Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ex-Card Perrin Johnson Makes WCBL Roster

Former Louisville Cardinal Perrin Johnson will play for the Santa Barbara Breakers in the West Coast Pro Basketball League (WCBL). Johnson, who saw limited action at Louisville, averaged 13.0 points per game in 5 games with Central Entrerriano Gualeguaychu in Argentina's Men League last season.

Johnson played for the Cardinals from 2005-2007 and averaged 1.8 points per game in 38 games.


Former WKU Star Orlando Mendez-Valdez Finds Pro Home

Former Western Kentucky Hilltopper Orlando Mendez-Valdez has found a professional home with Halcones UV Xalapa in Mexico. He is off to a good start as he is averaging 14.3 points on 68.0% field goal shooting. Mendez-Valdez has also torched the nets for 41.7% from the three point line.

Halcones UV Xalapa is a perfect 3-0 to start the season in Mexico's CIBACOPA League.

Related News:

- The Burger King Whoppers are still hopeful that a resolution can be reached in the Japeth Aguilar saga. Aguilar, who played at Western Kentucky, was the top draft in the PBA (Phillipines) Draft but he remains unsigned after stating that he has no interest in playing for the Whoppers.

Before going on a two-week US vacation, Aguilar stunned the local basketball scene by refusing to sign a three-year P8. 7 million contract offered him by the Whoppers, who made him the top pick overall in the rookie draft.

Instead, Aguilar and his agent said the 6-foot-10 22-year-old will suit up for the SBP-backed Smart Gilas team gearing up for future international competitions.

- Another former Western Kentucky player, Elgrace Wilborn, is also enjoying a successful professional career overseas. Wilborn plays for Atenas in Uruguay's LUB league. In the first game of the LUB season, Wilborn picked up a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in his team's 94-85 victory over Anastasia.

Last season, Wilborn saw action in 8 games for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBDL.

Sources: and

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ex-Cat Gerald Fitch Injures Hand During Pre-Season Game

Former Kentucky Wildcat Gerald Fitch injured his hand during a pre-season game in Spain. Fitch left the game early in the first half and did not return. There is no word on the severity of his injury or how much action he will miss.

Fitch plays for Fuenlabrada in Spain's top-level ACB League.

Last season, he scored 28.6 points per game for Turkey's Kepez Big Antalya en route to being named league MVP in Turkey's highest league.

Fitch scored 1,391 points during his UK career that spanned from 2000-04. He spent some time with the Miami Heat before heading overseas to continue his career.


Ge'Lawn Guyn Officially Re-Opens Recruitment

As I reported back in July, Scott County's Ge'Lawn Guyn felt he rushed his decision when he committed to Charlotte. He has now officially re-opened his recruitment according to an article today by Jody Demling.

Here is Demling's article:

Scott County High School shooting guard Ge-lawn Guyn, one of the top candidates for Kentucky's Mr. Basketball honors this season, is looking for a college again.

Guyn committed to Charlotte and coach Bobby Lutz in the spring but told The Courier-Journal tonight that he was going to "re-open the recruiting process."

"I feel like I made a decision too quick and didn't think it all the way through," Guyn said. "It all boils down to me and what I think is best, I have to go to school there. I just think I went too fast and needed to look around a little more."

The 6-foot-4 Guyn, who picked Charlotte over Western Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and others, said he was not going to make a list of schools for a few weeks. He said he's already received several calls, including one from Northwestern.

"I'm going to open it up to eveyrbody," Guyn said. "A lot of schools have called but I am going to wait for a few weeks and see what happens."

Check Out Demling's Superb Blog

Huge Recruiting Weekend for Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats will host three major recruits over the weekend. They were already set to host Stacey Poole and Brandon Knight. Now, Evan Daniels of says that the Wildcats will also be hosting Chane Behanan, a 2011 PF from Bowling Green. Behanan recently re-opened his recruitment after de-committing from Cincinnati.

Knight, an athletic 6-3 PG, is the overall #1 player in the 2010 Class according to Poole is a 6-5 forward that is ranked #27 in the 2010 Class.

Related News: Jody Demling for the Courier-Journal reported today that Kyrie Irving will likely end up at either Duke or Kentucky. Irving is a 6-2 combo guard that is ranked #9 in the 2010 Class by

Clark County's Vinny Zollo to Visit Notre Dame

George Rogers Clark junior Vinny Zollo will make an official visit to Notre Dame Saturday.
The Irish are among several programs showing interest in Zollo.

Zollo originally committed to the University of Kentucky, but changed his mind after a coaching change at the school.

Tennessee also is showing interest in Zollo.

“Things are heating up on the recruiting trail,” Zollo’s mother Robyn Curry said this morning.


John Calipari Likes His Team

Kentucky head coach John Calipari just sent this message via Twitter:

"Just finished with our first workout with the entire team. Wow! This could be fun. Round 2 tomorrow morning. Details to come later."

I thought optimism in the Big Blue Nation was already at an all-time high, but I'm sure it is a bit higher now after the coach's comments.

You can join the 758,000+ Twitter followers of Calipari by clicking below:

"Indiana is Out" for 2010 Star Kyrie Irving; UK Still In

Article from

There has been a dramatic shift in the recruitment of Kyrie Irving.

Indiana is now out of the mix and Georgia Tech will get a fourth official visit.

Irving and his family are weighing whether to take his fifth official to either Seton Hall or UConn.

“Indiana is out,” said Sye Dean, Irving’s uncle. “We respect the program. We respect Tom Crean. We feel blessed that a University of that caliber would recruit Kyrie, but sometimes in regards to this recruiting process you have to eliminate certain programs. That’s part of the process.

“It’s always a process of elimination and I think Tom Crean and their program did a wonderful job. We just felt that Indiana wasn’t the place where he could develop and that’s no disrespect to Tom Crean. Although Indiana is a great program and has great coaches, we just felt it was conducive for us to go in another direction.”

