Saturday, February 11, 2012

No. 1 Kentucky Survives Tough Road Test at Vanderbilt


(1) Kentucky 69
Vanderbilt 63

Final from Nashville, Tennessee


The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats survived a tough second half to defeat Vanderbilt 69-63 on Saturday night in Nashville.

Kentucky (25-1, 11-0 SEC) fell behind in the second half before ending the game on an 8-0 run to get the win.

Doron Lamb led the Wildcats with 16 points on 6-13 shooting. Anthony Davis added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 7 blocked shots. Terrence Jones chipped in 14 points, 9 boards and 4 blocks.

Freshman point guard Marquis Teague had a great game with 13 points, 8 assists and just 1 turnover.

Vanderbilt (17-8, 6-4 SEC) was led by 15 points from John Jenkins. Brad Tinsley, Festus Ezeli and Jeffery Taylor contributed 13 points each.

The Commodores shot just 23-63 (36.5%) from the field.

Kentucky has a week off before hosting Ole Miss next Saturday at Rupp Arena.

Box Score (click to enlarge):

Morehead State Earns Impressive Win at Eastern Kentucky


Morehead State 58
Eastern Kentucky 45

Final from Richmond, Kentucky


Game recap by MSU:

RICHMOND, Ky. -- The Morehead State men’s basketball team held Eastern Kentucky to opponent season lows for points and field-goal percentage in the first half of Saturday night’s game en route to a 58-45 win at McBrayer Arena.

The Eagles limited the Colonels to just 17 percent (4-of-24) from the floor and 12 points over the first 20 minutes. MSU also held EKU to just 31 percent (15-of-49) shooting for the game.

The Eagles improve to 14-13 overall and 7-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference with the season sweep of EKU. The Colonels fall to 14-13 on the campaign and 6-7 in league play.

“I thought our kids played hard and competed for 40 minutes tonight, especially at the defensive end,” Morehead State Head Coach Donnie Tyndall said. “We tweaked a few things in our zone this week, and I thought we were as sound defensively as we have been all year. We were right there on the catch all night.”

Junior Marsell Holden, the lone Eagle in double figures, scored all 12 of his points in the final half. He drilled back-to-back treys midway through the period to boost MSU to its largest lead at 37-19.

Complete Recap

Dick Vitale Announces That He Will Call Murray State Game

Legendary ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale announced on the air tonight that he will be calling the ESPNU BracketBuster game between Murray State and St. Mary's on February 18.

The game will air live on ESPN2 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Ethan Faulkner Leads NKU Past Saint Joseph's


(16) Northern Kentucky 85
Saint Joseph's 72

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky


Game recap by NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Ethan Faulkner scored a career-high 19 points and grabbed five rebounds as No. 16 Northern Kentucky University won its fourth straight game with an 85-72 victory over Saint Joseph's on Saturday.

Chad Jackson and Tony Rack added 15 points apiece for NKU, which improved to 19-4 overall, 11-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Norse connected on 52.2 percent of their shots from the field and converted 30-of-43 free throws to wrap up the season sweep against the Pumas.

NKU shot a blistering 63.6 percent from the field in the first half and built a 45-37 lead at the break. Rack buried a trio of 3-pointers in the first half en route to 11 points, while Jackson scored nine before intermission.

Complete Recap

Grumpy Old Men, Starring ESPN's Digger Phelps

ESPN's Digger Phelps scolded University of Kentucky fans this morning during ESPN's College GameDay coverage - check out this video of Digger being Digger:

Kentucky Has Offered 2014 Star Andrew Wiggins


Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com says Kentucky is the only school that has offered 2014 star Andrew Wiggins so far:

AdamZagoria Kentucky is the only school that offered Andrew Wiggins so far...coach says..Amazing. Kid is a pro.

Wiggins is a 6-7 small forward at Huntington Prep Academy. He is the top-rated recruit in the 2014 class according to Rivals.com.

Troy Holds Off Western Kentucky in Sun Belt Action


Troy University 83
Western Kentucky 77

Final from Troy, Alabama


Game recap by WKU:

TROY, Ala. — A nine-point halftime lead fell away with Troy scoring 53 second-half points Saturday afternoon, and the WKU Hilltoppers lost their fourth-straight game at Sartain Hall to the Trojans, 83-77. Troy shot 51.6 percent in the second half and made six three-pointers, and it also converted 15 of 18 second-half free throw tries. The loss moves WKU's record to 8-17 overall and 4-8 in Sun Belt Conference play this season. Troy improves to 8-15 and 3-9 in the league.

Four Hilltoppers were in double figures Saturday afternoon, led by T.J. Price's 17 points and four three-pointers. Kahlil McDonald also nailed four threes and made all four of his free throws en route to 16 points, and Nigel Snipes and Jamal Crook had 12 and 10, respectively. George Fant had nine points and nine rebounds, leading WKU in rebounding for the sixth-straight game, and Jamal Crook and Derrick Gordon combined for nine assists.

Alan Jones led Troy with 18 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Emil Jones had 16 and nine rebounds, and Will Weathers had 12 points and six assists.

Complete Recap

Louisville Earns Critical Road Win at West Virginia


(24) Louisville
West Virginia

Final from Morgantown, West Virginia


Game recap by U of L:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Rick Pitino's deep bench is paying off in the rugged Big East. With heralded freshman Wayne Blackshear back in the mix, No. 24 Louisville is riding a six-game winning streak.

Kyle Kuric scored 17 points to lead five Louisville players in double figures and Louisville used a late 9-0 run to rally past slumping West Virginia 77-74 on Saturday.

The Cardinals (20-5, 8-4 Big East) have had five different leading scorers during the winning streak and added depth with Blackshear.

The McDonald's All-American played his first game of the season and finished with 13 points off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting. He suffered a right shoulder injury in October and wore a protective sleeve in the game Saturday, his 20th birthday.

Pitino said he planned all week to play Blackshear, but didn't want West Virginia to know about it.

"Wayne Blackshear came in and gave us a really big lift," Pitino said. "He gave us 20 good minutes. The one thing that was evident when Wayne came back was that he really knows how to play the game. His mental capabilities on the floor are terrific."

Russ Smith had 16 points off the bench for the Cardinals. Chris Smith added 13 points and Peyton Siva scored 10.

Complete Recap

ESPN College GameDay Footage from Vanderbilt

Here is footage of Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings making his entrance at ESPN College GameDay:







As you can see, Kentucky is going to have their hands full with the atmosphere at Vandy tonight.

Darius Miller Knows Vandy is a Tough Place to Play


Kentucky senior Darius Miller knows the dangers of playing at Vandy's Memorial Gym. He and other UK players spoke to the media on Friday about tonight's game:

#1 Darius Miller, G, Sr.

On how Kentucky has not won a lot at Vanderbilt …
“No, it’s going to be another tough game tomorrow too. (They are a) very talented team; very hard working team. I’m hoping we come out and give a pretty good game.”

On what makes it so difficult to play at Vanderbilt …
“I honestly don’t know. I just know it’s a tough place to play. Their fans do a great job of getting them hyped up to play and they feed off of that. Hopefully we come out. We have to come out from the beginning and try to get the fans out of the game.”

On how much Kentucky’s defense is able to take opposing teams’ crowds out of the game …
“A lot. I feel like it kind of drains it. Kind of like you said, it takes the crowd out of the game and slows them down a little bit. If we can do that tomorrow, we’ve been doing it recently, if we can continue it tomorrow then I feel like we’ll have a good chance of winning.”

