The Morning Mix

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– For those interested, Doug Gottlieb provides his preseason power rankings for 2012-2013

– Jim Boeheim said something outlandish? I’m shocked. Shocked I say. Shocked. But he does want to keep one Big East non-conference game on the schedule…..Of course it’s the school in New York. Jimmy-B doesn’t travel outside of New York for nobody

– Cracked Sidewalks hit another one out of the park: A statistical ranking of all the NBA summer league players

– Matt Norlander serenades us with a tale of grandeur and whimsy……….OK, that was me trying to be Matt Norlander. Anyways, here he is explaining why college hoopsters and coaches across the country are loving the new summer practice rule

– I’ll be the judge of the “Dunk of the Summer” label……….Yup, that’s Dunk of the Summer right there

– Jason King drops some knowledge on the most important players in the Pac-12

– Eamonn Brennan is not alone. I too had no clue who James Barnett was before the beginning of this week. Apparently the people in China love this kid, a sophomore shooting guard at Saint Joseph’s

– Andy Katz thinks that Colorado is primed to compete now that they’ve settled in to the Pac-12 conference

– Mike Waters wants to know who you would add to Syracuse’s Mount Rushmore if it already had Dave Bing, Derrick Coleman and Carmelo Anthony. Personally, I’d go with Gerry McNamera. 2006 Big East Tournament. Don’t really have to say much more than that

– Rob Dauster tries to provide some insight on how to go about gaining a scholarship in July 

-A Memphis woman has been sentenced to 29 years in prison for fatally stabbing a Middle Tennessee State University women’s basketball player

– I thought Georgia Southern had announced their decision to stay in the SoCon? Then why are they chatting up a storm with Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson?

– Michigan State may have lost Draymond Green, but Tom Izzo still likes the squad he is bringing back next season

– Speaking of the Spartans, MSU  big-man Derrick Nix continues to shed weight in the off-season

– A good-read on Kansas’ Naadir Tharpe, a talented sophomore guard who is ready for a breakout year in Lawrence

– I hope Providence’s LaDontae Henton has a breakout season. The versatile sophomore forward was a member of the Big East All-Rookie Team in 2012 and should be one of the driving forces behind the Friars resurgence in the Big East

This has to be Dante Taylor’s year, right?

– According to a mystery college coach close to the situation, Kentucky is in the lead to land the services of Jabari Parker

– Speaking of Parker, the top recruit in the country might miss the entire recruiting period due to a foot injury, and he isn’t too concerned with losing his spot in the recruiting rankings. But he will trim his top-ten list down in the near future

Former-Bradley Brave Adebayo Akinkunle was robbed in Chicago, losing more than $100,000 in cash and his Range Rover. Quick question: Who the hell has $100,000 in cash lying around their house other than the guy from “Blow”?

– of course Kentucky fans are upset that Anthony Davis didn’t get enough playing time on Monday night

– And if Russ Smith wasn’t already ridiculous enough, he now has a racehorse named after him

– It looks like South Florida guard Blake Nash is transferring to Texas Tech

– Who will lead Iowa in scoring next season?  I’m going with Roy Devyn Marble, but not because of his awesome name. The dude can flat-out score

– Your weekly update on the UNC academic fraud scandal. Now w/ 25% More Chad Forde!

– Here’s video of Rick Ross playing hoops…..If you’re in to that sorta thing (Language NSFW)

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

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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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

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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
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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.