- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. The departure of UConn junior forward Alex Oriakhi is not a surprise. The Huskies may not win the appeal to play in the 2013 NCAA tournament. The UConn staff expects freshman Andre Drummond and sophomore Jeremy Lamb to decide here soon about declaring for the NBA draft. The Huskies face an uphill climb to win an appeal for the 2013 tournament. The NCAA may adjust the Academic Progress Rate penalty to go only over a two-year period instead of four, but that probably won’t affect this penalty. It would be hard for the NCAA to justify overturning UConn since it would send a message of favoritism. But if you think these hurdles will push Jim Calhoun out, think again. Calhoun will retire only if he thinks he doesn’t have the drive or his health fails. He’s hardly a coach who shies away from a challenge and clearly doesn’t want to leave the Huskies' program gutted.
2. Nebraska is one of the toughest jobs in the Big Ten. But the Huskers have the money to make a serious play for a candidate to replace Doc Sadler. If the Huskers could lure Oregon’s Dana Altman back to the state they would. If not, then according to sources, the other two candidates that are high on the Huskers’ list are Colorado State’s Tim Miles and Ohio’s John Groce. The Huskers couldn’t go wrong with any of these choices. All have a history of building winners and would give the Huskers a chance to rise in the Big Ten.
3. VCU athletic director Norwood Teague said he did bump up Shaka Smart’s salary a bit -- as well as a few other things, like more chartered trips. But Smart didn’t get more years on his deal. Smart showed incredible loyalty by staying true to the Rams. Teague said the clause that a prospective school would have to play VCU two years in a row will remain if Smart leaves at any time during his contract for another job.