Saturday, May 29, 2010

Derrick Rose Says Calipari Should Stay at Kentucky



Former Memphis and John Calipari point guard Derrick Rose stated today that he thinks John Calipari should stay at Kentucky.

Here is an excerpt:

"No, he's in a good fit [at Kentucky]," Rose said when asked by ESPNChicago.com whether he'd like to play for Calipari again.

"I don't think he should leave. He could start his legacy there, so I don't see why he would leave."


Complete Article

Rajon Rondo and the Celtics Head to the NBA Finals



Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics are heading back to the NBA finals after a convincing 96-84 victory over the Orlando Magic last night.

After losing two consecutive games to the Magic, Boston rebounded and rolled to a series-clinching game 6 victory.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Ray Allen added 20 points, including 3-7 from long range.

Rondo finished off an impressive series with 14 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds.

Boston used 10-22 shooting from beyond the 3-point line to put the Magic away.

Orlando was led by Dwight Howard with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Vince Carter chipped in 17.

The Celtics will now advance to next week's NBA finals, where they will meet either Los Angeles or Phoenix.

Memorial Day Weekend Updates from Around Kentucky


It's been a week or so since I put together some statewide updates, so be prepared for a lengthy set of notes:

- Former Newport coach Aric Russell has been named the new head coach at Campbell County

- Westfield High School (Ind.) senior Jeff Howard chose to be a preferred walk-on at Indiana; he had an offer from Eastern Kentucky

- Wayne Sparks from Coal Grove (Ohio) has signed with Alice Lloyd College

- Lafayette's Mike Walker has signed with Southeastern Illinois (JUCO)

- Simon Kenton's Casey Sorrell has signed with Erskine College

- Highland's Stephen Kowolonek will continue his basketball career at Transylvania

- Ryle's Mitch McLeish will play at Hanover College

- Walton-Verona's Camron Burns has signed with DePauw

- Villa Madonna's Blake Bryan will play for Thomas More College

- Christian Academy's Collin Lopez will play for Centre College

- WKU head coach Ken McDonald has stated that the Hilltoppers are working on a 2-game series with Kansas State and they also expect to play North Carolina in the opening round in Puerto Rico

- There will be yet another NCAA D1 transfer playing in the Mid-South Conference; details coming soon

- Tony Kimbro Jr. is enrolling at Jeffersontown after spending two seasons at Arden Christ School (N.C.)

- John Mills has left Berea's men and will now coach Alice Lloyd's women; will there be any other coaching changes this summer?

Assistant Says Terrence Jones Was Headed to Oregon



Oregon assistant coach Yasir Rosemond says he "knows for a fact" that Terrence Jones was headed to Oregon until Ernie Kent was fired.

Here is an excerpt of Rosemond's comments from OregonLive.com:

“That’s just how everybody twists it,’’ said former Oregon assistant Yasir Rosemond, who was lead recruiter on Jones and on Jefferson High School teammate Terrence Ross, who is going to Washington. “I was the guy on both of them.’’

Jones’ mother, Linda Mashia Jones, said Payne did not have much contact with her son until late in the recruiting process. Now, Payne and Jones are both headed for Kentucky, both unwilling to say no to Calipari.

“It’s Calipari,’’ said Oregon center Michael Dunigan, one of Payne’s recruits who will be staying around. “You can’t just turn him down — especially if he wants you.’’

And both Payne and Jones made tough decisions that could have turned out differently if Ernie Kent were still head coach at Oregon.

“I know for a fact (Jones) would have come,’’ Rosemond said. “They got close to Ernie Kent and got to close to me. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just bad timing.’’


Complete Article

University of Kentucky Releases Statement on Bledsoe


The University of Kentucky has released a statement concerning the NCAA and former player Eric Bledsoe:

"Often high profile student-athletes are selected for an extensive prospective student-athlete (PSA) review. Eric Bledsoe participated in the normal academic review process and also an extensive PSA review by the NCAA Eligibility Center and was cleared academically."

UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said there would be no comment from either coach John Calipari or Mitch Barnhart, according to the Courier-Journal's Brett Dawson.

New Jersey Optimistic About Terrence Williams


The New Jersey Nets are optimistic about the future of former Louisville star Terrence Williams.

Here is an excerpt from NetsDaily.com:

Looking back, he thinks his personality played a big role in his problems and so toned it down. "People in New Jersey who don't know my personality, they might take it as me being arrogant or a person that's not serious all the time," he told the Louisville Courier-Journal. "So I think you have to dial down just a little bit." Whatever he did, it worked. Rod Thorn is optimistic about him.

"He's a very gifted player -- he can pass the ball, rebound the ball, handle the ball, he's physically tough," Thorn said. "Like most young players, he needs to be a better defensive player, but he has the ability to do it. I think he's got a bright future. I think he's going to be a real good player in the league."


Complete Article

More on the Eric Bledsoe Situation


Obviously, the talk in college basketball today is focused on a reported NCAA investigation involving Eric Bledsoe's college eligibility at Kentucky.

Here are a few links to help you catch up on the situation:

- First, the New York Times reported that the N.C.A.A (which the other 99% of the world simply calls the NCAA) is investigating the eligibility of former Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe

- A good update on the situation from the Birmingham News: NCAA looks into Bledsoe's past in Birmingham

- ZagsBlog.com wonders if the Bledsoe investigation will push John Calipari to the NBA

- Yahoo! Sports says it's certainly no surprise that the NCAA is poking around John Calipari's program again

- ESPN.com claims they researched Bledsoe's high school transcripts and projected him to be a "non-qualifier" before his grades improved dramtically following an online class and several night classes

- Matt May of The Cat's Pause reports that UK knew nothing of an NCAA investigation and the situation apparently does not involve the University of Kentucky

The so-called allegations presented by the New York Times:

• Brenda Axle, the landlord for the house where Bledsoe and his mother moved for his senior year of high school, said that Bledsoe's high school coach paid her at least three months' rent, or $1,200. By moving there, Bledsoe was eligible to play for Parker, which he led to the Alabama Class 5A title game. Maurice Ford, the coach, denied paying the money.

