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ESPN: New-look South Carolina offense has chance to get big step ahead

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Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

‘Don’t be surprised’

ESPN’s Alex Scarborough likes what he saw from the South Carolina Gamecocks offense under first-year coordinator Bryan McClendon this spring.

“Don’t be surprised if the Gamecocks’ offense takes a big step forward this season,” Scarborough wrote. “Quarterback Jake Bentley having a year under his belt will help, as will the return of receiver Deebo Samuel, but more important there will be a new look to the unit with an emphasis on playing with greater pace.”

The Gamecocks return all seven wide receivers who caught passes last season, but have to replace All-SEC tight end Hayden Hurst, who was picked No. 25 overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What a week

This past week was eventful for the Gamecocks’ recruiting classes for 2018 and 2019.

Four-star prospect and 2019 wide receiver/tight end Traevon Kenion committed to the Gamecocks on April 29, while Texas A&M graduate transfer cornerback Nick Harvey picked South Carolina on May 2.

“Harvey, of course, will join the Gamecocks secondary for the 2018 season,” SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan writes. “His playing career at South Carolina will be over when members of the Class of 2019 enroll for class next January.”

With Kenion’s pledge, South Carolina’s 2019 class is rated No. 13 in 247Sports’ football recruiting composite team rankings.

‘USC was really good’

Four-star defensive end and 2020 prospect Jacolbe Cowan gets good vibes from the Gamecocks.

“USC was really good,” Cowan said of his visit to Columbia in January. “They always show a lot of love. Never had a problem with USC, as far as a visit. I always feel welcome. They tell me, each time I come down, I’m always welcome.”

247Sports rates the Providence Day School (Charlotte, N.C.) standout as the No. 37 overall prospect for 2020. In addition to South Carolina, Cowan has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia and more.

Take the over

Brad Crawford of 247Sports picked the Gamecocks as one his best bets for projected win totals for 2018. Online sportsbook BetDSI put South Carolina’s over-under win total for 2018 at seven.

“With even odds, 10 starters back on offense and no clear-cut No. 2 in the East behind Georgia, this is a smart play,” Crawford writes. “The number was 5.5 for South Carolina during the 2017 preseason and Will Muschamp backhanded Vegas with eight wins before taking out Michigan in the Outback Bowl for No. 9. There’s no element of surprise in 2018 for a team with momentum hoping to take advantage of coaching changes at Tennessee and Florida, but seven wins still feels low.”

South Carolina won nine games for the seventh time in program history in 2017. The Gamecocks open the season on Sept. 1 against Coastal Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.

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Offer out

The Gamecocks offered 2021 prospect and Parish Episcopal School (Dallas) quarterback Preston Stone on Thursday, according to Ben Breiner of The State.

“In his first high school season, Stone threw for 2,937 yards, completing 59.3 percent of his passes, with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions,” Breiner writes. “He also ran for 216 yards and 12 scores on a team that didn’t have much running game to speak of.”

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound rising sophomore also lists offers from Georgia, Michigan, Texas, Texas A&M and more.

Making the cut

Five-star small forward and 2019 prospect Wendell Moore announced South Carolina as one of his top-5 schools on Friday, The Big Spur’s John Whittle reports.

 The Concord, N.C., native is rated as the No. 24 overall prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

What an honor

Former South Carolina standout and Detroit Tigers catcher Grayson Greiner tied a record when he made his big-league debut on Sunday.

In three seasons at South Carolina (2012-14), Greiner hit .278 with 36 doubles, 18 home runs and 120 RBI.

He was picked by the Tigers in the third round of the 2014 MLB Draft.

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The post ESPN: New-look South Carolina offense has chance to get big step ahead appeared first on SEC Country.

Daniel Sweeney – SEC Country

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Ranking South Carolina’s draft-eligible players; 4-star WR ‘looking forward’ to Gamecocks’ new-look offense

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Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

Catching on

The South Carolina Gamecocks boast two of the top wide receiver prospects eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft, according to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.

“Deebo Samuel, a redshirt senior, checks in as the No. 4-ranked wide receiver on Miller’s list,” wrote SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan. “Bryan Edwards, who has started every game as a freshman and sophomore, is No. 9. Neither is listed among the top 25 overall prospects.”

In 2016, his most prolific season, Samuel caught 59 passes for 784 yards and 1 touchdown, with 6 rushing scores.

In two seasons, Edwards is already No. 13 all time in catches at South Carolina with 108, to go with 1,383 yards and 9 touchdowns. The Conway, S.C., native needs 10 more grabs to enter the top 10.

Under new management

Four-star WR and 2020 prospect Porter Rooks is “looking forward to seeing” what the Gamecocks offense looks like in 2018.

“Mainly, just their new offensive scheme and how they’re going to do things with their new offensive coordinator,” Rooks said of South Carolina coach Will Muschamp’s pitch.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound receiver is rated as the No. 26 overall prospect for 2020, per 247Sports.

‘I like the atmosphere’

Four-star defensive end and 2019 prospect Joseph Anderson feels good about South Carolina, both on and off the field.

“I like the atmosphere,” the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native told SportsTalkSC’s Phil Kornblut. “I like their educational standpoint on things. They want you to get a degree and graduate, and that’s what I want to do — get a degree and graduate. They just want you to succeed.”

Anderson is rated as the No. 210 overall prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite. He was a high school teammate of Gamecocks freshman tackle Maxwell Iyama.

Across the stage

Set to graduate on May 12, South Carolina tight end K.C. Crosby is looking forward to balancing a lighter class schedule with football this fall, according to John Del Bianco of The Big Spur.

“It’s going to be great,” the redshirt senior said. “I don’t have too much to worry about, being that I have to take maybe six to nine hours of classes. It’ll just be more fun and a lot better to just focus on football.”

Crosby was lost for the second half of 2017 after suffering a fractured fibula against Arkansas on Oct. 6. In 2016, he caught 23 passes for 217 yards and 4 touchdowns.

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Early arrival

Following his official visit with South Carolina’s men’s basketball team, 4-star center D.J. Burns announced on Sunday that he was reclassifying from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2018.

“I’m already finished with all of my high school classes that I would need to graduate,” Burns said. “Instead of going to Winthrop or York Tech to do classes and still be in high school doing basically nothing, I’d rather just go ahead and get started and do summer workouts, if I can and just go ahead and get acclimated to where I’m going to be for my college experience.”

Prior to the move, Burns was ranked as the No. 79 overall prospect for 2019, per the 247Sports composite.

In addition to South Carolina, he lists offers from Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Virginia and more.

Switching sides

Clemson graduate transfer guard Nelly Perry committed to the South Carolina women’s basketball team on Monday, Greg Hadley of The State reports.

“Perry led Clemson in points and assists per game her junior season, but her senior campaign was derailed before it even began because of a shoulder injury,” Hadley wrote. “At the time, the plan was for her to return for a fifth season in 2018-2019, but this offseason, Clemson fired coach Audra Smith.”

Perry averaged 12.7 points, 2.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game during the 2016-17 season.

Trophy case

South Carolina’s women’s basketball team celebrated 10 years of coach Dawn Staley with a tweet on Monday listing her accomplishments. Heads up, it’s a long list.

In addition to her many accolades in Columbia, Staley was named coach of the USA women’s basketball national team in March 2017.

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The post Ranking South Carolina’s draft-eligible players; 4-star WR ‘looking forward’ to Gamecocks’ new-look offense appeared first on SEC Country.

Daniel Sweeney – SEC Country

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2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Bracket, schedule, teams, seeds (May 30, 2018)

2018 NCAA Baseball tournament-bracket-schedule-teams

The 2018 NCAA Baseball tournament will begin on Friday, June 1. Below you can find a full schedule, list of key dates as well as a projected field.

Florida is the defending champion, as the Gators beat LSU in the championship series a season ago. A total of 10 SEC teams made the field, the most by any conference.

2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Bracket

2018 NCAA Baseball tournament-bracket-schedule-teams

2018 NCAA Baseball tournament

2018 NCAA Tournament: Teams, schedule for Regioals

Gainesville Regional

Game 1: No. 1 Florida vs.  Columbia  | Friday, June 1  | 1 p.m.  | WatchESPN
Game 2: Jacksonville vs. Florida Atlantic | Friday, June 1  |6:30 p.m.  | WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |1:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |7:30 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |1:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |6:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |1:00 p.m.

