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Arizona receives NCAA’s notice of allegations

  • Basketball recruiting insider.
  • Joined ESPN in 2014.
  • Graduate of University of Delaware.

Arizona received its notice of allegations from the NCAA, the school announced on Friday. It provided no further information.

“In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing enforcement process, the University is not releasing the NOA at this time,” the school said.

Arizona Board of Regents Chair Larry E. Penley released a statement shortly after the school’s announcement.

“The Arizona Board of Regents will meet in executive session next week to discuss the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations issued to the University of Arizona,” the statement read. “The board recognizes that the issuance by the NCAA of a Notice of Allegations is another step in its comprehensive enforcement process. Maintaining the integrity of the process, while frustratingly slow, has been and remains essential and we look forward to an expeditious resolution.

“The board has confidence in President [Robert C.] Robbins and his commitment to the highest integrity in academic and athletic matters.”

Arizona’s men’s basketball program has been under investigation stemming from the 2017 FBI investigation into college basketball. Former Arizona assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson pleaded guilty in 2019 to accepting $20,000 in bribes from aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins in order to steer players to Dawkins once they turned pro.

During Dawkins’ trial, prosecutors played a call in which Richardson told Dawkins that Arizona head coach Sean Miller was paying $10,000 a month for former player Deandre Ayton.

“But see, your boy [Miller] promised that he was gonna let [us] work on that deal,” Dawkins told Richardson during the call. “So we’ll see how Sean plays it out. You know what I’m saying? We’ll see if he’s a man of his word. ‘Cause he brought it up to me.”

“Yeah, ’cause he need help,” Richardson responded. “You know what he doing per month? I told you. Ten.”

“Yeah, that’s what I’m saying,” Dawkins said. “He’s putting up some real money for them [players]. He told me he’s getting killed.”

Miller has consistently denied paying players to attend Arizona.

“I have never knowingly violated NCAA rules while serving as head coach of this great program,” he said at a news conference in 2018. “I have never paid a recruit, prospect or their family or representative to come to Arizona, and I never will.”

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Clark commits to Kentucky over UNC, 2 others

  • Basketball recruiting insider.
  • Joined ESPN in 2014.
  • Graduate of University of Delaware.

  • National Recruiting Director for ESPN.com
  • 18 years of coaching experience at Division I level
  • Former Horizon League coach of the year at Wright State

Five-star junior Skyy Clark committed to Kentucky on Thursday, choosing the Wildcats over North Carolina, UCLA and Memphis.

Clark becomes the third top-20 junior to announce his commitment, joining Emoni Bates (No. 1, Michigan State) and Dior Johnson (No. 11, Syracuse).

“It has been a blessing to be recruited by John Calipari and his staff,” said Clark, whose lead recruiter was assistant coach Joel Justus. “He is not only a legend in college basketball but in the world of basketball. Any player that loves the game and dreams of playing at the next level has Kentucky on their list. Everyone knows how well he treats his players. He is an amazing coach and a better person. I love coach Cal, he keeps it real and makes no promises.”

A 6-foot-2 point guard from The Ensworth School (Tennessee), Clark is ranked No. 19 in the ESPN 60 for the 2022 class. Kentucky emerged as the clear favorite after the Wildcats extended a scholarship offer in July, but Clark had already taken an unofficial visit to Lexington and there was longstanding mutual interest.

“It’s a perfect fit for me,” Clark said. “I have watched games and practice film on Kentucky. I love the way they play defense and push the ball on offense. I took a visit when they played Auburn. The fans were incredible. You could not hear the person next to you.”

Clark is a do-it-all point guard who loves to defend. He seeks out the best perimeter player from the opposing team and looks to guard him. He has worked on his shooting range and it now extends beyond the arc. Clark plays primarily with the ball in his hands as a playmaker and has demonstrated the basketball IQ to make his teammates better.

