Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jodie Meeks Gets a Start and Other NBA Notes


NBA Recap - December 2-3, 2010:

December 2

- Jamaal Magloire (Kentucky) DNP coach's decision

- Earl Clark (Louisville) DNP coach's decision

December 3

- John Wall (Kentucky) struggled in Washington's 83-79 win over Portland. Wall was just 3-13 from the field in scoring 10 points. He added 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

- Nazr Mohammed (Kentucky) had 14 points and 11 rebounds in Charlotte's 91-84 victory over New Jersey.

- Jodie Meeks (Kentucky) found himself in the starting lineup for Philadelphia's 93-88 loss to Atlanta. Meeks was 2-3 from the field, all 3-pointers, and finished with 9 points.

- Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky) led all scorers with 30 points in Detroit's 104-91 loss to Orlando. The former Wildcat was 11-15 from the field and also dished out 5 assists.

- Keith Bogans (Kentucky) started but did not score in Chicago's 104-92 loss to Boston.

- Rajon Rondo (Kentucky) had 12 points and 19 assists for Boston.

- Chuck Hayes (Kentucky) had 2 points and 4 rebounds in Houston's 127-111 win over Memphis.

- Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky) was 7-9 off the Houston bench for 16 points.

- Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky) started and had 9 points and 8 assists in the Clippers' 109-104 loss to Denver.

- Earl Clark (Louisville) scored 2 points off the bench in the Suns' 105-97 victory over Indiana.

- Jeremy Evans (Western Kentucky) played 1 minute and did not score in Utah's 93-81 loss to Dallas.

- DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky) had 9 points and 6 assists of the Sacramento bench. The Kings lost 113-80 to the Lakers.

Kentucky Struggles in Loss to North Carolina


North Carolina 75
(10) Kentucky 73

Final from Chapel Hill, North Carolina

For the second time this season, Kentucky's lack of depth in the post was exposed and the Wildcats were upset 75-73 by North Carolina.

North Carolina's Tyler Zeller scored a career-high 27 points, including several clutch free throws late, and 11 rebounds to send the Tar Heels (5-3) to victory.

John Henson added 13 points and 12 rebounds for North Carolina.

Kentucky (5-2) was led by Doron Lamb's 24 points. Brandon Knight added 15 points and 4 assists for the Wildcats.

Freshman Terrence Jones had his poorest performance as a Wildcat as he was only 3-17 from the field in scoring 9 points.

Kentucky's Jones, Knight, Josh Harrellson and Eloy Vargas all fouled out in the contest.

The Wildcats shot a disappointing 24-62 (38.7%) from the field.

Some thoughts:

- Kentucky shot 9-21 from long range and still lost; North Carolina was only 1-11

- A big reason UK lost: UNC was 26-37 from the free throw line while UK was 16-21

- Terrence Jones could not get it going against long, athletic defenders; he was only 3-17 from the field and fouled out

- Harrellson and Vargas combined for 2-4 FG, 9 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 10 PF and 4 PTS

- Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones combined for 8-29 FG, 3-10 3PT and 24 PTS

- Good from Lamb off the bench; he literally gave the Wildcats an opportunity to win with his play

- Free Enes

ESPN's Freshman of the Month: Terrence Jones


ESPN's Eamonn Brennan has handed out some college basketball awards for November and he recognizes Kentucky's Terrence Jones as the "Best Freshman."

Here is an excerpt about Jones:

Best freshman: Terrence Jones, Kentucky -- When you beat Duke’s Kyrie Irving (who has seamlessly replaced and remade the Blue Devils’ point guard spot) and Jared Sullinger (whose interior offensive efficiency might win Ohio State a national title this year) you know you’re doing something right. Jones is. The Kentucky freshman gets the nod over Irving, Sullinger and a handful of other frosh for not only excelling but doing so without the help of a team full of skilled veterans surrounding him. Jones is averaging 21.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, and he can do it all: rebound, penetrate, finish at the rim, score from the perimeter, defend in the post. It’s entirely possible Jones is like Lamar Odom, only slightly more athletic. Yes, that’s exactly as scary as it sounds.

Others receiving votes: Kyrie Irving (Duke), Jared Sullinger (Ohio State), Tobias Harris (Tennessee), Tristan Thompson (Texas)


Good Night for Former Wildcats in NBA D-League


Last night was a good night for a couple of former Kentucky Wildcats in the NBA Developmental League.

Patrick Patterson led the Rio Grande Valley Vipers with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Patterson was 10-14 from the field. The Vipers were defeated 111-103 by the Texas Legends.

Daniel Orton, who was making his D-League debut, picked up a double-double in New Mexico's 105-89 victory over the Erie BayHawks. Orton had 12 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists for the Thunderbirds.

It was announced last night that another former Kentucky star, Antoine Walker, has officially signed to play in the D-League. He is expected to join the Idaho Stamped early next week.

Centre College Holds On to Defeat Rhodes College


Centre College 63
Rhodes College 60

Final from Danville, Kentucky


In the Colonels opening SCAC game on Friday, December 3, the Centre men's basketball team relied on a strong second half to prevail over Rhodes College 63-60. Centre moved to 4-1 overall on the season with the win and they are 1-0 in the conference.

Rhodes came out hitting five of their first seven shots to go ahead 10-0 with 16:26 to go in the first half.

Sophomore Josh Crawford (Corbin, Ky.) put the Colonels on the board with a layup at the 15:55 mark to make it a 10-2 game.

Michael Gallagher responded by hitting a three point basket to put the Lynx back up by double digits, but the Colonels answered by going on a 6-0 run to cut the Rhodes lead to five points. Senior Alex Lloyd (Versailles, Ky.) dunked the ball to make it a 13-8 game with 11:00 on the clock.

The Colonels would eventually get the Lynx lead down to two points at the 6:47 mark of the first half when sophomore Bryon Ellis (Russell Springs, Ky.) made a layup to make it a 19-17 game.

Rhodes built their lead back up to nine points, but the Colonels got within one point after sophomore Matt Griggs (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a layup and a free throw shot with 1:19 on the clock.

Complete Recap

Western Kentucky Prepares for Battle with No. 14 Memphis


WKU (3-4) at #14 Memphis (6-0)
December 4, 2010, 7:00 PM (CT)
FedEx Forum (18,400), Memphis, Tenn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A challenging stretch of games for WKU continues Saturday night as the Hilltoppers head to Memphis, Tenn., to take on the 14th-ranked Memphis Tigers.

WKU enters the game on a three-game losing streak, including back-to-back losses to Southeastern Conference opponents South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Memphis is the first ranked foe WKU has faced in 2010-11, and the Hilltoppers are 2-1 against ranked teams in head coach Ken McDonald’s two-plus seasons.

Saturday's game will be televised regionally by CSS with Mike Morgan and Brian Oliver on the call. It will be aired locally in Bowling Green on WKYU-PBS.

Live stats and audio for Saturday's game are available at WKUSports.com. The game will also be broadcast on the Big Red Radio Network with Randy Lee and Hal Schmitt calling the action.

Complete game notes are available at the link at the bottom of the page.

Complete Preview

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jodie Meeks in the Starting Lineup for Philadelphia


After Wednesday's practice, Philadelphia head coach Doug Collins said he would consider moving rookie Evan Turner from the starting lineup and bringing him off the bench.

Tonight, he followed through with his word.

Former Kentucky star Jodie Meeks replaced Turner in the starting lineup for Philadelphia in tonight's 93-88 loss to Atlanta.

In 19 minutes, Meeks scored 9 points on 2-3 shooing, all from three-point range. Meeks added 1 rebound and 1 steal.

John Robic's Pregame Press Conference Quotes


Here is a transcript of UK assistant John Robic's pregame press conference quotes as the Wildcats prepare for North Carolina:

UK Asst. Coach John Robic

On North Carolina’s length presenting a challenge …
“Their length presents a big challenge. (Tyler) Zeller is a seven-footer who can really run. The biggest thing for our guys is going to be getting back on defensive transition. (North Carolina) does a good job of getting in an early post position and that is their first look. Everybody who has played them, forever, has focused on defensive transition. You can’t allow them to have any easy baskets. You have to make their post players work, and you can’t give them angles to the goal.”

