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Monday, November 4, 2013
Roundball chatter

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

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

• It was not a great week for UCLA coach Steve Alford. First, senior forward Travis Wear was diagnosed with appendicitis. He averaged 10.9 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game in 32 contests last season. Then freshman Isaac Hamilton's National Letter of Intent appeal was not granted, as determined by an appeals committee. Hamilton will be able to play as a sophomore at UCLA in 2014-15.

• Iowa State senior forward Melvin Ejim, the Big 12's leading rebounder and an All-Conference preseason pick, is expected to miss a month following a knee injury sustained in practice. Among the games he is expected to miss is a battle vs. Michigan.

• Maryland suffered a blow when guard Seth Allen suffered a broken foot. He is expected to miss around two months. Allen was expected to start at point guard. He averaged almost 8 points per game last season.

• A fabulous move by the Big East, bringing in Tom Jernstedt to help out. Jernstedt is highly respected in basketball circles.

• Baylor got a boost when guard Royce O'Neale, a transfer from Denver, was granted immediate eligibility. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged over 11 points per game and adds depth to a squad that has Brady Heslip in the backcourt. There have been so many transfers granted waivers to play immediately this season.

• There were suspensions for two players. Memphis freshman Kuran Iverson for playing in an unsanctioned summer league game. Texas A&M guard J-Mychal Reese, who started 25 games last season, was suspended indefinitely for violating athletic department rules.

• I do not take too much stock in exhibition scores. I remember when Lemoyne beat Syracuse a few years ago and the Orange did just fine. UNLV lost to Division II Dixie State, 71-70 at the Thomas and Mack. Bryce DeJean-Jones suffered an injury in that game which hurt the Rebels. St. John's beat Division II San Francisco State by two points. Steve Lavin's team has some work to do. Wyoming beat UC-Colorado Springs by four in an exhibition; Larry Shyatt's team almost blew a 24-point halftime lead.