Saturday, April 30, 2011
Kentucky basketball recruit Trevor Lacey cancelled his weekend trip to Kansas.
According to Matt Scott of TheShiver.com, Lacey did not make it to Kansas because of the tornado devastation in Alabama.
KUTheShiver Lacey did not make it to kansas cause of tornadoes back home
After suffering through a bit of a slump, former University of Kentucky star Rajon Rondo is once again playing like the NBA All-Star point guard in the playoffs.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN.com writes about how Rondo got his confidence back.
Here is an excerpt:
Rondo recouped some of his swagger in a 4-0 postseason sweep of the New York Knicks. He dominated the series, averaging 19 points, 12 assists and 7.3 rebounds a game and shooting 50 percent from the floor. Yet skeptics of Boston's enigmatic point guard want to see it against a more formidable opponent than New York and Toney Douglas. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni even wondered aloud how Rondo would fare without the Big Three in, say, Minnesota.
The criticism stung, but certainly didn't deflate Rondo. He doesn't care if it's Toney Douglas, Mario Chalmers or Dwayne Wade guarding him. He plans to take on all comers.
"I won't say that nobody can guard me, but when I'm looking at a guy, I don't really see the player in front of me,'' Rondo said. "I'm looking at the second line of the defense, because that's where I'm headed.
"In transition? Definitely, I don't think anyone can stay in front of me.''
So the old Rondo is back, the cocksure, confident floor leader who averaged 13 plus assists a night in November and December and led people to believe the Celtics were the team to beat. That was before teams sagged off and dared him to shoot, before Rondo quit driving to the lane as his struggles from the free-throw line mounted, before his defensive presence -- once his most impressive attribute -- fizzled into a pattern of inconsistency and disinterest.
"What's Wrong with Rondo?" became a routine.
Georgia State has officially announced the hiring of former Eastern Kentucky assistant Everick Sullivan.
Here is the release:
Everick Sullivan, a former associate head coach at Eastern Kentucky, spent the last three seasons with the Colonels and has 10 years of experience as a collegiate basketball coach. He helped guide Eastern Kentucky to 53 wins, including an appearance in the 2010 Collegiate Basketball Invitational postseason tournament.
The Colonels were among the top 10 in the NCAA in three-point shooting percentage during his time at Eastern Kentucky, where he spent two seasons as an assistant before being promoted to associate head coach last season.
"Everick has a wonderful reputation as both an assistant coach and a head coach. He did a great job as a coach at Eastern Kentucky and was well respected as a head coach at Vincennes (Ind.) University. His recruiting skills and knowledge will be valuable as we continue to build our Georgia State program."
In his final season with Eastern Kentucky, Sullivan helped guide the Colonels to wins over a pair of NCAA Tournament teams, Indiana State and Morehead State. The win over Morehead State ended MSU's 22-game home court winning streak and 24-game OVC home court winning streak.
"I am excited and eager to be a part of the new era of Georgia State athletics," commented Sullivan. "I have known Coach Hunter for many years and not only has he done things the right way, he has been able to win and graduate student-athletes."
John Wall was part of an NBA "rookie round table" recently and he answered questions about his rookie season.
Here is an excerpt:
On playing his first NBA game:
“After a couple of minutes go by, you kind of calm down, but at first I was totally nervous.”
On his love of the sport and desire to improve:
“Every chance I get, I talk to every point guard I play and ask them what kind of advice I can add to my game for next year. I love the game of basketball. When you get a chance to get out there every night and every day and pick up a basketball, it means a lot.”
“I’m always willing to work. Always going to stay humble and hungry. Trying to get better by each season I play.”
On getting to play in Washington:
“It was great going to Washington because that’s where my dad was born. It was a good opportunity for me to go there and hopefully turn the organization around.”
“Gil mentored me first while I was there. Then after he got traded, I looked to Kirk Heinrich. He’s a great player who played for eight years. Kirk did a really good job of showing me how to guard the pick and rolls, and teaching me everything I needed defensive wise.”
Wall's rookie season quotes:
According to GreenTintedGlasses.net, Kentucky recruit Joseph Uchebo will make a visit to Charlotte over the weekend.
Here is an excerpt:
GTG has learned from sources that former NCSU commit, Joseph Uchebo will be visiting the Niners this weekend. Other schools listed as options for the 6’10 Center out of Word of God (Raleigh) are Kentucky, Wake Forest & Florida State. Uchebo asked for his release after Mark Gottfried was hired.
University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari spent part of Friday touring coal mines in Martin and Pike Counties.
Here is an excerpt from WSAZ.com:
Craft told workers if they made it to 400 days without time lost due to an accident, he would bring the coach to the mines.
On his Twitter page, Coach Cal said, “I get to feel for what my relatives did during their time in the mines. You want to talk about salt-of-the-earth folks? These are them."
“It means so much to me & my family that I'm able to share time w/all these hard-working folks,” Coach Cal tweeted.
Photo: From Calipari's Twitter account
Dick Vitale of ESPN told the Courier-Journal's Rick Bozich that DeAndre Liggins should probably return to Lexington for his senior season.
Here is an excerpt:
"From everybody I’ve talked with, Knight and Jones are definite lottery picks (the top 14)," Vitale said. "In fact, they’re both probably in the top seven picks. That’s what I’m hearing, the top seven. If you’re going to be taken that high, it’s hard to turn down.
