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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
News and notes from around the country


Too often, news of transfers gets more attention than it deserves because of the slow offseason news cycle.

According to a source close to Josh Pastner, the Memphis coach didn't want Roburt Sallie back next season. Sallie wasn't going to be a main fixture on the team with a heralded recruiting class coming aboard, led by Will Barton and local product Joe Jackson.

And according to a source close to Andy Kennedy, the Ole Miss coach wanted no part of Eniel Polynice on the Rebels, regardless of losing another guard, Terrico White, to the NBA draft.

Sallie and Polynice are on track to graduate this summer from their respective schools and are seeking to use an NCAA rule to their advantage. Although it's quite a reach, the purpose of the rule is to legitimately allow a student-athlete who graduates the chance to pursue a graduate-school degree at another institution if it's not offered at the current one.

Sallie and Polynice are seeking an appeal to play immediately next season at Louisville and Seton Hall, respectively. There is plenty of paperwork to file but both will have to show that they are going for a graduate school major they cannot pursue at their previous schools.

The NCAA has shown lenience in granting immediately eligibility instead of the year-in-residence rule for players if there is an illness in the family or special circumstances like a postseason ban or a father-son combination (Lon and Kevin Kruger at UNLV). But a coaching change usually doesn't do the trick. That's why any attempt by Marquette to get Wisconsin native Jamil Wilson immediately eligible after transferring from Oregon might not work.

The school already put out a release that Wilson would be eligible in 2011-12, but there could be extenuating family circumstances that might work in his favor if the school chooses to pursue that plan. Wilson was a big-time 2009 recruit who chose Oregon over Texas, Michigan State and Marquette.

• Former NBA coach Jeff Bzdelik, now the coach at Wake Forest, offered this perspective on coaching:

"As an NBA coach, you have to be flexible,'' Bzdelik said. "You have to coach what you have. Everybody connects me with the Princeton offense, but my first day at Air Force I had no idea -- but I learned it because it was the best thing for those players at the time. I'm not coming here to run the Princeton offense. Like in the NBA, you have to take the talent we have here and make it work.''

• West Virginia may have picked up a coup in nabbing 6-foot-10 Kevin Noreen. The one-time Boston College signee was supposed to be the catch of the class for the Eagles. If Noreen can be a stretch-4 as he was projected for BC, he could help the Mountaineers immensely next season.

• A conference commissioner with knowledge of the expansion issues said Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany made it clear that unless Notre Dame is involved, the Big Ten is done with expansion after adding Nebraska as its 12th member.

• The source also said the Big East wasn't moving toward expanding in the near future. A recent report that Memphis and Central Florida were next in line was shot down by Big East officials.

• The WCC has made eight members work in basketball and the WAC will likely do the same. WAC commissioner Karl Benson said earlier in the week that the conference wouldn't move to replace Boise State in 2011-12. That means the league would stay at eight schools, playing seven conference games for football and 14 for men's and women's basketball. The WAC has looked at non-football-playing members like Denver and Seattle, but the league isn't moving in that direction.

• Fresno State desperately wanted to get into the Mountain West and was crushed when the MWC didn't call after Utah left and was replaced by Boise State. The Bulldogs have begged for years to get into the MWC or Pac-10, only to be left back in the WAC.