Saturday, September 12, 2009

2010 Big Man Adreian Payne Schedules UK Visit

Article from Dustin Rumbaugh of Kentucky Sports Radio:

Adreian Payne narrowed his list of schools down to five this summer (Michigan State, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky and West Virginia) and after a visit that had Art Winston, Payne’s high school coach, saying that both Kentucky and their coaches are “impressive,” the Cats seem to be in a great position to land one of the top big men in the 2010 class.

Payne now has an official visit planned with UK on September 25-27. Winston sent a text tonight saying that the “The visit went great. Coach is very good. AP enjoyed the visit.” During the weekend of Payne’s visit, the UK football team will be playing host to the Florida Gators.

Source

Francisco Garcia Earns All-FIBA Honorable Mention

Former Louisville Cardinal Francisco Garcia was named Honorable Mention in the LatinBasket.com All-FIBA Americas Awards 2009.

Latinbasket.com All-FIBA Americas Awards 2009

Best Player: Luis Scola (206-F/C-80) of Argentina
Best Guard: Carlos Arroyo (188-G-79) of Puerto Rico
Best Forward: Luis Scola (206-F/C-80) of Argentina
Best Center: Esteban Batista (208-F/C-83) of Uruguay
Best Coach: Moncho Monsalve of Brazil

1st Team

Carlos Arroyo (188-G-79) of Puerto Rico
Leandrinho Barbosa (190-G-82) of Brazil
Alfred Horford (208-F/C-86) of Dominican Rep.
Luis Scola (206-F/C-80) of Argentina
Esteban Batista (208-F/C-83) of Uruguay

2nd Team

Larry Elias Ayuso (190-G-77) of Puerto Rico
Pablo Prigioni (191-G-77) of Argentina
Danilo Pinnock (196-G-83) of Panama
Charlie Villanueva (209-F-84) of Dominican Rep.
Anderson Varejao (205-C-82) of Brazil

3rd Team

Jermaine Anderson (188-G-83) of Canada
Leandro Garcia Morales (186-G-80) of Uruguay
Hector Romero (202-F-80) of Venezuela
Joel Anthony (206-C-82) of Canada
Peter John Ramos (222-C-85) of Puerto Rico

Honorable Mention

Gustavo Ayon (209-F/C-85) of Mexico
Luis Flores (188-G-81) of Dominican Rep.
Francisco Garcia (201-F-81) of Dominican Rep.
Richard Lugo (209-C-73) of Venezuela
Andy Rautins (196-G-86) of Canada
Kevin Sheppard (182-G-79) of U.S. Virgin Islands
Jose Lloreda (201-F-80) of Panama
Oscar Torres (195-F/G-76) of Venezuela

Related News:

Ex-Georgetown Tiger Derrick Miller scored 22 points in a 99-73 loss to Sol de America in Paraguay's National League. Miller's Sacachispas de Encarnacion squad sits at 6-3 on the season, which is good enough for third place in the league standings.

Source: LatinBasket.com

Ex-Cat Travis Ford Earns Extension at Oklahoma State


Former Kentucky Wildcat PG Travis Ford has been rewarded for his efforts as head coach at Oklahoma State. Ford, who led the Cowboys to a 23-12 record last season, has earned a 4-year extension and a salary increase that will pay him $1.8 million this season.

The 39-year old Ford is now the highest paid coach in America under the age of 40.

"Coach Ford did a tremendous job rejuvenating our basketball program in his first season,” said OSU athletic director Mike Holder.

"This contract rewards him for the job he has done and demonstrates OSU’s commitment to him. We consider Travis a rising star in the coaching profession.”

Nationally, John Calipari scored an eight-year deal worth $3.96 million annually — plus heavy incentives — to jump to Kentucky as the nation’s highest-paid coach. Florida’s Billy Donovan earns $3.5 million. Still, Ford now stands among the top 20 paid coaches nationally.

"My family and I are overwhelmed by the support we have received from Oklahoma State University and extremely grateful for this new contract,” Ford said. "Our entire team is committed to succeeding at the highest level.”

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pikeville Bears Talk Caring and Compassion at School


Some of the Pikeville Bears and head coach Kelly Wells spent most of today talking to students at Virgie Middle School about caring and compassion.

The discussion, which was focused on grades 6-8, included a three-part video with three different scenarios related to caring and compassion. The students and volunteers discussed the correlation between each scene and their lives. There was also a great discussion about the September 11 attacks and the caring and compassion shown during that time.

Coach Wells described today as, "A great day overall for the coaches, team and students."

Kentucky Basketball Reports Secondary Violation

Artice from Mike DeCourcy, SportingNews.com:

Kentucky reported a secondary rules violation to the NCAA involving a former program assistant, a source close to the Wildcats told Sporting News.

In early July, Bilal Batley visited the UK practice gym to speak with a player regarding an academic matter, the source said. While there, he was seen gathering rebounds for one of the players. The university determined it should be turned into the NCAA as a secondary violation.

An Oklahoma graduate, Batley worked several years at John Lucas' training center in Houston and joined John Calipari's staff at Memphis last fall. He resigned his Kentucky position last week to return home to Houston because of a family illness, the source said.

My Thoughts: Gathering rebounds for one of the players, huh? Is that really a violation? I assume that most everyone in America will use this as an opportunity to poke negativity towards the UK program and Coach Calipari.

Ex-MSU Eagle Chad McKnight Preparing for Thunder Cup


Former Morehead State Eagle Chad McKnight is preparing for his first action as player/coach for the Guildford Heat in Britain's BBL. McKnight's team will be participating in the 2nd Annual Thunder Cup on September 19.

Guildford will compete against the London Leopards in the first game of the event.
Regular season action in the BBL gets underway the following week when McKnight's Heat take on the Paws London Capitals.

Source: EuroBasket.com

2010 PG Joe Jackson Will Announce Memphis Tonight


"Joe Hardworkin Jackson Been doin alot of thinkin. I am committing, TONIGHT at the Larry Finch Center at 6:30pm, come support me and one of the biggest decisions on my life..Kansas,TN,Memphis,what it’s gone be??”

– Facebook post from Joe Jackson at roughly midnight (Friday 12am)

Source: MemphisRoar.com

My Thoughts: I expect Joe Jackson to announce his intentions to be a Memphis Tiger tonight.

UPDATE: Rivals.com has Jackson listed as a Memphis commit (see image)

September 11th: A Day We'll Never Forget


Today is September 11 and it marks the eighth anniversary of the deadliest terrorrist attack ever carried out on American soil. The events of 9/11/01 and the great sense of American patriotism that was felt following the attacks are memories that should not be forgotten.

What happened that day?

The September 11 attacks (often referred to as September 11th or 9/11) were a series of coordinated suicide attacks by Al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11, 2001. On that morning, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing everyone on board and many others working in the buildings. Both buildings collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania, after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C. There were no survivors from any of the flights.

In total 2,993 people, including the hijackers, died in the attacks. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals of over 90 countries. In addition, the death of at least one person from lung disease was ruled by a medical examiner to be a result of exposure to dust from the World Trade Center's collapse. The United States responded to the attacks by launching a "War on Terrorism", invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaeda terrorists, and enacting the USA PATRIOT Act. Many other countries also strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers. Some American stock exchanges stayed closed for the rest of the week following the attack, and posted enormous losses upon reopening, especially in the airline and insurance industries. The destruction of billions of dollars worth of office space caused serious damage to the economy of Lower Manhattan.

The damage to the Pentagon was cleared and repaired within a year, and the Pentagon Memorial was built on the site. The rebuilding process has started on the World Trade Center site. In 2006 a new office tower was completed on the site of 7 World Trade Center. The 1 World Trade Center is currently under construction at the site and at 1,776 ft (541 m) upon completion in 2011, will become one of the tallest buildings in North America. Three more towers were originally expected to be built between 2007 and 2012 on the site. (Source: Wikipedia)

What were you doing that morning?

They often say that during events like the 9/11 attacks, you will always remember what you were doing at that moment. I believe that to be true and I will n ever forget the morning of September 11, 2001.

I clearly remember that my girlfriend (who is now my wife) and I were travelling to our 9:10 a.m. classes at Morehead State University. We were driving her car and listening to 106.1 FM, the local Morehead radio station. I will always remember that they broke in on the regular programming with the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. It was so shocking and so unbelievable, especially that they would announce breaking news on 106.1, that we thought it was possibly an on air joke of some sort.

