Saturday, February 13, 2010

Brandon Knight Leads Pine Crest to District Championship

Kentucky 2010 recruit Brandon Knight scored 35 points to lead Pine Crest (Fl.) to a district championship.

Here is an excerpt of an article from

The 6-foot-4, senior guard scored 16 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter to give host Pine Crest a 72-67 victory over American Heritage-Plantation in the District 14-3A championship on Saturday night. Pine Crest will host Clewiston in regional quarterfinal on Thursday.

"I don't like being in tight positions," said Knight, who also had 10 rebounds, and six steals. "I like to be in control of the game and in control of the situation so I needed to step up and give my team some type of cushion so we could finish the game strong."

Knight opened the fourth quarter with three consecutive, long-range 3-point field goals as the Panthers (21-4) surged ahead 61-52 lead. The Patriots could get no closer than five points the rest of the way. Knight finished with six, 3-point field goals as Pine Crest won its fourth consecutive district title.

Complete Article

John Calipari Will Speak at Pigskin Roundball Spectacular

Excerpt of article from

University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari will be one of the keynote speakers at the 21st annual Pigskin Roundball Spectacular, event committee members announced Saturday morning, Feb. 13.

Calipari is in his first season with the Wildcats, and has them ranked third in the country with a 22-1 record.

“We couldn’t get anybody better,” said Mark Kerns, event founder and chairman.

Complete Article

Morehead State Rebounds for Easy Win at SEMO

Morehead State 73
Southeast Missouri 54

Final from Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Game recap by Morehead State:

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Morehead State men’s basketball opened its game at Southeast Missouri on Saturday on a 16-0 run and never relinquished the lead in winning 73-54 over the host Redhawks.

The Eagles improved to 18-8 overall and 12-3 in the OVC, opening up a two-game lead over Eastern Kentucky in second place in the Ohio Valley Conference race. SEMO fell to 7-19 and 3-12 in the league.

Kenneth Faried registered his 19th double-double of the year with 15 points and a team high 12 rebounds. Maze Stallworth was 6-for-8 from three-point range for the second consecutive game, scoring a team high 23 points. Demonte Harper had 11 points for his 21st game in double figures. He was 9-of-12 from the charity stripe.

The Eagles shot 11-of-20 from three-point range and out-rebounded the Redhawks 34-24. MSU also shot 65 percent (11-of-17) from the field in the final half when the Eagles outscored the Redhawks 36-28. SEMO shot only 32 percent in the final half. For the game, MSU was 16-of-24 at the free throw line.

Cameron Butler led SEMO with 12 points, while Anthony Allison had 11.

“Southeast Missouri has been playing better, but I thought our team responded from a tough loss tonight. I thought we guarded a little better tonight and we drove the ball to basket well and got to the foul line,” said head coach Donnie Tyndall.

“Demonte was really good off the dribble tonight, and I thought we got some quality minutes from guys like Ty Proffitt and Sam Goodman.”

The Eagles opened the game on the 16-0 run in the first five minutes as a trio of three pointers, along with a stifling full-court defense, hampered SEMO’s offensive effort. Stallworth, Peterson and Brandon Shingles all drilled treys. Cameron Butler’s two free throws at the 15:27 mark were SEMO’s first points, and MSU held the Redhawks to just one field goal in the first six minutes.

“We built a big lead, and I think we thought it was going to be easy so we start to coast. We kept telling them don’t let up.”

The Redhawks finally cut the game under double digits on a Marland Smith three-pointer at the 12:50 mark to make it an 18-9 ballgame.

Stallworth got the hot hand from behind the arc late in the half, hitting a pair of triples as the Eagles led 37-26 at the break. He had 15 points by the half.

Both teams shot well in the opening 20 minutes as the Eagles hit 50 percent (12-of-24), including 7-for-12 from distance. SEMO hit 45 percent (9-of-20) of their attempts from the floor. Turnovers were an issue, however, as the Eagles committed 12 and the Redhawks gave the ball away 14 times. The Eagles scored 20 of their 37 points off SEMO mistakes, while the Redhawks put in 12 points off the Eagles’ floor miscues.

The Eagles built a 44-29 advantage early in the second half, hitting their first three field goals. The margin climbed to 50-34 after a Faried pair of free throws and sat at 59-44 with 7:36 left via a Faried jumper in the lane. Ty Proffitt then landed a three-pointer at the 6:15 mark to give his team a 62-45 lead, and Stallworth nailed his sixth trey 30 seconds later for the Eagles’ largest lead (65-45).

The Eagles turned the ball over 19 times and forced 16 total turnovers for SEMO. Faried scored 11 of his points in the second half as the Eagles had trouble getting the ball in the paint in the first half.

“I thought of our 12 turnovers in the first half, about half of them were when we were trying to get Kenneth the ball. The second half we did a much better job,” said Tyndall.

The Eagles host Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 78 p.m. at Johnson Arena.

No. 4 Indiana Southeast Overwhelms Asbury College

(4) Indiana Southeast 101
Asbury College 67

Final from Wilmore, Kentucky

Game recap by Asbury College:

Wilmore, Ky. – Asbury was no match for the No. 4 ranked Indiana Southeast Grenadiers, as IUS dominated the game 101-67. Asbury was unable to really do much of anything offensively and had trouble against Southeast’s full court press.

Asbury (14-14, 6-5 KIAC) only shot 36% and was out-rebounded 64-40 as Indiana Southeast (21-3, 10-0) keeps their perfect mark against NAIA DII competition. IUS had five players score in double figures led by Rick Bodiford’s game-high 25. Cory Britt (Cynthiana, Ky.) led the Eagles with 17 points and seven rebounds. Phillip Morrison and Jamal Morris were also in double figures with 14 and 11.

The Eagles went into halftime down 55-29 but were able to hang with IUS for a better portion of the first half. Both teams struggled from the start with the score tied at 10-10 with 10 minutes left in the half. There were five lead changes and three ties up to that point. IUS would score 45 points in the last 10 minutes of the half to take a commanding 26 point lead into the break.

Asbury will host Berea on Tuesday February 16th at 8:00 pm for Senior Day. Asbury is currently one game behind Berea for third place in the KIAC with two games remaining. The Eagles will close the season at Cincinnati Christian on Friday February 19th while Berea must still play IUS again.

The John Wall Dance Finds Its Way to the ESPN Crew

Photo posted on Twitter by Kentucky head coach John Calipari

Let's Play My Headband is Better Than Your Headband

There will be a battle of the headbands tonight at Rupp Arena as (2) Kentucky hosts (12) Tennessee.

The primary headband battle will be on the post where Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins will battle Tennessee's Wayne Chism.

I stated a week ago that I think DeMarcus Cousins is the best big man in the Southeastern Conference. I think the true battle for best big man will be Cousins against Mississippi State's Jarvis Varnado, but Chism is a valid SEC post player. Tonight will be Cousins' first attempt for a matchup with Chism.

The numbers:

DeMarcus Cousins: 21.7 MIN 16.4 PTS 10.1 REB 0.9 AST 1.8 BLK 0.9 STL 1.8 TO

Wayne Chism: 25.2 MIN 13.1 PTS 7.0 REB 1.0 AST 1.5 BLK 1.3 STL 1.7 TO

Other numbers to consider:

- 3PT Shooting: Chism (21-59) vs. Cousins (1-5)
- FT Shooting: Cousins (110-168) vs. (65-83)

Headband analysis:

- Chism opts to go with the non-traditional pulled back headband
- Cousins wears the regular headband around the forehead

Who you taking?

Transylvania Men Upset No. 13 Anderson

Transylvania 76
(13) Anderson 72

Final from Anderson, Indiana

Game recap by Transylvania:

ANDERSON, Ind. - Tim Tierney had 20 points to lead five Transylvania players in double figures Saturday and helping the Pioneers knock off No. 13 Anderson 76-72 in men's Heartland Conference basketball action.

Transy is 14-10 overall, 10-5 HCAC, while the HCAC-leading Ravens are 20-3, 12-2. Anderson came into the contest needing a win or a loss by Hanover to clinch the HCAC regular season championship and the right to host the league tournament. Instead, the Pioneers handed the Ravens just their second loss in conference play.

The teams were tied at 38-38 at halftime and Transy built a lead of as many as 13 points midway through the second half. Anderson led only once in the second half, but the Ravens tied the contest at 70-70 with 1:15 to go.

Two free throws by Tierney with 12 seconds to play made it 74-72 and after Anderson's Brock Morrison misfired from close range, Blake McCowan clinched it with two free throws with two seconds to play.

Transy, which shot 47 percent from the field for the game, got 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists from Chris Owens and 13 points from Brandon Rash. McCowan finished with 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists while Barrett Meyer also pitched in a dozen.

Those five scored 72 of Transy's 76 points.

Anderson shot 45 percent for the game, but just 37 percent (7 of 19) in the final 20 minutes. Morrison led the Ravens with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and assists. Gabe Miller added 15 points.

Transy had 27 field goals to 18 for Anderson, but the home team hit 27 of 29 from the free throw line compared to 12 of 13 for the Pioneers.

Transy completes regular season play next Saturday, hosting Manchester at 4 p.m. at the Beck Center. Seniors Tim Tierney, Matthew Parton, and Blake McCowan will be honored prior to tip-off and the game will be televised live on a regional basis by WKYT-TV, Channel 27 in Lexington.

