Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ashley Judd Loves Her Kentucky Wildcats Basketball

Everyone's favorite Wildcat celebrity supporter, Ashley Judd

She was all smiles in the media room following the Kentucky win

Judd was the "Y" in the K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y cheer

Ashley plays to the crowd during a media timeout

Ashley Judd made her season debut in Rupp Arena today for Kentucky's win over the Georgia Bulldogs.

Brandon Peters and Yates Explode Again

western kentucky basketball tickets peters
Future WKU Hilltopper Brandon "Snap" Peters and his Yates High School teammates followed up last week's 170-point game with another explosive outing this weekend.

Excerpt of article from

Despite stirring up controversy about sportsmanship in their record-setting 170-35 rout over Lee, Yates kept its foot on the gas and sped past Sharpstown in a 124-87 victory Friday night before a capacity crowd at Barnett Fieldhouse.

“The game against Lee was blown out of proportion in terms of people saying we had a fight when we didn’t touch anybody,” Yates coach Greg Wise said. “But none of the negative things that were said is going to change our approach or how we play. We run eight or nine different presses. That’s the only way we know how to play.”

Gillispie Speaks on "Ron Butler Day" at Ranger College

Former Kentucky Wildcat head coach Billy Gillispie continues to improve his public image following a battle with alcoholism, that included several well-publicized DUI arrests.

Today, he joined forces with several other high profile names to honor longtime Ranger College coach and athletic director Ron Butler. Gillispie played basketball for Ranger College during his playing career.

Excerpt of article from

Ron Butler Day kicks off when the former longtime Ranger College coach and athletic director will be honored during halftime of today’s 4 p.m. game against Hill College. After the game, a banquet will be held in Butler’s honor.

And that’s what he’s nervous about.

"I’m nervous because I know who’s speaking," Butler said, while laughing. "Some of them might tell it all, and I don’t want that to happen."

Some of the guest speakers include former UT-El Paso, Texas A&M and Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie, ex-Major League Baseball player Ellis Burks, Texas Tech safeties coach Carlos Mainord, former Harlem Globetrotter Marques Haynes and ex-Ranger coach Tim Marcum.

Gillispie and Burks played at Ranger, Mainord and Marcum coached there, and Haynes is one of Butler’s longtime golfing buddies.

Complete Article

Vinny Zollo Continues to Play Well for GRC

kentucky high school basketball tickets
Former Kentucky recruit Vinny Zollo continues to be one of the most improved high school player in the state this season. Last night, Zollo nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lead George Rogers Clark to a 52-49 victory over Shelby County.

Excerpt of article from

The last shot was a well-rehearsed drama for George Rogers Clark High School.

Vinny Zollo banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer that sent the Cardinals to an exciting 52-49 triumph over Shelby County Friday night at Norton Gymnasium.

“We work on that (late-game scenarios) all of the time in practice just for that kind of situation,” Zollo said.

Clark coach Scott Humphrey said the ending, which transpired in 1.8 seconds from one end of the court to the other, required more than talent and skill.

“Like every team in the state and every team at every level, you always have a segment (in practice) of late-game situations and you work on clock, time and situations like that,” he said. “You work on it every day, but you’re fooling yourself if you don’t think that’s about 95 percent luck whenever you can execute with 1.8 seconds to go. Anytime you get s shot off with (1.8) seconds to go, it’s a good look and Vinny got a good look — it was straight at it from 3-point line and we’ll live with that all day.”

Video: Lindsey Wilson's Chase Spreen Postgame Interview

Lindsey Wilson's Chase Spreen gives an interview following a victory over Asbury College:

Impressive Dunk Over Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins

Travis Leslie, who is playing a tremendous game against the Kentucky Wildcats today, had an impressive first half dunk over Kentucky freshman DeMarcus Cousins:

At the time of this post, Georgia leads #3 Kentucky 59-57 with 8:23 remaining in the game.

Georgia Leads Kentucky at the Half

The Georgia Bulldogs lead the #3 Kentucky Wildcats 35-34 at the half in Rupp Arena.

The Cats were plagued by foul problems and outside shooting during the first 20 minutes. Kentucky is a cool 12-30 (40.0%) from the field and an ice cold 0-8 from beyond the 3-point line. The Bulldogs were 3-6 (50.0%) from long range.

DeMarcus Cousins played limited first-half minutes after picking up 2 early fouls. He was replaced by Daniel Orton, who accumulated 3 personal fouls.

Georgia out-rebounded Kentucky 22-17 in the half.


- Ashley Judd is at Rupp Arena today
- Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin is sitting court side with new UK football head coach Joker Phillips
- Speaking of Phillips, he grabbed the mic and spoke the UK faithful during the halftime break; his talk seemed well-received

Could 2011 Be (Quincy) Miller Time in Kentucky?

Excerpt of article from

Also in town this weekend... 6-foot-8 Quincy Miller, a forward at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem. Miller has made no secret he's a Calipari fan, and on Friday, was seen walking the halls at the Joe Craft Center wearing a UK sweatshirt. If you want to read the tea leaves, consider his mother was seen soon thereafter, also wearing UK apparel.

Miller is rated a 5-star recruit by and will be playing at Lexington Christian Academy this weekend. On Friday, QEA faces Mountain State Academy at 7:30 p.m. at LCA.

My Thoughts: If you want to further read the tea leaves, Miller is watching the Kentucky game at Rupp Arena today and is again decked in a UK blue and white sweatshirt.

On one exciting dunk by Patrick Patterson, Miller stood and screamed loudly into the air with excitement.

Georgetown's Hollis Giles Named MSC Player of the Week

georgetown college basketball
Georgetown College senior guard Hollis Giles is the Mid-South Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, the conference announced on Monday.

Giles, a native of Houston, Texas, averaged 16 points, 4.7 rebounds and three assists on the week to earn his first career MSC honor.

Giles shot 63.3 percent (19-of-30) from the field and 83.3 percent (10-of-12) from the free throw line while helping the No. 18-ranked Tigers to three wins last week. The three games were Giles’ first of the season.

In Georgetown’s 88-56 win over University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Giles scored 15 points and recorded five rebounds and five assists. He added six steals. Giles scored 16 points and pulled down five rebounds in the Tiger’s 102-51 win over Temple Baptist (Ohio) College and concluded his week with 17 points, four rebounds and three steals in a 77-54 win over No. 21-ranked Shorter (Ga.) College.

Georgetown is 11-2 on the season.

Source: Press release by Georgetown College

Louisville Cardinals Storm to 3-0 in the Big East

Louisville 75
St. John's 68

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by Associated Press:

LOUISVILLE -- Jared Swopshire scored 14 points and Louisville defeated St. John's 75-68 on Saturday.

The Cardinals (12-4, 3-0 Big East) and the Red Storm (10-5, 0-3) were forced to grind the first half out due to sloppy ball-handling and poor shooting. Both teams were able to sustain small runs, with Dwight Hardy's 3-pointer at the buzzer to give St. Johns a 32-28 halftime lead.

Louisville shot 33 percent (10-for-30) in the first half, including 16 percent (2-for-12) from 3-point range. The Red Storm managed to shoot 39 percent (11-for-28).

The second half was played close until a 12-1 run by the Cardinals with midway through the second half gave Louisville a 58-46 lead at the 7:51 mark. St. Johns would mount a late rally to close the final scoring margin to seven.

Jerry Smith led the Cardinals with 16 points.

D.J. Kennedy led all scorers with 20 points for the Red Storm.

UK Basketball Team and Fans Come Out To Watch Recruit

Kentucky Wildcats' basketball fans were out in numbers to watch UK recruit C.J. Leslie last night at Lexington Catholic High School. Some of the fans in attendance were members of the Kentucky team and staff. Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader has an article this morning about the game.

Here is an excerpt:

To play against Word of God Christian Academy, John Wall's Raleigh, N.C.-based alma mater and now home for University of Kentucky recruiting target C.J. Leslie, made a 96-48 defeat worth it for Peel's low-flying Eagles.

Except for a contingent of Bluegrass Baptist fans larger than its high school enrollment of 80, the crowd filling about three-quarters of the bleachers at Lexington Catholic High came to see Goliath squish this opponent.

That crowd included UK Coach John Calipari and his players.

"That's love right there," Leslie said of the UK presence. "My former point guard coming to the game. I'm close to most of the team. I'm part of the family."

Complete Article

Author Knocks Kentucky Game Off His "Bucket List"

Here is a good story by an author that used Kentucky's 2,000th victory celebration to knock an experience off his "bucket list". The bucket list is a term used to describe a list of things to do before one dies.

Here is an excerpt:

MTV will debut its brand-new show, "The Buried Life: 100 Things To Do Before You Die" Jan. 18.

I'm fairly certain that doing a panoramic on center court in front of more than 24,000 elated fans at Rupp Arena as streamers and confetti fall on you isn't on that bucket list.

But I can cross it off mine- and I'm only 22.

It's an experience I'll never forget, although it almost didn't happen.

Complete Article

Friday, January 8, 2010

Indiana Hoosiers Join the Battle for JUCO Star Ratliffe

The Indiana Hoosiers and head coach Tom Crean have entered the race to earn the services of JUCO star Ricardo Ratliffe.

Excerpt of article from Hoosier Hype:

One guy the Hoosiers are already looking at is Central Florida Community College’s 6-foot-9 Ricardo Ratliffe, rated the top junior college player in the nation.

IU, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas Christian and Charlotte are among programs recently looking at Ratliffe, a JuCo all-American who scored 26.8 points per game last year.

Ratliffe’s Central Florida squad is 15-4, and during the course of their current three-game win streak, Ratliffe is averaging 25 points. Most recently, the Hampton, Va., native put up 32 points and 12 rebounds versus Tagg Academy and he has not been held below 15 points all season.

Complete Article

Brescia Edges Rio Grande After Second Half Comeback

Brescia 70
Rio Grande 69

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky

Game recap by Brescia:

Doug Denton's layup with 4.1 seconds remaining capped an 18-point second-half comeback and gave the Brescia University men's basketball team a 70-69 win over Rio Grande on Wednesday night at the Campus Center.

"Offensively, we were as cold as it is outside," Brescia coach Joe Pechota said. "But we guarded, and we had an experienced group out there, and they got the stops we needed and converted."

Brescia trailed by 18 points with 9:37 remaining when Pechota called a timeout that started Brescia's late surge. Denton's winning basket came off him driving the length of the floor on the Bearcats' final possession.

Brescia (11-6) had a balanced scoring effort, led by Andrew Howard's 15 points. Denton finished with 12 points, Anthony Ingram and Hugh Weiskittel added 11 each, and Bryce Garrett scored 10.

"When we rely on our defense, it makes us really efficient offensively," Pechota said.

Rio Grande (5-10) was led by T.J. Rase's 17 points.

Centre's Noll Earns SCAC Player of the Week Honors

Centre senior Danny Noll (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.) has been named the SCAC Men's Basketball Player-of-the-Week for games played Monday, Dec. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 3.

During the past two weeks of play Noll helped the Colonels to three wins as he averaged 16.3 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, and two assists per game.

Centre hosted the Papa John's/Country Hearth Inn Tournament on Monday, Dec. 28 through Wednesday, Dec. 30. In the first game of the Tournament Centre defeated Emory & Henry College 80-70. Noll led the team in rebounds with 13, while also posting 11 points, one assist, one blocked shot, and one steal.

On the final day of the tournament the Colonels hosted LaGrange College, where Centre won 71-47. In the game, Noll led the Colonels in scoring with 20 points and he had five rebounds, three assists, and a steal. For his excellent play in the tournament Noll was named to the Papa John's/Country Hearth Inn All-Tournament Team.

Centre was able to pull a come from behind win on Sunday, Jan. 3 over conference rival DePauw University, where they won 65-61. Noll recorded 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and one blocked shot.

The Colonels next take on Oglethorpe University on Friday, Jan. 8 in Danville, Ky. at 8:00 p.m.

Source: Press release from Centre College

Thomas More Beats the Buzzer for PAC Victory

Thomas More 83
Washington & Jefferson 81

Final from Washington, Pennsylvania

Game recap by TMC:

(WASHINGTON, Pa.) - Senior power forward Daniel McKeehan (Maineville, Ohio/Little Miami) hit the game-winning jumper with two seconds to play in the game to lead the Thomas More College men's basketball team to an 83-81 victory over Washington & Jefferson College tonight (Thursday, January 7, 2010) in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) game at the Henry Memorial Center in Washington, Pennsylvania.

With the win the Saints improve to 9-4 overall and 2-1 in the PAC and with the loss the Presidents fall to 6-8 overall and 2-1 in the PAC.

W&J raced out to a 7-0 lead when Matt Drakeley made a layup with 18:57 to play in the game. Thomas More then put together a 5-0 to cut the lead to 7-5 at the 17:48 mark of the first half when senior shooting guard Brandon Bolden (Radcliff, Ky./North Hardin) made a three-pointer. The Presidents' responded with an 18-9 run to extend the lead to 25-14 when Albert Varacallo made a three-pointer with 9:17 to play in the opening half. Undaunted the Saints resopnded with an 18-7 run capped by two free-throws by freshman guard Ryan Hamm (Maysville, Ky./Mason County) to tie the game at 32-32 with 3:17 to play in the half. W&J then closed out the half on a 9-4 run to take a 41-36 lead at halftime when Uchinna Okocha made a layup with 15 seconds play in the half.

Thomas More opened the second half on a 7-0 to take a 43-41 lead at the 18:01 mark when senior guard Romell Salone (Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills) made two free-throws. The Presidents' answered with a 17-8 run to take a 58-51 lead when R.J. Pilato made two free-throws with 11:55 to play in the game. Thomas More then went on an 8-2 run capped by a three-pointer by junior shooting guard Johnny Bovard (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) with 9:15 to play to cut the lead to 60-59. W&J then came right back with a 9-3 run to extend the lead to 69-62 with 7:00 to play in the game when Paul Matthews converted an old fashion three-point play. Undaunted the Saints responded with a 17-4 run to take a 79-73 lead with 3:17 to play the game when McKeehan converted an old fashion three-point play. W&J then put together a 9-2 run to tie the game at 81-81 with 20 seconds lefet in the game when Matthews made a three-pointer, but McKeehan made his jumper with two seconds to play a and the Presidents' shot at the buzzer was off the mark as Thomas More earned the 83-81 victory.

McKeehan led four Saints in double-figures with 16 points. Joining him in double-figures was sophomore shooting guard Daniel Neeley (Warsaw, Ky./Owen County) with 16 and Salone and junior forward Aaron Miller (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) with 10 points each. Miller led the team on the boards with five rebounds.

The Saints will remain in Western Pennsylvania until Saturday to play Waynesburg University at 3 p.m. in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.

Rick Pitino Gave His Point Guard a Dose of Tough Love

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Rick Pitino sent a strong message to point guard Edgar Sosa last season and the veteran Louisville player has responded well.

Excerpt of article from

It took a dose of tough love to turn Edgar Sosa's career around.

About a year ago, Louisville coach Rick Pitino, unhappy with Sosa's lack of defense and sometimes selfish play on offense, gave his junior point guard an ultimatum.

"I basically told him that if I were you, I'd transfer, and I wouldn't wait," Pitino said at the time.

"You could go somewhere and have a year to learn the system. The fans aren't happy with you, you're not happy with yourself and you're not having fun. We'll look at some schools that don't play any defense. There aren't that many, but I know a few."

Complete Article

College Basketball Power Rankings: Kentucky #3 has released this week's NCAA college basketball power rankings. The Kentucky Wildcats remain at #3 this week, behind Kansas and Texas.

Here is what the article says about the Wildcats:

Kentucky Wildcats (15-0)

It's not a stretch to say that Wildcats freshman center DeMarcus Cousins, who plays just 20.1 minutes per game, is the best rebounder in the country. He's third in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage at 30.1, and No. 1 in offensive rebounding percentage at 24.7 -- a rate that, it should be noted, is better than DeJuan Blair's from last season. So why isn't Cousins viewed as more of a national star? Part of it is because he's thought of as a headcase, and his Elbowgate (or Forearmgate) Incident against Louisville is still a huge topic in the Bluegrass State. The bigger issue, though, is that he's a black hole on offense: Despite playing on a team with two All-America candidates in John Wall and Patrick Patterson, Cousins takes 37.6 percent of Kentucky's shots while he's on the floor. That's the third-highest percentage of any player in the country, according to Of the top five major-conference shot hogs, only Cousins is on a team with other offensive stars:

Rk. Player School %Shots

2 Lazar Hayward Marquette 38.6
3 DeMarcus Cousins Kentucky 37.6
12 Klay Thompson Wash. St. 35.5
15 Luke Harangody Notre Dame 35.4
21 Jeremy Hazell Seton Hall 34.6

The Wildcats were 11th in the Pomeroy efficiency rankings through Tuesday, but would make an offensive jump if more of Cousins' shots -- particularly the ones when he's double-teamed in the post -- went to Patterson instead. Patterson's offensive rating (137.4) is more than 20 points higher than Cousins' (115.3).

Next three: 1/9 vs. Georgia, 1/12 at Florida, 1/16 at Auburn

SI's top 5 in this week's power rankings:

1. Kansas
2. Texas
3. Kentucky
4. Purdue
5. Duke

See Complete Rankings and Analysis

Source Says 2011 Star Gilchrist Likely Out 1-2 Weeks

Michael Gilchrist, a star 2011 recruit that many people feel will end up at the University of Kentucky, is injured but the news is not as bad as it could have been.

Excerpt of article from

According to a source close to the player, Gilchrist sprained his right knee and will miss one to two weeks. The source told me that Gilchrist was in the ER "for a little bit" on Tuesday night, but that "he should be good in a week or two". The Celtics play Linden (NJ) this evening in their first full game without their star junior.

