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AM Rumble: RIP Dayton's McElvene, NBA Combine notes

Plus a couple of home-and home series and a too-early look at next year's Big East.

Malik Ellison defending Whitehead Wendell Cruz

Mid-may, and the St. John's players are flying halfway across the globe to go home, get some rest and return to work out during the summer sessions. What's happening in college sports outside of Queens?

Dayton Flyers basketball player Steve McElvene dies at 20 Dayton Daily News

Some sad news to start with - Dayton center Steve McElvene dies at age 20, possibly due to complications with an enlarged heart. McElvene, who had sat out for a season as a partial qualifier and played last season, did have heart tests last year. He was home for the week and collapsed at home.

Rest in peace.

NBA Draft Combine: Players to watch after Day One Sports Illustrated

Who impressed on day one of the combine?

From the Big East, Henry Ellenson from Marquette measured well, looking tall enough to defend centers.

Meanwhile, Cheick Diallo, who struggled to get on the court at Kansas for lack of polish, looked solid in 5-on-5 action.

Providence's emergent forward Ben Bentil's official measurements signal he's big enough to play power forward and showed some strong skills; he could stay in the draft.

Iona's AJ English also played well and could be an immediate role player; at 24, his "potential" days are far less than players in the draft who are five years younger.

For corroboration:

According to ESPN's Chad Ford [$], Cheick Diallo made a great impression - and may be moving himself definitively into the first round of the draft (sealing the deal on his departure from Kansas). Also drawing praise were AJ English, Ben Bentil, and Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead, who Ford writes "played with surprising restraint".

More players are still to test, so we'll see how Villanova's Josh Hart and Xavier's Trevon Bluiett and Jalen Reynolds fare.

A way too early look at the Big East NBC's College Basketball Talk

A peek at the decisions that will affect the perception of Big East rankings going into last season - including Ben Bentil's and Isaiah Whitehead's decisions vis-a-vis the NBA Draft.

Shamorie Ponds is listed as a "notable newcomer", but overall, NBC's CBT has St. John's at ninth, just above DePaul. Which makes sense, St. John's has a LOT of ground to make up to get to competitive in the Big East night in and night out.

Memphis brings in a transfer Memphis Commercial Appeal

Tubby Smith has been looking to bring in Coppin State guard Christian Keese, a 6'3" shooter from Las Vegas. Keesee committed, and plans to play point guard at Memphis - preparing himself for a pro career somewhere.

Marquette to start home-and-home series at Georgia Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Marquette will be stepping up their scheduling with a series against the Georgia Bulldogs, starting at Georgia this December. Georgia has had three straight 20-win seasons and an NCAA Tournament appearance in that time.

Monmouth-Princeton hoops series set Asbury Park Press

Princeton and Monmouth will play each other in a home-and-home series designed to boost their national profiles. It's fairly "courageous" of a move; neither team can get many good teams to face them for fear of embarrassing a major conference foe on the road, as Monmouth did last season. But a loss could look bad in terms of national perception/ RPI.