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The Secondary Break: Friday’s Links

Nov 22, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

taylor AP

FIU pulls Raymond Taylor from game over NBA Draft rule (ESPN)
FIU head coach Anthony Evans was without a starter on Thursday night, as guard Raymond Taylor was forced to sit as the school investigates his withdrawal from the 2012 NBA Draft. Yep, 2012. The school and NCAA are checking to see whether or not Taylor withdrew ahead of the NCAA’s deadline, which during that season fell on April 10. According to the report Taylor may have missed that date, which could compromise his eligibility.

Louisville reclaims No. 1 after Michigan State’s scare (Sports Illustrated)
Michigan State’s lackluster play in wins over Columbia and Portland cost the Spartans the top spot in Luke Winn’s latest power rankings, with defending national champion Louisville replacing them. One interesting thing to take note of: how efficient freshmen Jabari Parker (Duke) and Julius Randle (Kentucky) have been to this point in the season.

Marcus Smart and Jahii Carson- sophomore stars, career savers (CBS Sports)
While talented freshmen have received the majority of the attention thus far, there are some important returnees in college basketball as well. Two of those returnees are Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and Arizona State’s Jahii Carson, both of whom went off in big wins Tuesday night. How important were their returns to their respective schools?

Austin Hatch, survivor of two plane crashes, refuses to quit on basketball dream (The Dagger)
One of the great stories of the early signing period is that of Austin Hatch, who inked a National Letter of Intent to play at Michigan. Hatch has survived two plane crashes, losing his parents and two younger siblings. Thought by many to have played his last basketball game, Hatch has worked hard to get back to the point where he can take the floor for Loyola HS in Los Angeles at some point this season.

Syracuse already selling commemorative T-shirts for their February game against Duke (Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician)
Think folks in central New York are excited about Jim Boeheim’s team playing in the ACC? There’s already a T-shirt commemorating the Orange’s February 1, 2014 matchup with Duke, stating that “the rivalry begins.” Using the word “rivalry” seems a bit much since they’ve only played four times, but “you can’t knock the hustle” I guess.

Hinson not happy with new rules (The Southern)
Another day, another coach displeased with the new rules meant to encourage freedom of movement in college basketball. This time it’s SIU head coach Barry Hinson voicing his displeasure, blaming the NCAA for some games turning into glorified foul shooting contests.

Point proved: Ex-Towson signee Frank Mason off to good start with KU (Lawrence Journal-World)
Kansas freshman point guard Frank Mason has gotten off to a good start, and Friday’s matchup with Towson will be a special one for the newcomer. Why? A failing grade in a high school government class cost Mason his scholarship to attend Towson, resulting in his having to attend prep school for a year. But that extra year resulted in more interest, and ultimately Mason chose to attend Kansas.