The Morning Mix

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– Seth Davis provides his weekly Hoops Thoughts, which is a weekly must-read.This week he discusses UConn’s new athletic director and a host of other interesting basketball tidbits

– A fantastic statistical comparison of Steve Lavin and Ben Howland’s time at UCLA. (If you have 15 minutes to spare, I highly suggest you read this)

– The referees that worked Saturday’s game between Niagara and Rider have been suspended by the MAAC for their egregious clock error

– The NCAA is looking to streamline their rule book. Jon Solomon of the Birmingham New has some solid suggestions on how to make it more efficient

– The CAA is likely to only get one team into March Madness, but that may depend on how the conference’s teams fare in BracketBusters this week . Speaking of the CAA, they have signed a five-year media deal with NBC Sports

– The Summit League is the “Anti-Big Ten”. The conference has had more players produce 3-point performances than any other conference this season. The Big-Ten? They’ve had just two. But surprisingly enough, the SEC has had as many 30-point performances as both you and I combined

– Louisville might have lost last night, but you have to feel much better about them going forward

– Eamonn Brennan provides his weekly Poll Thoughts

– We’re all aware of the widespread mediocrity sweeping the Pac-12 landscape. But maybe, just maybe, there could be an exciting finish in store for us

– Say what you will about Jon Calipari. But there is not a coach in the country who “gets it” as much as Coach Cal does

– You probably didn’t think that Tennessee would even be near the this year, but they’ve gotten some big wins this year, and well, the Volunteers while likely be in the discussion come Selection Sunday

– NC-State is another team that is likely to be firmly planted on the bubble come Selection Sunday, but Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski likes the Wolfpack’s chances

– Oregon may be on the wrong side of the bubble now, but if they want to improve their chances, Carlos Emory is going to have to be a key contributor

– While we’re on the subject of bubble teams, we might as well show a little love to the West Virginia Mountaineers

– Remember when Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery got all pissed off and superplex’d a folding chair a few weeks back? Well, that chair is being auctioned off for $2,100

– Rush the Court’s Zach Hayes tells us about what he learned from Rivalry Week

– It looks like the MWC and C-USA will indeed merge to form a super-mid-high-major conference

– UConn has six games left on the regular season schedule. Can the Huskies solve their chemistry issues before the Big East Tournament? Speaking of UConn, both Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond sat out of practice on Monday due to injuries

– The key the Michigan State’s recent surge has been their stifling defense. Considering the old adage about defense and championships, and coach Izzo’s track record, this team should not be left out of the Final Four discussion

– It is likely that two of the four suspended Alabama players are allowed back on the court for tonight’s game against Florida.  Speaking of Florida, both will Yeguete and Mike Rosario will miss the game for the gators due to injuries

– Don’t look now, but Butler is making a very “Butler-like” late-season surge

– Jeff Withey had himself one helluva ball-game last night. There is no doubt that he is the most improved player in the country

Ken Pomeroy on Murray State. Nothing more needs to be said.Just go read it.

– Video of Peyton Siva grabbing his teammate’s butt? There’s a joke about his two late-game turnovers to be found somewhere in there

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.