We parted ways and went to our respective classes. For me, it was a management class and I remember walking in the room and seeing the looks of disbelief around the class as they watched the situation unfold on live television. Several people were crying and the professor announced, "We are not having class today. You are free to leave if you wish."

It seemed that every 10-15 minutes, the television announced that another plane had crashed. As soon as I walked in the room, a plane hit the second tower of the World Trade Center. Shortly after that, a plane his the Pentagon. Next, a plane that was surely heading for a major target crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Then, the most shocking event that I have ever watched live occurred. It was the unthinkable. The mighty towers of the World Trade Center crashed to the ground. The reporter announced that there would be "an untold number of fatalities."

The rest of the day was spent convincing ourselves that we were in Morehead and we should be safe in a small town. It was a day of anxiety and disbelief as we came to terms with what had happened. A memory that really sticks out is looking up at the clear, bright blue sky that afternoon and seeing nothing - there were no clouds, no planes and no white jet trails as all planes in the nation were grounded.

After the September 11th attacks, there was a feeling of patriotism across the country that should always be remembered. The population of America came together as one and symbolized a togetherness that would have made our forefathers proud. For months after the attacks, the sound of God Bless America would reduce the masses to tears of pride. In a weird sort of way, the tragic events of 9/11 actually made America stronger.

God bless America! We will never forget.

President Bush Addresses the Nation:

Time Warner Drops the Ball...Again


I was preparing to do some updates last night and I realized that my Internet at home was not working. As a "loyal" (with no other option) Time Warner customer, I am no longer shocked to discover that my Internet is down, my DVR service doesn't work, my bill has been applied to the wrong account and/or seemingly no one at the company knows how to resolve any of these issues.

Anyways, that's my early morning Time Warner rant...now on to some updates.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TyShawn Edmonson Transfers to Midland College (TX)


Article from Scott Brown's SportsBytes on WKDZ:

Former University Heights Academy standout TyShwan Edmonson has landed at Midland College in Texas after transferring from St. John's.

Edmonson, who will be a sophomore at Midland, played in 26 of 34 games for the Red Storm last year, averaging 1.7 points and one rebound in 10 minutes of action per contest.

Midland College in Midland, Texas competes in the National Junior College Athletic Assocation and were national champs in 2007. The Chaparrals recently named Ross Hodge as their new head coach.

Edmonson averaged 18.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals a game his senior season at UHA where he earned All-State honors and was named the MVP of the All-A State Tournament.

Holmes' Ricardo Johnson to Ohio University

Evan Daniels of Scout.com just reported via Twitter that Ricardo Johnson from Covington Holmes has committed to Ohio University. Here is Daniels' message:

"Ricardo Johnson is headed to Ohio University. Great get for John Groce and his staff!"

Tobias Harris to Make College Decision Soon?


A good source tells me that we can expect a decision from Tobias Harris soon after his visits end early next week. Harris was visited by Kentucky head coach John Calipari yesterday and will be visited by Louisville head coach Rick Pitino on Saturday.

Harris is ranked #5 on the 2010 Rivals150 List and is labelled as "the best scoring four man in the class."

Harris' Schedule of In-home Visits:

Kentucky – September 9 Time: 7:00pm
Georgia Tech – September 10 Time: 7:00pm
Notre Dame – September 11 Time: 7:00pm
Syracuse – September 12 Time: 12:00pm
UCONN – September 12 Time: 3:00pm
Louisville – September 12 Time: 6:00pm
St. John’s – September 13 Time: 3:00pm
Tennessee – September 13 Time; 6:00pm
Oklahoma – September 14 Time: 7:00pm
West Virginia – September 15 Time: 7:00pm
Maryland – September 16 Time: 7:00pm

Ex-EKU PG Jason McLeish Heads to PBL's Halifax


Former Eastern Kentucky University point guard Jason McLeish heads a trio of players that have signed with the Halifax Rainmen, a Canadian based PBL team. McLeish most recently played for the East Kentucky Miners in Pikeville.

McLeish, a speedy 6-0 guard, played for the Colonels from 2004-06. In the 2005-06 season, McLeish averaged 17.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals per outing. He also blistered the nets from long range in shooting 47.9% (57-119) from the three-ponit line.

McLeish joins Lonnell Jones (Clarion) and Demetrius Howard (Augusta State) as the newest members of the Rainmen team.

