LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky twin freshman guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison will return for a second season to a stocked Wildcats squad coming off an NCAA championship game appearance.
Both had been mentioned as possible NBA first-round draft picks after leading Kentucky’s remarkable march through the NCAA tournament. Aaron Harrison’s clutch 3-pointers that beat Michigan and Wisconsin and put the Wildcats in the final were set up on feeds from Andrew, the point guard.
However, the twins said in a statement through the school that were returning in pursuit of another shot at the title; Aaron Harrison said, “last year’s run was special, but we still have unfinished business.”
The Harrisons rejoin 7-foot centers Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson and forwards Marcus Lee and Alex Poythress in returning to the Wildcats.
DANIELS LEAVING FOR NBA, BOATRIGHT STAYS: In Storrs, Conn., national champion UConn is losing one junior star to the NBA draft, while another has announced he is staying with the Huskies.
The school announced Friday that forward DeAndre Daniels has filed the necessary paperwork with the NBA and will forgo his senior season of eligibility.
The school said guard Ryan Boatright will return next season.
Daniels said he discussed the decision with his family and they all agreed it was time to turn pro. “To go out on top like we did makes it even better,” the 6-foot-9 junior said in a statement.
Daniels averaged 13.1 points and 6.0 rebounds, but 16.0 points and 7.2 rebounds during the Huskies’ NCAA tournament run.
Boatright averaged 12.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
SCHOOL GRANTS RELEASE TO RECRUIT: In Knoxville, Tenn., Tennessee released 6-foot-8 forward Phil Cofer from the basketball letter of intent he signed in November.
Athletic department spokesman Tom Satkowiak said Friday that Cofer had been granted a release. Satkowiak said 6-8 forward CJ Turman also is expected to seek a release, though Tennessee hasn’t received a formal request from him yet. Guards Larry Austin Jr. and Jordan Cornish received releases Wednesday.
All four recruits signed with Tennessee when Cuonzo Martin was coaching the team. Martin left for California on April 15 and was replaced Tuesday by Donnie Tyndall.
Tyndall had said Thursday he believed Cofer and Turman were leaning toward requesting releases.
Cofer, the son of former Tennessee football player Mike Cofer, now restarts his recruiting process and could go to Tennessee or another school.
CHARGES FILED AGAINST EX-PLAYER: In Columbia, Mo., a former Missouri basketball player who was recently kicked off the team after he was accused of ramming a teammate’s car has been charged with first-degree tampering.
Boone County prosecutors told the Columbia Daily Tribune the felony charge against Zach Price stems from two incidents with teammate Earnest Ross in early April. Ross had sought a restraining order against Price, a 6-foot-10 Louisville transfer who was accused of hitting Ross in the face and then pushing a woman to the ground.
Price was initially suspended indefinitely by Missouri coach Frank Haith, who has since left for Tulsa.
Haith dismissed Price one week later, ending his Missouri basketball career before he played in a game.
Assistant prosecutor Jessica Meredith said Price could face additional charges.
MCGARY TESTS POSITIVE FOR MARIJUANA, HEADS TO NBA: In Ann Arbor, Mich., Michigan sophomore Mitch McGary said he tested positive for marijuana during the NCAA tournament and plans to forgo his final two years of college eligibility.
Coach John Beilein announced McGary’s decision Friday, saying the 6-foot-10 forward would enter the NBA draft.
McGary said in a statement issued by the school he made a “poor decision” and was notified of the marijuana test result after the Final Four.
He said he regrets disappointing family, coaches and the administration, but all have been “understanding and helpful.”
McGary turned down a chance to enter the draft last year as a likely first-round pick and ended up having back surgery last season, putting his standing as an NBA prospect in doubt.
Beilein says McGary “injected an enthusiasm that cannot be matched.”
DAN D’ANTONI READY FOR COLLEGE TEST: New Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni is scoffing at naysayers who note his lack of college experience and question whether a 66-year-old can relate to young basketball players.
D’Antoni was introduced Friday in Huntington, a day after athletic director Mike Hamrick announced his hiring.
D’Antoni spent 30 years as a high school coach in South Carolina before serving nine years as an NBA assistant, including the last two with the Los Angeles Lakers.
His younger brother, Mike, is the Lakers’ coach.
Dan D’Antoni pointed to his time mentoring some of the Lakers’ younger talent and said basketball speaks a universal language.
Hamrick said he was convinced of D’Antoni’s coaching abilities after going to Los Angeles for four days to attend Lakers’ games, practices and meetings.
FERRELL, ROBINSON FACE UNDERAGE DRINKING CHARGES: In Bloomington, Ind., authorities said Indiana basketball players Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell and Stanford Robinson have been arrested on preliminary charges of underage drinking.
Indiana State Excise Police say the 20-year-old Ferrell and 18-year-old Robinson were arrested about 1 a.m. Friday when they allegedly tried to enter a bar in Bloomington using false IDs. Excise police enforce the state’s alcohol laws.
Both were arrested on preliminary charges of underage drinking and possession of a false identification.
Police said Ferrell and Robinson were issued summons and released. Both men face Sunday appearances in Monroe County Court.