Each week I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:
• Mississippi State got a big-time boost when the NCAA decided that guard Dee Bost can return to play at the school later this season. Bost claimed that he wanted to pull out of the NBA draft, but then missed the deadline. He was not picked by any NBA squad and wanted to return to Starkville. Bost is academically ineligible for the first semester, and then he will have to sit out a nine-game suspension before getting back into the Mississippi State lineup. The ruling is better than being forced to sit out the entire season. I give the NCAA credit for making the decision well before the start of the season.
• I expect North Carolina's John Henson to enjoy a breakout season in his sophomore year. Obviously he needs to get stronger, but he can block shots and I love his quickness. I am sure Roy Williams loves the idea of having Henson, Tyler Zeller and diaper dandy Harrison Barnes this season.
• Recently, I was thinking about an icon in college basketball journalism. I really miss talking and arguing about hoops with my late buddy, Larry Donald of Basketball Times. He was a very special person, very knowledgeable about the sport, and he left us prematurely.
• Tom Crean of Indiana has a message to all in hoops -- his Hoosiers will be improved! Indiana is on the way back, but the Big Ten is loaded this season. By the way, Crean is part of a very talented coaching family; Tom's wife Joni is the sister of Stanford football coach Jim Harbaugh!
• It has been a busy offseason for Michigan State guard Korie Lucious. The junior point guard had left knee surgery for a small meniscus tear. He will be sidelined from basketball for up to six weeks, which means he should be ready for the start of the season. Lucious previously had an off-court driving incident which still has to be settled in the courts. Hopefully he will have more luck on the court this season.
• Looking ahead a bit to the NBA, a lot of people have been talking about the big three down in Miami. When in doubt, take it to the rack. I am leaning towards the Lakers again as Miami has no answer for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum up front!
• I know some people looking at my preseason All-Solid Gold teams wonder about diaper dandies. I do not include freshmen in my preseason ratings. I want to see them take the college hardwood first before I put them on All-America teams. It is more important to be on my postseason All-Solid Gold squads, and I do include freshmen on those. Just look at where I had John Wall last season!