Each week I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:
• North Carolina was in the news recently. Former Tar Heel big men David and Travis Wear announced they are transferring to UCLA. I know coach Ben Howland is thrilled with their decision, though they will have to sit out next season. They will have three years of eligibility remaining. Roy Williams did receive some good news as forward Jason Knox is transferring to Chapel Hill from Alabama. The 6-9 Knox plans to graduate from 'Bama and play with the Tar Heels as a graduate student right away during the 2010-11 campaign. Under the NCAA's graduate student waiver program, he should be eligible to play for the Tar Heels immediately if he chooses a degree program that Alabama does not offer.
• It has been a busy time in college basketball. Jeff Jordan, the son of Michael Jordan, has announced his decision to leave Illinois as a transfer. Iowa State lost forward LeRon Dendy via transfer; he averaged over seven ppg. last season. That is a setback for new coach Fred Hoiberg. The Cyclones previously lost Justin Hamilton as a transfer, plus Craig Brackins left early for the NBA. Marquis Gilstrap petitioned the NCAA for an extra season of eligibility but was turned down. Percy Miller announced plans to transfer from USC. Wow, I have to catch my breath after all of this news, baby!
• LSU suffered a major blow when point guard Bo Spencer was declared academically ineligible for the fall semester. The leading Tigers' returning scorer and lone returning senior, Spencer averaged 14.5 points last season. He will have to pass courses in the fall to become eligible for the spring semester. Trent Johnson hopes to have him back to help make LSU better.
• If you are looking for a sleeper in the upcoming NBA draft, consider Marquette forward Lazar Hayward. He is a hard-working forward with a pro body and scouts will look back and see how well Wesley Matthews did as a rookie out of the same program. I have always loved the way he has played.
• New St. John's coach Steve Lavin may get a shot at facing the Pac-10 a couple of times in his first season with the Red Storm. UCLA is on the schedule, and Arizona State is a potential opponent in the Great Alaska Shootout. Lavin scored a big win in recruiting when he signed Dwayne Polee out of California.
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