Saturday, October 23, 2010

Former Wildcat Anthony Epps Arrested for DUI


Former Kentucky star Anthony Epps, who is the head coach at Marion County High School, was arrested early Saturday and charged with driving under the influence.

Epps was arrested in Lebanon shortly after 2:00 a.m. when officers say he failed normal field sobriety tests.

Here is an excerpt from the Herald-Leader:

Epps, 35, of Lebanon, was stopped by Lebanon police near the Hamilton Heights neighborhood around 2:05 a.m. and failed "normal field sobriety tests," said Lebanon Police Sgt. Greg Young.

Young said Epps refused a breath test and was taken to the Marion County Detention Center.

Daniel Orton Practices for First Time in Orlando


Former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton participated in his first practice with the Orlando Magic today.

Orton missed the preseason while working on strengthening his knee and losing weight.

Here is an excerpt from OrlandoSentinel.com:

Rookie center Daniel Orton also participated in the practice — his first official practice with the Magic. Orton has spent the last couple of months on a program to strengthen the muscles around his left knee.

“It went really well,” Orton said. “I’m just happy to be out there.”

Complete Article

Rajon Rondo is Saving Money in Case There is a Lockout


Former Kentucky star Rajon Rondo says he is "saving a lot of money this year" in case there is an NBA lockout next season.

Here is an excerpt:

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo says he's saving his money as if the lockout is going to happen.

Reacting to NBA Commissioner David Stern's comments that he wants player salaries cut by one-third, Rondo said he wants to be prepared.

Rondo is the Celtics' alternate player representative. He says he's "saving a lot of money this year."


Complete Article

Former Hilltopper Jeremy Evans Makes Utah Jazz Roster


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Former Hilltopper basketball player Jeremy Evans survived the final round of roster cuts and is on the Utah Jazz roster for the start of the 2010-11 NBA season.

Evans was selected in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft and went through the NBA Summer League and preseason camp on a non-guaranteed contract. Utah waived four players Thursday to get its roster down to 13, and Evans was not one of them.

"Number one, he started off in the summer league and I thought he played extremely well," Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan said about Evans. "He's a wonderful guy, he's a hard worker and he tries to do what he's told to do. He was guarding [Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar] Odom the other night in the ballgame, and he put everything he had into trying to guard the guy. That's not an easy assignment for anybody. But that's how you get better - if you're willing to try hard to make yourself better, which he did. We like Jeremy. We think he has a chance to play in this league."

"I didn't consider him even a possibility to get cut," Jazz superstar guard Deron Williams said about Evans. "He's going to help us. It wasn't even in my mind to think of Jeremy as a non-guaranteed player, even though he is. He's not going anywhere."

Evans finished his WKU career in 2009-10 as the school's all-time leader in blocked shots (224). He is also a member of WKU's illustrious 1,000-point club with 1,065 career points, and he wrapped up his career with a 7.9 point-per game scoring average and an average of 5.9 rebounds per game. Evans' senior season of 2009-10 saw him average 10.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, both career-bests.

The Crosset, Ark., native has averaged 7.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in six NBA preseason contests so far, and he has logged nearly 20 minutes per game. Evans leads all NBA rookies who have played multiple preseason games in field goal percentage (.727).

Evans and the Jazz open the 2010-11 regular season at Denver on October 27.

Source: Western Kentucky

Cousins Has Potential to Put Up Historic Rookie Numbers


Alex Kramers of the Full Court Press Blog (a Sacramento Kings blog) thinks former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins has the potential to put up historic rookie numbers.

Cousins, in fact, has an opportunity to average a double-double during his rookie campaign.

Here is an excerpt:

Perhaps the lone silver lining in Samuel Dalembert’s groin injury, which is expected to keep the Kings center out for up to four-to-six weeks, is Cousins will be thrust into the starting lineup from the onset. While he could conceivably hold onto the job for the long haul and further improve his chances in the Rookie of the Year race, Cousins will also go up against the toughest competition of his career and face a steep learning curve on the defensive end.

Most importantly, the big man will need to limit personal fouls in order to stay on the floor. Rapper Too $hort’s “Blow the Whistle” has been too close to being the rookie’s theme song on the court so far, as Cousins has been called for 6.5 fouls per 40 minutes in summer league and 7.9 fouls per 40 minutes in preseason.

Based on his collegiate and exhibition season per-game rates, as well as his expected playing time, Cousins should finish with highly impressive numbers in 2010-11. Keep in mind, current Heat forward Mike Miller is the only player to ever win Rookie of the Year while averaging fewer than 30 minutes per game (29.1) in 2000-01, and no first-year player has amassed a double-double in such a short time frame since 1975.

Complete Article

Some stats to consider:

Phoenix Does Not Exercise Option on Earl Clark


The Phoenix Suns have elected to not pick up the 2011-12 team option on former Louisville forward Earl Clark.

Here is an excerpt from AZCentral.com:

Clark also has the standard four-year rookie deal with the third and fourth years being team options. His third-year option would guarantee him a salary of $2.03 million for 2011-12.

Clark, the 2009 draft's No. 14 pick, played fewer minutes than any rookie first-round pick in the NBA last season with the exception of Oklahoma City's B.J. Mullens, and Clark has not broken into the Suns' 10-man rotation in the preseason

Complete Article

Former Wildcat is Happy to be Back Home in Indiana


Jeff Rabjohns of IndyStar.com says former Kentucky star Walter McCarty is happy to be back home in Indiana. McCarty, who also served as Rick Pitino's assistant at Louisville, is now an assistant with the Indiana Pacers.

Here is an excerpt of Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien discussing McCarty:

McCarty, beginning his first year as an NBA assistant with the Pacers, grew up in Evansville and was an Indianapolis Star Indiana All-Star at Harrison High School.

"I've had a number of people say to me that Walter McCarty never has a bad day from an enthusiasm standpoint," O'Brien said. "He knows he's around the game of basketball and he knows it's a privilege to be around the game of basketball and a privilege to be able to help develop players. I think that's an Indiana mentality if there ever was one.

"What's the best place in the world to be? In a gym with basketballs bouncing and a chance to be around a basketball team. Walter grew up with that in Evansville, and as I have viewed his growth from college to the pros, as a player and now as a coach, he's definitely an Indiana guy."

Complete Article

Young Cards Dispatch Veterans in Louisville Scrimmage


Kyle Kuric, George Goode and Elisha Justice led a group of young Louisville Cardinals over the veterans in a Louisville scrimmage held in the KFC Yum Center.

The young group won 125-112 over a team led by Peyton Siva, Preston Knowles and Terrence Jennings.

Kuric scored 40 points and Goode added 39. Kentucky Mr. Basketball Elisha Justice handed out 10 assists and had no turnovers in the scrimmage.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Patrick Patterson Throws Down a Monster Dunk

Former Kentucky Wildcat Patrick Patterson threw down a powerful dunk in last night's 111-103 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Patterson finished with 10 points and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes for the Rockets.

Here is his highlight slam:

DeMarcus Cousins: Video of Preseason Highlights

Check out former Kentucky Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins during the NBA Preseason:



* Video from NBA 's YouTube Channel

Faried Ranked as Top 10 Big Man by CBSSports.com


Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has placed Morehead State's Kenneth Faried on his list of the top 10 big men in college basketball for 2010-11.

