Saturday, October 9, 2010

DeMarcus Cousins Worth the Risk for Sacramento


Tom Carpentar writes on ESPN.com that former UK star DeMarcus Cousins is well worth the risk for the Kings. Here is an excerpt:

Just how high is his ceiling at the next level? John Hollinger's projected PER for Cousins is a whopping 16.14. Among rookies, Evan Turner (14.79) and No. 1 pick John Wall (14.68) were second and third, respectively, behind cousins in PER. Hollinger wrote:

"Cousins has the fifth-highest rating in the Draft Rater's nine seasons evaluated. (The Draft Rater goes back to 2002, as college data from before that year are too spotty to use.)

"Based on that, the outlook for Cousins is quite positive. Of the eight previous players from 2002-08 to rate 15.0 or higher, four became superstars: (Kevin) Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul. Of the other four, three have been very productive starters -- Rudy Gay, Luol Deng and Drew Gooden -- and one became, well, Mike Conley. We had another three last year, and from that trio, one was awesome (Tyreke Evans), one was good (Ty Lawson) and one didn't play a game (Blake Griffin)."


Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports has an excellent article today about Cousins. In the article, the former Kentucky big man states that he is out to prove that a mistake was made when Derrick Favors was selected ahead of Cousins in the NBA Draft:

I believe everything happens for a reason,” Cousins said. ”But I can’t wait to play them because I’m going at their necks, especially the big that got picked before me.”

That ”big” is Georgia Tech power forward Derrick Favors(notes), who was selected by the Nets third overall. Favors was the only post player selected among the top four picks. Considering the Nets’ most heralded player is center Brook Lopez(notes), drafting another true center like Cousins didn’t make sense for the team’s needs.

After Cousins scored 16 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in his preseason debut against Phoenix, he couldn’t help but chuckle to himself when he learned Favors had four points and one rebound in 13 minutes against Philadelphia earlier that night.

”I’m trying to see what’s so special,” Cousins said of Favors. ”…I guess that’s what they really needed on their team. I really don’t know. ‘

”I feel I was the best big to come out of college. For another big to get picked before me, I have a problem with that.”

Rupp Arena Named One of the Most Intimidating Arenas in College Basketball


Rupp Arena has been recognized by Yahoo! Sports as one of the 10 most intimidating arenas in college basketball.

Joining Rupp Arena on the list are: University Center "The Pit", Carrier Dome, Cameron Indoor Arena, Allen Field House, O'Connell Center, Reilly Center, Freedom Hall, Thomas & Mack Center and Pauley Pavilion.

Here is an excerpt about the home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats:

Rupp Arena: Kentucky Wildcats Seats 23,500

Kentucky basketball is on an upswing with their new coach John Calipari and the old mystique of Rupp Arena is back. The Rupp Arena is named for legendary college basketball coach Adolph Rupp and is steeped in history. Playing in Rupp Arena is an intimidating experience if the crowd were not a factor. The crowd is a factor in Rupp Arena and they are loud and create havoc with opponents in their beloved Rupp Arena.

Kenneth Faried Snubbed by Los Angeles Athletic Club


Morehead State's Kenneth Faried was snubbed by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on the group's list of preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award.

Despite averaging a double-double for two consecutive seasons, Faried was left off the preseason list of the top 50 candidates for the award.

A panel of writers from Yahoo! Sports answered the question:

The preseason top 50 candidates for the Wooden Award were announced. Who is the biggest omission?

Mike Huguenin stated:

"The biggest, though, is Morehead State's Kenneth Faried. Frankly, I think a lot of mid- and low-major players were left off in favor of some highly questionable high-major players. But how can Faried be overlooked? He has averaged a double-double in each of the past two seasons and has held his own when he has gone against Big Six opponents. But Faried probably doesn't care. NBA scouts know all about him, and while a lot of guys on the Wooden preseason list will be scrambling to impress scouts in postseason camps, Faried is a lock to get drafted -- and maybe even in the first round. "

Steve Megargee also missed Faried on the list:

"I certainly expected to see Morehead State's Kenneth Faried, Oakland's Keith Benson, Hofstra's Charles Jenkins and Marquette's Jimmy Butler on the list."

My Thoughts: It's bad enough that the Los Angeles Athletic Club omits freshmen and transfers, but how can Faried be left off this list?

Chad Byron Signs Pro Contract in Switzerland


A former University of the Cumberlands Patriot men’s basketball player has signed a contract to play professional basketball in Switzerland. Chad Byron, a four year starter at the University of the Cumberlands, has signed a contract with BBC Nyon basketball team. He was graduated in May of 2010 and wasted no time finding work.

Byron will be playing in the Ligue Nationale de Basketball (LNA). This is the premier basketball league in Switzerland. Just like the United States has two leagues with in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the LNA has an A league and a B league. Chad will be playing for BBC Nyon, a member of the A league, located in Nyon, Switzerland near Lake Geneva in the eastern part of the country. BBC Nyon had a record of 18-7 last season and will be looking for Byron’s help to win a Swiss league championship and play in the Eurocup Finals.

“Getting the chance to play professionally overseas after my career at Cumberland was something I always fantasized about doing,” said Byron about his most recent opportunity. “Putting your talents to the test against great players from around the world is a dream for any basketball player and I am very excited to be in Switzerland. So many players work very hard to get chances like this and few get the opportunity. This experience will be one I will remember forever.”

In his four years at the University of the Cumberlands Byron was an excellent player as well as a leader. He started every game in his four years at Cumberlands averaging 11.3 points per game, 21.5 steals per season, and 69 assists per year. Byron was added to the Patriot history books for most Three Point Field Goals in a season at Cumberlands with 71. In his senior season, he led the team in scoring with 457 points averaging 14.3 points per game.

“My four years at Cumberland were very special to me,” said Byron about his time at Cumberlands. “The people I met not only through basketball, but throughout the University, made it possible for me to succeed both on the court and in the classroom and for that I am truly grateful. I was very fortunate to find success at Cumberland and that has propelled me to find success after leaving. I’m proud to be a part of a program that has produced so many great players and has competed on the national level for so long. I’m just happy to be a part of the tradition.”

