Saturday, February 19, 2011

John Wall Comes Up Short in NBA Skills Challenge

Former Kentucky star John Wall was unable to advance in tonight's NBA All-Star Skills Challenge.

Wall's time of 39.3 seconds placed him fourth out of five contestants.

The rookie star lost valuable time when he missed once on a chest pass and twice on a long outlet pass.

Wall competed in the event against Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose and Chris Paul.

Lindsey Wilson Upsets No. 8 Georgetown College

Lindsey Wilson 63
(8) Georgetown 59

Final from Columbia, Kentucky

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Leading 61-59 with 11 seconds to play, junior Justin Archie picked off a pass and threw home a thunderous dunk to help top eighth ranked Georgetown (Ky.) College 63-59 on Saturday at Biggers Sports Center.

Archie finished the game with a career-high six steals to go along with 15 points and two rebounds. Senior Brandon Clemons made sure senior night would be a success adding 16 points and seven rebounds, while Chase Spreen added 13 points.

Tyrone Shelley led the Tigers with 20 points and 12 rebounds and Victor Moses added 13 points and seven rebounds in the loss.

Georgetown led just once at the 1:16 mark of the second half, but the lead was short lived as the Blue Raiders came through in the clutch with a runner in the lane by Clemons, free throw by junior Charles Baker and the highlight-reel dunk by Archie.

Complete Recap

Kentucky Players Talk About Darius Miller and USC

Here are postgame comments from Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones following Kentucky's blowout victory over South Carolina (via

#1, Darius Miller, G

On his success in the game against South Carolina …
“I just had open looks. We did a great job executing. I was open so I knocked them down.”

On his three point shot …
“After I hit a couple I was feeling it, so I just let it go.”

On his feelings during the game on his play…
“It felt pretty good. When you are playing like that, you get in the zone and knock down shots. It always feels good to play well.”

On the team’s play tonight…
“I think we played pretty well. We did a great job of executing and we all got looks that we wanted. We got a lot of open looks especially against the zone. We handled the pressure pretty well except for one little spurt. We did a great job defensively especially at the beginning of the game.”

#12, Brandon Knight, G

On if it’s difficult keeping focus when gaining a large lead…
“Not really because we are focusing on getting better not on the score.”

On Darius’ 3-point shooting and the effect it has on the team …
“It makes us a lot better. When you have a consistent outside shooter, it lifts the team up.”

On the importance of their next game vs. Arkansas …
“It is pretty important, but as long as we focus on playing hard I think we will be alright.”

#3, Terrence Jones, F

On how the team played today…
“We played great defense and Darius’ shooting was unbelievable. He had 16 (points in the first half) and that really got us going. I just think that we did a great job on the game plan and executing pick and rolls.”

On if he feels like he is playing well…
“Yeah, I just feeling we are playing well as a team. Everyone is giving up shots for the extra pass and we are starting to talk well on defense.”

On the importance of getting a road win at Arkansas…
“It’s very important. We don’t want to lose another game. We feel we gave up a lot of them. The way we are playing right now is so good. We need to continue it.”

#34, DeAndre Liggins, G

On his performance tonight vs. Tuesday against Mississippi State…
“I was more effective today and brought more energy and defended well. Last game I had no energy and was out of control, and my body language was bad. Today, I wanted to rebound off that and help my team win.”

On the performance of Darius Miller…
“Darius play was big tonight, he made a lot of big threes and he was aggressive from the tip. We really need him to continue that to help the team out.”

On if this was more like the type of game he needs to continue to play…
“During the Mississippi State game I was out of it and got in early foul trouble, I felt like I couldn’t help the team. Today, I decided to come out and help the team by bringing energy, defending and making easy plays.”

Southern Indiana Holds Off Northern Kentucky

(6) Southern Indiana 63
Northern Kentucky 60

Final from Evansville, Indiana

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Mohamed Ntumba and Isaac McClure combined for 36 points as Southern Indiana held on for a 63-60 victory over Northern Kentucky University on Saturday in a battle of teams ranked in the NCAA Division II national poll.

Ntumba scored 19 points and blocked five shots for No. 6 Southern Indiana, which improved to 22-4 overall, 14-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. McClure added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Screaming Eagles, who survived a late NKU rally to claim the No. 2 seed in the GLVC Tournament.

Southern Indiana held NKU (19-7 overall, 12-6 GLVC) to 29 percent shooting from the field in the first half to build a 12-point lead (35-23). The Norse, however, battled back in the second half and took a 60-59 lead on Dennis Gagai’s 3-pointer with 1:51 remaining in the game.

Complete Recap

Get Your DeMarcus Cousins Wallpaper from

Check out this new DeMarcus Cousins T-Mobile Rookie Challenge wallpaper from

John Calipari Talks About Win Over South Carolina

Here is postgame comments from Kentucky's John Calipari after today's big win over South Carolina:

* Video by bluenationblog on YouTube

Pikeville College Grabs Critical Road Win at Tech

Pikeville College 92
West Virginia Tech 80

Final from Montgomery, West Virginia

MONTGOMERY, W.Va. – Senior Justin Hicks and sophomore Trevor Setty combined for 10 three-point shots to lead Pikeville College to a 92-80 win over WVU Tech Saturday evening at the Baisi Athletics Center.

Hicks, a 6-0 guard from Hazard, nailed six three-point shots to match his season high with 27 points while Setty, a 6-8 guard from Maysville, tossed in four to finish with 21 in the win.

Pikeville is now 23-6 on the season, the most wins ever for Kelly Wells as a collegiate head coach. More importantly, the Bears are 12-5 in the Mid-South Conference, keeping the pressure on 12-4 Cumberlands and St. Catharine, which took an 11-4 record into Saturday night’s game at Campbellsville.

Complete Article

Trevor Setty buries a long-range 3-pointer earlier in the season:

Eastern Kentucky Loses Bracketbuster at Western Carolina

Western Carolina 81
Eastern Kentucky 74

Final from Cullowhee, North Carolina

CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Host Western Carolina built an 18-point first half lead before holding off the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team Saturday afternoon, 81-74. Senior Justin Stommes paced EKU (15-13) with a season-best 24 points.

Eastern’s only lead of the game came after senior Josh Daniel’s three-pointer put the Colonels ahead, 3-2. The Catamounts scored the next 10 points, capped by back-to-back three-pointers from Mike Williams and Brandon Boggs, to quickly establish a 12-3 cushion.

Later in the half, Western Carolina strung together a 13-2 run to stretch the lead to 18 points, 27-9. From there, EKU finally got the offense on track and rattled off nine straight points, highlighted by freshman Jeff Johnson’s trifecta, to hang around at 27-18.

Complete Recap

It's Miller Time as Kentucky Destroys South Carolina

(22) Kentucky 90
South Carolina 59

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcat opened the game on 14-0 run and never looked back as they destroyed SEC East foe South Carolina 90-59 this afternoon at Rupp Arena.

Junior Darius Miller scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Wildcats. Miller was 6-10 from the field, including 6-8 from long range. He also pulled down 9 rebounds.

Terrence Jones put in a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Doron Lamb, who started in place of DeAndre Liggins, scored 18 points. Brandon Knight contributed 12 points and a game-high 9 assists.

Malik Cooke led South Carolina (13-12, 4-8 SEC) with 12 points. Ramon Galloway added 10 off the bench.

Kentucky (19-7, 7-5) was 29-58 (50%) from the field and 11-20 (55%) from the three-point line in the game. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Gamecocks 42-30.

