Roundball Chatter

Each week, I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:

• The NIT Season tip-off is set. Michigan, Virginia, Kansas State and Pittsburgh are the top seeds for the event, where the winners of the preliminary rounds advance to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals on November 21, and championship game two days later.

• It has been a tough off-season for Connecticut. The school was banned from the next NCAA tournament due to APR issues. Coach Jim Calhoun was injured in a biking accident and later retired. Now guard Shabazz Napier will be out of action for the next several weeks as he recovers from surgery on his right foot to repair a stress fracture. He will be in a walking boot for a few weeks, but should be fully healed by the time practice begins on October 13. Napier played in all 34 of UConn's games last season, starting 31, and averaged 13 points, 5.8 assists, and 35 minutes per game.

• 6-8 sophomore forward Devonta Abron will be eligible to play right away at TCU after appearing in 32 games for Arkansas last season. Horned Frogs coach Trent Johnson said that the NCAA granted Abron a waiver that will make him eligible to play this season instead of having to sit out the usual one season under transfer rules. Abron left Arkansas to be closer to his home in Seagoville, Texas, which is about an hour from the TCU campus.

• I was sorry to read the report of a cheating scandal at Harvard. Top returning scorer Kyle Casey will not be back with the team this season and that is a setback for Tommy Amaker's unit. Co-captain Brandyn Curry has also been implicated in the scandal and is weighing his options for the future. Harvard made its first trip to the big dance since 1946 last season.

• When you make bad decisions, negative things happen. That was the case at Butler as junior Chrishawn Hopkins has been dismissed for violation of team rules. Hopkins was one of four returning starters from last year's squad. The 6-1 guard played in all 37 games a year ago, including 24 as a starter. He finished third on the team in scoring at 9.1 points per game.