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Monday, August 19, 2013
Roundball chatter

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

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

• New Butler coach Brandon Miller suffered a major setback when forward Roosevelt Jones was lost for the season due to ligament damage in his wrist. Jones, who made headlines with the game-winning shot against Gonzaga last season, was Butler's top returning scorer and rebounder. He averaged 10.1 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game and a team-high 3.5 assists per game for the 27-9 Bulldogs last season. Jones fell on his wrist in the first game of Butler's exhibition trip to Australia, and he didn't play in the final three games of the Bulldogs' tour.

• St. John's is taking part in a European tour Aug. 19-Sept. 1. Unfortunately for Steve Lavin, diaper dandy Rysheed Jordan is expected to sit out due to back spasms. Veterans Phil Greene IV (recovering from hip surgery) and Felix Balamou (ankle) were also expected to sit for the shorthanded Red Storm. St John's can be a major player in the new Big East and the key will be D 'Angelo Harrison. People say he has changed for the better, which makes Lavin very happy.

• Penn State went 2-1 on its recent European trip. The big news came with the return of Tim Frazier. He made his nine-month return from an Achilles tendon injury to score 26 points in one contest on the trip.

• California senior guard Justin Cobbs, who averaged more than 15 PPG last season, could miss the next two months after suffering a broken bone in his right foot. If it heals properly, he should be back in time for the start of the regular season.

• One thing I like about early-season college tournaments is the number of games you get to play by participating. For example, Indiana, Connecticut, Boston College and Washington will get a couple of home games before playing at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. It also gives the little guy a chance to play against a team from a power conference. Stony Brook gets to play in Bloomington. Florida Atlantic, coached by Mike Jarvis, visits Boston College in a homecoming and Eastern Washington meets Lorenzo Romar's Huskies.

• Congratulations to Quinnipiac basketball coach Tom Moore on his contract extension. The former UConn assistant has done a super job building up the program at Quinnipiac and will remain there through the 2017-18 season. Moore has guided the Bobcats to an average of 20 wins over the past four seasons.

• Sorry to hear of the passing of former Clemson hoopster Devin Gray. He died of a heart attack in Atlanta at age 41. The 6-foot-7 Gray led the ACC in field goal percentage during his junior season with the Tigers.