Saturday, August 8, 2009

John Calipari and China: Coming to America?


Do you remember Coming to America, the 1988 comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall?

I was told today that Kentucky head coach John Calipari is preparing to play his own version of coming to America. Calipari is apparently working to bring at least one and possibly two Chinese basketball coaches back to America to serve as honorary assistants on the UK staff.

The source I talked to did not specify if this means that Calipari is literally bringing the assistants home with him on this particular trip or if he is working out the specifics so that they can be flown in as the season approaches. Either way, it looks like Calipari is going to hold true to his word from several months ago when he told us that his plans were to include a Chinese assistant or two for the season.

In my opinion, this is just another innovative idea that Calipari is using to make Kentucky basketball larger than life.

UPDATE: I spoke with Dan Wolken of the Memphis Commercial Appeal this morning and he tells me that Calipari actually had a Chinese observer on the sidelines during the last two seasons at Memphis. I did not know that that was the case and just thought I would pass the information along for others.

Rasheem Richards and One Unity Win ABA Title

One Unity and former Brescia star Rasheem Richards defeated Jam Squad 90-76 in Game 4 to win the ABA summer championship in the Virgin Islands.

Richards had another excellent all-around game with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Former Oklahoma Sooner Jabari Brown led the team with 24 points and 19 rebounds.

Jam Squad, eight-time ABA champions, were defeated in the series 3-1.

Source: CaribDaily.com

Former Louisville Recruit Jeremy Tyler Headed to Israel

Jeremy Tyler, the 6-foot-11 high school senior out of San Diego High, will likely sign a contract next week with Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Premier League. Tyler had committed to the Louisville Cardinals, but chose to withdraw and seek a professional contract overseas.

“They’re the favorites,” Sonny Vaccaro, who is advising Tyler, said by phone. “It looks like Jeremy Tyler is going to end up with Maccabi Haifa. It’s 90 percent done.

“The contract has not been signed yet. As soon as they do the faxes back and forth, it should be done Tuesday or Wednesday.”

My Thoughts: The name Sonny Vaccaro is not a name you'll ever see on my list of Trustworthy Friends.

Source: ZagsBlog.com

Murray State Coach Billy Kennedy to Visit Troops

Murray State head men's basketball coach Billy Kennedy is set to do something he only dreamed about until recently.

Kennedy will team with several college basketball coaching colleagues and travel to Southwest Asia to visit troops as part of the 2009 College Basketball Tour.

Kennedy will be part of a group of five NCAA basketball coaches making the trip to visit soldiers.
The other coaches participating in the trip are Agnus Berenato of the University of Pittsburgh, Duggar Baucom of Virginia Military Institute, Orlando Early of the University of Louisiana-Monroe, and Mike Smith of Jacksonville State.

Several groups go overseas every year to visit USA troops and Kennedy is happy to participate.

"When I was asked to go on this trip I thought it was a great opportunity to be an encouragement to our troops who're there protecting us." Kennedy said. "I am thrilled to get the chance to meet some of our troops and thank them for all they do for us."

Koeberle and Associates, a Pittsburgh-based sports marketing agency, has sent a variety of different groups overseas to show troops support ranging from a Major League Baseball Legends tour to a Survivor and American Idol tour.

Recent tours include college football coaches, the New England Patriots cheerleaders, and coaches of the National Football League.

Due to military protocol, actual dates of departure and return are not publicized.

Source

Mendez-Valdez Named Male Athlete of the Year at WKU


Janet Jesang and Orlando Mendez-Valdez have been named Western Kentucky University's John Oldham Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year for the 2008-09 academic year, the WKU Athletic Department announced today. The duo will be recognized at Thursday night's Hilltopper Athletic Foundation Membership Social in the Topper Club at Houchens Industries - L.T. Smith Stadium.

Mendez-Valdez, who graduated this past May, was named the Sun Belt Conference's Male Student-Athlete of the Year for 2008-09. He also was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and earned a spot on the Associated Press All-America team as an Honorable Mention selection after leading the Hilltoppers to a 25-9 record and a second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth this past season.

After three seasons in a support role, Mendez-Valdez turned in a career year as a senior in 2008-09. Averaging 14.2 ppg, he became the first WKU player ever to make 100 three-pointers in a single season, connecting on 101-of-240 for 42.1 percent. His 140 assists were also eighth most all-time in a single season and his 1,138 minutes played rank as the fourth highest total. He finished the year ranked in the top 10 in the conference in six major statistical categories.

Mendez-Valdez had 23 double-digit scoring games including nine of 20 points or more, and his 1,066 career points ranks him 35th all-time in the WKU record books. He also ranks second all-time at WKU in three-point field goal percentage (42.3%), and fourth in career three pointers made (197) and assists (355). Mendez-Valdez scored 18 points, dished out 12 assists, and grabbed 10 rebounds in a January 1 win over Troy at Diddle Arena, marking the first ever known triple double in school history.

Nate Valentine Promoted at Transylvania

London, Ky., native Nate Valentine has been promoted to lead assistant men's basketball coach at Transylvania, athletics director Jack Ebel said Friday.

Valentine is a 2005 Transy graduate who has served as a part-time assistant under head coach Brian Lane since the 2005-06 season. Valentine's first season on the Pioneers' staff coincided with the team's first appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament and advancement to the round of eight.

Coach Lane on Valentine:

"I am excited that Nate has decided to remain on our basketball staff and accept these new responsibilities," said Lane. "He is keenly aware of the uniqueness of this position and he understands the very high level of interest in Transy basketball. As a Transy graduate, he will be able to share a clear vision with our current and future players for our program's continued success."

Press Release from Transylvania

Time Warner Cable Strikes Again


I apologize for the lack of updates and news today. My fast and "reliable" Time Warner Cable Internet went down about 10:00 a.m. this morning and has been down until late this evening. I appear to be back online now and hopefully will have no further issues.

I will have some new UK news coming a little later tonight to make up for the downtime.

HINT: Vegetable Lo Mein

Calvin Fowler from Bellarmine at En Fuego Hoops

The team rosters for En Fuego Hoops have been announced. The showcase features some of the best players available for placement in the LNBP, domestically and abroad. The showcase will be held on the campus of Alliant International University (Sol City) on Saturday August 15th and Sunday August 16th.

Former Bellarmine sharp-shooter Calvin Fowler will be playing for team Nuevo Leon during the event. Some of Fowler's accolades include All-Conference, All-Region, Defensive Player of the Year and a 43% average from the 3-point line.

Calvin Fowler Highlight Video:


Matt Miller Leads Rwanda Again in Loss

Former Bellarmine star Matt Miller led Rwanda in scoring for the second-straight game, but it wasn't enough to defeat a tough Tunisian team in qualifying round action at AFROBASKET 2009. Miller put in 15 points in the 74-57 loss.

Both teams advanced to the next round thanks to a Cape Verde loss in the other qualifying round game in the group. Rwanda and Tunisia will join Qualifying Group F in the next round and will matched in the group with Morocco, Senegal, Cameroon and CAF.

Rwanda will open the next round against Senegal.

Source: AfricaBasket.com

Friday, August 7, 2009

Yahoo: Kentucky a Top Seed in March


Yahoo Sports has selected its preseason projections for the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament.

Like ESPN.com, they have the Kentucky Wildcats as a #1-seed. They have the Louisville Cardinals and Rick Pitino as a #6-seed. Also from the state, they have Western Kentucky as a #13-seed and Morehead State as a #15-seed.


Derrick Rose Speaks Publicly About Memphis Controversy

Former Memphis point guard Derrick Rose has spoken publicly for the first time about the alleged NCAA violations during his time at Memphis. Rose's ACT scores have been at the center of the allegations involving the Memphis basketball team. Here is what Rose had to say in an interview with The Chicago Sun-Times:

For the first time, he answered reporters' questions about the controversies.

About the ACT allegations, he said: "That didn't bother me at all. I didn't do anything wrong, so it was up to Memphis what they had to do. Coach [John Calipari] told me not to worry about it. I definitely wasn't worrying about it."

Rose said he speaks with Calipari—who has moved to Kentucky—frequently and they rarely mention the topic.

"That's the last thing we'd talk about," Rose said. "We'd probably talk about that for two or five minutes. Other than that, he'd always tell me how good some of his players, talk about the offseason and talk about how my family's doing. The last thing we'd talk about is something negative."

Article from SunTimes.com

Bellarmine Adds JUCO Transfer Jeremy Kendle


Jeremy Kendle, a 6-1 "combo" guard, has signed to play at Bellarmine next season after earning an associate's degree from Olney Central Community College (IL). As a high schooler, the Southern Indiana native starred for Jeffersonville, where he graduated in 2006.

"Coming off a tremendous season, our goal was to recruit players who would fit into our team," Davenport said, "and Jeremy is a perfect match. He has demonstrated an incredible work ethic and attitude, and I really look forward to working with him when individual workouts begin later this month."

Davenport also announced that Aaron Robison would be joining the team. The 6-6 forward who played at St. Xavier High School attended Bellarmine last year but did not play, so he still has four years of eligibility. "Aaron gives us added depth to our inside play, and he fully understands the commitment it takes to play at Bellarmine," Davenport said.

Former Knight Matt Miller Leads Rwanda in Win

Rwanda defeated Cape Verde 77-67 to claim their first victory at AFROBASKET 2009 in Libya. The outcome leaves all four teams in Preliminary Group D with identical 1-1 records (Rwanda, Cape Verde, Morocco and Tunisia).

Former Bellarmine Knight Matt Miller led Rwanda with 18 points.

In Friday's action, Rwanda will meet Tunisia and Cape Verde will take on Morocco.

Former Brescia Star Nearing ABA Title in Virgin Islands


One Unity is one victory away from claiming the summer ABA championship in the U.S. Virgin Islands. One Unity holds a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-five series with Jam Squad. The fourth game in the series will be played tonight at 7:30 p.m. and a deciding game will be played Saturday, if necessary.

Former Brescia College guard Rasheem Richards plays a big role for One Unity. In game 3, Richards chipped in with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Another recognizable name on One Unity is former Oklahoma Sooner Jabahri Brown.

One Unity finished the summer ABA schedule with a record of 10-0.

Source: LatinBasket.com

Isiah Thomas and FIU Land Dominique Ferguson

Yes, that's FIU as in Florida International University and not F IU as in tossing slang at a certain rival school located in Bloomington, IN. In one of the more shocking recruiting decisions of the summer, former Kentucky recruit Dominique Ferguson has given a verbal to the smooth-talking Isiah Thomas and Florida International.

Article from Jeff Goodman at FoxSports.com:

Isiah Thomas has already made a splash on the recruiting trail, but this one will send shockwaves through the college basketball world.

The new Florida International coach just landed a legitimate McDonald’s All-American candidate in athletic 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward Dominique Ferguson.

The pickup comes on the heels of Thomas landing two potential impact players in July - talented point guard Phil Taylor and 6-foot-10, 250-pound rising junior Chris Coleman.

But Ferguson is a big-time get.

Ferguson was ranked No. 16 in Scout.com’s national rankings in the Class of 2010 entering the summer.

Ferguson, who will transfer from Lawrence North (Ind.) to Hargrave Military Academy this year, was also pursued by the likes of Indiana, Kentucky, Arizona and DePaul.

"If Isiah Thomas had been at a big-time school, I’d be going with him,” Ferguson said on Friday afternoon while on an unofficial visit to FIU. "He’s been in the league, has played in the league and has developed so many good players.”

"Everyone wants to get to the next level and he knows what it takes,” Ferguson added.

"I think biggest thing stands out is his versatility and things he can do not only in post, but also off dribble,” Scout.com’s national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels said.

“This is a huge get for FIU. It’s pretty unheard of for a mid-level program to go in and get a guy that’s currently ranked in top 20-25. Huge get and another addition to an already strong class.”

Ferguson was arguably Billy Gillispie’s top commitment while he was at Kentucky, but he re-opened his recruitment after Gillispie was fired and replaced by John Calipari.

My Thoughts: I didn't really see this coming, but I tried to warn everyone a few months ago in this article.

Interesting quote from the article: "He’s [Thomas] been in the league, has played in the league and has developed so many good players.”

Who are all those good players that Thomas has developed?

Northern Kentucky Adds DI Transfer Yan Moukoury


Northern Kentucky University has added University of Houston transfer Yan Moukoury to the men’s basketball roster for the upcoming season.

Moukoury, a 6-foot-7, 227-pound forward, played the past two seasons at Houston. He averaged 0.4 points per contest in limited playing time last season. Two years ago, Moukoury played in nine games for the Cougars and scored a career-high five points against Grambling State. He averaged 0.9 points as a freshman.

Moukoury was a prep standout at Christian Life Academy of Baton Rouge, La., and averaged 17 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.0 assists as a senior. He led the Crusaders to consecutive Class A state championships in Louisiana and earned all-state accolades. Moukoury also was named to the all-tournament team at the 2006 Adidas camp in Georgia.

“Yan is going to be a great addition to our program with his ability to play multiple positions,” NKU head coach Dave Bezold said. “Even though he is 6-7, Yan can play any of the perimeter spots, and he is really a smooth offensive performer with a lot of skill. He is going to have a chance to be an impact player for us, and we are very excited to have him join our program.”

Moukoury joins Iowa transfer David Palmer and freshmen Ethan Faulkner and Erik Stenger as newcomers for the 2009-10 season. NKU also adds redshirt Corey Sorrell to this year’s roster. Moukoury will have two years of eligibility remaining at NKU.

Preparing Calipari for Rupp: Darren "Mony Mony" Moscoe

In an effort to help John Calipari be prepared for his first Rupp Arena game, I felt it important to introduce him to a few of Rupp's "unofficial" traditions. Today's lesson for Coach Calipari: Darren "Mony Mony" Moscoe:

Delph down to KY Wesleyan and Asbury, will decide next week

I'm told former UK walk-on and PRP star Adam Delph will decide early next week on his basketball future. Earlier this week, the 6'1" shooting guard visited Kentucky Wesleyan College and canceled his visit to Northern Kentucky University, which did not have a scholarship available for him. He visited Asbury College yesterday, accompanied by former teammate Deandre Liggins. Supposedly he considered Mid-Continent University as well but decided not to visit.

So it looks like Delph is down to Kentucky Wesleyan and Asbury, with a decision coming soon. Asbury seems like a more natural fit — the Eagles have a real need at the shooting guard position, and Wesleyan added big-time scorer Kwan Waller in the offseason — but I'm sure the Panthers are thinking GLVC championship this year with the talent they've already added. Delph, a tremendous athlete, would be icing on the cake for their incoming class.

Keep checking BSB for updates on Delph's recruiting

Sad News From Ft. Campbell: Mickey Fisher Has Died

Mickey Fisher, the longest tenured boys basketball coach in Fort Campbell history, died of an apparent heart attack last night.

Fisher coached the Falcons from 1987-98, posting a record of 120-167. His 1989-90 team posted a 16-6 record. His teams won 10 or more games nine times in his 12 seasons as head coach.

Fisher's teams never advanced out of district play, having coached in one of the toughest districts in the state that included Christian County, Hopkinsville, and University Heights.

Fisher played basketball at Austin Peay State University from 1972-74 and was a teammate of James "Fly" Williams. Williams talked about Fisher on his blog, TheFly35.com

Source

Thursday, August 6, 2009

2010 PG Brandon Knight Has Three Favorites


Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest point guard Brandon Knight, ranked by rivals.com as the No. 2 player in the 2010 class, has a top three (in no order) of Miami, Kentucky and Connecticut among 10 candidates, his father said, adding Miami ``has a good chance.''

Source: MiamiHerald.com

My Thoughts: I am still hearing that he is Kentucky's to lose.

Shelvin Mack Leads Butler in Loss to Swiss Team

The Swiss national team, featuring NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, defeated Butler 76-72 today in an exhibition basketball game at Como, Italy.

It was the third consecutive loss for the Bulldogs, who lost to Cleveland State and LSU in March to finish a 26-6 college season.

David Ramseier led Switzerland with 26 points. Sefolosha, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, scored 16.

Shelvin Mack led Butler with 15. Zach Hahn and Matt Howard added 11 each, and Gordon Hayward nine.

Butler trailed 37-28 at halftime but seized a 52-51 lead at the end of three quarters. Switzerland pulled away in the fourth quarter.

The teams are to play again Friday afternoon.

Source: IndyStar.com

Kentucky Wesleyan Hires James Jackson

James Jackson, a member of Rick Pitino's staff at Louisville for the past two seasons, has been appointed as an assistant men's basketball coach at Eight-time NCAA Division II National Champion Kentucky Wesleyan, according to Panther head coach Todd Lee.

Jackson, a native of Lincoln County, Ky., served as Director of Video Operations this past season where the No. 1 ranked Cardinals finished 31-6, won the Big East regular season and tournament championships and reached the NCAA Midwest Regional championship game.

His responsiblities included advance scouting video of Cardinal opponents as well as evaluationvideo for U of L players. Jackson completed his first season at Louisville as an graduate assistant.

“James brings a lot of positives to our staff with his work ethic and experiences," said Lee. "The past two years he has worked for one of the best coaches in the country, Coach Pitino. His experience at Louisville will be an assest for our staff and program.

His collegiate experiences also includes working on the summer camp staffs at Duke, Kentucky and Louisville.

"I’ve been blessed to experience so much success at a young age from winning a Class “A” State Championship in high school to learning from a Hall of Fame coach at one of the top programs in Division I and now coaching for the best Division II program of all time at KWC," says Jackson.

Prior to Louisville, Jackson spent one season as a student assistant at Berea College and two seasons as an assistant at Lincoln County High School.

Lee added, "He has spent his entire life in the state of Kentucky and he has a lot of friends and contacts throughout the state, which will help our program in a variety of ways. We are very fortunate to have him join our coaching and he is very excited for his opportunity.”

In high school, Jackson played at University Heights Academy in Hopkinsville, Ky., where they won the 2002 Class "A" State Championship. He also lettered on the soccer squads that won two district and one regional title.

Jackson graduated from Berea in 2007 with a political science degree.

Press Release from Kentucky Wesleyan

Q&A with St. Catharine Head Coach J.T. Burton


J.T. Burton is entering his second season at the helm of the St. Catharine basketball program. He was an assistant at St. Catharine under former head coach Wade O'Connor, who left to become an assistant at Western Carolina University. The Patriots made the jump from the junior college ranks to the NAIA a year ago. At the NAIA level, they are members of the incredibly competitive Mid-South Conference.

Coach Burton, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with me today. If you will, tell me a little about yourself and your road to the head coaching position at St. Catharine College.

I’m from Springfield KY; I went to school here at SCC from 1995-1997. Then I went on to Tennessee Wesleyan and earned my bachelor degree. After graduating from there I came back as an assistant coach here at SCC under Ryan Swanson for 1 year. Then I went with Ryan to Marshalltown CC in Iowa for 1 year. After that year I came back to Springfield and started teaching at Washington Co. high school for 5 years. There I was the boy’s assistant coach for 1 year then I became the girls head coach for 4 years. During those five years I earned my masters degree from Campbellsville University (2003). In 2007 I came back to SCC for the 3rd time as an assistant under Wade O’Connor and in 2008 I became the head coach here at SCC.

Last season, you came into a tough situation for a first-year head coach. St. Catharine became a 4-year institution and your basketball program joined the NAIA and a very tough Mid-South Conference. You also inherited a young roster that lacked experienced depth on the bench. Discuss some of the major challenges you faced last season and what you have worked on this summer to overcome those obstacles.

Our main challenge a year ago was surviving. We knew we were not post-season eligible, so we redshirted some players. It was tough to come to practice every day knowing there was no pot at the end of the rainbow, and this took a toll on everyone involved, but we never gave up. This also caused a huge problem for our bench. It took us a while to figure out who wanted to be a part of what we were trying to do, and once we did, we had several guys who really bought in. Despite our win-loss record, we found out who wanted to be at St. Catharine and I feel that was huge for our program. Basically, for us to not go through another year like last year, we hit the road hard from the minute the season ended and tried to get players who can help us compete at this level.

How did the move to the NAIA affect your scholarship numbers? Did you see an increase in numbers with the move?

As a junior College we got 4 scholarships and as NAIA we have 7.7 so our scholarship amount increased. In my opinion 8 scholarships you can compete at a high level in this league. The numbers have increased as well. More players want to come to a four year institution.

Speaking of the Mid-South Conference, there are going to be some good returning teams in 2009-10. All the teams in the conference are talented, but which teams stand out as the teams you expect to be at or near the top of the MSC?

I think you could put every team in a hat and draw out names and that could be who wins the league this year. This league is so dominant from top to bottom it is hard to just pick 2 or 3 teams. I think everyone will be better this year, and that will make our conference schedule brutal. There will not be any nights off, just as it is every year. I truly believe this will be the best the Mid-South has ever been.

Name a player or two around the conference that you expect to have an All-MSC- type season.

Nestor Culminares (SP) is the first player that comes to mind. He will rejoin Campbellsville this season and will probably have the biggest impact in the Mid-South, if he is at CU last year they have another tournament type team. Then I would say Vic Moses at Georgetown. He was a load inside last year. My next pick would be Adrian Graves at Cumberlands. I think he will be a phenomenal player in this conference.

Let’s talk a little about your squad. You were down in numbers and experience last season, but I know you’ve been recruiting hard. What areas have you been able to address through recruiting and/or transfers? Tell me a little about your incoming players.

We had to address the point guard position immediately. We were in so many games last year where we needed a basket on a big possession, and came up empty. We feel like we did well in signing Adam Decker who was a great player at PRP for four years. The next thing is we needed depth on the interior. We had Ervin Williams sitting out last season, who is a transfer from Seward County Community College. I think he will be a tough guard inside. We also added another junior college transfer named Josh Peery who is around 6’7 and will help inside. We also added two Division 1 transfers who actually came to SCC at the beginning of the Spring semester last year, Rainier Rickards a 6’5 wing from Queens, NY and Sal Patricio a 6’1 shooting guard from Queens NY. We signed a 6’3 guard/forward named Alex Hall who is from Jamaica Queens NY as well and he will be an incoming freshman. Kris Caufield who was a two year starter here when we were 2 year also redshirted last season. So we feel with the guys we had sitting out and the additions we made, our talent level has gone up.

Tell me a player or two on the Patriots’ roster that you are expecting to have a big season.

I am expecting big things from Ervin Williams. This is a guy who took beating upon beating everyday last year as a redshirt and never complained or took a day off. I think he has a chance to be a force inside. He is skilled and athletic and is very, very strong. I am also very excited about Brandon Johnson. Here is a guy who hadn’t played in a year and came to SCC and was thrown right into the fire, playing 30+ minutes a game out of position. He has changed his body this summer and has added some things to his game he didn’t have before, but mainly, he has matured into a leader and that excites me!

Coach, tell me a little about your offensive and defensive philosophies. Do you like to get the ball up-and-down the court or are your teams a little more methodical on offense? Are your team’s primarily man-to-man defensive teams or do you like to mix-in a little zone?

We are going to run! I think with the athleticism we have it would be a disservice to hold these guys back. We will run some sets and do some different things for different guys, but I think we will play inside-out this year since we have more threats on the interior. Defensively, we have to be able to guard. The coaches in this league are great at scouting, so they know everything you will do offensively. But there are going to be nights when the score is in the 50’s and 60’s and it will come down to who can stop who. We will mix it up quite a bit, and try and get after people.

You have a reputation around coaching circles as being a hard worker – both on the court and on the recruiting trail. Tell me a little about your work ethic and what you do to earn that same level of intensity from your players.

We are in a different situation at St. Catharine than anywhere else in the league. The main question I got all year recruiting was “I thought you were a JUCO”. Our main goal was to get our name out there this past year and establish a recruiting base. The only way to win on this level is to outwork people and I feel as though our work will pay off. I think when your team knows you and your assistants are driving all night to recruit and help their future; they want to bring it for you. That has been our lifeline here, to make sure we bring it every day and don’t take days off because it is not going to be easy to here at SCC.

I know it’s still early, but what are some of your goals this season at St. Catharine?
Our number one goal is to continue to improve in every aspect. In the spring as a team we had a GPA of 3.07. I want that to be better. We have to pay more attention to detail in practice. I am not big on saying our goal is to do this and that. If we take care of the little things, then the big things take care of themselves. My biggest hope is that we forget about last year, however, we remember where we came from, and this year we just get better in every aspect.

Coach Burton, it has been great talking with you and best of luck in accomplishing all your goals and then some. I appreciate your time and look forward to speaking with you again soon.

Thank you, it was my pleasure.

Twit Out of Luck: Messaging Site Goes Down

John Calipari has finally managed to crash the Internet!

Article from WKYT.com:

Twitter is down. For users of the short messaging site, this means no tweeting about lunch plans, the weather or the fact that Twitter is down.

The company says in its status blog Thursday morning it is determining the cause and will provide an update shortly.

The status blog lets users know about planned outages and other issues on Twitter. This outage was not planned.

It's not clear when the outage began, but it appears to have started mid-morning Eastern time.
Major Internet services including Twitter do undergo unplanned outages from time to time because of overcapacity and other problems.

UPDATE: The site is back online as of 11:00 a.m. or so. For a second, I thought ESPN was taking their new policy to the next level!

UPDATE #2: Down again...CNN.com is reporting that Twitter is the victim of a denial of service attack:

The popular social networking site Twitter has been hit by a denial of service attack, according to Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

In an e-mail to CNN.com, Stone said this morning's attack is not related to a recent incident in which a hacker stole internal documents from the site.

"There's no indication that this attack is related to any previous activities. We are currently the target of a denial of service attack," Stone said in the e-mail.

Shelvin Mack and the Butler Bulldogs Are Touring Italy


Shelvin Mack and his Butler teammates are currently touring Italy as a team. They will be playing several games, including a couple against the Swiss national team. Mack is a graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington.

Article from Butler:

Butler head coach Brad Stevens will get an early preview of his 2009-10 basketball squad when he takes the team to Italy for a 10-day summer basketball tour. The Bulldogs, who will depart Indianapolis on August 4, will visit four cities and play four games on the foreign trip.

“We’re extremely thankful for this opportunity,” said Stevens, who’s guided Butler to a 56-10 record in two seasons as head coach. “We’re looking forward to the chance to be together, to grow as a team and to experience Italy.”

The Bulldogs will travel from Indianapolis to Milan, where they will play the Swiss national team on the evening of August 6 and on the afternoon of August 7. Following the second game, the team will have two days of sight-seeing in Venice (Aug. 8) and Florence (Aug. 9), before concluding the trip with four days in Rome (Aug. 10-13). While in Rome, the Bulldogs will have games against a local Italian team on Monday (Aug. 10) and Tuesday (Aug. 11).

Stevens has all 14 players back from last year’s 26-6 club, which won the Horizon League regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. That group includes 2009 Horizon League Player of the Year Matt Howard (6-8, Jr.) and 2009 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Gordon Hayward (6-8, So.), plus starters Willie Veasley (6-3, Sr.), Shelvin Mack (6-3, So.) and Ronald Nored (6-0, So.). Howard led the Bulldogs in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (6.8) in 2008-09, while Hayward was the team’s second-leading scorer (13.1) and rebounder (6.5).

Also heading to Italy are Alex Anglin (6-4, Jr.), Garrett Butcher (6-7, So.), Zach Hahn (6-1, Jr.), Emerson Kampen (6-9, R-Fr.), Avery Jukes (6-8, Sr.), Grant Leiendecker (6-4, Jr.), Nick Rodgers (6-2, Sr.), Chase Stigall (6-3, R-Fr.) and Shawn Vanzant (6-1, Jr.). Stigall and Kampen, both of whom sat out last season as “redshirts,” will be playing for the Bulldogs for the first time.

The lone player on Butler’s 2009-10 roster not making the trip is 6-10 freshman Andrew Smith, who can’t begin practicing with the Bulldogs until school starts.

Hayward and Mack will be making their second overseas basketball trip this summer, following a Gold Medal-winning performance as members of the U. S. national team at the 2009 U19 World Championship in New Zealand in July. Jukes, who spent 11 days in Uganda with Ambassadors for Children during the summer of 2008, will be heading overseas for the second consecutive year.

The foreign trip is Butler’s first since 2004, when the Bulldogs visited the Bahamas for a pair of October games. Butler also has taken trips to Finland (2000), Europe (1996) and Australia (1992).

Bellarmine's Matt Miller Named to Rwandan National Team

Former Bellarmine star Matt Miller has been named to the national team in his home country of Rwanda. Miller, who has spent time playing professionally in Germany, completed his Bellarmine career in 2006.

The Rwandan team is currently playing in Group D of the 25th FIBA Africa Nations Championship (Afrobasket 2009). The tournament lasts from August 5-15 and is being held in Libya. Joining Rwanda in Group D are Morocco, Tunisia and Cape Verde.

Rwanda's National Team Roster

Head coach Veceslav Kavedzija is using the following players in Libya:

4 Kami Kabange
5 Amandin Rutayisire
6 Ellis Kayijuka
7 Mike Buzangu
8 Karim Nkusi
9 Albert Rukundo
10 Hamza Ruhezamihigo
11 Robert Thomson
12 Kenny Gasana
13 Carlos Mugabo
14 Matt Miller
15 Cameroun Bradley

Source: AfricaBasket.com

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Confident Cousins on Kentucky: "Final Four Contenders"


“Final Four contenders,” Cousins told me (Adam Zagoria) in April. “We’ll beat Duke and North Carolina."

That statement was made by confident freshman big man DeMarcus Cousins, the second-ranked incoming freshman in the nation (behind Kentucky teammate John Wall).

Head coach John Calipari did not express the same level of confidence that Cousins displayed in the interview performed by Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com.

“I’m glad people think that highly of our team but we’ve got six new players joining six returning players who went to the NIT, minus their leading scorer [Meeks],” Calipari said last Friday at St. John’s. “It’s a whole new style of play, a whole new attitude, changing the culture. [And] still throwing a tough schedule at them.

“If we’re as good as everybody says it’s gonna be a helluva run because we got a lot that we’re facing.”

Some other quotes by John Calipari during the interview:

On Kansas being ranked preseason #1:

“I think they deserve it for what they’ve done,” he said. “I think people are guessing about us, but I appreciate the respect they show for the program by doing that. They’re showing respect, and I hope they’re all right.”

On John Wall's academic status:

“John Wall is really doing well academically.”

On playing Wall and freshman PG counterpart Eric Bledsoe together:

“Eric Bledose and John Wall play together now and give you a ridiculously fast team,” he said.

“I’d like to play three point guards. This offense with three point guards, as long as they’re big enough to guard other positions. Eric Bledsoe is 6-foot in bare feet…but he jumps 40 inches or more. So wait a minute, how small does he play? He plays 6-5.

“So now all of a sudden you got two point guards that play big. Well, let’s get another point guard and we’ll play real big. Now you’re playing against zones, you got more playmakers.

Boost Mobile Elite 24 - Second 12 Announced

The second half of the Boost Mobile Elite 24 has been announced. Like the first twelve players, this side is also packed with Kentucky and Louisville recruits.

The Boost Mobile Elite 24 event has been moved from Saturday Aug. 22 to Friday Aug. 21 at Harlem’s Rucker Park. The game will still be shown on ESPNU on Saturday night.

Boost Mobile Elite 24 Second 12:

Cory Joseph, PG, Findlay (Nev.) Prep
DaJuan Coleman, PF, Jamesville-DeWitt (N.Y.)
Dion Waters, SG, Burlington (N.J.) Life Center - SYRACUSE
Doron Lamb, SG, Oak Hill (Va.) ACademy
Joe Jackson, PG, Memphis White Station
Josh Selby, PG, Baltimore Lake Clifton
Kyrie Irving, PG, Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick
Myck Kabongo, PG, Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict’s - TEXAS
Perry Ellis, PF, Wichita Heights (Ks.)
Phil Pressey, PF, Dallas (Episcopal)
Terrence Jones, SF, Jefferson Portland (Ore.)
Terrence Ross, SF, Montrose Christian - MARYLAND

The first 12 players chosen were:

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

Related Article

Source: ZagsBlog.com

Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena


I just saw a Tweet (aka a post on Twitter) from Rupp_Arena stating that Big Blue Madness will be held at Rupp Arena this season. Here is the message:

It's official! Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena on October 16th! More details to follow...

I am still holding onto my dream (see image) of one day having Big Blue Madness at Commonwealth Stadium in front of 65,000+ fans. Oh well, maybe next year!

Make sure to follow Rupp Arena updates on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Rupp_Arena

Dick Vitale Ranks UK #2 and Louisville #19


Dick Vitale, ESPN's college basketball guru, has released his 2009-10 preseason rankings for college basketball. He has the Kentucky Wildcats ranked #2, right behind Kansas. He has the Louisville Cardinals ranked #19. Here are his comments on both teams:

2. Kentucky: John Calipari has made a major difference and his first season in Lexington should be special. The Wildcats were aided with the return of Patrick Patterson. Then check out diaper dandies like John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. Fans of Big Blue will be jumping with joy.

