Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Morning (Link) Dump, December 18

- As someone pointed out on the CHN message board, home teams went a combined 32-1 on Monday. The lone loser? 3-6 Youngstown State, who fell 74-71 in the final game of the night, against Robert Morris.

- According to Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com, Florida State junior forward Casaan Breeden is planning on leaving the Seminoles' basketball program and transferring. He wasn't on the team's bench for last weekend's game against Maine or this past weekend's much-anticipated match-up with Butler. Breeden averaged 4.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per game this season.

- According to multiple sources, Arizona interim head coach Kevin O'Neill will replace Lute Olson as head coach when Olson decides to retire. A formal announcement is expected soon. O'Neill has taken over this season for Olson, who is taking a leave of absence to deal with personal matters within his family. After Olson announced he would be sitting out the entire season, the divorce with his second wife, Christine, was made public. Prior to that, Olson had attended several practices with the Wildcats. Arizona is 7-2 this season. Anthony Gimino of the Tucson Citizen said the Wildcats should make the announcement quickly.

- So much for an "indefinite" suspension: Louisville sophomore forward Derrick Caracter has been reinstated to the team by head coach Rick Pitino. Caracter's suspension lasted only one game and he will play tonight against Marshall. However, Pitino said he would not start, with senior Terrance Farley getting the nod at center in Caracter's place. Pitino originally suspended Caracter after he broke a signed contract twice in one night by missing curfew and then sneaking out later on that night. CBS Sportsline.com's Gregg Doyel weighs in on the situation, writing the following: "This guy has zero character. He should be suspended for the rest of the season. Rick Pitino, I mean."

- Matt Winkeljohn of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that facing No. 3 Kansas after a long lay-off is going to be difficult for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have not played a game in 13 days and at home since Nov. 9. "Like coach [Paul Hewitt] says, this is going to be a great opportunity for us," senior guard Anthony Morrow said. "We have a great team coming in here, and we have a chance to make a statement." Hewitt said the team's biggest problem is its lack of confidence. "I don't think you can coach confidence," he said. "I think guys know when they're ready or not ready. I don't think this team's been, in my opinion, lacking in confidence. I think we've just got to be consistent in our execution and effort." Tech is 4-4 this season.

- After the season-ending injury to guard Eric Devendorf, Syracuse is left with only nine scholarship players, writes Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard. Devendorf; last year's starter at guard, Andy Rautins, who tore his ACL in August; center Devin Brennan-McBride, who needs surgery on his shoulder; and guard Josh Wright, who coach Jim Boeheim confirmed yesterday was not returning to the team, are all out for the season. "We're going to be a little different type of team now," Boeheim said. "We'll need more from guys like Kristof (Ongenaet) and Ricky (Jackson). Ricky's already had good minutes. Kristof's played better recently. With Paul (Harris) moving some to guard, Kristof will get more minutes. Everyone's going to get more opportunities." Brent Axe of the Post-Standard discusses what the lineup will look like without Devendorf -- and he's worried about the prospect of Paul Harris playing guard.

- Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News writes his weekly College Basketball Wrap. He discusses Drexel; the Palestra; DaJuan Blair; Kentucky and Louisville; Steve Alford and New Mexico; Niagara beating St. John's; Brad Greenberg and Radford; Xavier, Butler and Florida; and says "Kansas is the most talented team in the country." Texas is No. 1 and Sam Houston State No. 15 in his top-15 rankings.

- Former Kentucky freshman guard Alex Legion has not made a decision regarding his future destination, but plans on choosing in the next week or so, writes Terry Bannon of the Chicago Tribune. "I'm not going to rush it," Legion said. "I'll probably decide before the new year." However, he says the final two schools in the running are Illinois and Notre Dame. Legion visited Illinois on Monday and will head to South Bend to visit Notre Dame on Wednesday. Although Legion's mother, Annette (who considers herself a prophet, by the way), told the Lexington Herald-Leader that Alex would play for the Fighting Irish, he disagrees. "The decision is going to be mine at the end of the day," Alex Legion said.

- According to Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky sophomore guard Jodie Meeks is expected to play against Houston tonight. He practiced Sunday and Monday, and should be able to suit up against the Cougars. Meeks hasn’t played since Kentucky's loss to Gardner-Webb. After that game, doctors diagnosed a stress fracture in his pelvis area and Meeks was expected to miss four-to-six weeks.

- I'm kind of late on this one, but here's a outstanding feature on Maryland senior forward Bambale Osby, penned by Marc Carig of the Washington Post. Osby originally started out at New Mexico because he wanted to escape a rough Richmond neighborhood, but quickly grew unhappy with his playing time and went to junior college. When discussing how Gary Williams found him and brought him to Maryland, Osby said: "Amazing isn't the word, man. It's like a miracle." It's a must-read about Osby's journey from gang member and drug mule at only 12 years old to a double-figure scorer and starter in the ACC.

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