Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jefferson High School AD Thinks Jones Will Sign with UW



Jefferson High School athletic director Mitch Whitehurst has told the Seattle Times this evening that he expects Terrence Jones to attend the University of Washington.

Whitehurst says he refuses to read too much into the speculation that Jones is wavering and now considering Kentucky.

Here is an excerpt from the Seattle Times site:

Whitehurst refuses to read too much into the speculation. He also said the school isn't planning another news conference for Jones.

"We're just going to keep it the way it is," Whitehurst said. "He's going to Washington. We're not going to redo this."


Whitehurst added:

"He's a young kid and kids make decisions that sometimes you wouldn't believe," Whitehurst said. "This is a major decision that an adult would sometimes be wavering on. This is like a career choice. So when adults make career choices, sometimes they second guess themselves.

"This is his first major decision in his life so I definitely can understand why he might be wavering when an adult might say you disappointed me. I can understand him wavering, but I still see him going to Washington."


Complete Article

Rumors of a Terrence Jones Commitment to Kentucky



There is a report out that Terrence Jones has committed to the Kentucky Wildcats.

After looking into it, it appears that report is false.

Evan Daniels of Scout.com posted this on Twitter a few minutes ago:

EvanDanielscout: Terrence Jones still hasn't made his decision, regardless of the rumors.

I trust Daniels when it comes to recruiting news and if he says it is false, then it is likely false.

That does not mean that Kentucky will not land Jones - it just means it has not happened at this time.

Join Our Fan Page for the Latest:


Video: The Terrence Jones Announcement

Here is OregonLive.com's video of the Terrence Jones announcement last evening. There were over 25,000 people that watched the announcement live online:

Terrence Jones picks Washington












Hood, Harrellson Will Ride the UK to China Pipeline


Kentucky's Jon Hood and Josh Harrellson will join the Sports Reach team and travel to China this month for 8-9 exhibition games against local clubs.

Here is the release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky basketball players Josh Harrellson and Jon Hood, along with other collegiate players, will travel with Sports Reach, to China May 14 through May 31 to compete in eight to nine games against local clubs, including the Bayi Basketball Club, traditionally one of the top teams in China.

In addition to the multiple games, the Sports Reach team will use the platform of sport to connect with the athletes and share their ministry.

Harrellson played in 22 games this past season averaging 1.3 points and 1.2 rebounds.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me and the other athletes I will be traveling with,” said Harrellson. “Basketball has afforded more opportunities than I could ever dream of and to be able to share that with others, while traveling the world and learning about other cultures is the chance of a lifetime.”

Hood averaged 1.2 ppg in 17 appearances in his freshman campaign.

“Traveling to China is something I never dreamed I’d be able to do,” said Hood. “However, Sports Reach has made it possible to not only travel and interact with other athletes, but to minister to others and share with them the wonderful gifts and talents I’ve been blessed with.”

Founded in 1986 by Robby Spear, Sports Reach attempts to go where traditional evangelism has not been effective in reaching the unsaved. For more information on Sports Reach, visit http://www.sportsreach.org/
There are a handful of players from the state that will travel with the two Sports Reach teams:

May 7-17 Trip to China

Men’s Basketball vs. universities and Pro B- Will play 6 games

Head Coach: Kyle Macy
Asst. Coach: Gary Forrest

Players:

Hunter Miller, Florida Gulf Coast University, 6’2: G*
Anthony Banks, Florida Gulf Coast University 6’6”, F*
Eric Davis, Mississippi College 6’5” F*
Tyrell Ware, Virginia Intermont College 6’2” G
Brandon Snowden, Berea College 6’7” F
Chris Early, Transylvania University 6’3” G

Zach Newton, Tennessee Tech University 6’2” G*
Jordan Myers, So. Illinois University 6’8” C*

May 14-31 Trip to China

Men’s Basketball vs. Chinese Basketball Pro A League- Will play 9 games

Head Coach: Dennis Gates, University of Neveda
Ast. Coach: Max Appel

Players:

Peyton Siva, University of Louisville, 6’1” G *
Brandon Barnes, Lipscomb University, 6’3” G *
Malik Story, University of Nevada, 6’5” G *
Jon Hood, University of Kentucky, 6’7” G *
Skylar McBee, University of Tennessee, 6’3” G *
Xavier Silas, No. Illinois University, 6’4” G *
Steffphon Pettigrew, Western Kentucky University 6’6” F *
Jeremy Williams, 6’7” UTEP F *
Carlton Fay, 6’7” So. Illinois University F *
Josh Harrelson, University of Kentucky, 6’9” F-C *
Sean Kowal, 6’10” No. Illinois University, C *
——————————
* Denotes Still in College

No Love for Terrence Williams in NBA Rookie Voting


The NBA All-Rookie teams have been released and not only did Terrence Williams not make either team, he failed to receive a single vote.

