Saturday, June 27, 2009

Calipari: "We could have 11" Scholarship Players

Kentucky head coach John Calipari made statements today that would seem to indicate that the scholarship vacated by Jodie Meeks will remain unused in 2009-10.

"It's finally completed now," Calipari said. "In all my years, if you look back, we've had years where we had nine or 10 scholarship players. Most years we're going to have 11 to 12. "

He alluded to how difficult it is to keep the NCAA limit of 13 scholarship players happy during a season.

"It's hard to keep 13 players happy," Calipari said. "You don't want any players here who aren't going to play and aren't going to be happy."

In fact, Calipari hinted that the team might actually lose another player before the season starts.

"Right now, we have 12 scholarship players. We could have 11 by the time the year starts. You just don't know."

Full Article from

Cincinnati Joins the Lance Stephenson List

Lance Stephenson is currently on a visit to the University of Cincinnati, a program that up until this point has not been involved in his recruiting process.

“He got here yesterday [Friday],” said a player on the team. “We just got through playing open gym. [He played] with the whole team and a couple old players.

“He was doing good. I guarded him. He played good. We could use him. If we get him we’ll be good.”

Complete Article from

UPDATE: It appears that Lance Stephenson will be a Cincinnati Bearcat (per Zags Blog):

“Word is Lance is signing with Cincinnati,” one Big East assistant coach said. “I think he will on Tuesday from what I’m being told.”

Elliot Williams Commits to Memphis

Elliot Williams, who transferred from the Duke Blue Devils, has decided to continue his basketball career with the Memphis Tigers.

Williams had listed Memphis, Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt as possible destinations. A big part of his decision was likely so that he could be close to his family. An unspecified family problem is the reason he chose to leave Duke, according to his announcement.

"I'm a Memphis Tiger," Williams said in a text to The Commercial Appeal before expounding on his decision in a telephone interview.

Because of his mother's illness, Williams is seeking a waiver of the NCAA rule forcing student-athletes to sit out a year after transferring. Williams has declined to go into specifics about his mother's illness.

"The most important thing in this situation was coming closer to my family," Williams said today. "As far as basketball, I'm playing for a great coach in (Memphis head coach Josh) Pastner.

"I mean, I'm playing for my hometown in Memphis. What better thing is there, coming back and playing for Memphis?"

Article from the Memphis Commercial-Appeal

Matt Pilgrim to Memphis?

In what would be a very weird turn of events, former Kentucky Wildcat Matt Pilgrim is going to visit, of all places, Memphis. Pilgrim could be the so-called "player to be named later" in the Kentucky/Memphis trade that brought John Calipari to Lexington.

Here is an article from Gary Parrish at

Former Kentucky student Matt Pilgrim is expected to visit Memphis Sunday and could announce a transfer to the C-USA school in the next week, a source close to the situation told on Saturday.

An initial attempt to reach Pilgrim for comment was unsuccessful.This development is interesting because Pilgrim transferred from Hampton to Kentucky after the 2007-08 season, sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules and was expected to play for the Wildcats in 2009-10. But that all changed when John Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky, oversigned and thus needed to move players out of the program to allow his six incoming freshmen to enroll.

One of the players moved out was Pilgrim.

He did not want to leave.

And that's one of the reasons why sources told that Calipari is working with new Memphis coach Josh Pastner to make this likely transition go as smoothly as possible. According to sources, Calipari and Pastner have been in contact, and Calipari has told Pastner he will not only release Pilgrim to Memphis, but that he will back Pilgrim's expected request of a waiver that, if granted, would allow Pilgrim to play for the Tigers this season.

Under normal circumstances, Pilgrim would have to sit out another year before becoming eligible in 2010-11. But the hope is that the NCAA recognizes that Pilgrim is only transferring for a second time because he was nudged out of Kentucky. In other words, Pilgrim had no say in the matter. And sources close to the situation said there is precedent for the NCAA to grant a waiver under these circumstances.

Pilgrim's connection to Memphis is through Tiger assistant Glynn Cyprien.

Cyprien spent the past two years on Billy Gillispie's staff at UK.

He worked in practices with Pilgrim all last season.

NBA Draft Links

Teams are exited about the three players from the Bluegrass taken in Thursday's draft, Terrence Williams, Earl Clark and Jodie Meeks. Watch, I'll prove it.

Earl Clark's size and athleticism make him perfect for the Suns' open offensive scheme.

Video from E5's first press conference with the Arizona media.

Valley of the Suns says Clark is a key part in the Suns' youth movement.

The Nets are also going young, and they love Terrence Williams' versatility.

New York Daily News has an interview with T-Will.

Williams will have Vince Carter's shoes to fill.

Jodie Meeks could be used to spread the defense as a role player

The Bucks GM called Meeks the best shooter in the draft.

Milwaukee has had recent success with their second-round picks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

C.J. Penny Signs With Southeastern Illinois

C.J. Penny from Anderson County has became the fifth Kentucky player to sign with Southeastern Illinois for next season. Penny joins:

- Aaron Wilson, Fulton City
- Corey Jackson, Shawnee
- Jordan Hickman, Bardstown
- Charles Ashford, Bryan Station

Southeastern Illinois College is a Division I power in NJCAA men's basketball. The Falcons compete in the Great River's Athletic Conference and in the NJCAA Region 24. They have won the conference and region numerous times. In 2003, 2004, and 2008, the Falcons competed in the NJCAA National Basketball Tournament. In 2008, they advanced to the quarter finals. In 2003, they finished in 7th place. In 2004, they finished in 4th place.

J-J-J-Jodie and the Bucks

Well, Milwaukee isn't the easiest situation in the world for Jodie Meeks to find himself in, but it's not the worst, either.

Assuming he makes the team, Meeks is going to be competing with several guards for playing time, most notably Michael Redd, who missed most of this season after tearing his ACL in January but scored 21.2 ppg in the 33 games he played in. His surgery should have him ready for training camp this summer.

