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Memphis' Rose okay for NCAA final despite feeling sick

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Memphis star freshman point guard Derrick Rose walked up the steps to the dais but never even sat down at his spot for Sunday afternoon's news conference.

After a brief chat with a teammate and coach John Calipari, he went to receive treatment for what team officials said was an upset stomach.

"He said his stomach was bothering him so I told him to go back and see the trainer," Calipari said.

Rose will play in tonight's NCAA final against Kansas, a school statement said.

WIN FOR ROD: Kansas players dedicated Saturday night's game to fifth-year senior guard Rodrick Stewart, who broke his right kneecap Friday during practice at the Alamodome. He was jumping to dunk, slipped on a wet spot and heard a loud pop.

"I'm holding up a lot better today," Stewart said Sunday, who watched the semifinal win from the bench. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I'm trying to take it all in. It was tough (at the game). There was about one minute left in the game and I just wanted to be out there, even for a second."

He said he's scheduled for surgery on Wednesday and has been told he can resume his playing career. Teammate Brandon Rush, who has come back from tearing the ACL in his right knee, told Stewart to stay positive.

"I'm going to keep a smile on my face," Stewart said.

FAMILY VALUES: Speaking of Rush, he's expecting his brother Kareem (Missouri), now with the Indiana Pacers, to make it to tonight's game even though he'll have to pay a fine. Rush wasn't sure if another brother, JaRon (UCLA), will make it into town.

"I talked to JaRon (Saturday) and gave him an earful about how I got here first," Rush said.

FROM RUSSIA TO MELBOURNE: Kansas senior center Sasha Kaun, who moved from Tomsk, Russia to Melbourne for his sophomore year of high school (at Florida Air Academy), is living a dream.

"One of the reasons I came to Kansas was to be able to play in these kind of games and win a national title," he said.

When he came to the States, he hadn't really played basketball. But at 6-10, he was approached about joining the team. Back then, he said, "I was horrible." Not now.

COLLEGE HONOR: ESPN analyst Dick Vitale, the voice of college basketball for the network for 29 years, is among seven inductees into the National College Basketball Hall of Fame. He joins CBS announcer Billy Packer, coaches Nolan Richardson and Jim Phelan, and players Charles Barkley, Arnie Ferrin and Danny Manning (the hero of Kansas' 1988 championship and now a Jayhawks assistant).

"I see the unbelievable achievement of the Barkleys and the Mannings and people of that stature, to be placed in that situation absolutely floors me, to be honest with you," said Vitale, the Lakewood Ranch resident. "Isn't it phenomenal? I can't run. I can't jump. I can't shoot and I've got a body by linguini. But I'm in the Hall of Fame for one reason, enthusiasm, being excited about life. I learned that from my mother and my father."

The enshrinement is Nov. 23.

Memphis' Rose okay for NCAA final despite feeling sick 04/06/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 6, 2008 9:18pm]
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