Saturday, May 21, 2011

John Calipari: "We're going to have a really good team"


John Calipari isn't holding back when he describes his 2011-12 team at the University of Kentucky.

"We're going to have a good team," he said in speaking to reporters before the Dick Vitale Gala on Friday night. "Usually, I don't say that, but put that down. We're going to have a really good team."

Here is more from Jerry Tipton's article at Kentucky.com:

"I hope we're 'One' and they're two at the end of the year," Calipari said.

Then speaking of UNC Coach Roy Williams, Calipari added, "If he wants to be 'One' now, I'm good with that. ... No, seriously, he's been a good friend."

Calipari and Williams joined tennis impresario Nick Bollettieri as honorees at the Vitale gala, which serves as a fund-raiser for the Jimmy V Foundation.

Calipari said his budding friendship with Williams dates to the UK-UNC game of 2009.

"The game ends, we win in Lexington. We had to win that game. My first year, and we weren't playing particularly well," Calipari said. "He came up and said, 'You are exactly the guy who should be coaching at Kentucky. You can deal with this stuff.'

"Well, I'm not sure I can. But when he beat us last year — which was a big game that they needed to win; there was a lot going on there — I told him, 'I'm happy for you.' Not that I want to lose a game, but I was happy for him."


Complete Article

Terrence Jones on Rivals.com All-Sophomore Team


Kentucky's Terrence Jones is on the Rivals.com All-Sophomore Team for 2011-12.

Jones is joined on the first team by Harrison Barnes, Jeremy Lamb, Jared Sullinger and Kendall Marshall.

Here is an excerpt about Jones:

PF Terrence Jones, Kentucky

PARTICULARS: 6-8/244; Portland Jefferson
STATS: 15.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 1.1 spg, 31.4 mpg
BUZZ: He had a good freshman season, then surprised more than a few folks by sticking around for his sophomore season. He’s a tough, aggressive player in the low post, but needs to curb his tendency to take shots outside his range; he shot just 44.2 percent from the field last season.

Complete List

Former UK Big Man Jared Carter Named to All-PBL Team


Former University of Kentucky big man Jared Carter was officially named to the All-PBL Second Team by the league.

Carter, who helped lead Rochester to the PBL championship, was also named to the All-Defensive Team and All-Playoff Team.

Here are the honors handed down by the league:

ALL-LEAGUE FIRST TEAM
Anthony Anderson, Saint John
Quinnel Brown, Quebec
Josh Dollard, Halifax
Elvin Mims, Lawton-Fort Sill
Mike Williams, Vermont-Rochester

ALL-LEAGUE SECOND TEAM
Jared Carter, Rochester
Eric Crookshank, Halifax
Kenny Jones, Kentucky
Royce Parran, Quebec
Philip “Mickey” Perry, Dayton

ALL-LEAGUE THIRD TEAM
Marc Egerson, Saint John
Tommy Mitchell, Halifax-Quebec
Sammy Monroe, Rochester
Dwuan Rice, Vermont-Saint John
Eddie Smith, Lawton-Fort Sill

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Maurice Acker, Quebec
Reginald Delk, Kentucky
Kavon Jones, Halifax
Todd McCoy, Rochester
Terry Martin, Saint John

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Jared Carter, Rochester
Eric Crookshank, Halifax
Elvin Mims, Lawton-Fort Sill
Todd Sowell, Dayton
Mike Williams, Vermont-Rochester

ALL-PLAYOFF TEAM
Quinnel Brown, Quebec
Taliek Brown, Halifax
Jared Carter, Rochester
Melvin Council, Rochester
Jerice Crouch, Rochester
Shawn Daniels, Lawton-Fort Sill
Gabe Freeman, Lawton-Fort Sill
Royce Parran, Quebec
Eddie Smith, Lawton-Fort Sill
DeAndre Thomas, Halifax

Source

Some Notes from the NBA Draft Combine


TheHoopsReport.com has posted a few notes from the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

Here are a few notes of interest:

- Two players that were relative unknowns coming into Chicago were Enes Kanter and Jeremy Tyler. And both helped their stock. Kanter participated in drills and proved that he was the top prospect to participate. He also measured at 6-foot-11 in shoes and did a wonderful job in interviews. Tyler had the longest wingspan at 7-foot-5 and impressed with his athleticism. Tyler also seemed to really mature since leaving high school to become a professional basketball player. NBA teams haven't seen these two big men play much at all, especially Tyler, but both did nothing but help their stock by showing the potential that they have.

- Kenneth Faried received mixed results. Some NBA executives praised how well he looked in the drills, but others questioned his size (6-foot-6 without shoes) and lack of offensive ability. Faried was also relatively unimpressive in interviews.

- Enes Kanter said he would prefer to play for the Washington Wizards and he also likes the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers. He didn't mention the Jazz as a team he likes. That may or may not be deliberate, but when asked again he gave the same answers.

- Players that were mentioned as unimpressive in interviews included Scotty Hopson, DeAndre Liggins, Iman Shumpert and LaceDarius Dunn.

Complete Article

Enes Kanter Shows Vertical Jumping Ability

Watch as University of Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter tests his vertical leaping ability at the NBA Draft Combine:





Brandon Knight Has Lowest Body Fat at Draft Combine


Former Kentucky star Brandon Knight has the lowest body fat percentage of any player at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

The former Wildcat reportedly had a body fat percentage of 4.2%, which is obviously an amazing number.

In comparison, Duke's Kyrie Irving has an eye-opening number of 10.2%.

Western Kentucky Schedules Two-Game Series with VCU


Western Kentucky University has scheduled a home-and-home series with VCU starting next season.