“Chad has gained his success in basketball and academics the old fashion way,” said Cumberlands Head Basketball Coach Don Butcher. “He has earned it. His work ethic on and off the floor are second to none. He improved as much as any player we have ever had at UC because he pushed himself to be the best he could be every day.”

To follow Chad’s progress on the professional level visit http://www.bbcnyon.ch/

For more information on the men’s basketball program at Cumberlands or on Patriot athletics, visit http://www.cumberlandspatriots.com/

Article Provided by Dylan Watts, University of the Cumberlands Sports Information Student Assistant

John Allen Inducted Into Eastern Kentucky Hall of Fame


Former EKU star John Allen has been inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame. Allen joined twelve other former Colonel athletes in this year's class.

John Allen (Class of 1994) – Men’s Basketball

John Allen (1990-94), a member of the University’s All-Century Basketball Team, was a four-year starter for the Colonels and finished his career as the fourth all-time leading scorer in Colonel history with 1,635 points. He led the team in scoring his last three seasons and was chosen as the Ohio Valley Conference inaugural Freshman of the Year in 1990-91. A first-team All-OVC selection as a senior when he led the team in scoring (15.6 ppg) and was second in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and field goal percentage (.492), he concluded his Eastern career as the 12th all-time leading rebounder with 684 rebounds. Allen played in 116 games as a Colonel and had career averages of 14.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, and a 48.5 field goal percentage. He played in Finland for Provoo Tarmo for one season and played for the Sports Reach Christian Outreach Team for five years. He currently resides in Metcalfe County where he lives with his wife Tammy and his two children, Jax and Jozie. He teaches at Metcalfe County High School where he has been involved in coaching basketball for the past 10 years.

Here's Your Chance to Win UK Basketball Season Tickets


Calling all UK Wildcat Basketball Fans!

2010-2011 UK Men’s Basketball Season Ticket Raffle

Here is your chance to win two lower-arena tickets for the UK Men’s Basketball 2010-2011 season! Tickets are $20 each and only 3,000 will be sold! The drawing will be held Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 9:00 p.m. at Shrewsbury Hall at the Alltech Brewery. Winner need not be present to win. Details at http://www.lexingtoncatholic.com/ or fill out the form below, and mail to:

Lexington Catholic High School

Attention: Advancement Office/UK Ticket Raffle

2250 Clays Mill Road, Lexington, KY 40503

Mail in orders due no later than October 26, 2010

For more information contact: Ann Tramontin at 277-7183, ext. 299

UK tickets may not be resold by raffle winner (per UKAA Compliance Office).

ORG 0000237

(Click to enlarge)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Erin Andrews Narrates UK Men's Basketball Fashion Show



ESPN's sexy, uh I mean talented, sideline reporter Erin Andrews narrated the UK men's basketball fashion show during the John Calipari's women's clinic:





* Video from MyBlueNation 's YouTube Channel



Photo Source

Schedule for 2010 John Calipari Basketball Clinic


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 2010 John Calipari Basketball Clinic will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET at Rupp Arena.

Now open to male and female fans and coaches, the day-long instructional clinic gives a unique glimpse into the coaching philosophies and strategies Coach Calipari uses in guiding the defending SEC champion, Kentucky Wildcats. Included in this unique clinic, will be a chance to tour the Joe Craft Center and Wildcat Lodge with experts available to answer questions.
"After our sold-out women's clinic, we had a lot of people interested in seeing some of the same things over 500 women got to see during their clinic," Calipari said. "By opening this up to general fans and coaches alike, we are able to give even more citizens of the Big Blue Nation a chance to get behind the 'Big Blue Curtain.'"

Attendees will be given exclusive access to watch Coach Cal conduct two practice sessions with the 2010-11 Wildcats (offensive and defensive sessions with an emphasis on pick and roll and the dribble drive motion offense) and be given opportunities to ask questions of Coach Cal and his staff.

Registration for the co-ed Clinic will be from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. at Rupp Arena on Oct. 30.

Registration is also available online. For more information, please contact the Kentucky Basketball office at 800.852.2875 or 859.257.1916.

*NOTE: Due to NCAA regulations, no youths entering 7th -12th grade will be allowed to register or attend.

Source: UKAthletics.com

2011 Center Deng Leek Commits to Western Kentucky


The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have landed a commitment from 7-0 center Deng Leek.

Leek is a three-star prospect in the 2011 class according to Rivals.com. He also held offers from Alabama State, Charlotte and George Washington.

Here is an excerpt about Deng's commitment from WKUHerald.com:

A Sudan native, Leek said he holds close ties with WKU center Teeng Akol, who he played with at the same school in Africa. It was Akol, Leek said, who helped make the connection to WKU that led to his official visit the weekend of Sept. 18.

"They were like family," Leek said. "Everyone was so nice — the players and the coaches — everybody."


Complete Article

Wroten Snubs Louisville, Miller and Bello Next?


Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com says the recent commitment of Angel Nunez to Louisville may indicate that the Cards are feeling less confident about the chances of landing Deuce Bello and Quincy Miller.

Here is an excerpt from Meyer's Mailbag:

Watch for Baylor

How does the verbal from Angel Nunez affect the recruitment of Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello or other prospects.

- Jeff from Louisville

The only way that his commitment affects Miller is if it affects Bello. And the commitment very well might affect Bello, who is a wing player like Nunez. The commitment of Nunez might also signal that Louisville feels less confident in its standing with Miller and Bello.

It appears as if Baylor is currently making a strong run for the pair of prospects, especially Miller. There is also talk of other schools possibly getting involved with Bello if the pair decides to go different directions in college.

Pikeville College to Host Annual Basketball Blastoff

The Pikeville College men's basketball team will host its annual Basketball Blastoff at the Pikeville College Gymnasium on October 19 at 8:00 p.m.

The event will be held as part of Pikeville College's Homecoming festivities.

Complete schedule of events (click to enlarge):


OVC Announces Schedule for ESPN Games


The Ohio Valley Conference has announced the schedule of league games that will appear on the ESPN family of networks.

Morehead State, Murray State and Eastern Kentucky will all have opportunities to play on national ESPN broadcasts in 2010-11.

