Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kentucky Players Discuss SEC Tourney Win Over Florida

Kentucky's Darius Miller and Anthony Davis talk about Kentucky's 74-71 victory over Florida in the SEC Tournament semifinals (videos by uknationofblue on YouTube):



Kentucky Survives Gators, Advances to SEC Title Game


(1) Kentucky 74
(22) Florida 71

Final from New Orleans, Louisiana

SEC Tournament - Semifinals


Game recap by UK:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Anthony Davis had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats held off Florida 74-71 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Terrence Jones added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats (32-1), who've won 24 straight games.

Doron Lamb scored 16 points and Marquis Teague added 15, with each hitting a pair of key free throws in the last 15 seconds to secure the win against a Florida team which shot 48 percent, including 11 of 22 from 3-point range.

Erik Murphy had 24 points, on 9 of 12 shooting, and nearly lifted Florida (23-10) to the upset with nine points in the final minutes. Bradley Beal added 20 points.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 10 points for Kentucky, which has survived two straight tight games. The Wildcats have never led either game by more than nine points to advance to Sunday's tournament final against the winner of Mississippi and Vanderbilt.

Kentucky shot 45 percent (27 of 60) and outrebounded Florida 39-25. The Wildcats grabbed 16 offensive rebounds.

There was also a significant disparity in free throws, with Kentucky hitting 15 of 20 and Florida going 2 for 2.

Florida led 56-51 on Patric Young's jump hook with 10:43 to go, but the Gators' offense, so consistent to that point, suddenly lost its rhythm.

Florida went without a field goal for more than six minutes without scoring while the Wildcats surged in front 65-56 with a 14-0 run.

Complete Recap

Box Score (Click to enlarge):

Breaking News: Thayer Evans Has an Obvious Agenda and Knows Nothing About Basketball


Thayer Evans of FoxSports.com has written another anti-Kentucky article following the Wildcats' lackadaisical win against LSU on Friday.

Apparently, Evans thinks Kentucky (31-1) has all kinds of problems (not really, the fact is: he just hates John Calipari) and has plenty of reason to be concerned heading into the NCAA Tournament.

Here is an excerpt of Evans' not-masterpiece:

But all of Kentucky’s reasoning still doesn’t explain its lack of movement on offense against LSU, a frequent issue this season that usually leads to a bad shot against multiple defenders. It didn’t doom the Wildcats on Friday, but they are well aware that it’s an issue.

“There’s no excuse for it,” freshman forward Kyle Wiltjer said of his team’s offensive breakdowns. “In late-clock situations, it’s people not knowing what we’re running or something like that.”

This wouldn't be the first time a Calipari-coached team has had that dilemma.

Defensively, though, questions also remain about this Kentucky team. On this day, it was pounded by LSU in transition, a problem magnified by the Wildcats’ 18 turnovers, which led to them being outscored 14-2 in fast-break points.

Even worse, Stringer thinks Kentucky’s on-ball defense is “shaky,” a weakness he believes can be exploited by better-matched opponents who can score off the dribble outside the lane to avoid Davis.

“They’ll have trouble with teams like that,” he said. “I think they rely on their guys just blocking shots.”

Yet when it comes to discussing the obvious talent discrepancy between Kentucky and the rest of the SEC, the Wildcats become fundamentally defensive. “I still feel like there’s talented teams in the league,” Miller said. “We’ve got to continue to play. We came out lackadaisical today.”

That’s been a more common theme for the Wildcats in recent weeks, but even if it continues that should hardly be a roadblock to them winning the Kentucky Invitational.

Just don’t count on that working in the NCAA tournament.


Complete Garbage

My Thoughts:

1. Thayer Evans has an obvious agenda against Kentucky and John Calipari.

2. Evans is clearly an excellent writer who simply doesn't understand his subject matter.

3. It's a pretty simple equation Thayer. Kentucky is a young team that didn't completely understand the level of intensity that is required to win convincingly in March. You'll see a different Kentucky team today and Sunday.

4. It must be tough times at FoxSports.com and hits are needed. You know, now that all of the true talent resides at CBSSports.com, Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com.

Morris, Marbury are One Game Away from Finals in China


Former Kentucky big man Randolph Morris and teammate Stephon Marbury have led Beijing to a 2-1 series lead in the semifinal round of the 2012 CBA Playoffs in China.

Beijing defeated Shanxi 128-115 in game 3 behind huge games by Marbury and Morris.

Marbury led the way with 53 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Morris controlled the paint with 31 points and 7 boards.

Charles Gaines had 34 points and 23 rebounds for Shanxi. Marcus Williams added 32 points and 9 rebounds.

Game 4 will be played on Sunday.

Guandong, led by former Murray State star James Singleton, has already qualified for the finals after sweeping Xinjiang F.T. in 3 games.

Singleton had 21 points and 16 rebounds in the game 3 win.

Source: Asia-basket.com

Fans Invited to Murray State Scrimmage This Morning


Murray State fans are invited to a special men's basketball scrimmage this morning at 11:00 a.m. local time.

Here is a release from MSU:

Murray State Basketball fans will get a special opportunity to see the Racers scrimmage and then get autographs from the NCAA Tournament bound squad Saturday at the CFSB Center.

Fans are invited to come out to the CFSB Center Saturday at 11 a.m. for this free event. The team will go through a short warm up and then scrimmage starting at 11:45 a.m. At approximately 12:30 p.m., fans will have the chance to meet the team and get autographs.

“We appreciate the great support that we get from the Murray State fans and this is just another way to say thanks,” MSU Head Coach Steve Prohm said. “I hope the fans will take advantage of this opportunity to come out and see the team before we go into Selection Sunday.”

The Racers (30-1) have had this week off from games after they won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship last Saturday which qualified them for their 15th trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Complete Release

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kidd-Gilchrist Keeps Special Photo With Him on the Road


Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist keeps a special photo with him at home and on the road.

Here is an excerpt from Rivals.com:

At first glance, it's just like any other wedding photo. Family and friends are gathered at an altar. There's a bride and groom, and in the midst of their loved ones, a smiling kid yet to hit his teens.

The kid is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and that isn't any ordinary photo.

Kentucky's freshman forward doesn't leave home without that framed picture. It sits in his locker in Lexington, and it was in his locker at the New Orleans Arena on Friday after the Wildcats' 60-51 Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinal win against LSU.

"I'm a family person," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "That's what it means, really."

Kidd-Gilchrist is nine or 10 years old, he said, in the photo, which was taken at his late uncle's wedding.

Darrin Kidd, the uncle celebrating his wedding in the photo, died last year on the day Kidd-Gilchrist signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Wildcats. Kidd-Gilchrist changed his name last summer, including Kidd's name as a way to honor his uncle.

"That's what I have in my locker all the time," said Kidd-Gilchrist, who said he takes the framed picture on every trip.


Complete Article

Heshimu Evans Continues to Play Well in Portugal

Former University of Kentucky star Heshimu Evans continues to have great success in his professional career in Portugal.

Evans, who is now officially a Portuguese citizen, in continuing a great run with club team Benfica in Portugal's top-level LPB league.

Through 16 games this season, Evans has averaged 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

The league resumes play on March 17 after an extended midseason break. Benfica is 16-2 overall and No. in the league standings behind Porto Ferpinta (17-1).

John Calipari Talks About SEC Tourney Win Over LSU

Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks about today's SEC Tournament win over LSU and more:

Evans Daniels Talks About Three Kentucky Recruits

Scout.com's Evan Daniels talks about Kentucky recruits Shabazz Muhammad, Nerlens Noel and Amile Jefferson:

Kentucky to Face Florida in SEC Semifinals

The Kentucky Wildcats will face the Florida Gators in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The Gators defeated Alabama 66-63 moments ago as a potential game-tying 3-pointer by Trevor Lacey came up just short.

Kentucky Survives Physical Test from LSU in SEC Tournament


(1) Kentucky 60
LSU 51

Final from New Orleans, Louisiana

SEC Tournament - Quarterfinals


No. 1 Kentucky overcame a lackluster effort to defeat LSU 60-51 in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Friday afternoon.

LSU controlled the game's tempo with hard, physical play on both ends. Kentucky struggled to get anything going offensively, finishing with 8 assists and 18 turnovers as a team.

The Wildcats (31-1) finished 18-42 (42.9%) from the field and just 1-8 (12.5%) from long range.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished 19 points and 9 boards to lead Kentucky. Terrence Jones added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Anthony Davis picked it up in the second half to finish with 12 points, 14 rebounds and 6 blocked shots.

Freshman point guard Marquis Teague struggled for most of the game, finishing with 2 points, 5 assists and 4 turnovers.

LSU (18-14) got 14 points and 6 rebounds from Storm Warren. Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey added 10 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals.

The Tigers were just 20-68 (29.4%) from the field in the game.

Kentucky advances to Saturday's semifinal round where they will meet either Florida or Alabama.

LSU is Playing on the Road in the SEC Tournament

Preliminary reports indicate that more than 90% of the fans at New Orleans Arena are wearing Blue and White this afternoon.

And then there's this:

Isaiah Canaan Makes Final Five for the Bob Cousy Award


Murray State star Isaiah Canaan is one of five finalists for the coveted Bob Cousy Award, which is given to college basketball's top point guard.

The five finalists are:

- Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
- Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's
- Damian Lillard, Weber State
- Kendall Marshall, UNC
- Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas

Must See TV: The Bourbon Street Live Cam

If you are stuck at home/work during the Southeastern Conference Tournament, you need to check otu the live webcam on Bourbon Street.

Trust me when I say: it's definitely worth checking out and you will see almost anything if you watch it long enough (click on any of the images below to watch the live cam):





UK Recruit Nerlens Noel Discusses Georgetown, UNC

Here is 2012 star Nerlens Noel talking to Five Star Basketball about Georgetown and North Carolina:

New York Post: Pitino, Calipari Futures In Doubt


The New York Post claims that both Kentucky and Louisville could be searching for new head coaches next season.

Here is an excerpt:

Sources told The Post Louisville coach Rick Pitino briefly thought about stepping down after last season’s first-round NCAA loss to Morehead State. It was the Cardinals’ second straight first-round loss. If they lose in the first round this year, there is a segment of Louisville fans that will start calling for Pitino to resign.

Meanwhile, Kentucky coach John Calipari, who has made the Wildcats into the team to beat, might consider the NBA if he finally can win an NCAA title.


Source

My Thoughts: More garbage...

