Saturday, July 10, 2010

High-Flying Vince Cook Hopes to Transfer to NKU

Vince Cook, an explosive athlete from Miami University-Hamilton, is hoping to transfer to Northern Kentucky University.
Here is an excerpt from

Cook wants out of MU-Hamilton. He wants to join the Norse, the Division II 2009 Great Lakes Valley Conference champs. He reported to that he’s in the process of transferring to NKU.

“It didn’t work out,” Cook said of his time with MU-Hamilton.

Why NKU? The style of play, Cook said. If you’ve ever seen the Norse or Team McCluskey at The Deveroes Summer League, their style is controlled mayhem led principally by shooting guards Tony Rack (Moeller) and Dennis Gagai (Ironton/West Virginia University), point guard Ethan Faulkner (Elliott County, Ky.) and forwards Corey Sorrell (Holy Cross) and Erik Stenger (St. Xavier).

“I like the coaching staff a lot,” Cook said, speaking of head coach Dave Bezold (the fourth head man in the history of the men’s program) and assistants Kurt Young and Matt Elrod. “They make you feel more welcome than Miami.”

Complete Article

Former Wildcat Allen Edwards Returns to the Bluegrass State

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU rounded out its men's basketball coaching staff for the 2010-11 season with the hiring of Allen Edwards as an assistant coach and Ryan Johnson as strength and conditioning coach, head coach Ken McDonald announced Saturday.

Edwards brings with him two National Championships and six NCAA Tournament appearances as a player or coach. He comes to the Hill from Towson University, where he spent the 2009-10 season as an assistant coach.

No stranger to the commonwealth of Kentucky, Edwards previously spent time as an assistant coach at Morehead State and prior to that was a standout on two of the University of Kentucky’s national championship teams under Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith.

"I am very pleased with how our assistant coaching search has ended up," McDonald said. "We looked at many highly-qualified coaches, and Allen's enthusiasm, experience and reputation all fit the criteria for what is important for our program to keep getting better. Allen has great character, excellent recruiting ties, and has high level practical and recruiting experience. We welcome Allen, his wife, LaTanya, daughter, Mai'a and son, Jaxon, to the Hilltopper family."

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Edwards said. “I would characterize Western Kentucky University men’s basketball as a ‘sleeping giant.’ I was amazed by the facilities and the support, and I am very excited to be back in a tremendous basketball state. The tradition of the program speaks for itself, and Coach McDonald and his staff have done well since they’ve been here. I’m excited about the opportunity, and I look forward to working with all of the coaches and players. I'm excited to be part of the Hilltopper Nation.”

A four-year letterwinner at Kentucky, Edwards and the Wildcats advanced to three-straight Final Fours in his sophomore-through-seniors seasons and fell one win shy of the Final Four in his freshman season of 1994-95. The Wildcats captured National Championships in 1996 and 1998, giving Edwards two title rings during his time in Lexington.

Complete Release

NOTE: will be speaking with Edwards soon

Related News:

Ryan Johnson Named Strength and Conditioning Coach: Western Kentucky University head men's basketball coach Ken McDonald also announced the addition of Ryan Johnson as the strength and conditioning coach for the team. Johnson replaces Todor Pandov, who left WKU in May to accept a similar position at the University of Miami.

"I am very excited about the addition of Ryan to our staff," McDonald said. "He has the opportunity to take our strength and conditioning program for men's basketball to another level. Ryan comes to us after two years with the University of Texas men's basketball program, and we welcome him, his wife, Sara and son, Gage, to the Hilltopper community."

Johnson comes to the Hill after spending two seasons at the volunteer assistant men’s and women’s basketball strength and conditioning coach at the University of Texas.

Johnson earned his bachelor’s of science degree in exercise and sport sciences from Texas Tech University in 2007 and received a master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas in 2010.

Las Vegas Summer League Kicks Off, Patterson Shines

Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson played as well as anyone on Day 1 of the Las Vegas Summer League. His former UK teammates did not play on the first day.

Day 1 recap:

Patrick Patterson (Kentucky)

20:03 MIN, 8-9 FG, 2-2 3PT, 2 REB, 18 PTS

Summary: A tremendous start for Patrick Patterson; couldn't happen to a better guy

Earl Clark (Louisville)

25:06 MIN, 4-14 FG, 6-7 FT, 3 REB, 1 TO, 1 BS, 14 PTS

Summary: Clark would like to shoot a little better, but a good start

A.J. Slaughter (Western Kentucky)

5:32 MIN, 0-0 FG, 0 PTS

Summary: Limited minutes for Slaughter

Edgar Sosa (Louisville)

DNP - Coach's Decision

NOTE: John Wall has suffered an injured groin in a scrimmage; he did look sharp in his first NBA action

USA U17 Dominates Australia in Quarterfinals

The USA U17 squad continued its gold medal quest with a 105-70 beat down of Australia in yesterday's quarterfinal round.

Brad Beal led the way with 25 points on 7-9 shooting. Andre Drummond added 10 points and 12 rebounds in the win.

Kentucky recruit Tony Wroten had a poor shooting night from the field (2-10), but finished with 11 points and 7 assists. Future Cat Marquis Teague had 10 points and 8 assists.

