1. The NIT Season Tip-Off (Nov. 21, 23) is desperately searching for its final team so the other 15 schools can release their nonconference schedules. Former Big East associate commissioner Dan Gavitt, who is now a director of the men’s basketball championship at the NCAA, is helping in the search for a team, which may end up being a Division 2 school. The NCAA closed the New York offices of the NIT, but long-time NIT executive director Jack Powers will remain on the NIT selection committee, especially for the postseason event, which has been renewed at Madison Square Garden. The NIT doesn’t pre-determine the semifinalists like other tournaments that feed into events in New York, Brooklyn, Las Vegas and Kansas City. The pods for the event aren’t set yet, but likely could end up being: Host -- Kansas State (North Texas, Lamar, D-2 team); Host -- Pitt (Penn, Robert Morris, Lehigh); Host -- Michigan (Bowling Green, Cleveland State, IUPUI); Host -- Virginia (Fordham, Fairfield, Delaware).
2. A men’s basketball ethics committee, made up of a select group of current head coaches and at least one former head coach as picked by the basketball focus group, held a conference call last week and a proposal was made to come up with a handbook for all new head coaches. The purpose would be to provide structure for new coaches as they deal with a number of the challenges that are likely to face them in the first months and year on the job.
3. North Texas and Creighton agreed to play in Omaha, Neb., to tip off the season on Nov. 9. The game should be attended by NBA scouts. Two of the more heralded players outside of the power six conferences are Creighton junior forward Doug McDermott (23.2 ppg) and North Texas sophomore forward Tony Mitchell (14.7 ppg). McDermott is almost certain to be a preseason All-American while Mitchell should be at the very least be listed as honorable mention. North Texas, under first-year coach Tony Benford, is projected as a Sun Belt favorite in its final year in the conference before moving to Conference USA, while Creighton will once again be predicted to win the MVC and reach the NCAA tournament again.