Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kentucky Players Give Postgame Comments


Here are postgame comments from several members of the Kentucky team following today's 66-60 victory over Georgia (via UKAthletics.com):

#34 DeAndre Liggins, G

On Georgia’s run in the second half ...
“Georgia is a good team. They came out in the second half and made a push like we knew they would, but we were just happy to get the win.”

On his turnover ...
“I made a bad pass and thought Brandon (Knight) was going to be somewhere (and) he wasn’t. I made a mistake and turned the ball over. Afterwards, I got a little frustrated, but it was over with and we squashed it.”

#55 Josh Harrellson, F

On Coach Larry Brown speaking to the team ...
“(He said to me) Keep rebounding and just run the floor. A lot of big men can play, but not all of them can run the floor.”

On playing the full 40 minutes in a game ...
“We played hard for 35 minutes, but the last five minutes we let them come back just like South Carolina. We’re not mature yet, once we become more mature we’ll start playing the full 40 minutes.”

#1, Darius Miller, G

On how much of letting the game get close is freshman mistakes...


“Honestly it isn’t really on the freshmen, it’s all of us, me, Deandre (Liggins) and Josh (Harrellson) included. We have spurts where we play really well, and then there are times where we let down. We have to fix that as a team, not just the freshmen. It has nothing to do with being young because other guys are doing it too.”

On how the team was moving the ball so selflessly against Georgia’s zone defense...
“I think we are becoming a better team. We are playing together pretty well. It is something we work on in practice and really we just try to focus more on it, especially recently, and try to find open shots and work off the dribble for each other. That seemed to work out in the first half today.”

On veterans needing to be leaders down the stretch and why that is not happening...
“It is just something we need to work on. It also has a lot to do with us playing the whole forty minutes and not in spurts, so it kind of rubs off on the younger guys so it is something we need to work on.”

# 3, Terrence Jones, F

On their energy at the beginning of the game...
“We have been working really hard on starting games with energy. It starts with Brandon (Knight), Darius (Miller) and DeAndre (Liggins) brought a lot of energy too.”

On if he felt that they were in trouble in the second half of the game...
“No, we need to play better and take better shots. Just drive to the basket. Once we started doing that late in the game, it was good. wWe just need to make more free throws.”

On their defense against (Trey) Thompkins...
“He is a great player. Today we changed it up, just tried not to let him get in the groove. I just wanted to keep my hands straight up and make shots difficult for him.”

#12 Brandon Knight, G

On the difference between the first and second half...
“I think we just started missing a couple shots. They wanted to make a run. I think we did an alright job sustaining them, but I think we need to do a better job finishing the game.”

On the energy in the second half...
“The first half we came out with a lot of intensity; everybody was playing hard. In the second half, we had a lot of lapses and that could be due to lack of energy.”

On Doron’s (Lamb) game...
“He is a great player. He always steps it up when we need a big time shot.”

Suddenly Surging Hilltoppers Defeat Florida Atlantic


Western Kentucky 57
Florida Atlantic 53

Final from Boca Raton, Florida

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A stingy defense, a solid first half and clutch late-game free throw shooting helped WKU to its fourth-straight win Saturday night at Florida Atlantic, 57-53, and in the process ended the Owls' eight-game winning streak and gave the Sun Belt Conference East Division leader its first conference loss. The Hilltoppers shot 54.2 percent in the first half and led by 12 at the intermission, and WKU limited Florida Atlantic to 36.1 percent shooting in the game. The win brings WKU's record to 9-11 overall and 4-4 in conference play, while Florida Atlantic moves to 16-7 and 8-1 in the league.

WKU avenged an earlier defeat to Florida Atlantic with Saturday's win and keeps its perfect record in five all-time games in Boca Raton alive. The Hilltoppers led by as many as 15 in the game and never trailed.

Sergio Kerusch had his third double-double in five games and 20th of his career with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Steffphon Pettigrew contributed 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. Pettigrew also had a pair of clutch three-pointers in a team-high 37 minutes. Caden Dickerson had nine points with three three-pointers, and Juan Pattillo grabbed nine rebounds in the game. Kahlil McDonald and Jamal Crook each had four assists.

Brett Royster and Raymond Taylor led Florida Atlantic with 14 points apiece, and Royster also snagged eight rebounds. Greg Gantt added 12 points, and Taylor led the team with six assists.

WKU came out fast in the game and led 7-2 after a Kerusch three-pointer and 14-5 after a Dickerson triple barely six minutes into the game. Dickerson hit two more threes in the next six minutes, and WKU saw its lead swell to 10 after his third of the half. After going eight games without a three-pointer earlier this season, Dickerson has hit seven of 11 in the last three games.

With the score 23-13, WKU went on a 7-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at 30-15 with 4:24 to go until the halftime intermission. Pettigrew connected on WKU's sixth three-pointer of the first half with 44 seconds left to play to send the Hilltoppers to the locker room with a 33-21 lead.

The Hilltoppers went 6-of-7 from three-point range in the first half and led at halftime for the fourth-straight game. WKU scored 10 points off seven Florida Atlantic turnovers in the first 20 minutes as well.

Complete Recap

Morehead State Back in OVC Race After Shaking Off Peay


Morehead State 69
Austin Peay 56

Final from Morehead, Kentucky


MOREHEAD, Ky.—For the first time in two years, a Morehead State-Austin Peay men’s basketball game was decided by more than three points.

The Eagles placed all five starters in double figures en route to a 69-56 win over Ohio Valley Conference rival Peay Saturday night at Johnson Arena.

Morehead State made a strong defensive statement, holding the OVC’s second-ranked scoring offense 20 points below their average and the league’s leading scorer, Tyshwan Edmondson, to nine points, 10 points under his per game average. APSU shot 35.1 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from long range, both well below their season averages.

“We knew we were in for a battle. I thought our guys did a very good job, in particular in Tyshwan Edmondson,” Tyndall said. “We did a good job limiting them to one shot and 10 offensive rebounds, but they’ve been averaging 13.”

MSU won its second straight over a league-leading team and third straight overall to pull within a game of first place at 7-4 in OVC play and 15-8 overall. The previous four meetings between the teams have been at most three-point affairs with three of those going to overtime.

“Every time we play Austin Peay, we know it’s going to be a hard-fought game,” Tyndall said. They’re very well coached and they’re disciplined and this year they’re arguably the most talented team in our league.”

Kenneth Faried led the Eagles with 17 points and 16 rebounds for his 18th double-double of the season and the 75th of his career, moving him ahead of David Robinson of Navy and Keith Lee of Memphis.

Complete Recap

Louisville Gets the Resume Win It Needed


Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com says Louisville picked up the resume-building win it needed today with a double overtime victory over No. 5 Connecticut.

Here is an excerpt:

Louisville got the resume win it needed with a road victory at UConn. Peyton Siva overshadowed Kemba Walker and hit huge shots down the stretch as Rick Pitino’s team beat the Huskies in double overtime.

John Calipari Talks About the Win Over Georgia

Here Kentucky head coach John Calipari discussing his team's 66-60 win over Georgia today:



* Video from uknationofblue on YouTube

Eastern Kentucky Blasts Tennessee State


Eastern Kentucky 86
Tennessee State 72

Final from Richmond, Kentucky


RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team shot 61.4 percent from the floor to outlast visiting Tennessee State Saturday night in McBrayer Arena, 86-72. With the win, the Colonels (12-10, 6-5 OVC) finished the month of January 7-2 overall.

Seniors Spencer Perrin and Justin Stommes each tallied 22 points in the winning effort, marking a career high for Perrin and a season best for Stommes. Fellow senior Josh Daniel chipped in with 19 points thanks in part to netting all eight free throw attempts.

For Tennessee State (10-11, 7-4), Kenny Moore led all players with a career-high 25 points and seven rebounds.

Eastern Kentucky began the contest on fire, converting eight of its first nine field goal attempts to establish a 21-9 cushion six minutes into the game. The Tigers slowly cut into the deficit and used six straight points from Moore at the end of the half to close within two points, 36-34.

Tennessee State finally took its first lead with 14:14 left, 47-45, following a pair of Jacquan Nobles free throws. Three ties and five lead changes took place over the ensuing four minutes before EKU grabbed the lead for good.

