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The Morning Mix

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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

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Report: Dillon Brooks to return to Oregon

Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, left, reacts after scoring a basket against Utah during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Oregon defeated Utah 77-59. (AP Photo/George Frey)
(AP Photo/George Frey)
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Dillon Brooks will be returning to Oregon for his junior season.

Brooks, a 6-foot-6 forward that averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 boards and 3.1 assists as a sophomore, went through the NBA Draft process without hiring an agent. He did not receive an invitation to the NBA Draft combine, however, and that is as good of a sign as any that he was not likely to get drafted.

According to a report from ESPN, he has heeded the advice he received and will be returning to Eugene.

Brooks is a versatile player whose role for the Ducks is similar to what Draymond Green plays for the Warriors, but he’s not the athlete that Green is. Returning to school, tightening up his shooting stroke and getting into better shape could help him play his way into a spot where he can get a guaranteed contract after next season.

The Ducks are still awaiting word on whether or not rising sophomore Tyler Dorsey will return to school as well. With both players back in the fold, Oregon is a potential top five team next season.

Malik Newman to return to school, considering transfer

Mississippi State guard Malik Newman (14) dribbles past a Northern Colorado player during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/15712769/mississippi-state-malik-newman-withdraw-draft-transfer
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Malik Newman will withdraw his name from consideration and return to school for his sophomore season.

Newman was a top 10 recruit in the Class of 2015, a high-scoring combo-guard that opted to stay home and play for Mississippi State instead of enroll at one of the blue bloods that was recruiting him. He averaged 11.3 points as a freshman, but it was a largely disappointing season as he spent the year off of the national radar playing inefficient basketball.

Put another way, the fourth-leading scorer on a 14-17 SEC team isn’t exactly a lock for the lottery.

But here’s the catch: he may not be returning to Mississippi State, as Newman is considering a transfer, according to a report from ESPN. That report quotes a source close to the situation saying “unhappy with his role and how he was utilized.”

It will be interesting to see what happens from here. Newman would have to sit out a year if he transferred to another Division I program, and for a kid that thought he was destined to be a one-and-done star, locking himself into a three-year college career would be an odd move.

Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead to stay in NBA Draft

Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) shoots past Xavier forward Sean O'Mara (54) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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Seton Hall sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead has signed with an agent and will remain in the NBA Draft.

Whitehead announced his intention to stay in the draft last night on his Twitter account.

Whitehead averaged 18.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game last season for Seton Hall, which went 25-9 and reached the NCAA tournament. He likely projects as a second-round pick with a bit of a shaky shot, but a high usage and assist rates. His strong finish to the season likely lifted him on some draft boards, but his inefficiency will cap his ceiling in June’s draft.

The loss is significant for the Pirates as Whitehead was so much of their offense, but they’ll bring back Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo. It’s a group that will miss Whitehead’s playmaking, but is still a solid enough foundation that Seton Hall will still likely be competitive in the Big East and vying for another NCAA tournament berth.

Hart returning for Villanova’s title defense

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 26:  Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats reacts in the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at KFC YUM! Center on March 26, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Villanova’s title defense just got a whole lot stouter.

Josh Hart, the leading scorer of the Wildcats’ national championship team, will return for his senior season, he announced on Twitter.

The decision for Hart to return is a major boost for Villanova in its quest to become the first back-to-back champions since Florida in 2006 and 2007. Hart, a 6-foot-5 guard,  averaged 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

Most draft pundits had him pegged as a potential end-of-the-first-round pick in next month’s draft though he could have certainly slid into the second should he had decided to forego his senior season. Instead, Hart will be a potential first-team All-American exhausting his eligibility in Philadelphia.

The 2016-17 season is taking shape nicely, and Hart returning to Villanova only increases the strength of the field at the top. Title game hero Kris Jenkins as well as Jalen Brunson, Phil Booth and Mikal Bridges are also back for the defending champs while the super recruiting classes of Duke, Kentucky and Michigan State, Kansas’ returning core along with Josh Jackson and a solid group of teams including North Carolina, Arizona, Louisville and Wisconsin make for an intriguing upper-tier of teams that could very well make for a top-heavy season following last year’s free for all.

College basketball isn’t the NFL. Parity doesn’t equal strength and quality, and when the sport has a handful high-quality teams, it is at its best. It’s looking like that is a possibility for the 2016-17 campaign.

UConn duo returning to school

brimah
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Connecticut may have lost its 6-foot-7 wing scorer but it is keeping its defensive stalwart and leading scorer.

Center Amida Brimah and guard Rodney Purvis have withdrawn their names from NBA Draft consideration and will return to the Huskies for another year, the school announced Tuesday.

The decisions from Brimah, a 7-foot center, and Purvis, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, help soften the blow dealt by Daniel Hamilton’s decision to sign with an agent and leave school despite having some shaky draft stock. The Huskies may not open the season as a top-25 team, but they won’t be far behind and will be one of the AAC’s favorites, along with Cincinnati.

Brimah averaged 6.5 points per game last year, but blocked 2.7 shots per game. He missed 11 games last season with a broken finger. Purvis registered 12.8 points per game while shooting 43.4 percent from the floor.

Neither Brimah or Purvis were among those invited to this month’s NBA Draft combine nor were either expected to be drafted should they have kept their names in the draft.