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It's been awhile since we've had a slow day for Xavier that wasn't a holiday. Even better, today's slow Xavier day coincided with some major happenings in the world of college basketball, where conference play is just now kicking off. Remember, even on the slowest of days, you can get our thoughts on pretty much whatever you want on our Twitter @BannersParkway
The biggest news was the the game winning three pointer that wasn't out in Arizona. Game leading scorer Mark Lyons had tied the game up after a furious Arizona rally by bloodlessly canning two free throws. Colorado came the other way and launched a three pointer that, well, you decide (crucial part begins at :58).
Officials called the shot off despite originally ruling it a made basket. That has, of course, sparked debate on nearly every sports news outlet you can find.
Colorado buzzer-beater: Arizona, Miller not new to bang-bang calls: This is probably the most complete single page rundown of the entire incident. If you click on only one of these links to see what happened after most people were in bed, make it this one.
Colorado Buffaloes vs. Arizona Wildcats - Recap: Good video here, plus a box score that shows that Mark Lyons is still a dominant scorer, and still shoots a lot to get it done. It will be interesting to see how Arizona fares against a better team when Cheeks goes 6-16.
Katz 3-point shot - Men's College Basketball Nation Blog: Andy Katz proffers his opinion, for what it is worth.
Tad Boyle, Colorado Buffaloes basketball coach, wants end to instant replay: You can always count on the losing coach in one of these things to overreact, and Tad Boyle is no exception to that rule. There are many things to argue after this, instant replay isn't one of them.
CBS Sports and their College Basketball Talk pages have varying opinions from Jeff Borzello Night Court: Controversial call helps Arizona avoid upset, Raphielle Johnson No. 3 Arizona survives Colorado on controversial call, and a very good breakdown of the rule itself by Rob Dauster Refs blew call that cost Colorado win at Arizona, but not how you think. In short, it was a great night if you are into .gifs, 400% zoom, and minutiae debate.
Xavier Musketeers Official Athletic Site: The bidding for the Sandy Hook jerseys ends today at 5pm. If you got money that you were planning on donating or giving to charity, it's hard to imagine a better cause.
Finally, if you are curious, this is what the college block/charge rule looks like now, NCAA shores up block-charge definition, feel free to pass that along to any student athletes you may know. Most notable is the fact that the rule greatly.
As things pick up in the season the need for a daily link wrap up becomes less and less. The Shootaround makes its triumphant return today with a rundown of Xavier news, some national links, and a look at where Xavier stands in the sabermetric polls.
Xavier beating Indiana teams at own game, with own players: Dee Davis, Justin Martin, and Jeff Robinson all returned to their home state when they traveled to Purdue on Saturday. Coach Mack and the Musketeers have now beaten two Indiana teams with a starting lineup comprised mostly of Indiana players.
Xavier's Christon earns A-10 honors again: Semaj Christon just keeps pulling in all A10 honors. the way Christon is currently playing, he's in the running for conference player of the year, not just rookie of the year.
Xavier's Christon repaying Mack's effort: Part of the reason Christon is even at Xavier is because of the relentless recruiting by Chris Mack and his staff. This is a nice piece on how to get a hometown kid to resist the siren song of the big names.
Men’s basketball: Frustrations boiling over for young Purdue squad: On the other end of Xavier's big Saturday win is a Purdue team that is reeling right now. Xavier's tenacious exterior defense is a large part of what is so frustrating the Boilermakers.
Rick Majerus gave his heart and help: Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus passed away last week. Majerus was a basketball genius whose inability to control his eating habits took him before it seemed it was his time. While the John Calipari's of the world win with dirty recruiting and using college kids like trading chips, Majerus won by being a brilliant tactician.
Poll Thoughts: The Lexington plummet: In somewhat related news. The best team money can buy plunged down the polls this week as the performances failed to live up the hype. Eamon Brennan addresses that, and the absurdity of the coaches poll, in his poll thoughts column.
