The Morning Mix

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– Steve Walentik of the Columbia Daily Tribune provides the #ReadoftheDay, in which warns us that no one in college basketball is safe from scandal

– Speaking of scandal, Harvard he entered the mix. But Gary Parrish believes that the Harvard cheating scandal isn’t necessarily a “basketball problem”. Evan Williams of Busting Brackets takes a similar stance on the issue

– Dennis Barry takes an interesting stance on the Duke/UNC scandals, thinks Tobacco Road is too big for the NCAA. Not sure I agree, but I love that he is taking this angle

– Speaking of UNC, did you know that Tyler Hansbrough’s mom is now involved in this mess? Yeah, it’s getting kinda out of control

– Maryland has had quite an interesting off-season from a personnel standpoint.  The Terps lost Terrell Stoglin and Mychael Parker due to university-related issues, but gained Albany-transfer Logan Aronhalt and Xavier’s Dez Wells recently. Now comes word that freshman Sam Cassell Jr., a 6-foot-4 Baltimore-native, is having his eligibility looked at by the NCAA. Throw in the 2011 eligibility issues of Alex Len and the frequent injuries issue to Pe’Shon Howard, and Mark Turgeon has had himself a tough go of thing off the court since taking over at the helm of the Terrapins program

– But Turgeon has not had it half as bad as Texas Tech head coach Billy Gillispie. I’ll spare you the details, but the latest news is that BCG is on his way to the Mayo Clinic for stress-related issues. I’m just going to leave it at that. But make sure you click all the links. You’ll get all the info you need, and Boy, there is a lot of info. Seriously, there is just so much news pouring out every hour, an entire Morning Mix could be devoted to just BCG.

– Roy Williams brought a case of jewelry with him on his in-home visit with Julius Randle. There is a Duke joke to be made somewhere in there

Mike DeCourcy gives us some great reasons why we should and shouldn’t worry about what lies ahead in 2012-2013

– If you even the slightest bit about the AAU circuit, then you know the name Sonny Vaccaro. The Godfather of grassroots basketball is out of the game and according to Dave Kindred, who provides a fantastic profile piece, is a good guy now

– USC-transfer Leonard Washington has been reinstated as a member of the Wyoming basketball team. The leading scorer from a year ago was suspended from the program after an arrest stemming from a brawl he got in back in April

– A look at some of the potential breakout candidates in the Big Sky Conference

– Highly touted recruit Anthony “Cat” Barber has trimmed his list down to three schools – Kansas, Alabama, and North Carolina State

– BeeJay Anya, a highly coveted center from DeMatha Catholic (MD) will attend Indiana’s Hoosier Hysteria

The field has been set for the N.I.T. Preseason Tip-Off. Run the Floor provides a detailed breakdown of the tournament favorites. Rob Dauster discusses which top seeds could get upset early


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.

Brunson scores 18 points, No. 8 Villanova beats Stanford

Jalen Brunson
Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) Villanova struggled to score and rebound on Thursday night.

The Wildcats’ defense was good enough to still get a win.

No. 8 Villanova compensated for offensive and rebounding struggles by forcing 23 turnovers in a 59-45 victory over Stanford in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tipoff.

“We played pretty good defense but couldn’t rebound with them,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “It was one of those nights we couldn’t make shots but hung in there defensively. Their rebounding was almost a difference maker but thank God it wasn’t.”

The Wildcats (5-0) advanced to face Georgia Tech in the championship game Friday.

Villanova won despite shooting 30.6 percent and getting outrebounded by a 55-35 margin against an opponent starting three players 6-foot-8 or taller. The Wildcats started one player taller than 6-6 but compensated for the size differential by holding Stanford to 26 percent from the floor.

“I didn’t think it would be this ugly on the boards but if we could have made a couple of shots it might not have been as ugly,” Wright said. “But I was proud the guys really grinded defensively.”

Freshman Jalen Brunson was one of few Wildcats not to struggle offensively and scored a career-high 18 points. Josh Hart added 10 points but was 4-for-13 shooting and combined with Ryan Arcidiacono to shoot 6 of 24, including 1 of 15 from 3-point range.

“I was doing what I always do,” Brunson said. “I try to play aggressive all the time. I saw they were backing off me a little bit so there is time for me to shoot and time for me to make other plays.”

Leading scorer Marcus Allen had 12 points but was 3 for 12 for Stanford (2-3). Dorian Pickens added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Stanford lost its third straight by double digits and will face Arkansas in the consolation game. The Cardinal missed their first 15 shots of the game and their first eight attempts of the second half while falling behind by 16.

Stanford was within seven on a basket by Reid Travis with 6:34 remaining, but Villanova scored the next six points and finished the game with a 13-6 run.

“They’re a very good defensive team, they’re active and they made a lot of plays,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “The thing we did most was we turned the ball over 23 times, so that was disappointing.”


Villanova: Seven of Villanova’s school-record 33 wins came in New York last season. The Wildcats won twice in the Legends Classic at Barclays Center, beat St. John’s and Illinois during the regular season at Madison Square Garden and won three games there for the Big East Tournament championship. … Guards Arcidiacono and Hart combined to miss their first 11 3-point attempts. Arcidiacono came into the game shooting 44 percent from 3-point range while Hart entered at 45 percent. … Darryl Reynolds tied a career high with 19 minutes, getting most of those in the second half after Daniel Ochefu picked up his fourth foul.

Stanford: Thursday was Stanford’s 13th game in New York since 2011-12. Last year, the Cardinal appeared in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, beating UNLV and losing to eventual national champion Duke. … Stanford faced Villanova for the second time. The other meeting was a 96-70 Cardinal loss on Dec. 23, 1970. … Stanford missed 12 layups and tip-ins during the first half. … Allen hit his head on the court trying to deflect the ball on a layup by Hart. Dawkins said Allen was a little dizzy but didn’t think the junior would miss any time.


Villanova: Georgia Tech in the championship game on Friday.

Stanford: Arkansas in the consolation game on Friday.

Justin Robinson, Monmouth knock off No. 17 Notre Dame

King Rice
Associated Press
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Less than two weeks after they opened their season with an upset win at UCLA, Monmouth picked up its first-ever win over a team ranked in the AP Top 25.

Two Justin Robinson free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining proved to be the difference as King Rice’s Hawks upset No. 17 Notre Dame at the Advocare Invitational in Orlando, and the diminutive point guard was a problem for the Fighting Irish all night.

Robinson scored 22 points, with 14 of them coming from the foul line as Notre Dame’s guards struggled to keep the quick guard contained off the dribble. He was one of three Hawks to score in double figures, and their combination of depth and athleticism proved problematic for Mike Brey’s team. All five Notre Dame starters scored in double figures, with Demetrius Jackson’s 20 leading the way, but the lack of depth proved problematic as the game wore on.

Notre Dame didn’t get a single point from its bench, with Matt Farrell and Matt Ryan combining to play 28 minutes. That lack of depth not only cost Notre Dame Thursday night, but it’s something they’ll have to figure out if they’re to be a contender in the ACC. Jackson and Steve Vasturia ran into foul trouble against Monmouth, and the lack of a bench option capable of picking up the slack led to Monmouth building up a ten-point lead in the second half.

Notre Dame tried to account for that by slowing down the tempo, but in doing so they struggled to find quality looks against the Monmouth defense. And given the players at Rice’s disposal, it’s tough to slow the game down against a team that can get after you on both ends of the floor.

Monmouth entered this season with expectations of contending for a MAAC title alongside the likes of perennial favorites Iona and Manhattan, and their start to the season backs up that belief. With two players in Robinson and Deon Jones who have earned all-conference honors during their careers and a host of contributors that includes guards Je’lon Hornbeak and Micah Seaborn, this is a group to keep an eye on as the season wears on.

Because if they can earn a bid, Monmouth’s non-conference schedule will have them prepared for the NCAA tournament.