Saturday, May 8, 2010

2010 PF Kadeem Jack Will Visit Kentucky


The latest candidate to fill Kentucky's 2010 void at the power forward position is Kadeem Jack, a 6-9 player from Rice High School (NY).

Jack, who also plans to visit North Carolina, averaged 16.9 points at Rice last season.

He originally said he would attend South Kent (prep school) next season, but college is still a valid option.

Here is an excerpt from ZagsBlog.com:

The 6-foot-9 Jack plans to visit North Carolina and Kentucky sometime in the coming weeks, although no dates have been set.

“According to him, he said that he’s going to set up visits with North Carolina and Kentucky,” said South Kent (Conn.) coach Kelvin Jefferson. “He said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to visit Kentucky and North Carolina.’”


NBA Draft Deadline Passes; Who Stayed and Who Left


The deadline for college underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft or return to college expired earlier this evening.

Here is a list of plays from the state of Kentucky and their decisions:

Kentucky

- Daniel Orton, Staying in Draft

- Patrick Patterson, Staying in Draft

- DeMarcus Cousins, Staying in Draft

- John Wall, Staying in Draft

- Eric Bledsoe, Staying in Draft

Morehead State

- Kenneth Faried, Returning to College

Louisville

- Samardo Samuels, Staying in Draft


My Thoughts: I think Cousins, Wall, Patterson and Faried made excellent decisions. If Bledsoe and Orton are hearing that they are top 20 picks, I think they also made the correct decisions. I think Samuels made a terrible decision and should have returned to school for another season.

Bob Knight Cusses a Group of College Graduates

I guess Bob Knight just can't help himself. He delivered a commencement speech to Trine University graduates earlier today. Unfortunately, he slid in some typical Knight language.

The speech is broken up into five segments. Click on each one to watch it:

Katz Analyzes the Impact of NBA Draft Decisions



Andy Katz of ESPN.com gives some thoughts this afternoon about the decisions by underclassmen that either stayed in or pulled out of the NBA Draft.

He gives some thoughts on how the decisions of Kentucky's Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe and Morehead State's Kenneth Faried will change the first round of the draft and their respective college teams.

Here are some excerpts:

On Orton and Bledsoe:

None of the players who were still mulling over decisions would have affected the first round of the NBA draft. On Friday night, the official decisions of Kentucky freshmen Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe put two more undecided early-entrants in the first round. But on Saturday, the most anticipated decision came out of West Lafayette, Ind., where JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore told coach Matt Painter they will return for their senior seasons. The Boilermakers, with the return of Robbie Hummel, will have what is likely the most experienced and productive trio returning of any power-six club.

On Faried:

Meanwhile, Kenneth Faried’s decision to stay at Morehead State means one of the better talents in the country will shine more of a spotlight on the Ohio Valley next season. Faried had a shot to alter the draft board in the latter part of the first round, but is just one less name for NBA personnel to sweat over during the next six weeks.

Complete Article

Orton, Bledsoe Statements on Ending UK Careers Early


Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe have both given statements on their decisions to remain in the NBA Draft.

From UKAthletics.com:

Eric Bledsoe

“I never thought I’d be ready for the NBA after one year,” Bledsoe said. “I worked hard to be able to have this choice. Coach Cal pushed me to be the best I could be and I’m ready to take my game to the next level. I want to thank the fans for all their support this year. Why would anyone not want to come to Kentucky? I loved it.”

Daniel Orton

"This team is the best team that I have ever been a part of and it’s been a great experience," Orton said. "I appreciate and thank the University of Kentucky, the coaching staff and all of the Kentucky fans. I am truly blessed to be a part of the Kentucky family. I wish Kentucky continued success in the future."

My Thoughts: I always support Cats at the next level, even if I was hoping for a return. I will never fault a player for doing what he feels is best for he and his family.

I compare leaving early for the NBA to a college student that is offered a multi-million dollar contract for his talents. If an executive approached me during my freshman year at Morehead State and said, "I'll give you a $5 million guaranteed contract if you leave school and work at my company..."

I mean, I loved my time at Morehead State, but come on.

Need recruiting info?

Houston Rockets Will Keep Ex-Cat Chuck Hayes



Follow us on Twitter:


The Houston Rockets are planning to exercise their team option and retain former Kentucky forward Chuck Hayes.

Hayes has 1 year and $2.33 million left on his contract. The move prevents the former Wildcat from becoming a free agent and makes a clear statement on how the team plans to handle its players.

Here is an excerpt from Chron.com:

The Rockets' decision to keep Hayes in the final season of his contract is consistent with their recent strategy of not extending the contracts of signed veteran players beyond the next collective bargaining agreement. The current agreement expires after the 2010-11 season. By picking up the final season of Hayes' contract, the Rockets would not be in position to sign him to a contract that would extend into the next collective bargaining agreement.

Last season, the Rockets chose to have guard Kyle Lowry and forward Luis Scola complete their contracts, rather than seek long-term agreements, allowing both to become free agents this July.


NOTE: No word yet on whether or not Hayes will spend the summer working on free throw shooting (I absolutely love this video, by the way):

Daniel Orton Signs with an Agent



Former Kentucky Wildcat Daniel Orton has signed with Raymond Brothers, according to a Twitter post by DraftExpress.com.

Here is the post:

DraftExpress Kentucky's Daniel Orton will sign w/NBA agent Raymond Brothers.

Raymond Brothers, which is part of the IAM Sports agency, currently has four NBA players: Ben Gordon, Zach Randolph, Caron Butler and Jamaal Tinsley.

Source

Friday, May 7, 2010

Orton, Bledsoe Will Both Remain in NBA Draft



It is not exactly a surprise, but it will still sting a bit for Kentucky fans tonight as John Calipari has told Andy Katz that both Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe will end their UK careers and remain in the NBA Draft.