No. 8 Campbellsville Rolls Over Rio Grande

(8) Campbellsville 77
Rio Grande 57

Final from Rio Grande, Ohio

Game recap by Campbellsville:

RIO GRANDE, Ohio -- In a league where coaches are happy with their next one-game winning streak, eighth-ranked Campbellsville University has put together an improbable four-game streak against some of the league's best to hold down first place in the Mid-South Conference with an 8-2 (20-6) record.

The latest victim is the University of Rio Grande which the Tigers dispatched 77-57 Saturday evening in Ohio. It was the seventh win in the Tigers' last eight games, a 56-53 blemish to St. Catharine being the only loss in the Tigers' last five conference games.

But the Tigers had to overcome a slow start and rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit to lead 32-22 at intermission. JaVaughn Espritt came off the bench to spark the comeback, scoring seven points and pulling down double-digit rebounds (10) in seven minutes of action.

"Give our guys credit," said coach Keith Adkins, "We overcame a slow start. It was a good effort for us after the emotional win at Pikeville."

After another slow beginning at the start of the second half, the Tigers were able to hold off a couple of Rio advances. CU built an 11-point lead only to see it dwindle to seven with 15:25 left in the game. T.J. Bishop hit a 3, Espritt a layup, and Jordan Benock two free throws, a 3 and a dunk. By the time Nestor Colmenares hit a layup the Tigers were up 56-34. During that four-minute span, CU outscored Rio, 20-4.

Campbellsville shot 52 percent from the field as opposed to 36.5 for Rio (5-12, 0-10). The Tigers hit 5-of-9 free throws.

Colmenares led one other Campbellsville player into double figures with 20. Benock scored all of his 12 points in the second half. The Tigers were dead on from behind the arc, hitting at a 47 percent clip (10-of-21). The Tigers dominated the boards 44-22.

The win was the 190th for Adkins and gives him a 190-130 mark, 56-29 MSC. The win also gave Adkins his fifth 20-win season, and fourth in the past five seasons.

Campbellsville returns home for a Thursday matchup with Lindsey Wilson before hitting the road again Saturday for a 4 p.m. matchup at St. Catharine.

Young Cats Ask: Who is Bernard King?

Legendary Tennessee great Bernard King provided an inspirational talk to the current team earlier this week leading into tonight's game against Kentucky.

King said to the Volunteers, "Listen up, guys, we don't lose to Kentucky. You hear me? We're not losing to Kentucky. I'll be there with you. We'll do what we have to do, because we're not losing."

When the Kentucky Wildcats heard of King's words, they had a pretty simple question according to head coach John Calipari:

"They asked, who is Bernard King? What number is Bernard King?" Calipari said on Friday. " 'I'm guarding him.' "

Kentucky Recruit Jones Explodes for 42 Points

Kentucky 2010 recruit Terrence Jones dropped what is thought to be a school record 42 points on Marshall (Or.) High School last night.

Jones, who was named a McDonald's All-American on Thursday, was on fire throughout as top-ranked Jefferson (Or.) defeated the state's sixth-ranked team by a score of 108-81.

Jones will announce a decision after the season and his list includes Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, UCLA and Oklahoma.

Pat Forde is Looking Forward to Calipari vs. Pearl

ESPN's Pat Forde writes that he is looking forward to Five Things on Saturday.

One of the things on his list: How does it go when Bruce Pearl and John Calipari reacquaint, this time as league rivals?

Forde writes:

The two had some bitter battles when Calipari was at Memphis, both on the court and in recruiting. Now that Cal has moved north to Kentucky and added clout, how will Pearl and his Tennessee Volunteers respond today in Rupp Arena? Tennessee was smoked twice last year by a dreadful UK team; this one is clearly much better.

Kentucky Raises the Bar for ESPN GameDay

Today's ESPN GameDay at Rupp Arena was an atmosphere that has never been witnessed by the ESPN crew.

Jay Bilas said, “This is a scene unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”

Even North Carolina alum Hubert Davis had to admit, "I went to North Carolina. Nobody does it like Kentucky."

UK posted a message on Twitter that the official attendance was 22,144, which is triple the previous record:

UKAthleticsNews: Attendance for ESPN College GameDay at Rupp was 22,144 fans, triple Prev record

Video feature on the John Wall Dance from ESPN:

Brescia Basketball to Host "Think Pink" Weekend

I talked to Brescia men's basketball head coach Joe Pechota last night and he was excited about this weekend's Think Pink event.

Coach Pechota said he will unveil his pink shirt and pink tie for today's home game against St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

Brescia men's and women's basketball teams combine efforts to host the Think Pink weekend, which is a tool to raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer. The event, which is officially titled "The Power of Pink", is in conjunction with Owensboro's American Cancer Society. The money raised will be given to the national Coaches vs. Cancer Foundation.

"I think the biggest thing we want to do is make an impact in our great community of Owensboro and help a great organization," Pechota stated. "I think that nearly everyone, including me personally, has been affected by cancer. Anything we can do to help those that are fighting this terrible disease or to help find a cure is huge."

A men's basketball team sporting pink?

The coach explained, "I told our guys there are two colors you can wear if you want to be tough: black and pink. Pink is synonymous with the fight against cancer. To see the event at Illinois [the Illini hosted a Think Pink event recently] was just great. College basketball as a whole has done a good job supporting the fight against cancer."

Brescia (18-9, 7-3 KIAC) is having a nice season and currently sit in second place in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. While SLCOP (1-19, 0-5 KIAC) is having a down season, Pechota knows that it is still another league game.

"We view SLCOP as another KIAC battle," he said. "I tell the team that every game in February is big. I talked to the guys today about two things: on the floor leadership and toughness. Hopefully, we can keep playing well through February and into March."

St. Louis College of Pharmacy vs. Brescia University

Women's game: 2:00 p.m. (EST)
Men's game: 4:00 p.m. (EST)
Location: Owensboro, Kentucky

Kentucky to Unveil New Nike Uniforms Saturday

The Kentucky Wildcats will debut new uniforms Saturday when they face Tennessee.

The new uniforms from Nike will use a technology that was developed for the Beijing Olympics. The Nike Hyperlite uniforms, which will debut at eight universities, use a technology that draws heat away from the body.


Friday, February 12, 2010

North Carolina State Has a Good Chance at C.J. Leslie

Jerry Meyer of thinks that North Carolina State has "more than a decent chance" of landing prized 2010 recruit C.J. Leslie.

Here is an excerpt from "Meyer's Mailbag":

North Carolina State has more than a decent shot at landing Leslie. A number of schools are pursuing the five-star forward. Leslie recently visited Kentucky, but there are some significant factors that bode well for North Carolina State.

First, Leslie is from Raleigh, N.C., and has spent a lot of time around the N.C. State program. Secondly, he is good friends with North Carolina State signee Ryan Harrow. Thirdly, he plays for Harrow's brother-in-law, Erasto Hatchett, at Word of God Christian Academy.

Complete Article

Video: John Calipari Talks to ESPN's Andy Katz

John Calipari Continues to Change Lives

Kentucky head coach John Calipari recently dropped everything to visit a gravely ill teenager in Indiana. The young man, Kevin Massey, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and the UK coach visited to help cheer him up.

Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion of John Calipari, but it is impossible to not appreciate what he has done for this young man and his family.

I would like to ask all readers to add Kevin Massey to your local prayer lists and to your personal prayers.

Here is an excerpt of an article about Calipari's visit from

Schilling made the call. James says Calipari was happy to fulfill the request, even promised to fly to Indianapolis and surprise Kevin, hand-delivering the items.

Cal made good on his word. According to one family member, both player and coach were moved to tears when the two met for the first time. Kevin, lying in his hospital bed, cried as the Kentucky coach entered his room. Calipari, touched by the kid's love for the Cats and his dire situation, led the family in prayer at Kevin's bedside.

"The family was pretty overwhelmed," James said via phone. "It was an unbelievable experience for that family."

Calipari brought with him the game ball from UK's win over Alabama. It was covered in autographs from Wildcat players. When coach Cal left, Kevin never let the ball out of his sight.

Complete Article (Must read article)

NBA's Courtney Lee Makes Surprise Visit to WKU Game

Former Western Kentucky star Courtney Lee made a surprise visit to E.A. Diddle Arena last night to watch the Hilltoppers victory over Arkansas State.

Excerpt of article from

Courtney Lee, who currently plays for the New Jersey Nets, made a surprise appearance at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green to watch his former college team knock off Arkansas State.

Mid-Continent Loses Road Battle at Martin Methodist

Martin Methodist 90
Mid-Continent 81

Final from Pulaski, Tennessee

Excerpt of game recap by Mid-Continent:

Pulaski, TN - Sixth-place Martin Methodist College (16-8, 4-6 TSAC) trailed by 16 points in the first half against fourth-place Mid-Continent University (13-11, 6-4 TSAC) but sliced the deficit to two points by halftime and outscored MCU, 55-44, in the second half and pulled away to a 90-81 TranSouth men's basketball victory, Thursday, Feb. 11, in Pulaski, Tennessee. Martin Methodist ended the Cougars' three-game conference winning streak.

The RedHawks and Cougars were tied six times and exchanged the lead 13 times in the second half. The teams were tied at 78-78 with 2:28 left, but the hosts outscored MCU, 12-3, the rest of the way, making all seven of its free throws. For its next action, MCU meets Bethel University for a TranSouth game, Monday, Feb. 15, in McKenzie, Tennessee, at 8:00 p.m.

