"Goongate" victim may return during NIT

Originally Published: March 16, 2005
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Saint Joseph's senior forward John Bryant practiced for the second straight day but did have soreness in his broken arm. He will dress for the Hawks' first-round NIT game against Hofstra Wednesday night but it's still doubtful that he will play. This would be his first game since breaking his arm against Temple Feb. 22.

Bryant was thought to be out for the year, but he has made a significant recovery. Saint Joseph's assistant Monte Ross said Bryant did suffer some pain when he bumped it during practice.

Stanford addition
Stanford could get a boost for a potential second-round game because it's on the quarter system.

Ineligible freshman guard Tim Morris will be eligible for a possible second-round game but he can't travel with Stanford on Wednesday for Friday's first-round game against Mississippi State.

Stanford coach Trent Johnson said Morris will make the trip on Friday to Charlotte if the Cardinal win. He said he would definitely help the Cardinal in competing against (in all likelihood) Duke in a second-round game.

Most schools are on a semester schedule but the ones that are on quarters can get players eligible during the postseason. Morris played in 12 games, averaging 19.7 minutes, and averaging 7.4 points a game.

Coaching carousel
Memphis assistant Tony Barbee, a former UMass player, informally talked to UMass Tuesday. He's considered one of many candidates for this opening. Davidson's Bob McKillop is also on the list. Other potential candidates are expected to include Manhattan's Bobby Gonzalez and former North Carolina coach Matt Doherty. ...

Former East Carolina coach Bill Herrion is expected to be in the mix at Stony Brook. ...

Expect the New Mexico State and Loyola Marymount hires to take a few more weeks. Virginia might not get done until after the Final Four since athletic director Craig Littlepage is on the tournament selection committee and will be traveling for a few weeks.

Good call by America East and Northeastern
The suspension of Jose Juan Barea for Wednesday night's NIT game at Memphis was the right call by the America East and Northeastern.

Barea clearly punched a Vermont player in the first few minutes of the America East championship game last Saturday. But he wasn't removed from the game or even issued a foul. His actions were uncalled for and the league and school realized he needed to be punished.

No regrets
Arkansas head coach Stan Heath said he's still confident he made the right decision to turn down the NIT. He doesn't believe his team was ready or should be rewarded for a postseason tournament after poor play down the stretch. He's confident that his team will be a potential NCAA team next season with the return of his core players, including Ronnie Brewer and injured forward Vincent Hunter (shoulder).

ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz brings the Daily Word five days a week to ESPN Insider.

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ESPN Senior Writer