• A copy of Bledsoe's high school transcript from his first three years reveals that it would have taken an improbable academic makeover — a jump from about a 1.9 grade-point average in core courses to just under a 2.5 during his senior year — for Bledsoe to achieve minimum N.C.A.A. standards to qualify for a scholarship.

• A college coach who recruited Bledsoe said that Ford explicitly told his coaching staff that he needed a specific amount of money to let Bledsoe sign with that university. The coach, who did not want to be named out of fear of repercussions when recruiting in Birmingham, said Ford told him and his staff that he was asking for money because he was helping pay rent for Bledsoe and his mother. Ford denied this, saying, "I don't prostitute my kids."

My thoughts on this situation after sleeping on it:

After taking a night to absorb the information that is out there and trying to look at the situation objectively, here are my thoughts:

- I am not as worried about this issue as I was right after reading the New York Times report; the allegations above are certainly of a serious nature, but it will take much more to convince me that this is anything more than a Calipari witch hunt

- I won't even consider the report from another college coach that says he was asked to pay money; another college coach taking a shot at Kentucky and Calipari is about as surprising water being wet

- I can understand a bit of surprise if Eric Bledsoe's grades improved significantly, but is that really a basis to make such allegations? He completed two semesters at the University of Kentucky and while he wasn't a 4.0 student, he made passing grades

- In the worst-case scenario, these issues were pre-Kentucky for Bledsoe; while many in the national and rival media will point fingers towards John Calipari and the Kentucky program, these issues do not involve UK; there was a precedent set at Memphis about using an ineligible player, but it is way too early to be concerned about losing 35 wins

- I'm not going to go with the guilty-before-innocent theory; Until I see solid proof of a problem, I am siding with John Calipari, Eric Bledsoe and the University of Kentucky.

Pikeville College Finalizes Basketball Staff for 2010-11

Pikeville College head coach Kelly Wells has announced his staff for the 2010-11 season:



Head Coach, Kelly Wells
Hometown: Morehead, KY (Alma Mater: Morehead State University)



Assistant Coach, Brett Rector
Hometown: Ravenswood, WV (Alma Mater: Davis & Elkin)


Assistant Coach, Tigh Compton
Hometown: Grundy, VA (Completing degree at Pikeville College)



Assistant Coach, Donald Thomas
Hometown: Baltimore, MD (Alma Mater: Pikeville College)


Assistant Coach, John Biery
Hometown: Pikeville, KY (Alma Mater: Pikeville College)

Antoine Walker Files for Bankruptcy, Home Foreclosed


Former Kentucky star Antoine Walker continues to face a host of financial problems and has now filed for bankruptcy.

Several days earlier, he was slapped with a $2.3 million foreclosure lawsuit on his mother's mansion, according to SouthTownStar.com. The report states that Walker owes almost $70,000 in back property taxes on the $2.3 million, 13,000-square-foot home.
Here is an excerpt from the article:

The former NBA All-Star has filed for bankruptcy, just days after being slapped with a $2.3 million foreclosure lawsuit on his mother's mansion in Tinley Park's tony Odyssey Club, according to court records.

In the bankruptcy filing, the former basketball star - who reportedly earned $110 million in his 13-year career - lists his liabilities as $12.7 million against $4.2 million in assets, which include a $20,000 watch and a $6,000 Miami Heat NBA championship ring.

Walker, 33, bought the $2.3 million, 13,000-square-foot home, complete with 11 bathrooms, on Athena Court for his mother in June 2005, according to court records.

Now, five years later, Walker owes almost $70,000 in back property taxes on the home, according to public records.

Add to that the $1.2 million in gambling debt he owes to casinos in East Chicago, Ind., and in Las Vegas and the $750,000 he owes to the Clark County district attorney's office in Las Vegas.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Breaking: NCAA "Looking Into" Eric Bledsoe's Eligibility


Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans of the New York Times are reporting tonight that the NCAA is investigating the college eligibility of former Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe.

According to the article, sources told the Times:

- Bledsoe’s high school coach paid for at least three months of his family’s rent,

- There was an uncharacteristic jump in Bledsoe’s GPA

- Another college coach reported that Bledsoe’s high school coach asked for a specific amount of money in exchange for the point guard signing at the school.

Here is an excerpt of the article:

The dramatic changes in Bledsoe’s academic and athletic prospects have attracted the attention of the N.C.A.A., which has sent investigators to at least three places in Alabama to ask about him. The N.C.A.A. does not talk about its investigations so the scope of this one is not known.

But Bledsoe’s academic makeover and extra benefits he apparently received could be another blow to John Calipari, the celebrated coach at Kentucky who previously led teams at Massachusetts and Memphis that had their records and Final Four appearances expunged after rules violations were found under his watch.

Interviews with those connected with Bledsoe’s life in Birmingham revealed potential violations.


Complete Article

Obviously, these are serious allegations against Eric Bledsoe and his former high school coach but it is important to note that these are allegations only.

I am sure that there will be a national meltdown of anti-Kentucky and anti-John Calipari critics, but Kentucky fans need to read the article and take it for what it's worth.

UPDATE: Matt May of The Cat's Pause just posted on Twitter:

@TCPMAY: A source at UK says the school has not received any letter of inquiry from NCAA & had no knowledge of investigation into Bledsoe

Kentucky and Portland Announce 3-Game Series


The University of Portland has sent out a press release confirming a game against the Kentucky Wildcats in November. In addition, the Pilots will visit Rupp Arena two times in the next three years.

Here is the press release:

PORTLAND, Ore. --- The University of Portland and University of Kentucky men’s basketball programs have signed a contract to play three games over the next three seasons beginning with a Nov. 19, 2010 contest at the Rose Garden in Portland, Pilots head coach Eric Reveno announced on Friday. The Pilots will return games to Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. each of the following two seasons.

“Our primary goal is to build a championship program and we need to play in games that prepare us for the West Coast Conference,” Reveno said. “Playing teams like Kentucky is part of the process. And almost as important, our players and fans want big games. Our players are ecstatic to be playing Kentucky in the Rose Garden and I hope that fans will be as well. This game will serve as a cornerstone of a phenomenal non-conference schedule.”

