Mike Marra

Louisville’s Mike Marra tears ACL, career likely over

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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

Knee injury temporarily sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.

Duke figuring out approach for this season

Duke University head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks with the media about the Blue Devils' 2013-14 basketball season, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
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Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.

“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.

“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”

Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group.  Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.

As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.