Calipari said he encouraged his freshmen to go to the tryouts if they wanted to.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The absence of University of Kentucky players on the U.S. men's 19-under basketball team invitation list wasn't for lack of opportunity.
All six of UK's freshman McDonald's All-Americans were eligible to try out, but Wildcats coach John Calipari said that the group of Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Marcus Lee and James Young will opt to get to Lexington and get to work instead.
Calipari told Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News that he didn't look to influence the players one way or the other.
"Most of it is, they didn't want to play," Calipari told The Sporting News. "I'm not forcing kids to do anything. I think the reason they all turned it down is, they want to get started."
Returning sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein was invited to try out for the USA team in the World University Games, but also is electing to stay in Lexington.
"Willie said, 'This is not the summer for me to do this stuff. I just can't wait to get back. I want to get prepared,'" Calipari told The Sporting News. "I'm happy they're thinking in those terms. They know the spotlight's on them."
Calipari said he encouraged his freshmen to go to the tryouts if they wanted to. Kyle Wiltjer plans to try out for the Canadian National Team this summer, according to DeCourcy.
Montrezl Harrell of the University of Louisville is the only player from a local school planning to take part in the tryouts.
ESPN.com reports that the University of Maryland and the Atlantic Coast Conference have a hearing this afternoon in Upper Marlboro, Md., regarding their ongoing dispute over Maryland's departure from the league.
The school's athletic department, which already is in difficult financial straits, is moving ahead with plans to begin Big Ten play in 2014. The ACC is holding tight to its plan to collect $52 million in exit fees from the school.
According to court documents obtained by ESPN, Maryland is arguing that "the ACC's actions constitute an illegal restraint of free trade in violation of the Maryland Antitrust Act, tortiously interfere with Maryland's contractual relationships and breach the ACC's contractual commitments to Maryland as a member of the conference."
Some confusing stuff there. In general, antitrust challenges against the NCAA and other major voluntary organizations have not fared well. Also, Maryland in one sentence appears to claim that the ACC is interfering with the school's ability to contract with another conference, while claiming a breach of commitments to itself "as a member of the conference."
Hard to believe there was an athletic director last season honored ahead of the University of Louisville's Tom Jurich, but if there was going to be one, the late Mal Moore of Alabama would've been the only choice.
It's easy to think of Alabama as a juggernaut now, but it wasn't quite that in the pre-Nick Saban guys. Moore, the longtime A.D. who passed away in March, was honored posthumously last night in New York City with the Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal Athletic Director of the Year award.
I still say it went to the wrong guy, but Moore is a deserving recipient.
TIP OF THE DAY
If you didn't catch it yesterday, make sure to see the replay of our Wednesday Sports Page Live Webcast with Rick Bozich and me. [Watch it by clicking here.]
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