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Quick hitters for Monday:
• The speculation about whether 6-foot-10 Andre Drummond, the No. 1 player in 2012 (currently at St. Thomas More School in Middletown, Conn.), could end up playing in the fall at UConn is over. It's not happening. According to Drummond's representatives, including his mother, he will not be in college this fall but will instead go for a post-graduate year. That plan is St. Thomas More for now. There had been plenty of chatter about the possibility that Drummond could be ready for the Huskies in the fall, but that point is moot. He hasn't committed to UConn, either. He's a serious player for Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida. And according to ESPN's recruiting site, he's still considering Pitt, Georgetown and Duke. Drummond will likely be shadowed by the aforementioned schools' head coaches at various stops in July. He'll be in Indianapolis on July 6-9; in New England at various events, including Springfield on July 10-18; in Las Vegas July 22-26 and Orlando on July 27-Aug. 1.
• As a preseason top-25 team, Cincinnati's nonconference schedule is certainly worthy of criticism. But coach Mick Cronin makes a good point in the difficulties of getting into the elite tournaments as a Big East team. Tournaments are not allowed to take two teams from a conference, and a team can return to a tournament on a four-year cycle. That makes it very tough for a team like Cincinnati, which doesn't have as high a profile, to move ahead of teams such as Connecticut, Syracuse, Georgetown and Villanova for some of the elite tournaments. Pitt has chosen to stay away from the neutral-site events of late, so that takes the Panthers out of the mix for a Maui or Orlando event. That's why Cronin elected for a makeshift, multi-team event. He landed Marshall as a partner, and the Thundering Herd will be a viable contender for second behind Memphis in Conference USA. Still, the schedule, which includes Xavier (an annual series), at Georgia, Oklahoma and Marshall, could have used at least one more given top-25 team. Xavier is the only squad on this list that the Bearcats can comfortably say will be an NCAA tournament team -- as of now.
• Bruce Weber is in a no-win situation at times at Illinois. He lands an elite player such as Jereme Richmond, and it's a big deal. And then the player ends up failing to have a major impact and bolts for the NBA draft, only to go undrafted and have a relative spout out about how he was wronged. I won't be surprised at some point if Weber pulls a Herb Sendek and takes another gig to restart the career.
• John Calipari's contract with Kentucky is another indicator that we've entered a new era when the Wildcats will continue to be in step with any other elite school for the top recruits. I just don't see that ending anytime soon.
• Dayton was tabbed as the site for the First Four in 2012 and 2013. The NCAA men's basketball selection committee is spending the week in Utah also discussing the issues that arose from the First Four. Clemson shouldn't have been forced to go from Dayton to Tampa inMarch and play an early game. If a team has to travel to a different part of the country, then there must be consideration given for the start time of the game.
• The NCAA should look into other venues, though, such as the Palestra.
• The NCAA is selling that VCU went to the Final Four through Dayton's First Four. If it continues, then we've entered a new era in the tournament.
• Butler assistant Matt Graves lost out to BC assistant Joe Jones for the Boston University job. This confirms former Butler assistant Micah Shrewsberry's claim that it's hard to become a head coach as an assistant out of a Horizon League-like conference, including Butler. Jones was down the road as a head coach at Columbia. Obviously I wasn't in the interviewing process, but it's hard to compare that with the recent success of Butler, which is coming off consecutive national championship game appearances. Well, there is no comparison.
• The NCAA will do the right thing in allowing Michigan to help Austin Hatch in any way it can during this horrific tragedy. Hatch is struggling for his life after going through the second plane crash in his young life. Hatch recently committed to the Wolverines for the 2013 season.
• It will be interesting to see how USA U19 handles being blitzed by Lithuania's U20 team in an exhibition game 101-72 on Sunday in Panevezys, Lithuania. Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. came off the bench to score 18 points for the Americans. Butler's Khyle Marshall didn't make a field goal (0-for-7). This tournament will be critical for Marshall, UConn's Jeremy Lamb and Michigan State's Keith Appling to prove they can shoulder more responsibility. Lamb was 2-of-6, and Appling missed his only two shot attempts. Memphis' Joe Jackson did have a highlight dunk toward the end of this clip. Jackson scored 13 points and was 5-of-13 from the floor.