The first game will be November 23, 2011 in Bowling Green and the Hilltoppers will head to Richmond, Virginia, the next season.

Here is an excerpt of the official release from WKU:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU announced Friday a home-and-home men's basketball series with VCU starting next season, with the Rams visiting Bowling Green in November fresh off a trip to the 2011 Final Four.

The WKU-VCU game in Bowling Green will be on November 23, 2011, and WKU will head to Richmond, Va., the following season.

The Rams are coming off a 2010-11 season that saw them advance to the NCAA Final Four in Houston after an incredible run through the NCAA Tournament. VCU defeated Southern California, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and top-seeded Kansas en route to the Final Four, where they ultimately lost to national runner-up Butler.

"We are very excited about the addition of VCU to our schedule for the next two seasons," WKU head coach Ken McDonald said. "Shaka Smart did an outstanding job with his team last season, and the Rams fit perfectly with our philosophy of scheduling the best opponents for our basketball team. We are happy to be able to bring a high-profile team to E.A. Diddle Arena, and I know our fans will enjoy seeing a former Sun Belt Conference opponent return to Bowling Green next season."


Complete Release

Brandon Knight Likes the Detroit Pistons


Former University of Kentucky star Brandon Knight admitted yesterday that he likes the Detroit Pistons and wouldn't mind going there in the NBA Draft.

Here is an excerpt of Knight's comments from Hoopsworld.com:

"They asked me a variety of questions starting with sports and academics," said Knight to no one's surprise.

Knight comes across as a quiet, polite young man who when asked a question by a Pistons reporter told the collected media, "I like the Pistons. They seem like a great organization, a younger team. I wouldn't mind going to Detroit. It seems like a great place to be."

The Pistons would be ecstatic to be able to draft Knight at eight as the young man is as high as third on some mock draft boards. The 6' 3" freshman point guard helped take Kentucky to the Final Four this year by averaging 17.3 points on 42.3 percent shooting with 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists. The only knock on Knight's game was his 3.2 turnovers per game. However, this very young 18-year-old improved over the college season and has a strong upside.


Complete Article

Video: The Best of John Wall's Rookie Season

John Wall's season highlights:

SEC Considering Move to Eliminate Divisions


The Southeastern Conference is considering the idea of eliminating its East and West divisions in men's basketball.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said Friday that the league will present ideas to coaches and athletics directors about a 12-team league without divisions and how to schedule.

Additionally, the SEC will explore the idea of increasing the number of conference games from 16 to 18.

Here is an excerpt from AL.com:

"My goal is to make a decision in Destin for this coming year's tournament and at the same time we want to begin a dialogue about conference scheduling for the future, not this year," Slive said.

Slive said he has no preconceived notion about whether to scrap divisions. The catalyst to consider the possibility was having nationally-ranked teams play in the opening round of the SEC Tournament with better records than some teams on byes, he said.

"If we're going to start thinking about that, then why don't we start thinking about the regular season to see what the options are?" Slive said. "It's almost like taking your temperature in basketball. We've tried to do a lot for basketball. Let's make sure we're doing exactly what we want to do long-term."


Complete Article

Vargas Struggles Offensively in Reach USA Tie


Reach USA finished in a 77-77 tie in this morning's third exhibition game against Lithuania's Atletas.

The Americans battled all the back from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to take a lead with 3:30 to go in the game.

A steal with 35 seconds led to a two-point Reach USA lead but Atletas drilled a game-tying jumper with only 10 seconds remaining. Both teams missed potential game winners to set the final score.

UCF's Keith Clanton led the way with 21 points while Southern Illinois' Justin Bocot added 14.

Kentucky's Eloy Vargas scored only 2 points but had a team-high 8 rebounds. Vargas was 0-4 from the field.

Box Score:

John Calipari Honored at Dick Vitale Gala


University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari was honored as last night's Dick Vitale Gala.

Here is an excerpt from the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Dick Vitale picked up the telephone four years ago and placed a call to Tennessee. He had a favor to ask of then-Memphis coach John Calipari.

"I need your help," Vitale said. "I've got to round up 20 guys to donate fifty thousand dollars each. Gotta do it quick."

Not three days later, the V Foundation was $1 million richer.

Fast forward to the spring of 2010. Calipari, less than a year into his time at Kentucky, placed a call to Vitale.

"My mother has cancer," he said.


Complete Article

Pikeville Fills Out Coaching Staff with Nick Bowman


The University of Pikeville has added Nick Bowman to the men's basketball staff following the departure of Donald Thomas, who took a job at Pfiffer University.

Bowman is a December graduate of Eastern Kentucky University. He served as a manager for the Colonels' basketball program last season.

Here are some comments from Coach Kelly Wells about Bowman:

“I think Nick will be the perfect addition to our staff,” said Wells. “We’re excited about affording him the opportunity to begin his coaching career and having him help us in our pursuit of our next national title.”

Source

Photo: University of Pikeville

A Look Back at the 2010-11 Kentucky Wildcats

Here is another look back at last season's edition of the Kentucky Wildcats:

Friday, May 20, 2011

John Calipari Told Brandon Knight to Stay in the Draft

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari says he told freshman Brandon Knight to keep his name in the NBA Draft:

 

Article

More of Knight, Kanter at the NBA Draft Combine

ESPN continues coverage of the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago:



A List Kentucky Basketball Fans Can Appreciate


LindaGonzalez.com has put together a list that University of Kentucky basketball fans will likely appreciate.

Gonzalez has listed America's Top Ten Worst, Least Credible, Most Conflicted Sportswriters.

Topping the list is the one and only Pete Thamel of the New York Times. He is followed by ESPN's noted Kentucky hater, Pat Forde.

