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College Basketball Notes: More ACC Games, St. John's Gets Big Recruit, FIBA Americas U-18s

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While it’s ACC football media week, there has been significant news from the basketball side. In 2019 the ACC will move to 20 conference games, which is just absurd. They currently play 18 games and the reason for moving to 20 is rather simple. It’s going to give the new ACC Network more content to air during its first year of existence.

Unfortunately this will likely ruin the nonconference. With two less games to play with, the teams will likely schedule weaker teams, especially those in the middle of the pack in the ACC. Teams that aren’t blue bloods like Duke and UNC have to go out and get guaranteed wins. If you think you’re going to be 10-10 in the ACC, you need to go 10-2 or 9-3 out of it. The only way to do that is by going and getting the guarantee wins.

I think this is something we’re going to see more of going forward, especially if it doesn’t hurt the ACC come Tournament time. With every conference practically having their own network, it’s just added revenue and easier to sell.

St. John’s Gets Former UConn Commit

There was once a time Zach Brown was a top-10 recruit and deciding between UConn, Kentucky and other big time schools. Brown, who hails from Miami, ended up committing to Kevin Ollie and the Huskies, only to find himself in some legal trouble. Brown and UConn parted ways back in early May.

The 7’1” center had gotten into a fight on the court during a high school game and then this past spring was arrested on armed robbery charges, which are expected to be dropped. This is big get for St. John’s – as long as Brown stays out of trouble – as Mullin is trying to build the program back to somewhat relevance.

The Johnnies currently have a ton of talent in the post with Yankuba Sima and Tariq Owens, but Brown could easily be the best of the bunch. He’s extremely quick for his size (260 pounds) and a dominant rebounder, especially on the defensive side of the ball. He’s still somewhat raw, but has good hands, especially when you watch tape of him in traffic in the paint.

FIBA Americas U-18s Semifinals

Olympic basketball is not far away, but if you want to watch the best prospects in the country try to win gold, pay attention to the FIBA U-18s, which are underway in Chile. The USA plays its semifinals game today against Brazil, with the winner getting either Canada or Puerto Rico. The roster, coached by Shaka Smart, has nine uncommitted players on it including Mohamed Bomba, Hamidou Diallo, Trae Young, Quade Green, Matt Coleman, M.J. Walker and PJ Washington. The best of those players are Bomba/Diallo/Young, who are all being recruited by every big name school in the country.

Also on the roster are two Washington commits in Markelle Fultz and Michael Porter Jr., which is the only time Washington fans will get to see these guys on the court at the same time. Fultz is going to be a freshman this year and should be a top-10 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, while Porter is in the Class of 2017 and regarded as the No. 1 or 2 recruit.

The importance of this is the recruiting that can be done by Smart, Kevin Ollie and Mark Turgeon that make up the coaching staff. Smart already has a recruit on the team in Jarrett Allen, who you better believe will be making a pitch to those unsigned guys.

We typically dominate the U-18s, but it’s not a guarantee. In 2002 we only brought home the bronze with a roster that included Carmelo, Andre Iguodala, Chris Bosh and Deron Williams. The top 4 teams from the U-18s qualify for next year’s U-19 World Championships.