The Morning Mix

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No intro today.

Just straight news, homey.

Let’s hit the links.

Tuesday’s Top games:
7:00 p.m. – No. 1 Indiana @ No. 4 Michigan State
7:00 p.m. – Duquesne @ No. 15 Butler
7:00 p.m. – No. 17 Marquette @ Seton Hall
7:00 p.m. – Florida State @ North Carolina State
7:00 p.m. – Wichita State @ Indiana State
7:00 p.m. – LSU @ Tennessee
9:00 p.m. – Virginia @ No. 2 Miami
9:00 p.m. – No. 5 Florida @ Missouri
9:00 p.m. – No.24 VCU @ Saint Louis
9:00 p.m. – North Carolina @ Georgia Tech
9:00 p.m. – Utah State @ BYU
10:00 p.m. – Wyoming @ San Diego State

Read of the Day:
The NCAA released a public report about their improper handling of the Nevin Shapiro case. John Infante is one of the foremost experts in NCAA administration and bylaws. His takeaways from this issue are as good as you will find. (AthleticScholarships.net)

Read of the Day:
Gary Parrish’s Poll Attacks. You know what to do. (Eye on College Basketball)
 
 
Top Stories:
VIDEO: Andre Nation’s lob dunk with 00.2 left beats Delaware: This is what happens when you combine a buzzer-beater with an ally-oop slam dunk. It’s glorious.

The NCAA ‘did not violate a specific bylaw’ in their investigation into Miami? Yeah, I’m confused too. This is a messy situation. Blame the NCAA.
 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
– Victor Oladipo is expected to play tonight despite injuring his ankle over the weekend. (Inside the Hall)

– Cal head coach Mike Montgomery was reprimanded by the Pac-12 Conference for his physical actions towards Cal player Allen Crabbe. (Cal Golden Blogs)

– The Missouri Valley Conference has disciplined the referees from Sunday’s Wichita State-Illinois State game for incorrectly issuing technical fouls in the waning moments of the game. (Sports Illustrated)

– Southern Utah junior Wade Collie was arrested on drug charges. (Mid-Major Madness)

– Minnesota fans want to fire Tubby Smith. Again. (From the Barn)

– Maryland guard Pe’Shon Howard has been reinstated following his indefinite suspension on Friday. He was not on the bench for the Terrapins upset victory over Duke on Saturday. (Testudo Times)

– Former-North Carolina State head coach Sidney Lowe was arrested on Monday for not paying his state taxes. (WRAL-TV)

– Mississippi State has suspended yet another player, bringing their total of available scholarship players to five. (Clarion Ledger)

– The Mountain West Conference Tournament will continue to be held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas through 2016. (Mountain West Connection)
 
 
Observations & Insight:
– Deadspin examine whether it is ever OK for a coach to put his/her hands on a player and if so, when? (Deadspin)

– Some pretty neat stuff about just how bad a “bad loss” is for a team’s resume. (Eye on College Basketball)

– Last week Michigan State thrashed Michigan in what was billed as “The Biggest Game in Breslin Center History”. So what does that make tonight’s game against No. 1 Indiana? (Detroit Free-Press)

– What makes a team great? Are there pillars or principles than need to be adhered to? Here is a pretty solid answer, with a Purdue Boilermakers tint to it. (Boiled Sports)

– According to advanced statistics, a lot of players this year have better numbers than Michael Jordan. (Alligator Army)

– Is Kelly Olynyk the most efficiently elite player in the country? Or is he the most elite efficient player? Does it matter? (Run the Floor)

– Did Bruce Weber give up on the Illini last year? This post certainly entertains that notion. (Champaign Room)

– I really enjoy reading Jason Lisk’s work leading up to March Madness. His analysis of statistics is of the “easy-to-read” variety. Which is good for anti-math people like myself. (The Big Lead)

– It doesn’t matter when BYU and Utah State play each other. It’s always a heated rivalry. The two teams square off tonight in a game that was postponed when BYU guard Danny Berger collapsed in advance of the game. (Salt Lake Tribune)

– Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart is having a great year. But did you know he’s having the best statistical year in the past 20 season of Oklahoma State basketball? (Pistols Firing)

– A look at the various hot seats in the MAC. With conference tournaments starting up in three weeks, the coaching carousel will be here sooner than we think. (Hustle Belt)
 
 
Odds & Ends:
– Miami released a statement proclaiming that they have been wronged by the NCAA. Stop it already Donna. (Deadspin)

– Andy Kennedy is embracing Marshall Henderson hysteria. (ESPN)

– When conference expansion took over, and people complained about the loss of rivalries, the people in charge told us that new rivalries would be born. Arkansas vs. Missouri is a prime example of this. (Sporting Life Arkansas)

– Bob Knight’s ESPN contract is up at the end of the year. It’s not likely that he will be re-signed. (The Big Lead)
 
 
Picture of the Day:
I understand that yesterday was Presidents Day. nonetheless, this should never happen. EVER.(The Mock Session)

source:
 
 
Video of the Day:
Marshall Henderson finally joined the “Harlem Shake” craze and did so in the most Marshall Henderson-way possible. (Busted Coverage)

Video of the Day:
Illinois’ student section, “The Orange Krush” showed why they are consistently one of the best student sections in the country. This isn’t the first time they’ve infiltrated an opposing arena, but this is arguably their best effort. (Champaign Room)

Video of the Day:
Appalachian State’s Brian Okam has been vindicated. No longer will he be remembered as shooting “the worst foul shot ever”. Nope, this unlucky lady has stolen the title from him.

 
 
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Illinois lands important commitment from four-star Class of 2017 guard Mark Smith

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Illinois landed a very important Class of 2017 commitment on Wednesday as guard Mark Smith pledged to the Illini.

The 6-foot-4 Smith was previously a Missouri commit for baseball, but some issues with his arm caused him to look back into basketball last summer. A native of Edwardsville, in the St. Louis metro area, Smith came out of nowhere to win the Illinois Mr. Basketball award as a senior this season as he averaged 21.9 points, 8.4 assists and 8.2 rebounds while becoming a consensus national top-100 prospect.

Rivals rates Smith as the No. 52 overall prospect in the Class of 2017 as he could come in and earn immediate minutes at Illinois next season at either guard spot.

This is a very important commitment for head coach Brad Underwood and the Illini as the new head coach was able to hold off some elite programs like Kentucky and Michigan State for Smith’s services.

Northwestern gets commitment from Boston College transfer A.J. Turner

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Northwestern landed a transfer on Wednesday as former Boston College wing A.J. Turner pledged to the Wildcats, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

The 6-foot-7 Turner just finished his sophomore season with the Golden Eagles as he averaged 8.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. A well-rounded wing who also shot 37 percent from three-point range, Turner will have to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer regulations before getting two more years of eligibility.

With Scottie Lindsay and Vic Law only having limited time left in Evanston, Turner provides a bit of insurance on the wing for the Wildcats for the future as he’s a proven rotation player coming from the ACC.

Oakland’s Greg Kampe hosting charity golf event with big-name coaches

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Oakland head coach Greg Kampe hosted a successful charity event for cancer research two years ago by allowing people to bid online to play a round of golf with some of college basketball’s best coaches.

Kampe is back again this year as he’s hoping to eventually raise $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

According to a report from Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, Kampe has 11 high-profile names that fans can play with this year.

  • Tom Izzo, Michigan State
  • Frank Martin, South Carolina
  • Rick Barnes, Tennessee
  • Mick Cronin, Cincinnati
  • Chris Holtmann, Butler
  • Kevin Willard, Seton Hall
  • Greg Kampe, Oakland
  • Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Pistons
  • Steve Lavin
  • Fran Fraschilla
  • Bill Raftery

Fans can find more details about the auctions and all of the details here.

The minimum bid is $15,000 per coach. A “buy now” bid of $24,000 is also available.

