Even though the 2020-21 college basketball season is assuredly going to look very different than typical seasons due to a resurgence of the coronavirus, both Arizona State and Michigan received some good news over the weekend. Alonzo Verge Jr. and Isaiah Livers declared that they would both be returning to their respective schools for their senior seasons.
Verge, a former junior college superstar, was the Pac-12’s sixth man of the year after averaging 14.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists for the Sun Devils last season. He was easily one of biggest surprises in the nation, scoring 20 points or more in six games off of the bench in 2019-20, including a 43-point explosion against the St. Mary’s Gaels on a neutral court game a week before Christmas.
Bobby Hurley and the Sun Devils now await the decision of Verge’s backcourt mate Remy Martin who is also testing the NBA Draft’s waters.
Livers returning to Michigan is a welcome bit of good news for Juwan Howard and the Wolverines. The 6’7″ forward averaged just a shade under 13 points per game, along with four rebounds during the 2019-20 season.
This offseason has been a tough one for Howard after losing high profile recruits Isaiah Todd and Josh Christopher to the NBA’s G-League.
Livers will combine with sophomore Franz Wagner to form one of the best wing duos in the Big Ten and give incoming freshman Zeb Jackson another weapon to utilize as he replaces Wolverine stalwart Zavier Simpson who graduated following last season. If Wake Forest transfer Chaundee Brown receives a waiver to play immediately, Michigan would be one of the best teams in the Big Ten.
Ben Stanley Yet to Choose a School
Ben Stanley, one of the best scorers in college basketball last season, is still trying to decide on where he wants to play during the 2020-21 season. Stanley, a 6’6″ wing, averaged 22 points and seven rebounds last season playing for the Hampton Pirates. The redshirt junior trimmed his list to six teams roughly a week ago, announcing he would decide between Dayton, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Xavier, or simply returning to Hampton.
Each school that was named would obviously be thrilled to make this addition to their roster, as Ben would be an immediate impact player similar to Carlik Jones, who transferred from Radford to Louisville earlier this season.
The Dayton Flyers are looking to replace the productivity of Obi Toppen, while Maryland is moving on from the Anthony Cowan era and is seeking depth. The addition of Stanley would be huge for Brad Underwood and the Illinois Fighting Illini as his addition would make Illinois one of the best teams in the entire nation, assuming Kofi Cockburn joins Ayo Dosunmu in returning to college for another season.
Stanley’s departure is a shot to the HBCU’s as they were seemingly gaining momentum following Makur Makur’s commitment to Howard in recent weeks.
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