Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: Selection Sunday Edition


Today's Top 5:

- Kentucky played perhaps their best all-around game of the season and blitzed Alabama in the SEC Tournament semifinals. They'll play Florida for the championship Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET.

- DeAndre Liggins and Doron Lamb suffered ankle injuries late in today's game. Liggins is probable and Lamb is likely out of Sunday's game.

- John Calipari received some heat from UK fans for not calling off the dogs in today's game. He explained himself after the game.

- Connecticut defeated Louisville 69-66 in the Big East Tournament championship game.

- Former Kentucky star Antoine Walker is in negotiations with the IBL's Edmonton Energy. Walker scored 14 points for the Idaho Stampede in a loss tonight.

The NCAA Tournament Selection Process:

- Here's an in-depth look at the NCAA Tournament selection process

On Sunday, Get Ready For:

- The SEC championship game at 1:00 p.m. ET. Kentucky will battle the Florida Gators.

- Selection Sunday...'nuff said. AllKyHoops.com will be at the Morehead State Selection Show Watch Party.

- Bellarmine vs. Northern Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA DII Tournament

Recruiting News:

- Kentucky and Louisville recruit Kyle Anderson scored 22 points to lead St. Anthony to its 26th state title. St. Anthony defeated Cardinal McCarrick 75-28 in the title game. They'll go for a mythical national championship in this week's Tournament of Champions.

- Marquis Teague's high school career ended with a loss this morning to North Central.

The Buzz:

- Campbellsville University's season ended with a 70-59 loss to King College in the NCCAA Mid-East Region Championship

- Bellarmine University defeated Indianapolis in the first round of the NCAA DII Tournament

- Northern Kentucky defeated Kentucky Wesleyan 76-74 in the first round of the NCAA DII Tournament

- I don't expect Doron Lamb to play for Kentucky tomorrow; if he does, I don't expect him to be anywhere close to normal

- Despite statements that he hopes to stay at Minnesota, Tubby Smith's name is on top of the list at Georgia Tech

- DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 11 rebounds in Sacramento's loss to New Orleans

- Eric Bledsoe scored a career-high 23 points in the Clippers win over John Wall and the Wizards. Bledsoe also had 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Wall finished with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists.

Video of the Day (Brandon Knight talks about the SEC Tournament):


John Calipari Explains Decision to Not Sub Earlier


John Calipari said the primary reason he chose to not bring his subs in earlier against Alabama was because the Crimson Tide were still pressing late in the game.

Calipari opted to leave his top six players in the game and both DeAndre Liggins and Doron Lamb suffered ankled injuries with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.

Liggins is expected to play tomorrow but Lamb's injury was a little more serious. He is officially listed as doubtful.

Here are Calipari's postgame comments on the topic:

“They didn’t stop pressing. You don’t know my bench. I play six guys. If they had stopped pressing, I would have subbed with three minutes to go. They didn’t stop pressing, and they kept grabbing and trapping. The minute he backed up, I would have subbed. But if you don’t stop.

“Alright, so I sub, and they make a couple of threes, we miss it, my bench is saying we’re fine and it goes to 11 and I sub my guys back in and we miss foul shots and it’s three, you say, ‘You never played those guys all year. Why would you do that? Why would you finish the game off and don’t win it? Obviously, I’d rather have had all of them out, we play tomorrow. But I’m trying to win that game. Good question, though.”

Louisville Moves Up to No. 3 Seed in Bracketology


With a magical run to the Big East Conference championship game, the Louisville Cardinals have moved up to a No. 3 seed in Joe Lunardi's updated Bracketology at ESPN.com.

Lunardi had the Cardinals in a first round game against Long Island in the East Region.

The Kentucky Wildcats are still listed as a No. 4 seed but that is likely to change if they can win the SEC Tournament championship on Sunday. In fact, a Kentucky vs. Florida final could potentially be a battle for a No. 3 seed.

Lastly, the Morehead State Eagles are still projected as a No. 14 seed in a first round game against San Diego State. This particular projection would be good for the team but bad for the MSU fans as the first round game would be in Tucson, Arizona.


Join our Facebook page for the latest updates, news and rumors

UK: Liggins Probable, Lamb Doubtful for SEC Title Game


The official report from the University of Kentucky is that DeAndre Liggins is probable and Doron Lamb is doubtful for tomorrow's SEC Championship game.

Both players went down with left ankle injuries late in today's semifinal victory over Alabama.

Lamb said after the game that he will be playing tomorrow, but UK is not as optimistic.

Kentucky Rolls Crimson Tide in SEC Tournament


(16) Kentucky 72
Alabama 58

Final from Atlanta, Georgia

The University of Kentucky Wildcats rolled to a 72-58 win over Alabama in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinal round.

The Wildcats (24-8, 10-6 SEC) were in control virtually from start-to-finish and led by more than 20 points for most of the second half.

Kentucky shot 27-54 (50%) from the field and went 9-20 (25%) from long range. The Wildcats only had seven turnovers in the game.

Doron Lamb, who left the game late with an apparent ankle injury, led the way with 15 points on 6-10 shooting. DeAndre Liggins, who was also injured late, added 14 points and 9 rebounds. Josh Harrellson chipped in a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Tony Mitchell scored 16 points to lead Alabama (21-11, 12-4). JaMychal Green added 12 points and 9 rebounds.

Kentucky advances to the SEC championship game where they will meet either Vanderbilt or Florida.

Kentucky All Over Alabama in First Half of SEC Semifinal


The University of Kentucky Wildcats exploded on Alabama in the first half to take a 37-21 lead into the locker room.

Kentucky shot 13-29 (44.8%) in the half, including 4-9 (44.4%) from the three-point line. They held the Crimson Tide to 10-28 (35.7%) shooting and 0-3 (0.0%) from log range.

For the second game in a row, Doron Lamb had led the Wildcat attack. Lamb scored 10 first half points on 4-6 shooting. Senior Josh Harrellson added 8 points and 6 rebounds. Darius Miller looks solid again today as he has 7 points on 3-4 shooting.

Tony Mitchell leads Alabama with 7 points in the first twenty minutes. Chris Hines contributed 6.

Kentucky freshman Terrence Jones appears to be ailing from an injured ankle. He was 0-5 in the first half and only scored 2 points.

The winning team will play either Florida or Vanderbilt in Sunday's SEC Championship game.

Antoine Walker in Negotiations with Canadian Team


Former University of Kentucky star Antoine Walker may not get back to the NBA this season but he still has some options.

Walker, who currently plays for the NBA Development League's Idaho Stampede, is in negotiations with the Edmonton Energy of the International Basketball League.

Here is an excerpt from EdmontonJournal.com:

To that end, Stanley said he’s been working on bringing in three players with NBA experience to spruce up the roster.

“Right now, we are in negotiation with three ex-NBA players. The depth and the talent level that could come to the Energy this year is outstanding,” he said.

The most high-profile of the three players is former all-star and longtime Boston Celtic Antoine Walker, who ran into financial hardship in 2009 after earning $110 million during his 13-year NBA career. Walker, 34, played in the NBA’s Development League this season in hopes of latching on with an NBA team.

Complete Article

North Central Beats Pike and Marquis Teague


Marquis Teague's state tournament run ended this morning as No. 2 North Central, playing without star D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, defeated No. 7 Pike 79-73.

Teague and Zavier Turner each scored 20 points to lead Pike (21-5).

Ronnie Johnson led North Central (21-2) with 25 points. Patrick Ingram added 18.

Smith-Rivera, who was suspended one game for his involvement in a fight, will return for tonight's championship game.

Recap from IndyStar.com

DeAndre Liggins Talks About Postgame Altercation

Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins gives his views on what happened after yesterday's victory over Ole Miss:

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: Survive and Advance Edition



Special Note: I would like to ask all readers to pray for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The death toll is already approaching 1,000 and is sure to rise. Sometimes basketball seems minor in the grand scheme or things and this is one of those times.