Senior reserve guard David Gratton (Jacksonville, FL/Sandalwood HS/Palm Beach CC, FL), pictured on the right, finished with 19 points, 4 three-point field goals and 7 of 8 free throws, including 11 points and 3 three-pointers in the first half, and added 5 rebounds and 5 steals. Senior guard Joshua Woodley (Lake Worth, FL/Santaluces HS/Palm Beach CC, FL) added 12 points on 4 three-pointers and stole the ball 3 times. Senior point guard Aaron Pearson (Baton Rouge, LA/Southern Laboratory HS/Cabrillo HS, CA), the TSAC steals leader, finished with 12 points, 2 three-pointers, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and one steal, and senior All-TSAC center Kenny Thomas (Orange, NJ/Orange HS/Essex CC, NJ) contributed 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Senior guard Tiron Peoples (Kevil, KY/Heath HS) came off the bench to score 7 points and grab 4 rebounds, and senior forward Keiran Nunley (Kent, WA/Kent HS/Riverside CC, CA) had 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.

Martin Methodist's All-TSAC guard Aubre Bodison led all scorers with 25 points, making 3 three-pointers, and also had 7 rebounds and 4 assists, and All-TSAC forward Will Shackleford totaled 13 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Reserve guards Jermaine Jackson and Chris Goodwin provided considerable second-half spark, totaling 30 points in the second half. Jackson scored 13 of his 14 points while MMC made its comeback, and Goodwin scored all 17 of his points and 5 three-pointers in the second half. Jamal Naylor came off the bench for 9 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Complete Recap

Ex-Cat Sean Sutton Struggling With Addiction; Arrested in Oklahoma

Former Kentucky Wildcat player and Oklahoma State coach has been arrested based on complaints of attempting to possess controlled dangerous substances.

Sutton has admitted to officials that he is addicted to painkillers and that he was ordering medications to support his addiction.

He will likely be facing several charges as a result of the arrest.

Here is an excerpt of an article from

"He confessed and said he was ordering medications to support his addiction. We interviewed him throughout the evening, and then late last night transported him to the Stillwater jail and he was booked for attempting to possess (controlled dangerous substances) and use of a communications device to facilitate a felony."

My Thoughts: My heart really goes out to Sutton and I hope readers will extend a prayer to the Sutton family. I have witnessed the devastation of addiction firsthand in close friends and family members and it is a very serious struggle. I wish Sean Sutton the best and I pray that he can find the help necessary to break his addiction.

UK Recruit Josh Selby Will Visit Kansas This Weekend

Josh Selby, a 2010 point guard that is being recruited by Kentucky, will take a second visit to Kansas this weekend.

Selby, who first visited Lawrence in October, will be in attendance at Allen Fieldhouse when the Jayhawks host Iowa State.

The 6-2 point guard ranks #4 overall on the Rivals150 List for 2010. ESPN ranks him #7 on the ESPNU 100.

In addition to the Jayhawks and Wildcats, his list includes Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana and Syracuse.


My Thoughts: The general consensus is that if Kentucky lands Brandon Knight, the #1 overall player in the 2010 Class, then Selby will end up at UConn or Kansas. If Kentucky fails to land Knight, then Selby could find his way to Lexington. I have not talked to anyone that believes John Calipari can land both high-profile points guards as he did with John Wall and Eric Bledsoe in 2009.

Brescia Outguns Cincinnati Christian

Brescia University 102
Cincinnati Christian 93

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky

Game recap by Brescia:

Anthony Ingram scored 34 points and Andrew Howard added 29 as hot-shooting Brescia outgunned Cincinnati Christian 102-93 in a men's college basketball game Thursday night at the BU Campus Center.

The Bearcats (18-9) sizzled from the floor in the second half, making 23-of-33 shots for 70 percent. For the game, Brescia shot 62 percent and was 31-of-44 from the foul stripe (71 percent). Brescia controlled the glass outrebounding Cincinnati Christian 37-21.

Aaron Tandy scored 14 points for Brescia on a perfect night from the floor, 5-5 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line. Freshman Andre Sharp added 10 points for the Bearcats.

Brescia hosts St. Louis College of Pharmacy at 3 p.m. Saturday in the second half of a women/men doubleheader. The Lady Bearcats tip off at 1 p.m. This will be Brescia's Coaches vs. Cancer game, and fans are encouraged to wear pink.

Kentucky Represented Well on ABA All-Decade Teams

The ABA has announced its All-Decade teams and players and the state of Kentucky is well-represented.

The teams include Antwain Barbour and Anthony Epps, two former Kentucky Wildcats.

Kentucky native Kevin Keathley and current Kentucky Bisons head coach Otis Key were both honored as All-Decade coaches.

Some of the other names that stand out include former NBA rebounding machine Dennis Rodman, Rupp Arena net-torcher Joseph Crispin and former NBA'er Tim Hardaway.

ABA ALL-Decade Teams First/Second team Selections:

First Team Coaches:

Steve Tucker: Texas Tycoons, Jacksonville Jam, SE Texas Mavericks--- (2004-Currently) Tucker is the Dean of ABA coaches, having coached in the league since the 2004 season. He has taken three different teams to the playoffs and is the reigning coach of the year. Tucker is the All-Time wins leader in the ABA. Coach Steve Tucker has been named an All-Star coach on multiple occassions.

Kevin Pritchard: Kansas City Knights---(2003-2004) Pritchard went on to work with the Portland Trailblazers of the NBA and moved to President of the team.

Will Voigt: Vermont---(2006-2008) Will won back-to-back ABA championships with Vermont. After a succesful three year stint, Coach Voigt accepted the Head Coaching position with the Backersfield Jam of the NBA D League. He currently coaches the Jam. He is second to only Steve Tucker in all-time wins in the ABA.

Second Team Coaches:

Kevin Keathley: Kentucky Colonels, SE Texas Mavericks: (2004-2005) (2008 ABA -CBA Challenge) The youngest of the coaches named. Keathley was named one of the 2005 ABA Coaches of the year as he guided the Colonels to 23-12 record overall & set several ABA scoring records at the time. He also signed future NBA player Jamario Moon. Keathley would go on to be a head coach in the CBA where he would go 10-0 in the CBA-ABA interleague challenge in 2008.

Greg Graham: Indiana Alley Cats: (2005-2006) Graham led the Alley Cats to one of the best records in ABA history & for his efforts he was named one of the Head Coaches for the 2006 ABA All-star game. Greg also signed future minor league superstar Shaun Fountain.

Otis Key: Kentucky Bisons: (2008-Currently) Otis played a big role in the Bisons remarkable season in 2008-2009. The Bisons began the year having to overcome off the floor changes & he helped mold a team that would go on to win the 2009 ABA championship. Key continues to coach the Bisons as they look to make a run at back- to- back ABA titles. Otis is a former member of the famed Harlem Globetrotters.

Andy Stoglin: Mississippi Hardhats: (2004-2005) Stoglin a veteran college coach would lead Miss. to one of the best overall records in the 2004-2005 season & a final four appearance in the playoffs. Known for his swarming defense, Andy would later go on to be named head coach of the Arkansas Rimrockers of the NBA D League in 2006. Stoglin was also an assistant coach on some very dominate University of Arkansas teams of the early to mid 90's.

ABA All-Decade Team (named by the league):

First team Selections Players:

Joseph Crispin-- Kansas City Knights
Kareem Reid-- Arkansas RimRockers
Daryan Selvy-- Arkansas Aeros
Tim Ellis-- Bellevue Blackhawks
Clay Tucker-- Utah Snowbears
Yue Sun-- Beijing Aoshen Olympian
Antwain Barbour-- Kentucky Colonels
DeRon Rutledge-- SETX Mavericks (MVP 08-09)
Dennis Rodman-- Long Beach Jam (NBA)
Boris Siakam-- Kentucky Bisons (MVP 08-09)
Jamario Moon-- Kentucky Colonels (NBA)
Cedric McGinnis-- Atlanta Vision
George Leach-- Carolina Thunder (NBA)
Derrick Dial-- Long Beach Jam (NBA)

Second Team Selections Players:

Harold Arceneaux-- Utah Snowbears
Dontae Jones-- Nashville Rythmn
Brian Jackson: Arkansas Rimrockers
Daryl (Magic) Dorsey: Las Vegas Rattlers
Caleb Gervin: Bellingham Slam
Lamar Castille: San Jose Skyrockets
Shaun Fountain: Indiana Alley Cats
Aaron Cook: Vermont
Johnny Tyson: Texas Tycoons
Anthony Epps: Kentucky Colonels
Tim Pledger: St. Louis
Tim Hardaway: Florida Pit Bulls
Armon Gilliam-- Pittsburgh Xplosion
Sam Mack-- Chicago Soldiers
Anthony Anderson-- Manchester Millrats

Campbellsville Defeats Pikeville; Takes Control of MSC

(8) Campbellsville 74
(13) Pikeville 58

Final from Pikeville, Kentucky

Game recap by Campbellsville University:

PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- Eighth-ranked Campbellsville University took sole possession the Mid-South Conference's top spot Thursday with its third conference road victory of the season, 74-58, over No. 13 Pikeville College.

Following the win, CU head coach Keith Adkins' main message to his players was enjoy it, but forget about it. "We're in sole possession. Let's not give it back," Adkins said he told the team. "Great game. Be proud of what you just did. Be proud of your teammates, but let's let it go. We can't be content and be satisfied for what we just did."

