Saturday, December 24, 2011

Clark County Wins Fort Harrod Classic at Mercer County

George Rogers Clark survived four days of outstanding competition to win the 2011 Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic at Mercer County High School.

The Cardinals (9-2) defeated Southwestern 52-46 in the championship game on Friday evening.

Bopper Stenzel, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, scored 14 points for Clark County. Charlie Rogers also scored 14, including 9 in the second half. Big man Adam Fatkin chipped in 12 points for the Cardinals.

David Kapinga led Southwestern (10-1) with 10 points. Isiah Collier added 7 points.

Tournament Recap

December 20

Southwestern 55 Woodford County 50
George Rogers Clark 54 Allen County-Scottsville 32
Miami Senior (FL) 69 Marion County 48
Ohio County 65 DuPont Manual 62
Lexington Christian 68 South Laurel 57
Boyle County 61 Greenup County 46
Danville 48 Boyd County 45

December 21

DuPont Manual 70 Greenup County 35
Lexington Christian 58 Danville 55
Ohio County 75 Boyle County 60
Southwestern 52 Miami Senior (FL) 50
Allen County-Scottsville 65 Mercer County 62
South Laurel 63 Boyd County 59
Woodford County 57 Marion County 51

December 22

South Laurel 71 Allen County-Scottsville 65
Mercer County 43 Boyd County 42
DuPont Manual 75 Woodford County 47
Marion County 52 Greenup County 47
Southwestern 68 Ohio County 60
Miami Senior (FL) 73 Boyle County 56
George Rogers Clark 44 Lexington Christian 40

December 23

Greenup County 62 Boyd County 33 (15th Place)
Mercer County 74 Marion County 66 (13th Place)
Allen County-Scottsville vs. Woodford County (11th Place)
DuPont Manual 63 South Laurel 46 (9th Place)
Southern 78 Boyle County 70 (7th Place)
Miami Senior (FL) 73 Danville 48 (5th Place)
Lexington Christian 72 Ohio County 61 (Consolation Game)
George Rogers Clark 52 Southwestern 46 (Championship Game)

Tournament MVP Bopper Stenzel:

Southwestern's David Kapinga beats the first quarter buzzer:

Kentucky, Louisville Getting it Done in the Classroom

The men's basketball programs at both the University Louisville and the University of Kentucky posted outstanding overall scores in the classroom for the fall semester.

The Cards led the way with an impressive team GPA of 3.16, the highest ever for the basketball program. The school revealed that 14 of the 17 players on the Louisville roster achieved a 3.0 GPA or better for the semester.

John Calipari's Wildcats posted a 2.7 combined GPA for the semester.

"It's not the 3.0 that we want," Calipari said Thursday. "... Here's what's crazy about basketball. Basketball only has 13 players. So what happens if two guys screw up? It drops that overall (GPA)."

The Cardinals and Wildcats will meet on the basketball court on December 31 at Rupp Arena.

More Legal Issues for Former UK Star Antoine Walker

Former Kentucky and NBA star Antoine Walker is facing more legal problems, this time for allegedly not paying child support and tuition bills for his youngest teenage daughter.

According to attorneys, Walker owes about $117,000 in past-due child support.

He appeared in court on Thursday morning, but a Circuit Court judge said he could take no action on the matter due to Walker's pending bankruptcy case.

Here's more from

A federal judge will have to determine if the court proceedings against Walker related to his child support and past-due tuition bills can proceed while he is still in bankruptcy court, officials said.

According to records provided by his daughter's mother, Walker owes $27,817 to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools for his daughter's tuition. He also has not made his $4,195 monthly child support payments in more than two years, said Donna Grant, the mother of the couple's daughter.

Grant had the courts request Walker's appearance in court mainly to force him to pay his daughter's tuition, she said. If the past-due amount is not paid this month, their 13-year-old daughter will be forced to leave the school, Grant said, showing a letter from the school.

"It's not about him, it's just for my daughter's education," she said. "I just want her to stay in school. I don't want her to have to transfer. Her education is important, and it's not being treated like it's important."

Antoine Walker accused of not paying child support, tuition

Alice Lloyd's Brandon Hayes Named KIAC Player of the Week

Alice Lloyd College's Brandon Hayes was named KIAC Player of the Week earlier this week.

Here's more from the league:

Brandon Hayes, Alice Lloyd College — Men’s Basketball Player of the Week

6’5 Senior – Jackson, KY

The Eagles picked up a vote in the latest NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball poll. They are currently 8-4 overall and will return to action on December 29th when they travel to Webber, Florida to play in the Webber Invitational.

Louisville vs. Kentucky: The Rivalry Episode Two

Check out The Rivalry: Episode Two - the second part of Adam Lefkoe's great work that goes inside the Louisville vs. Kentucky rivalry:

No. 4 Louisville Survives Scare from Western Kentucky

(4) Louisville 70
Western Kentucky 60

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by WKU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The WKU Hilltoppers put a scare into the fourth-ranked Louisville Cardinals Friday night at the KFC Yum! Center, leading by as many as 13 at one point and again as late as 7:58 left in the game, but the Cardinals distanced themselves down the stretch and picked up a 70-60 win. Louisville improves to 12-0 with the win, and despite playing one of its finest all-around games of the season, WKU falls to 4-9 with the loss.

A crowd of 22,150 was on-hand at the KFC Yum! Center, which is the fifth-largest crowd to ever see the Hilltoppers play a game and the largest since 22,876 were at the Charlotte Coliseum on March 25, 1993 to see a 81-78 WKU overtime loss to Florida State in the NCAA Tournament. Louisville has won 20-straight home games and is now 30-2 in its second season at the downtown arena.

"I thought this was our best 40-minute effort in terms of executing the game plan and playing hard," WKU head coach Ken McDonald said. "I think we played really hard. We had a couple of lapses, which is going to happen, but we made big plays, and it was fun watching the guys out there playing hard and listening to what we were trying to accomplish. I think even with the loss we made some big strides tonight."

Derrick Gordon was outstanding for the Hilltoppers, scoring 13 points, grabbing nine rebounds to lead the team for the fourth-straight game and dishing out five assists in 38 minutes of action. Louisville native Jamal Crook added 13 as well on 6-of-13 shooting. WKU outshot Louisville in the game, 44.2 percent to 40.0 percent, but the Cardinals had a nine-rebound advantage that helped them to 22 second-chance points. The Hilltoppers made just eight of 17 free throw attempts as well (.471).

Russ Smith had 23 points to pace Louisville, and Gorgui Dieng had 13 points and 15 rebounds. Kyle Kuric hit three three-pointers en route to 15 points.

Complete Recap

Improving Morehead State Eagles Defeat Ball State

Morehead State 62
Ball State 54

Final from Morehead, Kentucky

Game recap by MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- The Morehead State men’s basketball team forced 24 turnovers and connected on its final 13 free-throw attempts in a 62-54 win over Ball State on Friday night at Johnson Arena.

The Eagles, who played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, improve to 6-7 overall. The Cardinals, who were picked to win the Mid-American Conference’s West Division this year, slip to 6-4 on the season.

“Our energy was really good tonight,” Morehead State Head Coach Donnie Tyndall said. “We defended, we rebounded and our press forced 24 Ball State turnovers.”

Morehead State forced 15 miscues and held Ball State to 33 percent (7-of-21) from the floor in the first half. The Cardinals jumped out to a 6-0 advantage, but the Eagles finished the opening stanza on a 28-16 run to take a six-point lead into the locker room.

MSU pushed the advantage to a game-high 12 points at 14:27 of the second half. Ball State cut the deficit to 45-44 with 5:26 left, but the Eagles drilled 75 percent (15-of-20) from the charity stripe after halftime to secure the victory.

“Our team has certainly improved on the practice floor the past few weeks and that’s carried over to our last two victories,” Tyndall said. “Our guys are starting to buy into the team concept and that’s helping with our success.”

Complete recap

Nerlens Noel and Wayne Selden in Action at City of Palms

Here is a new video of Kentucky recruits Nerlens Noel and Wayne Selden in action during the City of Palms event:

Friday, December 23, 2011

The White Boy Academy Raises the Bar for Christmas

Jarrod Polson, Kyle Wiltjer and the White Boy Academy have raised the bar in celebration of Christmas:

Video: Calipari, Pitino Checking Out Recruits in Chicago

Check out this video of John Calipari, Rick Pitino and others checking out several top recruits in Chicago on Thursday night (video by 312media on YouTube):

DeAndre Liggins Likely to Make Orlando Roster

Former University of Kentucky guard DeAndre Liggins will likely be on the Orlando Magic's opening day roster.

