The Morning Mix

Leave a comment

Monday was a busy news day. Kevin Ware began his recovery, West Virginia lost a trio of players, NC-State lost two, Tubby didn’t stay fired for long, and the maestro of #DunKCity is moving to SoCal.

let’s hit the links.

Read of the Day:
This is the best story on Kevin Ware yet. His team is crying, his parents are panicking, and he just wants his team to win the game. Great stuff. Read it. (Courier Journal)

Top Stories:
VIDEO: Seth Davis, Dan Patrick discuss coverage of Kevin Ware’s injury: CBS’ handling of the Kevin Ware injury has been discussed at length since Sunday afternoon. Most of the media agree that while the footage was disturbing, CBS handled themselves extremely well.

Is this the most upset-filled NCAA Tournament ever? A professor at DePaul University came up with a formula to decipher whether or not this is the most upset-filled tournament of all time.

College Basketball Talk provides the essentials on all four Final Four teams. Want to know how they got there and if they can win? the following previews have the answer. Louisville Cardinals, Wichita State Shockers, Syracuse Orange, and Michigan Wolverines.

Wichita State, better when they’re the underdog? Based on the regular season results, the Shockers tend to do much better when they are the underdogs, which they will be when they face Louisville this weekend in Atlanta.

2012-2013 AP All-American teams released: Trey Burke, and Otto Porter headline the first team. Victor Oladipo, Doug McDermott and Kelly Olynyk round out the squad.
 
 
Observations & Insight:
– A collection of the best and worst (Most of them are “worst”) Jon Rothstein comparisons. (Daly Dose of Hoops)

– Great stuff from Jeff Eisenberg on what Kevin Ware’s injury meant to guys like Derrick Roland, a former-Texas A&M forward who suffered a similar injury against Washington back in 2009. (The Dagger)

– Jeff Goodman provides his insight on the draft status of the game’s top undecided players. (Eye on College Basketball)

– CBS has no regrets about their handling of the Kevin Ware injury, and they shouldn’t. The network handled the aftermath with caution and precision. (Fox Sports)

– Jeff Goodman, as he is to do, dropped a bombshell yesterday afternoon. He reported that Ed Rush, the Pac-12 coordinator of basketball officials, has been investigated by the conference for comments he made about Arizona head coach Sean Miller. (Eye on College Basketball)

– But it appears like Rush has been cleared of any accusations. (NBC Sports)
 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
– It looks like Andy Enfield has parlayed his tournament success at FGCU into a gig as head coach at Southern Cal. (Yahoo Sports)

– Tubby Smith will be named the new head coach at Texas Tech just a week after being fired from Minnesota. (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

– Former Sacramento Kings head coach Reggie Theus has been named as new head coach at Cal State Northridge. (ESPN)

– Three players, including standout guard Jabarie Hinds, have announced that they will transfer out of West Virginia. (Rant Sports)

– Freshman guard Rodney Purvis is transferring out of North Carolina State, becoming the ninth player to transfer out of the program since 2010. (Charlotte Observer)

– Speaking of NC-State, forward C.J. Leslie has announced that he will declare for the NBA Draft. (Fox News)

– Sensational freshman forward Anthony Bennett is leaving UNLV and will enter the NBA draft. (Las Vegas Sun)

– Highly touted recruit Aaron Gordon will make his college placement announcement following tonight’s McDonald’s All-American Game. (AZ Desert Swarm)

– The NCAA announced the pool of referees working the Final Four. Karl Hess and John Higgins “headline” the list. (Fox Sports)

– Coaching legends Gene Keady and Rollie Massimino headline the 2013 class of inductees into the College Basketball Hall of Fame. (ESPN)

– Former-Toledo head coach Bob Nichols passed away over the weekend. The 82-year old was the all-time wins leader in the Mid-American Conference. (Yahoo Sports)
 
 
Picture of the Day:
Kevin Ware got to hold the Midwest regional title while he recovered from surgery to fix his broken leg. (College Basketball Talk)

source:
 
 
.GIFs & Videos:
Highlights from the McDonald’s All-American Game Practice (h/t Ball is Life)

Andrew Wiggins’ perfect-score dunk at last night’s McDonald’s All-American Slam Dunk Contest

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

Syracuse’s Tyus Battle to test NBA draft waters

Abbie Parr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Syracuse announced on Friday afternoon that sophomore guard Tyus Battle will be declaring for the NBA draft without signing with an agent, giving him until the NCAA’s May 30th deadline to withdraw from contention and return to school.

Battle averaged 19.2 points as a sophomore for the Orange, who made a surprising run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

He is a projected late-first round or early-second round pick given his size, shooting ability and skill with the ball in his hands.

Losing Battle would be a massive blow to a Syracuse team that is already going to be without Matthew Moyer, who transferred out of the program, and Dareus Bazley, who is heading to the G League instead of enrolling in college.

