Saturday, January 14, 2012

NKU Suffers First Loss in Foul-Filled Game at Drury


Drury University 83
(8) Northern Kentucky 72

Final from Springfield, Missouri


Game recap by NKU:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The unbeaten streak ended for Northern Kentucky University on Saturday, one victory away from setting a school record for best start to a season.

Drury halted NKU's 13-game winning streak with an 83-72 victory against the visiting Norse. The Panthers rallied from a 13-point deficit early in the game and handed No. 8 NKU its first loss of the season.

NKU (13-1 overall, 5-1 Great Lakes Valley Conference) had tied the school record for best start to a season Thursday night with a dominating 62-36 victory at Missouri S&T. Drury, however, denied the Norse's bid for a 14th consecutive win by making 37 free throws in 51 attempts en route to Saturday's upset.

The officiating crew of Nathan Chitwood, Garth Silvey and Ryan Odneal called a total of 59 personal fouls, 36 of those against NKU. Eshaunte Jones and DeAndre Nealy both fouled out, while four other NKU players finished with four fouls in the whistle-dominated game.

Complete Article

Pikeville Defeats Rio Grande, Loses at West Virginia Tech


The University of Pikeville split a pair of road games this week, picking up a win over Rio Grande and dropping one at West Virginia Tech.

Pikeville 82 Rio Grande 78

RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Senior Andrew Young sank 3-of-4 free throws in the final 8.0 seconds to help the University of Pikeville hold off the University of Rio Grande 82-78Thursday night.

The win improved Pikeville to 11-6 on the season and 3-4 in the Mid-South Conference. The Red Storm slipped to 9-8 overall and 1-4 in the league.

UPIKE held a 73-62 lead after senior Chris McHenry nailed a three-point basket with 4:50 left. But over the next 1:30, the stubborn Red Storm cut the lead to six, 75-69, hitting 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

Junior Trevor Setty sank two tosses with 3:09 left, but Rio followed with a three-point basket from straight away by sophomore Jermaine Warmack. After he sank one of two from the line, a putback by junior Dominick Haynes with 27 seconds left cut the Bear lead to 77-75.

Complete Recap

West Virginia Tech 78 Pikeville 68

MONTGOMERY, W.Va. – West Virginia Tech broke open a two-point halftime lead early in the second half and knocked off the University of Pikeville 78-68 Saturday afternoon at the Baisi Center.

Leading 36-34 at the break, the teams traded baskets before Tech went on an 11-0 run. Using 3:11 off the clock, seniors Donald Robinson and Rahshon Tabb had four points apiece in the stretch, and when Robinson sank two free throws with 15:52 to play the Golden Bears were on top 49-36.

Tech (12-5) maintained a double-figure lead into the final minute and a half. The Bears got within seven at 75-68, on a three by senior Chris McHenry, but only nine seconds remained in the game.

Complete Recap

Morehead State's Drew Kelly Previews Game Against EKU

Morehead State's Drew Kelly previews tonight's rivalry game against Eastern Kentucky University:

Kentucky Survives Road Test, Escapes Knoxville with Win


(2) Kentucky 65
Tennessee 62

Final from Knoxville, Tennessee


The Kentucky Wildcats fell behind by as many as 8 points in the second half but rallied for a 65-62 victory over Tennessee on Saturday afternoon.

Trailing 44-36 with 13:27 remaining in the game, freshman Kyle Wiltjer drained a clutch three-pointer for Kentucky (17-1, 3-0 SEC).

The Wildcats then rallied to tie the game at 50-50 with just over 9 minutes to go. From there, Kentucky would finally get the lead to 62-54 with slightly less than a minute remaining.

Tennessee (8-9, 1-2 SEC) nailed back-to-back three-pointers in the final minute to give themselves an opportunity, but the Wildcats survived after coming up with a pair of key loose balls.

Anthony Davis led Kentucky with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocked shots. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 17 points, 12 boards and 3 steals.

Terrence Jones added 10 points and 5 rebounds despite losing several minutes to foul trouble.

Cameron Tatum led the Volunteers with 16 points and 3 assists. Jeronne Maymon chipped in 15 points.

Freshman Jarnell Stokes, who joined the team in January, had 9 points and 4 rebounds for Tennessee.

Kentucky returns to action on Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. when they will host the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Southern Virginia Holds Off Asbury University


Southern Virginia 61
Asbury University 54

Final from Buena Vista, Virginia


Game recap by AU:

BUENA VISTA, Va. – A poor shooting night was enough to keep the Eagles out of the win column for the third straight game, falling 61-54 to the Knights from Southern Virginia in the Knights New Year Classic. SVU has won 15 straight at home.

Asbury (6-9) shot only 34.5% from the floor in the game and made only seven field goals in the second half. The game was tied at 34-34 at halftime but the Eagles would score only 20 points in the second half.

The Knights (7-6) were actually worse from the field, connecting on only 32.7% of their shots. The difference came at the foul line, where the Knights visited 26 times making 21 while Asbury was only five-of-nine.

Austin Flannery led the Eagles with a game-high 19 points and also pulled down a team-best seven rebounds. Flannery hit on six-of-12 shots and made three from beyond the three-point arc. He also made all four free throws. Marquel Johnson came off the bench to score a career-high 14 points, his second game in double figures after missing the first semester of the season after transferring back to Asbury.

Complete Recap

Colorado College Hands Centre Another Road Loss


Colorado College 62
Centre College 57

Final from Colorado Springs, Colorado


Game recap by Centre:

A late Centre comeback came up just short as the Colonels fell 62-57 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball action Friday at Colorado College.

Despite a game-high 27 points from senior forward Greg Ross (Cincinnati, Ohio), Centre fell behind early and was never able to regain the lead. The Colonels did make a late charge, coming back from a 58-46 deficit with 4:27 to play with 11 straight points to pull to 58-57 after a Josh Karsner (Frankfort, Ky.) 3-pointer and Ross layup with 26 seconds left.

Unfortunately for the Colonels, that was as close as they would come. Coming out of the ensuing time out, Colorado's Ian Rewoldt was fouled and sank two free throws. After a missed 3-pointer by Casey Jackson (Crestwood, Ky.), the Tigers' Jeremiah Waters buried another free throw to make it a two possession game with eight seconds to play. Another free throw by Chris Mayo-Smith finished the scoring at 62-57.

Complete Recap

Sierra Club to Sponsor Upcoming Kentucky Basketball Game


The Sierra Club, an environmental group, will sponsor Kentucky's upcoming game against Arkansas.

Here is more from Kentucky.com:

Taking a page from the coal industry's playbook, the Sierra Club will sponsor a University of Kentucky men's basketball game next week.

The environmental group, which wants the nation to move away from using coal in favor of renewable forms of energy such as solar, will sponsor UK's Jan. 17 match-up against Arkansas.

The sponsorship will cost the Sierra Club $17,500, said Kim Teplitzky, a Sierra Club staffer in Pittsburgh who helped arrange the deal.


Sierra Club sponsoring Kentucky basketball game

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kentucky Division II Teams Are Taking Care of Business


Kentucky has three of the top eight teams in the nation in this week's NABC Division II Men's Basketball Poll.

Kentucky Wesleyan is No. 2, Bellarmine is No. 3 and Northern Kentucky is No. 8.

The three teams are off to a combined 38-1 record this season. NKU and KWC are both undefeated with 13-0 records. Bellarmine is 12-1 and is currently riding a 7-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Missouri S&T.

On Thursday night, the three teams blew away conference foes, winning by an average margin of victory of 25.3 points:

Northern Kentucky 62 Missouri S&T 36

Jon VanHoose led the Norse with 20 points off of 6-10 shooting from long range. DeAndre Nealy chipped in 10 points and 5 blocked shots.

Bellarmine 84 Drury 65

The Knights placed five players in double figures led by Chris Dowe with 24 points on 9-12 shooting. Braydon Hobbs added 17 points and 6 assists. Keisten Jones contributed 14 points and 7 boards.

Kentucky Wesleyan 93 Rockhurst 62

Anthony Young continued his hot streak, leading the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Cardell McFarland added 16 points for the Panthers.

Perhaps the most unfortunate thing is that all three teams are in the East Division of the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

The first "inter-Kentucky" battle will take place on Monday night when Bellarmine and NKU face off. On the same night, Kentucky Wesleyan will square off with arch rival Southern Indiana, who happens to be 12-1 this season.