Back-to-back three-pointers from Daniel and junior Joshua Jones with six minutes remaining broke open a close game and gave the Colonels a seven-point edge, 70-63.

Complete Article

Kentucky Rides Hot Start to Revenge Win Over Georgia


(14) Kentucky 66
Georgia 60

Final from Lexington, Kentucky


Kentucky delivered an early punch to Georgia and then held on in the second half for a 66-60 victory over Georgia this afternoon at Rupp Arena.

The 14th-ranked Wildcats (16-4, 4-2 SEC) torched the nets in the first half as they shot 15-29 (51.7%) from the field, including 6-12 (50.0%) from long range. Kentucky carried a 39-24 lead into the halftime locker room.

Georgia (14-6, 3-4) was the more aggressive team in the second half, but Kentucky was able to withstand the charge to earn the win.

Doron Lamb led a balanced Kentucky attack with 19 points off the bench. He was 7-11 from the field and 3-6 from the three-point line. Darius Miller scored 14 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. Brandon Knight and DeAndre Liggins each added 11 points.

Dustin Ware led Georgia with 18 points. Gerald Robinson put in 12.

For the game, the Wildcats shot 22-51 (43.1%) from the field and 6-17 (35.3%) from long range.

The Kentucky win combined with Florida's loss today keeps the Wildcats in the hunt for an SEC East regular season title.

The Wildcats play at Ole Miss on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Louisville Stuns No. 5 UConn in Double Overtime


(23) Louisville 79
(5) Connecticut 78 F/2OT

Final from Storrs, Connecticut

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut held Louisville's 3-point shooters in check for most of their Big East showdown, but that left Peyton Siva free to drive the lane.

The sophomore point guard scored 19 points, including two key layups in the second overtime, and No. 23 Louisville upset No. 5 Connecticut 79-78 on Saturday.

"We don't have no superstars on this team and that helps us out a lot, because we know anybody can take that last shot," Siva said. "I got to the lane, I made a couple layups and that was important."

Terrence Jennings added 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Preston Knowles and Kyle Kuric each added 15 points for Cardinals (17-4, 6-2), who have won four of their last five games to take sole possession of second place in the Big East.

The Cardinals came back from a nine-point second-half deficit. They tied the game in regulation on a Siva layup with 29 seconds left, and sent the game into a second overtime on a Siva dunk.

"You're going to give up something," said Louisville coach Rick Pitino. "But the point guard has got to make the right decision, and he made the right decision every time."

Shabazz Napier had 20 of his 23 points for UConn after halftime. Jeremy Lamb had 21 and Kemba Walker added 20. But Walker missed a jumper at the end of regulation and a long 3-pointer at the end of the second overtime that would have given the Huskies (17-3, 5-3) the win.
The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for UConn, and was their first in 12 home games.

"It was an incredibly disappointing loss, because we had the game won twice - in regulation and then in overtime," Calhoun said.

Complete Recap

Tipton: Larry Brown Interacting with UK Players Would be an NCAA Violation


Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader has pointed out that it would be an NCAA violation for Larry Brown, who is staying with John Calipari this week, to interact with the University of Kentucky team.

Tipton quotes senior Josh Harrellson as saying that Brown has participated in practice but that is denied by UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy.

Here is an excerpt:

“He’ll even stop drills like Coach Cal does and put his imput in,” Harrellson said. ‘It’s great having a legendary coach here buiding us and helping us out.”

UK Coach John Calipari, who considers Brown a friend and mentor, said he invited players to seek advice from Brown about how to improve.

“Not a bad deal,” Calipari said. “He’s a Hall of Famer.”

UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said that Harrellson was mistaken.

“It didn’t happen,” Peevy said. ” I have no idea what Josh is talking about.”

Complete Article

Tipton includes the exact NCAA bylaw that (11.7.1.1.1.4 in case you were wondering) deals with the use of outside consultants.

My Thoughts: Can John Calipari do anything without a Jerry Tipton investigation? I'm not buying that Kentucky broke any rules.

Antoine Walker's Fall from Millionaire to a Two-Bedroom Apartment in Boise



Former Kentucky and NBA star Antoine Walker discusses his fall from the lavish lifestyle of a multi-millionaire to playing in the Development League and living in a two-bedroom apartment in Boise, Idaho:



CSNNE spoke to Walker:

“It’d mean the world for me right now to get back, because it’s what I love to do,” said Walker. “I think I still have a lot of basketball left to play. I think I can still be competitive. I think, if I get [with] the right team, I can still win championships. It’s just that I left the game not on my own merit . . .

“If a GM [says] to my face, ‘Antoine, you can’t play at this level [anymore],’ then it’s time to do something else. But until I’m told that, I’m going to continue to try to fight and get there. But I’m not going to chase it; if it’s not there, it’s not there. But I’m going to work and give myself every opportunity to get back.”

Complete Article

Trevor Lacey Will Not Be at Alabama vs. LSU Tonight


There have been several reports about Trevor Lacey visiting the Alabama game tonight, but Greg Ostendorf of Alabama Basketball Recruiting Blog reminds everyone that Lacey actually has a game of his own in Memphis.

Here is an excerpt:

First, I’ve seen reports that are saying Trevor Lacey will be at the LSU game tonight, but I can tell you that he will not be there because he has a game in Memphis at the same time tonight.

Lacey may have said he was coming before he realized Butler had a game, similar to what happened for the Kentucky game. The longer he puts off his visits, the longer it may take him to make a decision.

Tonight’s game between Butler and Ridgeway (Memphis) should be an interesting game, though. Both programs are state powerhouses, and each has won multiple state titles in the last decade.


Complete Article

Lacey is a 6-3 shooting guard from Butler (Ala.) High School. He ranks No. 34 on the Rivals150 List for 2011 and is being targeted by Kentucky.

Lindsey Wilson, Pikeville to Participate in Coaches vs. Cancer


COLUMBIA, Ky. -- The Lindsey Wilson College men's and women's basketball teams will remind fans that there's more to life than basketball on Saturday when the Blue Raiders host Pikeville (Ky.) College at Biggers Sports Center.

The Blue Raiders and visiting Bears will join together to participate in the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Awareness Games. The event is part of a nationwide effort among National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) members to raise money to fight the disease.

Saturday's doubleheader features the NAIA-NBCA (National Basketball Coaches Association) "Suits and Sneakers" campaign. The coaching staffs from both institutions will don sneakers during the games on Saturday.

Lindsey Wilson men's basketball coach Paul Peck says Saturday is another chance for fans to support a great cause.

"One of the cornerstones of the NAIA is to encourage our student-athletes and fans to make a difference in their communities, and I can think of no better way to do this than to join in the fight against cancer," said Peck. "This is a great philanthropic opportunity for our fans to step up."

A portion of the proceeds from the gate will be donated to Coaches vs. Cancer program.

Lindsey Wilson women's basketball coach John B. Wethington says everyone has someone in the life touched by cancer.

"A lot of people in both the Lindsey Wilson community and in Columbia-Adair County have been touched by cancer," Wethington said. "This is a small way that everyone can come together and help make a difference."

For more information about the Coaches vs. Cancer Awareness Game at Lindsey Wilson, contact the LWC Athletics Office at athletics@lindsey.edu or (270) 384-8070.

* Article by Lindsey Wilson College

DeMarcus Cousins Goes Crazy on the Lakers

Former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins was a dominant force in Sacramento's 100-95 victory at the Staples Center last night.

The Kings rookie exploded for 27 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in the impressive win.

Sacbee.com says it might have been the best game of Cousins young career:

DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert outplayed the highly touted tandem of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

"Their big guys came out and really took it after our guys and carried the day for their team," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

"It's a big win for our team," Cousins said with a fresh welt on his right eye from a Kobe Bryant foul. "It shows that we can beat some good teams and we can be a good team. We've just got to continue to grow."

Cousins had what might have been the best game of his rookie season.

Complete Article

LaMont Peterson, Tyreke Evans' trainer, reported on Twitter:

LaMontPeterson Jack Nicholson comes back to his seat and screams, "What the f____ is going on!" lol, I love this game. #GO KINGS!!


Cousins interview after the game:

Louisville Preparing for Difficult Test at Connecticut


(23) Louisville at (5) Connecticut

Today, 12:04 p.m. ET
Site: Gampel Pavilion, Storrs, Conn. (10,167
TV: The BIG EAST Network (WHAS-TV/CH. 11 in Louisville) will televise the game, with Mike Gleason (play-by-play) and Bob Wenzel (color) calling the action.
Radio: WHAS (840 AM) will broadcast the game on radio, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (color) calling the action.
SIRIUS: Game will be available on SIRIUS Channel 121 and XM Channel 141.
Series History: Connecticut leads the all-time series, 5-4 (2-2 in Louisville, 2-1 in Storrs, 0-2 neutral).
Officials: Bob Donato, Brian O'Connell, Roger Ayers
Next U of L Game: Monday, Jan. 31 at Georgetown, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. (ESPN Big Monday)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and junior guard Chris Smith met with the media Friday afternoon at the Yum! Center to preview Saturday's BIG EAST road game against Connecticut on Jan. 29 at the Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. The game is set for a 12:04 p.m. ET tip, and the game will be broadcast on the BIG EAST Network (Ch. 11 in Louisville), with Mike Gleason (play-by-play) and Bob Wenzel (color) calling the action.

Louisville, ranked 19th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and 23rd by the Associated Press, defeated West Virginia, 55-54, on Peyton Siva's driving scoop layup, with 4.5 seconds left. Siva finished the game with 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting, going 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, along with three assists and two steals. Chris Smith chipped in 15 points and six boards, while Preston Knowles had 10 points and five rebounds. Despite Joe Mazzulla's 18 points, the Cardinals were strong defensively. The squad limited the Mountaineers to just 17 second-half points, going only 4-of-22 from the field that half, and forced WVU into 15 turnovers.

Since its loss on Jan. 4, Connecticut has gone on to win six-straight games, including two wins over Top-25 opponents. Most recently, the Huskies won at Marquette, 76-68. Jeremy Lamb scored a game-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Kemba Walker added 14 points and Roscoe Smith had 11 points and eight rebounds. The Huskies outrebounded the Golden Eagles, 39-34, and held them to just 41.7 percent (25-of-60) from the field.

The Huskies are under the direction of Jim Calhoun, who's in his 25th season as head coach of Connecticut. He has led the program to a 592-223 mark, going 295-166 in the BIG EAST, and leading the team to 16 trips to the NCAA Tournament. In the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll, Connecticut was picked to finish 10th. Walker, the team's lone preseason selection, was a first team all-BIG EAST pick. He leads the team with 24.4 points per game and 40 steals. Alex Oriakhi ranks first in the team in rebounds per game (9.0) and second in scoring (10.9).


John Calipari Talks Larry Brown, Georgia and More


Here are John Calipari's comments to the media today as Kentucky gets set to host Georgia on Saturday (via UKAthletics.com):

On how much revenge factors into Saturday’s game against Georgia …
“I don’t know. I don’t think much at all to be honest with you. I just think you’re trying to win a league game and so are they. It’ll be a hard-fought game, they’re a good team; they already beat us and they beat us handily. They mushed us, really. We’ll see if we got better, that’s what it’ll be. It’ll be a test of, have we gotten better, have we gotten tougher, can we play through bumps, and can we physically score in the post when they’re letting us shoot it, can we make a basket from two feet? Those things, those will be what we’ll see in this game.”

On if he’s seen progress in the aforementioned areas …
“I don’t know; you just have to see. This is the team that really damaged us with it and we’ll see in that time frame if we got better. I have no idea. We’ll either after the game say, ‘Boy, we got better,’ or we’re going to say, ‘We’re the same guys.’ It’ll be one of the two.”

On what he got out of not having any midweek games …
“Well, we took a couple days off, Sunday and Monday. I was able to get out and do a little recruiting even on Tuesday, even though we practiced on Tuesday. And then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I’m working on our team. I’m not working on anybody else. It’s not Georgia, it’s not Florida, it’s us. We have to do what we do. If that’s not good enough the way we play and we’re playing at our best and we still get beat, you get beat. You move on. I’m just trying to get us to play better.”

On what makes Georgia senior forward Trey Thompkins so difficult …
“He’s a veteran; he understands and puts himself in great positions to score. They run a lot of stuff to get him the ball, and he’s a good foul shooter. He can make it from 15 (feet) to make a 3. So he’s dangerous in pick-and-rolls. He’s a good player.”

On if Larry Brown has talked with the team …
“He’s here for me, mostly. I want him to watch and give me ideas and talk to me. He’s staying at the house, so we’re going to dinner together and talking basketball. But I did tell the team, if any of you want to meet with him, it’s like Bob Rotella when he comes in. If you want to talk to him about your game and what you can do to improve it’s not a bad deal, he’s a hall of famer. So he’s here until Saturday, if you want to meet with him, great. Just like I would with Mike Tomlin or anybody else that comes in and can speak to my team. We had P.G. Peeples talk to them the other day. I do a lot of that. But the reality of it is he’s here for me to give me another set of eyes to maybe throw me some ideas that we haven’t thought of. I feel good that he’s here just because I like hanging around him and being with him I’m more relaxed.”

On if he would rather have renovations done to Rupp Arena or have a new arena …
“I’m hearing all this stuff, I think you all remember I talked about the University of Kentucky being the gold standard, whether it’s the lodge, whether it’s practice facilities, whether it’s academic, whether it’s compliance, whether it’s how we travel or the arena we play in. At this point, I’m not in the chase. It’s almost like when you guys come to terms with what we’re doing let me know so I can take a look at it. I’ll give you some ideas at that point. I’m worried about beating Georgia. That’s what I’m worried about. I haven’t spent any time (on it) to be honest with you.”

On the philosophy of not showing his team a lot of tape of their next opponent …
“I watch the tapes and I say, ‘They’re not going to play this way against us so why am I even watching this?’ But my point of not overloading my basketball team with their tapes is I’m worried about us playing well. I’m not worried about you playing against Georgia. Let’s play our best and let’s worry about our team. They’ll see tape right before the game of what we need to show them. If there’s a team I think they need to see a half of, I’ll say, ‘Hey, the second half of their game against Florida is in there. It’s in your locker. If you want to look at it, fine. If you don’t, that’s fine too.’ And I may do that. I do that twice a year, three times a year maybe. But I want them focused on us. If we do what we’re supposed to do offensively and defensively and it’s not good enough – next game. Who’s next? And again, like you said, every game we play anyway, I don’t care how they played last game. I don’t care what they looked like. It does not matter. ‘Well they can’t do this.’ They will against us. ‘They don’t do this well.’ They will against us. That’s what you face. But that’s the great thing about being here as a player or as a coach. You’re going to face the other team’s best, at home or on the road. If you’re on the road you’re facing their whole town. You’re facing an arena that’s not packed except when they play you. And it is the biggest game and if you can win that game, it’s significant, it means something. That’s the great thing about being here. But the other side of it is, if you think you’re a no-show for a game or we’ll just walk through and win – you’re not. You’ll lose it every time. You will not win one of those games.”

On playing a team coming off a heartbreaking loss such as what Georgia is …
“Doesn’t matter. They had a chance to win that game, they had a chance to win the Tennessee game, they could easily be 5-0. They beat Mississippi, I watched that game. They were up 25. They’re a good team. They’re a top-20, -25 team, that’s what they are.”

Friday, January 28, 2011

Centre Colonels Destroy Austin College


(17) Centre College 87
Austin College 52

Final from Danville, Kentucky

The Centre men's basketball team is currently on a five game winning streak after they beat conference opponent Austin College 87-52 at home on Friday, January 28 in Danville, Ky. The Colonels improved to 14-3 on the season and to 9-1 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Freshman Donovan Whiteside (Knoxville, Tenn.) began the game by making a layup to put the Colonels ahead 2-0.

Scott Straley responded by giving the Kangaroos their only lead of the game after he converted on a layup and a free throw attempt to put the score at 3-2 with 18:54 to go in the first half.

Whiteside then hit a three pointer to put the Colonels back ahead 5-3, but Austin would tie the game at five all when Walter Phillips knocked down a jumper with 18:03 on the clock.

Both teams would hit a three pointer and a jumper to tie the game up for the fourth time at 10-10.

The Colonels built up a nine point lead after going on a six point run mid way through the first half to take the 24-15 advantage.

Josh Saunders hit a jumper and made a free throw shot with 9:03 to go in the first half to cut the Centre lead down to six points, but Centre went on another six point run to extend their lead to 12 points, as they led 30-18 with 6:00 remaining before the break.

Centre took their largest lead of the first half into the break, as Whiteside hit a jumper as time expired to put the score at 44-21.

Complete Recap

Centre's Donovan Whiteside beats the halftime buzzer:

Kentucky Players Discuss Georgia Rematch


Several members of the Kentucky Wildcats spoke to the media this afternoon about tomorrow's battle against Georgia.

Here are comments from Jarrod Polson, Josh Harrellson and Darius Miller (via UKAthletics.com):

#1, Darius Miller, G, Jr.

On the last Georgia game …
“They got us pretty good down there. They dominated pretty much the whole game. So we have to come out and be ready to play. We are confident about our chances.”

On the Florida vs. Georgia game and how it may have drained Georgia for Saturday’s game …
“I think it could be pretty tough for a team. I don’t think it is going to have any effect on them tomorrow. I know they are going to come out ready to play. They probably are going to have a pretty good game as we expect them to have so we have to be ready to go.”

On being tougher …
“Yes, I think we are playing better than we were then. We have gotten better throughout the whole year. We have all done a good job of working hard in practice this week. I figure we will come out and be ready to play tomorrow.”

#5, Jarrod Polson, G, Fr.

On his sense that he will play in a game the week leading up to it …
“Yes, (Coach Calipari) mentioned it quite a lot during the three days before preparing for South Carolina. So, I had a little sense he might put me in.”

On his playing time and why he got his chance …
“Hard work in practice – we have to play a lot of defense against the (first) team. I’m just trying to get up on them, making it feel like it is a game situation every day. I just give hard work in practice every day.”

On how long he expected it would take for him to get a chance …
“I definitely thought it would take a while, but I thought it would happen and it has happened.”

#55, Josh Harrellson, F, Sr.
On the emotions of Georgia after the double overtime loss to Florida …
“In a way they will be hungry, but in a way it demoralizes them because it is a heartbreaker to lose a game like that, especially at home. They are definitely going to come back and redeem themselves. Just like when we lose a game we want to come back and beat a team by 30. So, if they have the same attitude it is going to be a tough game for us.”

On what they need to do to win the game that they didn’t do in Athens …
“We need to finish around the rim. As a team on the whole we missed a bunch of layups. We weren’t very physical with them and that’s what we need to do this game, be more physical.”

On being more physical …
“We have been working hard just trying to be more physical; especially in practice playing through bumps, those types of drills. We just need to play more physical.”

On not having a game this week …
“In a way it has been a breather, but we love to play games. That is why we are here, to play the games. When we get a bye week it’s always harder to maintain focus throughout the week.”

Katz: Wildcats and Bulldogs Heading in Opposite Directions


Andy Katz of ESPN.com believes Georgia matches up well against Kentucky but feels that the two teams are currently heading in opposite directions.

Here are his thoughts:

Georgia at No. 16 Kentucky (ESPN, 4 p.m. ET): Georgia beat Kentucky in the first meeting between these teams to jump-start the SEC season. But since then, the Bulldogs haven't been able to win a key game, losing at Vandy and then at home to Tennessee and Florida in late-game situations. UK figured out how to win on the road, beating South Carolina after losing at Georgia and Alabama. The Bulldogs match up well with the Wildcats but these teams are heading in opposite directions right now.

Campbellsville Nets a Road Win at Shawnee State


Campbellsville 69
Shawnee State 58

Final from Portsmouth, Ohio

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio - Trailing by as many as eight in the first half, Campbellsville University switched its defense and chipped away at the Shawnee State University Bears en route to a 69-58 win in Mid-South Conference action Thursday.

The Tigers overcame a 29-21 deficit with five minutes to play in the opening period to cut the lead to four, 33-29, at halftime. With nine minutes to play in the game, Caleb Harris hit a layup to tie the game, 46-46, and from there on, it was all Campbellsville. CU went on a 7-0 run to jump ahead 53-46, and while Shawnee managed to work the difference back within a basket, the Tigers never looked back in their double-digit road win.

"It was an unconventional win for us in a lot of ways," CU head coach Keith Adkins said. "We won by double figures on the road in conference and didn't shoot the ball that well (38.1 percent from the field, 17.9 percent from 3). For us to win on the road and shoot that poorly is a feat of itself. We also played about three quarters of the game in zone defense."

Complete Recap

Cumberlands Starts Hot and Holds Off Pikeville


Cumberlands 79
Pikeville 68

Final from Williamsburg, Kentucky


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – The University of the Cumberlands led from start to finish in a 79-68 win over Pikeville College Thursday night at the O. Wayne Rollins Center.

The win, combined with St. Catharine’s loss at Georgetown, moves the Patriots into a tie for second place in the Mid-South Conference standings at 7-3.

Pikeville saw its three-game league win streak end and fell to 17-5 on the season, 6-4 in the conference and from third place to fifth in the league.

Cumberlands finished the game hitting 53.4 percent from the floor, hitting 61.8 percent before halftime to help build a 46-36 lead. The Patriots also limited Pikeville to only 38.7 percent from the floor.

Senior Tanner Jacobs led the way for the Patriots, scoring 18 points and pulling 14 rebounds, five of which were off the offensive glass as he led the Patriots to a 34-29 advantage on the glass.

Complete Recap

John Calipari's Pre-Georgia Press Conference

Kentucky head coach John Calipari speaks to the media about tomorrow's game against Georgia:




* Videos by bluenationblog on YouTube

Patrick Patterson Moves Up in the Rockets Rotation


Patrick Patterson has impressed head coach Rick Adelman and it appears he will be earning more minutes as a result.

Adelman said he may continue to use the former Kentucky star in the rotation ahead of Jordan Hill.

Here is an excerpt from CHRON.com:

Rockets rookie Patrick Patterson played throughout the fourth quarter against the Clippers on Wednesday, moving ahead of Jordan Hill in Rick Adelman's rotation, a switch the coach said may continue.

"I wanted to see how he could play the people he was going to go up against, and he did a nice job," Adelman said. "We were defending pretty well, so I left him in there."

With the Rockets beginning a stretch of games against teams that rely on pick-and-roll offense, especially late in games, Patterson's defensive discipline could be a key.

"He really knows how to play defensively in a team concept," Adelman said. "For a young guy, he picks up things very quickly. He's always in the right spot. It's just a matter of consistently going to the boards."

Complete Article

Photo: NBA.com

Lindsey Wilson Cruises to Win Over UVa.-Wise


Lindsey Wilson 78
UVa.-Wise 62

Final from Columbia, Kentucky

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- From the 12-minute mark to the end of the first half, the Lindsey Wilson College men's basketball team outscored the University of Virginia's College at Wise 35-4 on its way to a 78-62 win against the Cavaliers on Thursday at Biggers Sports Center.

Junior Justin Archie and senior Brandon Clemons led the Blue Raiders with 13 points each and sophomore Kalen Kimberland and junior Charles Baker each added 11 points. Baker also paced the team with 10 rebounds.

Travis Berry scored 18 points for UVa.-Wise (9-10, 3-7 MSC) and Sam Eligwe and Norris Gaskins each added 11.

The 35-4 first-half run helped Lindsey Wilson (15-5, 6-3 MSC) enter halftime with a 43-14 lead. A strong effort by the Cavaliers brought them back within fighting distance in the second half as they outscored the Blue Raiders 48-35.

Complete Recap

Former Hilltopper Jeremy Evans Continues to Work Hard


Jim Burton of the Standard-Examiner has written a nice article about former Western Kentucky star Jeremy Evans.

Burton writes that despite playing limited minutes, Evans continues to impress with his work ethic.

Here is an excerpt:

"Some of it is desperation when you put him out there," Sloan said. "But one thing about it is, he's a hard worker. Every day he comes to practice he tries to make himself better."

The Jazz took a chance on Evans with the 55th overall pick in last June's NBA draft, but they were intrigued by his athletic skill and shot-blocking ability.
At Western Kentucky he averaged fewer than 10 points, but nearly two blocks per game for his career.
"He opened our eyes from the beginning with his attitude about playing and working and trying to do the right thing," Sloan said. "That's how a guy ends up getting to play. When you put him out there, everything goes well for him almost every time he steps out there. He wants to play."