Anthony Davis Wins CBSSports.com Freshman of the Year


CBSSports.com has released their final Freshman of the Year rankings and Kentucky's Anthony Davis is the winner going away.

In fact, the article says "Anthony Davis has had this thing wrapped up since January."

Indiana's Cody Zeller finished second and Michigan's Trey Burke finished third.

Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished at No. 4 in the final rankings.

Here is an excerpt:

This will be the last Freshman of the Year rankings of the season, as we don’t plan on releasing one on the first Thursday of the NCAA tournament and there’s not much left to be decided. Unlike the Player of the Year race, which is still neck-and-neck heading into the conference tournaments, Anthony Davis has had this thing wrapped up since January. There was only one week where he didn’t hold the top spot, and that was after teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a monster game in early December. Davis was simply dominant throughout the season, especially on the defensive end, and he got better and better on offense as the campaign progressed. In closing, congrats to Davis.

1. Anthony Davis, Kentucky (Last Week: 1):
14.4 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 4.7 bpg, 66.3 FG%
His offensive improvement down the stretch of the season has been extremely impressive. Davis is efficient inside and is now becoming a matchup problem with his face-up game.


4. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (Last Week: 4):
11.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg
Kidd-Gilchrist has struggled offensively in the last month, but he’s still the freshman leader for the Wildcats. His activity on the defensive end and his transition game are eye opening.

Complete Article

Louisville Throttles No. 9 Marquette, Heads to Semifinals


Louisville 84
(9) Marquette 71

Final from New York, New York

Big East Tournament - Quarterfinals


Game recap by U of L:

NEW YORK (AP)- Peyton Siva and his pesky Louisville teammates looked even faster than usual in those flashy orange jerseys.

Kyle Kuric scored 20 points, Siva added 18 and Louisville forced No. 9 Marquette into a season-high 26 turnovers, advancing to the Big East tournament semifinals with an 84-71 victory Thursday night.

Wearing a new set of bright, neon-looking uniforms, the seventh-seeded Cardinals flashed their quick hands all over the court and held Big East Player of the Year Jae Crowder to 10 points in 31 foul-plagued minutes.

``I thought the guys did a tremendous job of pushing the pace tonight, getting a lot of easy baskets for us,'' coach Rick Pitino said.

Marquette entered as the top-scoring squad in the league at 76.1 points per game. But the defense of Chane Behanan and reserve Jared Swopshire made it a very tough night for Crowder and his teammates.

``It was fun for me,'' Swopshire said. ``He's a great player, and me and Chane talked about it when I subbed in that we wanted to keep him from getting touches, especially in the paint area. So, I feel like we were able to do that.''

Russ Smith and Behanan each scored 12 points for Louisville (24-9), which plays No. 23 Notre Dame or South Florida on Friday night.

Complete Recap

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Christian Laettner in Hot Water Over Real Estate Woes


Former Duke University star Christian Laettner is in a bit of hot water as court documents show that he and a business partner are defendants in several civil lawsuits seeking repayment of loans worth about $30 million.

Here is more from WSJ.com:

But later next week they have a court appearance in Washington, D.C. It's about a loan their real-estate company failed to repay to former Duke captain Johnny Dawkins. The judge in the case, having last year ordered Laettner, Davis and a company of theirs to pay Dawkins $671,309, will decide whether to hold them in contempt of court in regard to their failure to do so. In court documents and in interviews, Laettner, Davis and their attorney say any failure to make court-ordered payments is attributable to a lack of resources.

Court documents show that Laettner and Davis individually and their real-estate businesses are defendants in several civil lawsuits seeking repayment of loans worth about $30 million. The plaintiffs include sports celebrities like ex-Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen, who played with Laettner on the 1992 Olympic team. In August 2010, a state court judge in Lake County, Ill., ordered Laettner and Davis to repay Pippen $2.5 million. Through his attorney, Pippen said he had been paid half that amount and that litigation between the parties continues.

"What they have done isn't honest—I feel cheated," said Shawne Merriman, the three-time All-Pro Buffalo Bills linebacker who had lent money to the real-estate ventures of Laettner and Davis, which operated under a multitude of names.

In January 2011, a federal court judge in Maryland ordered Laettner and Davis to pay Merriman $3.7 million.


Complete Article

New Footage of 2012 Kentucky Recruit Nerlens Noel

Check out this new footage of 2012 Kentucky recruit Nerlens Noel:

Tony Easley to Compete in Italian Slam Dunk Contest


Former Murray State University big man Tony Easley will participate in the upcoming Slam Dunk Contest during the Italian All-Star Game.

Here is more from Eurobasket.com:

James White (199-G-84, agency: Court Side, college: Cincinnati) (Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro), Tony Easley (206-F-87, agency: Pro One Sports, college: Murray St.) (Banco di Sardegna Sassari), Aubrey Coleman (193-G-87, college: Houston) (Angelico Biella) and Achille Polonara (203-F-91) (Banca Tercas Teramo) will compete in the Slam Dunk Contest during the italian All-Star game that will take place on the 11 of March at the Adriatic Arena of Pesaro. James White win the last edition of this competition and will defend the title this year.

The winner of the contest will win a Xenter 125 scooter by Yamaha which is the main sponsor of the event.

Video: Rick Pitino Cracks Gorgui Dieng Up

I'm not sure what Rick Pitino said to big man Gorgui Dieng here, but Dieng couldn't contain his laughter:



Source

Georgetown Students are Ready for Nerlens Noel

Georgetown fans are getting ready for a weekend visit from top 2012 recruit Nerlens Noel:



Source

Rookie Hazing: Enes Kanter Becomes the Big Turkey


Former Kentucky big man Enes Kanter is dealing with his fair share of "rookie hazing" lately.

In the last 3 days, Kanter has brought Dunkin Donuts to practice, hiked to the top of Time Warner Cable Arena, helplessly paced around boxes of chicken and been told to remain seated at practice before every other Jazz player hit the hardwood

Here is an excerpt from Sltrib.com:

Former Jazz rookies Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans got off easy during 2011-12. Their worst chore was singing happy birthday to Jefferson in front of a crowd of school kids, and they mostly just carried around pink gradeschool backpacks on the road.

Why the change during 2011-12? Because Hayward and Evans kept quiet. Not Kanter. And several Jazz vets said he's now paying the price.

This is Kanter's first true hazing — he never received one at Kentucky because he didn't play for the Wildcats. Fellow Utah rookie Alec Burks has been Hayward- and Evans-like, mostly making it through the first 38 games of the season unscathed. But everything from Kanter's decision — or, as he says, inability — to dance during a preseason public scrimmage to a recent dangerous comment that he no longer feels like a rookie has contributed to Jefferson's ever-increasing intensity.

In the last 72 hours, Kanter's brought Dunkin Donuts to practice, hiked to the top of Time Warner Cable Arena, helplessly paced around boxes of chicken and been told to remain seated at practice before every other Jazz player hit the hardwood.

C.J. Miles has spent more than six years playing for Utah. He's never seen anything close to Jefferson vs. Kanter.

Only 28 more games to go for Big Turkey.


Complete Recap

Kentucky Wildcats to Honor Storm Victims in New Orleans

The Kentucky Wildcats will honor storm victims during the Southeastern Conference Tournament in New Orleans.

The Cats will wear these shirts to honor victims around the state:



MyMixLexington Coach Cal and the Kentucky Wildcats will honor storm victims by wearing this shirt during the SEC Tournament #KyCares http://pic.twitter.com/XdLAAZ3r

Louisville Advances in Big East Conference Tournament


Louisville 61
Seton Hall 55

Final from New York, New York

Big East Conference Tournament - Second Round


Game recap by U of L:

NEW YORK (AP) - Peyton Siva had 14 points and six steals, and Louisville held off Seton Hall 61-55 on Wednesday night to reach the Big East tournament quarterfinals, leaving the Pirates to sweat out Selection Sunday as they hope for an NCAA tournament bid.

Kyle Kuric added 13 points and Gorgui Dieng stuffed Seton Hall inside with six blocks and 10 rebounds to help the seventh-seeded Cardinals advance to play ninth-ranked and second-seeded Marquette on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Russ Smith scored five of his 11 down the stretch as Louisville (23-9) thwarted Seton Hall's late charge to stop a two-game skid.

Jordan Theodore scored 17 and Herb Pope had 11 points and 15 rebounds to lead the 10th-seeded Pirates (20-12), sitting tenuously on the NCAA bubble. Seton Hall shot just 33 percent - including 3 of 19 from 3-point range - and lost for the 10th time in its final 15 games.

The victory gave Cardinals coach Rick Pitino his second win this season over protégé Kevin Willard, who spent six seasons on the Louisville staff as an assistant.

Siva made two steals and a tough bank shot in the first 65 seconds after halftime and keyed a 20-6 run to start the second half that put Louisville in control.

Complete Recap

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Four Kentucky Teams in NAIA DI National Tournament Field


Four teams from the state of Kentucky are in the field for the 2012 Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship.

Lindsey Wilson College (21-9) is the No. 8 overall seed and will play Evangel (Mo.) on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m.

Georgetown College (24-8) is the No. 14 seed and will battle Lee (Tenn.) on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.

University of the Cumberlands (20-11), champions of the Mid-South Conference Tournament, take on No. 5 Southern Poly (Ga.) in the first round at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday.

Campbellsville University (21-11) received an at-large bid and will take on No. 10 Biola (Calif.) on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

Complete Bracket

KWC's Anthony Young Named Midwest Region Player of the Year


Kentucky Wesleyan College's Anthony Young has received the Midwest Region Player of the Year Award from Daktronics, Inc. as voted by region sports information directors.

Here is the release from KWC:

Kentucky Wesleyan's Anthony Young received the Midwest Region Player of the Year Award from Daktronics, Inc. as voted by region sports information directors.

Young, a 6-foot-7 senior forward from Indianapolis, Ind. (Arsenal Tech HS), leads the Great Lakes Valley Conference in scoring (19.9) and KWC in rebounding (7.8), three-pointers (37), three-point shooting (41.1), free throw shooting (84.5) and minutes played (32.0).

The first-team All-GLVC selection became the 39th player in KWC history to surpass the 1,000 point milestone (1,100).

He scored a career-high 44 points which was the fifth-best NCAA performance this season and the ninth-highest in the KWC record book.

His other accolades include two-time GLVC Player of the Week honoree and All-Owensboro Classic recognition.