Here is an excerpt from Katz:

Two others teased Kentucky's fans for a week when freshmen Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton "tested" the draft.

But they're both in now.

Calipari said Friday night that Bledsoe and Orton will join their three teammates and stay in the NBA draft.

"Eric did great in Chicago and Boston [in workouts this week] and will now work out for lottery teams," Calipari said of Bledsoe. "Orton hasn't worked out for anybody yet but [teams] are loving him."

Complete Article

Bizarre Case Involving U of L Assistant Steve Masiello


There is a bizarre legal case on the horizon involving former Kentucky player and current Louisville assistant Steve Masiello.
The story, which was originally reported by Matt Jones of KentuckySportsRadio.com, involves allegations that Masiello promised Kentucky Derby tickets in exchange for $70,000 in cash - but he failed to deliver $50,000 worth of his promise.

Here is an excerpt from Courier-Journal.com:

In a suit filed Friday in Jefferson Circuit Court, Scott Davis, who operates DerbyDeals.com, alleges that he gave $70,000 in cash in five payments to the assistant coach, Steve Masiello, and that Masiello, after finding the broker $10,000 worth of tickets and returning another $10,000 in cash, kept the rest of the money.

The suit alleges that some of the transactions occurred at the The Yum! Center and U of L’s training facilities, and that one cash delivery was made by “a woman standing under the street light by the Smoothie King in St. Matthews.”


Complete Article

Kentucky is Inquiring About 6-7 Forward Kyle Cain



Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com stated on Twitter tonight that Kentucky is one of several schools that is inquiring about 6-7 forward Kyle Cain.

Cain, an athletic big man, has asked for a release from his letter-of-intent at Rhode Island. He is expected to receive his release and be available to other schools.

He had a solid season at New Hampton Prep this season.

Here is Cain in action:


Bracken County's Dylan Hamilton Chooses Thomas More


Dylan Hamilton, a 6-3 guard from Bracken County will play college basketball at Thomas More College.

Hamilton chose TMC over Bluffton University (Ohio) and will sign on May 19 at the high school.

He led Bracken County to the school's first region tournament appearance in 6 seasons in 2010. As a senior, he averaged 21 points and 5 rebounds per game. A year ago he averaged 18 points and 6 rebounds as a junior.

Dylan left his name in the Bracken County record books with 1,233 career points (7th All time). He is also the school’s all time leading three-point shooter, both career and single season. Dylan hit 87 three’s as a junior then broke his own record with 99 his senior season.

As a junior, Hamilton nailed 3.0 three-pointers, which was 8th in the state, and shot 44% from long range on the season. His senior season, he made 3.3 three-pointers a game, which ranked 4th in the state.

“Dylan is a kid who lives and breathes basketball. Dylan has a great knowledge of the game and listens to everything a coach tells him. His shooting form is picture perfect, he was the best pure shooter in state hands down the last two seasons. Thomas More is getting a player who will come in and contribute from day one, but not be complacent with that role and stride to get better every day. Aside from being a great basketball player, he is a great individual. If my two son’s grow up to have the character and be the quality individuals that Dylan is, they will be more than okay in life.”

– Deron Breeze 2008-09 Bracken County Head Coach

MSU's Kenneth Faried Withdraws from NBA Draft


Kenneth Faried has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and will return to Morehead State for his senior season.

Excerpt of Morehead State press release:

MOREHEAD, Ky. – Morehead State junior Kenneth Faried announced Friday that he has removed his name from NBA draft consideration and will return for his senior year with Eagle men’s basketball.

“After carefully looking at all my options and talking it over with my family – especially my mom, I have decided to return to Morehead State University for my senior season,” Faried said. “This process has been a tremendous experience and a great learning experience for me. I want to thank coach [Donnie] Tyndall and all of my coaches as well as my teammates and all of the MSU fans for their support. However I want to thank my mom even more – She is my heart and soul and her support means the world to me.”

The Newark, N.J. native, returns to help coach Tyndall, the coaching staff, and his teammates make another run at the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and NCAA berth. It will also give Faried a chance to further develop his skills and maturation as a basketball player.

“This was a very difficult decision for Kenneth, but after visiting with many NBA teams and listening to their opinions and evaluations he felt like it was in his best interest to return to school,” Tyndall said. “As I have said all along this would be a decision Kenneth and his mom would make on their own and they did. Kenneth Faried is a fantastic basketball player, but is an even better person. His unselfish attitude and team first mentality have helped make him the most popular player in Morehead State University history. The good news for MSU fans is that they will get to see him in an Eagle uniform for his senior season!”

Complete Release from MSUEagles.com

How Does John Calipari Attract So Much Top Talent?


Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com has an interesting explanation of how John Calipari is able to attract so much top-level talent in his "Meyer's Mailbag" feature today.

Here is an excerpt about Calipari:

How would you rate Kentucky's John Calipari as a talent evaluator? How much work does this guy do to get the elite prospects to commit to UK when it was so difficult in the past? Also, should we expect classes like these every year?

- Andrew from Chicago

That first question is a tough one to answer. It might be difficult to place elite prospects in the correct order for ranking purposes, but it isn't that difficult to figure out whether a prospect is elite or not.

The coaches that really have to be good at evaluating talent are the coaches who are not in a position to recruit elite talent. Obviously, the majority of the prospects Calipari recruits are elite prospects.

So the trick for Calipari in recruiting is figuring out which elite guys he has the best chance of landing. Certainly Calipari has to work at recruiting, but the real work is creating an atmosphere where Kentucky is a magnet for elite talent.

Kentucky is a magnet for elite talent. Though Calipari hasn't won every recruiting battle, his batting average is pretty impressive. So yes, I would expect these type of classes every year.

The bigger issue is how far Kentucky can go in the tournament playing with almost a new starting five every season.

Complete Article

NOTE: The article also has some interested comments about future Cat Enes Kanter.

Orton's Dad Says It Looks Like Daniel is Staying in Draft


Daniel Orton's father, Larry, told Alan Cutler of Lex18 that Daniel will likely keep his name in the NBA Draft.

He stated that his son has not signed with an agent, but his comments would seem to suggest that the writing is on the wall - Daniel Orton will remain the NBA Draft.

Here is an excerpt:

"Well right now, that's what it looks like. He is keeping his name in," says Larry.

"Just waiting on tomorrow. Right now he is still in the draft. That's all I can tell you."

What would make Daniel change his mind?

"I don't know. Unless he got hurt in a workout."

Larry says that Daniel is healthy and working out in California.


Complete Article

My Thoughts:

This is no surprise. I have felt that Orton would remain in the NBA Draft since the news broke that he was entering the draft. It is hard to blame him for making this decision, particularly if he feels he will be a top 20 pick.

I do hope Orton opted to stick with his statement that he would complete this semester's classes through online distance learning.

On April 4, Orton posted on Twitter:

danielorton33 People I KNOW that if I dropped outta school it would cost UK a scholarship. I'm not self centered or a me person at all. I'm a team player.

danielorton33 That's why I didn't. Your scholarship won't be taken away for all you fans out there that need it so badly!!

WKU Assistant David Boyden Will Not Return


Western Kentucky assistant coach David Boyden will not return to the program for the 2010-11 season.

Here is an excerpt from the Bowling Green Daily News:

The reason for Boyden’s departure isn’t exactly clear. WKU’s sports information office said Boyden declined to be interviewed, although WKU did provide the Daily News with a statement from Boyden this morning.

“I am thankful for the time that I have been able to spend at WKU,” said Boyden, who will be paid by the university through June 30. “Bowling Green will always be home for me. Thank you to the fans that make WKU basketball the best program in the country. Thank you to the players who have made so many sacrifices to make WKU great.”

Comparing Calipari Point Guards: Rose vs. Wall


NBADraft.net wonders: will John Wall equal or surpass Derrick Rose?

Here is an excerpt:

At this point, there's little doubt Wall deserves to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. His upside is much greater than Ohio State star Evan Turner's, and he's simply better now than anyone else in the draft. Similarly, Rose might not have been as good a college player as Michael Beasley, but he was probably better than anyone else available, and he trumped Beasley in most other regards.

But these are two different players. Wall dominates with his speed. Rarely can one find a player who operates at such a high level while running at full speed. No one can catch this kid on a break, and he may instantly become the fastest player in the NBA, at least with the ball. More impressive, he keeps his peripheral vision broad and is a brilliant passer in the open court.

He's longer and taller than any player who could hope to stay in front of him, and when he is challenged, he generally can simply leap over an opponent. There's no doubting Wall's natural ability. To be precise, Wall can unquestionably do things Rose simply can't.

But Rose was a more polished player coming out of college. While he's got a lot to learn at the defensive end, he's always seemed more interested in it than his younger counterpart. His turnover rate was significantly lower than Wall's, and he operates much more effectively in a half-court set. The NBA is speeding up again, but the remnants of the 1990s remain. You can't win a title on the fast break.


Complete Article

Union College Signs Clinton County's Storm Burchett


BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Clinton County High School combo guard Storm Burchett (Albany, Ky.) recently signed his letter of intent to join the Bulldogs men's basketball program, the Union College athletics department announced today.

Burchett, a 6-foot-3 guard who can also play the forward position, averaged 15.6 points per game in his senior season while also 4th-Region All-Tournament Team honors as well as 4th-Region All-Team honors. He also earned 4th- Region All A-Tournament Team honors for the third straight season and 16th-Region All District Team honors for the third consecutive season.

Burchett leaves Clinton County High School after scattering his name all over the record books. He is the 19th highest all-time leading scorer (1,074), the eighth highest rebounder (593), third in assists for a career (289), seventh in steals (125), third in free throws made (333) and fourth in career games played.

"We are excited about Storm joining Union College and the Bulldog basketball family," commented head coach Sean Gillespie.

"In talking with his coaches and watching him on tape, there is no doubt about his ability to compete at the next level. His effort in the weight room, in the gym and in the locker room will be a great asset to the future of our program. This young man loves to play the game and is not afraid of the preparation that comes with being a good player. He is going to be a great fit here Union."

Source: Release by UC

Dates for Western Kentucky Basketball Summer Camps


Registration is now open for the 2010 WKU Men's Basketball Summer Camps.

There will be two day camp sessions for anyone between the ages of 8-17. They will run from June 7-10th, 8:30am - 4:30pm and July 12-16th from 8:30am - 4:30pm. Both sessions will be held in Diddle Arena. Session 1 in June will be $200/camper and Session 2 in July is $250/camper.

The annual Little Topper Camp will be offered this summer, as well.

Coach Mac and the WKU Men's Basketball staff as well as current Hilltopper players and alumni will be conducting the camp.

For more information, contact Anthony Winchester or Kip Wellman at 270.745.2131 or email at anthony.winchester@wku.edu

For more information and to download the camp brochure and registration form, click here.

Kentucky, Indiana Series Extended Two More Seasons



A contract has been signed that will allow Kentucky and Indiana to continue their border rivalry game at least two more seasons.

Indiana will visit Rupp Arena next season and the two teams will battle at Assembly Hall in 2011.

Two more years of this:



And this:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Season Ends for Ex-Cat Patrick Sparks in Ukraine



The season has ended for former Western Kentucky and Kentucky guard Patrick Sparks, a native of Central City, Kentucky.

Sparks and his Hoverla team lost in the quarterfinal series of Ukraine's Superleague. Hoverla was swept in the series by Budivelnyk.

