Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:
• Georgia coach Mark Fox has to be concerned about his superstar big man, Trey Thompkins. Picked as the SEC's preseason player of the year, Thompkins has been bothered by a high ankle sprain which will sideline him for the team's season opener. It is uncertain how much time Thompkins will miss, but it could be significant. That is a major blow to the Bulldogs early in the campaign.
Decision changes Kentucky's season
Enes Kanter bucked the trend of European prospects forgoing college, and after Kentucky's failed gamble he most likely won't be a trendsetter, Andy Katz writes. Blog
Expected or not, there's no question Enes Kanter's ineligibility alters the projection for Kentucky's season, Eamonn Brennan writes. Blog
The NCAA's ruling is correct, but fundamentally flawed since it deprives Enes Kanter a chance at a college education, Jay Bilas writes. Blog
• It is comical how long it took the NCAA to determine the status of a kid like Enes Kanter, but they have ruled him permanently ineligible to play for Kentucky. We still don't know the status of Josh Selby of Kansas, however. Come on already: it is not fair to the kids!
• Rick Pitino, Tom Izzo and Gary Williams are putting up amazing numbers on the sidelines. They deserve a keen look for Hall of Fame honors in the future. All three of them have cut down the nets as national champions as part of their impressive resumes.
• Rick Barnes has a pretty young team and to say his squad will play a difficult schedule this season would be an understatement. Texas will face seven opponents who are ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 during the regular season. That list includes: No. 2 Michigan State (Dec. 22 in East Lansing, Mich.), No. 3 Kansas State (Feb. 28 in Austin), No. 7 Kansas (Jan. 22 in Lawrence, Kan.), No. 8 North Carolina (Dec. 18 in Greensboro, N.C.), No. 13 Illinois (Nov. 18 in New York, N.Y.), No. 15 Missouri (Jan. 29 in Austin) and No. 16 Baylor (Feb. 12 in Austin, March 5 in Waco). The Longhorns also could play No. 5 Pittsburgh (Nov. 19 in New York, N.Y.) in the consolation or the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
• Speaking of the Longhorns, sometimes things don't work out for star recruits. Redshirt freshman guard-forward Shawn Williams has decided to leave the Texas program. Now Williams will go out and try to find another program in the future.
• UCLA coach Ben Howland went through a nightmare 2009-10 season. Injuries were a big problem and he must be wondering what is going on early this season. Diaper dandy big man Josh Smith has been bothered by a sprained thumb. Sophomore forward Reeves Nelson has a strained hip flexor. Guard Matt Carlino recently suffered a concussion in practice. Howland must feel shell-shocked by these developments.
• I have wondered about how motivated some Division I schools are when they play exhibition games. This year, the lower division schools have scored a handful of surprises, led by Indianapolis, a Division II school, beating a ranked Tennessee club by double figures. Xavier lost to Bellarmine; Nevada fell to Seattle Pacific. There are lessons to be learned here when you don't come out and play hard, or get outhustled by a smaller school.
• College basketball suffered another loss when former University of San Francisco star Quintin Dailey died at age 49. That is way too young to pass away, my friends. Dailey had some issues over the years, but he was such a great talent in the early 1980s. I don't think youngsters today remember seeing him at all, but I remember him as a super scorer for a very good Dons team.