Dick Vitale, Richard Phelps

Former Notre Dame head coach Digger Phelps now cancer-free


Just over two months after announcing that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, former Notre Dame head coach and current ESPN commentator Digger Phelps learned on Monday that he’s now cancer-free.

The good news came on the heels of Phelps’ completion of a six-week treatment program, and it was a great early present for the coach as he’ll celebrate his 72nd birthday Thursday. This marks the second time in three years that Phelps has beaten cancer, as he had to deal with prostate cancer in 2010.

One day after finding out the good news, Phelps made sure to thank Notre Dame president emeritus Rev. Theodore Hesburg, C.S.C. on the South Bend campus.

On Tuesday, Phelps made sure to find on campus the Most Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., university president emeritus who offered his guidance and blessed the coach during Phelps’ cancer-fighting process.

Phelps found Hesburgh celebrating Mass at Holy Cross House. It was Hesburgh’s words to Phelps early in spring — “Have the courage” — that helped Phelps in his fight. He fought, in part, because he had previously beaten cancer.

It’s great to hear that coach Phelps has been given a clean bill of health (he’ll undergo “maintenance” treatments every three months for the next two years), and he’ll once again be on television waving his hi-liter this winter.

College basketball has been used as a platform in the fight to find a cure for cancer, with ventures such as the Jimmy V Foundation and Coaches vs. Cancer being the most prominent.

h/t Eye on College Basketball

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: