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The Morning Mix

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No. 5 Georgetown lost. No. 6 Miami lost. No. 13 Oklahoma State lost. No. 16 Saint Louis lost. No. 23 UCLA lost. Ten ranked teams were in action last night and half of them lost. Oh, and for the second straight night punches were thrown on the hardwood. Yup, just another typical Wednesday night of college basketball.

Let’s hit the links.

Thursday’s Top games:
7 p.m. – Virginia @ Florida State
7 p.m. – Butler @ Massachusetts
9 p.m. – No. 19 Oregon @ Colorado
9 p.m. – No. 22 Wisconsin @ No. 10 Michigan State
9 p.m. – Louisiana Tech @ New Mexico State
9 p.m. – UT-Arlington @ Denver

Read of the Day:
All I have to say about Dana O’Neil’s story about Rick Majerus’ tragic death is this: READ IT! (ESPN)

Top Stories:
Late Night Snacks: Miami takes bad loss, A-10 proves to be wild: Get caught up with all the craziness from Wednesday night.

VIDEO: Georgia Tech beats Miami at the buzzer: Miami was supposed to celebrate a ACC regular season championship tonight. Instead of that, they were on the wrong-end of a buzzer-beating tip-in.

Villanova all but punches ticket to NCAA tournament with win over No. 5 Georgetown: The win moves the Wildcats to 19-12 overall and 10-8 in the Big East with quality wins over Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette, and now the Hoyas. Of the teams currently on the bubble, few if any boast the slate of victories that Villanova does.

Georgetown loses, meaning those four No. 1 seeds are even more wide-open: With the Georgetown loss at Villanova last night, all four No.1-seeds will be earned over the next week and a half. We’re ten days from Selection Sunday and all four No.1-seeds are completely up in the air.

Travis Wear re-injures foot in UCLA’s loss to Washington State: UCLA forward Travis Wear was cleared to play Wednesday against Washington State, but played just fifteen minutes in the Bruins’ 73-61 loss, appearing to have re-injured the same foot that has limited his availability in recent weeks.

No. 16 Saint Louis fails to clinch share of A-10 title with overtime loss to Xavier: The Cintas Center is not an easy place to get a road win. Bilikens forward Cody Ellis went 0-15 from the field, including 0-11 from beyond the arc. Ouch.

Iowa State lands huge bubble win over No. 13 Oklahoma State: Iowa State is not yet a lock for the NCAA tournament, not when they have an RPI in the 50s, exactly one road win in the top 200, but a win against a top-15 team certainly helps their case.

CBT Podcast: Debating the B1G Championship and National PoY award: Host Troy Machir (That’s me) is joined by Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, who is also braving the latest meteorological whiff, “Winter Storm Saturn” to discuss the final days of the Big Ten season, as well as the National PoY award. I throw Rob Dauster under the bus too. Everybody has fun.

Observations & Insight:
– Wednesday night was crazy. Six ranked teams lost. Buzzers were beaten. Streaks were ended. Senior nights were ruined. (One and One)

– Four coaches were ejected from the Cal-Stanford game last night because they tried to break up a skirmish. (Business Insider)

– RUMOR ALERT. RUMOR ALERT. Jim Boeheim is being forced to retire. RUMOR ALERT. RUMOR ALERT. (Did You See That?)

– Syracuse has refuted the above claim. (Yahoo Sports)

– Nebraska played their final game inside the Devaney Center last night. They sent the arena out in style. (Lincoln Journal-Star)

– Georgia Tech knew that Miami was planning a championship celebration following the game last night, so the Jackets set out to destroy the plans. They succeeded. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

– Indiana is in danger of losing their spot on the No.1-seed line. You may not think it’s much, but the no.1-seed does matter. (Sporting News)

– Kansas State hasn’t got much attention considering they are currently a top-10 team. But that won’t stop them from making a deep run in March. (Rush The Court)

– North Carolina was in dire straits just a month ago. But Roy Williams reinvented his team and the Tar Heels now look like a team that I would not want to draw in the NCAA tournament. (The Dagger)