What the Tigers did was hold a Top 15 Pikeville team to less than 60 points for the second time this season. It's the 17th time this year CU has held a team below 65 - all but two of those games were wins.

Pikeville led the Tigers only twice Thursday - the opening basket of the game and a three-minute stretch early in the game. Around the 10 minute mark, Shawn Savage hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game and give CU an, 18-15, lead. From there, the Bears never really threatened the Tigers again.

"We knew this would not be easy coming in here, but we kind of made it look easy. We distanced ourselves in the first half and never looked back," Adkins said. "I think this team has got something special as long as we don't take anything for granted moving forward."

Five CU players found their perimeter shot in the first half to accompany 10 points from pre-season All-American Nestor Colmenares. The Tigers' 35-25 halftime lead became 20 points, 60-40, with 7:40 to play, as Shawn Savage connected on his fifth and final 3-pointer of the night to finish with 15 points.

Colmenares led CU with 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals, while senior point guard T.J. Bishop kept his conference average of 14 points per game alive. He finished with four 3's and 16 points, followed by 10 points for Caleb Harris.

Maurice Thomas was the only Pikeville player to reach double-figures, as he led all scorers with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Defensively, CU held Pikeville to 3-of-13 from beyond the arc and 40 percent shooting in the game, as the Bears were held to their second fewest points of the season. Campbellsville forced 19 turnovers, resulting in 21 points, while the Bears scored on only three of the Tigers' 10 turnovers.

"I think we do one thing as well or better than any other team in the country at our level, and that is compete defensively," Adkins said. "We try to keep you from making shots, keep you off the foul line and limit you to one shot … We want to be the best team in the country to defend the 3-point line. If we do all of that, I don't think people can score enough 2-point baskets against us."

CU is currently second in the nation in 3-point defense, holding teams to 27 percent beyond the arc. The Tigers are also sixth in scoring defense, holding their opponents to an average of 61.8 points per game.

The loss drops Pikeville (19-5, 6-3 MSC) into a tie with Georgetown College (18-6, 6-3) for second place in the conference. University of the Cumberlands (17-7, 5-4) and St. Catharine (17-8, 5-4) are two games out of first place.

Campbellsville (19-6, 7-2 MSC) travels to the University of Rio Grande for a 4 p.m. tip Saturday. Rio was just shy of knocking off Lindsey Wilson College on the road Thursday.

"They're scary." Adkins said. "(Their guard) P.J. Rase can shoot it from anywhere on the floor. I mean anywhere. I know people hear that all the time, but when he crosses mid-court you better be ready to defend."

Pikeville will travel to St. Catharine on Saturday.

Murray State Pounds Tennessee Tech; Now 14-0 in OVC

Murray State 94
Tennessee Tech 62

Final from Cookeville, Tennessee

Game recap by Murray State:

The Murray State Racers moved their winning streak to 14 Thursday with a 94-62 victory against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at the Eblen Center in Cookeville, Tenn.

The Racers, 23-3 overall and 14-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference, have also won 21 consecutive conference regular season games and seven straight away from home.

With MSU leading by 11 at halftime, Tech made a run and cut MSU's lead to nine at 46-37 with 16:04 remaining.

The Racers hit the gas pedal and saw B.J. Jenkins score nine straight points, including a three-pointer for a 15-point lead. By the time MSU was finished with its outburst, they had a 61-41 lead with 12:30 left.

Jenkins led 11 Racers in the scoring column with a career-high 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

Tony Easley scored 11 points, while MSU had 10 from Isacc Miles and a career-high for Ed Daniels with 10.

The Racers won the battle of the boards 32-25 and played the second half with only two turnovers.

With the upset by Eastern Illinois over Morehead State Thursday night, Murray State can now clinch a tie for the OVC regular season title Saturday when they play at Jacksonville State in a 4:30 p.m. game at Mathews Coliseum in Jacksonville, Ala.

Eastern Kentucky Survives Close Call at SEMO

Eastern Kentucky 59
SE Missouri 56

Final from Cape Girardeau, Missouri:

Game recap by EKU:

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team led from start to finish in a 59-56 road win at Southeast Missouri Thursday night in the Show Me Center. With the win, the Colonels (18-8, 10-4) reached double-figure Ohio Valley Conference victories for the sixth straight year.

Senior Josh Taylor paced EKU with 18 points. Junior Justin Stommes added 14 points, 12 of which came in the first half. Meanwhile, freshman Willie Cruz led the Colonels in rebounding with a personal-high seven boards.

Southeast Missouri’s Anthony Allison recorded 16 of his game-high 20 points in the second half. The Redhawks (7-18, 3-11) have now lost six consecutive OVC games.

Eastern Kentucky jumped on top of SEMO early, as four different Colonels tallied a bucket on the way to an 8-0 lead. Stommes’ only three-pointer of the night put EKU ahead, 21-10. Late in the first half, Stommes converted a three-point play to push the Colonel lead to 15 points, 34-19.
The visiting Colonels shot 50 percent (15-of-30) from the floor in the first 20 minutes of action to take a 36-23 cushion into intermission.

Back-to-back three-pointers from junior Josh Daniel and Taylor gave Eastern its largest lead of the contest, 48-29. However, the Colonels would score just 11 points in the final 14 minutes of play allowing Southeast Missouri to hang around.

A pair of three-pointers from Allison along with another trifecta from Derek Thompson helped SEMO close the gap to seven points with five minutes left, 56-49. Two Allison free throws with 1:50 remaining brought the Redhawks to within two points, 56-54. SEMO had a chance to take the lead on its next possession, but Thompson missed a long-range three-point attempt.

Taylor finally ended Eastern Kentucky’s cold spell with a running lay-up with 19 seconds left to put EKU back up by four points, 58-54. The Colonels twice missed chances to ice the game down the stretch on the free throw line, but Southeast Missouri couldn’t net either of its two looks from three-point land allowing EKU to earn the season sweep.

In the final eight minutes of the second half, the Colonels were 2-of-9 (22.2 percent) from the field and 1-of-7 (14.3 percent) from the free throw line.

Eastern Kentucky continues its road swing Saturday, Feb. 13 at Eastern Illinois. Game time is set for 7 p.m. ET.

The Pros and Cons of Tennessee vs. Kentucky

Bellarmine Defeats Rival Northern Kentucky in OT

Bellarmine 85
Northern Kentucky 77

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by Bellarmine:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Bellarmine University’s Braydon Hobbs scored a career high 27 points to help lead his Knights team to an 85-77 overtime victory over Northern Kentucky tonight in a Great Lakes Valley Conference men’s basketball game in Knights Hall.

The game was well played and close throughout, with neither team holding a double digit lead until Bellarmine surged ahead 83-73 in the last stages of the game after the Norse were forced to foul to stop the clock. Both teams shot the ball very well as the Knights hit 27 of 46 from the field for 58.7 percent, and the Norse connected on 28 of 55 for 50.9 percent.

“That was a great college basketball game tonight,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. “And that was one courageous team wearing those Bellarmine uniforms tonight,” he added, commenting on the heart the Bellarmine players showed by playing through injuries and other adversity.

The game opened with NKU taking a slim lead and holding the lead until the last play of the first half when Bellarmine’s Luke Sprague drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to knot the score at 29 at the break.

A short jumper by Hobbs gave Bellarmine its first lead shortly after play resumed in the second half, and the two GLVC foes battled back and forth the rest of the game. Both teams held brief five-point leads in the second stanza that featured six ties and six lead changes.

The overtime period was created when NKU’s David Palmer connected on 3-pointer with just seven seconds remaining in regulation and Bellarmine’s Chris Dowe misfired on his last second attempt.

In the extra period, Bellarmine gained first possession and took full advantage as Dowe canned a 3-pointer after the Norse defense didn’t contest the shot. The Knights never surrendered the lead as Bellarmine connected on 10 of 12 free throws in the overtime period to help keep the Norse at bay.

Hobbs was the clear leader for the Knights as last years’ GLVC Freshman of the Year connected on eight of 12 shots and 10 of 13 free throws to total 27 points. The New Albany native also dished out seven assists on the night. Bellarmine also got double digit scoring from Sprague (16), Benedetti (15), Jeremy Kendle (14) and Dowe (10).

For the Norse, it was Palmer--the reigning GLVC Player of the Week—who led the way with 26 points on nine of 10 shooting including three of three from beyond the arc.

The Knights improve to 17-7, 10-5 (GLVC) while Northern falls to 13-11, 6-9.

Bellarmine gets a rare Saturday off before traveling to Indianapolis to take on the Greyhounds on Monday, Feb. 15. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The Knights close out the regular season with home games on Thursday against No. 8 Kentucky Wesleyan and on Saturday against No. 2 Southern Indiana.

C.J. Leslie Says: I'm Going With Kentucky

C.J. Leslie, a talented forward in the 2010 recruiting class, writes in his online diary that he picks Kentucky:

I watch a lot of college basketball, and I want to go ahead and give my picks for the Final Four. I’m saying Kentucky, Texas, Kansas and Michigan State. You know the Spartans always find their way to the Final Four somehow. And you already know who I’m picking to win it all: My homeboy John at Kentucky! He better win it. I mean, think about it: They’ve got a great team with great freshmen who don’t play like freshmen. Plus Calipari is a great coach! I definitely think that Kentucky will be cutting the nets down for sure!

