The Morning Mix

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Where do we even begin today?

National News Story #1:

– Jim Calhoun is going to announce his retirement later today after 26 years as head coach of the UConn Huskies. Former-Husky and current assistant coach Kevin Ollie is reportedly set to take over the reigns from the legendary ball coach. The program isn’t exactly on stable ground, but at least they know what lies ahead.  Aside from the three national championships and decades of dominance, Calhoun was the finest example of a blue-collar head coach the game may have ever seen

– Here are all the best-reads from the heavy-hitters on Calhoun’s retirement and legacy: Garry Parrish, Jeff Goodman, Mike DeCourcy, and Dana O’Neil

– Some other very good-reads regarding the retirement: Rob Dauster, Mike Miller, Jeff Eisenberg, and Quinn Rochford

– Can Kevin Ollie actually succeed as head coach of UConn? Replacing a legend is not an easy thing to do

– Calhoun built up a near library of entertaining soundbites and quotes during his time in Storrs. Here are all the best ones

The Top-10 moments from the Calhoun Era

– Jim Cahloun and the UConn Huskies had three “One Shining Moment” montages. Which one is your favorite?

– Here is how the Twittershphere reacted to the news of Calhoun’s retirement decision

National News Story #2:

Notre Dame is leaving the Big East in order to join the ACC for all sports except hockey and football. I’ll give $100 to anybody who can convince me that South Bend is on the Atlantic Coast. Leave your best attempt in the comments section below. I’ll be waiting.

– Here’s what a bunch of the heavy-hitters had to say (Most of them share the same opinions): Gary Parrish, Jeff GoodmanDan Wetzel, Mike DeCourcy, and Kevin McNamara

– Jason McIntyre thinks the league is dead in the water

– The addition of Notre Dame brings the ACC to a grand total of 15 teams. Could the conference be looking to add a 16th team to make things even across the board?

The rest of the College Hoops World:

– USC guard Maurice Jones, the team’s leading scorer from a year ago, has decided to transfer. This decision comes just a week after it was determined that the Trojan’s guard had been ruled academically ineligible

Andy Glockner chimes in on the Billy Clyde Gilispie fiasco down in Lubbock, TX. The school has a difficult decision to make believe it or not

– Chrishawn Hopkins has been dismissed from the Butler Bulldogs program for violating team rules

– Robbie Hummel just cannot catch a break. The former-Boilermaker and fan favorite partially tore his meniscus and will miss 3-4 weeks of the Euro hoops schedule

– The top non-conference games of 2012-2013 featuring NEC teams

Larry Drew II has been named the starting guard at UCLA. Coach Howland calls the former Tar Heel “our most indispensable player”. They’re doomed

– Who are the top centers in the Missouri Valley Conference? Mid-Major Madness has the answers

– Remember the ticket scalping scandal that engulfed the Kansas athletic department a few years back? Of course you did. Well, we have ourselves an update. I bet you didn’t see that coming today

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.

Sex assault count dropped against ex-Creighton player Watson

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped a first-degree sexual assault charge against former Creighton point guard Maurice Watson after questions arose about the accuser’s story.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine announced Friday that his office had dropped the felony charge, filed earlier this year when a 19-year-old woman accused Watson of assaulting her early Feb. 4 at a party in an Omaha home. Watson has denied that allegation.

The 24-year-old Watson pleaded no contest Friday to misdemeanor assault for an encounter the same night with a different Creighton student, who said Watson touched her thigh and tried to make her touch his genitals. Watson was sentenced to the five days he’d already served in jail.

Watson was a senior when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in January, just days before the party.

Storm damage forces Paradise Jam out of Virgin Islands

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MIAMI (AP) — The Paradise Jam basketball tournament will not be played in the U.S. Virgin Islands this year because of damage caused by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

The tournament will be played in the U.S., with a new site expected to be announced by Sept. 29.

The Paradise Jam field this year includes Wake Forest, Colorado, Drake, Drexel, Houston, Liberty, Mercer and Quinnipiac, and each of those schools was given the chance to bid for the right to host the tournament.

Tournament officials say they looked at multiple other options, such as moving to another island and using a cruise ship for accommodations, before deciding to move the event to the U.S.

