- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Arizona coach Sean Miller has quite a gem in incoming freshman forward Aaron Gordon, who had a breakout summer playing for the USA FIBA U-19 gold-medal winning team in the Czech Republic in July. Miller said this about Gordon, "Aaron's greatest talent lies in his mind -- highly competitive, intelligent, plays to win, great teammate. He combines this with exceptional athletic talent and physical gifts. It's this combination that makes his future so bright. He also is very young [just turned 18], which is one reason why I believe he continues to improve at a rapid pace.'' Arizona is a legit Final Four contender and should enter the season as a top-six team. Meanwhile, the Wildcats still don't know the bracket for the NIT Season Tip-Off. The four hosts -- Arizona, Duke, Rutgers and Alabama -- have to win two games to get to New York for Thanksgiving. Arizona and Duke will be on opposite sides, but the question will be which teams they each play to get to a potential final.
2. The A-10 put out its conference schedule last week. The league got the late-season rivalries right to draw interest from new member George Mason at George Washington on March 2 to VCU at Richmond on March 6 to La Salle at Saint Joseph's on the final day on March 9. A league needs to have games that matter for schools as much as possible late in the season. And there is a good chance that all of those games, save maybe the battle of Mason and GW, should have A-10 top seeding possibilities. Saint Louis, one of the favorites in the A-10, has quite a finish with two of three on the road at VCU on March 1 and closing the season at UMass on March 9. Earlier in the conference season, the game of the month of January may be VCU at La Salle on Jan. 25. The A-10 should have five to six schools in contention for bids, with likely four or so earning berths in March.
3. This comment from UConn coach Kevin Ollie speaks volumes after Tyler Olander was suspended for his DUI when asked about how this affects the Huskies' frontcourt: "I don't care about what's going on with our bigs rotation but do care about Tyler as a person.'' Ollie is proving his personal character is transferring over to his coaching. He isn't going to compromise. Meanwhile, Ollie said guard Omar Calhoun isn't cleared yet for five-on-five after offseason hip surgery but is working out at full speed with the coaching staff. Ollie added that Shabazz Napier is "looking great. Wow.'' Napier has a real shot to be an All-American, let alone one of the top contenders for American Athletic Conference player of the year.