Mike Marra

Louisville’s Mike Marra tears ACL, career likely over

Leave a comment

Friday night, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino joined Terry Meiners for a segment on WHAS, and announced that senior guard Mike Marra had torn his ACL at practice earlier in the day and is done for the season.

According to Pitino, Marra re-tore the same ligament in his left knee that sidelined him for almost all of last season.

“An unfortunate thing happened today,” Pitino said to Meiners. “We’ve been working Mike Marra out individually for the past two months and he’d passed all the tests. Literally in the first 10 minutes of practice, he blew out the same knee with an ACL.”

Marra’s playing days are likely numbered, yet he is not done with the Louisville basketball program. Pitino stated that Marra wants to become a coach one day and Pitino said that Marra will get a head start on being a graduate assistant this season.

Pitino even compared Marra’s situation to his son, Richard, who is now the head coach at Florida International. Richard became a grad assistant as a senior at Providence to get a jump start on his coaching career.

“It wasn’t meant to be for Mike and were going to get him started right away in a different profession,” said Pitino on air.

As a sophomore, Marra averaged 6.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and two assists per game for the Cardinals. As a junior, he joined a long list of Louisville players out with injuries. Despite the number of injuries, the Cardinals made it back to the Final Four.

The loss of Marra does hurt, but with many returners, the Cardinals are still in good shape heading into the upcoming season.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Leave a comment

Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.