"But Liggins needs to return to Kentucky. I don’t understand why you would want to leave if there is a chance you might not be drafted or would be taken late in the second round and not receive a guaranteed contract. His final season at Kentucky has a chance to be really special for him and he can improve on his weaknesses and move up in the draft."
The University of Kentucky has announced the schedule for John Calipari's "Satellite Camps" that will take place in June.
Calipari and his staff will travel around Kentucky teaching the game of basketball to children with a series of instructional day camps.
The camps are open to boys and girls in kindergarten through sixth grades. The fee for each camp is $75 per child.
Here is a schedule:
Morning sessions are 9am - 12pm, afternoon sessions are 2pm - 5pm except where noted.
Morning - Bowling Green (Bowling Green HS)
Afternoon - Bardstown (Nelson County HS)
Morning - Newport (Newport Central Catholic HS)
Afternoon (1-4 pm) - Independence (Twenhofel Middle School)
Morning - London (North Laurel HS)
Afternoon - Danville (Danville HS)
Morning & Afternoon (1-4pm) - Louisville (Christian Academy)
Morning - Pikeville (Pikeville HS)
Afternoon - Hazard (Perry Central HS)
Go Here to Register
Friday, April 29, 2011
The rumored Pete Thamel article about Central Florida and suspect recruiting practices was released on Friday night and it is not good news for the UCF program.
The article looks at the recruitment of Michael Chandler, Kevin Ware and football star DaMarcus Smith.
Here is an excerpt:
Central Florida, it turns out, had an ally in its recruitment of Ware: Kenneth Caldwell, a Chicago man with a substantial criminal record and apparent ties to a prominent sports agency. Ware said Caldwell called him repeatedly to talk up Central Florida, traveled to Atlanta to meet with his family and even arranged joint phone conversations with the university’s basketball coach, Donnie Jones, and his staff — contact prohibited by the N.C.A.A.
“He was pushing for U.C.F.,” Ware said of Caldwell in a telephone interview Thursday.
Informed of Caldwell’s background, Ware on Thursday said he would not attend Central Florida.
Ware is one of three highly regarded recruits who had some dealings with Caldwell and who then decided in recent months to commit to Central Florida, a degree of recruiting success that baffled many people involved in college sports.
Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com has broken down some NBA early-entrant decisions on SI.com.
Here are some excerpts:
Terrence Jones, SF/PF, Freshman, Kentucky
A likely lottery pick despite seeing a sharp decline in production over the second half of the season, Jones’ decision became easier with each projected lottery pick that elected to return to school leading up to his announcement.
Enes Kanter, PF/C, Freshman, Kentucky
Kanter never played a game for the Wildcats, as he was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA for receiving more than $33,000 in impermissible benefits while playing for a Turkish club team. But he’s still one of the best bigs in the draft and a projected top-10 pick.
Brandon Knight, PG/SG, Freshman, Kentucky
Potentially a top-five pick after a strong NCAA tournament run, Knight had a lot more to lose than gain by returning for his sophomore season.
Could’ve Gone Either Way
DeAndre Liggins, SG/SF, Junior, Kentucky
A top-rated high school recruit who took a little longer than expected to make the transition — partially due to coaching changes — Liggins blossomed late in the season and is known as one of the best perimeter defenders in this group. He may not have shown quite enough to secure himself a spot in the first round, though, which could force him to return to Kentucky for his senior season.
Scotty Hopson, SG/SF, Junior, Tennessee*
Hopson has been an enigma since he stepped foot on campus in Knoxville, and this season was no different. NBA teams have to like his physical tools and overall talent, but many questions remain about his intangibles and the likelihood of him reaching his potential.
Shelvin Mack, PG/SG, Junior, Butler*
A huge part of Butler's two straight runs to the national title game, Shelvin Mack has quite a few fans among NBA teams, but he may have difficulty being guaranteed a spot in the first round by May 8th.
Former University of Kentucky player Darnell Dodson was dismissed from the team at Southern Mississippi on Thursday following an arrest for allegedly stealing items from a fraternity house.
Here is an excerpt from HattiesburgAmerican.com:
USM coach Larry Eustachy announced in a brief statement Thursday night that Dodson was dismissed from the team with no mention of the reason.
Hopkins said that members of a fraternity located on Ross Blvd. called police early Thursday morning to report the crime.
"Members returned to the residence and saw two black males in the residence before they fled out the back door,” Hopkins said. “They gave us basic descriptions.
“We stopped and talked to one individual, who was later identified as Dodson. There was a preliminary investigation done at that time. He was released to be back in our office the next morning. He came back and the investigators interviewed him and through that interview and the available evidence, we were able to make an arrest.”
Hopkins said that items were taken from inside the fraternity house and from a vehicle on the property.
The tornadoes that ripped through Alabama and much of the South earlier this week struck close to home for a pair of former University of Kentucky basketball players.
Former Kentucky point guard Eric Bledsoe is a native of Birmingham, which was hammered by a massive tornado.
To date, there have been over 300 deaths confirmed, including 210 in Alabama.
On Wednesday, Cousins, a Mobile native, posted on Twitter, "Hope everyone in Alabama that's dealing with these tornadoes is safe and out of harms way."
Bledsoe wrote on Thursday:
EBled24 Praying for the people who lost there homes and family members in this tornado. #imtryingtohelpout
boogiecousins Aid those in AL hit by tornadoes. 2 donate, visit Red Cross website or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to giv $10. Rt Rt Rt Rt Rt Rt
Here is the monster tornado that passed through the Birmingham area:
The Philadelphia 76ers will exercise their $884,000 team option on former University of Kentucky star Jodie Meeks.