Parrish ranks Faried No. 10 and says:

10. Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)

Most college basketball fans haven't seen Faried play, and so they tend to discount his gaudy statistics (16.9 points and 13.0 rebounds last season) as a case of a talent taking advantage of a subpar league. In some ways, that's fair. But know this: Faried would be an elite rebounder in any of the power conferences, which is why he'll likely be a first-round pick in next June's NBA Draft.

Rumor: Kyle Wiltjer Decommitting from Kentucky? (UPDATED)


Tony Wroten, who has a reputation for saying too much on Twitter, posted the following question on his account a few minutes ago:

tonetone13 Did kyle wiltjer really decommitt from UK?

Apparently, the original rumor came from the following Twitter account on October 21:

jimbasnight According to sources, 2011 forward Kyle Wiltjer's commitment to Kentucky is soft and that he is also considering Oregon and Washington.

"Jim Basnight" has 46 followers and credits his rumor to "sources".

The rumor has taken off in the past hour and is something for Kentucky fans to keep an eye on as we enter the weekend.

My Thoughts: I'll wait until I hear something official before I panic over this one. I'm going to classify this as just another anti-blue rumor...


UPDATE: As expected, this rumor is turning out to be completely untrue:

marcmaggard: Anyone who's saying Kyle Wiltjer is a "soft verbal" probably thinks titanium is a "soft metal". It's bullcrap. Ignore it.

KySportsRadio Talked to source that would know....there is zero truth to the story that Kyle Wiltjer has decommitted to UK...

nolanshulman Made some calls and not one of my sources have heard anything to support the rumors !!

Matt Pilgrim is Missing in Action for Oklahoma State


Former Kentucky forward Matt Pilgrim, who transferred to Oklahoma State when Billy Gillispie left UK, has not been practicing with OSU to this point.

Pilgrim is reportedly still dealing with issues stemming from an emergency protective order that was filed against him by an OSU female student following last season.

Here is an excerpt from Ocolly.com:

Senior forward Matt Pilgrim did not practice with the Oklahoma State basketball team this past week during its first week of practice.

OSU officials said Pilgrim is still on the team and will be in attendance on Friday for OSU's Homecoming and Hoops scrimmage but probably will not play.

OSU officials say Pilgrim has taken some time off from the team to sort out some personal issues and is expected to play for the Cowboys this season.

Bellarmine Assistant to be Honored by Assumption College


WORCESTER, Mass.--Bellarmine University Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Drew Cooper is among five former athletes being inducted into the Assumption College Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 23 at a ceremony at the school.

Cooper, a 1999 graduate of Assumption, became one of the great stories in Assumption basketball history as a key figure in the resurgence of the men's basketball program under Coach Serge DeBari. A Louisville native, Cooper earned a scholarship despite never having played at St. Xavier High School. He went on to become Assumption's fourth 2,000-point scorer, reaching 2,001 points in his final game--the Northeast-10 Conference title game at Saint Michael's College.

After averaging 15.6 points in 1995-96, Cooper was named the conference's top freshman. He received first-team all-conference, Daktronics all-region and ECAC Division II North all-star honors in each of his final three seasons. He was also named a Division II Basketball Bulletin All-America as a junior and senior and an N.A.B.C. (coaches) all-region and All-America in 1998-99.

As a senior captain, he averaged 21.2 points and 8.2 rebounds as one of the dominant offensive players in the conference. He earned first-team all-conference, first-team all-ECAC North and first-team N.A.B.C. all-district honors. He then scored 27 points in the annual New England All-Star game. He was named the team M.V.P. and earned the Andrew Laska Award as the male athlete-of-the-year at the College.

Cooper played three years in the International Basketball Association in both Ireland and Germany. He also coached at Babson College, Wheelock College and Northern Kentucky University before joining the staff at Bellarmine, where he has helped Coach Scott Davenport lead the Knights to a record of 66-27 and the first back-to-back 20-win seasons in school history.

Source: Bellarmine University

Stansbury on Kanter: "There's no comparison to Dee Bost"


Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury is not a fan of John Calipari comparing State's Dee Bost to Kentucky's Enes Kanter.

Calipari recently stated on CoachCal.com:

"Dee Bost decided to put his name in the NBA Draft; stayed in the Draft -- meaning he was then a professional and could not come back and be an amateur. Yet, they looked at it and said, wait a minute, common sense says, we’re going to let him play, sit him out some games and let him play."

Those comments by Calipari did not sit well with Stansbury according to Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader:

"He's not a pro," Stansbury said. "... For any kind of comparison to be made, I don't think Dee is a good one to make it on."

Stansbury intercepted Calipari at Media Day to personally make that point.

Stansbury, who last season questioned whether Kentucky gets favorable treatment because of its status as a traditional basketball power, repeated that theme when asked about the Kanter case. The NCAA is reviewing the player's eligibility status in light of his having played three years for a professional team in his native Turkey.

"Everybody across the landscape of college basketball understands what that situation was," Stansbury said. "Everybody is probably waiting to see (if) Kentucky gets something, is it because, with Kentucky, something's maybe different than another school."

Perhaps Stansbury is still upset about this:



Or this:

Former Wildcat Donald Williams Making Shots at Ole Miss


It appears that former Kentucky player Donald Williams will see some playing time this season at Ole Miss.

Head coach Andy Kennedy was asked yesterday at SEC Media Day if Williams will see any minutes:

"Oh yeah," Kennedy replied. "He can make shots. How much is up to him."

Kennedy also referenced the rumors about Billy Gillispie's strenuous practices during his reign at UK:

“If the rumors are true about Billy Gillispie’s practices, I’d think this has to be like spring break,” Kennedy said he told Williams.

Pikeville College Names Tri-Captains for 2010-11 Season


Men's coach Kelly Wells announced that Justin Hicks, Andre Thornton, and Vance Cooksey have been selected tri-captains by the coaching staff for the 2010-11 season.

"We did an internal captain vote that included the coaching staff and these three young men were chosen to represent our team in our efforts to be at our best. These three have shown great leadership to date and we expect that will continue."

Hicks, a 5’11 senior from Hazard, KY is already an 1,000 point scorer going into his senior year and also holds the PC Free Throw % record for a single season at 91.4%. In 09-10 as a junior he started 29 games and averaged 12.1 points per game while nailing 67 3 point field goals.

Thornton, a 6’6 senior from Memphis, TN who began his career at the University of Central Florida started 13 games as a junior in 09-10 and averaged 7.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in 20.3 minutes per game while shooting 50.6% from the floor on the season.

Cooksey, a 6’0 senior from Chicago, IL brings valuable experience to the Bears backcourt having started 47 games for Division 1 Youngstown State over the past 3 seasons. Vance averaged 5.3 points and 2.3 assists per game last season while playing 19 minutes per game. He had a career high of 24 points on 8-of-9 shooting against Kent State in 08-09.

Wells added, “It is a tremendous honor for Justin, Andre and Vance to be voted captains by their peers and coaches. With the leadership of these three along with their teammates, we look forward to great success on and off the court this season.”

Source: Pikeville College

Kentucky Recruiting is "Scary" Once Again


The Kentucky men's basketball program, led by John Calipari, is once again a force to be reckoned with on the recruiting trail.

After what has to be considered a lull in elite (top 25) recruiting during the tenures of Tubby Smith and Billy Gillipsie, the Wildcats are again on top of the game.

Their presence is being felt from coast-to-coast as UK has reeled in two consecutive No. 1 recruiting classes with a third waiting in the wings.

