Saturday, August 1, 2009

10 Things Jeff Goodman Learned in July

#8: Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl truly does have some self control. The Vols coach was sitting in the same gym as Kentucky coach John Calipari after a lengthy flight to Las Vegas from Israel and didn't say a word despite the fact that he and the Vols believe that Calipari and his friend, William Wesley (aka Worldwide Wes) had something to do with elite point guard Josh Selby de-committing from Tennessee.

Warranted or not, the media is going to give John Calipari and Kentucky a bad image when (I mean if) Josh Selby heads to Lexington.

Here is Jeff Goodman's List of 10 Things He Learned in July

Karen Sypher Obtains New Lawyer

A former federal prosecutor was appointed Friday to represent a woman charged with trying to extort Louisville coach Rick Pitino, three weeks after her prior attorney quit the case citing "irreconcilable differences" with her.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Moyer tapped James A. Earhart, who used to work in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's office in Louisville, to handle the case of Karen Cunagin Sypher. She has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of trying to extort money from Pitino and lying to the FBI.

Cunagin Sypher is accused of demanding college tuition for her children, her house to be paid off and, eventually, $10 million.

Cunagin Sypher's previous attorney, Thomas Clay, resigned from the case on July 9, but did not disclose the cause of the rift.

Complete Article from ESPN.com

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fab Melo to Louisville?


Fab Melo has officially trimmed his final list to four schools, but the basketball masses feel that he will end up playing for Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals. The Cards are joined by Syracuse, Florida and Miami on the big man's list.

Melo, a 7'0" center that is ranked #5 overall on the 2010 Rivals150 List, is described as a huge presence with a high skill level. Fab Melo is short for Fabricio de Melo.


Thoughts from Jody Demling of the Courier-Journal:

Could we be coming to an end on the Fab Melo recruiting front? It appears something might happen in the next week or so. I know Fab is headed to Brazil to spend time with his family and I believe he leaves next weekend. I wouldn't be shocked to see him make a decision before he heads home. As far as the schools, there are reports out that he's down to four schools - Louisville, Syracuse, Florida and Miami. I believe those reports but can tell you all the folks I talked with during the month believed he would end up at Louisville. From AAU coaches to college coaches to even players.

John Calipari Explains the Walk-On Decisions


A message from CoachCal.com:

Before the weekend gets underway, I wanted to talk to everyone about our decision not to have the large number of walk-on players some of you may have become accustomed to in recent years.

In my 17 years of college coaching, I have very rarely had walk-ons and when I have it's usually been another student-athlete, who could help us in practice or game situations because of his size, speed or skill level. I find my practices run at optimum performance when there are 12-13 players. Any more than that and we're not able to accomplish what I want in each practice.

Believe me, I appreciate the work and effort that goes into being a walk-on.

In meeting with the most recent group of walk-ons, we let all of them know how much the UK family appreciated their hard work and dedication to Wildcat basketball. Any of the former walk-ons who want to transfer and try and play elsewhere will have my staff's full cooperation in helping them.

I can tell you that we are considering a scholarship position on the team for walk-on Mark Krebs, but we still have some things to decide on that front. I will keep you posted. If we do, at any time, decide to have walk-on tryouts, I will be sure to let everyone know.

I wish we would could make every young boy's dream come true to suit up in the blue and white, but that's just not possible. We want to be as fair and as forthright with everyone as we can be.
Thanks for listening to my explanation and have a great weekend.

Go Big Blue!
-Coach Cal

Make Sure to Bookmark CoachCal.com

Three Walk-Ons Dismissed from Kentucky

I have been told this morning that Matt Scherbenski, Adam Delph and Dwight Perry have been dismissed from the Kentucky team.

Mark Krebs appears to be the only walk-on remaining.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Former Wildcat Allen Edwards Hired at Towson


Allen Edwards, a former Kentucky Wildcat player and Morehead State assistant coach, has been hired as an assistant at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. He will be an assistant to head coach Pat Kennedy.

As a friend of Edwards during his time in Morehead, I will happily say that Allen is one of the nicer guys a person could ever meet (and one of the better players that yours truly has the pleasure of playing with in the Morehead City League). Most recently, Edwards was an assistant to Anthony Grant at Virginia Commonwealth. When Grant moved to Alabama, he did not take Edwards with him. It is great to see Edwards land a job with a well-respected head coach like Kennedy.