On what he tells the younger players about playing at Vanderbilt …
“We just let them know how it’s going to be, like I said, how the crowd is going to be. They have pretty good support down there. It’s going to be tough to play in, tough to adjust to. We just have to come out and keep our composure, especially at the beginning of the game. I think, like I said, we have a good chance at competing with them.”

#3 Terrence Jones, F, So.

On what he feels he personally has to do to contribute to the defense …
“Really, communication for screens, helping in the post when it’s not my man on the ball. Team defense is what has been getting us through everything right now. I just think that as long as we continue to do that with every man being focused and helping one another, we should be playing how we’ve been playing.”

On whether he feels people don’t see how good Kentucky’s defense is because of the focus on blocks …
“That’s one of the strategies we have. We are real long on defense and it’s real hard to shoot over us. We play you aggressive to force teams to drive into difficult shots with bigger guys behind so I think overall our team defense does really well.”

On what field goal percentage Coach Calipari tells the team they need to keep their opponent under …
“He said forty [percent]. It’s just a goal he sets for us every game. If we achieve it or not, as long as we play really hard, he’s still happy with it.”

#25 Marquis Teague, G, Fr.

On Vanderbilt…
“They’re a veteran team. They have a lot of great outside shooters that can knock them down and they have a good player in the post that we’re going to have to dig in and help on. We just want to try and prevent them from getting 3s off and hitting a lot of 3s basically.

On how dangerous John Jenkins is…
“He’s real dangerous. He can run off 10 3s on you, 11 3s if you let him, if you (don’t contest) his shots and give him open looks. So we just want to contest his shots and hope he misses.”

On Vandy’s “end-zone” benches…
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of that. I’ve heard about it plenty of times from different people and they said that it’s a crazy place to play.”

On how much he relies on Coach Cal to call plays and how much he does on his own…
“It’s about half-and-half. Sometimes I just come down and see what I see and sometimes he tells me what to call. But if I have to make my own call, that’d be fine.”

On their experience level at this point in the season with having so many freshmen…
“I feel like we have great experience. We’ve played North Carolina, Louisville, some great teams and had some close games and we’ve played on the road. So I feel like we have good experience. Being a freshman that doesn’t play a factor anymore, we’re just playing basketball.”

Centre College Loses at No. 10 Birmingham Southern


(10) Birmingham Southern 81
Centre College 64

Final from Birmingham, Alabama


Game recap by Centre:

Though Centre defeated Birmingham Southern in the teams' first meeting, the Panthers were victorious the second time around, handing the Colonels an 81-64 loss Friday in Birmingham, Ala.

After Centre gave Birmingham Southern its only loss of the season by the score of 72-65 on Dec. 16 in Danville, the Panthers have rolled off 14 straight victories and moved up to the No. 10 ranking. Birmingham Southern kept its momentum going Friday, pulling away on a first half run and never looking back.

The lead changed hands seven times as the teams traded baskets early, but with Centre holding a 14-12 lead at the 13:17 mark, Birmingham Southern took off on a 19-4 run over the next six minutes. The Panthers used outside shooting to pull away, going 4-of-5 during the stretch and 12-of-21 for the night while holding the Colonels to a 1-of-13 performance from 3-point range.

Birmingham Southern was up 31-18 by the time Jeff Mullaney (Louisville, Ky.) put in a layup for Centre with 6:00 left in the half. The Panthers continued to gradually extend the lead, going up 44-27 at the half and increasing it to as many as 29 points on two occasions in the second half. A late 14-2 run by Centre helped cut the final margin to 81-64.

Complete Recap

Alex Poythress Explodes for 48 Points and 21 Rebounds


Kentucky signee Alex Poythress scored a career-high 48 points and pulled down 21 rebounds in Northeast (Tenn.) High School's win over Dickson County on Friday night.

Wade Neely of ClarksvilleSportsNetwork.com gave some reports from the game on Twitter:

WadeNeely Crowd goes wild as Alex Poythress is introduced at Senior Night and the Kentucky fans go wild when the PA announces Alex's future plans.

WadeNeely Not an understatement: The Kentucky fans are rolling DEEP tonight. Easily outnumbering the visiting Dickson County fans in attendance.

WadeNeely Unreal sequence as Poythress jams one home to tie the game at 41 and then draws a charge on the other end. This place is LOUD.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Archie Goodwin Scores 30, Has Highlight of the Night

Future Kentucky Wildcat Archie Goodwin scored 30 points on Friday night - none prettier than this:

The Latest Edition of Courtside with Rick Pitino

Here is the latest edition of Courtside with Rick Pitino - brought to us by WHAS11.com:


Jodie Meeks Could Be Chosen for NBA Three-Point Contest


Former University of Kentucky star Jodie Meeks could be chosen to participate in the three-point shootout during NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando.

Meeks has stated that he would love to participate if given the opportunity.

Here is more from CSNPhilly.com:

Jodie Meeks, the Sixers’ starting shooting guard and leading three-point shooter, could be chosen to participate in the three-point shootout when the roster is announced next week. Headed into Friday night’s game against the Clippers at the Center, Meeks is shooting 52 for 118 (44.1 percent) from beyond the three-point arc, good for eighth in the NBA in makes and 19th in percentage.

Last season Meeks led the Sixers with 138 three-pointers, shooting at a 39.7 percent clip. That total was 14th-best in the NBA and Meeks was the first Sixer to make more than 130 three-pointers since Kyle Korver made 132 in 2006-07.

So if asked, Meeks will cancel whatever plans he has and head to Orlando.

“I’d love to do it, so we’ll see what happens,” Meeks said.


Meeks shooting for three-point contest bid

Georgetown College Involved in NAIA Tournament's Top Moments


Georgetown College has been recognized as part of the NAIA Tournament's Top 75 moments.

Here is more from GC:

Georgetown College men's basketball has a grand history of winning and excellence inside the NAIA. Something the organization is also recognizing during its top 75 moments leading up the 75th national tournament. The NAIA began unveiling a historical event or memory in early January and will continue to do so every day until March 20, the day of the finals for this year's tournament.

Memory No. 40 will be revealed later today, but this past week GC was recognized first for being the first school to make 30 appearances at the tournament as well as the current streak of 20-straight, which is also a record, this past year.

Yesterday, the Tigers were honored for the battle on the floor in the 2000 semifinal game with Biola University. Georgetown needed four overtimes to advance, 118-108.

"This was absolutely the best game I've been involved in," said former Tiger coach Happy Osborne, "and I think I would have said that even if we lost. Bobbi, walked out about three or four times. We had big shot after big shot in that game to rally each time and keep playing."

Complete Release

Kentucky Coaches Checking Out 2014 Recruit Tonight


Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistant Orlando Antigua are on the recruiting trail tonight.

According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, the UK coaches are checking out 2014 star Jalen Lindsey in Nashville.

EvanDanielscout John Calipari and Orlando Antigua will be in Nashville to watch 2014 wing Jalen Lindsay tonight.

Lindsey is a 6-6 power forward at Christ Presbyterian Academy. He is rated as a four-star recruit and already has offers from Alabama, Memphis, N.C. State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

John Calipari Talks to the Media on His Birthday


Here are pregame comments from Kentucky head coach John Calipari as the Cats get ready to play Vanderbilt in Memorial Gym:

On turning 53 and being three years into the job …
“Two years got vacated so I’m 51. You know what, when you enjoy what you are doing, there are bumps in the road and this thing is all over you, you need to step away from it and I haven’t had a whole lot of time to do that but I’m enjoying myself. I’m enjoying our players, I enjoy our fans. I think we as a program have connected as well as you can and have been as transparent as we can for everybody because everybody wants to be a part of it. They want in, they want knowledge of what is happening, they love seeing us practice and those kinds of things. This is one of those programs where you can’t go in the office and hide; it’s just not what you can do here.”