You can now add Maryland to the list of schools that feel the pressure of recruiting against Calipari and the Wildcats.

When news broke yesterday that Kentucky is "heavily interested" in 2011 center Adjehi Baru, it sent shock waves through the Maryland fanbase as Baru is one of the Terrapins top targets.

Here is an excerpt from Maryland blog Testudotimes.com:

Of course, even the potential of a Kentucky offer should be enough to scare any fan hoping for a Baru commit (that is, all of you). UK is getting to the point where they're getting almost anyone they seriously want, and if they seriously want Baru, the allure of Calipari and his success at getting guys into the NBA will probably win out. And if it doesn't, there's pretty good odds UNC will.

That said, Maryland was still the first team to recruit him and he's at least been on Maryland's campus, which can't be said about UK. Both UNC and UK have their weaknesses, mostly revolving around the talent at Baru's position already. We'll see where the recruitment goes, but on the surface, there's some bad signs.


Complete Article

Fans Invited to Murray State's Racer Fan Jam


Murray State Basketball fans are invited to attend Racer Fan Jam, Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the CFSB Center.

Fan Jam is a MSU Basketball tradition when students and fans get to see the Racer men’s and women’s teams for the first time.

Admission to Fan Jam is included as part of the season ticket package. Other fans can pick up a free ticket at the CFSB Center ticket office during normal business hours until 5 p.m. of the day of the event. Admission at the door is $5.

Both the MSU women’s and men’s teams will scrimmage and fans will have several chances to interact with the MSU players and coaches including an autograph session.

The new introduction video for both MSU teams will also be shown for the first time to fans. These videos, played before the pregame lineup announcement, were extremely popular in the first season of having video boards at the CFSB Center, and this season’s videos are sure to be a fan favorite.

Students will surely want to be part of the upcoming first season of Racers Got Talent. A sign-up area will be available during the evening.

The MSU men’s team will receive their Ohio Valley Conference championship rings from last season when they won both the regular season and tournament titles.

Racer Fan Jam also means plenty of give-a-ways, plus schedule posters and schedule cards will also be available.

MSU’s Spirit Groups, the Racer Band, Dunker and Air Dunker will perform and fans can purchase Racer season tickets during the evening.

The MSU men’s team plays an exhibition game at the CFSB Center (Nov. 9) against Freed-Hardeman at 7 p.m., before playing the season and home opener against East Tennessee State (Nov. 15) at 7:30 p.m.

The MSU women’s squad has its season and home opener (Nov. 13) at the CFSB Center against St. Catharine at 7 p.m.

Source: Murray State

Kentucky No. 10 in First ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll


The first ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll for the upcoming season has been released and the Kentucky Wildcats will start the season at No. 10.

Murray State received four votes and Louisville picked up three.

2010-11 Preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll

Rank School 2009-10 Record Points Last year's final rank
1. Duke 35-5 772 1
2. Michigan State 28-9 737 4
3. Kansas State 29-8 656 7
4. Pittsburgh 25-9 621 20
5. Ohio State 29-8 615 11
6. Villanova 25-8 552 15
7. Kansas 33-3 538 6
8. Purdue 29-6 521 12
9. North Carolina 20-17 467 NR
10. Kentucky 35-3 449 5
11. Florida 21-13 424 NR 12. Gonzaga 27-7 423 23 13. Syracuse 30-5 422 8 14. Baylor 28-8 362 10 15. Missouri 23-11 354 NR 16t. Illinois 21-15 329 NR 16t. Washington 26-10 307 21 18. Butler 33-5 245 2 19. Memphis 24-10 212 NR 20. Tennessee 28-9 158 9 21. Georgetown 23-11 129 NR 22. Temple 29-6 120 NR 23. Virginia Tech 25-9 97 NR 24. Wisconsin 24-9 91 24 25. Texas 24-10 89 NR

Dropped out: No. 3 West Virginia (31-7); No. 13 Northern Iowa (30-5); No. 14 Xavier (26-9); No. 16 New Mexico (30-5); No. 17 Cornell (29-5); No. 18 Maryland (24-9); No. 19 Saint Mary's (28-6); No. 22 Brigham Young (30-6); No. 25 Texas A&M (24-10).

Others receiving votes: San Diego State 73; Brigham Young 55; West Virginia 49; Minnesota 41; Florida State 31; UNLV 19; Wichita State 13; UCLA 12; Vanderbilt 11; North Carolina State 10; Georgia 9; Richmond 9; Xavier 8; Mississippi State 7; Utah State 6; California 5; Texas A&M 5; Murray State 4; New Mexico 4; Louisville 3; Arizona 2; Dayton 2; Marquette 2; Maryland 2; Saint Mary's 2; Northwestern 1.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

John Wall Serves Food for a Good Reason


Former Kentucky star John Wall and a group of Washington teammates spent some time working as waiters recently.

Wall and friends served a gourmet dinner at Morton's steakhouse in Washington, D.C. today. The dinner was served to over 200 combat veterans and wounded service personnel, their families and their caretakers.

Here is an excerpt from TBD.com:

Wall was part of a group of Wizards that served a gourmet dinner at Morton's steakhouse on Connecticut Avenue to over 200 combat veterans and wounded service personnel, their families, and their caretakers at the team's second annual "Salute to the Stars" event. Other members of the Wizards family who participated included Andray Blatche, Josh Howard, Nick Young (referred to by Blatche as "Radio" during the introductions), Hamady N'diaye, Trevor Booker, assistant coaches Ryan Saunders and Wes Unseld Jr., TV broadcaster Phil Chenier, and executive vice president of business operations Greg Bibb.

"This is a great event," Wall said. "These guys did a great job serving to protect not just their families, but our whole country. And for them to be happy to see us is really special."

Complete Article

Notes from Louisville Basketball Media Day


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville men's basketball program officially opened the 2010-11 season on Thursday by hosting its annual media day activities at the new KFC Yum! Center.

Head coach Rick Pitino, now in his 10th season at Louisville, and the Cardinal players met with reporters to preview the upcoming season. That was followed by an open practice session and a scrimmage for the media inside U of L's new basketball home on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Louisville.

The Cardinals return one starter and nine lettermen from last year's squad, which finished 20-13 overall following 77-62 loss to California in the NCAA Tournament. On Wednesday, Louisville selected to finish eighth in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Louisville will host a Red-White intrasquad scrimmage on Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. at KFC Yum! Center. U of L will open the exhibition season on Oct. 31 at home against Northern Kentucky at 2 p.m. and will open regular-season play against Butler on Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. at KFC Yum! Center.


Source: University of Louisville

John Wall as a Marvel Comic Book Star?

Well, not really, but ESPN Insider has developed a "comic book cover" for every NBA Team. Here is the cover for the Washington Wizards, which obviously features former UK star John Wall:



John Calipari, Darius Miller Comments from Media Day


Here are comments from Kentucky's John Calipari and Darius Miller at today's SEC Media Day:

John Calipari

On practice thus far…
“Obviously, I’m in panic mode right now. I don’t have both feet on the panic button but I have one. I went back to my practice plans from a year ago to see what we had gotten in at this same time last year and it was exactly the same. Everything we are doing right now is the basic fundamentals that they have to have to play the way we play. So, I put on the board that we don’t have zone offense, against any zone, we don’t have out-of-bounds plays, and we don’t have a side out-of- bounds play. If they half-court trap us we don’t have anything. We don’t have a press attack. We have no late game. What if we need a three, and then I showed them the board. Then I said lets talk about defense. Then I went through the 15 things we have not covered on defense. I just said we have to start moving forward and we’ve got to get this stuff because I can’t move on until you get this stuff. Needless to say, we’re a ways away from being able to play a basketball game. I will say this, I like my team. We’re long, not as deep as we we’re a year ago, but I like my team.

