Saturday, July 31, 2010

Video: UK Recruit J.P. Tokoto Impresses in Las Vegas

Here is some footage of 2012 Kentucky recruit J.P. Tokoto during the Fab 48 event at Las Vegas:



* Video via HardwoodEliteDotCom 's YouTube Channel

UK's Canada Games Will Be Aired on Television


This was announced on Thursday, but it's worth repeating: Buzz Baker posted on Twitter that the Kentucky exhibition games in Canada will be aired on WKYT-TV and WYMT.

Here are Baker's Tweets:

buzzbaker 1st chance to see UK's freshman! All games in Canada will be televised on the Big Blue Sports Network & will be seen on WKYT-TV & WYMT.

buzzbaker The Sunday and Monday games will be at 7:00pm, with a “Wildcat Warm-up” pre-game show from 6:30-7:00pm.

buzzbaker The Tuesday game will be at 11:00am and will be followed by a 30 min. post- game “Wildcat Wrap-up” show.

buzzbaker Yours truly & Canada's favorite son Kyle Macy on hand! The dates August 15, 16, 17! Could we also see "Curling w/ Kyle?"

Eric Bledsoe Talks to Media at Calipari's ProCamp

Former Wildcat Eric Bledsoe is back in Lexington for Calipari's Pro Camp:





* Video from KentuckyVids 's YouTube Channel

Patrick Patterson Returns to Lexington, Loves Houston

Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson is back in Lexington today for John Calipari's ProCamp. Here are some videos of Patterson talking to the local media:





* Videos from KentuckyVids 's YouTube Channel

Northern Kentucky Assistant Pat Ryan Plans to Retire


Northern Kentucky assistant coach Pat Ryan is retiring at NKU so he can eventually coach with his son.

Here is an excerpt from Cincinnati.com:

Pat Ryan is retiring as an assistant basketball coach at Northern Kentucky University so he can recharge his batteries, and eventually coach with his son.

The affable Ryan recently will only take on a little more workload as an administrator at Holy Cross High School, and get ready to coach with his son Jimmy as he starts his career in the high school ranks.

"It really is the right time," said Ryan, who was a successful coach at Holy Cross from 1980-88 and has been an assistant at NKU since then.

"Jim is going to be a pretty good baseball and basketball coach and I really can't wait until he gets his first freshman (high school) job and I can be his assistant."

Jimmy Ryan is a junior at NKU and plays on both the basketball and baseball teams
.

Complete Article

Marquis Teague Developed Leadership This Summer


Marquis Teague, a star point guard that is committed to Kentucky's 2011 Class, told IndyStar.com that his USA Basketball experience this summer showed him what it is to be a leader.

He stated that he is hungry and ready to produce on the court this season.

Here is an excerpt:

Maybe most important, Teague said the USA Basketball experience showed him what it is to be a leader. Immediately after the Germany trip, he led his Spiece Indy Heat team to the semifinals of the prestigious Nike Peach Jam in South Carolina.

After Pike's season ended with a thud in last year's Class 4A sectional championship against Ben Davis, Teague said he is eager to get back to work. Bill Zych, previously at Perry Meridian, will be the Red Devils' new coach.

"I'm hungry," Teague said. "I'm supposed to be a big-name player, and I didn't do anything (in the sectional). I want people to remember me as a winner and go out with a bang."


Complete Article

Photo Source

Florida Big Man Alex Tyus Ties the Knot

Florida's Alex Tyus is now a married man:


Congratulations to the Gator big man on taking a huge step in life!

Photo Source (Includes two other images)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Video: A Day in the Life of DeMarcus Cousins

A day in the life of former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins:



* Video from kingsflix 's YouTube Channel

Turpin's Demons Come to Light Following His Untimely Death


Steve Aschburner of NBA.com has written an excellent article about the demons faced by former Kentucky big man Melvin Turpin, who tragically ended his own life recently.

Aschburner speaks of Turpin's battle with overeating and weight gain.

Here is an excerpt:

In Turpin's case, his tendency to gain weight was treated like a goofy subplot to his basketball endeavors. This was a kid who, growing up, had mistakenly been diverted into a remedial school program -- given up on, educationally -- before the error was caught and he was able to star at Bryan Station high school in Lexington, eventually joining the nation's most envied college recruiting class at Kentucky in 1980.

But as a freshman, the word around town was that coach Joe B. Hall assigned a student manager to police Turpin's off-campus eating. The joke was that his picture was taped behind the counter of every McDonald's with instructions, "Do not serve this man." No one was bothered when SEC fans, across Turpin's four years at UK, rode him about his weight or teasingly waved hamburgers in his direction.

Turpin did enough at Kentucky -- a 96-27 record in his time there, with a trip to the 1984 Final Four and, on a special night, 42 points in a 65-63 loss at Tennessee -- that he was chosen sixth in the 1984 Draft. Four spots after Bowie, three after Michael Jordan, right behind another wide-body from his conference, Auburn's Charles Barkley, and ahead of future stars such as Kevin Willis, Otis Thorpe and John Stockton.

In the NBA, amid all the sleek bodies and finely tuned athletes, Turpin's difficulty staying in shape brought trouble. A guy who used to hear the call of "Turpin Time!" from fans in Lexington got dubbed "Dinner Bell Mel" as his weight rose beyond 300 pounds. Cleveland, where Turpin averaged 13.7 points and seven rebounds in his second season, levied a series of fines when he failed to make his specified playing weight. Longtime Cavaliers' beat writer Burt Graeff told the Lexington Herald-Leader this month: "It reached a point where he did not go near the scale -- he just paid the fines."

Said former Kentucky and Cleveland teammate Dirk Minniefield after his friend's passing: "Turp didn't like being called, 'Dinner Bell Mel.' Who would? He was sensitive to it."

