Saturday, April 2, 2011

Connecticut Ends Kentucky's Season in the Final Four


(3) Connecticut 56
(4) Kentucky 55

Final from Houston, Texas

The Connecticut Huskies are headed to the NCAA Division I national championship game after knocking off Kentucky 56-55 on Saturday night in Houston.

Kemba Walker led UConn (31-9) with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Jeremy Lamb added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Big man Alex Oriakhi had 8 points and 10 rebounds.

Kentucky (29-9) was led by Brandon Knight's 14 points and 8 rebounds. Knight was only 6-23 from the field and 2-10 from long range, however. Terrence Jones had 11 points, 15 rebounds and 5 steals. Doron Lamb came off the bench to score 13 points.

The Wildcats were doomed by poor shooting. They finished 21-62 (33.9%) from the field and only 4-12 (33.3%) from the free throw line.

Connecticut was 23-49 (46.9%) from the field and 9-11 (81.8%) from the charity stripe.

The Huskies will battle Butler on Monday night for the national championship.

Final Four: Kentucky in Deep Halftime Hole


The Connecticut Huskies broke open a close game with a 10-0 run to go into the halftime locker room holding a 31-21 lead on the Kentucky Wildcats.

The Wildcats were not able to find the range offensively as they shot an ice cold 9-31 (28.1%) from the field. They were just 2-12 (16.7%) from long range and 1-5 (20%) from the charity stripe.

UConn was 14-27 (51.9%) from the field and 1-6 (16.7%) from the three-point line.

All-American Kemba Walker led Connecticut with 9 points. Jeremy Lamb added 8.

Terrence Jones put in 9 points and 6 rebounds to lead the Wildcats. Brandon Knight had 7 points but was only 3-11 from the field. No other Wildcats scored more than two points in the half.

The winner will advance to Monday's national championship game against Butler.

Kenneth Faried Named 2011 State Farm All-American


Morehead State star Kenneth Faried was named to the 2011 State Farm Coaches' Division I All-America Third Team today.

2011 STATE FARM COACHES' DIVISION I ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM

Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young, 6-2, Senior, Guard, Glens Falls, N.Y.

JaJuan Johnson, Purdue, 6-10, Senior, Forward/Center, Indianapolis, Ind.

Nolan Smith, Duke, 6-22, Senior, Guard, Upper Marlboro, Md.

Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, 6-9, Freshman, Forward, Columbus, Ohio

Kemba Walker, Connecticut, 6-1, Junior, Guard, Bronx, N.Y.

2011 STATE FARM COACHES' DIVISION I ALL-AMERICA SECOND TEAM

Jordan Hamilton, Texas, 6-7, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, Compton, Calif.

Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame, 6-3, Senior, Guard, Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Marcus Morris, Kansas, 6-9, Junior, Forward, Philadelphia, Pa.

Kyle Singler, Duke, 6-8, Senior, Forward, Medford, Ore.

Derrick Williams, Arizona, 6-8, Sophomore, Forward, La Mirada, Calif.

2011 STATE FARM COACHES' DIVISION I ALL-AMERICA THIRD TEAM

Kenneth Faried, Morehead State, 6-8, Senior, Center/Forward, Newark, N.J.

Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State, 6-7, Sophomore, Forward, Riverside, Calif.

E'Twaun Moore, Purdue, 6-4, Senior, Guard, East Chicago, Ind.

Jacob Pullen, Kansas State, 6-0, Senior, Guard, Maywood, Ill.

Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin, 6-1, Senior, Guard, Bloomington, Minn.

Patrick Patterson Fought the Jorts and the Jorts Won

Former University of Kentucky big man Patrick Patterson is at the game tonight...and he's wearing his Jorts (Photo from Kent Spencer on Twitter):



Patterson fought the Jorts and the Jorts won:


Cameron Mills Talks Kentucky Basketball and the Final Four


I had a great conversation with former University of Kentucky guard Cameron Mills today. We talked about the Kentucky basketball team, the comparisons of this season's team to the 1998 Wildcats and the direction of the program under John Calipari.

It's hard to sense it in a written interview, but you can hear it in Cameron's voice - he bleeds blue.

Here is our conversation:

Cameron, first, let me ask you how it feels to have Kentucky back in the Final Four after 13 years?

You know, it's funny. It actually feels a lot better than I expected. I'm not one of those crazy fans who sits up all night worrying after a loss during the middle of the season. I hate when UK loses but it doesn't normally affect me like some fans.

I knew I would be excited but I'm surprised at how excited I've been. I'm not sure if it's because it's been 13 years or because of how much I've fallen in love with this team...just how much fun this team has been to watch.

Obviously you played on that 1998 team 13 years ago. A lot of people have compared this team to your team back then. Let me get your thoughts on comparing the two teams.

I think there are certainly some parallels between the two teams. This team, just like ours in '98, has turned it on at the right time of year. And honestly, I love college football but this is exactly why I love college basketball even more. In basketball, a team can lose every game in the regular season and still win the championship. Look at VCU...they were given a gift by the Selection Committee and now they have a chance to win the national title. That's what makes college basketball so incredible.

Then you look at this Kentucky team with all of their SEC road problems. All of a sudden, they go to UT and turn it all around. That's very similar to our '98 team. Both teams figured out how to win at the right time.

Something else that's very similar is how many players on this season's team can hurt you. You look at UConn and you know who their big gun is. Who is UK's big gun? Who do they have to stop? During the course of the season, Kentucky has had six different leading scorers...Connecticut has had one, maybe two. That is very similar to our team back then...any guy on the roster can hurt you on any given night.

Cameron, as a former player, talk a little about the direction of the Kentucky program under Coach Cal.

There's no denying, it's been a complete 180 from the last couple of years. He's brought in three straight number one recruiting classes. In talking about the positive impact, you have to look at the positive direction and the PR work. He's so good at getting out and about and being amongst the fans. He does so well with the fans and the boosters...the fans clubs and the alumni clubs. He does so well with those groups. It's night and day different from what we have had in the recent past. That is the part I love.

I know it's an overused phrase, but I've heard many people simply say that Coach Cal just gets it.

It probably is overused but with good reason. John Calipari just gets it. He is the total package that one has to be to coach the University of Kentucky program.

Talk a little bit about the different level of pressure these kids may be up against in the Final Four atmosphere.

The pressure hopefully for them will be leading up to the game. Once the ball tips, that pressure should go away. They have so much to focus on during the course of a 40-minute game with scouting reports and sets and looking at the other team's personnel. Trying to stop Kemba Walker will actually help in that they are so focused on that that they'll hopefully forget about things like playing in front of 50,000 or so fans. During the game, you relax and just focus on basketball and the details of the game.

I ran a Twitter poll a few days ago to gauge whether or not fans are satisfied with this season, even if Kentucky loses in Houston. The majority of the fans are ecstatic but I found that probably 15-20% will settle for nothing less than a national championship. Give me your thoughts on those high expectations at UK.

(laughs)That 15% of fans is the good and the bad of UK basketball. They are a little unrealistic. I mean, this team is between two teams who were and are expected to go to the Final Four. This team wasn't really expected to reach this point. And speaking of that, last year, the team was freshman heavy. During key situations, they were relying on freshman leadership. This year, they are still relying a lot on freshmen, but they are led by a group of juniors and seniors. I think you have to have the upperclassmen leading to be successful.

Getting back to the question...it's always the case of those 15% of fans demanding that national title. I think it's a necessary evil. It's unrealistic but that kind of attitude is why we always have a winning record. UK fans will not settle for losing seasons. It's the reason UK basketball is what it is.

Give me a score prediction for tonight's game.

It's hard to say whether it will be high-scoring or low-scoring. I'll tell you this...I'm done with thinking this team can't win. I thought they would lose to Ohio State and they won. I thought they would lost to UNC and they won. I believe this team can win. It's hard for me to make a score prediction but I guess if you need a number, I'll go with Kentucky 72 and UConn 66.

You can follow Cameron on Twitter. He gives great basketball insight and interacts with Big Blue Nation on a regular basis.

Jamal Mashburn Talks Final Four Basketball

Former University of Kentucky star Jamal Mashburn talks about the Final Four:

Rumor: John Calipari Might Leave to Coach the Miami Heat


The fun never stops around Kentucky basketball. The latest rumor has John Calipari leaving to coach the Miami Heat if Kentucky captures the NCAA title.

Here is a post from ESPN's Jay Williams on Twitter:

RealJayWilliams Rumors circulating around the #final4 are that if the #UK Wildcats win a title, John Calipari might leave to be the HC of the Miami #Heat.

Bellarmine Knights to Serve as Honorary Grand Marshals



LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Derby Festival announced the Grand Marshals and Honorary Grand Marshals for the 2011 Republic Bank Pegasus Parade at a press conference this morning at the Festival's headquarters.

Four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients will serve as Grand Marshals of the parade on Thursday, May 5. The Grand Marshals are: World War II veteran Hershel “Woody” Williams of West Virginia; Korean War veteran Ernie West of Russell, Ky.; Vietnam War veteran Gary Littrell of Henderson, Ky; and Vietnam War veteran Don Jenkins of Quality, Ky. The members of Bellarmine University's NCAA Division II men's national champion basketball team will serve as Honorary Grand Marshals of the Pegasus Parade.

The theme for this year's parade is “Heroic Adventures” and ties in to the overall theme for the 2011 Kentucky Derby Festival – “SuperFest” – which celebrates TV, movie and comic book Superheroes, as well as heroic individuals from our own community.

“We're tremendously honored to have these four American heroes serve as Grand Marshals of this year's Republic Bank Pegasus Parade,” said Mike Berry, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival. “The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest honor presented by the U.S. military and most were presented posthumously. The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon an individual by the passing of a Joint Resolution in the Congress. Our four Grand Marshals have gone well above and beyond the call of duty in serving their country and we couldn't be more humbled to have them appear in the Pegasus Parade.”

Complete Release

Kyle Wiltjer's Dad Talks About His Son's Game


NorthPoleHoops.com caught up with Kyle Wiltjer's father, Greg, recently.

Here is an excerpt:

"One thing that I feel I can bring as a father and former player is experience, I've been through it," said Wiltjer."

But it was a close call as hockey almost completely gravitated Greg toward the ice instead of the hardwood.

"I grew up between Canada and Germany and my dream was to play in the NHL, to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, my biggest thrill."

Luckily for the younger Wiltjer, Greg's growth spurt naturally influenced the family toward a basketball culture! Kentucky's Coach Calipari along with the Wildcat fanbase couldn't be happier as they have confirmed the 6'9 hybrid forward joining an elite recruitng class consisting of Michael Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis. Oh yes, all being McDonald All-Americans!

Greg Wiltjer describes kyle as, "A kid that has an inside and outside game, developed a little bit of a European attitude that I picked up playing pro ball in Europe."

Complete Article

In case you've forgotten, here is the elder Wiltjer throwing down a dunk at 50:


UK President: Celebrate but Keep it Under Control


University of Kentucky president Lee Todd issued a letter to students yesterday addressing the issue of celebrating basketball wins this weekend.

He encourages celebration but asks fans to be respectful and under control:

Wildcats,

The excitement of the Final Four is upon us and it is a truly great time to be at the University of Kentucky! For our students and fans that will be here in Lexington this weekend rooting on the Cats from the comfort of your home or with a group of friends out on the town, I want to remind you to cheer loud and be proud, but to be respectful and courteous to other fans and to our great city.

I am so proud of the way this team has represented the “Kentucky” on their chests. They have taken the title of the Commonwealth’s Team to heart and are proudly representing the greatest tradition in the history of college basketball all the way to Houston.

As the country’s greatest fans, I know we will represent the history and tradition of Kentucky basketball with the same dignity and pride as our team. We know you will gather. We know you will celebrate. But remember you are representing the University of Kentucky and let your actions this weekend be reflective of the pride you have for your university.

Please be safe and respectful in your celebrations. Watch out for one another. Keep each other safe. Be smart and careful. Have fun.

For our fans traveling to Houston, please remember that our team is tending to business this weekend, the very serious business of winning the NCAA National Championship. “If we take care of our business, there will be plenty of time to get autographs and personal photos beginning next Tuesday,” Coach Calipari shared in a message on his website earlier this week. “We have the greatest fans in America and we want to reward them with our players’ undivided attention, focus and peak physical condition.”

We are embarking on a great weekend for Big Blue Nation – let’s enjoy the ride.

Go Cats!

President Lee T. Todd, Jr.

Nazr Mohammed Reminds Everyone of Past Success


Former University of Kentucky big man Nazr Mohammed reminded his Twitter followers of the past this afternoon:

NazrMohammed Memories of the good ole days... 2 Championship rings and a Runner-up. http://t.co/0Yk7ELi

Mohammed, who still plays for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, was a member of the 1996 and 1998 championship teams at UK.

The Feelings are Mutual for Coach Cal and Coach Cal


Greg Bishop of The New York Times wrote yesterday about the genuine dislike between Kentucky's John Calipari and Connecticut's Jim Calhoun.

While some of the animosity has thawed, Coach Cal and Coach Cal will not be sharing dinner plans anytime soon.

Here is an excerpt:

“Neither guy was afraid to push somebody out of the way if they wanted something,” Welsh said. “John came in and tried to claim New England, and Jim wasn’t going to let him do that. It was all healthy for the sport, though. People miss that. People in New England absolutely miss that.”

Even Calhoun, or at least it seemed on Friday: “John really was trying to claim New England. He never could say he parked the car in the Harvard yard. He didn’t know what clam chowder really was. He had the red stuff, not the real clam chowder.”

In that vein, the two traded some friendly barbs this week. But their dislike appears to run deeper than what they let on. Calipari said “people” were “making more” of their personal rivalry than necessary. Yet in a recent Sports Illustrated story, he listed Calhoun as a coach he does not like. So much for bygones.


Complete Article

Brandon Knight Talks UK Team Progress with CBS

Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight talks about the team's progress this season to CBS Sports:

Kentucky Looks to Add Another Basketball Championship

Here's one collection I have at home that I'm looking to expand soon:


The Kentucky Wildcats will go for championship No. 8 this weekend in Houston.

Here is a list of all-time NCAA Tournament champions:

School Titles Years


UCLA 11 (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995)

Kentucky 7 (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998)

Indiana 5 (1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987)

North Carolina 5 (1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009)

Duke 4 (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010)

Kansas 3 (1952, 1988, 2008)

Cincinnati 2 (1961, 1962)

Connecticut 2 (1999, 2004)

Florida 2 (2006, 2007)

Louisville 2 (1980, 1986)

Michigan State 2 (1979, 2000)

North Carolina State 2 (1974, 1983)

Oklahoma State (Oklahoma A&M*) 2 (1945, 1946)

San Francisco 2 (1955, 1956)

Arizona 1 (1997) Arkansas 1 1994 California 1 (1959) CCNY 1 (1950) Georgetown 1 (1984) Holy Cross 1 (1947) La Salle 1 (1954) Loyola (Chicago) 1 (1963) Marquette 1 (1977) Maryland 1 (2002) Michigan 1 (1989) Ohio State 1 (1960) Oregon 1 (1939) Stanford 1 (1942) Syracuse 1 (2003) UNLV 1 (1990) UTEP (Texas Western) 1 (1966) Utah 1 (1944) Villanova 1 (1985) Wisconsin 1 (1941) Wyoming 1 (1943)

Antoine Walker Helps Stampede Keep Playoff Hopes Alive


Former University of Kentucky star Antoine Walker continues to play at a high-level in the NBA Development League.

Walker scored a game-high 23 points on 10-14 shooting last night to lead the Idaho Stampede to a 112-100 win over the Utah Flash. Walker also added 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

The win keeps the Stampede's playoff hopes alive heading into the season's final weekend. The Stampede need the Texas Legends to lose on Saturday to leave the door open for the final playoff spot. Idaho then must defeat Utah tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Here is Walker doing work last night:


Jared Prickett Likes the Cats Chances to Win the Title


I talked to former University of Kentucky big man Jared Prickett this week to get his thoughts on UK's return to the Final Four.

Prickett was at Kentucky for the 1996 National Championship and 1997 Final Four.

"It is really exciting to see the Cats back in the Final Four," Prickett said.

He likes the makeup of the 2010-11 Wildcats.

"This team is one of the best three-point shooting teams in UK history," he explained. "But the best weapon on this team is that there is no weakness when they all play together. Anyone out of the top six players can score 20 points on any given night."

As for Prickett's thoughts on the Final Four:

"If we have a great shooting performance in the Final Four, the Cats will be bringing No. 8 back to Lex Vegas on Monday night!"

The Birmingham News Thinks Trevor Lacey May Be Down to Auburn and Alabama


Don Kausler Jr. writes in The Birmingham News today that Trevor Lacey appears to be down to Alabama and Auburn at this point.

Lacey recently stated that he likes Alabama and Kentucky, but here is an excerpt from the article at AL.com:

Alabama already has signed four players for next season: guards Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper and big men Nick Jacobs and Moussa Goueye. The latter is a 7-foot, 270-pound junior college transfer. Blue-chip guard Trevor Lacey will announce his choice on April 13. Kentucky had been in the picture, but the latest indications are that Lacey will choose between Alabama and Auburn.

Complete Article

My Thoughts: I will attempt to contact Lacey this morning for clarification. For now, I will go with Lacey's last statement that he'll choose between Alabama and Kentucky. He will announce his choice on April 13.

UPDATE: Garrett Tucker of NationofBlue.com just spoke to Lacey and, as expected, he said, "It's not true." Kentucky is still in the mix.

Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: Final Four Saturday Edition


Friday's Top 5:

- Worth reading again: this incredible article on Kentucky junior DeAndre Liggins.

- Haters were out in full force on Friday: Thamel went after UConn; Goodman went after Kentucky and Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports asked the donkey question of the week during John Calipari's press conference.

- The rosters are set for the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Josh Harrellson will play for the Norfolk Sports Club team.

- Morehead State's Kenneth Faried was named MVP of the NABC All-Star Game; Faried finished with a typical performance of 17 points and 18 rebounds.

- The Kentucky roster was announced for the Kentucky vs. Ohio All-Star game

On Saturday, Get Ready For:

- The NCAA Final Four: Butler vs. VCU at 6:09 p.m. and Kentucky vs. Connecticut at 8:49 p.m.

Recruiting News:

- The Birmingham News says that the latest indications are that Trevor Lacey will choose between Alabama and Auburn.

- Good source says Corey Wilford, a JUCO guard originally from Christian County, will be taking a visit to Murray State.

- Kevin Ware was granted a release from his LOI at Tennessee. Will he take a look at Louisville?

- Future Eastern Kentucky forward Eric Stutz was named First Team All-State in Indiana.

The Buzz:

- Former Kentucky star John Wall was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for March after averaging 18.1 points, 7.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game during the month.

- Former Billy Gillispie assistant Glenn Cyprien is one of seven finalists for the Lamar job. Other names include Pat Knight, Alvin Brooks and Lamar assistant Tic Price.

- Jimmer Fredette is the AP Player of the Year; Mike Brey is the Coach of the Year

- Karen Sypher's request for another trial was denied. No get out jail free card for you.

- Jodie Meeks had an off night (only 2 points) but he and the Philadelphia 76ers locked up a playoff spot with a win over New Jersey on Friday.

- With Big Blue Nation in town and many in attendance, Chuck Hayes had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Patrick Patterson had 12 in Houston's win over San Antonio.

Video of the Day (Pat Forde picks Kentucky to win...no really):


Friday, April 1, 2011

Ed Davender Gets 12 Months in Final Sentencing


Former University of Kentucky star Ed Davender was sentenced Thursday to 12 months of jail time on a misdemeanor theft charge related to an NCAA Final Four ticket scam.

The new sentence is to run concurrently with an eight-year prison sentence that Davender began serving in September.

Here is an excerpt from Kentucky.com:

While he awaited sentencing in Fayette Circuit Court on 20 charges — most of them related to ticket scamming — Davender was accused of unlawfully accepting $4,000 from Louisville-area residents Richard Adams and Sean Hill from December 2009 through March 2010. Davender had promised them 14 2010 NCAA men's Final Four tickets, but he didn't keep his end of the bargain.

That theft-by-deception charge, which was amended from a felony to a misdemeanor, was the charge Davender was sentenced for Thursday.

"I just want to get on with my life. I apologize to my victims," a handcuffed Davender said while standing before Scorsone. Davender said he had kind of "robbed Peter to pay Paul" and had dug himself into a hole. He said he didn't like being an embarrassment to UK and the community.

Complete Article

Roster Announced for Kentucky vs. Ohio All-Star Game


The roster has been announced for the Kentucky team that will compete in the Kentucky vs. Ohio All-Star game on April 9.