Current GLVC Standings:

2011-12 Men's Basketball Standings

School Conf CPct. Overall Pct. Streak

East

Kentucky Wesleyan 5-0 1.000 13-0 1.000 W13
Northern Kentucky 5-0 1.000 13-0 1.000 W13
Southern Indiana 4-1 0.800 12-1 0.923 W2
Bellarmine 4-1 0.800 12-1 0.923 W7
Indianapolis 3-2 0.600 10-3 0.769 W1
Lewis 1-4 0.200 9-4 0.692 W1
UW-Parkside 1-4 0.200 8-5 0.615 L1
Saint Joseph's 0-5 0.000 5-8 0.385 L3

West

Missouri-St. Louis 6-0 1.000 11-3 0.786 W10
Illinois-Springfield 3-2 0.600 6-8 0.429 W2
Rockhurst 2-3 0.400 5-8 0.385 L4
Quincy 2-3 0.400 9-4 0.692 L1
Drury 2-4 0.333 8-6 0.571 L3
Maryville 2-4 0.333 8-5 0.615 L2
William Jewell # 1-4 0.200 4-7 0.364 L3
Missouri S&T 1-5 0.167 2-12 0.143 L2

Jodie Meeks Explodes to Lead 76ers Past Wizards


Former University of Kentucky star Jodie Meeks exploded on Friday night to lead Philadelphia to a 120-89 thrashing of the Washington Wizards.

Meeks scored a game-high 26 points to tie his career best output. He was 10-11 from the field, including 6-7 from long range.

Former UK point guard John Wall struggled for the Wizards. He was just 3-8 from the field for 7 points. Wall also had 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 turnovers.

The Wizards are now a miserable 1-10 on the season and 0-6 on the road.

SI.com's Midseason All-America Picks and Crystal Ball


SI.com has made their midseason All-America picks and more. Here's how Seth Davis, Luke Winn and Andy Glockner see things ending up this season:

National Champion Picks:

- Seth Davis and Andy Glockner: Ohio State

- Luke Winn: Kentucky: Of the four biggest title contenders (UK, Ohio State, Syracuse and North Carolina) the Wildcats still have the most room to grow. Once Marquis Teague acclimates to playing point guard and Terrence Jones gets on track, UK should emerge as the country's best team.

Mid-Major Cinderella:


Glockner: Murray State: Hard to pick against the unbeaten Racers, who proved their chops against solid So. Miss, Dayton and Memphis teams and very well could be undefeated entering the NCAAs. They totally control the perimeter, knocking down threes and preventing other teams from making many from that range. Keeping the wins coming is paramount, though, because if they end up in an 8-9 game, they lack the size to handle a No. 1-seed in the Round of 32.

National Freshman of the Year

Davis: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky: I still think UConn's Andre Drummond will end up winning this award, but MKG has shown incredible skill, intensity and maturity in the early going.

Winn: Anthony Davis, Kentucky: He's the longest, most athletic force in the country -- regardless of class -- and should be the No. 1 pick in the next NBA Draft, too.

Glockner: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky: Hard to pick against the guy who's second on the team in scoring and rebounding for one of the national title favorites. He's not the flashiest player, but his do-everything presence and effort is a huge bonding agent for the Cats.

Unknown Player Poised For A Breakout:

Glockner: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State: He's emerged in his junior year as the star of a not-quite-as-balanced Racers team, shooting 51 percent from three-point range while averaging team-leading points (18.7) and assists (4.1) averages. You may remember him from this shot from his freshman year, but he and the Racers are primed to make some more conventional ones memorable in March.

SI.com Midseason Crystal Ball

SI.com Midseason All-America Team

First Team:

- Thomas Robinson, Kansas (Midseason POY)
- Kendall Marshall, UNC
- Doug McDermott, Creighton
- Jared Sullinger, OSU
- Anthony Davis, Kentucky

Second Team:

- Marcus Denmon, Missouri
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
- Draymond Green, Michigan State
- Kevin Jones, West Virginia
- Cody Zeller, Indiana

Complete Article

Hot-Shooting Austin Peay Sinks Eastern Kentucky


Austin Peay 80
Eastern Kentucky 65

Final from Clarksville, Tennessee


Game recap by EKU:

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Host Austin Peay shot 60 percent from the floor en route to an 80-65 victory over the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team Thursday night in the Dunn Center.

Center John Fraley paced the Governors (4-13, 1-3 OVC) with a career-high 25 points and 12 rebounds. Melvin Baker added 16 points as Austin Peay defeated Eastern Kentucky for the eighth straight time in Clarksville.

Senior Jaron Jones led the Colonels (10-8, 4-2) with 17 points. Meanwhile, freshman Timmy Knipp added 11 tallies and a season-best seven boards.

Austin Peay took a 38-31 lead into halftime and extended that cushion to 11 early in the second half following a Baker lay-in. However, three-pointers from Jones and junior Mike DiNunno helped the Colonels fight back to within one point at 46-45. Two minutes later, a Joshua Jones putback gave EKU its first lead since the opening two minutes of the contest at 49-48.

Complete Recap

Reebok's New "Sport of Fitness" Campaign to Include John Wall


Reebok will soon unveil its new "Sport of Fitness" media campaign. The new campaign will feature several athletes from various sports, including former Kentucky star John Wall.

Here's more from BigLeadSports:

Reebok literally plans to cover all bases with its new “Sport of Fitness” multi-media campaign, which will feature Justin Verlander (MLB), John Wall (NBA), Chad Ochocinco (NFL), Lewis Hamilton (F1 driver) and athletes from such sports as cricket and extreme cross-fitness.

The campaign from Reebok, a division of adidas, breaks Jan. 15 during the NFC divisional playoff game on Fox between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. Activation also includes additional TV spots, print, Internet and outdoor. Social media includes YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, as well as a micro-site at Reebok’s home page.


Reebok’s New Sport Of Fitness Campaign To Feature Justin Verlander, John Wall, Chad Ochocinco

Sport of Fitness Site

Big Second Half Carries North Texas Past WKU


North Texas 84
Western Kentucky 67

Final from Denton, Texas


Game recap by WKU:

DENTON, Texas — WKU trailed by just four at halftime Thursday night at North Texas, but a hot-shooting Mean Green squad outscored the Hilltoppers by 13 in the second half en route to a 84-67 win in Sun Belt Conference action at The Super Pit. The loss is WKU's seventh in its last eight games and drops the team's record to 5-13 on the season and 1-4 in conference play. North Texas, who along with WKU has combined for four of the last five Sun Belt Conference Tournament championships, improves to 10-8 on the year and 3-2 in the league, and the win is its seventh in nine home games this season.

In WKU's first trip to North Texas since the 2007-08 season, Derrick Gordon recorded his second 20-point game in the last three contests with the help of four three-pointers and 8-of-14 shooting Thursday night. Kahlil McDonald added a career-high 17, and George Fant had 14 points and eight rebounds. North Texas was paced by fabulous freshman Tony Mitchell's 21 points and 13 rebounds. Mitchell went 8-of-9 from the floor and hit two three-pointers in the game. Roger Franklin had 20, five rebounds and three assists, and Jordan Williams poured in 16 points off the bench. Jamal Crook had a season-best six assists for WKU as well.

Gordon has now scored at least 10 points in eight of the last nine outings.

Complete Recap

Houston Rockets to Honor Chuck Hayes Tonight


The Houston Rockets will honor former Kentucky star Chuck Hayes with a video tribute sometime during the first quarter of tonight's game against the Sacramento Kings.

Hayes, the shortest starting center in NBA history, spent his entire NBA career in Houston before signing a free agent contract with the Kings prior to this season.

Here is more on tonight from Chron.com:

Sometime late in the first quarter tonight, with Hall of Famers, Moses Malone, Calvin Murphy and Elvin Hayes, in the building, the Rockets will spend a time out paying tribute to the shortest starting center in NBA history, a player that went undrafted and was cut in his first training camp in the NBA.

It will be a fitting honor for Chuck Hayes, who earned everything that came his way, especially respect.

“I don’t know how I’m going to react,” Hayes said. “My son asked, ‘Are they going to boo you?’ I don’t know. It’s going to be weird. This city was great to me. This organization was great for me. I thank them. I really do consider Houston home. Will I get teared up? I don’t know.

“Personally, it’s just overwhelming. It’s overwhelming the opportunity that was given to me. I’m thankful to the Sacramento Kings. I think about the journey it took to get to this point, to be a vet on a team, to be financially stable, to be a model in the league of being a glue guy.”


With the Chuckwagon ‘home,’ the Rockets will treat Chuck Hayes like a King

Tennessee Tech vs. Murray State is Sold Out


Murray State has announced that Saturday's MSU home game against Tennessee Tech is a complete sell out.

Head coach Steve Prohm has posted an online letter to MSU fans:

Dear Racer Fans,

The 2011-2012 season has been a milestone year for Murray State Men's Basketball. We now have the best starting record in our team's history, at 17-0, and are celebrating our fifth week as a nationally ranked team.

Tomorrow's game is not only very important for our team, but for the entire Racer nation. It will be our first game at home to reach a national audience this season, and possibly our first opportunity to have more than 8,000 fans in the CFSB Center since 1999. In addition to the United Way 'White Out' promotion, the stage is set for an electric atmosphere.