The talent level drops off significantly after Redd, but that doesn't mean they won't cause problems for Meeks. Luke Ridnour started 50 games this season and (somehow) managed 9.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, 3 rpg. Ramon Sessions was solid at the point guard position, averaging 12.4 ppg, 5.7 apg, 3.4 rpg. Also, the Bucks have some guy named Bogans, and don't forget that they drafted Brandon Jennings, to battle Sessions at point.

I think we all know that Meeks will be a shooting guard in a point guard's body, so we can presume that he will have Redd, Ridnour and maybe Bogans to deal with for the most part. If that's the case, I would imagine he will make the team but not have much of an impact his first year unless either Redd or Ridnour goes down. I think the Bucks have some under-the-radar talent and will be significantly better than a 34-win team next year with a full season of Redd. It should be a good season for Jodie to get his professional sea legs under him and see what his pro career is going to look like.

Also, for those wondering, now Jodie REALLY isn't coming back to UK. Sorry to be that guy.

Doron Lamb to Kentucky?

A source at Kentucky reports that the Doron Lamb visit was productive and he would not be surprised if a commitment comes soon - perhaps over the weekend.

Lamb is a 6-4 point guard from Oak Hill Academy that some have said is one of John Calipari's top targets in the 2010 class. He is a five-star recruit and ranks #24 on the Rivals150 List for 2010.

He has received offers from an impressive list that includes Kentucky, Arizona, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, St. John's and Xavier.

My Thoughts: I'll be paying attention over the weekend to see what happens. Whether he commits now or not, it is excellent news that the visit went well. Stay tuned...

Jodie Meeks Drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks

Jodie Meeks, who chose to skip his senior season at Kentucky, was drafted #41 by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Meeks had hoped to be drafted late in the first round or early in the second round. Being drafted by the Bucks is not a terrible situation for Meeks, however, as he will have a realistic opportunity of making the team.

My Thoughts: I am happy for Meeks. He has chosen to do what he really wants to do with his life and I wish him the best of luck. Kentucky fans should greatly appreciate the three years Meeks devoted to the program and fully support him in his decision to pursue his dreams.

Courtney Lee Traded to the New Jersey Nets

Former Western Kentucky Hilltopper Courtney Lee was included in a major trade today between the Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets.

The Nets sent long-time superstar Vince Carter along with Ryan Anderson to the Magic for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Lee.

Nets' president Rod Thorn has this to say about Lee: "We believe that in Courtney Lee, we have acquired a young, dynamic player who will be a very good player in this league for a number of years."

Full Article from

Louisville's Williams and Clark are NBA Lottery Picks

Former Louisville Cardinals Terrence Williams and Earl Clark were both selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.

Williams was selected 11th by the New Jersey Nets. It became apparent that Williams would likely be drafted by the Nets earlier today when the team traded away long-time superstar Vince Carter.

Earl Clark was selected three picks after Williams in the 14th spot by the Phoenix Suns.

Duke Transfer Elliot Williams Considering Kentucky

I never thought I would see the day that a transfer from Duke would consider a move to Kentucky (or vice versa), but that is apparently the case with Elliot Williams. Williams, a shooting guard that started playing well for the Blue Devils last season, has listed his potential destinations as Kentucky, Memphis, Vanderbilt or Tennessee.

"That's why I'm looking at these schools, because I know them. I know the coaches," Williams said.

"One of the main things I wanted to do was to meet with and get a chance to talk with Pastner. That was the main thing, because that's the only coach that I really don't know (at the four schools).

"I got a great feel from him, so, I mean, I'm not going to drag this thing out. I'm not about to make this another recruitment thing. I've been through this.

"I'm going to make the right decision, just make sure everything's right. I really don't have a timetable."

My Thoughts: I feel that Williams will likely end up at Memphis so that he can be near his family. It is an intriguing thought to have him on the Kentucky roster, especially with the loss of Jodie Meeks, but I don't see it happening.

Article from The Memphis Commercial-Appeal

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tracking the 2009 NBA Draft

Round 1:

1. Blake Griffin - Oklahoma - Clippers
2. Hasheem Thabeet - UCONN - Grizzlies
3. James Harden - Arizona State - Thunder
4. Tyreke Evans - Memphis - Kings
5. Ricky Rubio - International - Timberwolves
6. Jonny Flynn - Syracuse - Timberwolves
7. Stephen Curry - Davidson - Warriors
8. Jordan Hill - Arizona - Knicks
9. DeMar DeRozan - USC - Raptors
10. Brandon Jennings - International - Bucks
11. Terrence Williams - Louisville - Nets
12. Gerald Henderson - Duke - Bobcats
13. Tyler Hansbrough - North Carolina - Pacers
14. Earl Clark - Louisville - Suns
15. Austin Daye - Gonzaga - Pistons
16. James Johnson - Wake Forest - Bulls
17. Jrue Holiday - UCLA - 76ers
18. Ty Lawson - North Carolina - Timberwolves (Traded to Nuggets)
19. Jeff Teague - Wake Forest - Hawks
20. Eric Maynor - VCU - Jazz
21. Darren Collison - UCLA - Hornets
22. Victor Claver - International - Trail Blazers
23. Omri Casspi - International - Kings
24. B.J. Mullens - Ohio State - Mavericks (Traded to Thunder)
25. Rodrigue Beaubois - International - Thunder (Traded to Mavericks)
26. Taj Gibson - USC - Bulls
27. DeMarre Carroll - Missouri - Grizzlies
28. Wayne Ellington - North Carolina - Timberwolves
29. Tony Douglas - Florida State - Lakers (Traded to Knicks)
30. Christian Eyenga - International – Cavaliers

Round 2:

