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
La Salle announced on Friday that they are parting ways with head coach John Giannini.
Giannini had been the head coach of the program for 14 seasons, amassing a record of 212-226. Before taking over at La Salle, he spent seven seasons as the head coach at Rowan and eight seasons coaching at Maine.
“Today Bill Bradshaw and I mutually agreed that La Salle University could benefit from a new voice in leading the program,” said Dr. Giannini. “It is difficult to admit this but I have given every effort possible for success and I have received nothing but support and encouragement from Bill and President Hanycz. Greater things may be accomplished for this storied program and great university with the approach of a new coach. I am forever grateful, especially to my loyal staff and dedicated student-athletes. I look forward to my next challenge and La Salle’s future success.”
After Kansas State knocked off Kentucky in the Sweet 16, the purple Wildcats alleged that the blue Wildcats did not shake their hands after the game.
“They didn’t shake our hands,” Kansas State junior guard Amaad Wainright told ESPN last night. “It’s sorry.”
“They know what they did.”
Kentucky bristled at the allegations.
“They were turned and celebrating, so I walked off,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. “There was no disrespect for anything. It’s just that they were celebrating, and I was happy for them.”
“My team’s not like that. There’s no disrespect in any way. They beat us. They deserved to win the game.”
BOSTON — The NCAA has changed their interpretation of the rule that kept Isaac Haas out of the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Haas broke his elbow in Purdue’s first round win over Cal St.-Fullerton, but he was not allowed to play in a second round game against Butler because his brace did not meet NCAA standards.
So they changed those standards.
“With ample time this week to review the intent of the playing rule, the committee decided to provide a more contemporary interpretation, while keeping health and safety for all players the highest priority,” said Gavitt. “Technology has improved materials used in braces, so now there will be more flexibility in applying the rule as long as the brace is fully covered and padded. Isaac and other players in similar circumstances should be able to play, as long as the brace is safe for all.”
Sources have told NBC Sports that, despite Haas’ lobbying to get onto the court, he is not expected to play on Friday night. If he does, it will be in a very limited capacity.
“He didn’t practice the last two days,” Painter said on Thursday, “and when you don’t practice, you don’t play.”
“I don’t see him playing until he can practice and show me he can shoot a right-handed free throw and get a rebound with two hands.”
USC junior forward Chimezie Metu announced on Thursday evening that he will be declaring for the NBA draft:
This decision is not surprising. Metu finished his degree — Law History and Culture — in three seasons. He held himself out of USC’s NIT games in an effort to keep himself from getting injured with NBA workouts on the horizon.
Metu averaged 15.7 points, 7.4 boards and 1.6 blocks for the Trojans this season. He is considered a borderline first round pick.
In 1951, Kansas State lost to Kentucky in the National Championship game.
Ernie Barrett, who eventually became the school’s athletic director and is known as “Mr. K-State“, played on that team.
He’s wanted to get revenge on Big Blue ever since.
On Thursday night, Kansas State did.
Ernie was there, and here was his reaction in the locker room: