Saturday, July 23, 2016

Kentucky to Play Challenging Non-conference Schedule in 2016-17

The Kentucky Wildcats will play a challenging non-conference schedule in the upcoming season.

UK will battle the likes of Michigan State, North Carolina, Louisville, Kansas and UCLA this season.

In addition, the Cats will face mid-major forces Valparaiso and Stephen F. Austin.

Here's a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team plays one of the premier nonconference schedules in the country on an annual basis, but the Wildcats’ 2016-17 slate appears to have taken a typically difficult schedule of games and cranked it up another notch.

UK’s 13-game nonconference schedule, which was released Monday, features eight teams that made it to a postseason tournament in 2015-16, five teams who finished the year with a top 50 RPI ranking and a number of battles with college basketball’s blueblood programs. Three of KenPom’s top five teams from last season (North Carolina, Kansas and Michigan State) are among the heavyweights Kentucky will face in 2016-17.

The Wildcats’ upcoming slate, which will be released in full at a later time, will take the Wildcats as far east as the Bahamas for the second game of a two-year deal with Arizona State (Nov. 28) and as far west as Las Vegas for a matchup with North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic (Dec. 17).

Kentucky will also travel twice to New York, first to play Michigan State (Nov. 15) in Madison Square Garden, and then against Hofstra at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Dec. 11).

UK’s always highly anticipated home schedule includes rematches with UCLA (Dec. 3) and Kansas (Jan. 28). This year’s annual rivalry with Louisville will take place at the KFC Yum! Center on Dec. 21.

“What we try to do with our schedule every year is challenge our players with the best teams in the country while also preparing them for that March run, which is what this program has been built on,” head coach John Calipari said. “This is not an easy task, and sometimes we go too far. Hopefully this isn’t one of those years. When you combine the teams we’re playing with the travel we have, this might be the toughest schedule we’ve ever attempted. I can’t wait to get this started.”

After exhibitions against Clarion (Oct. 30) and Asbury (Nov. 6), UK will kick off its regular season Nov. 11 at home vs. Stephen F. Austin, which came within a basket of making the Sweet 16 last season, before a quick turnaround against Canisius on Nov. 13.

The sixth installment of the Champions Classic will pit UK vs. Michigan State on Nov. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Kentucky last played in Madison Square Garden during the 2012 National Championship season in which UK defeated Kansas.

After Michigan State, the Wildcats will return home for three straight home games in five days against Duquesne (Nov. 20), Cleveland State (Nov. 23) and UT Martin (Nov. 25). Both Duquesne (CBI) and UT Martin (CIT) made postseason tournaments a season ago, and UT Martin just missed out on the NCAA Tournament by making it to the Ohio Valley Conference championship game.

The Wildcats will play Bobby Hurley’s Arizona State team for a second season in a row, only this time it will be on the sunny shores of the Bahamas on Nov. 28. The Wildcats played six exhibition games in a preseason international trip to the Bahamas before the historic 2014-15 season.

December will be jam-packed with marquee games. UK will take on UCLA for a third straight season, but the Dec. 3 matchup this year will mark UCLA’s first-ever trip to Rupp Arena. On Dec. 7, Valparaiso, which made it to the 2016 NIT championship game, will travel to Lexington.

UK will then hit the road for two neutral site games and its first true road game. The Wildcats will play Hofstra for the first time in program history at the Barclays Center on Dec. 11. It will mark the Wildcats’ fourth game in the Barclays Center since it opened in 2012.

Arguably two of the most recognizable programs in college basketball will meet Dec. 17 when UK and North Carolina go head to head at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the CBS Sports Classic. This year’s matchup with Louisville, who the Wildcats are 8-1 against in the Calipari era, has been moved up to Dec. 21 this season.

The two winningest schools in NCAA history, UK and Kansas, will play for a second straight year in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. That game will once again serve as a break in league play and take place Jan. 28.

All told, Kentucky’s 2016-17 nonconference opponents combined for a record of 290-157 in 2015-16, a .649 winning percentage. Four teams finished the season ranked in the top 25 of the all-important RPI.

UK's 2016-17 Southeastern Conference schedule will feature nine home games and nine away games, and will be announced at a later date. It's the fifth straight year the SEC will feature an 18-game schedule.

Dates for Big Blue Madness (Oct 14) and the Blue-White Scrimmage (Oct. 21) have already been announced. Complete game times and TV information will be released at a later date.