He improved his body during the pandemic, becoming leaner and stronger. He can be trusted at the end of games, given his ability to make good decisions and his accuracy at the free-throw line.

Clark has long been a candidate to reclassify from the 2022 class to 2021 and enroll at Kentucky next year to play during the 2021-22 season. He has not made a public decision on reclassification yet, though.

He is the first commitment for Kentucky in the 2022 class. The Wildcats also have one pledge in 2021, ESPN 100 point guard Nolan Hickman.

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Basketball

John Wall was way too busy playing spades to pay attention during an ESPN interview


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Basketball

Watch Sky Sports Heatcheck live on YouTube

Ovie Soko and BJ Armstrong join Mo Mooncey and Jaydee Dyer on a new episode of Heatcheck, Sky Sports’ weekly NBA show, live on YouTube on Tuesday at 3pm.

The 2019-20 NBA season is over and the Los Angeles Lakers have been crowned champions for a record-equalling 17th time.

Ovie, BJ and Mo are on hand to reflect on all the drama that unfolded inside the NBA’s Disney bubble in the season’s final edition of Heatcheck. Was Adam Silver’s bubble experiment a success? What was the biggest surprise of the 2019-20 season? And which players and teams suffered the biggest disappointments?

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In Hot or Not, the guys will debate the Lakers’ chances of successfully defending their title next season. They’ll also discuss general manager Daryl Morey’s departure from the Houston Rockets and reflect on the biggest achievements of his 13-year tenure in charge.

The WNBA successfully completed their 2020 season in a bubble environment in Florida, with the Seattle Storm claiming their fourth championship. Atlanta Dream star Renee Montgomery joins the show to share her thoughts on the season, one she watched from afar after opting out of playing in order to play a role in the fight for social change.

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In Posted Up, the guys will look ahead to the 2020-21 NBA season and project the level of success the heavyweights of both conferences can expect. Will the Golden State Warriors go further than the LA Clippers? Will the Brooklyn Nets – back at full strength with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – outperform the Milwaukee Bucks?

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Don’t forget, you can engage with the show live and comment on every topic discussed – and remember to use #SkySportsHeatcheck on Twitter!

Watch Sky Sports Heatcheck live on Sky Sports’ YouTube Channel from 3pm on Tuesday.

Want to watch the NBA but don’t have Sky Sports? Get the Sky Sports Action and Arena pack, click here.

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Basketball

Judd Trump net worth: How much is the English Open champion worth?

Judd Trump has been crowned the English Open champion in 2020. The world no 1 got the better of Australia’s Neil Robertson in the final, winning 9-8.

How much is Judd Trump worth?

Trump has won 18 ranking titles during his professional career.

Over that time, he has earned more than £4.8million in prize money.

According to WikiNetWorth, Trump’s overall net worth is estimated to be £9m.

By winning the English Open, picked up another pay day of £70,000.

He earned the top prize of £500,000 for his World Championship victory last year.

“I might go a bit wild when that lands in my bank account,” he said after the final.

Trump is also the first player to surpass £1m winnings in a single season.

Speaking last year, he said: “I remember being asked a few years ago if snooker gave you enough to earn a living.

“From where we were five or 10 years ago it’s unbelievable.

“I am very happy with the way the game is being run.

“There are four of five players earning £600,000 or £700,000 a year plus.”

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Basketball

How blockbuster NBA trade could open door for bulked-up Melo to make shock NY return

It looks like Carmelo Anthony could be muscling up for a return to the Knicks.

In a video and pictures posted Thursday on social media by his New York-based trainer, Chris Brickley, the 36-year-old Anthony can be seen draining 3-pointers at the Summit Gym in Midtown. In one photo, he is shown shirtless and buffed up.

After Portland, Anthony’s team this past season, became a surprise bubble playoff entrant with a “seedings-games’’ surge, the Trail Blazers were eliminated 3-1 in the first round by the eventual champion Lakers.

