Friday, June 8, 2012
3-point shot: Vols' Stokes set for star turn
By Andy Katz
1. The USA men's U18 national team that will play in the FIBA Americas championship in Brazil later this month cut its roster down from 23 to 14 Thursday and there are a few names that fans will come to know next season. The incoming freshmen who will be instant hits on this roster -- so far -- are: Rodney Purvis (NC State), Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Shaq Goodwin (Memphis), Jerami Grant (Syracuse), James Robinson (Pitt), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), Jake Layman (Maryland) and Joel James (North Carolina). The coaching staff was most wowed by Smart, but the most memorable name when this tournament ends could be Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes. Stokes should star for this team -- and for the Vols next season. He’s the only player on the squad who is currently in college.
2. The early departure of Butler to the Atlantic 10 has forced teams in the Horizon League to scramble in non-conference scheduling. Illinois-Chicago coach Howard Moore said Thursday that the Flames and other teams are searching for two more games at this late date. The Flames actually need four more games. One of the games the Flames had already secured is the opener against UC Riverside. Why is this significant? The Flames have Joey Miller -- who transferred from Eastern Illinois after his father, Mike Miller, was fired as head coach -- eligible immediately. Well, Mike Miller has now joined the Riverside staff and will be in Chicago for the opener, coaching against his son.
3. Former UConn wing Jeremy Lamb said he has been in touch with Ryan Boatright since his departure and that he has no doubt the perimeter of Boatright, Shabazz Napier and Omar Calhoun, with whom Lamb said he has played, will shine next season. Lamb also said he anticipates that Tyler Olander will be the anchor inside and can handle the chore of being the focal point in the post. No one should expect Lamb to trash his former team, but he was overly confident about the Huskies surviving the attrition that has hit the team since it was handed a postseason ban.