By LARRY VAUGHT
Bruce Rasmussen, the director of athletics at Creighton University and the chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, wouldn’t offer a lot of insights into what a possible injury to freshman Jarred Vanderbilt might do to Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament standing.
Vanderbilt was hurt in practice Tuesday and was listed as “day to day” by UK. The Cats open SEC Tournament play Friday in St Louis.
Rasmussen was on a teleconference today and was asked about Vanderbilt.
Question: Jarred Vanderbilt, sustained an injury in practice yesterday. His status is day-to-day. We don’t know what his status is at this point. How does the committee factor in a key injury to a key player?
BRUCE RASMUSSEN: “That’s a great question. Player and coach availability is taken into consideration by the committee in the season-long team evaluation process. Every availability situation is unique and considered as such in evaluating a team roster for March. It’s important to stress that the results of all Division I games on a team’s schedule are considered by the committee in team evaluations, and that no team’s results are dismissed.”
Question: I want to take one more crack at the Kentucky injury situation, only in the sense of they could be one team with this player and a different team without him, a much better team with him. How does the committee square that circle?
BRUCE RASMUSSEN: “Again, it will be a discussion. We don’t try to project how a team will do with or without a player. We try to look at what they’ve done over the entire year and make a decision based upon that.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari is scheduled to have a media opportunity Thursday at 7 p.m. EST in St. Louis.