Fans can secure preferred seats to the event by purchasing Portland season tickets or a four-game flex pack, available now by calling the Portland Box Office at (503) 943-7525. Season tickets for the 2010-11 season will cost $195 for Upper Level Reserved and $280 for Lower Level Reserved, while flex packs are $75 (see below for more information). Portland’s complete non-conference schedule will be released this summer.

Single-game tickets will go on sale Friday, July 30 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at the Rose Quarter Box Office (M-F 10a-5p), all participating Safeway/ TicketsWest outlets, by calling 877.789.ROSE (7673), or at ComcastTIX.com. Ticket prices will range from $12 to $50.

Portland and Kentucky have met one time previously with the Wildcats taking an 88-71 victory over the Pilots on Dec. 23, 1989 at Rupp Arena as part of the Kentucky Invitational. Kentucky alum and former Portland Trail Blazer Larry Steele coached the Pilots that season. The game will mark the first appearance by UK in the state of Oregon.

Kentucky is recognized as the No. 1 college basketball program in history according to the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia (2009). The Wildcats finished with a 35-3 overall record last year and advanced to the NCAA East Regional Final under first-year head coach John Calipari. UK is the winningest program in NCAA history, leads the nation in NCAA Tournament appearances (50) and its seven national championships is second to only UCLA.

Five Wildcats declared early for the 2010 NBA Draft, but Kentucky is bringing in the top-rated recruiting class in the nation according to Rivals.com.

The Pilots matched a school record with 21 wins last season and played in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) for the second straight season. Portland cracked the Associated Press Top 25 in late-November, marking the first UP ranking in 50 years. Reveno, entering his fifth year at the helm of the Pilots next season, garnered West Coast Conference and District 9 Coach of the Year honors in 2009.

Complete Release (including ticket information)

Pikeville College Adds Transfer Rickey Young


Pikeville College has added 6-8 Rickey Young, a transfer from West Virginia Tech.

Young will sit out the 2010-11 season under transfer rules and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Last season at Tech, Young averaged 12 points, 5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. As a freshman, he averaged 7 points and 5 rebounds.

Pikeville head coach Kelly Wells says, "Rickey will have to red-shirt this coming season due to transfer rules and have two years to play at Pikeville College. Rickey is one of the elite athletes and players in the MSC the last two years. Rickey has the potential to be an elite player at the NAIA level. He has the unique abilities of a perimeter player and the body of a four man. We are very excited to develop Rickey and add him to our family here at Pikeville College.”

Young is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.

Parrish Slides Another Cheap Shot in on Calipari and UK


In what is becoming more of a habit than a surprise, Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has managed to take another cheap shot at the Kentucky Wildcats and John Calipari.

Today, he slides Calipari into an article about the Connecticut Huskies and head coach Jim Calhoun.

UConn is in the midst of an NCAA investigation involving at least eight alleged rules violations.

What does that mean?

Apparently it means that John Calipari needs to be worked into the story as a measure of comparison for Calhoun?

Here is an excerpt:

What Calhoun has done is survive an NCAA investigation even though violations have been uncovered and two assistants have lost their jobs. That, my friends, is the stuff of Hall of Famers, an impressive accomplishment, not unlike John Calipari's ability to never directly be tied to anything despite having had two Final Fours at two different schools vacated. Calhoun and Calipari may hate each other (and they do), but one thing they have in common is that they both understand "how to play the game" and flourish in a sport that gets sketchier by the year.

East Kentucky Energy Sign Daniel Price and Jarell Jones


Daniel Price wanted professional basketball in Pikeville just as much or more than anybody.

He tried to move his Mississippi Blues organization up here last year, but was unsuccessful. Price was the 2009/2010 ABA defensive player of the year, a ABA Western Conference All-Star and averaged 25.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, four assists and three steals per game this past season. So when given the chance to sign with the ABA’s East Kentucky Energy, Price jumped at the chance to return here to play.

“It’s always a good thing when I can come back to Pikeville and play,” Price said. “I love it here and I am happy there is a pro organization back here.”

Price became the second player to sign with the newly formed East Kentucky Energy.

“I’m just excited that Jerry (Boggs) and Tommy (Hamilton) decided to do this,” Price said. “I’ve known Jerry for a while and Tommy too. I know that they are local guys who live here and have their business here. It’s just reassuring to know that the owners are going to be right here supported the product and doing whatever they can to make the organization grow, instead of just bringing a team in and then going home to Florida. They are doing this for their community and want to see this community grow in every way it can. I’m excited to be a part of that and can’t wait to give back to this community.”

After the first tryout, the Energy also signed Jarell Jones another former Pikeville College guard.
Hamilton and his wife, Charla, or owners of Champs Sports Bar and Grill on Main Street. Boggs is editor of the Appalachian News-Express.

“Our goal from the start has been to build this team with strong local ties and root it in the community,” said Hamilton. “Daniel is a huge part of that. He was a tremendous player for Pikeville College and an ABA All-Star last year. His talent on the court and his leadership ability makes him a huge asset for the Energy.”

Complete Release (via WKYT.com)

NBADraft.net Interviews Daniel Orton from Kentucky


NBADraft.net has interviewed former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton as he prepares for the upcoming NBA Draft.

The comment that most everyone is talking about this morning is Orton's statement: "If I had done it differently I would have gone to Kansas. But with the way things have worked out, in the end, no I wouldn't have done anything differently. "

That statement followed the interviewer's question: "With the lack of opportunity this past year at Kentucky, if you had to do it over again, would you have gone to a different school?"

I do not wish to misconstrue Orton's intentions with those comments, but I take it that he is saying that if he travelled back in time, he would sign with the Kansas Jayhawks. Then, he is adding that now that things have worked out the way they have, he is fine with it.

Does that mean he is satisfied now that he has landed on a path to NBA money?

Again, I'm not certain what Orton intended to say with those comments, but I do feel that it will be taken in a negative way by many - particularly with the news last week that Orton dropped out of school and basically pulled a GPA that would have made Dean Wormer put him on double-secret probation.

I'll let you decide what the comments meant - here are some excerpts from the interview:

NBADraft.net: With the lack of opportunity this past year at Kentucky, if you had to do it over again, would you have gone to a different school?

