Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein missed the final three games of the NCAA tournament with an ankle injury. Until Tuesday afternoon, there wasn’t much else to know about the injury, other than a photo he posted 10 weeks after surgery, images of him riding around campus on a scooter and that he wouldn’t play in Kentucky’s trip in August.
On the Joe B and Denny Show on AM-790 KRD, Joe B. Hall mentioned he had recently talked to Cauley-Stein, who gave an update on his injury. This portion of the show was transcribed by Kyle Tucker, the Kentucky beat writer for the Courier Journal:
Speaking on the radio show he shares with former Louisville coach Denny Crum on AM-790 in Louisville, Hall said he’d recently asked Cauley-Stein at a UK practice about the extent of his injury. The junior big man told Hall he’d had a metal plate and three screws inserted to stabilize his ankle.
A UK spokesman could not confirm Hall’s account of Cauley-Stein’s procedure or elaborate in any way.
According to Hall, that might have been the reason the 7-footer decided to return instead of declaring for the NBA Draft, where he likely would have been a lottery pick. When Cauley-Stein announced he returned, he told Calipari that he enjoyed college too much, didn’t think he was ready for the NBA and wanted to win a national championship. The Wildcats enter next season as the nation’s top team.
Cauley-Stein averaged 6.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game as a sophomore. He is again projected as a lottery pick for the NBA Draft by DraftExpress.
James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.
Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.
“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”
He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.
Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.
Memphis just cannot catch a break.
It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.
Today, CBSSports.com reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.
Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.
This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.
That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.