Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Calipari part of possible change

LEXINGTON, Ky. — After losing to UConn in Monday's national title game, Kentucky is facing losing some players — and perhaps its coach — to the NBA.

Fifth-year coach John Calipari dismissed a Monday tweet from former Kentucky player Rex Chapman that Calipari would be hired by the Lakers (Chapman, a Turner Broadcast analyst, backed off Tuesday, saying he believed Calipari would stay at Kentucky).

While Calipari said he wouldn't "dignify that stuff" with a response and later said he was happy and planned to be back, he didn't completely dismiss the scenario. The Lakers denied interest.

Forward Julius Randle appears to be the biggest NBA lock. Guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison are listed on some draft boards as first- or second-rounders. James Young is a possibility because of his outside shooting, and center Willie Cauley-Stein and forward Alex Poythress are prospects.

lebron praises ollie: Kevin Ollie was a Cavaliers teammate of LeBron James in 2003-04. Tuesday, James raved about the job Ollie did while leading Connecticut to the national title. "I've got a lot of respect and I'm very, extremely happy," James said. "You could tell he had that coaching gene in him. More than anything in the locker room and off the floor is where I benefited most from being around him. Even though I have a lot of Kentucky connections, with Coach Cal a very good friend of mine, I was in a win-win situation."

ratings down: The national championship game's television viewership on CBS averaged 21.2 million viewer, down 9 percent from the 2013 Louisville-Michigan game.

warren to nba: N.C. State sophomore T.J. Warren, the ACC player of the year, said he had "a fun ride" but was ready to enter the NBA draft. "Playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine," the 6-foot-8 forward said. He led the ACC in scoring (24.9) and averaged 7.1 rebounds.

obituary: Royce Waltman, Bob Knight's right-hand man from 1982-87 who captivated Indiana fans with his folksy attitude and a penchant for winning, died Monday at age 72 after a long battle with health problems. Most recently he was the Hoosiers radio color commentator. "His knowledge of the game and ability to teach it was only eclipsed by the way he made you feel when you were with him," Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said. "I was incredibly fortunate to have become his friend." Mr. Waltman helped Knight-coached Indiana capture the 1987 national championship. In 2000, he led DePauw to a Division III national runner-up finish. He turned the University of Indianapolis into a Division II power, and led Indiana State to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2000 and 2001.

coaching updates: Appalachian State hired Davidson assistant Jim Fox, 40, as coach. … North Dakota State promoted assistant David Richman, 35, to head coach. … Oregon signed Gonzaga women's coach Kelly Graves, 51, to a six-year deal. He replaces Paul Westhead.

oregon: Point guard Joseph Young, the team's leading scorer, will return for his senior season.

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