Saturday, April 23, 2011

Benfica, Heshimu Evans Advance to Semifinals


Heshimu Evans and defending LPB champions Benfica have advanced to the semifinals with a 77-68 win over Ovarense.

Benfica swept the three-game series and will await the winner of Academica and Ginasio in next week's semifinal round.

Former University of Kentucky star Heshimu Evans had 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in the game 3 win.

In the three-game series, Evans averaged 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

The LPG is Portugal's top-level of professional basketball.

Rick Pitino Close to Hiring Assistant at Louisville


According to our friends at CardinalConnect.com, Rick Pitino is closing in on a new assistant for the University of Louisville basketball program.

It looks like Pitino is focuses on Wyking Jones (New Mexico), Will Wade (VCU) and Kevin Keatts (Hargrave Military Academy).

Here is an excerpt:

Wyking Jones – New Mexico Asst. Coach: Jones has been an assistant at New Mexico for just one season and doesn’t have a whole lot of experience. However, prior to New Mexico, Jones spent two years working for Nike as a travel team manager. Prior to Nike, Jones worked five seasons (2002-06) at Pepperdine as an assistant to head coach Paul Westphal...

Will Wade – VCU Asst. Coach: Wade is the youngest of the three candidates, but he has a pretty impressive resume. Wade has been an assistant to Shaka Smart at VCU for just one season. In that one season he helped lead VCU to the schools first final four. Prior to VCU, Wade spent time at Harvard where he served as the programs recruiting coordinator...

Kevin Keatts - Hargrave Milliary Academy Post Graduate Head Coach: Keatts served as an assistant at Marshall from 2001-2003. He has been the head coach for Hargrave Military Academy’s post-graduate school for the past 8 seasons. Hargrave has been considered one of the best prep school programs for the past decade. Since 2003-04 coach Keatts has helped get over fifty Hargrave players Division I scholarships. He has also collected two “National Prep” titles (2003-04 & 2007-07), guided the Tigers to a perfect 29-0 season (2007-08) and racked up 113 wins against only 4 losses over those five seasons...

Complete Article

Daniel Orton Has No Regrets, Hopes to Backup Howard


Former University of Kentucky big man Daniel Orton says he has no regrets about leaving Lexington for the NBA Draft. He hopes to overcome a knee injury and win a job as Dwight Howard's backup at center.

Here is an excerpt from OrlandoSentinel.com:

"As far as regrets, no, I don't have any about my decision," Orton said. "Everybody questioned me about it. Nobody understands why I was coming out, but I felt I was ready.

"Not playing is tough. I had a terrible summer league (in Orlando). I got hurt in the D-League. I feel like I have a lot to prove --- more than any other rookie in this draft."

Smith says Orton, 6-feet-10, has a shot at being Howard's back-up, but it all will be up to Orton.

"The summer is going to be big for Daniel, no question," Smith said. "One hundred and 10 percent depends on Daniel."


Complete Article

Wrapping Up the 2011 Derby Festival Classic

The Courier-Journal has some Derby Classic highlights:



Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader points out that Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey struggled and Louisville stars put on a show in the game:



When possible Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey shot an air ball from three-point range late in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic Friday night, a fan sitting near courtside could be heard offering high-volume advice."Pick Kansas," the fan yelled. "Pick Kansas."

Lacey, who came here billed as a deluxe shooter, made his first two shots. But the promise of a stellar performance fizzled as he finished 2-for-8 (1-for-6 from three-point range).

"I couldn't get in the flow," he said. "I missed a couple shots I normally make."

When asked whether he heard the fan suggest he pick Kansas over Kentucky or Alabama, Lacey's high-voltage smile dimmed slightly.


Complete Article

Rick Bozich of the Courier-Journal
says the game needs a little "TLC" to remain as a top-level event:

But the Derby Classic needs more love if it's going to remain vibrant and relevant in the ruthless world of high school basketball. The McDonald's and Jordan games have more marketing muscle and television exposure.

Those are disadvantages that will only become more difficult to overcome. Those two games don't care that the Derby game has held its place on the calendar since 1973.
A corporate sponsor would be a start to give the Derby Classic more juice.

Considering the name on the facility and the opportunity to take on the corporation that sponsors the burger game, maybe Yum! Brands will consider the assignment.

Shoes matter. We know that. Shoes (Nike) are what put the Jordan game on the calendar — and what helped put the four recruits from the University of Kentucky (a Nike school) in Charlotte, N.C., last weekend instead of in downtown Louisville on Friday night.

Complete Article

Western Kentucky Recruits Talk at Derby Classic

Here are interviews with future Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Derrick Gordon and George Fant:



After Derby Classic, Ware Reaffirms UCF Commitment


Now that the Derby Festival Classic is over, 2011 recruit Kevin Ware has reaffirmed his pledge to Central Florida.

There were rumors floating around earlier in the week that Ware was having second thoughts and was still considering Louisville.

"It was all a smokescreen," a source told me last night. "He is totally committed to UCF."

Here is an excerpt of some other comments about Ware from OrlandoSentinel.com:

Rumors circulated Wednesday and Thursday Ware may have been having second thoughts, with Louisville fans posting on Twitter Ware told them in the Derby Classic autograph line he was considering the Cardinals. The Cardinal Connect, a Louisville fan blog, reported Ware said Thursday night he was seriously considering playing at Louisville instead of UCF.

Howie Lindsey, who contributes to the Louisville’s Rivals.com site CardinalSports.com, posted on Twitter Friday night, “Kevin Ware just told me his final decision is central florida. He said it on camera.”

Nick Coffey, of the Cardinal Connection fan blog, posted on Twitter Friday, “Kevin Ware says his mom wants him at UCF.”

