Saturday, July 24, 2010

Internet Rumor: Billy Gillispie to Nebraska as an Assistant


There are message board rumors (nothing more, nothing less) circulating this weekend that Nebraska is trying to bring former UK head coach Billy Gillispie on board as an assistant.

The rumor seems to have started Thursday on the Rivals.com message board.

Here is the original post:

Billy Gillispie to Nebraska?

There are rumors Nebraska is going to throw big money at him to become Assistant Head Coach. He is a good friend of Doc Sadler, who was his top assistant and successor at UTEP.

Of course, the very next post goes like this:

Hide the whiskey and lock your women and children in the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is absolutely a rumor, but it's something to read through on a lazy Saturday evening.

Here are some thoughts from the KUsports.com message board and also an Iowa State message board

Final Billy Kennedy Basketball Camp Coming Soon


The Murray State men’s basketball program has one more chance for kids to enjoy Billy Kennedy Basketball Camp this summer when the final camp is held July 26-29 at the Regional Special Events Center in Murray, Ky.

The camp is open to boys and girls ages 7-17.

The fun begins each day at 9 a.m. and finishes at 4 p.m., except for the final day of camp which concludes at noon.

Supervision will be provided at 8 a.m. for parents wishing to drop their children off before camps starts and through 5 p.m. for later pick up.

Lunch will be provided for $3 each day and campers may also bring their own lunch.

Each camper will receive a t-shirt, basketball and certificate of completion.

The cost for the camp is $170 per child.

“Our camp objective is to instruct young players in the fundamentals of the game, while cultivating a love and appreciation for basketball,” Kennedy said. “We offer an experienced staff of instructors and full schedule of activities. Each camper can count on an exciting and rewarding week of camp.”

For more information on the Billy Kennedy Basketball Camp, contact assistant coach Steve Prohm at (270) 809-6768 or steve.prohm@murraystate.edu. The MSU Basketball office can be reached by calling (270) 809-6804.

You can also find more information about MSU camps online at GoRacers.com

Source: Murray State

Friday, July 23, 2010

Using Basketball to Help Flood Victims in Pikeville

Today was a special day for AllKyHoops.com. Thanks to a group effort from my wife and several coaches and staffers, I spent the day on the road to Pikeville, where I delivered food, water and clothes to victims of the recent flooding disaster.

Inspired by videos and images on Facebook, my wife wanted to help the flood victims. She mentioned her feelings to me and I contacted a few "basketball friends" for assistance.

Here are some pictures from the day:



Coach Troy Thomas of West Jessamine High School displays two shopping carts filled with bottled water and groceries that we purchased this morning. Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall contributed to the grocery fund.

Morehead State athletic director Brian Hutchinson donated many clothing items, as well.



Pikeville College head coach Kelly Wells and assistant Tigh Compton deliver a box of clothes to The Zebulon Church of Christ in Pikeville.

Pikeville assistant Brett Rector also helped out.



After delivering goods, Coach Wells and his staff took me on a tour of some of the most devastated areas in Pike County. The damage was much worse than I anticipated.



Believe it or not, this is debris piled on top of a railroad track bridge.



Most people are waiting for FEMA disaster relief. Here is one sign. Another read, "STILL waiting on FEMA"

I would like to ask all readers to say a prayer for our friends and families in Pike County. There were so many lives altered by the flood.

I would also like to send a special thank you out to my wife Amanda, who inspired today and the folks at The Zebulon Church of Christ who are working tirelessly to assist those in need.

A video view of the flooding:


UK Recruit Quincy Miller Wants to be a Hated Rival in College


Quincy Miller, a 2011 star that is being recruited by both Kentucky and Louisville, says he wants to be the ultimate rival in college - the guy that everyone hates.

Here is an excerpt from SportingNews.com:

Quincy Miller has a lot of goals in basketball, and the kind of talent that can make just about everyone of them come true. There is one, though, that he almost certainly will achieve shortly after taking the floor for the first time as a collegian.

"Once I get in college, I definitely want to be a rival," Miller said. "I want to be somebody that everybody hates."

Oh, that's coming.

If he chooses Kentucky, he'll be the biggest villain in Louisville since, well, John Calipari. If he chooses Syracuse, he'll be as popular in Connecticut as the letters N-C-A-A.

Complete Article

Rick Pitino Meets Group of Returning Soldiers


Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was present to welcome a group of American soldiers back home last week.

Here is an excerpt from FortGordonSignal.com:

“It was a very surreal experience,” said Pitino, who had been in North Augusta looking for new talent in last week’s Nike Peach Jam, the final event of the Elite Youth Basketball League.

He was returning to Louisville when he was asked to speak to the returning troops on their plane.

“It’s one thing to read about them, pray for them, but welcoming them back is rewarding,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Foley, Fort Gordon’s commanding general and Chief of Signal at the time, spotted Pitino and asked him to say a few words.

While he has coached champions, he said “there was nothing quite as exciting as welcoming them back.”

Pitino shook the hands of all the returning Soldiers. “It was just so rewarding to see their happy faces,” he said.


Complete Article

Impressions from Team USA Scrimmage


John Schuhmann of Hang Time Blog has some thoughts on Team USA's Thursday scrimmage.

Here is an excerpt:

First, here are the lineups we saw:
1. Rajon Rondo, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom
2. Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Durant, Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace
3. Westbrook, O.J. Mayo, Durant, Jeff Green, JaVale McGee
4. Westbrook, Mayo, Durant, Love, McGee
So you can tell a few things just from that.

First, Durant is The Man on this team. And afterward, in answering a question about the training process, coach Mike Krzyzewski talked about players getting used to three or four-minute stints in the lineup, but then talked about Durant getting used to 10-minute stints. Clearly, the league’s leading scorer is going to carry a big load on Team USA.

