Friday, December 31, 2010

DeAndre Daniels Commitment May Come Tonight


There is news out tonight via several sources that DeAndre Daniels may commit as soon as tonight.

He is likely going to choose between Kentucky and Kansas, with Texas having a mention on the final list.

Daniels plans to enroll in classes at whichever school he chooses immediately but isn't expected (although he could) to play until the Fall semester.

One has to think that Kentucky would at least encourage the idea of Daniels playing immediately, but that is pure speculation on my part.

I do know for certain that if Daniels does commit to Kentucky tonight, Big Blue Nation will party like it's 1999.

Stay tuned...

Pikeville College Earns Tough Road Win at Faulkner University


Pikeville College 90
Faulkner University 80

Final from Montgomery, Alabama


MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Senior Chris Donald had a career-high 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead Pikeville College to a 90-80 win over Faulkner University Friday afternoon.

The win makes the Bears 13-3 heading into 2011 and gave them a sweep of the season series with the Eagles, who eliminated the Bears in the semifinals of the 2001 NAIA Div. I national tournament.

Pikeville led 41-32 at the half and pushed its edge to 18 at one point in the second half, coming with 8:03 left when Donald scored inside to make it 80-62. The lead got to single digits as the Eagles got as close as eight late, but could get no closer.

The Bears shot 50.8 percent for the game and was 43.8 percent from the arc in the decision. Faulkner was hot in the second half, hitting for 56.3 percent, to finish 49.2 percent overall. The Eagles also made half their 14 three-point tries in the loss.

Donald, a 6-5 wing from Boston, was 9-of-11 from the field and had five rebounds off the offensive glass. He was also active on the defensive end, picking up three steals in the win.

He was joined in double figures by four teammates, led by senior Vance Cooksey’s 19 points. Senior Andre Thornton had his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior Quincy Hankins-Cole scored 12 to go with nine rebounds, while senior Justin Hicks tossed in 11.

Faulkner (5-9) was led by junior Adam Okechukwu’s 16 points. He was followed by senior De Hereford, who had 15, four rebounds and three steals. Freshman Ayo Madamidola tossed in12, getting his first career start.

Pikeville will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 6 when it visits Campbellsville University. The game will begin at 8 p.m. EDT.

* Game recap by Asbury University

Asbury Nets Win on Road Trip to California


Asbury University 76
New Hope Christian 62

Final from Redding, California


Redding, Calif. – Asbury used a 17-0 run to start the game as they cruised to a 76-62 victory over New Hope Christian College on Thursday night in the Simpson University Classic. The Eagles will take on the hosts Friday night before finishing off their west coast swing on Saturday against West Coast Bible.

Phillip Morrison and Austin Flannery led the charge with 26 and 17 points respectively. Both players knocked down three threes as the Eagles (7-5) knocked down 10 on the night. Morrison helped lead the fast start, scoring seven of the team’s first 10 points. Flannery scored 14 of his 17 in the first half. Asbury took a 40-25 lead into the break.

The Eagles pushed their lead out to 24 in the second half and New Hope Christian never cut the deficit under 10, the closest they’d get was 11 late in the second half. Brock Hurtle and Adam Delph would each knock down two threes, Hurtle finished with 10 and Delph with eight.

Nate Johnson and Flip Crawford each dished out five assists as the Eagles racked up 21 on the night, only the fourth time this season they’ve topped 20. Crawford would also lead the team with six rebounds, the Eagles grabbed only 23 on the night as they shot 49% for the game, New Hope Christian would shoot 47%.

Asbury will take on Simpson University tonight at 10:00 pm eastern with their finale in California coming on January 1st at 3:00 pm eastern.

* Game recap by Asbury University

St. Catharine Falls Just Short Against Southern Indiana


Southern Indiana 65
St. Catharine 64

Final from Evansville, Indiana

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana junior guard Brandon Hogg (Edwardsville, Illinois) hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to give the 12th-ranked Screaming Eagles a 65-64 win over St. Catharine College in the finale of the Bill Joergens Memorial Tournament Thursday night at Physical Activities Center. USI rises to 9-1 overall, while St. Catharine falls to 10-3.

Trailing 64-63, Hogg redeemed the Eagles by recovering a loose ball and getting fouled after USI had turned the ball over with 13 seconds left. The junior guard, who finished the game 11-of-12 from the stripe, stepped to the line and hit his 10th and 11th free throws of the game to give USI the win.

The Patriots took the brief 64-63 lead on the 16th lead change of the game before the Eagles won it on the 17th. The contest also featured 13 ties, eight coming in the first half.

Individually, USI senior center Mohamed Ntumba (Kinshasa, Congo) led the Eagles with his fifth double-double of the season. Ntumba recorded 17 points, 12 in the first half, and 10 rebounds in the double-double.

Senior guard Kevin Gant (Indianapolis, Indiana) followed Ntumba in the scoring column with 14 points, while Hogg rounded out the double-figure scorers with 13 points. Gant and Hogg also followed Ntumba on the boards with seven and six rebounds, respectively.

Complete Recap

Morehead State Holds On to Defeat Binghamton


Morehead State 80
Binghamton 74

Final from Morehead, Kentucky


MOREHEAD, Ky.—Morehead State forced two key turnovers with under 30 seconds to play to turn back Binghamton and win its 21st straight home game, a 80-74 victory over the non-conference Bearcats Thursday night at Johnson Arena.

The Eagles had two players tally over 20 points in Kenneth Faried, who finished with 23 to lead all scorers, and Demonte Harper who tallied 22. It was the eighth and fifth 20-point games this season from the two players respectively. Faried also had 12 rebounds for the 69th double-double of his career.

Following a 3-pointer by Chretien Lukusa that pulled BU within two, Morehead State’s Sam Goodman had a pass stolen by Mahamoud Jabbi that gave the Bearcats a chance to tie or take the lead. MSU’s pressure defense forced Lukusa to double dribble, giving the ball back to the Eagles and compelling the Bearcats to foul with nine seconds left. After Harper swished the free throws, Goodman redeemed himself by picking off the half-court inbounds pass from Greer Wright, taking away BU’s final opportunity to tie.

Binghamton (3-9) put a scare into the homestanding Eagles (8-6) in the teams’ first-ever meeting. Trailing by 11 with 6:09 to play, the Bearcats went on a 10-2 run to pull within three on a jumper by Wright, who scored six of Binghamton’s 10 during the run and led BU with 22 points and six rebounds. MSU’s defensive stand along with made free throws (4-for-4 in the final 10 seconds) preserved the perfect home record (7-0) this season for Morehead State.

“I thought the first half they did a great job of making some tough contested threes, which enabled them in the second half to drive the basketball because our zone was so extended,” MSU coach Donnie Tyndall said. “To their credit they’ve got a nice offensive team they did some nice things.”

Binghamton shot 61.9 percent in the second half to make the run while sinking 16-of-19 second half freebies. The Eagles countered with 56.5 percent in the second half and hit 56.6 for the game. It was the second straight game MSU got double-figure scoring from four of its five starters as Terrance Hill scored 17 and Goodman added 10. Faried had three steals and Ty Proffitt dished out four assists.

Complete Recap

Harrellson Powers Kentucky Past Louisville


(12) Kentucky 78
(20) Louisville 63

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

The No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats (11-2) picked up a career game from senior Josh Harrellson and rolled to a 78-63 win over arch rival Louisville.

The Wildcats shot 29-57 (50.9%) from the field and out-rebounded the Cardinals (10-2) 35-23.

Harrellson had perhaps his most memorable game as a Wildcat as he shot 10-12 from the field and totalled 23 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Freshman Brandon Knight added 25 points and 4 assists for Kentucky. Terrence Jones had a solid all-around line of 12 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks.

Louisville was led by Preston Knowles, who had 22 points and 4 steals. Chris Smith chipped in 15 points and 6 rebounds.

The game was close early but a UK run propelled the Wildcats to a 35-24 halftime lead. Louisville tried to get back in it in the second half, but were never able to put a serious scare into Kentucky.