31. Jeff Pendergraph - Arizona State - Kings (Traded to Trail Blazers)
32. Jermaine Taylor - UCF - Wizards (Traded to Rockets)
33. Dante Cunningham - Villanova - Trail Blazers
34. Sergio Llull - International - Nuggets (Traded to Rockets)
35. DaJuan Summers - Georgetown - Pistons
36. Sam Young - Pitt - Grizzlies
37. DeJuan Blair - Pitt - Spurs
38. Jon Brockman - Washington - Trail Blazers (Traded to Kings)
39. Jonas Jerebko - International - Pistons
40. Derrick Brown - Xavier - Bobcats
41. Jodie Meeks - Kentucky - Bucks
42. Patrick Beverley - International - Lakers (Traded to Heat)
43. Marcus Thornton - LSU - Heat
44. Chase Budinger - Arizona - Pistons (Traded to Rockets)
45. Nick Calathes - Florida - Timberwolves
46. Danny Green - North Carolina - Cavaliers
47. Henk Norel - International - Timberwolves
48. Taylor Griffin - Oklahoma - Suns
49. Sergey Gladyr - International - Hawks
50. Goran Suton - Michigan State - Jazz
51. Jack McClinton - Miami - Spurs
52. A.J. Price - UCONN - Pacers
53. Nando De Colo - International - Spurs
54. Robert Vaden - UAB - Bobcats
55. Patrick Mills - St. Mary's - Trail Blazers
56. Ahmad Nivins - St. Joe's - Mavericks
57. Emir Preldzic - International - Suns
58. Lester Hudson - UT-Martin - Celtics
59. Chinemelu Elonu - Texas A&M - Lakers
60. Robert Dozier - Memphis - Heat

Rumor mill: Meeks a first-rounder?

Here is a brief article and links from the Kentucky Cat Scratches blog at

Posted at 3:39 p.m. EDT – Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations

Tired of hearing about the NBA Draft and Jodie Meeks? Uh, sorry, but too bad. Around these parts it’s a big deal, even if there have been 91 players before Meeks to be taken in the draft, and quite frankly, it’s the story of the day.

Anyway, we’re now four hours out until the draft kicks off at ESPN, and the big news around these parts concerns the apparent last-minute push Meeks could be making. Three different reports indicate Meeks could find himself in the first round after all, including two different stories that say the Philadelphia 76ers are considering his services with the 17th overall pick.

Below are the three separate reports. That’s going to be it for me until Meeks actually gets drafted. As soon as his name is called, we’ll send out a tweet on the UK Twitter account.

Philadelphia Daily News

Pro Basketball News

The Desert News

Former Scott County Star Bud Mackey Indicted

Bud Mackey has been indicted by a Lexington grand jury on charges of being a felon in possession of a handgun.

Mackey was arrested by Lexington police in May after officers responded to a call of shots fired. Mackey was discovered with a handgun that was stolen from Franklin County, according to court documents.

Mackey was a basketball star at Scott County and was the Sweet Sixteen's MVP for the Cardinals' 2007 state championship team. He was planning to play college basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers, but those plans were wasted when he was arrested in 2007 for possession of a controlled substance.

Rondo's Agent: Ainge's Comments "Not Appropriate"

Bill Duffy, the agent for Boston point guard Rajon Rondo, is not pleased with Danny Ainge after comments made by the Celtics' GM on Wednesday. Ainge told WEEI on Wednesday that Rondo needed "to grow up" and that "his presence hurt" the team in its seven-game loss to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Ainge also said that Rondo, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, is not a "max contract player."

"I am just surprised that Danny is speaking, even if he considers it constructively, in a public setting [about Rondo]," the player's agent, Bill Duffy, told WEEI. "I don't think that it's appropriate to say that about one of your top players. Even if it's spoken constructively, I don't think it should be done in public. I don't think he would like it if Wyc [Grousbeck, the organization's managing partner] was talking about him in public.

"What they're saying about [Rondo] critically is actually an asset to him. He is feisty. He is competitive, yes. Last time I checked they won a world championship with him at point guard. If the team wasn't hurting they might have done it again this year. Rondo's tough love from Danny isn't necessary. He's self-motivated and a self-starter."

Duffy said he and Ainge spoke Monday, and the agent told WEEI that Ainge "gave me every assurance that he wasn't moving [Rondo]. According to WEEI, Duffy hasn't requested that Rondo be traded.

"No, it's not to that point," Duffy said. "But if they choose to trade him, then that's their prerogative."

My Thoughts: It seems unlikely that the Celtics would trade the multi-talented Rondo at this point in his career, but stranger things have happened. The old adage of where there's this much smoke, there's probably fire seems applicable in this case. The word around the media is that Ainge isn't the Celtic that has a problem with Rondo. It seems that the tension is actually between Rondo and head coach Doc Rivers.

I expect the Celtics to keep Rondo unless a special deal presents itself. If they get something of great value in a trade, I believe they would pull the plug and send Rondo elsewhere.

Kentucky Man Charged in Rick Pitino Case

Federal prosecutors have charged a Kentucky man with helping an alleged extortion attempt against University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.

Lester Goetzinger is charged with aiding and abetting 49-year-old Karen Cunagin Sypher in her alleged attempt to extort millions from Pitino.

Court papers filed late Wednesday show prosecutors have reached a deal with Goetzinger that requires him to go through a pretrial diversion program. The deal means charges against Goetzinger will be dismissed after a year if he does not break the law.

Prosecutors claim Sypher tried to extort millions to pay for college tuition for her children and her house. She has pleaded not guilty.

Federal prosecutors wouldn't comment on the deal Thursday morning and Goetzinger's attorney did not immediately return a telephone message.


Darius Miller Prepares to Represent the Nation

"It was an incredible feeling. I never really dreamed about being able to represent the country, and it’s a great honor to be a part of it. It’s a great feeling, really."

- Darius Miller, on being selected to the team

2009 FIBA U19 World Championship

Auckland, New Zealand

July 2-12, 2009

Prediction: Where Will Jodie Meeks End Up?

The question on the minds of many fans throughout the Big Blue Nation today will be: "Where will Jodie Meeks go in the NBA Draft?"

It has been reported on a couple of sites that he will definitely be selected early in the second round if he is still available. One source reported that the Denver Nuggets gave him assurance that he would go no lower than their pick at #34.

My Prediction: I think Jodie still has a good chance of going late in the first round. I'll stick him in the 26-34 range as my official prediction.

Best of luck Jodie!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Terrence Williams May End Up in Charlotte

Several sources are reporting that Terrence Williams has been told by representatives of the Charlotte Bobcats that they will select him with the 12th pick in the NBA Draft if he is still on the board.