Today's Top 5:

- Kentucky survived foul problems and poor shooting to defeat Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament. Here are five thoughts on the game.

- After UK's win, junior DeAndre Liggins was involved in a minor altercation with an Ole Miss player; the SEC and UK are investigating.

- Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight, Kenneth Faried and Preston Knowles were named to the USBWA All-District Team for District IV.

- Nice update on former Kentucky star Jeff Sheppard and his 15inc sports apparel company'

- The Louisville Cardinals defeated No. 4 Notre Dame 82-77 in the Big East Conference Tournament semifinal round.

On Saturday, Get Ready For:

- Kentucky vs. Alabama in the SEC Tournament semifinal round

- Campbellsville to host King College in the NCCAA Mid-East Region Championship game

- Louisville vs. Connecticut for the Big East Conference Tournament championship

- The NCAA Division II Tournament; Kentucky Wesleyan, Northern Kentucky and Bellarmine will all be in action

- Kentucky recruit Kyle Wiltjer to play in the Oregon state title game

Recruiting Updates:

- Eastern Kentucky signee Eric Stutz, a 6-8 senior from Castle (Ind.) High School, will lead his team against Terre Haute North at Noon Saturday in the Class 4A Seymour Regional boys' basketball tournament. The championship will be at 7:00 p.m. ET. Stutz averages 22.2 points and 10.5 rebounds.

- Juan Agosto, a 6-6 senior from Gatlinburg-Pittman (Tenn.) High School, has a visit planned to Morehead State University. Agosto is currently on a visit to Canisius and also plans to visit Radford, Jacksonville and Florida Southern soon.

- Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey is apparently deciding between the Derby Classic and an all-star game in Chicago. It may not mean anything, but if I were planning to commit to Kentucky I feel like I'd probably play in the Kentucky all-star game.

The Buzz:

- Former Kentucky star Antoine Walker dunked in an NBA Development League game tonight...seriously.

- Billy Gillispie was at the Texas boys' state tournament tonight. He was asked about his involvement with Texas Tech and he said repeatedly: "I'm just hear to watch some games." (Source: ESPN.com)

- I caught word recently of an NCAA D1 transfer who might be headed to the Bluegrass State. If it happens, it'll be a surprise to most.

Video of the Day (Josh Harrellson helps ESPN out):


Centre's Bryon Ellis Named to All-Sportsmanship Team


Sophomore Bryon Ellis (Russell Springs, Ky.) has been named to the 2010-11 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference All-Sportsmanship Team.

Each head coach was asked to elect one member from his team who displayed good sportsmanship throughout the season. Twelve men's basketball student-athletes were selected to the 2010-11 squad.

"Bryon is very deserving of this award. He always draws the toughest defensive assignments and he can sometimes give you eight three pointers in a game. I'm very happy Bryon has been recognized and others see his contribution," stated Centre head coach Greg Mason.

Complete Article

Kentucky Defeats Ole Miss: Five Thoughts


Here are five thoughts from Kentucky's 75-66 victory over Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament semifinals:

- Foul Trouble, Injuries and a Lack of Depth: Kentucky primarily plays six players and losing one of those players would likely spell disaster.

Today, the Wildcats battled foul problems for most of the game. Terrence Jones, Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins all played a good portion of the game with four fouls. Kentucky was lucky today but foul trouble is critical for a team that only goes six deep.

Kentucky fans watched as Terrence Jones violently twisted his ankle early in today's game. He was able to come back in and play significant minutes, but that ankle is likely going to be sore for the rest of the tournament. Keep in mind that while Jones returned to action, he only finished with seven points and seven rebounds.

- Outside Shooting: The bad news is that Kentucky was only 4-16 (25.0%) from the three-point line in today's game. The good news is that they still found a way to escape with a win. I don't think this is a major concern as outside shooting has been this team's primary strength.

- Relying on Perimeter Shooting at Crunch Time: One concerning thing that I noticed in the game was UK's reliance on perimeter shooting during critical crunch time possessions. While outside shooting is a strength, the team was shooting poorly today. They should have worked harder to get the ball to the rim down the stretch. The Cats finally went to Darius Miller on the post and he hit a crucial turn-around jumper.

- Terrence Jones: As I already mentioned, Terrence Jones suffered a sprained ankle early in today's game. The seriousness of the injury is unknown but I can say from experience that even a mild sprain will limit Jones tomorrow. The best case scenario is that the injury looked worse than it actually is.

- DeAndre Liggins: You're likely heard by now that DeAndre Liggins was involved in a bit of a scuffle after the game. There are varying accounts of what actually happened but it seems that Liggins was jawing a bit with an Ole Miss player and the two ended up in a shoving match. The situation didn't escalate into an actual fight but the University of Kentucky and the SEC are reviewing to see if any action should be taken. With Kentucky having basically no depth, it can ill-afford to lose Liggins for a game (or even a half). I appreciate that Liggins shows so much heart on the court, but he needs to find a way to harness those emotions (he's already picked up two critical technical fouls this season that hurt the team).

DeAndre Liggins Involved in Postgame Scuffle


Kentucky junior DeAndre Liggins was involved in a postgame altercation with an Ole Miss player following today's SEC Tournament game.

Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal reported that Ole Miss player Reginald Buckner was the Rebel who was primarily involved and the two teams had to be separated.

Here is an excerpt of Dawson's article:

Buckner would not address the altercation afterward.

“No comment,” he said twice before an Ole Miss athletics staffer took him into a private office in the Rebels’ locker room.

Liggins said Buckner “lost his composure.”

“I just didn’t react to him,” Liggins said. “Of course I was going to defend myself if he swung on me or something.”

Liggins said Buckner “came after me” and that he backed off and “tried to protect myself” before Buckner was pulled away.


Complete Article

According to Kyle Veazey of ClarionLedger.com, the Southeastern Conference is looking into whether to take any action following the incident.

There has been no indication that Liggins will be punished, but Kentucky obviously cannot afford to lose a player for even a single game at this point in the season.

The Wildcats will face Alabama Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET in the SEC Tournament semifinal round.

Kentucky Survives Ole Miss, Advances in SEC Tournament


(16) Kentucky 75
Mississippi 66

Final from Atlanta, Georgia

The No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats survived a scrappy Ole Miss team to get a 75-66 win in the quarterfinal round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Kentucky (23-8, 10-6 SEC) led by 12 points midway through the second half and appeared ready to put the game out of reach, but the Rebels sparked a 9-0 run to get back in it.

Ole Miss had several opportunities to tie or take the lead late in the game but came up just short as the Wildcats survived and advanced.

Doron Lamb scored 19 points on 7-10 shooting to lead the Wildcats. He was 3-4 from long range. Brandon Knight had 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Darius Miller added 15 points.

Ole Miss (20-13, 7-9) was led by Chris Warren's 20 points. Warren only had one field goal in the first half but exploded in the second half and nearly sent the Rebels to victory. Terrance Henry contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Kentucky out-rebounded the Rebels 40-32 and played solid defense but the Wildcats had to overcome serious foul trouble to get the win.

John Calipari's team advances to tomorrow's semifinal round where they will battle Alabama at 1:00 p.m. ET.

John Calipari Talks About the SEC Tournament


Here are pregame comments from Kentucky head coach John Calipari as his Wildcats get set to open SEC Tournament play against Ole Miss (via UKAthletics.com):

On if he likes how the team has been doing recently …
“We’ve played well the last two weeks of the season. They got better, they were trying, they were having fun, they understand what that means. I’m going to talk to them today about winning in post season. I’m going to give them some things that my best teams, what we drove them with and what they thought about and see if we can get into the frame of mind. I’m going to talk to them about the success our teams have had post season, both (conference) tournament and NCAA tournament. But there’s only one way to do that. You have to have more fun than everybody else and you really have to stay in the moment, you can’t worry about anything else. Like today is all about practice, there’s no other thing, we’re not worried about anything else.”

