Saturday, October 24, 2009

Morehead State Blue/Gold Scrimmage Pictures






Update on WKU/SMU Recruit Leslee Smith

Houston area forward Leslee Smith has completed his visit to SMU. I talked to a source close to Smith and he said it was an enjoyable visit and the player will now focus on making a commitment decision between SMU and Western Kentucky.

Smith will be announcing his decision sometime early on Monday morning.

Former Wildcat Gerald Fitch Explodes for 41 in Spain


Former Kentucky Wildcat shooting guard Gerald Fitch scorched the nets for 41 points today in A.G. Fuenlabrada's 90-82 victory over L.A. Costablanca. Fitch, who now leads the top-level league in scoring at 28.3 points per game, was 7-9 from 3-point range and 6-7 from the free throw line. He added 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the game.

In four games this season, Fitch has shown signs of greatness from long range. He is now 19-34 for a blistering 55.9% from beyond the 3-point line.

Fuenlabrada is off to an impressive 4-0 start in league play (Source: EuroBasket.com).

Adreian Payne Commitment Coming Soon?

The much-anticipated decision of 2010 forward Adreian Payne may be coming soon.

ESPN announced yesterday that Payne had cancelled his visit to Kansas and trimmed his final list for four schools. Most recruiting insiders have thought for a while now that Payne is actually down to West Virginia and Kentucky.

I spoke to Dustin Rumbaugh from Kentucky Sports Radio tonight and he says communication with Payne's high school coach seems to indicate that a commitment is coming soon - perhaps as early as Monday.

Payne's coach did say that a decision has not been made at this point, although the prevailing belief seems to be that Payne is a slight West Virginia lean.

T-Will Leads All Scorers in Nets' Victory


Former University of Louisville forward Terrence "T-Will" Williams led all scorers with 23 points in New Jersey's 110-88 preseason victory over Philadelphia.

Williams, the Nets' first round draft pick in this summers' NBA Draft, was 7-13 from the field, 2-5 from long range and 7-9 from the free throw stripe in 32 minutes of action. He also added 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals for the Nets.


Other NBA News of Interest:

- Jodie Meeks (Kentucky) - DNP, Coach's Decision for Milwaukee

- Randolph Morris (Kentucky) - 11 points, 5 rebounds in 15 minutes for Atlanta

- Nazr Mohammed (Kentucky) - 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks in 15 minutes for Charlotte

- Keith Bogans (Kentucky) - 0 points in 8 minutes for San Antonio

- Chuck Hayes (Kentucky) - 4 points, 2 rebounds in 17 minutes for Houston

Centre Colonels Ranked #21 in D3hoops.com Poll

The Centre Colonels have a preseason ranking of #21 in the newly released D3hoops.com poll. Centre is the only SCAC team ranked in the top 25.

Last season, the Colonels finished up with a 23-5 overall record and an appearance in the NCAA DIII national tournament.

Centre will be led by senior Danny Noll (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.), junior Alex Lloyd (Versailles, Ky.), and sophomore Jeff Mullaney (Louisville, Ky.).

Source: Centre.edu

Donation to UK for New Basketball Dorm

Excerpt from article on Kentucky.com:

Goodbye, Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge. Hello, Wildcat Coal Lodge?

A group of donors who have put up $7 million for a new residence for the University of Kentucky men's basketball team have required that "Coal" be its middle name.

On Tuesday, the board of trustees will take up a recommendation from UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. to approve what the agenda item describes as "the request." It already has been approved by the Committee on Naming University Buildings.

The new lodge is planned for what is now a parking lot just northeast of Memorial Coliseum.

UK spokesman Jimmy Stanton said the only donor the school has a formal agreement with is Joseph W. Craft III, who heads Alliance Coal and has given UK money in the past. The Joe Craft Center, a basketball practice facility, is named in his honor.

Craft put together a group of UK supporters called the Difference Makers to come up with the $7 million, Stanton said.

"This is a project that Mr. Craft feels is important and wanted to fund," he said. "The reality is that if this building is not constructed, this pledge will not be fulfilled."

Continue Article on Kentucky.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Worst Article in the History of Sports Articles?


I am a very respectful person. I'll listen to basically any opinion on any subject and even if I disagree 100%, I'll still listen and respect what another person has to say. I'm going to have to take a different approach to this absolute disaster of an article from a Florida Gators blog. This is one of the more elementary-level posts I have ever discovered on a so-called blog:

John Wall and the Kentucky Basketball Program and Controversy.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 10:51 PM Posted by Candice

Here we go Kentucky fans...the first of many controversies to come surrounding your program. Oh, wait, thats not true. There have been plenty others...I am just too tired to name them all.

Anyway, while most smart programs stayed away from Wall and his handler and his eligiblity issues. You bought right in....literally...lol.

So, here's the link to the story. Also, here is a comment from a message board that was just too good to leave alone:

"This is nothing more than a scene out of the movie Blue Chips. I know for a fact that Roy Williams at North Carolina backed away from Wall because of this very reason. John Calipari has the ball rolling in Kentucky, this will be a downfall of epic proportions. Also, again why is nobody mentioning the fact that Cousins has NOT taken any standardized tests of any nature. There were also rumors out of Kansas that Kentucky boosters tried to offer Xavier Henry $400,000 dollars and a package deal to get him and CJ Henry to bail on Kansas. John Calipari has World Wide Wes and Brian Clifton in Lexington...WOW"

This wonderful piece of American literature can be found here. I hate to give such a low-level site any hits, but pointing Big Blue Nation to the "comments section" is just irresistible.

2010 PF Adreian Payne Down to Four Schools


ESPN is reporting that 2010 power forward Adreian Payne has trimmed his final list to four schools. Here is the note from ESPN:

ESPNU 100 power forward Adreian Payne has confirmed to ESPN's Scouts Inc. that he has narrowed his list to four schools.

Payne, ranked No. 23 overall in the 2010 class, will decide among Arizona, Michigan State, West Virginia and Kentucky.

The general consensus in the recruiting world seems to be that Payne is actually about to choose between Kentucky and West Virginia. The way that he was welcomed through various NCAA rules violations in Morgantown, it will be no shocker at all if he chooses WVU (just a heads up for UK fans to help ease the disappointment if he doesn't choose the Cats).

St. Catharine's Patriot Madness Video

Here is the excellent introduction video from St. Catharine's Patriot Madness event:

Patriot Madness from Ming Li on Vimeo.

Fans Meet Racers at Murray State's Fan Jam Event


The Murray State basketball teams held Racer Fan Jam Saturday at the Regional Special Events Center.

Fans had the chance to meet players and coached from both the MSU women’s and men's teams and get autographs.

The new video boards in the RSEC were in use for the first time.

CLICK HERE to see photos from Racer Fan Jam.

The Racer men open the season Nov. 5 at home against Bethel in an exhibition game.

The season opener for the Racer women is Nov. 13 at Alabama A&M.


Source: GoRacers.com

John Wall "Story" is More of a Tall Tale than a Story


Here is an excerpt of comments from well-respected recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com. The complete article appears on KyKernel.com:

“Everyone knew (Brian Clifton) was an agent,” Meyer said. “I don’t know what the story is other than that the SEC commissioner spoke on it.”

Meyer added that the so-called "story" isn't actually a story at all:

“That’s why I don’t think it’s a story,” Meyer said. “UK is doing their due diligence. Unless something happened beyond the obvious fact that they played for Clifton, it’s not a story. Are they going to rule everyone who played for D-One Sports ineligible? Everyone knew he was an agent. It’s just odd to me.”

He did admit:

“UK and Cal are a lightning rod (for the NCAA),” Meyer said.

It looks like this story is nothing more than a tall tale.

Eric Bledsoe is Opening Eyes at Kentucky


Former Parker standout Eric Bledsoe may be have as much buzz surrounding him as fellow University of Kentucky freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, but the 6-foot point guard from Birmingham is making an impression on coach John Calipari and his Wildcat teammates.