The win advanced the USA U17 squad into Saturday’s U17 World Championship medal round semifinal against 4-2 Canada, who defeated China 102-96 earlier in the afternoon to move on. Winners of the two semifinal games advance to play in Sunday’s gold medal game, with the semifinals losers meeting in the bronze medal game.

Orlando Pro Summer League Ends; Final Day Recap

The Orlando Pro Summer League has concluded. It was a disappointing start to Daniel Orton's NBA career but several other players with local ties showed plenty of promise.

Here is a final day recap:

Daniel Orton (Kentucky)

20:12 MIN, 1-7 FG, 1-3 FT, 0 REB, 1 AST, 4 PF, 3 TO, 2 BS, 3 PTS

Summary: Orton improved in some areas but his first week as a pro was pretty disastrous

Jeremy Evans (Western Kentucky)

19:32 MIN, 6-7 FG, 0-1 FT, 5 REB, 2 STL, 2 TO, 1 BS, 12 PTS

Summary: Great way for Evans to cap off the week; he got the start and was able to contribute on a nice shooting day

Jodie Meeks (Kentucky)

18:35 MIN, 1-6 FG, 0-3 3PT, 2-4 FT, 2 AST, 2 STL, 2 TO, 4 PTS

Summary: This was Meeks worst day of the week, but the 76ers were very short-handed and playing without several key contributors

Joe Crawford (Kentucky)

32:19 MIN, 4-14 FG, 2-7 3PT, 5-6 FT, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, 15 PTS

Summary: Crawford has proven that he can play at the NBA level this week but he is still a long shot to make the Orlando roster; hopefully another team will notice

Terrence Williams (Louisville)

4:54 MIN, 1-3 FG, 2 PTS

Summary: T-Will only played 5 minutes

AirTran Airways Pro All-Summer League Teams

1st Team

G – Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia
G/F – Terrence Williams, New Jersey
F – Luke Harangody, Boston
F – Damion James, New Jersey
C – BJ Mullens, Oklahoma City

2nd Team

G – Jodie Meeks, Philadelphia
G – Gerald Henderson, Charlotte
G – James Harden, Oklahoma City
F – Derrick Brown, Charlotte
C – Magnum Rolle, Indiana

Honorable Mention

Indiana – Paul George, Josh McRoberts, Lance Stephenson
Boston – Jaycee Carroll
Oklahoma City – Eric Maynor, Kyle Weaver
Utah – Gordon Hayward, Kosta Koufos
Orlando – Joe Crawford, Paul Davis, Patrick Ewing, Jr.

We're Back...and Kentucky Fans are Everywhere

I am back from a much needed week in Hilton Head Island and the site will be returning to normal functionality.

I attempted to keep you up-to-date last week, albeit a little slower than normal.

Anyways, I apologize for the slow week, but it's back to business this week.

Here is a picture of a nice shark that I pulled up on the beach during the middle of the day. There were some nervous swimmers and a UK fan cheering me on.

By the way, if the guy wearing the UK shorts can shoot me an e-mail (see card at the top of the site), you have won a nice surprise. Please just attach a picture with your face in it for verification and a mailing address.

NOTE: Click pictures to enlarge

Friday, July 9, 2010 Catches Up With Tony Delk has caught up with former Kentucky star Tony Delk and asked him a few questions.

Here is an excerpt:

Question: Why did you take this role at Kentucky?

Answer: The long-term goal is to be coaching. Right now, I want to mentor guys and help as much as I can. The good thing about it is that playing and being around a lot of good coaches helps me be an influence and impact guys. This is the right level to do it.

Q: Do you enjoy it as much as you thought you would?

A: It's gratifying, especially with the year we had. I got a chance to work with five guys who were drafted in the first round. . . . I bring something that nobody else brings - experience. You want to have someone that's been there to teach the guys what it takes.

Q: What are your best Suns memories?

A: When they had the Desert Classic, I fell in love with Phoenix. I think it was playing with Jason Kidd at the time and guys like Rodney Rogers, Cliff Robinson and Shawn Marion. Everybody always remembers me most for the 53-point game (in 2001). I had more than one killer game but that's a good thing to be remembered for. I wasn't even the first option. I was the third or fourth option when I did it.

Complete Article

Bellarmine Announces Four Additional Players for 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Bellarmine University men’s basketball coach Scott Davenport has announced four more players who will be joining the Knights for the 2010-11 season.

Julian Wilkison a 6-1 guard from Rollins College has enrolled at Bellarmine, where he will be a junior, and the remaining three players are incoming freshmen: Hayden Simon, a 6-6 center/forward from Daviess County (Ky.) High School; Garrett Ross a 6-3 guard from Corydon Central High School; and Tony Hamann (pronounced HAHM-in), a 6-6 forward from Loveland (Ohio) High School.

“We are thrilled with the four newest members of our basketball program,” said Coach Davenport. “They bring tremendous experience in Julian Wilkinson and quality depth in Hayden, Tony and Garrett. Anytime you bring in prospects who come out of quality programs you have really helped your program. They all come very well prepared academically and athletically.”

Davenport added, “Our practices will be the most competitive day in day out since I came to Bellarmine. This is a real key to becoming a championship caliber team.”

