Saturday, March 6, 2010

Murray State Captures OVC Tournament Crown

Murray State 62
Morehead State 51

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship Game

Game recap by

The Murray State Racers pulled away late for a 62-51 victory over Morehead State in the Ohio Valley Conference championship game.

Kenneth Faried, the OVC Player of the Year, went to the floor hard with Murray State leading 36-31. The Racers followed with a quick run to pull away and the Eagles were unable to recover.

Complete game recap coming soon...

SEC Tournament Field is Set

The field for next week's Southeastern Conference Tournament is now set.

Here is the schedule:

Thursday, March 11:

South Carolina vs Alabama 1 pm
LSU vs Tennessee 3:30 pm
Florida vs Auburn 7 pm
Georgia vs Arkansas 9:30 pm

Friday, March 12:

Kentucky vs South Carolina/Alabama winner 1 pm
Ole Miss vs LSU/Tennessee winner 3:30 pm
Mississippi State vs Florida/Auburn winner 7 pm
Vanderbilt vs Arkansas/Georgia winner 9:30 pm

UK Fans Beward: Ticket Scamming on the Rise

Excerpt of article from

Outside the arena, police say they have seen an unprecedented level of scamming and scalping related to University of Kentucky basketball tickets.
Lexington police already have cited almost 50 people for scalping or illegal sales outside Rupp Arena this season — the highest level in years. Officials had to put out a scam alert after dozens of student tickets were altered for games in January and February. Students and other ticket-holders are using the Internet to find new ways to sell tickets above face value, sometimes for hundreds of dollars.

Now, university officials say that ticket scalpers have elevated things to a new level by manufacturing a high-quality counterfeit ticket that is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.
Complete Article

Handing Out a Few "Awards" During My Time in Nashville

The family and I took a stroll around Nashville today as we await tonight's OVC Championship battle between Morehead State and Murray State. I decided to hand out a few impromptu (and meant to be funny) "awards."

Hope you enjoy:

The Future Home of the OVC Tournament Award goes to Municipal Auditorium

In a landslide, the Best Car in Nashville Award goes to the above car

Best Kid-Friendly Dining Atmosphere goes to the Aquarium Restaurant at Opryland

The Upgrade Needed Award goes to Tennessee Tech's Golden Eagle

The Nice Fan Sign That Seems Inappropriate Sign Award goes to this Murray State fan

Campbellsville Advances to Mid-South Title Game

Campbellsville 68
St. Catharine 62

Mid-South Conference Tournament Semifinals

Game recap and image by Mid-South Conference:

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Campbellsville University used stellar three-point shooting and timely free throw shooting to advance into the Mid-South Conference Tournament finals with a 68-62 win over St. Catharine College on Saturday at the Frankfort Convention Center.

The top-seeded Tigers (26-6) made nine of 13 three pointers (69.2 percent) to build a lead and 10-of-12 free throws inside the final minute to secure the win.
Campbellsville's hot shooting in the latter part of the first half and early stages of the second half helped the Tigers build an 11-point second half lead. But the No. 4-seeded Patriots refused to go away cutting the Campbellsville lead to one with a little more than five minutes left in regulation.

St. Catharine (21-11) would get no closer.

The Tigers -- who struggled in the second half from the free throw line making just 18-of-27 in the half -- converted 10-of-12 in crunch time.

Campbellsville's T.J. Bishop made 11 of his 12 freebies to send the Tigers into their first conference title game since the 2005-06 season. Bishop finished with a game-high 23 points.

Mid-South Conference Player of the Year Nestor Colmenares contributed a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds in the win.

St. Catharine's Authur Latham scored a team-high 22 points and Brandon Johnson added 10 in the loss.

In the opening half, Campbellsville used an 18-7 run over the final 6:29 to erase a five point deficit and take a 33-27 lead into the locker room. Campbellsville's Shawn Savage led the charge scoring eight of his 10 points during the run.

St. Catharine enjoyed as much as a six point lead in the opening half. The Patriots led 11-5 seven minutes into the game and led 20-15 prior to the Campbellsville run.

Campbellsville advances into Sunday's MSC Tournament Championship game against the winner of the Georgetown College and University of the Cumberlands semifinal game played later on Saturday.

Louisville Closes Freedom Hall in Style, Shocks Syracuse

Louisville 78
(1) Syracuse 68

* Louisville's final game at Freedom Hall

Game recap by U of L:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)--Louisville gave Freedom Hall a memorable send-off.

Kyle Kuric scored all of his career-high 22 points in the second half and the Cardinals upset No. 1 Syracuse 78-68 on Saturday, providing one last highlight at their 54-year-old home.

Louisville (20-11, 11-7 Big East) may also have assured itself a return trip to the NCAA tournament by sweeping the season series from the Orange (28-3, 15-3). Their only other loss all season came against Pittsburgh, and Saturday was their first road loss.

Although Syracuse led by eight points late in the first half, Kuric was a one-man wrecking crew in the second. He made 9 of 11 shots--including four 3-pointers--to make for a happy ending at Freedom Hall, before Louisville moves to a new downtown arena in the fall.

Trailing 42-39 early in the second half, the Cardinals found their inside game with three straight baskets in the paint that gave them the lead for good. Kuric had two of them, a fastbreak dunk and layup.

In a span of just over five minutes, Kuric also had all four of his 3-pointers. After his second one, Syracuse's Scoop Jardine immediately answered with a 3, so Kuric simply answered right back with another one. Jardine finished with 20 points.

With under four minutes left, it was Kuric's dunk that pushed the Louisville lead to 10, and he got another one on a break that buried the Orange with under two minutes left.

It was a completely different game in the first half, when Syracuse dominated the paint, getting 26 points there compared to 12 for the Cardinals.

Syracuse took an early 21-20 lead with more than six minutes to go in the first half on a dunk by Rick Jackson, then stretched it to a game-high eight points a couple minutes later after a 3-pointer and fastbreak layup by Jardine.

Edgar Sosa nailed a 3 seconds before halftime to make it 35-30 at the break.