John Calipari's team returns to action Wednesday night when they travel to Arkansas.

Impressive List of Visitors at Rupp Arena Today

Kentucky basketball games at Rupp Arena have often been a favorite meeting place for celebrities and former Wildcats and today is no exception.

Former Wildcat Jodie Meeks, who now plays for the Philadelphia 76ers, has already been introduced to the Big Blue Nation.

Patrick Patterson, who has a weekend break away from the Houston Rockets, is also in the house.

The list doesn't stop there as former Kentucky punter Tim Masthay, fresh off a Super Bowl championship with the Green Bay Packers, is also sitting courtside.

Former UK football player Trevard Lindley, who is now with the Philadelphia Eagles, is also at the game today.

Future Wildcat Anthony Davis is sitting behind the Kentucky bench.

Last, but certainly not least, UK recruit Trevor Lacey is at the game on an unofficial visit.

Kenneth Faried Breaks Record in Morehead State's Win

Morehead State 71
Indiana State 65

Final from Terre Haute, Indiana

Kenneth Faried passed Tim Duncan to establish a new NCAA modern era career rebounding mark in Morehead State's 71-65 win at Indiana State.

Faried broke Duncan's career record early in the second half and was greeted by a standing ovation from the Sycamore fans. He finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Eagles. It was Faried's 80th career double-double, which ties Malik Rose for fifth on the career list.

Terrance Hill scored 15 points for Morehead State. Demonte Harper and Lamont Austin each added 10. Harper also contributed 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

Jordan Printy scored 12 points for Indiana State. Aaron Carter put in 10.

The win was the first-ever in a Bracketbuster or Bracketbuster return game for Morehead State. The Eagles have now won nine consecutive games and 15 of their last 17.

Donnie Tyndall's club will play at Murray State Thursday for a share of the Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship. The game will air on ESPNU at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Faried's jersey was retired on Senior Night last week:

Exploring Kentucky's Three-Point Shooting Defense

University of Kentucky basketball fans have expressed concerned in recent weeks about the Wildcats' lack of defense against solid three-point shooting teams.

There is no question that Kentucky has allowed some open shots this season, but is three-point defense actually impacting wins and losses?

I decided to take a look at the numbers and see how three-point defense is impacting wins and losses.

Here are some numbers to consider:

Opponents' 3-point shooting this season: 145-426 (34%)

Average 3-pointers allowed on season: 4.8-17.1

Opponents' 3-point shooting in 7 losses: 43-102 (42.1%)

Opponents' 3-point shooting in 18 wins: 102-324 (31.5%)

Opponents' 3-point shooting in last 5 games (2-3 record): 46-94 (48.9%)

Average 3-point shooting allowed in last 5 games: 9.2-18.8

3-point defense in last 5 games:

- Mississippi L 8-17
- Florida L 6-19
- Tennessee W 9-16
- Vanderbilt L 11-20
- Mississippi State W 12-22

Conclusion: In terms of the entire season, 3-point defense has essentially been a non-issue. In fact, UK only allowed 1-11 long range shooting by North Carolina, but still lost. That being said, the defense in the last five games has been sub par at best.

It is a trend that John Calipari will surely focus on stopping today against South Carolina, which has three of the SEC's top long range threats in Ramon Galloway, Bruce Ellington and Brian Richardson.

Overall, I'm not concerned with Kentucky's three-point defense, unless the current trend continues.

Centre College Grabs Win at Rhodes

Centre College 59
Rhodes College 51

Final from Memphis, Tennessee

The Centre men's basketball team dropped Rhodes College by a score of 59-51 on Friday, February 18 in Memphis, Tenn. to improve to 18-4 overall and to 13-2 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Andrew Galow put Rhodes up 2-0 after they were able to stop the Colonels on their opening possession, but Centre responded with a layup by junior Greg Ross (Cincinnati, Ohio) to tie the game at 2-2 with 19:11 remaining in the first half.

The score would go back and forth, until the 16:33 mark when the Colonels took their first lead of the game on a made jumper by freshman Donovan Whiteside (Knoxville, Tenn.) who made it a 8-6 game.

Complete Recap

Centre College fans find the winning team and the losing team earlier this season:

Kentucky Recruits Played Well Friday Night

A trio of Kentucky recruits had big nights Friday in their respective games.

- Shabazz Muhammad (2012) led Bishop Gorman (Nev.) with 29 points in an 84-66 victory over Sierra Vista.

The win gave Bishop Gorman a third consecutive Sunset Title.

- Perry Ellis (2012) had 23 points and 7 rebounds for Wichita Heights (Kan.) in a win.

Ellis is scheduled to visit Kansas State this afternoon.

- Trevor Lacey (2011) scored 20 points, all in the first half, in Butler (Ala.) High School's 65-46 win over Deshler in the Class 4A Northwest sub-regional.

Lacey is scheduled to visit for this afternoon's game at Rupp Arena.

Louisville Earns Impressive Win Over No. 13 UConn

(16) Louisville 71
(13) Connecticut 58

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Peyton Siva scored 15 points, freshman center Gorgui Dieng posted his first career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and No. 16 Louisville rolled by punchless No. 13 Connecticut 71-58 on Friday night.

The Cardinals (20-7, 9-5 Big East) bounced back from a loss at Cincinnati on Wednesday by harassing UConn star Kemba Walker into a rare off night.

The national player of the year candidate finished with 16 points on 3-of-10 shooting and received a technical foul late in the second half after venting his frustrations at officials.

Jamal Coombs-McDaniel also scored 16 points for the Huskies (20-6, 8-6), but UConn ran out of gas after taking its only lead of the game early in the second half.

While UConn sagged, Louisville surged. The Cardinals took control for good with a 15-4 burst to sweep the season series from the Huskies.

Complete Recap

Craig Sager Throws DeMarcus Cousins Under the Bus

NBA reporter Craig Sager threw DeMarcus Cousins under the bus last night during a T-Mobile Rookie Challenge postgame interview with John Wall.

Sager said to Wall, "It's been well documented he's not always happy when his teammates don't give him the ball..."

Watch the reaction from Cousins, who happens to be standing three feet away, and Wall:

State Teams to Compete in ESPNU BracketBusters Today

All three Kentucky teams in the Ohio Valley Conference will compete in today's ESPNU BracketBusters games.

Here is a preview:

- Morehead State (20-8, 12-4 OVC) at Indiana State (15-12, 10-6 MVC)

The Eagles are flying high as they take an eight-game winning streak into Terre Haute this afternoon. Donnie Tyndall's club has won 14 of its last 16 games and have vaulted to the top of the Ohio Valley Conference standings.

The Sycamores will try to build on a current three-game win streak in today's game. The task will be stopping Morehead State senior Kenneth Faried, who is only seven rebounds away from breaking Tim Duncan's modern era career record.

Time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

- Eastern Kentucky (15-12, 9-7 OVC) at Western Carolina (14-13, 10-5 Southern)

The Colonels are hoping to rebound from a loss to Morehead State and catapult into next week's final two Ohio Valley Conference games.

Western Carolina will be riding a five-game win streak into today's battle.

Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
Location: Cullowhee, North Carolina

- Evansville (14-12, 8-8 MVC) at Murray State (20-7, 12-4 OVC)

Murray State comes into the BracketBusters game off a shocking 64-57 loss at the hands of Southeast Missouri. The Racers have still won eight of their last nine games and are currently tied at the top of the OVC standings with Morehead State.

The Aces have lost three of their last four games and the task will not be any easier on the road tonight.

