College Basketball Nation: Dave Pilopovich

1. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy, appearing on our ESPNU Katz Korner special Thursday night, still hasn't ruled out a return for Marshall Henderson. Henderson is suspended after a violation of team rules (ESPN and media reports cited a failed drug test). But there doesn't seem to be any indication that Henderson has played his last game for the Rebels. If Henderson can stay straight and behave over the next few months, as well as handle all of his requirements that are being placed on him, then don't be surprised at all if he returns to the Rebels in some form next season. That doesn't mean he wouldn't have any kind of game suspension. But I didn't get the idea that Henderson is done playing for the Rebels -- yet.

2. Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy, who said he's feeling great now nearly two years after being diagnosed with early stages of Parkinson's, would love to rekindle the rivalries from the Big 12. He said he wants to play Texas but the interest is not reciprocal. He said he wanted to play Baylor in Dallas to start the season but the Bears didn't want to play the Aggies. The SEC's Aggies are playing one former Big 12 school -- Oklahoma -- in a game in Houston next season. Kennedy said he could play eight of the 10 Big 12 schools if the schedule permitted, but the resistance from long-time rivals Texas and Baylor is still too strong. He said he's hopeful that he can one day get the Aggies to play their tradition-rich schools.

3. Air Force coach Dave Pilopovich was on our Katz Korner show as well, but off-air repeated what the NIT told the Falcons last March. The Falcons were deserving of an NIT bid, but their best player Michael Lyons (45 points in a game against Colorado State) was done for the postseason with a knee injury. Pilopovich said the NIT asked him if Lyons could play. He said no. And the NIT then didn't invite the Falcons. They were then forced to go to the CIT. Air Force deserved better and as Pilopovich said the entire Falcons team was punished because of Lyons' injury. The Falcons finished in sixth place at 8-8 in the MWC, one spot behind Boise State. Pilopovich said he thinks the Falcons would have had a shot with a healthy Lyons to earn an NCAA berth. Air Force knocked off UNLV and New Mexico during the regular season. In the CIT, the Falcons won at Hawaii before losing at Weber State. The NIT has to a tough job to field the event, especially with taking automatic qualifiers that didn't win their conference tournaments. But the Falcons deserved a rare NIT berth, even with Lyons being out. I'm not a fan of the selection committee asking if a player can play, an honest answer being given and the rest of the team being relegated to a lower-level tournament.

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