Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ex-Cat Jodie Meeks is Starting to Produce for Philadelphia



Former Kentucky shooting guard Jodie Meeks is starting to find his groove with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Meeks, who was really struggling after being traded to Philadelphia, is averaging 12.8 points per game during his last four games.

In tonight's 120-101 victory over Memphis, he scored 14 points on 5-12 shooting, including 4-7 from long range.

During the last four games, Meeks is 9-17 (52.9%) from the 3-point line.

A.J. Slaughter Finishes Up Successful Portsmouth Invitational



Kentucky native A.J. Slaughter finished up a successful run in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this evening as his Norfolk Sports Club lost to Portsmouth Partnership 87-84 in the event's consolation game.

Slaughter was 4-12 from the field and finished with 9 points and 3 steals.

In 3 games at the PIT, Slaughter averaged 16.0 points, 3.0 assist and 3.3 rebounds.

Slaughter just wrapped up an impressive career at Western Kentucky.

A.J. Slaughter's Statistics at the Portsmouth Invitational:

Game 1: 10-12 FG 4-5 3PT 4-4 FT 4 REB 28 TP 5 AST 3 TO 1 BLK 2 STL 21 MIN
Game 2: 5-14 FG 0-5 3PT 1-1 FT 4 REB 11 TP 3 AST 1 TO 0 BLK 0 STL 24 MIN
Game 3: 4-12 FG 1-2 3PT 0-0 FT 2 REB 9 TP 1 AST 4 TO 0 BLK 3 STL 31 MIN

Patrick Patterson is "50/50" on Returning to Kentucky



Patrick Patterson has stated today that he is only 50/50 on leaving Kentucky or entering the NBA Draft. He said the decision to leave or stay is essentially "a tie" right now.

Here is an excerpt:

“I’m half in and half out right now,” Patterson said in an interview with The Associated Press Saturday while he was watching horse races at Keeneland.

Patterson called the decision on whether to leave or stay for a senior season “a tie,” adding that he hasn’t signed the paperwork to enter the NBA draft so “technically I haven’t declared.”
He said he was weighing several things, including the talent level of next season’s Kentucky team and the possibility of an NBA lockout. Coach John Calipari has encouraged him to return to Kentucky, Patterson said, although he believes he is ready to play at the next level.


Complete Article

Ex-Cat Rajon Rondo Receives Red Auerbach Award



Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo has been given the Red Auerbach Award for his efforts as a member of the Boston Celtics.

The award is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of a Celtic on and off the court.

The Auerbach Award was first handed out in 2006, and past winners include Paul Pierce, Al Jefferson, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Rondo is averaging a career-high 13.5 points per game and has set single-season Boson records this season for assists (751 currently) and steals (183 currently).

Source: NESN.com

UK Recruits, Elisha Justice are MaxPreps All-Americans


Several Kentucky recruits and future Louisville Cardinal Elisha Justice have been named MaxPreps.com All-Americans.

Harrison Barnes, who is heading to North Carolina, was named national player of the year.

First Team:

Harrison Barnes, Ames (Iowa), North Carolina
Kyrie Irvining, St. Patrick (NJ), Duke
Brandon Knight, Pine Crest (Fla.), Undecided
Ray McCallum, Detroit Country Day (Mich.), Undecided
Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio), Ohio State

Second Team:

Tobias Harris, Half Hollow Hills West (NY), Tennessee
Joe Jackson, White Station (Tenn.), Memphis
Terrence Jones, Jefferson (Ore.), Undecided
Cory Joseph, Findlay Prep (Nev.), Undecided
Austin Rivers, Winter Park (Fla.), Undecided

Others:

- Third Team: Josh Selby, Lake Clifton (Md.), Undecided
- Fourth Team: Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick (NJ), Undecided
- Fifth Team: Brandon Peters, Yates (Texas), Western Kentucky
- Honorable Mention: Wayne Blackshear, Morgan Park (Ill.), Louisville
- Honorable Mention: Elisha Justice, Shelby Valley (Ky.), Louisville (walk-on)
- Honorable Mention: Doron Lamb, Oak Hill Academy (Va.), Undecided

Slaughter Cools Off, Still Plays Well at Portsmouth


Western Kentucky's A.J. Slaughter cooled down a bit on the offensive end, but still played well on day 2 of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.

Slaughter's Norfolk Sports Club team lost 77-67 in the event's semifinal round to a talented K&D Rounds Landscaping squad.

The Western Kentucky guard scored 11 points on 5-14 shooting. He was 0-5 from long range and added 4 rebounds.

NSC returns to action in this evening's consolation game against Portsmouth Partnership. The game will be played at 6:00 p.m. ET.

PP's roster includes Mikhail Torrance (Alabama), Jeff Foote (Cornell) and Ben Uzoh (Tulsa).

TheShiver.com Interviews UK Recruit Terrence Jones



TheShiver.com has an interview from the Nike Hoop Summit with 2010 forward Terrence Jones.

NOTE: Click on image to hear interview in its entirety

Make sure you watch the Nike Hoop Summit game tonight on FSN at 10:00 p.m. (ET). There will be a handful of UK recruits, including Jones, Enes Kanter, Cory Joseph and Brandon Knight.

2010 Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game is Tonight


The 2010 Ohio-Kentucky All-Star basketball game will be held tonight at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

The doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and there will be a girl's game at 5:30 and a boy's game at 7:30.

The Kentucky roster is talented and includes Jarrod Polson, who is getting a look from Kentucky.

Future Morehead State guard Kevin Gray will be on the Ohio squad.

2010 Kentucky Roster:

Colt Barnill, East Carter
Jomari Bradshaw, Louisville Waggener
Demarko Foster, Newport
Donovan Gibbs, Louisville Iroquois
Vance Hall, Franklin County
Thomas Jackson, Jeffersontown
Jeremiah Johnson, Holmes
Ricardo Johnson, Holmes
Keisten Jones, Louisville Ballard
Jarrod Polson, West Jessamine
Tanner Peurach, Lexington Catholic
Orlando Rutledge, Louisville Fern Creek
Jamal Stephenson, Louisville PRP
Curtis Washington, Elizabethtown
Shaquille Wilson, Christian County

Head Coach: David Henley, Holmes
Assistant: Scott Chalk, Franklin County
Assistant: Michael Stinnett, Louisville Iroquois

William Green Seeking Transfer from Western Kentucky


Freshman William Green is now the second player, joining redshirt freshman Jameson Tipping, to seek a transfer from the Western Kentucky basketball program.

Green met with Western Kentucky head coach Ken McDonald and the two came to an agreement that the better option might be a transfer.

Green is a 6-6 small forward and did not play in 2009-10.

He said he is not certain what the future holds and has not made a decision on where he will end up.

Terrence Williams Nets First Career Triple-Double



Former Louisville Cardinal Terrence "T-Will" Williams netted his first career triple-double tonight as the Nets defeated the Bulls 127-116 in double overtime.

Williams scored 27 points on 12-25 field goal shooting in 49 minutes of action. He was 1-3 from the 3-point line and 2-3 from the free throw line. He added 13 rebounds and 10 assists to complete the career night.

With the win, the Nets improved to 12-67 on the season.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ohio State's Evan Turner Wins John R. Wooden Award



Ohio State's Evan Turner has won the John R. Wooden Award as college basketball's best player in 2009-10.

