Saturday, January 7, 2012

Emotional WKU Suffers Heartbreaking Loss to Troy


Troy University 67
Western Kentucky 65

Final from Bowling Green, Kentucky


Game recap by WKU:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A vocal and enthusiastic crowd of 5,172 was on hand Saturday afternoon at E.A. Diddle Arena, helping the Hilltoppers fight to the very end against Troy before dropping a tough two-point decision, 67-65. The Hilltoppers clawed all the way back to tie the game with 2:33 left to play despite trailing by as many as 14 eight minutes earlier after a 25-4 Troy scoring outburst, but the loss is WKU's sixth in its last seven games and moves the team's record to 5-12 on the year and 1-3 in the Sun Belt Conference. Troy improves to 6-9 and 1-3 with the victory.

The game was Ray Harper's debut as interim head coach after being tabbed to take over the program on Friday morning. The 5,172 fans were the most to see a Sun Belt Conference game at E.A. Diddle Arena since 6,259 turned out to see the Hilltoppers play South Alabama on February 18, 2010, over a season-and-a-half ago.

Derrick Gordon led WKU in scoring Thursday for the fifth time in six games, pouring in 16 points to go along with three steals and three assists in 35 minutes of action. Jamal Crook and Vinny Zollo each were in double figures as well, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively. Gordon led WKU in rebounding with six, and Kahlil McDonald and T.J. Price contributed to the offense for a combined seven assists. Troy's Justin Wright had 17 points to lead all scorers.

Complete Recap

Anthony Davis: "Terrence Jones is Back"

Kentucky's Anthony Davis says Terrence Jones is back following Jones' game-high 20 points against South Carolina.

Here are postgame comments from Davis:

John Calipari Postgame After South Carolina Win

Here are John Calipari's comments following Kentucky's win over South Carolina on Saturday (video by uksportsinfo on YouTube):

Kentucky Runs Past South Carolina in SEC Opener


(2) Kentucky 79
South Carolina 64

Final from Lexington, Kentucky


The Kentucky Wildcats closed the first half on an 11-0 run and never looked back on the way to a 79-64 victory over South Carolina on Saturday.

The Wildcats (15-1) improved to 61-18 all-time in Southeastern Conference openers.

Terrence Jones led all scorers with 20 points on 8-9 shooting for UK. Freshman Marquis Teague finished with 17 points and 4 assists.

Anthony Davis continued his double-double streak with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocked shots. Davis now has 5 consecutive double-doubles and a total of 9 on the season.

The Wildcats shot an impressive 29-49 (59.2%) from the field in the game while holding USC to 24-64 (39.1%) shooting.

Damien Leonard led South Carolina (8-7) with 15 points. Malik Cooke chipped in 11 points and 6 boards.

No. 2 Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Auburn for an 8:00 p.m. ET contest.

Box Score (Click to enlarge):

No. 5 Bellarmine Blasts William Jewell in GLVC Action


(5) Bellarmine 85
William Jewell 57

Final from Louisville, Kentucky


Game recap by BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The No. 5 Bellarmine University men's basketball team continued its hot play this afternoon, rolling past the William Jewell College Cardinals 85-57 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game in Knights Hall.

The Knights once again bolted out of the gates, hitting 15 of their first 20 shots en route to building a 43-28 halftime advantage. After the break, Bellarmine continued its solid play and outscored the visitors 42-29 in the second half.

The Bellarmine performance was simply a brilliant public display of why the Knights are ranked in the top 20 of every offensive category the NCAA tracks. The Bellarmine faithful in Knights Hall were treated to dazzling no-look passes, authoritative dunks, acrobatic blocked shots, and crisp ball movement.

The national shooting percentage leader (across all divisions of the NCAA and NAIA), Bellarmine actually improved on that statistic by hitting 58.9 percent from the floor. The Knights also did a solid job on defense holding the Cardinals to just 40.7 percent shooting from the field.

Complete Recap

Notre Dame Upsets No. 11 Louisville in Double Overtime


Notre Dame 67
(11) Louisville 65 F/2OT

Final from Louisville, Kentucky


Game recap by Louisville:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Eric Atkins scored six points in the second overtime Saturday, propelling Notre Dame to a 67-65 victory over No. 11 Louisville.

Notre Dame (10-6, 2-1 Big East) notched its first road win of the season and held the Cardinals without a field goal in the second overtime until Rakeem Buckles' tip in at the buzzer.

Atkins hit jumpers on back-to-back possessions to give Notre Dame a 65-63 lead with 17 seconds to play, and after Louisville's Peyton Siva missed on the other end, he sealed the win with two free throws.

Jack Cooley led the Irish with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Jerian Grant scored 17 points, and Atkins finished with 15 points. Scott Martin also chipped in a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Kyle Kuric and Chane Behanan each scored 17 points to pace Louisville (13-3, 1-2), providing almost all of the Cardinals' offense in the second overtime making a combined 5 of 6 free throws. Gorgui Dieng had 11 points and seven rebounds but fouled out with 2:01 left in the first extra session.

After finishing regulation tied 50-50, the teams went to overtime for the seventh time in their last 11 meetings.

The loss was Louisville's second in a row at home and third in its last four games.

"To lose two home games in the Big East with the type of schedule we have is very destructive to say the least," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said.

Complete Recap

Joe B. Hall as the "Y" in KENTUCKY at Rupp Arena

Here is Joe B. Hall as the "Y" in the customary K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y cheer at Rupp Arena:

Jamal Mashburn Wants to Own an NBA Team


Former University of Kentucky star Jamal Mashburn has transitioned from an NBA star to a standout in the world of business.

Mashburn has a hand in several highly successful businesses, including 37 Papa John's pizza restaurants, 30 Outback Steakhouse, two car dealerships and a real estate company.

Now, Mashburn has expressed interest in owning the New Orleans NBA franchise.

Here is more from ThePostGame.com:

Mashburn, who worked as a broadcaster for ESPN after his playing career, thinks the lessons he learned in the NBA have helped him in the world of big business.

"They are very similar," he said. "I trained hard to prepare for every game as a basketball player; as a businessman I do a lot of research. I was versatile on the court, and I now have my hands in fast food, car and real estate businesses."

Owning restaurants is nice, but Mashburn has big dreams of becoming an NBA owner. He's spoken several times with commissioner David Stern about being part of a group to buy the New Orleans Hornets from the league.

"I can be an asset to a team as an owner, not only for my ability to scout talent, but also understand the business side of things. The first all-star of the Hornets comes back to buy the team, it's going to be a great story," Mashburn said.


Complete Article

Photos: No. 2 Kentucky Getting Ready for First SEC Test

Here are a few pictures of the Kentucky Wildcats getting ready for today's first SEC test against South Carolina:





Kentucky Offers 2012 Center Tony Parker


Kentucky has offered 6-9 center Tony Parker from Miller Grove (Ga.).