In the TV media room, Calipari used Bledsoe as an example of the type of athletic defender he loves, citing a recent practice in which Bledsoe blocked a dunk attempt by Kentucky's All-SEC forward Patrick Patterson.

"Eric Bledsoe blocked Patrick Patterson's breakaway dunk," Calipari said. "(Patterson) went to dunk and (Bledsoe) pinned it on the glass. And he's six foot tall."

After that, Patterson entered the room and was asked about Bledsoe and that play in particular."He's blocked at least... well, everybody on the team pretty much," Patterson said. "He can jump out of the gym and he's tremendously strong and not afraid to jump up with anybody.

"Needless to say, he's gotten me a few times."

Mick Cronin Says Pitino is Back to Normal

Excerpt of Article by Rick Bozich, Louisville Courier-Journal:

Former U of L assistant coach Mick Cronin said he knew that his old boss, Rick Pitino, was back to normal about 10 seconds after he saw him at Big East Media Day in Madison Square Garden Wednesday morning.

Cronin, now the head coach at Cincinnati, said Pitino kept telling him what a great team the Bearcats had, how they were loaded with talent and that this was the season UC should be able to compete for the Big East title.

"He really busted my chops," Cronin said. "That's Coach Pitino."Pitino laughed about the encounter."That's the way I've always been," he said. "I'm not going to change."

Fox Sports: John Wall Will Likely be Cleared Before Season

Article from Jeff Goodman at FoxSports.com:

Kentucky’s talented freshman point guard John Wall, the front-runner to become the top overall pick in this June’s NBA Draft, is dealing with eligibility issues due to his relationship with his AAU coach.

Brian Clifton, who coached him with the D-One Sports team, is a former certified agent.

ESPN.com’s Pat Forde and Dana O’Neil first reported the story on Thursday night after speaking with SEC commissioner Mike Slive.

"Those are amateur issues that arose prior to their coming to our schools,” Slive said. "Those are strictly amateurism issues. As we told our people, somebody needs to determine if they are eligible. It’s not relative to you, it’s relative to them.”

Sources close to the situation have told FOXSports.com that Wall will likely be cleared prior to Kentucky’s season-opener – which is on Nov. 13 against Morehead State at Rupp Arena.

SEC Media Day: John Calipari Likes Jerry Tipton, But...


...he just don't read what he writes.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari mentioned Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader yesterday at SEC Media Day when discussing the thick skin that a Kentucky head coach must have:

“At 40 I was too sensitive,” he says, admitting that he just doesn’t read what’s in the newspaper or listen to what is being said about him on radio talk shows or ESPN or any other television network. “I come to work and somebody says ‘Coach, Jerry Tipton (basketball writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader) just killed you today’ and I just look at them and say okay, that’s fine. I don’t read it. I like Jerry. I’ve always liked Jerry. I just don’t read what he writes and don’t want to know what he writes.”

Here are a few other quotes that Calipari gave during the event:

On the Kentucky fans:

“There are 98 percent who are great people but two percent are absolutely nuts,” Calipari said. “I deal with the 98 percent. If you try to deal with the two percent, they’ll drive you nuts.”

On Patrick Patterson's decision to return to Kentucky:

“I said okay, why do you want to come back?” Calipari said. “He said, ‘If I want to be a good pro I have to learn to play on the outside some; I want to graduate in three years; and I want to play in the NCAA Tournament.’ Those are three pretty good reasons right there.”

On being a young team:

“We may start three freshmen,” Calipari said. “We could be out there with a junior, three freshmen and a sophomore. We could be the youngest team in the country at the end of the day.”

On his DDM offense:

“College basketball is about moving,” Calipari said, and that actually explains his philosophy on both ends of the court. On the offensive end, it’s about movement and if his team keeps getting movement, he knows they’ll get shots and layups. Defensively, the idea is to take away the other team’s ability to move.

“It’s about finding a style that fits you,” Calipari said.

In closing:

“It’s Kentucky,” he said. He didn’t have to say more.

Georgetown Tigers Open Season with Easy Win

Georgetown College 115
Temple Baptist 47

The Georgetown Tigers (1-0) opened the 2009-10 season with a convincing 115-47 victory over hapless Temple Baptist. The Tigers led 53-17 at the half and the outcome was never in question.

Vic Moses led the Tigers with 20 points on 10-16 shooting and 12 rebounds. Maurice Pearson added a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Georgetown blistered the nets for 60.7% field goal shooting and held Temple Baptist to only 19.4%. The Tigers won the rebounding battle 64-34.

The Tigers now head into a three-game exhibition stretch that includes visits to Louisville, Mississippi State and Florida State. They return to regular season action on November 12 against Ohio Dominican University.

Box Score from Georgetown

Kentucky Basketball: Don't Forget


This is just a reminder that the "student only" practice will be held today at 1:30 p.m in Memorial Coliseum. Here are the details from UKAthletics.com:

- Doors open at 12:30 pm.

- The only way to be admitted to this practice is with a UK student ID AND a MEMBER OF THE BIG BLUE NATION wristband.

- Students must enter through the Euclid Ave. doors. All other doors to Memorial Coliseum will be closed for this event.

- All seating is general admission

Also, keep in mind that Doron Lamb, a 6-4 combo guard from Oak Hill Academy, will be in Lexington for a visit today and will be at the practice. Lamb is a tremendous athlete and ranks #21 on the Rivals150 List for 2010.

Oak Hill head coach Steve Smith confirmed on Twitter earlier that Lamb is heading to Lexington:

OHACoachSmith Doron is visiting Kentucky today and Pe'Shon is at South Florida.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ex-Cat Mark Coury Ready for Season at Cornell


Mark Coury, who transferred from Kentucky to Cornell, is eligible to play this season after sitting out last under NCAA transfer rules.
Here are some notes about Coury from the Cornell 2009-10 basketball preview:

Expected to play major roles as reserves in 2009-10 are returners Adam Wire, Jon Jaques, Andre Wilkins, Alex Hill, Aaron Osgood and Pete Reynolds, as well as transfer eligible players Mark Coury (University of Kentucky) and Max Groebe (University of Massachusetts). Jaques will join Tyler and Foote as a team tri-captain.

A hard-nosed player with a nose for the ball, Coury will provide toughness, defense and rebounding after transferring from the University of Kentucky. Coury has a strong basketball IQ, is an excellent passer and can finish around the rim. He joined the Big Red midseason and was a key member of the practice squad, helping Cornell to its second straight Ivy League title. He will have two full seasons of eligibility for the Big Red.

Coury can be spotted in this YouTube video of a Cornell practice (Coury is Burning Down the House at the 1:58 mark):

Samuels, Knowles Shine in Louisville Scrimmage


Sophomore forward Samardo Samuels scored 26 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and handed out five assists to lead the University of Louisville red team to a 103-94 victory in an intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday.

Jared Swopshire led the Red team in scoring with 28 points, while Mike Marra added 25. Marra connected on 7-of-14 three-point goals in the first half in leading the red team with 23 points at the intermission. Edgar Sosa scored 10 points and handed out a team-high eight assists. Reginald Delk totalled 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and a game-high four steals. The red team assisted on 27 of its 34 field goals and shot 56.7 percent from the field.

"I think offensively, we're way ahead of schedule, and defensively we're way behind schedule," said U of L Coach Rick Pitino." Offensively, we shoot the ball terrific, we pass the ball terrific, and we're in great condition for this time of year. It's to be expected that we're behind defensively because we lost three great defensive players from last year. I'm a little surprised how well our freshman are in condition and able to get through it. I'm real happy with the guys. I'm having a lot of fun coaching them because of their incredible desire to work. They're all basketball junkies."

Preston Knowles scored a game-high 32 points to lead the White squad. Knowles hit 9-of-11 shots in the first half, leading all scorers with 25 at the break. Five other members of the White team scored in double figures, including Kyle Kuric's 18 points and team-high 10 rebounds.