The game will be held at Thomas More College at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Here is the Kentucky Roster:


- Anthony Hickey, Christian County

- Donovan Cates, Christian County

- Remy Abell, Eastern

- Lyonell Gaines, Eastern

- Kameron Woods, Eastern

- Ryan Taylor, Western

- Tony Kimbro, Jeffersontown

- DeOndre McWhorter, Moore

- Jermaine Jackson, Iroquois

- George Fant, Warren Central

- Jordan Shanklin, Warren Central

- Chris Freeman, Muhlenberg County

- Treg Setty, Mason County

- Timmy Knipp, Elliott County

- Jake Thelan, Covington Catholic

Kenneth Faried Named MVP of NABC All-Star Game


Morehead State University's Kenneth Faried was named West Team Most Valuable Player in Friday evening's NABC Reese's College All-Star game.

The West Team, led by Faried's 17 points and 18 rebounds, defeated the East 113-108 at Reliant Stadium.

College of Charelston's Andrew Goudelock led the West with 21 points. Michigan State's Kalin Lucas added 18.

Digger Phelps Picks Kentucky to Win

It's hard to believe but ESPN's Digger Phelps has picked Kentucky to defeat UConn on Saturday:

Rosters Set for the 2011 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament


The rosters have been announced for the 2011 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.

Morehead State's Kenneth Faried has opted out of the event but Kentucky's Josh Harrellson will be playing.

Harrellson is on the Norfolk Sports Club roster:

Norfolk Sports Club Coaches : Mike Head & Mark Butts


# Last Name College Pos Ht Wt PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3PT% FT%

15 Harrellson, Josh Kentucky C 6' 10" 275 6.4 8.8 0.7 0.8 1.6 58.1 22.2 63.3

4 James, Delroy Rhode Island F 6' 8" 220 17.5 7.9 2.7 1.6 1.1 43.7 25.2 73.7

14 Smith, Tracy NC State F 6' 8" 255 14 5.7 0.9 0.5 0.6 49.6 0 69.7

11 Stepheson, Alex USC F 6' 10" 250 9.8 9.2 0.2 0.4 1.1 55.2 0 51.3

2 Battle, Talor Penn State G 6' 0" 170 20.2 4.4 2.9 0.8 0.1 42.3 36.9 74.9

3 Culpepper, Randy Texas - El Paso G 6' 0" 165 19.3 2.9 3.1 2 0.3 43.6 32.4 75.9

10 Freeman, Austin Georgetown G 6' 3" 235 17.6 3.7 2.4 0.7 0.2 47.6 35.8 87

1 Smith, Mike East Tennessee State G 6' 6" 225 17.9 6.8 1.9 0.8 0.4 46.9 36.7 78.9

Complete Rosters

NOTE: AllKyHoops.com plans to attend this event.

Jeff Sheppard Talks About Kentucky and the Final Four

Former University of Kentucky star Jeff Sheppard talks to WYMT's Mackenzie Bates about UK's run to the Final Four:

John Calipari Talks to the Media at the Final Four

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari meets with the media on Friday. Make sure you pay close attention to the final question (video via Courier-Journal.com):

Goodman Attacks Kentucky, Thamel Goes After UConn


Really guys? I'm sure it's not a coincidence or anything that you guys released your cute little stories within an hour of each other on the night before the Final Four. The pats on the back on Twitter are laughable...

Here's an excerpt of Thamel's masterpiece:

“It is what it is,” Miles said. “I don’t feel like it’s fair, but it’s life, life isn’t fair.”

In two interviews in Toledo this week, Miles offered a window into major college sports. He said he went to six high schools in five years before heading to Connecticut. At one point in high school, he said, he got $250 every three days from an N.B.A. agent that he said a former Connecticut assistant coach introduced him to. He said he received improper help on at least two of the standardized tests he took to qualify academically to play in college, but for all that he never played a game for Connecticut, or any other Division 1 university.

Connecticut and its longtime coach, Jim Calhoun, have already been punished for a variety of sins in their recruitment of Miles. The N.C.A.A. has limited the number of scholarships Connecticut can award, has placed the basketball program on probation and suspended Calhoun for three games next season.

Complete Article

Goodman Reports That Calipari Staffer Violated Rules When Recruiting Cousins


Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com reports tonight, a day before the Final Four, that John Calipari assistant Bilal Batley violated rules during the recruitment of DeMarcus Cousins.

Here is an excerpt:

But forgotten in Calipari’s quick turnaround of Kentucky is a native of this bustling metroplex who was instrumental in the Wildcats’ resurrection: Bilal Batley.

Batley abruptly resigned as assistant director of basketball operations/manager after he violated NCAA rules by rebounding for a player during a workout in July 2009. Kentucky self-reported the secondary violation and sent Batley a letter of admonishment.

Batley’s job did not allow him to have on-court interaction with players. When he resigned, a team spokesman said he did so to return home because of an illness in his family.

But a nearly two-year FOXSports.com investigation revealed that Batley also broke NCAA rules by making repeated impermissible telephone calls while at both Memphis and Kentucky to recruits such as DeMarcus Cousins and their parents.

When approached by a FOXSports.com reporter after his news conference on Friday, Calipari refused to address any questions regarding Batley.

NCAA rules state that all telephone calls made to or received from a recruit, his parents, legal guardians or coaches must be made and received by a team’s head coach or three countable assistant coaches.

According to Memphis and Kentucky, Batley was not a countable coach at either school. NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson declined comment.

Complete Article

My Thoughts: I don't think this is an issue for UK fans to worry about on what could be an outstanding weekend. This is another attempt by national media to beat John Calipari down when he finds success. UK already self-reported the violations and the NCAA is already aware of the situation. In other words, get ready for the Final Four.

CBS Sports Reporter Asks Calipari Ridiculous Question



CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd asked John Calipari today what it feels like to coach in his first Final Four.

According to Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal, Calipari responded with: "I don't deal with that. We've been here 3 times. Those players played those games and did what they were supposed to do."

That is a completely ridiculous question and I think Dodd should know about it:

Dennis Dodd on Twitter

DeMarcus Cousins Responds to Ego Comment

Yesterday, Kentucky junior DeAndre Liggins stated: "Last year’s freshmen were great freshmen, but I just think, personally, too many egos. Everybody wanted to be the man."

Today, former University of Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins posted this on Twitter: boogiecousins Too many egos huh???

Watch Kentucky Practice Live Right Now


You can watch Kentucky's 2:00 p.m. practice LIVE by going here now:

Click Here

More Discussion on Jay-Z and the UK Locker Room

Here is more discussion from ESPN about the NBA controversy over Jay-Z in the University of Kentucky:



What are your thoughts? Is this a slap at John Calipari? Kentucky? Or just the NBA rules? Would this be an issue if Jay-Z visited the Butler locker room?

Seth Davis: "I don't believe Kemba Walker will let his team lose"


Seth Davis says in his SI article that he thinks Connecticut escapes Kentucky 72-71 in overtime.