He added: “Although Kyrie will not be taking an official visit to Indiana University, as a family we have the utmost respect for the Indiana University program, its coaches and players.
Unfortunately, during this arduous and lengthy recruiting process, certain perspectives and perceptions changed in what would be best for Kyrie and his future.”

Indiana had long been considered a potential favorite to land Irving, the No. 4 point guard in the nation out of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick.

Instead, he will visit Duke (Sept. 25), Texas A&M (Oct. 9), Kentucky (Oct. 15) and Georgia Tech (Oct. 23).

Complete Article from

Alleged Memphis Insider Says Tigers a Lock for Big East

There have been rumors surfacing during the last few days speculating that the Memphis Tigers are looking for a move to a BCS conference. They have been rumored to be looking at the Big East or the SEC.

Someone proclaiming himself as a Memphis "insider" has announced on a Memphis radio show that the Tigers are "a lock" for the Big East. Here is a summary of the call that is now posted on, an excellent Memphis message board:

I listened carefully, and took notes, so here is a transcription, as accurate as possible, of what "Sammy" had to say today on air:

- I made a number of calls, so let's discuss the facts only. Everything I am about to say is an absolute fact.
- Tranghese was hired August 1. That's a fact, but actually, Fred Smith is paying him, and Tranghese has been on his payroll for quite a while (didn't say how long).
- The Big East has been working behind the scenes to get Memphis into the conference for quite a while now. (At this point the two hosts asked him to clarify if he meant the Big East was after Memphis, or vice versa). Sammy replied that the Big East was after Memphis.
- Sammy said that the Big East took a private vote several months ago to admit Memphis, but put their plans on hold when Calipari left for Kentucky, to "step back and re-evaluate the situation."
- Sammy then said that Memphis "will become a part of the Big East within six months," and that it will be announced soon. The hosts started talking over him, and it was never made clear whether Memphis would be admitted within 6 months, or whether the announcement would come within 6 months.
- Sammy said that UCF and ECU will also be admitted to the Big East.
- He then quickly added that it is still possible that ECU and UCF won't make it, but that Memphis will for sure.
- He said the reason has everything to do with football, that the Big East has had huge complaints from its football members about scheduling, and this is the solution to providing 4 to 6 home games per team, every other year now.
- He said he was absolutely positive about his information, and that anything else that was said publicly is just "window dressing." He said this is going to happen "no matter what anyone says." - The radio hosts then asked Sammy about Southern Mississippi, and he replied that they were considered, but "the dollars are just not there."
- Sammy said, "I was told it's all about the dollars, and that's it." It's about what each school can bring to the table, nothing else.

The hosts thanked him, told him he was the star of the show today, and then abruptly changed their tune about what they said earlier, in essence buying into everything Sammy said.

My Thoughts: This is an intriguing conversation and I think it would be great to see the Memphis program participating in a major BCS conference. Kentucky head coach John Calipari often alluded to the fact that Memphis basketball is in a continual battle because of its alignment in a non-BCS conference. It would be super to see Memphis battle Louisville and/or Kentucky year-in and year-out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Meeks Named 2nd Rounder That Will Make a Difference has published a list of five NBA rookies drafted in the Second Round that will make a difference. Former Kentucky sharp-shooter Jodie Meeks comes in at #3 on the list:

3. Jodie Meeks, Bucks: Scoring 54 points in game in college didn’t stop scouts from hating on Meeks’ game. The former Kentucky Wildcat was labeled as being too small for a shooting guard with poor shot selection and a lack of a handle. Meeks had a good showing in Vegas, but still has a lot to prove. Lucky for him, he plays on the Bucks so the opportunity for burn will be available. If he proves to be a good three-point shooter on this level, he could have a job for years to come.

5 Second Rounders That Will Make a Difference:

1. DeJuan Blair, Spurs
2. Chase Budinger, Rockets
3. Jodie Meeks, Bucks
4. Sam Young, Grizzlies
5. Taylor Griffin, Suns

Complete Article

Rick Bolus Releases Kentucky High School Rankings

Rick Bolus, who runs High Potential Basketball Recruiting Service, has released his annual high school player rankings.

Top 12 seniors:

Curtis Washington, Elizabethtown
Ricardo Johnson, Holmes
Elijah Pittman, Holmes
Chad Jackson, Scott County
Ge-Lawn Guyn, Scott County
Donovan Gibbs, Iroquois
Elisha Justice, Shelby Valley
Josh Sewell, Trinity
Aaron Watts, McCreary Central
Dakotah Euton, Scott County
Matt St. John, South Laurel
Jomari Bradshaw, Waggener

Top sleeper: Sam Samsel, Manual

Top Underclassmen:

Chane Behanan, Bowling Green (Jr. transfer from Cincy Aiken)
George Fant, Warren Central (Jr.)
Jaylen Beckham, Lexington Catholic (So.)
Vinny Zollo, Clark County (Jr.)
Remy Abell, Eastern (Jr.)
Timmy Knipp, Elliott County (Jr.)
Darryl Hicks, Shelby County (Fr.)
Desmond Dorsey, Jeffersontown (So.)
Robbie Stenzel, Clark County (Jr.)
Trey Williams, Greenup County (Jr.)
Jordan Shanklin, Warren Central (Jr.)
Josh Stroup, Fairdale (Jr.)

Top sleeper: Donovan Kates, Christian County (Jr.)

Source: Looks Into Its Crystal Ball at John Wall

Interesting article from

With about as much going on in the NBA as there is in black hole, why don't we look at a player who's probably going to be the talk of next years draft? John Wall, a quick point guard who's playing for Kentucky this year is the guy. In what I've seen, he's got the flash that fits the NBA (I'm sure you remember when he took Jerry Stackhouse's lunch money). But, I want to see more of him before I deem him an amazing NBA prospect.

I could watch all the YouTube mixes under the sun, but that doesn't tell me if he'll fit into an NBA teams system. Tendencies can't be found when you only see the good plays. Player evaluation can only be done after seeing at least a game or two.