Williams, who starred for Louisville in college, averaged 8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists on the season. He was particularly strong during the last two months of the season.

I can understand that Williams struggled and probably does not belong in the top 10, but he earned a few votes, in my opinion.

First Team:

Tyreke Evans
Brandon Jennings
Stephen Curry
Darren Collison
Taj Gibson

Second Team:

Marcus Thornton
DeJuan Blair
James Harden
Jonny Flynn
Jonas Jerebko

The Latest on the Bizarre Terrence Jones Situation


More than 25,000 tuned in online yesterday evening to watch 2010 superstar Terrence Jones make his college announcement.

Jones, showing a great deal of emotion and obviously some indecision, reached for a Kansas hat, reached for a Kentucky hat and then ended up putting on a Washington hat.

About 20 minutes or so later, Jones was on the phone with Kentucky head coach John Calipari. Details of that call are unknown, but rumors are out that Jones felt he made a mistake and needed some more time to make a solid decision.

What followed was a night of craziness in Kentucky and Washington and this morning we all wait for a final decision from Jones.

Here are a few updates:

- The Seattle Times reported that John Calipari called Terrence Jones after his commitment to Washington; good sources indicate this morning that it was actually the other way around

- This morning, The Seattle Times also clears up a misleading quote they made last night:

Seems like there was some confusion in the last post about this sentence: "He told me, "You hurt thousands of people just as much as you make people happy."

That's Jones talking to me. The 'He' is Jones and that's his and not Calipari's.

- The Washington coaching staff are not exactly happy campers with the whole situation; understandably so

- The Seattle Times reports this morning that there is an unverified report from a "Division I college coach" stating that John Calipari was in Portland, Oregon last night; that would be quite the trick since Calipari was at the Barnstable Brown Gala in Louisville. He sent this out on Twitter late last night:

UKCoachCalipari This is from the Barnstable Brown Gala. Wow! That's all I can say. Who can identify everyone in this picture! http://twitpic.com/1juebn

- Jones did not sign a letter of intent with Washington, which essentially means he's only given a verbal commitment and is still fair game until he signs the dotted line

- Regardless of what happens, this situation will be spun out of control into: "Calipari is a scumbag", "Calipari stole a committed recruit", "Kentucky is a shady program"...you get the point; unfortunately, that's about par for the course for both Kentucky basketball and John Calipari

- I think we'll know Jones' final decision today and I think a Letter of Intent will be signed, sealed and delivered by the end of today; that's not a guarantee, but from everything I'm hearing, that is very likely

- My prediction: I thought he would pick Kentucky yesterday. No reason to turn back now...

- The real winner if Jones comes to UK: Larry Vaught - Larry told us early in the week that he was hearing Jones was coming to UK. Everyone was ready to pounce on him when Jones picked up the Washington cap, but now it turns out that Larry might have been right

Here are a few links to help you stay on top of things:

- The latest from The Seattle Times

- An updated thread from True Blue Kentucky

- John Clay's Big Blue Links, which includes several links about Jones

- Yahoo! Sports says it's not over until the pen hits the paper

- Mike Miller of NBCSports.com says UW's big day was not so big after all

Friday, April 30, 2010

Breaking News: Is Terrence Jones Having Second Thoughts?



I know this is a little bizarre, but it must be reported - Terrence Jones has not signed a letter of intent with Washington and he spent a great deal of time on the phone with John Calipari following his announcement this evening.

Here is an excerpt from Seattletimes.com:

There is a UW letter of intent here and it's unsigned at the moment.

And there's more.

Kentucky coach John Calipari called Jones after his announcement and Jones was on the phone for a very long time. About 15 minutes. Reading body language, Jones seemed pained.

He told me, "You hurt thousands of people just as much as you make people happy."

Jones' mother said if he hadn't chosen Washington, he was going to pick Kentucky.


Complete Article

My Thoughts: This may be nothing...but it may be something huge for Kentucky. Until that LOI is signed, we need to keep a major eye on this story.

UPDATE: The reports have been confirmed by Jones' high school coach - he is having second thoughts; a report on Twitter indicates that he was going to pick UK, but chose the UW hat at the last second.