Rodger Bohn, a senior writer for SLAM Magazine, posted on Twitter Friday, “Spoke with Kevin Ware for a while tonight.Real unfortunate all the stuff that’s going around about him.Know him and fam personally.”


Source

My Thoughts: In other words, it seems Ware didn't want to be heckled at the Derby Classic so a rumor was circulated to protect him.

Rajon Rondo Returns to All-Star Form in the Playoffs

Former University of Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo has apparently saved his best basketball for the playoffs.

After going through a period of average play, Rondo has shined in the playoffs. Last night, he put in a triple-double that include a Celtics' playoff-record 20 assists.

Here is Rondo doing work last night:



Torian Graham Impressive at AAU Event, Lists Kentucky


Torian Graham, a 6-4 shooting guard from Word of God Christian Academy, appears to be taking his game to the next level.

Graham stood out as one of the top players at the King James Classic on Friday night.

According to Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com:

Ultra athletic and smooth with the basketball on the wing, Graham got his team buckets whenever he wanted. The problem was that he had limited minutes and was less active on the court than usual due to a stomach virus.

Graham is now 6-foot-4, 180-pounds and at Pace Academy in North Carlina. Where he will be next year is still undetermined. When on the court, he is a lethal wing scorer off the catch, in the midrange and at the basket.

Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Miami (offer) and North Carolina State (offer) are the five schools Graham said he is most serious about
.

Complete Article

Meyer added on Twitter:

3starmeyer Graham ilsted kentucky, north carolina, duke, miami (offer) and nc state (offer) as his main schools of interest

Graham is currently listed as a 4-star recruit in the 2012 class but he will likely rise to 5-star status soon.

Graham in Action:

Rajon Rondo Destroys the Knicks in Game 3 Win


Former University of Kentucky star Rajon Rondo had an impressive triple-double in Boston's 113-96 win over New York in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.

Rondo had 15 points, 11 rebounds and a Celtics' playoff record 20 assists in the game. Paul Pierce led the way with 38 points and Ray Allen added 32.

The Celtics lead the series 3-0 and will look to sweep in Game 4 on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photos: St. Catharine Players Visit Elementary School

Members of the St. Catharine College men's basketball team paid a visit to Jennie Rogers Elementary School in Danville on Wednesday. The players delivered motivational messages to students in preparation for upcoming statewide testing.

Here are some pictures from the visit (article on Saturday):









Zeller Leads Gold Team to Win at Derby Festival Classic


The Gold team, led by big numbers from a trio of stars, defeated the White team 126-122 in the Derby Festival Classic game Friday night at the KFC Yum! Center.

Ohio State signee LaQuinton Ross led the way with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists. Michigan State signee Branden Dawson added 23 points. Indiana signee Cody Zeller added 16 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals.

Zeller was named MVP for the Gold Team.

Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey contributed 5 points and 4 assists for the Gold.

Baylor signee Deuce Bello led the White team with 20 points. LeBryan Nash added 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

Louisville signee Angel Nunez, who was name MVP for the White team, put in 16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Chane Behanan, another U of L signee, had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Western Kentucky signee had 16 points for the White team.

Interview with Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey

Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey talks with CardinalConnect.com at the Derby Festival Classic:

Goodman: Calipari Would Love to Have Trio of Stars Back


Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com says University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari would love to have the trio of Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins back for another season.

Here is an excerpt:

It’s a load of crap, the premise that John Calipari wants his guys to go to the league after just one season.

No one wants to have to start over year after year.

Not even Calipari.

Sure, Kentucky’s head coach has plenty of talent coming in this fall, but trust me — he’d love to have back a couple of these guys who decided to declare for the NBA Draft on Wednesday.

He’d love to have talent and experience in Lexington.


Goodman adds:

Just imagine a starting lineup that looks like this: Knight and stud freshman Marquis Teague in the backcourt with, let’s say, Liggins, Jones and the top-rated frosh in the country, Anthony Davis, in the middle.

That leaves senior wing Darius Miller, sophomore guard Doron Lamb and a pair of highly touted freshmen — Michael Gilchrist and Kyle Wiltjer — coming off the bench. Trust me, Gilchrist wouldn’t be coming off the bench for long.

This team could be loaded.

Undefeated loaded.


Complete Article

North Carolina Pulls Offer from Shabazz Muhammad?


According to ChapelHeels.com, North Carolina has pulled their scholarship offer to 2012 star Shabazz Muhammad.

View Here (Subscription)

Rumors have been swirling that Muhammad is close to making a commitment and Kentucky is presumed to be in the final mix.

Goodman Ranks the Top 10 Underclassmen to Declare


Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com ranks the top 10 underclassmen who have declared for the 2011 NBA Draft.

Of course, there are three Wildcats in the top 10:

Enes Kanter, 6-9, PF, Fr., Kentucky — The big man from Turkey wasn’t allowed to play all year by the NCAA, but he’ll be a high lottery pick anyway. He’s strong, physical and is a legitimate post player.

Brandon Knight, 6-3, PG, Fr., Kentucky — He's one of the few guys on this list who hasn’t yet committed to signing with an agent, but the speculation is that the high-scoring guard won’t be back in Lexington. Makes sense since he’s a lock to go in the lottery and because next year he’d be sharing time at the point with incoming freshman Marquis Teague.

Terrence Jones, 6-9, F, Fr., Kentucky — He came out of the gates strong as a freshman, but was inconsistent with his production and effort for much of the year. However, NBA folks love his potential, and — if he stays in the draft — he should go somewhere in the Top 10.

Complete Article

UConn's Jamal Coombs-McDaniel Arrested on Drug Charges


I guess the title celebration in Connecticut is going to be short-lived. Kemba Walker is leaving for the NBA Draft and now UConn guard Jamal Coombs-McDaniel has been arrested on a marijuana possession charge.