On his ability to bring in good guards…
“I’ve had guys say to me ‘Can you do for me what you did for Derrick Rose?’ and I go ‘Are you that good? If you’re that good, yeah I can.’ I think what has happened is this offense unleashes those guys. If you can play they’re going to see it, so you’re not held back. If you’re not real good at something, it also exposes that. I tell guys, if there are things in your game that you know you’re trying to fool people with; this is not the place to come. I’ve been very blessed by the best players I’ve had have been good guys. Brandon Knight is no different. There is one threat that I can tell you right now that goes through Derrick (Rose), Tyreke (Evans), John (Wall) and Brandon (Knight), and that is at 11 o’clock at night he’ll be in our practice facility working out. Those young men all were anxious about how good they were. They didn’t ever read the press clippings. They weren’t sure and so it drove them by being in that gym at night and doing those things and Brandon is the same.”

On the team this year…
“The greatest thing you have with these guys is you’ve got the Terrence (Jones), you’ve got the Darius (Miller), whose 6’8”, you’ve got all the other guards – we’re a long team. Again, these guys, they’re behind but they’re trying. The key will be, will we be the defensive team eventually that we were a year ago? If we can do that we’ll be fine.”

Darius Miller

On playing on the road…
“Some road games can be tough if you have everybody against you, but it seems like that is not really the case with us, we always have a certain amount of fans that is there ready to support us. In my opinion we have some of the best fans in America and they do a great job of giving us confidence and letting us know that we’re supported”

On the freshman class…
“They are really good in my opinion. A lot of people, when they look at our freshman class, they think about Brandon Knight and Enes (Kanter) but the other guys are just as talented. Terrence Jones came in playing really well and so did Doron Lamb and everybody else, so, I think a lot of people would be shocked at how talented they really are.

On taking a leadership role…
“It hasn’t been extremely hard. I didn’t really have to last year or the year before because I was playing with guys like John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, and Jodi Meeks. I have always been on teams with them so I really didn’t have to take that role but it hasn’t been that hard of a transition for me. I have had to think about being more assertive. This year I have been ready to go every time and I have had to step in that leadership role. I look at it as a challenge. I’m definitely comfortable with it and ready for it.

Calipari Talks About Kanter at SEC Media Day


Kentucky head coach John Calipari gave a few comments about Enes Kanter when talking to the media today in Hoover, Alabama.

Here are some of Calipari's comments from Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal:

“The NCAA is not working against us with this young man,” Calipari said Thursday. “This is a hard decision. He played for the club when he was 14, 15 and 16. They know that. They also know that this decision they make, with a kid in a similar situation, this is going to be (the precedent).”

“He may peek his head in the door, but he's not able to watch anything,” Calipari said.

“It’s been tough on the kid,” Calipari said. “The kid’s like, ‘What is this all about?’ because he knows he did things right. I want the NCAA to get it right, because it’s not going to just affect this kid. It’s any good players that want to come over (from Europe) that are in those clubs. It’s going to affect every one of them, so just get it right, whatever we’re going to do.”


Complete Article

Dawson added on Twitter:

wildcats Cal: "Enes is a good player. People are trying to make him out to be King Kong." Says he "needs work" and he's "not DeMarcus Cousins."

Quincy Miller, Deuce Bello Commit to Baylor


The dynamic 2011 duo of Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello committed to Baylor University today on ESPNU.

The final two for Miller were thought to be Baylor and Louisville and it was considered a good possibility that the two friends would likely choose the same school.

Miller ranks No. 5 on the Rivals150 List for 2011. Bello ranks No. 43.

Parrish Ranks NCAA's Top Guards, Brandon Knight No. 9


Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has ranked the top guards in NCAA basketball for 2010-11.

His top 5 are Jacob Pullen (Kansas State), Nolan Smith (Duke), Jimmer Fredette (BYU), Shelvin Mack (Butler) and Kyrie Irving (Duke).

He ranks Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight at No. 9.

Here is an excerpt about Knight:

9. Brandon Knight (Kentucky)

Knight might not be Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans or John Wall, but he is the fourth consecutive likely one-and-done point guard for John Calipari, and he'll be great. Again, Knight won't be Wall. But could he be the SEC Player of the Year? Yes, absolutely.


Former Morehead State Forward Signs in Germany


Former Morehead State forward Chad McKnight has signed a professional contract with HolidayCheck Baskets Konstanz, a mid-level team in Germany's ProB League.

Last season, McKnight played for the United Kingdom's Guildford Heat. He averaged 16.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals in 27 games.

McKnight had an excellent four-year career with Morehead State. He averaged 16.9 points and 6.4 rebounds during his senior season in 2004-05. He finished his MSU career with 981 total points.

Source: EuroBasket.com

Watch John Calipari, Darius Miller Live at SEC Media Day


Kentucky fans can watch John Calipari and Darius Miller speak this afternoon at SEC Basketball Media Day.

Wildcat fans can also watch Matthew Mitchell and Victoria Dunlap of the UK Hoops program.

The entire event will be streamed live at SECSports.com .

Here is the schedule for the upcoming afternoon session:

1:30-1:40 Andy Landers, Georgia
1:40-1:50 JaMychal Green, Alabama
1:50-2:00 Wendell Hudson, Alabama
2:00-2:10 Mark Fox, Georgia
2:10-2:20 Tierney Jenkins, Alabama
2:20-2:30 Anthony Grant, Alabama
2:30-2:40 Victoria Dunlap, Kentucky
2:40-2:50 John Calipari, Kentucky
2:50-3:00 Meredith Mitchell, Georgia
3:00-3:10 Darius Miller, Kentucky
3:10-3:20 Matthew Mitchell, Kentucky
3:20-3:30 Trey Thompkins, Georgia

Rajon Rondo Talks Training Regimen in Men's Fitness


Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo will appear in the upcoming issue of Men's Fitness magazine.

In the article, Rondo discusses his workout regimen and explains how he has put on 30 pounds of muscle since being drafted by the Celtics in 2006.

Here is an excerpt:

During the season, Rondo reports he lifts two or four days a week depending the team’s schedule. His main workout man is Celtics strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo.

“We concentrate on doing agility drills, power exercises, and I get shots up after lifting,’’ he said. “(Coach Doo is) good about making sure I don’t put too much muscle on too fast.

“It helps me fight off my defenders,’’ Rondo told the Fitness folks in the November issue. “I know I’m bigger and stronger, so it has to help.’’


Complete Article

Photo: Men's Fitness

Bellarmine Picked to Win GLVC East Division


The Bellarmine Knights have been picked to win the Great Lakes Valley Conference East Division in 2010-11.

The Knights received 66 total points, including 14 first place votes. They are followed by Kentucky Wesleyan with 41 total points. Northern Kentucky received 38 points and is projected to finish fourth.

