John Calipari has Jay-Z, now Ben Howland has Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Well, he doesn’t exactly “have” Flea, but he can stand near Flea while the bassist wears his homemade “Free Shabazz Muhammad” t-shirt. Students in the crowd were reportedly wearing more professional-quality shirts with the same message, but isn’t it just so much more Flea to scribble on a shirt with magic marker before playing the national anthem in Pauley Pavilion? Way to make an entrance.
Fortunately for those assembled, Flea also wore pants, and socks. On the appropriate appendages this time. (I’m not linking it, this is a family site, but you know what I mean.)
USA Today found the first photos of Flea in action, posting them at 5:00 a.m. this morning, alongside a short article.
The UCLA faithful are anxiously waiting to see prized recruit Shabazz Muhammad hit the court.
Bruins fans will have to wait longer after the NCAA ruled the freshman ineligible for Friday night’s opener earlier in the day.
Apparently among the fans pining for a glimpse of Muhammad is rock musician Flea. The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist was on hand to play the national anthem before the Bruins faced Indiana State at newly renovated Pauley Pavilion.
Flea displayed a message for the NCAA on his T-shirt, which read “Free Shabazz Muhammad.”
Muhammad, the prized recruit in a UCLA class that many ranked No. 1 in the nation, was declared ineligible for an undisclosed number of games after the NCAA determined he “accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits” to two schools during his recruitment.
Flea’s motives for the shirt are unclear, but he wouldn’t be the only person upset by the NCAA’s ruling.
What’s next? John Cougar Mellencamp wearing a “Free Peter Jurkin” tee?
Oh no, on second thought, that wouldn’t be a good idea at all.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
It’s worth noting here that Derek Willis is not left-handed, yet he dunks this with his left hand.
No. 8 North Carolina knocked off Pitt on the road on Saturday afternoon, picking up an 85-67 win that clinched at least a share of the ACC regular season title for the Tar Heels this season.
It’s the second straight season and the eighth time in the 14 years that Roy Williams has been the head coach of the Tar Heels that they can make such a claim. For comparison’s sake, Mike Krzyzewski and Duke have won just three ACC regular season titles in those 14 years and they haven’t won one since 2010.
So this is a pretty good run that Roy Williams is on, and that’s before you consider the two national titles — plus a third national title game — that he’s won during that stretch.
And this year may be as impressive as any job that he’s done during his career.
This UNC team is different than past UNC teams in the sense that it’s the first time that one of his great teams doesn’t have a front line anchored by a future first round pick that is a killer on the block and a stallion running the floor in transition. There’s no Brice Johnson or Tyler Zeller or Tyler Hansbrough or Sean May. Joel Berry II is a really good college guard, but he’s not Kendall Marshall or Ray Felton or Ty Lawson, and his inconsistency is one of UNC’s bigger question marks heading into the tournament. Justin Jackson has turned into a killer this season, which is not something we would have said about Justin Jackson in any other year.
Put another way, this team is not a team that you can look at and know will be a title contender.
But they are.
They hold a two-game lead over an ACC that might get 10 teams into the NCAA tournament with two games left. If they win at Virginia next week, they will be playing for pride and for seeding when they take on Duke in the season finale.
I’d go as far as to say that the Tar Heels are as good, or better, than anyone in college basketball this season. They’ll probably end up as the No. 1 seed in the south and could very well make another run to the Final Four this season.
Considering just how good Williams has been throughout his career, and particularly during his tenure in Chapel Hill, you can understand what it means to say that this may very well be the best coaching job of his career.
Duke will be without star junior guard Grayson Allen on Saturday.
According to a report from Greg Gumbel of CBS Sports, Allen will miss the Blue Devils’ road game at Miami with an ankle injury.
The 6-foot-5 Allen is averaging 15.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game this season as he’s battled a few different injuries as well as getting suspended for another tripping incident. Duke is used to playing without Allen and the Blue Devils should still have enough to stay in this one against Miami but it is going to be a tough game to win on the road.
Duke is coming off of a road loss to Syracuse earlier this week as the No. 10 Blue Devils are trying to finish out a tough regular-season schedule these next three games.
Drake senior center Jacob Enevold received a special surprise on Saturday afternoon as his parents flew all the way from Denmark to surprise him for Senior Day.
The 7-foot-1 Enevold appeared perfectly content to take part in the Senior Day celebrations when his parents appeared on the floor and he ran to greet them.
Starting freshman guard De’Aaron Fox will be out for Kentucky on Saturday as the Wildcats host Florida in an important SEC showdown.
The 6-foot-3 Fox has a knee contusion, and without him, the Wildcats will start senior Mychael Mulder. Fox is averaging 15.5 points, 5.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game as he’s been one of the country’s best two-way freshmen this season.
Kentucky and Florida both enter Saturday’s game at 13-2 in SEC play but the Gators took the first matchup by 22 points between these two teams in Gainesville on Feb. 4.