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Things we missed from the fourth week of January

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Some do a Morning Five, others a Morning Dump, or Breakfast Buffet. You know who they are.

Us? We just play catch-up.

From a dusty return to the court, to some unfriendly skies, here are a handful of stories we missed from the week that was.

  • Thomas Robinson copes with a loss - One of the sadder moments of the week - of the season for that matter - was the loss of Kansas forward Thomas Robinson's mother. One of the more uplifting moments of the week and, yes, the season, was Robinson's return to action Saturday night against Kansas State. Imploring head coach Bill Self to continuing coaching him and treat him just like his teammates, Robinson simply sought normalcy as the Jayhawks looked to start another epic home court winning streak. Robinson responded last night with 17 points in 20 minutes, including an emphatic dunk in garbage time that was followed by a slap of the backboard - clearly a release of emotion and tribute to the woman who raised him. Hats off to this young man. He won the weekend.
  • Does Xavier know how to underachieve? - Seriously, is it possible for this program to ever just have a down year? A bridge season? Lacking depth and a consistent scorer on the wing, the Musketeers still sit atop the Atlantic 10 (7-0) following yesterday's tutorial on how to win easy against Richmond, and are slowly rising to the top of all those non-BCS conference power rankings. Chris Mack's squad is led by Tu Holloway, quite possibly the country's best point guard this side of a few household names, and they hang their hat on a tactful and efficient approach on offense. Many wrote this team off after non-conference losses to Cincinnati, Florida, Gonzaga and Old Dominion, but now it appears a rigorous start to the season just made these guys tougher. Only Xavier and Michigan State have been to the last three Sweet 16s. Come April, they may be the only team to reach the last four.
  • Prized Missouri recruit finds a home at North Texas - It hasn't received nearly as much attention as other recent freshman non-qualifier suspensions, but as we watch the Missouri Tigers plod to a 3-3 start in Big 12 play, maybe a guy like Tony Mitchell could have alleviated the team's recent struggles. Mitchell, the highest rated recruit in the Mike Anderson era, was deemed academically ineligible by the NCAA before the season began. Initially, it appeared that some high school grade fudging needed to sort itself out, then Mitchell would be able to join the team sometime during the spring semester. It never happened, and the NCAA officially announced that it was not hearing any additional appeals from those in Mitchell's corner, squashing hopes he would ever suit up for the Tigers. Now Mitchell is looking to enroll at North Texas, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, which does not prohibit schools from allowing academic non-qualifiers to play. If Mitchell is "as advertised," he could use next season as a tune-up for the 2012 NBA Draft.
  • Oh, and, this is why I'll never be at ease when 35,000 feet above sea level - I was flying across the country this week, so I refused to even touch this story until I returned home, unpacked, and nestled into my own bed with a little hot chocolate. Even more unsettling is the eerie coincidence when these incidents occurred. Again, notice how I refuse to go into detail. Just click through at your own peril.