In addition to welcoming some of the country’s best prep talent, the adidas Nations camp in Los Angeles also brings together some of the better college basketball players who serve as counselors for the event.
One of those counselors was none other than Louisville sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell, who with the departure of big man Gorgui Dieng will be asked to do more of the heavy lifting after serving as a reserve on a team that won the national title in April.
There was a bit of a scare on Saturday, as Harrell went down with a knee injury that forced him to return to Louisville.
The immediate question was just how serious was Harrell’s injury, but according to Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld the 6-8 power forward underwent an MRI that showed no damage to the knee. To say the least this would be good news for Louisville as they look to defend their national title in 2013-14.
This has been a busy offseason for Harrell, who averaged 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in just over 16 minutes per game as a freshman. Also a member of the United States’ under-19 team, Harrell averaged 10.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per game on a team that won the Under-19 World Championships last month in Prague, Czech Republic.
Louisville doesn’t lack for depth in the front court, with NCAA tournament MOP Luke Hancock (8.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and upperclassmen Chane Behanan (9.8, 6.5) and Stephan Van Treese (1.7, 3.1) all back from last season’s team. Also looking to crack the rotation in 2013-14 are 6-10 center Mangok Mathiang, who redshirted last season, and 6-9 freshman Akoy Agau.
No. 15 Cincinnati pounced on Memphis from the start, taking a 51-32 lead into halftime.
Then, Gary Clark decided to add insult to injury to start the second half. Seriously, how did he catch that?
Mick Cronin’s team is much better offensively than in previous seasons. I’m sure fans in the Fifth Third Arena can get used to seeing more plays like this.
Michigan State freshman guard Cassius Winston had just one field goal in the first half. And it was a half-court buzzer-beater as the Spartans capped a sizable run to take a 49-31 lead over Nebraska going into the break.
The Spartans ended the half on a 21-5 run.
Winston provided a serious boost off the bench during that stanza. Moments earlier, he helped the Breslin Center erupt when he lobbed a pass off the backboard to teammate Miles Bridges.
Michigan State opened the day projected as one of the final at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament. The margin for error is thing and it appears the Spartans are playing with a sense of urgency.
Wednesday’s slate of games had several wild results.
Former Ohio State walk-on turned blogger turned author Mark Titus, who is currently writing for The Ringer, joined Rob Dauster on the latest episode of the CBT Podcast to go over last night’s games. The two also discussed who is the best team in the nation at the moment, as well Frank Mason III’s rap single from several years ago #BIFM
You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom
North Carolina’s Roy Williams called fellow Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino to apologize for a fan’s behavior during Wednesday night’s game in Chapel Hill.
While leaving the floor at halftime, Pitino had to be restrained by members of the Louisville coaching staff and he and a UNC fan exchanged words as he made his way to the locker rom. There’s video of Pitino pointing and shouting at a fan, who reportedly said, “Pitino, you suck!”
“I don’t like that,” Williams said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I mean we’re in North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else. We can raise Cain. You can boo, but you don’t have to say the stuff that we as coaches have to put up with.”
“I hope that never happens at North Carolina ever again.”
No. 8 North Carolina defeated No. 7 Louisville, 74-63.
STILL TO PLAY
Georgia at Alabama (RPI: 68, KenPom: 61, next four teams), 7:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Michigan State (RPI: 43, KenPom: 55, No. 10 seed), 7:00 p.m.
Towson at UNC Wilmington (RPI: 41, KenPom: 57, No. 12 seed), 7:00 p.m.