The Morning Mix

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– Is Oklahoma State the best team in the Big-XII? Probably not, but Kansas coach Bill Self thinks the Cowboys are the best team on paper. Florida’s Billy Donovan and Gonzaga’s Mark Few were gushing about OK-State incoming freshman Marcus Smart

– Recruiting rankings don’t always determine who ends up having the most successful career. Cracked Sidewalks explains what “value add” can determine and provides some interesting evidence

– Eric Crawford details the five steps needed towards reinventing the Big East Conference

– More fallout from the North Carolina academic scandal: athletic advisers steered players towards “no-show” classes

– Recruiting icon Sonny Vaccaro returned to the courts this weekend in order to shoot a 30 for 30 documentary

– Divorced-Syracuse fan wants visitation rights for his kids if/when the Orange make the National Championship game

The FriarBlog provides an excellent take on the ten reasons why the NCAA should clear highly touted freshman Ricardo Ledo

– The 5-month old son of Northwest Minnesota State head coach Brad Bigler was killed last night in a drunk driving accident. Bigler’s wife and mother-in-law were also injured in the accident

– When coaches give inspirational speeches to kids at camp, they talk about guys like Corey Spence, a JuCo player who spent 30 hours on a Greyhound bus in order to make an event, then performs well enough to make the All-Star game

– Reports surfaced a few months back indicating that the 2012 London games would be the last for Mike Krzyzewski as head coach of Team USA. Now it looks like he will stay heavily involved in the program regardless of his decision to serve as the head coach

– The Olympic games could provide Mike D’Antoni with an opportunity to land a job in college hoops

– Louisville’s Kevin Ware is showing up on all sorts of “Breakout players to watch” lists, and with good reason. He scored just 20 points last year, but with some off-season help from Ray Allen, Ware is ready for a sensational sophomore campaign

Another good-read on Kansas sophomore Ben McLemore, who has been wowing coaches during summer league games

– Kansas center Jeff Withey had a huge breakout season in 2011-2012. In 2012-2013 he’s looking to have an impact season

– With the departure of Terell Stoglin, Maryland is going to rely heavily on the legs of Pe’Shon Howard, who is “ahead of schedule” with his recovery from an ACL tear

– It’s not often that schools like Pepperdine score top-100 recruits. So it was quite a recruiting coup when the Wave landed highly regarded guard Brandon Randolph

– Croatian guard Mislav  Brzoja, who had a sensational performance against the American squad at the FIBA U-19 World Championship is being rumored as heading to Villanova

– If Wake Forest is going to get out of their current rut, freshman guard Codi Miller-McIntyre is going to have to carry some of the load

– The final four pairing for the best four teams in VCU history

Former-Wichita State big-man Garrett Stutz got drafted No.1o in the 2012 Korean Basketball League draft

– Kentucky’s Kyle Wiltjer and Willie Cauley-Stein, more affectionately known as “The Goonies”, dropped another video. This one is significantly better that their first one

Top-5 contender for Summer League Dunk of the Year

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

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
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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.