Rajon Rondo to Miss More Action with Ankle Injury


Boston head coach Doc Rivers stated earlier in the week that point guard Rajon Rondo may return for tonight's game against New Orleans, but Rondo's ankle injury will keep him out until at least next week.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com reports that Rondo is out today and possibly at Toronto. He adds that Rondo will likely be back early next week.

Here is Blakely's post on Twitter:

SherrodbCSN Rondo out today, and possibly at toronto. Will likely be back early next week. #celtics

Murray State Cruises By SIU Edwardsville


Murray State 71
SIU Edwardsville 46

Final from Murray, Kentucky


The Murray State Racers posted their fifth straight win Thursday in a 71-46 victory over SIU Edwardsville at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.

Leading 31-26 at half, the Racers made sure of their 24th straight win at home with a tremendous start to the second half.

The Racers (9-4) started the second half with a 9-0 run when they got a pair of free throws from Isaiah Canaan, a slam dunk from Ed Daniels followed by a three-pointer from B.J. Jenkins for a 40-26 lead with 17:20 remaining.

MSU pushed to a 19-point advantage when Jeffery McClain scored off a Daniel feed and B.J. Jenkins nailed his second three of the game for a 47-28 lead with 15:00 left.

MSU started the second half hitting 5-of-7 while limiting the Cougars to 1-of-7.

The biggest lead for MSU came with 6:11 remaining when the lead was 63-39.

In the rebounding battle, MSU held a 41-29 lead and held the Cougars (4-12) to 33 percent shooting for the game, while hitting 46 percent.

Complete Recap

Kentucky Leads Louisville 35-24 at the Half

The Kentucky Wildcats finished the first half in impressive fashion and head to the locker room with a 35-24 lead over Louisville.

Brandon Knight leads all scorers with 12 points on 5-8 shooting. Senior Josh Harrellson has stood out in the paint as he has pulled down 10 rebounds, including 5 on the offensive end.

The Wildcats out-rebounded Louisville 25-17 in the half.

Preston Knowles leads U of L with 6 points, but he is only 2-9 from the field.

Former Wildcat Perry Stevenson made this observation on Twitter:




Photo: Screenshot from ESPN.com

Jay Bilas Picks Louisville to Beat Kentucky


ESPN's Jay Bilas picks Louisville to win in today's rivalry game against Kentucky.

Bilas says:

Who wins: Louisville. The Cardinals have the ability to force the Cats into turnovers and make this a frenzied and hectic game. That would be to Louisville's advantage.

Here is an excerpt of Bilas' analysis of the game:

Where UK is better: The Wildcats are more talented at most every position and are more explosive offensively. The Cardinals do not have a frontcourt player as talented as Terrence Jones, a backcourt player as talented at Brandon Knight, or a shooter as proficient as Doron Lamb. Kentucky doesn't turn the ball over much, but has not played a team that will turn the game into the chaotic full-court affair that Louisville will. If the Cats play at the Cardinals' pace and take quick shots, Louisville can give them a hard time. Plus, Knight cannot turn the ball over against the UL pressure. Knight averages 3.9 assists, but also 3.7 turnovers per game. He has to be more efficient in this one. The Wildcats have plenty of finishers, but can they get to the finish opportunity?

Where UL is better: Rakeem Buckles' absence will hurt, but the Cardinals are a deeper, play more people and will force the tempo that they want, rather than the tempo that Kentucky wants to play at. Louisville is a blue-collar, no-ego team that works hard and will come at you in waves. The Cards were the only ones this season that were able to speed up Butler and make the steady Bulldogs play at the Louisville pace. They take and make a lot of 3-point shots, but are especially proficient inside the arc, where they make more than 56 percent of their shots. Louisville forces turnovers, and defensive pressure has been an issue for Kentucky. Against UConn, the Wildcats coughed the ball up, but also took a lot of quick and questionable shots. Something to watch for will be how many quick, bad shots Louisville can force Kentucky into.


My Pick: Kentucky 82 Louisville 77

Dimemag.com Makes All-Time Kentucky vs. Louisville Teams


Dimemag.com has attempted to make the all-time Kentucky vs. Louisville game. In other words, they have taken the best player at each position for both teams and made the all-time all star team for both programs.

Here are their rosters:

Kentucky Wildcats

PG, John Wall (2010)
SG, Rex Chapman (1988)
SF, Jamal Mashburn (1993)
PF, Dan Issel (1970)
C, Sam Bowie (1984)

Bench — Rajon Rondo (PG, 2006); Antoine Walker (SF, 1996); Tony Delk (SG, 1996); Cliff Hagan (G/F, 1954); Ralph Beard (PG, 1949); Tayshaun Prince (SF, 2002); Alex Groza (C/F, 1949).

Louisville Cardinals

PG/SG, Darrell Griffith (1980)
SG/SF, Junior Bridgeman (1975)
SF, Rodney McCray (1983)
PF, Pervis Ellison (1989)
C, Wes Unseld (1968)

Bench — Milt Wagner (G, 1986); DeJuan Wheat (G, 1997); Jim Price (G, 1972); Terrence Williams (F/G, 2009); Francisco Garcia (SF, 2005); Samaki Walker (PF, 1996); Felton Spencer (C, 1980).


Who would you take in this rivalry battle for the ages?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trevor Lacey Makes Clutch Free Throws, Butler Wins


Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey made two free throws with 3.9 seconds remaining and then stole the ensuing inbounds pass to give Butler (Ala.) High School a 59-57 victory over Bob Jones in the final of the 28th Huntsville Times Classic.

Lacey led Butler (15-1) with a game-high 23 points.

Here is an excerpt from AL.com:

Trevor Lacey made two free throws with 3.9 seconds remaining and then stole the ensuing inbounds pass, leading Butler to a 59-57 victory over Bob Jones in the final of the 28th Huntsville Times Classic.

The final pitting two powerhouse programs and two standout performers - Butler's Trevor Lacey and Bob Jones' Levi Randolph are considered two of the country's top 30 players - didn't disappoint the overflow crowd at Huntsville High. There were 14 lead changes and 11 ties.


Lacey was named tournament MVP.

Lindsey Wilson Holds On to Defeat Union College


Lindsey Wilson 81
Union College 73

Final from Columbia, Kentucky


COLUMBIA, Ky -- Union's Turrell Morris scored a game-high 27 points, but it wasn't enough, as Lindsey Wilson used a second half rally to knock off the Bulldogs, 81-73 on Thursday evening.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 6-8 overall on the year, while Lindsey Wilson improved to 11-3 overall with the victory.

In the first half, Union controlled the pace, holding a 36-32 lead going into the locker room.

It was more of the same when the second half began, as the Bulldogs opened up a 46-37 lead off a Morris (Columbus, Ohio) jumper at the 15 minute mark. The Bulldogs extended the lead to 47-37 after James Strange (Pineville, Ky.) knocked down one of two free throws moments later.

It was at this point that Lindsey Wilson began to mount their comeback, as they went on a 17-6 run over the next five minutes to take a 54-53 lead. Union got the lead back with nine minutes left when Cody Miller (Barbourville, Ky.) drained a three to make it 56-54 in favor of the Bulldogs. Union continued to hold the lead until the six minute mark, but the Blue Raiders took the lead back at 59-58.

Complete Recap

Transylvania Blows By Cincinnati Christian


Transylvania 92
Cincinnati Christian 55

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Transylvania's Ethan Spurlin fired in 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Thursday, spurring the Pioneers to a season scoring high in a 92-55 win over out-manned Cincinnati Christian in men's basketball action at the Beck Center.

Playing for the first time in nine days, Transy improved to 8-2 on the season with its sixth win in a row. The Crusaders of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, fall to 0-10. It was the first-ever meeting of the schools.

Spurlin, a junior from Stanford, Ky., had his first career double double in the win and a career high in scoring. The Pioneers shot nearly 59 percent (40 of 68) from the field. Transy also had a 44-23 edge on the boards, which led to a 58-34 advantage in scoring in the paint. Spurlin was nine of 11 from the field in just 16 minutes of action.