Head coach Stan Van Gundy said on Thursday that he doesn't expect any more roster moves prior to the regular season, which begins Sunday night.

Here's more from

Veteran Larry Hughes and rookie DeAndre Liggins almost certainly will be on the Orlando Magic's season-opening roster.

Stan Van Gundy said after Thursday's practice that he doesn't expect any roster moves to be made before the Magic begin their regular season Christmas night in Oklahoma City.

The team already waived point guard Gabe Pruitt, reducing its roster to 15 players.

All NBA contracts become fully guaranteed Feb. 10, but it is possible the Magic agreed to earlier dates for Hughes and Liggins when their contracts were finalized before training camp.

Larry Hughes, DeAndre Liggins likely will begin season on Magic roster

Knicks Now Catches Up with Josh Harrellson

Knicks Now at recently interview former Kentucky star Josh Harrellson. Check out the interview (click image to watch interview):

Chuck Hayes to Sign with Sacramento, Deal Even Better

The news continues to be great for former University of Kentucky star Chuck Hayes. Not only has Hayes reached a new agreement with the Sacramento Kings, the deal with actually worth $1.1 million more than his original contract.

The first contract was voided when medical tests revealed a heart abnormality. The Kings voided that deal, but further testing proved that Hayes has a clean bill of health. Now, he is returning to Sacramento with a better deal.

Here is more from

The Sacramento Kings issued the following statement:

"The Sacramento Kings tonight have reached an agreement in principle with free agent center/forward Chuck Hayes to a multi-year contract, according to Kings' President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed."

I can tell you the deal if for four years and worth $22.4 million. Hayes' original deal with the Kings was worth $21.3 million over four years.

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic cleared Hayes to return to playing basketball Thursday, three days after Kings voided Hayes' contract because of a heart abnormality that showed up on his physical.

Complete Article

Calipari, Pitino Watch Jabari Parker and Simeon

Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Louisville head man Rick Pitino were in attendance as Jabari Parker and Simeon (Ill.) defeated Whitney Young (Ill.) 62-55 in Chicago on Thursday night.

NBA star Derrick Rose and Kentucky's Anthony Davis were also at the game.

Here's more from the Chicago Tribune:

Rick Pitino and John Calipari wouldn't have been at the UIC Pavillion otherwise Thursday night to witness another major Division I rescuing Simeon from a potential disaster.

Simeon looked for Kendrick Nunn to lift it out of its early doldrums, and the 6-foot-1 junior delivered with 19 points as the No. 1 Wolverines trailed Young for most of the first half before pulling away for a 62-55 victory before an estimated crowd of 6,000 that also included Derrick Rose and Kentucky's Anthony Davis.

A tough night for Parker still meant 15 points, six rebounds and five blocks. Steve Taylor added 16 points for Simeon (8-0), and 6-10 sophomore Jahlil Okafor (20 points, 7 rebounds) was outstanding in defeat for Young (4-2).

Nunn helps No. 1 Simeon hang on against Young

Parker is a 6-7 small forward who ranks No. 2 overall on the list for 2013. Kendrick Nunn, a 4-star guard, also plays for Simeon.

Jahlil Okafor, a 6-10 center who ranks No. 4 overall in 2014, stars for Whitney Young.

Jarnell Stokes Chooses Tennessee, Plans to Play Now

Jarnell Stokes officially announced on Thursday that he will enroll at Tennessee and be eligible to play immediately.

Here's more from

Jarnell Stokes won't be playing his college basketball at the University of Kentucky, but the Wildcats will see him soon enough.

Stokes, a five-star power forward, announced Thursday night that he will attend Tennessee and intends to enroll immediately so he can play out the remainder of the season. The No. 11 recruit in the class of 2012 chose the Vols over UK, Florida, Memphis, Arkansas and UConn.

Kentucky will play at Tennessee on Jan. 14 and then host the Vols at Rupp Arena on Jan. 31. Stokes, who was ruled ineligible for his senior season of high school after a transfer flap, graduated earlier this month and is expected to be allowed to play at the college level immediately.

Complete Article

Spalding University Holds Off Thomas More

Spalding University 83
Thomas More College 73

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by TMC:

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) - The Thomas More College men's basketball team fell, 83-73, to Spalding University tonight (Wednesday, December 21, 2011) in non-conference game at Derek Smith Gymnasium in Louisville, Kentucky.

With the loss, the Saints fall to 7-3 and with the win, the Golden Eagles improve to 2-7.

Spalding raced out to an early 20-8 lead with 13:12 to play in the first half when Tyler St. Julian made a lay-up. Thomas More answered with a 9-3 run to cut the lead to 23-17 when sophomore point guard Spencer Berlekamp (Cincinnati, Ohio/Kings) made a three-pointer with 9:25 to play in the half. The Golden Eagles came right back with an 18-4 run capped by a Jemetrius Brasher jumper with 1:56 to play in the first half to extend the lead to 41-21. The Saints closed out the half on a 4-0 run to cut the lead to 41-25 at halftime when sophomore shooting guard Cameron Clemons (Louisville, Ky./Doss) made a lay-up with three-seconds to play in the first half.

Thomas More opened the second half on a 17-11 run to capped by a three-pointer by sophomore point guard D'Carlo Hayes (Louisville, Ky./Male) with 12:32 to play in the game to cut the lead to 52-42. Spalding answered with a 13-3 run to extend the lead to 65-45 when Chris McDonald made a lay-up with 9:00 to play in the game. The Saints answered with a 22-4 run to cut the lead to 69-67 with 3:24 to play in the game when Hayes made two free-throws. That would be as close as the Saints came as Spalding closed out the game on a 14-6 run for the 83-73 victory.

Complete Recap

Thursday, December 22, 2011

John Calipari Talks About Win Over Loyola (Md.)

Here is footage of John Calipari speaking to the media after Kentucky's 87-63 win over Loyola (Md.):

* Video by uknationofblue on YouTube

Transcript via UK:

Q. Could you talk about what Kyle (Wiltjer) did offensively and then what you still need him to do defensively to give him an opportunity to do those things more?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, one, we've got to help him defensively. I mean, we've got to do some schemes with him because there are certain match-ups that he's just not ready to go with. But we need that shooting and that scoring on the floor. So I've got to come up with some schemes to help him.

I was really happy because he didn't shoot the ball particularly well last game, and in the last huddle I said, we're going to see what this kid is made of. He hasn't been close to making a shot. We're going to give him another one I want to see. And he swished it. I think the kid has a toughness at heart, but we're just going to have to help him. I've got to get him to take more charges, not going to block shots, charge, block out more, and then when he's in the post we've got to do some things.

But let me say this first of all about Loyola: I knew it would be a hard game. They were 8-2. I watched the tapes. I knew it would be a hard game. They're athletic and tough and older than us, and they weren't afraid. They came right after us.

I'm going to say they'll probably win their league. I mean, that's what I think they'll do. You know, from the 3-point line I was scared to death because I knew they had some guys that could launch 3s, but I thought we did a fairly good job.

Here's -- just so you understand, when we break down on a 3-point shot, a guy goes under a screen, a guy goes under a handoff, they make them all against us. If we don't get a rebound that we should and they kick it out and there are open 3s, teams are making all of those against us. In transition, we don't match down, they are making them. They're not making the ones we guard.

We have to be focused each time now, which we're not because we're young, to be able to say, ‘Hey, get up on these guys.’ But they defended, I loved that they played us a little zone, I loved that they did some things on the out-of-bounds plays to make us think, and I love that they played a power game against us because it's what we needed.

Q. How important is it for you to schedule opponents you've done in each of your three years here that give you different looks, especially with young teams?
COACH CALIPARI: That's what we try to do, and we're also trying to schedule teams that we think will do well in their league.

But it's all a guess. Somebody gets hurt and all of a sudden a team goes from an 18-win team to a 10, you're guessing. But that's what we try to do, and style of play is important. If there's a team that will play all zone we may want that team because we know what they're going to do. Teams that will press, we need to get pressed a little bit.

I guess today when you watched us against the press, we were pretty good against the press. Unless you grab and hold and trip and bite, if it's normal basketball, I think we'll be fine.

Q. You said it helps when you guys need the shooting and scoring on the floor from Kyle (Wiltjer). What difference does that make when he's doing --
COACH CALIPARI: Stretches out the defense. I mean, it really, really stretches out the defense. But we -- you know, in the first half we had no toughness. We had guys -- other than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis, no one even tried to rebound. Darius Miller had one rebound, and had a couple where his man ran right by him and just laid it in. Doron Lamb had a rebound, Marquis Teague had one rebound. No one rebounded except those other two. They had almost every rebound. Well, we can't be that way, and that's why they rebounded against us in the first half.