Senior co-captain Jerry Smith did not participate in the scrimmage. He left following media day activities to be with his girlfriend awaiting the birth of their first child.

The Cardinals began the afternoon with their annual media day, providing interview and photo opportunities. The team practiced for 40 minutes before the start of the scrimmage and had another 40 minutes of individual instruction in the morning. U of L returns nine lettermen from last year's BIG EAST Championship team which also earned the top seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the NCAA Elite Eight with a 31-6 record.

Fans can get a first look at the team at a Red-White intrasquad scrimmage on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. in Freedom Hall. Tickets for the event are $5 at the U of L Ticket Office; online at www.ticketmaster.com online, by calling (502) 361-3100 or by visiting any Ticketmaster Ticket Center, including statewide Kroger locations. Convenience fees are applied with Ticketmaster orders. Further information can be obtained by calling the U of L ticket office at (502) 852-5863.
U of L plays its first exhibition game on Wednesday, Oct. 28 against Georgetown College in Freedom Hall. The Cards open the season on Nov. 17 against Arkansas in the Hall of Fame Showcase in St. Louis, Mo.

Article and Box Score from UofLSports.com

Centre Colonels 2009-10 Preview

Press Release from Centre:

Following a successful 2008-2009 season, the 2009-2010 basketball team is hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year’s squad. Centre ended last season with a 23-5 overall record, a 12-2 mark in conference play, and won the conference title for the 18th time. The Colonels returns a Division III News Freshman All-American and an All-SCAC First Team member.

Centre lost five players, including three starters, from last year’s team to graduation. The departed seniors had a fantastic four-year stint as they compiled 92 wins over that time, which is more than any other class in Centre basketball history and SCAC history. The senior class posted three straight 20-plus win seasons, as well as winning three straight SCAC regular season titles, and winning the SCAC Tournament Championship two times in three years.

Centre will be led this year by senior Danny Noll (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.) and sophomore Jeff Mullaney (Louisville, Ky.). Noll was a D3hoops.com preseason All-American selection in 2008-2009 and an All-SCAC First Team member last year and led the conference in three-point field goal percentage (43.7%). Noll also averaged 15.9 points per game and had a field goal percentage of 51.4%, which were both good enough for fifth place in the conference. Mullaney was a Division III News Freshman All-American and the SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year last season. He averaged 8.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists for Centre in 24.4 minutes of action per game. Mullaney also shot 44.2% from the field, including 43.5% from three-point range, good for third place in the SCAC.

Junior Alex Lloyd (Versailles, Ky.) will also be a key player for the Colonels this year because of his experience at the center position. Lloyd was fifth in rebounding last year in the conference with 7.5 boards per game and third overall in blocked shots with 1.8 per game.

The Colonels have added five freshmen to the mix this season. In recent years, Centre has had several newcomers contribute early in their careers. Over the last six years the Colonels have had the SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year four times.

“We are looking forward to another exciting year,” Centre head coach Greg Mason said.

“This will be a team whose best basketball will be played at the end of the season as 12 of our 17 players are either freshman or sophomores. Fortunately, we have senior Danny Noll, one of our most consistent players in recent memory to help us through the early part of the season. As we have guys adjust to different roles and responsibilities, I think we’ll have a very competitive team come March,” Mason added.

Centre will open its 2009-2010 season Wednesday, Nov. 18 against Maryville College. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Gym in Danville, Ky.

Kentucky Bisons Arrive in China for Exhibition Tour


The Kentucky Bisons, an ABA team from Owensboro, have arrived safely in China for their exhibition tour. The image above is the front of the arena where they will be playing.

John Clay Gives Some Good Points on John Wall Situation

Here are some good points from John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader:

1. I don’t think this is a huge deal. Wall’s AAU coach, Brian Clifton, is known to be a bit of a controversial figure and it was known that for a time that Clifton had himself certified as an agent. If he was an agent, and paid for Wall’s two trips to UK, and any other unofficial visits, Wall will have to return the money to be declared eligible. Since UK already has been looking into this, that may already be happening. I’d say it’s unlikely that Wall took “substantial benefits” from Clifton. He had to know that would truly jeopardize his long-term eligibility. Remember, this was a very highly-recruited kid. Many people were keeping a watchful eye on the process.

2. Still, my guess is that Wall will have to sit 2-3 games over this. That’s the way the NCAA operates. And it’s not out of the realm that the NCAA will want to use Wall as an example to other high-profile recruits that they need to watch the details as far who pays for what on visits, and they need to stay away from agents.

3. The ill-informed are going to say (are already saying) that this is another John Calipari issue. Another got-cha. In truth, it has little to do with the Kentucky coach. Wall’s two unofficial visits to Lexington, the ones espn.com cites, happened when Billy Gillispie was the Kentucky coach. In fact, there were those who believed that UK might not get Wall because Clifton was not a Calipari fan. Ah, but nationally some are going to see the headline “Wall faces eligibility issues” and immediately pin the blame on the Kentucky coach. They don’t really care about the facts.

Check out Clay's Blog

No Funny Business: 2010 PG Kyrie Irving to Duke

In an announcement that was about as exciting as watching paint dry, Kyrie Irving did exactly what the entire world knew he was going to do - he committed to the Duke Blue Devils.

Congratulations to Kyrie Irving and best of luck in the ACC.

Pat Forde Questions John Wall's Eligibility


I spoke too soon this morning. I should've know it wouldn't last.

I sent the shocking news out this morning that ESPN's Pat Forde actually stated a compliment concerning Kentucky basketball. Well, so much for that.

Forde has now written an article that questions the eligibility of Kentucky phenom freshman John Wall. Here is an excerpt from the article:

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive confirmed to ESPN.com that there are eligibility issues regarding both Kentucky top recruit John Wall and Mississippi State's top freshman Renardo Sidney.
Sidney's eligibility has been discussed for months, but this is the first it has been publicly acknowledged that there could be a question about Wall's eligibility.

A source also told ESPN.com that Kentucky has been investigating Wall's eligibility for months because his former AAU coach was a certified agent.

Mark Zerof/US PresswireFreshman John Wall was a huge recruiting catch for new Kentucky coach John Calipari.

"Those are amateur issues that arose prior to their coming to our schools," Slive said of Sidney and Wall. "Those are strictly amateurism issues. As we told our people, somebody needs to determine if they are eligible. It's not relative to you, it's relative to them."

Here are some comments from UK:

"My understanding is that all 13 players on our roster are eligible at this point," said UK media relations director DeWayne Peevey.

Peevey said that school privacy policies prevent Kentucky from discussing the eligibility of players. When asked whether Wall might be excluded from any games, Peevey said that information would be confidential.

"We won't release anything," Peevey said.

Complete Article Here

Rick Pitino Publicly Criticizes Rutgers' Basketball

In Rick Pitino’s eyes, New Jersey’s two Big East programs — Seton Hall and Rutgers — are a world apart.

During Big East media day Wednesday morning, the coach who has led three different programs to the Final Four, offered his analysis on where he thinks the two Garden State programs are headed within the conference. Pitino offered a stark and frank assessment.

“I think Seton Hall’s making progress,” Pitino said. “I think Rutgers has to make progress off the court.”

When asked to clarify, Pitino spoke candidly: “Their facilities have to get upgraded to the rest of us. When you build a program, you not only build it by winning on the court, you have to build the infrastructure. And Rutgers has got to make steps along the way there.”

A harsh critique on a subject that has long been a sore spot for Rutgers basketball.

The Rutgers Athletic Center, known more commonly as “The RAC,” has certainly seen better days. Opened in 1977, the home court for Rutgers had been known as one of the premier venues in the Big East -- not so much for its technological advances, but because it provided at raucous atmosphere for its teams to play in and its opponents to face.

Things are different now, though.