Palo Alto Regional

Game 1: No. 2 Stanford vs. Wright State | Friday, June 1  | 10 p.m.  | ESPN2
Game 2: Cal State Fullerton vs. Baylor | Friday, June 1  | 5 p.m.  |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |6:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |11:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |4:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |7:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |10:00 p.m.

Corvallis Regional

Game 1: No. 3 Oregon State vs. Northwestern State  | Friday, June 1  | 10:30 p.m. | ESPNU
Game 2: San Diego State vs. LSU |  Friday, June 1 | 4 p.m. | ESPNU
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |4:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |10:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |3:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |9:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |10:00 p.m.

Oxford Reginoal

Game 1: No. 4 Ole Miss vs. St. Louis  | Friday June, 1  | 7:30 p.m.  | SEC Network
Game 2: Missouri State vs. Tennessee Tech| Friday, June 1  | 3 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |1:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |7:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |2:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |6:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |7:00 p.m.

Fayetteville Regional

Game 1: No. 5 Arkansas vs. Oral Roberts  | Friday, June 1  | 3 p.m.  |  WatchESPN
Game 2: Dallas Baptist vs. Southern Miss | Friday, June 1  | 8 p.m.  |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |3:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |8:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |3:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |8:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |7:30 p.m.

Chapel Hill Regional

Game 1: No. 6 North Carolina vs. North Carolina A&T  | Friday, June 1  | 7 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 2: Houston vs. Purdue | Friday, June 1  | 2 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |1:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |6:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |1:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |6:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |4:00 p.m.

Tallahassee Regional

Game 1: No. 7 Florida State vs. Samford  | Friday, June 1  | 7 p.m. | ESPNU
Game 2: Oklahoma vs. Mississippi State | Friday, June 1   | 12 p.m. | ESPNU
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |12:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |5:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |12:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |6:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |1:00 p.m.

Athens Regional 

Game 1: No. 8 Georgia vs. Campbell  |  June 1 | 7:30 p.m  |  WatchESPN
Game 2: Troy vs. Duke | June 1   | 2 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |1:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |7:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |12:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |6:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |4:30 p.m.

Lubbock Regional

Game 1: No. 9 Texas Tech  vs. New Mexico State | Friday, June 1   | 2 p.m.  |  WatchESPN
Game 2: Kent State vs. Louisville | June 1   | 7 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |3:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |8:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |3:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |7:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |7:00 p.m.

Clemson Regional

Game 1: No. 10 Clemson  vs. Morehead State | Friday, June 1 | 6 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 2: St. John’s vs. Vanderbilt| Friday, June 1  | 12 p.m. | SEC Network
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |1:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |7:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |12:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |6:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |4:00 p.m.

DeLand Regional

Game 1: No. 11 Stetson vs. Hartford  | Friday, June 1  | 7 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 2: Oklahoma State vs. South Florida | Friday, June 1 | 1 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |1:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |7:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |1:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |7:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |1:00 p.m.

Greenville Regional

Game 1: No. 12 East Carolina vs. UNC-Wilmington  | Friday, June 1  | 7 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 2: Ohio State vs. South Carolina | Friday, June 1   | 2 p.m. | ESPN2
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |12:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |5:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |12:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |6:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |4:00 p.m.

Austin Regional

Game 1: No. 13 Texas vs. Texas Southern   | Friday, June 1   | 9 p.m. ET | Longhorn Network
Game 2: Texas A&M vs. Indiana| Friday, June 1  | 5 p.m. ET  | ESPN2
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |2:30 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |7:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |3:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |9:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |7:00 p.m.

Minneapolis Regional

Game 1: No. 14 Minnesota vs. Canisius  | Friday, June 1  | 8 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 2: Gonzaga vs. UCLA | Friday, June 1  | 2 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |2:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |8:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |3:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |7:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |7:00 p.m.

Conway Regional

Game 1: No. 15 Coastal Carolina vs. LIU Brooklyn  | Friday, June 1  | 6 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 2: Washington vs. UConn | Friday, June 1  | 12 p.m.  |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |12:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |5:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |12:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |6:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |1:00 p.m.

Raleigh Regional

Game 1: No. 16 N.C. State vs. Army  | Friday, June 1  | 7 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 2: Northeastern vs. Auburn | Friday, June 1  | 2 p.m. |  WatchESPN
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |2:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |7:00 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |2:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |7:00 p.m.
Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |7:00 p.m.

2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Dates

  • The 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship bracket will be announced Monday, May 28, 2018, on ESPNU at Noon ET.
  • The regionals will be played from June 1 through June 4
  • The Super Regionals will be played from June 8 through June 11.
  • The College World Series begins on June 16 and will be played at the at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, June 16-26/27, 2018
  • The finals of the College World Series will wrap up on either June 26 or June 27.

2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Schedule

  • The SEC Baseball Tournament will take place in Hoover, Ala., from May 22-27.
  • The 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship bracket will be announced Monday, May 28, 2018, on ESPNU at Noon ET.
  • The regionals will be played from June 1 through June 4
  • The Super Regionals will be played from June 8 through June 11.
  • The College World Series begins on June 16 and will be played at the at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, June 16-26/27, 2018
  • The finals of the College World Series will wrap up on either June 26 or June 27.

2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Automatic bids

The projected field will be made up of 64 teams, with automatic bids going to the following conferences.  Bolded means they have officially clinched the automatic bid.

  • America East: Hartford
  • American: East Carolina
  • ACC: Florida State
  • Atlantic Sun: Stetson
  • Atlantic 10: Saint Louis
  • Big 12: Baylor
  • Big East: Saint John’s
  • Big South: Campbell
  • Big Ten: Minnesota
  • Big West: Cal-State Fullerton
  • Colonial: UNC-Wilmington
  • Conference USA: Southern Miss
  • Horizon: Wright State
  • Ivy League: Columbia
  • Metro Atlantic: Canisius
  • Mid-American: Kent State
  • Mid-Eastern: North Carolina A&T
  • Missouri Valley: Missouri State
  • Mountain West: San Diego State
  • Northeast: Long Island
  • Ohio Valley: Morehead State
  • Pac-12: Stanford
  • Patriot: Army
  • Southeastern: Ole Miss
  • Southern: Samford
  • Southland: Northwestern State
  • Southwestern Athletic: Texas Southern
  • Summit: Oral Roberts
  • Sun Belt: Coastal Carolina
  • West Coast: Gonzaga
  • Western Athletic: New Mexico State

 

2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Regional hosts, top seeds

Below is the list of teams that will host regionals. Seeds will be announced on Monday. The top 16 seeds are thus regional hosts for the 2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament. The top 8 seeds would host Super Regionals.

  1. Florida
  2. Stanford
  3. Oregon State
  4. Ole Miss
  5. Arkansas
  6. North Carolina
  7. Florida State
  8. Georgia
  9. Texas Tech
  10. Clemson
  11. Stetson
  12. East Carolina
  13. Texas
  14. Minnesota
  15. Coastal Carolina
  16. N.C. State

2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Past results

2017 College World Series participants: Florida (winner), LSU (runner-up), Florida State, Texas A&M, Louisville, Cal-State Fullerton, TCU, Oregon State

2016 College World Series participants: Coastal Carolina (winner), Arizona (runner-up), Miami, TCU, Texas Tech, UC-Santa Barbra, Florida, Oklahoma State

2015 College World Series participants: Virginia (winner), Vanderbilt (runner-up), Florida, TCU, LSU, Cal-State Fullerton, Miami, Arkansas

2014 College World Series participants: Vanderbilt (winner), Virginia (runner-up), Texas, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas Tech, UC Irvine, Louisville

2013 College World Series participants: UCLA (winner), Mississippi State (runner-up), North Carolina, NC State, LSU, Louisville, Indiana, Oregon State

2012 College World Series participants: Arizona (winner), South Carolina (runner-up), Florida, Florida State, Kent State, Stony Brook, UCLA, Arkansas

2011 College World Series participants: South Carolina (winner), Florida (runner-up), Virginia, Vanderbilt, Cal, North Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M

2010 College World Series participants: South Carolina (winner), UCLA (runner-up), Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, TCU

2009 College World Series participants: LSU (winner), Texas (runner-up), Arizona State, Arkansas, Cal State Fullerton, North Carolina, Southern Miss, Virginia

2008 College World Series participants: Fresno State (winner), Georgia (runner-up), Florida State, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, Rice, Stanford

 

The post 2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Bracket, schedule, teams, seeds (May 30, 2018) appeared first on SEC Country.

