Each week I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:
• The Kansas Jayhawks will be pre-season numero uno in a lot of polls. Coach Bill Self has a rugged non-conference schedule to prepare his team for Big 12 play, and eventually the big dance. Kansas faces UCLA out at Pauley Pavilion. The Jayhawks will also face Memphis on November 17 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., in the Hall-of-Fame Classic. It is the first meeting between the two teams since Kansas defeated the Tigers 75-68 in overtime to win the 2008 NCAA Championship at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Among the other Kansas non-conference opponents are Tennessee, Michigan, California and Temple.
• Too often I talk about good decision-making as a key to success. At Arkansas, a player made a bad decision and is paying the price. Guard Marcus Britt has been suspended indefinitely by the team after he was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Britt averaged just under four points per game last season, and coach John Pelphrey expected better things during the upcoming campaign. Now his future is in limbo because of a bad decision off of the court.
• Connecticut guard Kemba Walker was invited to compete for a spot on the USA 19-under team. He had to decline the invitation as he will be spending time in school this summer. Walker, who is not in trouble academically, will be working on stockpiling credits to get ahead of the game. Good for him and good for coach Jim Calhoun. The term student-athlete is important to remember!
• Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl needs a healthy J.P. Prince this season. The forward said his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery performed in April is going well. Prince is coming off his most productive season with the Vols (10.1 ppg.); he started 22 of 30 games last season because of injuries.
• It is home stretch time as we wait and see which players pull out of the NBA draft and return to college. There are some big names on the fence, waiting until the last minute to make a final decision. Stay tuned my friends as the college ranks could regain several big names.
• When I look at the Maui Invitational in November, they have solid representation: the ACC (Maryland), Big Ten (Wisconsin), Big East (Cincinnati), Big 12 (Colorado), Pac-10 (Arizona), SEC (Vanderbilt) and WCC (Gonzaga), plus host Chaminade. This field has excellent coaches: Gary Williams, Bo Ryan, Mark Few, Kevin Stallings, Sean Miller, Mick Cronin and former NBA coach Jeff Bzdelik.
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