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Friday, March 22, 2013
3-point shot: Marshall could rule the MVC

By Andy Katz

1. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has always said he has a million-dollar job and it would take something special to take him from his current position. The Shockers dismantled Pitt on Thursday in the NCAA tournament, and Marshall should again become a hot commodity.

Marshall could do wonders with a shot to coach at a higher level. With Creighton leaving the Missouri Valley Conference, the Shockers could be the dominant program, and Marshall would be the anchor at Wichita State -- much like VCU's Shaka Smart, Butler's Brad Stevens, Gonzaga's Mark Few and Davidson's Bob McKillop. The only opening out there so far where Marshall could flourish is USC. He might not have the L.A. recruiting ties, but his style of play would thrive in the Pac-12. If not there, and nothing else pops up, then he'll be the one to chase in the Valley.

2. Butler athletic director Barry Collier confirmed that the Bulldogs' NCAA tournament unit from the win Thursday, and any going forward, would go to the Atlantic 10. (Conferences accumulate units based on their teams' performances in tournaments. The NCAA then sends funds over to the conferences depending on the number of units they garner.) The Bulldogs are dropping financial crumbs on their way out the door from one conference to another. Their previous NCAA tournament wins were left to the Horizon League. Creighton would have to do the same if the Bluejays were to advance, with their NCAA tournament units being kept by the Missouri Valley Conference. Butler and Creighton will be in the new Big East next season.

3. Kentucky cleared up its scholarship issue for 2013-14. As of now, the Wildcats don't have one with players who are promised scholarships for next season. If everyone returns and no one else arrives (see: Andrew Wiggins), then Kentucky is set at 13. There are six returning players on scholarship in Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress, Ryan Harrow, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer. There are seven incoming freshmen -- five are signed in Andrew and Aaron Harrison, James Young, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis -- and two are committed in Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson.

The odds of Noel returning are slim, even with the torn ACL, freeing up at least one scholarship. There is always the chance someone else will transfer or decide to declare for the draft even with the prospects of making a team slim. This could actually work out for the Wildcats if the returning players accept roles and become mentors to the star-studded freshmen as rotation players in a year.