Dave Telep confirmed on Twitter that UK has entered the picture and extended an offer:

DaveTelep Talked to Tony Parker tonight. Kentucky entered the picture and is offering. Wildcats are the newbie to a crowded party

Parker ranks No. 33 overall on the Rivals.com list for 2012.

John Calipari Talks About South Carolina and More

UK head coach John Calipari talks about today's game against South Carolina (video by uknationofblue on YouTube):



Transcript via UK:

On approaching the SEC schedule as another season…
“We haven’t talked that much about it, I just said when we start playing teams in our league the level of talent goes up, the level of us knowing each other goes up and the level of intensity goes up. We talked about that but they understand. This is the hard part right now.”

On Terrence (Jones) being an effective player while scoring less…
“We want him to score 15 or 20 points a game, it’s not like we don’t want him to. He’s doing fine, he’s just got to play harder, rougher, come up with more balls, make a couple lay-ups and free throws and all the sudden your scoring 15 or 16 a game, easy, and he should be able to do that.”

On struggles at this point being similar to last year’s…
“I can’t remember, I hope not, I’m having trouble remembering yesterday. Last year we got on the road and we didn’t come out with the fire and when it was close I don’t think we all believed. By the end of the year we believed we could beat anybody. I think (this team believes), No. 2 in the country, I imagine they believe. They hopefully understand that we have to get better which is my only concern. It’s not where we are right now it’s that we are getting better. There comes a point where we are what we are and we tie it all up and touch up the ends like we did last year. We just aren’t there yet, we still have some guys that aren’t playing with the intensity or toughness that they need to. We get all that together and the rotation down which has been tough because of injuries, I think we’ll be better.”

On Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s health …
“He’s fine; he practiced yesterday so he’s fine.”

On what Terrence Jones being 100 percent means for the team …
“Obviously we are going to be better. That’s everybody we have, we want everyone to be at 100 percent, we’ve got a pretty good group of guys, we’d be better.”

On Terrence Jones’ role change from last year to this year …
“Last year we obviously had a different team and we had to play a little different but we’d still like him to put up numbers, I’d like to see him get 11 rebounds a game and 15 points, some games 20. The greatest thing about rebounding is I say to be as selfish as you want to be. Grab a few offensive rebounds, you’re one foot from the basket; stick those in, make your free throws and a few other shots and you’re there. Again, the intensity of play is where we are with a few of the guys but we’ll get there and be fine.”

On freshman being surprised by SEC play …“Probably, when we get on the road they will see. The game Saturday will be a war, (South Carolina) plays an aggressive zone and press, as a matter of fact, they play a lot like how Louisville plays. They scramble in the press and come at you in different ways. (Bruce) Ellington is now playing, they struggled early but have won six of seven and that’s with Ellington back so they are a team that could come in here and beat us if we aren’t playing the way we need to be.”

On Bruce Ellington playing football and basketball …
“It’s a unique story, there aren’t many guys that I know that could go out there and do what he does and in between games go play another game. It says a lot about their team and their players to say we know we need them so were fine with it, we know you’re practicing football so just go in there and play.”

On when he is ready to go full-force …
“On November 30th, I am greased up and ready to go. Normally by the middle of February they start figuring it out, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. They get it when they get it. Kids are all different. Teams are all different.”

On the difference between the first and second halves vs. Arkansas-Little Rock …
“I watched the run as I watched the tape during that time, and the biggest thing we did was we made three 3s. It was like bang, bang, bang. It was a three or four-point game and we made three 3s and it kind of busted it out, so you couldn’t say ‘he did this’ or ‘he did that’. We made some shots and spread it out. The other thing is it gives you one more player on the court that they are going out to guard, so it opens up the lane a little bit. When they did that, we scored a couple easy baskets. Like I said, my issue with all of the guys is let’s just get better. What do you have to do it improve. As long as we’re getting better, were good. We have to stay focused on improvement, not on wins. It’s about getting better. The second half (vs. Little Rock) we played fairly good. First half – not so good.”

On speaking in front of the state government …
“I was asked to. I think being there in person has more of an impact. The message was simple, you are proud of these players, you are proud of this program, you are proud of our kids graduating, you are proud of our GPAs, and you are proud of how these kids perform. How about on our campus that all of our counties are represented. 80 percent of our campus is from the state of Kentucky. Wouldn’t you want to be proud of our campus? We have got a lot of work to do around here from housing to classrooms, all of the things that make it about students first. Just like we try to make it about players first here. If you want to make it about the students first, it’s the same deal. I like the path we are going. I like the plan that is together. The legislature has to be our friend and know that this is the flagship campus, and we want to be proud of it, and that means we are going to have to invest in it.”

On whether the basketball coach should be speaking to the state legislature …
“I have spoken before the Massachusetts House, I think I have spoken before the Tennessee-state legislature, I don’t know, did I speak here my first year? I think I did. I spoke before the House. I have done it everywhere I have been. I am not afraid to brag about the school that I work for. Anyway I can help them. I told them right now we are part of a big place and it’s a place people can walk through and look at athletics, but eventually it’s about the rest of this campus and I think the path we are taking which is ‘let’s rebuild’. If we spend the next five years, and the legislature says we are going to invest for the next five years, you match the dollars that you put in this place, and we go out and get privatized things on this campus, in five years it will be a different place for the next 25 years for the students. For the students. It’s not for me personally, it’s not for (UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto) personally, it’s for the students. It’s been done other places, I mentioned Connecticut where they did it. They did a five-year plan where they talked about giving ‘this’ much. We are not talking about buildings, we are not talking about salary. We are talking about the bricks and mortar that make this place a better learning environment. You are talking about 60-year-old dorms. I hate to tell you these days, but that doesn’t cut it. The communal bath, the 30-person shower; dudes don’t like it anymore. The world is changing.”

Kentucky Wesleyan Throttles Drury, Remains Unbeaten


(4) Kentucky Wesleyan 92
Drury University 72

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky


Game recap by KWC:

It had been many years since No. 4 Kentucky Wesleyan College had as dominating an offensive performance by two players in a half as it got Thursday night against Drury.

Cardell McFarland and Anthony Young each scored 20 points in the first half of a 92-72 win over a good Drury ballclub at the Sportscenter.

McFarland made five straight 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 27 points. He was also good on 7-of-12 from the floor and 8-of-10 free throws.

“I was just open and I didn't rush any shots,” McFarland said. “The coaches have been telling me to arch the ball more. I relaxed and that's what I did.”

Anthony Young did a lot of tough work inside for 22 points and 10 rebounds. He worked the baseline for a couple of baskets while double teamed, and he also kept after a putback try three times to get it to go down as KWC built a 56-38 halftime advantage in front of 2,472 fans.

KWC is 11-0 and 3-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Complete Recap

Friday, January 6, 2012

UK Recruits Everywhere in ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA Race


Kentucky recruit Shabazz Muhammad is still on top of the ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA race.