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Murray, Kentucky

Faried with an incredible block at EKU earlier this week:

J.P. Tokoto to Visit North Carolina Today

According to Evan Daniels of, 2012 star J.P. Tokoto will take an unofficial visit to North Carolina today.

Here is Daniels' post from Twitter:

EvanDanielscout JP Tokoto will take an unofficial visit to UNC today, joining Bronson Koenig, who got to Chapel Hill yesterday afternoon.

Tokoto is a 6-5 small forward who ranks No. 40 on the list for 2012. His final eight schools are Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, North Carolina, UCLA and Wisconsin.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wall, Cousins Lead NBA Rookies to Challenge Win

Former Kentucky stars John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins led the NBA Rookies to a 148-140 win in the T-Mobile NBA Rookie Challenge in Los Angeles.

Wall, who was named game MVP, set a Rookie Challenge record with 22 assists. He also scored 12 points, punctuated by a powerful slam in the final minute that came off a Cousins' pass off the backboard.

Cousins had 33 points and 14 rebounds in the come-from-behind win by the rookies.

Former Wildcat Eric Bledsoe contributed 6 points.

Cousins with a power dunk:

Cousins off the backboard to Wall:

Hall, Pitino Cut from Hall of Fame Finalists

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced 12 finalists for enshrinement in 2011 today.

Both Joe B. Hall and Rick Pitino were cut from the list of finalists.

The 12 finalists are Jamaal Wilkes, Dennis Rodman, Maurice Cheeks, Chris Mullin, Ralph Sampson, Dick Motta, Tex Winter, Herb Magee, Hank Nichols, Al Attles, Teresa Edwards and Tara VanDerveer.


DeMarcus Cousins has a Little Fun with Eric Bledsoe

Former Kentucky star Eric Bledsoe attempted to give a serious interview today at T-Mobile Rookie Challenge practice but he was interrupted by another familiar face:

Kentucky Wildcats Discuss South Carolina Game

Darius Miller, Josh Harrellson and Brandon Knight spoke to the media today about tomorrow's game against South Carolina.

Here are their comments (via

#1, Darius Miller, G, Jr.

On playing South Carolina …
“They’re a tough team, they will play the whole 40 minutes so we’ll have to as well. They definitely have a chance to beat us, and they’re a really talented team.”

On Kentucky’s 3-point defense …
“I think we’ve been playing good defense, but the other teams have started to knock down shots. We need to make the shots tougher and make them uncomfortable. We can’t give teams as many open looks.”

#12, Brandon Knight, G, Fr.

On Kentucky’s last meeting with South Carolina …
“We came out with intensity that game, played pretty hard and we focused. We need to make sure we play hard and definitely rebound the basketball.”

On what Kentucky learned from the end of the Mississippi State game …
“We took from it that we need to play to win and not worry about the score. Things like knowing time and clock and knowing when we’re up double digits. We don’t need to score a lot under four minutes if we have a double-digit lead. At that point, we need to make sure we’re running the clock and taking good shots.”

On the upper classmen’s leadership …
“It helps a lot having those guys come in and contribute. The more we can get from them, the better we are. When they play hard and add to the team, it just makes us better overall.”

On having fun in games …
“That’s part of the game of basketball. When you work hard, you should be able to come out and have fun. You should be able to show your talents and show how hard you work.”

#55, Josh Harrellson, F, Sr.

On Kentucky’s confidence during games down the stretch …
“I don’t think we’re less confident now. If we play our game we’ll be all right. The last couple of games we got riled up when we don’t know what’s going to happen. We stop playing our basketball and play for the score I guess.”

On what the season has meant to him on a personal level …
“It’s been great. When the opportunity came and Enes (Kanter) couldn’t play, I took the opportunity and ran with it. I worked hard and just did a lot for the team - I do what they need me to do. I just try to be that player that doesn’t always have to score, just try to be the garbage man. I’ll do the little things that nobody else wants to do. We’ve got enough talent one through four where they can score at any time during the game. I’m not worried about that. If I get a couple garbage points a game, that’s going to help us out. If I have a good game like you saw in the Louisville and Tennessee games, we’re going to beat people by 15 or 20. It just all depends, but I feel confident about this year and feel great for what I’ve done.”

On how he got to this point in his basketball career …
“I never really thought about what was going to happen. Coach Cal always said opportunity would come, and when it comes, be ready for it. He tells everybody that. My opportunity finally came after sitting for two-and-a-half years waiting for it. When it finally came, I was ready for it.”

Asbury University Nets 20th Win at Alice Lloyd

Asbury University 85
Alice Lloyd College 76

Final from Pippa Passes, Kentucky

PIPPA PASSES, Ky. – After a slow start Asbury was able to build a strong double-digit lead, where it would stay most of the night on their way to a school best 11th conference win, 85-76 over Alice Lloyd on Thursday.

Asbury (20-7, 11-2 KIAC) grabbed their first lead of the game at 18-17 with 13:43 remaining in the first half. Alice Lloyd led by as much as six early on. Phillip Morrison poured in 14 of his game-high 26 in the first half to lead the early comeback.

The Eagles shot 47% from the field in the first half and knocked down eight of their nine threes before intermission. The game could have been a complete blowout or a nail bitter if either team could have knocked down free throws. Asbury made only 14-of-25 and Alice Lloyd was 17-for-30 from the charity stripe.

Alice Lloyd grabbed 25 offensive rebounds thanks partly to shooting only 32% from the floor. They grabbed 53 rebounds to Asbury’s 44. Justin Jones led the Eagles with 11 boards in only 22 minutes due to foul trouble. Jones also scored six points and blocked six shots.

Complete Recap

Breaking News: Karen Sypher Sentenced to 87 Months in Extortion Case

Karen Sypher has been sentenced to 87 months in prison following her extortion attempt on Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.

Sypher will serve her time in federal prison. Under federal guidelines, she will likely exit prison in roughly 6 years and 2 months with good behavior.

John Calipari Talks About South Carolina

Kentucky head coach John Calipari met with the media today to discuss this weekend's game against South Carolina.

Here is what Calipari had to say:

* Videos via bluenationblog on YouTube

Pikeville College Rolls to Win at Rio Grande

Pikeville 87
Rio Grande 72

Final from Rio Grande, Ohio

RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Pikeville College blistered the nets for 53 percent shooting and got a monster game from senior Vance Cooksey in an 87-72 win over the University of Rio Grande Thursday night.

Pikeville (22-6) improved to 11-5 on the season in the Mid-South Conference and rebounded from a heart-breaking loss on Saturday to St. Catharine. Rio, on the other hand, fell to 5-22 on the season and remained winless in 15 league games this season.

The Bears hit well from the arc as well, knocking down 12-of-25 (48 percent) from the arc, to overcome 18 turnovers for the win.

Rio Grande shot it well from the arc as well, hitting 8-of-17 (47.1 percent). That was better than its overall percentage, which was 43.1 percent.

Complete Recap

Vance Cooksey dishes to Quincy Hankins-Cole for a slam earlier in the season:

Georgetown College Locks Up Share of League Title

(8) Georgetown 78
(18) Cumberlands 71

Final from Williamsburg, Kentucky

The last time University of the Cumberlands lost a Mid-South Conference game was to Georgetown Jan. 13 at Davis-Reid Alumni Gym, which made Thursday's match up all that more important.

The No. 8 Tigers (24-3, 13-2 MSC) traveled to Williamsburg with just a game lead over the Patriots (15-9, 11-4). UC had won eight of its last nine games and was looking to pull even with Georgetown. However, GC pulled out the 78-71 win, giving the team a two-game cushion on its closest conference competitors with just three games remaining.

