College basketball

Virginia lands Rice’s Murphy III

Virginia coach Tony Bennett says Trey Murphy III has joined the Cavaliers as a transfer from Rice.

The Durham, North Carolina native will be eligible to practice next season, but will have to wait a year before he can play. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

At Rice, the 6-foot-8 Murphy averaged 13.7 points as a sophomore and made 75 3-pointers. He converted 43.3 percent of his field goal attempts, and shot 36.8 percent from 3-point territory.

Wilkins transferring to Wake Forest

Wake Forest men’s basketball is adding transfer help.

Virginia Tech sophomore Isaiah Wilkins announced in a social-media post that he would transfer to his hometown school, though it’s unclear if he must sit a year due to NCAA transfer rules or could receive a waiver to play immediately. The Demon Deacons also announced that Ian DuBose would play next year as a graduate transfer from Houston Baptist.

Gonzaga has added a graduate transfer from Southern Illinois and signed the highest-rated high school player in the basketball program’s history. The team said that Southern Illinois point guard Aaron Cook will be eligible to play next season. Meanwhile, the signing of 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard Jalen Suggs

  • wrapped up perhaps the best recruiting class in program history. Suggs ranks fifth on ESPN’s Top-100 list in the class of 2020.
  • Rhode Island freshman

Jacob Toppin is the latest college basketball transfer headed to the Kentucky Wildcats. He is the younger brother of national player of the year Obi Toppin

  • . JacobToppin averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game as a freshman.
  • UConn has added guard

Tyrese Martin, a transfer from Rhode Island, to its roster, the school announced. The 6-foot-6 rising junior started all 30 games for the Rams last season, averaging 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Martin was recruited to Rhode Island by Dan Hurley

  • , who left the Rams in 2018 to take the job at Connecticut.

Former Ohio State guard D.J. Carton

  • is transferring to Marquette. The 6-foot-2 freshman from Bettendorf, Iowa, has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
  • East Tennessee has added guard

Jalen Johnson as a graduate transfer from Tennessee to a team that won the Southern Conference Tournament title and went 30-4 this season. Coach Steve Forbes announced the signing, along with the addition of 6-foot-8 forward Silas Adheke

  • from Northern Kentucky.

Denzel Mahoney has joined Creighton teammate Ty-Shon Alexander

  • in declaring for the NBA draft. Mahoney played 21 games for the Bluejays after transferring from Southeast Missouri and averaged 12 points.

NBA

Top prospect picks G League over college

Top recruit Jalen Green said that he is skipping college and has signed with the G League for next season, becoming the first player to take advantage of a new potential path to the NBA.

Green, a guard from Napa, Calif., who was considered by some as the No. 1 overall recruit in this year’s high school class, will be eligible for the 2021 NBA draft and seems a strong candidate to be among the top picks.

Green’s signing is different from the program that was expected to allow top players the chance to use the G League as a bridge between high school and the NBA. No player ever signed under that 2018 initiative.

Green will play for a still-being-developed program, but not for any G League team or with affiliation with an NBA franchise. He, and any others who follow, will play under the G League umbrella, focusing on draft preparation, basketball readiness and life skills.

A person with knowledge of the situation said Green’s salary will “be significantly more” than the $125,000 contracts that the G League began offering as an option to select players in 2018. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the contract terms were not released publicly.

The program the G League announced in 2018 that offered what was then called “select contracts” to players who did not want to play college basketball but were not yet eligible for the draft.

But none of those deals were ever executed for a variety of reasons — feedback the G League got included that players thought the $125,000 salary was too low, did not like not knowing where they would play, and the uncertainty of how they would be allocated to teams.

The G League’s initial efforts about finding a bridge between high school and the NBA were developed following recommendations released in 2018 by the Commission on College Basketball, a group that was chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and was tasked with reforming the college game.

Elsewhere

Blues add blueline help

The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues made another move to fortify their future blueline by agreeing to terms with defenseman Marco Scandella on a four-year contract extension.

The deal is worth $13.1 million — an annual salary-cap hit of $3.275 million through the 2023-24 season. Scandella played 11 games with St. Louis and recorded one assist before the NHL paused its season March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

USC’s Daniels enters transfer portal

Southern California quarterback J.T. Daniels has entered the transfer portal.

Coach Clay Helton says he would welcome Daniels back if he decides to stay at USC, where Kedon Slovis claimed Daniels’ job as the Trojans’ starting quarterback last season after Daniels injured his knee.

Daniels was among the top quarterback recruits in the nation when he left Orange County’s Mater Dei High School early to join the Trojans two years ago.

Hall of Fame WWE announcer Finkel dies at 69

Longtime WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel died at 69, the organization announced in a statement.

No cause of death was given. Mr. Finkel had reportedly been dealing with health issues in recent years.

Mr. Finkel made his ring announcing debut in 1977 at Madison Square Garden for WWE’s predecessor, the WWWF. In 1980, he was the first hire for Titan Sports, which eventually became World Wrestling Entertainment. For more than two decades, “The Fink” was a mainstay in the ring, with his distinctive voice and signature phrase “and NNNEEEWWW world champion!” He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.

— From wire reports

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