Maryland’s Kevin Huerter declares for NBA draft, won’t hire agent

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
1 Comment

Maryland wing Kevin Huerter announced on Friday afternoon that he will be declaring for the NBA draft without hiring an agent, giving him the option of returning to school by May 30th.

“This will be a great experience for Kevin to get honest feedback from NBA teams and executives,” said head coach Mark Turgeon. “Taking advantage of this opportunity will allow Kevin and his family to make an informed decision about his future.”

Huerter is a 6-foot-7 wing known for his ability to shoot from the perimeter. He averaged 14.8 points and shot 42 percent from three as a sophomore.

He is also the third player from Maryland to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft. Justin Jackson, a borderline first round pick who missed time last season with a shoulder injury, has signed with an agent while Bruno Fernando is testing the waters. Maryland, who has an excellent recruiting class coming in, will be a preseason top 20 team if Huerter and Fernando both return to school.

Huerter is a borderline first round pick.

Michigan’s Charles Matthews to test NBA draft waters

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Michigan guard Charles Matthews announced on Friday that he will be declaring for the NBA draft, but that he does not intend to sign with an agent, meaning he has until May 30th to withdraw from the draft and return to school.

“After careful consideration with my parents and coaching staff, I am excited to announce that I will be declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft without hiring an agent,” said Matthews. “I give thanks to the Lord for this amazing opportunity, as well as the entire University of Michigan for their support. Go Blue!”

Matthews, a redshirt sophomore that averaged 13.0 points and 5.5 boards for the national runners-up, was a four-star prospect coming out of Chicago and spent his freshman season at Kentucky.

Matthews is a likely second round pick with the potential to climb into the first round should he prove to be a more consistent three-point shooter. He shot just 31.8 percent from beyond the arc this past season.

Virginia’s Hunter to return to school for sophomore season

Eric Espada/Getty Images
Leave a comment

De’Andre Hunter announced on Friday afternoon that he will not be entering his name into the NBA draft and will return to Virginia for his redshirt sophomore season, a decision that will have as much of an impact on the 2018-19 college basketball season as any that is made this spring.

Hunter, now a potential top ten pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, was one of the breakout stars of the 2017-18 season. A 6-foot-7 combo-forward with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Hunter averaged 9.2 points and 3.5 boards while shooting 38.2 percent from three in just under 20 minutes a night for a Virginia team whose pace severely limits the kind of numbers a player like him can put up.

Throw in his ability to defend on the perimeter and in the paint, and Hunter is precisely the kind of player that NBA teams are looking to land as basketball becomes more and more built on positional versatility and the ability to space the floor.

And it’s that versatility that will make Hunter so important for the Cavaliers next season.

Let’s go beyond the simple fact that he is going to be the only guy on the Virginia roster that can create his own shot against length and athleticism and that there is a chance that he could end up being an all-american next season if things play out the right way. What makes Hunter so important to Virginia his that his defensive versatility is what allows Virginia to matchup with teams that want to try and play small-ball against them.

That’s precisely what UMBC did in the first round of the NCAA tournament, a game that Hunter missed with a broken wrist. We all know how that played out, and I’m not even dumb enough to pin all the blame of a 20-point loss to a No. 16 seed on a guy that played less than 20 minutes a night.

Virginia choked once they realized that there was a chance this could happen, but I would argue that a major reason they couldn’t ever truly assert their dominance was because they were unable to matchup with UMBC’s four-guard lineup without Hunter.

With Hunter back, Virginia is the No. 6 team in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25. If he had declared for the draft and signed with an agent, I’m not sure I would have had the Wahoos in the top 20.

He takes Tony Bennett’s club from simply being good to once against being a contender for the ACC regular season title.

Vanderbilt the sixth Kentucky player declares for the NBA draft

Michael Reaves/Getty Images
1 Comment

Jarred Vanderbilt is now the sixth Kentucky Wildcat to declare for the NBA draft this spring, joining P.J. Washington and Wenyen Gabriel in testing the waters without signing with an agent.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo have all declared for the draft and signed with an agent.

Vanderbilt announced his decision on Friday afternoon.

“This season wasn’t easy for me,” Vanderbilt said. “At the end of the day, my goal has always been to make it to the NBA.”

“I know I have more to my game to show, but now I’ve got to figure out if the time is right for me to do it at the next level or if I would be better to return to school.”

Vanderbilt missed the first 17 games of his freshman season with a left foot injury, a foot that he had injured twice before during his high school career. He then missed all four of Kentucky’s postseason games with a left ankle injury, and there is a chance that he could end up needing surgery to correct this issue this offseason.

All told, the 6-foot-9 Vanderbilt played in 14 games as a freshman, averaging 5.9 points and 7.9 boards in just 17 minutes a night. But issues with his ability to shoot from the perimeter and a lower left leg that has proven to be extremely problematic, there is a good chance that Vanderbilt would go undrafted should he decide to turn pro.