College Basketball Nation: Will Brown

Lon Kruger is perfect from the line

December, 8, 2010
UNLV coach Lon Kruger underwent sextuple bypass heart surgery in 2007, and so his participation in the Shots from the Heart free throw-shooting tournament for coaches to raise awareness for the fight against heart disease is meaningful.

Kruger delivered just as his undefeated Rebels team has this season, sinking all 25 of his free throw attempts to advance to the second round of the 64-coach tournament.

"Our family genetically has a history of heart disease," he told KVVU-TV. "Of course I went through that three years ago with the bypass, and that makes it even more intriguing to be a part of it."

Kruger, who played at Kansas State, wasn't the only coach to be perfect from the line and practice what he preaches.

New Mexico's Steve Alford, Albany's Will Brown, Wake Forest's Jeff Bzdelik, Radford's Brad Greenberg, Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg and Stony Brook's Steve Pikiell also hit 25 straight free throws.

Academics cause Washington State transfer

June, 8, 2010
James Watson had quite a life story to tell during his time at Washington State, and unfortunately for the freshman, his basketball career will now be taking a detour because of academics.

Watson, a 6-foot-7 forward who appeared in 29 of the Cougars' 31 games this season, was declared academically ineligible for the fall semester and will transfer to a junior college rather than sit out during that time.

"We wish James nothing but the best," Wazzu coach Ken Bone said in a statement.

Here's the updated list to all the West Coast transfers from this offseason.

Arizona: D.J. Shumpert

Arizona State: Demetrius Walker, Taylor Rohde, Brandon Thompson, Victor Rudd

Boise State: Tyler Young

BYU: Michael Loyd Jr.

Cal: D.J. Seeley , Omondi Amoke (dismissed)

Cal State Bakersfield: Marcus Hall

Fresno State: Brandon Sperling, Taylor Kelly, Mychal Ladd

Gonzaga: Grant Gibbs, G.J. Vilarino

Hawaii: Jeremy Lay, Aleksandar Milovic

Loyola Marymount: Kevin Young

Montana State: Austin Brown, Colt Idol

Nevada: London Giles

New Mexico: Nate Garth, Will Brown (dismissed)

Oregon: Drew Wiley, Matthew Humphrey, Josh Crittle

Pacific: Royal Edwards, Sterling Carter, Everson Lacerda

Pepperdine: Andy Shannon

San Francisco: Kwame Vaughn , Nikola Stojiljkovic

Santa Clara: Troy Alexander

UC Davis: Julian Welch, Adam Malik

UCLA: J'mison Morgan (dismissed), Mike Moser

UC Riverside: Lateef McMullan, Konner Veteto

USC: Leonard Washington (dismissed), Davis Rozitis

Utah: Carlon Brown, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Cyphers, Matt Read

Utah State: Anthony DiLoreto (dismissed), Modou Niang, Tyrone White, Jaxon Myaer

Washington: Elston Turner, Clarence Trent

Washington State: Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun, Anthony Brown, John Allen, James Watson

Weber State: Franklin Session
When New Mexico signed Emmanuel Negedu, the former Tennessee player who collapsed after a practice and was forced to find his basketball future elsewhere, it accelerated an already complicated scholarship logjam for Steve Alford's program. Alford brought in four high school recruits and a host of transfers this spring, and with Negedu's addition, it became clear someone on the Lobos wasn't going to be back in 2010-11.

[+] EnlargeWill Brown
AP Photo/Paul SakumaNew Mexico announced on Wednesday that it would not renew the scholarship of forward Will Brown.
Sophomore forward Will Brown read the tea leaves, got nervous, and decided to take matters into his own hands. So Brown sent a letter -- a handwritten letter, believe it or not -- to the Albuquerque Journal stating that he had no intention of leaving. Brown apologized for his "actions throughout the season" and said he "loved this city with all his heart" and "will be here to continue playing basketball."

Turns out, he won't. On Wednesday afternoon, New Mexico announced that Brown's scholarship wouldn't be renewed for 2010-11, due to "repeated violations of team policy." The press release was short (even by typical press release standards), containing only two paragraphs and a single quote from Alford that promised to help Brown "find other opportunities."

In a way, it's hard to lump Brown's situation in with the usual runoff archetype -- the sleazy practice of jettisoning a bench player thanks to a coach's desire to add an incoming recruit -- we see so often in college hoops. Lots of runoff players don't have apparent behavioral issues. It's hard to criticize New Mexico for getting rid of a player that apparently violated team rules so often he felt it necessary to apologize in a handwritten letter to the local rag.

At the same time, it was just Tuesday when the Lobos trumpeted Brown's participation in a team event designed to help adoption-eligible Albuquerque youths find adoptive parents. Brown was one of several players on hand at the event, playing basketball with the kids and coordinating team activities. Reading between the lines would suggest that Brown was back in the program's good graces. Um, apparently not.

New Mexico's Brown wants to stick around

May, 17, 2010
Power forward Emmanuel Negedu is set to sign with New Mexico, and Lobos sophomore forward Will Brown has sent a letter to the Albuquerque Journal essentially pleading to stay on the team.

The issue of scholarships has come up with New Mexico. Coach Steve Alford added four high school players and three impact transfers to next year's roster, and Brown apparently doesn't want to be the odd man out.

After Darington Hobson stayed in the draft the Lobos continued to recruit Negedu, knowing his commitment would put them over the scholarship limit. Of course, scholarships are in reality one-year agreements and do not have to be renewed.

The 6-foot-8 Brown, who played in all 35 games and averaged 4.2 points and 3.6 rebounds, wrote in a handwritten note that he has "no intentions of leaving" and then apologizes to the coaches and teams for unspecified "actions throughout the season" while asking for forgiveness.

Whether or not that's going to allow him to stick with the defending Mountain West champs remains to be seen. Already, sophomore guard Nate Garth has transferred. The flip side of adding a ton of talent might be leaving others feeling just a bit unwanted.