Complete Release

2011-12 Daktronics, Inc. All-Midwest Region First Team
Name,School Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
Anthony Young, Kentucky Wesleyan F 6-7 255 Sr. Indianapolis, Ind.
Evan Yates, Ashland F 6-6 240 Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio
Ike Udanoh, Wayne State C 6-8 229 Sr. Detroit, Mich.
Braydon Hobbs, Bellarmine G 6-5 185 Sr. New Albany, Ind.
Adrian Moss, Indianapolis G 5-9 160 Sr. Centralia, Ill.

2011-12 Daktronics, Inc. All-Midwest Region Second Team
Name, School Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
Ali Haidar, Michigan Tech F 6-7 240 Jr. Windsor, Ont.
Michael Fakuade,IUS F 6-7 235 Sr. Chicago, Ill.
Brad Guinane, Hillsdale F 6-6 220 Sr. St. Joseph, Ind.
Justin Brock, Quincy F 6-8 240 Sr. Liberty, Ill.
Brandon Hogg, Southern Indiana G 6-1 185 Sr. Edwardsville, Ill.
Jeremy Kendle, Bellarmine G 6-2 190 Jr. Jeffersonville, Ind.

Josh Harrellson Starting for the Knicks Tonight

Former Kentucky big man Josh Harrellson is starting for the New York Knicks tonight.

The Knicks will take on the San Antonio Spurs on the road at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Harrellson, who is averaging 5.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, is replacing Tyson Chandler in the starting rotation.

Speaking of Harrellson, check out his Kentucky-themed cowboy boots:



Photo via Landry Fields' Twitter account

Rumor: New Jersey Nets are Targeting John Calipari


According to Gery Woelfel of JournalTimes.com, there is a rumor floating around that New Jersey Nets management has their sites set on Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

Here is an excerpt:

While John Calipari has experienced remarkable success at the University of Kentucky, it’s hardly a secret he would leave the Wildcats for an NBA coaching position.

The latest rumor making the rounds is that Calipari is in the crosshairs of New Jersey management. Calipari coached the Nets from 1996 until 1999.


Complete Article

My Thoughts: I wouldn't pay any attention to this report. As long as John Calipari is in the business, there will be NBA rumors floating around. I think Calipari is happy in Lexington, at least for a few more seasons.

John Calipari Gives Statements on Joe B. Hall and Jim Host


Kentucky head coach John Calipari has given some statements about Joe B. Hall and Jim Host being elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Here is Calipari on Hall and Host:

Jim Host has been kind to me for nearly 20 years. He is somebody that I was always able to pick up a phone and call and get advice from. He has been a mentor to me for a long time. I am so happy that this award will be presented to him because he is so deserving in all that he has done to help the NCAA Tournament and other things to promote college basketball.

Coach (Joe) Hall for the last three years has been a confidant, mentor and friend. I have called him many times because of the fact that he is the only other guy that has sat in this seat and understands what I am going through. He has a great feel for the pulse of the city and fans. You are talking about national titles, Final Fours and he coached here for 13 years, which understand is like in dog years. That is like he was here 91 years and had to follow one of the great legends in the history of our game, Adolph Rupp. I have no idea how he had the success he had, following what was here.

My hat is off to both and I wish congratulations to both of my good friends. They are very deserving awards.

Mid-Continent Comes Up Short in TSAC Title Game


(6) Martin Methodist 79
Mid-Continent 70

Final from Pulaski, Tennessee

TSAC Tournament - Championship Game


Game recap by MCU:

PULASKI, Tenn. - The glass slipper didn't quite fit.

The Mid-Continent University men's basketball team (12-20) had been playing the role of Cinderella all through the second half of the season, but that run ended on Tuesday night, as the Cougars fell 79-70 to the NAIA No. 6 Martin Methodist RedHawks (27-6) in their first ever trip to the TranSouth Championship game appearance.

The RedHawks took control early, building a 21-10 lead in the opening half, but the Cougars would come back - spurred on by a partisan crowd of near 50 Mid-Continent faculty, staff and students who made the four hour trek to support the team. Mid-Continent put together an 11-0 run that spanned the first media timeout to knot the score at 21-21. The game remained close until the late stages of the period, when the RedHawks again stretched out their advantage, taking a 41-28 lead into the locker room at the break. Mid-Continent would hang around for most of the second half, but late in the ballgame, the Cougars put together one final charge. Fredonia's Matt Fraliex - playing his final game as a Cougar - buried a pair of threes to pull his team within five at 75-70 with under 90 seconds to play. Unfortunately, that was as close as the Cougars would get. Martin Methodist sealed the game at the foul line in the final 30 seconds, taking the 79-70 win.

Complete Recap

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Ready to "Do Work" in March


Here are pregame comments from Kentucky's Darius Miller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Doron Lamb as the Wildcats get ready to play in the Southeastern Conference Tournament:

#1 Darius Miller, G, Sr.

On the SEC tournament preparing the team for the NCAA tournament …
“It’s a tournament so there are a lot of quick turnarounds against very good teams. There is going to be very good competition and the whole tournament atmosphere can hopefully get us ready for the next one.”

On this team being consumed with winning …
“That is all we are focused on. We want to win every game and the national championship. We feel like we have the opportunity to do that. We take every day to try and get better and try to prepare ourselves to win a national championship.”

On the possibility of winning the SEC becoming a trap for them in the near future …
“No. I don’t see how it could be a trap. I’m happy we won the SEC and I don’t see how you can take anything negative from that.”

On playing the role of the sixth man …
“I just try and do whatever the team needs me to do. Whether it is scoring, playing defense or whatever they need me to do, I try and do that. Coach (John Calipari) gives us a game plan and I try to execute it the best that I can.”

On being the MVP of last year’s SEC tournament …
“It meant a lot to me. We played a lot of good teams. There were a lot of talented players in the tournament, just like it’s going to be this year. It meant a lot to me and I’m blessed to have been a part of something like that.”

#14 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, G, Fr.

On playing in March finally …
“It’s a dream come true for me now. It’s March time and I’m ready to work.”

On how long he has dreamed of playing in March Madness …
“Ever since I was like 5 or 6. I really can’t wait for it, I really can’t wait.”

On what losing a game is like …
“It’s hard for me. I can’t explain the feeling, it’s hard.
“I hate to lose.”

On if being named First Team All-SEC or SEC All-Defensive Team means more to him …
“I love playing defense, that’s my game. It means a lot.”

On so many UK players winning so many honors …
“It’s an honor for all of us. It’s a dream come true for all of us as well.”

On if saying this UK team being more consumed by winning than the individual awards is a fair statement …
“Yeah. It’s a really fair statement for all of us on the team. It’s a brotherhood. I don’t really get into all that stuff.”

#20 Doron Lamb, G, So.

On dominating games at home over the past few seasons …
“It means a lot to me. Since I have been here we haven’t lost a home game yet. I am happy to be here for the team and happy to be winning games.”

On the SEC tournament possibly being a trap for them …
“No I don’t think so. We just have to take one game at a time. We have nine games left until the last game of the year and we are just trying to get there. The main focus is to make it to the last game.”

On the team being consumed with winning …
“We have a great group of guys here. We all have talent and we all play together, so talent together is unbeatable.”

On Coach Calipari winning the SEC Coach of the Year award …
“It’s an honor for him. He coached us very well this year. We had a great season. I had a great year with these guys and I can’t wait to finish it off.”

On if the team is physically ready to possibly play three games in three days …
“Yea we can do that. We’re not really tired. We did it last year. I think we can do it this year with this group of guys. We have more talent than we did last year so I think we can do it. We’re really trying to win nine straight games.”

Fans Can Welcome Hilltoppers Home This Afternoon


Western Kentucky fans are invited to welcome the Hilltoppers home following their stunning run to the Sun Belt Conference championship.

Here are details from WKU:

Fans are invited to The Knicely Center / WKU South Campus on Wednesday at 4 p.m. to welcome back the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament champion WKU Hilltoppers.

Due to the KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen Tournament at Diddle Arena, WKU will hold the welcome back celebration at South Campus. Join the WKU band, cheerleaders and Big Red when the Hilltoppers make their return to Bowling Green after winning four games in four days to capture the tournament title and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd time in school history.

Complete Release

Darius Miller Receives Accolades for Unselfish Play, Community Service


Kentucky senior Darius Miller was named captain of SI.com's All-Glue Team on Tuesday.

Miller was joined on the team by Quincy Acy (Baylor), Travis Releford (Kansas), Toure Murry (Wichita State), Anthony Marshall (UNLV), Jorge Gutierrez (Cal) and Zack Novak (Michigan).

Here is an excerpt about Miller:

Miller's name didn't appear in many headlines the next morning, but that was nothing new. Throughout his career in Lexington, Miller has been overshadowed by flashier, younger teammates. But there was one prominent witness who offered righteous testimony to what the kid had just done. "Miller is the fiber that holds that team together," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. "He has got one thing nobody else on the team has. He has got experience. ... All those other guys deserve what they get, but Miller is their most valuable player."

That sentiment is popular around the league. "He's a killer," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "When it's the moment of truth, he makes so many critical plays." Florida coach Billy Donovan said he has "always loved" Miller. He added: "I just think he's a 'steady Eddie.' He's an incredible core guy that probably in a lot of ways is overshadowed. ... I always just see him doing whatever he has to do to help his team win."

Miller may be overshadowed in most places, surrounded as he is by all those one-and-done lottery picks, but there is one venue where a player of his ilk casts the biggest shadow of all. For his clutch shooting, his toughness, his maturity, his versatility, and most of all his passion for doing whatever it takes to make Kentucky a winner, Darius Miller has been selected as the captain of SI's 13th annual All-Glue team.


Complete Article

Miller was also named to the SEC Community Service Team on Monday.

Here is more from LEX18.com:

Miller has logged several hours in the community, including working with God's Pantry, packing backpacks and delivering them to local elementary schools to children and families in need. He also visits children at the UK Children's Hospital as well as other local elementary schools. Miller has also donated his time at the Ronald McDonald House as well as joined in the Cats' Samaritan Feet project.

He was also selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.


Complete Article

Bellarmine Drops to No. 4 in Final NABC/DII Poll


Following a loss in the GLVC Tournament, Bellarmine University (25-3) dropped to No. 4 in the final NABC/Division II Coaches Poll.

Northern Kentucky (23-6) dropped one place to No. 11 this week.

Kentucky Wesleyan (21-7) comes in at No. 18.

NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (March 6, 2012)

Record Points Pvs
1. Colo. School of Mines (8 first place votes) 27-2 200 2
2. Alabama-Huntsville 26-3 192 3
3. West Liberty, W.Va. 29-2 182 4
4. Bellarmine, Ky. 25-3 175 1
5. Midwestern State, Texas 26-3 168 6
6. Southern Indiana 24-6 143 13
7. Shaw, N.C. 25-3 142 5
8. Christian Brothers, Tenn. 23-6 139 8
9. Tarleton State, Texas 26-5 138 7
10. Indiana, Pa. 23-5 112 9
11. Northern Kentucky 23-6 109 10
12. Western Washington 25-5 107 11
13. Metropolitan State, Colo. 22-6 102 12
14. Anderson, S.C. 24-5 80 16
15. Arkansas Tech 24-5 78 21
16. Alaska-Anchorage 22-6 77 15
17. Charleston, W.Va. 26-6 60 22
18. Kentucky Wesleyan 21-7 50 14
19. Washburn, Kan. 24-7 44 NR
20. Hillsdale, Mich. 24-5 43 NR
21. Northwest Missouri State 22-6 42 18
22. Montevallo, Ala. 24-7 33 NR
23. Missouri Southern 22-7 27 19
24. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 25-5 26 17
25. Findlay, Ohio 23-6 20 NR

Others receiving votes: West Georgia 18, Indianapolis (Ind.) 15, District of Columbia 12, Franklin Pierce (N.H.) 10, King (Tenn.) 8, LIU-C.W. Post (N.Y.) 8, Bloomfield (N.J.) 6, Seattle Pacific (Wash.) 6, South Carolina Aiken 6, Stonehill (Mass.) 5, Missouri-St. Louis 4, Florida Tech 3.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

John Calipari Discusses SEC Tournament and More


Here are John Calipari's comments to the media before the Wildcats leave for the Southeastern Conference Tournament in New Orleans:

On the SEC individual awards
“I’m happy for all the kids, they deserve all the accolades but I will remind them it really means nothing and let’s move on to the next part of our season.”

On conference tournaments
“Well, you are playing three games in three days; it doesn’t prepare you for anything. We just played a whole league schedule and now for our league, especially, it has no bearing on seeding, it proved it last year. So why are we playing? To play three games in three days, no bearing on seeding, maybe one team can play in, they had all season to play in. But, like I said, we have to play it so let’s improve our seed and hold our seed. The only thing here that is different is that our fans take their vacation money, rent money, cigarette money and they go to these tournaments. They can’t get tickets to our building and this is their chance so you almost feel an obligation to play well. I don’t know if we win but you have an obligation, they just made a trek; this is their deal so it’s different here. But, my feelings of conference tournaments have not changed, from when I was at Massachusetts, Memphis and now here.”

On why his teams have succeeded at conference tournaments
“Probably because I don’t care about it, I could care less and they know that. We are trying to get better and so they go in and know it’s not a big deal and say let’s have fun and end up winning. It’s not the formula I would say anybody else would use but it’s what I’ve used. Three games in three days is like nothing, it’s like playing in Maui, wears you out and now you have to make a 7,000 mile trek back home. What’s it give you? TV? We’ve got all the TV we need but we’ll be there.”

On Kentucky winning 45 regular season SEC titles
“You want to win every game you play. What I said to them after and I didn’t know this because we had run the table a few different times, I didn’t know in (a BCS conference) you aren’t supposed to do it. Like seven teams in the modern era and three were Kentucky, I had no idea. The 30 wins, when they said it was a record, I said to the team, ‘if a team is going to break your record, what?’ Marquis Teague said, ‘they are going to have to win them all, coach.’ I said good luck to those guys because that is going to be hard. They have established things, winning the regular season, that is great and it’s great for our program and shows pride in our state. At the end of the day our job is to get these guys prepared for a run down the stretch. I told you last year I always liked my team, we couldn’t win some games on the road, we lost a bunch of close ones, had chances to win just about every one of them, lost them all. We were 2-6 on the road; I kept telling you I like my team. All we did was keep getting better and by the end of the year we were the best basketball team in the country, in my opinion. That’s what you are trying to do so all this other stuff is a prelude to that and I’ve always coached that way. I didn’t start coaching that way here in Lexington, I coached that way in Amherst (Massachusetts) and I coached that way in Memphis.”

On the defensive mentality of the team
“Well you have a little bit of everything. It starts on the ball, Marquis Teague really guards the ball well, he guards pick-and-rolls; he is a pit bull out there. Then you have wing defenders who can stay in front of people, then you have that one defender that can guard every position, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, then you have some size and shot blocking in Terrence (Jones), Eloy (Vargas), Kyle (Wiltjer) and then you have the ultimate shot blocker behind all of what I just told you, in him. That’s why we are a good defensive team, that and the fact that they are taking pride in it. To get a young team to do that they have to want to do that, they have to take great pride in that and this team has.”

On Anthony Davis’ progression
“I’ve coached some really good players; he’s playing well and I’m anxious to see how he finishes. When he made the right hook, then he made the left hook, there were a lot of people mad, ‘I’m still not voting for him.’ The guy on the TV, I had to go back to the TV copy because the guy on TV said, ‘Oh my!’ That was the comment, ‘oh my.’ He’s just getting better and better and better and he doesn’t say anything, doesn’t shoot a whole lot of balls. He did what Marquis Teague did, he tried to hold that last ball and get fouled.”

