Saturday, December 19, 2009

UK Fans Representing at Hawk Kreul Classic

Kentucky basketball fans UK fans (left to right) Alan Smith, Tim Laubenthal and Chris Butler

Big Blue Nation strikes again...this time at the Hawk Kreul Classic event in Florida.

These Kentucky fans are posing with future Cat Stacey Poole. They have also had the pleasure of watching UK recruits Brandon Knight and Quincy Miller.

On Poole: "He's very nice and polite guy...loved seeing us there. The two ladies who were with him (mom and grandma maybe?) were really excited to see us there REPRESENTING UK!!!"

Bellarmine Blasts Cumberlands in Second Half

Bellarmine 78
Cumberlands 57

Final from Louisville, Kentucky


Game summary by Bellarmine:

The Bellarmine University men's basketball team used a strong second half performance to record a 78-57 victory over the visiting University of the Cumberlands tonight in Knights Hall.

Led by junior guard Jeremy Kendle, who scored 19 points on eight of 11 shooting, the Knights torched the nets for 67.7 percent shooting in the second half to help erase a four-point halftime deficit and run out to the 21-point victory.

"I'm very proud of the team's effort tonight," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "We're coming off a tough, tough week with four players with illness and injuries and (Cumberlands) is a very good team."

The Knights (6-4) had to face the Patriots, ranked No. 9 in NAIA, without starting forward and the team's leading rebounder, Nick Holmes, who was nursing an injury. Forrest Smallwood also was sidelined with an injury.

"I thought our second half defensive effort was very good, " Davenport said. "And that's what we're going to have to be about all year. Our offense was created by our defense tonight."

The game was a series of runs, with Bellarmine bolting out to a 10-1 lead over the first five minutes. The Patriots, however dug in and turned the game around to take a 30-26 halftime lead as the Knights struggled to find their shooting touch after starting strong.

After halftime, Cumberlands came out hot and extended their lead to eight at the 18:48 mark, prompting Davenport to take a timeout to adjust the team's defense. The Knights got the message, outscoring the Patriots 50-21 the rest of the way.

Kendle played a complete game not only leading the Knights in scoring but also leading the team in rebounding with eight, assists with four, blocked shots with three, and steals with two. Joining Kendle in double figure scoring for Bellarmine were Luke Sprague, who tied a career high with 14, and Justin Benedetti, who scored 11 second half points to finish with 13.

The Cumberlands (10-3) were led by Louisville native Chad Byron who scored 14 on six of 10 shooting.

Bellarmine takes the court next on Monday, Dec. 21 as the Knights face NCAA Division II foe Tusculum College at 7 p.m. in Knights Hall.

Kentucky Wildcats Party Like It's 1999

Kentucky 90
Austin Peay 69

Final from Lexington, Kentucky


Game recap by AllKYHoops.com:

Kentucky (11-0) overcame several periods of sluggish play to put away Austin Peay this afternoon at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats are one victory away from becoming the first college basketball program to reach 2,000 wins.

Patrick Patterson scored 21 points to lead Kentucky. John Wall added 17 points and 6 assists and DeMarcus Cousins contributed 19 points and 8 rebounds for the Cats.

Wesley Channels led Austin Peay (7-5) with 21 points.

With the win, John Calipari is off to the best start for a new coach in Kentucky history. He has surpased Adolph Rupp, who won his first 10 games before losing.

Kentucky will go for its 2,000th win on Monday against Drexel.

John Calipari speaks after the game (video by John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader):



Source: Hilltoppers Set to Add Talented Power Forward

I have been informed by a good source that Western Kentucky basketball will likely add 6-8 power forward Renaldo Dixon for the second semester.

Dixon, a native of Canada, was originally in the 2009 Class and spent time at Quality Education Academy in North Carolina.

Dixon received looks from several high-majors, including Connecticut and Notre Dame.

DeAndre Liggins Plays Early and Often for Kentucky

Sophomore guard DeAndre Liggins is officially back for the Kentucky Wildcats.

After sitting the entire first semester and playing about 40 seconds against Indiana, many Kentucky fans wondered what the future held for Liggins.

Those questions have been answered in today's game against Austin Peay. Liggins checked in often and played significant minutes in the first half. He was 1-2 for 2 points and had a couple of nice passes to help the Wildcats jump out to a 49-35 lead.

John Wall led the Cats in the first half with 13 points and 5 assists. Patrick Patterson added 10 points and 4 rebounds. Big man counterpart DeMarcus Cousins chipped in 9 points and 4 rebounds.

2010 PG Daryl Traynham to Western Kentucky?

I have been told by a good source today that Daryl Traynham is close to pulling the trigger and committing to Western Kentucky.

Traynham is a 5-8 point guard from Lee, Maine. He has offers from WKU, Massachusetts and Seton Hall and has earned the interest of several other major programs. His final two seem to be the Hilltoppers and the Minutemen and it appears that he is close to finding his college home in Bowling Green.

I will be looking into the situation and hope to have verification soon.

Traynham's Rivals.com Profile

Did He Say Brandon Knight is Going to Go to Florida?

Austin Rivers stated at the Nike Global Challenge that he thinks 2010 star Brandon Knight is going to go to Florida. He also stated in the interview that he is working hard to bring UK targets C.J. Leslie and Quincy Miller to Gainesville, as well.

"I think, hopefully maybe, Brandon's going to go..."

Here is the interview:

James "Fly" Williams: "Fly is Open, Let's Go Peay!"

college basketball legend
Today is Austin Peay day and a great opportunity to take a look at one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the Ohio Valley Conference.

James "Fly" Williams was born February 18, 1953 in Brownsville, Brooklyn (New York). He made a name for himself on the street-ball level in New York playing against street legends like World B. Free and Earl "the Goat" Manigault.

He earned the nickname "Fly" from his flamboyant wardrobe and playing style. He was recruited to Austin Peay State University by assistant coach Leonard Hamilton.

Williams arrived on campus in 1972 and was greeted by a reception which included a sky-writing demonstration which spelled out his name. His freshman year, playing as a guard, his scoring record was especially noteworthy. Williams averaged 29.4 points per game in 1973, fifth best in the nation. Austin Peay State won a bid to the NCAA tournament. Williams was true to form; scoring 26 points in a first-round win over Jacksonville University. In the second round, he managed another 26 points, but the Governors lost to the Kentucky Wildcats in overtime.

His popularity soared. One fan described Williams' days at Austin Peay as follows: “Fans use to line up five hours before game time to get a seat in "The Little Red Barn" (Austin Peay’s red-brick gymnasium) to see the unique style of basketball that was "Fly". Williams was an original; once he didn't like the coaches strategy, so he walked off the court and sat in the stands with the fans. Other times he did things like dribble off the court during the game to stop at a water fountain. But another time when each Austin Peay player was given a fruitcake, where Austin Peay was playing in the "Fruitcake Classic", Fly collected all the players fruitcakes and delivered them to a poor section of town.”

Williams scored 51 points twice in his freshman year. In his sophomore season, Williams averaged 27.5 points per game, earning a third-place scoring record in the NCAA. Once again the Governors' won the OVC bid to the NCAA tournament. Once again Williams scored 26 points, but Austin Peay was crushed by Notre Dame, 108-66, in the first round. The record established by Williams in his two years at Austin Peay, was impressive. Williams scored 1,541 points with a 28.5 point per game average; he left college due to hardship and pursued a professional career. Austin Peay responded to Williams' two year record, in 1975, by building the Dunn Center, a larger gymnasium, to accommodate the increase in attendance at basketball games.

The Denver Nuggets drafted Williams in the first round of the 1974 ABA Draft. Following the draft, there were several offers to buy the player contract on Williams. Eventually, he was sold to the Spirits of St. Louis. A young sports broadcaster named Bob Costas announced their games. He would later contribute to a book, "Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association," a sports book originally published in 1990, by Simon and Schuster, and written by sportswriter Terry Pluto.

The 1974-1975 basketball season was a disappointment to Williams and his team. He managed to score only 9.4 points per game for the Spirits. His scoring was erratic and he was known for his showmanship rather than his scoring proficiency. The National Basketball Association (NBA) orchestrated the ABA-NBA merger and there was some interest in retaining Williams, but it did not result in a job for him. The Spirits basketball team was not included in the restructured NBA.
Next in his schedule was the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), he played in the Eastern League, but failed to receive any attractive offers coming from NBA teams. Next, Williams played for a basketball team in Israel, but he never attracted the serious attention of recruiters in the NBA. Williams admits that his temper was probably an underlying issue which predicated his lack of serious offers.

Fly's career was eventually ended due to a robbery attempt. A bullet wound left him with decreased lung capacity, and scar on his back.

