Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jan. 22 Full-Court Press

Troubled Caracter Ends Up at UTEP

According to the relentless Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog, former Louisville forward Derrick Caracter has transferred to Texas-El Paso. "Derrick really enjoyed his visit to the school and liked what their staff had to say," Anthony Ray, an adviser to Caracter, told Zagoria. The 6-9 Caracter is very talented but always had off-court problems. He was suspended for a total of 17 games during his two seasons with the Cardinals, and had multiple conflicts with head coach Rick Pitino.

Steele Leaves Alabama -- Not Because of Injuries

Oft-injured point guard Ronald Steele has decided to leave the Alabama basketball team, ending his college basketball career. "This is a very difficult time for Ron as his injuries have been very unfortunate and difficult for him," head coach Mark Gottfried said. "I'll always be indebted to his contributions to our program and the University of Alabama and wish him the very best in his future endeavors." However, Steele and his father insist that injuries, most recently his battle with plantar fascitis, were not the reason for his departure. "It is definitely not the reason I am leaving the team," he said. "After many hours of praying and consulting with my family, teammates and close friends, I have decided it is in my best interests to move on." He did not provide further details.

UConn's Majok Partially Cleared

Connecticut freshman Ater Majok has been partially cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse, meaning that he won't be able to play until after the first semester next season. He can, however, practice with the team until then. "It's good but it's bad," Majok said. "It's bad because I don't get to play [immediately] but it's good ... that I get to fit in first. The season is almost over." The 6-10 Sudanese forward from Australia will enroll today and begin taking classes. "Given the fact of what has happened to him in a refugee camp ... and his family still being separated throughout the world ... he's just a wonderful kid and that he's at UConn, enrolled [today] it's really special," head coach Jim Calhoun said. "We think he's going to be a really good player but the human interest story is him as a person."

Other News and Notes

Famed Bracketologist Joe Lunardi says that Wednesday was the most pivotal night of the college basketball season thus far. (ESPN)

Mid-major expert Kyle Whelliston has been fired from his job at, probably for his mention of cutbacks at the Worldwide Leader. (Mid-Majority)

More coming later...

Also, I will have a full recap of the Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, Mass. that I attended over the weekend, as well as a new article on mid-majors and my normal Weekend Preview, in the coming days

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