The Morning Mix

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“Upset Week” continued last night on the college hardwood. Minnesota lost to Northwestern, Creighton lost to Drake, Butler lost to La Salle and Miami absolute demolished Duke. There were also at least six other games that can be classified as upsets as well.

Oh, and Drexel’s Frantz Massenat hit a 50-foot buzzer-beater to beat Hofstra.

Lets hit the links.

Thursday’s Top games:
7:00 p.m. – Purdue @ No. 2 Michigan
7:00 p.m. – No. 19 VCU @ Richmond
7:00 p.m. – Tennessee @ No. 23 Ole Miss
7:00 p.m. – Davidson @ Western Carolina
8:00 p.m. – Middle Tennessee North Texas
8:30 p.m. – California @ Utah
9:00 p.m. – UCLA @ No. 6 Arizona
9:00 p.m. – Wyoming @ UNLV
10:00 p.m. – Stanford @ Colorado
10:30 p.m. – USC @ Arizona State
11:00 p.m. – BYU @ Gonzaga
11:00 p.m. – San Diego @ Saint Mary’s

Read of the Day:
A lot of articles were written yesterday about the NCAA’s huge gaffe in the Nevin Shapiro case. Make sure you read Dana O’Neil’s take. It’s as spot-on as spot-on can be. (ESPN)

Read of the Day:
Luke Winn Power Rankings. That is all. (Sports Illustrated)

Top Stories:

What does tonight’s blowout loss mean for No. 1 Duke?: The Blue Devils lost to Miami by 27, and the score doesn’t properly indicate how bad the loss was. With no Ryan Kelly, and a banged up Seth Curry, the Blue Devils may be in an interesting predicament.

Drexel’s Frantz Massenat sinks 50-foot buzzer-beater to defeat Hofstra: Drexel was picked to win the Colonial Athletic Association this season, but as a result of injuries and inconsistent play during the first two months of the year, the Dragons have been a bit of a disappointment. That all changed on Wednesday night thanks to Frantz Massenat, who hit a 50-foot heave at the buzzer to beat Hofstra, 55-52.

Ramon Galloway’s last-second bucket earns La Salle upset of No. 9 Butler: Hinkle Magic doesn’t travel with Butler, as the Bulldogs were on the wrong end of a game-winning shot against La Salle last night. Ramon Galloway had a quiet night with just six points, but with time running out he drove the length of the floor, finishing a layup on the left side of the rim with two seconds left on the clock.

Despite Trevor Mbakwe’s effort, No. 14 Minnesota falls in upset loss to Northwestern: Northwestern’s zone disrupted Minnesota all night, holding coach Tubby Smith’s team to 33 percent shooting, including 5-of-19 from three-point range. That, added to 15 Minnesota turnovers, sunk the Gophers on Wednesday.

Drake holds off second-half run to upset Doug McDermott, No. 17 Creighton: In line with Wednesday’s theme of Top 25 upsets, unranked Drake used 20 points from guard Richard Carter to beat No. 17 Creighton, 74-69. The Bluejays have now lost-straight, although Doug McDermott played the game while battling the flu.

Scott Martin reportedly might never play for Notre Dame again due to injury: Notre Dame senior Scott Martin will be sidelined for two to three weeks as he takes time to rest an aching knee. There is the possibility, though, that the nagging injury will keep him off the court for the remainder of the year, effectively ending his college career.

CBT Podcast: Miami, Ole Miss and Oregon on the rise, Missouri and Notre Dame fall back: Host Troy Machir is joined by College Basketball Talk writer Raphielle Johnson to discuss a litany of different topics, including the teams and players that haven’t gotten the recognition they deserve, for both good and bad reasons. Miami, Butler and Ole Miss are just a few of the teams that deserve some recognition, and that’s exactly why we are here.

NCAA investigating improper conduct in Nevin Shapiro case, good news for Frank Haith: The NCAA may have made a rather large mistake in the Nevin Shapiro case, which could help out Frank Haith’s cause. What’s more, the NCAA may have had Shapiro’s attorney on their payroll, only no one actually approved it. They realized it when the bill showed up and people started asking questions.

Could the NCAA’s latest gaffe create a change to enforcement practices?: On Wednesday it was announced that the NCAA may have botched the air-tight case against Miami booster Nevin Shapiro. You would think that the NCAA would make some changes regarding enforcement policies, but again, this is the NCAA we are talking about.

Observations & Insight:
– Goodman and Parrish updated their Player of the Year rankings, and they have Dougie McBuckets at the top. (Hey wait a minute, I coined that phrase!). (Eye on College Basketball)

– If you thought Miami’s destruction of Duke was bad, check out what Southern Miss did to Marshall. 47-5 first half run. Final score: 102-46. Kyle Ringo provides the gory details. (The Dagger)

– C.J. Moore explains why Russ Smith’s trigger-happy approach will hinder the Cardinals’ chance at winning a National Championship. (Los Angeles Times)

– Believing is half the battle, and the Kansas Jayhawks believe they should win. (KUSports.com)

– Ryan Fagan profiles four teams once thought to be contenders that are now slipping in sliding down the top-25. (Sporting News)

– UCLA heads to the McKale Center to face off against Arizona in the game of the night. As Bruce Pascoe explains, the Bruins are a perfect opponent for the “White Out” event. (Arizona Daily Star)

– There were a lot of shocking surprises on Wednesday night, and Lehigh’s road victory at Bucknell is right up there near the top considering they did it without C.J. McCollum. (The Patriot News)

– Seton Hall’s Brandon Mobley and Brian Oliver returned from injury and scored a combined 23 points in the Pirates’ 55-47 win over South Florida. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Pirates. (New Jersey Hoops Haven)

– Iowa State was another team on the wrong end of an upset last night, as the Cylcones fell to Texas Tech (Ames Tribune)

– Akron center Zeke Marshall had nine blocks last night. No other MAC players has blocked nine shots in one game. Marshall has now done it twice. (Hustle Belt)

– North Carolina won their third straight game last night, defeating Georgia Tech 79-63. During the waning moments of the game, fans could be heard chanting “Go to Hell, Duke”. Classic. (USA Today)

Picture of the Day:
Reggie Johnson made his return last night in Miami’s drubbing of top-ranked Duke. Here he is throwing up “the deuces” with a fan following the 27-point victory and subsequent court-storming. What a swell guy.

source: AP

Video of the Day:
Pierce Hornung should really practice his shot-blocking before he attempts to stand in Tony Snell’s way. Bad idea.

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

USC lands four-star 2018 guard Elijah Weaver

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USC landed an important commitment for its future on Monday night as four-star Class of 2018 guard Elijah Weaver.

Regarded as the No. 35 overall prospect in the Rivals’ national Class of 2018 rankings, the 6-foot-5 Weaver gives the Trojans a floor leader to build around for the future as he provides great size in the backcourt. Capable of playing multiple guard spots, Weaver has a lot of upside for a program that has done a very solid job of developing backcourt talent under head coach Andy Enfield.

Weaver’s commitment is also important for the Trojans because it comes despite the looming FBI investigation that the program is dealing with thanks to former assistant coach Tony Bland. USC had recently lost a four-star commitment from forward J’Raan Brooks, so the commitment of Weaver is a huge momentum boost for them as they get right back on track in the Class of 2018.

With Weaver in the mix, USC now owns three four-star pledges in the 2018 class as he joins four-star forward Taeshon Cherry and four-star guard Kevin Porter.

Jim Larranaga believes he’s ‘Coach-3’ in FBI investigation

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Despite losing key contributors Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy from last season’s NCAA tournament team, the Miami Hurricanes are expected to be a player both within the ACC and nationally this season. But instead of having the focus solely on the likes of JaQuan Newton, Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker, Jim Larrañaga’s program is also having to deal with the impact of the ongoing FBI investigation into corruption and fraud in college basketball.

While no one connected to the Miami men’s basketball program was arrested last month, the program is referenced in the FBI report. On Monday, Larrañaga stated during a press conference that he believes that he is “Coach-3” in the FBI report. Larrañaga also maintained his innocence, saying that he had done nothing wrong while also being thankful that none of his assistant coaches were involved.

“It’s been a strain, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually,” Larrañaga said according to the Palm Beach Post. “It’s something that’s there. I have to deal with it. I have the support of my wife and a wonderful family. I have the support of the university, my staff and players.”

According to the FBI report, “Coach-3” requested that payments totaling $150,000 be funneled to “Player-12” in order to ensure his commitment to their university. It has been reported that “Player-12” was 2018 five-star prospect Nassir Little, who has also stated that he had done nothing wrong. Two of the schools recruiting Little at the time, Arizona and Miami, have been entangled in the FBI investigation to varying degrees.

While Miami has not had anyone connected to its program arrested, Arizona assistant coach Emmanuel “Book” Richardson was one of the four Division I coaches were were indicted. As a result Little removed both Arizona and Miami from consideration before ultimately committing to North Carolina earlier this month.

There’s no telling what the FBI investigation will ultimately uncover, which for the schools involved could take a heavy toll not only for the 2017-18 season but for future years as well. The FBI case has been comparatively quiet since the first set of indictments, with future moves likely to be influenced by what authorities learn from the ten individuals named in the first announcement.

Miles Bridges discusses being offered money during recruiting process

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With the FBI launching an investigation into corruption and fraud in college basketball last month, the entire sport has found itself under the microscope. Ten people, including four Division I assistant coaches, were arrested and there’s no telling just how long the FBI’s investigation will last or what information it will produce.

