Saturday, October 10, 2009

AllKYHoops.com Shameless Plug


Here is a shameless self-plug:

Check out my guest column with the guys over at StraightPinkie.com

I recommend that all Kentucky and Louisville fans add StraightPinkie.com to your daily list of "must see" sites.




Memphis Files Well-Written Appeal to NCAA

The University of Memphis has filed its appeal to the NCAA, criticizing the reasoning behind sanctions that stripped the Tigers of their 38 wins in the 2007-2008 season, according to The Commercial Appeal.

The University of Memphis has filed its appeal to the NCAA, criticizing the reasoning behind sanctions that stripped the Tigers of their 38 wins in the 2007-2008 season, according to The Commercial Appeal.

The Memphis newspaper reports the 45-page brief argues that the penalties and its reasoning are unprecedented and improper.

The school particularly targets the so-called "strict liability" standard imposed after the NCAA ruled Derrick Rose was retroactively ineligible because of an SAT score that was invalidated by the Educational Testing Service in May 2008.

Under "strict liability," the NCAA punished Memphis even though it wasn't accused of being involved in the academic fraud. The NCAA Committee on Infractions argued that Rose did not respond to requests to retake the exam, forcing the NCAA to enforce the sanction.

"The Committee's statement concerning the finding that this is a 'strict liability situation' is not supported by evidence, precedent or logic," Memphis argued in the brief, the newspaper reported.

By upholding the penalties given to Memphis under the "strict-liability" standard, the school argues it sets a precedent that "will apply to [future] situations that do not warrant such treatment and could result in outcomes unacceptable to the Division 1 membership."

The appeal, which was obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, was filed Thursday after being prepared by law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King in Overland Park, Kan., as outside counsel.

The Infractions Appeals Committee will have 30 days to respond, and both the university and NCAA enforcement staff get a short period to comment. Memphis will have the last chance to respond before the committee's appeal.

Source: ESPN.com

I spoke to Dan Wolken of The Memphis Commerical-Appeal earlier and he had this to say about the appeal:

"I still think the appeal will ultimately be unsuccessful, but it was put together well by the Memphis legal team. Though the verdict against Memphis may well have been just, the 'strict liability' rationale used by the NCAA seemed very weak from the beginning. It allowed the NCAA to strip the wins without having to prove anything, and Memphis' appeal pokes a lot of holes in the NCAA's decision."

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Rick Pitino to Fans: "I am totally focused right now"


Rick Pitino stressed to the Louisville fans during this week's tipoff luncheon that he is focued on basketball heading into the season. He urged the large crowd to stay positive despite a long summer marred in Pitino's off-the-court issues.

"Don't succumb to being a critic," Pitino said. "Don't become part of that negative environment that just knocks and constantly says things that tear things down. Build things up. That's what positive people do."

Pitino told the fans that he is ready for basketball.

"I am totally focused right now, as I am every basketball season," he said.

He welcomed the Louisville fans to come out and see for themselves.

"Come first game of the season, we'll show our fans and show the country what we're all about," he said.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Terrence Williams Playing Well for New Jersey


Former Louisville Cardinal star Terrence Williams is off to a good start in NBA pre-season play.

In the Nets 93-92 loss to the 76er's tonight, Williams had 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Here is an article about Williams from NBA.com:

Devin Harris was missing when media entered the gym on Tuesday, finally emerging from the weight room, limping ever-so-slightly, as practice wound down around him. The Nets' point guard had tweaked his left ankle earlier, and smiled as he sold out the teammate responsible.

"Actually, Tasmanian Devil over there knocked out two guys today," said Harris, pointing toward Terrence Williams. "He stepped on my ankle and it rolled to the outside. I didn’t want to put any pressure on it today, but we'lll test it out tomorrow."

Harris seemed confident he'd be back at practice tomorrow, though the status of Courtney Lee – the other unintentional victim of Williams' at-practice aggressiveness – is more questionable. Lee's right ankle sprain appeared more serious intially, and he was taken to the hospital for X-rays. They came back negative, and he'll be re-evaluated before the start of tomrrow's session.

It's an unlucky moment for Lee, who sat out the weekend with soreness in his left foot, missing practice Friday and Saturday, as well as the preseason opener on Sunday. But the Nets don't play again until Friday at Philadelphia, which should allow him sufficient recovery time if the sprain proves to be minor.

"We want to get him back," said Harris of Lee. "He’s missed a couple practices and one preseason game, and we need to work him in just as much as anybody else. For me, I’ll play through it a little bit. I need these games as a gauge of how I need to play, so I’m really trying to get back out there tomorrow and see how it feels."

Ex-Card Francisco Garcia Breaks Arm in Weightroom


Sacramento Kings swingman Francisco Garcia will have surgery after breaking his right forearm while lifting weights.

The Kings said Garcia was injured on Friday and will have the surgery on Saturday. They provided no timeline for when he might return.

Last month, Garcia fractured his right ring finger.

The fifth-year player averaged 12.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 65 games, 36 starts, for Sacramento last season.

Source: ESPN.com

Marquis Teague Will No Longer Attend Madness at UK

Article from Jerry Tipton's Blog:

Marquis Teague, one of the highest rated players in the high school class of 2011, considered attending Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness next weekend.

