Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another Sad Article from ESPN1070 the Fan in Indy


Kent Sterling (pictured?), 1070 The Fan Program Director, has responded to an article on A Sea of Blue with another poor piece of journalism. Here is an excerpt:

Okay, I've learned some things about Kentucky fans through reading all of the responses to yesterday's blog:
1: Racism before 1970 is okay because everyone was a racist back then
2. Cheating is okay because everyone does it
3. Winning is the most important thing in college basketball
4. John Calipari bears no responsibility for UMass or Memphis issuers that led to their Final Four appearances being stricken

Yesterday, I wrote about how the UK hiring of John Calipari would come back to bite UK and its fans in the ass. People in Kentucky took great offense and expressed their frustration.

Read the complete article here (NOTE: Comments CAN be left on this article)

UPDATE: A Sea of Blue Responds...Again

Kentucky and Morehead on ESPN SportsCenter

Kentucky vs. Morehead State - SportsCenter Highlight

By the way, Kenneth Faried of Morehead State earned the #2 spot on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays of the day and Bledsoe's circus shot was #1.

Memphis Lands 2010 Star Jelan Kendrick

Sources are indicating that Jelan Kendrick has committed to the Memphis Tigers.

UPDATE: I have confirmed that Jelan Kendrick will be a Memphis Tiger as he has already signed the letter-of-intent. Kendrick is a 6-6 forward that ranks #8 on the Rivals150 List for 2010. He is a huge addition for Memphis and new head coach Josh Pastner.

I asked Dan Wolken of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal for some comments on Kendrick. Here are his thoughts:

"Even though a lot of people will be stunned by Kendrick coming to Memphis, especially with an already loaded backcourt, there were signs all along that Memphis had a strong chance to get him. His AAU relationships and the fact that he had spent much of the summer here were crucial in his comfort level with the Memphis program and some of the other guys he's going to be playing with. It worked on the summer circuit for the Memphis Magic, and we'll see if it works in college next year."

Lindsey Wilson Gets Wins Over Bluefield

Lindsey Wilson 68
Bluefield College 63

Final from Lou Cunningham Classic at Campbellsville, Kentucky


Excerpt of Game Recap from Lindsey Wilson:

In a game where neither team wanted to go away, Lindsey Wilson College won the battle of attrition over Bluefield (Va.) College, 68-63, on Saturday at the Lou Cunningham Classic hosted by Campbellsville (Ky.) University.

Senior Andrija Tintor led the Blue Raiders with a season-high 17 points, including 15 scored in the first half. Tintor scored the first six points of the game for Lindsey Wilson.


Carlton Shumake, a freshman from Louisville, Ky., paced the Rams with 21 points, while his classmate Marcus Jackson added 10 points, including eight in the first half.

Jackson followed Tintor's lead in the early going, scoring the first eight points for Bluefield (1-4), including a pair of three-point baskets.

While the Blue Raiders led by as many as 11 points, the advantage was short lived as the Lindsey Wilson (3-1) lead hovered around five points the majority of the contest.

Trailing 60-51 near the one-minute mark in the game, Bluefield started to foul, forcing Lindsey Wilson to keep its lead from the line in a late effort to successfully come back.

The plan was effective in closing the margin, but not in winning the game.

Complete Recap

Ex-Cat Mark Coury Terrorizes SEC Again


Mark Coury no longer plays at the University of Kentucky, but he still managed to get a win over Alabama today as Cornell ruined Anthony Grant's 'Bama coaching debut with a 71-67 road victory.

It was the first time in 37 years that the Cornell men's basketball team defeated a team from the Southeastern Conference.

Coury, making his first regular season appearance for Cornell after transferring from Kentucky, scored 6 points and pulled down 5 rebounds in 18 minutes of action.

John Calipari Not Satisfied But Happy to Win First Game

Kentucky 75
Morehead State 59

Final from Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky


I represented AllKYHoops.com at Rupp Arena last night and offered live coverage from the game. Here are a few notes I made and some quotes that were made during the post-game coverage:


Basketball Analysis:

Kentucky

- Morehead State did a pretty decent job in slowing Kentucky down; they played a tough zone defense the entire game which forced Kentucky to work much harder in the half-court offense
- Patterson had his best game to this point after looking somewhat uncomfortable in the exhibitions; with Morehead taking UK out of the DDM for the most part, Patterson found himself in familiar territory - the paint
- Jon Hood did not play; DeAndre Liggins did not play; John Wall sat out to satisfy the NCAA's one-game suspension
- I was really impressed with Daniel Orton's effort for most of the game; he is a little better at this point than I thought he would be
- On the flip-side of things, I was a little disappointed with DeMarcus Cousins for most of the game; he struggled with a smaller, quicker Kenneth Faried
- Kentucky really missed John Wall in the lineup; good point by Calipari after the game - Wall played one game, UK had 12 turnovers total; Wall missed two games, UK had 23 and 24 turnovers, respectively
- Eric Bledsoe played a great game; at times he simply took the game over in the 2nd half and that circus-stunt shot he made was the spark the Cats needed to put the game away
- Perry Stevenson, Ramon Harris, Darius Miller and Darnell Dodson where not terrible, but they were closer to average than they were in the exhibition games

Key Individual Stats:

Cousins: 3-4 FG 7 PTS 4 REB
Patterson: 9-12 FG 1-2 3PT 20 PTS 12 REB
Bledsoe: 7-14 FG 9-10 FT 24 PTS 7 REB 4 AST 7 TO
Dodson: 6-14 FG 2-8 3PT 15 PTS 4 REB 3 AST 4 TO
Harris, Stevenson, Orton, Harrellson, Miller, Krebs: 84 MIN 1-8 FG 0-4 3PT 9 PTS 10 TO

Team: 4-19 3PT for only 21.1%

Morehead State

- The Eagles are going to be a really good OVC team; Faried is likely to dominate the league and Morehead is the team to beat for the NCAA berth
- Morehead had opportunities in the game to keep the final score in the 8-12 point range, but they missed a few key shots and couldn't get over the hump
- Maze Stallworth had a very uncharacteristic night as he was only 2-15 from the field and 1-12 from long range; he is typically a 40% shooter from 3-point range
- Kenneth Faried proved that he can compete on the same level as a Kentucky; he struggled a little early in the first half, but picked it up a notch to finish with 17 points and 7 rebounds
- Donnie Tyndall can coach the game of basketball; he is as good at x's and o's and getting the most out of his roster as any coach you'll find
- As bad as UK was from long range, MSU was worse as they were only 4-24 for 16.7%
- I was a little disappointed in the performance of Ty Proffitt; he came to MSU from Notre Dame and with that move comes big expectations
- The Eagles are having a difficult time replacing Leon Buchanan, who graduated last season; for Morehead to be at their best, someone will need to step into that role
- MSU wanted to have 12 or less turnovers: they had 12
- MSU wanted to give up 10 or less offensive rebounds: UK had 15

Key Individual Stats:

Faried: 8-12 FG 17 PTS 7 REB 2 BLK
Harper: 5-11 FG 12 PTS 3 AST 5 TO
Stallworth: 2-15 FG 1-12 3PT 5 PTS
Shingles: 1-3 FG 3-6 FT 5 PTS 5 AST 1TO

Team: 4-24 3PT 5-12 FT

Head-to-Head Key Stats:

Game Rebounds: UK 43 MSU 24
Game Turnovers: UK 24 MSU 12
Game Free Throws: MSU 5-12 UK 19-28

Post-Game Press Conference Quotes:

John Calipari, Kentucky Head Coach

On the lackadaisical play of some of his players:

"When I coached the last four years, I didn't have to beg my team to compete. I'm so used to it, when I don't see it, I'm losing my mind."

Obviously frustrated, he stated that UK has 3 starters at the moment and that's it:

"Eric Bledsoe will start, duh. John Wall will start, and Patrick Patterson will start."

On Eric Bledsoe:

"I love him. I love his courage on the floor. I think he's a very intelligent player, even though he had seven turnovers without John Wall on the floor and I tried to play him every minute. What I expect from him is six and two, that is six assists and two turnovers and 10, 12 or 15 points a game. What about the blocked shots he made with one ankle? He blocked guys with one ankle."

"He's just a gamer. I said to the team, 'Who on this team takes the game winner and knows it's going in?' and I pointed to Eric. Some guys hope it goes in, and he knows it's going to go in. One of the guys said to me, 'He's tired' and I said, 'I know, but he's better than most guys that are fresh, so I'll leave him in.'"

On Patrick Patterson:

"He and I sat down and had a little heart-to-heart."

"It was great to see him bust out. He should be a 20-and-12 guy. I'd say 25 and 15 is what he needs to be."

On his team:

"I like my team. I'm so happy John Wall will be back. And I'm happy with what I saw from Eric and Patrick."

"We'll build from here."