Complete Article

Photo: BigBlueHistory.net

Kentucky Recruit Rivers is a "Chip Off the Old Doc"


Tim Povtak of Fanhouse.com writes today that 2011 Kentucky recruit Austin Rivers is a "chip off the old Doc." The Doc in this case is Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, Austin's father.

Excerpt of article from Fanhouse.com:

Austin Rivers was 7 years old, sitting in the wooden bleachers alongside his father at Winter Park (Fla.) High School, watching older brother Jeremiah playing age-group, travel-team basketball.

"Dad, why don't they switch to zone defense?'' Austin started.

"Dad, why do they keep running that pick-and-roll play?'' he asked two minutes later.

"Dad, why aren't they boxing out,'' he continued.

"Dad, why can't I play on this team?'' he persisted.

Father Doc Rivers, head coach of the Orlando Magic at the time (2000), was watching closely like every other parent at the game. He turned to his younger son and smiled, both a little surprised and amused by the inquisitive and precocious basketball mind sitting next to him.

"Good questions,'' Doc said, then turned back to the game. "You'll get your turn.''

Ten years later, Doc is back in the bleachers, this time at Disney's Wide World of Sports, watching Austin dominating the AAU Super Showcase Gold Division play, proud as any father could be, but still a little amazed at what he has seen.

Doc is coach of the Boston Celtics, having won an NBA championship in 2008. Austin, going into his senior year at Winter Park High, is one of the top-rated college prospects in America, preparing now to choose between Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Kansas and Kentucky for where he will attend school and play college basketball.

Complete Article

Love of Game Sends Maguire Through Surgery, Back to NKU


Northern Kentucky's Dustin Maguire made the decision this summer to undergo back surgery and return to the Norse roster in 2010-11.

Here is an excerpt from Cincinnati.com:

He took the test in early February and was ultimately selected to attend NKU's Chase College of Law.

That could have been enough for him to simply quit playing basketball and look ahead to the rest of his life, but the gnawing void he felt without finishing his career led to him eventually having the surgery.

"I would have needed it anyway just to sit," he said. "The whole thing made me question how much I loved the game, though, and I really do love playing it. I just wanted to make sure I did everything I could to be able to play again. I wanted to make sure I had done everything I could do."

The only answer to playing again was the surgery, which was performed at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He said it was comforting that Bezold was there the entire time.

Maguire was given a timetable of three months before he can play and he finds some amusement in the date he can return being Oct. 15, which is when college basketball teams can officially begin practice.

He says he feels lucky to get one more year of playing college basketball.

"It's an opportunity to get another year of free education and something with it, and I credit coach Bezold for that because he easily could have kicked me to the curb and said, 'We need your scholarship,' " said Maguire.


Complete Article

Video: A Look at Tubby Smith's Basketball Camp

Here is some footage from the 2010 Tubby Smith Basketball Camp at Eden Prairie High School:

John Wall Appears at ProCamp, Says Nothing Compares to Kentucky

Former UK star John Wall appeared at John Calipari's ProCamp and told the media that he loves Washington, D.C. but nothing compares to Kentucky:





* Videos via KentuckyVids 's YouTube Channel

Media Wonders: What Should Pitino and Louisville Do Now?


Several national media outlets are asking publicly: what should Rick Pitino and Louisville do now?

USAToday.com has an online poll up that asks the question and gives the following voting options:

- Stay the course. He is a victim here

- Step down. He's embarrassed the school and himself

- Testify and then talk to UL about his future

Here are the current results:




Jay Mariotti says on Fanhouse.com that after all the shame, Pitino should just step down.

Here is an excerpt of Mariotti's thoughts:

For a moment there, you had to laugh out loud. Rick Pitino sat in a crowded courtroom Wednesday and testified that this Karen Cunagin Sypher woman whispered to him, unsnapped his pants in a booth at an otherwise empty Italian restaurant and proceeded to have sex with him.

"Very briefly," he said.

Oh, and we're all supposed to feel better now because he says the session was brief. It doesn't really matter, of course, whether Pitino used the entire shot clock or fired prematurely. Sex in a restaurant is sex in a restaurant, a particularly tacky and mindless act in any context, much less that involving a married man who is the most visible face of the University of Louisville. If he's the custodian of a basketball program that demands players to show discipline and sound judgment in their daily lives, how is Ricky Dicky supposed to be taken seriously when he couldn't control his sexual appetite at an actual table where people eat and drink in a well-regarded establishment? I mean, that's just gross behavior. For too many reasons to count -- including how he possibly can enter a recruit's living room and explain his actions to mom and dad -- Pitino should realize he has permanently undermined his credibility as an educator and do the right thing.

He should resign his position as coach.

My Thoughts: I voted in the USA Today poll that Pitino should testify and then talk to Louisville about his future. While I agree that Pitino is the victim here, it cannot be denied that he has publicly embarrassed himself and the school he represents.

There are also no questions about Pitino's coaching ability. He has a proven track record of being one of college basketball's coaching leaders.

That being said, if you are a Louisville fan or alum, how do you feel about Pitino representing your basketball program?

NCAA Slaps the "Other" Wildcats with Additional Sanctions


The NCAA has added to the self-imposed sanctions of Arizona's men's basketball program. The program will now be forced to vacate 19 wins from the 2007-08 season and will lose an additional scholarship for violations involving Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson.

Here is an excerpt from ESPN.com:

The university announced its sanctions in February, including the loss of a scholarship for 2011-12 and numerous cutbacks in recruiting visits over the next two seasons.