The RAC has become outdated in the era of flashy on-campus arenas and state-of-the-art facilities. Pitino, who has been coaching in the Big East now since the 2005-06 season, said that he is not trying to verbally tear down the home of the Scarlet Knights, but simply doesn’t see how Rutgers can keep up with the rest of the league offering the RAC as its facility to top-notch recruits.

“I see Villanova, Connecticut, Syracuse, Louisville, Marquette, I see their practice facilities, I see their weight rooms,” he said. “I don’t even think they have an electronic scoreboard there. … They have those small ones in the corners, but it’s not what everybody else has.”

Complete Article

My Thoughts: Is there a job opening for a PR person at the University of Louisville?

Elisha Justice Commits to Louisville

Shelby Valley's Elisha Justice has told Louisville head coach Rick Pitino that he is committing to the Cardinals.

Shelby Valley head coach Jason Booher says Justice made this decision based upon a number things. One major thing is the history that Coach Pitino has with developing preferred walk-ons. A few to name is Will Scott, Cameron Mills, Anthony Epps, Chris Smith (brother of NBA player J.R. Smith), and Alhaji Mohammad (who is currently playing professional overseas). He has developed many of his walk-ons into great players and some have later earned full scholarships. They have also played significant roles in Final Four and national championship runs.

Another major factor is Justice's future goal of going into college coaching. The opportunity at Louisville would allow him to play under a Hall of Fame coach that has a history of developing great coaches.

He looks foward to playing for Coach Pitino and the University of Louisville.

2010 Forward Jeff Johnson to Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky has earned a commitment from 6-8 forward Jeff Johnson from Champaign, Illinois. Johnson stated that his relationship with the coaches and the Colonels' style of play were big factors in his decision.

“I had a really good relationship with the coaches from the start,” said Johnson, who recently verbally committed to EKU. “They did a really good job of letting me know where I stood and they were honest about everything. Their situation was intriguing for me and it felt like the right fit.”

He added:

“They like to pop and shoot a lot,” he said. “I get a rebound and push the ball up the court. I’m at my best at the high post. I think over the years, the best thing I’ve developed is getting my teammates involved in passing. I just want to be out there playing as much as I can, as early as I can, and hopefully I can contribute right away.”

Johnson was also recruited by Murray State, but said he just wasn't as comfortable with the Racers' coaching staff.

“I didn’t have a lot of great talks with the coaches over there,” he said. “We talked about setting up a visit, but they never gave me a good vibe. We never stayed in contact too much. Hopefully, it’s not awkward, but they’re good guys so hopefully there’s no hard feelings.”

He chose EKU over Murray State, Harvard, Holy Cross, Illinois-Chicago and IUPUI.

Source: RichmondRegister.com

Knicks Waive Ex-Cat Joe Crawford

It has been announced that the New York Knicks have waived former Kentucky guard Joe Crawford.

Crawford was drafted by the Lakers out of college, spent time in the NBDL and was signed last season by the Knicks.

Breaking News: Pat Forde Gives UK Player a Compliment


I have a new level of respect for Kentucky big man Patrick Patterson. Last week, he was going above and beyond the call of duty by offering support to sick child. This week, he has managed to get an actual compliment out of ESPN's Pat Forde (who has not been the biggest UK and/or John Calipari supporter).

Here is a once-in-a-lifetime post from Pat Forde's Twitter:

@espn4d Patrick Patterson was great. Very impressive guy.

Calipari and Patterson at SEC Media Days


Pictures posted onJohn Calipari's Twitter account

Another One Bites the Dust


Kentucky's Big Blue Madness is not only an event that is designed to generate fan excitement, but also a tool for recruiting. In general, recruits are invited to the invent and the goal is to "blow them away" to the point that they commit to Kentucky. Normally, it is a good sign if a recruit visits Big Blue Madness and then decides to commit the week after the event, but this year's BBM has produced the opposite effect.

First, it was unofficially announced yesterday that 2010 point guard Kyrie Irving has committed to Duke. His official announcement is tomorrow evening on ESPNU and while he continues to make the claim that he has not committed, the chances of Irving going to either Kentucky or Texas A&M are about the same as the chances that the war in Iraq will end this week.

Now, it has been announced late tonight that 2011 forward Achraf Yacoubou, another Madness visitor, has committed to Villanova.

Also, the news came out tonight that a third visitor, 2010 forward Tobias Harris, will make his official announcement on November 19.

Hopefully, the third time will be a charm for Kentucky, but UK fans shouldn't hit the panic button either way. John Calipari will land a solid recruiting class year-in and year-out, so remain calm and let the 2010 and 2011 classes play out.

If your spouse is on the roof after hearing that UK has lost two recruits, talk him down and reassure him that Coach Calipari will take care of business when it comes to recruiting. Also, if you are part of the underground group that is organizing an anti-UK riot to protest the recruiting mishaps, please return to your homes and be patient. Your program is in good hands. Take a deep breath, relax and let the coaching staff do their thing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2010 PF Leslee Smith Down to SMU and WKU

I have confirmed with a source close to Leslee Smith that the 2010 power forward is now down to Western Kentucky and SMU.

He will be take and official visit to SMU this coming weekend and will make a verbal commitment on Sunday.

In regards to Smith's visit to Western this past weekend, he liked what he saw in the Hilltoppers' offensive sets. He is also encouraged at the opportunity WKU can give him to play the three position. He realizes he will likely not start as a freshman, but is excited that he will have the opportunity to play some good quality minutes on a solid team.

Breaking: 2011 UK Recruit Achraf Yacoubou to Villanova

It appears that 2011 Kentucky recruit Achraf Yacoubou has committed to Villanova.

Tobias Harris, another UK recruit, just posted this on Twitter:

tobias31: My boy Ash commited to Villanova ! congrats boy

It has been confirmed, apparently:

NorthstarBball: According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Ashcraf Yacoubou '11 of Long Island Lutheran (NY) has indeed committed to Villanova.

NewsDay.com Confirms

Elisha Justice Impresses Louisville Staff

I just found out from a very reliable source that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and assistants Ralph Willard and Steve Masiello visited Shelby Valley's practice today. The coaches were there to watch 2010 point guard Elisha Justice and I am told "they loved what they saw!"

Justice would potentially be brought to Louisville as Peyton Siva's backup next season as a freshman.

Justice and his parents will be making a visit to Louisville this Sunday to watch the Red-White intrasquad scrimmage.

ESPN's Andy Katz Talks to Rick Pitino

Pitino Says He Had "100 Things" Worse Happen at UK


In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was questioned about the recent arrest of Terrence Jennings and Jerry Smith. Pitino did not suspend the players and stated that he had worse things happen at previous schools.

"I've had 50 things worse happen at Providence. I've had 100 things worse happen at Kentucky," Pitino said of two of his previous coaching stops. "The young men knew where they made their mistakes."

When asked about his own problems, namely the Karen Sypher sex scandal, Pitino asked the media to judge themselves.

"You guys and ladies look in the mirror and have difficult times in your life," Pitino said. "I'm no different from you."

Fundraiser to Help Mark Krebs' Mother in Cancer Battle

I urge everyone to help the family of UK senior Mark Krebs. His mother, Terri, is in an 8-year battle with cancer. Her treatment has included 330 or so chemo treatments.

This Friday night, there will be a fund-raiser for Terri at the Ft. Thomas Pub beginning at 9 p.m.

Admission is $5. There will be live music and items to be auctioned.

KIAC Preseason Poll Released


The Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Preseason Poll has been released and Indiana University Southeast is the unanimous pick to win the conference. IU Southeast earned all seven first place votes.

Brescia, Berea, Asbury and Alice Lloyd are ranked 3-6 in order.

