The Morning Mix

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– Ken Pomeroy once again provides the #ReadoftheDay. The grandmaster advanced statistician took a long hard look at the 18th most improbable comeback from last season. You should vaguely remember it too. NCAA Tournament Opening Round: Western Kentucky vs. Mississippi Valley State

-Boston College head coach Steve Donahue believes that there is not another conference in the country that can stack up against the ACC in basketball 

– Some solid responses from Eamonn Brennan and Pitt Blather regarding the Sports Illustrated article about schedule-making and the RPI

– Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Eisenberg has been churning out a bunch of fantastic mid-major conference previews. I highly recommend his Atlantic Sun preview on the heirs to the A-Sun throne now that Belmont has moved to the OVC. In his Big West preview, Jeff explains how western mid-major schools are avoiding being left behind in the ever-changing world of conference expansion. Jeff also details how a “new-look” Long Beach State team will try to defend their Big West title. Seriously, just read as many of Jeff’s conference previews as you can. It will benefit you down the road. Trust me

– According to reports from Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, the NCAA is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into Notre Dame Preparatory School (MA). This comes on the heel of two Class of 2012 basketball recruits from the school academically ineligible to play college ball this year. Sam Cassell Jr. (Maryland) and Myles Davis (Xavier) were both recently denied eligibility at their respective  schools

– Nerlens Noel recently admitted that opposing recruiters assumed Kentucky was paying him. In this Sports Illustrated article, other recruit open up about shady recruiting practices

– The SB Nation blog “Tar Heel Fan” has provided some of the best arguments and discussion topics concerning the academic scandal taking place in Chapel Hill. The most recent post questions the purpose of recent reports published by the Raleigh News and Observer

– The Ed O’Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA is not easy to keep track of. But luckily Matt Norlander fills us in on the latest updates and briefs us on the road ahead for the NCAA

– Sad new out of Baltimore, as former-Maryland walk-on Earl Badu was found dead from an apparent suicide over the weekend.  According to police reports The 33-year old former-Terp jumped to his death from the I-95 overpass onto Interstate 695 outside of Baltimore County

– The Hawaii Warriors got some terrible news on Friday, as All-Conference big-man Vander Joaquim will miss four to six weeks after he tore his MCL on Thursday. Gib Arnold’s squad is joining the Big West in 2012-2013 and Joaquim was supposed to be the team’s impact player

– One of the traditions being formed at Hawaii under third-year head coach Gib Arnold is the annual “King of the Beach” preseason fitness competition. Nebraska-transfer Christian Standhardinger won the early-morning training competition over the weekend on world famous Waikiki Beach

– No team got hit harder by the injury bug last season than the Louisville Cardinals. Mike Marra was one of the players who missed the entire 2011-2012 season. During Marra’s first practice back, he re-injured his ACL and is thus retiring from collegiate basketball

– Matt Glover started 21 games for Penn State last season before transferring out of Happy Valley admit the lengthy Jerry Sandusky scandal. The 6-foot-5 guard wanted to be closer to his family and transferring to San Francisco. Unfortunately, it was announced on Friday that the NCAA has denied Glover a hardship waiver and will have to sit out the 2012-2013 season

– JuCo star Chris Thomas announced over the weekend that he is decommitting from Xavier. This should not come as a shock considering Thomas attended three high schools and a junior college before settling on Xavier. Iowa State, Missouri and Seton Hall could all be in the mix for his services

– Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal put together a great Q&A session with Kentucky head coach John Calipari

According to the Chicago Tribune, DePaul officials are discussing the possibility of moving home games from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont to the United Center in downtown Chicago

– The Ohio State athletic department held a fundraiser in order to support an iPad program for student athletes. Why do student athletes need iPads?

A nice little review of the Athlon Sports 2012-2013 college basketball preview magazine

– It seems as though college basketball is developing another interesting publicity trend. Rutgers head coach Mike Rice rappelled down the face of a 50-story building as part of a charity fundraiser. Not to be outdone, the St. John’s Red Storm mascot did the same

– Colorado continues to haul in class of 2013 recruits thanks to the Buffs Pac-12 Tournament championship last season. The most recent addition to Tad Boyle’s future squad is 6-foot-5 wing Tre’Shaun Lexing from Takoma, WA

– Mike DeCourcy ranks his top-5 candidates for “Breakout Star” in 2012-2013

– Run The Floor ranks the top-5 guards in the Horizon League

– Ohio State President Gordon Gee spends $64,000 a year on bowties, but really likes helping out the football program on the recruiting trails

– The “Oakland Zoo” student section at Pittsburgh’s Petersen Events Center released their t-shirts for the new season. It’s solid. Not as good as some of the past seasons, but still pretty good

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.