Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:58 am

LSU loses another as Matt Derenbecker withdraws

By Jeff Borzello

In what could be a defining year for Trent Johnson at LSU, players continue to file out of the program.

First, Aaron Dotson headed out to Utah to be closer to his mother. Then, big man Garrett Green graduated early and transferred to San Diego State for graduate school. The latest departure is sophomore Matt Derenbecker, a 6-foot-7 wing who received his release on Monday.

"After some discussion with my family and the coaching staff, I have decided to take some time away from basketball to address some personal matters,” Derenbecker said in a statement. “In doing so, I will withdraw from LSU immediately."

His father, John Derenbecker, told the Associated Press that his son’s problems were mainly on the academic side of things.

“He is eligible, but he can do better in the classroom and that has always been our major emphasis,” the father said. “He’s going to have to change some of his study habits. This really wasn’t a basketball move or anything along that front.”

Derenbecker averaged 6.5 points last season, shooting 33.6 percent from 3-point range. He started 15 of the final 16 games of the season, including a 10-game stretch in which he reached double-figures seven times.

He is a long lefty who knocks down outside shots with consistency. Derenbecker can play both forward positions due to his size and shooting ability. The early favorite for his services could Tulane, an in-state program for the Metairie Park Country Day School (La.) product.

John Derenbecker told the Times-Picayune (La.) that they would “talk to Tulane to see what they have available.”

With three of its top seven scorers gone from last season, Johnson faces a tough task heading into the fall at LSU. The backcourt of Andre Stringer and Ralston Turner remains intact, while Storm Warren and Malcolm White return up front. The key could be top-50 freshman Johnny O’Bryant, who is expected to make an immediate impact down low.

They are still thin on the perimeter, though, and Derenbecker’s departure certainly doesn’t help that problem.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: August 8, 2011 4:16 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 4:19 pm

LSU transfer Garrett Green opts for San Diego St.

By Jeff Borzello

After losing Kawhi Leonard, Billy White and Malcolm Thomas from last season’s Sweet 16 team, San Diego State needed frontcourt help heading into the fall.

The Aztecs received a surprising boost over the weekend, as former LSU transfer Garrett Green chose San Diego State.

“It was a tossup between Indiana, Wichita State and San Diego State,” Green told the Times-Pacayune (La.). “All the coaches were great coaches so it was a hard decision. I’m from California and the grad programs [San Diego State was] offering struck my interest the most.”

Green, a 6-foot-11 forward, is originally from Woodland Hills, Calif. and did consider Long Beach State as well. He will be eligible immediately at San Diego State.

Last season, he played in all 32 games and averaged 6.3 points and 5.1 rebounds for the Tigers. During one four-game stretch in January, Green averaged 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. He also went for 15 points and 13 rebounds against Wichita State in December.

Expect Green to get immediate playing time for Steve Fisher. San Diego had just eight scholarship players on the roster before Green chose the Aztecs, with the returning frontcourt players averaging a combined 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds. The uncertainty surrounding Brian Carlwell’s appeal for a sixth season makes Green’s decision even more important.

Photo: US Presswire 

Posted on: June 8, 2011 1:18 pm

Momo Jones transferring to Iona

Posted by Jeff Borzello

As soon as Lamont “Momo” Jones announced he was transferring from Arizona, rumors began to swirl that the New York native was planning to return home.

While moving to St. John’s didn’t work out due to NCAA regulations, Jones did end up going closer to home.

On Wednesday, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com that Jones is transferring to Iona. He chose the Gaels over Seton Hall and Hofstra.

Jones played at Rice High School (N.Y.) before transferring to American Christian (Pa.) and later Oak Hill Academy (Va.). After high school, Jones committed to Louisville, Virginia Tech and signed with USC before finally settling on Arizona.

The 6-foot point guard averaged 9.7 points and 2.4 assists last season for the Wildcats, helping lead them to the Elite Eight.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 25, 2011 11:07 pm

Kentucky goes transfer route, gets Ryan Harrow

Posted by Jeff Borzello

John Calipari has been dominating the recruiting trail with high school players for several years. On Wednesday, he changed course a little bit, nabbing perhaps the most sought-after transfer in the country.

As first reported by Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com, North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow announced he was heading to Kentucky.

“I just felt like they had everything I needed as far as me getting better and me reaching my ultimate goals,” Harrow told Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

Harrow, a 6-0 point guard from Georgia, chose the Wildcats over Texas, Louisville and Georgia.