Complete Recap

Former Kentucky Stars Join Forces for T-Mobile Rookie Game

Former Kentucky teammates DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Eric Bledsoe will reunite in tonight's NBA All-Star Rookie-Sophomore Game in Los Angeles.


Eric Bledsoe, L.A. Clippers, G
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento, C
Derrick Favors, New Jersey, F
Landry Fields, New York, G
Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers, F
Wesley Johnson, Minnesota, G
Greg Monroe, Detroit, C
Gary Neal, San Antonio, G
John Wall, Washington, G

Mike Budenholzer -- San Antonio Spurs
Amar'e Stoudemire -- New York Knicks
Kevin McHale -- NBA TV/ TNT analyst


DeJuan Blair, San Antonio, C
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto, G
Stephen Curry, Golden State, G
* Tyreke Evans, Sacramento, G
Taj Gibson, Chicago, F
James Harden, Oklahoma City, G
Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia, G
Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City, F-C
Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee, G
Wesley Matthews, Portland, G

Lawrence Frank -- Boston Celtics
Carmelo Anthony -- Denver Nuggets
Steve Kerr -- TNT NBA basketball analyst

* injured and will not play

Eric Bledsoe posted on Twitter that the three former Wildcats have been hanging out like old times:

EBled24 With my bros @jimmywa11 and @boogiecousins feeling like old times #comedy

T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam

When: Friday, Feb. 18, 9 p.m. ET
Where: Staples Center

2011 NBA Rookie Challenge Game Odds

Feb. 18 - Staples Center – Los Angeles, Calif

Rookies +6.5 Over 253

Sophomores -6.5 Under 253

Karen Sypher Sentencing at 1:30 Today

Karen Sypher, the woman convicted of trying to extort Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, will be sentenced today at 1:30 p.m. ET at the Gene Snyder Federal Courthouse.

Dozens of pro-Sypher supporters stood in front of the courthouse this morning.

Here is the story from

Former Wildcat John Wall is Learning NBA Leadership

Michael Lee of the Washington Post writes today that former Kentucky star John Wall is learning to become a leader for the Washington Wizards while learning the NBA.

Those who have played with or coached Wall recognized immediately that he is a natural leader. That being said, it is not an easy task for an NBA rookie to come in and lead teammates who, for lack of a better term, are grown men.

Wall has embraced that challenge this season as well as the pressure of being counted on to be a star player.

Here is an excerpt:

Calipari also implored Wall to push his teammates, encourage them to take open shots and pick up their energy when it waned. At times, Wall was able to get through to talented but temperamental forward DeMarcus Cousins, now of the Sacramento Kings, when others couldn't.

"No matter where he is, no matter what team he's on, he's a leader from Day One," Cousins said of Wall. "That's something that was put in him. God's blessed him with that talent. He's got it."

The task of being a leader was simpler when Wall could walk on any court and know that he was the best player. Now he is routinely matched up against players who are more experienced and sometimes better, and surrounded by older teammates who head their separate ways after practice.

"Toughest thing is, these are grown guys that's veterans. Everybody is getting paid to do this for a living," Wall said. "At first I was nervous about going in there, and saying something, because I didn't want to walk around and think I'm bigger or better than anybody. I never want to walk into a situation like that, but I've always led by example throughout my whole life."

Complete Article

Indianapolis Uses Big Second Half to Drop NKU

Indianapolis 81
(21) Northern Kentucky 76

Final from Indianapolis, Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – After watching Northern Kentucky University dominate the first half Thursday night, Indianapolis scoring machine Darius Adams took over during the final 20 minutes and led his team to a come-from-behind win against the nationally ranked Norse.

Adams poured in 24 of his 36 points in the second half as Indianapolis rallied from a 13-point deficit to upset No. 21 NKU, 81-76, in Nicoson Hall. Leland Brown netted 12 of his 14 points in the second half for the Greyhounds, who shot 66.7 percent from the field after the break to pull off the upset.

Indianapolis also avenged an 87-69 loss at NKU in December and improved to 19-7 overall, 12-6 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Complete Recap

Trevor Lacey to Visit Kentucky this Weekend

Trevor Lacey, a 2011 sharp-shooter from Butler (Ala.) High School, will make an unofficial visit to Kentucky this weekend.

Lacey officially lists Alabama, Auburn, Connecticut, Kansas and Kentucky as his final five schools but a source close to Lacey thinks Alabama and UK are slightly ahead of the others.

"From talking with Trevor, I get the feeling that he really likes Kentucky and Alabama," the source said this morning via phone.

Lacey talked to Larry Vaught of the Danville Advocate-Messenger about Saturday's visit:

“We want to get there early enough to eat and see as much of the campus as we can,” he said.
He’s hoping to get to talk to Kentucky freshmen Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb, two players he already knows.

“They usually bring recruits into the locker room after the game. I went to camp with Doron, but I know Brandon the most. I also knew Eric (Bledsoe) and DeMarcus (Cousins) from last year. But I want to know what Brandon and Doron might say,” Lacey said.

Complete Article

The 6-3 Lacey currently ranks No. 34 on the Rivals150 List for 2011. He is ranked as the No. 7 shooting guard in the class.

No. 2 Bellarmine Gets Past No. 6 Southern Indiana

(2) Bellarmine 84
(6) Southern Indiana 79

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—To the delight of an overflow crowd at Knights Hall, the showdown of the top two teams in the Great Lakes Valley Conference lived up to its billing as the No. 2 Bellarmine University Knights mounted a second half comeback to turn back the upset bid by No. 6 Southern Indiana by the count of 84-79.

The visiting Screaming Eagles came out on fire and hit their first seven shots to open up a 10-point lead over the first 3:36 of the contest. Although shooting just 35.3 percent in the opening period, the experienced Bellarmine team didn't panic and methodically began chipping away at the USI lead. The Knights cut the margin to just one on several occasions before the Screaming Eagles settled for a 41-37 halftime advantage.

The Knights simply refused to be denied and took their first lead of the game at 14:46 mark of the second half when Jeremy Kendle hit a triple to put Bellarmine ahead 51-49. As hot as USI was in the opening period, the Knights were even better in the second stanza, scorching the nets for a 72.7 shooting percentage.

Complete Recap

Kentucky to Play in 2011 Naismith Hall of Fame Tipoff

The University of Kentucky Wildcats will participate in the 2011 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff in Springfield, Massachusetts next season.

It has not been officially announced, but Kentucky will likely host two games at Rupp Arena against mid-major opponents before playing in Springfield.

According to the Tampa Tribune, the tournament will include South Florida, Vermont, Marist, Old Dominion and Penn State. The rest of the field will be announced early next month.

Kentucky's first game in the event will potentially be against Marist College, who has already announced that they'll open their season against the Wildcats.

Western Kentucky Wins Fourth-Straight Road Game

Western Kentucky 61
Arkansas-Little Rock 59

Final from Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Jamal Crook grabbed a loose ball and put back the game-winner with 0.7 seconds remaining on the clock, sending WKU to a 61-59 win at UALR after the Trojans clawed back in the game's final three minutes. The win is WKU's fourth-straight on the road and gets WKU back to .500 on the season with a 13-13 overall record and a 7-6 mark in Sun Belt Conference. UALR falls to 14-13 overall and 6-6 in league play.

WKU has now won eight of its last 10 games after starting the season with a 5-11 record.

