NCAA Basketball News and Notes: December 11, 2018
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest news stories from around the world of college basketball.
Kansas Tops AP Poll Rankings
The Kansas Jayhawks have returned to the top spot in the latest Associated Press rankings. The Jayhawks were ranked number 1 in the preseason poll but were replaced by Duke after the first week of the 2018-19 season. Kansas received 57 of the possible 65 first-place votes in the latest poll and took over the top spot from Gonzaga, who lost this week. Gonzaga fell all the way to number four with their loss to Tennessee. Tennessee jumped up to number three in the poll, trailing Duke, who moved up to number two. The Michigan Wolverines (10-0) remained steady at number five in this week’s poll. Virginia, Nevada, Auburn, Michigan State, and Florida State round out the top-ten.
Azubuike Hopeful To Return in January
Speaking of the Jayhawks, Kansas is hoping to get center Udoka Azubuike back in time for the start of Big 12 play on January 2. The Jayhawks will open Big 12 play with a game against the Oklahoma Sooners. Azubuike suffered a sprained ankle in a Kansas win over Wofford last week and is moving around in a walking boot. The center is averaging 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season.
Allen’s Appeal Denied By NCAA
Wichita State forward Teddy Allen will be forced to sit out the entire 2018-19 season after the NCAA denied his appeal. Allen was appealing the NCAA for immediate eligibility after transferring from West Virginia, but the sophomore will be forced to redshirt this season. Allen was appealing the subcommittee for legislative relief so he could be closer to his support system in Boys Town, Nebraska. The NCAA’s decision will allow Allen to practice and travel with the team, but he cannot play in any games until next season.
UConn To Retire Numbers
The University of Connecticut announced that they will retire the numbers of two college basketball legends during a ceremony in March. Ray Allen and Rebecca Lobo will become the first two players in UConn history to have their numbers retired by the school. The school announced that the honor is reserved for Hall of Famers, which Allen and Lobo both recently became. Lobo wore the number 50 jersey in leading the Huskies to a 35-0 record and a National Championship during the 1995 season. She became the first UConn player inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017 after playing seven seasons in the WNBA. Ray Allen wore the number 34 jersey during his All-American career as a Husky. His teams went 89-13 during his three seasons at Connecticut, and he went on to play 18 seasons in the NBA. Allen was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September.
Duke Lands Five-Star Big Man
Duke University received a verbal commitment from five-star big man Vernon Carey Jr. on Thursday. Carey made the announcement from his NSU University School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with ESPN in attendance. Carey is ranked as the number two player in the class of 2019 and should make an immediate impact on the floor for the Blue Devils next season. The Blue Devils won the fierce recruiting battle over both Michigan State and North Carolina. Carey will be joined by 6’5” wing Wendell Moore and combo guard Boogie Ellis on the floor next season at Duke.
Kihei Clark Has Wrist Surgery
Virginia freshman Kihei Clark had left wrist surgery on Monday to repair a hairline fracture that he suffered in a game against Morgan State last week. Clark was actually able to suit up and play against VCU over the weekend but was forced to play with a cast on his hand. Cavaliers head coach Tony Bennett was unable to give an exact timetable for his return but hopes that Clark can return sooner rather than later.
Potter Transfers To Wisconsin
Former Ohio State center Micah Potter has announced that he intends to transfer to the University of Wisconsin. Potter announced his decision to transfer from Ohio State on November 5. The Badgers did not offer Potter coming out of high school, but the big man chose Wisconsin over a handful of other teams. Potter averaged 4.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game during his brief career at Ohio State.