In 30 games this season, Sparks averaged 16.2 points, 5.7 assists and 1.8 steals. He was 64-161(39.8%) from beyond the 3-point line.

Sparks had a season-high 32 points twice this season.

Sparks nailing seven 3-pointers at Alabama:

UK's 2010 Class Jumps to No. 2 in Rivals.com Rankings


Kentucky's 2010 recruiting class has climbed all the way up to No. 2 in the Rivals.com team rankings.

UK made the biggest jump in the rankings.

Here are the top 5 classes:

1. Memphis
2. Kentucky
3. Ohio State
4. North Carolina
5. North Carolina State

An excerpt about Kentucky:

John Calipari and his staff lost plenty when the likes of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton declared for the draft. However, filling those departures with the likes of Kanter, Knight, Lamb and Poole is a great start on rebuilding. A strong five-star prospect, Kanter is a Turkish import who dazzled during the Hoops Summit. Fellow five-star standout Knight should be able to step right in and take over the controls of the dribble-drive offense. Poole gives the Wildcats an athletic slasher on the wing who can get hot from 3-point range. Of course, Kentucky is in the thick of the Terrence Jones sweepstakes. A commitment from the Oregon forward would likely catapult their class to the No. 1 spot.

UK's 2010 Class as of today:


PF Enes Kanter (3)
PG Brandon Knight (6)
SG Doron Lamb (21)
SF Stacey Poole (33 )

Kentucky Fans May Need to Learn the Name Remi Dibo


Evan Daniels of Scout.com just reported that 2010 power forward Remi Dibo is receiving interest from Kentucky.

Dibo, a 6-8 power forward from Mountain State Academy (W.Va.), recently visited Kentucky.

Scout.com lists him as a 3-star recruit who is not ranked nationally.

He has a list of four: Kentucky, Drexel, Duquesne and St. Bonaventure.


My thoughts: If the Cats strike out on C.J. Leslie, Terrence Jones and Marcus Thornton - Dibo may be the next target for the Cats.

Here is a video that has a few Dibo dunks in it (WARNING: explicit lyrics in song):

ESPN: 6 Reasons Why Calipari Makes Sense for the bulls



ESPN's Nick Friedell explains six reasons today why he thinks John Calipari would make a lot of sense for the Chicago Bulls.

Here are Friedell's reasons with a couple of excerpts:

1. He was Derrick Rose's college coach at Memphis

2. He is close friends with superstar free agent LeBron James

Calipari and James have become close friends over the past few years and that friendship could give the Bulls a better chance of landing James. The prospect of playing for Calipari and with Rose in a city that he admittedly loves could be very enticing for the reigning MVP.

3. He has a relationship with Worldwide Wes

If everything you read is true, there is no more connected person in basketball circles than William "Worldwide" Wesley. For years, Wesley and Calipari have maintained a close relationship, leading to a tremendous pipeline of stars for Calipari's programs. Wesley is a confidant of James and other marquee NBA players. His friendship with James, Calipari and Rose certainly won't hurt when the Bulls start searching for free agents this summer.

4. He is a master recruiter

5. He has the experience

6. He has the cachet

Complete Article

My Thoughts: The rumor won't die, but I still think Calipari is staying in Lexington until he accomplishes a few of his college goals.

Murray State Signs UMKC Transfer Latreze Mushatt


Murray State Head Men's Basketball Coach Billy Kennedy announced the signing of Latreze Mushatt (pronounced MOO-Shot) who is transferring from Missouri-Kansas City.

Mushatt (6-5, 210), from Saginaw, Mich., will sit out the 2010-11 season and have two seasons to play for MSU beginning with the 2011-12 season.

"We are excited to be adding Latreze to our program," Kennedy said. "LaTreze will immediately help offset some of the toughness we lose with the departures of our three seniors B.J. Jenkins, Isacc Miles and Jeffery McClain."

Indeed Mushatt is a multi-talented wing that played in all 30 games with 28 starts in 2009-10 for UMKC where he was second on the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He also led UMKC in steals with 36 and was third in assists with 49. His .475 field goal percentage ranked him ninth in the Summit League.

"I like the fact that Latreze has proven his ability to score at the Division-I level," Kennedy added. "He will bring immediate toughness and maturity to our team."

In Mushatt's freshman season in 2008-09, he was one of three to play in all 31 games (he had 25 starts) and he scored 9.1 points per game and grabbed 5.5 rebounds per game.

His career-high scoring game came against Oakland (Feb. 13) with 21 points, while his best rebounding game was against Western Illinois (Jan. 2, 2009) with 11.

Mushatt played his prep basketball at Saginaw Arthur Hill High School where he was named to the Detroit Free Press All-Michigan Team and he was also an all-state selection by the Associated Press.

Mushatt was part of a state championship as a sophomore and ranked as the third best shooting guard in the state of Michigan by mihoops.com.

Source: Release by MSU

Marcus Thornton No Longer Considering Kentucky?



Marc Maggard of TrueBlueKentucky.com is reporting that Kentucky is no longer in the running for 2010 power forward Marcus Thornton.

Article from Maggard (subscription)

Thornton is a 6-7 power forward from Westlake High School (Ga.). He was recently named Mr. Basketball in Georgia.

He ranks #121 on the updated Rivals150 List for 2010.

My Thoughts: This could be a key loss for Kentucky's 2010 class if they are unable to land Terrence Jones.

Gorgui Dieng Signs with Louisville and Rick Pitino


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Gorgui Dieng, a 6-10, 215-pound center from Dakar, Senegal, who played last season at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep School, has signed a national letter-of-intent to continue his basketball playing careers at the University of Louisville.

Dieng (pronounced GOR-gee Deng) averaged 15.4 points, 12.6 rebounds and 7.2 blocked shots as a senior last season at Huntington Prep. He is ranked 44th nationally in the 2010 class by Rivals.com and 46th in the nation by Scout.com.