Williams is now retired and works with disadvantaged youth.

James “Fly” Williams is listed as the number three athlete on the “50 Greatest Streetballers of All Time” by Street Basketball Association (SBA).

While playing at Austin Peay, the fans constructed a clever on-court chant that went: "Fly is open, let's go Peay!" Fans still chant "Let's Go Peay" at all basketball games. James "Fly" Williams' number 35 jersey will be retired by Austin Peay State University on February 5, 2009.
A book on the life of "Fly" is currently being written by Knoxville, TN based author Dave Link called "The Fly 35", citing his jersey number at Austin Peay. It was published to coincide with the jersey retirement ceremony.




Source used: Wikipedia.com

Chris Hill Has Kentucky on Final List

Excerpt of article from Washington Daily News:

Chris Hill is ready to put on a show for the fans inside Northside High School.

Hill, a highly-recruited star, and his Stevens Prep Academy Golden Griffins will take on the Mychal Parker-led Miller School Mavericks in tonight’s first showcase game of the 30th annual WDN/PotashCorp Aurora Holiday Tournament (the second game features The Miller School facing South Central on Saturday night). The game will tip off after the conclusion of the Northside-Perquimans game at approximately 9 p.m.

“When the lights are on, it’s time to perform,” Hill said. “I want to perform at a high level and get a lot of ‘oohs and ahhs’ from the fans.”

The 6-foot-8 wing is getting some big-time looks from some big-time schools. Hill said he would love to play for the University of Connecticut, because his favorite player is former UConn great and current Memphis Grizzlies’ star, Rudy Gay.

Other top choices are Arizona, Kentucky and West Virginia, while Hill said he’s also looking at Memphis, Maryland and Duke.

Hill, who is averaging 30 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four blocks per game, said he has plenty to offer a school.


Complete Article

Video: UK Recruit Quincy Miller Press Conference

"Kentucky, I like...like their dribble-drive system plus John Wall goes there and I'm really close to him..."

- Quincy Miller



Calvin Fowler: Regrouping for Tournament Run in Africa

Calvin Fowler is a 6-5, 207-pound combo guard that played college basketball for the Bellarmine Knights. He has played professionally in both England and Jordan since leaving Bellarmine. Currently, Calvin is competing in the African Champions Club for Men, a FIBA-sanctioned competition of the top club teams from around the continent of Africa. For the next week, Calvin is going to give us a behind-the-scenes look at playing club basketball in Africa.

Days 4-5: 24th FIBA Africa Champions Club for Men

Calvin, unfortunately, you guys suffered your first loss in the last game of pool play. Can you recap the game for me?

Yesterday's game was against Petro (from Angola). It was a huge game...the whole city and country was either at the game, tuned in via radio or watching on television. It was standing room only in the gym. We knew coming into this game that it wasn't going to be a walk in the park. We came out and matched their intensity with some great shooting from the guard spot, but everything we did, they had an answer for. They were very composed as a team and never seem rattled the whole game. The game stayed pretty close until mid-way through the fourth period. When the fourth quarter rolled around, the right rotations and plays were made to have them in a position to win the game. Our team played very well, we were just a few rebounds and loose balls away from winning the game.

You're going to refocus and regroup for quarterfinal play on Saturday. What is the spirit of the team like after suffering a defeat?

The spirit of the team is to take it one game at a time and not to overlook any team. There is a different type of energy and fight when tournament time comes around. All the teams here are champions from their respective countries and are here for one thing and that is to win the Club Championship of Africa (which also gets the team in the World Games in Turkey next year). Every team here is playing to prove that they are the best team in Africa!

How did your fans react to that first loss?

The fans took it pretty rough, but they were also quick to tell us that they would be there for us in the quarterfinals to support us. They told us not to worry and that we will still win the championship. I really applaud our fans because they really come out and make it very difficult for the other team and cheer for us until the very end.

Tell me a little about the team you play in the quarterfinals.

I honestly haven't even seen the team we are playing, If I had to guess, I would say that they will be big, strong, athletic and fast. That's how most teams are here. Today in practice, we just focused on our sets and what we needed to do as team to put ourselves in a position to win at the end of the game.

You had an off day today. How did you spend your day off the court?

Well, I spent most of the day around my hotel on www.allkyhoops.com checking out T-Will's drama with Twitter and his shooting. Then, I lined my hair up (he giggles and says, "have to stay fresh for the camera, never know who's watching"). After that, I returned to www.allkyhoops.com to read about thee John Wall and did some reading about the Bengals' Chris Henry (R.I.P). Other than that, just stayed off my feet until it was time for practice.

How are you feeling as you get ready to go into the elimination stages of the tournament?

I feel like we can either go hard or go home...cliche I know, but that's how I am feeling right now. I will control the things I can control and the rest will have to take care of itself.

Calvin finished the talk today with an emphatic message to his former college team: "Go Knights!"

Morehead State Survives to Earn Big Win Over ETSU

Morehead State 60
East Tennessee State 58

Final from Morehead, Kentucky


Game recap by MSU:

Morehead State men’s basketball committed more turnovers in the game, but it was two late giveaways by East Tennessee State that helped the Eagles survive, 60-58, in a non-conference game Friday evening at Johnson Arena.

Looking for a game-tying or game-winning shot, ETSU’s Micah Williams dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds with under five seconds to play. The Bucs fouled Kenneth Faried on the in-bounds pass, but Faried missed both free throws. ETSU’s Jocolby Davis turned it over again while dribbling up-court with one second left. The Bucs stole the MSU in-bounds pass in the back court, but could not get a shot off in time.

“Our team showed a lot of grit and effort to hold on,” Morehead State coach Donnie Tyndall said. “The tempo of the game was right, we wanted to be in the mid to low 60s.”

With just over a minute to play, Harper sunk a short jumper to put the Eagles up by three, but Jarvis Jones raced down the floor and hit a 3-pointer to tie it for the first time in the second half. Harper was fouled on the ensuing possession and sunk both free throws that were the eventual game-winners.

The Eagles struggled to find a basket in the first eight minutes of the game, starting with an 0-for-8 streak. ETSU took advantage of the drought, rolling out to a 10-0 lead.

“I thought the first half was the worst exhibition of offense we’ve had since I’ve been coaching here,” Tyndall said. “Our guys are a little reluctant versus the zone. Teams are going to throw a lot of zone at us because it limits Kenneth’s touches.”

The Bucs then went on a five-minute scoreless streak of their own that allowed Morehead State to climb back into the game after senior Les Simmons scored on a lay-up and Terrance Hill hit the first of three 3-pointers en route to a season-high 13 points.

“Terrance Hill was a great lift for us off the bench, hitting three threes,” Tyndall said.

Morehead State opened the second half trailing by one, but scored the first eight points of the period to take a 33-26 lead. The Eagles held the advantage through most of the second half, holding the Bucs one to two possessions behind until Jones’ trey tied it.

Harper had a season-high 17 points to lead the Eagles. Maze Stallworth scored 12 and Faried pulled down 16 of MSU’s 44 rebounds, 15 of which were offensive and led to 12 second-chance points. OVC assist-leader senior Brandon Shingles dished out eight assists for the Eagles.

ETSU was led by Tommy Hubbard and Jones, each of who tallied 14 points. The pair each had a game-high four steals. Bruce Grimm added 12 points for the Buccaneers and Isiah Brown had a team-high six rebounds.

The Eagles will travel to Utah State for the Basketball Travelers Invitational. MSU opens the tournament with host Utah State Monday at 10:05 pm ET. A Tuesday date with Weber State atr 7:30 p.m. ET and a game against Cal State Fullerton Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET complete the Morehead State tournament

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cats are Punished for Poor Effort in Practice

UK basketball head coach John Calipari was so frustrated with his team's practice performance Thursday that he resorted to some "old school" conditioning.

Excerpt of article from ESPN's Andy Katz:

Kentucky coach John Calipari said Friday that Thursday’s practice was the “worst we’ve had in five years.” Calipari was referencing practices at UK and his previous gig, Memphis. He said that the poor practice habits led to him forcing the players into a full conditioning hour. The Wildcats host Austin Peay on Saturday and then Drexel two days later as they seek two more victories for the program’s historic 2,000th win.

Meanwhile, Calipari said what prevents DeMarcus Cousins from having a breakout performance on a consistent basis is conditioning. He said Cousins came ready to compete for the full practice Thursday and was irritated that the session turned into a conditioning practice.


Complete Article

A.J. Slaughter's Dream of Playing in Freedom Hall

When Western Kentucky visits Freedom Hall tomorrow, it will be a dream realized by WKU's A.J. Slaughter.

