The Morning Mix

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– Your must-read of the day comes from Mark Giannotto of the Washington Post, who wrote a brilliant article about the astonishingly high number of transfers in college hoops, and why we are likely to see even more in the future

-Speaking of transfers, Mike Huguenin put together a great list of guys who will be sorely missed by their former teams

– The law firm of Parrish & Goodman (Or is it Goodman & Parrish?) made their picks concerning the futures of high-profile underclassmen

– San Francisco lost five players already due to transferring, but the Dons have picked up a pair of high-profile transfers themselves

– Wake Forest transfer Tony Chennault is close to finalizing his decision to attend Villanova

– Highly touted big-man Tony Parker is supposed to make his college decision later today. But he’s already pushed it back like nine times, so you never know what could happen

– Gerardo Suero led the Albany Danes in scoring last season. In fact, he was ranked seventh in the country in scoring. But the 6-4 guard has decided to leave school after his junior year in order to pursue a professional career

– Wisconsin-transfer Jared Uthoff finally told his side of the story to Fox Sports Wisconsin. You should all know who Uthoff is by now. If not, you clearly were out of the country last week

Roscoe Smith is leaving UConn. He becomes the fifth player to depart the program this offseason

– Redshirt junior guard Mark Lyons has decided to transfer out of Xavier. Arizona is thought to be a possible landing point, considering that head coach Sean  Miller coached at Xavier before he took the job at Arizona

– Speaking of Arizona, Junior forward Jesse Perry was arrested on domestic violence charges over the weekend. That can’t be a good thing, not for Perry or the program. Two off-seasons ago there was a rash of domestic violence charges among college basketball players. Lets hope this isn’t the start of another one of those ugly streaks

North Carolina A&T found their new head coach.  Cy Alexander, who has coached at Tennessee State and South Carolina State, will lead an Aggies team that finished 12-20 last season

– If there’s one thing that Frank MArtin certainly isn’t at a loss for, it is confidence. When he took the K-State job after Bob Huggins, let, he was confident he could turn the program around, which he did. Now he’s confident he can do the same thing at South Carolina

– Kansas guard Elijah Johnson had successful arthroscopic knee surgery and will be good to go sometime in the summer

– Sam Cassell Jr. committed to Maryland, then decommitted from Maryland, but is now recommitting to Maryland – Another week, another post on why the “one and done” rule needs to go

– Could Anthony Davis become a member of the USA olympic team before ever playing in the NBA? With Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum out of the Olympics, Davis could become the first non-pro to suit up for Team USA since Christian Laettner in 1992. Speaking of Davis, he threw out the first pitch at the Kentucky/LSU baseball game on Sunday. He did significantly better than John Wall

– Who are considered the top ten Kentucky basketball players of the John Calipari era? – Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng are getting racehorses named after them. That’s kinda cool, I guess. I think

– Cardiac Hill, the entertaining and insightful Pitt Panthers blog, does a phenomenal job explaining the new NCAA student-athlete eligibility changes that will go into effect in 2015

– Florida’s Patric Young is more of a man than any of you reading this right now. Just take a look at his workout regime

– Here is video of Terrence Jones riding a mechanical bull, if you’re in to that sorta thing

Whitehead to stay in NBA Draft

Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) shoots past Xavier forward Sean O'Mara (54) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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Seton Hall sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead has signed with an agent and will remain in the NBA Draft, according to multiple reports.

Whitehead averaged 18.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game last season for Seton Hall, which went 25-9 and reached the NCAA tournament. He likely projects as a second-round pick with a bit of a shaky shot, but a high usage and assist rates. His strong finish to the season likely lifted him on some draft boards, but his inefficiency will cap his ceiling in June’s draft.

The loss is significant for the Pirates as Whitehead was so much of their offense, but they’ll bring back Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo. It’s a group that will miss Whitehead’s playmaking, but is still a solid enough foundation that Seton Hall will still likely be competitive in the Big East and vying for another NCAA tournament berth.

Hart returning for Villanova’s title defense

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 26:  Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats reacts in the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at KFC YUM! Center on March 26, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Villanova’s title defense just got a whole lot stouter.

Josh Hart, the leading scorer of the Wildcats’ national championship team, will return for his senior season, he announced on Twitter.

The decision for Hart to return is a major boost for Villanova in its quest to become the first back-to-back champions since Florida in 2006 and 2007. Hart, a 6-foot-5 guard,  averaged 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

Most draft pundits had him pegged as a potential end-of-the-first-round pick in next month’s draft though he could have certainly slid into the second should he had decided to forego his senior season. Instead, Hart will be a potential first-team All-American exhausting his eligibility in Philadelphia.