Muhammad leads UK recruit Jabari Parker and Kyle Anderson. Julius Randle and Tyler Lewis round out the top 5.

2011-2012 ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA Tracker: Week 2

Rank Prev. Name Pos High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total
1 1 Shabazz Muhammad (10) SF Bishop Gorman 3 6 1 0 0 92
2 2 Jabari Parker (9) SF Simeon 6 1 0 1 1 82
3 3 Kyle Anderson (9) PG St. Anthony 0 1 3 2 1 63
4 4 Julius Randle (7) PF Prestonwood 1 1 1 2 2 53
5 NR Tyler Lewis (5) PG Oak Hill 0 0 1 2 1 32
6 5 Marcus Smart (3) SF Flower Mound 0 1 1 0 1 23
7 NR Anthony Bennett (3) SF Findlay Prep 0 0 2 0 0 21

Others:

Amile Jefferson (Friends' Central, Wynnewood, Pa.) 17 pts. (3)
Alex Poythress (Northeast, Clarksville, Tenn.) 12 pts. (2)
Tony Parker (Miller Grove, Lithonia, Ga.) 11 pts. (2)
Nerlens Noel (The Tilton School, Tilton, N.H.) 8 pts. (2)
Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young, Chicago, Ill.) 6 pts. (1)

Source

Video: The Top Dunks of 2011

BallisLife has produced a video of the top dunks of 2011.

Of course, there are plenty of players you'll recognize: Kenneth Faried, John Wall, Anthony Bennett, Jeremy Evans, Shabazz Muhammad, Julius Randle, Chane Behanan and more...

Northern Kentucky Survives Scare for 700th All-Time Win


(11) Northern Kentucky 76
William Jewell 72 F/OT

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky


Game recap by NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – In its first visit to The Bank of Kentucky Center, William Jewell College became the answer to the following trivia question:

Which school did Northern Kentucky University defeat for its 700th all-time victory in men's basketball?

NKU reached the 700-win plateau with a tougher-than-expected 76-72 overtime victory against William Jewell on Thursday night. The 11th-ranked Norse improved to 11-0 overall, 3-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

But it wasn't easy. In fact, William Jewell (4-5 overall, 1-2 GLVC) nearly pulled off the huge upset in the first-ever meeting between the two programs, but Ethan Faulkner and Chad Jackson combined for eight points in the overtime to lift NKU.

Faulkner netted four points in overtime, including a pair of game-clinching free throws with 12.2 seconds left that extended the Norse advantage to 76-72. Faulkner – whose short jumper in the lane snapped a 70-all tie with less than a minute left - finished with 14 points for NKU, which is now 700-455 in 41 years of competition.

Complete Recap

Courtside with Rick Pitino; Rick Talks to Chane Behanan

Here is Courtside with Rick Pitino for 1-7-12; Rick's guest is freshman Chane Behanan:


Stacey Poole Will Transfer to Georgia Tech


Former University of Kentucky guard Stacey Poole will transfer to Georgia Tech.

He should be eligible to play in 2012-13.

Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com confirmed the news on Twitter:

3starmeyer Stacey poole is transferring to georgia tech

O'Neil's "In The Know" Mentions Prohm, MKG and Louisville


ESPN's Dana O'Neil has released her first edition of "in the know." O'Neil knows about Murray State's Steve Prohm, thinks she knows about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and doesn't know about the Louisville Cardinals.

Here is an excerpt:

Five things I know:

4. Steve Prohm deserves to be in COY conversation

Note to athletic directors: Listen to your team members. Murray State is one of four remaining unbeatens, in the Top 25 and not likely to lose anytime soon.

And it was the Racers who went to bat for Prohm, an assistant on staff, when Billy Kennedy bolted for Texas A&M. Prohm isn't the only candidate; Tom Crean and Frank Haith will certainly get a ton of votes, but he deserves to be among them.

Five things I think I know:

1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is Kentucky's MVP.

His contributions on and off the court help make Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Kentucky's MVP.

At media day in Lexington, Darius Miller talked about how it was up to the senior class to lead and guide the freshmen and not just sit back and marvel at their talent. He believed not taking ownership early led to Kentucky's slow start last season.

He was right about that team but with this group, the seniors don't have to offer direction. Kidd-Gilchrist is supplying it. Dominant on the court (13.9 points and 7.9 rebounds), the freshman is even more valuable off it, beginning the team's "Breakfast Club" early-morning workouts. That's exactly the sort of internal guidance and leadership this young team needs.

Five things I know I don't know:

2. What to make of Louisville

The Cardinals are, to me, one of the bigger enigmas in the Top 25. I like them and then I don't, all in the span of 10 seconds.

Rick Pitino's Cardinals are one of the bigger enigmas in the Top 25.

Defensively, they're terrific. They are old-school Rick Pitino, pressing, pressuring the ball and harassing the bejesus out of their opponents.

Offensively, I can't remember the last time a Pitino team struggled to shoot so much.

I think Louisville is good. I'm just not sure how good.

Complete Article

Brandon Knight to Start for Detroit Pistons Tonight


Former University of Kentucky star Brandon Knight will be in the starting lineup for the Detroit Pistons tonight.

According to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, Knight and third-year player Austin Daye will both start tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Knight has played in 6 games this season, averaging 22.8 minutes, 10.0 points and 2.7 assists per game. Tonight will be his first career start.

Who Replaces Ken McDonald at Western Kentucky?


Now that Ken McDonald has been ousted at Western Kentucky, the school must decide the best direction to take for the future of the program.

Here are some names that are being floated around as potential replacements for McDonald:

- Ray Harper (WKU assistant, now Interim Head Coach): Harper has been serving as WKU assistant and will now work as interim head coach. He has a ton of college coaching experience, including great runs at Kentucky Wesleyan College and Oklahoma City University. He has won four national championships (2 NCAA DII and 2 NAIA). He'll have the first crack at opening some eyes this season.

- Tim Fuller (Missouri assistant): Fuller has been an assistant under some big time names: Ernie Nestor, Skip Prosser, Ed Cooley, Rick Pitino, and now Frank Haith. Add to that his basketball connections, recruiting prowess and the fact that he's very tight with WKU AD Ross Bjork and well...keep an eye on Fuller.

- Richard Pitino (Louisville assistant): Richard is Rick Pitino's son and currently an assistant on the University of Louisville staff. He is an up-and-coming young assistant, which is the type of coach WKU has chosen in the past. Obviously, the Pitino name gives him a ton of respect in coaching circles.

- John Pelphrey (Florida assistant): Pelphrey is obviously a Kentucky native who went on to play at the University of Kentucky. He also has a ton of coaching experience - some good, some bad. He had a great run at South Alabama, but had struggles during his time at Arkansas. For the second time in his coaching career, he now serves as Billy Donovan's assistant at Florida.

- Dennis Felton (NBA Scout, former WKU and Georgia head coach): Word on the street is that Felton would have interest in returning to Bowling Green. He had success there in the past before taking the job at Georgia. Would WKU go back to the well again?

- Scott Davenport (Bellarmine head coach): Davenport's name has been thrown out there mostly by fans who are saying things like "I'd love to see Scotty Davenport get a shot at WKU.." Davenport can coach, no question about it. He led Bellarmine to the DII national title last season and has had great success with the Knights during his time there. He is also a Pitino descendant after serving on Rick's staff as an assistant.

- Kurtis Townsend (Kansas assistant): I received a call earlier from a friend who says Townsend has ties with WKU AD Ross Bjork and that his name has been mentioned in rumors during the last few weeks. Townsend has spent close to a decade on Bill Self's staff at KU and certainly has the knowledge and contacts to be successful. Oh yeah, Townsend is also a 1982 graduate of WKU, where he played point guard and led the Hilltoppers to the 1980 OVC championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

- WKU's Random Courtside Fan: Let's face it, there was one person near the action last night (including both head coaches and all assistants) who realized UL-Lafayette had 6 players on the court. I say he's earned at least an interview for the job:

Drew Kelly Leads Morehead State to Important Road Win


Morehead State 63
Jacksonville State 55

Final from Jacksonville, Alabama


Game recap by MSU:

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- Sophomore Drew Kelly recorded a season-high 20 points and the Morehead State men’s basketball team used a 16-3 second-half run to post a 63-55 win over Jacksonville State on Thursday evening at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

The Eagles improve to 8-8 overall and 2-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference, while the Gamecocks drop to 5-12 on the season and 0-4 in league play.

“This is a quality road win because Jacksonville State is a tough team,” Morehead State Head Coach Donnie Tyndall said. “They’re competitive, physical and well coached.

“I feel like each OVC game could come down to the last two minutes this year. Fortunately, we were able to make a few more plays down the stretch to pull out the victory.”

Morehead State was playing for the first time without its only fourth-year player and top scorer, senior Terrance Hill, who suffered a left knee injury last Saturday against Austin Peay. Tyndall announced prior to the game that Hill will be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Hill, who was averaging 13.3 points, 2.3 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game this season, finishes his college career with 981 points. In three-plus seasons, he helped the Eagles to a 76-45 record (.628), two OVC Tournament titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

“I have to give my guys a lot of credit,” Tyndall said. “This was our first game without Terrance (Hill), and it was critical to find a way to win without our best player.”

Complete Recap

Chuck Hayes Out 3-4 Weeks with Shoulder Injury


Chuck Hayes stated after last night's game that he is out an estimated 2-3 weeks with a dislocated left shoulder.

Here is more from CowbellKingdom.com:

Following the game, I ran into Hayes in the tunnel and the news is not great. Hayes informed me that he is out an estimated 2-3 weeks with a dislocated left shoulder and will undergo further testing tomorrow.

“Man this guy has gone through everything so far,” new Kings head coach Keith Smart said of Hayes following Thursday night’s win. “The medical will talk to me, I haven’t had a chance to visit with them yet. But I’m sure he’s going to get some type of MRI or something later on tonight or tomorrow, but we’ll know more tomorrow .”


Chuck Hayes out at least 2-3 weeks with dislocated shoulder

UPDATE: The Kings have announced that Hayes is out 3-4 weeks with a dislocated left shoulder

Breaking: Ken McDonald is Out at Western Kentucky


Western Kentucky University has fired head coach Ken McDonald after a tumultuous run.

McDonald was 67-49 in just over three seasons, including a 5-11 start this season.

He will be replaced by assistant Ray Harper on an interim basis.

Chad Bishop of the Bowling Green Daily News has the statement from WKU AD Ross Bjork:

I have recommended to President Gary Ransdell that Ken McDonald no longer serve as our head men’s basketball coach and he has agreed and supports my decision. President Ransdell and I met with Coach McDonald this morning to inform him of the decision, and then we met with and informed the entire men’s basketball staff.

I also met with our student-athletes and discussed the reasons for our conclusion told them that we are committed to all of them as students and athletes here at WKU. We owe them the ‘great program’ they signed up for. All of our student-athletes are the number one priority for WKU Athletics.


Here is more on Ray Harper:

Harper, who was hired by McDonald prior to the 2008-09 season, spent 12 seasons as head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan and Oklahoma City University before coming to WKU. Compiling a record of 342-63 for an .844 winning percentage, Harper won four NCAA Division II national championships while reaching the title game on five other occasions.

Harper was at the helm at KWC when that program was found in an NCAA investigation to have used two ineligible players during the 2002-03 season. Wesleyan was forced to vacate its 2003 Great Lakes Valley Conference championship and was placed on three years' probation. Harper was not named specifically in the NCAA report.


Source

Ole Miss Dismisses Leading Scorer After Pot Arrest


Ole Miss has dismissed leading scorer Dundrecous Nelson and freshman Jamal Jones from the team following a drug-related arrest on Tuesday night.

Nelson was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Here is an excerpt from ClarionLedger.com:

Nelson did not answer the door when the officer knocked. As the officer was leaving, he met a delivery person from Domino’s Pizza and asked him where he was headed (it turned out, it was to Nelson’s apartment).

Nelson then exited his home in order to get the pizza and attempted to quickly go back inside.

The officer confronted Nelson at that time. Upon finally entering the apartment the officer found eight roaches of marijuana made from cigarillos (small cigars that can be emptied and stuffed with the drug).


Dundrecous Nelson, Jamal Jones dismissed from team

David Aliu Sets Team Scoring Record in British Basketball League


Former Morehead State star David Aliu recently scored his 1,000th career points for the Mersey Tigers of the British Basketball League (BBL).

Here is more from MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Former Morehead State men's basketball standout David Aliu recently scored his 1,000th career point for the Mersey Tigers of the British Basketball League, setting the team career record for points.

Aliu, who played at MSU from 2000 to 2004, was a career 50 percent field goal shooter and a 78 percent free throw shooter while playing for coach Kyle Macy.

A native of Liverpool, England, Aliu broke the scoring record for his hometown professional team.

“Anything is possible. It’s another great personal achievement to break the 1,000-point mark and to do it in my home city makes it that much better," he said in an interview with the Liverpool Echo newspaper.

Following his Eagle career, Aliu played professionally in Italy, Iceland, Spain, Switzerland and Scotland before returning to Liverpool. Formerly the Everton Tigers, Mersey won the 2010-11 BBL trophy with a 25-8 record.

Source: MSUEagles.com

No. 5 Bellarmine University Destroys Rockhurst


(5) Bellarmine 90
Rockhurst 61

Final from Louisville, Kentucky


Game recap by BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The No. 5 Bellarmine Knights men's basketball team steamrolled the visiting Rockhurst Hawks 90-61 tonight in a Great Lakes Valley Conference contest in Knights Hall.