Excerpt of article by Mark Story, Lexington Herald-Leader:

As a little boy, A.J. Slaughter had a constant wardrobe staple.

"He had every kind of Louisville shirt you could find," Bonita Slaughter says of her son.

While he worked to develop the basketball skills that eventually made him an All-State player at Shelby County, A.J. sometimes imagined himself winning games in Freedom Hall like his favorite Cardinals players, Reece Gaines and Francisco Garcia.

On Saturday, Slaughter will finally live his fantasy. He will be wearing red in Freedom Hall when Louisville plays Western Kentucky University.

Of course, a little boy's dream has long since taken a detour.

Slaughter will be in the visiting uniform of WKU on Saturday. His goal will be to replicate the beat-down he and Western put on Rick Pitino's Cardinals a year ago.


Complete Article (Good read)

ESPN's Favorite Affiliate Calls Calipari "a pimp"

basketball hoops
Bobby Knight's comments on Wildcats' basketball coach John Calipari are like a fresh steak floating in the ocean for sharks like Kent Sterling of ESPN affiliate 1070 the Fan.

Sterling, whose desperation for website hits rivals the likes of Perez Hilton, states today that Calipari is a pimp:

Calipari is a pimp, an aggregator of talent. He makes millions for his ability to gather kids who can play basketball. Knight is exactly right in his assignation of shame on UK as a purported institution of higher learning, and the NCAA as an institution that looks the other way as renegade programs turn the mission statement of college athletics into an inverted mess where the "athletics" at certain schools take priority over "college".

As usual, the best statement on this site appears in the comments section:

"Is this the same writer who predicted a blowout win for IU over Kentucky? Shows you what this guy knows....NADDA!!!!!!!!!!"

Good point...

Complete Article (if you're really bored and enjoy leaving anonymous comments)

Image: For entertainment purposes only

Flashbacks of John Cheney vs. John Calipari

Bobby Knight's comments last night made me remember the time that legendary Temple head coach John Cheney expressed his "love" for a young John Calipari:

Calipari Responds to The General and Talks Basketball

Videos by John Clay at the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Video #1

Video #2, which features Jerry Tipton doing, well, what Jerry Tipton does:

West Virginia is Making a Late Run at Doron Lamb


EerSports.com is reporting that WVU head basketball coach Bob Huggins is attempting to make a late run at 2010 guard Doron Lamb:

NOTE: Link is subscription only

Huggins is also attempting to make a late run for heralded Oak Hill Academy (Va.) guard Doron Lamb. We'll have the latest on Lamb and WVU soon.

Lamb is a talented sharp-shooter that is one of Kentucky's primary targets in the 2010 Class.

Basketball Special Features Kentucky's John Calipari



FOX Sports South announces the debut of In My Own Words: John Calipari, a 60-minute interview special spotlighting the University of Kentucky mens basketball coach, one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA basketball history. In My Own Words: John Calipari debuts on Tuesday, December 22 at 9 p.m. on FOX Sports South.

In My Own Words: John Calipari chronicles Caliparis upbringing in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and his early introduction to coaching, when as a high school student he coached grade school teams to gain a better understanding of the game. In the FOX Sports South original program, which is interspersed with footage of Calipari in his office and fans camped outside of Memorial Coliseum for tickets to Big Blue Madness, Calipari talks about the coaching journey that brought him to the hallowed basketball grounds of the University of Kentucky and the legacy he hopes to leave not only on the Wildcats program but also on the game of basketball.

In My Own Words: John Calipari has additional airings on December 23 at 3 p.m. following the Wildcats game against Long Beach State at 1 p.m.; December 28 at 9 p.m.; and December 29 at 9 p.m. (southern Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina) and 11 p.m. (Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and northern Alabama).

Brandon Knight Brings Excitement to Coral Springs

basketball star Brandon Knight
Excerpt of article by Fabian Lyon, The Miami Herald:

These days Knight plays to standing-room-only crowds and will probably do so again when he returns to Coral Springs City gymnasium for the Kreul National Basketball Tournament on Friday.

Coral Springs Christian (7-0) gets the first shot at spoiling Knight's homecoming when the Crusaders face Pine Crest (8-0), ranked No. 19 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50, at 9 p.m. Other key first-round matchups include Miami Norland vs. New York St. Anthony's, five-time state champion Dillard vs. West Boca, and Miramar vs. five-time state champion Miami Pace.

Jacksonville Providence forwards Stacey Poole (Rivals.com No. 27) and Patric Young (No. 28) are the biggest names in the Hawk Florida Challenge.

Excitement over a possible block-buster second-round matchup between Pine Crest and Northeast could lead to a sellout on Saturday.


Image: MiamiHerald.com (Photographer: ANDREW ULOZA)

Bad News for Northern Kentucky Basketball

The Northern Kentucky men's basketball team has learned that junior Dustin Maguire is likely to miss the rest of the season with a back injury.

Maguire, last season's leading scorer, is averaging 9.9 points per game and has been struggling with the injury dating back tot he offseason.

"After we played Xavier and Dayton (in exhibition games), I didn't think he would make it and then when we played at Indianapolis (on Dec. 3) he could barely move afterward and it was even worse after we played at Southern Indiana (on Dec. 5)," said Bezold. "I feel so bad for him, because he is such a great player, a great player to coach and a great kid. He's the hardest working kid on the team and that's a great example we're going to miss and the kid wouldn't miss anything as far as practice goes and wouldn't tell you how much he was hurt, because he wants to play. It took some wind out of our sails."

Source

Bobby Knight Questions NCAA Basketball's Integrity

Robert Montgomery Knight questions basketball's integrity and uses Kentucky head coach as his example (HT: John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader):



Here are some other highlights from Knight's career:

Video: Kentucky Basketball Recruit Brandon Knight

Brandon Knight: Kentucky 2010 Basketball Recruit

Pine Crest vs. Berkley Prep: First annual Hoop Mountain Academic Cup

Brandon Knight scored 27 points on 10-16 shooting, including 6-8 from long range in approximately three quarters of play:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bobby Knight Slams Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

college basketball coach
At a fundraiser tonight, legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight had some very strong words about the integrity of NCAA basketball and particularly about Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

"We've gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that's why I'm glad I'm not coaching," he said. "You see we've got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he's still coaching. I really don't understand that."


UK Basketball Recruits at Hawk Kreul Classic


Several Kentucky basketball recruits will be participating in this weekend's Hawk Kreul Classic in Coral Springs, Florida.

Brandon Knight, the #1 overall player in 2010 according to Rivals.com, and his Pine Crest teammates will open against Coral Springs Christian tomorrow. Knight has been recruited heavily by Kentucky.

Quincy Miller, a 2011 Kentucky target and #3 overall, will lead Quality Education Academy into battle with North Miami Beach.

Stacey Poole, who has already signed with Kentucky, will lead his Providence team in the Florida Challenge Bracket.


Dec. 17-22 Hawk Kreul Classic

Coral Springs High School – Coral Springs, Fla.

Friday Sweet 16 bracket

No. 17 Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) vs. Coral Springs Christian (Coral Springs, Fla.)
Northeast (Oakland Park, Fla.) vs. Chaminade (Hollywood, Fla.)
Miramar (Fla.) vs. Monsignor Pace (Miami, Fla.)
Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) vs. West Boca (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) vs. Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)
The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) vs. KIMA (Washington, D.C.)
North Miami Beach (North Miami, Fla.) vs. Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Friday Florida Challenge bracket

Norland (Miami, Fla.) vs. St. Anthony’s (Long Island, N.Y.)
Deerfield Beach (Fla.) vs. Atlantic (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Coral Glades (Coral Springs, Fla.) vs. Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.) vs. Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kan.)

Source

Kentucky Tops SEC Basketball Power Rankings

Eric Adams has posted his SEC Basketball Power Rankings on BleacherReport.com today. He puts Kentucky on top of the conference and says:

1. Kentucky (10-0)

It's beginning to feel like 1996. The Wildcats are undefeated and have beaten some quality competition. They took care of North Carolina, Connecticut, and Indiana in a recent three-game stretch. From a national standpoint, all headlines feature super freshman John Wall. He even has his own incredible dance. UK will likely be 14-0 headed into a showdown with Louisville.

Complete Rankings

Union Basketball Evens Record with Win Over KCU

NAIA Basketball
Union College 84
Kentucky Christian 59

Final from Barbourville, Kentucky


Game recap by Union College:

Junior Darrel Jackson poured in a game-high 22 points to help lead Union College to an 84-59 victory over visiting Kentucky Christian University Thursday.

