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!

Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training

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Kentucky Sports Radio
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Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.

You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:

“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”

Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”

Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”

And that led to “I’ll kill you”:

(h/t KSR)

VIDEO: Shaq’s son, Shareef O’Neal, with monster dunk in Vegas

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Shareef O’Neal is a top 50 prospect in the Class of 2018. In Vegas this past weekend, he threw down a monster put-back dunk.

South Dakota State gets two commits

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Tuesday was a busy and productive one for South Dakota State on the recruiting trail.

The Jackrabbits secured two 2017 commitments from the state of Wisconsin in Ryan Krueger and Alex Arians, a source tells NBCSports.com.

Krueger is a 6-foot-5 wing player from New London, Wisc. while Arians is a 6-foot-4 guard from Madison, Wisc., who also held an offer from Wright State, which is coached by former SDSU coach Scott Nagy. Both players spend their summers playing for the Wisconsin Swing grassroots program.

The pair make it a trio of commits for the Jackrabbits in 2017 with another Wisconsinite, Alou Dillon, pledging to first-year Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger, himself a Wisconsin native, earlier this summer.

South Dakota State went 26-8 last year and the bulk of the team that made the NCAA tournament last year, including sophomore Mike Daum, who led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.

Incoming Gator freshman ineligible for upcoming season

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Florida will need to wait a year before seeing 6-foot-11 recruit Gorjok Gak playing games for the Gators.

The NCAA ruled that the incoming freshman will be able to enroll at Florida this year and practice with the team, but will be ineligible for games this season, the school announced Tuesday.

Should he meet all his progress marks during his freshman year, he’ll have three seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2017-18.

Gak’s eligibility issue centered on his playing games during his postgraduate year at Victory Rock Prep, according to his coach there.

“Following his graduate year from Australia, he was supposed to play from December to December,” Loren Jackson told the Gainesville Sun, “but instead played from December until the following May.”

Gak originally signed with Oklahoma State, but de-committed following Travis Ford’s firing in Stillwater this past spring. Gak averaged 13.8 points and 9.3 rebounds last season at Victory Rock in Bradenton, Fla.

Florida went 21-15 last season under first-year coach Mike White.

Video: Coach K talks Team USA with Dan Patrick

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Team USA has blown through its competition in its first two exhibition games ahead of next month’s Olympics in Rio De Janeiro with wins over Argentina and China by a combined a combined 96 points.

Tonight, they’ll have a rematch against China, which they defeated 106-57 on Sunday, but it will also serve as the unofficial debut of Kevin Durant in front of his new hometown fans with the game taking place at the home of the Golden State Warriors, Oracle Arena, in Oakland.

“Excited for Kevin tonight to make his debut in front of the Golden State fans,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday on the Dan Patrick Show. “He got a great reception (Monday) at a function. He was, as he should be, warmly welcomed.”

The team has been together since July 18 in the run-up to its first Olympic contest on Aug. 6 against China. For Krzyzewski, a couple of players have made an impression already.

“You see these guys on TV,” the Duke coach said, “but I don’t get a chance to see them in person. (Clipper) DeAndre Jordan is such a good player. A great athlete, a great guy. To see him run, defend, holy mackerel. He’ s really good.

“I haven’t seen Paul George in two years when he had that horrific (leg) injury in Las Vegas at one of our camps, and he’s so darn good. On defense, tremendous.”

It’s on the defensive side of the floor that Coach K believes his team can really make its mark even with the incredible collection of offensive talent the roster has.

“We’re very athletic so defensively we could be a very good defensive team,” he said. “We’ve shown a willingness to want to do that in the first two games.”

As usual, Team USA is the prohibitive favorite to bring back gold for the third consecutive Olympics, which will be Coach K’s last at the helm after taking over after the 2004 bronze medal debacle.

“I’m excited about the team,” he said. “It’s a short time. to see our guys working so hard and they get along so well, I’m excited about the team we might be in Rio. We’ll use tonight to get a little bit better.

“I kind of have the blinders on. You only have a short time. It’s a little over a month, and we want to win the gold medal in Rio.”