The Knights were hitting on all cylinders as the host team jumped out to early leads of 12-0 and 17-1 and shot a hot 63.6 percent in the first half as they posted a 56-29 halftime lead. After the intermission, it was more of the same as the Knights bumped up the lead to 35 on several occasions before coasting in for the 29-point win.

For the second straight game, Keisten Jones led the Knights in scoring, putting up 18 on 6-of-8 shooting. Jones was joined in double figures by Jeremy Kendle (17) and Chris Dowe, who posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The junior out of (Louisville) Eastern High School also dished out six assists and recorded a blocked shot and a steal while not committing a turnover.

The win upped Bellarmine's overall mark to 10-1 overall and 2-1 in league play. Rockhurst suffered its first conference defeat and fell to 5-6, 2-1 GLVC.

Complete Recap

Chuck Hayes Leaves Game with Dislocated Shoulder


Former University of Kentucky star Chuck Hayes left Sacramento's game against Milwaukee on Thursday night with a dislocated left shoulder.

Hayes collided with Bucks big man Drew Gooden and went to the court in obvious pain.

Medical staff was visibly trying to "pop" the shoulder back into place before leading Hayes into the locker room.

He did not return and will likely undergo an evaluation on Friday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ellis Tips in Game-Winner, UPIKE Defeats Campbellsville


Pikeville 72
(25) Campbellsville 71

Final from Pikeville, Kentucky


Game recap by UPIKE:

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Senior Cordaro Ellis tipped in a missed free throw with 7.0 seconds left to give the University of Pikeville a much-needed 72-71 win over No. 25 Campbellsville University Thursday night at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

Ellis, a 6-9 center, tipped in the miss after junior Trevor Setty pulled the team within one on the first toss. Campbellsville got a nice look at the basket but the three-point shot bounced off the rim as time expired.

The win raised the Bears to 10-5 overall and 2-3 in the Mid-South Conference. The loss sent Campbellsville to 11-4 overall and 1-3 in the league.

Pikeville held a 63-59 lead after Ellis sank two free throws with 5:00 to play. But the Tigers went on a 10-point run, beginning with a pair of three-point shots by junior Justin Ennis, and when senior Cedric Henderson hit a jumper from the elbow to put the Tigers in front 69-63 with 3:36 left.

The six-point Tiger lead was the largest spread of the night in a game that was tied on 11 different occasions.

Complete Recap

Nuts and Bolts, Nuts and Bolts, WKU Got Screwed


UL-Lafayette 72
Western Kentucky 70 F/OT

Final from Bowling Green, Kentucky


UL-Lafayette played the final 20 seconds of the game with 6 players on the court. The blunder was not detected by the officials, allowing ULL to hit the game-winner with 3 seconds remaining in overtime.

Game recap by WKU:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Elfrid Payton's layup with three seconds remaining in overtime proved to be the game winner as Louisiana-Lafayette earned a 72-70 win over the Western Kentucky University men's basketball team Thursday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.

WKU is now 5-11 on the season and 1-2 in Sun Belt Conference action. Louisiana-Lafayette improves to 8-8 and 2-0 in the league.

Payton's game-winner came after Derrick Gordon tied the game at 70 with a three with 25 seconds remaining in the extra session. Following a timeout, Payton was able to drive the lane and connect. Kahlil McDonald's desperation heave at the buzzer fell off as the Cajuns picked up the win.

Gordon led four Hilltoppers in double figures with a game-high 20 points, going 6-for-16 from the field, and also collecting nine rebounds in 37 minutes of action.

ULL led by as much as three points twice in the extra session.

Complete recap

Watch the video:



After the game, head coach Ken McDonald was surprisingly calm:

"It's a hard pill to swallow," said McDonald, who team nearly forced a turnover despite being a man down. "What really hurts is the kids. They really played hard."

"The refs made a mistake," he added.

McDonald said by the time everyone figured out what had transpired, the officiating crew was already off the court. He was told that he can't appeal.

"Once they leave the court, you can't review it," McDonald said. "From what I've been told, you can't appeal it, either."


Complete Article

Keith Smart Named New Head Coach of Sacramento Kings

Keith Smart has been named new head coach of the Sacramento Kings:



Here is the Kings' press release:

SACRAMENTO, CALIF., Jan. 5, 2012 -- The Sacramento Kings today named Keith Smart as the team’s 24th Head Coach, according to President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“Keith will bring a new perspective to the team as we try to move forward with the season,” said Petrie. “He’s very well prepared and will assume the job with some new ideas and new approaches of his own. We’re all excited and looking forward to working with him.”

Smart, who spent last season as head coach of the Golden State Warriors where he compiled a 36-46 record, brings over 22 years of professional basketball experience as either a coach or player. Prior to his appointment as head coach for Golden State, Smart served seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Warriors, giving him the longest tenure of any assistant coach in Golden State history.

“I had a chance to work for Paul Westphal in the brief time that I’ve been here and really enjoyed it,” explained Smart. “He was very supportive every step of the way. I want to thank Geoff Petrie and the Maloof family for giving me this opportunity. I’m looking forward to implementing a few new things with what we want to try to do with our basketball team. Hopefully, they’ll respond to what I want them to do, and I believe they will. I think our players will be excited with some of the ideas that I have for our team moving forward.”

The 47-year-old Smart originally joined the Warriors prior to the 2003-04 campaign after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was named the Cavaliers interim head coach in the middle of the 2002-03 season upon taking over for John Lucas. At the time, he was the second-youngest head coach in the NBA.

“When I asked Geoff to add Keith Smart to our staff, I knew that he would be a tremendous asset going forward,” said Westphal. “Keith has my respect and blessing as he assumes the position he is exceptionally qualified to fill.”

Complete Release

Stacey Poole Looking at Four Potential Schools


According to Adam Zagoria, former Kentucky player Stacey Poole is looking at four schools as potential transfer destinations.

Here is a post from Twitter:

AdamZagoria Just got off the phone with Stacey Poole. Says he will transfer to FIU, Ga. Tech, Seton Hall or DePaul. Story coming.

Here is an excerpt from Zagoria's article:

“I have a visit set up tomorrow [Friday] to FIU because it’s close to home and I can get there,” he said.

Poole said he already visited Georgia Tech in high school and doesn’t need to visit again.

“I’ve been in Atlanta plenty of times so there’s no need for me to go,” he said.

He said he doesn’t necessarily need to visit Big East schools Seton Hall or DePaul, either.

“DePaul and Seton Hall, I already got a feel for that,” he said. “It’s a matter of time that I’m going to have to pick a school. With the time schedule I have right now, I probably won’t go to visit.”


Stacey Poole Planning Transfer Options

Tyndall Confirms that Terrance Hill is Lost for the Season


Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall has confirmed the news that the Eagles have lost senior Terrance Hill to a season-ending knee injury.

MSUATHLETICS MBB: Head Coach Donnie Tyndall just confirmed that senior Terrance Hill (13.3 ppg) is done for the year with a left knee injury.

