The Morning Mix

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Anybody else a huge fan of not having to work on Mondays? I could really get comfortable with that.

Glad we’re all in agreement.

Let’s hit the links.

– In case you missed it, the NCAA is now investigating UCLA freshman Tony Parker and Kyle Anderson. The third member of the trio, Shabazz Muhammad is already under NCAA investigation. It appears that the most recent investigation focuses heavily on Anderson, and that Parker, a 6-9 forward from Georgia, has been cleared to play. Here is the statement issued by UCLA. You really ought to read Bruins Nation on a daily basis for all things UCLA

– But UCLA’s cross-town rivals USC would not let the Bruins get the upper-hand this weekend. According to The L.A Times, former-Trojan forward Davon Jefferson received $3,700 in illegal benefits during his one season at USC. Don’t worry, there’s more: Maurice Jones, the Trojan’s leading scorer from a year ago, must sit out the entire upcoming season because of academic issues

– But never to be outdone, Not by UCLA, not by USC, not by nobody, Texas Tech head coach Billy Clyde Gillispie had himself quite the weekend. On Friday it was reported that several Red Raiders players met with the school’s AD about alleged mistreatment from the head coach. No less than 24 hours later, it was reported that Gillispie had been admitted to a nearby hospital for undisclosed medical reasons. It turned out to be high blood pressure. I was under the impression that  BCG’s blood pressure was typically at an obscenely high level

– The fourth kinda-big news item of the extended weekend  has to do with dynamic ex-Xavier guard Dez Wells You should all know his story by know, so I’d rather type “You should all know his story by know” instead of explaining it to you.  A decision will be made sometime in the next two days, Maryland looks to be the favorite

– This is kinda interesting. San Diego State was being tracked by the FBI throughout the 2010-2011 season. As Matt Norlander points out, this is SDSU, and not San Diego, the school that was busted for fixing games in 2010

– The Preseason N.I.T. is still looking for one more participant. Anybody interested? Didn’t think so

– If there’s one reason why we all love the Summit League (Other than the outrageous mascots), it’s the acronyms: IUPUI, IPFW, UMKC, SDSU and NDSU. We cannot sit idly by and let them take this away from us

UNC-Greensboro head coach Wes Miller is making all of us mid-to-late 20 year-olds look really really bad

– Rob Dauster, who has the most outdated head-shot this side of Jeff Borzello, provides a good-read on how Frank Haith and the new-look Missouri Tigers hope to replicate last season’s success

– Andy Glockner, whose head-shot is not as outdated as Rob’s but possibly more creepy, drops some preseason knowledge about the SEC

– While the common fan might not see any significance in a November 9th match-up between North Texas and Creighton, the true hoop-heads (and NBA scouts) are salivating in anticipation

– St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin has decided to hire former-UCLA guard Darrick Martin as the new Assistant Coach for the Red Storm. Martin replacing Mike Dunlap, who left to take over the head coaching position for the Charlotte Bobcats

– Arizona State has replaced its two recently departed assistants with former NBA coaches Eric Musselman and Larry Greer

– The guys inside the eyeball at CBS update us on some of the preseason road trips: CharlotteIndiana State and Florida Gulf Coast in The Bahamas, South Alabama in Canada, Purdue in Italy

– despite losing talented head coach Dan Hurley to Rhode Island, Wagner landed themselves a huge commitment over the weekend in the form of the Michigan’s 2011 “Mr. Basketball” and former Michigan State Spartan Dwaun Anderson

– Preseason conditioning is the worst. But the guys at Hawaii seem to have gotten it right

– If legendary-Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp were with us today, he would have celebrated his 111th birthday this past weekend

– Former-Syracuse star Dion Waiters showed up to “Taco Night” at a fan’s house. Best.TacoTuesday.Ever.

– Parsing The WAC provides a quick-list of the top ten players in the conference. I’m voting Preston Medlin in ’12(and ’13)

– Your un-hoops related news of the day: Bernie “does the Bernie” at an Oakland A’s game. My life is complete

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.

Grand Canyon lands Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson

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Grand Canyon landed an important piece for its NCAA tournament push on Saturday night as Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson pledged to the Antelopes.

