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Mid-Day Rumble: St. John's to have eight prospects visit for Tip-Off, Tom Izzo calls Maryland "the cream of the crop"

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Today in the Mid-Day Rumble, Shamorie Ponds and others will visit St. John's Friday night, Michigan fans vandalize the Magic Johnson statue and Ben Simmons has created a strong buzz around LSU basketball.

Adam Zagoria of SNY put together a great overview of the recruits who will visit programs for Late Night Madness this weekend. St. John's will host commit Shamorie Ponds along Sports U players Luther Muhammad, Atiba Taylor, Jahvon Quinerly, Louis King and Naz Reid. Roselle Catholic's Andre Rafus and Delaware guard Myles Cale will also be in attendance.

Kentucky is expected to have a host of talented prospects with Harry Giles, De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Sacha Killeya-Jones headlining the crew.

The Providence Friars will welcome Sedee Keita and Chuba Ohams (Saturday).

Michigan fans have taken their rivalry with Michigan State to a whole new level by spray painting (or should we say vandalizing) the Magic Johnson statue in East Lansing. The Wolverine fans also decided to vandalize other parts of the campus, which is just unnecessary.

If your curious about the hype surrounding Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers, take a peek at this recent article from the Associated Press. Simmons is not only going to be a major boost in revenue for the school but he is actually attracting women's high school basketball recruits because they know he will be on campus when they take an official visit. Unbelievable.

Tom Izzo called Maryland the "cream of the crop" for the Big Ten as the Terps are expected to be one of the top five teams in the country this year. With Melo Trimble, Diamond Stone, Jake Layman and Rasheed Sulaimon in College Park, the Spartans will have to battle with Mark Turgeon's squad if they want to have a chance to be on top of the conference in March. The good news is they have Denzel Valentine and plenty of experience on their side.

Friars point guard Kris Dunn is a very driven, motivated and success young student-athlete who gets it and will have the chance of a lifetime at the end of the season. Sure, Dunn could have left Providence at the end of last season but he decided he wanted to be a role model for his two sisters. He chose to return and land his degree but his life has not always been easy. He's had to deal with multiple obstacles and Jeff Goodman wrote a fantastic article on ESPN.com about the journey.

It's a little surprising that Arizona has been selected to defend their PAC-12 title in the Coaches Preseason Poll as Sean Miller lost four starters from last year's team. Don't be surprised if California or Utah takes the top spot in the conference.