Excerpt:

“Allen Edwards comes from real pedigree,” Kennedy said. “His experience playing for Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith and working under Kyle Macy and Anthony Grant has prepared him to have a great impact here at Towson.”

Soph. Guard Omar Calhoun Catching Kentucky's Eyes


Omar Calhoun, a 6'4" sophomore guard out of Christ the King High School, is drawing the attention of the Kentucky Wildcats.

Calhoun averaged about 29 points per game to help the Gauchos 15U team reach the Final Four of the AAU Supershowcase in Orlando.

“He’s getting a lot of college interest,” said Omar Calhoun Sr. “Villanova and St. John’s have offered. He has interest from Maryland, Pittsburgh, Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana and Rutgers.”

Source: ZagsBlog.com

Photo: NYDailyNews.com

Morehead State Q&A with Nikola Stojakovic

Former Morehead State men's basketball standout Nikola Stojakovic recently made a return visit to campus, and the MSU men's basketball coaching staff took a few minutes to interview Nik about his career after MSU. One of the best players in school history, Nik was a point guard from Belgrade, Serbia who concluded a two-year career in 2007-08 and set the MSU single season assist record that season.

One of head coach Donnie Tyndall's favorite players, the MSU coach was thrilled to be able to catch up with Nik.

Q: Coach Tyndall, recently Nikola Stojakovic came back to visit. Can you tell us a little bit about your visit?

It was so great to see Nik. As everyone knows he is one of my all-time favorite players. He came over to the house and ate a couple of times. We had a great time together. Nikola is a young man who is very close to me and will always be a part of my family.Questions With Nik

Q: What have you been doing since you graduated from MSU?

I have been playing professionally in Serbia this past season. My team was Masinac. I had an up and down season, but as Coach Tyndall always taught me I have turned some of the negatives of my season into positives and learned a great deal from my first season as a professional.

Q: How did your time at MSU help prepare you to play professional basketball?

The biggest thing was learning to work hard on a daily basis. Coach Tyndall and his staff helped push me and develop me and my love of the game grew and grew. The competition at the Division I level was much greater than I anticipated, and these experiences helped me a great deal.

Q: What are some good memories of your time here at MSU?

Wow, there are so many I don't know where to start. My first season beating the conference champs Austin Peay on the road in the last game of the regular season to qualify for the conference tournament is one. My whole second year was memorable. Our team had great chemistry and was unselfish. It helped us to a 3rd place finish after being picked last in the preseason, and, of course meeting my future wife Jessie Plante (Plante was a student-athlete on the women's basketball team with her last season in 2006-07). She has been a fantastic friend, and we are so excited about our future together. Also, my graduation day was awesome, I could see that Coach was very proud of me!

Q: Speaking of Jessie, can you tell us a little about the engagement?

Jessie was over in Serbia this past year as well playing professionally for Kraljevo. I proposed on New Year's Eve which is also her birthday. The wedding is set for July 10th, 2010 in Windsor Ontario, Canada, Jessie's hometown. We plan to live in Europe until I am finished with my professional career, and then most likely make Canada our home.

Q: Going forward what are your expectations for the upcoming year?

I have a new agent, and we are working on several different possibilities for my career. I hope to land on a team where I can play more minutes and showcase my skills.

Q: What are your future expectations for the Eagles?

On my recent visit, I had a chance to play pickup with the team. The talent level is very high and it seems the players are getting bigger and stronger. Everyone knows what to expect, and I know Coach Tyndall will not let the guys get big-headed from last season's experiences. I believe the sky is the limit for MSU basketball.

Article from Morehead State

Western Kentucky Dismisses David Laury From Team

Western Kentucky University head coach Ken McDonald has dismissed incoming freshman David Laury from the Hilltoppers basketball team. Laury, a 6-8, 225-pound forward from Newark, N.J., signed with WKU on April 15, the first day of the late signing period. He played his high school basketball in East Orange, N.J. prior to joining the Alif Muhammad Nia Prep School this past season.

"We have granted David his release," said McDonald. "It is disappointing that he is not interested in living up to the championship standards of our basketball program, and more importantly our University. We wish him all the best with his future."

