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Wednesday's college basketball: Florida player's collapse might be coronavirus-related

Detroit News staff and wire report

Keyontae Johnson, the University of Florida basketball player who collapsed on the court in mid-December, has reportedly been diagnosed with acute myocarditis, a heart inflammation, that might be linked to COVID-19.

Johnson, 21, underwent an MRI at UF Health in Gainesville after being transferred there from Tallahassee Memorial, at which point a doctor recognized the myocarditis, the Gainesville Sun reported Tuesday.

Florida forward Keyontae Johnson

The cause of the inflammation is unclear, but has been reported as a side effect of coronavirus, which Johnson contracted over the summer, along with several Gator teammates.

The team physician, Dr. Jay Clugston, previously told TV20 that all UF athletes receive routine cardiac workups, which can then be used for comparison to later tests.

Johnson collapsed on Dec. 12, after a timeout in the first half of a game against rival Florida State and was immediately hospitalized in critical condition.

His parents announced Tuesday that he was being released from the hospital and would be home in time for Christmas.

“We continue to be amazed at the pace of his recovery,” Nika and Marrecus Johnson said in a statement. “Along with so many well wishes and prayers, we’ve understandably gotten questions about the cause and extent of Keyontae’s illness. As much as everyone involved wants firm answers, the process to draw definitive conclusions continues, and we ask for patience as the medical professionals continue their work.”

Johnson is expected to be out for at least three months and will likely miss the rest of the basketball season, according to the Sun.

Ex-Piston joins Georgia

Michael Curry, a former player and coach for the Pistons and Florida Atlantic coach, has joined Georgia coach Tom Crean’s staff.

Crean on Wednesday named Curry, who played in the NBA for 11 seasons, as the Bulldogs’ player development assistant. Crean also added Tim Dather as director of basketball strategy.

Curry, 52, was 39-43 as the Pistons coach in 2008-09. He was 39-84 at Florida Atlantic from 2014-18. Curry also held executive positions with the NBA Players Association and the NBA.

Big Ten 

No. 18 Illinois 98, (at) Penn State, 81: Ayo Dosunmu scored 21 of his 30 points in the second half to lead Illinois past Penn State.

Kofi Cockburn added 23 points and Andre Curbelo had 15 points and eight assists for the Illini (6-3, 2-1 Big Ten).

Penn State (3-3, 0-2) opened up a 19-4 lead over the first five minutes. The Illini used the remainder of the half to claw back, tying the game at 43 at halftime. Illinois took over midway through the second half.

Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington each scored 21 points for Penn State.

►(At) No. 23 Ohio State 80, Rutgers 68: Duane Washington Jr. (Grand Rapids) scored 22 for Ohio State (7-1, 1-1 Big Ten), which rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to win.

E.J. Liddell had 21 points, and Kyle Young added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Ohio State, which trailed 48-32 with 15 minutes left in the game. Ohio State went on a 20-1 run late in the second half to seize control.

Ron Harper Jr. had 20 points, Montez Mathis scored 16 and Jacob Young added 12 for Rutgers (6-1, 2-1).

Northwestern 74, (at) Indiana 67: Chase Audige scored all of his 17 points in the second half to lead four Northwestern players in double figures and the Wildcats beat Indiana 74-67 on Wednesday night.

Miller Kopp and Ryan Young had 13 points apiece and Boo Buie added 11 for Northwestern (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten). The Wildcats, who won three conference games last season, won their first two Big Ten games for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

The Wildcats were coming off a 79-64 win over then-No. 4 Michigan State on Sunday, Northwestern’s first win over a top-five team since beating Magic Johnson and fourth-ranked Michigan State on January 27, 1979.

Top 25 

No. 5 Villanova 85, (at) Marquette 68: Collin Gillespie scored 22 points and sank six 3-pointers as No. 5 Villanova routed Marquette for its sixth consecutive victory.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Justin Moore had 13 points each and Caleb Daniels added 10 to help the Wildcats (8-1, 3-0 Big East) overpower Marquette (5-5, 1-3), which lost its third straight. Gillespie shot 6 of 11 from 3-point range.

Marquette was seeking to beat a top-10 team for the third time this season. Jamal Cain scored 15 to lead the Golden Eagles. D.J. Carton and Theo John added 10 points each.

►(At) No. 8 Tennessee 80, USC-Upstate 60: Victor Bailey scored 18 for Tennessee (6-0), which struggled until a 12-2 run midway through the second half helped it pull away.

Bailey had four points in that burst. Josiah-Jordan James added 11 points and eight rebounds. John Fulkerson scored 10.

Tommy Brunner scored 18 for USC-Upstate (0-8).

(At) No. 13 Creighton 66, Xavier 61: Antwann Jones and Denzel Mahoney scored 13 each for Creighton (7-2, 3-1 Big East).

Xavier leading scorer Zach Freemantle was held to seven points on 3 of 9 shooting. He fouled out with 2:38 remaining in the game.

Xavier is 7-1, 1-1.