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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
3-point shot: Lottery goes Noel's way

By Andy Katz

1. The new Big East pulled off an officiating coup from its competitor the American Athletic Conference when it landed veteran official John Cahill as its coordinator. Art Hyland, who is retiring as the old Big East's coordinator, will stay on as a consultant. The news of these moves was conveyed to coaches during meetings in Florida on Monday and Tuesday. The American conference was also interested in Cahill and will search for a coordinator. The two conferences will likely compete for the same pool of officials when they play on the same date, mostly Saturdays. The buzz on the meetings was positive as the 10 schools, with their coaches and athletic directors, discussed the future with their television partner, Fox sports. The coaches weren't tipped on the next commissioner, but were told a name would be revealed soon. The schools still don't know which days they will be playing on during the conference season as Fox plans the winter schedule.

2. Tuesday's NBA draft lottery worked out perfectly for Nerlens Noel. If Cleveland takes him No. 1, he won't have all the pressure on him to produce immediately as he returns from surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament. The Cavaliers have a star in Kyrie Irving, a first-team all-rookie player in Dion Waiters and can afford to wait on Noel if need be next season. Noel would probably not be best served in Orlando (the Magic got the No. 2 pick), where the expectation would be for him to contribute sooner. The past two centers Orlando has picked at the top of the first round -- Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal -- are unfair comparison. The Cavs have flourished in finding the right young talent through the draft in the post-LeBron era. Noel would fit in well with this organization.

3. Mike Rice might never get another head or assistant coaching job in the sport. But he must not have been looking to be coddled or seeking sympathy in entering John Lucas' program in Houston -- Lucas doesn't do either. He plays it straight and will work with Rice on anger management. Rice has to be a productive member of society for his family, and one would assume he needs to work. If there was anyone in basketball who can help Rice in his recovery, it's Lucas.