WKU finished the 2008-09 season ranked 41st in the RPI ratings as well as receiving votes in the final ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll after going 25-9 and winning the Sun Belt Conference East Division championship. The Toppers won the SBC Tournament and earned the program's 21st NCAA Tournament appearance, knocking off fifth-seeded Illinois 76-72 in the first round before falling at the buzzer to 10th-ranked Gonzaga 83-81, just missing the program's second-straight trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Announcement from WKU

Asbury College Signs Tyler Woods from Garrard Co.

The Asbury College Athletic Department along with the Men's Basketball team are proud to announce the signing of SG Tyler Woods (Lanacaster, Ky.) for the 2009-2010 season. Woods played for Garrard County High School for four years.

Tyler was the leading scorer for the Golden Lions averaging 17 points per game during his senior season. He was also the leading 3-point shooter on the team. Woods led Garrard to 20 wins for only the third time in school history, finishing the season 20-9. Tyler was a 12th Region All-Star as well as All-District and All-Area as a senior.

Tyler will join Coach Will Shouse's second campaign in charge of the Eagles and be looked upon to compete for minutes immediately. "Tyler is a shooter and there is always a need for a player that can shoot the basketball. As a shooting guard he is a little taller than the average player at that position and it will allow him to get his shot off when we need it. The way he shoots the ball, there is immediate opportunity for Tyler to push for playing time."

Coach Shouse also spoke about the importance of Tyler fitting into the Asbury community as a whole. "We are very pleased to have Tyler here at Asbury. First and foremost he is a Christian young man who will fit in the campus life part of Asbury with no problem. I'm very excited to have him here."

Press Release from Asbury

Good Source: Josh Selby to Kentucky


I have confirmed with someone that I consider a good source at UK that Josh Selby is going to be a Wildcat. He does not believe the announcement will be in the next few days, but he says it is inevitable and the Wildcats are already planning to use the scholarship on Selby.

The same source also states that rumors of Adreian Payne and Brandon Knight committing soon are different from what he is hearing. He thinks the Cats may land one of both players, but he does not feel that it will be soon.

Stay tuned...
I will have more on this story tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

UK Jerseys to Remain the Same?

Matt May of The Cat's Pause reported via Twitter that the Kentucky jerseys will be primarily the same for the upcoming season. I am a little surprised as I thought Nike would be making some changes. Anyways, here is May's "tweet":

UK won't be getting new basketball uniforms, just making a few minor changes to last year's model. Perhaps an 'alternate' color may be used

Follow May on Twitter by clicking here:

http://twitter.com/TCPMAY

Boost Mobile Elite 24 Loaded with UK and U of L Recruits


The first 12 players have been announced for the fourth annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 event to be held August 22 at Harlem's Rucker Park. The game will be shown live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. The first 12 players is loaded with Kentucky and Louisville recruits:

Austin Rivers, Winter Park (Fla.), PG, 2011 — FLORIDA
C.J. Leslie, Word of God (Raleigh, NC), PF, 2010
Harrison Barnes, Ames (Iowa), SG, 2010
Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio), PF, 2010 — OHIO STATE
Josh Smith, Kentwood (Wa.), C, 2010
Kendall Marshall, Bishop O’Connell (Va.), PG, 2010 — NORTH CAROLINA
Rakeem Christmas, Philly NOrth Catholic, PF, 2011
Roscoe Smith, Oak Hil (Va.) Academy, PF, 2010
Tobias Harris, Half Hollow Hills West (N.Y.), PF, 2010
Tony Wroten, Garfield (Wa.), PG, 2011
Tristan Thompson, Findlay (Nev.) Prep, PF, 2010 — TEXAS
Will Barton, Brewster (NH) Academy, SG, 2010 — MEMPHIS

We hear the following players were also chosen, though they have yet to be officially announced:

Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick (NJ), SF, 2011*
Kyrie Irving, St. Patrick (NJ), PG, 2010
Dion Waiters, Burlington (NJ) Life Center Academy, PG, 2010
Joe Jackson, Memphis (TN) White Station, PG, 2010

*Gilchrist was selected last year but did not participate.


Source: ZagsBlog.com

Former Hilltopper Japeth Aguilar Enters PBA Draft


Former Western Kentucky big man Japeth Aguilar has finalized his decision to enter the Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) Draft in 2009. The draft, which takes place on August 2, follows a Rookie Camp that takes place on July 28, 30 and 31.

There will be 53 entrants in this season's draft and the 6'9" Aguilar is expected to be the top overall pick by Burger King.

Here is the scouting report on Aguilar (from Asia-Basket.com):

Japeth Aguilar (6'9" center, college: W.Kentucky): The most coveted player in the draft. Burger King has made it clear that they plan to pick him at first overall. Had a strong chance to play in the NBDL, but chose to join the PBA draft and pursue a career meant for stardom in the Philippines. Athleticism is off the charts. At 6'9, he can play the 4-5 positions with ease but can develop into a versatile small forward if he improves his perimeter game.

Aguilar's thoughts on entering the PBA Draft:

“It’s a family decision. It’s for my future. We’ve thought it’s better for me to join the PBA now,” said Japeth, son of former national and pro player Peter.

“My parents have thought I would be better off here than in the (United) States. We felt I would earn more in the PBA with my salary there and possible endorsements,” said Aguilar.

The Greek God Cuthbert Victor Re-Signs in Spain


Cuthbert Victor, a former Murray State Racer, has signed with Menorca Basket of the LEB Gold Division (top level in Spain). Victor, who is known as the Greek God in his home country the Virgin Islands, has played the last five seasons in Spain with CAI Zaragoza and Mellila.

Last season at Melilla, he was an MVP candidate as he averaged 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and shot 34% from long range. He is described as a versatile wing who has the capacity to play all three frontcourt positions. He is very fast on the counterattack, very intense and a great rebounder.

The nickname "Greek God" comes from Victor's physical stature. He is said to be "built like a truck."

Before he leaves for Spain, Victor will help lead the Virgin Islands into the 2009 Tournament of the Americas from August 26 to September 6. The Virgin Islands will compete in Group A with rivals Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Uruguay.

Source: LatinBasket.com

Carter, Fitzgerald Complete Eurobasket Summer League

Two local products recently completed the Eurobasket Summer League camp in Las Vegas. Former Kentucky Wildcat Jared Carter competed for Team Dublin, the ESL tournament second-place squad, in the event. Luke Fitzgerald, an NAIA All-American from Cumberlands, played for the fourth-place team, Team Brussels, during the week.

Fitzgerald scored 3.3 points per game during the event while playing on an extremely talented team of players loaded with international and other professional experience.

Carter put in 2.7 points per outing, including 4 points and 4 rebounds in the championship game.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Calipari Wants UK Plates on North Carolina Roads


John Calipari sent a message via Twitter earlier asking all Kentucky fans in North Carolina to visit http://www.ukplate.net/

The idea being that the state of North Carolina will have to create UK plates for its citizens and Wildcat fans in the Tar Heel state can purchase the plates for proud display on Carolina roads. Here is Coach Cal's message:

I need all UK fans in No.Carolina to go to http://www.ukplate.net/. It would be nice 2 see our UK logo on those license plates. Let's have the BBN cover all 50 states!

You can follow Coach Calapari (along with half-a-million others) on Twitter by clicking here: http://twitter.com/UKCoachCalipari

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

John Calipari Heads the Coach's Millionaire Club


It is no secret that the University of Kentucky went all out in their efforts to lure John Calipari away from Memphis. The $4 million investment is already paying dividends with the nation's top-rated recruiting class and an excitement that the fan base has not witnessed in many years. Calipari is the nation's highest paid head coach.

Here is a look at the elite "Millionaire's Club" of college basketball ($ in millions):

John Calipari Kentucky $4
Billy Donovan Florida $3.5
Bill Self Kansas $3
Thad Matta Ohio State $2.5
Rick Pitino Louisville $2.25
Roy Williams North Carolina $2.11
Rick Barnes Texas $2
Tom Izzo Michigan State $1.735
Jim Calhoun Connecticut $1.6
Ben Howland UCLA $1.5
Tom Crean Indiana $1.48
Mike Krzyzewski Duke $1.2
Jim Boeheim Syracuse $1.00 plus

Andy Katz Talks Kentucky Basketball

Andy Katz of ESPN.com has a good article featuring the Kentucky Wildcats on his Daily Word column today. Here are few excerpts:

The focal post player for Kentucky is rising junior Patrick Patterson. The options next to him are numerous, led by high-profile newcomers Daniel Orton and DeMarcus Cousins. But Calipari might not just play Patterson and one of those two.

"It might be Orton and Cousins at the same time to steal minutes for both of those kids,'' Calipari said. "I want Daniel and DeMarcus to get minutes. If we're trying to get them as many minutes at a time when Patrick's not on the floor you may have to play both of them, which is not all bad. But you've got to know how you're going to play with both of them on the floor."

Calipari, who under NCAA rules isn't allowed to watch the summer pickup games in Lexington, said he told incoming point guards John Wall and Eric Bledsoe to not just go against each other.

"I told them to play with each other, too,'' said Calipari, who plans to use a lineup of two playmaking ballhandlers at times next season. The depth on the perimeter with Wall, Bledsoe, incoming freshmen Darnell Dodson and Jon Hood, and returnees Darius Miller (who won gold in New Zealand with the Under-19 team earlier this month), Ramon Harris and DeAndre Liggins gives Calipari a slew of combinations.

Kentucky Completes Its Schedule (Also from Katz's article):

Meanwhile, Kentucky got out of a guarantee game against Coppin State and filled its schedule with one of the Big West favorites, Long Beach State. The Wildcats also have littered the schedule with the usual heavyweight names in North Carolina, Connecticut (SEC-Big East Invitational), Louisville, Indiana, as well as a tournament in Cancun, Mexico, that includes Virginia, Stanford and Cleveland State.

"What we tried to do is eliminate any teams that were 250 and above in the power rating,'' Calipari said. "Last year they had a bunch. My teams try not to play any of them. We try not to play any in that box (on the selection committee's cheat sheet that breaks down the schedule in 50-team power-rating groupings). At this point, and you don't know what will happen with injuries, none of the teams on our schedule projected to be in that range."

Complete Article from ESPN.com

Joshua Mack to Mississippi Valley State

Guard Joshua Mack from University Heights in Hopkinsville has signed with Mississippi Valley State.

“We have had a good run during the recruiting and signing period,” coach and former Kentucky Wildcat Sean Woods said.

“Coach (Dylan) Howard and Coach (Chico) Potts both worked hard evaluating players and we believe that we have the players here to be successful during the upcoming season. Both Coach Howard and Coach Potts should be commended for the efforts and results off the court.“Now we must translate this to success on the court.”

Mack (6-foot-0, 185 pounds) was the 2006-07 Big South freshman of the year at Coastal Carolina. He averaged 12.3 points, 3.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds. Mack shot 38.5 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from behind the three-point line.

Source: ClarionLedger.com

Murray State Announces 2009-10 Schedule

The Murray State Men’s Basketball program released its 2009-10 schedule featuring 15 games at the Regional Special Events Center and several exciting non-conference games against the likes of Western Kentucky, California, Chattanooga, East Tennessee, and Louisiana Tech.

“I like our schedule, MSU Head Coach Billy Kennedy said. “It’s more balanced than what we had last season and that will definitely benefit us down the stretch.”

Murray State Complete Schedule:

NOVEMBER

Thu/05 Home Bethel (exhibition) Murray, Ky.
Mon/09 Away ^California (ESPNU) Berkeley, Calif.
Sat/14 Home Missouri-St. Louis Murray, Ky.
Fri/20 Neutral ^James Madison Miami, Fla.
Sun/22 Neutral ^North Carolina Central Miami, Fla.
Mon/23 Away ^Florida International Miami, Fla.
Sat/28 Home Tennessee Wesleyan Murray, Ky.

DECEMBER

Thu/03 Home *Eastern Kentucky Murray, Ky.
Sat/05 Home *Morehead State Murray, Ky.
Sat/12 Away East Tennessee State Johnson City, Tenn.
Tue/15 Away Louisiana Tech Ruston, La.
Sat/19 Home Chattanooga Murray, Ky.
Tue/22 Away Western Kentucky Bowling Green, Ky.
Wed/30 Away SIU Edwardsville Edwardsville, Ill.

JANUARY

Mon/04 Home *UT Martin Murray, Ky.
Thu/07 Away *Tennessee State Nashville, Tenn.
Sat/09 Away *Austin Peay Clarksville, Tenn.
Mon/11 Home *Eastern Illinois Murray, Ky.
Thu/14 Home *Jacksonville State Murray, Ky.
Sat/16 Home *Tennessee Tech Murray, Ky.
Thu/21 Away *Eastern Illinois Charleston, Ill.
Sat/23 Away *Southeast Missouri State Cape Girardeau, Mo
Wed/27 Home SIU Edwardsville Murray, Ky.
Sat/30 Away *UT Martin Martin, Tenn.