Daniel Orton: If I had done it differently I would have gone to Kansas. But with the way things have worked out, in the end, no I wouldn't have done anything differently.

NBADraft.net: Talk about the season at Kentucky, was it a frustrating experience knowing that you could bring more to the team and not getting the minutes and touches to show what you could do?

Daniel Orton: Yeah, I mean it was frustrating. I think it would be frustrating for anybody. So I just tried to develop and tried to make the best of the situation, make it a positive and have fun with it instead of letting it get to me.

Complete Interview

Peyton Siva Ends Chinese Tour with Buzzer-Beater


Louisville point guard Peyton Siva ended Reach USA's exhibition tour of China in dramatic fashion.

Trailing by a single point with 3.4 seconds to go, Siva drove the length of the court and nailed a game-winning layup over a 7-4 Russian center to give the Americans an amazing 70-69 victory. Reach USA ended their Chinese tour with a 6-3 record.

Siva finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists in what was likely his best outing of the tour.

Josh Harrellson, who led the team in both scoring and rebounding, added 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in the final game.

Jon Hood added 4 points and 2 rebounds.

Notable stats for the 10-day tour:

Josh Harrellson, Kentucky, 13.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocked shots
Jon Hood, Kentucky, 5.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals
Peyton Siva, Louisville, 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals
Steffphon Pettigrew, WKU, 9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists

Trigg County's Jalik Alexander Signs with Lindsey Wilson


Trigg County point guard Jalik Alexander has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Lindsey Wilson College.

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

Alexander signed a letter of intent at a ceremony last Wednesday at TCHS.

“Jalik has been an outstanding student as long as he’s been in the school system,” TCHS head boys basketball coach Mike Wright said. “He’s also been blessed with outstanding athletic ability. As a coach, to have someone like Jalik who makes good grades and does what he’s supposed to do in school is a blessing.”

Alexander saw varsity action in all four years at TCHS and was voted to the All-5th District Team twice. He was the starting point guard and leading scorer in the 2009-10 season despite facing defenses geared toward keeping him away from the basket. Wright said a great example of Alexander playing well against a good team determined to keep him from scoring was Trigg’s 78-64 loss to Hopkinsville on Feb. 19 when Alexander scored a game-high 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting and had a team-high five assists.

Complete Article

(Photo by Justin McGill, The Cadiz Record)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Custom College Recruiting Reshapes Game, Changes Lives


Shane Howard introduced Custom College Recruiting late last summer and his first year of business has been a successful one.

The basis of CCR is that kids who wish to increase recruiting exposure can sign up with Howard’s company and he, in return, increases opportunities to land athletic scholarships and find suitable college homes.

Howard has an impressive list of kids that have signed this Spring:

- Tommie Boyce -Union College
- Mickey Lewis - Union College
- Storm Burchett - Union College
- Andre Adams - Angelo St
- Calvin Thomas - South Dakota School of the Mines
- Chene Philips - Liberty
- Javaris Jackson - Southeastern Univ
- Anthony Miles - Loyola of New Orleans
- EZ Garcia - Wells College
- Anthony Brancato - Lubbock Christian

Shane says there are 6-7 others that are expected to sign in the next week.

The focus of Custom College Recruiting is not placed on the elite, high-major NCAA Division I prospects, but rather on talented kids that are sliding under the radar or that are well-suited for other levels of college basketball.

"A lot of guys choose not to be proactive, they assume that the schools are just going to come out of nowhere and offer them a scholarship,” says Howard. “It only makes sense to enlist a service like us that insures that thousands of college coaches know who you are on a weekly basis.”

He adds, “The bottom line is that college coaches can not recruit you if they do not know who you are.”

Howard’s ability to assist players and their families in the recruiting process is receiving high praise.

Andre Adams, who has signed with Angelo State, says, “Without the help of Custom College Recruiting, I don’t think I would be where I am today. I have found a school that really seems to fit me basketball-wise and also academically. There should be more services out there like CCR.”
Mickey Lewis, Sr. was very satisfied with Howard’s service and the assistance he provided for his son’s recruitment.

“We hooked up with Custom College Recruiting right after Christmas and Mickey (Lewis, Jr.) was only hearing from a couple of schools,” said the elder Lewis. “We received calls the next day from several schools and all together, we probably talked to fifty schools.”

Lewis added, “I can’t believe everything Shane did for us for that price. I almost feel like we cheated him because he did so much for us.”

Coach Cameron Nichols of Renaissance High Schools in Detroit was similarly overwhelmed at the assistance Howard gave Chene Phillips, his senior point guard.

Nichols said, “He (Howard) contacted me on a Saturday and we came on board that night. We played in our state district game that following Monday and eight coaches were at the game watching my kid.”

He added, “Before we came on board with Shane, I probably talked to four coaches on the phone…all season. Because of Shane’s help, I’ve talked to over twenty coaches in less than two months.”

According to Howard, Custom College Recruiting has plans to expand from men’s basketball to other sports in the near future.

"With high demand from the girl’s basketball side of things, we have recently launched the girl’s side of the business and look to expand into football in early 2011,” he explained.

2011 Players Signed with Custom College Recruiting:

- Darius Clement, Bowling Green
- Mike Geegan, Bowling Green
- Grant Kindred, Metcalfe County
- Russell Kindred, Metcalfe County
- Jesse Anderson, Graves County
- J.T. Curtis, Franklin-Simpson
- T.J. Smith, University Heights

Check out CCR:


Contact Coach Howard:

coachhoward@customcollegerecruiting.com

270-903-0802

Brandon Knight Named First Team SLAM All-American



Brandon Knight, who has signed with Kentucky, was named 2010 SLAM First Team All-American today by SlamOnline.com.

Knight was joined on the first team by Perry Jones, Kyrie Irving, Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes.

Michael Gilchrist, who has committed to Kentucky for the 2011 class, was named to the Second Team.

Terrence Jones and Enes Kanter were named Honorable Mention.

Complete Article

It's Official: UK Has No. 1 Recruiting Class for 2010


Rivals.com released their updated recruiting class rankings for 2010 and as expected, the Kentucky Wildcats have the top-rated overall class for the second consecutive season.

