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Morning Rumble: Big East loses 2 key players, latest Big 12 talk, and WBB releases matchups

Georgetown should be fine without Paul White, but Xavier’s frontcourt may have just taken a huge hit.

Xavier v Weber State Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

There is no better way to start your Friday morning than reading the latest Morning Rumble! This morning we discuss St. John’s women’s basketball non-conference schedule, a pair of Big East departures, and check in on Big 12 expansion.

Around St. John’s

Coming fresh off a Big East Championship, the Johnnies will play a formidable non-conference slate.

They are scheduled to play 11 games out of conference, starting with a Sunday afternoon contest at William & Mary.

St. John’s is also expected to visit Las Vegas, partaking in the 2016 South Point Shootout. This will be the first Thanksgiving weekend tournament for St. John’s since 2011-12.

Combined St. John’s non-conference opponents finished with a record of 210-145. Five of those teams made a NCAA Tournament appearance last year, three advancing to the second round.

"This year we have once again put together a demanding non-conference schedule," said Head Coach Joe Tartamella in a release. "I am confident that this string of tough games will prepare us well for BIG EAST play."

Around the Big East

  • John Thompson III and his Georgetown Hoyas are set to lose a talented wing player. Junior Paul White will transfer to another program.

His Georgetown career was up-and-down, to say the least. As Casual Hoya points out, White initially appeared to be a great fit in the Hoyas’ Princeton offense. White began his freshman year on a high-note, greatly contributing on Georgetown’s team.

Despite a lackluster end to his freshman year, supporters in D.C still believed in White’s game.

His sophomore campaign was a big disappointment, missing most of last season due to a hip injury.

In two years at Georgetown, White averaged about 5 points and 3 rebounds per game. Although losing a player is never ideal, the Hoyas have plenty of talent in their backcourt.

  • Canadian big man Eddie Ekiyor is no longer enrolled at Xavier. As announced through a Xavier official release, four-star forward will instead attend Carleton University in Ottawa.

One curious aspect from the release was Xavier’s refrain from details, regarding his decision. Ekiyor has some recent legal issues from a hit-and-run incident, but at this point it is unclear if this had anything to do with him enrolling elsewhere.

Banners on the Parkway mentions the promise around Ekiyor. He was expected to play a substantial role on next season’s Musketeers team. Without him, Xavier may have frontcourt problems. All three big men on Xavier’s roster have significant question marks. Poor play or injuries could derail the Musketeers frontcourt, and possibly their season.

Around the nation

  • Big 12 expansion has dominated headlines this season. ESPN recently reported that 20 teams will receive an interview with the conference.

This past week Iowa State president revealed some telling details. In speaking with an Iowa State student newspaper, president Steven Leath gave us some insight into this expansion process.

“The sentiment of the [presidents] was, let’s take a serious look and see who’s out there, who wants to join,” he said. “We’re spending a lot of time and money to that end, so I suspect that’s where we’re going to end up.”

For Big 12 hopefuls such as UConn, BYU, Houston, Cincinnati, among others, this is a good sign towards action.

President Leath also provided a timeline for Big 12 expansion, stating by Christmas you could see a changed Big 12. Hopefully they can put this drama to bed, expansion talk has dragged out for too long.