1. Michigan State coach Mark Hollis said Thursday that earlier this week he met with football coach Mark Dantonio and men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo about the proper protocol in dealing with a crisis, particularly if it’s a legal issue. Hollis said this is in direct response to the way Penn State handled the alleged sexual abuse scandal by a former assistant coach of young boys. “We had to go through discussing things that if something ever happens in negative in nature about how we’re supposed to handle it, react and respond,’’ Hollis said. “These are the challenges for all schools going forward. Something can happen every day and that’s why you hope everyone follows the protocol.’’
2. Akron upset Mississippi State in Starkville on Wednesday night in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. But it doesn’t affect the Bulldogs’ appearance in the event next week in New York. The Gazelle Group, organizers of the event, changed the format after Gardner-Webb upset Kentucky in the same event in 2007. Organizers couldn’t afford to see a team get to New York that wasn’t going to sell tickets or move the ratings meter. That means Mississippi State will be in New York with the other three hosts – St. John’s, Arizona and Texas A&M. A year ago, San Diego State won at Gonzaga in the CBE Classic. But the Aztecs knew the deal and weren’t heading to Kansas City for the CBE semifinals. If the Bulldogs are a factor in the SEC then Akron, a MAC favorite, will have a shelf-life win.
3. Jim Larranaga certainly has a challenge ahead at Miami. Losing Reggie Johnson for the first half of the season to a knee injury was a crushing blow. Taking away forward Julian Gamble with a season-ending ACL injury was another shot. Now DeQuan Jones is out for the season as the NCAA and the school investigate the allegation that there was a $10,000 payment made to get him to come to Miami, as reported by Yahoo! Sports. Miami kept saying there was no change in Jones’ status throughout the fall. But it was clear that this allegation was going to cause some pause to play Jones until he was cleared. The Hurricanes couldn’t afford to potentially play an ineligible player. Now the ‘Canes are down three players from a year ago, making it even more difficult to mount an at-large bid through the non-conference portion of the schedule.