The Morning Mix

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Monday felt weird, didn’t it? No tournament games to skip work forand no checking your brackets every 15 minutes. It was just like any other Monday.

But fear not, because there was plenty of newsworthy stuff that went down in the world of college basketball. So spend Tuesday work day getting your hoops fix with The Morning Mix.

– Kendall Marshall had surgery on his fractured wrist yesterday.  Roy Williams doesn’t think he will be able to play on Friday. A lot of people, including Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg, are writing off UNC because of Marshall’s injury

– There will be two games played on aircraft carriers next season. UConn and Arizona will face-off in the Carrier Classic off the coast of Charlston, SC on-board the USS York. On the other side of the country, the “Battle on the Midway” will take place in Sn Diego on-board the USS Midway, and it appears that Georgetown and San Diego State could be the two participants

– We had our first random NBA early entrant: South Florida’s Victor Rudd. He has athleticism for days, but averaged just 9.1ppg and is not a prolific shooter. But boy can he dunk

– Has March Madness caused the college basketball landscape to form a giant middle-class?  Jon Gold has some interesting thoughts on the matter

– Duquesne was nowhere near March Madness this year, but their pep band was. The Duke’s band assisted Loyola during their second round game against Ohio State

Illinois’ Brandon Paul and Myers Leonard have also ave submitted their names to the NBA’s undergraduate advisory committee to receive feedback on their draft stock

– Jeff Goodman on how the Crosstown Brawl helped Cincinnati and Xavier forge their paths to the Sweet-16

– Michigan State’s Draymond Green is one of the best people in college basketball. He’s a tremendous player and a tremendous human being. But even he struggled to with the media hype that came with being considered a National Player of the Year candidate. But if you have watched any Michigan State games this season, then you know that “Day-Day” is a special kind of player that we don’t see very often any more

– One of the underappreciated aspects of March madness is it’s ability to spawn hilarious t-shirt ideas. The Ohio Bobcats took a shot at Michigan after upsetting the Wolverines in the second round

– The Indiana-Kentucky rematch is clearly the most anticipated game of the Sweet-16, but the Cincinnati-Ohio State game is not too far behind. The in-state match-up hasn’t happened in the tournament since March 24, 1962

– Scott Sutton’s name is starting to appear among the coaching change talks. The Oral Roberts head coach is on Mississippi State’s radar and is going to interview for the opening at Nebraska

– Illinois is still looking for a new head coach, and it seems like Shaka Smart is the only guy they want. But will Shaka leave VCU? Illinois is a good job, but not an elite job. Smart is the type of coach who would not bolt unless a “dream job” scenario opened up, and this does not seem to be that type of scenario

– Former-Illinois head coach Bruce Weber is expected to interview for the head coaching gig at Southern Illinois. Prior to his hiring at Illinois, he spent five years as head coach at SIU

– Bobby Cremins officially announced his retirement as head coach of College of Charleston yesterday

– It would be very short-sighted of us to judge Frank Haith’s first season at Missouri solely on their upset loss to Norfolk State

A solid review of BYU’s first season as a member of the West Coast Conference

– It looks like  Butler is going to join the Atlantic-10 Conference. The addition would be great for the conference. But the loss would absolutely crush the Horizon League, which had been relying on Butler’s success for the last half decade

– 71-year old Dick Versace is contemplating a return to the coaching ranks and is interested in the opening at Eastern Illinois. He last worked as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, and served as the head coach for the Indiana Pacers and at Bradley University.

– Jason McIntyre called Bob Knight’s cell phone hoping to get some answers about The General’s refusal to use the word “Kentucky”. The only problem is that McIntyre refused to reveal his source, and well, got a very Bob Knight-like response. Jason had to know that was coming.

NCAA: Former USF assistant provided extra benefits, lied to NCAA investigators

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The NCAA has alleged that former South Florida assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided roughly $500 in impermissible benefits and initially lied to NCAA investigators about it, according to the Tampa Bay Times, who obtained the NCAA’s summary disposition report.

Oliver Antigua is the younger brother of Orlando Antigua, who was the head coach at USF until he was fired in January. Now an assistant on Brad Underwood’s staff at Oklahoma State, Orlando was not alleged to have committed an NCAA violation in the report.

Oliver is alleged to have provided the extra benefits to two student-athletes while they were being tutored by the sister-in-law of Gerald Gillion, a special assistant to Orlando who resigned last fall, four months after Oliver did. USF has already self-imposed a $5,000 and reduced their scholarships from 13 to 12, according to the report.

