Retired… The No. 44 worn by NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West at West Virginia. WVU retired the number in a halftime ceremony during Saturday's 71-68 loss to LSU. The humble West apologized for the distraction in the wake of the then 13th-ranked Mountaineers loss to the Tigers.
Dedicated…. The floor of the Thomas & Mack Center to former coach Jerry Tarkanian. The University of Nevada Las Vegas paid tribute to Tarkanian, who coached the Running Rebels to the 1990 national title and four trips to the Final Four. Tarkanian has a career record of 509-190 in 19 seasons.
Broken… The ankle of Gonzaga forward Josh Heytvelt, who will have surgery Monday for a broken left ankle, likely missing the rest of the season. The 6-foot-11 redshirt freshman broke his left ankle while scrambling for a loose ball Wednesday night in Gonzaga's 65-63 loss to Connecticut in the championship game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Results of X-rays showed the ankle was broken. Heytvelt will probably spend six weeks in a cast, followed by another six to eight weeks before the ankle is able to bear weight.
Reinstated… New Mexico forward Aaron Johnson, who has been suspended since September after punching a police officer. "Thank goodness for second chances. My Christmas came early," Johnson said. Johnson pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor resisting and assaulting police. He was sentenced to 364 days of unsupervised probation and a judge ordered him to stay away from bars and alcohol for one year.
Mulling… Over an offer from the Toronto Raptors. Former Purdue coach Gene Keady is considering the possibility of coming out retirement to serve as a bench coach for the NBA team. Keady, who went 512-270 in 25 seasons with the Boilermakers, walked away from the game after last season. "I like what I saw when I was up there," Keady said after a visit to Toronto. "I like the players, the organization and the coaches. What's not to like?"
ON THE BEAT
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