He also returns some love to the Kentucky fans:

I definitely think that Kentucky has the wildest fans. They were doing different chants for me like “C.J. – UK” and “C.J. Les-lie!” It’s pretty cool to hear that. They show a lot of love and they are on top of things. They’re recruiting just like the coaches are.

Complete Article from

Eagles Lose on Heartbreaking "Chris Webber" Moment

Eastern Illinois 76
Morehead State 75

Final from Charleston, Illinois heartbreaking

Game recap by Morehead State:

CHARLESTON, Ill. – In a bizarre ending of a sensational ESPNU men’s basketball game between Eastern Illinois and Morehead State Thursday night, the MSU Eagles lost in the final second 76-75 as they called a timeout they didn’t have and EIU hit a pair of technical free throws.

Maze Stallworth hit a three-pointer with 12.4 seconds left to give the Eagles a 75-74 lead. On EIU’s possession, MSU appeared to have a steal near half-court, but as players went to the floor, an MSU player appeared to call timeout with the ball in hand and on the floor. Since the Eagles had used all five of their timeouts already, a technical foul was issued. Tyler Laser hit both free throws with a second remaining to seal the win.

MSU fell to 17-8 and 11-3 in the OVC while the Panthers improved to 13-11 and 7-7 in the league.

“It was very disappointing, but we gotta live with that. I didn’t think we played defense well at all tonight, and we also missed some crucial free throws,” said head coach Donnie Tyndall. “We didn’t get to the line enough and then we didn’t convert. I told our kids coming out of the last huddle we didn’t have any time outs left.”

Kenneth Faried led MSU with 19 points but had his string of nine straight double-doubles halted with seven rebounds. Stallworth scored 18, and Demonte Harper had 15. The Eagles shot 52 percent but were out-rebounded 25-22. Stallworth was 6-of-8 from three-point range.

“We executed perfectly and Maze knocked that shot in,” said Tyndall.

James Hollowell scored a career and game high 23 points to lead the Panthers. EIU was 21-of-22 at the free throw line, while MSU was just 9-of-16. Laser scored 16, and Jeremy Granger tallied 10. EIU shot 58 percent for the game.

Both teams came out firing on all cylinders from the field. In the first 10 minutes, EIU was 10-of-13 for 77 percent while the Eagles were hitting 67 percent. However, the tide changed after that.

From the 10:26 mark down to the 3:55 point, EIU was only able to hit two field goals. The Panthers stayed close though as they were 6-of-6 from the free throw line during that span. At the 3:55 mark, EIU still led 36-35. The teams were locked up at 40-40 at the break.

EIU ended the first half shooting 58 percent (14-of-24) while MSU hit 54 percent. The Eagles were just 6-of-13 from the free throw line though.

EIU opened the final half on a 13-2 run to build a 53-42 margin with 13:42 left in the game.

The Eagles were still behind 59-50 but a pair of three-pointers from Harper and Stallworth brought the Eagles back to within 59-56, their lowest deficit in the final half, with 7:45 left.

MSU finally tied the game at 62 on a Harper jumper in the lane. Seconds later, Harper gave his team its first second half lead, 65-64, with just more than five minutes left. After two EIU free throws made it 66-65, the Eagles got a rebound and putback by Steve Peterson.

On EIU’s next possession, Brandon Shingles came from behind to swipe the ball from Laser. He drove it into the lane and dished it to Les Simmons for the layup and the foul. Simmons completed the three-point play for a 70-66 MSU lead with 3:46 left.

The Panthers came back to tie the game at 70, and then Laser drilled a high-arching 20 foot jumper to give the hosts 72-70 lead. The Eagles came right back on their end. Off a Shingles miss in the lane, Harper got the put-back to go, and the game was knotted again at 72 with 51 seconds left.

EIU re-gained the lead with 30 seconds left as Laser drove to the basket and got his layup to roll around and sink.

The Eagles play at Southeast Missouri on Saturday at 8:45 p.m. EST.

Asbury Wins Shootout Over Alice Lloyd

Asbury 101
Alice Lloyd 93

Final from Wilmore, Kentucky

Game recap by Asbury College:

Wilmore, Ky. – Asbury survived a scare on Thursday night as they escaped with a 101-93 win over Alice Lloyd. The Eagles were playing for the first time since losing freshman big man Justin Jones to an injury, but his replacement in the starting lineup provided the lift the team needed.

Jamal Morris (Nashville, Tenn.) led the Eagles with a career-high 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting for the floor. The junior guard knocked down all three three-pointers and all three free throws he took. Morris picked up the slack on the boards as well, grabbing a team best seven including four offensive as he came flying in from the perimeter. Jones was leading the KIAC in rebounds and blocks per game before he got injured.

Phillip Morrison (Louisville, Ky.) continued his scoring onslaught as he poured in another 29, giving him 557 this season. If Morrison reaches the 600 point mark this season he would become only the fourth Eagle to score that many points in a season joining Stephen Horn (2003-04), Art McMahon (1998-99) and Jason Price (1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000). Morrison also collected six assists which tied his career high.

Another player picking up the slack from missing Jones was Adam Delph who put in an all-around solid effort on Thursday night. Delph struggled shooting the ball, only three-for-nine and zero-for-five from three but still managed to score eight points, dish out eight assists, block three shots, and come away with four steals.

Asbury (14-13, 6-4 KIAC) continued to torch the nets against Alice Lloyd as they hit 13 threes, the Eagles connected on 20 back in January in a 115-78 blowout in Pippa Passes. Brock Hurtle hit six threes at Alice Lloyd and followed in up with another six on Thursday night in the Luce. He finished with 18 points and four rebounds. Asbury shot 46% from three and 52% from the floor. Alice Lloyd connected on 46% from the floor and 35% from three.

Asbury currently sits in 3rd place in the KIAC, a full game behind Brescia and a half game ahead of Berea. The Eagles will host Berea on Tuesday, but will first welcome the #4 team in NAIA DII, Indiana-Southeast and their perfect 9-0 KIAC record on Saturday February 13th. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 pm.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Game in New York, Heart in New Jersey?

St. John's 74
Louisville 55

Final from New York, New York

Game recap by AllKYHoops:

On a day when speculation stirred that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has interest in becoming the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, the Cardinals showed up flat for their appearance in Madison Square Garden. The game was seemingly never in doubt as St. John's rolled to a 74-55 victory.

D.J. Kennedy led the way with 15 points and Justin Burrell added 14 as St. John's (13-10, 3-8 Big East) snapped a five-game losing streak.

The Red Storm (13-10, 3-8 Big East) broke the streak on a night the 1984-85 Final Four team was honored at Madison Square Garden. More importantly, they ended a run of blowing halftime leads.

Samardo Samuels had a game-high 18 points for the Cardinals.

Louisville committed 16 turnovers and hit only 9-18 (50.0%) free throws for the game.

ESPN Ranks Kentucky #3 in Power Rankings ranks the Kentucky Wildcats #3 in this week's national power rankings.

Kansas comes in at #1 and Syracuse is #2. Villanova and Purdue round out the top 5.

Here's an excerpt about Kentucky:

3 Kentucky 23-1 231

Kentucky handled Alabama at home on Tuesday night, 66-55, and now enter a brutal stretch in the SEC. The Wildcats host Tennessee on Saturday before visiting Mississippi State and Vanderbilt followed by a rematch at home with South Carolina.

Complete Article

Ex-UT Star Bernard King Tells Team: "We don't lose to Kentucky"

Legendary Tennessee basketball star Bernard King, who went on to score close to 20,000 points in a solid NBA career, visited the Volunteers for practice today.

According to Wes Rucker, who covers UT athletics, King provided some motivational words to the Tennessee team. Here are some of the comments from King that Rucker posted on his Twitter account:

Bernard King is at #Vols practice today. Maybe he can suit up Saturday night in Lexington. He did well against the Wildcats.

Bernard King to the #Vols: "Listen up, guys. We don't lose to Kentucky. You hear me? We're not losing to Kentucky."

More from King: "I'll be there with you. We'll do what we have to do, because we're not losing."

My thoughts: I wonder what King told the team before they visited Vanderbilt?

2010 McDonald's All-Americans Announced

The official rosters have been announced for teh 2010 McDonald's All-Amercia game on March 31.

There are five undecided players in the game that are being recruited heavily by the University of Kentucky: Doron Lamb, C.J. Leslie, Brandon Knight, Josh Selby and Terrence Jones.

The 2010 McDonald's All-Americans


Reggie Bullock, Kinston (N.C.), North Carolina
Tobias Harris, Half Hollow Hills West (Dix Hills, N.Y.), Tennessee
Kyrie Irving, St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.), Duke
Joe Jackson, White Station (Memphis), Memphis
Perry Jones, Duncanville (Texas), Baylor
Jelan Kendrick, Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), Memphis
C.J. Leslie, Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), undecided
Kendall Marshall, Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.), North Carolina
Jayvaughn Pinkston, Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Villanova
Josh Selby, Lake Clifton (Baltimore), undecided
Jared Sullinger, Northland (Columbus, Ohio), Ohio State
Deshaun Thomas, Bishop Luers (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Ohio State


Keith Appling, Pershing (Detroit), Michigan State
Harrison Barnes, Ames (Iowa), North Carolina
Terrence Jones, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.), undecided
Cory Joseph, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), undecided
Brandon Knight, Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), undecided
Doron Lamb, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), undecided

Ray McCallum, Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.), undecided
Fab Melo, Sagemont School (Weston, Fla.), Syracuse
Jereme Richmond, Waukegan (Ill.), Illinois
Joshua Smith, Kentwood (Kent, Wash.), UCLA
Tristan Thompson, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), Texas
Patric Young, Providence School (Jacksonville, Fla.), Florida

Update on Schools That Are Recruiting Terrence Ross

I just got off the phone with someone close to 2010 recruit Terrence Ross and he asked me to update a few things.