Turner was just announced as the winner during the ceremonies at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Kentucky's John Wall was one of the five finalists.

Pictured: John Calipari does the John Wall Dance and says it's one of the things he learned this season

Brandon Knight to Sign Live on ESPNU Wednesday



Kentucky recruit Brandon Knight plans to sign a college letter-of-intent live on ESPNU's Signing Day Special Wednesday at 4 p.m.

The signing will take place at Pine Crest Auditorium.

Knight will make a formal decision between Connecticut, Kentucky, Florida, Kansas or Syracuse.

He averaged 31.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists this season at Pine Crest High School.

Source: SunSentinel.com

My Thoughts: I'm going with Kentucky.

Brandon Knight Stood Out Most at Nike Hoop Summit Practice


DraftExpress.com's Matt Kamalsky reports on day two of the Nike Hoop Summit Practices. In his report, Kamalsky states that Kentucky recruit Brandon Knight is the player that stood out the most today.

Here is an excerpt:

The player who stood out the most today was Brandon Knight. After struggling to find his stroke last week until the waning moments of the McDonald’s All-American Game, Knight looked extremely good during the scrimmage, hitting a couple of threes from behind the NBA line and looking much more active and in control than he did in Columbus. Knight also put his athleticism on display, coming away with a couple of dunks on broken plays and using his jumper to set up his first step.

Though we didn’t see the playmaking from Knight that we’d hoped, he was splitting time between the one and the two. When he was running the show, Knight was more vocal than we saw him in any other practice we’ve watched recently, telling his teammates where to go. On top of his showing offensively, he also showed some nice things defensively. Knight has exceptional lateral burst, allowing him to prevent dribble penetration and create some turnovers with his length. Built like an NFL wide receiver, this was much closer to what we expected out of Knight coming in.

The article also has some updates on Terrence Jones, Cory Joseph and several other players.


Photo: USABasketball.com

Jameson Tipping to Leave Western Kentucky



Western Kentucky redshirt freshman Jameson Tipping has decided to transfer from the Hilltopper program.

Tipping stated that it was a mutual decision that was made after a meeting with WKU head coach Ken McDonald.

He averaged 1.7 points and 7.8 minutes per game in 2009-10.

Tipping says he talked to a bunch of schools in the Florida area and will likely end up at the DI or JUCO level in the Sunshine State.

Source

Daniel Orton and the Evolution of "Hate Mail"


Ryan Corazza has an interesting piece on ESPN.com this afternoon that discusses the hate messages Daniel Orton has received on Facebook and how is an example of the changes social media have allowed.

Here is an excerpt:

Before the rise of social media, getting an athlete to hear your words in all their vitriolic glory was a much more difficult process. You'd have to track down an address sans Internet, then handwrite or type something up or (for the more deranged) cut and paste letters from magazines ransom-note style, toss it in an envelope, stamp it and get it in the mailbox.

Depending on where you live, it could take a few days to get to the destination. Then there was no guarantee it would get to the athlete in question. If you're able to drum up only a team or stadium address, would the athletic office want to pass off something like this to a freshman?

And even finding a public figure's e-mail address is oftentimes a daunting task.

But on Facebook? Type in Daniel Orton's name. Click "send a message." Type what you want to say. Hit send. It's now in Orton's pocket on his cell phone. Instantly.



My Thoughts: This is a pretty interesting article on how social media has changed the way the world communicates. I think it is definitely worth a read.

Former Kentucky Wildcat Continues Quest for Scoring Title


Former Kentucky guard Gerald Fitch is in hot pursuit of the league scoring title in Spain's top-level ACB League.

On Monday, Fitch led all scorers with 20 points in Fuenlabrada's 78-70 win over Valladolid.

He was 7-11 from the field, including 2-3 from long distance in the win. Fitch also had 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

Fitch is now averaging 18.7 points per game, which is second by only 0.4 to Jaycee Carroll of Gran Canaria for tops in the prestigious Spanish league.

Related News:

- In his first 3 games in Israel, ex-Cat Erik Daniels is averaging 9.7 points and 4 rebounds per game. He scored 20 in his first game, but has only had 5 and 4 in two games since.

- Cliff Hawkins had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in his latest outing in Poland - a 71-69 victory

Source: EuroBasket.com

Elijah Pittman Signs with Chipola College (Fla.)


Jody Demling of the Courier-Journal reports this afternoon that Elijah Pittman from Covington Holmes has signed with Chipola College in Mariana, Florida.

Chipola is a junior college program that has produced two of the past three JUCO Players of the Year. They have sent 44 of 46 players into the Division I ranks the past six years.

Photo: nkysportsblog.com

Gregg Doyel Reports that Enes Kanter is Cleared to Play



There is a bit of good news for Kentucky fans this afternoon as Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com reports that Enes Kanter has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Here is Doyel's post on Twitter:

greggdoyelcbs For Ky hoops fans my research found that 6-11 C Enes Kanter has been cleared by NCAA Clearinghouse

Kanter, a talented 2010 big man, has already committed to Kentucky.

Calipari, Kentucky Staff Are Logging Major Miles


John Calipari and his Kentucky staff are currently logging major hours on the recruiting trail as they look to replace as many as eight players from the 2009-10 roster.

Calipari was in Virginia and North Carolina yesterday and back to Lexington this morning to sign Maker's Mark bottles at Keeneland.

He is now heading towards the West Coast, where he and John Wall will attend the John R. Wooden Award ceremonies. He will also make recruiting stops while out west. It is important to note the Nike Hoop Summit event that will take place in Oregon this weekend and includes a handful of Kentucky recruits: Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter and Cory Joseph.

After a west coast swing, Calipari is planning a trip back to the east coast and New York City.

Calipari is not the only member of the Kentucky staff that is working overtime to help shore up the 2010 recruiting class and beyond.

Assistant Orlando Antigua alluded to his efforts on Twitter earlier:

UKCoachO Back on the grind , loggin some major miles the next few weeks have to put together a team to represent BBN.

John Robic, Tony Delk and Scott Padgett are taking care of some other recruiting interests, including Jarrod Polson.

Kentucky, Louisville Recruits in Derby Festival Classic



There will be a host of Louisville and Kentucky recruits participating in this weekend's Kentucky Derby Festival Classic at Freedom Hall in Louisville.

Louisville will have Justin Coleman, Russ Smith and Elisha Justice playing in the event. They are also heavily involved with undecided big man Gorgui Dieng.

Stacey Poole will represent Kentucky's 2010 class in the event.

