Today in the Mid-Day Rumble, Austin Nichols is allowed to transfer, Jayson Tatum is set to make a decision soon, and the US Pan American Men's Basketball team roster was cut to 16 players.
First up, Memphis granted forward Austin Nichols his release to transfer to any program besides schools in the AAC, Tennessee and any teams on the Tigers non-conference schedule in 2015-16 and 2016-17. It's truly disappointing for a program that was expected to head back to the NCAA Tournament and it's especially disappointing for a coach, Josh Pastner, that has lost a majority of his dominate 2013 recruiting class (is he on the hot seat?).
The 6'9" Tennessee native, Nichols, averaged 13.3 points per game and 6.1 rebounds last season and is a former top 25 recruit, who had the option of attending Duke or Virginia, in addition to some other high quality programs.
2016 5-star small forward Jayson Tatum is ranked second overall on ESPN's top 100 list and he is set to make his decision at some point in the next two weeks. Tatum's list consists of Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and St. Louis, but there is a general conscious that he is down to his home town school, St. Louis, and John Calipari's squad, Kentucky.
Tatum is a high IQ player who was a consistent, key member of Team USA's U19 World Championships squad. They won the gold medal this past Sunday against Croatia.
Things could get even better for the four schools involved with Tatum. The recruit is talking about teaming up with another top player in the 2016 class, Harry Giles. Watch out!
The 2015 US Pan American Men's Basketball team has cut it's roster down to 16 members and the official 12 man roster is expected to be unveiled on July 12. Some notable members of the team include Fred Van Vleet (Wichita State), Malcolm Brogden (Virginia), Kellen Dunham (Butler), Ron Baker (Wichita State), Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin) and Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), amongst others.
Another notable young, immensely talented player in the class of 2016 is Josh Jackson. Jackson has offers from Arizona, Duke, Louisville, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, UNLV, and UCLA, but he didn't show anything positive in an Under Armour All-American showcase game on Wednesday.
Jackson was ejected after an argument with the ref and made some interesting remarks while walking off the court, "ain't nobody going to talk to me like that." I watched Jackson play in an Under Armour AAU tournament last month in the Bronx and his attitude towards the officials wasn't the best. Maybe it's a couple of outside incidents, but this certainly can't happen on the college level.