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Calipari denies knowing about the free throw switch

NCAA Final Four Kentucky Louisville Basketball

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, left shakes hands with Kentucky head coach John Calipari before the first half of an NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball tournament game Saturday, March 31, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AP

Last Saturday, Kentucky fell to Louisville on the road 80-77. Following the Wildcats loss, it was discovered that Kentucky got a little creative at the free throw line.

Towards the end of the first half, Nerlens Noel got fouled by Russ Smith, trailing 35-27. However, Noel, a 52 percent free throw shooter on the year didn’t take the shots, fellow freshman Alex Poythress did. Poythress is 64 percent from the line this season.

Head coach John Calipari has been criticized for the free throw fraud and on Monday addressed the incident, claiming he had no knowledge of the free throw switch.

“If I thought the wrong guy was on the line, I’d get him off the line,” Calipari told the media on Monday, also stating he has corrected officials in the past.

Calipari went on to joke about the free throw conspiracy, telling reporters that he was not on the grassy knoll, referencing the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

He also disputed the idea he had Noel and Poythress switch at the free throw line, due to Poythress’ struggle from the charity stripe. The freshman forward was 2-of-6 on Saturday, while Noel missed his only attempt.

“Why would I put Alex at the line?” said Calipari. “He couldn’t make any shots. I would have had more confidence in Nerlens.”

The Big Lead was the first to catch the free throw switch on Sunday.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne