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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

College Basketball

DeMarcus Cousins does not think John Calipari will ever return to NBA

John Calipari

Rumors linking John Calipari to NBA coaching jobs are an annual occurrence, but one of the Kentucky coach’s former star players does not believe the speculation will ever become more than just that.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman asked DeMarcus Cousins on Tuesday if he believes Calipari will ever coach at the NBA level again. Because Calipari has such a good thing going at Kentucky, Cousins seriously doubts it.

However, if Calipari did decide that he wants to tackle the NBA again, Cousins believes he would be more prepared this time around.

Calipari was fired in his third season as the coach of the New Jersey Nets in 1999. He took the team to the playoffs one time and finished with an overall record of 72-112. Much like Nick Saban’s tenure with the Miami Dolphins, Calipari’s time coaching in the pros is viewed as a failure, and many believe he wants to give it another shot before retiring.

The more time that passes, the less likely it seems that Calipari will coach in the NBA again. We have heard reports about him possibly returning to the pro ranks in a different capacity, but that also seems unlikely. Calipari has everything he could ever need and want at Kentucky, and he will go down as one of the greatest coaches in NCAA basketball history when all is said and done.

Texas dedicates double overtime win to Andrew Jones

Texas Andrew Jones

Texas dedicated its emotional double overtime win over TCU on Wednesday night to Andrew Jones, whose family announced earlier in the day that the guard has been diagnosed with leukemia.

Here was the scene after the 99-98 win over TCU. A few Longhorns players held up Jones’ jersey:

Jacob Young, who had eight points in nine minutes, dedicated the win to Jones and held up his jersey after the game:

Texas coach Shaka Smart was especially emotional after the game. He was seen with tears in his eyes and delivered this statement after the game:

Texas is now 11-5 after the win, while TCU drops to 13-3. This was easily the Longhorns’ biggest win of the season, and it all was for Jones.

College basketball’s 10 most under-the-radar stars

Tra Holder

College basketball has settled into its crazy season already. Ranked teams are losing so often that the rankings barely make sense anymore. Upsets have become the norm as conference play forces even the best teams to play in tough road environments. Thankfully for fans, all the craziness leads to more intriguing match-ups and reveals more players and teams worth watching. With about half the regular season already played, some unexpected heroes have revealed themselves across the landscape and some expected stars haven’t received the publicity they deserve. This group of players has earned your attention and each of them are worth scouring your TV listings for a chance to see as soon as you can.

Here are college basketball’s 10 most under-the-radar stars:

10. Khryi Thomas, Creighton

Villanova has won the Big East every year since the conference was rocked by the exodus of five schools to other leagues. This season, even though the Wildcats are ranked atop the polls, a host of teams will compete for the conference title. Creighton will be right in the mix, thanks in part to junior guard Khyri Thomas. The third-year starter is having his most productive season yet. Thomas is averaging a very balanced 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. His biggest contributions come on the defensive end, where he is one of the nation’s best perimeter stoppers. Thomas will be key in the Bluejays biggest conference games as he’s tasked with guarding stars like Villanova’s Jalen Brunson and Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett.

9. Jaylen Barford, Arkansas

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Stanford sinks USC on wild buzzer-beater (Video)

Daejon Davis

Sunday night’s Stanford-USC basketball game ended in quite the finish.

The game was tied at 74 with around eight seconds left and USC had the ball. Jordan McLaughlin drove to the basket and made a brilliant layup to give the Trojans a 76-74 lead with 1.7 seconds left, which many thought was the game-winner.

Not so fast, my friends.

That was Daejon Davis sinking a shot from just over halfcourt to give Stanford a 77-76 win at the buzzer.

The shot caps a great week in the conference for Stanford, which got the sweep against the LA schools; they also beat UCLA on Thursday night.

Miami fans use Jimbo Fisher taunt during Florida State game

Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes fans are ruthless.

Not only did the Hurricanes defeat Florida State on Sunday 80-74, but their fans also scored another victory in the form of a humorous taunt.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Christy Chirinos says fans broke out a “Jimbo left you!” chant during the game.

That is a reference to the Seminoles’ former football coach, Jimbo Fisher, leaving the program for Texas A&M.

Miami fans better watch their taunts. We know things are looking up under Mark Richt while FSU is transitioning to Willie Taggart, but let’s not forget who’s won almost every rivalry football game between the teams this decade.

Bill Walton was ready to light some grass on TV

Bill Walton

Watching Bill Walton call a college basketball game on national television, you never know quite what you’re going to get.

The retired hoops icon was working Thursday’s game between the Arizona Wildcats and the Utah Utes on ESPN, when some classic Bill Walton hijinks ensued. Walton pulled out what appeared to be braided stalks of sweetgrass (Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak has something of a tradition of burning sweetgrass in the team’s locker room) and seemed ready to light up on TV.

“Who’s got a match?” said Walton, turning to broadcasting partner Dave Pasch. “You got a match? You got a lighter?”

The No. 14-ranked Wildcats ultimately defeated the Utes by the final of 94-82, but what we really want to know is if Bill found that match! At least this was more light-hearted than the last time that Walton went viral on a telecast.

Stephen Curry has high praise for Oklahoma star Trae Young

Trae Young

Oklahoma star Trae Young is soaring up draft charts as he continues to dominate in his freshman season with the Sooners, and the sharp-shooter has already drawn comparisons to Stephen Curry. While those may be a bit premature, even Curry can’t help but be amazed by what he has seen from Young.

When asked about Young on Wednesday, Curry described the 19-year-old as “unbelievable.”

Young is leading the nation in both points with 29.4 per game and assists with 10.6 per game. His incredible play is the driving force behind Oklahoma being 11-1 and currently ranked No. 7 in the nation after not being ranked in the preseason. Young’s incredible shooting range is the primary reason he reminds people of Curry.

We’ve heard some crazy comparisons to Curry in the past, most notably one from our favorite basketball villain. Young has a long way to go before he can put himself in the same conversation as a two-time NBA MVP, but there’s no denying he is one of the best players in the nation.

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