So, I'll say that Wall excites me. His ball handling is superb and he clearly is a tough guard because of his speed and quick change of direction. But, one thing I noticed in the YouTube mixes I want to point out: I only saw one jump shot. This scouting report says that his jumper's only good enough to keep the defense honest.

His case reminds me of current NBA rookie Demar Derozan. Coming into the draft, his mid-range game was questioned. I remember reading about how he was the first one in the gym before a summer league game. He put in the work and, while it's yet to be seen if he'll improve, I'd bet that he will.

For this year of college, I want Wall to only practice fundamentals. Don't try to perfect dunks during practice. Make 10 three's in a row, then aim for 15. I know I sound like a coach, but if Wall can take what he does in mixes and do it in the NBA, then he could be very special. Also, I'm really tired of these quick, athletic, strong guys that can't shoot jumpers. While the story of how they improve always interests me, it's getting old.But, I'll say that the jumper I saw didn't look horrible. He's got a step up on Rondo, for sure.

Source Ranks All 347 Division I Teams

The top 50 are yet to be named, but has already ranked teams 51-347:

52. Western Kentucky
BEST PLAYER: G A.J. Slaughter
QUICK TAKE: The Hilltoppers lose key players each year, but coaches plug in someone else and return to the NCAAs. BUZZ: Four starters return, plus Western is bringing in the league's best recruiting class. Slaughter has league player-of-the-year potential, and the frontcourt should dominate league foes. Western is seeking its third consecutive first-round win in the NCAA tourney.

138. Morehead State
BEST PLAYER: C/F Kenneth Faried
QUICK TAKE: Faried is a double-double machine for the Eagles, who are looking for their second NCAA bid in a row. BUZZ: The Eagles have a nice inside-outside combination in Faried and Gs Demonte Harper and Maze Stallworth. Four starters return from an NCAA tournament team, and the Eagles again will have great board work and play tough defense. Faried is a big-timer, especially as a rebounder, and his presence in the paint means the perimeter players will have ample openings to fire it up from 3-point range.

146. Murray State
BEST PLAYER: F Danero Thomas
QUICK TAKE: The Racers return their top three scorers and should be Morehead State's main competition in the OVC. BUZZ: The top three scorers include forwards Ivan Aska and Thomas. Aska did a nice job as a true freshman last season. Murray State must become more efficient offensively after shooting just 31.3 percent from 3-point range. The Racers can be expected to be one of the best, if not the best, defensive teams in the league. But until their outside shooting improves, it's tough to pick them to win the league.

229. Eastern Kentucky
BEST PLAYER: F Josh Taylor
QUICK TAKE: Coach Jeff Neubauer is a former John Beilein assistant, and EKU loves to shoot 3-pointers. BUZZ: The loss of forward Mike Rose hurts and means the Colonels don't have a legit shot at the league title. The Colonels hit 40.1 percent from 3-point range last season and will need to be on the mark again to overcome a lack of size. While EKU won't win the league, it will pull some upsets that determine who does win it. The Colonels have 17 home games this season, the most in school history.

Complete Article

Antoine Walker Nears Settlement in Las Vegas

A Las Vegas court has pushed back a status check to Oct. 29 for former NBA all-star Antoine Walker, amid talk of possible repayment in an $822,500 casino gambling debt case.

Prosecutor Bernie Zadrowski said Wednesday he's been talking with Walker's lawyer, Jonathan Powell, about settling the criminal case.

Neither Zadrowski nor Powell would provide specifics.

Walker faces three felony bad check charges for gambling debts at three Las Vegas casinos. He did not have to appear at a Wednesday hearing.

Walker was arrested in July at a Lake Tahoe hotel.

Walker was a three-time all-star for the Boston Celtics and won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. He last played for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008.

Article from

Rivals Lists MSU's Kenneth Faried as a Player to Watch has listed 10 players from "low-major" NCAA Division I programs to watch in 2009-10.

Morehead State's Kenneth Faried makes the list of players to watch from the following 12 leagues: Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Ivy, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southland, Summit and Southwestern Athletic.

F/C Kenneth Faried, Morehead State

Particulars: 6-8/225, Jr./Newark (N.J.) Technology
Conference: Ohio Valley
See him on: Nov. 13 at Kentucky

The buzz: Faried struggled with test scores out of high school. Once he made the grade, bigger programs came calling, but he repaid Morehead State's loyalty by sticking with his commitment to the Eagles. He is the nation's leading returning rebounder after averaging 13 boards per game last season. He was stellar late last season, averaging 16 points and 15.2 rebounds in the OVC tournament, the NCAA tournament play-in game and a first-round loss to top-seeded Louisville.
Complete Article from

2010 G Doron Lamb Down to Five; Kentucky Included

Article from

Calvin Lamb, the father of Oak Hill (Va.) guard Doron Lamb, says his son will probably take official visits to Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona and possibly St. John’s as well.

“I could say I think Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona. Them four I guess I would say. St. John’s, I guess. He was kind of impressed with them,” Calvin said.

Coaches from all five schools have had in-homes with Doron’s parents in Queens and also visited Doron at Oak Hill.

Oak Hill coach Steve Smith has also mentioned that UConn is in the mix for Lamb, the No. 3 shooting guard and No. 21 prospect in the Class of 2010.

St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts had an in-home Wednesday night.

“It all went well. They’re hoping Doron stays home. It will be a good thing for him to stay in the city,” Calvin said.

And Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel was in Tuesday.

“It was good. It was nice. [He would be] just filling in being that missing piece that they need. That they’ll be a good situation for him,” Calvin said.

Calvin said no official visits have yet been planned.

“We’ve gotta sit down and talk to his coach, see if he’s free,” he said.

Kentucky Wesleyan Completes 2009-10 Recruiting Class

Kentucky Wesleyan has announced the addition of four players to the 2009-10 recruiting class. The Panthers have completed their recruiting class by adding Tommy Oates, Shawn Rouse, Huzie Hambrite III and Willie Richardson.

