Saturday, December 18, 2010

Preston Knowles Sets New Career High, Louisville Rolls


(20) Louisville 78
Gardner-Webb 49

Final from Louisville, Kentucky


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville coach Rick Pitino gave his starting lineup a makeover after the 20th-ranked Cardinals were pushed around by Drexel on Tuesday night.

Pitino benched junior center Terrence Jennings and gave freshman Gorgui Dieng the first start of his career. The coach's order was simple: get after the ball or get off the court.

The Cardinals responded with a 78-49 win over Gardner-Webb on Saturday in a spirited bounce back performance that helped take some of the sting out of the disappointing loss to Drexel earlier in the week.

"More than anything else, we wanted to rebound and act like junkyard dogs," Pitino said. "I wanted everybody to rebound the basketball."

That meant everybody, guards included.

Preston Knowles responded with a career-high 24 points and nine rebounds while Dieng added eight points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks as the Cardinals (9-1) used a 20-0 first-half run to put away the overmatched Runnin' Bulldogs early.

"We wanted to come in with the mentality to get every rebound," Knowles said. "We played great together. If we stay together, the sky's the limit."

Laron Buggs led Gardner-Webb (6-8) with 16 points, but the Runnin' Bulldogs couldn't find the same magic they used three years ago when they knocked off Kentucky.

Knowles and Dieng made sure of it, keying a dominant defensive effort that limited Gardner-Webb to 31 percent shooting, blocked 14 shots and came up with seven steals.

"Gorgui tries to be a factor every time down the floor," Pitino said. "Because of his length he can erase a lot of mistakes."

Complete Recap

DeMarcus Cousins Has Big Game and Other NBA Notes


NBA Recap - December 16-17, 2010:

December 16

- John Wall (Kentucky) DNP right knee tendinitis

- Rajon Rondo (Kentucky) DNP sprained left ankle

December 17

- Jamaal Magloire (Kentucky) played 3 minutes and did not score in Miami's 113-91 win over New York.

- Derrick Caracter (Louisville) DNP coach's decision

- Jodie Meeks (Kentucky) had 6 points and 3 rebounds in Philadelphia's 93-81 loss to the Lakers. Meeks was only 1-7 from the field.

- Nazr Mohammed (Kentucky) had 3 points and 5 rebounds in Charlotte's 90-85 loss to Atlanta.

- Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky) returned to the starting lineup in the Clippers' 109-88 victory over Detroit. Bledsoe had 12 points and 8 assists.

- Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky) had 13 points for Detroit.

- Jeremy Evans (Western Kentucky) has been placed on Utah's inactive list

- DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky) had a monster game in Sacramento's 102-87 loss to Oklahoma City. Cousins had 19 points and 16 rebounds.

- Francisco Garcia (Louisville) had 2 points off the Sacramento bench.

- Earl Clark (Louisville) had 7 points on 3-12 shooting in the Suns' 106-91 loss to Dallas.

- Chuck Hayes (Kentucky) had 6 points and 7 rebounds in Houston's 103-87 win over Memphis.

- Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky) had 2 points and 5 rebounds off the Houston bench.

- Patrick Patterson (Kentucky) played 3 minutes and did not score for the Rockets.

Late Run Helps St. Catharine Escape Rio Grande with Win


(15) St. Catharine 74
Rio Grande 68

Final from Rio Grande, Ohio


Rio Grande --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm men's basketball team missed out on a huge upset over NAIA No. 15 St. Catharine College on Saturday afternoon at the Newt Oliver Arena. The visitors put the game away in the waning moments to stave off the upset bid by Rio Grande, 74-68.

Rio Grande (4-8, 0-3 MSC) fell behind early 13-4, but continued to play hard and rallied to take the lead at 20-19. The RedStorm would get the advantage to as high as 29-25 in the first half.

St. Catharine (9-2, 3-1 MSC) rallied to take a 41-36 edge to halftime.

In the second half, the game remained close as the Patriots built the lead to seven points at 48-41, only to see Rio fight back to take the lead at 63-59. Rio would get the lead to five points at 68-63 with a little more than four minutes remaining in the game.

St. Catharine would out-score Rio 11-0 down the stretch to win the game.

Senior center Robbie Jackson (Aberdeen ,MD) had a big game off the Rio Grande bench with 16 points in 18 minutes. He was the only Rio player to score in double figures. Junior guard Brad Cubbie (Dayton, OH) was on the verge of double figures with nine points. He also had four assists. Sophomore forward Dani Marti (Valencia, Spain) scored eight points and led Rio Grande with eight rebounds. Freshman guard Jermaine Warmack (Orange, NJ) hauled down seven rebounds and paced the RedStorm with five assists.

St. Catharine placed three players in double figures in scoring led by Ervin Williams with 23 points. He also collected five rebounds. Antoine Watson scored 16 points and nailed key free throws in the final seconds to secure the victory. Xavier Keeling chipped in 15 points (nine in the first half).

Complete Recap

Pikeville College Blasts Shawnee State


Pikeville College 89
Shawnee State 68

Final from Portsmouth, Ohio


The Shawnee State men's basketball team fell to Pikeville 89-68 on Saturday afternoon in conference action. Shawnee State falls to 3-9 on the season and 0-4 in the Mid-South. Pikeville improves to 11-3 on the season and 2-2 in the Mid-South.

Pikeville began the game on a 7-0 run before Shawnee State's sophomore Mark Bryant got the Bears on the board with a 3-pointer. The two teams exchanged baskets as Pikeville led 11-7. Pikeville went on another 7-0 run to capture a double-digit lead, which they kept most of the first half and led 42-23 at the break.

Pikeville started the second half with five straight point to establish a 47-23 lead. Shawnee State worked hard to etch away at their deficit and with a 3-pointer by freshman Jordan Laster the Bears cut Pikeville's lead to nine, 60-51, with just over 10 minutes to play. However, Pikeville answered with a 3-pointer of their own and outscored the Bears 29-17 in the final 10 minutes to win their second Mid-South conference game.

Three Bears scored double-figures in the game. Senior Keelyn Franklin led the Bears with 15 points, while freshman Hank Leslie came off the bench and gave the Bears quality minutes en route to a career-high 11 points. Laster finished the game with 10 points. Sophomore Tyler Morgan added eight points and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds.

Pikeville's Quincy Hankins-Cole led all scorers with 26 points to go along with eight rebounds. Vance Cooksey and Justin Hicks added 18 and 17 points, respectively.

* Game recap by Shawnee State

No. 3 Georgetown College Overwhelms Virginia-Wise


(3) Georgetown College 97
UVA-Wise 90

Final from Georgetown, Kentucky


Tyrone Shelley scored 27 points as Georgetown College will stay undefeated for the 2010 portion of the season. The Tigers (14-0, 4-0 Mid-South Conference) welcomed University of Virginia College at Wise (7-6, 1-3) to the conference with a 97-70 defeat.

Along with Shelley, Maurice Pearson had 14, Vic Moses 13 and Rodney Haddix 11. Shelley had a double-double as he added 11 boards to his points.

Georgetown returns to action Jan. 3 hosting Shorter University, currently undefeated as well.

* Game recap by Georgetown College

NCAA Spokesman Releases Statement on Enes Kanter


NCAA spokesman Chuck Wynne released a statement yesterday regarding Kentucky and Enes Kanter.

The statement read:

“As of today, the case is still under review. Both the University of Kentucky and the NCAA are working towards a resolution and are aware of the need to bring this case to a speedy conclusion for the benefit of the student-athlete and the institution.”


All signs, including Wynne's statement seem to indicate that a decision will be announced soon.

No. 1 Bellarmine Survives in Davenport's 100th Win


(1) Bellarmine 75
King College 64

Final from Louisville, Kentucky


LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The No. 1 Bellarmine University men's basketball team turned back a solid challenge from the Tornado of King College to record a 75-64 non-conference victory today in Knights Hall.

The victory marked the 100th by Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport, as he joins Joe Reibel as the only two Bellarmine men's coaches to reach that milestone.

The Knights got a balanced attack with Justin Benedetti collecting 18 points to lead four Bellarmine double figure scorers. Game high honors went King's Mark Dockery, who tallied 20.

Coming into the contest Bellarmine was one of the nation's best shooting teams, but the Tornado managed to outshoot the Knights 51.1 percent to just 47.3 percent.

"I thought we played very well tonight," said Davenport, "but you have to give them (King) credit. They run so many sets, and they are not fazed by pressure or the clock. As far as execution goes, we won't see a better team all year."

After a tight opening 13 minutes, Bellarmine spurted to a 14-point lead thanks to hitting four of six three pointers over a five minute span. A deep 3-pointer by Dockery as time expired in the opening half got the Tornado back to within 11 as the Knights went in to the locker room leading 45-32.

Complete Recap

MVSU Pregame Comments from John Calipari


Pregame comments from Kentucky head coach John Calipari as the Wildcats get ready to host Mississippi Valley State (via UKAthletics.com):

On how the team is doing after finals…
“They’re doing well. Yesterday was one of our better practices and they seem to be pretty focused, with intensity and some good emotion. So they weren’t bad yesterday.”

On starting a home stretch in the schedule against less heralded opponents and what he wants to get out of it…
“Well you say that, but they give me the tape of Mississippi Valley State against Georgia on (December 12th), but it wasn’t on (December 12th), it was on (November 12th), but they’re up six with a minute to go and got robbed. You couldn’t say how they lost the game; you would be embarrassed to say how that happened. They’re playing Arkansas, it’s tied at half. They’re playing Indiana, it’s tied at half. They’ve played all road games against big-time opponents and if we don’t show we’ll get beat. It’s just how it is. They shoot it well enough, they’re athletic enough. Sean (Woods) has done a good job with this team. As a matter of fact, they’re running some dribble drive. So I can see traces of what he’s trying to do. It’s the basics of it, but I’m seeing that he’s trying to run dribble drive. I gave (the team) the Georgia tape, I said watch this tape before you walk in because we all thought we just played the toughest non-conference schedule in the country, all of them on the road, no one at the level we play does that. They all play home games. Now we think we’re playing this team, ‘Well this is a win.’ You all thought it, I did too until I watched the Georgia tape. Then I had that pit in my stomach like, oh my gosh.”

On the leap his teams usually seem to take in between semesters…
“Because it’s all basketball. I say, ‘We’ll go three-a-days, what else do you have to do? What do you have to do? You have people to see? You got shopping? You have to hang out?’ No, I mean you have nothing to do except basketball. So we’ll go twice, three times a day. Now one of those sessions might be cerebral, one of them may be specifically for foul shooting. But we have no time element and I can just coach basketball. So we get better. Now, this isn’t the week because they’re in finals. Our practices have all been in under two hours, an hour and 45 minutes, an hour and 40 (minutes). They’re in finals; they need to make sure that I’m not physically draining them. That’s why they’re here. Today’s practice will be about the same, an hour and 45 minutes.”

On Mississippi Valley State’s defense…
“Well they’re athletic, they’re long, and they press. They do a little 2-2-1. They trap, they’re active. What I saw when I watched the Indiana tape was they were like a step ahead of Indiana on a lot of fronts. They got up on Indiana six or eight points. Even at the end of the game, it was a 10-point game, 11-point game.”

On if he’s happy on where the team is for this point in the season…
“Yeah, I mean it’s the middle of December and we’re playing like that. We break down, we stop playing, we’ve got freshmen, the game is in the balance and we’ll take a bad shot, Why? ‘My fault. I know, stop, I didn’t ask my fault, why did you do that? It’s the game-winning rebound and you let the guy jump over your back and grab the ball. Could you explain? Well, I tried. Then I should be playing someone else because that’s the game-winning rebound. You get that ball or you sit that bench.’ Stuff like, we’re not quite at that will to win, we’re not quite there. But I will say they’re trying. The emphasis we’ve made is, they don’t talk and none of them like to talk. Well, that’s selfish. You don’t like to talk even though it will help our team if you talk, you don’t think you should have to because you don’t like to. But you’re not selfish, OK. You’ll have to explain that to all of us. So now when you go out you’ll see us talking more. They’re all trying to do what we’re asking them to do. We’re not deep enough right now; it’s a problem we have. We have to find a couple guys to play. We’ve got guys who have played and when you do the plus-minus the minute they’re in the game we’re down 70. I’m not saying we’re down 35 or 40; it’s a 70-point drop. So now you have to say, ‘How do we do this? How do we play that small lineup some because what the numbers prove is that’s our best team even though Josh (Harrellson) is playing really well. Our smaller lineup is putting up better numbers so how do we play that some?’ We have so many things to answer right now. Of all the teams in the country, I can’t name a handful that has the upside of this team. We have upside. And I’m coaching them so I know. But whether we’ll all do this together, ‘I don’t feel like it today. Oh, so should we all take a day off?’ I mean, it’s all stuff of having growing pains with young guys, and a new team.”

On his team’s reaction to him telling them how high their upside is…
“I think they believe me. When I tell them they know I’m talking truthful because I say some stuff that’s pretty hard. So when I tell them that I think they believe me. When I told last year’s team it’s the most talented team I’d coached, they believed me and then they started repeating it. These guys know. If we don’t come together though, you’ll never reach your potential. If you’re not playing for your teammate, if you’re not your brother’s keeper, you will never reach your potential. If it’s all about, ‘I need to get mine. I haven’t shot it in awhile. Why should he get all the balls? Mommy tells me that it’s somebody else.’ All that stuff. If that is what it is then we’ll never reach our potential.”

On how special this weekend is with Joe B. Hall and having many former players coming back…
“It’s great stuff. Sean (Woods) and I have been pretty close for the last five or six years. He was very close with (Auburn head coach) Tony Barbee. Tony and he were from Indianapolis together. I’ve always been on his resume and helped him and will help him with the next job he has an opportunity to get. And then for Coach Hall, he’s been a special friend. He’s been like a mentor. He was in practice yesterday. He comes to practice two-three days a week. He gets on there, starts diagramming stuff for me. A great day for me was last year when we introduced him, I think it was for the Blue-White scrimmage, I sat him on the bench and the response from our fans was like, wow. And sometimes when you coach and you’ve been away, I don’t know if he realized how people feel about him here. They truly love him. So, for 40 players to come back, for us to be a part of that and be around, for me to be around him and him to be able to help us today, it’s great. Here’s a guy who coached in the 70s, won a national title and has nothing but good things for me. There’s no jealousy. It’s not, ‘Well Cal got this and I never had this and I had to do without this and my office-’ all he is, is happy Kentucky is doing well. And he wants to be a part of it and wants to come to practice. And he’s become a dear friend because of that.”

WKU and Murray State Prepare to Battle for 148th Time



WKU (5-5) at Murray State (6-4)
Wednesday 7:30 p.m., Murray, Ky., CFSB Center

The Murray State Racers host the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the 148th meeting in their long series that started in 1932 when they tip at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky. The game marks the fourth consecutive season that the two have met. WKU leads the all-time series 95-52 and won last season’s meeting in Bowling Green 83-72. The Racers won the last time they played at home in 2008 by an 89-61 score. Since 1989, MSU has won eight of 14 meetings against the Hilltoppers.

Murray State Head Coach Billy Kennedy will soon gain his 100th career win as MSU coach and 200th of his career. He is now 90-48 (.652) in his fifth season with the Racers and 194-174 (.527) in his 13th season which also includes stops at Centenary and Southeastern Louisiana.

The Racers enter the game with WKU with the nation’s fifth-longest home court winning streak at 22. MSU hasn’t dropped a game at home since BracketBusters game (Feb. 21, 2009) to Louisiana Tech. MSU’s home win streak in OVC games is 17. MSU’s record in the CFSB Center in non-OVC games is 58-9. What MSU has done in 13 seasons of basketball in the CFSB Center is remarkable with a winning percentage of .856, including a 44-4 mark in the last four seasons. However, it’s what they haven’t done that is also worth noting. In 13 seasons, MSU has never lost three straight at the CFSB Center and have only lost back-to-back games three times with the last coming in 2005.

After MSU hosts WKU, they go back to Ohio Valley Conference play with a road game Tuesday at UT Martin. The game will be aired on the Racer TV Network. After that, MSU comes home (Dec. 30) to host new OVC member SIUE.