Connor Riley – SEC Country

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Choose your own Kentucky basketball adventure: Pick draft entrants to return, recruits to reclassify

Kentucky-Tyrese Maxey-Ashton Hagans-recruiting-reclassify-John Calipari-roster-2019-2018-NBA draft-decisions-PJ Washington-Jarred Vanderbilt-Wenyen Gabriel

LEXINGTON, Ky. — What a weird offseason for Kentucky basketball. With NBA draft decisions dragging on for another month, a rash of potential reclassifications in recruiting and John Calipari on some kind of talent-hoarding bender, the Wildcats’ 2018-19 roster remains very much in flux.

Five players from the 2017-18 team definitely are gone: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo to the NBA draft, and Sacha Killeya-Jones and Tai Wynyard to new schools. Three Cats are expected to return: Nick Richards, Quade Green and Jemarl Baker. Four top-40 recruits have signed for next season: No. 9 E.J. Montgomery, No. 11 Keldon Johnson, No. 20 Immanuel Quickley and No. 34 Tyler Herro.

That’s what we know. And then there’s this: three early NBA entrants could decide to return to Kentucky and three 5-star guards with high interest in, or commitments to, the Wildcats are considering a move from the 2019 class to 2018. What happens next season in Lexington will be shaped a great deal by those six upcoming decisions.

While we wait, why not have a little fun imagining the various possibilities? Here, now: your video game-like chance to create a roster from the available options. Try to imagine all of these pieces fitting together from a style and chemistry perspective, weigh experience vs. young talent, and choose your own adventure wisely.

NBA draft decisions (pick one)

Unlike Gilgeous-Alexander, Knox and Diallo, the trio of PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel — all former 5-star recruits — did not hire agents. They have until May 30 to pull out of the draft after working out for NBA teams and/or attending the scouting combine.

Obviously, Calipari and Kentucky fans would love to have all three back, which one scout told SEC Country is what they all should do, but for the purposes of this exercise you’ll be forced to pick just one (and in the next poll, you get to pick two) to come back.

Each of them is a power forward with varying degrees of success so far in a Kentucky uniform. The 6-foot-7 Washington averaged 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds as a starter last season and finished with a monster game: 18 points and 15 rebounds — although he also missed a dozen free throws in that Sweet 16 loss to Kansas State.

The 6-foot-9 Vanderbilt averaged 5.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in just 17 minutes per game during a truncated freshman season. He averaged a stunning 18.5 rebounds per 40 minutes but missed 23 of 34 games with foot and ankle injuries. Those, and past, injury concerns are hurting his draft stock, but they also cast some doubt on his ability to stay healthy for a full season if he returns to Kentucky.

And the 6-foot-9 Gabriel has been a significant contributor for two seasons, averaging 6.8 points and 5.4 rebounds and shooting 40 percent from 3-point range off the bench as a sophomore. His 7 made 3-point-shots in the SEC Tournament semifinals, plus 16 points and 12 boards in the NCAA Tournament second round, are proof he can help the Wildcats win when it matters.

Which of these three would you rather have return?

PJ Washington
Jarred Vanderbilt
Wenyen Gabriel

Click here if the poll isn’t showing up on your mobile device.

NBA draft decisions (pick two)

One source close to the program recently told SEC Country he believes that while Washington, Vanderbilt and Gabriel all want to begin their pro careers, two of them ultimately will realize they should return to school. ESPN ranks Washington as the No. 51 draft-eligible prospect with Vanderbilt No. 65 and Gabriel not in the top 100.

Each of their families has expressed that it would be much easier to make the leap from college if they had first-round assurances — “If they’re talking about second round, I don’t see it,” Washington’s father said — that seems unlikely for all of them, especially Vanderbilt and Gabriel.

Which two of these would you rather have return?

PJ Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt
PJ Washington and Wenyen Gabriel
Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel

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Recruiting reclassifications

It seems like all of the top guards in the Class of 2019 have at least some interest in moving up to 2018. And playing for Kentucky. Jalen Lecque, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey, ranked the No. 9, 10 and 13 overall prospects in 2019 by the 247Sports composite, all fit that bill.

Hagans is already committed to the Cats and is widely expected to make the move and enroll this fall, but his AAU coach tells SEC Country an official decision/announcement isn’t coming until June. Maxey is considered a heavy Kentucky lean, and he teased that he and Hagans already call themselves The Duo and plan to pull the trigger on whether to reclassify as early as this week.

Lecque received his offer from the Wildcats during the second weekend of the spring AAU circuit, where he looked super athletic and aggressive on defense. But he, too, is pondering a reclassification and surely there would be no room for him at Kentucky if both Hagans and Maxey make the move. Right?

Consider also: Kentucky already has signed 5-star point guard Immanuel Quickley, 5-star wing Keldon Johnson and 4-star shooting guard Tyler Herro for next season — and returns former 5-star point guard Quade Green for his sophomore season and 4-star shooting guard Jemarl Baker, who will be a redshirt freshman.

If two 2019 guards, much less three, ultimately enroll this summer, it could test Green’s recent decision not to transfer out of a crowded back court.

Which 2019 guard(s) do you want to add for 2018?

Ashton Hagans
Tyrese Maxey
Jalen Lecque
Hagans and Maxey
Hagans and Lecque
Maxey and Lecque
Hagans, Maxey and Lecque
None

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The post Choose your own Kentucky basketball adventure: Pick draft entrants to return, recruits to reclassify appeared first on SEC Country.

Kyle Tucker – SEC Country

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Inside the numbers: Crimson Tide have become turnover kings

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Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t big on a lot of statistics — at least not the ones fans see on a regular basis. However, a big exception to that is turnovers.

He calls it “one of the most significant statistics in winning and losing,” and it’s becoming ingrained in everything the Crimson Tide do on the field.

That’s why you hear things such as, “We want to protect the football at all cost,” from Damien Harris.

The senior running back didn’t have a fumble last season. His entire position group had just 1, committed by Ronnie Clark against Mercer.

Just a few years ago fumbles were a major concern for the Crimson Tide backfield, but no more. If Alabama could stop having issues with the returners fielding punts, the team would be posting some eye-popping numbers.

Consequently, even though Alabama hasn’t led the nation in turnover margin during the Saban era, they’ve still become the kings of the statistic.

Only once since 2007 has Alabama not had a plus ratio.

Alabama turnover ratio

Season Gained Lost Margin Rank
2007 24 20 +4 34
2008 25 19 +6 32
2009 24 12 +12 4
2010 26 14 +12 tie-11
2011 20 12 +8 23
2012 29 15 +14 13
2013 19 17 +2 tie-48
2014 20 22 -2 tie-71
2015 27 17 +10 tie-21
2016 29 19 +10 17
2017 24 10 +14 tie-5

Overall, that’s 267 turnovers created compared to 177 lost, +90 during the 11 years for an average of +8.2.

When Alabama can run the ball and play top-notch defense, there aren’t many opponents who can beat the Crimson Tide when they don’t turn the ball over.

Last season, Alabama’s offense didn’t have a lost turnover until the Texas A&M game on Oct. 22. It finished with 10, the fewest during the Saban era, and a total that was nearly half that of the previous season.

Although quarterback Jalen Hurts was criticized for hesitating on his throws and too often tucking the ball and running, he had just 1 interception and 2 lost fumbles for 3 total turnovers.

As a freshman, Tua Tagovailoa had 2 passes picked off, including one for a pick-6 against Tennessee. Avoiding those kinds of mistakes is the key for him heading into fall camp.

2017 Alabama fumbles

  • Player, fumbles-lost
  • Jalen Hurts, 4-2
  • Henry Ruggs III, 3-2
  • Xavian Marks, 3-1
  • Trevon Diggs, 3-0
  • Robert Foster, 2-1
  • Ronnie Clark, 1-1
  • Tua Tagovailoa, 1-0

Hurts’ fumbles numbers were way down from the previous year, when he had 11 with five lost — which wasn’t that surprising for an 18-year-old freshman.

