Raptors centre Antonio Davis still is nursing a sore back after falling in a game in Miami on Feb. 27 and might miss the rest of the season.
Coach Sam Mitchell said yesterday there is about a 50-50 chance that Davis, who was acquired from the New York Knicks on Feb.3 for Jalen Rose, cash and a future first-round draft choice, is through for the season. Davis went to Indianapolis to see a back specialist and has not been spotted in these parts in days.
The Raptors, whose alma maters are still in the NCAA tournament, aren't the only ones keeping a close eye on the U.S. college championship. Mitchell has been watching quite a bit, for pleasure but also to get a good idea of who's out there, so when the Raptors make their selections (a first-round pick and two second-round picks) at this year's draft, he'll have a handle on things.
"The way (GM) Bryan Colangelo does things, he wants our input," Mitchell said. "He's going to make the final decision (on draft day), but he wants Wayne (Embry) and my input."
Mitchell likes Connecticut to go all the way (the Huskies defeated Kentucky 87-83 yesterday to advance to the Sweet 16), because the squad is so balanced, including Toronto native Denham Brown, and well-coached.
"It's hard to get a take on their guys. Rudy Gay supposedly has the best talent, but Rudy Gay can score eight points and they still win by 20," Mitchell said. "They've got so many guys, it's not necessarily they have a bad game, it's 'we don't need you tonight.' "
Case in point. The Raptors drafted Charlie Villanueva seventh overall last year, and were criticized heavily for it, because they had seen his superb jump shot in individual workouts. With UConn, Villanueva was not relied on for his jump shot.
The Raptors still were pumped yesterday about their 97-96 come-from-behind win over Milwaukee on Friday night.
"The beauty of it was we never gave up," Villanueva said. "We played the whole 48 minutes through. It just shows how far we've come along. Earlier in the year, we let that game slip away."