Roundball chatter


Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:

• I love the idea that Butler and Gonzaga have agreed to face each other in a home-and-home series. They should no longer be considered mid-majors, baby! These programs have flat-out shown they can compete with the best of the best and their two coaches, Brad Stevens and Mark Few, are among the best in the business. It is great to see these teams avoiding cupcake city and meeting each other during the season.

• Xavier got a solid addition when forward Andre Walker opted to transfer from Vanderbilt to join the Musketeers. He will be eligible right away because he has graduated from Vanderbilt and will be pursuing a graduate degree at Xavier that is unavailable at his former school. He has one year of eligibility remaining and is a big plus for head coach Chris Mack.

• New Miami coach Jim Larranaga got some bad news as Hurricanes center Reggie Johnson is expected to miss the start of the basketball season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Johnson started 34 games last season while averaging 11.9 points per game and a team-high 9.6 rebounds per game.

• Washington added another big man when 6-9 Shawn Kemp Jr. was added to the Huskies roster. Lorenzo Romar had to be thrilled to add the son of former NBA player Shawn Kemp. The younger Kemp originally signed with Auburn in 2009 and also spent time at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia.

• Former Kentucky standout and NBA veteran Tony Delk has been hired as an assistant basketball coach at New Mexico State. As a player at Kentucky, Delk led the Wildcats to the 1996 NCAA National Championship. He spent 10 years in the NBA.

• TCU made a solid hire when they brought in former Division I head coach Rob Evans as an assistant. Give some credit to coach Jim Christian for a good decision.

• Head coach Matt Doherty had to be happy when former Kansas State guard Nick Russell transferred to SMU. Russell started 14 games for the Wildcats last season.

• Congratulations to Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. The former Duke All-American was given a contract extension by the Cardinal.