However, his dramatic improvement in 2017 still didn’t prevent him from taking over the lead for most fumbles during the Saban era and tying for the most lost.

Alabama fumbles by player (2005-17)

Player, Fumbles-lost

  • Jalen Hurts (2016-17), 15-7
  • AJ McCarron (2010-13), 11-5
  • John Parker Wilson (2005*-08), 11-4
  • T.J. Yeldon (2012-14), 10-7
  • Greg McElroy (2007-10), 10-5
  • Kenyan Drake (2012-15), 7-6
  • Glen Coffee (2005*-08), 7-4
  • Blake Sims (2011-14), 7-4
  • Javier Arenas (2006*-09), 7-2
  • Trent Richardson (2009-11), 7-1

* Includes pre-Saban years

Most of the players who have fumbled at least seven times during the Saban era have been quarterbacks, who handle the ball on every snap. In comparison, running backs have had 64 fumbles, losing 37, or averaging 5.8 and 3.4 per season.

Alabama saw a spike after the departures of Mark Ingram Jr. and Trent Richardson but seems to be getting back to the standard those running backs set.

Alabama fumbles (2007-17)

Year: Fumbleslost

  • 2007: 20-8
  • 2008: 19-10
  • 2009: 16-7
  • 2010: 20-9
  • 2011: 12-4
  • 2012: 24-12
  • 2013: 14-10
  • 2014: 18-12
  • 2015: 12-7
  • 2016: 26-10
  • 2017: 20-7
  • Total: 201-96 (average 18.3-8.7)

Ingram fumbled 3 times and lost 2 in his tenure (2008-10) and Richardson lost just 1 (2009-11), that one against Ole Miss as a freshman. That works out to Ingram having a fumble every 211 times he touched the ball, or a fumble lost every 317 touches. For Richardson, it was a fumble every 90.9 touches, but a fumble lost every 636.

The player leading that charge now is Harris, who has had 3 fumbles during his Crimson Tide career and none lost out of 367 career touches.

“It’s just a mindset,” Harris said last season. “If you don’t turn the ball over, you automatically give yourself a better chance to win. And we look at the reports every week. Teams with plus-turnover margin usually have more success. So it’s just something we really focus on — offensively protecting the ball, and defensively getting the ball out and getting turnovers. We like to play off each other.”

The post Inside the numbers: Crimson Tide have become turnover kings appeared first on SEC Country.

Christopher Walsh – SEC Country

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Ole Miss OC Phil Longo discusses Air Raid offense, why Shea Patterson is a ‘perfect fit’

OXFORD, Miss. — Just like his boss, Hugh Freeze, new Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo’s journey to the SEC began in the high school ranks. His ascension to college football’s most competitive level, however, marks an indirect return to the birth-grounds of his schematic philosophy.

This goes back to the late 90’s, when Mike Leach ran Kentucky’s offense under Hal Mumme, himself a former Texas high school coach who became an architect of the Air Raid. Longo, then just a head coach at Parsippany Hills High School (Troy, N.J.), drove down to Lexington and attended one of Leach’s coaching clinics.

The trip opened Longo’s eyes, to say the least, and so started a long-running relationship between the two men.

Longo spent the next two decades gradually climbing the coaching ladder, jumping to colleges like D-III William Patterson, Slippery Rock, Minnesota-Duluth and Southern Illinois. Eventually he garnered national attention while presiding over the absurdly prolific offense at Sam Houston State, an FCS program that led the country in total yards per game last season, and parlayed that success into his first ever D-I coaching job.

Longo spent this spring retooling an Ole Miss offense that loses starting quarterback Chad Kelly and leading receiver Evan Engram, along with experienced wideouts Quincy Adeboyejo and Damore’ea Stringfellow. In their absence, the Rebels will rely on what they hope is a new cast of stars — 5-star quarterback Shea Patterson, young receivers like Van Jefferson and D.K. Metcalf, and now-eligible running back Jordan Wilkins.

“The lights started coming on last week,” Longo said one day before the Rebel’s spring game. “I think things are starting to get into a rhythm this week.”

With so many fun toys in this Air Raid guru’s new offensive toolbox, it’s easy to imagine Ole Miss continuing to boast a potent passing attack this fall. Longo’s mentor Leach clearly believes his protege will enjoy success in the SEC.

“This is a great time to be in the SEC, everybody’s got the same offense: run right, run left, play action. And they tease themselves and say we threw it four more times a game this year than we did last year.”

In anticipation of all that, SEC Country spoke with Longo about his background, his system and his hopes for 2017. Below is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.

Q&A: Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo

SEC Country: It’s been a long climb for you to reach this point. How have your first few months in the SEC been?

Phil Longo: “It’s been good. I think everybody makes a bigger deal of that than I do. I certainly don’t downplay it. I’m excited about coaching against the best defenses in the nation and I’m excited about the talent we have here and the program that is Ole Miss. Those are all positives. I’ve always enjoyed football. Football is football. X’s and O’x is X’s and O’x. It’s been fun getting to know a high-character group of guys here.”

SECC: Is it funny knowing you can trace the roots of your Air Raid background to the SEC?

PL: “Mike (Leach) could’ve been anywhere and I’d have made the clinic and had a chance to meet him. He was in the SEC, at Kentucky. I’d never thought about that. We actually talk and chat about when he coached here. I’m going to fly out and see him next week. It’s exciting to be able to implement what we do and compete against the best.”

SECC: You’re going up to Washington State?

PL: “Yeah, I’ll be heading to Pullman next week, go see Mike and watch some of the things they’re doing.”

SECC: Obviously, Leach has heavily influenced how you run an offense. How does your specific version of the Air Raid compare to others who run it?

PL: “At some point I feel like it’s important to have an emphasis on the run game. I don’t particularly care if we throw or run it 70 times to win a game… As long as it’s what the defense is giving us, I’m all for it. From a pass game standpoint, it is all Air Raid. From an offensive philosophy standpoint, it’s all that philosophy — chasing space. I think the run game is what makes it a little different. The tempo, a smaller play list, are some things that’re the most similar. Mike is the purest. He’s going to run it the same way, and they’re going to be really good at it. Kliff Kingsbury on the other hand is a great creativity guy. He thinks outside the box. He’s able to scheme up some wrinkles that are touchdown plays each week. And I think he’s one of the best at doing that. I probably fall somewhere in between the two of them in terms of approach.”

SECC: Why does Patterson fit your system so well?

PL: “It’s a skill player-driven system. We create space both horizontally and vertically. Shea is a great space football player. He’s mobile. He can make any throw on the field. He can run the ball and he can extend plays in the pass game with his legs. To put an athletic guy that can think and throw in this system, it’s a perfect fit.”

SECC: Has it been an adjustment for the receivers, since more is expected of them as far as reading and reacting to different defensive coverages?

PL: “The one misconception is we don’t put more on the receivers. We put less on the receivers. We’ve taken the workload that we’ve given a quarterback, which is a seven-step process, and now all he does is he gets the signal, he IDs the coverage or the front depending on what we’re doing, and then he runs the play. That’s it. That’s all I want to do. What we do with the receivers is we have really given them a lot of freedom. We teach them how to chase space within the concept that we’re running. They’ll maneuver some routes based on where the coverage is so that the quarterback, all he has to do is go through his progressions, find the open guy and throw the football. We don’t have to read defenders, we don’t have to check coverage. We don’t have to ID the Mike, move the running back in the right spot.

“We’re allowing the receivers some freedom. Like the post (route) that we draw in the playbook has a certain angle to it. Out on the field, he might run it flatter or he might run it deeper based on where a defender is. So that’s why we don’t have a playbook. It’s very hard. I don’t want guys looking at a picture that, if we run that play 10 times, it won’t look like the picture 8 of them. I want them to run it the way we teach it.”

SECC: So you’re trying to maximize their ability to play instinctively, essentially.