Here is the list:

1. Pete Thamel
2. Pat Forde
3. Jeff Goodman
4. Lenn Robbins
5. JP Pelzman
6. Gary Parrish
7. Mike Francessa
8. Dana O'Neil
9. Sean Brennan & Eammon Brennan
10. Dick Hoops Weiss

And an excerpt about Thamel:

1. PETE THAMEL of the NYT Probably got beat up every day in grammar school for that lazy eye and now wants to take out his personal rejections on the world. Got to love the pictures of him from nonstop.com. Thamel is no more than a low-life domestic word terrorist, with no respect for human life, crawling around on his belly to better bite people in the heel to bring them down. He's making a living at getting basketball coaches fired. Why? Politics wouldn't have him, too many big words and complex issues.He's made it his mission in life to bring down coaches he doesn't like. He's already cost hundreds of people their living, destroyed the lives of players and players families, and cost states millions of dollars in educational assets. He is unfair, unbalanced, inaccurate, misleading to the point of making things up, a danger to his newspaper and to the public at large. If this were an old wanted list, he would be Baby Face Nelson. No conscience. His only interest is inspiring widespread hate. Wants fame and blows his own horn every chance he gets. He's exactly the opposite of everything a reporter should be. Wants to be a TV star too. Partners up with anyone who will boost his self-image. For all that he isn't, he's #1. Prediction fantasy: somebody no one ever heard of, who's life was ruined indirectly by him lies in wait and runs him down on a New York street some dark and foggy night. Unfortunately, as in the world of pipe smoking crack dealers, Kevin Armstrong, whose star suddenly fell at the New York Daily News for partying too heavy and failing to join his fellow pack journalists at a local photo op, jumps in to quickly replace him.

Complete Article

Terrence Jones Working Out at the University of Washington


University of Kentucky star Terrence Jones was recently spotted at Washington's open gym.

That wouldn't normally be a big deal if not for the awkward recruitment of Jones. If you remember, Jones committed to Washington as a press conference, then had a change of heart and ended up in Lexington.

A Washington site, 950kjr.com, is currently running an online poll:

- Good to see a player of his caliber at UW (73.23%)

- Pisses me off. (15.85%)

- I'm indifferent. (10.92%)

Go Here to Vote

Video: Kenneth Faried at the NBA Draft Combine

Morehead State's Kenneth Faried talks to the media at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago:

Winston Bennett Interested in Murray State Job



Former University of Kentucky star Winston Bennett hopes to be involved in the Murray State University coaching search.

According to WPSDLoacl6.com, Bennett has expressed interest in the job to AD Allen Ward.

Bennett is currently the head coach at Mid-Continent University.

Source

Brandon Peters Ruled Ineligible at WKU, Will Leave Program


Western Kentucky freshman Brandon Peters has been ruled academically ineligible following the Spring semester. He will be leaving the WKU basketball program.

Here is a statement from WKU head coach Ken McDonald:

“Brandon worked extremely hard last semester and focused on his academics after being ruled ineligible, but came up short in meeting the requirements to return to the court next season. To his credit, he did not give up or leave school once it was determined he had to sit out the second half of last season. We are very proud of Brandon for that. Ultimately, this will allow him to continue his academic and basketball careers closer to his home and family, including his newborn son. We wish Brandon and his family all of the best in the future.”

Source

Bruce Pearl to the NBA Development League?


According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League are courting former Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl.

Here is an excerpt:

When reached by phone on Friday, Jennings confirmed Maine’s interest in Pearl but declined to comment on the search.

Pearl has privately expressed a preference for his next move to be in television or as an NBA assistant coach, but he’s open to hearing out Maine’s pitch, a source with knowledge of his thinking said.

After six seasons at the University of Tennessee, Pearl was fired at the end of the 2010-11 season after lying to NCAA investigators during an inquiry. Pearl has been anxious to find out whether the NCAA will impose restrictions on his immediate return to college coaching.


Complete Article

Len Elmore Takes a Cheap Shot at the University of Kentucky


Len Elmore made a statement on ESPN today that is sure to rub Kentucky fans, myself included, the wrong way.

Comments were made on the air that Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter was doing homework during his interviews.

Elmore added to the conversation by saying that the focus on class work is "unique to that particular program."

His statement is obviously true (sarcasm) when the team's 3.14 GPA for last semester is taken into account.

Len Elmore...come on man.

HT: Will Lentz of KSR

Big Blue Nation: Today is Enes Kanter Day

Big Blue Nation, let's all send birthday wishes to Enes Kanter:

Reach USA Wins Second Game, Vargas Scores 12


Reach USA found their legs and avenged yesterday's loss to Atletas of Lithuania with an 87-82 victory this morning.

Keith Clanton from UCF led the way with 16 points on 6-10 shooting and 15 rebounds. Kentucky's Eloy Vargas added 12 points and 5 rebounds.

Vargas has scored 12 points in each of the first two games.

Here is the box score:

Official Measurements from NBA Draft Combine


Here are some of the official measurements from the NBA Draft Combine (via @chadfordinsider on Twitter):

- Turkey's Enes Kanter measured out well. 6' 9.75" in socks and 6' 11.25" in shoes with a good 7' 1.5" wing and a 9' 1.5" standing reach

- Kemba Walker 5' 11.5" in socks. 6' 1" in shoes. 6' 3.5" wing Brandon Knight 6' 1.5" socks and 6' 3.25" in shoes. 6' 6.75" wing

- Morehead States Kenneth Faried measured just 6' 6" in socks and 6' 7.5" in shoes. However he has a 7' wingspan and a 9' standing reach.

