ATLANTA — CBSSports.com reported Thursday on a photograph showing Arkansas Coach John Pelphrey posing for a photograph with two high school juniors, top 20 prospect Archie Goodwin and Trey Smith.
NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from contact with players before July 1 heading into their senior seasons. The photo was reportedly taken Dec. 1 at a tournament in Conway, Ark.
When asked to comment after Arkansas lost to Tennessee, Pelphrey said, "We're certainly very sensitive to those things and take it very seriously. It'll be looked into with regard to our compliance people."
Pelphrey said that Arkansas would be "cooperative" and "forthcoming" about any investigation.
Don't foul Warren
If Kentucky trails late in Friday's game against Ole Miss and needs to send a Rebel to the foul line, it will be of utmost importance not to foul Chris Warren.
Warren leads the nation in free-throw accuracy and is on pace to break the Southeastern Conference's single-season record for accuracy shared by former UK guards Kyle Macy and Travis Ford, and Tennessee's Scooter McFadgon at 91.2 percent.
In Mississippi's victory Thursday over South Carolina in the first round of the SEC Tournament, Warren missed one of four free throws to drop his accuracy this season to 93 percent (160 of 172).
A career 82 percent free-throw shooter going into this season, Warren worked hard enough to become the nation's best. When asked why he worked on a basketball skill that seldom makes the highlight reels, he said, "It's free extra points. Look at every great player. They always seem to get to the free-throw line and make a lot."
Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy, a 90 percent free thrower as a college player at Alabama-Birmingham, saluted Warren.
"What separates guys that are good free-throw shooters and elite shooters like Chris is mental toughness," Kennedy said. "Mental toughness and concentration, that's really what he is as a player."
Hitting it on the nail
Beware the pedicure.
That could be Georgia's rallying cry after a 69-51 victory over Auburn in the SEC Tournament on Thursday.
Star forward Trey Thompkins, who battled through an injury-filled season, credited a return to getting pedicures as a key to his dominant performance. He scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and hit three three-pointers.
During the regular season, Thompkins played through the aftereffects of a high ankle sprain in November, a kick in a shin and a more recent ingrown toenail.
"I guess my feet don't like me," he said.
Thompkins attributed the ingrown toenail to discontinuing his usual practice of getting pedicures.
Before the SEC Tournament, Thompkins got a pedicure. "My mom said it might help how I felt on the court," he said.
When asked if he'd ever had a player credit a pedicure for a good performance, Georgia Coach Mark Fox noted, "Michael Jordan used to do it all the time. So if it's worked for Michael, I guess it's good enough for Trey."
Thompkins made only 24.4 percent of his three-point shots in SEC play this season. In the last nine games, he made six of 23.
Then Thompkins made three of five against Auburn.
"Healthiest I've felt in a long time," said Thompkins, who noted the many hours he'd spent soaking his sore feet and shins.
"It's his best game in a long time," Fox said. "... I think he has some confidence because he felt well."
Last spring, Thompkins decided not to put his name in the 2010 NBA Draft. The pick for pre-season SEC Player of the Year, Thompkins battled through a series of injuries.
When asked if he believed he played to a level of Player of the Year, Thompkins said, "Hopefully, in other people's eyes, I've done my job. I feel I've done my best. That's all I can control."
Miller Mr. Clutch
UK Coach John Calipari noted the progress at crunch time made by Darius Miller. When UK played at Ole Miss in Feb. 1, Miller passed up a chance to take a shot down the stretch. Instead, he passed to a startled DeAndre Liggins, whose miss resulted in a 35-second shot clock violation.
"Darius has really improved," Calipari said. "He still has gaps in his game. But the crunch-time shot, he wants the ball now."
On Wednesday, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi called a potential Georgia-Alabama game here an elimination game, with only the winner getting an NCAA Tournament bid."
"If that's the way they make it, we have to win it, plain and simple," Georgia's Thompkins said.