- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Colorado didn't burn any bridges when it left the Big 12 and the Buffaloes are taking advantage of the relationships to schedule quality nonconference games for a team that should make the NCAA tournament in 2014. The Buffaloes already get Kansas in the return game of a home-and-home series with their former Big 12 rival. Colorado coach Tad Boyle then searched for an opponent to play at the MGM Grand -- site of the Pac-12 tournament -- on Dec. 20. Boyle locked in Oklahoma State, a team likely to be picked to win the Big 12. The Buffaloes now have the potential to have two top 10-15 nonconference games by scheduling KU and OSU. The Buffs already had scheduled Front Range games against Wyoming at home and Colorado State and Air Force on the road -- both extremely difficult stops. Boyle said he's trying to add one more neutral site game and one more home-and-home series as well as two other guaranteed games. Meanwhile, the Buffs, who lost Andre Roberson early to the NBA draft, are getting great reviews on incoming freshmen Jaron Hopkins and Dustin Thomas.
2. Oregon is getting creative with its schedule for a team that should be, like Colorado, in the upper half of the Pac-12 in 2014. Oregon coach Dana Altman said the Ducks have signed up with a new home-and-home series with Ole Miss, starting in Oxford. That game should have some sensational guards with Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson and the Ducks' backcourt of Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson. Oregon is also playing Illinois in the Rose Garden in Portland with a return game the following season at the United Center in Chicago. BYU is also coming to Eugene. This schedule gives the Ducks bubble teams to start the season. The Ducks' willingness to go to Oxford should be applauded since few teams look to play the Rebels at home. This is a win-win for both schools.
3. An attorney who specializes in NCAA cases said late Monday night that it would be impossible for any school to influence and/or police the behavior of an extended family or coach of a student athlete. The school is supposed to promote compliance to the player and his immediate family. But the Ben McLemore case is an example of how hard it would be to check on whether a third-party is profiting to steer a client to an agent without the player coming forward that he was on the take, too. But having the NCAA investigate is still never a good sign because they can find information relative to the case that can spur other issues. "You never want the enforcement staff to look at you,'' said the attorney. "But this isn't a case of a recruiting violation. It's hard to say in this case that Kansas should be expected to police and monitor the actors in this case.''