* Article by Murray State University

St. Catharine Earns Road Win at West Virginia Tech


(15) St. Catharine 85
West Virginia Tech 78

Final from Montgomery, West Virginia


Down most of the second half, the Patriot men battled back and outlasted the West Virginia Tech University Bears, 85-78 for their first conference road win of the year. St. Catharine made 29 free throws, 83% at the line and the Patriot bench out scored WVU Tech 48-12 to even out a cold shooting night.

Three Patriots scored double figures with Kashiff Carr knocking down 20. Carr was a perfect 3-3 from three point range and 7-8 at the line. Xavier Keeling tossed in 19 points with 8 boards, while Ervin Williams added 18 points and led the team with 9 rebounds. Brandon Johnson helped with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

The Patriots (8-2, 2-1), down by double digits much of the second half, tied the game with a little over four minutes to play. Both teams traded leads until the Patriots put the game away at the charity stripe. Nicholas Kjaerholt led the Bears (5-3, 1-1) with 17 points and 9 boards.

The Patriots are back in action at the University of Rio Grande (4-7, 0-2) tomorrow afternoon in Mid-South Conference action.

* Game recap by SCC

Tennessee Gets Caught in Charlotte's Web


For the second time in two appearances, the No. 7 (for 2 more days) Tennessee Volunteers were upset by a mid-major opponent as Charlotte defeated the Volunteers 49-48.

Charlotte defeated Tennessee despite playing without top scorer Samari Spears, who was kicked off the team, and only dressing eight scholarship players.

The 49ers closed the game on a 7-0 run for the shocking come-from-behind upset.

Jamar Briscoe led Charlotte (5-6) with 14 points. Derrio Green added 13.

Tennessee (7-2) picked up 13 points from Scotty Hopson. Freshman Tobias Harris added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Volunteers shot a disappointing 22-63 (34.9%) from the field, including a dismal 2-17 (11.8%) from long range. In addition, the shooting woes extended to the free throw line where Tennessee was only 2-7 (28.6%).

Video: Future Kentucky Wildcat Marquis Teague in Action



Here is a recent mixtape from YouTube of future Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague (that move at 0:58 is something else):


Campbellsville, Kentucky Christian in NCCAA Top 10


Two Kentucky schools, Campbellsville and Kentucky Christian, are in the top 10 of their respective divisions of NCCAA basketball.

Campbellsville (8-4) has entered the NCCAA Division I rankings at No. 6.

Kentucky Christian (4-5) holds firm at No. 7 this week in the NCCAA Division II top 10.

2010-11 NCCAA DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL - Pre-Season

(region chair poll)

Rank Last week College/University Record Burbridge Power Rating

1 1 Dallas Baptist University (TX) 6-3 8.500
2 2 Indiana Wesleyan University (IN) 10-3 7.462
3 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OK) 13-0 7.792
4 4 Emmanuel College (GA) 13-0 6.955
5 5 Palm Beach Atlantic University (FL) 7-4 7.545
6 NR Campbellsville University (KY) 8-4 7.545
7 NR Geneva College (PA) 6-3 6.778
8 7 Malone University (OH) 7-4 6.800
9 10 Grace College (IN) 9-2 6.818
10 RV King College (TN) 6-6 6.917

Others Receiving Votes: Bethel College (IN), Mid-American Christian University (OK), Corban University (OR).

2010-11 NCCAA DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL - Pre-Season

(region chair poll)

Rank Last week College/University Record Burbridge Power Rating


1 1 Grace Bible College (MI) 8-2 160
2 2 Ohio Christian University (OH) 7-4 150
3 3 Valley Forge Christian College (PA) 8-3 146
4 4 Central Bible College (MO) 5-7 136
5 5 Portland Bible College (OR) 5-5 117
6 6 Atlanta Christian College (GA) 4-8 115
7 7 Kentucky Christian University (KY) 4-5 108
8 8 Florida Christian College (FL) 5-3 101
9 9 Lancaster Bible College (PA) 2-4 99
10 10 West Coast Baptist College (CA) 3-6 87

Others Receiving Votes: Baptist Bible College (PA) 86; North Central University (MN) 82; Maranatha Baptist Bible College (WI) 62.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Randolph Morris Drops 37, Leads China in Scoring Average


Former Kentucky big man Randolph Morris is off to a blistering start in China.

Today, in Beijing's 108-97 win over Shandong, Morris had 37 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists. He was 15-33 from the field.

Three games into his Chinese career, Morris leads the top-level CBA in scoring average with 37.3 points per game. He is also averaging 13.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals.

Morris has put in point totals of 35, 40 and 37 in his first three outings.

Beijing (2-1) returns to action Sunday against Guandong (3-0).

Source: Asia-Basket.com

Trevor Lacey Scores 51 Points, Confirms Final List


Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey scored 51 of his team's 69 points in an overtime loss tonight.

Earlier today, in an interview with HighSchoolHoop.com, Lacey confirmed that the Wildcats are on his final list.

Here is an excerpt:

HSH: All this scoring has to getting you all sorts of attention?
TL: Yeah I’ve noticed a lot more attention. I think the opposing team’s fans know more about my stats than I do! It’s crazy.

HSH: Let’s talk colleges. You still at five?
TL: Yes, it’s Kentucky, Alabama, Connecticut, Auburn and Kansas.

HSH: You planning on taking visits soon?
TL: Yeah, I’m gonna take the visits and then decide after that. I don’t know exactly when I’m going to take the visits. I like all five of the schools a lot. I can’t wait to get to the schools and see what all they have to offer.

HSH: Do you know when you want to decide?
TL: Well, I’m not exactly sure. I know I’ll sign in the spring, but I’ll probably commit before that.


Complete Article

Tremendous Article about Former Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins


Sam Amick of Fanhouse.com has written an excellent piece about former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins.

Here is an excerpt:

The team had already scheduled a number of charity events for this holiday season that would involve numerous players, including one at a later date to the same UC Davis Shriner's Hospital for Children he is at now. But Cousins had asked to make an additional visit on his own, one that didn't come with a press release but that did give him a chance to indulge in one of his favorite pastimes: making children smile.

The second oldest of six siblings and self-described family man isn't used to being so far from his loved ones. His mother, Monique, flies in from his hometown of Mobile, Ala., at least once a month and calls every day, but the next best thing to family is Rogers and the the nation of Kings fans that is hardly feeling the love these days. But as his extended family of Wildcats fans back in Lexington, Ky. certainly know, Cousins always enjoys the kids.

One of his favorites in college was 12-year-old Olivia Pruitt, whose touching experience with Cousins last year was chronicled in the local media and who will be receiving a present from him this Christmas. A passing mention of the Pruitt encounter prompts Cousins to remember another youngster he adores -- a 7-year-old named Jacob who will also receive a present from Santa Cousins late next week.

"He was so funny," Cousins recalls of the boy. "I had a great relationship with his family."

This is the paradox of his personality. Cousins, by his own admission, is guarded and untrusting of people and their motives. The pain of past experiences has made him that way, from the absence of his father growing up to the way, as he sees it, he was demonized by so many people he never met. Yet away from the floor, those who know him best say he's far more teddy bear than grizzly bear. And just as he can scowl and snarl with the best of them, he has an ability to be open and warm with strangers, too, a charming trait that he's about to put on full display
.

Complete Article (Must Read)

Cousins visits UD Davis Shriner's Hospital for Children:


Michigan State's Tom Izzo Suspended One Game by NCAA


Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has been suspended one game by the NCAA for a secondary violation.

Here is an excerpt of the release from Michigan State University:

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The NCAA has determined that the Michigan State men's basketball program committed a secondary violation by employing an "Individual Associated with a Prospect" (IAWP) during the annual MSU Boys Basketball Camp in June 2010. Despite the violation being of a secondary nature, the NCAA Board of Directors "endorses and strongly encourages the use of suspensions" as penalties for violations involving an IAWP. As a result, MSU men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo will sit out the team's game on Saturday, Dec. 18 against Prairie View A&M.