For now, the tournament is scheduled to be played from Nov. 17-20.

Kentucky lands commitment from five-star point guard

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Kentucky landed a commitment from Immanuel Quickley on Friday night, a top ten prospect and arguably the best point guard in the Class of 2018.

Quickley picked the Wildcats over Kansas, who he visited earlier this month, and Miami, who he was scheduled to visit before Hurricane Irma struck south Florida.

The 6-foot-3 point guard is the first commitment in the class of head coach John Calipari, and it really comes as no surprise. He’s been considered a Kentucky lean for months, and Quickley played for Calipari on the USA U19 team during the 2017 FIBA World Cup.

While Quickley has the size and the build – he’s 180 pounds with broad shoulders and long arms – of some of Kentucky’s former elite point guards, he’s not the same kind of point guard as, say, De’Aaron Fox or John Wall. He’s more of a smooth athlete than an explosive one, and while his long strides allow him to get out into transition, he’s not the finisher at the rim that those two were. What he is, however, is an intelligent player. He’s good in ball-screens, he’s an excellent passer and facilitator and he is a good enough shooter that he forces defenses to stay honest. He also has the potential to be a plus defender given his physical tools and the fact that he’ll try on that end of the floor.

Where this commitment gets interesting is the current point guard in Kentucky’s back court, Quade Green. Green was a five-star recruit in his own right, but he’s not quite built as a potential one-and-done prospect. Calipari has maneuvered through two point guards in the past, and each of the last five national champions have played major minutes with two point guards on the floor at the same time, but if Green is back next season that will be something to monitor.

That, however, is a long ways away.

What matters now is that Kentucky has gotten this commitment out of the way, and it paves the way for them to also receive a commitment from Zion Williamson. There has long been talk of those two attending college together, and with Quickley on the board, that likely keeps Kentucky in the driver’s seat as they pursue the South Carolina native.

If Kentucky can also wrangle a commitment out of R.J. Barrett, the No. 1 player in the 2018 recruiting class, that would likely be the end of the discussion of whether or not Duke has surpassed the Wildcats on the recruiting trail.

Five-star forward King picks Oregon

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Oregon has nabbed one of the top players in the 2018 class.

Louis King, a top-20 forward, committed to Dana Altman and the Ducks on Thursday via a video on social media.

“It’s been a tough, strenuous process,” King said, “but today makes all of that worth it. I’ve been blessed with great opportunities.”

The 6-foot-8 New Jersey native selected Oregon over other finalists Seton Hall, NC State, Purdue and Kansas.

“I would like to thank each of them for all the time and effort they put into my recruitment,” King said. “I would like to thank my coaches and my teammates that have pushed me and helped get me to this point in my career. My friends for all their love and support, but most of all I would like to thank my family, who has been by my side through it all.”

King is Altman’s second commit in 2018, joining four-star big man Miles Norris, a top-75 recruit in the class. It’s the beginning of what could be an absolutely dynamic class for Oregon, which still has two scholarships remaining.

“Out of all of my schools I felt like it was best for me and my family,” King said to MADE Hoops. “Coach Altman said that I would have the ball in my hands throughout the season. When I get there, it will be an easy adjustment for me with how I handle rock and get my teammates open. Our goal is to win a national championship next year.”

 

Four-star forward Miller Kopp commits to Northwestern

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Northwestern has a second four-star recruit in its 2018 class.

The Wildcats received a commitment from Miller Kopp, a 6-foot-6 forward, on Thursday, he announced via social media.

“I built a really strong relationship with (coach) Chris Collins and I fell in love with the campus,” Kopp told Scout. “I knew it would be a nice campus and have that stuff, but I think me and him are wired the same way. II think that his personality fits mine and I think we complement each other. I’m definitely excited to be able to go to a program on the rise and be able to make some history.”

Kopp picked the Wildcats over offers from Georgetown, Butler, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. The Houston native is ranked in the top-100 of his class by most recruiting services.

He gives Collins and the Wildcats an exceedingly strong 2018 class, which already featured four-star guard Pete Nance of Ohio along with three-star recruits Jordan Lathon and Ryan Young. It represents a major leap forward for Northwestern. It would appear that the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance last March has brought momentum to the recruiting trail.