Justin Jackson

Louisville’s Jones to play, Cincy’s Jackson game-time decision for Thursday

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Perhaps the most interesting game of the week takes place on Thursday evening as No. 13 Cincinnati will pay a visit to No. 12 Louisville.

Cincinnati has been the best team in the AAC to date, sitting pretty with an 8-0 record in league play. Louisville was the favorite heading into the season, however, and while they struggled a bit earlier in the season, the Cardinals have seemingly turned a corner in recent weeks. They’re 6-1 in league play, but they haven’t exactly proven that record. Is a win at UConn really that impressive?

I think so, but there are quite a few people out there that may disagree. Is Cincinnati deserving of their ranking? Again, I think so, but there are people that don’t.

Which, in a nutshell, is what makes Thursday so interesting.

The problem? Injuries.

For Cincinnati, it’s Justin Jackson, the anchor defensively for a team that wins because they can really, really defend. He averages 11.1 points, 7.0 boards and 3.4 blocks, but he sprained his ankle on Sunday and is a game-time decision. “Can’t play if he can’t move,” coach Mick Cronin told Sporting News.

To be fair, Louisville head coach isn’t buying it. “We fully expect him to be healthy and ready to go,” he told reporters today.

Louisville has their own injury issues, however. They’ve been without Chris Jones, who hurt his oblique a couple of weeks ago, but he’ll be back on Thursday. He won’t be starting, however, despite being 100%.

“When guys are injured coming off the injured list, we don’t start them,” Pitino said.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.