For those of you less interested in what a handful of media members or panel of extremely biased coaches think (2-4 Vanderbilt's coach voted them 16th), there are a lot of new ways to rank teams. Xavier isn't exactly setting the world aflame in those more sabermetrically inclined polls either, but the rankings there are probably far more indicative of where the team stands. This early in the season the numbers can be skewed a bit, but here they are:
Those numbers are far lower than what Xavier fans are used to, but they actually represent a good thing. This team, picked to finish in the bottom half of the Atlantic 10, has already played its way onto the bubble.
If you're lucky you will be reading this as you put a stamp on that last half day you have to work before the the Thanksgiving break. things are just starting to heat up around college ball. The preseason tournaments are nearing the end of their run, and the non-conference schedule for most of the contenders is just starting to heat up. Here, Xavier has surprised a few people and run out to a 3-0 start that includes a thrashing of new A10 foe Butler.
Men’s hoops notebook | Xavier Sports: More than just the winning on the court, the Musketeers are making some serious news in recruiting. Kamall Richards and Brandon Randolph have signed national letters of intent for the 2013 season. Adding those two to Myles Davis and Jalen Reynolds is no small achievement.
Quick hitters: Marcus Smart, Colorado Buffaloes' rise and Santa Clara Broncos' turnaround: Andy Katz may not be as plugged in to the recruiting, but he has noticed Xavier's success on the court. Several notes from the Atlantic 10 makes his latest quick hitters column, including his assertion that Xavier can win the conference.
Butler Bulldogs vs. North Carolina Tar Heels - Recap - November 20, 2012: Butler just added #9 UNC as a second big time win (they beat Marquette last night) in Maui. The better the Bulldogs do, the better than win looks.
Catching up with Pacific’s Bob Thomason: Pacific has been in some close games already, and their coach thinks they are only a couple breaks away from going on a roll.
Justin Martin has attempted 22 field goals so far this year, more than a quarter of his attempts from last year already. He also has already accrued six assists, only ten off his mark from all of last year. He's done that due in large part to playing enough defense and doing enough rebounding to be averaging 31 minutes per game.
Jack Taylor of Grinnell drops 138 points for collegiate scoring record: Yes, 138. that's what attempting a shot every 20 seconds will get you.
How on Earth do you score 138 points?: Eamonn Brennan breaks down Grinnell's maniacal offense and game strategy. Grinnell's goal is to attempt at least 47 three pointers a game. To lend some perspective to that number consider that Xavier only attempted a total of 42 field goals against Robert Morris.
The tumult of the off-season has transitioned into a surprising 2-0 start for Xavier. While that is making headlines, it is hardly the only story around college ball. The season is in full swing with the preseason NIT being joined by, seemingly, dozens of other kickoff tournaments to start things off. (Xavier doesn't hit a bracket until next week).
Brandon Randolph, meanwhile, is still half committed and half not.
Xavier takes first step after tough offseason: Xavier's big win over Butler didn't go unnoticed. It's too early to call Xavier rejuvenate or healed, but the first step has been taken. This article even goes so far as to note the efforts of Jeff Robinson.
Butler’s blowout loss to Xavier raises concerns about the Bulldogs: On the other side of that win you have the Butler Bulldogs, who everyone expected to come in to the Cintas and win. After they didn't, the alarm bells started going off. The big question remains: is Xavier that good or is Butler that bad?
Xavier edges UK 1-0 in NCAA: Xavier men's soccer picked up a program first NCAA tournament win last night, and they did it over over UK. No word yet on whether Jon Calipari intends to take over
free agent signing recruiting, for the Wildcat soccer team.
No hoops star has ever done wrong in eyes of Vitale, ESPN: The bizarre worlds of Dez Wells and Dick Vitale collided last week, and the NY Post is quick to point out that Vitale is as out of tyouch as ever with reality. Wells may have been railroaded at Xavier, but the ever obnoxious Dickie V's attempts to make him some sort of NCAA martyr were absurd.
Night Court: DK is aging at UMass while off to a 2-0 start thanks to two buzzer-beaters: My pick to win the A10, UMass, isn't making things look easy thus far.
Duke freshman: Lil Wayne cursed at me - College Basketball Nation: This is just sublime. It is hard to argue with Weezy's sentiments here. I mean, it's Duke.
