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3-point shot: Gophers can't catch a break

1.Memphis coach Josh Pastner said assistant coach Luke Walton will coach his last game for the Tigers at Miami on Dec. 6 before returning to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, now that the NBA lockout is ending. Pastner said Walton wants to continue playing and fulfill the final two years of his contract with the Lakers. Pastner said he has no regrets of adding Walton to the staff, knowing full well that he might lose him if the lockout were to end. He said Walton was at a high school game recruiting last weekend and will go to another one this week. Pastner said he will look to make a full-time hire in the spring.

2.Minnesota will see if it can get a medical hardship for Trevor Mbakwe, who is out for the season with a right ACL tear. Mbakwe had already sat out a year upon transferring from Marquette. The Gophers will likely lean even more on a starting lineup with Ralph Sampson, Rodney Williams, Austin Hollins, Julian Welch and Andre Holllins. The Gophers can’t catch a break. Minnesota lost Al Nolen last season to a foot injury that ended up crushing the Gophers. Minnesota was getting beat by Dayton prior to Mbakwe going out Sunday in Orlando. But once he was done so too were the Gophers.

3.The A-10 has done a tremendous job of rotating contenders for Xavier and Temple to deal with throughout the course of the season. Richmond has had a turn. Now it’s Saint Louis which will chase for the A-10 title. But if Xavier’s win over Vanderbilt in overtime Monday in Nashville is any indication, then the Musketeers will be tough to catch. Xavier continues to show incredible toughness in tight-game situations, turning that game around late, guarding well and making key shots. Xavier has quite a difficult schedule with Purdue, at Butler, Cincinnati, Long Beach State to open the Diamond Head Classic and Gonzaga before the A-10 starts.