GLVC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll:

East Division
Team (First-place votes) Total Points
1. Bellarmine(14) 66
2. Kentucky Wesleyan 41
3. Southern Indiana 39
4. Northern Kentucky (1) 38
5. Indianapolis 16

North Division
Team (First-place votes) Total Points

1. Saint Joseph’s (7) 56
2. Lewis (5) 53
3. Quincy (3) 50
4. UW-Parkside 26
5. Illinois-Springfield 15

West Division
Team (First-place votes) Total Points

1. Drury (14) 66
2. Rockhurst 45
3. Missouri-St. Louis (1) 42
4. Missouri S&T 33
5. Maryville* 14
*Ineligible for GLVC Tournament

Footage from Morehead State's Hysteria Event

Here is some excellent footage of Morehead State's Hysteria event that was held last:



Here is the slam dunk contest:



* Videos from killbarney001 's YouTube channel

Kentucky Offers 2011 Center Adjehi Baru?


According to a post on Twitter, Kentucky has offered 6-9 center Adjehi Baru, a big man in the 2011 recruiting class.

Here is the post on Twitter:

RAL57 Kentucky just offered 6'9 Adjehi Baru. Baru will take an official visit to UK in the near future. UK will replace USC as the 5th official

Baru is ranked No. 26 on the Rivals150 List for 2011. He is ranked as the No. 3 center in the 2011 class and is rated as a 4-star recruit.

UPDATE: Evan Daniels of Scout.com says UK has not officially offered at this point but are interested:
EvanDanielscout Kentucky is definitely heavily interested in Adjehi Baru, but despite rumors has not stepped up with an offer yet. They'll see him soon.

Baru in action:


John Calipari Offers Comments on Enes Kanter Situation


Kentucky head coach John Calipari has expanded on his thoughts from his Big Blue Madness interview with ESPN's Jimmy Dykes about Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter, who is still waiting for an eligibility decision from the NCAA.

Here is an excerpt of Calipari's thoughts from CoachCal.com:

In Europe that’s not the case; if the club gives a family expense money to educate their son, the NCAA rules – at this time – state that those expenses can not be used because the club has a professional team; the young man’s age (14 or 15 years old) doesn’t matter.

The question becomes, how does the NCAA judge expenses in each case? A young man living in an expensive city will get significantly more money from the club than one living in a rural area of a poor country. Just like in prep school, these European families have to move their children to the club’s city. Some relocate entirely, but some, like in Enes’ case split their families and have two households.

I love what the NCAA did with Dee Bost (Mississippi State). Dee Bost decided to put his name in the NBA Draft; stayed in the Draft – meaning he was then a professional and could not come back and be an amateur. Yet, they looked at it and said, wait a minute, common sense says, we’re going to let him play, sit him out some games and let him play.

So I think, at the end of the day, the NCAA has been fair. They’ve been more than fair. They’re going to make this decision and we want it to be right because it’s going to affect all foreign players in a similar situation from here on in.

Complete Article

KIAC Releases Preseason Men's Basketball Poll



Berea, KY. (October 20th, 2010) - The 2010-2011 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference preseason men's basketball poll was released Wednesday. Seven of the eight coaches selected Indiana University Southeast to repeat as men's basketball champion. Indiana University Southeast won last season's conference tournament and finished the regular season with an 11-1 league record. Asbury University is selected to finish second while last year's regular season and tournament runner-up, Brescia, is selected to finish 3rd. Berea College, Indiana Univeristy East, Cincinnati Christian University, Alice Lloyd College, and St. Louis College of Pharmacy complete positions 4 through 8 in the coaches' poll.

PLACE SCHOOL POINTS

1) Indiana University Southeast (7) 63
2) Asbury University (1) 48
3) Brescia University 42
4) Berea College 41

5) Indiana University East 34
6) Cincinnati Christian University 32
7) Alice Lloyd College 20
8) St. Louis College of Pharmacy 8

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Teammates Credit Rajon Rondo's Maturity and Leadership


Rajon Rondo's Boston Celtic teammates are giving the former Kentucky point guard plenty of credit for his new found maturity and leadership.

Here is an excerpt from NECN.com:

But after being at the helm for an NBA Championship and a trip to the NBA Finals two years later, his teammates notice a difference in their point guard. Rondo, now 24, has grown up.

"A lot has to do with maturity," Pierce explained to CSNNE.com. "He's been around the block a few times now. He understands the coaching staff, he understands the players around him, whereas before he probably bumped heads with a few people or reacted a certain way. But now he understands who he is, he understands the system, he understands everything around him and what's needed for him."

Allen echoed Pierce's sentiments.

"He's more settled in," he said. "I've noticed a maturity in him this year that I haven't seen. It's things that he says during games. During the preseason, he's focused on his help defense, he's zoned in more, and he knows that a lot of what's going on starts with him. It's been great encouragement for me to see him because a lot of things that I would say, he's saying them now. So I believe that it's mostly brought on through him because those are things that he wants. He's setting that tone."

As Rondo enters his fifth season with the Celtics, he has a longer tenure with the team than all but two players, Pierce and Kendrick Perkins. He has seen teammates come and go, all the while learning how to incorporate each one of them into the system.


Complete Article

Wall, Cousins are NBA Rookies Who Must Grow Up Fast


Sean Deveney of SportingNews.com lists five NBA rookies who must grow up fast this season. Two of the five are former Kentucky Wildcats DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall.

Here is an excerpt about Wall and Cousins:

No. 1 John Wall, PG, Wizards

Why the pressure is on: Wall is expected to be the franchise player for a team licking the deep wounds of last season. But he must keep the former face of the franchise, Gilbert Arenas, happy.

Scout says: “I am impressed with the way he can balance sharing the ball with taking it to the rim and finishing himself. He will attract a lot of attention defensively, and that’s going to be good for the rest of that offense.”

No. 5 DeMarcus Cousins F/C, Kings

Why the pressure is on: The Kings have a perimeter star in guard Tyreke Evans, and they need an inside complement. Cousins is a potentially dominant post presence.

Scout says:: “He’s got the size. As long as he keeps his conditioning up and is willing to be coached, the sky is the limit for what he can do as far as scoring in the post. If he earns the playing time, he can average 15 (points) and 10 (rebounds) as a rookie.”


Complete Article

DeMarcus Cousins to Join Sports Authority for Grand Opening


Here is the official press release:

Grand Opening to take Place on Saturday, October 23rd; Celebration to Include Special Appearances, Prizes and Customer Giveaways

CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Expanding its presence into sports-loving communities across the country, Sports Authority will formally open its new Citrus Heights, California location on Saturday, October 23, at 8 a.m. The 42,000 square foot store, located at 5995 Birdcage Centre Lane, will mark the 68th Sports Authority store in the state of California.

The new store is an energy efficient prototype that replaces a Sports Authority store in Carmichael that was built in the early 1980's. Sports Authority has incorporated new building concepts to help with the green footprint of the building, including skylights incorporated for daylight harvesting, dimmable fluorescent lights with state-of-the-art sensor controls, zone lighting, a high efficiency HVAC system and a "cool" roof. The store is projected to be 24 percent more energy efficient than the 2009 California Title 24 Energy Requirements. The Citrus Heights store's energy efficiencies will be compared to other stores Sports Authority built just 5 years ago to help build a game plan for the store of the future.

The first 250 guests to enter the new store will receive Mystery Bucks valued between $5 and $500. Additionally, the store will offer $100 Gift Card giveaways every hour from 9 a.m. until 6 pm., as well as Cash Card incentives valued between $25 and $100 on all qualifying purchases.