“These players finish what we feel was an excellent recruiting class for us,” said head coach Todd Lee. “When we looked our team coming back, we wanted to add ballhandling, athleticism and depth at all positions. We feel like we have accomplished our mission.”

Tommy Oates is a 6-5, 215-pound true freshman from Muhlenberg North High School in Central City, Kentucky. He was the 2009 Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches Third Region Player of the Year after leading his team in scoring (15.1), rebounding (9.3) and field goal shooting (63.3) in 29 games. He also received 2009 Messenger-Inquirer All-Third Region recognition and was named all-district and all-region by the coaches twice.

“Tommy is a very tough and intelligent player,” said Lee. “He was very well coached by Steve Sparks and understands what it takes to compete. Like any high school recruit, the biggest adjustments for him would be strength and competing against older more experienced players. Once he makes those adjustments, he has a chance to be a very good player.”

Shawn Rouse (pictured) is a 6-6, 215-pound division I transfer from Boise State. The forward/center played sparingly in two seasons at Boise State. He was named the 33rd best prospect in Texas at John Jay High School by in 2006 where he averaged 16.3 points and 5.6 rebounds as a senior.

“Shawn has the ability to guard multiple positions for us,” Lee commented. “He is a long athlete with good perimeter skills and fills a need for us especially at the defensive end of the floor. He played for a Boise State team that earned trips to the postseason tournaments and played in the very competitive Western Athletic Conference.”

Huzie Hambrite III is a 5-10, 170-pound guard from Indianapolis. He is transferring from Lake Land College after leading the team in scoring (18.6) and assists (3.9) as a sophomore in 2009. He was a first team All-Indianapolis selection at Northwest High School.

Lee said, “Huzie is a true point guard with the ability to push the ball up the floor, penetrate and find the open man for an easy basket. He will be an excellent guard for us and in the Great Lakes Valley Conference with his strength and intelligence. Huzie will add depth to our perimeter and allow us to make adjustments with our lineup.”

Willie Richardson transfers to Wesleyan from Las Positas College. He is a 6-2, 221-pound guard from New Orleans. As a sophomore at Las Positas, he averaged 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

“Willie is an excellent athlete, with a lot of strength, who can guard multiple positions," says Lee. “He will help us with our depth and athleticism at the wing position. We will be counting on him to be one of our better defenders, which is an adjustment for first year players, but he has that ability.”


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Did Kenny Walker Avoid This Mess?

With the criminal charges that have been brought against former Kentucky Wildcats Ed Davender and Derrick Miller, one has to wonder how ex-Cat Kenny Walker has managed to avoid the mess.

Walker, who is remembered as one of the all-time great Kentucky players, roomed with Davender when the two were UK teammates. For several years, both Miller and Davender were co-workers to Walker at Kentucky Sports History, a publication that provides a recap of each basketball season.

Walker's website describes the venture as:

Today Kenny is working for a company called Collegiate Sports History. C.S.H. is a company that is dedicated to preserving the history of college football and basketball. Kenny works along with two other former U.K. basketball stars, Ed Davender and Derrick Miller.

The company puts out a yearly publication that covers each football and basketball season for UK. This is also done for many other universities throughout the nation. Kenny travels throughout the state and meets with businesses to discuss sponsorships for the publication. These books are placed in high school and middle school libraries through out the state, pushing drug free messages and encouraging kids to stay in school. Kenny has been with the company for four years now and has played a major role in the success of the program.

My thoughts:

With Davender and Miller as co-workers, one has to wonder how Kenny Walker has managed to stay out of trouble. As someone that grew up watching Walker at Kentucky and then with the New York Knicks, I am very happy that Walker is not involved in the scam created by Miller and Davender.

Ex-Cat Miller Pleads Not Guilty; Discovers New Charge

The charges continue to mount for former Kentucky Wildcat Derrick Miller.

As Miller's attorney was entering a "not guilty" plea to two charges of theft by deception in Clark County, he learned of an additional charge that was filed in Bell County. Miller already faces a felony theft by deception charge in Fayette County.

In the Bell County criminal complaint, Mikel Byrne of Middlesboro said he paid Miller $1,295 on June 4, 2008, for UK basketball tickets. The complaint says Miller cashed the check but did not provide tickets or return the money.

In the Clark County charges, Winchester police said two Winchester businessmen paid a total of $2,595 for lower-level basketball seats; Miller deposited the money into his private bank account. Neither men received tickets from Miller.

Miller and former Cat Ed Davender have both been implicated as part of the ticket scam.


Former Murray State Racers Playing Well Overseas

Former Murray State players Marcus Brown and Deteri Mayes are playing well for their respective professional teams.

Mayes and his Allianz Swans Gmunden teammates recently captured an international friendly tournament in Austria. Mayes scored 15 points in the 96-80 championship game victory. Gmuden competes in the Austria's A Bundesliga, the nation's top-level basketball league.

Last season in 40 games, Mayes averaged 21.3 points per game and shot 40.1% from long range for Gmunden. His scoring output was good enough for second in the league for 2008-09.

Marcus Brown is one of the top performers for B.C. Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania's Baltic League. He played 43 games for Israel's Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv and 4 games for Zalgiris in 2008-09. Brown averaged 12.6 points per game in Israel.

In his most recent action, Brown led Zalgiris with 13 points in an 86-61 loss to Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray.


Western Kentucky Adds Kip Wellman to Staff

Press Release from WKU:

Kip Wellman has joined the Western Kentucky University men's basketball staff, head coach Ken McDonald announced Tuesday afternoon. Wellman will serve as a graduate intern coordinating film exchange for the Hilltoppers.

A 2005 graduate of Transylvania University, Wellman comes to WKU following three seasons at Syracuse. Serving as a graduate assistant manager with the Orange, Wellman earned his Masters of Science this past spring. In addition to his managerial duties, he coordinated film exchange with Syracuse's opponents while assisting with basketball operations.

