Thursday, August 2, 2012
3-point shot: Teams seek O'Brien's services
By Andy Katz
1. Former Boston University forward Jake O'Brien was on Virginia’s campus Wednesday as he debates where to play his final season of college basketball. The Cavaliers desperately could use depth inside after Mike Scott finished his eligibility. But Providence, Temple and Boston College are still in the hunt for O’Brien. O’Brien hasn’t played in over a season and a half due to injury. But a healthy O’Brien with his skill set can help the Cavaliers become a potential NCAA team. The Friars are trying to sell immediate playing time, as well. Meanwhile, PC coach Ed Cooley is dealing with a more pressing matter. He’s hoping that star recruit Ricky Ledo can get a waiver to play or at least be on campus this season as his academic reports go through the Eligibility Center. Cooley would take Ledo on campus, even if he’s not eligible. Kansas had a similar situation with a stud recruit last season when Ben McLemore didn’t get eligible but was at least on campus and around the team last season to learn the system and adapt to the program. Ledo, who has lacked stability during his career, would benefit from being in one place for a few seasons.
2. NC State coach Mark Gottfried said Wednesday that Lorenzo Brown has been cleared to participate in practice after offseason knee surgery. But Gottfried still hasn’t decided if he’ll play him on the trip to Spain in a few weeks. Gottfried said he doesn’t want to jeopardize the season just to get Brown some run in Europe. A year ago, USC’s season changed when Jio Fontan suffered a season-ending injury on an August trip to Brazil. Gottfried said the Wolfpack can’t reach their potential if Brown isn’t on the floor. Incoming freshman Tyler Lewis isn’t ready to take over in a starring role yet. Lewis is much better prepared to be an apprentice for year one with Brown as the headline act. All of that is factoring into Gotffried’s thinking of playing him on the trip. The Wolfpack are an ACC regular-season title contender.
3. A Central Florida spokesperson said the school is awaiting word from the NCAA for more clarification on head coach Donnie Jones' and assistant coach Darren Tillis' July recruiting status for 2013 and maybe for 2014. The NCAA handed down a penalty that Jones and Tillis weren’t supposed to be on the road for two of three weekends last month and all three evaluation weekends in ’13. But Jones and Tillis were on the road for at least two of the three weekends in July. An NCAA spokesperson said Central Florida would have to answer as to what will happen next to Jones and Tillis in this matter, but UCF said it doesn’t have an answer yet from the NCAA. If Jones can’t go on the road in July in 2013 and again in ’14 as a replacement for ’12 then that would be a serious hit in entering the Big East. Not going on the road in July ’13 is a sting by itself.