Three Things — April 9: Alex O’Connell commits, Bryce Aiken nearing decision, good news for Jalen Coleman-Lands

Eli Boettger | @boettger_eli | 04/09/20

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Welcome back to Three Things!

The intention of Three Things is simple: Keeping you informed. The offseason can be a busy time and college basketball isn’t always on everyone’s radars from April to October.

Here’s how it will work: Every morning, Monday through Friday, we will provide you with three things that you need to know from the previous day. Pretty simple, right? You’ll be amazed by your new college basketball wisdom!

Here are the three things you need to know for April 9.

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Alex O’Connell commits

Three years was enough for former Duke guard Alex O’Connell, who picked a new school on Wednesday. The 6-6 guard will play his final season of college basketball for Greg McDermott and Creighton. Due to NCAA transfer rules, O’Connell will sit out the 2020-21 season and compete in ’21-22.

Creighton could enter this fall as a preseason top-5 team, but is expected to lose several key contributors this time next year. As a result, O’Connell should see a heavy bump in playing time after logging just over 12 minutes a night in 101 appearances with the Blue Devils. O’Connell, a former top-70 recruit, brings perimeter shooting and athleticism while McDermott will hope to bump up his defensive intensity during the sit-out year.

Bryce Aiken nearing decision

Four teams remain in contention for Harvard transfer guard Bryce Aiken. The 2018-19 Ivy League player of the year will decide between Iowa State, Maryland, Michigan and Seton Hall on Thursday in one of the biggest announcements of spring’s transfer market.

Though Aiken has missed more games than he’s played the previous three years, the 6-foot scorer is a force when he’s on the court. Over 65 career games, Aiken has tallied 16.8 points an outing while pocketing 139 triples. Seton Hall was Aiken’s runner-up out of high school, with its campus located about 30 minutes away from Aiken’s hometown of Randolph, N.J. Will the impact transfer return home or head elsewhere?

Good news for Jalen Coleman-Lands

Jalen Coleman-Lands will have one final season in a DePaul uniform. The Indianapolis native was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA on Wednesday, extending the career of the former Illinois guard who started 32 times and averaged 11.1 points per game this past season.

Coleman-Lands spent his first two seasons with the Illini before transferring to DePaul and sitting out the ’17-18 season due to transfer rules. Because Coleman-Lands suffered a broken hand during the ’18-19 campaign and missed more than 70 percent of the season, he was eligible for a medical hardship waiver. At No. 38, Coleman-Lands ranked higher than current pros Marquese Chriss, Jamal Murray, Shake Milton and Mo Wagner in the 2015 recruiting class. He will again team up with Charlie Moore in the Blue Demons backcourt in hopes of sending the program back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.


Eli Boettger is a college basketball writer and founder of HeatCheckCBB.com. He has previously worked for Sporting News, DAZN and USA TODAY SMG.

Boettger’s content has been featured by Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, FiveThirtyEight, Yahoo Sports, Athletic Director University, Washington Post, Illinois Law Review and Notre Dame Law Review, among other publications. Boettger is also a current USBWA member and Rockin’ 25 voter.