Meeks started most of the season for Philadelphia, giving the team offensive balance with his outside shooting. His 138 made 3-pointers was the most by a Sixer since Kyle Korver hit 184 in 2005-06.
In 74 regular season games, Meeks averaged 27.9 minutes, 10.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. He shot 39.7% from long range and 89.4% at the free throw line.
Former University of Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie has the Texas Tech basketball program in transition, but he is making it work.
Currently, Gillispie is conducting NCAA-allowed workouts with only six players due to injuries, a personal reason and eligibility exhaustions.
Here is an excerpt from DallasNews.com:
"I think we've accomplished a lot in two weeks," Gillispie told Linehan. "Their attitudes are great, their effort's been great, their attention to detail's been great. They're trying as hard as they can try, and that's all you can ask."
Per NCAA rules, college basketball coaches are allowed to work two hours a week with their players from the end of the basketball season through April 15.
Forward Jaye Crockett told Linehan that Gillispie's workouts have differed from Knight's. Knight preferred teaching through scrimmages while Gillispie prefers drills.
Thursday's Top 5:
- Brandon Knight says publicly that he's "50-50" on staying in the draft. I don't know that I'm buying it, but that's what he said.
- John Calipari and UK will host the "Kentucky Combine" at the Joe Craft Center on May 2-3. NBA Scouts will be allowed to watch Kentucky's NBA Draft prospects workout.
- The NCAA opted to move the NBA Draft withdrawal day from mid-May to mid-April, essentially ending the ability for early entrants to "test the waters." This is a terrible move for college basketball players.
- The official list of NBA Draft early entrants was released. There are several familiar names on the list.
- Former North Carolina star Sean May loses a bet to Nazr Mohammed and has to pose publicly in a Kentucky t-shirt.
On Friday, Get Ready For:
- The Jayhawk Invitational AAU event; the feature game will feature Kentucky recruits Shabazz Mohammed and Perry Ellis doing head-to-head battle.
- NBA Playoffs: Spurs vs. Grizzlies at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Kentucky tops the updated Rivals.com team rankings for 2011; Louisville is No. 10
- Kevin Ware de-committed from Central Florida and says Louisville and Georgia currently top his list. Sources say the move was directly related to some things going on behind the scenes.
- Trevor Lacey made a surprise official visit to Auburn yesterday.
- Jesse Anderson from Graves County has signed with Angelina College in Texas.
- J.T. Curtis from Franklin-Simpson has committed to Campbellsville University.
- Ryan Randolph from Franklin-Simpson has committed to Mid-Continent University.
- Former UK recruit God's Gift Achiuwa chose St. John's over Washington on Thursday.
- Moore's Deondre McWhorter will not be playing at Morehead State. According to a source, he's considering a team in the Mid-South Conference.
- Tyler Ailshie from Kingsport, Tennessee has signed with Alice Lloyd College.
- Bernard Thompson from Conyers (GA) Rockdale County signed with Florida Gulf Coast University; he had an offer from Murray State.
- Louisville completed their coaching staff by hiring Kevin Keatts from Hargrave Military Institute.
Video of the Day (Future Wildcats in action):
Bonus Video (Matthew Mitchell teaches the Dougie):
The University of Kentucky has the top 2011 recruiting class in the updated Rivals.com team rankings.
John Calipari and the Wildcats have now topped the Rivals.com rankings for three consecutive seasons.
Louisville ranks No. 10 in the Rivals.com rankings.
Here is an excerpt about UK's 2011 class:
2011 commits (National rank)
PF Anthony Davis (2)
SF Mike Gilchrist (3)
PG Marquis Teague (5)
PF Kyle Wiltjer (22)
John Calipari is at it again with his third consecutive No. 1 recruiting class at Kentucky. Teague, a dynamic point guard, and Gilchrist, a versatile small forward, are the top prospects at their position. Power forwards Davis and Wiltjer are both multi-talented post players and inside/outside threats.
3. St. John's
5. North Carolina
8. Ohio State
Scout.com's Team Rankings
Thursday, April 28, 2011
What happens when you lose a bet to former University of Kentucky star Nazr Mohammed?
Ask former North Carolina Tar Heel Sean May:
May currently plays for Turkish club Fenerbahce Ulker.
BigMay42 So I lost a bet to my Boi @NazrMohammed amd I had to change my profile pic... All my #TarHeels don't be mad! I lost outta support! #smdh
Ask former North Carolina Tar Heel Sean May:
May currently plays for Turkish club Fenerbahce Ulker.
BigMay42 So I lost a bet to my Boi @NazrMohammed amd I had to change my profile pic... All my #TarHeels don't be mad! I lost outta support! #smdh
Kevin Ware has broken off his commitment to Central Florida for what he labels as "personal reasons."
Here is an excerpt from AJC.com:
Kevin Ware told the AJC that he de-committed to Central Florida on Thursday night.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on right now, personal stuff that I don’t really want to speak about right now,” Ware said. “I spoke with my family about everything, and I decided it was time to back off on UCF.”
The last couple of months have been a recruiting whirlwind for the 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School who is ranked as the nation’s No. 56 college basketball prospect by Rivals
He added that Louisville and Georgia are his top two schools:
Does he have any interest in Georgia, Georgia Tech or Georgia State? Ware replied “yes” to all. “Louisville and Georgia are my [frontrunners]. I just have to talk to the coaches and see if they are still interested in me. I really don’t know where things stand.”
Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com spoke to a source who says Kentucky head coach John Calipari would be crazy to coach the Dominican Republic this summer.
Here is an excerpt:
Kentucky coach John Calipari would be “crazy” to coach the Dominican Republic National Team this summer because they “don’t have any money and have a horrible reputation in the region,” a well-connected Caribbean source told SNY.tv.
“They don’t have a clue,” the source said of the Dominican Federation. “They screwed up the FIBA event in the DR last summer. Players were slipping all over the floor as they hosted an event in an arena with no air conditioning. Roy Hibbert and other NBA players were required to stop playing.”
Last summer during the FIBA World Championship in Santo Domingo, games inside the Palacio de Deportes were postponed due to poor conditions. Organizers blamed faulty air conditioning units.
“The event was a laughingstock,” the source said. “The Federation President [Frank Herasme] has simply not led the Federation in a positive way.”
According to Bryan Matthews of AuburnUncercover.com, Kentucky recruit Trevor Lacey is on an official visit to Auburn.
Matthews posted on Twitter:
BMatt247 Breaking: Trevor Lacey is in Auburn for an official visit. Stay tuned to AuburnUndercover for more.
BMatt247 Here's the story on Trevor Lacey visiting Auburn ... http://bit.ly/kSkDzv
Lacey is expected to visit Kansas this weekend.
Brandon Knight visited Conkwright Elementary School in Winchester today and answered questions from their principal.
Knight answered one of the questions by saying that he is still "50-50" on staying in the NBA Draft or returning to college.
Here is an excerpt about Knight's visit from The Winchester Sun:
“I’m still 50-50,” he said. “I haven’t really made a decision yet.”
As for coming back to Kentucky, Knight said he “wouldn’t mind it” and would embrace another opportunity to play for the Wildcats for one more season.
“Kentucky is a great place and I’ve enjoyed being here,” he said. “That wouldn’t be a bad decision at all.”
Knight has 11 days to make up his mind.
“I will know by (May 8th),” he said. “By then, I will know what I will be doing.”
John Calipari has announced on CoachCal.com that UK will host a "Kentucky Combine" on May 2-3 at the Joe Craft Center.
Here is an excerpt:
With that in mind, I’m proud to announce the Kentucky Combine to be held May 2-3, 2011 at the state-of-the-art Joe Craft Center on the UK campus. All the NBA teams have been invited to the private workouts for our players that will be conducted by NBA personnel.
There are basically three things that led us to creating this first-of-it’s-kind combine:
1. NBA teams are prohibited from working out or having contact with any players until after the Declared List is released, which happened on April 28.
2. This means players have only just over a week in which to meet with and workout for teams before an ultimate decision must be made.
3. The players are not allowed to miss class during the week to travel to workouts or to visit with teams.
Because of these limitations and our unending desire to always be a players-first program, we have arranged for these two days of workouts and accompanying one-on-one interviews after classes so that NBA personnel can get a complete picture of the type of student-athletes in our program at the University of Kentucky.
The NCAA Board of Directors has approved a change that moves up the date to withdraw from the NBA Draft to mid-April.
This year, players have until May 8 to withdraw from the draft.
Here is an excerpt from ESPN.com:
Basketball players must decide before the first day of the spring signing period, typically mid-April, to pull out of the draft and retain their college eligibility. This year, players have until May 8 to withdraw from the draft.
"For players, I just don't see how that helps them a whole lot," Butler forward Matt Howard said Thursday during a shootaround at Hinkle Fieldhouse. "It almost makes it pointless to put your name out and not sign with an agent."
The legislation wasn't intended to help players.
Coaches wanted the earlier date so they could find replacements for those making an early jump to the NBA.
Yet it's the players who could pay the steepest price.
My Thoughts: I personally think this is a terrible move for college players.
Players already have a limited amount of time to make a decision that will forever impact their lives. By changing the deadline in this manner, players effectively have no time to make that decision.
In typical NCAA fashion, they have made a move that screws current student-athletes. Shouldn't the organization try to help it's athletes?
Five-Star Basketball has an excellent profile of former Kentucky star John Wall and how he made a name for himself on the summer basketball circuit.
Wall rose from a little-known two-star recruit to the University of Kentucky and eventually the top overall pick in the NBA Draft.
Here is an excerpt about his ascension:
After being cut from his Broughton H.S. (Raleigh, N.C.) team his sophomore year like another Carolina-bred standout who went on to have a pretty outstanding career, Wall arrived at Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh looking like a different player. Working with head coach Levi Beckwith on his jump shot, Wall dropped his rep as an occasionally immature player and decided that he wanted to be something special.
“With this basketball thing,” says Wall, who has been the man of his mother’s house since age nine, when his father died. “God gave me the talent and ability. I feel like I can change my life around for my family so my Mom don’t have to work no more and my sisters are OK—things like that. I love the game, and I know that’s something my father would want me to do. I know he’s watching down on me.”
By the next summer, 2008, Wall’s star was shining. He returned to Five-Star in Virginia and took Most Outstanding Player—video footage of Wall from that weekend looks like he’s in fast forward while everyone else on the court is moving regular speed.
“It was a great opportunity,” Wall says of Five-Star. “It was a little different because you had no TV, we couldn’t leave campus, so you had to just focus on basketball. It was great, though—a lot of talented players go there. It gets you used to playing outside. And it really develops your game because you can’t dunk, so I learned how to finish over people.”