On being viewed as potential winners of the SEC tournament …
“If it helps us get a better seed then let’s go for it. I just want my team playing well. If we’re playing aggressive, if we are coming out and having a ball then we’re executing. Like our women’s team. [Tennessee] goes 17 for 23 from the 3 then you go home. I’ll tell you that yeah, we’d like to win it but it’s for seed more than anything else and this tournament is to prepare us to play well that following week.”

On how the team has gotten better throughout the season …
“Throughout the season we’ve been trying to find ourselves and now we’re a little more established on what we are and our weaknesses. It’s taken some time to get individual players to accept their weaknesses but I think they’re slowly understanding that if they recognize, they can change. If they do what they’re supposed to, their game elevates and so does ours. I wish we’d won a couple of those road games but it’s all a test, it’s all a lesson. I didn’t give up on this team, I believed in this team, I told all of you guys I like my team. We just don’t have the most viscous kind of guys, yet they’re getting that way. They’re getting better.”

On how being young and shorthanded will increase the challenge of the SEC tournament …
“It’s not so much the tournament, it’s more about the NCAA’s. The good news is you’ve got two and a half minute timeouts, they’re longer, and you can get away with playing less. The issue becomes any time you play when you’re playing like we do, you don’t have a whole lot of room for error. Error becomes foul trouble; error also becomes poor play like against Tennessee in the first half. We had three guys that were just playing awful. Well that means you’re trying to play with just three or four guys. That’s hard because they have five, or they have eight, however many they’re playing. That’s the issue more than anything else.

On how (Doron) Lamb has been playing recently …
“What you guys are missing is that he’s really defending. What’s happened is that for the first time in his life he’s using up a ton of energy defending. So what’s happening? He doesn’t have as much offense, it’s lacking a little bit but not much. But he doesn’t have the energy because he’s really thinking about how he has to guard somebody, which is what we’ve been on him about. So I think he’s been getting better. He’s playing rougher. There are still plays where he goes to shoot a lay-up, he gets bumped, he takes to the rim and that’s all physical play he’s getting used to as a freshman but I think he’s trying to do the right things.

Kentucky Wildcats Talk About SEC Tournament


Kentucky's Doron Lamb, DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrellson discussed today's SEC Tournament quarterfinal game with the media.

Here are some excerpts of their comments (via UKAthletics.com):

#20, Doron Lamb, G, Fr.

On focusing more on his defensive game rather than offense …
”I’ve been trying to work on defense and do what I have to do to help our team win. I’m trying to stay in front of the guy I’m playing and let it lead into the offense.”

On the confidence he gained from guarding the best player …
“I got a lot of confidence since Coach was having me guard the best player. I’m doing a good job I think, so if he keeps giving me that job I’m going to do it and get better at it.”

On enjoying the challenge of guarding the best player …
“I’ve enjoyed it but its hard trying to play both offense and defense. It’s tiring but I have to do this for my team and try to win every game.”

#34, DeAndre Liggins, G, Fr.
On what he would tell the players that are new to tournament play …
“Get rest. That’s the most important thing for the tournament.”

On his approach to defense …
“There’s no hate, it’s competitive. It’s all about just being competitive and doing whatever it takes to help my team out because at the end of the day, we’re all just playing.”

On what has helped the team improve recently …
“I think it’s all started with practice. We’ve started to stress the importance of practice, paid attention to details and listened to Coach Cal more.”

#55, Josh Harrellson, F, Sr.

On if it has set in the regular season is over …
“It hasn’t clicked yet. You know, it’s just hard to believe my season is already gone. I had fun this year.”

On what this team developed the last week of the season …
“Just knowing we can win on the road. Going to Tennessee in a tough environment playing a great team like that and playing a rough first half like we did, and coming out with a victory. That just shows a lot of maturity in our teams and hopefully we can carry that over to the neutral site games too.”

On his thoughts of the SEC Tournament Bracket …
“I don’t even know who is on our side (of the SEC Tournament bracket). I just know we play the winner of the South Carolina/Ole Miss game. We are going to be looking forward to both of those two teams. Hopefully we can get our way back with Ole Miss if we have to play them, and if we play South Carolina hopefully we get a win against them too."

Several Kentucky Players Named to USBWA District IV Team


Several players from Kentucky schools have been named to the USBWA 2010-11 All-District Team for District IV.

District IV includes teams from Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Morehead State's Kenneth Faried, Louisville's Preston Knowles and Kentucky's Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight have all made the All-District Team.

Here is the District IV Team:

DISTRICT IV
KY, TN MS, AL, GA, FL

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Chandler Parsons, Florida

COACH OF THE YEAR
Billy Donovan, Florida

ALL-DISTRICT TEAM

Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
JaMychal Green, Alabama
Scotty Hopson, Tennessee
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
Terrence Jones, Kentucky
Brandon Knight, Kentucky
Preston Knowles, Louisville
Chandler Parsons, Florida
Trey Thompkins, Georgia
Chris Warren, Ole Miss

March Madness Helps Former UK Star Jeff Sheppard


Eric Spitznagel of Bloomberg.com writes today that March Madness heroics have helped several former NCAA stars get business after basketball.

One of those stars is former University of Kentucky player Jeff Sheppard, who helps the Wildcats win championships in 1996 and 1998.

Now, Sheppard owns a successful sports apparel company named 15inc.

Here is an excerpt:

“Everybody in Kentucky remembers and appreciates the ‘96 and ‘98 championships,” Sheppard says. “They remember where they were when it happened, and a lot of them were at the games.”

15inc is based in London, Kentucky, an hour south of the university in Lexington, and the vast majority of its business comes from schools and other organizations across the state, including the University of Kentucky, coal mines and the U.S. Marine Corps. His chances of sealing a sale improve exponentially, Sheppard says, if he gets to make his pitch to the customer in person.

‘Make the Connection’

“They definitely make the connection to the 15inc name if they meet me,” he says. Being a local hero is good for business, and he suspects he’ll continue to sign autographs, sometimes on his own merchandise, for the foreseeable future. Or, he says, “until the Wildcats win another championship.”

Complete Article

No. 14 Louisville Destroys Marquette in Big East Tournament


(14) Louisville 81
Marquette 56

Final from New York, New York

NEW YORK (AP) - Rick Pitino was worried about how his Louisville team would react to the dreaded double-bye in the Big East tournament. Turned out he could have saved all that concern.

The third-seeded and 14th-ranked Cardinals used an impressive 3-point effort and some solid defense to beat 11th-seeded Marquette 81-56 on Thursday night in the quarterfinals.

This is third year the top four seeds have been given double-byes into the quarterfinals, and with Syracuse and Notre Dame also winning Thursday, the all-time record for the higher seeds stands even at 6-6.

The other semifinal will have fourth-seeded Syracuse against Connecticut, which beat top-seeded Pittsburgh on Thursday.

"We played great defense tonight and highly, highly intelligent offense tonight, sharing the ball ... real proud of the guys," Pitino said. "I worry about the double-bye sometimes, not being prepared, but our guys have been terrific. I just like to play a little bit rather than sit. We didn't come until Wednesday night. We treated it like a regular road game."

Complete Recap

Campbellsville Eases By Tennessee Temple in NCCAA Regional


Campbellsville 95
Tennessee Temple 75

Final from Campbellsville, Kentucky


CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. -- Campbellsville University started out slow, but broke out to a 20-point win at home Thursday, 95-75, over Tennessee Temple University in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Mid-East Region semifinals. The Tigers (17-15) will now host King College in the NCCAA Mid-East Championship game Saturday at 3 p.m. ET in Powell Athletic Center.