On North Carolina’s guards …

“Well, I think people are saying their guards are struggling because of the Illinois game. I mean, that was their first true road game. I like their speed. The style that they play enables their kids to get the ball and go. They are at home, so they are going to feel more confident about knocking down shots. They are at North Carolina for a reason; just like our guys are here for a reason. No one is in a slump when you play them.”

On preparing his team for a hostile crowd …

“Well it’s not like football where we blare the music and stuff like that. We are getting ready to practice here today. Everything we do in practice is getting these guys ready for the next game, and that’s how we do it once we get into the season. You game plan, and every drill that you do is specific to the game.”

On the team’s communication …

“I thought we got better at it last game both offensively and defensively. And that is important because not only is just your guards but it’s everybody. You have to relay calls to one another. You are not going to be able to hear all the time. So, you have to rely on each other and trust everyone.”

Getting ready for the Dean Dome …

“These kids understand. I don’t know what you could do to get them all together and show them the way. Don’t forget Darius (Miller) is really the only player for us that has gotten a start on the road in front of a crowd like this. This is one of the bigger arenas in the sport. I’m sure they will be fine.”

On Darius Miller’s last game …

“Well, (Darius) was in foul trouble. And when you get in foul trouble, it can be hard to shoot it from the bench. I think he is improving every day. I think our whole team has since we have returned from Maui.”

On coaching this team more and instructing less …

“I think every coach in every other sport looks to coach more and instruct less. That means that the kids are doing the things we are asking them to do.”

On Harrison Barnes …

“Harrison Barnes is a very talented player. I haven’t seen him play in person, just on tape. At 6’7”, he is a jump shooter that can create his own shots. They look for him for big shots. They will look for him on isolations and he is a good offensive rebounder. I think it’s unfair what the media has done with him. He is a pro. We have our hands full with him and his size.”

Source: UKAthletics.com

Faried Continues to Rebound "At an alarming pace"


ESPN's Jeremy Lundblad says Morehead State star Kenneth Faried continues to rebound at an alarming pace.

Faried, coming off back-to-back 20-rebound games, is now averaging 14.9 rebounds per game on the season.

He has a chance to be the first Division I player since 1980 to average more than 15.

Here is an excerpt from ESPN.com:

Kenneth Faried continues to rebound at an alarming pace. The Morehead State center nearly single-handedly outrebounded Tennessee-Martin. Faried hauled in 20 boards to go with 15 points in a 70-49 blowout of the SkyHawks, who only had 25 rebounds as a team. Faried is now averaging 14.9 rpg as he seeks to become the first Division I player since Alcorn State’s Larry Smith (1980) to average more than 15. It was Faried’s second straight 20-rebound game and sixth of his career.

Complete Article

It's Official, Antoine Walker Signs with D-League


Former Kentucky star Antoine Walker has officially signed with the NBA D-League and will join the Idaho Stampede when he clears waivers.

Here is an excerpt from Fanhouse.com:

Antoine Walker, a 12-year NBA veteran and three-time NBA All-Star, has cleared the standard NBA Development League background check and was placed on waivers Friday, according to a league source, clearing the way for him to join the D-League's Idaho Stampede when he clears waivers Tuesday afternoon.

The Idaho Stampede, the only winless team in the D-League with an 0-4 record, are expected to use their top choice in the waiver claim preference order to claim Walker, which they received after having the last pick in November's D-League Draft.


Complete Article

Union College's Morris Named AAC Player of the Week


Union College's Turrell Morris was named Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Week earlier this week.

Here is the release from the AAC:

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Turrell Morris of Union (Ky.) has captured the Appalachian Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week award, the league announced Monday.

This marks the second week in a row Morris has received the honor.

The Columbus, Ohio, native registered his fourth and fifth double-doubles of the season as the Bulldogs went 1-1 last week. Union is now 4-5 on the year.

Morris posted 16 points and had 14 rebounds in an 86-71 loss at Friends (Kan.) University. He followed that with a 29-point, 13-rebound performance in a 71-66 overtime win against NCAA Division II Carson-Newman (Tenn.) College.

On the week, he averaged 22.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game and connected on 62.1 percent of his shots from the field.

Katz: Source Says Cam Newton Decision Prompted New Approach


Andy Katz of ESPN.com reports this evening that a source with knowledge of Kentucky's plan to introduce new information into the Enes Kanter situation was prompted by the NCAA's decision on Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Newton was allowed to remain eligible because it was determined by the NCAA that Newton was not aware of his father shopping his services as quarterback to Mississippi State.

Here is an excerpt from Katz:

Kentucky is hopeful that the same committee will now look differently at the case after the Newton decision. Kentucky has maintained that Kanter intended to be an amateur by pursuing an education in the United States as a senior in high school and then as a freshman in college instead of going directly to a professional team in Europe, considering he was a rare foreign player who was a lottery lock but wanted to be a college player.

The NCAA's student-athlete reinstatement staff ruled an amateurism violation did occur with Newton, but according to the facts agreed by Auburn and the NCAA enforcement staff, Newton was unaware of the plan by his father and the owner of a scouting service to seek a payment for his signed commitment.

In the Dec. 1 release regarding Newton's eligibility, Lennon said: "In determining how a violation impacts a student-athlete's eligibility, we must consider the young person's responsibility. Based on the information available to the reinstatement staff at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity, which led to his reinstatement."

Kentucky will argue that, like Newton, Kanter was unaware there was an amateurism violation.


Complete Article

WKU's Kahlil McDonald to Take Time Off to "Refocus"


Western Kentucky junior guard Kahlil McDonald did not make the trip to Memphis with the rest of the team.

Here is an excerpt from WBKO.com:

Sources close to the program tell WBKO that McDonald, who's in his first season as a Hilltopper after transferring from Blinn Junior College in Texas, met with WKU coach Ken McDonald regarding playing time on Thursday. After the meeting, the two mutually decided it was best for Kahlil McDonald to remain behind in Bowling Green in order to refocus. The source told WBKO that he's expected to rejoin the team before its trip to Bowling Green State next week.

The Hilltoppers battle No. 14 Memphis tomorrow night at 8:00 ET.

University of Kentucky Releases a Statement on Enes Kanter


The University of Kentucky has released the following statement concerning Enes Kanter:

“The University of Kentucky has requested an opportunity to submit additional information regarding the eligibility of men’s basketball student-athlete Enes Kanter. When a school receives new information that could impact a student-athlete’s eligibility, it is a standard NCAA process to provide the university with an opportunity to resubmit the case for consideration. Because an NCAA appellate body, such as the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, cannot hear new information on appeal, this reconsideration must first be made by the NCAA reinstatement staff. The university would then have an opportunity to appeal the staff decision to the committee. This opportunity is available to ensure a fair and thorough consideration of eligibility matters for the student-athlete. The NCAA and University of Kentucky will not have any further comment regarding the specifics of this case until the process has concluded.”


As Brett Dawson points out:

wildcats: NCAA will rule on Kanter's eligibility based on new information. If he's ruled ineligible, UK can appeal

In other words, we are back to square one.

UPDATE: Kanter can practice with the team during this time:

pennington_jl UK spokesman said that Kanter can still practice w/ team while the NCAA reconsiders additional info.

Hang in there Big Blue Nation...

Terrence Williams Discusses D-League Debut

Terrence Williams discusses his NBA D-League debut:



* Video from nbadleague YouTube Channel

Campbellsville Cruises Past Shawnee State


Campbellsville 86
Shawnee State 67

Final from Campbellsville, Kentucky


CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY. - Campbellsville rolled to an early 22-8 lead and then had to fight off a game Shawnee State team in the conference opener for both teams, 86-67.

"I can't put my finger on it," said coach Keith Adkins. "At times something is missing. We just don't have that consistent level of fire, that level of energy that we need all the time."

The Tigers were great from the arc, canning half of their 22 shots, led by Shawn Savage's five bombs. Brett Crittenden hit three 3s, but his coach was just as happy with his defense.

"Critt was good tonight," said Adkins. "He was just great at the front of our press. He made a lot of correct decisions."

But the win, even though not to his liking, wasn't lost on Adkins.

"There's a lot yet to be determined. This conference is so strong that you just have to play one game at a time and not get too high when you win ,nor too low when you lose."

