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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Starting Five -- WAC Edition

By Diamond Leung

1. Utah State forward Nate Bendall notched career-highs of 18 points and five blocks in a win over Morehead State on Monday night despite having surgery on his mind. The procedure is believed to be minor, but involves addressing the elevated heart rate that the junior experienced last month. Bendall, of course, has some nerves about it, as he told Jared Eborn of the Deseret News.

2. New Mexico State got an early Christmas present when forward Wendell McKines was declared academically eligible before Monday's game against Alcorn State. McKines led the conference in rebounding as a sophomore, but sat out the first 10 games of this season. He didn't get word that he had been cleared until after shootaround, but had eight points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 25-point win.

3. Nevada takes on a 10-1 BYU team in the Las Vegas Classic today, with the start time scheduled for about 45 minutes from now. The tipoff was changed to accommodate BYU fans who can maximize their time in Sin City by taking in hoops in the afternoon and also the Las Vegas Bowl later in the day, with the Cougars taking on Oregon State.

4. Hawaii hosts the inaugural Diamond Head Classic beginning today with four games. Tipping off in about 45 minutes are one-loss Saint Mary's and Northeastern. The tournament also features UNLV and USC. For a preview, take it away Ryan Greene of the Las Vegas Sun.

5. Boise State guard Westly Perryman is scheduled to undergo surgery on both of his ankles and miss the rest of the season, reports Nick Jezierny of the Idaho Statesman.