Five more mid-major guards you should know for 2012-13

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Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports Network put together a very good list of ten mid-major guards that college basketball fans should keep an eye on in 2012-13.

Quite a few of the names on the list are well-known by now, with Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan being at the top of the list.

Outside of where Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum is ranked (7th), it’s difficult to be upset about any of Rothstein’s selections.

But there are a few other guards to keep an eye on in 2012-13 who didn’t make the list, and here are five of them.

1. Momo Jones (Iona)

Jones can be a bit erratic at times when it comes to decision-making but with Scott Machado moving on the rising senior has to play well if the Gaels are to take that next step and win the MAAC’s automatic bid.

There’s also the loss of Michael Glover to account for, which should open up even more scoring opportunities for Jones.

The one question heading into next season could be the assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3), but he shot 46% from the field while averaging 15.7 points per game.

2.Laurent Rivard (Harvard)

Rivard’s scored in double figures in each of his first two seasons at Harvard, averaging 10.1 points per game last season as the Crimson made their first NCAA appearance since 1946.

Rivard shot 45% from the field and 41% from three in 2011-12, and with Oliver McNally moving on he should see a boost in his playing time as well (25.8 mpg last season).

3. Four McGlynn (Vermont)

McGlynn averaged 12.0 points per game despite starting just one game for the Catamounts, who won the America East tournament before falling to North Carolina in the NCAA tournament.

The one issue for McGlynn could be the fact that the Catamounts return all their key backcourt contributors from last season, so he may very well be asked to come off the bench again. But as McGlynn showed last season, being the first man off the bench isn’t a bad gig either.

4. Alzee Williams (North Texas)

Williams returned from a knee injury that robbed him of 2011-12 to average 10.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for a team that fell one game short of the NCAA tournament.

The Dallas native reached double figures in each of the final ten games of the season for the Mean Green, and the return of Tony Mitchell up front should continue to open things up for Williams and company.

And having a new head coach in Tony Benford who comes from a Marquette program that consistently put its guards in position to make plays is another possible benefit for Williams.

5. Kareem Jamar (Montana)

Rothstein has Jamar’s teammate Will Cherry on the “Five on the Brink” list and rightfully so as Cherry is one of the top defensive guards in the western United States. But don’t sleep on Jamar either, as he averaged 13.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game for the Big Sky champions.

In nearly 35 minutes of action Jamar shot 47% from the field and 44% from three, and there’s room for growth as well. With Weber State’s Damian Lillard entering the NBA Draft Montana will be the preseason favorite to win the league. And a versatile player like Jamar to count on it’s going to be tough for anyone to dethrone them.

My Miss: Anthony Ireland (Loyola Marymount)

Yeah, Ireland should have been on this list. A big reason why Max Good’s Lions won 21 games last season, Ireland averaged 16.1 points and 4.9 assists per game. Along with Matthew Dellavedova (Saint Mary’s) and Elias Harris (Gonzaga), look for the junior point guard to be a preseason favorite for WCC Player of the Year.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.