- Jeremy Tyler measured with the biggest wingspan -- a whopping 7' 5". He also had the largest standing reach at 9' 4.5"

- Got measurements from the draft combine. Kyrie Irving was 6' 1.75" in socks and 6' 3.5" in shoes with a 6' 4" wingspan. But 10.3 body fat

- Trey Thompkins had 15.5 percent body fat - the most among the prospects here.

Steve Prohm the Leader at Murray State?



It appears that Murray State assistant Steve Prohm is the favorite to replace former head coach Billy Kennedy at the helm.

Here is a little about Prohm from WPSDLocal6.com:

Prohm knows the program. He knows the players. He knows Kennedy's system. Kennedy's right hand man has never been a head coach at the college level, but Prohm has followed the newly introduced leader of the Texas A&M Aggies everywhere he's gone. Two years at Centenary. then six years at southeastern Louisiana.

They split for one season in 2005. Kennedy went to the Miami Hurricanes. Prohm went to the Tulane Green Wave. Then they reunited at Murray State.

Kennedy is quoted in Murray State's media guide as saying, 'Steve is like another head coach on our staff.' Racer players have expressed support for Prohm on Twitter.

A recent interview with Prohm

Video: Brandon Knight Talks About the NBA Draft

Former University of Kentucky star Brandon Knight talked to the media yesterday about the NBA Draft and more:

Bellarmine Men's Basketball Team Honored by GLVC


The Bellarmine University men's basketball team was one of several teams that earned the Great Lakes Valley Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Sportsmanship Award for winter and spring sports.

Here is the release from Bellarmine:

INDIANAPOLIS --- The Great Lakes Valley Conference gave out their annual Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Sportsmanship Awards for winter and spring sports and Bellarmine University was well represented as the men's basketball team and both the men's and women's track and field team were honored.

The SAAC Sportsmanship Award is determined by votes of the GLVC member institutions' campus SAACs. The committees select their top three choices in each sport and base their decision on their view of sportsmanship. Each team that received a first-place vote received three points, second-place received two points and the third-place received one point. The GLVC sponsors the award in each of the league's 17 championship sports.

Complete Release

Enes Kanter Talks to the Media in Chicago

Kentucky's Enes Kanter spoke to the media yesterday at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago:

Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: Dick Vitale Gala Edition


Informtion on the 6th Annual Dick Vitale Gala

Thursday's Top 5:

- The field for the first Big East/SEC Challenge was released. Kentucky will host St. John's and Vanderbilt will travel to Louisville.

- Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins tried to channel his inner Jack Nicklaus.

- DeAndre Liggins said he likes being the underdog. Liggins is in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine.

- Three Morehead State seniors, including NBA hopeful Kenneth Faried, earned their college degrees on Saturday.

- Brandon Knight talked to DraftExpress.com at the NBA Draft Combine.

On Friday, Get Ready For:

- Day 2 of the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago

Recruiting News:

- Greenup County's Trey Williams committed to UVa.-Wise.

- University of Pikeville signed two NCAA Division I transfers: Chris McHenry and Darren Stewart

- Kentucky Wesleyan College picked up a major NCAA Division I transfer of their own: Dominique Dawson from Minnesota

- South Floyd's Dakota Hall has signed with Thomas More College.

The Buzz:

- The three names I continue hearing the most at Murray State: Steve Prohm, John Brannen and Matthew Graves. Gun to my head - I'm going to say Prohm gets the job.

- Oklahoma City defeated Dallas 106-100 to even their NBA Playoff series at 1-1.

Video of the Day (NBA Draft Combine: Day 1):

Thursday, May 19, 2011

DeMarcus Cousins Searching for the Green Jacket?



Former University of Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins took a few swings with a golf club today. He looks like a natural to me (video posted by Cousins on Twitter):

Click Here to Watch

DeAndre Liggins Wants to be the Underdog


DeAndre Liggins said scouts advised him to return to Kentucky but he questioned how he could improve on his draft position with UK's highly-touted 2011 recruiting class.

According to Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader, Liggins saw UK's top-rated class as a hindrance in improving his position.

Here is an excerpt of Liggins' comments from Tipton's article:

“How could I do that with the bigger class,” he said.

Liggins said he hears he’s projected as a late second-round pick, as of now.

“I want to be the underdog,” he said. “I’ve been an underdog all my life.”


Complete Article

My Thoughts: I'm not buying Tipton's statement that Liggins viewed the incoming class as a "hindrance." I think that is a poor choice of words. It may be true that Liggins questioned his role for next season if he returned but his ultimate reasoning is that he needs to support his family, in my opinion.

Three Morehead State Seniors Earn Degrees



Morehead State seniors Kenneth Faried, Sam Goodman and Demonte Harper received their degrees during MSU's recent commencement ceremony.

Here are some comments from head coach Donnie Tyndall:

“The NCAA Tournament appearances, all the wins, the awards and achievements they have earned all seem small compared to this day,” Tyndall said following Saturday’s graduation ceremony. “All three worked as hard in the classroom as they did on the basketball court and this is a testament to their character as individuals. I will enjoy following their careers and they know they will always have a home in Morehead State.”

Complete Article

Video: Brandon Knight NBA Draft Combine Interview

Former Kentucky star Brandon Knight spoke to DraftExpress.com at the NBA Draft Combine today:

Darren Stewart Inks with University of Pikeville


Darren Stewart, a 6-4 transfer from Florida Atlantic University, has signed with the University of Pikeville.