O'Neil: So Arizona Has To Vacate Wins?
Arizona fans bought tickets and sat in the stands for the 2007-08 season. Just because someone sitting in a conference room said it didn't happen, doesn't mean it didn't happen, writes ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil. Story

The NCAA upheld most of those self-imposed sanctions but determined the school had used two ineligible players in 2007-08 and would have to vacate all wins involving those players and eliminate their statistics. It also took away a scholarship for 2012-13 and pushed back a two-year probation period for the program to Thursday instead of starting it in February, as the university had decided earlier.

"You take very seriously the sanctions the institution self-imposes, then you weigh that against the gravity of the case and you make a decision whether additional penalties should be imposed," said former Miami AD Paul Dee, chair of the NCAA's infractions committee. "We were pleased that they self-imposed what they did, but we went further."

Arizona's self-imposed sanctions included a reduction in the number of recruiting visits by coaches and prospective players, the disbanding of a booster group and implementation of a series of administrative and rules changes to prevent further violations.


Complete Article

DeMarcus Cousins and Rare NBA Package Deal


The Sacramento Kings have hired Otis Hughley, DeMarcus Cousins' high school basketball coach, as an assistant.

Some are asking: why would an NBA organization hire a high school coach to be an assistant at the games' highest level?

Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com speculates that Hughley will help serve as a mentor to the former Kentucky big man.

Here are Brennan's thoughts:

Joking aside, this isn't really a college-esque package deal; it reads much more like a franchise making sure their young star has mentors in place as he embarks on a new and challenging stage of his basketball life. Really, it makes sense. The Kings have a vested interest in making sure Cousins fulfills his potential, and if having his high school coach around to keep him focused accomplishes as much, well, why not? And it's not as if Hughley is a total schlub; he has experience coaching for USA Basketball and various top-level camps.

Mendez-Valdez Leads Mexico to CACG Gold Medal Game


Former Western Kentucky guard Orlando Mendez-Valdez came up big to lead Mexico to an 85-82 semifinal victory over Dominican Republic in the Central American and Caribbean Games (or CACGs).

Mendez-Valdez led Mexico with 19 points on 6-13 shooting and 5-6 free throws. The former Hilltopper also pulled down 5 rebounds and dished out 3 assists.

With the victory, Mexico moves into the gold medal game against Puerto Rico, who defeated the U.S. Virgin Islands 89-72 in the other semifinal.

Mendez-Valdez played professionally for Halcones UV Xalapa in Mexico's top-level basketball league this past season. In 53 games, he averaged 13.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Source: LatinBasket.com

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ex-Cat Morakinyo "Mike" Williams Enrolls at The Citadel


Former Kentucky big man Morakinyo "Mike" Williams has enrolled at The Citadel as a graduate transfer.

Williams transferred to Duquesne and played two seasons after a year at UK. Last season, he played in 22 games and averaged 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game for the Dukes.

As a graduate student, he will be eligible to play this season for The Citadel and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

He appeared on the national team roster for England this summer.

AU's Barbee on John Calipari: "I'm going after his jugular"


New Auburn head coach Tony Barbee, a good friend of John Calipari, realizes he will have to drop their friendship on the hardwood this season.

He explained to ESPN's Andy Katz:

"Our relationship is the same it was in Conference USA,'' Barbee said. "I've said this before -- he's my mentor and friend and always will be my coach to me. But he kicked my butt in Conference USA. We were going right after him and we'll do the same thing at Auburn. He knows how competitive I am. I'm going after his jugular, and he'll do the same for me. It won't affect our relationship.''

Barbee takes over an Auburn program that was 15-17 overall and 6-10 in the Southeastern Conference a year ago.

Sterling: Six Lessons from the Rick Pitino Trial


Kent Sterling has written his "Top Six Lessons We Can Learn from Rick Pitino Trial."

Here is Sterling's "advice":

- Never trust a woman willing to spread her legs on the table of an Italian restaurant after closing.

- If you’re in a restaurant after closing, nothing good will happen (this is a variation on my Dad’s old axiom “Nothing good happens after midnight.”

- Sluts are drawn to money like moths to a flame. If you have money, don’t have sex with any woman who flirts with you. They all have an agenda. Some are harmless, but others will take your soul.

- Make your celly work for you. Ask all irresponsible sexual conquests to affirm digitally (on the camcorder, not with their finger!) they are participating in consensual sex.

- If you are over 35, and the woman is under 28, run for your life. Those relationships never work – ever.

- If you are over 50, walk quickly (no point in inviting a heart attack by running) from any women who claims a desire to have sex. No woman wants to have sex with a man over 50. They might trade sex for something else, but whatever pleasure she derives from your drunken congress will come at your expense later.

DeMarcus Cousins Appears at Calipari's ProCamp


Former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins appeared at John Calipari's ProCamp in Lexington yesterday.

He stated how much he misses Kentucky now that he has moved on to the NBA's Sacramento Kings.

Here is an excerpt from USAToday.com:

Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins enjoys the perks of being a professional basketball player, namely making enough money to buy a house for his mother.

Yet there's a part of the Sacramento Kings rookie center that wishes he'd returned for his sophomore season with the Wildcats.

Cousins spent Wednesday working at coach John Calipari's Pro Camp, interacting with youngsters while catching himself watching video highlights of Kentucky's remarkable season.

Complete Article

Cousins speaks to the media (via KentuckyVids 's YouTube Channel):

WKYT Talks to UK Legend Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones


WKYT's Steve Moss recently caught up with 84-year old Kentucky basketball legend Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones.

Jones was a member of Adolph Rupp's infamous "Fabulous Five" in 1948.

Here is an excerpt:

Entertaining a large group of well-wishers recently, during a surprise birthday party, Jones was amazed by the turnout. Among the guests, former UK coach Joe B. Hall, himself a spry 81.

"He's one of the best that's ever been to the University of Kentucky," Hall said.

