Westchester Knicks Sign Markieth Cummings

Westchester Knicks

The Westchester Knicks acquired forward Markieth Cummings out of the NBA D-League player pool, as reported in an official press release by the team. The 6’6″ forward was made available after being waived by the Bakersfield Jam, where he averaged 6.0 points in two seasons.
Cummings made his Knicks debut on Saturday, scoring two points and grabbing one rebound in seven minutes of D-League action.
The post Westchester Knicks Sign Markieth Cummings appeared first on Basketball Bicker by Emmanuel Altenor.

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Kentucky, UCLA sign home-and-home series

The rumored series between the two most storied programs in NCAA history is now official.

      
 

 

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Kentucky and UCLA sign home-and-home hoops series

The rumored series between the two most storied programs in NCAA history is now official.

      
 

 

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Pelicans sign F Dante Cunningham (Yahoo Sports)

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 13: Dante Cunningham #33 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in a game against the Sacramento Kings on April13, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Dante Cunningham’s basketball exile is over.


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Cavs News: Cavaliers Sign A.J. Price, Release Will Cherry

The Cleveland Cavaliers played some more musical chairs at the guard slot on Sunday when they placed Will Cherry on waivers and claimed A.J. Price off waivers from the Indiana Pacers. The Price acquisition was tweeted by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, while the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Chris Haynes also noted the release of Cherry via Twitter.
Cleveland has claimed AJ Price off waivers, league source tells Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 30, 2014
#Cavs have waived point guard Will Cherry, a league source tells @clevelanddotcom.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 30, 2014

Back on November 1, Price had been placed on waivers by the Cavs and Cherry was signed by the team the next day. Four days after that, Price was signed by the Pacers, but was not signed to his third 10-day contract with the team on Friday, due to the return of previously injured C.J. Watson and David West.
Price, who had been averaging 10.5 point in just under 20 minutes per game for Ind…

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Minnesota Timberwolves Sign Jeff Adrien

With a slew of injuries, ESPN reports the Minnesota Timberwolves have signed free agent forward Jeff Adrien to add some roster depth to the team. Minnesota stars such as Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin and Ronny Turiaf are all on the shelf leading to the NBA granting the team a roster exemption so they could expand their roster to 16 players.
Adrien averaged 6.8 points and 7.8 rebounds last year in his time on both the Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets. The Timberwolves only active big man before signing Adrien was Gorgui Dieng.
The post Minnesota Timberwolves Sign Jeff Adrien appeared first on Basketball Bicker by Joey.

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Miami Heat News: Heat Waive Shannon Brown, Sign Hassan Whiteside

Looks like Shannon Brown’s Miami Heat tenure didn’t last too long.
Less than three months after being signed by the Heat, Brown was waived to make room for center Hassan Whiteside. The 6’4″ shooting guard appeared in five games for the Heat this season, and averaged four points in 17.8 minutes per action. He had started the Heat’s previous game versus the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night, but posted a scoreless stat line in 17 minutes of playing time.
In nine NBA seasons, Brown has played with eight different teams. He was expected to be the primary backup shooting guard behind Dwyane Wade, but Mario Chalmers’ strong play off of the bench at shooting guard led to the veteran guard being dispensable.
Brown’s contract was non-guaranteed, as is rookie Andre Dawkins‘ contract. The Heat elected to keep Dawkins instead of the journeyman guard.
Whiteside hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2011-12 season. Originally drafted No. 33 overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2010 NBA Draft…

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Jahlil Okafor’s Impressive Debut an Encouraging Sign for the Duke Freshman

OK, so it was only against Presbyterian in a 69-point win, but Jahlil Okafor’s performance should hearten Duke fans as they look ahead to the 2014-15 season.

The freshman center led the Blue Devils with 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting with six rebounds and four assists.

Numbers alone don’t tell the story of Okafor’s night. He simply imposed his will on the Blue Hose inside, which is exactly what you’d expect from the best center in the Class of 2014.

If he wanted to, Okafor could’ve had 30 points. Instead, he was more than happy to work the ball around the court and involve his teammates, as he told Steve Wiseman of The Herald-Sun in Durham, North Carolina:

Everybody on this team realized quickly that everybody can play and there is a lot of talent on this team. One of our absolutes is sharing the ball, making the extra pass. It’s fun playing that way. That’s why today we had 30 assists and nine turnovers. It was really fun.

Friday was never about watching Okafor drop a ton of points on Presbyterian. Instead, it was more about watching one of the most talented freshmen in college basketball offer a glimpse at his immense talent—a short trailer for what will be the blockbuster premiere.