Seth Davis Criticizes John Calipari and Others

Seth Davis of has published an article that is very critical of Kentucky head coach John Calipari and several others, including new Florida International coach Isiah Thomas. Davis feels that Calipari and others are being unfair to student athletes when they are involved in such practices as over-recruiting, "ushering" players out the door and forcing players to stay. Here are some of his comments on Calipari:

Calipari took the art of running off players to new heights this spring. Shortly after taking over for Billy Gillispie, Calipari brought in three of the nation's top unsigned high school seniors: guards John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, and power forward DeMarcus Cousins. Calipari also got some good news when 6-9 junior forward Patrick Patterson decided to withdraw from the NBA draft and return to school.

Problem was, that left Calipari with four more players than he had scholarships to give -- and he would have been five over the limit if senior guard Jodie Meeks had not decided to remain in the NBA draft. Calipari had an opportunity to watch the players he inherited go through a half-dozen workouts in Lexington before deciding how he was going to whittle his roster. In late May, the school announced that three scholarship players, who just happened to be end-of-the-bench reserves, would not be returning next season. No decision has been made yet who will be the fourth player to forfeit his scholarship.

"There wasn't any secret. All the players knew we were over on scholarships and that people were going to have to leave when [Calipari] came in," said junior forward A.J. Stewart, who is one of the three players leaving the team. "Those workouts were like a tryout. If you wanted to stay on the team, you'd better play well. If he gave me the option to stay, I would have taken it, because I'm confident I could take somebody's spot. I didn't want to go anywhere."

To be sure, Stewart deeply hurt his cause by skipping so many classes as a sophomore that the university suspended him for the first 10 games next season. Then again, players return from such suspensions all the time -- if they're good enough.

I asked Stewart what he thought his situation would be if had scored 20 points per game last season instead of 2.0. He laughed and replied, "I think I'd still be wearing blue. But I can't really be upset about it. It's a business. This kind of thing happens all the time."

Not surprisingly, Calipari takes umbrage at the suggestion that he is running off players at Kentucky. "There are guys here who are just not going to be able to play the way we play, and they're better suited to go somewhere else," Calipari said. "I don't want a kid who thinks he can be a professional not playing in February and looking at me like I'm screwing him. If you know kids are not going to play, you tell them."

To be fair, sometimes players' scholarships are withdrawn because of academic reasons or failed drug tests, but because of federal privacy guidelines a school is not allowed to disclose that information. And let's face it, the reason Gillispie was fired in the first place was because his players weren't good enough. Calipari also points out that he has never refused to grant a release to a player who requested a transfer. "I would never hold a kid back who wanted to leave," he said. "If a kid doesn't choose to play for me, I'm fine with that."

Complete Article from

My Thoughts: This is a very well-written article by Davis and I recommend that everyone check it out. He has some valid points that support the outcry of many who feel that players like Stewart were treated unfairly. While it is unfortunate in many circumstances, this is a part of college basketball. Players are "nudged" out the back door all the time and while it is not always a pretty scene, it is what it is.

Rosters for Deron Williams Skills Academy

US Olympian Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz will host the top 20 high school point guards in Dallas for a three-day training camp as part of the Nike Skills Academies. At each of the four position-specific locations, the high school athletes have the opportunity to receive personal instruction from the NBA athlete along with an elite group of high school and NBA coaches.

The goal of the Skills Academies is to instill the fundamentals into the next generation of top players. Each academy focuses on strength and conditioning and skill development. In addition to the on-court instruction the players also get to hear from the NBA athlete and the coaches on life lessons and what it takes to make it at the next level.

The high school roster contains several recruits that are being targeted by Kentucky and Louisville. The college roster is highlighted by the likes of Sherron Collins, Devon Downey, Jon Scheyer, Avery Bradley and several other talented stars.

Former Cat Gerald Fitch is Player of the Year in Turkey

Former Kentucky Wildcat guard Gerald Fitch was named the Player of the Year in Turkey for the 2008-09 season. He led the league in scoring at 28 points per game for Kepez. He also averaged over 6 rebounds and 6 assists per game while rescuing Kepez from relegation.

Fitch came to Kentucky in 2000 after being named Mr. Basketball in the state of Georgia his senior year at Westside High School in Macon, Georgia. Fitch entered the starting lineup early in his freshman year, and was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team. Fitch had a successful four years at Kentucky, leading the team to records of 32-4 and 27-5 in his junior and senior years, respectively.

Shelvin Mack and Butler Poised for a Great Season

ESPN's Andy Katz takes a look at the Butler Bulldogs in a recent article. Shelvin Mack, who played at Bryan Station High School in Lexington, figures to be a key player for the Bulldogs in 2009-10.

Mack and teammate Gordon Hayward both made the Team USA U-19 team that is preparing to leave for New Zealand next week. Here is an excerpt from Katz's article:

Mack wasn't a standout during the trials, but Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who heads the junior national team selection committee, said Mack was better than what he showed. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Howard (14.8 ppg), Hayward (13.1) and Mack (11.9) were Butler's 1-2-3 scorers and only double-figure scorers last season.

Stevens said both Hayward and Mack will be key members of the U.S. team that will head to New Zealand next week. To win in an event like the World Championships, you need solid team guys.

But the New Zealand experience isn't the only foreign jaunt for Mack and Hayward. Butler has already booked a trip to Italy, where it will compete in Lake Como, Venice and Rome on Aug. 4-13. Hayward said they were anticipating -- in a good way -- that this will be a long summer.

Katz also discusses the Bulldogs' preseason ranking and difficult schedule:

As usual, Butler isn't shying away from taking on a major schedule. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 15 in my latest preseason Top 25, are one of the headline teams in a stellar field at the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif., in November. Participants include West Virginia, UCLA, Clemson, Minnesota, Texas A&M, Portland and Long Beach State. Every one of these teams has a legit shot to get to the NCAAs. A&M will have a hard time out of the competitive Big 12, but Long Beach State could be in play for the Big West title and Portland could be the second-best team in the WCC, behind Gonzaga.