The daily shot at Jerry Tipton:

"Any other questions? Except for Jerry. I'll answer any other questions."

Donnie Tyndall, Morehead State Head Coach

On the length and athleticism of Kentucky:

"We have one guy who fits that description. They have four."

On UK's dominance on the boards:

"For us to get outrebounded by 19, when that's a huge emphasis for us, credit to them."

On Eric Bledsoe:

"If John Wall is better than him, wow."

Listen to Calipari's Entire Postgame Press Conference (via John Clay)

A Couple of Things that I Consider "Cool":

- There were pro scouts in attendance from 9 NBA teams
- I talked to scouts from the Mavericks and the Nuggets; I asked the Dallas scout who he was there to watch...his response, "The entire Kentucky roster and Kenneth Faried..."
- The highlight of the night for me was the opportunity to meet Andy Katz from ESPN; I spoke to him for a couple of minutes and he is a very nice guy; I posed for a picture with Katz and I have to thank Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio for snapping the shot for me
- I had the camera read, but "Dancing Guy" was nowhere to be found; I was disappointed

ESPN the Magazine Apologizes to Louisville Basketball

Here's the statement that will run in the next issue of ESPN The Magazine:

ONE WE FORGOT : One, two, 19, 48. Who's counting? Not us. In debating how far Louisville would fall in our college basketball rankings (Split Takes, Nov. 16), we inadvertently let the reigning Big East champs slip away altogether. (We meant to sit them at 26.) We regret the omission but blame it on the Cards' (and their coach's) under-the-radar summer.

That's not much of an apology, in my opinion.

Source: CardChronicle.com

Tobias Harris Journal: Day 1 in Maryland

Tobias Harris, the #5 recruit on the Rivals150 List for 2010, is now 12 days away from announcing his college choice. This is the Tobias Harris Journal, an all access feature from AllKYHoops.com that intends to illustrate the high-major recruiting process through the eyes of the recruit.

I spoke to Tobias earlier tonight and he was taking a break from an eventful day in Maryland.

I asked him, "how is Maryand?"

"It's good," he responded.

He spent part of the day meeting with academic staff at the university before attending the Maryland basketball game - an 89-51 Terrapin victory over Charleston Southern.

He said the game was "very exciting."

After watching the game, he stated, "the team has great guys and their style is uptempo and fun."

Tobias will likely be attending the Virginia Tech vs. Maryland football game tomorrow afternoon.

Follow Tobias on Twitter

Follow AllKYHoops on Twitter

AllKYHoops.com Meets ESPN Analyst Andy Katz


I had the pleasure of meeting ESPN's Andy Katz tonight at Rupp Arena.
(Photo by Matt Jones' Photography)

Morehead State vs. Kentucky: Postgame Pictures

Coach Calipari breaks the game down for the media

ESPN's Andy Katz takes a few notes

The media frenzy around Patrick Patterson

Patterson answers questions for the media (over the shoulder of the great Jerry Tipton)

Fans stick around for the postgame radio show and Calipari's comments

Morehead State vs. Kentucky: Game Pictures

Rupp Arena was packed for the season opener

Morehead played a tough zone defense for most of the night

Several NBA scouts enjoy the game tonight

There was a questionable call or two in the game

Or maybe three or four questionable calls

Campbellsville Easily Defeats Bluefield College

Campbellsville 88
Bluefield College 64

Final from Lou Cunningham Classic in Campbellsville, Kentucky


Excerpt of Game Recap from Campbellsville:

Campbellsville University opened the Lou Cunningham Classic with an 88-64 win over Bluefield College on Friday in front of its first home crowd this season. Not only did the Tigers give the baseball team a reason to break out their keys in the final minute, but Nestor Colmenares and Joe Robinson excited the crowd with a pair of dunks each.

"I thought the student body really showed up tonight. At a small school like this, you have to have the student body and the other sports supporting each other, and we got that tonight," CU head coach Keith Adkins said. "I don't know if we've had a home opener like this in a while."

Colmenares also had a big second half, scoring 12 points, to finish with 19 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Robinson also scored 19 and had six rebounds. Harris finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Jordan Benock had a silent 10 points and five rebounds. Jermaine Carter and T.J. Bishop each had three assists to lead CU.

The Tigers (3-0) host Mid-Continent University (2-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday in its first of three games against TranSouth Athletic Conference schools. It will be the final game of the Lou Cunningham Classic, as Lindsey Wilson College (2-1) will play Bluefield (1-3) at 2 p.m. Lindsey Wilson held off MCU, 69-66, in the tournament opener at 6 p.m. Friday.

Complete Game Recap

Lindsey Wilson Holds Off Mid-Continent in Campbellsville

Lindsey Wilson 89
Mid-Continent 86

Final from Lou Cunningham Classic in Campbellsville, Kentucky


Excerpt of Game Recap from WestKentuckyStar.com:

Mid-Continent University (2-2) guard David Gratton missed a last-second three-point field goal attempt that would have forced overtime and lost 69-66 to Lindsey Wilson College (2-1) in collegiate men’s basketball action Friday night at the Lou Cunningham Classic hosted by Campbellsville University (Ky.). Close thrillers are becoming the rule for the two schools when they meet -- Mid-Continent won an 85-82 double-overtime contest against Lindsey Wilson at the 2008 Lou Cunningham Classic.

MCU plays against Campbellsville in a Saturday game at the Lou Cunningham Classic, tipping off at 3 pm. MCU lost a 78-74 game to Campbellsville at last season’s Classic. Next week, MCU returns home to play William Woods University, Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the Mayfield High School Sports Arena, at 7 pm.

Complete Game Recap

Phillip Morrison Explodes to Lead Asbury to Road Win

Asbury College 85
Mount Vernon Nazarene 84

Final from Mt. Vernon, Ohio


Game recap from Asbury:

Phillip Morrison (Louisville, Ky.) was at it again on Friday night, scoring all 10 Eagle points in overtime and hitting the game winning three with five seconds left to give Asbury (3-1) the win 85-84 over Mount Vernon Nazarene (2-1).

Justin Jones (Hazard, Ky.) hit the game-tying layup with one second left in regulation to send the game into the extra session at 75-75. A key defensive series gave the Eagles a chance at the tie after Adam Delph blocked a shot and Brian Johnson got a steal to set up Jones' layup which was assisted by Morrison.

Morrison hit five-of-six free throws in the extra session, a layup, and the game winning three on his way to a career high 36 points. He scored 16 in the first half, 10 in the second, and then all 10 of Asbury's points in the final period. Morrison was 12-of-17 from the field and hit five threes and seven-of-eight from the foul line, his miss was his first of the season. He also had a team high five assists in playing 43 minutes.

Jones nearly had a triple-double in arguably his best game as a collegian with eight points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks. He was four-for-five from the field in the game. Brian Johnson was the only other Eagle in double-figures with 11 points. He also had nine rebounds, four assists, and one timely steal.

Asbury went into halftime down by one, 37-36 then saw MVNU push their lead to double digits in the first six minutes of the second half and up to it's highest at 14 with just over 12 minutes remaining in regulation. The Eagles finally kept the Cougar lead under 10 when Delph hit a three with under six minutes remaining. Asbury's biggest lead came at 18-11 with 9:13 left in the first half. There were seven ties.

Asbury struggled at the free throw line, hitting only 12-of-24 but shot 49% from the floor and connected on 11 threes. MVNU shot only 40% from the floor and hit only four threes. The Cougars led the rebounding battle 48-40. Mount Vernon had five players in double figures scoring led by Brandon Short's 17.

The Eagles will take on Wilberforce (Ohio) on Saturday at 4:00pm. Asbury will host the Christian College Invitational next weekend, November 20th and 21st. Asbury will play Friday at 8:00 pm and Saturday at 4:00 pm.

Kentucky Christian Wins to Remain Undefeated

Kentucky Christian 89
Wesley College 78

Final from Super 8 Classic in Grayson, Kentucky

Game Recap from KCU:

Kentucky Christian University is hosting the Super 8 Classic this weekend at the Dick Damron Hall of Champions. The tournament includes three of the top 10 ranked teams in the National Christian College Athletic Association.

KCU opened up last night against the Warriors of Wesley College out of Jackson, Mississippi. The Knights came out and held a minimal lead throughout the first half. Early foul trouble inside caused KCU to play five guards for the final 10 minutes of the first half. Eric Mckee and Casey Jones led the charge in the first half, with Jones hitting a 3pt basket at the buzzer to put the Knights up 38-32 going into the intermission.

The second half, the Knights came out at full strength. Great defense only allowed 8 points in the first 8 minutes of the second half. Offensively, KCU found the right gear and ran out to a 23 point lead at 63-40 with a little over 11 minutes to go in the game.

Wesley came charging back, hitting four 3 point baskets in the final 8 minutes. They cut the lead to six, 80-74.