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To cap his comeback from exile, Anthony became a key third scorer for the Blazers, who were led by the spectacular play of Damian Lillard, along with CJ McCollum.

When the Blazers were eliminated on Aug. 29, the Brooklyn native sounded very much like he wanted to re-sign with Portland.

“I pray that it could be Portland,” Anthony said on Zoom. “Honestly, thank God I found a home in Portland. I got comfortable with the organisation. I got comfortable with the guys on the team. They got comfortable with me.’’

However, if point guard Chris Paul makes his way to the Knicks via a trade, sources have said Anthony is likely to want to follow. Anthony and Paul are close friends who dreamed of playing together in the NBA and saw their alliance in Houston end prematurely.

Both players were represented by Knicks president Leon Rose when he was basketball chief of Creative Artists Agency. A source said Rose is amenable to an Anthony return even without Paul.

If Julius Randle is part of a Paul deal, the Knicks will need a starting small forward and power forward. Anthony plays either position.

The Blazers want Anthony back, especially judging by a wild back-and-forth between the Nuggets and Blazers’ Twitter accounts Friday.

The Nuggets sent out a tweet picturing five former players and asking “Who is your favourite Nugget of all-time?’’ Anthony was not one of the five pictured, despite his storied career in Denver.

Soon after, the Blazers posted an identically themed tweet with a frame of five former Portland stars — with Anthony alongside Lillard, Brandon Roy, Clyde Drexler and Bill Walton. The photo contained the exact same message: “Who is your favourite Blazer of all-time?”

Anthony’s chiselled look is noteworthy since one of the knocks on him during his career was that he never looked in superb shape and he relied on his enormous 1-on-1 ability. Hence, scouts believed he never gave full effort on defence.

The pandemic that caused a four-month break to the season gave Anthony time to do more off-court training with basketball gyms closed. Anthony won’t turn 37 until May — which would be the latter stages of next season.

During the shutdown, Anthony, a Knick from 2011 to 2017, still worked with Brickley via virtual training. Now they can train again in person.

This appeared on NY Post and was republished with permission.

Streets of LA get crazy after Lakers win title

NBA: After LeBron James broke the Championship drought for the Los Angeles Lakers, the city went into pandemonium as fans spilled the street to celebrate.

Originally published asBulked-up NBA star’s shock return

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Basketball

The Nuggets gave Carmelo Anthony the cold shoulder and got roasted by NBA Twitter

It looks like there isn’t much love for Carmelo Anthony in Denver.

The future Hall of Famer played the first 7 1/2 seasons of his NBA career with the Nuggets after being selected with the third overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft. Denver had failed to reach the playoffs in each of the eight seasons prior to drafting Anthony; he led the team to seven consecutive postseason appearances, including the Western Conference finals in 2009 where they fell to Kobe Bryant and the eventual champion Lakers.

Still, in spite of his contributions to the franchise, Anthony was noticeably absent from a tweet Friday in which the team asked fans: “Who is your favorite Nugget of all time?”

In lieu of Anthony, pictured in the graphic are team legends Nick Van Exel, Dikembe Mutombo and Alex English, current superstar Nikola Jokic and newly named Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups.

It’s understandable that Nuggets fans may have conflicting feelings about Anthony, who refused to sign a contract extension ahead of the 2010-11 season. There were rumors that he had requested a trade prior to the start of the season, but he continued playing in Denver until he was finally traded on Feb. 22, 2011, to the Knicks, along with Billups. 

Perhaps there’s some bad blood because Anthony wanted to move on, but isn’t that a little childish? It’s nothing new for stars to leave the teams that drafted them in search of more, whether it be title aspirations or money.

As far as credentials go, Anthony certainly belongs on the list. He averaged 24.8 points per game in his time with the Nuggets, including a career-best 28.9 per game during his first All-Star season in 2006-07. He received First Team All-Rookie honors, made four All-Star teams, and was named All-NBA Second Team once and All-NBA Third Team three times while in Denver. He scored 13,970 points during his Nuggets tenure, good for third all time in franchise history behind English (1979-90: 21,645 points) and Dan Issel (1975-85: 16,589), another notable snub.