UPDATE #2: Terrence Ross just posted the following message on Facebook:

Terrence Ross Well at least u dub has this Terrence sstill comin... lol

UPDATE #3: Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua just posted this on Twitter and Facebook:

UKCoachO RTL....., Til the battle is won ! let's go BBN


Terrence Jones is Going to Washington



Terrence Jones has committed to Washington.

He cites a need to stay close to home and says he wants to play with good friend Terrence Ross.

Live Coverage: Terrence Jones Announcement





Notes:

- Marc Maggard of TrueBlueKentucky.com reports that he knows for sure that Kansas is no longer in the mix for Terrence Jones

- There are 6 baseball caps lined up on the table where Jones will sit: UK, UW, UCLA, OU, OU and KU (from left-to-right)

- Close to 7,500 people watching the live feed at 6:15 p.m.

- At 6:22 p.m., there are over 10,000 people watching the live feed

- 5 minutes away from the announcement; now 13,000 people watching

- The atmosphere is intense; it is now time for Jones

- Over 18,000 people watching online

- Over 20,000 watching online and the Jefferson players have arrived

- The "voice of Jefferson High" is now addressing the audience

- Several other players are making their announcements first

- Terrence Ross goes before Jones and annonces that he will play for Washington

- Terrence Jones takes the mic and announces that he will play college basketball for Washington!

Kentucky Wesleyan Players Visit Deer Park Elementary

Members of Kentucky Wesleyan's basketball team visited Deer Park Elementary School in Owensboro recently to discuss the importance of education and achieving your goals through education.





Mark Krebs Enjoys Barnstorming Homecoming


Kentucky senior Mark Krebs scored 16 points in his return to Newport as the UK "barnstormers" defeated a group of locals 83-72.
Krebs, Patrick Patterson, Ramon Harris, Perry Stevenson and Ramel Bradley held on for the victory but the real story was Krebs.

Here is an excerpt from Cincinnati.com:

“It’s great being back,” said Krebs, as he and the other players signed post-game autographs for a line that snaked from the cafeteria through the gym. “I got treated like I was (Patterson). That’s all I could ask for.”

The game was a homecoming in more ways than one for Krebs, the son of Newport assistant principal and former boys’ basketball coach Mark Krebs. Friends and family dotted the near-capacity crowd.

“The reception was just great,” said the older Krebs. “… He’s spent a lot of time in this gymnasium. So this was really neat.”

In pre-game introductions, Krebs was introduced last – after more established players Ramon Harris, Perry Stevenson, Ramel Bradley and Patterson. He got the loudest applause.


Complete Article

The Latest on Terrence Jones: Where's the Leak?


The recruiting buzz around 2010 star Terrence Jones is quiet. In today's world of social networking, cell phone text messaging and "sources" - it is unusual that a highly-ranked recruit can keep his intentions silent. Yet, that is exactly the case with Jones.

I'm not sure anyone knows where Jones will attend college. I have to assume his family knows, but they aren't talking. In fact, no one is talking.

One of my best sources with UK, who seems to always know what's happening, told me last night, "I think we (UK) have a great shot, but I'd be lying if I told you I knew. I think anyone would be lying if they told you they knew."

Jones will announce his decision after school today (6:30 p.m. EST) and he will choose from a group that includes Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Oregon and UCLA.

After spending a great deal of time talking to others about Jones, here is what I have learned (and heard):

- About half the people feel that Jones will stay on the West Coast and commit to Washington
- The other half think Calipari will pull another rabbit from the hat and bring Jones to Kentucky
- Everyone warns that Kansas is an x-factor
- I have not found one person who thinks Jones will choose UCLA or Oklahoma and Oregon seems like a long shot at this point
- Even recruiting guru's like Tony Wroten Jr. are having trouble confirming anything on Jones
- If I were predicting based on everything I've heard, I'd rank them as Washington, Kentucky, Kansas and then the others; that is not verified or anything - that's just a guess based on conversations and speculation

The only thing I'm 99.99% sure about:

- Jones will announce today at 6:30 p.m. (3:30 on the West coast) and you can watch the press conference live on Oregonlive.com

Ex-Ballard Star Allan Houston to Host Celebrity Game



Allan Houston, who starred for Ballard High School and then moved on to Tennessee and later the NBA, will host a celebrity basketball game today from 4-7 p.m. at Ballard.

Here is the info from Courier-Journal.com:

Former Ballard High School and NBA star Allan Houston will host The Xperience KY Derby Celebrity Basketball Game from 4-7p.m. Friday at Ballard to support the International Children's Support Foundation.

Others expected to attend include former University of Louisville women's star Angel McCoughtry, Doss High School and University of Kentucky product Derek Anderson, NFL free agent Terrell Owens, the Baltimore Ravens' David Tyree, the Harlem Globetrotters' Gerald Gray and actor Nicoye Banks.


Source

Calipari and Enes Kanter Interview with English Subtitles



* Click image to watch video

The John Calipari and Enes Kanter interview video from a few days ago has been re-released with English subtitles to help accomodate demand from Kentucky fans.

Here is an excerpt from StudyinAmerica.com:

To accommodate the great demand from Kentucky Wildcat fans, English subscripts of Enes Kanter’s interview have now been posted. All Turkish Eyes and Hearts will be in Kentucky as its Phenom looks forward to calling Lexington its new home. We love you Coach Cal and all Kentuckians!

College basketball recruiting made easy:

Terrence Williams to Enter Taiwan Dunk Contest



A group of eight NBA players, including former Louisville star Terrence Williams, will participate in a dunk competition in Taiwan in several months.

The competition, which is scheduled for late August, will be held in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

The event will be headlined by three-time NBA dunk contest winner Nate Robinson and will also include Williams, Demar DeRozan, Shannon Brown, Will Bynum, Nick Young, Dahntay Jones and Carl Landry.

Source

A sample of T-Will's work:

Ex-Cat Heshimu Evans Named to All-Portuguese Team



Former Kentucky Wildcat Heshimu Evans has been named to the Eurobasket.com All-Portuguese Honorable Mention team.

Evans is an integral part of Benfica's 20-2 team. He averaged 14.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game during league play.

Benfica will enter the quarterfinals of the LPB playoffs today when they battle AD Vagos (9-13).

Here's the Evans you all know and love:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pikeville College's Kelly Wells Visits Feds Creek Elementary

Pikeville College head coach Kelly Wells visited Feds Creek Elementary School earlier this week to offer a motivational talk about upcoming CATS (state) testing.

Coach Wells addresses the students at Feds Creek Elementary School

Bellarmine Announces Transfer Stevie Loveless from Purdue


LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Bellarmine University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Scott Davenport has announced that Stevie Loveless, a 6-5 forward, will transfer from Purdue University and become a member of the Bellarmine Knights basketball team.

Loveless, a native of Frankfort , Ind., played one season for the Boilermakers and will have three seasons of eligibility as a Knight. As a walk-on last year, Loveless saw action in just six games for Purdue.

“I really missed playing and missed the competition,” Loveless said about his decision to transfer. “I had narrowed it down to three schools, but the fact that Bellarmine was ranked preseason No. 1 last year kind of sold me on Bellarmine--that and the strong academics,” he added.

He said he is already familiar with several of the Knights having competed against current Bellarmine sophomores Braydon Hobbs and Luke Sprague in AAU competition.

Davenport said he’s a welcome addition to the Knights’ team. “We’re thrilled that Stevie is joining the Bellarmine basketball family,” he said. “Our players who were around him during his visit were unanimous in saying that he is a great fit for our team. As a coach, it pleases me when our current players are so interested in and excited about their future teammates,” Davenport added.

Loveless becomes the second Frankfort, Ind., native to play basketball for Bellarmine. Gary Goode starred for the Knights from 1986-90 and was a member of the 1989 team that went to the NCAA tournament.

Complete Release from Bellarmine

Calipari Tells the Secret: J.V. Basketball at Kentucky?



John Calipari finally unveiled his secret that he has been teasing the Kentucky fans with for almost a week now. He talked to Coach Larry Brown about the possibility of bringing back Junior Varsity basketball to the University of Kentucky program.

Here are some posts from Calipari on Twitter tonight:

UKCoachCalipari OK, I know it’s been killing you guys to know what Coach Larry Brown’s great idea was for our program.

UKCoachCalipari Well, it was to wear one piece uniforms made of tinfoil!...No, really it’s to have our own Junior Varsity team.

UKCoachCalipari It’s not a done deal but that was what Coach said. I talked to Roy Williams who has one & I've asked UK's administration 2 look into it.

UKCoachCalipari It's a great way 2 get more KY kids in the program. We r the commonwealth’s team! The secret code was “having a varsity team plus a JV team!”

UKCoachCalipari Keep in mind, my first coaching job was the JV coach at Kansas and that was also Roy Williams’ first coaching job at North Carolina.

My Thoughts: I love the idea. Absolutely love it...

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Behind-the-Scenes Look at Future Cat Doron Lamb



Downtownexpress.com has an inspirational story about Doron Lamb and his background leading up to the recent 2010 McDonald's All-American Game.

Here is an excerpt:

This story is about a young kid from the Lower East Side that I have been fortunate enough to watch grow up and transform into a wonderful young man. I hope this story will inspire and motivate many kids in this diverse community.

His name is Doron Lamb and he is currently attending Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. I have never seen a kid with so much natural, raw talent. The community watched as he played basketball as a kid; even then, it was something special. He received offers from schools with some of the country’s top basketball programs: Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arizona and Connecticut.

Doron — a 6-foot-4-inch shooting guard — was invited to participate in the 2010 McDonald’s All-American Game — meaning he’s considered among the country’s top high school players. I recently traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to watch him compete in the game and the pre-game competitions.

Complete Article

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Updated Rivals 150 List for 2010 is Out; Kanter No. 3


Rivals.com has released an updated Rivals 150 List for the 2010 Class and there has been some movement throughout the list.

Josh Selby is not the top-rated player in the class and Brandon Knight has dropped to No. 6. Enes Kanter, who has signed with Kentucky, is not No. 3 on the overall list.

Here is the top 10 and some other notables:

1. Josh Selby, Kansas
2. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
3. Enes Kanter, Kentucky
4. Kyrie Irving, Duke
5. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
6. Brandon Knight, Kentucky
7. Tobias Harris, Tennessee
8. Cory Joseph, Texas
9. Perry Jones, Baylor
10. Reggie Bullock, North Carolina
13. Terrence Jones, Undecided
21. Doron Lamb, Kentucky
33. Stacey Poole, Kentucky
44. Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
45. Luke Cothron, Undecided
50. Justin Coleman, Louisville
121. Marcus Thornton, Undecided
129. Brandon Peters, Western Kentucky

Complete Rankings

Video: Getting to Know Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones









Source: OregonLive.com

Mid-Continent Adds Point Guard Reggie Elkins


Mayfield, KY - Mid-Continent University men's basketball coach and 2009-10 TSAC Coach of the Year Winston Bennett has signed Reggie Elkins, a quick 5-8 point guard from Brighton High School in Brighton, Tennessee, to an NAIA Letter of Intent to play for the Cougars beginning with the 2010-11 season.

The son of Ronnie and Patricia Elkins of Brighton, Elkins was named to the District 13-3A All-Tournament team as a junior and made the All-District 13 team as a senior. He plans to play at the United States Junior Nationals in Columbus, Ohio this summer.

Coach Bennett says, "Reggie is a tremendous point guard with excellent quickness and is excellent leading the offensive attack and fearless driving the lane. He also is a tenacious defender. He has been well prepared for the next level by Coach Wesley Miller at Brighton."

Source: Release by MCU

Murray State Signs Brandon Garrett and Jeff Reese


Murray State has announced the signings of Brandon Garrett and Jeff Reese (pictured) to their 2010 recruiting class:

- Reese (6-4 180) joins the Racers after playing the last two seasons at Gulf Coast CC in Panama City, Fla.

He led the Commodores last season with 33 blocked shots even though he's only 6-4.

"Jeff will be a great asset to our program," Kennedy said. "He's a good defender with athleticism. We wanted to add size and toughness to our perimeter and Jeff will help us in that area."

Reese scored 7.1 points per game and grabbed 3.8 rebounds per game and was named Panhandle Conference Honorable Mention. Complete Release

- Garrett (6-9, 200) is a forward who will be a sophomore for MSU and have three seasons to play.

Garrett joins the Racers after scoring seven points per game and getting four rebounds as a freshman for Indian Hills CC in Ottumwa, Iowa. He saw action in 21 games and was a .543 shooter from the field.

Kennedy and staff found a needed inside presence in Garrett, who played his prep basketball at Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix, Ariz.

"We are excited to add Brandon to our program," Kennedy said. "His length and size are needed with the loss of Tony Easley. Brandon has three years to play and comes from a great program that has prepared him for success. He rebounds, blocks shots and runs the floor extremely well." Complete Release

Which School Will Terrence Jones Choose?



That is the question that fans from Oklahoma, Kentucky, Washington, Oregon, UCLA and Kansas want to know.

His high school coach isn't sure that Jones' own mother even knows:

"I was talking to his mom yesterday, and we're always asking each other, 'Has Terrence told you?'" Jefferson coach Pat Strickland said.