On the team …
“I’m excited for our team; today I just spent the day thinking. I like adding things, tweaking the offense and tweaking the defense because it makes them think. I don’t want them to walk into practice because it is monotonous in that we do the same things throughout the year in some cases, so I like changing things up to just make them really focus and concentrate.”

On the team’s routine …
“We handle every game the same way. The format of our practice is exactly the same even though some of the drills are different. We go on the road, we do exactly the same things when we go into town, when we meet and what we do on game day. Part of it is that you want them to understand that every game has an importance and no game is more important than another. The other thing, in practice, is there are certain things we do from day one ‘til the season ends to let them understand that those things are important, so there are some fundamental things that we do when we start that first day and we’re still doing today. Some of the practice is monotonous but you want those guys to really zero in on a few things. You can’t be great at everything. You can’t be a great pressing team, a great zone team, a great man team, a great motion team, a great play calling team; you can’t be great at everything. You have to do decide as a coach, what does this team need to be great at? Let’s just focus on those things and let’s get real good at those things.”

On playing at Vanderbilt …
“This is a great challenge for Marquis Teague and I think he’ll do fine. This is one where you give him a couple play calls and this is all you are going to run the next sets. He’ll be fine; this will be a great test. We were just talking, every one of these teams give us something different. We’ve never played Vandy with this team. Just like Tennessee is totally different than Vandy, who is totally different than Florida, who is totally different from Mississippi State. You have teams, for us, it is important to see how we will respond. Every experience is new for us and we’re learning.”

On keys that this team focuses on …“I think one of the things you are seeing is we zero in on defense. This is a team that should be a great defensive team which I believe I said on day one. We are long enough, we are athletic enough, and we can really play the ball pretty good; we should be great defensively. Offensively we are still trying to figure each other out, we are trying to zero in on what do we do, when do we do it. You see that we grind it out pretty good late in games; we do a good job of that. Maybe in the guts of the game there are some things we are still trying to figure out. Like I said, I tweaked some things for tomorrow just to get them to think a little bit out on the basketball court.”

On guarding Vanderbilt …
“They are a terrific team, they are big, their guard play is good, and point guard play is good. Obviously they shoot the ball; (Jeffery) Taylor is way better than what he was and what I mean by that is he is consistently making 3s which he didn’t before. Now, you have to go out there and play him which makes him better off the bounce. They still have those three or four guys that always come in and hurt us. They are a veteran team; they are a team that has played us three times now, it’s the same guys that have played us for three years minus one or two guys. I imagine they are ready for this, their fans are ready for this, Nashville is ready for this, their administration is ready for this, their parents are ready for this. They have probably been ready for two weeks. We have to go up there and say, ‘let’s see where we are right now, let’s play as well as we can play and let’s see if we are getting better.’”

On comparing Vanderbilt and Florida …
“They’re just different. They are two totally different teams and like I said, that is what’s good for us. With (Festus) Ezeli they can throw it to the post, which they did a year ago on us and he dunked like four or five balls and they can do that. He is very physical. I just watched them beat Tennessee by about 25 and (Jarnell) Stokes could not handle, physically, Ezeli. Now you think about what I’m saying, we couldn’t handle Stokes physically. It is a tough matchup for us. What if (John) Jenkins goes 12-12 from the 3? It’s been a nice start to our season, when’s the next game? You could be all over him and he still does that. We’re trying to learn about our team, we’re trying to get better. I would imagine, watching the tape, I think they are going to try to be a little more patient with the ball against us. I think they are going to go back to the other way of playing which is, let’s give them (fewer) possessions, let’s make either a post-up or a 3 or a drive and let’s do it later in the clock. I don’t know, I’ve been wrong before.”

On the challenges of playing at Memorial Gym …
“We won there two years ago. You are in the end zone coaching; you are on a raised floor. It’s no different. Whether we win or lose will be based on how we play and how they play. There isn’t going to be anything about a building or fans. We play on the road, we’ve had tough environments. We’ve won in tough environments; we’ve lost in a tough environment. It’s how your team plays and how their team plays.”

ESPN's Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis Talk Vandy vs. Kentucky

ESPN's Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis speak to the Vanderbilt media about Saturday's GameDay game against Kentucky:



No. 1 Bellarmine University Hammers St. Joseph's


(1) Bellarmine 100
St. Joseph's 70

Final from Louisville, Kentucky


Game recap by BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The No. 1 Bellarmine University men's basketball team blistered the nets for 63.5 percent shooting and blistered the visiting St. Joseph's College Pumas 100-70 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game tonight at Knights Hall.

The win was Bellarmine's 16th in a row, which ties a school record for most consecutive victories, and propels the Knights to 21-1 on the season with a 13-1 conference mark.

The Knights hit six of their first seven triples tonight as they built a 29-14 lead midway through the opening period. The treys came from multiple players and from all points around the perimeter. Bellarmine “cooled” to 8-of-12 3-point shooting in the first half but still shot nearly 70 percent overall from the field to take a 52-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Complete Recap

Gary Parrish Guarantees a Kentucky Loss at Vanderbilt


Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com guarantees that top-ranked Kentucky will lose at Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

Here is an excerpt of Parrish's thoughts:

Guaranteed to be an upset: I think Kentucky has the nation's best roster, is the nation's best team and will win the national championship. Unless Anthony Davis' arms shrink before Selection Sunday, I'm picking the Wildcats to win it all. Write it down in blood. But John Calipari's team is going to lose Saturday night at Vanderbilt just like I watched Billy Donovan's second national championship team at Florida once lose at Vanderbilt. I don't know how it's going to happen or why, but it's going to happen. And then this Kentucky team is never going to lose again. You can write that down in blood too.

Complete Article

To be fair, Parrish also says he is picking the Wildcats to win the national championship.

SEC is Becoming a "Freshman-Oriented" League


Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun says the Southeastern Conference is becoming a freshman-oriented league.

SEC basketball analyst Chris Dortch feels that Kentucky has created the freshman model and that SEC recruiting has been in an "up cycle."

Here is an excerpt:

That notion seems absurd today. From shot swatters like 6-foot-10 Kentucky center Anthony Davis, to smooth shooters like 6-foot-3 Florida swingman Bradley Beal, the SEC is becoming increasingly a freshman-oriented league.

Five of the top 16 scorers in the SEC are freshmen. First-year players also are near the top of the conference statistically in steals (LSU freshman point guard Anthony Hickey is second at 2.2 per game), blocked shots (Davis is first at 4.8 per game) and assists (Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague is fourth at 4.6 per game).

Of the 12 teams in the SEC, 10 have at least one freshman starting.

“Kentucky has created the model that if you are talented enough, you are going to get an opportunity to play right away and learn from your mistakes,” said SEC basketball analyst Chris Dortch.


League becoming oriented to first-year contributors

WKU Plays Hard But Comes Up Short at MTSU


Middle Tennessee 72
Western Kentucky 64

Final from Murfreesboro, Tennessee


Game recap by WKU:

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — WKU had a chance to come within two with the clock running down, but the veteran Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders traded baskets and kept the Hilltoppers at arms length down the stretch to earn a 72-64 win Thursday night in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The league-leading Blue Raiders are now 22-4 overall and 11-1 in conference play this season, and WKU falls to 8-16 and 4-7 in the conference with the loss.

