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Villanova star seeing fine, should play
By wire services
Published March 14, 2006
VILLANOVA, Pa. - With or without goggles, Allan Ray should be back on the court this week.
Three days after a scary eye injury left the senior guard fearing he'd be blind, Ray was cleared to practice Monday and is expected to play for No.3 Villanova in the NCAA Tournament.
Ray might not even wear protective goggles after he was hit hard in his right eye at the Big East tournament Friday night.
"It's his choice," Villanova coach Jay Wright said of the eye gear. "He looks great. His vision is a lot better."
Ray received full clearance to participate in all drills after seeing a specialist Monday. He's expected to join the Wildcats on the court Wednesday. Wright plans a light practice today.
Friday, Villanova plays the winner of tonight's opening-round game between Monmouth and Hampton.
"It's going to be important for him to get back playing and just feel good," Wright said. "The only risk he has is the exact same thing happening, but that's the same risk as if it never happened before."
COMMITTEE RETALIATES: Craig Littlepage took aim at critics of the NCAA selection committee, even firing back at CBS.
One day after the committee was harshly criticized for its 65-team field, its chairman defended the panel's work, saying he wanted a better working relationship with the NCAA's $6-billion broadcast partner.
Pressed on comments made by CBS analyst Billy Packer, Littlepage mixed frankness with diplomacy.
"I think Billy made the comment that he hadn't seen the Missouri Valley Conference play, but he felt comfortable enough to talk about their lower level of performance not only this year but over time," Littlepage said. "It seems to be counterintuitive, if you will, that he'd make a comment like that."
DELAWARE: Coach David Henderson was fired a week after the Blue Hens concluded their third losing season in five years. Henderson was 85-93 in six seasons.
MONTANA ST.: Coach Mick Durham retired after 16 years at the school following a 15-15 season in which his team again faltered down the stretch. Durham was 246-213 and won two Big Sky titles, but his teams were 54-58 the past four seasons.
WRIGHT ST.: Paul Biancardi stepped down as coach three days after the NCAA barred him from recruiting for violating rules when he was an assistant at Ohio State.