20010-11 ESPNU/ESPN2 Television Schedule

Saturday, January 8
Austin Peay at Murray State, 11:00 a.m. CT (ESPNU)

Saturday, January 15
Austin Peay at Tennessee State, 3:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Thursday, January 20
Wild Card Game (Teams TBD), 6:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
Potential Wild Card Games for Jan. 20
Southeast Missouri at UT Martin
Jacksonville State at Tennessee State
Tennessee Tech at Austin Peay
Eastern Illinois at Murray State

Saturday, January 22
Eastern Kentucky at Morehead State, 12:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Thursday, February 3
Wild Card Game (Teams TBD), 8:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
Potential Wild Card Games for Feb. 3
UT Martin at Austin Peay
Murray State at Tennessee State
Eastern Kentucky at Tennessee Tech
Morehead State at Jacksonville State

Thursday, February 24
Morehead State at Murray State, 8:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Friday, March 4
OVC Tournament Men’s Semifinal #1, 6:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
OVC Tournament Men’s Semifinal #2, 8:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Saturday, March 5
OVC Tournament Men’s Championship, 7:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2)

John Wall Overcomes Slow Start in Win Over Cavaliers


Former UK star John Wall missed his first nine field goal attempts last night before going coast-to-coast to score a layup. From that point, he scored 12 points in a span of just over eight minutes.

Wall also dished out 9 assists in a 97-83 preseason victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Here is an excerpt from ESPN.com:

After scoring 21 in his preseason debut on Tuesday in Dallas, Wall didn't get his first basket until there was just 3:15 left in the third quarter. He hit a driving layup off a fast break, something he's certain to do hundreds of times this season.

From there on, he hardly missed.

Wall scored 12 points in a span of 8:26, and finished with nine assists in 37 minutes before coach Flip Saunders pulled him with 6:49 to play and the Wizards comfortably ahead.

"It's a learning experience," Wall said of his second game as a pro. "I told everybody it was going to be up and down. I had a good game the other day. This was an average game, like a C or a D."


Complete Article

Orlando Magic Breakdown: Daniel Orton


OrlandoSentinel.com has broken down the Orlando Magic's roster.

Here is an excerpt of a breakdown on former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton:

Strengths: Orton has potential, no doubt about that. Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith said, “He’s one of those kids that had he stayed in school, he would’ve been in the lottery for sure.” You can’t teach size, and Orton has that, plus the potential to add strength. He’s athletic.

Needs to improve: Orton has two overriding knocks against him. First, he hasn’t been able to do much on-court, basketball-specific work since summer-league play ended in mid-July. Orton had left-knee surgery his senior year of high school in Oklahoma City, and the muscles around the knee need to be strengthened. Magic officials have him on a strengthening program, and it could be a while before he takes part fully in team practices. Still, it’s important to emphasize that Orton says he does not have a new knee injury and that surgery won’t be needed. The other knock against Orton is his inexperience. He played just one year of college ball and played limited minutes at Kentucky. He has a long learning curve ahead of him.


Complete Breakdown

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NBA Rookie of the Year Candidates Not Named Wall


Dimemag.com has named 5 NBA Rookie of the Year Favorites Not Named John Wall.

The five players listed are former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe, Ed Davis, Blake Griffin and Evan Turner.

Here's an excerpt about Cousins:

DeMARCUS COUSINS, PF/C, Kings — This young man has proven to be a beast. Wall’s former teammate at the University of Kentucky showed flashes of dominance during the NBA summer league, and in his preseason opener dropped 16 points and 16 boards on the Suns. The Kings want to build around Evans and Cousins and don’t have any pressure to win right away, so the rookie will have plenty of opportunities to show what he can do. If he continues to show a good work ethic, the sky is the limit.

Greg Himes Named Head Coach at Southern State CC


Greg Himes, a former assistant at Mason County and Bracken County, has been hired as the head coach at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro, Ohio.

"I am very excited about coaching at Southern State Community College," Himes told AllKyHoops. "This is a great opportunity."

Himes received an associate degree from Southern State in 1991 before attending Morehead State University. He spent time on Kelly Wells' staff at Mason County, a period that included a KHSAA state championship.

With the season just around the corner, Himes realizes that he has a tremendous amount of work to do.

"I plan to catch up by doing a lot of hard work," Himes stated. "I know this year will be a challenge, but I feel I am ready to accept the challenge."

Southern State is a member of the Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Southern State CC Men's Basketball - 2010/11 Schedule

Day/DateOpponentSiteTimeResults

Wed, Nov 3 WPAFB - (exhibition) HOME 7:30p
Fri/Sat, Nov 5/6 Edison Tip Off Classic Away TBA
Sun, Nov 7 OSU Mansfield HOME 4p
Fri, Nov 12 Valor Christian Away 7:30p
Mon, Nov 15 UC Clermont Away 7:30p
Sat, Nov 20 Ohio Christian Away 3p
Tues, Nov 23 Rio Grande JV HOME 7:30p
Tues, Nov 30 Clark State HOME 7:30p
Wed, Dec 1 Cedarville JV Away 7:30p
Sun, Dec 5 MU Hamilton Away 3p
Wed, Dec 8 Cedarville JV HOME 7:30p
Sat, Dec 11 Temple Baptist HOME 2p
Tues, Dec 14 Clark State Away 7:30p
Sat, Dec 18 Temple Baptist Away 1p
Mon, Jan 3 Sinclair Away 7:30p
Mon, Jan 1 0UC Clermont HOME 7:30p
Sat, Jan 15 Wright St - Lake Away 3p
Mon, Jan 17 Wittenberg JV Away 7:30p
Sun, Jan 23 Rio Grande JV Away 2p
Mon, Jan 24 Ohio Christian HOME 7:30p
Sun, Jan 3 0MU Hamilton HOME 3p
Tues, Feb 1 Valor Christian HOME 7:30p
Thur, Feb 3 Wittenberg JV HOME 7:30p
Sat, Feb 5 OSU Marion Away 1p
Sat, Feb 12 MU Middletown HOME 3p
Fri/Sat, Feb 17-19 OCAC Tournament HOME TBA

All HOME Games are played at the Patriot Center at Central Campus in Hillsboro

Oral Roberts Hires Sean Sutton as an Advisor


Sean Sutton, who pleaded guilty in August to illegally obtaining prescription drugs, will serve as an adviser to the Oral Roberts basketball program.

Oral Roberts is led by Sutton's bother, Scott.