Second impression from the lineups (the first two, specifically) is that guys like Odom and Wallace are really going to play the five.

Don’t worry about guys who didn’t play. Again, this was just the last scrimmage of the day. Although Tyreke Evans sat out the entire day with a sore ankle and Danny Granger sat out the scrimmage portion with a bruised shin. Both may be back in action tomorrow.

Durant said afterward that he’s been holding back a little offensively, but for that last 10 minutes, the staff told him to be more aggressive. And he clearly was, scoring 14 of his team’s 26 points, and also dishing out two assists.

Six of the points came on catch-and-shoot threes. Two came on a pull-up, foul-line jumper off a curl screen. And the other six came at the free throw line after aggressive drives into the paint.


Complete Article

Thursday, July 22, 2010

UK Has to be Considered a Good Bet to Land Anthony Davis


ZagsBlog.com says that Kentucky has to be considered a good bet to land 2011 superstar Anthony Davis.

Here is an excerpt:

Kentucky already has commitments from the No. 1 and No. 5 players in the Class of 2011 in Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague.

Could John Calipari add No. 8 Anthony Davis as well?

“I gotta get on him, huh?” Gilchrist said last week at the Peach Jam. “ASAP, huh?”

Rivals currently ranks the 6-foot-10, 195-pound Davis No. 8 in the class, but he is in the conversation for No. 1 after the way he’s played this summer.

The latest word from the Davis camp is that he planned to visit his top three schools — Kentucky, Syracuse and Ohio State — before potentially taking other visits.

Complete Article

One thing is for certain: Kentucky's 2011 class could be a recruiting class of epic proportions.

Memphis Basketball Self-Reports NCAA Violation


The University of Memphis has self-reported an NCAA violation as the result of head coach Josh Pastner's visit to Minnesota last week.

The violation is minor in nature and is considered a "secondary violation", but it is important to note that the Memphis program is already on NCAA probation.

The violation occurred when Pastner stopped by the Howard Pulley Pro-Am League to watch Trevor Mbakwe play. Mbakwe is seeking a transfer from Tubby Smith's Minnesota program and Memphis is a potential destination.

Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith pointed out that the visit was inappropriate according to NCAA rules, but stated that it was likely just a misunderstanding.
Here is an excerpt from MyFoxMemphis.com:

Gophers head coach Tubby Smith told a Minnesota Newspaper reporter that Pastner broke an NCAA rule by being there but feels it was a misunderstanding. Pastner, who would not comment, was reportedly cleared to attend the game by Memphis Compliance Officer Nicole Green.

"I think they probably misunderstood what the rules were," Smith said. "It might have been miscommunication or something. I don't know."

Lynn Parkes, associate athletics director for Memphis wrote Wednesday in an e-mail to the Minnesota Pioneer Press, "We have submitted a report of this to both the NCAA and C-USA offices."

Mbakwe has already made an official visit to Memphis and continues to be on the Tigers' radar if he is not convicted of the charges that he faces in court later this summer.


Complete Article

Western Kentucky to Hold Hilltopper Hoops Skills Academy


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The WKU men's basketball team will be holding "Hilltopper Hoops Skills Academy" each weekend in August at E.A. Diddle Arena, home of Hilltopper basketball.

The sessions of the academy are focused on individual instruction with an emphasis on skill development such as ball handling, passing and shooting. Training sessions will be held each Saturday and Sunday in August from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

For more information, including a registration form for the academy, please download the flyer at the bottom of the page.

Source: WKU

Ex-Colonel Josh Taylor is Eyeing a Pro Career


Former Eastern Kentucky forward Josh Taylor is looking to start his career as a professional basketball player.

He recently participated in the Court Side Pro Camp at UNLV and signed with a pro agent.
He has not signed with a team yet, but many teams have contacted his agent and he feels certain that an offer is on the horizon.

Excerpt of article from YourSouthHills.com:

Taylor participated in the Court Side Pro Camp, held at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, last week.

The camp is a showcase for some of the top players in the country. Scouts and coaches from professional leagues, primarily those in Europe, were on hand to search for new talent.

"It was a good time, I know that," Taylor said. "I played well out there. A bunch of teams contacted my agent."

While he has not been offered a contract as of this writing, Taylor was confident he will be offered one by a European team within "a couple of weeks."

Taylor was approached by several agents after his college playing days were done, but ultimately chose to sign with Court Side and agent Jan Loundenberg.


Complete Article

Video: Rajon Rondo Interview at Team USA Minicamp

Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo gives an interview (and dribbles 1,000 times without making a mistake) before Day 2 of Team USA's minicamp in Las Vegas:



* Video from bigmckredsarmy 's YouTube channel

Murray State Basketball Releases 2010-11 Schedule


The Murray State Men’s Basketball program released its 2010-11 schedule featuring 16 regular-season games at the Regional Special Events Center, which includes games against Western Kentucky and East Tennessee State. The Racers are also part of the prestigious 76 Classic during Thanksgiving week.

“We’re excited about this season’s schedule,” MSU Head Coach Billy Kennedy said. “The fact that we have eight returning players gives us a lot of confidence as we get ready for the 2010-11 season. This is a tough schedule, it doesn’t have any easy D-I teams on it.”

