Each week, I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:
• Tennessee sent a message during its tour of Italy. The Vols rolled to a 4-0 record on their 10-day, four-game tour through Italy. Tennessee's average margin of victory in those wins was 49.3 points. Cuonzo Martin's squad has several veterans returning, and diaper dandy-guard Armani Moore is worth keeping an eye on.
• Missouri finished its European trip with a 4-0 mark. Michael Dixon led the way, averaging 16.5 ppg. Transfers Keion Bell, Earnest Ross, Alex Oriakhi and Jabari Brown each averaged double figures on the tour, which is a good sign for coach Frank Haith.
• Kansas State's first taste of the Bruce Weber era ended with a 2-2 record on an exhibition trip to Brazil. The Wildcats finished with wins over Mogi Das Cruzes (79-72) and Pindamonhangaba Club (59-46) and losses to Sao Jose dos Campos (81-67) and Tijuca Club (74-72). A fifth scheduled game was canceled.
• Virginia finished its European tour with a 2-3 record. The good news for Tony Bennett's team came in the final outing, an 82-65 win over AMW Team France.
• Indiana suffered a blow when highly regarded recruit Ron Patterson announced he will transfer after failing to meet the school's academic requirements. Patterson averaged 18.5 ppg at Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis last season.
• Good news for ESPN host Mike Greenberg and all Northwestern hoop fans: Freshman center Chier Ajou, at 7-foot-2 the tallest player in school history, was declared eligible by the NCAA for the upcoming season. The cousin of Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls attended St. Thomas More School in Connecticut last season. You know Coach Bill Carmody is happy to have this big man in the paint.
• Many times, coaches in a lower division will accept an assistant position at the Division I level. After 27 years as head coach, Brad Jackson is leaving Division II national champion Western Washington to join Lorenzo Romar at Washington as an assistant. Jackson racked up
518 victories and capped his career at the school by leading the Vikings to their first national championship last season.
• Eastern Michigan coach and former Syracuse assistant Rob Murphy decided to stay in college despite overtures from the NBA. The Orlando Magic expressed interest in the MAC Coach of the Year, but Murphy opted to stay at Eastern Michigan.
• Former Iowa State forward Calvin Godfrey's attempt to transfer to LSU has fallen through. Godfrey, who played at Howard College in Texas last season, was unable to meet academic requirements for the Tigers. He would have been a positive addition to Johnny Jones' team.