On behalf of our players and coaches, I'd liike to say how truly grateful we are for all of the support we have received from you this season. Hearing your cheers and seeing the stands packed with blue and gold makes a difference.

As we move deeper into the regular season, each game becomes more important than the last. We need our fans behind us to keep pushing us through the regular season.

I'll see you at the game!

Steve Prohm

Murray State Defeats Jacksonville State, Sets School Record


(15) Murray State 66
Jacksonville State 55

Final from Murray, Kentucky


Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers won a hard-fought 66-55 win for their 17th straight to start the season Thursday over Jacksonville State at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.

The win for the Racers (17-0, 5-0) sets a new school record for the best start to the season, besting the mark of 16-0 by the team from 1935-36. MSU's 17-0 matches the school record overall win streak that was set in the 2009-10 season.

Donte Poole led all scorers with 21 points on a night when made baskets were at a premium. He was 12-of-14 at the free throw line and 4-of-7 from the field. Both teams struggled from downtown, with MSU 2-of-11 from three and the Gamecocks completing two of their nine 3-point attempts for the game.

The 15th ranked Racers had to battle to keep their perfect season intact. After leading 25-23 at the half, the Gamecocks tied the game 28-28 with 17:29 remaining.

Complete Recap

Rick Pitino Blasts Courier-Journal Reporter About Article

University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino spent several minutes ranting at Courier-Journal reporter C.L. Brown this morning:



Pitino says that Brown's comments in this article will "hurt recruiting."

Here is an excerpt of that article:

“Whether it’s right or wrong, Rick’s got the reputation of overworking his kids,” Crum said. “And I don’t know if that’s true or not — I have no way to know that. I don’t go to their practices and stuff, so I have no idea what they’re doing.”

Pitino indicated he’s more concerned about his team’s overall performance than the intensity of practices.

“I don’t think it matters, tough or easy,” he said. “I think it matters about execution.”

Former U of L guard Preston Knowles, who said he had to stop watching the Providence game because of his anger, said Pitino’s practices can be tough to manage if a player’s focus is not on basketball.

John Calipari Talks About Tennessee Game and More

Here is University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari talking about Saturday's visit to Tennessee and more (video by uknationofblue on YouTube):

KSU Defeats Morehouse, Darrett Named Newcomer of the Week


Kentucky State University (6-4, 6-4 SIAC) defeated Morehouse College 71-66 on Thursday night.

William Marsh led the Thorobreds with 17 points on 6-14 shooting. John Gaston and Patrick Dawson added 13 points each. Kevin Smith chipped in 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Shawn Allen led Morehouse with 22 points and 10 boards. Andrae Nelson contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds.

KSU's Brandon Darrett was named SIAC Newcomer of the Week

FRANKFORT, Ky. (January 11, 2012) – The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference recently announced its Week Seven Basketball Honors and Kentucky State's Brandon Darrett picked up Newcomer of the Week.

Darrett, a 6-7 forward from Evansville, IN, earns his second weekly honor this season, averaging 10.3 points, including a season-high 12 points against Fort Valley State, and 7.3 rebounds in three games. The Vincennes University transfer also averaged 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks on defense while helping the Thorobreds to a 3-0 record for the week with victories over conference-foes Albany State, Fort Valley State, and Paine. Darrett leads the Thorobreds with 1.6 blocks per game and a .556 shooting percentage from the field, ranking fifth and sixth in the SIAC, respectively, in those categories.

Complete Release

Huracen Trelew Adds Former Louisville Star Jason Osborne


Former University of Louisville star Jason Osborne has signed with Huracan Trelew in Argentina's second-level TNA league.

Osborne, who ended his Louisville career in 1995-96, has enjoyed a long and prosperous professional career. He has spent time in Argentina, Puerto Rico, Italy, UPBL, NBA training camp and the Kentucky Pro Am. .

Here is more from LatinBasket.com:

Huracan Trelew add veteran Jason Osborne (204-F-74, agency: Court Side, college: Louisville) to their roster. He replaces Serge Angonou, who could not return to argentina after the christmas recess. Jason has played in Liga A for many years.

Union sunchales agreed terms with Bruno Ingratta (200-F/C-85) Bruno Ingrata (201-F/C-85), recently released from Monte Hermoso. Bruno replaces Leandro Podesta (207-C-89) who moves to San martin Marcos juarez. Both teams are in a complicated situation so they expect their reinforcements to help them.

Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: Rest in Peace Dad Edition


Personal Note:

As many of you know, I lost my father on Tuesday night. It has been a long and trying week, but I have some comfort in knowing that Dad is in a much better place and is no longer suffering.

I wanted to take a second to sincerely thank all of you who have left encouraging messages and prayer support. At the end of each day, I read those messages and they really helped ease my pain.

Our daytime writer is out of the loop this week, but I'll be covering the site. I figure writing a little may help with getting my mind off of things.

Again, thanks for all the kind words and support. You guys have really helped me out this week. God Bless.

Thursday's Top 5:

- Former Kentucky star Patrick Sparks is playing again as he has signed with Phoenix Hagen in Germany.

- Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament in Nashville.

- Former UK big man DeMarcus Cousins has been playing well since the coaching change in Sacramento.

- Check out this dunk by former Louisville player Alhaji Mohammed in Kuwait.

- Kentucky didn't play great basketball for most of the game, but they pulled away from Auburn late on Wednesday night.

Scores From Thursday:

- Alice Lloyd College 76 Berea College 57
- Kentucky State University 71 Morehouse 66
- (5) Georgetown College 75 University of the Cumberlands 73
- Spalding University 84 Blackburn College 52
- University of Pikeville 82 Rio Grande 78
- (14) Lindsey Wilson 85 Shawnee State 78
- (14) Murray State 66 Jacksonville State 55
- Austin Peay 80 Eastern Kentucky University 65
- North Texas 84 Western Kentucky University 67
- (8) Northern Kentucky University 62 Missouri S&T 36
- (2) Kentucky Wesleyan College 93 Rockhurst 62
- (3) Bellarmine University 84 Drury 65
- (9) Martin Methodist 88 Mid-Continent University 59

On Friday, Get Ready For:

8:00 p.m. Kentucky Christian University at Free Will Baptist Bible
8:00 p.m. Asbury University at Southern Virginia University
10:00 p.m. Centre College at Colorado College*

Recruiting News:

- According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, 6-7 forward Jarrell Martin will visit Louisville on Saturday.

The Buzz:

- I was away for a couple of days but I did see the Louisville score. What the heck happened to the Cards at Providence?

- ESPN has been filming some all access pieces at Murray State; should air soon. The Racers are now 17-0 and are expecting a huge crowd for Saturday's game against Tennessee Tech. If it's a close game, beware of Mr. Big Shot Zac Swansey.

Video of the Day (John Wall crosses up John Lucas III):

Video: Alhaji Mohammed Destroys Defender in Kuwait

Former Louisville star Alhaji Mohammed with one of the best dunks you'll see this season (ignore the most obvious walk in the history of basketball at the beginning of the video):



Mohammed, the brother of former Kentucky big man Nazr Mohammed, plays for Al Kuwait SC in Kuwait's top-level D1 league.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DeMarcus Cousins Goes "Beast Mode" on Raptors

Former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins goes "beast mode" on the Toronto Raptors:



Cousins had 21 points and a game-high 19 rebounds in a 98-91 victory over the Raptors.

Thomas More Holds Off Waynesburg University


Thomas More 70
Waynesburg 62

Final from Crestview Hills, Kentucky


Game recap by TMC:

(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) - Junior small forward Phil Feinberg (Tempe, Ariz./Corona Del Sol) and sophomore shooting guard Cameron Clemons (Louisville, Ky./Doss) each scored 17 points to lead the Thomas More College men's basketball team to a 70-62 win over Waynesburg University tonight (Wednesday, January 11, 2012) in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) game at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

With the win, the Saints improve to 10-5 overall and 5-2 in the PAC. With the loss, the Yellow Jackets fall to 3-12 overall and 0-6 PAC.

Waynesburg jumped out to an early 11-9 lead when Larry Alexander made a lay-up with 13:57 to play in the opening half. Thomas More answered with a 22-10 run capped by two Feinberg free-throws to take a 31-21 lead with 2:35 to play in the first half. The Yellow Jackets closed out the half on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 31-29 at halftime when Alexander made a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Complete Recap

Milligan Adds to Union College's Woes


Milligan College 84
Union College 72

Final from Milligan, Tennessee


Game recap by UC:

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. -- Milligan's (Tenn.) Tyler DeVault scored a game-high 24 points, as the Buffaloes pulled away down the stretch to notch an 84-72 victory over the Union College men's basketball team on Wednesday night in Appalachian Athletic Conference play at Lacy Fieldhouse.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 4-16 on the year, 1-5 in the AAC, while Milligan improved to 5-9, 3-3 in the AAC with the victory.