Source: UsBasket.com

Ex-Thomas More Big Man Rick Hughes Signs in Spain


Former Thomas More star Rick Hughes has signed with Grupo Begar Leon in Spain's top-level ACB league. This is a return for Hughes, as he appeared with Leon in both 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Hughes, a member of Thomas More's Athletic Hall of Fame, has enjoyed a long professional career. Since leaving Thomas More in 1996, he has enjoyed stints in the NBA and several top-level foreign leagues. In 1998, he averaged 36.3 points per game in Lebanon, which was the highest scoring average of any pro league in the world that year.

On February 18, 1995, Hughes annihilated Asbury College with a school-record 50 points and 23 rebounds.

Source: EuroBasket.com

John Calipari Interviews on WFAN and Sports Illustrated

Kentucky head coach John Calipari has been a busy man since his arrival in Lexington. September may be his busiest month to date as he in the middle of a book tour and also one of the most important recruiting stretches of the year. As part of his book tour, he sat down with Dan Patrick of Sports Illustrated and Mike Francesa of WFAN Sports Radio. Both interviews are worth checking out.

During the Patrick interview, Calipari commented on the NCAA allegations during his time at Memphis.

"I sleep with a clear conscious," Calipari said. "I know how we run our programs. I'm proud of our kids."

He also alluded to the passion displayed by the Kentucky fans.

"The fans are crazy," Calipari said. "They are passionate. They're hungry."

Complete Interview on SportsIllustrated.cnn.com

The WFAN Sports Radio interview is lengthy, but highly recommended.

WFAN.com Interview

Billy Gillispie: "I am accepting responsibility..."


Former UK head coach Billy Gillispie has taken several steps in a positive direction in his battle with alcoholism. Yesterday, we discovered that Gillispie had made the decision to enter the John Lucas rehab facility in Houston. Today, MyFoxHouston.com has provided some heartfelt comments from Gillispie, including recognition of a problem and accepting responsibility for that problem.

"I'm not very proud of what happened in Kentucky two weeks ago," said Gillispie. "That's inexcusable at this stage of my life. It should have never happened.

"I think one of the things I've always been is honest and truthful. I've never been afraid to accept responsibility. I am accepting responsibility by going to spend some time with John Lucas in Houston. He's got the John Lucas Athletes After Care Program. He's going to deal with some alcohol issues for me.

"Number one I'm going to try help myself and number two I'm going to try to get back into a situation where I can do what I love the most and what I miss the most and that's coach college basketball."

Gillispie has confirmed that he entered the Lucas program on Thursday.

"I just hope people understand I am taking every single measure that I can," Gillispie said. "I let a lot of people down. I'm really disappointed in my actions.

"I've definitely had a lot of hurt, but it's self-inflicted hurt and that's what makes me the most disappointed. I'm also tough and I'm also willing and I'm going to do whatever it takes and I think I've got the best guy at what he does to be able to help me as a person and help me get my basketball career going in the right direction. It's totally sincere."

Gillispie said since starting the John Lucas program, it has already had a positive effect on him.

"There's a lot of self-discovery going on right now, rightfully so," Gillispie said. "That's what I wanted. I told John give me the toughest deal you can, give me the best deal you can. Whatever it is you tell me where to be and when to be there and I am going to do it with the best attitude."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Interstate Softball Tournament: Softball For A Reason


I spent last weekend in the beautiful landscape of Roanoke, Virginia. Each Labor Day weekend, the Interstate Softball Tournament is held between the green mountains of Roanoke and nearby Salem. The tournament touts itself as the "Rally in the Valley" and goes on the slogan "Softball for a Reason."

I want to take this opportunity to discuss the tournament's reason and let everyone know about a Labor Day event that can only be described as something special.

My first experience at the Interstate Softball Tournament was about seven years ago. I had heard the stories about the tournament and was told that it was unlike any other weekend softball tournament, but that failed to register until I witnessed the event first-hand. Now, the Rally in the Valley is something I start looking forward to the Monday after the tournament ends.

I talked to tournament director Chad Briscoe Saturday night about the event and how it is being used to literally bring hope to people that have little-to-nothing else. Briscoe, who serves as the Director of Athletics at Grace College (IN), was more-than-happy to share with me the story of the Interstate Softball Tournament.

"Mom and Dad started the tournament in 1979 and we are now in our thirty-second year," stated Briscoe.

