Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Linked Up, Jan. 8

Here's some news and links to catch-up on from the world of college basketball.

- North Carolina sophomore big man Alex Stepheson is expected to return to the team today after missing two games to be with his ailing father in California. (Raleigh News & Observer)

- Kansas State held Savannah State to just four points in the first half -- an NCAA record -- on Monday, en route to an easy 85-25 victory. (Kansas City Star)

- Not a great way to enter ACC play: Boston College fell to Robert Morris at home last night, 57-51. It was the Colonials' first win ever over an ACC team. (Boston Globe)

- Kansas senior forward Darnell Jackson has rebounded from a family tragedy that took the life of his grandmother and left his mother in a hospital as the result of a drunk-driving accident to become one of the most improved players in the Big 12. (Lawrence Journal-World)

- Conference-USA is still struggling to improve its chances as a multi-bid league this season; its RPI has fallen one spot from last year, which could hurt the conference's reputation. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

- Arizona badly needs star freshman guard Jerryd Bayless back from injury, especially with four consecutive road games coming up and the Wildcats struggling offensively. (Tucson Citizen)

- It will be interesting to see how Florida's young players react to the start of SEC play, which begins tonight for the Gators at Alabama. (Gainesville Sun)

- Miami (Fl.) looks to continue its stellar play when conference play begins this weekend against Georgia Tech, but the Hurricanes need to improve in certain areas. (Miami Herald)

- Connecticut needs to get past the close losses to Gonzaga and Notre Dame and focus on the rest of the Big East schedule, including tonight against St. John's. (Hartford Courant)

- Former Connecticut junior forward Marcus Johnson has announced that he has transferred to Oregon State, where he will be eligible to play next December. (The Oregonian)

- Recruiting news: 6-9 forward Matt Simpkins, the No. 47 ranked senior by Rivals.com, has committed to Memphis. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

- North Carolina added a trio of top-25 junior big men to its class: 6-9 twins David and Travis Wear, ranked No. 20 and No. 19 by Rivals.com, respectively; and 6-10 Matt Henson, ranked No. 24 by Scout.com. (Raleigh News & Observer)

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