Here is an excerpt about the UK class;

For a second straight year Kentucky is at the top of the national team rankings. Coach John Calipari has four five-star prospects and a couple four-star prospects joining the 2010-2011 roster. 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. A highly-skilled, left-handed power forward, Jones fits in perfectly with Calipari's system. Lamb, the fourth five-star prospect, is a reliable scorer and defender. Poole gives the Wildcats an athletic slasher on the wing who can get hot from 3-point range, and Vargas, a fellow four-star prospect, will provide frontline depth.

Kentucky's 2010 Class:

PF Enes Kanter (3)
PG Brandon Knight (6)
PF Terrence Jones (13)
SG Doron Lamb (21)
SF Stacey Poole (33 )
C Eloy Vargas

Top 5 Classes:

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


NOTE: Kentucky plans to add at least one more player, which will likely make their class one of the greatest of all time.

Brennan Says Evan Turner Should be First Pick in Draft


ESPN's Eamonn Brennan says the easiest pick in the 2010 NBA Draft is taking Evan Turner with the first pick.

Alright, I realize that Brennan is not an NBA analyst (he's no Chad Ford), but here is what he says about Turner and Wall:

1. Evan Turner, guard, Ohio State. (Chad Ford mock draft position: No. 3): This one was easy. Turner was the best player in college basketball last season -- hands down. He filled up the stat sheet with a versatility unseen anywhere else in the game, averaging 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.9 blocks per game. At 6-foot-7, Turner made for a devastating point guard hybrid at Ohio State in 2009-10, bigger and more athletic than all of his contemporaries. And he's not tied to that position, either; a college team could take him and slot him just about anywhere. He was the national player of the year for very good reason. He was, simply, the best. Like I said, this one was easy.

2. John Wall, guard, Kentucky. (Chad Ford mock draft position: No. 1): Through two picks, this looks like a semi-bold NBA mock draft and nothing more. But it makes sense. Wall was really, really good in his first and only collegiate season. He wasn't as statistically impressive as Turner, and his outside shooting deficiencies held him back from being an otherworldly force. However, his command of the game, his speed, his ballhandling, his uncanny passing and his ability to finish at the rim made him the top non-Turner contender for player of the year. Wall will no doubt be better in the future. Considering how good he's been already, that's a scary thought.


He thinks DeMarcus Cousins should be the third overall pick and no other Kentucky players should be in the Lottery portion of the first round. He points out that Daniel Orton scored 3 points and pulled down 3 rebounds last season for UK.


My Thoughts: I won't pick him apart for placing Turner ahead of Wall. Those are the top two players, in my opinion, and I can see the logic there. That being said, I'm still taking Wall with the first pick in every situation.

I like Cousins as the No. 3 pick. I think Patterson should be in the top 14.

Kentucky Basketball Satellite Clinics Announced



From UKAthletics.com:

Register Online Medical/Parental Consent Form

- Three hour session
- Coach Calipari and staff will be working camp
- Kids will get T-shirts
- Boys and girls
- K-6th grade
- Autograph session with coaches
- Limited availability
- Camps will open at sites one hour before for check-in
- Price is $75

The location and site dates are:

Date School Session

June 14

Whitley Co Morning 9-12
N. Laurel Evening 4-7

June 15

Southwestern Morning 9-12
Danville Evening 4-7

June 16

Elizabethtown Morning 9-12
Bardstown Evening 4-7

June 25

St. Xavier Morning 9-12
CAL Evening 4-7

August 5

Mason Co Morning 9-12
Newport Central Evening 4-7

Video: Future Hilltopper Brandon "Snap" Peters

Check out future Western Kentucky guard Brandon Peters as he pulls out a surprise in transition:



Video from Hoopmixtape.com's YouTube Channel...

Tubby Smith on "Thin Ice" in Minnesota?


As Spring heats up and the Winter freeze melts off, Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith finds himself on thin ice according to Mike Miller of NBCSports.com.

Smith, who spent a decade coaching the Kentucky Wildcats, is in hot water following a coaching scandal, program departures and sub par basketball.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist Jim Souhan said this yesterday:

The hiring of Smith, even if it was really Smith doing the hiring, offered the promise of on-court success without embarrassment, the promise of clean victories and a classy power coach in whom we could believe.

It turns out Smith looks better on paper than in person. His résumé is impeccable. His work in Dinkytown is spotty.

Smith has returned the basketball program to relevance, and to the NCAA tournament. He has not, however, become the ambassador for the program or the university that we assumed he would be. He has not been as visible or as charming as many of us expected.

His program might have already peaked.


Miller states that if this is the case, then:

"Tubby's on thin ice. Not a good thing in Minnesota."

Enes Kanter Already Feels the Love of Big Blue Nation


Enes Kanter, the Turkish native that will be a freshman at Kentucky this season, says he is already feeling the love from Kentucky basketball fans.
Kanter has been enrolled in summer classes at UK for about two weeks and he says he already has "over 1,000 friends."

Here is an excerpt of Kanter's experience in Lexington from Hurriyetdailynews.com:

Though it has been two weeks since enrolling for his Summer Classes at the University of Kentucky, Kanter already feels the love. “I already have over 1,000 friends and have received over 2,000 birthday wishes. It did not take me too long to feel at home here.”

When you first meet Kanter, you notice his height of 210 centimeters. It only takes a few minutes to realize his other attributes. In addition to being what many people already predict to be the top basketball player in the world for his age, it only takes minutes to realize what a nice and caring person he is. He is also very intelligent and knows that education is an important element of his life.

“I love basketball very much but I also know there is a life after basketball,” Kanter said. “I will be 35 years old someday and will enter a second part of my life. I need to take steps to prepare for that life and only a good education can help me to get there. I am so happy to be enrolled at the University of Kentucky. Not only are the people kind and warm, but the education is excellent and I know this is going to help me to be successful in life.”


Complete Article

Brandon Knight Caps High School Career with More Awards



Future Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight has capped off his tremendous high school career with several more awards.

Here is an excerpt of an article from Fabian Lyon of The Miami Herald:

Already the most decorated boys' basketball player in Florida history, Knight added to his haul Wednesday by winning the Herald's 3A-1A Basketball Player of the Award for the fourth consecutive season and the Overall Male Athlete of the Year Award for the second straight time.