His reasoning: "I don't believe Kemba Walker will let his team lose."

Here is an excerpt of Davis' thoughts on Kentucky:

Reason to pick them: They're the most talented team in Houston. If you define "talent" as having a future in the NBA, then Kentucky is the team for you. That includes big Josh Harrellson, who has played his way onto the radar of scouts and GMs the last few weeks.

The Wildcats' talent has been obvious from Day 1, but it is only in the last four weeks that the team has really jelled. There are two main differences between UK now and UK in January. The first is the team's commitment to defense, which has been enhanced by the invaluable contributions of glue guy DeAndre Liggins. The second is the ability to finish off games. For much of the regular season, Kentucky's biggest problem was an inability to win on the road in the conference, but four of its five SEC road losses came by four points or fewer. No player better evinces this maturation than freshman point guard Brandon Knight, who hit game-winning buckets against Princeton and Ohio State despite shooting a combined 4-for-18 from the field and 1-for-7 from three-point range. Now that their maturity is catching up to their talent, these 'Cats are awfully tough to beat.

Reason not to pick them: They're the youngest team in Houston. At each successive stage of the NCAA tournament, the perils of inexperience tend to get exposed more and more. Yes, UConn is also dependent on a bunch of freshmen, as well as a sophomore in 6-foot-9 forward Alex Oriakhi, but Kemba Walker, their leader and most important player, is a junior. Kentucky's leader and most important player is Knight. He and his greenhorn classmates, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb, don't seem to have been fazed by the crucible of the tournament so far, but you have to factor in the very real possibility that they will be a rattled playing on such a big stage.

Complete Article

Kentucky Basketball: Get Fired Up Big Blue Nation

Need a little help getting fired up? This should do the trick:



NBA Basketball: I Love This Game

I'm starting to love NBA Basketball. Last night, the Lakers and Mavericks almost had a brawl during a 90-73 blowout:



Then, a half-naked fan tried to rush the court:

Incredible Article About Kentucky Junior DeAndre Liggins


If you read nothing else today, you need to take a few minutes to check out Jason King's in-depth article on Kentucky junior DeAndre Liggins.

Here an excerpt to spark you interest:

Maurice’s death was tough on everyone, but it was especially difficult for Liggins, whose father had died after going into a diabetic coma months earlier.

“I was the only guy left in the family,” Liggins said. “It’s great to have a sister to talk to. But having a brother there is like a whole different degree. I missed him.”

Instead of letting the situation get the best of him, Liggins found refuge on the basketball court. Until then Liggins had been nothing more than a streetball player, a guy with eye-popping talent whose skills would likely be limited to Chicago’s blacktops instead of high school and college gymnasiums across the country.

“I figured my brother was the one doing it all basketball-wise, so I didn’t need to,” Liggins said.

Liggins was a star from the get-go at Washington High School, where he played three seasons before transferring to Findley Prep in Nevada.

“DeAndre had friends who were involved in all kinds of negative things … gangs, drugs,” Dobson said. “But he avoided all of that stuff by spending his time in the gym.”

Complete Article (Highly Recommended)

Kentucky Recruit Trevor Lacey in Action

Here is the latest highlight video of University of Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey in action:

Kellogg: Wildcats Have Gone from Caterpillars to Butterflies


CBS Sports Analyst Clark Kellogg says the Kentucky Wildcats have "gone from caterpillars to butterflies" this season.

Here is an excerpt from WKYT.com:

CBS Sports Analyst Clark Kellogg saw the Cats play twice in person during the regular season.

The first time was a win against Louisville, the second was a loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Both games were in December.

Kellogg says what's amazing to him is the progress the Wildcat team has made since then.

"Especially the upperclassmen production from Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins, and Josh Harrellson, has been a key factor in this nice blend of young and old," Kellogg said.

This will be a rematch of a game played during the Maui Invitational, but Kellogg says both teams have evolved since then.

"They've gone from caterpillars to butterflies is how I look at it," Kellogg said. "They're playing much differently, a higher level. This will be a terrific match up because both teams are skilled with playmakers at different positions. They come in extremely confident."

Complete Article

Tayshaun Prince Debates Kentucky vs. Connecticut

Former University of Kentucky star Tayshaun Prince debates Kentucky vs. Connecticut with some former Connecticut players:

Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: April Fool's Day Edition

Today's Top 5:


- Sorry for the lack of updates on Thursday night. I'll explain on Friday, but I promise it was for a good reason.

- Bruce Pearl served BBQ (of all things) to homeless people in Knoxville on Wednesday.

- Most of Big Blue Nation is very pleased with this season's team, regardless of the outcome in Houston. There are, however, a few fans who want a championship or else.

- Jodie Meeks and the Philadelphia 76ers are playing good basketball and will be heading to the NBA Playoffs this season.

- Former Wildcat Antoine Walker joined a podcast to talk about Kentucky basketball and the Final Four. Good stuff from 'Toine.

On Friday, Get Ready For:

- The NABC All-Star in Houston. Kenneth Faried will participate in the game at 5:30 p.m. on TruTV.
'
- The rosters for the Portsmouth Invitational will be announced at 4:00 p.m. ET Friday.

- Erik Daniels' birthday; Happy Birthday Erik!

Recruiting News:

- I'm told by a good source that Adam Wing, Rowan County's Sweet Sixteen star, was contacted recently by Travis Ford from Oklahoma State. He already has some solid football offers and his basketball career is now on the map.

- Jalen Bland, who is headed to Murray State, was named All-City First Team in Los Angeles.

- West Jessamine's Dylan Pohl and Bradley Strait have signed with Asbury University.

The Buzz:

- Kentucky's Jarrod Polson is now on Twitter. Follow him here

- Wichita State defeated Alabama in the NIT Championship game. - I heard a rumor of a kid named Sid Finch who throws a 130 MPH fastball...be careful folks - you know what today is.

- John Wall was suspended for a game following his physical exchange with Zyldrunas Ilgauskas in Wednesday night's game.

- Rajon Rondo and the Celtics finally got things back on track with a 107-97 win over San Antonio. Rondo had 22 points and 14 assists.

Video of the Day (Michael Gilchrist Interview):

Drug Case of Rekalin Sims Sent to Grand Jury


The case of former University of Kentucky basketball player Rekalin Sims has been sent to a grand jury.

Sims is charged with trafficking drugs within a thousand yards of a school.

Here's an excerpt from Lex18.com:

Rekalin Sims, who spent just one year at UK under coach Tubby Smith, was arrested March 4 and charged with trafficking drugs within a thousand yards of a school. According to Lexington Police, Sims allegedly had marijuana shipped to him from California via Fedex to the "Fedex Express" shipping center on Mercer Road. They say someone else picked up the package, but that person led police to Sims.

The police report of the incident says Sims, 26, is unemployed.

Complete Article

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bruce Pearl Serves Food to the Homeless in Knoxville



Fired Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl spent time Wednesday night at the Lost Sheep Ministry's Dinner for the homeless under the I-40 overpass in Downtown Knoxville.