For his part, the soft-spoken Arkansas native said he developed a work ethic as a youngster and has learned to motivate himself by proving the nay-sayers wrong.

"When I was younger my mom always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be, I could do whatever I wanted," he said. "A lot of people told me I couldn't (play in the NBA) just because of how small I was and that just makes you want to work even harder."

Complete Article

Video: DeMarcus Cousins in the Spotlight

Check out the latest video of former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins:

Gilchrist to Join Davis in McDonald's All-American Game


Future Kentucky forward Michael Gilchrist has announced on his Facebook page that he has also been selected for the McDonald's All-American Game.

Gilchrist will join future UK teammate Anthony Davis in the game.

Results of 2011 PNC/KHSAA Boys' Sweet 16 Draw


Below are the results of today's 2011 PNC/KHSAA Boys' Sweet 16 draw:

Wednesday Afternoon

10th Region vs 8th Region
4th Region vs 7th Region

Wednesday Evening

2nd Region vs 15th Region
11th Region vs 9th Region

Thursday Afternoon

16th Region vs 3rd Region
12th Region vs 14th Region

Thursday Evening

6th Region vs 5th Region
1st Region vs 13th Region

Eleby Leads Northern Kentucky Past Saint Joseph's


Northern Ketnucky 68
Saint Joseph's 59

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Malcolm Eleby scored 19 points and dished out five assists as Northern Kentucky University posted a 68-59 win against Saint Joseph’s on Thursday night.

Eleby also grabbed eight rebounds and added three steals for NKU, which improved to 15-4 overall, 8-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Eleby, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Philadelphia, Pa., netted 14 points in the second half as NKU held off the visiting Pumas.

Chris Knight added all 15 of his points in the first half for NKU, which built a 30-15 lead with five minutes remaining before intermission. Saint Joseph’s, however, closed the half with a 7-0 run to cut the NKU lead to 30-22 at the break.

Saint Joseph’s would not go away in the second half, and the Pumas trailed by just three points (50-47) with 5:24 left in the game after a basket by Jon Smith. Eleby then converted a layup to extend NKU’s lead to 52-47.

Complete Recap

Future Wildcat Selected for McDonald's All-American Game



Future Kentucky Wildcat Anthony Davis announced earlier on Twitter that he has been officially accepted to play in the McDonald's All-American Game:

AntDavis23 Just been selected to play in the Mickey D's game...#yessir

Ashley Judd Likes UK's Defense, May Attend Georgia Game


Famous Kentucky Ashley Judd spoke with Tom Leach recently and gave several comments about this year's edition of the Wildcats.

Judd also hinted that she may attend Saturday's game against Georgia.

Here is an excerpt:

As a fan, Judd said she really misses the leadership and inside presence that Patrick Patterson gave last year's team. She said getting veterans like Liggins and Miller to be more assertive might be akin to what an actor or actress faces in Hollywood at times.

"I wonder if that kind of analogy might work for the team in saying to the quieter types, 'You don't have to change the personality, but when you step on the court, we need you to play this role,' " she said.

Judd may come to Saturday's game against Georgia to get her first in-person look at this year's squad. She's been too busy up to this point finishing up her first-ever book project. It's called "All That Is Bitter and Sweet" and is a collection of diary notes from eight-plus years of visiting various countries over the globe to study human rights and public health issues.

Complete Article

No. 2 Bellarmine Overwhelms Illinois-Springfield


(2) Bellarmine 100
Illinois-Springfield 74

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The No. 2 Bellarmine University men's basketball team got career scoring performances from Luke Sprague and Justin Benedetti as the Knights broke open a close game in the second half and cruised to a 100-74 victory over Great Lakes Valley Conference foe Illinois-Springfield in Knights Hall tonight.

Bellarmine improves to 18-1 on the season and remains perfect in conference play with an 11-0 mark. Illinois-Springfield falls to 6-13, 2-10 GLVC.

Benedetti tied his career high with 27 points and Sprague set a new career mark with 23 to lead the Knights. Junior Braydon Hobbs turned in another all around solid performance, just missing a triple double with 12 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.

After trading buckets in the opening minutes, Bellarmine took the lead for good with 17:40 in the first half. However, the Prairie Stars didn't go quietly. After the Knights took a 43-35 lead into halftime, UIS came back to cut it to just a deuce with 17:49 remaining.

The Knights answered the challenge as Benedetti caught fire and scored 20 of his 27 points in the second period. Bellarmine re-established a double digit lead, then outscored the visitors 20-4 in the final 5:25 to record the lopsided victory.

"This was a good win," said Bellarmine coach Scott Davenport. "We had 24 assists and just eight turnovers. That's tremendous, but we just need to shoot free throws better and rebound better."

Complete Recap

Kentucky Wesleyan Destroys GLVC Foe Quincy


(24) Kentucky Wesleyan 95
Quincy 71

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky

Kwan Waller had a mid-range game on Thursday night that was tough to stop.

The senior guard for Kentucky Wesleyan College scored a game-high 23 points to lead all five starters in double figures, and the No. 24 Panthers rolled to a 95-71 win over Quincy.

Waller didn't make a 3-point shot in four attempts, but he was strong getting in the lane, and hitting jump shots consistently from 15 to 18 feet in front of 2,500 fans at the Sportscenter.

"The 3s felt like I was taking them from so far away," Waller said. "But the mid-range shots felt like layups, so I was taking them."

Waller made 8-of-17 from the floor and 7-of-8 free throws as he came within a point of tying his career high.

"Kwan has been shooting the ball well in practice, he's made a lot of 15-to-17 footers," KWC coach Todd Lee said. "And he attacked the rim. Kwan can't settle for a 3-pointer. He's too athletic not to attack the rim."

Waller also passed out three assists in 33 minutes. He was one of three KWC players with three assists, and Cardell McFarland passed for four assists to go along with his 18 points.

"Cardell was a little lethargic in the first half, but he was much more aggressive in the second half," Lee said. "We did a good job of sharing the ball."

Complete Recap

Indiana Wins a Conference Game, Parties Like It's 1999

The once proud Indiana Hoosiers program has been reduced to rushing the court after beating a decent conference opponent:



Indiana just won the national championship!?! No wait, it was just a conference home win against Illinois:



Let's party!

Hilltoppers Defeat FIU for Third-Straight Win


Western Kentucky 81
Florida International 78

Final from Miami, Florida

MIAMI, Fla. — The WKU Hilltoppers held off a furious late-game FIU rally Thursday night to win their third-straight contest, 81-78 in Miami, Fla. The Golden Panthers had the game within one point on three occasions in the final two minutes, but WKU showed its heart to fend them off and earn the victory. The win brings WKU closer to .500 with an 8-11 overall record and a 3-4 mark in Sun Belt Conference play. The Golden Panthers are now 8-12 on the year and 3-5 in conference action.

Juan Pattillo filled the stat sheet for the Hilltoppers to the tune of 21 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots. He was 4-of-6 shooting from the field and connected on a career-high 12 of 13 free throws. The six blocked shots were the most in a game by a Hilltopper since Jeremy Evans swatted six against North Texas on December 19, 2006, and the 12 free throws were a season high by a Hilltopper this year.

Sergio Kerusch had 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting, which gives him four 20-point games in his last five outings and 15 in his WKU career. Kerusch, who entered the game leading the Sun Belt Conference in scoring in conference contests, hit 10 shots in a game for the fifth time this year. Cliff Dixon also tied a career high with 12 points in 18 minutes of action off the bench, and Jamal Crook had six points, six rebounds and four assists.

The Hilltoppers shot 54.0 percent from the field in the game and 60.7 percent (17-of-28) in the second half. WKU also hit 22 of 25 free throws in the game, which helped fend off the Golden Panthers as the clock was winding down. The 88.0 percent shooting from the charity stripe marked the second time in the last three games WKU has converted over 85 percent of its free throws.

WKU has now won five-straight games against FIU and 11 of the last 12 matchups. Thursday's game was just the ninth in the 29 all-time showdowns that was decided by fewer than 10 points.

Yahoo! Sports Still Ranks Kentucky on Top of the SEC


Despite two league losses, Yahoo! Sports still ranks the Kentucky Wildcats on top of the Southeastern Conference.

