The Morning Mix

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– Fran Fraschilla fills us in on the guys who will be forced to replace NBA prospects (Insiders Only)

– So maybe Larry Brown does know what he’s doing. Jeff Goodman is reporting that SMU is close to landing troubled-Arizona transfer Josiah Turner as well as former-Illini guard Crandall Head. Both players would be major “gets” for the Mustangs. Goodman makes a great point: Brown has dealt with head cases before. He’s coached both Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace, both of whom are all-world caliber head cases

– Western Kentucky transfer Vinny Zollo still doesn’t know his future become of silly APR-related shenanigans

– The Maryland Terrapins were supposed to be a team to watch out for in 2012-2013, but the past 48 hours have not been kind to the Terps. Pe’Shon Howard got arrested for disorderly conduct, and Terrell Stoglin and Mychal Parker were suspended for a full season. Instead of sitting out the year, Parker will opt to transfer and Stoglin will enter the NBA draft. Howard will return, but is currently rehabbing an injury and his status for next season is up in the air. The quality of the Terps program is certainly up in the air as well

– Seriously, when was the last time NC-State was the favorite to win the ACC? It has to be at least 25 years since that’s happened

– Yes Tar Heels fan, you are correct, there are a lot of bizarre things going on in the ACC right now

– Rob Jones, a rising senior at St. Mary’s is one of the most ferocious-looking players in the country. He is so terrifying that the Minnesota Vikings actually extended a training camp invite to the power forward

– Duke assistant coach Chris Collins will not be the next head coach at Illinois State despite heavy speculation

– According to a report from the Lexington Herald-Ledger, Louisville has the most intrinsic value of any college basketball team in the county. Unfortunately for their Cardinals, intrinsic value won’t help cu down the nets

The WAC is on its last legs. UT-San Antonio and Texas State have decided not to join and Utah State is headed to the Mountain West. The Aggies have had a very solid hoops program for the past decade or so, and a move to the MWC should help boost it’s profile

– After a month of weighing his options, North Texas sophomore Tony Mitchell has decided to return to school. The Green Terror could be a sexy mid-major pick to crack the top-25 at the beginning of next season

The Big East is going to see it’s fair share of turnover. The conference has nine players leaving for the NBA,  21 graduating seniors and even more transfers

– Purdue’s Robbie Hummel received the Big Ten Conference’s Medal of Honor. Robbie’s dad Glenn won the same award back in 1976. It’s damn near impossible to not absolutely love this kid. His presence in college hoops will be sorely missed

– Oh, I should have mentioned, UTSA and Texas State are joining the Sun Belt. Don’t look now, but the Sun Belt is going to be pretty good the next couple of years. Denver gets better every season, Middle Tennessee just gave Kermit Davis an extension, North Texas returns a potential lottery pick, and Arkansas-Little Rock is always a tough out. Look for the Sun Belt to make the leap from “low-major” to “mid-major”

– According to a e report, former-Kentucky player Richie Farmer abused state power by using state-regulated workers for his own personal services

– Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall will be named the next head coach at Southern Miss, replacing Larry Eustachy, who left in order to take the Colorado State job

– With Butler about to make its move to the Atlantic-10, Cleveland State might be given an interesting opportunity

– After what took place this past season, you would think it’s a lead-pipe-lock that Indiana and Kentucky continue their non-conference rivalry. But the future of the game seems to be up in the air. How much is a IU/UK game really worth?

– Former-Virginia Tech assistant coach James Johnson will be named the new head coach of the Hokies. Johnson initially left VaTech early in the off-season to take a job at Clemson, but will return to Blacksburg to man the sidelines next season. But how long will it take before Johnson has this program up and running again?

Binghamton has fired head coach Mark Macon after just two seasons at the helm, including a 2-29 finish this year. Who are the candidates for the job? Oh nobody really, just a certain former high-major coach with a propensity for fine women’s accessories and a limited amount of self-control

UConn assistant coach Glen Miller is among the favorites for the head coaching position at Brown

 

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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

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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

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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.

South Carolina, Staley cancel BYU games over racial incident

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent racial incident where a Cougars fan yelled slurs at a Duke volleyball player.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.