Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's Been a Tough Few Days for Big Blue Nation


Let's face it Kentucky fans...the last 48 hours have been about as tough as any stretch in recent memory.

Here's a timeline:

Friday evening: The NCAA announces that Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter will remain permanently ineligible and no further appeal will be allowed.

Kanter's college career is over before it ever starts and he'll be relegated to spending time on the UK bench as an assistant before heading into the 2011 NBA Draft.

Saturday morning: Marc Maggard breaks the news that Kentucky is no longer recruiting 2011 star DeAndre Daniels.

UK fans had been hoping to land Daniels for days, but apparently those hopes are dashed.

Saturday afternoon Part A: The Kentucky football team makes an incredibly disappointing showing in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

It's one thing to lose. It's another to look totally unprepared (despite a month of preparation time), unfocused and unwatchable.

The football team is left with a losing record, scrutiny at the quarterback position and the reality that Randall Cobb is likely gone. Speaking of Cobb, it might've been a good idea to attempt to get him the football today.

Saturday afternoon Part B: Word breaks that the Louisville football program has landed two 4-star prospects.

Just like that, Operation Win turns into Operation Ouch. Joker Phillips has his back against the wall and then some.

Saturday early evening: Just when we thought it couldn't get much worse, the basketball Cats head to Georgia and lose 77-70.

Georgia is a good team, but the loss is a disappointing start to SEC play. Kentucky fought hard all day, but just failed to get over the proverbial hump.

Saturday night: Adding insult to injury, Jacob Tamme and the Indianapolis Colts lost a heart-breaker to the New York Jets and foot-sniffing head coach Rex Ryan.

Where does Big Blue Nation go from here?

The good news is that Saturday is over and tomorrow is a new day. The optimist says:

- Kanter was worth the risk and while it didn't pan out, we still have an eye-opening Josh Harrellson in the paint. Kanter would've helped, no question, but it's not the end of the world and this is still a very good basketball team.

- Daniels was likely headed to Kansas, anyways. Your best bet when it comes to recruiting is to live by this motto: "believe in Coach Cal". By the way, Trevor Lacey is not a bad option.

- I'm not sure what to say about the football program. Luckily, this is a basketball site and I don't have to say anything.

- See last point.

- It's tough to win on the road, particularly in the conference against a solid opponent. Georgia is 12-2 and have won 9 straight. They are a solid, veteran SEC team. Kentucky fought hard but just came up short. Now, the question for Kentucky is can they use this loss in a positive manner and get better from the experience.

- Larry Vaught is not smiling right now. Mark it down.

Hot Shooting Tennessee Tech Downs Eastern Kentucky


Tennessee Tech 78
Eastern Kentucky 66

Final from Richmond, Kentucky


RICHMOND, Ky. – Tennessee Tech shot a season-best 64.3 percent from the field to defeat the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team, 78-66, Saturday night in McBrayer Arena. Senior Spencer Perrin led all players with 20 points in the losing effort.

EKU (7-9, 2-4 OVC) had won five straight over TTU (6-8, 3-2 OVC) before Saturday.

The Colonels trailed by 14, 53-39, with 11:49 left in the game, but rallied behind the play of Perrin, who scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half and 13 of those 15 between the 10:42 and 5:43 marks of the second stanza. Then, with 4:32 left in the game, Perrin found senior Josh Daniel in the corner for a three-pointer to pull EKU to within three, 63-60.

The Colonels got a stop on the Golden Eagles’ next possession and had a chance to tie the contest for the first time since late in the first half. However, Zac Swansey came up with a steal and a three-point play to turn the game around. TTU outscored EKU 15-6 over the remainder of the game.

Complete Recap

Carmelo Anthony is Sick of Former Kentucky Stars

NBA star Carmelo Anthony must be getting tired of facing former Kentucky Wildcats.

A few days ago, he met Patrick Patterson:



Last night, he was introduced to Eric Bledsoe:

Shawnee State Hands Georgetown First MSC Loss


Shawnee State 78
Georgetown 71

Final from Portsmouth, Ohio


The Shawnee State men's basketball team came to play as they knocked off the Mid-South Conference leader Georgetown College 78-71 on Saturday afternoon. The Bears improve to 6-10 overall and pick up their first conference win. The Tigers fall to 15-2 on the season and suffer their first conference loss, going 4-1 in the MSC.

Shawnee State played with intensity and the first half was a back-and-forth battle. Seven Bears got into the scoring column to help establish a 34-29 halftime lead. The Bears got on the board first with a jumper by sophomore Tyler Morgan and the Bears maintained a lead early. Georgetown took a 9-8 lead on a dunk by Tyrone Shelley. The two teams exchanged baskets and the Bears reclaimed the lead on a jumper by sophomore Mark Bryant. Shawnee State extended their lead to nine on a lay-up by freshman Hank Leslie. The Tigers fought back to tie and regained the lead with a lay-up by Vic Moses. A pair of free throws by freshman Ori Harrison gave the Bears the 29-27 lead with just over two minutes to play. The Bears closed out the half outscoring the Tigers 5-2.

Shawnee State did not let up in the second half and maintained the lead for over 18 minutes of the half. The Bears kept the lead until the 16:02 mark when Georgetown's Vincent Crutcher hit a jumper to give the Tigers the 40-39 lead. Two free throws by senior Keelyn Franklin regained the Bears lead. A pair of free throws gave Georgetown the 44-43 advantage, but an offensive rebound and an and-one play by Morgan put the Bears up by one with 14:16 remaining. A lay-up by freshman Trevor Banks and back-to-back 3-pointers by sophomore Tyler Boyles capped off the Bears 11-3 run. Shawnee State maintained a two possession game until 3:44 remaining when GC's Shelley made a lay-up to put the Tigers within three. On the next possession, Boyles threw a long pass to freshman Hank Leslie who laid it in for two. A missed 3-pointer by Georgetown and a pair of free throws by Franklin gave the Bears the three possession lead. The Tigers Rodney Haddix hit two free throws with just over two minutes to play to cut the Bears' lead to 68-63. Shawnee State worked the clock and Bryant hit a jumper to extend the lead back to seven, 70-63, with 1:27 left. The Bears sealed the victory as they hit 8-of-12 free throws to hand Georgetown their first conference loss of the season.

Tipton Questions UK's Use of Kanter as Assistant


Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader wonders if Kentucky intentions for Enes Kanter as an assistant are in line with the NCAA's thoughts on the subject.

Here is an excerpt of Tipton's points on Kanter:

Quoting a source, The Sporting News reported Friday that UK sees assistant coach Kanter as a "practice player" who would also "perform limited coaching duties." Such a role will help the freshman prepare for the 2011 NBA Draft.

If true, that's 180 degrees opposed to what the NCAA intended when it defined the student assistant coach position. The role was for "a student-athlete who has exhausted his or her eligibility in the sport or has become injured to the point that he or she is unable to practice or compete ever again."

In addition, Tipton turns to a Bleacher Report (mistake No. 1) article that labels Kentucky in the top 3 of this list of "sketchiest" programs:

UK figured prominently in the Web site Bleacher Report's listing of the 25 "sketchiest" programs in college basketball. Writer Luke Dykes ranked Kentucky No. 3 in his top 25 behind No. 2 Michigan and No. 1 Baylor.

"The Kentucky Wildcats have a rap sheet almost as prolific as their successes ...," Dykes wrote. "It all started under Adolph Rupp."

He adds:

"There haven't been any other sanctions on Kentucky since then, but the hiring of John Calipari has me sitting on the edge of my seat," Dykes wrote. "With his record, it may not be long before something happens in Lexington. Technically, none of the things he's done in the past have been his fault, but lots of things have gone on under his watch, so it wouldn't surprise me if something else did."


My thoughts: Come on Jerry. The news on Kanter is bad enough. Do we really need to add further doom and gloom?