The Racers have one of the best home-court advantages in all of college basketball and will start the 2010-11 season with a 19-game winning streak at home, the third-best in the nation. MSU starts its 13th season of hoops in the RSEC with an all-time winning percentage of .853 (146-25).
Release from MSU

Complete Schedule:

11/9/2010 Freed-Hardeman Murray, Ky. H
11/15/2010 East Tennessee State Murray, Ky. H
11/17/2010 Mississippi A
11/20/2010 Reinhardt Murray, Ky. H

76 Classic
11/25-28/2010 TBA Anaheim, Calif. N
11/26/2010 TBA N
11/28/2010 TBA Anaheim, Calif. N

12/2/2010 Eastern Kentucky Richmond, Ky. A
12/4/2010 Morehead State Morehead, Ky. A
12/11/2010 Chattanooga A
12/15/2010 Bethel Murray, Ky. H
12/18/2010 Western Kentucky Murray, Ky. H
12/21/2010 UT Martin Martin, Tenn. A
12/30/2010 SIU Edwardsville Murray, Ky. H
1/6/2011 Tennessee State Murray, Ky. H
1/8/2011 Austin Peay Murray, Ky. H
1/13/2011 Jacksonville State Jacksonville, Ala. A
1/15/2011 Tennessee Tech Cookeville, Tenn. A
1/20/2011 Eastern Illinois Murray, Ky. H
1/22/2011 Southeast Missouri Murray, Ky. H
1/26/2011 SIU Edwardsville Edwardsville, Ill. A
1/29/2011 UT Martin Murray, Ky. H
2/3/2011 Tennessee State Nashville, Tenn. A
2/5/2011 Austin Peay Clarksville, Tenn. A
2/7/2011 Eastern Illinois Charleston, Ill. A
2/10/2011 Tennessee Tech Murray, Ky. H
2/12/2011 Jacksonville State Murray, Ky. H
2/16/2011 Southeast Missouri Cape Girardeau, Mo. A

ESPN BracketBusters
2/19/2011 TBA Murray, Ky. H

2/24/2011 Morehead State Murray, Ky. H
2/26/2011 Eastern Kentucky Murray, Ky. H

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament
3/2/2011 1st Round Nashville, Tenn. N
3/3/2011 2nd Round Nashville, Tenn. N
3/4/2011 Semifinals N
3/5/2011 Championship Nashville, Tenn. N

Tony Wroten Energized After Gold Medal Experience


Kentucky 2011 recruit Tony Wroten had a wonderful experience with the gold-medal winning USA U17 team this summer.

He discussed his summer travels and more with The Seattle Times.

Here is an excerpt:

"It finally hit me when we won it," said Wroten, who averaged 8.4 points. "We were on the podium during our anthem. That's when it hit me. It's really great that we had the chance to win it and were the first ones to win it."

Another trip highlight? Wroten discovered a gummy bear that now ranks as one of his favorite candies. He has no idea when he'll return to Germany.

"It was great while it lasted," he said. "(Next time), hopefully, I'm in the NBA doing it in the World Championships like LeBron and them."

First, though, Wroten still has one more high-school season to play and a big decision to make — where he plans to play in college.

He said Washington and Kentucky are still the leaders at this point and that he could make the decision any time.

"You never know," he said. "It could be tomorrow or it could be next year on signing day. Stay tuned."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Samardo Samuels is a Cleveland Cavalier


Former Louisville big man Samardo Samuels, an undrafted free agent rookie, has agreed in principle to a contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Brian Windhorst, the Cavaliers beat writer, reported the agreement on Twitter and added that he is likely to make the team.

Here are some posts from Windhorst on Twitter:

PDcavsinsider #Cavs have agreed in principle with rookie free agent power forward Samardo Samuels on a multi-year deal, agent David Bauman confirms

PDcavsinsider Out of Louisville, Samuels is a 6-9 low post player who impressed with Chicago Bulls summer league team in Vegas.

PDcavsinsider Deal has partial guarantee in the first year, which means Samuels is likely to make the team. Cavs liked him before draft, didn't have pick

My Thoughts: Congratulations to Samuels. It has been stated numerous times that he should have stayed in college, but he felt the need to move on in an attempt to better his family. Now, he will have that opportunity and that deserves praise.

Best wishes to Samuels...

Tubby Smith: Josh Pastner of Memphis Broke the Rules


Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith has gone on record as stating that Memphis head coach Josh Pastner broke an NCAA rule by watching University of Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe at a non-certified event earlier this month.

Here is an excerptfrom PioneerPress.com:

Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner broke an NCAA rule by watching University of Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe at a non-certified event earlier this month in St. Paul, Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith told the Pioneer Press.

Pastner traveled to the Twin Cities to follow his recruiting targets at the Best Buy Summer Classic in Bloomington, which is an NCAA-certified event. But he also stopped by the Howard Pulley Pro-Am League in St. Paul on July 13 to watch Mbakwe, a junior who is considering transferring to Memphis or Georgia Tech.

"I think they probably misunderstood what the rules were," Smith said Tuesday. "It might have been miscommunication or something. I don't know."

Lynn Parkes, associate athletics director for Memphis, a Conference USA school, wrote Wednesday in an e-mail to the Pioneer Press, "We have submitted a report of this to both the NCAA and C-USA offices."

Gophers compliance director J.T. Bruett said Wednesday that the NCAA allows college players to participate in the Pulley summer league, but it is not a certified event, meaning college coaches can't go there and recruit players.

Mbakwe was suspended all of last season while awaiting trial on a felony assault charge in Miami. He has asked Minnesota to release him from his scholarship if the NCAA grants him a waiver allowing him to play elsewhere next season. Transfers normally need to sit out a year. Mbakwe has not received word on his request.

Complete Article

John Wall's Summer League Games Earn High Ratings


The Washington Wizards NBA Summer League games, featuring former Kentucky star John Wall, actually drew a higher television rating than the Washington Wizards regular season games two years ago.

Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post:

The five Summer League games on CSN averaged a 0.83 household rating in the D.C. market, equal to nearly 20,000 households, according to Nielsen numbers. It doesn’t sound like much, but bear in mind that the Nats last season averaged a 0.60 rating on MASN and MASN2. Hell, bear in mind that the Wizards averaged a 0.79 rating on CSN in 2008-2009, and a 1.16 last season. So yes, John Wall’s Summer Leaguers outdrew the actual NBA Washington Wizards from two seasons ago, and the actual Washington Nationals from last year.

Complete Article

Kentucky Still Dominating College Basketball Headlines

Here is a screenshot of ESPN.com right now:



And the article:

Kentucky Wildcats

2009-10: 35-3 (NCAA tournament - Elite Eight)

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

You've probably heard that adage before. And at first glance you can also see how it applies to Kentucky's men's basketball program under John Calipari. Last season, Coach Cal revitalized the Wildcats by bringing in a four-pack of fresh faces that started as wide-eyed rooks and finished as first-round NBA draft picks.

Flash forward to this fall and, lookee here, another wave of wunderkinds is rolling into Lexington. With the No. 1-ranked recruiting class, Kentucky is reloaded for another NCAA tournament charge. For all the similarities from a season ago, however, there are crucial differences between the two rosters. And even Calipari believes that anyone reflexively putting the Cats on the fast track to the Final Four may want to consider a few factors first.

Link to Insider Article (Subscription)

James Jackson Promoted to Top Assistant at KWC


James Jackson, a part-time assistant men's basketball coach for Kentucky Wesleyan College for the past season, has been promoted to the top assistant's position, according to Panther head coach Todd Lee.

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

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

Jackson, a native of Lincoln County, Ky., came to KWC last August from the University of Louisville where he was a member of Rick Pitino's staff for the two seasons.

Prior to Louisville, Jackson spent one season as a student assistant at Berea College and two seasons as an assistant at Lincoln County High School. He graduated from Berea in 2007 with a political science degree.

His father Jeff , a head boys coach at Lincoln County High School in Stanford, was inducted into the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches (KABC) Court of Honor this past March in Lexington at the state "Sweet Sixteen" tournament.

Jackson replaces Rafael Franco, who returned to his native country San Palo, Brazil to become a head coach.

Source: Kentucky Wesleyan

John Allen Added to EKU Athletics Hall of Fame


RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University Athletics Hall of Fame 2010 induction class features 13 distinguished individuals. The class will be enshrined in the historic Keen Johnson Building on Friday, October 8.

The 2010 induction class includes: John Allen (men’s basketball); Steve Bird (football); Angela Boykins (volleyball); Don Feltner (baseball); Ken Glover (men’s track & field); Jaree Goodin (women’s basketball); Fred Harvey (football); Larry Joe Inman (women’s basketball coach); Roosevelt Kelly (football); Deanne Madden-Scanlon (volleyball); Jamie Parker (Welt) (softball); Ron Pinsenschaum (baseball); Tuck Woolum (football).

Friday’s activities begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception in Walnut Hall, followed by a 6:30 p.m. dinner in the Keen Johnson ballroom. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. The group will also be recognized just prior to the Colonels’ football game against Eastern Illinois at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 9.

Tickets for the dinner and ceremony are $25 and can be purchased by calling the Colonel Club office, 859-622-2046. The deadline for registration is Friday, October 1. Tickets will not be sold at the event.

For more information on the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame, please contact Karl Park, Executive Director of the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame, 859-200-6686 or karl.park@eku.edu

Source: EKUSports.com

2011 Power Forward Kyle Wiltjer Lists Kentucky


The Kentucky Wildcats find themselves involved in the recruitment of another talented prospect from the Great Northwest.

Having already managed to bring Terrence Jones, Kenny Payne and Enes Kanter to Lexington, Kentucky is now listed by 6-9 power forward Kyle Wiltjer.

Wiltjer ranks No. 22 on the Rivals150 List for 2011 and is the No. 4 power forward in the class.

Excerpt from ZagsBlog.com article:

As far as schools, the No. 4 power forward in the nation is looking at a ton of high-academic programs such as Kansas, Gonzaga, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, USC, Stanford, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Texas.

“Pretty much everyone’s equal right now,” he said.

Wiltjer said he plans to narrow his list after the July evaluation period.

Ashley, an Oakland native, is the No. 1 power forward in the Class of 2012 and lists several Pac-12 schools.

“I have offers from UCLA, Cal, Arizona, Washington and Stanford,” he said.

“I can’t say I have any favorites right now.”


Complete Article

Wiltjer in action:

Eloy Vargas Will Not Join Kentucky for Canada Trip



Kentucky recruit Eloy Vargas will not be joining the Wildcat team for Canada exhibition trip.

The big man from Miami-Dade Community College will reportedly be finishing up some academic work. He will not be arriving in Lexington until his course work is satisfied.

Vargas is a 6-11 center that started his college career at the University of Florida before transferring to Miami-Dade.

Source

Evan's Nets Double-Double in Portugal's Loss to Israel


Former Kentucky Wildcat Heshimu Evans came up big, but Portugal was unable to hold off Israel in last night's international friendly.
Portugal split the two-game exhibition series with Israel. Last night's 100-86 loss came on the heels of an 85-76 victory the previous night.

Last night, Evans led all scorers with 31 points and added 10 rebounds. He has established himself as the leader of the Portuguese national team.

Source: Eurobasket.com

Bellarmine to Sponsor Blood Drive Tomorrow


LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Bellarmine University is sponsoring a blood drive on Thursday, July 22 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Knights Hall to benefit Kris Johnson, stepfather of Bellarmine basketball player Braydon Hobbs and husband of Bellarmine employee Michelle Johnson.

Kris Johnson was badly injured recently in a work-related accident and is facing an arduous recovery period which will probably include multiple surgeries. As a result, he has needed and will continue to need blood.