For the latest on the Kentucky men's basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on the web at

DeMarcus Cousins Posts Double-Double in Team USA Exhibition Win

Former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins put in a double-double in Team USA's 111-74 exhibition win over Argentina Friday night.

Cousins finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds in the win.

Kevin Durant led the United States with 23 points. Paul George added 18 and Camelo Anthony chipped in 17.

Check out these highlights:

Pelicans Officially Sign Free Agent Forward Terrence Jones

The New Orleans Pelicans have officially signed former University of Kentucky forward Terrence Jones. 

Jones will be reuniting with former UK big man Anthony Davis.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Here is an excerpt of the team's release:

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans today announced that the team has signed unrestricted free agent forward Terrence Jones, and re-signed guard Tim Frazier. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Jones, 6-9, 252, has spent his entire professional career with the Houston Rockets after being selected 18th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. In 178 career regular season games (106 starts) with the Rockets, Jones has averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 24.1 minutes per contest. Jones has appeared in 25 playoff games (11 starts) in which he averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23.0 minutes per contest.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Terrence Jones to the Pelicans' family,” said Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Dell Demps. “Terrence is a versatile player that possesses a diverse skill set that can help us win games. He will be a great addition to our program."

Complete Release

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Jamaal Jackson Named Head Coach at Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University has named former assistant Jamaal Jackson head coach. 

Jackson most recently worked as head coach at Bluefield State College in West Virginia.

Here's a release from KSU:

FRANKFORT, KY-- Kentucky State University announced the hiring of Jamaal Jackson as the new Head Men's Basketball Coach of the Thorobreds on Friday.

Jackson, a KSU graduate, started his coaching career at KSU during a memorable 2000-2001 season as Student Assistant Coach when the Thorobreds won the 2001 SIAC Tournament Championship and claimed a berth in the NCAA National Tournament. He later became a full-time assistant with KSU from 2004-2008.

"As an alum of Kentucky State University, it would be a mission that I would take personally to return our program to the heights that we once realized," Jackson said. "I am prepared to develop our student-athletes both athletically and academically so that they will not only be successful here on the court, but they will graduate from Kentucky State University, prepared to serve."

Jackson recently served as the Head Men's Basketball Coach at Bluefield State College in West Virginia. While at Bluefield State, Jackson coached one member of the WVIAC All-Conference team, three members of the ICAA All-Conference team, one All-ECAC Team member and two Division II All-American Team members.

Following his year as Interim Head Coach, Jackson increased the previous season's win total during each of his years as Bluefield State College's Head Coach before the 2015-16 season. Bluefield State finished the 2014-15 season with their highest win total since the 1995-96 season. Jackson's team also ranked first nationally in fewest turnovers during the 2014-15 season.

Before arriving in Bluefield, Jackson served three seasons as an assistant coach at Stillman College before being promoted to the position of associate head coach in the summer of 2011. While at Stillman, Jackson helped guide the program to its first-ever national Top 25 ranking, as well as a 2011 NCAA Tournament appearance, where they advanced to the round of 16. He also served as an intern with The Ohio State University Men's Basketball Program as they advance to the 1999 NCAA Final Four.

Louisville Offers Scholarship to 2017 Guard Alex O'Connell

Louisville and head coach Rick Pitino have offered a scholarship to 2017 guard Alex O'Connell.

O'Connell, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, is rated No. 82 overall by 247Sports. He is No. 69 overall on the list for 2017.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

UK Recruit John Petty Appreciates John Calipari's Brutal Honesty

Kentucky recruit John Petty recently spoke to Larry Vaught about his recruitment and more.

Petty said he really appreciates John Calipari's brutal honesty during the recruiting process.

Here is an excerpt:

John Petty says even though he was the first player in the 2017 recruiting class to get a scholarship offer from Kentucky, coach John Calipari was brutally honest with him.

"Coach Cal is a great guy. He is always honest with me and if I decide to go there told me that I have to work hard and be competitive, which I am," said Petty. "I will probably be a two guard in college, so I have to learn to handle the ball better. I am getting more comfortable with the ball, too."

Petty also admitted that he has always been a UK fan:

"I have been a Kentucky fan since I was a little kid. To finally get a chance to get recruited by them is exciting," Petty said.

Read More

Petty, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, ranks No. 28 overall on the list for 2017.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Maze Stallworth Leaves Casey County to Take Over at Taylor County

Former Morehead State player Maze Stallworth is the new head coach at Taylor County High School.

