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UCF recruit Tacko Fall gains NCAA eligibility the day before the Knights’ opener

In AAC by Ken Cross

By Sam Mullan Finally, almost in an 11th hour decision, the NCAA gave 7-foot-6 Senegal native Tacko Fall an academic waiver, so he could play immediate for coach Donnie Jones and the Golden Knights who are at Davidson Saturday evening. It’s been less than a month since the NCAA ruled Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere as eligible after a fair amount of …

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Fab Five: College basketball’s opening night features must see action

In AAC, ACC, Big 12, College Basketball, CUSA, Pac-12, SEC, WCC by Ken Cross

By Ken Cross Over the next five months, college basketball offers something that no other sport can – must watch games on every night of the season from Nov. 13 through the National Championship game on the first Monday night in April.  The sport continues to flourish although skeptics try to accuse it of being ravaged by the one-and-done methodology. …

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CUSA looking to regain status as more than a one bid league

In CUSA by Ken Cross

By Ken Cross A year ago, Old Dominion enjoyed Top 25 status for the first time in school history as savvy veteran coach Jeff Jones along with a new arena has paid off handsomely in recruiting. The Monarchs are now on the radar as a team to watch in the upcoming season with a stellar back court in Trey Freeman who …

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Sunshine state ready for another ACC challenge

In ACC by Ken Cross

By Ken Cross The presence of coaches Jim Larranaga at Miami and Leonard Hamilton at Florida State bare little coincidence to the Hurricanes and Seminoles becoming viable players in the ACC landscape  almost immediately upon the arrival of both coaches.  Miami won the league’s tournament championship and regular season title in 2013. Florida State won the tournament title in 2012 …

Bruins can prove fifth in Pac-12 is too low

In College Basketball, Pac-12 by Ken Cross

By Manny Nunez Last season, the UCLA Bruins were nervously awaiting Selection Sunday as they were one of the last teams to sneak in o the Big Dance and then they proved they belonged with an upset of SMU and a resounding 92-75 win over UAB before bowing out to Gonzaga in the Sweet 16.   Led by top NBA prospects Kevon Looney and Norman Powell, …

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Avery Johnson needs time to rebuild Alabama basketball

In College Basketball, SEC by Blake Lovell

By Blake Lovell Avery Johnson seemed like an odd choice to fill the head coaching vacancy at Alabama. Since starting his coaching career in 2004 as an assistant for the Dallas Mavericks, Johnson has always felt like an NBA man. Despite all the doubts, Johnson feels like the right coach to lead the Crimson Tide going forward. But rebuilding this program …

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Bowers’ drop in weight gives Auburn even more toughness

In SEC by Ken Cross

By Ken Cross Auburn’s 6-7 forward Cinmeon Bowers may have created the beast-mode philosophy for college basketball adjacent to what Marshawn Lynch has done in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.  On the court, Bowers proved to be a tough, physical specimen in his first year at Auburn. Now, in year two, as he has dropped from 275 pounds to …

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Remade Big East offers competitiveness, heightened talent

In Big East, College Basketball by Ken Cross

By Sam Mullan Maybe it is not safe to say that the idea of “Power 5 conference” only applies to college football because in case no one else has noticed, it wasn’t long ago that they called it “Power 6 conference.” That went away with the destruction of the Big East in the traditional sense of the conference – no Pitt, no Syracuse, …

WCC: Zags, Zags, and more Zags

In WCC by Ken Cross

By Manny Nunez The name “Gonzaga” has become synonymous with the name of the giants in college basketball as the Bulldogs have dominated the West Coast Conference in the 17-year Mark Few era. Sure there is so much history from this team in the past even before they became dominant, but Few has changed the culture of that small Jesuit school …

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A-10 Preview: Predicting the unpredictable

In Atlantic 10 by Blake Lovell

By Blake Lovell The A-10 will not be the best conference in college basketball this season, albeit, year-in, year-out it is a perennial Top 10 basketball league. However, don’t be surprised if it’s the most entertaining with as few as four or as many as seven teams in possible position to win the regular season title. Let’s jump right in. …