Gazette Update On Sean Carter - UMass Athletics

Gazette Update On Sean Carter

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The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Sean Carter, who not only can see, he can play.

Neither of those seemed like a definite for anyone who saw the University of Massachusetts junior center writhing in pain on the floor late in the second half of Sunday's 55-50 win over Dayton.

Carter, who was poked in the eye during a scrum for a loose ball, immediately brought both hands to his injured eye and spent several moments squirming in pain. But he was back at practice Monday and other than a couple of stitches around the eye and a blood spot on the white of it, he proclaimed himself no worse for wear and ready to play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Xavier.

Carter eyes quick return after injury

Sean Carter not only can see, he can play.

Neither of those seemed like a definite for anyone who saw the University of Massachusetts junior center writhing in pain on the floor late in the second half of Sunday's 55-50 win over Dayton.

Carter, who was poked in the eye during a scrum for a loose ball, immediately brought both hands to his injured eye and spent several moments squirming in pain.

But he was back at practice Monday and other than a couple of stitches around the eye and a blood spot on the white of it, he proclaimed himself no worse for wear and ready to play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Xavier.

"I was fine. It didn't hurt at all after. It was more the shock of it. I can see fine. I'm fine to play," Carter said.

UMass coach Derek Kellogg said Carter's return made a statement about his toughness.

"It was good to see he took a nice shot and is back and ready to practice," Kellogg said. "It's a sign that he's maturing a little bit."

A GIMME? - The Minutemen's recent woes had lowered the respect opponents were giving UMass, Dayton star forward Chris Wright admitted to the Dayton Daily News.

"We didn't play with the energy we needed to," said Wright, who was in foul trouble throughout Sunday's game and never got on track. "We thought it was going to be a gimme."

BARBEE VS. CALIPARI - John Calipari used to say that Tony Barbee's Texas-El Paso teams played Calipari's Memphis teams as tough as any opponent, especially in Conference USA. Barbee, who played for Calipari at UMass and coached under him at Memphis, is in his first year at Auburn and will face his mentor for the first time in the SEC tonight at 7 when the Tigers visit Kentucky.

Auburn has struggled early this season, but Calipari praised its upset of Florida State last week.

"I just watched them play Florida State and I think Tony is shorthanded right now but has done a great job," Calipari said on Monday's SEC conference call. "Florida State is going to win a lot of games in their league. I think he has them playing well."

Later in the conference call, Barbee said he is looking forward to renewing their rivalry.

"Going against my former coach and my mentor John Calipari and having gone against him three times in Conference USA is always fun. It's an intense matchup because I know how competitive he is and he knows how competitive I am," Barbee said. "We talk all the time.

"Even though we're competitors and back in the same conference competing against each other, it doesn't affect our friendship and our relationship," Barbee continued. "I've said it before and I'll continue to say it: There hasn't been another male figure in my life outside of my dad that's had the kind of impact that he's had on me personally and professionally."

The two are close enough that Calipari even allowed Barbee to watch some of Kentucky's practice Monday according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

"I told him he's welcome to stay," Calipari told the Herald-Leader. "It seems like we're running about the same thing. It's not like we're going to confuse him."

UNDEFEATED - The unbeaten club lost two members during the weekend as both Central Florida (which fell at Houston 76-71 on Saturday) and Cincinnati (which lost to Villanova 72-61 on Sunday) suffered their first loss of the year. Their departure left Duke, Syracuse, San Diego State, Kansas and Ohio State as the only unblemished squads in the land.

Most likely to fall next? San Diego hosts UNLV Wednesday. The Running Rebels are 13-3 and were ranked earlier this season. Syracuse hosts Cincinnati on Saturday.

The easiest slate might belong to Duke. There are no other Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the top 25.

WINLESS - UNC-Greensboro, Centenary, Alcorn State and Arkansas Pine-Bluff all still have zeros in the win column.

The two Southwest Conference schools both have chances to escape that dubious fraternity this week. Alcorn is at Grambling (3-12) on Wednesday and hosts Mississippi Valley State (2-13) on Friday. Pine Bluff is at Southern (2-13) on Friday.

Alcorn and Pine Bluff play each other Monday.

ATLANTIC 10 GAME OF THE WEEK: Dayton at Xavier, 8 p.m., Saturday (CBS College Sports) - Too early to call any game a must-win, but after losing to UMass on Sunday, Dayton is trying to avoid falling into an early conference hole.

MORE CHARLOTTE WOES - Charlotte senior big man Phil Jones was ruled academically ineligible Monday, further thinning the 49ers' ranks. Jones was averaging 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

SLU STILL WAITING - Willie Reed and Kwamain Mitchell, the two would-be players at Saint Louis who were suspended for a semester for violating the school's code of conduct, are both students at Saint Louis again.

Reed's return was conditional and bars him from competing this season. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mitchell is waiting to see whether the NCAA grants him a waiver that would allow him to play this year because he made no progress toward his degree during his semester off. Even if he is granted a waiver, he could still choose to redshirt, which would allow him to practice with the Billikens this year with two years of eligibility remaining, starting next year.

Information from personal interviews, newspaper articles and sports information releases was used in this report.

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