News from the Tennessee Valley Sports
FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2007



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Rob Evans, a former head coach at Mississippi and Arizona State, has joined the Arkansas basketball staff as an assistant to John Pelphrey, hired this month from South Alabama.

Evans, with 38 years of college experience, was fired from Arizona State last year after an 11-17 season. The 60-year-old coach had a 119-120 record while coaching the Sun Devils from 1999-2006. His final team led the Pac 10 in three-point shooting (.378) and lost four games by four points or less, with another loss in overtime.


AUBURN — Auburn coach Jeff Lebo finally landed a big man, announcing Thursday that 7-foot-1 center Boubacar Sylla has signed to play for the Tigers.

Sylla, a native of Paris, France, played the last two seasons at Stoneridge Prep in California but didn't put up big numbers. A former soccer goalie, he averaged 2.4 points and 2.8 rebounds last season.

"We think Boubacar has a tremendous body, and he has been playing basketball for a long time," Lebo said. "He has great size and terrific hands. He has a ways to go to get polished, but he is big and physical. At 7 feet, 275 pounds, he has a frame, but he will have an adjustment to make in college.

"He'll be a better college player than in prep school because of the game and will be able to bang a little bit. He is a good passer and can shoot a 15-foot jumper."

Sylla, who speaks three languages, was also recruited by Southern California, LSU, St. John's, Baylor and San Diego State. Five of his Stoneridge teammates signed college scholarships for next season. Auburn signed Tyrell Lynch, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward from Niagara Falls, N.Y., in November.


CHENEY, Wash. — Theo Davis, suspended from the Gonzaga basketball team after he was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession, agreed Thursday to community service and life skills classes in a deal that could erase the charge.

Davis was arrested Feb. 9 in Cheney with Gonzaga forward Josh Heytvelt. Police said they found a partially burned marijuana cigarette in Davis's pocket. Heytvelt recently received a diverted sentence after hallucinogenic mushrooms were found in his car.

Davis appeared in Cheney Municipal Court, where he agreed to do 10 hours of community service and take life skills classes. The court issued a continuance until May 2008, meaning the case will be dismissed if Davis isn't arrested on similar violations by then.


LAFAYETTE, La. — Louisiana-Lafayette was placed on probation for two years and will lose two basketball scholarships under NCAA sanctions announced Thursday, stemming from a basketball player's correspondence course and the football program's mandatory summer workouts.

The head of the NCAA's Division I Infractions Committee said the panel did not find the violations to be intentional. Instead, school officials "failed to catch the obvious error" regarding the correspondence courses and the football staff failed to recognize that its "voluntary program" for football conditioning had gone beyond NCAA limits.

As a result of the violations, Louisiana-Lafayette will forfeit 90 percent of the first year's money it got from the Sun Belt Conference for playing in the NCAA basketball tournaments in 2004 and 2005 and will forfeit two scholarships — either both in one year or one in each of two years.


RENO, Nev. — Nevada junior guards Marcelus Kemp and Ramon Sessions will enter the NBA draft in June, but without agents so they'll retain the option of returning to school next fall, coach Mark Fox said Thursday.

Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State freshman Greg Oden will make himself available for the NBA draft Friday, a family friend said Thursday night.

"There will be a release in the morning from Ohio State. Greg Oden will be hiring an agent," said Al Powell, who has been a party to meetings between Oden and two other Buckeyes freshmen stars considering the draft.

- The Associated Press

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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