Calipari has recruited arguably the best point guard in each of the last three classes, from John Wall to Brandon Knight to Marquis Teague. That doesn’t count Derrick Rose back in 2007.

With a weak class of point guards in the class of 2012, Harrow could be better than anyone at his position in the high school ranks. If Teague leaves after one season in Lexington, Harrow has the ability to immediately step into the starting lineup and be a factor in the SEC. 

Harrow averaged 9.3 points and 3.3 assists during his freshman season in Raleigh. He will sit out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations, but will have three years of eligibility at Kentucky.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: May 25, 2011 9:51 pm

Erik Williams goes from Big East to Southland

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The transfer train continues to roll on Wednesday night.

A source has informed CBSSports.com former Marquette transfer Erik Williams has decided to play at Sam Houston State.

Williams, a 6-foot-7 forward, played in 24 games last season for the Golden Eagles, averaging 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. In the four games he played double-figure minutes, Williams averaged 8.3 points and 5.5 rebounds.

He was a top-100 player coming out of Cypress Springs High School (Tex.) when he chose Marquette over Alabama, Baylor, Texas A&M and others. His combination of length and athleticism should be a huge attribute in the Southland Conference. 

Posted on: May 25, 2011 9:21 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 11:25 pm

Towson transfer Isaiah Philmore chooses Xavier

Posted by Jeff Borzello

For the second season in a row, Chris Mack and Xavier have landed a marquee mid-major transfer. Last season, the Musketeers picked up Travis Taylor from Monmouth.

On Wednesday night, Towson transfer Isaiah Philmore made the move to Xavier.

“He thought it was a good fit,” Delaware Sharpshooters AAU coach Duane Coverdale told CBSSports.com. “He really liked the staff on his visit. They have a very strong tradition of being very successful. That’s something he wanted to be a part of.”

Philmore, a 6-foot-7 forward who averaged 15.3 points and 7.0 rebounds last season, chose the Musketeers over Dayton and Delaware State.

Coverdale said Xavier’s winning tradition put it over the top.

“He’s giving himself the best chance to play at the highest level,” Coverdale said.

A very good inside-outside combo forward, Philmore can score around the rim but also possesses a nice stroke on his jumpshot out to the 3-point arc. His speed presents a match-up problem.

Coverdale is confident Philmore can compete in the Atlantic 10.

“If he busts his tail – and he’s got basically 18 months to make it happen – he can play,” he said. “He’s a very good player. The work ethic has been there and will always be there, I think he can. I thought he was good enough to play there right out of high school.”

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 25, 2011 8:54 pm

Arizona transfer Daniel Bejarano lands at CSU

Posted by Jeff Borzello

For the first time in years, Colorado State was in the hunt for an at-large bid last season before fading down the stretch. With the way Tim Miles is pulling in players, the Rams could take the next step sooner rather than later.

Miles added Minnesota transfer Colton Iverson earlier this offseason, and made another move on Wednesday, picking up Daniel Bejarano from Arizona.

“Daniel will bring a great skill set to CSU basketball,” Miles said in a statement. “He is a tremendous shooter, he plays well without the ball and he competes well. I expect him to be a very productive player in the Mountain West and we are excited to have him joining us.”

Bejarano, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, was a touted recruit out of high school but only played in eight games for the Wildcats last season.

He will sit out next season and have three years of eligibility remaining with the Rams.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 24, 2011 1:13 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 1:14 pm

Oregon gets transfer Olu Ashaolu

Posted by Jeff Borzello

After winning 21 games and the CBI Championship a season ago with, as my colleague put it, “E.J. Singler and duct tape,” Oregon has been thrown around as a potential sleeper in the Pac-12 next season.

That assertion as a little more juice to it now, as Louisiana Tech transfer Olu Ashaolu announced today he is headed to Eugene.

“We have pieces there and I feel like I’m the missing piece,” Ashaolu told Justin Young of the National Hoops Report. “[Dana Altman] expressed that he likes my versatility and that he likes the fact he can move me around and be a mismatch problem. He said he will run a four out and one in. he said he wants to move me all around the court.”

The best part for Altman is that Ashaolu will be eligible immediately. He and Singler will form a very solid frontcourt duo, while top-15 recruit Jabari Brown should make a tremendous impact on the perimeter.

Ashaolu, a 6-foot-7 forward, chose the Ducks over Texas, San Diego State and Xavier. He averaged 14.2 points and 9.4 rebounds last season with Louisiana Tech.

Category: NCAAB
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