Wilkison, started at point guard in 31 of Rollins’s 33 games last year on an NCAA Division II team that was ranked in the national top 20 most of the year and advanced to the NCAA regionals. Wilkison is a native of Cincinnati and starred at Anderson High School, where he earned conference player of the year honors his senior season when he averaged 20.2 points and four assists a game. Frank Brandy, Wilkison’s high school coach, said, “Julian will be a really good player (for Bellarmine). He’s a team guy and will do whatever he needs to do to make the team better.”

Simon averaged 15.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots a game as a senior at Daviess County. “He was our go-to guy,” said Coach Caleb Smith. “He developed into one of the best post players in our area. He was solid on the block but had a good 15-foot jump shot as well,” Smith added. “I don’t think players realize what a high level the Great Lakes Valley Conference basketball is, but I have no doubt (Simon) can be successful at that level.”

Ross helped lead Corydon Central to a sectional championship in 2009-10, averaging 15 points, six rebounds and five assists a game. “He was a crucial member of our team’s success,” said Jamie Kolkmeier, Corydon Central head boys basketball coach. “He has all the physical tools to have some success,” he added. “He has good quickness and length, and he’s quick with the basketball. At the high school level, they (opponents) knew he was going to drive by them, but there was nothing they could do about it.”

Hamann hails from the same high school athletic conference as Wilkison, where he earned 1st team All-Fort Ancient Valley Conference honors last year as a senior for Loveland High School. He also earned team most valuable player honors by leading the team in points (15.8 ppg), field goal percentage (59.8 %), and rebounding (6.3 rpg).

Source: Bellarmine University

Former MSU Player Quinton Smith to Put On All-Star Game

Former Morehead State and North Hardin standout Quinton Smith will put on an all-star basketball game tomorrow evening at North Hardin High School.

The game will possibly include former Kentucky stars Brandon Stockton and Erik Daniels.

Here is an excerpt from

One of the first steps is Smith will host an All-Star basketball game at North Hardin on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $5, with proceeds going to Smith’s business, and a chance to win numerous door prizes.

Smith has gathered some of the biggest names to come out of the area in recent years. Besides Smith, Andre Woodson, Dontaie Smith, Jerry Turner, Robert Broughton, Terrence Withers, Demetrious Guions and possibly Antwan Barbour will play in the game. Former Kentucky guard Brandon Stockton is going to play in the game and possibly former Morehead State guard Chez Marks, Kentucky forward Erik Daniels and Louisville forward Alvin Sims.

Current Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo and former Louisville standout Larry O’Bannon might be in attendance but will not play.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Smith said. “I’ve always wanted to bring it back to North and give something back. Basically I wanted to get the best players to come out of the area for an event like this.”

Complete Article

USA U17 Blasts Serbia, Heads to Medal Round

The USA U17 team finished up pool play with a perfect record (5-0) after running away from Serbia 112-75.

The United States placed six players in double figures led by Brad Beal with 20. James McAdoo added 15 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 4 steals.

Future Kentucky Wildcat Michael Gilchrist added 14 points and 7 rebounds. Tony Wroten put in 11 points, 4 assists and 4 steals.

The USA now advances to today's medal round quarterfinals where they are matched up against Australia (3-2). The semifinals are tomorrow and the gold and bronze medal games will be July 11.


New York, New York for Ex-Cat Kelenna Azubuike

Former Kentucky star Kelenna Azubuike is part of a sign-and-trade deal that will send him to the New York Knicks for the 2010-11 season.

New York is sending forward David Lee to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Azubuike, Anthony Randolph and Ronny Turiaf.

The deal is worth over $80 million dollars for Lee over six years with the Warriors.

Azubuike was injured the majority of last season but has shown plenty of promise in his young NBA career. For his career, he has averaged 10.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He has also shot 40.9% from the three-point line for his career (205 games).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ex-Wildcat Randolph Morris on Hawks Summer Roster

Former Kentucky big man Randolph Morris, a four-year NBA veteran, will play in the Las Vegas Summer League with the Atlanta Hawks.

Morris will be fighting for a roster spot as his contract has expired.

Atlanta Hawks Summer League Roster:

Alade Aminu, F, 6-10, Georgia Tech (R)
James Augustine, F, 6-10, Illinois (2)
Jordan Crawford, G , 6-4, Xavier (R)
Jermareo Davidson , F, 6-10, Alabama (2)
Trey Gilder, F, 6-9, Northwestern State (1)
Sergiy Gladyr, G, 6-5, Ukraine (R)
Richard Hendrix, F, 6-9, Alabama (R)
Luke Jackson, F/G, 6-7, Oregon (4)
Landon Milbourne, F, 6-7, Maryland (R)
Randolph Morris, C, 6-11, Kentucky (4)
Pape Sy, G, 6-6, France (R)
Jeff Teague , G, 6-2 Wake Forest (1)


Coroner: UK Great Melvin Turpin Has Committed Suicide

LEX18's Mary Jo Perino just reported on Twitter that the Fayette County Coroner has confirmed that former Kentucky great Melvin Turpin has committed suicide at his Lexington home.

I would ask all readers to pray for the Turpin family in this tragic hour of helplessness.

Breaking: Possible Death at the Home of UK Great Turpin

There is some breaking news at the moment as the Fayette County coroner has been dispatched to the home of Kentucky great Melvin Turpin.

Here is an excerpt of a report from

Police responded to a call of a "person injury" Thursday afternoon at the north Lexington home of former UK basketball great Melvin Turpin.

