Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November 14 News and Notes

This is a somewhat new feature to March Madness All Season. I did it from April and June for the NBA Draft, and received plenty of positive feedback during that time period. It is simply a daily compilation of links to news and stories from newspapers and other media outlets across the country, and I will begin posting these round-ups again on a daily basis if possible. Don’t worry, though, the top-notch analysis and predictions you have come to expect from me will continue to be the priority here at March Madness All Season.

Since games have officially started this season, upsets and outstanding freshman debuts have taken all the headlines, but there have been plenty of other news-worthy stories to note.

According to the
Lawrence Journal-World, Kansas sophomore guard Sherron Collins will miss six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot on Monday. Collins sprained his left ankle in the Jayhawks’ victory over UMKC on Saturday, but X-rays were not taken because of that injury. Collins reportedly felt pain on the top of his left foot and an X-ray showed the stress fracture was in place before the sprain. Coach Bill Self said Collins, who averaged 16 points per game through two contests, should be ready “by the start of the New Year.” If that is the case, Collins will miss at least eleven games. Self said Rodrick Stewart would likely start in Collins’ place until star wing Brandon Rush returns. According to Self, Rush is close to coming back and has been practicing.

According to the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Gonzaga junior forward Josh Heytvelt and freshman guard Steven Gray are both out four-to-six weeks. Heytvelt underwent surgery Monday to repair a stress fracture in his foot that has continuously bothered him, while Gray fractured his right wrist during an exhibition game last week. Additionally, the Spokane Spokesman-Review says forward Theo Davis returned to the team Tuesday after leaving to go to Toronto last Thursday because his father suffered a stroke. He had two points and one rebound in two minutes of action against Idaho last night.

Texas freshman forward Gary Johnson has still not been cleared to play by team doctors despite the fact he practiced with the team during the fall and even played in an exhibition game on Nov. 2, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Coach Rick Barnes also said there was no timetable on his return. American-Statesman columnist Cedric Golden writes that the Longhorns need to move on in the departure of Kevin Durant and Gary Johnson would have been a major help in the team’s lackadaisical opening win against Texas-San Antonio. "He would have made a big difference tonight because in a game like this, we go to him," Barnes said.

Another freshman, New Mexico State forward Herb Pope, has also not been cleared to play – but for a different reason. Pope and classmate Jahmar Young are still not eligible due to questions about their academics. According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, the university has hired a consulting firm to help present an appeal to the NCAA regarding Pope; the NCAA has a complete file on Young and should make a decision on him in the coming days. The Aggies were blown out by Duke on Monday, dropping them to 0-2 on the year.

Tennessee-Martin junior guard Lester Hudson, a junior college transfer who sat out last season, had a quadruple-double last night against Central Baptist. He finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals. Sure, it was against Central Baptist, but this is the same guy that dropped 35 points and 10 rebounds on Memphis in the season opener. Through three games, Hudson is averaging 30.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 5.0 steals, and he is shooting 53% from the field and 50% from behind the arc. He has taken 30 three-pointers in three games.

Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News writes about the Atlantic-10 and its change from a powerhouse conference to one that is competing with the Missouri Valley and the Colonial to see who is the best conference outside of the major ones. He looks into what happened since St. Joseph's was a No. 1 seed and the A-10 was one of the premier leagues in college basketball.

Robbi Pickeral of the Raleigh News & Observer writes a feature on Tywon Lawson, and how he is the key to North Carolina's championship hopes. Lawson is a prankster and joker, and is constantly having fun with interesting clothing and cartoon character apparel. "You have to have fun -- playing basketball is fun," Lawson said. "I'm serious about winning." Coach Roy Williams compared Lawson to Raymond Felton, who made his biggest jump from his freshman year to his sophomore campaign. UNC hopes Lawson does the same.

Pickeral also writes that the fifth starting spot, the power forward position, for North Carolina is up for grabs. Although Deon Thompson started both exhibition games, Roy Williams would not say who was starting Wednesday. Fellow sophomore Alex Stepheson is the primary other candidate. "I don't worry abut that," Williams said. "I guarantee, when I go to bed at night, that's the last frickin' thing I'm thinking about. And it better be the last frickin' thing they're worried about. They're both going to play, but I don't worry about that stuff."

Kevin Cary of the Charlotte Observer writes that Davidson is ready for tonight's battle against preseason No. 1 North Carolina. "We can't put pressure on ourselves," sophomore guard Stephen Curry said. "We are looking forward to the game, but we can't change anything." The Wildcats also realize that it is a big opportunity to make a name for themselves on national television. "We know what kind of opportunity we have," forward Thomas Sander said.

California sophomore Patrick Christopher is going to be a major factor this season for the Golden Bears, writes Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's taking advantage of the opportunity, and he's going to have to play significantly for us early in the season," coach Ben Braun said. "Patrick is taking a huge step from his freshman to sophomore years." With potential starters Jerome Randle and Theo Robertson, as well as Taylor Harrison and Omondi Amoke, sitting out due to injury, the emergence of Christopher is even more important. Cal will only suit up eight scholarship players tonight against Conference-USA sleeper Southern Mississippi.


  1. no predictions today? I was looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the davidson-unc game tonight.

  2. these roundups are EXTREMELY helpful