Down the stretch, the Knights hit their free throws and handled the ball versus the pressure to secure the 89-78 victory over Wesley. KCU was led by Casey Jones who finished with 24 points and 18 rebounds. Eric McKee also added 18 points and 7 rebounds. Sophomore Jon Hood scored 9 points, while junior post player Cedomir Ilic finished with 8 points and 11 rebounds. Rounding out the balanced scoring for the Knights was freshman Shawn Thompson with 8 points, sophomore Blandon Clemons 8 points, senior Jordan Garrett finished with 8 points, and junior Katlin Haney netted 7 points.

The Knights face Valley Forge (PA) who is ranked #5 in the country tonight at 8:00pm.

Taylor Defeats Union College in Bevo Francis Classic

Taylor (Ind.) University 72
Union College 63

Final from Rio Grande, Ohio


Game Recap from Union:

Union College dropped to 0-3 on the season after suffering a 72-63 loss to Taylor (Ind.) University Friday in the Bevo Francis Classic at the University of Rio Grande (Ohio).

The Trojans improved to 3-0 overall.

Union only trailed 37-35 at the half, but the Bulldogs couldn't make up any ground in the second half as the Trojans outscored them 35-28 in the period en route to the nine-point win.

Kearny Demus (Lexington, Ky.) led Union with 14 points with Payton Ponzer (Independence, Ky.) following with 13. Beau Brown (Athens, Tenn.) added 10 points.

Casey Coons paced Taylor with 19 points, while Tommy Peller and Nate Kasper scored 18 and 13 points, respectively. Scott Gill chipped in 10 points.

Union will face Ohio University Chillicothe at 1 p.m. Saturday

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kentucky vs. Morehead State - Live Coverage

AllKYHoops.com is reporting live from Rupp Arena for Morehead State vs. Kentucky:

- I am running a little late tonight due to Friday evening rush hour in Lexington, but it could be worse; we are about 8:00 minutes from tip-off; Patrick Patterson just received a game ball in recognition of joining the 1,000-point club during last season
- The Cats and Eagles have both taken the floor; very nice atmosphere tonight; about 2:00 minutes from tip
- Time to introduce the teams; atmosphere is electric tonight
- Maze Stallworth gets the start for Morehead State tonight after being listed as questionable
- Patterson gets a rebound and puts it back in; 2-0 UK
- Morehead game plan is very obvious on the first possession; they killed 30 seconds on the shotclock, but turned it over
- Both teams a little sloppy; Cats are trying to run, Eagles are trying to slow the game; lots of hustle on both ends at the moment
- There are a load of NBA scouts in attendance tonight
- Morehead drains a 3-pointer to take a 5-4 lead early
- Patrick Patterson drains a three at the top of the key; UK 7 MSU 5
- 15:17 first half; timeout on the floor: UK 7 MSU 5
- Morehead is executing their gameplan to perfection at the moment; the sign of smart players and a superb coaching staff
- Dodson with a nice jumper to put a little life into Rupp Arena; Patterson follows with a layup and the foul on Kenneth Faried; UK 12 MSU 5
- Timeout Morehead after a 7-0 UK run; UK 14 MSU 5 at the 12:22 mark
- 11:52 first half; timeout on the floor; UK 14 MSU 5
- Morehead gets a long jumper to break the run, but Dodson drains a 3-pointer on the other end
- Cousins get the bucket and a foul off the turnover; FT good to make it 20-7 UK
- Just an observation: John Wall seems to really be in the game; he is a great leader - even on the bench
- Hill with a 3-pointer for MSU to cut the lead to 22-11
- 7:40 first half; timeout on the floor; UK 22 MSU 11
- Patterson has been unstoppable so far tonight; he already has 11 points
- Hill drains another 3-pointer for MSU; lead back down to 10 points
- The officials are calling it pretty tight tonight; Dodson with a 3-pointer to make it 27-14 UK
- Conversation from the fans behind me, "My plans today are to drink as much alcohol as possible."
- Somehow, I always end up sitting in front of the "drunk analyst" fan
- 3:38 first half; timeout on the floor; UK 28 MSU 18
- Morehead goes on a 4-0 run right out of the timeout to make it 28-22 UK
- UK immediately calls a 30-second timeout
- Cousins picks up his third foul in the first half; lead down to 28-23 UK
- The action has really picked up in the last two minutes
- Morehead is competing with the Cats at this point; now 31-25 UK
- Halftime: Kentucky 33 Morehead 25
- I talked to two NBA Scouts at the half; I asked one who he was watching and he said, "the whole UK roster and Faried..."
- Bledsoe starts the 2nd half with a nice 3-point; 36-25
- Stallworth is showing some rust after missing a few days with an injury; he is not making shots that he normally makes to this point
- Patterson goes to 18 points for the game on a layup; 41-27 UK
- Timeout Morehead after another UK layup
- 15:19 second half; timeout on the floor; UK 43 MSU 27
- Kentucky is looking a little better in the second half; Patterson has a double-double with 18 and 10
- 11:58 second half; timeout on the floor; UK 46 MSU 29
- UK pushes up to a 50-31 lead
- Game is now getting heated; Stevenson was just pushed under the basket and he turned with some words; chants of "Perry! Perry!"
- Morehead won't give up; 4-0 run to make it 51-37; timeout Kentucky
- 52-37 UK; Morehead gets fouled and will go the line for 2 shots; 9:41 on the clock
- Nice lob dunk to Faried; Cousins answers with a layup on the other end
- Unbelievable circus shot from Bledsoe to bring Rupp Arena to a roar; loudest I've heard it all season
- Timeout Morehead; 7:14 remaining; UK 58 MSU 39
- 6:50 second half; timeout on the floor; UK 58 MSU 39
- Kentucky has now taken a commanding 62-41 lead; Bledsoe with the bucket and a foul
- Orton picks up his 4th foul; 63-41 and MSU goes to the line for 2 shots
- Stallworth finally get's a 3-pointer to fall; feel bad for Maze, but he'll go on to have a great season for the Eagles
- Shingles just fouled out of the game for Morehead
- Cousins has removed the headband for whatever reason
- 3:38 second half; timeout on the floor; UK 71 MSU 47
- Back-and-forth action right now; UK 74 MSU 53
- UK up 74-57; Looks like Morehead is going to cover the 21-point spread in Vegas
- Final: Kentucky 75 Morehead State 59

Morehead State vs. Kentucky: Game Preview

Morehead State vs. Kentucky

Location: Rupp Arena, Lexington
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Television: ESPNU (live)

Summary: The John Calipari era at Kentucky officially begins tonight. Morehead State looks to build on a late-season run in March that led them to an OVC title and an NCAA appearance.

What to Watch: Morehead State's Kenneth Faried; Kentucky's offense without John Wall; Patrick Patterson's transition to more of a wing player; Outside shooting by both teams; Game tempo

* AllKYHoops.com will be reporting live from Rupp Arena at about 5:45 p.m.

Preview from UKAthletics.com

Getting to Know the Morehead State Eagles

Nice Piece on Morehead State's Kenneth Faried

Kentucky Basketball - Weekend Schedule

There is a full slate of games involving teams around that state this weekend:

Friday

St. Catharine 76 @ Tennessee Wesleyan 64 (Athens, TN)
Union College 63 vs. Taylor University 72 (Bevo Francis Classic in Rio Grande, OH)
Mid-Continent 66 vs. Lindsey Wilson 69 (Lou Cunningham Classic in Campbellsville, KY)
Morehead State 59 @ Kentucky 75 (Lexington, KY)
Wesley College 78 vs. Kentucky Christian 89 (Super 8 Classic in Grayson, KY)
Bluefield College 64 vs. Campbellsville 88 (Lou Cunningham Classic in Campbellsville, KY)
Asbury 85 Mount Vernon Nazarene 84 (Mt. Vernon, OH)

Saturday

Bluefield College 63 vs. Lindsey Wilson 68 (Lou Cunningham Classic in Campbellsville, KY)
Asbury 68 @ Wilberforce University 82 (Wilberforce, OH)
Mid-Continent 89 vs. Campbellsville 88 OT (Lou Cunningham Classic in Campbellsville, KY)
Grace Bible 80 vs. Kentucky Christian 56 (Super 8 Classic in Grayson, KY)
St. Catharine 41 @ Western Carolina 65 (Exhibition in Cullowhee, NC)
Missouri-St. Louis 54 @ Murray State 92 (Murray, KY)
OSU Mansfield 75 @ Berea 151 (Berea, KY)
West Virginia Wesleyan 71 @ Eastern Kentucky 102 (Richmond, KY)
Union College 103 vs. Ohio University-Chillicothe 74 (Bevo Francis Classic in Rio Grande, OH)
TBA TBA Alice Lloyd College @ Hiwassee College

Sunday

Northern Kentucky 54 @ Grand Valley State 57 (Allendale, MI)
3:00 p.m. Transylvania 54 @ Carthage 76
5:00 p.m. Bellarmine vs. Salem International University (Institute, WV)

Tobias Harris Journal: Picture from Maryland

Tobias Harris, the #5 recruit on the Rivals150 List for 2010, is now 12 days away from announcing his college choice. This is the Tobias Harris Journal, an all access feature from AllKYHoops.com that intends to illustrate the high-major recruiting process through the eyes of the recruit.

