ATLANTA – Kentucky head coach John Calipari is never afraid to pick a fight, and he did just that on Tuesday night.
Interviewed on ESPN at halftime, Cal told Andy Katz that “Duke is flopping all over the place and if they were in the NBA they would be getting fined.”
Combining a well-known stereotype with a well-timed pop-culture reference? Cal could have made it as a stand-up comic. I’m sure of it.
Coach K was asked about the comment in the postgame press conference and, safe to say, he was non-plussed.
“I really don’t pay attention, not just to John, but to other coaches. I don’t really care” he said. “He has a right to say whatever he wants. I thought we took some amazing charges and probably could have taken a couple more. There’s a difference between a charge and a flop. A flop means you don’t take any contact, and I hope that anybody who watches the game would say our kids played good defense.”
“And we don’t make any money so we can’t be fined.”
Cal? Well, he tried to play it off as a joke.
“I don’t even remember. What did I say? It was a joke. You guys at Duke can take a joke, right? Sheesh.”
Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.
The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.
Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.
Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.
The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.
Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.