Gilchrist is now the unanimous top player in the class of 2011, but that was not always the case, as at one point there were three players considered at the top of the class. The other two, LaQuinton Ross and Tony Wroten, Jr. have since dropped from the top three, with Ross' stock falling quite a bit. Nonetheless both are still high-major recruits and Wroten remains in most peoples' top ten. Gilchrist and Ross were two of only the dozen or so class of 2011 players at the 2009 NBAPA Top 100 Camp, showing their elite status.

Complete Article

Tough Road Loss for Bellarmine Basketball

Rockhurst 70
Bellarmine 68

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Game recap by Bellarmine:

KANSAS CITY, Mo.--Rockhurst University's Aaron Morrissey completed an old-fashiioned 3-point play with just 2.7 seconds remaining in the game as the host Hawks snatched a 70-68 victory over the Bellarmine University Knights in a Great Lakes Valley Conference basketball game.

Bellarmine's Chris Dowe had given the Knights a 1-point lead with 1:29 remaining on his only 3-pointer of the game. Neither team could convert on ensuing possessions before Morrissey finally broke the scoring with his late game heroics.

Rockhurst was led by reigning GLVC Player of the Year Aaron Hill who posted 41 points on the evening as he hit nine of 15 three pointers for the game.

"Give them credit," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "They (Rockhurst) played great in the second half and hit some big shots."

Davenport also praised the effort of his team. "These kids played their hearts out," he said. "We had mechanical problems on the bus, and we didn't get to the hotel until 3:30 in the morning. We played as hard as we could play."

Jeremy Kendle led the Knights with 20 points, and Oladapo Fagbenle had a big night, tying a career high with 14 points and hauling in 10 rebounds.

Bellarmine falls to 9-5, 2-3, and Rockhurst improves to 9-5, 4-1.

The Knights now must travel to Drury University to face the 18th-ranked Panthers on Saturday afternoon. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. (EST).

Quincy Miller and Teammates to Attend UK Practice Today

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I spoke to Coach Isaac Pitts of Quality Education Academy (Nc.) earlier to see how things are going in Kentucky so far. His team competes tonight against Mountain State Academy (WVa.) in the Central Bank Basketball Classic at Lexington Christian Academy.

"We are attending the UK practice today at 2:30, and so far, we haven't even ventured too far from the hotel," he stated.

I asked him how 2011 superstar recruit Quincy Miller is feeling and he said, "Quincy is excited about playing tonight!"

Miller is a multi-talented, 6-8 power forward that ranks #3 overall on the Rivals150 List for 2011. He has offers from a virtual "who's who" of NCAA Division I basketball, including the Kentucky Wildcats.

Miller posted on Twitter earlier:

@qmillertime: Arrived in Kentucky last night..shoutout to J.Wall and B.Cilfton for coming by the hotel and hanging with me for a lil bit.

Murray State Overwhelms Youthful Tennessee State

Murray State 80
Tennesee State 59

Final from Nashville, Tennessee

Game recap by The Associated Press:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Isacc Miles and Tony Easley scored 13 points each to lead Murray State to an 80-59 victory over Tennessee State on Thursday night.

Miles and Easley were the only Racers in double figures as 11 players scored.

Murray State (12-3, 4-0 Ohio Valley Conference), which is off to its best conference start since 1998-99, jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first 5 minutes and led 43-19 at halftime.

The Racers led 66-36 with 9:53 remaining.

Murray State outrebounded Tennessee State (3-13, 0-5), which has lost five straight games, 42-31. The Tigers made only seven field goals in the first half (26.9 percent) and finished at 35.4 percent (23-for-65).

The Racers shot 53.6 percent for the game (30-for-56).

Easley added five rebounds and four blocks.

Josh Sain scored 13 points, Jocquan Nobles had 12 and Robert Covington added 10 points for Tennessee State.

Norse Basketball Loses a Heartbreaker in St. Louis

Missouri-St. Louis 57
Northern Kentucky 56

Final from St. Louis, Missouri

Game recap by NKU:

ST. LOUIS – Beaumont Beasley made a free throw with 36 seconds remaining in the game to snap a 56-all tie, and Missouri-St. Louis held on to post a 57-56 win against Northern Kentucky University on Thursday night.

After Beasley’s free throw gave Missouri-St. Louis the lead, NKU took possession and called a timeout with 13 seconds left on the clock. With the clock winding down, Ethan Faulkner attempted a 15-foot jumper that was off the mark and the buzzer sounded, giving Missouri-St. Louis the victory.

Jeremy Brown scored 16 points to lead Missouri-St. Louis, which improved to 9-5 overall, 3-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Ryan Lawrence added 12 points for the Tritons, who rallied from a 14-point deficit (20-6) in the first half and pulled out the victory at the end.

NKU (8-6 overall, 1-4 in the GLVC) held a 54-50 lead with 3:14 left in the game after Tony Rack drained a 3-pointer. Missouri-St. Louis, though, countered with a trey by Brown and another 3-pointer by Adam Kaatman to take a 56-54 advantage at the 1:33 mark.

David Palmer made a pair of free throws with 1:11 remaining to tie the score at 56-all. After the teams traded turnovers, Beasley drew a foul and hit one of two free throws to account for the winning margin.

Chris Knight led NKU with 15 points, and Corey Sorrell added 14 points. The Norse shot 40.4 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle by a 40-26 margin. Palmer, who entered the game averaging 18.8 points per contest, encountered foul trouble and was held to eight points. Faulkner added 11 points for the Norse.

NKU now holds a 16-7 advantage in the all-time series against Missouri-St. Louis. The Norse, however, have lost their last three games in the Mark Twain Building against the Tritons.

NKU concludes the two-game road trip Saturday with a 4 p.m. contest at Rockhurst.

C.J. Leslie Says He is Feeling Kentucky Basketball

"I think it's a high interest on both parts. Uh, I'm definitely feeling Kentucky and Kentucky is definitely feeling me..."

- 2010 Kentucky recruit C.J. Leslie

A New School Joins the Race for Chane Behanan

I have been told by a very good source that the Florida Gators are very interested in Bowling Green's Chane Behanan.

Members of the Florida staff will possibly watch Behanan as early as this weekend and I'm told that their interest level is high.

Behanan is a 6-8 power forward in the 2011 Class. He is currently ranked #93 on the Rivals150 List, but I expect him to climb a little when the rankings are updated. He was previously committed to Cincinnati, but made the decision to open his recruitment back up. He now holds offers from Cincinnati, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Western Kentucky. He is also being recruited by Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama and Purdue.

You can now add Florida to the list.

Erik Daniels Speaks About UK and Life in Ukraine

Erik "E. Diddy" Daniels was a Kentucky Wildcat from 2000-2004. He played for former coach Tubby Smith and is a member of UK's 1,000-point club (1,053). He also pulled down 520 rebounds during his career.

In 2003-04, he was an All-SEC player. He was signed to a free agent contract by the Sacramento Kings. He saw limited action and eventually found himself in the NBA D-League and overseas. Currently, Daniels is a proud father that plays basketball in Ukraine. He lives in Lexington with his family during the off-season.

I caught up with Erik recently and chatted a bit about his career and his life.

Erik, first let me say thanks for the opportunity to speak with you today. I know you are in the middle of the season right now and I appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule for an interview.

You had a successful career at Kentucky from 2000-2004. Talk a little about your feelings for the University of Kentucky and what it means to you today that you were able to play for the Wildcats.

It was a great experience playing for the Wildcats. I love the fans and the city. That is why I chose to raise my children there.

Describe, in your words, what it’s like to walk out of that Rupp Arena tunnel with “Kentucky” on your chest in front of 24,000 fans.

It is one of the greatest feelings in the world. You really don't appreciate it until you leave. I have played all over the world and nothing compares to Rupp.

Erik, you played on several great Kentucky teams, particularly your junior and senior seasons. Talk some about those teams and how it felt to enjoy success with a great group of teammates and an excellent coaching staff.

Everything came pretty natural to us. The practices where harder than the games because our bench was better than most teams starting five...especially my first two seasons. Most of the guys got along with each other, and that was one of the main reasons for our success.

Are you still pretty close with some of your UK teammates?

I talk to most of the guys from time-to-time, but mainly the guys who still live in Lexington (Barbour, Estill, Moss). We actually still workout with each other in the off-season.

As a player that enjoyed a 4-year career under Tubby Smith, tell me your thoughts on the former Kentucky head coach?

Personally I think Coach Smith was the best coach for me. He always stayed on me and that is the type of coach that I needed at that time in my life. He was a great teacher of the game and life. I hope my son gets a chance to play for someone like Coach Smith.

Do you still follow Kentucky basketball pretty closely?

I don't follow the Wildcats as much now that I'm overseas playing ball. They don't show any college basketball games on television here.

Erik, you spent some time in the NBA and have also played in the D-League and several European teams. You are currently playing in the Ukrainian Basketball Super League. Tell me a little about your current team and the level of play in Ukraine.

The competition isn't bad where I play. We are currently playing in three separate leagues, so I am always busy playing ball. We travel are all around Europe playing some of the best teams here.

Describe the experience of living in Ukraine as a basketball player.

Since being overseas, this is the worst city that I have ever played in...but I can handle it. I just hate being away from my children for such long periods of time. Overall, I think this is a good experience for me because I do have an opportunity to see the world and play against some of the best players in the world. All of the best basketball players in the world aren't in the NBA.

