Kevin Ware is already up and walking, and he’s got a nice souvenir to keep him company until he’s cleared to return to Louisville.
Cardinals coach Rick Pitino brought the Midwest Regional championship trophy when he visited Ware, who remains hospitalized after surgery to repair a gruesome fracture in his right leg.
“He was real excited about (the trophy),” Pitino said after visiting Ware again Monday morning. “I said to him, ‘You want me to bring it back or stay with you?’ He said, ‘It’s staying with me.’ I said, ‘All right, just make sure you don’t lose it.’”
During a 2-hour surgery Sunday night, doctors reset Ware’s broken tibia and inserted a rod into the bone. Because the bone broke through the skin, Pitino said doctors are monitoring Ware to make sure no infection develops. If there are no complications, he should be released today.
The Cardinals plan to leave for the Final Four in Atlanta on Wednesday night, and Pitino said they expect to have Ware with them. Ware is originally from New York City, but he moved to the Atlanta area before high school.
“He gets to go home, be with his family and be with us on the bench,” Pitino said. “He’s in very good spirits and anxious to get out of the hospital and get back with the guys.”
Ware’s right leg snapped in the first half of Sunday’s Midwest Regional final when he landed awkwardly after trying to contest a 3-point shot. The horrific injury devastated his teammates, and several fell to the court crying.
HALL OF FAME: Longtime coaches Gene Keady and Rollie Massimino, and former U.S. congressman Tom McMillen, headline the 2013 class that will be inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
WOODEN TEAM: Trey Burke of Final Four-bound Michigan and Indiana teammates Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller were among 10 players selected to the John R. Wooden All-American team. Doug McDermott of Creighton is the only repeat honoree from last year. The rest of the Wooden team is: Shane Larkin of Miami; Ben McLemore of Kansas; Kelly Olynyk of of Gonzaga; Mason Plumlee of Duke; Otto Porter Jr. of Georgetown; and Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State.
TUBBY TO TECH: Tubby Smith agreed to terms with Texas Tech to be its next coach. Interim coach Chris Walker went 11-20 this season and 3-15 in Big 12 play. Smith was fired by Minnesota last week after six seasons.