Cincinnati Christian, which suited up only six players, got 17 points and four rebounds from Antonio Price and 10 points and five rebounds from Antonio Brown. The Crusaders rebounded from a dismal first half to score 39 second half points while shooting nearly 52 percent in the final period.

It wasn't nearly enough to overcome the Pioneers. Transy had just two players in double figures -- Matt Wise had 11 points and eight rebounds to go with four assists -- but 10 different players got into the scoring column. Barrett Meyer added nine points and four assists, Michael Stone popped in nine points, and Crhis Owens and Brandon Rash each tossed in eight as did Ashley Hatfield.

Complete Recap

Louisville is Suddenly Shorthanded for Kentucky Game


The Louisville Cardinals, who have relied heavily on a deep bench this season, will find themselves shorthanded against the Kentucky Wildcats tomorrow.

The Cardinal have already lost Jared Swopshire, potentially for the entire season.

Mike Marra and Elisha Justice are also out for the Kentucky.

Today, Rick Pitino announced that Rakeem Buckles has a spiral fracture in his finger and will also miss the Kentucky game. Buckles is expected to have surgery and miss a couple of weeks.

DeAndre Daniels Decision is Coming Soon


According to ZagsBlog.com, DeAndre Daniels will be committing soon, perhaps within the next two days.

Here is an excerpt:

The 6-foot-9, 197-pound Daniels recently returned from his fourth visit, to Texas, and Trigonis said it went well.

“They had a good time,” he said.

A onetime Texas commit, Daniels has now taken officials to Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon and Texas, but Trigonis said Oregon is on the outside looking in.

“I think probably the three is Kansas, Kentucky and Texas,” Trigonis said. “I wouldn’t totally rule out Oregon but they’re probably a notch behind the other school.”

Daniels could opt to remain at IMG Academies through the spring, but Trigonis thinks he’ll pull the trigger and commit now, but wait until the fall to play.

Complete Article

Photo: Rivals.com

Former Wildcat Chuck Hayes Suffers Ankle Injury


The Houston Rockets have lost former Kentucky star Chuck Hayes to an ankle injury that was suffered in practice today.

Hayes landed on the foot of guard Ish Smith on a drive and immediately went down. He is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with the injury.

Here is an excerpt from Chron.com:

He was taken from the practice court in a wheelchair and will undergo an MRI and x-rays to determine the extent of the injury.

Because the injury occurred at the end of practice, Rockets coach Rick Adelman said he had not considered options to replace Hayes or to make preparations for the changes in the rotation. He could move second-year forward Jordan Hill or veteran center Brad Miller into the starting lineup. The injury could bring playing time to rookie Patrick Patterson.

“Obviously, he’s a huge part of the team, a huge part of why we have played better, especially recently,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. “A very hard guy to replace, but we feel Jordan and Patrick and some of the other guys need to step up and have the ability to.”

Complete Article

The news is bittersweet as far as former Wildcats are concerned. The bad news is that Hayes, who has been playing great basketball, is out for what will likely be a month, if not more. On the other hand, rookie Patrick Patterson will see a significant increase in minutes and will have a big opportunity to impress the Houston staff.

NOTE: I suffered the exact same injury about 5 weeks ago and I am still very injured. In fact, I will return to the doctor on Tuesday for a re-evaluation. Best wishes to Chuck in dealing with what I can guarantee is a very painful injury.

Bellarmine Rebounds with Big Win Over Harris-Stowe State


(1) Bellarmine 94
Harris-Stowe State 70

Final from Evansville, Indiana

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Bellarmine University men's basketball team, one day removed from their first loss of the 2010-11 season, returned to the court with a vengeance in a 94-70 victory over Harris-Stowe State College in Day 2 of the Bill Joergens Memorial Tournament at the University of Southern Indiana.

Jeremy Kendle led all scorers with 23 points off 10-for-18 shooting. He was joined in the double figures scoring department with Keisten Jones' career high 16 points, as well as Luke Sprague and Chris Dowe with 11 apiece.

The Knights (9-1) connected on 14 of 28 three-point field goals, and shot 58.1 percent from the field for the game, while out-rebounding the Hornets 28-25. The 14 three-pointers were tied for a season high.

Bellarmine led by as many as 11 points in the first half, and eventually held a 44-36 lead at intermission. A blistering 28-7 run to start the second stanza, highlighted by open-court play and 11 points off turnovers, gave the Knights a 29-point advantage with 13 minutes to play.

“In the first 10 minutes of the second half, we were plus-20 on the scoreboard, and we were plus-22 on our deflection totals,” Bellarmine Head Coach Scott Davenport said following the game. “Our guys took it upon themselves to pick it up, and I am proud of them for that.”

Complete Recap

Davis: Between Calipari and Pitino, "I would hire Rick Pitino"


Ken Davis of NBCSports.com is clearly not a fan of Kentucky head coach John Calipari. He was asked in his college basketball mailbag:

Q: OK, Ken, if you had to choose between Rick Pitino and John Calipari to build a program, who do you choose? Tough choice, right?

Davis said the choice actually wouldn't be tough as he would hire Rick Pitino. He continued with the statement, "Honest, would never want to associate myself with Calipari."

Here is an excerpt of his answer:

A: Actually the choice wouldn’t be so tough for me, Ken. There are character issues with both coaches that would make me hesitant to hire either one. I’m sure you know what I’m referring to, so I don’t need to go into details. But if you put me in the chair of athletic director at a major institution and told me those were my only two choices, I would hire Rick Pitino.

Honestly, I would never want to associate myself with Calipari. We simply have too many philosophical differences, and I would even go so far to say that I think Calipari is bad for college basketball. He belongs in the NBA. I was covering college basketball at The Hartford Courant when Calipari was at UMass. I was part of the reporting team when our newspaper broke the story of NCAA violations involving Marcus Camby. I’ve seen how easy it is for Calipari to lie. I’ve seen how easy it is for him to run from a situation and let others suffer the penalties. Agree or disagree, but I think that is Calipari’s track record. He did the same thing at Memphis. I do not like the culture Calipari created at Memphis and Kentucky, cultivating the players who are forced to play one season of college ball, then head to the NBA. He is playing within the rules, but I don’t think those rules are good for college basketball or the athletes. Call me old school, but that’s the way I view it and that’s my opinion.

Complete Article

Kentucky Heads to Louisville as Underdogs



The Kentucky Wildcats will travel to Louisville tomorrow as 2-point underdogs.

Kentucky (10-2) at Louisville (11-1)

When: Friday, December 31, Noon
Location: Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center

I'm not advocating betting on sports, but if you're into that sort of thing (data via Covers.com):



Kentucky:

- KENTY are 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 vs. Big East.

Louisville:

- Under is 12-5 in LOUVI last 17 vs. Southeastern.
- LOUVI are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 Fri. games.

Head to Head:

- Under is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings.

More Info

My Pick: I would take Kentucky at -2 and feel great about it.

Pikeville College Blasts Temple Baptist


Pikeville College 118
Temple Baptist 57

Final from Pikeville, Kentucky

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Leading by 20 at the half, Pikeville College opened the second stanza with 18 unanswered points to roll past Temple Baptist College 118-57 on Wednesday afternoon from the Pikeville College Gym.

Five Bears reached double figures in scoring on a day the Bears had 19 offensive rebounds and were credited with 20 steals on 27 Ram turnovers.

Temple Baptist shot only 27.6 percent in the second half, which led to Pikeville rolling to a 64-23 scoring advantage.

Senior guards Justin Hicks and Vance Cooksey led the way with 19 points for the Bears. Hicks was 5-of-7 from the arc, moving into 15th place on the school’s all-time scoring list, passing Hall of Fame member Danny Moses.

Cooksey was solid across the board, adding 10 assists, seven rebounds and three steals in the win.

Junior Kyan Hines came off the bench for 15 points, adding five rebounds and a team-best five steals. Junior Kane Belcher responded to getting his first start of the season with 14 points and six rebounds, while senior Andre Thornton scored 12 and grabbed six rebounds.

Temple Baptist was led by Ontiwon Primus, who had 11 points. Demetrius Sommerlin and Milen Kostov added 10 points each.

