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UCLA: Bruin Big Man Packs Bags to Transfer

by - Published December 1, 2009 in Newswire

UCLA sophomore forward Drew Gordon announced today that he will leave the team to transfer, according to Mike DeCourcy of the SportingNews.

Gordon is the third leading scorer for the Bruins, who have lost four of six to start the season and endured a rash of injuries before the season even started. Gordon averages 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and was considered a top recruit when he arrived in Los Angeles last season.

According to ESPN.com’s Andy Katz, Gordon is leaving because of conduct detrimental to the team that has been building during the past few weeks. In essence, coach Ben Howland asked Gordon to leave.

UCLA is struggling mightily early in the season with losses to Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State on the résumé. The schedule does not get more forgiving yet — UCLA plays Kansas, Mississippi State and Notre Dame during the next three weeks.

Villanova: Freshman Big Man Sidelined With Hepatitis

by - Published December 1, 2009 in Newswire

Villanova freshman forward Mouphtaou Yarou is out indefinitely after doctors diagnosed him with hepatitis B, according to a university report.

Yarou is Villanova’s top recruit and figured to be a key member of the Wildcats’ frontcourt, even as a freshman. In his first two games against Fairleigh Dickinson and Penn, Yarou posted 10 points and eight rebounds.

Old Spice Classic Announces Field for 2010

by - Published November 30, 2009 in Conference Notes, Newswire

According to a MAAC release, the eight-team 2010 Old Spice Classic field has been announced, and five of its participants are teams that were part of the 2009 NCAA Tournament: Boston College, California, Temple, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. Notre Dame, a 2009 NIT participant, Georgia and Manhattan round out the field.

The competition will have 12 games through three days (four games each day), Nov. 25, 26 and 28. Each team will play a game per day and advance in a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated through two games will play in the championship match on Sunday Nov. 28.

UCLA: Needy Bruins Get Senior Leader Back

by - Published November 27, 2009 in Conference Notes, Newswire

Senior Nikola Dragovic was reinstated by UCLA Wednesday following a two-game suspension for his arrest in an assault case. Since, he’s played in three games, all Bruin losses, averaging 8.6 points per game.

According to an Associated Press report, Dragovic, who will plead not guilty at his Dec. 21 arraignment, was arrested on a warrant that alleges the forward knocked a man into a glass case during a concert in Hollywood. However, Dragovic’s lawyer, Jon Artz, said the other man was the aggressor. Artz said the man was drunk and armed with a knife with which he threatened to kill Dragovic as the Bruin tried to leave the theater.

Head coach Ben Howland said Dragovic, UCLA’s only returning starter, won’t immediately regain his spot in the Bruins’ starting lineup

Texas: Freak Layup Line Injury Ends Ward’s Season

by - Published November 27, 2009 in Conference Notes, Newswire

Texas starting guard Varez Ward was expected to have surgery this week to repair a ruptured quadriceps that will cause him to miss the rest of the season, according to an ESPN.com report.

Ward, who averaged 6.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in three games this season, suffered the injury during pregame warm-ups of a Nov. 24 win over Pittsburgh. He fell to the floor and had to be removed from the arena in a wheelchair.

Texas coach Rick Barnes is certain Ward “will be back.”

Texas: Ward Needs Gurney to Leave Court After Knee Injury

by - Published November 25, 2009 in Conference Notes, Newswire

Texas sophomore guard Varez Ward injured his knee during warmups before the Longhorns’ 78-62 win against Pittsburgh in the CBE Classic, according to an Associated Press report. He collapsed while waiting his turn in a layup line, and he could not leave the court on his own, needing a gurney to take him to the locker room.

Team doctors did not provide immediate information about the extent of the injury. Ward can play either point or shooting guard for the Longhorns, averaging 6.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 23.0 minutes per game.

Ohio State: Offutt Plans to Transfer

by - Published November 25, 2009 in Conference Notes, Newswire

Ohio State backup guard Walter Offutt has decided to leave the team to transfer, according to Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News.

Offutt averages 3.7 points and 1.0 rebounds in 7.3 minutes per game. Offutt wanted more playing time, but he has not received it this season. With Ohio State bringing in a highly regarded recruiting class next season, Offutt figured that he will not likely see significant minutes as a Buckeye.

North Carolina: Williams Has Shoulder Surgery After Falling in October

by - Published November 25, 2009 in Conference Notes, Newswire

North Carolina coach Roy Williams will wear a sling for about a month after having shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, according to an Associated Press report.

Williams fell a charity golf event in October and injured his shoulder. The Tar Heels did not practice yesterday. The team’s next game is Nov. 29 against Nevada.

Power Outage Stops Pacific/Northern Arizona Game

by - Published November 20, 2009 in Conference Notes, Newswire

With Northern Arizona surging to a 45-43 against Pacific and less than nine minutes to go, a power outage in Flagstaff darkened the Lumberjacks’ arena, forcing officials to suspend the game, according to an Associated Press report.

Northern Arizona was in the midst of a 15-2 run when the lights went out after trailing by 11 early in the second half. Guards Cameron Jones and Gabe Rogers were lit up the scoreboard during the Lumberjacks’ run, scoring all 15 of the team’s points. Jones led the team with 17 points.

School officials have not decided when the teams will be able to complete the final 8 minutes, 52 seconds of the game. Pacific planned to leave Arizona by 5:30 a.m. today. One possibility is for Northern Arizona to stop by Pacific’s campus after playing Santa Clara Nov. 26.

Louisville: Grand Jury Adds Charges to Accused Extortionist

by - Published November 19, 2009 in Conference Notes, Newswire

Although Louisville coach Rick Pitino would prefer to focus on basketball, the evolving case against a woman accused of trying to extort him continues to generate headlines. 

According to an Associated Press report, a federal grand jury added charges against Karen Cunagin Sypher for retaliating against Pitino by falsely claiming he raped her. The grand jury also added two more intent to extort charges and a second charge of lying to the FBI.

The retaliation charge relates to Sypher’s decision in June to file rape charges, “knowing it would be harmful to Pitino,” according to the AP report. Meanwhile, the grand jury decided that Sypher lied to the FBI when she said her relationship with Lester Goetzinger only involved business. 

The FBI made a deal with Goetzinger in which he agreed to testify against Sypher. He said that in exchange for sexual favors from Sypher, he left threatening voice mails for Pitino in February. The grand jury qualified that as an intimate personal relationship.

Pitino told investigators that he had consensual sex with Sypher in 2003. Sypher has pleaded not guilty to charges that she subsequently tried to extort Pitino to the tune of $10 million, her mortgage and tuition for her children.

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