Each round includes the following, according to the event’s website:

Up for auction will be 11 spectacular packages, featuring a private dinner with elite basketball coaches and VIPs, a one night stay at MotorCity Casino Hotel on Sunday, June 4, and an afternoon of golf on Monday, June 5 at Oakland Hills Country Club on the South Course. The winning bidders and their two guests will round out the foursomes with their selected VIP: Rick Barnes, Mick Cronin, Fran Fraschilla, Chris Holtmann, Tom Izzo, Greg Kampe, Steve Lavin, Frank Martin, Bill Raftery, Stan Van Gundy, or Kevin Willard.

There are a lot of great selections to choose from for this sort of thing, but I can’t imagine a better afternoon than playing golf with Bill Raftery and a few friends. There are some other tempting choices on this list, but that’s the one I would have to jump at.

If you think 137 players declaring for the draft is stupid, you’re probably stupid

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The NBA Draft’s full early entry list came out on Tuesday afternoon, and there were 137 underclassmen listed on it.

137.

For 60 spots in the NBA Draft, only 30 of which guarantee you a contract in the NBA.

And that’s before you factor in the 45 international players that also declared for the NBA Draft, as well as the crop of seniors — Josh Hart, Monte’ Morris, Jaron Blossomgame, Alec Peters — that are going to end up hearing their names called. All told, there are going to be roughly 200 players competing to be one of the 60 people that end up getting drafted on June 22nd, and you don’t have to be any good at math to realize that 200 is a much, much bigger number than 60.

This unleashed a torrent of bad takes on the decision of these players.

And bad may not be doing those takes justice.

Because the bottom-line is this: You cannot paint the decision on whether or not to go pro with a broad brush.

For some players, making money of any kind is something they need to do to support their family, whether it’s what they’ll get with a first round guarantee, the $75-100,000 they’ll get for making a training camp roster to subsidize their time in the D-League while teams develop them or the money they can make in the D-League or overseas. You don’t know what their financial situation is. Maximizing their ability to capitalize on every available dollar they can make off of their athletic gifts may be more important than working towards a degree.

And it’s worth noting here that a guaranteed contract isn’t the only way to make a living in professional basketball. To say nothing of the money that can be made overseas or the number of second round picks and undrafted players that make guaranteed money — which is more than you probably realize — it needs to be noted that D-League salaries are getting a bump this year with the new CBA.

The NBA has also instituted something new called a “two-way contract”. Without getting into the legalese, it’s essentially a retainer worth well into the six figures that they will be able to give to two players that will allow them to retain that player under contract while sending them between the D-League and the NBA roster. In a sense, it creates an extra 60 NBA roster spots for players that have 0-3 years worth of professional basketball on their résumé.

Some players are simply declaring without signing with an agent because they want to get feedback directly from NBA personnel on what their professional prospects. Some will hear that they need to return to school to work on their body, or work on their jumper, or mature as a person to be able to handle everything that comes with being a professional. Others will be told they’re going to make a lot of money by staying in the draft, or that they need to go back to school because, frankly, they are not professional basketball players. Not getting invited to the NBA combine is a pretty good indication of where you stand in the eyes of NBA teams.

Still other players are putting their name into the draft to leave their options open should they be recruited over by the program they are a part of. Take Frank Jackson, for example. If he can return to school and thrive as Duke’s point guard, maybe he turns into a top 20 pick. But what happens if Trevon Duval, the best point guard in the Class of 2017 and a top five pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, picks Duke? Would it be in Jackson’s best interest to come back to Duke when he won’t be playing the position that he needs to learn to play to turn himself into a lasting NBA player?

Jackson, like the roughly 100 underclassmen that have declared without an agent, has until May 24th to make his decision on whether or not he will keep his name in the draft. Until then, he can return to school without damaging his eligibility.

The entire reason that the NCAA changed their rules to allow players to test the waters is so that they can make the most important decision of their lives with as much information as humanly possible. This thing exists for the sole purpose of allowing the kids to have as much knowledge about their options as possible.

And that is exactly what these kids are doing.

So the idea that this rule, or players taking advantage of that rule, however high that number may be, is a bad thing is stupid.