PL: “You have said it better than most. This entire thing is based on maximizing their instincts. We want to get them to where they’re playing instinctively and they don’t have to think. I don’t want them thinking. As soon as it becomes instinctive, it goes from a play we’re putting in to a play we’re going to run. And that play goes onto the play list. We actually grade players on how instinctive they are, from 1 to 4. One being completely instinctive they can do the stuff in their sleep, and so on down the list. And I’m constantly reevaluating our players, and asking our position coaches to do the same, so that we have an idea as to how far they’re progressing. Because we don’t want to put a guy on the field that’s not a 1.”

SECC: Watching the offense practice earlier this week, it seems like the whole team was moving quickly. Given the bowl ban and other NCAA distractions, how do you think they’ve handled going about their business this spring?

PL: “I think it’s a pretty mature group. The attitude is control what you can control, and that’s winning football games. We have focused on putting the offense in on the field. The priority and focus on being good people, character people, being involved in the community, the character development that goes on here — none of that has changed. It’s continued. I’m just impressed that they’ve continued to focus on that. Those are really the only two things we verbalize around here.”

READ MORE: Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson poised to rally new-look Rebels in 2017

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Alec Shirkey – SEC Country

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The Crock Pot: What recent NCAA rule changes mean for the SEC’s recruiting dominance

ncaa-hugh freeze-gus malzahn

Welcome to The Crock Pot, your one-stop shop for all the SEC news, notes, quotes and mishaps of the past week. Here’s what we’ve been stewing over …

Gather round, ye college football fans, and listen up as we break down the latest batch of rule changes to come rolling down NCAA Mountain.

Early signing day (pending conference commissioner approval)

On the surface, this feels like a win for recruits who know where they’re going to college — assuming they’re committed to a program with stability. The addition of a Dec. 20 National Signing Day, in addition to the one that already exists in early February, allows prospects to officially end their recruitment about six weeks earlier than they could have under the old system.

With just about three weeks between the end of the regular season and the early signing day, things could get chaotic for schools that fire coaches, or lose them to other job opportunities. This could result in more firings taking place in November, as the season winds down, as opposed to the first week of December. But you never really know how often that’ll happen in practice.

The early date would more likely affect coordinators and position coaches who find themselves on the move in December and early January.

High school players still weighing their options can still choose to delay signing a letter of intent until Feb. 1 as they could before. There’s technically nothing forcing prospects, but as we know, coaches can and certainly do put pressure on kids to make their decision when it best suits the school.

One can only assume that a handful of the country’s top prospects who don’t enroll early would choose to sign on Dec. 20. That obviously takes some of the drama out of January and February. Sorry, recruiting fanatics, but the day-long frenzy of signing day will be diluted from here on out.

As many have noted, this sweeping shift in the college football recruiting model will not take effect until the Collegiate Commissioners Association vote in favor of the changes in June. It’d be pretty surprising if that didn’t happen, though.

Early official visits

To compensate for an early signing period, the NCAA now allows juniors to take official visits between April 1 and the last Wednesday in June. The OVs cannot coincide with their participation in a school camp or clinic. Before, players couldn’t officially visit campuses until Sept. 1 of their senior year.

Some around SEC territory, such as Arkansas coach Bret Beliema, weren’t fans of this rule; some folks up north believed the SEC was trying to protect its recruiting turf by fighting the rule, which would ostensibly allow kids to visit places like Michigan and Ohio State when their schedules aren’t consumed by football season.

With an early signing date likely in place, however, adding early official visits makes a ton of sense and should in theory help both coaches and recruits get to know each other sooner.

Close associates

FBS schools cannot hire “people close to a prospective student-athlete” in the two years before or after he expects to enroll.

Ole Miss, for instance, hired Shea Patterson’s older brother Sean as an off-field analyst while Patterson was committed to the Rebels. Under the new rules, that hire would not be allowed.

The rule most affects high school coaches trying to make a jump to the college ranks, especially those who coach at schools that produce a high number of big-time prospects. Guys like Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee fall under this umbrella.

Gus Malzahn, who also got his start coaching high school football, voiced his displeasure with the change last week.

“This rule will in essence be a death sentence to any high school coach wanting to coach college (football),” Malzahn said. “It’s putting an end to it, and it’s not fair.”

So high school coaches will have a much, much tougher time jumping right to the FBS level. But there’s nothing stopping them from following the career arc of Phil Longo, who jumped from high school to D-III, then FCS and finally the SEC.

A 10th on-field coach

This change is the simplest, and maybe the most-needed. Alabama and other SEC schools have begun hoarding analysts and other off-field staffers to help out assistant coaches, whose workloads have grown by leaps and bounds as recruiting becomes a year-round task.

Recruiting should be the focal point for just about every team hiring that 10th assistant, too, because of how time-consuming it tends to be. As for how schools choose to shuffle the on-field coaching duties, you’ll probably see more special teams coordinators or defensive assistants split between cornerbacks/safeties and, in 3-4 schemes, outside/inside linebackers.

So long, satellite camps and two-a-days

The SEC finally wins its battle with Jim Harbaugh over the contentious issue of satellite camps, which quickly became the hot topic of the summer last year. The new rule requires that camps “take place on a school’s campus” or in facilities regularly used by the football program.

In addition, the camps and clinics are now officially limited to 10 days in June and/or July.

So the NCAA rightfully nipped this one in the bud before it got out of control — because you know everything related to football recruiting naturally trends in that direction. Coaching staffs get to keep what little summer downtime they have, too.

As for two-a-day practices:

  • “A single day may include a single, three-hour, on-field practice session and a walk-through”
  • “Three continuous hours of recovery are required between on-field practice and a walk-through”
  • “Activities such as meetings, film review, medical treatment and meals are allowed during recovery time

Old-school football fans and coaches probably don’t like this change. Given the legitimate health and safety concerns, however, it’s not hard to see why the NCAA passed this rule.

Bottom line 

The NCAA’s changes are significant, to be sure. But unless you’re a high school coach or a die-hard follower of the recruiting world, you probably won’t notice much difference outside of the early signing day.

Maybe the new rules make it easier for Southern football recruits to visit the Michigans, Ohio States and West Coast powers of the world. But let’s be real: The players those programs tend to target are elite, and the truly top-notch recruits with the most to gain make time to visit wherever they want regardless.

There is so much talent in SEC recruiting territory that, frankly, it’s surprising more don’t venture outside the region on the simple basis of opportunity. Recruits and coaches are drawn to SEC schools because of the league’s proud reputation. Will spring visits to Ann Arbor really change that? I think not.

The only true change we can expect — between the coaching carousel and the anticipation leading up to the early signing date — is a potentially very chaotic December in the days and weeks before Christmas.

If you’d like to read more NCAA rule jargon:

Look ahead: A big weekend for spring football games

Four SEC teams will hold their annual spring scrimmages on Saturday: Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee. Here’s info you need to know for each game.

A-Day (Alabama)

  • Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
  • Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium; Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  • Story to watch: Don’t expect to get any meaningful look at how the Crimson Tide offense might function under Brian Daboll. But the players who do and don’t get extended looks during the scrimmage could give us hints as to who’s adapting well to the new system. Running back in particular is now an insanely deep position for Alabama with the additions of Najee Harris and Brian Robinson. Jerry Jeudy seems to have a shot at early playing time, too.

G-Day (Georgia)

  • Time: 2 p.m. ET
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Location: Sanford Stadium; Athens, Ga.
  • Story to watch: Has the offense improved? Year 2 will be a critical one for coordinator Jim Chaney, particularly with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both returning as seniors. The offensive line and wide receiving corps were sore spots last year, and most folks are expecting Jacob Eason to take noticable steps forward this season. G-Day will provide Georgia fans their first glimpse at the progress, if it’s evident.

National L Club (LSU)

  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Location: Tiger Stadium; Baton Rouge, La.
  • Story to watch: Like Alabama, the Tigers entered this spring with a new offensive coordinator. Matt Canada’s Pittsburgh unit finished top 10 nationally in scoring, and fans are hoping he rights a ship that’s been listing for the last few seasons now. Derrius Guice is the unquestioned successor to Leonard Fournette, and Danny Etling seems like the favorite to emerge as the starting quarterback. Can Canada find the right formula at the other positions to help them succeed?