Steffphon Pettigrew led all players with 18 points and 10 rebounds, giving him his third double-double of the season and fifth of his career. Teeng Akol had a career-high 11 points and added seven rebounds, and Caden Dickerson hit three three-pointers en route to 10 points. Jamal Crook led WKU with five assists in the game. UALR was paced by Matt Mouzy's 17 points, thanks in part to five three-pointers.

WKU came out firing in the first half and led 11-7 at the first media timeout after making its first four shots of the game. Kahlil McDonald came off the bench and hit two three-pointers in the first four minutes of the game, and Dickerson added another triple.

Complete Recap

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Billy Gillispie: Wyoming Seems Like "a great place to coach basketball"

In an e-mail to Wyoming's Star-Tribune, former Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie would not give a comment on his interest in the University of Wyoming coaching job.

He didn't deny his interest, but he also didn't confirm anything.

Here is an excerpt of Gillispie's message to the paper:

I never comment on my interest in any potential position whether real or perceived. I would like to return to coaching at some point but only when i have what i believe is a chance to go to the final four!!! That is my goal.

It seems from afar that the [U]niversity of [W]yoming is a great place to coach basketball because of the tremendous passion of its vast fan base and the tradition that great players and coaches have achieved," Gillispie said in the email. "[I'm] sure there will be a lot of great coaches who would appreciate the chance to rebuild that tradition at the university.


L.J. Rose Drops North Carolina, Includes UK in Final Ten

L.J. Rose, a talented 6-3 point guard in the 2012 class, has announced in an online journal that he is no longer considering North Carolina as a potential college choice.

He has dropped the Tar Heels and added UCLA to his final list of ten schools: Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, Baylor, Georgetown, Florida, Miami, Florida State, Michigan State and UCLA.

He stated in his journal that he will visit Kentucky in the spring and that future Wildcat Michael Gilchrist is recruiting him hard.

Here is an excerpt:

I don’t plan to cut my list again. I’m probably just gonna make my decision when I’m ready. I’m looking close at each school on my list and I’ll decide and make my decision from there.

I’m planning to visit Kansas and UCLA pretty soon and I’m gonna visit Kentucky in the spring. I don’t have exact dates yet, but I know I’ll visit those schools soon.

A lot of guys that are committed to the schools on my list are definitely recruiting me, trying to get me to join them. Of all of them, I’d say Mike Gilchrist (Kentucky) and Cameron Ridley (Texas) are the hardest recruiters. I talk to Cameron every day, and at some point in the conversation Texas always comes up. I’m tight with Mike, and ever since he first committed to Kentucky he’s talked to me about coming out there and seeing what they’re all about. He doesn’t pressure me, though.

Complete Article


Kentucky's Most Feared Opponent This March: Minutes?

As March swiftly approaches, a major concern for the Kentucky Wildcats is depth, or lack thereof.

The Wildcats play a primary rotation of six players and only have eight players who have averaged more than five minutes per game this season.

With the rotation being what it is, the primary issue becomes fatigue for the six players who are playing heavy minutes.

Opinions are split on the topic. Some point out that a team without a bench has little to know chance of making a major run in March while others will argue that players can adapt to heavy minutes and still be successful.

I have pulled playing time statistics from eight of Kentucky's most successful teams in the modern era for the purpose of comparing the numbers to this season's team. The teams I chose are the last three national championship teams and every team that has captured and SEC regular season title since 1999-2000.

Here is a breakdown of total games played, total minutes for the season and average minutes per game:

2010-11 (In progress):

- Terrence Jones 25 772 30.9
- Brandon Knight 25 878 35.1
- Doron Lamb 25 728 29.1
- Darius Miller 25 734 29.4
- DeAndre Liggins 24 754 31.4
- Josh Harrellson 25 654 26.2
- Eloy Vargas 25 236 9.4
- Jon Hood 24 137 5.7
- Jarrod Polson 14 28 2.0
- Stacey Poole 12 42 3.5

Most: Brandon Knight, 35.1 MPG
Players Over 30 MPG: 3
Players Over 5 MPG: 8

1977-78 (National Champions):

- Jack Givens 32 1028 32.1
- Rick Robey 32 915 28.6
- Kyle Macy 32 1097 34.3
- James Lee 31 694 22.4
- Mike Phillips 31 602 19.4
- Truman Claytor 32 788 24.6
- Jay Shidler 29 427 14.7
- Chuck Aleksinas 28 216 7.7
- Lavon Williams 31 271 8.7
- Fred Cowan 19 86 4.5
- Dwane Casey 26 177 6.8
- Tim Stephens 19 106 5.6
- Scott Courts 13 30 2.3
- Chris Gettelfinger 9 12 1.3

Most: Kyle Macy, 34.3 MPG
Players Over 30 MPG: 2
Players Over 5 MPG: 11

1995-96 (National Champions):

- Tony Delk 36 947 26.3
- Antoine Walker 36 971 27.0
- Walter McCarty 36 889 24.7
- Derek Anderson 36 701 19.5
- Ron Mercer 36 677 18.8
- Mark Pope 36 716 19.9
- Anthony Epps 36 818 22.7
- Jeff Sheppard 34 434 12.8
- Wayne Turner 35 459 13.1
- Jared Prickett 5 51 10.2
- Allen Edwards 35 325 9.3
- Nazr Mohammed 16 88 5.5
- Oliver Simmons 21 100 4.8
- Cameron Mills 7 16 2.3
- Jason Lathrem 4 9 2.3
Most: Antoine Walker, 27.0 MPG
Players Over 30 MPG: 0
Players Over 5 MPG: 12

1997-98 (National Champions):

- Jeff Sheppard 38 1064 28.0
- Nazr Mohammed 39 819 21.0
- Scott Padgett 39 1089 27.9
- Wayne Turner 39 1098 28.2
- Allen Edwards 37 940 25.4
- Heshimu Evans 39 800 20.5
- Jamaal Magloire 38 567 14.9
- Cameron Mills 38 427 11.2
- Saul Smith 39 523 13.4
- Michael Bradley 32 221 6.9
- Myron Anthony 31 203 6.5
- Ryan Hogan 19 72 3.8
- Steve Masiello 18 33 1.8

Most: Wayner Turner, 28.2 MPG
Players Over 30 MPG: 0
Players Over 5 MPG: 11

1999-00 (SEC Champions):

- Tayshaun Prince 32 1087 34.0
- Jamaal Magloire 33 976 29.6
- Keith Bogans 33 917 27.8
- Desmond Allison 31 801 25.8
- Souleymane Camara 31 631 20.4
- Saul Smith 33 956 29.0
- Marvin Stone 33 456 13.8
- J. P. Blevins 33 543 16.5
- Nate Knight 9 79 8.8
- Todd Tackett 26 169 6.5
- Steve Masiello 15 58 3.9
- Marquis Estill 0 0 0.0

Most: Tayshaun Prince, 34.0 MPG
Players Over 30 MPG: 1
Players Over 5 MPG: 10

2000-01 (SEC Champions):

- Keith Bogans 34 1051 30.9
- Tayshaun Prince 34 1116 32.8
- Jason Parker 34 651 19.1
- Marquis Estill 32 441 13.8
- Saul Smith 34 995 29.3
- Gerald Fitch 34 673 19.8
- Marvin Stone 33 599 18.2
- Erik Daniels 33 427 12.9
- Cliff Hawkins 33 362 11.0
- J. P. Blevins 33 443 13.4
- Matt Heissenbuttel 10 32 3.2
- Cory Sears 10 35 3.5
- Souleymane Camara 0 0 NA
- Todd Tackett 0 0 NA

