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Jeff Eisenberg

Breakfast Buffet: West Virginia suspends its leading scorer

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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

• One day after West Virginia forward Danny Jennings apparently quit the team in the middle of a game, the Mountaineers lost another far more important player. Coach Bob Huggins announced that leading scorer Casey Mitchell has been suspended indefinitely as a result of an undisclosed team rules violation, leaving West Virginia with just eight healthy scholarship players for the time being.

• If Devoe Joseph's decision to transfer from Minnesota to Oregon wasn't strange enough when it happened earlier this month, it looks even worse now that Gophers point guard Al Nolen will miss at least a month with a foot injury. Joseph could have taken over that lead guard role from Nolen, but instead shorthanded Minnesota will have to attempt to survive without either of them until at least late February.

• Since the unusual timing of USC freshman Bryce Jones' decision to transfer last week suggested that it was more than a playing time issue, the Los Angeles Times did some digging to figure out what actually happened. The newspaper reported that Jones had confrontations with a teammate and a resident adviser, leading coach Kevin O'Neill to issue an ultimatum that he either transfer or get dismissed.

• In the wake of Mississippi State's latest double-digit loss to Georgia on Saturday, reporters asked guard Dee Bost to explain what's wrong with the Bulldogs. "The same thing I've been saying: Heart," Bost said. "That's all that's missing. If we play with heart, and we compete, we should be in every game. No way in the world we should keep losing by 20 or 10-plus. All of our games should be close."

• Central Florida may have hit the skids the past four games after a 14-0 start, but coach Donnie Jones continues to make inroads on the recruiting trail. In addition to a strong 2011 class and a couple of marquee transfers, Jones landed a commitment Monday from guard Shawn Smith, a top 100 prospect from the Class of 2012 who had offers from the likes of Florida, Florida State and West Virginia.

• SI.com's Seth Davis ranks his top 10 coach of the year candidates in this week's Hoops Thoughts column. He goes with a top three of Jim Calhoun, Steve Fisher and Jamie Dixon. I have no complaints with the top two, but I'd throw Mark Turgeon or Rick Barnes up for consideration at No. 3 ahead of Dixon.

• In addition to his mea culpa for picking Michigan State to win the national title this season, Lansing Journal beat writer Joe Rexrode offers a terrific breakdown of why the Spartans haven't lived up to expectations. Among the reasons he offers: Kalin Lucas' Achilles has healed slower than expected, Durrell Summers continues to be inconsistent, the freshmen haven't made a huge immediate impact and the three centers have shown only minimal improvement.

• Two of the nation's best big men will square off Tuesday night when JaJuan Johnson and Purdue meet Jared Sullinger and Ohio State. "They are the two best guys in the country. I don't think any other big guys have been as productive on as high a level as consistently. Both of them are spectacular," ESPN analyst Jay Bilas told the Indianapolis Star.

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