The school announced the hire on Tuesday:

Stallworth recently resigned at Casey County High School following a successful three-year run.

The Taylor County job opened up when former coach Rich Gatewood resigned to take the head coaching job at 22 FT Academy (SC).

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Morehead State Will Play Mississippi State in December

Morehead State will play a road game at Mississippi State on December 22.

The Eagles will also have trips to Purdue, Pittsburgh, Eastern Washington and Evansville.

Here's a look at Missisippi State's non-conference schedule:

2016-17 Basketball Schedule

N11 Friday Norfolk State
N17 Thursday # Charleston Classic
N18 Friday # Charleston Classic
N20 Sunday # Charleston Classic
N25 Friday Lehigh
N28 Monday Northwestern State
D1 Thursday Oregon State
D4 Sunday Georgia State
D14 Wednesday ETSU
D19 Monday ! Southern Mississippi
D22 Thursday Morehead State
D29 Thursday University Missouri Kansas City

# - Charleston, S.C.
! – Jackson, Miss

Monday, July 4, 2016

UK, Louisville and EKU Represented in Utah Jazz Summer League

There will be players from Kentucky, Louisville and Eastern Kentucky to watch in the upcoming Utah Jazz Summer League. 

Players to watch:

- Trey Lyles (Kentucky), Utah Jazz
- James Young (Kentucky), Boston Celtics
- Terry Rozier (Louisville), Boston Celtics
- Corey Walden (Eastern Kentucky), Boston Celtics

Schedule for the week:

July 4

5:00 p.m. Celtics vs. 76ers
7:00 p.m. Spurs vs. Jazz

July 5

3:00 p.m. 76ers vs. Spurs
5:00 p.m. Jazz vs. Celtics

July 7

5:00 p.m. Celtics vs. Spurs
7:00 p.m. Jazz vs. 76ers

Jodie Meeks Excited About "Fresh Start" with the Orlando Magic

Former University of Kentucky star Jodie Meeks has signed with the Orlando Magic following two seasons with the Pistons.

Meeks averaged 10.9 points per game during his time in Detroit. He is a career 37.3% shooter from long range.

Meeks is ready for a "fresh start" in Orlando:

“I’m very excited,” Meeks said Saturday. “It's a fresh start, so to say. A new coaching staff, new teammates. I'm happy to be here and happy to get started.”

Meeks passed his Magic physical Friday and spent part of Saturday inside Amway Center as the Orlando Pro Summer League tipped off.

The 28-year-old shooting guard should solidify Orlando’s depth on the wing, add long-range shooting and give the Magic some badly needed experience.

Read More

Japeth Aguilar to Play for Philippines National Team

Former Western Kentucky University big man Japeth Aguilar has once again made the national team roster for the Philippines this summer.

Aguilar will be joined by some familiar names, including former NBA player Andray Blatche.

1 Blatche Andray 211-F/C-86 Xinjiang FT China
2 Terrence Bill Romeo 180-PG-92 Globalport Philippines
3 Bobby Ray Parks 193-G-93 Texas L. USA
6 Jeffrei Chan 188-F-83 Rain or Shine Philippines
7 Jayson Castro William 180-PG-86 Talk N Text Philippines
10 Gabe Norwood 196-G/F-85 Rain or Shine Philippines
11 Ryan Reyes 188-G-83 Talk N Text Philippines
12 June Mar Fajardo 210-C-89 San Miguel Beermen Philippines
15 Jean Marc Pingris 193-C-81 Purefoods SH Philippines
18 Jeth Troy Rosario 201-C-92 Talk N Text Philippines
25 Japeth Aguilar 206-C-85 Barangay Ginebra Philippines
33 Ranidel deOcampo 197-F-81 Talk N Text Philippines

Tab Baldwin Head Coach IMS Hawks New Zealand
Raoul Racela Assistant
Joseph Uichico Assistant Talk N Text Philippines

Rajon Rondo Signs with the Chicago Bulls

Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo has signed with the Chicago Bulls for the next two seasons.

Rondo has signed a two-year, $28 million dollar deal with Chicago.

Last season, he averaged 11.7 points, 11.7 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game for the Kings.

Here's more from the Chicago Tribune:

Rondo has clearly overcome a torn ACL in January 2013. In addition to the 11.7 assists, he averaged 11.7 points and six rebounds for the Kings last season while posting 37 double-doubles and six triple-doubles. As an aside, three Bulls offseason acquisitions — Rondo, Valentine and Paul Zipser — have had knee surgeries.