Although the Cardinals connected on 46 percent of their shots and the Orange 44 percent by the end, the two were cold from the gate, combining for 11 shots but no points over the opening three minutes. Jerry Smith finally hit consecutive 3s for the Cardinals, and later turned in one of the more dazzling plays of the game, grabbing a steal out of midair and cruising the other way to finish with a one-handed dunk.

Smith was sidelined the second half after injuring a finger on his right hand.

This one had all the pageantry of the final Louisville game in one of college basketball's most storied venues. The stands were filled long before tipoff, and fans waved towels with glowing red flashlights during player introductions.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino, sporting a bright red suit coat to match the attire of most fans in attendance, introduced the team's seniors before the game and expressed some sentimental thoughts about Freedom Hall.

"This building will close, but what our legends have done for our university will never pass and close," he said.

Freedom Hall has hosted six national championship games, a handful of NCAA tournament regional finals and 683 Louisville victories.

Denny Crum, who led the Cardinals to national titles in 1980 and 1986 and whose name is adorned on the court, was introduced at halftime alongside players from those teams.

"I love them all," Crum said. "It's just really fun to be here, be around them."

Photos: Morehead State vs. Tennessee Tech

Time for basketball action
Superstar Kenneth Faried and MSU assistant's watch from the bench

Kenneth Faried and Maze Stallworth prepare for an out-of-bounds play

It wasn't exactly Vitale and Nessler, but ESPNU was in the house

Photos: Murray State vs. Eastern Illinois

The Racers are ready for action

Out of an early timeout

Reactions to some critical late free throws

We can't always agree with the officials

Murray State fans (which controlled the arena tonight) celebrate a Racers' victory

Mid-Continent Advances to TSAC Tournament Semifinals

Mid-Continent 83
Bethel University 69

TranSouth Athletics Conference Tournament Quarterfinals

Excerpt of game recap by MCU:

Mayfield, KY - Mid-Continent University (20-11) advanced to its first-ever TranSouth Athletics Conference (TSAC) semifinal and reached the 20-win plateau for the first time in its history with an 83-69 TranSouth quarterfinal victory over Bethel University (13-18), March 4, at the Mayfield High School Sports Arena. MCU won its first TSAC quarterfinal game in three tries since joining the TSAC in 2006-07 and is 2-3 in TSAC playoff games in four seasons. The Cougars also won their seventh consecutive game and won for the 10th time in their last 11 games.

MCU advances to a TSAC semifinal, Saturday, March 6, against number three seed Freed-Hardeman (21-10) which defeated number six seed Martin Methodist College (18-13), 83-81, after trailing 44-37 at halftime. MCU hosts its semifinal in the Mayfield High School Sports Arena at 7:00 p.m.

In other Thursday quarterfinal action, number one seed Union University (24-7) crushed number eight seed Lyon College (7-23), 93-56, and number five seed Cumberland University (12-16) upset number four seed Trevecca Nazarene (21-10), 90-83. Union, the defending TSAC regular-season and tournament champion, hosts Cumberland, Saturday, March 6, in Jackson, Tennessee, at 7:00 p.m.

Senior two-time All-TSAC center Kenny Thomas (East Orange, NJ/East Orange HS/Essex County CC, NJ), pictured above on the right, totaled 23 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the season, and grabbed 8 offensive rebounds. MCU totaled 27 offensive rebounds and outrebounded Bethel, 47-38.

Off the bench senior guard TiRon Peoples (Kevil, KY/Heath HS), pictured on the left, contributed 16 points, 2 three-pointers, 2 rebounds and 3 steals, and senior forward Keiran Nunley (Kent, WA/Kent HS/Riverside CC, CA), pictured below on the right, added 10 points and 6 rebounds, 5 on the offensive glass, and dished off 3 assists. Sophomore forward Chris Ferguson (Oakland, CA/Royal Sunset HS/Feather River CC, CA) added 5 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and one blocked shot, and senior point guard Aaron Pearson (Baton Rouge, LA/Southern Laboratory HS/Cabrillo HS, CA) added 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals and leads the conference with 84 steals in 31 games. Senior guard Donovan Willis (Orange, NJ/Orange HS/Essex County CC, NJ) finished with 9 points and 2 assists off the bench. MCU's bench players outscored Bethel's bench, 38-18.

Bethel guard Andre Crudup led all scorers with 26 points with 3 three-pointers, 7 of 8 free throws and 8 of 13 field goals, and had 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. Forward Daniel Doyle finished with 16 points, 2 three-pointers and 7 rebounds, and reserve guard Cameron Clemons added 7 points off the Wildcats' bench.

John Wall on Final List for Bob Cousy Award

John Wall is on the list of the final six candidates for the Bob Cousy Award, which is presented to college basketball's top point guard.

Excerpt of release by

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. - MARCH 5, 2010 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced the final six candidates in consideration for the 2010 Bob Cousy Award presented by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. This annual award is given to college basketball’s top point guard and is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtics guard Bob Cousy. An original list of 73 candidates made up of players from Division I, II and III schools was trimmed by a Hall of Fame appointed, nationally based committee to 20, down to 11 and now six candidates remain in consideration for one of college basketball’s most prestigious awards.

2010 Bob Cousy Award Final Six

Sherron Collins - Kansas
Scottie Reynolds - Villanova
Jon Scheyer - Duke
Evan Turner – Ohio State
Greivis Vasquez - Maryland
John Wall - Kentucky

Georgetown Outruns West Virginia Tech in MSC Tournament

Georgetown College 86
West Virginia Tech 62

Mid-South Conference Tournament Semifinals

Game recap by MSC:

FRANKFORT, KY -- Georgetown College's Eddie Gray scored a team-high 23 points as the Tigers advanced into the Mid-South Conference Tournament semifinals with an 86-62 win over West Virginia University Tech on Friday night at the Frankfort Convention Center.

Gray hit seven of his 11 three point attempts to help the Tigers advance to Saturday's semifinal game against University of the Cumberlands. The Patriots beat Lindsey Wilson College 58-47 earlier in the day.