Xavier's drubbing of Fairleigh Dickinson wasn't the only game that took place over the weekend. Finally, blessedly, college basketball is back in full swing. In case you missed it, the biggest story was the cancellation of two games played on aircraft carriers. While it's a great idea to get the game in front of a collection of people that undoubtedly deserve a couple of unexpected perks, it hardly seems fair to be surprised that water caused issues in games played on a boat.
It's time to get off the boat: Trying to plan around drops in temperature and ambient humidity is a bit much, according to Myron Medcalf.
Time for aircraft carrier games to sail into the sunset: Jeff Borzello makes the very valid point that these sets of games are intriguing enough on their own that people would come see them anywhere. Risking the safety of the players isn't in anyone's best interests.
NCAA College Basketball Recap - Syracuse Orange at San Diego State Aztecs: It wouldn't be America though, if someone didn't try again despite multiple, highly publicized failures. Syracuse and SDSU got through their aircraft carrier game without any major incident. Unless you count double digit wind speeds as an issue in a basketball game.
UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad has been declared ineligible by NCAA: The second biggest story of the weekend was this one. UCLA looked to finally be on the rebound this year, but Muhammad figures to miss a very large chunk of time now. Surprisingly, this story of recruiting violations doesn't include John Calipari.
The best big in Brooklyn late Friday was Maryland's Alex Len: UK managed a win, but Alex Len is the reason the Maryland Terrapins were in the game. Lost in all the Nick Faust and Dez Wells hype (they were quite poor on the night), Len played a big game for a Terps team that looks very good.
VIDEO: Illinois fans incorporate famous 'Silent Night' celebration at season-opener: Finally, if you haven't ever seen the original Silent Night, you can at least see the University of Illinois paying homage. It isn't Utah State, but it is pretty cool.
It's the first day that OHSAA allows high school basketball teams to begin organized practice, so you know basketball can't be too far away. In just two days Xavier will take the court in an exhibition against Kentucky State that will be our first look at the new Musketeers. That's hardly the only available news now, though.
Five Observations From Xavier Musketeers | Jon Rothstein: Rothstein was in town this week, and we retweeted him as if our very lives depended on it. In case you somehow missed it, this is his article detailing why he expects Xavier to shock some people this year. Also in case you missed, our answer to that article can be found here.
College basketball is back! Cronin, Mack talk Crosstown Shootout, season’s prospects: The Shootout, and thank you Business Courier for still calling it that, is going to be the talk any time Coach Mack and Coach Cronin share a stage. Both coaches were quick to point out that their programs accomplished quite a bit last year as well.
College Basketball Preview - Atlantic 10 Conference: A brief spasm of excitement at seeing how high Xavier is picked by the Chicago Tribune (fifth!) is erased by the fact that this writer doesn't know Dez Wells now plays in Maryland.
Atlantic 10 Conference 2012-13 College Basketball Preview : Athlon Sports is seeing much the same picture as everyone else, with Xavier struggling to an eighth place finish. Athlon adds the caveat that a breakout from either Travis Taylor or Isaiah Philmore would go a long way toward changing that.
Men’s hoops notes | Xavier Sports: Shannon Russell has been bitten by the optimism bug that seems to have gotten Rothstein as well. Maybe there is something to this.
CBSSports.com Top 25 impact transfers: You'll recognize the two names at the top of the list for their direct impact on Xavier basketball this year.
Currently men's basketball news reads like Facebook after a breakup: everywhere you look are reminders of the ex.
There's the one no one thought you should have been with and confidently urged you dump. That person has now landed with someone better than you in almost every possible connotation of those words. College Basketball Team Previews: The Title Snipers — Michigan, Syracuse, Arizona, Florida: Mark Lyons is now with Arizona and on the outside of almost every national title conversation. Further, he's considered a crucial part of an excellent team. Arizona counting on instant impact from Lyons
There's also the one that you dumped for a transgression that you now realize you blew way out of proportion. That one is also with someone new and way faster than you thought possible. Maryland Basketball: 5 Questions Marks for Terrapins Heading into the Season: Yes, it is now possible that Dez Wells will suit up for Maryland this year. Terrapin fans must be absolutely elated.
