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The Secondary Break: Tuesday’s Links

Dec 3, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

herenda AP

FDU is early king of New Jersey hardwood (Bergen Record)
With a new head coach in Greg Herenda, Fairleigh Dickinson entered the 2013-14 season having lost its final 15 games of the season prior. And without a win over a Division I opponent since January 2013, it was clear that Herenda has his work cut out for him. But in less than a week the Knights picked up wins over Rutgers and Seton Hall, which should be seen as progress for the once-struggling program.

Coaching in Calipari’s shadow, Pastner keeps Memphis among nation’s elite (USA Today)
Given their recent struggled in games against ranked opponents, Memphis’ win over then-No. 5 Oklahoma State on Sunday was an important step in the right direction for Josh Pastner’s program. But it isn’t as if Pastner hasn’t experienced success at Memphis, where in five-plus seasons he’s won 75% of his games.

Jim Boeheim’s November record is superb, but another ACC coach has fared better (Syracuse Post-Standard)
During his tenure at Syracuse, head coach Jim Boeheim has won 91.1% of his games in the month of November. That percentage ranks second amongst ACC coaches, and the leader isn’t Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski or North Carolina’s Roy Williams either.

Parker Van Dyke is living his Ute dream (Salt Lake Tribune)
Utah’s racked up six wins to start the 2013-14 season, but they’ve done so against competition that is nowhere near the level they’ll face in Pac-12 play. That changes on Tuesday night when the Utes visit Boise State, and one of the newcomers who has contributed thus far is freshman guard Parker Van Dyke. Originally planning to begin his two-year LDS mission this year, Van Dyke postponed if for a season to help out the program he’s supported forever.

Kevin Ollie making UConn his own (ESPN)
There’s likely nothing tougher in coaching than to be the man who follows a legendary figure, and that was the position Kevin Ollie found himself in last fall. But his Huskies rose to the challenge, resulting in the former UConn point guard being given a long-term contract. And while much of what Jim Calhoun established remains present, Ollie’s adding his own touch to a program that will be asked to carry the banner for the American Athletic Conference as the league establishes itself nationally.

Michigan State’s seniors deserve national attention, too (MLive.com)
With so much hoopla surrounding this season’s crop of freshmen, returnees have been overlooked in some instances. And there are a number of coaches who believe that the hype for the newcomers is overshadowing the performances of these veterans, with Michigan State having two seniors to rely on in Adreian Payne and Keith Appling.

Pittsburgh mayor tweets shots at police lieutenant who moonlights as an official (Pittsburgh Tribune)
During Pittsburgh’s win over Stanford last week one of the officials was Larry Scirotto, who is also a lieutenant in the Pittsburgh Police Department. Of course, Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl took the opportunity to openly ask via Twitter how Scirotto has the time to do both jobs, claiming after the fact that no disrespect was meant.

Video of the Day: The return of “Trick Shot Titus”
The sweet-shooting Titus Ashby is back with a third video, one that includes cameos from actors Channing Tatum and Bradley Cooper, and a stop at Wichita State’s Charles Koch Arena.