No. 2-seed Georgetown used a 24-5 run midway through the first half to build a 44-19 lead and never looked back. Gray led the charge with five of his six first-half three-pointers during the run.

The Tigers ended the half with a 49-30 lead.

West Virginia Tech -- the tournament's seventh-seed -- closed to within 14 points with 15 minutes left but could get no closer despite the play of senior guard Darryl Slack.

Slack scored a game-high 28 points in the loss. He made 6-of-7 shots from behind the arc and 4-of-6 free throws in the loss.

While Gray was providing the offense, the Georgetown defense was just as effective. The Tigers forced the Golden Bears into 21 turnovers, while committing just 12 of their own.

Georgetown shot 50.0 percent from the field and 42.3 percent (11-for-26) from 3-point range, while West Virginia Tech shot 41.1 percent from the field and blistered the nets from behind the arc for a 63.2 percent clip (12-of-19).

Georgetown faces Cumberlands at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday in the second semifinal.

Campbellsville University and St. Catharine College play at 2 p.m. ET in the other semifinal game.

Game recap by Mid-South Conference

Centre Hangs Tough but Loses in NCAA DIII Tournament

Eastern Mennonite 63
Centre College 53

NCAA Division III Tournament First Round

Excerpt of game recap by Centre College:

The Centre men's basketball team came up short against Eastern Mennonite University on Friday, March 5 as they fell 63-53 at Yoder Arena in Harrisonburg, Va. Centre was competing in the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament for the fourth year in a row.

The Colonels had the advantage early in the first half as they built an early 6-2 lead over the Royals. Eastern Mennonite tied the score at 6-6 with 17:23 remaining in the first half after Eli Crawford hit one of two free throw shots.

Freshman Bryon Ellis (Russell Springs, Ky.) connected on a three point basket to give Centre the 11-7 advantage with 16:15 to go in the first half. The Royals would tie the game for the second time after D.J. Hinson made a jumper with 14:18 on the clock.

Eastern Mennonite University took their first lead of the game when George Johnson recorded a three point basket to put the score at 14-11 with 13:37 remaining in the game.

The Royals would eventually build a 12 point lead over Centre, but the Colonels cut the lead down and went into halftime with a seven point deficit as Eastern Mennonite University led 33-26.

Centre shot 33% from the floor and 50% from the free throw line in the first half. Eastern Mennonite University shot 41% from the floor, while shooting only 33% from the free throw line.
Complete Recap

Friday, March 5, 2010

Brandon Knight to Kentucky Next Week? (Michigan State site) reports the following:

In a move that will almost assure that he continues his recent streak of great point guards, rumors are flying that Brandon Knight will officially announce his commitment to the University of Kentucky and John Calipari next week. Knight has been rumored to be influenced by William Wesley who has long been tied to John Calipari and past recruits like DaJuan Wagner and Derrick Rose.

Here is the article

My Thoughts: Knight's recruitment has been pretty tight-lipped and I would be surprised if they leaked any info out at this point, but we'll take it for what it's worth. I have no clue as to the validity of this site, but I'd rather read this report as one that says Brandon Knight to Florida Next Week!

Franklin County Has Season Stolen by Bad Officiating

I feel bad for those kids that play for Franklin County.

They scored a tip-in that clearly beat the clock and would have won the game, but it was ruled now good by the officials and Henry Clay earned a fortunate victory.

Judge for yourself (HT Jody Demling, Courier-Journal for the video link):

Cumberlands Escapes Poor Half, Lindsey Wilson

Cumberlands 58
Lindsey Wilson 47

Mid-South Conference Tournament Quarterfinals

Game recap by Cumberlands:

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The University of the Cumberlands built a 16-point halftime lead that allowed them to overcome a 19-point second half and knock off Lindsey Wilson College 58-47 in the opening round of the 2010 Mid-South Conference tournament.

Cumberlands (21-9), seeded third in the tournament, will play the winner of the day’s sixth and final game between No. 2 Georgetown and No. 7 WVU Tech.

Lindsey Wilson’s season ends at 14-17.

Cumberlands hit 55.6 percent from the floor and the same – 5-of-9 – from the arc in the first half. Those numbers, combined with holding the Blue Raiders to only 38.5 percent shooting, helped Don Butcher’s club build a 39-23 lead at recess.

Lindsey was able to trim the lead and keep it close despite more shooting woes in the second half. The Raiders outscored the Patriots 24-19 yet hit only 34.6 percent (9-of-26) from the field but could get no closer to eight points before ending with an 11-point spread.

Lindsey Wilson was also undone by poor shooting from the free throw line. The Blue Raiders were only 7-of-14 from the stripe for the game. Cumberlands, for that matter, was only slightly better, going 10-of-19 (52.6 percent).

Cumberlands was led in scoring by senior Chad Byron’s 16 points, having hit 3-of-8 from the arc. Junior Tanner Jacobs followed with 11 points and eight rebounds. His total, combined with 10 boards claimed by senior Bernard Cherry, helped the Pats to a 35-32 edge on the glass.

Coach Paul Peck’s Blue Raiders were led in scoring by MSC freshman of the year Kalen Kimberland’s 19 points. He was followed by senior Andrija Tintor’s seven markers.

Photo: Mid-South Conference

Quick Site Note: Off to Nashville

By the time you read this, I should be getting close to Bridgestone Arena (formerly the Sommett Center) in Nashville for the OVC Tournament.

I will be posting continuous updates on Twitter and will have complete game coverage, notes, analysis and pictures later tonight.

Murray State and Morehead State are both representing Kentucky tonight in the tournament semifinals.

Here is the schedule (EST):

7:00 p.m. (1) Murray State vs. (4) Eastern Illinois

9:00 p.m. (2) Morehead State vs. (6) Tennessee Tech

- Games on ESPNU

Maze Stallworth Plays for Morehead State, Not Self

Maze Stallworth is finishing up a stellar career for the Morehead State Eagles. He has given everything he has to the MSU program and been one of the leaders during this four years for the Eagles.

I found a nice article about Maze this morning that is worth a read.