19. Louisville: Rick Pitino's biggest addition this offseason came on the sidelines. The addition of Ralph Willard to the Cardinals' staff is a big positive. Samardo Samuels will get better up front.

Vitale's Top 10:

1. Kansas
2. Kentucky
3. Michigan State
4. Texas
5. Duke
6. Purdue
7. Villanova
8. North Carolina
9. West Virginia
10. Illinois

Tobias Harris to Visit Kentucky Wednesday

Tobias Harris, a 6'8" forward from New York, will be visiting Lexington today according to several sources. Harris, who received an official scholarship offer from Kentucky a couple weeks ago, is #27 on the 2010 Rivals150 List.

Rivals reports that Harris has received offers from a long list of schools including: UConn, Georgetown, Louisville, Maryland, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia, USC, Rutgers, Notre Dame and Marquette.

Tobias Harris' Rivals.com Profile

A look at Harris:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

John Calipari Prepares for Another China Trip

From CoachCal.com:

When I first began travelling to China in hopes of introducing our great game of college basketball to the Chinese people AND sharing coaching techniques and strategies, I was greeted by the kind Chinese officials in a very formally manner.

Now, after several trips and a continued exchange of ideas and culture, I'm greeted with hugs. I know that is a great sign of progress.

That's part of the reason I am so excited to be making another trip to China this coming Saturday. I'll be there for a variety of reasons but chiefly I'm continuing to build relationships as we try to further expand Big Blue Nation internationally.

In addition to doing a coaches clinic for the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) outside of Beijing, I will be able to share in the dinner when the CBA honors my dear friend Del Harris. I've also got to make it a point to get to the Great Wall. Previous trips have been so jam-packed I wasn't able to work in a trip to the Wall. I plan on getting there during this trip and sharing some pictures of my journey.

Some have asked, 'Why are you doing all that travelling, Coach?'

Quite simply, we want UK basketball to be followed by all the fantastic basketball fans in China. Eventually, we want this website and UK's presence to be as big in China as it is in the U.S. Or even bigger!

In China it’s all about relationships and I've worked hard to build these bonds and trusts and my hope is that it will benefit our university in the months and years to come.

The University is already working to recruit graduate and undergraduate students from China to Lexington. I want to help make that happen. In time, I want to see hundreds of Chinese students studying and living alongside our UK students. If we can have students building relationships with future business partners from China, we will be helping to prepare all our gifted students to truly be world citizens.

Oh, and in case you haven't heard, I'd also like to find a 7-foot point guard in China!

But seriously, it's such an incredible and unique opportunity that we have to share our great university and the entire Commonwealth with the people of China. I look forward to keeping you updated during my trip as I try to expand the gargantuan Wildcat footprint in China.

My Thoughts: Will it be a super Chinese recruit, a Chinese assistant coach or both?

Morehead State Promotes Joel Zimmerman

Morehead State University men's basketball coach Donnie Tyndall elevated Director of Basketball Operations Joel Zimmerman to the position of Assistant Coach Tuesday.

"Joel is a tireless worker and has a great passion for the game of basketball," Tyndall said. "He did a fantastic job this past season in his role and deserves this promotion. I feel Joel fits the mold of what we want and expect from our staff and he will do an outstanding job."

The 2008-09 championship season was Zimmerman's first with Eagle basketball. He joined the MSU program after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Barton College. While he was there, Barton won the 2006-07 NCAA Division II National Championship. Zimmerman assisted in the day-to-day operations of the Barton program, including practice and game-day coaching, guard development, recruiting coordinator, created and managed weight conditioning program, film exchange and scouting and summer camp organization. He also served as assistant compliance director.

"I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity coach Tyndall is giving me to move up to a full time assistant position. This past year was an invaluable learning experience for me and I look forward to the challenge of continuing to build upon the foundation that has been built by the talented staff that has come before me."

Prior to Barton, Zimmerman was an assistant coach for one season at Anderson University.

Zimmerman earned an associate degree at Roane State (Tenn.) Community College, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 grade point average. He also earned a bachelor's degree from Anderson College in 2003, graduating Cum Laude.

Zimmerman will replace Joel VanMeter, who recently resigned to take a teaching position in Alabama.

Press Release from MSU

Confirmed: Fab Melo to Syracuse

I have just been told by a good friend at Rivals that Fab Melo has chosen Syracuse over Louisville.

I guess it is a bad day all around for the city of Louisville. I was really hoping the big man would choose the Cardinals.

I'll have a more in-depth update later.

UPDATE and confirmation from The Courier-Journal:

Fab Melo is obviously tired of warm weather. Or maybe he simply wanted to extend the mellow tradition at Syracuse ignited by Carmelo Anthony.

The kid from Brazil who will play high school ball in Miami reportedly just picked Syracuse over Louisville for his college choice. Fabricio De Melo, a silo-sized 7-footer, was a prime recruiting target of Rick Pitino and his assistants throughout July.

Now the Syracuse paper is reporting he is bound for the land of a million snow drifts.

It's a big and stunning hit for the Cards, who as of Monday night were confident they were the leaders for Melo.

Rick Pitino and his staff have to scramble to find another frontcourt prospect.

Flash Flooding: Prayers for the City of Louisville

I would ask that everyone say a prayer for those in Louisville that have been injured or are in danger during today's flash flooding. Also, remember those that have lost homes, vehicles and other valuable possessions.

Here is a video that has already surfaced on YouTube that illustrates some of the damage:

Adam Delph down to three schools


I've been told by a good source that recently-released University of Kentucky walk-on Adam Delph has narrowed down his transfer options to Northern Kentucky University, Asbury College and Kentucky Wesleyan College.

He will take a visit Thursday to Asbury, where his former PRP teammate Phillip Morrison will be a junior.

The 6'2" guard averaged 23 points per game his senior year at PRP. He did not see playing time in his one year at UK.

Campbellsville Seeking New Assistant Coach

Campbellsville University, a member of the NAIA and the Mid-South Conference, seeks applications for the position of assistant men’s basketball coach. This position comes with a housing and meal plan allotment along with a small monthly stipend.

Duties will include but are not limited to assisting head coach with practice planning, on-floor coaching, preseason conditioning and weight training programs, scouting of opponents, recruiting, game management duties, monitoring of academics, game film breakdown and individual skill development of players

Additional information about Campbellsville University and our men’s basketball program can be found on our websites: www.campbellsville.edu and www.campbellsvilletigers.com

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree required. Clean driving record required. College playing experienced preferred.

Applications: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please forward applications to the following:

Coach Keith Adkins
Campbellsville University
1 University Dr., UPO 793
Campbellsville, KY 42718
ckadkins@campbellsville.edu

Asbury College releases 2009-10 schedule

Nov. 6 14th Annual Zweifel Classic Wilmore, KY
Asbury Vs. St. Catherine 8pm
Berea vs. Virginia Intermont 4pm
Nov. 7 14th Annual Zweifel Classic Wilmore, KY
Asbury Vs. Virginia Intermont 6pm
Berea vs. St. Catherine 2pm
Nov 9 Morehead State (exh) Morehead, KY 7:30pm
Nov. 10 Free Will Baptist Wilmore, KY 6pm
Nov 13 Mt. Vernon Nazarene Mt. Vernon, OH 8pm
Nov. 14 Wilberforce Wilberforce, OH 4pm
Nov. 17 Johnson Bible Knoxville, TN 7pm
Nov. 20 Christian College Classic Wilmore, KY
Cincinnati Christian vs. Temple Baptist 6pm
Asbury vs. Southern Virginia
Nov. 21 Christian College Classic Wilmore, KY
Southern Virginia vs. Cincinnati Christian 2pm
Asbury vs. Temple Baptist
Nov. 23 Crown Wilmore, KY 6pm
Dec. 4-5 Berea Classic Berea, KY
Dec. 8
Georgetown Georgetown, KY 7:30pm
Dec. 10 Kentucky Wesleyan (Exh) Owensboro, KY 7:30pm
Dec. 17 Centre Danville, KY 7pm
Jan. 4 Lindsey Wilson Columbia, KY 7pm
Jan. 6 Birmingham Southern Birmingham, AL 7pm
Jan. 9 Southeastern Tourney Lakeland, FL
Jan. 12 Cincinnati Christian Wilmore, KY 7:30pm
Jan 14 IU- East Richmond, IN 7pm
Jan. 19 Berea College Berea, KY 7:30pm
Jan. 21 Spalding Louisville, KY 7:30pm
Jan. 23 Indiana Southeast New Albany, IN 7pm
Jan. 26 Brescia Wilmore, KY 7pm
Jan. 28 Alice Lloyd Pippa Passes, KY 7:30pm
Jan. 30 St. Louis Pharmacy Wilmore, KY 3pm
Feb. 4 IU-East Wilmore, KY 7:30pm
Feb 6 Brescia Owensboro, KY 3pm
Feb. 9 Cincinnati Christian Cincinnati, OH 7:30pm
Feb. 11 Alice Lloyd Wilmore, KY 7:30pm
Feb 13 Indiana Southeast Wilmore, KY 6pm
Feb 16 Berea College Wilmore, KY 7:30pm

Monday, August 3, 2009

Is Calipari the Perfect Fit at UK Or Is It Just Me?