Speaking of the NBA, I know you spent some time in the NBA Summer League this year. Are you shooting for an NBA return someday?

For me, the NBA dream is over. I have to think about providing for my children and playing overseas is the best way for me to do that right now.

Erik, again, thanks for the opportunity to speak with you today. Good luck the rest of the season and I hope to see you playing for pay in the States soon.

Thank you for the interview and the opportunity.

Rick Pitino Will Watch Justin Coleman Tomorrow

According to Jerry Meyer's ( Mailbag, Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino will watch 2010 recruit Justin Coleman tomorrow night against Findlay Prep:

Louisville does have someone in the pipeline who Coach Pitino hopes will join three-star point guard Russ Smith in Louisville's 2010 class. Four-star wing Justin Coleman of Huntington (W.V.) Prep recently visited Louisville, and Coach Pitino will attend his game against national power Findlay Prep this Friday.

Coleman is a big-bodied 6-foot-4 wing player with explosive athleticism. At times he becomes disengaged on the court and doesn't always take full advantage of his abilities, but there is no denying his immense potential.

Louisville is currently at the top of Coleman's list, but he has a lot of work to do academically to qualify and will not know his academic status until after summer school.

Along with Louisville, Arkansas and Marquette have also offered.

Complete Article

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kentucky Wesleyan Basketball Continues to Roll

(13) Kentucky Wesleyan 79
(18) Drury University 67

Final from Drury University

Game summary by

The No. 18 Drury University men's basketball team came out flat Thursday night and never found its game legs as the team was dominated by No. 13 Kentucky Wesleyan 79-67 in front of 1,044 fans at Weiser Gym.

Alex Hall led all scorers with 25 points, but he was 5-of-15 from the floor and 2.of-9 from behind the 3-point line and got most of his points from the free-throw line.

Four Wesleyan players scored at least 10 points, led by Desmond Stephens' 23 points. KWU also won the rebounding battle 41-36, though they dominated the second-chance points.

Drury trailed by as much as 27 points and was down by 18 at halftime. A late run against many of KWU's bench players made the score closer at the final buzzer.

Morehead State Basketball Has 1,000 Reasons to Smile

Morehead State 77
Tennessee Tech 64

Final from Cookeville, Tennessee

Game recap by Morehead State:

COOKEVILLE, Tenn.— Trailing by six at the half at Tennessee Tech Thursday night, the Morehead State men’s basketball team played an inspired second 20-minute period and rallied to knock off the Golden Eagles 77-64 and earn the program’s 1,000th all-time victory.

MSU won its fifth straight game, improved to 9-6 overall and 4-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Tech, which entered the game averaging 77 points per game, fell to 7-8 and 1-3 in the league. The victory was also MSU’s fourth consecutive over TTU in the last three seasons.

Tied at 47 in the second half, the Eagles outscored Tech 23-6 over an eight minute period to take control. The Eagles shot 55 percent in the second half and outscored the host Golden Eagles 50-31. MSU also made only two turnovers in the final half after committing eight in the first half. The Eagles force 14 Tech mistakes and turned that around into 29 points. TTU had only 11 points off Eagle turnovers.

“The main thing for us is that in the second half we played with only two turnovers,” MSU coach Donnie Tyndall. “It kept them from scoring in transition.”

Kenneth Faried led four Eagles in double figures as he posted his ninth double-double of the season with 20 points and 14 rebounds while also adding three steals and two blocks. Demonte Harper scored 15, while Terrence Hill and Maze Stallworth each tallied 12.

“Kenneth Faried was the best player in the OVC for 20 minutes tonight,” Tyndall said. “He was definitely a dominating force for us tonight.”

Elijah Muhammed led Tech with 16 points, while Kevin Murphy had 15 and Frank Davis posted 11. The Golden Eagles were just 3-of-11 from three-point range.

The Eagles vaulted out to a quick 10-2 lead four minutes into the game after a Harper trey. Tech, however, climbed back into the contest via an 11-4 run. With 11:27 left in the first half, MSU held a 14-13 lead. The Eagles went on to lead 18-13.

Tech put together a 16-2 run and pushed ahead 29-20 with 2:47 left. MSU’s lone field goal in the Tech run was a Harper jumper at the 8:16 point. Tech’s largest lead of the opening half was 10 (33-23). Steve Peterson knocked down a bucket with four seconds left to leave MSU with a 33-27 halftime deficit.

For the game, TTU managed to shoot 55 percent, including 60 percent in the second half. MSU shot 48 percent and hit six three-pointers. MSU also won the battle on the glass, 35-27. Fifteen of the 35 boards were offensive, leading to a 16-7 edge in second chance points.

“Our team tonight showed the depth we have,” Tyndall said. “I thought our guys off the bench played a big role. We’re a nice team with good depth so we can wear some teams down.”

The Eagles continue on the road Saturday against Jacksonville State. Tip time at Pete Mathews Coliseum is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. EDT.

Bluegrass Stallions Basketball to Leave Current Arena

kentucky basketball tickets
The Bluegrass Stallions semi-pro basketball franchise has terminated its contract with the Kentucky Horse Park arena and will seek other options for future games. Ownership states that the team is not in danger of folding financially.

Excerpt of article by

The owner of the financially struggling Bluegrass Stallions said Thursday that he has terminated the team's contract with the Kentucky Horse Park arena.

Sunday's 3 p.m. game against the Louisville Crusaders will be played at the arena. But Tony Chase said he is working to schedule the remaining home games at arenas in Corbin and Frankfort and might use a high school gym in Lexington next season.

Chase said the arena wasn't the best fit for the Stallions or the horse park.

He said Lexington's semi-professional basketball team is not in danger of folding, and he expects it to turn a profit in three years. But Chase said the first season has been financially challenging.

"It has been a losing proposition and probably more so than I expected," he said. "We certainly had difficulties with attendance."

Disappointment for Colonels at Jacksonville State

Jacksonville State 68
Eastern Kentucky 65

Final from Jacksonville, Alabama

Game recap Associated Press:

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- Stephen Hall scored 18 points and Trenton Marshall added 17 to help Jacksonville State defeat Eastern Kentucky 68-65 on Thursday night.

The Gamecocks (11-5, 4-1 Ohio Valley Conference) led by as many as 27-15 with 6:04 left in the first half. But Eastern Kentucky (5-9, 1-3) pulled within 31-27 at halftime on a 3-pointer by Justin Stommes with 49 seconds left.

The Colonels opened the second half with five straight to lead for the first time at 32-31 on Stommes' three-point play 55 seconds into the half.

Eastern Kentucky led by as many as 54-48 on Joshua Jones' 3 with 7:44 to go. But Jacksonville State answered with a 9-2 run. Marshall's jumper capped the run with 3:26 left to put the Gamecocks ahead for good at 57-56.

The Gamecocks shot 55 percent from the field (22 of 40) to snap a two-game losing streak.

Stommes finished with 20 points for Eastern Kentucky.

Western Kentucky Escapes South Alabama With OT Win

Western Kentucky 67
South Alabama 64 (OT)

Final from Mobile, Alabama

Game recap by Associated Press:

MOBILE, Ala. -- A.J. Slaughter scored 18 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime, as Western Kentucky defeated South Alabama 67-64 on Thursday night.

Steffphon Pettigrew added 16 points, hitting two free throws with 17 seconds left to seal the win for the Hilltoppers (9-4, 2-0 Sun Belt Conference), who snapped the Jaguars' three-game winning streak.

The game was tied 12 times with 18 lead changes.

South Alabama (11-5, 3-1) led 52-47 with 7:49 left, but the Hilltoppers used an 8-2 run to pull ahead. A Tim Williams layup gave South Alabama a 62-60 lead with 14 seconds left in regulation, then Pettigrew tied it with a layup. Williams missed a 3 with 1 second left to force overtime.

Bryan Sherrer gave the Jaguars a 64-62 lead with 3:28 remaining, but they did not score again.

Williams scored 18 to lead the Jaguars and Martino Brock had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Kentucky Staff Will Visit 2011 SG Trevor Lacey

Members of the Kentucky basketball staff will visit 2011 shooting guard Trevor Lacey on Friday.

Lacey is 6-1 and plays for Butler High School (Al.) in Huntsville, Alabama. He ranks #119 on the Rivals150 List for 2011 and currently holds offers from Tennessee and Alabama. He is also receiving looks from Auburn, Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina, UAB and UCLA.

Trevor Lacey Profile

Lacey told ESPN that every time he watches the Kentucky Wildcats, he envisions himself in blue and white. He also stated that he has been recruited previously by Kentucky under Billy Gillispie and Memphis under John Calipari.

Here is an excerpt:

"My dad's been talking to them (Kentucky) since before Calipari took the job," Lacey said. "He was recruiting me at Memphis but even more now."

Lacey says every time he watches UK play on television, he envisions himself in blue and white.

"Every time I see them play, I just see myself playing for coach Cal," Lacey said. "His style of play fits my game and he lets you play. He's a coach that will get on you and tell you what you're doing wrong even when you're winning. I just like the way he coaches and the way they play."