Orange & White (Tennessee)

  • Time: 4 p.m. ET
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Location: Neyland Stadium; Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Story to watch: Besides the growing list of injured guys who likely won’t play on Saturday, Tennessee has its ongoing two-man QB race between Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano. Combine that with a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterbacks coach, and you’ve got an interesting recipe for the Vols in what should be a high-pressure season. Dormady “is believed to have a slight edge” over Guarantano right now, according to our own Mike Griffith, but the spring scrimmage could give us a better sense of how close those two really are in terms of progression and development.

Highlight of the week: Thrice is nice

Mississippi State outfielder Brent Rooker is having an incredible season — like 16 home runs through 38 games kind of incredible. That type of power is rare at the college level, but here’s Rooker slugging .957 as a junior.

Last week, he hit three ding-dongs in one game, and the reaction from his Bulldogs teammates was fantastic.

Sad tale of the week: Demetris Summers

If you don’t know the name, well, here’s a blurb from the “biggest SEC recruiting busts” article I wrote back in January:

Summers had it all: Parade All-American, 5 stars and a scholarship offer to play for his in-state Gamecocks. And while he led South Carolina in rushing during 2 unremarkable seasons, even attaining SEC All-Freshman honors in 2003, the team dismissed Summers after he failed a second drug test. He wound up in the CFL a few years later but was out of the league by 2010. Summers was charged with intent to distribute crack cocaine, having a gun illegally and driving under the influence in his hometown of Lexington in 2014.

Now 33 years old, Summers was sentenced to 8 years in jail on Friday after he reportedly pleaded guilty to manufacturing and distributing crack cocaine in Lexington County. Yikes. Add this one to the ever-growing pile of cautionary tales involving really good football players.

Headlines from around SEC Country

Final Word: Recruiting road trip

Alabama and Auburn fans, this might be of some interest: My guys Chris Kirschner (Tide recruiting beat) and Benjamin Wolk (Tigers recruiting beat) have embarked on a state-wide trek through the Heart of Dixie. It’s a cool idea, and I know those guys will get some insightful stories out of the trip. Follow them on Twitter @benjaminwolk and @Chris Kirschner.

The post The Crock Pot: What recent NCAA rule changes mean for the SEC’s recruiting dominance appeared first on SEC Country.

Alec Shirkey – SEC Country

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Kentucky basketball recruiting: Could fast-rising Kira Lewis get next 2019 offer from John Calipari?

Kentucky-recruiting-Kira Lewis-2019-guard-Kansas-Alabama-Auburn-UK recruiting-Kentucky recruiting-John Calipari-De'Aaron Fox-John Wall

INDIANAPOLIS — Kentucky coaches have compared him to De’Aaron Fox. He’s lit up the Nike AAU circuit this spring. New scholarship offers arrive daily. So how is Kira Lewis just barely considered a top-100 recruit by most of the major services?

Simply put, it was an industry-wide oversight, and it will be corrected very shortly.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have an opportunity to evaluate him prior to this spring,” said 247Sports scouting director Evan Daniels, whose site currently ranks Lewis the 96th-best prospect in the Class of 2019. “Now that I have, it’s safe to say he’s due a big bump.”

The 6-foot-3 Lewis ranks sixth in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League in points per game (21.8) and fourth in steals per game (2.6) to go with 3.4 assists per game and 40 percent 3-point shooting through two weekends against some of the best players in America. Kansas just offered him a scholarship, well behind most of the SEC.

Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have already thrown their hats into the ring for the Hazel Green, Ala., native — as have Baylor, Clemson, Connecticut, Indiana, among many others — and now Kentucky is calling.

Wildcats assistant coach Kenny Payne dialed Lewis after a breakout first weekend in the EYBL last month and “was telling me about how he liked my game, my speed, which kind of reminded him of De’Aaron Fox a little bit and John Wall,” Lewis said. “So that was great to hear from him. He puts guys in the league — Coach Cal does and Coach Payne does — and it’s a guard school. They just let their guards play fast, up tempo. It’s great hearing from them.”

RELATED: Analysts predict most/least likely 2019 recruits to pick UK

Payne told Lewis that Kentucky plans to keep monitoring him this spring and summer. The Wildcats could be forgiven for jumping into his recruitment later than most. John Calipari has been busy trying to hoard all of the 5-star guards in this class.

Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey and Jalen Lecque, all top-15 overall recruits, have UK offers and some interest in reclassifying to play college basketball this fall.

Hagans is already committed to the Cats and widely expected to make that move to 2018. Maxey is considered a heavy UK lean — he’s announcing his commitment Wednesday — and might also enroll early. If both do that, there’s a good chance Lecque goes elsewhere.

Point being, Kentucky will still want to sign a point guard from whatever is left in the 2019 class when the dust settles. Lewis looks like an increasingly good option.

“He has game-changing speed, is a playmaker in transition and has the tools to be a good defender,” Daniels said. “He’s one of the breakout performers of the spring.”

So far, Kentucky has offered 10 players in the Class of 2019: No. 1 James Wiseman (center), No. 2 Vernon Carey (power forward), No. 4 Matthew Hurt (power forward), No. 7 Bryan Antoine (shooting guard), No. 8 Scottie Lewis (small forward), No. 9 Lecque (combo guard), No. 10 Hagans (point guard), No. 13 Maxey (point guard), No. 27 Keion Brooks (small forward) and No. 31 D.J. Jeffries (small forward) — with Hagans and Jeffries committed.

Who might be next? Lewis is an option, as is 6-foot-10 Bam Adebayo clone Aidan Igiehon. But what about Isaiah Stewart? He’s ranked the No. 14 player in the class and passes the eye test at a chiseled 6-foot-8, 243 pounds. He’s averaging 16.1 points and an EYBL-best 10.5 rebounds per game.

Stewart is getting close to cutting down his list of schools — Duke, Michigan State, Indiana, Louisville, Texas, Virginia and Villanova on the long list he’s trying to whittle — but he said it isn’t too late for Kentucky. If the Wildcats offer, he’ll listen.

“Kentucky came up earlier in the school year to visit with me,” the Rochester, N.Y., native said, “but I haven’t done much with them since.”

Even as the Wildcats are in strong early positions with their top two targets in the post, No. 1 and 2 overall Wiseman and Carey, the lack of interest in Stewart so far seems strange. He looks like a player who can make an impact from Day 1 in college and says everything Calipari likes to hear.

Asked to describe his ideal school, “I want to go somewhere where I can develop and grow, be coached and get better,” Stewart said.

Asked whether he has one eye on the NBA, “Oh, no, no,” Stewart said. “What’s weird is some schools pitch the one-and-done to me, but that’s something I’m not really worried about. I’m worried about coming into college and getting better and trying to win some games — hopefully a championship.”

Asked if he wants to be the man in college, “I’ve been in both situations,” Stewart said. “I’ve been in situations where I’m the main guy or I’ve been in situations where I’ve sort of got to share the show. I feel like I’m an easy player to play with.”

So what is Calipari waiting for? Chris Mack certainly couldn’t say. He’s been hot on Stewart’s heels since he was at Xavier and has only intensified the pursuit since taking over as the coach at Kentucky’s rival, Louisville.

“They just went to a bigger stage and they’re still recruiting me hard,” said Stewart, who was asked whether the Cardinals have a real shot at landing him. “I had a really good relationship with them back at Xavier, so yes.”

RELATED: Jeffries not swayed by Penny, trying to sway Wiseman

RELATED: Bam Adebayo told Vernon Carey UK the spot for 1-and-done 

RELATED: Could Keion Brooks be first Cats-Cards battle under Mack?

RELATED: Latest on top-10 teammates, UK targets Lewis and Antoine

RELATED: Did Cats discover Bam 2.0 watching Lewis and Antoine? 

RELATED: In-state star Tandy’s dad not holding breath for UK offer

RELATED: Mini Mash, son of Jamal Mashburn, making own name

The post Kentucky basketball recruiting: Could fast-rising Kira Lewis get next 2019 offer from John Calipari? appeared first on SEC Country.

Kyle Tucker – SEC Country

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The secret to an Isaiah McKenzie return TD? ‘There’s no fear’ for former Georgia standout

Georgia-Isaiah McKenzie

Between the highlight reels and the records, Georgia football fans are well-acquainted with the return game wizardry of Isaiah McKenzie by now. NFL fans could be the next to know his skills if the next few months go according to plan.