That's because Jones was a two-sport All-American, a man that played for two legendary coaches. Under Adolph Rupp, Jones was a member of the Fabulous Five. His teams won two national championships and an NIT.

"Can't get much better than that," Hall quipped.

Jones also was an All-SEC tight end under Bear Bryant. He's still the only player at Kentucky to have his jerseys retired in both sports.

"They were similar," Jones said of Rupp and Bryant. "They demanded the best."

Coming out of Harlan, Jones made a name for himself as a basketball player. Longtime friend Humsey Yessin described Jones as the ultimate competitor.

"During the war years, he (Jones) had a bad foot," Yessin recalled. "All the county schools, every time there was a draft called, everybody wanted him on that bus. They all said if he could shoot a basketball that well, he could shoulder a rifle."

Yessin said his friend was rejected by the Army during World War II because of his foot.

But that didn't stop Jones from unparalleled success on the field or court.

Complete Article

East Jessamine's Worley is Heading to Pikeville College


After a year away from the game, former East Jessamine High School basketball player Shane Worley will continue his career at Pikeville College.

Here is an excerpt from JessamineJournal.com:

After a year at the University of Kentucky for Worley, too, he went back to O’Bryan. This time, after discussing some possible schools, they settled on Pikeville.

The Bears were holding tryouts earlier this summer and Worley, who had spent his year at UK playing intramurals and pick-up basketball, impressed Head Coach Kelly Wells.

“We got him down for a workout, and he had a pretty decent workout with us,” Wells said. “We’d really love to get him involved, and you can tell he wants to get involved.”

While Wells isn’t sure a year off has helped Worley’s development, he thinks the former Jaguar has the tools to make full use of the Pikeville junior varsity program.

“Not playing any didn’t help him; he needed to get back out there,” Wells said. “He’s not going to be a superstar in this league until he gets those fundamentals and things down. Having a junior varsity team, it will give him a great opportunity to learn and develop and get him where he can play.”


Complete Article

Former Wildcat Heshimu Evans Leads Portugal Over Hungary


Heshimu Evans continued his superb international play to lead Portugal to a 70-61 victory over Hungary at a friendly tournament in Lisbon.

Evans, a former Kentucky Wildcat, led all scorers with 22 points. He also added 11 rebounds and 4 assists.

Portugal was hot from the start and controlled the game throughout.

For Evans, who is now a Portuguese citizen, it is the latest in a string of excellent international performances. The former Cat has established himself as Portugal's team leader.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nice Article About Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith


Charles Hallman of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder has written an excellent piece about former Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith.

I sometimes disagreed with Smith's recruiting philosophy at UK, but I have always considered him a class act and a great representative of Kentucky basketball. Article like this remind me of the way Smith has always carried himself.

Here is an excerpt:

Since his arrival, Smith has been actively involved in initiatives focusing on issues such as Black health, including heart disease and childhood obesity. Whether in Kentucky or in Minnesota, Smith says he takes his job and his familiarity very seriously.

“I don’t look at myself as being important,” he says, “but I think of myself like everyone else. I have my job to do, and I have something I can contribute more. Because of the visibility of this position, the things you say or do will influence a lot of people, good or bad. Being in the position that I’m in, I have to be more careful than anybody.”

As perhaps the state’s most recognizable Black person, Smith hopes more Blacks will step up to share his influence. “If you want to have clout and influence, you have to be in position to have security. You have to be secure in what you say or do that it won’t harm you or others. It is important that our lay leaders, ministers, public servants, police, and the people that have the integrity, ethics, take the lead.”

His parents were the greatest influence on him and his fellow siblings, a total of 16 children who grew up on a farm in Maryland. “My dad’s whole thing [was],
‘Son, you got to give back — socially be involved.’ He was involved in public service, and my mom the same way. That’s who influences me."


Complete Article

Rajon Rondo Survives the First Cut for Team USA


Team USA has cut Tyreke Evans, Gerald Wallace, O.J. Mayo and JaVale McGee from it's roster as the World Championships approach.

The United States will enter the competition with a 12-man roster, meaning that there will be three more cuts made.

Former Kentucky star Rajon Rondo joins Derrick Rose, Chaunce Billups, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry and Eric Gordon as guards that remain on the roster.

Also remaining on the roster are Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, Danny Granger, Lamar Odom, Kevin Love, Jeff Green, Tyson Chandler and Brook Lopez.

Scottie Samarco Signs with East Kentucky Energy


Pikeville College men's basketball graduate Scottie Samarco has signed with the East Kentucky Energy, a newly formed ABA team based in Pikeville.

Scottie, who is from Ypsilanti (MI), was an NAIA Second Team All-American during his junior season with the Bears. He was also a member of last season's team that was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation.

Samarco becomes the fourth former Pikeville star to sign with the Energy as he joins John Kitchen, Daniel Prince and Jarrell Jones.

Pikeville coach Kelly Wells said of Samarco: “Scottie was one of the all-time best shooters the MSC has had during his junior season. He is also one of the finest individuals there is. He now has the opportunity to continue his playing dreams and aspirations while working as an admissions counselor at PC. I am so excited and proud of Scottie. Scottie makes my 15th player to play professional basketball.”

Calipari is Ready to Get Back to the Dribble-Drive


John Calipari has stated on Lexy that he will be returning to his classic dribble-drive motion offense this season.

Here is an excerpt from ESPN.com:

Calipari, speaking on a Lexy audio post yesterday, mentioned that due to the change in personnel on the team, the Big Blue Nation can expect to see even more of the dribble-drive and possibly a more extreme version of it.

