Mike Krzyzewski

Could college basketball benefit from having a commissioner?

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With the recent changes in college basketball, from conference realignment to the enforcement of rules in order to improve freedom of movement, there’s been an increasing need for a uniform voice to lead the sport. NCAA president Mark Emmert has every sport to consider, and head of officiating John Adams only deals with the officiating aspect of things.

With this being the case, should the NCAA look into the possibility of having a commissioner of sorts for college basketball? According to many, including Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, this is something the governing body should consider with the possibility of more changes (read: Ed O’Bannon lawsuit) on the horizon.

“Who’s in charge?” Krzyzewski said a day before his team met Louisville in the Elite Eight in late March. “Well, who, though? No, President (Mark) Emmert is in charge of the entire NCAA. He’s got a huge job. There should be somebody in charge of college basketball who does this on a day-to-day basis and understands everything about it.

“When they put the dirt on me, inside, underneath the dirt, I’m still going to be yelling for somebody to run college basketball.”

This wouldn’t be a bad idea at all, especially if it leads to a truly “universal” voice for the sport. But how much power would a commissioner have? That’s an important question to answer, especially when it comes to the current early entry rule. The NBA’s rule is that a player needs to be one year removed from high school before becoming eligible to enter the draft, and when the owners and NBPA sit down to negotiate their collective bargaining agreement the rule isn’t one of the major issues on the table.

Could a commissioner better voice the concerns of college basketball’s power brokers to the NBA and NBPA on this issue? And more importantly, would those two groups actually listen? But even with those questions there are other issues in college basketball that need to be addressed, and having a leader would more than likely help get things done in a timely manner.

Times have changed, and the way in which college basketball is run should as well. And if that means electing a commissioner, then the membership needs to consider that possibility.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
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Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.