The Citrus Heights location will cater to the interests of area shoppers, from outdoor sports, golf, cycling, soccer and more, offering the best and latest items for team and individual sports, as well as dedicated sections for footwear, apparel, outdoor, golf and fitness. Further, it will feature brand shops for Nike, Under Armour, adidas and The North Face, as well as a service shop for ski and bike services, tennis stringing and fishing line winding. Customers can also test out equipment on a new golf simulator and the Wii® experience game system.

In celebration of the grand opening, at 5 p.m., Sports Authority shoppers will enjoy a special appearance by the Sacramento Kings' 2010 first-round draft pick, forward-center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins will be available for photos and autographs with customers in attendance. Additional activities will include $100 gift card giveaways each hour from 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; putting contests and opportunities to win prizes including a TaylorMade Burner driver, Diamondback bike and Tony Hawk signed skateboard.

"The opening of our 68th location in California further illustrates Sports Authority's commitment to meeting residents' sporting and active lifestyle needs by providing industry-leading customer service and a diverse selection of quality sporting good products," said Greg Waters, COO for Sports Authority. "Sports Authority strives to provide a great value and service to athletes and organizations in every community. Through creating new employment opportunities and sponsoring youth organizations within the communities in which we do business, Sports Authority looks to be an active participant within the community and to make a difference."

Sports Authority is the official sporting goods retailer of US Youth Soccer, the Babe Ruth League, Pop Warner, the Road Runners Club of America and the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series.

Citrus Heights regular store hours will be Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

About Sports Authority

Headquartered in Englewood, CO, Sports Authority is one of the nation's largest full-line sporting good retailers, offering a comprehensive and high-quality assortment of brand-name sporting apparel and equipment at competitive prices. Sports Authority is staffed with experts in all areas of sports and fitness related topics, and strives to be the ultimate "authority," both on and off the field. Whether in the game or cheering from the sidelines, Sports Authority is the leading destination for consumers to fulfill their own sport equipment needs, as well as find their favorite team's apparel.

Sports Authority operates 462 stores in 45 states, and employs more than 17,000 people nationwide. It also operates stores in Japan under a licensing agreement with AEON Co., Ltd. The company's e-commerce website is located at www.sportsauthority.com.

SOURCE Sports Authority

O'Neil Wonders About the Lineup at Louisville


ESPN's Dana O'Neil has 5 things she can't wait to see in the Big East Conference this season. One thing she can't wait to see: the lineup at Louisville.

Here is an excerpt from O'Neil's article:

3. The lineup at Louisville

There’s an old Bugs Bunny episode where Bugs single-handedly handles the Gashouse Gorillas. Bugs meet Peyton Siva, who may have to pass the ball to himself, rebound his miss and go up for the putback for the Cardinals in the early going. Instead of a who’s who, Louisville has a who’s not. Who’s not playing:

- Roburt Sallie: The Memphis transfer’s hope to play immediately didn’t come to fruition.

- Justin Coleman: The Cards’ top freshman did not qualify academically.

- Gorgui Dieng: The NCAA ruled the rookie from Senegal ineligible. Louisville is appealing.

- Jared Swopshire: He has an injured hernia and is out at least six weeks.

- Russ Smith: The freshman guard is out 12 weeks with an ankle injury.

- Preston Knowles: He’s been suspended for at least the two exhibition games.

After a summer of upheaval and turmoil during the Karen Sypher trial, this isn’t exactly the smooth sailing into the normalcy of basketball that Rick Pitino needed. The good news: The Cardinals have a brand-spanking new arena to draw fans and Butler on tap to open it on Nov. 16. Here’s hoping the concessions at the KFC Yum! Center are delicious.


Chuck Hayes to Miss Games with Sprained Ankle


Former Kentucky star Chuck Hayes has officially been diagnosed with a sprained right ankle.

An MRI yesterday revealed a mild to moderate sprain according to the Houston Rockets.

Hayes will likely miss the team's final two exhibition games and is listed as day-to-day.


Shelvin Mack Voted Preseason Player of the Year


Former Bryan Station star Shelvin Mack has been selected as the preseason player of the year in the Horizon League.

Mack will look to lead defending national runner-up Butler back to the NCAA Tournament.

2010-11 HORIZON LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL
Rank School (1st) Points
1. Butler (48) 480
2. Detroit 381
3. Cleveland State 376
4. Valparaiso 312
5. Milwaukee 259
6. Wright State 256
7. Green Bay 242
8. Loyola 146
9. UIC 121
10. Youngstown State 67

Player of the Year
Shelvin Mack, Butler

All-League Teams
First Team:

Shelvin Mack, G, Butler
Norris Cole, G, Cleveland State
Matt Howard, F, Butler
Rahmon Fletcher, G, Green Bay
Brandon Wood, G, Valparaiso

Second Team:
Vaughn Duggins, G, Wright State
Eli Holman, F, Detroit
Cory Johnson, F, Valparaiso
Chase Simon, G, Detroit
Robo Kreps, G, UIC

Turkish GM, Pete Thamel Lose More Credibility; Exploring Enes Kanter's Academics


On October 12, Pete Thamel of the New York Times released an article concerning Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter and his eligibility issues.

In that article, a GM from a Turkish club team made the following statement:

“Enes has a good basketball potential yet academically, he is not gifted as much,” Karakas said.

The statement was an obvious attack on Kanter's academic abilities and an attempt to solidify his argument that Kanter has no interest in receiving a valid education in America.

Today, the Turkish GM and Pete Thamel take a hit as StudyinAmerica.com delves into the truth about Kanter's education.

It turns out that Kanter was in a top-level Turkish education system at an early age and has put a tremendous amount of effort into making his way to the United States.

Here is an excerpt:

When Enes was 10 years old, his family registered him for entrance to The Samanyolu School in Ankara, Turkey( www.samanyolu.k12.tr ). Since I have been working with Turkish education since 1993, people tell me I am an expert with Turkish Education so let me fill you in. This school is one of Turkey’s most competitive and accepts less than 1% of its applicants. For 4 of the past 5 years, the student with the highest score on the Turkish National Entrance Examination graduated from Samanyolu. When Enes was 9 years old, he like most other of this school’s applicants spent day and night cramming for its entrance examination. He passed and was admitted to this prestigious institution. I should also say the tuition for this school is 20,000+ USD that Dr. Kanter I am sure was proud to pay. If Enes wanted he could have had a more relaxed 9th year in life and Dr. Kanter didn’t have pay a cent if Enes was to study at a normal state school. Also, at the age of 10, Enes never even picked up a basketball in life. It was only when his Physical Education Teacher saw how tall Enes was getting, he said you should try basketball . Enes shot his first hoop at the age of 13.

After my meeting with Enes in April, I noticed a young man who was convinced that he was making the right decision to pursue an education. The last question I asked him was what he was to do that coming summer? He said “I am going to Lexington to start my classes and I am so excited”.


Complete Article

My Thoughts: Hey Thamel, here is some recommended reading:



Terry Meiners Removed from Louisville Basketball Coverage


Terry Meiners has confirmed via Twitter that he's been removed from Louisville basketball broadcasts.

Here is his post on Twitter:

terrymeiners Pitino TV show format fractured. I’m no longer host. No more farce halftime interviews, either. Read my wiki for details.