Here is an excerpt from Forbe.com:

"He is a gifted and very experienced coach and he'll be a great help to us," school President Mark Rutland said Thursday during a news conference at the private Tulsa school. "At this university, we believe in the stewardship of gifts and we believe in the process of redemptive grace."

Sean Sutton will not be able to give direct instruction to players, but he will be able to watch practice and film and make suggestions to his brother and the Golden Eagles' three full-time assistant coaches.


Complete Article

Tony Wroten Commits to Washington


Tony Wroten has committed to the University of Washington.

After teasing all the hats in front of him (and after showing up dressed in black and red), Wroten grabbed the UW cap and placed it on his head.

His final five included Seattle University, Louisville, Villanova, Washington and UConn.

Sixth Annual Dick Vitale Gala to Honor Calipari, UK


The Sixth Annual Dick Vitale Gala will honor the University of Kentucky and head coach John Calipari as the winningest program in college basketball history. The event will also honor Roy Williams and the North Carolina program.

The Gala benefits The V Foundation for Cancer Research and will be held May 20, 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Sarasota, Florida.

For more information, visit the DickVitaleOnline.com

Kentucky State University Releases 2010-11 Schedule


Kentucky State University has released its 2010-11 men's basketball schedule.

Kentucky State University 2010-2011 Schedule

Date Opponent Location Time/Result

11/23/10 at Claflin University Orangeburg, SC 7:30
11/27/10 Benedict College Frankfort, KY 3:00
11/29/10 Paine College Frankfort, KY 7:30
12/04/10 Claflin University Frankfort, KY 3:00
12/31/10 Lane College Frankfort, KY 3:00
1/04/11 Fort Valley State University Frankfort, KY 7:30
1/06/11 Albany State University Frankfort, KY 7:30
1/08/11 at Paine College Augusta, GA 3:00
1/10/11 at Benedict College Columbia, SC 7:30
1/13/10 Morehouse College Frankfort, KY 7:30
1/15/11 Clark Atlanta University Frankfort, KY 3:00
1/18/11 at Fort Valley State University Fort Valley, GA 8:00
1/20/11 at Albany State University Albany, GA 7:30
1/22/11 Central State University Frankfort, KY 8:00
1/25/11 at Tuskegee University Tuskegee, AL 7:30
1/27/11 at Stillman College Tuscaloosa, AL 7:30
1/29/11 at LeMoyne-Owen College Memphis, TN 3:00
2/05/11 at Miles College Birmingham, AL 3:00
2/08/11 at Lane College Jackson, TN 7:30
2/10/11 LeMoyne- Owen College Frankfort, KY 7:30
2/12/11 at Central State University Wilberforce, OH 8:00
2/17/11 Stillman College Frankfort, KY 7:30
2/19/11 Tuskegee University Frankfort, KY 3:00
2/21/11 Miles College (Senior Night) Frankfort, KY 7:30
2/24/11 at Clark Atlanta University Atlanta, GA 8:00
2/26/11 at Morehouse Collge Atlanta, GA 3:00

Terrence Williams Takes a Train Ride to Newark


Former Louisville star Terrence Williams took his first ride on a train yesterday as he travelled from New York's Penn Station to Newark's Penn Station.

Here is an excerpt from NBA.com:

"This is definitely way better than I thought,” said Williams, from a window seat. “I might actually take this to the game instead of driving. There’s no train in Seattle. They’ve got a light rail transit now, but I never took that. I always had cars.”

Led by YES Network announcer Jessica Taff, whose crew was filming for a TV segment, Williams began his trek at NJ Transit’s direct entrance to the ticketing concourse, located at the corner of 7th Ave. and W 31st St. Traveling down the staircase, Williams became one of 81,000 daily commuters to utilize NJ Transit.

Williams shuffled into the ticket line, waiting his turn and purchasing a one-way ticket ($5.00) before making his way to Track 1, where he boarded the 3:30 p.m. Northeast Corridor No. 3855. Easily finding a seat among the afternoon travelers, Williams commented on the ease and speed of the commute, at one point roping a few of his fellow riders into committing to attend a game.


Complete Article

Great Lakes Valley Conference Adds McKendree University


The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) announced on Wednesday that McKendree University has been admitted to the Conference as the 17th member. The addition of McKendree was unanimously approved by the GLVC Council of Presidents at the Oct. 5 meeting.

“The GLVC Council of Presidents unanimously endorsed McKendree University’s application
for membership because of their strong academic and athletic profile and the tremendous
leadership provided by their President Dr. Jim Dennis,” said Dr. Thomas George, Chancellor at
the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Chair of the GLVC Council of Presidents.

It is anticipated that McKendree will be eligible for all GLVC Championships during the 2013-14
season. The Bearcats will be eligible for league championships and integrated into the schedules
for the following sports in 2012-13: football, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and
field, men’s cross country, women’s cross country and women’s golf.

The delay in postseason eligibility coincides with the institution’s eligibility for NCAA Division
II championships as determined by the institution’s reclassification to Division II. McKendree is
currently affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and is in its
first candidacy year for membership in Division II. The institution is on track to become a full
NCAA Division II member for 2013-14 academic year.

“The Great Lakes Valley Conference is pleased to welcome McKendree University as the
league’s 17th member,” said Jim Naumovich, GLVC Commissioner. “McKendree boasts an
outstanding academic reputation and features an athletic program that has been competitive at the national level during their time as a NAIA member. We believe they will be great fit for the GLVC and NCAA Division II”.

McKendree sits on a 100-acre campus in Lebanon, Ill. and will be the fourth GLVC institution located in Illinois.

Complete Release

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Westphal Would Like to Evaluate Joe Crawford Some


Sacramento Kings head coach Paul Westphal says he would like to get a better look at former Kentucky star Joe Crawford.

Crawford, who is fighting for a roster spot with the Kings, did not appear in the team's first preseason game.

He is said to be competing with Luther Head for one spot.

Here is an excerpt from Sacbee.com:
"We'll probably play (Antoine) Wright there a little bit," said Kings coach Paul Westphal. "I would like to see Joe Crawford some, but it's just really hard to know how the game is going to go."

Crawford and Luther Head are competing for a roster spot as a reserve who can provide perimeter shooting. While Head has shown he can be a consistent NBA shooter, Crawford is still looking for his first real chance.