So far, police have not released any other details about the investigation at Turpin's home on Princess Arch Lane in the Masterson Station subdivision, though an LEX 18 crew at the scene reports that the Fayette County coroner has arrived at the scene.

There are no other details at the moment but stay tuned and I'll report any updates I receive.

Kentucky Natives Mack, Hopson Named to USA Select Team

Kentucky natives Shelvin Mack (Lexington) and Scotty Hopson (Hopkinsville) have been named to the 2010 USA Basketball Select roster.

The 20 player team will train against the 2010 USA Basketball Men's National Team during its July 19-24 training camp in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2010 USA Select Roster:

Lavoy Allen (Temple University/Morrisville, Pa.)
William Buford (Ohio State University / Toledo, Ohio)
LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor University/Monroe, La.)
Jimmer Fredette (Brigham Young University/Glens Falls, N.Y.)
Scotty Hopson (University of Tennessee/Hopkinsville, Ky.)
Scoop Jardine (Syracuse University/Philadelphia, Pa.)
JaJuan Johnson (Purdue University / Indianapolis, Ind.)
Jon Leuer (University of Wisconsin / Orono, Minn.)
Shelvin Mack (Butler University / Lexington, Ky.)
Marcus Morris (University of Kansas / Philadelphia, Pa.)
Jacob Pullen (Kansas State University / Maywood, Ill.)
John Shurna (Northwestern University / Glen Ellyn, Ill.)
Kyle Singler (Duke University / Medford, Ore.)
Chris Singleton (Florida State University / Canton, Ga.)
Nolan Smith (Duke University / Upper Marlboro, Md.)
Howard Thompkins (University of Georgia / Lithonia, Ga.)
Mike Tisdale (University of Illinois / Riverton, Ill.)
Kemba Walker (University of Connecticut / Bronx, N.Y.)
Chris Wright (University of Dayton / Trotwood, Ohio)
Tyler Zeller (University of North Carolina / Washington, Ind.)


Ramon Harris Offered Pro Contract in Slovakia (Updated)

Former Kentucky Wildcat Ramon Harris has signed a professional contract with Levice, a top-level club team in Slovakia's Extraliga league.

Harris is one of three new faces on the Levice roster.

He played four seasons for the Wildcats (2006-10) and finished his career with 358 total points and 294 total rebounds.

Harris was Mr. Basketball in the state of Alaska for 2006.


UPDATE: Harris posted on Twitter this afternoon that the report from EuroBasket is a little premature; he has been offered a pro contract in Slovakia but has not officially signed it at this point. Here is his post on Twitter:

Monie_Mone5 The release about me signing with the euro team is not true... They offered me a contract but I did not sign any contract

John Wall Speaks at Wizards Kids Basketball Camp

Former Kentucky star John Wall speaks to a group of kids at a Washington Wizards kids basketball camp:


DeMarcus Cousins Signs NBA Contract, Creates Rivalry

Former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins has came to terms with the Sacramento Kings on his first NBA contract.

Cousins, who was drafted No. 5 overall in the NBA Draft, can earn about $7 million in the first two years of the deal and the Kings will have separate team options for the third and fourth seasons.

Jon Rapoport of reports that Cousins has likely already created a rivalry with the world champion Los Angeles Lakers following a Twitter post directed at L.A. center Andrew Bynum. Cousins posted on his Twitter:

boogiecousins Bynum doesn't deserve to touch the trophy!

Apparently the Lakers have noted Cousins' thoughts. Here is an excerpt of the article:

In the days since, it has come to light that Cousins preemptively and unknowingly may have created a potential grudge between his Kings and the two-time defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wall a Sports Betting Favorite to Win Rookie of the Year

John Wall and Blake Griffin are currently co-favorites by odds makers to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2010-11.

Both Wall and Griffin are listed at +200 odds to win the award.

Evan Turner currently sits at +300 and Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins comes in at +700.


Crawford, Meeks Shine in Orlando Pro Summer League Day 3

Former Kentucky star Joe Crawford with and impressive move down low:

Day 3 recap:

Joe Crawford (Kentucky):

28:18 MIN, 10-13 FG, 4-5 3PT, 5-8 FT, 1 REB, 3 TO, 29 PTS

Summary: Today was a breakout day for Crawford; he was the go-to guy for the Magic and he answered the call.

Jodie Meeks (Kentucky):

30:55 MIN, 4-14 FG, 0-4 3PT, 8-8 FT, 6 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, 16 PTS

Summary: Meeks continues to play well for the 76ers; he was a little off from the field today, but made up for it with hustle and effort.

Daniel Orton (Kentucky):

17:30 MIN, 0-0 FG, 4-6 FT, 0 REB, 1 AST, 4 PF, 1 STL, 3 TO, 1 BS, 4 PTS

Summary: Another day, another poor effort from Orton; he has plenty of work to do.

Terrence Williams (Louisville):

36:10 MIN, 8-26 FG, 0-3 FG, 6-11 FT, 4 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 2 TO, 22 PTS

Summary: Williams tried to do a little too much this afternoon; he played solid, despite a poor shooting day.

Jeremy Evans (Western Kentucky):

13:54 MIN, 1-2 FG, 2-3 FT, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4 PTS

Summary: Not a bad day for Evans, but he'll still need more production to make a roster.

