BasketballSports News

NCAA Basketball News and Notes: Cunningham Sticking With Cowboys

The No. 1 recruit in the nation, Cade Cunningham, has decided to still play for Oklahoma State even though it has been banned from postseason play. Cunningham has announced his intention to stick with the team despite the ban.

The NCAA announced the sanctions against the program a few weeks earlier. The announcement is a testament to the connection coach Mike Boynton Jr. has created with Cunningham.

Cunningham is one of the favorites to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft.

NCAA Alumni on TBT Rosters

The usual field of 64 teams in The Basketball Tournament has been dwindled down to only 24 this season due to the coronavirus. The Basketball Tournament, referred to as TBT, has been around since 2014.

It has become a huge hit with fans and players alike. The tournament usually has a lot of fans in the stands, but will not this year. It will start on July 4 with eight teams receiving a bye.

One of the favorites, and newcomers to TBT, is the Syracuse Alumni. The team features Malachi Richardson and Tyler Lydon, who helped the Orange get to the Final Four in 2016.

The championship prize has been reduced to $1 million, down from $2 million last year, but is still more than enough to attract top talent. ESPN is the main sponsor of the TBT, and it will air the games across all of its platforms.

Last year’s tournament featured 23 alumni teams. This year Illinois, Auburn, Purdue, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Washington, Maryland, Marshall, St. Bonaventure, and Virginia have applied and are all new alumni teams.

The Ohio State Alumni (Carmen’s Crew), Syracuse (Boeheim’s Army), and Marquette (Golden Eagles) are among the favorites to win the tournament. All three of these teams received byes into the second round.

2022 Recruitment Predictions

There are still nine of the top 10 recruits for 2022 uncommitted. Only Dior Johnson, the fifth-ranked recruit, has announced a school (Syracuse).

Emoni Bates is the No. 1-ranked recruit. Bates will probably head straight to the NBA if the one-and-done rule is changed. Michigan State seems his likely destination if the rule stays in place.

Chris Livingston, the No. 3-ranked recruit, seems interested in staying home and playing for Ohio State. Livingston would be one of the best recruits to ever sign with the Buckeyes, but competition for the 6-5 guard will come from all of the blue bloods.

Brandon Huntley-Hadfield, the fourth-ranked recruit, seems likely headed for Kentucky. Alex Poythress, a former Wildcats player, is a close family friend and will be pushing Huntley-Hadfield to follow the same path.

Caleb Houstan, who was teammates with Cade Cunningham at Montverde Academy, is already highly sought after. While most people have Houstan heading to North Carolina, I see Chris Beard landing the highly touted Houstan.

The eighth-ranked recruit, Jarace Walker, played with Armando Barcot and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl his freshman season. While I have North Carolina missing out on Houstan, I think they get their guy in Walker.

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