"Gorgui is someone who we put a lot of effort into recruiting," said Pitino. "He has as much upside as any player I've ever recruited. He's 6-10, long, a terrific shot-blocker, and has a good shooting touch from outside. He'll work very hard to build up his body from 215 to 235. We expect him to be one of the better shot blockers that we've signed here at U of L."

Dieng was named the MVP of the Black Team in the 2010 Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic all-star game played in Louisville's Freedom Hall on April 10 after producing 15 points, seven rebounds and eight blocked shots. He totalled 16 points, 11 rebounds and five steals and hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in leading Senegal to a 66-65 victory over Team USA Midwest in the 2009 Nike Global Challenge in Oregon on Aug. 8, 2009.

Dieng had narrowed his collegiate choices to Marquette, Colorado and Marshall before signing with the Cardinals. He has a 7-4 wingspan and speaks five languages, the latest of which is English.

Dieng is the fourth member of the Cardinals' 2010 freshman class, joining Justin Coleman, a 6-5, 210-pound guard/forward from Richmond, Va. who also played last season at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep School; Elisha Justice, a 5-10, 180-pound guard from Shelby Valley High School in Pikeville, Ky.; and 6-0, 160-pound guard Russ Smith from New York, who played a year of prep school at the South Kent (Conn.) School last season.

Source: Release by U of L

Morehead State Adds Talented JUCO Point Guard


Morehead State has received a commitment and is expected to sign Howard College (Tx.) point guard Lamont Austin.

Austin is a 6-1 floor-leader that led Howard to a 33-2 record and the school's first JUCO national championship.

In the championship game, Austin scored 14 points, including 4-8 from long range.

Austin originally played at Missouri State before transferring to Howard due to personal reasons.

He will give the Eagles a talented point guard that understands the position and can shoot.

Here are some archived feeds from the JUCO national tournament to give MSU fans an idea of what the Eagles are getting in Austin:




John Calipari to Give Baseball a Shot Friday Night


Kentucky head coach John Calipari will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Here is an announcement from UKAthletics.com:

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After leading the Kentucky men’s basketball team to a 35-3 record in his first season as head coach, John Calipari will be on hand at the UK baseball game with No. 4 South Carolina on Friday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. ET on Friday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Kentucky (24-20, 7-14 Southeastern Conference) will welcome South Carolina (34-9, 16-5 SEC) for a three-game series in Lexington. First pitch on Friday and Saturday is slated for 7 p.m. ET, with the series finale scheduled for 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Friday and Saturday games will be televised by the Big Blue Sports Network, with Dick Gabriel (play-by-play), Ryan Lemond (sideline) and MLB Gold Glove infielder Doug Flynn (color) calling the action.

Calipari will kick off the three-game series with the ceremonial first pitch on Friday night. The weekend will consist of several promotions, as UK fights for a berth in the 2010 SEC Baseball Tournament with the high-octane Gamecocks. The Friday and Saturday night games will also feature fireworks for any UK home runs, with the Wildcats entering the weekend ranking second in the SEC in round trippers. On Sunday, the first 100 moms in attendance will receive a flower courtesy of Kroger in honor of Mother’s Day. Also on Sunday, there will be Ice Cream Sundaes available in a collectable UK mini helmet, in addition to a postgame autograph session.

In his first season as the men’s basketball coach, Calipari led the Wildcats to the conference regular and tournament championships, with 29 wins marking the most regular-season wins in the storied history of the program. Calipari was named Rupp Cup National Coach of the Year following the season.

Rumors of Brandon Knight to Italy are Completely False


The Internet rumor that Brandon Knight will spurn college and follow Brandon Jennings' path to Europe is completely false.

Yesterday, a poorly constructed blog passed along two articles about Brandon Knight. The first stated:

As many know Brandon Knight has not signed his letter of intent. According to sources inside UK, he has not done this because he is leaning towards skipping his freshman year of college and heading to Europe for a year like Brandon Jennings. Stay tuned for more.

The second added to the lie with a completely false report (including "actual" quotes from Brandon Knight):

Sources tonight have officially confirmed that Brandon Knight is indeed leaving UK and will sign with the professional team in Italy, the Palacanestro Biellas. Knight says this was the reason he had held out on signing a NLI with the University of Kentucky. "I feel this was the right direction to take my game and that I was better off by playing in Italy for a year, I mean, look at what Jennings has done in his first season in the league." Knight also cited that he was weary about Calipari on whether he is going to stay another season in Kentucky. "Calipari treated me like royalty from day one, but recently he seems more withdrawn and I think he has other job offers on his mind." This decision is a shocker to many because of Knight's academic prowess, but Knight has said that it didn't factor in his decision and will still attempt to obtain a degree at some other point during his life. "I apologize to the Big Blue, but I look forward to fine tuning my game in Europe before I head to the pro's."

I talked to a good friend in Miami that is close to Knight's situation and he said, "The quote and his decision to turn pro would be completely out of character for Brandon, who takes his education seriously."

Shortly after that, ZagsBlog.com confirmed that the rumor is completely false:

Despite a completely bogus Internet “story” to the contrary, Kentucky recruit Brandon Knight will not play in Europe next season.

“That’s not true,” Efrem Knight, Brandon’s father, said Thursday morning by phone. “All that is is people trying to mess up Kentucky’s recruiting.”

A closer look at the original report reveals that the "blog" is ran by two students who appear to be under 18. That being said, I will refrain from making any comments and chalk it up as a "minor" mistake.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Catching Up On News from Around Kentucky


- Congratulations to Shelby Valley's Elisha Justice for signing a scholarship offer from Louisville

- Latreze Mushatt will transfer from Missouri-Kansas City to Murray State. Mushatt is a 6-5 F who averaged 11.3 PPG & 5.3 RB. He will sit out next season and be eligible in 2011.