Report: Family Member, Friend Paid for Bledsoe's Apartment

An Eric Bledsoe family member and close friend have stepped forward to say that they combined funds to pay for Bledsoe's apartment in Alabama.

If the report is accurate, it goes a long ways towards discrediting the New York Times report claiming that Bledsoe received illegal benefits during his high school career in Birmingham.

Here is an excerpt from

Billy Fagnes, who is a first cousin to Bledsoe's mother, Maureen Reddick, said his family paid most of the rent on the house where Reddick and Bledsoe lived during his senior year at Parker. Also, Jerome McMullin, who described himself as a close family friend, said that although Ford found the family an affordable home, McMullin helped the family pay the rent during some difficult financial times. Ford did not pay any rent, McMullin said.

"They went through some hard times and I helped them pay their rent," said McMullin, adding that he paid a total of about three months of rent. "I took them to get food for them. There's a lot of things they didn't have and people stepped up to the plate and helped out. I never asked for anything or any kind of favor. I did it out of the goodness of my heart. Maurice didn't do anything."

"It was me and my family who paid it," Fagnes said. "One time, I gave the rent money to Maurice Ford because the landlady was running late and I'm a contractor and had to get to work. So I gave it to Maurice Ford to give to her."

Complete Article

Karen Sypher Has a History of Troubling Behavior

The FBI says Karen Sypher has a history of causing problems as she falsely accused a man of sexual harassment in 1999.

Excerpt from

Prosecutors said in a court document that Sypher filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against an auto glass business owner in 2001, a case prosecutors say had similarities to the Pitino case.

In the earlier case, prosecutors say, Sypher had consensual sex with the man, then was hired by him. She claimed to be pregnant when he ended the relationship and sued the man after she was fired a few months later, claiming sexual harassment.

Prosecutors alleged that the accusation was false. They made the argument in a trial brief filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville in advance of Sypher's trial on charges she attempted to extort $10 million from Pitino, then lied to the FBI about it and falsely accused Pitino of rape in retaliation for his reporting the extortion attempt.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr. said in the brief the earlier alleged extortion attempt, which did not result in criminal charges, will be introduced at Sypher's trial, which starts July 26. Sypher has pleaded not guilty. She is accused of demanding college tuition for her children, her house to be paid off and $10 million.

Complete Article

No Chance for Egypt Against USA U17

Egypt was completely overwhelmed by the USA 17 squad as the Americans rolled to a 132-64 victory in Germany.

Michael Gilchrist, who has committed to Kentucky, and Brad Beal each scored 18 points to lead the way for the United States.

Marquis Teague, who has also committed to UK, added 12 points. Kentucky recruits Quinn Cook and Tony Wroten Jr. dished out 10 and 8 assists, respectively.

The undefeated Americans finish up pool play today with Serbia.

NOTE: Kentucky head coach John Calipari will be in Germany to watch a handful of Kentucky recruits in action.

Daniel Orton Says Calipari Has Done Nothing Wrong

Former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton says that head coach John Calipari has done nothing wrong.

Here is an excerpt from The Orlando Sentinel:

He really takes care of his guys," says Magic rookie Daniel Orton, one of five Kentucky players who was chosen in the first round of the recent NBA draft. "And he knows how to sell his program to players."

Calipari sells them on the NBA dream — and, more times than not — he delivers. Orton, competing this week on the Magic's summer-league team, wasn't even a Calipari recruit (he was recruited by former UK coach Billy Gillispie) and didn't even start at Kentucky, but he says just being part of Calipari's NBA minor-league team helped prepare him for the pros.

How many times have we heard college coaches talk about how their No. 1 goal is to recruit a fine bunch of "student-athletes" and help them matriculate through their first-rate institution of higher learning? And then we hear the horror stories like the one that came out of Florida State during the school's recently concluded NCAA investigation when fired learning specialist Brenda Monk claimed that the Seminoles admitted players into college despite a second-grade reading level.

Or how many times have we heard University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer talk about instilling discipline in his program and then, almost like clockwork, another one of his players is arrested for firing a weapon, drinking and driving or charging money to a dead woman's credit card.

Or what about Georgia athletic director Damon Evans taping a public-service announcement last season that ran at all home football games and warned fans about the evils of drinking and driving? Evans, of course, resigned earlier this week after he was arrested for DUI.

One thing you can say about Calipari is this: He is not a fraud. He doesn't pretend to be the great educator. Or a great disciplinarian. Or a great molder of young men.

He is a great recruiter — period. His goals are simple: Recruit the best players he can, win as many games as he can and then send those players to the NBA.

"It's worked out well for him," Orton says.

Complete Article

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Orton Struggles Continue; Orlando Day 2 Recap

Daniel Orton (Kentucky)

17:26 MIN, 0-6 FG, 2-4 FT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 2 PF, 1 TO, 1 BS, 2 PTS

Summary: Things could not have started worse for Orton in the summer league; after two games, he's averaging 2.5 PTS and 2.5 REB - which, remarkably, are below his college averages

Joe Crawford (Kentucky)

DNP - Coach's Decision

Summary: Disappointing that Crawford that not get in the game.