In the first period, Union raced out the locker room to take a 5-0 lead at the start after Ian Davis (Cherry Hill, N.J.) drained a three two minutes in. Milligan, however, quickly tied the game up at eight a few minutes later. For the majority of the period, the game was a nip and tuck affair, as the contest was tied at eight different junctures throughout the period.

With 3:04 left in the half, Carlos Sanford (Durham, N.C.) sunk a free throw to tie it up at 33-all, which marked the last time the game would be knotted up the rest of the way. It was here that the Buffaloes went on a 9-4 run to end the period to take a 42-37 lead at intermission.

Complete Recap

No. 2 Kentucky Pulls Away from Auburn Late on the Road


(2) Kentucky 68
Auburn 53

Final from Auburn, Alabama


The second-ranked Kentucky Wildcats pulled away late in the second half to defeat Auburn 68-53 on Wednesday night.

Kentucky (16-1, 2-0 SEC) again struggled for much of the game before picking up the pace late to get a victory. While the Cats escaped with a conference road win, head coach John Calipari was not impressed.

"We went on a run at the end of the game," Calipari said. "But you all know it was a double-bucket game and they could have beat us."

Anthony Davis led the Wildcats with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 steals. Doron Lamb added 14 points. Terrence Jones and Marquis Teague chipped in 12 points each.

Rob Chubb led the Tigers (10-6, 0-2 SEC) with 14 points and 8 boards. Chris Denson contributed 12 points.

Auburn was just 1-12 (8.3%) from long range in the game compared to 7-20 (35.0%) for UK.

Kentucky has now won 27 of 28 games, including 13 in a row, against Auburn.

The Cats return to action on Saturday when they travel to Knoxville for a game against Tennessee.

Tickets On Sale for 2012 OVC Basketball Tournament


The Ohio Valley Conference has announced that tickets are on sale for the 2012 OVC basketball tournament.

Here is more from the league:

All-session tickets for the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Championship are now on sale and are just $60 through OVC schools' ticket offices until Jan. 31.

The OVC Championship will be held Feb. 29 through March 3 at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.

Fans wishing to sit in the lower level of Municipal Auditorium with other fans from their favorite school should purchase the all-session tickets directly from their school's ticket office. Please note that reserved seating is limited and once a school's allotment is purchased, only general admission tickets will be available.

A $60 all-session ticket includes tickets to all seven sessions of the OVC Championship, which includes seven men's games and seven women's games (seating for women's games is all general admission). Buying a ticket prior to Jan. 31 means each game of the Championship costs just $4.29 apiece.

After Jan. 31 the price of an all-session ticket goes up to $80.

Single session, general admission tickets will be on sale starting in mid-February through the Municipal Auditorium ticket office.

Release

Tennessee State Holds Off Morehead State in OVC Action


Tennessee State 77
Morehead State 72

Final from Nashville, Kentucky


Game recap by MSU:

NASHVILLE -- Junior Robert Covington poured in a career-high 30 points and the Tennessee State men’s basketball team knocked down 13-of-25 from the three-point line to post a 77-72 victory over Morehead State on Wednesday evening at the Gentry Center.

TSU improves to 9-9 on the year and 2-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference, while MSU slips to 8-10 overall and 2-3 in league play. The Eagles continue to hold a 30-28 advantage in the all-time series.

“Tennessee State is a very athletic team and they play well at home,” Morehead State Head Coach Donnie Tyndall said. “It’s tough when you give up 13 three-pointers and lose by five points.”

Covington, who registered 14 points in the first half and 16 more in the second, connected on 9-of-12 from the field, 7-of-9 from beyond the arc and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. He also tallied eight rebounds to tie TSU sophomore Patrick Miller for game-high honors.

Freshman Jay Harris added 12 points for Tennessee State, while senior Wil Peters contributed 11 points and a team-high six assists. The Tigers drilled 53 percent (10-of-19) from the floor, 73 percent (8-of-11) from long distance and 78 percent (15-of-19) from the foul line in the second half.

Complete Recap

Transy Defeats Hanover Behind Strong Bench Play


Transylvania 72
Hanover 67

Final from Lexington, Kentucky


Game recap by Transy:

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Transy head coach Brian Lane used his bench to spark a furious rally and guide the Pioneers past Hanover 72-67 on Wednesday at the Beck Center.

In a matchup of HCAC co-leaders, the Panthers (9-4, 5-2 HCAC) led 40-39 at the half, due in large part to shooting 6-for-7 from three-point range.

The game turned when, trailing 36-29, Lane subbed in Trey Beuttel, Matthew Clevenger, Tommy Sirkin and Michael Stone with 4:12 to go in the first half.

"They lifted the intensity and were able to get some buckets for us," said Lane. "It was huge and it certainly gave our starters a lift."

Beuttel, Clevenger, Sirkin and Stone's energy ignited a 37-16 Pioneer rally that carried well into the second half. Nick Fudge also came off the bench and chipped in six first-half points in eight valuable minutes.

"These guys go against our starters every day in practice, and a lot of the time, they beat 'em," added Lane. "They can really play."

Complete Recap

Patrick Sparks Signs with Phoenix Hagen in Germany


Former University of Kentucky star Patrick Sparks has signed with Phoenix Hagen in Germany's top-level 1.Bundesliga league.

Sparks has spent time in Greece, Germany, Russia and Ukraine during since his time at UK.

Here is more on the signing from Eurobasket.com:

Phoenix Hagen have brought back a known face to the Beko BBL with Patrick Sparks (184-G-83, agency: Hart Sports Mngm, college: Kentucky). Back in the 2007-2008 season, he played for 14 games: 10.1ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.3apg, 2FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 45.5%, FT: 70.6%; in Dec.'07 moved to Walter Tigers Tuebingen (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 18 games: 7.7ppg, 1.7rpg, Assists-5 (2.5apg), 2FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 81.1%. Last season, he played for AEK Athens (Greece-A1): 8 games: 5.4ppg, 1.1apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 66.7%, in Jan.'11 moved to BC Odessa (Ukraine-Superleague, starting five): 22 games: 9.3ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-4 (4.8apg), Steals-3 (1.8spg), FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 87.5%. The club gave the 28 yera old 185cm guard a one month contract. He is an excellent shooter, who has also excellent basketball IQ. Great FT shooter, is very good in controlling clock when the game is near to the end. Passes well in the open floor, and feeds the post very well. 'I am carefully optimistic. We have to see how he is integrated. He has experience and plays intelligent. I think the other players will profit from him. Our goal is to keep him until the end of the season if he fits to us', commented Phoenix Hagen head coach Ingo Freyer.

Source

Sparks will debut with his new club on Sunday against Bremerhaven.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kentucky Players Ready for SEC Life on the Road

Several University of Kentucky players spoke to the media today about opening the road portion of their SEC schedule and more.

Here's Marquis Teague speaking to the media (video by uknationofblue on YouTube):



Transcript via UK:

#10 Twany Beckham, G, Jr.

On how he approaches road games …
“I have been having the same mindset, but now that I see I can get the opportunity to get on the floor more, I just have to make it happen.”

On what he sees his strengths as …
“Defense definitely is one of my strengths.”

On his learning curve being downhill now …
“I am getting the plays down better. Moving to the wing was a big adjustment, and I am starting to run the plays more.”

#25 Marquis Teague, G, Fr.

On the difference between a road game and a home game …
“Everything is really physical. On the road, the crowd is real tough to play in, and the crowd gets into it.”

On the goals for the team on the road and the approach he will take …
“You want to go out, play hard, and get wins just like you would a home game. We just have to execute and do what we do.”

On last year’s road struggles …
“No. We really haven’t talked about it that much this year.”

#30 Eloy Vargas, F, Sr.

On last year’s road struggles …
“Last year we didn’t come out in the road games. We need to improve on the road this year to get on the right track.”

On what he thinks caused last year’s road struggles …
“We were pretty young last year. This year, we are pretty young, but we have older guys like Terrence Jones and Doron (Lamb).”

On if the team is ready for the road in the Southeastern Conference …
“I think so. I think we learned a little bit from the Indiana game, so I think our young guys will be ready this game and every game we play.”

John Calipari Talks About First SEC Road Game at Auburn

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks about Wednesday night's road game at Auburn and more (video by uknationofblue on YouTube):



Transcript via UK:

On playing on the road …
“I’m anxious to see how we respond. Another sell-out on the road, they’re going to go crazy and play well. We’re going to have to play well to have a chance. We need to get some road games under our belt to see what we need to do with our team. Last year we were 2-6 (on the road in SEC play). I also know, last year, at the end of the year we were the best team in the country. We learned along the way and this team has a lot of learning to do.”