2010 Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic Participants:

Player College Ht/Wt Position Team

Anthony Brown #3 Stanford 6’7/180 F Black
Justin Coleman #21 Louisville 6’5/215 F Black
Gorgui Dieng #10 Undecided – interest Louisville 6’10/210 C Black

Ryan Harrow #12 NC State 6’/158 G Black
Tyler Lamb #0 UCLA 6’4/195 G Black
Nate Lubick #33 Georgetown 6’9/227 F Black
Russ Smith #24 Louisville 6’2/150 G Black
Trey Zeigler #32 Undecided 6’5/185 G Black
Elisha Justice Louisville 5'11/167 G Black

Moses Abraham Undecided 6’9/235 C White
Trae Golden #5 Tennessee 6’2/190 G White
Josh Hairston #15 Duke 6’9/195 F White
Justin Martin #20 Xavier 6’6/200 F White
Ray McCallum #3 Undecided 6’2/175 G White
Jordan McRae #1 Tennessee 6’6/180 G/F White
Victor Oladipo #23 Indiana 6’5/180 G White
Stacey Poole, Jr. #2 Kentucky 6’5/200 F White
Dwight Powell #33 Stanford 6’9/215 C White
Royce Woolridge Kansas 6’1/175 G White

Location: Freedom Hall
Event Date: 04/10/2010
Time: 7 PM
Tickets: $12 and $17 reserved (includes $2 KEC facility fee). On sale NOW. Tickets on sale at Ticketmaster locations and the Freedom Hall Box Office.
Admission:Ticket & $6 KEC Parking Fee
Sponsored By: papajohns.com and Verizon Wireless
Contributing Sponsors: adidas, Basketball Academy and 99.7 DJX
Media Partner: Slam Magazine, Live Coverage on 99.7 DJX and Wazoo Sports

"Strong Sentiment" that C.J. Leslie May Choose N.C. State


Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com states in his "Mailbag" article today that there is a strong sentiment that C.J. Leslie may go back to North Carolina State.

Here is an excerpt from Meyer:

Rarely do you see a recruit go back to a school that he has decommitted from, but at the McDonald's All-American Game last week there was a strong sentiment that Leslie will do just that.

Leslie, who committed to North Carolina State during his sophomore year and lives in Raleigh, N.C., has stayed in close contact with the North Carolina State program this year. Luke Cothron, who plays the same position as Leslie, recently decommitted from North Carolina State. This decommitment stirred up speculation that Cothron felt Leslie would end up at North Carolina State and he did not want to compete with him for playing time. Also, the frontcourt at North Carolina State is wide open for Leslie to be the go-to man.


NOTE: Leslie has stated that he will likely announce his decision around April 17th

My Thoughts: I have thought for some time now that Leslie would choose between State and Kentucky and hearing this from Meyer is definitely a concern.

Even though it causes some concern, reports indicate that Calipari had an excellent visit with Leslie's family yesterday and if anyone can close the deal late - it's John Calipari.

KWC's Desmond Stephens Named All-American


Kentucky Wesleyan guard Desmond Stephens has been named honorable mention All-American by Division II Bulletin, according to publisher Gary Rubin. He becomes the 34th Panther to receive All-America recognition.

Stephens, a 5-8, 145-pound, senior from Bloomington, Ind. (South HS), finished seventh in NCAA assists (6.6 apg) and led the Panthers in scoring (18.1 ppg), steals (2.3) and the Great Lakes Valley Conference in assists and steals.

He also received first team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors plus selected to the All-Midwest Region squad by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and Daktronics Sports.

Stephens also played in the NABC/NCAA Division II All-Star Game on March 26 in Springfield, Mass. where he scored 19 points on six-of-eight three-point shooting with four rebounds, four assists and one steal in leading the West squad to a 131-125 overtime victory.

The Panthers, under 2010 Midwest Region Coach of the Year Todd Lee, compiled a remarkable 29-5 record, which stands for the eighth most wins in school history, and a record breaking 36th trip to the NCAA tournament.

KWC also finished with a GLVC best record 16-2 to win the regular season title, with their highest weekly ranking at No.3 since 2003 and finished No. 5 in the final NABC Top 25 poll.

Source: Kentucky Wesleyan

Szabo Named Courier-Journal Statewide Coach of the Year


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trinity head coach Mike Szabo has been named the 2009-2010 Louisville Courier-Journal Statewide Coach of the Year, it was announced by the media outlet. It is the second time in his career that Szabo has won the prestigious award.

Szabo earned 65 of the 117 votes cast statewide. Shelby Valley coach Jason Booher was second with eight votes.

In comparison, Szabo was awarded 35 of the 171 votes cast when he won the award in 2004-2005. The closest vote getter in 2004-2005 was Steve Wright of South Laurel with 15.

Szabo becomes the tenth coach to win the award multiple times and just the fifth to win it multiple times in non-consecutive seasons. He is just the second coach from the city of Louisville to win the award multiple times, joining Ballad’s Richard Schmitt (1975-1976 and 1976-1977) as a two-time winner from the city.

Marion County’s Trent Milby won the 2009-2010 girls award. Rockcastle County’s Chrysti Noble was second in voting. Noble won the award in 2004-2005 when Szabo claimed the honor for the first time.

Szabo, who finished his ninth season at Trinity in 2009-2010, is the only coach in state history to lay claim to championships in the King of the Bluegrass, Louisville Invitational Tournament and Republic Bank Holiday Classic (formerly Fifth Third Bank Classic) during a coaching career. He has won one King of the Bluegrass title, two Louisville Invitational Tournament titles and two Republic Bank Holiday Classic titles. He is also the only coach to reach the finals of all three events in the same year as well, having achieved the feat twice in his career.

With a reputation for building programs, Szabo led the Shamrocks to the 2004 KHSAA/National City Sweet 16 Boy’s State Basketball Tournament for the first time in school history after winning the school’s first regional title in just his third year with the program. The Shamrocks reached the state quarterfinals before falling to eventual state runner-up Mason County. Szabo has produced nine McDonald’s All-American Candidates and five Kentucky All-Stars in his first nine years with the program. Two additional players will tryout for the 2010 Kentucky All-Star team on April 16-17, 2010. His record at Trinity now stands at 177-91. His overall career record is 289-136.

Szabo adds to an impressive resume of postseason awards for the 2009-2010 season. He was named the Louisville Courier-Journal’s Seventh Region Coach of the Year on Feb. 26, 2010. It was the second time he had claimed the Louisville newspaper’s award in his career. On March 19, 2010, he was honored at Rupp Arena as the 2009-2010 KABC Seventh Region Coach of the Year for the first time in his career.

Trinity (26-4) finished the season ranked number one in the state of Kentucky by the Associated Press and Bluegrass Preps. Trinity’s 26 wins were the second most in program history.

During the 2009-2010 season, Trinity claimed the “Trinity Trifecta,” becoming the first team to win Kentucky’s three most prestigious in-season tournaments in the same season, the 2009 Canfield Development King of the Bluegrass at Fairdale High School, 2009 Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic High School and the 2010 Republic Bank/Coca-Cola Louisville Invitational Tournament. In winning the Louisville Invitational Tournament, Trinity defeated Ballard, Eastern and Jeffersontown in a 29-hour period. The trio of teams, along with the Shamrocks, are generally considered the top four teams in the Seventh Region in the state of Kentucky, one of the toughest leagues or regions in the nation this season.

Source: Press release by Trinity

One Thing You Should Never Try in a Basketball Game

I think it goes without saying, but let's check it out anyways:

UK Recruits Will Be On Display at Nike Hoop Summit


There will be a handful of talented Kentucky recruits participating in the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit over the weekend.

For Cats' fans, it will be another opportunity to check out Brandon Knight, who many feel will end up in Lexington.

Terrence Jones, another big-time UK recruit, will join Knight on the USA Team.

The World Team features Enes Kanter, who has already given a commitment to Kentucky and Findlay Prep's Cory Joseph.