Excerpt of article from

MOREHEAD — When Maze Stallworth signed his national letter of intent to play basketball at Morehead State four years ago, he had one simple goal in mind.

It wasn’t about the amount of playing time he’d get or how many points he’d score. It wasn’t about the number of 3-pointers he’d make or how many rebounds he’d grab.

No, Stallworth had his sights set on the bigger picture.

“I wanted to come and help put Morehead back on the map,” said Stallworth, a 6-foot-4 senior forward. “I wanted to help make people want to watch and come see Morehead basketball.”

Mission accomplished.

Complete Article

Western Kentucky Prepares for Sun Belt Tournament

The Sun Belt Conference Tournament kicks off tomorrow and runs through Tuesday.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers enter as the 4-seed and will face New Orleans tomorrow night at 7:45 p.m. (EST).

Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Championship Schedule of Events

Saturday, March 6

Game 1 - 2:15 p.m. - No. 8 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 9 South Alabama (Summit Arena)
Game 2 - 6:45 p.m. - No. 4 WKU vs. No. 13 New Orleans (Convention Center Court)
Game 3 - 6:30 p.m. - No. 5 Arkansas State vs. No. 12 UALR (Summit Arena)
Game 4 - 8:45 p.m. - No. 6 Denver vs. No. 11 FIU (Summit Arena)
Game 5 - 9:00 p.m. - No. 7 Louisiana-Lafayette vs. No. 10 Louisiana-Monroe (Convention Center Court)

Sunday, March 7

Game 6 - 6:45 p.m. - No. 1 Troy vs. Winner Game 1 (Convention Center Court)
Game 7 - 6:30 p.m. - Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3 (Summit Arena)
Game 8 - 8:45 p.m. - No. 2 North Texas vs. Winner Game 5 (Summit Arena)
Game 9 - 9:00 p.m. - No. 3 Middle Tennessee vs. Winner Game 4 (Convention Center Court)

Monday, March 8

Game 10 - 6:00 p.m. - Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7 (Summit Arena) - Sun Belt Network
Game 11 - 8:30 p.m. - Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9 (Summit Arena) - Sun Belt Network

Tuesday, March 9

Championship Game - 6 p.m. (Summit Arena) - ESPN2

All times central and subject to change

St. Catharine Prevails in Battle with Pikeville College

St. Catharine 62
Pikeville 60

Mid-South Conference Tournament Quarterfinals

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Arthur Latham scored 22 points, Josh Edwards had 20 points and five rebounds and No. 4-seed St. Catharine (Ky.) College held off a surge led by Trevor Setty to beat No. 5-seed Pikeville (Ky.) College 62-60 on Friday in the opening round of the Mid-South Conference basketball tournament.

Brandon Johnson added nine points and six rebounds and Ervin Williams tallied eight points to help the Patriots hold off the Bears.

Setty poured in 15 points, while Jonathan Clark added nine to the Pikeville effort.

St. Catharine (21-10) took a 34-31 lead into halftime despite allowing the Bears to shoot 43.5 percent from the field and 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from 3-point range in the half. The Patriots hit just 3-of-11 shots from behind the arc, but knocked down 9-of-11 free throws to stay in front.

The game was never out of reach for Pikeville (21-9) as it tied the game at 58-58 with 2:28 to play in the game.

A pair of free throws put the Patriots up by two with 39.2 seconds on the clock. Then Justin Hicks responded for the Bears with two of his own to knot the score at 60-60. St. Catharine ran down the clock before Josh Edwards attacked the basket for a layup with 1.4 seconds on the clock.

Pikeville's pass to half court for a last-second shot was deflected by a host of Patriots allowing St. Catharine to let the clock run out and earn a trip to the semifinals on Saturday.

Complete Recap

Where is the Best Fit for 2010 Forward Terrence Jones? breaks down the best college fit for 2010 forward Terrence Jones.

His final five consists of: Kentucky, Washington, UCLA, Oklahoma and Oregon.

ESPN uses playing style, how he fits, pro factor and x factor for each choice.

Here is an excerpt about Kentucky:

Playing Style: Under the guidance of John Calipari, the Wildcats play a frenetic open-court style at both ends of the floor to overwhelm their opponents. In the half-court set they are more than willing to get everyone involved, utilizing their dribble-drive offense and spacing

How he fits: With the graduation of Patrick Patterson and the all likelihood of DeMarcus Cousins heading to the NBA draft, the Wildcats will need immediate help in the frontcourt. Jones has the potential to swing between the 4 and the 3 at the next level. He thrives playing in the open court due to his skill set and has the potential to be a force on the block.

Pro factor: There is no question that Calipari has an excellent history of collecting top-notch talent. Both at Memphis (Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans) and now Kentucky (John Wall and Cousins), Calipari has shown he can lure the best -- and that scenario will continue as he commands one of the most prestigious programs in all of college basketball.

X factor: Kentucky is miles away from Oregon. However, Kentucky is on a whole different level in terms of tradition and prestige than any other program on Jones' list. In addition, Jones knows that Calipari isn't afraid to give major minutes to his newcomers. As long as Calipari keeps feeding the NBA with difference-makers, the Wildcats will be a major player in recruiting.

Campbellsville Moves Past Rio Grande in MSC Tournament

Campbellsville 93
Rio Grande 77

Mid-South Conference Tournament Quarterfinals

FRANKFORT, Ky. - P.J. Rase scored a game-high 34 points on a 17-for-17 performance from the free-throw line, but it wasn't enough to slow down No. 1-seed Campbellsville (Ky.) University as the Tigers topped the No. 8-seed University of Rio Grande (Ohio) 93-77 on Friday in the first round of the Mid-South Conference Basketball Tournament at the Frankfort Convention Center.

Nestor Colmenares paced Campbellsville with 23 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, while JaVaughn Espritt flirted with a double-double with 21 points and nine rebounds.

Rase got help from Doug Campbell with 15 points and Brad Cubbie with 10 points for the Redstorm.

