Saturday, May 04, 2002

Bogans back to UK, but not Carruth


Chiles, Sears also will leave; 2 Jayhawks return

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON — Keith Bogans will return to Kentucky next season to play out his senior season.

        Rashaad Carruth, Adam Chiles and Cory Sears will not be with the team, however, as the Wildcats continue to overhaul their roster after a season wrought with turmoil and under- achievement.

        “We have granted all three their releases to pursue their college playing careers elsewhere,” Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said in a statement Friday.

        Kentucky basketball spokesman Brooks Downing said Smith will have no further comment on the transfers.

        Smith also announced that Ravi Moss, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard from University Heights Academy in Hopkinsville, will walk on to the team next season. Moss averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds a game for the small private school last season.

        “Ravi is an outstanding student-athlete who we're excited to have join our team,” Smith said. “We're fortunate to have a young man of his ability walk on to our squad.”

        Bogans, the team's leading scorer as a sophomore, struggled with his confidence last season, averaging only 11.5 points while shooting a career-low 39 percent from the field.

        He rebounded during Kentucky's NCAA Tournament run, averaging 18.3 points in victories over Valparaiso and Tulsa.

        Bogans flirted with the NBA draft after his sophomore season but returned to Kentucky. Many thought he might bolt for the NBA this time around after a frustrating season in which he was benched several times.

        “We're really excited that Keith will be back next year,” Smith said. “He's looking for a great senior season and I'm sure he'll pick up right where he left off in the NCAA Tournament.”

        Following the Wildcats' 78-68 loss to Maryland in the NCAA East Regional semifinal, Smith said he would review every aspect of the program and make changes to ensure that the problems that plagued the team during its roller-coaster 22-10 season would not repeat themselves.

        Carruth, a sharpshooting freshman from College Park, Ga., was held out of games several times during the season for disciplinary reasons and often was outspoken about his unhappiness on the bench. He appeared in 26 games and averaged 5.5 points.

        Chiles also was suspended during the season and did not play in the NCAA Tournament after an undisclosed violation of team rules. Chiles played in 16 games and averaged less than a point per game.

        Sears, a sophomore walk-on, played in eight games last season and 18 over his two-year career.

        • J.P. Blevins and Tayshaun Prince will close out their careers as student-athletes Sunday when both receive their bachelor's degrees at UK's 135th Commencement in Memorial Coliseum.

        Blevins, who will earn his degree in communications, will graduate magna cum laude. The Edmonton, Ky., native is a three-time Academic All-Southeastern Conference team member. Prince, who cited wanting to graduate as a reason he didn't make himself available for the NBA draft last year, will receive his degree in sociology.

        KANSAS: Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich won't follow former teammate Drew Gooden to the NBA draft.

        Jayhawks coach Roy Williams said Friday that the players would return for their senior years, even though an NBA evaluation committee told him both would have been first-round draft choices.

        Collison, a 6-9 forward, averaged 15.6 points and 8.3 rebounds last season, second on the team to Gooden in both. Hinrich, a 6-3 guard, averaged 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds.

        Besides Gooden and senior shooting guard Jeff Boschee, most of last season's team is expected to return. The Jayhawks, who were ranked No. 1 for four weeks last season, went unbeaten in the Big 12 and finished with a 33-4 record. They were second in the final poll of the season and lost to Maryland in the national semifinals.

        WESTERN KENTUCKY: Western Kentucky men's basketball coach Dennis Felton has signed a new contract that will keep him at the school through the 2007-08 season.

        Felton, who has been at Western Kentucky since 1998, led the Hilltoppers to a 28-4 record last season, the second straight year they won the Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament championships.

       



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