Friday, July 25, 2014

Union College Lands Dominique Hagans and David Kapinga

I am told by a source that Union College has landed commitments from Georgetown College transfer Dominique Hagans and incoming freshman David Kapinga.

In 23 games for Georgetown College last season, Hagans averaged 15.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. 

Hagans, who played high school basketball at Lafayette High School, originally signed with Eastern Kentucky University but ended up at Georgetown. The 6-foot-2 guard has the potential to be an all-league player at Union.

Kapinga, a 5-foot-10 point guard, previously played at Southwestern High School before finishing out his high school career at St. Louis Christian.



Former Campbellsville Forward Rilwan Bakare Signs to Play in Germany

Former Campbellsville University power forward Rilwan Bakare has signed to play with TUS Breckerfield in Germany's 2.Regionalliga league next season.



John Wall Invited to Team USA Camp

According to a report from ESPN.com, former Kentucky star John Wall has been invited and will attend Team USA camp next week in Las Vegas.

Here is an excerpt:

Sources said that USAB has wanted Wall in camp for weeks and merely wanted to make sure that the Wizards’ All-Star was able to play at full capacity after a longer-than-expected season before making it official.

Wall will join DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors and new Dallas Mavericks signee Chandler Parsons as newcomers to the original Team USA roster.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski and USAB chairman Jerry Colangelo have assembled a group of 19 players — Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin dropped out Thursday — to audition in Las Vegas, from which they will pick a final 12-man roster to represent the United States in FIBA’s inaugural World Cup of Basketball starting Aug. 30 in Spain.

Read More

Wall will join DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and former Morehead State star Kenneth Faried at the camp.

Former Card Brandon Jenkins Signs to Play in Switzerland

Former University of Louisville guard Brandon Jenkins has signed with BC Boncourt Red Team in Switzerland's top-level LNA league.

Jenkins played 16 games for Hub Jets in New Zealand earlier this summer. There, he averaged 15.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

Last season, Jenkins 14.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game for KB RTV 21 Prishtina in Kosovo's SuperLeague.

Here is more from Eurobasket.com:

BC Boncourt Red Team (LNA) agreed terms with 29-year old American guard Brandon Jenkins (191-85, college: Louisville). He played this summer at Hub Jets in New Zealand NBL league. In 16 games he had very impressive stats: 15.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 6.2apg (top 5) and 1.8spg (in top 5). The previous season Jenkins played at KB RTV 21 Prishtina (SuperLeague) in Kosovo. In 8 games he recorded 14.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 5.5apg and 1.6spg.

In 2012-13 season he played at Starwings. In 26 games he recorded 13.9ppg, 3.5rpg, 5.3apg (top 5) and 2.2spg (in top 4). Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Swiss LNA Honorable Mention. Jenkins' team won KBDL Regular Season in 2007.

Read More

Former UPIKE Assistant Lands Job at Northeast Mississippi Community College

Former University of Pikeville student and assistant coach Kyle Morris has been hired as an assistant at Northeast Mississippi Community College.

This will be his eighth season on the sidelines after spending time at UPIKE and North Alabama.

Here is a release from NMCC:

Booneville, Miss. - Kyle Morris is enthusiastic about reunifying with a longtime companion and joining one of the most tradition-rich men's basketball programs in the Magnolia State.

Morris, who brings an intense and dynamic attitude to the court, has been selected as the new assistant coach for Northeast Mississippi Community College beginning with the upcoming 2014-15 campaign.

"It's a big hire in a lot of different areas," said Tigers headman Cord Wright. "First and foremost from the recruiting side of it, he's really good. He's active, stays on it and that's one of the biggest things in recruiting is just being consistent and working at it. That's one area that he's going to bring a lot of help to with the state being opened up.

"Secondly, he does a really good job with individual workouts and making the players better. Recruiting them is huge, but making them better while they're here is the next step. I'm very excited and I think that within a year or so once we get this thing rocking and rolling that everybody will see the excitement that I feel now."

Morris enters his eighth season in the coaching profession at Northeast following successful stops at his collegiate alma mater, the University of Pikeville (Ky.), and the University of North Alabama.

"I'm very honored and humbled," Morris said. "I've known coach Wright for the past six years. He helped me get in the business and kind of jump-start my career. I wanted to come over here, accept the challenge and I'm looking forward to getting going.

"My main duties are just making the players that we have here better by making sure they stay in the classroom and making sure they graduate. Also, recruiting is going to be huge, especially the next two years, and making sure we sign the right student-athletes."

Morris landed his first position as an assistant coach at Pikeville during the 2007-08 season. He guided the Bears to a solid 22-9 record and fourth-place finish in the Mid-South Conference.

Pikeville compiled an impressive 14-game winning streak that spanned three months. The Bears defeated their opponents in that stretch by an average score of 77-53.

Under the tutelage of Morris, Jeff Ferguson was named a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Honorable Mention All-American while William Harris, Justin Hicks and Morris each earned all-conference honors.

After an outstanding campaign at Pikeville, Morris travelled further south and accepted a post at North Alabama. He served as an assistant coach for the next six years and aided in the Lions' return to countrywide prominence.

Complete Release

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan Catching Up at AAU Tournament

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and Florida head man Billy Donovan have been catching up a little at the AAU National Championship in Louisville.

Here is some video of the two sitting courtside from cn2 on YouTube:



Here is a picture from Twitter of Pitino and Donovan:


SEC Network and Time Warner Cable Reach and Agreement

Kentucky fans who subscribe to Time Warner Cable can relax a little as TWC has reached an agreement with the SEC Network.

With the new agreement in place, Time Warner subscribers will have access to the SEC Network when it launches in August.

Kentucky fans will now be able to watch all six of the team's games in the Bahamas next month.

Here is more from Bizjournals.com:

The new SEC Network has picked up distribution deals with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks prior to its Aug. 14 launch.

ESPN's agreements with the carriers will put the new network in 60 million homes, including several markets in the Southeastern Conference footprint.

Bright House has a considerable presence in the Birmingham area and also has a huge presence in Florida.

Read More


John Calipari is Watching Recruits in Las Vegas

Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistant Kenny Payne are currently in Las Vegas at the Adidas Super 64 event.

The UK coaches are checking out Skal Labissiere, Stephen Zimmerman and Jaylen Brown.

Here are some pictures of Calipari and Payne sitting courtside:


This Might Be the Best John Wall Highlight Video to Date

Check out these highlights of former Kentucky star John Wall:


ABA's Bowling Green Bandits to Hold Open Tryout

The Bowling Green Bandits, Kentucky's newest ABA team, will hold an open tryout on August 9 at the Evansville Basketball Academy.

Here are details:



Kentucky's Strength and Conditioning Program Will Blow Your Mind

Think it's easy to play at the highest level of college basketball? Think again...

Check out this footage from CoachCal.com of the University of Kentucky's offseason strength and conditioning program (click to play):

Minnesota and Louisville Series? "Not Really" Says Rick Pitino

On Tuesday, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reported that Louisville and Minnesota are working on finalizing a home-and-home men's basketball series for "Pitino bragging rights."



Rick Pitino says that isn't exactly the case, however. When asked about the potential series, Pitino told the Courier-Journal "not really."

Louisville and Minnesota will play in the season opener on November 14 in Puerto Rico as part of the Armed Forces Classic.

Frank Caliendo Reads LeBron James' Letter to Cleveland as Morgan Freeman

This might be the best thing you'll see today - watch as comedian Frank Caliendo reads LeBron James' letter to Cleveland as Morgan Freeman:


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Western's Kentucky Ben Lawson Completes Time with Great Britain National Team

Western Kentucky University's Ben Lawson has completed his time with the Great Britain Under-20 national team.

Lawson averaged 5.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in 8 games at the U-20 European Basketball Championship.

Here is a recap from WKU:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU sophomore center Ben Lawson played eight games and averaged nearly 20 minutes per contest for Great Britain in the recently-concluded Under-20 European Basketball Championship in Crete, Greece.

Lawson averaged 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, and he finished fifth in the championship in blocked shots per game (1.6). Lawson shot 81.3 percent from the free throw line (13-for-16) and had 12 points in the opening game against Latvia. He added eight points on two other occasions, including against Lithuania while adding eight rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Great Britain went 3-6 in the championship and finished 11th, while Turkey won the tournament.

Lawson also played for Great Britain in the Under-18 European Basketball Championship in the summer of 2013, where he averaged 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game while the team finished in ninth place.

The Hitchin, England native appeared in 12 games in his debut season for the Hilltoppers in 2013-14, averaging 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per game in nearly eight minutes per outing.

For more information on WKU Hilltopper Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media @WKUBasketball on Twitter and on Facebook at facebook.com/WKUBasketball.

Offers Rolling in for Caldwell County's Eli Pepper

The offers have been rolling in lately for Caldwell County High School power forward Eli Pepper.

In the last month, Pepper has picked up offers from Dartmouth, Hartford, Bucknell and Lafayette.