Pikeville, 12-3, will be back in action on New Year’s Eve when it visits Montgomery, Ala., to play Faulkner University. The Bears knocked off the Eagles 85-68 at the East Kentucky Expo Center on Nov. 27.

The Bears and Eagles will tip off at 3 p.m. EDT.

* Game recap by Pikeville College

DeMarcus Cousins Has Big Night in Kings Win



Former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins had perhaps his best game as professional last night in the Kings dramatic 100-98 win over Memphis.

Cousins played 37 minutes off the bench and was a dominant force in the paint. He finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds.

The former Wildcat is now averaging 11.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in his rookie season.

The Kings won on this crazy buzzer-beater from Tyreke Evans:



John Wall is One of the Reasons to Love D.C. Sports in 2011


Former Kentucky point guard John Wall is one of the top 5 reasons why 2011 will be a better year for sports fans in Washington, D.C.

Ken Meringolo of SB Nation Washington, D.C. ranks Wall at No. 2 on this top 5 list, just behind "a legitimate front office for the Redskins."

Here is an excerpt:

No. 2: John Wall + ANOTHER Top Draft Pick

If you tied an anvil to the Washington Wizards, they still wouldn't fall out of contention faster than they did in 2010. John Wall is exciting to watch though, isn't he? I would love to actually watch him play instead of see him on the sidelines, but I am glad they are treating him with kid gloves in a year that we have absolutely nothing to play for already.

Barring an unforeseen winning streak, this team is heading for yet another healthy serving of ping pong balls in next year's draft. Assuming we are one of the three worst teams in the league, we would be assured of a top-six pick, right? Seems to me we should be able to add a "Best Player Available That Isn't a Point Guard" that will look awfully nice next to the Great Wall of Chinatown. With a little bit of Ted Leonsis' luck bringing in the right guys, we could have ourselves a pair of superstars in the making on the front side of their careers.

I get that Ted Leonsis does not make the draft picks for the Capitals. George McPhee deserves a lot of credit. But a part of me believes that if Dan Snyder had been the owner that drafted Alex Ovechkin, No. 8 would not be No. 8. Instead, Leonsis is at the wheel and the guy is a superstar on the ice and a contributor to the community off it. I'm just hoping for a little bit of that luck when we pick John Wall's running mate next year.

Complete Article

Northern Kentucky Rolls to Big Win Over Glenville State


Northern Kentucky 96
Glenville State 59

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Bobby Shannon scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Northern Kentucky University to a 96-59 win over Glenville State on Wednesday.

Shannon, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, was 8-for-10 from the field and added three steals as NKU improved to 8-2. The Norse shot 63.6 percent from the field and finished with a 36-22 rebounding advantage against the visiting Pioneers.

“Bobby was very active the entire game, and he did a great job finishing off shots,” NKU head coach Dave Bezold said. “Our outside shooters were on target, and that opened up things for Bobby.”

Josh Tabb added 15 points for NKU, which was 12-for-23 from 3-point range. Dennis Gagai made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points for the Norse, who held Glenville State (2-7) to 39.6 percent shooting from the field.

Leading 49-41 early in the second half, NKU used a 33-7 run to build an 82-48 advantage. The Norse held Glenville State scoreless for nearly seven minutes at one point during that spurt.

Complete Recap

Centre Comeback Comes Up Short Against Hanover


Hanover College 65
Centre College 61

Final from Danville, Kentucky


The Centre men's basketball team tried to use a late second half run to come from behind and beat Hanover College in the championship game of the Papa John's/Country Hearth Inn Tournament on Wednesday, December 29 in Danville, Ky., but they came up short falling 65-61. Centre dropped to 7-2 on the season, while remaining at 2-0 in the SCAC.

Senior Alex Lloyd (Versailles, Ky.) put the Colonels ahead 2-0 to start the game, as he made a jump shot.

Ryan Nowicki answered at the other end of the court by hitting a three point basket to put the Panthers up 3-2 with 19:17 on the clock. Hanover built up a six point lead and would not look back during the remainder of the first half.

The Panthers eventually took a 17 point lead and would go into halftime with a 38-23 lead.

Centre shot 34.4% from the field during the first half of action and they did not have any free throw attempts. Hanover made 55.6% of their shots from the field and went five of six from the free throw line.

The Colonels struggled during the start of the second half, as the Panthers built up a 25 point lead with 15:54 to go in the game.

Complete recap

Lacey Slowed by Injury, Leads Butler to Tourney Final


Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey led Butler (Ala.) High School to two wins in The Huntsville Times Classic on Wednesday.

In the first game, Butler defeated Selma 66-50. Lacey led all scorers with 34 points, but suffered a knee injury in the third quarter.

Lacey was sent to the hospital for a precautionary X-ray but no serious damage was discovered.

The talented shooting guard returned to the lineup for the second game of the day, a 42-37 semifinal win over Columbia.

Visibly slowed by the sore knee, Lacey had his worst game of the season against Columbia. He managed only 11 points on 3-14 shooting.

Butler (14-1) will battle Bob Jones (11-5) in tomorrow night's championship game.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Earl Clark Plays Well and Other NBA Notes


NBA Recap - December 27-28:

December 27

- Earl Clark (Louisville) played 3 minutes but did not score in Orlando's 104-88 win over New Jersey.

- Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky) scored 17 points in Detroit's 105-100 loss to Charlotte.

- Nazr Mohammed (Kentucky) had 10 points and 5 rebounds for the Bobcats.

- John Wall (Kentucky) came off the bench for 13 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in Washington's 100-93 loss to Houston.

- Patrick Patterson (Kentucky) DNP coach's decision

- Terrence Williams (Louisville) DNP coach's decision

- Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky) had 4 points off the Houston bench.

- Chuck Hayes (Kentucky) had 7 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists for the Rockets.

- Jodie Meeks (Kentucky) scored 19 points on 6-15 shooting in Philadelphia's 110-95 loss to Golden State.

- Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky) came off the bench for 5 points and 3 assists in the Clippers' 100-99 victory over Sacramento.

- DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky) had 4 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists for the Kings.

- Francisco Garcia (Louisville) started and scored 12 points for Sacramento.

December 28

- Earl Clark (Louisville) earned his first significant minutes for Orlando in the Magic's 110-95 win over Cleveland. Clark had 12 points and 2 rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.

- Rajon Rondo (Kentucky) DNP sprained left ankle

- Jamaal Magloire (Kentucky) Inactive

- Keith Bogans (Kentucky) had 3 points in Chicago's 90-77 victory over Milwaukee.

- Derrick Caracter (Louisville/UTEP) played 3 minutes and scored 5 points in the Lakers' 97-82 loss to San Antonio.

St. Catharine College Stuns No. 1 Bellarmine


St. Catharine 79
Bellarmine 74

Final from Evansville, Indiana

Although the game will not even show up at the end of the season when one looks at wins and losses, St. Catharine’s 79-74 victory over Bellarmine Wednesday night will reverberate for quite some time for the Patriots’ program.

While it was a regular season game for Scotty Davenport’s Knights (8-1), ranked number one in NCAA D-II, it is an exhibition game on the schedule for J.T. Burton’s team. But that didn’t take away from the luster of the huge win. “Just to win against such a good and storied program is big, but the fact that they were undefeated and the top team in the nation makes it a really big win for our program,” said Burton. “It ranks up there with the win we had last year against Georgetown.”

The game, played at Evansville in the Bill Joergen Memorial Tournament, saw the Knights lead by as many as 17 points in the first half before settling for a 41-28 lead at the intermission. But The Patriots, 9-2, caught fire in the second half with 61.3 percent shooting from the field while holding the Knights to 40 percent in the final 20 minutes.

St. Catharine shot 46.8 from the field but was just 3-16 from three point range. The Knights were 7-21 from behind the arc and they shot 47.2 percent overall. The Patriots were 18-26 from the free throw line while Bellarmine was 17-28.

St. Catharine took its first lead since early in the game at 64-63 with 7:03 to play. Kashiff Carr gave the Patriots the lead for good with a free throw with 5:11 to play. The final five point margin was the Patriots’ largest of the game.