The win puts Union at 7-7 overall as it heads into the Christmas break. The Bulldogs will play an exhibition game at Tennessee Tech University on Dec. 30 before resuming their regular-season slate at home on Jan. 2 against Indiana University East.

"It's nice to head into the break at .500," said Union coach Sean Gillespie. "It's been a good week of basketball. The guys have played well this past week, and they deserve this break. We look forward to seeing what the new year will bring."

Jackson (Jonesboro, Ark.) had a solid all-around game. In addition to his 22 points, he recorded eight rebounds and six assists.

The Bulldogs were in control of the game from the opening tip as they built a 13-3 lead by the 13:40 mark. After Kentucky Christian made it a 19-11 contest, Jackson capped a 12-7 stretch with a pair of free throws to give Union a 31-16 edge with 5:40 to in the break.

The Crusaders ended the half on an 8-4 run and started the second half with five straight points to pull within 35-29 with 18:34 remaining.

However, Union quickly stretched the margin back to double digits, eventually building a 64-44 cushion with 7:11 to play. The Bulldogs' lead hovered around 20 points for the remainer of the contest as they coasted to the 84-59 victory.

The Bulldogs, as a team, played a real balanced game with three players scoring in double figures and eight netting at least four points. Union also won the battle of the boards, outrebouding Kentucky Christian narrowly 41-40. In addition, the Bulldogs recorded 21 assists on 31 made baskets with four players having at least three helpers.

After Jackson, Josh Hurd (Independence, Ky.) paced Union with 14 points with Payton Ponzer (Independence, Ky.) knocking in 13. Beau Brown (Athens, Tenn.) had a solid game with nine points, six rebounds and a game-high four steals, two more swipes than the Crusaders had as a team.

Cedomir Ilic led Kentucky Christian with 13 points with Jonathan Hood chipping in 12. Svetomir Ilic recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Blandon Clemmons added 10 points.

Spalding Drops to #12 in USCAA Basketball Rankings


The USCAA came out with its fourth poll of the season this week and the Spalding Golden Eagles dropped one spot to #12 in the nation. Earlier this month the Men played two terrific games getting a win in the conference opener against Principia College and then traveled to the defending conference champions, Fontbonne University. It was there that the team played their best game of the year, knocking of the Goliath’s of the conference by 6 on their home court.

However, since then the team has dropped two straight to a very talented Campbellsvile University and then a tough 2 point loss to in state rival Alice Lloyd College. This past weekend’s game against Alice Lloyd marked the 7th game the team has played on the road compared to only 2 home games thus far. “We set the schedule up like that for a reason” Coach Gray stated. “We knew we may take some lumps early on but it will make these guys into a better team at the end of the year and that is when you want to be winning basketball games.” (Source: Press Release from Spalding)

USCAA National Basketball Rankings (Week 4):

1 Oakwood University
2 Talladega College (AL)
3 Southern Virginia
4 Rochester Coll (MI)
5 Apprentice School
6 Hiwassee
7 Florida College
8 University of Dallas
9 Indiana University Northwest
10 Robt Morris-Springfield (IL)
11 Marygrove 12 Spalding University 13 Northern New Mexico 14 St. Catharine 15 Walla Walla 16 Southern State CC 17 Washington Adventist 18 Silver Lake 19 Pitt-Titusville (PA)
20 Concordia

Ex-Panther Hoopsters Return to School, Obtain Degrees

Kentucky Wesleyan Basketball
Melvin Beasley and T.J. Smith are making family history with the end of the fall semester at Kentucky Wesleyan College.

The two former players for the KWC men's basketball program will become the first members of their immediate families to earn a college degree.

They did it this fall, after using up their playing eligibility with the Panthers. They took their last finals this week.

Beasley earned his degree in business administration. Smith got his in physical education. Trey Harris, another senior on last year's KWC squad, will finish his a sociology degree in the spring.

"The school helped them with some money," KWC coach Todd Lee said.

Beasley took out a small loan. Smith had to do the same when he was ruled by the NCAA to have just one semester left where he could be on athletic scholarship, and he had to pay for classes in the fall of the 2008-09 school year.

Lee would like to see some type of fund set up for athletes who might be a class or two short when their athletic eligibility runs out so they don't have to use loans to finish school.

"The NCAA is putting a lot more emphasis on saying you have to graduate your student athletes," Lee said. "You want these kids to graduate, and it sure helps if you can get that funded after they're through playing."

Complete Article

UK Makes List of Decade's Best Basketball Upsets

The Kentucky Wildcats have made a not-so-great basketball list.

The SI.com editors' complete Top 10 "Best College Basketball Upsets of the Decade":

1) George Mason's Patriots winning in overtime over Connecticut, 86-84, in a 2006 NCAA Tournament regional final;
2) 15th-seeded Hampton shocking No. 2-seed Iowa State 58-57 in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament;
3) No. 14 seed Bucknell bouncing third-seeded Iowa out in the first-round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, ironically also by a 64-63 score;
4) North Dakota State beating Wisconsin 62-55 in a regular-season 2006 game as the Bison were transitioning from Division II to Division I membership;
5) 14th-seeded Northwestern State over third-seeded Iowa in a dramatic 64-63 game in the 2006 NCAA Tournament ;
6) No. 13 seed Vermont knocking fourth-seeded Syracuse out of the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, 60-57 in overtime;
7) Gardner-Webb defeats the Wildcats 84-68 early in the 2007 season at Rupp Arena;
8) Oral Roberts winning 78-71 early in the 2007-08 season at No. 3-ranked Kansas;
9) Indiana overcoming a 17-point deficit for a 74-73 NCAA Tournament win in 2002 over defending national champion and top-seeded Duke;
10) Davidson beating No. 2-seeded Georgetown 74-70 in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

Source

High School Coach Thinks UConn is a Good Fit for Knight

Pine Crest basketball coach Dave Beckerman thinks Connecticut has several things going for them in Brandon Knight's recruitment.

Excerpt of article from MiddletownPress.com:

“Brandon is a very special, unique student-athlete. He has a 4.2 (cumulative GPA), could probably go to any school in the country without bouncing a ball, and I do know that UConn has always been high on his list.”

At the recent A-Rod Classic basketball tournament won by Pine Crest, UConn (assistant coach Pat Sellers), Florida, Miami, Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse were all represented.

“I think UConn has a couple of things going for them,” said Beckerman. “They have a couple of key (current) freshmen (Ater Majok and Alex Oriakhi) returning next year (likely along with point guard Walker). I know (Knight) likes the Big East and I know he wants to be on a national stage; I know he wants to be with a coach who has proven success; and I know he wants to go to a school that has produced players that go to the next level. That would seem to fit (UConn).”


Complete Article

2010 Star Josh Selby Adds Another Set of Wildcats

basketball recruiting
Josh Selby, a superstar 2010 point guard, has added the Wildcats to his list of potential college destinations. Unfortunately for Kentucky fans, he has added another set of Wildcats - the Arizona Wildcats.

He posted on Twitter earlier today:

Misundastood32 just added Arizona to the list

Selby is a 6-2 point guard from Baltimore that ranks #4 overall on the Rivals150 List for 2010. He is being recruited heavily by Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas, Indiana and Syracuse.

NOTE: Kansas head coach Bill Self was scheduled to visit Selby's game in Baltimore tonight.

Ex-UK Basketball Star Hopes to Witness 2,000th Win

basketball star
Former Kentucky basketball star Jamal Mashburn will call the Drexel game, which could be Kentucky's 2,000th all-time victory:

Jamal Mashburn, a former University of Kentucky basketball star and an NBA analyst at ESPN, will call UK's Dec. 21 game against Drexel for the network.

If the Wildcats win Saturday against Austin Peay, the Drexel game would be the program's first attempt to become the first college basketball program to win 2,000 games.

Tigers Land High School Basketball Standout

The Campbellsville basketball program and head coach Keith Adkins landed a nice recruit today when they signed Cameron Hall from Glasgow High School.

Excerpt of article from GoSportingTimes.com:

Media were notified Tuesday afternoon that there was going to be a college signing the next morning at Glasgow High School, and to everyone’s surprise it was last season’s fourth region boy’s basketball Player of The Year, Cameron Hall.

Hall is considered one of the best point guards in the state. The senior has started out red hot this season averaging 24 points a game. He is a prolific scorer, who can work the ball as efficiently from his right or left. He is a total player who has been playing the game of basketball since he could walk. He also has the pedigree with dad/coach Jeff Hall a former Louisville Cardinal who played on the National Championship team.

Many in the basketball circles felt that Hall could play at a division 1 school, but most universities and colleges were asleep at the wheel on recruiting Hall, except for Campbellsville University who had him in their sights from day one.

Complete Article

Cardinals Dismantle Oral Roberts at Home

Louisville 94
Oral Roberts 57

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Excerpt of game recap by Associated Press:

Rick Pitino began the night with a pep talk. He ended it with applause.

In between came a rare sight for the Louisville coach: a little defensive intensity from his team.

Edgar Sosa scored 18 points while Samardo Samuels added 17 points and seven rebounds as the re-energized Cardinals snapped a two-game losing streak with a 94-57 victory over Oral Roberts on Wednesday.

Frustrated by a decided lack of effort during stunning home losses to Charlotte and Western Carolina, Pitino televised his pregame speech over the Jumbotron at Freedom Hall, challenging the Cardinals to stop playing like "impostors."

Pitino added a history lesson on top of it, writing the American League baseball standings from early in the 2009 season on the chalkboard inside the locker room. He pointed out that the New York Yankees were in third place, as were the Minnesota Twins. Both teams came back to win division titles, with the Yankees eventually capturing the World Series.

"I felt we needed motivation for our fans and for our team," Pitino said. "I told them, 'Stop panicking and stop worrying."

Instead, the Cardinals started playing. Louisville (6-3) held undermanned Oral Roberts (6-6) to 39 percent shooting and forced 21 turnovers.

Complete Recap

Basketball Bearcats Find Going Tough at Marshall

College basketball recap:

Marshall 105
Brescia 54

Final from Huntington, West Virgina


Game recap from Associated Press:

Hassan Whiteside set a Marshall single-game record of 11 blocked shots, while scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in a 105-54 rout of Brescia on Wednesday night.

Whiteside, a 7-foot freshman, became the first player to record a triple-double for the Thundering Herd (8-1).

Seven players scored in double figures for Marshall, which also set a team record of 17 blocks in a game. Cam Miller scored 16 points and made all six of his shots, including four from 3-point range.

The Thundering Herd shot 61.5 percent (40-for-65), while the overmatched Bearcats, an NAIA school, managed just 25.6 percent (20-for-78).

Brescia, which got 14 points apiece from Andrea Sharp and Anthony Ingram, took a 16-14 lead with 13:35 left in the first half on Andrew Howard's 3-pointer, then was outscored 21-0 over the next 5:13.

Kentucky High School Athletic Association Change

basketball
The commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) has announced her retirement:

Brigid DeVries, the first female commissioner in Kentucky High School Athletic Association history, announced her retirement at a news conference Wednesday

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vitale Praises Kentucky Basketball, Calipari and John Wall

kentucky wildcats
The legendary Dick Vitale sends praise to Kentucky basketball, head coach John Calipari and freshman John Wall in his latest article on ESPN.com.

On Kentucky:

Kentucky then faced a danger game in Bloomington. Indiana. Tom Crean's Hoosiers raced out to an early eight-point lead, but the Wildcats showed maturity by fighting back. Kentucky took charge in the second half and came away with a convincing victory.

On Calipari:

At 10-0, Calipari has matched Adolph Rupp for the best start by a first-year Wildcats coach. With a favorable schedule ahead (Austin Peay, Drexel, Long Beach State and Hartford), it looks like Calipari will be 14-0 heading into a showdown against Rick Pitino and his Louisville Cardinals.

On John Wall:

Wall is the best point guard prospect I have seen in the last 10 years. I was in awe watching his speed and quickness with the basketball. He is so explosive and he took the game over in the end. Wall showed why he is number one in the eyes of many NBA general managers!

John Wall Has the Basketball World's Attention

College basketball this season has been all John Wall, all the time.

Excerpt of article by ESPN's Scoop Jackson:

If he had a nickname, it would be "The Biz."

He gives opponents the business; he handles his business.

Not Biz Markie, but mark thee as the best N.C. has seen since CP3; Jason Kidd size and speed, EBC imagination.

There's nothing John Wall can't do or thinks he can't do when a ball's in his hands. Around, over, through you. Pick your poison. He's anthrax wit' it. Beyond sick. Killer crossover.

His game stays in transition: always on the move, always growing. He gets up and down the court with ease and poise, a grown kid among boys. He covers 94-by-50 as TMZ does Britney: baseline to baseline, Wall to wall. Get it?

Blink. Gone.

Complete Article

Hilltopper Basketball Recruit Continues to Play Well

Western Kentucky 2010 basketball recruit Daryl Traynham is off to a nice start in his high school senior season.

In last night's action, he led all scorers with a game-high 22 points as his Wise team defeated Bladensburg 83-65.

Here is an excerpt of the game recap from Gazette.net:

"It wasn't easy because Bladensburg played well, but I think our bench wore them down as the game went on," Johnson said. "We wore their guards down, which led to a lot of easy layups for us in the second half."

Most of those easy layups were scored by Wise senior Daryl Traynham, who had a game-high 22 points. Ezell Starks added 12 for the Pumas, while Darren Lakins and John Savoy each scored 10.

Are Basketball Fans Obsessed with John Wall?

Are college basketball fans obsessed with Kentucky freshman sensation John Wall?

Here are the first 3 signs that you might have a problem:

10. You contemplate whether or not you should buy a Kentucky #11 jersey for a player who you damn well know will be gone next May. In four months his jersey will be a collector's item but you don't care. You already are the proud owner of a St. Vincent-St. Mary High School jersey #23!

9. When someone asks you for your opinion on John Wall, you give them a long and detailed answer. When someone asks for your opinion on Patrick Patterson (Kentucky's second-leading scorer and a strong pro prospect in his own right), your expression goes blank and you say:

"Which one is he again?"

8. You actively root for your favorite NBA team (especially if your favorite team happens to be the Nets, Sixers, Clippers, T-Wolves, Wizards, or Grizzlies) to lose as many games as possible to get a better shot at landing Wall in next year's lottery draft.


Complete List of Top 10 Signs You are Obsessed with John Wall

Slaughter Named Sun Belt Basketball Player of the Week

western kentucky basketball
NCAA Basketball News:

Western Kentucky's A.J. Slaughter has been named Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week. Slaughter scored 27 points in the Hilltopper's 76-69 upset of #24 Vanderbilt.

Excerpt of press release from WKU:

Of his top three career scoring nights, two have come at the Sommet Center. Currently ranked seventh in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring this season, Slaughter has 1,117 career points, passing Chris Marcus (2000-03) and Darrin Horn (1992-95) this week to move up to 32nd on the WKU all-time scoring list.

At his current pace of 16.4 ppg, Slaughter is on track to break into the top 12 all-time at WKU in scoring.

Murray State Comes Up Short at Louisiana Tech

NCAA Basketball:

Louisiana Tech 87
Murray State 81

Final from Ruston, Louisiana

Game summary by Associated Press:

Jamel Guyton scored 21 points to lead Louisiana Tech to an 87-81 victory over Murray State on Tuesday night.

Guyton was 5-for-6 from the field, going 4-for-4 on 3-point attempts, and the Bulldogs (9-2) used a 15-2 second half run to take a lead they wouldn't relinquish to snap the Racers' eight-game winning streak.

David Jackson scored all five of his points and Guyton hit a 3-pointer as Louisiana Tech turned a 54-52 deficit with 14:08 remaining in the game into a 67-56 lead with 8:36 left.

Murray State (8-2) twice cut the margin to three points, including 81-78 on Isaiah Canaan's two free throws with 21 seconds left, but couldn't get closer.

DeAndre Brown had 19 points, Kyle Gibson scored 18 and Magnum Rolle added 11 for the Bulldogs.

Isacc Miles scored 20, Canaan had 15, B.J. Jenkins added 12, and Danero Thomas and Ivan Aska scored 10 points each for the Racers.

Louisville to Join the Big 10 Conference?

I don't think so, but The Hoosier Scoop lists Louisville as one of seven possible schools that could join the Big 10 Conference.

Here are their thoughts on Louisville:

LOUISVILLE
Football: 4-8 (last bowl game in 2006)
Basketball: 5-3 (advanced to Elite Eight last season)
U.S. News & World Report: Tier 3
Why them: The football program could quickly rise back to prominence, and both programs are about to be in great facilities. Louisville is a solid television market, and the Cardinals could help the Big Ten’s basketball presence.
Why not: Indiana would more than likely have problems with competition in the southern Indiana market, and Ohio State would probably not like it either. And, like Cincinnati, there are academic issues.

The other six possibilities in the article are: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rutgers, Iowa State and Missouri.

John Wall Basketball Profile on DraftExpress.com

basketball
DraftExpress.com has an excellent profile on Kentucky basketball point guard John Wall.

Here is an excerpt from their NBA Draft Prospect of the Week:

A place where Wall might still be underrated though is in his passing ability. Not only does he rank 6th amongst all draft prospects in assists per-40 minutes pace adjusted, but more notably he ranks 8th in assists per field goal attempt ratio.

This is an interesting stat to evaluate Wall by because it compares the amount of assists he racks up with the number of shots he takes, which could be a good way to rate how unselfish he’s been. Right now he stacks up favorably in that category with the collegiate numbers posted by the likes of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo and Ty Lawson, and absolutely blows away what Derrick Rose did as a freshman.


NOTE: In addition, ESPN's Jay Williams (the former Duke Blue Devil superstar) takes a look at what makes John Wall special (subscription)

UConn Huskies Join Hunt for JUCO Basketball Star

I talked to JUCO basketball star Ricardo Ratliffe of Central Florida Community College yesterday evening and he said Connecticut has joined the growing list of schools that are recruiting him.

He said the Huskies came to watch him play recently.

Ricardo stated that he is taking a bit of a break from the recruiting game as he is in the midst of a busy schedule on and off the court.

He did report that both Kentucky and Louisville are still calling and he is still looking at several other options including Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Clemson and Missouri.

Calvin Fowler Journals Day 3 of Basketball in Africa

Calvin Fowler is a 6-5, 207-pound combo guard that played college basketball for the Bellarmine Knights. He has played professionally in both England and Jordan since leaving Bellarmine. Currently, Calvin is competing in the African Champions Club for Men, a FIBA-sanctioned competition of the top club teams from around the continent of Africa. For the next week, Calvin is going to give us a behind-the-scenes look at playing club basketball in Africa.


Day 3: 24th FIBA Africa Champions Club for Men

Calvin, tell me about your second game and how your team played.

The second game started out a lot like the first game, it was very physical and a close game throughout. The second period is when we blew it open. We kept constant pressure on the ball and they couldn't handle our pressure. We also received some assistance from the zebras with our aggressiveness on the defensive end and we went into the lockeroom with the lead. In the third period, we had a small mental lapse but quickly regained our composure after coach made some subs, then we kept the lead for the rest of the game.

How do you felt you played?

I played better than I did in the first game, but I'm still not in my "CFowl" groove yet. I am in no way going to force the issue, it will come. Our team is so talented and deep, that no one has to ever force anything, because any given night any one of the 12 guys can score 30. It's like if you stop one of us, you have to worry about the other four. If we are all on, it's going to be a long night.

Are you playing with or against any U.S. college players that we might recognize?

Current NBA Player Jason Terry has a brother that plays for one of the Angola teams, Petro. That was my fun fact I learned today on my day off and going to watch the other teams play.

What is the most bizarre thing you've had happen to you while playing in Africa?

I haven't really had anything real bizarre happen to me. Like I mentioned before, our stadium is like an indoor/outdoor stadium and one time a hawk flew in during one of our shoot arounds. It was just flying around while we were shooting and then decided to stay for the games. We like to look at the hawk as our good luck charm. I have never been in a gym with a hawk before, guess that is bizarre.

Give me some details about the city of Kigali. Is it comparable to an American city or really different?

The city of Kigali reminds me a lot of L.A. It is very hilly and it spirals around, if that makes any sense. The air is very thin here, the first few days of practice I was a little winded, due to the high altitude! (Similar to Denver) It is a beautiful place! My favorite thing about Kigali are the moto taxi's...they are awesome! Dangerous but fun at the same time! You flag a dude down on a little mopad and he tosses you a helmet you put it on and GO!

Two things that make Kigali different from the states would be the work day and the placement of houses. They work from 5 a.m. to like 11 at night, and this is manual labor I am talking about...like building walls, buildings, streets, pretty much anything. The people here can make something out of nothing and I really admire that.

In the states, wealthy neighborhoods are usually secluded away from the "not-so-good" parts of the city. Well here in Kigali, you can have three mansions on a street then right behind them could be some not-so-nice homes.

I have met some of the nicest people here. They live to serve you, they tell me thank you for letting them massage me. After everything this city has gone through in the past, these people have really overcome and keep progressing, it's like everyone here understands the value of a life and cherishes every waking moment of theirs.

Who are some of the teams that you expect to be competing for the championship of this event? The so-called "favorites"?

I would have to say our team has to be a favorite along with the two Angola teams. The two Angola teams are divided up from the same national team that played against the "Redeem Team" which gave them the best challenge this past year. They are both veteran teams that make few mistakes and capitalize on all the other teams' mistakes.

How is the home court advantage working out for your team? Is the atmosphere making it difficult for your opponents? Does your team feed off the energy?

The home court advantage is huge! We definitely feed off of the energy from the crowd, it's non-stop noise from start to end. I know it has to be difficult for the other teams because it is difficult for me to even hear the plays called. I've played in Freedom hall with it being sold out and it has nothing on our games here.

Calvin, what's it like to be overseas for an extended period of time? Is it difficult for you to be away from wife/girlfriend, family, friends, etc?

It gets lonely sometimes over here. There is a lot of down time between practice and games. I am lucky to have great teammates so it makes it easier to be away from loved ones. We clown around a lot makes the time go by pretty fast.

How much does it mean to you that you have access to the Internet and social network tools such as Facebook during your time away from the States?

OMG! I cant even express how much the Internet means to me over here. Not having Internet is like forgetting your cell phone at home and being without it all day. There was a day our wireless connection was down for some reason, and I had the worst attitude ever...I felt like I was missing out on something. I just felt out of the loop!

The Next Kentucky Basketball PG: Brandon Knight?

kentucky basketball recruiting
Adam Zagoria at ZagsBlog.com wonders if 2010 superstar Brandon Knight will be the next Kentucky basketball point guard.

Here is an excerpt from Zagoria's article:

Is Brandon Knight next in line at Kentucky?

The 6-foot-3 Knight, the top prospect in the Class of 2010, has narrowed his list to four schools — Kentucky, Kansas, UConn and Florida — and will sign in the spring.

Considering Kentucky freshman John Wall will likely be the top pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, does it make sense that Knight will end up following in Wall’s foosteps?

“Is he John Wall’s replacement,” Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest coach Dave Beckerman asked rhetorically.

“I don’t think Brandon Knight is anybody’s replacement. He’s a true natural point guard. He has his own game.”

Brescia Defeats Lindsey Wilson in Close Game

Brescia 82
Lindsey Wilson 77

Final from Columbia, Kentucky


Excerpt of game recap from Lindsey Wilson:

Andrew Howard scored 32 points and Anthony Ingram chipped in 20 as Brescia (Ky.) University defeated Lindsey Wilson College 82-77 on Monday at Biggers Sports Center.

Howard connected on 11-of-13 shots from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 performance from behind the arc. With his team leading by just a point with a minute to play, Howard came through with an important jumper to put the Bearcats up 77-74.

Senior Andrija Tintor led Lindsey Wilson (6-6) with 20 points, freshman Kalen Kimberland scored 14 and senior Tim Parker added 11, but the Blue Raiders couldn't overcome the blistering-hot shooting night from Brescia (7-5).

The Bearcats made 8-of-13 3-pointers, outrebounded Lindsey Wilson 30-29 and held off a late surge to post their first win over the Blue Raiders since Jan. 19, 2006.

Complete Game Recap

Campbellsville Gets Win, Moves Into NCCAA Top 10

Campbellsville 77
Union College (TN) 61

Final from Cumberland, Tennessee


Game recap from Campbellsville

Campbellsville has moved into the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Top 10 with a 9-3 record. The Tigers are ranked #7.

Mid-Continent College is ranked #6 this week.

Campbellsville Ranked #7

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Union College Edges Alice Lloyd in NAIA Basketball

Union College 77
Alice Lloyd 73

Final from Pippa Passes, Kentucky


Game recap by Union:

Union College notched it first road win of the season as it held off host Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College for a 77-73 victory Tuesday.

The win improved Union's record to 6-7 overall, while Alice Lloyd is now 3-7.

The Bulldogs took charge early on and owned a 38-23 halftime lead. However, the Eagles stormed back and led by four with three minutes remaining.

Union regrouped and battled back for the 77-73 win.

Payton Ponzer (Independence, Ky.) led Union with 22 points, while Darrel Jackson (Jonesboro, Ark.) knocked in 21. Beau Brown (Athens, Tenn.) chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds with Josh Hurd (Independence, Ky.) added 12 points.

Brandon Hayes paced Alice Lloyd with 21 points. Meanwhile, Nick Brumback, the Eagles' top scorer, was limited to eight points.

Union returns home Thursday to play host to Kentucky Christian University at 7:30 p.m.