For three years with the Bulldogs, McKenzie’s penchant for the home-run play shocked sitting fans to their feet as they watched the diminutive receiver dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge would-be tacklers running at reckless speeds. One slight change of direction was all it took for hungry special teamers to be left in the dust.

So how exactly does McKenzie, all of 5-foot-7 and 173 pounds, manage to thrive on what some consider to be the most dangerous play in football?

“The secret is there’s no fear,” McKenzie told SEC Country. “There’s tenacity in everything I do. I can’t be scared to take a hit. It’s just no fear, having the confidence to go out there and do it no matter how big you are. I don’t look at it like that. I’m just as fast. I’m just as strong. I just have a different body figure.”

McKenzie finished his Georgia career with a school-record 6 return touchdowns, and it’s an achievement that probably beat his own college expectations. But those who know the wide receiver best saw this coming years ago.

‘A second family’

These days, McKenzie spends most of his time training at South Florida high school powerhouse American Heritage, where he first began wowing coaches and teammates as a sought-after high school star.

Back then, his teammates included Georgia tailback Sony Michel, Florida State cornerback Tarvarus McFadden and a litany of other future D-I football players. It was there that McFadden first coined the nickname that would follow McKenzie through college: “The Human Joystick,” a reference to his video-game-like agility.

Isaiah McKenzie was a consensus 4-star prospect at American Heritage High School. (247Sports Photo)

“I remember that first year, he and Sony used to go back and forth about who was going to have more return touchdowns,” said Mike Smith, McKenzie’s trainer and the head strength coach at American Heritage. “They were both freshmen at the time. It was crazy, because Isaiah would take one back and then Sony would take one back. Isaiah would be like, ‘Man.’ Isaiah would take another one back. ‘I’m up one on you.’”

Coaches knew McKenzie had special talent — skills they couldn’t teach. As a football player, he was blessed. Away from the gridiron is where things weren’t easy.

Neither McKenzie’s father nor mother played much of a role in his upbringing. His grandmother, Valerie Mitchell, began raising McKenzie at 5 years old. She still sends Isaiah “positive notes” every day and remains a hugely important figure in his life.

“‘Grandma’ is definitely the center of his life,” American Heritage offensive coordinator Mario Perez told DawgNation in September. “Isaiah is very grateful to those who have helped him out in his life. His grandmother has been the one constant. She’s always been there for him.”

McKenzie would continue to face tremendous challenges growing up in the Carol City area of Miami Gardens, where shootings, robberies and other violent crimes were simply a part of life. They were all difficulties McKenzie had to confront at a young age.

“That’s where his toughness comes from,” Smith said. “Not the ideal family situation. It definitely shaped who he is. It’s given him that mental toughness. That’s where the fearlessness comes into play, too. If you’ve gone through some of those off-the-field things, there’s nothing on the football field that can really come close to fazing him. It’s been ups and downs, but that’s who’s made him who he is.”

Football became his escape — as it does for so many kids from rough neighborhoods — and after spending years trying to avoid trouble on the street, McKenzie proved unshakable on the gridiron. He emerged as a do-it-all threat for American Heritage, scoring touchdowns on receptions, carries and kickoffs, and became the guy who would “make something out of nothing” on every touch, Smith said.

As a senior, by which time he’d been rated a 4-star prospect by most major recruiting services, McKenzie accounted for 1,143 offensive yards and 14 total touchdowns on just 63 touches.

He even played a little defense when the need arose. Smith recalls one instance when McKenzie lined up as a cornerback and knocked the opposing team’s quarterback out of the game.

“He’s from Miami, and they pride themselves on speed, toughness. He’s every bit of what a Miami football player is,” Smith said.

In time, those around McKenzie at American Heritage — Michel, McFadden, Smith, Perez and others — began to fill a void that life at home simply couldn’t. So it only makes sense that the school became his training headquarters this spring.

“All the coaches, the fans, the parents. … They make me feel at home,” McKenzie said. “Even though I have a home, American Heritage is like a second family. I thank everyone for their help.”

Setting goals, breaking records

Were it not for a last-minute scholarship offer from Georgia, McKenzie might have ended up playing for archrival Florida or even Ole Miss. But on the eve of National Signing Day, Mark Richt swooped in and gave the South Florida product a chance to join his high school teammate, Michel, in Athens.

McKenzie, who had “no clue” the offer was coming and hadn’t even visited campus yet, pulled the trigger and signed the next day.

As a freshman, he quickly cracked Georgia’s return man rotation and scored punt return touchdown No. 1 just three games into his college career. The first victim, Troy, could only watch as McKenzie zigzagged 52 yards to the end zone.

He’d go on to score more return touchdowns over his first two seasons but never quite made a mark as a receiver on offense. Maybe that had to do with current NFL-ers like Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Conley getting a bulk of the looks. The Bulldogs shuffling through three starting quarterbacks and three offensive coordinators over McKenzie’s three seasons probably didn’t help things.

As a junior, however, McKenzie entered the fall with a simple goal: 600 yards receiving.

“I didn’t think it was really going to come true,” he said.

Turns out McKenzie was wrong. He broke out for a team-high 633 yards on 44 catches, on an offense that largely struggled to pass the ball consistently under freshman quarterback Jacob Eason.

“A lot of people are just labeling him as a return guy when he’s also a pretty good receiver … he can run the routes, catch the balls. He can do all that stuff,” Smith said. “He’s got a little bit of body of work there at Georgia. But it was just how they used him sometimes. It wasn’t always in the cards for him.”

UGA teammates escort Isaiah McKenzie into the end zone on an 82-yard punt return vs. Louisiana Lafayette in 2016. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

On top of that, McKenzie completed what he considers his most impressive achievement to date by setting the school record for return touchdowns.

After the final game of his junior season came another surprise: McKenzie declared for the NFL. Reporters, apparently caught off guard by the decision, asked the wide receiver if he was serious. They weren’t alone; many fans didn’t expect him to leave with such limited playing time at receiver.

An “academic situation” also factored into McKenzie’s decision — one that would’ve kept him out of spring practice and forced an appeal in order for him to regain eligibility in the fall.

McKenzie was resolute. He already had consulted members of his inner circle and the Georgia coaching staff. All season he had weighed the pros and cons of the NFL, with his academic status looming large. By the time the Bulldogs’ bowl game against TCU ended, his mind was made up.

“I thought, ‘It looks like I’m gonna have a good season. I’m not going to get no taller. I might gain weight here and there, but I’m not just going to gain weight out of nowhere,’” McKenzie said. “As the season went on, I was like ‘You know what, it’s time to go.’”

Next chapter

Since then, McKenzie has been all business. He works out twice a day, gets massage work in between and catches up on sleep whenever possible.

In March, he was the only Georgia player to participate in the 2017 NFL Combine, where he ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash and posted the second-best 3-cone time in this year’s wide receiver class (6.64).

As he trains for the NFL, however, the goal isn’t as simple as 600 yards receiving; McKenzie wants to provide for his family.

To do that, he’ll have to crack a pro team’s 53-man roster this fall, which is no guarantee; NFL.com projects him as a sixth or seventh-round draft pick, and some have wondered whether he’s “just a return guy,” as Smith put it. Whether his size will translate to the league at receiver is another question teams will ask themselves.

Given the way NFL passing attacks have evolved in recent years, however, there’s reason to believe McKenzie could latch on somewhere. The most recent Super Bowl saw two undersized wideouts play major roles for their respective teams. Atlanta’s Taylor Gabriel, listed at just 5-foot-8 and 167 pounds, tallied 579 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns on the year. Julian Edelman, who measures out at 5-foot-10, caught 98 passes as Tom Brady’s go-to target last season.

“This (fall) showed he can be that receiver, he can be that slot guy,” Smith said. “He’s got that dimension to his game.”

The Super Bowl also featured McKenzie’s former Georgia teammate in Mitchell, who saw significant action as a rookie in New England. His success on the sport’s most visible stage has McKenzie setting his hopes just as high.

“Me and Malcolm have stayed in contact,” McKenzie said. “I spoke to him. I talked to him a lot, actually a few days ago. We just go back and forth. I just tell him ‘Hopefully I can do the same thing he did.’ Him going to the Super Bowl his rookie season, and doing a good job in the game and actually having a good season. I’m motivated to do that, too.

“I look at that and say, hopefully one day I can do that.”

