Kentucky is always the place to be when it comes to Midnight Madness, especially Friday night as Big Blue Nation raised another banner inside Rupp Arena.
During the scrimmage, one of John Calipari’s freshmen big men threw down a highlight-worthy dunk. But, it’s not the freshman center you’re probably thinking of, however he was on the receiving end of it.
Nerlens Noel, the nation’s top recruit, was posterized by Willie Cauley-Stein on a two-on-one fastbreak. It started with another highly-touted freshman, Archie Goodwin leading the break and hitting the streaking Cauley-Stein with a behind the back pass. The 6-foot-10 Noel went up to contest, only to get in the way of the 7-foot Cauley-Stein slamming the ball over Noel’s hightop fade.
Interestingly enough, the two big men were in the news together on Thursday during Kentucky’s media day, when Calipari mentioned that he is considering playing the two on the floor at the same time.
“I may stack them together, put them both on the same side of the court,” said Calipari in a press release from the school. “I may put them on the elbow. I’m going to mess around. I don’t know how much per game we’ll play those two. I really have no idea. It may be five minutes, 15 minutes. What if they’re both really good together? It may be 25 minutes. So I don’t know yet.”
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Georgia State’s Ron Hunter appears to have recovered from the Achilles tendon tear he suffered last March celebrating the Panthers winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
On Thursday night, at the third annual GSU Jam, Hunter broke out the dance moves to the song “Hit The Quan” by iHeart Memphis.
Georgia State went on to defeat No. 3 seed Baylor in the Round of 64, thanks to a game-winning three from Hunter’s son, R.J. That shot made for one of the best moments of March Madness, as Ron Hunter fell of his rolling chair in disbelief.
R.J. Hunter is nowa a rookie with the Boston Celtics. Ron Hunter enters his fifth season with the Panthers.
Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.
Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.
“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.
“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”
Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.
This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.