Dave Telep, the national recruiting director for Scout.com, stated on Twitter earlier in the week: "This dude is like CIA with his deal. I don't even think his mom knows."

His coach tells OregonLive.com that he's not sure Jones has made a decision yet:

"I don't think he'll decide until his turn comes up (Friday) to announce," Strickland said.

My Thoughts: I would be surprised to see Jones commit to any school other than Washington or Kentucky. I feel good about Kentucky's chances, even though many expect him to stay on the West coast.

NOTE: Jones will announce his decision after school tomorrow (about 6:30 p.m. here in Kentucky)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Late Night Hoops Notes from Around Kentucky


Here are some notes from around the state:

- Southeast Illinois College has signed Damarko Foster of Newport and Dominique Hagans of Lafayette

- Somto "Sommy" Ogukwe (pictured), a 6-7 forward from tiny Bethel Christian Academy (Leitchfield, Ky.), has signed with Liberty University (Article coming soon)

- Franklin-Simpson's Mickey Lewis has committed to Union College (Article coming soon)

- Sophomore Tim Owens from Tallahassee Community College has signed with Troy University; he chose Troy over Murray State, UNC-Wilmington, Grambling State, Southern and Florida A&M

- Junior forward Brandon Neel from La Salle High School (Ohio) is picking up interest from Morehead State, Bowling Green and others.

- Neel's La Salle teammate Ryan Fleming is earning interest from IUPUI, Wofford, Christian Brothers and Northern Kentucky

- Glasgow High graduate Alonzo "Lonnie" Webb will be inducted into the Hiwassee College (Tn.) Hall of Fame

- Burgin's Logan Hill has committed to Pikeville College

- Murray State has signed 6-9 forward Brandon Garrett from Indian Hills CC

Several Bad Reports From the Big East Conference


Here are a couple of stories that have broken tonight from the Big East Conference:

- Seton Hall's Herb Pope collapsed today and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Here is an excerpt from NJ.com:

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Pope felt ill and then collapsed during an afternoon workout session. He was then rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital and was undergoing tests to determine what happened. The people requested anonymity because health situations of current students of the university are supposed to remain confidential.

A Seton Hall team spokesman would only say that "a student-athlete is in the hospital right now" and that it was "health-related." However, Seton Hall wouldn't release the name of the individual because the family had not yet been contacted.

- A report is out that says the NCAA will investigate Connecticut's basketball program after it "found violations".

Excerpt from USAToday.com:

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that as Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun and the school work out the details on his new contract, a person familiar with the situation said that the NCAA has informed the school that its investigation has found violations and a report will be coming soon.

The story said both Calhoun and UConn athletics director declined to comment on the investigation.

Interesting "Free Press Release" on Shagari Alleyne


I'm not sure what to make of this, but I discovered a free press release about former Kentucky big man Shagari Alleyne earlier today. I have to assume it's legit since it contains quotes directly from Alleyne.

Anyways, here is a press release on Shagari Alleyne:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 28, 2010 -- Shagari Alleyne recently completed a solid season in the NBA Developmental League, playing for Albuquerque. John Coffino coached the team.

Though he is a well-rounded player, Shagari understands that in order to make it to the next level, skills such as shot-blocking and rebounding are expected. Ever-mindful of the need to play sound, fundamental defense, Shagari prides himself on great shot-blocking. This is probably the hallmark of his defensive game. Defense was emphasized early in his playing career.

It really started in Harlem, at Rice High School. There he garnered national attention through helping Rice win the New York City Championship. He accomplished this in the nationally-recognized Catholic High School Association, or the C.H.S.A.A. The league named him as MVP that same year.

Shagari's next step was Lexington, Kentucky. He signed with the University of Kentucky, then coached by Tubby Smith. Surrounded by teammates such as Joe Crawford, Rajon Rondo, Chuck Hayes and Randolph Morris, to name a few, Shagari was on one of the country's most talented teams.

He was a very important factor in Kentucky's playoff games during his sophomore year. That season saw Kentucky go to the NCAA Elite 8, eventually losing to perennial power Michigan State. Shagari's collegiate career was a success. He racked up big games such as his MVP performance against border-state Indiana, the Hoosiers. He ranked among the SEC leaders in blocked shots. Most importantly, he worked hard, helping Kentucky win.

