- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Each week, I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:
• Texas Tech decided to keep continuity by naming Chris Walker as interim head coach, filling the void left by Billy Gillispie's departure. The move makes sense this late in the preseason. Walker has experience with the program and there will not be a great adjustment period with the current players.
• I am excited that Midnight Madness is coming this week. I remember when the lefthander, Lefty Driesell, wanted to put Maryland on the map by starting as early as possible, with the start of Midnight Madness. Every school believes it can have a big season and is so enthusiastic at Midnight Madness. It is a great opportunity for fans and players to have a great time as the season starts.
• Virginia suffered a blow when senior guard Jontel Evans recently underwent foot surgery following the diagnosis of a stress fracture. Evans is expected to be sidelined five to six weeks. He averaged over seven points and just under four assists per game last season as the Cavaliers made the big dance for the first time since 2007. Evans started all 32 games last season as Virginia won 22 contests.
• Arizona will be honoring its 1988 Final Four team at its annual intrasquad scrmmage on October 21st. It is the 25th anniversary of that squad's trip to the Final Four. Among those scheduled to attend include Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, Sean Elliott, Steve Kerr, Jud Buechler, Kenny Lofton, Harvey Mason, Craig McMillan, Matt Muehlebach, Sean Rooks, Tom Tolbert and Joe Turner. That was a talented team, though Danny and the Miracles cut down the nets.
• Guard Taran Buie, a transfer from Penn State, and Connecticut transfer Jamal Coombs-McDaniel are not off to a great start at Hofstra. They have been suspended by Hofstra head basketball coach Mo Cassara for violating team rules. Coombs-McDaniel played two seasons at Connecticut and was a member of the 2011 national championship team under Jim Calhoun. Both players will miss the first two regular-season contests. Hopefully they will learn from their errors in judgment.
• Keep an eye on Pittsburgh as Jamie Dixon's team looks to bounce back from last year's disappointment. Look for a pair of diaper dandies to have an immediate impact -- seven-footer Steven Adams and former DeMatha guard James Robinson. Trey Zeigler is eligible right away after transferring from Central Michigan and he will supply instant offense.
15hEthan Sherwood Strauss