Here is UPike's release:

Darren Stewart

6’4 210 Guard/Forward
Class: RS Sophomore
Hometown: Pembroke Pines, FL
Previous School: Florida Atlantic University

Prior to Pikeville:

2009-10: Played in 22 games...scored and had three rebounds vs. Florida Tech (11/13/09)... played a season-high 15 minutes vs. Middle Tennessee (2/27/10)
2010-11: Received medical redshirt

High School:

Combo-guard from Miami's nationally-recognized high school basketball program at Monsignor Edward Pace... won the 2008 FHSAA Class 4A state championship with Pace as junior...helped Pace earn a No. 1 ranking among all Class 4A teams in Florida as a senior... recognized as one of the top perimeter defenders in Miami-Dade county while also averaging double-figures in scoring... helped Pace roll to a 53-11 record during his two seasons there, going 24-8 his senior year and advancing to the Class 4A regional finals...named a top high school recruit by FloridaProspects.com, FloridaHoops.com and HoopScoopOnline.com... ESPN Rise 2009 All-Area South Florida selection... selected to represent Miami-Dade in the 14th annual South Florida All-Star Basketball Classic; scoring a game-high 17 points `electrifying' the crowd with a series of second-half dunks...earned the title of `best player among 10th graders' by BreakdownMagazine.com in 2006 while attending American Heritage High School in Plantation...played AAU basketball with the Florida Rams.

Dominique Dawson Transfers to Kentucky Wesleyan


Kentucky Wesleyan College has picked up a big time transfer as 6-7 center Dominique Dawson will transfer to KWC from the University of Minnesota.

Here is the release from KWC:

University of Minnesota center Dominique Dawson will transfer to eight-time NCAA Division II National Champion Kentucky Wesleyan College, according Panther head coach Todd Lee.

He will have three years of eligibility at KWC.

Dawson, a 6-foot-7, 245-pounder, saw limited action as a redshirt-freshman for the Gophers this past year. He played in 10 games for head coach Tubby Smith after sitting out the 2009-10 season.

“Dominique Dawson has done a good job for us in the two seasons he has been a part of the Golden Gopher basketball family,” said Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith. “He's going to a great institution and program in Kentucky Wesleyan, where I know that he will contribute. We wish him the best of luck.”

The native of Minneapolis, Minn., averaged 23.1 points, 15.4 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game as a senior at Southwest High School where he was a 2009 third team All-State selection.

He also earned first team All-Minneapolis recognition for former Southwest head coach and current KWC assistant coach George Hemmingsen in 2009.

"Dominique is a great addition to our program and will help us immediately," Lee said. "He is a very good athlete, an excellent rebounder and has the ability to be a good offensive player for us.

"He has been coached the last two years by a great coach and has competed everyday against big strong athletes. The experience of playing for Coach Smith and in the Big 10 is going to really help him succeed here at Kentucky Wesleyan College and in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.”

Complete Release

Calipari Explains Decision to Coach Dominican Republic


Univeristy of Kentucky head coach John Calipari has explained his decision to coach the Dominican Republic national team this summer.

Here are some of Calipari's comments from ESPN.com:

Calipari said NBA Dominicans Al Horford (Atlanta), Francisco Garcia (Sacramento) and Charlie Villanueva (Detroit) all pushed him to be the head coach, but that he's not 100 percent certain all three have committed to playing yet.

The team will train at Kentucky in early August and if there is an NBA lockout, Calipari is hoping to have former UK players now in the NBA play an exhibition game against the Dominicans at Rupp Arena. Calipari will also coach the Dominicans in a pre-tournament in Brazil prior to the Olympic qualifier in Argentina.

But there is a larger goal here for Calipari and the Dominican Federation, one that he said he is committed to making: improve the grassroots program for the sport in a nation dominated by baseball.

"They want to re-charge basketball in their country and use this as a start to build the basketball," Calipari said. "The NBA guys wanted me to do this. We can train here. Our [Kentucky] guys will be home at that time. But the third thing for me is it isn't just coaching the national team. I don't need another job. I'm fine with the one I have. But like I did with China in helping with their basketball, they want me to help teach their coaches. And that appeals to me. This isn't just about five weeks of work."


Complete Article

University of Pikeville Signs Chris McHenry from Miami (OH)


The University of Pikeville has signed Chris McHenry for the 2011-12 season. McHenry is a 5-11 point guard transfer from Miami (OH).

Here is the release from UPike:

Chris McHenry

5’11 185 Guard
Class: Senior
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Previous School: Howard/Garden City CC/Miami (OH)

Prior to Pikeville:

Played in 31 games while starting 11 as a junior at Miami (OH). Averaged 5.4 ppg and 2 apg including 40 made 3-point field goals while playing 18 minutes per game. Recorded a season best 13 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds in a Jan. 23 contest vs. Kent St. Was at Garden City Community College in 2009-10 after spending the 2008-09 season at Howard University ... at Garden City, averaged 16.0 ppg through 31 games ... earned first-team all-region honors ... set a school record for 3-pointers in a game, knocking down nine treys against Hutchinson Community College on Jan. 18, 2010 ... drained 82 3-pointers during his season at Garden City Community College ... averaged 9.6 ppg through 11 games at Howard, while making five stars for the Bison as a freshman ... poured in a team-high 29 points against Wyoming on Dec. 30, 2008 ... earned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors during the first week of conference play while at Howard.

High School:

Regarded as one of the top players in the state of Wisconsin when he prepped at Bradley Tech High School ... during his senior campaign, average 16.9 ppg while earning all-state distinction and first-team all-league honors.

Field Released for First Big East/SEC Challenge


We already knew that Kentucky would host St. John's but the complete field has now been released for the first-ever Big East/SEC Challenge.

St. John's will travel to Lexington December 1.

The next night, Vanderbilt will head to the KFC Yum! Center for a game at Louisville.