So the toughness kind of jumped up at us a little bit, but at the end of the day, we had some pretty much balanced scoring, and we're doing some good things.

Let me just say this: We all need a break. I mean, what I said to them after, I'm fighting guys too much, and I'm not fighting Anthony (Davis) and Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) because they're just getting after it. But I'm fighting my point guard to be a point guard, I'm fighting Darius (Miller) to be tougher, fighting Kyle (Wiltjer) for defense and fighting Eloy (Vargas) to come up with balls. You can't -- they've got to want that stuff more than I want it. But we all need a little break.

I knew this would be a hard game, one, because of the opponent, and Jimmy (Patsos) is a terrific coach, the way they play and what he does. They had a chance of being up at half.

Q. What can you say about Michael's (Kidd-Gilchrist) mother? I know there was some tweeting and stuff, and his play despite whatever that situation.
COACH CALIPARI: Well, we were trying to figure out whether we should send him home this morning early, and we just -- the way and what she's going through right now, it wasn't so immediate that there was going to be things done today. It's in the early process, and like I said, I hope that what we find out is all good. But I would say, again, the Big Blue Nation prayers are strong, and I would say everybody say a prayer for his mother and their family.

Q. Talk about the way that Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) played. Jimmy talked about he was surprised and thought maybe they actually had a mismatch or an advantage at that position, that he kind of underestimated him. Is it hard for you to imagine anybody underestimating Michael with what he's done?
COACH CALIPARI: I'll be honest with you; he's dragging our team, which is great stuff. He's dragging us. He's doing it whether it's rebounding, scoring, making free throws, making 3s when he has to. In transition if you give it to him ahead of the pack and it's him and one guy, he's scoring 99.9 percent of the time or he's going to get fouled. You know, he drags us in practice, he drags us in morning workouts. He means so much, it's becoming -- I said this this morning: My job as a coach is to teach all these young people how to lead, but as your season goes on, a couple of leaders will stand out amongst that group.

Teaching players how to lead starts with leading and serving. The second part of it is you lead by example, you don't lead by talk. And then you've got to go on the court and perform to lead. So they've got to look at you with confidence for you to lead. Well, I'd like to have 12 leaders. Now, one or two at a time are leading, but I'd like to have 12 guys capable. That means I've done my job teaching young people what it takes to lead in whatever organization they're in.

Q: Closing statement ...
COACH CALIPARI: Merry Christmas to all of you here and to all of our fans out there. Let's catch our breath and come back. We have one third of our season gone. Can you imagine, we still have two thirds to go? We've got a long way to go with this team.

To this point I'm happy, even though I'm dragging some of these guys more than I want to. At the end of the day, I like my team. I've got a good team. And when we click and we all come together and we're all playing aggressive and we're all bouncing and talking and we're all making easy plays, this stuff gets scary. We're not close to that right now. But this thing could get scary. Thanks.

No. 3 Kentucky Overcomes Lethargic Start, Blasts Loyola

(3) Kentucky 87
Loyola (Md.) 63

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

The University of Kentucky (11-1) started slow but eventually pulled away from Loyola (Md.) in a rare Thursday afternoon game at Rupp Arena.

The Wildcats created separation with a 15-2 run early in the second half and then rolled to an 87-63 victory.

Kyle Wiltjer came off the bench to lead Kentucky with 24 points on 7-11 shooting. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis each added 15 points. Davis also contributed 11 points and 3 blocked shots.

Darius Miller chipped in 13 points and 5 rebounds for UK.

The Wildcats were 28-52 (53.8%) from the field, including an impressive 14-22 (63.6%) in the second half.

Erik Etherly led Loyola (8-3) with 14 points and 11 boards. Dylon Cormier added 13 points.

Kentucky, which now has a 42-game winning streak at home, will enjoy the Christmas break and then host Lamar (8-4) on December 28.

Transylvania Defeats No. 14 Wabash in Don Lane Invitational

Transylvania 66
(14) Wabash 61

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by Transy:

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Transylvania received a sterling 25-point performance from Brandon Rash Wednesday and went on to post a 66-61 win over No. 14 Wabash in the championship game of the Don Lane Invitational sponsored by FHTM at the Beck Center.

The title contest matched two undefeated teams in Transy (9-0) and the Little Giants (9-1). The Pioneers defeated Hendrix in first-round play while Wabash outlasted Baldwin-Wallace.

It was a game of milestones as head coach Brian Lane reached win No. 177 for his 11-year career at Transy, moving past C.M. Newton on the all-time list. He trails only Don Lane (509) among Transy's winningest coaches.

And the Pioneers kept their undefeated season going. Only the 1990-91 team (10-0) has had a better start to a year.

Rash scored 13 of Transy's first 19 points, hitting six of 10 shots from the field, keeping the Pioneers in the game early. Neither team led by more than seven (Wabash 18-11 at the 7:56 mark) and the half ended with the Little Giants on top by two, 23-21.

Complete Recap

Murray State Hammers UT-Martin in OVC Opener

(22) Murray State 78
UT-Martin 54

Final from Murray, Kentucky

Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers kept their perfect start to the season going Wednesday with a 78-54 home win over UT Martin in their Ohio Valley Conference opener at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.

The Racers, ranked 22nd in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls, moved their record to 13-0 and their home-court streak to 13 straight wins in their final game before Christmas.

MSU (13-0, 1-0 OVC) started the game on a 14-3 run and led by 16 at the 6:53 mark on a Jewuan Long three-pointer. MSU pushed their lead to 36-16 seconds before the half on a steal and dunk by Latreze Mushatt.

A five-point run by Donte Poole made the MSU lead 50-24 with 13:13 remaining and the Racers cruised from there.

Poole led MSU with 15 points, sinking 5-of-6 shots on the night, including a pair of 3-pointers. Ivan Aska finished the night with 12 points, 10 coming in the first 20 minutes. He also lead the Racers with seven rebounds. Isaiah Canaan added 10 points, ending the night 8-of-9 from the free throw line.

Complete Recap

Governor Beshear to Honor Soldiers at Today's Game

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will honor members of the Kentucky Army National Guard's 201st Engineer Battalion during halftime of today's game at Rupp Arena.

Here's a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear will join Adjutant General Edward W.
Tonini and thousands of University of Kentucky basketball fans in the
presentation of a valorous unit award streamer to the Soldiers of the
Kentucky Army National Guard's 201st Engineer Battalion at half-time during
tomorrow's game between UK and Loyola at Rupp Arena.

Headquartered in Ashland with units in Cynthiana, Hazard, Jackson, Olive
Hill, Pikeville and Prestonsburg, the 201st was mobilized in March 2008 to
conduct route reconnaissance and area clearance operations in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom. The 500+ members of the "Workhorse Battalion"
were credited for disposing of more than 200,000 landmines and improvised
explosive devices in Afghanistan, clearing over a million square meters of

Other accomplishments during the 201st deployment to Afghanistan include:
* 65 percent of the Battalion was in direct contact with the enemy
earning the 201st Engineer Battalion the Combat Action Unit Streamer.
* 413 Combat Action Badges were awarded to Soldiers for direct
contact with the enemy.
* 44 Soldiers received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained from
* 21 Bronze Star Medals for Valor and 32 Army Commendation Medals
for Valor were earned for actions while engaging the enemy.
* 9 Combat Medical Badges earned by medical personnel giving aid
during active combat.

The 201st lost one Soldier during its service in Afghanistan. Sgt. Daniel
Wallace, 27 of Dry Ridge, Grant County, Ky. was killed Friday, Oct. 31, 2008
when his unit was attacked by enemy forces while conducting a route clearing
mission to remove IEDs in West Paktika Province, Afghanistan.

Breaking: Chuck Hayes Cleared to Return to Basketball

Great news! Former University of Kentucky star Chuck Hayes has been medically cleared to return to basketball and heart abnormalities are no longer a concern.

Hayes underwent a full day of testing and examinations on Wednesday and no problems were found.

Here is more from

Free agent Chuck Hayes, whose four-year deal with the Kings was voided after he failed the team's physical, has been absolved of any heart issues by the renowned Cleveland Clinic, his agents said Thursday.

Hayes underwent "a full day of exhaustive testing and exams" Wednesday, directed by Dr. Steven Nissen, the chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, according to a statement released by agent Calvin Andrews of BDA Sports. On Thursday morning, doctors informed Hayes that "he does not have a heart problem" and that "their recommendation is that he can continue to play basketball without any concerns," the statement said.

