Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana basketball tidbits before the horses head to the post for the Preakness.
BALTIMORE, Md. (WDRB) – Tossing up a few basketball topics before the Preakness horses reach the post at Pimlico:
*Contrary to chatter that Indiana and Louisville were close to signing a three-year deal with games scheduled in Madison Square Garden, Louisville and Bloomington, Indiana coach Tom Crean said IU and Louisville are unlikely to play next season.
Crean said that he is not looking to add any games away from Assembly Hall for the 2013-14 season. Crean said that scheduling will remain complicated as the Big Ten adds two teams (Rutgers and Maryland). There also is a possibility in the future about an event that could feature teams from the Big Ten and the new, reconfigured Big East.
The Hoosiers are already guaranteed two games next season in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden with a tournament that includes Connecticut, Boston College and Washington. That event, scheduled for Nov. 21 and 22, will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Crean said the opening round matchups for that event have not been set.
IU will play at Syracuse in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and plays Notre Dame in Indianapolis as part of the annual Crossroads Classic, which also includes Butler and Purdue.
He said the final additions to IU's non-league schedule will be games in Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers' Big Ten schedule includes only one game with Purdue, and it's also unlikely a second non-league game with the Boilermakers can be added. Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke said the Boilermakers' schedule is set.
*Crean and Kentucky coach John Calipari were in Sarasota, Fla., Friday night for the Eighth Annual Dick Vitale Gala. Crean will serve as one of the co-hosts for the Vitale's annual fund-raiser for pediatric cancer next season. Vitale plans to have Alabama football coach Nick Saban and Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey to serve with Crean. The event has raised more than $10 million.
*There's always plenty to discuss when the NBA releases the official measurements from the league's scouting combine in Chicago.
How tall is U of L guard Peyton Siva without shoes?
Try 5 feet 11 ½.
How much does UK center Nerlens Noel weigh?
Would you believe 206?
What is Cody Zeller's percentage of body fat?
Only 4.8 for the departing IU sophomore.
The NBA, sadly, has mimicked the NFL with its increased focus on these measurements and skill test performances. Points or rebounds per game are no longer the hot pre-draft topics. Reach and shuttle run times are more likely to be debated as we wait for the Draft, which is scheduled for June 27 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Here are the most intriguing numbers on local players:
Siva: He ranked sixth in standing vertical jump (33.5 inches) and fourth in maximum, or running, vertical jump (41.5). He also tied Tim Hardaway Jr. for sixth in the spot-up shooting drill, making 68 percent of his shots.
U of L center Gorgui Dieng: Without sneakers, Dieng measured at 6-9 ¾. But his reach of 9-3 ½ ranked third among all players measured in Chicago. Dieng weighed 230 with a 5.4 percentage of body fat.
Noel: Although Noel measured at 6-10 with a reach of 9-2, those were not the numbers that stirred the debate about the likelihood of Noel being taken first overall next month. With a percentage of body fat at 4.2, Noel weighed 206, light for a guy who lives around the rim.
The news about Noel's weight stirred a spirited debate between Michael Wilbon and J. A. Adande on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption Friday. Wilbon said he couldn't imagine a guy who weighs 206 playing effectively at center or power forward in the NBA. He said Noel will face the same issues as former U of L star Pervis Ellison because of the lack of bulk.
"He's going to get trucked," NBA analyst Michael Wilbon said.
Adande strongly disagreed, noting that skeptics questioned Kevin Durant's bulk and weight entered the 2007 Draft from Texas.
Noel just turned 19 last month. There's plenty of time for him to gain weight and strength. His shot-blocking skills separate him from others in this draft class.
UK freshman Archie Goodwin: Will Goodwin be taken in the first round? Several analysts are convinced he will spend significant time in the NBA Developmental League next winter.
He measured at 6-3 ¾ with a wingspan of 6-9 ½. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated asked Goodwin if he decided to leave UK early because of fears that he would lose playing time to UK's eight-member incoming freshman class.
This is what Goodwin said:
"It didn't impact my decision at all. Those guys are good players, but I feel I can compete with anybody. They didn't have anything to do with it. It's not about this class. Because the next season people could say I was leaving because of the next one. It would be an ongoing battle, nonstop. I don't pay any attention to it. This was about my family and the way I personally felt."
Zeller: Although he ranked third in the Big Ten in scoring and second in rebounding, he'll face questions until draft night because Zeller has relatively small hands and a wingspan of 8-10 on his 6-10 ¾ frame. Zeller erased some concerns by finishing first in the modified lane agility drill and standing vertical jump (with a leap of 35.5).
Mannix asked Zeller about the perception that his statistics didn't improve as much as many expected this season. This is what Zeller said:
"I thought we had a great year, individually and as a team," Zeller said. "We had high expectations for the season, and we would have liked to win a national championship. But we still won maybe the best conference in the country.
"And I thought I had a great year individually as well. My numbers went up since my freshman year and I had all the attention of double and triple teams, the numbers didn't [improve] too much but I feel like I improved a lot."
IU wing Victor Oladipo: NBA teams will have to decide if they're convinced Oladipo can handle the demands at shooting guard after he was measured at 6-3 ¼. His wingspan of 6-9 ¼ and maximum vertical jump of 42 inches (second to only Shane Larkin) are two reasons Oladipo is likely to be taken in the first five picks.
*Interesting decision by former Eastern High guard Remy Abell to transfer from Indiana to Xavier. The Musketeers actually have more returning talent at guard than Indiana, but Abell said that he was looking for a new start.
"Nobody's selfish on the team," Abell told Shannon Russell of Cincinnati.com. "Everybody on the team's a winner – they just want to win games. The coaching staff is great. Chris Mack is great. I like the way they use ball screens well and get up and down."