FEBRUARY

Thu/04 Home *Tennessee State Murray, Ky.
Sat/06 Home *Austin Peay Murray, Ky.
Thu/11 Away *Tennessee Tech Cookeville, Tenn.
Sat/13 Away *Jacksonville State Jacksonville, Ala.
Tue/16 Home *Southeast Missouri State Murray, Ky.
Sat/20 Home ESPNU BracketBusters Murray, Ky.
Thu/25 Away *Morehead State Morehead, Ky.
Sat/27 Away *Eastern Kentucky Richmond, Ky.

MARCH

Tue/02 TBA OVC Tournament Quarterfinals
Fri/05 Neutral #OVC Tournament Semifinals (ESPNU) Nashville, Tenn.
Sat/06 Neutral #OVC Tournament Championship (ESPN2) Nashville, Tenn.

* OVC game
^ Coaches vs. Cancer Classic - Berkeley, Calif. & Miami, Fla.
# Sommet Center - Nashville, Tenn.


Press Release from Murray State

Dale Brown and Dillard Land Two Big Games


Several weeks ago, former Kentucky Wildcat Dale Brown was slightly concerned about his upcoming schedule. Coaching at Dillard University, an NAIA school that was decimated during Hurricane Katrina, his program has been struggling for financial support. In fact, he only had two paid scholarships available to his program for the coming season.

Coach Brown needed to land a couple of exhibition games against big-time NCAA DI opponents. Those games are critical for programs like Dillard as they offer financial restitution and an opportunity to experience basketball at its highest collegiate level. He was unsuccessful in his hopes of scoring a road game at Rupp Arena this season, but he did find help through the Kentucky Wildcats.

Dillard landed exhibition games at Arkansas on November 2 and Oklahoma State on November 10. The Kentucky connection? Two of Brown's good friends and former Wildcat brethren, John Pelphrey and Travis Ford, are head coaches at the respective schools.

2010 PG Cory Joseph "Cuts" List; UK Still in Mix

Cory Joseph, the third-rated point guard in the 2010 class, has cut his list from approximately 30 schools down to 16. His new list includes: Villanova, UConn, Kansas, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Cal, Mississippi State, Memphis, Syracuse, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Minnesota, UNLV, Texas A&M and Ohio State.

“He’s wide open,” Joseph's high school coach Bo Russell said. “He’s going to cut it down to 10 in early August and then cut it to five in late August.”

Wherever he ends up, Russell said he can make an impact right away.

“He’ll be an impact player,” he said. “He has real good size and he plays real hard. He brings a unique blend of high level offense and high level defense. He can shoot the ball and get to the basket and make plays. He’s athletic. He’ll be an impact player for whatever school he goes to.”

Source: ZagsBlog.com

John Calipari: The Head Coach of Point Guard University


John Calipari is quickly becoming the head coach of Point Guard University. Whether it's the intrigue of freedom in the Dribble Drive Motion offense or the professional success of former Calipari point men, he has managed to put a monopoly on the point guard market.

At Memphis, Calipari recruited points like Antonio Burks, Darius Washington and Andre Allen. Allen ended up at Crichton College (NAIA), but was dismissed after a violation of team rules. Burks and Washington are both playing professionally. Then came Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans. Rose entered the NBA after his freshman season at Memphis and is on pace to be an NBA All Star for years to come. Evans was equally impressive at Memphis and will soon display his talents at the NBA level.

After Calipari moved to Kentucky, he immediately picked up John Wall and Eric Bledsoe. Wall is widely considered the top overall player in the 2009 class and Bledsoe is not far behind. Heck, one of Calipari's assistants is Rod Strickland, a talented point guard that enjoyed a prosperous NBA career before retiring to join the coaching ranks.

Now, Kentucky is competing strongly for the four top point guards in the 2010 class. There have been rumors that Brandon Knight, the overall top-rated player in the class, is close to a Kentucky commitment. Kentucky is also rumored to be in the lead for ex-Tennessee recruit Josh Selby. Kyrie Irving is another strong possibility for Calipari and Kentucky. UK is on Joe Jackson's list as well, although he is expected to be a Memphis lean.

Most coaches fail to land that many talented point guards during their entire careers and Calipari manages to do it year-in and year-out. What do lead guard recruits see that is special about Calipari?

