SAN ANTONIO - It was supposed to be a fun day, a public practice at the Final Four in front of a couple of thousand appreciative Kansas fans in the Alamodome. It turned into anything but that for Jayhawks reserve guard Rodrick Stewart, who fractured his right kneecap attempting to dunk.
The injury occurred during the final drill of a 50-minute practice. Stewart hit a wet spot as he went up and crashed to the floor.
Stewart, a 6-foot-4-inch senior, averaged 2.8 points and 11.6 minutes per game.
"He is obviously out," said coach Bill Self, whose team will face North Carolina in a semifinal tonight.
"He'll have surgery when he gets back to Lawrence. So not a great start to our day."
Hansbrough topsNorth Carolina junior forward Tyler Hansbrough was named the Associated Press's Player of the Year . . . Drake's Keno Davis, son of former Boston College coach Tom Davis, was named the AP's Coach of the Year. In his first year, Davis won a school-record 28 games as Drake finished in the Top 25 for the first time since 1975.
Ford hot commodityUniversity of Massachusetts coach Travis Ford flew here after the Minutemen lost to Ohio State in the NIT final Thursday night. Whether he flies out of here as the UMass coach is open to speculation. Talk that he'll become the next LSU coach was put on hold yesterday as the Tigers wrapped up their search for an athletic director, naming Duke AD Joe Alleva to the post. Now the coaching search will proceed, and it is expected to include Ford . . . Providence College could be closing in on a coach to replace Tim Welsh, who was fired last month after 10 seasons. Ohio coach Tim O'Shea and Brown coach Craig Robinson loom as the leading candidates . . . Former Nevada-Las Vegas coach Jerry Tarkanian spoke to the Memphis team Thursday after Rev. Jesse Jackson addressed the Tigers. "It meant a lot," said Memphis guard Antonio Anderson. "Coach Tarkanian is a Hall of Famer. It means a lot to be mentioned in the same breath with guys like Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, and Stacey Augmon. It's great the last days we got to talk to Jesse Jackson and then Coach Tarkanian. Those are moments you'll never forget, so it's special."
Montgomery to Cal?The University of California reportedly has turned to its biggest rival to find its new coach, agreeing in principle with former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery on a contract to replace the fired Ben Braun. ESPN.com was first to report the news, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the negotiations. School spokesman John Sudsbury declined to comment, and AD Sandy Barbour did not return an e-mail seeking comment. Montgomery, who spent 18 years with the Cardinal, has been out of coaching since August 2006, when he was let go after two seasons in the NBA as coach of the Golden State Warriors. He has announced college games and been an assistant AD at Stanford while still collecting money from the final two years of his contract with Golden State. Braun was fired last week after 12 seasons as coach when the Bears missed the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five years. Montgomery made the tournament his final 10 years at Stanford, winning at least one game each time . . . Indiana is serious about keeping new coach Tom Crean. Under a preliminary deal, Crean would owe $3 million if he resigns in the first three years of an eight-year contract. The amount decreases to $2 million in years four and five. It would be $1 million the last three years. The contract is worth more than $18 million. Indiana agreed to pay $650,000 to help buy out Crean's contract at Marquette, where he was signed through 2017. The Indiana deal calls for Crean to receive an annual base salary of $600,000 and more than $1 million a year for promotional appearances and other off-court work.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.