1. Start off college hoops season with a look at the teams who have tweaked or altered their uniforms or court designs for the new season, courtesy of ESPN's Uni Watch. From names on the back of Gonzaga's jerseys, to Maryland's one-time only Brookyln Dodgers-inspired look, to Long Beach State's beach-themed basketball floor, everything you could possibly want is there.
2. The top TV market for college basketball won't come as a surprise. It's Louisville, which has produced ESPN's highest ratings for the past 10 seasons. Just behind Louisville last season: Greensboro, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham and Columbus. And a bonus projection for this coming season? With Indiana ranked No. 1 and Notre Dame and Butler expected to contend in their leagues, I'm guessing Indianapolis rises from No. 9.
3. The NCAA granting Omar Oraby a waiver to be eligible to play for USC this season is significant for two reasons. First, the 7-foot-2 Rice transfer gives the Trojans a rebounding and shot-blocking presence in the paint to pair with fellow 7-footer DeWayne Dedmon. Second, it greatly increases the probability fellow Rice transfer Arsalan Kazemi becomes eligible right away for Oregon. If that happens, watch for the Ducks to make a push into NCAA tournament contention.
4. The three-game suspension of Saint Joseph's leading scorer Carl Jones is more significant than it sounds. Even though one of the games Jones will miss is Thursday's exhibition matchup with Wheeling Jesuit and another is a winnable clash with Yale, the third is a game against Notre Dame on a neutral court in Brooklyn. The Hawks' schedule doesn't feature many opportunities for marquee non-conference wins, so that's a game they'd like to have Jones available.
5. Looking for college basketball's most comprehensive must-follow list on Twitter? NBCSports.com's Troy Machir has you covered. From bloggers to beat writers, from the America East to the SEC, this is unquestionably the most extensive, exhaustive list of college basketball references you'll find.
Freelance designer Charles Sollars has no affiliation with Nike or Adidas, but he created some internet buzz earlier this year by releasing new-look uniform combinations for such programs as Oregon and Nebraska football. In his latest work, Sollars created sample concepts for Louisville basketball, some of which are a bit too outlandish but others of which actually have potential.
"We always cry about the sacrifices we have to make like having to go to tutors and go to class and practice. They sacrifice being away from their family for years. That's kind of emotional for me." Michigan State forward Derrick Nix after spending time with U.S troops on an air base in Germany in advance of Friday's season opener against UConn. (Detroit Free Press)
• Lehigh at Baylor, 5 p.m. EST
• UConn vs. Michigan State, 5:30 p.m. EST (Germany)
• Ohio State vs. Marquette, 7 p.m. EST (Charleston)
• North Texas at Creighton, 8:05 p.m. EST
• Kentucky vs. Maryland, 8:30 p.m. EST (Brooklyn)
• Florida vs. Georgetown, 9 p.m. EST (Jacksonville)
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