Pomeroy Ratings Give UK the Blue Screen of Death

kentucky wildcats basketball
I have never been a fan of computerized rankings - in any sport. I despise the BCS in college football I normally chuckle any time that I hear the word "Sagarin".

Today, Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal pointed me in the direction of the 2010 Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings. After a brief review, my feelings on computer rankings are unchanged.

It took me all of about 30 seconds to see California (6-3) at #10, Minnesota (7-3) at #11 and Missouri (6-3) at #12. Then, I discovered the juggernauts at St. Mary's (7-1) and Utah State (5-3) at #15 and #19, respectively.

How about 6-4 Old Dominion coming in at a very respectable #23?

Connecticut (6-2), which just lost to Kentucky, comes in at #33. The Wildcats (10-0) are eight spots lower at #41.

Murray State (8-1) should be pleased as they are only five spots below Kentucky at #46.

The next team from that state of Kentucky is Eastern Kentucky (7-3) at #102, just ahead of the Louisville Cardinals (5-3) at #105.

I know Western Kentucky is off to a disappointing 5-3 start, but are they really #141. I have to think that the Hilltoppers are a little better than 3-5 Creighton (#125) and 4-5 NC Wilmington (#109).

Morehead State, the co-favorites with Murray State to win the OVC, come in at #261.

Kentucky Wesleyan Up to #18 in the NCAA DII Rankings

The Kentucky Wesleyan men's basketball team jumped seven spots to #18 in the today's NCAA Division II college basketball rankings.

NABC Division II Coaches Poll
(As of 12/15/2009)

Rank School W-L Points Prev

1 Central Mo. (8) 7-0 200 1
2 Fla. Southern 8-0 192 3
3 Augusta St. 7-0 184 4
4 Indiana (Pa.) 7-0 174 5
5 Arkansas Tech 8-0 153 10
6 Seattle Pacific 7-0 147 12
7 Rollins 7-0 146 9
8 Kutztown 5-0 144 8
9 Minn. St. Mankato 9-0 134 14
10 Midwestern St. 9-0 115 19
11 Southern Ind. 8-0 112 20
12 Drury 7-1 105 11
13 Southwest Baptist 11-2 104 13
14 Fort Hays St. 8-1 101 22
15 Cal Poly Pomona 3-1 78 16
16 Valdosta St. 8-2 70 2
17 Western Wash. 9-1 69 23
18 Ky. Wesleyan 10-1 67 25
19 BYU-Hawaii 5-2 62 7
20 Montevallo 9-0 46 NR
21 Stonehill 7-1 37 NR
22 Mesa St. 8-0 36 NR
23 Bentley 5-2 22 6
24 Quincy 8-0 15 NR
25 West Chester 9-0 14 NR

Source: NCAA.com

Louisville Tries to Focus Despite Tough Stretch

The Louisville basketball team is trying to maintain focus despite a tough stretch that has contained two-consecutive losses at home to the likes of UNC-Charlotte and Western Carolina.

Excerpt of article from SI.com:

Louisville is losing and the Cardinals' faithful are upset. Senior guard Edgar Sosa doesn't blame them.

He hears their frustration in the hallways heading to class. He reads about it on his Facebook page. He can't avoid it whenever he checks his Twitter account.

Losing to the Charlotte and Western Carolina wasn't exactly part of the plan when the season began.

Yet Sosa isn't exactly ready to panic. He's been around long enough to know what happens to the Cardinals in December has little to do with what happens in March.

"Right now everybody is considering us to be an NIT team and we know we're better than that,'' Sosa said. "These two losses really hurt us ... (but) we have time to make it up.''

Complete Article

WKU Basketball Transfer Relocates to Miami-Dade

western kentucky basketball
Former Western Kentucky Hilltopper basketball recruit Terrence Boyd transferred to Miami-Dade College (JUCO).

Boyd, a talented freshman, was released by WKU before ever playing a game.

Kentucky Bisons' Basketball: A Successful Franchise

kentucky basketball
The Kentucky Bisons, an ABA basketball team located in Owensboro, have proven to be a successful organization.

Here is an excerpt of an article by Jim Pickens on AmericanChronicle.com:

This team, and, more to the point, this franchise, is for real. Mark it down: The Bisons aren't going away anytime soon.

On Sunday, the Bisons battled from behind to force overtime, before putting away the Seattle Mountaineers 101-96 before about 1,000 fans at the Sportscenter. The previous Sunday, the Bisons -- in their home-opener -- lost a heartbreaker to the Bluegrass Stallions before about 1,200 fans.

Thus, a team that drew just a few hundred hard-core patrons per game in its debut season is beginning to draw serious crowds. From the outset, the Bisons' ever-hopeful mantra has been, "Join the Stampede." And, indeed, fans in and around the Owensboro area are taking it to heart. (Pictured: Former Kentucky Wildcat basketball player Brandon Stockton)

Kentucky Wildcats in ESPN's Latest Bracketology

The Kentucky Wildcats' basketball team is projected as a #1 seed in Joe Lunardi's early (way, way early) Bracketology.

There are no other teams from the state in this week's edition. Surprisingly, Lunardi projects Austin Peay to win the OVC over co-favorites Murray State and Morehead State. He projects North Texas to win the Sun Belt Conference.

The Louisville Cardinals, fresh off a pair of tough defeats, is not projected to make the tournament at this point.

ESPN Basketball Bracketology

Security Guards to Basketball Fan: This is “Roy’s house”

Details on the story of North Carolina basketball coach having a Presbyterian fan removed from the game in Chapel Hill over the weekend continue to surface today.

WralSportsFan.com interviewed the fan, Brian King, and he provided some interesting details. For example, King seems to recall a member of the UNC security team stating that it was "Roy's house."

Here is an excerpt of the article:

Roy Williams was irked that Presbyterian College fan Brian King shouted at Deon Thompson to miss a free throw. Williams motioned to security to follow up and it's hard to tell from the WRAL video exactly what he said.

And King, when I interviewed him Monday morning, thought he remembered the security guards telling him it was “Roy’s house” and that Roy got what he wanted, but he said he was so embarrassed at the time he couldn’t remember their exact words.


Roy's house? Wow.

Kentucky Basketball Recruiting 2011 G/F Jarrod Davis

The Kentucky Wildcats are showing early interest in 2011 guard/forward Jarrod Davis from Lakewood High School (NJ).

Excerpt of article from App.com:

Holmes lists the 6-foot-7, 205-pounder as a guard-forward.

Speaking of lists, Davis finds himself on the lists of numerous colleges.

"I was on the phone with Roy Williams (University of North Carolina coach) two weeks ago concerning Jarrod," Holmes said. "Every major college has contacted me about Jarrod."

Davis, according to Holmes, also finds his name on the lips of Kentucky, St. Joseph's of Philadelphia, Virginia Tech, Florida, Siena, Seton Hall, Maryland and George Mason


Source

Introducing Jarrod Davis:

Bill Self Feels Xavier Henry and John Wall are Equals

John Wall
Excerpt of article from KUSports.com:

Kentucky’s John Wall probably leads Kansas University’s Xavier Henry in the publicity department.

But as Jayhawk coach Bill Self observed on Monday’s Big 12 coaches conference call, the numbers put up by KU’s freshman sensation “are very comparable to what John has done.”

Self wasn’t stumping for Henry for any mythical national rookie-of-the-year honors. He was just discussing the progress of KU’s combo guard, who Self said actually has been better than expected.

Complete Article

Why is Roy Williams Picking on the Opposing Fans?

tar heels basketball
This opinionated article on CharlotteObserver.com thinks that North Carolina head coach Roy Williams was overtaken by boredom.

An excerpt:

The problem was Presbyterian was not good rumble material. The game was over the second the contract to play it was signed. When you're ahead by 40 points in December, it's just not a good time to pick a fuss with the coach of a church team.

With little better to keep him occupied, Roy checked out the audience and found some poor soul to take out his boredom and frustration on.

It wasn't a smart idea to get the bloke booted, of course. When North Carolina goes to Duke, you can go ahead and make book that Mike Krzyzewski will have Deon Thompson removed from Cameron for sassing the Crazies during pregame drills. Don't laugh. It happened to former N.C. State coach Les Robinson's son-in-law a few years back.

But by now, Roy probably regrets doing it, and particularly during a slow week around these parts for sports news. I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't tracked down the evictee and shipped him a dozen Titleists and an autographed copy of "Hard Work." Hey, maybe the title of Roy's next book could be "Hard Words."

My Thoughts: Roy gets my vote as college basketball's loser of the week.

