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Roundball chatter

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

• With the start of the season, there have already been injuries and suspensions. Michigan big man Mitch McGary was sitting out the opener with a back issue. Louisville will miss Luke Hancock with an Achilles injury. He could miss the first three games of the season. Remember, Hancock was the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four in April. With Chane Behanan currently suspended, the Cardinals will be shorthanded early. Iowa State is without rebounder extraordinaire Melvin Ejim for four to six weeks with a knee injury. UNLV's Bryce Dejean-Jones was out for the opener with a hamstring injury. He was hurt in an upset loss to Division II Dixie State in an exhibition game. Providence's Kris Dunn missed the opener with a shoulder injury. Boston College guard Lonnie Jackson, a 3-point threat, was out too.

• Then the suspensions included Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe for one game. North Carolina opened without P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald because of eligibility issues. Oregon will be shorthanded with Dominic Artis and Ben Carter suspended for nine games. The addition of Joseph Young, a transfer from Houston, will help. Texas A&M guard J-Mychal Reese is also out due to a suspension. It will be a long season, my friends.

• There were a few surprising scores on opening night. Miami, last season's ACC champion, lost at home to St. Francis of Brooklyn. Northern Colorado shocked Kansas State in Manhattan; USC-Upstate won at Virginia Tech. Bruce Weber's team lost because of poor 3-point (2-of-19) and free throw (16-of-33) shooting.

• UNC will get a big year from sophomore guard Marcus Paige. The Tar Heels will be better than most believe!

Casey Prather looked very athletic and aggressive in posting a career-high 28 points in Florida's win over Northern Florida.

• Wisconsin looked like a more offensive-oriented team, looking to score earlier in the shot clock in its win over St. John's. That bodes well for Bo Ryan.