Here is the complete schedule:

Thursday, Dec. 1

St. John’s at Kentucky
Georgetown at Alabama
Providence at South Carolina
Mississippi at DePaul

Friday, Dec. 2

Vanderbilt at Louisville
Florida at Syracuse
Cincinnati at Georgia
Auburn at Seton Hall

Saturday, Dec. 3

Arkansas at Connecticut
Pittsburgh at Tennessee
West Virginia at Mississippi State
LSU at Rutgers

Eloy Vargas Plays Well in Reach USA Debut


University of Kentucky big man Eloy Vargas played well in his first appearance with Reach USA, which opened up an exhibition tour in the Far East this morning.

Vargas had 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocked shots and 2 steals in a 77-75 loss to Lithuanian club team Atletas. Vargas led the team in rebounds and blocked shots.

UCF forward Keith Clanton led the Americans with 17 points and 8 rebounds.

Reach USA showed signs of heavy fatigue but still managed a fourth quarter comeback that fell short at the buzzer.

Atletas was 12-27 from the three-point line while Reach USA was only 3-17. The Americans shot a disappointing 10-26 at the free throw line.

The two teams return to action tomorrow morning.

Box Score:

Anthony Davis to Appear on ESPNU Today



Kentucky signee Anthony Davis is one of the scheduled guests on ESPNU's Recruiting Insider show today.

The show will air at 5:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

PaulBiancardi Scheduled on Recruiting Insider today. Anthony Davis , Bama commit Trevor Lacey , Arizona HC Sean Miller and Ark Mike Anderson. 5pm Espnu

MoMo Jones to St. John's; Any Impact on Ryan Harrow?


The New York Post reports this morning that Lamont "MoMo" Jones will transfer from Arizona to St. John's.

It is possible that Jones will receive an NCAA hardship waiver and be able to play immediately.

With Jones being a point guard, one has to wonder what impact, if any, his transfer will have on Ryan Harrow's coming decision.

Harrow, a freshman point guard who is transferring from North Carolina State, has St. John's high on his list of potential destinations. Harrow will not be eligible to play until 2012 and is also considering Texas, Kentucky, Georgia and Louisville.

Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: NBA Draft Combine Edition


Wednesday's Top 5:

- Trevor Lacey signed with Alabama over Kentucky, Kansas, Auburn and North Carolina State.

- Kentucky will host St. John's in the 2011 Big East/SEC Challenge.

- North Carolina and Kentucky are the top early favorites to win the 2012 NCAA national title.

- Former UK big man Mark Pope was hired as Dave Rose's lead assistant at BYU.

- Former Murray State head coach Billy Kennedy says he plans to retire at Texas A&M; speaking of MSU, they will be playing in the 2011 Great Alaska Shootout.

On Thursday, Get Ready For:

- NBA Playoffs: Oklahoma City vs. Dallas at 9:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Recruiting News:

- University of Pikeville has signed Chris McHenry, a 5-11 point guard transfer from Miami (OH)

- Three Kentucky signees were named first team SLAM All-Americans.

- Kentucky tops the Maxpreps recruiting rankings for 2011.

- N.C. State transfer Ryan Harrow says he will decide by the end of May.

- 2013 guard Isaiah Lewis told Garrett Tucker of NationofBlue.com that he is waiting for Kentucky to offer and he wants to be a Wildcat.

The Buzz:

- Oliver Antigua, brother of Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, will coach the Dominican Republic Under-17 team in qualification for the Pan-American Games.

- The Miami Heat tied the Eastern Conference championship series at 1-1 with an 85-75 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Video of the Day (Jamaal Magloire drops the hammer on Derrick Rose):

Oliver Antigua to Coach Dominican Republic U-17 Team


Oliver Antigua, the brother of University of Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, will coach the Dominican Republic Under-17 team this summer in Central American qualifiers for the Pan-American Games.

Here is an excerpt of Antigua's comments from NYPost.com:

“It’s a real special honor for me to be able to do this,” Antigua said. “It’s a lot of pride to represent the country, a sense of honor but also a bit of pressure.”

The team will be comprised of high-school aged players from the New York City area as well as a group from the Dominican. Antigua said tryouts are held Mondays and Wednesdays at Gregory Luperon HS in Washington Heights and the turnout early on has his optimistic.

“We’re going to put together a very talented group of players,” he said. “Early on we have a good combination of size and speed and I think we’re going to be able to put together a team that will represent the country well in the tournament.”


Complete Article

Kentucky vs. St. John's in Big East/SEC Challenge


The University of Kentucky will host St. John's in the 2011 Big East/SEC Challenge, according to NYPost.com.

Here is an excerpt:

In a matchup of two of the most storied programs in college basketball history, St. John's will play at Kentucky next season in the Big East/SEC Challenge, The Post has learned

The Red Storm, coming off a 21-12 season and their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002, will be one of the youngest teams in America after four of five starters completed their eligibility.

Kentucky, which lost 56-55 to UConn in the Final Four semifinals, is losing star guard Brandon Knight to the NBA, but returns a talented core, led by Queens guard Doron Lamb.


Complete Article

Note: According to the article, Lamont "MoMo" Jones will transfer to St. John's and could be eligible to play this upcoming season under NCAA hardship rules.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kentucky, UNC are Early Favorites to Win 2012 NCAA Title


According to Bodog.com, North Carolina and Kentucky and the top two early favorites to capture the 2012 NCAA title.

The Tar Heels lead the way with 7/2 odds, which are slightly better than Kentucky's 13/2.

Duke, Louisville and Ohio State are next with 8/1 odds. Syracuse, Texas and Florida round out the top eight.