A November 2009 interpretation broadly defined an IAWP as "any person who maintains (or directs others to maintain) contact with prospective student-athlete, the prospective student-athlete's relatives or legal guardians, or coaches at any point during the prospective student-athlete's participation in basketball, and whose contact is directly or indirectly related to prospective student-athlete's: a) athletic skills and abilities; or b) recruitment by or enrollment in an NCAA institution."

During the annual MSU Boys Basketball Camp, an individual was employed and paid the normal rate for services performed ($475 for five days of work), as he worked with middle school age campers. That individual has been identified by the NCAA as an IAWP. The IAWP was not accompanied by the prospect, nor did he have any contact with the prospect while coaching at camp.

"As an institution, we believe Coach Izzo and his staff have always demonstrated a commitment to compliance and will continue to do so," said MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis. "This inadvertent secondary violation occurred in a changing landscape. We find ourselves in unchartered territory in light of this broad definition. Defining who is an IAWP can be difficult, especially when dealing with an individual that has demonstrated no influence on a prospect. It is also important to note that this is only a secondary violation, and with Coach Izzo sitting out a game, the case is closed. While the penalty seems severe for a secondary violation, this is a new mandate from the NCAA and the Basketball Focus Group by which we will abide."

Complete Release

Calipari on Kanter Decision: "It should be soon"


John Calipari stated to the media today that the decision on Enes Kanter should be coming soon.

It is my understanding that the NCAA decision was expected to come in about 14 days after Kentucky submitted its new case. Today, not that I'm counting, is day 14.

When asked, Calipari said, "It should be soon..."

Stay tuned.

EKU Basketball Games to be Broadcast on Wazoo Sports


RICHMOND, Ky. – Six Eastern Kentucky University basketball games will be broadcast by the Wazoo Sports Network this winter. Wazoo Sports can be seen in the Lexington market on Channel 18.2 and in Louisville on Channel 11.3.

The first telecast will happen this Saturday, Dec. 18 when the men’s team visits Austin Peay at 8 p.m.

On Jan. 27, the EKU doubleheader in McBrayer Arena against the Governors will also be carried by Wazoo. In addition, Eastern’s doubleheader at UT Martin on Feb. 24 and the men’s regular-season finale at defending OVC champ Murray State on Feb. 26 will be broadcast.

Wazoo Sports, Inc. is a Regional Sports Network that delivers broadcasts of high school, NCAA, NAIA and youth sports LIVE & ON DEMAND via television and the Internet. Wazoo Sports launched online in December of 2007 and expanded to a 24/7 sports television network on September 25, 2009. Wazoo Sports has produced more 430 LIVE games and currently serves over 650,000 households in Kentucky.

Wazoo Sports is headquartered in London, Kentucky. For more information about Wazoo Sports, including its state-wide network channel guide, visit the official web site at www.wazoosports.com.

EKU-Wazoo 2010-11 Broadcast Schedule

Dec. 18 – Eastern Kentucky at Austin Peay (men), 8 p.m.
Jan. 27 – Austin Peay at Eastern Kentucky (women), 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 27 – Austin Peay at Eastern Kentucky (men), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 – Eastern Kentucky at UT Martin (men), 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 – Eastern Kentucky at UT Martin (women), 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 26 – Eastern Kentucky at Murray State (men), 8:30 p.m.

All times Eastern

Former Kentucky Recruit Luke Cothron Takes Advantage of Bizarre Loophole


Former Kentucky 2010 recruit Luke Cothron has taken advantage of a bizarre loophole in the NCAA system that will allow him to play a semester at the University of New Orleans and then be a 2011 recruit.

As strange as that sounds, Cothron will play college basketball at New Orleans and then be able to transfer, without penalty, to an NCAA Division I program for next season.

Here is an excerpt from Jeff Goodman's blog:

The rule is as follows: The University of New Orleans, which is transitioning out of the D-1 ranks, is able to take transfers. They can not only play right away, but also transfer somewhere else following the season (as long as they are in good academic standing) and play immediately.

``I didn’t believe it when they told it to me,” Cothron said.

Cothron arrived down in New Orleans last week and the next day was playing against Tulane.
This is basically a loophole for a non-qualifier to go, play half of the season and then become one of the most sought-after recruits in the Class of 2011.

Cothron was being recruited by a number of schools, including Kentucky, until it was discovered that he would not qualify for 2010-11.

He originally committed to Auburn but didn't qualify and then ended up at UMass. Now, he's at New Orleans.

Photo: Scout.com

Yahoo! Sports Ranks Kentucky on Top of SEC


Jason King of Yahoo! Sports breaks down Southeastern Conference men's basketball today, including league rankings.

King ranks Kentucky No. 1 in the conference, followed by the rest of the SEC East Division. Behind Kentucky is Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The SEC West's top team is Mississippi State at No. 7 overall.

The article also places Brandon Knight in the "Who's Hot?" category.

Here is an excerpt:

Brandon Knight, Kentucky – The freshman point guard averaged 19 points, five rebounds and 4.5 assists in wins over Notre Dame and Indiana last week. Against Notre Dame Knight reached the 20-point plateau for the fourth time this season. And he made all 10 of his free throws in Kentucky’s victory over Indiana.

Kentucky Wesleyan Takes Care of Salem International


Kentucky Wesleyan 92
Salem International 71

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky

The resurgence of Kwan Waller to top form is paying big dividends for No. 11 Kentucky Wesleyan.

Plagued by shooting woes early in the season, the 5-foot-11 senior guard is back on track for the Panthers -- and his 22-point effort helped drive KWC to a 92-71 victory over Salem International on Thursday night at the Sportscenter.

Waller made 7-of-14 floor shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, and sank 6-of-7 foul shots as Wesleyan won for the seventh time in eight games this season.

Panthers head coach Todd Lee is, of course, encouraged by Waller's transformation.

"Kwan's really playing well right now, and he's bringing a lot of confidence to the court," Lee said. "I think the turnaround for him has come with better preparation. Shooting practice shots the way you shoot game shots -- really going at it at game speed in practice. It's made a big difference in his play."

Wesleyan also got another huge performance from forward Anthony Young, who produced game-highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds -- making 6-of-9 shots from the field, and sinking 13-of-15 foul shots.

"That's a lot of points for a guy only taking nine (floor) shots," Lee said. "It was another really solid performance all the way around by Anthony."

Complete Recap

Campbellsville Nets Road Win at Rio Grande


Campbellsville 66
Rio Grande 54

Final from Rio Grande, Ohio

RIO GRANDE, Ohio -- Campbellsville University added two new players to the court Thursday and chipped away at a 66-54 win at the University of Rio Grande to snap a two-game losing skid.

"I told the guys, ‘On the road, I don't care how it looks. Wins in the Mid-South Conference are hard to come by,'" CU head coach Keith Adkins said.

The Tigers struggled on the boards, being out rebounded 41-31 but shut down Rio on the perimeter in the back-and-forth game, holding the RedStorm to 14 percent (2-of-14) from long range. After Campbellsville led, 25-21 at halftime, the RedStorm hit their first 3 with 12:47 left in the game for a 35-34 lead. However, it was the last lead for the home team, as Shawn Savage responded with a Tiger 3 and CU never looked back.

Rio held the game within a couple of possessions for a while, but Campbellsville stretched its lead to double digits late. Harris, who led CU with 18 points, pushed CU to its first 10-point lead, 60-50, with a pair breakaway baskets off blocks from Reggie Smith and JaVaughn Espritt. Harris scored eight 10 of Campbellsville's final 13 points. Espritt recorded a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds.

Campbellsville picked up two new players Thursday, as Smith became eligible for the rest of the season and mid-year transfer Ever Lopez of Los Angeles suited up for the first time. Both scored seven points, while Smith also grabbed nine rebounds.

"That's not bad for Ever Lopez, a guy who was literally doing nothing first semester and has only practiced with us two or three days," Adkins said. "For Reggie, it was like going to Oklahoma State two months ago. This was his exhibition game. He's had no warm up games and gave us 28 good minutes."

Complete Recap

Insight to Show UK vs. MVSU Game in Select Markets


Kentucky fans in select markets will be able to view tomorrow's game against Mississippi Valley State in select Insight Cable markets. Here is the announcement from UKAthletics.com:

Kentucky fans in select markets without Comcast Sports South will still be able to watch Saturday's game against Mississippi Valley State if they have Insight Cable.

