When asked about Harkless not playing against the Bulls, Vaughn gave an indication that he was resting the rookie acquired in the Dwight Howard trade....
Harkless was averaging 17.7 minutes in 27 games, He has not been a factor offensively, averaging 3.9 points. But he has been decent defensively, averaging 3.7 rebounds and blocking 17 shots.
There is a chance the Red Storm could get center Orlando Sanchez cleared by the NCAA in the coming weeks, The Post has learned.
Sanchez, a 6-9, 214-pound rebounder and shot blocker, has been awaiting word on his case, which centers on eligibility because of his age. Because of a difficult family upbringing in the Dominican Republic which included financial hardship, Sanchez, 24, graduated from high school at an advanced age.
He received his associate degree from Monroe College but the NCAA needs documentation that he experienced "financial hardship beyond an individual's control" to clear him. The Post has learned that St. John's is in the process of securing important documentation for Sanchez’s case file with the NCAA.
"If they do [form a Catholic league], they risk losing the conference label and then they risk losing the contact with Madison Square Garden for the tournament," the source said. "They don’t want to make a mistake by jumping out early and then not being able to get a pretty good TV deal, even though it’s going to be obviously much less on the basketball side.
"That’s why it’s a waiting game because they’re worried about if they did something collectively and tried to reform with others. It all goes around to the brand of the Big East and the Garden."
Murray State has suspended sophomore guard Zay Jackson for the season.
Jackson was arrested for hitting two people with his car last month in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Despite such an ugly scene, it looked as though Murray State was going to bring Jackson back sometime this season, even though he was suspended indefinitely -- that was until the video of the incident leaked out.
Jackson, who averaged 4.9 points last season and was expected to start for Steve Prohm and the Racers this season, pleaded guilty and received a 30-day sentence. He was expected to return to court on Nov. 30, when the judge could alter the plea deal.
After helping lead St. John's to a pair of shutouts as part of a 1-0-1 week in conference action, Jack Bennett was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week and Rafael Diaz was selected to the Weekly Honor Roll.
WHAT IS YOUR TIMETABLE FOR DECIDING? "Before the season starts, actually I don’t want to go into the season and after a game, ‘Oh, I have to talk to this coach or this coach.’ I just want to get it off my back before the season and have fun."
Brey wants to play the Big East's Catholic-based institutions in nonconference home-and-home series, especially long-standing rivals Marquette and DePaul. Brey said he wants to add Villanova, St. John's and possibly Georgetown in the rotation of schools the Irish want to play. Brey said he wants to play at least two to three of those five schools every season.
"We're not in Philadelphia anymore so we definitely want Villanova, we want to go to New York with St. John's and keep DePaul and Marquette,'' Brey said. "We will be in the DC area with Maryland, but we'd still like to play Georgetown. Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, St. John's and possibly Georgetown are definitely the five I'd like to do.''
Not mentioned, however, was that ESPN is not an unbiased observer offering objective analysis. The network has a $3.6 billion long-term television contract with the ACC. Notre Dame enhances the value ESPN extracts from that deal. Moreover, losing Notre Dame detracts from the Big East which (a) turned down a previous extension from ESPN (b) has a negotiating window presently with ESPN and (c) may soon end up the asset of one of ESPN’s competitors.
So Lavin and his staff are now focusing on a few players in the Class of 2013, including point guard Rysheed Jordan of Philadelphia, forward Jarell Martin of Louisiana, forward Ish Wainright of Maryland and forward Jermaine Lawrence of New Jersey.
Current New York Red Bulls rookie and former St. John's men's soccer standout Connor Lade checks in at No. 17 in the MLSSoccer.com "24 Under 24" countdown, the league's third annual ranking of the top 24 players under age 24.