"I think it took us several minutes to shake off the effects of us not making the NAIA National Tournament. We were still hoping on that a little bit. There's going to be some level of disappointment from the guys, because they had higher aspirations, but we were able to shake that off," CU head coach Keith Adkins said. "It was also good to see us against an opponent that hadn't seen us and for us the same way. We had to adjust to some things, because we weren't quite sure what Tennessee Temple was going to bring to the table, but we were able to score enough points and do things defensively well enough to come away with a W."

Complete Recap

North Carolina Looking at UK Recruit Kyle Anderson


ZagsBlog.com reports this morning that North Carolina is entering the sweepstakes for 2012 point guard Kyle Anderson.

Anderson is also being pursued by Kentucky and John Calipari.

Here is an excerpt from ZagsBlog.com:

“They are interested in recruiting Kyle,” Kyle Sr. said. “We discussed how he has played this year and how he played in the past.

“They want to recruit him as a point forward. They are not looking for a traditional four man but want him for his perimeter skills and size. They like the way coach [Bob] Hurley is using him. They made it clear they are not looking for a point guard because they have Kendall Marshall even though they think he and Kendall are very similar except for size.

“We agreed to talk again in a week or so to discuss if in fact we want them to recruit him.”

Complete Article

Photo: Rivals.com

UK Recruit Trevor Lacey Undecided on Derby Classic


According to AL.com, University of Kentucky basketball recruit Trevor Lacey has not made a final decision on playing in the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic all-star game.

Lacey will play in tomorrow's Senior Charity Showcase to benefit the Boys and Girls Club in Huntsville, Alabama. He is reportedly still trying to decide between the Derby Classic and an all-star event in Chicago.

Here is an excerpt:

Lacey is playing in Saturday’s Senior Charity Showcase to benefit the local Boys and Girls Club and plans to play in either an all-star event in Chicago at the end of the month or the Derby Classic in Louisville April 22.

Complete Article

Levi Randolph, another Alabama star, will play in the Derby Classic.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: Ole Miss Revenge Edition


Today's Top 5:

- Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey reportedly violated NCAA rules by having inappropriate contact with recruits

- Kentucky will battle Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament on Friday

- Pat Knight thinks Billy Gillispie would be a great replacement for him at Texas Tech

- UK's Brandon Knight failed to make the final cut for the Bob Cousy Award

- The NCAA needs to give serious consideration to revamping the Division II national tournament format

On Friday, Get Ready For:

- Louisville vs. Notre Dame in the Big East Conference Tournament semifinals

- Kentucky vs. Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals

Recruiting Updates:

- Andre Drummond (2012) led St. Thomas More by Ricardo Ledo (2012) and Notre Dame Prep in the Prep School National Tournament.

The Buzz:

- Morehead State's Kenneth Faried has been invited to play in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Head coach Donnie Tyndall said he plans to participate in the event.

- Louisville destroyed Marquette 81-56 in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals

- Campbellsville ran away from Tennessee Temple 95-75 in the NCCAA Mid-East Regional semifinals

- No. 1 Grace Bible defeated Kentucky Christian 74-53 in the NCCAA DII National Tournament. KCU will play Ohio Christian in the loser's bracket tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. ET

- Former UK star Erik Daniels scored 9 points in his second game back with the Erie Bayhawks

Video of the Day (Pikeville College celebrates when they learn that they've made the NAIA National Tournament field):


Highlights of Kentucky Recruit Stan Simpson

MemphisRoar.com has a new highlight video of Kentucky recruit Stan Simpson, a 6-10 center from John A. Logan Community College.

Simpson has been receiving interest from Memphis, Kentucky, Kansas, Connecticut and others.

UK and U of L Recruit Andre Drummond Leads St. Thomas More


Kentucky and Louisville recruit Andre Drummond led St. Thomas More to the National Prep Championship with a 90-74 win over Notre Dame Prep.

Drummond scored 19 points and was named tournament MVP.

Ricardo Ledo, who has also had interest from both UK and U of L, scored 14 points for Notre Dame Prep.

Drummond is the top overall player in the 2012 class according to Rivals.com. Ledo is No. 7 overall.

Here is a breakdown of Drummond and Ledo from ESPN:

Andre Drummond (Middletown, Conn./St. Thomas More)
2012, C, 6-foot-11, 275 pounds
While Drummond is still far from a finished product, he played as steady and efficient of a three-game string as we have seen this season and saved his best for last, dominating the deciding minutes of St. Thomas More's win over Notre Dame Prep and taking MVP honors. The key for Drummond was anchoring himself around the rim and not trying to do too much on the perimeter, which he can sometimes be guilty of. Playing with a high level of energy and a lively body, Drummond attacked the cup all weekend and got his head above the rim for some incredible finishes over the top of the defense. While he still needs to learn to maximize his size and strength in the paint, he simply went through Pittsburgh signee Khem Birch late in the second half for a quick spin along the baseline into a two-handed dunk, then making a quick rotation from the weakside of the floor to block a big shot with his left hand on the subsequent defensive possession.

Ricardo Ledo (Providence, R.I./Notre Dame Prep)
2012, SG, 6-6, 180 pounds
Ledo was dominant offensively in Notre Dame's quarterfinal win over Brewster Academy, going for 31 points and showing his full offensive arsenal. It's been well documented that when his jumper is falling he is virtually impossible to stop, but when he's making shots and also creating for his teammates he can be truly special. He did his best work coming off an Allen Iverson-style, over-the-top cut and attacking immediately off his catch with deep jumpers, midrange pull-ups or creative drives to the rim for finishes or assists. Unfortunately, Ledo was far less effective in the final, as the ball tended to stick in his hands and stall Notre Dame's offense, while St. Thomas More exposed his inability to finish plays on his weaker side by sitting on his right hand.

Complete Article

Photo: Rivals.com

Pat Knight: "I think Billy would be great"


Billy Gillispie has the endorsement of soon-to-be-former Texas Tech head coach Pat Knight.

"I think Billy would be great," Knight said. "Billy and I are friends. Bill can recruit Texas. He's got a personality, as everyone knows.

"Plus, you know he's not going to hammer you when he gets the job. That's what I hate, when guys take over the job and hammer the ex-coach. Hopefully, it's a guy I know who is one of my buddies.

"No, I think he would be a great choice."

Source

Pat Knight's final press conference:

Murray State Projected as a No. 8 Seed in the NIT

The Murray State Racers, who will receive an automatic bid to the NIT following their regular season OVC championship, are projected as an 8-seed.

Nitology.com, which generally does a good job with NIT projections, lists the Racers as an 8-seed with Milwaukee, Coastal Carolina and Florida Atlantic.

The 1-seeds are currently Memphis, Alabama, Washington State and Missouri State.

The NIT Bracket Project lists Murray State as an 8-seed with Florida Atlantic, Vermont and Milwaukee.

That site projects USC, Penn State, Alabama and Memphis as top seeds.

Morehead State is No. 23 in the Mid-Major Top 25


Morehead State University is back in the Top 25 following an impressive weekend at the Ohio Valley Conference. The Eagles are ranked No. 23 in the poll by CollegeInsider.com.

Murray State received 70 votes and sit just outside the top 25 at No. 26.