Stevens said Butler will play Georgetown in the Jimmy V Classic in New York at Madison Square Garden and will host Ohio State (one of the Big Ten's best) and Xavier (one of the A-10's best). The Bulldogs also travel to Northwestern, UAB, Evansville and Ball State and host an ESPNU BracketBusters game.

Complete Article from

A Chinese Shooting Guard to Replace Jodie Meeks?

This week, we have been discussing various thoughts and rumors concerning Jodie Meeks' vacated scholarship and what Kentucky coach John Calipari may do with it. We have eliminated the thought that Matt Pilgrim could return and completely thrown out the idea that Kentucky may go after the much-maligned Lance Stephenson.

Tonight, we investigate the thought that John Calipari has found a future star in the Far Eastern land of China. Calipari recently spent a week in China on a goodwill tour of conducting basketball clinics and networking with various Chinese coaches. He has openly stated several times that he fully intends to bring one or even several Chinese basketball coaches to Lexington to serve as assistants on the Kentucky sidelines during the 2009-10. Is it possible that he has also discovered an up-and-coming amateur superstar that he can bring to Kentucky with the team's open scholarship?

I find this scenario to be highly unlikely, but I must admit that I find this to be the most intriguing situation that has been discussed so far. I am filled with excitement when I consider the possibility of bringing a Chinese import to the SEC. A ground-breaking development of this magnitude would surely help Calipari open a "Chinese pipeline" of talent that has previously gone untapped. It would likely make the Kentucky Wildcats be a primary focus of thousands, if not millions, of citizens in the densely populated land of China.

My Thoughts: I love the prospects of Calipari's innovative ideas involving China. That being said, I do not think the vacated scholarship will be used on a Chinese recruit. I have a feeling that we will see a Chinese player on the Kentucky roster at some point in the next five years, but not in 2009-10.

Kentucky Wesleyan Looking for Assistant Coach

Kentucky Wesleyan is currently looking for an assistant coach:

Position: Full Time
Compensation: TBD
Organization: NCAA DII
Conference: Great Lakes Valley
2008-2009 Record: 19-9
Head Coach: Todd Lee (63-50-4 seasons)
Location: Owensboro, Kentucky
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled
Send Resume to:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Danny Ainge Claims Rondo Trade Rumors Are False

Danny Ainge, the GM of the Boston Celtics, says that the rumors that have been swirling concerning a possible trade involving point guard Rajon Rondo are false. Here is an excerpt from an article on

One trade the Celtics won't make is one that costs them point guard Rajon Rondo. While saying that no one is untradeable, Ainge insisted that he wouldn't do anything that would make the team worse this season.

"That talk is so false," Ainge said. "We love the kid and we think he's got a very bright future. I don't anticipate any trades happening this offseason regarding any of our core players. ... We're certainly not doing anything this year to get a draft pick that's a developmental project, that's going to make it harder to win a championship this year."

Complete Article from

Recruiting War: Memphis vs. Kentucky

I had a feeling that once John Calipari came to Lexington, he and Memphis would be butting heads on the recruiting trail. While Calipari won the battle for the 2009 Class, it appears that Memphis is looking to rebound in the future.

An article on (a Memphis-based site) breaks down some of the future recruiting battles between the two schools, primarily in the 2011 Class.

Here are some excerpts from that article:

" compiled a list of what they believe are the top 10 prep basketball players in the nation for the year 2011. Among those top 10 players, the University of Memphis and the University of Kentucky are pursuing three of the top five."

"A quick recap shows Memphis is recruiting three of Rivals top five prospects, four of Scouts top 10 and six of ESPNU’s top 25. Among those players - most notably Ross, Gilchrist, Leonard, Blackshear and Christmas - are listed as being recruited by Memphis and Kentucky."

"The chase for the nation’s best prep basketball players in the class of 2011 is shaping up as a potentially interesting battle between the Tigers and Wildcats, two school’s that are uniquely intertwined and will remain so as long as John Calipari is the coach at Kentucky."

The 2011 prospects mentioned in the article are LaQuinton Ross, Mike Gilchrist, Damien Leonard, Tony Wroten, Wayne Blackshear and Rakeem Christmas.

Celtics Hoping to Trade Wildcats? Rondo for Prince

Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Boston Celtics are looking to make a major trade with the Detroit Pistons. Interestingly enough, the Celtics are looking swap former Kentucky Wildcats with the Pistons.

Yahoo Sports says: "The Celtics offered Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo to the Detroit Pistons for a package that included Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey, league sources told Yahoo! Sports."

In speaking of Rondo, the article states: "There has been some friction with Rondo, largely based on maturity."

Rondo averaged 11.9 points, 8.2 assists and 5.2 rebounds in the regular season, and had three triple-doubles in the Celtics’ playoff run this season.

Complete Article from Yahoo Sports

A Quick Interview With Terrence Williams

Former Louisville Cardinal Terrence Williams was recently interviewed on Twitter by Here is the brief interview:

- NetsRScorching @TheRealTWill Hey man, you got time for that interview now, or are you about to get in that meeting? about 10 hours ago from web in reply to TheRealTWill

- TheRealTWill @NetsRScorching write your five questions or whatever on here about 10 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to NetsRScorching

- NetsRScorching @TheRealTWill Gary Payton has been helping you prepare for the NBA. How did that relationship start?about 10 hours ago from web in reply to TheRealTWill

- TheRealTWill @NetsRScorching back when he was in Seattle I played for his team, an we have the same agent he’s a great mentor an person to listen toabout 10 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to NetsRScorching

- NetsRScorching @TheRealTWill Is there a NBA player that you mold your game after?about 10 hours ago from web in reply to TheRealTWill

- TheRealTWill @NetsRScorching as far a game wise I try to e like lebron passing wise, rebounding N team first concept that’s my whole mottoabout 10 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to NetsRScorching

- NetsRScorching @TheRealTWill Who is the toughest guy that you have had to play against during the workouts? Why?about 10 hours ago from web in reply to TheRealTWill

- TheRealTWill @NetsRScorching not being cocky but kno guy was the toughest it’s some good players but I come from Seattle an the bigeastabout 10 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to NetsRScorching