The 6-foot-3 Benson will be eligible right away as spent the past three seasons with the Ducks as a key reserve guard, helping Oregon to multiple deep NCAA tournament runs. Benson picked Grand Canyon over Wisconsin for his final season of college basketball as Benson’s brother, T.J., is an assistant coach with the Antelopes.

Benson shot 40 percent from three-point range last season while also being a steady ball handler over the course of his career at Oregon as he has only 81 career turnovers in over 2,600 career minutes with the Ducks. While Benson wasn’t asked to score a lot for a loaded Oregon team that featured multiple bucket-getters, he could be asked to do more at Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon is eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first time next season as the addition of Benson gives them an experienced guard who should be more of a factor in the WAC. The Antelopes are coming off of a 22-9 season in which they finished 11-3 in conference play.

With great facilities and a quickly-growing fan base, head coach Dan Majerle has the potential makings of a perennial mid-major conference contender if he continues to recruit well to Grand Canyon.

Colorado adds commitment from Class of 2017 point guard McKinley Wright

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Colorado landed one of the best available point guards for next season on Friday as Class of 2017 floor general McKinley Wright committed during an official visit.

A former Dayton commit who opted out of his recruitment after former head coach Archie Miller took the Indiana job, Wright was one of the best available point guards left as he played last weekend on the adidas Gauntlet in front of college coaches with D1 Minnesota.

The 6-foot-0 Wright gives the Buffaloes another ball handler and distributor as he was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball during this past season. As a senior, Wright averaged 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

It’s always hard to say if spring recruits who elevate a level in recruiting after decommitting are making the correct decision, but Wright looked the part of a high-major lead guard last weekend, and Colorado wasn’t the only high-major program that was pushing hard to add Wright at this late stage.

Oral Roberts to hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills

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Oral Roberts has found its new head coach as they will hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills, as first reported by NBCSports.com’s Rob Dauster.

Mills had been on staff with the Bears since 2003 as he’s been a big factor in why head coach Scott Drew has been able to turn around that program. A graduate of Texas A&M, Mills has been a full-time assistant at Baylor since the 2009 season.

“I am honored to accept this role of representing this historic institution, its students and its mission,” Mills said in a release. “Making this commitment today is a highlight of my career and I look forward with excitement to the basketball season directly ahead. Go Golden Eagles.”

Mills will replace former head coach Scott Sutton, who was relieved of his duties this offseason after 18 years at the helm.

 

Iowa commit Connor McCaffery to redshirt in basketball to pursue baseball

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Iowa commit Connor McCaffery is in a unique spot when he starts his freshman year in Iowa City next year.

Not only is the 6-foot-4 guard the son of basketball head coach Fran McCaffery, while being a four-star national basketball prospect, but Connor also has a bright future in baseball.

There was a lot of speculation as to what Connor might do for his future in athletics and he gave more clarification on what he might be looking to do on Friday.

McCaffery has decided to redshirt in basketball next season to focus on the beginnings of his baseball career at Iowa. A walk-on for both sports, the move enables Connor McCaffery to potentially play three years of basketball with his younger brother, Patrick, who is also a heralded basketball recruit for Iowa. This move also gives Connor the best chance to pursue both sports while he’ll also help out a young Iowa basketball team with its tough scholarship scenario.

Butler, Chris Holtmann agree to a contract extension

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Butler has agreed to a contract extension with head coach Chris Holtmann, the school announced on Friday, that will keep him under contract through 2025.

“Butler truly is a special place, and my family and I are thankful to be part of a great academic institution and an athletics department that is a source of pride for those who embrace Butler and The Butler Way,” said Holtmann. “Our student-athletes, our staff, and so many throughout our campus are remarkable at what they do, and I’m excited to continue to work alongside them.”

Holtmann was named Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to a 25-9 record and a spot in the Sweet 16. In three years with the program, Holtmann has a record of 70-31.

“Chris is a tremendous ambassador for Butler and the Butler Way, and his leadership has resulted in success both on and off the court for the talented young men in our program,” said Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “This commitment – both by our university and by Chris – allows the momentum within our program to continue.”

Holtmann was in the mix for a couple of jobs this spring, including N.C. State and Missouri.