Rondo's strong season with the Kings on a one-year, make-good deal also saw him shoot a career high 36.5 percent from 3-point range and outshoot Derrick Rose from all ranges: inside the arc, outside the arc and inside the restricted area.

And he's a pass-first pure point guard and strong rebounder for his position who owns career averages of 11 points, 8.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds over 10 seasons.

Read  more

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cameron Payne Stands Out in Orlando, Alex Poythress Struggles

Former Murray State star Cameron Payne had a big day in Orlando Saturday. 

Payne had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in Oklahoma City's 86-85 win over Dallas. The former Racer also nailed the game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

Here's more about Payne's big day from

Cameron Payne, Oklahoma City Thunder

The second-year guard missed summer league a year ago due to a fractured right hand, but wasted no time making his presence felt this time with a 3-pointer in the final seconds that gave OKC an 86-85 win in the opener at Orlando. He finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and often played off the ball, which will be necessary to get more playing with in a lineup with Russell Westbrook.

Dakari Johnson started for OKC and finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

Marquis Teague had 13 points, 2 assists and 3 turnovers for the Mavericks.

In other action: 

- Aaron Harrison (Kentucky) put in 12 points and 4 boards for Charlotte in a 79-74 loss to Orlando White

- Alex Poythress (Kentucky) started but only managed 4 points and 2 rebounds in Orlando Blue's loss to Indiana.

- T.J. Price (WKU) had 6 points and 4 steals for Orlando Blue

- Scotty Hopson (Tennessee) finished with 6 points for the Pacers

- Damion Lee (Louisville) had 5 points in only 7 minutes of action for the Miami Heat in a win over the Clippers

- Chris Horton (Austin Peay), Wayne Blackshear (Louisville), Kameron Woods (Butler) - DNP COACH'S DECISION

Sacramento Rookie Skal Labissiere Answers Fan Questions

Sacramento Kings rookie Skal Labissiere spent some time answering Facebook questions from fans recently.

Check out what the former Kentucky big man had to say:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Kentucky Christian University Signs Aaron Thompson

Kentucky Christian University has signed Aaron Thompson from Chesapeake (OH) High School for next season. 

Here's a brief release from KCU:

Aaron Thompson went to Chesapeake High School in Chesapeake, OH.

"Aaron is a great addition to our team. I look forward to seeing what all we are going to accomplish this year," said Coach Grady Lowe.

Aaron is pictured here with Head Coach Grady Lowe, his mother Amy Thompson, father Brian Thompson, and brother.

Rajon Rondo Receiving Interest from Several Teams

Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo is receiving interest from several NBA teams during free agency.

According to Marc Stein, Rondo is hearing from the Kings, the Bulls, the Sixers and possibly the Pelicans.

Several reports indicate that a stay in Sacramento is unlikely:

Brescia University Inks Central Teammates Terrell Davis, Dominique Gaines

Brescia University has signed Central teammates Dominique Gaines and Terrell Davis for 2016-17.

Terrell Davis

Terrell Davis (6'3" Forward) from Louisville Central joins his high school teammate Dominique Gaines in committing to play Basketball for the Bearcats. Davis, a senior starter for Central averaged 4.1ppg and 3rpg. Davis will bring further depth to the front court of the Bearcats and Coach Skortz. "Terrell will help us on the defensive side of the ball. He knows how to defend different types of versatile players and will help us in transition." stated Head Coach Brian Skortz.

Dominique Gaines

Louisville Central's senior Dominique Gaines will play for Brescia University and the Men's Basketball Program for the 2016-17 season. Gaines averaged 10 ppg and shot 37% from the 3-point line during his senior season. "Dominique will bring added depth to the program. He has a great passion for the game and he will help us defensively with his ability to guard people." stated Head Coach Brian Skortz

Tyler Ulis Will Wear a New Number in the NBA

Tyler Ulis will no longer be No. 3 in the NBA. 

The Phoenix Suns have announced that Ulis will be No. 8 this season.

Former Kentucky star Brandon Knight is also changing his number. Knight was No. 12 at Kentucky and No. 3 last season. This season, he will be No. 11 for the Suns.

In the past, Knight was No. 11 for the Milwaukee Bucks and in high school.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Plenty of Players to Watch in Orlando Pro Summer League

The Orlando Pro Summer League gets underway tomorrow morning.