Here are the full odds from Bodog.com:

North Carolina: 7:2
Kentucky: 13:2
Duke: 8:1
Louisville: 8:1
Ohio State: 8:1
Syracuse: 12-1
Texas: 15:1
Florida: 18:1
Kansas: 20:1
Memphis: 20:1
Pittsburgh: 20:1
UCLA: 20:1
Connecticut: 25:1
Michigan State: 25:1
St. John's: 25:1
Indiana: 30:1
Arizona: 35:1
Baylor: 35:1
Butler: 35:1
Georgetown: 35:1
Gonzaga: 35:1
Michigan: 35:1
Notre Dame: 35:1
Vanderbilt: 35:1
Kansas State: 50:1
Texas A&M: 50:1
Villanova: 50:1
Washington: 50:1

Transylvania Signs Wayne County Star Gavin Dunagan


Transylvania University has signed Wayne County star Gavin Dunagan. Here is the release from Transy:

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Wayne County standout Gavin Dunagan has announced that he will continue his basketball career at Transylvania this fall, Pioneers' head coach Brian Lane said Tuesday.

Dunagan, a 6-4 forward, was the 12th Region Player of the Year and he helped Wayne County into the quarterfinals of the Sweet 16 Boys' High School Basketball Tournament after capturing the regional championship.

He is the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,818 points, breaking a mark that had stood since 1957. He also grabbed 1, 509 rebounds, another a school record.

He is the son of Forest and Sharon Dunagan.

"Adding Wayne County's all-time leading scorer and rebounder is a big step toward continuing our rich tradition of success here at Transylvania," Lane said. "I am also excited about Gavin because of the kind of person and student he is. He exemplifies the balance that we are looking for in a student-athlete."

Complete Release

Murray State to Play in 2011 Great Alaska Shootout


Murray, Ky. --- The Murray State men’s basketball program will be part of the 2011 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout during Thanksgiving week.

The host of the annual college basketball event, the University of Alaska Anchorage announced the pairings May 18.

The Racers will face Cal-Irvine in a game played Nov. 23. After taking Thanksgiving Day off, MSU will face Southern Mississippi or Alaska-Anchorage Nov. 25.

Along with host Alaska Anchorage, the Racers, Southern Miss and Cal-Irvine, other teams in the Great Alaska Shootout include: Central Michigan, Dartmouth, New Mexico State and San Francisco.

All games will be played a UAA’s Sullivan Arena in what will be the 34th annual staging of the event.

There is also a women’s portion of the Great Alaska Shootout. Alaska Anchorage is joined by Miami (Fla.), South Florida and another team to be announced later.
This year’s tourney is scheduled for Nov. 22-26, opening with women’s first-round action on Tuesday night and concluding with the men’s championship on Saturday.

The Great Alaska Shootout is the longest-running regular-season college basketball tournament in the nation, taking place every Thanksgiving in Anchorage since 1978.

Murray State will be the first Ohio Valley Conference team to participate in the event.

* Release by Murray State University

Schedule

Wednesday, Nov. 23 – First Round

Southern Mississippi vs Alaska Anchorage
UC Irvine vs Murray State

Thursday, Nov. 24 – First Round

Central Michigan vs San Francisco
Dartmouth vs New Mexico State

Friday, Nov. 25 – Consolation Semifinals & Semifinals

USM/UAA loser vs UCI/MSU loser
CMU/USF loser vs NMSU/DU loser
USM/UAA winner vs UCI/MSU winner
CMU/USF winner vs NMSU/DU winner

Saturday, Nov. 26

7th/8th-place game
4th/6th-place game
3rd/5th-place game
Championship game

Mark Pope Hired as Assistant at BYU


Former University of Kentucky star Mark Pope has been hired as an assistant coach on Dave Rose's staff at BYU.

Here is an excerpt of the school's news release:

PROVO, Utah (May 18, 2011) – BYU basketball coach Dave Rose announced today the hiring of Mark Pope as an assistant coach. The hiring completes Rose’s staff that includes Terry Nashif, Tim LaComb and Pope as assistants and Mike Hall as the program’s director of basketball operations.

“We are excited to have Mark join our staff,” Rose said. “He is one of the hardest working coaches in our business and we feel fortunate to have him come to BYU. His passion for the game is consistent with our existing staff and his experience as a player and a coach will bring great energy and excitement to our team.”

Pope comes to BYU after serving as an assistant for one season at Wake Forest under Jeff Bzdelik. He had previously served as the director of basketball operations at Georgia under Mark Fox during the 2009-10 season.

“I’m grateful to Coach Rose for the opportunity to be a part of BYU basketball,” Pope said. “It’s been fun to watch Coach Rose and his staff as they’ve built BYU into a great program. I can’t wait to get started and to help the team continue to be successful.”

Complete Release

Photo: Courtesy of Wake Forest

Kentucky Tops the 2011 Maxpreps Recruiting Rankings


Maxpreps.com has updated their top 25 recruiting classes for 2011 and Kentucky tops the list.

The Louisville Cardinals are No. 12.

Alabama, with the addition of Trevor Lacey, moved into the top 10 at No. 9. The SEC also has Arkansas in the top 10 at No. 5.

Here are the top 10 classes:

Ranking Commits Top 100 Movement Highest Rated Recruit

1 Kentucky 4 4 - Anthony Davis (No. 1 overall)
2 St. John's 9 5 - D'Angelo Harrison (40)
3 Ohio State 5 4 - LaQuinton Ross (13)
4 Duke 5 4 - Austin Rivers (2)
5 Arkansas 5 5 - B.J. Young (10)
6 Texas 6 3 - Myck Kabongo (8)
7 North Carolina 5 3 - James McAdoo (5)
8 Georgetown 5 4 - Otto Porter (29)
9 Alabama 5 3 - Trevor Lacey (11)
10 Arizona 4 3 - Nick Johnson (25)
12 Louisville 4 2 - Wayne Blackshear (24)

Complete Rankings

Ryan Harrow to Decide by End of May


North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow will decide where his future home will be by the end of May, according to ZagsBlog.com.