- Tyler Mullins from Perry Central has signed with Emory & Henry

- June Buchanan's Clint Stepp has committed to Alice Lloyd College and is expected to sign tomorrow

- Who will Greenup County hire to coach their boy's basketball team? The name at the top of their list might surprise you.

- Will the Mid-South Conference pick up a high-major NCAA Division I transfer soon?

- Morehead State has offered Southport (Ind.) High School teammates Michale Ramey and Kellon Thomas; both are 2012 recruits (Source: Jody Demling)

- Scott County's Chad Jackson has signed with James Madison

- Centre College has added Matt Lohr from St. Xavier High School

- Spencer Berlekamp from Kings High School (Ohio) has committed to Thomas More College

Terrence Jones Tells All; "I'm Still Committed" to UW, But...


John Canzano of The Oregonian has an article this afternoon about 2010 recruit Terrence Jones that answers many of the questions that have been asked and/or speculated about during the past week.

Jones, in front of nearly 25,000 online viewers, publicly committed to Washington, wavered a bit and did not sign - leaving open the possibility that he is still trying to make a final decision.

He tells Canzano that he is still committed to Washington, but is not ready to sign a National Letter of Intent:

"I'm still committed to Washington," Jones said on Wednesday, "but I'm not willing to sign anything at this point."

Canzano reports that Jones was blasted by harassing telephone calls and on social networking sites by fans of the schools he did not pick:

Fans at Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Oregon and Oklahoma, miffed that the 6-foot-9 Jones didn't choose their programs on Friday, blasted Jones' social networking sites with insults and slurs that were so offensive his sister instructed him not to read them and went in herself and deleted it all.

"I saw some of it," Jones said. "Really hurtful stuff."


But that "scumbag" John Calipari called and tried to steal him from Washington, right? Not so much. As a matter of fact, Jones called Calipari and the coaches of the other schools that he did not choose:

Jones insists he called Calipari, not the other way around.

"I called all five of the coaches that I didn't pick," he said.

So, what can be made of all of this?

It's pretty simple, actually. Jones is a good kid that is trying to make a difficult decision and one that is best for him.

He has fallen victim to the sometimes vicious world of high-major college recruiting. It is a world that is difficult to get into, difficult to get out of and that can never be completely forgotten.

It is a world that takes no prisoners and can be extremely painful for a high school kid - particularly a good high school kid like Terrence Jones.

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Pitino to Help Motivated Antoine Walker Try NBA Comeback



Rick Pitino announced today that he will bring former Kentucky star Antoine Walker into Louisville for workouts over the next several weeks.

Walker, who is legally bound to pay back about $900,000 of gambling debts, is eyeing an NBA comeback.

Pitino will also ask Walker to speak to his current Louisville players about the temptations that come with life as a professional.

Walker helped lead UK to a national championship in 1996 and went on to be a three-time NBA All-Star. He won an NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006, but found himself out of the league shortly after that.

He last played briefly in Puerto Rico earlier this year.

My Thoughts:

- First thought: best wishes to Antoine Walker as he tries to turn his life around

- Second thought: kudos to Rick Pitino for being there for his former star

Eastern Kentucky University Basketball Camp Announced


RICHMOND, Ky. - The dates for this summer’s Jeff Neubauer basketball camp have been announced by the Eastern Kentucky University coaching staff.

The camp, which is open to anyone between the ages of seven and 16, will run from June 21 to 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at Alumni Coliseum. The cost is $175 per camper, which will be reduced to $150 per camper for applications received before June 1.

Neubauer and his staff, as well as current Colonel players, will be conducting the camp. The event will center on offensive and defensive fundamentals to improve each camper’s individual game. In addition to individual shooting competitions, there will be daily 5-on-5 full-court games.

Click here for camp brochure!

For more information, contact Ryan Hart, director of basketball operations, at 622-6679 or e-mail at ryan.hart@eku.edu.

Ex-Cat Rajon Rondo Named to NBA All-Defensive Team



Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo has been named to the NBA's All-Defensive First Team for his defensive efforts this season.

‘09-10 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM


Player First Second Points

Dwight Howard 28 1 57
Rajon Rondo 23 4 50
LeBron James 20 5 45
Kobe Bryant 13 8 34
Gerald Wallace 11 8 30

‘09-10 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM

Tim Duncan 8 5 21
Dwyane Wade 8 4 20
Josh Smith 6 8 20
Anderson Varejao 2 11 15
Thabo Sefolosha 3 8 14

Others (First Team votes in parentheses):

Jason Kidd, 12 (4); Marcus Camby, 12 (1); Ron Artest, 11 (3); Deron Williams, 10, (2); Kirk Hinrich, 9 (1); Andrew Bogut, 8; Luc Mbah a Moute, 8 (1)

Louisville Signs Justice, Coleman; Pitino News Conference

The Louisville Cardinals have officially signed Elisha Justice and Justin Coleman to National Letters of Intent for the 2010 Class.

Pitino met with the media today to discuss both players, Samardo Samuels and his decision, how they'll adjust back to Pitino's style of team next season and much more (Video from Courier-Journal.com):

Kentucky Wesleyan Signs JUCO Transfer Anthony Young


Anthony Young, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound sophomore forward from Kankakee Community College in Kankakee, Ill., signed a national letter-of-intent to continue his education and basketball career at Kentucky Wesleyan College, according to Panther head coach Todd Lee.

He will have two years of eligibility remaining and becomes the second signee for KWC during the spring period.

Young led KCC in rebounding with 7.2 boards per contest while scoring a third-best 11.0 points per game this past season. He earned first team All-Region IV honors and received the Most Valuable Player of the Region IV Tournament.

“Anthony has the ability to score in a variety ways," said Lee. "He will be a very good player in our system as he provides some low post scoring and the ability to step out on the floor and score.

