- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Northern Iowa actually could benefit from the three-game suspension to leading scorer Anthony James. The Panthers start the season with three winnable games at home -- against Wartburg, Toledo and North Dakota -- before opening up the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas against Final Four favorite Louisville. UNI coach Ben Jacobson said junior Matt Morrison, sophomore Max Martino and redshirt freshman Matt Bohannon will take the minutes vacated by the senior James. So by the time the Panthers get to the Bahamas, they should be even more experienced and with quality depth. No one would expect Northern Iowa to beat Louisville, but if the team is deeper and more prepared off the bench, games two (Missouri or Stanford) and three (Duke, Memphis, Minnesota or Virginia Commonwealth) in the tournament might be more manageable.
2. Harvard is unlikely to make an official announcement until practice starts, but the Crimson expect seniors Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry to take the year off and return to the Crimson in 2013-14, if admitted, after being involved in the school-wide academic scandal involving a take-home exam in a government class.
3. Memphis coach Josh Pastner said the Tigers had their first team workout and it was “sloppy." But that shouldn’t discourage Memphis fans. He’s confident in the development of the newcomers, and particularly confident in the returnees. Pastner said Tarik Black has done a quality job of improving his conditioning, and has become a more efficient rebounder. “He’s got to make his free throws since he’ll get fouled a lot," Pastner said. The junior forward averaged 10.7 points and 4.9 rebounds but shot just 59.4 percent at the line last season.