Excerpt from his Wikipedia page:

In 2010, the University of Louisville switched from Freedom Hall to a new downtown arena, tossing out familiar seating assignments for longtime season ticket holders. Meiners publicly criticized[20] school administrators, saying that decades of fan loyalty had been ignored in the re-seating process to accommodate late line jumpers making fresh donations to the athletics department. In a live radio interview[21], Meiners asked a university fundraising spokesman about the number of prime seats school officials kept for its own use, whether school employees who received those free tickets were allowed to resell them “to enhance their compensation packages,” and about advance block sales of seats to ticket brokers before seats were made available to common fans. Meiners was soon removed from an upcoming charity golf tournament where University of Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich was slated to play in Meiners’ foursome. Meiners responded[22] by offering to buy two foursomes in the charity tournament, stocking the one in front of Jurich with four slow-moving octogenarians and the foursome behind Jurich with four long-hitters having “a delightful day of methodical shot selections.”

Shortly thereafter, a university official notified WHAS-TV of changes in the coach’s show[23] show format for the fall of 2010, resulting in Meiners no longer continuing to host the program[24]. WKRD-AM and WHAS-AM sports radio host Drew Deener[25] was selected to replace Meiners on the weekly Pitino television show under whatever format the university approves. Deener’s radio shows are consistently friendly to University of Louisville athletics.

UK Freshman Jarrod Polson is Living the Big Blue Dream


Tim Branstetter of The Times-Tribune (Corbin) has written an excellent article about Kentucky freshman Jarrod Polson.

The article details how Polson grew up dreaming of being a Kentucky Wildcat to today when he actually wears the blue and white.

Polson attended Kentucky's open gym "a lot" during the summer and one day director of basketball operations Martin Newton told Polson there was a spot for him on the team.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

From pretending to be his favorite Kentucky player to watching every game with his dad, Polson admits that Kentucky basketball has been a major part of his life for a long time.

“I have always watched the games with my dad,” Polson said. “Even the 11 o’clock reruns. We always watch them together.”

Polson decided to not sit back and wait for the coaches to come and recruit him during his senior year at West Jessamine high school.

“I played at the open gym a lot,” he said. “One day Martin Newton (director of basketball operations) told me they had a spot for me. I was excited all the way home. Very excited. I always wanted to play for Kentucky.”

Polson enjoyed telling his family and friends about becoming a Wildcat, but said that it really set in when he saw his name on the back of a jersey.

“During the first photo day is when it really hit me,” he said. “Seeing my name on a jersey felt pretty good.”


Complete Article (Highly recommended)

Big East Releases Coaches' Poll and All-League Honors


The Big East Conference coaches' poll and all-league preseason honors have been released.

The Louisville Cardnals are picked No. 8 in a tie with Marquette. Pittsburgh is projected as the conference favorite, followed by Villanova, Syracuse and Georgetown.

2010-11 Preseason Coaches’ Poll

1. Pittsburgh (12), 222 points.
2. Villanova (1), 208 points.
3. Syracuse (2), 187 points.
4. Georgetown, 173 points.
5. West Virginia, 164 points.
6. St. John’s (1), 145 points.
7. Notre Dame, 123 points.
8. Louisville, 121 points.
(tie) Marquette, 121 points.
10. Connecticut, 113 points.
11. Seton Hall, 104 points.
12. Cincinnati, 91 points.
13. South Florida, 54 points.
14. Providence, 36 points.
15. Rutgers, 32 points.
16. DePaul, 26 points.

* First-place votes in parentheses

2010-11 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Austin Freeman, Georgetown

2010-11 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
Fab Melo, Syracuse

2010-11 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Austin Freeman, Georgetown (Player of the Year), G, Sr., 6-3 ½, 227, Mitchellville, Md.
Kemba Walker, Connecticut, G, Jr., 6-1, 172, Bronx, N.Y.
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh, G, Jr., 6-2, 190, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall, G, Sr., 6-5, 188, Bronx, N.Y.
Corey Fisher, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-1, 200, Bronx, N.Y.
Kevin Jones, West Virginia, F, Jr., 6-8, 255, Mount Vernon, N.Y.

2010-11 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Chris Wright, Georgetown, G, Sr., 6-1, 208, Washington, D.C.
Jimmy Butler, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-7, 220, Tomball, Texas
Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame, F, Sr., 6-8, 235, Unionville, Conn.
D.J. Kennedy, St. John’s, G/F, Sr., 6-5, 214, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Kris Joseph, Syracuse, F, Jr., 6-7, 207, Montreal, Quebec

2010-11 Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Yancy Gates, Cincinnati, F, Sr., 6-9, 260, Cincinnati, Ohio
Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette, G, Jr., 6-2, 215, Raleigh, N.C.
Rick Jackson, Syracuse, F, Sr., 6-9, 240, Philadelphia, Pa.

John Calipari Writes Open Letter to Kentucky Fans


Kentucky head coach John Calipari has written an open letter to Big Blue Nation. Here is the letter in its entirety, via the Cat Scratches Blog at UKAthletics.com:

Dear Big Blue Nation:

First off, thank you for making Big Blue Madness the special evening it was for all our men's and women's players. I know I speak for all of us when I say that you gave us chills throughout the entire evening. And how about that energy and passion carrying over to Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night? Well, let's just say that you guys are the greatest fans in all of sports. Thank you for your continued devotion to all of our student-athletes.

My job this year is a real simple one: How do we get this team to be the best it can be? Right now, I have no idea what that means. But that's the question I'm asking my staff and myself: How good can we be?

I want you all to understand that our staff won't be spoiled by the past - be it last year's remarkable season or our unprecedented record over the last five years. I have been blessed and yes, a bit spoiled by these past several years. It's no different than a high school player who is spoiled by his past successes and then gets to college and finds out the competition is stiffer and more daunting. He must rise to that level and figure out how to compete and survive.

With last year's team, after a few days, I said right up front that it would be the most talented team I'd ever coached. But early on it might have been the fifth or sixth best execution team I'd ever coached. Let's face it, early in the season we won on sheer talent and a "will to win" by a few of the players. We simply Refused to Lose. The other teams executed better than we did and as much as I hate to say it, were probably better coached than our team.

But as the season progressed, what that team became was truly a pleasure to watch. They got better every day; became closer every day; and they got mentally and physically tougher every day. They sacrificed for each other and by the end of the year we were best team in country - with some flaws, yes - but in my opinion, still the best. Also, by the end of the year we executed as well as any team.

From Day One - everyone said our Achilles heel was our shooting and as much as I hate to admit it, that was what got us in the end.

As I said on Friday night, we have now turned the page. This year's team will need to have a steady climb - how steep is that climb? I don't know yet. How big is that mountain we're going to climb? I don't know yet. People who are rating us right now be it high or low, they don't really know - they're all guessing. If I don't have any idea where we are, you can be sure no one else does!

That being said I love this team and I love its potential and I love their receptiveness to coaching.

There are many questions to be answered: Will we be tough enough both physically and mentally? Will we have players with the will to win? Will we have a few catalysts that will make plays at big moments? Will we execute well enough early in the season to win some games we should not win? And will we be a long, active defensive team that relies on defense more than anything else?

Right now we may be the worst rebounding team playing basketball today - that has to change. And, as was the case last year, we have some awful "freshmen habits" that need to be changed, some that have be to eliminated and others that have to be added. But I think this team is receptive to that and I really think this team understands what it means to play in a Kentucky uniform and what it means to be ready to play every possession of every game.

Where we stand right now with toughness and rebounding, we probably need to struggle early because only a crisis brings about change. I hate to lose - you all know I hate to lose - but at times it's necessary for a team like this to take its knocks early in order to get them to realize the importance of rebounding and defense.