Insight spokesman Jason Keller said the cable company is making arrangements to carry the game in its Kentucky and Indiana markets. The game is scheduled to air on CSS at 8 p.m. ET.

The game will air on different channels in each district. The channel locations are:

- Lexington - Channel 14 for Analog customers and channel 505 for Digital box and Mini Box customers.
- Bowling Green - Channel 5 for Analog customers and channel 505 for Digital box and Mini Box customers.
- Northern Kentucky - Channel 99 for Analog customers and channel 505 for Digital box and Mini Box customers.
- Evansville - Channel 74 for Analog (Classic) customers and channel 505 for Digital box and Mini Box customers.
- Louisville - Channel 15 for Analog customers and channel 505 for Digital box and Mini Box customers.

For additional information, check SportsOnInsight.com.

Southern Wesleyan Tops Lindsey Wilson


Southern Wesleyan 77
Lindsey Wilson 69

Final from Columbia, Kentucky


COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Nate Miller hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final three minutes to break open a tie and the Lindsey Wilson College men's basketball team never recovered, losing 77-69 to Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) University on Thursday at Biggers Sports Center.

Miller finished with 16 points on 4-of-8 shooting from behind the arc and Nick Lagroone added 20 points to lead the Warriors. Nikola Lambic was a force in the paint with 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Michael Corpening also finished with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Senior Brandon Clemons paced Lindsey Wilson (9-3) with 15 points as juniors Chase Spreen (13) and Justin Archie (10) and senior Jeremiah Diebler (10) all added double figures scoring.

The Blue Raiders were outrebounded (38-36) for the second time this season, despite holding an 18-13 advantage on the offensive glass.

There were 10 lead changes and six ties in a game that was played closer on the court than what the final score shows.

A pair of free throws by Kimberland with under three minutes to play tied the game at 59, but the game went quickly downhill from there for the Blue Raiders.

Miller converted on his two late threes and Lambic added a couple of dagger hook shots in the paint to pull ahead by as many as 10 points in the final minute. Archie and Spreen each made a pair of free throws in the final seconds, but it wasn't enough to climb back into contention.

Complete Recap

No. 3 Georgetown College Takes Down Pikeville


(3) Georgetown College 74
Pikeville College 63

Final from Georgetown, Kentucky

It was another fierce battle between Mid-South Conference rivals Georgetown College and Pikeville College Thursday in Davis-Reid Alumni Gym. Georgetown clawed out the victory, 74-63.

The Bears (10-3, 1-2 MSC) opened up an early lead 11-4, but once the No. 3 Tigers (13-0, 3-0) grabbed their first lead at with 9:42 remaining in the first half they never trailed again.

Rodney Haddix made two free throws to grab the 17-15 lead as he would go on to score 16 for GC. Eddie Gray led with 17 points, while Pikeville was led by Trevor Setty's 14 points. PC's Justin Hicks had 12 points and Carlos Woodard 10 to round out the double-digit scorers.

Maurice Pearson and Vic Moses dominated the boards with 12 and 11 rebounds respectively.

GC returns to action 4 p.m. Saturday against MSC newcomer University of Virginia College at Wise.

* Game recap by Georgetown College

2012 Star Perry Ellis Trims List to Six, UK Makes Cut


Chris Elliott of The Wichita Eagle says 2012 star Perry Ellis has trimmed his final list to six schools.

Here is an excerpt:

Heights coach Joe Auer said that Ellis' to schools are Kansas, Kentucky, Kansas State, Memphis Wichita State and Oklahoma. Ellis had scholarship offers from Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Wake Forest and Wichita State. However schools like George Town, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, Stanford and UCLA have all been on the recruiting Trail for Ellis' services.

Complete Article

Ellis is a 6-8 power forward from Wichita Heights High School. He ranks No. 19 on the Rivals150 List for 2012.

Antoine Walker Has Breakout Game Against Maine


Former NBA All Star Antoine Walker had his first breakout game since joining the NBA Development League's Idaho Stampede with a game-high 25 points and 8 rebounds in a 105-99 loss to Maine.

Walker was in the starting lineup for the first time and earned a season-high 33 minutes of action. He was 11-20 from the field, including 2-6 from long range.

Four games into his NBA comeback attempt, Walker is averaging 14.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

The former Boston Celtics star was also well-received by the Maine fans. The crowd was noticeably cheering for Walker as he demonstrated a full array of veteran moves and decision-making.

In the end, the Stampede came up short and Walker was clearly drained, but he is showing improvement.

It's difficult to say at this point if Walker will get an NBA opportunity but I am certainly cheering for him. Sometimes, folks must hit the proverbial "rock bottom" in their lives before flaws can be properly repaired.

Walker, who is still facing a court date for gambling debts and living with the humbling reality that he blew millions of dollars, has been to his lowest point and is now trying to rebuild himself.

Will it be enough to warrant an NBA contract? Only time will tell.

Good luck 'Toine!

Photo: Screenshot from NBA.com

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Centre College Grabs Road Win at Asbury


Centre College 66
Asbury University 58

Final from Wilmore, Kentucky


Trailing by one at halftime, the Centre College men’s basketball team out-scored Asbury College 34-25 in the second half for a 66-58 non-conference road win Thursday, Dec. 16 in Wilmore, Ky.

With the win, the Colonels improve to 6-1 overall, while Asbury falls to 6-5 this season.

Asbury jumped out to a 9-3 lead, but the Colonels scored the next seven points to go in front 10-9 at the 15:40 mark in the opening period. The first half was close throughout as neither team led by more than five points.

With 3:23 Justin Jones scored to put Asbury up 29-24, but junior Greg Ross (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored the next four points to cut the lead to one. Ross then scored Centre’s final four points of the half, while Asbury also finished the half adding four points to take a 33-32 lead into the intermission.

The game remained close in the second half. With the score tied at 43-43 senior center Alex Lloyd (Versailles, Ky.) scored to ignite a 9-0 run to give Centre the lead for good. Asbury pulled within four three different times late in the game but was unable to get any closer as the Colonels closed out the game for a 66-58 win.

The shooting percentages were about the same as the Eagles made 37.1% (23-62) of their shots, while Centre made 37.9% (22-58), however, Asbury was limited to only one of 11 (9.1%) from the three-point line, while the Colonels connected on nine of its 24 attempts (37.5%).

Ross had another big game for Centre scoring a team-high 18 points with 10 rebounds and four assists off the bench. Sophomore guard Bryon Ellis (Russell Springs, Ky.) scored 15 points, hitting five three-pointers. Junior guard Jeff Mullaney (Louisville, Ky.) added 12 points, while Lloyd finished with a double-double scoring 10 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Phillip Morrison led Asbury with a game-high 20 points to go with four rebounds. SharDonoven Crawford tallied 11 points and nine rebounds, while Jones pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
Complete Recap

Rondo Injured and Other NBA Notes


NBA Recap - December 14-15, 2010:

December 14

- Jodie Meeks (Kentucky) had 12 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in Philadelphia's 82-77 win over New Jersey.

- Derrick Caracter (Louisville/UTEP) scored 2 points in 2 minutes in the Lakers' 103-89 victory over the Wizards.

- John Wall (Kentucky) DNP play sore knee

- Nazr Mohammed (Kentucky) led Charlotte with 18 points and 8 rebounds in a 97-91 win over Toronto.

- Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky) had 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in Detroit's 103-80 victory over Atlanta.

- DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky) put in 17 points and 7 rebounds in Sacramento's 118-105 loss to Houston.

- Francisco Garcia (Louisville) had 10 points off the Sacramento bench.

- Chuck Hayes (Kentucky) had 11 points and 4 rebounds for the Rockets.

- Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky) came off the Houston bench for 11 points on 5-10 shooting.

December 15

- Derrick Caracter (Louisville/UTEP) DNP coach's decision

- Rajon Rondo (Kentucky) had 10 points and 14 assists to lead Boston to a 118-116 victory over New York. Rondo suffered a sprained ankle, however, and will miss 1-2 weeks with the injury.

- Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky) played 16 minutes off the bench in the Clippers' 105-91 loss to the 76ers. Bledsoe had 6 points on 2-9 shooting.