KIAC Preseason Poll:

1. IU Southeast
2. IU East
3. Brescia
4. Berea
5. Asbury
6. Alice Lloyd
7. Cincinnati Christian
8. STLCOP

Message from Kyrie Irving and AllKYHoops.com

Kyrie Irving, who will announce his college destination tomorrow, just posted this message on Twitter:

"People are so funny when stuff actually hits the fan...have your fun commenting on my Twitter...thanks to all the REAL fans for being patient"

Apparently, some folks are giving Irving a pretty hard time on Twitter. I ask that all True Blue Kentucky fans be respectful to this young man. Let him make the decision that is best for him, Duke or no Duke, and be happy for him. The Kentucky program is in good hands from a recruiting standpoint and there's no reason to berate a kid because of his life-altering decision.

For the record, I have no idea if UK fans are involved in this or not, so I'm not accusing - just asking everyone to stay classy for the Cats.

Big East Preseason Coaches' Rankings; Louisville Fourth

The Big East Conference has announced its preseason rankings based on coaches' voting. The Louisville Cardinals are fourth place in the voting:

1. Villanova
2. Connecticut
3. West Virginia
4. Louisville
5. Georgetown
6. Syracuse
7. Cincinnati
8. Notre Dame
9. Pittsburgh
10. Seton Hall
11-16: St. John's, Marquette, Providence, South Florida, Rutgers, DePaul

Notre Dame's Luke Harangody was selected as preseason Big East player of the year. Lance Stephenson of Cincinnati was selected preseason rookie of the year.

Louisville did not have anyone on the preseason all-conference teams.

Source

Ge'Lawn Guyn Says He Was Not at Big Blue Madness

Scott County guard Ge'lawn Guyn has told the Courier-Journal's Jody Demling that he was not in attendance for Kentucky's Big Blue Madness. A post on Twitter by Peegs.com (Indiana site) incorrectly stated that Guyn did attend the event.

"I had practice," he said.

He is being pursued by several schools:

Guyn said IU, Western Kentucky, South Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Cincinnati, Tennessee and Alabama have shown the most interest. He likely won't sign until the spring.

Source

2010 SF J.J. Moore is Not Ready to Commit

Article from Jody Demling, Courier-Journal:

Despite previously thinking he wanted to make a decision this week, J.J. Moore will visit two more schools before picking a college destination.

Moore's AAU team director, Gary Charles, told The Courier-Journal that his list has been narrowed to Louisville, Pittsburgh and St. John's.

He visited Louisville last weekend - with Charles noting it "was a great time" - and will now visit St. John's on Halloween weekend and Pittsburgh on Nov. 6.

"He wanted to be fair to everyone else," Charles said. "He wanted to visit the other two schools when he could see them in the same environment. Watch the team practice, get to know them a little and just see how things are going to be at that school."

A native of New York, the 6-foot-6 small forward will be playing this season at South Kent (Conn.) Prep School. He's one of the fastest rising small forwards in the Class of 2010.

Charles said Moore said Louisville and coach Rick Pitino really made a "strong impression," on Moore. He'll make a final decision after the Pittsburgh trip.

"He loved the visit," Charles said. "Because he loved it so much, he felt compelled to visit the other schools again and make sure about his decision."

Jeff Goodman Comments on Shelvin Mack

Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com has given a preview of the Butler Bulldogs. Here are some positive comments he says about Lexington native Shelvin Mack:

"Shelvin Mack has taken his game to another level after spending the summer playing with Hayward on the under-19 U.S. team. Mack has a Big Ten body and was beating defenders off the dribble and finishing around the basket with consistency."

Complete Article from FoxSports.com

I Love Twitter, But...


...this screen is driving me nuts lately!

Kyrie Irving to Announce on Thursday

Kyrie Irving has posted on Twitter that he will announce Thursday on ESPNU:

kyrieirving I will be deciding between Texas a and m duke and Kentucky.. I have not commited to duke..I will be announcing on espn u

My Thoughts: We now know why he tried to squash the reports of a Duke commitment - he had to save it for the ESPNU announcement.

Kyrie Irving: "I have not commited to duke!!!"

ZagsBlog.com cited multiple sources earlier in the night as saying that Kyrie Irving had committed to Duke and would make an official announcement in the next two days.

Irving posted this on Twitter:

"I have not commited to duke!!!"

"don't know what's going on with all these supposed sources but I have not commited to duke"

It will be interesting to follow this one.

UPDATE: ZagsBlog.com continues to stand by its sources and says that Irving has indeed committed to Duke. (updated article)

UPDATE #2: Dave Telep at Scout.com has stated on Twitter that Irving will announce his decision on Thursday. I am 99.999999999% sure he is heading to Duke (but hey, UK still has .000000001% chance, right?)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2010 PG Kyrie Irving HAS NOT Committed to Duke?

ZagsBlog.com is reporting that sources are indicating that 2010 point guard Kyrie Irving has committed to the Duke Blue Devils.

Irving took a final visit to Kentucky's Big Blue Madness, but most recruiting gurus have had him heading to Duke for some time now.

Excerpt from ZagsBlog:

“He’s definitely going to Duke and if he doesn’t announce it tomorrow [Wednesday] he’ll probably announce it Thursday,” said one Division 1 assistant coach involved in Irving’s recruitment.

“He has committed. I heard that from [Duke assistant] Chris Collins,” said a second coach who recruited Irving.

A third source close to yet another assistant coach recruiting Irving confirmed that he had committed to the Blue Devils.

“He told me it’s a done deal,” the source said.

Complete Article

UPDATE: Irving has quickly responded on Twitter with: "I have not commited to duke!!!"

NKU Adds Talented DI Transfer Chris Knight


Northern Kentucky University has picked up a nice late addition with the transfer of Chris Knight, a talented 6-7 forward from Bowling Green State University. Knight joins David Palmer from Iowa and Yan Moukoury from Houston as NCAA DI transfers that have joined the Norse this summer.

Last season, during an injury-plagued sophomore season, Knight averaged 6.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. As a freshman, he put in 10.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. His rebounding average led the team and ranked sixth in the MAC.


St. Catharine to Host Patriot Madness Tomorrow

St. Catharine and head coach J.T. Burton will host their annual Patriot Madness tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m.

The team is also holding a cornhole fundraiser tournament on Saturday:

St. Catharine College Men's Basketball

Cornhole Tournament

Date: October 24
Time: 12 p.m.
Registration: Begins at 10:30 a.m.
Location: St. Catharine - Lourdes Hall Parking Lot
Rain Plan: Tournament will be moved inside Spalding Student Center

Details:

- $50 Entry Fee per team
- Double Elimination Format (all matches are best of 3)
- Rules will be given at registration
- 30% of Entry Fees will Be used as Prize Money
- There will be a 50/50 raffle and other prizes as well

To register or ask questions, contact:

Matt Stearsman at 270-871-3491 or mstearsman@scckky.edu

Morehead State Blue/Gold Scrimmage is Saturday

Announcement from Morehead State:

Morehead State fans will get their first chance to see the defending Ohio Valley Conference tournament champion men's basketball program in action this weekend when head coach Donnie Tyndall and the Eagles will be hosting their annual Blue-Gold Scrimmage in Johnson Arena at 9:30 a.m Saturday. As part of Homecoming festivities, the scrimmage is open to the public.

"We are looking forward to an exciting homecoming weekend and the opportunity to see former teammates and Eagles at the football game Saturday afternoon. We are having a Blue-Gold scrimmage that morning at 9:30 a.m. and believe it will be a good opportunity for fans to see our team," said Tyndall.

The Eagles finished 20-16 overall last year and won the OVC Tournament and an opening round NCAA Tournament game. It was the first trip to the NCAA Tournament for MSU in 25 years. Four starters return this year, along with with many of the key reserve players and a host of highly touted newcomers.

MSU's first exhibition game is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 against Cedarville University.

NOTE: AllKYHoops.com will be covering the MSU scrimmage Saturday morning

Ex-Cat Derrick Jasper Models New UNLV Uniforms


Kentucky DII Schools Voted 1-3 in GLVC East Division

The Great Lakes Valley Conference has announced its preseason rankings for the 2009-10 season. The conference has been split into three divisions: East, North and West. The three GLVC schools in Kentucky have been voted in the top 3 spots in the East Division.