There are several players with Kentucky (or local) ties participating.

Here are some players to keep an eye on:

- Alex Poythress (Kentucky) Orlando Blue
- T.J. Price (Western Kentucky) Orlando Blue
- Chris Horton (Austin Peay) Miami
- Damion Lee (Louisville) Miami
- Cameron Payne (Murray State) Oklahoma City
- Dakari Johnson (Kentucky) Oklahoma City
- Kameron Woods (Butler) Oklahoma City
- Marquis Teague (Kentucky) Dallas
- Wayne Blackshear (Louisville) Charlotte
- Aaron Harrison (Kentucky) Charlotte

Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League Schedule

Saturday, July 2, 2016

1st game 9:00 a.m. OKC @ Dallas
2nd game 11:00 a.m. Charlotte @ Orlando White
3rd game 1:00 p.m. Orlando Blue @ Indiana
4th game 3:00 p.m. New York @ Detroit
5th game 5:00 p.m. Miami @ LA Clippers

Sunday, July 3, 2016

1st game 1:00 p.m. Indiana @ Charlotte
2nd game 3:00 p.m. Miami @ New York
3rd game 5:00 p.m. LA Clippers @ OKC

Monday, July 4, 2016

1st game 1:00 p.m. Dallas @ Orlando White
2nd game 3:00 p.m. Orlando Blue @ Detroit
3rd game 5:00 p.m. Charlotte @ OKC

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

1st game 1:00 p.m. Orlando Blue @ Miami
2nd game 3:00 p.m. LA Clippers @ New York
3rd game 5:00 p.m. Detroit @ Indiana

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

1st game 1:00 p.m. Orlando White @ New York
2nd game 3:00 p.m. Dallas @ Charlotte
3rd game 5:00 p.m. Indiana @ OKC

Thursday, July 7, 2016

1st game 1:00 p.m. Dallas @ Orlando Blue
2nd game 3:00 p.m. LA Clippers @ Orlando White
3rd game 5:00 p.m. Detroit @ Miami

Friday, July 8, 2016 *Championship Day*

1st game 8:00 a.m. 6th place @ 5th place
2nd game 10:00 a.m. 4th place @ 3rd place
3rd game 12:00 p.m. 2nd place @ 1st place
4th game 2:00 p.m. 8th place @ 7th place
5th game 4:00 p.m. 10th place @ 9th place


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Morehead State to Play Pitt, Purdue in 2016-17

Morehead State will battle Pittsburgh and Purdue in 2016-17. 

Both schools have unveiled their non-conference schedules and the Eagles are included on both.

Morehead will travel to Pitt on November 25 and Purdue on December 3.

Pitt defeated MSU 72-62 last season.

Brent Vernon Named Head Coach at Campbellsville University

Former assistant Brent Vernon has been named head coach at Campbellsville University. 

Vernon was an assistant for former head coach Keith Adkins for the previous four years.

Here's a release from CU:

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Director of athletics Rusty Hollingsworth and president Dr. Michael V. Carter announced the hiring of Brent Vernon as the new men's basketball coach at Campbellsville University in a press conference today in Powell Athletic Center.

Vernon, 34, an assistant coach at Campbellsville University for the previous four years, is replacing Keith Adkins after he resigned on May 31 to take a head coaching position at Life University in Marietta, Ga.

"I am excited to announce that Brent Vernon has accepted our offer to become the next head men's basketball coach at Campbellsville University," said Hollingsworth. "Coach Vernon has the qualifications that our search committee discussed as we began this process. His 10 years of experience as an assistant coach at two Mid-South Conference schools will certainly be a great help in his new role as the head coach at Campbellsville University. We look forward to working with him as he leads the Tiger basketball program."

"After a national search which brought over 60 names to our search committee, I could not be more pleased to have Brent Vernon as the unanimous choice of our search committee," said Carter. "Brent Vernon is an exceptionally fine young man who knows basketball and has the ability to move Campbellsville University Tiger Basketball forward. He is a young man of character and believes in the mission of our university."

Vernon was welcomed as the new head coach in front of family, friends, fans, Campbellsville University faculty, staff and coaches, supporters and media representatives.

"Let me say thank you to Dr. Carter and the search committee for their commitment to Tiger athletics and the time and effort it took to get us to today's press conference," said Hollingsworth.

In the previous four seasons, Vernon has helped lead the Tigers to two NAIA National Tournament appearances, one Sweet 16 appearance and a Fab Four showing this past year. During his time as an assistant, the Tigers have won a Mid-South Conference regular season championship and a tournament title in 2015.