Complete recap

Pikeville College Defeats Cumberlands in MSC Opener


Pikeville College 85
Cumberlands 76

Final from Pikeville, Kentucky


PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Pikeville College saw a 16-point second-half lead shrink to two with 2:43 left but righted the ship and opened Mid-South Conference pay with an 85-76 win over the University of the Cumberlands Thursday night.

For Pikeville, it was the first win over Cumberlands since a 74-68 decision on March 1, 2008.

Pikeville (8-1) won its seventh straight game despite shooting only 43.5 percent from the field. Cumberlands, which fell to 3-5 overall, hit 55.9 percent in the second half to mount its comeback.
But free-throw shooting was the difference. While Pikeville hit 25-of-30 (83.3 percent), the Patriots managed only 16-of-29 (55.2 percent) from the stripe.

Senior forward Quincy Hankins-Cole, one of two Bears with double-doubles on the night, pushed the Bears in front by 16 (55-39) with 14:32 left. That was the first of four 16-point leads for the Bears, with the last one coming with 10:11 to play on a Vance Cooksey layup to make it 62-46.

But Cumberlands wouldn’t give in, and when senior Jared Cunningham scored inside with 2:43 left the lead was 72-70, ending a 24-10 stretch for the Pats.

From there, however, the Bears got a much-needed three from sophomore Trevor Setty – his fifth of the night – and two free throws from senior Justin Hicks to push it back to seven. From there, it got no closer than five the rest of the game.

Cooksey, the senior guard from Chicago, had 23 to lead all scorers. He added eight rebounds. Setty finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds for his second straight double-double. He added three steals.

Hankins-Cole tossed in 17 and added 11 rebounds, helping the Bears to a 42-36 edge on the glass.

Complete recap

Doyel: Source Says No Kanter Decision Today


Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com posted on Twitter earlier that he has a good source who indicates that the Enes Kanter decision will not be made today.

Doyel also stated that his source is "pessimistic" about Kanter being ruled eligible, which is a bad sign.

Stay tuned...

Georgetown College Slips By St. Catharine


Georgetown College 76
St. Catharine College 74

Final from Springfield, Kentucky


SPRINGFIELD, Ky. – The Georgetown College Tigers opened Mid-South Conference play with a 76-74 road win over St. Catharine College.

St. Catharine (3-2, 0-1 MSC), fresh off a victory over No. 8 McKendree University, used a late 10-1 run, capped off by a three-pointer from the corner, to take a 73-72 lead with just over 40 seconds remaining in regulation.

As time dwindled, Georgetown point guard Eddie Gray kicked a pass to an open Matt Walls. Walls drilled a three-pointer at the 12.3-second mark to give Georgetown a 75-73 lead.

The Patriots’ Brandon Johnson was fouled and sent to the free throw line where he made the first and missed the second. Georgetown’s Maurice Pearson grabbed the rebound and passed to Gray, who was fouled with 4.7 seconds remaining. The Georgetown point guard made the first and missed the second to give the Tigers a 76-74 lead.

St. Catharine hustled the ball down the court and put up a three-pointer that missed to the right, giving Georgetown (9-0, 1-0 MSC) a hard-fought road victory.

Gray led the Tigers with a game-high 18 points, including several clutch three-pointers. Pearson added 16 and Miami (Ohio) transfer Rodney Haddix contributed 11.

Justin Morris came off the bench to lead St. Catharine with 14 points on 5-5 field goal shooting. Brandon Johnson put in 13 points. Josh Edwards and Ervin Williams added 10 each.

The game was close throughout with the biggest lead coming from Georgetown at 71-63 in the second half.

Both teams return to action on Saturday at 4:00 ET. Georgetown travels to Campbellsville while St. Catharine will host Shawnee State.

* Game recap by AllKyHoops.com

A few thoughts:

- This was Mid-South Conference basketball at its best; the game was a knock-down, drag-out battle from start to finish

- St. Catharine is a tough place to play; great environment for the game last night; SCC students were really into the game

- Kudos to Coach J.T. Burton for the excellent job he has done with the St. Catharine program; the Patriots are a legitimate threat to win the Mid-South Conference this season

- Speaking of the St. Catharine program, the Patriots have some very talented transfers who will be joining the roster for the second semester

- Happy Osborne is a great coach; he's also fun to watch on the sidelines. At the 13:40 mark of the second half, Osborne sent a message to his Tigers by chucking his jacket into the stands behind the Georgetown College bench. Osborne is truly a Mid-South Conference legend.

- For those of you who aren't familiar with Mid-South basketball, the league is talented and fun to watch. If you haven't experienced a MSC game, I highly recommend that you do so.

Murray State Survives EKU with Clutch Free Throws


Murray State 74
Eastern Kentucky 72

Final from Richmond, Kentucky

The Murray State Racers opened play in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 74-72 win Thursday at Eastern Kentucky in McBrayer Arena in Richmond, Ky.

The Racers (4-3) earned the win after they came back from a first half 14-point deficit to get their fifth straight win over the Colonels (3-4).

MSU trailed 68-66 with 1:49 remaining when a pair of Ivan Aska free throws tied it. On EKU’s following trip down the floor, the Racers got a steal and Aska tipped in a missed shot to give MSU the lead for good with 1:10 left.

EKU tied the game for the seventh time, but Isacc Miles made a baseline drive and basket to put MSU up again 72-70 with 23.8 seconds left.

Isaiah Canaan iced the game with a pair of free throws with 4.7 seconds left and EKU’s Willie Cruz made a meaningless two pointer for the final margin.

The Racers and Colonels each had 23 field goals, each had six three-point baskets, but the difference in the game was at the free throw line where MSU hit 22 to EKU’s 20.

“This was a good hard-fought win and we found a way to win,” MSU Head Coach Billy Kennedy said. “We did it by getting the ball inside and attacking the paint like we wanted to.”

Indeed, in scoring 50 points in the second period, the Racers found gold in the paint as Aska and Ed Daniel hit the Colonels with several baskets and MSU also grabbed seven offensive rebounds in the second half. Aska finished with eight rebounds, five on the offensive end and Daniel got three offensive boards to go with a career-high 11 points off the bench.

“We've wanted our post guys to step up and the production Ed gave us, he was our MVP by far, “Kennedy said. “He did lot of good things for us. Tonight he played like he's capable of playing, that comes with maturity.”

Complete Game Recap

Antoine Walker Sued for Stealing Fiancee


Former Kentucky star Antoine Walker, who is trying to make an NBA comeback following a myriad of problems (legal, personal and professional), is being sued by a man for $5 million.

The charge?

That Walker stole the man's fiancee.

Here is an excerpt from TheHollywoodGossip.com:

Kevin Jenkins says he actually caught his fiancee having "an intimate moment" with Walker back in October and decided he would approach the pair.

At that point, "Mr. Walker taunted and laughed at Jenkins with the intent of causing him emotional distress." Jenkins says he became suicidal as a result.

Now, he wants Antoine to cough up that sum.


Source

Photo Source

Terrence Williams Nets Triple-Double in First D-League Game


Former Louisville star Terrence Williams went for a triple-double in his first NBA D-League appearance for the Springfield Armor.

Williams finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists in Springfield's 116-112 victory over the Maine Red Claws.

The downside, if there is a downside to T-Will's night, is that he was only 5-19 from the field.

Photo: Screenshot from NBA.com

Marist College to Open 2011-12 Season at Kentucky


Marist College head coach Chuck Martin told the Poughkeepsie Journal today that his team will open its 2011-12 season at the University of Kentucky.

Here is an excerpt from PoughkeepsieJournal.com:

Marist College head men's basketball coach Chuck Martin told the Poughkeepsie Journal on Thursday that the Red Foxes will open the 2011-12 season at the University of Kentucky.

The Wildcats, ranked first in the nation for most of last season, are currently ranked 10th and 11th in the country in the latest Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN poll.

Before coming to Marist, Martin was an assistant for Kentucky head coach John Calipari at Memphis, helping the program reach the NCAA championship game.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Morehead State Dominates UT-Martin in OVC Opener


Morehead State 70
UT-Martin 49

Final from Morehead, KY


MOREHEAD, Ky— Morehead State made a strong defensive statement Thursday night, shutting down the Ohio Valley Conference’s top offense to earn a 70-49 win over UT Martin in Johnson Arena. The game was the OVC opener for both teams.

