The Secondary Break: Wednesday’s Links

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Flint explains Drexel’s scheduling difficulty (PhilaHoops)
The fight for respect has been a difficult one for Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint in regards to his program’s relationship with the other five Division I schools in Philadelphia. And in no area has that been more apparent than in scheduling, with the Dragons finding it increasingly difficult to schedule home game against solid competition. And it seems as if Flint’s had enough of making concessions in regards to home-and-home series.

Cal’s Richard Solomon brings his karate agility to the court (Sports Illustrated)
Cal was without the services of senior big man Richard Solomon for their Maui Invitational semifinal against Syracuse on Tuesday, as Solomon suffered an eye injury against Arkansas. But beyond this tournament the growth of Solomon is a key factor for the Golden Bears as they look to return to the NCAA tournament and enjoy more success once there.

Purvis can’t play this year, but UConn uses his talent (Hartford Courant)
N.C. State transfer Rodney Purvis isn’t eligible to take the court for the UConn Huskies this season, but his year in residency is something that can benefit both the player and the program. With that in mind, UConn has used Purvis on the scout team as the opposition’s best perimeter player. So when there was a need to imitate a Yogi Ferrell (Indiana) or Dez Wells (Maryland), it was Purvis who was entrusted to do so.

VanDerveer remains student of the game (ESPN)
Stanford women’s head coach tara VanDerveer moved one win closer to the 900-win plateau on Tuesday night as the Cardinal beat Purdue by the final score of 86-69. Stanford will look to give VanDerveer the 900th victory of her career on Wednesday against FGCU, and a win would make the great coach the fifth in the history of women’s college basketball to reach the 900-win mark.

Missouri AD Alden ejects Antlers student fan group (Associated Press)
For the second time in as many games The Antlers, a group of college students who attend Missouri basketball games, were ejected from Mizzou Arena for inappropriate chants. The group, which is not the officially sanctioned student section (the Zou Crew is), was established in 1976 and has been known to push the envelope with some of its chants. Apparently, enough is enough in the eyes of the athletic department.

College athlete may not be able to keep $20,000 he won for hitting half-court shot (Think Progress)
23-year old Carlos Rodriguez, who hit a half-court shot to win $20,000 at an Oklahoma City Thunder game, should be thinking of ways in which to spend in his recently earned money. Instead, thanks to his being a member of the basketball team at Southwestern College in Kansas, Rodriguez may not be able to keep the money if he’s to remain eligible.

Charlotte 49ers basketball team shows potential to be special (Charlotte Observer)
One of the big winners this weekend was Charlotte, which beat Michigan in the game’s final second to win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off title. And the early success experienced by Alan Major’s squad has some thinking that the 49ers could be in line for a special season in the first season of their second run in Conference USA.

Ole Miss closes loan on new basketball arena (Ole Miss Athletics)
Monday was a big day in the history of Ole Miss basketball, as the school closed the loan that will finance a new basketball arena. The Rebels’ current home, Tad Smith Coliseum, opened in 1966 and despite multiple renovation projects the facility lagged behind others in the SEC. The hope is to have the new arena ready to go by January 2016, and it’s something head coach Andy Kennedy and his staff will be able to sell to recruits.

Richmond’s Mooney returns to happy basketball memories at Clune Arena (Colorado Springs Gazette)
On Wednesday night the Richmond Spiders take on the Air Force Falcons in Colorado Springs, and the game marks the first time that Richmond head coach Chris Mooney has been in Clune Arena since 2005. Mooney spent four seasons as an assistant on Joe Scott’s staff at Air Force, winning a Mountain West regular season title in 2004, before taking over as head coach for one season in 2004-05.

Bubble Banter: Sunday Funday on the bubble

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As we will do every day throughout the rest of the season, here is a look at how college basketball’s bubble teams fared on Sunday.

It’s worth reminding you here that the way winning are labeled have changed this season. Instead of looking at all top 50 wins equally, the selection committee will be using criteria that breaks wins down into four quadrants, using the RPI:

  • Quadrant 1: Home vs. 1-30, Neutral vs. 1-50, Road vs. 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home vs. 31-75, Neutral vs. 51-100, Road vs. 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home vs. 76-160, Neutral vs. 101-200, Road vs. 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home vs. 161 plus, Neutral vs. 201 plus, Road vs. 240 plus

The latest NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here.

YET TO PLAY

TEMPLE
UCLA
PENN STATE
NEBRASKA
N.C. STATE

Georgia’s Mark Fox ‘disgusted’ by investigation into college basketball

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Georgia head coach Mark Fox did not hold back when asked about the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball, calling is “disgusting” and pleading with coaches and the institutions that employ them to do right.

“It starts with our coaches, and then you ask how the NCAA has handled it,” Fox said. “The NCAA is made up of member institutions. How are the institutions handling it? That’d be my first question. How are they handling it? Putting their head in the sand and looking the other way? I’m past anger, sadness. It’s just disgusting, and we’re really hurting the game, and the game has been so good to everybody.”

Fox is in a difficult position. He’s regarded as one of the nicer coaches in the business and is considered to be ‘clean’. He team also appears headed for another NIT, which could end up costing him his job.