"First I would like to thank Dr. Carter, Rusty Hollingsworth, and the entire committee for having the faith to appoint me as the next basketball coach," said Vernon.

"It is such an honor to be able to get my first head coaching position at an institution such as Campbellsville University. Following in the footsteps of coaches such as the late Lou Cunningham, Travis Ford and Keith Adkins is something that is hard for me to put into words. It is a task that I will not take for granted, and I will work extremely hard on and off the floor to make this university proud."

Vernon came to Campbellsville in 2012 and had double roles as assistant basketball coach and head women's golf coach. Known as a hard worker and recruiter, Vernon didn't see the job as more work but saw them as an opportunity to help both programs get back to the highest level in the Mid-South Conference and also the NAIA.

In his role as the recruiting coordinator for Tiger basketball, Vernon brought in five of the previous six NAIA All-Americans who have come through the program. Sekou Harris and Dii'jon Allen-Jordan were the last two in 2015-16, as both helped lead Campbellsville University to its first NAIA Fab Four since 2008. Other notables are D'von Campbell, Damontre Harris and Eric Gaines. Harris was one of the biggest recruits for Vernon, as he brought him in after playing at the University of Florida and University of South Carolina.

"Brent has demonstrated his ability to recruit and to be a part of a winning program," continued Carter. "I think he will bring the type of excitement to the game that will attract players and fans. I am thankful for his desire to see the Tiger basketball program carry on our proud tradition and see our players graduate and be champions of character."

Outside of basketball, Vernon also made a splash in his second year as women's golf coach to bring in state champion Cassidy Scantland.

In their first year together (2013-14), Scantland won the MSC Championship and was named the MSC Freshman and Golfer of the Year, while Vernon earned Coach of the Year honors. Scantland is now the most decorated Lady Tiger to come through the program with 11 tournament wins, being named an NAIA All-American and MSC Golfer of the Year twice and qualifying for the NAIA National Championship three times.

"There's no time to waste," said Vernon.

"My first priority was reaching out to our current players, which I have already done, and those conversations have gone absolutely great. From here it's about going straight to work. I will now finalize our roster, as well as assemble a staff, and finish completing our schedule. We have no time to waste at this point, and this is already starting to take shape."

A former two-sport player at Williamsburg High School, Vernon attended then Cumberland College on a golf scholarship in 2000. After one season on the golf team, he began his coaching career as a student-assistant men's basketball coach for two seasons before playing two years. He coached for the Patriots until 2009 before returning to Williamsburg as an assistant basketball coach until the spring of 2012.

Vernon is the son of former University of the Cumberlands director of athletics, Randy Vernon, and his older brother Mark is an assistant on the Patriots basketball team. He is married to Jamie Walker Vernon, daughter of former Campbellsville basketball player Roy Walker, and the two have two children Bryce and Jaylee.

"I want to thank my best friend and wife, Jamie, who has always supported me and had my back throughout this journey," said Vernon.

"Without her being the rock of our family, none of this would be possible. I would also like to thank my mom and dad for all they have done and for instilling in me the values that I have. Last, but not least I want to thank my friends. This community has welcomed my family with open arms since the day we moved to Campbellsville. That is what makes Campbellsville University and the community so special. You feel like you have been a part of this great place for so long in such a short period of time. It's what my family and I love about Campbellsville."

Monday, June 27, 2016

Morehead State Extends Sean Woods' Contract Through 2019-20

Morehead State University has extended head coach Sean Woods' contract through the 2019-20 season.

Woods has compiled a 75-63 record in four seasons at Morehead State.

Last season, his team won 23 games and made a run to the College Basketball Invitational finals.

Here's a release from MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. - Following a 23-win season and a trip to the College Basketball Invitational Finals, Morehead State head men's basketball coach Sean Woods has had his contract extended through the 2019-20 season.

"This extension means a lot to me. It shows that (Athletic Director) Brian (Hutchinson) and (University President) Dr. (Wayne D.) Andrews appreciate the work that we've been doing since I got here," said Woods. "It shows that they believe in our plan, and this is a major commitment to Morehead State men's basketball."

Woods has compiled a 75-63 record in his first four seasons at Morehead State. He has more wins in his first four seasons than any coach in program history. During his short stint, he has led the Eagles to two 20-win seasons. Prior to his arrival, the Eagles had just five 20-win seasons.