Larry Vaught thinks Negus Webster-Chan could be an intriguing prospect for the University of Kentucky.
Webster-Chan recently de-committed from Louisville and will open his recruitment back up.
Here is an excerpt from Vaught's article:
"Kentucky has seen him before. Coach Cal and (assistant) Orlando (Antigua) saw him play in Germany for Team Canada (last summer)," Fulford said."They had a definite interest in him, but it is a process on both ends. They were not ready to offer (a scholarship) int he preseason and wanted to see him more. Then Rick Pitino came to a game where he played very well and offered on the spot...
Webster-Chan currently ranks No. 121 on the Rivals.com list for 2012. He is a 6-6 small forward.
Hoopsworld.com has broken down the top NBA-ready centers in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Kentucky's Enes Kanter, who is expected to be a top 10 pick, is on the list.
Here is an excerpt about the Turkish big man:
Enes Kanter, Turkey, 6-10, 250 lbs. – Over the course of the past couple of years, Enes Kanter has been talked about far more than he has been seen, although when he has been on the basketball court he has shown the skill-level and competitive nature to be a solid NBA big man.
Not a particularly explosive athlete, Kanter uses his big frame extremely well, positioning his body and using his strength to create space and score the basketball. He has big, exceptionally soft hands allowing him to catch the ball in traffic before finding creases in the defense to get shots off, even against more athletic defenders.
Kanter has shown the ability to knock down shots with solid range which will serve him well in the NBA, where the two-man game (pick-and-roll/pop) is so prevalent.
Defensively, he overcomes his physical limitations by using solid footwork and positioning himself well against more athletic players. His big, thick frame makes it difficult for offensive players to get deep post position and his timing and feel for the game allow him to block some shots and rebound the basketball well for a player with just average athleticism.
With a polished offensive skill-set (especially for a player of his age), Kanter is an interesting NBA prospect and a likely top-10 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
There are several players with ties to the Bluegrass State on the official early entrant list for the 2011 NBA Draft.
The list includes four University of Kentucky players, one player from Louisville and three former Kentucky high school players.
Here are the early entrants with Kentucky ties:
- TyShwan Edmondson Austin Peay 6-4 Junior
- Scotty Hopson Tennessee 6-7 Junior
- Terrence Jennings Louisville 6-9 Junior
- Terrence Jones Kentucky 6-8 Freshman
- Enes Kanter Kentucky 6-10 Freshman
- Brandon Knight Kentucky 6-3 Freshman
- DeAndre Liggins Kentucky 6-6 Junior
- Shelvin Mack Butler 6-3 Junior
Some Other Notables:
- Jordan Hamilton Texas 6-7 Sophomore
- Tobias Harris Tennessee 6-8 Freshman
- Terrell Holloway Xavier 6-0 Junior
- Kyrie Irving Duke 6-2 Freshman
- Kevin Jones West Virginia 6-8 Junior
- Cory Joseph Texas 6-3 Freshman
- Kawhi Leonard San Diego State 6-7 Sophomore
- Travis Leslie Georgia 6-4 Junior
- Marcus Morris Kansas 6-9 Junior
- Markieff Morris Kansas 6-10 Junior
- Ralph Sampson III Minnesota 6-11 Junior
- Josh Selby Kansas 6-3 Freshman
- Trey Thompkins Georgia 6-10 Junior
- Tristan Thompson Texas 6-8 Freshman
- Kemba Walker Connecticut 6-1 Junior
- Derrick Williams Arizona 6-8 Sophomore
Ricardo Ledo told ESPN's Adam Finkelstein that he currently has no favorites in his recruitment but Kentucky is coming on strong.
Ledo said Louisville and a host of other high-major schools are also recruiting him hard right now.
Here is an excerpt of Ledo's comments from ESPN.com:
Outside of Providence's campus, Ledo says he had only seen Syracuse and West Virginia, having attended the Orange's Team Camp two years ago and played in the West Virginia Jam Fest last summer, before seeing UConn's campus unofficially last week.
"I want to see more places and get a feel for the schools," he said.
Another place Ledo says he definitely wants to see this time around is Kentucky.
"UConn is recruiting me hard, Kentucky is coming hard, and Providence hard," he said. "West Virginia, Texas, Florida, UCLA, and Louisville too."
Ledo is listed as a 6-5 shooting guard in the 2012 class. He ranks No. 7 overall on the Rivals.com list.
Rick Pitino and Louisville have added Hargrave Military Academy head coach Kevin Keatts as an assistant.
Here is the release from U of L:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kevin Keatts, who has won two national prep championships and was runner-up on three occasions as head coach at Hargrave Military Academy over the past eight seasons, has joined the University of Louisville men's basketball staff as an assistant coach under head coach Rick Pitino.
"We're really excited to add Kevin to our staff," said Pitino. "He rounds out three outstanding individuals who all bring something different to the table to create a terrific recruiting team, as well being a group that excels in coaching and scouting. Kevin has been a tireless recruiter at Hargrave, where it's not easy for everyone to get up at six a.m. to march. He's done an outstanding job of building his prep teams for many years and also has experience as a collegiate assistant. This is one of the best recruiting staffs I have ever assembled."
"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to work with Coach Pitino and the entire Louisville Family," said Keatts. "Coach Pitino is a great leader, teacher, motivator and Hall of Fame coach. I am excited about coaching in the BIG EAST and look forward to getting started."
