1. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Thursday on our ESPNU College Basketball podcast that underclassmen should be able to work out for NBA teams before making a decision on whether to remain in the draft. That was the rule before the change by the NCAA in 2009. Izzo saw forward Adreian Payne take his time before opting to return to East Lansing. Izzo is a proponent of one date instead of the two current ones -- the NCAA's arbitrary one, with nothing binding, a week after the Final Four and the NBA's real deadline on the last Sunday in April. "I've never seen so much confusion,'' Izzo said. Izzo was also agreed with the point that if NBA teams paid for the workouts, it would alleviate one of the concerns the NCAA has had about extra benefits for draft hopefuls.
2. Izzo also said Michigan State and Gonzaga are trying to finalize a game at Spokane (Wash.) Arena on Dec. 7 to honor the life of former Michigan State coach and current Spokane resident Jud Heathcote. Heathcote attends Gonzaga games when he is able. Izzo said the plan was to have a doubleheader involving the four schools Heathcote coached or has a strong affinity for: Michigan State, Gonzaga, Washington State and Montana. Montana coach Wayne Tinkle said he'd love to do it, but Washington State coach Ken Bone said he has a scheduling conflict.
3. The NCAA Board of Directors officially recognized and ratified the new Big East Conference and the name change of the old Big East to the American Athletic Conference. That means the NCAA tournament will officially have 32 automatic berths in 2014 and 36 at-large berths. It also means that everyone had better get used to the American conference because unless significant expansion occurs again, the American is here to stay.