The win is Middle Tennessee's fifth-straight in the series. The Blue Raiders were helped by LaRon Dendy's 26 points and 14 rebounds, with 19 and 10 coming in the second half. WKU got 12 points and 11 rebounds from George Fant, his first career double-double and second of the season by a Hilltopper, and T.J. Price had 14 and seven. Derrick Gordon had nine points, seven rebounds and six assists with no turnovers.

WKU made all 14 of its free throw attempts in the game, and Middle Tennessee made just 17 of its 37 tries from the charity stripe (.459). The Hilltoppers held Middle Tennessee to 28 points on 28.9 percent shooting in the first half, but Middle Tennessee rebounded to go 15-for-29 (.517) in the second half and outrebounded WKU 26-18 in the final 20 minutes.

Complete Recap

Happy Birthday John Calipari

Big Blue Nation, join me in sending birthday wishes to John Calipari. Coach Cal is 53 today.

Tennessee State Stuns Murray State, Ends Undefeated Run


Tennessee State
(9) Murray State

Final from Murray, Kentucky


Game recap by MSU:

One of the greatest runs by a mid major team to start a season in the history of college basketball came to and end Thursday night as #9 Murray State dropped its first game of the season 72-68 against Tennessee State in front of a sellout crowd of 8,668.

Isaiah Canaan scored over 30 points for the fourth time this season, leading the Racers with 31 points as he tied a career-high with seven threes on the night. His third 3-pointer of the first half with nine seconds remaining in the first half capped a 7-0 MSU run to head into halftime leading 40-33.

The Racers (23-1, 11-1 OVC) would eventually extend the lead to 13 on another Canaan offering from deep with 14:45 remaining in the second half, his second of the half at that point.

Tennessee State would cut down the advantage over the next seven minutes, taking its first lead of the final 20 minutes with 7:17 remaining. The Tigers grabbed the final lead change with 6:02 remaining at 61-60 and never looked back before closing out the four point win.

Canaan finished the night 10-of-13 on the night, making all three of his 2-point attempts and 4-of-6 shots from the free throw line.

Donte Poole was the only other Racer to score in double figures, with all 10 of his points coming in the first half.

Robert Covington paced Tennessee State (16-10, 9-4 OVC) with 17 points on the night, grabbing a team-best eight rebounds.

Complete Recap

Steve Prohm talks about the loss:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

UK Recruit Troy Williams Talks Recruiting and More


Kentucky recruit Troy Williams is receiving a ton of attention during the recruiting process.

Williams recently spoke to Dailypress.com about handling all the attention, the recruiting process and much more.

Here is an excerpt:

Williams' dozen or so scholarship offers have been narrowed to five — Georgetown, Kentucky, North Carolina, Villanova and Virginia Tech. (That's alphabetically, by the way). He plans to announce his decision sometime between the end of junior season and the beginning of AAU in the spring.

Still, there are those who insist that all this hype is due to his uncle, Boo Williams, one of the most respected AAU basketball figures in the country. Boo gets a giggle out of that.

"Let me tell you, the people who do the rankings don't care about you or me," he said. "There's too much money involved to make a mistake. And a guy like (Kentucky coach John) Calipari isn't going to fly here on a private plane to watch an hour-long practice because of me."

Nor would UNC's Roy Williams come to Phoebus' gym the night after the Tar Heels' game at Virginia Tech. Nor would Villanova's Jay Wright fly down two nights before a crucial Big East game.

That said, Troy has felt the need to prove himself as something more than Boo's nephew.

"My freshman year, I never got a chance to play much because there were a lot of juniors and seniors in front of me," Troy said. "That summer, I was on one of my uncle's (AAU) teams. I needed then to show I could play and not go off his name."


Phoebus' Troy Williams handles, and maybe enjoys a little, the attention

Photo: Rivals.com

Kentucky Signees, Recruits Named McDonald's All-Americans


Kentucky signees Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin have been named to the 2012 McDonald's All-American team.

In addition, Kentucky recruits Shabazz Muhammad, Tony Parker and Anthony Bennett have also been named McDonald's All-Americans.

Here's a look at the rosters:

East Team

Kyle Anderson – UCLA
DaJuan Coleman – Syracuse
Kris Dunn – Providence
Perry Ellis – Kansas
William Goodwin – Memphis
Gary Harris – Michigan State
Amile Jefferson – Undecided
Tyler Lewis – North Carolina State
Tony Parker – Undecided
Alex Poythress – Kentucky
Rodney Purvis – North Carolina State
T.J. Warren – North Carolina State

West Team

Brandon Ashley – Arizona
Isaiah Austin – Baylor
Anthony Bennett – Undecided
Kevin Ferrell – Indiana
Archie Goodwin – Kentucky
Grant Jerrett – Arizona
Shabazz Muhammad – Undecided
Marcus Paige – North Carolina
Devonta Pollard – Undecided
Cameron Ridley – Texas
Marcus Smart – Oklahoma State
Rasheed Sulaimon – Duke

Centre's Calvin Cahall Receives SCAC Weekly Award


Centre College's Calvin Cahall has been named SCAC Character & Community Male Student-Athlete-of-the-Week.

Here is more from Centre:

Centre's Calvin Cahall has been selected the SCAC Character & Community Male Student-Athlete-of-the-Week for the week ending Feb. 5.

Cahall is in his third year as a member of Centre's men's basketball team, and he contributes in many areas off the court both at Centre and in his hometown of Georgetown, Ohio.

At Centre, Cahall serves as a tutor, assisting students in physics and chemistry. He also contributes in his hometown, where he regularly volunteers with its youth basketball programs and has spent the last six summers mowing lawns for elderly citizens who are unable to do it themselves.

Cahall is the fourth Centre athlete to receive the award this year. Football player Tim Rembowski and volleyball player Amelia George were honored in the fall while women's basketball player Lauren Huter was named on Jan. 22.

Complete Release

Keith Bogans Suffers Severe Ankle Injury


Former University of Kentucky star Keith Bogans, who recently signed with the New Jersey Nets, suffered a serious ankle injury in last night's game against the Detroit Pistons.

Here is a release from the Nets:

New Jersey Nets guard Keith Bogans has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the deltoid ligament as well as a fractured left ankle, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today. The injury occurred during last night’s contest versus the Detroit Pistons. Bogans will undergo surgery on Monday, February 13.

Bogans, who signed with the Nets as a free agent on February 1, 2012, has played in five games this season, averaging, 4.2 points and 2.2 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game.


The ankle - Deltoid Ligament is highlighted:

Anthony Davis Moves Up to No. 2 in CBSSports POY Watch


Kentucky's Anthony Davis has moved up to No. 2 in CBSSports.com's National Player of the Year Weekly Watch.

Davis is just behind Kansas star Thomas Robinson

Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is No. 7 this week while Murray State's Isaiah Canaan is No. 8.

Here are some excerpts:

2. Anthony Davis
Position: F
School: Kentucky
Class: Freshman
Ht: 6-10 Wt: 220
Comment: His numbers aren‘t what makes him so effective. There‘s no one like Davis in the country in terms of affecting the game on the defensive end. He had 22 points, eight rebounds and eight blocks in a win against South Carolina and finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four blocks in the rout over Florida in Lexington. Last week: No. 3


7. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Position: F
School: Kentucky
Class: Freshman
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 232
Comment: It was a fairly quiet week as MKG averaged 10 points and nine boards in a pair of wins over Florida and South Carolina. Last week: No. 7

8. Isaiah Canaan
Position: G
School: Murray State
Class: Junior
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 193
Comment: The nation‘s only unbeaten point guard had an off-night, scoring just 11 points and missing all four of his attempts from deep, but the Racers remained flawless with the win over Tennessee-Martin. Last week: No. 6

Complete Article

Transy to Host Coaches vs. Cancer Fundraiser on Saturday


Transylvania University will be hosting a Coaches vs. Cancer Fundraiser during a men's/women's doubleheader on Saturday.

