- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Florida coach Billy Donovan is worried about the extent of the rib injury to senior forward Erik Murphy, which kept the Gators' second-leading scorer out of Sunday night's game at Yale. Murphy first suffered the injury in a win over Air Force on Dec. 29 and then again in practice Friday. Murphy couldn't play in New Haven, despite 200 family and friends making the drive over from South Kingstown, R.I. "It's his right lat and he's in excruciating pain,'' said Donovan. "He can't sleep. He can't take deep breaths.'' Donovan said he broke two ribs his junior year at Providence and remembered how long it took him to recover. "It's in a bad spot. He's a tough kid, but I'm worried it could be broken for him to be in that much pain. I don't know if we'll get him back against Georgia [the SEC opener Wednesday] or not.''
2. Lehigh coach Brett Reed said the Mountain Hawks have no single player who can replace C.J. McCollum, who is out between 8 to 10 weeks with a broken left foot. "It will require a full team effort with everyone elevating their games,'' said Reed. Lehigh lost at home to Bryant 80-79 and then 59-55 at VCU in their last two games. Lehigh did get 17 points and nine rebounds from Holden Greiner in the loss to the Rams. Lehigh had to win the Patriot League at Bucknell last season to earn an automatic berth and ultimately upset Duke. For Lehigh to get back to the NCAAs without McCollum, the Hawks will likely have to win at Bucknell again. In a season without as many familiar names, it's a shame McCollum is out.
3. The remaining Big East athletic directors will meet in Dallas on Jan. 11 to discuss their latest moves, including the update on the television negotiations. Tulsa and UMass have been discussed as possible additions if the Big East decides to expand, according to multiple sources. Rice and Southern Miss were also tossed around. Meanwhile, the Mountain West expects to move on San Diego State by the end of this week, according to a league source. The MWC has to decide if it will go to 12 or 14. The MWC has interest in SMU and Houston, but SMU has let it be known to the MWC it has no interest as the Mustangs and Cougars are set to go to the Big East. UTEP desperately wants to be in the MWC, according to a source, and is on the MWC list. BYU is the first choice for the MWC but at this juncture the Cougars want to remain independent in football, WCC in other sports.