On road games not being tougher than Indiana environment …
“It will get crazy. We go to Florida, Tennessee and have this Auburn game. That’s what it means to play here, this isn’t for everybody. If you’re hoping to walk in to a half-empty arena and slide by and go get a meal after the game then this is not your place to play basketball. Every game is someone’s Super Bowl, you have a target on your back; every road game is sold out. That’s just how it is.”

On Auburn’s game against Vanderbilt …
“They were on the road; Vanderbilt right now is a top-five team. Aside from playing off each other real well they are shooting the ball. It’s not just (John) Jenkins, now all of a sudden they make 10 or 11 3s with the way they play and you lose by 30, we’d lose by 30. If they play like they did against Auburn then they’d get us by 25 or 30. I’m not taking much from that game, I’m not zeroed in on Vanderbilt, but just watching some of the plays I have to say, ‘whoa’.”

On coaching against Tony Barbee …
“I’m playing against someone I care about. He helped me build two programs, UMass as a player and as an assistant at Memphis. I’m standing here in front of you all as the coach at Kentucky and a lot of it is because of Tony Barbee. I don’t like playing these kinds of games, but we’ll play the game and get out of there.”

On a hostile environment adding responsibility to Marquis Teague …
“He just has to understand how to take the crowd out of the game. There are times where you speed up and times where you pull back just based on the momentum of the game. That’s something that he’ll have to learn and that’s why we’ll probably do more coaching from the side than we need to, because we’re trying to help him.”

On the importance of Marquis Teague following up with another strong game …
“He’s got time. I told them let’s just worry about getting better every game and the wins will take care of themselves. If we lose a couple, we lose a couple. It’s not football. We just need to get better, I like my team, I like what we do defensively, and we’re getting better offensively. We haven’t played with six cylinders running; we’ve been on two or three. As I say that, we still have played four top-15 teams and that kind of hardens you.”

On Terrence Jones …
“I think he’ll be fine. He was good yesterday. Guys don’t want to slide back to where they were on that kind of stuff and I think he understood it. He was good yesterday; he’s shooting the ball better and is more confident. He’s going to get rebounds with two hands and is talking more.”

On the Southeastern Conference …
“I think the league is really good. The media says when one league loses on the road it’s a good loss, when our league loses on the road it’s a bad loss. It’s hard to win on the road in any league. I’ll make a prediction; other than us, four of those five top teams in our league will be Sweet 16 teams. One team took a spill because their big guy was out, another had a bad game, but at the end of the day all those teams have the ability to do something special.”

On Darius Miller’s role …
“We like him to be aggressive, come up with balls. Don’t have a 6’2 guy on you and keep ball faking, just go do the stuff we all know you are capable of doing. We’ve all seen him do it. If he plays tough and is aggressive offensive and defensively then we are really good, if he doesn’t then we’ll be fine, he just won’t play much but we’ll be fine. He’s capable of being the SEC Tournament MVP, he did it last year. His run at the end of the year is what elevated our team. He’s playing fine (this year). I don’t like fine or good, that’s our enemy. You don’t want to be good, try to be great. Do the things you are capable of doing every day in practice and every game. You have to come with the mentality that you are going to work on everything and get better. That’s not just for him, that’s for everybody.”

Spalding's Jametrius Brasher Named SLIAC Player of the Week


Spalding University's Jametrius Brasher has been named St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week.

Here is the SLIAC release:

Spalding University’s Jametrius Brasher, a junior from Louisville, Ky. (Male), has been named the Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of January 2-8. It marks the second time this season that he has earned the honor.

Brasher, a 6-6 forward, averaged a double-double with 18.6 points and 10.6 rebounds in three games played last week, while also shooting 21-of-31 (.677) from the field and 14-of-16 (.875) from the free throw line. He started the week with a double-double, 16 points and 15 rebounds, in a 70-64 win against Eureka College. Brasher added 18 points on 7-of-9 (.778) shooting from the field and 4-of-4 (1.000) from the charity stripe, while also pulling down six boards in an 84-59 victory over Principia College. He finished the week with 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Golden Eagles dropped a 67-62 decision to Webster University.

Complete Release

Three Kentucky NCAA DII Schools in Top 8 This Week


There are three Kentucky NCAA Division II schools in the top 8 of the national rankings this week.

Kentucky Wesleyan (12-0) has jumped all the way to No. 2 this week and holds 2 of the 8 first place votes. KWC is just 2 points behind Lincoln Memorial.

Bellarmine (11-1) climbs to No. 3 this week.

Northern Kentucky (12-0) is up 3 spots to No. 8 overall this week.

NCAA DIVISION II NATIONAL POLL

Record Points Pvs
1. Lincoln Memorial (6 first-place votes) 14-0 196 3
2. Kentucky Wesleyan (2 first-place votes) 12-0 194 4
3. Bellarmine 11-1 186 5

4. West Liberty 12-1 163 7
5. Metropolitan State 13-1 159 1
6. Tarleton State 11-1 154 9
7. Southern Indiana 11-1 151 2
8. Northern Kentucky 12-0 145 11
9. Colorado School of Mines 12-1 142 12
10. Cal Poly Pomona 9-1 129 6
11. Midwestern State 12-0 126 16
12. Bowie State 9-1 115 15
13. Winona State 13-2 88 10
14. Indiana (Pa.) 10-2 81 20
15. Christian Brothers 11-2 69 NR
16. Minnesota State-Moorhead 12-1 59 19
17. Alabama-Huntsville 9-3 52 13
18. Hillsdale 13-1 46 NR
19. Fort Hays State10-3 45 8
20. Montevallo 12-2 39 NR
21. St. Cloud State 11-2 33 NR
22. District of Columbia 12-1 31 NR
23. Missouri Southern 12-3 29 14
24. Northwest Missouri State 12-1 27 NR
25. West Georgia 14-2 26 25

Josh Harrellson is the Smelliest, Worst-Dressed Knick

Kid reporters recently asked Mike Bibby some hard-hitting questions. They uncovered that our own Josh Harrellson is both the "smelliest" and "worst dressed" player on the New York Knicks roster.

Funny stuff:

Kentucky Derby Festival Classic Moved to Freedom Hall


The Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic will have a new date and venue in 2012.

As a result of new NCAA rules regarding non-scholastic events in college facilities, the game will be moved to Freedom Hall and played two weeks earlier than originally scheduled.

Here is more from Courier-Journal.com:

“While we had a great experience last year at the YUM! Center, we are fortunate in this community to have a facility such as Freedom Hall to host our game,” KDF President and CEO Mike Berry said in a release. “Freedom Hall had been the primary location of the Basketball Classic for more than 35 years, and we are enthusiastic about returning to this facility, which has a rich history in Louisville.”

The new date of the game will be April 6 with the Night of the Future Stars to be held on April 5.

Tickets for both will be on sale starting Wednesday, Jan. 18, on Ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster locations as well as the Kentucky Exposition Center box office.


Complete Article

Buzz on Kentucky Basketball: The Return Edition


Monday's Top 5:

- Are Louisville players being distracted by outside entities?

- The 2012 NBA D-League Showcase tipped off in Reno, Nevada. In other D-League news, former Louisville star Preston Knowles signed with the Springfield Armor.

- Kentucky remained No. 2 in both major college basketball polls. Murray State moved up to 14/15 while Louisville dropped to 14/15.

- Players of the Week: Anthony Young (GLVC), Maurice Pearson (MSC), Ethan Spurlin (HCAC), Isaiah Canaan (OVC)

- Providence College will honor Louisville head coach Rick Pitino during halftime of tonight's game.

On Tuesday, Get Ready For:

7:00 p.m. Boyce College at Kentucky Christian University
7:00 p.m. Berea College at Cincinnati Christian*
7:00 p.m. Asbury University at IU-East*
7:00 p.m. University of Louisville at Providence*
7:30 p.m. Brescia University at IU-Southeast*
8:00 p.m. Fontbonne University at Spalding University*
8:00 p.m. Lindenwood University at Mid-Continent University

* Conference game

- Complete schedule for the week

Recruiting News:

- Pitt transfer Khem Birch will transfer to UNLV. He chose UNLV over Florida.

- Kentucky 2014 recruit Jahlil Okafor picked up a new offer from North Carolina.

- Some new highlights of 2013 Kentucky recruit Nerlens Noel.

The Buzz:

- A source says a Morehead State assistant was checking out Morgan County's Jagos Lasic, a senior foreign exchange student, last night in West Liberty.

- Woodford County star Jay Johnson is set to return from knee surgery. His first game will be Friday night at Franklin County.

Video of the Day (Shabazz Muhammad with a 360 dunk):

Goodman, Parrish Cast Wooden Award Midseason Ballots


Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com have revealed their Wooden Award Midseason Ballots.