Here are details from Transy:

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Transylvania's Heartland Conference basketball doubleheader with Manchester Saturday will provide the backdrop for a Coaches vs. Cancer Fundraiser at the Beck Center.

The women's game between the Spartans and Pioneers begins at 1 p.m. with the men to follow at about 3 p.m. Adding to the excitement is the presence of alumni from both programs. Saturday has also be set as Alumni Day with the former Pioneers to be introduced during special halftime festivities.

It will also be Senior Day for the men's program as Michael Stone and Chris Owens are honored prior to tip-off of the second game of the afternoon.

The Coaches vs. Cancer event will feature door prizes, contests, a silent auction, and other games and all money generated will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Complete Release

Photo: Transylvania University

Josh Harrellson on the Comeback Trail for New York


Former University of Kentucky star Josh Harrellson is working hard to recover from a wrist injury that has kept off the court for several weeks.

Harrellson posted on Twitter this morning that he is working out daily:

BigJorts55 About to get another workout! Have been going hard everyday to get better! I'm climbing that mountain! I will be the best! #CountryStrong

The fractured wrist was expected to keep Harrellson on the Knicks' sideline for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Scout.com: Shabazz Muhammad is UCLA's to Lose


A new recruiting article from Scout.com delivers some bittersweet news on 2012 recruits for Kentucky basketball fans.

The report says Florida and Kentucky are the top two schools for Anthony Bennett and that the "gut feeling" is Kentucky for Nerlens Noel.

On the other hand, the news is not as encouraging in regards to Shabazz Muhammad. The report says, "recent information confirms that he remains UCLA's to lose."

You can check out the full article here (subscription).

Scout.com ranks Noel No. 1, Muhammad No. 2 and Bennett No. 7 in the 2012 recruiting class.

All three recruits will be major hits or misses for Kentucky.

Lindsey Wilson and Sports Reach Team Up for Shoe Drive


Lindsey Wilson College is teaming up with Sports Reach for the fourth annual Next Step Shoe Drive.

Here are some details:

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson College and Sports Reach will team up for the fourth annual Next Step Shoe Drive on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Biggers Sports Center.

Fans will be admitted free into Lindsey Wilson's doubleheader with University of Rio Grande on Saturday with a pair of new or gently used shoes. The shoes will be distributed throughout Belize, eastern Kentucky, as well as Adair and Taylor counties.

Donations can be made throughout both games. The women's game tips at 2 p.m. CT with the men's game to follow at 4 p.m. CT. Shoes may also be donated at the Lindsey Wilson athletics office anytime before 4 p.m. CT on Friday.

"This is an outstanding cause and I commend the individuals at Sports Reach for their service to those in need," Lindsey Wilson athletic director Willis Pooler said. "We encourage all of our fans to support this effort and as a small token we will grant free admission to Saturday's games to anyone who donates a pair of shoes."

In addition to free admission, each pair of shoes donated is good for a free ticket that could result in $10,000. During halftime of each game, two fans will have a chance to win $10,000 by making four shots in a contest sponsored by Columbia Pharmacy.

Complete Release

Report: John Calipari Watches Nerlens Noel on Wednesday


Kentucky head coach John Calipari was reportedly in New Hampshire to watch 2012 superstar Nerlens Noel last night.

Adam Rubin of Crusader22.com reported the news on Twitter:

TheCrusader22 Kentucky head coach John Calipari @ukcoachcalipari is in attendance watching @NerlensNoel3 and the Tilton team as they play Kimball Union

According to other reports, Florida head coach Billy Donovan was also in attendance.

My thoughts: That awkward moment when you beat a team by 20 points, then run into the head coach the next day on a recruiting trip.

No. 15 Transylvania Defeats Mt. St. Joseph


(15) Transylvania 67
Mt. St. Joseph 58

Final from Lexington, Kentucky


Game recap by Transy:

LEXINGTON, Ky. - No. 15 Transylvania maintained its lead atop the Heartland Conference and its perfect record at home with a 67-58 win over Mt. St. Joseph on Wednesday at the Beck Center.

The Pioneers hold a two-game lead over Hanover in the race for the HCAC title and the right to host the conference tournament on Feb. 24-26. Transy is also a perfect 12-0 at home this season.

Barrett Meyer led the Pioneers (20-2, 14-1 HCAC) with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting. He made four of his six three-point attempts and also pulled down four rebounds.

"Barrett really got us going," said head coach Brian Lane. "He really helped us respond the way we needed to after the first half."

All-America candidates Brandon Rash and Ethan Spurlin were also solid. Rash scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, and Spurlin added eight points and eight rebounds for the Pioneers, who led 24-21 at halftime.

Complete Recap

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

John Calipari "Complains" About SEC Schedule, Takes Playful Jab at Kevin Stallings


Kentucky head coach John Calipari sent a playful jab in Kevin Stallings' direction on Tuesday night after the top-ranked Wildcats hammered Florida.

Stallings has publicly grumbled about Kentucky getting more time to prepare than conference opponents because the Wildcats don't have any Thursday games for the second straight year, but still plays four Saturday matchups against teams who had only one day in between games.

After blasting the Gators 78-58 on Tuesday night, Calipari was "amazed" that his team was able to play so well with only one day of preparation.

"We only had one day obviously to prepare for it," Calipari said with a smile. "That's the problem with playing Saturday-Tuesday, you only have one day to prepare. It's awful. I mean, it's just ridiculous."

Tubby Smith Plans to Finish Coaching Career in Minnesota


Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith said in a radio interview with KFXN's Paul Allen today that he would like to finish up his coaching career with the Gophers.

"Would I like this to be my last coaching job?" Smith said. "Yes. We like it here in Minnesota."

Smith coached at the University of Kentucky from 1997-2007. He had a 263-83 record at Kentucky and won the national championship in 1998.

Morehead State Suffers Disappointing Loss to JSU


Jacksonville State 69
Morehead State 55

Final from Morehead, Kentucky


Game recap by MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- The Jacksonville State men’s basketball team placed four players in double figures on Wednesday evening en route to a 69-55 victory over Morehead State at Johnson Arena.

The Gamecocks improve to 11-16 overall and 6-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference with their fifth win in the past seven games, while the Eagles slip to 13-13 on the campaign and 6-6 in conference action.

“You have to give Jacksonville State credit,” Morehead State Head Coach Donnie Tyndall said. “They are a physical team and have been playing well in recent games. They spaced the floor on the offensive end and we couldn’t get stops when we needed them.”

Freshman Darion Rackley came off the Jacksonville State bench to score a game-high 20 points. He knocked down 4-of-9 from the field and 11-of-13 from the free-throw line.

Junior Tarvin Gaines added 15 points and a game-best nine rebounds for the Gamecocks, while sophomores Brian Williams and Nick Cook contributed 12 points apiece.

Sophomore Drew Kelly led Morehead State with 14 points on 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. He also pulled down five rebounds and was credited with three steals.

Complete Recap

Jerry Smith Selected for 2012 NBA D-League All-Star Game


Former University of Louisville star Jerry Smith has been selected to play in the NBA Development League All-Star Game.

Smith is averaging 17.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game for the Springfield Armor.

The game will be played Saturday, February 25 on Center Court at NBA All-Star Jam Session. The game will air live on NBA TV at 2:00 p.m. ET.

