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Simmons’ unselfishness will make LSU a tough out

In SEC by Ken Cross

By Ken Cross As the No. 1 high school player in the nation, Australian -native Ben Simmons has drawn a myriad of attention since coming to the States three years ago and that has magnified in  LSU’s first two games. Although the 81-70 win on Friday over McNeese State and Monday evening’s 91-69 dismissal of Kennesaw State were tune-ups, it is …

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Arizona readying for tough non-conference ledger before Pac-12 play

In Pac-12 by Ken Cross

By Manny Nunez Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller had huge shoes to fill after he replaced the legendary Lute Olsen. Coming from Xavier, the one main criteria he brought to the team was his leadership and unity that he has brought back as he has led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight twice in his tenure. Miller has shown …

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Numerous upsets mean college basketball is back with a vengeance

In ACC, Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, Pac-12 by Ken Cross

By Ken Cross If the first two days of the new college basketball season are any indication, plenty of hoop heads are going to be losing lots of sleep over the next five months.  Upsets from the mid-major ranks emerged Friday and Saturday.  It’s questionable though whether William & Mary’s win over N.C. State was an upset, but it was …

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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 …