- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:
• I was surprised to hear comments from NC State athletic director Debbie Yow. She criticized Maryland coach Gary Williams, saying he sabotaged the search for the new Wolfpack coach. Do you think guys who want a job would listen to a coach saying Yow was tough to work with? I don't buy it because guys looking for a job would be interested in going to the ACC, interested in a head coaching vacancy. NC State is a good job and Mark Gottfried should do well there. Guys at mid-majors would have been interested too.
• I understand when a player like Kyrie Irving decides to jump to the NBA; he is going to be a top pick, maybe number one overall. Other guys who may or may not go in the first round, I don't get it. The difference between being a first-round pick, a guy with a guaranteed contract, and a second-round choice without a locked-in deal, is huge. Despite that, guys like Washington's Isaiah Thomas are opting out right now. I hope they know what they are doing, especially with league issues potentially leading to a work stoppage.
• Shaka Smart of VCU reaped the benefit of the Final Four. He was rewarded with a new eight-year deal to stay with the Rams. Other schools clearly wooed him, but he was happy with his new deal. Wichita State's Gregg Marshall also got a new contract after the Shockers won the NIT.
• There have been a lot of coaching moves this off-season. I was intrigued by Lon Kruger's decision to leave UNLV to go to Oklahoma. He was very honest about the decision to go to Norman, citing money as a key reason.
• Houston forward Kendrick Washington, who averaged more than eight points per game last season, has been released from his scholarship. He would be a good addition for another school.
• Congratulations to Larry Shyatt, who has decided to take the Wyoming head coaching job again. He was a solid second lieutenant at Florida under Billy Donovan, and he will be missed in Gainesville.