St. Catharine Pulls Away from Pikeville College


(15) St. Catharine 97
Pikeville 83

Final from Springfield, Kentucky


No. 15 St. Catharine College dominated the glass and lived at the line in picking up a 97-83 win over Pikeville College Saturday afternoon.

The Patriots (11-2, 5-1 in the Mid-South Conference) won the rebounding battle 46-27 and had 15 rebounds off the offensive end, and went 40-of-54 (74.1 percent) from the free throw line in the win as they moved into first place in the conference.

The teams combined for 45 turnovers in the game, with the Patriots holding the Bears below 40 percent (39.0 percent) shooting from the field.

Junior Kashiff Carr led all scorers with 24 points, hitting 11-of-13 from the free-throw line. Three teammates joined in double figures, with Josh Edwards tossing in 19.

Junior Brandon Johnson followed with 15 while senior Ervin Williams finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Pikeville (14-4, 3-3) was led by senior Justin Hicks, who had 22 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the arc. The Hazard native moved from 15th to 13th on the all-time scoring list and now has 1,321 points in his career.

Complete Recap

No. 4 Bellarmine Destroys GLVC Foe Rockhurst


(4) Bellarmine 92
Rockhurst 62

Final from Louisville, Kentucky


LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The No. 4 Bellarmine University men's basketball team played a near flawless first half of basketball and cruised to a 92-62 win over Great Lakes Valley Conference foe Rockhurst this afternoon in Knights Hall.

Shooting a sizzling 71 percent from the field in the first half, Bellarmine raced to 53-30 halftime advantage. Junior Braydon Hobbs led the first half attack with a stat line that included 13 points, eight assists and just one turnover. As a team, the Knights had 17 assists while hitting on 22 of 31 field goal attempts, including 5-10 from 3-point range.

"I don't think we're a team that lets the ball going in the hole affect their attitude," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "We were all about defending today and establishing the tempo of the game with our defense. What was extraordinary was how well we passed it. Our first seven baskets were all on assists, and that set the tone for the day."

After coming out a bit cold to start the second period--Bellarmine was outscored 9-0 over the first five minutes--the Knights sprang back to re-establish their dominance over the Hawks. Senior Jeremy Kendle led the Knights in the second period, scoring 11 second half points on 5-6 shooting. The Jeffersonville native finished with a team high 19 points to lead four Knights in double figures.

All 14 Bellarmine players dressed for the game saw action and 12 players broke into the scoring column. Hobbs finished with 18 points, 10 assists and pulled down four rebounds. He also rejected two shots and tied his career high with five steals.

Complete Recap

No. 11 Kentucky Loses First SEC Contest at Georgia


Georgia 77
(11) Kentucky 70

Final from Athens, Georgia

The Kentucky Wildcats (12-3, 0-1 SEC) fought hard throughout the game but could not get over the hump as Georgia prevailed 77-70 .

Georgia led from wire-to-wire except for one stretch in the second half when the Wildcats took a one-point lead. Georgia answered and pulled way late to set the final score.

The Bulldogs (12-2, 1-0 SEC) were led by Trey Thompkins who had 25 points and 7 rebounds. Gerald Robinson added 17 points. Travis Leslie chipped in 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

Terrence Jones led Kentucky with 24 points and 10 rebounds, but spent a great portion of the game in foul trouble. Doron Lamb came off the UK bench to score 18 points.

Georgia shot an impressive 30-34 (88.2%) from the free throw line. Kentucky was whistled for 24 fouls.

Kentucky was only 27-71 (38.0%) from the field and 6-20 (30.0%) from long range.

Thomas More College Escapes Waynesburg in Overtime


Thomas More 84
Waynesburg 78

Final from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania

(WAYNESBURG, Pa.) - Senior shooting guard Aaron Miller (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) recorded a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Thomas More College men's basketball team to an 84-78 Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) victory over Waynesburg University today (Saturday, January 8, 2011) at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.

With the win, the Saints improve to 8-6 overall and 4-0 in the PAC. With the loss, the Yellow Jackets fall to 5-9 overall and 2-3 in the PAC.

Waynesburg jumped out to an early 8-5 lead with 16:47 to play in the first half when Erik Noone made two free-throws. The Saints answered with a 28-12 run to take a 33-20 lead when Miller made a lay-up with 4:06 to play in the opening half. The Yellow Jackets responded with an 8-2 run capped by two free-throws by Nick Herman with 1:40 to play in the half to cut the lead to 35-28. Thomas More closed out the half on a 3-0 run to take a 38-28 halftime lead when Miller made one-of-two free-throws with 37-seconds to play in the first half.

Complete Recap

Jodie Meeks Ends Slump, Leads 76ers Past Bulls


On the day when rumors circulated that Jodie Meeks might lose his starting job, the former Kentucky star broke out of a slump and led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 105-99 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Meeks scored a team-high 24 points on 8-11 field goal shooting. He was 4-7 from the 3-point line, breaking a recent shooting slump. Meeks also had 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

Last night was the first time Meeks topped the 20-point plateau since a 26-point outburst on December 4. He had not reached double figures in four consecutive games.

Peay Ends Murray State's 25-Game Home Winning Streak


Austin Peay 66
Murray State 64

Final from Murray, Kentucky

Austin Peay held off a late Murray State rally and ended the Racers' 25-game home court winning streak with a 66-64 win this afternoon.

The Governors (12-6, 5-0 OVC) jumped out to a 38-28 halftime lead, but a 16-4 MSU run late in the second half cut the lead to two. The fierce Murray State comeback fell just short when B.J. Jenkins 3-point attempt missed at the buzzer.

Justin Blake led Austin Peay with 15 points on 5-5 three-point shooting. Caleb Brown added 12 points and 7 assists.

Murray State (10-5, 3-2 OVC) picked up 14 points from both Isacc Miles and Isaiah Canaan.

Austin Peay now sits alone on top of the Ohio Valley Conference standings. Four teams are tied for second with 3-2 records heading into tonight's action.

Maine Red Claws Acquire Former NKU Big Man James Cripe


James Cripe, a 7-0 center from Northern Kentucky University, has been acquired by the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League.

Cripe is expected to join the team today and be in the lineup for tonight's game against Dakota.

Here is an excerpt about Cripe from Oursportscentral.com:
Red Claws fans will be familiar with Cripe who played part of last season with the Springfield Armor. A product of Dayton and Northern Kentucky Universities, Cripe, 26, joins the team from the New Mexico Thunderbirds where in 14 games (9 starts) this season, he averaged 4.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg and had 8 blocks. The defensive-minded center has also spent time in Europe and Asia, spending the 2008-09 season with Link Tochigi Brex (Japan) where he participated in the Japanese JBL All-Star Game, and the 2007-08 season with Cimbria Randers (Denmark-Basketliga).

To make room on the roster for Cripe, the Red Claws have waived Lawrence Westbrook.

"Under no circumstances is this a reflection on Lawrence as a player," said Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings. "Lawrence has been a true professional and can play at a high level in this league. We thank him for his contributions to our organization and wish him well."

Complete Article

DeMarcus Cousins is Coming Into His Own


Slamonline.com says Sacramento Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins is coming into his own.

In his last 5 games, the former Kentucky Wildcat is averaging 21.8 points and 9.0 rebounds. He is quickly becoming the much-needed focal point for the Kings offense.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“I think my focus is a lot better,” Cousins said when asked about his recent success. “I’m not getting stressed about referees or bad plays on my part. I used to make a bad pass or a bad play and keep it in my head. Now I let it go and move on to the next play or the next shot and I believe that’s why I’m a lot better now.”

His maturity is a change recognized by his coaches and teammates as well.

“He’s coming on real quickly in that area,” coach Paul Westphal said. “He really is trying to put the explosions down quicker and he’s doing a great job of it.”

