Friday, March 28, 2003

UK Notebook

Bogans questionable for Marquette

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MINNEAPOLIS - Keith Bogans hasn't missed a game to injury in his career. His Kentucky teammates don't expect him to sit out now. "If he can walk, he's gonna play," Cliff Hawkins said.

Keith Bogans celebrates the win with Marquis Estill.
(Gary Landers photo)
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Said Marquis Estill: "He'll be all right. He knows we need him."

Bogans suffered a high ankle sprain during the victory Thursday over Wisconsin and sat out the second half. He was taken for treatment after the game and wasn't available to reporters. He is listed as questionable for Saturday's game.

"He's going to do whatever he can to be out there, I know that," UK trainer David Kindy said. "If anyone can push the envelope, it's Keith."

Bogans collided with Wisconsin's Kirk Penney late in the first half, hurting the left ankle. He returned to play the final two minutes of the half but didn't play afterward. He returned to the bench to cheer on his teammates.

"I saw a little dip in our (confidence); it's a family member going down," UK coach Tubby Smith said. "But his presence on the bench was a big boost."

A high ankle sprain is considered a more painful, slower-to-heal variety. Kindy said Bogans will have the ankle iced frequently, wear a pressure boot to keep down swelling, and rest today.

"I hope he's out there (Saturday)," junior teammate Erik Daniels said. "If not, we need to learn to play without him."

TARGETING TUBBY: UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart said he wants to make sure Smith knows how much he's appreciated, and he'll meet with Smith to discuss ways to show that appreciation.

"We had lunch a few weeks ago, but I'll sit down with him again when the season's over," Barnhart said.

At $1.5 million a year, Smith already is one of the best-paid coaches in the country. He is under contract through the 2007 season. Barnhart said there might be ways to lengthen the deal and supplement the income.

Barnhart knows UK's success will bring Smith some suitors, specifically from the NBA, where Smith's name already has been linked to jobs in Atlanta and Charlotte.

HAYES CLAMPS DOWN: Chuck Hayes said he was embarrassed after a first half Thursday in which Penney scored 17 points with Hayes primarily guarding him. Smith asked his players at halftime who wanted to guard Penney, and Hayes insisted he get another chance.

The sophomore forward limited Wisconsin's star to three second-half points on 1-of-3 shooting.

SCHEDULE STILL STRONG: Barnhart had talked in late December about softening the team's nonconference schedule. Yet he said any change probably won't be noticeable next season.

UK already has contracts for home games with Louisville and North Carolina, plus road games at Notre Dame and Michigan State. It will meet Indiana at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, plus meet UCLA in the Wooden Classic in Anaheim.

"That's enough" tough games, Barnhart said.

Most of the remaining nonconference schedule will be non-returned home games against mid-major teams, plus the annual home-away-from-home games in Cincinnati and Louisville.


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