The Morning Mix

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– UCLA is in the news, but for all the wrong reasons. In case you haven’t read it, here is George Dohrmann’s expose on the recent culture of UCLA basketball. Leadership starts at the top, and this “scandal” is a huge indictment of the lack of leadership in the UCLA athletic department. A culture change is needed, but that apparently means that athletic director Dan Guerrero isn’t going anywhere

– Mike DeCourcy doesn’t think that Ben Howland deserves the blame for the program’s drop-off. But there is just too much evidence that indicate that Howland is to blame for many of the problems. A handful of former players responded to this article, including Lorenzo Matta-Real, who had a bevy of opinions on the matter

– Howland believes that “If mistakes were made, they will get fixed”. If? IF? It’s pretty clear that mistakes were made. There are probably better ways to handle the fallout than by questioning the merits of the accusation. Going forward, Ben Howland is going to have to answer a lot of questions. Here is a list of some of the potential inquiries. Amid all the controversy, highly regarded recruit Kevin Anderson reaffirmed his commitment to the university

– Oh, and Reeves Nelson, the villain of the report, is claiming that every single accusation made was “categorically false”

The NCAA has warned schools interested in top-recruit Shabazz Muhammad about potential eligibility issues that may arise in the future.  According to the report, there may be dealings between financial advisers and Muhammad’s family that could compromise the star-prospect’s amateur status. Jeff Borzello provides a list of all the visits taken by Muhammad, and it’s staggering to say the least. This must put UCLA out of the running for his services, right? Myron Medcalf examines how the UCLA controversy will effect future recruiting

OK, we’re all done with UCLA for today. Back to your regularly scheduled programming:

– You really just hate to see a player like John Shurna go out like that on Senior Night

– Nicole Auerbach provides a breakdown of bubble winners and bubble losers from Wednesday night

– Bob Knight took another jab at John Calipari today by not referencing the No.1 team in the country among his list of the best teams in the country on Mike & Mike in the Morning. Gregg Doyel believes that Bob Knight needs to be held accountable for his actions

– A great-read on the different scenarios that could continue “The Border War”

– There was a point in time where it was unsure if Yancy Gates would be part of the Cincinnati program when Senior Day rolled around. But the oft-troubled big man was part of the festivities, and a big part of the Bearcats win over Marquette

– The last thing St. John’s needed right now is an injury to their Mo Harkless. Unfortunately for the Johnnies, the dynamic freshman suffered a right ankle injury last night and his status for the future is unsure

– The Atlantic-10 has a plethora of capable teams, and due to the “down year” in the Big East, the conference is more visible than usual. Did you see the St. Bonaventure’s/St. Joseph’s double overtime game last night? Yeah, the A-10 is legit

– O.D. Anosike, the top rebounder in the country, has had a tremendous season for Siena, but was he good enough to edge out Iona’s Scott Machado for MAAC Player of the Year?

– Your weekly update on the North Dakota nickname controversy: Fighting Sioux not welcomed in NCAA postseason

A listing of possible newspaper headlines for the SoCon Tournament Champions

A solid Q&A with St. Francis head coach Glen Braica

– The Big South couldn’t wait for March to start the madness. No. 2-seed Coastal Carolina and No.3-seed Campbell both go down in the quarterfinals

– EBay is awash of random Kentucky paraphernalia

– This is probably the only “All Walk-On” team you will see all year. From the America East no less!

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.