Here is an excerpt from SportingNews.com:

Campus police say the sophomore was arrested Thursday night with two other people. He was charged with possession of more than four ounces of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police say the three had 5.6 ounces of the drug.

According to the police report, Coombs-McDaniel was picked up just before 11:30 p.m. at the Merritt Hall dormitory on the Storrs campus. He was one of 11 people arrested during the first night of Spring Weekend, an annual weekend of campus parties before final exams.


Complete Article

Rumors Swirling About 2012 Star Shabazz Muhammad


There are rumors swirling that 2012 star Shabazz Muhammad is growing frustrated with the recruiting process and considering a commitment soon.

Jonathon Paige of SummerHoopScoop on Twitter reports the following:

SummerHoopScoop Shabazz Muhammad says he's getting "tired with the whole process" and multiple sources have told me he has had a favorite for a long time

SummerHoopScoop Holmes confirmed that Bazz was close to popping earlier in the process. Might he be close to a verbal?

Muhammad has been recruited heavily by a number of schools including Kentucky and Louisville.

Looking at John Calipari vs. Bobby Knight


Ben Shapiro of Masslive.com writes that John Calipari and Bobby Knight are two men with everything and nothing in common.

Here is an excerpt:

Be it coincidence or not, shortly after his departure both programs came under NCAA investigation and, eventually, both would have their Final Four births removed from official record. It is worth noting that regardless of how people feel about Calipari, he has never been found guilty of any NCAA violations.

Bobby Knight's programs never had anything like that occur. Knight ran very clean programs. Or he ran programs during an era without enough emails, texts, videos, online banking, fax machines and other potential evidence to ever be caught. Knight also won.

Calipari is very good, but Knight at his peak was about as good as anyone not named Wooden. He won three national championships in 1976, 1981, and 1987.

Knight coached during a time when head coaches were rarely questioned by their players, players' parents, or school administrators. Knight also helped to usher in the end of that era.

By the time Knight was dismissed from Indiana in the fall of 2000, there had been numerous complaints about his treatment of players. Indiana player Neil Reed claimed Knight choked him during a contentious practice, which eventually led to his dismissal.

The facts are that both Bobby Knight and John Calipari are imperfect men that operate or operated in a flawed system.


Complete Article

Campbellsville University Signs Transfer Rilwan Bakare


CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. -- Campbellsville University men's basketball has hit the recruiting trail hard for 2011-12 and add a 6-foot-7 forward from Chicago as the first signee for the year. CU head coach Keith Adkins and assistant Brian Milburn recently made a trip to Danville Area Community College in Danville, Ill., to ink sophomore post player Rilwan Bakare.

Bakare, who averaged 12.2 points and seven rebounds per game at Danville, was one of the top shooters in National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Basketball in 2010-11. The Chicago native shot 61 percent from the floor through 31 games. While ranked No. 9 in the nation for field goal percentage, only three players shot better with more than 30 wins on the schedule.

"Rilwan is a great addition to our program at Campbellsville University," Adkins said. "We have considered him a priority in our recruiting efforts for some time now. His athleticism and physical nature will make him a perfect fit in our system.

Complete Release

John Calipari Describes a "Players-First Program"


University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari explained on CoachCal.com what is means to be a players-first program.

Here is an excerpt of Calipari's thoughts:

There’s been some talk about what it means to be a “players-first program” and coming off the road from recruiting seems like a perfect time to discuss this.

Being a Players-first program means:

1. During the recruiting process, we don’t make outlandish promises about playing time, starting positions, minutes, shots, points or anything to these young men that we can’t keep. At Kentucky, you have to work for everything and compete every day at the highest level.

2. The second part is that once the season begins, we are teaching players to be the teammate they want to play with. Our whole focus is on team play. I want individuals to play well but I’m getting them to understand nothing of significance will be accomplished by themselves.

3. Lastly when the season is over, when our TEAM is done playing, my job is to help them make the best decisions, with the best information I can give them, for them and their families. I’m not trying to convince them to come back if that’s not in their best interest. Likewise, I’m never trying to shove anybody out the door.

The Truth is that these top players in the country want to play for a certain kind of coach in a certain kind of program. They are not playing for just any coach. They want to play with someone who has proven results.

The Lie is that because a player won’t go to a certain school, it’s impossible to win championships with that type of young, elite talent.


Complete Article from CoachCal.com

K.C. Ross-Miller Transferring, Considering Louisville


Former University of Kentucky recruit K.C. Ross-Miller is planning to transfer from New Orleans and is considering a handful of schools, including Louisville.

Ross-Miller averaged 10.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game during one semester at New Orleans. He also shot 9-18 (50%) from long range.

New Orleans is an NCAA Division I Independent program which is in an interesting situation. The NCAA allowed players to compete at New Orleans last season and then transfer to new schools without penalty - in other words, Ross-Miller is eligible to play in 2011-12.

Here is an excerpt of Ross-Miller's comments from Erin Ashley at BoxofMess.com:

Recently, University of New Orleans’ Freshman KC Ross-Miller spoke to me about leaving the University in order to attend another school, ” I am about to transfer colleges.” Right now, he does not know what college he will ultimately end up at, but Ross-Miller has a list of top contenders that he will evaluate during his transferring process. “I haven’t decided yet but my schools are Purdue, Louisville, UNT, Detroit, Kansas State.” His stay at the University of New Orleans was more of an insurance policy rather than an act of permanence ” I went to UNO because they have a rule where I could go there for one semester and then be eligible to play anywhere without having to sit out, except in the SEC.” Now that the semester is over, Ross-Miller can now focus on looking for the best fitting program, ” I’m looking for a program where I can come and start, have a good coach, and good academics. I’m looking for the best school that needs me the most.” Hopefully this young man will be able to find the school of his dreams!