OFFICIAL EVENT TITLE: Nike Hoop Summit
2008 GAME SITE: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
GAME DATE: Saturday, April 10, 2010
GAME TIME: 7 p.m., PDT (10 p.m., ET)

TELEVISION: Fox Sports Net and its regional sports network affiliates will distribute the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit live nationally. Check your local listings for date and time information in your location.
WEB CAST: TBA

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are now on sale, with reserved courtside seats priced $25 and $50 and all other general admission tickets at $10. Tickets can be purchased through the Rose Quarter Ticket Office, by calling 877-789-ROSE (7673) or by visiting http://www.rosequarter.com/

EVENT DESCRIPTION: An annual basketball game played under international rules. The Nike Hoop Summit features the USA Basketball Men's Junior Select Team, comprised of the top high school boy senior players, playing against a World Select Team, comprised of top players 19-years-old or younger from around the world.

2010 USA TEAM: The 10-man USA roster includes: guards Harrison Barnes (Ames H.S. / Ames, Iowa), Will Barton (Brewster Academy / Baltimore, Md.), Reggie Bullock (Kinston H.S. / Kinston, N.C.), Kyrie Irving (St. Patrick H.S. / Elizabeth, N.J.), Brandon Knight (Pine Crest H.S. / Lauderdale, Fla.) and Kendall Marshall (Bishop O'Connell H.S. / Arlington, Va.); forwards Tobias Harris (Half Hollow Hills West H.S. / Brookville, N.Y.); Terrence Jones (Jefferson H.S. / Portland, Ore.) and Patric Young (Providence H.S. / Jacksonville, Fla.); and Jared Sullinger (Northland H.S. / Columbus, Ohio) at center. Head coach is Bob Cimmino (Mount Vernon H.S., N.Y.) and Rich Gray (St. Louis Eagles AAU, Mo.) is the assistant coach.

2010 WORLD TEAM: The 2010 World roster features guards Cory Joseph (Findlay Prep, Nev. / Canada), Duje Dukan (Deerfield HS, Ill. / Croatia), Sui Ran (Shandong Flaming Bulls / China) and Jason Cadee (Australian Institute of Sport / Australia); forwards Tristan Thompson (Findlay Prep, Nev. / Canada), Enes Kanter (Stoneridge Prep, Calif. / Turkey), Nikola Mirotic (Faymasa Palencia, Spain / Montenegro) and Mael Lebrun (Entente Orleans / France); and centers Dejan Musli (FMP Zeleznik / Serbia) and Robert Loe (JTB/Breakers / New Zealand). The World Team will be led for the sixth consecutive year by respected Australian national teams coach Rob Beveridge, who will again be assisted by Serbia's Marin Sedlacek, who is making his 10th Hoop Summit appearance.
* Event information from USABasketball.com

Some Movement in ESPNU 100 Final 2010 Rankings


The final ESPNU 100 rankings are out for high school basketball's class of 2010.

There is some movement in the new rankings including Brandon Knight dropping to No. 4, one spot behind Kyrie Irving. Josh Selby is ranked No. 5.

Terrence Jones and C.J. Leslie are ranked No. 9 and 11, respectively.

Enes Kanter comes in at No. 25.

ESPNU 100 - Final Rankings of 2010 Class

RANK NAME POS HT WT STATE GRADE SCHOOL

1 Harrison Barnes SF 6'8" 209 IA 98 N. Carolina
2 Jared Sullinger PF 6'8" 262 OH 98 Ohio State
3 Kyrie Irving PG 6'2" 172 NJ 97 Duke
4 Brandon Knight PG 6'3" 183 FL 97 None
5 Josh Selby PG 6'3" 183 MD 97 None

6 Tobias Harris PF 6'8" 210 NY 97 Tennessee
7 Perry Jones PF 6'11" 220 TX 97 Baylor
8 Will Barton SG 6'6" 170 MD 97 Memphis
9 Terrence Jones SF 6'9" 230 OR 97 None
10 Tristan Thompson PF 6'9" 235 CAN 97 Texas
11 C.J. Leslie PF 6'9" 205 NC 97 None
12 Deshaun Thomas SF 6'7" 221 IN 96 Ohio State
13 Patric Young PF 6'9" 220 FL 96 Florida
14 Fabricio Melo C 7'0" 274 FL 96 Syracuse
15 Dion Waiters SG 6'4" 210 PA 96 Syracuse
16 Cory Joseph PG 6'3" 180 CAN 96 None
17 Ray McCallum PG 6'1" 179 MI 96 None
18 Reggie Bullock SG 6'6" 190 NC 96 North Carolina
19 Joshua Hairston PF 6'9" 220 VA 96 Duke
20 Josh Smith C 6'9" 320 WA 96 UCLA
21 Joe Jackson PG 6'0" 175 TN 96 Memphis
22 Kendall Marshall PG 6'4" 180 VA 95 North Carolina
23 Jereme Richmond SF 6'7" 195 IL 95 Illinois
24 Tony Mitchell PF 6'8" 215 TX 95 Missouri
25 Enes Kanter C 6'9" 240 EUR 95 Kentucky

Other Notables:

29 Doron Lamb SG 6'4" 183 NY 95 None
30 Terrence Ross SF 6'6" 180 OR 95 None
50 Justin Coleman SG 6'5" 210 VA 95 Louisville
51 Stacey Poole SG 6'5" 190 FL 94 Kentucky
55 Luke Cothron PF 6'8" 205 AL 94 None

Jarrod Polson Played Well at Kentucky Today



I am told that Jarrod Polson played well today during his time at UK.

He demonstrated good athleticism, an ability to score and great ball-handling skills in pickup action against several current and former Kentucky players.

Polson competed with and against several current players including Cousins, Harris, Miller, Hood and Liggins. A couple of former Cats, Wayne Turner and Ravi Moss, played today, as well.

Polson was invited to come back next week, but no offer was made. Everyone seemed impressed with his ability, however.

A couple of notes:

- Jon Hood shot the ball really well today

- Polson was preparing to head to Crestview Hills for the Kentucky/Ohio All Star festivities this weekend

- Next week, he will be preparing for the Indiana/Kentucky All Star team

- John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton (obviously) were not present today

- John Calipari is currently on the road doing some recruiting

Picture: CoachCal.com

Oregon Taking a Look at Billy Gillispie?



It seems that Oregon can't find a coach and Billy Gillispie can't find a job. Does that make the two a good fit?

John Canzano of OregonLive.com seems to think there is some interest there. They report late tonight that Gillispie was on the Oregon campus Thursday.

Here is an excerpt:

Meanwhile, a limousine carrying Billy Gillispie dropped the controversial coach at the Nike campus. And insiders at the Nike confirmed that the Ducks went back to the drawing board on Thursday and megabooster Phil Knight is now officially in the thick of the search.

Canzano personally thinks the school should go a differet route:

Forget Porter, Few and Gillispie. It's finally time to hire the best available teacher and coach, and they won't need a limousine or private jet to get it done. What they will need is to swallow some pride and make the hire with confidence because it's substance, not splash, that matters most now.

Complete Article

Thursday, April 8, 2010

John Calipari Will Reload the UK Roster Soon



FoxSports.com has an article tonight about John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. The article points out that UK fans have no reason to worry - Calipari will reload the roster with talent soon.

Here is an excerpt:

Kentucky fans, as they often do, have hit the panic button.

But it'll all be fine -- as long as Cal doesn't bolt for the NBA.