Martin came into the game averaging 75 points per game, but MSU kept them 26 points below that average. The Eagles have not allowed an opponent to score more than 64 points this season.
Kenneth Faried had his second 20-rebound game in a row, finishing with a 15-point, 20-rebound double-double. Sam Goodman added a career-high 13 points and Terrance Hill scored 11 points.

The Eagle defense clamped down in the final 5:21 of the first half, allowing just one bucket by UT Martin. MSU took advantage and scored 11 points to take a 31-19 halftime lead.

The Skyhawk drought extended into the second half, and it took a layup by Benzor Simmons almost five minutes into the final period to break the deficiency. MSU had a 14-point lead at that point and eventually got that advantage up to 25 on a pair of free throws by Arthur McMillan late in the game. McMillan scored a career-high nine points.

Goodman had four steals and Demonte Harper added a team-high four assists.

Reuben Clayton was the only Skyhawk player in double digits, scoring 11 points.

The Eagles stay home for their second OVC game of the year, a much-anticipated matchup with preseason favorite Murray State. Tip-off for the rematch of the 2010 OVC Championship game will be at 8:00 p.m.

* Game recap by Morehead State University

Bellarmine Escapes Kentucky Wesleyan


(2) Bellarmine 78
(11) Kentucky Wesleyan 75

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky


OWENSBORO, Ky.—The No. 2 Bellarmine University men's basketball team found themselves down late in the second half to the No. 11 Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers at the Sportscenter but rallied for a 78-75 victory in their Great Lakes Valley Conference opener.

Reigning GLVC Player of the Week Jeremy Kendle showed why he earned the honor by racking up 26 points including draining a big three pointer as the shot clock was winding down and just 11 seconds on the game clock.

In describing the shot, Kendle said, “Coach (Davenport) wanted me to pass the ball, but by the time I took a couple of dribbles, I had to chuck it up there. Fortunately, it went in.”

The trey gave the Knights a six point lead, but Kentucky Wesleyan didn't give up as __ McFarland drained a three just six seconds later to cut the lead in half.

After the Knights quickly inbounded the ball, Braydon Hobbs was fouled and made one of two free throws to provide the final margin.

“Our seniors have given four years to this program and had never gotten a win over Kentucky Wesleyan in this facility, so I'm happy we got that done for them,” said Bellarmine Head Coach Scott Davenport.

Bellarmine returns to the hardwood on Saturday night as they face another tough road conference game at No. 22 Southern Indiana. Tip is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. at the Physical Activities Center on USI's campus.

* Game recap by Bellarmine University

Murray State's Isaiah Canaan is a Model of Perseverance


ESPN's Diamond Leung has profiled Murray State sharpshooter Isaiah Canaan today. Canaan's story is one of perseverance and overcoming obstacles.

From Hurricane Katrina to a heart-breaking loss to Butler in the NCAA Tournament, Canaan has been through some tough times.

Leung looks at Canaan's path to Murray State and a spot in the starting lineup this season.

Here is an excerpt:

Five years ago, Canaan and his nerves were put to the ultimate test. While he was holed up inside a church with his grandmother, Hurricane Katrina tore through Biloxi, Miss. Floodwaters slowly climbed the stairs and crept up to their ankles on the second floor.

First Missionary Baptist Church stood only a few blocks from the Gulf of Mexico and swayed as Canaan peered out the window only to see water covering the other rooftops. He feared the worst and figured he'd ultimately have to swim. Upon learning his grandmother couldn't swim, he cried.

"It'll be OK," Bettye Ramsey said, comforting her grandson. "Let God do his work."

Hours later, as he and eight others were piled into the attic, the waters receded.

The decision to seek refuge inside their church likely saved them from a storm surge that left at least 170 people dead and missing in south Mississippi. The house that Canaan and his grandmother shared suffered severe damage due to floodwaters that reached as high as 6½ feet. Their possessions inside could not be salvaged, and Canaan was left with a week's worth of clothing, shoes and his prized PlayStation.

"I saw my life flash right there," Canaan said. "I was living or I wasn't. I've seen the worst it could get, and now I'm trying to see how good it can get."

Complete Article

Vitale on Kanter: "I hear it does not look optimistic"


Dick Vitale was asked on Twitter today:

@DickieV In your opinion do you think the appeals committee let's Enes play?

His response:

DickieV @ICodyWebb I hear it does not look optimistic

John Wall Plays Well Off the Bench and Other NBA Notes


NBA Recap - December 1, 2010:

- John Wall (Kentucky) came off the bench in Washington's 127-108 loss to Toronto. He had 19 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals in 32 minutes.

- Rajon Rondo (Kentucky) had 10 points and 10 rebounds in Boston's 99-95 victory over Portland.

- Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky) scored 8 points on 4-11 shooting in Detroit's 97-72 loss to Miami.

- Jamaal Magloire (Kentucky) DNP coach's decision

- Nazr Mohammed (Kentucky) had 8 points and 5 rebounds in Charlotte's 89-73 loss to New Orleans.

- Keith Bogans (Kentucky) started, but only played 18 minutes in Chicago's 107-78 loss to Orlando. He had 5 points and 2 assists.

- Derrick Caracter (Louisville/UTEP) played 9 minutes off the bench in the Lakers' 109-99 loss to Houston. Caracter scored 2 points. It was the fourth consecutive loss for Los Angeles.

- Chuck Hayes (Kentucky) started at center and had 8 points and 5 rebounds for Houston.

- Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky) scored 8 points off the Houston bench.

- Jeremy Evans (Western Kentucky) scored 2 points in 1 minute of Utah's 110-88 win over Indiana.

- Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky) started and put in 5 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers shocked the San Antonio Spurs 90-85.

Faried Wants to be the Best Rebounder in the Nation


Morehead State's Kenneth Faried has an individual goal for his senior season:

"I want to be the best in the nation at rebounding," Faried explained to ESPN.

I personally feel like Faried is already the best rebounder in college basketball. In the past three games, the Morehead State star is pulling down 16.7 rebounds per game.

No arguments from Florida head coach Billy Donovan follow his team's narrow escape of the Eagles.

"That's Dennis Rodman all over again," Donovan said. "If I was an NBA general manager I'd be taking him with my pick. That's what a next-level guy looks like. He just totally destroyed our frontcourt. ... That was definitely an incredible performance by a terrific player."

Mark Adams of ESPN writes about Faried in an article today. Here is an excerpt:

Early on, he learned a very valuable lesson from his mom when he once complained about not getting the ball enough, “If you want to score then go and get a rebound.”

Faried has followed his mother’s advice well and scored 20 points and snatched 18 rebounds in a 61-55 loss at Florida on Sunday. Faried said he felt, “ecstatic” about his stat line but disappointed in the loss. He backed up that performance 48 hours later with 15 points and 12 rebounds along with five steals and two blocks in a 64-45 loss at No. 3 Ohio State. And then at SIU-Edwardsville, the 6-foot-9, 228-pounder turned in a cool 25 points and 20 boards.

Look, Faried is the best rebounder in the college game today. Period.

Faried and the Eagles open Ohio Valley Conference play tonight when they host Tennessee-Martin at 7:45 ET.

Saturday, Murray State, the preseason favorites to win the OVC, comes to town for an early-season battle that will be worth the trip and price of admission to Ellis T. Johnson Arena on the the campus of Morehead State University.

Duke's Kyle Singler Takes a Jab at Kentucky


In an interview with Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com, Duke's Kyle Singler took a few soft jabs at the University of Kentucky program.

Singler stated his opinion that Kentucky's loss in the NCAA Tournament last season was partially attributed to players focusing on their NBA careers.

Here is an excerpt from Goodman's article:

Singler and Smith both maintain there is no jealousy with the new kid coming in and stealing the limelight, but Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and the rest of the staff will have to guard against human nature – which means his two seniors worrying about getting theirs and how it directly correlates to their NBA stock.

"That’s what happened to Kentucky and what hurt those guys last year,” Singler said. "Thinking about the NBA. I don’t think that will be a problem for us. We understand that any of us – Kyrie, Nolan or me – can go for 30 points in a game.”

"Kyle and I have both proven ourselves,” Smith said. "We’ve won and we’ve shown we can score. It’s all about us leading and winning.”

Rick Bozich of the Courier-Journal shares his opinion, which I agree with, in an article today:

I thought UK handled the NBA stuff pretty well last season. UK lost to West Virginia because the Wildcats couldn’t make shots against the WVU zone, not because they were worried about the NBA Draft.