“He’s become a leader out there,” said guard Francisco Garcia. “He’s just playing basketball and not worrying about the fouls.”

Letting go of frustration has allowed Cousins to not only feel more relaxed on the court, but also to better maximize his talent.

In a recent win over Phoenix, Cousins picked apart the Suns’ interior defense with a ruthless array of post moves and mid-range jumpers. Rather than bulling his way into double teams, as he was liable to do earlier in the season, he used more head fakes and hesitation moves, allowing him to take more controlled shots and hit open teammates (if the situation called for it).

The approach worked. Cousins hit 11-17 shots from the field and 6-6 free throws on his way to a season-high 28 points, most of which came against respected defenders Robin Lopez and Marcin Gortat.

“Patience is something the coaches have really been talking to me about and it’s made me a lot better offensively,” Cousins said.

Complete Article

Campbellsville Basketball Games Postponed by Weather


The Mid-South Conference basketball doubleheader between Campbellsville University and University of Virginia's College at Wise has been postponed. The games were originally scheduled for Saturday at 2 and 4 p.m. EST at Powell Athletic Center. The games will be played Monday at 6 and 8 p.m. Watch CampbellsvilleTigers.com for updates.

Winter weather in eastern Kentucky and western Virginia created poor travel conditions for Virginia-Wise, who was unable to make the trip to Campbellsville on Saturday.

Maggard: UK Has Pulled Offer from DeAndre Daniels


Marc Maggard of TrueBlueKentucky.com says this morning that Kentucky has pulled out of the DeAndre Daniels recruitment.

Here is an excerpt:

Sources close to the DeAndre Daniels recruiting saga have informed me that within the past few hours, UK has rescinded it's scholarship offer to DeAndre Daniels.

While many recruiting observers have reported that Kansas is the choice for Daniels, DeAndre and his father have repeatedly made the assertion that no decision has been made. Additionally, many sources close to the recruitment confirm that while Kansas has a good opportunity, the recruitment was still in process.

Complete Article

John Calipari Discusses First SEC Game at Georgia


Here is a transcript of John Calipari's pregame quotes for today's game at Georgia (via UKAthletics.com):

On Georgia...
"Georgia is one of the best teams in our league and playing like one of the best teams in our league. Vandy won, the way Tennessee played their last game I would say them, Florida the way they played Xavier I would say them, but Georgia's right there. They haven't lost at home; I think we were one of the few games they lost at home last year. They have their guys back. (Trey) Thompkins is the preseason player of the year and rightfully so. They have two other big guys, big-bodied guys, and their guards, (Travis) Leslie is as good an athlete as we'll face all year. It's a tough challenge for us on the road, a really tough challenge."

On what he's doing in practice to work with freshman forward Terrence Jones...
"We're just holding him accountable in practice. We have a treadmill over there - that's heavy duty, best treadmill made - that if a guy stands up out of his stance, or doesn't go hard, he goes at 16 miles per hour for 30 seconds, or you can be George Jetson, one of the two. You're going to run or you're going to be flipping under it. It's not just him. It's Terrence, it's Darius (Miller), and it's Eloy (Vargas). Yesterday Eloy caught it and instead of catching it and shooting it, he caught, stepped - treadmill. That's it. I'm just trying to hold all of them to a higher level of what's acceptable and what's not."

On how prepared his team is for conference play...
"As prepared as a team can be with their three leading scorers being freshman. (We're) not playing with a deep bench, but like I said I'm pleased with where we are at this date. Now we're just trying to get better. We've got to sure-up Doron (Lamb), (he's) got to play with more of a motor. You can't walk in a game and not (play with more of a motor). Yesterday he was rebounding above the rim. Why don't you do that all the time? So, you choose to do it when you feel like doing it, but other times I'm just going to reach with one hand? That's freshman things that we're dealing with. But I'm spending times with the other guys, myself. Yesterday I went a half-hour with those three or four guys and I'm going to do it today. I'm going to do it every day. Every day we go to practice I'll come a half-hour early and I'm going to get those guys out there and torture them a little bit, it's a little bit of both. It's like, you're going to hurt when you're done with this, yet you're going to go hard. I told one of them who kind of was going through the motions, `I don't have time for you. If that's how you're going to go then I'm not working with you. I'm going to work with guys who are dying to be here and really want me to work with them.' So, I almost sent one off the court, I gave him another chance. I said, `If that's how you're going to go for me, then I'm not working you out. I could be upstairs in my office, I have stuff to do.' They're all learning. We are what we are. I like my team, I said it before, I wish we had a little more of this, I wish we had a little more of that, but so does every coach in the country. Same thing."

On what freshman guard Brandon Knight is doing better now than he was earlier in the season...
"He's playing for his teammates instead of himself. That's just simply put; he's playing for them now. He's making plays for our team and his teammates. When he's scoring he should be scoring. Before he was playing for him, he was trying to get his own shots, every time he got it he was trying to make a fabulous play. He was breaking off the offense, so (he had) high turnovers, bad shot selection that led to dunks down on the other end. But you see now he's playing for his teammates. When I had the other point guards I had, they did the same thing. It's what they do in school, it's how they played. How do you tell them to just change overnight and do it this way? He's got to get comfortable with it, just in the last three weeks to a month, his total change of his game has been phenomenal. He's talking, he never talked."


On where winning the conference ranks in what he wants to get out of a season...
"We never talk about league, we never talk about league tournaments. I hate league tournaments, don't think we should have them, you miss school, we don't need to be out three more games, but we play them. Our issue is getting better. Our issue is games that are important for seeding in that NCAA Tournament. That's the way I've always coached. So yeah, we want to win the league because it gives you a better seed. If winning the league is going to help us get the best seed possible then let's go win the league. But the reality of it is that the picture that I've always painted for every team - Massachusetts, Memphis and now Kentucky - our picture is bigger than league. That may be wrong, but I don't know. That's just how I've done it."

On what the freshmen will experience in conference play that they haven't experienced already...
"It will be rougher and it will be higher intensity and the other teams will know us better. Now the hard thing about us, at least the first two years, is we've totally changed. So, to say the other team would know us and know our stuff, that's out the window. Their team has never seen any of my team. But vice versa, we've never seen them, we don't know how good they are, you can just tell (the players) how good they are. That's the challenge it is. League play it comes up a notch. It did last year. Georgia had us at our place; they had a chance to beat us here. We came in acting like, `OK we got this.' And then they had us beat. (Trey) Thompkins I think went for 40 or whatever he went for. He went nuts. This is the long haul for us. We have eight road games. It's going to be hard to win eight road games. We didn't win eight road games last year. You're going to struggle a few of these games simply because the other team is going to be so hyped, and they're going to play so well, and their fans are going to be so into it, they're going to have all the momentum, and if you dip at all you lose the game. It's what happened to us twice last year."

Centre Colonels Net Road Win at Sewanee


Centre 65
Sewanee 51

Final from Sewanee, Tennessee

Although the Centre men's basketball team had a comfortable lead for a majority of the game Sewanee was down by only single digits with a few minutes to go and the Colonels would rely on free throws late in the game to seal the 65-51 win on Friday, January 7 in Sewanee, Tenn.

Sophomore Bryon Ellis (Russell Springs, Ky.) knocked down a three point basket to start the game to put Centre ahead 3-0 and the Colonels would never trail in the game.

Junior Jeff Mullaney (Louisville, Ky.) then hit a jumper with 18:18 to go in the first half to put Centre up 5-0.

Anvil Nelson finally put the Tigers on the board by making a jumper at the 16:54 mark of the first half to make it a 5-2 game. He then made it a one point game when he made another jumper at the 14:50 mark to put the score at 5-4.

Sophomore Matt Griggs (Cincinnati, Ohio) then made the next five points of the game to put the Colonels ahead by six points, as he hit a three pointer and two free throw shots.

