Well, that didn’t last long.
Earlier this afternoon, Josh Pastner dismissed Jelan Kendrick from the Memphis basketball team. Kendrick had been suspended twice already, once for the team’s trip to the Bahamas in August and again late in October. As Dan Wolken explains, there was another incident prior to last night’s game against Centenary:
now confirmed from pretty much everybody there is to confirm that
Kendrick acted disruptively at Thursday’s practice and was pulled off
the floor for awhile to get himself together. When he came back, he was
fine. But then there was another incident at Friday’s shootaround where
he got mouthy toward a coach and did not have the correct response when
he was reprimanded. At that point, the decision was made to hold him
out of last night’s game because he was pretty clearly not in the right
mental state to play. Kendrick decided to come and sit on the bench,
but his attitude had not particularly improved from earlier in the day,
so he sat in the stands.
This is a pretty impressive move
by Josh Pastner. Jelan Kendrick is a very talented basketball player.
He was a McDonald’s all-american. And Pastner gave him the boot before
he actually played a game without Kendrick running into legal issues,
academic issues, or eligibility issues.
That is quite a
statement. You don’t want to be a team player? You don’t want to listen
to the coaching staff? Well, get-to-steppin’. Kendrick, if he stays at
Memphis and maintains his academic standing, can transfer to another
school and be eligible by the spring semester of 2012. That’s a full
year and a half away from the game. You don’t think that will have a
negative effect on Kendrick?
And you don’t think any and all current and future Tigers got the message?
could have been an impact player for the Tigers had his head been on
straight. But without him in the fold, there are still plenty of
versatile and athletic wings — Will and Antonio Barton, Charles
Carmouche, Chris Crawford.
Memphis will be OK.
Kendrick? I’m not so sure.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.
And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.
The rest of the top 10?
They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: