Grant Gibbs, Kameron Rooks, David Kravish

The Secondary Break: Friday’s Links

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The Forgotten Little Big Man of College Basketball (Deadspin)
With the Wooden and Robertson award midseason lists being released over the last two days, there has been a great amount of discussion regarding who made the cut and who didn’t. One player not on either list is USCB big man Alan Williams, who has been highly productive amidst little national fanfare this season. Ken Pomeroy aims to change that.

Creighton’s Grant Gibbs talks about life on the injury list (USA Today)
Creighton senior guard Grant Gibbs is currently sidelined due to a knee injury, with the hope being that he’ll be able to return to the court in the next two weeks. In his most recent diary entry Gibbs discussed topics such as how he’s dealing with the injury and the Bluejays’ incredible offensive performance in their win over No. 4 Villanova on Monday night.

Kansas, Florida slide into top five, but Ethan Wragge wins the rankings (Sports Illustrated)
Luke Winn’s released his latest power rankings, with one of the many tidbits focusing on the three-point shooting of Creighton forward Ethan Wragge. According to Winn’s research Wragge’s made 11 of his three-pointers from the right elbow, converting those shot at a 64.7% clip.

The new king of the West (Sports on Earth)
Now in his fifth season at Arizona, Sean Miller has a program that lacked stability when he took over sitting atop the national polls and looking like the favorites to win the national title. And to think, the man who’s now the “new king” of west coast hoops originally turned down the job when offered.

Longtime college basketball coach inspiring even rival teams in his fight against cancer (Yahoo! Sports)
Akron’s had to navigate conference play without a key figure on its bench, as director of basketball operations Dan Peters has left the team to undergo treatment for pancreatic cancer. But even with a bleak prognosis Peters continues to fight, and that has motivated many including those who compete against the Zips.

Louisville basketball needs Chris Jones, if a different Chris Jones (Louisville Courier-Journal)
Despite not having the injured Chris Jones the Louisville Cardinals have played very well, with freshman Terry Rozier and senior Russ Smith displaying good on-court chemistry. But while Rick Pitino may have stated that the connection between Jones and Smith isn’t quite as strong, the Cardinals will still need the junior college transfer if they’re to make a run at another national title.

Murdock files motion seeking to compel former Rutgers officials to testify in suit (MyCentralJersey.com)
After claiming that his contract wasn’t renewed in June 2012 due to his bringing attention to the behavior of then-head coach Mike Rice, former Rutgers director of player development Eric Murdock filed a wrongful termination suit against the school. However according to his representation Rice and former AD Tim Pernetti haven’t made themselves available to be deposed, resulting in the lawyers filing a motion to get the ball rolling.

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.

Kentucky-Kansas headlines the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge

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The Big 12 and the SEC announced the matchups for the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Tuesday, and the highlight is, of course, Kansas and Kentucky.

The two schools, who played an instant classic in Phog Allen Fieldhouse last season, will square off in Lexington this season. If that wasn’t enough, Kentucky and Kansas are currently sitting second and third, respectively, in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25.

So that should be fun.

The game will be played on January 28th along with the rest of the matchups in the series. Those matchups are:

Texas at Georgia
Texas A&M at West Virginia
Florida at Oklahoma
Baylor at Ole Miss
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Kansas State at Tennessee
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
Auburn at TCU
LSU at Texas Tech

To be frank, the rest of that schedule is not all that enticing. West Virginia should be a top 25 team, and they host a Texas A&M team that is talented but young. Florida and Georgia are arguably the two best non-Kentucky teams in the league, but they face off with a rebuilding Oklahoma and a young Texas squad, neither of whom are guaranteed to make the tournament.

The problem here?

Both the SEC and the Big 12 are likely going to be down this season, which puts a damper on just how excited we can get about this challenge.

Purdue forward to return to school, withdraw from NBA Draft

Purdue center A.J. Hammons (20) celebrates with forward Vince Edwards (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan State in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Purdue defeated Michigan State 82-81 in overtime. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Purdue announced on Tuesday that forward Vince Edwards will be returning to school for his junior season.

Edwards declared for the NBA Draft without signing with an agent and went through the process to gauge his value at the next level.

“After getting the NBA experience and going through the evaluation process, I have talked with my family and Coach Painter and decided it is best for me to return for my junior year,” Edwards said in a statement. “Although the NBA is still a dream for me one day, I am coming back to Purdue to make next year a special one. Thank you to all the organizations who gave me the chance to not only showcase my talents, but also the chance to know me as a young man and not just an athlete.”

Edwards averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 boards last season.

Purdue now has to wait to hear from Caleb Swanigan, a rising sophomore that was a top 20 recruit in the Class of 2015. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is Wednesday.