- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Someone better take over this UCLA team and start to own the Bruins. I didn't see a leader in watching two shootarounds and games last week in Brooklyn. The team does have veterans in Larry Drew II, David Wear and Travis Wear and Josh Smith. But no one person was the demonstrative voice in practice or in games. Ben Howland talked above every player like a coach should but you could hear crickets from everyone else. Now Tyler Lamb has decided to transfer and the Bruins have lost a home game to Cal Poly. There are no more excuses. UCLA must get its act together, especially with some daunting games ahead against San Diego State, Missouri and even Texas in Houston. Nothing can be taken for granted anymore. Shabazz Muhammad has the personality to be a leader and now that he's eligible he may need to be the vocal team leader. The Big Ten is thriving and part of that is the rise back up of Indiana. The Big 12 needs Kansas to be elite. The same is true in the ACC for Duke and North Carolina. The SEC has to have Kentucky be elite. The Big East hasn't had a problem with Syracuse or Louisville of late. The Pac-12 must have UCLA matter or it stains the entire conference.
2. The NCAA needs to make a decision on Texas' Myck Kabongo. Enough. The information shouldn't be that hard to get, especially since the parties have talked publicly about the workout in Cleveland last spring. If Kabongo needs to pay back money or officially sit games then he should do so. But the decision to keep him in limbo is ruining Texas' season and ultimately will damage the Big 12. The Maui Invitational wasn't what it could have been because Texas didn't have Kabongo. The NCAA finally ruled on Shabazz Muhammad, heard the appeals of Indiana's Hanner Masquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin. A decision on Kabongo needs to occur this week. And after a decision is announced on Kabongo, the NCAA needs to address whether or not an enforcement officer did discuss the UCLA case with a friend and breech confidence, as reported by the LA Times.
3. Oklahoma beat West Virginia in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando in a non-conference game. The two Big 12 schools will play two more times during the regular season and there is a chance for a fourth in the conference tournament. West Virginia was grandfathered into the field after the Mountaineers joined the Big 12. But this may be more of the norm in the future with conferences expanding to such high numbers that it will be too difficult for events to have only one team from each conference. Having schools play each other in the tournament -- where they can be placed in opposite brackets -- may be unavoidable in the future.
1. Someone better take over this UCLA team and start to own the Bruins. I didn't see a leader in watching two shootarounds and games last week in Brooklyn.