EAST ALL-STAR ROSTER

Pos. Player (Team) Ht. Wt. College
F Marqus Blakely (Iowa) 6-5 220 Vermont
F Tyrell Biggs (Canton) 6-8 240 Pittsburgh
G JamesOn Curry (Springfield) 6-4 200 Oklahoma State
C Jeff Foote (Springfield) 7-0 265 Cornell
C Charles Garcia (Sioux Falls) 6-10 230 Seattle
F Darnell Lazare (Fort Wayne) 6-8 240 Louisiana State
G Keith McLeod (Erie) 6-2 190 Bowling Green
G Walker Russell (Fort Wayne) * 6-0 175 Jacksonville State
G Jerry Smith (Springfield) 6-2 190 Louisville
F Edwin Ubiles (Dakota) 6-6 204 Siena

Head Coach: Kevin Young (Iowa)
Assistant Coaches: Gene Cross (Iowa)
Athletic Trainer: Jeremy MacVarish (Iowa)

WEST ALL-STAR ROSTER

Pos. Player (Team) Ht. Wt. College
G Blake Ahearn (Reno) 6-3 190 Missouri State
C Brandon Costner (Los Angeles) 6-9 235 North Carolina State
G Justin Dentmon (Austin) 6-0 185 Washington
G Jerome Dyson (Tulsa) 6-3 180 Connecticut
F Andre Emmett (Reno) 6-5 220 Texas Tech
F Gerald Green (Los Angeles) 6-8 220 Gulf Shores Academy, TX (HS)
F Marcus Lewis (Tulsa) 6-8 245 Oral Roberts
G Elijah Millsap (Los Angeles) 6-5 215 Alabama-Birmingham
C Greg Smith (Rio Grande Valley) * 6-10 250 Fresno State
F Lance Thomas (Austin) * 6-8 225 Duke

Head Coach: Brad Jones (Austin)
Assistant Coaches: Taylor Jenkins (Austin), Alex Lloyd (Austin)
Athletic Trainer: Nixon Dorvilien (Austin)

* - Indicates a player currently in the NBA use to stretch container

Former UK Basketball Player Jim Dinwiddie Dies at 63


Former University of Kentucky basketball player Jim Dinwiddie was found dead Tuesday morning at his home in Leitchfield.

Here is more from Kentucky.com:

Attorney and former University of Kentucky basketball player Jim Dinwiddie, 63, was found dead Tuesday morning in an apparent suicide, said Grayson County Coroner Joseph Brad Hudson.

Officers from the Leitchfield Police Department found Dinwiddie dead of a single gunshot wound in his home on the public square in Leitchfield. They had been called to the scene at 10:07 a.m., according to a news release from the police department.

Dinwiddie grew up in Leitchfield and returned there to work as an attorney after his career at UK.


Former UK Wildcat basketball player Jim Dinwiddie dies at age 63

Dinwiddie played three seasons at Kentucky, totalling 277 career points. He was drafted in the 10th round of the 1971 NBA Draft by Philadelphia.

Pitino: Wayne Blackshear Medically Cleared to Play


Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said on his radio show tonight that freshman Wayne Blackshear has been medically cleared to play against West Virginia on Saturday.

The former McDonald's All-American has missed the entire season after suffering a torn labrum in October.

Cousins, Knight and Wall to Play in Rising Stars Challenge


Former Kentucky stars DeMarcus Cousins, Brandon Knight and John Wall will be playing in the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star weekend.

Roster for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge:

Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Home Country Exp
MarShon Brooks New Jersey G-F 6-5 200 Providence/USA R
DeMarcus Cousins Sacramento C 6-11 270 Kentucky/USA 1
Landry Fields New York G 6-7 210 Stanford/USA 1
Paul George Indiana G-F 6-8 215 Fresno State/USA 1
Blake Griffin L.A. Clippers F 6-10 251 Oklahoma/USA 1
Gordon Hayward Utah F 6-8 210 Butler/USA 1
Kyrie Irving Cleveland G 6-3 191 Duke/USA R
Brandon Knight Detroit G 6-3 189 Kentucky/USA R
Kawhi Leonard San Antonio G-F 6-7 225 San Diego State/USA R
Greg Monroe Detroit C 6-11 250 Georgetown/USA 1
Markieff Morris Phoenix F 6-10 245 Kansas/USA R
Ricky Rubio Minnesota G 6-4 180 FC Barcelona/Spain R
Tiago Splitter San Antonio F-C 6-11 240 Saski Baskonia/Brazil 1
Tristan Thompson Cleveland F 6-9 227 Texas/USA R
Evan Turner Philadelphia G-F 6-7 205 Ohio State/USA 1
John Wall Washington G 6-4 195 Kentucky/USA 1
Kemba Walker Charlotte G 6-1 172 Connecticut/USA R
Derrick Williams Minnesota F 6-8 241 Arizona/USA R

Release from the NBA:

NEW YORK -- Reigning Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Ricky Rubio, who ranks third overall in assists, lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge to be held on Friday, Feb. 24, in Orlando during NBA All-Star 2012.
Joining Griffin from the Sophomore class are: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers), and John Wall (Washington Wizards).

Irving and Rubio are joined by fellow first-year players MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves).

The participants in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge were selected by the NBA's assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.

This year, a new format is being implemented to a game that has historically featured NBA rookies facing off against sophomores. For the first time, rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal will serve as the general managers of the two opposing teams - TEAM CHUCK and TEAM SHAQ - each with nine man rosters, drafted from the aforementioned pool. TNT's Kenny Smith will serve as the honorary Commissioner and Ernie Johnson will host the live BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Draft on Thursday, Feb. 16, on NBA TV at 7 p.m. ET.

Complete Release

ESPNU Picks Up Murray State vs. Tennessee State Game


ESPNU has decided to pick up the February 23 game between Murray State and Tennessee State as part of the league's television package.

Here is the OVC release:

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - The February 23 Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball contest between Murray State and Tennessee State 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 this week's action Murray State (23-0, 11-0 OVC) is the only undefeated team in Division I and are ranked No. 7 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 and No. 9 in the Associated Press Top 25. The rankings are the highest ever for the Racer program and highest for an OVC team since the 1970-71 season. Tennessee State (15-10, 8-4 OVC) has climbed to a tie for second in the OVC standings after winning five-straight games. The Tigers are just one win away from guaranteeing itself its first winning season since 1995-96. The two teams will also play this Thursday in Murray on ESPN3.

Complete release

Bruce Pearl Talks SEC Basketball, Kentucky and More

Former Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl talks SEC basketball, including Kentucky, with Tim Brando:

Description: Tim Brando spoke with Bruce Pearl about the Florida Gators victory over Vanderbilt, the state of the SEC and who matches up well with Kentucky.

Recent Interview with Utah Jazz Rookie Enes Kanter

Former Kentucky big man Enes Kanter sits down with The Fan's Alema Harrington:

Bellarmine Remains No. 1 in NABC/Division II Coaches Poll


The Bellarmine Knights (20-1) remain on top of the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll this week.

Kentucky Wesleyan (18-3) holds at No. 7 and Northern Kentucky (17-4) drops one spot to No. 16 this week .

NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (Feb. 7, 2012)

Record Points Pvs
1. Bellarmine, Ky. (8 first place votes) 20-1 200 1
2. West Liberty, W.Va. 20-1 191 2
3. Winona State, Minn. 21-2 183 4
4. Colorado School of Mines 18-2 171 5
5. Tarleton State, Texas 20-2 162 3
6. Alabama-Huntsville 17-3 159 6
7. Kentucky Wesleyan 18-3 158 7
8. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 20-2 137 9
9. Midwestern State, Texas 18-2 134 11
10. Christian Brothers, Tenn. 17-3 127 10
11. Metropolitan State, Colo. 18-3 123 12
12. Shaw, N.C. 18-2 105 14
13. Indiana, Pa. 17-3 102 13
14. Southern Indiana 17-4 98 8
15. Western Washington 20-3 91 16
16. Northern Kentucky 17-4 84 15
17. Alaska-Anchorage 17-4 65 21
18. Northwest Missouri State 17-3 63 22
19. Missouri Southern 18-5 55 23
20. South Carolina Aiken 16-4 35 24
21. Bowie State, Md. 16-4 29 17
22. Indianapolis, Ind. 16-5 21 NR
23. Hillsdale, Mich. 18-3 20 18
24. St. Cloud State, Minn. 17-4 18 20
25. Central Missouri 16-4 14 NR

Others receiving votes: Arkansas Tech 11, Montevallo (Ala.) 8, West Georgia 8, Adelphi (N.Y.) 6, District of Columbia 6, King (Tenn.) 6, Seattle Pacific (Wash.) 4, Franklin Pierce (N.H.) 3, Anderson (S.C.) 2, Dixie State (Utah) 1.

Kentucky Players Discuss Win Over Florida and More


Here are postgame comments from Kentucky's Anthony Davis, Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague following the Cats' big win over Florida on Tuesday night:

#23, Anthony Davis, F

On tonight’s game...
“We did a great job. They like to shoot 3’s, almost thirty a game. We held them to 6. We did an outstanding job.”

On whether it was weird for him to see all the posters in the stands...
“It was great. Indescribable, really. It wasn’t weird. I was laughing. It is great being up for defensive player of the year. It’s real cool.”

On whether he expected a 20-point win...
“No, not at all. We just did a great job on defense holding them. Only six 3’s. They weren’t making any other shots. When they shot 3’s it was usually misses and we ran out on the break for easy buckets. We were knocking down shots and the lead just kept building.”

#20, Doron Lamb, G

On Florida coach Billy Donovan saying UK is a "cut above" the rest of the league...
“We aren't really saying we are the best team in the league. We are just going out there every game and playing to our game plan and playing our best, trying to win every game.”

On what it says about UK to have just beat a top-10 team by 20 points...
“We are just sticking to our game plan, make them drive to our bigs and let them block their shots, and contest the 3s. We played great offense and we made a lot of shots.”

On how Kentucky has played in its last four games and if fans should expect that in every game...
“I hope so. We are playing with a lot of energy at the beginning of games. Everybody is just playing great and everyone is doing their role.”

#25, Marquis Teague, G

On if the team made a statement tonight ...
“I think we made a big statement. We just wanted to come in and show that we can beat anyone and we can beat a team by a good amount (of points). So, we just came out and played hard.”

On Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s big game ...
“(Kidd-Gilchrist) steps up for the big games and he gives it his all. He steps up for every game, but he is a different person when we play better teams. He just steps up to a whole different level.”

On Marquis Teague’s defense against Florida’s Erving Walker ...
“I just wanted to contain (Erving Walker). I know he is a quick guard and he can shoot the outside shot really well. I just wanted to pressure up on him, try to keep him in front of me and keep him out the lane to prevent him from making plays for others. Especially since (Florida) has a lot of shooters.”

Billy Donovan on UK: "They are very, very good"


Florida head coach Billy Donovan said after the Gators' loss at Kentucky that the Wildcats are "very, very good."

Donovan added, "There is not one thing you do necessarily against them that is a formula to win."

Here are his comments:

On the breakdowns defensively ...
“I thought they shot it very well. I think you are always in a bind personnel-wise with them on the floor. You know, the two 3’s at the end were probably ones that we could have done a little better job. I think one was in transition and (Will) Yeguete got caught on (Doron) Lamb and he probably gave a little bit too much help in the post. As the ball was going back out, he was late, and then we tried to switch to zone there because there was not a whole lot of time before the half was out. He got sucked in a little bit too far on the wing and they kicked it to him, and he knocked down the second. But, you know they shot the ball well. You have to give help in the post because of (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrist and (Anthony) Davis and (Terrence) Jones. Just their length and their size, you just don’t want those guys individually off (unaudible) , so you have to come off here and there, and they shot it well, so you have to give them credit.”

On attacking Kentucky’s defense ....
I don’t know if we necessarily attacked their defense great in terms of a high level of intelligence there, but I did think that we had some decent looks. One of the things that I thought that hurt us, at least in the first half was I thought we had a lot of plays in around the basket that I thought we could have finished, that we didn’t finish, that were on the rim, and that we had pretty clean looks. And then, I thought we had a couple of plays where we probably could have made the extra pass, had a little bit better ball movement. But, it was probably a combination of their defense, and then we missed some shots.

On how good of a team Kentucky is ...
They are very, very good. There is not one thing you do necessarily against them that is a formula to win. I think good shooting, and maybe the stats necessarily don’t prove out that way, but (Doron) Lamb is a very, very capable shooter, (Darius) Miller is a capable shooter, I think when (Marquis) Teague has his feet set, he is a solid shooter, (Terrence) Jones every once in a while can throw one in on ya, but I think they had the right guys taking 3s in terms of when they were open. But then you also have to account for the backboard and you also have to account for post-ups and things to the basket. Certainly shooting the ball well on the road helps, but we didn’t shoot it well. I thought some of our turnovers there in a stretch, some of their transition hurt us. I also thought when we came out of the half, we got off to a good start, we scored the first four points, and then I thought they answered the bell. They made back-to-back 3s, I think (Doron) Lamb, and (Marquis) Teague both made 3s, so they kind of regained the lead very quickly

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

John Calipari's Postgame Comments After Florida Win


Here are John Calipari's postgame comments after tonight's win over the Florida Gators:

Q: On Florida’s 3-point shooting ...

Coach Calipari: It was probably a combination of (Kentucky and Florida). They missed a lot of open 3s that they normally make. Our goal was to try to hold them to eight 3s, that’s what we were shooting for. We figured if we held them to eight 3s they would be middle 60s and we thought we could score a little bit more than that and that was our whole goal.

Q. On guarding against Florida’s 3-point shooting and what they did in practice to limit them from long range ...

Coach Calipari: We only had one day obviously to prepare for it. That's the problem with playing Saturday/Tuesday, you only have one day to prepare. It's awful. I mean, it's just ridiculous. But we'll deal with it. But we went and just said, ‘okay, we're going to start off those guys, made it hard.’

Again, (Kenny) Boynton came down and made those shots at the end. He's capable of doing it.

Q. What is it about Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) that in your biggest games he plays his best basketball?

Coach Calipari: He has a fierceness to him. I told him this game, this was a rebound game. The reason was, Bradley Beal rebounds. He's like their leading rebounder, like a percentage behind (Patric) Young. That's why we put Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) on him and we didn't put him on (Erving) Walker.

Let me say this. We're talking about Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist). We're talking about Anthony Davis. What about Marquis Teague? 12 points, 10 assists. He is playing, getting everybody shots. He ended the half Doron (Lamb) 3, Doron 3. He got him those shots. That gave us some breathing room, up 12.

He played well. Doron made shots. Darius made shots. We played pretty good.

Q. So many people talk about (Anthony) Davis and his shot blocking. Can you talk about the way your guys played defense, that your defense is not just him blocking shots?

Coach Calipari: Well, we got a long team. Michael Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller. I thought Kyle Wiltjer followed the game plan today. They made a basket on him, but he did what we told him to do.

The other thing with Kyle, you got to guard him. At the end he tried to get the ball in the basket. He should have kicked it out. The reality of it is you have to guard him. I'm in my office, look out the window, he's in that gym shooting. He's spending that extra time.

