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Oregon Gives Dana Altman Seven-Year Extension

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After leading the Oregon men’s basketball team to an unprecedented six consecutive 20-win seasons and four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, University of Oregon head coach Dana Altman has been rewarded with a new seven-year contract totaling $18.45 million that will extend him through the 2022-23 season.

Source: The University of Oregon Official Athletics

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Report: Michael Porter Jr. Could Return Before End of NCAA Season

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If doctors clear Michael Porter Jr. to return before the end of this season, the highly touted Missouri freshman says he intends to play.

Porter told reporters in Columbia on Friday that he is not worried about damaging his NBA draft stock by either showing rust or aggravating his back injury. The future lottery pick’s only concern is whether he can help Missouri return to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years.

“If I could play today, I would play today,” Porter said. “I’m not worried about reinjury. I’m not really worried about the risk. What I’m worried about is if it’s good for our team if I come back. If it’s tournament time and they said I’m ready to go, is that the best thing for our team? We’re doing really well right now, and I think people lose sight of that.”

Porter Jr. has not played for Missouri since the opening two minutes of its season opener against Iowa State on Nov. 10. He underwent back surgery to repair damage to the L3-L4 spinal discs, a procedure that has a projected recovery time of 3 to 4 months.

Source: Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports

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Zion Williamson Commits to Duke University

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Five-star recruit Zion Williamson, the No. 2 player in the ESPN 100, announced Saturday he will attend Duke.

Williamson, who hails from Spartanburg, South Carolina, also had the in-state Gamecocks and Clemson among his top choices.

“Duke stood out because the brotherhood represents a family,” Williamson said. “Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) is just the most legendary coach that ever coached college basketball. I feel like going to Duke University, I can learn a lot from him.”

Duke now has commitments from the three top-rated players in the ESPN 100, with No. 1 R.J. Barrett and No. 3 Cam Reddish joining Williamson in Durham. The Blue Devils also have a commitment from No. 10 Tre Jones.

Source: Jeff Borzello of ESPN

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LaVar Ball Plans to Start Basketball League for High School Graduates

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LaVar Ball said Wednesday that he is launching a basketball league for nationally ranked players who have graduated from high school but don’t want to go to college.

Ball said his Junior Basketball Association — which he said is fully funded by his Big Baller Brand — plans to pay the lowest-ranked player a salary of $3,000 a month and the best player $10,000 a month. Ball is looking for 80 players to fill 10 teams that will seek to play at NBA arenas in Los Angeles, Dallas, Brooklyn and Atlanta.

“Getting these players is going to be easy,” Ball told ESPN. “This is giving guys a chance to get a jump start on their career, to be seen by pro scouts; and we’re going to pay them, because someone has to pay these kids.”

Ball said the rules of his league will follow those of the NBA instead of college — 12-minute quarters and a pro 3-point line.

Ball said he was partly motivated by the comments made earlier in the month by NCAA president Mark Emmert, who was asked at a SportsBusiness Journal conference whether Ball was good or bad for the college game.

Source: Darren Rovell of ESPN

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