East Division

1. Bellarmine (12) 64
2. Northern Kentucky (3) 52
3. Kentucky Wesleyan 35
4. Southern Indiana* 33
5. Indianapolis 16

North Division

1. Quincy (9) 59
2. Lewis (5) 54
3. Saint Joseph’s (1) 45
4. UW-Parkside 23
5. Illinois-Springfield* 19

West Division

1. Rockhurst (13) 65
2. Drury (2) 50
3. Missouri-St. Louis 40
4. Missouri S&T 31
5. Maryville* 14

*Ineligible for GLVC Tournament

Interesting Reading Material About UK at Volnation.com

Someone contacted me earlier today and asked me to check out a thread on Volnation.com, a University of Tennessee discussion board. I checked it out and felt that this quality thread deserves a read from other Kentucky fans. Here are a few excerpts:

"Kentucky has excellent tradition, excellent support, excellent facilities etc.All of that said, listening to Calipari give his speech about academic excellence is like listening to Bill Clinton or Mark Sanford give a speech on marital fidelity."

"I am pleased that Selby and Harris did not commit at UK despite Nike bringing in multiple paid agents of theirs.I suppose I should be happy that Kentucky is coached by someone so easy to hate with such obvious flaws. Hating Billy D because he looked like the child Vampire on the Munsters was one thing, but not a great reason. Hating Pitino is easy. Hating Cal is easy. Listening to him pretend that he is a coach who cares about anything other than sending guys straight to the NBA and facilitating their work with agents is hard."

"Agreed. Cal is a joke. It sickens me that a guy with such a checkered past is being treated like a god by those people. I hope he leads that program into trouble soon. Cal being the KY coach is the perfect match."

"Pitino is in no way better than most people in the United States. He makes the transgressions of Bob Knight look like a joke. He is a disgusting pathetic man...If I was his child I would be so sad/angry/ashamed."

"Sorry, I would feel like I sold my soul to the devil (Now, Roy Williams?...). Plus, Pearl has played Cal straight up with lesser talent. I'm curious to see how Cal competes in a conference that isn't full of pushovers. He wasn't that impressive when he had to deal with Marquette, Louisville and others before CUSA was gutted."

"Seriously, how satisfying would it be to see the wild hoard of UK bb fans eat Calipari alive? Just imagine if a VMI-type moment were to repeat itself early on this season? Extremely unlikely, but it is what I pray for everynight before I go to bed."

"Come on man ... Cal is one of the greatest known cheaters in the NCAA and has avoided being caught himself by simply moving just before the ax falls... I agree with the op .. this is one guy that should be coaching at Alabama with his record"

"Here's a thousand dollar bet. Tennesee makes the Elite Eight in the next two years, I pay. They don't send me the check."

I could go on and on (this goes on for 5 pages), but you get the general idea.

Yep, Kentucky basketball is back and the rest of the nation is aware of that fact.

If you want a good laugh, check out the rest of this garbage

2010 Star Terrence Jones Trims List to 5; UK Still In

TheShiver.com is reporting that Terrence Jones has eliminated Kansas and Arizona from his official list and is now down to five potential destinations. Here is an excerpt from the article:

In an email to TheShiver.com on Tuesday afternoon, Linda Mashia-Jones, the mother of the #15 ranked ESPNU 100, Terrence Jones, explained that her son is no longer considering Kansas or Arizona. Jones had previously mentioned that he would decide which school to officially visit this weekend, but that decision never came. Instead, Jones will move forward with his previously scheduled official visits in the coming weeks.

“We will not be making an official visit to Kansas or Arizona,” said Mashia-Jones of their decision. ”We are going to make our decision out of the five schools we currently have. They are Oklahoma, University of Washington, UCLA, Kentucky and University of Oregon,” added Mashia-Jones.

Jones is a 6-8 forward and ranked #13 on the Rivals150 List for 2010.

Complete Article from TheShiver.com

Rick Pitino to Visit Shelby Valley's Elisha Justice

I have learned that University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino will be flying back from New York tomorrow to evaluate Shelby Valley point guard Elisha Justice.

Pitino is looking for a backup point guard in the 2010 Class and is apparently considering a scholarship offer for Justice. Previously, the Cardinals had discussed the possibility of bringing Justice on as a walk-on with the opportunity to earn a scholarship. I hope to have more information after Pitino's visit.

Justice is also scheduled to make an official visit to Eastern Kentucky on Friday and Saturday.

Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport Talks Basketball


I interviewed Bellarmine University head coach Scott Davenport yesterday. We discussed Davenport's long and successful coaching career and Bellarmine basketball.

Davenport won a state championship as head coach of Ballard High School in 1988 and served almost a decade as an assistant at the University of Louisville. He has been at Bellarmine since 2005 and is preparing to enter the season with a Knights' team that is expected to compete for an NCAA DII national title.

Here is my interview with coach Scott Davenport:

Coach Davenport, let me start by thanking you for giving a few minutes of your time today. I know you are getting ready for the season that is right around the corner and I appreciate how busy you must be.

No problem. There are not enough hours in the day. Sleep is very overrated, you must sleep fast this time of the year.

I know you have coached winning programs at pretty much every level. Give me a rundown on your coaching career and your background leading up to the Bellarmine job.

I began coaching in 1978 under Estil Griffis at Ahrens High School (now closed) in downtown Louisville. I was the JV Coach and Varsity assistant at Ballard High School from 1980-83 under Don Salyer. From 1983-85 I was a Graduate Assistant under Coach Crum at the University of Louisville. The 85-86 season I was an assistant at VCU on the staff of Mike Pollio (Tubby Smith and I were assistants together). Then from 1986-96, I returned to Ballard High School as the Head Coach. I was hired by Sandy Allen and Jim Reuther. I coached at the University of Louisville on the staff under Coach Crum from 1996-2001 and I was retained by Coach Pitino in 2001 and departed in 2005 after the Final Four.

You had a great run at Ballard High School, including a KHSAA state championship in 1988. Talk a little about that experience and what it means to you that you were able to take the big prize in Kentucky high school basketball.

At the time the state of Kentucky was only one of 3 (Delaware and Indiana) states with a single champion. With 278 teams battling for one championship it was a tremendous experience. The ten years as the Head Coach at Ballard were ten great years of my life. I have been very fortunate.

What has it meant to your coaching career to be the beneficiary of spending 9 seasons on the bench with Denny Crum and Rick Pitino at Louisville?

I have said often to have served under Coach Crum (Hall of Famer) and Coach Pitino (Future Hall of Famer) that I am the luckiest person in all of coaching. I am the only person in the WORLD that had this honor for more than one year. The experience and knowledge learned is beyond what any words can express. I will forever be very grateful.

Well Coach, now you’re at Bellarmine and you’re coming off a really nice season. Tell me a little about last season’s team and what you have coming back this season.

We had a tremendous season. We broke team records for most wins, winning percentage, most NCAA wins, highest ranking, longest winning streak, GLVC finish. They are super young men. We completed our eighth straight semester with a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.

We lost Chartreal Hall and Tim Dearlove. We added Eastern High School’s Chris Dowe, Jeffersonville High School graduate Jeremy Kendle and Saint X alum Aaron Robison.

One poll I saw recently has you ranked #1 in the preseason and I saw another that has you ranked in the top 5. What are your thoughts on those rankings and the expectations they will place on your team’s shoulders heading into the season?

The players have earned the recognition. At the end of the day the players realize the rankings are somebody’s or some group's opinion, no more no less. It is tremendous for the University and the people who have given so much to this program for many years. Again our players deserve the credit.

One of the greatest benefits of the ranking is, IT does help open doors in recruiting. That is the lifeline in every successful program.

The Great Lakes Valley Conference is one of the tougher conferences you will find anywhere in college basketball. What are your thoughts on playing in such a competitive conference?

