The Morning Mix

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– Mike DeCourcy has a plan that will help clean up the recruiting world, and I kinda like it. Banning “unofficial visits” lessens the likelihood of potential schemes, dubious transactions or any of a variety of NCAA violations

– Eric Angevine profiles a few of the programs holding open tryouts for walk-on players

– In the wake of ESPN’s very well done “50 in 50” series profiling the top-50 programs of the las 50 years, Big Apple Buckets tries to determine the best Metro-area school of the past half century

– The title “student-athlete” is slipping by the wayside. Any rule change that calls for a general manager to run a college team would mean the extinction of the “student-athlete” is clearly in sight

– Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote Monday’s #ReadoftheDay, a gripping article on Rick Majerus and the coach’s will to live. The long-time head coach announced over the weekend that he will miss the entire season because of serious reoccurring health issues

– I’m no Political Expert, but it sure does look like California legislature is trying to pass a law that would require state universities to compensate student-athletes (But again, I could be very wrong. After all, I did vote Gilbert Arenas and Clinton Portis in 2008. No, seriously, I did)

– Is Ray McCallum the most impactful player in the Horizon League? He must be, right? Wrong. Run The Floor tells us who their top-25 impact players in the Horizon League are

– Speaking of impact players, Xavier-transfer Mark Lyons has made an early one at his new home in Arizona

– Long Beach State added some “Beach” to their homecourt hardwood. Much more visually appealing than Oregon’s failed attempt at a Jackson Pollock rendering

– Were the Kansas Jayhawks overlooking the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2011-2012 National Championship game? I hope they didn’t because that would have been foolish

– This is certain to get blown out of proportion in the weeks leading up to the game: North Carolina will play at Duke on Coach-K’s birthday

– The Drexel Dragons were the final team left on the wrong side of the bubble last March. But head coach Bruiser Flint is hoping a strong non-conference schedule will help the Dragons lock up a tournament bid in 2012-2013

– How would the 2012-2013 Kentucky Wildcats squad have fared against the 2011-2012 brackets

– UConn-transfer Roscoe Smith will take a redshirt season at UNLV

– UNLV-transfer Reggie Smith is headed to Eastern Illinois 

– Charles Carmouche, formerly of Memphis and New Orleans, will transfer to LSU. The guard received a medical red shirt last year and fulfilled his graduation requirements, meaning he can transfer and not have to sit out a year

– Top South Florida recruit Waverly Austin was denied eligibility and will attempt to enroll at another university

– Top-100 forward Kris Jenkins declared for Villanova

– You may have already seen this, but in case you didn’t: Marcus Jordan was forced to pay a $250 fine for disturbing the peace, a shrage which stemmed from an altercation he got in to in July, while attending the U.S Olympic swim trials in Omaha. (What on Earth is Marcus Jordan, the son of “His Airness”, doing at the U.S. Olympic swim trials?) Seriously, Baby Jordan just can’t seem to stay out of the news. One day, somebody will write a thrilling piece about all of Marcus’ public mishaps and the parallels in his father. It will be glorious

– Coastal Carolina freshman guard Ronald Trapp injured his leg during a game of pickup hoops. That’s a crappy way to go down

– One of our friends from the other side of the planet provides a solid list of some potential breakout players that nobody is really talking about. I like the DeAndre Daniels and Nick Faust mentions

An awesome short-film on the drive, determination and work ethic of Delaware standout sophomore Jarvis Threatt

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.

Mark Emmert hints at changes coming to rules regulating agents in college basketball

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Whatever changes Mark Emmert has planned, they’re going to happen quickly.

In an interview with CBS Sports prior to the start of Saturday’s college hoops action, Emmert said that the “systemic changes” that he is hoping to implement will, ideally, be in place for the start of the 2018-2019 season.

“They’re going to be putting forth their recommendations and bringing them forward during the month of April, and then the boards are going to act on them and act on them quickly,” Emmert said. “We need to act and have changes in place before tipoff of next season. Failure to do that will really erode everyone’s confidence in what this wonderful game is truly all about.”

What are the changes going to be?

Emmert didn’t spill the beans there, but it does seems like the NCAA will consider changing the rules involving agents and college basketball players. When asked why there’s a difference between the way the NCAA views hockey/baseball players and basketball players with regards to agents, Emmert said, “It makes perfect sense to me that it ought to be very different than it is now.”

This would be the smart move to make. Of Friday, I wrote a long column about how the only way to clean up college basketball is to allow players to have agents and to eliminate amateurism. This would not entirely solve the problem, but it would be a major step in the right direction.

Emmert also said that he hopes that the eligibility concerns involving the players that are mentioned in these reports will be figured out by the start of the NCAA tournament. The process for determining this is simple: Right now, the onus falls on the school. They essentially have three options:

  1. They can provisionally suspend the player, keeping them out of competition until they can determine whether or not a violation took place. This is why Collin Sexton and Jeffery Carroll missed time earlier this season.
  2. They can self-report a violation, announce that the player is ineligible and immediately apply for reinstatement with the NCAA. The player would have to make restitution for the impermissible benefits and, depending on the value of those benefits, they’d face some kind of suspension. This is like what happened with the Georgia Tech players earlier this season.
  3. They can announce that they do not believe any violations occurred, play out the rest of the season and hope that no evidence pops up that proves the guys that played were ineligible at the time.

