Pitt's Brown Suspended; WVU's Mazzulla Reinstated; Acker Returns to Marquette; Louisville Hires Teague's Coach; Shaq Thomas Settles on a School | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / January 23.
  • Pitt's Brown Suspended; WVU's Mazzulla Reinstated; Acker Returns to Marquette; Louisville Hires Teague's Coach; Shaq Thomas Settles on a School

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    There has been quite a bit of movement in the Big East over the past few days…

    Pittsburgh suspended forward Gilbert Brown for the fall semester because of academic reasons.

    Brown, a redshirt junior from Harrisburg, Pa., played in 32 games off the bench last season. He scored in double figures five times and averaged 5.4 points and 3.1 rebounds.

    The 6-6, 200-pound Brown could be eligible to rejoin the team Dec. 20.

    The Panthers already lost DeJuan Blair and Tyrell Biggs. Now Brown’s absence leaves the Panthers even thinner up front. McDonald’s All-American Dante Taylor figured to be a key player as a freshman and his role may have just gotten even more important.

    Pitt opens Nov. 13 against Wofford.

    MAZZULLA REINSTATED

    West Virginia guard Joe Mazzulla was reinstated by head coach Bob Huggins.

    “Joe has done everything that has been asked of him on all fronts,” said Huggins. “I believe he deserves to be back on our roster and play for the Mountaineers.”

    Mazzulla has also been granted a medical waiver after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury last season. The Johnston, R.I., native played in seven games last season and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

    Speaking of West Virginia, the Mountaineers will play 12 non-conference contests, including home games against Ohio State, Ole Miss, Duquesne, Coppin State and Loyola College.

    West Virginia will open the regular season Nov. 15 at home against Loyola. The Mountaineers will play two home exhibition games against the University of Charleston and Mountain State. Those dates will be announced in September.

    “This is probably as good a non-conference schedule as we’ve played in a long time,” Huggins said. “We believe this is a non-conference schedule that our fans will enjoy in person and on television.”

    ACKER RETURNS TO MARQUETTE

    At Marquette, senior guard Maurice Acker will return to the team after initially deciding to skip his senior season to concentrate on academics.

    “I think the [Maurice] definitely adds an experience factor that we’re desperately in need of,”  head coach Buzz Williams told The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “He’s been through it before, he knows what’s coming—not just as it relates to our opponents, but also as it relates to our daily culture here. And I think that’s very important because he can help some of those young guys.”

    The 5-7 Acker averaged 2.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists last season and will be able to tutor freshman guard Junior Cadougan, who could start at the point, and junior college transfers Dwight Buycks and Darius Johnson-Odom.

    Marquette lost incoming guard Brett Roseboro, who transferred to St. Bonaventure.

    LOUISVILLE HIRES TEAGUE’S COACH

    Louisville hired Shabaka Lands to the position of Special Assistant to the Coach.

    Lands was an assistant coach at Indianapolis Pike High School, where he coached Marquis Teague, the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2011.

    Teague is considering Louisville, Indiana and Kentucky and recently took a visit to Kentucky. He plans to visit Louisville soon.

    Coincidence? We think not.

    There is nothing illegal about this move, but it is just another development that can make college basketball look shady.

    SHAQ THOMAS TO NIA PREP

    Shaquille Thomas, the nephew of Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Thomas, is headed to yet another school.

    Thomas enrolled at NIA Prep in Newark and will practice with the team today (Tuesday) and begin classes on Sept. 8, according to NIA coach Vincent Robinson.

    Devon Gibson of University High in Newark also enrolled at NIA.

    “Both players should improve an already impressive list of players on the roster,” Robinson said.

    The 6-foot-6 Thomas, who lives in Montclair, N.J. with his grandmother, Dorothy Thomas, began his career at Paterson Catholic, before going to Montclair High and Mountain State (W.V.) Academy.

    He considered both South Kent (Conn.) and St. Benedict’s before opting for NIA.

    (Photos courtesy Pitt, WVU, Marquette, Straitpinkie.com, NBE Basketball)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.