January 25, 2018 - 7:16 pm


The Associated Press is running an occasional series looking at the disparity between the college basketball programs at the low end of Division I and the elite programs. Stories will run throughout the 2017-18 season. The initial stories are listed here with prospective move dates. Please contact Assistant Sports Editor Ed Montes in Phoenix at [email protected] if you have any questions. All times EST.


POCATELLO, Idaho — Sam Dowd found himself homeless at 13 and spent the next few years living with friends, occasionally sleeping outside the school when he had no place to go. Thanks to hard work and the generosity of coaches and families along the way, the undersized point guard realized his dream of playing Division I basketball at Idaho State. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 1,200 words by 3 a.m. EST Friday. With AP Photos.


SACRAMENTO, California— Sacramento State appeared to have the type of team that could break the school's NCAA Tournament drought in 2015-16. When senior point guard Cody Demps went down with an injury, those hopes disappeared in a hurry. Unlike the bigger schools in Division I college basketball that just bring another talented player off the bench, small programs like Sac State have a razor thin margin for error. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by Feb. 9. With AP Photos.



LAS VEGAS — Northern Arizona coach Jack Murphy zigzagged his way through his hometown to watch recruits play in gyms across Las Vegas. While coaches at schools like Duke, Kansas and Arizona had their eyes set on the elite, five-star players during the high school showcases, Murphy and coaches at other low-major programs had their sights set on players much further down the recruiting ladder. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. MOVED: 1,000 words, photos on Nov. 16.


SACRAMENTO, California — The bones are what hit Kevin Hicks. Not the house destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, not the devastation still apparent three years later, not the clothes wadded up in the corner of what was once his bedroom. No, the bones of the family dog scattered in the yard are what did it, causing the Sacramento State guard to break down in his first trip back to the 9th Ward of New Orleans since the storm uprooted his family. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. MOVED: 1,000 words, photos on Dec. 8.


The top programs in college basketball have state-of-the-art practice facilities and play in arenas that would make some pro teams jealous. At the low end of Division I basketball, the workout rooms can be a haphazard array of random weights and the gym of the bandbox variety, often not even on campus. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. MOVED: 1,000 words, photos on Dec. 27.


OGDEN, Utah — High-major college basketball programs fly on chartered jets, stay in upscale hotels and eat at nice restaurants. The smallest of the 351 schools in Division I fly coach, look for hotel and meal deals and are forced to catch early-morning flights the day after games to get back to school. The difference in travel arrangements takes a toll. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. MOVED: 1,000 words, photos. With AP Photos.

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