John Calipari

Kentucky phenoms choose 2013-14 preparation over other possibilities

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As a recruiting class that has been hailed by some as the best in the history of college basketball, Kentucky’s incoming freshmen will receive a lot of attention throughout the 2013-14 campaign.

And with the skills that players such as Julius Randle, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson and James Young possess a number of opportunities in basketball will arise.

With all being eligible (age-wise; not a lock that all would have received an invitation) to try out for the USA’s Under-19 team that will play in the U19 World Championships this summer that could have been a possibility for them.

But none will take part, and the group is choosing to get right to work as they look to hang a ninth national championship banner in Rupp Arena according to head coach John Calipari.

“Most of it is, they didn’t want to play. I’m not forcing kids to do anything,” Calipari told Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News. “I think the reason they all turned it down is, they want to get started.”

While there is the argument that it would be best for USA Basketball to have all of its top prospects trying out for the team, there’s also the argument that if they aren’t fully invested in playing there’s no reason for the players to participate.

In addition to the five freshmen devoting their summer to preparing for the upcoming season, sophomore center Willie Cauley-Stein has decided to not try out for the team that will represent the US in the World University Games.

Calipari said center Willie Cauley-Stein was invited to try out for USA Basketball this summer; Cauley-Stein is eligible for the World University Games. But Cauley-Stein said he preferred not to go and asked if it that would be OK. He said Randle took the same approach.

“Willie said, ‘This is not the summer for me to do this stuff. I just can’t wait to get back. I want to get prepared,’ ” Calipari said. “I’m happy they’re thinking in those terms. They know the spotlight’s on them.”

For this group working towards a national title (and some have even brought out the 40-0 talk) is the priority. And if they’re as talented as many project them to be, there will be other opportunities to represent their country down the line.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Georgetown center Bradley Hayes out indefinitely with broken hand

Georgetown center Bradley Hayes (42) is greeted by John Thompson Jr., right, father of Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, after an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in Washington. Georgetown won 79-72. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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Georgetown announced on Saturday that senior center Bradley Hayes will be out indefinitely after breaking his left hand in practice on Thursday.

“It is a blow to our team, but I’m very disappointed for Bradley because of the heard work he has put in over the last four years to put himself in a position to have a good senior year,” Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said in a release. “He had successful surgery today and we expect him to fully recover but we’re not sure when he’ll return.”

The 7-foot-0 native of Jacksonville was putting together a very solid senior season before the injury. Hayes averaged 21.4 minutes per contest in which he put up 8.5 points and grabbed 6.6 rebounds per game. After playing sparringly during his first three seasons at Georgetown, Hayes has become a key interior piece for the Hoyas this season.

Without Hayes in the lineup, freshman Jessie Govan will get more minutes and have a chance to be the go-to post player in the Georgetown rotation.

BUBBLE BANTER: A loaded Saturday slate could determine a few bids

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin gestures from the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Columbia, S.C.  (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
(AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
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This post will be updated throughout the day. Here is the full schedule of bubble games.

No. 22 Kentucky at South Carolina (KenPom: 43, RPI: 21), 12:00 p.m.
Georgetown (KenPom: 60, RPI: 78) at No. 20 Providence, 12:00 p.m.
Northern Iowa at No. 25 Wichita State (KenPom: 11, RPI: 43), 12:00 p.m.
No. 15 Texas A&M at LSU (KenPom: 59, RPI: 74), 1:00 p.m.
Kansas State (KenPom: 49, RPI: 52) at Oklahoma State, 1:00 p.m.
No. 18 Purdue at Michigan (KenPom: 48, RPI: 60), 2:00 p.m.
Georgia Tech at Clemson (KenPom: 58, RPI: 88), 2:00 p.m.
Washington (KenPom: 77, RPI: 61) at Colorado (KenPom: 61, RPI: 30), 2:00 p.m.
No. 5 Xavier at Butler (KenPom: 35, RPI: 58), 2:30 p.m.
East Carolina at Cincinnati (KenPom: 30, RPI: 63), 4:00 p.m.
George Washington (KenPom: 88, RPI: 44) at St. Bonaventure, 4:00 p.m.
No. 11 Oregon at Stanford (KenPom: 122, RPI: 82), 4:00 p.m.
Alabama (KenPom: 84, RPI: 38) at Florida (KenPom: 28, RPI: 24), 5:30 p.m.
Vanderbilt (KenPom: 34, RPI: 59) at Auburn, 6:00 p.m.
Saint Louis at VCU (KenPom: 41, RPI: 53), 6:00 p.m.
Wisconsin (KenPom: 47, RPI: 54) at No. 2 Maryland, 6:30 p.m.
Oregon State (KenPom: 73, RPI: 31) at Cal (KenPom: 33, RPI: 29), 6:30 p.m.
Tulsa (KenPom: 50, RPI: 48) at UConn (KenPom: 22, RPI: 46), 8:00 p.m.
Texas Tech (KenPom: 57, RPI: 41) at No. 21 Baylor, 8:00 p.m.
Wright State at Valparaiso (KenPom: 22, RPI: 49), 8:00 p.m.
Creighton (KenPom: 42, RPI: 84) at Marquette (KenPom: 104, RPI: 95), 8:00 p.m.
La Salle at Saint Joseph’s (KenPom: 37, RPI: 28), 8:00 p.m.
Gonzaga (KenPom: 31, RPI: 64) at No. 16 SMU, 10:00 p.m.
LMU at Saint Mary’s (KenPom: 39, RPI: 72), 11:00 p.m.