DraftExpress‘ Derek Bodner was impressed with how well the Blue Devils star did the little things:

One play in particular illustrated how much better Okafor was than any other Presbyterian player. With a little under nine minutes left in the first half, he received the ball to the right of the basket. With a couple of steps to his left, Okafor took the Blue Hose defender completely out of the play and had an easy left-handed layup.

It simply wasn’t fair.

Sometimes, incoming freshmen can defer too much to their more experienced teammates.

A major critique of Andrew Wiggins—one of the best recruits to come along in years—during his time at Kansas was that he’d be a little too passive at times. Critics argued that somebody with Wiggins’ ability should single-handedly take a game over on a near-nightly basis.

College basketball fans want to see possibly transcendent talents do something incredible, like Carmelo Anthony leading Syracuse to a national title or Kevin Durant averaging 25.8 points a night at Texas.

When it comes to Okafor, the assumption is that he will become the next Greg Oden or Anthony Davis in terms of dominance. Bleacher Report’s C.J. Moore even asked whether Okafor can be the best collegiate center since Tim Duncan, highlighting Okafor’s impressive offensive skill:

Okafor is ready offensively, and the new rules will make him even more difficult to defend. Big men are no longer able to really body up and push their man off a spot. Give Okafor the opportunity to make moves without a forearm shiver slowing him down, and he’ll dominate with his skill. 

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has built his offense in recent years around perimeter players, but Okafor is so good expect Duke’s offense to be built around him next season.

When you’re being mentioned in the same breath as Duncan, expectations are going to be high. Since Okafor’s almost certainly only going to spend a year in college, he doesn’t have a lot of time to build a legacy.

And make no mistake about it: Okafor will likely leave Durham after a year. Even Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is expecting to lose the center after the end of the campaign.

“We won’t have him long,” he said, per ESPN.com. “We’ll have him this year and then he’ll be one of the top [NBA] picks.”

Now, it’s not Okafor’s job to average a double-double in every game. He’s not beholden to pleasing the fans. He’s got to do what’s best for him in terms of his NBA prospects and help Duke try to win a national title.

Along the way, though, it would be nice if Okafor embraced his otherworldly talent and cemented himself as the next great collegiate big man—if only for a year.

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Matt Zignorski, Jesse Bunting, Joseph Chartouny Sign with Fordham

Fordham opens its 2014-15 season at home tomorrow night against the New York Institute of Technology. But three players who are still months away from arriving on campus made news Wednesday.

Matt Zignorski, Jesse Bunting and Joseph Chartouny, who all verbally committed over the last few months, signed National Letters of Intent with Fordham, Bleacher Report has learned. The three will join the Rams in 2015.

Zignorski is a 6’3″ combo guard from Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta Township, New Jersey. According to The Star-Ledger, he averaged 11.7 points, 3.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game in his junior season.

When reached by Bleacher Report after he verbally committed in July, Zignorski described himself as “a very versatile offensive player.” 

“I have the ability to bring the ball up, run the point, direct an offense, get people shots and distribute the ball,” he said. “But I can also shoot the ball. I can run off screens.”

Bunting, a 6’8″ forward from Tabor Academy in Massachusetts, gave Fordham his verbal commitment in September. Chris Millette, the head coach at Tabor, complimented Bunting on his “motor,” telling Bleacher Report he has ”such a big upside.”

“He’s incredibly athletic,” Millette added. “For his size he can dribble, rebound and go coast-to-coast.”

Chartouny is a 6’3″ point guard from Montreal’s College Jean-de-Brebeuf, where he was teammates with Nemanja Zarkovic, the Rams’ freshman point guard. His coach, Mike Chmielewski, said the two guards possess similar intangibles.

“He is probably the most talented connector I’ve coached,” Chmielewski said in an interview with Bleacher Report after Chartouny verbally committed in September. “By connecting I mean a guy that has an ability of connecting the team together, getting guys to play at a higher level… He’s a talented scorer, but he prefers setting people up.”

On paper, it appears Fordham has done pretty well with this group: versatile guards with a team-first mentality and a forward with size who’s athletic. It’s not hard to envision these three fitting in.

This year, of the players expected to see significant minutes, Fordham will suit up seven freshmen (including two redshirts), one sophomore and just three upperclassmen.

Next year, Zignorski, Bunting and Chartouny will join a young roster trying to become a contender in the Atlantic 10.

 

Quotations in this article were obtained firsthand.

Charles Costello covers the Fordham Rams for Bleacher Report. A full archive of his articles can be found hereTwitter: @CFCostello

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Top 50 basketball players expected to sign early

PHOTO GALLERY: Check out the top 50 basketball players expected to sign early

      
 

 

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