3-point shot: Mbakwe expected to be ready

July, 18, 2012
7/18/12
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1. Minnesota sixth-year senior forward Trevor Mbakwe hasn’t been cleared yet for contact after having ACL surgery on Dec. 30, 2011. But Mbakwe has been able to dunk, work on post moves and shoot. Mbakwe is expected to be good to go for the start of the season. The Gophers are a trendy pick to be a top-six Big Ten team and challenge for an NCAA tournament berth.

2. Now that Syracuse -- and soon Pitt -- will officially join the ACC in 2013, the league can focus on scheduling for a 14-team conference next year. ACC associate commissioner Karl Hicks said the rotation isn’t set yet, but is being discussed this summer. Each team will have one partner that it will play home-and-home every season. Each team will play the others four times over a three-year period in this rotation: one at home, one on the road and one year both home and road. The previously announced set home-and-home rivalries are: Maryland-Pitt; Syracuse-Boston College; Virginia-Virginia Tech; NC State-Wake Forest; Duke-North Carolina; Clemson-Georgia Tech; Florida State-Miami.

3. It will be interesting to see the long list of coaches -- likely West Coast assistants -- who cue up to challenge interim head coach Andy Newman for the Cal State Fullerton job. Newman was appointed interim coach for the 2012-13 season after Bob Burton abruptly resigned on June 22 after nine seasons and a 155-122 record. The school bumped up Newman and then assistants Julius Hicks and Scott Waterman. The entire hierarchy is undergoing a major face lift. The school has an interim athletic director, a new vice president for student affairs and a new president. The new athletic director will end up making the call on Burton’s fulltime replacement. Former AD Brian Quinn was reassigned on July 6. The Orange County Register reported on the chaos that Newman now inherits as several players threated to quit the team after last season, including Isiah Umipig, who transferred to Seattle.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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