In The Paint

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John Thompson III
John Thompson III/AP

By Gabby Watson, producer of March To Madness

Matt Stout, Norwich Bulletin:  Georgetown's John Thompson III gets tickets to the inauguration, but what are other coaches doing to recognize Obama's inauguration?  Jim Calhoun will be in Washington DC, while others are using it as a learning opportunity for their teams.  "It's a momentous event in the history of our country," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Our players are well aware of it. I think they're huge supporters of the president-elect and I'm sure we'll all be watching and paying close attention to the inauguration and all of the events."

Steve Rivera, Tucson Citizen:  Arizona's guard Zane Johnson may finally be getting his shot at the starting Wildcats lineup.  "He's getting more comfortable with his surroundings," coach Russ Pennell said. "He's got the taste of success. He likes it and he's working at it (and) that bodes well for us having another guy who can shoot the ball."

Antonya English, St. Petersburg Times:
  Florida may be a little bit worried about their new found national ranking this season.  "It's kind of scary," junior forward Dan Werner said. "It kind of seems like we're in the same situation as we were last year after beating Vanderbilt. On one hand, I'm kind of excited. On the other hand, I'm kind of nervous. Hopefully, we don't follow the same path as we did last year."

Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News:
  Michigan's basketball team has fallen on hard times as of late, slipping out of the national polls.  It doesn't get any easier as the Wolverines face a plucky Penn State team.  "We had a difficult week last week with the loss at Illinois and a really disappointing loss to Ohio State (last Saturday at Crisler Arena)," coach John Beilein said. "We've got to go do it one more time and go to Penn State."

Dustin Dopirak, Harrisonburg Daily News Record:  Juwann James, James Madison's most consistent player could be back into the starting lineup today as he was sorely missed because of pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart.

Doug Blackburn, Florida Today
FSU's Toney Douglas has become the undisputed leader of this year's Seminoles team.  "It came natural to me starting this year, being more vocal," the 6-foot-2 Douglas said. "Now I'm the main one talking. They look to me. I love it."

Greg Auman, St. Petersburg Times
Highly regarded recruit Gus Gilchrist is finally starting to pay dividends for South Florida as he has improved steadily in multiple facets of the game.  "He's not as bad as he was defensively," coach Stan Heath says with a laugh.

 

 

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