Complete Article from

The Kentucky staff will also be using this recruiting trip to observe JUCO star Ricardo Ratliffe at Central Florida Community College.

College Basketball's Best Rebounder is DeMarcus Cousins

According to ESPN's Jay Bilas, Kentucky basketball big man DeMarcus Cousins is the best rebounder in college basketball and "it is not even close."

Here is an excerpt of Bilas' article:

Best rebounder: The best rebounder in college basketball is Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins, and it is not even close. Per minute, Cousins' rebounding numbers are off the charts, and he is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of. As I have said many times (going back to his days in high school), Cousins can be as good as he wants to be, and the only thing that can stop him is himself. Cousins is better at this age than Derrick Coleman was at Syracuse and has the ability to be a great player. Is he immature, and does he show a questionable attitude? Yes, he does. But he is still just a kid, and he needs the time and space to grow like so many others do. If he truly listens and allows himself to be coached on the court and off, he can be special. The kid has taken a ton of criticism, and most of it has been well deserved. But most of it is aimed at him because of his enormous talent and the fact that he doesn't seem to realize the opportunity he has before him. I had the chance to work with Cousins at the Nike Skills Academy, and he can be difficult. But he can also be great. I hope he figures it out.

Complete Article (subscription)

Hilltoppers Ready for Televised Rivalry Game

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will travel to South Alabama for a televised college basketball battle with their conference rivals.

Excerpt of article from

Western Kentucky prevented South Alabama from reaching the NCAA tournament with a 64-56 victory in the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship game last March and the Jaguars can get a measure of revenge tonight.

USA (11-4, 3-0) and WKU (8-4, 1-0) collide in the first of two regular-season meetings at 5:05 p.m. at the Mitchell Center with the Jaguars trying to end a three-game losing streak to the Hilltoppers. The game is being televised by Fox Sports Net.

"They're an experienced team with kids that have been to the NCAA the past two years," said South Alabama coach Ronnie Arrow. "They play with confidence and they play well together. They're a good basketball team."

Complete Article

MSU Basketball Adds Miami (OH) Transfer Drew Kelly

From MSU Eagle Nation:

We also learned last night that the Eagles have picked up transfer Drew Kelly, who was sitting on the Eagles bench last night.

Kelly, the grandson of the late Lake Kelly, has transferred to MSU from Miami (OH). As a high school senior last year, he averaged 31 points and 15 rebounds for Centennial High in Brentwood, TN.

Kelly is a 6-7 power forward that rated a 3-star recruit by Out of high school, he also held offers from Belmont, Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky. During his senior season, Kelly once scored 67 points on 26-33 shooting.

Kelly will be eligible for game action in late December of next season.

Kentucky Wildcats Are a Top Contender for Ratliffe states that Kentucky is a top contender for JUCO star Ricardo Ratliffe. The UK staff will visit the Central Florida Community College big man this week.

Here is an excerpt:

Coaches from the University of Kentucky are scheduled to visit the Central Florida campus at some point this week to reiterate their interest in the 6-9 sophomore phenom. The Wildcats are a top contender to secure Ratliffe's signature this spring, along with Louisville, Connecticut, Arkansas, Alabama and a host of other major Division I programs.


Ratliffe shows the ability to drive the ball to the basket:

Berea is No Match for Western Carolina

Western Carolina 124
Berea College 53

Final from Western Carolina

Game summary from

Berea found the going tough at Western Carolina as the Catamounts rolled to a 124-53 victory.

The Mountaineers only had eight players in uniform and were behind more than 20 points only six minutes into the game.

Five Catamounts scored in double figures, and all 13 WCU players who got in the game scored. Junior Anthony Phillip led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds. Harouna Mutombo and Jake Robinson each added 15.

ESPN: Hot High School Basketball Tickets in Kentucky mentions the great high school basketball action in Kentucky this weekend:

Bluegrass hoopla

If you're around Lexington, Ky. this weekend, consider it must-see basketball viewing at Lexington Christian Academy and Lexington Catholic High as a pair of premier events will be contested.

The Central Bank Basketball Classic is Friday and Saturday at Lexington Christian, starting at 7:30 p.m. with Mountain State Academy (Beckley, W.Va.) and Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.) tipping off opening night at the Main Gym on the Rose Campus. Saturday's tripleheader features Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.) against Louisville Male at 5 p.m., followed by Lexington Christian and Clark County (Winchester, Ky.) at 6:30. The nightcap is Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) vs. Mountain State Academy at 8.

Scott County recently finished fourth at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., led by Ge-Lawn Guyn, Chad Jackson and Akron-bound Dakotah Euton. Clark County should be in good shape for the next two years with junior forwards Vinnie Zollo and Robbie Stenzel.

At Lexington Catholic, the Dunkin Donuts Shootout National Classic lasts two days.

The line-up: Friday, Lexington Catholic-Wolfe County (Campton, Ky.), 6:30, and Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.)-Blue Grass Baptist School (Lexington) at 8. Saturday there are six games, including four boys: South Laurel (London, Ky.)-Walnut Hills (Cincinnati), 2:30; Beech (Tenn.)-Pleasure Ridge Park (Louisville), 4; Lexington Catholic-North Oldham (Goshen, Ky.), 7; and Word of God-Roger Bacon (Cincinnati), 8:30.

C.J. Leslie, a 6-9 uncommitted senior from Word of God, is the event's marquee player who will likely land in the 2010 McDonald's All-American Game in Columbus, Ohio.

Complete Article

Five Things We've Learned in SEC Basketball

college basketball tickets has a list of "5 Things We've Learned so far about SEC hoops." They note that John Wall is actually a pretty good basketball player and also that John Pelphrey's seat may be getting hot at Arkansas.

That Wall guy is good

SEC writers were lampooned by some in October when not all of them voted for Kentucky freshman point guard John Wall on their All-SEC team. A catalyst for the Wildcats' 15-0 start, Wall is the SEC's fourth-leading scorer and by far the league's top assist man.

My, how things change

Arkansas was on top of the world this time last year, with a hot young coach in John Pelphrey and two big wins over Texas and Oklahoma. Now, Pelphrey's seat is warm. To say nothing of the Razorbacks' off-court issues, Arkansas has lost to Morgan State, East Tennessee State and South Alabama this season. Ouch.

Complete Article

More Fallout from Yates High School's 135-Point Win

Yates High School, which is led by future Western Kentucky guard Brandon Peters, continues to make national news in the aftermath of their 170-35 victory over an inferior opponent earlier in the week.

Yates leaves no doubt

In case you missed it, Yates rolled up 170 points in a win over Lee (Houston, Texas). Coach: What gives?

170 points in a game: record-breaking sportsmanship

So it doesn't surprise me that Yates could score 170. It does surprise me, however, that Yates would score 170. Yates coach Greg Wise defended his team's continuing pressure defense -- after it took a 100-12 lead at the half -- by saying that he shouldn't have to tell his backups to play but not try to score.

No. 2 Yates posts controversial 135-point victory

Despite a 100-12 halftime lead, the Lions stayed true to their pressing and trapping style, which didn’t sit well with Lee head coach Jacques Armant.

“I feel very disrespected right now,” Armant told the Houston Chronicle after the game. “I don’t understand why Yates just kept scoring and pressing when they were up so much. These are kids. It isn’t good to do that to other young men.”

Yates' Coach Defends Decision:

Morehead State Basketball Seeks 1,000th Win Tonight

Press Release from

Morehead State men’s basketball will be trying to win its fifth straight game Thursday, this time on the road. The Eagles travel to Tennessee Tech for a 8:30 p.m. ET tip at TTU’s Eblen Center. MSU is also just one win away from the program's 1,000th victory.

MSU has won four straight overall and three of four in Conference play to start its Ohio Valley Conference slate 3-1, with the one loss coming on the road at preseason co-favorite Murray State. Two crucial wins over the weekend and into Monday, over Austin Peay and Tennessee State helped the Eagles hold on to a tie for second place in the OVC. MSU has also righted its overall record and is now two games on the plus side of .500 at 8-6.

Les Simmons, Terrance Hill and Kenneth Faried all played a major role in the Eagles’ success in those two games. Faried earned OVC Co-Player of the Week for his efforts.

Morehead State is just one win away from reaching 1,000 wins all-time. The Eagles entered the season with 991 wins and have won eight games this season to bring the total to 999.

Tennessee Tech is 7-7 overall and 1-2 in OVC play. The Golden Eagles have nice wins over Central Arkansas and Ball State. They beat SEMO, but lost at Jacksonville State and at Eastern Illinois, the latter coming in overtime. Thursday will serve as their OVC home opener.

Tech has three players that average double-figure scoring, led by Frank Davis, who along with Faired is the reigning OVC Co-Player of the Week. Davis scores at a 15.3 points per game clip while Kevin Murphy averages 14.5 points and Elijah Muhammad scored 11.1 per game. Alfred Jones is TTU’s leading rebounder at 5.6 boards per game, but the Golden Eagles are a very balanced rebounding team with five different players average 3.3 rebounds per game or better, leading to Tech’s team rebounding margin being 1.1 on the positive side. They also shoot the ball very well, but don’t defend shots very well, resulting in 46 percent shooting from the field for both TTU and its opponents.

