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Calipari denies knowing about the free throw switch


Last Saturday, Kentucky fell to Louisville on the road 80-77. Following the Wildcats loss, it was discovered that Kentucky got a little creative at the free throw line.

Towards the end of the first half, Nerlens Noel got fouled by Russ Smith, trailing 35-27. However, Noel, a 52 percent free throw shooter on the year didn’t take the shots, fellow freshman Alex Poythress did. Poythress is 64 percent from the line this season.

Head coach John Calipari has been criticized for the free throw fraud and on Monday addressed the incident, claiming he had no knowledge of the free throw switch.

“If I thought the wrong guy was on the line, I’d get him off the line,” Calipari told the media on Monday, also stating he has corrected officials in the past.

Calipari went on to joke about the free throw conspiracy, telling reporters that he was not on the grassy knoll, referencing the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

He also disputed the idea he had Noel and Poythress switch at the free throw line, due to Poythress’ struggle from the charity stripe. The freshman forward was 2-of-6 on Saturday, while Noel missed his only attempt.

“Why would I put Alex at the line?” said Calipari. “He couldn’t make any shots. I would have had more confidence in Nerlens.”

The Big Lead was the first to catch the free throw switch on Sunday.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.