Over the weekend, a seemingly innocuous interview between Alex Len and Grantland’s duo of Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose became a big deal when Len said that he played “half of the season” hurt and that Maryland didn’t do an MRI on his ankle until after the season was over.
That would have been a problem. A school ignoring a player’s injury to try and win NIT games is not a good look.
But a Maryland spokesperson told NBCSports.com that Len had x-rays in March that came back negative and that he was held out of practice for the final month or so of the season. His injury didn’t become severe until after the season had ended. Mark Turgeon reiterated this point in a conversation with a Maryland beat writer this week.
And now Len himself is trying to downplay the hullaballoo surrounding his injury, making it clear enough to Dan Feldman of ProBasketballTalk that he has no problem with how his injury was handled:
“A stress fracture is hard to discover sometimes,” Len said. “Because we did x-rays when it started hurting, but the doctor didn’t see anything. Sometimes, you can’t see anything. It just shows up after two months.”
Stress fractures are hard to find.
And Maryland did do an x-ray and they began treatment when he started complaining about his injury.
And they also held him out of practice afterwards.
Maybe this was all blown out of proportion in the first place?
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.