The 6-foot-5 guard from Kentucky was a second-round pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008 but was waived before the season. His only NBA time that season was on a 10-day contract with the New York Knicks.

Complete Article

Tony Wroten Talks About Tomorrow's Decision


Tony Wroten answered questions for the Seattle Times about his college decision, which he will announce tomorrow.

He even said, "whether I got to UW or Louisville..." at one point. He also stated that he "loves purple" but has been "wearing a lot of red lately."

Here is an excerpt:

Q: What coaches have been in contact with you in the past 48 hours?

Wroten: Louisville, Louisville, Louisville. For real.

Q: How are you doin'? Nervous? Excited? A little of both?

Wroten: I'm just fine right now, but I know the closer it gets to my decision I'll have butterflies in my stomach.

Q: What color do you like better, red or purple?

Wroten: I love purple, but I've been wearing a lot of red lately.

Q: I'm a big UW fan, but I have class tomorrow during your decision. Would it be worth it for me to skip class?

Wroten: Whether I got to UW or Louisville, the way I announce is going to be very interesting. So, yes, you should skip class.


My Thoughts: The fun never ends with Tony Wroten and his recruitment.

1995-95 Kentucky: Worst Uniforms in the History of Sports


SportsPickle.com has named the 1995-96 "denim" Kentucky uniforms as the ugliest uniforms in the history of sports.

Here is an excerpt:

#1 – Kentucky Basketball’s Denim Uniforms

The Bluegrass State has always had to endure cruel hillbilly stereotypes and taunts, but Converse sadistically took things to a new level when they introduced these new uniforms for the Cats’ 1996 title run.

Want to show the world you’re not a bunch of hicks? Good luck doing it while wearing the basketball equivalent of cutoffs!

Mercifully, the uniforms didn’t include mullet wigs or require the players to have a few of their teeth pulled or even ride onto the court in a pickup truck, swilling whiskey and wildly firing shotguns into the air. But the damage was done.

At least Tobias Funke got a favorite basketball team out of the deal.

The top 5 are:

1. Kentucky Basketball's Denim Uniforms
2. Chicago White Sox Shorts
3. Major League Baseball's "Turn Ahead the Clock" Uniforms
4. Manchester United's Change Kit
5. Jorge Campos' 1994 World Cup Kit

Lindy's Magazine Picks Murray State in the OVC


Lindy's Magazine predicts a Murray State vs. Morehead State battle for Ohio Valley Conference supremacy in 2010-11.

The publication chooses the Racers to finish on top, with the Eagles just behind and Eastern Kentucky fifth. The predict Eastern Illinois to finish third and Austin Peay fourth.

Morehead State is expected to win OVC Player of the Year as well as Best Defender, Best Rebounder and Best NBA Prospect.

Faried and Murray State's Isaac Miles Isaiah Canaan are predicted to be first team All-OVC performers. Miles is named Most Versatile and Canaan is tabbed Best Playmaker.

Morehead State's Demonte Harper, Murray State's B.J. Jenkins and Eastern Kentucky's Justin Stommes are on the second team.

2010-11 Lindy's College Basketball Preview Preseason OVC Predictions

Predicted Order of Finish
1. Murray State
2. Morehead State
3. Eastern Illinois
4. Austin Peay
5. Eastern Kentucky
6. Tennessee State
7. Tennessee Tech
8. Jacksonville State
9. Southeast Missouri
10. UT Martin

Preseason All-OVC First Team
G - Tyler Laser, Eastern Illinois
G - Isacc Miles, Murray State
G - Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
F - Anthony Campbell, Austin Peay
F - Kenneth Faried, Morehead State

Preseason All-OVC Second-Team
G - B.J. Jenkins, Murray State
G - Demonte Harper, Morehead State
F - Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech
F - Justin Stommes, Eastern Kentucky

Player of the Year: Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
Newcomer of the Year: Josh Terry, Austin Peay

Honor Roll
Best Shooter:
Tyler Laser, Eastern Illinois
Best Rebounder: Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
Best Playmaker: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Best Defender: Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
Most Versatile: Isacc Miles, Murray State
Best NBA Prospect: Kenneth Faried, Morehead State

John Wall is Batman, Gilbert Arenas is Robin


Gilbert Arenas says he is going to move aside and allow rookie John Wall to be the star for the Washington Wizards.

Arenas stated that John Wall is "Batman" and he will serve as "Robin".

Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post:

“Right now I’m out there to hit open shots, teach John the ins and the outs of the game, and then eventually go on and move on. I’m on my way,” Arenas said, offering a subtle hint that he could be dealt before his $111-million contract expires in 2014. “This is the NBA. There’s few players that stay in the same city, so right now the city is John’s. I’m not here to fight anybody. I’m here to play alongside of him. He’s Batman, I’m Robin. When I came in, Larry [Hughes] moved aside for me to become a star and I’m moving aside for him to become a star.”

In the past week, Arenas has tried to contain his emotions. But he shared a few laughs with his teammates, as he scored 12 points, and grinned uncontrollably after Lester Hudson dropped the game-winning three-pointer with 2.5 seconds remaining. Afterward, the sentimentality was lost on Arenas. “I lost all feeling a long time ago. Basketball is basketball now, no matter what floor I’m on,” Arenas said with a shrug. “It’s just basketball. It’s not rocket scientist. You go out there and you just play.”

Complete Article




Bellarmine Ranked No. 2 in D-II Bulletin's National Poll


LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Bellarmine University’s men’s basketball is highly ranked in another publication, this time coming in at sixth in D-II Bulletin’s national poll. Sporting News had previously released their rankings with the Knights checking in at No. 2.

Bellarmine will return their top six scorers from last year’s team that went 23-9 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Coach Scott Davenport’s will be a veteran group with senior starters Jeremy Kendle, Justin Beneditti, and Nick Holmes to go along with Juniors Braydon Hobbs and Luke Sprauge.

Defending champion Cal Poly-Ponoma, who returns eight of their 10 man rotation owns the top spot, followed by Findlay, St. Cloud State, Indiana (PA), and Florida Southern.

The Great Lakes Valley Conference is well represented with St. Joseph’s coming at 10th and Drury at 21st.

Bellarmine will open the season as they host Kentucky State in an exhibition game on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.

