University of Kansas

KU grad transfer target Joe Cremo lists five schools; Nova visit starts Wednesday

Albany guard Joe Cremo (24) attempts to drive past Louisville forward Deng Adel (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville won 70-68.
Albany guard Joe Cremo (24) attempts to drive past Louisville forward Deng Adel (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville won 70-68. AP

Joe Cremo, the most-sought after graduate transfer in college basketball this postseason, has a final recruiting list of “Creighton, Texas, Villanova, Kansas and Gonzaga in no order,” the 6-foot-4, 185-pound junior from University at Albany told The Star on Tuesday night in a text message.

A combo guard who hails from upstate New York, Cremo, who has already visited Texas and Creighton, will travel to Villanova on Wednesday for an official visit then head to KU on Friday.

“I’m visiting Kansas this weekend,” Cremo said, when asked by The Star if he’d visit KU and Gonzaga for sure.

Cremo — he averaged 17.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game and shot 46 percent overall and 46 percent from three in earning first-team All-America East Conference honors in 2017-18 — earlier Tuesday told Jayhawkslant.com he had definite interest in KU.

“I hope that Kansas fans are excited about my visit because I’m excited,” Cremo told the website. “I’m still getting to know about Kansas, but I talked to coach (Bill) Self and he told me that I’m the type of player they need at Kansas and he thinks I can come in and help next season. I’m really looking forward to my visit to Kansas this weekend.”

Cremo clarified the situation regarding Duke in his text conversation with The Star.

The sharpshooter (he hit 76 of 166 threes last season) who earlier in the recruiting process heard from Penn State, Arizona, Ohio State, Wichita State, Cincinnati, Louisville, Marquette, Seton Hall, SMU, UConn, West Virginia and Texas Tech, hasn’t been actively pursued by the Blue Devils.

“Duke hit me up like three weeks ago one time, then they didn’t for a couple weeks, then their assistant called the other day. But they haven’t been contacting me,” Cremo told The Star.

He’s finding his current recruitment rather exciting. Remember, the Scotia, N.Y., native committed to Albany his junior year of high school, never taking an official campus visit. He did not play AAU basketball.

“It’s been a little overwhelming and a little crazy just because a lot of it is new to me,” Cremo told 247Sports.com. “I’m just trying to figure out the best place that fits me. For me, I know nothing is guaranteed but just the chance of having a big role on a team that is going to compete in the NCAA Tournament and then hopefully set myself for a chance to play after.”

Cremo averaged 15.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists as a sophomore at Albany. As a freshman he averaged 10.5 points and was named the league’s rookie of the year and sixth man of the year. He’s a career 42 percent three-point shooter and career 85 percent free thrower.

“I’m just somebody that’s going to make plays for others and be able to score,” Cremo told 247sports.com. “At the end of the day I’m going to make it tough on whoever is in front of me, just be able to compete as hard as I can, try to just outwork everyone,” he added.

Cremo scored 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting (3 of 4 threes) with five rebounds and three assists against one turnover while playing 39 minutes of a 70-69 loss to Louisville on Dec. 20. He scored 16 points on 5-of-14 shooting (2 of 5 threes) with five rebounds and three assists against three turnovers in a 67-58 loss to Memphis on Dec. 12. He had a season-high 30 points on Nov. 25 at Holy Cross.

“He plays with emotion, is a high-character kid. He can do a little bit of everything on the court. I think he has that toughness,” ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman told 1045theteam.com. “Right now if you are Cremo your head is spinning. A lot of these coaches, the only time they’ve seen you play is on tape. He doesn’t know individual situations, who has guys coming in, who is leaving. It can be a daunting task to figure this out. I hope he figures the right place, the right fit, gets a role and some minutes.”

Cremo averaged 35.2 minutes a game this past season for the (22-10) Great Danes.

“It’s nothing personal. It’s about what’s best for me,” Cremo told dailygazette.com after announcing his decision to leave Albany. “Coach (Will) Brown loves me as a player and a person, and he truly cares about me. I told him, 'I care a lot about you and this team, but at the end of the day, I wanted to take this chance.’’’

KU has one scholarship left to award in recruiting, two if sophomore Udoka Azubuike keeps his name in the 2018 NBA Draft.

FSU big man leaves program

Florida State center Ike Obiagu, a 7-foot, 240-pound freshman from Nigeria, has announced plans to transfer to a yet-to-be-determined school. He averaged 2.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 10.7 minutes per game (14 starts) last season. He had 71 blocked shots, including 25 in the final eight games. He hit 58 percent of his shots for (23-12) FSU.

Obiagu was ranked No. 74 in the recruiting Class of 2017 by Rivals.com during his senior year at Greenforest Christian Academy in Decatur, Ga.

Collison close to retiring?

Former KU forward Nick Collison said at his Oklahoma City Thunder season-ending exit interview he is close to announcing whether he’ll retire or return to the NBA for a 15th season.

Collison, 37, played in 15 games for OKC during the regular season. Though healthy, he hasn’t played in a playoff game the past two seasons.

“I think I’ve decided,” Collison told the Daily Oklahoman last weekend after OKC was eliminated by Utah in six games of a first-round playoff series.

“I've thought about it. There's no question I'm coming up on the end. It's close. At 37 years old, no, I wouldn't think I'd still be playing at 37. I've been really blessed. I've had a lot of really good people around me. I've worked hard at it, too, and things have gone my way. I'm very thankful for the career I've had.”

If Collison returns for a 15th season, he would be free to sign with any team after completing terms of a one-year contract for 2017-18. He’s been with the same organization his entire career, playing for the team when it was based in Seattle.

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