USC handed 2 years probation
The NCAA hit Southern California’s men’s program with two years’ probation and a $5,000 fine on Thursday because a former assistant coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he accepted a bribe to steer players to a business management company. The Division I Committee on Infractions announced the penalties, which include a 1% loss of the school’s basketball budget. The probation, which does not include a postseason ban, runs until April 14, 2023.
Tony Bland, the former associate head coach under Coach Andy Enfield, wasn’t mentioned by name in the NCAA report. He was fired by the school in January 2018 and later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.
LSU guard declares for draft
LSU freshman Cameron Thomas, whose 23 points per game led the Tigers in scoring, announced Thursday that he is declaring for the NBA Draft and intends to sign with an agent. The 6-4 guard from Chesapeake, Va., led all Division I freshmen in scoring last season while helping LSU advance to the finals of the SEC Tournament and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Thomas scored 27 points in a victory over St. Bonaventure and 30 points in a loss to Michigan in his two NCAA Tournament games.
Cincinnati hires Miller
Cincinnati has hired UNC Greensboro Coach Wes Miller to replace the fired John Brannen. Miller, regarded as one of the top young coaches in college basketball, won 185 games in 10 seasons at UNC Greensboro. Over the last five years, the Spartans have five-consecutive 20-win seasons, two NCAA Tournament appearances, two NIT appearances and two Southern Conference tournament championships.