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The Secondary Break: Monday’s Links

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St. John’s has work cut out to make NCAA tournament (New York Daily News)
Steve Lavin’s St. John’s Red Storm were thought to be the most talented team in the Big East when the season began. But there’s also the need to make good on said promise when games actually begin, and that’s been a struggle for the Red Storm. There are still opportunities to go on a run and reach the NCAA tournament, but that will likely come down to the Big East tournament.

Ochefu standing tall for Villanova (Delco Times)
During Jay Wright’s tenure at Villanova, guards have received most of the attention when the Wildcats rank among the nation’s best. But there’s also the need for rugged big men in the Villanova attack, from Dante Cunningham and Will Sheridan during the mid-2000s to Daniel Ochefu now. Yes, Ochefu, who has made immense strides throughout the 2013-14 season for Villanova.

Milestone reached as Oregon Tech’s Danny Miles gets 1,000th win (Oregon Tech Athletics)
Two of Division I’s winningest head coaches faced off at the Carrier Dome on Saturday night, with Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse Orange beating Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils in overtime. However there was also a milestone reached on Saturday, as Oregon Tech’s Danny Miles picked up his 1,000th win as a college head coach. He’s just the second coach in college basketball history to reach the 1,000 win mark.

Jordan Morgan leads the charge in Michigan’s turnaround (Michigan Daily)
With Mitch McGary out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery, Michigan needed its veteran big men to step up in order for the Wolverines to be a contender in the Big Ten. That has happened, with Jordan Morgan playing an important role for the Wolverines. His motivation: not seeing the floor much during Michigan’s run to the national title game last season.

Aaric Murray overcomes obstacles, now possible NBA prospect again (KTRK Houston)
Texas Southern senior center Aaric Murray arrived in Houston a man who had run out of chances. After seeing stints at La Salle and West Virginia come to a premature end, Murray sought out help from John Lucas and a fresh start at Texas Southern under Mike Davis. Thus far he’s taken advantage of the opportunity, and as a result Murray’s back on the mind of some pro scouts.

SDSU’s Quinn relished chance to start (San Diego Union-Tribune)
With Josh Davis having to miss Saturday night’s game against Colorado State for health reasons, No. 5 San Diego State needed someone to step into the starting lineup and be a productive replacement. Enter Aqeel Quinn, who scored eight points in 24 minutes of action as the Aztecs held off Colorado State.

Northwestern rallying around Collins (CBS2 Chicago)
After starting Big Ten play with three consecutive losses, the Northwestern Wildcats looked to be in serious trouble in the first season of the Chris Collins era. But the Wildcats have turned things around, reaching 5-5 in conference play and winning three straight league road games for the first time since 1960. The team’s head coach hadn’t even been born when the last streak occurred.

Cal and San Diego State set three-game series

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10:  Jarmal Reid #32 of the Oregon State Beavers tries to steal the ball from Ivan Rabb #1 of the California Golden Bears during a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 10, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. California won 76-68.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Cal and San Diego State played last season in the Las Vegas Invitational and decided to play more often.

According to multiple reports, the two teams will play each other the next three seasons, starting with a neutral-court matchup in Sacramento on Nov. 21. The game in Sacramento will be unique in a couple of ways, as it will be the first college basketball game in the Sacramento Kings’ brand-new home arena. It will also be Cal’s first game in Sacramento since 1947.

After the Sacramento game during the 2016-17 season, San Diego State will host the Golden Bears the next season and Cal will host the Aztecs the following year to close out the three-game deal.

With both Cal and San Diego State returning plenty of talent from last season, this season’s contest should be one of the more intriguing non-conference games between schools out west and it should be fun for the players as they get to take the floor in a new NBA arena.

Report: Creighton’s Zach Hanson to miss a few months following knee surgery

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 3: Zach Hanson #40 of the Creighton Bluejays fights for position with Daniel Ochefu #23 of the Villanova Wildcats  during their game at CenturyLink Center March 3, 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska.   (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
(Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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Creighton will be without a key big man for the start of practice as senior Zach Hanson will be out after having knee surgery.

According to a report from Marjie Ducey of the Omaha World-Herald, the 6-foot-9 Hanson will likely be out for eight to 12 weeks. Creighton head coach Greg McDermott told Ducey that Hanson will hopefully be available when Creighton opens its regular season in November.

As a junior, Hanson was a key rotation big man for the Bluejays as he put up 6.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, making one start on the season. As McDermott noted in Ducey’s story, he’s not concerned about Hanson missing practice time from a learning curve standpoint but he is a bit worried about his conditioning. Before the knee surgery, Hanson was also nursing some ankle injuries that he was dealing with during the season, so he hasn’t had a great chance to get in proper condition.

This loss will definitely hurt Creighton as they have a ton of backcourt pieces for next season, but not as many in the front court. Hanson’s an experienced player who will help once he returns but it will something worth monitoring to see what kind of condition he’s in during the early season.

VIDEO: Mixtape of the Under Armour Association

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Now that summer basketball is nearly finished, a lot of good mixtapes are beginning to pop up from this spring and summer’s action.

Ball is Life just dropped some highlights from all of the Under Armour Association events from this spring and summer in one mixtape and it’s loaded with high-level players making tremendous plays.

Some of the top Class of 2017 prospects included in the video include Trevon Duval, Kris Wilkes, Ira Lee, M.J. Walker and North Carolina commit Jalek Felton.

Judge to review surveillance video in Appling gun case

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30:  Keith Appling #11 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Connecticut Huskies during the East Regional Final of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) A Michigan judge will review surveillance footage from the night former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling was arrested outside a strip club on weapons and drug charges.

Appling’s defense attorney presented the footage at Friday’s preliminary examination. It includes security videos from the Pantheon Club parking lot and video from police dashboard cameras.

The hearing was adjourned until Aug. 5 to allow Judge William Hultgren time to review the footage.

The 24-year-old Appling played for the Spartans from 2010-2014 and had two 10-day contracts with the Orlando Magic this season.

He was arrested in May after two guns and suspected marijuana were found in a vehicle he was in.

Appling also faces a trial in Detroit where he was charged in June with carrying a concealed weapon.

Arkansas hoping for more backcourt depth and stronger press in 2016-17

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Dusty Hannahs #3 of the Arkansas Razorbacks drives to the basket against Michael Humphrey #10 of the Stanford Cardinal  at Barclays Center on November 27, 2015 in Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Arkansas is coming off of a disappointing 16-16 season in which they missed the postseason.

The Razorbacks lost two key guards in Anthlon Bell and Jabril Durham — who both exhausted their eligibility — but they’re hoping a couple of additions will bolster the depth of their backcourt and make their trademark press stronger.

In a story from Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Razorbacks are excited about the possibilities of their new backcourt.

Although Arkansas lost two talented seniors and a transfer in Jimmy Whitt, they return Dusty Hannahs, Manny Watkins and Anton Beard while also getting two of the best junior college guards in the country. Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon come in highly touted for next season and both junior college guards garnered a lot of praise from their play last season.

With Arkansas also bringing in some freshman guards like C.J. Jones and RJ Glasper, head coach Mike Anderson is hoping to have enough bodies to play fast and use his press. The team appears to be optimistic as well.

“I think we’ll have a lot more toughness at the guard position, and depth,” Watkins said to Murphy. “We’ve got a lot of guys. When we’re pressing and stuff, we’ve got bodies we can bring in.”

Arkansas also returns an SEC Player of the Year candidate in big man Moses Kingsley and they could be an intriguing team to track this season if Barford and Macon are as good as advertised. They’ll certainly have more bodies to throw at opposing guards and that should help Arkansas play faster than they did last season.