It has been announced that Purdue guard B.J. Carretta will be leaving the basketball team at the end of this season. Carretta played sparingly this year after redshirting last year, coming to Purdue as an invited walk-on. He and fellow walk-on Chad Kerkhof were awarded two unused scholarships this past season as a reward for their hard work. The two scholarships given to Carretta and Kerkhof will go back to Jamaal Davis and Cameron Stephens, who sat out last season due to academic ineligibility. Carretta has decided to concentrate on his studies and not be a part of the team next year as a walk-on. His decision to leave the team does not affect the scholarship situation.
It seems to be almost a done deal that sophomore Oregon State guard John-Blair Bickerstaff will transfer to Minnesota. This past season he started in 24 of 28 games, averaging 30 minutes, 8.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals. Bickerstaff will sit out the coming 98-99 season and join the Gophers in 99-00. Bickerstaff is transferring for "personal reasons", and two other Oregon State players have also announced they will be transferring in search of more playing time. Bickerstaff was a former Colorado Player of the Year, and son of Washington Wizards coach Bernie Bickerstaff.
Ohio State will see a Columbus native return home and play for the Buckeyes next season. Logan Junior College (IL) sophomore George Reese signed a letter of intent to play for the Buckeyes after a stellar junior college career that ended this season with a Junior College All-American second team nomination. The 6'7, 220-pound forward averaged 20.2 points and 11.6 rebounds this past season. Reese was a 1995 graduate of Columbus Independence High, and bounced around from school to school before landing at Logan College. Regardless of enrolling at three colleges since high school, he will have two years of eligibility remaining at Ohio State.
Purdue fans may recognize the name of Weber State University from their games against the Boilers in 1992, twice in 1993, and in 1995. But two high school players from the Region will be calling Weber State "home" for the next four years. Weber State received letters of intent from 6'3 Hammond High guard Jermaine Boyette and 6'5 East Chicago Central forward Chris Woods. Boyette is a scorer at the two-guard and quick on defense, averaging 23.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.9 steals as a senior. Gary West High's Kenny Lowe claims Boyette has "the quickest hands in the Region." East Chicago's Chris Woods is also a good scorer, plus adds some intensity on the inside. Woods averaged 15.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a senior for the #3 Cardinals.
Illinois has won the Robert Archibald sweepstakes. The 6'10 center will join the Illini this fall after accepting a scholarship offer during his visit this past weekend.
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