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West Virginia may get injured star back

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — The Truck might not be parked after all. West Virginia's medical staff is looking at options that could allow point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant to play in the Mountaineers' first Final Four since 1959.

Bryant broke his right foot during practice Tuesday and was expected to miss the rest of the NCAA Tournament. He didn't play against Washington in the East Region semifinals or against Kentucky in the final Saturday, but he could be able to return Saturday in the national semifinals.

Bryant hasn't been cleared to play, but West Virginia trainer Randy Meador told the Sporting News that he might wear a specially designed shoe that would shift weight away from his fractured fifth metatarsal.

In a television interview, coach Bob Huggins said Bryant was in Durham, N.C., getting fitted for special orthotics that are supposed to take pressure off his injured foot.

"We don't know yet whether it's going to work or not," Huggins said.

KEEPING TABS: Even in Turkey, Tyler Smith has heard what people in Tennessee are saying about him. If the Volunteers were better off without him as they advanced further in the tournament than any Tennessee squad had, Smith is happy for them.

"I know they are hearing a lot of stuff about how better they are off without me, and I just tell them if (that's) what it really was, then I am happy for them and for the fans to get to see them accomplish so much this year," Smith wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press.

Smith was Tennessee's captain before he was arrested during a traffic stop Jan. 1. The star forward, center Brian Williams and guards Cameron Tatum and Melvin Goins were accused of a host of misdemeanor gun, drug and alcohol charges.

Coach Bruce Pearl dismissed Smith on Jan. 8 after learning the illegally altered guns found in the car belonged to the senior. Smith pleaded guilty to two gun charges and was sentenced to two years of judicial diversion.

Smith plays for Bornova in the Turkish Basketball League.

TWO CLIMB CHART: Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo moved into elite company Sunday. Duke's Krzyzewski takes a team to the Final Four for the 11th time, tying North Carolina's Dean Smith for second most in history, one behind UCLA's John Wooden. Michigan State's Izzo moved into a four-way tie for fourth with Louisville's Denny Crum, Kentucky's Adolph Rupp and Roy Williams of Kansas and North Carolina.

DOUBLE NICKEL: This is the first Final Four with two No. 5 seeds in it, and they meet in the semifinals. Michigan State, No. 5 in the Midwest Region, and Butler, No. 5 in the West, play Saturday.

West Virginia may get injured star back 03/28/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 28, 2010 11:00pm]
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