- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Arizona State needs to get Jahii Carson to the NCAA tournament. The Sun Devils got him for a third season in school, which is remarkable, after he was ineligible his first year, played as a freshman and then decided to come back for his sophomore year. The addition of Penn State transfer Jermaine Marshall gives the Sun Devils another scoring wing and a place for Carson to deposit his passes. The experience now in the backcourt pushes ASU up a notch in the Pac-12, which is looking deeper every week. Carson and Marshall can create their own shot and give the Sun Devils another ball handler, according to ASU associate head coach Eric Musselman. Musselman said Marshall can post up, stretch the floor with 3s and allow the dribble-drives for Carson to be freed up a bit more. The Sun Devils will need to get off to a good start with games at UNLV, a revenge game at DePaul (odd home loss last season) and a monster home game against Marquette, in addition to playing in the Wooden Legacy in Fullerton and Anaheim with headline teams Creighton, Marquette (opposite bracket) and San Diego State.
2. Former UCLA coach Ben Howland would have been a unique choice for Butler if the Bulldogs had opted to go outside the family. Howland coached against many of those same Big East teams while he was at Pitt. But Howland wasn't a consideration. He is sitting out the year and wants to be back in head coaching in 2014. Howland will end up being one of the more intriguing candidates on the open market. But he must get back sooner than later. Tubby Smith may have chosen quickly in going to Texas Tech, but he was smart to get back as soon as possible. One of the hardest thing for coaches who get fired is to get back in after a hiatus. Dino Gaudio and Al Skinner both were winners but now have been out for three-plus years, making it harder to get back into the conscious of athletic directors, even though they are more qualified than a number of the candidates who are getting some of these jobs.
3. Michigan avoided a coaching staff change when LaVall Jordan didn't get the Butler job to replace Brad Stevens. Instead, it went to Brandon Miller. Jordan has been one of the key staff members in the Michigan resurgence. John Beilein is the master of the program, orchestrating the operation and coordinating all decisions. But the addition of Jordan, and along with one of the top assistants in the game in Bacari Alexander, have given Beilein his strongest staff during his tenure. Jordan and Alexander will become candidates for other gigs, but this late potential loss would have hurt the Wolverines' timing in a year when they should still be on track to challenge in the Big Ten.