After Thursday, the Eagles head further south for Jacksonville State for a 5:30 p.m. ET tip Saturday.

Catching Up With Ex-Wildcat Cedric "Swoop" Jenkins

Kentucky Wildcats basketball
Cedric "Swoop" Jenkins was a Kentucky Wildcats basketball player from 1984-88. He came to UK as Mr. Basketball in Georgia, a Parade All-American and a McDonalds All-American. He played on teams with the likes of Kenny Walker, Winston Bennett, Ed Davender and Rex Chapman. I caught up with Cedric recently and we chatted a bit about Kentucky basketball, his time at UK and his life after basketball.

Cedric, let me start by saying thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

You came to Lexington in 1984 from Georgia, where you were Mr. Basketball and a McDonald's All-American. What were some of the other schools that were recruiting you at the time and why did you choose Kentucky?

I was recruited by the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, UCLA, Purdue and several other D-1 schools. I chose UK because of its rich tradition and I felt like it was just a great opportunity to play for one of the best collegiate programs in America.

You had a nice four-year career as a Wildcat. In looking back on it, name a few things you took away from your college career at Kentucky.

I would have to say the relationships I built with teammates and the knowledge that winning starts with preparation. It starts well before game day.

What does it mean to you now to be able to say “I wore the Kentucky name on my chest”?

I have a great sense of pride and accomplishment that goes along with being to say that.

Tell me your greatest memory as a Kentucky Wildcat.

My best memory is when I made the winning tip in against Louisville. That has to be one of my greatest memories from my Kentucky days.

Cedric, tell me a little about what you have been doing in life since your playing days at Kentucky.

I played professionally for about seven years in the CBA and overseas. After that, I spent a little over a decade in the financial industry. The majority of my work experience has been in business banking.

Tell me about the business you are involved with now and your role with the company.

Currently I own and operate a General Nutrition Center (GNC) in Lexington. I, along with my staff take great pride in helping our customers pursue and live healthier lives.

Obviously, there have been some changes within the Kentucky basketball program. John Calipari is the new coach, the roster is loaded with talent and the team is off to a 15-0 start and ranked #3 in the nation. From an ex-player’s perspective, tell me your thoughts on this season’s team and how you feel about John Calipari as the new head coach.

The Cats are loaded with talent and are exciting to watch this year. It's great to see them having fun for a change! Coach Cal is definitely a great fit with the program. Hopefully, he will be around longer than Wall. A Final Four appearance would not surprise me.

How would you describe John Wall?

I don't really follow high school basketball much so I thought all the hype around Wall was probably more hype than truth. But now I am a believer. He is a remarkable talent and more impressively, he seems to be a well-grounded and respectful young man.

Let me ask you for an opinion on Ed Davender and Derrick Miller, a couple of your former teammates. Obviously, they are involved in some legal issues resulting from an alleged ticket scam ring. You know these two guys on a much more personal level than most of us. Give me your thoughts on Ed and Derrick.

Ed and Derrick are former teammates but not former friends. It is unfortunate that they have made some of the choices they have made. I think this whole experience will be an opportunity of them to change some things in their lives for the better. Thank God for second chances! I don't know anyone who hasn't had to utilize or ask for a second chance. I wish the best to them both.

Cedric, they gave you the nickname “Swoop” during your playing days. How did you earn that nickname?

I think Brett Bearup started the whole Swoop thing. He likened my long arms to a big bird swooping in to block shots and rebound.

Do you have any contact information where fans can check out your business? Any social networking tools you’d like to share with the readers (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?

My store is located at 2160 Sir Barton Way, STE 120, Lexington, Kentucky. I am on Facebook and Twitter.

It has been a pleasure talking with you and I wish you the best of luck in your business endeavors.

Introducing a Site for Women's Basketball in Kentucky

Due to overwhelming (and humbling) demand, I have decided to give a little love to the ladies of basketball in Kentucky.

After a few direct messages on Twitter and a few e-mails, I thought a women's site was probably a good idea but I never seriously considered it. After about a hundred similar requests, I decided to dedicate a site to the girls of Kentucky.

I would like to introduce Bluegrass State Girl's Basketball:

The site will be focused 100% on the girl's/women's basketball in the state of Kentucky. While it is still in the developmental stages, my goal is to make the site the top resource for girl's high school and college basketball in our state.

I invite you to check the site out and contact me anytime if you have comments, questions or information you would like included on the site.

Anthony Wireman

Major Talent at LCA's Central Bank Classic in Lexington

The 2010 Central Bank Classic at Lexington Christian Academy gets underway on Friday. The event will feature some of the top teams in the state and some national powerhouse programs.

Kentucky fans will have an interest in 2011 superstar Quincy Miller from Quality Education Academy.

2010 Central Bank Classic Schedule

Friday, January 8

Quality Education Acad. (NC) vs Mountain State Acad. (WV), 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 9

Scott County (KY) vs Louisville Male (KY), 5 p.m.
Lexington Christian (KY) vs Clark County (KY), 6:30 p.m.
Findlay Prep. (NV) vs. Mountain State Acad. (WV), 8 p.m.

Union College Loses Conference Battle to Bluefield

Bluefield 87
Union 77

Final from Bluefield College

Game recap by Union:

BLUEFIELD, Va. - Host Bluefield (Va.) College hit nearly 60 percent of its second-half shots to pull out the 87-77 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory Wednesday over Union College.

Union led 37-35 at the half; however, Bluefield connected on 20-of-34 shots (58.8 percent) shots in the second half in reeling off 52 points en route to the 10-point win.

The Bulldogs shot the ball well, making 47.5 percent (29-of-61 shots) from the floor. But Bluefield was slightly better as the hosts hit 32-of-65 shots (49.2 percent).

Four players scored in double figures for Union with Kearney Demus (Lexington, Ky.) leading the way with 23 points, the most points any Bulldog scored in a game this season. Newcomer Curtis Stephens followed with 19 points with Payton Ponzer (Independence, Ky.) and Beau Brown (Athens, Tenn.) each chipped in 10 points.

For Bluefield, Rob Wright led the way with 23 points, while Jewaun Wynn added 15 points. Borgia M'Bala chipped in 14 points with Ted O'boute and Carlton Shumake contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively.

The loss snapped the Bulldogs' three-game win streak, dropping them to 8-8 overall and 3-2 in league play. The Rams improved to 6-9 overall and 3-2 in the AAC.

Union returns to action at Tennessee Wesleyan College Saturday at 4 p.m.

Kentucky State Comes Up Short at FVSU

Fort Valley State 73
Kentucky State 70

Final from FVSU


Kentucky State jumped out to a 13-point lead and led Fort Valley State by 6 at the half, but could not maintain the lead in the second 20 minutes.

FVSU (4-4) trailed 70-69 with 1:01 remaining, but picked up a huge shot from Darrell Aiken to take the lead and the win.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Top 10 "Most Despised" Basketball Players Ever has developed a list of the top 10 "most despised" college basketball players of all time.

They describe it as:

Some guys will always be easy targets. You can just draw a giant X on your back if you fall under one or more of the following categories:

• History of trouble
• Excessive media attention
• Brash personality (thug personas or goodie two shoes are both welcome)
• Affiliated with a certain school (more on that later…)

I must say, I can't argue with their list very much at all.

Top 10 Most Despised Players of All Time:

10. Allen Iverson, Georgetown
9. Eric Devendorf, Syracuse
8. Steve Wojciechowski, Duke
7. Corky Taylor, Minnesota
6. 1991 UNLV: Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt, Stacey Augmon, Larry Johnson, George Ackles
5. Art Heyman, Duke
4. Joakim Noah, Florida
3. The Fab Five: Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson
2. J.J. Redick, Duke (Word!)
1. Christian Laettner, Duke

That's a pretty solid list. They also add this under #8:

"Well Magloire wouldn't let him go. That was crazy..."

Here's the complete list with commentary

U of L Basketball Explodes in Second Half to Earn Win

Louisville 92
Providence 70

Final from Providence College

Game recap by Associated Press:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Edgar Sosa scored a season-high 26 points and Samardo Samuels added 17 points as Louisville held off a first-half charge from Providence to take a 92-70 victory on Wednesday night.

After the Cardinals opened with a 14-0 lead, the Friars hit their stride, rallying to take a 42-37 halftime lead.

But Louisville (11-4, 2-0 Big East) again seized control in the second half with physical play on the boards, grabbing 26 second-half rebounds to Providence's seven.

The Cardinals outrebounded the Friars 45-21 in the game and scored 23 second-chance points.

Marshon Brooks had 21 points, going 8-for-11 to lead Providence (9-6, 1-2). Sharaud Curry and Bilal Dixon each added 12 points for the Friars.

Jerry Smith added 14 points and Jared Swopshire had eight points and 11 rebounds for Louisville in a game that featured eight lead changes.

