Roundball chatter

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

Michigan State guard Gary Harris should be ready for the start of the season. Harris suffered an ankle injury during a pickup basketball game and is expected to be sidelined for at least a month.

• New USC coach Andy Enfield received some good news when point guard Pe'Shon Howard was granted a waiver and thus will be eligible for the upcoming season. Howard started 24 games for Maryland last season and is likely to log first-team minutes with the Trojans.

Florida received a blow when incoming diaper dandy Chris Walker was declared ineligible for the first semester. The 6-foot-11 big man will not be able to play until December, meaning the McDonald's All-American will miss games against Wisconsin, Florida State and Connecticut. He could also be out for the game against Kansas on Dec. 17, depending on when Florida's first-semester grades are posted.

• I love interesting nonconference matchups. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that Massachusetts will face Brigham Young in the 2013 Holiday Showcase game at the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Saturday, Dec. 7. Dave Rose's Cougars should be very competitive this season, though the Minutemen figure to provide an interesting test.

• Former Boston College and Rhode Island coach Al Skinner will be back on the sidelines this season. He is serving as an assistant at Bryant University under Tim O'Shea. You may remember that O'Shea was an assistant under Skinner at both BC and Rhode Island.

• I recently had lunch with Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. He is excited about the challenges of being in a new conference, and he feels the Irish can do well in the ACC. Keep an eye on the Irish this season.

• D'Angelo Harrison has something to prove this season, and he showed something in a recent St. John's win over a Spanish team on a European Tour. Harrison poured in 27 points in the victory.