All blood donations given at Bellarmine on Thursday—regardless of blood type—will benefit the American Red Cross who supplies local hospitals with the blood they need when patients such as Kris need it. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

“The need for blood doesn’t take a day off,” said Bellarmine Men’s Basketball Coach Scott Davenport, who is organizing Bellarmine’s blood drive. “Kris’s need for blood is very serious, and blood donations are typically down in summer months due to vacations, no schools in session, etc.”

Davenport added that nine team and staff members have already donated blood at a blood drive that was sponsored by the Governor’s Scholars Program at Bellarmine.

“Kris has made a life of helping others,” Davenport said, “the stories at the hospital were amazing. I am asking for everyone who can, to help a great member of the BU family.”

To schedule a donation, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543).

Source: Bellarmine

Pair of Ex-Wildcats to Speak at Backyard Games Event


A pair of former Kentucky stars will speak at a Backyard Games of America Gala on Saturday, August 7 in Henderson, Kentucky.

Here is an excerpt of Beth Smith's article at CourierPress.com:

Special guests will include Tony Delk, former professional basketball player and team leader of the 1996 University of Kentucky Wildcats. The professional teams Delk played for include the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks.

Also speaking that night is another former professional basketball player and former Kentucky Wildcats player,
Walter McCarty.

McCarty played professional ball for the Los Angeles Clippers, the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks.

He recently accepted an assistant coaching job with the Indiana Pacers.

Complete Article

Those wishing to attend the semi-formal, Aug. 7 gala can purchase tickets until July 31 by calling Butler at 316-5536 or by visiting http://www.backyardgamesofamerica.com/.

The price of admission is $62.50. Tickets must be purchased in advance. No admittance is permitted without a ticket.

Samardo Samuels Will Likely Find an NBA Roster



Dimemag.com feels that former Louisville big man Samardo Samuels will find an NBA roster home this season.

The article profiles ten undrafted players "who will be on NBA rosters this fall."

Here is an excerpt:

SAMARDO SAMUELS Samuels should have stayed at Louisville for another season, but he left early and is fighting for a spot like the rest of these guys. He has a ton of potential and ability, and averaged 12.6 points (57 percent shooting) and 7.4 rebounds for the Bulls. Despite some attitude issues, teams are always willing to take a risk on big guys with talent like Samuels.

Complete Article

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

John Wall Had One of the Top Dunks in the Summer League

Here is a video of the top dunks from NBA Summer League (Hint: Mr. Wall makes an appearance at the 0:45 mark):

Yahoo! Sports: Winners and Losers from NBA Summer League


Yahoo! Sports has named the winners and losers from NBA Summer League. Several former Kentucky and Louisville players earned a mention.

Western Kentucky's Jeremy Evans was also mentioned as an intriguing prospect.

Here are some excerpts:

WINNER: John Wall

Wall dominated the Las Vegas summer league, averaging 23.5 points and 7.8 assists – both highs for the league – in four games. The Wizards rookie needs to work on his jump shot (he missed all but one of his eight 3-point attempts) and he also committed an average of 5.2 turnovers. Even so, Wall showed off not only his own scoring prowess, but also the ability to make his teammates better.

He displayed leadership and accepted coaching – both important traits for someone who will be the centerpiece of the Wizards’ rebuilding.

WINNER: Sacramento Kings

Rookie center DeMarcus Cousins played well inside and out. He hit the midrange shot, passed well and already commanded double-teams.

The No. 5 overall pick also quieted questions about his maturity. He accepted constructive criticism and showed some leadership on Sacramento’s summer league team.

WINNER: The unheralded

Forwards Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, taken by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round, both showed promise. The Boston Celtics landed a power forward in the second round who could help them immediately off the bench: Luke Harangody averaged 16.6 points and made nine of his 18 3-pointers.

Other intriguing lesser-known summer league players included Utah forward Jeremy Evans, sharpshooting Dallas guard Jeremy Lin, Cleveland point guard Pooh Jeter and Boston guard Jaycee Carroll. Lin went undrafted and Jeter and Carroll have both been playing overseas.

Western Kentucky Team and Coaches Make Special Visit


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The Western Kentucky University men's basketball team and coaching staff spent Tuesday morning at Village Manor Senior Living Community in Bowling Green, meeting and eating breakfast with the residents.

The team spent over an hour at Village Manor, sharing a breakfast in the dining room and getting to know the lifelong Hilltopper fans who reside in the community.

"Our residents have been wanting to do this for a long time," Village Manor Development Associate Denise Mitchell said. "It is just fantastic and couldn't have worked out better. Everyone will be talking about this morning for the next month."

One highlight involved meeting Teddy Lou Bryant, Western Kentucky University's first homecoming queen. She was named queen in 1949.

Photo album from trip to Village Manor Senior Living Community

Source: WKUSports.com

Video: "Qtv" with 2011 Recruit Quincy Miller



* Video from ONEent 's YouTube Channel

Former Hilltopper A.J. Slaughter Signs in Italy


Former Western Kentucky point guard A.J. Slaughter has signed a contract with Angelico Biella in Italy's top-level Serie A league.

Slaughter averaged 17.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists his senior seasons in Bowling Green.

He was impressive at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, an NBA pre-draft event, and was picked up by the Detroit Pistons for the Las Vegas Summer League.

In 5 summer league games, Slaughter averaged 3.6 points in only 9.8 minutes of action.

John Wall Named to SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll



Former Kentucky star John Wall has been named to the Southeastern Conference Freshmen Academic Honor Roll.

To be included on the Honor Roll, each student-athlete must 1) have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above at the nominating institution; 2) be on scholarship or a letter winner; 3) have completed 24 semester hours of non-remedial credit at the nominating institution; and 4) have been a member of the varsity team for the sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.

Complete List of 2010 SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll (.pdf)

Heshimu Evans Leads Portugal to Win Over Israel



Former Kentucky forward Heshimu Evans, who has starred for Portugal this summer, led his squad to an 85-76 win over Israel in yesterday's international friendly.