The Patriots leading scorer, Ervin Williams who had 21 points and nine rebounds, took an unusual route to the game as he was stranded in airports on his return trip from his home in New Jersey. The 6-9 senior center arrived at the hotel just as the Patriot team was leaving for the game. Carr and Antoine Watson joined Williams in double figures with 19 and 13 respectively. Watson also pulled down six rebounds.

The Patriots are back in action Thursday with a game against the host University of Southern Indiana at 8:30 (est).

* Game recap by St. Catharine College

UK Fans: Eamonn Brennan (Says He) Doesn't Hate You


ESPN's Eamonn Brennan has a message for Kentucky basketball fans - he doesn't hate you, or at least that's what he explains his his mailbag article this afternoon.

Here is an excerpt of Brennan's response to a message from a person claiming to be a Kentucky fan:

1. I'm not sure why so many college hoops-related e-mailers (and not just the Kentucky fans, though they seem to do this more often than usual) assume that writers at national sites are biased for or against various programs. I won't speak for everyone writing about college hoops everywhere, of course, but we're really not. I don't know how many times this needs to be repeated. I don't care whether Enes Kanter players for Kentucky or not. If the NCAA allows him to do so, great. In fact, in a perfect world, I wish Kanter would get eligible, because he is reportedly a very good basketball player, and I really like watching really good basketball players play college basketball.

Other than that, I have no skin in the Kanter standoff. I like Kentucky's program. I think John Calipari is a very smart guy, an undeniably skilled coach and a master recruiter. I am not rooting for any outcomes, Kanter-related or otherwise, in regards to Kentucky basketball. Please stop thinking otherwise. You're making yourself angry for no good reason. Just chill out, you know?

2. Even if I was ruthlessly biased against Kentucky, and even if the whole world was out to get Big Blue Nation because it is "the elite program," or something, you, Tim, would not be qualified to say so. You are a Kentucky fan. You are, by definition, biased. There's nothing wrong with that, of course; passionate fans make college hoops great. But your Big Blue-tinted glasses make it impossible for you to judge bias. It's like people on extreme sides of the political spectrum arguing that moderate mainstream views are either liberal or conservative. You don't get to decide.

3. ESPN is not a living thing. It is incapable of expressing hate.

4. If you understand anything, understand this: It doesn't matter whether or not Enes Kanter and his family want to pay back the money he received in Turkey. This isn't a few-thousand-dollars-in-high-school situation. This is an argument over whether Kanter was paid as a professional. If he was, then his NCAA eligibility is kaput. It's really that simple.

And, per the NCAA's release Wednesday, and from everything we know about the case thus far, it's safe to say the NCAA sees a distinction between Kanter's case and Cam Newton's. Kanter received money. Newton did not. For all the various and unsavory details surrounding each case (especially Newton's; Kanter's family has done nothing wrong), that's what's going to matter. You can argue this until you're blue(er) in the face, and you'd certainly have reason to do so. But if that's the way the NCAA sees things, that's the way Kanter's eligibility case is going to go. End of story.

Complete Article

J.T. Burton Instills Winning Mentality at St. Catharine College Despite Difficult Circumstances


St. Catharine College is off to a 9-2 start this season despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

As head coach J.T. Burton and his team prepare to focus on a run to the Mid-South Conference tournament and likely beyond, it is amazing to see what has been accomplished since the school became a full four-year institution.

Now three years into the transition, Burton and his staff are able to compete at a high level, even though they face tremendous odds in comparison to other Mid-South Conference programs.

I talked in detail with Coach Burton about his program, where St. Catharine is now and the direction they're headed.

Here is our conversation:

For those who haven't watched St. Catharine play this season, talk a little about your team and what you have accomplished to this point.

We are a team that is in the process of buying into a system. I think every team is defined by a culture and we are in the middle of establishing our culture. It is definitely one based on hard work, hustle and unselfish play. We're 9 - 2 and we still have a lot of games left to play and we have a long hard road ahead of us, but we've played well on the road and we've overcome some adversity and we're definitely excited for what the future holds, not only for this team and the rest of the year, but for the future of St. Catharine basketball.

You've gone 9-2 against what has to be one of the tougher schedules in NAIA men's basketball. Did you intentionally make the schedule that difficult and if so, how do you think that difficult out-of-conference schedule will help your team down the road?

9 - 2 isn't bad with the schedule we've had. I knew what we were doing when we created this year's schedule. We were trying to put a 3rd year NAIA school on the national map and I'm hoping that we've done just that. We've played McKendree, Life, Mountain State and we have Georgetown 3 times this year (1 in their own Andrew Elswick Memorial Tournament and 2 in conference) , we haven't shied away from playing exhibition games against D1 Morehead State and D2 Powers like Bellarmine (ranked #1) and the University of Southern Indiana (ranked #12). Games like these only help us. They excite our guys, we love playing the under dog card these days, because in many circles, that's exactly what we are! Seasons aren't made in the first semester. 9 - 2 is great, but we need to maintain our focus and our intensity and continue to yearn for the wins and the success that we are searching for. Our schedule does NOT get any easier! We are going to have to work for every basket and every stop on every position for the rest of this year in order for us to win ballgames with a schedule like this. It's an exciting schedule, there's no doubt about it, and we feel like we are up for the challenge.

Coach, you've added three transfers who became eligible after the first semester. Talk about those players and the impact they'll have on your team.

The three players who became eligible after the first semester were Xavier Keeling, Kashiff Carr and Troy Lambert.

In regards to Xavier Keeling, whenever you add a Division 1 transfer of his caliber it's very exciting. Xavier started his collegiate career with Kelvin Sampson at Indiana, so he knows what it means to be disciplined and to work hard on a daily basis. Last year, he was a 2nd team all Horizon League player at the University of Detroit. He brings experience and leadership that is going to help this team both on and off the court. He is a tremendous young man who has done exceptionally well in the classroom in the first semester (3.6 GPA) and has a desire to be an extension of me and my coaching staff while on the floor. He's kind of taken the roll of my on the court conductor when he's in the game.

Kashiff Carr is a tremendous young man, who is from Philadelphia. He has played at the Junior College level and seen success. He is a young man who has learned that his hard work in practice and in the classroom will pay off come game time. He has a players mentality in the sense that he knows what to do on both ends of the floor. He is a daunting matchup on defense because of his length and quickness when it comes to closing out and securing an opponents passing lane.

The third player is Troy Lambert from Las Positas Junior College in California. What a presence Troy is at the center position. He compliments Ervin Williams. He is long, athletic and a rebounding machine. It's taken him a little longer to adjust to our style of play then the other two, but Troy is a player who excites me and my staff on a daily basis and we are thrilled to watch him develop and grow as the season progresses.

You have an impressive level of talent at St. Catharine right now. How do you feel the talent level has changed during your tenure as head coach?

The talent level has been developed as much as it has changed. Guys like Ervin Williams, Brandon Johnson and Terrence Withers, who have been here for three years, are testaments to what can be done to develop talent if you buy in to the system and have a work hard mentality. Words can not express what those three guys mean to me and to our team. I am so proud of how far they have come, not only as players, but as men. They have worked so hard to maintain the high level of talent that they have been blessed with and that is a testament to the three of them and what we are trying to do from a coaching perspective here at St. Catharine.

As far as how it's changed, I think that we at St. Catharine are attracting certain types of players. From the high school ranks, to the JC ranks, to the D2 and D1 ranks, we are playing a style that attracts kids. It's not for everyone, and we understand that, but talented players have a desire to showcase their talent and we allow them to do that here at St. Catharine within the system and culture that we have, or are in the process of developing.

That being said, it's no secret that you have a difficult time with scholarship and financial limitations. What can you tell me about the challenges you face in that area at St. Catharine?