"I am happy to say I have a healthy heart and have been cleared to play immediately," Hayes said. "I look forward to getting back on the court as soon as possible."

Chuck Hayes cleared to play

Sources Say Chuck Hayes was Diagnosed with Pericarditis

Sources have told Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee that former Kentucky star Chuck Hayes was diagnosed with Pericarditis, which is an inflammation of the sack surrounding the heart that can be life-threatening.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, pericarditis is a condition in which the sac-like covering around the heart (pericardium) becomes inflamed.

The site adds that the prognosis can range from mild cases that get better on their own to life-threatening cases:

Pericarditis can range from mild cases that get better on their own to life-threatening cases. The condition can be complicated by significant fluid buildup around the heart and poor heart function.

The outcome is good if the disorder is treated promptly. Most people recover in 2 weeks to 3 months. However, pericarditis may come back.

Read more about the condition

Video: Shabazz Muhammad vs. Julius Randle at City of Palms

Check out Kentucky recruits Shabazz Muhammad and Julius Randle going head-to-head at the City of Palms tournament - Muhammad won the battle (42 points) but Randle won the war:

Terrence Williams Continues to Play Well for Houston

Former University of Louisville star Terrence Williams had 7 points and 3 assists off the bench for the Houston Rockets tonight.

He had two outstanding dunks:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kenneth Faried "Pretty Close to Perfect" in Preseason Debut

Former Morehead State University star Kenneth Faried gave head coach George Karl something to think about during his NBA preseason debut.

Faried, who did not enter the game until late in the third quarter, scored 14 points and pulled down 6 rebounds in just 15 minutes of action.

After the game, Karl explained why Faried didn't play earlier, but admitted that Faried was "pretty close to perfect."

Here's more from the Denver Post:

Karl has been honest about Kenneth Faried, explaining that the rookie might not play much. Denver has big men Nene, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos​, Chris "The Birdman" Andersen and even Al Harrington​ ahead of Faried. But when the kid checked in Tuesday, he was instant electricity. He was perpetually above the rim, snatching rebounds and slamming dunks. The fans loved the guy.

Playing primarily with the game out of reach, Faried finished with 14 points and six rebounds in just 15 minutes. He even tried to dunk over Marcus Landry, leaping from the dotted half-circle a few feet from the free-throw line, missing the dunk but drawing the foul.

"Something I'll give him credit for — he had been slow in picking up some of the things (in practice) and our concepts and I think tonight the film will show you he was pretty close to perfect," Karl said. "

Complete Article

Calipari Talks Loyola, Terrence Jones and Calipari Christmas

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari previews Thursday afternoon's game, gives an update on Terrence Jones and explains a "Calipari Christmas":

On what a Calipari Christmas is like …
“The good news is my two daughters will be in town with my son and wife. I’m trying to get my dad to pop in. We’ll spend a couple days together, we may even go somewhere for a day and come back. I’ll be with the family so it will be nice.”

On the importance of giving the players a break for Christmas …
“I hope when they look back they look at their time at Christmas with their own family, being able to see friends and stop in and see relatives, not that they were tortured over Christmas while everyone else was enjoying stuff and they were tortured to play basketball. Basketball is important and I know it’s important at this school and this program but it shouldn’t come before their families. I’ve always felt that way. Every team I have coached has had a Christmas break. We played in the Rainbow Classic one year and got out there when the coach in Hawaii thought was late, but we were there before our game. We made the game and we won the tournament, no one else took a Christmas break except my team. We got there about 15 minutes before the game started but we were there in time and then we won the tournament.”

On Terrence Jones …
“I don’t think he’ll practice today, he wants to play tomorrow but I may not let him.”

On players stepping up to be vocal leaders …
“They’re better. Doron (Lamb), because he is spending that extra time, is starting to play different. He is playing more assertive, he’s not in to himself, he’s talking more, and they all try to talk more. There were still times when Kyle (Wiltjer) didn’t talk on some back screens and neither did Anthony Davis but the reality of it is that they are trying to do what we need them to do.

On Michael Kidd-Gilchrist feeling like he has performed enough to step up and be a leader …
“It all develops within your team. It develops with performance and effort. You can’t be sitting in the ice tub yelling at guys to work harder. He’s out there spending the extra time and it’s neat to see. One of the reasons I talked to him about what he will do for this team is he will drag the intensity of this club because it is embarrassing if you don’t play with intensity with this guy out there because it really shows. You start saying, ‘well this guy doesn’t play hard, look at Michael.’ It raises the intensity in practice and there will be guys mad, ‘Michael you’re trying to kiss butt,’ no I’m just trying to be the best player I can be. They all have an opportunity to come in. What I always say to guys like him, John (Wall) and Brandon (Knight), you don’t do this all yourself, you drag other people with you. I told John Wall, ‘don’t be leaving here by yourself, drag three or four guys with you.’ He took four with him.”

On voluntary early morning workouts…
“It’s torture for some guys, to get up in the morning and spend more time than they are supposed to spend. It’s just, ‘I’m going to do what I have to do and leave.’ But again, if you want to really feel success, it’s ‘I’m doing my best and I know this is absolutely the best I can do.’ That is success and that’s for everyone, if you’re cutting corners and say the most important part of your life is getting 14 hours of sleep, OK that’s fine but success isn’t the most important part of your life, getting two days worth of sleep in one day is.”

On the game against Loyola …
“This game will be a good game for us. They play a funky zone, they press, and they press on the side-out. They are going to come after us and press, they will not back down. (Loyola head coach) Jimmy (Patsos) does a great job with his team, they’ve got good players, they are physical, they are older and they shoot the three. He coached under (former Maryland head coach) Gary Williams so they run a lot flex, they run a lot of hand offs and pick and rolls in to flex stuff. He does a great job with his team, they are (8-2). The two games they lost they had a chance to win both of them, they could have come in here (10-0).”

On the next two games for Kyle Wiltjer …
“We need a confident player out there making baskets because that’s what he does for us. We also have to figure out how we are going to play defensively with him in. I have to come up with some plans and schemes with him on that court because he will do what we ask him to do. I don’t want him to shoot all 3s so yesterday he did some step-throughs, but didn’t cover enough ground. You need to cover space and then shoot the ball. The best play he made was, we were in the huddle and he hadn’t made a shot so I said we were going back at him, let’s see if he makes it now. That’s the one where Darius (Miller) went off the screen and threw it back to him and he made the 3. It’s a good sign, the kid has courage, he can miss five shots and I can put him back in and expect him to make a shot.”

On Jon Hood …
“He’s doing good, he’s involved in every practice. He watches tape with coach (John) Robic. He’s around us and he’s doing pretty good.

2013 Shooting Guard Anton Gill Commits to Louisville

The University of Louisville has picked up a verbal commitment from 2013 shooting guard Anton Gill.

The 6-2 Gill plays for Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He ranks No. 43 overall on the list for 2013.

New Jersey Nets Waive Former Louisville Guard Jerry Smith

The New Jersey Nets have waived former University of Louisville guard Jerry Smith.

Smith was invited to Nets' training camp and saw limited action in Saturday's preseason loss to the New York Knicks.

He is expected to return to the Springfield Armor in the NBA Development League.


Centre's Greg Ross Named SCAC Player of the Week

Centre College's Greg Ross was named Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

Here's more from Centre:

Centre's Greg Ross has been named the SCAC Player of the Week for games played through December 18th.

Ross, a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, had two excellent performances this past week as the Centre Men's Basketball team swept a weekend doubleheader against Birmingham Southern and Oglethorpe.

Against Birmingham Southern on Friday, Ross's hot shooting helped Centre jump out to an early lead that they never relinquished, beating the Panthers by a score of 72-65. Ross finished the game with 21 points and 14 rebounds, both game highs.

In the next game against Oglethorpe on Sunday, Ross was part of a balanced team effort, scoring 12 points and pulling down eight rebounds as the Colonels pulled away from the Petrels, 65-55.

The next game for Ross and the Colonels will be on December 29th as they will host Berry in the Papa John's/Country Hearth Inn Tournament.

Shabazz Muhammad Says He's Down to Six Schools caught up with University of Kentucky recruit Shabazz Muhammad recently.

Muhammad said he is down to six schools and is no longer considering Texas A&M or USC. He has added Arizona to his list which also includes Kentucky, UCLA, UNLV, Kansas and Duke.

Here's the interview:

No. 4 Louisville Survives Scare from College of Charleston

(4) Louisville 69
College of Charleston 62

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by U of L:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Kyle Kuric's move to the middle of the College of Charleston's zone late in the game was the critical move in the fourth-ranked Cardinals' 69-62 victory Tuesday night. He credited his son and assistant coach, Richard Pitino, with the idea.

"I give big credit to my son because he made the move that I thought won the game," Pitino said. "He said, put Kyle in there, he'll make the shot or something good will happen. And he got in there and really bothered them."

The move paid off as Kuric hit a go-ahead jumper in the paint with 3:12 to play, giving Louisville a 60-59 lead. It was the start of an 8-0 run over a 70-second span that helped the Cardinals (11-0) remain unbeaten.

"Coach told me to flash to the middle and whoever's open, throw it to them or make a play," Kuric said. "We are not use to having an open post like that."

Kuric finished with 17 points and Gorgui Dieng added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Cardinals.

Antwaine Wiggins had 23 points and seven rebounds for Charleston (9-2), which tied a season-high with 12 3-pointers.

Complete Recap

Northern Kentucky Rises to No. 13 in Division II Poll

Kentucky Wesleyan (9-0) remained at No. 4 in the NABC/Division II basketball poll this week.

Bellarmine University (9-1) also held their spot at No. 5.

Northern Kentucky (9-0) jumped eight spots to No. 13 this week.

NABC NCAA Division II poll

1. Metropolitan State, Colo. (5) 10-0 197 1
2. Southern Indiana (1) 9-0 189 2
3. Lincoln Memorial (1) 12-0 181 3
4. Kentucky Wesleyan (1) 9-0 180 4
5. Bellarmine 9-1 169 5

6. Missouri Southern 11-1 160 7
7. West Liberty 10-1 149 9
8. Cal Poly Pomona 6-0 135 11
9. Fort Hays State 9-1 121 15
10. Tarleton State 9-1 118 12
11. Winona State 10-1 116 16
12. Colorado School of Mines 8-1 103 6
13. Northern Kentucky 9-0 98 21
14. Alabama-Huntsville 8-2 88 18
15. Bowie State 7-1 77 20
16. Humboldt State 7-2 70 8
17. Arkansas Tech 8-1 67 24
18. Findlay 9-2 61 19
19. Midwestern State 9-0 60 23
20. Alaska-Anchorage 7-2 38 22
21. Minnesota State-Moorhead 9-0 28 NR
22. Augustana 8-2 27 14
23. Indiana (Pa.) 7-2 25 13?
24. Benedict, S.C. 3-1 24 25
25. Winston-Salem State 7-0 20 NR

Arkansas Lives at Charity Stripe in Win Over Colonels

Arkansas 71
Eastern Kentucky 57

Final from Fayetteville, Arkansas

Game recap by EKU:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team committed a season-high 28 fouls to aid host Arkansas in the Razorbacks’ 71-57 victory Tuesday night in Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas improves to 7-3 overall and 7-1 in home games while the Colonels fall to 7-6.

Senior Jaron Jones paced EKU with 16 points and a career-high nine rebounds. Jones has scored at least 10 points in 11 consecutive games.

Three Hogs finished in double figures led by Mardracus Wade with 13 points. Wade converted 7-of-10 free throws. BJ Young (12 points) and Marvell White (11) combined for 23 points while Devonta Abron chipped in with 10 boards.

Eastern built a 9-2 lead early behind a couple of three-pointers followed by a driving lay-in from Jones. However, the Colonels quickly went cold from the field and made only one field goal in a 10-minute stretch later in the opening half. Arkansas turned the game around at that point, going on a 21-4 run to take the lead for good.

The Razorbacks thrived at the charity stripe in the first 20 minutes, sinking 17-of-18 (94.4 percent) free throw shots, helping Arkansas build a 39-30 cushion at intermission. Six of EKU’s nine field goals were threes in the first half.

Complete Recap

John Calipari - Samford Postgame Press Conference

Here are postgame comments from John Calipari following Kentucky's win over Samford on Tuesday night (video by uksportsinfo on YouTube):

Comments from Samford Head Coach Jimmy Tillette

Opening statement…
“I told Cal (UK head coach John Calipari) before the game that this is a good gig for him, this program has a chance to take off and move in a positive direction so he should stay here as long as he can. They proved that tonight, they are an outstanding team. I was actually proud of our team, the way we were able to run our offense against their pressure. We were a little bit behind the eight ball, our starting point guard had the stomach flu and could only play three minutes, and our backup had a limp with a bad leg. We are obviously looking at it from two different perspectives. I thought we competed throughout the whole game; we actually got better from half to half, that’s our measure of the game for our team. Personally, I’m in the witness protection program so my goal is to make sure nobody notices me.”

On what caused Kentucky’s hot start…
“Good coaching, superior talent and our team being a little nervous to start the game. I thought we got it right a little bit after that. We were a little starry eyed, stuck in mud with a Rupp Arena kind of aura. I thought we settled in and after that competed.”

On Doron Lamb’s performance…
“What can you say, they are without their best player and he is a really good player. Not saying I’m prophetic about things but I told my team, ‘How do you handle your own success and setbacks in a game and how do you handle the other team’s setbacks and success.’ A team like Kentucky, they are well-coached but they are athletic enough that when they make a mistake defensively they erase it. They erased about five balls off the boards that in our league nobody is erasing. On the other end they are going to get in to a comfortable mode of shooting so they are going to feel freer and be more in rhythm to make shots that they might not normally make. I don’t really see a weakness for their team.”

Patrick Patterson Wins Rookie Dance Contest

Former University of Kentucky star Patrick Patterson won Houston's rookie dance competition on Tuesday:

Afterwards, Patterson talked about the contest and his timetable for returning to action on the court:

"I take everything I do seriously," said Patter- son, the contest winner. "Everything is a competi-tion. I want to win."

Patterson has yet to practice while recovering from offseason ankle surgery. He has stepped up his workouts but has not been cleared to begin practicing.

"I could be back next week, could be back tomorrow, could be back at the end of this month," Patterson said. "We're just on a day-to-day basis. I've been watching practice every single day. I'm up to speed. I have the plays down. It's all about getting out there, getting the reps, getting the comfort with my teammates again."


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No. 3 Kentucky Throttles Samford at Rupp Arena

(3) Kentucky 82
Samford 50

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by UK:

"I think I'm playing good so far, but I've got to keep it up though. I keep working hard in the gym before practice," Lamb said. "It is worth it, dog. I've just got to keeping doing what I'm doing so far, keep that up. It's paying off."

Lamb scored 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting and Darius Miller added 17 points to lead No. 3 Kentucky in an 82-50 rout over Samford on Tuesday night to extend the Wildcats' home winning streak to 41 games.

Lamb has been coming into the gym early and working on conditioning before going out to shoot followed by practice. The sophomore guard's only letdown came when his right wrist bent back late, forcing him from the game. But he said he was fine afterward.

"He's been good," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "The extra time he's spending on that basketball court before practice, after practice, you're all seeing the benefit of it."

Kentucky (10-1) played without Terrence Jones, who missed the first game in his collegiate career after dislocating the pinky on his left, shooting hand on Saturday.

The Wildcats hardly missed a beat early against Samford (3-7) without him, scoring the first 11 points of the game, pushing the lead to 45-22 at halftime and by as many as 34 late.

Drew Windler and Tyler Hood scored 11 points apiece for the Bulldogs.

"When we came out of the tunnel with 10 minutes until the game, we were shell-shocked," Samford guard Jeffrey Merritt said. "We learned a lot."

Complete Recap

Transylvania Hammers Hendrix in Don Lane Invitational

Transylvania 61
Hendrix 44

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by Transylvania:

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Transylvania never trailed Tuesday while taking a 61-44 win over Hendrix in first-round play in the Don Lane Invitational presented by FHTM in the Beck Center.

The Pioneers are 8-0 and off to the program's best start since the 1990-91 team opened its season 10-0. Hendrix, members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, is 2-6.

The win was also No. 176 for head coach Brian Lane, in his 11th season. That matches former coach C.M. Newton for second-place on the all-time men's list, trailing only Don Lane's 509 total.

The Pioneers meet No. 14 Wabash (9-0), a 63-61 winner over Baldwin-Wallace in the first game Wednesday, in the Invitational championship game at 7 p.m. Baldwin-Wallace (6-3) will tangle with Hendrix in the consolation game, beginning at 5 p.m.

Complete Recap

Jarnell Stokes Has Made Decision, Announcement Thursday

Jarnell Stokes has reportedly made his college choice and will announce it publicly on Thursday evening.