Tobias left in the early a.m. this morning for his Maryland visit. The visit has started and he just posted a picture on Twitter from the football stadium. Here is his post:

tobias31 http://twitpic.com/pdlz7 just ran the football stadium steps

We hope to have an update on the visit later tonight.

You Need to Read this Nice Article on A Sea of Blue

I would like to point everyone to a nice article by our friends over at A Sea of Blue. The article breaks down a scathing, highly-opinionated (and mostly false) piece that was written by someone named Kent Sterling at ESPN1070 The Fan in Indianapolis.

Here is article at 1070thefan.com

After you stop laughing, read the piece at aseaofblue.com that breaks the article down and discusses its flaws very accurately.

Here is an excerpt to peek your interest:

Is it unfair to indict the UK freshmen based on the crimes committed by others? I don't think so. These kids and their parents walked into Calipari's office with their eyes wide open, and should have a reasonable expectation that what happened at UMass and Memphis is damn likely to occur in Lexington. What would motivate Calipari to do anything other than what he's been rewarded for - winning regardless of the cost to the schools who write enormous checks? Why would a family with a meal ticket of a basketball player who will never stay in school long enough to get a degree give a shit about the school for which they play? They're all going to the league, right? They'll all make millions, and buy cars and houses for their families, right? So who gives a shit about the University of Kentucky?

Of all the offenses I have categorized so far, this paragraph represents the most egregious and wrong. John Calipari has never been credibly accused by anyone of wrongdoing. Why would parents expect anything but the best from a man who has consistently delivered it, fairly and honestly.

I won't go into his success at graduating players from college, or teaching them responsibility, or improving the condition of some pretty marginal players to NBA status along with their college degrees. They are matters of public record which can be had with a simple Google search.

Another thing this lower form of life fails to recognize is that we, the fans and alumni of the school, "give a shit" about the University of Kentucky. If he thinks we are going to allow John Calipari or anyone else to wreck this school's reputation, he is either sick with jealousy or too deeply steeped in irrational hate to even check on UK's perfect compliance record in basketball since the late 1980's -- something that did not happen by accident.

What he is saying here is that the parents of these children only care about money, and not about how the coach gets it for them. That is a sad commentary on this author's dark and miserable soul, and I think that Patrick Patterson would never play for such a person for any length of time if Calipari were guilty as charged. I know Patterson's parents would object to such a person. That's all the proof I need of the unfairness of this accusation, but to be honest, it proves nothing objectively.

But the fact that Calipari has never been accused by the NCAA of a violation in his life is much more dispositive.

Check out the complete article

NCAA Coaching Carousel in Full Swing this Summer


Lute Olsen started it all:
Add Image
Rusty LaRue owes his new job as an assistant coach at Wake Forest to Lute Olsen's decision to retire at Arizona.

No, there isn't a direct link between the Demon Deacons and Wildcats. But when the Hall of Fame coach abruptly departed the desert last fall, he started an unlikely chain of events that was mirrored at four other big-time programs across the country: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia.

Big changes at Louisville, as well:

The son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino left his dad's staff to work for his father's most famous protege: Florida's Billy Donovan. The elder Pitino then replaced his son with his best friend: veteran Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard, who was taking a job once held by HIS son. Kevin Willard spent six years on Pitino's staff before moving to Iona in 2007.

And just think: Maybe none of those moves at Louisville takes place if Mark Gottfried doesn't first step down under fire at Alabama. When the Crimson Tide hired Anthony Grant from VCU, the Rams hired the Gators' Shaka Smart to replace him — creating an opening on the Florida staff and an opportunity for the younger Pitino.

"It's amazing how much trickles down when a head coach leaves," Richard Pitino said. "People don't realize how much an assistant coach leaving changes everything, and really all it takes is one job for it to do that."

Then, all heck broke loose:

The trickle-down that followed the hirings of Calipari at Kentucky, Anthony Grant at Alabama, Tony Bennett at Virginia, Miller at Arizona and Mark Fox at Georgia wound up creating opportunities for coaches of all ages and experience levels.

- It led the 63-year-old Willard to leave Holy Cross and finally join his old friend's staff at Louisville, something he said the elder Pitino had asked him to do "a hundred times." Once rival schools began to use his advanced age against him in negative recruiting, he turned the Crusaders program over to Notre Dame assistant Sean Kearney.

- It prompted the younger Pitino to step out from his famous father's shadow and join Donovan, whom he views as being "like a family member" because of his close ties to his dad.

- And it landed a former Wisconsin player his first job as a Division I assistant.

Here is an in-depth article that discusses the chain of events this summer following Lute Olsen's retirement.

Ex-Cat Rajon Rondo Understands that NBA is a Business

Excerpt of a very interesting article about Rajon Rondo from Boston.com:

It’s mid-October, and Rajon Rondo was still negotiating his future with the team. “This is a business,” Rondo explains, his eyes flickering over the shoulder of the person to whom he’s talking, taking in everything going on as his teammates shoot free throws and crack wise with one another out on the court beyond. There is a shrewdness in the compass of his gaze, and a kind of universal comprehension. And he measures every word, every thought by the syllable. He reveals very little, but he misses nothing.

“It’s never permanent,” he continues. “The next generation of Celtics? Naw, I don’t think like that. You can’t guarantee anything in this league. There’s a total of, I think, six guys who have played their entire careers for one team. I mean, Kevin [Garnett, his Celtics teammate] has been traded. It may have been his option, but he got traded. Ray [Allen] got traded. Those are future Hall of Fame players. A couple of summers ago, Kobe [Bryant, the star of the Los Angeles Lakers] was about to be traded, supposedly to Denver. Nobody in this league is guaranteed to be in one place.”

Read the Entire Article (Recommended)

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Eastern Kentucky Signs Three for 2010

Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball head coach Jeff Neubauer has announced that three high school seniors – Taylor Filipek, Jeff Johnson and Jabs Newby – have signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the Colonels in 2010-11.

“We’re really excited to add these three young men to our program,” Neubauer said. “We feel each of these players have the potential to be talented Division I players here at EKU. All three players are unselfish and pass the ball extremely well, but each player fills a specific need for our team.”

Complete Article

Ellen Calipari Enjoys Making Furniture in Spare Time


Amber Philpott from WKYT recent sat down with Ellen Calipari, the wife of Kentucky head coach John Calipari. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

So if her husband loves basketball, what does Ellen Calipari do for fun?

" I do a lot of things, I sew, I do wood working stuff, I work in the yard, I paint rooms in the house, I like to bake, just normal things."

In the basement at the Calipari home there is a room set up especially for Ellen.

"So this is something most people would not know about you, what is this room?" says Amber Philpott.

"Its may play room, I have a scroll saw, jig saw, belt sander, table saw and router table."

That's right the first lady of UK basketball makes her own furniture, and it looks like it came straight from a catalog.

Dick Vitale: Calipari is "The Right Salesman" for UK

Dick Vitale stated in a recent interview that Kentucky "got the right salesman" with the hire of head coach John Calipari. He also said Kentucky has "probably the most passionate fans in all of basketball."

Here is an excerpt of the Q&A from HeraldTribune.com:

Q:A big national story is John Calipari taking over the Kentucky program. Can he possibly live up to all the hype?

A:I did a national conference call and that was one of the things we talked about. I was at the Broken Egg and a bunch of Kentucky fans came over and started talking. My God, these people were talking like nobody's got a chance to beat them.

One guy says to me, "Why don't you like us, Dickie V? You picked us No. 2.'' "I said, 'Gee, whiz, No. 2 in the nation is not bad.'

But that's the mentality. They have probably the most passionate fans in all of basketball and sometimes that passion can work to a negative because they expect to win every game.

And that's going to be tough for them to live up to all the expectations that exist, but if there's a guy that can handle all that, it will be Calipari.

Basketball is a way of life down there, and they got the right salesman, like Rick Pitino. He will be like Pitino was there.

You need a dynamic personality that is so strong, and they got the right person is that program.

To read the entire interview, click here

Morehead State vs. Kentucky: Previewing the Eagles


I spoke to Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall earlier tonight to get his thoughts on tomorrow night's game at Kentucky.

Coach Tyndall was on the way to Rupp Arena for a shoot around when I talked to him. I asked him to give me some thoughts on how the Eagles will prepare for the Kentucky Wildcats.

