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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Breakfast Buffet: St. John’s lands key transfer

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Jamal Branch (Getty Images)

1. Khem Birch's decision to enroll at UNLV overshadowed the other former top 100 recruit who announced Monday night where he intends to transfer. Ex-Texas A&M point guard Jamal Branch, who averaged 4.2 points and 2.5 assists in 11 games for the Aggies, chose St. John's over Maryland, UCLA, Arizona and Marquette. Branch becomes eligible in mid-December and should receive immediate playing time for a Red Storm program that lost several members of its 2011 class to eligibility issues or transfers.

2. Amid criticism over struggling Wisconsin still checking in at No. 2 in his rankings, college hoops statistical guru Ken Pomeroy responded to the many inquiries he has received via an FAQ on his website. The gist of his response? He doesn't believe Wisconsin is the second best team in America and his system can't properly rank all 345 teams every year, but you shouldn't trash it because of "the biggest outlier over the last six years."

3. The latest chapter in Todd O'Brien's bid to earn the right to play at UAB this season came Monday when the big man told that he would gladly waive his right to privacy so that Saint Joseph's can explain why it won't release him. Saint Joseph's has hidden behind the veil of  student privacy in its refusal to comment the past few weeks, but don't look for the school to alter its approach now. If Phil Martelli was going to divulge his thought process, it would have happened weeks ago.

4. Two significant storylines emerged after Cincinnati edged host Georgetown 68-64 on Monday night to deal the Hoyas their second loss in two games. It provided redemption for a Bearcats team coming off a woeful 22 percent shooting night in a bad loss at St. John's on Saturday and it raised concern among Georgetown fans that the Hoyas could be headed for their usual second-half collapse.

5. The last time a Washington football player joined its basketball team, Nate Robinson led the Huskies to two straight NCAA tournaments and became a first-round pick in the 2005 NBA draft. Don't look for freshman Austin Seferian-Jenkins to make that kind of impact, but the 6-foot-6, 258-pound tight end says he'll contribute in any way he can. Seferian-Jenkins averaged 19 points and eight rebounds per game as a senior at Gig Harbor High.

As cheesy early-90s sitcom theme songs go, Family Matters' "As Days Go By" rivaled even Full House's "Everywhere You Look" for the poll position in its genre. This Kansas State spoof set to "As Days Go By" will bring a smile to your face, though a cameo appearance from Urkel spliced in would have been a nice touch.

"Bazz wants to go to a program that has a chance to win a national championship. UNLV is putting the pieces together to be in that position. They are close to home and have a great style of play. Getting players like Khem Birch only strengthens UNLV in the eyes of Shabazz." — Ron Holmes, father of the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2012, Shabazz Muhammad, after UNLV added Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch on Monday. (

• Florida State at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. EST

• Baylor at Kansas State, 8 p.m. EST

• Northern Iowa at Creighton, 9 p.m. EST

• Miami at North Carolina, 9 p.m. EST

• Ohio State at Illinois, 9 p.m. EST

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