It's only a matter of time before he loads up again. No, it won't be with a quartet of one-and-done guys as he was able to do a year ago to instantly make UK hoops relevant once again after a couple of disastrous years under Billy Clyde Gillispie.

But it may be far more beneficial in the long run.

As long as Calipari stays in Lexington.

Complete Article

My Thoughts: Get ready...it's going to be an exciting month.

Coach Kevin Keathley Discusses an ABA Championship


The Southeast Texas Mavericks are the 2010 ABA champions after defeated the Kentucky Bisons in the championship series.

Former East Kentucky Miners' head coach Kevin Keathley is Steve Tucker's assistant at Southeast Texas. Keathley has roots in Kentucky and has coached or been an assistant at Lees College, St. Catharine College, the Louisville Eagles, the Kentucky Colonels and East Kentucky.

The Mavericks finished the season with a 27-4 record and the highest scoring average in the ABA. The team included four former Miners: Jermaine Blackburn, Josh Pace, Mike Crain and Joe Buck.

I caught up with Coach Keathley yesterday to discuss his latest coaching achievement - an ABA championship.

Coach, your team captured the ABA Championship a little over week ago. Tell me how it feels to be a part of the championship team.

No matter when and where it happens, if you're the last team standing at the end of a season, it feels really good. Probably a better term for it would be a sense of fulfillment. I've coached NJCAA, NAIA, on the Pro Levels in the UPBL, ABA and CBA. When you are in the moment, it's all the same. As a team, you work, prepare, sacrifice many hours towards being the best. When it happens, it's an amazing feeling to walk off the court and know you are the number one team. I'm really happy for the entire team. I was really happy to see Deron Rutledge, who is at the end of his career, go out and win one with Coach Tucker, who captured their first title. Hats off to the Kentucky Bisons who played hard the entire finals, they have a talented team that will compete for a championship next season.

In your opinion, what did you add to the mix?

As the head coach of the East Kentucky Miners of the CBA for almost 3 years, I think the contacts I made with agents and coaches helped us in the player personnel department tremendously. I was able to go out and bring in six players who had played for me or was going to play for me this upcoming season with the Miners. Signing swing man Josh Pace and Jermaine Blackburn early on was key. They brought a great work ethic to the franchise. Mike Crain is a pro on and off the floor. Those type of traits helped set the tone right away. Adding in big men Jon Rogers and Desean White, who are both high-level overseas talents helped shore up our front line. One of the most important signings was point guard Herman Favors who started at Georgia State and has had a couple of excellent seasons overseas. The key, whether it be the CBA, ABA or NBA D-League is the ability to go out and sign high quality guys. If you win on this level, it's because you have the respect of agents and coaches. They will trust what you do with their players and know that what you say, you will live up to. It's really an easy formula...you sign good players, you win ball games. I also added elements of what we did with the Miners. We ran a little more, added some different techniques and drills during practice. It was a good mix of what Coach Tucker had and what I brought to the table.

Where does the ABA rank and what separated your team from the rest of the league?

The ABA isn't what it was in the 60's or 70's, or for that matter, it's not what it was in 2004-2005 - the last time I coached in the league. But, it did have 7-10 solid franchises, us (Southeast Texas), the Bluegrass Stallions coached by Kyle Macy, the Kentucky Bisons, the New Jersey Express and the Chicago franchise all had solid teams. I felt like the difference maker for us was how the owner of our team was willing to step up and bring in the parts needed to win a championship or at least compete for one. Anytime Coach Tucker and I asked for a move to be made, he supported it 100%. He is a big part of what happened this year and a lot of credit should go to him for the success of this team.

With some of the offers you had during last summer, what led you to Texas?

I had a lot of different opportunities before I came to the Mavericks. I had some D-League offers and a couple of college offers. I hadn't been an associate coach for many years and didn"t know how going back to the ABA would play itself out. I really prayed about it and ultimately decided to make the move to the ABA because of my relationship with Steve Tucker, whom I had worked with in the past in college. I knew if we worked together and built a solid foundation with high quality players, we would have a chance to win it. Everything went according to plan and I couldn't be happier about working with the Mavericks. From Jerry the team owner to our equipment manager to Coach Tucker, everyone did what was asked of them.

What is the franchise doing right now to prepare for next season?

Right now, the Mavericks are getting ready for next season, evaluating the ABA and looking at other options to best decide what is best in terms of the future of the team. I know whether it be the ABA or any other affiliation, we will take the same approach to the basketball operations side. Coach Tucker did a fantastic job this season and our players 1-12 bought in to the concept of hard work.

What are your plans?

The same as the team, I'm committed to returning to the Mavericks. I'm open to seeing what's out there though. We will just have to see how the next few weeks play out. I'm fortunate to have an excellent agent in Jason Belzer who works on my behalf and he keeps me updated on any jobs that he feels would be a good fit for me.

What are some of the highlights of this past season for you personally?

A lot of good things happened this year - best record in the league, most weeks ranked number one, four of our players named to the All-Star team. Personally, I was named one of the top 7 coaches of the decade in the ABA for my time with the Kentucky Colonels and this year with the Mavs. And of course, winning the ABA championship made it a perfect ending to the year.

Coach, I appreciate your time and congratulations on a great season!

Former East Kentucky Miners and key players final stats and movements:

* Josh Pace 20 points & 8 rebounds---- went straight from our championship win to going over to New Zealend to play
* Joe Buck 12 points & 8 rebounds--- went to Germany mid-way through the year & is finishing up the year.
* Jermaine Blackburn 21 points & 7 assists--- will most likely get a good look from the NBA this summer.
* Jon Rogers 12 points & 12 rebounds--- is heading overseas
* Desean White 13 points & 7 rebounds--he's being looked at by a couple of summer pro leagues in the states.
* Mike Crain 11 points & 5 assists-- is looking at his options & will most likely stay close to home to play summer league.
* Herman Favors--13 points & 9 assists-- organizing and running his own basketball camps.

Jeff Allgood Commits to Eastern Kentucky


Eastern Kentucky has landed 6-2 guard Jeff Allgood, a junior college transfer from Iowa Western Community College.

Here is an excerpt from RichmondRegister.com:

Jeff Allgood, who verbally committed to EKU last week, also had a scholarship offer from Cornell. The Big Red advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament this season after winning the Ivy League Tournament. Still, despite Cornell’s recent success, the 6-foot-2 guard from Bellevue, Neb., was quite set on coming to EKU.

DeMarcus Cousins Has Signed With An Agent


Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins has signed with an agent and officially ended his career at UK.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports on Twitter:

Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins has signed with John Greig, the agent tells Y! Sports. Cousins is expected to be a Top 5 pick in the draft.

Greig stated: "There are NBA teams that have done homework on DeMarcus. if the lottery ball bounces right, could be No. 1 pick..."

Tryell Means, Jamari Bradshaw Sign with Lake Land College

Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois has announced the signing for two basketball players from Kentucky.

The Lakers have signed Tyrell Means from Louisville Ballard and Jamari Bradshaw from Waggener High School.

Lakers' head coach Cedric Brown told JG-TC.com, “I really think our staff has done a good job of finding the needs for our team."

Dick Vitale on Orton: "I question the choice"



ESPN's Dick Vitale questions Daniel Orton's decision to enter the NBA Draft in his column this afternoon.

