3-point shot: UConn, Cincy still relevant

April, 23, 2013
4/23/13
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1. The ACC's commitment should hold off any major expansion or alignment issues, assuming the Big Ten doesn't see the need to raid a lesser conference. This doesn't mean the ACC won't decide independently to go to 16 schools and potentially add Connecticut and Cincinnati. This is still more than plausible since 16 is a more manageable number than 15. Neither makes sense for the Big Ten since that league already has the Cincinnati market with Ohio State and doesn't need Hartford-Storrs. So, if UConn and Cincinnati have to stay in the newly named American Conference they shouldn't be sentenced to purgatory. Having each other, Louisville for a year, and perennial NCAA teams Memphis and Temple will give the two former Big East programs at least three top 50 games every season. If these teams schedule right outside the league -- and they likely will -- then making the NCAA tournament shouldn't be an issue. For those who squabble about the lack of quality opponents in the conference season then remember this: All that matters is tournament access. And UConn and Cincinnati will have a legitimate shot every season to make the field.

2. Providence coach Ed Cooley said it was worthwhile to have Ricky Ledo practice with the team for a season, even though Ledo will never play for the Friars after being declared academically ineligible and he decided to declare for the NBA draft. "The year off helped him see the game differently," said Cooley. "I told him to come to practice with a purpose and within the purpose what is his plan. He definitely improved defensively. We would have loved to have had him. Had he played for us he would have been one of the leading scorers in the country next season. But our guys got to play against him and got better. Our scout team was unbelievable.''

3. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said Marshall Henderson is staying in Oxford this summer, taking classes and working on his game. The high-volume shooter is working on his ballhandling and strength, according to Kennedy. Henderson has to diversify his game if he wants to play in the NBA. He returns for his senior season as one of the storylines and with plenty of hype to lead the Rebels back to the NCAA tournament.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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