- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Vanderbilt hasn’t released Sheldon Jeter to his hometown Pitt Panthers yet. It may or may not come. Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings has never blocked a player from transferring to a specific school in the past. Jeter could be the first. Regardless of whether or not it’s fair to put a block on a player receiving a scholarship in his first year at a new school (blocking doesn’t prevent the player from transferring to a school, but does cloud the process with the NCAA), there is a right and wrong way to depart. Jeter tweeted “Due to some personal issues, I am leaving Vanderbilt University to be closer to my family.’’ According to a source with direct knowledge, he didn’t meet face-to-face with Stallings to tell him he was leaving. Jeter, a freshman forward from Beaver Falls, Pa., isn’t the first nor the last to mishandle a departure. There is a mature way to deal with leaving. Evan Gordon left Arizona State two weeks ago. He went in and told Herb Sendek he was out. The conversation didn’t last more than a few minutes. But at least there was one. Jeter averaged 5.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 17.5 minutes a game. He’ll probably end up at Pitt. He may be on scholarship by next season. Cooler heads may prevail here. But most of the time the reason there is animosity over an exit is the way in which it is handled.
2. Indiana coach Tom Crean said he’s already looking at how the Hoosiers will play next season without Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford. He said he still wants to push the tempo and fully expects this team to be offensively effective like last season when the Hoosiers were one of the nation’s best. He’s banking on Will Sheehey continuing to lead and show his work ethic to the young Hoosiers. Expect Yogi Ferrell to team up with Sheehey and newcomer Noah Vonleh as well as Troy Williams as some of the top producers. The player who may surprise more than any other could be Luke Fischer, a 6-9 forward who is considered the most efficient newcomer by the staff and Stanford Robinson, who will add to the depth on the perimeter. Crean said the speed of the game has to be high for the Hoosiers yet again. Look for Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Mosquera-Perea to be one of the more intriguing early-season battles for Zeller time. The Hoosiers are still looking for one more nonconference game. The Hoosiers are in the 2K Classic in NYC with the likely matchup pitting Indiana against Boston College or Washington to ensure the Hoosiers and UConn are on opposite sides of the bracket. IU plays at Syracuse in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and Notre Dame in Indianapolis.
3. Arizona released its nonconference schedule Thursday and for what should be a top-10 ranked Wildcats team there are a number of challenges: at San Diego State (Nov. 14), hosting UNLV (Dec. 7) and New Mexico State (Dec. 11) and at Michigan (Dec. 14). But the headline event should end up being the NIT Season Tip-Off where Duke is the other primary host with Arizona. Alabama and Rutgers are also hosts. If the home teams hold serve, which doesn’t always happen in the only nonconference neutral-site tournament where you still have to earn a spot with two wins, then a potential Arizona-Duke matchup over Thanksgiving would be the top-10 game the NIT has desperately craved for years. Duke is also playing another high-profile Pac-12 team in New York when it plays UCLA in December.