Three UK Freshman Basketball Players on Live Chat

The Kentucky men's basketball team has been the talk of the 2009-10 athletics season. Now you will have a chance to talk with some of those players.

On Thursday, Cat Scratches will have freshman point guards John Wall and Eric Bledsoe and freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins for a live blog. Starting at 1 p.m., Wall, Bledsoe and Cousins, the self-nicknamed "Three Amigos," will field questions and comments from fans in a real-time format on UK's live blog application.

Fans can send in questions and comments, pending approval of the moderator, by clicking on the live blog application Thursday starting at 1 p.m. We are expecting a large audience for the live chat, so please be patient if your question does not make it through the first time. We will do our best to get to as many people as possible.

The "Three Amigos" have been three of the stalwarts behind Kentucky's 15-0 start and No. 3 national ranking.

Wall, largely considered a National Player of the Year candidate, is averaging a team-best 17.2 points and 7.3 assists this season. Cousins is scoring 15.4 points per game, including 9.6 rebounds a contest, in just 19.2 minutes per game. Bledsoe is averaging 10.2 points and 3.1 assists per game.

Link to Chat

Kentucky Wesleyan Jumps to #13 in NCAA Rankings

The Kentucky Wesleyan basketball team has jumped to #13 in this week's NCAA D2 basketball poll. (Source:

NABC Division II Coaches Poll

(As of 01/05/2010)

Rank School W-L Points Prev

1 Central Mo. (8) 12-0 200 1
2 Fla. Southern 12-0 191 2
3 Augusta St. 10-0 185 3
4 Indiana (Pa.) 10-0 174 4
5 Arkansas Tech 11-0 168 5
6 Kutztown 9-0 160 7
7 Minn. St. Mankato 12-0 150 8
8 Southern Ind. 12-0 143 10
9 Midwestern St. 13-0 138 9
10 Fort Hays St. 11-1 125 13
11 Southwest Baptist 13-2 119 11 12 Valdosta St. 12-2 107 15 13 Ky. Wesleyan 13-1 99 17 14 Western Wash. 13-1 97 16 15 Montevallo 11-0 86 19 16 Quincy 12-0 65 22 17 Seattle Pacific 9-2 64 6 18 Drury 9-2 57 20 19 Bentley 10-2 54 21 20 Rollins 9-2 50 12 21 Augustana (S.D.) 11-1 33 24 22 Cal Poly Pomona 5-2 28 14 23 Stillman 5-0 25 23 24 Mesa St. 10-1 17 25 25 Adelphi 13-1 12 NR

Should Razorbacks Replace Pelphrey with Gillispie?

Let me say that this is not my opinion, but I did find an interesting article from an Arkansas blog. The author states that he's not calling for Pelphrey's head just yet, but the Razorbacks administration should have former UK head coach Billy Gillispie at the top of their lists if/when Pelphrey is replaced.

Here is an excerpt:

This is not a call for the head of John Pelphrey, although it’s probably going to sound that way.

But if athletics director Jeff Long is coming up with a short list — and soon — of who he could get to improve the state of affairs around Bud Walton, he may find himself on the throes of a dilemma.

And the name at the top of the list should be Billy Gillispie.

Complete Article

Cousins, Wall on List of Top 25 Freshman in Nation

Kentucky's John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are listed as two of the top three freshman basketball players in the nation on a list derived by Also making the list at #20 is Isaiah Canaan from Murray State.

Here is an excerpt:

1. John Wall, Kentucky

I’ve had my say on Wall, though I will add here that his impressive steal rate and 79 percent shooting at the line suggest he’s more than just the most incredible player ever. He’s a laudably well-rounded most incredible player ever.

2. Xavier Henry, Kansas

3. DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

What can I say, he’s DeMarcus Cousins. During his very limited minutes he’s the best all-around rebounder in the country. Having a player that is this likely to get the offensive rebound means Kentucky can shoot without fear. Misses matter a lot less to this offense than to normal teams subject to the laws of basketball gravity. Cousins may be no Hassan Whiteside when it comes to shot-blocking, but he’s way better than anyone who gets this many defensive boards has a right to be. He is of course highly foul-prone, even for a freshman big man, and I still think he shoots way too often for someone who makes 54 percent of his twos and has teammates like Patrick Patterson and a soon to-be-named freshman. But there is no denying that Cousins is quite simply a force of nature.

4. Hassan Whiteside, Marshall

5. Andre Dawkins, Duke

20. Isaiah Canaan, Murray State

Winner of this list’s Most Biblical Name contest in a walk, Canaan’s already been named Ohio Valley freshman of the week three times. Perspicacious evaluators of the OVC, I salute you! Speaking of comparable Texas benchmarks, Canaan is a lil’ A.J. Abrams: A 5-11 shooting guard who hits his threes while making a Jeremy Lin-like 62 percent of his twos. Coach Billy Kennedy uses a notably egalitarian Dana Altman-style rotation where no Racer averages more than 28 minutes. Still, there has to be more than 20 minutes available for someone this freakishly effective. Show Canaan the love, Coach!

Complete List

Billy Gillispie Works to Improve Image and Career

According to, former Kentucky basketball head coach Billy Gillispie attended a defensvie driving class at the Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant in Plano, Texas.

This is another step in the continued progress of Gillispie as he attempts to resurrect his coaching career and recover from alcoholism.

The class is presented by

Do you and technology not get along? You use the microwave at work and somehow erase all the payroll records. You put your card into the bank’s ATM, but all you get back is some plastic confetti and the sneaking suspicion that you just sent your money to Peru. And sometimes you worry that your garage door opener is trying to turn the other appliances against you.

Then our comedy defensive driving class is the way for you to go.

You’ll get all the benefits of a Texas defensive driving course by just sitting and enjoying a professional comedian presenting the information. The only technology you’ll have to deal with is a television, and someone else will be pushing the buttons.

Demling Selects KHSAA All-Decade Basketball Teams

Jody Demling of the Courier-Journal has selected his All-Decade team for boy's high school basketball in Kentucky.


Player of the Decade - Chris Lofton, Mason County
Rajon Rondo, Eastern
Steffphon Pettigrew, Elizabethtown
Patrick Sparks, Muhlenberg North
Darius Miller, Mason County
Sixth man - Michael Bush, Male


Justin Dolleman, Ryle
Shelvin Mack, Bryan Station
Scotty Hopson, University Heights
Scott Hundley, Scott County
A.J. Slaughter, Shelby County
Sixth man - Lonnell DeWalt, Warren Central


Larry O'Bannon, Male
Preston Knowles, Clark County
Ross Neltner, Highlands
Domonic Tilford, Jeffersontown
Bud Mackey, Scott County.
Sixth man - Jon Hood and Michael Haney, Madisonville

Check out the entire article

NKU Fights Hard, Falls Short Against Undefeated Quincy

Quincy 73
Northern Kentucky 66

Final from Northern Kentucky University

Game recap by NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Mookie Pierre scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed six rebounds Monday night as unbeaten Quincy posted a 73-66 win against Northern Kentucky University.

Billy Baptist added 21 points as No. 22 Quincy improved to 13-0 overall, 4-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Hawks shot 56.5 percent from the field and became the first opposing men’s basketball team to defeat NKU (8-5 overall, 1-3 GLVC) in The Bank of Kentucky Center.

NKU was 19-0 all-time at home in the new facility going into Monday’s game against Quincy. The Norse were 13-0 in The Bank of Kentucky Center in 2008-09 and 6-0 this season.

David Palmer scored 18 points to lead NKU, and teammate Corey Sorrell added 16 points. The Norse were 12-for-24 from 3-point range, with Sorrell and Tony Rack each making four treys.

Quincy led the entire second half, but the Hawks had to withstand a late NKU rally to pull out the victory. NKU closed to within a point (56-55) with 5:07 remaining when Rack buried a 3-pointer off an assist from Scott Bibbins.

Quincy countered with a layup from Courtney Belger and a conventional three-point play by Baptist to extend its lead to 61-55. After Palmer tipped in a shot to slice the Hawk lead to 61-57, Baptist drained a 3-pointer to give Quincy a 64-57 edge with 3:31 left on the clock.

Ethan Faulkner’s 3-pointer cut the Quincy lead to 64-60 with 2:07 remaining. Belger made one of two free throws with 1:32 left to give the Hawks a 65-60 advantage. NKU had a chance to slice into the lead, but Baptist stole an errant pass and went in for an uncontested dunk to make it 67-60 with 1:07 on the clock.

Palmer responded for NKU by draining a 3-pointer from out front to make it 67-63, but Pierre made a pair of free throws with 41 seconds remaining. Rack buried another 3-pointer from NBA range to bring the Norse within three points (69-66), but Tyler Burke sealed the win by making four free throws in the final 25 seconds.

NKU made 43.6 percent of its shots from the field. Quincy finished with a 32-23 advantage in rebounds and was 14-for-17 from the free-throw line.

NKU hits the road Thursday for a GLVC game at Missouri-St. Louis. The Norse conclude the road trip Saturday with a game at Rockhurst.

