Tuesday, September 17, 2013
3-point shot: Rutgers' plan for Okoro
By Andy Katz
1. Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan said Iowa State transfer Kerwin Okoro will be the Scarlet Knights' fourth guard. Okoro, who received his waiver to play immediately due to his personal hardship, can also play small forward. "Our three guards are all under six-feet tall,'' said Jordan. "We need Kerwin to defend bigger guards.'' Rutgers is still waiting on Pitt transfer J.J. Moore's waiver appeal to play immediately. Jordan said the Scarlet Knights are hoping to hear something this week. Rutgers got good news last week to help clean up a depth issue when Junior Etou was deemed a qualifier. Meanwhile, Illinois coach John Groce said Oregon State transfer Ahmad Starks is still waiting to hear on his waiver to play immediately. The same is true at Oregon where the Ducks are awaiting news on whether Houston's Joseph Young will be allowed to play immediately without sitting out a year.
2. Ole Miss got two injured players back but lost another. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said sophomore Terry Brutus is done for the season with a torn ACL, suffered last week in practice. But the Rebels do have forward Aaron Jones back from his ACL injury, which occurred against Kentucky on Jan. 29. Forward Demarco Cox is also back after missing all but seven games last season with a stress fracture in his foot. The depth can still be there for the Rebels up front, despite the loss of Brutus. But the Rebels will go as far as Marshall Henderson can carry them. He is currently suspended but the SEC's top scorer is expected to be back in the good graces by the heart of the season, giving Ole Miss a potent offensive option.
3. The NIT Season Tip-Off is supposed to release its long-awaited bracket Tuesday. This is what we know for sure: the four hosts are Arizona, Duke, Rutgers and Alabama. And you can lock in Arizona and Duke will be on opposite sides of the bracket so they can meet in a potential final at Madison Square Garden the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 29. If that occurs then you'll get a treat of seeing two of the top freshmen in the country in Arizona's Aaron Gordon and Duke's Jabari Parker. Both of these teams should be considered Final Four contenders. The NIT bracket has been "the best secret in college sports,'' according to Arizona coach Sean Miller. That's called sarcasm and he's right. The bracket has taken way too long to be revealed.