- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Florida coach Billy Donovan isn't disguising the issues facing the SEC after a subpar non-conference season. The SEC has only two teams in the top 50 in the RPI (Florida, at 10, and Missouri, at 25) -- and four teams below 200. "What you do in November and December as a league, it just sticks with you for the rest of January, February and March,'' said Donovan. "On Selection Sunday, they're talking about games that happened on Nov. 18 -- five months ago. Maybe the team got better. But because of (the non-conference) the league gets put in a box. The only way you get out of it is get as many teams in the tournament and do something.''
2. Missouri coach Frank Haith said late Tuesday night he was hopeful that forward Tony Criswell would return for Saturday's game at Ole Miss after missing the past three with a broken finger on his left (non-shooting) hand. The injury occurred in the win over Illinois. Getting Criswell back is imperative for the Tigers if leading scorer Laurence Bowers is out for any extended period of time. Haith said Bowers will have an MRI on his knee Wednesday, with the hope that all he sustained in Tuesday's victory over Alabama was a sprained MCL.
3. Hawaii is off to a 3-0 start in the Big West -- with all three wins at home. The Warriors travel to UC Irvine tonight (11 ET, ESPNU) and then to Long Beach State on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. I was convinced that Hawaii would thrive in the Big West over the WAC. The Warriors have a real shot to be one of the league's top teams on a consistent basis. Hawaii's move to the Big West in all sports but football will end up being one of the better ones in this whole realignment mess. Coach Gib Arnold has an opportunity to be annual contender for an automatic NCAA berth.