NCAA proposal could allow NBA draft entrants to return to school

Next year, college basketball players could have more leeway in their NBA draft decisions.

According to ESPN, the NCAA men’s basketball committee sponsored a proposal on Wednesday that will allow early entrants to return to school even after declaring their intentions to go pro.

The new system would allow underclassmen who are exploring their options to attend the pre-draft combine in Chicago without losing their college eligibility, though they will not be allowed to sign with an agent. The proposal, which could be approved in January, was a coordinated effort with the NBA. Continue reading

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Where will UCLA’s Kevon Looney be picked in the NBA draft?

Kevon Looney is among the 19 players who accepted invites to Thursday’s NBA draft. How long will his green-room wait last?

Once considered a near-certain lottery pick, many mock drafts have since dropped the former UCLA forward to borderline top-20 status.

Pac-12 Networks analyst Don MacLean, a former Bruin, isn’t among the detractors.

“Ten years from now, I think Kevon Looney may be the best player from this year’s draft coming out of the Pac-12,” MacLean said. “I really like him. You just don’t see guys with the length, the rebounding, the instincts. … The way he was used at UCLA, you didn’t see the entire package.”

MacLean’s projection is optimistic, but not all that outlandish. After all, the only other Pac-12 product with lottery potential is Arizona’s Stanley Johnson — a strong defender who likely won’t turn into an elite scorer.

But many questions surround Looney’s draft stock as well, some of them not helped by the Bruins’ game plan. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: A Pac-12 team could play Baylor in Australia in 2016

» Baylor is in talks to open the 2016 season in Australia, and would likely face a Pac-12 opponent.

» Less than two years after leaving Arizona State, Texas athletic director Steve Patterson has already made enemies in Austin.

» Former Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is sponsoring a bus to take 40 kids from his hometown to next week’s NBA Draft.

» Kyle Anderson is holding a basketball clinic this Saturday in memory of a childhood friend who committed suicide. Continue reading

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UCLA center Thomas Welsh makes final USA Basketball U19 roster

UCLA center Thomas Welsh will wear red, white and blue this summer.

The soon-to-be sophomore made the final cut for USA Basketball’s U19 team on Wednesday, becoming one of 12 players who will represent the United States at the FIBA World Championship later this month. He is one of two centers to make the team, the other being Purdue’s five-star signee Caleb Swanigan.

Competition will be held June 27 to July 5 in Heraklion, on the Greek island of Crete. The medal-round quarterfinals are on July 3, with the semifinals and finals taking place the following two days. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Amy Van Dyken recovering after ATV accident

» Former Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen injured her spine in an ATV accident a year ago. Here’s the Arizona Republic’s story on her journey to try and walk again, as well as the Pac-12 Networks’ feature on her from January:

» New Washington quarterback Tony Rodriguez is “probably the biggest steal at any position out of junior college,” according to CCSF coach Jimmy Collins — clearly an unbiased observer.

» Hale Irwin, a former Colorado cornerback and golfer, reflects on his U.S. Open win 25 years ago — one that made him the tournament’s oldest champion. Continue reading

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