Isaiah McKenzie, above, hopes he can make an NFL impact like former Georgia WR Malcolm Mitchell did in his rookie season. (Joshua L. Jones/AJC)

Talk to McKenzie for any length of time and it’s hard not to like him. His personality and energy are infectious; both, Smith says, have attracted others to “The Human Joystick” throughout his life.

And that’s remarkable considering the many challenges that have shaped McKenzie’s journey. Several more obstacles lie ahead as he leaves Georgia to chase NFL riches. Not everyone may agree with that decision, but McKenzie can live with that.

He’s had to make choices like this all his life.

“He is very independent,” Smith said. “There are certain people that he’ll come to when he’s making his decision. That’s part of the upbringing, too. He’s had to make a lot of decisions from a life standpoint, and that’s carried over to the next step.”

The post The secret to an Isaiah McKenzie return TD? ‘There’s no fear’ for former Georgia standout appeared first on SEC Country.

Alec Shirkey – SEC Country

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2018 NBA mock draft: Projections for first round, top players, 2018 NBA Draft order (May 30, 2018)

2018 NBA mock draft-first round picks-top players-2018 nba draft order-Trae Young

The 2018 NBA mock drafts are ready to go as the 2018 NBA Draft draws near. Below you can find first-round projections for the draft, the top available players and the 2018 NBA Draft order.

Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. should be one of the first picks in the 2018 NBA Draft, as should Alabama’s Collin Sexton. For those who don’t hire an agent, they have until Wednesday to withdraw from the draft and return to school.

NBA mock draft 2018: Projections, top players by SEC Country

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 No. Team Player School/Country Position Year
1 Phoenix Luka Doncic Slovenia SG Intl.
2 Sacramento Deandre Ayton Arizona C Fr.
3 Atlanta Jaren Jackson Jr. Michigan State C Fr.
4 Memphis Marvin Bagley Duke PF Fr.
5 Dallas Mo Bamba Texas C Fr.
6 Orlando Michael Porter Jr. Missouri SF Fr.
7 Chicago Wendell Carter Duke C Fr.
8 Cleveland (via Brooklyn) Mikal Bridges Villanova SF Jr.
9 New York Trae Young Oklahoma PG Fr.
10 Philadelphia (via LA Lakers) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Kentucky PG Fr.
11 Charlotte Miles Bridges Michigan State SF Soph.
12 LA Clippers (via Detroit) Collin Sexton Alabama PG Fr.
13 LA Clippers Robert Williams Texas A&M C Soph.
14 Denver Kevin Knox Kentucky SF Fr.
15 Washington Lonnie Walker Miami SG Fr.
16 Phoenix (via Miami) Zhaire Smith Texas Tech SG Fr.
17 Milwaukee Troy Brown Oregon SG Fr.
18 San Antonio Kevin Huerter Maryland SF Soph.
19 Atlanta (via Minnesota) Dzanan Musa Bosnia & Herznogvina SF Intl.
20 Minnesota (via OKC) Jacob Evans Cincinnati SF Jr.
21 Utah Gary Trent Jr. Duke SG Fr.
22 Chicago (via New Orleans) Khyri Thomas Creighton SG Jr.
23 Indiana Jalen Brunson Villanova PG Jr.
24 Portland Chandler Hutchison Boise State SF Sr.
25 LA Lakers (via Cleveland) De’Anthony Melton USC SG Soph.
26 Philadelphia Keita Bates-Diop Ohio State SF Jr.
27 Boston Josh Okogi Georgia Tech SG Soph.
28 Golden State Donte Devincenzo Villanova SG Soph.
29 Brooklyn (via Toronto) Hamidou Diallo Kentucky SG Fr.
30 Atlanta (via Houston) Grayson Allen Duke SG Sr.

NBA mock draft 2018: Tankathon.com

RELATED: Sign up for our NBA Draft newsletter here

 No. Team Player School/Country Position Year
1 Phoenix Deandre Ayton Arizona C Fr.
2 Sacramento Luka Doncic Slovenia SG Intl.
3 Atlanta Jaren Jackson Jr. Michigan State C Fr.
4 Memphis Marvin Bagley Duke PF Fr.
5 Dallas Michael Porter Jr. Missouri SF Fr.
6 Orlando Trae Young Oklahoma PG Fr.
7 Chicago Mo Bamba Texas C Fr.
8 Cleveland (via Brooklyn) Wendell Carter Duke PF Fr.
9 New York Mikal Bridges Villanova SF Jr.
10 Philadelphia (via LA Lakers) Miles Bridges Michigan State SF Soph.
11 Charlotte Collin Sexton Alabama PG Fr.
12 LA Clippers (via Detroit) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Kentucky PG Fr.
13 LA Clippers Lonnie Walker Miami SG Fr.
14 Denver Robert Williams Texas A&M C Soph.
15 Washington Kevin Knox Kentucky SF Fr.
16 Phoenix (via Miami) Zharie Smith Texas Tech SG Fr.
17 Milwaukee Anfernee Simons IMG SG HS
18 San Antonio Dzanan Musa Bosnia & Herzegovina SF Intl.
19 Atlanta (via Minnesota) Shake Milton SMU PG Jr.
20 Minnesota (via OKC) Jacob Evans Cincinnati SF Jr.
21 Utah Troy Brown Oregon SG Fr.
22 Chicago (via New Orleans) Chandler Hutchison Boise State SF Sr.
23 Indiana Aaron Holiday UCLA PG Jr.
24 Portland Jontay Porter Missouri PF Fr.
25 LA Lakers (via Cleveland) Keita Bates-Diop Ohio State SF Jr.
26 Philadelphia Donte Devincenzo Villanova SG Soph.
27 Boston Mitchell Robinson High school C HS
28 Golden State Khryi Thomas Cregihton SG Jr.
29 Brooklyn (via Toronto) Melvin Frazier Tulane SF Jr.
30 Atlanta (via Houston) Isaac Bonga Germany SF Intl.

NBA mock draft 2018: ESPN

 No. Team Player School/Country Position Year
1 Phoenix Deandre Ayton Arizona C Fr.
2 Sacramento Marvin Bagley Duke PF Fr.
3 Atlanta Jaren Jackson Jr. Michigan State C Fr.
4 Memphis Luka Doncic Slovenia SF Intl.
5 Dallas Mo Bamba Texas C Fr.
6 Orlando Trae Young Oklahoma PG Fr.
7 Chicago Wendell Carter Duke C Fr.
8 Cleveland (via Brooklyn) Michael Porter Jr. Missouri SF Fr.
9 New York Collin Sexton Alabama PG Fr.
10 Philadelphia (via LA Lakers) Mikal Bridges Villanova SF Jr.
11 Charlotte Miles Bridges Michigan State SF Soph.
12 LA Clippers (via Detroit) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Kentucky PG Fr.
13 LA Clippers Lonnie Walker Miami SG Fr.
14 Denver Robert Williams Texas A&M C Soph.
15 Washington Kevin Knox Kentucky SF Fr.
16 Phoenix (via Miami) Zhaire Smith Texas Tech SG Fr.
17 Milwaukee Aaron Holiday UCLA PG Jr.
18 San Antonio Troy Brown Oregon SG Fr.
19 Atlanta (via Minnesota) Kevin Huerter Maryland SG Soph.
20 Minnesota (via OKC) Keita Bates-Diop Ohio State SF Jr.
21 Utah Elie Okobo France PG Intl.
22 Chicago (via New Orleans) Dzanen Musa Bosnia & Herznogvina PF Intl.
23 Indiana Chandler Hutchison Boise State SF Sr.
24 Portland Khyri Thomas Creighton SF Jr.
25 LA Lakers (via Cleveland) De’Anthony Melton USC SG Soph.
26 Philadelphia Jacob Evans Cincinnati SF Jr.
27 Boston Josh Okogi Georgia Tech SG Soph.
28 Golden State Donte Divincenzo Villanova SG Soph.
29 Brooklyn (via Toronto) Jerome Robinson Boston Colege SG Jr.
30 Atlanta (via Houston) Grayson Allen Duke SG Sr.

2018 NBA Draft: Date

The 2018 NBA Draft will be held on Thursday, June 21. The event will air on ESPN and will begin at 8 p.m. ET.

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Connor Riley – SEC Country