Source

Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: Good Friday Edition


Thursday's Top 5:

- After reading comments from Brandon Knight's mother, I have to say that all signs point to Knight staying in the Draft and ending his college career.

- The Florida men's basketball received a slap on the wrist from the NCAA after self-reporting some violations during 2010.

- Word of God's Joseph Uchebo confirmed in an interview that Kentucky is recruiting him.

- Eastern's Remy Abell has asked for his release from Bradley. A source said he likes Indiana and will also consider several other schools.

- Josh Harrellson's "Jorts Tour" is rolling along. On Thursday, he delivered a motivational message to Kentucky students.

On Friday, Get Ready For:

- The Maxpreps.com Sophomore All-American Team to be announced.

- The Derby Festival Classic game at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Recruiting News:

- Clark County's Travis Purvis is headed to Alice Lloyd College.

- Newport Central Catholic's Jake Giesler, who put in 18.5 points and 13 rebounds last season, has committed to Jacksonville University.

- K.C. Ross-Miller is transferring from New Orleans and his list includes Louisville (more on this soon).

The Buzz:

- Former UK player Jared Carter won three awards from USBasket.com, but he finished behind Eric Brookshank in the Defensive Player of the Year award given out by the PBL. Former Kentucky State star Kenny Jones was named Newcomer of the Year by the league.

- Leroy Nobles, a 6-5 guard from IUPUI, has signed with agent Johnny Foster. He played for Louisville Central in high school.

- Murray State and Western Kentucky have renewed their contract and will continue their basketball series for four more seasons.

- Texas Tech men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie will throw out the first pitch prior to Friday's Texas/Texas Tech baseball game. The newly-named head coach will also sign autographs on the stadium concourse beginning at 5:15 p.m.

- Keith Bogans scored 9 points on 3-4 shooting in Chicago's 88-84 win over Indiana. The Bulls are up 3-0 in the series.

- Jodie Meeks had 6 points and 3 rebounds in Philadelphia's 100-94 loss to Miami. The Heat are up 3-0 in that series.

- Princeton has hired Mitch Henderson as men's basketball head coach.

- Miami has hired George Mason head caoch Jim Larranaga.

Video of the Day (A very talented 8th grader named Karl Towns, Jr.):

Brandon Knight is Likely Staying in the NBA Draft


According to Brandon Knight's mother, it would take something "unexpected" to send her son back to college for his sophomore season.

Here is an excerpt from Larry Vaught's article:

“We never talked about the NBA during the year. He was always focused on Kentucky and winning the championship. He never thought about next year until the season ended,” Knight’s mother said.

The family also isn’t worried about a potential NBA lockout that could wipe out most or all of the 2011-12 season.

“If that happens, he won’t get paid whether he’s in the NBA or college,” Tonya Knight laughed and said. “We have been taking care of him for 19 years. What is one more year? The worst case scenario if he stays in the draft is that he would not get paid, but we can handle that if it happens. We’re used to that.”

Tonya Knight admits it would take “something unexpected” for her son to take his name out of the draft based on information Calipari has provided from his contacts with NBA personnel.


Complete Article

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Former Player Makes Explosive Allegations Against Providence College


I'm not sure what's going on at Providence College, but I know what a former player is alleging.

Jamine Peterson says he was dismissed from the program after he carried out the "school tradition" of setting up recruits to receive oral sex from willing hosts.

Here is an excerpt from TheHoopsReport.com:

Peterson said that on his recruiting visit to Providence in high school he was introduced to a female who showed him a "good time."

Peterson understood that as tradition. He had seen it done throughout his time at Providence and he had introduced plenty of recruits to females. He thought he was just doing his part to help lure in the recruits. He never thought twice about it. He never thought he was doing anything wrong.

When recruits came to campus, he said that's what the Providence players did. They would find a willing female to show the recruits a "good time."

Peterson claims that the Providence coaches "would tell us to have a good time but be careful and stay out of trouble. They knew we were going to show him some love with a female."

That's exactly what Peterson did. He called a female who the Providence players called numerous times to perform oral sex on recruits. According to Peterson, "She always says that's her hobby. That's what she likes to do. She wants to be a porn star."

How many recruits does Peterson recall her performing oral sex on? "Let's just say she's in double figures."

The incident took place in Peterson's living room. Peterson lived with teammates Brian McKenzie and Marshon Brooks, but according to Peterson neither McKenzie nor Brooks were there that night. One of his teammates, who Peterson chose to remain anonymous, was present. That player was a senior at the time.

"I was doing what they did to me when I was in the recruiting process," said Peterson. "Every time a recruit visits, the coaches would ask us if we can take them out and show them a good time."

After the incident, one of the kids involved told his mother about how good of a time he had at Providence and confessed to her that he and his friends had received oral sex from a female. The mother then became enraged and told the President of Providence College about the incident her son had described.

Complete Article

Murray State and Western Kentucky Renew Series


Murray State Athletics Director Allen Ward announced Thursday that the Racers men's basketball series with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will continue, with a new four-year contract that will take one of college basketball's best rivalries through 2014.

The four-year agreement calls for Murray State to play in Bowling Green Dec 1, 2011, with WKU playing at MSU's CFSB Center Dec. 1, 2012. The Racers will play in Bowling Green in 2013 with the Hilltoppers coming back to Murray in 2014. Exact dates for the 2013 and 2014 games will be determined later.