MSU Pepsi Athlete of the Week: Kenneth Faried

Morehead State University: Pepsi Athlete of the Week

Kenneth Faried

Men's Basketball

Faried earned OVC Player of the Week and picked up two double-doubles in helping lead the Eagles to a pair of wins, one a close game in a tough environment at South Dakota, the other a key Conference game against Austin Peay on ESPNU. His 15 points and 15 rebounds versus USD came in only 26 minutes of action and his 12 points and 19 rebounds versus APSU included a key offensive rebound at the end of overtime followed by a pair of free throws that helped seal the win. He also had a highlight reel dunk and four blocks vs. APSU.


Ex-Cat Landon Slone Signs with Pikeville College

Pikeville College head coach Kelly Wells just notified me that former Kentucky Wildcat walk-on Landon Slone has signed to continue his career with the Bears.

Coach Wells stated, "this is another great day for the Pikeville College Bears with the addition of Landon to our family! Landon brings great character and great skill to us. We are so excited to be able to help him meet all his athletic and academic goals."

He will join the team next season, and will no play during the second semester of this season.
Pikeville College is off to a 12-1 start on the season and is currently ranked #8 nationally in NAIA Division I basketball.

Future Hilltopper Brandon Peters at Center of Controversy

Future Western Kentucky University guard Brandon "Snap" Peters and his Yates High School basketball team have managed to spark a controversy in Houston after their 170-35 victory over a hapless district rival.

Yates (14-0) and ranked #2 in the nation led 53-6 after one quarter and 100-12 at the half.

It has been reported that head coach Greg Wise sent the starters back in to start the second half against Lee High School (1-12). After three quarters, the score stood at 135-16. The Lions added 35 more points in the final quarter to establish a Texas high school scoring record.

Peters scored 43 points for Yates and Joseph Young added 37. Alex Davis and Darius Gardner added 25 and 21, respectively.

The game has sparked a major controversy not only in Houston, but also nationally.

In the third quarter of the game, a fight erupted after an intentional foul was called on a Lee player. After breaking up the fight, the referees told both coaches they would have to play just five players the remainder of the game. The other players for both teams spent the rest of the second half sitting in the stands.

“I feel very disrespected right now,” Lee coach Jacques Armant said. “I don't understand why Yates just kept scoring and pressing when they were up so much. These are kids. It isn't good to do that to other young men.”

What is your take on the outcome of this game?

My Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about certain aspects of the game. First, this is a really good team facing a really bad team. Secondly, Yates averages a phenomenal 119 points per game, so it is expected that they are going to put up some major numbers against an inferior opponent.

The problem I have with this game is that it was 100-12 at the half and the coach opted to put the starters back in to chase a scoring record. I can live with destroying an inferior opponent in the first half, but I disagree with bringing the starters back in the game.

UK Fans: Tim Brando Hates You

I was out of town most of the evening, but came home to find this little gem from my favorite track & field star, Alan Cutler of He has a message that was sent to Tim Brando, who vocally stated that UK big man DeMarcus Cousins should have been ejected Saturday, and Brando's rather surprising responses.

Tim Brando’s response to a UK fan's e-mail message:

No my friend. I didn’t get anything wrong!
I will be at THE ACC TOURNAMENT…you know the one that matters!
As for your comments…get in line with the hater’s.Kentucky’s program is bigger than all of us…I know that.
Tim Brando

Brando then sends a second note without a second note being sent to him:

you know I’m sending this to you because you and others limited knowledge of basketball outside of Kentucky is immense.
The ACC TOURNAMENT CHAMPION is recognized as the Conference All Around Champion! The SEC Regular season Champion is the overall champion. The tournament in the ACC is more important than any other Conference Tournament Title!
That’s why I wrote what I did. Just trying to educate you my boy!
Timmy B.
PS. Happy New Year Send what you want where you want!

Meanwhile, Andy Katz at ESPN passes this along:

John Adams, the NCAA's chair of officiating, said the officials correctly handled the skirmish in the first minute of Saturday's Kentucky-Louisville game. Technical fouls were assessed to Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins and Louisville's Jared Swopshire and Reginald Delk. At issue was whether Cousins threw a purposeful elbow at Swopshire's head and should have been ejected. UK claims Cousins can be seen taking a knee to the head prior to the elbow.

"[The officials] reviewed the play and assessed an intentional personal foul to Cousins," Adams said. "It was offset by an intentional personal four on a Louisville player and they had a taunting T on another Louisville player. That taunting T resulted in the two free throws that Cousins shot as he was designated by Kentucky to shoot free throws." Source

Sorry Timmy, it looks like you are letting your Kellogg Frosted Flake and ACC branded glasses get in the way.

Kentucky 2011 Recruit Gilchrist Suffers Knee Injury

Kentucky basketball recruit Michael Gilchrist, who is rated the top overall recruit in the 2011 class, suffered a knee injury in a game tonight. The extent of the injury is not know at this time.

Excerpt of article from

Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick junior wing Michael Gilchrist injured his right knee during Tuesday night’s 62-46 victory over Union and was taken to the emergency room.

Gilchrist took a pass and cut to the basket and then his knee collided with that of a defender, sources said.

“It looked like a knee-on-knee thing. Hopefully it wasn’t too serious,” a source said. “Hopefully it’s something muscular and nothing more serious.”

Complete Article

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Trevor Setty Scores 32 to Lead Pikeville College

Pikeville College 95
Virginia Intermont 47

Final from Pikeville College

Game recap by Pikeville:

Freshman Trevor Setty tossed in 32 points to lead No. 8 Pikeville College to an easy 95-47 win over Virginia Intermont College Monday night at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

Setty, a 6-8 freshman from Maysville, gained eligibility when the first semester ended after transferring from Georgetown College. Since entering, he has hit double figures in all three games, three wins for the Bears.

On this night, he was 13-of-15 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the arc. In addition to his points, he had eight rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot to lead the Bears to their fourth straight win.

He led four players in double figures, including senior Josh Samarco who came off the bench with 13 thanks to three three-point buckets. Led by Setty and Samarco, the Bears got 67 of their 95 points off the bench.

Starters Jonathan Clark, a senior from Charlotte, and junior Andre Thornton joined those two in double figures with 11 and 10, respectively. Clark also had six rebounds and five assists.

Setty’s rebounds led the Bears to a 43-28 advantage on the glass. The Bears also forced 25 turnovers thanks to 15 steals.

Virginia Intermont remained winless in 16 games, shooting only 32.1 percent overall aqnd 18.2 percent from the arc. They were led by sophomore Delonte McDaniel’s 17 points. Freshman point guard Tihlee Anderson followed with 12, all in the second half, and six rebounds to go with five steals.

Pikeville (11-1) will bounce back quickly, hosting Temple Baptist College on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. A high school game between district rivals Belfry and Phelps will precede the college action at 5:30.

Peeking Into the John Calipari Basketball Playbook

If you are a coach, or basically someone that loves the x's and o's of basketball, I recommend checking out Men's Basketball Hoop Scoop. The site is filled with plays, in-depth analysis and diagrams.

Today, they look at John Calipari's late-shotclock plays:

You should check out these notes from my friend: Zak Boisvert, Student Manager, Fordham University. He does a great job of taking notes. Click on the pdf link to download the basketball coaching notes.

Coach Boisvert is going to help provide a chalkboard of X's and O's through the basketball season. You will want to check out his stuff everyday.

Coach Peterman

John Wall Graces the Cover of Sports Illustrated

Kentucky basketball freshman superstar (after only 15 games) John Wall flies to the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.

NBA Loves John Wall; Best of the Decade?

NBA people already love John Wall

Is it any wonder scouts, fans and NBA bloggers are all freaking out about Wall's imminent arrival in the NBA? After all, we college hoops folks only get him for four more months; after that, he becomes the exclusive province of NBA fans for the next, oh, 15 years. And good for them. The big jerks. Let's hope they enjoy him. Because he is really, really good.

But how good? Is Wall the next Derrick Rose? The next Tyreke Evans -- who college fans will be surprised to learn is quite possibly the NBA's best rookie in 2009-10? (Evans was uber-talented in college, but he always looked a little lost in a way that Rose didn't. And he took too many bad outside shots.) Or is Wall -- gasp -- better than both?

John Wall: Already Among Decade's Elite?

The recent poll, “Who is the player of the decade?” certainly sparks an interesting debate. As an avid college basketball fan, I have seen all of the great ones of the past ten years – from the four-year legacies of Redick and Hansbrough, to the one-and-done flashes of Anthony and Durant. While a claim could be staked for many of the household names, I believe that the best player to play college basketball in this decade may have just come onto the radar screen.

I am always skeptical when I get word of the “next great player in college basketball.” This year was certainly no exception, as 6’4” freshman point guard John Wall was anointed just that before even setting foot on Kentucky’s campus. I saw Wall play for the first time last week as his Wildcats took on lowly Hartford at Rupp Arena. I wanted to see if reality could even come close to the colossal hype surrounding the player who is the unanimous choice to be the top pick in next year’s NBA draft. While Wall scored a season-low 9 points, he left me with the feeling that he might not just be the next great player in college basketball – he might just end up being the best player to play college basketball in this decade.

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