Thankfully, again like Facebook, there are plenty other things to distract as the season eases ever closer.
Napier giving leadership another shot ESPN: Yes, Shabazz, because leadership is something you can turn on and off. Anyone who has been in the presence of an actual leader can see how this one is going to end.
UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma suggest lower rims: Title IX has it's issues, but it has done a lot to advance women's sports. Geno Auriemma seems determined to undo all of that as quickly as he can.
NCAA punishment is inefficient, inconsistent, compromised; here's how to fix it: The NCAA operates as a complete monopoly and the way it metes out punishment and discipline shows it (Myles Davis, for instance). Matt Norlander links to several good articles and also presents his own way to fix things.
Billy Donovan speaks up about Kentucky's reality show: Speaking of people the NCAA should punish, John Calipari is now flaunting his undoubtedly ill-gotten gains on ESPN. Surely, his hubris will eventually catch up to him.
After Game Seven's monsoon finish, baseball now has only the World Series to play before it finally moves over to allow college basketball to start sharing time with college football and the NFL. Things on the Xavier front haven't gotten any better since the suspension of Isiah Philmore but, for the moment, they haven gotten worse. As a matter of fact, the Shootaround today starts with a bit of a bright note.
CBSSports.com Top 50 point guards: Scroll down past Isaiah Canaan at number one (where Phil Pressey should be), Mark Lyons at #11, and Kevin Dillard of Dayton at #28, and you'll find Semaj Christon at #42. Christon is nothing close to what Xavier fans are used to seeing at the point, preferring to drive and score for himself, but he has the potential to be a star right away.
Atlantic 10 Preview: New additions + returning talent = Luh-Oh-Ded: Unfortunately, that isn't enough to budge Xavier from 10th in this preseason look at the Atlantic 10. It's hard to argue with any of the conclusions drawn here, except that Jeff Robinson is someone you want to get the ball to.
XU, UC collaborating on Crosstown Classic events: The neutering of the Crosstown Shootout continues but not all that comes from that is bad. Getting more people into the Freedom Center is never a bad thing, and surely no one can argue against a 5k. Still, it's hard to get used to this newer, friendlier rivalry.
A case study of a historic LSU-LMU matchup: One game, one overtime, 289 points. This article is an excellent read on the free-scoring early 90s and the comparative crawl at which games are played now. Possesions and points are both down despite changes made specifically to open up the game. Last season, as exciting as it was at times, was the slowest and lowest scoring of the modern era.
Minnesota Gophers assistant Saul Smith on leave after DUI arrest: Not content to ride his father's coattails to both a college career he didn't deserve, and a coaching job he apparently can't handle, Saul Smith decided to make a name for himself. His method, a DUI arrest, certainly garnered attention, but it probably wasn't the kind he wanted.
It's an abbreviated version of the Shootaround that, somehow, brings even more bad news. Isaiah Philmore has been suspended by the NCAA for the first three games of the upcoming season. That leaves Xavier with seven scholarship players for Fairleigh Dickinson, Butler, and Robert Morris.
Philmore out the first three games: Apparently a lack of due diligence on Towson's part is now catching up to the Musketeers. Towson may be retroactively docked games, but that won't help the situation that Xavier is in now. This is the kind of ill fortune that no program can be ready for.
Sweet 16: Isaiah Philmore, Xavier: This is a good look at the player the Musketeers will be missing. Philmore will have to carry a good deal of the scoring load when he does return. Unfortunately, that won't be until after one of the early non conference (Butler) tests.
The news has been bad all year for Xavier, but we finally get to start today with a good tidbit. Beyond that, not much is going on as practice kicks into gear with (now) nine scholarship players available to Coach Chris Mack.
Cantino cleared to practice with Xavier: Chris "Sneaker Stacker" Cantino has been cleared by the NCAA to start practicing with the team. While this is good news, it doesn't entirely solve the issue of whether Cantino will be able to play this year. For the time being, Chris will be practicing while the NCAA reviews the situation.
Writers' roundtable -- Our experts answer five big questions about Midnight Madness - ESPN: If you are wondering about what may be the big stories this year, this is a good place to start. Xavier does not figure prominently, but Rotnei Clarke from Butler does get a mention. The sleeper section includes a host of BCS schools that represent no risk taking on the part of the writers, and North Texas.