In 2007 he was invited to and attended training camp with the Philadelphia 76ers. Although a deal wasn't reached in 2007 the NBA door is certainly open. Since 2007 he has played in Europe and more recently in the NBA Development League. Concerning his recent season he issued this statement:

Playing in the NBA Development League was a great experience for me. It allowed me to display my talents to teams in the NBA and overseas. Though I have many talents on the basketball court, I chose to concentrate on the skills that teams ( NBA and abroad ) were looking for out of me on a daily basis. Those skills include shot-blocking, rebounding and running the floor on every possession. Other skills such as scoring would take care of itself. Fortunately I was able to do those very things. As a result, I was able to receive interest from various teams.

Shagari Alleyne is represented through Pinnacle Global Advisors LLP. Pinnacle is a multifamily office located in Atlanta and Tokyo.

Marcus Thornton Plans to Visit Kentucky


Phil Kornblut of PalmettoSports.com reports that 6-7 forward Marcus Thornton plans to take several official visits soon, including one to Kentucky.

Here is an excerpt:

Marcus Thornton will make his first official visit since reopening his recruiting this Thursday when he visits Alabama according to his coach. Thornton once was a Clemson signee but he got his release after Oliver Purnell left. He also has scheduled an official visit to Texas for next weekend. His coach said he will also take officials to Kentucky and Michigan.

Source

My Thoughts: Thornton is a very talented forward that has improved during the past season. He is not ranked in the top 25 in the 2010 class, but he can certainly play at a high level. Keep an eye on Thornton, particularly if Terrence Jones does not come to Kentucky.

Photo: Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

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It Appears Orton Wants to Stay in Draft; Bledsoe Not Certain



Andy Katz reports today that it appears Daniel Orton could be leaning toward staying in the NBA Draft.

He adds that Kentucky's other undecided freshman, Eric Bledsoe, may participate in workouts for NBA teams and then make an informed decision.

Here is an excerpt:

ESPN.com conducted an informal poll of NBA teams Wednesday to see if they were even going to have workouts during the brief April 29-May 8 window. More than half responded, and only two teams -- the Blazers and the Lakers -- said they were planning on having one workout during this window.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he thought about having a workout this weekend for freshman point guard Eric Bledsoe, the one certain early entrant who is testing the draft, but he lined up "three to four teams who I trust who are going to work him out" before the May 8 deadline. The other possible fence-sitter is freshman Daniel Orton, although it appears he could be leaning toward staying in the draft with fellow freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins as well as junior Patrick Patterson.


Complete Article

Rivals.com: C.J. Leslie to N.C. State



C.J. Leslie has chosen North Carolina State according to Rivals.com.

He decided on State over Kentucky and Connecticut.

Here is the article from Rivals.com (subscription only)

My Thoughts:

It has been long rumored that Leslie was a North Carolina State "lean" but there was much chatter lately that Kentucky was back in the race.

Kentucky fans will now turn to Terrence Jones' announcement on Friday in hopes of landing the Jefferson High School forward.

Marcus Thornton will be another name to keep an eye on.

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Terrence Jones and Terrence Ross to Announce Friday



Terrence Jones and Terrence Ross have officially scheduled their announcement times on Friday.

Jones will announce his college decision at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday evening and he will be choosing from Kentucky, Kansas, Washington, Oregon and Oklahoma.

Ross will also announce Friday and is expected to publicly state his commitment to Washington.

The announcements will be held at Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon.

Mark Krebs Makes SEC Academic Honor Roll


Congratulations to Kentucky senior Mark Krebs for his inclusion on the SEC Honor Roll.

Birmingham, Ala. -- A total of 392 student-athletes were named to the 2009-10 Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll, Tuesday by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

The University of Alabama topped the list with 56 student-athletes on the winter academic roster. The University of Florida was next with 53 winter student-athletes honored. The University of Georgia added 42 student-athletes to the list.

The 2009-10 Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll is based on grades from the 2009 Spring, Summer and Fall terms.

Any student-athlete who participates in a Southeastern Conference championship sport or a student-athlete who participates in a sport listed on his/her institution’s NCAA Sports Sponsorship Form is eligible for nomination to the Academic Honor Roll. The following criteria should be followed: (1) A student-athlete must have a grade point average of 3.00 or above for either the preceding academic year (two semesters or three quarters) or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above at the nominating institution. (2) If a student-athlete attends summer school, his/her grade point average during the summer academic term must be included in the calculation used to determine eligibility for the Academic Honor Roll. (3) Student-athletes eligible for the Honor Roll include those receiving an athletics scholarship, recipients of an athletics award (i.e., letter winner), and non-scholarship student-athletes who have been on a varsity team for two seasons. (4) Prior to being nominated, a student-athlete must have successfully completed 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of non-remedial academic credit toward a baccalaureate degree at the nominating institution. (5) The student-athlete must have been a member of a varsity team for the sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.

