3-point shot: Racers out in early Top 25

April, 3, 2012
4/03/12
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1. Our Top 25 poll will generate plenty of buzz, but it left out a few teams that deserve mention. Don’t sleep on Murray State, which returns Isaiah Canaan and coach Steve Prohm. I’ll be stunned if Murray doesn’t make its way back into the Top 25. I also really like Minnesota again. The Gophers should be a real tough out with a healthy Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams and a returning perimeter. And Cincinnati should be in the mix in the Big East with a core returning that played exceptionally well down the stretch.

2. SMU athletic director Steve Orsini can now lock in on finding a replacement for Matt Doherty after having to deal with his basketball selection committee responsibilities. Orsini knows that he has to find the right coach, not necessarily the big name. He wants to make sure the Mustangs are competitive in the Big East in 2014. I’m not sure if he has a shot, but Texas ties are important and that’s why Marquette assistant, and former Texas Tech guard, Tony Benford is an intriguing name who can recruit talent from the area.

3. Jim Christian’s move from TCU to Ohio is a classic case of a coach getting ahead before he’s out. Christian had the Horned Frogs extremely competitive in the MWC this season. TCU is now off to the Big 12. Christian returned to the MAC and took the Ohio job, a team that will be the early-season conference favorite despite the coaching change. But now the Horned Frogs have to do what Orsini is doing in the Metroplex, make the right hire for a new conference and necessarily chase the big name. Texas ties will be even more critical with the Big 12 beckoning next fall.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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