"Anthony has excellent rebounding skills with very good hands. He comes from a very successful winning program, which is very important.”

The native of Indianapolis, Ind. shot 43.3 percent from the field, 29.9 percent from three-point territory and 69.9 percent from the free throw line.

He helped lead the No. 10 Cavaliers to a 29-5 record, a Region IV Championship and a trip to the NJCAA national tournament in 2010 for head coach and former Western Kentucky University standout Joe Lightfoot.

Young finished his freshman season as the KCC’s second leading scorer at 13.9 points and rebounder at 6.3 boards per game in 29 games played. He shot 50.5 percent from the field, 37.2 from the three-point arc and 76.8 percent from the foul line.

Coach Lighfoot added, “Anthony is a very skilled player inside the paint or can shoot the three. He has tremendous poise under pressure.”

In two seasons at KCC, he accumulated 748 points, 399 rebounds, 43 steals, 40 assists and 14 blocks in 59 career games played.

Complete Release from KWC

Matt Pilgrim Facing Rape Accusations at Oklahoma State

Matt Pilgrim, who transferred to Oklahoma State from Kentucky a year ago, is facing rape allegations from a female student.

Here is the news story:

 

Reader Defends John Calipari on Seattle Site


A reader named "Jeff" let SeattleWeekly.com have the business in defense of Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

Here is an excerpt:

"The funny thing is - and it's funny that none of the villagers with pitchforks has mentioned this - not one player has ever said anything bad about Calipari. In fact, the one word that comes up most often in their descriptions of dealing with Cal is 'honest'. Terrence Ross seemed to criticize him the other day for guilt-tripping Jones, but let's face it, there are not many personal relationships between players that are as deep as the one between Ross and Jones. Anyway, from what Ross actually said, it was clear that he was going on what other people had speculated. He did not say, Terrence Jones told me that Calipari had done thus-and-such. He more or less repeated things bloggers had said."

He added:

"If you're looking for sleazy coaches, how about the coach in Texas who runs up scores? How about the Seton Hall coach? How about the coaches who drink, the ones who gamble, the ones who date students, the ones who get involved in drug dealing and murder plots? You can Google these up for yourself."

2012 UK Recruit J.P. Tokoto Demonstrates Athleticism

J.P. Tokoto, who is being recruited by Kentucky in the 2012 Class, shows why so many schools are already after him:



* Video from CityLeagueHoopsTV YouTube Channel

Former Wildcat Matt Pilgrim in Trouble?

OKBlitz.com is reporting that former Kentucky and current Oklahoma State forward Matt Pilgrim was served an emergency protective order (EPO) earlier this week.

The OSU student newspaper wrote that Pilgrim is being investigated by the campus police for an incident involving a female college student.

At this time, no charges have been filed against Pilgrim.

Pilgrim transferred to Kentucky from Hampton and sat out one season under Billy Gillispie. He then transferred to Oklahoma State when John Calipari replaced Gillispie.

Pilgrim never appeared in a game at Kentucky.


Excerpt of actual EPO that was serveed (Source)

DeMarcus Cousins Pays a Visit to Washington


DeMarcus Cousins was at the University of Washington for a workout yesterday and apparently he was dominate force in some action against some UW players.

Here is a post made on Twitter by Gary Washburn, the National NBA writer for the Boston Globe :

gwashburn14 DeMarcus Cousins apparently had a pretty impressive workout today at the U. of Washington against some Husky players.

Washington fans have to be getting tired of anything related to Kentucky basketball.

Note: Here is a draft profile on Cousins from a 76ers blog

DeMarcus Cousins, Season Mixtape:




Morehead State Makes It Official, Signs Reggie Williams


MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Morehead State men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall announced Tuesday that he has signed Virginia high school standout Reggie Williams to a National Letter of Intent. Williams will join the Eagles program as a freshman this fall.

Williams is a 6-2, 185 pound guard out of Landstown High School in Virginia Beach. He was a first team All-Beach district selection and a second team All-East Region selection in the state of Virginia this season. Williams averaged 16 points and six assists last season to lead his high school team.

“We are very excited to add Reggie Williams to the Morehead State University basketball family,” said Tyndall. “Reggie is a very versatile guard that has nice size. He is very fast, athletic, and can shoot, the ball with range as well. His size and athleticism will allow him to play several different perimeter positions. Coach Joel Zimmerman did a fantastic job in the recruitment of Reggie. We were the first school in there this fall and held some bigger schools off late, in large part because of Coach Zimmerman’s great relationship with Reggie.”

Morehead State finished the 2009-10 season at 24-11, one win shy of the school record for victories. It was the first time in MSU history the Eagles have had back-to-back 20-win seasons. MSU also set a school record with 15 OVC wins during the regular season

Source: Release by MSU

Photo: David B. Hollingsworth The Virginian-Pilot

Asbury Signs Jaquail Fowler from PRP


Wilmore, Ky. – Asbury men’s basketball coach Will Shouse has announced the signing of Jaquail Fowler from Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville, Ky. Fowler led the team in scoring with 13.3 points per game last season, he grabbed 4.7 rebounds per game.

Fowler a 6-2 guard spent only two years on the varsity squad under coach Dale Mabrey but was an All-District, All-Region, and All-Tournament team at the Las Vegas Holliday Tournament his senior season. A extremely hard-working individual, Fowler was a member of the school’s honor roll and Beta Club.

“Jaquail is the type of kid that you want in your program not only because of his basketball talent, but also because of how great a person he is,” Coach Will Shouse said. “He works hard at everything he does, whether he’s getting extra work in at the gym or studying for classes. He will push our guys right away, and we expect that he can contribute immediately.”

Fowler will be the fourth alum of PRP to play for the Eagles in 2010-11, joining senior to be Phillip Morrison, and sophomores Nate Johnson and Adam Delph. Fowler is the second commitment for Coach Shouse, joining Scott County’s Austin Flannery.