– The NCAA lifted their ban on hosting postseason events in New Jersey following the decision to bar sports betting in the state. (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

– The Vegas odds for Player of the Year. I’ll take Otto Porter at 9-2. Straight Cash, homey. (Mid-Major Madness)

– A pretty awesome-read from C.J. Moore on how Ken Pomeroy revolutionized college basketball. (Bleacher Report)

.GIF of the Day:
This flop is what set of the scuffle between Cal and Stanford last night. (The Mock Session)

source:

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

Illinois PG expected to be ready for practice

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Illinois point guards and injuries have been an unfortunate trend over the past two seasons with Tracy Abrams, who missed the past two seasons with a torn ACL followed by a torn Achilles the next year.

On Sunday, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported some good news for an incoming Fighting Illini floor general. Te’Jon Lucas, a three-star prospect from the Class of 2016, will be fully cleared for the start of practice, according to Rothstein. In February, Lucas had broke his fibula in his right leg in two places during a game.

Lucas had committed to Illinois the previous September.

Abrams received a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA in June, and he decided to remain in Champaign for his final season. If healthy, he’ll be the starter. Jaylon Tate is also back for another season. But they are both seniors, which makes Sunday’s report important for John Groce’s program. Lucas will be on the floor Day 1 of practice, being molded for the future by two experienced guards.

The 5-foot-11 Lucas is the only true freshman on the roster.

Illinois begins the 2016-17 season on November 11, hosting Southeast Missouri State.

Xavier adds to class with three-star center

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Xavier added a fourth piece to its 2017 recruiting class on Sunday morning.

Kentravious Jones, a 6-foot-11, three-star recruit, committed to the Musketeers. He announced the decision via Twitter.

Chris Mack’s current recruiting class is headlined by four-star swingman Naji Marshall. The incoming quartet also includes guard Elias Harden and forward Jared Ridder. But Jones’ commitment fits an area that needs to be addressed for the Musketeers moving forward. Xavier isn’t particularly deep when it comes to big men. That frontcourt only gets thinner once RaShid Gaston, a graduate transfer from Norfolk State, exhausts his eligibility after this season.

Jones, along with current freshman forward Tyrique Jones, gives Xavier a young foundation for the future. Jones is an old-school, big-bodied center. He’s got a nice back-to-the-basket game, and had his best stretch of the summer during the UAA Finals. In three games with the Atlanta Xpress, he averaged 15.3 points, shot 59 percent from the field, and grabbed nine boards per game.

Conditioning will be the emphasis for him over the course of the next year. However, we have seen Xavier work well with a big, skilled centers in the past (see: Stainbrook, Matt). According to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Jones has dropped 30 pounds.

Sunday morning’s news may not even be Xavier’s last score on the recruiting trail. The Musketeers have one scholarship remaining (two, or three if Edmond Sumner and Trevon Bluiett enter the NBA Draft this spring), and are in play for several coveted prospects like point guards Paul Scruggs, Quade Green and Matt Coleman, as well as forward Kris Wilkes.

Minnesota center to miss a month

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 7: Reggie Lynch #22 of the Illinois State Redbirds and Fred VanVleet #23 of the Wichita State Shockers fight for control of a loose ball during the MVC Basketball Tournament Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on March 7, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Minnesota’s projected starting center is sidelined, but is expected to be ready for the season opener.

Reggie Lynch, the Illinois State transfer, had surgery on his left knee, the program announced on Friday night. According to Marcus R. Fuller of the Star-Tribune, the Golden Gophers are anticipating that Lynch is available for the season opener on Nov. 11 against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The 6-foot-10 Lynch has been in the news this offseason prior to his impending debut with Minnesota. In May, he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. On August 1, the Hennepin County attorney’s office was announced he would not face charges, citing insufficient evidence.

Lynch spent two seasons at Illinois State, averaging 9.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Redbirds as a sophomore. He sat out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Minnesota is coming off a second-to-last place finish in the Big Ten with an 8-23 (2-16 Big Ten) record.

