Each week, I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:
• I want to wish Rick Majerus the best as he recovers from a reported heart issue. He wil sit out the upcoming season, giving the reins of the Billikens to assistant and former Indiana player Jim Crews. Majerus has meant so much to the revitalization of the Saint Louis program. He eats, sleeps and drinks X's and O's, and he will be missed on the sidelines this season. Crews has a lot of head coaching experience, at places like Evansville and Army.
• Will this be the year NC State becomes No. 1 in the ACC? Much will be determined by the status of Rodney Purvis - he is THAT GOOD! I know the expectations in Raleigh are greater now.
• Oklahoma State suffered a blow when sophomore guard Cezar Guerrero decided to leave the team. Concerns over his mother's health and a desire to be closer to her led to the request to transfer. A sign of his potential came when he scored a career-high 29 points against UTSA in the second round of the NIT Season Tip-Off. He played in 32 games for the Cowboys last season, starting six.
• I have often said that when you make bad decisions, negative things will happen to you. At Xavier, sophomore guard Dezmine Wells committed a serious violation of the Code of Student Conduct and was expelled from the University. The 6-5 swingman was a member of the 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie Team. He started 32 games as a freshman in the 2011-12 season and finished fourth on the team in scoring (9.8 PPG) and third in rebounding (4.9 RPG). Sadly, he also had a role in the highly-publicized brawl vs. Cincinnati.
• Iona landed a big man late in the process. Now the question is will 6-11 Norvel Pelle, who originally committed to St. John's out of Compton, Calif., get cleared by the NCAA? He has the talent to become an NBA prospect. Pelle joins a team which features former Arizona guard Lamont Jones, who could help get him the ball in the low blocks. Clearly the thrill of being in the Big Apple helped in Pelle's decision.
• 6-5 guard Damarcus Harrison transferred from BYU to Clemson. He appeared in 30 games as a freshman for the Cougars. Clemson plans to file a waiver to allow him to compete immediately. He would add depth to Brad Brownell's squad.
• Ben Howland had to be happy. His UCLA men's basketball team defeated Tsinghua University, 116-68, in an exhibition game to kick off USA-China University Sport and Culture Week during the Bruins' weeklong goodwill tour in China. David Wear recorded game-highs with 20 points and 15 rebounds, hitting nine-of-10 shots from the field.
• South Florida got a tough break when potential starting center Waverly Austin failed to gain his eligibility. The JUCO transfer plans to go elsewhere.
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- First-place Angels lose Richards 6-9 months
- Steelers' Bell, Blount play after pot charges
- Bills' Marrone halts practice after more fights
- Tigers' Price tosses 1-hitter, but loses to Rays