Willie Cauley-Stein ‘doubtful’ for Sunday’s Elite 8 game
Willie Cauley-Stein, who injured his left ankle in Kentucky’s win over Louisville in the Sweet 16, is doubtful for Sunday’s game against No. 2 seed Michigan.
“I will tell you, he’s still in a boot. He’s doubtful. He’s acting like he thinks he can do something, and I would be stunned if he played in this game,” John Calipari said Saturday during Kentucky’s media day. “But he’s saying that 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.
The positive news in this situation is that the injury to Cauley-Stein is only his ankle. “No, it’s his ankle. Not an Achilles,” Calipari said.
Cauley-Stein averaged 7.0 points, 6.2 boards and 2.9 blocks this season, but he has been coming off the bench in recent games. He injured his left ankle in the first half of Friday night’s win and did not return to the game, as CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson reported that Cauley-Stein told trainers that “he heard it pop”.
Cauley-Stein is the most athletic player on Kentucky’s front line, but the good news is that John Calipari has plenty of front court pieces at his disposal. Dakari Johnson has been starting alongside Julius Randle, and this could mean extended minutes for him. It should also lead to more playing time for Alex Poythress.