1. UNLV coach Dave Rice didn't hesitate to suspend sophomore Savon Goodman from the team for this season. But he hasn't given up on him. Rice had no choice but to boot Goodman after it was reported in Las Vegas that a warrant had been issued for his arrest on felony charges dealing with burglary and grand larceny. There was also a gross misdemeanor charge of conspiracy based on a burglary attempt on May 18. These are grounds for expulsion from the school and dismissal from the program. But Rice isn't going there yet. "I have confidence that Savon can overcome this adversity," Rice said Tuesday. "We will encourage him through the process." Rice said Goodman would have competed for the starting power forward position. Losing a player of his talent and experience "always hurts," Rice said. All true. But it will be interesting to see how Rice handles Goodman going forward. There is a legal process first, and then UNLV, not just Rice, has to determine if the program/university wants someone who has been charged with such crimes on campus. The Runnin' Rebels lost Anthony Bennett to the draft and Mike Moser to Oregon. Guard Kaitin Reinhardt transferred to USC. Goodman is the latest hit. The offseason couldn't have gone worse for UNLV. Khem Birch and newcomer Christian Wood will be counted on heavily inside now, with the roster thinning. New Mexico is the class of the MWC. Boise State is next, with San Diego State probably following the Broncos. UNLV can't be considered in the top three anymore after the attrition to hit the program this summer.
2. BYU and UMass are two teams that have a legitimate shot to surge toward the top of their respective conferences this season. So why not play each other? The WCC-A-10 matchup announced Tuesday for Dec. 7 in Springfield (neutral court but not site for UMass) could be one of those games that gets discussed in March. Gonzaga is the favorite in the WCC. VCU and then either La Salle or Saint Louis in the A-10. But no one should sleep on either BYU or UMass. "Both teams know this is good for their resume," said UMass coach Derek Kellogg, whose Minutemen likely will return the game Dec. 23, 2014, in Utah. "We're trying to schedule as tough an RPI games as we can for our fan base." UMass, which has a top-tier point guard in Chaz Williams, has another March-like game when it plays host to LSU on Nov. 12 for the tip-off Marathon. BYU, meanwhile, has a meaty schedule with plenty of power-rating games: at Stanford (Nov. 11), Iowa State in Provo (Nov. 20), a potential CBE final game against Wichita State in Kansas City on Nov. 26 (assuming both get past first-round games in Texas and DePaul, respectively), the rivalry game against Utah in Salt Lake (Dec. 14) and at Oregon (Dec. 21). "Our schedule goes from West to Midwest to East Coast early, so we will see what we've got," said BYU coach Dave Rose. Rose said the big three for this season's team: Tyler Haws, Kyle Collinsworth (home from a Mormon mission in Russia) and Matt Carlino all have excelled this summer. "I need them all to be good," said Rose.
3. The Big East confirmed that its conference schedule will be released next week. The old Big East was always one of the last conferences to release its schedule because of so may pro arenas in the conference. That hasn't changed with Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Marquette, DePaul, Villanova and Georgetown all dealing with other tenants. The three new schools -- Butler, Creighton and Xavier -- have the most control over dates in their arenas. The conference is hoping to build rivalries and will protect one rivalry for the final weekend of the regular season. But the conference wouldn't say which one until the schedule is finalized. The teams haven't been notified yet of which rivalry was protected for the final weekend of the regular season.