Evans totalled 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists to led the way for Portugal. The former Wildcat took over in crunch time to seal the victory for his country.

It was the first win for Portugal this summer and the team is continually improving with each international appearance.

Source: Eurobasket.com

Allen Edwards Has First Media Availability at WKU


New Western Kentucky assistant Allen Edwards had his first media availability yesterday afternoon.

Nick Baumgardner of the Bowling Green Daily News WKU sports blog has some excerpts of Edwards' comments:

“I’m just extremely excited to have the opportunity to be a part of coach (Ken) McDonald’s staff. I’ve seen this program for a while from a far being a few miles down the road and I see great potential here with the tradition. I’ve had an opportunity to get to know the rest of the staff and some of the players, I’m excited to be here.

“This is something I pursued and pursued it greatly. I thought it was a great fit. I’ve seen this tradition and the winning around here from afar. Not only under coach McDonald but under coach (Darrin) Horn, coach (Ralph) Willard, coach (Dennis) Felton and even coach Clem (Haskins). I tell guys all the time that there are jobs that open up in basketball every year, and I wasn’t always one of those guys that went after every opportunity, but this one was a chance that I really pushed for and felt like it would be a good fit.”

“Obviously I played college basketball in the state of Kentucky, and with this program being in the Sun Belt and us going down and playing Florida International and Florida Atlantic every year – it gives me a chance to go recruit near Miami where I played high school basketball. I feel that here in Kentucky and there in Florida, I can do a very good job in the recruiting game.”

“I just want to bring help wherever I can. The tradition around here speaks for itself, but I want to just help continue it. I come from winning. I’ve been around winning pretty much my whole life, so whatever it is coach McDonald and this staff want me to do – I’m all in.”

Click here for more

Monday, July 19, 2010

Source: Tubby Smith Wants Chane Behanan at Minnesota


Former Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith is hot on the trail of Bowling Green's Chane Behanan.

A good source says tonight that Smith has been recruiting Behanan hard lately and has stated that "Minnesota has a spot for Chane Behanan." Smith feels that Behanan would be a great player for the Golden Gophers and he would love to bring the 2011 big man on board.

Behanan has also added Georgetown University, North Carolina and Florida State as high-major schools that are now actively recruiting him.

The Bowling Green senior-to-be is now ranked No. 24 nationally and is considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com.

University of Kentucky Adds Six to Athletic Hall of Fame


The University of Kentucky announced six 2010 inductees into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame.

The class includes:

- Mike Casey (men’s basketball)
- Steve Flesch (men’s golf)
- Nancy Napolski Johnson (rifle)
- Billy Ray Lickert (men’s basketball)
- Valerie McGovern Young (cross country, track and field)
- Tayshaun Prince (men’s basketball)

Here are excerpts from UKAthletics.com about Casey and Prince:

Mike Casey (1968-69, 71) was a three-time first-team All-SEC (1968, 1969 and 1971) selection in men’s basketball. He finished his career with 1,535 points, currently ranking 13th all-time on UK’s illustrious list of top scorers. Casey averaged 17.0 points or more in all three seasons with the Wildcats, including a team-high 20.0 in his first year on the varsity team. The former guard led the team in assists during the 1968-69 season with 129 assists, in addition to leading the team in field-goal percentage (.489) and free-throw percentage (.823) during the 1967-68 season. Casey helped UK win three SEC championships, earn an Elite Eight appearance and also earned Academic All-America and All-SEC honors in 1971. He was named Kentucky’s High School Mr. Basketball in 1966 and was drafted in the eighth round (130th overall) in the 1970 NBA Draft by Chicago.

Tayshaun Prince (1999-02) was a two-time men’s basketball Associated Press All-American, garnering second-team honors in 2001 and third-team honors in 2002. Prince was named the SEC Player of the Year in the 2000-01 season by both the AP and the league’s coaches and was a three-time All-SEC selection (2000, 2001 and 2002). He ranks eighth on UK’s all-time scoring list with 1,775 points and third on UK’s all-time 3-point field goals made list with 204. Prince helped lead the Wildcats to three Sweet 16 appearances (1999, 2001 and 2002) and an Elite Eight appearance (1999). He was drafted in the first round (23rd overall) in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. Prince helped lead Detroit to the 2004 NBA Championship and was named to the NBA’s 2005 All-Defensive second team. He was also a member of the 2008 gold-medal Olympic team.

Former Wildcat Patterson Journals About Summer League


Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson has added the fourth installment to his Sports Illustrated diary.

Today, he writes about his NBA Summer League experience in Las Vegas.

Here is an excerpt:

We ended up going 3-2 in Summer League play, which is OK, but we really wanted to go undefeated. Fans probably think we don't care about winning or losing in Summer League games, but our coaching staff really emphasized to us the importance of winning, even in what seems like a few meaningless games.

I don't know how many of the guys on the Summer League team will be with us when the season starts, but I really hope [guard] Ishmael Smith from Wake Forest makes the squad. He put on some great performances and he's a great guy to have around [Smith had double-doubles in his last two games, while averaging 7.8 points on 58.1 percent shooting and a team-high 4.8 assists in Vegas.]

Early last week I signed my rookie contract. Even though I knew it was more of a formality, it was still an unbelievable feeling. It ranks right up there with being drafted because it's like the team, the city and the people were accepting me. When you put your name on that dotted line, it's settled. You're signing your life to a team, and committing to being a part of something bigger than yourself.

I'm headed back to Lexington for a few days to see everyone from Kentucky before I take a much-needed vacation in Florida. It's been a crazy past few months, so I'm going to hit the beach and try to relax.