Most: Tayshaun Prince, 32.8 MPG
Players Over 30 MPG: 2
Players Over 5 MPG: 10

2002-03 (SEC Champions):

- Keith Bogans 36 1066 29.6
- Gerald Fitch 36 1041 28.9
- Marquis Estill 36 865 24.0
- Erik Daniels 32 821 25.7
- Chuck Hayes 36 997 27.7
- Souleymane Camara 36 658 18.3
- Cliff Hawkins 29 635 21.9
- Kelenna Azubuike 31 262 8.5
- Antwain Barbour 31 387 12.5
- Josh Carrier 28 184 6.6
- Brandon Stockton 24 110 4.6
- Preston LeMaster 8 17 2.1
- Bernard Cote 25 114 4.6
- Ravi Moss 12 28 2.3
- Matt Heissenbuttel 10 20 2.0

Most: Keith Bogans, 29.6 MPG
Players Over 30 MPG: 0
Players Over 5 MPG: 10

2004-05 (SEC Champions):

- Kelenna Azubuike 34 991 29.1
- Patrick Sparks 34 950 27.9
- Chuck Hayes 34 995 29.3
- Randolph Morris 34 672 19.8
- Rajon Rondo 34 854 25.1
- Ramel Bradley 34 418 12.3
- Ravi Moss 33 392 11.9
- Bobby Perry 34 388 11.4
- Joe Crawford 31 347 11.2
- Shagari Alleyne 29 268 9.2
- Sheray Thomas 26 189 7.3
- Lukasz Obrzut 28 179 6.4
- Josh Carrier 26 162 6.2
- Brandon Stockton 14 48 3.4
- Preston LeMaster 11 22 2.0

Most: Chuck Hayes, 29.3 MPG
Players Over 30 MPG: 0
Players Over 5 MPG: 13

2009-10 (SEC Champions):

- John Wall 37 1288 34.8
- DeMarcus Cousins 38 893 23.5
- Patrick Patterson 38 1255 33.0
- Eric Bledsoe 37 1122 30.3
- Darius Miller 38 804 21.2
- Darnell Dodson 35 505 14.4
- DeAndre Liggins 29 445 15.3
- Daniel Orton 38 502 13.2
- Ramon Harris 36 395 11.0
- Perry Stevenson 34 260 7.6
- Josh Harrellson 22 88 4.0
- Jon Hood 17 74 4.4
- Mark Krebs 16 44 2.8

Most: John Wall, 34.8
Players Over 30 MPG: 3
Players Over 5 MPG: 10

Comparing the teams:

- Most minutes (individual): Brandon Knight, 35.1 MPG
- Team with most players over 30 MPG: 3 (twice), 2009-10 and 2010-11
- Team with fewest players over 5 MPG: 8, 2010-11

My Thoughts: Kentucky has the talent to do special things this season, but conventional wisdom says that it'll be difficult to withstand the strain of postseason play with a rotation of only six players.

The optimal outcome for the Wildcats would be more positive minutes from Eloy Vargas and Jon Hood. Every minute that John Calipari can steal from Vargas and Hood is one less minute on the legs of Knight, Liggins and Jones.

Considering that we are already in the middle of February, however, it is hard to imagine a scenario that would see any major changes in the current rotation.

Turrell Morris Scores 45 in Union College Win

Union College 87
Tennessee Wesleyan 76

Final from Barbourville, Kentucky

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. -- Union sophomore forward Turrell Morris poured in 45 points to tie a school-record, as the Bulldogs pulled away late in the second half from Tennessee Wesleyan, 87-76 in AAC action on Wednesday night at Robsion Arena.

With the win, Union improved to 13-14 on the year, 7-6 in the AAC, while Tennessee Wesleyan fell to 10-19, 3-10 in the AAC with the loss.

Morris' (Columbus, Ohio) 45 point effort tied a school-record set in the 1987-88 season by Fred Calloway against Campellsville. Morris also came just shy of matching the school rebounding record in a game pulling down 22 boards (11 offensive and defensive rebounds, apiece), just one short of matching the record of 23 set in the 1963-64 season by Bill Trent.

Complete Recap

Three Future Wildcats are Finalists for Naismith High School Award

Future Kentucky Wildcats Michael Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Marquis Teague have been named finalists for the prestigious Naismith High School Player of the Year Award.

The honor is given annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, which picks five finalists. Winners are recognized at the club's ceremony on March 21.

Here are the finalists:

- Jame McAdoo, Norfolk Christian - North Carolina

- Anthony Davis, Perspectives Charter School, Chicago - Kentucky

- Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick High School, Elizabeth, N.J. - Kentucky

- Austin Rivers, Winter Park (Fla.) High School - Duke

- Marquis Teague, Pike High School, Indianapolis - Kentucky

Rajon Rondo Will Steal for Louisville at All-Star Game

Former Kentucky star Rajon Rondo plans to give back to his hometown of Louisville.

Red Bull has announced that it will donate $5,000 for basketball programs in Louisville for every steal Rondo, a former Eastern High School student, make during Sunday's All-Star game.

“It’s great that my play on the court is directly tied to helping Boston parks, and now also supporting my hometown of Louisville,” Rondo said in a press releases. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to make a difference on the court this weekend in Los
Angeles, and for the great city I am from.”

Rondo also finds himself on the cover of the latest edition of Sports Illustrated.

Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins to Enter Society of Character

Kentucky basketball's DeAndre Liggins is one of twelve UK students who will be inducted into the Frank G. Ham Society of Character in a ceremony to be held Saturday, February 10, at UK's Center for Academic and Tutorial Services.

The Society of Character recognizes Wildcat student-athletes who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. The SOC was founded during the 1998-99 school year and is named in honor of Ham, a long-time UK administrator.
Here is an excerpt about Liggins from

DeAndre Liggins

DeAndre is a junior guard on the basketball team. DeAndre is not the most vocal player on the team, but he leads by example with his work ethic and perseverance. That perseverance translates to the classroom, where he devotes tireless effort. DeAndre is also a role model in the community, where he generously volunteers his time with at-risk youth.

St. Catharine's Antoine Watson Posterizes Life University

Check out Antoine Watson of St. Catharine College as he simply destroys a Life University player in last night's game:

Patrick Patterson to Visit Kentucky this Weekend

Former Kentucky Wildcat Patrick Patterson said on Twitter this morning that he'll be at the Kentucky game this weekend to watch his "boys in blue."

Here is his post on Twitter:

pdpatt Feels good to b back home. Ready to c my fam play in All Star Game. And ready to watch them boys in blue play in person.

Campbellsville Drops Non-Conference Game to King

King College 72
Campbellsville 63

Final from Campbellsville, Kentucky

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. -- Reggie Smith drained three 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds Wednesday, but Campbellsville University's rally fell short in a 72-63 loss to King College in the Tigers' final non-conference game of the season.

"We saw something tonight we hadn't seen all year, and that's rare this late in February. We've seen disciplined teams. We've seen physical teams. They are extremely disciplined, physical and do things the right way within their system. We did not respond well at all with their physical play," CU head coach Keith Adkins said.

Smith led the Tigers throughout the night with a Campbellsville career-high 28 points, only two points shy of his junior college high. The transfer from Louisville gave the Tigers their only lead of the game, 3-2, in the opening minutes.

