The Horned Frogs are more than hanging in against the Arizona State Sun Devils. TCU trails 24-23 at the half, as Tuffy Moss leads the Frogs with nine points on three 3-pointers. The guard also has five rebounds for TCU. Kevin Butler has six points for the Frogs. Eric Boeteng (6-foot-10) leads the Sun Devils with eight points and eight rebounds. TCU isn't shooting particularly well (29.6 percent) but they've clean, conservative basketball and only have three turnovers.
Oklahoma center Blake Griffin has been cleared to play Saturday at Texas Tech.
Coach Jeff Capel announced after Friday's practice that team doctor Brock Schnebel had made the decision. Griffin, who suffered a mild concussion last Saturday at Texas and sat out Monday's game with Kansas, had worked mainly on his own in practice since Wednesday. But apparently he has been symptom free since Tuesday. He sat out the loss to Kansas, but was obviously still experiencing some light and sound sensitivity.
Griffin's return became even more crucial when Capel announced Thursday that he had suspended forward Juan Patillo for Saturday's game for undisclosed violation of teams rules. The decision on Griffin's status was in no way connected to that, but certainly improves the Sooners' chances of ending their 2-game losing streak. Griffin scored 40 points with 23 rebounds in OU's recent victory over the Red Raiders. --Mike Jones.
Not unexpectedly, Kansas State announced Tuesday afternoon that guard Denis Clemente would miss last night's game against non-conference foe North Carolina Central--in restrospect a fortuitous piece of scheduling--for violation of the NCAA Basketball Rules' section dealing with "a fighting act."
Though not explained, the suspension was obviously in response to a blow Clemente delivered to the head of Kansas guard Tyrel Reed in a missed free throw, blockout situation. This after Clemente had already received a technical foul for an elbow to the back of KU guard Brady Morningstar.
“Denis is a very passionate and competitive young man who knows he made a mistake,” K-State coach Frank Martin said in a statement. “His actions on Saturday are not acceptable and he has to do a better job of maintaining his composure. Denis is the leader of this basketball team and we are 100-percent supportive of him during this time.”
“I am very sorry for my actions on Saturday,” Clemente said. “I understand that I let my emotions get the best of me and, more importantly, I let my team down.”
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, who reviewed the tape Tuesday morning, also issued a comment.
“The Conference accepts this action and I commend Coach Martin for taking the initiative and implementing action that demonstrates his continued commitment to conduct his program with sportsmanship,” Beebe said. “I also appreciate Mr. Clemente’s acknowledgement of his mistake.”
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe will review tape Tuesday on the conduct of Kansas State guard Denis Clemente on Saturday, associate basketball commissioner John Underwood said.
Beebe has been out of town but was scheduled to return to the office today. Underwood said he has already studied two incidents that ocurred in Saturday's game between the Wildcats and Kansas, but reserved comment and would not speculate on whether or not Clemente would face disciplinary action from either the Big 12 or K-State.
Clemente, who had already received a technical foul for a retaliatory elbow to the back of KU's Brady Morningstar, apparently delivered an intentional hand to the side of the head of guard Tyrel Reed with 31 seconds left. Reed was blocking out Clemente after the Wildcats guard had missed a free throw.
K-State coach Frank Martin said the matter was being dealt with and conceded Clemente could miss a game. Kansas coach Bill Self said he had seen the incident but added, "I'm not going to comment on it at all."
Clemente apologized to his teammates in the postgame locker room.
As a sidelight, the editor and publisher of Powercat Illustrated and gopowercat.com.made accusations on a Sunday night TV sports show that players on the KU bench had directed racial insults toward Clemente.
Self angrily denied that had happened and said, "“That flat-out (ticks) me off. That did not occur. That does bother me a lot that anybody would say something like that.”
Martin addressed that question to the Kansas City Star.
“I’ve heard that report,” he said. “I have a tough enough time knowing what’s going on with my bench to know what’s going on with their bench. But I have too much respect for Bill Self that if he knew something like that happened, he’d stand up and defuse that situation.”
KU guard Sherron Collins told media members Monday that he and Clemente had joked around.
“It was a lot of ‘Nice shot’ or pulling the jersey out of the shorts, but nothing, really,” Collins said. “I didn’t hear anything like that. The bench maybe hollered when they’d shoot the ball — ‘Miss it’ or something like that. Racial slurs, that’s not us. That’s not even in our character.--Mike Jones.
Prep star and Texas basketball recruit Tristan Thompson is exploring an immediate transfer from St. Benedict's (N.J.) Prep after being dismissed this week from the team by his coach for insubordination, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The star junior forward could end up at Findlay Prep in Nevada, where signed UT guard Avery Bradley is currently enrolled. The source said that Thompson and another player on his team who has committed to Texas--highly-regarded sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo--were planning to leave St. Benedict's at the end of the school year regardless.
Thompson, a 6-9, 215-pound forward, averaged 19.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season. He is a consensus Top Five recruit.--Mike Jones.
Tristan Thompson, one of the top-rated junior basketball prospects in the country who has committed to play for Texas, has been dismissed from the St. Benedict's Prep team for insubordination, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
Thompson is expected to finish the academic year at the Newark, N.J., school and might play a senior season elsewhere.
"He's been dismissed from the team for conduct detrimental to the team," coach Danny Hurley told The Star-Ledger, adding his opinion that outside influences hurt Thompson.
"He's an intelligent, talented, personable young man who's an honors student who, in my opinion, is being influenced negatively by the grassroots forces in basketball in the United States," Hurley, brother of former Duke star Bobby Hurley, said.
Read into that Hurley, who is known for having a heavy coaching hand and whose previously undefeated team recently lost two consecutive games, thinks Thompson listens too much to his AAU coach.
But don't read anything too much into Thompson's dismissal. Thompson is not regarded as a problem kid and this isn't expected to influence his long-time commitment to Texas, nor that of St. Benedict's sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo, who soon may be even higher rated.
Thompson, a 6-9, 215-pound forward, averaged 19.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season. He is a consensus Top Five recruit.
Big 12 leader Oklahoma (21-1, 7-0) is ranked No.2 behind Connecticut in the new AP rankings out Monday, the highest ranking for a Sooner men's basketball team since the 1989-90 season.
OU will try to expand on its 9-game winning streak with home games this week against Texas A&M on Wednesday and Colorado on Saturday. The Sooners' are tied with Utah State for the nation's best record. Their 7-0 conference start is the program's best since the 1985 team won 11 in a row in the Big Eight.
Texas (No.16) and Kansas (No.21) are the conference's other two ranked teams.--Mike Jones.
No. 1 Pittsburgh's perfect run is over. The Panthers of former TCU player Jamie Dixon lost for the first time in 17 games this season as Louisville scored a 69-63 victory in a Big East Conference battle.