"Sean (Woods) does a great job in recruiting and developing young men of high character, as well as great basketball ability. I am proud of the efforts of our team in representing themselves and the program on behalf of Morehead State," said Director of Athletics Brian Hutchinson.

Last season, the Eagles recorded one of the best seasons in program history with a 23-14 record. The 37 games played were the most in program history, while the 23 wins ranked fourth.

Defensively, the Eagles were one of the best teams in the country throughout the year. They ranked first in the OVC in points allowed and steals. Despite often being outsized underneath, the Eagles ranked first in the OVC in rebounding and finished the season as the nation's fourth best offensive rebounding team.

The Eagles' run to the College Basketball Invitational Finals marked the program's first-ever trip to a national postseason championship game, and their four postseason wins marked the most in school history. Despite falling in game three of the CBI Finals, the Eagles earned the respect of the nation as their grit and determination were on full display to a national TV audience.

"Results are a direct result of effort and of following our plan. I give tremendous credit to Sean and the staff under his direction for our basketball success," added Hutchinson.

Woods is excited to continue to build on the success he has already orchestrated.

"This extension shows that I'm here for the long haul and that I've bought in to what is going on here at Morehead State," added Woods. "We are committed to creating a culture of excellence, both on and off the court, and that shows with the players and everyone associated with the program."

Before taking the reigns at Morehead State, Woods led Mississippi Valley State to 50 overall wins and 44 Southwestern Athletic Conference victories from 2008-12. The 2011-12 Delta Devils finished 21-13 overall, 17-1 in the SWAC, won the conference tournament and advanced to the school's fifth-ever NCAA Tournament.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Kentucky Christian Adds Tim Wyatt for 2016-17

Kentucky Christian University has added 6-foot-3 guard Tim Wyatt for 2016-17. 

Here are details from KCU:

Tim Wyatt is from Franklin, Ohio.

He is a 6'3" perimeter player. Coach Lowe had this to say, "we are excited to add Wyatt to our team. He is a great kid and brings a lot to the table."

Tim is pictured with his parents Tim and Carla Wyatt.

Eastern Kentucky Adds Australian Forward Lachlan Anderson for 2016-17

Eastern Kentucky University has signed 6-foot-8 Australian forward Lachlan Anderson for 2016-17. 

Anderson plays club basketball for the Bankstown Bruines in New South Wales' Waratah League. He averaged 16.8 points in 2016.

Here's a release from EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – Lachlan Anderson, a 6-8 hybrid forward from Sydney, Australia, has signed to play basketball at Eastern Kentucky University, head coach Dan McHale announced on Thursday.

"Lachlan Anderson is a major steal and a big addition to our team," McHale said. "He had been pursued by a lot of big-name college basketball programs, and we are excited that he decided to make Eastern Kentucky his new home."

Anderson plays club basketball for the Bankstown Bruins in New South Wales' Waratah League. He averaged 16.8 points-per-game for Bankstown's Division 1 Youth Men's team in 2016.

He scored 20 or more points five times during the season, including a 24-point outing in which he knocked down three three-pointers versus the Central Coast Crusaders on March 12.

"Lachlan is extremely skilled and has been well coached in Australia," McHale added. "He fits our offensive run-and-gun style to a tee, and he will be a mismatch nightmare with his shooting ability. He is also a great student and will be a welcome ambassador of our 'Colonel Culture.'"

Anderson played for Team Royal on the AAU circuit in the summer of 2015, displaying versatility and athleticism at the Chicago Hoops Challenge and NY2LA Summer Jam.

Anderson joins an EKU signing class that includes Butler transfer Jackson Davis (Lexington, Kentucky), Louisville transfer Dillon Avare (Lexington, Kentucky), junior-college transfers Rio Adams (Seattle, Washington) and Zach Charles (Mesquite, Texas) and incoming freshmen Asante Gist (West Orange, New Jersey), Parker Chitty (Columbus, Indiana), DeAndre Dishman (Lexington, Kentucky) and Marlon Adams (Middletown, New York).

McHale's up-tempo Colonels ranked 18th in the country in scoring offense (80.5 points-per-game) and broke the EKU single-season field goal percentage record (49.1 percent) in 2015-16.

DeMarcus Cousins on U.S. Men's National Team Roster for Rio Olympics

Former University of Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins in on the final roster for the U.S. Men's national team that will compete in the Rio Olympics this summer.