Here are Vitale's thoughts on the freshman big man from Kentucky:

At this time of year, there are a lot of reports about players leaving early. At the Final Four, rumors were swirling about a number of Kentucky players. When I heard people talking about Daniel Orton considering a jump to the pros, I thought long and hard about this tough decision. Orton was one of five Wildcats to declare for the draft. The big man has a lot of potential, but he would be better served by returning to Lexington. He would be a starter for the 'Cats, and that is better than sitting on the pine for a year or two in the NBA. Yes, it is all about dollars and NBA teams taking a shot on potential, potential, potential, but he should gain more experience and improve his game. Why not be a big man on campus and enjoy the possibility of getting to the Final Four? Look how much fun it was for the four teams in Indianapolis this year. I wish him the best but I question the choice.

Complete Article

A.J. Slaughter Opens Portsmouth Invitational on Fire


Western Kentucky's A.J. Slaughter opened the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in explosive fashion last night as he scored 28 points on 10-12 field goal shooting.

Slaughter's Norfolk Sports Club team defeated Tidewater Sealants 114-82 in the NBA pre-draft exposure event.

He was also 4-5 from 3-point range and 4-4 from the free throw line. Slaughter added 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Ryan Thompson from Rider led NSC with a game-high 37 points on 14-20 shooting. Old Dominion's Gerald Lee added 16 points and 9 rebounds.

Houston's Aubrey Coleman led NSC with 19 points, but was only 9-23 from the field.

Slaughter returns to action on Friday night at 7:00 p.m when NSC battles K&D Rounds Landscaping in the event's semifinal round. K&D features a talented group that includes Deon Thompson (North Carolina), Tasmin Mitchell (LSU) and Donald Sloan (Texas A&M).

Complete Box Score

NBADraft.net said of Slaughter last night:

A.J. Slaughter (28 pts, 5 ast, 4 rebs, 10/12 FG, 4/5 3FG)

Putting in what is likely the most impressive performance of the day, Slaughter was able to get anywhere that he wanted on the court, and get a good look every time he pulled the trigger. Playing more off the ball, he was able to spread the court with his outside shooting or attack for finishes in the paint. His jumper is extremely smooth and he is able to shoot with good rhythm and balance with a hand in his face and from beyond the arc. He has nice quickness and is a crafty operator off the dribble, allowing him to get into the middle of the defense where he showed a nice teardrop overtop of the helpside. Flashing his underrated athleticism, he was able to explode to the basket on one occasion and finish strong with a flush in semi traffic. Slaughter came in under the radar, but his performance today definitely put him on the map. Showing the he can have a repeat performance against a more formidable opponents will go a long way for his future.

Ex-Cat Chuck Hayes Pulls Down Career High 18 Rebounds



Chuck Hayes, one of the most beloved Kentucky Wildcats in recent memory, pulled down his new NBA career high of 18 rebounds in a 113-96 win over Utah last night.

Hayes, who starts at center for Houston despite being only 6-6, scored 6 points, pulled down 18 rebounds and added 3 assists in 29 minutes of action.

The ex-Wildcat starts at center and has a 2010 salary of just over $2.1 million. That's not bad.

Photo: Businessweek.com

Kentucky Native Tyler Brown is JUCO All-American


Owensboro native Tyler Brown has been named NJCAA Division I men's basketball honorable mention All-America.

Brown, who plays for Marshalltown Community College, played high school basketball for Apollo before heading to Morehead State. He then transferred from Morehead State to Marshalltown.

The 6-4 guard started the season slowly but picked it up around the Christmas break. Brown averaged 23 points per game in the Tigers' final 12 games.

Brown is not the only Owensboro native on the Mashalltown roster as Myron Christian from Owensboro High School also plays for the Tigers.

Excerpt of article from TimesRepublican.com:

He'll likely get another fresh start in the not-so-distant future with another NCAA Division I team - just when and where that might be is still undecided.

Brown, who has three years of eligibility remaining, earned a lot of interest from Division I progams on the strength of his first season at MCC.

Nebraska and West Virginia, a Final Four participant this season, are showing the most serious interest at the moment.

The All-American has a choice to make the jump back to college basketball's elite next season, or he can return to MCC for another year before heading back to the ranks he left to join the Tigers.

Complete Article

More Pro Scout Opinions on Kentucky's Freshmen


I talked to an NBA Scout earlier today that gave his thoughts on where Kentucky players would be selected if they all remain in the NBA Draft.

Scouts all have different opinions, so I thought it might be a good idea to get a second point of view. I talked to another pro scout tonight about the Kentucky freshmen.

Here is what he had to say:

Coach Calipari has done an amazing job! He's an amazing recruiter and he's going to land top tier talent every year. The other side of that is that Kentucky will lose a couple of players every year. It's just the nature of the business. I think all the young men represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky proudly and they deserve our support in whatever they decide to do. I think a couple of kids should come back, but, they have to to do what's best for their families and themselves.

My thoughts UK's freshmen that are entering the NBA draft:

John Wall: I think everyone understands when John got here, he was a 1 year player. It's a no-brainer for a player his caliber. He has great quickness, with the ability to get to the rim & he finishes shots around the bucket. The pro game is going to open that up for him even more. If you look at Rajon Rondo and what he's doing with Boston, it's very similar to what we will see with Wall. The only exception is, Wall is a better shooter, he's a bigger threat than Rondo. The defense will have to respect that if he gets going. Wall will be a great addition right away to whoever drafts him. Top Pick

Demarcus Cousins: Again, this is a no-brainer for a player like Demarcus. He has everything a team could wish for. He has size and great footwork. A great physical frame, toughness, a nice mid-range game & he finishes around the basket. He's a special player who will have a very long NBA career. It's all up to him & how he approaches each day on the job. Top five Pick

Eric Bledsoe: I think for NBA coaches & G.Ms there are a lot of unknowns about Bledsoe's true strengths & weaknesses. One thing is for certain is he has great physical attributes & talents. His speed, physical frame & athleticism is where it needs to be to play at the next level. His ability to get to the rim off the bounce is as good as anybody in the country. However, if he's going to play point guard, he's going to need to get better at taking care of the ball & valuing each possession. His assist/turnover ratio isn't where it needs to be & now moving to the pro game he's going to have to learn when to pull up for jumpers & when to attack all the way to the rim. (Don't over penetrate) Most of the unknowns come from not having the ball in his hands as much as John Walls down the stretch. There's no question he's a bigtime talent, but I think he would benefit from another year at Kentucky. This will give him the opportunity to be the "guy" on the perimeter & that will give him a chance to mature as a lead guard. Depending on private workouts, he could go as high as twenty to as low as an early second round pick

Daniel Orton: I think the best thing about Daniel is that he's solid in almost every area in my view, he might not be great in any single area, but he's adequete in almost every phase. If you look at his entire skill set & you don't see a true negative in his game. That's very rare to find in a big guy. He's a very talented young man, I think he would be well served to come back to school. However, you can't blame the kid if he's being told he's a mid first round pick. Mid first round

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hazard's Josh Whitaker Signs with Pikeville College


PIKEVILLE, Ky. – A highly-decorated player from Perry County will join the Pikeville College men’s basketball program next year. In doing so, he’ll be reunited with his brother.

Josh Whitaker, a 6-0 guard from Hazard High School, signed today to play for the Bears. There, he’ll join his brother Ryan, who will be a senior next season.

Whitaker was the 14th Region MVP and a member of last season’s Kentucky Junior All-Stars. He was named to the 14th Region All-Tournament team three times, was twice honored on the All “A” Classic all-tournament team and was on the Sweet 16 All-Tournament team in 2008.

In his career, Josh scored 1,957 points, handed out 520 assists, had 375 steals and 325 rebounds.
“Obviously, Josh’s stats speak for themselves,” said Coach Kelly Wells. “He’s a solid player who we believe will develop into a nice college basketball player. We also are happy to bring Josh here because he comes from a tremendous family with whom we already have a very good relationship. There are a lot of positives about bringing someone like Josh Whitaker to the program.”

Josh brings the same type of hard-nosed savvy to the team as his brother, who provided a tremendous defensive presence to the Bears this season. In addition to his abilities on the defensive end, Ryan averaged 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 87.5 percent from the free throw line and sinking 15 three-point shots.

Josh Whitaker was a four-time WYMT Classic all-tournament team player and is second on the all-time scoring list amongst players in that event. He led the Bulldogs to back-to-back 14th Region titles as a sophomore and junior.

Source: Pikeville College

Quick Note on Patrick Patterson

I think it's important to note that Kent Spencer confirmed with Patrick Patterson's mother, Tywanna, today and she confirmed that Patrick did not officially enter the NBA Draft today.

He will continue to think about it because if a player submits the paperwork twice, he loses his option to return to school.

Here are Spencer's posts on Twitter:

KentSpencer Tywanna Patterson told me tonight nothing is official for Patrick... and he's not made a decision.

KentSpencer She says Patrick asked his parents a few days ago for more time... and he'll make his final decision in a couple of weeks.

KentSpencer Since he submitted paper work last year, if he does it again.. there's not turning back... he's in the draft.

Five Kentucky Wildcats Declare for NBA Draft


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky freshmen Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton and John Wall and junior Patrick Patterson will enter their names in this year’s NBA Draft. All five players are projected as first-round picks.

It marks the second straight season a UK player has declared early for the draft. All-American Jodie Meeks decided to forego his senior season last year to turn pro.

Bledsoe averaged 11.3 ppg while hitting 49 three-pointers and shooting 38 percent from behind the line in his freshman campaign. Bledsoe finished sixth on UK’s all-time freshman scoring list (419), second on the three-point field goals made list (49) and fourth on the freshman assist list (107).

“I never thought I’d be in this position after one year,” Bledsoe said. “Coach Cal pushed us all to be the best we could be and he believes I’m prepared to take my game to the next level. I want to thank the fans for all their support this year.”

Cousins was second on the team in scoring, averaging 15.1 ppg while posting a team-best 9.8 rpg average, all in only 23.5 minutes per game. He destroyed the UK freshman rebounding record by nearly 100 rebounds and scored the second-most points by a UK freshman, behind teammate John Wall.

The Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year also led the Wildcats in double-doubles this season with 20, the most by a UK player since 1973 and the fourth most in a season in Kentucky basketball history.

“Coach challenged me to grow on and off the court this season,” Cousins said. “I believe my game expanded along with my maturity. This year was the most fun I’ve ever had playing basketball and a lot of it had to do with the support I got from our fans.”

Orton served as the Wildcats’ sixth man this season and finished averaging 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds. He was second on the team in blocked shots with 53 and ranked eighth in the SEC in blocks per game (1.4).

“Being at Kentucky allowed me to play with some of the most talented players in the country,” Orton said. “Battling with DeMarcus (Cousins) and Patrick (Patterson) every day helped improve my game. I want to thank the coaching staff for helping put me in a position to be drafted this year.”

Patterson ranked second in the SEC and 12th nationally in field goal percentage (.575). He recorded nine double-doubles this season, fourth most in the SEC, and 11 double-digit rebounding performances. He finished his junior season ranked 13th on Kentucky’s all-time scoring list (1,564) and sixth on Kentucky’s career double-double list with 30.

“I want to thank the fans who have supported me all three years,” Patterson said. “I also want to thank the coaches for putting me in a position to showcase other parts of my game as well as my versatility. Lexington and UK will always be a special place to me.”

Wall led the Wildcats in scoring (16.6), assists (6.5) and steals (1.8) while setting the school single-season assist record with 241. The Adolph Rupp National Player of the Year recorded five double-doubles on the season, three in points and assists, and two in points and rebounds, making him the first player in UK history to record double-doubles in points and rebounds and points and assists.

“I’m not the same player as when I arrived at UK,” Wall said. “I believe I’m ready for the next challenge as Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans were the last two years under Coach Cal. I want to thank my teammates and the fans for all their support this year. I love them.”

“I’ve spoken with all five guys concerning the NBA and have encouraged them to put their names in the draft,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “They’ve all met individually with our compliance office to make sure they have a full understanding of eligibility rules and academic responsibilities. I’m so proud of these five young men, with everything they did for us on the court and the way they represented us off of it.

“It’s extremely unusual for four freshmen from the same team to have this opportunity, but it’s my job as a coach to prepare these young men for such opportunities.”

Source: Press release from Kentucky

Curious What the NBA Scouts Think About the Wildcats?


I was curious also, so I contacted one today to find out.

Here are some current pre-draft thoughts from an actual NBA Scout:

Cousins - Top 3 talent, but can be a loose cannon. No way he slips past 5.

Patterson - 1st rounder for sure, not a lottery pick, though.

Orton - Body is NBA-ready, but game isn't. Starter-potential and is a late 1st rounder now, draft stock could make a huge leap if he decides to stay for another year.

Bledsoe - Fringe 1st round guy because of speed and athleticism. Intriguing though.

Wall - No. 1 pick, no doubt about it. Boy has all the physical tools of an elite NBA PG and is ahead of where D. Rose was at this time. Is a consistent jump-shot away from being lethal. Go make some money, kid.

NOTE: NBA scouts are a little "quirky" this time of the year, so the scout wished to remain anonymous.

Kahlil McDonald Commits to Western Kentucky

Kahlil McDonald, a 2010 shooting guard, has announced on Twitter that he has verbally committed to Western Kentucky.

McDonald is a 6-4 JUCO player from Blinn Community College (Tx.).

Here is his announcement:

K_Buckets Jus verbally committed 2 WKU...bout 2 hit that next level wave....

Kentucky Talks to West Jessamine's Jarrod Polson



The Cat (no pun) is out of the bag this afternoon as news has came out that Kentucky is talking to West Jessamine point guard Jarrod Polson about possibly joining the team next season.

CatsPause.com reported on Twitter that West Jessamine head coach Damon Kelley said UK has invited Polson to play pickup basketball with the team tomorrow.

Gorgui Dieng Scheduled to Take Two More Visits

Jody Demling of the Courier-Journal reports today that 6-10 center Gorgui Dieng from Huntington Prep is planning to take two more visits soon.

He will visit Colorado and Marquette in the coming weeks.

Dieng is scheduled to play in the Derby Festival Classic in Louisville this weekend.

Demling's Article

NOTE: I spoke to Dieng several weeks ago and he said he wanted to commit to Louisville.

Yates Named National Champions; Shelby Valley Top 50


Yates High School (Tx.) has been named national champions in high school basketball by Rivals.com.

The Lions, who feature future Western Kentucky guard Brandon "Snap" Peters, finished the season 34-0 and set a national record for games over 100 points scored.