Campbellsville (25-6) trailed briefly in the first half after a basket by P.J. Rase put Rio Grande (5-26) in front 5-4 three minutes into the game. Colmenares responded on the next trip with a field goal to retake the lead and the Tigers never looked back.

Complete Recap

Shelby Valley's Elisha Justice in Sports Illustrated

Shelby Valley point guard Elisha Justice is featured in the current Sports Illustratred magazine.

Here is an excerpt from the magazine's Faces in the Crowd segment:

Elisha Justice

PIKEVILLE, K.Y. > Basketball

Elisha, a senior guard at Shelby Valley High, set the state record for career steals while making seven in a 78-31 win over East Ridge; through Sunday his total was 521. He also holds school records for career points (1,940) and assists (602). The Wildcats won their second straight state small-school title, with Elisha repeating as the tournament's MVP.

Justice had 17 points (all in the 1st half), 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals as Shelby Valley defeated Prestonsburg in the first round of the 15th region tournament last night. Elisha's state record for career steals is now at 524. He also has 1,957 career points pushing him close to the 2,000-point milestone.

Justice will attend Louisville next season where he will walk-on for the Cardinals. Recently head coach Rick Pitino introduced Justice to the Louisville team:

“I want you to meet the newest member of our team. This is BULLET. He is called BULLET because he is faster than a speeding bullet.”

Their coaching staff and team have never called him anything else since.

Did John Calipari's Schedule Upgrade Help This Season?

One thing John Calipari attempted to do in his first season at Kentucky was to upgrade the team's out-of-conference schedule so that the opponents' overall RPI was significantly improved over previous seasons.

Calipari stated that he wanted to schedule mid-majors that were projected near the top of their respective conferences and that would end the season with an RPI less than 150.

I have broken down the season (yes, I used Excel spreadsheets) to see if Calipari was able to accomplish his scheduling goals.

Let's take a look at the numbers:

*RPI's were taken from at 12:05 a.m. on Friday, March 5


Record: 28-2, 13-2 SEC
RPI: 4

Breaking down the opposition:


UK's Opponents' Combined Overall Records: 492-397
Non-Conference Combined Overall Records: 233-219
Conference (SEC) Combined Overall Records: 259-178


All Opponents Average RPI: 110.77
Conference (SEC) Average RPI: 79.93
Non-Conference Average RPI: 141.60

RPI Range Analysis, Non-Conference:

1-50 = 2
51-100 = 3
101-150 = 2
151-200 = 5
201-250 = 2
250+ = 1

RPI Range Analysis, SEC:

1-50 = 4
51-100 = 7
101-150 = 3
151-200 = 0
201-250 = 1

RPI Range Analysis, Overall:

1-50 = 6
51-100 = 10
101-150 = 5
151-200 = 5
201-250 = 3
250+ = 1

Average Conference Rank, Non-Conference Opponents (As of today): 6th Place

Top 5 Opponent's RPI:

- Vanderbilt 13
- Tennessee 16
- Louisville 36
- Connecticut 49
- Florida 52

Bottom 5 Opponent's RPI:

- Hartford 299
- LSU 223
- Indiana 218
- UNC-Asheville 217
- Stanford 170

Top 5 Opponent's Records:

- Vanderbilt 23-6
- Sam Houston State 22-6
- Tennessee 22-7
- Morehead State 22-9
- Mississippi 20-9

Bottom 5 Opponent's Records:

- Hartford 8-21
- Indiana 9-20
- LSU 10-19
- Miami (OH) 13-17
- Stanford 13-16


- Kentucky's resume is damaged by weak season's from teams like North Carolina, Indiana, Stanford and LSU
- Hartford's RPI is a paltry 299
- LSU's RPI (as an SEC team) is 223
- Indiana comes in at 218
- Who knew Morehead State (95) and Sam Houston State (73) would be considered quality wins

My Thoughts:

In a normal season, Kentucky's schedule would be tremendous. However, with teams like Indiana and North Carolina struggling, it damages the quality of UK's non-conference schedule. Kentucky's non-conference opponent's RPI averages out to 141.60, but it should be closer to 100.

I am concerned that Kentucky has not played any teams with a top 10 RPI, but they are 3-1 against teams in the 11-20 range.

There is no value in playing against teams like Hartford or UNC-Asheville. Unfortunately, the other three lowest RPI's come from Indiana, LSU and Stanford - three BCS schools.


- Has Kentucky been tested enough this season?
- Is there a great difference between RPI 11-20 and RPI 1-10?
- Are analysts justified in questioning UK's strenght of schedule and lack of quality wins?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

SI, ESPN Release Latest Power Rankings and have both released their latest respective power rankings for college basketball.

Kentucky comes in at No. 3 behind Syracuse and Kansas in both sets of rankings. Top 5:

1. Syracuse
2. Kansas
3. Kentucky
4. Ohio State
5. New Mexico Top 5:

1. Syracuse
2. Kansas
3. Kentucky
4. Duke
5. Ohio State

Moses Abraham Will Decide Soon, Considering Kentucky

According to, 6-9 forward Moses Abraham will announce his college choice on March 14.

He is considering Georgetown, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland and Seton Hall.

Abraham is rated as a 4-star recruit by Profile

MSC Hands Out Awards, Colmenares Player of the Year

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Mid-South Conference announced its men's basketball all-conference team on Thursday night at the conference's annual banquet.

Campbellsville University senior forward Nestor Colmenares is the MSC Men's Basketball Player of the Year. Colmenares is one of 10 men named to the team that was voted on by the conference coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.

Colmenares ranks in the conference's top five in five individual statistical categories and sixth in another. He leads the MSC in rebounds per game (9.6) and tied for first with the most double-doubles (11) this season.

His 15-point scoring average is sixth best in the conference while he is second in field goal percentage (60.5) and fifth in steals (1.5) and blocks (1.0) per game.

Colmenares earned MSC Player of the Week twice during the season.

Nationally, Colmenares is eighth in the nation in field goal percentage and 11th in rebounding.