1. Cal Poly Pomona
2. Findlay
3. St. Cloud St.
4. Indiana (Pa.)
5. Florida Southern
6. Bellarmine
7. Bentley
8. Tarleton St.
9. Grand Valley St.
10. St. Joseph’s
11. USC Aiken 12. Rollins 13. Midwestern St. 14. Seattle Pacific 15. Metro St. 16. West Liberty 17. Merrimack 18. Cent. Oklahoma 19. Cent. Missouri 20. Alabama Huntsville 21. Drury 22. Virginia Union 23. Philadelphia 24. BYU-Hawaii 25. Mount Olive

Source: Bellarmine University

Sun Belt Teams May be Forced to Upgrade Schedules


The Sun Belt Conference is nearing a policy that will force its men's basketball programs to build more difficult non-conference schedules.

Here is an excerpt from BGDailyNews.com:

This past season, the league saw its overall RPI ranking plummet, finishing at No. 21 out of 32 Division I conferences, according to the website realtimerpi.com.

The Sun Belt had no teams finish in the top 100 of realtimerpi.com’s rankings, and league champion North Texas earned a 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a final ranking of 104. WKU’s RPI ranking of 132 in 2009-10 was the program’s worst in five seasons.

“I can’t whine about it too much, because we didn’t do much to contribute to it (in 2009-10 in terms of RPI),” WKU President Gary Ransdell told the Daily News this past March. “But we didn’t have a team in the top 100 (from) the Sun Belt.

“If we’re going to do what we want as a program, we have to be able to improve our RPI when we get into conference play.”


Complete Article

Patrick Patterson Happy to Get First Official NBA Minutes


Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson didn't have a spectacular NBA debut last night, but he was happy to get his first NBA minutes.

Patterson entered the game late and failed to score. He did pull down four rebounds.

Here is an excerpt of Patterson's thoughts from TheMonitor.com:

“It’s definitely something I had been preparing for,” Patterson said. “Talking to my teammates, they told me that my time would come. It may not be as many minutes as you want, but be ready. When my time came, I walked up there. I thought I did OK. I thought I hit the glass pretty well.”

The Rockets played 16 of the 20 players that are on the training camp roster. Patterson felt fortunate to be part of that group.

“I got my first official NBA minutes, even though it was in a preseason game,” Patterson said. “It makes me feel good that I got on the court. That was my main goal.”

Pitino Announces Staff Changes at Louisville


Rick Pitino announced yesterday that assistant Ralph Willard and director of operations Mark Lieberman have switched roles.

Pitino said Willard requested the change so he could spend more time with family. He added that Willard will still be on the bench during games and that he will "coach the coaches."


Source: WKYT.com

Rajon Rondo and Nate Robinson Messing with Shaq

Here is former UK point guard Rajon Rondo and Nate Robinson having a little fun with new Boston teammate Shaquille O'Neal:

Kentucky Has One of Nation's Toughest Schedules


Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated ranks Kentucky's non-conference schedule as the second toughest in the nation, just behind Georgetown.

Winn's top 5 toughest non-conference schedules for 2010-11:

1. Georgetown
2. Kentucky
3. Texas
4. Tennessee
5. Michigan State

Here is an excerpt about Kentucky:

No. 2 Kentucky

ROAD
11/19 at Portland
12/4 at North Carolina
12/31 at Louisville

NEUTRAL
11/22 vs. Oklahoma (Maui Invitational)
11/23 vs. Washington/Virginia (Maui Invitational)
11/24 vs. Michigan State/UConn/Wichita State (Maui Invitational)

SEMI-HOME
12/8 vs. Notre Dame (in Louisville)

HOME
12/11 vs. Indiana
12/22 vs. Winthrop

The Wildcats are the only other quality BCS conference team with three true road games. The UNC trip is one of the most-anticipated games of December, while the Portland trip is essentially a recruiting visit: power forward Terrence Jones, the final commitment in Kentucky's loaded 2010 class, is from there, as is Kyle Wiltjer, a likely frontcourt starter when he arrives in 2011. There's plenty of intrigue in a potential second-round meeting with Washington in Maui, now that the 'Cats have two former UW commitments (Jones and the yet-to-be-eligible Enes Kanter) on their roster. If a Kentucky-Michigan State final occurs in Maui, that could push the Wildcat's schedule to No. 1.


Complete Article

Wall, Cousins Shine in NBA Preseason Action


Former Kentucky stars John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins exploded into their NBA careers in impressive fashion during tonight's preseason action.

Wall led the Wizards to a 97-94 win over the Dallas Mavericks. The former UK point guard had 21 points, 9 assists (vs. only 2 turnovers) and 4 steals in 36 minutes of action. In a matchup with veteran point guard Jason Kidd, Wall was clearly the star. His night was highlighted by an impressive 35-foot pass to Javale McGee for a powerful alley-oop slam in the third quarter.

Cousins was, well, Cousins in his first appearance for the Sacramento Kings. The former Kentucky big man was 8-13 from the field and scored 16 points in the Kings 109-95 win over Phoenix. Cousins added a double-double with a league-high 16 rebounds.

Some other notes from around the league:

- Earl Clark (Louisville): 1-3 FG, 2 PTS, 3 REB in 17 MIN
- Joe Crawford (Kentucky): DNP Coach's Decision
- Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky): 2-5 FG, 5-5 FT, 1 AST, 3 REB, 6 TO, 9 PTS in 30 MIN
- Jodie Meeks (Kentucky): 4-7 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-1 FT, 2 STL, 2 REB, 9 PTS in 24 MIN
- Terrence Williams (Louisville): 9-12 FG, 2-2 FT, 8 AST, 4 REB, 1 BLK in 23 MIN
- Samardo Samuels (Louisville): 1-3 FG, 2-2 FT, 1 REB, 4 PTS in 5 MIN
- Nazr Mohammed (Kentucky): 0-3 FG, 1-2 FT, 5 REB, 1 BLK, 1 PT in 11 MIN
- Jamaal Magloire (Kentucky): DNP Coach's Decision
- Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky): 6-8 FG, 2-2 3PT, 1-2 FT, 2 REB, 15 PTS in 22 MIN
- Keith Bogans (Kentucky): 1-4 FG, 0-2 3PT, 1-2 FT, 3 REB, 2 AST, 3 PTS in 20 MIN
- Chuck Hayes (Kentucky): 3-5 FG, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK, 6 PTS in 16 MIN
- Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky): 4-8 FG, 4-5 FT, 2 REB, 2 AST, 12 PTS in 22 MIN
- Patrick Patterson (Kentucky): 0-2 FG, 4 REB, 0 PTS in 7 MIN
- Daniel Orton (Kentucky): DNP Coach's Decision

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Photos: Tyndall Visits St. Catharine College Tip-Off Banquet

Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall returned to St. Catharine College last week to speak at the annual Tip-Off Banquet.

