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Roundball chatter

Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:

• I have talked a lot about the great year Rick Pitino has enjoyed. He made the Basketball Hall of Fame, his Cardinals won the national title and he had a horse run in the Kentucky Derby. Pitino even won an ESPY for Coach/Manager of the Year. His latest thrill was taking his team to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama.

• Former Big 12 rivals Oklahoma State and Colorado will meet as part of a doubleheader in Las Vegas on Dec. 21. The MGM Grand Showcase also will feature Marquette versus New Mexico. I love seeing exciting nonconference basketball that is competitive. Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart already announced this will be his last college season, as he plans to enter the 2014 NBA draft. His skills will be on display in this doubleheader.

• TCU got some good news as coach Trent Johnson learned that center Karviar Shepherd of Prime Prep Academy will be eligible this season. Also, sophomore forward Chris Washburn joined the Horned Frogs' roster from UTEP, where he played last season as a true freshman.

• Gonzaga fans should be excited to see former All-American Adam Morrison back on campus. He will be a student assistant on Mark Few's staff.

• Sad to hear the news of former Auburn basketball player Korvotney Barber's apparent drowning. My sympathies go out to his family and the Tigers basketball community.