1. Old Dominion (25) 26-6 768 2 Colonial Athletic
2. Belmont (2) 30-4 731 3 Atlantic Sun
3. George Mason (1) 26-6 691 1 Colonial Athletic
4. Gonzaga (1) 23-9 663 4 West Coast
5. St. Mary's 24-7 640 5 West Coast
6. Oakland (2) 23-9 637 6 Summit League
7. Butler 22-9 617 8 Horizon League
8. Missouri State 25-5 525 7 Missouri Valley
9. College of Charleston 24-9 520 11 Southern
10. Wichita State 24-8 464 9 Missouri Valley
11. Cleveland State 26-8 456 10 Horizon League 12. Harvard 23-5 422 14 Ivy League 13. VCU 23-10 386 17 Colonial Athletic 14. Long Island 26-5 355 16 Northeast 15. Long Beach State 20-10 353 15 Big West 16. Princeton 23-6 290 12 Ivy League 17. Bucknell 24-8 268 19 Patriot League 18. Milwaukee 19-12 245 21 Horizon League 19. Fairfield 24-7 202 18 Metro Atlantic 20. Coastal Carolina 28-5 110 13 Big South 21. Iona 22-10 105 NR Metro Atlantic 22. Northern Colorado 19-10 98 25 Big Sky 23. Morehead State 24-9 93 NR Ohio Valley 24. Valparaiso 23-11 76 23 Horizon League 25. Indiana State 20-13 71 NR Missouri Valley

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Murray State 70, Drexel 54, Kent State 52, Hofstra 50, Bethune-Cookman 11, San Francisco 9, St Peter's 9, Wofford 7, Texas Southern 6, Western Michigan 6, UNC Asheville 4, James Madison 3, East Tennessee State 2, Utah Valley 2, Boston University 1, Furman 1, Rider 1, Vermont 1.

Kentucky Will Face Ole Miss in SEC Tournament


The University of Kentucky Wildcats will face the Ole Miss Rebels tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. ET in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Rebels pulled away from South Carolina (14-16, 5-11 SEC) in the second half for a 66-55 win in today's first round action.

Chris Warren, who defeated Kentucky with a buzzer beater earlier this season, led all scorers with 20 points on 7-16 shooting. He was 3-7 from long range and also dished out 4 assists.

Terrance Henry added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Reginald Buckner and Dundrecous Nelson chipped in 10 points apiece.

Ramon Galloway scored 17 points off the bench to lead South Carolina.

Ole Miss brings a 20-12 (7-9 SEC) record into the game tomorrow and will be hungry for a victory to pad their NCAA resume.

In today's other first round game, Georgia had no trouble in dispatching Auburn 69-51. The Bulldogs advance to tomorrow's quarterfinal round and will face Alabama. The Kentucky vs. Ole Miss winner will play the winner of that game on Saturday.

Louisville Set to Battle Marquette in Big East Tournament


Louisville vs. Marquette

Date: Thursday, March 10
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Site: Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.
TV: ESPN will televise the game nationally.
Radio: WHAS (840 AM) will broadcast the game on radio, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Doug Ormay (color) calling the action.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Thursday's BIG EAST Tournament game against the winner of the West Virginia/Marquette vs. Providence contest on March 10 at Madison Square Garden. The game is set for a 9 p.m. tip, and it will be broadcast on ESPN.

The No. 14/14-ranked Cardinals (23-8, 12-6 BIG EAST) are coming off a loss in their regular-season finale, falling to West Virginia on the road, 72-70, on March 5. Louisville led by three with 17 seconds to go, but a Casey Mitchell 3-pointer and a pair of Truck Bryant free throws in the remaining seconds earned the Mountaineers the win. Kyle Kuric led the Cardinals with a team-high 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Preston Knowles finished the game with 15 points, and Chris Smith tallied 14. Kevin Jones finished with game highs in points (25) and rebounds (16) for WVU. John Flowers also registered a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. Defensively, Louisville held West Virginia to just 33.9 percent (21-of-62) from the field.

Louisville, which was picked to finish tied for eighth in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll, enter the tournament tied for having the third-best conference mark at 12-6 to earn the No. 3 seed.

Complete Preview

Five Finalists Announced for Bob Cousy Award, No Knight


Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight did not make the final cut for the Bob Cousy Award.

The final finalists announced today are:

- Jimmer Fredette, BYU

- Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin

- Norris Cole, Cleveland State

- Nolan Smith, Duke

- Kemba Walker, Connecticut

The Bob Cousy Award is given annually to the nation's top point guard.

Patrick Patterson is Filling in Adequately for Houston


With Luis Scola missing time due to an injury, former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson is making the most of his opportunity with the Houston Rockets.

Patterson played a career-high 28 minutes off the bench Tuesday night with Scola out of the lineup. The former Wildcat star make 9-12 field goals and scored 18 points.

He says he's trying to seize the moment and do whatever he can to help the team:

"I feel happy," Patterson said of the opportunity. "And I feel a little upset because Scola wasn't able to play. I just try to seize the moment and do whatever I can to help the team get a win.

"I just keep telling myself just keep doing the same things I've been doing — urgency, a lot of energy, and keep playing hard."

Complete Article

NCAA Needs to Revamp Division II National Tournament


Here is a schedule for this weekend's action at Bellarmine University:

Saturday, March 12

12:00 p.m No. 3 Wayne State vs. No. 6 Ferris State
2:30 p.m. No. 2 Southern Indiana vs. No. 7 Drury
6:00 p.m. No. 1 Bellarmine vs. No. 8 Indianapolis
8:30 p.m. No. 4 Northern Kentucky vs. No. 5 Kentucky Wesleyan

Just another solid weekend of Great Lakes Valley Conference men's basketball, right?

Yes and no. It's certainly high-level GLVC action, but it's also the first round of the NCAA DII National Tournament

In what I consider to be a terrible format, the regional rounds of the NCAA DII Tournament are basically replays of conference tournaments. I think the tournament needs an overhaul if the NCAA wants Division II basketball to be attractive to more fans.

For example, Northern Kentucky and Kentucky Wesleyan will be meeting for the fourth time this season Saturday. While each game has been superb basketball, it frankly feels like just another GLVC battle rather than an NCAA Tournament game.

Not to mention the fact that 2-3 teams in this region have final four or even national championship capabilities, but only one will be able to advance.

I personally think the NCAA should take a look at the format of the NAIA Division I Tournament. Seed the teams appropriately and match them up nationally rather than regionally. Currently, it's as if there are two Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournaments within a two-week period.

My opinion: it's time for the NCAA to make some changes.

A couple of Great Lakes Valley Conference coaches seem to agree.

Dave Bezold, Northern Kentucky University:

"This is the frustrating thing about Division II that it's done on a regional basis and not a national one," said Bezold. "There are so many teams from the GLVC in this tournament (six of the eight) that all of a sudden we have to play one of them for the fourth time. That's tough for both of us."

Complete Article

Todd Lee, Kentucky Wesleyan College:

"That's just not right, for a number of reasons," said Lee, whose team plays league rival Northern Kentucky in the opening round of the Midwest Regional at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bellarmine University's Knights Hall in Louisville. "Traditionally, our region, even our conference, has featured three or four teams capable of getting to the national semifinals -- but we knock each other off in regional play.

"Instead of being a No. 4 or 5 seed, if the tournament was truly a national event based on seeding, we might be a 2 or 3, playing a 7 or 8 seed, and playing someone we're not familiar with -- which would be better."

Instead, No. 4 seed KWC and No. 5 seed NKU will meet for the fourth time this season.

"I know we're playing in the NCAA Tournament, and we're proud to be in it, but to be honest it just feels like another game against Northern Kentucky," Lee said. "And, I'm sure Northern probably feels the same way with regard to playing us again."

Complete Article

DeMarcus Cousins Torches Dwight Howard and Orlando


Former University of Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins continues to flourish since the Sacramento Kings decided to try him at the power forward position.

In last night's 106-102 loss to the Orlando Magic, Cousins netted a career-high 29 points on 8-16 shooting. He was 13-18 from the free throw line and also pulled down 7 rebounds.

