Friday, November 23, 2012
3-point shot: Maui title's lost luster
By ESPN.com staff
1. Indiana coach Tom Crean said Thursday he has no idea when Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin will hear whether they won their appeals to have the nine-game penalty for impermissible benefits reduced. The two players won an appeal to travel with the Hoosiers -- after they left -- for Brooklyn and joined the team to watch them win the Legends Classic Tuesday. The Hoosiers play Ball State Sunday and host North Carolina Tuesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. If the suspension isn't reduced then the two freshmen won't play until Dec. 15 against Butler in Indianapolis.
2. The NCAA isn't rushing to make a decision on Texas sophomore guard Myck Kabongo, either. Kabongo is being held out as the NCAA investigates who paid for a trip to Cleveland for a workout last spring. Texas, which struggled mightily in Maui by losing to Chaminade and USC before beating a depleted Mississippi State, won't play Kabongo until he is cleared. The Longhorns need Kabongo before the season gets away from them with a brutal upcoming stretch against Georgetown in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 4 in New York, UCLA in Houston on Dec. 8, North Carolina in Austin Dec. 19 and at Michigan State Dec. 22.
3. Illinois coach John Groce had a tremendous start to his Illini career with a Maui Invitational title this week. But this wass an odd year for the tournament as there was only one ranked team. There is a chance that the two Division I wins for the Illini in Maui (USC and Butler) may end up being against teams that won't make the NCAA tournament. Illinois will get plenty of shots to have quality wins for résumé-building Dec. 8 at Gonzaga and Dec. 22 against Missouri in St. Louis, as well as in Big Ten play. But it would be bizarre if the Maui wins don't matter as much on the team's selection profile. That has almost never been the norm for a title team in Maui.