Breakfast buffet: Butler tries to break title game jinx

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.

• For all the success Butler has experienced in the Horizon League this decade, the Bulldogs are somehow only 1-4 in conference tournament title games since 2003. Butler will try to reverse that jinx and win its 20th game in a row when it meets Wright State in the Horizon League finals on Tuesday night. "Losing the tournament last year really fueled our focus for this year," Butler sophomore guard Ronald Nored said.

• Seattle University's Charles Garcia became one of the first early entry candidates to declare for the draft on Monday, not bothering to even wait to see if his team will earn a postseason bid before announcing he'll hire an agent. Garcia, a 6-foot-10 big man with impressive athleticism and ball-handling skills, is currently projected as a mid-second round draft pick.

• Kimmie English may be the star of an NCAA tournament-bound Missouri team now, but back in grade school he had a terrible stutter that made him a target of bullies and kept him from even speaking for days at a time. "I got teased in school," English said. "Can you imagine a boy in the second grade stuttering and his name's Kim?"

• Here's how far Texas has fallen since being ranked No. 1 six weeks ago: The best-case scenario Austin American Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls could come up with for the Longhorns is a run to the semifinals of the Big 12 tourney and then a berth in the Sweet 16. And the worst-case scenario? Well, let's just say Bohls can envision the Horns not winning again this season.

• Villanova's Taylor King may not play in the Wildcats' Big East tournament opener on Thursday, though we really don't have any solid information as to why. King did not break any team rules nor is he injured, but Villanova coach Jay Wright and King would both prefer to keep the issue in-house.

• Bob Nash was a member of the "Fabulous Five" teams at Hawaii that compiled a 47-8 record during 1970-71 and 1971-72 seasons, but his coaching tenure at the school has been less successful. Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan fired Nash on Monday after a 10-20 season, his third straight in which the team finished well under .500. "I hope it's the toughest day of my career, and that I don't have to deal with something like this again, because Bob's such a good man," Donovan said.

• You can understand Lorenzo Romar's frustration at Cal's Jerome Randle winning Pac-10 player of the year over Washington's Quincy Pondexter. Randle earned the award as the best player on the Pac-10 champion, but Washington's Jon Brockman lost out to Arizona State's James Harden even though the Huskies won the conference outright last season.

• Your four regional hosts for next season's Coaches vs. Cancer Classic will be Pittsburgh, Texas, Maryland and Illinois, a quartet that looks excellent now but may be diminished if some underclassmen choose to come out early. Among the other entrants are Rhode Island, College of Charleston, Illinois-Chicago, Louisiana Tech, Navy, Seattle, Toledo and UC Irvine.

• USC coach Kevin O'Neill fired two assistant coaches left over from the Tim Floyd regime,'s Gary Parrish reports. Gib Arnold and Phil Johnson each spent five years with the Trojans.

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