He said, "We have to be able to handle their pressure. We feel that if we can have 12 turnovers or less for the game, we'll have a shot to be competitive. We also want to keep them off the offensive boards. Our two goals will be 12 turnovers or less and hold them to 10 offensive rebounds or less."

I asked Coach Tyndall to give me his thoughts on this new-look Kentucky roster.

"They're just so long and athletic that it makes things difficult. It is tough to get shots over their big guys and they are really able to challenge shooters," he stated.

Projected Morehead State Starting Lineup:

G Brandon Shingles 6-3 175 Sr.
G Terrance Hill 6-1 170 So.
G Demonte Harper 6-4 185 Jr.
F Steve Peterson 6-5 190 So.
F/C Kenneth Faried 6-8 225 Jr.

Key Reserves:

G Ty Proffitt 6-4 200 So.
F David Terrell 6-5 225 Jr.
F/C Les Simmons 6-7 220 Sr.
G Sam Goodman 6-2 185 Jr.
G John Lamb 6-1 180 Jr.

Key Injury: Maze Stallworth (Questionable)

Analysis/Notes:

- Make no mistake about it, this is a good Morehead State team; they lost one player from a 20-win team that won the OVC Tournament championship and went 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament (and basically outplayed a talented Louisville team for one half)
- You may or may not have heard the name Kenneth Faried, but find him during the pre-game and keep an eye on him; he can play at UK's level and has a motor that never stops; he is the pre-season OVC Player of the Year and he was in the top 3 nationally in rebounding last season (right behind Blake Griffin)
- Stallworth's injury could be a key; he is normally a starter and is one of MSU's top outside shooting threats
- On the same token, UK is playing without John Wall and his absence is obviously a big one for Kentucky
- Kentucky is currently about a 20 1/2 point favorite according to Vegas
- This is the kind of team Calipari loves to play in the non-conference schedule; Unlike the RPI killers (VMI, Gardner-Webb) that UK has played in the past couple of seasons, Morehead State is a team that figures to have a pretty decent RPI and a great chance to return to the NCAA Tournament

Some key questions for me:

1. Faried can play with any of the UK big men; the question for me is can he deal with the depth of UK (Patterson, Cousins, Orton, Stevenson and Harrellson)
2. Can Shingles and the other MSU guards handle UK's full-court trapping pressure for the entire game?
3. Will UK's young, inexperienced players be able to handle a well-coached group of experienced players?
4. Who wins the battle of tempo? Morehead would love to see this game in the 50-70 range; UK would love to see this game in the 75-95 range

My Prediction: Morehead comes out strong and gives Kentucky a battle; in the second half, Kentucky pulls away to secure the win, but not as convincingly as many would like to see

Pikeville College Earns Difficult Road Victory

Pikeville College 83
U.Va.-Wise 81

Final at Wise, Virginia

Pikeville College (2-0) picked up a difficult road win in a tough road environment last night.

After the game, Bears' head coach Kelly Wells said, "This is one of the toughest places to go play. It is a great environment with loud fans. Wise has great coaches and a very good team."

It was a close contest throughout and the Bears were able to sneak out of Wise with a two-point victory.

"This was just a very tough, hard-fought road win for the Bears. We overcame lots of adversity and stayed strong to grind out the win late in the game," Wells added.

Jonathan Clark led Pikeville with 19 points and 5 assists. Justin Hicks added 16 points and Maurice Thomas put in 15. Josh Samarco added 14 for the Bears.

Well was also very pleased with the defensive play of Ryan Whitaker.

"Ryan was our defensive player of the game tonight."

Pikeville returns to game action next weekend when they host the BB&T Classic.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Georgetown's Happy Osborne Earns 400th Win Tonight


Georgetown College 91
Ohio Dominican 57

Final at Georgetown, Kentucky

Georgetown (2-0) trailed 32-31 at the halftime break, then exploded in the second half to outscore Dominican by 35 points.

The win gave Happy Osborne career win number 400.

Vic Moses led the Tigers with 27 points on 11-15 shooting and 9 rebounds. Eddie Gray added 14 points and Maurice Pearson put in 13 points in the victory.

Bellarmine Loses Close One at Cincinnati

Cincinnati 76
Bellarmine 69

Exhibition at Cincinnati, Ohio

Game Recap from Bellarmine:


The Bellarmine Men’s Basketball Team concluded their preseason schedule on Thursday evening with a 76-69 exhibition loss against the University of Cincinnati at Fifth Third Arena.

The Knights were burned on the glass, getting outrebounded 44-31 on the evening. Bellarmine allowed the Bearcats to collect 22 offensive boards for the game.

A quartet of Bellarmine players scored in double figures, led by Jeremy Kendle’s 16 points off 5-10 shooting. Kendle also had four assists, a team high he shared with Justin Benedetti and Braydon Hobbs. Nick Holmes added 14 more points to go with his team high seven rebounds.

The Bearcats controlled the possession in the first half, riding out to a 39-27 halftime advantage. Cincinnati capitalized on their 28-18 rebounding advantage in the frame with 12 second-chance points, compared to Bellarmine’s six.

The Knights cut the Cincinnati lead to four points just before the first media timeout of the second half when Benedetti bottomed a three-pointer from the right wing, off an outlet pass by Hobbs.

Cincinnati proceeded to score eight of the game’s next 10 points after Oladapo Fagbenle was sent to the bench with his fourth personal foul. Bellarmine would pull no closer than a five-point margin at the 5:20 mark the remainder of the contest.

The Bearcats were led by Darnell Wilks’ 16 points. Yancy Gates and Steve Toyloy led the rebounding effort, pulling down seven apiece.

The Knights open up the 2009-10 regular season on Saturday evening against Salem International University in the opening game of the John Dickensheets Classic, hosted by West Virginia State University. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Institute, W. Va.

BOX SCORE

Wall, Jasper and Hobbs are Cousy Award Nominees

Three players with Kentucky ties have been nominated for this season's Bob Cousy Award, which honors the nation's top collegiate point guard.

UK freshman point guard John Wall is on the list. A former UK point guard, Derrick Jasper, is also on the list. Jasper now plays for UNLV. Braydon Hobbs from Bellarmine College was also nominated.

Partial List of Bob Cousy Award Nominees for 2009-10 Season:

- Chris Warren, Ole Miss
- Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati
- Derrick Jasper, UNLV
- Devan Downey, South Carolina
- DeWayne Reed, Auburn
- John Wall, Kentucky
- Sherron Collins, Kansas
- Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
- Braydon Hobbs, Bellarmine

Complete List of Nominees

Matt Pilgrim Opens With Back-to-Back Double-Doubles

Matt Pilgrim is backing up the rumors that he is a force in the paint during his first two games at Oklahoma State. Pilgrim, who transferred from Kentucky after John Calipari came on board, was never able to see the court at Kentucky. He sat out his first season under NCAA transfer rules and then left before his second season in Lexington.

As a Cowboy, he has been impressive in his first two outings, both exhibition games. In the first game, he put in 14 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. In his second game, a 97-55 shellacking of former Kentucky player Dale Brown and his Dillard University team, Pilgrim scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Oklahoma State opens regular season action tomorrow night against Seattle.

The Relationship Between John Pelphrey and Rick Pitino

Excerpt of a nice article from TodaysTHV.com:

Most will forget John Pelphrey's debut as a college basketball player. As a 6-7, redshirt freshman at Kentucky, the former Mr. Basketball from the Bluegrass State got the starting nod at point guard in the Basketball Hall of Fame's "Tip-Off Classic," almost 21 years ago to the day, Nov. 19, 1988.

"After all these years, I try to forget that game too," Pelphrey said.

The Wildcats were entering a tough period in its illustrious history. UK was under NCAA investigation; players had transferred and the coach at the time, Eddie Sutton, was trying to right the ship. Top-ranked Duke laid a hammering on the Cats that day, 80-55, and Pelphrey, who finished the game with seven points, six assists and four turnovers in 37 minutes, had his first taste of big-time college basketball. Ironically, his collegiate playing career would start with a forgotten game against Duke, and end four years later in one of the most memorable games in college basketball - Kentucky-Duke '92.

Following that dreadful 13-19 season, Rick Pitino took over the Cats' program, a brash young coach from the New York Knicks. He promised to turn the "Kentucky Shame," a label that graced the cover of Sports Illustrated the past season, back into Kentucky fame.

Yet, he was taking over a team depleted of star talent. All that was left was a roster highlighted by four young men thought to be average college players - Pelphrey, Richie Farmer, Deron Feldhaus and Sean Woods.

Read the Entire Article (Highly Recommended)

Calipari Has a Great Relationship with LeBron James


Excerpt from article from WLKY.com:

"I just know him as 'LeBron,'" said UK head basketball coach John Calipari. "I've known him a long time."