The U.S. squad will be favored to win the gold despite being labelled as a "B" team.

Here's a look at the final roster:

- Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
- Harrison Barnes, Golden State
- DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento
- Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
- Draymond Green, Golden State
- Klay Thompson, Golden State
- Paul George, Indiana
- Kyle Lowry, Toronto
- DeMar DeRozan, Toronto
- Carmelo Anthony, New York
- Jimmy Butler, Chicago
- DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tyler Ulis Will Reunite with Devin Booker in Phoenix

The Phoenix Suns drafted Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis in the second round with pick No. 34 in last night's NBA Draft.

Ulis will reunite with former UK teammate and friend Devin Booker in Phoenix.

For now, the Suns also have Archie Goodwin, Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe on the roster. The team is expected to trade Knight or Bledsoe at some point.

Here are more details from UK:

Tyler Ulis

Ulis was the second player taken by the Suns – although, Labissiere was traded to Sacramento shortly after the Suns drafted him. The Chicago native was picked 34th overall and he is the seventh Kentucky player ever taken by the franchise. It is the second consecutive season that two players have been selected by the Suns in the same draft.

The 2016 Bob Cousy Award winner had a sensational sophomore season that will be regarded as one of the best in SEC history en route to All-America honors. Ulis is the shortest consensus first-team All-American since 1958. He was also tabbed SEC Player of the Year and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, joining Anthony Davis as the only players in league history to win both honors in the same season.

He set the UK-single-season mark for assists in a season with 246, second all-time in the SEC. Ulis was both an elite distributor and proficient scorer in his sophomore campaign, becoming the only player in league history with at least 606 points and at least 246 assists. He was one of only four players in the country this season to average at least 17.3 points and at least 7.0 assists per game. He ranked sixth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.6) and seventh in assists per game (7.0).

Braxton Beverly Returning to Hargrave, Opening Recruitment Back Up

Braxton Beverly has decided to break off his commitment to Miami (OH) and return to Hargrave Military Academy for another season of prep basketball.

Beverly will be reclassifying to the Class of 2017.

DeMarcus Cousins Claims Draft Night Tweet Was About "Sculpting Class"

DeMarcus Cousins created a buzz last night when he posted a controversial Tweet shortly after the Sacramento Kings drafted Georgios Papagiannis from Greece with the 13th overall pick.

Today, Cousins claims that Tweet was actually about "a hot sculpting class."

Here's more from Marc Spears of The Undefeated:

Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins told The Undefeated his draft night tweet had nothing to do with the draft. So what was it about? "A hot sculpting class," Cousins said jokingly.

Vlade Divac Believes Skal Labissiere is the Steal of the Draft

Sacramento Kings GM Vlade Divac believes he landed the steal of the NBA Draft with Skal Labissiere at No. 28.

The former Kentucky big man is not ready for the NBA at this point but has a high ceiling in the future.

He averaged 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game as a freshman at UK last season.

Skal Labissiere Slips to Phoenix at No. 28, Traded to Sacramento

Kentucky big man Skal Labissiere slipped to the Phoenix Suns at No. 28 in last night's NBA Draft.

Labisierre was quickly traded to the Sacramento Kings, where he will be joining forces with former Wildcats DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein.

Here are more details from UK:

Skal Labissiere

Labissiere became UK’s second selection in the opening round when he was taken by the Phoenix Suns at 28th overall. He is the sixth-ever selection by the Suns in the history of the program. Devin Booker and Andrew Harrison were chosen by the Suns a season ago. In a proposed trade, the Suns’ pick will be shipped to the Sacramento Kings, where Labissiere is expected to join former Wildcats Willie Cauley-Stein, DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo.

The native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, appeared in all 36 games with 18 starts, averaging 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his lone season at Kentucky. His 1.6 blocks per game ranked seventh in the SEC, and he blocked three or more shots nine times during the year. Labissiere shot 51.6 percent from the field.

He scored in double figures in four of his first six career games and posted a career-high 26 points in his second career game. Labissiere came on late in the season with an 11-point, eight-rebound game in the win at Florida and an 18-point, nine-rebound, six-block effort in the regular-season finale vs. LSU. He made 8 of 10 shots in the victory over the Tigers. In his NCAA Tournament debut, Labissiere scored 12 points and blocked six shots, tied for the second most in an NCAA Tournament game in school history.

Twice Labissiere won SEC Freshman of the Week, earning the honor in the first week of the regular season and the last.


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