He said that Oklahoma is coming on pretty strong for Ross and it appears that Duke is no longer involved.

Currently, his list includes the Sooners, Kentucky, Kansas and Maryland at the top with several others making contact.

I think it is important to note that Ross has returned to Jefferson (Or.) High School, which is also the home of Terrence Jones, another high-level 2010 recruit. Ross and Jones both include Oklahoma and Kentucky on their respective lists, which is an intriguing angle to follow.

Ross is a 6-5 wing that ranks #43 on the Rivals150 List for 2010.

NBA Dreams May Become Reality for MSU's Kenneth Faried

There is an excellent article by Michael Grant on today. The article focuses on Morehead State junior Kenneth Faried and his upcoming decision to enter the NBA Draft or return for his senior season.

Here is an introduction to the article:

Kenneth Faried has been the cornerstone for Morehead State's rebuilt program. The junior is a rebounding force of nature and arguably the most athletic frontcourt player in the Ohio Valley Conference. But for how much longer?

Faried and coach Donnie Tyndall both say the 6-foot-8 forward could leave for the NBA draft, provided he's a sure-fire first-round pick.

Faried is NCAA Division I's top rebounder (13.7 per game) and led the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time since 1984. Morehead (17-7, 11-2) is two games behind league-leading Murray State.

Tyndall said NBA scouts project Faried as a late second-rounder. But much can change between now and March. First-round picks get guaranteed contracts; second-rounders do not.

“Most people feel like he needs another year of school,” Tyndall said. “That's something that Kenneth doesn't worry about. He's a very mature young man. He's concentrating on helping our team win another OVC championship. Once the season is over, he, his family and I are going to sit down. If he's going to be a first-round pick, I'll tell him that he absolutely, positively has to leave.”

Complete Article (Good Read)

Pitino, Louisville Taking a Look at Kadeem Jack

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino visited New York City on Super Bowl Sunday.

He was there to watch the game between Manhattan (Ny.) Rice vs. Flushing (Ny.) Christ the King. More importantly, he (along with Florida's Billy Donovan) was in attendance to watch 6-9 Kadeem Jack from Rice.

The Trinidad and Tobago native is getting looks from UCLA, Florida, Providence, Miami and Connecticut.

Some reports indicate that Louisville's primary focus is Gorgui Sy Dieng from Huntington Prep (W.Va.) and Jack is likely a backup plan for Pitino in the 2010 Class.

Yates Warms Up With 5-Mile Run; Rolls 109-57

Future Western Kentucky guard Brandon Peters and his Yates High School teammates were sentenced to a 5-mile pregame run before taking the court against Houston Waltrip last night. After the run, they ran away from Waltrip by a score of 109-57.

Coach Greg Wise made the Lions run as punishment for what he determined was a poor performance in their last outing, a 121-94 victory.

The Lions were a bit sluggish to start the game, only scoring 17 points in the first quarter. The team picked up the pace in the second quarter and the game was never in doubt. At one point in the second half, Yates exploded for a 58-15 run.

Joe Young led Yates with 31 points Peters added 25.


Rick Pitino on NBA Rumors: "I have no interest, period"

Rick Pitino told ESPN's Pat Forde today that he has no interest in coaching the NBA and that recent rumors are absolutely false.

Here is an excerpt of Forde's article:

"There's not an ounce of truth to it," Pitino told's Pat Forde.

"I have no interest, period," Pitino said Thursday. "I'm done with coaching professional basketball. I've put the professional ranks behind me."

The New York Daily News reported Thursday that sources close to Pitino said the former Boston Celtics and New York Knicks coach had reached out to Nets brass in recent days and had intermediaries recently contact Nets president Rod Thorn on his behalf.

A source close to Thorn said the Nets' president has denied that he spoke to Pitino, the Daily News reported.

Complete Article

EIU Will Welcome Morehead State with a "White Out"

The Morehead State Eagles will be playing on national television tonight when they travel to Eastern Illinois.

The game, which will be featured on ESPNU at 9:00 p.m., is the Eagles first chance to lock up a first round OVC Tournament home game. The top 8 schools in the Ohio Valley Conference regular season standings make the postseason tournament and the top 4 host first round home games. The semifinals and final will be played in Nashville. The Eagles are currently holding on to second place in the league standings with an 11-2 record and are one win away from locking up that all-important first round home game.

The Eagles have traditionally struggled at EIU's Lantz Arena and tonight's game will provide another difficult test. The Eastern fans are planning a "white out" for the game and the atmosphere is sure to be electric.

Excerpt of article from The Daily Eastern News:

The atmosphere inside Lantz Arena is going to be wicked tonight for two huge games for each the men's and women's basketball teams.

Without, there would be nothing special about the Eastern fans. No extra umph to intimidate Morehead State with.

Instead, fans are being called on to show up to the game looking like brilliantly brushed teeth. We're doing a "White Out" ladies and gents. is sponsoring the "White Out". In fact, they are giving away 300 free white T-shirts to the first 300 anxious fans.

K.C. Ross-Miller Commits to LSU

K.C. Ross-Miller, a 2010 point guard that originally committed to Kentucky when Billy Gillispie was head coach, has decided on LSU as his college home according to

Ross-Miller is a 6-0 point guard that ranks #148 on the Rivals150 List for 2010.


Rick Pitino to Coach the New Jersey Nets?

I did not hear this particular rumor, but apparently the New York Daily News printed an article that suggested Rick Pitino is interested in jumping back to the NBA to become head coach of the hapless New Jersey Nets.

Team president Rod Thorn states that the article is untrue.

Excerpt of article from

Nets president Rod Thorn refuted a published report in the New York Daily News that said Louisville coach Rick Pitino has contacted the Nets and expressed interest in taking over as their coach next season.

The Daily News story, citing unnamed sources close to Pitino and Thorn, said Pitino had reached out to Thorn in the last few days through intermediaries. It quoted a high-ranking Nets official as saying that “Pitino is interested in the job’’ but that the Nets don’t appear to be interested in Pitino.

Thorn, responding to a question from The Star-Ledger about the report, said via text message, “Have not had any contact with Pitino. To my knowledge, no one in our organization has, either.’’

The Daily News story said the Nets have drawn up a short list of candidates for the job, with former Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy at the top. Pitino is not on the list.

Complete Article

Union Rolls Over Tennessee Wesleyan at Home

Union College 95
Tennessee Wesleyan 82

Final from Barbourville, Kentucky

Game recap by Union:

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – The Union Bulldogs stormed out of the gates tonight as they jumped out to an early 9-2 lead just barely four minutes into the contest against conference leader Tennessee Wesleyan and never looked back, topping the Bulldogs 95-82 in Appalachian Athletic Conference play.

With the victory Union improves its record to 15-12 (9-5 in conference), while Tennessee Wesleyan falls to 12-13 (9-4 in conference) on the season.

The first half of the contest saw the Union Bulldogs shoot 19-for-35 (54.3 percent) from the floor while Tennessee Wesleyan struggled, only converting on 10-of-34 (29.4 percent) from the field. Union then used the momentum from the offensive end of the floor to force Tennessee Wesleyan into 13 first half turnovers, resulting in 15 points off turnovers. Union’s lead grew to a game high 27 points, 50-23, with 1:39 remaining which proved to be too high of a mountain to climb for Tennessee Wesleyan.

Union truly used a team effort the rest of the way on the evening in the conference win as the Bulldogs had five players, Curtis Stephens (Detroit, MI), Kearney Demus (Lexington, KY), Payton Ponzer (Independence, KY), Josh Hurd (Independence, KY) and Ihsan Phillips (Philadelphia, PA), score in double figures, 23, 20, 16, 12 and 12, respectively. Stephens netted his game high 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting (53.8 percent) from the field as well as converting all of his free throw attempts, 7-of-7, on the evening. Union also collected outstanding efforts inside the paint from forwards Hurd and Phillips, both notching double-doubles with 12 points and 10 boards.

Tennessee Wesleyan never quit however, cutting the 26-point Union halftime lead down to just 11 points midway through the second half, but it was not enough as Union stayed strong down low, recording a season high 51 rebounds on the evening and converted on 18-24 (75 percent) from the free throw line in the second half, 27-0f-40 (67.5 percent) for the game. Tennessee Wesleyan was led on the evening by Matt Harper who tallied 18 points along with nine rebounds. Sean Bridges also chipped in 16 points for the visiting Bulldogs and Quincy Scates recorded a double-double in the losing effort amassing 13 points and 10 boards.

Union returns to action Saturday evening as they travel to Lookout Mountain, GA to do battle with Covenant College in an Appalachian Athletic Conference game. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Morehead State Prepares for Primetime Game on ESPNU

CHARLESTON, Ill.--Normally the benefits of winning a conference game are pretty standard, helps in the standings, helps in tiebreaker scenarios, etc. For Morehead State men’s basketball, Thursday’s stakes are a little bit higher.