University of Kentucky signee Michael Gilchrist stated on Twitter this morning that he lost his grandmother.
Big Blue Nation, send prayers to the Gilchrist family this morning.
Wednesday's Top 5:
- The story of the day has to be the historical outbreak of tornadoes in the southern United States. The death toll has/will surpass 200 this morning.
- Joseph Uchebo is down to three schools: Kentucky, Florida State and Wake Forest.
- Kentucky and John Calipari has the nation's top-rated recruiting class for the third consecutive year.
- Speaking of recruiting, the final Rivals150 List for 2011 was released on Wednesday. UK has signed 3 of the top 5 players.
- For the 15th time in the last 16 years, Kentucky tops college basketball's national attendance list.
On Thursday, Get Ready For:
- NBA Playoffs: Magic (Orton, Clark) vs. Hawks at 7:30 p.m.; Lakers vs. Hornets at 8:00 p.m.; Mavericks vs. Trail Blazers at 10:30 p.m.
- Former Kentucky recruit God's Gift Achiuwa will announce his decision today at 1:00 p.m. He is down to St. John's and Washington.
- Northern Kentucky University picked up a commitment from Shroder (OH) center Jalen Billups on Tuesday night. He also considered Eastern Michigan, Indianapolis, Lincoln Memorial and Bethune-Cookman.
- Louisville has hired Kevin Keatts from Hargrave Military Academy as an assistant on Rick Pitino's staff.
- Jodie Meeks scored 12 points in a 97-91 loss to Miami. The Heat eliminated the 76ers and now advance to face Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics.
- Oklahoma City defeated Denver 100-97 to win the series 4-1. Nazr Mohammed ad 2 points and 2 rebounds in only 5 minutes of action.
Video of the Day (There are no words to describe this):
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
As you know, Wednesday brought an historic outbreak of tornadoes in the South. As of right now, the death toll is already sitting at 64 and rising.
Catastrophic damage has been reported throughout several states, with Alabama being hit the hardest.
I would like to ask all readers to send a prayer to those who have lost loved ones and had their lives forever changed.
UPDATE: In the time I wrote three sentences and added a video, the death toll has climbed to 72.
Here is footage of a massive tornado that ripped through Alabama today:
Another amazing video of nature's power:
North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow hasn't worked out an official list yet, but he says Georgia will likely be one of the options.
Here is an excerpt from SB Nation Atlanta:
"I'm considering (Georgia). Yes sir," Harrow said during a phone interview. "I haven't really made any decisions on where I'm going to go yet, but Georgia is on my list."
Harrow averaged 9.3 points and 3.3 assists per game last season for the Wolfpack.
Trevor Booker & Josh Howard To Host Basketball Tournament at Springfield Park - Mauldin, S.C.
--The Trevor Booker & Josh Howard Tru-Ballers 5on5 Basketball Tournament, June 9-12
--John Wall & Andray Blatch to Sponsor 5on5 Teams
--Tournament Registration Open - Chance to Win $5,000 Prize
South Carolinian and former Clemson Tiger, NBA Rookie Trevor Booker, of the Washington Wizards, has announced that he and teammate Josh Howard will host a 5-on-5 basketball tournament at Springfield Park in Mauldin, S.C., Thursday-Sunday, June 9 - 12. The Trevor Booker & Josh Howard Tru-Ballers 5on5 Basketball Tournament, has invited teams from across the country to participate for a $5,000 prize.
Wizards teammates John Wall and Andray Blatch have committed to sponsoring teams for the Trevor Booker & Josh Howard Tru-Ballers 5on5 Basketball Tournament and will attend the event along with special celebrity and athlete guests. Tournament registration is open to teams of men 17 years of age and older; the registration fee is $500, for which teams will receive uniforms (jerseys and shorts) and two coaches shirts. The Tournament’s winning team will receive a $5,000 prize.
The Trevor Booker & Josh Howard Tru-Ballers 5on5 Basketball Tournament is the first event put on by Trevor; it is produced in conjunction with the Josh Howard Foundation and the City of Mauldin, S.C.
Teams interested in competing in the tournament have until May 25 to register by calling 864-346-7216/202-600-0623 or emailing email@example.com. The Trevor Booker & Josh Howard Tru-Ballers 5on5 Basketball Tournament bracket will be announced the week prior to the event.
The purpose of the Trevor Booker & Josh Howard Tru-Ballers 5on5 Basketball Tournament is to help raise funds for the establishment of The Trevor Booker Foundation and continuing the mission of The Josh Howard Foundation. All money generated will not be for profit, it will be used by the foundations to advance their missions.
ABOUT TREVOR BOOKER
Trevor Booker, a forward for NBA team the Washington Wizards (2010 NBA Draft 23rd Overall Pick), attended Union High School in Union, S.C. In his senior year (2005–06), Booker was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for South Carolina after averaging 21.9 points, 16.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Booker was also named the AAA state player of the year and a first-team All-State selection. Booker left Union as its career leader in rebounding and blocked shots. Booker played AAU basketball with the South Carolina Celtics.
Booker was the starting power forward at Clemson University, coached by Oliver Purnell. After four years as a Tiger he was fifth all-time at Clemson with 1,725 career points and third with 1,060 rebounds and lead the Tigers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a school record 93 victories during his tenure. Only player in ACC history with 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 blocks, 200 assists and 100 steals. For his efforts, Booker was named second-team All-ACC and was named to the 2009 All-Defensive Team, and was named USBWA All-District and NABC second team All-District. Booker played for Team USA in the World University Games, helping the team win a bronze medal.