Well, we are a tuition based school with 7.7 athletic scholarships and limited money for academic scholarships. On a monthly basis, our Athletic Director, Mike Doig, works tirelessly in an attempt to secure the necessary resources that will help advance, not only the basketball program, but all athletic programs at St. Catharine. Our school President, Mr. Bill Huston, has been very supportive of our basketball program, as well as all of the athletic programs at St. Catharine, and that is what excites me on a daily basis about being a part of this school. Is it a challenge? Yes, but having been a 4 year institution for only 3 years, where we are now and where we are going, should be enough to excite anyone who wants to take a look at St. Catharine College.

What are some of the things you do to overcome those challenges?

When we recruit, honesty is the bottom line. Is it difficult? Yes. But we have a team! Guys are here at St. Catharine! Student Athletes have options! They could choose to go elsewhere, where they can get scholarships, or academic money, or money back from Pell grants. But the kids that I have right now, they make sacrifices and like I said, they are here and I'm blessed to have them.

It's a great testament to your program that you've managed to compete at such a high level in an always tough Mid-South Conference. Do you feel that you've changed the persona of the St. Catharine program and laid the foundation for a winning mentality within the basketball program?

Thank you for the complement. I think the foundation has definitely been laid, or is being laid as we speak. It's exciting. The Mid-South Conference is a great conference. The competition on a nightly basis is challenging and tough without a doubt. We definitely have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be, and then being able to consistently maintain a level of excellence and success, such as that of Georgetown, takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I think our guys are up for the challenge and the test, I definitely know I am, and my staff is as well.

Patriots to battle ranked NCAA DII opponents:

St. Catharine College will face Bellarmine University, the No. 1 team in NCAA Division II basketball, this evening at 5:30 p.m. in Evansville, Indiana.

Tomorrow night, the Patriots will battle the University of Southern Indiana, another Division II powerhouse at 8:30 p.m. USI is ranked No. 16 in the NCAA DII Top 25.

Former Card Reece Gaines Signs in France


Former Louisville star Reece Gaines has signed with JA Vichy in France's top-level ProA league.

Gaines will leave the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League after playing in only 4 games and averaging 1 point and 1 rebound per game this season.

The former Cardinal played last season in Greece following an impressive run with the D-League's Bakersfield Jam. Before that, he played several seasons in Italy. Gaines appeared in more than 80 games in the NBA from 2003-2006.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Brennan: Enes Kanter's Eligibility Case Isn't Looking Good


Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com says the Enes Kanter eligibility case is not looking good for Big Blue Nation.

A new press release by the NCAA has statements in it that seem to hint at a potentially negative outcome for Kanter and Kentucky.

Here are the statements from the release:

While efforts are being championed by NCAA President Mark Emmert to further clarify and strengthen recruiting and amateurism rules when benefits or money are solicited (but not received), current NCAA rules would be violated and students declared ineligible should a parent or third party receive benefits or money, regardless of the student's knowledge.

Put simply, had Cam Newton's father or a third party actually received money or benefits for his recruitment, Cam Newton would have been declared ineligible regardless of his lack of knowledge.

Here is an excerpt of Brennan's thoughts:

Why does this matter for Kentucky and Enes Kanter? Because Kentucky's current case for Kanter's eligibility is based on the idea that Kanter is just like Newton: His parents may have been organizing and/or receiving benefits for their son's talent, but the son didn't know about it, and that makes it OK. That's the "new information" Kentucky presented to the NCAA to land a second hearing and a second chance at getting its all-important Turkish big man eligible.

With the quoted portion above, the NCAA seems to have squashed that notion, albeit indirectly. Kentucky, the Kanters and the NCAA have all agreed to the basic fact that Kanter did receive about $30,000 for his time with a club team in Turkey. Whether he knew about that monetary exchange or not doesn't seem to matter. All that matters, apparently, is whether money was exchanged at all.

In other words, Kanter's eligibility case isn't looking good.

Complete Article

My Thoughts: The NCAA continues to make itself look disorganized and mismanaged. Every decision made by the NCAA lately is sketchy at best and I have a feeling that the Kanter outcome will be plenty of the same.

Doron Lamb Named USBWA National Player of the Week


Kentucky's Doron Lamb has received prestigious recognition as the USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week.

Here is the release from the USBWA:

KENTUCKY'S LAMB IS OSCAR ROBERTSON NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Kentucky guard Doron Lamb as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Dec. 26. The USBWA's weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 22 this season.

As the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, Middleton was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week.

Lamb, a 6-4 freshman from Queens, N.Y., came off the bench to score 32 points in leading the Wildcats to an 89-52 win over Winthrop. He went 11-for-12 from the field, making 7-of-8 3-pointers to break the school single-game freshman scoring record of 31 points set by Jamal Mashburn on Feb. 3, 1991 vs. Georgia.

It marks the third time that Lamb has scored at least 20 points in a game this year. He set career highs for points, field goals and 3-pointers. Lamb's seven 3-pointers are tied for the most by an SEC player this season.

This is the second season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week is added to the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-season.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2011 Oscar Robertson Trophy will be announced and presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at the USBWA's annual awards breakfast on Fri., April 1 in Houston, site of the 2011 NCAA Men's Final Four.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-444-4300.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 30th season, bigger and better in 2010-11. Blue Ribbon – long-known as "The Bible of College Basketball" – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit blueribbonyearbookonline.com.

2010-11 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
• Week of Dec. 5: Mike Glover, Iona
• Week of Dec. 12: Jimmer Fredette, BYU
• Week of Dec. 19: Khris Middleton, Texas A&M
• Week of Dec. 26: Doron Lamb, Kentucky

Photo: Screenshot from USBWA site

Austin Peay Annihilates Brescia University


Austin Peay 101
Brescia 46

Final from Clarksville, Tennessee

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.-Austin Peay State University ran off the game's first 17 points and was never threatened as it defeated Brescia, 101-46, Tuesday night in non-conference basketball action in Dave Aaron Arena.

The victory improved the Govs to 9-6 on the season-the win pushed APSU's season-best winning streak to three games.

Meanwhile, Brescia, an NAIA school located in Owensboro, Ky., fell to 4-9.

TyShwan Edmondson, the Ohio Valley Conference's leading scorer, opened the game by nailing a three pointer from the left wing and the Governors would proceed to hit a scorching 64.5 percent (20 of 31) from the floor during the opening half. Edmondson finished with a game-high 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting.

Before Derrick Thornberry, who was Brescia's only double-figure scorer with 15 points, knocked down a three-pointer it was more than five minutes into the contest. APSU limited Brescia to just 21.9 percent from the floor in the first half as the Govs built a 48-18 halftime advantage.

Josh Terry added 19 points for the while points guards Caleb Brown (14 points) and Tyrone Caldwell (10 points) combined for 24 points and 11 assists. In fact, the Governors totaled a Dunn Center-record 30 assists, breaking the mark of 28 set by APSU against Eastern Kentucky, Feb. 7, 1977.

The Governors also out-rebounded Brescia, with freshman Will Triggs grabbing a team-best nine boards.

Complete Recap

Union College Loses Big to Liberty in Exhibition


Liberty University 84
Union College 47

Exhibition Final from Lynchburg, Virginia

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Union just could not keep pace with NCAA Division I Liberty (Va.) as the home-standing Flames recorded an 84-47 decision Tuesday in exhibition action.

Liberty led from wire-to-wire and was up as much as 43 points en route to the 37-point victory.

Union struggled to find its stroke all evening, shooting 29.0 percent (18-of-62 shots) from the floor and going 4-for-19 (21.1 percent) from 3-point range. The Bulldogs had issues at the foul line as well in going 7-for-15 (46.7 percent) on free throws.

Meanwhile, the Flames hit 50.0 percent (33-of-66) of their shots but only connected on 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) from behind the arc. Like Union, Liberty did not do so well on its free-throw shooting, making just 14 of 23 for 60.9 percent.

Ian Davis (Cherry Hill, N.J.) led Union in scoring with 10 points to go along with his six rebounds. Turrell Morris (Columbus, Ohio) nearly had a double-double with eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Complete Recap

Centre College Opens Tournament with Win Over Allegheny


Centre College 70
Allegheny 53

Final from Danville, Kentucky


Playing in their opening round of the annual Papa John's/Country Hearth Inn Tournament the Centre men's basketball team was able to beat Allegheny College 70-53 on Tuesday, December 28 in Danville, Ky. The Colonels improved to 7-1 on the season with the win and they remained at 1-0 in the SCAC.