When I get back to Houston, I'm throwing out the first pitch at an Astros game and attending an MLS exhibition game between the Dynamo and Manchester United. You already know I'm a big soccer fan, and just like I predicted, Spain won the World Cup. Of course, I wanted the U.S. to win, but I said before the start of the Cup that Spain was going to win, and I was right.

Complete Article

Samardo Samuels Shows Some Promise in Las Vegas



Former Louisville big man Samardo Samuels, who abruptly and surprisingly ended his Cardinal career early, showed some promising signs in the NBA Summer League.

Samuels highlighted his summer with 17 points and 7 rebounds against the Sacramento Kings and star rookie DeMarcus Cousins.

In 5 games this summer, Samuels averaged 12.6 points and 7.4 rebounds. He also shot 57.1% from the field.

Here are some highlights:


Unbelievable Video of Shagari Alleyne Freestylin' on the Mic

"Big 'Gari old school like Atari..."

Former Kentucky big man Shagari Alleyne decides to drop a freestyle rap at a party:

Tyndall Promotes Matt Grady to Associate Head Coach


MOREHEAD, Ky.— Morehead State men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall announced Monday that he has promoted Matt Grady to the position of associate head coach.

“Matt is very deserving of this promotion. He is a very hard working, loyal individual that has a real passion for working with young people,” Tyndall said. “Matt takes a great deal of pride in his work and brings a tremendous energy level to the practice floor and office each and every day.”

Grady joined the MSU basketball program in July of 2009 and was a key factor in the Eagles success last season. He assists with all aspects of the program, including recruiting, scouting and game planning.

“I’m extremely excited and honored by my promotion to associate head coach,” Grady said. “I greatly appreciate the opportunity and confidence that coach Tyndall has shown in me. I am going to continue to work hard every day to help coach Tyndall maintain the overall success that Morehead State University has had over the last few years.”

Grady joined Morehead State with experience at the University of Louisville, the University of Cincinnati, New Mexico State, Murray State, and St. Joseph's.

He was most recently an administrative assistant on Rick Pitino's staff at Louisville. He also worked with Pitino at U of L as a program assistant in Pitino's first two years at the school in 2001-03. The Cardinals won 44 games during that span.

Prior to his role in Louisville, Grady was an assistant coach at New Mexico State. He helped guide the Aggies to a 21-14 record in 2007-08.

Grady was the Director of Basketball Operations at Cincinnati with Mick Cronin in 2006-07 and also served under Cronin for three seasons prior to that at Murray State. At Murray State, Grady served as the team academic liaison and played a key role in all aspects of on-the-floor coaching for a Racer program that produced a three-year record of 69-23.

He began his coaching career with Phil Martelli at St. Joseph's University as a student assistant. He also played on the junior varsity squad at St. Joe's and earned his bachelor's degree in finance in 2001.

Grady is a native of Springfield, N.J., where he played alongside former Duke All-American and Chicago Bulls' star Jay Williams at St. Joseph's High School. Along with Williams, he also teamed with Golden State Warriors' standout Al Harrington when the two played for the New Jersey Roadrunners AAU club.

Source: MSUEagles.com

76ers Head Coach Doug Collins Discusses Jodie Meeks

Philadelphia head coach Doug Collins discusses former Kentucky star Jodie Meeks:



* Video from MassCastTV 's YouTube Channel

Italian Club Interested in Signing Gerald Fitch


The Hoops Market blog is citing the Italian media as saying that Virtus Bologna has interest in signing former Kentucky guard Gerald Fitch.

Fitch, who starred as Fuenlabrada in Spain last season, is under contract and a deal would have to be worked between the two clubs.

Here is an excerpt:

The 27-year-old American guard played last season for Baloncesto Fuenlabrada, averaging 17.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. The Spanish team signed Fitch last season to a two-year contract, so Virtus would have to negociate with Fuenlabrada to sign Fitch, with experience in Italy after playing for Pallacanestro Cantù in the 2007-08 season.

Rod Strickland to Play in Jersey Shore Basketball League


Rod Strickland, a former NBA player and member of Kentucky's basketball staff, will join some other big names in the Jersey Short Basketball League (JSBL).

The JSBL is an NCAA and NBA sanctioned league where basketball pros from college, the NBA and overseas leagues come to practice and show off their basketball skills on a high school basketball court.

Games will be played from today through Thursday.

Some names in this year's event include Strickland, Bobby Hurley, Andre Miller, J.R. Smth, Jason Thompson, Tyquan Dean, Blake Hamilton and Marcus Tony El.


Photo: CoachCal.com

Former Cards Taquan Dean, Reece Gaines to Reunite in Italy


Former Louisville Cardinals Taquan Dean and Reece Gaines are set to reunite in Italy.

Dean and Gaines were U of L teammates during the 2003-03 season. Now, they will be teammates once again as both will play for Angelico Biella in Italy's top-level Serie A league.

Here's an excerpt from a BDA Sports International article:

Assistant coach Luca Bechi said the team had been following Dean since his first appearances in NBA pre-draft camps and that he quickly became its first priority.

“He’s a player with great potential,” Bechi said. “He’s a great three-point-shooting guard who is very strong physically and can defend on the perimeter. It will take him some time to adjust, but he has shown great versatility in playing for coach Pitino.”

Gaines bounced from Orlando to Houston to Milwaukee after being drafted in the first round by the Orlando Magic in 2003 — but never was able to get much playing time in the NBA. Bechi expects that to change in Italy. “He’s a very athletic player who is very solid defensively; he brings us many things,” Bechi said. “…. He has a great pedigree and first-level talent, but he will have to shake off some years of rust from inactivity in the NBA. “We have great expectations for him, that he can become one of the best players in Europe. And we’re very satisfied to have reunited Gaines and Dean, and we’re confident that their acquaintance will help them and our team.”

