Jan 2, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
It’s show-and-tell time for the Utes (Salt Lake Tribune)
Utah’s off to an 11-1 start, but with a schedule that is ranked as one of the worst in college basketball the jury’s still out in the eyes of some. With that being the case, Thursday’s Pac-12 opener against No. 10 Oregon represents a big opportunity for Larry Krystkowiak’s team.
College Basketball Caucus: Bold Predictions for 2014 (USA Today)
With the calendar flipping over to 2014, a group of college basketball writers compiled their bold predictions for the new year. The boldest predictions involve SMU and Wichita State.
Big East Conference debut shows there’s nothing worth changing (Sports Illustrated)
New Year’s Eve represented an important day for the new Big East, with all ten teams in action to kick off conference play. And under the leadership of commissioner Val Ackerman, the hope is that the conference gets back to the “basketball-first” roots that led to Dave Gavitt founding the original league in 1979.
New Year’s resolutions for Dan Hurley and URI basketball (Go Local Prov)
Prior to the start of the season one team some folks were high on in the Atlantic 10 was Rhode Island, with head coach Dan Hurley bringing in some talented recruits to go along with some solid returnees in his second year at the helm. But if anything, non-conference play served as a reminder that the rebuilding job will take some time.
Shaquielle McKissic overcomes troubled path on way to Arizona State (Seattle Times)
Arizona State senior forward Shaquielle McKissic only has one season of eligibility in Tempe, and after a slow start he’s been more productive of late for the Sun Devils. And McKissic’s path to the school wasn’t an easy one either, with behavioral issues and two years away from basketball nearly ending his career.
Southern Conference basketball sliding downward (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
If one were to put together a list of conferences that have been hit hard by realignment, there’s no doubt that the Southern Conference would be on there. College of Charleston’s already gone, and a few other programs (including Davidson) will leave at the end of the current academic year. So where does that leave the schools who will stick around? Not in a good place, according to this story.
Slumping UConn looking for answers (Hartford Courant)
In one of the later games on New Year’s Eve, No. 17 UConn put forth a disappointing performance in a 75-71 loss at Houston. The Huskies fought back after trailing by as many as 21 points, but the way in which they played to wind up in that hole is concerning. UConn’s now looking for answers ahead of their game at SMU on Saturday.
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