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Thursday Hodge Podge

• Welcome Back, Jason Henry. Suspensions, apparently, become him. In his first game back from Pelphrey's dog house, the freshman forward from West Memphis poured in 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Freshman forwards Michael Sanchez and Andre Clark also had nice nights. With the exception of Michael Washington, the front court has often looked every bit as green offensively as it is. If Henry is truly ready to emerge as consistent scoring threat (I have my doubts that he is), that could go a long way towards keeping the Hogs out of the last-place SEC West finish that some see in their future.

• Challenge Met. I'll give Courtney Fortson this: He responds well to his coach's challenges. Before yesterday's game, Pelphrey said that Fortson needed to improve his assist-to-turnover ratio, which at that point was 23 assists to 23 turnovers. In last night's victory over Texas Southern, Courtney racked up 11 assists to just one turnover. The guy's a freshman with an aggressive style of play, so we'll probably see a fair amount of cringe-inducing plays and games with more turnovers than assists before the season is out, but last night offered a tantalizing glimpse of Fortson's potential. To put it mildly, the guy can hoop.

How Does That Deal Feel Now? With the Auburn job open (still can't quite believe that it is), is anyone besides me wondering if former Auburn defensive coordinator and expert F*bomb dropper Will Muschamp is regretting his agreement to replace Mack Brown at Texas, whenever the hell that will be?

Speaking of the Tuberville Situation … You should really check out the coverage of Tommy's resignation/firing/whatever you want to call it at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash, where our friend Jerry is producing extremely informative, funny and thorough stuff. Actually, that's not any different than his usual work over there. The man is a machine.

• Nicky Davis, Eat Your Heart Out. Despite battling back spasms for much of the season, Michael Washington currently ranks second in the SEC in rebounding average, hauling in 10.2 per game. You've come a long way, baby.

Surreal to Say the Least. If you read the latest RPI rankings for college basketball, you could be forgiven for wondering if somebody slipped some acid into your lunch drink. It's early in the year, of course, so that should be taken into account. But the team currently atop the rankings is ... Butler. North Carolina doesn't appear on the scene until the No. 11 slot. Of more local interest, at No. 28, Arkansas State is the highest ranked team from the Natural State. That puts the Red Wolves 60 spots ahead of the UALR Trojans and 115 spots ahead of the Hogs.

This just in: the ASU athletic director tells that he doesn't want his roundballers to play Arkansas. A loss would be too embarrassing, he says.