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Big 12 News and Notes: UCF Lands Wave of Commitments, NBA Draft Combine Begins This Week and More



The NCAA Transfer Portal window closed for entries on Thursday night. Players are still able to enter but will need a waiver to play next season. Let’s take a look around the Big 12 Conference this week with the latest news and notes.

UCF Lands Three Commitments This Week

Central Florida will make their Big 12 debut this season, joining BYU, Cincinnati and Houston as the new four schools. UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins did not land a single transfer commitment until this week, landing three at one time.

UCF brings in Shemarri Allen (G – Kansas City), Omar Payne (G – Jacksonville), Jaykwon Walton (F – Wichita State), who all committed. Allen (6-foot-4) is an All-Summit Second Team recipient, averaging 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds during his senior season at Kansas City. Payne (6-foot-10) has been a journeyman during his collegiate career, playing at Florida, Illinois and Jacksonville. Payne averaged 4.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks this past season. Walton (6-foot-7) was originally committed to Alabama before being found with marijuana and a gun in his car. Walton was dismissed and re-opened his recruitment and committed to UCF this week. Walton averaged 13.9 points on 54 percent shooting from the field. Walton shot 40 percent from three on 3.8 attempts per game.

Take a look at how the rest of the Big 12 is doing in the transfer portal.

NBA Draft Combine Begins

The NBA Draft Combine begins this week in Chicago, starting on Tuesday and lasting until Thursday. Let’s take a look at which players around the conference are participating in the draft. Players have until May 31 to withdraw their names from the draft to maintain their NCAA eligibility.

Gradey Dick, Kansas

Adam Flagler, Baylor

Keyonte George, Baylor

Taylor Hendrick, UCF

Keyontae Johnson, Kansas State

Kevin McCullar, Kansas

Mike Miles Jr., TCU

Dillon Mitchell, Texas

Marcus Sasser, Houston

Jarace Walker, Houston

Jalen Wilson, Kansas

Here are the players that participated in the NBA G-League Combine.

Jalen Bridges, Baylor

Emmanuel Miller, TCU

Landers Nolley II, Cincinnati

Markquis Nowell, Kansas State

Sir’Jabari Rice, Texas

Former Big 12 DPOY Commits to Ole Miss

On Sunday afternoon, Oklahoma State transfer Moussa Cisse announced that he is transferring to Ole Miss. Cisse won the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year award during the 2021-22 season.

Cisse (6-foot-10) averaged 6.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks during his junior year. Cisse started out his collegiate career at Memphis, coming in as a 5-star prospect and top 10 in his class. The NCAA released a modification to the transfer portal in March stating that transfers have to sit out a year if they transfer multiple times. If the NCAA keeps their word, Cisse would have to sit out for the 2023-24 season if he doesn’t have a valid reason.

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