3-point shot: Showcase games in December

December, 11, 2012
12/11/12
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1. Arizona coach Sean Miller said during our ESPNU College Basketball podcast Monday that pushing off the big-time games in the non-conference schedule was key to helping develop the impact freshmen. While a number of teams were playing in November tournaments, Arizona's best games are in December. They had a potential tough road test at Clemson (passed with a win), followed by a monster showdown with Florida Saturday and then the Diamond Head Classic prior to Christmas with San Diego State, Ole Miss and Miami in the field. Meanwhile, Miami coach Jim Larranaga said Monday the 'Canes schedule this month will let them know how good they are in 2013. Miami already beat Michigan State at home and won at UMass, but still has to play undefeated Charlotte, the Diamond Head and scrappy La Salle before the ACC.

2. Butler coach Brad Stevens said Indiana is the best transition team in the country. He may be right and that's why the Hoosiers pose problems for the Bulldogs in Saturday's game in Indianapolis. Butler has a big in Andrew Smith to match up with IU's Cody Zeller. But the Bulldogs will have to stop the transition to have a chance. This game is part of the rotating series with Purdue and Notre Dame. I'd love to see Butler and Indiana have their own guaranteed neutral-site game in Indy every season. "If they ever want to do a home-and-home we'd be all ears,'' said Stevens. "But I understand that everyone has to do what's best for their program.''

3. I love Mark Hollis' innovative streak. Hollis didn't get enough credit for what he did in creating the Carrier Classic last season. He didn't hesitate to sign off on the Armed Forces Classic for the game in Germany last month. But the idea of playing four games at Cowboy Stadium is flawed. According to a number of sources, it would be extremely difficult for television to create the four windows to show the four games at once. Pulling off the television angles for all four games at the same time would also be extremely difficult. Then, of course, the issue of trying to configure how the fans of the eight teams have sight lines could also be an issue. I would never want to discourage Hollis from pushing the envelope. It was Hollis' idea for the 16-team Nike Classic in honor of Phil Knight's 80th birthday in 2017. If he can pull that off in Portland with the elite Nike schools then that would be a memory maker. I'm not sure this Cowboy Stadium example will be doable.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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