My Thoughts: I personally think that Singler's jab is way off base. I think Kentucky had an excellent season and there was no apparent signs of NBA focus on the roster.

One bad game in the NCAA Tournament does not indicate a problem with selfishness from a team's most prominent players.

Using this same logic, I predict an NCAA Tournament exit by Duke thanks to Singler's focus on Italy's SerieA league.

First Half Woes Doom WKU at Vanderbilt


Vanderbilt 82
Western Kentucky 62

Final from Nashville, Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — WKU could not rally after slow first half Wednesday night at Vanderbilt, and the Hilltoppers dropped their third-straight game, 82-62. Only three players scored in WKU's 17-point opening 20 minutes, and the team shot 28.6 percent from the field and turned the ball over 16 times before halftime. The Hilltoppers are now 3-4 on the season, and Vanderbilt improves to 6-1 overall.

Juan Pattillo had 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Hilltoppers, and Sergio Kerusch and Caden Dickerson each contributed 12. Dickerson was 3-for-6 from three-point range and had four steals on the defensive end. Steffphon Pettigrew scored four points in the game, snapping his streak of 13-straight games in double figures. Vanderbilt was led by John Jenkins' 21 points and Festus Ezeli's 14. Jenkins hit five three-pointers in the game.

WKU turned the ball over on its first four possessions of the contest, setting the tone for the rest of the half. Vanderbilt led 10-2 after Jeffery Taylor connected on a three-pointer and went up 14-6 mid-way through the half, as WKU was hampered by a stretch of six-plus minutes from 14:27 to 8:00 without a field goal.

After Kerusch brought the game within nine points at 19-10 after a layup, Vanderbilt went on a 16-3 run near the end of the half to widen the gap. The Hilltoppers got two baskets with under 22 seconds left before intermission to make the halftime score 35-17 in favor of the Commodores. Pattillo had eight points in the first half, Dickerson had five and Kerusch put in four to account for WKU's first-half production.

The Hilltoppers responded after halftime and scored six of the half's first eight points but would get no closer than 13 the remainder of the contest. Vanderbilt had the lead up to 20 on three occasions near the 10-minute mark of the second half and went up by as many as 24 at 74-50 with 3:42 left to play.

Complete recap

Transylvania Falls in HCAC Opener to Hanover


Hanover 68
Transylvania 60

Final from Hanover, Indiana


HANOVER, Ind. - Transylvania freshman Ashley Hatfield poured in a career-high 19 points Wednesday, but it wasn't enough to keep Hanover from posting a 68-60 overtime win over the Pioneers in the Heartland Conference opener for both teams.

Transy saw its two-game winning streak end and fell to 2-2 on the season, 0-1 in HCAC play, while the Panthers are 3-2, 1-0 HCAC.

Hatfield was eight of 16 from the field and grabbed six rebounds. He was two of seven from behind the three-point line. Sophomore Brandon Rash added 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists before fouling out of the contest.

Ethan Spurlin had eight points and five rebounds off the bench.

The Pioneers held Hanover to 31 percent shooting in a tight first half that saw neither team lead by more than five points as Transy led 25-24 at the break. Rash had eight points in the half and Hatfield added five to lead Transy while Mitchell Meyer netted seven to top the Panthers.

Complete Recap

Thomas More Wins PAC Opener Over Grove City


Thomas More 65
Grove City 44

Final from Crestview Hills, Kentucky


(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) - Junior center Colt Stafford (Groveport, Ohio/Bishop Hartley) scored a career-high-tying 17 points to lead the Thomas More College men's basketball team to a 65-44 win over Grove City College tonight (Wednesday, December 1, 2010) in both teams' Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) opener at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

With the win, the Saints improve to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the PAC. With the loss, the Wolverines fall to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the PAC.

Thomas More raced out to a 30-8 lead with 5:06 to play in the first half when senior shooting guard Aaron Miller (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) made a lay-up. Grove City responded with a 9-5 to cut the lead to 35-17 with 1:19 to play in the first half when Ryan Fisher made one-of-two free-throws. Junior center Clay Naiser (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier) made a lay-up with eight-seconds to play in the half to increase the Saints' lead to 37-17 at halftime.

The Saints opened the second half on a 9-5 run capped by a three-pointer by junior point guard Daniel Whelan (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) with 14:55 to play in the game to extend the lead to 46-22. Grove City answered with an 11-4 run to cut the lead to 50-33 when Mike Grist made a three-pointer with 6:32 to play in the game. Thomas More would close-out the game on a 15-11 run to earn the 65-44 victory.

Joining Stafford in double-digits was Miller with 15 points. Miller led the team on the boards with a game-high seven rebounds and in steals with three, while freshman point guard Spencer Berlekamp (Cincinnati, Ohio/Kings) led the team in assists with five.

Thomas More is idle until next Saturday (December 11) when it hosts Westminster College at 3 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center.

* Game recap by Thomas More College

Dick Vitale to the Rescue for Kentucky and Kanter



"Based on that, I think the kid Kanter should be ruled eligible to play..."

- Dick Vitale




* Video from onglonghai YouTube channel

Kentucky Wesleyan to Honor "Voice of the Panthers"


Kentucky Wesleyan College will honor Voice of the Panthers Joel Utley for his 50th season of broadcasting KWC basketball games on the radio on Dec. 2 when the No. 11 Panthers host No. 2 Bellarmine at halftime of the contest.

It will be his 1,418 game behind the microphone where he has also called a record eight NCAA Division II Championships. Utley is regarded as the dean of all college basketball broadcasters in the state of Kentucky and rates in the Top Ten nationally in longevity.

Utley credits his career began as a young boy when he emulated broadcasts of St. Louis Cardinals baseball games and his hero Stan Musial when he used earmuffs for a headset, a shoebox for an amplifier and a stuffed sock as his microphone.

Source: KWC

John Calipari Visits 2012 Star Ricardo Ledo

Kentucky head coach John Calipari stopped in to check out 2012 star Ricardo Ledo yesterday:





Ledo is a 6-5 shooting guard from South Kent, Connecticut. He ranks No. 7 nationally according to Rivals.com.

Upcoming Murray State Games on Racer Television Network


The Murray State men's basketball games at Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State will be carried live on the Racer Television Network starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday.

The games will be available to more than 100,000 NewWave, Mediacom and Comcast subscribers at no additional charge.

NewWave customers will see the broadcast on channel 16.

Mediacom customers can watch the game on channel 8.

Comcast will carry the game on channel 17.

Veteran WCBL announcer Jeff Waters will handle play-by-play duties, while Dave Winder, MSU Assistant AD for Media Relations will provide color.

The game will be produced by Hopkinsville's Source 16.

Source: Murray State University

Barnhart: New Basketball Arena in City's Hands


University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said he is open to discussing a new downtown basketball arena for UK basketball but the next move is in the hands of the city of Lexington.

Here is an excerpt of Barnhart's comments from the Lexington Herald-Leader:

"Through different pieces of legislation and low bonding capacity, it wasn't a project we could make happen (under the original request for proposal)," he said. "We're looking at other alternatives."

Barnhart said he hopes talks can resume at some point soon.

UK has played in Rupp Arena since 1976, and its lease is set to expire in 2018. Barnhart said a new arena could be constructed in 11/2 to two years once the conversations get going.

"It's in the hands of the city," he said. "The original proposal, they did not want to have any part of that. I trust that is a conversation that they're carrying on, and they'll come back to us at the appropriate time with a plan of what needs to be done to address the same issues."

Complete Article

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Louisville Has Way with Florida International


University of Louisville 92
Florida International 55

Final from Louisville, Kentucky


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Preston Knowles scored a season-high 18 points, Gorgui Dieng added 15 and Louisville remained unbeaten with a 92-55 romp over Florida International on Wednesday night.

The Cardinals (5-0) stayed perfect at their new downtown arena by swamping the overmatched Panthers (4-3) from the opening tip. Louisville scored the game's first 13 points and led by 33 at the half.

Eric Frederick led FIU with 12 points, but the Panthers missed their first seven shots, trailed by 20 less than nine minutes in and never threatened.

