Some major ACC player decisions Monday as Isaiah Wong declared for the NBA, El Ellis is off to Arkansas, NC State picked up DJ Horne from Arizona State, and Chance Westry from Auburn has chosen Syracuse. Ven-Allen Lubin has opted out at Notre Dame and Pitt picked up Ishmael Leggett from Rhode Island.
A native of Raleigh, Horne attended Cary High. He started at Illinois State before heading out West to play for Bobby Hurley.
Now he’s back in the Triangle.
Isaiah Wong’s departure for the league is no big surprise. He’s presumably about to graduate, or should be close to it. More to the point, he’s 22 and probably ready to get on with his professional life. He’s likely a second-round pick, and that means that you probably have to find the right team and spot to stick.
But if not, he could play for a very long time overseas and make a very good living.
For his part, Ellis has moved now from Tallahassee Community College to Louisville and now on to Arkansas.
He was Louisville’s best player and normally, losing your best player is a big deal. Well, not so much when you finish 4-28 and it’s entirely possible that Kenny Payne didn't want him back. Consider what Ellis said when he decided to audition for the NBA: “I just don’t feel comfortable going to another school. I feel like Louisville is the place for me. Even through everything that’s been going on - the coaching change, the records, everything like that - I feel like if I’m going to come back and go to college again, I’m going to come back to Louisville because I didn’t finish the way I wanted to. I want to leave as a winner, a that’s something I didn’t get to do. If college is going to be the next option for me, then I’m coming back to Louisville.”
So much for that, whatever the reason. Supporting the idea that this was Payne’s decision is what the coach said about his frustrations this year: “If you don’t deserve to be in that jersey, as much as I love you, I can’t have you in that jersey.” And this: Payne wants “guys who understand fighting and playing together and mental toughness.”
Either way, the Cards should be vastly improved. They’re bringing in Skyy Clark as a transfer and he’s competent at a minimum, but also Mike James is back, as are JJ Traynor, Emmanuel Okorafor and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield.
The Cards will also have JUCO transfer Koron Davis, who is pretty good, and freshmen Trentyn Flowers, who is highly promising and forwards Kaleb Glenn and Curtis Williams.
And also big man Dennis Evans, who could be something special. And he still has space left on his roster.
We missed this one, but Claudell Harris will move from Charleston Southern to Boston College. The team wasn’t very good but he averaged 17.4 ppg for the Bucs.
One last note: NC State’s Jack Clark is expected to announce his transfer destination Tuesday at noon.
Okay, one more last note and it’s a bit different. Atlanta Hawks coach Quin Snyder played at Duke when Mike Brey was a Mike Krzyzewski assistant. Now he’s about to be a Quin Snyder assistant.
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- Isaiah Wong leaving Miami for NBA Draft as one of school’s most-accomplished players
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- Louisville transfer El Ellis committing to Arkansas
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