"It was a great time," James said. "I look forward to going back throughout the year… Lexington got a great guy, an unbelievable coach, a better person."

Marketing is one of the common bonds in the friendship between Calipari and James.

One of James' former high school teammates is UK graduate student manager Brandon Weems.

James and Calipari are also friends with recruiting kingpin William Wesley.

"Whatever Coach Cal is doing, I'm in support of," James said.

"He's been a friend for a while and we've gotten to know each other over the years," Calipari said.

Kentucky Wildcats Press Conference Quotes

Quotes from Kentucky on their upcoming game with Morehead State.

Reporter: UK Media Relations

Opening Statement…

“We’ve got 22 coaches from China that will be here tonight through the next week, I am excited about that. I have not seen them yet; I’ve been kind of busy today. That’s going to be exciting, showing them our arena so that’ll be exciting for them. But we’re going to play a little ball game tomorrow. The real stuff starts, the balls go up, the popcorn smells, the people in the seats and all of a sudden the guys go haywire.”


How are Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton?

“(Eric is) good and Orton’s good. They could get hurt today in practice but, yeah Bledsoe was very, very fast in practice yesterday which was good. We’ve been working really hard on the dribble-drive, trying to get him into the lanes and trying to create gaps and doing those kinds of things. So hopefully it’ll show but you never know.”

Do the guys have a feel for the dribble-drive?

“(Mark) Krebs has the feel for the dribble drive. The other guys are still (learning). They did some stuff in practice yesterday and I just busted out laughing. I’ve given them too many things right now and I know that. I’m hoping it doesn’t confuse them and get them paralyzed in this game. Anything could happen with the first game out; new team. It was nine years ago that I started (with a new organization) and then five years before that and then eight years before that and I always forget at the start of it, everything is new. I probably make the same mistake every time. It’s too much stuff. I want to have enough (plays ready) if they play zone, when we’re out-of-bounds, or inside (the lane). We’ve practiced 20 times, so I’m slightly worried that I’ve given them too much. But if I have and it hurts us, then that’s on me.”

How do you feel about Morehead State?

“They’re good. The most important thing for me – and it always has been – is that in November and December, I must learn about my team. Now we want to win every game we play, if you know me and how I am. But the most important thing is to learn. You cannot learn against “Popcorn State.” What you learn against “Popcorn State” is that you’re better than “Popcorn State” – that’s all you learn. Now you play Morehead State, who is well-coached and the shooters shoot; the post-up players post-up; they have roles to execute and offense is executed. So when you go zone, they have good stuff. On out-of-bounds plays they have good stuff. But we’re going to learn about our team. No question we’re going to learn about our team because (MSU) is an NCAA tournament team and that’s what you want. The only way you can learn is against teams you risk losing games to. It’s the only way. Our first two games we could be 0-2 and me feeling wonderful that I’ve learned enough to know what I’ve got to do. They’ve exploited our weaknesses and we move on and we get ready. It’s not football. This isn’t football. You lose your first two and you’re out of the race for the national title. That’s not what this is.”

Are you going to be anxious for your first regular-season game?

“Yeah. I’m anxious in this way: I’m learning about players and it’s going to unfold right before my eyes and I’ll see. We’re all going to learn.”

How do you think you’ll feel when you walk out there for your first regular-season game?

“Every game I walk out, every morning I wake up I’m absolutely excited and just humbled. I’m the coach at Kentucky. When I walk out there, you know what’s a big game for me is the next game. It’s a huge game because it’s the next game. Hopefully I’m going to walk in that arena excited every time I walk in.”

How is Eric (Bledsoe) coming along in the system?

“Eric is one of the more intelligent players that I’ve coached on both offense and defense. He also has unbelievable instincts. In this offense, there are a lot of key words that you call: key word – bang. With this kid, I call a key word and boom, he’s right into it. What he’s got to start doing is be more vocal. He’s smart in his own mind. He’s got to get that brightness and that creativity and spread it out and talk to his teammates and get them to go. He’ll do it with a head nod, when he may need to yell. He’s just not used to doing it. He’s a really, really intelligent player.”

The last two years they’ve lost to VMI and Gardner-Webb and it kind of stirred the waters here to say the least, your thoughts?

“Well, this is a different team. This is totally a different deal. We’re going in with an attitude of let’s play our best. Let’s play and do what we do and whatever comes out let’s learn from it. I do not want these kids feeling that they have to win. No, you have to prepare to win and let it go. We’re going to create our own happiness. If I see a great effort and an experienced team beats us because we couldn’t do X, Y, Z, we’ll learn and move on.”

You brought in the best player in the country, you’re preseason top five. Realistic or not, the bar is pretty high, isn’t it?

“Absolutely. You know what? That’s why you come here. I looked at our team and I said, ‘You guys know why you came to Kentucky. You weren’t afraid of it. You came here because you wanted to do something special.’ I obviously accepted this position because I understand what the expectations are.”

Click here for all of today's quotes

What's Hot and Not in College Basketball? UK's on Fire

Dana O'Neil of ESPN.com has made a list of what's hot and what's not in college basketball as we open the 2009-10 season.

Here are some excerpts of things that are hot:

Off the bounce: The game is loaded with guys who can kill you off the dribble. To name a few: Oklahoma's Willie Warren, Villanova's Corey Fisher, Texas' Avery Bradley, Kentucky's John Wall, Connecticut's Kemba Walker and Washington's Isaiah Thomas.

Kentucky/Louisville: Brett Favre returning to Green Bay? A hero's welcome compared to what awaits Rick Pitino at Rupp Arena in January. North Carolina versus Duke? A spat at a knitting circle when seen through the viewfinder of the cataclysm in the commonwealth. These two schools have never liked one another, but the events of the last six months -- UK has gone from NIT disaster under Billy Gillispie to preseason top five under John Calipari, while Louisville has gone from overall No. 1 seed in March to TMZ headline in July -- have only poured gasoline on the inferno. Rate this one NC-17, not suitable for children under 17.

Wildcats: Two packs of cats are on the prowl in the top five. Kentucky, the program that already has set a tongues-wagging record in the preseason, stands at No. 4 thanks to its largesse of newcomer talent. Villanova's version of the Wildcats comes in one notch below at No. 5 with a mix of Final Four veterans and hot freshmen. Kansas State's kitties linger just outside the top 25, a potential sleeper team in the Big 12.

Guys who come back: We tip our hat and say thank you to the unselfish guys who decided to return to college and put the business of wallet-lining off one year: KU's Cole Aldrich, Iowa State's Craig Brackins, Kentucky's Patrick Patterson, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody. The college game is the better for it.

And, what's not:

Defections: The beauty of indecision is all in the eye of the beholder. One coach's prize addition is another's crushing loss. While some schools welcome new blood with open arms, others are wondering where everybody went -- at Iowa, the team's leading scorer has left in each of the last three years (though both Tyler Smith and Jake Kelly had legitimate extenuating circumstances). In Memphis, John Calipari took recruits and even the secretary to Kentucky.

Complete Article from ESPN.com

Ex-Cat Antoine Walker Tries to Settle Gambling Debt

Article from ESPN.com:

Former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker's lawyer says he's trying to resolve criminal charges stemming from more than $800,000 in gambling debts to three Las Vegas casinos.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson on Thursday gave attorney Jonathan Powell until Nov. 30 to make a deal with the Clark County district attorney or take the felony case to trial in state court.

Walker was not in court. He faces three bad check charges stemming from allegations he failed to repay $822,500 of $1 million in casino loans between July 2008 and January 2009.

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

Source

Ex-NKU All-American Steven Wright Signs in Germany

Former Northern Kentucky All-American Steven Wright has signed a contract to play professional basketball in Germany.

Wright, a 26-year old combo guard, has signed with the Walter Tigers Tuebingen in the Germany's top-level Bundesliga league. He will be playing his third season in Germany. Last season, he helped lead The Paderborn Baskets into the BBL playoffs forcing 8 time BBL champion Alba Berlin to five games in the Quarterfinals. He played 36 games averaging 7.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 40.8%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 77.2%.

He started his basketball career at Bowling Green (NCAA) and played there from 2002-2006 before transferring to NKU for his senior season. ''

Source: EuroBasket.com

Bellarmine Adds Jacob Jenkins and Keisten Jones

The Bellarmine University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Scott Davenport has announced the signing of two local basketball standouts. Both Jacob Jenkins and Keisten Jones have signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period and will join the Knights next season.

Jones is a 6-3 wing player who averaged 15 points per game and eight rebounds a contest for the Ballard Bruins last season.

Jenkins is a 6-4 guard who is attending St. Thomas More Prep School in Oakdale, Conn. He is a 2009 graduate of Manual High School where he averaged 20 points a game for the Crimsons, but had to miss 18 games of his senior season due to a foot injury. The Courier-Journal ranked Jenkins the No. 2 player in the state as a high school senior.