But because UK will stage its Madness on Friday, a day his father must work, Teague will not make it.

“It would be very difficult to me to get him there,” said the player’s father, Shawn Teague. “We were talking about doing it. But it doesn’t work out.”

Teague, whose older brother Jeff starred at Wake Forest, is generally rated among the top five players in the high school junior class. He plays for Pike High in Indianapolis.
He has narrowed his list to Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Louisville, Wake Forest and Kentucky.

His father, who played for Rick Pitino at Boston U, said Marquis hoped to attend games to watch those teams play this coming season before making a decision.

Among the prospects expected to attend UK’s Big Blue Madness is Quincy Miller, according to the recruiting service Rivals.com. Miller is a 6-7 forward from Winston-Salem, N.C.

Chris Lofton To Play at Europe's Highest Level in Spain


Chris Lofton is heading to Spain to play for Caja Laboral, one of four Spanish teams in the Euroleague, the highest level of basketball in Europe. Lofton received a call from his agent Thursday with news of the deal, and Lofton began his trip to Spain early this afternoon. Lofton played for Mersin BSB. in the Turkish Basketball League last season-his first as a professional. He averaged 20.1 points a game (3rd best in the league), and had a 61-point game on April 25. Push play on the Flash-based player below to listen to my interview with Lofton during his layover in Charlotte, NC. (Source: Courtside With Danny Weddle)

I asked Pikeville College head coach Kelly Wells, who coached Lofton at Mason County High School, for his comments on Chris Lofton and this is what he had to say:

"Chris is the most deserving person of good fortune that I know! His work ethic, personality, and drive is unmatched in all my years in basketball. Chris comes from a great family, great community, and great basketball programs. I have CLO’s jersey from UT flying in my office with great pride!! He is exactly what a student, athlete, and man should be about in all avenues of his life."

Scott Co.'s Ge'lawn Guyn Considering Move to 2011 Class?


I was given an unverified rumor a few nights ago that Scott County's Ge'lawn Guyn is considering the idea of reclassifying to the 2011 recruiting class. I felt it unnecessary at the time to report an unverified rumor from an unknown source, but I have looked into the situation.

Apparently, the rumor is true and while it may or may not happen, Guyn is at least considering this move. I am told by a source I trust that things are about 50/50 at this point and it could go either way.

At the very least, this is something to keep an eye on as Guyn is one of the state's top recruits heading into his senior season at Scott County.

Jeannine Edwards Likes the New Kentucky Coach


John Calipari posted this image on Twitter. I must say that this is the most comfortable I've seen Jeannine Edwards look with a Kentucky head coach during the past 3 years.

Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com Previews the SEC

Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com has published his preview of SEC basketball for 2009-10. Here are some excerpts that involve the Kentucky Wildcats:

Top Storylines:

How will new Kentucky coach John Calipari mesh the old with the new? He inherited guys like Patrick Patterson and Darius Miller and brought in a terrific freshmen class led by John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe. Can they come together quickly enough to compete for the national title?

Predicted Finish:

EAST
1. Kentucky
2. Tennessee
3. Vanderbilt
4. Florida
5. South Carolina
6. Georgia

WEST
1. Ole Miss
2. Mississippi State
3. Arkansas
4. LSU
5. Alabama
6. Auburn

All-Conference Team:

SF Tyler Smith, Tennessee
PF Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
C Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State
SG Devan Downey, South Carolina
PG John Wall, Kentucky

Player of the Year: John Wall, Kentucky
Newcomer of the Year: John Wall, Kentucky

Freshmen to Watch:

John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky): It's not out of the question that all three could be starting for the Wildcats to open the season. Wall may be the most highly touted, but Bledsoe and Cousins are both impact guys as well.

Complete Article from FoxSports.com

Ex-Tiger Demetrius Guions Explodes in BJ League


Former Georgetown Tiger Demetrius Guions is off to an impressive start in this professional career.

Guions had 25 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in Sendai 89ers' 103-56 victory over Takamatsu FA. In the second game of the series, he had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in his team's 87-69 victory.

Guions competes in Japan's top-level BJ League.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Ex-Cat Jamaal Magloire Suspended by NBA for Fight


Miami Heat center Jamaal Magloire and Detroit's Jonas Jerebko have been suspended by the NBA for their altercation in a preseason game.

Magloire was penalized two games for starting the altercation and striking Jerebko in the face with 5:04 left in the fourth quarter of Detroit's 87-83 victory on Monday. Jerebko was suspended one game for retaliating and hitting Magloire in the face.

The NBA says Thursday that both players would serve their suspensions beginning with the first regular-season games they are physically able to play.

Source: ESPN.com

My Thoughts: Flashbacks of Wojo being tied into a pretzel and Billy Packer having a stroke...

KSU's Travis Grant Heading to Hall of Fame


Announcement from Kentucky State University:

One of Kentucky State University's and the NCAA's most prolific scorers, Travis Grant '79, will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Nov. 22. He will join fellow Class of 2009 inductees Ervin "Magic" Johnson, Larry Bird and Wayman Tisdale.