Both writers casted votes for Kentucky's Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Neither voted for Terrence Jones following a tumultuous first half of the season for the preseason All-America pick.

Goodman also gave a vote for Murray State's Isaiah Canaan.

Complete Ballots from CBSSports.com

Murray State Still Tops Mid-Major Top 25 Poll


The Murray State Racers (16-0) held on to the top spot in the Mid-Major Top 25 this week.

CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 (Jan. 9)

1. Murray State (28) 16-0 771 1 Ohio Valley
2. Creighton 13-2 723 3 Missouri Valley
3. Gonzaga (3) 13-2 722 4 West Coast
4. Harvard 13-2 657 2 Ivy Leagye
5. Saint Mary's 14-2 638 6 West Coast
6. Iona 13-3 602 7 Metro Atlantic
7. Middle Tennessee 15-2 565 10 Sun Belt
8. Cleveland State 14-3 549 8 Horizon
9. Wichita State 12-3 530 9 Missouri Valley
10. BYU 14-4 458 15 West Coast
11. George Mason 12-4 433 13 Colonial Athletic
12. Ohio 12-3 419 5 Mid-American
13. Kent State 10-4 360 11 Mid-American
14. Davidson 10-4 325 19 Southern
15. Weber State 12-3 323 18 Big Sky
16. Long Beach State 10-6 279 23 Big West
17. Denver 13-3 273 20 Sun Belt
18. College of Charleston 11-4 261 16 Southern
19. Belmont 11-6 168 17 Atlantic Sun
20. Oral Roberts 14-4 163 NR Summit
21. VCU 11-5 138 14 Colonial Athletic
22. Wagner 12-3 132 25 Northeast
23. Indiana State 10-5 97 12 Missouri Valley
24. Missouri State 10-6 88 22 Missouri Valley
25. Northern Iowa 12-4 71 NR Missouri Valley

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: South Dakota State 70, Georgia State 66, Lamar 37, Illinois State 29, Loyola 25, Norfolk State 22, Akron 11, North Dakota State 11, Texas Arlington 11, Robert Morris 10, UC Santa Barbara 10, Old Dominion 9, Milwaukee 6, Buffalo 5, Butler 5, Valparaiso 2, Drexel 1.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Georgetown College Enters Top 5 in NAIA DI Coaches Poll


Georgetown College (14-2) climbs one spot to No. 5 in this week's NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches Poll.

Lindsey Wilson College (11-4) is up four spots to No. 14 this week.

Campbellsville University (11-5) comes in at No. 22.

The University of Pikeville received 27 points and St. Catharine College picked up 3.

RANK LAST WEEK^ SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2011-12 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 3 Oklahoma Baptist (11) 14-0 312
2 4 Shorter (Ga.) (1) 15-0 298
3 2 Robert Morris (Ill.) 15-1 295
4 1 Concordia (Calif.) 13-2 283
5 6 Georgetown (Ky.) 14-2 265
6 7 Texas Wesleyan 10-2 256
7 9 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 13-2 248
8 5 Rogers State (Okla.) 13-2 241
9 8 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 11-3 239
10 13 Southern Poly (Ga.) 12-2 221
11 11 Mountain State (W.Va.) 11-5 206
12 16 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 12-3 191
13 19 Montana State-Northern 15-2 187
14 18 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 11-4 183
15 14 Evangel (Mo.) 13-4 174
16 NR The Master's (Calif.) 12-3 149
17 23 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 10-3 133
T18 21 Xavier (La.) 10-4 119
T18 17 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 11-5 119
20 15 Biola (Calif.) 12-4 114
21 RV Lee (Tenn.) 9-3 95
22 25 Campbellsville (Ky.) 11-5 94
23 RV Montana Western 14-4 93
24 NR Cal State San Marcos 11-6 84
25 22 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 12-4 70

Others receiving votes: Tougaloo (Miss.) 53; Columbia (Mo.) 49; Oklahoma City 46; Westmont (Calif.) 43; Pikeville (Ky.) 27; Westminster (Utah) 23; Cumberland (Tenn.) 19; SAGU (Texas) 9; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 6; St. Catharine (Ky.) 3; John Brown (Ark.) 1; Fresno Pacific (Calif.) 1; Baker (Kan.) 1; Oklahoma Christian 1; Wiley (Texas) 1; Science & Arts (Okla.) 1; Voorhees (S.C.) 1.

^ Indicated in Dec. 12, 2011 poll

Murray State's Isaiah Canaan Named OVC Player of the Week


Murray State University's Isaiah Canaan was named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

Here's the release from the OVC:

adidas® OVC Players of the Week

PLAYER

Isaiah Canaan, G • Jr., 6-0, 193 • Biloxi, Miss. • Murray State

Canaan averaged 25.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds/game last week in helping nationally-ranked Murray State to a pair of victories as the Racers improved to 16-0 on the season (tying its best start ever to a season). The junior hit 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from 3-point range, 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from the field and 85.7 percent (12-of-14) at the free throw line in wins over Eastern Kentucky and at Austin Peay. Against arch rival Austin Peay on Saturday, Canaan hit his first seven 3-point attempts and scored 27 of his 35 points in the first half; in fact Canaan scored the first 16 points of the game for the Racers who led by as many as 17 points in the opening half. He finished the game hitting 7-of-8 from 3-point range and scoring 35 points, the most by a player in the OVC in regulation this year (Canaan scored 36 points in a double overtime win over Southern Miss in November). He also had five assists, two rebounds and a steal in the contest. Canaan opened the week by scoring 16 points, pulling down four rebounds and dishing out three assists in a victory over Eastern Kentucky. Canaan ranks fourth nationally in 3-point percentage (51.0%) and 12th in 3-pointers made/game (3.1). It marks the third time this season he has been named OVC Player of the Week (Nov. 28, Dec. 5).

Providence College to Honor Rick Pitino on Tuesday


Providence College will honor University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and several former players during a halftime ceremony on Tuesday night.

Pitino guided the Friars to an unlikely Final Four appearance in 1987.

Here is more from WFPL.org:

Led by Billy Donovan and Delray Brooks and using the newly-allowed three point shot, Pitino’s lightly-regarded Friars knocked off Alabama and Georgetown to reach the national semifinals, where they were eliminated by Syracuse.

It put Providence and Pitino on the college basketball map.

“I have always coached every time out, no matter how much time is left in the game, feeling we could come back, no matter what the level was, or the score was, all because of that Providence College basketball team. Because they set the standard, not only for comebacks, but they set the standard for just making me believe that anything is possible,” Pitino said today.

Providence captured its Final Four birth in Louisville’s Freedom Hall.

To mark the anniversary, Providence will honor Pitino and his former players during a halftime ceremony.


Complete Article

Transy's Ethan Spurlin Named HCAC Player of the Week


Transylvania University's Ethan Spurlin was named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

Here's a release from Transy:

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Transylvania junior forward Ethan Spurlin has been named Heartland Conference Player of the Week for men's basketball for the week ending Jan. 8.

Spurlin, who averaged 25.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two games last week, is the second straight Pioneer to win the honor. Junior Brandon Rash was the Player of the Week last week.

Transy defeated Franklin 76-55 as Spurlin scored 24 points and grabbed six rebounds. He was even better in a 74-64 road loss to Defiance, pouring in 27 points and hauling in nine rebounds, missing his career scoring high by two points.

For the week, Spurlin connected on 15 of 27 shots from the field for 55.6 percent and converted 20 of 22 free throws (90.0 percent).

Jahlil Okafor Picks Up Offer from North Carolina


According to TarHeelIllustrated.com, 2014 big man Jahlil Okafor has picked up an offer from North Carolina.

The offer was reported on Twitter:

clintjackson1 Jahlil Okafor just received another offer. This time, it's The University of North Carolina. Head to http://TarHeelIllustrated.com for breaking news

Okafor is a 6-10 center at Whitney Young (Ill.) High School in Chicago. He ranks No. 4 overall on the Rivals.com list for 2014.

Some New Highlights of 2013 UK Recruit Nerlens Noel

Here is the latest highlight video of 2013 Kentucky recruit Nerlens Noel:

Georgetown's Maurice Pearson Named MSC Player of the Week


Georgetown College's Maurice Pearson has been named Mid South Conference Player of the Week.

It is the second consecutive week that a Georgetown player won the honor as Pearson follows newcomer Jordan DeMercy.

Here is the MSC release:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Georgetown College's Maurice Pearson is the Mid-South Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, conference officials announced on Monday.

The weekly conference award is Pearson's first of the season and the second of his career. Pearson also earned the award on January 17, 2011.

Pearson averaged a double-double last week while helping the No. 6-ranked Tigers to a 1-1 week.

