The Secondary Break: Wednesday’s Links

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“That’s not my legacy”: 12 years after Rutgers firing, Kevin Bannon is at peace (Newark Star-Ledger)
When he first took over as head coach at Rutgers in the late-1990s, Kevin Bannon has the look of a coach capable of leading the program to greater heights. But a free throw contest in which players had to remove an article of clothing for each miss resulted in Bannon’s firing. And while Rutgers continues its quest for a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991 Bannon’s moved forward in life.

NBA projections fall for star-studded lineup (Louisville Courier-Journal)
One aspect of the one-and-done era that has taken some getting used to is the immediate analysis of the draft potential of the nation’s best freshmen. Having played just one-third of the season doesn’t stop pundits from offering their thoughts and mock drafts, and in the case of Kentucky’s crop their stock has dropped some. But in all honesty this likely isn’t (and shouldn’t) be their focus right now.

BC’s Clifford still a question mark (Boston Globe)
Boston College center Dennis Clifford is a valuable piece for the Eagles, but unfortunately for them he’s been unable to play this season after undergoing a procedure during the offseason on both of his knees. Without their big man the Eagles have struggled defensively, and a decision should be made in the next couple of weeks as to whether or not he’ll be able to play at all this season.

Marist graduate Kristina Danella leading own college basketball team (Poughkeepsie Journal)
For many college graduates the job market can be tough to navigate, with the number of immediate opportunities in their chosen field being limited. But in the case of former Marist forward Kristina Danella, she’s now in charge of her own program (interim head coach at Urbana University) less than a year removed from college.

Sylvia Hatchell doing “really good” (ESPN)
North Carolina women’s head basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell’s been on leave since being diagnosed with leukemia in October, and her hope is to be back on the sideline running her program by the end of the season.

Henderson getting help as Rebels near SEC play (Columbus Ledger-Enquirer)
Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson receives most of the attention when it comes to the Rebels thanks to his shot selection and histrionics that fire up fans no matter when the game is being played. But as Ole Miss approaches the start of SEC play it should be known that he’s got some help, most notably a player in Jarvis Summers who’s much improved from a season ago.

Brandon Taylor’s heart outgrows his frame (Salt Lake Tribune)
Utah put together arguably its best performance of the season on Saturday night as they blew out rival BYU in Salt Lake City. The tandem of Jordan Loveridge and Delon Wright will receive many of the headlines but they aren’t the only key contributors at Larry Krystkowiak’s disposal. Sophomore point guard Brandon Taylor’s been key as well, and he’s becoming a vocal leader for the Utes.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.