The Morning Mix


– Luke Winn highlights the impact players in the sophomore class that will take to the court in 2012-2013

– Bo Ryan and Wisconsin finally did the right thing and allowed Jarrod Uthoff to transfer to any non-Big-Ten school. But is fair to just blame Bo Ryan for all of this? Another good-read on the side you probably aren’t taking.  Seriously, it’s not like this sort of thing hasn’t happened before. But, this is the best headline from the entire ordeal

– Hey, look! On top of that, the Big-Ten has changed their transfer rules!  Wait what? They did it long before this happened?

– Larry Brown will in fact coach the SMU Mustangs next year. Andy Glockner explains why SMU will gain exposure. Anything more than that will be a blessing.

– Former-Arizona State forward Chanse Creekmur (All-Name Teamer) is transferring to Iowa State, and will join the football program as a walk-on. (Wait, what?)

– Apparently the CUSA-MWC merger isn’t entirely dead

– Something is going on with Duke’s Andre Dawkins. Rumors swirled on Thursday that he had been kicked off the Blue Devils’ team, but now word has it that he will red-shirt at the University next season. Wait. Now word has it that he’s just not playing next year. Just make sure you stay up-to-date on this one. Things could get interesting

– A day after stepping down after 38 seasons as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, Pat Summitt was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

– It’s official, Florida’s Irving Walker “purchased” the world’s most expensive taco. The junior guard plead no contest to a petty theft charge. He is ordered to pay a fine of $300 for stealing a $3 taco from a street vendor back in March

Don Friday has been relieved of his duties as head coach at St. Francis (PA). Assistant coach Rob Krimmel will be named the new head coach. It’s interesting because a) there will be no interim tag, and b) Krimmel is the son of Athletic Director  Bob Krimmel, who has another son who works within the athletic department

– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a guest-blog for ESPN, and mentioned that he would have been a “one-and-done” if the option was available

– North Texas sophomore Tony Mitchell is still undecided on his draft future, but is leaning towards a return to school, despite his head coaching leaving town for the LSU job

– Texas-transfer Sterling Gibbs, a former-Maryland commit and younger brother of former-Pittsburgh guard Ashton, has decided to attend Seton Hall

The NCAA stands up for their decision to ban UConn from the 2012-2013 postseason

– Pittsburgh’s Tray Woodhall and J.J. Moore will both undergo surgery next week to fix a sports hernia and broken foot respectively

A breakdown of the 2012 recruiting rankings for Pac-12 schools. UCLA and Arizona seem to be the heavy favorites heading in to the 2012-2013 season

– Josh Pastner got the most minor of minor violations, and he is blaming it on his pregnant wife. That deserves a #ManLaw, right?

– C.J. Leslie is returning to North Carolina State, and the Wolf Pack are bringing in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes. Yet for some reason Michael Rogner has come up with  five reasons with NC-State won’t win the ACC next year

– The city of Lawrence, Kansas, hometown of Kansas University, spent nearly $180,000 of Final Four activities

Invitations were handed out to the Team USA U-18 team tryouts

– Orlando Magic back-up Daniel Orton admitted that maybe he should have stayed an extra year at Kentucky. Orton was in the Wall/Cousins draft class and was the only player to get drafted that didn’t start for the Wildcats. The only thing surprising about this is that it has taken Orton this long to realize he needed another year or so in school

– This is an important offseason for the Michigan Wolverines. Nick Baumgardner has four questions that the team needs to answer before November

– Utah State is awesome on all accounts, but they do need new logos. I hope this is all true

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.