Louisville v Wichita State

Louisville guard Kevin Ware may not be back until spring semester

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On Monday, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino addressed the status of guard Kevin Ware during a press conference focused on the coach’s upcoming induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In short, Pitino stated that the staff would take its time with Ware, who broke his leg during the Cardinals’ Elite 8 victory over Duke in March.

On Friday, Pitino told Andy Katz of ESPN.com that Ware may not return to game action until the spring semester.

“I don’t think Kevin will step on the court early in the season,” Pitino told ESPN.com. “He will just start playing basketball in October. He’ll start working out. He’s almost completely healed but he hasn’t stepped on the court since last March so it’s going to take some time. I’m looking more like it’s going to be second semester for him to be 100 percent or close to it.”

Ware finished the 2012-13 season with averages of 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds per game, playing his best basketball of the season in the month leading up to the injury. Seeing that he’s yet to be cleared to resume full activities the obvious call is to make sure Ware doesn’t rush back. And a look at the Cardinals’ perimeter rotation reveals the fact that coach Pitino has more than enough options to turn to.

Senior Russ Smith (18.7 ppg) and junior Wayne Blackshear (7.6) were starters on last season’s national championship squad, and in junior college transfer Chris Jones the Cardinals add one of the nation’s best newcomers. Add in freshmen Anton Gill and Terry Rozier, and Louisville has a perimeter rotation that doesn’t lack for depth even with Ware sidelined. And senior Luke Hancock, who can handle the ball himself, is another option despite the fact that he’s listed as a small forward.

Kevin Ware will be on the court in a Louisville uniform at some point in 2013-14. The only question now is when he’ll be fully cleared to play.

PHOTO: Baylor shows off new uniforms

Scott Drew
Associated Press
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Wednesday afternoon the Baylor basketball program sent out some images of its uniform combinations for the upcoming season, and the volt color way that first made a splash in 2012 is back. Baylor’s got four different uniforms it can wear this season: home (white), away (green) and two alternate uniforms.

While there is some volt green in each of the four uniforms, its presence is relatively tame compared to the uniforms Scott Drew’s program wore back in 2012. Of course those uniforms were part of adidas’ AdiZero uniform¬†release (Baylor is now outfitted by Nike), with two other schools (Cincinnati and Louisville) wearing colorful uniforms with shorts that had “interesting” patterns on them.

While some of the new uniform designs in college sports have received some pushback from fans and alums, this stuff is about the players and recruits programs look to land for the future. Everyone likes free stuff, and when it comes to apparel for young athletes having something that’s both free and “exclusive” is seen as a positive.

Pressure is on new coach Steve Prohm at Iowa State

Steve Prohm
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AMES, Iowa (AP) Five months ago, Iowa State’s Steve Prohm was the coach at mid-major Murray State. Now he’s in charge of one of the big favorites in the Big 12.

Prohm officially began his first season in charge of the Cyclones on Tuesday with the team’s annual media day.

Iowa State has all the pieces to make a run at the league title and more – provided that Prohm can handle coaching college basketball at the highest level, of course.

In the minds of Prohm’s players, the Cyclones have nothing to worry about.

“Coach (Prohm) is in here earning our trust and our respect every day,” said senior forward Georges Niang. “Even though he’s not trying to cross any of our toes, he puts his foot down when he needs to and lets us know that stuff needs to get done. I think he has a great combination of how to keep us motivated…and still be stern and be able to get the most out of us.”

Fred Hoiberg’s departure for the Chicago Bulls after five mostly successful seasons gave Prohm a shot at a national title. The roster Hoiberg left behind for Prohm is loaded.

Niang, a likely preseason first-team All-American, second-team All-Big 12 point guard Monte Morris and league defensive player of the year Jameel McKay headline one of the nation’s most talented starting units. Throw in veterans like Naz Long, Matt Thomas, Abdel Nader and transfer Deonte Burton, and Prohm might just have the best roster a new Power Five coach has inherited since Bill Guthridge took over for Dean Smith at North Carolina in 1997.

Guthridge reached the Final Four with his first team.

Prohm isn’t shying away from the notion that Iowa State is among the handful of teams with serious national title aspirations.

“Yeah, they’re realistic,” Prohm said when asked about the sky-high expectations for this year’s team. “I think we have the opportunity to have a very special season.”

The similarities between what type of styles Prohm and Hoiberg use was cited as a big reason why Iowa State hired him. Hoiberg even lobbied for Prohm to athletic director Jamie Pollard during the hiring process.

To that end, Prohm is going to let his players have a ton of input on how they play. Prohm doesn’t plan many changes, just tweaks that mostly involve techniques to improve Iowa State’s somewhat inconsistent rebounding and defense.

“I don’t need to say, `This is the way we’re doing things guys because this is the way I did it.’ That’s stupid,” Prohm said. “I need to meet these guys halfway.”

Prohm also acknowledged that he’ll be doing quite a bit of learning himself this season. But Prohm said he intends to embrace the unique opportunity he’s been afforded.

“This is a great situation to walk into. No question,” Prohm said. “Is there pressure? Yeah. But who wants a job with no pressure?”