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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Breakfast Buffet: St. John’s takes time to help those in need in San Francisco

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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St. John's players volunteered Sunday at the San Francisco Food Bank (via. St. John's athletics)

1. Before they toured Alcatraz or visited the Golden Gate Bridge in advance of their game at San Francisco this week, members of the St. John's basketball team stopped somewhere not normally considered a tourist attraction. The team volunteered Sunday at the San Francisco Food Bank, which supplies soup kitchens, churches, and Boys and Girls Clubs in the area. St. John's coach Steve Lavin is a San Francisco native, so the Johnnies have played in the Bay Area each of his first three seasons.

2. In an era when virtually every top U.S. basketball player crisscrosses the nation during high school playing on the AAU circuit, Georgetown's Otto Porter is the exception. USA Today's Nicole Auerbach profiles Porter by visiting his tiny hometown in Missouri to show how the standout forward took a different path to stardom, bypassing the AAU circuit in favor of daily pickup games with his friends and family.

[Also: Jim Calhoun reveals he had cancer surgery, may coach again]

3. North Carolina received good news Monday on starting point guard Marcus Paige, who sat out Saturday's win over UAB after jamming his left shoulder during practice on Friday. Coach Roy Williams said on his weekly radio show X-rays were negative and Paige could play as soon as Saturday against East Tennessee State. "He did have better range of motion today than he did yesterday, and it was better yesterday than it was Saturday," Williams said. "I'm hopeful that by Wednesday he'll be able to practice."

4. To honor legendary coach Rick Majerus, Utah athletic director Chris Hill announced Monday the school will hang a replica of Majerus' famous sweater from the rafters of the Huntsman Center. Majerus led Utah to nine NCAA tournament bids, most memorably taking the Utes to the national title game in 1998. "We want people to know it's Rick," Hill said. "You'll know it's a sweater, but at the same time it won't diminish anybody else who is out there."

5. Providence could have only six scholarship players available when it faces in-state rival Rhode Island on Thursday. Bryce Cotton is questionable for the game after twisting his knee in the first half of Saturday's win over Mississippi State. There's a chance highly touted freshman guard Kris Dunn will make his college debut Thursday, but it's probably more likely the Friars wait until Dec. 18 against Colgate.

Occasionally, CBS analyst Clark Kellogg will make an observation that baffles his audience. During Saturday's Kentucky-Baylor game, he also managed to befuddle his broadcast partner. The uncomfortable yet amusing exchange above begins when Kellogg sends poor Jim Nantz scrambling for his Merriam-Webster dictionary by describing Baylor's Isaiah Austin as "gracile," meaning "gracefully slender." In Nantz's defense, he's probably still in NFL mode these days and there's no way Phil Simms is throwing around words like that.

"You can't say what you want to say anyway because it's all monitored, so might as well not have it. It was a lot more fun having Twitter as a high school kid." -- Kentucky freshman Willie Cauley-Stein on deleting his Twitter account this weekend. Negative tweets from fans after the Wildcats' loss to Baylor also played a role in his decision. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

• Oklahoma at Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET

• Texas vs. Georgetown, 7 p.m. ET

• South Dakota State at Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET

• Wyoming at Illinois State, 8:05 p.m. ET

• NC State vs. UConn, 9 p.m. ET

• Louisville at Charleston, 9 p.m. ET

• Northwestern at Baylor, 9 p.m. ET

• Southern Miss at Arizona, 9:30 p.m. ET

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