College Basketball Nation: 3-point shot

3-point shot: Hamilton officially at UCLA

September, 27, 2013
1. UCLA made it official with a press release on Thursday that former UTEP signee Isaac Hamilton is on scholarship and enrolled for fall classes. But the release wasn't clear about if he was going to play this season. There was a reason for that omission. According to multiple sources, UCLA has moved on a waiver for Hamilton to play this season. The Miners didn't release Hamilton from his National Letter of Intent and his appeal to the NLI was denied. UCLA is still holding out hope Hamilton could be cleared. The 6-foot-5 Hamilton is prepared to sit and the stated purpose of leaving UTEP for UCLA was to be close to his ailing grandmother. UCLA coach Steve Alford said the versatile guard would fit in well with the Bruins. He would. UCLA needs another potential scorer and someone with length on the perimeter. Hamilton averaged 23.5 points last season for St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, Calif. If Hamilton were to get eligible, then the Bruins would add depth in October to a position that desperately needs it.

2. Memphis doesn't open the season until Nov. 14, which means the Tigers can't start practicing Friday like many of the schools that open the season Nov. 8. That's fine with coach Josh Pastner. He wants to manage the preseason grind while pushing his guys, but knows he needs to preserve them some for later in the year. He said the Tigers will start practicing Oct. 3 and within the first week he will give the Tigers a three-day weekend off. He said he remembered his former coach, Arizona's Lute Olson, building in a three-day break for the Wildcats to avoid preseason burnout. The Tigers will have a veteran team entering the American Conference, especially on the perimeter, and the maturity with the team should lend itself well to handling a spread out practice schedule early in the preseason.

3. Credit new Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan for his patience. He didn't overreact to the potential thin roster when he took over. He collected some transfers, but all with a story to tell, and waited out the waiver process. And it worked. Rutgers found out Thursday Pitt transfer J.J. Moore was eligible immediately. That came on the heels of Iowa State transfer Kerwin Okoro getting his waiver. Jerome Seagears was allowed to come back to Rutgers after a brief spring stint at Auburn without any penalty. The Scarlet Knights now have the depth to be competitive and an intriguing team in the American Conference before moving to the Big Ten.

3-point shot: Champs ready to start again

September, 26, 2013
1. Louisville begins practice Saturday. Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said these are the main objectives at the beginning of practice: "We have a veteran team so we will just work on execution of our presses and learning our sets. We have a strong team but will miss the incredible attitudes of Peyton (Siva) and Gorgui (Dieng). They are incredible team-first guys.'' Pitino added that wing Kevin Ware, rehabbing from a broken leg suffered last March in the Elite Eight, will start workouts in two weeks. "He should be ready to go at it around late October,'' said Pitino.

2. Duke starts practice this weekend with three stated goals for the Blue Devils. According to assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski they are: 1. Pace: "to get accustomed to the pace at which we will play, especially defensively.'' 2. Leadership: "Replacing the maturity of a good senior class we want to see who steps up to create and lead in the same positive environment.'' 3. Role: "Start to identify and establish some roles.''

3. Arkansas coach Mike Anderson had already decided to start practice on Oct. 5 before flooding occurred at Bud Walton Arena. He said he wanted the players to get acclimated to school and stay with a three-to-four-week conditioning program. Anderson said he doesn't anticipate any long-term damage to Bud Walton. Meanwhile, Anderson is extremely high on his newcomers, who will have to play a significant role with the departures of B.J. Young and Marshawn Powell. Anderson said the freshmen (Moses Kingsley, Bobby Portis and Manuale Watkins) have been the first guys in and the last guys out of the gym. Anderson said he likens this Arkansas team to ones he had early at UAB and Missouri. Anderson said he expects this Razorbacks team to be much more of a team, rather than one based on highlighting individuals. "We hogs, that's our mindset, we hogs,'' Anderson said. He added that senior Coty Clarke would be the team's leader. Anderson is still looking for a reliable player to score but also had high hopes for Alandise Harris, who sat out last season. "This can be the ultimate team,'' Anderson said. "We're trusting each other and sharing the ball. I'm excited.''
1. As the NCAA continues to get hammered for its archaic legislation, remember the NCAA is a membership. And over the years, the membership, as in the conferences and its commissioners, athletic directors and faculty reps, have continued to push for legislation that is selfish and self-serving. Four years ago, the then-Pac-10 had a piece of legislation to forbid foreign trips. The rationale was because it gave some schools an advantage going into the season. That's true, and it should be rewarded. The good news then and now is that the person who was leading the charge -- Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen -- retired. His replacement, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, is pushing for more foreign travel and looking for yearly trips to Asia for his teams. UCLA went to China in 2012, while Arizona State made that journey this summer. These trips occur every four years, and if a school can fund the excursion, it will go from Syracuse to Towson and every school in between. The foreign trip is a huge benefit to new coaches and players seeking more time on the court. It gives them a great chance to bond. There is absolutely nothing bad about going on a foreign trip, practicing for 10 days prior and actually enjoying the experience of being together.

2. Injuries can and do occur on these trips. USC's season was altered two years ago when Jio Fontan suffered a season-ending ACL injury on a trip to Brazil. Roosevelt Jones tore his wrist ligaments on Butler's trip to Australia last week. Butler at least has plenty of time to adjust to the absence of Jones. The Bulldogs are going through a transition period with its move to the new Big East and a new regime led by Brandon Miller. It's not a one-year deal like the A-10. This is its new home, and Butler has time to become a player in the league. Expect the new Big East to have teams take their turn atop the conference -- maybe more so -- than any other league. No one should be shocked if each season a different team is tabbed as a favorite. The balance should be strong from 1-8 to start and eventually to 10 if DePaul and Seton Hall can carry its own.

3. The NCAA still hasn't reviewed the case for whether or not Oregon's Joseph Young, a transfer from Houston, should be granted immediate eligibility. This is yet another example of how overloaded the home office is when it comes to waivers. There should be divisions that just deal with certain sports. But winter sports get backed up behind the fall sports. So, a team that is expecting a huge addition from a new player may not know for a while, while a volleyball or soccer player is getting his or her eligibility reviewed. Oregon has options with Damyean Dotson playing the wing instead of Young. But if Young is eligible, the Ducks can play both together and have one of the top producing backcourts in the West.