- Jodie Meeks (Kentucky) had 9 points and 4 rebounds for Philadelphia. Meeks was also 2-9 from the field.

- Keith Bogans (Kentucky) scored 6 points in Chicago's 110-93 victory over Toronto.

- Jamaal Magloire (Kentucky) DNP coach's decision

- DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky) had 13 points an 7 rebounds in Sacramento's 94-91 loss to New Orleans.

- Francisco Garcia (Louisville) DNP coach's decision

- Chuck Hayes (Kentucky) had 9 points and 3 rebounds in Houston's 117-105 loss to Oklahoma City.

- Patrick Patterson (Kentucky) saw his first NBA action for Houston. He had 3 points and a rebound in 4 minutes off the bench.

- Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky) had 12 points for the Rockets.

- Nazr Mohammed (Kentucky) only scored 4 points in Charlotte's 113-80 loss to Memphis. Mohammed also pulled down 5 rebounds.

- Earl Clark (Louisville) DNP coach's decision

Rajon Rondo to Miss One to Two Weeks with Ankle Sprain


Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo will likely miss 1-2 weeks with a left ankle sprain according to head coach Doc Rivers.

Here is an excerpt from ESPN.com

Celtics coach Doc Rivers estimated a "one or two" week absence for Rajon Rondo after Boston's All-Star point guard suffered a left ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's win over the New York Knicks.

Earlier Thursday, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told radio station WEEI that Rondo "will be out for a couple of weeks, anyway."

Rondo, who is averaging 11.2 points and a league-leading 13.8 assists per game for the 20-4 Celtics, was able to return to action in the 118-116 victory over the Knicks, and said afterward that he expected to play Thursday against Atlanta.

"I think that Rajon is young, and he heals fast and he loves to play, to his credit," Ainge told WEEI. "I couldn't believe he was back on the court last night. He wasn't moving very well, even when he got back out on the court. You could tell he was still in a lot of pain, and certainly after the game it started puffing up. This morning there was a lot of swelling, and he definitely needs some time off."


Complete Article

Kelenna Azubuike Uses Faith in God and Passion for Basketball to Bring Hope


Former Kentucky star Kelenna Azubuike uses his faith in God and his passion for basketball to bring hope to children in the United States and other countries including Serbia, Greece, Germany, France, Romania and the Czech Republic.

Azubuike and his brothers, Nonzo and Jay, are partners in the family's Crossover International Inc. The venture is a non-profit foundation based in Denver that uses basketball as a tool to expand its ministry, both nationally and internationally.

Here is an excerpt about the company from TheSportsCommentary.com:

Each year, since 2003 the family and Crossover International coaches and supporters embark on tours to bring faith and basketball to children. Joined by NBA players and collegiate stars, they partner with international churches and bring their basketball ministry to children. Often conducting 3 day sports camps, the group teaches drills and core basketball skills, breaking the momentum to share their stories, read scripture and conduct a bible hour with their young charges. The camp closes with awards and songs of salvation and spiritually needy children are paired with home-base churches. Often, the group of American athletes showcases their talents against local club teams, offering impromptu exhibitions of ‘American basketball’ to the delight of kids and adults alike.

In Denver, as well as abroad, the team of players and coaches also visit detention centers, working with at risk youth from the ages of 7 to 17 to offer a reason to thrive and a clear path to help them change their lives.

Asked to share his own testimony, Kelenna says “I talk about my career as a basketball player and how a huge part of my career includes trusting that the Lord has a path for me. It’s the reason, I’m here today. I didn’t get drafted in college, but I prayed and had faith and encouragement from my family members. Sometimes, I talk about the fact that God has a plan for everyone, even though things don’t always go the way you have it planned. I went to the D-League, but I’m here [at the NBA] all the same. For me, talking to the kids is a way to bring hope to them and peace about their future.”


Complete Article

http://www.crossover.org/

Yahoo! Sports: Louisville Simply Isn't That Good


Jason King of Yahoo! Sports says that Louisville has an excellent excuse for losing to Drexel - the Cardinals "simply aren't that good."

Here is an excerpt:

“We have no excuse,” said Pitino, and that may not be entirely true.

The Cardinals, you see, simply aren’t that good.

Louisville barely made the NCAA tournament last season and then lost to Cal in the opening round. The top four scorers from that team (Samardo Samuels, Edgar Sosa, Jerry Smith and Jared Swopshire) are gone now – and there weren’t any standout replacements waiting to fill the gaps.

Pitino’s squad doesn’t boast a single NBA-caliber player on its roster. Louisville has impressive balance with four players averaging between 10.1 and 12.4 points, but to be an upper-echelon team in the Big East, you need a game-changer.

“We don’t have that this year,” Pitino said after Tuesday’s loss. “We’ve got to win as a team. The parts aren’t as good as the whole here. We don’t have a [star] player. We may have that on a given night if someone is making shots. But we have to win together.”

The Cardinals were able to do exactly that before Tuesday thanks to a favorable schedule.

Complete Article

Big East/SEC Challenge Will Debut in 2011


The SEC/Big East Invitational will expand to the Big East/SEC Challenge in 2011.

ESPN will provide coverage of the 12-game event, which will debut the week after Thanksgiving next season.

Here is the release from the Big East Conference:

ESPN, the BIG EAST Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) have reached an agreement for 12 members from each of the two premier conferences to play each other in a men’s college basketball inter-conference Challenge the week after Thanksgiving starting in 2011. ESPN will provide exclusive coverage of all 12 games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. The new BIG EAST/SEC Challenge will mark an expansion and modification of the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational, a four-year event from 2007 to 2010 that featured four matchups between the two conferences from two neutral sites.

The new BIG EAST/SEC Challenge format will feature 12 games over three days beginning on the Thursday after Thanksgiving of each year. The 2011 schedule will include four games a day Thursday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 3. The event title will alternate to the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge in 2012 and be played Thursday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 1.

All 12 games each year will be played at home campus sites with each conference hosting six games a year. SEC teams will alternate home and away games. Twelve of the 16 BIG EAST teams (17 teams in the second year) will participate each year with home, road and no-game assignments determined for 2011 and 2012 in advance of the 2011 event. Matchups, times and network assignments are to be determined.

“We are thrilled to continue to showcase two of the best college basketball conferences through a new BIG EAST/SEC Challenge,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, college sports programming. “We applaud the conferences and their schools on their enthusiasm for the series and know fans will look forward to a true test of conference superiority each year beginning in 2011.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, “The Southeastern Conference is pleased to provide this expanded opportunity for all 12 of our member institutions to participate in the SEC/Big East Challenge each year. The ability to showcase SEC basketball on the various ESPN platforms in this type of conference competition makes this a magnificent and fun event for our coaches, student-athletes and fans.”

BIG EAST Commissioner John Marinatto added, "The past four years of the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational have provided both of our respective fan bases with high quality and exciting matchups prior to the start of our conference regular seasons. We are now pleased to expand the format to offer even more competition, and bring these games to campus sites. Add to the equation the exposure that ESPN provides and you have a truly wonderful event."

Over the four years of the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational, the conferences split the series in 2008 and 2009 and each won one (SEC in 2010 and BIG EAST in 2007).

Since 1999, the SEC (four) and the BIG EAST (seven) have combined for 11 Final Four appearances and five national titles: Connecticut (1999 and 2004), Florida (2006 and 2007) and Syracuse (2003).

Antoine Walker Just Wants to be Part of the Team and Play


SlamOnline.com has an excellent article today about former Kentucky star Antoine Walker and his efforts to make an NBA comeback.

Walker is currently preparing for his fourth appearance with the Idaho Stampede in the NBA Development League, which Walker hopes to use as a stepping stone to return to the game's top level.

Here is an excerpt about Walker's downfall:

“But now I know who my real friends are. As I’ve been going through this stuff over the last couple of years, I’ve been able to find out who my real friends are because they’ve stuck with me. What people don’t realize is that it’s not always about money. Sometimes, it’s just picking up the phone and calling to see how you’re doing. People don’t have to give you money. It’s nice to have someone show they care about you.