It is objectively the best Division 2 conference in the country. The level of recruiting, coaching and preparation is tremendous. You must be at your best every night. Road wins are very tough to come by. They are precious.

Talk a little about having Northern Kentucky and Kentucky Wesleyan as tough conference foes. What does it mean to have several really good opponents right here in your own state?

Kentucky Wesleyan is the most revered program in all of Division 2 Basketball. Coach Lee does a tremendous job on and off the floor. Northern is a past NCAA Champion, enough said.

When I look over your coaching resume, I see some big-name players such as Allan Houston and DeJuan Wheat that you’ve had the pleasure of coaching. Who is the most talented basketball player that Scott Davenport has coached?

Toughest question I have ever been asked, so many special players. It would be impossible to answer. The players I have coached deserve all the credit for the success I have enjoyed. Again, I have been very, very fortunate. I have coached over 400 young men and they are all stars in my eyes!!!!!!

Coach, it has been great talking to you and best wishes to the Knights this season.

Thank you. Keep up the great work.

2010 Guard Doron Lamb to Visit Kentucky Friday


Dustin Rumbaugh of Kentucky Sports Radio posted on Twitter that 2010 guard Doron Lamb will be in Lexington Friday for the student only practice.

Here is Rumbaugh's "tweet":

DustinRumbaugh: Talked to people close to Doron Lamb today. Doron will be in Lexington on Friday, in time to take in the Student Only Practice.

Lamb is a 6-4 combo guard from Oak Hill Academy. He is ranked #21 on the Rivals150 List for 2010.

Travis Ford to Appear on Dancing With the Stars?


Not so much, says The Daily O'Collegian at Oklahoma State University. In fact, the O'Collegian says on OColly.com that Ford was willing to embarrass himself through dance because he was busy recruiting at OSU's annual Hoops and Homecoming Event last Friday. Here are some excerpts from the article:

What fans might have already forgotten about was the way the men’s team introduced itself by dancing with the OSU pom squad at midcourt, only to have coach Travis Ford appear near the end of the dance cutting a rug with the rest of his players. Ford grabbed the microphone right after the music cut and asked the crowd, “Is there any place better to play college basketball?”

Why would Travis Ford volunteer to show off his vast array of dancing skills and embarrass himself in front of so many fans?

The answer sat about 5 feet from me.

As I was staring down NFL Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, who was in attendance Friday night, I noticed about 10 guys sitting together in sweats behind the Cowboy bench laughing at the dance and looking like they were having a great time inside the “Rowdiest Arena in the Country.”

Ford was recruiting.

I checked www.rivals.com for some information on who was visiting this past weekend and I found an impressive list.

Besides the four verbal commitments OSU has already obtained from three-star guard Markel Brown, three-star forwards Brian Williams, J.P. Olukemi, and four-star power forward Michael Cobbins, it was rumored three five-star recruits for the 2011 class were in attendance, as well. Kentavious Caldwell, a 6-foot-3 guard from Georgia, LaBryan Nash, a 6-foot-7 forward from Dallas and LaQuinton Ross a 6-foot-8 forward from Mississippi were the names mentioned to be visiting.

The article ends with:

Ford made a fool of himself because he knew how much fun it would look to recruits to see a coach of a major basketball program busting a move and being silly with his players.I think the days of athletes committing to a school solely because of program tradition are gone. Players want what is new and shiny and fun. Football figured out the new and shiny, and it looks like basketball has the fun, thanks to Ford and his Napoleon Dynamite dancing skills.

It sounds like Ford won't be Dancing With the Stars anytime soon, but his hard work may lead to a few stars dancing on the court at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

WVU's Mountaineer Madness Continues to Impress




"Truck tries unsuccesfully to bring Adreian Payne onto the court."

Really? One of the current West Virginia players pointed out a visiting recruit and then tried to pull him out on the court for the crowd? The signs and shirts may have been a little petty, but this is clearly an NCAA no-no.

Source:
http://eersports.com/basketball/117-s

Urgent Prayer Request for Family of Western Hills Student


It is with a sad heart that I pass along the news of the death of a 15-year old freshman at Western Hills High School. Waseeq Shahid collapsed during basketball tryouts this afternoon and later died.

I ask all readers to hold this young man's family, friends and fellow students up in their prayers tonight. God bless that family.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Lower Arena Tickets to a Kentucky Game at Rupp Arena?


Last week, we gave away an autographed 1998 UK Wildcats national title t-shirt. This week, we will give away two lower arena tickets to watch the Kentucky Wildcats play at Rupp Arena.

Each $20 donation using the ChipIn widget to the left will give you one chance in a random drawing that will be held a week from now on Monday, October 26.

If you donate $40, you earn two chances; $100 gets you five chances and so on.

All 100% of the money collected through this effort will go towards our AllKYHoops4Kids project.

Smith, Jennings: Community Service on Plea Agreement

Excerpt from article on ESPN.com:

Two University of Louisville basketball players were sentenced to one year of probation on Monday after pleading guilty to a charge stemming from an altercation with off-duty police at a southern Indiana restaurant earlier this month.

Guard Jerry Smith, 22, and forward Terrence Jennings, 20, must complete 40 hours of community service and pay about $500 in court costs as part of their pleas on a charge of resisting law enforcement, a misdemeanor.

Smith and Jennings both "knowingly and intentionally defied, obstructed and interfered with Officer Thomas Mitchell while Mitchell was engaged in the execution of his duties," according to court documents.

Both players apologized to the court, Mitchell and the community during their arraignment in Jeffersonville City Court on Monday.

"Both Terrence and I can assure you and everyone else that we will do what we are required to do and we will work very hard to make up for this both in the classroom and on the court," Smith said.

Complete Article on ESPN.com

St. Catharine Participates in Patriot Pals Program




Members of the St. Catharine College basketball program recently participated in their Patriot Pals program. The team visits area schools and serves as mentors to the students.
Nice work from the Patriots!

Morehead State Picks Up DII Transfer Brandon Romain

Article from MSU Eagle Nation:

According to Scout.com, MSU has added transfer Brandon Romain to its men’s basketball team. Scout lists Romain as 6′4 175. He’s a quick, left handed shooting guard with big game potential. Last season he played for Post University (D-II) as a true freshman and had a big night scoring 41 points in only his second game against D-I South Dakota, a future MSU opponent. Romain is a native of Brooklyn, NY where he played high school ball at Boys and Girls. Scout listed him as a 2 star prospect out of high school and ESPN rated him at an 87 and as their #40 SG in that class.

Campbellsville to Host Meet the Tigers Tomorrow

Excerpt of Announcement from Campbellsville:

The Campbellsville University Big Maroon Club will host the second annual Meet the Tiger Hoop Teams event Oct. 20 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Powell Athletic Center.

Fans will get a chance to meet players one-on-one, participate in a shooting competition, watch the Tigers and Lady Tigers compete in shooting drills, a 3-point contest and dunk contest. CU basketball will also honor its history as 1,000 point club alum Benji Kelly will challenge the Lady Tigers' all-time 3-point shooter, Sarah Higdon Thurmond, in a 3-point shoot out.

"This is a great way to tip off the 2009-2010 season," said CU men's basketball head coach Keith Adkins. "This event provides an opportunity for everyone to get a chance to meet all of our players and get a sneak peek at this year's squad. There will, also, be some interactive competitions for some lucky fans. I hope everyone will come out and participate in the excitement that we are expecting for this upcoming season."

Complete Announcement

Murray State to Unveil Team at Racer Fan Jam

Announcement from Murray State:

Murray State basketball fans are invited to attend Racer Fan Jam, Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Regional Special Events Center.

Fan Jam is a MSU basketball tradition when students and fans get to see the Racer men's and women's teams for the first time.

This Fan Jam will also feature a special unveiling of the new video boards and floor in the RSEC.
Admission is free and all in attendance will see both squads scrimmage.