Knight, who owns a 4.2 GPA and also was a finalist for the scholar-athlete award, will be headed to Kentucky to start summer classes in a few weeks.


Complete Article

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tubby Smith Loses Case; Williams Awarded $1.25 Million


A Minneapolis jury has ruled against former Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith and awarded nearly $1.25 million to Jimmy Williams.

Williams was an assistant at Oklahoma State when Smith called and discussed a job at Minnesota. Williams resigned at OSU, then Minnesota backed away from him and did not complete the hire.

Smith's defense was that a job was never actually offered and he did not tell Williams to quit his job.

The jury ruled against Smith and Williams stated that he has been vindicated and hopes to return to coaching soon.

Source: USAToday.com

John Hemenway Named New Head Coach at Berea


John Hemenway from Dakota Wesleyan University has been named as John Mills' replacement at Berea College.

Hemenway had a successful run at Dakota Wesleyan, which is also an NAIA Division II program.

Here is an excerpt of an announcement from DWU:

Hemenway cited Berea's location as one of the main reasons for his decision to fill its coaching vacancy. Not does the move to Berea – located 30 miles south of Lexington, Ken. – put Hemenway and his family closer to friends and family, but it is also in one of the nation's most talent-rich recruiting areas. Hemenway said Berea's campus and facilities are top-notch and though it was an extremely difficult decision, he ultimately decided it was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for myself and my family and a decision that was incredibly hard to make," Hemenway said. "We have made so many friends in Mitchell and have built so many great relationships in this community; it was a very difficult decision to make but one we feel is best.

"I'd like to thank (DWU) President (Robert) Duffett, (DWU athletic director) Curt Hart and the entire DWU community for allowing me to start my head coaching career at such a fine institution. The support our basketball program has received has been unbelievable and I appreciate it very much."


In five seasons at DWU, Hemenway had a 115-49 recourd, including four 20-win seasons. He led his team to four-consecutive NAIA DII national tournaments.

Just In: John Mills to Coach Alice Lloyd Women


I was just informed that former Berea men's head coach, John Mills, will be announced as the new women's head coach at Alice Lloyd College.

Mills previously coached the men's team at Alice Lloyd before taking over at Berea.

A replacement has not been announced at Berea, but I was informed by someone at the school that they have a final list of four candidates.


UPDATE: John Hemenway from Dakota Wesleyan University is the new head coach at Berea.

Kenny Payne Will Accept Kentucky Assistant Job


As expected, Kenny Payne will leave Oregon University and accept the assistant coaching position at the University of Kentucky.

Payne, who played college basketball at Louisville in the late 1980s, will move into the role that was vacated when Rod Strickland moved to an administrative position.

Here is an excerpt of an article from Registerguard.com that includes quotes from a couple of Oregon players:

News of Payne’s pending departure was a surprise to UO players, who hadn’t heard the news before being asked by reporters.

“That’s a shock,” UO forward E.J. Singler said. “I didn’t know that. Kenny’s a good guy. I’m sure he’s doing that for his own reasons.”

Said forward Jeremy Jacob: “It is shocking to me. I will miss him. He’s the reason I came here, him and Malcolm” Armstead, the UO point guard who was Jacob’s teammate in community college.

Complete Article

Former Wildcat Jared Carter Named to PBL All-Rookie Team



Former Kentucky big man Jared Carter, a native of Scott County, has been named to the Premier Basketball League's All-Rookie Team after an impressive first season with the Vermont Frost Heaves.

The 7-1 center developed into the starting center for the Frost Heaves. In 19 games, he averaged 8.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Carter started the season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA D-League before heading to Vermont.

PBL All-Rookie Team:

Michael Anderson, Maryland GreenHawks
Jared Carter, Vermont Frost Heaves
Tyrece Gibbs, Manchester Millrats
Eric Gilchrese, Manchester Millrats / Halifax Rainmen
Rashad Woods, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry

Source: ThePBL.com

Harrellson Nets Double-Double Against Russians



Kentucky's Josh Harrellson has been on a tear during Reach USA's exhibition tour of China. The Wildcat big man has led the American team in points and rebounds throughout the tour.

In game 8 of the 10-day Chinese visit, Harrellson netted another double-double to lead Reach USA (5-3) to a 98-78 victory over the Russian Peak All Stars. Harrellson finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Louisville point guard Peyton Siva also added an impressive double-double as he went for 12 points and 11 assists.

Kentucky's Jon Hood added 3 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Complete Summary and Recap

Asbury Makes it Official, Signs East Carter's Kyle Bair


Wilmore, Ky. – Asbury University men’s basketball Coach Will Shouse has announced the signing of Kyle Bair from East Carter High School in Grayson, Ky. Bair, a 6-2 point guard, played on the same AAU team as fellow signee Austin Flannery.

A four-year player under Brandon Baker and the Raiders, Bair helped lead the team to the 2010 KHSAA Sweet 16 as the 16th Region Champions. He was named to the 16th Region All-Tournament Team in 2008 and 2010, 62nd District All-Tournament Team in 2008 and 2010 and an All-Area Selection in 2010.

“We are very excited to add Kyle to our program, anytime you bring in a player that helped lead his team to Rupp Arena is tremendous,” Coach Will Shouse said. “He’s a big, strong point guard that gives us a lot of depth that we were thin at last year.”

Bair will join a team that was devastated by injuries last year and finished 15-17. The team returns four starters and one starter from two years ago that sat out with an injury.

Source: Asbury University

Tubby Smith Asked Question About Calipari in Court


Former Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith, who is currently caught in a bitter court case based on fraud charges, must have been a little surprised when an attorney asked him an off-the-wall question about current UK head coach John Calipari.

Even though Calipari has absolutely nothing to do with Smith's case at Minnesota, attorney Donald Chance Jr. went to the current UK coach during his cross-examination of Smith:

Mark asked Smith about the current head coach at the University of Kentucky, a job Smith held for 10 years before coming to the university. He noted that John Calipari had NCAA violations while a college coach at Massachusetts and at Memphis -- as recently as 2008. "You don't attribute those being detrimental to his career," Mark said. "You're not holding it against him?" (Source)

Smith simply answered, "No."