Grant led the KSU Thorobreds to three consecutive National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Basketball Championships and holds several college basketball scoring records, including most career points (4,045).

After a professional basketball career, Grant has worked as an athletic director, assistant principal and community organizer in the Atlanta, Ga., area.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Nov. 22 at the Midland Theatre in downtown Kansas City, Mo. Individual tickets will go on sale in September for $50 per ticket. Parties of 25 or more can purchase tickets for $40 each.

Make your check or money order payable to:

NABC Foundationc/o Premier Sports Management
7450 West 130th Street, Suite 360
Overland Park, KS 66213

For more information, call (913) 681-6990:

Jeff Hiller, ext. 111 or Tracie Dittemore, ext. 114

Also visit the following link:

Rick Pitino Speaks at Sold-Out Tipoff Luncheon

University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino entertained a sold-out crowd of over 1,100 fans at the annual Cardinal Tipoff Luncheon at the Louisville Downtown Marriott.

Pitino presented each returning player with their BIG EAST Championship ring from last year's successful season in which the Cardinals earned the top seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the NCAA Elite Eight with a 31-6 record. Pitino introduced each player and provided the fans with insight on the each.

The luncheon served as the platform to launch a new line of apparel which will celebrate the Cardinals' 54th and final season in tradition-rich Freedom Hall, the site of a dozen NCAA Tournament events including six Final Fours. U of L will move to a new 22,000-seat downtown arena for the 2010-11 season.

Complete Article

Division II Bulletin Poll: Bellarmine Ranked 5th Nationally

Division II Bulletin’s men’s basketball preseason national poll:

1. BYU-Hawaii
2. Findlay
3. Southwest Baptist
4. Cal Poly Pomona
5. Bellarmine
6. Tusculum
7. Merrimack
8. Augusta State
9. Florida Southern
10. Bentley
11. Valdosta State 12. SW Minnesota 13. Metro State14. Central Missouri 15. Winona State16. Kutztown 17. Central Oklahoma 18. Grand Valley State19. Philadelphia 20. Northern Kentucky 21. Delta State 22. Rollins 23. J.C. Smith 24. West Virginia State 25. Incarnate Word

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mid-South Conference Pre-Season Rankings Released


The Mid-South Conference, which is traditionally one of the most competitive leagues in NAIA basketball, has released its pre-season coaches' poll. Georgetown has a slight advantage over Cumberlands at the top of the rankings. Three votes separate Pikeville, Lindsey Wilson and Campbellsville in the middle of the conference.

Mid-South Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll

1. Georgetown College (5 First Place Votes) 47 Votes
2. University of the Cumberlands (1) 42
3. Pikeville College -- 33
4. Lindsey Wilson College (1) 32
5. Campbellsville University -- 30
6. West Virginia University Tech -- 19
7. St. Catharine College -- 14
8. University of Rio Grande -- 7

Campbellsville's Nestor Colmenares Recognized Nationally


Press Release from Campbellsville:

National media is already catching on to what Campbellsville University men's basketball head coach Keith Adkins knows: Nestor Colmenares is an All-American caliber player. Sporting News named the 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward from Venezuela a First Team All-American in its college basketball NAIA preview.

Colmenares missed the 2008-09 season, but returns for his senior year after being an NAIA Second Team All-American in 2007-08 as a junior and averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds a game. He is expected to be the veteran leadership for the Tigers this winter.

"We have what should be one of the premier players in NAIA basketball. We will set the bar pretty high for him this season. If he can continue to raise his level of play, then we may have a chance to do some special things this year," Adkins said. "Every time we step on the floor, we need him to be able to compete to be the best player on the floor. He is a high energy guy that our other players need to follow."

Colmenares will make his return Nov. 2 when the Tigers open the season in a regionally televised exhibition against the University of Kentucky at Rupp Arena. Fox Sports South will broadcast the game, which begins at 7 p.m.

Morehead State to Make Appearances on ESPNU

Article from MSUEagles.com:

Morehead State basketball will appear on ESPNU four times in 2009-10 during the regular season the Ohio Valley Conference announced Thursday.

Three Eagle men's basketball games will be carried by ESPNU, beginning with the MSU regular season opener at Kentucky on Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. The Eagles kick off 2010 with a Jan. 2 women's-men's doubleheader on the network at home versus Austin Peay. Morehead State's away game at Eastern Illinois will also be shown on ESPNU.

The OVC schedule includes 13 total games that will air on either ESPN2 or ESPNU during the year. The The OVC Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship game will also air on ESPN2. The OVC Tournament semifinals (which will air on ESPNU) and finals will be held at the Sommet Center in Nashville on March 5-6.

2009-10 Morehead State ESPNU Television Schedule

Friday, Nov. 13 Morehead State at Kentucky 6:00 p.m. EST ESPNU
Saturday, Jan. 2 Austin Peay at Morehead State (Women’s Game) 5:30 p.m. CT ESPNU
Saturday, Jan. 2 Austin Peay at Morehead State 8:00 p.m. CT ESPNU
Thursday, Feb. 11 Morehead State at Eastern Illinois 8:00 p.m. CT ESPNU
Friday, March 5 OVC Men’s Tournament – Semifinal #1 6:00 p.m. CT ESPNU
Friday, March 5 OVC Men’s Tournament – Semifinal #2 8:30 p.m. CT ESPNUS
aturday, March 6 OVC Men’s Tournament – Championship 7:00 p.m. CT ESPN2

Passion Leads Coach to Custom College Recruiting


Shane Howard created Custom College Recruiting out of his love for the game of basketball.