“When you go through trials and tribulations, most people will just sit back and watch. They want to see you down fall or go under, but I come from too strong of a background to do that. I have two beautiful girls, therefore I have two people to live for. I have a mom who taught me how to be tough. I was raised without money, so I can deal with this.”

This is a far cry from the glitzy NBA lifestyle that Toine lived with somewhat legendary flair, and an entourage that rolled so deep it had its own entourage. His mother estimated that one point, Walker was supporting up to 70 people, which would more than double the population of nearby Atlanta, ID.

And an excerpt about the present and future:

“I came here with no expectations,” Walker says. “I was at home and not doing anything and it was tough — and I wanted to play. Would I love to get back into the League? Of course, without question. But I just want to play.

“I hope this experience can help me in all areas of my life. I’m very happy right now, and I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t feel like Coach Livingston was going to be behind me.

“For now, I want to come be a part of the team and help this team win. I didn’t set any goals, like if I don’t make it back in two weeks then I’m out. I just want to play. I feel like there are guys here who are two months ahead of me this season and I’m just trying to catch up with them.”

Complete Article (Great Read)

Bad News for Both Duke and Kansas


There is bad news out of Kansas and Duke today that will have an impact on both teams:

- At Duke, it is looking more-and-more like Kyrie Irving's injury is a serious one that will have a long term impact on the Blue Devils. Here is an excerpt from NewsObserver.com:

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said Wednesday during his XM Radio show that freshman point guard Kyrie Irving will be out "a long time."

Irving is recovering from an injury to the big toe on his right foot he suffered during a Dec. 4 win over Butler in East Rutherford, N.J. Duke has announced that Irving is out indefinitely.

Krzyzewski has said there is a chance Irving will miss the entire season, although he didn't elaborate during his radio show on what "a long time" meant. Krzyzewski said during his show, "Basketball and Beyond with Coach K," that specialists are meeting to plan Irving's rehabilitation and recovery.


- The Jayhawks have suspended senior Mario Little indefinitely following an arrest on charges of battery, criminal damage and criminal trespassing. Here is an excerpt from KUSports.com:

Lawrence police said he was arrested after an altercation with several people and was accused of pushing his girlfriend into a sink about 3 a.m. Thursday at an apartment in the 1200 block of Ohio Street.

In a statement, KU coach Bill Self announced he has suspended Little indefinitely.

“Mario remains a member of our team while we work through this process,” Self said, “but we have suspended him indefinitely from competition while we gather the facts of this incident.

"Mario exercised very poor judgment in his handling of a situation. We’re disappointed in his behavior; it’s unfortunate that our university, our program and his teammates all have to deal with this negative issue.”

Three Future Wildcats on Naismith High School Watch List


The Atlanta Tip-Off Club has released the Naismith High School Player of the Year watch list and three future Kentucky Wildcats have made the cut.

Michael Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis are on the list of ten top high school players from around the nation.

2010 Naismith Boy’s High School Player of the Year Watch List

Name School Hometown College

- Bradley Beal, Chaminade College Prep School St. Louis, Mo., Florida
- Kentavious Caldwell, Greenville High School Greenville, Ga., Georgia
- Anthony Davis, Perspectives Charter School Chicago, Ill., Kentucky
- Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick High School Elizabeth, N.J., Kentucky
- James McAdoo, Norfolk Christian Norfolk, Va., North Carolina
- Quincy Miller, Westchester County Day School High Point, N.C., Baylor
- LeBryan Nash, Lincoln High School Dallas, Texas, Oklahoma State
- Austin Rivers, Winter Park High School Winter Park, Fla., Duke
- Marquis Teague, Pike High School Indianapolis, Ind., Kentucky
- Adonis Thomas, Melrose High School Memphis, Tenn., Memphis

Could Billy Gillipsie Replace Pat Knight at Texas Tech?


Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald wonders if former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie might be waiting in the wings if Pat Knight loses his job at Texas Tech.

Here is an excerpt from Omaha.com:

Pat Knight needs a mulligan. At Big 12 Media Days, the blessedly truth-telling coach at Texas Tech blurted out the following:

“This being my third year, this is either a ‘get-an-extension’ or a ‘get-fired’ kind of year.’’

It’s starting to look like the latter after the Red Raiders’ 5-5 start, matching Oklahoma for the Big 12’s worst beginning to the 2010-11 season. Tech has nothing resembling a marquee win — the best is over No. 154 RPI Oral Roberts — plus losses to North Texas and South Florida.

“This isn’t a bad team,’’ Knight said this week. “This is a good team playing badly. We have got to get our older players playing better.’’

Knight thought he had four senior building blocks in point guard John Roberson, off guard David Tairu and forwards Mike Singletary and D’walyn Roberts. But Roberts has been injured, and the other three inconsistent.

With former Texas A&M and Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie looking to get back into the business, and being from Texas, Knight might have reason to worry.

My Thoughts: Can you imagine cheering for a team that has a back-to-back-to-back coaching trio of Bobby Knight, Pat Knight and Billy Gillispie?

Transy's Brandon Rash Named HCAC Player of the Week


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Transylvania sophomore forward Brandon Rash has been named Heartland Conference Player of the Week for men's basketball for the week ending Dec. 12.

With Rash averaging better than 21 points, four rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.5 steals, the Pioneers posted a pair of HCAC wins over Franklin and Rose-Hulman last week to move into a tie for second place in the league race.

Rash is the first Pioneer to earn HCAC Player of the Week honors this season.

Rash, a Mt. Sterling, Ky., native and a graduate of Montgomery County High School, poured in a career-high 27 points in Transy's 88-63 win over Franklin. He also had seven rebounds and four steals.

In the Rose-Hulman game, Rash helped Transy hand the Engineers their first HCAC loss of the year with a team-high 16 points and four assists. For the week, Rash shot nearly 54 percent from the field. With the two wins, the Pioneers are 5-2 overall, 3-1 in HCAC action.

After a week off for finals, the Pioneers will return to action in their Holiday Tournament, facing Millikin (Ill.) on Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m., following the matchup between Piedmont and Westminster. Transy will play either Piedmont or Westminster in the second game on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.
* Article by Transylvania University

Kentucky Staff Checks Out Shabazz Muhammad


Assistant coaches from Arizona, Kentucky and UCLA as well as North Carolina head coach Roy Williams were in attendance to watch 2012 prospect Shabazz Muhammad Monday night.

The Bishop Gorman (NV) High School junior put on a show for the gathering of coaches. He put in 28 points in an 86-56 victory over Desert Oasis.

Here is an excerpt from LasVegasSun.com:

Assistant coaches from Arizona, Kentucky and UCLA also were in attendance.

"We get a lot of coaches at our games. But when it is someone such as coach Williams, one of the top coaches in the country, the players take notice," Gorman coach Grant Rice said. "The good and the bad of basketball is that everything is so close to the court."

Later Monday night, Muhammad posted on his Twitter account, "Just had another game 28 pts 8 rebs and a great team win we are getting better and better every game."

He followed with: "The game was good coach Williams from North Carolina was there and Arizona, Kentucky and UCLA."


Complete Article

Murray State Pounces on Bethel, 22 Straight at Home


Murray State 94
Bethel 52

Final from Murray, Kentucky

The Murray State Racers pushed their home winning streak to 22 games with a 94-52 win Wednesday over the Bethel Wildcats at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.

MSU (6-4) used a hot-shooting first half to produce a 20-7 run after they trailed by six at the 12:16 mark. In a span of less than a minute, MSU saw Isaiah Canaan hit a three-pointer, followed by a steal and easy basket by B.J. Jenkins. Another MSU steal led to a dunk by Ed Daniel and MSU had the lead 32-25 at 6:15.

The Racers pushed to their largest lead of the half at when Jewuan Long hit a pair of free throws to get MSU a 44-31 lead at halftime.

MSU was 16-of-30 in the half for 53 percent, while Bethel was 11-of-33 for 33 percent.

The Racers blitzed the Wildcats (10-3) by scoring the first nine points of the second half to build a 54-31 lead with 17:00 remaining. MSU’s lead eventually grew to as many as 44 points with 3:43 left.

