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.

Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training

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Kentucky Sports Radio
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Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.

You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:

“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”

Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”

Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”

And that led to “I’ll kill you”:

(h/t KSR)

VIDEO: Shaq’s son, Shareef O’Neal, with monster dunk in Vegas

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Shareef O’Neal is a top 50 prospect in the Class of 2018. In Vegas this past weekend, he threw down a monster put-back dunk.

South Dakota State gets two commits

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Tuesday was a busy and productive one for South Dakota State on the recruiting trail.

The Jackrabbits secured two 2017 commitments from the state of Wisconsin in Ryan Krueger and Alex Arians, a source tells NBCSports.com.

Krueger is a 6-foot-5 wing player from New London, Wisc. while Arians is a 6-foot-4 guard from Madison, Wisc., who also held an offer from Wright State, which is coached by former SDSU coach Scott Nagy. Both players spend their summers playing for the Wisconsin Swing grassroots program.

The pair make it a trio of commits for the Jackrabbits in 2017 with another Wisconsinite, Alou Dillon, pledging to first-year Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger, himself a Wisconsin native, earlier this summer.

South Dakota State went 26-8 last year and the bulk of the team that made the NCAA tournament last year, including sophomore Mike Daum, who led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.

Incoming Gator freshman ineligible for upcoming season

Mike White
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Florida will need to wait a year before seeing 6-foot-11 recruit Gorjok Gak playing games for the Gators.

The NCAA ruled that the incoming freshman will be able to enroll at Florida this year and practice with the team, but will be ineligible for games this season, the school announced Tuesday.

Should he meet all his progress marks during his freshman year, he’ll have three seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2017-18.

Gak’s eligibility issue centered on his playing games during his postgraduate year at Victory Rock Prep, according to his coach there.

“Following his graduate year from Australia, he was supposed to play from December to December,” Loren Jackson told the Gainesville Sun, “but instead played from December until the following May.”

Gak originally signed with Oklahoma State, but de-committed following Travis Ford’s firing in Stillwater this past spring. Gak averaged 13.8 points and 9.3 rebounds last season at Victory Rock in Bradenton, Fla.

Florida went 21-15 last season under first-year coach Mike White.

Video: Coach K talks Team USA with Dan Patrick

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Team USA has blown through its competition in its first two exhibition games ahead of next month’s Olympics in Rio De Janeiro with wins over Argentina and China by a combined a combined 96 points.

Tonight, they’ll have a rematch against China, which they defeated 106-57 on Sunday, but it will also serve as the unofficial debut of Kevin Durant in front of his new hometown fans with the game taking place at the home of the Golden State Warriors, Oracle Arena, in Oakland.

“Excited for Kevin tonight to make his debut in front of the Golden State fans,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday on the Dan Patrick Show. “He got a great reception (Monday) at a function. He was, as he should be, warmly welcomed.”

The team has been together since July 18 in the run-up to its first Olympic contest on Aug. 6 against China. For Krzyzewski, a couple of players have made an impression already.

“You see these guys on TV,” the Duke coach said, “but I don’t get a chance to see them in person. (Clipper) DeAndre Jordan is such a good player. A great athlete, a great guy. To see him run, defend, holy mackerel. He’ s really good.

“I haven’t seen Paul George in two years when he had that horrific (leg) injury in Las Vegas at one of our camps, and he’s so darn good. On defense, tremendous.”

It’s on the defensive side of the floor that Coach K believes his team can really make its mark even with the incredible collection of offensive talent the roster has.

“We’re very athletic so defensively we could be a very good defensive team,” he said. “We’ve shown a willingness to want to do that in the first two games.”

As usual, Team USA is the prohibitive favorite to bring back gold for the third consecutive Olympics, which will be Coach K’s last at the helm after taking over after the 2004 bronze medal debacle.

“I’m excited about the team,” he said. “It’s a short time. to see our guys working so hard and they get along so well, I’m excited about the team we might be in Rio. We’ll use tonight to get a little bit better.

“I kind of have the blinders on. You only have a short time. It’s a little over a month, and we want to win the gold medal in Rio.”