- NetsRScorching @TheRealTWill I hear that. How do you think your game fits in with the NJ Nets? Is it a good fit?about 10 hours ago from web in reply to TheRealTWill

- TheRealTWill @NetsRScorching Great fit I believe I can learn from Carter an grow as a young player then become someone that they depend on in the futureabout 10 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to NetsRScorching

- NetsRScorching @TheRealTWill Last one. How would you rate (out of 10) your performance during the Nets workout?about 10 hours ago from web in reply to TheRealTWill

- TheRealTWill @NetsRScorching I would say a 7 things I could have done differnt that’s why I get another shot on Tuesday morning lolabout 10 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to NetsRScorching

- NetsRScorching @TheRealTWill Oh so you are working out with the Nets again? Thanks for taking the time out to do this and good luck with ur meeting!about 10 hours ago from web in reply to TheRealTWill

- TheRealTWill @NetsRScorching anytime about 10 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to NetsRScorching

You can follow Terrence Williams on Twitter at:

Complete Article from Nets Are Scorching

Where Will Matt Pilgrim Settle?

Last night, we attempted to debunk the rumor that Kentucky would use Jodie Meeks' vacated scholarship to pursue the talented, but troubled, Lance Stephenson. Tonight, we attack another rumor.

Following John Calipari's Father/Son Basketball Camp, there has been a growing thought that Matt Pilgrim may actually return to the Kentucky team and be rewarded with Meeks' scholarship. Apparently, Pilgrim worked the basketball camp and showed his athleticism during the camp's pickup games. Now, several folks are saying he may return to Kentucky.

My thoughts are that Pilgrim will be transferring to another school after summer school. I feel that there is basically no chance he returns to Kentucky. A rumor that I find much more interesting is that he could possibly end up playing for Travis Ford and Oklahoma State. Some other possibilities that have been tossed around include Georgetown College, Nebraska, Cincinnati and even a return to Hampton.

My Thoughts: For the second night in a row, I predict that this rumor is false and Pilgrim will not be a Kentucky Wildcat in 2009-10.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lindsey Wilson Releases 2009-10 Basketball Schedule

2009-10 Schedule - Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders

Nov. 6 vs. Roberst Wesleyan College (LWC Homecoming Classic)
Nov. 7 vs. Michigan Dearborn (LWC Homecoming Classic)
Nov. 13 vs. Mid-Continent College (Lou Cunningham Classic @ Campbellsville Univ.)
Nov. 14 vs. Bluefield College (Lou Cunningham Classic @ Campbellsville Univ.)
Nov. 17 @ Freed-Hardeman
Nov. 20 vs. Ohio State-Newark
Nov. 27 vs. TBA (MSC Challenge @ Frankfort, Ky.)
Nov. 28 vs. TBA (MSC Challenge @ Frankfort, Ky.)
Dec. 5 @ Davenport University
Dec. 11 vs. TBA (McDonalds Classic @ McKenzie, Tenn.)
Dec. 12 vs. TBA (McDonalds Classic @ McKenzie, Tenn.)
Dec. 15 vs. Brescia University
Dec. 18 vs. Temple Baptist College (LWC Christmas Classic)
Dec. 19 vs. Bethel College (LWC Christmas Classic)
Jan. 4 vs. Asbury College
Jan. 9 vs. Marygrove College
Jan. 11 @ University of Rio Grande*
Jan. 16 @ Pikeville College*
Jan. 21 vs. Campbellsville University*
Jan. 23 vs. University of the Cumberlands*
Jan. 28 @ West Virginia Tech*
Jan. 30 @ Georgetown College*
Feb. 4 vs. St. Catherine College*
Feb. 6 vs. Pikeville College*
Feb. 11 vs. University of Rio Grande*
Feb. 13 @ University of the Cumberlands*
Feb. 18 @ Campbellsville University*
Feb. 20 vs. Georgetown College*
Feb. 25 vs. West Virginia Tech*
Feb. 27 @ St. Catharine College*
Mar. 4 vs. TBA (MSC Tournament @ Frankfort, Ky. - March 4-6)
Mar. 17 vs. TBA (NAIA National Tournament @ Kansas City, Mo. - March 17-22)

* Conference Event

Joe Jackson on Calipari: "I know he wants me"

Joe Jackson is a talented five-star point guard that ranks #17 on the 2010 Rivals150 List. His list of schools on includes Kentucky, Kansas, Marquette, Memphis, Ohio State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas and Arkansas.

Article from

Speaking of talented point guards, rising senior Joe Jackson of Memphis White Station told Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier-Journal he is hearing from Memphis, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio State, Syracuse, Duke, Texas, Villanova and Connecticut.

Jackson has a longstanding relationship with Memphis coach Josh Pastner, and the Tigers are heavily involved with him.

“It’s wide open,” Jackson proclaimed. “Everybody still has a chance.”

Jackson said of Kentucky coach John Calipari: “We know where we stand with each other. I know he wants me.”

“What do you not know about Kentucky,” Jackson continued. “They have produced a lot of NBA players over the years. Now, they have coach Cal and the No. 1 recruiting class (in 2009).”

Jackson's Profile

Jodie Meeks Has an NBA Draft Guarantee?

It appears that Jodie Meeks will not make it past pick #34 in the NBA Draft. The Hoops Report is saying that sources have verified that Jodie Meeks has a guarantee at that spot from the Denver Nuggets. There are other possible moves that could see Meeks go even higher, but this news seems to indicate that he will at the very least go early in the second round.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Jodie Meeks received a guarantee early in the second round, and after verifying with sources, I am now confident that the promise was given by the Denver Nuggets at No. 34.

Many people were wondering why Meeks opted to remain in the NBA Draft after the June 15 withdrawal deadline. He said all along that he needed a first round guarantee to remain in the Draft. While that doesn't seem to be the case, it seems that he was confident enough with an early second round guarantee.

After June 15, Meeks has only worked out for one team: the New Jersey Nets, who only own the No. 11 pick. The reason Meeks may have still opted to participate in that workout is because of the strong possibility that the Nets trade down in the first round to get two picks. The strongest rumor has been that the Nets will trade their No. 11 pick to the Bulls for the No. 16 pick and the No. 26 pick. If this happens, Meeks was auditioning for that No. 26 pick.