While this doesn't change very many perceptions about Pearl the basketball coach, it is commendable that he chose to help a great cause.

Survey Says: Most of Big Blue Nation is Ecstatic


I went to Twitter to survey my followers with the following question: If UK doesn't win the championship, are you still happy with 2010-11?

The feedback was great and it seems that most of Big Blue Nation, like myself, is ecstatic with this season's remarkable NCAA Tournament run.

If you are on Twitter, I recommend following these members of Big Blue Nation. If you're not on Twitter, go sign up - it's the best place on the Internet to keep up with breaking news and information.

Here is some feedback:

The majority of fans fall in the category of very happy with these season but disappointed if they make it this far and fall short:


bthompsonUK @awireman major success. Cal has done a phenomenal job instilling a will to win n this group and to make a final four with a 6 man rotation, In the toughest bracket, is nothing short of inspirational. Let's go big blue and rock blueston and bring back #8!

GO_CATS @awireman I'm happy with anything past the sweet 16.

jbird1497 @awireman Happy? yes but disappointed bc its going 2 prom (final four) w/ hottest chick (our team) and then her leaving w/ Cap of FB (kemba)

TylerHarned @awireman Yes, nothing's better than proving critics wrong, achieving what the majority thought wasn't possible, making the victory sweeter.

torywayne @awireman Yes We beat UL in the reg. seas, won the SECTourney while not being the fav, beat the best team n NCAA and beat UNC to adv. to FF.

SouthPointCat @awireman I'm sure there will be some initial disappointment if they lose this weekend, but the season has far surpassed my expectations.

coachbradlevy @awireman absolutely. Team is overachieving and doing more with less. A final four is a final four!

thedennisberry @awireman After the road struggles during SEC play, very happy to see the growth in this team over the last month.

lstamper @awireman I'll be happy, because UK played hard and I have #finalfour off my bucket list.

mcats10 @awireman Happy yes, but never satisfied. Go Big Blue!!

bradcundiff @awireman Immediately I'll be crushed because of how hard the team has worked to change themselves. Given perspective, they overachieved.

jrnall2 @awireman Yes. The rest is gravy for this year. Next year, different answer.

ukandrew @awireman Yes. Final Four seems most fun when you don't expect it. Been a blast for me these past few days.

DamonMBarnes @awireman yep. First Final 4 during my legal drinking years---in a season b/w two recruiting classes that are much more heavily hyped!

bigbluefan1 @awireman Yea I will and to know we did this with Kanter on the bench is a great achievement for our CATS!!!! #believeinblue

BigBlueBooyah @awireman Definitely happy. At the end of the day, UK hangs a banner. That's all that matters.

ONPSS @awireman I'm happy cause they grew n improved as season went on. Plus replacing 4 starters is a difficult task. Dif now they closing games

rgunslinger @awireman The emergence of Harrellson and this team's tenacity has made this a memorable and wonderful season, I'm very happy with this run.

davepurcell @awireman Absolutely. They've gone farther and fought harder than anyone could've expected, and broken our FF drought in the process.

KentuckyHoss @awireman Disappointed for the players if we lose, but very happy overall. UK is back and this year showed it - everything else is gravy.

Chase_TCP @awireman Yes. If not, you're a douche bag who has no business following sports. No further explanation needed.

Deuce_Shoes @awireman I would be devastated if UK didn't win the title, but I would still be happy with the season, especially everyone comes back.

tlmineer @awireman Im so proud of the way they have came together as a team, win or lose I bleed blue!!!

boofcombs @awireman Yes. I said at the start of season I'd be happy with Sweet 16, everything else is gravy.

Truckdriver123 @awireman After losing the talent last year I think they have had an awesome year!


ScavengersBar @awireman On Tuesday Morning?.... extreme disappointment. Within a few days?.... Ecstatic about 2010-11 and the direction of the program.

fakegimel YOU TOTALLY FIT THE STEREOTYPE LOUISVILLE FANS MADE OF US! RT @rcpeck2: @awireman Spent $30 on a crappy UK final four T-shirt. So... yeah.

UKSalsaKat @awireman I'm extraordinarily happy with this season regardless. They gelled and became a cohesive, exciting, successful basketball *team*. Plus this team has Knight and Harrellson. What better success stories and representatives of the program could you ask for?

Ty24Johnson @awireman yes we are happy their doing something that no one thought they could other then the UK team and that's a true champion team.

UKsportstalk @awireman Devasted because we've come this far. But proud of the kids and the coaching staff.

Evan_Pull_I_Am @awireman of course! Even though defeat may taste bitter at first, we went on an impressive run and made the Final 4. What's not to love?

ChaseBowling @awireman elite eight..final four..next year could be the title #progression

fakegimel @awireman Not just happy: Dog-humping-on-a-leg happy.

LilBeezy11 @awireman very happy...this team accomplished even more than last yr by giving us a FF for first time in 13 years. Great season no doubt

CLEGoBigBLUE @awireman Yes, I'm very happy with this team and Coach Cal

SteelersFaninGA @awireman Yes, because this team has shown heart. The future is bright.

HilljakLinbeard @awireman my sons first FF season, born in 1998 and has the same passion for the CATS as we all do. Very fun tourney run.

Bri81275 @awireman happy with overall results when looking back but disappointed with the fact that #8 is here for the taking.#BBN

cblake78 @awireman Any rational fan has to be happy...an Elite 8 in year 1, Final Four (plus?) in year 2...Cal officially has UK back where we belong

SSCCHoops @awireman I'm still happy @uknum1 got MVP in the SEC tourney and showed the world what Maysville already knew!

AbGatorade @awireman Kentucky already surpassed my expectations when they beat OSU; this is icing on the cake.

CoachStinnett @awireman very happy! I think this team stands for what the game is about in all aspects.

Sportzanimal @awireman Very happy with the tourney run, but would be ecstatic with the 'ship!

bblakester @awireman plesently happy

A few fans are only happy with a national championship:


AdamBolender 1 word. NO RT @awireman Want a boost in followers? Answer this question: If UK doesn't win the championship, are you still happy

nvisibly_shaken RT @TheUKRick @awireman Happiness is watching 8 championship banners hang in the Rupp Arena rafters.

dcraig23 @awireman No, #BBN has come too far to drop the last two! #refuse2lose

phicks06 @awireman Of course not. The job is not done. We are UK not UL.

TheUKRick @awireman Happiness is watching 8 championship banners hang in the Rupp Arena rafters.

NotIanEagle @awireman I was happy after the UNC game until Monday morning. Now, I want the title.

And then there are these fans:

rcpeck2 @awireman Spent $30 on a crappy UK final four T-shirt. So... yeah.

Taterx471 @awireman I will only be happy if UK doesn't win the title! (I am, however, grateful yall beat Unc though!)

Antoine Walker Talks About Kentucky and the Final Four


Former University of Kentucky star Antoine Walker, who currently plays in the NBA Development League for the Idaho Stampede, took a timeout to join Epsiode 50 of Sekou Smith's Hang Time Podcast.