MSUATHLETICS MBB: Hill went down with 1:15 left last Saturday in MSU's nationally-televised game vs. Austin Peay. He finishes with 981 career points.

Centre College Hammers Berea Behind Mullaney, Ross


Centre College 91
Berea College 64

Final from Danville, Kentucky


Game recap by Centre:

The Centre men's basketball team dominated the second half to pull away for a 91-64 victory over Berea College in its final non-conference game of the season Wednesday in Danville, Ky.

Greg Ross (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the way with 22 points and seven rebounds while Jeff Mullaney (Louisville, Ky.) added 20 points and seven assists as the Colonels began to separate themselves from Berea just before the half.

Mullaney scored 16 and Ross 14 to help the Colonels keep pace in a first half in which the Mountaineers were able to keep pace most of the way. After six lead changes and three ties, Centre finally pulled ahead for good on a Ross free throw with just under five minutes remaining before halftime.

With Mullaney scoring the team's final seven points, the Colonels would go on to finish the half on an 11-4 run to take a 36-29 lead to the break. The beginning of the second half brought more of the same as Bryon Ellis (Russell Springs, Ky.) knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to kick start a 10-2 surge that pushed the lead out to 48-33.

Ellis wasn't the only Colonel to have success from the outside as the team shot a blistering 58 percent (7-of-12) in the second half and 53 percent (9-of-17) for the game. The closest Berea would get the rest of the way was 11 points after a Harry Cross layup at the 13:00 mark, only to see Collin Lopez (Louisville, Ky.) immediately answer with a 3-pointer on the other end. Minutes later the Colonels delivered the knockout blow when another Lopez three started a 14-2 run. By the time Josh Karsner capped the run with another 3-pointer, Centre had all but put the game away with a 76-50 lead with just under seven minutes to play.

Complete Recap

Centre won the game but Berea's Tevin Webster had the play of the game:

George Karl Explains Kenneth Faried's Lack of Minutes



Former Morehead State star Kenneth Faried is not receiving very much playing time with the Denver Nuggets so far this season.

Faried has appeared in only two games, totalling just 19 minutes of action on the season.

Last night, in a 110-83 win over Sacramento, Faried was 2-2 from the field and finished with 7 points, 4 rebounds and a game-high 4 blocked shots in only 10 minutes of action.

After the game, Nuggets coach George Karl tried to explain his reasoning for not playing Faried:

“With all the rookies, not only Kenneth, they’re two months behind,” Karl said. “So to ask them to come into an abbreviated schedule, with missing summer league, a week in August and the month of September, that’s how much time we spend with our rookies before they even go into training camp. They got none of that. Just the concepts, the flow, the understanding – it’s not complicated, but it’s not easy, either. And I don’t believe you give rookies minutes – they earn them. And then you don’t have a lot of practices where you can see a rookie get better. … But Kenneth was good tonight.”

Paul Westphal Fired by Sacramento Kings


The Sacramento Kings have officially fired head coach Paul Westphal. Assistant Keith Smart will take over the coaching duties for tonight's game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

GM Geoff Petrie has this to say in a press release:

"I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings," said Petrie. "Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect. I wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Sacramento was 51-120 under the leadership of Westphal and are off to a 2-5 start this season.

John Calipari Checks Out 2013 Star Troy Williams


University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari checked out 2013 star Troy Williams in practice last night.

Williams is a 6-6 small forward at Phoebus (VA) High School. He ranks No. 14 overall on the Rivals.com list for 2013.

He posted about Calipari on Twitter:

troywilliams_ Coach Calipari was at practice tonight too!

Life University Holds Off No. 6 Georgetown College


Life University 85
(6) Georgetown College 81

Final from Marietta, Georgia


Game recap by GC:

No. 6 Georgetown College traveled to Georgia to take on a tough Life University team Wednesday. Maurice Pearson coming back after missing the New Year's Eve game exploded for 27 points and 12 rebounds, but it was not enough to clip the Running Eagles. Life (7-7) pulled off the 85-81 win, handing the Tigers (13-2) only their second loss.

"Life always has a great team and it is always a great game when we play," said GC head coach Chris Briggs. "Then playing them on their home floor only adds to the intensity of the game."

The Tigers trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, but battled back for a one-point halftime deficit, 38-37. The team grabbed its first lead off an Aaron Morris field goal, 39-38, 15 seconds into the final 20. The Tigers seemed in control much of the second half, taking a seven-point advantage - their largest lead - off a pair of Pearson free throws. Life rallied back to take a lead midway through off PJ Meyers' foul shots. GC erased a six-point deficit for a 67-66 lead off an Allan Thomas' three-pointer and then built a six-point advantage. The Running Eagles had the final surge, though, taking an 81-79 lead off an Andrew Woods' field goal. Meyers sealed the win at the line with four seconds left. The guard led LU with 24 points.

Complete Recap

Marquis Teague: A Point of Concern? Not Yet



It's no secret that Marquis Teague is slightly behind his University of Kentucky point guard predecessors at this point in the season.

One can look at the statistical numbers only and see that Teague's production is not what it needs to be for the Wildcats to be the nation's best team (click to enlarge):



Even John Calipari admitted after UK's win over Arkansas-Little Rock that his team looked better with Teague on the bench.

"I don't know," Calipari said. "I have to watch the tape. Obviously without him (Teague) on the court, we played better. There is no argument there."

Those words from the head coach are slightly alarming considering his success with point guards in the past and Kentucky's new found reputation as "Point Guard U."

That being said, is it time for Big Blue Nation to worry?

Alan Cutler of Lex18 says it's too soon to consider bringing Teague off the bench:

At a certain point, if Teague doesn't get it, you could see Cal starting Darius Miller and putting Teague on the bench. There are two good reasons you don't want to do that today.

One is the light bulb could go on at any minute with Teague, which makes this a much better team.

Two, when you are recruiting the best of the best, it makes Cal look great when he's talking to future recruits when they know he keeps them for a short time period and they quickly become millionaires.

Plus, Cal knows that future point guards are watching Teague's development as they have with John Wall, Brandon Knight and Derrick Rose.


I agree with Cutler. While Kentucky may be playing slightly better with Teague on the bench in the short term, the ultimate goal is to play well in March and April. The Wildcats need a well-developed Teague in the lineup if they hope to win the ultimate prize.

Gardiner Hired as Commissioner of Southern Athletic Association


Jay Gardiner, the athletic director at Oglethorpe University, has been hired as commissioner of the new Southern Athletic Association (SAA).

The SAA will consist of eight programs next season, including Centre College.

Here's a release from Centre:

(ATLANTA) – The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Council of Presidents has announced the hiring of Jay Gardiner to the position of conference commissioner. Gardiner, who currently serves as athletic director for Oglethorpe University, has been working as the interim SAA commissioner since the league’s inception in June 2011. He will finish the current academic year at Oglethorpe before assuming the SAA commissioner’s appointment this spring.