Prior to his time at Syracuse, Wellman was the assistant basketball coach for Bourbon County High School, leading the Paris, Ky. program to the 2004-05 41st District Championship.

Wellman played collegiately at Embry-Riddle University, an NAIA school in Daytona Beach, Fla. A three-year letter winner with the Eagles, Wellman led Embry-Riddle to the 2000-01 Florida Sun Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships, advancing all the way to the NAIA Final Four.

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

WKU returns four starters for the 2009-10 season including five of their top six scorers.

Northern Kentucky University to Face Dayton Flyers

Press Release from NKU (Courtesy of University of Dayton Sports Information):

University of Dayton men's basketball head coach Brian Gregory announced Tuesday that his Flyers will play NCAA Division II powerhouse Northern Kentucky University in an exhibition game on Nov. 9.

NKU will replace Georgetown (Ky.) College, which was originally slated to play Dayton that evening.

"Georgetown contacted us with a potential conflict and asked if they could be replaced on the schedule," Gregory said. "They said they would honor our contract with them if we could not find someone else, but luckily Northern Kentucky stepped in. I've known about the quality of NKU's basketball program for a long time, and (head coach) Dave Bezold does a great job with his team. This will be a good test for us."

NKU met Dayton in a regular-season game 16 years ago. A crowd of 10,836 was on hand at UD Arena on Dec. 1, 1993, to watch Dayton rally past NKU, 99-82. That is the only time NKU and Dayton have played in men's basketball.

NKU was 24-7 and won the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament championship last season. The Norse have won at least 20 games in three straight seasons and have captured three consecutive GLVC East Division championships.

NKU will also play at Xavier in an exhibition game on Nov. 7.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Additional Charges for Derrick Miller in Ticket Scam

It seems that I hear a new story daily about someone that was scammed by former Kentucky Wildcats Derrick Miller and Ed Davender. Now, it appears that the police are hearing those same stories. Derrick Miller will be given additional charges according to this article on

A former UK basketball player, already cited by Lexington police in connection with the fraudulent sale of basketball tickets, is now facing charges in another Kentucky county.

Derrick Miller remains jailed in Clark County, charged with two counts of theft by deception.

According to an arrest warrant obtained by 27NEWSFIRST there were two dates Sept 5th, 2008 and April 2nd, 2009 and two alleged victims.

He's accused of stealing $2,595, from those two victims. Winchester police say at least 20 others have come forward with complaints in Clark, Fayette and surrounding counties.

He was booked into the jail around 5 in the morning on Tuesday, with an arraignment scheduled for Wednesday.

Lexington police charged Miller 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.

Also charged, is former UK basketball star, Ed Davender.

Davender was arrested for trying to sell season tickets that he did not have.

Mike DeCourcy Names Eight Pivotal Players for 2009-10

Coming in at #7 on the list is Darius Miller from Kentucky. Here is what DeCourcy says about Miller:

7. Darius Miller, sophomore forward, Kentucky. It's not like the Wildcats are hurting for wing options. If it's not Miller, it could be DeAndre Liggins or Ramon Harris. But Miller best fits the vacancy.

Darnell Dodson probably starts at shooting guard because he is the one true deep threat. But Miller can score a variety of ways and should take great advantage of opportunities that develop in the dribble drive offense.

Complete List:

1. Xavier Henry, Kansas, Fr.
2. Larry Drew, North Carolina, So.
3. Robbie Hummel, Purdue, Jr.
4. Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Washington, Jr.
5. Corey Fisher, Villanova, Jr.
6. Delvon Roe, Michigan State, So.
7. Darius Miller, Kentucky, So.
8. Bobby Maze, Tennessee, Sr.

Article from

Kentucky Basketball Reports Three Secondary Violations

UPDATE: I talked to DeWayne Peevy, UK's Associate AD and head of Media Relations, via e-mail tonight. He states, "These were past violations that the Herald-Leader received reports on through an open records request."

Article from Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald Leader:

Former University of Kentucky basketball staffer Bilal Batley received a “letter of admonishment” for committing a secondary violation of NCAA rules, the school acknowledged Tuesday.

In response to an open-records request from the Herald-Leader, UK said that Batley violated an NCAA rule on July 2 when he “participated countable athletically related activities with a student-athlete.”

Batley, who followed new head coach John Calipari from the University of Memphis, shagged rebounds for a current player. He also advised the player to shoot from particular spots on the floor, the UK letter dated Sept. 1 said.Batley, whose title was men’s basketball administrative assistant, violated NCAA Bylaw when he interacted on the court with a current player, the UK letter said.

Batley has resigned and returned to his native Houston because of an illness in the family, UK has said. UK officially announced his hiring on May 30.Earlier in his basketball career, Batley worked for three programs subsequently found guilty of major violations of NCAA rules. The three were Oklahoma as a student manager, Indiana and Memphis.

In response to the open-records request, UK revealed two other secondary violations involving the basketball program earlier in the year.

Former assistant Tracy Webster violated a rule by engaging in a conversation with a prospect before April 22, which was prior to the permissible contact date. He received a letter of admonishment.

Another violation occurred May 26 when a current player — whose name was redacted in the open-records release — had his name used in an advertisement for The Reggie Warford Basketball Camp. The player was unaware of the advertisement, the UK letter said.

UK self-reported the three secondary violations.

My Thoughts: Again, I see nothing major here and I think that many NCAA schools report secondary violations. That being said, I'm sure this will lead to more negative publicity and false accusations about Kentucky head coach John Calipari and his staff.

2010 Guard Kyrie Irving Will Visit UK in October

Kyrie Iving, a 6-2 combo guard that is ranked #9 overall on the Rivals150 List for 2010, will schedule an official visit to Kentucky in mid-October according to his father. Drederick Irving told Adam Zagoria at that his son will visit Kentucky officially "sometime in mid-October."

“We are going to take a visit a to the University of Kentucky,” Drederick said. “I don’t know when, sometime in October. I need to speak with Kyrie to confirm the dates.”

