The team that smiles together
Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor said the photographer who was shooting team pictures of the Final Four participants paid the Jayhawks a compliment.
He told us it seemed like our team liked each other more than the other teams he just shot, Taylor said. Weve had a lot of things weve gone through Thomas (Robinson) story weve had to bounce back from and show how together we were and had to stick together through a lot of things.
On the court, that shows a lot. Myself, being a leader, I try to keep us as close as possible on the court and off the court.
Davis says hes 90 percent
Kentucky forward Anthony Davis said the knee he injured in Sundays NCAA Elite Eight game against Baylor is 90 percent healthy.
I was active in practice, Davis said. I sat out some things, got on a bike and always kept moving. I got a lot of treatment and rehab so Ill be ready for Saturday. Ill be fine
Kentucky vs. NBA?
With a potential six first-round draft picks on its roster, some have suggested Kentucky could beat some NBA teams. Wildcats coach John Calipari does not agree with that assessment.
This team could not beat one NBA team, said Calipari, who spent three years as an NBA head coach in the late 1990s. Not one. The worst team in the league, we could not beat.
There are good players on every team in this tournament. I have good players on my team. We all have good players the players are why theyre here, or they would not be here. The whole point of this is to get a group of players to play together. People ask, Isnt it hard to get all of those good players to play together?
Im going to tell you whats hard coaching bad players. Thats hard.
Under the radar
As a fourth seed in the Phoenix regional, Louisville is the decided underdog in a field that includes top-ranked Kentucky, the Cardinals opponent on Saturday, and second seeds Ohio State and Kansas.
When asked whether he thinks his team is playing with house money, Louisville coach Rick Pitino joked: Lets quit now and go home with the money.
Kentucky is playing in its second straight Final Four; Kansas is here for the first time since 2008. Ohio State is back for the first time since 2007 and Louisvilles made it for the first time since 2005.
Its very difficult to get here, so I dont believe in that (house-money analogy), Pitino said. This is our chance to win a championship. And we have everything to lose, just like they do.
As for playing in-state rival Kentucky, the program Pitino took to two Final Fours, winning the national championship in 1995 and losing the title game in overtime in 1996, he said: I dont know what theyre better at, offense or defense. Thats the greatest compliment you can give a basketball team.
Cards sport Infrared uniforms
Since donning its new Infrared uniforms, which feature an orange-pink hue, Louisville has won eight straight, starting with the Big East tournament. Louisville, Baylor and Cincinnati were each outfitted with new, bright uniforms for the postseason.
It might be Louisvilles new colors, point guard Peyton Siva said. It might be the new uniform for next year. Were just happy were playing in new uniforms. We like em Were 8-0 in em, so were not going to change anything now.
Withey on the line
Kansas center Jeff Withey is Kansas top free-throw shooter among the Jayhawks starters, making 79.4 percent of his attempts, an unusually high rate for a 7-footer.
Ive always been a pretty good free-throw shooter, said Withey, who has even taken technical foul shots for Kansas during the second half of the season. Before practice, Ill shoot free throws; after practice Ill shoot free throws.
I know its free points, so every time I step up to the line, youre not going to get an easier look at some points
Kidd at heart
For all of Kentucky freshman forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrists all-round brilliance he is projected to be a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft teammates say he still has an innocent side, one that makes him an easy target for jokes.
Hes always trying to watch The Lion King, freshman forward Anthony Davis said, shaking his head. I dont really like that.
| Randy Covitz, firstname.lastname@example.org