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Our Ohio Editor Chris Johnson tells us that 6'4 Jr Daequan Cook from Dayton (Dunbar) OH has a press conference scheduled for 4:30 PM today to announce his college decision and he would be shocked if this prolific scoring athletic wing guard does not pick Ohio State. Cook also has North Carolina, Wake Forest, Indiana, Cincinnati, Michigan, and Michigan State on his list, but the only unofficial visits he's taken have been to Wake Forest and Ohio State. Cook also was spotted recently sitting right behind the Ohio State bench when the Buckeyes upset Illinois in the final game of the regular season. Obviously anytime you get somebody who is ranked #6 nationally in the junior class by the HOOP SCOOP, it's huge. But this also doesn't hurt the Buckeyes' chances with 6'0 Jr Michael Conley from Indianapolis (Lawrence North) IN and 7'0 Jr Greg Oden from Indianapolis (Lawrence North) IN, if they put an age limit in when they renegotiate the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement this summer. Remember, Cook, Conley, and Oden have developed a close friendship while playing for the Indy Spiece Heat club team and, as a result, there already has been speculation about Cook and Conley going to the same school as a package. And assuming that Cook does pick Ohio State, he would be the perfect complement to 6'0 Sylvester Mays from Redlands (JC) OK, who is widely regarded as the best point guard in the junior college ranks this year and picked the Buckeyes last fall, when he arrives on campus year after next. Ohio State also signed 6'10 Brayden Bell from Salt Lake City (Brighton) UT during the Fall Signing Period, which means that Thad Matta and his staff appear to be well on their way towards resurrecting the Ohio State basketball program. It also appears that 6'6 Brandon Rush from Durham (Mt. Zion Christian) NC may have redeemed himself. If you will recall, we've been Rush's biggest critic, because he has a tendency not to play hard and lives off an incredible dunk or two for the rest of the game. However, Rush led his team to a 136-119 victory last night and took home co-MVP honors, along with 6'3 Eric Devendorf from Mouth of Wilson (Oak Hill) VA, in the Roundball Classic in Chicago, IL. Not only did Rush finish with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he also had five assists, and hit 10-14 field goals. Devendorf had 17 points, but it was probably his seven assists that gave him the nod over 6'9 Amir Johnson from Los Angeles (Westchester) CA and 6'7 Tasmin Mitchell from Denham Springs (H.S.) LA, both of whom also finished with 17 points for the winning West Squad, in the race for co-MVP honors for the West Squad. Johnson also had four blocked shots, four rebounds, four steals, and 8-11 field goals, which is not good news for University of Louisville fans, who are hoping that Johnson won't decide to by-pass college and enter his name into the NBA Draft this spring. Also chipping in for the West Squad were 6'5 Bryan Harvey from Compton (Dominguez) CA with 13 points and 3-8 3-pointers; 6'6 Wilson Chandler from Benton Harbor (H.S.) MI with 13 points; 6'8 Shawne Williams from Laurinburg (Institute) NC with 12 points, but only 1-6 from beyond the arc,; 6'10 Josh McRoberts from Carmel (H.S.) IN with 11 points, seven rebounds, and 3-4 3-pointers; 6'6 Marcus Johnson from Los Angeles (Westchester) CA with eight points, and 6'0 Byron Eaton from Dallas (Lincoln) TX with seven points and 10 assists. Yes, you read that right! Eaton had 10 assists and, as a team, the West Squad had 36 assists, which has to be close to a record for an all-star game. The co-MVP's for the East Squad were 6'6 Danny Green from Manhasset (St. Mary's) NY with 15 points and nine rebounds and 6'4 Nate Minnoy from Chicago (Hales Franciscan) IL with 16 points. However, the leading scorer for the East Squad was 6'8 Gerald Green from Houston (Gulf Shores) TX, who finished with 17 points, but hit only 5-12 field goals, 0-4 3-pointers, and 7-8 free throws. We also are impressed with the stat line for 6'11 Andray Blatche from South Kent (Prep) CT, who finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds and 6'3 Jerel McNeal from Country Club Hills (Hillcrest) IL, who finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, and 2-2 3-pointers. Also chipping in for the East Squad were 6'8 Davon Jefferson from Lynwood (H.S.) CA with 12 points and 10 rebounds, but only 5-15 field goals; 6'8 DeAndre Thomas from Chicago (Westinghouse) IL with 11 points; 6'3 Bobby Frasor from Chicago (Brother Rice) IL with eight points, three assists, and 2-3 3-pointers; 6'7 Korvotney Barber from Manchester (H.S.) GA with six points, four rebounds, and three assists; 6'2 Tony Freeman from Westchester (St. Joseph) IL with five points and only 1-7 field goals; and 6'7 Marcus Williams from Seattle (Roosevelt) WA with four points, three blocked shots and six rebounds. We also are glad to see that Mike Davis has gotten another year to turn things around at Indiana University and that Temple head coach John Chaney will be back for another year. However, this does not bold well for young up-and-coming guys hoping to move up the coaching ladder. But that doesn't appear to be stopping Eastern Kentucky head coach Travis Ford, who, believe it or not, now appears to be on the brink of getting the Massachusetts job. It's not that Ford isn't more than qualified ( he did a great job of turning Eastern Kentucky around), but he has no East Coast ties and the list of possible candidates to replace Steve Lappas at Massachusetts is amazing, as former Virginia head coach Pete Gillen, Manhattan head coach Bobby Gonzalez, Memphis assistant coach Tony Barbee, Holy Cross head coach Ralph Willard, Connecticut assistant coach Tom Moore, Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins, Kent State head coach Jim Christian, former Ohio State head coach Jim O'Brien, Northeastern head coach Ronnie Everhart, Davidson head coach Bob McKillop, Ohio University head coach Tim O'Shea, Wisconsin-Milwaukee head coach Bruce Pearl, UNC-Greensboro head coach Fran McCaffery, and television analyst Fran Fraschilla have all been mentioned as possible names for the job. It also appears that Creighton head coach Dana Altman interviewed today and, as a result, is the new flavor of the day for the Tennessee job. However, anything could happen in connection with the Volunteers job, as Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz, UAB head coach Mike Anderson, Wisconsin-Milwaukee head coach Bruce Pearl, Miami-FL head coach Frank Haith, and Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight all continue to be mentioned. And, if Knight were to get the Tennessee job, would Red Raiders assistant coach Pat Knight inherit the throne at Texas Tech. Or will the younger Knight get the head coaching job at Indiana State? We also are hearing that Seton Hall assistant coach Brian Nash has emerged as the leading candidate for St. Francis- NY and that Mississipppi assistant coach Tracy Dildy and Indiana University Director of Basketball Operations Dane Fife are among the favorites to take over at IUPU-Fort Wayne. And wouldn't former California head coach Todd Bozeman or Clemson assistant coach Kevin Nickleberry be great at Howard? And so would Valparaiso assistant coach Rex Walters at Florida Atlantic and Louisville assistant coach Kevin Willard at Eastern Kentucky, if Ford does get the Massachusetts job.
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Rex Walters would be great. Having played for Pat Riley, he had to learn something. Bring him in Angelos! ;D
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Is that the Rex Walters, 3 point king from UK of years back?
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