The 2016-17 season is taking shape nicely, and Hart returning to Villanova only increases the strength of the field at the top. Title game hero Kris Jenkins as well as Jalen Brunson, Phil Booth and Mikal Bridges are also back for the defending champs while the super recruiting classes of Duke, Kentucky and Michigan State, Kansas’ returning core along with Josh Jackson and a solid group of teams including North Carolina, Arizona, Louisville and Wisconsin make for an intriguing upper-tier of teams that could very well make for a top-heavy season following last year’s free for all.

College basketball isn’t the NFL. Parity doesn’t equal strength and quality, and when the sport has a handful high-quality teams, it is at its best. It’s looking like that is a possibility for the 2016-17 campaign.

UConn duo returning to school

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Connecticut may have lost its 6-foot-7 wing scorer but it is keeping its defensive stalwart and leading scorer.

Center Amida Brimah and guard Rodney Purvis have withdrawn their names from NBA Draft consideration and will return to the Huskies for another year, the school announced Tuesday.

The decisions from Brimah, a 7-foot center, and Purvis, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, help soften the blow dealt by Daniel Hamilton’s decision to sign with an agent and leave school despite having some shaky draft stock. The Huskies may not open the season as a top-25 team, but they won’t be far behind and will be one of the AAC’s favorites, along with Cincinnati.

Brimah averaged 6.5 points per game last year, but blocked 2.7 shots per game. He missed 11 games last season with a broken finger. Purvis registered 12.8 points per game while shooting 43.4 percent from the floor.

Neither Brimah or Purvis were among those invited to this month’s NBA Draft combine nor were either expected to be drafted should they have kept their names in the draft.

Gonzaga’s Karnowski returning for fifth year

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The man in the middle is returning to Gonzaga.

Przemek Karnowski will return to the Bulldogs for his final year after a medical redshirt waiver was granted allowing him a fifth season in Spokane, the school announced Tuesday.

“I’m excited to be coming back,” Karnowski said in a statement. “After talking with the coaches, my parents and the team, I decided this was the best decision for me. I still have a ways to go with my rehab, but I’m staying positive about the upcoming season.”

The 7-foot-1 Karnowski, a Poland native, would have, at minimum, had professional opportunities overseas, but instead will return to play for the Bulldogs once more after a back injury limited him to five games last season. He averaged 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a junior in 2014-15.

With Karnowski returning along with  Josh Perkins and Silas Melson, Gonzaga coach Mark Few will be having newcomers Nigel Williams-Goss, Zach Norvell, Johnathan Williams II and Zach Collins joining an experienced and talented group.

Gonzaga (shocker) will be the West Coast Conference favorite once more, but the Bulldogs will also be fielding a team that should open the season in most everyone’s top-15.

Michigan St. at Duke highlights ACC/Big Ten Challenge

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A matchup in Durham of likely top-10 teams is the headliner of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, whose schedule was released Tuesday.

Michigan State, expected to open the season in the top-10, and Duke, the presumptive preseason No. 1, will meet Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the most intriguing contest of the 14-game event.

The Spartans are losing Denzel Valentin, Bryn Forbes and Matt Costello, but the recruiting class of Miles Bridges, Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford and Nick Ward is one of coach Tom Izzo’s best and has Michigan State positioned as one of the Big Ten’s favorites.

Izzo’s recruiting class, though, pales in comparison to what coach Mike Krzyzewski is bringing to the Blue Devils, with Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden, Frank Jackson and Javin DeLaurier in their 2016 class, which is why, when paired with the likes of Grayson Allen, Amile Jefferson and Luke Kennard, make Duke nearly everyone’s No. 1 heading into next season.

Krzyzewski is 9-1 all-time against Izzo’s Spartans.

Among the other highlights of the conference competition is Syracuse at Wisconsin (Nov. 29) Pittsburgh at Maryland (Nov. 29), Purdue at Louisville (Nov. 30) and Ohio State at Virginia (Nov. 30).  

Monday, Nov. 28

Minnesota at Florida State

Wake Forest at Northwestern

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Syracuse at Wisconsin

Michigan State at Duke

Pittsburgh at Maryland

Iowa at Notre Dame

Georgia Tech at Penn State

N.C. State at Illinois

 

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Purdue at Louisville

North Carolina at Indiana

Ohio State at Virginia

Virginia Tech at Michigan

Rutgers at Miami (Fla.)

Nebraska at Clemson