1. The FIBA U-19 USA team is off to a 3-0 start in pool play in Prague at the World Championships, and already there are some interesting statistical results that could foreshadow the upcoming season. Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, who wants to play more point, has 12 steals in three games with six assists and one turnover. Louisville's Montrezl Harrell is averaging nine points a game. Cardinals coach Rick Pitino was raving about Harrell's potential on our podcast a few weeks ago. If Harrell can deliver nearly 10 points a game for the Cards, then he can be a difference maker for the champs. The team is being led by incoming Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon (13.7 points a game). If that trend continues and Gordon is a scorer in the teens for the Wildcats, then this squad will be more even more productive than projected. Florida coach Billy Donovan and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who helped choose the team as the junior national team committee chair, weren't kidding about a lack of shooting. The Americans are shooting 28.3 percent and Florida's Michael Frazier was 6 of 23 in the first three games.
2. Duke associate coach Steve Wojciechowski said Sunday Mississippi State transfer guard Rodney Hood's Achilles injury wasn't severe (i.e. no rupture) but he will need to rest for several weeks. That's great news for Duke and for college basketball, as Hood should be one of the top scoring wings next season. The World University Games USA edition will miss him, but Duke would have taken a step off the title contending perch if Hood were out for the season.
3. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said he's convinced the Terps will land another quality big because of the success of Turgeon's two bigs from Texas A&M and Maryland. DeAndre Jordan was a coveted asset that the L.A. Clippers didn't want to move or at least couldn't in any dealings with the Celtics. Alex Len of Maryland was discussed as a potential No. 1 pick, but ended up going No. 5 to Phoenix. Neither Jordan nor Len were around Turgeon long, but clearly their talent was enhanced under his mentoring enough to warrant the high selection. If I'm Maryland, I would use this leverage as much as possible, too.