Some college basketball news and notes.
• From the "wow, really?" file: The ageless Juwan Howard won an NBA title ring with the Miami Heat on Thursday night, becoming the first member of Michigan's famed "Fab Five" to get a title ring. It's true: Michigan won zero Big Ten titles during the quintet's time at the school, and none had won an NBA title before Howard.
• The United States won the FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Sao Sebastiáo dos Paraiso, Brazil, by blitzing the field and going 5-0 in the tournament. The U.S. team, coached by Florida's Billy Donovan and made up mostly of incoming freshmen, beat Brazil 81-56 in the final. The U.S. also had beaten Brazil 83-64 in the final preliminary-round game; the other victories came over the Virgin Islands (105-42), Mexico (83-64) and Argentina (107-72). The victory qualifies the United States for next summer's FIBA U19 World Championship. The 12-member team was led in scoring and rebounding in the tourney by high school senior Julius Randle (14.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg), a power forward from Plano, Texas, currently the No. 3 player in the 2013 recruiting class. The other players, listed in order of their scoring average in the tourney (all are incoming freshmen except where noted): Tennessee sophomore-to-be F Jarnell Stokes, Memphis F Shaq Goodwin, Duke G Rasheed Sulaimon, Maryland F Jake Layman, Oklahoma State G Marcus Smart, North Carolina State G Rodney Purvis, Syracuse F Jerami Grant, Louisville F Montrezl Harrell, high school senior G Nathaniel Britt (a North Carolina commitment), Wisconsin F Sam Dekker and Pittsburgh G James Robinson. The top four scorers averaged in double figures, and Smart led the team in assists and steals. Britt, Grant, Randle, Smart and Stokes were the starters in all five games. Every player averaged in double-figure minutes, topped by Britt's 21.6 per game.
• Elijah Macon was expected to provide an immediate impact in West Virginia's frontcourt next season. Instead, Macon – a four-star recruit who was the nation's No. 56 overall prospect – will head to prep school to improve his academics. Macon is from Columbus, Ohio, but attended Huntington (W.Va.) Prep. WVU has Deniz Kilicli and Aaron Murray (a transfer from La Salle) up front, but still will miss Macon's size (he's 6 feet 8 and 230 pounds) and physical nature. He will attend Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy.
• The Colonial Athletic Association usually has one of the more entertaining mid-major tournaments. That won't be the case next season. VCU already has left the league, departing for the Atlantic 10. Georgia State and Old Dominion will be in the CAA next season, but are leaving after the season and as such won't be allowed to participate in the league tournament. And Towson and UNC Wilmington are barred from postseason play because of poor APR numbers. That means the CAA is going to have a seven-team tourney next season (Delaware, Drexel, George Mason, Hofstra, James Madison, Northeastern and William & Mary). Georgia State and ODU are eligible for the NCAA tourney, but they would have to get in as at-large selections.
• As for Towson, the school announced that guard Four McGlynn has transferred in from Vermont. Along with having one of the cooler names in college basketball, McGlynn was the America East rookie of the year last season and helped Vermont make it to the NCAA tournament. McGlynn led Vermont in scoring (12.0 ppg), and was the only player in the nation to lead his team in scoring without having started a game. He shot 88.9 percent from the line, which led all freshmen nationally. He will sit out next season and have three seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2013-14.
• Oregon State broke ground on a 35,000-square-foot, $15 million practice facility this week; it is scheduled to be completed next spring. Among those in attendance at the event were former Oregon State stars A.C. Green, Steve Johnson and Gary Payton. "This raises the bar for us," coach Craig Robinson said. "We want to be an elite program. We want to win the Pac-12. We don't just want to be in the Pac-12. We want to go to the NCAA tournament annually. And we want to graduate 100 percent of our players. The impact of this facility is going to help us do that." A bit of hyperbole there. Yes, facilities are important. But players win games, not buildings. It's too bad Green, Johnson and Payton can't suit up again for the Beavers.
• The South Padre Island Invitational announced its eight-team field for next season; it's not going to be must-watch basketball. The eight: Delaware State, Farleigh Dickinson, Illinois State, Navy, Northwestern, Prairie View, TCU and UAB. Each team will play four games, the first two at campus sites and the final two rounds at the South Padre Island (Texas) Convention Center on Nov. 23 and 24.
Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Mark Spitz's seven golds: part coronation, part redemption
• Jeff Passan: MLB’s blackout problem keeps sport in dark ages
• Packers safety hasn’t had a haircut in seven years
• Shine: The five worst healthy fast food meals for kids