NCAA BB Today - November 8

NCAA BB Today - November 8

Two San Francisco players declared ineligible
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco forwards Vince Polakovic and Jay Watkins are ineligible and will miss the Dons' season-opening road trip to Oklahoma for the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.

Watkins, a sophomore, is academically ineligible, while the university is working with the NCAA to determine Polakovic's eligibility. He is a senior and native of Slovakia who played sparingly for the Dons last season following his transfer from Northern Iowa.

Watkins was named to the West Coast Conference all-freshman team after averaging 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds last season.

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Coach says G Avery Smith booted from Wis.-Milwaukee
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MILWAUKEE -- Scoring leader Avery Smith was tossed off Wisconsin-Milwaukee's basketball team Wednesday, a day after his suspension.

Panthers coach Rob Jeter suspended Smith for an unspecified violation of team rules a half hour before Milwaukee opened its season by beating Wisconsin-Parkside in an exhibition game Thursday night. The school said Smith would remain on scholarship.

''It has become clear we need to move forward as a team and a program without Avery,'' Jeter said in a statement. ''I've focused a lot on team chemistry and togetherness and now it is time to move into the season with a group that is committed to those ideas.''

Smith averaged 15.5 points last season and was on the Horizon League's preseason all-conference team this year.

Milwaukee opens its regular season Friday against Upper Iowa.

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Coaches vs. Cancer preview
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STORRS REGIONAL

Buffalo Bulls at Connecticut Huskies: Thursday, 9 p.m.


The Bulls relied on tough in-you-face defense and the hot hand of Greg Gamble to get past Ohio Valley on Wednesday night. Seven-footer Andrew Atman was big down the stretch and finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Huskies appeared out of sync on Wednesday tossing away passes and committing 18 turnovers. This careless play nearly cost them 69-65 win over Morgan State as big 26-point favorites. UConn is still ironing out coach Jim Calhoun’s new uptempo schemes and until the do bettors could suffer.

NORMAN REGIONAL

Denver Pioneers vs. East Central Oklahoma Tigers: Thursday, 5 p.m.

New head coach Joe Scott is trying to get the Pioneers out of the drudges of the Sun Belt after a 4-25 record last season. In order to turn the program around, Scott is going to need a lot from returning starters Tyler Bullock and Adam Tanner. The two combined for 16 points per game last year.

The ECU Tigers bring back two starters, senior Terrell Carpenter and junior forward Ian Adams. They also claimed Division I transfers Justin Wilkerson from Texas Tech and Dominique Scales from Maine. The Tigers play an exhibition warmup with Oklahoma State on Tuesday before facing Denver on Thursday.

San Francisco Dons at Oklahoma Sooners: Thursday, 8 p.m.

San Fran’s quickness in the backcourt is probably its biggest weapon versus Oklahoma along with former Big 12 forward Dior Lowhorn, who was a standout at Texas Tech. The Dons are still reeling from key roster losses in the offseason and a disappointing finish to last season.

The Sooners are also coming off a disappointing and tumultuous season. To turn the program around, head coach Jeff Capel brings in some new blood to help out senior center Longar Longar on the blocks. Top recruit Blake Griffin carries some lofty expectations and according to his exhibition efforts, the 6-foot-10 forward is going to live up to them. Griffin is averaging over 18 points per game in Oklahoma’s two tuneup games.

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