“We’re thrilled to hire Jay as the Southern Athletic Association’s first league commissioner,” said convener of the Council of SAA Presidents and current Oglethorpe University president Lawrence M. Schall. “His extensive background working in college athletics at all levels of the NCAA made him a natural choice. While I regret losing Jay as Oglethorpe’s athletic director, I know through personal experience that he will provide the leadership we need for our new conference.”


Since his appointment as Oglethorpe’s athletic director in 2004, Gardiner has overseen facilities upgrades and funding improvements for all 16 Division III varsity sports. Prior to Oglethorpe, Gardiner spent nine years in Division I as associate athletic director for Tulane University and Miami University (Ohio). While serving as a member of their athletic departments’ management teams, Gardiner was responsible for leading their athletics fundraising efforts, raising in excess of $35 million during his tenure.

Earlier in his career, Gardiner was athletic director at Division II Bellarmine University in Kentucky and Division III St. Mary’s College of Maryland where he coached men’s basketball and women’s tennis. In 1991, after his St. Mary’s men’s basketball team captured the conference title, he was recognized as the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) coach of the year. He served as president of the CAC in 1992-93.

Complete Release

Video: Who is the Top Player in 2013?

CityLeagueHoopsTV Wonders: Who is the Top Player in 2013?

Here are the front runners, including Kentucky recruits Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel and Andrew Harrison:

Georgetown College to Host Hargrave Military Academy Game


Georgetown College will host some great basketball action this weekend, including a game featuring prep school powerhouse Hargrave Military Academy.

Here's more from GC:

Georgetown College will be host of a full slate of basketball action this weekend. Saturday afternoon the nationally ranked women's and men's teams get back into conference play with a doubleheader against Shawnee State. Sunday national powerhouse prep Hargrave Military Academy will face off against Rise Academy at 3:30 pm.

The HMA Tigers are coached by former Scott County star A.W. Hamilton, who is assisted by former GC star Derrick White. White, a two-time All-MSC football Tiger, also serves as head strength and conditioning coach to the 18-0 prep academy.

Hargrave has five current NCAA Division I signees on its roster - Montrezl Harrell, Virginia Tech; Codi Miller-McIntyre and Andre Washington, Wake Forest; John Burke, University of Missouri Kansas City; and Charles Buggs, Minnesota. Rise touts alumni powers such as Laker Kobe Bryant and Piston Richard Hamilton.

Before Sunday's game, HMA will also play Saturday evening at Scott County High School, following its game with Bell County. Tip for that is roughly 8:45 pm.

Complete Release

Murray State Survives OVC Battle With Eastern Kentucky


(19) Murray State 76
Eastern Kentucky 67

Final from Murray, Kentucky


Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers kept their unbeaten streak going at 15 straight wins with a 76-67 win over Eastern Kentucky at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.

The Racers (ranked 18th in the ESPN/USA Today poll and 19th in the Associated Press poll) stayed in the group of only four teams that have yet to suffer a loss in NCAA D-I men's basketball. The Racers also pushed their home court winning streak to 14 straight and grabbed the solo lead in the Ohio Valley Conference at 3-0.

Donte Poole tied his season and career high with 22 points to lead MSU, hitting 6-of-12 field goals while sinking 7-of-8 free throw attempts. Isaiah Canaan and Ed Daniel both added 16 points, and Stacy Wilson came off the bench to contribute 13. Latreze Mushatt grabbed 10 rebounds in making his first start of the season in place of injured Ivan Aska.

With Murray State leading by 11 at halftime, EKU (9-7, 3-1 OVC) whittled down the Racers advantage throughout the second half, cutting the score to a 54-5 with 6:25 remaining. The Colonels would pull to within a point with five minutes remaining, but the Racers put the game out of reach in the final minutes as Poole hit a pair of free throws with 1:10 left to lead 67-62 and Wilson hit a fast-break layup off an inbound play to give MSU a seven point lead with just under a minute left.

Complete Recap

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kenneth Faried Scores First Two Points in the NBA

And he did it in true Kenneth Faried Fashion:



The Manimal finished with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in only 10 minutes of action.

Denver defeated Sacramento 110-83.

Note to George Karl: Give Kenneth Faried minutes!

Goodwin, Poythress to Play in Lexington on Saturday


University of Kentucky signees Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress will both be in Lexington on Saturday for the Dunkin' Donuts National Shootout at Lexington Catholic.

Goodwin and Sylvan Hills (Ark.) will battle Lexington Catholic at 7:00 p.m. Poythress and Clarksville Northeast (TN) will play Lafayette at 8:30 p.m.

Schedule for the day:

3:30 p.m. Sayre vs. Wolfe County
5:00 p.m. Lincoln County vs. Harrison County
7:00 p.m. Sylvan Hills (Ark.) vs. Lexington Catholic
8:30 p.m. Clarksville Northeast (TN) vs. Lafayette

Ex Claims Antoine Walker Owes $27,817 in Tuition Bills


Donna Grant, the mother of Antoine Walker's teenage daughter, appeared in a Chicago-area court this morning for an emergency hearing, hoping to force Walker to pay past due tuition bills for the daughter.

Grant claims that Walker owes more than $27,000 for past due bills to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

Here is an excerpt from ChicagoTribune.com:

According to records provided by Grant, Walker owes $27,817 to the Lab Schools for his daughter’s tuition. Walker’s 13-year-old daughter is a 7th grader at the school in Hyde Park. She has attended the exclusive private school all of her life, Grant said.

“She’s a great student. She sings in the children’s choir, does the school play, and she gets good grades,” Grant said of their daughter. “I can’t ask for anything better in a kid, so why hold her back? I’m fighting for what he has promised.”

Walker, 35, did not appear in court on Wednesday. He is currently on probation in Idaho after he pleaded guilty to not paying about $750,000 in gambling debts to three casinos. In order to leave, he has to get special permission from his parole officer, officials said.

But his attorney, Jessee R. Dagen, told the judge that Walker can no longer afford to pay for his daughter’s education. She said Walker has asked that his daughter be removed from the exclusive private school and enrolled in a less expensive school or sent to a public school.

“The tuition for the school far exceeds his income right now,” said Dagen, as she handed the judge documents which listed Walker’s income. “There are no additional assets or income. … He is unable to pay.”


Antoine Walker's debt keeps daughter from private school, mom says

My Thoughts: Public schools are a pretty solid option when one cannot afford private schooling.

Greg Ross Named SCAC Player of the Week for Third Time


Centre College's Greg Ross has been named Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the third time this season.

Here is more from Centre:

For the third time this season, Centre's Greg Ross has been named the SCAC Men's Player of the Week, this time for games played through January 2.

Ross, a senior forward from Cincinnati, Ohio, played key roles in each of Centre's two wins in the Papa John's/Country Hearth Inn Tournament.

Against Berry on Thursday, Ross recorded his third double-double of the season with 14 points and ten rebounds in the Colonels' 69-54 win over the Vikings.

