UK’s Cauley-Stein hopes he can play in Final Four

INDIANAPOLIS — A piece of net tucked behind his left ear and crutches under both arms, Willie Cauley-Stein couldn’t stop smiling.

After injuring his ankle in the region semifinals, Kentucky’s sophomore center didn’t get to play in the championship win over Michigan on Sunday, but he tried to do his part from the Cats’ bench.

“I was trying to be live as I could on the bench over there, but this is crazy,” he said on the court at Lucas Oil Stadium just seconds after Kentucky advanced to the Final Four. “It’s a dream come true and it’s not even over yet.”

He did his part to celebrate with teammates, too.

“I jumped on one leg,” he said. “I just had to improvise; I felt like a pogo stick.”

Cauley-Stein, who didn’t expound further on the extent of his injury, said he’s going to do everything he can to play in the Final Four.

Is there really a chance he can play?

“I really don’t know,” he said. “I hope so. I really hope so. I’m going to go back to Lexington and get a bunch of treatment, a lot of ice, a lot of (treatment) and maybe, just maybe, this weekend I’ll be able to suit up or something.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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