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Idaho to join Big Sky Conference in 2014

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Just when we thought it was safe to focus on the games.

The Big Sky Conference announced that Idaho will join the league in 2014, giving it 14 basketball-playing members. The Vandals will leave the WAC — well, kind of, since the WAC is pretty much dissolving — for the Big Sky in all sports except football, where they will play as a Football Bowl Subdivision independent.

“We welcome The University of Idaho back to the Big Sky, a conference where it excelled athletically and academically for more than 30 years as a flagship member,’’ said Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton in a release. “President Duane Nellis and Athletics Director Rob Spear have faced some very difficult challenges as the conference landscape has shifted. Both are to be commended for finding a stable home with a strong academic and athletic future. Our current membership can’t wait to begin renewing old rivalries and developing new relationships with the Vandals.’’

It’s a reversion of sorts for Idaho, who were members of the Big Sky Conference from 1963-1996.

Idaho is the third new full-fledged member of the conference this season. North Dakota and Southern Utah officially joined the Big Sky in July.

It’s definitely the right move for Idaho as a whole. Their last NCAA Tournament appearance was in 1989-90 and they’ve only had one 20-win season since then, in 1992-93 under Larry Eustachy. The market for Idaho is slim in terms of media and television. The Big Sky is full of teams in that position like Weber State, Montana and Eastern Washington.

As far as  the school going independent in FBS football, good luck making a bowl that way (though for a program like Idaho, a bowl game might actually lose them revenue.)

The Vandals tried to be a somewhat big-time program in a somewhat big-time conference, but that’s tough to do in the chimney (peninsula?) of Idaho. This is where the Vandals belong.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

POSTERIZED: 7-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye dunks on defender without jumping

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 12.03.27 PM
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Mamadou Ndiaye is one of the most unique players in college basketball.

Because he’s 7-foot-6.

Guys like that don’t come around often, and when they do, they do things like this: posterizing an opponent without having to jump.


[PHOTO: Ndiaye vs. 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall]

Ex-Duke guard, Marshall assistant Chris Duhon suspended after arrest

Chris Duhon
AP Photo/The Herald-Dispatch, Sholten Singer
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Marshall assistant coach Chris Duhon has been suspended by the university after he was arrested on a charge of aggravateddrunken driving early Monday morning.

Duhon, who is currently in his second season at Marshall, was booked into the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville, West Virginia, at 4:15 a.m. on Monday, according to the Herald-Dispatch.

The athletic department released a statement saying that Duhon had been suspended later on Monday.

Duhon was a member of Duke’s 2001 National Title team. He played for the Blue Devils from 2000-2004 and spent nine years in the NBA with the Bulls, Knicks, Magic and Lakers.