Knowles has been chastised recently by coach Rick Pitino for his poor conditioning and inability to get his teammates involved. Showing a renewed sense of urgency, the senior captain added six boards and three assists in his best game of the season.

The rest of the team wasn't bad either, particularly during the first half.

Knowles knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to start the game and the Cardinals soon took off. Louisville's defense harassed the Panthers into mistake after mistake and the Cardinals wasted little time taking advantage.

By the time FIU's Jeremy Allen hit a running bank shot with 13:03 to go in the first half, the Panthers already trailed 19-4.

Things never really got much better for FIU or coach Isiah Thomas, who spent most of the game watching from the bench in silence. Then again, there wasn't much to get excited about.

The Panthers shot 28 percent from the floor, turned it over 22 times and made just 2 of 13 3-pointers.

Louisville had no such issues. Knowles came into the game shooting just 29 percent from 3-point range, a number Pitino attributed to Knowles' habit of bypassing easy shots for ones with a hand in his face.

Complete Recap

Vitale: Enes Kanter Appeal Was Heard Today


According to Dick Vitale and Mike DeCourcy, Enes Kanter appeared before the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement committee this morning.

If that is the case, Kanter and Kentucky will know the outcome of his NCAA appeal soon, if not already. The information could be made public as early as tomorrow and almost certainly before the weekend.

DeCourcy begs the question: why isn't Enes Kanter getting the same break Cam Newton did?

Newton, the superstar quarterback at Auburn University, was declared eligible by the NCAA today, even though it is known that his father asked for money during his recruitment.

Kanter's father, on the other hand, did everything possible to avoid taking millions of dollars from a professional club in Turkey.

Here is an excerpt of DeCourcy's thoughts:

Cam Newton will be permitted to play the remainder of his college football career, whether it’s two more games or through the 2011 season. His family had every reason to fully understand NCAA rules, because Newton already had gone through the recruiting process once and played two seasons at the University of Florida. And yet Cecil Newton has acknowledged attempting to arrange for a payment from Mississippi State in exchange for getting his son to sign there last winter. Cam Newton is being excused on the grounds he did not know about that pursuit.

One family purposefully does wrong, shredding the NCAA’s most obvious rule, and the son prospers and excels.

One family mistakenly stumbles outside the more ambiguous pages of the NCAA’s rulebook, and the son sits with the weight of permanent ineligibility draped across his shoulders.

If the NCAA wants its operation to be perceived as serious, and certainly it does given the billions at stake, there can be no option other than to order Kanter’s family to repay the amount in question and restoring his eligibility immediately, counting the six games missed as time served.

Dick Vitale spoke tonight about the Kanter situation and agreed that the NCAA cannot allow Newton to play and then have reasoning to deny Kanter.

In my opinion, the NCAA will further tarnish its image if it can justify allowing Newton to remain eligible while having the knowledge that his father was shopping him around to college coaches, but deny Kanter when his family tried diligently to preserve their son's amateur status.

The NCAA needs to look at this one from a common sense point of view and take some advice from Eric Bledsoe: get @#$% right.

Spalding University is No. 18 in USCAA Coaches Poll


Spalding University is No. 18 in this week's USCAA Division I Coaches Poll.

Southern State CC, which is led by former Mason County High School assistant Greg Himes, is tied at No. 14 in this week's rankings.

Men’s Division I Basketball COACHES POLL

Rank Week 1 TOTAL Last Week

1 Talladega College 118 N/A
2 Rochester College 115 N/A
3 Robert Morris—Springfield 103 N/A
4 Ave Maria University 93 N/A
5 (T) Silver Lake College 91 N/A
5 (T) University of Maine at Fort Kent 91 N/A
7 Oakwood University 87 N/A
8 Apprentice School 83 N/A
9 Florida College 67 N/A
10 University of Lindenwood—Belleville 64 N/A
11 Marygrove College 60 N/A 12 Southern Virginia University 57 N/A 13 Rhema Bible College 50 N/A 14 (T) Walla Walla University 39 N/A 14 (T) Southern State CC 39 N/A 16 Concordia College—Selma 28 N/A 17 University of Dallas (TX) 26 N/A 18 Spalding University 25 N/A 19 Washington Adventist University 17 N/A 20 Cincinnati Christian College 7 N/A

Western Kentucky Opens Road Trip at Vanderbilt Tonight


WKU (3-3) at Vanderbilt (5-1)

December 1, 2010, 8:00 PM (CT)

Memorial Gymnasium (14,316), Nashville, Tenn.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU embarks on a three-game road trip Wednesday night when it travels to Vanderbilt for an 8:00 PM game at Memorial Gymnasium.

The Hilltoppers will be looking to rebound from a heartbreaking double overtime loss to South Carolina in their last game and will travel to 14th-ranked Memphis on Saturday. This is WKU’s second meeting with Vanderbilt in two seasons but first trip to Memorial Gymnasium since 2001.

Wednesday's game will be televised regionally by CSS with Matt Stewart and Barry Booker on the call. It is also available on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN3.com.

Live stats and audio for Wednesday's game are available at WKUSports.com. The game will also be broadcast on the Big Red Radio Network with Randy Lee and Hal Schmitt calling the action.

Complete game notes are available at the link at the bottom of the page.

Complete Preview

Rajon Rondo Scores Season High and Other NBA Notes


NBA Recap - November 30, 2010:

- Rajon Rondo (Kentucky) scored a season-high 23 points and dished out 12 assists in Boston's 106-87 victory over Cleveland.

- Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky) led the Pistons with 16 points on 7-12 shooting in a 90-79 loss to Orlando. Prince also had 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

- Jodie Meeks (Kentucky) scored 6 points in 14 minutes off the Philadelphia bench. The 76ers defeated Portland 88-79.

- Derrick Caracter (Louisville/UTEP) did not score in 3 minutes off the Lakers' bench. Los Angeles lost 98-96 to Memphis.

- DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky) scored 20 points and pulled down 8 rebounds in Sacramento's 107-98 loss to Indiana. Cousins earned 23 minutes off the bench.

Is Guy-Marc Michel Decision a Bad Omen for Enes Kanter?


The NCAA appeals committee has ruled that Indiana's Guy-Marc Michel is ineligible. Like Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter, Michel was ruled ineligible by the NCAA and he filed an appeal. He lost his appeal.

With the decision likely this week on Kanter's appeal, one has to wonder if the Michel ruling is a bad omen.

Eric Crawford of the Courier-Journal expresses his concern today:

After what happened to Indiana's Guy-Marc Michel, I don't like his chances.

Here's what Michel did to be ruled ineligible and lose his appeal, the announcement of which came Tuesday night: He went to school.

That's right. Michel enrolled in a French university and took some classes. And that's why he won't be allowed to play NCAA basketball.

We're not talking about signing with an agent. Michel did play on a club team in France and played with some pro players –— but that's allowed now. It was not, however, allowed when he did it, and because he had already enrolled in a French college at the time, his NCAA five-year “clock” started ticking, and that's that.

While it certainly seems like foreshadowing for what is to come of Kanter, Evan Hilbert of Fanhouse.com doesn't think it's time for UK and Kanter to throw in the towel:

Though the situation mirrors that of Kentucky center Enes Kanter in that both players' amateur status is in question and they are both of foreign descent, the decision does not necessarily reflect how the NCAA will rule on Kentucky's appeal of Kanter's eligibility. Kanter's appeal is expected to be heard by week's end. In Kanter's case, the question remains rooted in whether or not he accepted money from a Turkish professional team that went beyond what is deemed "necessary" by the NCAA.

I have mixed feelings on how the Kanter situation will turn out and my thoughts of hopefulness likely stem from my admitted love for Kentucky basketball. I have seen and heard how good the talented Turkish big man is and I know the difference he would make for the Kentucky team this season.

If I step out of UK fandom for a few moments, I'm not quite as optimistic.

There are several things that concern me with this particular case:

- $33,033 is a pretty significant amount of money; Don't get me wrong, I truly believe that Kanter and his family intended to keep his amateur status in tact. But, will they be able to prove that to the folks who matter in the decision-making process?

- Will the decision we swayed by an opportunity to slap John Calipari on the wrist? Some feel that Enes Kanter will lose his appeal because he is associated with John Calipari. The reasoning behind this theory stems from the idea that the NCAA has never been able to pin any wrong-doing on Calipari, despite well-publicized scandals at UMass and Memphis. Would Kanter be having similar issues if he committed to, say, Washington?