Smith is being sued by former assistant coach Jimmy Williams, who claims he was hired at Minnesota but then denied the job when athletic director Joel Maturi learned of past NCAA violations.

For More on Tubby Smith's case:


Louisville's Preston Knowles Investigated by Police


Louisville basketball player Preston Knowles is under police investigation following a domestic disturbance in Bullitt County.

The disturbance apparently involved Knowles and his girlfriend's stepfather.

Here is an excerpt from Fox41.com:

An official with the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department showed pictures to Fox 41. According to a report, deputies stopped Knowles Sunday night walking down the street while on their way to a domestic violence call.

Deputies say Knowles told them he was arguing with his girlfriend when her stepfather got involved and shoved Knowles and that's when Knowles says he retaliated.


Knowles is scheduled to meet with police today for questioning.

Kentucky Looks Like "Team to Beat" for Michael Chandler


Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com reported last night that Kentucky is in a good position to take another talented recruit out of Rick Pitino's hands at Louisville.

Meyer states that Chandler, who decommitted from Louisville this spring, may very well end up at Kentucky.

Here is an excerpt:

Louisville lost an epic recruiting battle to Kentucky when Marquis Teague, the No. 1-ranked point guard in the 2011 class, turned down Louisville and committed to the Wildcats. History might very well repeat itself in the recruitment of Michael Chandler. The center already decommitted from Louisville earlier this spring, and now it looks like Kentucky is the team to beat for his services.

Full Article Here (subscription)

Chandler is listed as a 6-10 center from Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. The is a 5-star recruit that is ranked No. 10 overall in the 2011 class by Rivals.com.

Image: Scout.com

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nets Thinking Favors; Might Push Cousins Out of Top 3


The New Jersey Nets are strongly considering taking Derrick Favors with the third pick in the NBA Draft - a move that would likely push Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins out of the top three picks.

It is widely assumed that Washington will take John Wall with the first pick and Philadelphia appears to be leaning towards taking Ohio State's Evan Turner with pick No. 2.

Here is an excerpt from Yahoo:

The woeful New Jersey Nets have the third overall selection in the upcoming NBA draft and their current favorite is 6-foot-10 Georgia Tech forward Derrick Favors, according to the New York Post.

Others in consideration are 6-11 center DeMarcus Cousins of Kentucky and 6-7 forward Wesley Johnson of Syracuse.

The first two picks are expected to be Kentucky's John Wall by the Washington Wizards and Ohio State's Evan Turner by Philadelphia 76ers.


Complete Article

ESPN's Chad Ford had this to say about Favors and Cousins:

“Favors doesn’t have the offensive game that [Kentucky's] DeMarcus Cousins has,” another GM told me. “But he’s a better athlete, a better defender and when the two of them met head-to-head in high school, Favors kicked Cousins’ butt. Had he got going earlier at Georgia Tech, he could’ve been, probably should’ve been, the No. 1 pick.” Source

My Thoughts: I think it is a mistake for teams to pass on Cousins. I understand the concerns that are out there, but I have confidence in Big Cuz and think he will be a special NBA big man.

Todor Pandov to Leave WKU for Job in Miami


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Todor Pandov, Western Kentucky University's men's basketball strength and conditioning coach, is leaving WKU to accept a similar position at the University of Miami.

"I am really excited for Todor and this is a great opportunity that he has," said WKU head coach Ken McDonald. "He has done an incredible job with our strength and conditioning program during the two years he has worked with us. He has been a tremendous coach and mentor for our players, and he is a great friend. I know he will do a terrific job, and we wish him well."

Pandov served as a graduate assistant manager for the Miami Hurricane program prior to joining McDonald's staff in the spring of 2008.

"I want to thank WKU and Coach McDonald for a great two years," said Pandov. "It was an honor to return to my alma mater and a true pleasure to work with our players, the coaching staff, and the administration. While I had no plans of leaving WKU anytime soon, this is an opportunity I simply cannot turn down. My son was born in Miami, and the opportunity to work in the ACC and return to this area is a great one for me and my family."

Prior to his time at Miami, Pandov was an assistant coach at St. Edward's (Texas) and was a volunteer at Texas, where he assisted the program during the 2005-06 campaign as the Longhorns went 29-6 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round.

Originally from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Pandov came to WKU after one season at Washington College Academy (Tenn.). He earned three letters in his time with the Hilltoppers, amassing 480 points, 203 rebounds, 61 assists, and 28 blocked shots.

Complete Release

Pearl Says UF is "By Far the Most Talented Team in the SEC"


Bruce Pearl says the Florida Gators, who narrowly escaped the NIT last season, are "by far the most talented team in the SEC."

"Billy Donovan has had several years of really, really good recruiting,'' Pearl said, according to Mike Griffith of the Knoxville News Sentinel. "They will be by far the most talented team in the SEC.''

Pearl added that the overall talent level at Kentucky will be less this coming season than it was in 2009-10.

"Kentucky brings in another No. 1 recruiting class,'' he said. "They lost more than anybody, but they brought in more than anybody. They're not going to be as talented as they were; that's why I put Florida in front of them.''

My Thoughts: It sounds to me like Pearl is sweating in May. He has managed to kill two birds with one stone, however: he has placed unwarranted expectations on Florida while sending a cheap shot Kentucky's way. Word.

Video: Bowling Green's Chane Behanan

Interview and highlights of Bowling Green's 2011 star, Chane Behanan:



Video by Greg Gorham of KentuckySportsNetwork.com

Prayer Request for the Calipari Family


After reading John Calipari's Pre-Summer "State of the Program" on CoachCal.com, I want to ask my readers to extend a prayer to Coach Calipari's family.

Coach Cal's mother, Donna, is currently battling cancer and the family could use our love and support.

Here is an excerpt of the article about Donna Calipari:

Lastly, I have some personal news to share with you and I hope you will understand why I am doing so. I always try and am as transparent and forthcoming as possible with the Big Blue Nation and this is no exception. My mom, Donna Calipari, is battling cancer and I’m going to spend some time these next few days trying to figure out the best course of action for her medical care. At some point here in the near future, I will tell you all about my mom. For now, please know this is the woman who gave me my drive and my mindset to dream big dreams. She is a fighter and an incredibly strong woman.

