The Morning Mix

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– Make sure you read Myron Medcalf’s post about the lack of loyalty in college basketball

– Luke Winn continues to hand out his coaching awards, this time handing out post-season hardware

– Former-Syracuse star Derrick Coleman is in talks with Larry Brown about becoming an assistant coach at SMU. Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich will join Brown’s staff in Dallas as the “coach in waiting”. Brown also plucked assistant coach Ulric Maligi from Houston, who has a bevy of AAU ties within the state

– Early bets out of Vegas have the Indiana Hoosiers as favorites to win the 2013 National Championship. NC-State, one of the sexy picks to be ranked in the preseason top-10, was way down the list with 50-1 odds

A great-read on Dominique Ferguson’s situation at Florida International. It’s one thing to restrict players from transferring to certain schools. It’s another thing to block players from transferring because of grades. But to block a transfer just because? Now that’s just messed up

– New Rhode Island head coach Danny Hurley is stockpiling transfers before his first season even begins. Could he be the next Fred Hoiberg?

A nice-read on Illinois-native Rayvonte Rice, who is transferring from Drake in order to play for the Illini

Hawaii freshman Shaq Stokes is leaving school due to family reasons. The New York-native was the preseason pick for WAC Rookie of the Year.

– Murray State is struggling to find non-conference opponents. This tends to happen to high-profile mid-majors because BCS-conference schools don’t want to take the risk. But one school that might be willing to is in-state power, and reigning National Champion Kentucky

– Speaking of Kentucky, John Calipari will play a role in the Kentucky Derby festivities

– Oh, and KSR’s Matt Jones takes Gary Parrish to task over something he said about Anthony Davis and a rumor regarding illegal benefits

– Iona’s Scott Machado won the Haggerty Award for being the top player in the NYC-Metro area. Here are the rest of the Metro-area winners

– OK, the last Kentucky-related link. A music video of the mayhem that took place in Lexington following the National Championship win. This is just marvelous

Tulsa has reached an agreement with Jordan Clarkson on where he can and cannot transfer to

– There aren’t many players left at UConn after all the exodus, but the ones still in Storrs want Jim Calhoun back on the sidelines next season

– The NCAA has agreed to give some schools an additional year to meet new academic standards tied to postseason eligibility.

– A few Georgetown Hoyas lead a “Hakuna Matata” flash mob in the cafeteria

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

No. 10 Gonzaga outlasts No. 18 UConn despite late offensive struggles

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No. 10 Gonzaga survived a furious rally from No. 18 UConn to win the third place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis, 73-70.

The Zags were up by as much as 21 points early in the second half, leading 48-27, but UConn slowly chipped away at the lead. Kyle Wiltjer led four players in double-figures with 17 points while Eric McClellan added 15 points, making a number of key plays in the second half when it looked like the Zags were in danger of giving away the lead.

As good as Gonzaga looked in the first 22 minutes of this game — and they looked really, really good — the second half exposed the concerns that many had with this group entering the season. Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., who both shot around 40 percent from beyond the arc and started for four years, graduated, meaning that Gonzaga’s point guard situation is, more or less, Josh Perkins.

Perkins was terrific in the second half of a loss to Texas A&M on Thursday. He played 17 foul-plagued minutes against UConn. When UConn’s defense ratcheted up during the second half, Gonzaga struggled finding a way to consistently get good shots on the offensive end. Part of that was due to ineffective point guard play and part of it was a result of not really having anyone on the offensive end that can create a look on their own. As skilled as Wiltjer is, his impact can be limited when pick-and-pop actions aren’t working and he’s getting doubled in the post.

Perkins is talented, but this is essentially his first season of college basketball; he was a medical redshirt last season after breaking his jaw last November. There are going to be ups-and-downs, and that’s problematic on a team where he is essentially the only point guard on the roster.

The good news?

Gonzaga beat a good UConn team on a day when their best players struggled in crunch-time. It was McClellan and Kyle Dranginis that made the big plays down the stretch, not the big names on the Gonzaga roster.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady ‘awake, alert’ after getting stretchered off court

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Wichita State big man Anton Grady was stretchered off of the floor in the second half of a loss to Alabama after a nasty collision with Dazon Ingram.

The video can be seen above. There was nothing malicious about the way that Grady was injured. When he turned to run up the floor after missing a shot in the lane, he went face first into Ingram’s shoulder. He neck bent in an awkward directions and, after stumbling a few steps, he laid motionless on the floor.

It took 10 minutes for the training staff to strap Grady to a backboard and wheel him out of the arena.

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A Wichita State spokesman told that Grady was taken to a local trauma center for evaluation and that he is “awake, alert and is answering questions appropriately”.

We will have more updates as they come available.

From a basketball perspective, the No. 20 Shockers lost their second game in a row and are now 2-3 on the season.

While for some the Shockers’ résumé is up for questioning following losses to USC and Alabama, two teams projected to finish in the bottom half of their respective leagues, the team’s health is the biggest concern.

Fred VanVleet has been dealing with a hamstring issue since the season began, and an ankle injury limited him in a loss at Tulsa earlier this month. He won’t play again until at least Dec. 5th. and who knows when he’ll be back to full strength. The same can be said for back up point guard and freshman Landry Shamet, who underwent surgery to address a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. Their injuries have led to even more being asked of senior guard Ron Baker, and the loss of Grady for any significant amount of time certainly isn’t going to help matters..

These early-season losses won’t help Wichita State when it comes to the NCAA tournament, but it’s important to make note of the circumstances surrounding those defeats. To be shorthanded, with one of the absent players ranking among the nation’s best point guards, has an impact that has to be accounted for when evaluating Wichita State. The Shockers will add Conner Frankamp in mid-December, which will help them on the perimeter.

But with their rotation currently being in flux, it’s tough to make any definitive statements on what Wichita State will have to do in order to make another trip to the NCAA tournament. At this point Gregg Marshall and his staff will look for other contributors, one of whom being Markis McDuffie (14 points, seven rebounds vs. Alabama), to emerge and show themselves capable of picking up the slack.