05.04.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on May 4th, 2008

Weekend kibbles n’ bits…

  • Bruce Pearl booted UT guard Ramar Smith and forward Duke Crews off the team, reportedly for failing drug tests.
  • New Hoosier head man Tom Crean refused to allow Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis back onto the team, while kicking DeAndre Thomas off the squad as well. This all occurred one day after the bizarre transfer of Eli Holman, leaving Indiana with only seven scholarship players for 2008-09.
  • Missisippi State’s Ben Hansbrough (little bro of Psycho-T) will transfer to Notre Dame next year, ostensibly because he didn’t like the MSU offense.
  • Speaking of impact transfers, Georgetown’s Vernon Macklin will end up at Florida.
  • Ohio State’s Kosta Koufos is one-and-done – he signed with an agent.
  • Coaching News – Bob Huggins got a raise ($1.5M) and an 11-year extension at WVU – guess he impressed them this year, eh? Their former coach, John Beilein, made the first payment on the $1.5M he owes WVU for breaking his contract last year when he left for Michigan. In a similar vein, former Ohio St. coach Jim O’Brien was paid $2.74M in back pay for being fired by the university even though he admitted to cheating. And Wazzu’s Tony Bennett got an extension through 2015 and a $200K raise, totaling his annual compensation to $1M per year (but no increase in his buyout clause).
  • Next year’s Thanksgiving-week Old Spice Classic will include Tennessee, Michigan St., Gonzaga, Maryland, Georgetown, Oklahoma St., Siena and Wichita St. In other words, loaded.
  • Here are some early entry analyses from Andy Katz and Jeff Goodman.
  • Dana O’Neil writes a compelling article on the uncertainty that programs must endure during the next six weeks of “testing the waters.
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Testicular Fortitude, Literally

Posted by rtmsf on May 1st, 2008

We sorta wondered what the deal was with Tennessee’s Chris Lofton this year. After a superb junior all-american campaign where he averaged 21/3/2 on 48% shooting (41% from three), his numbers dipped considerably during his senior season (16/3/2 on 40% shooting (38% from three)), culminating in a putrid 7-34 performance in UT’s three games of the NCAA Tournament.

Part of us wondered if he was feeling the pressure to perform for NBA scouts; part of us thought maybe the ascent of teammates such as Tyler Smith and JaJuan Smith may have something to do with it. Turns out we were wrong in a BIG way – Chris Lofton had cancer.

Former University of Tennessee guard Chris Lofton revealed today that he underwent four weeks of radiation treatment for testicular cancer last May. Lofton said in an interview with the News Sentinel that the treatment made him feel sluggish and affected his training. He added it may have affected his performance in his senior season. Lofton said, however, he’s made a full recovery and is healthy. The former Vol American did not disclose his condition to his teammates because “he wanted them to focus on the season.”

Wow.

Yeah, getting cancer as a 22-year old might make you lose focus on your senior season a little bit. We’ve always liked Lofton, now we think the guy’s a farkin’ stud. Here’s hoping he destroys the NBA draft camps next month.

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