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Morning Rumble: Changes coming to NCAA in 2016, a pair of local recruits visit St. John's

Plus a former Big East rival forward headed down south, a St. John's softball NCAA Tournament update, and your video of the day, all coming up in The Morning Rumble.

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A happy Saturday morning to you, and welcome to the Morning Rumble! Today we have some notes on the recent proposed NCAA rule changes, some more news in St. John's recruiting, and some bold statements made by a likely top-five pick at the NBA Scouting Combine yesterday.

First, let's talk about those rule changes potentially coming to a college basketball arena near you. The NCAA men's rules committee proposed a series of changes to speed up games on Friday, including a reduction of the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds, and fewer second-half timeouts.

The 35 second shot clock has been in place in the NCAA since the 1993-94 season, however it has led to slower, lower-scoring games that have been criticized by some.

"There are concerns about how long it takes to play our games sometimes," said NCAA rules committee chairman Rick Byrd. "I think we've addressed all these areas as best we can."

As Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated notes, deeper down the proposals also included a call to remove the strange ban on dunking in pre-game warmups. The most "superficial" rule of the bunch, as Hamilton wrote, but still a very telling one.

Moving on to some more college basketball news, former Providence forward Tyler Harris will be transferring to Auburn for his final season of eligibility in 2015-16. Harris averaged just under 10 points and four rebounds for the Friars last season.

In other off-the-court news, Iowa State head coach Fred Hoidberg may have some big decisions to make over the next few months. After leading his team to a Big 12 Tournament championship in March, the 42-year-old Hoidberg should have a preseason top-five team to work with this year.

However with rumors swindling around Chicago that Tom Thibodeau may be out as the Bulls coach, ESPN's Marc Stein has reported that Hoidberg is the team's "top choice" for the position as a possible replacement.

Staying in the Big 12, the match ups for the third annual Big 12/SEC Challenge were announced earlier this week, with a showdown between Kentucky and Kansas on January 30 highlighting the event. Other notable games from the challenge include Vanderbilt traveling to Texas, Georgia taking on Baylor, and West Virginia facing Florida.

With day two of the NBA Draft Combine wrapping up yesterday, former Ohio State standout guard D'Angelo Russell made a bold statement on where he stands in next month's NBA Draft.

"I'm the best player in the draft," Russell told Knicks President Phil Jackson at the combine. Russell averaged just under 20 points and six rebounds per game for the Buckeyes last season, and was widely considered as one of the best players in the nation as a freshman.

Now finally moving on to the St. John's recruiting news that we just can't get enough of, two local prospects, Jordan Tucker and Shamorie Ponds each visited St. John's on Friday.

Ponds, a 2016 four-star guard from Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, and Tucker, a 2017 forward from White Plains, each add to the local recruiting push made by Chris Mullin and his staff since their arrival at St. John's.

Florida guard Eli Carter also narrowed his transfer list yesterday, with Boston College, Clemson, Georgetown, North Carolina State, St. John's, and a return to Florida all listed as possibilities, according to Carter's AAU coach.

And finally, there is no further news on Italian guard Federico Mussini's commitment at the moment, however it appears that St. John's is in a very good position to land the guard, as reported by J.P. Pelzman of The Record on Twitter earlier this week.

Moving to some news on the diamond, in their first ever NCAA Tournament game, the St. John's softball team fell 4-2 to 12th-ranked Arizona last night. The Red Storm now faces New Mexico State in an elimination game tonight at 6 P.M. in Tucson, Arizona.

To close things out, we have an eight-minute video of the day for you featuring some of the top dunks from this past college basketball season. Included in the video are Sir`Dominic Pointer's jam against Minnesota, and Rysheed Jordan's absolute posterization against Villanova.

And with that the Saturday edition of the Morning Rumble concludes. Enjoy your weekend, wherever you may be, and check back here at Rumble for the latest in St. John's news.