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Roundball Chatter

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

Every Friday I will give my thoughts on the game I love, college basketball.

  • Congratulations to Texas Tech coach Bob Knight for his 900th career college win. His Red Raiders were impressive in beating a ranked Texas A&M squad. The defense against the Aggies was outstanding. I know Knight is not thinking about milestones, but he had to be proud with his team's effort against a very good team.

  • Oklahoma suffered a blow when diaper dandy Blake Griffin was lost for up to four weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Injuries have really hampered a number of teams this season, but this is a major setback for Jeff Capel's squad as Big 12 play is underway. Griffin injured his knee in the first half of the loss to Kansas. He landed awkwardly going for a rebound. Griffin entered the game against the Jayhawks averaging 15.4 ppg. and 9.1 rpg. Those statistics went down after playing less than five minutes at Kansas.

  • Jamie Dixon has done a remarkable job at Pittsburgh. After losing Mike Cook and Levance Fields to injuries, many in the basketball community wrote off the Panthers. Instead Pittsburgh has continued to work hard, making no excuses while playing impressive basketball. The payoff came on Monday in an upset win over Georgetown. Ronald Ramon and Keith Benjamin have truly stepped up.

  • Luke Harangody has really developed into a star for Notre Dame. His points (19.3 ppg.) and rebounds (9.6 rpg.) have consistently been impressive as the Irish put together a solid season. He had one point in the first half against Cincinnati before exploding for 24 in the second half.

  • I was sad to learn that Penn State's leading scorer, Geary Claxton, suffered a torn ACL in a loss to Wisconsin. That injury ended his season and his career as a star with the Nittany Lions.

  • It has been a rollercoast ride for Massachusetts. Travis Ford's squad scored a huge win at Dayton. The Minutemen have been an exciting team this season. As I have said before, the A-10 is one of the best leagues from top to bottom this season. Just look at what Temple did to Xavier in a real shock city game.

  • Kansas State opted to redshirt 6-8 freshman Jamar Samuels. I remember hearing about Samuels' potential when I was calling the Kansas State-Notre Dame game at the Jimmy V Classic. He sat out the first semester to work on his academics, and now the decision was made to sit him for the rest of the season.

  • St. Joseph's starting point guard Tasheed Carr suffered a sprained ankle which sidelined him earlier in the week. Phil Martelli's team had its depth tested with Carr out of the lineup.

  • It has been a frustrating season for LSU coach John Brady. His team has been shorthanded and now senior swingman Dameon Mason, who transferred from Marquette, is done for the season. Mason was declared academically ineligible for the second semester.

  • UAB finally got 6'5 Channing Toney into the lineup. The transfer from Georgia is the son of former Philadelphia 76ers star Andrew Toney. He gives coach Mike Davis another scoring threat. Channing played 27 minutes against Southern Mississippi in his first game back and scored six points. He will get better as he shakes off the rust.

    Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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