Sewanee came within one point of the Colonels again at the 2:20 mark when Valentino Bryant made a layup to make it a 25-24 game.

Complete Recap

Friday, January 7, 2011

Katz: UK Can Win SEC and Contend for Final Four Without Kanter


Andy Katz of ESPN.com says Kentucky can still win the Southeastern Conference and contend for the Final Four without Enes Kanter on the roster.

Katz points out that UK senior Josh Harrellson is filling in adequately for the Wildcats.

Here is an excerpt:

“With what they do offensively,’’ Leibovitz said. “Having a big that makes layups goes a long way.’’

Kanter could do that and more in the post. But Harrellson, though not a traditional low-block player, has proven himself more than serviceable for a team that relies heavily on perimeter players like Brandon Knight (18.3 ppg) and Doron Lamb (14.1 ppg) offensively as well as slashing forward Terrence Jones (17.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg).

“We had our hands full with them and we couldn’t keep them off the backboard,’’ said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, whose Irish were outrebounded 40-33 in a 72-58 loss to the Wildcats on Dec. 8 in the SEC-Big East Invitational in Louisville. Harrellson had nine boards in that game.

“I’m really impressed with Harrellson and what he’s doing for them,’’ Brey said Friday. “He’s playing his role. They’ve all gotten better. They’re a young team, which is getting reps. I thought they’d be young when we played them but they’re playing older and getting better and better.’’

Complete Article

Bowling Green to Host State Farm High School Shootout


Bowling Green will host the State Farm High School Shootout tomorrow at the Bowling Green High School Arena.

The event will feature some quality teams and will be highlighted with the nightcap battle between Louisville Male and Bowling Green.

State Farm High School Shootout Schedule:

3:30 pm Grayson County vs Russellville
5:00 pm Henderson County vs South Warren
6:30 pm Trotwood Madison, Dayton, OH vs Louisville Eastern
8:00 pm Louisville Male vs Bowling Green

Rondo on Pace to Start in the NBA All-Star Game


If voting ended today, former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo would be a starter in the NBA All-Star Game.

Rondo has 929,781 votes, which is second to Dwyane Wade among Eastern Conference guards.

The starters right now would be Rondo, Wade, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard.

Voting takes place until January 27, when the All-Star starters will be announced. The 2011 NBA All-Star Game will be played on February 20.

Rookie John Wall is fifth in the Eastern Conference voting with 212,238 total votes.

Murray State Basketball Alumni Invited to Reunion


Murray State Athletics is inviting all Racer basketball alumni, including former players, coaches and managers back to campus for a reunion on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011.

This group of alumni has, without a doubt, contributed to the proudest tradition and richest history in OVC basketball.

On this special day, Racer Athletics will say ‘thanks’ and start a new tradition with the Murray State Basketball – Racer Reunion. Plans include an 11:30 a.m. luncheon (in the Murray Room at the CFSB Center) with remarks by Coach Billy Kennedy and a special video. Plus a tour of the current facilities and a look at what is planned for the future. Attendees are inviited to go to the Racers' afternoon shoot-around and then the game against Southeast Missouri State that evening at 7:30 p.m.

Former players, coaches, managers and staff are asked to complete and return a reservation form by Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Former players are also encouraged to contact other teammates about the reunion and direct them to this site for reservation information.

CLICK HERE FOR RESERVATION FORM

Racer Athletics plans for this event to become a tradition as great as the success the basketball teams have enjoyed over the years.

Additional information may also be obtained by contacting Paul Bubb, Associate Athletic Director, at 270-809-3369.

SCHEDULE

Saturday, January 22

11:30 a.m. Lunch & Program (Murray Room, CFSB Center)
1:30 p.m. Team Shoot-Around (CFSB Center)
2:30 p.m. Facility Tour
7:30 p.m. Racers vs. Southeast Missouri State University

* Article by Murray State University

UK President Lee Todd Comments on Kanter Decision


University of Kentucky President Lee Todd has issued a statement regarding the NCAA's decision on Enes Kanter:

“I’m very disappointed in what appears to me to be an inconsistent decision that leaves an outstanding young man without any recourse. It’s very disappointing that this young man, who along with his family intended to do everything the right way and in compliance with the rules, won’t be able to pursue his dream of playing at UK and in intercollegiate athletics. As an NCAA board member, I continue to be puzzled and confused by the reasoning behind this decision, which seems to be an inconsistent and arbitrary application of the rules. It is unfortunate and disappointing that Enes and his family have been negatively impacted by this process. It is certainly a matter I will continue to try to understand and question in my remaining time on the board as part of an organization, whose stated purpose is to put families and student athletes first.”

- Lee T. Todd, Jr

John Calipari Issues Statement on Kanter Ruling


The University of Kentucky has released the following statement from John Calipari in regards to the NCAA ruling on Enes Kanter:

"We are obviously disappointed in this decision and find it unfortunate that a group of adults would come to such a decision regarding the future of an 18-year-old young man.

"This has never been about our program or the University of Kentucky, it has been about the wishes of Enes and his family to have their son educated in the United States. It is a shame that Enes had to endure the constant speculation and misinformation that was furthered by certain media organizations in the smear campaign conducted by his Turkish team.

"The silver lining is that Enes will always be part of this team. My job will be to prepare him for his entry into the NBA Draft, which this decision by the Association will likely necessitate. Enes will always be a part of our family and I plan to be by his side in the green room whenever he is drafted."

Kanter will now serve as an undergraduate student-assistant for the Wildcats.

UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart had this to say:

"We are disappointed in the result and equally disappointed in the process. We have spent significant effort and resources to help this young man play college basketball in the United States. This has been on our radar screen daily for 10 months.

"We were informed by the NCAA that the flexible decisions made by the NCAA staff in other high-profile cases could not be used in case precedent and were not binding on the NCAA going forward. The University of Kentucky was very hopeful that our student-athlete might receive the same type of consideration afforded to these other athletes but that did not happen. We were also reminded on a regular basis that the amateurism and professionalism piece, including benefits received from a professional team, is the one area of Bylaw 12 that has not been deregulated."

Enes Kanter Has Been Ruled Ineligible at Kentucky...Again


Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter has been ruled ineligible to participate in college athletics at Kentucky.

SethDavisHoops BREAKING: Appeals committee upholds NCAA's decision to rule Enes Kanter permanently ineligible. Release issued shortly

Here is the release in its entirety from the NCAA:

Kanter Ruled Permanently Ineligible

For Immediate Release

Friday, January 7, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS ---University of Kentucky men’s basketball student-athlete Enes Kanter has been ruled permanently ineligible for receiving impermissible compensation from a professional team.

The NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee has upheld the NCAA staff decision that Kanter received $33,033 above his actual and necessary expenses for one year while playing for a club basketball team in Turkey.

The reinstatement committee is the final appeal opportunity. The independent committee is composed of representatives from NCAA member colleges, universities and athletic conferences. It can reduce or remove the conditions but cannot increase the conditions imposed by the staff.

As a result of the ruling, Kanter will not be allowed to compete, practice or travel with the team as a player, but is able to receive financial aid to continue his education at Kentucky. The university has indicated it plans to designate Kanter as an undergraduate student-assistant coach. In this capacity, Kanter could perform limited coaching duties with the team.

Actual and necessary expenses are defined by NCAA rules and generally relate to a player’s expenses directly necessary for practice and competition on a team. Some examples include meals and lodging directly tied to practice or competition, coaching, medical insurance and transportation tied to practice or competition.

Kanter played three seasons with the Turkish sport club Fenerbahce from 2006-07 to 2008-09. Although he competed primarily for the club’s under-18 junior team, he did compete on the club’s senior team in 2008-09. According to facts agreed to by the university and the NCAA Eligibility Center, Kanter received $33,033 more than his actual expenses for the 2008-09 season.