This scenario makes sense for the Nuggets. They would like an additional guard to contribute off the bench. The Nuggets like to put up as many points as possible, and Meeks is a player who can definitely light up the scoreboard.

While it's still strange that Meeks stayed in the Draft, especially since he had a chance to be a major part of a Final Four team at Kentucky next season, it appears that Meeks is confident with an early second round promise.

ESPN's Chad Ford Thinks Jodie Meeks Goes 60th

Chad Ford of ESPN has released his latest NBA mock draft. He has Louisville's Terrence Williams being drafted before former teammate Earl Clark. He previously had Kentucky's Jodie Meeks going undrafted, but now has him as the last pick in the draft. Here are his top 5 projections and those of interest:

1. Blake Griffin, Clippers
2. Hasheem Thabeet, Grizzlies
3. Ricky Rubio, Thunder
4. Tyreke Evans, Kings
5. James Harden, Wizards
12. Terrence Williams, Bobcats
15. Earl Clark, Pistons
60. Jodie Meeks, Heat

Ford's Thoughts on Meeks:

"Meeks was one of the best scorers in college basketball this year, but scouts have deemed him a little undersized. While he could go anywhere in the second round, we’ll put him here as Mr. Irrelevant."

Complete Article (ESPN Insider's Only)

John Wall for National Player of the Year in 2009-10?

Jason King of says it would not be surprising if Kentucky guard John Wall becomes the third freshman in four years to take home national player. Here are King's thoughts on Wall:

Don't be surprised if Kentucky guard John Wall becomes the third freshman in four years to take home national player of the year honors. Kevin Durant did it in 2007 and Michael Beasley – at least according to some media outlets – accomplished the feat in 2008.
Wall will enter what should be his only season at Kentucky just as highly touted as his aforementioned predecessors, who each were selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft after spending just one year as collegians.

A 6-foot-4 point guard, Wall may accomplish even bigger things, as he's already being projected as the top pick in the 2010 draft. He'll also be playing on a team that has a realistic shot at winning the NCAA championship. Wall's speed and athleticism should instantly make him one of the most exciting players in the college game, and you can bet he'll have plenty of chances to showcase his talents in John Calipari's dribble-drive offense.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rejected: Get That Lance Outta Here!

There are still those around certain circles that think John Calipari might use the scholarship vacated by NBA-bound Jodie Meeks to recruit Lance Stephenson. Stephenson is a New York high school legend and is the only top 100 player in the nation that remains uncommitted. He ranks #11 on the Rivals150 List for 2009 and many feel that he should be higher.

"Lance is the most talented player in high school ball, maybe the most talented player in college ball...right now," says one Big East assistant. "But all the (stuff) that comes with him … is crazy."

Let's examine that last statement carefully. What is all the stuff that comes with Stephenson?

An article on examines some of the "baggage" that seems to have major college basketball teams running as far away from Stephenson as they can get. The article looks at the following factors:

- Stephenson's father: When Lance Stephenson is playing, you know exactly where Lance Stephenson Sr. is at all times. It's not his hulking frame that gives him away; it's his mouth. Whether he's antagonizing opposing players from the stands, cheering on his son or yelling about how Lincoln High coach Dwayne (Tiny) Morton is using Stephenson during a game, Stephenson Sr. usually has something to say.

One assistant coach states, "If it wasn't for his father, I think Lance might have picked a school by now."

- Legal issues with the sexual assault charges: One of the first questions some college coaches ask about Stephenson is: "What's the status of the case?"

"It's so much of the unknown," says one college assistant, referring to the multitude of questions surrounding Stephenson, including the sexual assault case in which he was charged with groping a 17-year-old girl last October. "It's so late that if something happens you run the risk of the kid not being able to play."

- Eligibility issues: A reality television series. A recruiting-trip rendezvous to a sneaker company warehouse. A high school transcript.

All three have been sources of consternation for college coaches recruiting Stephenson. All three have the potential to threaten Stephenson's college eligibility. And all three could leave the school that takes Stephenson open to an NCAA investigation — a Pandora's Box most programs would rather avoid.

"You don't want to deal with a kid in June and then there could be a clearinghouse situation. You don't want to deal with that over the summer," says one college assistant familiar with Stephenson's recruitment.

- His attitude in general: Lance Stephenson's NBA-ready body and natural scoring ability have left college coaches salivating, but that hasn't compensated for the perception that he's selfish, a "prima donna" according to one Big East assistant.

"With Lance Stephenson," the coach says, "it's always ‘Me, me, me.'"

Where does he end up?

All things considered, the major schools are not willing to take a risk on Stephenson. Adam Zagoria at says: "At this point, Florida, Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s have all bowed out. Arizona may or may not still be in it, and Memphis is interested but hasn’t been in direct contact of late."

An online poll on Zagoria's site (see image) finds that most people believe Stephenson will still end up at Memphis. A large percentage thinks that Europe is a good possibility. One choice that isn't on the poll - the Kentucky Wildcats.

My Thoughts:

Lance Stephenson will not be a Kentucky Wildcat. For me, it is a major statement to say, "Hey, we'd rather NOT use a scholarship as to give it to the #11 player in the 2009 class." That statement tells me all that I need to know about Lance Stephenson.

Article from

Kentucky Christian Releases 2009-10 Schedule

Press Release from KCU:

KCU head coach Corey Mullins released the 2009-2010 basketball schedule today. The Knights are known to play a competitive schedule each year in an effort to develop into a national contender. This coming season will be no exception.

The Mid-East Region is one of the top regions in the NCCAA division II. Last season, three teams: Ohio Christian University, Kentucky Christian University , and Free Will Baptist Bible College were all ranked in the top 20 in the country. Boyce College will look to continue it's improvement on a 12 win season and fourth place finish. The Crown College and Johnson Bible College have both proved to be very good programs who continue to improve.

The non-region schedule boast some of the best basketball in the country at all levels. Kentucky Christian will play 8 NAIA games, including two against long time rival Cincinnati Christian. Last year, KCU and CCU split the series, both teams winning on the road. Alice Lloyd, Berea, Union College, and Pikeville will round out the NAIA slate for 2009-2010.