Jeremy Evans (Western Kentucky)

15:33 MIN, 3-6 FG, 5 REB, 2 AST, 2 PF, 1 STL, 2 BS, 6 PTS

Summary: Evans played well off the bench for Utah today; he was after the ball and played with energy. He'll need more games like this to make the roster.

Terrence Williams (Louisville)

34:14 MIN, 8-18 FG, 1-2 3PT, 7-9 FT, 7 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 9 TO, 24 PTS

Summary: The turnovers are a little alarming but Williams was excellent on the offensive end; he was comfortable and looked like a talented second year player should look in the summer league.

Jodie Meeks (Kentucky)

28:40 MIN, 6-11 FG, 2-3 3PT, 4-4 FT, 1 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1 TO, 18 PTS

Summary: Meeks continues to shine when given the opportunity; he was the best offensive player on the floor for the 76ers today and led the team in scoring.

Antigua, Massiello Named Top 25 College Assistants

Kentucky's Orlando Antigua and Louisville's Steve Masiello were named top 25 high-major assistants by

Antigua is ranked No. 16 and Masiello is No. 24.

Here is an excerpt:

16. Orlando Antigua - Kentucky Antigua has followed Calipari to Kentucky after joining the most successful four-year run in basketball history at Memphis. He helped coach the Memphis Tigers to a spot in the 2009 NCAA Sweet 16. Prior to Memphis, Antigua worked at his Alma mater, Pittsburgh where he helped lead the Panthers to the NCAA Tournament in all five years on staff, including the 2004 and 2007 Sweet Sixteen.

24. Steve Massiello – Louisville Considered by his peers as one of the best recruiters in the game today, Massiello is entering his 6th season on Rick Pitinos staff. Massiello played an integral role in Louisville landing several top 10 recruting classes during his time on staff, as well as reaching back to back Elite Eights in 2008 and 09.

Pikeville College Adds Transfer Dwayne Wheeler

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Kelly Wells has wrapped up this year’s recruiting class with a transfer whose former coach is well-familiar with Pikeville College.

Dwayne Wheeler will join the Bears after playing one season at the University of Charleston for Greg White.

White coached the Bears for five seasons in the late 1980s, where he coached both Todd May, a first-team All-American, and Donnie Jones, who led the nation in assists and is now an NCAA Div. I basketball coach at the University of Central Florida.

At the NCAA Div. II school, Wheeler, a 6-1 guard, started 10 games as a freshman and averaged 2.8 points, 1.7 assist and 1.3 rebounds per game.

“Dwayne is the final piece to our recruiting puzzle for the 2010-11 season,” said Wells. “We are thrilled to add Dwayne to the PC family. He is a proven winner and an explosive athlete.

“He will be able to play both guard positions and will have three years remaining to play at PC. Dwayne’s skill set is very impressive on the offensive and defensive areas of the game. He is an excellent fit to our style of play and team.”

Wheeler played at Princeton Day Academy in Lanham, Md., where he averaged 17.1 points and nine assists per game. At Baltimore’s Mount Carmel High School, he averaged 15 points, six rebounds and four assists while helping the team compile a 25-3 record.

The Bears are scheduled to open the 2010-11 season on Oct. 29 in the East Kentucky Expo Center against Temple Baptist College. They then visit the University of Kentucky on Nov. 1.

Video: New Mixtape of Kentucky Recruit Quincy Miller

Here is a new mixtape of 2011 Kentucky recruit Quincy Miller:

* Video from CityLeagueHoopsTV 's YouTube channel

Monday, July 5, 2010

Orlando Pro Summer League Day 1 Recap

Terrence Williams destroys Philadelphia on a drive to the basket:

Here's how they did today:

- Daniel Orton (Kentucky):

13:28 MIN, 1-8 FG, 1-4 FT, 3 REB, 5 PF, 4 TO, 2 BS, 3 PTS

Summary: Orton was terrible today; no other way to look at it; his stats were bad and he was ejected after battling Josh McRoberts down low

- Terrence Williams (Louisville)

32:32 MIN, 8-12 FG, 1-1 3PT, 6-9 FT, 1 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 4 TO, 23 PTS

Summary: Williams looked like a talented second-year player and continues to give the Nets great hopes for his future; good day for T-Will

- Joe Crawford (Kentucky)

18:38 MIN, 3-7 FG, 0-1 3PT, 4-7 FT, 2 TO, 1 STL, 10 PTS

Summary: Crawford did not play bad by any means, but he'll need to be more aggressive to land an NBA roster spot; he needs to be more assertive

- Jeremy Evans (Western Kentucky)

16:30 MIN, 0-0 FG, 0-0 FT, 3 PF, 1 TO, 1 BS, 0 PTS

Summary: Evans showed tremendous hustle and he played hard, but he basically did nothing on the stat sheet; he'll need to show some production

- Jodie Meeks (Kentucky)

28:14 MIN, 5-12 FG, 2-5 3PT, 6-9 FT, 5 REB, 1 STL, 18 PTS

Summary: Meeks was aggressive and looked great; he needs to shoot a tad better, but he looks to be headed towards the 76ers roster

Daniel Orton Unimpressive in First NBA Appearance

Daniel Orton produced a stat line in his first NBA appearance that basically summed up his freshman season at Kentucky: 3 points, 3 rebounds, 1-8 from the field, 4 turnovers, just over 13 minutes of action, 5 personal fouls, 2 blocked shots and he was ejected for fighting with Josh McRoberts. The only thing missing was an obvious goal tending violation.