The most questionable inclusions have to be Van Exel and Billups. Van Exel only played 3 1/2 seasons in Denver. Even if he did average 17.7 points and 8.4 assists as a Nugget, those teams were awful and never achieved a winning record. Not only that, but Van Exel himself requested a trade, which he later regretted.

Billups played 4 1/2 seasons between two stints in Denver. He played just 58 games in his first two seasons from 1998-2000. His return was much more successful, as he used his experience from winning two NBA championships with the Pistons to help Anthony lead the Nuggets to the West finals in ’09. He made two All-Star appearances, was an All-NBA Third Team selection and received the 2009 NBA Sportsmanship Award. That’s a solid resume, but it doesn’t even begin to touch what Anthony did.

Mutombo is a pretty safe call to make the shortlist. Although he only played five seasons in Denver (1991-96), he won his first of four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1994-95 and was deeply loved by Nuggets fans for his 31 blocks in the five-game playoff series win over the SuperSonics in 1994. Jokic has firmly planted himself in franchise history by leading Denver to another Western Conference finals appearance after overcoming 3-1 series deficits to the Jazz and the Clippers in the 2020 playoffs.

Fans on Twitter made sure to let the Nuggets know who was missing from the list (primarily it was Anthony, though others made sure to shout out David Thompson, Fat Lever and . . . JR Smith?).

Even the Premier League got in the action. You know you’ve messed up when other sports are calling you out.

The fact that Anthony was left out over Billups and Van Exel was too ridiculous to be ignored. 

Of course, we’d all be remiss if we didn’t pay respect to true Nuggets legends Lever and Smith.

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KU’s de Sousa opts out, citing ‘personal issues’

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas forward Silvio de Sousa is opting out of the upcoming college basketball season, potentially ending what has been one of the most controversial tenures of any player to have joined coach Bill Self’s blueblood program.

Self said in a statement that de Sousa was opting out to “focus on matters in his personal life.” Self added that it became clear in recent workouts that de Sousa was distracted, and after the two of them talked recently, “it was clear this was the best decision for him and Kansas basketball to leave the program.”

De Sousa said in a statement on social media that he is unsure what direction his career will take him.

De Sousa joined the Jayhawks midway through the 2017-18 season and helped them to reach the Final Four. But he was forced to sit out the next season amid eligibility questions after his name surfaced in the FBI probe into college basketball corruption, then he served a 12-game suspension last year for his role in a brawl against Kansas State.

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Los Angeles Clippers set to appoint Tyronn Lue as head coach

Tyronn Lue is finalising a five-year deal to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, according to US reports.

Chauncey Billups would be Lue’s lead assistant, per reports from ESPN and The Athletic. Billups, an NBA champion as a player with the Detroit Pistons in 2004, interviewed for the head coaching post earlier this week.

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Lue was the lead assistant to former head coach Doc Rivers, fired last month after the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead to lose the second-round playoff series to the Denver Nuggets.

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Lue, 43, won an NBA title as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James in 2016. Lue finished with a 128-83 record in parts of four seasons with the Cavs.

The Clippers were viewed as massive disappointments in the NBA playoffs due to the collapse against the Nuggets.

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The final three setbacks were ugly as Los Angeles led by as many as 16, 19 and 12 points, respectively, in the losses.

The Clippers were forecasted to contend for the NBA title after landing All-Star forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the summer of 2019.

But the team was reportedly dealing with chemistry issues during their postseason stay in the NBA bubble. Veteran guard Lou Williams publicly cited the chemistry as an issue after the Game 7 loss to the Nuggets.

Rivers was hired by the Philadelphia 76ers five days after being fired by the Clippers.

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Ty Lue will need plenty of help for Clippers to end conference finals drought


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