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.

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.

Big Ten releases conference schedule

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 22:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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The Big Ten released its 2016-17 conference schedule on Thursday as the conference season begins on Dec. 27 with a four-game set.

Conference play will conclude on March 5th before the 20th annual Big Ten Tournament is played at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. from March 8-12.

Some notable games include Penn State hosting Michigan State at the Palestra on Jan. 7.

You can view the full Big Ten schedule here.

Arizona’s Talbott Denny injures knee, out for season

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Arizona senior forward Talbott Denny will miss the season after tearing the ACL and medial meniscus in his left knee.

The school said Wednesday that the 6-foot-5 graduate transfer from Lipscomb will have surgery.

Denny, from Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic High School, missed all of last season at Lipscomb because of a shoulder injury.

Roy Williams: ‘There’s no question’ more ACC games equal no Kentucky in non-conference

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 23: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Iowa State Cyclones at the AT&T Center on March 23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Back in June, when the ACC officially announced that they would be expanding the league schedule to 20 games in 2019, I tried to warn you that it was going to put a dent into the non-conference schedule and the amount of quality, on-campus games that we’ll get prior to January.

Roy Williams essentially confirmed this as fact this week.

The North Carolina head coach hopped on a podcast with ESPN and more or less said that the bigger league schedule is going to lead to an end of some of UNC’s marquee home-and-home series.

“My feeling right now, and it could change by ’19, heck I could be fired by ’19, but my feeling right now is to play our conference schedule, play one exempt event where you have really good teams, and other than that play home games to help out your revenue and help out your budget,” Williams said. “We have the ACC/Big Ten and that’s not going to go away. So it’s 21 games already scheduled.”

When asked specifically if this would put an end to UNC’s series with Kentucky, Williams said, “Oh yeah, there’s no question. Why would I need to do that?”

There’s two reasons this makes sense. On the one hand, North Carolina needs to fill their home arena a certain number of times to help with the bottom line of the athletic department. They make enough off of ticket sales, merchandise sales, parking fees and food and beverage that they can afford to pay out more than $50,000 to bring a smaller opponent into their arena. More than that, playing a series of weaklings early in the year allows players to gain confidence, it allows Williams to figure out what his rotation will be and who can handle playing at this level, and it gives newcomers a chance to assimilate into his team against players that just aren’t that good.

And when a larger ACC schedule severely limits the number of non-conference games that UNC will be able to play, what’s going to get cut are the contracts that require the Tar Heels to play on the road when they don’t have to.

So buh-bye, Kentucky, it is.