- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. The NCAA offered up an explanation as to why there can be a difference between the Memphis-Derrick Rose and Duke-Lance Thomas case when the person in question chooses not to cooperate and talk to the NCAA. According to NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn, if there is more information to allow the enforcement staff to allege a major violation through information gathered then it can go forward. Osburn said if there is a case in which there is no other information to suggest a violation without cooperation then the case cannot go forward. "You can't tell someone you violated a rule if they're not a member of the NCAA or if there is no other evidence to suggest a rule was broken. If there was a major violation there has to be evidence. It can't just be he said/she said. If you have folks who have information and they haven't said anything like an agent or a jeweler they don't fall under NCAA rules. So they don't have to talk to you. If they're no longer a student athlete they don't have to, either unless the school says it will disassociate you from the school. We don't have the subpoena power so we can only do so much." Translate: The NCAA claims it had other evidence in the Rose-Memphis standardized test case (it ultimately forced Memphis to vacate the 2008 Final Four) without talking to Rose but didn't have anything else in the Thomas case and never got Thomas to talk.
2. Harvard made my early-season Top 25 and with good reason. The Crimson beat New Mexico in the round of 64. The assumption was the two best players -- who were suspended for the year with a number of other students from the general student body over an academic scandal -- would be returning next season. Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said Wednesday that Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey will be back as expected. That was always the plan but there could have been a hiccup with neither player being on campus during the past year. Harvard has a few high-profile games next season with the series continuing against UConn and a return games against UMass and Boston College. The Crimson are in the Great Alaska Shootout, a tournament that has waned in importance recently. But the 2013 field is decent with a few teams that could end up in the NCAAs in 2014 like Iowa, Denver, Indiana State and Tulsa. TCU, Pepperdine and host Alaska-Anchorage are the other three in the field.
3. Miami coach Jim Larranaga said he'll know in a few weeks who might be his replacement for Shane Larkin at the point. But he now knows who will be the lead guard in the fall of 2014 with the arrival of Kansas State transfer guard Angel Rodriguez. There's always a chance Rodriguez will appeal to play immediately since he wanted to be closer to his family in Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Georgia coach Mark Fox said he has the player ready to take over for his early-entrant sophomore and leading scorer Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Fox said freshman Kenny Gaines, who averaged 3.7 points or almost 15 fewer than Caldwell-Pope, would take over. "He had many solid nights as his backup (last year)," said Fox. "He's a good player."