The signature performance of the week for Ross happened the following night against undefeated Cabrini College, ranked 10th in the country in the d3hoops.com poll. Ross had an outstanding game in the box score, scoring 20 points, pulling down nine rebounds and handing out four assists, but he also made big plays down the stretch. His free throw with 0.4 seconds remaining in regulation sent the game to overtime, and his two free throws with 0.3 seconds to go in overtime provided the winning margin in a 69-67 Colonels victory over the Cavaliers.

For the week, Ross averaged 17 points and 9.5 rebounds per game and shot 65% from the floor over the two games. The next game for Ross and the Centre men's basketball team is tonight, as the Colonels play host to Berea College.

Samardo Samuels Can't Enter Canada Due to Passport Issues


Former Louisville big man Samardo Samuels will miss tonight's game in Toronto because of a "passport and visa issues."

Here is more from Cleveland.com:

He will rejoin the club Thursday as it flies to Minneapolis. Samuels lost his passport several weeks ago, and the team has been trying to get new documentation processed. The assignment is complicated by having a third country, in this case his native Jamaica, involved.

It's already been a tough few weeks for the center who was benched Tuesday night for what coach Byron Scott termed a lack of focus. Before the game the coach said Samuels also needed to grab more rebounds.


Complete Article

Peyton Siva Named Cousy Finalist, Teague Eliminated


University of Louisville junior Peyton Siva has been chosen as a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to college basketball's top point guard.

Kentucky's Marquis Teague did not make the final cut.

The finalists named today are:

- Dee Bost, Mississippi State
- Trey Burke, Michigan
- D.J. Cooper, Ohio
- Aaron Craft, Ohio State
- Seth Curry, Duke
- Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
- Tu Holloway, Xavier
- Pierre Jackson, Baylor
- Scoop Jardine, Syracuse
- Damian Lillard, Weber State
- Scott Machado, Iona
- Kendall Marshall, UNC
- Ray McCallum, Detroit
- Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
- Phil Pressey, Missouri
- Zack Rosen, Penn
- Peyton Siva, Louisville
- Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin
- Erving Walker, Florida
- Casper Ware, Long Beach State

Eastern Kentucky to Hold Annual Kid's Day on Saturday


Eastern Kentucky University will host their annual "Kid's Day" event at McBrayer Arena on Saturday.

The Colonels will be hosting SEMO in OVC action.

Here is more from EKU:

The annual Kids Day at McBrayer Arena will take place on Saturday, January 7, when the Eastern Kentucky University men's and women's basketball teams host Ohio Valley Conference opponent Southeast Missouri in a doubleheader. The women are slated to tip off at 4:00 p.m. with the men set to follow at 7:00 p.m. All kids 12 and under can claim their one free youth general admission ticket, which is valid for both games, at the box office which will open at 3:00 p.m.

Activities planned for both games of Kids Day include special "kids only" on-court contests, "kid-sized" prizes and an autograph session with the EKU Lady Colonels during halftime of the men's game.

Complete Release

Rick Pitino Grades Louisville Players on RickPitino.com


Rick Pitino the blogger is back with a new update on RickPitino.com. In his latest work, Pitino hands out grades for his players following last night's impressive road win at St. John's.

Here is an excerpt:

EVALUATION OF OUR ROAD WIN AT ST. JOHN’S

Outside of the occasional closeout beat, and losing the ball by showing it to the defense in the backcourt, I was very pleased.

Here is the breakdown of the film:

5 Star Performances

Gorgui Dieng - passed and facilitated many baskets. Blocked shots and played extremely hard.

Russ Smith - Most of his reaches late, which really irritated the coaching staff because of clock stoppage, were not good calls. He has to manage the clock with the lead. That will be pivotal playing future road games. Outside of that, he was great. His high school coach, legendary Jack Curran, said Russ would make him die young. He was 78 when he made that statement. Great energy and terrific overall game. By the way -- I now feel older than Coach Curran

4+ Star Performance

Jared Swopshire - Heady game with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal.

4 Star performance

Kyle Kuric - Not doing enough for minutes played. 0 offensive rebounds, 0 assists, and 0 steals. Steady but needs to do more in 39 minutes.

Read Pitino's Complete Breakdown

Vitale Names Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist as Midseason Awards Candidates


ESPN's Dick Vitale has picked his top midseason award candidates in college basketball.

Vitale currently ranks Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as his top two candidates for "Diaper Dandy of the Year." He also ranks Davis No. 5 on his "Player of the Year" list.

Here's an excerpt:

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

5. Anthony Davis, Kentucky Wildcats
His shot-blocking ability makes him the total package for John Calipari's Wildcats. He can score inside, rebound and changes games in the lane with his defensive prowess. Just look at what he did on Tuesday in a win over Arkansas-Little Rock: 22 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks. He has double-doubles in four straight games.

DIAPER DANDY OF THE YEAR

1. Davis, Kentucky Wildcats
His length makes him a real factor as a game-changer blocking shots. He already has eight double-doubles this season. Davis has 67 blocked shots in just 15 games; when you block more than four per game, plus you adjust opponents' shots, you are a force in the middle.

2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky Wildcats
Simply look at the line against Louisville in the rivalry game: 24 points, 19 rebounds. I love watching this young man play basketball. I saw him in the City of Palms tournament down in Florida last year and loved his game. Calipari loves him too.

Top midseason candidates for awards

Four Former Kentucky Players on NBA All-Star Ballot


Four former University of Kentucky players are on the official NBA All-Star ballot for this season.

Fans can vote for former UK stars Rajon Rondo, John Wall, Tayshaun Prince and DeMarcus Cousins:

EAST

- Rajon Rondo, Boston
- John Wall, Washington
- Tayshaun Prince, Detroit

WEST

- DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento

Vote Here

Murray State/SIUE Game Chosen for Telecast on ESPNU


Murray State's game against SIU Edwardsville on January 21 has been selected for telecast by ESPNU.

Here is the release from the OVC:

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The January 21 Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball contest between Murray State and SIUE has been selected for telecast by ESPNU as part of the league's television package.

When the OVC announced its ESPN basketball schedule on Oct. 5, there were three dates on the schedule designated as "wild card" dates where the game to be aired was not selected until 21 days before the contest, making sure an attractive matchup was televised, instead of having to determine the full schedule a month before the season began.

Entering tonight’s action, Murray State (14-0, 2-0 OVC) and SIUE (4-7, 2-0 OVC) are two of four teams currently undefeated in OVC play. The Racers are currently one of four undefeated teams in Division I and are ranked No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 and No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25. SIUE is off to a 2-0 start in Conference play in its first full season of OVC competition.

The game at the Vadalabene Center will air at 8:00 p.m. CT on ESPNU.

The other "wild card" dates on the OVC's ESPN schedule for this year are Thursday, Feb. 2 and Thursday, Feb. 23.

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