The Silver Springs, Md., senior forward made nine shots from the field and nine free throws en route to scoring 27 points in an 85-81 loss to Life (Ga.) University on Wednesday. He added 12 rebounds and a block shot in the loss.

On Saturday, Pearson recorded his conference-leading ninth double-double of the season with a 23-point, 14-rebound performance in a 90-67 win over visiting Shawnee State University to help the Tigers remain perfect in the MSC this season.

For the week, Pearson connected on 62.1 percent (18-of-29) of his shots from the floor. He also made 14 for 19 (73.7 percent) from the free throw line.

Pearson ranks second in the MSC this season averaging 19.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. He leads the conference and is third in the NAIA shooting 68.2 percent from the field. Pearson ranks fifth nationally in rebounding and 29th in scoring

The Story of How Rick Pitino Ended Up in Kentucky


In his book "The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds that Changed Basketball", Gene Wojceichowski writes about the story of how Rick Pitino ended up coaching the Kentucky Wildcats.

Here is an excerpt:

As it turned out, Joanne had been listening to P.J. Carlesimo that night at dinner at Bravo Gianni. She had heard their friend rave about Lexington and the people at UK. She still didn't want to leave New York, but she had no objections about Lexington.

What she couldn't understand is why Pitino would walk away from the Knicks. It was his dream job. He had the players. And he had turned them into title contenders. But Pitino explained that it would only be a matter of time before the Bianchi Pitino combination unraveled.

"Look, Joanne, you've got to trust me on this one," he told his wife. "It's not a question of if I go or the GM goes. It's a question of longevity in this business -- and I'm not going to have that longevity with the Knicks."

(Nearly two years later, Pitino got a phone call alerting him to a news story about to appear that he would find interesting. As would be reported in the next day's New York papers, there was a major shakeup at Madison Square Garden, and among other changes Bianchi was ousted and replaced by Dave Checketts. The prime mover behind the changes was soon introduced as the president and chief operating officer of the Garden's corporate parent. The new president's name? Stanley Jaffe. "I couldn't believe that he didn't tell me, because obviously things would have probably changed if he did tell me," says Pitino. "I would have stayed [in New York]. I just didn't put two and two together that a movie producer and my next-door neighbor was going to be the head of Paramount.")

Pitino returned to New York, met with Knicks management, and told them he was taking the Kentucky job. Newton then sent associate athletic director Gene DeFilippo and his wife, Anne, to pick up the Pitinos on the school's private plane. On June 2, he was introduced as Kentucky's 19th head basketball coach. Pitino was a Yankee, but he was now their Yankee.


You gotta trust me on this

KWC's Anthony Young Named GLVC Player of the Week


Kentucky Wesleyan's Anthony Young has been named Great Lakes Valley Conference player of the week after averaging 24.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in a pair of wins.

Here is the release from the GLVC:

INDIANAPOLIS – Kentucky Wesleyan College senior center Anthony Young (Indianapolis, Ind./Arsenal Tech/Kankakee CC) has been tabbed the Great Lakes Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week.

Young averaged 24.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in 31 minutes to help the Panthers to a pair of home wins over Drury and Missouri S&T this past week.

In a 92-72 victory over Drury on Thursday, Young posted 22 points on 7-of-17 (.412) shooting to go along with 10 boards. He then netted 26 points in a 91-58 win over Missouri S&T on Saturday, hitting six of his 11 shots from the field (.545) and making all but one of his 14 free throw attempts (.909) from the line. Young also added four rebounds and three assists in the win over the Miners.

Young’s efforts helped KWC remain undefeated on the year at 12-0, including 4-0 in GLVC play.

This is the second weekly honor for Young this season as he was first honored on Nov. 21.

Keathley Guides Sauk Valley to High-Scoring, 2-0 Start


New head coach Kevin Keathley, a Kentucky native, has the Sauk Valley Predators off to a high-scoring, 2-0 start in the Premier Basketball League.

The Predators opened the season by thrashing the Indiana Diesels 140-95 on Friday night at Sauk Valley.

Justin Tubbs led the assault with 27 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Desmond Holloway added 27 points and 10 boards.

Here is more from SaukValley.com:

“Coach put in this offense so that we’d spread the ball out and attack the hoop,” Tubbs said. “I shot a few more 3s tonight, but for the most part, we drove to the lane and got to the free-throw line.

“We played really well in spurts tonight, but we know we can do better. Coach wanted to really step on their throats at the end and try to win by 100 points.”

Tubbs capped the night with a 360 dunk off that he performed right as the buzzer sounded. The points didn’t count, but the remaining fans gave him a standing ovation.

“The crowd was great tonight,” Tubbs said. “There isn’t another team in the area so we thought we’d get support. The fans really came out tonight.”

By half, the Predators had pulled ahead 73-48, and were clearly the team in the better shape.

“Coach didn’t let us touch a ball the first two weeks of practice,” Tubbs said. “We were starting to wonder about that, but it showed how important that is tonight when they started to wear down.”


On Sunday, in the second game of the home-and-home series, Sauk Valley against prevailed 120-110.

Holloway led six Predators in double figures with 27 points. Herman Favors added 24. Tubbs and Carlton Fay added 17 points each.

UK Holds, Murray State Rises in Latest Basketball Polls


The University of Kentucky Wildcats (15-1) are still No. 2 in both major college basketball polls this week. Kentucky is behind Syracuse (17-0) and ahead of North Carolina, Baylor and Ohio State in both polls.

Louisville (13-3) has dropped to No. 14 in the AP Top 25 and No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll this week.

Murray State (16-0), one of the nation's few remaining undefeated teams, is all the way up to No. 14 in the coaches poll and No. 15 in the AP poll.

AP Top 25

RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Syracuse (60) 17-0 1,618
2 Kentucky (5) 15-1 1,558
3 North Carolina 14-2 1,476
4 Baylor 15-0 1,436
5 Ohio State 15-2 1,347
6 Michigan State 14-2 1,263
7 Indiana 15-1 1,217
8 Duke 13-2 1,186
9 Missouri 14-1 1,096
10 Kansas 12-3 1,005
11 Georgetown 13-2 990 12 UNLV 16-2 852 13 Michigan 13-3 715 14 Louisville 13-3 704 15 Murray State 16-0 628 16 Virginia 14-1 607 17 Connecticut 12-3 535 18 Kansas State 12-2 482 19 Florida 12-4 463 20 Mississippi State 13-3 362 21 Gonzaga 13-2 347 22 San Diego State 13-2 313 23 Creighton 13-2 236 24 Seton Hall 14-2 205 25 Marquette 12-4 170

Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 97, Alabama 40, Vanderbilt 37, West Virginia 33, New Mexico 28, Saint Mary's 18, Harvard 16, Illinois 14, Arkansas 11, Stanford 9, Saint Louis 7, Dayton 2, Iowa State 1, Wagner 1

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll

RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Syracuse (30) 17-0 774
2 Kentucky (1) 15-1 742
3 North Carolina 14-2 702
4 Baylor 15-0 684
5 Ohio State 15-2 649
6 Duke 13-2 583
7 Michigan State 14-2 578
8 Indiana 15-1 552
9 Missouri 14-1 540
10 Kansas 12-3 480
11 Georgetown 13-2 425 12 UNLV 16-2 374 13 Michigan 13-3 351 14 Murray State 16-0 341 15 Louisville 13-3 321 16 Connecticut 12-3 304 17 Virginia 14-1 251 18 Kansas State 12-2 242 19 Florida 12-4 226 20 Mississippi State 13-3 181 21 Creighton 13-2 163 22 San Diego State 13-2 131 23 Gonzaga 13-2 103 24 Marquette 12-4 69 25 Harvard 13-2 58

Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 43, Saint Mary's 39, Seton Hall 36, Vanderbilt 33, New Mexico 25, Middle Tennessee 20, Alabama 18, West Virginia 9, Southern Miss 8, Stanford 5, Wichita State 5, Dayton 4, Illinois 4, Iowa State 1, Nevada 1

Preston Knowles Signs with Springfield Armor in D-League


Former University of Louisville star Preston Knowles has signed with the Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League.

The Armor announced on Monday that they have acquired Knowles from the league's available player pool.

Knowles played briefly for SK DniproAzot Dniprodzerzhynsh in Ukraine's top-level Superleague.

Kentucky Names in 2012 NBA D-League Showcase


The 2012 NBA D-League Showcase tips off this afternoon in Reno, Nevada.

