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)

Two workouts this week could alter Caleb Swanigan’s NBA Draft decision

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Purdue big man Caleb Swanigan has the most important decision among any college basketball player who could return next season from the 2017 NBA Draft process. If Swanigan comes back for his junior season, he’s the frontrunner for National Player of the Year. More importantly, Purdue would have a serious chance to repeat as Big Ten regular season champions, especially if Vince Edwards also returns from the same draft process.

Wednesday night is the decision deadline for players to return to college basketball for next season and Swanigan will use two more workouts scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday to help decide his future. According to multiple reports, Swanigan will workout for the Orlando Magic on Tuesday and the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s workout with the Magic will also reportedly involve Cal big man Ivan Rabb — an important workout for Swanigan since Rabb is listed ahead of Swanigan on a lot of popular mock drafts. The Magic own three picks between No. 25 and No. 35 — which is listed slightly above the No. 40 slot that Draft Express has Swanigan listed. So if Swanigan has a good workout against Rabb for the Magic, then he could get himself some sort of guarantee from a Magic team that desperately needs talent and has a lot of picks in that range.

The Knicks also have Swanigan scheduled for a Wednesday workout as they own the No. 44 overall pick in the second round. Again, the Knicks are a team in win-now mode with current stars like Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis openly feuding with the team’s front-office, so it wouldn’t be out of the question for Swanigan to land some sort of guarantee from New York in the second round.

Of course, guarantees for draft night are nice to have, but things can change quickly on draft night. Swanigan has to consider all of the information he is receiving before he makes his decision on Wednesday. But if Swanigan has two strong workouts and gets the information that he’s looking for this week, then he could easily bolt for a potential guaranteed contract.

Angel Delgado’s return to Seton Hall makes Pirates Big East contender

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Seton Hall got huge news on Monday when Angel Delgado announced that he would be returning to school for his senior season.

“I am coming back to school for my senior year,” Delgado said in a statement on Monday. “It’s very important to my family and me that I finish what I started. This was a difficult decision that took time and patience. Coming back feels just right.”

Delgado, a 6-foot-10 forward from the Dominican Republic, averaged 15.1 points and 13.2 boards last season for the Pirates. He was one of the best big men in the country over the last six weeks of the season.

And his return should bring about one of the best years that Seton Hall basketball has had in a long time.

The Pirates are loaded with talent, tough and, most importantly, old players, from Delgado to Khadeen Carrington to Ishmael Sanogo to Desi Rodriguez. They are going to be a nightmare to run offense against, and they may just be the best team in the Big East not named Villanova. Delgado should end up being a preseason all-american.

Seton Hall is currently ranked No. 17 in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25.

Texas to return Andrew Jones for sophomore season

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Texas got another boost on Monday as former five-star recruit Andrew Jones announced that he will be returning to school for his sophomore season.

“I’ve matured and learned a lot through this process,” Jones said in a statement released on twitter. “I enjoyed the experience and opportunity that I had to be able to participate in the combine and team workouts.

“Time to go work out with my teammates. Hungry and Humble.”

This comes on the heels of Texas landing a commitment from a top five prospect in Mo Bamba. With all those pieces in the fold, including a recruiting class that features four more top 100 prospects, the Longhorns look like they are on track to be a borderline preseason top 25 team and heading back to the NCAA tournament.

This could end up being a narrative-changing year for Texas.

West Virginia returns potential Big 12 Player of the Year in Jevon Carter

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West Virginia got some great news on Monday as Jevon Carter announced that he will be returning to the Mountaineers for his senior year.

“I’m excited about coming back to West Virginia and playing with my teammates for my senior season,” he said. “The entire NBA process was a great experience for me and to gain valuable feedback that I can use to prepare for the future.”

This is massive for the Mountaineers. Not only is Carter the team’s leading scorer at 13.5 points, but he is a three-time all-Big 12 Defensive Team member and led West Virginia in minutes played last season. He’ll be a favorite to win Big 12 Player of the Year, with Devonte’ Graham of Kansas.

Arizona adds five-star Emmanuel Akot to Class of 2017

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Emmanuel Akot, a five-star wing that has been committed to Arizona for months, announced on Monday that he will be reclassifying to the Class of 2017 and enrolling at Arizona this offseason.

“My family and I have decided to join the 2017 class and become a member of the Arizona Basketball family,” Akot said.

Akot was considered a top 15 prospect in the Class of 2018, a class that many believe to be significantly weaker than the Class of 2017. At 6-foot-7, he’s a versatile defender with quite a bit of potential that can step out and knock down threes, but he’s also far from a finish product and will likely need time to acclimate to the college level.

That said, he should be able to fill a role on the wing nicely, providing a nice bit of defensive reliance alongside more offensive-minded weapons like Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins.

Akot joins a five-man recruiting class headlined by top four prospect Deandre Ayton and four-star recruits Brandon Randolph and Ira Lee.