Walker talked about the Kentucky Wildcats and their Final Four run.

Listen Here:


Jodie Meeks and Philadelphia Trim Magic Number to One


The Philadelphia 76ers and former University of Kentucky star Jodie Meeks are only one game away from qualifying for the NBA Playoffs.

After Wednesday's 108-97 victory over Houston, the 76ers need one win over the final seven games to clinch a spot.

Currently, Philadelphia is sixth int he Eastern Conference race with a two-game lead over the No. 7 Knicks.

Meeks scored 12 points on 5-9 shooting in last night's win. He also pulled down 4 rebounds and picked up 2 steals.

For Houston, Chuck Hayes flirted with another triple-double as he finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Patrick Patterson had 8 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.

Trevor Lacey is a Finalist for Alabama Mr. Basketball



University of Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey is one of seven finalists for Alabama's Mr. Basketball award.

Here are the finalists:

Class 6A: Levi Randolph, Madison-Bob Jones, 6-6, Sr., Guard
Class 5A: Ricky Tarrant, Pleasant Grove, 6-0, Sr., Guard
Class 4A: Trevor Lacey, Huntsville-Butler, 6-4, Sr., Guard
Class 3A: Kevin May, York-Sumter County, 5-4, Sr., Guard
Class 2A: Matthew Hines, Tanner, 5-10, Jr., Guard
Class 1A: Deion Curry, Reform-Pickens County, 6-0, Sr., Guard
AISA: Jacob Acker, Carrollton-Pickens Academy, 6-2, Sr., Guard

Most expect Lacey, who has recently stated that he's down to Kentucky and Alabama, to win the award.

UK Recruits Sparkle at McDonald's All-American Game


Last night's McDonald's All-American Game was essentially an infomercial for University of Kentucky men's basketball.

The Wildcats had four signees in the game and all four played well.

Michael Gilchrist was named co-MVP after the East's 111-96 victory. Gilchrist finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists.

With his length and mobility, future Wildcat Anthony Davis probably stood out as the most impressive prospect. He finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.

Marquis Teague had 9 points and 3 assists and Kyle Wiltjer finished with 11 points.

Louisville recruit Chane Behanan, the state's lone representative in the game, finished with 4 points. Future Card Wayne Blackshear was limited by a shoulder injury and finished with 2 points in only 8 minutes of action.

Highlights:


Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: McDonald's Game Edition


Today's Top 5:

- John Wall is a nice guy but if you intentionally elbow him, he will strike back.

- The tryout list for the Kentucky All-Star team was announced.

- Former Kentucky players still think about last season's NCAA Tournament loss to West Virginia.

- The NBA plans to investigate Jay-Z's contact with University of Kentucky players on Sunday. This is a Jay-Z/NBA issue and is nothing for UK fans to worry about.

- Kenneth Faried will play for the West team in Friday's NABC All-Star Game.

McDonald's All-American Game Recap:

EAST 111 WEST 96

- Michael Gilchrist (Co-MVP): 16 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists
- Anthony Davis: 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks
- Marquis Teague: 9 points, 3 assists
- Kyle Wiltjer: 11 points
- Chane Behanan: 4 points
- Wayne Blackshear (Limited to 8 minutes): 2 points

On Thursday, Get Ready For:


- AllKyHoops.com will be in Morehead to work on a special project that we'll talk about soon.

-The NIT Championship: Alabama vs. Wichita State at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Recruiting News:

- Kentucky recruit Braeden Anderson scheduled two visits yesterday - then dropped one of them before the day was complete.

- Three Bath County High School seniors are earning college looks and scheduling visits.

- Kentucky signee Marquis Teague will participate in Sunday's Top 60 Workout.

- Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey is one of six finalists for the coveted Mr. Basketball Award in Alabama.

- According to Jody Demling, Jeffersontown star Tony Kimbro has an offer from Western Kentucky and will try to take a visit the Bowling Green soon.

- Riley Grabau was named Boys Hoops Player of the Year in Boulder, Colorado. Grabau has a top 5 of Western Kentucky, Idaho State, Northeastern, Utah Valley and Evansville. WKU has offered and he plans to visit soon.

The Buzz:

- A day after Karen Sypher was ordered to report to prison on April 6, she has filed a motion for a new trial. #smh.

- Alice Lloyd College's Brent Hall and Brandon Hayes were named 2011 Daktronics-NAIA Basketball Scholar-Athletes.

- The governors of Kentucky and Connecticut have placed a friendly wager on Saturday's Final Four game. Gov. Steve Beshear bet a Kentucky ham while Connecticut's governor wagered some of the state's best ice cream.

Video of the Day (Houston or bust):


Bath County Trio Earning College Looks

A trio of stars from Bath County High School are receiving college interest. Jared Ravenscraft, Sam Dye and George Carpenter helped Bath County go 16-10 in 2010-11, a year after losing four starters off a 13-11 team.

Dye, a 6-5 forward, is hearing from Embry Riddle and Northwood (FL). He is scheduled to visit Northwood, a team coached by the legendary Rollie Massemino, next week.


Ravenscraft is visiting Kentucky Christian University on Friday. The 6-2 guard is also hearing from Spalding University.

Carpenter will visit Spalding next Thursday. He has heard from Berea, Kentucky Christian, Lincoln Memorial and Eckerd (FL).


Randall Cobb Predicts a Kentucky Basketball Win


Former University of Kentucky football star Randall Cobb predicts a UK basketball win over Connecticut on Saturday.

Here are his thoughts from SportingNews.com:

Cobb, one of the top wide receivers in the draft, has a bold prediction for how the Wildcats will fare in their Final Four matchup against Connecticut. He says UConn will make a big shot late in the game but not late enough.

“We’re going to have it with a few seconds left,” Cobb says. “Brandon Knight’s going to make a game-winning three. That’s my call.”

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Try Out List Announced for Kentucky All-Star Team


The list of seniors who have been invited to try out for the Kentucky All-Star basketball team that will face Indiana in June was announced today.

The tryouts are set for April 15-16 at a site to be determined.

