It hasn’t been the ideal season thus far for the defending national champions. It may have gotten a little tougher on Thursday when multiple reports surfaced that Kentucky freshman forward Willie Cauley-Stein aggrevated an existing left knee injury and will likely miss games.
Kentucky Sports Radio reported that Stein had a “minor knee procedure” and on Thursday afternoon reported that John Calipari had met with the media and said Stein probably could continued to play with the injury, which he first suffered in junior high according to Calipari, but they want to take care of it immediately.
Stein is will likely miss the Auburn game and his status is to be determined. KRS reported earlier in the day that sources said Stein could “be out for an undisclosed amount of time.”
The 7-foot freshman is averaging 7.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. In his absence, Kyle Wiltjer and Alex Poythress will have to be more active alongside freshman Nerlens Noel.
Other injury news from Lexington were Jon Hood has returned to practice and Twany Beckham is out with a lower back injury, according to John Clay.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.