Here are some photos from the night:








Ryan Taylor Out of Louisville's 2011 Class?


TheCardinalConnect.com cites a very reliable source in saying that Ryan Taylor will not be a part of Louisville's 2011 recruiting due to academic reasons.

Here is an excerpt:

According to a very reliable source, Ryan Taylor will not be a part of Louisville’s 2011 recruiting class.

Taylor committed to Louisville in January 2009. He was originally a member of the Indianapolis trio of recruits that Rick Pitino and his son Richard were heavily pursuing, but seems to have struck out. Marquis Teague stabbed Rick in the back and committed to Kentucky. Shortly after that, Michael Chandler decided to reopen his recruiting, and now Ryan Taylor will not suit up for Louisville due to academic issues.


Complete Article

Mehmet Kanter Says Turkey "Making an Example" of Enes


Dr. Mehmet Kanter, the father of UK freshman Enes Kanter, has given an interview to Mike DeCourcy of SportingNews.com.

Kanter says Turkish basketball officials are trying to damage his son's college eligibility "because they are trying to set an example with my son to coming generations in Turkey, so they can control and use the talent and youth any way they like to."

The elder Kanter stated to DeCourcy that his family turned down contract offers worth millions of dollars "more than a few times."

Here is an excerpt:

“Since 2007, I wanted Enes to go to the USA and continue his basketball and education there, so I try everything to keep my son amateur and keep meticulous records of all the expenses knowing someday I may be asked (to) fully cooperate with the NCAA.”

Dr. Kanter said “never once” was a salary demanded from Fenerbahce or discussed. “I always try to protected Enes from anything might damage his future.”

Dr. Kanter said the difficulty of Enes’ situation led him to remove his younger son, 15-year-old Kerem, from the Fenerbahce system and send him to Arlington Country Day School in Florida. He said this decision has been particularly hard on his wife.

“But after the experience with Fenerbahce we believe that was the best option for our son's future,” Dr. Kanter said. “He loves basketball and he is becoming good at it. Also, he is very smart and academic and loves to study.

“In Turkey as a youngster if you register with a club -- which is only option if you like to play and practice – it’s impossible to go to another club unless they let you go because they don’t think you are a good enough player for them. So basically you become property of this club. I don’t think that is right and I didn’t want this for my son.”

Complete Article

Tony Wroten Has a Question for John Calipari


Tony Wroten, a 2011 recruit who likely utilizes social networking a little too much, sent an interesting message to Kentucky head coach John Calipari last night.

Here is Wroten's Tweet:

tonetone13 @UKCoachCalipari aye coach. I just wanna know why u stopped recruiting me?

Obviously, Calipari did not respond as it would be an NCAA violation to do so.

Wroten is reportedly down to Louisville, Washington, Seattle, UConn and Villanova.

Freshman Gorgui Dieng Ruled Ineligible at Louisville


Louisville head coach Rick Pitino stated today that freshman Gorgui Dieng has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

Pitino added that Louisville will appeal the decision but as it stands now, Dieng cannot play for the Cardinals.

CardChronicle.com first reported that Dieng's eligibility was in question in mid-September.

Here is an excerpt from the Courier-Journal:

Pitino, speaking to reporters before the Cardinals Tipoff luncheon at the Downtown Marriott, said freshman center/forward Gorgui Dieng was ruled ineligible, and the school is appealing the decision.

Pitino added that two Cardinals, Jared Swopshire and Russ Smith, are injured.

Swopshire will miss the next six weeks with a sports hernia-type injury.

Smith is out 8-12 weeks with an ankle injury.

Rajon Rondo Seems Confident: "I'm the best, hands down"


Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo seems pretty confident heading into the 2010-11 NBA season.

The up-and-coming Celtics star stated over the weekend he is the best point guard in the business, "hands down."

Here is an excerpt:

Rajon Rondo’s self-image is exalted, in a matter-of-fact kind of way.

“I feel I’m the best at what I do, and that’s how I play it,” the Celtics point guard said following yesterday’s practice at Salve Regina. “People know who I am, but that’s not why I play. I play to be the best.

“I’m the best, hands down. There’s no speculation. Not top three or top five, I’m the best.


Source

New teammate Shaquille O'Neal commented on Rondo's toughness to Boston.com:

"Being the big man and being the enforcer, he was killing us," O'Neal said. "So I had to touch him up. But I knew he was a tough kid because he kept coming down there, kept coming down there. A lot of times, you touch people up they have a choice to make. 'I don’t want to get fouled by Shaq again.' Then, you’ve make them go somewhere else. But that [kid] kept coming."

Bledsoe Showing Progress at the Point Guard Position


Former Kentucky star Eric Bledsoe is overcoming early frustration and showing progress in the point guard position at the NBA level.

Bledsoe is learning to adjust his speed at the next level and Lisa Dillman of LATimes.com says "frustration has given way to an understanding of the position."

Here is an excerpt of Dillman's article:

"You see he's calmed down a little more," teammate Ryan Gomes said Monday before the Clippers departed for Portland. "With the help of coach [Howard] Eisley and coach [Robert] Pack, he has gotten to know his angles and to know when to turn on the speed.

"Early, in summer league, [Bledsoe] was using the same speed the whole game. You've got to know, at this level, it's two different speeds you have to play with in order to get your guy off balance. If you're running 90 miles per hour and somebody might step in your way — and you're not going to have an outlet. You might turn it over. So I saw that yesterday. He did a great job."


Complete Article

Monday, October 4, 2010

St. Catharine Releases 2010-11 Basketball Schedule


St. Catharine College has released its 2010-11 men's basketball schedule.

The challenging schedule includes an exhibition trip to Morehead to battle Donnie Tyndall's Morehead State University Eagles.

