Nov 9, 2011, 5:50 PM EDT
It’ll be a few days before the college hoops season begins in earnest (Friday’s a killer slate). Four games is a bit light. But in good news? It’s all on TV (provided you get FSN regional).
Take Lehigh-St. John’s. Johnnies coach Steve Lavin attended practice Tuesday for the first time since undergoing prostate cancer surgery last month. There’s still no timetable for his full-time return, but he could be on the bench tonight. (Except assistant Mike Dunlap to continue most of the in-game duties.)
Beyond that, the Red Storm displayed an impressive full-court press in their win Monday, all in the name of trying to sort out its nearly all-new roster. Here’s a tip for tonight: guard C.J. McCollum.
Lavin’s not the only coach working on a return, either. Texas A&M’s Billy Kennedy says his health is improving after his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, but doubts he’ll be at their opener vs. Liberty. Not that the Aggies will miss him much. So what about a game that’s actually interesting?
Like Akron-Miss State. The Bulldogs may not need Renardo Sidney to thrive this season, which is perfect timing to face the Zips. He won’t get many shots past Zeke Marshall anyway.
But the best game may be Arizona vs. Duquesne.
The Wildcats needed a strong second-half defensive effort to beat Valpo on Monday, which’ll be the case tonight as well. Ron Everhart’s Dukes lost two key players from last year’s 19-win team, but expect the same up-tempo, aggressive style. Against the Wildcats’ talented – but still shaky – lineup, that could produce a few interesting stretches.
And possibly an unhappy result for Sean Miller.
(All times ET)
Lehigh at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Akron at Mississippi St., 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Liberty at Texas A&M, 8 p.m. (FSN Regional)
Duquesne at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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