The decisive game for Yates was a one-point victory over Neumann-Goretti (Pa.), who finished second in the Rivals rankings.

Kentucky state champions Shelby Valley High School are ranked No. 49 in the final rankings.

Ballard High School finishes the season at No. 82.

Luke Cothron on Kentucky: "They are still in the mix"



I just talked to 2010 power forward Luke Cothron to verify that he has indeed cut his final list to three and is no longer considering Kentucky.

Luke says reports that he is only considering three schools are a bit premature.

Yesterday, it was reported that he has cut his list to three: Alabama, Auburn and Marquette. There was also speculation that Alabama has the inside track at landing Cothron.

He confirmed that he has looked at those three schools closely, but Kentucky is certainly in the mix.

"Yeah, they (UK) are in the mix," he plainly stated.

I talked to him about reports yesterday that stated he is no longer interested in Kentucky and I asked him if those reports are false.

"Yeah they are," he responded.

I asked Luke what he is looking for in a college home and he said, "a winning program and a great head coach."

Luke also confirmed that he plans to take a Kentucky visit very soon but he does not want the dates announced.

Cothron is a 6-8 power forward that ranks No. 33 on the Rivals 150 List for 2010.

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I'm Feeling Sick to My Stomach


Video: Nice Interview with 2010 SG Doron Lamb

KentuckySportsNetwork.com talks to 2010 Kentucky recruit Doron Lamb:

Kentucky Wesleyan Announces All-Century Team


Kentucky Wesleyan has released the basketball program's "All-Century Team" as voted on by fans.

The top vote-getters were All-Americans George Tinsley, Corey Crowder, "King" Kelly Coleman (pictured), Dallas Thornton and Rod Drake.

The Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro lists the team as follows:

Joining Tinsley (1966-69), the top vote-getter; Crowder (1988-91); Coleman (1958-60); Thornton (1965-68): and Drake (1981-84) are Gary Auten (1959-62); J.B. Brown (1985-88); Bill Carlyle (1961-62); Patrick Critchelow (1996-99); Willis Cheaney (1992-95); John Duncan (1968-71); Lorico Duncan (2000-01); Antonio Garcia (1998-99); Ray Harper (1984-85); Dwight Higgs (1981-84); Tom Hobgood (1966-69); LeRoy John (1999-00); Vincent Mitchell (1988-91); Dick O'Neill (1966-69); Marlon Parmer (2003); Joe Roop (1953-56); Mike Redd (1964); Sam Smith (1966-67); Sam Smith (1986-87); Dana Williams (1998-99); Mike Williams (1972-73); Robert "Bullet" Wilson (1928-31); Fairce Woods (1946-49); John Worth (1986-87); and Bobby Zuerner (2000-04).

Video: Future Wildcat Enes Kanter in Action

Lance Stephenson to Leave Cincinnati; Enter NBA Draft



Cincinnati's Lance Stephenson plans to leave the school and enter the NBA Draft. At this time, it appears that he has no intentions of returning.

Breaking news from ZagsBlog.com:

The 6-foot-5 guard will submit his paperwork to the NBA and plans to enter the june NBA Draft.

“I have decided to withdraw from the University of Cincinnati and enter my name into this year’s NBA draft,” Stephenson said. “After carefully reviewing my options, it is now clear to me that the need to emotionally and financially support my family, especially my young daughter, along with my long-standing and burning passion to play in the NBA, outweighs my desire to return to the University of Cincinnati.


Complete Article

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jodie Meeks Finally Has Breakout Night in Philadelphia



Former Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks had his best night as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers tonight.

Meeks scored 19 points off the bench in a 124-103 loss to the Detroit Pistons. He was 8-11 from the field, including 2-4 from long range, in 29 minutes of action. He also pulled down 4 rebounds and dished out 3 assists on the night.

The 19 points were not a career high for the former Wildcat. He scored 21 points in a game during his time in Milwaukee.

Tayshaun Prince, another former Kentucky star, had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals for the Pistons.

Will Clemson Target WKU's Ken McDonald?


IndependentMail.com, a Clemson site, wonders if Clemson will target Western Kentucky head coach Ken McDonald to replace the departed Oliver Purnell.

Here is an excerpt:

Western Kentucky coach Ken McDonald was a Clemson assistant under Rick Barnes from 1994-98; he has been WKU’s head coach the past two years, compiling a 46-21 record that included a 2009 NCAA first-round win over Illinois.

The site also names Ron Bradley (Clemson assistant), Brad Stevens (Butler), Shaka Smart (VCU) and Gregg Marshall (Wichita State)

Murray State Enjoys Basketball Awards Night


The Murray State men's basketball squad enjoyed a night of reflecting during a reception at the Regional Special Events Center in Murray, Ky., as the team gave out honors to their senior class and others who earned team awards.

The Racers had perhaps the most memorable season in their 85 campaigns when they won a record 31 games in 2009-10 which included the program's first victory in the NCAA Tournament in 22 years.

Seniors Tony Easley, Georges Fotso and Danero Thomas were honored as the trio left with many good memories.

Complete Release

Some awards that were handed out:

- Racer Hustle Award: Jeffery McClain
- Jeff Martin Class & Character Award: Georges Fotso
- Popeye Jones - Mr. MSU Award: B.J. Jenkins
- Garrett Beshear Defensive Award: Isacc Miles

Kentucky No Longer in Mix for Luke Cothron



Luke Cothron, a 6-8 power forward in the 2010 Class, has cut his list to three: Alabama, Auburn and Marquette according to Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com.

He cut Kentucky and Tennessee from his list and there is a growing feeling that he may be close to committing to Alabama and Anthony Grant.

Here is an excerpt of an article from AL.com:

Red Springs, N.C., power forward Luke Cothron, a 6-foot-8 player who is rated by Rivals as the nation's 33rd-best prospect for 2010, has narrowed his list to Alabama, Auburn and Marquette, according to an update today from Rivals' basketball recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer.

That news eliminates formidable powerhouses Kentucky and Tennessee. And as Meyer notes, Cothron has visited Alabama but has yet to visit Auburn or Marquette, which is a pretty clear indicator that the Tide is in good shape. Another important note: Cothron is originally from Huntsville and grew up an Alabama fan.

Best and Worst of NCAA Tournament and 2009-10 Season


SportingNews.com and Yahoo! Sports takes a look at the season and NCAA Tournament that was this season.

Mike DeCourcy of SportingNews.com looks at the best and worst from the entire season. He mentions Kentucky as playing in one of the best games of the season:

3. Kentucky 75, Mississippi State 74 (OT). DeMarcus Cousins' tying putback to force extra time gave this game the season's most improbable ending.

His top choice for best game is Kansas State's 101-96 win over Xavier in the NCAA Tournament. He wonders if it is "the finest NCAA Tournament game since - Kentucky-Duke 1992?"

Jason King of Yahoo! Sports focuses on the highs and lows of the NCAA Tournament. He thinks the Kentucky Wildcats suffered the worst loss in the entire tournament:

Worst Loss: Even though it featured three freshman starters, Kentucky’s players were recruited to win a national championship this season – mainly because everyone knew all along that John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe were one-and-dones. That the Wildcats lost to West Virginia in the Elite Eight makes the 2009-10 season somewhat of a disappointment.

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