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The Secondary Break: Tuesday’s Links

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Maryland’s Dez Wells goes up against his mentor, N.C. Central head coach Levelle Moton (Washington Post)
In their final non-conference game of the year Maryland takes on North Carolina Central on Tuesday afternoon, and junior wing Dez Wells will see a familiar face as a result. N.C. Central head coach Levelle Moton served as a mentor to Wells while the Terrapin was growing up in Durham, N.C., and he remains an important figure in Wells’ life.

BU’s Watson emerging as a sophomore star (City of Basketball Love)
Boston University guard Maurice Watson has been one of the Patriot League’s best players thus far, and he’s one reason why the Terriers are expected to win the league in their first season as a member.

Piracy: sports leagues’ biggest problem? (San Diego Union-Tribune)
This story focuses on the proliferation of streaming websites and their impact on professional sports, but there’s also been a impact on college sports as well. It’s an interesting read to say the least.

Cal, Stanford hurt by injuries in backcourt (San Jose Mercury News)
California and Stanford open Pac-12 play on Thursday night, when they meet in Palo Alto. And both teams have had some injury issues to deal with on the perimeter, with Cal missing both Jabari Bird and Ricky Kreklow and Stanford losing Aaron Bright for the season.

For Michigan’s Mitch McGary, college basketball giveth and taketh away (MLive.com)
After enjoying a highly productive NCAA tournament, Michigan forward Mitch McGary could have struck while the iron was hot and made the move to the next level. But instead of being a possible first round selection McGary returned to Ann Arbor, and now he’s out indefinitely with a lower back injury that requires surgery.

Big East, Ackerman taking long-term approach (Fox Sports)
On Tuesday the first conference season of the new Big East gets underway, with all ten teams playing throughout the course of the day. But even with questions about television deals and ratings, the conference and its commissioner Val Ackerman chooses to approach things with a long-term view.

Parting ways with Chane Behanan probably best (Louisville Courier-Journal)
On Monday Louisville head coach Rick Pitino announced that junior forward Chane Behanan was dismissed from the program, with their being no way for him to earn his way back after multiple transgressions. And while this is an important personnel loss for the reigning national champions, it’s one that may be best for the program moving forward.

Bill Self questions improvement of KU defense (Lawrence Journal World)
Kansas picked up a tough win on Monday night as they beat Toledo 93-83, handing the Rockets their first loss of the season. But there’s always room for improvement, and following the game head coach Bill Self wasn’t too thrilled with his team’s performance on the defensive end.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.

NEW PODCAST: Indiana, Cal, troublesome trends and a weekend preview

California's Jabari Bird celebrates a score against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.

Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.