It is way too early to ridicule Orton, but his first day on the job could not have gone much worse.

He discovered that the NBA game, even at the summer league level, is much faster than anything he has participated in during his college or high school careers.

Orton was behind the action throughout his appearance and was not able to adjust.

My advice to Daniel Orton: use today as a learning experience, make some adjustments and come out better in the next game.

Orton is ejected:

USA U17 Comes Out Hot, Destroys China

The USA U17 team jumped on China early and rolled to an easy 113-73 victory in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championships.

James McAdoo led the way for the Americans (3-0) with 26 points on 13-14 shooting. Brad Beal added 20 points, including a barrage of 3-pointers early.

Kentucky recruit Quinn Cook scored 7 points and dished out a game-high 13 assists.

The USA men will continue FIBA U17 World Championship preliminary play facing Egypt on July 6, then closes out preliminary play against Serbia on July 7. The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the July 9 medal quarterfinals, with semifinals games scheduled for July 10 and the gold and bronze medal games to be contested on July 11.


Terrence Williams Looks Forward to 2010-11 Season

Former Louisville Cardinal Terrence "T-Will" Williams is looking forward to his second season in New Jersey.

Here is an excerpt from the New York Post:

One of the elements that attracted the Nets to Williams on the first round of the 2009 draft was versatility. Williams showed that during an often-rocky season, playing three different spots on the floor: point guard, shooting guard, small forward. So he is ready for Year 2.

"It's a lot easier. I know what to expect," said Williams, part of the Nets Summer League team that plays tonight in Orlando. "It's about winning. Everything else really comes second."

Williams showed his skills as a scorer, rebounder, passer and defender and was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for April as the Nets wound down a disastrous season. He did so playing three spots in the lineup, something he will be asked to do, beginning with the Orlando games tonight. The Nets, with No. 3 pick, Derrick Favors, play the Sixers, with No. 2 pick, Evan Turner, at 7 o'clock.

With the Nets roster in such flux pending free agency, a multiple position guy like Williams is invaluable.

"Besides who we get free agent wise -- and I hope we get everybody -- at the end of the day we go with what we've got, and my role should be a little more than it was last year. It can't be less," said Williams, who feuded with interim Kiki Vandeweghe but still averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists. "So I'm ready for any position I'm put in. I'm willing to play one, two, three."

Williams in action last season:

Tyndall Hoping for Big Things from Transfer Drew Kelly

Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall is hoping for big things from Miami (OH) transfer Drew Kelly.

Here is an excerpt of Tyndall's thoughts from

Tyndall will have Miami of Ohio transfer Drew Kelly at his disposal after the first eight games of the season. Kelly, a 6-7, 253-pound forward, can play for the Eagles after the absence because of NCAA transfer rules.

Tyndall says Kelly has the potential to average double figures in scoring and snag five to six rebounds a game as a freshman.

Kelly was Tennessee's Mr. Basketball in 2009 after averaging 31 points and 15 rebounds as a senior at Centennial High School in Brentwood. Kelly was a redshirt at Miami, so he will have four seasons of eligibility at Morehead.

Kelly is the grandson of the late Lake Kelly, a legendary defensive coach who coached at Austin Peay, Oral Roberts and assisted Joe B. Hall at Kentucky.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Latest Rumor on Kentucky's Darnell Dodson

I was told over the weekend that Darnell Dodson is still a member of the University of Kentucky basketball program, but will not play during the 2010-11 season.

If he is able to improve in some areas, he will reportedly have an opportunity to play in 2011-12.

We will call this an unverified report for now, but something to keep an eye on as the summer progresses.

Ex-Cumberlands Star Luke Fitzgerald Shining in Australia

The University of the Cumberlands has produced its fair share of great athletes who you just know can make an impact at the next level. The men’s basketball program has also had its share of success over the years, but one player right now is standing out among the rest.

Luke Fitzgerald (Cleveland, OH) graduated from the University of the Cumberlands and began his professional basketball career with the Bluegrass Stallions in Lexington, Kentucky. After putting up monstrous numbers off the bench there, he was being seen all throughout the county and the world as an impact player. One team in particular, the Dandenong Rangers from Australia, took the opportunity to get Fitzgerald to the land down under.

Fitzgerald signed a contract with the Rangers and has made a huge impact on the team since his arrival. In 18 games, Luke is leading his team in points per game (17.3) and rebounds per game (8.8). On the season, Fitzgerald is shooting an impressive 80.2% from the free throw stripe as well as 54.8% from the field. The Rangers are 8-10 on the season, but are on a 4-game winning streak and are 6th in their division.

“I had to learn to understand the Aussie accent,” said Fitzgerald laughing. “That was something I struggled with but the people I’ve met have been very helpful. I’m happy to provide whatever coach wants from me. If he wants points, I’ll score, if he wants me to rebound, then that’s what I’ll focus on. I’m keen to do whatever I’m asked to do.”

Fitzgerald is also joined in Australia by another former Patriot in Tenille Cann, who is also playing professionally in Australia for the Hume City Broncos and averaging 10.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.

