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.

Seton Hall’s Derrick Gordon won’t pursue pro basketball to become a firefighter

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12:  Derrick Gordon #32 of the Seton Hall Pirates celebrates after hitting a basket against the Villanova Wildcats during the Big East Basketball Tournament Championship at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2016 in New York City. Seton Hall Pirates defeated Villanova Wildcats 69-67.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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After a successful career that included stops at Western Kentucky, UMass and Seton Hall, Derrick Gordon, Division I college basketball’s first openly gay player, will not pursue professional opportunities and will instead become a firefighter.

The 6-foot-3 Gordon averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates, helping the team reach the NCAA tournament during his graduate transfer year. By making the NCAA tournament with Seton Hall this past season, Gordon became the first college basketball player to reach the event with three different teams.

A tenacious perimeter defender who could have earned a pro contract if he stuck with basketball, Gordon will instead pursue a career as a firefighter in San Francisco.

“I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,” Gordon said via his Instagram. “But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!”

While Gordon likely would have never made the NBA on talent alone, his defensive prowess would have likely given him a shot overseas or in the D League. It’s hard to say why Gordon is making this decision, but given what we saw with all of the attention surrounding Michael Sam when he tried to play in the NFL, Gordon was probably going to face a lot of scrutiny wherever he decided to play.

Hopefully Gordon finds his calling as a firefighter and brings the same energy and leadership that he brought on the floor to helping other people outside of basketball.

Washington guard Markelle Fultz pulls off sick spin and dunk at FIBA U18 Americas

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Kelly Kline/Under Armour
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Washington incoming freshman guard Markelle Fultz is going to be one of the premier players in the country next season as his unique game is going to be fascinating to watch.

The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently playing with the USA U18 team in Chile for the FIBA U18 Americas as he’s second on the team in scoring and first in assists as the Americans play Canada for the title on Saturday.

Against the host country, Fultz had an electric spin move in the paint and finished with an easy dunk. If you’re not willing to stay up late to watch this dude play this year, then set your DVRs, because Fultz is going to have some fun moments during the season.

(H/t: Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report)

POSTERIZED: Class of 2016 forward Chris Seeley has a massive dunk on defender

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The Las Vegas AAU events are all going on this week and it’s the final event for rising seniors.

At the Las Vegas Fab 48, forward Chris Seeley of the Splash City 17U team put down one of the best poster dunks of the summer as he skied over a defender for an emphatic finish.

The Class of 2016 forward attends Central High School in Fresno, California as he’s receiving plenty of buzz for his recent play.

 

 

 

Five-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt cuts list to nine

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LAS VEGAS, NV — Five-star Class of 2017 forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the country since he was a freshman in high school.

The 6-foot-8 native of Houston is beginning to wind things down in the recruiting process as he cut his list to nine schools on Friday. Vanderbilt’s list includes some of the most storied programs in college basketball and plenty of schools from his home state of Texas.

“I just followed my heart. Went with the schools I liked the most and who I have the best relationships with. Thear were the schools I could see myself playing for,” Vanderbilt told NBCSports.com.

Regarded as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Rivals.com national rankings, Vanderbilt is currently recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot.

Vanderbilt will see a doctor in three-to-four weeks as he’s currently in a boot to help his foot heal.

Report: Michigan State and Penn State will play at the Palestra

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Head coach Patrick Chambers of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has previously expressed a desire to coach a game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia and it appears he’ll get his chance in a Big Ten game this season.

According to a report from Brendan F. Quinn of MLive, Penn State will use the Palestra as its home gym for the Jan. 7, 2017 Big Ten game against Michigan State. It is the only time the two teams are scheduled to play during Big Ten season and Penn’s home gym will offer a unique setting for the game.

Since the capacity of the Palestra is 8,722, it should make for a fun atmosphere for both programs since this will be a game both fan bases will likely want to attend.

With Nittany Lions head coach Pat Chambers making Philadelphia a major recruiting priority for his program, a game like this in Philadelphia makes sense while Michigan State has always been open to playing games in unique settings such as aircraft carriers.

The Palestra has been a college basketball mainstay since it was built in 1927 as it hosts all Penn home games and, in the past, hosted a lot of Big 5 Philadelphia college games between La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova.

Overall, a fun idea that should make for an interesting experience for both programs. It’s not often that a team will change its home venue for a conference game, but it could be the start of something we see other schools look to do.