Kentucky would be Irving's fourth official visit, following Duke (Sept. 25), Indiana (Oct. 2) and Texas A&M (Oct. 9).

“You can’t discount Kentucky because I do have a relationship with [assistant] coach [Rod] Strickland,” Drederick said. “I’ve known him since I was 7 and we played in the same backcourt with the Gauchos until we were 18. He’s like a brother to me. We have a profound relationship that cannot be discounted. He is Kyrie’s Godfather.”

Complete Article from

Ex-Cat Erik Daniels Invited to Tryout in Ukraine

Former Kentucky Wildcat Erik Daniels was invited to a tryout for Azovmash of the Ukranian Superleague, which is the nation's top-level basketball league. In a 90-78 loss to Efes Pilsen, Daniels scored 10 points.

The team will keep Daniels and two other Amercians on the squad for two more friendlies before deciding on the final roster.

Daniels, who played for Kentucky from 2000-2004, was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the 2004 NBA Draft. After seeing limited playing time, Daniels spent time in the NBDL and the Italian Serie A league. He saw limited action in the NBA Summer League for the Memphis Grizzlies this summer.


Related News:

Former Georgetown Tiger Derrick Miller led all scorers with 28 points in an 86-71 loss to Felix Perez Cardozo in Paraguay's Quadrangolar Tournament. Miller's Sacachispas team is off to an 0-3 start in the tournament.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Ex-Cat Allen Edwards Talks Past, Present and Future

I spoke to former Kentucky Wildcat Allen Edwards tonight and we did a brief Q&A over the phone. Edwards was a part of two national championships and another Final Four appearance during this UK career. He played some semi-pro ball after his Kentucky career and then transitioned into the coaching world. He has enjoyed coaching stints at Morehead State and Virginia Commonwealth. In 2009-10, he will be on the sidelines with Pat Kennedy and the Towson Tigers.

I became friends with Edwards during his time at Morehead State. We played several seasons and actually won a championship together on the Downtown BP team in the Morehead City League. I can honestly say that Edwards is one of the nicer guys that you could ever meet and he has the makings of a great coaching future.

In our conversation, Edwards discusses his time at UK, his coaching career, his thoughts on Rick Pitino and more. Here is my chat with Allen Edwards:

Allen, thanks for taking the time to speak to me today.

To start with, you came to Kentucky in 1994 from Miami. What was the transition from Miami to Lexington like for you?

It was a culture shock for me. Most people didn’t know it, but I committed before even taking a visit to Kentucky mostly because of Gimel Martinez. We played on the same high school team and were great friends. I committed to the Kentucky program. The weather was tough to deal with. To a certain extent, the people in general were tough to deal with at first.

You enjoyed a nice four-year run with the Wildcats that included two National Championships and three Final Four appearances. When you look back at your UK career, what are some of the things you take away from your time in Lexington?

I think the biggest thing…I mean winning the championships were great, but going through what it takes to get there was greatest thing. Those guys on that team are some of my best friends. I think just going through the battles and hanging out with the guys was the best part. I greatly enjoyed just going out to eat and things. You know, basically just enjoying the college experience.

Who are some of your best friends today that you were teammates with at UK?

I’m still really close to Antoine Walker, Nazi Mohammad and Scott Padgett. And there’s Derek Anderson and Wayne Turner. I’m still close to Walt (Walter McCarty) and being in the same profession and type of job, we talk pretty often. I would say Antoine and Nazi stand out as the two I would call my closest friends. Padgett’s wife and my wife are best friends so I talk to him pretty often, too.

What does it mean to you that you were able to wear that Kentucky jersey on your chest for four seasons, especially considering that you were able to cut down the nets in 1996 and 1998?

It was an achievement. I think I have kind of a different perspective coming from a place outside the state. I didn’t realize the passion in Kentucky until I experienced it. It was a little different coming in as an outsider. I wore that jersey with respect, though. I played for the name on the front of the jersey and not the back.

Allen, what stands out as your greatest memory during your Kentucky basketball career?

Um, both championships stick out. In 1996, we were expected to win and it was a big accomplishment to finish the season with a title when we were expected to the whole season. Then in 1998, we weren’t expected to win. We had a new coach and less mega-stars. Also during that season, I dealt with the loss of my mother and I will always remember the love and compassion of teammates during that time and then being able to win the title. That was just really special to me.

Who was the greatest basketball player that you had the opportunity to play with at Kentucky?

I would say talent-wise it was probably Antoine Walker. Another player that I really respected and looked up to was Tony Delk. He was really special to be able to do all the things he did at his size. Derek Anderson and Rodrick Rhodes were really talented, but overall if I had to choose one, it would probably be Antoine.

Is the 1995-96 UK team the best overall team in the history of college basketball?

I don’t know if I can answer that. You hear about the great UCLA teams that we didn’t really see play. Duke has had some great teams. We’re one of them. I don’t know if I’d say best but we’re at least in the conversation.

Your coach at Kentucky was Rick Pitino, who will go down as one of college basketball’s best all-time coaches. What was it like playing for Rick Pitino?

I think what was great about Coach Pitino is that he gave us the tools to help not only in basketball, but also in life. He gave us the preparation that correlated to real-life situations.

Obviously, Pitino has been receiving some negative press lately. As someone that knows Pitino behind-the-scenes, I’m curious to hear your comments on the Rick Pitino/Karen Sypher situation. Any comments?

You know, I’m in a good place spiritually. I’m sure I don’t have all the info either, but people make mistakes. No man is without sin and Pitino is no different. I respect him as a person and as a man, but no man is perfect. It’s unfortunate with him being in the public eye that the situation picks up so much attention, but the fact of the matter is that all men fall short. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. I know for a fact that he’s a good husband and a good father, but he made a mistake. He’s human. He made a mistake and one of the toughest things to do is ‘fess up to it. I’m not saying I condone what he did. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying he made a mistake, he’s fessed up and he’s trying to move past it.