Yahoo! Sports SEC Rankings for the Week:

1. Kentucky (15-4, 3-2) – Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb combine to average 49.5 points. (1)

2. Florida (16-4, 5-1)
3. Tennessee (13-7, 3-2)
4. Vanderbilt (15-4, 3-2)
5. Georgia (14-5, 3-3)
6. Alabama (12-7, 4-1)
7. South Carolina (12-6, 3-2)
8. Mississippi State (10-9, 2-3)
9. Arkansas (13-6, 3-3)
10. Ole Miss (13-7, 1-4)
11. LSU (10-10, 2-3)
12. Auburn (7-13, 0-6)

In a look at Who's Hot and Who's Not, Yahoo! says coverage of the John Calipari and Terrence Jones incident at Alabama is Not:

John Calipari/Terrence Jones coverage – Enough already. A coach cursed at a player. So what? It happens every day on courts all across America. Ever watched Frank Martin during a Kansas State game? The Jones/Calipari situation certainly deserved coverage, but the scrutiny and criticism Calipari continues to receive nearly a week later is way over the top.

Complete Article

Asbury University Blasts Alice Lloyd in KIAC Action


Asbury University 95
Alice Lloyd College 77

Final from Wilmore, Kentucky

WILMORE, Ky. – Five players scored in double-figures as Asbury won their fifth straight on Thursday night, a 95-77 victory over Alice Lloyd in the Luce Center. The Eagles have won 13 of their last 15 after a 1-4 start.

Asbury (14-6, 5-1 KIAC) looked to be on cruise control early, taking a 14-point lead in the first nine minutes and an 11-point halftime lead. But Alice Lloyd (4-17, 1-5 KIAC) fought all the way back in the second half taking a 59-58 lead with 12:37 remaining as Charles O’Steen completed an and-one free throw.

Austin Flannery (Georgetown, Ky.) knocked down a three less than a minute later after Justin Jones’ grabbed an offensive rebound. That would start a 12-3 run for the Eagles, who wouldn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the night. Flannery finished with 11 points off the bench, and 3-for-6 from three-point range.

Adam Delph (Louisville, Ky.) led all scorers with 28 points, 20 coming after the break. Delph also added eight rebounds and five assists, a line that would be the headline on most nights. Justin Jones (Hazard, Ky.) dominated the paint with 13 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and six blocks. It was his fifth double-double of the season and third straight. His assists are a career-high and the blocks a season-high, one off of his career best.

Austin Peay Rains on EKU Winning Streak

Austin Peay 61
Eastern Kentucky 52

Final from Richmond, Kentucky

RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team squandered a six-point halftime lead and fell to conference leader Austin Peay, 61-52, Thursday night in McBrayer Arena. Senior Spencer Perrin recorded his second career double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) in the losing effort.

The loss snaps the Colonels’ (11-10, 5-5 OVC) four-game winning streak, while the win – and Tennessee State’s loss to Morehead State – moves the Governors (14-8, 8-2 OVC) into sole possession of first place in the Ohio Valley Conference.

The game was a tale of two halves as EKU shot 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from three-point range in the first half and just 27.3 percent (3-of-11) from three-point range in the second half.

Perrin was the lone bright spot for the Colonels in the second half as he scored 13 of his 19 over the last 20 minutes of the game. Conversely, senior Justin Stommes scored 15 of his 18 in the first half, but was stifled to just three field goal attempts in the second half. Stommes scored all of his points on a career-high six three-pointers. The Colonel bench contributed zero points in the game.

Josh Terry and John Fraley paced the Govs down in the post with 14 points apiece while Caleb Brown contributed with 11 points.

Complete Recap

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daniel Orton Will Likely Miss Entire Rookie Season


Hoopsworld.com has confirmed what many were speculating - former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton will likely miss his entire NBA rookie season following knee surgery.

Here is an excerpt:

The Magic's roster now stands at the NBA minimum of 13 players. The Magic got veteran forward Malik Allen back last night after suffering a leg injury in late December. Rookie Daniel Orton is not expected to play at any point in the season, leaving the Magic with 12 healthy bodies and two open roster spots.


Orton played in the NBA Summer League and had a brief stint in the NBA Development League. He has not appeared in a game for the Orlando Magic his season.

Photo Source

Faried Leads Morehead State to Huge Comeback Win


Morehead State 72
Tennessee State 65

Final from Morehead, Kentucky


MOREHEAD, Ky.—Kenneth Faried’s 23-point, 23-rebound double-double wasn’t enough. Morehead State needed a late second-half rally too.

Faried led the Eagles to a 72-65 come-from-behind win over Tennessee State Thursday night in an Ohio Valley Conference game at Johnson Arena. MSU trailed from the first basket until the 2:55 mark of the second half, outscoring TSU 30-9 in the final 12 and a half minutes.

“Last eight minutes I thought our press took its toll, wore them down a little bit and fortunately that’s when they started to missing jump shots late in the game,” MSU coach Donnie Tyndall said. “I thought offensively we were pretty efficient, especially in the last 12 minutes of the game.”

The Eagles started the rally after Patrick Miller hit a three to put TSU up nine with 6:12 to play. A jumper by Drew Kelly sparked the run. Faried then stole the ball at midcourt and dished it off to Ty Proffitt, who scored a layup. A pair of free throws by Faried made it a three-point game, the closest it had been since the 18:06 mark in the first half.

After TSU hit a free throw, Proffitt drilled a corner 3-pointer to make it a one point game and Harper completed the comeback, with a bucket that gave MSU its first lead of the game. Goodman then hit a triple and Faried swished two freebies for a six-point Morehead State lead. After a layup by Wil Peters, the Eagles hit three more free throws to make the final margin seven.

The win avenged an overtime loss in Nashville in December and improved the Eagles to 14-8 overall and 6-4 in a tight OVC race. MSU is also 11-1 at home this year having won 25 of the past 26 games in Johnson Arena. The Tigers, who entered the game tied for first in the OVC, fell to 7-3 in league play and 10-10 overall.

Complete Recap

Photo: Screenshot from ESPN.com

Faried in this week's edition of Sports Illustrated:

No. 7 Georgetown Holds Off No. 13 St. Catharine


(7) Georgetown 73
(13) St. Catharine 61

Final from Georgetown, Kentucky


Two top 15 teams tangled Thursday in Georgetown, and for the third time this season the Tigers came out victorious. The No. 7 GC (20-2, 9-1 Mid-South Conference) handed No. 13 St. Catharine (13-5, 7-2) a 73-61 defeat in the Davis-Reid Alumni Gym.

The Patriots pulled within two points several times in the second half, but Georgetown weathered the storms to stay perfect at home 14-0 this season.

Tyrone Shelley led the offense with 15 points, but when he fouled out with five minutes remaining, Vincent Crutcher and Eddie Gray began to find a rhythm. Crutcher scored 13, Gray 12 and Rodney Haddix supplied a spark with 11 points.

SCC was led by Kashiff Carr's 19 points and Ervin Williams 10.

Georgetown returns to action Saturday at 4 p.m. against archrival Campbellsville University.

* Game recap by Georgetown College

Rose Edges Out Rondo as NBA All-Star Game Starter


The starters for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game were announced tonight and Bulls point guard Derrick Rose earned the starting spot over former Kentucky star Rajon Rondo.

Rondo admitted that starting would be great showed great respect for the season Rose has had to this point.

"Obviously, starting would be great, but I got a lot of response from the fans," Rondo said. "[Being chosen by] your peers, the coaches you play against every night is good as well. Either way I think it's a good situation. The fans showed me a lot of love this year, voting. I didn't get it, but that wasn't really the goal. The goal was to try to be the best team before the break."

"It's great for him. It's not a disappointment. He definitely deserves to start with the season he's having. All of them, all five of them deserve it."

Source

2011 NBA All-Star Game Starters:

East

Guard Dwyane Wade Heat
Guard Derrick Rose Bulls
Forward LeBron James Heat
Forward Amare Stoudemire Knicks
Center Dwight Howard Magic

West

Guard Kobe Bryant Lakers
Guard Chris Paul Hornets
Forward Carmelo Anthony Nuggets
Forward Kevin Durant Thunder
Center Yao Ming Rockets

Bellarmine Tops Midwest Regional Rankings


The NCAA has released the first set of DII Regional Rankings and No. 2 Bellarmine sits on top of the Midwest Region.

