2014-15 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SEASON:

Photo: Nelson Chenault, USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Nelson Chenault, USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana Tech's Tyler Summitt: A veteran coach by age 24

It's also emblematic of the balancing act Tyler Summitt must maintain as he begins his first season as a women's college basketball head coach. He has to embrace the best of his mother and all he's learned from her — all while crafting his own distinct identity as a coach, and a 24-year-old one at that. The good news? He's uniquely qualified to find that sweet spot.

"You can see pressure as an enemy or an ally," Summitt says. "If you use it as an ally, it's great motivation."


Photo: Joe Raymond, AP

Photo: Joe Raymond, AP

Jerian Grant got the message, and so did Notre Dame

The emails landed in Mike Brey's inbox like clockwork. Some came the day after a Notre Dame basketball game, others mere hours after the final buzzer. The exact timing never really mattered, because the sender was usually watching games on television, and the recipient was always busy coaching.

But the emails served an important purpose, acting as a lifeline of sorts for a player who had been separated from the Irish program for the second half of last season.

Jerian Grant, then the Irish's leading scorer, had been forced to leave the school due to "an academic matter (he) didn't handle properly." At the time in late December, the junior guard was averaging 19 points and 6.2 assists per game.


Photo: Chuck Burton, AP

Photo: Chuck Burton, AP

For North Carolina's Kennedy Meeks, less is more

For the first time in a long time — maybe ever — Kennedy Meeks wants to talk about his weight.

On a recent afternoon, the 6-9 North Carolina forward didn't want just talk about his weight. He wanted to brag. "I weighed in at 266 yesterday," he said, smiling.

It's a stark contrast to the old Meeks, the version who arrived on campus little more than a year ago weighing 317 pounds. Meeks came to Chapel Hill a big-time recruit who was, essentially, too big.


Photo: Bernard Thomas,  AP

Photo: Bernard Thomas,  AP

Duke uses special method to unite roster of newcomers

I am not alone because I found love.

Duke freshman Justise Winslow wrote that on his skin with a dry-erase marker, words that he'd later explain represented someone close to him dying. "I always feel him around me," Winslow told USA TODAY Sports.

The body art exercise was part of Dear World, a portrait project and social experiment created by Robert Fogarty in 2009. He's written on everyone from Drew Brees to Boston Marathon victims and taken their photographs afterward.

The concept is simple: People write words and phrases on their bodies that mean something to them. Then, they share the stories behind the words.