John Wall: "Biggest Impact Freshman in the Country"

kentucky basketball
Bankrollsports.com states that Kentucky's John Wall is "without any doubt the biggest impact freshman in the country." The site ranks the nation's top 10 point guards and John Wall makes the list at #2, just behind Sherron Collins of Kansas.

Here is an excerpt about Wall:

#2 – John Wall (Kentucky Wildcats)

John Wall is without any doubt the biggest impact freshman in the country and heads up an amazing group of youngsters at Kentucky that could contend for a National Title in John Calipari’s first year as coach. Wall has averaged 18 points per game and ranks 4th in the nation with 7.1 assists per game. Wall has the frame for like a small forward at 6’4, but excellent ball handling skills and ability to slice to the lane quickly. It also is worth mentioning that he has had some great performances against top notch competition like North Carolina and a season high 25 points in a 3 point win over Connecticut. Known a year ago as the #1 recruit in the nation, Wall is on his way to becoming the #1 player in the nation. The freshman has had a great start, but let’s let him prove he can keep it going.

St. Catharine Visits Morehead for Rare Noon Game Today

A much-improved St. Catharine team will visit Morehead State today for a rare noon game.

The special noon tip will allow area elementary students to attend the game.

Morehead State (2-4, 1-1 OVC), who is off to a disappointing start, looks to use the next 6 non-conference games to get back on track. They host St. Catharine today and East Tennessee State on Friday night. After that, they travel to Logan, Utah to participate in the Utah State Tournament. The Eagles will visit South Dakota on December 28 and then return home to prepare for the meat of the OVC schedule.

St. Catharine (10-3) is off to an excellent start and already has more wins than the team experienced during the entire 2008-09 season.

Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall started his head coaching career at St. Catharine. One of his players at SCC was J.T. Burton, the head coach of the Patriots.

Will 2011 Recruiting Tweet Kentucky Basketball Right?

kentucky basketball
There has been some speculation in several circles that Kentucky will land a very good, but not great recruiting class in 2010 and then rebound in 2011 with a top 5 class.

With a number of high profile recruits still uncommitted, it is premature to give up on the 2010 class at this point. Still, Kentucky only has forward Stacey Poole in the class at this point and there is slight reason for concern.

The 2011 class could potentially rival the 2009 class at Kentucky, which is one of college basketball's all-time great recruiting classes. The Wildcats are widely considered the favorites to land Michael Gilchrist, the overall top-rated player in 2011. They are also heavily in the mix for Marquis Teague and Quincy Miller, who rank #2 and #3 overall in the class, respectively.

Speaking of Miller, he sent an interesting message on Twitter tonight:

qmillertime Texting my main guy Gilchrist...we talking about the future! ;) gym in a few

My thoughts: I don't know about other Kentucky fans, but I really like the sound of that message.

Monday, December 14, 2009

FIBA Club Basketball in Africa with Calvin Fowler


Calvin Fowler is a 6-5, 207-pound combo guard that played college basketball for the Bellarmine Knights. He has played professionally in both England and Jordan since leaving Bellarmine. Currently, Calvin is competing in the African Champions Club for Men, a FIBA-sanctioned competition of the top club teams from around the continent of Africa. For the next week, Calvin is going to give us a behind-the-scenes look at playing club basketball in Africa.

Days 1-2: 24th FIBA Africa Champions Club for Men

Calvin, tell me about your team and some more information about the tournament:

The tournament is being hosted in Kigali, Rwanda and it lasts from December 13-22.. I am playing for the APR Lions and we are the host team.

You earned a win on day one. Tell me a little about the first game:

We defeated a team from Congo and they were very athletic! The game was close in the first half due to poor shooting from us. We had great looks and just didn't knock them down. The second half we turned up the pressure and then the game was over. I believe the score was 91-59.

(NOTE: APR Lions 91 ASB Mazembe 59)

As the host team, what was the atmosphere like in that first game?

First game was mind blowing and the atmosphere is like no other. It's like if Rucker Park and European soccer games had a baby! It is constant noise, you can't even hear the plays being called. The fans are great! A couple of my teammates had good games and some fans offered their sisters. Seriously!

Calvin, what's it like staying in Rwanda?

Staying here in Kigali was also another huge, but pleasant surprise! The media only shows us the bad in Africa, so when I got here, I was blown away. It reminds me a lot of California. There are a lot of hills and beautiful scenery and the people here are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. We are staying in a newly built hotel/apartment. It is very nice and includes personal cooks, professional massage therapists and guards outside for security.

What are the basketball facilities like?

The basketball facilities are really cool. Our stadium is mostly indoor but also partially outdoor, if that makes any sense. The top middle half is outside, so some nights at practice you can get a nice breeze. My first few practices here were at night and the lights cut out (he laughs)...pretty scary at first. Its not uncommon for the lights to go out at any given time. One time, I was walking in the house with my teammates and the lights went out. I fell down the steps (laughs again)...almost sprained my ankle!

How are adjusting to the time difference?

I am actually pretty adjusted to the time difference. It's funny, I don't know when or how I did, because it usually takes me a week to get adjusted. But, from day one this time, I was adjusted.

Are there any communication issues with your teammates and coaches?

Communicating with my teammates is very difficult at times due to the fact I only know one language, which is embarrassing because some of teammates know five! Ultimately, hand movements and facial expressions get the job done.

What is the game of basketball like at that level in Africa?

The game is way more physical than any other league that I have played in. Everyone is pretty athletic and quick. The fans here put your ego on another level. After games, they just want to touch, smile and talk to you. Before the game, I had to calm myself down. I was so hype! The energy I felt in that gym was crazy!


Calvin will have a recap of his team's second game tomorrow. Hint - they are off to a 2-0 start...

Western Kentucky Rises in New Mid-Major Poll

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have leaped seven spots to #11 in today's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 rankings. Murray State remains at #13. Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky both received votes.

The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25

1. Gonzaga (25) 8-2 761 2
2. Butler (2) 7-3 731 1
3. Northern Iowa (1) 7-1 683 3
4. St. Mary's (2) 7-1 614 8
5. Cornell 7-2 601 5
6. Illinois State 7-1 599 4
7. VCU 6-2 512 6
8. Western Carolina 10-1 485 15
9. Old Dominion 6-4 465 7
10. Portland 6-3 462 10
11. Western Kentucky 5-3 383 18 12. Missouri State 9-0 382 21 13. Murray State 8-1 378 13 14. Siena 6-4 313 9 15. Akron 5-3 307 16 16. William & Mary (1) 6-2 300 20 17. Niagara 7-4 246 11 18. Wright State 6-3 243 14 19. Rider 7-4 206 12 20. Wichita State 9-1 203 NR 21. Detroit 6-4 163 17 22. Northern Colorado 8-2 109 22 23. Green Bay 9-3 100 25 24. Long Beach 5-4 86 19 25. Harvard 7-2 85 NR

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: George Mason 64, Texas San Antonio 53, South Alabama 51, Pacific 50, Bradley 38, Indiana State 31, IUPUI 30, Southern Illinois 28, Morehead State 24, Ohio 22, Coastal Carolina 21, Morgan State 20, Stony Brook 20, Fairfield 19, Cal State Fullerton 18, UC Santa Barbara 17, Belmont 15, Buffalo 15, Montana 15, Southeastern Louisiana 14, Army 13, Hofstra 12, Kent State 12, Eastern Michigan 9, San Diego 9, Austin Peay 6, Eastern Kentucky 6, Radford 6, Denver 5, South Carolina State 5, Boston University 4, Vermont 3, Miami 2, Iona 2, Stephen F Austin 1.

Pikeville and Cumberlands Crack NAIA DI Top 10

Pikeville College and University of the Cumberlands are both solidly in the NAIA top 10 this week. Pikeville slips up one spot to #8 and UC rises two spots to #9. Georgetown College, who has been battling difficult injuries this season, climbed one spot to #18.
Campbellsville and St. Catharine both received votes this week.
2009-2010 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll
(Rating #2 – Dec. 14)

1. Mountain State University (W.Va.) (8) 14-0 309
2. Concordia University (Calif.) (3) 9-0 301
3. Oklahoma Baptist University (1) 9-0 295
4. Oklahoma Christian University 11-0 280
5. Biola University (Calif.) 10-0 274
6. Louisiana State University-Shreveport 9-0 259
7. Fresno Pacific University (Calif.) 7-1 249
8. Pikeville College (Ky.) 9-1 241
9. University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) 10-2 235
10. Saint Xavier University (Ill.) 11-2 201
18. Georgetown College (Ky.) 8-2 157

Receiving Votes:

- Campbellsville University (Ky.) 22
- St. Catharine College (Ky.) 1

Complete NAIA Basketball Rankings

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