The Morning Mix

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Most colleges and universities will welcome the students back to campus next week. But while a lot of programs are taking the week off, The Morning Mix is going strong.

Time to hit the links.

– ESPN is rolling out a huge  late-summer conversation starter series: 50 in 50, ranking the top 50 basketball programs of the past 50 years

– This very well may be the best freudian slip in the past decade of college hoops

– Kentucky or not, Glen Logan is one of the best writers in college hoops. Here’s the evidence

– Well will you look at that…..the academic support director for North Carolina student-athletes has resigned from his post

– Although nobody really talked about Xavier’s season hinging on the performance of Dez Wells, it’s now a sobering reality. The freakishly athletic sophomore was expelled from the university on Tuesday for a “serious violation” of the school’s code of conduct. Without Wells, the X-Men look to shift towards the rebuilding mode

– Expansionocalypse never sleeps. New Orleans is joining the D-I ranks. Wait, didn’t UNO leave D-I just a few years ago? Yes. Yes they did. What are the chances they can actually compete in the Southland Conference

– Here is a list of words you can’t use on Twitter if you just so happen to be a student-athlete at Louisville

– Ahh Christ, it looks like Syracuse is in-fact taking over the world

– Although the Big East Tournament will never be the same without Pittsburgh and Syracuse, the venue is never going away. The Big East and new commissioner Mike Aresco announced their plans to extend the contract with Madison Square Garden

– Andy Glockner continues to brief us on the best non-conference games of the season

– Fomer-North Carolina coach and player Matt Doherty went off an a killer Twitter-rant, stands up for Julius Peppers, who Doherty says was one of the smartest players he ever coached

– Former-St. John’s signee Norvel Pelle announced his plans to attend Iona on Tuesday. This was the Gaels’ second big pick-up in as many day, thanks to the Monday addition of Tre Bowman. If Pelle is able to get eligible, and that’s a big “IF”, Iona could have legitimate chance to make a second straight NCAA tournament appearance

– Gripping account of the conclusion to Tony Farmer’s assault hearing. Once a highly touted recruit, the Ohio-native will now spend the next three years in prison for assaulting and kidnapping an ex-girlfriend

– With Marshawn Powell back in the mix, Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson is excited about his team’s future

Eric Angevine went “ham” on this article. Great stuff. Must-read

– I never not been interested in discussions pertaining to alternate uniforms

– One of the guys at Big Apple Buckets ranks the top-10 recruits in the Northeast Conference

– The youngest Gasol brother, Adria, was recently named as a walk-on at UCLA, will skip the Bruins’ exhibition trip to China

This may end up being the weirdest college hoops-related story of the year

Remember, if you find an article that is worthy of being in The Morning Mix, be sure to use the #ReadoftheDay hashtag on Twitter. 

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

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.