Here is an excerpt:

Former N.C. State point guard Ryan Harrow will make a decision on his new destination by the end of the month.

“After this visit I have to sit down and evaluate all schools and make an informative decision,” Harrow Tweeted Tuesday. “Place where I can [im]prove and will be happy.”


Complete Article

Trevor Lacey Makes it Official, Signs with Alabama


Trevor Lacey announced at a 3:00 p.m. press conference that he is signing with Alabama.

Lacey is a big get for Alabama. He chose the Crimson Tide over Kentucky, Kansas, Connecticut and North Carolina State.

Live Stream: Trevor Lacey Announcement

Watch live as Trevor Lacey announces his college decision:









Live video by Ustream

Three Kentucky Signees Named SLAM All-Americans


Three future Kentucky stars have been named SLAM All-Americans.

Michael Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Marquis Teague make the team and are joined by Austin Rivers, Brad Beal and Quincy Miller.

2011 SLAM All-Americans:

- Michael Gilchrist 6-7, SF; Elizabeth (NJ) St. Patrick; College: Kentucky

- Austin Rivers 6-4, SG; Winter Park (FL) High; College: Duke

- Anthony Davis 6-10, PF; Chicago (IL) Perspectives Charter; College: Kentucky

- Brad Beal 6-4, SG; St. Louis (MO) Chaminade Prep; College: Florida

- Quincy Miller 6-9, SF/PF; High Point (NC) Westhester Country Day; College: Baylor

- Marquis Teague 6-2, PG; Indianapolis (IN) Pike; College: Kentucky

Complete Article

Teague in action:

Scott Davenport is a Sports Legend of the Ville


Bellarmine University head coach Scott Davenport is a "sports legend of the Ville" according to Dave Rose of Louisville.com.

Here is an excerpt:

During March’s NCAA tournament this year all eyes seemed to be on UConn, and for good reason but another team had actually a much more impressive run in their respective tournament; Bellarmine in the Division 2 tournament, which concluded with the now perennial powerhouse cutting down the nets, winning their first championship. And, at the core of the team is today’s Sports Legends of the Ville, head coach Scott Davenport.

The city of Louisville has seen their fair share of coaches, both good and bad and article after article has been written about each of them with seemingly one exception, Davenport, who took a last place team and turned them into national champions in just a few short years, an impressive feat, regardless of what sport or division.


Complete Article

Report: Trevor Lacey to Alabama


According to Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com, word is leaking out that Trevor Lacey has signed with Alabama.

3starmeyer Word leaking out that trevor lacey has signed w alabama

Josh Harrellson is Bigger Than a Wookie


Former University of Kentucky star Josh Harrellson replaced a Star Wars character at an 8-year old's birthday party in Corbin recently.

James Collins hoped to land Chewbacca at his party but ended up getting the former UK big man.

Here is an excerpt of a great article from The Times-Tribune in Corbin:

The birthday boy came away impressed with 6’10’’ Josh Harrellson’s size.

“He was very tall,” he said. “He put Andon’s shoes on the roof. He was taller than Chewbacca!”

His favorite part of the party was opening presents, seeing his friends and getting a hat signed for his dad.

“My dad gave it to me though,” he said.

It was definitely a birthday party that he will never forget. Jimbo also came away very impressed with Jorts.

“I think he had more fun than anybody else here,” Collins said. “He was climbing up in trees, pushing the kids on the trampoline and on the swings, and hiding shoes on the top of the roof. I think he got to open up a little bit and just have fun. Maybe he hadn’t been able to do that at the autograph signings and stuff he’s been doing. I think he enjoyed it.”


Complete Article

Kudos to Jorts for all that he does with kids and the way he represents the University of Kentucky basketball program.

I managed to get an exclusive interview with Chewbacca. He simply said, "Ahhhh! Arrrr! Ahhhhhhhrrrr! Ahhh! Arrr! Ahhhhhhhhhh!"

Billy Kennedy on Texas A&M: "I'm Planning on Retiring Here"


Former Murray State head coach Billy Kennedy said yesterday that he has long-term plans at Texas A&M. He added that A&M is a "dream job."

"I don't want to go anywhere," Kennedy stated yesterday. "There's no Maryland, Kansas, Carolina, whoever, OK? I'm from Louisiana. Family's close. I've got a base here, and I'm planning on retiring here."

Kennedy reportedly signed a contract that's worth about $1 million annually for the next five years.

A&M AD Bill Byrne says Kennedy said exactly what he needed to in the interview:

In the interview, Byrne wanted to know about recruiting.

"I want to see us have a bigger presence in Texas," he said. "I knew he'd been here before (as an A&M assistant in 1990-91). He came into the meeting and said, 'Gig 'em.' He had us figured out. And he talked about recruiting Texas. That was music to my ears."

At that point, Byrne, who had brought Billy Gillispie and Mark Turgeon to College Station, was well on his way to hiring his third men's basketball coach at A&M.

"People kept telling me Billy would do exactly the right things to build a program," Byrne said. "He has taken on some really tough jobs (Centenary, Southeastern Louisiana, Murray State) and built them into something respectable. In the interview, he talked about all our kids. He knew something about all of them. I kept hearing that he's a guy athletes love."

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