Who is Shane Howard?

Shane is a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and his basketball career started at Bowling Green High School, where tradition and success in sports rivals that of any high school across the nation. At BGHS, he played under KHSAA Hall of Fame Coach Ernie Simpson in a system that centered on the idea of “team” basketball. Simpson taught his players to work hard and focus on the team and everything else will follow.

During his years as a Bowling Green Purple, Shane was greatly affected by basketball. He came to the high school team from a less-than-fortunate background, like many of today’s high school athletes. He attributes his drive and motivation in life today to the staff and faculty at BGHS, who pushed him with compassion.

“They never gave up on me and always pushed me. We don’t realize it when we are going through it, but for that, I owe a lot to them and the school,” says Howard.

As a Purple, Shane realized the fruits of playing basketball, such as being a part of a team and how it bonds you into strong relationships with your teammates. Howard and five other teammates were in the same graduating class at BGHS and to this day they remain very close.

“Yeah, those guys are my brothers. We have been together through life and basketball. I’ll always love those guys and it’s amazing how close we are after all these years. I would not be where I am today or whom I am today without basketball or those guys that I played and graduated with and the teachers and staff that never gave up on me,” Shane states.

His foundation in Bowling Green leaves Howard feeling as if he owes the game.

He admits, “I feel that I owe more than I can ever give the game of basketball.”

Fast forward to the summer of 2009:

Having coached in high school and also coaching and recruiting in college, Shane observed a need amongst high school athletes around the country. He made the observation that the athletes outside the top 150 elite players in the country have very little assistance in the process of getting into college. In fact, he noted that the large majority of kids are limited in even getting their names out to prospective schools.

“I recognized that there is such a need not only to help the kids get known, but also to help educate that level of athlete and their families on the process and opportunities that are available to them,” Howard explains.

Having witnessed this need and knowing numerous college, high school and AAU coaches nationwide; his motivation exploded and now Shane Howard intends to give back to the sport that he owes so much to.

Introducing Custom College Recruiting:

Custom College Recruiting is a company that will provide valuable services that have never been offered to young basketball players. Howard has organized an unparalleled network of coaches from all levels including high school, AAU and every level of college. He continues to add coaches daily.

The organization will reach out to high school kids that do not fall in the elite 150-250 players in the nation. These kids will be provided with a customized recruiting process that will give them valuable exposure to college coaches and hands-on assistance with the entire recruiting process.

Some benefits that prospective recruits will earn through Custom College Recruiting include:

- Professional assistance with college eligibility status, including help with ACT/SAT requirements, GPA information and proper completion of FAFSA documentation
- Assistance will make the college decision-making process less stressful for the athlete and the athlete’s family
- Weekly compilation of high school stats that will forwarded to prospective coaches during the high school season
- Easy forwarding of player highlight tapes to coaches
- Quarterly updates on academic progress will be discussed with players, families and coaches
- All recruiting visits and information about workouts/tryouts will be given to players
- Direct feedback from coaches will be provided

Custom College Recruiting is a service that will not only benefit potential student athletes, but also college coaches and recruiters. There are several convenient advantages that coaches can utilize through using the company:

- Provides information on players that coaching staffs may have no knowledge of
- Decrease the recruiting “leg work” that every coaching staff faces when searching for possible student athletes
- Information, including demographics, contact information, statistics and player updates will be readily available and easily obtained by coaches
- No expenses for coaching staffs to participate
- All coaches in the network will be invited to attend all Custom College Recruiting exposure events free of charge and will be provided with discounted lodging

Howard’s business will be a one-of-a-kind venture that truly services both sides of the recruiting coin. Custom College Recruiting will be a revolutionary benefit to both players and coaches. Most importantly, it will be a positive endeavor for the game of basketball. Shane Howard is giving back to the sport he loves.

To contact Howard for questions or information:

Coach Shane Howard
President
Custom College Recruiting LLC
(270)903-0802
http://www.customcollegerecruiting.com/

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ex-Cat Jodie Meeks Reaches Double-Figures

Former Kentucky Wildcat All-American Jodie Meeks scored double figures in his second NBA pre-season game. Meeks went for 10 points on 4-12 shooting in over 22 minutes of action. He was 2-4 from three-point land for the game.

- Ex-Cat Tayshaun Prince scored 2 points in 18 minutes tonight for the Pistons

- Former UK big man Randolph Morris scored 2 points in limited action for the Hawks

Alice Lloyd Basketball to Hold Midnight Madness

Press Release from Alice Lloyd:

The annual basketball Midnight Madness will be held on Thursday, October 8th, at 8:00 pm. This will be a great opportunity to meet the 2009-2010 version of the ALC Lady Eagles and Eagles.