Pepper is a 6-foot-8 power forward in the Class of 2015.






Jon Hood to Hold Basketball Camp in Knott County

Former University of Kentucky player Jon Hood will be holding a two-day basketball camp at the Knott County Sportsplex tomorrow and Friday.

Here are details:

Tyndall Not Intimidated by Big SEC Names Like Calipari, Donovan

New Tennessee head coach Donnie Tyndall says he isn't intimidated by big SEC coaching names like John Calipari and Billy Donovan.

In the third part of his interview with The Daily Beacon, Tyndall was asked how he looks to compete with the well-known coaches of the SEC, such as Donovan and Calipari.

"I'm one of those guys that's never been intimidated of anyone I've coached against," Tyndall answered.

Here is an excerpt of the interview:

DB: How do you look to compete with the well-known coaches of the SEC, such as Billy Donovan and John Calipari?

DT: The biggest thing is we have a great place to sell and it's not going to be about Donnie Tyndall, it's going to be about the University of Tennessee. I'm one of those guys that's never been intimidated of anyone I've coached against. We beat Louisville in the NCAA Tournament a couple years ago at Morehead State. I have the utmost respect for the coaches in our league, but we won't be intimidated just because I'm a first-year coach in this league. It's part of growing your career and advancing and I look forward to the challenge.

DB: Tennessee has made the NCAA Tournament four of the last eight seasons. Is that the staple mark for Tennessee basketball and what are your goals for your time here?

DT: It will be our goal each and every year to get in the NCAA Tournament. As our team continues to develop the young talent we have and bring in better talent as the years move forward, we will want to make deep runs in the tournament and one day make it to the Final Four. Right now we are quite a ways away from that. We will have realistic goals and aspirations this season, but I never want to put a ceiling on how quickly something can or cannot happen. When you do that you're doing yourself and your team a disservice. When I went to Southern Miss we had the least experienced team in the country and yet we went on to win a school record 27 games. Had I put a cap on that team we wouldn't have won that many games. We are going to have realistic goals, but we are going to dream big.

Read More

Morehead State Places Five Players on NABC Honors Court

Five Morehead State men's basketball players were recently named to the NABC Honors Court for academic excellence during the 2013-14 academic year.

Drew Kelly, Chad Posthumus, Kareem Storey, Jordan Percell and Karam Mashour all earned the distinction, which is given to juniors or seniors who own a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and have been enrolled at their current school at least one year.

Here is more from MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Morehead State's Drew Kelly, Chad Posthumus, Kareem Storey, Jordan Percell and Karam Mashour have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court for academic achievement.

The Honors Court recognizes juniors or seniors who own a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 and have been enrolled at their current school at least one year. The 2013-14 list includes a record number 895 student-athletes from 335 institutions.

"I am proud of Drew, Chad, Kareem, Jordan and Karam for their accomplishments in the classroom," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "The expectation is for all of our players to earn college degrees. Drew and Chad already have, while the other three are well on their way to achieving that goal."

Kelly, a computer-aided drafting major from Franklin, Tenn., played in 123 games at Morehead State and ranks 29th in school history with 1,013 points. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 9.8 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 48 percent as a senior.

Posthumus, a university studies major from Winnipeg, Manitoba, collected 9.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent as a senior. The 6-foot-11 center, who finished fourth nationally on the glass, reached double figures in scoring 28 times and rebounding on 26 occasions.

Storey, a business administration major from Baltimore, averaged 6.8 points as a junior and ranked fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference with 5.1 assists per outing. The 5-foot-10 guard notched 15 assists in the season opener and matched the MSU standard with 16 more helpers on Dec. 19.

Percell, a sport management major from Campbellsville, Ky., recorded 2.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 27 contests as a junior. The 6-foot-7 forward poured in a career-best 19 points on Dec. 30.

Mashour, a business administration major from Nazareth, Israel, played just five minutes as a junior due to injury. The 6-foot-6 forward sat out the 2012-13 campaign after transferring from UNLV.

Complete Release

Tickets for UK Basketball Alumni Game Go on Sale Monday

Tickets for Kentucky's alumni charity game at Rupp Arena will go on sale Monday.






Here are details from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tickets for the 2014 UK Men’s Basketball Alumni Charity Game, which will be held August 24 at 6 p.m. ET in Rupp Arena, will go on sale to the public on Monday, July 28, at 10 a.m. ET. For the first time in three years, a team of UK pros will face a team of non-UK pros.