It's like peanut butter and jelly...

Like milk and cookies...

Like peas and carrots...

Like Cliff and Claire...

Bo and Hope...

Fish and water...

Rose, Sophia, Blanch and Dorothy...

You get the point? John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats are a match made in heaven. If you looked up Kentucky Wildcats Head Coach in the dictionary, it should say: (see Calipari, John).

Serving as the head coach at Kentucky requires a certain pizazz. It requires a certain flair, perhaps even a certain attitude. In the sports terminology, one might say it requires a certain "swagger."

John Calipari has all of the above. He has reunited the Kentucky fanbase to a point that I have not witnessed since an insane string of national championship appearances during the mid-1990's. The coach then was Rick Pitino, who also had all of the above during his time at Kentucky. Now, Pitino leads Kentucky's in-state rivals, which will surely lead to alpha-male battles for state supremacy in the years to come.

Calipari has poured gasoline on the Big Blue Nation and set it on fire in the few months he has been in Lexington. He has took a program bordering on mediocrity and turned it into the Phoenix of college basketball. Kentucky has brought in the nation's top-rated recruiting class, the roster has been completely revamped and many in the state would be pleased to skip football season and just start the basketball schedule.

Calipari and Kentucky go together like mac and cheese.

Just this week, Calipari ventured into foreign battleground (Louisville) and made a fundraising agreement with Papa John's - one of the Louisville Cardinals' chief sponsors and namesake of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Is that innovative or what?

Is Calipari the perfect fit at Kentucky - or is it just me? Somehow, I think I'm not alone.

Kentucky Wesleyan Releases 2009-10 Schedule

Kentucky Wesleyan has announced its 2009-10 schedule, which includes an exhibition game in West Lafayette, Indiana against the Purdue Boilermakers:

2009-10 Men's Basketball Schedule

Disney West Tip-Off Classic
10/30/2009 San Francisco State Anaheim, CA 7:00 CT
10/31/2009 Western Washington Anaheim, CA 2:00 CT
11/1/2009 Grand Canyon Anaheim, CA 8:30 CT
11/9/2009 Purdue (Exhibition) West Lafayette, IN 6:00 CT
11/17/2009 Hannibal-LaGrange Owensboro Sportscenter 7:30 CT
11/24/2009 Bryan Owensboro Sportscenter 7:30 CT
Owensboro Classic
11/27/2009 Lambuth Owensboro Sportscenter 6:00 CT
11/28/2009 Alaska-Fairbanks Owensboro Sportscenter 8:00 CT
12/5/2009 * Bellarmine Owensboro Sportscenter 7:30 CT
12/7/2009 Bethel Owensboro Sportscenter 8:00 CT
12/10/2009 Asbury Owensboro Sportscenter 7:00 CT
12/12/2009 Lake Erie Owensboro Sportscenter 7:30 CT
12/20/2009 Urbana Owensboro Sportscenter 3:30 CT
12/29/2009 Tiffin Owensboro Sportscenter 7:00 CT
1/2/2010 * SaintBold Joseph's Owensboro Sportscenter 7:30 CT
1/4/2010 *Wisconsin-Parkside Owensboro Sportscenter 7:30 CT
1/7/2010 * Drury Springfield, MO 8:00 CT
1/9/2010 * Missouri S&T Rolla, MO 3:00 CT
1/14/2010 * Southern Indiana Owensboro Sportscenter 7:30 CT
1/16/2010 * Illinois-Springfield Owensboro Sportscenter 3:15 CT
1/18/2010 * Rockhurst Kansas City, MO 7:30 CT
1/21/2010 * Northern Kentucky Highland Heights, KY 6:45 CT
1/23/2010 * Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN 2:00 CT
1/28/2010 * Lewis Romeoville, IL 7:30 CT
1/30/2010 * Quincy Quincy, IL 3:15 CT
2/4/2010 * Maryville Owensboro Sportscenter 7:30 CT
2/6/2010 * Missouri-St. Louis Owensboro Sportscenter 3:15 CT
2/11/2010 * Indianapolis Owensboro Sportscenter 7:30 CT
2/13/2010 * Northern Kentucky Owensboro Sportscenter 3:15 CT
2/15/2010 * Southern Indiana Evansville, IN 7:30 CT
2/18/2010 * Bellarmine Louisville, KY 7:00 CT
Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament
2/27/2010 First Round Campus sites
2/28/2010 Quarterfinals Campus sites
3/6/2010 Semifinals Springfield, IL
3/7/2010 Championship Springfield, IL
NCAA Midwest Regional
3/13/2010 Quarterfinals
3/14/2010 Semifinals
3/16/2010 Championship
NCAA Elite Eight
3/24/2010 Quarterfinals Springfield, MA
3/25/2010 Semifinals Springfield, MA
3/27/2010 National Championship Springfield, MA

Home Games are in bold
Neutral Site Games are in italics
* Denotes a Great Lakes Valley Conference game

Schedule from Kentucky Wesleyan

Jeff Goodman Worries About Billy Donovan's New PG

Article from Jeff Goodman at FoxSports.com:

The Florida Gators are literally about to add a Nimrod.

That’s right. All signs point to Israeli 6-foot-5 point guard Nimrod Tishman joining the Florida Gators program – as long as he gets through the NCAA clearinghouse.

According to sources close to the situation, Nimrod has committed to the Gators and has been admitted to school.

Associate head coach Larry Shyatt recently went to France in the July recruiting period to watch Nimrod (I’m sorry, but I have to refer to him by his first name) play in the Under-18 European Championships – where he averaged 18 points per game.

Billy Donovan desperately needs a point guard since the lone floor leader on the team is 5-foot-8 Erving Walker.

Nimrod has been compared to Nick Calathes due to his size and court vision.

I just feel badly for Nimrod the first time he takes the floor at Rupp Arena and the UK fans let him have it.

Thomas More Releases 2009-10 Schedule

Thomas More College Head Men's Basketball Coach Jeff Rogers announced today (Monday, August 3, 2009) the Saints' 2009-2010 schedule. The Saints will open the 2009-2010 campaign on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. when they travel to Bluffton, Ohio to play Bluffton University.

Thomas More College Schedule 2009-10

11/17/2009 at Bluffton Bluffton, Ohio
11/20/2009 at Case Western Reserve Tournament University Circle, Ohio
11/21/2009 at Case Western Reserve Tournament University Circle, Ohio
11/25/2009 at Mount St. Joseph Cincinnati, Ohio
11/28/2009 TRANSYLVANIA HOME
12/02/2009 at Grove City * Grove City, Pa.
12/12/2009 at Westminster * New Wilmington, Pa.
12/21/2009 at Capital Columbus, Ohio
12/27/2009 COACH CONNOR CLASSIC HOME
12/27/2009 vs. MOUNT UNION HOME
12/28/2009 COACH CONNOR CLASSIC HOME
12/28/2009 vs. BALDWIN-WALLACE HOME
12/30/2009 at Wilmington Wilmington, Ohio
01/02/2010 GENEVA HOME
01/07/2010 at Washington & Jefferson * Washington, Pa.
01/09/2010 WAYNESBURG * HOME
01/13/2010 at Bethany * Bethany, W.Va.
01/16/2010 THIEL * HOME
01/20/2010 SAINT VINCENT HOME
01/23/2010 GROVE CITY * HOME
01/30/2010 WESTMINSTER * HOME
02/03/2010 at Geneva Beaver Falls, Pa.
02/06/2010 WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON * HOME
02/10/2010 at Waynesburg * Waynesburg, Pa.
02/13/2010 BETHANY * HOME
02/17/2010 at Thiel * Greenville, Pa.
02/20/2010 at Saint Vincent Latrobe, Pa.