"Right now, I'm spending my time trying to come up with ways that we're going to play the dribble-drive more than we did a year ago, but with this group. We got a left-hander on the team in Terrence Jones. How do we now put him in the right spots so he can do his best? How 'bout this is a team maybe we go with five-out...so that we have the true strength of our team?

"Where last year with DeMarcus [Cousins] and Patrick [Patterson] and Daniel [Orton], we had terrific players around the goal. We had to play that way. Now we do have some strong guys that are bigger players but maybe a little more perimeter-oriented, so I've got to figure that out. My time's got to be spent doing that."

John Calipari ProCamp is Sold Out



From UKAthletics.com:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 2010 John Calipari ProCamp has been sold out.

Enrollment has reached its limit and registration for the camp has been shut down.

Interested parties can still put their name on a waiting list should a spot open up.

For more information on any of the UK men’s basketball camps, call 859.257.1916 or go online to www.ukathletics.com/camps

Rick Pitino Expected to Testify Today


Louisville head coach Rick Pitino is expected to take the stand in court today as his extortion trial moves into day 3.

Here is an excerpt from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Now Pitino is expected to testify Wednesday, the third day of the trial.

Sypher is charged with trying to extort cash, cars and a house to stay quiet about their encounter. She has pleaded not guilty.

Along with Pitino, one of his aides, Vinnie Tatum, is expected to testify Wednesday. Tatum, who was Pitino's driver the night he met Sypher, spent Tuesday waiting outside the courtroom but was not called.

Complete Article

ESPN's Jonathan Coachman Catches Up with DeMarcus Cousins

ESPN's Jonathan Coachman interviews former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins:



And, in case you've forgotten, here's Jonathan Coachman at his very best:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Austin Rivers and Trevor Lacey Both List Kentucky


Two more top 2011 recruits, Austin Rivers and Trevor Lacey, have Kentucky on their final lists.

Rivers, a 6-4 shooting guard that ranks No. 3 overall in the 2011 class according to Rivals, told ZagsBlog.com that he is considering Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Kansas and Kentucky.

“Those are my five schools,” he told ESPNU. “Those are five schools I’m really interested in looking at.”

Lacey, who is Rivers' AAU teammate, said he is considering Alabama, Auburn, Memphis, Tennessee and Kentucky.

He is a 6-3 shooting guard that ranks No. 39 overall on the Rivals150 List for 2011.

Video: Kentucky Recruits at the 2010 Nike Peach Jam

Here is a video of Kentucky recruits Michael Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Marquis Teague as well as several other future stars:



* Video from tvg2345 's YouTube Channel

Anthony Winchester Will Leave WKU for High School Job


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Current WKU director of basketball operations and former Hilltopper basketball standout Anthony Winchester will leave WKU to take a high school head coaching job at Scottsburg High School in Scottsburg, Ind., WKU head coach Ken McDonald announced Tuesday.

Scottsburg High School is a member of the same Mid-Southern Conference as Austin High School, where Winchester played from 1999-2002 and is the all-time leading scorer. Winchester was a three-time all-state performer at Austin High School and runner-up for Indiana's Mr. Basketball award.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity to be coaching high school basketball in Indiana and to get back closer to home," Winchester said. "It's going to be a challenge, but I think it's going to be a lot of fun at the same time.

"It's bittersweet to be leaving Western Kentucky University and Hilltopper nation, which has become a home away from home for me. Coach McDonald has been great to me. He recruited me, I played for him, and he gave me the opportunity to be on his staff for the last two years. I can't thank him and the entire coaching staff enough for the impact they've had on me."

"As a coach, the rewarding part of our job is to watch players grow," McDonald said. "It's amazing to see how far Anthony Winchester has advanced in every way from the point when we recruited him as a player to where he is now as an up-and-coming coach. It has always been a goal of Anthony's to become a high school coach, and he's put himself in position professionally to attain that goal. We are very proud of him, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future. It's great to have him in the Hilltopper family."

Winchester spent the last two years on McDonald's coaching staff at WKU, first as a graduate assistant coach for the 2008-09 season and most recently as the director of basketball operations for the 2009-10 season.

Winchester starred as a player at WKU from 2003-06, earning the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award in 2006 and finishing his career eighth on WKU's all-time scoring list with 1,732 points. He averaged 14.1 points per game in his Hilltopper career and is WKU's all-time leader in three-point field goals (247).

Source: WKUSports.com

2011 Recruit Quincy Miller Dunks Twice on 7'1" Center

Kentucky and Louisville 2011 recruit Quincy Miller puts the hammer down on a 7'1" center...twice:




*Video from ONEent 's YouTube Channel

Bellarmine to Honor Longtime Basketball Scorekeeper


This fall, the Bellarmine University Alumni Association will honor seven of its most distinguished graduates and one outstanding faculty member. The awards recognize those who have distinguished themselves through professional accomplishments, community service and demonstration of attitudes consistent with Christian doctrines.

One of those that will be honored is longtime basketball scorekeeper John P. O'Regan:

John P. O’Regan ’54: Scarlet and Silver Society. Archivist for Bellarmine’s Pioneer Class of 1954, Bellarmine basketball scorekeeper for 33 years, and retired railroad executive.

The university will honor the inductees at an awards dinner at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at the historic Henry Clay in downtown Louisville. The dinner is open to the public. The cost is $40 per person or $240 per table of eight. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m.

Former Card Edgar Sosa Signs with Italian Team



Former Louisville point guard Edgar Sosa has signed with Angelico Biella in Italy's top-level SerieA league.

Sosa will join former Western Kentucky point guard A.J. Slaughter on Biella's roster.



Source

Calipari Gives Thoughts on His Recruiting Philosophy


"If you recruit guys who you know are going to be there for four years, you'll probably be in the NIT, and that's not a good thing at Kentucky."