Joining Colmenares on the all-conference team is teammate T.J. Bishop; University of the Cumberlands' Chad Byron and Brandon Russ; Georgetown College's Hollis Giles and Vic Moses; Lindsey Wilson College's Eric McPherson; Pikeville College's Jonathan Clark; and St. Catharine College's Arthur Latham and Ervin Williams.

Lindsey Wilson's Kalen Kimberland was named the MSC Freshman of the Year after averaging 10.2 points and shooting nearly 45-percent from the field this season.

Cumberlands' Byron was named the Champions of Character recipient. Byron earned the award -- as voted on by the conference athletics director -- for his civic and servant leadership within the campus and community.

St. Catharine's J.T. Burton was selected by their peers as MSC Coach of the Year after leading the Patriots to a 20-win season after winning just five games a season ago.

Kimberland, Lindsey Wilson's Andrija Tintor; Pikeville's Justin Hicks; St. Catharine's Josh Edwards and Kevin Owens; University of Rio Grande's P.J. Rase; Cumberlands' Travis Harvey; West Virginia University Tech's Robby Marshall and Darryl Slack were named honorable mention all-conference.

Eighteen student-athletes earned academic all-conference for maintaining at least a 3.25 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and being a sophomore or higher standing.

Campbellsville's Jordon Benock and Brett Crittenden; Cumberlands' Byron, Dustin Fothergill, Nathaniel Mitchell and Clark Stepp; Georgetown's Dillon Boggs and Kyle Saxton; Lindsey Wilson's Ismar Neto and Chase Spreen; Pikeville's Zach Hurt, Adam Simmons, and Andre Thornton; Rio Grande's Wendell Bates, Jr. and P.J. Rase; St. Catharine's Kris Caufield and Brandon Johnson; and West Virginia Tech's Zach Thomsen earned academic all-conference.

The Mid-South Conference Men's Basketball Tournament opens on Friday with four quarterfinal games at the Frankfort Convention Center.

Top-seeded Campbellsville faces No. 8-seed Rio Grande at 10 a.m. ET with fourth-seeded St. Catharine and fifth-seeded Pikeville College playing at Noon ET.

No. 3-seed Cumberlands meets No. 6-ssed Lindsey Wilson at 6 p.m. ET and No. 2-seed Georgetown and No. 7-seed West Virginia Tech close out the opening round at 8 p.m. ET.

Friday's winners play in Saturday's semifinals. Games are scheduled for 2 and 4 p.m. ET. The MSC Tournament Championship is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 7.

Source: Press release by MSC

Morehead State, Murray State Dominate OVC Awards

The Ohio Valley Conference announced its annual awards tonight and they were largely dominated by the league's two best teams: Morehead State and Murray State.

Morehead State's Kenneth Faried was named OVC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He was named to the All-OVC First Team while teammate Maze Stallworth earned a spot on the Second Team.

Billy Kennedy of Murray State was named OVC Coach of the Year. Racers' freshman Isaiah Canaan, who recently nailed a half court shot from his knees, earned conference Freshmen of the Year. Murray State placed Isaac Miles and B.J. Jenkins on the First Team, Danero Thomas and Tony Easley on the Second Team and Jenkins and Canaan on the Newcomer Team.

Josh Taylor of Eastern Kentucky was placed on the All-OVC Second Team.

OVC Player of the Year: Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
OVC Defensive Player of the Year: Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
OVC Freshmen of the Year: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
OVC Coach of the Year: Billy Kennedy, Murray State


Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
Wesley Channels, Austin Peay
Isacc Miles, Murray State
Tyler Laser, Eastern Illinois
B.J. Jenkins, Murray State


Anthony Campbell, Austin Peay
Maze Stallworth, Morehead State
Danero Thomas, Murray State
Tony Easley, Murray State
Josh Taylor, Eastern Kentucky


B.J. Jenkins, Murray State
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Robert Covington, Tennessee State
James Hollowell, Eastern Illinois
Jacquan Nobles, Tennessee State

Jonathan Ferguson Returns to Basketball, Chooses NKU

Jonathan Ferguson, who finished his career at Elliott County High School as the all-time leading scorer in 16th Region history, has decided to return to basketball following a one-year hiatus.

Ferguson had decided to continue his career at Northern Kentucky University, an NCAA Division II program. At NKU, he will rejoin former Elliott County teammate, and good friend, Ethan Faulkner.

"I am really excited to go to Northern and play with Ethan again," he explained this afternoon.

Ferguson is also impressed with the facilities at Northern Kentucky.

He said, "Their gym is fabulous. It is one of the nicest gyms I've ever been in."

Following a stellar high school career that included 3,377 points and three consecutive 16th Region titles, Ferguson decided to step away from basketball. He felt the need to enjoy life and enrolled at Morehead State University as a student.

When he was contacted by several schools to gauge his interest, if any, in making a return to basketball, he started to mull his options.

"It really has been bothering me for some time because I missed the excitement of playing competitively," Ferguson stated.

After watching several games in person recently, Ferguson decided that he had a need to return to the court. He has been working out for several months now and observers have stated that, if anything, he is actually shooting the ball better than he ever has.

Ferguson considered several options during the past few weeks, but feels he found his home with the Norse.

Knight, Pine Crest Fall in Championship Game; Decision Soon

Kentucky recruit Brandon Knight and Pine Crest were unable to win their third consecutive Florida Class 3A state championship this afternoon.

The Panthers fell 70-46 to Tallahassee Rickards.

Knight, the No. 1 overall player in the 2010 Class, scored 18 points but was slowed significantly by a sore groin. He finished 5-10 from the field.

Several sources are reporting that a college announcement will be "coming soon" from Knight. A friend in Miami that has followed Knight's recruitment closely is hearing that Knight is likely down to Florida and Kentucky as his final two.

Officially, he still lists Kentucky, Florida, Kansas, Connecticut and Miami.

Kentucky Recruits Ross and Jones May Join Forces

Kentucky 2010 recruits Terrence Ross and Terrence Jones may join forces soon - in more ways than one.

There are reports by that Ross is filing an eligibility appeal with the Oregon School Activities Association's eligibility appeals board.