Northern Kentucky ranks No. 5 in the region and Kentucky Wesleyan comes in at No. 9.

In the South Region, Kentucky State is ranked No. 10.

MIDWEST

Division II Overall Record Division II In-Region Record
1. Bellarmine 15-0 15-0
2. Southern Indiana 11-2 9-2
3. Findlay 12-1 12-1
4. Hillsdale 12-2 10-2
5. Northern Kentucky 11-4 11-4
6. Wayne State (Michigan) 12-3 12-3
7. Grand Valley State 11-3 11-2
8. Indianapolis 10-4 7-4
9. Kentucky Wesleyan 10-4 10-4
10. Drury 10-5 10-5

SOUTH

Division II Overall Record Division II In-Region Record
1. Tampa 12-1 10-1
2. Alabama-Huntsville 17-2 16-2
3. Harding 12-2 12-2
4. Rollins 10-4 7-3
5. Florida Southern 9-5 9-4
6. Christian Brothers 12-4 12-4
7. Valdosta State 11-4 9-4
8. Arkansas Tech 9-3 9-3
9. Benedict 9-4 9-4
10. Kentucky State 10-3 10-3

Introducing "Chuck Hayes-inflicted illness"


Sean Pendergast of HoustonPress.com says former Kentucky Wildcat Chuck Hayes robbed fans who purchased tickets to watch Clippers rookie Blake Griffin Wednesday night.

Griffin was unable to wow the fans with an amazing array of power dunks and offensive mastery because Hayes simply took him out of his game.

Pendergast says Griffin was stricken with "Chuck Hayes-inflicted illness".

Here is an excerpt:

We had seen what Griffin had done against teams with an actual presence on the interior. When Griffin finished with the Rockets, we thought, you'd need dental records to identify the remains.

And then a funny thing happened -- Chuck Hayes happened. To be clear, Chuck Hayes did what he does which is nudge, push and muscle Blake Griffin into acute offensive discomfort (We'll call it "AOD" for short, a Chuck Hayes-inflicted illness). If you're an NBA big, Chuck will never send your shot into the third row; he'll just become such an immovable nuisance that he ruins your night. You'll get your shots off, but it's never easy, and frustration builds upon frustration, and before you know it you're 5 for 16 from the field.

This is what happened to Blake Griffin (yes, 5 for 16 from the field) on Wednesday night, and frankly, Chuck, I'm pissed at you!

Complete Article

Can Kentucky Reload Every Year and Be Successful?


Matt David, a contributor at Yahoo! Sports, wonders if the University of Kentucky basketball program can continue to reload season-after-season and still be successful.

John Calipari's recruiting philosophy includes a heavy mix of so-called "one-and-done" players.

Will Kentucky be able to win a national championship with this philosophy?

Here's an excerpt:

This brings us back to the fact that Kentucky may be losing another four players out of the six that get significant minutes. The other two are Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins who will likely stay. Next year, Coach Calipari will have another team with little depth that relies mostly on freshman. We prefer that to the way it was before when we had to make ourselves believe that mediocre players were Kentucky Wildcat caliber.

UK fans want a championship, though. Last year, they had a great shot at it but West Virginia team made them look like the inexperienced them that they were. As long as Coach Cal has them in position to get a title shot, that is all we can ask. Kentucky fans like me know it is tough to win six tournament games with a veteran team and even tougher with three freshmen. In the NCAA tournament, a team can lose their poise for a half and it could be over. Sound familiar?

Complete Article

SLAM Gives Mid-Season Love to Wall and Cousins


SLAM Online has handed out some Mid-Season Rookie Awards that include plenty of love for former Kentucky stars John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.

Wall is named NBA rookie with the "Biggest Upside":

Biggest Upside: John Wall, Wizards

When healthy, Wall’s shown flashes of greatness. He had a triple-double in his 6th career game, and currently ranks 5th in assists. Don’t be concerned by the lack of wins, as Wall is still figuring this NBA thing out. After all, Peyton Manning was 3-13 his rookie year.


The former Kentucky point guard also receives Honorable Mention for Best Performance to this point:

Honorable Mention: John Wall, Nov. 10

In only his 6th career game, Wall was 4 steals short of a quadruple-double. His 19 point, 13 assist, 10 rebound, 6 steal, 1 turnover game was one for the ages.

Cousins also earned a mention for one of the best rookie performances:

Honorable Mention #2: DeMarcus Cousins, Jan. 2

Cousins had one of his best games of the year, with 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. He was also 6-6 from the stripe, and shot 65 percent from the field.

The Sacramento big man has now reached 20 points five times this month:

-DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in last Friday’s loss to Golden State. Cousins has had at least 20 points five times this month. You may be hearing about his ‘attitude problems’ (which I don’t buy), but if you take a closer look, Cousins is a monster on the court, not off it.

Three Wildcats in 2011 Mock Draft, Faried No. 30


The site DraftExpress.com has three Kentucky Wildcats projected to go in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft.

The site also projects Morehead State's Kenneth Faried to be a late first round pick.

Kentucky's Enes Kanter, Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight are all projected in the first round.

Here are the projected top 10 and other notables:

1. Kyrie Irving, Duke
2. Perry Jones, Baylor
3. Jonas Valanciunas, International
4. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
5. Derrick Williams, Arizona
6. Enes Kanter, Kentucky
7. Kemba Walker, Connecticut
8. Terrence Jones, Kentucky
9. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
10. Donatas Motiejunas, International
21. Tobias Harris, Tennessee
22. Brandon Knight, Kentucky
24. Travis Leslie, Georgia
28. Trey Thompkins, Georgia
30. Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
37. Scotty Hopson, Tennessee
59. Renardo Sidney, Mississippi State

Rick Adelman Explains Why Terrence Williams Isn't Playing

Rockets coach Rick Adelman explains why former Louisville star Terrence Williams is having a tough time cracking the Houston rotation:

Vote John Wall Into the 2011 NBA All-Star Skills Challenge


Fans can vote online to send former Kentucky star John Wall to the Taco Bell All-Star 2011 Skills Challenge.

The Challenge will take place Saturday, February 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET.


Challengers include Wall, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, Tony Parker, Derek Fisher, Baron Davis and Tyreke Evans.

I would personally love to see Evans, Rose and Wall go at it in a battle of "former John Calipari point guards."

No. 24 Bryan Holds On to Defeat Union College


(24) Bryan 65
Union College 60

Final from Barourville, Kentucky

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. -- Bryan's Scott Newton led all scorers with 22 points as they held off the Union men's basketball team in a 65-60 victory at Robsion Arena in Appalachian Athletic Conference action on Wednesday night.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 10-11 on the year and 3-3 in the AAC, while Bryan, ranked 24th in the NAIA Division II poll, improved to 15-6 overall, 6-1 in the AAC with the win.

In the first half, the lead went back and forth throughout most of the period, as both Bryan and Union had a piece of the lead on several occasions. The Lions, however, used a 6-0 run around the three minute mark to take a 24-19 lead and ended the period strong, going into intermission with a 33-26 lead after a Demond Craig lay-in with three seconds left.

Complete Article

Video: A Look at Brandon Knight's Hard Work and Evolution

Here is a great video look at the growth and maturation of Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight (video by CBSSports.com):

Murray State Escapes SIU Edwardsville with Win


Murray State 67
SIU Edwardsville 61

Final from Edwardsville, Illinois

The Murray State Racers scored a 67-61 win at SIU Edwardsville at the Vadalabene Center in Edwardsville, Ill.

Trailing 15-10, the Racers put together a 15-4 run to grab their largest lead of the half at 25-19 with 4:05 showing on the clock when Chris Griffin and Isaiah Canaan each hit a three-pointer.

MSU had a 30-26 lead when B.J. Jenkins hit a three-pointer with :40 remaining, but SIUE’s Cornelius Chatt answered at the buzzer with a three to cut the Racers’ lead to one.

SIUE came back to claim a 45-41 lead with 12:48 left, when the Racers had a 10-0 run on a couple of baskets from Isacc Miles and one from Jewuan Long and Jeffery McCLain for a 55-50 MSU lead with 7:18 remaining.

The game was again tied at 58-58 with 3:53 left, when Daniel scored for a two-point lead with 3:36 left.