Although a recent NCAA rule change allows prospective student-athletes to compete on teams with professionals while maintaining their amateur status before college enrollment, the membership maintained the longstanding rule that receipt of money above actual and necessary expenses from a professional team is a violation and defines the individual as a professional under NCAA legislation. That was the case here.

Kanter was initially ruled ineligible Nov. 11 by the NCAA reinstatement staff. Before reaching its decision, the reinstatement staff considered a number of factors, including: the nature and seriousness of the violation; any impermissible benefits received; the student-athlete’s level of responsibility; any mitigating factors presented by the university; applicable NCAA guidelines; and any relevant case precedent.

The original staff decision was upheld by the reinstatement committee on Dec 2.

On Dec. 8, the university asked for and was granted reconsideration of its case based upon new information. This is in keeping with NCAA policy allowing schools a second opportunity to state their case should new information become available.

The new information did not change the original statement of facts that had been agreed to by the university and the NCAA prior to the start of the reinstatement process.

After considering the new information, the reinstatement staff once again ruled Kanter permanently ineligible Dec 10. In response to the staff decision, the university chose to appeal a second time to the reinstatement committee. Kentucky’s appeal was heard on Jan. 6 and the school was informed on Jan. 7 of the committee’s decision.

“While unfortunate for Enes and the University of Kentucky, the final decision of the reinstatement committee is completely compatible with the collegiate model of sports our members have developed, since he received a significant amount of money, above his actual expenses from a professional team prior to coming to college,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs.

Summary of timeline

Kanter moved to the United States in 2009 and attended a prep high school before enrolling at Kentucky in the fall of 2010.

The NCAA Eligibility Center staff first contacted Kentucky in March 2010 and Enes Kanter directly on March 24, 2010, with questions about his involvement with a Turkish professional basketball team. From the beginning and throughout the process, the university and the NCAA conducted multiple interviews and compiled documentation pertinent to the case.

In June, the NCAA staff provided Kentucky and Kanter with information it received indicating Kanter received benefits from the Turkish team. In August, Kanter and his father acknowledged receiving those benefits. From August to mid-October, NCAA staff assisted Kentucky as it pursued factual and interpretive appeals.

On Oct. 25, Kentucky agreed to the statement of facts in the case and on Oct. 27 asked the student-athlete reinstatement staff to rule on his eligibility. The staff, after an initial review, asked for more information on Nov. 1. Kentucky responded on Nov. 4 and 8, and the NCAA reinstatement staff made its decision on Nov. 11. Under NCAA student-athlete reinstatement guidelines Kanter was allowed to practice but not compete or travel with the team during the appeal process.

On Dec. 1, the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee heard the first appeal.

On Dec. 2, the committee notified the NCAA reinstatement staff it had upheld its decision of permanent ineligibility. NCAA staff then notified the University of Kentucky. During the notification call, the university indicated it had new information and requested a reconsideration.

On Dec. 8, the university forwarded its case based upon the new information to the NCAA reinstatement staff.

On Dec. 10, the NCAA reinstatement staff upheld its initial ruling of permanent ineligibility.

On Dec. 20, the university notified the NCAA it planned to appeal the second staff decision.

On Jan. 6, the reinstatement committee heard the school’s appeal before rendering its decision.

On Jan. 7, the University of Kentucky was notified that its appeal had been denied.

Kanter Announcement Possible In the Next Hour



Seth Davis has stated on Twitter that the Enes Kanter decision may be announced within the hour.

SethDavisHoops Sounding more and more like Kanter announcement will come within the hour. It's all over but the shoutin folks.

In other words, it's time to hit refresh like crazy and cross your fingers. The news isn't sounding great for Kentucky and Kanter.

Parrish Picks Georgia Over UK as His Guaranteed Upset


Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com picks the Georgia Bulldogs to upset Kentucky tomorrow afternoon.

Here is his analysis of the game:

Yet another interesting matchup: You might think UConn's Kemba Walker is taking a higher percentage of his team's shots while he's on the court than any other player from a BCS-affiliated league, but you'd be wrong to think that because it's not true. Walker takes 34.5 percent of UConn's shots while on the floor. Slightly ahead of him is Trey Thompkins, who is taking 34.9 percent of Georgia's shots while on the floor. That the 6-foot-9 forward is making 51.4 percent of said shots is a big reason why the Bulldogs have an eight-game winning streak heading into Saturday's home game against No. 10 Kentucky. A ninth straight win could launch the Bulldogs into the Top 25 (and one).

And his guaranteed upset of the week:

Guaranteed to be an upset: Can I spend one weekend labeling Kentucky a serious Final Four contender and the next picking the Wildcats to lose to an unranked opponent like Georgia? Of course I can. Why? Because I'm crazy, that's why!

Complete Article

Video: Dunk Highlights from Former Card Alhaji Mohammed

Former Louisville guard Alhaji Mohammed is playing at a high level in Spain's LEB Gold league. Mohammed, who plays for Lleida, is averaging 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 17 games this season.

Mohammed makes the dunk highlights in Spain:

Prayers for Billy Gillispie and Family



Kent Spencer just passed along on Twitter that former Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie has lost his mother.

I would like to ask all readers and followers to extend a prayer to Billy and the Gillispie family.

John Calipari Says UK Will Support Kanter Family in Whatever They Choose To Do


When asked about the Enes Kanter case at today's media outing, John Calipari turned to UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy.

Peevy responded with, "We don't comment on that."

Calipari did say the University of Kentucky would support the Kanter family if a decision were made to take legal action against the NCAA.

"I'm not worried about that, this is about that young man," Calipari stated. "So whatever they choose to do as a family, we'll support."

Video of Calipari Talking (from John Clay of the Herald-Leader):


Enes Kanter Decision Expected as Soon as Today


Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated says the University of Kentucky is braced to find out the result of the Enes Kanter eligibility case as soon as today.

Davis adds that there is little optimism about the outcome being in Kanter's favor.

Here are Davis' posts from Twitter:

SethDavisHoops Source indicates UK is braced to hear ruling on Kanter's appeal as early as today, by Monday at latest. Appeal heard via teleconf yesterday.

SethDavisHoops Everyone is guessing at this point, but it's clear Kentucky is not optimistic about Kanter's prospects. Neither am I. There's always hope.

NOTE: There is a media opportunity with John Calipari today which has spawned speculation that he might announce something Kanter-related, BUT it is expected that this is just the typical pregame media meeting.

Murray State Defeats TSU for 25th Straight at Home


Murray State 64
Tennessee State 53

Final from Murray, Kentucky

The Murray State Racers rolled to their 25th straight home win Thursday with a 64-53 victory over Tennessee State at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky., as MSU upped their record in the Ohio Valley Conference to 3-1 and 10-4 overall.

Donte Poole came off the bench to match his career high with 16 points on 4-of-4 shooting from three-point range and was 6-of-7 overall from the field. Isacc Miles added 12 points and a game-high four steals.

MSU jumped to a 23-13 lead when Miles got a steal and hit Jewuan Long for a layup with 5:12 before half.

MSU pushed to their biggest lead of the half with 1.3 seconds left on a pair of free throws from Jeffery McClain and MSU led 37-21 at the break.

The Racers broke the game open with a 10-3 run in the second half when Shawn Jackson and Poole led the charge for a 59-37 lead with 4:24 remaining.

MSU held the Tigers to only nine field goals in the first half and 38 percent shooting for the game, while hitting 50 percent of their own shots. MSU won the battle of the boards 32-24 and has 12 rebounds on the offensive end.

The Racers held TSU, a hot shooting team coming in, to five three-point baskets after they hit 12 against Memphis last weekend.