- Fear of a meltdown; Will the NCAA committee be swayed by what will almost certainly be labelled as a travesty by many the college basketball world? If Kanter were to be ruled eligible, there would be a large number of folks screaming foul at the NCAA.

- Kanter has been ruled a professional by the NCAA; Any way you look at it, Kanter has been termed a professional by the NCAA and that might be a sticky situation to reverse. While it may not be fair in Kanter's situation, it is hard to believe that the appeals committee would take a kid who is labelled a pro and turn him back into an amateur.

- The NCAA doesn't have a great track record for doing things the right way; Let's face it - the NCAA makes some (many?) decisions that are questionable at best. Perhaps the scariest part of the equation is that the NCAA rarely seems to have a kid's best interest at the center of its core values. Predicting what the NCAA will do is about as easy as predicting the outcome of NFL booth reviews.

IU-Southeast Topples Mid-Continent University


IU-Southeast 93
Mid-Continent 75

Final from Mayfield, Kentucky

MAYFIELD, Ky. - Indiana University-Southeast (6-2) led by just six points at halftime but built its lead to 22 points in the second half of its 93-75 collegiate men's basketball victory over Mid-Continent University (6-6), Tuesday, November 30, in Mayfield High School Sports Arena. IUS recorded its second victory of the season over the Cougars.

Mid-Continent travels to the Greenville College (Ill.) Tournament, Friday and Saturday, December 3-4, meeting host Greenville College, an NCAA Division III school, Friday at 8 p.m., and either Lindenwood University-Belleville or William Woods University on Saturday at either 1 p.m. or 3 p.m.

After hitting for 46 points in the first meeting between the schools, won 114-75 by IUS, Nov. 5, senior guard Jazzmar Ferguson was held to 11 points, all in the second half, on 3 of 14 shooting and made just 1 of 11 from beyond the three-point arc. Ferguson also contributed 2 rebounds, 7 assists and one steal.

Four other Grenadiers scored more than Ferguson, led by forward Rick Bodison with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals, guard Reginald Breeden with 15 points, 2 three-pointers, 4 rebounds and 4 steals, reserve guard Nick Gagel with 14 points and 4 three-pointers, and guard Darryl Bell with 13 points, all in the first half, 3 three-pointers, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Reserve forward James Johnson added 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals, and reserve forward Greg Grimes contributed 7 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

Indiana-Southeast recorded 14 steals and shot .444 (32-72) from the field for the game, made 12 of 34 three-pointers and 17 of 29 free throws, and committed 14 turnovers.

Complete recap

St. Catharine Holds On to Defeat McKendree University


St. Catharine 83
McKendree 72

Final from Lebanon, Illinois

(LEBANON, Ill., Nov. 30)—The McKendree University men’s basketball team was defeated at home on Tuesday in non-conference action against St. Catharine College, 83-72.

The Bearcats cut a 20-point second-half deficit to just six points in the late stages of the second half, but the visiting Patriots were able to hold off the rally and pull away for the victory. The loss was the fourth consecutive defeat for McKendree, the No. 8-ranked team in the NAIA Division I pre-season poll. The Bearcats are now 3-8 overall.

Sophomore guard John Steppe (Effingham, Ill./St. Anthony) led McKendree with 16 points, while junior guard Karrington Pettiford (Florissant, Mo./Christian Brothers) had 11 of his 14 points in the first half for the Bearcats. Senior forward Brad Copelin (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon) chipped in with 13 points, and junior forward Sean Rakers (New Baden, Ill./Wesclin) narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

After the teams traded baskets in the opening minutes, St. Catharine (4-1) ripped off 18 consecutive points to build a 22-4 lead with 12:43 left in the first half. The Patriots held the Bearcats scoreless for more than four minutes during the spurt. St. Catharine eventually stretched the margin to as many as 20 points before taking a 48-32 lead at the intermission. The Patriots forced 17 first-half turnovers by McKendree.

Early in the second half, St. Catharine regained a 20-point advantage before McKendree started its comeback. The Bearcats outscored the Patriots 17-5 over an eight-minute stretch to trim the deficit to 74-68 with 4:35 on the clock. Copelin had six points during the run for McKendree, while Rakers scored the final two baskets during the span.

St. Catharine was able to hold off McKendree from the free throw line, hitting 6-of-8 attempts in the final two minutes of action.

Ervin Williams netted a double-double for St. Catharine with team-high totals of 18 points and 13 rebounds. Brandon Johnson added 16 points and a game-high six steals, while Antoine Watson came off the bench to post 14 points.

Complete game recap

First D-League, Now Trade Rumors for Daniel Orton


Former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton has officially been assigned to the NBA Developmental League by the Orlando Magic.

Orton will join the New Mexico Thunderbirds in the D-League.

There may be more news coming for Orton soon, however.

The former Wildcat has been mentioned in a developing trade rumor between the Magic and Wizards.

Here is an excerpt from OrlandoPinstripedPost.com:

The Orlando Magic have engaged the Washington Wizards in an ongoing trade dialog centered around Wizards shooting guard Gilbert Arenas, Orlando Pinstriped Post has learned. What Orlando would send Washington in return for the three-time All-Star is less clear, but the proposed deal likely includes shooting guard Vince Carter, according to a source. Wizards big man Andray Blatche, Magic forward Rashard Lewis, and Magic center Daniel Orton could also be involved. Both teams have a mutual understanding of what the trade might include, the source says, and it's unclear what factors are holding up the trade. What is clear around the league, however, is that Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith has his eye on Arenas. If Orlando is to make a major trade this season, Arenas will likely be the target.

CBS Sports' Ken Berger reported the Magic listened to trade offers regarding Arenas this summer, but rebuffed the Wizards due to concern over the salary remaining on his contract, which runs for three seasons after this one, at a total cost of $62.4 million. In early November, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported "the Magic have cooled on the notion of a Vince Carter-for-Arenas exchange," citing "NBA front-office sources." However, the source who spoke to Orlando Pinstriped Post contradicts Stein's report, saying Orlando has indeed initiated the discussions with Washington of late.

Complete Article


My Thoughts: I wonder if Orton would prefer to be the starting center at Kentucky right now?

WKU's Juan Pattillo Named Sun Belt Player of the Week


Western Kentucky senior Juan Pattillo has been named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Here is the release from the Sun Belt:

NEW ORLEANS - WKU's Juan Pattillo earned his second Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week honor after posting an impressive performance against South Carolina on Saturday night.

Pattillo, a senior, had one of the more memorable performances for a SBC hoopster this young season in a double-overtime loss to the Gamecocks. He finished the game with 24 points and 18 rebounds in 47 minutes of action recording his fifth double-double of the season.

The five double-doubles posted this year for the Las Vegas, Nev. native ties him for first in the NCAA with seven other student-athletes and tops in the SBC. Pattillo is also 12th in the nation in rebounding with 11.2 boards per game, which also ranks first in the SBC. He is tied for second overall in the SBC in scoring averaging 16.7 points per game.

Pattillo was 8-of-16 from the field in the game and also made eight free throws en route to the 24-point game. His 18 rebounds were the most by a Hilltopper in a game since 2001. Seven of his boards were on the offensive end.

Pattillo and his Hilltopper teammates continue their challenging non-conference schedule this week when the Toppers travel to Vanderbilt on December 1 and to Memphis on Dec. 4.

DeMarcus Cousins and Paul Westphal "Can't get along"


Yahoo! Sports says the honeymoon is over for rookie DeMarcus Cousins and Kings head coach Paul Westphal.

Cousins was kicked out of Sacramento's practice two days ago and a team source says there have been numerous arguments between the player and coach.

The source told FanHouse.com, "They always fight. They can't get along."

Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports says this isn't the first time Westphal has found himself in a strained relationship with a player:

This is the part where I point out that Westphal has been walked on, before.

The Phoenix Suns developed, or at least sustained, a country-club reputation under his watch in the early 1990s. And while he was given a terrible situation to walk into as Seattle GM Wally Walker's guy in replacing George Karl as coach in the latter part of that decade, he didn't help himself by letting what was a volatile group of personalities ... well, act the part.