He continued, "We basically raise money for mission work in Paraguay. About the time the tournament started, my mother's roommate in college and her husband were starting a Christian school in Paraguay. The decision was made to put the money raised towards that cause."

Twila Briscoe, Chad's mother, was a roommate at Anderson University with Tabitha Meier Kurrle. The Kurrles, Tabitha and Martin, were instrumental in building the Alfa-Omega School in Raul Pena, Paraguay. In addition to raising funds for the school, the event has led to several other ground-breaking projects in Paraguay.

"We now support ten different pastors in ten churches in Paraguay. We have also built the first ever Christian radio station in the country and it can be heard through Paraguay and parts of Argentina," Briscoe added.

I asked Briscoe to estimate how much money has been raised for Paraguay during the Interstate Softball softball tournament and he happily stated, "we have raised approximately a quarter-of-a-million dollars."

The event has grown from ten teams in 1980 to an average of 24-65 teams annually since 1984.

On Saturday night during the weekend, there is a church service that is attended by all players, coaches and others. It is often termed the "Ball Players Worship Service." The service is always powerful and highlighted by a tremendous speaker. Some speakers that have attended the service in the past include Ed Lenzer, Steve Burch, Doug Talley, Mitchell Burch, Dean Schield, Jeff Frymire, Rolland Daniels, Gary Ausbun, Ron Patty, Tom Planck, Denny Huebner, Bill Ellis, Sid Bream, Ted Power and Frank Tanana. The 1999 service had a record attendance of 3,500.

Although the tournament is often termed a Church of God tournament, Briscoe said it is important to add that any church is invited to participate. Also, anyone that feels compelled to support the tournament can simply send a check or monetary donation to the address listed below. Another way to contribute is to find a local church that is participating in the event and help support that church in their efforts to raise money.

I can honestly say that words cannot describe the Interstate Softball Tournament accurately enough. It is an annual experience that I cherish and one that accurately matches the slogan: "softball for a reason."

For more information or to make a donation:


Chad Briscoe (Tournament Director)
319 Clubhouse Dr., NW
PO Box 7851
Roanoke, VA 24019
Phone (574) 527-4650 or (540) 588-2896
chadbriscoe@hotmail.com

FoxSports.com Pre-Season All-American Picks


Jeff Goodman has unveiled the Preseason All-Americans for 2009-10 on FoxSports.com. He chooses Kentucky freshman John Wall as national player of the year, All-Freshman team and first team All-American. UK big man Patrick Patterson makes second team All-American. Louisville's Samardo Samuels makes fifth team All-American on the list.

National Player of the Year

John Wall, Kentucky

First Team

Kyle Singler, Duke
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
John Wall, Kentucky
Willie Warren, Oklahoma

Second Team

Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
Cole Aldrich, Kansas
Sherron Collins, Kansas
Manny Harris, Michigan

Third Team

Gordon Hayward, Butler
Craig Brackins, Iowa State
Ed Davis, North Carolina
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
Avery Bradley, Texas

Fourth Team

Robbie Hummel, Purdue
Greg Monroe, Georgetown
Trevor Booker, Clemson
Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Kenny Boynton, Florida

Fifth Team

Devin Ebanks, West Virginia
Samardo Samuels, Louisville
Solomon Alabi, Florida State
Devan Downey, South Carolina
Evan Turner, Ohio State

All-Freshman Team

Renardo Sidney, Mississippi State
Xavier Henry, Kansas
Derrick Favors, Georgia Teach
John Wall, Kentucky
Avery Bradley, Texas

Mid-Major (Non-BCS) All-American Team

Edwin Ubiles, Siena
Luke Babbitt, Nevada
Larry Sanders, VCU
Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga
Gordon Hayward, Butler

Bilal Batley No Longer on UK Basketball Staff


According to an article published by Larry Vaught on VaughtsViews.com, Bilal Batley is out as a member of the Kentucky basketball coaching staff.

An excerpt from Vaught's article says:

"Bilal Batley is no longer a member of the basketball staff at Kentucky," DeWayne Peevy, UK's associate athletics director for media relations, confirmed in an e-mail Tuesday night.

Source: VaughtsViews.com

UK Will Have In-Home Visit with Doron Lamb Tomorrow

Article from ZagsBlog.com:

Calvin Lamb, the father of Oak Hill guard and Queens, N.Y. native Doron Lamb, said the family is planning the following in-home visits.