Michigan State forward Miles Bridges is considered by many to be the leading candidate for national Player of the Yeah honors, and he had the opportunity to turn pro after a good freshman season. But Bridges made the decision to return to East Lansing, and with that comes questions as to why he would do that as opposed to cashing in on his NBA potential as soon as possible.

In an interview with Brendan Quinn of The Athletic (subscription required) Bridges discussed a host of issues, including being offered money by people while going through the recruiting process.

“I mean, if you get caught, that might be the end of your career. I wanted to play in college really bad,” Bridges told Quinn. “I don’t know — materialistic things, they don’t really get to me. So when people were offering me money, I would say no right away, because I wanted to be able to live out my college experience. But really, I don’t know, it is hard, especially because I was so young at the time — 17.”

Given the ongoing investigation, high-profile players and teams will be on the receiving end of increased scrutiny even if they aren’t part of the FBI probe. It’s an unfair situation for a player like Bridges to deal with, as even in the actual cases of alleged wrongdoing the players themselves are essentially commodities whose services are being auctioned as opposed to the main characters looking to cash in.

Unfortunately, due to recent events a decision like the one made by Bridges will result in some questioning whether or not the player received something from the school or another entity/individual. And that’s a tough — and unfair — thing for a young player to have to deal with.

Broken hand sidelines North Carolina PG Joel Berry II

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North Carolina’s defense of its national title will likely begin without its most important player, as it was announced on Monday that senior point guard Joel Berry II will miss approximately four weeks due to a broken bone in his right hand.

Berry started at the point each of the last two seasons, earning Most Outstanding Player honors in April as the Tar Heels defeated Gonzaga to win the national title. As a junior, Berry averaged 14.7 points, 3.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game and started 37 of the 38 games in which he played. Berry shot 42.6 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from three, with the latter percentage being the best on team amongst players who attempted at least two three-pointers per game.

Berry was named an NBC Sports Preseason Third-Team All-American in late September.

With Berry out of the lineup, North Carolina loses its floor general as well as one of their top perimeter shooters. Sophomore Seventh Woods and freshman Jalek Felton become more important options at the point as a result of Berry’s injury, and the team doesn’t lack for perimeter shooters either with Cameron Johnson, Brandon Robinson, Kenny Williams and freshman Andrew Platek all being capable of helping to pick up the slack.

North Carolina opens its regular season on November 10 against Northern Iowa.

Bill Self’s stance on Kansas/Missouri series remains unchanged

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Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, bitter rivals Kansas and Missouri got together on the basketball court for the first time since 2012, with the Showdown for Relief raising $1.75 million for recent hurricane victims. In what was an entertaining game, the Jayhawks won by the final score of 93-87 with point guard Devonté Graham leading the way for the winners with 25 points and ten rebounds.

Kansas finished the game with five players in double figures, including Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman (17 points) and center Udoka Azubuike (16). On the other side freshman Michael Porter Jr. paced four Tigers in double figures with 21 points while younger brother Jontay grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds off the bench.

However despite the excitement for the two rivals being on the same court in any capacity, Sunday’s meeting was different given the circumstances. Following the game Kansas head coach Bill Self was asked about the possibility of the two teams meeting in a regular season game, and he maintained the stance he’s held since Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC.

“I’m not going to say never, but I don’t think there’s been any change in our position as far as the university goes,” Self said following Sunday’s exhibition. “I’m the spokesman, I guess, on this but trust me, I’m not the only one that feels that way.”

While it would certainly benefit college basketball if Kansas and Missouri were to renew acquaintances down the line, it is understandable that Self — and maybe some others on the Kansas side of things — would have reservations. The programs, even with the arrival of Cuonzo Martin in Columbia and the freshman class led by the aforementioned Michael Porter Jr., are in different places right now.

The Jayhawks have their sights set on a 14th consecutive Big 12 title and a run at their first national title since 2008, Missouri is looking to fast-track a rebuilding process after struggling mightily under former head coach Kim Anderson. Yet with that being said, the state of the two athletic departments during realignment likely has more to do with the teams not playing each other.

Missouri was a school with options earlier this decade before joining the SEC, but that was not the case for Kansas. Had the Big 12 broken up as some believed would be the case, where would the Jayhawks have landed? Fortunately for the school the Big 12 survived the realignment craze, losing four schools (Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, Colorado to the Pac-12 and Nebraska to the Big Ten) and adding TCU and West Virginia to get their membership number to ten.

Given that, the best bet for college basketball fans who want to see this rivalry played during the regular season may be to hope for the programs wind up in the same in-season tournament. Even better, how about the same NCAA tournament region?