Source: Release by the Southeastern Conference

C.J. Leslie to Decide "Probably Today or Tomorrow"



Kentucky recruit C.J. Leslie intends to announce his college decision by the end of this week.

The 6-8 forward told the Raleigh News & Observer, "I will make my decision very, very soon. Probably today or tomorrow."

He says his choice is still "up for grabs" and his final three are Kentucky, N.C. State and Connecticut.

Here is an excerpt from NewsObserver.com:

The 6-foot-8 forward at Raleigh Word of God said he would pick from among N.C. State, Kentucky and Connecticut.

"I will make my decision very, very soon," Leslie said Wednesday morning. "Probably today or tomorrow."

He said he might make an announcement on Friday.

St. Catharine Players and Coaches Visit Elementary School


Members of the St. Catharine College basketball team and head coach J.T. Burton spent yesterday afternoon at Jennie Rogers Elementary School in Danville.

Coach Burton and the team spent time with the school's 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students to prepare and motivate them for state-mandated testing that gets underway next week.

Members of the team visited each classroom and delivered a motivational speech followed by a question and answer opportunity for the kids.

Following the educational portion of the visit, the students assembled in the school's gymnasium for basketball entertainment. Members of the team warmed up and held a student-judged slam dunk contest. Kris Caufield became a "fan favorite" with an array of athletic dunks and was judged the winner of the contest.

The day finished with the kids having an opportunity to meet the players and an autograph session.

Quote of the day:

A student asked a St. Catharine big man how he managed to get so tall. The player responded, "I drink a lot of milk and eat healthy..."

Coach Burton (who we'll just say is obviously in the mold of a guard) asked the kid, "how do you think I managed to get so tall?"

Without missing a beat, the kid responded, "looks like you've been drinking a lot of water."

Photos: St. Catharine Basketball Visits Danville School

Terrance Withers and Josh Edwards discuss motivation and the importance of state testing

Kris Caufield and Kevin Owens discuss several key factors in test preparation

St. Catharine head coach J.T. Burton addresses the entire group



Josh Edwards makes a new friend

Ty Johnson and a group of students smile for the camera

Dayton Daily News Interviews Ex-Cat Mike Pratt



Doug Harris of the Dayton Daily News has conducted a nice interview with the Wildcat All-American Mike Pratt.

Pratt will be inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame today.

Here is an excerpt:

Q: What was it like playing at Kentucky?

A: “It was a special time. I came after ‘Rupp’s Runts’ and then they had a bad year. (Pat) Riley hurt his back, and the only one left was (Louie) Dampier, who was about as good a shooter that’s ever come along. ... They went 13-13, and the next year we won the SEC. My senior year, we were the No. 1 team in the country. ... I was lucky enough to have some great teammates.”

Q: What was Adolph Rupp like?

A: “Very intense. Very demanding. I know a lot of people thought he didn’t care about anything but basketball, but he was always into his players earning their degree. He had way more successful doctors and lawyers than he had successful basketball players.”

Complete Interview

Pratt scored 1,359 points in three seasons (1967-70) with the Wildcats. He was All-SEC First Team twice and Converse Second Team All-American in 1969-70.

Billy Gillispie Denied Again; Tubby Smith Has a Way Out


It is looking more and more like Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie will have to wait another year before landing a head coaching gig.

Gillispie was reportedly interested in the Iowa State job, but the Cyclones went another direction and hired Fred Hoiberg.

ESPN.com reports:

Iowa native Fred Hoiberg is returning home to coach Iowa State's men's basketball program.
Hoiberg, a Cyclone alum and star player at Ames (Iowa) High School in the early '90s, replaced Greg McDermott. McDermott left to fill the vacancy at Creighton University after Dana Altman was hired by Oregon.

Iowa State is holding a news conference Wednesday morning to formally introduce Hoiberg.

In other former Kentucky head coach news, Tubby Smith now has an easy way out of Minnesota if he wishes to leave.

TwinCities.com reports that Smith's $1 million contract buyout expires on Friday. That basically means Smith can leave at any time, without penalty.

Here is an excerpt:

On Friday, Smith's $1 million contract buyout expires.

That means if he were to leave Minnesota, he would owe the university zero. He is about to become an unfettered free agent, even though he has four years remaining on his deal.

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