Complete Release from Bellarmine

Shawn Jackson Signs with Murray State Basketball

Excerpt of press release from Murray State:

Murray State head men's basketball coach Billy Kennedy announced the signing of Live Oak, Fla., center Shawn Jackson.

Jackson (6-9, 230) will be a freshman for the Racers in the fall of 2010 and is a senior this season at Melody Christian Academy.

As a junior, Jackson scored 19.5 points per game, grabbed 12 rebounds and recorded eight blocks for the Wildcats.

"Shawn is the best all-around big kid we recruited this summer," Kennedy said. "He defends, rebounds and can score. His wingspan makes him play bigger than he is."

"Shawn is a great kid," MCA head coach Mike Rains said. "A lot of kids with his size and ability can get a big head, but he's good with his teammates and he plays within our offense. He could probably score 25-30 points per game."

Complete Press Release

Eastern Kentucky Opens Season Saturday

The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team begins the 2009-10 regular season Saturday night with a home game against West Virginia Wesleyan. Tip time is slated for 8 p.m.

Eastern Kentucky has won 11 consecutive home openers dating back to the 1997-98 season when Berea College upended the Colonels on Nov. 18, 1997, 94-88. EKU went 12-2 in McBrayer Arena last year, marking the eighth straight year the Colonels have notched a winning home record.

This is the fifth meeting between the two schools. Eastern leads the all-time series by a count of 3-1 and has won three in a row against the Bobcats. In the most recent meeting, junior Josh Daniel chipped in with 14 points, one shy of his career high, as the Colonels prevailed on Nov. 10, 2007, 78-45.

Following the contest against West Virginia Wesleyan, the Colonels begin play in the 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic on Nov. 19 at Big East foe Pittsburgh.

Source: EKUSports.com

Head Coach Jeff Neubauer talks EKU basketball on YouTube:

Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe Expected to Play

The University of Kentucky has announced that injured freshmen Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton are healthy now and expected to play in tomorrow night's game against Morehead State.

Here is an announcement from UK on Twitter:

UKAthleticsNews Guard Eric Bledsoe (ankle) and forward Daniel Orton (chest) are expected to play Friday vs. Morehead State.

Follow AllKYHoops on Twitter

Stacey Poole is Officially a Kentucky Wildcat

Excerpt of Article from Lex18.com:

Stacey Poole, a 6'5" swingman from Jacksonville, Florida, signed his letter-of-intent Wednesday night and his father faxed it to Kentucky. Poole is a four-star recruit according to both Scout and Rivals recruiting services.

"Stacey Poole is in the line of players that we've signed in the past who have a skill set and the work ethic to play in our system," said Calipari. "He's a slasher who can play multiple positions and a defender that is capable of shutting down people. Stacey really wanted to play for us and we're glad to have him as a part of the UK family."

Source

LSU Site Slams Patterson as All-America Choice


Someone e-mailed an article this morning from an apparent LSU site that feels Patrick Patterson is not a good choice for pre-season All-America from the SEC. I have no problem with that opinion as there are some great ones around the league: Vanardo, Wall, Downey to name a few. What discourages me about this article is the approach the author takes in stating his opinion that Patterson is an average SEC player that is non-deserving of his pre-season accolades. Here are some excerpts from the article:

Patterson is a terrible choice apparently:

Last week the first preseason All-American list was released showcasing several of the returning stars from last season like Kansas' Cole Aldrich and Sharron Collins and Notre Dame's Luke Haragody, and then a couple of "upside" type guys like Duke's Kyle Singler and Kentucky's Patrick Patterson.

No one on that list should come as much of a surprise expect for when you get to Patterson. Of all the guys they could've picked in not only the SEC, but in the nation, Patterson should not have even been close to making that list.

Patterson will not find the floor this season:

This will kill Patterson's stats. He won't find the floor in a crowded rotation and Calipari will look to use "his" guys. So what does all this mean?

And then the surprise all reader's have been waiting for:

Tasmin Mitchell from LSU should have been the SEC player named to the preseason All-American list.


PS: I'm excited to report that you CAN leave comments on this article (hint, hint)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Q&A with Social Networking Legend Peter Robert Casey


Peter Robert Casey is the first-ever media credentialed micro-blogger in college basketball history. Labeled a "pioneer" for altering the composition of St. John's press row, Peter's story of social media success was featured in the New York Times, and on the pages of ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, Mashable, and AOL's Switched.

I conducted a Q&A with Casey about his story and what he has going on in the world of social networking. He is somewhat of a legend amongst sports bloggers and it was an honor to have a discussion with him.

Here is my Q&A with Peter Robert Casey:

Tell me the story of Peter Robert Casey and how you found your way to the position of micro-blogging for St. John’s University.

As my tagline suggests – “Three first names. One first love. Basketball.” - I eat, sleep, and breathe the game. Social media channels like Twitter, allow people to share their passion with like-minded and like-hearted individuals. The St. John’s media credential was a natural fit for marrying my two passions, basketball and social media. I couldn’t say no.

Were you noticed by someone at St. John’s or did you present the idea to someone at the school?

Mark Fratto, the Associate AD for Athletic Communications, hatched the idea and pitched me on it back in mid-August. When St. John’s joined Twitter in May 2009, I publicly welcomed them to the platform with an @reply. I was monitoring the “college basketball” conversation and happened to catch a few of their tweets early on. Mark is one of the best SIDs in the country, and he quickly picked up on effective tweeting habits. Little did I know, however, he had larger plans for me.

Describe what you were doing on Twitter at the time that led St. John’s to you. Where you simply posting away or was there more?

Mark was quoted as saying “I kept running into the name Peter Robert Casey everywhere on the internet: LinkedIn, Facebook, his blog. Peter's marketing of himself really brought him to us.” When Mark contacted me in mid-August, I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary on Twitter. I use the micro-blogging platform as a communications tool. I like to create and share useful content, ask and answer questions, and learn as much as I can from those contributing to the basketball and social media/marketing communities.

Have you transitioned into other social network tools at this point or do you solely rely on Twitter?

I started my blog the day after I joined Twitter (late October, 2008), and I was on Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace before that. I’ve since left MySpace because I wasn’t deriving value from the service. I don’t have a presence on USTREAM, Tumblr, or FourSquare, but I pay close attention to those services.

I read a message board comment several days ago that said, “Peter Robert Casey is the Jackie Robinson of social network in sports…” How do you respond to that comment?

I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with that comment. Jackie Robinson is a hero to many. He broke the color barrier in modern day Major League Baseball for African Americans. I merely earned a media credential for using Twitter. While I hope St. John’s gracious and progressive act opens up doors for many, I would never put myself in the same category as Jackie Robinson. The thought and intention, however, are very flattering and do count. For that I’m very thankful.

Where does Peter Robert Casey go from here?

Along with a capable team, I’m putting pieces together to start a social media agency that will focus on building brand equity for professional athletes, college and professional teams, and sports-related organizations.

How can fans follow you online?

I’m active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blog regularly at PeterRobertCasey.com. You can subscribe to my blog here. I’m also a contributor at the Huffington Post. My niche focus is the interplay of basketball, social media, and marketing.

Tobias Harris Journal: Some Shocking News Today


Tobias Harris, the #5 recruit on the Rivals150 List for 2010, is now 12 days away from announcing his college choice. This is the Tobias Harris Journal, an all access feature from AllKYHoops.com that intends to illustrate the high-major recruiting process through the eyes of the recruit.

Tobias is now one week away from announcing his college decision on Thursday, November 19.

I spoke to Tobias earlier and he informed me of some shocking news - he has already trimmed his list down to two schools: Tennessee and Syracuse and there's still a small chance for Kentucky and West Virginia.

The shocking part of this news is that Tobias learned about this big decision by surfing the Internet today. I imagine he was pretty surprised to find out that he has not decided anything yet, but certain members of the online media have talked to college coaches, family members and friends to decide his future for him.

When I talked to Tobias, he was dumbfounded by a couple of the articles:

After reading that he has already trimmed his list to Syracuse and Tennessee, the only comment he could get out was, "oh wow."

"It's not true at all," he added. "Nothing has changed at all. I have not made any decisions and won't be making any decisions until my visits are finished. Then I will sit down with my family and make a choice."

Tomorrow, when you read an article and that states anything about Tobias' college choice being made already, you need to refer that author to this article. Tobias has not made a decision and he will not make a decision until next week.

What's in store for tomorrow:

Tobias is not sure what his workout schedule will be tomorrow. He intends to take a break tomorrow night to attend his school's soccer game.

Something you may not know about Tobias:

His two favorite pro basketball players are Kobe Bryant and Gilbert Arenas

An observation I made today:

I became Facebook friends with Britton Kelley, who is Tobias' speed training coach. After checking out Kelley's profile, I must say that he is an absolute physical specimen. He looks like a pro wrestler that is chiseled out of stone.