ABOUT THE JOSH HOWARD FOUNDATION
The Josh Howard Foundation is dedicated to helping to improve the quality of life of economically challenged communities by utilizing programs and services that focus on academic improvement, community outreach, and athletic and fitness training. It is committed to having an active role in uplifting the community. it’s innovative programs help youth to become well-rounded citizens, and enhances the quality of life of senior citizens and the community as a whole.
Joseph Uchebo, a 6-9 center from Word of God (NC) Christian Academy, is down to three schools according to to Derek Medlin of PackPride.com.
Medlin says Uchebo, who ranks No. 96 on the Rivals150 List for 2011, is down to Florida State, Wake Forest and Kentucky.
Here is Medlin's post on Twitter:
DerekMedlin Apparently Joseph Uchebo has narrowed his list to FSU, WF and Kentucky. How perfect would he fit in with the 'Noles? Bernard James X 2
Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey says he has no favorites but he greatly enjoyed his visit to LSU.
Here is an excerpt from TigerBait.com:
Hickey, a three-star prospect from Christian County High in Hopkinsville, Ky., took his only official visit with a trip to LSU that he concluded Tuesday morning.
"It was great, I loved it," Hickey said before returning home. "The distance wasn't a factor at all. It was worth it."
The lone official visit for Hickey has placed LSU in thick of the race for the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder's signature. He plans to make a decision between the Tigers, South Carolina and Western Kentucky on May 6.
"I don't have any favorites," Hickey said. "Everyone's still even."
Italian club team Angelico Biella has signed Aubrey Coleman for the final three games of the regular season.
Coleman will replace former Western Kentucky star A.J. Slaughter.
In 27 games this season, Slaughter has averaged 10.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
Pikeville head coach Kelly Wells interacted with a Buckhorn High School technology class via Skype earlier this week.
In the picture, Wells is shown on the screen in Paula Boggs' classroom:
In the picture, Wells is shown on the screen in Paula Boggs' classroom:
For the third consecutive season, Kentucky and John Calipari have the top-rated recruiting class in the nation.
In Scout.com's updated team rankings for 2011, UK tops the list followed by Duke, St. John's, Arizona and Arkansas.
Louisville is ranked No. 7.
Kentucky class: Wow! For the third year in a row the Cats are at the top of the list. Three players among the top six and another five-star prospect is as good as it gets.
- Anthony Davis (1)
- Michael Gilchrist (5)
- Marquis Teague (7)
- Kyle Wiltjer (22)
Louisville class: Blackshear got the class going and he'll get the ball right away on the wing. Behanan and Price will join a handful of talented post prospects to make up what could be the best frontline in the Big East in 2011.
- Wayne Blackshear (16)
- Chane Behanan (23)
- Zach Price (65)
- Angel Nunez
Louisville Eastern star Remy Abell has given a verbal commitment to the Indiana Hoosiers.
Here is a post from Jody Demling on Twitter:
jdemling Remy Abell commits to Indiana http://bit.ly/lZMQpN
Rivals.com has updated their 2011 player rankings and the University of Kentucky has now signed three of the top five players in the nation.
Austin Rivers retains the No. 1 spot in the class, followed by UK signees Anthony Davis and Michael Gilchrist.
Brad Beal is No. 4 and future Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague rounds out the top five.
Kentucky recruit DeAndre Daniels is No. 10 in the update rankings.
Bowling Green's Chane Behanan is the top-rated Louisville signee in the new rankings. Behanan is now ranked No. 21 in the class.
Kentucky signee Kyle Wiltjer is No. 22 and UK recruit Trevor Lacey is No. 24.
Future Card Wayne Blackshear is now No. 36. Jeffersontown's Zach Price, who is also headed to Louisville, is No. 67. The Cardinals also have Ryan Taylor, who ranks No. 132.
UK recruit Joseph Uchebo is No. 96.
Western Kentucky signee Derrick Gordon has moved up to four-star status and is now ranked No. 105. Future Hilltopper George Fant from Warren Central High School has moved into the rankings at No. 150.
According to Ryan Feldman of The Hoops Report, Kentucky's Enes Kanter will not work out for any NBA teams prior to the NBA Draft lottery.
He posted on Twitter:
TheHoopsReport A source told me that Enes Kanter will not work out for any NBA teams until after the draft lottery.
A pair of 2012 Kentucky recruits will go head-to-head Friday night at the 2011 Jayhawk Invitational.
Shabazz Muhammad will lead Dream Vision against Perry Ellis and Pray and Play Player at the AAU event.
Here is an excerpt from LJWorld.com:
Two of the top high school basketball players in the recruiting Class of 2012, who both have Kansas University on their list of prospective colleges, will meet in the marquee pool play game of the 2011 Jayhawk Invitational at 7:20 p.m., Friday, at Haskell’s Coffin Complex.
Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High, will lead Dream Vision against Perry Ellis’ Pray and Play Players.
The University of Kentucky men's basketball team once again leads the nation in average attendance. It is the 15th time int he last 16 years that Kentucky has topped the list.
In 2010-11, the Wildcats played before an average crowd of 23,603 fans.
Louisville finished third in national attendance with an average of 21,832.
Here are the top 5:
1. Kentucky 23,603
2. Syracuse 22,312
3. Louisville 21,832
4. North Carolina 19,144
5. Tennessee 18,952
Tuesday's Top 5:
- Freshman star Ryan Harrow is transferring from North Carolina State and appears to have interest in Kentucky and vice versa.
