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Mack embraces challenge at Louisville

(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Chris Mack expected big changes when he left a school coming off a NCAA Tournament No. 1 seeding for scandal-plagued program with a rich basketball tradition.

Louisville's first-year coach hit the ground running after leaving Xavier, attracting several transfers to supplement the Cardinals' reserve holdovers. Mack's challenge will be melding them into a cohesive rotation he hopes can be competitive.

"We've got a lot to learn, but I've seen a lot of growth in our team over the last two-and-a-half, three weeks," Mack said during Friday's media day. "There's a lot more to come, but the attitude's been great. I think our guys are improving, and their willingness to improve has been really impressive.

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Lawyer: Head coaches knew of payouts

NEW YORK (AP) A lawyer for a longtime Adidas employee urged jurors Thursday to use common sense and evidence to conclude college basketball coaches like Bill Self at Kansas and Rick Pitino at Louisville knew shoe companies were paying money to families of elite athletes to steer them to their schools.

Attorney Michael Schachter, representing Adidas sports marketing manager James "Jim" Gatto, cited testimony and evidence that emerged during the fraud conspiracy trial of Gatto, aspiring sports agent Christopher Dawkins and Merl Code, a former Adidas consultant.

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Washington facing raised expectations

SEATTLE (AP) This time a year ago, Mike Hopkins was trying to get his inherited team to learn the system he wanted to install in his first season at Washington.

The lessons 12 months later are less about how the Huskies are going to play and more about managing expectations and building on success.

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Kentucky preseason pick to win SEC title

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Kentucky's PJ Washington says coach John Calipari has "chilled out" at practice leading up to the season.

It doesn't take as much yelling from coaches when you have a little seasoning and maturity on the roster, qualities that the Wildcats and other top Southeastern Conference teams are banking on to match - or even better - the league's strong 2017-18 season. Calipari says he hasn't had to raise his voice yet in practice.

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Duke reloaded with more touted freshmen

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) One star-studded freshman class has left Duke for the NBA. Another has come in right behind them.

A national title once again is a realistic goal for the latest crop of blue-chip Blue Devils who seem to fit into neatly defined roles.

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UFC picked to win AAC, Taylor top player

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Central Florida has been picked by coaches to win the American Athletic Conference, and Knights point guard B.J. Taylor has been named the conference's preseason player of the year.

UCF earned six of a possible 11 first-place votes and 114 points to edge Cincinnati for the No. 1 spot. Taylor was UCF's leading scorer last season, averaging 15.9 points over an injury-shortened 16 games.

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Texas G Jones suffers broken toe

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas guard Andrew Jones has fractured a toe in practice, and the school says there is no timetable for his return.

Jones had rejoined the team following his diagnosis of leukemia, which occurred in January. He sat out most of last season while undergoing treatment.

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Purdue, Painter agree on 2-yr. extension

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Purdue and men's basketball coach Matt Painter have agreed on a two-year contract extension through the 2023-24 season.

Athletic director Mike Bobinski said Friday that beginning July 2019, Painter's contract will convert to a rolling five-year term with automatic one-year extensions that could extend the agreement beyond 2023-24. The school said Painter also will receive increased compensation, but did not offer details.

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Arizona, Illinois agree to 2-year series

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Illinois said Friday it has signed a two-year contract with Arizona for a men's basketball home-and-home series in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

The Illini play in Tucson on Nov. 10, 2019, and the Wildcats will visit Champaign on Dec. 12, 2020. It will be Illinois' first non-conference home-and-home series with a Power Five program since beating Vanderbilt in 2008-09.

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Minnesota AD Coyle gets 3-year extension

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota has signed athletic director Mark Coyle to a three-year extension.

Coyle took over as head of Gophers athletics in 2016. He's made a handful of critical hires since then, including football coach P.J. Fleck, women's basketball coach Lindsay Whalen and hockey coach Bob Motzko.

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