Freshman Donovan Whiteside (Knoxville, Tenn.) scored four of the Colonels first six points, while sophomore Bryon Ellis (Russell Springs, Ky.) added two points as Centre took an early 6-2 lead.

Allegheny took their first lead of the game with 16:45 to go in the first half when James Ness converted on two free throw attempts to make it a 7-6 game.

The Gators were unable to hold onto the lead for long, as junior Greg Ross (Cincinnati, Ohio) made a layup on Centre's ensuing possession.

Centre built up a 10 point lead, as Ellis hit a three point basket with 14:12 to go in the first half to make it a 19-9 game.

Allegheny got within four points at the 12:15 mark, but Centre then went back ahead by seven points as senior Alex Lloyd (Versailles, Ky.) made a layup and junior Jeff Mullaney (Louisville, Ky) went one for two from the free throw line.

Complete Recap

Trevor Lacey Scores 28, Earns Football Honors


Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey scored 28 points to lead Butler (Ala.) High School to a 52-44 victory over Grissom.

Here is an excerpt from AL.com:

A standing-room-only crowd didn't get to see Trevor Lacey match his gaudy scoring average, but he was the show nonetheless with 28 points and a rousing dunk Tuesday night in the first round of The Huntsville Times Classic.

Doors was shut at Huntsville High with fans lined up around the corner from the entrance in hopes of getting in to see the player who came into the tournament averaging 41.3 points per game.

Lacey was 9-of-14 from the field and brought the crowd to its feet with a one-handed, putback dunk when he seemingly came out of nowhere.

Butler (12-1) is ranked No. 1 in Alabama Class 4A Basketball.

In related news, it seems that Lacey has some talent on the football field, as well. He was named to the Class 4A, All-Region 7 second team today.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Morehead State Snaps Skid, Blasts Kent State


Morehead State 76
Kent State 59

Final from Morehead, Kentucky


MOREHEAD, Ky.—Maybe it was apropos that it was Kent State, the last team to win in Johnson Arena.

Morehead State men’s basketball snapped a three-game losing skid and extended its home winning streak to 20 games with a 76-59 non-conference win over Kent State Tuesday night at Johnson Arena in front of 2,328 fans.

KSU edged out the Eagles last season in Johnson Arena, after which MSU rolled off 14 wins at home to round out the year. MSU is now 6-0 at home this season, making the streak 20, which is tied for the seventh-best home stand in the country. Morehead State improved to 7-6 and also snapped a three-game losing streak to the Golden Flashes, which fell to 9-4.

Four of the five Eagle starters scored in double figures, led by Kenneth Faried’s 24-point, 10-rebound double-double. Faired and Ty Proffitt, who scored 10 points in his best performance in a month, combined for 13 of MSU’s final 15 points of the first half to spur a 13-4 run. That run gave the Eagles a comfortable nine-point cushion, 35-26, at halftime.

Demonte Harper finished with 18 points, two shy of his fifth 20-point game this season. Harper was perfect from long range, hitting 3-of-3 and Terrance Hill missed just one triple, scoring 16 points, 12 of which came from 3-pointers. The good shooting percentages, 55.6 percent for the game from the field, including 71.4 percent from beyond the arc in the second half helped MSU stave off Kent State’s second-half comeback attempts.

The Morehead State advantage got as high as 13 early in the second half, but Kent State whittled away at the lead and got it to five following a Michael Porrini layup and a 3-pointer by Sherman Rodriquez. Sherman’s triple at 6:31 was the Golden Flashes last field goal and their only point in the final minutes came on a Mark Henniger charity toss. KSU shot 38.7 percent from the field, a drop of almost 14 percent from the first half.

“I thought tonight we weren’t great defensively in the first half percentage wise, but we held them to a nice number point wise. In the second half we held them to a better field goal percentage, we guarded better, limited them to one shot for the most part,” MSU coach Donnie Tyndall said. “I thought our whole team did a nice job. It was a good solid win against a very well coached team.”

Complete Recap

UK Blasts Coppin State, Eyes Battle with Louisville


(11) Kentucky 91
Coppin State 61

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

The No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats opened and early lead and never looked back as they dominated Copping State 91-61 in a final tuneup or Friday's rivalry game against No. 21 Louisville.

The Wildcats (10-2) shot 35-61 (57.4%) from the field, highlighted by a blistering 20-27 (74.1%) in the second half.

Freshman Terrence Jones led the way with 18 points on 9-12 shooting. Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb added 17 apiece. Knight also dished out a game-high 8 assists.

Veterans Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins each added 10 points for Kentucky.

Jordan Lee led Coppin State (4-6) with 11 points. Tony Gallo and Akeem Ellis chipped in 10 each.

The Wildcats had 21 assists on 35 made field goals and only 12 turnovers. They out-rebounded Coppin State 43-22.

Kentucky now heads to Louisville for a battle with Rick Pitino's Cardinals. The game will be played Friday at Noon.

Box Score

Team Notes:

- UK limited Coppin State to 36.1 percent field-goal shooting tonight. UK is 8-0 this season when holding the opponent under 40 percent from the field.
- UK outrebounded CSU, 43-22. The +21 margin is the largest of the season.
- UK shot 57.4 percent from the field. The Wildcats are 5-0 this season when making at least half their shots from the field.
- UK shot 81.3 percent at the foul line. The Wildcats have made at least 70 percent of their charity tosses in eight-straight games.
- UK dominated points in the paint, 46-26.
- UK had balanced scoring with five players in double figures, the second time that has happened in the last three games.
- Kentucky is 24-0 at Rupp Arena under Coach John Calipari.
- UK has won 25 in a row at home, beginning with the 2009 NIT game at Memorial Coliseum and continuing with the last 24 at Rupp.
- Kentucky has made at least one three-point shot in 761 consecutive games.

Individual Notes:

- Terrence Jones led all scorers with 18 points, the sixth time this season he has led the team in scoring. He has reached double figures in 11 of 12 games this season.
- Brandon Knight tallied 17 points and had a season-high eight assists.
- Doron Lamb followed his career-high 32 vs. Winthrop with 17 points tonight. He has scored at least 16 in three-straight games.
- Josh Harrellson tallied 10 points. UK is 3-0 this season when he scores in double figures.
- DeAndre Liggins had 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds. The eight boards is one shy of his career high.
- Eloy Vargas blocked three shots, his second-straight game with three rejections.
- Jon Hood had a career-high seven points.

Marian Defeats Thomas More in Coach Connor Classic


Marian (Ind.) 87
Thomas More 70

Final from Crestview Hills, Kentucky


(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) - The Thomas More College men's basketball team fell, 87-70, to Marian (Ind.) University, 87-70, tonight (Tuesday, December 28, 2010) in the final game of the Coach Connor Classic at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

With the loss, the Saints fall to 6-4 on the season. With the win, the Knights improve to 10-3 on the season.

In the first half with a game tied at 29-29 with 3:53 to play the Saints went on a 7-0 run to take a 36-29 lead when senior shooting guard Brian Muse (Bethel, Ohio/Bethel) made a lay-up at the 1:47 mark of the half. Marian then closed out the half on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 36-36 at halftime when Aaron Evans made a jumper with 25-seconds to play before the half.

The Knights opened the second half on a 5-2 run to take a 41-38 lead with 17:59 to play in the game on a jumper by Evans. The Saints answered with a 6-2 run to retake the lead at 44-43 when senior shooting guard Aaron Miller (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) made a three-pointer with 15:09 to play in the game. Marian responded with a 44-24 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 87-68 with 1:13 to play on two free-throws by Drew Adams. The Saints' Miller made a lay-up with 1:05 to play for the final score of 87-70.

Three Saints finished in double-figure scoring as Miller had a game-high 21 points, Muse had 11 and freshman shooting guard Willis Fleming (Cincinnati, Ohio/Fairfield) had 10. Miller and junior center Colt Stafford (Groveport, Ohio/Bishop Hartley) led the team on the boards with eight rebounds each.