- It seems likely that John Calipari will coach the Dominican Republic national team this summer. Rick Pitino will not coach Puerto Rico as planned.
- Louisville has officially named Richard Pitino and Wyking Jones as basketball assistants.
- Trevor Lacey is not visiting Kentucky this weekend.
- Scout.com released their updated 2011 recruit rankings; Kentucky has signed three of the top seven players in the nation.
On Wednesday, Get Ready For:
- The Metro Exposure Workout at Iroquois High School in Louisville.
- Lexington Catholic's Scott Schuette has committed to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida according to Jody Demling. He also considered Bellarmine, Air Force and Gardner-Webb.
- Word on the street is that Indiana made some sort of offer to Remy Abell during his visit.
- L'Angelico Biella has signed Aubrey Coleman, who will replace former WKU star A.J. Slaughter for the last three games of the season in Italy.
- Former University of Kentucky basketball players Josh Harrellson and Jeff Sheppard will be at The Towne Mall in Elizabethtown from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon to sign autographs.
- Keith Bogans had 15 points on 5-7 shooting (all 3-pointers) in Chicago's 116-89 win over Indiana last night. The Bulls won the series 4-1.
Video of the Day (Rookie highlights of DeMarcus Cousins):
Louisville has released an official statement that says Rick Pitino will not be coaching the Puerto Rican national team this summer.
Here is the release:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino will not coach the Puerto Rico national basketball team in preparation for a 2011 pre-Olympic qualifying tournament because of conflicts which would occur with the U of L team.
Additional commitments arose from the original plan that did not blend with Pitino's duties with the Cardinals. Pitino had also hoped to take a foreign trip with his 2011-12 U of L team at the same time while coaching the Puerto Ricans. An NCAA appeal to allow the Cardinals to visit Puerto Rico as its foreign trip was denied and an acceptable site for the foreign trip where both teams could visit simultaneously could not be arranged. Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States and is not considered a foreign site under NCAA rules.
The bottom line is that Pitino took the position for the challenge of qualifying for the Olympics and for the benefits it may bring to the Cardinals' program, and the recent developments did not allow for Pitino to properly address both.
"I was so looking forward to coaching the Puerto Rico national team, but too many conflicts arose," said Pitino. "It is a great disappointment that we cannot take on the challenge to help them qualify for the Olympics. We were hoping to arrange for both the Puerto Rico and our U of L teams to play at the same foreign site, which could not be accommodated. An additional tournament in Brazil would have also kept me from being in Louisville at a key time for the start of the fall semester."
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari has addressed the rumors that he will coach the Dominican Republic national team this summer.
Here is an excerpt from CoachCal.com:
Statement from Kentucky Coach John Calipari, April 26, 2011
During the season, I was approached by the Dominican Basketball Federation to become involved in helping grow basketball in their country. Now that our season is over, I can give proper attention to other things, such as this.
My question to the Dominican Basketball Federation was, why are you calling me? Their response was, they liked what we are doing in China, including coaching their coaches and being involved in promoting grassroots basketball.
Not only would I help train coaches in the Dominican Republic and here in Lexington like we have with the Chinese coaches, but I would also coach their national team.
The commitment would mainly be from the start of August through mid-September. The Dominican Republic national team would train in our state-of-the-art facilities at the Joe Craft Center in Lexington prior to the start of the Tournament of the Americas, which would begin towards the end of August.
I wanted the Big Blue Nation to be aware of what’s going on in your program. If I move forward on this, I’ll be asking you to adopt the Dominican Republic national team as your third team behind your Kentucky Wildcats and Team USA. I also want to let all our friends in China know that we will continue our relationship with the CBA and their coaches.
Torian Graham and Devonte Pollard, a pair of 2012 Kentucky recruits, were among the top standouts at last weekend's King James Classic AAU event.
Here is an excerpt from ESPN.com:
Torian Graham (Raleigh, N.C./ Word of God)
2012, SG, 6-4, 200 pounds | Team: D.C. Assault
He is one of the most explosive and talented wings in the 2012 class. He has top-shelf athleticism and is definitely wired to score, but his only issue is that he does not bring it all the time. Graham is a streaky shooter with range to 22 feet, but will be a highly-ranked player just off his talent and athletic ability. When he learns to continually be dialed in, he could be playing in next year's McDonald's game.
Devonte Pollard (DeKalb, Miss./Kemper County)
2012, SF, 6-7, 200 pounds | Team: Southern Phenoms
The lefty makes quick moves in the post over his right shoulder and steps out comfortably to about 17 feet and can line up a 3 with time and space. Pollard is also a coast-to-coast threat after he cleans the defensive glass. He is active and aggressive on both ends of the floor and has great upside. Mississippi, Mississippi State, Georgetown, Marquette, Kentucky, LSU and Alabama are all on the list of the athletic power forward who is a true matchup problem.
According to The Wolfpacker, freshman star Ryan Harrow will transfer from North Carolina State.
It was rumored earlier this month that Harrow was looking to leave State and today it is official.
Harrow is a 6-0 point guard who was a five-star recruit in the 2010 class. He ranked No. 19 on the Rivals150 List for 2010. Kentucky previously recruited Harrow but did not extend an offer according to Rivals.com.
At N.C. State, Harrow averaged 9.3 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game as a freshman.
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