bo Nix have a firm grip on the starting job. It’ll be curious if head coach Gus Malzahn attempts to utilize him in other ways than a traditional back-up quarterback.

Ole Miss snags Mississippi State transfer

A former ESPN 300 recruit, Mississippi State’s Jarrian Jones announced on Saturday he would be leaving the Bulldogs and flipping sides in the Egg Bowl rivalry, as he will don the red and navy blue uniforms of the Ole Miss Rebels in 2020. The defensive back was all over the board during his recruitment, committing and de-committing from two teams before deciding on Mississippi State. He lasted one season with the Bulldogs, recording twelve tackles and two pass-breakups as a true freshman. He’ll have three seasons of eligibility left with the Rebels

Daily Headlines: Texas Governor believes CFB season will start on time

As much as everyone wants sports to resume, announcements from sports-related authorities must be taken with a grain of salt, as the return of college football and other fall sports will likely hinge on a series of political decisions. And so, the world of sports received another encouraging announcement from a very important figure in Texas governor Greg Abbot, who says he believes college football will start on time in this fall. ,

SEC says June 8, Big 10 to let schools decide
While the NCAA authorized athletes to return to campuses beginning June 1, decisions are beginning to come down from the major conferences. The SEC voted to allow students to return for voluntary workouts and team activities June 8, while the Big 10 announced they intend to let individual schools decide what is best for them. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is intending on a June 8 start date as well. 

Alabama and Auburn crack 2021 recruiting Top 25

It has been a bit of a slog on the recruiting trails for the Crimson Tide, but they are starting to bring it around, as their 2021 class found its way into its normal home inside the Top 25 rankings in the latest release, slotting in at 23rd. Their Iron Bowl rivals Auburn sit four spots above the Tide at #19. Alabama currently only has five commits in the class, the fewest of any top-25 recruiting class so far.
The top five stayed relatively the same, as Ohio State and Tennessee remain 1-2, while Clemson leapfrogged UNC to claim the third spot, and Florida trails the Tar Heels at #5. USC (6) and LSU(7) both climbed to the brink of the top 5, and Minnesota, Notre Dame, and Texas round out the top ten. The full top 25 is here.

Daily Headlines: Tennessee continues to build 2nd-ranked 2021 recruiting class

4-star DE Saivion Jones commits to LSU

One of the first steps towards becoming a powerhouse is securing the top recruits from your state, and LSU, the defending national champions, did just that and continued to impose their will on the recruiting scene, picking up a 4-star commitment from Defensive End Saivion Jones. Jones is a top-10 defensive end in the 2021 class, becoming their second premier defensive commit, after safety Khari Gee picked LSU over Clemson earlier this week. Jones was favored to pick LSU for most of his recruitment, but he was also recruited hard by Florida State, Virginia, and others. It’s still a big win for the Tigers, as Coach O is building a monster of a defense with this 2021 class.

4-star Athlete Kaemen Marley commits to Tennessee

Tennessee may have struggled on the gridiron recently, but that is not stopping the Volunteers from reeling in big-time recruits at a rapid-fire pace. It’s almost a snowball effect at this point, as Tennessee landed a commitment from four-star athlete Kaemen Marley, one of the top players out of North Carolina in the 2021 class. Marley was a high-impact player at a bevy of positions in high school, playing as a receiver, running back, wildcat quarterback, safety, and occasionally corner. He’s an absolute luxury to add to the Tennessee roster, who can really slot him in where he best fits on their team. Along with in-state offers from UNC and NC State, Marley was a known target of Georgia Tech. However, choosing from a current slate of 15 offers, Marley joins the 2nd-ranked recruiting class in Tennessee, as the Volunteers continue to build for a very promising future in Knoxville.

Daily Headlines: Ohio State AD says aim is “20-30,000” fans

In today’s daily headlines, there were some positive developments in the ongoing struggle to play college football this fall. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith announced that his current hope was that Ohio State could play in their home stadium with crowds between 20-30,000 people. Although maybe not optimistic as what we’ve heard out of Alabama, who wants ‘full stadiums’, Smith’s idea may be a little more realistic. Ohio State’s stadium hosts a 100,000 people, so playing with spaced out crowds at about 30% capacity seems feasible. Who should get the tickets? We’ll let Ohio State’s Barstool Twitter do the talking. 

Regardless of school, giving students the tickets should be the priority if stadiums are able to host fans

NCAA authorizes voluntary workouts starting June 1

The NCAA voted on Wednesday afternoon that athletes would be allowed to return to their campuses for voluntary workouts. This is a huge development for an on-time start to the football season, as without this vote, getting football players (and other fall athletes) to be in shape for August practices and September games is highly unlikely. 

Jim Harbaugh says empty stadiums is better than no games
Ok, this may be stating the obvious, but there are a few too many people for comfort level saying it would be better to push the football season to spring if the games can’t be played in full stadiums. Beyond the fact that such a decision would impact the next several seasons, it’s also just ridiculous. College football runs the fall – tailgating on Saturdays, College Gameday. It’s the main show in the fall, and to try and shove it into the spring, where it’s now competing with NCAA Basketball and March Madness, the NCAA hockey tournament, and everything else, makes no sense. It’s good to see Harbaugh using his platform, as he often does, to speak up and remind everyone that empty stadiums or not, we need college football this fall. 

Daily Headlines: NCAA Implements Massive Postseason Ban on 15 Athletic Programs

As referenced by Cal Christoforo in his article on Stephen F. Austin, the NCAA struck with a thundering fist on Tuesday, implementing a postseason ban on fifteen schools that didn’t meet the minimum threshold on their Academic Progress Reports. The report required a four-year score of 930 – which predicts a graduation rate of 50%. Ten schools and fifteen athletic programs did not hit the mark:

  • Alabama A&M men’s basketball, men’s track and women’s soccer
  • Alabama State men’s basketball
  • Coppin State women’s track
  • Delaware State men’s basketball
  • Grambling State men’s track
  • Howard football
  • McNeese State football
  • Prairie View A&M football
  • Southern University men’s cross country and men’s track
  • Stephen F. Austin baseball, football and men’s basketball

The penalty is a postseason ban for the involved programs, but it’s unclear when they have to be served, especially with the ongoing uncertainty regarding the 2021-2022 sports season due the coronavirus pandemic.

USC and Ole Miss schedule first-ever match-up

Power-5 non-conference match-ups are always welcome, and courtesy of USC and Ole Miss, we will get one that we haven’t seen before. The Trojans and Rebels have never met on the gridiron, but they will in 2025 and 2026, as the two programs scheduled a home-and-home. USC will host Ole Miss in the Coliseum in 2025, and in 2026, the Trojans head to the state of Mississippi for the first time in their storied history. Ole Miss will be the 11th of 14 SEC teams that USC has played.