Clemson’s Brad Brownell would love to have high-flying K.J. McDaniels return for his senior season instead of leave for the NBA. But whether the Tigers junior comes back or not, Brownell is confident his team will keep moving forward after its turnaround this season.
The fourth-year coach hasn’t spoken with McDaniels this week and is unsure when the 6-foot-6 forward will decide on his future.
McDaniels, the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, was the only player in the NCAA to lead his team in points, rebounds, blocks, steals and 3-pointers, and his loss would be a lot to make up next fall.
“I’ve sat here every year and talked about how I’ve lost my two leading scorers from the year before,” Brownell said. “I’d like to not do that.”
Should McDaniels leave, that shouldn’t halt the improvements for Clemson, which went from 13 wins and the program’s first losing season in nine years in 2012-13 to a 23-13 overall mark, just its fourth 10-win ACC showing in history and run to the NIT semifinals.
Brownell figures to have most of the team back.
Junior Rod Hall, a former Laney standout, was a leader at point guard who averaged just shy of 10 points a game, second best to McDaniels’ 17.1 point average.
Damarcus Harrison, in his second year since transferring from Brigham Young, became a factor late in the season after an uneven start. Harrison scored in double figures in nine of Clemson’s last 12 games after going more than two months without scoring more than eight points in a game.
Freshman Jaron Blossomgame showed McDaniels-like explosiveness, but missed Clemson’s last three games after falling hard in an NIT-opening win over Georgia State and suffering a hairline fracture. Brownell expected Blossomgame to be ready to go in a week or two for off-season workouts.
MICHIGAN: Sophomore Nik Stauskas denied media reports he is headed to the NBA.
“Just wanted to reiterate that any reports about my future intenions are FALSE! I have NOT made ANY decisions on my future yet!,’’ he tweeted Thursday.
The 6-foot-6, 205-pound shooting guard averaged 17.5 points per game, shot 44 percent from 3-point range and 82 percent from the free throw line.
• Jon Horford is planning to transfer for his final season of basketball eligibility.
The 6-foot-10 junior averaged 3.8 points per game this season.
UNLV: Former coach Jerry Tarkanian has been admitted to a Las Vegas
hospital after relatives say he was feeling weak and having trouble breathing.
Tarkanian’s son, Danny Tarkanian, says his 83-year-old father was also struggling to keep his eyes open when he was taken to Valley Hospital on Wednesday night.
The elder Tarkanian remained sedated at the hospital Thursday morning while doctors tried to determine what was behind his ailments.
Missouri: Coach Frank Haith kicked Zach Price off the team Thursday, ending the forward's career with the Tigers before it began.
Price, a transfer from Louisville who wasn't eligible to play until next season, was arrested twice last week on four counts of suspicion of assault. Another Missouri player, Earnest Ross, filed a petition in Boone County Circuit Court on April 2 that sought a protection order against Price.
Haith suspended Price indefinitely after his arrest.
"Last week's situation was unacceptable and after a review, I have decided that Zach will no longer be a part of our program," Haith said in a statement. "The off-the-court incidents involving our program over the past few months will not be tolerated. Our program represents the entire university and needs to be an asset. That's my responsibility as our head coach at Mizzou and we'll get it fixed."
The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Wednesday that Price was arrested twice the day after Ross sought the protection order. In the arrest, Ross was accused of ramming his car into another vehicle and later having another encounter with the couple in the car. Police said he hit his male roommate in the face then pushed the woman to the ground.
The victims were not identified by police, but the restraining order request identifies Ross as the roommate and his girlfriend as the other victim.
Price, a 6-foot-10 junior, sat out last season after transferring from Louisville, where he was a member of the Cardinals' 2013 NCAA championship team. No charges have been filed in the case.
Ross, a senior, asked the court to keep Price at least 100 feet away and to not communicate with him. The petition claims Price "performed illegal traffic violations in order to harm me and my vehicle" and that he "followed me while I was going to police station. My girlfriend was also in the vehicle."
Missouri is coming off a disappointing season in which it failed to earn a trip to the NCAA tournament. In addition to losing Price, two of last season's top scorers, Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson, have announced they will enter the NBA draft.