1.St. John’s coach Steve Lavin never could have imagined he would be taking a leave of absence for prostate cancer surgery in his second season. But Monday night’s opener was another reminder that Lavin has put together a terrific staff. Mike Dunlap is extremely well-respected in the coaching community and having him as a stand-in for Lavin was more than palatable. Dunlap doesn’t have the same sideline exuberance but he clearly had the Red Storm tactically ready for William & Mary. And you can’t have a better sage on the bench than former Purdue coach Gene Keady. Lavin had to feel at ease knowing his team was in such good hands.
2.WCC commissioner Jamie Zaninovich was right in his confidence that BYU wasn’t leaving the conference so soon after arriving for this season. The Cougars weren’t apparently a serious player in the Big 12 discussions. But even if BYU were to entertain going to the Big East in football, the Cougars would still need a home for the rest of its sports programs and don’t have to leave the WCC. The WCC is the perfect home for the Cougars if they were to be an independent in football or go to the Big East for football only. The WCC makes the most sense for a home for the Air Force Academy, too, if the Falcons decide to go to the Big East in football.
3.Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew wore a light-blue blazer Monday night as he made his coaching debut against Arizona in Tucson. Drew said he wanted to wear the color blazer to draw attention to prostate cancer since that shade of blue is the color code for that disease. Drew’s father, former Valpo head coach Homer Drew, had prostate cancer surgery. Meanwhile, Drew said he would wear a yellow coat here soon to honor his mother, Janet, who is battling bladder cancer. Yellow is the color code for bladder cancer.