“I'm excited for all the Racer fans that wanted to see this series continue,” Allen Ward said. “I want to thank Ross Bjork, Todd Stewart and both coaching staff's for their commitment to finalizing the details of this extension. It's good for college basketball and both institutions to continue this storied rivalry.”

“It's a great game for our fans and program,” MSU Head Coach Billy Kennedy said. “Western Kentucky has a great tradition of success, as we do, and we're looking forward to continuing the series.”

Complete Article

DaJuan Coleman: From Humble Beginnings to Hoops Star


Matthew Harris of NCC News Online has written an in-depth article about 2012 Kentucky recruit DaJuan Coleman.

Coleman is a 6-9 star at Jamesville-DeWitt (NY) High School.

Here is an excerpt:

Like many younger siblings, Coleman grew up idolizing his older brother Dasean. "I looked up to him because he was good at all sports," he said. But unfortunatley, for Dasean, the dangers and street life of the Westside took priority over sports.

"I was in the Airport in Florida when my brother got shot. I was nervous and didn't really know what to do. The whole situation made me sad," he said. Dasean's brother's gunshot wound was not life-threatening but was a wake up call to the family.

"After the shooting he went to my mom and said we need to get them outta here. And so that's when we moved," Coleman said.


Complete Article

Photo: Rivals.com

Self-Reported Violation Costs Florida Visits


The University of Florida men's basketball program lost two recruiting visits during the 2010-11 academic year due to a self-reported NCAA violation.

The Gators reported three men's basketball violations during 2010.

Here is an excerpt from Gatorsports.com:

UF reported the violation to the Southeastern Conference office April 23, 2010 after a prospective student athlete spoke to several former Florida basketball players on the phone. As a result, the SEC reduced the number of Florida’s official visits from 12 to 10 during 2010-11.

As a side note, the NCAA bylaw that prohibits prospective student athletes from speaking to former players is being challenged in the courts. Lawyers contend the rule violates a PSA’s freedom of speech rights.


Complete Article

Doron Lamb Talks About Bleeding Blue


There is a nice article about Kentucky freshman Doron Lamb at TheVillager.com. In the article, he alludes to Kentucky's Big Blue Nation and his good friendship with teammate Terrence Jones.

Here is an excerpt:

When asked about his transition from high school to college, Doron replied, “It was very smooth coming from Oak Hill Academy [in Virginia], which was a great stepping stone leading to this phase. It prepared me well from the smallest task to the greatest task; it helped me to be well-rounded.”

About the rabid basketball culture in the Bluegrass State, he said, “In Kentucky some people call us the Big Blue Nation — ‘Go Cats’ or ‘Go Blue’ — whatever way it comes out, we are all one big basketball family, we bleed blue.

“I have made many great relationships with classmates and teammates that will last forever,” he added. “All of my teammates are great guys. However, the one and only Terrence Jones brings out the giggles in me, always keeping it positive.”


Complete Article

Are You Okay with John Calipari's Methods at Kentucky?


USA Today polls online readers today to ask: "Do you approve of the way the Kentucky program is run?"

Currently, "Yes. Calipari does what is best for his players" leads 56% to 44% over "No. Hello, they are STUDENT-athletes."

Here is an excerpt of the article associated with the poll:

Unlike many coaches, Kentucky's John Calipari is honest about college basketball being a developmental league for the NBA. And players flock to the program because of that.

Three of the top six recruits ranked by Rivals.com have signed with Kentucky for the 2011-12 season.

Forwards Michael Gilchrist and Anthony Davis were named first-team members of USA TODAY's All-USA boys basketball team and guard Marquis Teague was a third-team choice. A fourth Wildcat recruit -- Kyle Wiltjer -- was also a third-team pick.

Go visit and vote accordingly

LSU Leading for Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey?


According to NOLA.com, Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey has listed LSU as his leader.

Here is an excerpt:

The LSU basketball program will get a visit this weekend from three-star point guard Anthony Hickey, who was recently named Kentucky's Mr. Basketball.

Hickey, who is 5-feet-10 and 172 pounds, has listed LSU as the leader for his services. He will visit campus Sunday and said he will make his decision May 6.

He averaged 18 points, 4.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 steals while leading Christian County High School of Hopkinsville, Kent., to the Class 5A state title. He was also quarterback for the football team which finished as the state runner up.


Complete Article

Joseph Uchebo Confirms that Kentucky is Recruiting Him

Joseph Uchebo from Word of God (NC) Christian Academy confirmed in an interview with C2CRecruiting that Kentucky is recruiting him.

The 6-9 center mentions Kentucky first in the interview:

Future Eagle Dre Mathieu Earns Player of the Year Honors


Dre Mathieu, who will walk-on at Morehead State University, was recently named 2011 PrepXtra Boys' Basketball Player of the Year in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Here is an excerpt from KnoxNews.com:

"The wolves were circling the carcass," said Central coach Mitch Mitchell. "Dre set the tone. He told the team, 'We're not going settle for third or fourth place in the district. We're going to prove people wrong.' That became his battle cry."

Mathieu, the 2011 PrepXtra Boys' Basketball Player of the Year, backed up his talk.

He bought into Mitchell's ways as soon as possible so his teammates would follow suit.

He then showed it on the court. The 5-foot-11 guard led the team in points (20.7), assists (8.1) and steals (4.8) and - up until the last few games of the season - in rebounds (6.8).

Complete Article

Jared Carter Named Defensive Player of the Year in PBL


Former University of Kentucky big man Jared Carter has been named Center of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the Premier Basketball League.

Carter averaged 11.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots for the Rochester RazorSharks, who captured a controversial league championship. Carter also shot 57.3% from the field.