“It is a great experience down here,” said Luke. “Everyone shows me so much love and the community and organization has really made me feel at home. They gave me a house and car and made it really easy for me to adjust to life over here although it did take me a while to get used to driving on the opposite side of the road! It was great to meet up with Tenille and better yet to see that she is doing well playing professionally here as well. She really helped me get used to a lot of things. She’s a pretty good tour guide as well.”

During Luke’s senior year at Cumberlands, Fitzgerald averaged 17.2 points per game which ranked him number four in the Mid-South Conference and #41 in NAIA Division I. Also, Luke pulled down 7.9 rebounds per game earning him second in the Mid-South Conference and 31st in NAIA. Fitzgerald ranked number two in the Mid-South Conference and sixth in the NAIA for field goal percentage. He shot 60.4% (201-333) from the field last season. While at Cumberland, Fitzgerald scored 1,498 points which ranks him number ten on the all-time career scoring list at Cumberlands. He also pulled down 776 rebounds for his career. After his senior year, Fitzgerald was awarded his second NAIA All-American honor; the first time he was named to the third team, and the second time as a first team All-American. Luke is one of only four Patriot players to be awarded two All-American honors.

“I’m still adjusting to new things each day, but I’m loving it along the way,” said Luke. “Cumberland is definitely known about here in Australia now, and this is just the beginning.

To follow Luke and his Dandenong Rangers, visit For more information on Patriot athletics, please visit

Is This Kentucky Basketball's Biggest Fan?

This True Blue Fan is in the running:

Video: Mixtape of Future Cardinal Wayne Blackshear

Here is a nice mixtape of Wayne Blackshear, who has committed to Louisville and Rick Pitino:

* Video from danpon1 's YouTube Channel

Brett Campbell Leaves Murray State for Austin Peay

Murray State assistant Brett Campbell has left the program to become an assistant for Dave Loos at Austin Peay.

Campbell previously worked for Loos from 1992-1999 before becoming the head coach at Tennessee-Martin.

He hopes the move will put him in a position to become the head coach at Austin Peay when Loos retires.


Sacramento Discovering What Kentucky Already Knows

"DeMarcus Cousins Got Skillz"

This video was posted on the message board. Here are a few direct quotes from Sacramento fans after watching:

"Definately see those "skillz" translating to the next level. Dude looked amazing out there"

"All I can say is wow. WOW."

"Wow. I love him."

"Watching this video you can really see how well he can handle the ball. Gets me even more excited to see him play"

"Another think to notice is that when he gets the ball in the post, there's no hesitation. He doesn't think about it, he simply reacts.."

Much like Kentucky, I think Sacramento is about to fall in love with Big Cuz...aka Boogie...aka DeMarcus.

By the way, I am now a Sacramento Kings fan.

Sound Familiar? Kentucky vs. Washington for Wroten Jr.

Have you heard this tale before?

A superstar player from the Northwest is trying to decide between the Kentucky and Washington as a college home.

That was Enes Kanter.

That was Terrence Jones.

Now, that is Tony Wroten, Jr.

Wroten says his final two are UW and UK and let's look at three varying opinions on the decision:
1) A neutral source:

Wroten currently plays for Garfield High in Seattle, but the situation seems to have Terrence Jones saga written all over it. Kentucky coach John Calipari has lured one recruit out of the Pacific Northwest and can certainly do it again.

Not that Wroten plans on pulling a Jones or anything in terms of going back and forth on a decision, as he told KJR:

"I’m not going to do UW dirty like that. Whenever I choose my school, I’m going to go with that decision. I ain’t going to put on the hat and then change the next day. I’m not like that."

Wroten is so talented that ESPNU has him as the No. 24-ranked recruit despite him missing his entire high school junior season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered from playing football.

Kentucky commits Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague have been recruiting Wroten while playing together over the summer, so maybe the Wildcats have an edge there.

2) A Washington point of view:

Well, Kentucky is pretty darn good at basketball. Maybe they suck at actually being "STUDENT-athletes" (notice the emphasis on student), but the last time I checked Kentucky made it to the Elite Eight. How is this possible? Because John Calipari is such a great coach! Oh the definition of coach in this matter would be: a sleazy man that will do anything to get his favorite recruits (see: recent allegations).

And even better? You can go play basketball with two other people that don't know the meaning of "commitment." Not that I am hating on either Kanter or Jones, but what was the point of committing to UW in the first place?

So in summary, the negatives: being part of a shady program, being coached by a shady coach, playing with players that don't know what the word "commitment" means, playing miles and miles away from home where absolutely no one cares about what you accomplished in high school, and having to compete for playing time with other five-star recruits.

The positives? ESPN coverage 24-7, a guaranteed winner, playing with some of the best talent in the country that will make you look way better than you actually are.

How about Washington?

Well besides, being your hometown school, it is also the same school that Garfield graduates Brandon Roy, Tre Simmons, and Will Conroy all have gone to. It is also the same school that launched the NBA career of your cousin, Nate Robinson. Brandon Roy and Nate Robinson are two very happy people in the NBA. How was that made possible? They were nurtured at Hec Ed by Lorenzo Romar and a loyal legion of Husky fans.

It's about tradition here up at the UW. We want to succeed with the hometown guys. UW basketball is on the map, now it's time for guys to keep the momentum up.

3) And my very simple point-of-view:

Wroten is a basketball player and Kentucky is the greatest basketball program in the history of college basketball.

The decision is pretty simple.

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