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The Secondary Break: Tuesday’s Links

Feb 11, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

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At San Diego State, the basketball court is a classroom (USA Today)
No. 5 San Diego State has surprised many with their excellent play this season, but the hot start has not come as a surprise to the players themselves. The leader is head coach Steve Fisher, who has turned the court into a classroom with his veterans displaying the discipline needed to succeed at a high rate.

Pitt won’t be allowed to escape against Syracuse (Beaver County Times)
No. 25 Pittsburgh’s had some close calls of late, winning despite some serious struggles on the offensive end of the floor. But if they’re to beat No. 1 Syracuse on Wednesday night the Panthers, especially senior forward Lamar Patterson, have to be better offensively.

Chronicling Shabazz Napier’s rise to the top at UConn (Sports on Earth)
UConn senior point guard Shabazz Napier has been a critical leader for the program over the last two seasons. Napier helped lead the Huskies through last season’s postseason ban, and he has some of the leadership traits that Kemba Walker possessed in 2011 as he led UConn to its third national title. And Napier’s journey to this points hasn’t been an easy one either.

Rams’ Smart wants fans who abuse players banned (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
In the aftermath of the situations in both Lubbock and Tempe on Saturday, some have asked questions about what schools and conferences should do to curb boorish fan behavior. For VCU head coach Shaka Smart the solution is a simple one: remove said fans from the arena and ban them from attending future games.

Syracuse players begin rigorous Olympic curling training after practice (Daily Orange)
With the Winter Olympics underway, some sports that don’t receive much exposure garner more attention for the mere fact that medals are on the line. One of those sports is curling, which is quite popular during the Olympics. Some Syracuse basketball players tried their hand at the sport, albeit with a twist.

Mitchell’s revival continues in Virginia’s victory over Maryland (Daily Press)
No. 17 Virginia picked up a valuable win on Monday night, beating Maryland in Charlottesville to move to 11-1 in ACC play. A key cog in the attack was forward Akil Mitchell, who finished the game with 13 points and six rebounds. That’s an important step in the right direction for Mitchell, who’s getting back to the level he played at in earning third team All-ACC honors a season ago.

WVU more able than Kane on this night (Charleston Daily Mail)
Monday’s game at West Virginia also represented the first game that Iowa State senior guard DeAndre Kane has played in the state since his final contest at Marshall last spring. And things didn’t go as he would have hoped, with the Cyclones being blown out by the Mountaineers in Morgantown.

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