Right now my family’s focus is on getting her the care she needs. I hope you understand this will take me away from Lexington and my focus will shift away from basketball and to providing support, help and comfort for my mom. Anyone who has gone through this knows it’s devastating for all involved.

It would mean so much to our family if we could get the prayers and thoughts of the BBN directed to my mom as she bravely fights her battle with this dreaded disease. I hope you all understand and I thank you for your compassion and well wishes.

Coach Cal, our prayers are with you. God Bless.

Kentucky All-Stars Preparing for Battle with Indiana



Shelby Valley's Elisha Justice discusses the upcoming Kentucky/Indiana All-Star game on WLKY.com (click image for video).

Twin Towers? UK in the Mix for 7-foot Bhullar Brothers


Yahoo! Sports reports that Kentucky has expressed interest in 7-foot brothers, Sim and Tanveer Bhullar.

At 17, Sim is the older brother and is 7-4, 285 pounds. Tanveer, who is 15, is already 7-2, 260 pounds.

Here is an excerpt from the Yahoo! Sports article:

West Virginia has already offered Sim a scholarship. Duke plans to visit him.

Duquesne, Florida State, Kentucky, LSU, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Texas, UMass, USC and Washington State have expressed interest in both brothers.

Because Freedman spent eight years as an assistant under John Calipari in college and the pros - "He was my mentor, my coaching idol," Freedman says - some assume Kentucky has the inside track. Freedman just laughs.

"They're going to wind up wherever they want to go," he said. "I know way too many people in basketball to tell a kid where to go... I can't do that. It would be unfair to too many people."

Complete Article

I'm still trying to confirm that the Bhullar brothers are distant relatives of the Ivan brothers:



UK Recruits Named ESPN RISE Underclass All-Americans


Several Kentucky and Louisville recruits have been named ESPN RISE Underclass All-Americans.

Mike Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, who have both committed to Kentucky, was named to the Junior All-American Team.

Joining the Junior Team are Wayne Blackshear, who has committed to Louisville, and Bowling Green's Chane Behanan.
Juniors of Note:

F — Chane Behanen, Bowling Green (Bowling Green, Ky.) 6-7

G — Wayne Blackshear, Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.) 6-5

*G — Quinn Cook, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) 6-1

*F — Mike Gilchrist, St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) 6-8

*F — Quincy Miller, Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 6-9

*G — Austin Rivers, Winter Park, (Winter Park, Fla.) 6-3

*G — Marquis Teague, Pike (Indianapolis, Ind.) 6-2

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Rivers

Sophomores:

F — Perry Ellis, Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.) 6-8

G — Omar Calhoun, Christ The King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 6-3

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thoughts on Daniel Orton and University of Kentucky Online


I won't spend the night writing a negative article, but I do wish to weigh-in with my thoughts on Daniel Orton and his choice to not complete his semester academically.

I had heard a rumor about three weeks ago that Orton dropped his classes early, despite a promise to take online courses to complete his semester while training in California.

On April 4, Orton posted on his verified Twitter account:

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!!

Following that, it was announced that Orton would complete his coursework online and the issue was practically forgotten.

Then, speculation circulated that Orton actually failed to finish out the semester. I hoped they were only rumors, but earlier today Kentucky Sports Radio broke the story that confirmed the rumors to be true.

I admit, while I know that it's none of my business what a kid chooses to do with his life, it is a bit disappointing that things were handled the way they were handled.

I mean, every other member of Kentucky's freshman class managed to complete the semester with no problems - which is a good thing because that likely saves Kentucky's scholarship that "we need so badly."

And let's face it, online classes are not exactly as demanding as medical school. In most circumstances, one can do the work any hour of the day - spare a few deadlines and online meetings here and there. Heck, I completed an entire MBA program online in one year - while I was married, father to one baby and working a 40+ hour-a-week job.

Anyways, like most UK fans, I'm a little disappointed with this news. I'll still support Daniel in his NBA quest and wish him a long and fruitful career (once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat, right?), but I wish things would have been handled a little differently.

Orton's NBA Draft Combine interview:




Dwane Casey Lands Second Interview with Atlanta Hawks


Former Kentucky Wildcat Dwane Casey, a native of Morganfield (Ky.), has been invited back for a second interview with the Atlanta Hawks regarding the team's coaching vacancy.

Casey, who is currently an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks, met with Atlanta GM Rick Sun over the weekend.

Here is an excerpt from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Casey was an assistant coach under Nate McMillan at Seattle when Sund was the SuperSonics’ GM. Casey has been identified by several outlets as the leading candidate for this job, though one of the persons familiar with the situation insisted there is no front-runner yet.

Kentucky's John Calipari Appears on Portland Radio


Kentucky head coach John Calipari appeared on Portland, Oregon radio station 95.5 The Fan this morning.


Here are some excerpts of Calipari's interview:

On the Terrence Jones situation:

“Well we thought that he was coming with us and when he said ‘Washington’ we were like ‘what just happened?’ That was the first thing. Then he called about an hour later and said ‘Cal, I made a mistake. I don’t know what I was doing.’ That is when the thing went like ‘You what?’ So we talked to him and said that we are going to do whatever you want. I am holding your scholarship. At one point I said, ‘Look, if you want to go to Washington then go to Washington, and if you want to come with us, come with us. Just make a decision so that we can all move on.’ But I felt bad for him to be honest with you.

On playing in Portland next season:

I would tell you that our plan right now is to come and play in the Rose Garden in November of next season. So the beginning of the season we will bring our team out to Portland to play for a game in the Rose Garden. We are playing in Hawaii so on the way to Hawaii we will stop in Portland and play and let all of their fans and his fans get a chance to see him in a setting with us…”

On the uniqueness of the Jones' recruitment:

I have never been in anything like this where within an hour… I didn’t see the press conference but I had people tell me that at the time they looked at it and said, ‘Wow’ and then after he went with his parents. But I didn’t see it all. I mean I didn’t watch it, but it was unique. I don’t mind that Washington fans are upset and upset with me. That is part of what we do here but the reality is that I think, Lorenzo knows and their staff knows this was not our doing.

Blog Archive