Sept. 10 – Kentucky
Sept. 12 – Arizona

“We have a couple in-home visits. We have Kentucky Thursday and Arizona Saturday up here in Queens,” Calvin said.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari is in town and attended the U.S. Open Tuesday night, so he will meet witht with the family while in town.

As far as officials, Calvin said Doron — the co-MVP of last month’s Boost Mobile Elite 24 game here in New York — would likely visit Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma. Reports had surfaced that Lamb would definitely visits Kansas for “Late Night in the Phog” Oct. 16, but Calvin said only, “It might happen.” Kansas coaches will visit Oak Hill on Thursday.

Calvin also mentioned Arizona and UConn as options.

“I think UConn, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma, it’s up to him,” Calvin said. “We got to sit down and talk it over and see whose strongly interested in him and what’s the best situation for him and we’ll take it from there.”

UK's In-Home Visit Schedule (hat tip to KSR's Dustin Rumbaugh):

September 9th: Tobias Harris (NY)
September 10th: Doron Lamb (NY)
September 12th: Adreian Payne (OH)
September 13th: Stacey Poole (FL)
September 14th: Brandon Knight (FL)
September 15th: Kyrie Irving (NJ)
September 22nd: Terrence Jones (OR)

Billy Gillispie (Finally) Takes a Step in the Right Direction


I was ecstatic this morning to discover that Billy Gillispie will take a step in the positive direction by checking himself into alcohol rehab. Gillispie, who was fired as head coach of Kentucky after only two seasons, has been in a battle with his personal demons for some time now.

While there are hundreds of rumors floating around about Gillispie's alcohol abuse, I will ignore those and focus only on what is known is fact. It is known as fact that Gillispie has been arrested three times on suspicion of DUI/DWI. The first two were either thrown out or bargained down to lesser charges. The last, which occurred last month in Lawrenceburg, is yet to go to court.

We know that during his latest arrest, Gillispie was so tanked that he was searching for his proof of insurance in the pocket of his golf bag. Did I mention that he told officers he had been playing golf when they pulled him over...at roughly 3:00 a.m. in the morning. Although it is heresay, I'll add that at least one employee that was working at the Shell Station in Lawrenceburg that night described Gillispie as "wild" when he entered the store.

We know that Gillispie's physical appearance has gone south during the past several months. He has visibly gained weight and his facial features are tired and aging.

Put what we know as fact together with what we've heard and you have a man that is dealing with a real problem in his life.

I will be first in line to state that I am extremely pleased to hear the news this morning that Gillispie will enter the John Lucas rehab program in Houston, Texas. Gillispie has proven in the past that he can coach the game of basketball and it would be a shame to see him drink that away and never be able to get it back.

His time at Kentucky was rocky, but I can sincerely say that I'm praying for Billy Gillispie to win his off-the-court battle so that he can return to a successful career on-the-court.

2011 Center Zach Price Chooses Louisville


The Louisville Cardinals have picked up a commitment from 2011 big man Zach Price, a 6-10, 210 pound center. Price is rated #66 in the 2011 Rivals.com rankings and is considered a top 10 center in the class.

Price had also received offers from Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.

Texas State Has High Hopes for A.J. Stewart


"We think he can be a Player of the Year candidate in our league."

That statement was made by Texas State head coach Doug Davalos in reference to former Kentucky forward A.J. Stewart. Stewart recently transferred to Texas State and will be counted on heavily by his new team.

"Without a doubt," Davalos said. "He was a nationally ranked guy coming out of high school and has played at the highest level. We've never signed a nationally ranked player. He'll pay dividends – both on and off the court.

It sounds like Stewart will be one of the focal points that Texas State will be relying on. I wish him nothing but the best and hope he has a successful run at his new school.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rajon Rondo and Tayshaun Prince: Coaching Potential?

An article on NBA.com lists several players that could move seamlessly into coaching. Among their list of future coaches are non other than ex-Kentucky Wildcat stars Tayshaun Prince and Rajon Rondo. Here is what the article says about the former Cats:

Tayshaun Prince: One of my favorite sub-stories from the Redeem Team's gold medal run was watching Prince kneel in front of Dwight Howard to teach him something or saddle up beside Howard to teach him some more. Howard would get lost on a few pick-n-rolls, take a seat on the bench and Coach K would dispatch Tay to go teach.

Rajon Rondo: Despite some of the reports out of Boston that Rondo has a bit of a petulant-streak, I think the kid is born to be a coach. Any youngster that can assert himself as confidently as he has on a team with KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen (three of the preeminent vets in the league), can be a great coach. Watch Rondo this season and check the way he barks orders and directs traffic. I see a lot of Avery Johnson in him.

Complete Article from NBA.com

Ex-Cat Derrick Miller Arrested on Theft Charges


The hits continue for former Kentucky Wildcats. Derrick Miller has been arrested on theft charges in connection with Ed Davender, who was arrested last week in an alleged ticket scam.

Here is the article from WKYT.com:

Lexington Police have arrested another UK player in connection with the fraudulent sale of basketball tickets.

Derrick G. Miller is charged with one count of Theft by Deception.

Police say Miller accepted payment in advance for the tickets when the tickets weren't actually available to him to sell.

Lexington Police are continuing to investigate.

Last week, former UK basketball star, Ed Davender was arrested for trying to sell season tickets that he did not have.

Davender was arrested last Tuesday and now faces theft charges.

Additional charges against him, have not been filed

My Thoughts: Again, this is a heart-breaking scenario for me. Miller was one of the first Cats that I truly fell in love with and was also the first UK autograph I obtained as a child. Like Davender last week, my memories of Miller will now be tarnished forever.

Calipari Hires Lebron's "Boy" as a Graduate Assistant


Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com reports that John Calipari has hired one of LeBron James' high school teammates as a graduate assistant at UK. Here is Goodman's article:

Rick Pitino brought on one of Marquis Teague’s “guys” as a graduate assistant, but John Calipari may have one-upped his rival from down the road.

Calipari has added Brandon Weems as a graduate assistant. No, Weems doesn’t have a connection with a particular recruit – as Shabaka Lands did with Teague.

However, Weems has one connection that could be extremely valuable.

Weems was a teammate of LeBron James’ back at St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio) and is one of LeBron’s closest friends. One source told me that Weems’ presence in Lexington was key in LeBron showing up on the campus during the summer.

"You could say he’s in LeBron’s inner circle,” said Walsh University head coach Jeff Young, who coached Weems at the Division 2 school. "They grew up together.”

This will further a relationship between LeBron and Calipari that has been aided by William Wesley (aka Worldwide Wes) – who is close with both parties.

Young confirmed to FOXSports.com that Weems has been brought on by Kentucky.

"He’s a great kid,” Young said of his former player. "He’s a four-year starter, an All-American and one of the best kids I’ve ever been around. He’s a winner.”

My Thoughts: This is a tremendous move for Coach Calipari and Kentucky.

Ex-Card Andre McGee Leads Phoenix Hagen


Former Louisville Cardinal Andre McGee is off to a great start in Germany's top-level Bundesliga league. He led his Phoenix Hagen team to an 83-62 victory over SC Rist Wedel in a friendly pre-season game. McGee scored 16 points in the victory.

McGee joins former Morehead State Eagle Quentin Pryor on the Hagen roster. In 30 games last season, Pryor averaged 14.7 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game for Hagen.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Filip Videnov Plays Wells in First EuroBasket Game

Ex-WKU Hilltopper Filip Videnov started and played well for Bulgaria in the team's first EuroBasket 2009 game. Videnov scored 11 points and dished out 3 assists in the 90-78 loss to Poland, the tournament's host nation.

Bulgaria returns to action today against a powerful Turkey team that features NBA star Hedo Turkoglu. Turkey defeated Lithuania 84-76 in their first game of pool play.

Source: FIBA.com

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Kentucky Will Visit Josh Selby in September

In August, TheShiver brought you the initial list of who was visiting Josh Selby and when they were visiting. Now Selby has added some schools to the list that already includes the Kansas Jayhawks. Here is a look at the dates lined up for Selby thus far.

September 9th-Kansas
September 10-UCONN
September 11th -Texas in the a.m. and then Baylor in the afternoon
September 13th-Florida State
September 14th-Oregon
September 15th-Kentucky
September 21st-Miami

Yet to be set up-Tennessee and Syracuse.

Source: TheShiver.com

Francisco Garcia Suffers Broken Finger


It was apparent that something was wrong with Francisco Garcia during the 2009 FIBA Americas Championships and now we know that he suffered a fractured finger late in the tournament.