2010-2011 ST. CATHARINE COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

Nov. 2 @ Indiana South East 7 p.m.
Nov. 12&13 @ Georgetown Tournament 8p.m.
vs. Georgetown
Nov. 27 @ Tusculum* 4p.m.
Nov. 30 @ McKendree 7:30p.m.
Dec. 2 vs. Georgetown 8 p.m.
Dec. 4 vs. Shawnee State 4 p.m.
Dec. 6 vs. Life University 7p.m.
Dec. 7 @ Morehead State* 7p.m.
Dec. 10 vs. Mountain State 7 p.m.
Dec. 14 vs. Indiana South East 12 p.m.
Dec. 16 @ West Virginia Tech 8 p.m.
Dec. 18 @ Rio Grande 4 p.m.
Dec. 29 @ University of Southern IN 4:30 p.m.
vs. Bellarmine University*
Dec. 30 vs. University of Southern IN* 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 6 vs. Virginia Wise 8 p.m.
Jan. 8 vs. Pikeville 4 p.m.
Jan. 13 @ Mountain State 7 p.m.
Jan. 15 vs. Campbellsville 4 p.m.
Jan. 20 @ University of the Cumberlands 8 p.m.
Jan. 22 @ Lindsey Wilson 4 p.m.
Jan. 27 @ Georgetown 8 p.m.
Jan. 29 @ Shawnee State 4 p.m.
Feb. 3 vs. West Virginia Tech 8 p.m.
Feb. 5 vs. Rio Grande 4 p.m.
Feb. 10 @ Virginia Wise 8 p.m.
Feb. 12 @ Pikeville 4 p.m.
Feb. 15 @ Life University 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 19 @ Campbellsville 4 p.m.
Feb. 24 vs. University of the Cumberlands 8 p.m.
Feb. 26 vs. Lindsey Wilson 4 p.m

- Bold contests are Mid-South Conference Games.
- Exhibition*

Wall, Knight Named Top 10 Point Guards in Last 10 Years


Highschoolhoop.com has named its list of the top 10 high school point guards of the last 10 years.

Former Kentucky star John Wall comes in second on the list, just behind Brandon Jennings.

O.J. Mayo, who played some high school basketball at Kentucky's Rose Hill Academy, is fourth between Tyreke Evans and Chris Paul.

Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight makes the list at No. 10.

Former Wildcat Rajon Rondo is not included in the top 10, but is listed as Honorable Mention.

Here are excerpts on Wall and Knight:

2. JOHN WALL, Word of God Academy (NC), 2009 Wall is the only player on the list other than Brandon Jennings to reach consensus No. 1 status in his high school class. He averaged 22.1 points, 5.5 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game his senior season, and did so in dominating fashion. No player combined the speed and athleticism of Wall, or was more feared. Wall was good for at least a handful of highlights every game and put more defenders on posters than any other player. Once during an AAU tournament prior to his senior year, hecklers were giving Wall a hard time because he was struggling early in the game. Almost immediately, he started to turn it on: dunk here, crossover there, steal there, another dunk here. After yet another dunk, Wall yelled in the direction of the hecklers, “That’s why I’m No. 1!” With that, all trash talk ceased.Where he is now: NBA rookie, Washington Wizards

10. BRANDON KNIGHT, Pine Crest (FL), 2010 Knight averaged 32 points, nine rebounds and four assists as a senior and finished his career the second-leading scorer in Florida history. Knight made history as a senior, becoming just the fourth student-athlete to claim back-to-back Gatorade National Player of the Year honors, joining LeBron James, Greg Oden and Candace Parker. One of his most memorable games was against Austin Rivers, the top-ranked prospect in the 2011 class, in which Knight dropped 48 points in the nationally televised shootout on ESPN. He also won two AAU National titles with Team Breakdown.Where he is now: Freshman at Kentucky

John Wall Takes Elbow, Suffers Cut Above Eye


Washington Wizards rookie John Wall took an elbow from teammate Andray Blatche and suffered a cut above his right eye. The cut did not require stitches, but had to be glued shut.

Here is an excerpt from WashingtonExaminer.com:

Speaking of Wall, the rookie point guard suffered a nice cut above his right eye after taking an elbow from Blatche going for a loose ball. It didn’t require any stitches but had to be glued shut.

“We had to rough him up,” said Blatche. “Welcome to the NBA. Let him know what he’s going to get a taste for. Hopefully, he’ll wipe it off and do the job he does.”

Complete Article

Kentucky Program Held Hostage by Enes Kanter Decision


Hoopsworld.com says the NCAA's ruling on Enes Kanter is hanging over the Kentucky basketball program.

The site feels that without Kanter, Florida is almost a lock to win the Southeastern Conference. The loss of Kanter would also likely spell doom for any hopes of a Final Four run by the young Wildcats.

Here is an excerpt about Kanter:

The NCAA's Ruling On Enes Kanter Hangs Over Kentucky, SEC

One of the most prized recruits in the class of 2010 and a likely top-5 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Enes Kanter, has yet to be cleared to play for the Kentucky Wildcats by the NCAA due to allegations that the 6-11 center received a salary while playing for a club team in Turkey in 2008-09.

The decision on Kanter will be vitally important to Head Coach John Calipari's Kentucky squad that lost five players to the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft, including the number one pick overall John Wall. Coach Cal did a fantastic job of bringing in another top recruiting class to keep his team prominent nationally, but the loss of Kanter would move the Wildcats chances at a Final Four run from slim to none.

If Kanter is not allowed to play, Florida (a slight favorite to win the Southeastern Conference regardless of Kanter's fate) will be almost a lock for and SEC regular season crown. The Gators return all five starters from a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year, as well as a solid recruiting class.

Where things really get interesting is in the fight for positioning behind the Gators. Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Kentucky will all be battling it out for the right to be the second-best team in the Southeastern Conference. Don't overlook Arkansas, either. John Pelphrey brought in one of the top recruiting classes in the country this year and, while they will be inexperienced and unproven, the Razorback will have tons of talent.

With Kanter in the lineup, the Wildcats should be running alongside the Gators and playing for a conference title. Without him, Kentucky is a solid basketball team trying to tread water until its young talent matures a little and then, hopefully, making a run in the NCAA Tournament.

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