Those are the thoughts of Kentucky head coach John Calipari when asked if he should consider recruiting some players that can contribute during a four-year career.

He added, "You recruit the best players you can, and if someone is going to take them in the first round, I tell them to go."

Here is an excerpt from Seth Davis' article on the Sports Illustrated site:

The first contest is more than three months away, but Calipari is already deftly playing the expectations game. "Everybody is trying to say we'll be better than a year ago," he told me. "I'm like, are you out of your mind?"

He has a point. The Wildcats might have comparable (though still inferior) talent than they had last season, but as young as they were, they'll be that much younger in '10-11. Calipari is once again bringing in the nation's top recruiting class, but while UK returns four experienced guys in Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins, Josh Harrelson and Jon Hood, they will not offer the strength or stability that Patrick Patterson did last season as a junior.

At least three of Calipari's incoming freshmen will have a great chance to start: 6-3 point guard Brandon Knight, 6-9 forward Terrence Jones and 6-9 Turkish center Enes Kanter. The NCAA has not yet officially cleared Kanter to play, but Calipari told me he is not concerned. As for speculation that Kanter might be better than DeMarcus Cousins as a freshman, Calipari shot me a skeptical look and said, "He better be real good if he's gonna be better than Cousins."

Complete Article

Campbellsville Adds Shelton State Transfer Brandon Williams


Former Shelton State Community College (Ala.) guard Brandon Williams visited the Campbellsville University campus and signed over the weekend with men's basketball head coach Keith Adkins. He joins point guard Monie Hudson (University of Evansville) as the second transfer and is the fifth signee of the year so far.

"He gives us a bonafide scoring threat on the perimeter. You won't find a better shooter coming out of the junior college ranks this year or last year," Adkins said. "He's a physically strong guy that I think is ready for the Mid-South Conference. He's one of those guys that, if he had (NCAA) Division I qualifications, he'd be at a low to mid-major Division I school. Bringing in Monie Hudson as a point guard and adding this guy as a two-guard, we think we're going to be competitive with anyone we play as far as talented guard combos."

Williams, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound, guard, led Shelton State to a regular season Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) championship in 2009 and back-to-back appearances in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in 2008 and 2009. He was third in the state for 3-pointers made (74) and 3-point field goal percentage (50.7) during his sophomore year in 2008-09, while averaging 14 points and three assists per game.

At the end of the year, he was named a Second Team NJCAA All-American, ACCC First Team All-Conference and selected to the ACCC All-Tournament Team, as the Bucs finished ranked No. 7 in the NJCAA.

With that success, Williams has high hopes for the Tigers in 2010-11.

"I'm looking forward to playing hard and working toward a championship," said Williams. "I'm looking forward to playing with Monie. I hear he's a really strong player. (Campbellsville) had a strong batch last year, and hopefully I can be the piece they need to take it a little further in the national tournament."

Before Shelton State, Williams was an honorable mention All-State selection at Buckhorn High School in New Market, Ala., where he averaged 21.2 points per game and shot 46 percent from 3-point range as a senior in 2006-07. He helped lead Buckhorn to a Class 5A runner-up trophy as a junior in 2006.

Complete Article

Getting to Know Bowling Green Star Chane Behanan


Chad Bishop of The Bowling Green Daily News has written an excellent, in-depth article about Bowling Green big man Chane Behanan.

Behanan, the early favorite to win Kentucky's Mr. Basketball next season, has exploded up the national recruiting rankings this summer. He is now considered a top 30 recruit in the nation by major services such as Rivals and Scout.

The 2011 star has been contacted by Kentucky and is being heavily recruited by the likes of Louisville, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and many others.

Bishop takes us inside the life of Chane Behanan and the ups and downs he has experienced since moving to Kentucky from his former home in Cincinnati.

Here is an excerpt:

But when they returned to Cincinnati from a trip to Bowling Green in the fall of 2008, an apartment fire altered everyone’s futures.

“That destroyed everything,” Warren says, sighing. “So we were living with my mom, trying to find me another place and all that. It was actually right after we had left down here, visiting and looking around at houses and stuff in September. I had called my uncle and told him, ‘No, I’m not gonna do it.’ Then my apartment burnt down and both of us said this might be the sign from God that’s telling me, ‘Yes, you are gonna do it.’ ”

An investigation determined that the blaze was caused by an electrical accident.

“We lost all our clothes. Furniture. Bedding. Everything. When we moved down here we had absolutely nothing,” Warren said.

Word rapidly spread across the region that Behanan, already a known name in college basketball recruiting, was leaving Cincinnati. BGHS coach D.G. Sherrill had a front row seat to the rumors and speculation.

“I think any time you transfer and your family relocates to another community and school, and especially him being the age he was, (it’s hard),” Sherrill says. “He had some pretty deep roots, being an athletic guy in high school. It may have been even more difficult for him, for as high of profile as he was as far as his athleticism and all. It had to be difficult, and I can’t imagine being a sophomore in high school, just finished my sophomore year, and having to relocate to a community where I, basically, only know a handful of people. ”

Few people, however, really knew just how hard it was. The typically quiet and stoic Behanan didn’t volunteer many glimpses into his emotions.

A John Wall Throwback Washington Bullets Jersey?

Well, not exactly, but here is "some sort of non-authentic John Wall Bullets jersey":





This photo appeared on Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Bog on The Washington Post's site. Steinberg's site is one you'll want to bookmark as he does a fantastic job of covering Wall and the Wizards.


Hat tip to the fan in the pictures, as well. He's so hardcore that he has "D" and "C" tattooed on his biceps.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Patterson, Bledsoe, Wall and Cousins Return for ProCamp


Four of Kentucky's stars from last season are returning to Lexington for the 2010 John Calipari ProCamp, which kicks off Thursday.

