College basketball News & notes
Player says Rice’s conduct similar at RMU: A former Robert Morris player has told school officials former coach Mike Rice used a homophobic slur and threw a basketball at a player “once or twice” during his time at the university. Rice was fired by Rutgers last week after video of the coach verbally and physically abusing players became public. A former Rutgers staff member alleged Rice engaged in several “coaches versus players” brawls while coaching the Colonials from 2007-10. Robert Morris athletic director Craig Coleman says an internal investigation uncovered no evidence of the alleged fights. Coleman says one player, who left the program while Rice was in charge, told officials Rice directed a gay slur at him and got into a shoving match with another player during halftime of a game. The other player denied having improper contact with Rice.
Indiana’s Oladipo leaving for NBA: Indiana’s Victor Oladipo made it official Tuesday: He’s headed to the NBA. The junior, first-team All-American announced his decision during a news conference inside Assembly Hall. Oladipo, who is on track to graduate in May, was the Hoosiers’ second-leading scorer, averaging 13.6 points to go along with 6.3 rebounds per game. Oladipo is currently projected as a top-six choice. Indiana’s sophomore center, Cody Zeller, is expected to decide whether he will leave for the NBA as early as Wednesday. Zeller led the team in scoring and rebounding as Indiana reached the No. 1 ranking for much of the year and advanced to the NCAA East Region semifinals, where they lost to Syracuse.
Duke’s Kelly has surgery: Duke has announced that Ryan Kelly will be out 12 weeks after having surgery on his injured right foot. The school said Kelly had the procedure Tuesday. The Duke-issued timeline would keep the 6-foot-11 senior out until early July. The NBA draft is June 27. Kelly missed 13 games after hurting the foot Jan. 8 against Clemson. He returned for the win over Miami on March 2 and helped lead the Blue Devils (30-6) to the Midwest Regional final. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement issued by the school that Kelly “showed amazing courage” in playing through the injury late the season.
Louisville’s Smith leaving for NBA, father says: The father of Russ Smith says the Louisville junior guard will leave school to enter the NBA draft. Russ Smith Sr. said the Cardinals’ leading scorer “did it all” during his college career that culminated with Louisville’s 82-76 victory over Michigan Monday night for the NCAA championship. That title, two Big East and an all-conference first-team selection this season completes a resume he said made it easy for his son to take it to the next level. Smith’s father said his son will announce his decision in the next week. Smith averaged 18.9 points this season including 23.3 in six NCAA tournament games. But he struggled in the Cardinals’ title-clinching victory, missing 13 of 16 shots and finishing with just nine points. Nonetheless, Smith Sr. said, “he’s going.”