Complete Recap

No. 4 Bellarmine Takes Down Drury in GLVC Action


(4) Bellarmine 75
Drury 65

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The No. 4 Bellarmine Knights shut down the Drury Panthers over the last two and half minutes to score the game's final nine points and pull out a 85-75 victory in a hard-fought Great Lakes Valley Conference game in Knights Hall on Thursday night.

After trailing at halftime 38-31, Bellarmine re-asserted themselves quickly in the second period and tied the game at 41 as Justin Benedetti converted an old-fashioned 3-point play just 3:04 into the second stanza. From that point on, the game was tightly contested until the Knights pulled away at the end.

"Our late game execution was phenomenal because we kept attacking and kept passing," Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport said. "It's tough to single anybody out tonight, because if you're going to do that you're going to need two sheets of paper, because you have to talk about them all."

In terms of point production, Jeremy Kendle led the way with 19 points, and he was joined in double figures by Braydon Hobbs (16), Nick Holmes (14) and Chris Dowe (12).

It Hobbs, however, who made the big plays coming down the stretch. In the final two and a half minutes The New Albany junior drained a 3-pointer to put the Knights up by five, dished off an assist on another three point play, blocked a shot, made a steal, and induced a traveling violation.
The Knights (12-1, 5-0 GLVC) had a cold-shooting first half, making just 11 of 34 attempts for 32.4 percent. The home team heated up in the final period, however, and made 18 of 29 second half shots to shoot 62 percent in the half and finish the game at a respectable 46 percent.

Complete Recap

Resurgent DeMarcus Cousins Continues to Play Well


Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins is having the best streak of his young NBA career. Cousins has scored at least 20 points in three consecutive games and four of the last five.

The Sacramento center is now averaging 12.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game on the season and his averages are on the rise.

In last night's 122-102 victory over Denver, Cousins scored 20 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. He was 7-12 from the field.

Since December 29, Cousins is 44-80 from the field and is averaging an eye-opening 21.8 points and 9.0 rebounds.

Here is Cousins doing work in last night's game:


Denver Holds Off Late Western Kentucky Charge


Denver 62
Western Kentucky 59

Final from Bowling Green, Kentucky

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU stormed back from 18 points down to bring the game within two in the final minute of the game, but Denver hit its free throws down the stretch to seal a three-point Sun Belt Conference win Thursday night at E.A. Diddle Arena. The win was Denver's first in five trips to Bowling Green and moves the Pioneers' record to a perfect 3-0 in conference play. WKU falls 5-9 overall and 0-2 in the conference with the loss.

Sergio Kerusch and Juan Pattillo each had double-doubles to lead WKU in the contest. Pattillo tied a career-high with 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Kerusch added 13 and 12 boards, including seven on the offensive end. Brian Stafford had 17 points to lead Denver, and Travis Hallam had 15. Chase Hallam contributed 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds. The Pioneers shot 56.7 percent in the first half and 51.0 percent for the game, while WKU scored at a 45.3 percent clip.

Denver took a 17-point lead into the locker room at halftime after going 17-for-30 from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Stafford had 12 points in the first half alone and connected on two three-pointers. The Pioneers opened it up to 18 points after a Tyler Thalken layup with 18:04 remaining in the game, before WKU began to chip away.

A quick 6-0 Hilltopper run had the Pioneer lead down to 12, and after two more Denver baskets the Hilltoppers showed life with a 10-0 dash to make the score 48-38 with 9:42 to play. In that 10-0 scoring run, Kerusch and Pattillo each had four points.

Denver distanced themselves a little bit and got the lead back to double-digits, before WKU found the energy for one final push to the end of the game. Trailing by 10 points with just under two minutes to go, Pattillo hit two shots and Kahlil McDonald drained a three-pointer to bring WKU within three at 59-56 with 51 seconds showing on the clock.

Complete Recap

Northern Kentucky Crushes Rockhurst


Northern Kentucky 77
Rockhurst 61

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky


HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky University jumped out to a 14-4 lead in the opening three minutes of the game and cruised to a 77-61 victory over Rockhurst on Thursday night.

Corey Sorrell scored 17 points for NKU, which improved to 10-3 overall, 3-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Sorrell, a sophomore forward from Holy Cross High School, netted 13 points in the second half as NKU coasted past the visiting Hawks.

NKU shot 54 percent from the field and held Rockhurst to just 35.6 percent shooting. Rockhurst dropped to 4-9 overall, 2-3 in the GLVC. NKU now holds a 7-1 lead in the all-time series against Rockhurst.

Erik Stenger slammed down a pair of dunks in the first two minutes as NKU bolted out to a 6-0 lead. Rockhurst battled back with four straight points, but the Norse received a pair of free throws from Stenger and consecutive 3-pointers by Malcolm Eleby and Dennis Gagai to build a 14-4 lead.

Complete Recap

UK is the Team to Beat in the "Dramatic" SEC


Dana O'Neil of ESPN.com has broken down the Southeastern Conference and chosen Kentucky as the team to beat.

O'Neil also picks UK's Brandon Knight as the Player of the year and "someone from Kentucky" as the Rookie of the year.

In addition, she labels Josh Harrellson as the league's Early surprise.

Here is an excerpt:

Team to beat: Kentucky

Player of the year: Brandon Knight

For now. Good all season, the Kentucky freshman is starting to become phenomenal, showing why he was such a highly recruited player. Knight is scoring at an 18-point-a-night clip, but also has cut down his turnovers and upped his assists. He will likely be the best player on the best team in the conference and that's usually the guy who wins the honors.

But … Chris Warren and Trey Thompkins, two guys whose teams would be lost in the water without them, could make things interesting (see below for more on them).

Rookie of the year: Someone from Kentucky

Could be Terrence Jones, could be Doron Lamb, could be Brandon Knight sweeping both awards. All are worthy candidates right now. It's just a matter of who pushes to the front of the Cats' bumper crop by season's end.

Early surprise: Josh Harrellson

Since August the entire commonwealth of Kentucky has had but one mission: to Free Enes. Desperate for a post presence, Cat fans have begun a grassroots mission to beg the NCAA to clear the Turkish big man.

But while the NCAA dithers on Kanter's status, Harrellson has been an absolute revelation. The senior is averaging 7.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, rock solid numbers for anyone. That Harrellson averaged 1.3 and 1.2 last season as he cooled his heels behind DeMarcus Cousins makes his production downright eye-popping.

There's no doubt that Kanter, a lottery pick regardless whether he ever suits up in a college uniform, would make a very good Kentucky team even better, but Harrellson's steady, reliable play has been a fantastic substitute.

Complete Article

Pikeville College Grabs Road Win at Campbellsville


Pikeville College 87
Campbellsville 76

Final from Campbellsville, Kentucky


CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Senior Vance Cooksey had 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead Pikeville College to an 87-76 win over Campbellsville University in Mid-South Conference play Thursday night.

Cooksey, a 6-0 point guard, led fie Bears in double figures and helped the guests to a 44-39 edge on the glass in getting the important conference road win.

Pikeville improved to 14-3 on the season, stretching its win streak to four. Campbellsville lost its second straight and fell to 9-6 overall. Both teams are now 3-2 in the league.

The Bears jumped out to an early lead and were never headed, leading by as many as 18 points twice in the first half before they settled with a 44-29 edge. The second half saw the Tigers outscore the Bears by four, but could get no closer than three, 62-59, on a free throw by Caleb Harris with 6:01 to play.

But senior Chris Donald, the current Mid-South Conference player of the week, hit two free throws to right the ship as the Bears pulled away, thanks largely to solid free throw shooting. They were 20-of-25 (80 percent) from the line in the second half.

Complete Article

Jodie Meeks is Currently Struggling in Philadelphia


Former Kentucky scoring machine Jodie Meeks is in a major slump for the Philadelphia 76ers. Meeks has hit just 25 of his last 90 shots from the field and has only scored in double figures twice in his last nine games.

When Meeks entered the starting lineup, he went through a five-stretch of averaging 16.2 points per game and the 76ers started winning games. Since that time, however, Meeks has averaged just 8.8 points through nine games.

Philadelphia coach Doug Collins has hinted that Meeks may return to a reserve role.

"Jodie's at his best coming off the bench and giving you that juice off the bench against that second-line player," Collins said. "That's no disrespect to him. That's his best role."

Here is an excerpt about Meeks' struggles from Philly.com:

Then, after six pretty successful starts in which Meeks averaged 15 points and the Sixers won four games, teams "put Jodie Meeks on the scouting report," as Collins likes to say. He means that Meeks no longer can run down the court without getting noticed. No longer can he come off a pick or two with just his man paying attention. No longer are there open jump shots. And because of it, Meeks isn't an effective starting "two" guard right now.

Meeks has scored in double figures only twice in his last 11 starts, averaging only 7.8 points. Worse, he isn't getting many shot attempts anymore, averaging only 3.5 in his last four games. It really is somewhat amazing that Collins has gotten his team to win five of its past 11 games with the lack of contribution he's gotten from his "two" guard.

Take a look at the starting "two" guards on the Eastern Conference teams in the playoff hunt: Ray Allen in Boston, Dwyane Wade in Miami, Jason Richardson in Orlando, Joe Johnson in Atlanta. Even Indiana's Mike Dunleavy and New York rookie Landry Fields are outside threats for their teams. All seemingly are way ahead of the Sixers.

Complete Article

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Strong Bench Play Leads Morehead State to Victory


Morehead State 76
Tennessee Tech 64

Final from Morehead, Kentucky

MOREHEAD, Ky.—Morehead State’s bench picked a good time to have a productive night.

The Eagles got 20 bench points to help spur a late run and hold off a pesky Tennessee Tech team, beating the Golden Eagles 76-64 Thursday night in an OVC at Johnson Arena.

The win was MSU’s 23 straight win overall and 21st consecutive victory in OVC games. Those streaks rank the Eagles (10-6; 3-2 OVC) fifth and seventh overall in the nation. Tennessee Tech (6-7, 2-2 OVC) lost to Morehead State for the seventh straight time.

Four of the five MSU starters scored in double digits, led by Kenneth Faried’s 20 points and 13 rebounds. But it was key second-half plays by the MSU bench that helped ignite a late run and push MSU into a double-digit lead. Drew Kelly and Lamont Austin each had a career-high seven points. Arthur McMillan added six in the first half to help the Eagles recover from a quick start by the TTU offense.

“This was the best game for our bench,” Coach Donnie Tyndall said. "Lamont Austin is getting better and better. I thought he played really well. And then Drew Kelly, this was his best game so far. He’s just five games into his career. We know Drew’s going to be a very good player. Arthur McMillan was good the first half. He really played well, but got in a little foul trouble, which limited his minutes.”

The TTU quick start resulted in Tech scoring the games’ first nine points, seven of those from Jud Dillard. But Morehead State countered, scoring the next 19 points, including six on three quick lay-ups by freshman Arthur McMillan. Hill added eight of those points, six on a pair of 3-pointers. Turning the first half into a series of runs, TTU then ran off eight points to pull within two at 19-17.

The runs ended there and the game turned into a more back and forth-affair. The Golden Eagles tied it at 21, but never regained the lead and MSU went into halftime with a 32-28 lead. Hill appeared to hit a buzzer-beating triple just as time expired, but the officials looked at the replay and determined Hill did not get the shot off before the horn sounded.

Complete Recap

Three Former Wildcats are on the NBA "Rookie Ladder"


Three former Kentucky stars are currently on NBA.com's Rookie Ladder. The Rookie Ladder is described as "a free-flowing, constantly updated chart that ranks the 2010-11 rookies."

Currently, DeMarcus Cousins has moved up to No. 2 on the list, behind Blake Griffin. Landry Fields is at No. 3, followed by former Wildcat John Wall. Patrick Patterson has moved into the rankings for the first time as he enters at No. 10.

Here are excerpts about the former Wildcats:

2 DeMarcus Cousins: Sacramento KingsCousins has been nearly unstoppable lately, and the Kings are finding success when they center their offense around him. Against the Suns on Sunday, Cousins scored 13 of his career-high 28 points in the fourth quarter to help Sacramento rally from a 14-point deficit for the 94-89 win. On Tuesday, he nearly led the Kings back from another deficit, scoring 24 points with seven rebounds, and forced Larry Drew to bring his starters back to close out the game. In his last four games, Cousins is averaging 22.3 points and 9.8 rebounds. "He wants to win," teammate Omri Casspi said. "That's it. He just wants to win. He is competitive; he's a great guy and a great teammate. He wants to win so bad."
-- Jan. 5, 2:35 a.m. ET

4 John Wall: Washington WizardsWall's slipping this week is more due to Cousins bumping everyone than Wall's play. Wall is starting to find his groove, and he should climb as he gets more comfortable. In his last four games, the point guard averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds and had his first matchup with Hornets point Chris Paul. Wall had 12 points and 10 assists and almost had a triple-double -- with eight turnovers. In fact, in his last two games (both losses), Wall has 15 turnovers to 14 assists. On Wall's matchup with Paul, coach Flip Saunders said, "You could see the difference between an established point guard and a young one. When things got a little haywire for them, [Paul] took control of it. When things got haywire for us, we tried to speed up things."
-- Jan. 4, 9:45 p.m. ET

10 Patrick Patterson: Houston Rockets I left the Las Vegas Summer League high on Patterson. He was a guy who worked hard, had an NBA-ready body, knocked down the midrange shot and played defense. So I was a little surprised to see him languish on the bench early in the season. Patterson was shipped to the D-League (where he played nine games), but with injuries to Yao Ming and, most recently, Chuch Hayes, Patterson is finally getting minutes. And he looks like the real deal. In his first extended minutes, the UK product had a double-double, and he's averaging 8.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in his last three games. "Of all of our bigs playing, he's probably the best team defender we have," coach Rick Adelman said. "He really understands where he should be, when he should be. I think he's ahead of other guys."
-- Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET

Complete Article

Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Domonic Tilford Arrested


Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Domonic Tilford has been arrested in Clarksville, Indiana and charged with possession of cocaine.

For Tilford, who played at Jeffersontown High School and won Mr. Basketball in 2005, it is the third time he has been arrested on cocaine-related charges.

Here is an excerpt from WLKY.com:

WLKY has confirmed Domonic Tilford, 23, is in police custody in Clark County on charges of possession of cocaine.

Detectives with the Clark County Sheriff's Department said that Tilford and Tierra Warrick, 27, were arrested after an undercover drug buy at a Charlestown hospital.

Tilford was charged with dealing cocaine over three grams, a class A felony, and possession of cocaine over three grams, a class C felony. He is currently incarcerated without bond.

Warrick was the driver and is charged with assisting a criminal, a class D felony. She is currently incarcerated with a $5,000 cash/surety bond.

Complete Article

Union College Wins AAC Opener Over Virginia Intermont


Union College 93
Virginia Intermont 89

Final from Bristol, Virginia

BRISTOL, Va. -- Turrell Morris scored team-high 25 points to lead the way, as the Union men's basketball team fought off a furious comeback bid by Virginia Intermont on Thursday night to take a 93-89 victory.

The game was the Appalachian Athletic Conference season opener for both squads.

With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 7-8 overall, 1-0 in the AAC, while Virginia Intermont fell to 5-10 and 0-1 in the AAC.

In the first half, Union and VIC went into he half deadlocked at 42 apiece. At the start of the second half, the Bulldogs raced out to a large lead that they did not relinquish the rest of the game.