Here is the announcement from UKAthletics.com:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former UK standout and 14th overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets, Patrick Patterson will make an appearance at the 2010 John Calipari ProCamp.

Patterson will join Eric Bledsoe, the 18th overall pick and member of the Los Angeles Clippers, on Saturday, July 31.

The camp, scheduled for July 29-31, will feature the No. 5 pick and current Sacramento King DeMarcus Cousins on Thursday, July 29, the No. 1 overall pick and current Washington Wizard John Wall on Friday, July 30 and Bledsoe and Patterson on Saturday.

The camp will run from 9:00 a.m. – noon for children K-4th grade, and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. for campers 5-12th grade. Each pro player will attend one full day of camp for both age groups.

For more information, interested parties can call 859.257.1916 or go online to www.ukathletics.com/camps/

UK Offers 2012 Forward Brandon Ashley


Kentucky has offered a scholarship to 2012 power forward Brandon Ashley.

Ashley is a 6-8 big man who is currently rated the No. 1 power forward prospect in the 2012 class by Rivals.com. He is also ranked No. 5 overall.

Here is an excerpt from ZagsBlog.com:

Senior guard Nick Johnson of Findlay Prep added 16 points and 8 assists and junior forward Brandon Ashley of Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, Rivals reported. Ashley also just picked up an offer from Kentucky to go with his previous list of UCLA, Cal, Arizona, Washington and Stanford.

Ashley in action:




* Video from HoopsBayArea 's YouTube Channel

Will Rajon Rondo Make the Team USA Cut?


Team USA's roster of 19 players is expected to be trimmed to 14 or 15 at some point tonight. There are mixed feelings as to whether former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo will make the cut.

Hardwoodparoxysm.com says the likely cuts based on reports out of Vegas, opinions from other writers, impressions from Team USA brass, in-camp performances and showings at the Team USA Showcase include: Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Danny Granger and Rajon Rondo.

Here is an excerpt on Rondo:

Rajon Rondo – Stylistically, Rondo was never a particularly good fit for international basketball. He’s ideal for games like the showcase, where he can show off his passing in the open court, find teammates cutting to the rim when the game slows down, and pressure the hell out of ball-handlers. Some of those things will translate to the World Championships, but it’s unclear how effective Rondo would be against a well-prepared zone. He can make the right passes, but Coach K and Jerry Colangelo seem more enamored with Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose as drive-and-kick type points. There’s only so much room for point guards in that mold on this roster, and despite the fact that Rondo is the superior talent, he looks like the odd man out.

On the other hand, CBSSports.com feels that Rondo is an "almost lock":

Rajon Rondo - The problem with Rondo is that he's one dimensional. Westbrook, Rose and Billups can conceivably slide over to the 2, but Rondo is locked into the point guard position. If David Lee doesn't get hurt and Amar'e Stoudemire were available, Rondo might be on the block. But as of today, it's looking good for Rondo.

My Thoughts: I think Rondo is pretty much a lock to make the team, but he is an interesting case for debate based on his style of play in relation to the international game.

Survey Says: Southeastern Conference is a Dirty League


An informal survey given to twenty "high-profile" coaches illustrates the perception that the SEC is considered a "dirty league".

Excerpt of article from al.com:

Dana O'Neil of ESPN.com had an interesting read last week about problems impacting college basketball. She surveyed 20 "high-profile" head coaches watching recruits at the EYBL Peach Jam, representing each of the six power conferences, for their anonymous thoughts about their sport.

Among the informal findings: The SEC is the dirtiest in college basketball, with 14 of the 20 coaches surveyed naming the conference that John Calipari now calls home. The Big Ten was voted the cleanest, with 11 of 20 votes.

"Oh, it's not just a myth. It's the truth," one coach said of the SEC being dirty.

Said another coach: "Everyone says the SEC, but that's because of (the) football thing. That's the standard answer, but I'm not sure it's true."

Answered another coach: "The perception is the SEC doesn't have a good reputation. I don't know if that's legit or fair. I was on the other side 10 years ago. If a program starts getting better, starts getting kids, the question is always the same: What's he doing? He's gotta be doing something. And that adds to the perception."

One longtime coach said the SEC image is slowly getting repaired. "I do think by hiring guys like Anthony Grant at Alabama, the SEC is on the right track to cleaning things up."

Pitino Suspends Preston Knowles at Least Two Games


Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has suspended guard Preston Knowles at least two games.

Knowles will definitely miss the team's first two exhibition games and could potentially miss the season opener against Butler.

The suspension is apparently not related to an altercation Knowles had with his girlfriend's step-dad.

Here is an excerpt from The Winchester Sun:

The former Clark player’s status with the team was uncertain last month, but Knowles has been working behind the scenes to get back in good standing with the Cardinals.

“He’s just about completed his penalties,” Pitino told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “He had two main things he had to do to get back on the team, and so far he’s on schedule. He’s working a job now, and he’ll have two weeks of volunteer work at the Daniel Pitino Shelter in Owensboro. After two weeks, if he gets a good report then he’ll be able to rejoin the team.”


Complete Article

Kentucky No Longer on Quinn Cook's List



Kentucky is no longer listed on 2011 point guard Quinn Cook's list of potential college destinations according to ZagsBlog.com.

Cook, the No. 4 point guard in the 2011 class, lists nine schools: Arizona, UCLA, Villanova, Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, West Virginia, St. John's and Georgetown.

Here is an excerpt from ZagsBlog.com:

Cook plans to take all five visits in the fall and previously said he hoped to visit UConn and Arizona in August.

“I’m going to take all my five of my visits,” he said last month by phone. “I want to go it done by the fall.”