The eligibility meeting will come one day before Jefferson (Or.) High School opens postseason competition. The OSAA executive director expects a decision by Friday, assuming the committee doesn't have a need for more information.

Ross has been practicing with the team. He still lists Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon as his potential college choices.

Another rumor that has started today is that Jones and Ross may be nearing a decision to commit to Washington. Both players have Washington on their lists and it would not be shocking if they chose the Huskies.

I consider that a rumor for now, but is something that is worth keeping an eye on.

Kentucky Dominates Yahoo! Sports All-SEC Teams

Yahoo! Sports has released its all-conference teams for this season in college basketball and the SEC awards are dominated by Kentucky.

John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson are all three on the All-SEC First Team, according to Yahoo.

Wall was named conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Head coach John Calipari was named SEC Coach of the Year.


G John Wall, Kentucky
F DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
G Devan Downey, South Carolina
F Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
C Jarvis Varnardo, Mississippi State

Player of the Year: John Wall, Kentucky
Coach of the Year: John Calipari, Kentucky
Freshman of the Year: John Wall, Kentucky

Newcomer of the Year: Vernon Macklin, Florida
Defensive Player of the Year: Jarvis Varnardo, Mississippi State
Sixth Man of the Year: John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
Most Improved: Travis Leslie, Georgia

Moses Named Mid-South Conference Player of the Week

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Georgetown College's Vic Moses is the Mid-South Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, the conference announced on Monday.

The weekly conference honor is Moses' second straight and the second of the season and his career.

Moses averaged 16.5 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent (12-of-21) from the field to help the Tigers to wins over St. Catharine College and University of Rio Grande last week.

The Lexington, Ky., opened the week with 21 points and 11 rebounds in the Tigers' 84-64 win over St. Catharine. He finished the week with 12 points and 11 rebounds in an 86-68 win over Rio Grande.

Moses finishes the regular season leading the conference in scoring at 17.6 points per game and field goal shooting at 66.8 percent. He's third in the conference averaging 8.5 rebounds per game.

No. 10-ranked Georgetown concluded the regular season with a 23-6 record. The Tigers finished second in the MSC at 11-3.

Georgetown faces West Virginia University Tech at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, March 5 in the MSC Tournament quarterfinals at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky.

Source: press release by MSC

C.J. Leslie is Down to a Final Three; Kentucky In the Mix

Word of God Christian Academy senior C.J. Leslie has narrowed his final list to three schools according to ESPN.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

C.J. Leslie (Holly Springs, N.C./Word of God Christian Academy) has narrowed his choices down to three: Kentucky, NC State and Florida. Source

My thoughts: Everyone I talk to seems to think that there is actually a two horse race for Leslie: N.C. State and Kentucky. Everyone also indicates that Kentucky is likely in the lead as they enter the homestretch.

Here's some impressive footage of Leslie in action

Kentucky States's Tony Johnson Honored by SIAC

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) has handed out the league's postseason awards.

Kentucky State's Tony Johnson was named to the All-SIAC Second Team.

First Team All-Conference

Najee Lane, Clark Atlanta, 6-4, Jr., G/F
Eric Salley, Claflin, 6-2, Jr., G
LeDarius Johnson, LeMoyne-Owen, 6-3, Sr., G
Lajay Sears, Stillman, 6-4, Jr., G
Andre Nelson, Tuskegee, 6-6, Jr., F/C

Second Team All-Conference

Kennie Eberhart, Benedict, 6-4, Jr., G
Tony Johnson, Kentucky State, 6-2, Jr., G
Maurice Mickens, LeMoyne-Owen, 6-0, Sr., G
Jelani Figures, Morehouse, 6-4, Jr., G
Geno Green, Paine, 6-4, So., F

SIAC MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Najee Lane, Clark Atlanta
SIAC COACH OF THE YEAR: Darryl Jacobs, Clark Atlanta

Kentucky State's season came to an end last night in the SIAC Tournament as the Thorobreds were defeated 79-60 by the tourney's No. 1 seed Clark Atlanta.

You Decide: Who Had the Better Dunk This Season?

Georgia's Travis Leslie:

Or Kentucky's John Wall:

Will Kentucky "Flop" in the NCAA Tournament

Jonathan Pickett writes on that Kentucky is one of four teams that will flop in March Madness.

He lists Kentucky along with Purdue, Duke and Georgetown as teams that have serious flaws that will lead to disappointing performances in the NCAA Tournament.

His basis for adding Kentucky to the list is twofold:

- they will not be able to go far with a bunch of freshmen and newcomers

- UK's resume; despite the record, they haven't really had many quality wins

I present this article because it ties in with another article that will be up soon that breaks down Kentucky schedule, RPI and that good stuff as they prepare for March Madness.

Stay tuned...we will continue this discussion soon.

Calipari Makes Yahoo! Sports' All-Coaching Team

Kentucky head coach John Calipari has been selected by Yahoo! Sports as a first team member of their "All-Coaches Team".

Here is an excerpt on Calipari:

John Calipari, Kentucky – No coach in America is as good at dealing with one-and-done players as Calipari, who has done a masterful job with freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. Both are All-America candidates who are expected to be top five picks in this summer’s NBA draft, and both have improved immensely – on the court and off of it – under Calipari’s tutelage. Calipari often draws praise for his ability to recruit, and rightfully so. But he’s extremely underrated when it comes to actual coaching.

The First Team consists of:

Bill Self, Kansas
Dave Rose, BYU
Frank Martin, Kansas State
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse

Terrence Williams Scores Career High for Nets

Former Louisville Cardinal Terrence Williams scored a career high 21 points in a 111-92 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers last night.

Williams came of the bench to play 32 minutes for the struggling Nets (6-54). He was 8-16 from the field, 2-3 from long range and 3-6 from the free throw line. Williams also added 5 rebounds and 7 assists.

For his rookie season, Williams is averaging 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.


NAIA Division II National Tournament Field Announced

The field for the NAIA Division II natonal tournament has been selected and released.

There will be no teams from Kentucky in the field as Brescia University missed an at-large berth in heart-breaking fashion. The tournament allows for 32 at-large bids that are selected by a ranking formula - Brescia was No. 33 on the list.

