The Morning Mix welcomes you to a brand new season

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Today is a new day for the Morning Mix. Everybody’s favorite morning round-up has been in need of a face lift for a long time, and today is the day it finally happens. It’s nothing too big, and there might be a tiny bit of tinkering over the next few days. But we feel that the new Morning Mix will serve as a much better canvas for the daily palate of college basketball news.
 
 
#ReadoftheDay: Tremendous story from Jeff Eisenberg about the hard work and patience put in by Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick. Read It. (The Dagger)

Top Stories:
NCAA cracks down on hardship waivers for transfer players: The NCAA has put a bunch of restrictions on hardship waivers which should help curb the number of players seek immediate eligibility due to family-related hardships. In the past few years, the hardship waiver has been abused repeatedly by players who don’t like their current situation and want to play somewhere else without having to sit out a season. The NCAA got this one right.

Trevor Mbakwe will pay back scholarship if the Gophers don’t make NCAA tournament: The Minnesota senior forward has vowed to repay his final year of his scholarship if he can’t lead his team to the NCAA tournament. The Gophers enter the season likely to gain an at-large bid, but will largely depend on the health of Mbakwe, who missed nearly all of last season with a torn MCL.

Something peculiar is going on at Detroit: Last Wednesday, Titan’s assistant coach Derek Thomas, along with Athletic Director Keri Gaither, resigned effective immediately. On Friday, Carlos Briggs, another member of the Titan’s coaching staff, resigned. No one knows why and neither of the sides have commented. Peculiar.
 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
– After being denied eligibility by the NCAA in September, Former Indiana signee Ron Patterson has committed to Syracuse. The 6-foot-2 guard left Indiana and enrolled at Brewster Academy and is now set to join the Orange next fall. (Syracuse Post-Standard)

– Two Indiana big-men, Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin, are still waiting to be cleared to play by the NCAA. (Inside The Hall)

– Texas A&M freshman guard Shawn Smith was ruled a partial qualifier by the NCAA. He will remain on scholarship and will be able to practice, but will not be able to play in games (Sporting News)
 
 
Observations & Analysis:
– Oakland is expecting big things from Providence transfer Duke Mondy (CollegeBasketballTalk)

– Gonzaga was once again selected as the preseason favorites to win the West Coast Conference (Spokesman-Review)

– Expectations are high for the Kentuecky Wildcats. What can we expect from Kentucky freshman this year? (Kentucky Sports Radio)

– A quick recap of exhibition games involving Big East teams (Syracuse Post-Standard)

– While the Big East is hemmoraging basketball programs, the Atlantic-10 seems to be stockpiling them. Championship Week in the NYC-metro area is sure to be interesting (New York Daily News)

– Season preview for the Rider Broncs (Keepin’ Track of the MAAC)

– An excellent Q&A session with NJIT head coach Jim Engles, who has the Highlanders headed in the right direction (College Chalktalk)

– The top-15 most intriguing non-conference games featuring Big East teams (The Dagger)
 
 
Odds & Ends:
– Michigan State unveiled the camoflauge uniforms they will wear for the Friday season opener. The Spartans will face the UConn Huskies at the Ramstein Air Base as part of the Armed Forces Classic. (MLive.com)

– Creativity at it’s best: The “Under 6-foot All American Team”. (Run The Floor)

– Stan Van Gundy to call Navy-Marine Corps Classic on NBC Sports Network, will contribute to NBC Sports Radio Network.  (ProBasketballTalk)

– Every wondered how you go about building a NBA D-League roster? This infographic breaks it down (NBA.com)
 
 
Video(s) of the Day:
There is no denying that the 2012 NCAA Tournament came up short in providing its usual assortment of last second heroics. But No.6 on the list of reasons “Why We Love College Basketball” reminds us of one of the few true shining moments. (Rush The Court)


 
 
 
 
Best.Technical Foul. Ever. (Yahoo Sports, The Dagger)

Do you like the new Morning Mix? Hate it? Have a suggestion or wanted something featured? Troy Machir will take all your praise, insults and inquiries via Twitter (@TroyMachir)

Rick Pitino: ‘We should be penalized … but not this team’

Rick Pitino
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.

Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.

How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?

Well, it seems.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.

And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.

“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”

He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.

But credit the Cardinals for responding.

Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.

Oklahoma State without Jawun Evans, questionable moving forward

Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans (1) goes up for a shot between Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) and forward Perry Ellis (34) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. Oklahoma State won 86-67. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.

Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.

According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.

Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.