“It was a good win and it was good to be home,” MSU Head Coach Billy Kennedy said, as the team was playing at home for the first time since Nov. 20. “I thought the first five minutes of the second half we showed maturity. To jump out on them with a 12-0 run, coming against a Bethel team that is a lower classification, however for us to come out like that ready to go really shows maturity on our seniors part.”

MSU had 12 players scratch the scoring column led by 15 points from Canaan, followed by 12 each from Daniel and Jeffery McClain. B.J. Jenkins added 11. Aska tied his career-high with 14 rebounds and he also scored six points.

The Racers ended the game hitting 35-of-65 from the field for 53 percent, while holding Bethel to 28 percent on 19-of-68 shots.

Pitino Expected to Accept Puerto Rico Job on Monday


ESPN.com reports tonight that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino will meet Sunday in Miami with Puerto Rican national team members J.J. Barea and Carlos Arroyo.

He is then expected to fly to Puerto Rico on Monday to accept an offer to become the team's next head coach.

Here is an excerpt:

Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino will meet Sunday in Miami with Puerto Rican national team members J.J. Barea and Carlos Arroyo. It is expected he will then fly to Puerto Rico on Monday to accept an offer to become the team's next head coach.

Barea, the Dallas Mavericks' backup point guard, will be in Miami on Sunday to play Arroyo's Heat on Monday. He said Pitino wants to meet with Puerto Rico's only NBA players before finalizing the deal.

"He's very excited and it's almost a done deal," Barea said Wednesday before the Mavs faced the Portland Trail Blazers. "And I'm excited for it. We need a guy like that. It's going to help us as a team."

Pitino would effectively become Puerto Rico's Coach K. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski led the All-Star squad of NBA players on the United States national team to the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Games and at last summer's FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

Pitino would guide Puerto Rico in next summer's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Argentina, and then, if it qualifies, in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Complete Article

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saunders Makes Scary Statements About John Wall


Washington Wizards coach Flip Saunders delivered some scary statements about former Kentucky star John Wall, who has now missed eight games this season because of injuries.

Saunders said that Wall is suffering from tendinitis and the scary part - he doesn't think Wall will ever recover.

Here is an excerpt of Saunders' statements from CBSSports.com:

“I don’t think, with his situation, having tendinitis, that he’s ever going to be pain free from that,” said Saunders. “So I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to monitor it. That’s the approach we’re taking, but the reason we say day-to-day is because these things, when you go through them, all of a sudden you might wake up the next day and they might be good to go. That’s why we’re handling it that way.”

The news is so scary that many Wizards fans are advocating shutting Wall down for as long as it takes for him to recover.

2012 Forward Daniel Dingle is on Kentucky's Radar


There will be a pair of Kentucky recruits competing in the Les Schwab Invitational event in Oregon.

Kyle Wiltjer, who has already signed with the University of Kentucky, and Jesuit will be in the event, which runs December 26-30.

Another player who is now on Kentucky's radar is 6-7 forward Daniel Dingle of St. Raymond in the Bronx, New York.

Dingle, who already holds a scholarship offer from Western Kentucky, has been called "the most complete, versatile player in NYC" by a personal coach on Long Island.

The 2012 star also holds offers from a host of other schools including West Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, St. John's and Cincinnati.

Lindsey Wilson has no Trouble with Brescia


Lindsey Wilson 85
Brescia University 56

Final from Columbia, Kentucky


COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Leave Chase Spreen open for too many 3-pointers and you're bound to pay, just as Brescia (Ky.) University did to the tune of 22 points and three makes from behind the arc to lead the Lindsey Wilson College men's basketball team to an 85-56 win at Biggers Sports Center on Tuesday.

The junior wasn't alone in the rout as senior Brandon Clemons added 11 points and five rebounds and Jeremiah Diebler scored nine points on three 3-pointers as well, both in the second half, with two coming within 30 seconds of each other.

Brescia got a team-high 18 points from Aaron Tandy and 11 points from Bryce Garrett, while Darren Smith added 10.

Lindsey Wilson held a decisive 39-22 rebound advantage and outshot the Bearcats from the field 51.7 percent to 44.7 percent.

Brescia was forced into 19 turnovers, while Lindsey Wilson let go of just 14 possessions with 19 assists.

The Bearcats struggled behind the arc, hitting just 1-of-9 shots for 11.1 percent.

Complete Recap

Randolph Morris is Dominating in China


Former Kentucky big man Randolph Morris is off to an outstanding start for the Beijing Ducks.

Tonight, in a 116-107 win over Qingdao Doublestar, Morris exploded for 40 points and 11 rebounds. He was 16-23 from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line.

He scored 35 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in his first game.

Two games into his Chinese experience, Morris is averaging 37.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.


Parrish Adds Terrence Jones to All-America List


Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has "re-voted" on his list of potential All-American's in college basketball. On his new list, he includes Kentucky's Terrence Jones.

His current list of All-Americans is Jones, Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette, Jon Leuer and Jared Sullinger.

Here is an excerpt about Jones:

Terrence Jones -- Forward -- Kentucky
Jones is averaging 18.9 points and 10.2 rebounds for the 17th-ranked Wildcats. He's the nation's biggest individual surprise because he wasn't hyped nearly as much as John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins last preseason, or even teammate Brandon Knight this preseason. The 6-8 forward is strong and tenacious, just devastating when he faces up against other big forwards. He's already scored at least 25 points three times and grabbed 17 rebounds twice. Barring a collapse, Jones will win SEC Player of the Year and have the Wildcats in play to take the conference title.

Kentucky Bisons Decide to Cancel Season


The Kentucky Bisons ABA club has decided to cancel its season and potentially look for a new home.

Here is a letter delivered on the team's website:

To our loyal fans and supporters of the Kentucky Bisons;

We are very disappointed and heartbroken to report that we have had to make the painful decision to cancel the season planned for the Owensboro Kentucky Bisons. We do so because of the disappointing support we’ve gotten from Owensboro businesses as well as the city. As you are aware, for two years we have had teams of very talented players who not only gave it their best on the court, were a pleasure to watch perform, were true role models, who loved to hang around after a game and talk to fans, to kids, and even visited local schools talking to students encouraging them to stay in school, finish their education. We tried very hard to provide affordable quality family entertainment. We were good enough to be asked to play in China two years in a row. In China, we were the Owensboro Kentucky Bisons and were very popular with Chinese fans on and off the court.

We are saying all this because we believe we were good ambassadors for Owensboro. We deserved better support than we got from many, even from the city. I personally spoke at several civic clubs trying to get us better known. I always had good response and encouragement, but then……very little sponsorship help ever appeared despite my offer to advertise businesses on our website, on banners at our games, on programs, on our PA system. I made very few businesses' advertising budget, even for $300-$500, without which, we can’t take our team on the road to play away games. We had an extremely difficult time breaking even at home with all the entertainment we tried to provide, not to mention the surcharge the city imposed. So, for obvious personal reasons, we will not play in Owensboro this year.

I regret to cancel this season for the Bisons. We are considering our options for next year. The ABA has very graciously agreed to let us suspend operations this year. They would like to help us continue and, they are trying and are encouraging us to look at moving to a city more receptive and helpful. The ABA has found a former NBA All-Star player who wants to own and manage an ABA team. I am to meet with him soon. I love Owensboro, but apparently only a few of our loyal fans feel same way about our effort and to you we sincerely apologize.

Thanks for your support,

Jay Sills, Owner & G.M.

James G. Sills, M.D., Owner

Eric Bledsoe Participates in Feed the Community Event


Former Kentucky star Eric Bledsoe participated in the Los Angeles Clippers Feed the Community Season of Giving Event recently.

The project provided food for 2,400 families in Los Angeles.

Here is an excerpt from NBA.com:

The Los Angeles Clippers Foundation in a joint effort with Feed The Children, Rancho Cienega Sports Complex and the Salvation Army Siemon Family Youth and Community Center provided 2,400 families in Los Angeles with food and every day essentials.

Clippers players Eric Bledsoe, Brian Cook, Ryan Gomes, Eric Gordon, Craig Smith and Willie Warren; Clippers staff and season ticket holders handed out food boxes and personal care boxes in hopes of making a difference in the lives of children and families in Los Angeles where hunger and need are daily realities. Families also received books and toys.

Photo: NBA.com

Blog Archive