Saturday, August 22, 2009

Morehead State Coach Donnie Tyndall For a Golden Glove?


Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall made a guest appearance on my team during a softball tournament in Morehead today. The tournament was hosted by the Morehead First Church of God and featured teams from several states.

I invited Coach Tyndall to join my team for a game or two during the event and he was excited at the opportunity. In fact, the MSU coach is quite the dependable batter. A power hitter by no means, Tyndall dropped several perfectly placed balls in for hits. He also made several shaky, uh, I mean brilliant catches in the field.

Most importantly, Tyndall had fun and did an excellent job representing Morehead State University. I couldn't convince my 5-year old daughter to talk to him, but he was a great addition to our team and helped make the day memorable.

By the way, Tyndall batted a thousand and made no errors. I asked him if he wanted to stick around and play another game, but he opted out. He said something along the lines of, "Ah man, I was 2-2 and made no errors. I think I'll leave while I'm still a hall of famer!"

Good stuff from the MSU coach.

Picture: Yours truly and Coach Tyndall

Murray State Hires Former UT-Martin Coach Bret Campbell

Murray State has hired former Tennessee-Martin head coach Bret Campbell as their director of operations. Campbell was forced out of UTM two months ago after withholding summer camps funds.


Source: HoopDirt.com

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kyrie Irving Trims List to Six; Kentucky Makes the Cut

Kyrie Irving announced that he had cut his list of potential colleges to six schools in an exclusive video interview Thursday with SNY.tv.

“It didn’t come down to five, it came down to six schools and the six schools are Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall and UConn,” said Irving, a 6-foot-1 point guard out of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2010 by Rivals.

Article from ZagsBlog.com

BleacherReport.com Looks at Morehead State

The BleacherReport.com is presenting 65 Teams in 65 Days. Yesterday, they unveiled Morehead State as #61. Here is what they say about the Eagles:

Location: Morehead, Ky.
Nickname: Eagles
Conference: Ohio Valley
Last Year’s Record: 20-16

Why they’ll make it: After their surprising run through the OVC Tournament and good showing in the Big Dance, the Eagles appear to be ready to take over the conference this year.
With a future NBA player in Kenneth Faried returning, there’s a reason to be excited about the upcoming season.

Faried is the kind of talent you don’t often see at the low-major level and with talented guards, Maze Stallworth and Demonte Harper, surrounding him, the Eagles are clearly the team to beat in the OVC.

Why they won’t make it: As sure as the sun will come up, Murray State will challenge for the OVC crown. The Racers finished second in the league last season, and their top three scorers are back.

They’ll continue to be a great defensive team and will be the only team that can contend with Faried and the Eagles on the boards. If any team in the OVC is going to challenge Morehead St, it’s Murray State.

The NBA Draft Experience by Terrence Williams

Former Louisville Cardinal Terrence Williams recorded a behind-the-scenes video of his NBA Draft experience:



Source

Follow TWill on Twitter

Former Bellarmine Star Calvin Fowler Named Co-MVP

Calvin Fowler, a former Bellarmine Knight, was named co-MVP of the 2009 En Fuego Hoops Showcase was held this past weekend at Alliant International University in San Diego, California.

Fowler averaged 16.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and made the most 3-pointers during the event. He shared the MVP title with Antwan Williams form the University of Puget Sound.

En Fuego Hoops Home

Thursday, August 20, 2009

ESPN's Pat Forde Continues to Stir the Pot


Pat Forde loves to stir the pot, especially when the Big Blue Nation is involved. One need look no farther than his continuous articles, Twitter posts and ESPN segments to determine that Forde loves to slap negative criticism in the direction of Lexington.

Just today, Forde stated on national television that the majority of Kentucky fans really care less about integrity and can care less how Kentucky wins, as long as they win. Is that a fair label to place on the entire UK fan base?

Then, there are Forde's non-stop attempts to cause problems on Twitter.

Some of his recent posts include:

"Kentucky being Kentucky, it is turning the release of its schedule into a live television event. Yes, I am serious."

"And trust me, it will get ratings."

"Gov of KY weighs in on Calipari, via AP's Will Graves: "I'm not worried about it ... they never said Coach Cal did anything wrong at all.""

"Calkins drills glaring issue in report: http://bit.ly/6O8ZH"

Finally, there is Forde's refusal to even state an opinion on the Rick Pitino sex scandal. Forde, who wrote a book with Pitino, is obviously loyal to his friend and not necessarily his job. As a Louisville native, he has no thoughts on Pitino?

Forde, I respect your opinion and I enjoy plenty of your work (thanks again for finding the time to visit the young men from Elliott County), but you are off-base with your constant attacks on Kentucky since John Calipari became the head coach. I'm not sure if you are simply stirring the pot to increase your audience or if you have genuine dislike for Coach Calipari. If it's the latter, you need to step up to the plate and explain your real problem with Kentucky and its new head coach.

Strong Allegations About Calipari from Geoff Calkins


One month before Derrick Rose was to enroll at Memphis, he had not yet passed his standardized test.

He had tried three times. He had failed three times.

Can you imagine the mood in the Memphis basketball offices over this? Can you imagine the mood of head coach John Calipari?

Rose was a phenom, a sensation, the best player Calipari had ever recruited.

With Rose at point guard, Calipari could get to the Final Four and maybe win his first NCAA Championship. Without Rose at point guard, he would surely fall short.

On May 5, 2007, with all this at stake, someone — the Educational Testing Service has concluded it wasn’t Derrick Rose — showed up at a test center in Detroit to take Rose’s SAT.

Rose lived in Chicago, mind you. He traveled to Detroit to watch an NBA playoff game and — doesn’t everyone do this? — take the SAT.

Care to guess what significant friend of Calipari’s has deep connections in Detroit?
William Wesley a.k.a. Worldwide Wes, the most mysterious and connected man in college basketball.

So if you think Calipari didn’t know how his star player qualified to play basketball at Memphis, I have a 2007-08 Final Four banner I’d like to sell you.

Of course he knew. He absolutely knew.

This is a coach who knew the name of the fan who won a big-screen TV in a promotion in FedExForum’s upper deck.

You think he didn’t know how Rose, on the brink of losing his eligibility at Memphis, planned to pass his standardized test?

You think he just told Rose to remember to sharpen his pencils and work on his vocabulary? You think he told him he might have a clearer head if he took the test in a strange place?

Calipari knew that Rose cheated on his SAT. He may well have set it up himself.

The fact that the NCAA didn’t go ahead and connect these dots in its decision Wednesday Thursday doesn’t mean that the rest of us can pretend they don’t exist.

This isn’t about selective enforcement or anything else. This isn’t about some vendetta against Memphis or Calipari.

This is about a basketball program that ran off the rails and a university that — for whatever reason -— is still unwilling to face up to it.

“We will appeal the NCAA’s decision,” said UofM president Shirley Raines, piling worse news on top of bad.

Appeal the NCAA’s decision? When anyone with a brain can see what happened here?

Memphis cheated. Memphis got caught.

What exactly is there to appeal?

Oh, I know, there’s the whole “strict liability” debate. The more desperate among you will latch onto that.

According to this popular theory, Memphis should not be punished because Memphis officials didn’t know that Rose cheated.

The NCAA says Memphis didn’t have to know.

“It’s a matter of strict liability,” said Paul Dee, the chairman of the infractions committee, who may or may not be right.

This is what the Memphis appeal will be about. This will be thoroughly briefed.

But it’s academic, isn’t it? If you’re being honest with yourself?

Rose didn’t pass his test when he was a junior in high school, when Memphis was one of several schools recruiting him.

He passed it a month before he enrolled at Memphis. He passed it on May 5, in a strange city, in handwriting that did not match his own.
So Raines and Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson can sit there — as they did Thursday — and say they’re confident Rose took the test himself.

But is anyone else in this universe confident? Including Rose?

He declined to cooperate with the NCAA investigation because, well, why would he?

He never wanted to go to college in the first place. He did what he had to do to get in. If college basketball looks even more fraudulent today than yesterday, is that really his fault?

As for Calipari, he spent the day twittering away about the usual stuff.

“Had a great tour of The Mercantile Gallery Lofts in downtown Louisville,” he tweeted.
And: “Also met w/ Matt Thorton of Thorton convenience stores.”

The man is shameless, isn’t he? He has already vacated his Memphis years.

But as long as he coaches, he’ll never be able to erase Thursday’s inescapable truth.

Rose may be the one who cheated — but Calipari knew.



My Thoughts: Those are some pretty strong allegations from Mr. Calkins. If he is incorrect, I have a slander lawsuit I'd like to sell you.

John Calipari's Comments on Memphis Situation

From CoachCal.com:

“I’m very disappointed and disheartened by the NCAA’s findings.

“I fully support the University of Memphis’ appeal and until that process is carried through to its completion, I will have no further comments on the matter.

“I am anxious to coach the team at the University of Kentucky beginning this Fall.”

Memphis: 38 Wins and Final Four Gone Plus Probation

The NCAA has officially stripped the Memphis basketball program of its 38-win season and Final Four appearance. They have also placed the program on three-years of probation.

Notes from Press Conference and Reports:

- Rose failed ACT 3 times prior to attempt in question
- The invalid SAT score was taken in Detroit, Michigan, one month before classes began
- Memphis was also cited for a failure to monitor its charter airplane service when Rose’s brother, Reggie Rose, was not charged for more than $2,000 worth of travel expenses
- Pat Forde of ESPN has stated that the majority of UK fans do not care about integrity as long as the team is winning
- There are no allegations against former Memphis head coach John Calipari
- John Calipari was very cooperative and aided in the NCAA investigation
- The NCAA tried to keep things confidential, but everyone in America knows it's Derrick Rose
- The Memphis golf program was destroyed by the NCAA, but not one mention in the telephone conference
- John Calipari is no longer the winningest coach in Memphis history; the record is returned to Larry Finch.

Dwight Perry Looks for Swimming Pools, Movie Stars

Former University of Kentucky walk-on Dwight Perry has made the decision to move across the country, literally. Perry has announced on Twitter that he will be leaving Lexington and continuing his future in California. Here is Perry's Twitter post:

Running my last set of errands before I finishing packing for Cali...figure I give my sister @PrincessYves some company

And confirmation from his sister:

PrincessYves: Can't believe my brother is moving to CA! So excited!!

I would like to wish Dwight the best of luck in his future and thank him for everything he gave to the Kentucky basketball program.

Follow Perry on Twitter

Here is a tribute video for Dwight Perry:

Spoiler Alert: UK's 2009-10 Basketball Schedule

If you want to wait until the schedule unveiling on television tonight at 10:00 p.m., then do not look below this line.

Kentucky Wildcats 2009-10 Basketball Schedule

Nov. 2 a-CAMPBELLSVILLE TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Nov. 6 a-CLARION TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Nov. 13 MOREHEAD STATE 6:30 p.m. ESPNU
Nov. 16 MIAMI (OHIO) TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Nov. 19 b-SAM HOUSTON STATE TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Nov. 21 b-RIDER TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Nov. 24 c-Cleveland State TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Nov. 25 c-Stanford or Virginia TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Nov. 30 d-UNC-Asheville TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Dec. 5 NORTH CAROLINA 12:30 p.m. CBS-27
Dec. 9 e-Connecticut 9:30 p.m. ESPN
Dec. 12 At Indiana Noon CBS-27
Dec. 19 AUSTIN PEAY TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Dec. 21 DREXEL 7 p.m. ESPNU
Dec. 23 LONG BEACH STATE TBA Big Blue Sports Network/FSN South
Dec. 29 HARTFORD 7 p.m. ESPN2
Jan. 2 LOUISVILLE 3:30 p.m. CBS-27
Jan. 9 GEORGIA 4 p.m. SEC Network
Jan. 12 At Florida 9 p.m. ESPN
Jan. 16 At Auburn 4 p.m. SEC Network
Jan. 23 ARKANSAS 4 p.m. SEC Network
Jan. 26 At South Carolina 9 p.m. ESPN
Jan. 30 VANDERBILT 4 p.m. ESPN
Feb. 2 MISSISSIPPI 7 p.m. ESPN
Feb. 6 At Louisiana State 4 p.m. SEC Network
Feb. 9 ALABAMA 9 p.m. ESPNU
Feb. 13 TENNESSEE 9 p.m. ESPN
Feb. 16 At Mississippi State 9 p.m. ESPN
Feb. 20 At Vanderbilt 6 p.m. ESPN
Feb. 25 SOUTH CAROLINA 9 p.m. ESPN
Feb. 27 At Tennessee Noon CBS-27
March 3 At Georgia 8 p.m. SEC Network
March 7 FLORIDA Noon CBS-27
March 11-14 f-SEC Tournament TBA SEC Network/ABC-36

HOME games capitalized; a-exhibition; b-Cancun Challenge (Rupp Arena); c-Cancun Challenge (Moon Palace Resort, Cancun, Mexico);d-at Freedom Hall, Louisville; e-SEC/Big East Invitational (Madison Square Garden, New York City); f-at Nashville, Tenn. (Sommet Center).

Source: KentuckySports.com

Samardo Samuels Named to Wooden Watch List

University of Louisville forward Samardo Samuels is among 50 preseason candidates for the 2009-10 John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy. The list is comprised of 50 student athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

A 6-8 sophomore from Trelawny, Jamaica, Samuels was the seventh-leading freshman scorer ever at Louisville, averaging 11.8 points last season. He ranked 11th in the BIG EAST in blocked shots (1.3), was seventh in field goal percentage (.578) and grabbed 4.9 rebounds a game. A member of the BIG EAST All-Rookie team, his 51 dunks were the second most ever in a single season at U of L.

Former U of L forward Terrence Williams, a first-round NBA draft pick of the New Jersey Nets and the top college senior taken in the draft, was honored on the 2009 Wooden All-American team. The only returning member of that team is Luke Harangody, a senior forward for BIG EAST foe Notre Dame. Eleven BIG EAST players are represented on the list, more than any other conference.

Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. Those and others may be considered for December's Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March.

In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed in March by the national ballot, consisting of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament.

The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winner, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

Press Release from Louisville

Dan Wolken Gives a Memphis View of the NCAA Mess


Dan Wolken is a journalist for The Memphis-Commerical Appeal. Memphis Tigers' basketball is one of Wolken's primary topics of coverage. I spoke to Wolken this morning to gather his opinions on the pending NCAA punishment that is about to be handed out to Memphis and former coach John Calipari's involvement (or lack thereof) in the situation surrounding the Tigers' program.

Dan, how are you this morning? It has obviously been a busy morning as you're dealing with the news that the NCAA is preparing to strip the Memphis basketball program of its 38-win season and Final Four appearance. I operate a site that deals with Kentucky basketball, so my readers' interest in this situation focuses on John Calipari. There have been plenty of opinions stated last night and this morning that are pointing the finger at Calipari as the one who is responsible for the problems at Memphis. What are your thoughts on Calipari and his involvement?

Let's see what is in the NCAA's report. Rushing to the defense of Memphis and/or Calipari for not being at fault here makes no sense. The NCAA is convinced that Rose cheated on his SAT, and I imagine the evidence is fairly convincing. Remember, there are a lot of things that were redacted from the original report for privacy reasons. Some of those facts, if they are eventually revealed publicly, might shed some light on the situation.

It seems plausible that the blame should actually be pointed at Rose's high school and the handling of his entrance exams. If that's the case, do you think it's fair and just to pin the blame on Calipari?

No, that's just silly to blame Rose's high school or the Illinois high school system. They had no stake in this. If Rose never passed his SAT, he could have gone to Europe and made $1 million like Brandon Jennings did to play for a year before entering the NBA Draft. If Rose was ineligible to play in the NCAA, the only people who would have suffered are Memphis and Calipari. I think it's pretty obvious that there were enough red flags with Rose's academics to warrant serious consideration of the legitimacy of his transcript. At minimum, this is a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil scenario.

Regardless of Calipari's involvement, his reputation is going to suffer after this. I mean, the fact remains, even if Calipari has broken no rules, he will still be labelled as the only coach to be stripped of two Final Four appearances. Is this something that Calipari's image can survive if he has a successful run in Lexington and beyond or does this, added to the problems at UMASS, tarnish his legacy to a point that he will never be able to fully escape?

Even at Memphis, Calipari's accomplishments were always viewed with suspicion from a national perspective due to his past history at UMass. Now that he is 2-for-2 in the vacated Final Four department, it will only continue. I am sure that Kentucky will go to a Final Four with Calipari at the helm. I'm not sure Kentucky fans fully understand what will be coming their way when that happens. They may not care, but be prepared for it. Also, I think it's unlikely Calipari will get into the Hall of Fame.

What is the general reaction of folks in the Memphis area this morning?

Mixed bag. Some are blaming the NCAA for selective enforcement, some are blaming Calipari, some blaming Rose, some blaming the school for employing Calipari and letting him run their athletic department with no oversight. But obviously, Calipari won't be winning any popularity contests here anymore.

If the reports are accurate, do you feel that the NCAA chose a fair punishment for the Memphis program? Does the punishment fit the crime, so-to-speak?

I think Memphis ultimately gets off easy here. Vacating wins is a tarnish, but there won't be any forward-moving punishments. I think most people at Memphis now would admit that, in retrospect, that Calipari had too much power without enough oversight. Things could have been a lot worse.

Dan, I appreciate your time and thanks for offering your thoughts. As always, great talking with you and keep up the good work.

John Calipari: Caught in a Twit-Storm?


With word circulating that Memphis will be forced to vacate 38 wins and its Final Four appearance due to NCAA violations, Twitter has exploded with anti-Calipari rants. Here are a few Tweets that I have came across this morning:

DanWolken Calipari told AP he would be "disappointed" but declined further comment. Will he be issuing one on his Web site for $5.99/month?

lutherpowers @UKCoachCalipari is responsible for everything as the head of the program!

GoBigBlueFL @espn4d Did you get the Gov of KY's thoughts on the Pitino/Sypher affair?!?! How bout you tweet about that too!!

MemphisRoar Things in Pairs: First and foremost, clarification on the news that began breaking last night must be made. Acco.. http://bit.ly/2kky9v

lutherpowers @peterdmiston @UKCoachCalipari doesn't read the paper remember! He ignores things almost as well as he lies! Bearskin rugs admire Cal!


DanWolken If Derrick Rose had never passed his SAT, he could have gone to Europe and made a million dollars. That's a fact.

lutherpowers Every cloud has a silver lineing. If UKCoachCalipari was never coach, @UofMTigersHoops wouldn't have Josh Pastner!

JustinDYoung vacating wins is like losing a Nickleback CD. does it really matter?

james_jennings1 Katz says "anyone who puts the blame on Calipari or Memphis knows nothing about collegiate athletics" blames IL HS

Memphis to Lose Final Four Appearance


It is late, but the news that the NCAA will strip Memphis of its Final Four appearnace has blazed the Internet tonight. It seems that most media-types are using the opportunity to lash out against John Calipari.

The focus of their attacks - John Calipari will become the first coach in history to be stripped of two Final Four appearances.

Here are some links:



Some Twitter Posts:

MemphisRoar Entire 38 wins from that season vacated. No post season ban. No penalties moving forward. Memphis fans, this is the final piece to close...

MemphisRoar ...the chapter on all things Calipari. No penalties moving forward. Stay positive. Move on.

MemphisRoarLots of money buys you vacated Final Fours <----notice that was plural.

MemphisRoar TO REPEAT...NO PENALTIES MOVING FORWARD. THIS IS ALL ON CAL.

DanWolken I'm confirming that Memphis' Final Four is vacated

DanWolkenCalipari is 2-for-2 in vacated Final Fours.

goodmanonfoxMemphis will be stripped of Final Four

goodmanonfox Antonio Anderson was unaware vacating of the Final Four - ``Honestly, I don't care. We know what we did.... It is what it is."

espn4d Dana O'Neil: Memphis NCAA ruling out tomorrow, likely to vacate '08 Final Four http://bit.ly/1aChk3

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Memphis Ruling Announced Tomorrow

The NCAA Committee on Infractions will release its findings regarding Memphis on Thursday morning and the word "vacate" is included in the report, several sources told ESPN.com.

In May the NCAA accused Memphis of several major infractions during its 2007-08 season, including a fraudulent SAT score by a player, later to be revealed as Derrick Rose, and more than $2,000 in free travel for Rose's brother, Reggie.

The potential penalties include vacating the Tigers' Final Four run and 38-win season from the record books, a possibility that seems likely now according to the sources.

The NCAA is expected to announce its findings in a morning press conference with a press conference from Memphis to follow, according to a source.

Memphis originally received the notice of allegations on Jan. 16 and appeared before the committee in June.

John Calipari, the head coach at Memphis at the time of the alleged infractions, said he wasn't aware that the report was going to be released.

Neither Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson nor coach Josh Pastner was available for comment.

Source: ESPN.com

Eastern Kentucky a Worthy Non-Conference Opponent

The Maryland Terrapins have added a December 12 home date against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Patrick Stevens of The Washington Times likes the addition of EKU, which finished last season at 18-13 and an RPI of 173. Stevens says:

"So the Colonels' Dec. 12 date with Maryland at Comcast Center has a chance to be a little more productive than some of the Terrapins' other nonconference home dates."

The Terrapins also have non-conference home games against Fairfield, Winston-Salem State, Florida Atlantic and William & Mary.

Article from WashingtonTimes.com

Patrick Patterson On Wooden Award Watch List


For the second straight season, Patrick Patterson has been named to the Top 50 watch list for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy.

The list is composed of 50 student athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.

Patterson is UK's leading returning scorer and rebounder from last season, averaging 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds in his sophomore campaign. He finished the season shooting 60.3 percent from the field, 11th best in the nation.

The 6-9 forward led UK with 15 double-doubles last season, earning first team All-SEC honors (SEC Coaches), as well as NABC Second Team All-District honors. He was the only SEC player to rank in the top five in scoring and rebounding, while becoming the 10th fastest player to reach UK’s 1,000-point club, doing so in his 58th game.

In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA Tournament.

John Calipari: "I’m the commonwealth’s coach"


In a speech given to a crowd of nearly 1,000 officials attending the Governor’s Local Issues Conference at Louisville’s Galt House, Kentucky head coach John Calipari captivated the audience (the majority of the crowd were UK fans). Here are some excerpts from the speech:

“Have your hands up. Balls early in this year are going to be flying” as the team learns Calipari’s dribble-drive offense, he said Wednesday. “I’m telling you, the first month, you’re going to say, ‘These are the worst basketball shots I’ve ever seen.’"

“Each week, you’ll go back and say, ‘Wow I really see what they’re trying to do,’” he said. “There’s not as many turnovers, there’s not as many bad shots – and they’re unleashed now.”

“The receptions are unbelievable. That’s because we’re undefeated,” Calipari quipped to open his speech.

“I’ve got six players coming in who think they poop ice cream,” he said during a question and answer session. “I’ve got to get those twelve to one agenda.”

“If we play Louisville and we get beat by 15 and we win the national title, will you be alright?” he asked. “I’ve got people who say they won’t be.”

“You people are crazy. It’s one game. But we better win that one game, huh?” he said, prompting laughter and applause.

“I will tell you, the job that I have, I’m the commonwealth’s coach,” he said. “This is the commonwealth’s university. And I’m humbled.”

Big words from a coach that obviously "gets it."

Eastern Kentucky Announces 2009-10 Schedule

The Eastern Kentucky Colonels have announced their 2009-10 basketball schedule. The schedule is highlighted by games against Pittsburgh from the Big East Conference and Maryland from the ACC. EKU will also host FIU and new head coach Isiah Thomas in November.

EKU 2009-10 Schedule:

11/14/2009 West Virginia Wesleyan Richmond, Ky. 8:00 p.m.

2009 O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic
11/19/2009 Pittsburgh Pittburgh, Pa. 7:00 p.m.
11/23/2009 Fairleigh Dickinson Richmond, Ky. 6:00 p.m.
11/24/2009 UC Irvine Richmond, Ky. 6:00 p.m.
11/25/2009 UTSA Richmond, Ky. 6:00 p.m.

11/28/2009 FIU Richmond, Ky. 7:00 p.m.
12/3/2009 Murray State* Murray, Ky. 8:30 p.m.
12/5/2009 UT Martin* Martin, Tenn. 8:30 p.m.
12/9/2009 Ohio Valley Richmond, Ky. 7:00 p.m.
12/12/2009 Maryland College Park, Md. 2:00 p.m.
12/19/2009 Ohio Athens, Ohio TBA

2009 Dr. Pepper Classic
12/29/2009 TBA Chattanooga, Tenn. TBA
12/30/2009 TBA Chattanooga, Tenn. TBA

1/2/2010 Tennessee State* Richmond, Ky. 7:00 p.m.
1/4/2010 Austin Peay* Richmond, Ky. 7:30 p.m.
1/7/2010 Jacksonville State* Jacksonville, Ala. 8:45 p.m.
1/9/2010 Tennessee Tech* Cookeville, Tenn.8:30 p.m.
1/14/2010 Eastern Illinois* Richmond, Ky. 7:30 p.m.
1/16/2010 Southeast Missouri* Richmond, Ky. 7:00 p.m.
1/19/2010 Chicago State Richmond, Ky. 7:00 p.m.
1/23/2010 Morehead State* Richmond, Ky. 7:00 p.m.
1/28/2010 Austin Peay* Clarksville, Tenn. TBA
1/30/2010 Tennessee State* Nashville, Tenn. 8:30 p.m.
2/4/2010 Tennessee Tech* Richmond, Ky. 7:30 p.m.
2/6/2010 Jacksonville State* Richmond, Ky. 7:00 p.m.
2/11/2010 Southeast Missouri* Cape Girardeau, Mo. 8:45 p.m.
2/13/2010 Eastern Illinois* Charleston, Ill. 7:00 p.m.
2/17/2010 Morehead State* Morehead, Ky. TBA
2/20/2010 ESPNU BracketBuster Richmond, Ky. 7:00 p.m.
2/25/2010 UT Martin* Richmond, Ky. 7:30 p.m.
2/27/2010 Murray State* Richmond, Ky. 7:00 p.m.

OVC Tournament - Nashville, Tenn.
3/2/2010 TBA
3/5/2010 TBA
3/6/2010 TBA

Source: EKUSports.com

Union College Signs Chad Messer from Knox Central

Union College has signed Knox Central High standout guard Chad Messer as he will continue his basketball career with the Bulldogs.

Messer played four seasons at Knox Central and was a part of two 51st District championships squads. He was a second-team all-region player as a senior.

"It is always great for us to be able to get local talent," said interim head coach Sean Gillespie. "I am pleased that Chad has chosen Union for him to continue his education and to play collegiate basketball."

During his senior campaign, Messer averaged 9.7 points per game with 51 three-pointers.

He was also named to the All-Southeastern Kentucky Conference squad twice.

"His ability to knock down the three point shot will fit well into our offensive system of play," Gillespie added. "I know that he will be an asset in our program both on and off the basketball court."

While at Knox Central, Messer played for Union alum Brandon Elam.

Source: UCBulldogs.com

Pat Forde Tweets About UK's Schedule Release


ESPN analyst Pat Forde, who happens to be a Louisville native, had this to say on Twitter this morning:

"Kentucky being Kentucky, it is turning the release of its schedule into a live television event. Yes, I am serious."

"And trust me, it will get ratings."

Kentucky is being Kentucky and Pat Forde is being Pat Forde.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

UK Schedule Update and ESPN College Gameday


The Kentucky Wildcats' 2009-10 basketball schedule will be announced Thursday night at 10:00 p.m. during a special television show.

We have also learned today that Rupp Arena will play host to ESPN's College Gameday show when the Cats host Tennesse. That game is schedule on February 13, according to ESPN.com.

UK head coach John Calipari posed this question to the Big Blue Nation via Twitter tonight:

What do you think about having ESPN Basketball College Gameday in Rupp this year?

Coach, I think I speak for the majority when I say that you have already taken our excitement to whole new levels. Go Cats!

Ex-Gillispie Assistant Finds a Home at Paris JC

Former Kentucky assistant Logan Lee, who was part of Billy Gillispie's staff, has found a new home as Tom Schuberth's assistant at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas.

Lee is a San Antonio native that played junior college basketball before transferring to Hawaii. He left Hawaii, sat out a season and finished his career as a walk-on for Gillispie at Texas A&M. On Gillispie's Kentucky staff, Lee assisted with administrative responsibilities, academic achievements for the players and off-court player development.

Paris Junior College has an excellent basketball program and can boast a 2004-05 NJCAA Division I national championship.

Source

Pikeville College Makes Major Announcements Today


Pikeville College has reached an agreement with the East Kentucky Expo Center that will allow the Bears to play all but two of their games in the state-of-the-art facility.

“This is a tremendous day for Pikeville College and an amazing opportunity for us,” said Coach Kelly Wells, head men’s basketball coach. “No NAIA program in the country plays in a finer facility than the Expo Center. We’re very blessed to have it in our community and thrilled we were able to reach this agreement.”

“We’re very excited to have a tenant like Pikeville College at our facility,” said Steve St. John, general manager of the Expo Center. “We believe having Pikeville College involved raises the standard for our facility.”

Pikeville head coach Kelly Wells said the move was made possible through partnerships with Appalachian Wireless, Citizens National Bank, Cornerstone Investment Group, Community Trust Bank, BB&T Ban, East Kentucky Broadcasting, Intermountain Sports Network and EmbroidMe.

Pikeville College is also announcing its season ticket drive. Season tickets will cover all 18 home men’s basketball game and all 16 home women’s events, with premium seating at the Expo Center, for only $85. They will also offer $5.00 game vouchers (any game, any time, any date). Window tickets will be $6.00 for reserved seating and $5.00 for general admission seating.

The Bears also unveiled an exciting new logo (see image).

“We couldn’t be happier today,” said Wells. “We want to make the Expo Center on game nights the place to be.”
Source of Quotes: PC.edu

Former Hilltopper Filip Videnov Playing Well for Bulgaria


Former Western Kentucky player Filip Videnov has emerged as one of the leaders on the Bulgarian National Team.

In the first of two exhibition games against traditional power Russia, Videnov put in 18 points. Bulgaria squeaked by with an 89-88 victory on a last-second three-pointer. The two teams will meet in the second game in the exhibition series today.

Videnov graduated from WKU in 2003 and played professionally first in his native Bulgaria with BC Levski Sofia and later with KK Split in Croatia, SLUC Nancy in France, Tekelspor in Turkey. Leaving Turkey, Videnov moved to Real Madrid Baloncesto then his current CB Granada in the Spanish league.

Source: EuroBasket.com

UPDATE: Bulgaria lost the second game of the exhibition series by a score of 89-62. Videnov had another excellent performance as he went for 15 points and 8 rebounds.

Monday, August 17, 2009

UNLV Looking for Big Season from Derrick Jasper


Former Kentucky point guard Derrick Jasper will finally be eligible to play college basketball this coming season. Jasper, who left UK amidst rumors of a rocky relationship with former coach Billy Gillispie, will be suiting up for the UNLV Runnin' Rebels and head coach Lon Kruger.

When asked recently how dominate Jasper will be, Kruger responded by saying, “I am so looking forward to seeing Jasper. A 6-foot-6 point guard? Wow. I’m especially looking forward to his leadership. I think it’s going to be a very interesting season.”

A UNLV fan posted on a CBSSports.com message board that UNLV will be the team to beat in the Mountain West Conference. He followed that up with: "Derrick Jasper will likely be the most valuable newcomer in the conference."

Former UNLV players Kevin Kruger and Curtis Terry were interviewed by the Las Vegas Sun. Some comments they had about Jasper:

“He’s doing what I was doing – calling everyone and texting everyone, making sure everybody comes,” Terry said. “Those guys are playing hard and working hard. I’m excited. They have a lot of talent.

“Derrick’s absolutely looking good, no question.”

Lon Kruger agreed:

“I’ve been most impressed with his defense,” Kruger said. “He gets down and slides his feet, and nobody will get around him. He’s strong, a big kid. He has that knack for leading. I think that’s going to help him a lot.”

Terry's thoughts on the injured knee:

“If he’s favoring it, you can’t tell at all,” Terry said. “He comes at you full speed and tries to take off, and he’ll jump through you or over you.”