BU head coach Joe Pechota told American Chronicle:

"Just like the NCAA, it's never a perfect formula, but it's frustrating when you see teams in the field you've beaten and teams you know you're better than," he said. "Unfortunately, we were left on the outside looking in, and being that close at No. 33 is disappointing.

"To put in that much work all year long and come up that short hurts."

Brescia finished the season with a 23-10 record and a runner-up finish in the KIAC conference tournament.

It was also a gut-wrenching finish for Union College. The Bulldogs (20-13) lost the AAC championship game 86-85 on a last-second tip-in.

Brutal Punch Thrown in Women's Basketball Game


So, who is Brittney Griner?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kentucky Blasts Georgia, Earns Share of SEC Title

(3) Kentucky 80
Georgia 68

Game recap by

Kentucky defeated Georgia 80-68 and earned at least a share of the school's 44th Southeastern Conference regular season championship. A Kentucky win or Vanderbilt loss will give Kentucky the outright championship.

The Wildcats, which shot 2-22 from long range against Tennessee in their last game, started the game off 0-2 from beyond the 3-point line. A John Wall 3-pointer at the 17:45 mark seemed to give Kentucky confidence as they opened the game with a quick 7-2 run.

Georgia answered with a 9-0 run and the rest of the half was played within 6 points. Kentucky took a 40-36 lead into the halftime locker room.

Kentucky struggled with defensive rebounding early, but picked it up a notch late in the first half and into the second half. A quick 5-o burst to start the second half put Kentucky in the lead to stay.

The Cats went up by as many as 19 points and then held on for a 12-point victory.

Wall led Kentucky (28-2, 13-2 SEC) with 24 points on 8-10 field goal shooting. He was 3-5 from long range, 5-5 from the free throw line and dished out 6 assists in the game. Patrick Patterson added a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The story of the game for the Wildcats may have been the production of their bench players. They earned a season-high 24 points off the bench, led by Darnell Dodson's 11. In all, the bench contributed 72 minutes, 24 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and only 1 turnover.

The Bulldogs (13-15, 5-10 SEC) were led by Jeremy Price with 19 points and 6 rebounds.

Kentucky shot 31-57 from the field for a blistering 54.4%. They were 8-24 from beyond the 3-point line and 10-12 from the free throw line.


- DeMarcus Cousins was limited to 6 points, 4 rebounds and 6 blocks because of early foul trouble; he played only 21 minutes in the game
- Wall and Patterson combined: 15-21 FG, 4-7 3PT, 7-7 FT, 11 REB, 7 AST, 5 STL, 5 BLK, 41 PTS
- Miller could not find his long-range shot (0-5 3PT), but he contributed some superb defense
- Dodson finally found his shot; he was 4-8 from the field and 3-6 from long range
- Harrellson made a surprising appearance midway through the first half in relief of Cousins, who had 2 early fouls
- Liggins returned to the player Kentucky needs tonight; he provided energy and defense off the bench and he also executed the "dribble drive" to perfection a couple of times
- Hood asked for playing time; he was "rewarded" with 42 seconds of mop-up duty
- Kentucky lost the rebounding battle 35-26, but only had 10 turnovers and shot 54.4% from the field
- Kentucky earns at least a share of its 44th SEC Title; that's outstanding

Calipari discusses the game (via BlueNationBlog's YouTube page):

Tyndall Signs with All Pro Sports & Entertainment

DENVER (FEB. 28, 2010) All Pro Sports & Entertainment is pleased to announce that Morehead State University men’s head basketball coach Donnie Tyndall has selected the sports management firm for representation.

At the beginning of the 2009-10 season, Tyndall was recognized by Athlon Sports Magazine College Basketball Preview as one of the Top 10 Under the Radar Coaches. Since earning that recognition, the Eagles have compiled back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history. Their 14 Ohio Valley Conference wins also set a school standard for conference wins in a season.

Tyndall, the 2008 Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, has an extensive history in collegiate coaching with experience at Middle Tennessee State University, University of Idaho, Louisiana State University and St. Catherine College.

Release by All Pro Sports & Entertainment

The company also represents the likes of Barry Sanders, Jesse Palmer, Jerome Bettis, Samari Rolle and Derrick Mason.

Stacey Poole Drops a Freestyle Rap During Interview

Stacey Poole is going to bring more than basketball talent to the Bluegrass State:

Brandon Knight Leads Pine Crest to State Finals

Kentucky recruit Brandon Knight scored 25 points to lead Pine Crest (25-4) to a 77-63 victory over Williston (8-24) this afternoon in Florida's Class 3A state semifinals.

Knight left the game late with what appeared to be cramping muscles but announced afterwards that he is fine.

He was 9-14 from the field, including 3-6 from the 3-point line on the day.

NOTE: Williston's record is a little deceiving as they forfeited 19 games due to an ineligible player.

Thomas More's McKeehan Nominated for Jostens Trophy

(SALEM, Va.) - Thomas More College power forward Daniel McKeehan (Maineville, Ohio/Little Miami) has been selected as one of the 10 finalists for the highly prestigious 2010 Jostens Trophy.

The Josten Trophy is a national award created by the Rotary Club of Salem, Virginia, to honor the most outstanding men's Division III basketball player of the year. The award takes into account three vital parts: basketball ability, academic prowess and community service. The trophy models the Rotary International motto of "Service above Self" by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded Division III student-athlete. This year's trophy marks the 13th year the ward has been presented.

McKeehan helped lead his team to a 21-7 record and a share of its second straight Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) regular season title. He played in all 28 games for the Saints, including 26 starts and led the team in scoring with a 15.6 points per game average. McKeehan also had a team-leading .632 field goal percentage while averaging 4.9 rebounds per game. A solid all-around player, he also was the team leader with 64 assists and 63 steals.

In the classroom, McKeehan carries a perfect 4.00 grade point average with a double major in Economics and Business Finance. Last week he was named the College Division ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Men's Basketball Player of the Year by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). (Source: Release by TMC)

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