There are several names for Kentucky fans to keep an eye on:

- Antoine Walker (Kentucky): Idaho Stampede
- Ramon Harris (Kentucky): Fort Wayne Mad Ants
- Vance Cooksey (Pikeville): Texas Legends
- Juan Pattillo (Western Kentucky): Bakersfield Jam
- David Palmer (Northern Kentucky): Bakersfield Jam
- B.J. Jenkins (Murray State): Erie BayHawks
- Preston Knowles (Louisville): Springfield Armor
- Jerry Smith (Louisville): Springfield Armor

2012 NBA D-League Showcase Schedule (all game times local)

Date Game Tip-Off Air Time

Jan. 9 Idaho Stampede @ Erie BayHawks 10 a.m. NBA TV (Live 1 p.m. ET)
Jan. 9 Springfield Armor @ Los Angeles D-Fenders 12:45 p.m. NBA TV (Live 3:45 p.m. ET)
Jan. 9 Ft. Wayne Mad Ants @ Bakersfield Jam 4 p.m.*
Jan. 9 Reno Bighorns @ Rio Grande Valley Vipers 7 p.m.*

Jan. 10 Maine Red Claws @ Sioux Falls Skyforce 10 a.m. NBA TV (Live 1 p.m. ET)
Jan. 10 Erie BayHawks @ Austin Toros 12:45 p.m. NBA TV (Live 3:45 p.m. ET)
Jan. 10 Texas Legends @ Tulsa 66ers 3:30 p.m.+
Jan. 10 Dakota Wizards @ Canton Charge 7 p.m.+

Jan. 11 Los Angeles D-Fenders @ Maine Red Claws 10 a.m. NBA TV (Live 1 p.m. ET)
Jan. 11 Bakersfield Jam @ Idaho Stampede 12:45 p.m. NBA TV (Live 3:45 p.m. ET)
Jan. 11 Sioux Falls Skyforce @ Texas Legends 3:30 p.m.#
Jan. 11 Iowa Energy @ Reno Bighorns 7 p.m.#

Jan. 12 Austin Toros @ Dakota Wizards 10 a.m. NBA TV (Live 1 p.m. ET)
Jan. 12 Tulsa 66ers @ Ft. Wayne Mad Ants 12:45 p.m. NBA TV (Live 3:45 p.m. ET)
Jan. 12 Rio Grande Valley Vipers @ Springfield Armor 3:30 p.m.^
Jan. 12 Canton Charge @ Iowa Energy 7 p.m.^

* One of these two games will be shown on NBA TV on Jan. 10 (11.a.m. ET)
+ One of these two games will be shown on NBA TV on Jan. 11 (11.a.m. ET)
# One of these two games will be shown on NBA TV on Jan. 12 (11 a.m. ET)
^ One of these two games will be shown on NBA TV on Jan. 13 (1 p.m. ET)

Calipari, Hall Among 3,000 at Gene Bartow's Visitation


University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari and former head coach Joe B. Hall were among the 3,000 or so people who lined up to pay their respects at Gene Bartow's visitation on Sunday.

Here is more on the visitation from AL.com:

Jordan estimated between 2,500 and 3,000 in all attended. Giles estimated 75 former UAB players were there in addition to this year's team and coaches.

The crowd included fellow coaches such as: current University of Kentucky coach John Calipari; current University of Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy (and former UAB player); current San Diego State coach Steve Fisher; former Auburn coach Sonny Smith; former University of Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson and former Kentucky coach, Joe B. Hall.


As many as 3,000 at visitation to pay their respects to UAB's Gene Bartow

Photos from the Visitation (Including Calipari)

Chris Smith: Cards Listening to Folks Outside the Huddle

Here are Rick Pitino's postgame comments after Louisville lost a double overtime heartbreaker to Notre Dame on Saturday:



One of the first things Pitino says is that he intructed his team to not let Notre Dame attempt a 3-pointer and "anything but an offensive foul." The Cards proceeded to do both things.

After the game, Chris Smith alluded to a much bigger problem.

Here's an excerpt from BigEastCoastBias.com:

After the game, Chris Smith said that these things were addressed by the coaches and that the team was explicitly instructed to avoid offensive fouls and to not give up a crucial three pointer late. Why didn't the team heed Pitino's warnings? According to Smith, the team wasn't focused in the huddle and some, apparently, were busy listening to folks outside of the huddle. Smith clearly did not want to get into too much detail, but did say that there were some Louisville players listening to advice or instructions from fans or family members in the crowd rather than those coming from Pitino.

Here are Smith's comments (via Courier-Journal.com):

Time to Make Moves in Conference Play: Schedule for the Week


Most teams around the state are starting to slide into the meat of their respective conference schedules. This week features many critical conference games. Kentucky is on the road for two SEC games, Murray State hopes to stay undefeated and Morehead State hosts EKU in a rivalry war on Saturday night.

Here is a schedule for the week:

Monday, January 9

7:00 p.m. Olivet Nazarene at Campbellsville University
7:30 p.m. Benedict College at Kentucky State University*

Tuesday, January 10

7:00 p.m. Boyce College at Kentucky Christian University
7:00 p.m. Berea College at Cincinnati Christian*
7:00 p.m. Asbury University at IU-East*
7:00 p.m. University of Louisville at Providence*
7:30 p.m. Brescia University at IU-Southeast*
8:00 p.m. Fontbonne University at Spalding University*
8:00 p.m. Lindenwood University at Mid-Continent University

Wednesday, January 11

7:30 p.m. Waynesburg at Thomas More College*
7:30 p.m. Hanover College at Transylvania University*
7:30 p.m. Union College at Milligan College*
8:00 p.m. University of Kentucky at Auburn*
8:00 p.m. Morehead State University at Tennessee State*

Thursday, January 12

7:30 p.m. Alice Lloyd College at Berea College*
7:30 p.m. Kentucky State University at Morehouse*
8:00 p.m. Georgetown College at University of the Cumberlands*
8:00 p.m. Blackburn College at Spalding University*
8:00 p.m. University of Pikeville at Rio Grande*
8:00 p.m. Shawnee State at Lindsey Wilson College*
8:00 p.m. Jacksonville State at Murray State University*
8:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at Austin Peay*
8:00 p.m. Western Kentucky University at North Texas*
8:30 p.m. Northern Kentucky University at Missouri S&T*
8:30 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at Rockhurst*
8:45 p.m. Bellarmine University at Drury*
9:00 p.m. Mid-Continent University at Martin Methodist*

Friday, January 13

8:00 p.m. Kentucky Christian University at Free Will Baptist Bible
8:00 p.m. Asbury University at Southern Virginia University
10:00 p.m. Centre College at Colorado College*

Saturday, January 14

12:00 p.m. Asbury University vs. Virginia University of Lynchburg (Buena Vista, VA)
12:00 p.m. University of Kentucky at Tennessee*
2:00 p.m. Northern Kentucky University at Drury*
3:00 p.m. Spalding University at MacMurray College*
3:00 p.m. Brescia University at Alice Lloyd College*
3:00 p.m. Rose-Hulman at Transylvania University*
3:00 p.m. Kentucky State University at Clark Atlanta*
4:00 p.m. Thomas More College at Saint Vincent*
4:00 p.m. DePaul at University of Louisville*
4:00 p.m. Shawnee State at University of the Cumberlands*
4:00 p.m. St. Catharine College at Campbellsville University*
4:00 p.m. Bellarmine University at Missouri S&T*
4:00 p.m. University of Pikeville at West Virginia Tech
4:00 p.m. Georgetown College at Lindsey Wilson College*
4:15 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at William Jewell*
6:00 p.m. Tennessee Tech at Murray State University*
7:30 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at Morehead State University*

Sunday, January 15

3:00 p.m. Western Kentucky University at Denver*
4:00 p.m. Centre College at Hendrix*
4:00 p.m. Berea College at St. Louis College of Pharmacy*

* Conference game

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Minnesota Fans Growing Tired of Tubby Smith?


Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith is receiving a ton of criticism following his team's 79-66 home loss to Purdue on Sunday.

With the loss, the Gophers are now 0-4 in the Big Ten Conference and have lost back-to-back home games to Iowa and the Boilermakers.

Based on many online comments about Smith and the Gophers, it seems that the fans are restless and are beginning to question Tubby's future in Minnesota.

Here is an excerpt about today's loss from StarTribune.com:

"Everybody's seen how last year ended," said junior forward Rodney Williams, who a year ago saw the Gophers drop 10 of their last 11 Big Ten games. "And it's kind of looking like it's going to go down the same road this year. But we've got a tough group of guys in the locker room so we all know that there's a lot of basketball left to play."

Before Sunday, the Gophers had lost three close ones, but had clutched some shred of optimism along the way.

At Illinois, the Gophers brought the game to double overtime. At Michigan, they held it close. They lost at home to Iowa, but held it tight.

This was a blowout. At home. Against a team that had just been crushed by Penn State. Right before heading to red-hot Indiana. And with the loss, the team quickly dug a hole that will be very tough to escape from.

Complete Article

StarTribune.com has the following poll posted online:



Here are Tubby's comments following Sunday's home loss to Purdue:

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