North Texas v Creighton

How many NBA scouts are going to be at North Texas-Lehigh?

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Perhaps the biggest reason that this season is interesting for those that love college hoops — and the main reason that this is a year where the casual fans may end up missing more of the regular season than usual — is that there really isn’t any greatness in the college game this year.

Indiana and Duke are the two best teams in the country, but neither of them are on the same level as last season’s Kentucky team. That group had five first round draft picks on the roster. Last year’s North Carolina team had four. Depending on how the collegiate careers of guys like Victor Oladipo and Rasheed Sulaimon play out, the Hoosiers and the Blue Devils may end up having two first round picks. Combined.

And there’s no guarantee that those two players — Mason Plumlee and Cody Zeller, who may end up going head-to-head for National Player of the Year over the course of the next four months — will end up being stars at the next level, either.

In fact, in addition to there not being any great teams in college hoops this year, there aren’t that many great NBA prospects, either.

Which is why it’s the perfect season for the mid-major ranks to be as strong as they have been in a long time. Take, for example, next week’s matchup between Lehigh and North Texas, which features potential first round picks Tony Mitchell and CJ McCollum:

45 NBA scouts to see North Texas and Lehigh!!!

That number is insane, as anything over 30 is generally considered a large amount of scouts, even when it’s teams like Kentucky or North Carolina playing.

But hey, this is a chance to see two NBA players that won’t see much NBA caliber competition over the next three months play against each other in the same locale.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.