Stokes hinted at Thursday on Twitter earlier today:

JarnellStokes I'm saying my prayers 24/7 and waking up thursday with an answer! #GodBless

Here's confirmation from

Highly rated power forward prospect Jarnell Stokes will announce his college plans Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Fino Villa in Collierville.

The 6-8, 255-pound Stokes graduated from Southwind High last week, and plans to enroll in January at either the University of Memphis, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky or Tennessee.

Stokes, whom rated the No. 11 overall prospect nationally when Stokes was still part of the Class of 2012, can play this season once he's attending classes and is cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Spring semester classes at Memphis begin on Jan. 12.

Jarnell Stokes to announce college decision Thursday

Stokes is a 6-8 power forward who ranks No. 11 overall on the list for 2012. Since he has already graduated high school, he can enroll at a college and potentially be eligible to play immediately.


Murray State Remains No. 2 in Mid-Major Top 25

Murray State University (12-0) remains No. 2 in this week's Mid-Major Top 25 poll. Mid-Major Top 25

1. Creighton (22) 8-1 745 1 Missouri Valley
2. Murray State (5) 12-0 738 2 Ohio Valley
3. Harvard 9-1 700 3 Ivy League
4. Cleveland State (1) 10-1 670 4 Horizon
5. Iona 9-2 619 5 Metro Atlantic
6. Wichita State 8-2 599 7 Missouri Valley
7. Gonzaga (1) 7-2 589 9 West Coast
8. Kent State (1) 7-1 529 8 Mid-American
9. Saint Mary's 8-1 523 10 West Coast
10. Northern Iowa (1) 9-1 513 11 Missouri Valley
11. Indiana State 8-2 425 16 Missouri Valley
12. Ohio 9-1 394 18 Mid-American
13. College of Charleston 9-1 389 17 Southern
14. BYU 8-3 294 12 West Coast
15. George Mason 7-3 292 15 Colonial Athletic
16. Middle Tennessee 10-2 291 19 Sun Belt
17. Belmont 7-4 275 6 Atlantic Sun
18. UC Santa Barbara 5-3 271 14 Big West
19. Oakland 8-4 258 21 Summit
20. VCU 7-3 206 20 Colonial Athletic
21. Denver 8-2 151 23 Sun Belt
22. Weber State 6-3 147 13 Big Sky
23. Long Beach State 4-5 110 22 Big West
24. Robert Morris 8-3 60 NR Northeast
25. Coastal Carolina 9-1 41 NR Big South
25. South Dakota State 10-4 41 NR Summit

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Davidson 39, Milwaukee 37, Oral Roberts 36, Lamar 23, Loyola MD 14, Valparaiso 13, Cal Poly 11, Ball State 10, Fairfield 10, Butler 9, Norfolk State 9, Lehigh 8, Buffalo 7, Missouri State 6, Campbell 4, Georgia State 4, North Dakota State 3, Columbia 1, Drexel 1, Yale 1.

Terrence Jones Tweets That He'll Be Watching Tonight

It looks like University of Kentucky sophomore Terrence Jones will not play tonight against Samford.

Jones posted on Twitter that he will be watching his teammates:

TerrenceJones1 Getting ready to cheer on my team and watch them do work

Jones, of course, suffered a dislocated finger in UK's weekend win over Chattanooga.

Kentucky Walk-On Sam Malone Suffers Torn ACL

The University of Kentucky has announced that freshman walk-on Sam Malone suffered a torn ACL against Chattanooga and will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

Here's the release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – UK men’s basketball freshman guard Sam Malone suffered a torn left ACL in Kentucky’s 87-62 win over Chattanooga on Saturday, UK head coach John Calipari announced.

There is no timetable on surgery or his return.

“Losing Sam Malone to an ACL injury is heartbreaking,” Calipari said. “He has been a great teammate and an even better person. You never want to hear someone is injured, but for Sam to go through his fourth knee injury is especially tough because he’s worked so hard to get where he is. He has become a valuable member of our team and quickly became a fan favorite. We look forward to Sam making a full recovery.”

Malone saw action in six games this season.

Nerlens Noel Thinks Shabazz Muhammad Goes UK or UCLA

Kentucky recruit Nerlens Noel thinks that 2012 superstar Shabazz Muhammad will end up at either UK or UCLA (video by

Speaking of Muhammad, he dropped 42 points in front of John Calipari and his assistants last night at the City of Palms tournament.

Muhammad's efforts were not enough to give Bishop Gorman (Nev.) the win, but Calipari and the other coaches in attendance had to like what they watched.

Here's more from

Bishop Gorman High’s Shabazz Muhammad had a game-high 42 points Monday in the City of Palms of Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., but it wasn’t enough as the Gaels were defeated by Prestonwood Christian of Texas, 76-70.

Four of Gorman’s five starters picked up two fouls in the first quarter, sending several of the Gaels top performers to the bench and helping Prestonwood Christian to open a 13-point halftime lead. Muhammad picked up his third foul early in the second quarter, but reentered the game before halftime in helping Gorman stay within striking distance.

“We couldn’t play as aggressive as we would have liked,” Gorman coach Grant Rice said.

Shabazz Muhammad’s 42-point effort not enough in Gorman loss

Chuck Hayes Thanks Fans for Prayers and Support

Former University of Kentucky star Chuck Hayes posted a message of thanks to his fans on Twitter yesterday.

Doctors discovered that Hayes has a potential heart abnormality recently.

c_hayes44 Thank you everyone for your prayers and support, taking the next step to get healthy and back on the court, much love

The Houston Rockets have inquired about Hayes and may consider bringing him back to Houston if he is cleared medically:

The Rockets on Monday made inquiries about the prognosis of former Rockets forward Chuck Hayes to determine if his medical condition might allow him to be a free-agent option again, a person with knowledge of the talks said.

The Kings voided Hayes' $21.3 million, four-year contract on Monday, days after Hayes failed a team physical. The team had announced last week that an abnormality was found during a heart examination. No additional information was made available at Hayes' request.

Rockets inquire about Chuck Hayes' status

Lindsey Wilson Falls in Exhibition Contest at Lindenwood

Lindenwood 74
Lindsey Wilson 65

Exhibition Final from St. Charles, Missouri

Game recap by LWC:

ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- Despite gaining a seven-point lead in the first half amidst Lindenwood (Mo.) University going 2-for-22 from the field over a seven-minute span, the No. 18 ranked Lindsey Wilson College men's basketball team lost the battle late, dropping a 74-65 decision to the Lions in an exhibition contest at Hyland Arena.

The Blue Raiders turned in a balanced scoring attack with senior Chase Spreen leading the way with 14 points and junior Kalen Kimberland adding 13 points. Junior Darren Ballou chipped in with 11 points and three blocks, while junior Josh White pulled down a team-high nine rebounds to go with eight points.

Lindenwood (9-1) was led by Kramer Soderberg with 19 points and Alex Bazzell with 18 points and seven assists. Efkan Eren pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and scored nine points.

Complete Recap

Alex Poythress Has Career Night in Double-OT Win

Kentucky signee Alex Poythress had a career-night to lead Northeast (Tenn.) to a 79-69 double-overtime win over LaVergne in the State Farm Holiday Tournament.

Poythress exploded for 47 points, 18 rebounds and 9 blocked shots in the win.

Here's more from

Poythress had 15 in the first half. He had 10 of the Eagles’ 13 points in the deciding second overtime.

Poythress said he wasn’t aware how much he had in the game.

“I had that much? I didn’t know that,” he said when told. “Wow.”

Poythress scores 47 in double-OT win


Keisten Jones Leads Bellarmine Past Wheeling Jesuit

(5) Bellarmine University 91
Wheeling Jesuit 78

Final from Wheeling, West Virginia

Game recap by BU:

WHEELING, W.V.—The No. 5 Bellarmine University Knights closed out the first half on a 16-3 run to take an 11-point halftime lead and went to post a 91-78 road victory over the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals tonight in a non-conference game at the Alma Grace McDonough Center.

The Knights (9-1) got a career performance from sophomore Keisten Jones, who led all scorers with 27 points. The Ballard High School graduate hit eight of 11 field goals including four of five from long range and drained all seven of his free throws.

Also having big nights for Bellarmine were junior Chris Dowe and senior Braydon Hobbs as all five starters scored in double digits. Hobbs recorded his second double-double of the year with 14 points and 12 assists, and Dowe just missed with 21 points and a game high nine rebounds.

“Wheeling Jesuit is a well-coached, tough basketball team,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport, “so this was a tough challenge. But short of giving up 50 percent shooting in the second half, I thought we had an outstanding night top to bottom.”