The same may hold true in league play - we may need to be in some dogfights early during SEC competition to get this team to understand and realize how every possession matters and that it's not for "funsies" any more. You're either into winning or you're into yourself - you can't be into both.

Sometimes, only a loss or two are the kind of crises that brings about change. My hope is we can learn from some close wins like we did a year ago, but I'm just not sure yet that will be the case with this team.

Now, there is one thing in the way that I threw out in front of these young men as an obstacle and it's called "The Schedule" - the toughest non conference schedule in the country and a conference schedule that will see us, in my opinion, face four NCAA tournament teams twice each, along with another NCAA tournament team or two once each. All that while being possibly the youngest team in the country!

Why would I do that to this team? Well, no one's ever accused me of being smart!!

Big Blue Nation, I'll leave you with this: I love this team and I love its potential. We are nowhere close to where we need to be but I'm going to have a ball coaching this team and I want all of you to enjoy the path.

Your coach,

Coach Cal

Louisville Men's Basketball Picked No. 8 in Writers Poll


The Louisville Cardinals were picked to finish eighth in the Big East Conference in the Syracuse Post-Standard's annual preseason poll of writers from around the league.

Here are the results:

1. Pittsburgh (10 first-place votes)
2. Villanova (3)
3. Syracuse (2)
4. Georgetown
5. West Virginia (1)
6. Marquette
7. St. John's
8. Louisville
9. Notre Dame
10. Connecticut
11. Seton Hall
12. Cincinnati
13. South Florida
14. (tie) Rutgers
Providence
16. DePaul

All-conference team:
Corey Fisher, Villanova
Austin Freeman, Georgetown
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Kris Joseph, Syracuse
Kemba Walker, Connecticut

Player of the Year:
Austin Freeman, Georgetown

Rookie of the Year:
Fab Melo, Syracuse

Complete Article

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Marquis Teague Ranked No. 1 in Indiana


Marquis Teague, who is committed to Kentucky's 2011 recruiting class, is the top-ranked high school player in Indiana according to IndyStar.com.

Here is an excerpt about Teague:

1.Marquis TeagueShooting guard6-2PikeThe lightning-quick Teague is ranked No. 2 nationally in his class by Rivals.com and after a hotly-contested battle between Kentucky and Louisville, picked John Calipari’s Wildcats in April. Teague averaged 16.3 points, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals as a junior. His outside shot is a still a question mark as he hit 32 percent from the 3-point line (18-for-57) as a junior.

Top 5 in Indiana:

1. Marquis Teague
2. Branden Dawson
3. Cody Zeller
4. Michael Chandler
5. Dee Davis

Eric Stutz, who is committed to Eastern Kentucky, ranks No. 15.

Television Schedule Set for Louisville Men's Basketball


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Game times and television appearances for the University of Louisville's 2010-11 men's basketball schedule have been set, increasing the Cardinals' national television appearances to 17.

Two appearances on ESPNU have been added since the Cards' schedule was released last month: Dec. 11 vs. UNLV and Dec. 14 vs. Drexel. Television plans for U of L's Dec. 22 game at Western Kentucky are incomplete. The Cardinals' 17 national television appearances include seven of its last eight regular season games and 12 of its last 16.

The tipoff time for Cardinals' Nov. 20 home game against Jackson State in the Global Sports Shootout will be determined at a later date. To avoid a conflict with the Cardinals' football game against West Virginia that same date, the basketball tipoff will be determined after the football time is established 6-13 days prior to that date.

WHAS-TV (Channel 11), an ABC affiliate in Louisville, will televise 15 U of L games including a pair of exhibitions through local origination or the BIG EAST Network. All U of L games will be broadcast on 50,000-watt clear-channel WHAS Radio (840 AM) or WKRD (790 AM/101.7 FM) in Louisville and other affiliates throughout the region.

The Cardinals will face their first outside competition in an exhibition game against Northern Kentucky on Oct. 31 in the new 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center. U of L officially opens its season and its sparkling new facility with a Nov. 16 matchup against NCAA national runner-up Butler, a game which will be featured on ESPN as part of the network's third annual College Hoops Tipoff Marathon.

Complete Release

Brandon Jennings Concerned About John Wall's Minutes


Second-year NBA star Brandon Jennings expressed concern last week that the Wizards are playing John Wall too many minutes.

Jennings, whose production faded off as last season progressed, pointed out that 82 games is a long season.

Wizards head coach Flip Saunders said he wasn't worried about wearing out Wall in the preseason.

Here is an excerpt from WashingtonPost.com:

"I think the thing that's going to be most important is that, I see a lot of box scores and I see he's playing a lot a minutes right now, as a rookie," Jennings said. "It's a long season -- 82 games is a lot. Hopefully they don't try to burn him out too soon. Once teams start scouting you and they know what you can do, it's going to get harder and harder. But hey, if he can keep this up like this, he'll be all right."

Coach Flip Saunders said on Tuesday that he wasn't sure how much he would use Wall in the preseason finale against the Detroit Pistons. He said he had to "bite his teeth" in the fourth quarter of the Wizards' 92-90 loss in New York on Sunday, with the Wizards unable to pull out the win while Wall sat the final eight minutes. Wall still finished with a game-high 35 minutes.

"We've played John a lot of minutes, something for him to get used to," Saunders said, adding that he wasn't worried about wearing out Wall in the preseason. "He likes to play, but the way he plays, he plays so hard. If in New York, we were in a position to win that game, he would've been in the low 40s, because you would've put him in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter."

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Kentucky Wesleyan Basketball Preview on Saturday


Kentucky Wesleyan College will host a "Basketball Preview" featuring both the Panther women's and men's 2010-11 basketball teams on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Jones Gymnasium in the Woodward Health and Recreation Center on campus. The short scrimmages are free and open to the public.

2010-11 KWC Roster:

2 Brandon Johnson G 5-11 193 Jr. Fresno, CA Cloves West Fresno City CC
3 Travis Owsley G 5-10 172 Sr. Owensboro, KY Owensboro Catholic Georgia Southwestern
4 Jason Hall G 6-3 185 Jr. Philadelphia, PA William Penn Cloucester County CC / West Hills CC
12 Kwan Waller G 5-11 167 Sr. Rockford, IL Auburn Sauk Valley CC
14 Travis Johnston G 5-9 185 Fr. Leitchfield, KY Grayson County
20 Luke Shelley G 6-2 163 Fr. Australia St. Paul's Anglican Grammar School
25 James Herzog F 6-4 181 Fr. Owensboro, KY Daviess County
31 Cardell McFarland G 6-0 170 Jr. Evansville, IN Bosse Bridgton Academy / Missouri State
32 Marseilles Stewart G 6-3 241 Jr. San Francisco, CA Int. Studies Acad. Foothill CC
33 Chris Williams F 6-5 200 Sr. Versailles, KY Woodford County Air Force Academy Prep
34 Anthony Young C 6-7 250 Jr. Indianapolis, IN Arsenal Tech Kankakee CC
42 Keith Biggers F 6-6 250 Jr. Champaign, IL Champaign Central Coffeyville CC
43 Andre Sharp G 6-5 200 So. Houston, TX Aldine Brescia
44 Jay Ivey C 6-7 230 Sr. Owensboro, KY Owensboro Catholic Middle Tennessee State

Coaching Staff

Todd Lee Todd Lee, Head Men's Basketball Coach
James Jackson Assistant Men's Basketball Coach
George Hemmingsen Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

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