Schedule from Thomas More

Former UK Assistant Herb Sendeck Gets a Raise


Former Rick Pitino assistant Herb Sendek has received an extension and a nice raise for his hard work at Arizona State. Sendek was an assistant at Kentucky from 1989-93.

ASU coach Herb Sendek will get a 1 year contract extension that will keep him at ASU until 2014. He will also get a nice pay raise. Sendek will make 1.1 million next year and 1.2 the following year.

Source: HoopDirt.com

Joel VanMeter Leaving Morehead State

"The only thing of note that I heard was that Morehead State assistant Joel VanMeter is leaving the program. Apparently he is going to take a teaching gig in Alabama. VanMeter was also an assistant at Jacksonville State and Chipola and is a big loss for Donnie Tyndal"


Source: HoopDirt.com

UPDATE from MSUEagles.com: Morehead State University men's basketball coach Donnie Tyndall announced Monday that assistant coach Joel VanMeter is leaving the program.

"I remember meeting Joel VanMeter when he was an 18-year-old skinny freshman with a flat top haircut and he was trying to make the team here at MSU," said Tyndall. "I saw a guy that loved basketball and had a great heart. Sixteen years later we won a championship at St. Catharine and another one here at MSU together and he has grown into a fantastic coach and is still the great person he has always been."

VanMeter has accepted a high school teaching position in Alabama where he also expects to continue his coaching career. A MSU graduate, VanMeter played a key role in helping the Eagles win the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and reach the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

"This was the toughest decision I have ever had to make. Coach T has been a mentor to me and a role model for me from the first week I stepped on this campus," VanMeter said. "It was the thrill of a lifetime to be part of his staff this season and to be part of the success we enjoyed, However I need to be back in Alabama with my family."

My Thoughts: This is a tough loss for the MSU program. VanMeter will be the second MSU assistant to leave during the summer.

John Calipari Announces Papa John's Deal

A message from CoachCal.com:

It gives me a great deal of pride to share with you the start of our first significant fundraising opportunity to help support the Calipari Family Foundation for Children (CFFC).

I'm thrilled to be partnering with Papa John's in offering "The Coach Cal 3-Pointer" - a large, up to 3-topping pizza for just $10. A dollar from each ON-LINE order (using promo code CHCAL) will be donated to the CFFC and benefit the Kentucky Children's Hospital.

Beginning today, at noon, I will be on-line ordering "The Coach Cal 3-Pointer" for delivery to the Craft Center.

Check my Facebook and Twitter postings later this morning and then make your own suggestion of a Papa John's "3-Pointer" you'd like to make and we'll choose our favorite each afternoon as our Office Pizza of the Day. [Create from this impressive list of Papa John's toppings: Pepperoni, Sausage, Spicy Italian Sausage, Ham, Hickory-Smoked Bacon, Grilled All-White Chicken, Fresh-Sliced Onions, Fresh-Sliced Green Peppers, Baby Portabella Mushrooms, Fresh-Sliced Roma Tomatoes, Black Olives, Sweet Pineapple, Extra Cheese (Other toppings may be available where you are.)]

Remember: This special offer is for ON-LINE orders only and you will need to use promo code CHCAL.

Let me just say what a pleasure it is to be teaming up with John Schnatter and his incredible Papa John's family.

“Coach Cal has a tremendous following on his Twitter and Facebook pages with more than 500,000 fans combined,” said Jude Thompson, Papa John’s president and chief operating officer. “We view this as an opportunity to align Papa John’s with one of the hottest coaches in college basketball and strengthen our already strong ties to the University of Kentucky, all the while leveraging his strong following to support a very worthy cause – the Calipari Family Foundation for Children.”

What's BETTER than UK fans teaming with Papa John's to make a difference in kids' lives? We'll have more information on this exciting fundraiser in the days ahead. For now, go on-line and make your own "3-Pointer!"

The Calipari Family Foundation for Children is dedicated to the betterment of the lives of underprivileged children, and is currently in the process of identifying the primary charities to be involved with in the Commonwealth and in Memphis.

For more information about the company or to order pizza on-line, visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com. Also check out Papa John's at Facebook and Twitter. For more about UK Coach John Calipari, visit www.CoachCal.com and the UK Athletics website.

Former Cat Gerald Fitch Signs 2-Year Deal in Spain


Former Kentucky guard Gerald Fitch will continue his professional career in Spain.

Fitch, who was named All-Turkish League Player of the Year in 2009 after averaging 28.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game, has signed a two-year contract with Alta Gestion Fuenlabrada in Spain's top-level ACB League.

The 27-year old Fitch averaged 16.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game for Kentucky during his senior season.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Sunday, August 2, 2009

On the Twelfth Day of Wildcats: A Tribute Song

The 12 Days of Wildcats

On the first day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
A walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the second day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the third day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the fourth day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Four Landon Slone’s,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the fifth day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Five Matt Scherbenske’s,
Four Landon Slone’s,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the sixth day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Six Mark Halsell’s,
Five Matt Scherbenske’s,
Four Landon Slone’s,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the seventh day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Seven Jared Carter’s,
Six Mark Halsell’s,
Five Matt Scherbenske’s,
Four Landon Slone’s,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the eighth day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Eight Michael Porter’s,
Seven Jared Carter’s,
Five Matt Scherbenske’s,
Four Landon Slone’s,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the ninth day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Nine Kevin Galloway’s,
Eight Michael Porter’s,
Seven Jared Carter’s,
Six Mark Halsell’s,
Five Matt Scherbenske’s,
Four Landon Slone’s,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the tenth day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Ten Matt Pilgrim’s,
Nine Kevin Galloway’s,
Eight Michael Porter’s,
Seven Jared Carter’s ,
Six Mark Halsell’s,
Five Matt Scherbenske’s,
Four Landon Slone’s,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the eleventh day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Eleven A.J. Stewarts,
Ten Matt Pilgrim’s,
Nine Kevin Galloway’s,
Eight Michael Porter’s,
Seven Jared Carter’s,
Six Mark Halsell’s,
Five Matt Scherbenske’s,
Four Landon Slone’s,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

On the twelfth day of Wildcats, Calipari took from me,
Twelve Donald William’s,
Eleven A.J. Stewarts,
Ten Matt Pilgrim’s,
Nine Kevin Galloway’s,
Eight Michael Porter’s,
Seven Jared Carter’s ,
Six Mark Halsell’s,
Five Matt Scherbenske’s,
Four Landon Slone’s,
Three Jarvis Walker’s,
Two Adam Delph’s,
And a walk-on named Dwight Perry

2011 Kentucky Recruit Commits to "Other" Wildcats

Dustin Rumbaugh at Kentucky Sports Radio reported earlier today that Sidiki Johnson, a 2011 Kentucky power forward target, has committed to the Arizona Wildcats. Here is Rumbaugh's report:

http://new.kentuckysportsradio.com/?p=24561

Dustin does an incredible job following recruiting and is an exceptional writer. I highly recommend that all Kentucky fans check his work out.

John Calipari and Papa John Have an Announcement


John Calipari is at Papa John's headquarters in Louisville tonight. He posted the picture to the right on Twitter along with this message:

http://twitpic.com/cl23w - Guess who I am with in this picture? He and I will have an announcement tomorrow.

Later, he added:

Was in Louisville for a reception @ Papa John's HQ hosted by Charlie Cassis, Erwin Roberts, Britt Brockman, Jude Thompson & John Schnatter.

You guessed it, Papa John. What's BETTER than UK fans teaming with Papa John's to make a difference in kids' lives. More details tomorrow.

John Robic: "Our goal...win a national championship"

Larry Vaught has some quotes on his blog from new Kentucky assistant coach John Robic. Here is an excerpt:

"That is the goal. Our goal at some point is to try and win a national championship. We were close at Memphis. I just think you have everything in place here for that to happen. Whether it does nor not or when, you don't know. But it is a great goal to have knowing you have a chance to do that. There are a lot of places out there that your goals are different - just win your conference championship or just get into the NCAA Tournament. Our goal here is to try and win it all. That started when he took the job.

"Can we win this year? We don't know, but you have to believe it. These fans here definitely believe that. It is a different animal, a different atmosphere. It's the top of the food chain right here."