Lady Eagles coach Betty Noble-Acevedo and Eagles coach JR Hammond will introduce their respective teams, as will cheerleading coach, Kristi Crum.

There will be many fun activities including: shooting competitions, a slam dunk competition, and competitions involving the fans. A special giveaway will award 2 tickets to one lucky fan to see the Altered Minds Tour on November 5th.

We invite everyone to come to the Grady Nutt Athletic Center for a night filled with excitement! Let's welcome the 2009-2010 editions of the Lady Eagles and Eagles basketball squads!

Pre-Season All-America? John Wall is THAT Good


CBSSports.com has named its NCAA pre-season All-America Team and sitting on top of the list is Kentucky freshman point guard John Wall. Wall has not dribbled a ball during a college game, but he is listed as First Team Pre-Season All-America by CBS Sports. Why?

"The guy is that gifted, " says Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com.

John Wall is considered a Durant/Beasley-type freshman. On his chances at being named NCAA Player of the Year, Kentucky head coach John Calipari says:

"He's chasing it. He's absolutely chasing it."

John Wall is going to be something special to watch, folks. And, believe it or not, basketball season is right around the corner!

CBSSports.com Pre-Season All-America Teams

First Team:

Guard: John Wall, Kentucky
Guard: Willie Warren, Oklahoma
Forward: Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
Forward: Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Center: Cole Aldrich, Kansas

Second Team:

Guard: Sherron Collins, Kansas
Guard: Avery Bradley, Texas
Forward: Kyle Singler, Duke
Forward: Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
Forward: Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech

Other Players Under Consideration:

- DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
- Samardo Samuels, Louisville

Tickets on Sale for Louisville vs. Georgetown College

Announcement from Georgetown:

Tickets are now on sale for the Georgetown College at University of Louisville men's basketball exhibition game on Oct. 28. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are $32 each and are available to the campus community and general public at the campus bookstore until Oct. 14 or when they are sold out. The store hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Freedom Hall.

Bellarmine Chosen Pre-Season #1 Team in Nation

Some of the top-level NCAA DII basketball in the country will be played right here in the Bluegrass State in 2009-10. Bellarmine has been selected as the pre-season #1 team in the nation by The Sporting News. In addition, Northern Kentucky is listed as a "Possible Breakthrough" on the list. Add Kentucky Wesleyan to the group and there is no question that this will be an exciting season for DII basketball in Kentucky.

The Sporting News
NCAA Division II Preview

Top 10:

1. Bellarmine
2. BYU-Hawaii
3. Central Missouri
4. Valdosta State
5. Bentley
6. Indiana (Pa.)
7. Grand Valley State
8. Humboldt State
9. Cal Poly Pomona
10. St. Cloud State

Possible Breakthroughs:

Adelphia, Arkansas Tech, Augusta State, Barton, Bridgeport, Cal State-San Bernardino, Central Oklahoma, Central Washington, Christian Brothers, Dallas Baptist, Findlay, Florida Southern, Johnson C. Smith, Kutztown, LeMoyne, Massachusetts-Lowell, Merrimack, Metropolitan State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Northern Kentucky, Philadelphia, Saint Anselm, Seattle Pacific, Southern Indiana, Southwest Baptist, Southwest Minnesota State, Tarleton State, Tusculum, Virginia Union, West Liberty State, Western Washington and Winona State.

Source: The Sporting News

NKU's Maguire Named Pre-Season All-America Candidate

Northern Kentucky University’s Dustin Maguire has been selected as a preseason All-America candidate by The Sporting News in its NCAA Division II college basketball preview.

Maguire, a 6-foot-5 junior guard, averaged a team-leading 15.0 points per game last season and helped NKU win the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament championship. Maguire finished No. 1 nationally among NCAA Division II players in free-throw shooting at 93.6 percent and was 76-for-191 from 3-point range.

Bellarmine is ranked No. 1 nationally in The Sporting News preseason poll, while NKU was listed as a possible breakthrough team.

Source: NKUNorse.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NBA Pre-Season and International Updates


- Ex-Kentucky Wildcat Gerald Fitch led all scorers with 22 points in Fuenlabrada's 86-80 loss to Khimky in pre-season Spanish ACB action.

- Former Murray State Racer Deteri Mayes led all players with 25 points as his Gmunden squad toppled Kapfenberg by a score of 85-82 in Austria's A Budesliga league.

- Ex-Western Kentucky Hilltopper Pop Thornton scored 20 points in Sayago's 85-65 loss to Olimpia. Sayago competes in Uruguay's LUB league.

- Ex-Cat Nazr Mohammed (pictured) spent the summer in the gym in hopes of resurrecting his NBA career and his hard works seems to be paying dividends. Mohammed was 5-7 from the field in scoring 10 points and pulling down 8 rebounds for the Charlotte Bobcats tonight.

- Keith Bogans made his pre-season debut with the San Antonio Spurs. The former UK star was scoreless in 16 minutes against the Rockets. Another ex-Cat, Chuck Hayes, scored 2 points and grabbed 4 rebounds for Houston.

