3-point shots: Will practices start earlier?

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
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1. Midnight Madness as we’ve come to know it may be dramatically altered if the Big South can get a proposal passed at the NCAA convention in January. The proposal amends bylaw 17.3.2 to align men’s basketball practices with the opportunity the women have. It would move the first official practice from the closest Friday to Oct. 15 to 40 days before the school's first game. The school cannot have more than 30 countable practices during that 40-day period and the amendement would be put into effect on Aug. 1, 2012. If this were in place for this season, then Arizona and Valparaiso would be able to start practice as early as Sept. 28, 40 days before their first game on Nov. 7. The opening of practices would be staggered as teams begin on different dates. VCU coach Shaka Smart said he’s in favor of the legislation to avoid early-season injuries when players go from two hours a week in practice to 20 hours a week once Oct. 15 hits.

2. Kentucky coach John Calipari said if returning sophomore wing Terrence Jones isn’t one of the top-three players in the country then he’s not sure who would be this season. Calipari is reacting to how well Jones is playing for him in practice, so far. But Calipari isn’t backing off his statement that Doron Lamb could be the best player on the team. Lamb is playing as hard as anyone and being productive. Calipari said the player who is making “every shot” and has “sneaky good offense” so far is freshman Kyle Wiltjer. All of this will be good for the Wildcats considering the most impressive talent should be freshman big man Anthony Davis.

3. Louisville’s season changed for the better with the news last week that freshman Wayne Blackshear has been cleared academically. Blackshear was being held up during a request for more documentation. Blackshear had to sit for five months with a dislocated left shoulder that had to be surgically repaired. Louisville assistant Richard Pitino said Blackshear isn’t in shape yet and isn’t ready to be a dominant layer. But by the end of the season the expectation among the staff is that Blackshear will be in the starting lineup and a likely force.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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