Rajon Rondo Still Unsure About Joining National Team


Will former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo be at practice today for the USA Basketball National Team?

As of last night, he was still undecided according to Tim Povtak of NBA Fanhouse. Here is a quote from Rondo:

"I might not know until later tonight,'' Rondo told FanHouse late Sunday afternoon. "I don't have a plane ticket yet, but I might still get one.''

He ended with:

"I don't know what I'm going to do yet,'' he said, then ended the interview by answering his cell phone.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wall, Cousins Collect Top Honors After Vegas Performances


Former Kentucky stars John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins have collected honors following their impressive performances at the Las Vegas Summer League.

Wall was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player while Cousins was named the T-Mobile Rookie of the Month.

Former Louisville and UTEP big man Derrick Caracter made the all-tournament team.

T-Mobile Rookie of the Month

DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento)

Most Outstanding Player

John Wall (Washington)

All-Tournament Team

Sam Young (Memphis)
JaVale McGee (Washington)
Reggie Williams (Golden State)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto)
JJ Hickson (Cleveland)
Ty Lawson (Denver)
Dominique Jones (Dallas)
Derrick Caracter (LA Lakers)
Larry Sanders (Milwaukee)
Gani Lawal (Phoenix)
Jermaine Taylor (Houston)
Alonzo Gee (San Antonio)

Source: NBA.com

Ex-Hilltopper Filip Videnov Leads Bulgaria to Tourney Wins


Former Western Kentucky sharpshooter Filip Videnov is turning into an international star for Bulgaria's national team.

The former Hilltopper has been a key piece of two recent international tournament wins.

This weekend, Bulgaria defeated Italy 84-83 to capture the Trofeo Mandela Forum. Videnov, who led Bulgaria with 19 points, hit the game-winning free throw with 23 seconds remaining.

In a 79-74 semifinal victory over Macedonia, Videnov again played a key role as he nailed a go-ahead three-pointer to propelled Bulgaria to the win.

In the tournament's first game, Videnov scored 13 points as Bulgaria defeated Poland 68-62.

Last weekend, Bulgaria captured a four-team international tournament in Minsk, Belarus with victories over Ukraine and Belarus. In the final game, Videnov led the way with 17 points.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Ex-Cat Jamaal Magloire Set to Re-Sign with Miami Heat


Former Kentucky Wildcat Jamaal Magloire is expected to re-sign with the Miami Heat according to The Miami Herald.

Here is an excerpt:

Molding of the Heat roster continued Sunday when small forward James Jones agreed to return on a minimum-salary deal, giving the Heat another skilled perimeter shooter off the bench.

The Heat will have 13 players under contract - two below the league maximum - after it announces the expected re-signing of Jones, Jamaal Magloire and Carlos Arroyo and the free agent acquisition of Juwan Howard.

Those four will join Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and second-round pick Dexter Pittman.

Complete Article

Magloire will be joining the team as the backup center and will be a key reserve as the talented Heat search for an NBA title.

My favorite Magloire memory:


Former Kentucky Center Randolph Morris Headed to Israel?


Former Kentucky big man Randolph Morris is in preliminary talks with Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Morris struggled through the NBA Summer League and is not likely to be resigned in the NBA for next season.

Last season, he played sparingly and averaged 2.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.


Facebook 101 with Former Kentucky Wildcat Eric Bledsoe

Former Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe takes us through the ins and outs of his Facebook page:



* Video from NBASummerLeague 's YouTube Channel

Robic: Darnell Dodson Is Eligible and On Team This Season


While speaking to a group at the UK Ohio Convention yesterday, Kentucky assistant John Robic explained that Darnell Dodson is eligible and will be on the Kentucky team in 2010-11.

"Dodson is eligible. Don't believe everything you hear," explained Robic.

He said that Dodson would be at Kentucky next season.

There have been various rumors swirling about Dodson since last season ended. Rumors have had him declaring for the NBA Draft, transferring to another school, playing overseas and at UK but sitting out next season.

In fact, it now looks like all rumors are false and Darnell Dodson will be a Kentucky Wildcat and will play on the 2010-11 team.


My Thoughts: I am ecstatic to have Dodson eligible and on the team. I think he has a ton of potential to knock down the outside shot on a consistent basis and will be a welcome addition to the roster.

John Wall Sits Out Final Summer League Game


The Washington Wizards opted to hold John Wall out of the team's final Summer League game yesterday. Wall was rested after playing four times in six days, including two in two nights.

During the Las Vegas Summer League, Wall averaged 23.5 points and 7.8 assists, which led the league.

Wall did plenty to impress during his summer action.

"He has speed, he has the athletic ability, he sees the floor," New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams said. "If he works at it, he's certainly got a chance to be not just average or good -- he's got a chance to be great. You can't say that about a lot of young guys. It's all on him, but he's got all the tools."

"You can definitely see why he went No. 1," agreed Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan. "The stuff that he do at the point guard position, with his explosiveness and really handling the ball out in transition, he's one of a kind. And I think once he get more comfortable playing in this league, he's really gonna be something special."

Ferguson Commits; Behanan and Shanklin Grab Offers


Here are a couple of late notes tonight:

- Former Elliott County star Jonathan Ferguson has committed to Alderson-Broaddus College, an NCAA DII school in Philippi, West Virginia; Ferguson made the decision after a visit this evening (more on Ferguson tomorrow)

- Bowling Green sensation Chane Behanan, who is being recruited by both Kentucky and Louisville, has added yet another high-major offer recently; he has picked up an offer from the Ohio State Buckeyes

- Warren Central star Jordan Shanklin's stock has exploded this summer; he now has offers from The Citadel, South Dakota, Gardner-Webb, Charleston Southern and Portland State; most believe an offer from IUPUI is coming soon

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