PBL Awards by USBasket.com:

Player of the Year: Quinnel Brown (6'6''-G/F-83) of Quebec K.
PBL Finals MVP: Jared Carter (7'1''-C-87) of Rochester R.
Guard of the Year: Quinnel Brown (6'6''-G/F-83) of Quebec K.
Forward of the Year: Joshua Dollard (6'8''-F-86) of Halifax R.
Center of the Year: Jared Carter (7'1''-C-87) of Rochester R.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jared Carter (7'1''-C-87) of Rochester R.
Coach of the Year: Rod Baker of Rochester R.

1st Team
G/F: Quinnel Brown (6'6''-83) of Quebec K.
G: Royce Parran (5'9''-85) of Quebec K.
G/F: Elvin Mims (6'5''-79) of Lawton Ft.SC
C: Jared Carter (7'1''-87) of Rochester R.
F: Joshua Dollard (6'8''-86) of Halifax R.

2nd Team
G: Eddie Smith (6'2''-83) of Lawton Ft.SC
G: Taliek Brown (6'1''-82) of Halifax R.
G: Anthony Anderson (5'11''-81) of Saint John M.R.
F: Kenny Jones (6'6''-84) of Kentucky S.
F: Mike Williams (6'7''-85) of Rochester R.

Honorable Mention
Keith Friel (6'4''-G-77) of Rochester R.
Marc Egerson (6'6''-G-86) of Saint John M.R.
Dwuan Rice (5'11''-G) of Saint John M.R.
Bo Harris (6'7''-F) of Kentucky S.
Eric Walton (6'9''-F/C-79) of Rochester R.

A PSA from Josh Harrellson and Jeff Sheppard

The Jorts Tour is in full swing and today Josh Harrellson delivers a PSA to Kentucky students:

Eastern's Remy Abell Asks for Release from Bradley


Remy Abell from Louisville Eastern has officially asked for his release from Bradley and will open his recruitment back up.

Here is an excerpt from PJStar.com:

Ford and BU assistant Willie Scott met with Abell on Tuesday night in Louisville in a last-ditch effort to convince the guard to re-affirm his commitment to Bradley. But Abell called Ford back Wednesday and indicated his desire to be cut loose.

“Obviously, we wanted to get a chance to speak with Remy and his family, which we did,” Ford said. “He’s interested in considering other options at this point and we’ll work our way through the process.

“We want players who are committed to being at Bradley. Our administration has put a lot into basketball and we have a passionate fan base. We want players who are passionate about representing not only our university, but our community as well.”

Abell told the Louisville Courier-Journal: “I told (the Bradley coaches) that I wanted out of the letter and now I am basically waiting for them to fax it to the school. Everything is in place. They told me that they appreciated me being patient with them.”


Source

Photo: Rivals.com

Lewis County's Koty Riley Signs with Berea College


Lewis County High School senior Koty Riley has signed with Berea College. Riley averaged 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds during his senior season.

Here is an excerpt from Maysville-Online.com:

"I felt like I was at home the first time I visited Berea," Riley said. "I love how the coaches have kept up with me all year and encouraging me to be the best player I can be. I really loved the gym and it feels like the best fit for me. I talked to the players and they're a great group of guys."

After signing the letter of intent on the auditorium stage, Riley thanked his parents, Terry and Anita, his teammates and coaches, while displaying his new blue jersey with his familiar number 44.

Terry Riley said jokingly that "was part of the deal" and added that "we're tickled to death for Koty, he's going to a great place with a great coach. We're really excited and very proud of him. He's a really good kid."

Complete Article

Gilchrist, Davis Named to 2011 All-USA Boys Basketball Team


Kentucky signees Michael Gilchrist and Anthony Davis were named to the 2011 All-USA Boys Basketball Team by USA Today.

Gilchrist and Davis join Player of the Year Austin Rivers, James McAdoo and Brad Beal on the five-man team.

Bob Hurley, Sr. from St. Anthony (NJ) was named Coach of the Year.

Source

Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: Wildcats Declare for Draft Edition


Wednesday's Top 5:

- Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins have entered their names in the NBA Draft but have not announced plans to hire agents.

- Kentucky and Louisville recruits make up the majority of the 2011 Maxpreps All-American Junior Team.

- Trevor Lacey says he's down to three schools: Kentucky, Kansas and Alabama.

- Terrence Jones' high school coach was a little surprised that Jones entered the NBA Draft but said he's always thought he would be a one-and-done player.

- Kevin Ware is not bound to UCF by a National Letter of Intent, but it appears that he'll stick with the Knights (at least for now).

On Thursday, Get Ready For:

- Keith Bogans and Jodie Meeks in NBA Playoff action: Bulls vs. Pacers, 7:00 p.m.; Heat vs. 76ers, 8:00 p.m.

Recruiting News:

- It was in the works for a while and now it's official: Remy Abell has asked out of his LOI at Bradley.

- Arizona head coach Sean Miller watched UK recruit Shabazz Muhammad workout on Wednesday.

- Northern Kentucky University has signed 6-4 guard Alex McGlothin from Walnut Hills (OH).

- Dre Mathieu, who will walk-on at Morehead State, was named 2011 PrepXtra Boys' Basketball Player of the Year in Knoxville.

- Kentucky signees Michael Gilchrist and Anthony Davis were named to the All-USA Basketball Team by USA Today.

- Corey Wilford from Connors State College signed with SEMO. He also considered Murray State, Morehead State, Austin Peay, Missouri State and South Alabama.

- Western Kentucky is now involved with 6-0 point guard Shaquille Stokes according to Nick Baumgardner of the Bowling Green Daily News. Stokes is also hearing from UNLV, TCU and Iowa.

- Rick Pitino watched 2012 shooting guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera this week.

