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Kentucky star still hobbled

On the floor: Minnesota’s Maverick Ahanmisi, left, and Stanford’s Aaron Bright fight for a loose ball in the first half of the NIT final. Bright scores 15 off the bench in Stanford’s 75-51 win.

Associated Press

On the floor: Minnesota’s Maverick Ahanmisi, left, and Stanford’s Aaron Bright fight for a loose ball in the first half of the NIT final. Bright scores 15 off the bench in Stanford’s 75-51 win.

NEW ORLEANS — Kentucky forward Anthony Davis said Thursday that his left knee feels better but isn't completely healthy.

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Davis, a first-team All-American, banged knees with Baylor's Perry Jones while driving to the basket during Sunday's 82-70 win in the region final. Davis crumpled to the court but later returned.

He added he has not participated fully in practice since.

"I sat out some; did some things; rode the bike a little," Davis said about Thursday's practice, about 48 hours before Kentucky plays Louisville in a national semifinal.

"It's about 90 percent. I'll be fine. I've just got to keep icing it."

Illinois: John Groce, who led Ohio to the Sweet 16 this season, was named coach. In four seasons at Ohio, Groce, who replaces the fired Bruce Weber, went 85-56, 34-30 in the MAC. Previously, the Illini were turned down by Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart and Butler's Brad Stevens.

Tulsa: Danny Manning was named coach. Manning led Kansas to the national title in 1988 as a player and has been an assistant there for the past nine seasons. He replaces the fired Doug Wojcik. Manning's current boss, Bill Self, coached Tulsa from 1997-2000, leading it to a region final in 1998.

Michigan Twitter spat: Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said he regrets sending a message via Twitter to Michigan freshman point guard Trey Burke. Burke is deciding between returning to school or going to the NBA. He tweeted Wednesday: "EVERYONE got something to say … I thought this was my life!" Hollis tweeted to Burke: "My advice, believe in YOUR heart & mind, everything else is interference. People u seek out is better than those that seek u." That drew a response, via Twitter, from Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon: "Mark Hollis had good intentions-but made a mistake. Not appropriate to tweet one of our student-athletes. Won't happen again. End of story."

NIT final: Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright each scored 15 off the bench to help Stanford beat Minnesota 75-51 at New York's Madison Square Garden. Bright had six points, including a four-point play, and an assist during a 12-0 first-half run that put the Cardinal (26-11) ahead for good at 29-21. The Gophers (23-15) made 3 of 13 3-pointers.

Football: Reinstated Gator faces charge

GAINESVILLE — The Gainesville State Attorney's Office filed a misdemeanor battery charge against Florida tight end A.C. Leonard one day after coach Will Muschamp announced the sophomore had been allowed to return to practice.

Leonard, expected to back up Jordan Reed, was suspended indefinitely in February after an arrest for simple battery. He and his live-in girlfriend got into an argument, which escalated into a physical altercation and ultimately led to her being grabbed by both feet, dragged from the apartment and locked out, according to police reports.

An arraignment has not been scheduled.

Muschamp said Wednesday that Leonard had been practicing this week, but "he still has a lot of things to work through before his status for the fall is addressed."

Tennessee: Coach Derek Dooley said receiver Da'Rick Rogers "has got some things he needs to do internally" in order to return to the team. Rogers, first-team All-SEC last season as a sophomore, didn't practice Thursday morning. But Dooley didn't call it a suspension. He declined to give details. Rogers hinted Wednesday that he was transferring to I-AA Georgia State, tweeting: "Georgia State. Wasup? I cannot wait to talk to the media tomorrow. It finally comes out." But Rogers was not available for comment Thursday and did not tweet. Dooley said he had no knowledge of Rogers' plans to transfer.

Hockey: Maine's Spencer Abbott (21 goals, nation-high 41 assists), Minnesota-Duluth's Jack Connolly (20 goals, 40 assists) and Colgate's Austin Smith (36 goals, 21 assists) were named finalists for the Hobey Baker award, given to the player of the year. The winner will be a announced April 6.

Times staff writer Antonya English contributed to this report.

Kentucky star still hobbled 03/29/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 29, 2012 10:47pm]
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