One thing is for certain - he has officially became the head coach at P.G.U.

John Calipari: "great news for everyone tomorrow"


Kentucky head coach John Calipari has placed Big Blue Nation on "good news" alert. His final Twitter message of the night read:

I'll have some great news for everyone tomorrow. Goodnight.

What could this great news be?

You can follow Coach Calipari on Twitter using the link below:

UK Recruit Tobias Harris Will Narrow List in August

Tobias Harris, a 6'8" forward that is ranked #27 on the Rivals150 List for 2010, will narrow his list to five schools in August. His current list consists of UConn, Florida, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Memphis, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, UCLA and USC.

"It's nice to have a lot of coaches calling," Tobias said, "but it will be hard to pick only one school."

The Harris family plans to narrow their list to five by the end of August and make their final decision in November.

Source

Monday, July 27, 2009

2010 PG Star Joe Jackson Has UK on Final List

Point guard sensation Joe Jackson, the #18 player on the 2010 Rivals150 List, has listed his final list of five schools. Kentucky is joined on the list by UConn, Tennessee, Memphis and Kansas.

Jackson, who is from Memphis, spoke highly of Tigers head coach Josh Pastner:

“That’s all he’s been preaching since he got to Memphis, even when he was an assistant coach, that I’m the No. 1 guy,” Jackson told the Memphis Commercial Appeal of Pastner. “He’s relentless. He doesn’t give up. He wants you to commit right on the spot every time he talks to you. That’s how he is. I’m just speechless because he wants me so bad. He comes harder than anybody.”

He said his decision will likely come around the middle of next season or late spring:

Asked when he will decide, Jackson said “Probably by the half way point of the high school basketball season…or late spring.”

Source: ZagsBlog.com

Louisville Cardinals On the Way Down?

ESPN.com continues its summer buzz series today by looking at the first of five programs that will likely be down from last season. The first program on the list - the Louisville Cardinals.

You must be an ESPN "Insider" to read the entire article, but here is ESPN says during the preview:

Insider knows you're hot for hoops over the summer, so we're bringing you a closer look at five programs on the rise, five on the way down and five at a crossroads. Today, we move on to five schools that are down from a year ago, beginning with Louisville. Tomorrow: Arizona.

Louisville
31–6 (NCAA Tournament, Elite 8)

Even when a team runs 12 different players for an average of five minutes or more, losing two of them as NBA lottery picks is highly problematic. Since 2005, six teams have seen two of its stars selected in the same draft's top 14 picks. Only half of those teams returned to the NCAA Tournament the following season. None of them surpassed the second round. And it's not as though those programs were one-hit wonders, considering that list includes UCLA, Duke, UConn, Florida, Ohio State and North Carolina.

That note doesn't even consider the individual impact of the departed players. In Louisville's case, the future gets particularly dicey when you figure that Terrence Williams (New Jersey Nets, No. 11) and Earl Clark (Phoenix Suns, No. 14) ranked first and second on last season's team, respectively, in points, rebounds and assists. Moreover, they led the team far and away in those three categories, accounting for 36 percent of the scoring, 46 percent of the board work and 49 percent of the dimes.

After losses like that, it's hard not to see the Cards sliding back in 2009-10 after reaching the Elite Eight and capturing dual Big East titles. However, coach Rick Pitino believes a fresh face and a key returner could keep the Cards on the up and up.

Follow Bluegrass State Basketball on Twitter for daily updates and breaking news

2010 Stars Payne and Knight Heading to Kentucky?


Larry Vaught is reporting on KentuckySportsReport.com that Adreian Payne and Brandon Knight are both close to committing to the Kentucky Wildcats. Both players are top 20 stars in the 2010 class. Knight, a talented 6'3" point guard, is the overall top-rated player in the 2010 class according to Rivals.com. Payne, a 6'10" center, is ranked 20th on the Rivals.com list.

For the record, Vaught is typically one of the most trustworthy sources of UK information and if he reports it, it is usually on target.

Brandon Knight's Rivals.com Profile

Adreian Payne's Rivals.com Profile

YouTube Footage of Kentucky Pickup Game

Here is a YouTube video showing raw footage from a pickup game involving UK players - past and present. There are a few incredible sequences that are worth watching (hint: 3:30):

Part I:



Part II:



Part III:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rumor: Tayshaun Prince to be Replaced on Team USA?