The Racers held the Cougars in five straight possessions and took a 62-58 lead with 1:00 remaining on a rebound and score by McClain.

Jenkins paced the Racers with 14 points, with 10 each from Miles and Canaan.

Ed Daniel tied the season-high for MSU with a career-high 14 rebounds.

Complete Recap

Big Blue Nation: Vote for John Calipari in Coaches' Challenge


Kentucky head coach John Calipari is part of The Infinity Coaches' Charity Challenge.

Here is some information about the challenge:

Infiniti is a proud partner of NCAA Men's Basketball. We're donating $10,000 to each of the ESPN Game of the Week Coaches' charities. The Coaches' charity with the most votes will receive $100,000. that's where you come in. Just click and vote for your favorite coach or the charity that inspires you the most. Learn more about the charities below. Come back every day to vote again. Final results will be posted March 11.







John Calipari Live Chat on FOXSportsSouth.com Monday


Check out John Calipari's Live Chat on Monday, January 31 at noon. Here is the release from FOXSportsSouth.com:

JOHN CALIPARI LIVE CHAT ON FOXSPORTSSOUTH.COM

Kentucky Basketball Head Coach to Chat with Fans
Monday, January 31 at noon ET on FOXSportsSouth.com

FOX Sports South today announced that a live chat with University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari will be held Monday, January 31 at noon ET on FOXSportsSouth.com.

The chat is one in a series of live chats scheduled to occur throughout the NCAA men’s basketball season in which participants can log on to FOXSportsSouth.com and submit questions to Calipari. As viewers submit questions, Calipari’s responses will be streamed live from his office in the Joe Craft Center in Lexington, KY.

In addition to periodic chats, Calipari also responds to viewer-submitted questions every week of the 2010-11 college basketball season as part of “Coach Cal’s Mailbag,” an exclusive, interactive webpage on FOXSportsSouth.com. “Coach Cal’s Mailbag” is updated every Monday with the Coach’s video responses to new questions. Viewers can submit questions to “Coach Cal’s Mailbag” by visiting FOXSportsSouth.com.

The regional sports networks serving the Southeast – FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Carolinas and FOX Sports Tennessee – collectively reach more than 12.9 million cable and satellite television households in seven states in the Southeast and are the television home of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies and the Nashville Predators, as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference. SportSouth reaches more than 10 million homes in six Southeastern states and is the television home of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Thrashers and Southern Conference. SportSouth also offers expanded coverage of the University of Georgia, University of South Carolina and University of Tennessee. Combined, the four networks produce more than 800 live local events each year. For more information, please visit FOXSportsSouth.com, FOXSportsCarolinas.com and FOXSportsTennessee.com.

Rick Pitino Discusses Win Over Mountaineers


Here are Rick Pitino's comments following Louisville's 55-54 victory over West Virginia last night (via UofLSports.com):

(Opening Statement)
"Well this was a very hard-fought game. One thing I try to get through to our players, when they don't shoot well, they let it affect their rebounding and other parts of the game. Basically, when you play West Virginia or you play Pittsburgh, the chances of you shooting well are not great. You've got to play defense and rebound the basketball. In the second half, we rebounded great. We played tremendous defense. I said it's just like the tournament. There's always one night where you don't shoot well. Good defensive teams go on to the next round. The last two games we let our offense dictate how we played our defense. In the second half we did a much better job. I'm proud of our character coming back. It's not easy to come back when you get down to West Virginia by that many points."

(On the last play)
"We were going to set a screen for Preston [Knowles] coming off, and George [Goode] forgot to set the screen. The second option, if he wasn't open, was throw it back to Peyton [Siva] and set the pick and roll on Peyton. Peyton made a great play, despite the fans wanting Russ Smith at the end of the game."

(On adjustments against Joe Mazzulla in the second half)
"We made adjustments on everything. What was happening is we were giving him his left hand and we were going for the ball fake. We were really concentrating on stopping other people. Not that we don't have respect for Mazzulla. That's probably his highest point total he's scored in a half in his career and that's a tribute to his play. But we knew where he was in the second half.

(On Russ Smith)
"He gave us a great spark. That's going to lift him up a little bit. We can only run one of two things with him in a game and that's a pick and roll. You see he has no fear at all - that's both a blessing and a negative. His intention was to score 30 points when he came in. You would think in this pressure-packed game, that a player wouldn't think that - but not Russ.

(On getting Terrence Jennings in the comeback)
"He got every rebound down the stretch - especially with Gorgui (Dieng) not rebounding the basketball. He doesn't know old movies, so he never saw the Invisible Man, he doesn't know what it's like to come in and take that character out and really rebound the basketball down the stretch was good for us.

(On being tied for second in the BIG EAST)
"We should be tied for first. It's going to be short-lived, we all know that. But we got one out of three and we need to get one more now, to get the second of the three.

I really mean this, there are a lot of great coaches in this game and Bob Huggins is a part of the great coaches. Very few coaches--and don't take this the wrong way about the talent, because they have good talent even with the guys remaining. But take West Virginia out of the equation and Bob Huggins can coach seven guys named Harry and be competitive. That's not this team, this team is good. But you can give him anybody and he can coach and they're always going to be in the game. We knew that, I've got great respect for him. I've known him in 35 years of coaching. He's a great coach. Even though they're undermanned, they played terrific.

We've got another concussion on our hands with Gorgui."

(On Peyton's last shot)
"I told him, `you have to penetrate and I told him to kick it,' I told him `we're going to score, but get back. There's going to be time left on the clock.' We did and there was a big play with (John) Flowers getting the ball back. We've had some great comebacks and these kids without question are the cardiac kids. They've just got great heart, great character. It's fun to coach them, with that being said, we've got to understand what defense is all about and our offense is affecting us too much. In the second half, we just forgot about offense. I said if you forget about offense and you just move and screen and cut, what's going to happen is, you're going to score. If you think about your shot not going in, you'll play bad defense and you'll be in a bad mood to play defense. So they did a great job and I think they shot 18 per cent in the second half."

(On the BIG EAST)
"We didn't like losing. But Providence is a really good basketball team. They played Syracuse, had Syracuse to the wire. They played St. John's to the wire. They had Pitt up four , so we knew they were a very good basketball team. We played a very good first half and then you see Seton Hall with what they did, going up to Syracuse. And tonight you saw Providence kill Villanova. It's my old school, I tried to give them as much confidence as possible to help them and I did a good job."

(On atmosphere in the second half)
"It's going to be a street fight. We did a very good job of fronting the post. We did a very good job of pressuring the basketball. Obviously we couldn't press effectively in the first half, because we weren't shooting a decent percentage. But we made some good turnovers. Russ (Smith) has very quick defensive hands. If we can just get him to know what he's doing out there, he can be a very effective defensive player because he's got the quickest hands on the team."

(On Terrence Jennings' missed shot)
"I feel bad for TJ, he was wide open off a pick and roll. He thought somebody was coming up, so he shot it up a little bit instead of dunking. He was trying to get it off before the rotation, but he was wide open."

(If this type of comeback win will help motivate the team if they get down in the tournament)
"We're both 4-2, we're both fighting. We don't know how this season's going to end. When I was watching tv - the Florida game last night- Seton Hall was up 12 at half and I texted Ralph (Willard) and said "keep praying.' And then when they were up 20, I said they'd been answered. So many unusual things happen. Yes, our team can come back. We're a pressing, running team. We do have tremendous character. But if you go on the road now, we'll kill our set if we don't get one of the next two. We've just got to pay attention to that. We've played good basketball on the road, we just haven't put together two good halves. We played a terrific half against Villanova, a terrific first half against Providence with Preston (Knowles) in foul trouble. We haven't played as well in the second half. We've got a big battle against Connecticut. And then we've got a big battle against Georgetown."

(On if West Virginia was fatigued in the second half)
"I don't know. I think it does fatigue the guards that have to bring it up all the time against pressure. I know when we practice, our guards are exhausted when they've got to go against the pressure. We were running and jumping and the one thing you've got to get out of it - the one thing you don't want to do is give up a layup. We're doing a good job there. In the second half, we got some steals out of it.

They were without some of their best basketball players, it's an adjustment in crunch time. They did a great job underneath out of bounds plays stopping us. We did a very poor job of screening, we'll work very hard on that tomorrow."

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