Each week I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:
• LSU coach Trent Johnson dismissed guard Bo Spencer from his squad due to his player's failure to meet academic requirements. My friends, athletes have to take responsibility for their actions. This could not be easy for the coach since Spencer was a two-year starter, averaged 14.5 points per game last season and started 28 of LSU's 31 games in 2009-10. This is an example of a player who did not learn from his mistakes -- Spencer was previously suspended for a summer for his poor academic performance in the spring semester. Johnson had to take it a step further and it is a sad blow for the Tigers.
• Great to see that two NCAA tourney teams, Georgetown and Missouri, agreed to meet November 30th in Kansas City. It is part of the 2010 John McLendon Classic. It will be a battle of solid coaches in John Thompson III and Mike Anderson. Austin Freeman and company will be tested against the Tigers' tenacious defense.
• The Taylor King saga continues. First he started his career at Duke. Then he went to Villanova and opted to leave there. His third Division I school will be USC, though he has to sit out next season as a transfer. When he is eligible in 2011-12, it will be his final season of college hoops. At least he is returning close to home; he's from Huntington Beach, California.
• There are some perks to playing college hoops near the Basketball Hall of Fame. A University of Massachusetts contingent, led by head coach Derek Kellogg and sophomores Freddie Riley and Terrell Vinson, was at the Basketball Hall of Fame just before the recent induction ceremony. The Minutemen got to meet NBA legends like Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Larry Bird, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen and Jerry West. That is something they will remember!
• Villanova, Tennessee, Wake Forest and UCLA were named as the regional hosts for the 2010 NIT Season Tip-Off. They are the favorites to make it to Madison Square Garden, with the final on November 26th. Virginia Commonwealth, Missouri State, Nevada and George Washington are among the teams looking to score a road upset and move on to the Big Apple.
• When ESPN announced its marathon day of hoops on November 16th, one of the games listed had St. John's at St. Mary's. Not an easy game for Steve Lavin and his Red Storm. I believe St. John's will be improved this season, however.
• Look for a new book by David Woods on the incredible run by Butler. I just completed the intro … it will be a fun read! Brad Stevens and company had an amazing journey and this will chronicle the great stories.