All seats are reserved and priced at $101 (premium lower level), $31 (lower level), and $16 for premium upper level. Tickets can be purchased at the Rupp Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster Outlet or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. There is an eight-ticket limit per person. All orders will have additional fees attached. All proceeds from the game will go to charity.

You must be 16 or older to purchase tickets and children under the age of 2 get in for free with a paying adult.

Doors to Rupp Arena will open at 4 p.m. ET.

Set to tip off Sunday evening at 6 p.m. ET, the game will feature Wildcats currently or formerly playing professionally against non-UK players also either currently or formerly playing professionally. The Big Blue Nation will have an opportunity to enjoy some of the top talent to don the Blue and White against other elite talent. Per NBA rules, the University of Kentucky cannot confirm individual players participating in the exhibition game.

Kyle Wiltjer Sounds Off on Kentucky, Gonzaga and Differences Between Calipari and Few

Former Kentucky forward Kyle Wiltjer recently spoke to John Canzano of The Oregonian about his time at UK, his upcoming season at Gonzaga, the differences between John Calipari and Mark Few and much more.



Check out the interview (click to play):



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Montrezl Harrell Would Love to Play Football for Louisville, Too

Louisville junior forward Montrezl Harrell said in a summer catch-up video recently that he would love to play football for the Cardinals, too.

"If coach Petrino needed me to play any possession in football, I'd be ready to play one possession of defense a game," Harrell said in the interview.

He seemed serious:

Northern Kentucky is Now Eligibile for Atlantic Sun Championships

There is some big news for Northern Kentucky University today as the Atlantic Sun Conference has just announced that NKU teams are eligible for conference championships beginning with the 2014-15 season.

Here is a release from NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Championship athletics are back at Northern Kentucky University.

The Atlantic Sun Conference announced today that NKU will be eligible for all conference postseason championships for which its teams qualify starting with the upcoming 2014-15 season. Northern Kentucky is entering the third year of a four-year reclassification period before becoming eligible for NCAA Championships at the Division I level, but the change allows current student-athletes the opportunity to compete for a conference postseason title.

"This is tremendous news for all of our student-athletes and coaches," said NKU Athletics Director Ken Bothof. "Since my arrival here at NKU, the ability to participate in postseason play is something that has continued to be a point of discussion. This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance the student-athlete experience. There are many conferences that discuss the importance of the student-athlete experience, but the Atlantic Sun continues to show it will be a leader in this discussion. Commissioner (Ted) Gumbart has not only done a great job of communicating the importance of our student-athletes, but he has also demonstrated a willingness to support them as well."

The change in policy not only affords Northern Kentucky a chance to compete in conference postseason play, but to host postseason events as well, as the Atlantic Sun Championships for men's and women's soccer and men's and women's basketball will be contested at campus sites.

"Postseason play is something that coaches and players look forward to each and every season," said men's basketball head coach Dave Bezold. "We thought we had another two years to wait for that opportunity as a Division I program. Thanks to the A-Sun and NCAA we will have the chance to play in the postseason conference tourney this season. This is a great surprise for all of the coaches and student-athletes at NKU."

"This is great news for us at NKU," added women's basketball head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. "All of our programs now have the opportunity to compete in the A-Sun for a regular season championship as well as for a postseason championship. This is a great step in moving our program forward in the era of Division I Athletics."

The change in A-Sun policy arose after NCAA clarification that a conference may set specific criteria allowing its highest ranked finisher to be the automatic qualifier (AQ) recipient if a non-eligible team were to participate and win the conference postseason tournament. Prior policy had determined that the conference would lose its AQ if an ineligible team won the tournament.

Complete Release

Emmanuel Mudiay Skips College, Lands $1.2 Million Contract in China

Elite high school prospect Emmanuel Mudiay has signed a one-year deal worth $1.2 million to play for Guangdong in China's top-level CBA league.




Guangdong was 30-4 last season and featured former NBA players Yi Jianlian and Royal Ivey.

The CBA has some high-level players who have played in the NBA and other top leagues around the world. The Beijing Ducks are led by former Kentucky big man Randolph Morris and ex-NBA star Stephon Marbury.

Some other names that stood out last season were Byron Mullens, Lester Hudson, James Singleton, Donte Green, Shelden Williams, Hakim Warrick, Delonte West and Pooh Jeter.

There are rumors that Mudiay will have endorsement opportunities, as well. If that's the case, he could have a very lucrative year overseas as opposed to playing one season of college basketball at SMU.

Will other prized recruits take notice skip college?

