The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 18th
Marquette assistant coach gets lung transplants: Marquette special assistant Trey Shwab, who was suffering from an incurable lung disease, received a life-saving double lung implant Tuesday. Schwab underwent the seven-hour procedure at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery. Schwab was on the bench for the entirety of Marquette’s magical Final Four run last season, but was always toting his portable oxygen machine. Schwab has endured six other operations during his battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He will have at least 12 weeks of rehab time ahead of him.
UNLV Spoonhour to retire: It was one week ago in this space that Hoopville reported that Rick Majerus was retiring from Utah for health reasons. Now, UNLV’s Charlie Spoonhour has made the announcement that he is retiring from coaching, effective immediately, due to health reasons. Jay Spoonhour, Charlie’s son, has assumed the interim coaching duties. Spoonhour did not specify his health concerns. He had amassed a 54-31 mark in three seasons at UNLV.
Two suspended by St. John’s: Mohamed Diakite and Lamont Hamilton will remain suspended from the St. John’s basketball team through the end of the season. The players’ status with the team will be reviewed at the end of the semester, the school announced Tuesday. Diakite and Hamilton were among six players suspended indefinitely for breaking curfew and going to a strip club after a loss at Pittsburgh on Feb. 4.
Vermont star out for year: Vermont’s Taylor Coppenrath, the nation’s fourth leading scorer, has suffered a broken wrist that looks to sideline him for the year. Coppenrath suffered the injury Saturday in a 67-60 victory over Stony Brook. Vermont is 12-1 in the America East conference but trails league-leading Boston University, who is 13-1. This injury puts a damper on any NCAA hopes for Vermont.
Gonzaga to retire Stockton’s number: No Gonzaga player has worn John Stockton’s number 12 since he left the school in 1984. But now the Bulldogs are making it impossible for any to ever wear it again. The number will be retired tonight when the Bulldogs host Portland. Stockton is a huge supporter of the program, often attending games. Stockton is the first player in Gonzaga history to score 1,000 points and hand out 500 assists.
Louisville throttled on the road: If Rick Pitino isn’t still suffering from his urological pains, he might be suffering some pains watching his team play basketball. The Cardinals were routed by TCU Tuesday night, 71-46, to give Louisville its fourth loss in five games. Corey Santee scored 20 points to lead the Horned Frogs, who hadn’t beat a ranked team in two years. Nucleus Smith added 17 points for TCU. TCU’s defense was the story, holding the normally potent Cardinals to just 29% and without a double-digit scorer. The TCU win resulted in a well-deserved court rushing; it also TCU to pass its win total from last season.
Michigan State outlasts Purdue: It wasn’t pretty, but the Spartans will take the result. Michigan State defeated Purdue Tuesday night, 62-55, to move into a tie for the Big Ten lead. In a game that featured more bodies flying to the ground than baskets made, the Spartans were able to hold Purdue to just 34 percent shooting. Michigan State wasn’t exactly filling it up, hitting 40% of its shots, but it did connect on 24 of 26 free throws.
Florida State wins again at home: While Florida State is struggling to stay at .500 in the conference, it is almost unbeatable at home. The Seminoles notched its all-time best 15th home win Tuesday night in a 76-57 rout of Virginia. Nate Johnson scored eight straight points during an 11-0 Seminole run to start the second half that salted away the game.
Drejer-less Gators lose at Georgia: Florida sophomore guard Christian Drejer is contemplating a pro offer to play in Spain and missed the Gators’ 76-62 loss at Georgia Tuesday night. Coach Billy Donovan is scheduled to meet with Drejer today to discuss his situation, but it looks as though the offer he received may be too lucrative for him to pass up. Florida was able to play the first half with Drejer rather competitively, holding a five-point lead. But Georgia was too much in the second half, behind Damien Wilkins 19 points. The Bulldogs put four players in double figures, while Florida was only able to counter with two, including Matt Walsh’s game-high 28 points.
Iona guard suspended: Iona senior guard DeShaun Williams has been suspended for the remainder of the season. Williams has missed Iona’s last two games due to academic and athletic-related issues. The Syracuse transfer was averaging 14.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
• Wisconsin and Illinois hook up in a big-time Big Ten matchup, while Duke looks to shake off its N.C. State loss when it travels to Wake Forest. CUSA has Cincinnati traveling to surprising UAB.