The annual Super 8 Tournament will take place on the campus of KCU November 12-14, 2009. This year's tournament will showcase four of the best teams in the NCCAA II. Grace Bible College (MI), and Valley Forge Christian College (PA) will open up the men's tournament in a rematch of the 2009 NCCAA II National Championship. Wesley College (MS) will face KCU on Thursday night. Wesley won the South region championship and advanced to the National tournament as well. The Knights will play Valley Forge on Friday night the 13th, and Grace Bible on Saturday the 14th.

Over the Christmas break, the men's basketball team will make two trips. On December 12, the Knights will travel to Liberty University to take on the Flames in an exhibition game. Immediately after the break, KCU will take their game on the road to Philadelphia, PA to spend a weekend playing Lancaster Bible College, and Valley Forge Christian College.

The Mid-East region tournament is scheduled to take place at Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, TN. The Knights will look to improve on their 9th place finish in the NCCAA II last season.

2010 SG Doron Lamb Says Kentucky Among Favorites

Doron Lamb, who appears to be one of Kentucky's top 2010 targets, says the Wildcats are among his favorites.

“I have a good relationship with [assistant] coach [Orlando] Antigua and [Rod] Strickland,” the 6-foot-5 Lamb told Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier Journal. “Coach [John] Calipari called me, and we talked a long time. He’s a good guy; they’ll be in my final five for sure.

“They make pros, and that’s what I want to be.”

Lamb left New York's Bishop Loughlin before last season and now plays at Oak Hill Academy. He is #24 on the Rivals150 List for 2010.

Rivals lists him as holding offers from Arizona, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, St. John’s and Xavier.

Happy Father's Day

I would like to wish a Happy Father's Day to all the dads that visit the site. A father's duty is never complete. He must devote himself to his wife, his children and his church. A good father must be committed to leading his home - physically, spiritually and mentally. When you honor your father with a hug or a gift today, remember that there is a difference between providing for children and raising children.

What is Father's Day?

Father's Day is a day honoring fathers, celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 52 of the world's countries and on other days elsewhere. It complements Mother's Day, the celebration honoring mothers.

The History of Father's Day

Father's Day is a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting, and to honour and commemorate fathers and forefathers. Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities.

The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on July 5, 1908 in a church located in Fairmont, West Virginia, by Dr. Robert Webb of West Virginia at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South of Fairmont. The church still exists under the name of Central United Methodist Church.

Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington thought independently of the holiday one Sunday in 1909 while listening to a Mother's Day sermon at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church at Spokane and she arranged a tribute for her father on June 19, 1910. She was the first to solicit the idea of having an official Father's Day observance to honor all fathers.

It took many years to make the holiday official. In spite of support from the YWCA, the YMCA and churches, it ran the risk of disappearing from the calendar. Where Mother's Day was met with enthusiasm, Father's Day was met with laughter. The holiday was gathering attention slowly, but for the wrong reasons. It was the target of much satire, parody and derision, including jokes from the local newspaper Spokesman-Review. Many people saw it as just the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions like "Grandparents' Day", "Professional Secretaries' Day", etc., all the way down to "National Clean Your Desk Day."

A bill was introduced in 1913, US President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea in 1924, and a national committee was formed in the 1930s by trade groups in order to legitimize the holiday. It was made a federal holiday when President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation in 1966.

In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries, most often on November 19.

MSU's 4th Annual Donnie Tyndall Individual Day Camp

The 4th Annual Donnie Tyndall Individual Day Camp is set to begin on Monday, June 22.

The individual day camp, open to both boys and girls, allows each camper a more one-on-one experience in honing their basketball skills. MSU players and coaches and other players and coaches from colleges and high schools again provide instruction, run drills and provide valuable skill sets to players ranging in age from five to 18. Registration is still open until the start of camp, which is set for 9 a.m. at the Academic-Athletic Center on MSU's campus on June 22.

"I have been coordinating basketball camps for 11 years and have worked various camps throughout the nation. I will work hard to make sure your week of camp is a positive and enjoyable experience," said Tyndall, who this past season led MSU to its first OVC Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance since 1984.

For more information on any of the MSU basketball summer camps, please call 606-783-5143.

The NCAA Continues to Baffle With Its "Rules"

Kentucky sophomore Darius Miller agreed to work two camps hosted by Muhlenberg County High School coach and former UK player Reggie Warford. Before the camp, a pamphlet and advertisement mentioned Miller's participation and now UK is questioning whether Miller has broken an NCAA rule concerning endorsements.

"There are certain conditions under which (student-athletes) can work a privately owned camp," said Sandy Bell, UK's senior associate athletic director and head of compliance. "Endorsements are never permissible."

According to a story last week in the Times-Argus newspaper of Central City, Muhlenberg County athletic director Jim Price released the ad and pamphlet.
Miller no longer will participate in the camps, and UK will report the potential violation to the NCAA, Bell said. The NCAA will determine if he will face any penalty for the endorsement.

My Thoughts: Are you kidding me? A young man volunteers to publicly represent his university in a respectful manner and the NCAA may punish him because the camp advertised his appearance? I am baffled by certain NCAA rules. The NCAA should be first in line to congratulate a student athlete that actually tries to do something positive. It seems, however, that they would rather create unnecessary drama and possibly levy punishment for a good deed.

Gee, I wonder why off-the-court news concerning student athletes is primarily negative?

Northern Kentucky Grabs David Palmer from Iowa

Northern Kentucky has added a talented NCAA Division I transfer from the Iowa Hawkeyes.

David Palmer, a 6-9, 240-pound center, will join the Norse after a season in the Big East and two seasons in the Big 10. The Antioch, Tennessee native, who spent a season at Oak Hill academy in high school, originally signed with Seton Hall where he played in 2005-06. He then transferred to Iowa, sat out a season and played the last two with the Hawkeyes.

Last season, he started five games at Iowa and averaged 4.1 points and 2 rebounds per game. Palmer had a career best 21 point against Wisconsin in January.

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