Three Things — May 7: Kentucky gets huge pickup, Ray Salnave narrows list, ETSU names new coach

Eli Boettger | @boettger_eli | 05/07/20

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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 May 7.

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Kentucky gets huge pickup

At long last, John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats have secured the big man that they desperately needed. Former Wake Forest forward Olivier Sarr announced on social media Wednesday that he has committed to Kentucky.

Sarr is a 7-footer who averaged 13.7 points and nine rebounds per game this past season. Kentucky had previously missed on several frontcourt transfer targets, including Matt Haarms and Marcus Santos-Silva.

Ray Salnave narrows list

The race is on for former Monmouth guard Ray Salnave. Just three teams remain in contention for Salnave: DePaul, St. John’s and Loyola Marymount.

Salnave is a New Jersey native who averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game this past season, going 36.4 percent from deep and 84.7 percent at the line. According to 24/7Sports, Salnave was listed as a three-star recruit out of high school, picking Monmouth over St. John’s, Seton Hall, Rutgers, DePaul and others.

ETSU names new coach

East Tennessee State moved quickly after Steve Forbes left for Wake Forest, gathering a healthy roundup of candidates to push the Buccaneer program forward. One of the candidates, New Mexico State’s Chris Jans, announced that he is returning to Las Cruces and won’t move forward with the ETSU vacancy.

Not long after, ETSU tabbed Jason Shay the new head coach, promoting him from his previous role as an assistant under Forbes. “I understand the expectations and standards that have been built for the men’s basketball program and guarantee I am going to give my very best every day,” Shay said. Prior to ETSU, Shay spent time as an assistant at North Dakota, Tennessee and Milwaukee as well as the junior-college level.


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.