Rodney Hood to Announce This Week (UPDATED)

Rodney Hood, the No. 7 small forward in the Class of 2011, will announce on Wednesday at noon CST, according to Meridian High (Miss.) coach Randy Bolden.

Bolden said Hood will choose from among Florida State, Mississippi State, Louisville, Marquette and Alabama.

“At this point it’s pretty much him doing some soul-searching deciding what he wants to do,” Bolden said. To read more of this story, click here

LaQuinton Ross Talks Rutgers, Recruiting; Hamady N'Diaye on Knicks' Workout

New Rutgers head coach Mike Rice continues to bring in the top players from New Jersey and the surrounding area for visits.

The same week that Kadeem Jack unofficially toured campus, 6-foot-8  forward LaQuinton Ross of Burlington (N.J.) Life Center came to Piscataway.

“I took a visit out there,” Ross said Friday by phone on his way to Los Angeles for the Pangos all-american camp. “It was good. I liked the campus a lot and the new coaches over there.
I talked to the head coach and the assistants and I played.” To read more of this story, click here

Sidney to Return to Mississippi State

Renardo Sidney said he will return to Mississippi State next season even after the NCAA on Friday fined him and ruled him ineligible for this season and part of next.

“Yes I am comeing (sic) back to b a bulldog next year :)” Sidney put on his Facebook status Friday night.

Sidney, a 6-foot-10 Mississippi State  freshman who has not played this season while the NCAA investigated his case, was declared ineligible for the rest of this season and 30 percent of next year and fined $11,800 for “benefits received from preferential treatment.”

Mississippi State said it would appeal the decision.

“We felt from the beginning Renardo deserves the opportunity to be both a student and athlete at Mississippi State, and this is still our hope today,” Mississippi State Athletics Director Greg Byrne told the Los Angeles Times. To read more of this story, click here

Ross Following Waiters to Syracuse?; Tobias Harris, Kyrie Irving Updates

Alex Kline of continues to put in work interviewing many of the top high school prospects in the New York metropolitan area.

In this piece, Kline gets Burlington (N.J.) Life Center stars Dion Waiters and LaQuinton Ross talking about their future goals and plans.

The 6-foot-8 Ross has already been compared to Kevin Durant by Burlington coach Wilson Arroyo.

The junior transferred from Murrah (Miss.) High in order to play a national schedule against better competition. To read more of this story, click here

Rider Scores 1st Win Over Ranked Team

When I caught up with Rider coach Tommy Dempsey Saturday morning, he was enjoying a celebratory breakfast at Memphis International Airport.

Dempsey and the Rider Broncs pulled off the biggest win in program history Friday night when they went into Starkville and beat defending Southeastern Conference champion Mississippi State, 88-74.

The win happened on the same night the No. 18 Bulldogs raised the banner from their 2008-09 SEC championship.

“I have to say it’s got to rank up there,” Dempsey said by phone. “It’s the first win over a nationally-ranked program as far as we can tell. It’s certainly the biggest win in recent history.” To read more of this story, click here

C.J. Leslie Talks Schools; Cory Joseph Cuts List; Tobias Harris Sets Visits

I caught up briefly this morning with Raleigh (NC) Word of God forward C.J. Leslie before he headed into school.

The 6-foot-8, 205-pound Leslie had an in-home visit Wednesday night with Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and assistant Dermon Player.

“It was good. It was real good,” Leslie said.

Asked if he was planning an official visit to South Orange, N.J., Leslie said: “I don’t know yet. I haven’t scheduled any visits yet.”

Leslie said he’s also considering Kentucky, Florida, Maryland and North Carolina.

Georgetown also comes in tonight for Leslie’s final home visit.

To read more of this story, click here

Maryland's Williams Gets Extension; World's Tallest Man Without a School

Maryland coach Gary Williams, who took a lot of heat last year for his supposed failures in recruiting, received a one-year extension through 2013.

“I’m pleased for Gary that he met the competitive and academic benchmarks of his contract,” said Maryland AD Deborah Yow. “The 2009-10 season has the potential to be one of the best in recent memory.”

Williams, recently voted onto the board of directors of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, is the winningest coach in Maryland history and enters the season with a 418-229 mark in his previous 20 seasons in College Park. To read more of this story, click here

Smith to Visit Duke; Fordham's Gaston Eligible; Varnado Injured; Syracuse Camp; Erin Andrews to Talk with Oprah

Roscoe Smith, a 6-7 small forward out of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, will visit Duke unofficially Sept. 6, according to his father, Brian Thompson

Thompson said the following schools are recruiting his son and would have in-home visits: UConn, Duke, UCLA, Maryland, Georgetown, Florida and Kentucky.

“I’m going to pick out the school that I’m going to commit to going on the middle of my Oak Hill season,” Roscoe, the No. 31 player in the Rivals150 and the No. 6 SF in the Class of 2010, told me earlier this month at the Boost Mobile event in New York.

He said he transferred to Oak Hill to improve and prepare for college.

“I just wanted to be around great players,” he said. ”I think me going to Oak Hill will step my game up more and get me ready for college life. To read more of this story, click here

Gillispie Arrested for DUI; Riek Cleared to Play

Looks like Thursday was a bad day all around for basketball coaches connected to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

About 12 hours before Rick Pitino held a defiant press conference in which he took aim at the media and Karen Sypher, former Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie was arrested and charged with drunken driving.

Here’s the video, courtesy WLEX-18 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Police dispatcher Todd Sparrow said Lawrenceburg police arrested Gillispie and took him to the nearby Franklin County Regional Jail.

WLEX-TV in Lexington reported that Gillispie was pulled over in a white Mercedes with Texas tags around 2:45 a.m. after someone reported seeing the car driving erratically. To read more of this story, click here

Renardo Sidney Cleared Academically

Talented Mississippi State freshman Renardo Sidney has been cleared academically by the NCAA Eligibility Center and on Monday enrolled for fall classes.

Although he isn’t yet eligible to compete, the 6-foot-10, 260-pound forward/center out of Fairfax High School in Los Angeles is allowed to participate in individual and conditioning workouts.

“We are happy to get Renardo academically admitted,” Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. “But we know this is just the first step. Now, he has to get his amateurism status resolved.”

Don Jackson, Sidney’s Montgomery, Ala.-based attorney, told the Associated Press that investigators have yet to offer any proof the family did anything wrong. To read more of this story, click here