Complete Recap

Darnell Dodson Has Impressive Debut at Southern Miss

Former Kentucky guard Darnell Dodson opened some eyes in his debut with Southern Miss last night.

Dodson came off the bench in the second half and exploded for 17 points, including a game-winning three-pointer.

Here is more about Dodson's debut from

Dodson drove up court and calmly hit the winning shot over defender Chanse Creekmur.

Dodson was playing in his first game for Southern Mississippi after being reinstated from a suspension. The transfer from Kentucky dismissed from the team after pleading guilty to grand larcency in March.

“It was great to see (Dodson) out there tonight have the game that he had,” Southern Mississippi coach Larry Eustachy said. “He had only practiced with our team once prior today and I just hope he can continue to keep it going like that the rest of the way.

ASU basketball falls to Southern Miss at buzzer

Improving Morehead State Hammers Binghamton

Morehead State 64
Binghamton 45

Final from Vestal, New York

Game recap by MSU:

VESTAL, N.Y. -- Senior Terrance Hill scored 21 points and the Morehead State men’s basketball team forced 21 turnovers in a 64-45 win over Binghamton on Monday night at BU’s Events Center.

The Eagles improve to 5-7 overall with the victory, while the Bearcats slip to 0-9 on the season. MSU has now won both meetings in the all-time series against Binghamton.

Morehead State posted a 31-19 scoring advantage in the second half by forcing 12 BU turnovers and limiting the home team to just 29 percent from the field (6-of-21).

“Our press wore Binghamton down and it helped us force 21 turnovers,” Morehead State Head Coach Donnie Tyndall said. “I was also pleased with our half-court defense. Binghamton has a few guys who can knock down shots, but we were there on the catch and we didn’t let them dribble by us.”

Hill tallied his ninth double-figure scoring effort of the campaign on 6-of-11 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point land and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. He also registered a team-best four steals, three rebounds and two assists in just 23 minutes.

Junior Marsell Holden recorded 10 points for the Eagles on 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Junior Milton Chavis contributed eight points, while junior Kahlil Owens and freshman Will Bailey added six apiece.

Owens also pulled down a team-high six rebounds and came up with both of MSU’s blocked shots.

Complete Recap

Monday, December 19, 2011

John Calipari Previews Tuesday Night's Game

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks to the media about Tuesday night's game, Terrence Jones' finger, the 'breakfast club' and much more (video by uknationofblue on YouTube):

Transcript from UK:

On Terrence Jones’ finger …
“He is not going to practice today because it is still swollen and black and blue, but that stuff is alright. It will just take some time, but he will be fine.”

On if he will play Tuesday against Samford …
“I don’t know yet. We will see. I don’t expect him to start if he doesn’t practice today, but I don’t know.”

On what the normal recovery time is for an injury like that …
“It depends. The doctor said he thought he may be able to practice today but then he looked at it and said, ‘eh, let’s keep him out another day.’”

On when the freshmen’s maturity level reaches where they can be considered a sophomore …
“Usually it will be February or March when you get an idea that they are seasoned enough to go into those kinds of games and play the game to win. It is no more show time. It is not the hardest play I can make and I am not going to stop on defense. I will dive on the floor. I will take a charge. I am not taking possessions away off because I know understand. Usually, that is February or March.”

On if he has seen any of his players take strides to meeting that maturity level yet …
“The one thing that I like is that they are listening to what we are saying. The way we go about this is that you have to keep understanding that we have young kids and it is hard because I am not looking at them like that. I am looking at this team like how do I make them better. I am not looking at this team saying, ‘Well he is young and he is young.’ No, we raise the bar here. Now, players that come here understand that. They are going to be challenged and it is the hardest place to come and play basketball. You are not only challenged in practice, but challenged in every game you play. You are someone’s Super Bowl. You lose on the road and they storm the court and you have to really cover and run for the locker room. That is what you bought into coming here. But, I am not changing. I raise the bar and make it hard. The other thing these guys see is results. The guys that listen and the guys that perform, good things have happened for them. Not only have good things happened for our team, but good things have happened for them.”

On how critical the time off school in December is given the players don’t have class to work around …
“What we are doing now is like: yesterday we practiced twice and then had dinner together and they are together more. A couple of these guys are starting a breakfast club where they get up and lift in the morning, four or five of them and they have breakfast together. Then we practice and have dinner together and then we practice again. I am going to be out recruiting later tonight. Our practice will be here, but the one tonight will be more going over our opponent and touching up things and I will let Robes (assistant coach John Robic) do that. Then we shoot around and play a game and the next day we will go twice and have breakfast. But they are together. It is as much about getting them together all the time. Like, you are not on the phone while we are at dinner. Talk to one another. You are not on the phone, you are with these people. If you chose not to be with us, that is OK, now go somewhere else. But if you are going to be with us, we eat dinner and we are at breakfast then we are with each other. This team doesn’t talk enough right now and that is something that we have to get with. You know, bouncing on defense, playing for one another defensively. Not saying, ‘OK, my man doesn’t have it I am stopping.’ That is all stuff that we have to get going with this group.”

On if he has a no cell phone rule at meals …
“No, but you are just not on it. But if I see a guy on the phone, I am like, ‘What are you doing? You want to talk on the phone more than you want to talk to your teammate? Is that person more important than your teammate? Well, then go sit with them. See ya, bye. You don’t need to be here.’ It is all those kinds of things and again it is new, they have never been taught that way or coached that way and they don’t understand what’s the importance or what’s the big deal. ‘I want to be on my own.’ Good, go to bowling. Golf is a good game. Singles tennis, wrestling aren’t bad. But this is a team sport.”

On what improvements he wants to see from Doron Lamb …
“Just more of a consistent effort and he has been terrific. Now, let me explain what has happened to him. He did the extra work, now. He is coming a half hour or 45 minutes before and getting extra conditioning and work. Have you seen the results? But, that is hard. So if you do what he does then you will have (the same results). ‘Well, I don’t want to do that, I just want the results.’ It doesn’t happen. You have to put in time. That is why I kind of like that breakfast club. See, Michael Jordan did that breakfast club. They met at 6 a.m., they trained, the stretched, they had a personal trainer and then they ate breakfast and then they went to practice. They did it every day, including gameday. Breakfast club. So we have four guys doing it right now. Hopefully, a couple more guys will step up and start doing the breakfast club. Well, why wouldn’t you want to do it by yourself? Because we are not bowling, we are not wrestling, we are not playing tennis. There is a group of us that started to build a bond that we are not caving in. We are in this together. That is a neat thing that has happened and the next step for us to becoming a better team.”

On who started the breakfast club and who is in it …
“I am not going to say who is in it because I don’t want to. But it is a good group of guys and the guys that you expect to be in it are in it. Hopefully, the other guys will join in and do it. It is the same thing. ‘Well, I will do my own thing by myself.’ Alright, now you are a heck of a wrestler, get in there and wrestle. But this is a team sport.”

On if any of the freshmen are in that group …

On if a starter is in the group …
“One of the guys was doing it on his own. He was already coming in and what I talked about was that this was something that Michael Jordan did to bring his team together. And what he did was they wanted to win 70 something games and they wanted to win a championship and we are going to do more than any other team does. They won 72 (games) that year and won a championship. But, that was Michael saying, ‘We are going to do it.’ It wasn’t the whole team that did it, but it was like six of them. But, it is guys that have totally sold in and bought in. ‘I am in. What do I have to do? Let’s go.’ Again, spending that extra time for young kids is hard. Getting them off the phone, getting them off a computer and all that social networking and media stuff that they do. Getting them away from the video games. Think about it, they have all that stuff to do that could help them be a better basketball player.”

On if he will say who started the club …
“Nah, it will come out. It’s a neat thing. I told them, between now and January 9, you are playing basketball and you are eating and you’re sleeping. That is it. You are playing basketball or you are eating or you are sleeping. We may go four times a day. You may have breakfast, practice, dinner, practice and go film at my house. What else? I know the video game, you didn’t get to do it today. It is going to help your shooting and your hand and eye quickness. I know. They don’t have anything to do now. Now, they are going to go on break. I always give them Christmas break. I think they need to be with their families and regroup and then they come back and have two tough games and then we start right into league (play). I mean, this stuff is on. Where they are right now, I will say it again, for a freshmen team to be where they are right now is probably farther than they deserve to be, especially defensively. For freshmen to defend the way we are defending is not normal. Yet, offensively we are just not there. Biggest thing for us, we don’t talk. Everyone is wondering how they are playing and it’s not pieced together yet.”