My advice to Tobias: "If I were you, I'd probably just do whatever that guy asked me to do in practice."

His response: "Yeah, lol..."

Jay Bilas Thinks Kentucky Needs to Get Defensive

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas thinks the Kentucky Wildcats will have to excel on defense this season if they are to obtain their lofty expectations.

Here are some comments from Bilas today during an ESPN teleconference:

“I think that biggest adjustment well be on defense,” Bilas said on a ESPN teleconference. “Cal’s teams won over the years not because of offense.”

“The reason Memphis won, and won at such a high level, was because they defended so well, collectively and individually,” Bilas said. “That’s where they laid a foundation.”

Source: Jerry Tipton's Blog

Morehead State Enjoying Financial Influx from Sports


Excerpt of article from TheTrailBlazerOnline.net:

When it comes to Morehead State’s Athletic Department budget, winning isn’t everything, but it sure helps.

“We received about $1 million just for making the NCAA (Division I) Tournament,” MSU Athletic Director Brian Hutchinson said. He was referring to the postseason run by the men’s basketball team this spring that netted the Eagles an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship and a berth in the prestigious NCAA Tournament.

“Had we upset Louisville (in the first round), we would have gotten even more than that,” Hutchinson said.

The $1 million is distributed by the NCAA over a six-year period and is tax-free, he said.

Hutchinson said the school’s payday was further enhanced with the team’s victory over Alabama State in the tournament’s opening round game. However, most of that money is not funneled straight into Athletic Department's coffers.

“It goes into the general fund, and if we meet certain revenue goals, then we’ll see a greater amount of it,” Hutchinson said. “There’s still a noticeable impact, though.”

Complete Article

Centre Picked to Win SCAC Eastern Division

Release from Centre:

The Centre College men's basketball team was picked as the preseason favorites to win the SCAC Eastern Division championships as well as the SCAC title.

Voting was done by SCAC men's head basketball coaches in a exclusive balloting system.

The Colonels are defending league champions and ranked #21 in the D3hoops.com preseason poll. Centre received eight of the 12 first place votes and they received 114 total points.

Oglethorpe was second in the Eastern Division standings with 103 points and two first place votes. DePauw University tallied 101 points and one first place vote, which put them in third place.

Birmingham-Southern College was picked to finish fourth with 57 points and Rhodes College was chosen to finish in fifth place with 26 points. Sewanee University rounded out the Eastern Division picking up 19 points.

Trinity University was chosen to win the Western Division after receiving 83 points. Austin College was not far behind Trinity, as they picked up a first place vote and 83 points. Southwestern would be chosen to finish third in the Western Division after getting 74 points.

Hendrix College was voted to finish fourth with 64 points, while Millsaps College was picked to finish fifth with 51 points. Colorado College rounded out the Western Division with 19 points and a sixth place finish.

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.

All Eyes on Tobias Harris as Decision Looms

Excerpt of article from SportingNews.com:

On his Twitter feed Tuesday night, Tobias Harris promised he would be sleeping in on the Veteran's Day holiday. So it should have been no surprise he was quiet as Wednesday began and the Letter Of Intent buzz began for other elite recruits.

The recruitment of Harris and Iowa's Harrison Barnes are probably the two most anticipated announcements of the fall, given the number of prospects who've already committed and the expectation that Ft. Lauderdale point guard Brandon Knight will hold off committing until spring.

Read Complete Article

The article also includes a mention of AllKYHoops.com:

When Harris eventually woke up on Wednesday, he hadn't much more to tweet than a link to an all-access feature written about him on the Bluegrass State Basketball blog.

Where will Tobias go?

Pat Forde Says Cards Victimized by a "Glitch"

Article from StraightPinkie.com:

Earlier this week, we posted an article about Louisville being excluded from ESPN the Magazine’s top 65 teams and how that made no sense. Well, we now have an explanation courtesy of the most accurate and informative news source these days, Twitter.

On Pat Forde’s Twitter page, in response to a query from some dude with the Twitter name MelGibsonIII, Forde says he asked about that and was told there was a ‘glitch’ and Louisville was supposed to be ranked 29th. So there you go Cardinal fans, we were not intentionally left off the list.

The question now remains who was responsible for the mistake of leaving us out of the ranking? I’m not sure, some top suspects would have to be John Calipari, Karen Sypher, or perhaps even Slick Rick himself as a means to motivate his squad. However, devout Pinkie follower SLC has informed us who the real responsible party is for this mistake, and his name is Steve Kragthorpe.

Article Source

My Thoughts: A glitch? The Worldwide Leader didn't notice that a team was completely omitted from the top 65? Wow.

Ricardo Johnson and Curtis Washington Sign Today

Jody Demling reports that Elizabethtown star Curtis Washington has signed with the University of Southern California today.

I have been waiting for this day and the anticipation has been crazy," Washington said. "I know it's just signing but it's like I am taking a blood oath or something. It's a big step for me and I am so excited. I can't wait to get there."

Ricardo Johnson, from defending state champions Covington Holmes, has signed his letter-of-intent with Ohio University.

Full articles on both players from Demling's Blog

ESPN's Fran Fraschilla Looks at the Best Mid-Majors


ESPN's Fran Fraschilla takes a look today at the best mid-major teams and players in the nation. Here are some excerpts from his article:

Ten Best Mid-Major Teams:

Western Kentucky: First-year coach Ken McDonald picked up where former coach Darrin Horn left off after departing for South Carolina. The Hilltoppers won the Sun Belt tournament and won an NCAA first-round matchup with Illinois before succumbing to Gonzaga on a last-second shot. A win over the Zags would have put WKU into its second straight Sweet 16. But McDonald returns the conference's preseason player of the year, 6-foot-2 guard A.J. Slaughter, who does a little bit of everything well. Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball, 6-foot-5 Steffphon Pettigrew is a player who can score and rebound inside, and he has improved his perimeter game enough to be a difficult matchup for most teams at this level.

Ten Best Mid-Major Players:

Shelvin Mack, 6-foot-3, So., Butler Mack is a power point guard from Lexington, Ky., who could have helped Billy Gillispie's Wildcats a season ago. He averaged more than 4 rebounds a game to go along with 12 points and nearly 4 assists.

A.J. Slaughter, 6-foot-2, Sr., Western Kentucky Slaughter, a strong, quick and athletic combo guard, was the most outstanding player in the Sun Belt tournament last season and was instrumental in an early-season win over Louisville. After spending a summer working with the likes of D.J. Augustin, T.J. Ford and Chris Paul, he is poised to become one of the best guards in the country.

Players and coaches you don't know but need to find out about:

Kenneth Faried, 6-foot-8, Jr., Morehead State While shaky grades originally derailed any opportunities to play close to his Newark, N.J., home in the Big East or Atlantic 10, Faried has found a home in the hills of eastern Kentucky. He is a relentless rebounder who plays with total abandon. In fact, only national player of the year Blake Griffin had more double-doubles than Faried's 25. And while most of his points come on energy and effort, he averaged 16 points and 15 rebounds in five postseason games, including an NCAA loss to Louisville.

Louisville Recruit J.J. Moore Commits to Pittsburgh

J.J. Moore, who was previously being recruited by Rick Pitino and Louisville, has committed to Pittsburgh.

The prevailing thought is that Louisville backed away from Moore at the last minute.

Here is the announcement from Scout.com:

12:53: Pittsburgh is a contender for a Top 25 recruiting class. That's right, J.J. Moore of South Kent is on board joining Cameron Wright and Isaiah Epps. (DT)

12:54: Just got off the phone with Kelvin Jefferson, of South Kent (Conn.) Academy, and he confirmed J.J. Moore's commitment to Pittsburgh. "J.J. committed maybe 20 minutes to coach [Jamie] Dixon and Pittsburgh." (ED)

Previous Article about Moore

Andre Iguodala Gives Terrence Williams an NBA Inititiation

"Welcome to the league, TWill..."

C.J. Leslie at North Carolina State Today?

An interesting development reported by Evan Daniels of Scout.com:

12:16 Is that ... no, it can't be. Yes, C.J. Leslie is in the audience for Ryan Harrow's signing ceremony in Raleigh. The plot thickens! Leslie's high school coach is Harrow's brother in law.

Leslie, a Kentucky recruit, is a 6-8 forward that ranks #14 on the Rivals150 for 2010.

Follow Scout.com's Signing Day Blog

UPDATE:

Ryan Harrow speaking about Leslie:

"I know he's going to make the right decision," Harrow said. "He doesn't want to play with another point guard besides me."

C.J. Leslie's thoughts:

"This is definitely a plus," Leslie said of Harrow signing with State.

Complete Article from NewsObserver.com

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