1. Kentucky, which has elite freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, could have been the biggest beneficiary if the NBA had changed the draft rule to two years out of high school. But ESPN’s Ric Bucher reported Tuesday night that the rule is likely to stay the same for the next two seasons. Wildcats coach John Calipari isn’t surprised that the rule isn’t going to change. “The players association isn’t going to give it up,’’ Calipari said. “I want it to go to two years but that ain't happening in my opinion.’’ Meanwhile, Calipari reacted to the Wildcats being No. 1 by conducting his two longest practices since the season began. Calipari said he went longer than two hours Monday and Tuesday. “We had to go up and down for Marquis Teague so he can recognize when he should make the easy plays.’’
2. Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe could have the possibility of pursuing a medical hardship. But at least one Gophers assistant doesn’t see it occurring. Mbakwe considered looking at the NBA last year but decided to come back to the Gophers. This major setback means he’ll likely look longer at providing financial backing for his family as soon as he’s healthy. The Gophers may go through the process of him possibly getting a year back but no one is now holding their breath that he will return for 2012-13. His loss means Rodney Williams had better board. And the Gophers are going to be much more guard-oriented.
3. Memo to coaches: There is no need to have a game on the way to a tournament or on the way home. History has shown it’s never a good idea to stay on the road like that after a tournament or in advance of one. Michigan State lost at Hawaii on the way to Maui one year and North Carolina did the same to Santa Clara. Now Saint Louis has fallen at Loyola Marymount on the back end of winning the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The Billikens were ranked No. 25 after the tournament win. Losing to LMU shouldn’t dampen any thoughts about SLU being a challenger to Xavier in the A-10. But it was an unnecessary defeat on the road.