University of Kentucky (UK) has secured the commitment of Croatian prospect Zvonimir Ivisic, giving the Wildcats frontcourt depth for the 2023-24 NCAA Basketball season. The 7-foot-2, 220-pound Ivisic confirmed the development on social media, saying that he has accepted the scholarship offered by Kentucky coach John Calipari and assured that he will suit up for the team next season. Ivisic’s commitment with the Wildcats will resolve the team’s frontcourt issues, as it has been previously reported that some of its big men suffered injuries during the offseason. The move, plus the subsequent transfer of Tre Mitchell from West Virginia, has worked wonders for Kentucky as it allowed them to rise eight spots in the most recent Top 25 (And 1) offseason rankings which is the basis of most NCAA basketball betting aficionados in picking their choices for every game.
Zvonimir Ivisic: Lofty Expectations
Zvonimir Ivisic burst into the scene in the FIBA Under-20 competition this summer. He produced excellent numbers for the Croatian national team in the FIBA Under-20 European Championship this summer. The Vitez-born cager averaged 11.4 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Croatian team that finished 14th out of the 16 nations that participated in the tournament. Ivisic shot 74.1% from the 2-point range and 34.4% from 3-pointers in seven games that he played in the FIBA U-20 Euros. Getting Ivisic’s commitment to play with the Wildcats gives Calipari a sigh of relief as the team is dealing with injuries to its big men during the offseason. Five-star Aaron Bradshaw and second-year breakout candidate Ugonna Onyenso sustained lower body injuries that required immediate medical procedure. The injuries of Bradshaw and Onyenso forced the Wildcats to add Mitchell and Zvonimir Ivisic to the squad.
Collegiate basketball expert Gary Parrish appreciated Kentucky Wildcat‘s moves and placed them in 17th spot in his latest Top 25 (And 1) rankings. Kentucky now hopes the acquisition of Zvonimir Ivisic and Mitchell and the subsequent returns of Bradshaw and Onyenso would improve the team’s frontcourt depth. The team also hopes that the big men would complement with the guard-heavy squad led by five-star recruits Justin Edwards and DJ Wagner.
Syracuse Gives 4-star Combo Guard a Closer Look
Syracuse is reportedly giving four-star combo guard Derek Dixon a closer look with reports saying that the Orange wants him to visit the school soon. Dixon, a 6-foot-4 Top-100 national prospect in the 2025 class, has been offered a scholarship offer in June. Later on, the Syracuse coaching staff have indicated their interest to take a look of Dixon’s talents, inviting him to visit the school. Dixon, who is currently enrolled as a junior at the Gonzaga College High School, said other schools that have expressed interest to recruit him are Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Providence and Virginia. Dixon is a standout for Team Takeover in the EYBL league. He averaged 16.5 points, four rebounds, 2.3 assists at Peach Jam. He shot 39.6% from the field, 34.6% from the three-point area and 83.3% from the free-throw line.
If he picks to play for the Orange, Dixon will have familiar company with Orange head coach Adrian Atury and assistant coach Brenden Straughn were previously part of Team Takeover coaching staff. It was Straughn himself who offered the scholarship to Dixon in mid-June. Another Team Takeover player Donnie Freeman has committed to Syracuse in May. The 6-foot-9 four-star power forward is set to play in 2024. Freeman was a key part of Team Takeover 17U program that snared the Peach Jam title last month.
Austin Williams commits to Rutgers
Rutgers will have a talented guard for the NCAAB 2023-24 season as the team secured the commitment of 6-foot-4 guard Austin Williams. The development will give the Scarlet Knights serious depth on its backcourt as Williams is regarded as a brilliant scorer, very good rebounder and a solid defender. The 200-pound Roseland, New Jersey native, looks to prove that he has fully recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him for one season at Florida International University. Before suffering that season-ending injury, Williams was a solid contributor at Hartford where he averaged 16.1 points and 3.4 assists in 2021-22. He shot 50% from the floor.
Williams will be key in Rutgers’ campaign next season as he has a knack to be clutch in crucial moments of the game. One of the most noteworthy games that the guard showed what he is capable of was when Hartford played against Vermont. He waxed hot with 34 points on 13 of 21 shooting and led his team to a 75-74 win over the regular season conference champions. He also scored 24 against 2021-22 tournament champions University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Before the injury, Williams played long minutes with Hartford, averaging 32.8 minutes per game in 27 outings as a senior. A year earlier, he played 24 games and averaged 32.0 minutes per clash.
It is possible that the guard will play lesser minutes under the Scarlet Knights uniform due to its crowded backcourt. However, it may benefit Williams down the stretch as he will be fresh in the latter part of Big Ten Conference play and possibly the NCAA Tournament. The senior will divide time with Derek Simpson, Jeremiah Williams and Noah Fernandes at the backcourt. Last season, Rutgers went 19-15 and the addition of Austin Williams for the 2023-24 cagefest is expected to boost the Scarlet Knights’ status in the sites that offer the best NCAA hoops parlays for the betting public to enjoy.