3-point shot: Diamond Head key for Ole Miss

December, 21, 2012
12/21/12
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1. Ole Miss desperately needs to get out of the Diamond Head Classic this weekend in Honolulu with two quality wins. Rebels coach Andy Kennedy said he tried to schedule up but wasn't able to, and didn't get a quality game in the SEC/Big East Challenge with Rutgers on the slate. The Rebels have a real shot to pick up resume victories with games against San Diego State in a potential semifinal and then Miami or Arizona if the favorites hold in a third game. San Diego State, Arizona and Miami have all made their mark so far; the Rebels need to get on a similar stage. This is their chance. They will have opportunities in the SEC, but the Rebels need momentum heading into conference play. This has the potential to be one of the better semifinal days of any pre-conference tournament.

2. The Big East is expected to update the remaining schools about television negotiations after the first of the year. The Big East has a football contract for 2013, but not a basketball contract. The membership -- save Notre Dame -- is set for next season in basketball. Louisville and Rutgers can't get out before 2014 since the Big Ten isn't taking Maryland out of the ACC until then. The seven Catholic schools can't form a new league that quickly. Notre Dame could pay its way to the ACC early. The new members coming in are Memphis, Temple, Houston, SMU and Central Florida in all sports, Boise State and San Diego State for football. So, is there any way the Big East could offer up a one-year deal to one of the networks for next basketball season, since it doesn't know about membership for 2014-15 or 2015-16 yet? A few league sources said nothing would surprise them because they aren't sure how they'll get a long-term deal at this juncture without knowing the membership.

3. There is a reason Duke assistants Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski can be so selective in going after head-coaching jobs: They are at a program that consistently is challenging for the national title. Duke's additions of Jabari Parker and Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood should put the Blue Devils in the discussion again next season. The NBA draft could be the weakest ever -- meaning some players could leave school out early who shouldn't really consider it for themselves. But if Kentucky keeps a core group of players with the top recruiting class, the 2013-14 season could see a traditional power tussle for the title. Collins withdrew from the Illinois State search and Wojciechowski pulled himself out of the Dayton search two seasons ago. The Duke connection will open doors -- but the Blue Devils' continuous haul means there is no reason to flee.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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