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The Secondary Break: Monday’s Links

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Former BC coach Al Skinner still hurt over the way he was fired (Boston Globe)
Much is made of players who wish to leave the game of basketball on their own terms, and the same can be said for coaches. Al Skinner, now an assistant at Bryant after spending three seasons out of the game, saw his 13-year run at Boston College come to an end in 2010. And the way in which he was let go still doesn’t sit well with the coach, whose former assistants truly believe should be in charge of his own program.

Baylor women’s 69-game home win streak on the line vs. UConn (Associated Press)
Virginia/Duke and Kansas/Iowa State may have the attention of many college basketball fans but Monday also features a Top 10 matchup in the women’s game. No. 7 Baylor will put its 69-game home win streak on the line when No. 1 UConn visits Waco in what should be an entertaining affair.

Duke, North Carolina learning along with their players (USA Today)
Saturday marked the first time since the 1996 ACC quarterfinals that all three Triangle schools lost on the same day, with Duke, N.C. State and North Carolina all falling. In the case of the Blue Devils and Tar Heels, they’re still learning more about their respective pieces and that’s led to struggles that many did not anticipate before the season began.

Story Time: Wilt Chamberlain feared death by soda poisoning, and other stories (The 700 Level)
No. 24 Memphis’ trip to Philadelphia to play Temple Saturday afternoon may not have been an eventful one outcome-wise (Memphis won 79-69), but Memphis head coach Josh Pastner treated the media to some good stories regarding his links to the Philadelphia area. One statement: his father has a recording of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point guard with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Spartans legend Draymond Green agrees: Michigan State has “great” potential (Detroit Free Press)
Thanks to the NBA schedule-makers former Michigan State player Draymond Green, now a member of the Golden State Warriors, was able to attend his old team’s overtime win over Minnesota on Saturday. And he’s of the opinion that the Spartans have the pieces needed to win a national title, but they’ve yet to “scratch the surface” of their full potential.

Cougars regain their swagger but a four-game road swing awaits (Salt Lake Tribune)
BYU took a step in the right direction on Saturday night, beating Loyola Marymount 91-68 in Provo. Having regained some of the confidence lost in their run of four losses in five game, the Cougars are now looking forward to a four-game road swing that will undoubtedly impact their chances of contending in the WCC.

Yes, your basketball team is good (The Mid-Majority)
The Harvard Crimson were one of the big stories at the mid-major level at the start of the season, due to their performance last season and the many key contributors back on campus. With that being the case expectations are high for Tommy Amaker’s team, even if there are some on campus who are unaware of how good their basketball team is.

Michigan St. at Duke highlights ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Michigan State v Duke
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A matchup in Durham of likely top-10 teams is the headliner of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, whose schedule was released Tuesday.

Michigan State, expected to open the season in the top-10, and Duke, the presumptive preseason No. 1, will meet Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the most intriguing contest of the 14-game event.

The Spartans are losing Denzel Valentin, Bryn Forbes and Matt Costello, but the recruiting class of Miles Bridges, Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford and Nick Ward is one of coach Tom Izzo’s best and has Michigan State positioned as one of the Big Ten’s favorites.

Izzo’s recruiting class, though, pales in comparison to what coach Mike Krzyzewski is bringing to the Blue Devils, with Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden, Frank Jackson and Javin DeLaurier in their 2016 class, which is why, when paired with the likes of Grayson Allen, Amile Jefferson and Luke Kennard, make Duke nearly everyone’s No. 1 heading into next season.

Krzyzewski is 9-1 all-time against Izzo’s Spartans.

Among the other highlights of the conference competition is Syracuse at Wisconsin (Nov. 29) Pittsburgh at Maryland (Nov. 29), Purdue at Louisville (Nov. 30) and Ohio State at Virginia (Nov. 30).  

Monday, Nov. 28

Minnesota at Florida State

Wake Forest at Northwestern

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Syracuse at Wisconsin

Michigan State at Duke

Pittsburgh at Maryland

Iowa at Notre Dame

Georgia Tech at Penn State

N.C. State at Illinois

 

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Purdue at Louisville

North Carolina at Indiana

Ohio State at Virginia

Virginia Tech at Michigan

Rutgers at Miami (Fla.)

Nebraska at Clemson

 

Hayes returning to Wisconsin for senior season

Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes celebrates with fans after an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. Wisconsin won 67-59. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Wisconsin has cemented itself as one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten for the 2016-17 season.

Forward Nigel Hayes, the Badgers’ leading scorer and assist man, is withdrawing his name from NBA Draft consideration to return to Madison for his senior season, he told the Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesday evening.

Hayes declared for the draft last month, but did not hire an agent, taking advantage of new NCAA legislation that allowed him to attend the NBA Draft combine and workout for pro franchises. He was largely regarded as a fringe first-round prospect by draft observers.

His decision is a major boon for Greg Gard, who may have the Big Ten’s best team in his first full season at the helm after taking over for Bo Ryan in the middle of last season. Wisconsin had a major turnaround under Gard, which ultimately resulted in him moving from interim to full time. The Badgers were 7-5 when Ryan stepped down, but recovered by going 13-4 to end the season and make the Sweet 16. 

Now, the entirety of that team, headlined by Hayes, is returning for another year and almost assuredly will be a top-15 (or better) preseason pick. Michigan State will welcome in a dynamite recruiting class that features five-stars Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston, and Indiana should remain strong, but the Badgers, with some players having the experience of  playing in two Final Fours, could very well have the best roster on paper with its blend of talent and experience. Whichever team is pegged as the favorite, the top of the Big Ten is shaping up to be a fantastic race.

Illinois dismisses Kendrick Nunn

Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn (25) tries to go up for a basket against Indiana center Thomas Bryant (31) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at in Champaign, Ill., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Heather Coit)
(AP Photo/Heather Coit)
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Illinois announced on Tuesday that they have dismissed Kendrick Nunn from the basketball program.

Nunn was sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to a battery charge that stemmed from a domestic violence incident. He was alleged to have hit a woman in the head and pushed her to the ground before pouring water on her.

“We have made the decision to dismiss Kendrick Nunn from the men’s basketball team, effective immediately,” a statement put out by head coach John Groce and athletic director Josh Whitman read. “After extensive deliberation, we think it best for our program to reaffirm our core values of trust and respect, to send a strong message about what is acceptable behavior.”

Nunn averaged 15.5 points as a junior last season.

Delaware hires Martin Inglesby as head coach

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Joe Raymond, AP
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Delaware has finally hired a head coach, a little more than two months after Monte’ Ross was fired.

The man that earned the right of taking over a program with just four returning scholarship players is Martin Inglesby, a Notre Dame assistant that has been under Mike Brey’s tutelage for more than a decade. A source confirmed the news with NBCSports.com. Brey spent his first six seasons as a Division I head coach in Newark.

The reason that the search for a new basketball coach took so long is that the university was in the midst of looking for a new athletic director. Chrissi Rawak was hired as AD on May 13th, and one of her first orders of business was finding a replacement for Ross.

CBS Sports was the first to report Inglesby’s hiring.

Report: UCLA signs record apparel deal with Under Armour

(Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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The latest arms race in the collegiate ranks centers around apparel deals, and UCLA has reportedly signed the largest in the history of amateur athletics.

Under Armour will pay the university $280 million over the next 15 years, according to ESPN.com, in exchange for their athletes to work as unpaid models, turning Pauley Pavilion and the Rose Bowl into a runway for the athletic apparel company to hawk their wares.

Here are the details from ESPN:

At those numbers, the deal would be the largest in college football history. In January, Ohio State said its 15-year deal with Nike was worth $252 million. Texas signed a 15-year deal with Nike worth $250 million in October, and Michigan signed an 11-year deal, with a four-year option, that could be worth up to $173.8 million.

Landing UCLA only furthers Under Armour’s presence on the west coast. Their most famous client is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.