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The Secondary Break: Wednesday’s Links

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Cal-Stanford game has plenty at stake (San Francisco Examiner)
On the heels of their win over then-No. 1 Arizona, California’s looking to keep the momentum going with a win over Stanford on Wednesday night. However the game represents an opportunity for Stanford as well, with the Cardinal looking to move closer to earning the first NCAA tournament appearance of the Johnny Dawkins era.

Temple living with conference woes (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Before the 2013-14 season began the general feeling about the Temple Owls was that even with their low numbers, Fran Dunphy’s team had the pieces needed to factor into the middle of the American Athletic Conference pecking order. But things haven’t gone as planned, and that can be said for the entire athletic department as well.

Gary Waters reflects on his successful run at Cleveland State (Lake County News-Herald)
Last week Gary Waters became the winningest coach in the history of Cleveland State basketball, winning his 150th and 151st games. With the Vikings currently tied for second place in the Horizon League, there’s a chance that this season could result in a trip to the NCAA tournament as well. Waters reflected on his tenure at CSU to date after grabbing those victories.

Alabama’s season could be on downward spiral (Associated Press)
Conference play has been a struggle for the Alabama Crimson Tide, as they’ve dropped four of their last five games with the average margin of defeat being 15 points per game. Those struggles make their game at Arkansas even more important, with Alabama looking to avoid the first losing season of the Anthony Grant era.

Guards help Gators to another 20-win season (Gainesville Sun)
With the debut of freshman forward Chris Walker on Tuesday night, Florida’s front court received the majority of the attention entering Tuesday’s game against Missouri. But by the end of that game, a 68-58 win, it was the backcourt that stood out for a Florida team that has now won 14 games in a row.

Road victory gives Ohio State morale boost (Columbus Dispatch)
On the heels of a tough win at Wisconsin on Saturday, Ohio State was able to follow up that result with a much-needed win at No. 17 Iowa on Tuesday night. The 76-69 win may have represented a step forward for a team that has struggled offensively, with the Buckeyes scoring 45 points in the second half.

Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall puts teeth into coaching (USA Today)
No. 4 Wichita State is 23-0 on the season entering its game at Indiana State on Wednesday night, with the Shockers utilizing a very good defense and a balanced offensive attack. The architect is head coach Gregg Marshall, with his team taking on the fighting spirit that has made him such a successful coach.

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.”