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Midweek News and Notes

Players and coaches take flight and Xavier moves incrementally up the way too early polls.

"I'm going that way because I like money."
"I'm going that way because I like money."
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2015-2016 College Basketball Way-Too Early Preseason Top 25
This has been updated this week and Xavier comes in at 15th with improvement from Reynolds, Macura, and Bluiett been the cited reasons. It's worth noting that UC is not getting the absurd early off season love here that they have gotten other places.

Duke's Justise Winslow declares for NBA Draft
Tyus Jones of Duke Blue Devils to enter NBA draft

I don't mean to sound like an old person here, but remember when you had to have more than a few good games to declare early for the draft? Winslow, especially, played a stretch of 16 good games and decided it was time to go. Maybe it is and maybe he'll fare very well, but it seems like it doesn't take much to get kids to make the jump now. Duke has now lost three players from their national championship squad.

No Shock: Return of Ron Baker, Fred VanVleet makes Wichita State your MVC faves (again)

In the Midwest, the story is a little different. Wichita State figures to once again be the bullies of the MVC with the announcement that their two big guns are returning. How long until a change of scenery is considered to be necessary for the shocker to maintain their ambitions as a team on the rise? Wichita is only marginally farther from New York than Omaha, home of the Big East's Creighton Bluejays. Just a thought.

Q&A: New Texas coach Shaka Smart

Shaka says in this interview that he left because "I think just that it was Texas. That was the biggest difference. If you look at the opportunities here from the university to the city to the athletic department and the tradition..." This coming from someone who reportedly turned down Illinois, UCLA, NC State, Minnesota, and Marquette. Saying anything about opportunities and tradition while having turned down basketball powers in the past smacks of falsehood of the highest caliber. When did people become afraid of saying they wanted more money?

Report: San Diego State, San Diego to play game at Padres' ballpark
Villanova, Oklahoma to play in Hawaii during 2015-16 season

The gimmick games aren't gone yet. We've gone from playing in football stadiums for Final Four games to aircraft carriers to now a game in a baseball stadium. While hockey rinks and jai alai courts queue up to get their names in the mix, one wonders what happened to simply just scheduling well and filling the arena you have. Also, if we're going to do things like this, why hasn't Rucker Park hosted a game yet?