As a Kentucky fan, I am saddened that Jasper was ran out of town by a stubborn coach, uh, I meant to say...that Jasper chose to leave Lexington. Best wishes to you Derrick - the Big Blue Nation will still be cheering for you.

Source: LasVegasSun.com

Boyd Looking for a School That'll "Back Up Its Word"

Terrence Boyd, a high-level recruit that recently decommitted from Western Kentucky, made some interesting statements in an interview appearing on MemphisRoar.com today. Boyd, who will have to decide between sitting out a year as an NCAA DI transfer or attend Junior College for a season, alluded to his unhappiness with WKU.

“Right now, with the predicament that I was put in, to get my release after the end of summer school. So that already checks off one thing with the NCAA that wherever I transfer regarding a D1 school, I’ll have to sit out a year. Or I could go to a JUCO and play a year and look at all the options that you had before.”

Boyd states that he's trying to say positive.

“Basically I have to sit down with the people who care about my situation and try to figure out the next step, whether it’s D1 or Juco.”

Boyd says he is not listing any schools at this time, but he will definitely look for something different.

“Definitely a situation that’s going to back up it’s word. Maybe a situation, as far as location wise, nothing wrong with Bowling Green, but being a city kid, sometimes you just don’t adapt to your surroundings as quick.”

Despite his situation, Boyd is still big on his own game.

“Transition, 94 feet of defense, perimeter shooter, good team player and get everyone involved. I just want to take my game to the next level.”

Complete Article from MemphisRoar.com

My Thoughts: I am interested in knowing what WKU did that made Boyd feel like they failed to back up their word. I heard from a recruiting guru that wishes to remain anonymous that Boyd was unable to qualify academically and will likely have a difficult time ever qualifying for a DI school.

Morehead State Announces New and Improved Site


The Morehead State University Athletics Department has unveiled a new and improved website for Eagle fans and supporters. The site has the same address, but a new look.


Check it out at http://www.msueagles.com

Kentucky Hopes to Bring the Super Back to Tuesdays

ESPN has announced its "Super Tuesday" schedule for the college basketball season. The first game will feature Kentucky against SEC East rival Florida. The Cats will also have Tuesday ESPN battles against South Carolina, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

Complete ESPN Super Tuesday Schedule:

January 12 9 p.m. Kentucky at Florida
January 19 7 p.m. Tennessee at Alabama
January 26 9 p.m. Kentucky at South Carolina
February 2 7 p.m. Mississippi at Kentucky
February 9 7 p.m. Tennessee at Vanderbilt
February 16 9 p.m. Kentucky at Mississippi State
February 23 9 p.m. Tennessee at Florida
March 2 7 p.m. Vanderbilt at Florida

All games will be televised on ESPN and ESPN360.com.

UK in Top 3 for 2011 SG Achraf Yacoubou


Article from ZagsBlog.com:

Achraf Yacoubou, a 6-4, 200-pound 2011 shooting guard out of Long Island Lutheran, has a slew of offers but three schools top his list.

“My top three is UConn, Villanova and Kentucky. They are showing me the most love equally,” he said Monday by phone.

He said he plans to visit Kentucky for its Midnight Madness and also plans to see UConn and Villanova again.

Yacoubou rattled off a long list that UConn, Villanova, Harvard, Xavier, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Maryland, Florida, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma and Rutgers.

I saw Yacoubou in February, when he dropped 23 points on Dominic Cheek and St. Anthony in an upset of the Friars in Bob Hurley’s gym.

In a game that also featured Tobias Harris, Devon Collier and Derrick Williams, Yacobou was the best player on the floor.

Interesting Move by the Milwaukee Bucks

Sources are reporting that the Milwaukee Bucks are nearing completion of a trade that will send power forward Amir Johnson and guard Sonny Weems to the Raptors for swingman Carlos Delfino and guard Roko Ukic.

The interesting aspect as far as this site is concerned is the effect this move will have on ex-Kentucky shooting guard Jodie Meeks, the Bucks' second-round draft pick. Meeks had an impressive showing at the NBA Summer League and has already signed a contract with the team, but this move adds to an already crowded stable of guards and small forwards.

This may or may not have any bearing on Meeks, but either way, it is something that should be noted and observed as the season approaches.

Source: ESPN.com

Eight from Centre Make SCAC Academic Honor Roll


The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) announced its Student-Athlete Academic Honor Roll for the 2009 spring term and a new conference record of 1,029 student-athletes made the list including a new school record for Centre with 110. Eight members of the men's basketball team earned the honor.

To qualify, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.25 for the term and be a regular member of a varsity athletic team in a sport sponsored by the conference.

Centre Basketball Players Named to SCAC Honor Roll for 2009:

Kyle Binder
Beau Braden
Alex Lloyd
James Melloan
Danny Noll
Skyler Shasky
Alex Sterba
T.C. Thomason

Source: Centre.edu

Sunday, August 16, 2009

UK Fans: Do You Remember Morakinyo Williams?


Do Kentucky fans remember Morakinyo "Big Mike" Williams?

He is the 7', 270-pound big man that appeared in five games during his Kentucky career before transferring to Duquense University.

Williams has sat out his required season after the transfer and is preparing to play a key role for Duquense in 2009-10. He will be one of just three legit seven-footers in the Atlantic 10 Conference and will be counted on heavily as a low post threat for the Dukes. Williams is the only player on the Duquense roster that stands over 6'9".