Sources: ESPN.com, EuroBasket.com, LatinBasket.com

Ex-Cat Derrick Jasper Named Newcomer of the Year

Former Kentucky point guard Derrick Jasper, who transferred to UNLV during Billy Gillispie's tenure as head coach, has been named Newcomer of the Year for the Mountain West Conference (hat tip to TrueBlueKentucky.com). Here is an excerpt from the article:

Preseason Newcomer of the Year

Derrick Jasper (6-6, 215, Jr., G, UNLV) - Sat out the 2008-09 season after transferring to UNLV from the University of Kentucky. As a true freshman in 2006-07, he played in 34 games for the Wildcats, starting the final 27. He was second on the team and third among SEC freshmen with 2.9 assists per game while shooting 61 percent from the field. Jasper missed 11 games during his sophomore season (10 while rehabilitating from offseason knee surgery), but finished the year shooting 46 percent from 3-point range and averaging 5.5 rebounds per game.

Complete Article from KSL.com

2010 Star C.J. Leslie to Kentucky?


I was told this morning that Kentucky is in a good position to possibly pick up a commitment from 6'8" forward C.J. Leslie following Big Blue Madness. I was reluctant in giving out the name, but several other sites are now reporting Leslie's name, so the "Cat" is out of the bag (pun intended).

Leslie is an athletic forward that is ranked #14 on the Rivals150 List for 2010. He plays for Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh (NC) and was a high school teammate of Kentucky freshman point guard John Wall.

If Leslie does indeed commit, he will join Stacey Poole in Kentucky's 2010 recruiting class.

Louisville Gives Offer to 2010 SG Jesse Morgan


Jesse Morgan, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound shooting guard known as “The Takeover,” has picked up offers from Louisville and Rutgers and will tentatively visit Seton Hall this weekend.

“[Rick] Pitino and Fred Hill were in yesterday [Monday]. They both offered yesterday,” said South Kent (Conn.) coach Kelvin Jefferson.

“Right now Louisville and Rutgers both want him up the same weekend, the weekend of the 16th so I don’t know what Jesse’s going to do.”

Update on Shelby Valley's Elisha Justice


I talked to someone close to Shelby Valley point guard sensation Elisha Justice this morning and learned that Justice picked up an offer from Eastern Kentucky University during the past week.

Eastern joins Jacksonville University on Justice's lists of offers. Coaches from Radford, Marshall, Navy and Morehead State have been to Shelby Valley to watch Justice in open gym.

Louisville assistant and former UK star Walter McCarty will be visiting Pike County this week for open gym. The Cardinals have expressed interest in bringing Justice in as a walk-on during the first year with an opportunity to earn a scholarship the following season.

From all that I've heard about Justice's play this summer, my guess is that his list of offers will increase dramatically during his senior season.

Pikeville College to Introduce Team Oct. 13


Pikeville College Bears
Basketball Blast-Off

- “Homecoming Week”
- Tuesday, October 13th @ PC Gym
- Immediately following 7:00 volleyball vs. Campbellsville
- Free/Open to Public

http://www.pc.edu/homecoming/2009.aspx

Gerald Fitch Playing Well Early in Spain


Former Kentucky guard Gerald Fitch is fully recovered from a hand injury he suffered several weeks ago. For the second consecutive game, Fitch has scored double figures for Fuenlabrada in Spain's top-level ACB League. Fitch scored 15 points in a 79-75 victory over Estudiantes.

Fuenlabrada begins regular season play on October 10 against Unicaja.

Other International News:

- Former Western Kentucky Hilltopper Japeth Aguilar led all scorers with 24 points in a benefit game in the Phillipines.

- Former Hilltopper Elgrace Wilborn continues to dominate post play in Uruguay. In an 81-76 loss to Trouville, Wilborn led his Atenas team with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks.

- Ex-Morehead State Eagle star Ricky Minard put in 14 points in Lottomatica Roma's 75-73 loss to Montegranaro in the Vito Lepore pre-season tournament.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Western Kentucky's Hilltopper Hysteria Announced

Western Kentucky's basketball teams will be introduced during Hilltopper Hysteria on October 16, following a volleyball match.

The basketball event is scheduled to kick off around 9:00 p.m.

Source: WKUSports.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

UK Will Host All-Student Practice at Memorial Coliseum

There have been rumors circulating that many students were upset that they waited in line for Big Blue Madness tickets, only to discover that their efforts produced no tickets. What will UK do to resolve the situation? How about hosting a "student only" practice at Memorial Coliseum on October 23?

Announcement from UKAthletics.com:

The University of Kentucky men's basketball team will be hosting a “student only” practice sponsored by Joe Craft and Friends of Coal, on Friday, October 23 in Memorial Coliseum at a time to be announced.

The only way to be admitted into the special practice is with both a UK student ID and a blue “MEMBER OF THE BIG BLUE NATION” wristband. A few ways students can obtain the necessary wristband is as follows:

The first 500 UK students at the following events will receive a wristband (must show valid UK student ID). Admission is free for UK students at the following events:

- Men's Soccer vs. Tulsa 7 p.m., Wed., Oct. 7 at UK Soccer Complex (gates open at 6:00 pm)
- Women's Soccer vs. LSU7 p.m., Fri., Oct. 9 at UK Soccer Complex (gates open at 6:00 pm)
- Volleyball vs. Tennessee7 p.m., Wed., Oct. 21 at Memorial Coliseum (doors open at 5:30 pm)

UK's Josh Harrellson Discusses Life on the Throne


There is a nice article by Jerry Tipton on Kentucky.com today that focuses on Kentucky big man Josh Harrellson. Here are some excerpts from Tipton's article:

Harrellson on feeling comfortable heading into the season:

"Because I've been through the battles," he said.

