Dexter Pittman

Play suspended in Stanford’s game after opponent breaks backboard (VIDEO)

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The second game of Stanford’s tour of Italy was suspended in the second quarter after an opponent broke the backboard on a dunk attempt.

Dexter Pittman, the former Texas big man now playing for Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna in Italy’s top league, went up for a two-handed dunk with 7:22 remaining in the first half. Freshman forward Josh Sharma recovered to break up the play, but Pittman had enough force to break the backboard.

According to Stanford, the teams were forced to travel 15 minutes down the road to finish the game. Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna would go on to defeat the Cardinal, 75-63, on Thursday. Stanford had defeated Stella Azzurra Roma, 75-26, in the first game of the foreign tour.

Reid Travis recorded a double-double of 19 points and 14 boards in a losing effort for Stanford. Marcus Allen had 16 points, scoring in double figures for the second straight game. Roscoe Allen and Dorian Pickens, who had a team-high 15 points on Tuesday, added 10 apiece.

The next contest for the Cardinal is on Saturday against Fileni BPA Jesi.

How do other hauls compare to Kentucky’s recent classes?

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Some things never change.

Kentucky landed 2012’s top prospect in Nerlens Noel Wednesday night, a move that’ll almost certainly give the Wildcats the top-rated recruiting class in college basketball. Consider coach John Calipari four-for-four while in Lexington.

(He’s not done yet, either. Power forward Anthony Bennett, another 5-star player, is considering Kentucky, as are 5-star forwards Amile Jefferson and Devonta Pollard. Bennett is the best bet for the Wildcats, though.)

That’s a run unlike any other in college hoops history and gives the Wildcats four of the top recruiting classes the game’s seen since 2002.

Per Drew Cannon, who’s done work analyzing prospects for Scout.com and Basketball Prospectus, only North Carolina’s 2006 class and Duke’s 2002 class can compare to any of the last four groups Kentucky’s gathered. He places all of the ‘Cats classes ahead of 2007 Ohio State – the Greg Oden-led group that reached the title game – and ’06 Texas, which boasted Kevin Durant, D.J. Augustin, Damion James and Dexter Pittman (!).

Here’s his rundown of the top 16 classes since 2002, a combination of highly rated prospects and number of guys in said class:

That makes 2012 the closest hoarding of elite talent at a select group of schools since 2006. And those were some good groups in ’06.

All of the above classes include at least one 5-star guy, most have at least two or three. Some, like ’05 Kansas, feature four 5-star guys. And many were extremely successful. At least four (’11 Kentucky, ’06 UNC, ’05 Kansas, ’06 Duke) provided the backbone for national title teams.

The only question I have: Where will Kentucky’s 2013 class fall on this list?

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.