Stan Van Gundy Explains Why Pistons Chose Augustine Over Siva

Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy was asked last week why the team chose D.J. Augustin over Peyton Siva on the roster.

Here is his explanation:

QUESTION: Explain the decision of point guard, Augustin over Peyton Siva, who was waived.

Van Gundy: “We saw what (Augustin) did last year. I had to play against him a lot (when he was in Charlotte and Van Gundy coached Orlando). We know how good he can be. He’s a guy that can help you win some games.”

Source

Highlights of 2015 Kentucky Recruit Caleb Swanigan

Check out these highlights of 2015 center Caleb Swanigan, who has just picked up an offer from Kentucky:


Kentucky Offers 5-Star Center Caleb Swanigan

Kentucky has extended a scholarship offer to 2015 center Caleb Swanigan of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

According to Brian Snow of Scout.com:

The 6-foot-9 Swanigan ranks No. 20 overall on the Rivals.com list for 2015. He is No. 12 overall on Scout.com's rankings.

Photo: Rivals.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

Murray State's New Court Looks Pretty Awesome

Murray State has a new logo and court design for the 2014-15 season. I am a fan of what MSU has done with their new-look court (HT: OVCBall.net for the pic):

Kentucky to Play South Florida in 2015-16

Kentucky and South Florida will reportedly play during the 2015-16 season as part of an event put together by the Hall of Fame.

Here is more from ESPN.com:

The Hall of Fame will debut a new event in Miami in 2015 in which Kentucky will play South Florida and Memphis will face Ohio State, an industry source told ESPN.

The neutral site doubleheader will be played at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Nov. 27, 2015. The format of the event is that each host school will play three home games in addition to one neutral site contest.

Read More

South Florida is coached by former Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua.

Three UK Players Honored by the NABC for Academic Excellence

Three University of Kentucky men's basketball players have been honored by the NABC for academic excellence in the classroom during the 2013-14 academic school year.

Tod Lanter, Sam Malone and Jarrod Polson were all named to the NABC's Honors Court earlier today.

Here is a release from UK:

Kansas City, Mo. – Three University of Kentucky men’s basketball players have been honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for excellence in the classroom during the 2013-14 academic school year. Tod Lanter, Sam Malone and Jarrod Polson were all tabbed to the NABC’s Honors Court on Monday.

In order to earn recognition on the Honors Court, a student-athlete must be a junior or senior, own a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year and must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution.

Lanter is entering his senior campaign and third season with the Wildcats. He owns a 3.3 grade-point average and is majoring in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. He is a two-time member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Malone is a three-year letterwinner for the Wildcats and is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree. At the 2014 Final Four, Malone was the recipient of the Elite 89 award, recognizing the player with the highest GPA at the event. A business administration senior with an emphasis in marketing, Malone owns a 3.7 grade-point average.

Polson is a two-time selection to the NABC’s Honors Court after earning the honor following his junior season as well. A graduate of Kentucky, Polson concluded his academic career with a 3.6 GPA. He earned a degree in business administration, also with an emphasis in marketing. Polson is a four-time honoree of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

All three NABC Honors Court selections played a part in UK’s 3.11 cumulative GPA during the 2014 spring semester. It is the sixth time in the last seven semesters that John Calipari’s squad has posted a 3.0 team GPA or better.

Stephan Van Treese Signs to Play in Japan's BJ League

Former Louisville big man Stephan Van Treese has signed his first professional contract in Japan's BJ League for 2014-15.

Van Treese has inked with Niigata Albirex Basketball and will depart for Japan in late-August.

Niigata finished last season with a 31-21 record, which was good for fifth place in the league's Eastern division.

Here is more from UL:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Former University of Louisville center Stephan Van Treese has signed a contract to play professional basketball in Japan for the 2014-15 season.

Van Treese will depart for Japan on Aug. 27 to play for Niigata Albirex Basketball this season in Niigata city in the BJ League (Basketball Japan League).

A 6-9 four-year letterman from Indianapolis, Ind., Van Treese averaged 2.9 points and 5.7 rebounds as a starter in 21 games last season as a senior as the Cardinals posted a 31-6 record, won the American Athletic Conference post-season tournament and shared the regular season title, and reached the NCAA Sweet 16.

A dominant rebounder down the stretch, Van Treese grabbed double-digit rebounds in three of the last seven games while averaging 8.6 rebounds and nearly two steals in that stretch. He pulled down at least six rebounds in 12 of his last 17 games, including averaging 9.3 rebounds per game in the AAC Tournament.

Complete Release

Blog Archive