Do you still follow Kentucky basketball?

I did for a long time but I kind of got away from it when I got into this profession. I still keep up with it, but probably not as much as I would like to.

What are your thoughts on John Calipari as the new Kentucky head coach?

I am very comfortable with Calipari as the head coach. He is going to get the program back to the level that it should be. He’s already off to a great start. It was going to be Calipari or Billy Donovan at Kentucky and both would have been good fits. He’s a great hire.

Let’s talk a little about your career after Kentucky. Did you play any professional basketball?

I played some semi-pro ball in the CBA, IBA and IBL

When did you get involved in coaching?

I came back to school at UK and became a special assistant in 2002. Then, my first season at Morehead State was in 2003.

You spent several successful seasons at VCU on Anthony Grant’s staff. Grant took the Alabama job, but you didn’t end up in Tuscaloosa. Was there a mutual decision to go a different direction? Why was the ex-VCU staff split-up during the move to Alabama?

At the end of the day, there were no problems between us. I have great respect for Coach Grant and he was a great role model for me. It just wasn’t a good fit. He decided to keep Pettway on his staff at Alabama. He played for ‘Bama and has strong ‘Bama ties. I wouldn’t say it was mutual. I would’ve loved to go, but in the end it wasn’t a good fit and my job went to Pettway.

You are now a member of Pat Kennedy’s staff at Towson. Tell me a little about your new job and how things are going at Towson.

Well, it’s the same conference I was in (CAA). I am very familiar with the team, even though they have been on the other side for several seasons. My relationship with Coach Kennedy goes back a little. He coached my older brother Doug at Florida State and actually recruited me some to play there. My job here will basically be the same. I’ll be recruiting, scouting, managing and on-the-floor coaching. It has been great so far. I am really excited about the opportunity and very comfortable in the position.

Have you had a chance to evaluate your new team? Give me a name or two to watch out for during the upcoming season.

I have. We recently took a trip to Canada and it was great to get to know the players as a member of the team rather than as opponents. I think we have enough talent to compete for the conference championship. The team is athletic, we can shoot the ball and we’re getting better at defense. A player to keep an eye on will be Josh Thornton. He is a transfer from Georgetown College. He’s a nice shooter and will be our starting two-guard. I would also say Robert Nwankwo. He’s a 6’9” big guy that has a tremendous wingspan and plays much bigger. He’ll be key for us down low this season.

What will Allen Edwards be doing in 10 years?

I’ll be a head coach running my own program at the college level. A very successful program...

I know it’s a difficult choice, but which means more to you – the 1996/1998 NCAA National Championships or the Morehead City League Championship that we won together during your time at Morehead State?

Um, at the end of the day, with my competitive nature, all championships mean a lot to me. They all mean a lot. Somebody has to be the champion at any level and I have always played to get to that level, regardless of which league it was in. I know the two in college get the most recognition, but the championships mean a whole lot at every level. I won at every level in my career from grade school, to junior high, to high school and in college. Even as a coach, the conference championships we won at VCU mean a lot to me.

Allen, it has been great talking to you. I said many times during your stay in Morehead that you are nothing but a class act and a great representative for your institution and the game of basketball. Keep up the good work and best of luck this season.

Hey, I want to wish you success with your site. I haven’t had an opportunity to sit down and check it out closely, but I have been told that you have a great site and that you do good work on it. Thanks for reaching out to me.

I really appreciate that and I’ll be touching base with you as we get into the season.

Eustachy on Billy Gillispie: "I know what he's facing.."

"...and it's not funny."

If anyone can understand the misery Billy Gillispie is going through it's Larry Eustachy. There is a great article by Gary Parrish on today about Eustachy's battle with alcoholism and his thoughts on the former Kentucky head coach.

Here is an excerpt:

"I can't speak for Billy or about his situation, but I can tell you that alcoholism is recognized as a disease, and believe me, it's a disease," Eustachy said by phone while on the road recruiting. "I've been to enough 12-step meetings and spoken enough to know that Robert Downey Jr. has a very serious disease just like I have a very serious disease. It is a disease, and it is progressive. And once you realize that, it's not funny. It's not a joke, and the people who joke about him have no clue."

Eustachy paused and thought for a moment.

"I mean, would you laugh at somebody who is battling cancer?" he asked. "Because that's what it is. It's a disease. And I know people will read this and say, 'That Eustachy is so full of sh--.' But it really is a disease. So why would you make fun of somebody with a disease? Why would you make jokes about it? I mean, I understand why, and I don't get angry about it, because I understand. But alcoholism is a disease. And I know what he's facing, and it's not funny."

Check out the complete article

Louisville Cardinals Announce 2009-10 Schedule

Louisville Cardinals 2009-10 Schedule

10/28/09 vs. GEORGETOWN COLLEGE (Exhib.) * FREEDOM HALL 7:00 p.m. ET
11/04/09 vs. BELLARMINE (Exhib.) * FREEDOM HALL 7:00 p.m. ET
11/17/09 vs. Arkansas St. Louis, Mo. 7:30 p.m. ET

Hall of Fame Showcase
11/22/09 vs. MORGAN STATE FREEDOM HALL 1:00 p.m. ET

11/28/09 at UNLV Las Vegas, Nev. 4:00 p.m. ET
12/02/09 vs. STETSON FREEDOM HALL 7:00 p.m. ET
12/16/09 vs. ORAL ROBERTS FREEDOM HALL 7:00 p.m. ET