- Scott County's Tamron Manning has offers from Marshall, Eastern Kentucky, James Madison, Akron and Ohio. He is also hearing from many others. (Source: Jody Demling)

The Buzz:

- Morehead State basketball is coming to a billboard (see article image) near you: There are three billboards in the Ashland area and an additional three in Louisa, between Paintsville and Salyersville, and in Pikeville.

- Vanderbilt's top three players announced that they'll be returning to college next season. Vandy will be tough in 2011-12.

Video of the Day (Here's to you Bobby Knight):

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

High School Coach Talks Terrence Jones and NBA


Jefferson High School coach Pat Strickland was surprised when Terrence Jones entered his name in the NBA Draft on Wednesday.

Jones, who starred at Jefferson, spoke to Strickland and told him he's just planning to test the waters and isn't going to sign an agent.

Strickland was surprised at the news because he actually thought Jones was planning to return to Kentucky for his sophomore season when he returned to Lexington after a visit to Portland last weekend.

Here is an excerpt of Strickland's comments from OregonLive.com:

"He said he's just testing the waters, and isn't going to sign with an agent. He's going to make his decision based on the feedback he gets," Strickland said.

Based on his conversations with Jones since he left Jefferson, Strickland said he felt Jones would stay in the NBA draft if he projects among the top seven picks.

"But now I'm thinking it's the lottery," said Strickland, meaning one of the top 14 picks. "But dealing with this guy, you never know."


Complete Article

John Calipari Watches Word of God Workout


University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari watched a Word of God Christian Academy workout on Wednesday.

ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep reported on Twitter:

DaveTelep John Calipari and Tom Crean plus a UNC assistant watched a workout at Word of God today. Josh Newkirk had a nice afternoon.

Word of God is home to several talented players, including 6-9 center Joseph Uchebo (who recently broke off his commitment to North Carolina State) and 2012 star T.J. Warren.

Trevor Lacey Down to Three, Kentucky in the Mix


University of Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey says he is down to three final schools: UK, Kansas and Alabama.

Here is an excerpt from Jerry Tipton's article:

Prospect Trevor Lacey said Wednesday that his college choice will come down to either home-state school Alabama or basketball bluebloods Kansas or Kentucky.

Lacey visited Alabama last weekend. He plays in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic in Louisville this coming Friday.

Then he plans to visit Kansas the following weekend and Kentucky later in May.

“The last three visits will play real factor in my decision,” he said.


Complete Article

UKSportsInfo spoke to Lacey today:



Kevin Ware Not Bound to UCF, But is Sticking with Knights


Kevin Ware cannot, under NCAA rules, sign a National Letter of Intent with Central Florida because he already signed one in the same year with Tennessee.

His stepfather says he is sticking with the Knights, however, despite rumors that he is still looking at Louisville.

Here is an excerpt from AJC.com:

“There are a few rumors out there, some with good reason, but the bottom line is that Kevin is still going to play college basketball at Central Florida,” Ware’s stepfather, Wesley Junior, told the AJC.

What about the trip to Louisville? That’s not an official visit with the Cardinals and Rick Pitino, but to play in the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic all-star game.

“Some UCF fans are worried about the situation because they think the Louisville recruits also playing in the game will tell Kevin ‘Hey, come on and play with us,’” Junior said. “They probably will. Then there are a couple of autograph sessions with all the players and they think the Louisville fans will say ‘come play here at Louisville.’ They probably will.


Complete Article

Dick Vitale Shares Thoughts on Kentucky Trio and Draft

ESPN analyst Dick Vitale gives his thoughts on Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins and the NBA Draft:

UK, U of L Recruits Highlight Junior All-America Team


The Maxpreps.com Junior All-America Team is littered with Kentucky and Louisville recruits.

Kentucky recruits Kyle Anderson, Perry Ellis and DaJuan Coleman were named to the first team. Shabazz Muhammad and Archie Goodwin are on the second team.

Louisville is recruiting D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who is on the first team and already have a commitment from second teamer Rodney Purvis.

FIRST TEAM

MAXPREPS.COM NATIONAL JUNIOR OF THE YEAR
Tony Parker, Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
6-8 / 260 / Forward
Parker's breakout junior campaign pushed the Wolverines to their third-straight Class AAAA state title, averaging 17.5 points, 15.6 rebounds and 3.9 blocked shots per contest.

Kyle Anderson, St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
6-8 / 200 / Guard-Forward
Joined fellow Paterson Catholic transplant Myles Mack in leading St. Anthony to MaxPreps.com's No. 1 national ranking, contributing 14.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.

DaJuan Coleman, Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt, N.Y.)
6-9 / 280 / Forward
In three seasons at the Syracuse-area school, Coleman's presence and production (24.5 points, 14 rebounds per game this winter) has helped the program win three Class A state titles with a record of 75-7.

Perry Ellis, Wichita Heights (Kan.)
6-8 / 220 / Forward
Already one of Kansas' most decorated players ever with a year to go, Ellis put up 22.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for three-peat state champions that will ride 44-game winning streak into next season.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, North Central (Indianapolis)
6-3 / 215 / Guard
Bulky guard was Indianapolis Star's pick as city's top player over Kentucky-bound Marquis Teague, averaging 25.1 points per game to lead Panthers to 22-3 record and a national ranking for much of the season.
.

SECOND TEAM

- Ricardo Gathers, Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.)
- Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
- Marcus Smart, Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas)
- Archie Goodwin, Sylvan Hills (Sherwood, Ark.)
- Rodney Purvis, Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.)

Complete Release

Elisha Justice Seems Poised for the Final Four


Don't look now but Louisville freshman Elisha Justice is dominating his Sweet 16 matchup against Carlos Bocanegra in 2011 Hottest Male Athlete Tournament sponsored by Baskit.