Women’s hoops coaches boycotting recruiting events

DENVER, CO - MARCH 31:  Head coach Muffet McGraw of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish directs her team during practice prior to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Final Four at Pepsi Center on March 31, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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For some high-major women’s basketball programs, the final evaluation period of 2016 is being used as a vacation from the recruiting trail.

According to a report from Lindsay Schnell of Sports Illustrated, are not attending events during this weekend’s recruiting period for a host of reasons.

First, many are fed up with the price of tournament packets, booklets of rosters that college coaches receive upon paying their entry fee. Packets are supposed to be chock-full of contact information for the prospects, but sometimes aren’t accurate or up-to-date. (This has become a well-documented issue on the men’s side of college hoops. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish wrote on it this summer.) Furthermore, there are so many events now that college coaches are often forced to pay obscene amounts of money to watch just one player at a single event, and play recruiting hopscotch around the country, criss-crossing the nation to see so many events and spend thousands of dollars. One Power Five coach said her staff crunched the numbers, and found that in just two years, they’ve spent more than $4,000 more than they did in 2014 on packets alone. Another coach told a story of sending an assistant across the country for one day, to one event, to watch one team. When the assistant arrived, the team had left early for its next event. No refund was available for the college that had paid what turned out to be a useless entry fee. The head coach called it “exasperating.”

Jeff Borzello of ESPN, who spoke to Notre Dame head coach and eventual Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw for his report, estimated that the cost for one of the coaches packets — the ones that include player contact information, rosters, etc. — can cost each school an average of $600 per event.

This era of grassroots basketball has taken off in recent years with Nike, Under Armour and adidas all creating their own sponsored leagues. All three run exceptional events from the staff to the facilities, all the way to the three, free meals a day for coaches. Organizers of these events will argue that there’s a cost to running such high-end events. These packets, some of which are so in-depth they include players’ GPAs, help fund these tournaments (events, paying a staff, etc.).

Coaches, mostly mid to low-major coaches, will argue that these packets aren’t worth the cost, considering that every coach (head and assistant) must purchase them in order to gain entrance. And you will find packets where the information inside is either inaccurate, or missing or both. For elite programs, this isn’t an issue. You show up, you’re seen, you leave, you go to the next event, repeat. For mid to low-major coaches, this really puts a dent in their budget, especially when they have to travel to multiple events (buying packets at each one) because you have to land that “steal,” you have to find that player who is overlooked.

This protest, or boycott (or whatever you want to call it) will hurt those these events are intended to help the most: the players. If coaches continue to avoid these tournaments, that late-bloomer may miss out on a scholarship, or that player with mid-major offers won’t get the chance to play in front of high-major coaches.

According to Schnell, there is a proposal, voted on in April, to eliminate a live recruiting period in April and September. But many coaches in women’s basketball have made it clear this weekend how they feel about the issue.

USC lands commitment from three-star center

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USC added to its 2017 recruiting class with a commitment from a 7-foot big man.

Andy Enfield and the Trojans beat out Florida, Vanderbilt and Tennessee for the services of Calvary Christian Academy (Florida) center Victor Uyaelunmo. He announced his college decision on Friday afternoon.

“It was the best fit for me academically and athletically,” Uyaelunmo said according to David Furones of the Sun Sentinel. “The basketball coaches really wanted me to come, and I thought it was the best place for me.

“They told me how they were going to use me, and they have a couple of guys leaving this year, so I just fit in right.”

Uyaelunmo is regarded as a three-star prospect by Rivals, however, ESPN rates him a four-star recruit. He joins a two-man class which includes four-star forward Jordan Usher.

The departure of Nikola Jovanovic, the Trojans’ leading rebounder during the 2015-16, was a surprising one, and one that left USC with a hole in the middle. While Uyaelunmo still has one more year before arriving on the Los Angeles campus, the Trojans have a promising piece in the paint for the future; a long, athletic big man who has the potential, in time, to become one of the nation’s top shot blockers.

Uyaelunmo played for Nike South Beach in the EYBL this spring and summer. In 12 appearances, he averaged 5.0 points. 5.9 rebounds and 1.0 block in 17.6 minutes per game.