I don't know how I got on to Kyle from that. But we're playing good defense from a lot of different positions.

Q. Talk about how much fun it is for you to watch the guys.

Coach Calipari: My thing to Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) was I want to make sure he's smiling. A couple games ago he wasn't smiling. I'm like, ‘You should be smiling every game.’ I told him and Anthony (Davis), I said to both of them, ‘You guys understand, these guys love playing with you because you don't command the ball. You defend. You rebound. You block shots. They get to shoot all the balls. What's better than that?’

I said, ‘But, let me say this to you. They get all the accolades, and they got to deal with that stuff, too.’ And our team is. They know those two are playing well, but we got a bunch of other guys playing well right now too.

Q. Why do you think Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) is not smiling more?

Coach Calipari: He read something you wrote. I don't know what it was (laughter).

I would tell you he's a good kid and he takes everything. He reminds me of Derrick Rose in that he's tougher on himself than I am on him. Like he came running over during the game and says to me, ‘Coach, I'm sorry.’ I said, ‘Stop, just have fun and go play.’ He's a great kid.

Q. Can you talk about Marquis (Teague)’s defense?

Coach Calipari: He had one play where he broke down, kind of stopped on a play, they had a 3 in the corner right in front of our bench. Short of that, he's terrific. You can't dribble around him.

I'll tell you where he's great: in pick-and-roll defense. It's hard to screen him because he is a pit bull.

Q. Florida was hanging in there with you guys. For the last 10, 11 minutes of the first half, they really struggled to put the ball in the basket, then on into the second half. What changed?

Coach Calipari: I don't know. I'll watch the tape and figure it out. I was happy with how we played. We scored the ball pretty well, a good percentage. We made 3s, we made free throws. We had 13 turnovers. A couple of them sloppy, a couple of them created by Florida.

Look, Florida is a top-15, top-10 team. Someone had them ranked as high as number five. I believe they are. They just didn't shoot the ball well today.

We'll go down there, they'll probably make 20 out of 30, and we'll go home with our tail between our legs. They got size. (Erik) Murphy is better than he was, (Patric) Young is better. They have those seven, eight guys. (Bradley) Beal is legit.

They are a good team.

Q. Cal, Michael (Kidd-)Gilchrist, is he the longest striving transition offense guy you've had?

Coach Calipari: I tell you what, when he gets that ball in the open court, he takes two strides, he's about NBA line in two strides. He's laying it in through traffic, tucking the ball. He's pretty good.

We always tell our guys, if he's ahead of you, you must give him the ball. If you don't, you'll come out of the game, because he's always going to make something good happen.

Q. Can you talk about how your team has executed out of timeouts?

Coach Calipari: I don't remember every timeout. But we did some good things. You know, when you shoot a pretty good percentage from 3 and from the 2, you're executing, you're creating good shots.

But the other side of it is when they spread the court out on us and teams choose to depress us, you start dunking balls. That's one for one. That's pretty good offense.

You know, Terrence (Jones) had a couple. But it was good. Like I said, it was a good effort. We out-rebound them. They get 18 offensive rebounds. They had 10 at half. That was like a sore spot. I thought a couple of our guards should have come up with balls that we didn't.

Q. Your team just beat a top-10 team by 20 points. You have Vandy on Saturday. Is this a team that will respond well to that kind of success?

Coach Calipari: We start three freshmen and two sophomores, and Kyle Wiltjer is a freshman off the bench, and a senior. Everything is new to us. I have no idea. That's why you want to go see. Let's find out. Let's see.

They'll have tomorrow off. We'll practice Thursday. We'll practice Friday. Then we go to Vandy. We play a 9:00 game. Is it GameDay up there? It's nuts, doesn't need to be GameDay. I heard they changed the benches to the sides. Did they? They didn't. See, that's a problem.

Q. Along the same lines, was this in any way a measuring stick game for you, just to see where your team was, considering the opponent?

Coach Calipari: No, because they didn't shoot it well. What we need to do is have a team come out and go nutty on us and have us have to respond to that and then hold on to win a tight game.

Again, it will a different game to Florida, I promise you. I know what it will be down there. But it was a good win. I'm glad we won. I'm glad we stretched it out a little bit. But the reality of it is, you know, they're a terrific team and they're going to be fine.

Orlando Magic Keep DeAndre Liggins, Guaranteed Contract


The Orlando Magic have decided to keep former Kentucky star DeAndre Liggins for the rest of the season, which means the rookie will have a fully guaranteed salary.

Here is more from OrlandoPinStripedPost.com:

The Orlando Magic did not waive rookie combo guard DeAndre Liggins by Tuesday's 6 PM deadline, confirming the Kentucky product will remain on the team's roster for the rest of the regular season and fully guaranteeing his salary.

Though Liggins' contract won't become fully guaranteed in an official sense until Friday, NBA teams had only until Tuesday at 6 PM to waive players in time for them to clear waivers by the deadline. As such, some players around the league--including Derrick Caracter, Josh Davis, Mickell Gladness, Solomon Jones, and Malcolm Thomas--found themselves out of a job Tuesday evening.


Complete Article

Top-Ranked Kentucky Chomps No. 7 Gators


(1) Kentucky
(7) Florida

Final from Lexington, Kentucky


The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats pulled away from No. 7 Florida early in the first half and rolled to an eye-opening 78-58 win on Tuesday night.

Kentucky (24-1, 10-0 SEC) blistered the nets for 29-55 (52.7%) field goal shooting, including a phenomenal 9-15 (60.0%) from long range. The Cats were a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line.

Doron Lamb led Kentucky in scoring with 18 points on 6-8 shooting. He was also 4-5 from the three-point line. Anthony Davis added 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist contributed a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards. The ever-improving Marquis Teague also added a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists.

The Wildcats, who at times appeared to be running layup drills, finished the game with 18 assists and 13 turnovers.

Florida (19-5, 7-2 SEC) got 18 points from Kenny Boynton and 14 from freshman sensation Bradley Beal.

The Gators were just 22-63 (34.9%) from the field and 6-27 (22.2%) from long range.

John Calipari's team travels to Vanderbilt on Saturday for a tough road game in Memorial Gym.

Official box score (click to enlarge):

Eastern Kentucky Cruises Past Mid-Continent


Eastern Kentucky 59
Mid-Continent 41

Final from Richmond, Kentucky


Game recap by EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team shot a sizzling 53 percent from three-point range Tuesday night as the Colonels defeated visiting Mid-Continent, 59-41, in McBrayer Arena.

EKU (14-12) led by only eight at halftime, but used a 10-0 spurt to open the second half as freshman Eric Stutz knocked down just his second triple of the season to give the Colonels a comfortable 33-15 lead with 15:54 on the clock. Eastern Kentucky led by double digits the rest of the way.

EKU’s 53 percent (9-of-17) shooting from deep marked the Colonels’ second-best three-point shooting effort of the season, as they shot 64 percent (16-of-25) from downtown against Brescia on Dec. 3.

Senior Joshua Jones surpassed 1,100 career points thanks to finishing with a game-high 15 points and four steals. Stutz contributed 11 points and a team-best seven boards.

Complete Recap

The Florida Gators are Coming, Score Predictions?

The Florida Gators are in Lexington (yes I'm the smart guy who got close enough to take this picture):



Remember when Al Horford gave Big Blue Nation the Gator Chomp last summer (fast forward to 1:50):



The game tips at 7:00 p.m. ET and Kentucky is favord by 9.5 points. Score predictions?

I'll say:

Kentucky 77
Florida 67

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