Currently, Justice holds a 308-63 lead over Bocanegra with the winner advancing to the Elite 8 where he will face either Yoann Gourcuff or Benny Feilhaber.

I'm not sure if the goal here is to win or not but I guess I'm pulling for Justice to cut down the nets (or whatever the winners do in this online battle).

Go Here to Vote

Updated Bracket:

Calipari Talks NBA Draft Possibilites for Kentucky Trio


University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari spoke to Mike DeCourcy of SportingNews.com about the NBA Draft plans and possibilities of Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins.

Here is an excerpt:

Based on the information Calipari is receiving, their absence from the draft pool, as well as that of Ohio State freshman center Jared Sullinger, pushed Knight firmly into the top-10 range.

“How can I say no to that?” Calipari told Sporting News on Wednesday.

Liggins has impressed some NBA scouts with his exceptional defensive ability. At least one franchise compared his pro potential to that of Memphis Grizzlies forward Tony Allen, who has helped lead that team into the playoffs with his defensive skills.

“(Allen) has transformed the Grizzlies,” said Calipari, who was coaching the University of Memphis when the NBA moved to town in 2001. “Everybody is looking at DeAndre Liggins, that he could guard multiple positions. He’s athletic, tough, comes up with balls -- all the stuff they want in that position.

"He’s getting a serious look now. I wasn’t positive about it before, but I feel pretty good."


Complete Article

My Thoughts: My early thoughts are that Knight is probable to leave, Liggins is better-than-average and Jones could go either way...

Parrish: Kentucky Fans' Reaction Matches Knight's Stupidity


Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has an "interesting" take on the Bob Knight vs. University of Kentucky saga.

Parrish says Knight's stupid statement is matched by UK fans' "dumb reaction."

Here is an excerpt:

Best I can tell, what we have here is a 70-year-old man with a reputation of being out of touch and a history of dumb comments making another dumb comment that makes him again seem out of touch, and that's pretty much it.

I can't imagine anybody exited Knight's speech with a greatly different opinion of John Calipari or Kentucky because, let's be honest, most people don't take Knight seriously anymore on anything other than man-to-man defense. The majority of folks who would get fired up about Calipari having players who supposedly don't go to class probably don't think it ranks among the five worst things that happen at UK on an annual basis. Fair or not, Calipari's reputation is cemented. There are many shades to the Kentucky coach, no doubt. But the majority of people view him in a black-or-white way, and that's just the way it's going to be forever and always.


Complete Article

My Thoughts: I have nothing against Gary Parrish but he's reaching on this one. Bob Knight is still a public figure and even though he's a "70-year-old man with a reputation of being out of touch and a history of dumb comments" (as Parrish describes him), he still doesn't get a pass to slander college kids with now proof of wrong-doing at all.

DeAndre Daniels to Miss Derby Festival Classic


I was told this morning that 2011 recruit DeAndre Daniels will likely miss the Derby Festival Classic game on Friday due to a death in his family.

Daniels technically still has Kentucky on his list, but most feel there is little to no chance he'll end up in Lexington.

Darius Miller Declares for NBA Draft, Too

Well sort of...Darius Miller has declared for the 2011 NBA Draft - on his xBox:

Knight, Jones, Liggins Declare for the NBA Draft


Kentucky's Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins have all three declared for the NBA Draft but have not hired agents at this time.

None of the three have announced plans to sign with an agent.

Here is the release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior DeAndre Liggins and freshmen Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight have declared for this year’s NBA Draft. None of the three have signed or announced plans to sign with an agent.

Liggins, a 6-foot-6 guard from Chicago, served as the Wildcats’ defensive stopper this season, consistently drawing the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s top offensive threat. He averaged 8.6 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range.

He was named to the Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team and was also named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year by Yahoo! Sports, as well as being named to the SEC All­-Defensive Team by the league’s coaches.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to enter my name into the draft, putting me one step closer to realizing my dream,” Liggins said. “Growing up in a tough environment in Chicago, it’s a pleasure to have an opportunity to do something special. This is another challenge I’m looking forward to, to have my game evaluated by pro scouts and see how I rank against some of the top players in the world.”

Jones, a 6-8 forward from Portland, Ore., was named a fourth team All-American by CollegeHoops.net and a Freshman All-American by several outlets. He averaged 15.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. Jones led the league in double-doubles (13) and rebounding, ranked sixth in blocks and seventh in scoring.

He was named the SEC Freshman of the Year by league coaches and SEC Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press.

“Coach Cal and the rest of the staff pushed us all year long and helped us develop every part of our game to help prepare us for this point in our lives,” Jones said. “This will be a great chance for me to measure my skills against some of the best in the country and receive additional information on where I fit into this year’s draft.”

Complete Release

Scarbinsky: Knight's Half-Hearted Apology Not Good Enough


Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News says Bob Knight's Kentucky "apology" was not good enough.

Here is an excerpt:

He offered a half-hearted apol?ogy, at best. He didn't admit that he was flat wrong when he said, during a Saturday speaking en?gagement in Indiana, that Ken?tucky's five starters during the 2010 NCAA Tournament didn't at?tend class that semester.

He didn't apologize directly to Patrick Patterson, who earned his college degree in three years and had nothing to do with the one-and-done rule that set Knight off.

Knight didn't apologize to DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, John Wall or Darius Miller by name, either, even though Kentucky said they completed the spring semester in good academic standing. Miller actually returned to school and helped UK reach the Final Four this year.

Here's what Knight said Tuesday, not on camera with his employer/enabler ESPN, but in a written statement: "My overall point is that 'one-and-dones' are not healthy for college basketball. I should not have made it personal to Kentucky and its players and I apologize."

Is that good enough? It shouldn't be.


Complete Article

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