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Jeff Eisenberg

Breakfast buffet: West Virginia adds missing piece

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Pull up a chair and sit down at the breakfast buffet, a daily assortment of all the freshest newsworthy college hoops stories on the net. To make a submission, contact me via email or twitter.

• What do you get when a top 10 team gains the low-post presence it has been lacking? We'll find out Wednesday night when 6-foot-9 Turkish freshman Deniz Kilicli makes his debut for West Virginia against arch-rival Pittsburgh. Kilicli, ineligible for the first 20 games of the Mountaineers' season, immediately becomes West Virginia's "best low-post scorer," according to Bob Huggins. Hmmm, intriguing.

• A 3-6 start to Big Ten play put Northwestern's hopes of earning its first NCAA bid on life support, but the Cats began to dig out of that hole with a solid home win over Michigan. The remaining Big Ten schedule is manageable, so don't count out Northwestern just yet.

• Even in defeat, Michigan got a bit of good news when junior Manny Harris said he'd be back next season and will not enter the NBA draft. Could be that Harris values education and thinks the Wolverines can contend next season, but the cynic in me wonders if it's because he's a projected mid-second rounder.

• Can we put this silly talk of a rift between John Wall and John Calipari behind us now please? In his first game since suggesting Calipari's harsh assessments of his game were taking the fun out of basketball for him, Wall had 17 points and 7 assists Tuesday as Kentucky cruised past Ole Miss at home.

• Oh, and lest we forget, Yahoo's Jason King reminds us that Kentucky has another freshman besides Wall who's not half bad. That would be DeMarcus Cousins, the guy who Calipari called the best big man he's ever coached after the 6-foot-11 freshman posted his fifth straight double-double against Ole Miss.

• Does Wichita State have any chance of playing its way into at-large contention and making it a two-team race in the Missouri Valley Conference? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, the Shockers (19-4, 8-3) will need to beat league-leading Northern Iowa (19-2, 10-1) Wednesday night.

• Syracuse survived a major scare in Tuesday's victory over Providence when leading scorer Wesley Johnson was undercut on an alley-oop attempt, somersaulted in the air and landed with a thud on the back of his head. Said a sore but otherwise uninjured Jonson after the game: "I'm not gonna look at it. ... I'll have nightmares if I see that."

• Slightly different assignment this week for the Kansas scout team as it prepares the Jayhawks for Colorado's precision Princeton offense. Last week the scout team's task was to maul, push, tackle and punch the Kansas starters on the way to the rim to get them ready for rivalry games with Mizzou and Kansas State.

• A few days after the ninth anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of 10 members of the Oklahoma State basketball family, ESPN anaylst and former Cowboy Doug Gottlieb shares his memories of the tragedy and those that died.

• We finish out West, where WAC contender New Mexico State got great news Tuesday when sophomore Troy Gillenwater regained his elibility after an appeal to the NCAA. Gillenwater, who averaged 12.1 points per game as a freshman, had previously been declared academically ineligible.

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