Since the move to power forward on March 2, Cousins is averaging 23.8 points and 11.8 rebounds during the month.

Those numbers are up significantly from the 14.1 points and 10.2 rebounds he averaged in February.

Cousins' month-by-month statistics:

October: 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds

November: 10.3 points, 6.6 rebounds

December: 12.2 points, 8.8 rebounds

January: 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds

February: 14.1 points, 10.2 rebounds

March: 23.8 points, 11.8 rebounds

Season: 14.3 points, 8.5 rebounds
Cousins explodes through the Orlando defense for two points and a foul:

OVC Championship Created Special Moments for Faried


Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports wrote recently about a special moment for Morehead State star Kenneth Faried.

After the Eagles defeated Tennessee Tech, Faried went into the stands to grab his young daughter, Kyra.

Here are some of Faried's comments in Watson's article:

"I wanted her to enjoy the moment with me," Faried said during a phone interview with Yahoo! Sports. "If it wasn't ‘cause of her and my mother, I probably wouldn't be dancing. They pushed me to the point that it makes me want to be better in doing the things that I do."

I watched Faried during the Morehead State postgame celebration and it was obvious that he was proud to be an Eagle and also proud to be a father.

Here is some footage I captured of Faried and Kyra after the game:




Faried and Kyra receive the All-Tournament Team medal (skip to 0:50):

Winston Bennett, Tubby Smith to Speak at Nike Clinic


Former University of Kentucky star Winston Bennett will be a featured speaker at a Nike Championship Basketball Clinic April 8-10 in Pittsburgh.

Joining Bennett will be former Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith and an impressive list of other coaches including Jim Boeheim, Geno Auriemma, Mark Few, Frank Martin and Lon Kruger.

Here is an excerpt of an article from Mid-Continent University, where Bennett serves as head coach:

Mid-Continent University men's basketball coach Winston Bennett is slated to be a featured speaker at a Nike Championship Basketball Clinic, April 8-10, 2011, in the Sewall Center at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Bennett, the former University of Kentucky and NBA star, will speak on the Sewall Center court to the players attending the clinic on the subject of pressing defenses on Sunday, April 10, from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

The list of clinic speakers also features well-known coaches such as Jim Boeheim from Syracuse University; Geno Auriemma, the women's basketball coach from national champion University of Connecticut; Tubby Smith, currently the head men's coach at University of Minnesota and former Kentucky coach; Mike Anderson from the University of Missouri; Lon Kruger from Nevada Las Vegas; Mark Few from Gonzaga University; Frank Martin from Kansas State; and Brad Stevens from Butler University.

Complete Article

CBSSports: John Pelphrey Violated NCAA Recruiting Rules


CBSSports.com is reporting some breaking news this morning that Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey may have inadvertently broken NCAA recruiting rules by having inappropriate contact with two recruits.

Pelphrey was apparently photographed with 2012 star Archie Goodwin and teammate Trey Smith last December at a high school tournament in Arkansas.

According to CBSSports.com, "Bylaw 13.1.1.1 states that off-campus contact cannot be made with a prospect (or his relatives or legal guardians) before July 1, following the completion of his junior year of high school. Goodwin and Smith are still in their junior years of high school."

Here is an excerpt from CBSSports.com:

Both confirmed the authenticity of the photograph in separate phone calls with CBSSports.com and described the conversation with Pelphrey as brief. But according to the NCAA, any face-to-face encounter between a coach and a prospect that takes place at the site of an organized competition involving the prospect or the prospect's high school is a "contact," regardless of the conversation that occurs.

Smith told CBSSports.com that his mother took the photo.

"My mom was like, 'Hey, go get a picture,'" Smith said. "So we snapped a picture."

Arkansas officials issued a statement Thursday morning:

"As with any potential compliance issue, the institution will gather information and review to determine whether a violation has occurred. If, after a thorough review of the facts, it is determined a violation has occurred, the University of Arkansas will take appropriate action in reporting the information consistent with all established procedures."

Complete Article

My thoughts: This may be the worst-case scenario for Pelphrey. His seat was already warm and Arkansas could potentially use this minor violation as an excuse to fire him, which would allow them to part ways with Pelphrey without losing any money.

Georgetown College Ranks No. 7 in Final NAIA Poll


Three Mid-South Conference teams from Kentucky are ranked in the final 2010-11 NAIA Division I Coaches' Top 25 Poll.

Georgetown College ranks No. 7 in the final rankings after posting a 29-4 record and winning the MSC regular season and tournament championships.

St. Catharine College (22-8) is No. 14 in the final poll after playing one of the nation's most competitive schedules.

Pikeville College (25-7) heads to the national tournament ranked No. 24 in the final rankings.

2010-11 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll - (March 9 - FINAL)

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2010-11 RECORD* TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Robert Morris University (Ill.) (12) 30-1 312
2 2 Concordia University (Calif.) 30-3 302
3 4 Mountain State University (W.Va.) 29-3 286
4 5 Louisiana State University Shreveport 29-3 277
5 3 Texas Wesleyan University 30-3 269
6 6 Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) 31-2 267
7 8 Georgetown College (Ky.) 29-4 254
8 7 Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) 28-5 247
9 10 Oklahoma Baptist University 24-8 223
10 15 Southern Nazarene University (Okla.) 26-7 211
11 13 Tougaloo College (Miss.) 27-4 206 12 9 Union University (Tenn.) 26-6 199 13 11 Biola University (Calif.) 26-5 191 14 18 St. Catharine College (Ky.) 22-8 175 15 20 Evangel University (Mo.) 25-8 163 16 14 Lee University (Tenn.) 22-8 158 17 17 Xavier University (La.) 27-5 142 18 16 Columbia College (Mo.) 26-5 137 19 23 Montana State University-Northern 24-8 132 20 12 Lindenwood University (Mo.) 28-5 130 21 22 Emmanuel College (Ga.) 26-7 107
22 19 Carroll College (Mont.) 22-8 102 23 21 McKendree University (Ill.) 20-12 90 24 24 Pikeville College (Ky.) 25-7 68 25 25 Rogers State University (Okla.) 20-11 54

Others receiving votes: Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.) 42; Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) 39; William Jewell College (Mo.) 35; Life University (Ga.) 30; Park University (Mo.) 29; Southern Polytechnic State University (Ga.) 27; University of Montana Western 23; Northwestern Oklahoma State University 22; Shorter University (Ga.) 13; Fresno Pacific University (Calif.) 9; John Brown University (Ark.) 1

Morehead State to Host NCAA Selection Show Watch Party


MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Morehead State University will host an NCAA Tournament Selection Show Watch Party on Sunday, March 13 at Johson Arena in the Academic-Athletic Center. Doors open for the free event at 5 p.m., and the selection show on CBS begins at 6 p.m.

The selection show will be shown on 15x20 screens, similar to other watch parties MSU has hosted in Johnson Arena. Concessions, including hot dogs, pizza, popcorn and Pepsi products, will be available for $1 per item.

After the Eagles learn where and when they'll be playing in their second NCAA Tournament in three seasons, coach Donnie Tyndall and his staff and the Eagle players will be available for autographs.

In addition, MSU students and non-students interested in traveling to watch the Eagles in the NCAA Tournament can take advantage of packages (game ticket, transportation and lodging) arranged through MSU. Pending availability, MSU plans to offer specific travel packages for students and non-students. Complete information on the packages will be announced as soon as possible following the conclusion of the show and MSU's location and game times are finalized.

Complete Article

Big Blue Nation is Taking Over Atlanta


It looks like Atlanta is transitioning into "Catlanta" once again as Kentucky's Big Blue Nation heads to town for the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

John Calipari posted on Twitter this morning that Atlanta is already looking like downtown Lexington on gameday.

UKCoachCalipari They tell me Atlanta is starting to look an awful lot like downtown Lexington on gameday!

