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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December 8, 2015 The Morning Dish No Comments

With Monday night being a mostly quiet one on the college basketball schedule, it left us a little more time to think of former Butler center Andrew Smith, as he enters yet another battle.

Sad news in the college basketball world was shared Monday morning by Andrew Smith’s wife Sam, who revealed her husband is now fighting leukemia. It’s the latest unfortunate turn of health for the former big man who was a member of the Bulldogs’ national runners-up teams in 2010 and 2011.

Smith previously beat lymphoma and survived cardiac arrest-CBSSports.com’s Matt Norlander wrote a terrific piece about it in March-and had just gotten back out of the hospital after the cancer returned. A bone marrow transplant in early November kept him hospitalized until being discharged Nov. 30, but Sam Smith wrote on her blog yesterday that they were re-admitted two days later.

Upon receiving test results back, the Smiths found out that Andrew Smith’s lymphoma has turned into leukemia. According to Sam Smith on their blog: “It has transformed from a lymphoma into leukemia; this means it is no longer a targeted mass that we can treat, it is now running through the veins of his entire body in his blood. I won’t mince words; this is very, very bad news. We are worried. We are scared. We are devastated.”

The Smiths are asking for prayers at this time, for healing for Andrew and for strength and wisdom for the Smiths in an incredibly difficult time. We are glad to oblige and hope others will too.

By the way, Smith’s former team was in action Monday night, and Butler defeated VMI 93-66 to improve to 7-1. Smith was in the hearts of the Bulldogs last night as well, as he was mentioned on the video board during the first half of the game.

Side Dishes

  • Monday also was the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. In tribute, the Pearl Harbor Invitational took place in Hawaii, where Oklahoma made a big statement with a 78-55 win over Villanova in a matchup of top 10 teams. Isaiah Cousins put together a huge line with 19 points, 10 assists and six boards, and the Wildcats had one of those bad shooting games that seem to hit them every so often, making just 31.7% of their shots, including 4 of 32 from three-point range. In the second game, Oregon finally put away stubborn Navy 67-47 despite playing without Tyler Dorsey, who rested a tweaked knee sustained Friday night against UNLV.
  • The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference had a busy schedule of conference games, and of particular note: Howard rallied to beat North Carolina Central 71-69 as James Daniel hit the game-winner-his second this season. Daniel also drilled one against William & Mary last month. The Bison win also ends a pair of streaks. NCCU had a 38-game home court win streak-second-longest in Division I-but that is history after their first loss at home since Dec. 2012. The Eagles also saw the end of their 32-game MEAC regular season winning streak.
  • A pair of Big Ten teams were dominant at home as Purdue pulled away from IUPUI in the second half for an 80-53 win and Iowa blew out Western Illinois 90-56 with Jarrod Uthoff scoring 27.
  • Iowa State got a scare from Buffalo for a while before pulling away for an 84-63 win. Georges Niang tallied 31 points and added 12 boars.
  • Mid-American schools won a pair of close ones. Western Michigan nipped Northeastern 87-86 in overtime, giving the Huskies a pair of losses in their trip to Michigan, while Kent State rallied in the second half to beat NJIT 80-75.
  • College of Charleston continues to build off that LSU win, defeating East Carolina 77-73.
  • Boston College lost to Massachusetts-Lowell on Sunday, and now reports are the Eagles may have have eight-and maybe as many as 10-players on the team who are sick from E.coli bacteria. It’s possible their sickness may even relate to eating at a Chipotle restaurant, which has been dealing with a national outbreak of the bacteria at its restaurants. The Eagles are scheduled to play Providence on Wednesday, and currently that game is in question as to whether it will be played, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz.

Today’s menu: Really a very nice schedule for early December

  • The Jimmy V Classic features a doubleheader worthy of the history of doubleheaders at Madison Square Garden. The first game has West Virginia against Virginia (7 p.m. EST, ESPN) in an outstanding clash of styles. The second features Maryland vs. Connecticut (8:30 p.m., ESPN), and this is another prime opportunity for the Huskies to get a top-flight non-conference win.
  • The Huskies have beaten Michigan, which falls outside that top 25-30 level for now, but the Wolverines can work towards eventually make a case as such a team if they can win at SMU (9 p.m., ESPN2).
  • Florida is at Miami (7 p.m., ESPN2). A win here and a respectable showing Saturday against Michigan State could certainly get the Gators into the top 25.
  • After in-state rival South Dakota defeated Minnesota on Saturday, South Dakota State looks to pin the Golden Gophers with consecutive losses to schools from the state neighboring to their west.
  • Undefeated Houston faces its stiffest challenge so far when it travels to face Rhode Island, which is still smarting from a loss at the buzzer to rival Providence on Saturday.
  • Evansville is quietly putting together a very nice non-conference resume, and the Purple Aces could add another solid chip if they can win at Arkansas.
  • Red-hot A.J. English and Iona hit the road again, going halfway across country to face enigmatic Tulsa.
  • Stony Brook gave Vanderbilt all it could handle earlier this year, and the Seawolves take another shot at a name opponent when they go to Notre Dame (9 p.m., ESPNU). Two outstanding individual matchups in this one with SBU’s Jameel Warney against Zach Auguste and ND’s Demetrius Jackson vs. Carson Puriefoy at the point.

Have a terrific Tuesday…

Twitter: @HoopvilleAdam

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