Breakfast Buffet: Steve Lavin may return to bench tonight

Breakfast Buffet: Missouri’s departure threatens Border War

1. Just over a month after undergoing prostate cancer surgery, St. John's coach Steve Lavin returned to practice on Tuesday. It's still undecided whether Lavin will coach the team's game against Lehigh Wednesday night after missing the season opener versus William & Mary on Monday. "I'm definitely feeling closer to full strength, and eager for a return to the sidelines," Lavin said in a statement released by the school Tuesday.

2. Gonzaga forward Elias Harris hopes shedding 11 pounds over the summer by eating healthier will enable him to regain the explosiveness he lacked during an injury-plagued sophomore season. "Being lighter contributes to my game because I'm a player that uses quickness and speed and balance," he told the Spokane Spokesman-Review. "I feel bouncier and quicker with my moves. I didn't lose my strength."

3. It was difficult to believe USC coach Kevin O'Neill when he claimed DeWayne Dedmon could be a lottery pick as soon as next June, but this excellent Sports Illustrated profile of the mysterious 7-footer sheds some light on why that may not be ridiculous. Dedmon did not play basketball or any other organized sports until his senior year of high school because his ultra-religious mother forbade it, yet he already has made enough strides to be USC's starting center a mere three years later.

4. The tragic story of the death of Thomas Robinson's mother has been told many times in the past year, but never in the detail ESPN The Magazine's Tom Friend achieves. The vivid description of the night the Kansas forward received the phone call from his younger sister is superb writing yet difficult to get through without tissues handy.

5. Whenever Tu Holloway needed motivation in the weight room or the gym this summer, all the Xavier guard had to do was think back to his horrific five-point, 1-for-8 shooting night against Marquette in the NCAA tournament last March. "At the biggest time, one of the biggest games in my life, I played one of my worst games," Holloway said. "That's not supposed to happen." {YSP:MORE}

Breakfast Buffet: Missouri’s departure threatens Border War

If you're curious about how the court on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson will look when Michigan State and North Carolina play there Friday, this video shot by the U.S. Navy offers an early glimpse. Let's hope the rare rain storm projected to hit San Diego holds off long enough for the game to be held on the deck rather than in the hangar because aesthetically that will make a huge difference.

Breakfast Buffet: Missouri’s departure threatens Border War

"He was never mentally engaged with defense — ever. And he tries as hard on the defensive end now as he tries on the offensive end. That's really saying something because that kid has to try really hard on the offensive end the way he gets covered. His effort defensively has just been phenomenal." — Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings on John Jenkins' improvement on defense. (Nashville Tennessean)

Breakfast Buffet: Missouri’s departure threatens Border War

• Akron at Mississippi State, 7 p.m. EST

• Lehigh at St. John's, 7 p.m. EST

• Liberty at Texas A&M, 8 p.m. EST

• Duquesne at Arizona, 9 p.m. EST

Breakfast Buffet: Missouri’s departure threatens Border War

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