The Morning Mix

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– You will want to keep a running tab on the following link. It’s the “Circle of March” from Rush The Court. It’s pretty self-explanatory. But it’s also also pretty awesome

– When court-storming goes wrong: Technical foul assessed to fans costs Delaware State the game. Since February 1st, six of the Hornet’s games have been won in the final minute or in overtime. They had won four of the previous five.

– Former-Jayhawk Marcus Morris was cited for misdemeanor battery while in Lawrence for the Kansas/Missouri game over the weekend

– Keiton Page doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves. But Tyshawn Taylor is trying to change that

– Speaking of Tyshawn Taylor, can we stop doubting him already? C.J. Moore explains why Taylor feeds off of doubt

– Missouri head coach Frank Haith is cooperating with the NCAA on Miami’s latest violation probe. The most recent turbulance centers around big man Reggie Johnson, who was declared ineligible prior to Miami’s game against Florida State on Sunday because his family received improper benefits. Haith spent seven years at Miami before taking the job at Missouri this past offseason. Can the Hurricanes still earn a bid if Johnson isn’t able to suit up again?

– It’s official: Kansas has won it’s eight consecutive Big-XII title. Something like that is just unheard of in the current state of college athletics

– What’s the opposite of a Bubble Watch? A breakdown of the one-bid leagues

– Notre Dame looked pretty bad against Georgetown last year. But not everyone is sold on them yet

– In his latest edition of “Hoop Thoughts”, Seth Davis explains why Marquette is deserving of the “elite” billing

– For some bizarre reason, North Carolina’s athletic director is in favor of expanding the NCAA Tournament to 128 teams. His argument is that not a large enough percentage of the college basketball landscape gets a chance to compete in the postseason. How many teams don’t make it out of the N.I.T’s first round? You want all those teams in March Madness?

Wake Forest’s athletic director has a ton of faith in head coach Jeff Bzdelik, and is excited for a bright future

– Gregg Doyel does not believe that John Calipari’s greatness can be measured by just National Championships

– Speaking of Kentucky, John Calipari doesn’t think Michael Kidd-Gilchrist needs another season in college

– Gary Parrish explains why no mid-major team (Except Murray State) can think that a tournament bid is guaranteed

– The Ohio Valley Conference Tournament begins this week. CBS provides a succinct preview of the events

– Bruce Weber has the hottest seat in the country. But there are a few other Big Ten coaches that might start to feel the heat this postseason

The big game out west tonight is between Weber State and Montana for the Big Sky regular season championship

The definitive case for Seth Greenberg as head coach of Virginia Tech

– Duke’s Josh Hairston will miss tonight’s game against Wake Forest because of an injury  after suffering a laceration below his right eye against Virginia Tech this past weekend

Jason Lisk provides the ideal kind of bracket analysis: light on numbers, heavy on information

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.

VIDEO: Jim Boeheim makes TV appearance to talk Carmelo Anthony

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Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has drawn attention for some recent comments about former Orange star Carmelo Anthony.

After Anthony captured his record third gold medal with USA Basketball, his former college coach told Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard that Anthony didn’t have a great chance at winning an NBA title.

“He’s unlikely to win an NBA title,” Boeheim said of Anthony. “He’s never been on a team that even had a remote chance of winning an NBA title.”

Boeheim maintains that he was speaking of Melo’s legacy being about more than an NBA title and that he’s one of the game’s greats thanks to other accomplishments like the Syracuse title and gold medals. On SportsCenter, Boeheim made sure to stress where those comments were coming from, while also making sure his kids would stop being mad at him.

It’s much easier to understand where Boeheim is coming from in this instance and it clears up something that will probably go away now.