As Midnight Madness gets underway, time to embrace chaos of wide-open season: This season may be wide open, but John Calipari's free agent signings have to make UK the prohibitive favorite.
NCB - Man stabbed at Syracuse University's Orange Madness event: Things at Syracuse went poorly after a non Syracuse student stabbed another non Syracuse student at a packed Carrier Dome last night.
Mat Latos: 'I let down the whole team': Yes, Mat, you did. Interestingly, the Cardinals are still in the playoffs after the largest comeback win in elimination game history.
Do you or does someone you love enjoy yelling at the television every time an official makes a call? You're not alone in that, but it probably helps to know the rules before you question the guys who are enforcing them. The notes from the 2012 annual meeting of the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee are worth a read, regardless of your level of verbal involvement with the referees. They removed the decals from the floors, which is good, but also further tweaked the block/charge rule to make it favor the offense more, which is bad.
CBS Sports released its list of the top 100 players in NCAA basketball this season. Obviously, there are no Musketeers on it. Adding insult to injury, Jeff Goodman said that Maryland's Dez Wells would have been in the top 100 were he eligible to play this season. I don't want to skew too dark here, but it could be a long season for Xavier fans. Let's just move on.
Long Island University got back four suspended players this week. The players - including last year's three top scorers - were all suspended due to an incident involving a on-campus brawl with members of the school's track team. Good on the school's administration for not rushing to judgment and doing something rash like throwing all four guys off the team and out of school. Let's move on again.
Richmond Spiders coach Chris Mooney is the subject of this piece from ESPN.com. I don't want to give the whole thing away, but it's a nice article about his going out of his way to help out a student manager going through a tough time. Read it.
We are now within a month of the very first game of the 2012-13 season. Whether that is a good or bad thing depends, I guess, on how you see the world. We already covered how Media Day went for the former kings of the Atlantic 10, but we weren't the only ones to have some thoughts on it. Some of the assembled media masses also took the time to chime in.
Xavier picked 9th in Atlantic 10 preseason poll: Yes, you are still reading that correctly, despite the fact it still seems like some sort of odd dream. Xavier may not have been the number one team in the conference prior to the summer of disaster, but they were right in the mix. Now, the defiance Coach Chris Mack showcases in this article seems more like the rantings of someone who refuses to accept reality.
Notes from media day: If you want even more info, it's here. Also featured in this article is a picture of the team that really makes you want to believe.
ESPNU College Basketball: If you are into podcasts or just looking to kill some time at work, ESPN's Andy Katz took the time to sit down with several A10 coaches and fill that particular niche in your life.
Dan Hurley eager to take the reins at Rhode Island college basketball: URI hasn't really mattered since the days of Lamar Odowm, but Dan Hurley would like to change that. With the sartorial nightmare that is Jim Baron now out of the equation, it's possible basketball might become a reason to tune in to Rams games again.
The 20 most depressing 2012 Pirates facts: Just in case you think Xavier is the only team that has it rough this year, here's a rundown of the complete collapse of the Pittsburgh Pirates. "My favorite: On August 17th, the Pirates began mailing out playoff ticket ordering instructions to season-ticket holders." Whoops.
Towpath Marathon: If you come looking for the Banners staff tomorrow, we'll be in Peninsula, Oh competing in the Towapth Marathon. There is no more picturesque place in Ohio for putting yourself in extreme misery.
The first day of October brings with it a noticeable nip in the air, and more bad news. It broke last night that Chris Thomas had de-committed from Xavier and reopened his recruitment. While that doesn't necessarily exclude Xavier from his list of final destinations, it does for all intents and purposes. Another loss, this one of a talented player that never set foot on campus, leads off the Shootaround.
Juco star Chris Thomas decommits from Xavier: Jeff Borzello was the first to the news and, of course, took note of the itinerant nature of one of the most talented players in the states. Thomas may still turn out to be a phenomenal player, but something seems to be amiss inside his head. Right now, he's on the cusp of being a star. He's also on the cups of playing two years of juco and landing at Mountain State.