Check Out Vaught's Site

Burger King Drafts Japeth Aguilar First in PBA Draft


After four years, a true blooded Filipino was finally selected as the number one pick in the 2009 Philippine Basketball Association Annual Rookie Draft on Sunday at the Fort’s Market! Market! In Taguig City. Japeth Aguilar’s selection by Burger King at the top spot was the first for a homegrown talent after Filipino-Americans Kelly Williams, Joe Devance and Gabe Norwood dominated the scene. Rich Alvarez was the last local to be drafted by Shell in 2005.

The 6’9” Aguilar, who played for two years with Ateneo in the UAAP before trying his luck with the Western Kentucky University in the United States, hopes to do well in the pro league.

“I’ll do my best to live-up to expectations. I thank God for supporting me in this endeavor and I’m determined to help Burger King,” said the 24-year-old Aguilar, son of former PBA player Peter Aguilar.

My Thoughts: Yes, the team is actually named the Burger King Whoppers. Congratulations and best of luck to Japeth Aguilar!

Q&A with Cumberlands Head Coach Don Butcher


The University of the Cumberlands is coming off of a successful 2008-09 where the Patriots won the always competitive Mid-South Conference and went to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA National Tournament. Head Coach Don Butcher spoke about the core players returning and the new talent the Patriots have coming to Williamsburg this season.

TY: Talk about last season, was that something that you envisioned at the beginning of the year?

DB: I'll be honest with you, Tyler, I thought we were pretty good. As the year went on, we got better and better. It was one of those teams that we were very heavily dominated with our junior and senior class, and anytime you have that, I think you have a chance. We had been to three straight conference tournament championship games, and that's just experience you can't replace. They have been through a lot of hard games, they had been to the national tournament two years in a row, and as the year went on, we continued to get better and better. It didn't surprise me to win the conference tournament. Anytime you play in the conference finals, you're playing somebody that's pretty good, and Georgetown was extremely good. We had some good games during the regular season, but it didn't surprise me one bit. Maybe our best player was Chad Byron, from Louisville Trinity, and he didn't even play in the national tournament. He tore his knee up the day before the national tournament game. We did fine, but if we could have stayed healthy at the right time, I think we had a chance to even do better last year, but that's the way the cards fall, I guess.

TY: You've got Chad coming back, but who else is going to be making a big impact?
DB: I think Travis Harvey was very good for us last year and got better and better. He got eligible at Christmas and got better and better as the semester went on. No doubt Dustin Fothergill will be back, and this is his fourth year and he continues to make progress on the perimeter. Really lucky we got Bernard Cherry back, who played great in the national tournament, actually had a double-double in our first game out there. He's an interior guy. Our backup point guard Nate Mitchell is also returning, so we've got a nice nucleus of returning guys. I have a couple of kids who didn't get to play much last year, Rodney Jones and Doug Waldon, who are good players, they were just behind some players that were a little better than them, so they didn't get the opportunity to play, but we've got six or seven guys that were instrumental to our success last year.

TY: You lost a great player in Luke Fitzgerald, but do you see Chad coming in there and fulfilling that role of possibly contending for POY?
DB: Oh man, I don't know about that just because our league is so good. Chad is so steady. I don't think he could ever be that caliber of a player just because he does everything well. He's a guy who, when the game's over, you don't even appreciate what he's done until you see the box score because he's got three or four assists and five rebounds and he always guards the best player on the other team. So I don't know if I could expect him to have that good of a year just because of the talent in our league, and everybody keeps adding players. There will be some better players in our league than Chad, without a doubt. I don't know if there will be any better competitors, though, guys you can count on in the crunch time, than Chad.

TY: Who are some new guys coming in?

DB: Pretty excited, but we'll see. They've got to get here first. Probably the marquee guy we've got is a young man named Adrian Graves, AD they call him. He was at Xavier for two years, and he started several games while at Xavier. He transferred last year to Bowling Green and did not play at Bowling Green — was ineligible there. He's a very nice perimeter player, about 6'3", 6'4", long and athletic. We've added a young man named Brandon Russ. Brandon played at Southern Indiana last year, Division II, and added 12 points and six or seven rebounds in that very competitive league. He's a really nice prospect. We've added a young man who actually led Grambling in scoring last year until Christmas time named Andrew Prestley, another Division I transfer. He can really score at about 6'5". We've added Clark Stepp, another DI transfer from Austin Peay. Did not play a lot there, but I think he's got a chance to be a really nice player. We've added a guard from Southern Poly in Georgia named Anthony Snell who's another really athletic point guard, fast combo guard. It's all on paper now, but those guys are definitely as talented as anybody we've had in the past.

TY: You and Georgetown have a great rivalry going on, and last year you beat them when it counted. Are you excited about going up against that team again this year? They always reload and are a great team.

DB: They'll be fine, but I don't look more forward to them than anybody else in our league. The coaches in our league do such a good job, and I'm not saying this just to fill what people want to hear, they're just good, man. And I don't mean they're just good at coaching games — they all run very good programs, they work extremely hard in recruiting, work extremely hard in scouting. Our league is just good in all aspects of what it takes to have good basketball teams and good basketball programs. So obviously that was a good win, but I'll take beating anybody in our league, home or away, and it's all about the same for me.

TY: It's awfully early, but do you have any goals yet for this season?

DB: This is what I always hope. I hope that we can be competitive to win our conference championship, the regular season championship and compete into the conference tournament and be a team who is able to win the conference tournament. I say that because if you can compete to win our conference or you can compete and get to the finals like we have the last two or three years, then you're going to be good on a national level. The best two or three teams in our conference can all compete nationally and have a chance to win a national championship. That's how good I think the top echelon teams in our conference are. If we can really compete and have a chance to win the conference championship, obviously our goal is to win a national championship, but you don't have to look any further than your conference. If we can be as good as the teams in our conference, than you can compete nationally.

TY: How is Luke Fitzgerald doing in his search for a pro career?

DB: He's doing quite well. He went to a workout in Illinois, an overseas workout for pro agents to come, and he was the MVP of that particular workout. He did really well, had 19 and 12 in the scrimmage games. They're all played by NBA rules, 24 second shot clock, no help side, and the rules were probably a little outside of what he's accustomed to, but he did really well, and from what I hear he was the best player at that particular workout. He has had some opportunities to go to Germany, and I don't know whether he's going to end up there, but he is really pursuing a pro career and has put a lot of his heart and soul into it. I hope he ends up getting what he's looking for.

TY: He's looking overseas, D-League, everything?
DB: Yeah, I think he's looking at every option. To be honest, he's a young kid, and I think most of those kids are tied up in the money and where can you make the most money, but me doing this as long as I have, that's not the best criteria to use. I don't recommend my guys going someplace overseas if there's some place they can go where they don't speak the language. If you can't communicate, you can't hardly survive over there. I don't know where he's going to end up at, but I do think he'll be playing professional basketball someplace.

Former Racer Marcus Brown Staying in Lithuania


Former Murray State Racer Marcus Brown, the Euroleague all time top scorer, will stay with Zalgiris Kaunas in the Lithuanian LKL League. The LKL is Lithuania's top-level league. Brown's agent was shopping other options, but the decision has been made to stick with Zalgiris.

Brown played last season with Maccabi Tel Aviv as a loaned player from Zalgiris. He averaged 12.3 points for the Israeli powerhouse in 16 Euroleague games. In domestic league, he averaged 12.6 points and led Maccabi to the title.

Brown, who is 35-years old, has enjoyed a long and successful European career. He will be looked at as a mature team leader for Zalgiris.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Former Eagle Ricky Minard Continues to Shine in Italy


Ricky Minard, one of the most impressive scorers in recent memory at Morehead State, will continue his impressive professional career in Italy. Minard stars for Lottomatica Roma in Italy SerieA, the top level of Italian professional basketball.

Last season with Premiata Montegranaro, another SerieA squad, Minard was 8th in the league in scoring with 15.6 points per game. He also averaged 3.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.1 steals.

Minard was drafted in the 2nd Round (48th overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings.

2009-10 Lottomatica Roma Roster (Source: EuroBasket.com)
(Coach Fernando Gentile)

Ibrahim Jaaber (187-G-84), Ricky Minard (194-G/F-82, college: Morehead St.), Andre Hutson (202-F-79), Andrea Crosariol (212-C-84), Jacopo Giachett (191-G-83), Luigi Datome (202-G/F-87), Herve Toure (202-F-82), Angelo Gigli (209-F/C-83)

Also Roma needs a starting five shooting guard. Maurice Ager (193-G-84), Tarence Kinsey (200-G-84) are the options offered by the press.


Ricky Minard in Action:

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