UKCoachCalipari
Paint the town blue again!! Travel safe if you are headed this way and we will see you in the Georgia Dome tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm ET.

Kentucky will play the winner of Ole Miss vs. South Carolina tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Union College Falls to No. 1 Walsh at National Tournament


Walsh 81
Union College 59

Final from Point Lookout, Missouri


POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. -- The Union College men's basketball team's 2010-11 season ended on Wednesday afternoon, as No. 1 Walsh used a dominating second half performance to beat the Bulldogs, 81-59 in first round action at the 2011 NAIA Men's Basketball Division II National Basketball Tournament held in Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of the College of the Ozarks.

With the loss, Union ends their season at 16-16 overall, while Walsh improves to 30-1 on the year. The Cavaliers advance to the second round of the tournament, which will begin on Friday.

"I thought we really showed our inexperience in playing [in the National Tournament] in the second half," head coach Sean Gillespie said. "We really got away from what we were doing successfully in the first half. I thought we took good shots, we just couldn't knock them down."

In the first half, the Cavaliers came out of the gates on fire, opening up a quick 5-0 lead in the game's first two minutes.

Union, however, held off the initial offensive surge by the Cavs and stayed within striking distance the majority of the half, despite falling behind by 10 (22-12) with seven and a half minutes left. The Bulldogs ended the half particularly strong, as Ryan Young drained a jumper in the lane to make it 33-29 in favor of Walsh going into the intermission.

Complete Recap

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: SEC Tournament Time Edition


Today's Top 5:

- Several players in Kentucky or with state ties were named to the NABC All-District Teams

- Morehead State's Kenneth Faried was named Second Team All-America by SI.com

- Georgetown College, Pikeville College and St. Catharine College earned spots in the NAIA Division I National Championship field

- Erik Daniels is back in the NBA Development League and he played well in his first game

- John Wall is ready to Dougie anywhere and anytime

On Thursday, Get Ready For:

- The first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament; Kentucky fans will want to pay close attention to Ole Miss vs. South Carolina

- Louisville to battle Marquette in the Big East Conference Tournament quarterfinal round

- Campbellsville vs. Tennessee Temple in the NCCAA Mid-East Region Semifinal

- Kentucky Christian vs. Grace Bible in the NCCAA DII National Tournament

Recruiting Updates:

- Ben Cropper from Georgetown (Ohio) High School has signed with Southern State Community College and head coach Gregory Himes.

- St. Anthony stunned St. Patrick 62-45 in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Non-Public B title game. Western Kentucky signee Derrick Gordon had a game-high 26 points. Future Kentucky Wildcat Michael Gilchrist had only 7 points, all in the first half.

Prayer request: Gilchrist posted on Twitter after the game that his cousin passed away during the game. I'd like to ask all readers to extend a prayer to that family.

- The Mid-South Conference is eyeing yet another NCAA Division I transfer for 2011-12.

The Buzz:

- Kentucky Christian University's Casey Jones was recently named 2011 Mid-East Region Player of the Year. Teammate Juice Clemons joined Jones on the All Mid-East Region First Team.

- No. 1 Walsh hammered Union College 81-59 in the first round of the NAIA DII national tournament

- ESPN's Joe Lunardi says Kentucky can go no higher than a 3-seed and no lower than a 5-seed in the NCAA Tournament, no matter how the SEC Tournament turns out.

- The coaching carousel if spinning already and it's getting ready to pick up the pace. Keep your eyes and ears open...changes are coming.

- Manhattan fired Barry Rohrssen today. What will it mean for assistant coach Scott Padgett?

- Former University Heights big man Lamont Barnes was released from Valladolid (Spain) "due to disciplinary reasons"

- In China, Randolph Morris had 40 points, 19 rebounds and 7 assists in a 122-121 overtime loss. Joe Crawford played 1 minute and did not score.

Video of the Day (Augusta High School head coach Robin Kelsch leaves the program with a bang):


Bellarmine's Kendle and Hobbs Named to All-Midwest Team


Bellarmine University's Jeremy Kendle and Braydon Hobbs have been named to the 2010-11 Daktronics Division II Men's Basketball Midwest Region First Team.

Here are the complete teams:

2010-11 Daktronics Division II Men's Basketball Midwest Region First Team

Name School Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown
Justin Keenan Ferris State SR F 6-7 265 Grand Rapids, Mich.
Darius Adams Indianapolis SR G 6-0 165 Decatur, Ill.
Jeremy Kendle Bellarmine SR G 6-1 205 Jeffersonville, Ind.
Braydon Hobbs Bellarmine JR G 6-5 185 New Albany, Ind.
Gerald Fulton Missouri-St. Louis JR G 6-2 180 St. Louis, Mo.

2010-11 Daktronics Division II Men's Basketball Midwest Region Second Team

Name School Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown
Justin Ringler Grand Valley State SR G/F 6-4 215 Reed City, Mich.
Bryan Smothers Wayne State SR G 5-10 175 Pontiac, Mich.
Alex Hall Drury SO G 6-2 190 Springfield, Mo.
Nathan Hyde Findlay SR G 6-3 180 Findlay, Ohio
Mohamed Ntumba Southern Indiana SR C 6-7 230 Kinshasa, Congo

Three Kentucky Teams in NAIA DI Tournament Field


Three Kentucky teams have made the 2011 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship field. The tournament will be held in Kansas City, Missouri from March 16-22.

Georgetown College (29-4) will be in the field for the 20th consecutive season and 30th overall, both records. The Tigers will play Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (21-11) on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. ET.

St. Catharine College (22-8) are in the tournament for the first time in school history. The Patriots have earned the No. 14 overall seed and will play Lindenwood (Mo.) (28-5) on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. ET.

The Pikeville College Bears (25-7) received and at-large bid and will be making their first appearance in the national tournament since 2004. The Bears will battle ninth-seeded Oklahoma Baptist (24-8) on Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Billy Gillispie Ready to Coach Again, Says He Was Treated Fairly at Kentucky


Former University of Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie is ready to get back into coaching after being away from the game for two seasons.

Jason King of Yahoo! Sports spoke to Gillispie and wrote an article about the currently unemployed coach.

When asked about his time at Kentucky, Gillispie said, "I was treated fairly."

Here is an excerpt:

One of the biggest criticisms of Gillispie was that he turned down too many public appearance requests and that he didn’t spend enough time with boosters. Gillispie acknowledges that he made a mistake by not educating himself about the demands of the job.
“You go to Kentucky because you want to win a national championship, so the demands shouldn’t bother any coach,” Gillispie said. “I probably just didn’t understand how to maneuver through some of those things very well, and that’s my fault. There were plenty of people there who could’ve helped.”

Gillispie was fired on March 27, 2009. Two years later, he insists his experience at Kentucky was a positive one and that he holds no ill will toward university president Lee Todd or athletic director Mitch Barnhart, who declined to comment through a school spokesman.

“I was treated fairly,” Gillispie said. “I put Dr. Todd and Mitch Barnhart in a tough situation. I never wanted to do that. I never wanted to be a burden to anyone. Changes happen all the time. Any time you work for someone else, you work at their mercy.

“They gave me the opportunity to be there. They gave me the resources to do what I needed to do. That was never lacking. I just put them in a very tough situation where they were probably hearing from people who weren’t too fired up about the number of games we were winning, even though we won 22 games the last year.

“We didn’t do what we needed to do as quickly as everyone wanted it to happen.”

Complete Article

Spalding University Finishes Season Third in Nation


The Spalding men’s basketball season came to an end Saturday as they defeated Lindenwood-Belleville 64-60 in the 3rd place game of the USCAA National Tournament. On Friday, the Golden Eagles had a chance to play for the USCAA National Championship but fell to Ave Maria 49-47 in the closing seconds of the semifinals. SLIAC Player of the Year DeWhon McAfee and Spalding senior Jamal Bacon were both named to the USCAA All-Tournament Team.