Tickets Available for Three Upcoming Kentucky Games

The University of Kentucky announced today that tickets are available for three upcoming holiday basketball games.

Here's more from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A limited number of tickets for the UK men’s basketball’s holiday games against Samford (Dec. 20), Loyola (Dec. 22) and Lamar (Dec. 28) are available for purchase.

Tickets are available by visiting the UK Ticket Office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET or by calling 1.800.928.2287. Fans can also obtain tickets by going online to and or Ticketmaster outlets statewide.

eRUPPtion Zone tickets are also available for the three games.

Tickets will be $5.00 each (cash only) and are limited to one per person (must be present at time of purchase). Tickets will go on sale 90 minutes prior to tip-off at Rupp Arena Box Office are available on a first come/first serve basis.

Terrence Williams Plays Well in Preseason Opener

Former Louisville star Terrence Williams played well in Houston's first preseason game over the weekend.

T-Will finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block against San Antonio.

Here are some highlights:

Campbellsville's Justin Ennis Named MSC Player of the Week

Campbellsville University's Justin Ennis was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

Here's the release from the league:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Campbellsville University's Justin Ennis is the Mid-South Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, conference officials announced on Monday.

The weekly conference award is Ennis' first of the season and the first of his career.

In his only game last week, Ennis scored 25 points while grabbing two rebounds and handing out two assists in Campbellsville's 87-77 win at Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) University.

The Huntsville, Texas, junior guard made 10 of his 14 shots during the win, including five for six from beyond the three-point arc.

Ennis is averaging 13.2 points per game this season. Over the last three games, he has scored 19, 20 and 25 points. This season Ennis is shooting 47.4 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

Campbellsville is 9-3 overall this season and 1-2 in conference play.

The next men's basketball player of the week award is scheduled to be announced on Monday, Jan. 9.

John Calipari, Entire Staff on Recruiting Trail at City of Palms

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari and his entire staff are at the City of Palms tournament tonight watching a host of top recruits.

Leading the way are 2012 star Shabazz Muhammad, 2013 big man Nerlens Noel and 2013 power forward Julius Randle - all top 5 recruits in their respective classes. The Kentucky staff will also be watching 2012 star Amile Jefferson and 2014 prospect Wayne Selden.

Dave Telep of said the UK staff entered in eye-opening fashion:

DaveTelep Calipari brought the entire staff for Shabazz. Police escort was a nice touch too.

The UK head coach peeked Big Blue Nation's interest earlier today on Twitter:

UKCoachCalipari Let me jump on this plane. I'll have a surprise for the #BBN when I land. #WeAreUK

Here's more about tonight's matchups from

The marquee matchup in the prestigious high school basketball tournament comes when Santa Ana (Calif.)-Mater Dei takes on Arlington (Texas)-Grace Prep. Mater Dei, the two-time champ and ranked No. 4 in the country by ESPN, has UNLV recruit Katin Reinhardt, Colorado recruit Xavier Johnson and highly touted sophomore Stanley Johnson. Grace Prep, ranked eighth by MaxPreps, is led by 7-foot Baylor commit Isaiah Austin.

When Montverde and Bronx (N.Y.)-St. Raymond face off, the quarterfinal will feature seven players already committed to Division I programs. Montverde has five, including Florida recruit Michael Frazier. Daniel Dingle (Temple) and Nkereuwem Okoro (Iowa State) lead St. Raymond.

Fans will have to stay late for the last quarterfinal. Las Vegas-Bishop Gorman, ranked No. 1 nationally by, takes on Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian at 10 p.m. Gorman’s Shabazz Muhammad is considered the best senior in the country by many recruiting sites and hasn’t committed to a college yet. Julius Randle, an uncommitted junior, and Kansas recruit Zach Peters lead Prestonwood.

Complete Article

You can watch some of the action live here.

Tournament Bracket

Louisville's Russ Smith Named Big East Player of the Week

Louisville's Russ Smith was named Big East Player of the Week earlier today. Smith scored a career-high 24 points to lead No. 4 Louisville to a 95-87 victory over Memphis.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The BIG EAST Conference has named Louisville guard Russ Smith and Connecticut center Andre Drummond the winners of the conference's weekly men's basketball honors for the week-ending Dec. 18.

Smith was named BIG EAST Player of the Week after he helped the Cardinals defeat Memphis 95-87 by scoring a career-high 24 points and making seven steals. It was only his third start in his collegiate career. His scoring total was double his previous career high and his steal total tied for the third best in school history. The game against Memphis was Louisville’s only contest of the week.

Drummond was tabbed as BIG EAST Rookie of the Week after he posted game highs of 24 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots in a 77-40 victory against Holy Cross. It was the Huskies’ only game of the week. The Preseason BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, Drummond is averaging 9.4 and 6.2 rebounds this season. He leads the BIG EAST with a 3.0 blocked shot average.

BIG EAST Player of the Week

RUSS SMITH, Louisville, G, So.

Chuck Hayes Fails Physical, Sacramento Contract Voided

The Sacramento Kings have announced that Chuck Hayes has failed his physical and his Kings' contract has been voided.

Here is the official press release:

Statement From Geoff Petrie Regarding Chuck Hayes

SACRAMENTO, CALIF., Dec. 19, 2011 -- This morning, in one of the most heartbreaking moments of my professional or personal life, Chuck Hayes was notified that he failed his physical exam with the Sacramento Kings. Subsequent to that, the contract signed on December 9th has been voided. At Chuck’s request, we will have no further comment at this time.

Teammates Think Nerlens Noel is Perfect for Kentucky

The guys over at caught up with 2013 star Nerlens Noel recently.

His teammates think the 6-10, shot-blocking center is a perfect fit for the University of Kentucky. They all agree that Noel should end up wearing blue and white in college:

Kentucky No. 3, Louisville No. 4 in Both Major Polls

The University of Kentucky (9-1) remains at No. 3 in both major college basketball polls this week.

Louisville (10-0) holds at No. 4 in both polls. The Cards also received 2 first place votes in the AP Top 25.

The Murray State Racers (12-0) moved up to No. 22 in both polls.

AP Top 25

1 Syracuse (53) 11-0 1,585
2 Ohio State (5) 10-1 1,474
3 Kentucky (4) 9-1 1,457
4 Louisville (2) 10-0 1,364
5 North Carolina 9-2 1,340
6 Baylor 9-0 1,271
7 Duke 9-1 1,266
8 Connecticut 9-1 1,102
9 Missouri 11-0 1,076
10 Marquette 10-0 1,021
11 Florida 8-2 946 12 Kansas 7-2 939 13 Wisconsin 10-2 746 14 Xavier 8-1 728 15 Pittsburgh 10-1 707 16 Georgetown 9-1 644 17 Indiana 10-0 601 18 Mississippi State 11-1 576 19 Michigan State 9-2 413 20 Michigan 9-2 381 21 UNLV 11-2 251 22 Murray State 12-0 222 23 Creighton 8-1 130 24 Virginia 9-1 102 25 Illinois 10-1 96

Others receiving votes: Harvard 88, San Diego State 67, Stanford 61, Saint Louis 33, Gonzaga 23, Kansas State 22, Texas A&M 18, Wichita State 8, Alabama 8, Cleveland State 7, Northern Iowa 7, Vanderbilt 5, California 5, Northwestern 4, Ohio 3, Long Beach State 2, Indiana State 1

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll

1 Syracuse (30) 11-0 774
2 Ohio State (1) 10-1 713
3 Kentucky 9-1 702
4 Louisville 10-0 679

5 Duke 9-1 637
6 North Carolina 9-2 623
7 Baylor 9-0 570
8 Missouri 11-0 560
9 Connecticut 9-1 526
10 Marquette 10-0 503
11 Kansas 7-2 471 12 Florida 8-2 447 13 Pittsburgh 10-1 386 14 Wisconsin 10-2 361 15 Xavier 8-1 318 16 Georgetown 9-1 301 17 Mississippi State 11-1 277 18 Indiana 10-0 245 19 Michigan 9-2 221 20 Michigan State 9-2 193 21 Creighton 8-1 107 22 Murray State 12-0 100 23 UNLV 11-2 68 24 Illinois 10-1 66 25 Harvard 9-1 53

Others receiving votes: San Diego State 32, California 28, Texas A&M 25, Virginia 19, Saint Louis 13, Alabama 12, Kansas State 12, Stanford 9, Memphis 7, Saint Mary's 5, Vanderbilt 3, Saint Joseph's 3, Gonzaga 3, Northwestern 1, Oklahoma 1, Seton Hall 1

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