Virginia Intermont, however, made a strong comeback over the final minutes of the contest and had a chance to tie the game at 91 apiece in the final moments of the contest. But, VIC's Joshua Hart was called for an offensive foul with nine seconds left to turn the ball back over to Union. Bulldog James Strange (Pineville, Ky.) then clinched the game for Union by making two free throws with three seconds left to give Union a win in their conference opener.

Complete Recap

Eastern Kentucky Holds Off Jacksonville State


Eastern Kentucky 64
Jacksonville State 61

Final from Richmond, Kentucky


RICHMOND, Ky. – Junior Joshua Jones poured in a season-high 21 points and converted a pair of clutch free throws with nine seconds on the clock as the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team held on to defeat Jacksonville State, 64-61, Thursday night in McBrayer Arena.

EKU (7-8, 2-3 OVC) took its largest lead over JSU (2-13, 0-4 OVC) with 13:03 left in the game, 48-37. The Gamecocks, however, slowly clawed back and cut the lead to one, 62-61, when Sean Thurston laid it in with 39 seconds on the clock. Jones was fouled on EKU’s ensuing possession and made both free throws, and Stephen Hall’s desperation three-pointer at the buzzer fell short allowing the Colonels to earn an important conference victory.

Jones’ 21 points were the second-most in his career. The veteran point guard also committed zero turnovers. Senior Justin Stommes knocked down three three-pointers to finish the night with 13 points, while three other Colonel starters – seniors Spencer Perrin and Josh Daniel and sophomore Willie Cruz – scored eight points apiece.

Nick Murphy led JSU with 20 points and Hall chipped in with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Complete Recap

Chris Lofton Drops 30 in D-League Win


Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Chris Lofton led Iowa to a 124-109 victory over Reno in the NBA Development League last night.

Lofton led all scorers with 30 points on 9-16 shooting. He was 7-12 from the 3-point line and 5-6 from the free throw line. The former Mason County star also had 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals.

On the season, Lofton is averaging 14.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He has topped the 20-point mark five times on the season, but 30 is a new season-high.

Photo: NBA.com

Calipari Says He's Working on Depth



Kentucky coach John Calipari says on Lexy that he is working his team hard and focusing on building depth. In particular, he is working extra minutes with Eloy Vargas, Stacey Poole, Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson:

Tipton: Kanter Case Could Parallel Derrick Rose at Memphis


Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader warns that the Enes Kanter case could theoretically lead to a situation similar to the Derrick Rose fiasco at Memphis.

Tipton also notes that the appeal is expected to be denied.

Here is an excerpt:

Should the appeal be denied, as expected, will Kanter’s family seek a restraining order or temporary injunction, either of which might stall the NCAA ruling and permit Kanter to play.

If that happens, UK would find itself in about the same position as Memphis in the Derrick Rose situation. Rose played, but Memphis ultimately had to vacate its victories and money gained from participation in the NCAA Tournament. If the NCAA prevails in the courts, UK would face the possibility of vacating any victory Kanter was part of.


Complete Article

Murray State's Jeff Reese to Transfer


Murray State junior Jeff Reese is leaving the team and will transfer to Arkansas Tech.

Here is an excerpt from WPSDLocal6.com:

Murray State men’s basketball coach Billy Kennedy announced Jeff Reese is leaving the team to transfer to Arkansas Tech in Russellville, Ark.

“We wish Jeff the best, he’s a good kid,” Kennedy said. “He’ll have a great future at Arkansas Tech.”

UK Fans in Birmingham Can Watch Basketball Game


Here is some broadcast information for Kentucky vs. Georgia on Saturday (via UKAthletics.com):

LEXINGTON, KY – UK fans traveling to Birmingham, Ala. for Saturday’s BBVA Compass Bowl will still be able to tune in and follow the Kentucky-Georgia men’s basketball game.

The UK-UGA men’s basketball game will be live on WABM-TV in Birmingham on Saturday.

The Wildcats and Bulldogs are scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. ET tip and will be televised live on the SEC Network.

Kentucky and Pitt are scheduled to kick-off Saturday’s BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham’s historic Legion Field at noon ET. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

She's Back, Pitino's Extorter Requests New Trial


Karen Cunagin Sypher, who was convicted of trying to extort Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, is asking a federal judge for a new trial and to allow an outside examination of evidence in her case.

Here is an excerpt form ESPN.com:

Karen Cunagin Sypher's new legal team filed the request late Wednesday night, saying Pitino, prosecutors and businesses in Louisville "worked to ensure they destroy" Sypher, who accused Pitino of forcing her to have sex in a restaurant in 2003. Pitino was never charged.

Sypher is also requesting that audio tapes and photographs used at her trial be examined by reviewers of her choice.

Complete Article

My Thoughts: I thought Sypher's 15 seconds of fame ended last summer, but she's back.

Kanter's Father: "...there has never been any monetary exchange between Enes and Fenerbahce”


Mike DeCourcy of SportingNews.com says the NCAA eligibility appeal hearing for Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter was scheduled to be at 2:00 p.m. ET this afternoon.

DeCourcy shared e-mails with Kanter's father in December.

Here is an excerpt:

“I been saying from beginning of the review there has never been any monetary exchange between Enes and Fenerbahce,” Mehmet Kanter said in an e-mail to Sporting News. “Enes was 16 years old, never had any knowledge about any accounts and everything has been between me and Fenerbahce.”

Complete Article

Rajon Rondo Graces the Cover of SLAM Magazine


Boston point guard Rajon Rondo is on the cover of the latest SLAM Magazine.

Here is an excerpt about Rondo's feature article:

We talked about his prep days—“In HS I pretty much dominated bball in Kentucky. I mean, you know, not that I got all types of records or anything but I challenged myself everyday.” (We both laughed after he said “dominated”, that’s why he backtracked a little.)

His time at the university of Kentucky—“My proudest moments at Kentucky? I don’t have just one but I appreciate the relationships I had with the other guys. We really had a lot fun playing bball but off the court we had great times…guys like Randolph Morris, Joe Crawford, Patrick Sparks, all those guys.”

And what it’s like to be a leader of a team with this much personality—“I don’t think you have to have great camaraderie to win a championship but it helps a lot to get along. You don’t have to do these things but we go out to eat together, we go to the mall together, just little things we do off the court. Every different city we go places together. We play cards together, we don’t gamble though (again we both but out laughing after his gambling clarification. He says everything with sort of a deadpan delivery, so for a microsecond you’re not sure he’s joking but then he laughs so it’s obvious. I get the sense that Rondo is aware of his quiet rep and though it doesn’t bother him, he wants people to know that he can be funny when he wants to be), we just do fun things on the plane. We all understand each other and we come from similar backgrounds. Its like being with your brothers.”

Complete Article

Jones, Faried on Wooden Award Midseason Top 30 List


Kentucky freshman Terrence Jones and Morehead State senior Kenneth Faried are on the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 30 watch list.

Jones joins Ohio State's Jared Sullinger as the only freshmen in the nation who are on the midseason list.

The Wooden Award Midseason Top 30 List:

Marshon Brooks, Providence
Alec Burks, Colorado
Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech
Marcus Denmon, Missouri
LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor
Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
Jimmer Fredette, BYU
Austin Freeman, Georgetown
Jordan Hamilton, Texas
Matt Howard, Butler
Reggie Jackson, BC
Rick Jackson, Syracuse
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
Terrence Jones, Kentucky
Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State
Jon Leuer, Wisconsin
Demetri McCamey, Illinois
E’Twaun Moore, Purdue
Marcus Morris, Kansas
Jacob Pullen, Kansas State
John Shurna, Northwestern
Kyle Singler, Duke
Nolan Smith, Duke
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
Isaiah Thomas, Washington
Klay Thompson, Washington State
Kemba Walker, UConn
Brad Wanamaker, Pittsburgh
Derrick Williams, Arizona
Jordan Williams, Maryland

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