12/27/09 vs. RADFORD FREEDOM HALL 1:00 p.m. ET
12/30/09 vs. USF # FREEDOM HALL TBA
01/02/10 at Kentucky Lexington, Ky. 3:30 p.m. ET
01/06/10 at Providence # Providence, R.I. TBA
01/09/10 vs. ST. JOHN'S # FREEDOM HALL TBA
01/11/10 vs. VILLANOVA # FREEDOM HALL 7:00 p.m. ET
01/16/10 at Pittsburgh # Pittsburgh, Pa. TBA
01/21/10 at Seton Hall # Newark, N.J. 7:00 p.m. ET
01/30/10 at West Virginia # Morgantown, W.Va. 12:00 p.m. ET
02/01/10 vs. CONNECTICUT # FREEDOM HALL 7:00 p.m. ET
02/11/10 at St. John's # New York, N.Y. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/14/10 at Syracuse # Syracuse, N.Y. 1:00 p.m. ET
02/17/10 vs. NOTRE DAME # FREEDOM HALL 7:00 p.m. ET
02/20/10 at DePaul # Chicago, Ill. TBA
02/23/10 vs. GEORGETOWN # FREEDOM HALL 7:00 p.m. ET
02/28/10 at Connecticut # Storrs, Conn. 2:00 p.m. ET
03/02/10 at Marquette # Milwaukee, Wisc. TBA
03/06/10 vs. SYRACUSE # FREEDOM HALL 2:00 p.m. ET

BIG EAST Tournament
03/09/10 BIG EAST Tournament New York, N.Y.
03/10/10 BIG EAST Tournament New York, N.Y.
03/11/10 BIG EAST Tournament New York, N.Y.
03/12/10 BIG EAST Tournament New York, N.Y.
03/13/10 BIG EAST Tournament New York, N.Y.

Kentucky Wesleyan Announces Exhibition Games

Press Release from Kentucky Wesleyan:

Eight-time NCAA Division II National Champion Kentucky Wesleyan added South Carolina and Evansville to their 2009-10 men's basketball schedule as exhibition contests, as announced by KWC fifth-year head coach Todd Lee.

The Panthers will compete against the Gamecocks for the second straight season on Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Colonial Life Arena (18,000) in Columbia, SC. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET. USC won 75-55 on Nov. 7, 2008.

"I really appreciate Coach Darrin Horn inviting us back to South Carolina for this opportunity," said Lee. "They will be one of the better teams in the SEC, with a lot of veterans returning. I know he feels we do a good job of getting them prepared for their season and it is a compliment to our players and program.

KWC returns two days later to face long time arch-rival Evansville on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Roberts Stadium (11,600) for a 7:05 CT start. The Aces last hosted the Panthers in November 2006 with a 84-75 exhibition victory.

Lee added, "This game will bring back a lot of memories for our fans of the great contests the Panthers have played at Roberts. Marty Simmons is building a program that will compete at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference. When he coached in our league, his teams were the best prepared in the Great Lakes Valley."

The Panthers concludes their three-game, five day exhibition tour with previous announced foe Purdue on Monday Nov. 9 at Mackey Arena (14, 123). This marks the first meeting with the Boilermakers and second exhibition with a Big Ten opponent (at Illinois, November 2007).

“We are very excited about our exhibition schedule and the obvious challenges these games will present," Lee said. "These three games in a five day period, which will be very demanding, will also occur twice during our league schedule this season."

Ticket information for all contests will be announced at a later date.

The Panthers return five letterwinners including four full or part-time starters from last season’s 19-9 squad that earned a trip to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship.

New Court Installed at Murray State

Press Release from Murray State:

The new basketball floor for the Regional Special Events Center arrived this week and was pieced together in quick fashion.

The new floor is just a part of the total improvement effort for the home of MSU Basketball.

The court features the MSU Racer logo at center with navy around the outside. The free throw lanes are the same navy color with gold basketballs marking the circles. The court also features the logos of the Ohio Valley Conference and the NCAA. The words Murray State and Racers are along each baseline.

Giant video boards and banners will also greet Racer fans when the season starts in November.

The Murray State men's and women's basketball teams will play on the new surface as well as the many high school teams in the region that use the floor.

Asbury Basketball Team Visits Shriner's Hospital

Asbury and Coach Shouse continue to impress with their off-the-court accolades. Press release from Asbury:

The Asbury men's basketball team visited Shriner's Children's Hospital in Lexington on Thursday night as a part of their "Champions of Character" participation with the NAIA. The players volunteered their help within the recreation and physical therapy part of the hospital for youth.

The trip was planned by Asbury coach Will Shouse and designed to allow the men on the team a chance to serve the surrounding community and ultimately lift the spirits of some young people within the hospital. The players found themselves involved in activities such as painting, playing cards, doing crafts, playing video games, and even shooting basketball with the patients.

"Hopefully we were able to give the kids at the hospital some encouragement and allow the staff a chance to get some help" Coach Shouse said. " I am not sure who enjoyed the trip more, us or the patients. We are thankful to Shriner's for giving us the opportunity to serve."

Asbury will take the court for the first time November 6th and 7th as they host the Zweifel Classic.

Oh What a Knight! Cats Closing in on 2010 PG?

Late tonight, I have heard from two reliable sources that Kentucky is close to picking up a commitment from 2010 superstar PG Brandon Knight. The 6'3", 185-pound guard from Ft. Lauderdale had a visit from the Kentucky staff tonight and early indications are that the meeting was very positive.

Knight is the #1 overall player in the 2010 Class according to

In other recruiting news, Dustin Rumbaugh at KSR is reporting tonight that Stacey Poole has eliminated Indiana from his list. Poole is now down to Kentucky, South Carolina and Clemson. Poole, a 6'5" forward, is ranked #27 on the 2010 Rivals150 List.

If the word on the street is accurate, Kentucky fans can look for at least two commitments for the 2010 Class soon. Oh what a Knight, indeed!

Follow Bluegrass State Basketball on Twitter for the latest updates

Jeremy Johnson Helps Oklahoma Win Third in Estonia

Former Lindsey Wilson star Jeremy Johnson has helped lead the UBL's Oklahoma Impact to a third-place finish at the Rakvere Cup. The tournament is part of the Impact's Estonia Tour.

In the consolation game, the Impact defeated Honka 61-55 to capture third place. Chad Barnes led the Impact with 21 points. Johnson added 10 points in the victory.


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