The Morning Mix


– With both Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross leaving school for the NBA, what will the Washington Huskies be left with?

– Awesome-read from Dana O’Neil on the influence that the late Skip Prosser had on new Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey

– The CAA is one of the best mid-major conferences in the country and provides some of the best games every year. But we won’t be seeing any CAA teams take part in the mid-major showcase, otherwise known as Bracketbusters

What are five rule changes that should be made in order to help fix college basketball? (Alas, the four-point halfcourt shot missed the cut)

– This season'[s draft class is woefully thin at the guard position, which probably explains why so many guards are making foolish decisions to enter the draft

– UConn’s appeal of NCAA sanctions stemming from a low APR score have been rejected. What does this all mean? The Huskies won’t be elligible for post-season play in 2013. Jim Calhoun told ESPN’s Andy Katz that he is coming back to coach next year. Is it a good choice, probably not, but are you going to say that to Calhoun’s face? Didn’t think so

– I’m no math wiz, but according to this scatter-plot, the 2012 Kentucky team was pretty damn good

– The Mtn. Network, home of the Mountain West Conference will be shutting down at the end of May. This will leave a massive gap in TV coverage of college athletics in the West. Plus, it was the only place you could find the great New Mexico/SDSU/UNLV battles that took place this year

– Former Southern Illinois head coach Chris Lowery will rejoin Bruce Weber at Kansas State. Lowery spent eight years at the helm of SIU, and served under Weber when he was the head coach there. Speaking of K-State, Bring On The Cats wrote a fabulous piece about the tempo and pace of play of Bruce Weber-coached teams

– So maybe Keith Dambrot isn’t leaving Akron. Yesterday morning we mentioned that he turned down a multi-year deal and was thought to be a candidate for the Duquesne job, but as of now it seems as though he will return to the Zips’ sidelines next season

– Miami (OH) seems to be getting close to hiring a new head coach

– Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith says that a contract extension with the school is close to being finished. His team struggled in Big-Ten play this season, but had a successful post-season run, losing in the N.I.T. Championship game to Stanford

– Murray State’s sensational shooting guard Isaiah Canaan has decided to return to school for his senior year. This is good for Murray State, the OVC and the sport of college basketball. You can’t not love this kid

– Evan Manning the son of former Jayhawk player and coach Danny Manning will follow in his fathers footsteps and attend Kansas

– North Carolina is going to have a lot of turnover this off-season. Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall are all going pro. Tyler Zeller is graduating and will join them in the NBA. But luckily for the Tar Heels, James Michael McAdoo has announced the he will return for his sophomore year. The forward is a physical specimen but didn’t see a lot of minutes early in the season since he was buried behind Barnes and Henson. But come October, you will see his name on all sorts of “Breakout Players in 2012-2013” lists

– Florida guard Kenny Boynton has announced that he plans on returning to school for his junior season

– Syracuse center Fab Melo,. who was suspended twice during the season of academic ineligibility reasons, has officially declared for the draft. He is thought to be a late first or early second round pick

– Drake guard Rayvonte Rice has decided to transfer from school. The sophomore was the Bulldogs leading scorer, averaging 16.5ppg

– Boston College guard Matt Humphrey has decided to transfer and will be able to play immediately next season. Where ever he lands, it will be his third college. He began his career at Oregon, but transferred to BC after two years in Eugene

– Western Kentucky guard Derrick Gordon has announced that he’s transferring from school in order to be closer to home in New Jersey. He was the team’s leading scorer and played an important role in the Hilltoppers monumental comeback against Mississippi Valley State in the Opening Round game of the NCAA tournament

– Rutgers-transfer Gilvydas Biruta is reportedly close to announcing his decision to attend Rhode Island. The sophomore center played high school basketball for Danny Hurley, who was named as Rhode Island’s new head coach two weeks ago

– Jeff Borzello isn’t a great writer, but at least he’s smart enough to know that “The Kyle O’Quinn Show” was one of, if not, the best moments of the 2012 NCAA tournament

– Jim Boeheim with a smile on his face? Now I’ve seen everything

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies


SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.