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SU's Jackson receives invitation to practice at Portsmouth

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ASSOCIATED PRESS


SYRACUSE — Syracuse forward Rick Jackson has been invited to participate in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Virginia.


The Portsmouth Invitational begins on Wednesday and runs through Saturday. It is an annual event featuring 58 draft-eligible seniors who perform in front of representatives of NBA teams.


Jackson, a 6-foot-9 forward, led the Big East in rebounding, blocks and field goal percentage this past season and was an honorable mention Associated Press All-America..


The team Jackson will play on also includes Marquette's Jimmy Buter, Old Dominion's Frank Hassell and Mississippi's Chris Warren.


SMART STAYING AT VCU


VCU coach Shaka Smart is staying with the Rams after leading them on a surprising Final Four run.


Team spokesman Scott Day said Monday that Smart has agreed to terms for a new eight-year contract at VCU. Day said details of that deal would be released later Monday.


The second-year coach led VCU from one of the "First Four" games in the NCAA tournament to upsets of prominent programs including Georgetown, Purdue and Kansas to reach the Final Four. VCU (28-12) became only the third No. 11 seed to get that far, losing to Butler 70-62 in Saturday's national semifinals.


Smart has a 55-21 record at VCU and led the Rams to the CBI championship in his first year. s.


OKLAHOMA HIRES KRUGER


Lon Kruger doesn't believe the challenge ahead at Oklahoma is another rebuilding project.


Kruger was introduced as the Sooners' new coach on Monday, saying he isn't trying to bring the program back. Instead, he says he's "just hoping to continue what's been very good here for a long time."


Oklahoma is only two years removed from a trip to the regional finals of the NCAA tournament, but the span since then represents the school's first back-to-back losing seasons since 1967.


Kruger spent the last seven seasons rebuilding a struggling program at UNLV.


AROUND THE NATION ...


The University of Miami said coachFrank Haithhas resigned to take the job at Missouri. Haith, who will replaceMike Anderson, went 129-101 with the Hurricanes, including 21-15 this season, playing in the NIT. ...Oklahoma State'sDarrell Williamswill stand trial on rape and other felony charges alleging that he inappropriately touched two female students, a judge ruled. ... New University of Utah head men's basketball coachLarry Krystkowiakpledged to make his team competitive in the new Pac-12 Conference and restore pride in the program, at his introductory news conference.

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