Complete Recap

Anthony Davis Learned the Harsh Realities of Recruiting


After the Chicago Sun-Times published an unfounded report that future Kentucky Wildcat Anthony Davis' family requested a six-figure payday for his commitment, Davis was forced to keep a tight circle.

Davis learned the hard way that college basketball recruiting is often a dirty business that is filled with corruption, lies and pain.

In the aftermath of the damaging allegations directed at his family, Davis has learned that "you really can’t trust no one on the recruiting scene."

Here is an excerpt about Davis' new reality from Slamonline.com:

Sad but true: Right now, a casual college basketball fan is more likely to know Davis’ name because of a single, unfounded claim about his recruitment in a Chicago newspaper than because of his game. And this is no average prep baller we’re talking about, but a 6-10, 200-pounder considered the top power forward in the Class of ’11. The aforementioned story ran in August, about a week before Davis made his college choice official; the future Kentucky Wildcat could do nothing more than try to ignore the claims and enjoy his moment. It couldn’t have been easy.

“As a rookie to the recruiting game, it just kind of shocked us that someone would do that,” Davis says of the anonymous allegations that his family demanded a six-digit payoff for his commitment. “We knew it wasn’t true, so it didn’t really un-focus me. I just learned that you really can’t trust no one on the recruiting scene. You’ve just got to keep a tight circle.”

Davis figures he’s done that, relying on his family to deflect the negativity, and expanding his circle only as far as friends in the game who can relate to the process. In that, he’s got good company, particularly with a trio of his future UK teammates, all of whom will likely be McDonald’s All-Americans at season’s end. “I talked to Michael Gilchrist a lot, and when I realized Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer were coming too, that was just a bonus,” Davis says of the months leading up to his decision.


Photo: Magazine spread from Slamonline.com

Coppin State Pregame Quotes from John Calipari


Here are John Calipari's pregame quotes as Kentucky prepares to host Coppin State at 7:00 p.m. tonight (via UKAthletics.com):

On Coppin State …
"I watched the (Connecticut) game and they had a chance. They missed two shots down 10 at Connecticut and (UConn) had another big kid that they didn't have when we played them. This team is capable. They are going to put us in a 1,000 pick and rolls and play a zone. They are going to play the 2-3, the 3-2 and will throw a little 1-3-1 half-court trap. They are going to play zone. That is what they will play and they are going to put us in pick and rolls. You know that is what they are going to do and (they are) all the things that we need to work on."

On the maturity of DeAndre Liggins …
"He has matured so much and I am proud of him. You know the thing that you try to do is that at the end of the day our thing is to try to develop young people. I mentioned it today, when people say that it is not the name on the back of the jersey but the name on the front that counts. Well I don't think that is just the case. I think that it's building those young people so they can represent this with pride and represent that name on the front with a sense of self-esteem and tie in confidence. Our job is to build young people not only on the basketball court, but like you are saying, 'I'm talking to a guy and I can't believe it is the same guy.' That is self-esteem and confidence coming out. Some of that is coming from the basketball court where they know, 'Hey if I work hard then I can be really good. If I do what I am supposed to be doing.' That kind of stuff is really important. I mentioned it today, that I am proud of how these guys have improved individually. They are not quite the team that I want them to be but as individual players, I will have to say they have improved. How do we get them to continue to improve and how do we get our team to improve? That is what my job is and what I have to figure out."

On Doron Lamb accepting coming off the bench …
"I mentioned that yesterday because it is a heck of a thing right now; he could be in my office saying that he wants to start and then I have to deal with that. He may start here at some point, I don't know. But I do know that it really doesn't matter. His stock is (soaring high). There is less pressure on him than anyone on the team and he just goes in and lets it fly. The biggest thing with him is his feel for the game is beyond a normal player. The second thing is that his motor, which wasn't moving early, and now you see a player that is playing more aggressive and faster yet not losing his feel for the game. I have to get him to practice a little bit harder and with more of a motor than he does. But when that ball is thrown up he goes."

On how they can get better defensively and offensively …
"Well, we have to get better at the pick and roll and gang rebounding and checking out. We have to get better at small and big screens. That is what is killing us right now, if a small man goes and screens a big man at the elbow or crossing and all those kind of things. Pick and roll defense is something where it is a 1-5 or a 2-5 and what are we doing on the floor? How are we playing it? We have been working hard. I look at us as a team right now and say if we can shore up these areas and continue to talk … which is our biggest issue. The guy that is talking the most right now is Brandon (Knight). Brandon did not speak and I never saw him say one word in high school, in practice or in a game or in AAU; never one word. Now you walk in and it is either my voice or his voice that you are hearing because we talked to him about it and he is taking on more of a leadership role. He is understanding and does it through hard work and is starting to recognize that. He is playing for his team not for himself and they will follow. You are not going to follow a leader that you think is all about himself. I'm not following that guy, but if he is for me than I will follow him anywhere he wants to take me."

On how the guys responded with time of for the holidays …
"They were great yesterday; one of our best practices. Before it started I was very thorough about what we were going to be doing and how it would be. The guys that game in sniffling and saying they were a little sick, well you are going to be sick in two and a half hours not now. You can start coughing when we are done. I don't want to hear one sniffle, one cough nothing. They went from the time we went to the end of practice. So they were pretty good."

On if Doron Lamb was ever disappointed about coming off the bench …
"No, I just sat him down and said that we need you to do this, but you may end up playing the most minutes, which he may be I don't know. If I had one more point guard he would be playing the most minutes, but because I don't he is probably playing less minutes. DeAndre (Liggings) is playing a lot of minutes because I don't have that eight-man. If that eight-man was playing he would be playing the most minutes."

On Brandon Knight becoming more of a leader and being vocal …
"Just being vocal on the court and telling people what we are doing, huddling and talking. Come talk to me every chance you can, even if I don't have anything to say so they see that you are getting direction from me and then you go talk to them and tell them what we are doing. If you know what we are doing then just come over and talk to me. I will give you an example, he scored a bunch of baskets and we came down in transition and could have drove middle and threw it over there for a shot but he already has 20 points so he drove and took a shot and missed it. Why would you try to shot that? There are three guys down there that can hit a shot. That is the kind of leadership that he is learning. He is the greatest kid. He struggled early and I told the team, 'Who is the most conscientious player on the team?' They all point to him so he will be fine and he is the least of my worries. He was struggling early and now all of a sudden you are seeing a point guard that right before our eyes is starting to mature."

Lunardi: Kentucky Wildcats will be a No. 1 Seed


ESPN's Joe Lunardi says today that "UK's going to get a No. 1 seed" in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

In an ESPN Insider article, Lunardi says the Wildcats will continue to improve as the season progresses and should win the Southeastern Conference, which would likely leave the Cats in position to grab a top seed in March.

Lunardi's prediction is pretty solid if the level of talent on the Kentucky roster is considered in conjunction with the well-documented struggles the rest of the SEC is facing. I think it would be disappointing for Kentucky to lose more than three SEC games (four at the most).

Rajon Rondo May Return Friday Against New Orleans


Doc Rivers stated earlier today that point guard Rajon Rondo may return to action Friday night against New Orleans.

Rondo has been sidelined several weeks with an injured left ankle.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe passed along Rivers' thoughts on Twitter:

gwashburn14 Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Rajon Rondo may play Friday vs. New Orleans #celtics

According to BostonCelticsReport.com, Rondo will likely not be 100 percent for months:

Rondo is saying that he will not be 100 percent healthy until three to four months is probably true. His foot issues and ankle issues are not going away any time soon. I am still in shock that his ankle did not break in New York.

Top 100 Sports figures for 2010: John Wall is No. 37


USAToday.com has released numbers 31 through 100 of their "top 100 sports figures for 2010." Making the list at No. 37 is former Kentucky Wildcat John Wall.

Here is an excerpt about Wall:

37. John Wall. He was one-and-done on a Kentucky team that reached the Elite Eight, but his NBA career promises to last much, much longer.

Nos. 31-40

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