College Basketball Nation: Demarco Cox

3-point shot: Rutgers' plan for Okoro

September, 17, 2013
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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.

3-point shot: Rough patch for Ole Miss

January, 31, 2013
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1. Ole Miss spent Wednesday dealing with a double dose of bad news. The Rebels were still stunned over Nerlens Noel's dominating 12-block performance for Kentucky in a humbling 87-74 home defeat by the Wildcats. Then came word that forward Aaron Jones was done for the season with a left anterior cruciate ligament injury. “The team is really down that AJ is out for the year,’’ said Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy. “It was a one-point game and Nerlens Noel blocked three straight shots at the rim (two on Murphy Holloway and one on Reginald Buckner) and it was game, set, match. We’ve just got to move forward.’’ Kennedy said the Rebels will replace Jones by committee, since Ole Miss is already down Jason Carter (dismissed), Demarco Cox (stress fracture) and now Jones. Particularly with Nick Williams out indefinitely, too, with a foot injury, Holloway and Buckner will need to stay on the court.

2. Gonzaga coach Mark Few loves the improvement of Kelly Olynyk and doesn’t dismiss his numbers. But Few wants Elias Harris to get his due. Harris has had a sensational career at Gonzaga and has quietly put together an outstanding season, averaging 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds. Harris has had more than 200 rebounds in each of his first three seasons and will likely make it four in a row. Still, if I had to pick my All-America five, this week I would have Olynyk in my top five.

3. There is so much to be done before the Big East 7 can start their own league, likely in the summer of 2014 when the fall sports start practice. The group has to exit the conference; deal with the financial issues; pick a commissioner; decide on which schools to invite and how many; cut a TV deal; hire staff; pick a location; create bylaws; and make schedules, to name just a few line items.
1. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said he will play suspended forward Tim Abromaitis in the two exhibition games Nov. 1 and Nov. 7. Brey wants Abromaitis to get a feel for the game before he has to sit four games due to a misinterpretation of the rules three years ago. Abromaitis played in exhibition games and then redshirted. Brey said he was aware of this penalty in the spring and, adding that’s why he put three easier guarantee games in the front of the schedule with Mississippi Valley State, Sam Houston State and Delaware State. But the CBE Classic had to put Horizon title contender Detroit at Notre Dame among the first four games. Brey said he’s legitimately worried about beating the Titans without Abromaitis. Brey said he will use a rotation of Joey Brooks, Jerian Grant and Alex Dragicevich in Abromaitis’ place with the consistent starters Eric Atkins, Scott Martin and Jack Cooley.

2. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy was ecstatic that the SEC endorsed the NCAA’s waiver for Murphy Holloway, allowing him to play immediately after he transferred back to Ole Miss from South Carolina for personal reasons. Kennedy said the addition of Holloway on the frontline, which already includes Terrance Henry and Reginald Buckner, gives the Rebels as deep and talented a frontcourt as Ole Miss has had. The three go from 6-7 (Holloway) to 6-9 (Buckner) to 6-10 (Henry). The backups of 6-9 Steadman Short, 6-8 Aaron Jones and 6-8 Demarco Cox gives Ole Miss an extremely deep frontcourt in its quest to crack the top six in the SEC.

3. Louisville coach Rick Pitino was raving about freshman forward Chane Behanan earlier Wednesday. Pitino said he’s a special player has a tremendous amount of passion for the game. Pitino went as far as to say he hasn’t coached a player with as much talent since Jamal Mashburn at Kentucky. The 6-7 Behanan led the Cardinals with 16 points and four steals in a 74-55 exhibition win over Pikeville Wednesday night at the KFC Yum! Center.

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