Here's the players who are invited to try out:

■Anthony Hickey, Christian County ■Remy Abell, Eastern ■Jesse Anderson, Graves County ■Marcellus Barksdale, Tates Creek ■Chane Behanan, Bowling Green ■Clay Cinnamon, Mercer County ■Dillon Cornett, Perry County Central ■Gavin Dunagan, Wayne County ■Logan Dunbar, Spencer County ■George Fant, Warren Central ■Josh Forrest, Paducah Tilghman ■Chris Freeman, Muhlenberg County ■Ryan Fucci, Tates Creek ■Lyonell Gaines, Eastern ■Jake Geisler, Newport Central Catholic ■Jordan Gilbert, Mason County ■Jermaine Jackson, Iroquois ■Donovan Kates, Christian County ■Tony Kimbro, Jeffersontown ■Timmy Knipp, Elliott County ■Veontae Lewis, Christian County ■Ben Madon, Bell County ■Arman Marks, Eastern ■Taylor Martin, Lexington Catholic ■Hobo McCoy, Pike County Central ■DeOndre McWhorter, Moore ■DeVante Parker, Ballard ■Zach Price, Jeffersontown ■Jordan Purcell, Campbellsville ■Corey Rogers, Clark County ■Scott Schuette, Lexington Catholic ■Treg Setty, Mason County ■Jordan Shanklin, Warren Central ■Tanner Shotwell, Scott County ■Mikey Sloan, Knott County Central ■Kellin Smith, Scott Hig ■Leonard Smith, Fulton County ■Bobby Stauffer, Ryle ■Robbie Stenzel, Clark County ■Ryan Taylor, Western ■Corey Washburn, Bullitt East ■Wade Weatherholt, Breckinridge County ■Kameron Woods, Eastern ■Vinny Zollo, Clark County

Source

Kentucky vs. Louisville at the McDonald's Game

Here is the full version of Kentucky recruits and Louisville recruits "talking smack" at the McDonald's All-American Game:



* Video by DraftExpress on YouTube

John Wall Ejected After Fight With Miami Heat

Former University of Kentucky star John Wall was ejected tonight after a scuffle with the Miami Heat:

Braeden Anderson Schedules Two Visits


Kentucky recruit Braeden Anderson has scheduled two visits in the upcoming weeks.

He plans to visit Arizona on April 8 and Mississippi State on April 15.

Anderson is still hearing from Kentucky and expects the Wildcats to visit him after the Final Four concludes.

Check out Braeden's Recruiting Journal

UPDATE: It looks like Anderson may cancel his trip to Mississippi State. He says he is no longer going.

Daniel Orton is Really Happy for the Kentucky Wildcats


Dime caught up with former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton and asked him a few questions about the Wildcats run to the Final Four.

Here is an excerpt:

Dime: Did you expect your Wildcats to get this far? Daniel Orton: You know I didn’t really think much about it. I knew we were going to do really well, so now I’m really happy for them.

Dime: How do you like their chances against UConn? DO: I think they can get ‘em!

Dime: Who do you like most on this year’s team? DO: Josh Harrellson, but I like everybody. I don’t think anybody expected this year out of him, but he stepped up and played really well. Brandon [Knight] is a great point guard, I think he’s a really good player.

Complete Interview

Josh Harrellson is Ready for the Final Four

Kentucky's Josh Harrellson spoke to the media before the Wildcats departed for Houston. Here are his comments (via bluenationblog on YouTube):



Faried to Play for West Team in NABC All-Star Game


Morehead State's Kenneth Faried will for the West Team in Friday's NABC Reese's College All-Star Game.

The game, which will air live on TruTV, will begin at 5:35 p.m. ET at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Here are the rosters:

WEST ALL-STARS
Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston
Tai Wesley, Utah State
Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
Malcolm Thomas, San Diego State
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
Tristan Thompson, North Texas
Alex Stephenson, USC
Mickey McConnell, St. Mary’s
Cameron Jones, Northern Arizona
Gary Johnson, Texas

Head Coach: Billy Tubbs
Assistant Coach: Steve McClain

EAST ALL-STARS
Dwight Hardy, St. John’s
Lavoy Allen, Temple
Brad Wanamaker, Pittsburgh
Chris Warren, Mississippi
Austin Freeman, Georgetown
Mike Davis, Illinois
Gary McGhee, Pittsburgh
Jacob Pullen, Kansas State
Vlad Moldoveanu, American
Jimmy Butler, Marquette

Head Coach: Bill Foster
Assistant Coach: Jeff Jones

Former Wildcats Still Hurting Over Last Season


John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson still think about what might have been if they would have defeated West Virginia in last season's NCAA Tournament.

Here is an excerpt from SportingNews.com:

"When I think about it I can't sleep at night because we should have won that game," said Cousins, now a rookie center for the Sacramento Kings.

Instead, the Wildcats walked off the Carrier Dome floor at Syracuse in stunned silence, as the program's resurgent season under John Calipari ended with a whimper — and the sound of 28 missed 3-pointers clanging off the rim.

"If we played them again it would be a different story," Cousins said. "We would've beat them and beat them good."

The pain lingered for weeks.

Even at 18, Cousins understood he was part of something special.

Yet the promise of NBA riches proved to be too tempting. Cousins and four other Wildcats — John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton — opted to leave school early rather than make another run at a national title.

"Yes, I wish I was still there," Cousins said. "College life was fun."

Complete Article

Cousins sent some encouragement to the Wildcats before the Ohio State game:

President Obama Says "Congratulations to Kentucky"

In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, who happens to be from Glasgow and loves the Kentucky Wildcats, President Barack Obama said congratulations to Kentucky on reaching the Final Four:

Marquis Teague to Participate in Top 60 Workout


Kentucky signee Marquis Teague will participate in Sunday's Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 Workout at Marian University in Indianapolis. The workout will take place from 1:00-5:30 p.m. ET and will consist of two sessions. The cost of admission is $6.

Here is an excerpt about the event from NewsandTribune.com:

New Albany senior guard Chris Whitehead and Jeffersonville senior guard Evan Maschmeyer have both been selected to participate in the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 Workout Sunday at Marian University in Indianapolis.

Indiana University recruits Cody Zeller of Washington and Austin Etherington of Hamilton Heights and University of Kentucky recruit Marquis Teague of Indianapolis Pike will compete in the workout. Other players of local interest playing in the workout are Brownstown’s Spencer Allman, Corydon’s Brandon Dunaway and Bedford North Lawrence’s Alex Pritchett.

Kentucky Wildcats: All We Do Is Win, Win, Win

At the University of Kentucky, all we do is win, win, win...

The latest Kentucky Final Four Tribute:

Cats Credit Enes Kanter, Tipton Questions NCAA Rule


Josh Harrellson and members of the Kentucky team give Enes Kanter plenty of credit for helping the team's development this season.

Harrellson specifically praises Kanter for his individual improvement.

Here is an excerpt from Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader:

"That helps a lot going against him every day," Harrellson said Tuesday. "He's making me a better player."

Harrellson, UK's second-leading scorer (14.8 ppg) and leader in rebounding (9.0 rpg) and steals (1.8 spg) in the NCAA Tournament, noted how practice competition against Kanter enhanced his self-confidence.

"Being able to stop him in practice, playing against him every day, playing against the best of the best, just makes me know going into the game I'm not going to go against anyone as good as Enes," Harrellson said.

Tipton points out that "student assistant coaches are not supposed to participate as players in practice, but the NCAA does not regularly enforce the rule":

After the NCAA ruling denied UK's final appeal on Kanter's eligibility on Jan. 7, UK made him a student assistant coach. It's a role usually reserved for players who have exhausted their eligibility or been sidelined for the rest of their college careers because of injury.

Student assistant coaches are not supposed to participate as players in practice, but the NCAA does not regularly enforce the rule.

Since the end of the regular season, Kanter has had little involvement in Kentucky's preparation, spokesman De-Wayne Peevy said. Kanter has not made a road trip since the Alabama game on Jan. 18.

Complete Article

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