The Morning Mix

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Before we begin, take a moment of silence for the passing of Louisiana Tech bulldog mascot “Tech XX”. After being labeled “missing” for two days, animal care workers came forward and  revealed that the dog had been mistakenly left outside for too long, and died of  heat stroke.

Bulldogs are way too damn cute to pass away.

– Your must-read of the day is from Eric Prisbell of The USA Today. It’s about recruiting and improper benefits. You’ll want to make sure you read this. Apparently a former Big-XII recruit who was drafted in the second round a recent NBA draft got paid six figures (I’d go with Tiny Gallon, but all the evidence points towards DeAndre Jordan)

– Ken Pomeroy thinks there are three specific players that could have breakout seasons due to an expanded role  (Insiders Only)

– Central Florida head coach Donnie Jones is optimistic about the Golden Knight’s future despite their one-year postseason ban

– Ken Caldwell, the runner at the focus of the UCF violations, took to a webcam to “speak the truth”. Gary Parrish reviewed the video. It’s hilarious

– Gary Parrish also ripped in to the sleazy side of recruiting. Reads like this never get old

– This is what our US Olympic basketball teams would have looked like if it was open to college players only

– Jeff Goodman takes a gander at what the 2016 Olympic Team might end up looking like

– The Hustle Belt is one of the best conference-specific blogs out there. They showed why with a great list of all the NCAA violations in MAC history. Quality stuff, gents

Fran Fraschilla details the list of schools that need to bolster their rosters with a strong 2013 recruiting class (Insiders Only)

– Both Laurence Bowers and Jio Fontan have been cleared to participate following extended time off due to ACL tears. Bowers should stake his claim again as one of the best dunkers in the country. Fontan is going to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting for USC this season

– Andy Glockner explains why some improved luck will help schools like Memphis St. Joseph’s, and USC

Here are the five keys to success for Ben Howland at UCLA this season

– A list of the top student sections in Philadelphia

A preview about Robert Morris with only one sentence about Velton Jones? Homeboy deserves more than one sentence. Dude is a wrecking machine

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

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
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The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State