The season got off to a bit of a rocky start for the Golden Eagles. 8 of Spalding’s first 9 games were away from Derek Smith Gymnasium as the Golden Eagles participated in Moody Bible College Tournament and the Wooster Classic. Spalding would lose 6 of their first 9 games. But once SLIAC play got into full swing, the Golden Eagles began to reel off the wins. Spalding would go 13-3 in the conference and nab the two biggest individual awards the SLIAC has to offer. Spalding junior DeWhon McAfee was named SLIAC Player of the Year after averaging 20.2 PPG and leading Spalding to a 2nd place finish. Head Coach Kevin Gray was awarded the SLIAC Coach of the Year.

Complete Article

Video: This is Pikeville College Men's Basketball

Here is a great highlight video of the Pikeville College season as the Bears anticipate tonight's NAIA DI National Tournament selection show:

Even Pat Forde Likes Kentucky in the SEC Tournament


Believe it or not, even ESPN's Pat Forde thinks the Kentucky Wildcats are going to win the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

In his "Forde Minutes" article, the normally anti-UK writer says Brandon Knight is the tournament's best player and Kentucky is his pick to win.

Here is an excerpt:

SEC. March 10-13, Atlanta

Top seed: Florida.
Sagarin conference rank: Seventh out of the 31 that receive automatic bids.

Dark horse: Mississippi State. It's been a ridiculously dysfunctional year in Starkville -- but nobody ever said the Bulldogs lack talent, and they're on a three-game winning streak. With a first-round bye and a likely quarterfinal matchup with notorious SEC tourney dog Vanderbilt, Mississippi State could make a move.

Best player: Brandon Knight (27), Kentucky. His ability to shoot with range or drive makes him the toughest cover in the league, and his assertiveness in key situations is an admirable trait for a freshman. And he's not likely to wear out, averaging 35.6 minutes per game.

Minutes pick: The Minutes suspects that the Wildcats broke the close-game/road-game barrier in the past week with a two-point home win over Vanderbilt and a road win over Tennessee. Combine that with the most talent and a beneficial draw, and this tourney sets up well for Big Blue.

St. Patrick vs. St. Anthony to be Broadcast Live Tonight


Kentucky fans can watch future Wildcat Michael Gilchrist online live tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Gilchrist and No. 1 St. Patrick will battle No. 2 St. Anthony for a state championship and likely a mythical national championship in what is expected to be an epic high school basketball game.

Here are details about the online feed from NJ.com:

Welcome to the Webcast page for St. Patrick vs. St. Anthony, the North, Non-Public A sectional boys basketball final. We have now also added bonus coverage of the North B final, St. Peter's Prep vs. Seton Hall Prep.

If you are on this page before 5 p.m., there will be no stream active in the player below. We expect to run a test stream through this player starting at approximately 5 p.m., so you can make sure you are able to view the webcast and gear up if you can't. Please see the technical notes below.

St. Peter's Prep vs. Seton Hall Prep tips at 6 p.m. Following that will be an intermission until a short pregame show for St. Patrick vs. St. Anthony at 7:55; tipoff is at 8 p.m.

During the Webcast, we recommend you also check our live interactive play-by-play/chat for these games in a separate browser window. You can do both!

Links to play-by-play/chat:

Click Here for Live Feed

Photo Source

SI.com Names Kenneth Faried Second Team All-America



Sports Illustrated has named Morehead State's Kenneth Faried Second Team All-America.

The site named Jimmer Fredette from BYU Player of the Year and Note Dame's Mike Brey Coach of the Year.

No University of Kentucky players were honored by SI.com.

First Team All-Americas

G: Jimmer Fredette, BYU
6-2, Senior
27.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, 40.4% 3FGs

G: Nolan Smith, Duke
6-2, Senior
21.6 ppg, 5.2 apg, 4.8 rpg

F: Derrick Williams, Arizona
6-8, Sophomore
18.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 61.2% FGs

F: JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
6-10, Senior
20.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.4 bpg

F: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
6-9, Freshman
17.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 55.7% FGs

Second Team All-Americas

G: Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin
6-1, Junior
18.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4.3-to-1 a/t ratio, 44.8% 3FGs

G: Kemba Walker, UConn
6-1, Junior
23.1 ppg, 4.3 apg, 5.2 rpg

G: Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame
6-3, Senior
18.5 ppg, 4.2 apg, 3.1 rpg, 45.1% 3FGs

F: Marcus Morris, Kansas
6-9, Junior
17.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 59.7% FGs

F: Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
6-8, Senior
17.6 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg, 57.8% FGs

Complete Article

Faried's jersey was retired on Morehead State's Senior Night:


Samuels, Meeks Making Impact on Fantasy Basketball


ESPN's Seth Landman says fantasy basketball team owners should consider adding former Kentucky star Jodie Meeks and former Louisville big man Samardo Samuels to their stretch run rosters.

Meeks and Samuels are two of six players that Landman recommends making a move on.

Here is an excerpt:

Samardo Samuels, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers: Samuels is available in more than 90 percent of fantasy leagues at the moment, which is pretty surprising considering he's been putting up 14.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game on 50 percent shooting in his past five games. He's got a hold on the starting power forward position for the Cavs and should hold onto it for a while considering Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao are going to be out for the rest of the season. He's played more than 30 minutes in each of his past four games, so the minutes are there, too. As an undersized power forward, he's probably not going to ever contribute much in blocks, and he has some work to do at the charity stripe, but as a scorer and rebounder, he has plenty of potential to be a good fantasy guy.

Jodie Meeks, SG, Philadelphia 76ers: With the 76ers really rounding into form during the past few weeks (they're currently in the top 10 in John Hollinger's Power Rankings), it would seem that Meeks' spot in the starting lineup is entirely safe for the moment. Meeks will always be fantasy-worthy when he's getting minutes because he's a phenomenal 3-point shooter, which is something for which the Sixers have been desperate for a few seasons now. Of late, though, Meeks is showing potential in other areas as well. Most significantly, he's been averaging better than one steal per game for the past month or so and is up to 1.6 per game in his past five games. While he doesn't get to the line all that often, he's fantastic when he's there, knocking down 90 percent of his free throws for the season. Add it all up, and if Meeks can hover around 1.5 steals per game the rest of the way, he'll be a great pickup in all leagues.

Complete Article

Meade County Standout Riley Benock Honored by the SEC


Former Meade County High School star Riley Benock, now a senior at Mississippi State University, was named Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year earlier this week.

Benock has started 29 of Mississippi State's 30 games this season.

He had a cumulative GPA of 3.97 and will graduate this spring with a degree in kinesiology. He obtained a 4.0 GPA in six of his seven semester at MSU.

Benock will enroll at Bellarmine University's physical therapy school following graduation.

Transy's Matt Wise Named to HCAC All-Sportsmanship Team


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Four Transylvania student-athletes have been named to the winter Heartland Conference All-Sportsmanship team, HCAC commissioner Chris Ragsdale said Tuesday.

Matt Wise, a senior from Gainesville, Fla., represents the men's basketball team, while Olivia Akridge, a senior from Eddyville, Ky., was recognized from the women's basketball team.

Also named were Curtis Puryear, a junior from Hodgenville, Ky., and Lucy Wright, a junior from Lynchburg, Ohio, from the men's and women's track team.

This is the second year the HCAC has presented a sportsmanship award, developed as part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative. Members of the All-Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate the ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.

Nominees must be a member of an intercollegiate athletics team druing the 2010-11 academic year and must have consistently demonstrated the values of respect and integrity in his or her daily participation in athletics.

* Article by Transylvania University

Blog Archive