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Calipari on Willie Cauley-Stein: “It’s not a good ankle injury”

By LARRY VAUGHT

INDIANAPOLIS — All that Kentucky coach John Calipari would say about Willie Cauley-Stein’s left ankle injury was that “it’s not a good ankle injury.”

The Kentucky sophomore center left the game against Louisville early in the first half and did not return after going to the locker room. CBS-TV reported that Cauley-Stein said he “heard a pop” but Kentucky officials said only that he hurt his ankle.

“The doctor told me he was absolutely going bonkers in the locker room for game, like for the team, cheering. They had to hold him down, he was going crazy,” Calipari said after the 74-69 win that included UK closing the game on a 15-3 run.

“We talked to him, and he just told us just to do it for him.  So we want to just play every game for him and it’s a big motivation for us,” center Dakari Johnson, who had 15 points and six rebounds, said.

Cauley-Stein, UK’s top shot blocker, had one rebound in his four minutes.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino said he would not call Cauley-Stein a “difference maker on their team” but more of a “really good player” for Kentucky.

“I don’t think that (his injury) was a major factor (in the game),” Pitino said.

Alex Poythress, who took over the game in the final four minutes, talked to Cauley-Stein at halftime.

“I shook his hand and gave him a big hug,” Poythress said. “I told him we would try to win this for him, and we did. He’s a great shot blocker and we definitely missed him. We don’t know what it (the injury) is.”

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  1. Larry Pup

    I heard this in Cal’s presser after the game. This don’t sound good.

  2. Phillip Barker

    No way the loss of WCS didn’t affect this game…Pitino’s dead wrong!

  3. L Denton

    Improbable win for Kentucky??? Really? Kentucky didn’t match the levels of play
    against K St. or Wich. St., Didn’t feed off WCS’ defensive gems, and shot miserably the first half.

    1. larryvaught

      Improbable because no Willie,James fouled out, down 7 with 4 1/2 minutes left, shot poorly, playing senior dominated team that won championship. Maybe you knew all along UK would win, but I sure didn’t L Denton

      1. Larry T Clemons

        I agree with that LV…But, I saw Fight, heart, Courage and locked down D, with great shooting in the second half. I will say Willie made a Difference in this Team’s Heart…I know that seems, ” story book ” but, it happened and what else can we equate This improbable turn around to ?

        1. Larry T Clemons

          And, ” I’ll take Heart all day over Anything ! “

  4. TheProfessor

    Great win for the Cats, and the Big Blue Nation.

    Just a thought. I wonder where are the media fawning over the Cats given their loss of Willie for the rest of the tournament the way they made Kevin Ware’s injury last tournament the focal point of every discussion.

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    […] ankle: Following the win, Calipari said his center’s ankle injury was “…not a good ankle injury.” It would be very surprising if Cauley-Stein played on Sunday against Michigan, but he could […]

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