Cook will play alongside New York native Sidiki Johnson next year at Oak Hill Academy and the Tucson Citizen reported Cook asked Johnson, who normally runs with the MetroHawks, to play with D.C. Assault in Vegas.


Complete Article

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rick Pitino Extortion Trial Begins Tomorrow


Former Kentucky and current Louisville head coach Rick Pitino will see his extortion trial get underway tomorrow.

Karen Cunagin Sypher will head to trial on charges that she tried to extort Pitino out of college tuition, the purchase of a house and $10 million.

Here is an excerpt from TheGlobeAndMail.com:

It started as a fling between a former model and a famous (and married) college basketball coach at the table of an Italian restaurant after closing time.

Now the woman, Karen Cunagin Sypher, heads to trial Monday on charges that she tried to extort University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, allegedly demanding college tuition for her children, having her house paid off and $10 million for her silence.

The trial could sort out who's telling the truth in the sordid affair that dragged down the reputation of the coach, who leads one of the two biggest teams in basketball-mad Kentucky.

Prosecutors say they plan to use multiple witnesses, secretly recorded conversations and testimony from Pitino to prove that Sypher is guilty of multiple charges, including threatening communications with the intent to extort, lying to the FBI and retaliation against a witness.

Sypher has pleaded not guilty and said publicly: “I'm standing up for my rights and feeling like I don't have a lot of them at this moment. I'm just waiting for the truth to come out.”


Complete Article

Coach Mullins Resigns at Kentucky Christian University


Kentucky Christian University, Grayson, KY is announcing the resignation of head men's basketball coach Corey Mullins. Coach Mullins' resignation will be effective as of July 31st at which time he will assume the women's head coaching position at Covenant College (GA). In a move that will bring him closer to family, Coach Mullins stated, "My wife and I are so grateful to the people of Grayson and the KCU community. It will be tough to leave these players. They mean a lot to my family, and I am so proud of each of them. We are looking forward to this next chapter in our life and an opportunity to move closer to family. I am confident that the administration of Kentucky Christian will bring in the right leader who will be able to motivate and get the most out of this group of seniors and talented underclassmen. I am excited to see how this team comes together over the course of the upcoming season."

In Mullins two-year stint with the Knights, he achieved a 36-29 record and the 2009 National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) II Mideast Region championship. He placed his mark on the KCU basketball tradition by emphasizing player development, both in skill and more importantly in the Christian values that form the foundation of Kentucky Christian University. KCU athletic director Bruce W. Dixon remarked, "His tenure with the basketball team can be summed up as first class. Corey inherited one of the most tradition rich small college basketball programs in the country and added to its' legacy of excellence. It has been a blessing to have him as part of the KCU family."

The university is currently searching for Coach Mullins' replacement. Inquiries should be directed to Mr. Bruce Dixon, KCU Athletic Director at 606-474-3215 or at bdixon@kcu.edu

Source: KCU

Erdemirspor Belediyesi Brings Back Antwain Barbour



Former Kentucky forward Antwain Barbour is headed back to Erdemirspor Belediyesi, his former team in Turkey's top-level TBL league.

Last season, Barbour played in Spain for Lagun Aro Gipuzkoa BC. In 34 games, he averaged 12.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

Barbour shot well (54.5%) from inside the arc, but struggled (25.7%) from long range.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Rajon Rondo Plays Well in Team USA Showcase


Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo played well in his audition for Team USA.

The Boston Celtics star scored seven points and dished out six assists in his Blue Team's 114-96 loss to the White Team.

Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant led all scorers with 28 points.

The current roster of 19 players will be cut down to 15 by tomorrow. ESPN.com feels that Rondo is a "lock" to make the final roster:

Rajon Rondo, G The team will likely take five guards to Turkey, six if you include Durant. His inability to make free throws, or to play shooting guard, is a concern.

Team USA Showcase Highlights:




Huskers Coach on Gillispie: "it ain't going to happen"


Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler has told Lee Barfknecht of Omaha.com that he would like to hire former UK head coach Billy Gillispie, but it's not going to happen.

Here's an excerpt:

During a routine call Saturday to check in with the Nebraska men's basketball coach, I asked about the fourth iteration of the rumor -- joining the ones from April, May and June -- that former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie is joining the Husker staff as an assistant.

Sadler, who is recruiting in Las Vegas, laughed heartily.

"Like I told you before,'' Sadler said, "I've tried to hire Billy, but it ain't going to happen.''

Sadler and Gillispie are best friends. It was Gillispie, while at UTEP, who got Sadler back in to Division I coaching after Sadler had left Arizona State and returned to junior college administration.

Complete Article

Ex-Wildcat Dale Brown Gives Back to Community


Former Kentucky Wildcat Dale Brown is working hard to give back to his hometown community with an annual basketball camp that is designed to help today's youth avoid some of the mistakes he made along the way.

Here is an excerpt from Gulflive.com:

It took Dale Brown a long time to get to where he is now, and he's hoping that today's youth avoid some of the mistakes he made along the way.

That's the impetus behind the Dale Brown Basketball Camp, which is back on the coast for the third straight summer this week.

Brown, a former Pascagoula High and University of Kentucky standout and now head coach at Dillard University in New Orleans, welcomed nearly 40 campers from ages 8-19 for the three-day camp, which concludes today at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Ocean Springs.

"From a basketball standpoint, I just want to make sure their game is better than it was when they came in here," Brown said. "I have 10 or 15 people that are regulars, that come every year. And you can see the improvement in their game already. That's basically what I want from the basketball teaching side. But the education side, I just preach that all the time. In high school, I didn't value my education like I should have, and I struggled a little bit academically. That's why I can speak about it, because I've been through it. I don't want them to go down the road that I went down. I want them to know right away (about) the right way -- take care of business in the classroom."

Complete Article

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