There are rumblings around the Internet that former Kentucky Wildcat Tayshaun Prince may be "gently asked" to step aside and vacate his spot on Team USA for the 2010 World Championships.

Apparently, the United States' administration would like to replace Prince and Carlos Boozer with younger players such as Kevin Durant, O.J. Mayo and/or Rudy Gay.

The rumors have gained steam after the completion of Team USA's mini-camp this past weekend. Gay scored 27 points in the mini-camp exhibition game and Durant added 20 points and 8 rebounds. Mayo, who played some high school basketball for Kentucky's Rose Hill Academy, struggled from the field (5-16) but still managed 13 points and 4 assists.

Could this be the end of Prince's Team USA run?

Follow Bluegrass State Basketball on Twitter for daily updates

Milwaukee Coaches Very Impressed with Jodie Meeks

Yahoo Sports Team Report:

Brandon Jennings wasn’t the only rookie who made a distinct impression on the Bucks coaches during the recent NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. So did Jodie Meeks.

While Jennings showed team officials why he was the 10th overall selection in the June draft with his stellar passes and aggressive full-court defense, Meeks performed equally well. Meeks, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Kentucky whom the Bucks drafted in the second round, displayed veteran-like poise and maturity on both ends of the floor. On offense, the Bucks coaching staff consistently ran him off screens and Meeks consistently knocked down open jumpers.

On defense, Meeks was not afraid to get in his opponent’s face and mix it up inside while battling for rebounds.

Prior to the NBA Summer League, Meeks was considered somewhat of a project, someone who could possibly end up in the D-League. But after his eye-opening showing in Las Vegas, some Bucks officials are now thinking Meeks could get some key minutes off the bench and perhaps even challenge Charlie Bell as Michael Redd’s primary backup.

Player Notes:

Jodie Meeks, G, 6-4, Kentucky (second round)—Bucks general manager John Hammond said the team’s scouting department had Meeks ranked considerably higher and never envisioned him falling to them in the second round, the 41st pick overall.

Source

KCU Youth Basketball Skill Development Camp

Youth Basketball Skill Development Camp

What: Kentucky Christian University youth basketball camp invites you to participate in a fundamental, instructional, exciting week of basketball.

When: July 27-30, 2009

Time: 9:00 am-3:00 pm

Who: Boys and Girls ages 5-15. There will be age appropriate grouping.

Where: Lusby Center Gym on the campus of Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Kentucky.

Weekly Cost:

$90 for Full Day Campers (9:00 am-3:00 pm)
$65 for Half Day Campers (9:00 am-12:00 Noon)
$45 for additional siblings (half or full day)

What to Bring:

Water Bottle
Lunch (If Full Day Camper)
Sunscreen
Basketball Appropriate Attire
Concession Stand Money (Concessions will not include lunch products)

How To Register: Download the registration form, fill out completely and return the form with proper payment to the address on the form.

Calipari Watches Kyrie Irving Erupt for 37 Points


Kentucky head coach John Calipari was in attendance yesterday as UK recruit Kyrie Irving dropped a game-high 37 points at the 17U Super Showcase in Orlando.

Irving, playing for the New Jersey Celtics, is a 6'2" guard that is being recruited by Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, UConn, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and others. He was 20-of-20 from the free throw line during his impressive performance.

Irving's team defeated Team Final 87-84 in overtime. Michael Gilchrist, another Kentucky recruit, had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Team Final in the loss.

Calipari was joined by a host of other top-level coaches, including Bill Self (Kansas), Roy Williams (Carolina), Jay Wright (Villanova), Jim Calhoun (UConn) Jeff Capel (Oklahoma), Jamie Dixon (Pitt), Derek Kellogg (UMass) John Giannini (La Salle), Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech), Bobby Gonzalez (Seton Hall), Fran Dunphy (Temple), Fred Hill (Rutgers), Seth Greenburg (Virginia Tech) and Tony Bennett (Virginia).

Source: ZagsBlog.com

Michael Porter is Officially a Father


Congratulations to former Kentucky point guard Michael Porter on the new addition to his family. Porter has a healthy little daughter.

The picture is courtesy of Michael Porter via a Twitter message:

Here is Porter's latest Tweet:

http://twitpic.com/bn8zu - She peed on me today when I was changing her!!!

Ah, the joy of fatherhood!

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