The Secondary Break: Friday’s Links

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PC’s Fortune misses his military family, but has kept his focus on the court (Providence Journal)
Providence sophomore guard Josh Fortune has been a valuable member of the rotation for the Friars, who dropped a 61-5o decision at Marquette on Thursday night. Fortune’s been playing while his mother, a colonel in the Army, has been serving in Kuwait.

College basketball royalty set to meet on Dome floor in Duke-Syracuse matchup (Syracuse Post-Standard)
When it was announced that Syracuse would be joining the ACC, one of the match-ups many basketball fans looked forward to was one involving the Orange and Duke. The sustained excellence of the two programs, led by Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski, has played a big role in that. The two teams will meet on Saturday night.

Malik Smith getting it together at Minnesota (Twin Cities Pioneer-Press)
Malik Smith may not be thought of at the level of Andre Hollis, Austin Hollins or Dre Mathieu when it comes to the Minnesota attack, but he is a player the Golden Gophers will need to be productive as they look to make a return trip to the NCAA tournament. And this season represents progress for Smith, whose road to Minneapolis was anything but smooth.

Kentucky coach Calipari measures heart of his players (Florida Today)
Kentucky head coach John Calipari has used an interesting method in his quest to properly gauge the effort being given by his players in practice: heart monitors. The monitors serve multiple purposes, as they are also useful in evaluating the strength of a player’s heart to make sure they’re healthy.

Hey college basketball: what can Brown do for you? (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
Former LSU head coach Dale Brown has some thoughts as to what college basketball should do for a variety of issues, from freedom of movement to even what should be done when a player calls a timeout his team doesn’t have.

Arizona escaped defeat at Stanford, but is it beneficial to be unbeaten? (Sports Illustrated)
Top-ranked Arizona turned up the defense over the last ten minutes of the game on Wednesday night, with the end result being yet another win for the Wildcats. But is it better for a team to lose a game before the streak becomes a bit too “heavy?”

VIDEO: William Carey cheerleader Ashlee Arnau at it again
William Carey cheerleader Ashlee Arnau gained national attention last season for her ability to knock down half-court shots, doing so while executing a front flip prior to the release. Well, on Thursday night she did it again.

Big South moving 2016 conference tournament

Cliff Ellis
AP Photo
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The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.

The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.

Virginia Tech could redshirt sophomore guard

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Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.

The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.

Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.

“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”

It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.