Problem child Franklin has matured into an NBA talent at San Diego State: It would be unwise to completely write Thomas off though, and Jamaal Franklin is something of a case in point. Raised partially in South Central LA, Franklin had just as many issues as Chris Thomas but has developed into a great player.
Know Your Non-conference Opponent: Robert Morris: In case you missed it. Joel previewed Xavier opponent Robert Morris this weekend. Something of a cupcake when the schedule was made, Robert Morris could now prove to be a challenge that the Musketeers really don't want.
Louisville Cardinals' Mike Marra re-tore ACL, year over, Rick Pitino says: If you are a fan of oft-injured tattooed white guys, this comes as crushing news. Marra's career is likely over before he ever reaches the heights that were predicted for him. His body ink suggests a move to bounty hunting or a job where long sleeved shirts are a requirement.
2012 Ryder Cup -- Europeans snag improbable victory: I know nothing about golf, but this has been all over the sports news cycle since it happened. Apparently, this is what passes for excitement when you spend your weekend watching golf.
Today we have a handful of updates, a preview, and a sobering story. The Shootaround will be updated every weekday, so be sure to check in consistently, even on the slow days. For now, the updated Shootaround will remain in the second slot on the homepage, always highlighted by a picture of Brad Redford shooting around.
When the hearts of young athletes fail: This article came out this summer, but it's an excellent read worth revisiting. While concussions and ACL repairs take all the headlines, more and more athletes succumb to heart troubles each year. Troublingly, these problems are often undiagnosed and unrecognized until it is far too late.
The Hoops Report | Top 68 Team Previews: #58 Xavier Musketeers: #58 isn't where the Musketeers hoped to be as the year started but, it is hard to argue with any of the conclusions of this article. It's been a long time since a season quite like this rolled down Victory Parkway.
Cintas Center rocks new sound system: But hey, at least we'll be able to hear it well!
Derrick Brown Signs Non-Guaranteed Contract With Spurs: Derrick Brown raised eyebrows when he left early, but he has carved out a nice little career for himself to this point. Landing on a team like the Spurs should only increase the worth that his energy brings.
Jordan Crawford could start over Bradley Beal for Wizards: On the other end of the humility scale lands Jordan Crawford. Crawford currently holds the edge over Bradley Beal in the race for a Wizards starting spot. It doesn't seem out of the question that Jody completely explodes this year.
It's a rainy day in September, but that doesn't mean that there aren't stories around college ball, it just means there aren't many. While we all wait for the return of the regular refs for tonight's Browns-Ravens matchup (was a replacement ref mess up the only way the Browns could win?) here are a few tidbits worth perusal.
College Basketball: 10 of the Game's Nastiest Rivalries: Of course the massively overhyped Duke-UNC rivalry takes the top spot, but there are some other interesting entries on the list. The Crosstown Shootout features prominently, as does the famous Kenny Frease picture. Kudos to the editor for picking out the Big Five and Gonzaga v.St. Mary's as other heated games. Sadly, the Border War (Kansas v. Missouri) seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur.
Same city, same conference: Richmond-VCU rivalry ripens: One of the non-Xavier storylines of this Atlantic 10 season will be the integration of two new teams. VCU is an up and coming team that has been in the national spotlight. Richmond is also progressing, if with less fanfare. More games like this only serve to bolster the reputation of an excellent hoops conference.
NCAA allows most North Dakota Sioux logos to stay: This is presented mostly without comment. Miami (Oh) went through this same rebranding over a decade ago.
5 Questions: Creighton's Doug McDermott: One of the best stories of last year was Doug McDermott of the Creighton Blue Jays. McDermott won't be under the radar at all this year, especially not with ESPN running stories on him. It's going to take a lot of work to keep from being a one-hit wonder.
Duke becomes next college hoops team to switch to the iPad: Because they didn't already have the reputation of being spoiled prep kids.
7 years later, Miami Marlins give Adam Greenberg another at bat: This has nothing to do with basketball, but it's a nice story. The amazing amount of damage that a single concussion can do to the human brain goes almost unremarked upon, but in this case it cost a baseball lifer his career.
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