Source: Release from Asbury

High School Coach Thinks Terrence Jones Sticks with UW



Jefferson High coach Pat Strickland told Percy Allen of the Seattle Times he thinks Terrence Jones is going to end up at Washington.

Strickland admits, however, that he is only giving an opinion.

Here is an excerpt of Allen's Q&A with Jones' high school head coach:

(Has he de-committed from Washington?) "As far as I know, he's still committed to Washington. But how committed, I don't know because he hasn't signed the letter of intent."

(So what do you think will happen?) "I think he's going to end up at Washington in my opinion."

Complete Article

My Thoughts: I believe Strickland (and Percy Allen for that matter) knows as much about what Jones will do as the rest of us.

I find it ironic that:

- The comment given by Strickland was: "As far as I know, he's still committed to Washington. But how committed, I don't know because he hasn't signed the letter of intent."

- The title of the article is: Terrence Jones "Still Committed to Washington" Says Jefferson High Coach

Misleading title?

Kentucky Wants a Long Future with John Calipari



It was a pretty eventful day for Kentucky head coach John Calipari. In less than 12 hours, he went from head coach of Kentucky to head coach of the Bulls to head coach of Kentucky to head coach of the Bulls to a potential lifetime contract at Kentucky.

That's one heck of a day even for Big Blue Nation's standards, but that's essentially exactly what happened today.

There was a report from the Chicago Sun-Times that Calipari would likely be on the list of potential candidates for the Chicago Bulls' job.

Shortly thereafter, a report surfaced from Andy Katz stating that Calipari has no interest in the job.

Everything seemed fine until this afternoon with Yahoo! Sports broke a story that NBA "sources" have learned that Calipari has interest in the job after all.

Almost immediately after that article was released, Calipari went to Twitter to explain that he is happy at Kentucky:

UKCoachCalipari Throughout my career I've been mentioned for other jobs. Now that I'm here u won't hear about other colleges because I've got the best job.

UKCoachCalipari Every year you will hear my named mentioned for NBA jobs because I coached in the league before. I'm very happy at Kentucky

Tonight, the rumor really ran into a wall when UK released the news that they will enter into negotiations with Calipari in hopes of keeping him at UK until he retires.

Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart said of Calipari:

"I'm extremely proud of what Coach Calipari has done in just 1 year as the leader of our men's basketball program Cal has brought Kentucky men's basketball back to its rightful place of national prominence and I'm excited about our future. We have begun initial discussions on restructuring his contract so that he's the coach at Kentucky until he retires. Go Big Blue!"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Elisha Justice Receives Scholarship from Louisville


Kentucky Mr. Basketball Elisha Justice, who led Shelby Valley High School to a state championship this season, has received a scholarship offer from Louisville.

Justice, who committed to the Cardinals as a preferred walk-on, received news of the offer tonight. He will sign his National Letter of Intent at a ceremony at Shelby Valley tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m.

Congratulations to Elisha Justice, who is now a scholarship player in the Big East Conference.

Urgent Prayer Request for Coach Happy Osborne and Family



I would like to ask all my readers to say a prayer for Georgetown College head coach Happy Osborne.

Osborne's mother lost her battle with cancer last week. Today, he lost his father.

Everyone please pray for Coach Osborne and his family during this tragic time.

Louisville's Samardo Samuels to Remain in NBA Draft


ESPN.com is reporting that Louisville sophomore Samardo Samuels will sign with an agent and remain in the NBA Draft.

Here is an excerpt from Pat Forde:

Louisville sophomore center Samardo Samuels will keep his name in the draft and retain the services of an agent, multiple sources have told ESPN.com.

An announcement is expected Wednesday.

Samuels is considered a fringe second-round pick and his entry into the draft shocked Louisville coaches and administrators, who believed he was making a mistake. But sources say there will be no turning back for the 6-foot-9 Samuels, who projects as a tweener between center and power forward in the NBA.


Complete Article

My Thoughts: I think this is a terrible decision by Samuels. He will be lucky to even be drafted and even more lucky to make a roster.

Wojnarowski: "Calipari Interested in Bulls' Coaching Job"


Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has just released an article stating that Kentucky head coach John Calipari does have interest in coaching the Chicago Bulls.

Wojnarowski, who admittedly has solid information normally, reports:

Kentucky coach John Calipari is intrigued with the Chicago Bulls’ coaching job and would be willing to listen to a pitch from management, NBA and NCAA sources told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday.

Sources say the combination of roster talent, tradition and market make Chicago one of the few NBA jobs that could pry Calipari out of Kentucky. The Bulls have been hesitant to pay the $4 million-$5 million annual packages it would take to lure high-profile coaches like Calipari.


He adds:

Calipari is close with Cleveland’s LeBron James(notes), and shares representation with two of the Bulls’ top free-agent targets – Miami’s Dwyane Wade(notes) and Toronto’s Chris Bosh(notes).

Sources say Calipari “hasn’t connected” with Kentucky’s athletic administration in his first year on the job, and that could contribute to his willingness to rekindle a long-standing goal of realizing NBA success.


Shortly after this article was released, Calipari released a series of statements on Twitter:

UKCoachCalipari Throughout my career I've been mentioned for other jobs. Now that I'm here u won't hear about other colleges because I've got the best job.

UKCoachCalipari Every year you will hear my named mentioned for NBA jobs because I coached in the league before. I'm very happy at Kentucky

Earlier today, Andy Katz reported that Calipari has no interest in pursuing the Bulls' job.

My Thoughts:

I am sticking with John Calipari. He is saying repeatedly that he has no interest in the job and I am taking his word for it.

I stand by my thoughts from earlier today: Calipari will be the Kentucky head coach in 2010-11.

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