Frank Haith

Thursday’s Pregame Shootaround: Missouri-West Virginia highlights the night

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GAME OF THE DAY: West Virginia at Missouri, 7:00 p.m. ET

The Big 12/SEC Challenge kicks off tonight, headlined by the Mountaineers treking down to Columbia to take on former Big 12 member Missouri. While there isn’t exactly a Final Four contender taking the court, this will be an intriguing game to watch simply because it will give us a glimpse at two teams that have played well early on this season. West Virginia has had a couple of tough losses, to Wisconsin and Virginia Tech but their back court of Eron Harris, and Juwan Staten has been dynamic. For the Tigers, Jordan Clarkson looks like he could end up being the best scoring guard in the SEC this season, but Missouri has played a schedule that’s about equivalent to that of my men’s league team. Just how good are the Tigers?

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: Eastern Kentucky at VCU, 7:00 p.m. ET

I know, I know, I know. VCU isn’t a “mid-major” program anymore, but they are still VCU, and they’ll always be a mid-major in my heart. Eastern Kentucky is one of the favorites to win the OVC this season, which means that they should be able to give the Rams a fight in Richmond.


1) Marshall Henderson will be making another appearance on national television tonight as his Rebels, fresh off of a win in the Barclays Center Classic, will be heading down to Manhattan, KS, to take on Kansas State.

2) No. 24 San Diego State takes on crosstown-rival San Diego in their first test as a top 25 team this season. The Toreros have a talented back court of Johnny Dee and Chris Anderson.

3) The Battle of the Ocean State takes place tonight between Providence and Rhode Island.

4) Georgetown hosts High Point tonight. They’ll be without Allan Chaney, but John Brown is a talent worth watching.

5) Texas A&M-CC will be taking on Oklahoma at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon as they try to get their game in before the storm hits.


  • LIU-Brooklyn at Seton Hall, 7:00 p.m.
  • Marshall at Vanderbilt, 8:00 p.m.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.