Louisville Catholics Urge Forgiveness for Pitino

Article from WKYT.com:

Rick Pitino's personal failings should be forgiven and he should remain as head basketball coach at the University of Louisville, churchgoers in Kentucky said Sunday. Some anti-abortion groups have called for the university to fire Pitino because a woman with whom he admitted having extramarital sex had an abortion soon after.

Some Quotes:

"I still think he's a great man, he just put himself in a bad position and it's a terrible blemish on his character."

"I think he's led a good life and been very charitable and kind."

"The real root of this issue is that we have someone who would've been a six-year-old boy or girl right now, who is dead."

"It is disappointing from a personal level, but at the same time that would be between him and God."

"I just don't think he gives very good witness to the Catholic faith with the abortion issue."

Complete Article from WKYT.com

UK to Make In-Home Visit to Adreian Payne

Dustin Rumbaugh at Kentucky Sports Radio has reported that the Kentucky Wildcats will make an in-home visit to Adreian Payne, the 20th-ranked player on the Rivals150 List for 2010.

Excerpt from Rumbaugh's Report:

Today, Art Winston, Payne’s high school head coach, sent a text saying that Kentucky will have an in home visit with the Payne’s on September 12th.

This will be a very important visit for the staff, as the purpose of the in-homer is to allow Payne’s grandmother, who may not be able to make the official trips with Adreian, to have the opportunity to meet the coaches in person and see how she feels about them. Hopefully Cal will bake cookies, although I’ve heard that Rod Strickland makes a “to die for” batch of double chocolate chunk brownies.

Kansas, according to Rivals, will be making a visit on September 14th. The other three schools, which visit dates are still not known, at least by me, are West Virginia, Michigan State and Arizona.

C.J. Trotter Transfers to Southern Indiana

Former Christian County basketball standout C.J. Trotter has transferred to the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville and will have two years of eligibility left.

The 6-foot-3 guard played at Rend Lake College for two years, averaging 13.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season.

USI head coach Rodney Watson told the Evansville Courier that Trotter gives the Eagles "depth on the wing, some length. He's an athletic wing who can run the floor and he has a long wingspan."

Trotter averaged 10.1 points, three rebounds, and two assists his senior season at Christian County, helping lead the Colonels to the Sweet 16.

Source: Scott Brown's SportsBytes on WKDZ

Ex-U of L Star Leads Dominican Republic to Pair of Wins


Former Louisville Cardinal Francisco Garcia led the Dominican Republic to a pair of weekend victories over Puerto Rico in a warm-up series before the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship.

In the first game, a 92-76 Dominican victory, Garcia led the winners with 22 points. Fellow NBA players Charlie Villanueva and Al Horford scored 14 and 12, respectively in the victory.

Tonight's game two ended in a 104-94 win for the Dominicans. Garcia led the squad once again with 19 points. Villanueva and Horford scored 17 each.

The FIBA Americas Championship gets underway on August 26 and concludes on September 6.

Source: FIBA.com

Eastern Kentucky Lands 2010 PG Jabs Newby


I learned tonight via a Tweet (aka a Twitter message) from HighMajorScoop that the Eastern Kentucky Colonels have landed 2010 point guard Jabs Newby from Mountain State University Academy in Beckley, West Virginia.

Newby is a 6'2", 170-pound athlete that is ranked as the 82nd-best point guard in the 2010 Class by ESPN.com.

ESPN.com Evaluation:

Newby has very good length, quickness, and athleticism. He has the naturally ability that allows him to make incredible plays, especially in the open-court. He easily gets to the rim and looks to finish at the cup. Newby also has a very good pro-hop move that he uses on his way to the paint. Newby has to get stronger in order to become a better finisher in traffic. He also has to improve his ability to connect consistently from the perimeter especially in order to play off the ball, which he seems most suited for at this point. However, Newby's size makes more suited for the point guard spot, but he needs to improve his decision-making abilities as well as enhance his passing skills and court vision. He also has to alleviate his tendency to over-dribble at times.


WKU Loses Top Recruit; Terrence Boyd Released


Press Release from Western Kentucky University:

Western Kentucky University head coach Ken McDonald announced Sunday that incoming freshman Terrence Boyd has been released. Boyd, a 6-5, 230-pound shooting guard from Norman, Okla, signed with WKU on April 15, the first day of the late signing period.

"Terrence Boyd is no longer with the Hilltopper program," said McDonald. "Unfortunately things didn't work out with Terrence, but we wish him the best with his future."

Boyd played his freshman season at Norman High School before transferring to nationally-renowned Oak Hill Academy (Va.) as a sophomore. He then moved to California and finished his prep career at San Diego High School, but was forced to sit out due to transfer rules. As a member of the Athletes First AAU team, Boyd played alongside the likes of other high-profile recruits like Xavier Henry and Daniel Orton. He was ranked as high as 54th in the ESPNU's Top 100 while Rivals.com and Scout.com both list Boyd as a four-star recruit.

What's going on at WKU?

For the second time in less than a month, Western Kentucky has released an important recruit. At the end of July the team dismissed incoming freshman David Laury. Now, they have released Boyd and a once promising recruiting class is now in shambles.

Summary of Both Players:

- Terrence Boyd: 6'5" 230-pound shooting guard form Norman, Oklahoma; Ranked as high as 54th on ESPNU's Top 100. He is listed as a four-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com; He is ranked #64 on the final 2009 Rivals150 List

- David Laury: 6'8" 225-pound forward from Newark, New Jersey; Averaged 22.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game for East Orange (N.J.); Averaged 26.0 points and 14.0 rebounds per game for Alif Muhammad Nia Prep School this past season

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