There will be several chances for fans to interact with the MSU players and coaches, including the interactive three-point contest where fans team up with MSU players.

There will be free give-a-ways and an autograph session, plus schedule posters and schedule cards will also be available. MSU's spirit groups, Racer Band, Dunker and Air Dunker will also perform.

This Fan Jam event finds both teams with about one week of workouts under their belts and both will be shooting to win the Ohio Valley Conference title this season.

Billy Kennedy enters his fourth season with the men's program as head coach, and Rob Cross is in his second season at the helm of the women's program.

The Racers open their season Nov. 5 at home with an exhibition game with Bethel College.

The MSU women's squad has its season opener Nov. 13 at Alabama A&M.

Related News:

Murray State Feature on ESPN.com

UK Picked to Win SEC; Patterson Player of the Year

The media has voted and selected Kentucky to win the Southeastern Conference basketball championship.

Preseason Rankings (based on media voting):

SEC East:

Kentucky 148 total points (23 first-place votes)
Tennessee 117 (2)
Vanderbilt
South Carolina
Florida
Georgia

SEC West:

Mississippi State 144 (22)
Ole Miss 120 (2)
Alabama 84
LSU
Arkansas
Auburn

Kentucky's Patrick Patterson was chosen as preseason SEC Player of the Year with 11 votes. John Wall earned 6 votes.

SEC Player of the Year Voting:

Patrick Patterson, Kentucky (11)
John Wall, Kentucky (6)
Jarvis Varnado, Miss. St. (3)
Devan Downey, USC (3)
Tyler Smith, Tennessee (2)

FIRST TEAM ALL-SEC Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown

Devan Downey, South Carolina G 5-9 175 Sr. Chester, S.C.
Patrick Patterson, Kentucky F 6-9 235 Jr. Huntington, W.Va.
Tyler Smith, Tennessee G/F 6-7 215 Sr. Pulaski, Tenn.
Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State F 6-9 230 Sr. Brownsville, Tenn.
Terrico White, Ole Miss G 6-5 211 So. Memphis, Tenn.

SECOND TEAM ALL-SEC Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown

Tasmin Mitchell, LSU F 6-7 235 Sr. Denham Springs, La.
A.J. Ogilvy, Vanderbilt C 6-11 250 Jr. Sydney, Australia
DeWayne Reed, Auburn G 6-1 175 Sr. Houston, Texas
John Wall, Kentucky G 6-4 195 Fr. Raleigh, N.C.
Chris Warren, Ole Miss G 5-10 165 Jr. Orlando, Fla.

UK Fans Said Recruits' Names; WVU Fans Made T-shirts





The NCAA Compliance office at West Virginia is going to have fun spinning this one.

KU's Sherron Collins Thinks John Wall is All "Hype"

Gary Parrish has released his rankings of the top 25 point guards and combo guards. He ranks Kentucky freshman John Wall #1 on the list and gives his opinion on Wall: "John Wall is the nation's best point guard, in my opinion."

Coming in at #2 on the list is Kansas senior point guard Sherron Collins, who doesn't seem to feel the same love for Wall:

"It bothers me a little bit," Collins said when I asked about all the attention Wall is getting. "I think I've established myself, and he's coming out of high school with a lot of hype. But I'm the old guy, and I ain't gonna let no young boy get the best of me."

Collins adds that he would like to square off with Wall and Kentucky:

"It would be a good matchup: Kansas vs. Kentucky," Collins said. "I'd like to play him."

Here is Parrish's list of the top 5 guards:

1. John Wall, Kentucky
2. Sherron Collins, Kansas
3. Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
4. Devan Downey, South Carolina
5. Scottie Reynolds, Villanova

Lexington native and Butler star Shelvin Mack makes the list at #14. Western Kentucky's A.J. Slaughter comes in at #18.

Complete Article from CBSSports.com

My Thoughts: Collins may want to be careful what he wishes for. Remember, if you talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk. Besides, the last time a Kansas basketball player ran his mouth, it didn't turn out so well - just ask the Jayhawk football team.

Talented Duo from Houston Visits Western Kentucky


Western Kentucky hosted Leslee Smith and Brandon Peters, three very talented 2010 players from the Houston area, over the weekend.

I talked to recruiting guru Jim Hicks, who runs RCSSports.com in Houston, this morning about each player and he describes them as two of the top 5 players in the city of Houston. He strongly feels that if Western could land both players, that it would be the best duo the Hilltoppers have ever landed outside of Kentucky. Here is some information that Hicks gave me on each player:

- Leslee Smith is a 6'8" power forward that plays for Christian Life. The visit to WKU was his first official visit. Hicks calls smith a 4-guy with a good body and nice touch. He has an excellent mid-range jumper. He is a good rebounder and a tough post player. Smith picked up an official offer from Southern California this summer.

- Brandon "Snap" Peters (pictured) is a 6'1" combo guard that plays for Yates High School. Hicks had no hesitation in describing Peters as "the biggest athlete in the state of Texas." He says Peters has a 44-45" vertical and literally "jumps out of the gym."

Hicks feels that Western would be getting a steal if they were to land one or both of these Houston stars.

Kene Anyibgo, a third Houston-area recruit, was also schedule to visit WKU this weekend, but I have been unable to confirm if he made the visit. Anyibgo is a 6'5 wing from Bellaire High School. He is ranked #13 in the city of Houston and will be making a visit to Memphis this coming weekend.

UPDATE: Anyibgo says the report from Hicks was inaccurate about a Memphis visit but he confirms that he did visit WKU.

Here is a YouTube video of Peters showing off his athleticism:

The AllKYHoops4Kids Week 1 Winner Is...


J. Farris of Batesville, Mississippi

Mr. Farris' $25 online donation to AllKYHoops4Kids has earned him a Kentucky Wildcats 1998 National Championship t-shirt that is autographed by one of the team's starting five.

There will be autographed prizes and Kentucky Wildcats' basketball tickets given away weekly for the largest donation as we march towards our goal of sending a young UK fan that is battling cancer to Rupp Arena for basketball action.


You can make a donation by contacting me directly or by using the ChipIn widget to the left (Paypal or credit cards).

John Calipari and Kentucky: I Want My MTV


This morning, there is an article about Kentucky basketball on non-other than MTV.com. The connection? Kentucky head coach John Calipari invited musical artist Drake to be a guest assistant at Kentucky's Big Blue Madness event. Here is the article:

In the eye-popping music video for Drake's "Best I Ever Had" (directed by Kanye West), the Toronto native cast himself as the coach of a highly unorthodox female basketball team. On Friday night (October 16), the rapper got the chance to flex his coaching muscles for real. At this year's Big Blue Madness event at the University of Kentucky (where the basketball team is officially unveiled to the student populace in the first minutes they are eligible to do so), new head coach John Calipari welcomed Drake as a guest coach during the intrasquad scrimmage that made up the main event.

The rapper and Kentucky basketball enthusiast coached against the veteran Calipari, and though he had an assist from former NBA great Rod Strickland, he ended up with the same result as the "Best I Ever Had" video, as his Blue Team narrowly fell to Calipari's White Team by a score of 63-62. The night was a huge success, though, as thousands gathered at the University of Kentucky's Rupp Arena to give Drake a massive ovation. The event also featured former Kentucky Wildcat and current Detroit Pistons star Tayshaun Prince as well as actress and professional University of Kentucky enthusiast Ashley Judd.

Though nobody would have mistaken Calipari for a hip-hop fan, he seemed excited about the visit from one of rap's biggest up-and-comers. "With our guest coach in the locker room going over the scrimmage scouting report," he tweeted before the game, adding a blurry picture to drive that point home. For his part, Drake probably sees a lot of himself in Kentucky freshman John Wall, who is one of the most hyped recruits in the country. And like Drake, Wall delivered an amazing show for the UK faithful, throwing down dunks and already looking like a superstar.

Source: MTV.com

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