The Eagles (17-7; 11-2 OVC) head to Eastern Illinois with a OVC Tournament First Round home game on the line. The game, scheduled for 9:00 pm ET will be nationally televised on ESPNU.

Morehead State needs just one more win to clinch at least fourth place for the OVC Tournament and the coveted home game. Currently in second place, two games behind Murray State, the Eagles still have a shot at the top spot with a home date against the Racers looming at the end of the regular season.

Standing in the way Thursday is a determined Eastern Illinois team that is currently tied for fifth and within easy striking distance for third. The Panthers need to hold off Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State and leapfrog Austin Peay or Eastern Kentucky to get a home game.

Note: Due to contractual agreements with ESPNU, OVCSportsTV live video will not be available


“They attack the glass and Kenneth Faried is the best rebounder in college basketball,” EIU coach Mike Miller said. “Everything you do in transition you have to factor that in. He’s so quick to the boards. We did not do a good job in the first game. I think he started off with three putbacks.” Source

Knight is Approaching Legendary Status in Broward County

There is a tremendous article by Christy Cabrera Chirinosat at about 2010 Kentucky recruit Brandon Knight. The article discusses Knight's high school career, which will be ending in a couple of weeks, and talks about his excellence on and off the basketball court.

The article reiterates that Knight will not make an announcement until his high school season comes to a close.

Here is an excerpt:

Donovan's signature—along with the signatures of Connecticut's Jim Calhoun, Kentucky's John Calipari, Miami's Frank Haith and Kansas' Bill Self—decorate a chalkboard wall in the Knight kitchen that is also filled with Bible verses and inspirational messages.

Knight doesn't plan to announce his college plans until the season is over but the parade of basketball royalty that's passed through Knight's home in recent months doesn't surprise recruiting analysts such as's Jerry Meyer. The service ranks Knight, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard, as the nation's top overall prospect.

"A lot of times you see guys establish themselves early and then fall off or have people catch up to them," Meyer said. "But Brandon's only gotten better and better. He's a serious player and I expect to see him in the NBA All-Star game one day."

Yet for all his success on the court, those who know Knight best say it's his accomplishments away from basketball that make him special.

Complete Article (Great read about Knight)

Ex-Cat Joe Crawford Named to NBA D-League All Star Team

Former Kentucky Wildcat star Joe Crawford has been named to the NBA D-League Western Conference All Star Team:

NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2010 – Dakota’s Romel Beck, Bakersfield’s Brian Butch, Los Angeles’ Joe Crawford, Reno’s Desmon Farmer, Austin’s Curtis Jerrells, and Los Angeles’ Diamon Simpson were today selected to replace Maine’s Alexis Ajinca (injured), Idaho’s Anthony Tolliver (GATORADE Call-Up to the Golden State Warriors), Utah’s Dontell Jefferson (injured), Rio Grande Valley’s Antonio Anderson (injured), Idaho’s Sundiata Gaines (GATORADE Call-Up to the Utah Jazz), and Rio Grande Valley’s Joey Dorsey (recalled to the Houston Rockets) in the 2010 NBA D-League All-Star Game.

Beck, who will also participate in the 2010 NBA D-League Dream Factory Friday Night presented by Haier in the NBA D-League Haier Shooting Stars competition, is averaging a Wizards-best 19.7 points (10th in the NBA D-League) while Crawford leads the D-Fenders with 18.9 points per game (12th in the NBA D-League.)

Farmer, another NBA D-League Haier Shooting Stars participant, leads the Bighorns with 24.1 points (4th in the NBA D-League). Jerrells joins Austin teammates Alonzo Gee and Dwayne Jones in Dallas, and is averaging 20.5 points (8th in the NBA D-League) for the Toros. Simpson, also participating in the NBA D-League Haier Shooting Stars competition, is averaging 16.0 points to go with 9.6 rebounds (5th in the NBA D-League) for Los Angeles.

Beck will play for the East team, while Butch, Crawford, Farmer, Jerrells and Simpson will play for the West team.

The fourth annual NBA D-League All-Star Game will take place on Saturday, Feb. 13 on Center Court at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas and will be televised live on NBA TV at 3 p.m. ET.

Source: Press release by NBA D-League
Image: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty Images

C.J. Leslie "Will Probably Do Something After the McDonald's Game"

Our good friend Dustin Rumbaugh at Kentucky Sports Radio has interviewed Kentucky 2010 recruit C.J. Leslie and it is definitely worth a read.

One of the nuggets that Leslie shared is that he will likely announce something after the McDonald's game (March 31) or before the Jordan Game (April 17).

He stated, "I’ll probably do something after the McDonald’s game [March 31st] or before the Jordan game [April 17th]."

Rumbaugh asked him what he might announce at that time and he responded with:

"I’ll probably be cutting it down but, I don’t know, I may already have my decision."

Leslie is a talented 6-7 forward in the 2010 class. He ranks #14 overall on the Rivals150 List and his final list includes Kentucky, North Carolina State, Florida, Georgia Tech, Maryland and several others.

Game Notes from Kentucky vs. Alabama

Kentucky defeats Alabama 66-55

By: Greg Warren,

Game notes:

Kentucky defended its #2 national ranking last night with a workmanlike 66-55 victory over the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide. After falling behind early, the Cats fought their way back to lead 31 – 24 at the half. Although Alabama would threaten, the Cats would never relinquish the lead as they extended their season record to 23 - 1. Following the game, Coach Calipari noted that any win in the SEC is a good win and particularly noted the efforts of the Cats’ defense in holding Alabama under 33% FG shooting, including 28% from 3 point range. This game marked the seventh time this season that the Cats have held an opponent to 33.3% FG or less.

Coach Calipari also noted the strong play of Daniel Orton and said he felt that Orton’s energy held off Alabama’s run in the second half as they began to close the gap. Recently, Calipari has talked about his desire to see Orton and Cousins on the floor together more often. Down the stretch of the game tonight, it was the veteran Patterson who took a seat to watch the duo of Cousins and Orton control the game during its decisive moments. Calipari said he brought Patterson back in at the end because he felt Patterson was better able to switch with perimeter defenders on the various pick and rolls Alabama utilized.

John Wall got off to a rocky start as he collected 4 quick turnovers in the first 5 minutes of action. His body language on the court visibly demonstrated his frustration early in the game. Calipari brought his freshman superstar to the bench at the 14:56 mark in the first half following that fourth turnover. After the game, when asked about the early benching, Wall commented, “I’m glad he did. I wasn’t being strong with the ball.” However, he seemed to find his stride throughout the game and finished strong with 22 points and a career high 10 rebounds, marking the 3rd double-double of his collegiate career. His 2 assists extended his UK freshman assist record to 151 on the season. After the game, Wall admitted that he hadn’t been feeling the best and was looking forward to going back to the room and laying down. He coughed periodically throughout the interview.

Demarcus Cousins extended his terrific play by totaling 16 points and 13 rebounds for his 7th straight double-double and his 15th on the season. This tied a season record for double-doubles previously set by Jamal Maglore during the 1999-2000 season. Cousins earned his points as Alabama played a collapsing zone most of the night and surrounded him with two and three defenders each time he touched the ball in the paint. Alabama continued the physical play employed versus Cousins most of the season. Although he got to the line, he failed to finish with the “and ones” that have characterized his play much of the season.

In recent games, Calipari has utilized a combination of Darius Miller, Darnell Dodson, Deadre Liggins, and Ramone Harris in his effort to solidify the small forward position. Deandre Liggins provided his usual stellar hustle and defensive play and also contributed 8 points and 7 rebounds in 26 minutes of play. Meanwhile, the trio of Miller, Harris, and Dodson contributed a total of zero points and 2 rebounds. After the game, Calipari noted that was attempting to give Liggins, Harris, and Miller 4 minute stretches of playing time off he bench to demonstrate they could be a factor in the game. Calipari told both Harris and Miller after the game that he wanted them both play better and added that they actually listen to him too much. He told them, “During the game, just act like I’m not here.” Calipari noted that, following that advice, Demarcus Cousins jokingly asked, “Can I do that too?”

The highlights, smiles, and victories keep rolling along as we head into the homestretch of conference play. Saturday figures to be a huge game as Bruce Pearl and the Tennessee Volunteers roll into Lexington for a 9 PM showdown following the festivities of ESPN game day coverage.

Side notes:

· UK head football coach Joker Phillips was available in the media room at 8:15 along with new WR coach Tee Martin.

· 2010 UK baseball team introduced to the crowd during one of the timeouts

· Keenon Burton and Wesley Woodyard were on hand for the game and were introduced to the crowd during a timeout.

Kentucky Headlines Things to Watch in the SEC This Week

Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News highlights 5 Things to Watch in SEC Basektball this week. Topping the list is Tennessee at Kentucky.

Here are his thoughts on the game:

1. Tennessee at Kentucky. John Cali­pari and Bruce Pearl re­new their rivalry from Calipari's days at Memphis. Calipari's arrival to the SEC in­stantly made Satur­day's game and the Feb. 27 rematch in Knox­ville the most intriguing conference games. Pearl is the first coach in SEC history to finish ahead of Kentucky four straight years. He won't make it five in a row.