Complete Recap

John Wall In, Rajon Rondo Out of NBA Skills Competition

Former Kentucky star John Wall will be a participant in this weekend's NBA Skills Challenge, which is part of All-Star Weekend.

Wall will join Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook, .

For John Calipari fans, it will be a unique opportunity to see former Calipari point guards Wall and Rose in friendly competition.

Former Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo was invited to participate, but declined.

"Maybe when I don't make the game," Rondo said when asked if he would ever consider participating in the event. "I wouldn't do both." (Source)

Louisville Suffers Tough Road Loss at Cincinnati

Cincinnati 63
(16) Louisville 54

Final from Cincinnati, Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) - Cashmere Wright scored 20 points, Sean Kilpatrick added 18 and Cincinnati bolstered its NCAA tournament resume with a 63-54 victory over No. 16 Louisville on Wednesday.

Embattled junior forward Yancy Gates added eight points and six rebounds for the Bearcats (20-6, 7-6 Big East), who smothered the Cardinals to reach the 20-win plateau for the first time since 2006.

Terrence Jennings led Louisville (19-7, 8-5) with 12 points but the Cardinals turned it over 15 times and never got into a rhythm in the face of Cincinnati's tough defense.

Louisville shot a respectable 47 percent from the floor but made just four of 17 3-pointers, five below its season average.

The Bearcats never trailed and led by as many as 15 early in the second half. Louisville cut the deficit to 43-38 with 13:15 to play but the Bearcats responded with seven quick points to beat the Cardinals for the second straight time.

Gates, who was suspended for a game earlier this month and benched in the second half of a loss to St. John's on Sunday, provided some energetic play off the bench, but it was Wright who starred.

Complete Recap

Paul Westphal Talks DeMarcus Cousins and More, a Sacramento Kings blog, spoke to Kings coach Paul Westphal recently.

Westphal opened up to discuss the situation with DeMarcus Cousins and Donte Green and more.
Cousins and Green were involved in a locker room altercation following a disappointing loss last week.

Here is Paul Westphal talking about the incident:

JH: How are you handling the Cousins situation? The report from Grant (Napear) is that you guys had a long talk last night. How are you bringing him back into the fold?

Coach Westphal: We know that DeMarcus can be explosive- he knows it and he’s working on it. I thought he was progressing extremely well, but obviously this incident was a step backwards. But he calmed down and he understands the necessity of what had to happen as a result of the incident. He’s made all the proper amends and he’s ready to move forward. I thought that he handled things extremely well with the team today. I thought he played very well. It’s something you can’t say didn’t happen, but it’s in the past as far as everybody’s concerned, as far as I can tell, except for the people that live on tearing people down. They never let it go, but that’s one of the reasons I reacted the way I did in the post game press conference.

JH: How hard is it for you to punish a player like this knowing that you are really punishing the team as well with how Cousins has played as late?

Coach Westphal: I don’t necessarily look at punishment and discipline as the same things. I would call this disciplining more than punishing and it’s very important for the good of the team that proper discipline is enforced. Whatever short-term detriment there is for enforcing proper discipline, I think gives long term benefit for not just the individual but the whole unit. There has to be some lines that are drawn and once you know and understand that those lines do exists, it makes the whole team stronger.

Complete Article

Kenneth Faried Had a Block Party at Eastern Kentucky

Morehead State superstar Kenneth Faried was a difference-maker in his team's 76-68 overtime win at Eastern Kentucky last night.

Despite continual taunts from the EKU faithful of "overrated...overrated" and "first round draft pick...first round draft pick", Faried ended up with 23 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocked shots.

Here are three of Faried's blocked shots:

Faried, Harper Lead Morehead State Over EKU

Morehead State 76
Eastern Kentucky 68

Final from Richmond, Kentucky

RICHMOND, Ky.— Morehead State men's basketball rallied from eight points down in the second half to send the game to overtime and then outmanned host Eastern Kentucky in the extra period to record a 76-68 Ohio Valley Conference win at McBrayer Arena Wednesday night.

The win guarantees at least one bye in the OVC Tournament for MSU and runs the men's winning streak to eight games. MSU also reached the 20-win mark for the third straight season for the first time in school history. The Eagles also moved into a tie for first place in the OVC standings thanks to an upset of Murray State by Southeast Missouri.

MSU's senior trio paved the path to victory, scoring all of the Morehead State field goals in overtime. Kenneth Faried led the Eagle scorers with 23 points and grabbed 15 boards, his 22nd double-double and 79th of his career. Demonte Harper also had a double-double with 21 points, 19 of which came after the first half, and a career-high 11 rebounds for his second double-double this year and third of his career. Harper scored the game-tying layup that sent the game to overtime, the second time this season he's had a buzzer-beating shot.

Faried's 15 boards leaves him just six shy of tying Tim Duncan's 1,570 rebounds and NCAA career record for players whose careers began after 1973. He also recorded five blocks Wednesday night.

Sam Goodman tallied 13 points, and Ty Proffitt rounded out four Eagles in double figures with 11. Lamont Austin had a game-high five assists and Harper and Proffitt each had four.

Complete Recap

Demonte Harper's game-tying shot at the end of regulation:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SEMO Ends Murray State's Winning Streak

Southeast Missouri State 64
Murray State 57

Final from Cape Girardeau, Missouri

The Murray State Racers were upset Wednesday in a 64-57 loss to Southeast Missouri State at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Coupled with Morehead State’s overtime win at Eastern Kentucky, the MSU loss dropped them to 12-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference and into a first place tie with the Eagles.

The Racers (20-7) saw their eight-game win streak and eight-game road win streak stopped.

After trailing 30-18 at the half, MSU made a late push against the Redhawks but it wasn’t enough.

Falling behind as many as 18 points with 10:47 remaining, the Racers kept trying to chip away at the lead.

With 5:40 left, B.J. Jenkins hit a three-pointer and MSU got a pair of free throws from Isacc Miles and he also tacked on a drive to the basket with 4:37 left to cut the SEMO lead to 50-40.

Complete Recap

ESPN Customer Care Responds to My Skycam Complaint

I decided to contact ESPN Customer Care with my complaints about the use of "skycam" in last night's Kentucky game. Not that I felt my complaint would make a difference but basically just to see if I would get a response.

Minutes ago, I received a reply:

Dear Anthony,

Thanks for contacting ESPN.

The use of varying camera angles is part of a larger weeklong initiative to give fans different perspectives of coverage via new and innovative production techniques and enhancements. While some fans are enjoying the different perspectives, we realize that some are not. We will be sure to provide all of the feedback we receive to our producers for their review.


ESPN Viewer Response

My thoughts:

- You call a view from the roof new and innovative?

- Some fans are enjoying that? I bet.

Where Are Kentucky's Points Coming From? A Look at the Numbers

Kentucky basketball's freshmen trio of Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb have combined to score 1,227 points this season, which is 64% of UK's total points. The three young stars average 49.1 points per game.

Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrellson have scored 32% of Kentucky's points on the season. The three veterans average 24.9 points a night and have totalled 622 season points.

The Wildcats have picked up 82 points from the remaining group of Jon Hood, Stacey Poole, Eloy Vargas and Jarrod Polson. That is 4% of the season total and 3.3 per game.

A few notes:

- The trio of veterans have outscored Lamb, Knight and Jones two times, wins over Tennessee and Indiana, on the season.

- UK is 3-4 in games when Miller, Harrellson and Liggins combine to score less than 20 points.

- UK is 10-0 in games when Miller, Harrellson and Liggins combing to score 26+ points.

