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Willie Cauley-Stein ‘doubtful’ Sunday after overnight evaluation, John Calipari said


INDIANAPOLIS — Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein is doubtful to play in Sunday’s regional final against Michigan, Kentucky coach John Calipari said Saturday.
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Cauley-Stein suffered a left ankle injury early in Friday’s 74-69 win over Louisville in the Sweet 16 and did not return. Cauley-Stein was running down the floor and planted on his left foot to move laterally right, and he immediately jumped off his leg in pain. He did not appear to twist his ankle or suffer a visibly gruesome injury, but he could put very little weight on his ankle and has been wearing a boot, Calipari said.

 

“I will tell you this: He’s still in a boot. He’s doubtful,” Calipari said. “He’s acting like he thinks he can do something, and I would be stunned if he played in this game. But he’s saying he may want to give it a try, but he hasn’t been out of that boot. So he went down and hit it pretty good.”

 

Cauley-Stein would be a valuable defensive asset against Michigan. The 7-footer is as good as any player his size in the country at ranging out and guarding shooters on the perimeter, where Michigan lives. The Wolverines are ninth in the country in three-point field-goal percentage, and 40.3 percent of their total attempts come from beyond the arc, which is 33rd-most in Division I, according to hoop-math.com.

 

Michigan takes the third-fewest shots at the rim in Division I—22.5 percent of their shots come there, again according to hoop-math.com—so even if Cauley-Stein’s prowess as a shot blocker won’t be missed as much, his range will be.


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