3-point shot: Accounting for missing players

1. Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski is a member of the NCAA tournament men’s basketball committee (and set to be the chair in 2012-13) and said the committee always looks at the reasons why certain players weren’t available for a given game. This could be key for Cincinnati if the Bearcats are on the bubble come March now that UC has to play its next six games without key players. It could also be a factor for Xavier, which will head to the Diamond Head Classic to play Long Beach State without two players. The Musketeers could be in line for a possible No. 1 or 2 seed. Bobinski, who is a respected athletic director well versed in hoops, would have to leave the room when Xavier is discussed. “We’ll do our best to evaluate teams and seed them,’’ Bobinski said of any team that plays games without players. “This includes all teams, including Cincinnati and Xavier.’’

2. Murray State didn’t get into the coaches poll, but did leap into the AP top 25 at No. 24 on Monday after beating Memphis on Sunday to move to 10-0. First-year coach Steve Prohm said, “It’s great for our program and our league. Murray has an awesome tradition, and I’m so glad people are giving us attention. They’ve been very focused and just need to continue to play well and hopefully our guys will earn their rewards in March.’’ The Racers will be favored in every remaining game and don’t play a power six conference game the rest of the season (they haven’t played one yet either) or a game on the road outside of the OVC.

3. Prohm said he fully expected Austin Peay to be a contender in the OVC with the Racers, even though the Governors started 1-9. Well, he may prove prophetic with the Govs knocking off Tennessee. John Fraley, the team’s starting center, had missed all but one game, but returned to score 12 points against Tennessee. Austin Peay coach Dave Loos said senior Anthony Campbell, who was a preseason all-conference forward, has been out with an ACL injury and now Will Triggs is out with a pulled groin muscle. Still, the win over Tennessee means the perennial OVC contender could still give Murray fits at home Jan. 7 and prevent the Racers from running the table in the league and overall.