Anything’s possible — Calipari and Chaney are now friends

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John Calipari’s talents are wasted as a basketball coach. Oh sure, the guy’s at the top of his profession as a recruiter, motivator, developer of talent and as a winner. He’s shown as much at UMass, Memphis and now at Kentucky.

But to really harness his talents, Calipari should be a negotiator where people need who can smooth things over in tense situations. Send the guy to Egypt. Send him to North Korea. He’ll ensure the two sides talk. (I kid. Mostly.)

I mean, anyone who can patch things up with John Chaney can probably do just about anything. This wasn’t that long ago.

Here’s Chaney today . “I admire him and he knows that.”

The quote’s from a lengthy profile in Sports Illustrated by S.L. Price, who examined Calipari at every stop of his life, from his childhood, to his time as an assistant, then his rise to Massachusetts, Memphis and his current job at Kentucky.

Price did his homework, too. He spent 5-6 weeks conducting 60-70 interviews in three different cities. The result should be familiar to hoopheads, with the exception of a few parts.

The Chaney item struck me, but mostly because the video is forever stuck in my head. Perhaps most notable to the folks in Lexington are comments regarding something Louisville coach Rick Pitino, which John Clay recaps here. (The gist? Pitino may have lied.)

It’s a solid story, but probably fails in one regard in today’s sports world – it doesn’t take a stand on Calipari and lets the reader make up their own mind. Talk about a throwback.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Tennessee G Hubbs undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery

Robert Hubbs III, Anton Beard
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs won’t practice this week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday.

The school said in a news release that Hubbs had it done “to address chronic swelling issues that have been present since the preseason.”

No timetable has been set for when Hubbs could return to action, but he is considered doubtful for Tennessee’s next game on Dec. 12 at Butler. Tennessee (4-3) is in the midst of a 13-day break from games, which marks the program’s longest layoff during a season since December 1967.

Hubbs is averaging 15.3 points per game to rank third on the team. The 6-foot-4 junior has scored at least 13 points in each of Tennessee’s seven games.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.