NEW ORLEANS — Of all the blocks, alley oop dunks and shots off the window that comprised Anthony Davis’s dazzling stat line against Louisville, his most athletic move didn’t even show up in the box score.
In the first half, Davis charged off the side of the court after a loose ball, jumped onto — and over — a press table between two reporters seated right next to me and their computers and landed safely on the floor.
Much to the relief of Kentucky coach John Calipari and probably half a dozen NBA GMs with the chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick.
And he didn’t even spill a drink.
NEW ORLEANS — Rick Pitino couldn’t beat John Calipari in the national semifinals, so he’s now jumped up on the Kentucky bandwagon.
When the longtime rivals shook hands following Kentucky’s 69-61 victory over Louisville here at the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome, Pitino told Calipari: “I’ll be pulling for you. Bring the trophy home to Kentucky.”
Yes, the two men who have traded various barbs and shots across a decade dating to their Conference USA days are warm and fuzzy now that Kentucky did what just about everyone expected and held serve, albeit in tougher fashion than many imagined going in.
NEW ORLEANS — UConn junior power forward Alex Oriakhi is considering visiting North Carolina, Duke, Washington and Gonzaga, a source close to the situation told SNY.tv.
Carolina is losing frontcourt players Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Harrison Barnes to the NBA, while Duke will lose senior Miles Plumlee and possibly Mason Plumlee, a junior.
Washington loses Darnell Grant and assistant Raphael Chillious has coached Oriakhi at various Nike events and also on a trip to Brazil before Oriakhi went to UConn.
NEW ORLEANS — Day Two of the Rick Pitino-John Calipari show didn’t disappoint.
During their press conferences Friday, the two men mixed various shots with praise, clarifications of earlier statements and awkward comments about the other.
Asked about Calipari’s comment earlier this year that “It’s Kentucky [basketball] throughout the whole state,” Pitino had this to say.
“John has only been in this state three years, so he doesn’t know the magnitude of Louisville basketball, for that matter, the history. You say so many things, you’re going to make a mistake. I’ve made so many myself. He made a mistake probably in what he said.”
NEW ORLEANS — New Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley has rounded out his staff with the addition of Jimmy Carr from Rutgers.
Hurley’s staff now includes his brother, Bobby, Carr and Preston Murphy, who worked for former coach Jim Baron and will stay on with Hurley.
“Jimmy Carr has been a tremendous asset to me and my staff, not only for his knowledge of Rutgers University, but the Big East as well,” Rutgers coach Mike Rice said. “Jimmy is a great coach and an even better person. We are excited for him to have this opportunity. We wish Jimmy and Natalie nothing but the best.”
NEW ORLEANS — Tyshawn Taylor, the kid from Hoboken, N.J. who’s had a rocky four years at Kansas, is two victories from a rare double high school/college national championship.
Taylor was a member of Bob Hurley’s undefeated 2007-8 St. Anthony team that produced six Division I-bound seniors and won the mythical national championship.
Now, he’s here in the Final Four as the leader of a Kansas team that faces Ohio State Saturday night in the national semifinals.
“I actually believe that Tyshawn would play at this level since we recruited him,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “He played on that great St. Anthony’s team that won the national championship and all five guys went to high-major schools. I thought Ty was the best prospect out of everybody.”
NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis was named The Associated Press’ college basketball Player of the Year, the first Kentucky player and second freshman to win the award.
Davis received 43 votes Friday from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Balloting was done before the NCAA tournament.
“The season has been great so far,” Davis said Thursday before the award was announced. “Coach Cal has told us ‘win or lose, we have had an awesome season.’ I love our team, we have accomplished many goals and we still have one goal to accomplish, winning a national title.”