On being sent to the bathroom stall during halftime at Vanderbilt last season by former head coach Billy Gillispie:

The bathroom was connected," Harrellson said in trying to downplay the significance of incident. "I still listened to the game plan. I still watched what he (Gillispie) was doing."

Harrellson acknowledged feeling humiliated "a little bit," but added that the banishment inflicted no lasting damage.

"I didn't take it any way," he said. "I just knew he (Gillispie) was frustrated because of what was going on. Nobody playing hard or good at the time."

On Gillispie forcing him to ride an equipment truck back home from Nashville after the Vanderbilt loss:

"That's because I had a class at eight in the morning, supposedly," Harrellson said. "Because the equipment truck was faster. Something like that."

When asked if that explanation should be believed, Harrellson said, "Nope."

On being singled out by Gillispie:

"I'm not sure," he said. "I'm still trying to figure it out myself. I don't think anybody knows."

On his relationship with Gillispie:

"We had a really good relationship," he said of Gillispie. "Getting to know him while he was recruiting me, I liked him a lot. We built a good relationship. He liked me as a player and he liked me as a person. I think he wanted the best for me. I didn't play the way he wanted me to play."

UK head coach John Calipari describes Harrellson as finding a "diamond in the rough":

"There are games you just need a big guy, just be big, just get in there and be big," Calipari said. "He can do that. He's in a nine- or 10-man rotation. You've got another guy with that size. How many teams do?"

UK Named Top All-Time Program, Forde's Head Explodes


The ESPN/Sagarin All-Time Rankings have been released and the University of Kentucky Wildcats top the list of the nation's all-time best basketball programs. Kentucky scored an 89.81 ranking, which was two full points better than UCLA, Kansas, North Carolina and Indiana.

The Louisville Cardinals were ranked a very respectable 11th on the list and Western Kentucky made the top 50 at #44. Other Kentucky schools include Murray State at #99, Eastern Kentucky at #136 and Morehead State at #159.

Binghamton, which can't seem to catch a break these days, holds the dubious distinction of being #330 (aka the bottom of the list).

Kentucky coach John Calipari had a difficult time expressing what this means to him.

"To be a part of this program, with this storied history, it humbles you," Calipari said of his new school's top ranking. "Once I traveled the state, I understood the importance to all of Kentucky."

Of course, Kentucky's new arch nemesis Pat Forde, who happens to be a native of Kentucky, quickly wrote an article to discredit Sagarin's rankings. Here is an excerpt from Forde's piece:

And then there is No. 1.

Sagarin says the all-time kingpin of college basketball is Kentucky, and he says it's not close. By his rating formula, the Wildcats are farther ahead of No. 2 UCLA than the Bruins are ahead of No. 7 Duke. The 2.24-point gap is the largest between any two teams in the entire 330-team ranking.

It's worth noting that Sagarin's formula counts NCAA tournament wins as double, but does not give any additional bonus for national titles, thus negating UCLA's advantage in that category. (The Bruins have four more national titles than the Wildcats, but trail 100-99 in overall tournament wins.)

And there's no question UK has a lot to brag about: the most wins in NCAA history; seven national championships; 13 Final Four appearances; a record 50 NCAA tournament bids; a record 43 Southeastern Conference championships; national titles won under four difference coaches; and the most ardent fan base in America.

But Kentucky should not be No. 1. No computer takes into account a program's NCAA rap sheet, and the Wildcats have a long history of problems. They were given the de facto first death penalty, forbidden from intercollegiate play for the 1953-54 season. There was a point-shaving scandal. There have been multiple NCAA probations.

Kentucky also thrived for decades in an all-white league while African-Americans were taking over the game elsewhere. It's probably not coincidence that Adolph Rupp's long era of domination started waning as black players began to make their impact on the sport in the late 1950s and 1960s. Rupp's last national title came in 1958, and his last Final Four ended in defeat in the famous game against all-black Texas Western in 1966.

Forde argues that the top 5 should be: UCLA, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana and Kansas. He also masterfully finds a way to work Louisville up to #7. Does Forde have a problem with John Calipari or is it just me?



Billy Gillispie's DUI Trial Dates are Set

Article from KentuckyKernel.com:

A final pretrial date of Nov. 2 and trial date of Feb. 10. has been set in former UK men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie’s drunken driving case.

In what could best be described as a scheduling date at the Anderson County Courthouse at 9 a.m. on Monday, the next two dates were set for Gillispie’s case involving his DUI charge in Anderson County on Aug. 27.

Gillispie was offered a plea bargain by Anderson County attorney Bobbi Jo Lewis on Sept. 23. Nothing has since stemmed from that bargain.

It was the third time Gillispie had been arrested on alcohol-related driving charges, though he has never been convicted of DUI.