“The University of South Florida and the NCAA continue to work together to resolve the inquiry into violations of NCAA bylaws and university standards by a USF intercollegiate athletic program,” according to a statement released by the school. “USF anticipates having a final resolution with the NCAA sometime this fall. Until the process concludes and the matter is fully resolved, USF cannot provide further comment.”

Villanova lands four-star 2018 guard

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Villanova added its first recruit in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night.

Jay Wright and his staff landed a verbal commitment from Paul VI Catholic High School’s Brandon Slater, a four-star guard by Rivals as the No. 42 overall prospect in the rising senior class.

The 6-foot-5 Slater announced his decision via Twitter.

Slater, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, picked the Wildcats over Maryland, Miami, South Carolina, and Virginia.

He is currently playing the Nike EYBL with Team Takeover, the same grassroots program that produced current Villanova guard Phil Booth.

Comic-Con forces Providence to play at Alumni Hall for home opener

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Providence will play its first game at Alumni Hall, the on-campus facility, for the first time in 35 years this fall.

The Friars unveiled their 2017-18 non-conference schedule on Thursday afternoon. The team’s home opener will play either Houston Baptist or Belmont in Mullaney Gym inside Alumni Hall.

According to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal, the reason for that is a schedule conflict at Providence’s home arena, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, in downtown Providence. A Comic-Con convention is scheduled Nov. 10-12. As McNamara notes, it’s a busy part of the season for The Dunk. The arena also is home to the Providence Bruins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Boston Bruins, and by mid-November, their season is in full swing.

The Friars haven’t played at Alumni Hall since 1972, the same year the Dunkin’ Donuts Center was opened. In the three decades since Providence last played a regular season game there, the facility has gone under necessary renovations, as you could imagine. Even with added seats, Mullaney Gym can host a maximum of 1,549. That’s a fraction of what The Dunk’s capacity of 12,400.

Providence will return to its downtown home on Nov. 13, hosting Minnesota as part of the Gavitt Games. The Golden Gophers will likely be a top-20 team to open the season. The Friars, who bring back every notable player from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, is a fringe top-25 team.

Jalen Coleman-Lands to transfer out of Illinois

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The already-thin Illinois roster got thinner on Thursday afternoon.

Evan Daniels of Scout.com reported that sophomore guard Jalen Coleman-Lands has requested and received his release from the program. He will have to sit out next season but will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Coleman-Lands was a top-40 recruit in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals. He becomes the second player from that recruiting class this month to exit the school. Reserve guard D.J. Williams elected to transfer on May 8. With Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett, two incoming recruits, both previously reopened their recruitments following John Groce’s firing.

Even with the addition of Wright State graduate transfer Mark Alstork, who officially joined the Fighting Illini on Wednesday, Illinois is left with only nine scholarship players as of right now.

Coleman-Lands’ production dipped from his freshman campaign, ending the 2016-17 season averaging 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, shooting 38 percent from three.

One destination that will likely be rumored will be nearby DePaul. Coleman-Lands played for new DePaul assistant coach Shane Heirman at prep school powerhouse La Lumiere School. Heriman quickly tapped into that prep pipeline, helping secure a commitment from La Lumiere from five-star 2019 point guard Tyger Campbell earlier this month.

Coleman-Lands had taken official visits to Notre Dame and UNLV before committing to the Illini in September 2014.

North Carolina releases response to latest NCAA Notice of Allegations

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North Carolina is still trying to convince the NCAA that their investigation into the paper classes given by the university’s African-American Studies Department is not, in fact, an NCAA matter.

On Thursday afternoon, the University released their response to the NCAA’s third iteration of the Notice of Allegations, and the core argument in that response is that the school’s “inadequate academic oversight” does not fall under the jurisdiction of the NCAA’s bylaws. In other words, North Carolina is arguing that a rogue professor creating fake classes is not an NCAA issue. It’s a school issue.

What’s more, North Carolina is also arguing that athletes taking these classes should not be classified as an extra benefit because they were available to the entire student body.

“No special arrangements were made for student-athletes in violation of NCAA extra-benefit legislation,” the response reads. “Student-athletes were not treated differently than other students who took the Courses.”

“The public narrative for the last six years, popularized by media accounts, is that Department of Athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took advantage of ‘fake classes’ in the Department of African and African-American Studies to keep student-athletes eligible. That narrative is wrong and contradicted by the facts in the record.”

The NCAA’s allegations center around the idea that UNC’s athletes, most notably members of the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams, were guided to the fake classes within that department in order to keep their GPAs high enough to remain eligible. The classes in question had a disproportionate percentage of athletes.

A hearing in front of the Committee on Infractions is expected to take place at some point this summer.