Wednesday, November 28, 2007

November 28 News and Notes

According to The Chapel Hill News, North Carolina sophomore point guard Tywon Lawson will be a game-time decision for tonight’s game at Ohio State with an injured right ankle. Junior Bobby Frasor will start in his place. "I'd say it is 50-50 (whether Lawson will play)," coach Roy Williams said. "I know if we had played the game (on Monday) he would not have played." Lawson turned his ankle early in the Tar Heels’ game against BYU on Saturday, forcing Frasor to step in. "When I saw Ty get hurt, he didn't look good," Frasor said. "I got my mindset ready to be ready to control the game, set the tempo and push the ball. I thought I did a fairly decent job offensively." Frasor started at point guard during his freshman year, but Lawson took over last season.

Arizona head coach Lute Olson, who took a leave of absence on Nov. 4, returned to practice Monday, but will not coach during games yet. Interim head coach Kevin O’Neill said it is uncertain when Olson will return to head coaching duties. “He is going to be with us in some of the practices over the next little bit,'' O’Neill said. “He is not going to coach games at this point. There is no timetable for him to do that. There is absolutely no timetable." Interestingly, Arizona players were informed Olson had returned permanently. "We have heard he is back for good,'' freshman Jerryd Bayless told the Tucson Citizen. “I hope he is here for good."

Anthony Gimino of the Tucson Citizen writes the semi-return of Olson only adds to the confusion and mystery surrounding his leave of absence. "We're not covering up anything here," interim coach Kevin O'Neill said. "We're just giving a coach his space to be who he is and do what he needs to do." Arizona players also do not really know what is going on. "It's just kind of been awkward, not knowing when he was going to come back, if he was going to come back," sophomore forward Chase Budinger said. Senior Kirk Walters summed it up well: "Guys, I really don't know anything."

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami sophomore forward
Adrian Thomas will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. He suffered the injury a week ago during practice. Last year, Thomas missed most of the season with an abdominal injury. He was averaging 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game this season.

Michael Cunningham of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that
Miami sports fans should pay attention to the Hurricanes basketball team. “This team is worth watching, but it's hard for Hurricanes basketball to get noticed,” Cunningham writes. He also reports that guard Jack McClinton, the team’s leading scorer last year, is out indefinitely with a sprained thumb.

As reported by numerous media outlets Monday, LSU junior forward Tasmin Mitchell is likely out for the season after it was decided he would need to undergo surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle that has kept him out for the majority of this season. “It’s the best decision to go ahead with the surgery and there is a good chance I will probably not be back this season,” Mitchell said. “As of right now, I haven’t really made the decision yet. What I think I’m going to do is redshirt.” Recovery will take at least six-to-eight weeks. Junior Garrett Temple said the loss of Mitchell affects the team more than the numbers indicate. “He’s really the heart of our team in a lot of ways,” Temple told The (Baton Rouge) Advocate. “It changes us a whole lot to not have him out there with us.”

Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times reports on several UCLA injury updates. Power forward Alfred Aboya, who broke a bone under his right eye last week, practiced yesterday and will start tonight against George Washington. Junior Michael Roll hasn’t played a game this season with an injured left foot and is doubtful for the GW game despite hopes he would get clearance to play. Most importantly, junior point guard Darren Collison, who also has not played this year, will be a game-time decision for tonight’s game. His teammates were impressed with Collison, who sprained his left knee on Nov. 2, on Tuesday. "I think Darren looks great," freshman Kevin Love said. "He was feeding the ball well, running well and you guys all know he's faster than anybody in the country." His replacement, Russell Westbrook, said Collison looked “real good” on Monday. "He looked very close to coming back,” Westbrook said. Coach Ben Howland said Collison’s conditioning will determine when he returns.

Rob Schultz of The (Madison) Capital-Times writes that Wisconsin freshman forward Jon Leuer was the team’s lone bright spot in its 82-58 loss at Duke. Leuer finished with 12 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal. Coach Bo Ryan said Leuer plays the same everywhere he goes; it doesn’t matter in what venue the game is played. “You didn't see him change expression,” Ryan said. “He doesn't care about where he's playing. He might not even know he was here at Duke. Jon just plays. Never changes expression, never has an excuse for anything, never says a word, just plays.”

The talent gap between the ACC and Big Ten was magnified in last night’s game between Wisconsin and Duke, writes Mike Lucas of The (Madison) Capital-Times. “Maybe it's time for a new dance partner,” Lucas writes. “Instead of the annual bloodletting, otherwise known as the Big Ten/ACC Challenge … you would think that eight is enough; eight straight years of ACC dominance over the Big Ten. Make that nine straight.” Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Close said the biggest difference between the two teams – and two conferences, according to Lucas – was simply talent. “The biggest thing is that they've got great talent,” Close said. Following that, Lucas closes with: “Which not only accounted for the separation here Tuesday night between the Badgers and the Blue Devils, but speaks to the Big Ten's ongoing challenge of trying to compete with the ACC.”

1 comment:

  1. Jeff--what are your thoughts on the ACC/Big 10 challenge? Should it continue?
    I wouldnt mind seeing an ACC/PAC 10 challenge or possibly one with the Big East.