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May 20, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, May 20th:

After two days of zero news, we found out several players are packing their bags. Here’s the rundown:

Coming: Kentucky landed a pair of 7-footers, as two prospects, Shagari Alleyne of Rice High School in New York, and Lukasz Obrzut, originally from Gliwice, Poland, and played last season for Bridgton Academy in Maine, signed to be the fourth and fifth Wildcats over 7-feet in school history. Alleyne, one of the most intriguing talents in the class of 2003, stands 7’2″ and has arms long enough to dunk the basketball almost without leaving the ground. He averaged 21 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks last season for Rice, a perennial national power. He originally committed to Rutgers, but reneged on the commitment last month. Obrzut, who averaged 12 points and eight rebounds in his first season of hoops in the United States, stands 7-1 and is 240 pounds. They join two recruiting classmates that are 6-8 each, Bobby Perry of North Carolina, and Sheray Thomas from Montreal. Oh, the previous 7-footers in school history were Bill Spivey (1950-1952), Tom Payne (1970-1971) and Sam Bowie (1980-1984).

Still Coming: New Iowa State head coach Wayne Morgan took care of business by showing JuCo transfer Damion Staple the love. Staple, who was left on his own during the Larry Eustachy scandal, agreed to stick with the Cyclones after visiting Ames and meeting with Morgan over the weekend. Staple, a Jamaican who is coming from Southeastern Illinois College, had his JuCo coach Todd Franklin covering his back, as Franklin expressed concern over the lack of contact from the school, and the ouster of the two coaches that Staple had met with (Eustachy and assistant Steve Barnes, who was suspended). Knowing how to pick them, Staple originally committed to Western Kentucky, before withdrawing after Dennis Felton left to be head coach at Georgia.

Gone?: Cincinnati freshman forward Eric Hicks was suspended indefinitely yesterday for conduct detrimental to the program. Hicks, who averaged 2.5 points and 3.6 boards as a sub last season, has a checkered past in his short stay for the Bearcats. Prior to coming to Cincinnati, Hicks had been shot in the leg in a high school fracas in Greensboro, North Carolina, and also disappeared from the Bearcat team for a few days during the season.

Going Once: East Tennessee State junior guard Tiras Wade is leaving the program. Wade, who took a leave of absence last season to deal with personal issues, was the leading scorer with 16.3 points and 5.6 boards per game in 18 contests.

Going Twice: The Georgetown Hoyas announced that two players are looking to make a move. The school has granted an official release for sophomore starting point guard Tony Bethel, who averaged just under 11 points per game this season. It is not known where Bethel will be transferring to. Also considering asking for his release is reserve sophomore guard Drew Hall, who had recently visited Dayton. Hall averaged 3.5 points in 22 minutes per game , and played in every game this season. Hat tip: Dayton Daily News.

Where’s He Going?: Duke has granted recruit Kris Humphries a release from his National Letter of Intent. Humphries, a 6-9 forward, was a McDonald’s All-American and a two-time Minnesota Player of the Year. Rumors and speculation say he may end up with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who has playing time and scholarships available for a big man, and where his father (a former Gopher footballer) is active in the alumni association.

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