“We’ve had some situations where we didn’t get players because of that reason, and other teams have, too,” Fox said.

“I’m disgusted,” he added. “I’m disgusted with how people have treated our game. It’s absolutely disgusting.”

Cuonzo Martin: ‘No timetable’ for a Michael Porter Jr. return

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There still is not clarity on whether or not Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. will return to the court this season.

On Saturday, he participated in Missouri’s shootaround at Kentucky but did not run through warmups and did not play in the game.

“I don’t have a timeline,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said after Saturday’s 87-66 loss. “He wants to play.”

“We have to make sure he’s ready to go.”

Porter has only had one full practice since he underwent surgery on his back in November, and that came on Friday. A source confirmed to NBC Sports that Porter was, in fact, cleared for full contact on Thursday afternoon after a visit with a doctor.

Porter is expected to continue practicing with the team. He told reporters earlier this month that he would like to get a few games prior to the start of tournament play if he happens to take part in any games.

Kentucky, Duke, Arizona comment on player eligibility amidst FBI scandal

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On Saturday night, Kentucky won their third straight game over an opponent that will be in next month’s NCAA tournament. They were led by freshman Kevin Knox, who finished with 21 points just 36 hours after his name appeared in a report by Yahoo Sports in connection with a runner that was tied to disgraced NBA agent Andy Miller.

“I’m not here to talk about that,” Knox said in response to questions regarding the runner, Christian Dawkins, or the story that Yahoo published.

“That was all the university dealing with it,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said, adding that he did not discuss the matter with Knox. “I wasn’t involved in any way. But I felt good about it.”

“I was sure I would be able to play this whole week,” Knox told reporters. “I wasn’t really focused on none of that. I let Kentucky handle it.

“I just focused on me, focused on my game, and let them handle it. I slept well at night knowing I was going to be able to play.”

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski went a step further, detailing precisely how he found out about the report and how Wendell Carter’s parents were involved. Carter’s mother called him while he was walking his dog and told him what was in the story. According to Coach K, Wendell’s parents went to break bread with Dawkins, but Wendell’s father did not like him and left immediately while Wendell’s mother stayed to be polite. She said she did not have anything to eat.

“It wasn’t a distraction because I know I didn’t do anything wrong,” Carter told reporters after going for 16 points, 10 boards, four steals, four assists and two blocks in a win over Syracuse. “My family didn’t do anything wrong. No one around me did anything wrong. I knew I was going to play. Once I got out on the court, it was all good. It felt good.”

“We are very comfortable with where we are on this,” Coach K said. “We don’t feel like we are taking any chances with this. We very confident about this particular thing.”

Alabama told ESPN that any connection that Collin Sexton had to Dawkins or the Yahoo story was dealt with during his one-game suspension at the start of the season.

“We reviewed i, and after we reviewed it, we made the decision that Collin was going to be available for us,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. “That’s the extent of it.”

Meanwhile, Arizona lost at Oregon after Sean Miller was replaced by Lorenzo Romar as head coach for the night. Romar offered no answers as to whether or not Miller, who was reportedly caught on a fire tap talking about a $100,000 payment to Deandre Ayton, will return to the program anytime soon because, as he put it, “I don’t know.” Romar was unable to even answer if he would be coaching practice on Sunday.

Troubled No. 14 Arizona loses 98-93 to Oregon

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EUGENE, Ore. — No. 14 Arizona played without coach Sean Miller and lost 98-93 to Oregon in overtime at the end of a difficult Saturday for the troubled Wildcats program.

Miller sat out a day after ESPN reported he was heard on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to current Wildcats freshman Deandre Ayton. The Wildcats also were without guard Allonzo Trier, who tested positive for the same banned substance that cost him 19 games last season.

“I believe it is in the best interest of our team that I not coach the game tonight,” Miller said in a statement. “I continue to fully support the university’s efforts to fully investigate this matter and am confident that I will be vindicated.”

The school did not specify why Miller didn’t coach against Oregon or if he will sit out any other games.

Ayton had 28 points and 16 rebounds for Arizona (22-7, 12-4 Pac-12), and Rawle Alkins added 24 points.

Oregon (19-10, 9-7) used a stellar performance at the line and a balanced attack to pick up its second straight win. Elijah Brown scored 22 of his season-high 30 points after halftime. MiKyle McIntosh added 20 points, including a key 3-pointer with 1:02 left.

Brown made 15 of 17 free-throw attempts as the Ducks connected on 20 of 24 foul shots overall. The work at the line helped them over a 58.6 shooting percentage and a 35-30 rebounding edge for the Wildcats.

Arizona also committed 17 turnovers.

Dylan Smith’s 3-pointer for the Wildcats tied it at 83 with 22 seconds left. Oregon’s Payton Pritchard missed a driving layup with 2 seconds remaining, sending the game into overtime.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona’s immediate future isn’t clear beyond its last two games of the regular season at McKale Center. The Wildcats can clinch a share of the Pac-12 title with one more win.

Oregon push for relevance in the postseason discussion got a boost by beating the Wildcats, though the Ducks’ only route to NCAA Tournament may rest with winning the conference tournament in Las Vegas next month. Oregon closes on the road against the Washington schools.