At this time, we are still waiting to hear from Alabama on Collin Sexton, Michigan State on Miles Bridges and Arizona on Deandre Ayton and Sean Miller.

Chimezie Metu cleared to play by USC

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USC has cleared junior forward Chimezie Metu as he’ll be allowed to play on Saturday against Utah, the school announced.

The 6-foot-11 Metu is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Trojans this season as he was one of the players named in the Friday reports that linked him to NBA agent Andy Miller and Christian Dawkins.

The Trojans are the latest school to allow their player to play after the reports as they follow schools like Duke and Kentucky, as they also did the same with allowing Wendell Carter Jr. and Kevin Knox Jr. to play.

It’s also noted in the release that USC is reviewing Bennie Boatwright’s eligibility as well even though he’s out for the season with a knee injury.

On Friday, Yahoo Sports reported a wide-scale payment operation from Miller and Dawkins in order to recruit players for Miller’s agency. The records allege that Bennie Boatwright Sr. received about $2,000. The records also allege that Metu or his advisor, Johnnie Parker, also got $2,000.

Although the allegations look serious, Dawkins has also proven to be untrustworthy in many instances and it’s hard to tell what might be real and what might be a cover for another expense. It’s hard to prove a lot of these things presented in a business expenses spreadsheet. USC is backing Metu by saying he never received anything that would harm his eligibility as they try to make a final push at Arizona before the postseason.

Bubble Banter: There will be some NCAA tournament bids determined today

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As we will do every day throughout the rest of the season, here is a look at how college basketball’s bubble teams fared on Saturday.

It’s worth reminding you here that the way winning are labeled have changed this season. Instead of looking at all top 50 wins equally, the selection committee will be using criteria that breaks wins down into four quadrants, using the RPI:

  • Quadrant 1: Home vs. 1-30, Neutral vs. 1-50, Road vs. 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home vs. 31-75, Neutral vs. 51-100, Road vs. 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home vs. 76-160, Neutral vs. 101-200, Road vs. 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home vs. 161 plus, Neutral vs. 201 plus, Road vs. 240 plus

The latest NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here.

YET TO PLAY

MARQUETTE
PROVIDENCE
SETON HALL
BAYLOR
TCU
LOUISVILLE
VIRGINIA TECH
SMU
MIAMI
LSU
TEXAS
USC
UTAH
MISSISSIPPI STATE
TEXAS A&M
WASHINGTON
ALABAMA
KANSAS STATE
OKLAHOMA
MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE
ST. BONAVENTURE
FLORIDA

Marvin Bagley III returning to Duke lineup against Syracuse after knee injury

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Duke star freshman Marvin Bagley III will be available for the Blue Devils on Saturday when they play Syracuse in an ACC home game.

Bagley missed the past four games due to a knee strain that he suffered in the Feb. 8 game against North Carolina. During Bagley’s absence, the Blue Devils went 4-0 as their defense looked very good and senior Grayson Allen became an aggressive scorer.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of changes Duke makes with Bagley’s return. Watching Bagley’s health and seeing how many minutes he plays will be another subplot to watch against the Orange.

Kentucky responds to recent reports from FBI investigation

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Kentucky has officially responded to recent reports that some of its players, notably freshman Kevin Knox, could be involved in the fallout from NBA agent Andy Miller and Christian Dawkins’ FBI investigation.

Knox is one of the players mentioned in a Yahoo Sports report on Friday that included documents for how Miller and Dawkins recruited players to the agency. In the report that Dawkins sent to Miller, it is noted that Knox or a family member of Knox allegedly had a meal with Dawkins.

Kevin Knox Sr. said he didn’t know Miller or Dawkins in a report on Friday. Kentucky also seems to be backing Knox entering Saturday’s SEC clash with Missouri. The Wildcats haven’t found anything wrong while reviewing the matter internally as it looks like Knox will play.

Kentucky seems to be following Duke’s path with Wendell Carter Jr.

Both are still allowed to play, despite being listed in the report, because there are a lot of factors still at play here. It should be noted that the evidence against all of these players in the Dawkins case looks bad.  It’s also hard to prove whether an actual encounter occurred. Dawkins doesn’t have the greatest history of being honest as CBT’s Rob Dauster noted.

Dawkins could have been misleading about some of these encounters with his boss to make himself look good. It’s also difficult to tell who truly paid for the meal, as it is conceivable that some of these players or their families paid for themselves.

Regardless of the nuances of this case, Knox looks like he will continue to play for a recently resurgent Kentucky team that has won two straight games. It’ll be interesting to see if this case hovers over Knox and Kentucky or if they can continue to power through and play well.