Solomon also offers this Stat of the Week:


Kentucky distributed more than 23,000 tickets for ESPN's GameDay telecast on Saturday morning, 10 hours before the Wildcats play Tennessee. ESPN says the crowd of 23,000-plus will be the most to watch a GameDay telecast, according to The Lexington Her­ald-Leader. The number could be beaten in two weeks when GameDay airs from the Carrier Dome prior to the Villanova-Syracuse game.

UK Recruits Will Play at PrimeTime Shootout in Trenton

Several Kentucky basketball recruits, including Doron Lamb and Josh Selby, will be participating in this weekend's PrimeTime Shootout event in Trenton, New Jersey.

Other high profile recruits that will be in the event include Tobias Harris, JayVaughn Pinkston, Josh Hairston, Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving.

An article on today describes Selby and Lamb:

Doron Lamb, 6-4, Sr., G, Oak Hill Academy (Va.) -- Lamb transferred to Oak Hill (alma mater of NBA players Carmelo Anthony, Josh Smith and Ty Lawson, to name just a few) from New York's Bishop Loughlin. The guard, who is reportedly deciding between Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia, can score, rebound, block shots and routinely gets his teammates involved.

Josh Selby, 6-2, Sr., G, Lake Clifton (Md.) -- Ranked as the nation's No. 2 guard and No. 4 overall player by, Selby has the luxury of deciding between Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse for next winter. An offensive playmaker who sometimes will force shots, Selby has a knack for hitting difficult shots.

Complete Article

Giles Named Mid-South Player of the Week for Third Time

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Georgetown College senior guard Hollis Giles is the Mid-South Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, the conference announced on Monday.

Giles averaged 20.3 points and 4.3 rebounds during the week to earn his third weekly award of the season. It is also his third of his career.

The Houston, Texas, native scored double digits in each of the Tigers' games while shooting 60.5 percent (23-of-38) from the field and 37.5 percent (3-of-8) from beyond the three-point arc. He also converted 12 for 16 (75-percent) shots from the charity line.

Giles opened the week with 18 points and six rebounds in the Tigers' 69-41 win over Lindsey Wilson College. He added a 17-point, four-rebound performance in an 82-60 win over University of Rio Grande.

Giles concluded the week with 26 points and five assists in a 71-64 loss to No. 9-ranked Campbellsville University.

On the season, Giles leads the Tigers averaging 18.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He is shooting 58.9 percent from the field.

No. 19-ranked Georgetown is 17-6 overall and 5-3 in the MSC.

The Tigers host University of the Cumberlands on Thursday and West Virginia University Tech on Saturday.

Surprise! Terrence Ross Returns to Oregon

Terrence Ross, a 6-5 shooting guard that recently withdrew from Montrose Christian Academy (Md.), has enrolled at Jefferson (Or.) High School. He played at Jefferson previously before making the move to Maryland.

Ross, who has Kentucky on his short list, has not given a reason for his departure from Montrose. At Jefferson, he will join forces with Terrence Jones, who also has Kentucky on his final list.

It was reported last week that Ross would likely land at Westwind Prep Academy (Ar.) so the move back to Oregon is somewhat of a surprise.

Ross ranks #43 on the Rivals150 List for 2010. He has Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Maryland on his list of potential college destinations.

Excerpt of article from

Terrence Ross, the 2008 Class 5A boys basketball player of the year, is back.

Ross, who last week withdrew from Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.), has enrolled at Jefferson High School, according to Democrats boys basketball coach Pat Strickland.

Complete Article

Word of God Coach Says C.J. Leslie is "Wide Open" has conducted an interview with Erasto Hatchett, head coach at Word of God Christian Academy.

In the interview, Hatchett discusses Kentucky freshman John Wall and his involvement with is former team and the recruitment of 2010 superstar recruit C.J. Leslie. The coach states that Leslie's recruitment is still wide open and that more schools are entering the picture.

On C.J. Leslie's recruitment:

HSH: As one of the best players in the country yet to commit, where is he right now with his recruitment?

EH: We honestly don’t even talk about it. He’s still wide open. There’re a lot looking at him, and some new schools starting to come around, and he will entertain and has entertained. He’s still wide open, and we’ve made a promise to each other that we wouldn’t deal with it until the season’s over.

On John Wall:

HSH: Has John Wall come back at all this year?

EH: He has. He came back and spoke to the guys a little bit. We had a tournament up in Kentucky, and he came to the locker room and the hotel and talked to the guys. John and I may text each other once every two weeks. John and Ryan [Harrow] used to play each other when they were about 13. Just being in the loop, we’d always speak and talk, and there’s a mutual respect between John and Ryan. The truth of the matter is that this is his program. I don’t make any qualms about it. Dr. Summerfield runs the school; however, John Wall has put the basketball program on the map, and I promised to handle the program in a way that would be good in Dr. Summerfield’s eyes and John Wall’s as well.

Complete Interview

DeAndre Liggins is Becoming One of My Favorite Cats

I want to announce publicly that I am becoming a huge fan of Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins.

Sure, I love the character of Patrick Patterson, the next-level ability of John Wall and the pure workmanship of DeMarcus Cousins, but Liggins is rapidly entering my group of favorites.

Liggins is doing all the little things that true basketball fans have to appreciate.

In tonight's victory over Alabama, Liggins was Kentucky's "go to" guy at the three position. Although he came off the bench, DeAndre logged 26 minutes and gave the Cats solid production with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block and 1 steal.

His number are continually improving, but my favorite things about Liggins aren't included on standard stat sheets. The things I truly appreciate tend to show up on coaches' stat sheets and I have a hunch that John Calipari has noticed the same things I have noticed.

In tonight's game alone, I noticed Liggins diving for loose balls, attempting to take charges and fighting with the big guys for rebounds. There were a couple of times that DeAndre was simply knocked out of the way by players that outweighed him by a hundred pounds, but he was not deterred. He finished the game with 7 rebounds, including 3 on the offensive end.

Liggins has also been making solid choices on both ends of the court this season. He rarely makes a dumb decision with the ball, he makes proper adjustments on defense and when an open shot presents itself - he steps up with confidence and knocks it down.

Have you noticed that DeAndre actually tries to work the dribble-drive offense? If he spots a lane to the basket, he hits the hole like a running back and takes the ball to the basket.

Finally, it is hard to not appreciate Liggins' ability to overcome adversity this season. While his first semester problems were never announced publicly, I think it is safe to say that DeAndre has shown a high-level of maturity and turned a negative situation into the start of a very positive basketball career.

If he continues to work with the level of passion he is demonstrating right now, the sky is the limit for DeAndre Liggins.

Kentucky Proves That Ugly Wins Still Count

(3) Kentucky 66
Alabama 55

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by Kentucky:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - John Wall had 22 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double, and fellow freshman DeMarcus Cousins got his seventh in a row, as No. 3 Kentucky outmuscled Alabama 66-55 on Tuesday night.

With 16 points and 13 rebounds, Cousins extended his UK freshman record with 15 double-doubles. The last Kentucky player to get seven in a row was Jim Andrews, who had a team-record 10 straight in 1973.

Five of Cousins' rebounds were on the offensive end, while all of Wall's career-high 10 were on defense.

With the victory, Kentucky (23-1, 8-1) remained in first place in the Southeastern Conference East Division, one game ahead of Vanderbilt, which beat Tennessee on Tuesday.

Tony Mitchell had 13 points for Alabama (13-11, 3-7).

Cousins got his 10th and 11th points on a one-handed heave in traffic midway through the second half that gave the Wildcats their biggest lead at 46-32.

He got his 10th rebound the next trip down the court, then scored again off Eric Bledsoe's missed 3.

Alabama chipped away at the lead and cut it to 51-45 with 8 minutes left on a jumper by JaMychal Green. The Tide matched that six-point deficit with under a minute left on Anthony Brock's 3-pointer but got no closer as two free throws by Wall and a dunk by Patrick Patterson helped seal the victory for the Wildcats.

Cousins, who grew up in Mobile, Ala., has acknowledged a sometimes-rocky high school career there, and was heavily recruited by former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried. Instead, he opted to sign the first letter of intent under coach John Calipari at Kentucky.

The 6-foot-11, 260-pound center claimed Monday that the game against the Crimson Tide was "just another game," although he had assigned it far more weight in past statements to the media.

Although Wall lit up the scoreboard at the end, the game started ugly for UK's other freshman phenom. While he came in ranked second in the country in assists, he only managed two in this game - both in the second half. By then, he had racked up six turnovers - many of them sloppy ones.

He also gave the Wildcats a scoring boost, especially in the first half when they needed it most. Other than a wide-open 3 that gave Kentucky its first lead at 15-13, the rest of Wall's first-half points came under tight pressure from the stingy Alabama defense.

First, Wall faked a pass, drove to the basket and drew Charvez Davis' first foul. A few minutes later came another three-point play on a similar drive, this one sending Davis to the bench with his third foul.

With Alabama up 11-4 early, Kentucky scored 13 of the next 15 points. The Wildcats took the lead for good with 5:45 before halftime on Patrick Patterson's dunk off a steal by Bledsoe. Patterson added a 3-pointer seconds before halftime - just Kentucky's second in 11 first-half attempts - to give Kentucky a 31-24 lead.

Although Alabama's defense was tough, Kentucky's was better - and seldom gave the Crimson Tide the benefit of foul shots.

Alabama made 9 of 10 free throws in the game, but didn't manage their first until the second half. Kentucky, meanwhile connected on just 61 percent from the line, going 19 for 31.

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