Garcia, who played college basketball at Louisville and currently stars for the NBA's Sacramento Kings, has a fractured right ring finger. He will return to Sacramento Kings late next week to have the finger re-evaluated.

Source: LatinBasket.com

Former Racer Aubrey Reese Signs in Germany

Former Murray State Racer Aubrey Reese has been signed by The Deutsche Bank Skyliners in Germany's Bundesliga, or top-level league. Reese's contract with the Skyliners will be for three months.

Reese averaged 20.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in 21 games for Turkey's Aliaga Petkim last season.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Ex-Cardinal Jason Osborne Signs in Argentina


Former Louisville Cardinal Jason Osborne has signed with La Union Formosa in Argentina's top-level Liga A.

Osborne, who ended his Louisville career in 1995-96, has enjoyed a long and prosperous professional career. He has spent time in Argentina, Puerto Rico, Italy, UPBL, NBA training camp and the Kentucky Pro Am.

Last season, he started for Libertad Sunchales in Argentina's top league. He averaged 15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 39.3% three-point shooting.

Source: LatinBasket.com

St. Catharine Coaches Join Twitter

Several St. Catharine College coaches have joined the social networking world of Twitter. You can follow updates on Twitter using the links below:

Head Coach J.T. Burton

Assistant Coach Matt Stearsman

You can also follow Bluegrass State Basketball on Twitter

Kentucky Christian Has Successful First Week

The men's basketball team completed it's first week of individual workouts and conditioning last week, and head coach Corey Mullins is pleased with what he saw.

"Overall it was a very good week for our guys" commented Mullins. "We put them through some fundamental drills during the individual workouts and pushed them with some 'tougher' drills to gain conditioning and mental toughness. With 11 new players on the floor, this is a good way for us to introduce our team principals and philosophies."

The Knights will wrap-up individual workouts on September 18th, and then will look to start five on five practice on the 21st of the month.

Press Release from Kentucky Christian

Isiah Victor Lands in Israel's Premier League


Former University Heights big man Isiah Victor will continue his professional career for Maccabi Rishon Le Zion in Israel's Premier League.

The 31-year-old forward played college basketball at Tennessee. He has enjoyed stints in Spain, France, South Korea, Australia, Puerto Rico, CBA and NBDL.

Last season, he averaged 12.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the Perth Wildcats in Australia. In April, he moved to Venezuela and appeared in two games for Marinos.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Former Cat Antwain Barbour Off to Good Start in Spain


Former Kentucky Wildcat Antwain Barbour is off to a nice start in the Spain's high-level ACB League. In his first pre-season action, Barbour led Lagun Aro with 14 points in a 78-65 loss to Gran Canaria.

Barbour averaged 18.9 points for Spain's Tenerife Rural in 2008-09. He preceded that with 18.8 points per game for Erdemirspor Belediyesi in Turkey.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Happy Labor Day


Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September (September 7 in 2009).

The holiday originated in Canada out of labor disputes ("Nine-Hour Movement") first in Hamilton, then in Toronto, Canada in the 1870s, which resulted in a Trade Union Act which legalized and protected union activity in 1872 in Canada. The parades held in support of the Nine-Hour Movement and the printers' strike led to an annual celebration in Canada. In 1882, American labor leader Peter J. McGuire witnessed one of these labor festivals in Toronto. Inspired from Canadian events in Toronto, he returned to New York and organized the first American "labor day" on September 5 of the same year.

The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the US military and US Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. Cleveland was also concerned that aligning a US labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair. All 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday.

The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations," followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civil significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parades. Speeches or political demonstrations are more low-key than May 1 Labour Day celebrations in most countries, although events held by labor organizations often feature political themes and appearances by candidates for office, especially in election years. Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, water sports, and public art events. Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer recess. Similarly, some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for parties before returning to school. However, start dates for schools vary widely, beginning as early as July 24 in urban districts such as Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles. In addition, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons. The NCAA usually plays their first games the week before Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day.

Source: Wikipedia.com

NOTE: I have been away for the weekend and had limited Internet access. The site will return to normality late today. I have some huge (but not great) news concerning Kentucky basketball and head coach John Calipari. I will also have loads of weekend information and updates from around the state. Have a safe and happy Labor Day!

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