Gillispie has since checked into an alcohol rehab clinic in Houston.

Former Louisville Duo Joins Forces Again in Spain


Former Louisville Cardinal teammates Juan Palacios and David Padgett has joined forces again as they now play for U.B. La Palma in Spain's second-level LEB Gold League.

In the first game of the new season, Palacios led the team to a 74-69 victory over Clinicas Rincon Axarquia as he scored 17 points and pulled down 4 rebounds. Padgett added 13 points and 5 rebounds in the victory.

Other International News:

- Former Murray State Racer Duane Virgil opened played in Spain's third-level LEB Silver League by scoring 21 points and pulling down 6 rebounds. Virgil's Alcazar club defeated Illescas 78-76.

- Yet another former Western Kentucky player has discovered an international basketball career. Former Hilltopper Boris Siakam has found a home with Issa Town in Bahrain's Premier League.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Meeks, Williams Make NBA Pre-Season Debuts


Former University of Louisville forward Terrence Williams opened the NBA pre-season by scoring 11 points and pulling down 7 rebounds in New Jersey's 115-107 loss to the New York Knicks.

Ex-Kentucky Wildcat Joe Crawford scored 3 points for the Knicks in 6 minutes of action.

Former Wildcat Jodie Meeks also made his pre-season debut tonight as the Bucks lost to the Timberwolves by a score of 117-113. Meeks is off to a good start as he scored 7 points in 12 minutes of action.


Source: ESPN.com

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ex-Cat Miller Adds to Statewide List of Charges

Former Kentucky Wildcat Derrick Miller used to rack up three-pointers on the hardwood. Now, he's racking up something else - criminal charges. Here is the latest article from LEX18.com that discusses Miller's case:

There's more trouble for former UK basketball star Derrick Miller.

The Maysville Ledger Independent reports a grand jury will determine Monday whether to indict Miller after investigators say he sold fake UK season tickets to two people in Fleming County.

Miller already faces similar charges in Fayette and Clark counties.

Hundreds of Dollars to Watch a Glorified UK Practice?


This screen shot saddens me a bit. This is an actual screenshot from eBay, the nation's most highly regarded auction site, after doing a search for "Kentucky Big Blue Madness." This troubles me for several reasons:

- There are many people that worked hard to get those tickets the right way, but were turned away empty-handed. It troubles me that many folks worked hard to get these tickets so they could make a buck.

- I know it is a staple of Kentucky basketball, but Big Blue Madness is really nothing more than a light practice. It bothers me for some reason that people are able to make $500 and up on tickets to a glorified practice. I saw tickets to the Super Bowl in February that were around $500. Think about that...

Now, after stating those two points, let me look at this from another angle.

- John Calipari mentioned having a Big Blue Madness at Commonwealth Stadium one of these days. As crazy as that sounded to some, I have no doubts that the stadium would be sold out - for a practice.

- As disturbing as that screenshot is, I sure hope some potential UK recruits happen upon this post. If you are a top recruit that is considering the Kentucky Wildcats as your destination, here's some food for thought - your potential 24,000-seat arena has been sold out...for a practice. There is an online auction for 4 tickets to a practice that has been bid on 14 times and currently sits at $588.89. Your potential head coach camped out with hundreds of Kentucky fans Friday night. There were almost 500 tents outside of the ticket window and some had been there for days. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that compares to the Big Blue Nation in terms of fan support and passion. Think about that...

Big Blue Madness Sells Out in 45 Minutes

Release from UKAthletics.com:

Once again, Kentucky fans have demonstrated their insatiable appetite for basketball. All tickets to the 2009 Big Blue Madness were snapped up in the first 45 minutes of availability Saturday morning.

Thousands of fans were present at UK's Memorial Coliseum ticket office Saturday at 6 a.m. when the distribution of free tickets began. Others obtained their tickets via the school's Website, UKathletics.com and ticketmaster.com.

Despite the fact that fans were limited to two tickets per person at UK's Memorial Coliseum ticket office and two per household online, this year's Big Blue Madness event sold out in 45 minutes.

Big Blue Madness, the first practice opportunity for Kentucky's 2009-10 men's and women's basketball teams, is Friday, Oct.16, at 7:30 p.m. Fans will be allowed to enter Rupp Arena beginning at 6 p.m. the night of Big Blue Madness.

This will be the fifth time Madness has been held at Rupp Arena.

Ex-Cat Ramel Bradley Drops 30 in First Game of Season


Former Kentucky Wildcat guard Ramel Bradley, who is widely considered one of the more popular recent Cats, opened the season in France in a big way. Bradley started and exploded for 30 points and 4 assists in JDA Dijon Bourgogne's 81-75 victory over Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket.

Bradley's team competes in France's top-level ProA League.

Other International News:

- Former Western Kentucky Hilltopper Orlando Mendez-Valdez had 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in Halcones UV Xalapa's 88-71 victory over Libertadores De Queretaro. Mendez-Valdez and his teammates are off to an impressive 7-0 start in Mexico's LNBP League.

- Former Western Kentucky Hilltopper Pop Thornton had 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in Sayago's 84-82 win over Tabare in Uruguay's LUB League.

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