- The low total for Jones, Knight and Lamb is 31 in a 73-61 win over Tennessee. The high is 64 in an 89-52 win over Winthrop.

- The low total for Miller, Harrellson and Liggins is 10 in a 71-69 loss to Ole Miss. The high is 42 twice, both wins (Tennessee and Indiana).

- The Wildcats have received 0 points 10 times from the group of Hood, Vargas, Poole and Polson. The team was 6-4 in those games. That group has reached double figures twice, both wins.

- In Kentucky's 7 losses, the freshmen trio has averaged 48.4 PPG, the veterans 19.4 PPG and the other group has added 1.9 PPG.

- In Kentucky's 18 wins, the freshman trio has averaged 49.3 PPG, the veterans 27.0 PPG and the other group has added 3.7 PPG.

Barnhart, Kentucky Say No Thanks to ESPN's Skycam

University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart says the university will no longer approve ESPN's "skycam" circus for Kentucky basketball games.

Here is a post from Barnhart on Twitter:

UKMitchBarnhart We have expressed the concerns with the new overhead camera use at future games & will no longer approve the camera location in the future.

Big Blue Nation can collectively celebrate as UK will no longer participate in one of the worst ideas that has ever been conceived in college basketball coverage on television.


Marquis Teague Leads Pike to Win Over Hamilton Southeastern

Future Kentucky Wildcat Marquis Teague came up big in the second half to lead No. 8 Pike (Ind.) High School to an 83-79 win over No. 4 Hamilton Southeastern.

Teague scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half. He pulled off an impressive, crowd-pleasing spin move in the fourth quarter leading to a brilliant assist.

Pike is now 16-3 on the season and Teague is hanging near the top of the race for Indiana Mr. Basketball.

Teague in action:

Kentucky, Louisville on the Same Seed Line has Kentucky and Louisville on the same NCAA Tournament seed line in the updated "S-Curve" calculations.

The Cats and Cards are both rated on the 5-Line of seeding along with Arizona and Texas A&M.

Ohio State, Texas, Pittsburgh and Duke are on the top line of the S-Curve. San Diego State, Notre Dame, BYU and Kansas currently sit on the 2-Line.

The site currently lists Murray State as the projected winners of the Ohio Valley Conference and have the Racers on the 16-Line.

In the site's bracket projections, they have Kentucky playing the winner of Michigan State and Butler, which would be a dangerous first round game.

Louisville would be matched up against the winner of Colorado State and Kansas State.

The Racers would have the unenviable task of playing Kansas in a 15 vs. 2 game.

Louisville Cardinals Prepare for Battle at Cincinnati

Louisville at Cincinnati

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 16
Time: 7:02 p.m. ET
Site: Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio (13,176)
TV: ESPN will televise the game, with John Saunders (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (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 155.
Series History: Louisville leads the all-time series, 53-40 (29-16 in Louisville, 22-21 in Cincinnati, 2-3 neutral).
Officials: Tim Higgins, Gene Steratore, John Gaffney
Next U of L Game: Friday, Feb. 18 vs. Connecticut, KFC Yum! Center, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and junior guard Chris Smith met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Wednesday's BIG EAST game at Cincinnati on Feb. 16 at Fifth Third Arena. The game is set for a 7:02 p.m. ET tip, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN, with John Saunders (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (color) calling the action.

The 16th-ranked Cardinals (19-6, 8-4 BIG EAST) upset then-No. 12-ranked Syracuse, 73-69, on Feb. 12. Kyle Kuric had a game-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including a 5-of-7 stint from beyond the arc. Preston Knowles, who knocked down seven 3-pointers, tallied 22 points to go with four assists and four steals. Despite the Orange winning the overall battle on the boards, 34-31, Louisville came away with 13 offensive rebounds. Defensively, the Cardinals forced 15 Syracuse turnovers. Brandon Triche led Syracuse with 21 points, and Scoop Jardine added 20.

Cincinnati, which has lost three of its last five, enters Wednesday's game with a 19-6 overall mark, going 6-6 in the BIG EAST after a 59-57 loss to St. John's at home. The Red Storm watched a 12-point lead evaporate before coming back for the win. Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats with 15 points, while Dion Dixon chipped in 12 points. Cincinnati won the rebounding battle, 32-28, including 15 offensive boards. St. John's, which shot 50 percent (23-of-46) for the game, held Cincinnati to just 35.8 percent (19-of-53) from the field for the game.

Complete Preview

Derby Festival Game May Suffer from Lack of UK Recruits

Officials of the Derby Festival high school all-star basketball game are concerned that no future Kentucky Wildcats will participate in the event.

With the announcement yesterday that all four University of Kentucky signees for 2011 will play in the Jordan Brand Classic, it leaves the Derby Festival game without Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague, Michael Gilchrist or Kyle Wiltjer.

All four future Wildcats will play in the McDonald's All-Star game as well and players are only allowed, by rule, to participate in two all-star games.

It is likely that the game will bring in Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey and perhaps DeAndre Daniels.

Here is an excerpt about the concerns from Jerry Tipton's article:

“We’re just disappointed,” Owens said.

A portion of the proceeds from the Derby Festival game goes to the Derby Festival Foundation, which benefits a number of charities in the Kentucky-Indiana area.

Although he expects Louisville signees Chase Behanan and Wayne Blackshear to play in the Derby Fesitval game along with Indiana signee Cody Zeller, Owens said that no UK recruit could hurt attendance.

“It’s huge,” Owens said. ” . . . It’s very troubling. The first players we try to get is anybody who has signed with Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana.”

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The game will be played April 22 in the KFC Yum Center.

I have confirmed with a good source that future Louisville Cardinals Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear will play in the event.

Murray State Returns to Mid-Major Top 25

Murray State (20-6) is back in the Mid-Major Top 25 this week at No. 23. Mid-Major Top 25:

1. St. Mary's (29) 22-4 773 1 West Coast
2. George Mason (1) 21-5 738 3 Colonial Athletic
3. Coastal Carolina (1) 24-2 683 5 Big South
4. Missouri State 20-6 652 7 Missouri Valley
5. Wichita State 21-5 609 2 Missouri Valley
6. Belmont 23-4 593 8 Atlantic Sun
7. Princeton 19-4 553 9 Ivy League
8. Old Dominion 20-6 548 14 Colonial Athletic
9. Cleveland State 22-5 518 6 Horizon League
10. Gonzaga 17-9 463 11 West Coast
11. VCU 20-7 449 4 Colonial Athletic 12. Oakland 18-9 434 12 Summit League 13. Butler 18-9 425 13 Horizon League 14. Harvard 18-4 390 10 Ivy League 15. College of Charleston 19-7 385 15 Southern Conference 16. Montana 18-7 303 17 Big Sky 17. Valparaiso 19-7 217 19 Horizon League 18. Fairfield 20-5 268 18 Metro Atlantic 19. Vermont 21-5 169 23 America East 20. Long Island 20-5 159 25 Northeast 21. Portland 18-8 121 16 West Coast 22. Kent State 17-7 118 NR Mid-American 23. Murray State 20-6 96 NR Ohio Valley 24. Drexel 17-8 90 22 Colonial Athletic 25. Hampton 19-5 47 NR Mid-Eastern Athletic

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Northern Iowa 46, Long Beach State 44, Bucknell 40, Wright State 35, James Madison 23, Florida Atlantic 21, Hofstra 19, San Francisco 19, Liberty 8, East Tennessee State 7, UW Milwaukee 7, Furman 4, McNeese State 3, Rider 1, Texas Southern 1.

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