Holloway Begins Recovery Phase

By Josh Herwitt - September 24, 2007

Catching up on some news from the weekend...

Louisville coach Rick Pitino won't see Clarence Holloway in a Cardinals jersey this season.

The 7-foot-1 freshman center underwent open-heart surgery Saturday to repair a wall of his aorta and his aortic valve.

The operation took place at Jewish Hospital in Louisville after a physical on Friday revealed the Chicago native's heart condition.

Holloway has enrolled at Louisville but has yet to work out with the team while he awaits to hear a decision on his eligibility from the NCAA Clearinghouse. While he won't play during the 2007-08 season, doctors say he should be back in time for next season.

"We're so pleased that Clarence came out of his surgery well and so thankful that we have the exemplary medical care that basically saved this young man's life," Pitino said in a statement. "We're elated that this was caught at a very dangerous stage in his life and that the operation was successful. We look forward to Clarence having a full, healthy recovery and be able to play next season."

Holloway spent last season in prep school playing for the Chicago Boys to Men Math and English Academy. After his senior year at Chicago's Harlan High School where he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game, he headed south for the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. and entered his name early for the 2006 NBA draft before deciding to pull out last minute.

Mo' For Matta

Thad Matta is known for rebuilding programs.

Just look at the work he did at Butler and Xavier, transforming the Bulldogs and Muskeeters into regular NCAA Tournament participants.

And he showed it even more last season with two superstar freshmen in Greg Oden and Mike Conley, Jr., as the Buckeyes secured a school-record 35 wins, a second straight Big Ten title and an appearance in the national championship game for the first time since 1962.

Now Matta's got a new contract extension after Ohio State raised his salary almost $500,000, making him one of the highest paid coaches in the country at $2.5 million per year, which rivals football coach Jim Tressel's salary of more than $2.6 million.

The promotion also provides Matta with a private jet for 15 hours per year, an increase of five hours from his previous contract.

"I appreciate the opportunity to continue on with what we set out to do three years ago and that is build a national-level program," Matta said. "We are excited with the support Ohio State, alumni and our great fans have given to the program. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity."

Matta was unable to take the Buckeyes to the postseason in his first season after former coach Jim O'Brien violated NCAA rules when he offered money to a recruit.

While Ohio State finished that year at 20-12, Matta made a convincing statement to OSU fans and the entire nation the following year by leading his team to a 26-6 record and a second round appearance against Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament.

But with Oden, Conley, Jr. and Daequan Cook all entering the NBA this summer, it'll be another rebuilding process for Matta as he welcomes guards Jamar Butler (6-foot-1 senior from Lima, Ohio) and David Lighty (6-foot-5 sophomore from Cleveland) back along with a talented recruiting class that includes Canton big man Kosta Koufos -- rated No. 10 in CSTV.com's Class of 2007 rankings.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 08:26 AM on September 24, 2007

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