And now he's having to deal with it again. And while I don't want to tell a young man like Cousins to know his place and all that twaddle, he is just 20, and we all know how much we thought we knew when we were 20 -- and those who don't know are likely 20 (or under) and will be commenting in the section below this column. So while Westphal might be wrong in his handling of yet another team, in this instance (for all we know), he might be so, so right.


Complete Article

The situation in Sacramento is volatile at best, but Cousins rebounded from Monday's incident in a positive way.

The former Kentucky star came off the bench to score 20 points and pull down 8 rebounds in last night's 107-98 loss to Indiana.

Mid-Continent's Ferguson Named TSAC Player of the Week


Mid-Continent's Chris Ferguson has been named TranSouth Athletics Conference Player of the Week.

Here is the release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Chris Ferguson of Mid-Continent University is the TranSouth Athletics Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday, November 28, 2010.

Ferguson, a 6-9 junior from Oakland, Calif., helped Mid-Continent win a pair of games last week by recording two double-doubles and now has eight for the season in MCU's first 11 games. For the week he averaged 22.5 points, 15 rebounds, and three assists per game. He shot 19-28 (.68%) from the field. In MCU's 79-69 home win over University of the Cumberlands he had 23 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. In MCU's 69-59 win at Missouri Baptist he added 22 points and 18 rebounds.

The Cougars are 6-5 on the season and have won their last two contests. MCU hosts Indiana University-Southeast, which ranks 12th in the Nov. 29 NAIA Division II national coaches' poll, in Mayfield High School Sports Arena, Tuesday, November 30, at 7 p.m.

John Robic Fills in for Calipari After Kentucky Win


Kentucky assistant John Robic filled in for John Calipari for last night's post game activities. Calipari is mourning the loss of his mother.

Here is a transcript of Robic's post game comments following Kentucky's 91-57 victory over Boston University:

Kentucky Assistant Coach John Robic

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about what you all talked about at halftime and how well you felt you did as far as accomplishing that?

COACH ROBIC: Well, at half we wanted to get back to working on the things that we worked on the last couple days. We still didn't really communicate very well, and we did a much better job of that in the second half. I thought defensively we picked it up. We shared the ball, made the right plays in the second half, and that's something that we stress, also, and you can see that by the 21 assists. That was something that we really worked on.

We were a little leery going into it because we thought we were a little selfish in the last game, that we would pass up shots, but we were happy with the distribution and the shots we took tonight.

Q. When you guys opened the second half you made eight out of nine threes. How much does that maybe help get a good flow when you're making shots?

COACH ROBIC: Beats missing them. (Laughter.)

No, I mean, I thought all the threes that we took I thought were all good shots. I mean, we think that we have a pretty good shooting team, and the right players took the right shots, and they were open shots. And when we have them, we want our guys to take them. And more times than not they were off of penetration and a kick-out, both against the zone and man-to-man. We got good looks, and fortunately they went down.

Q. Could you just kind of talk us through what the week was like in terms of preparation, what Coach Calipari was there for, what was different tonight and leading up to it?

COACH ROBIC: He was -- we came back from Maui and we were off Friday. We practiced twice Saturday. We practiced twice Sunday and practiced once Monday. Coach didn't miss anything. We found out about the passing of his mother during the second practice Sunday. Coach continued to finish the practice, then flew to Charlotte and came back for practice on Monday and was at the shoot-around today and coached the game tonight.

I've been with him for 14 years and he's never missed a practice. It just shows the commitment that he has to not only his family in Charlotte but to this family in the locker room. It says a lot about him.

Q. Boston's coach called Josh Harrellson the "mother hen" of your team, said he's perfect for what you all want to do because he doesn't demand shots, he just does what he's supposed to do. How invaluable has he been early on being an older guy and doing those types of things?

COACH ROBIC: Well, if he does the things that he's capable of doing, he's going to score some points and get some rebounds. I mean, he's going to be a screener, a rebounder, a, quote-unquote, garbage man down low. He doesn't have the same post skills as DeMarcus (Cousins) did or Pat (Patterson) did down there, so he's going to be a little limited.

We only run a couple things for him. He's getting better. So is Eloy (Vargas) in practice. Kenny Payne and Orlando (Antigua) have done a really good job of just simplifying things for these guys having them have one or two moves and nothing else, but he has that ability -- they both have the ability to knock down free throws if they get fouled, and like Josh hit that big three against Washington, also. But it's something we're not going to live and die with. You know what, for the first time being in a role like this, he's done well after six games.

Q. After the UCONN game Cal said he was going to try to sit with Brandon (Knight) and define how he's going to play point guard. What is that definition and how well do you think he executed it?

COACH ROBIC: Well, this is the fourth point guard that he's done it with, and Derrick (Rose) and Tyreke (Evans) and John (Wall) and Brandon (Knight), they all struggled early. Brandon is a scorer, so he's probably the best scorer, true scorer, best shooter of the four, so it's a whole new learning experience for him.

He got a little bit better, but he was proud of the number of assists he had tonight, which is a different mentality for him. And if he continues to do that, it's just going to make our team better because the thing that we tried and Coach (Calipari) tried to explain to him is he's going to score within the flow of the game. He doesn't have to force the action.

His job is to get the other guys involved, and if he can get them involved, that will just make us an entirely different team.

Q. Would you say that (Doron) Lamb is instant offense coming off the bench?

COACH ROBIC: Well, what he showed you, he needs to be on the court. He really knows how to play. We were impressed -- we were impressed how he guarded on-ball defense tonight. We put him on the point guard and moved Brandon (Knight) off the ball, so that was something new for us, and he gives us a little bit better size in doing that, which is a nice little wrinkle for us.

He knows how to score the ball. I mean, he knows how to play. He has a great feel for the game. We have to get him to be able to talk. That's the biggest drawback with Doron right now. If we can get him to talk, that again is another way to make our team much better.

Q. I heard you say last night that you guys have got a new free throw approach, and you made 17 out of --

COACH ROBIC: Above our average.

Q. Yes. How did that go do you think? How important is it overall?

COACH ROBIC: Well, I think it's very important. It's going to come into play at some point in time, and we all know that it's a confidence thing. But these guys tried it their way, and (Coach John) Calipari just said now you're going to do it my way and everybody is going to have the same routine and shoot it his way. You know, and it's a confidence thing. We know they're not going to make them all, but it's funny, when you practice it that way, you get disappointed when you make nine out of 10. It sure beats five out of 10.

It's one of those things that is a streaky thing, as well. One guy makes, the next guy is going to make, or it could go the other way.

Q. How do you feel this got you ready going into North Carolina? What can you take away?

COACH ROBIC: Well, I think the biggest thing is that some (of the) things that we worked on, I think we got better in. There's some areas that we're going to have to address Thursday and Friday to get ready for that North Carolina game. Our transition defense is going to have to be a No. 1 key because they really play fast. Our post defense is going to have to be better than it was tonight because they're big and they force the ball low. And if they -- if we work on those areas, you know -- we need to address those area.

I think tonight we shared the ball well, and I thought we really guarded well, too, and especially in the half court.

Q. What about when you're talking about Saturday will be kind of the first true road test for this team. How important will that be as far as a learning experience for your new guys?

COACH ROBIC: Well, I mean, it's going to be a big deal because you're going in front of, what, 22,000 people for the first time. We played on the road at Portland and there was 10,000 people, which was a nice crowd, but this is truly everybody in that building except for the 40 tickets that we get are going to be for the other team.

It'll be interesting. I mean, those are the type of games that you play for and you coach for. I know our guys respect the other team, and it's going to be a challenge going on the road, but hopefully our guys are up for it.

Q. I just wondered if Cal is not doing his radio show, he didn't come out for this, what's the reason? How much of that is with his mom?

COACH ROBIC: He didn't say. All I know is DeWayne (Peevy) told me to go do media. He goes in the locker room and yells at people, and he yelled my name. So it's -- that's a personal thing, and we're all in this together. If he tells me to go run outside right now, I'm going to go run outside. He's my boss.

We're just pleased it was a nice tribute from our players to wear the black socks in honor of (Coach) Cal's mom, and he said in the locker room to the guys afterwards that he called his dad and told him that, and that's a neat thing and a special thing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to coach's father and his sisters and Ellen (Calipari) and the kids here and all the other grandkids. We're all in this together, and he knows that we're there for him.

Thank you very much.

Comments from Kentucky Players

Blog Archive