The Morning Mix

1 Comment

– The pairings for the 2012-2013 ACC-Big-Ten Challenge were announced on Monday, and multiple sites ranked and broke down the matchups: NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk (That’s us!), Yahoo Sports’ The Dagger, Big Ten Powerhouse, CBS Sports’ Eye on College Basketball, and Run The Floor

– Jeff Goodman provides a fantastic analysis of all the coaching changes made in 2012 (Nobody in the country is as on top of the coaching carousel as Goodman, if you think otherwise, you are wrong)

– Yesterday The USA Today published a comprehensive database of collegiate athletic finances ranging from 2006-2011. This will most certainly kill an hour or two off your Tuesday work schedule

– Former-UConn Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway, who also served as the Head of the 2011-2012 NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, has been named the new Athletic Director at Hofstra

– The best rule change that we could see put into effect next season could end up being the removal of all those unnecessary banners and stickers on the court surface. (Side Note: At the Big East Tournament finals, I counted 13 different stickers) It’s not just an aesthetic problem, the stickers have a different texture than the hardwood, and can cause slips, spills and rolled ankles

– According to Adam Zagoria of, highly touted recruit Amile Jefferson will choose between North Carolina State and Duke when he makes his decision later today

– In case you missed it from Monday, members of the Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team were involved in an altercation at a night club over the weekend. Apparently several players were asked to leave a VIP section they were not allowed to be in, and they beat the crap out of the bouncer. There are a handful of off-season distractions that Cincinnati would be able to manage from a public relations standpoint. This is the single worst thing that could possibly happen

– On Monday, Mike Krzyzewski made it clear that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London will be the his last event has head coach of the American national team. But as Eamonn Brennan details, his legacy has already been sealed. It might not seem like a big deal now, but remember when the USA didn’t win the gold medal in Athens? That should have never happened. Coach-K was the man to restore the National team and the global image of American basketball

Eamonn Brennan and Myron Medcalf head to the office water cooler to get some good banter in

– Louisville sharpshooter Kyle Kuric proposed to his girlfriend at Louisville’s graduation

– Wright State’s Julius Mays is going to transfer to Kentucky, even though his high school coach thinks it’s a bad fit

– A report surfaced this morning indicating that VCU would leave the CAA in order to join the Atlantic-10.  We saw articles that indicated the Atlantic-10 were “the winners” of  expansionocalypse, and that Butler/VCU would make for a great A-10 hoops rivalry. After all, Butler and VCU are both recent Final-Four participants, and the Atlantic-10 is at the top of the mid-major spectrum. But as of late last night, CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager indicated that there was no word yet that VCU was leaving

– The second weekend of the NCAA tournament wasn’t the only thing that the Pac-12 was left out of. Expansionocalypse 2012 has come and gone and has stayed away from the west coast’s BCS-conference

– Has the latest round of expansionocalypse been a disaster for the ACC? Seems to look that way

– During his two seasons at Kentucky, Terrence Jones gained a reputation as a prima donna, a sourpuss if you will. He would flex and pose after every basket, would mentally check out of games, and was known to act like a diva on a regular basis. That being said (Again, that’s just a rough generalization of his tenure at UK),  not a single player in the country has gained the amount of positive PR this offseason as Jones. His most recent good deed? He bought his mom a Cadillac for Mother’s Day. Show-off…….

– Speaking of the Wolfpack, LSU guard Ralston Turner has decided to transfer to NC-State. The 6-6 shooting guard averaged just over 10ppg during his two season in Baton Rouge

– Laurie Fine, the wife of former-Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine, plans on speaking out against the actions of her husbands accusers (This should be interesting. Make sure to stay tuned)

– Kentucky was in the Nation’s capital two weeks ago to meet with President Obama for winning the National Championship. it looks like John Calipari will have his squad back in DC before the National Championship game next year, as it’s been rumored that the Wildcats will visit the Georgetown Hoyas as part of the Big East/SEC Invitational.

– Former-Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart, who was let go at the end of this past season, has been hired by Bob Huggins at West Virginia to be an assistant coach

– Dorian Finney-Smith decided to transfer out of Virginia Tech last week. Where will he land? What schools would be a good fit for him. Our very own Dan Martin has some answers

– Morehead State officially introduced former-Mississippi Valley State head coach Ron Woods as their new head coach. Woods is returning to the Bluegrass State, where he played his college basketball, as a member of the Kentucky Wildcats.

– Nolan Richardson III, the son of former-Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, was found dead at his home in Tulsa, OK on Monday. He was 47-years old

The expectations of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are bound to go up now that Scott Martin has been granted a sixth year of eligibility

– Texas Tech was terrible last season. Like, beyond just bad, they were God-awful. In case you need any more convincing, or if you didn’t get a chance to witness it first hand, here are five statistics that prove their worthlessness 

– Speaking of Texas Tech (This has got to be the first time all year that TTU has had two links in the Morning Mix devoted to their program), freshman Terran Petteway will transfer to Nebraska. The freshman guard is most famous for sucker-punching Kansas’ Connor Teahan during a league game this past season

A pretty-neat article on Northern Arizona head coach Jack Murphy, who was named head coach of the Lumberjacks on April 12

– I’m not in to this whole “Tumblr” phenomenon, but if you are one of those, people, you will want to check this out. It’s a list of the 40-best hoops-related Tumblr pages

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

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

Getty Images

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.