On the argument that Anthony Davis has a better surrounding cast than (Kansas’) Thomas Robinson
“Could you imagine if we went at Davis every possession, could you imagine if he shot 22 times a game? You have to imagine because they are saying it as imagine he doesn’t have to because he has all these guys and he doesn’t. Could you imagine if he played that way, how good he would be, the shots he would take, the 3s he would have taken well before. The behind the back dribble by a kid that is 6’11… We’re letting him shoot 3s because he went in the drill and I said ‘if you make 45 I’ll let you shoot 3s’ and he made 47. He was doing jumping jacks and did a kart wheel so we put a play in to let him shoot 3s. He’s a special player; I’m not taking anything away from Thomas Robinson. He is an outstanding player, he is tough, hard-nosed, he wills them to win, I like my guy.”

On the SEC being a good league and winning by huge margin
“I used to say that about Conference USA. I would get so mad. We were really, really good. And they would say that is because everyone else was not as good. What? UAB, Tulsa, Houston? We had teams that were playing and should have been in the NCAA Tournament and didn’t get in because we were so good. The good news is we are really good, but they can’t say that about all of these other teams. We have gone out and beaten people. So, now you have again, Florida, Vandy, you have Alabama, Mississippi State. You have Tennessee, and I’ll say it again, you can say what you want, they are an NCAA Tournament team. With (Jarnell) Stokes they are not the same team. They won eight of nine. Whoever has got to play them in our tournament, good luck. So, you are talking about us getting close to what we are trying to do, which is half the league in the NCAA Tournament. That’s what it should be. If we have 14, it should be seven. If we had 16 it should be eight; or more. We are getting close to that. Think about it. We had to go to Vandy. No one wins at Vandy. We had to go to Florida. They lost one game in there. We had Vandy and Florida home. We had to go to Tennessee and eke out a win. You are talking about Mississippi State. They are up 13 at the half. We didn’t walk through the league. If Mississippi State played like they did against us, they are a Sweet 16 team. Just go play that way. This league is solid top to bottom. Auburn gave us a game. Georgia gave us a game down there. South Carolina, we beat up pretty good, but they beat Alabama. There is no walk-away game.”

On the possibility of (UK assistant) Orlando Antigua taking a head-coaching position
“What I always tell my staff as it starts winding down is you see what’s out there, and you tell me what you want me to do. Orlando (Antigua) is ready to be a head coach if that’s what he chooses to be. The issue is, we got a pretty good thing going here. So now, you have to be a little choosy on what you do. But, there are going to be schools that will contact him. I talked to Kenny (Payne), and I just said the same thing. I said ‘Kenny, if there is anything out there, you let me know.’ Just like my players, I want my players, I want everyone around me to have benefits, and move forward and chase their dreams the same way. I don’t hold anybody back. If he has an opportunity, we will be for it. But, I’ll say it again, this is a unique place to coach, and live and be. You are not anxious like ‘Oh, I can’t wait to get out of here.’ This is a place where people want to coach. They want to be here. People are here, and are in no hurry to leave. Again, if they have an opportunity to chase a dream, then I am all for it.”

Magic Harper Ride! WKU Wins Sun Belt Tournament Title


Western Kentucky 74
North Texas 70

Final from Hot Springs, Arkansas

Sun Belt Conference - Championship Game


Game recap by WKU:

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Teeng Akol scored 23 points and Western Kentucky rallied for a 74-70 win over North Texas on Tuesday night in the championship game of the Sun Belt conference tournament.

The win caps a stunning run for the Hilltoppers (15-18), who earned their first NCAA tournament berth since 2009 by winning four games in as many days. Western Kentucky, which has won six straight overall, opened the season 5-11 - resulting in the firing of coach Ken McDonald.

George Fant finished with 17 points to help the Hilltoppers rally from a 13-point deficit in the second half.

Tony Mitchell scored 18 points to lead the Mean Green (18-14), who were playing in their third straight league championship game.

Complete Recap

Ethan Spurlin, Brian Lane Earn HCAC Honors


Transylvania University's Ethan Spurlin was recently named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Teammate Brandon Rash joined Spurlin on the First Team.

Barrett Meyer was named to the Second Team and Tate Cox was named Honorable Mention.

Head coach Brian Lane was named HCAC Coach of the Year.

Here is the release from Transy:

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Transylvania junior Ethan Spurlin has been named Player of the Year and Brian Lane Coach of the Year after leading the Pioneers to the Heartland Conference's men's basketball regular season title.

Spurlin led the Pioneers to a 23-4 record, including a 16-2 HCAC mark that was four games ahead of runnerup Hanover. He ranked second in conference scoring at 17.1 points a game and was third in field goal percentage (57.3) and seventh in rebounds (5.9 per game). Overall, Spurlin put up 16.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting a sizzling 55.6 percent from the field.

It was the fourth time that Lane was named Coach of the Year by his peers. He guided Transy to its fourth HCAC men's basketball title as well as an appearance in the conference tournament championship game. He has a career record of 191-103 in 11 seasons.

Spurlin was joined on the All-HCAC first team by teammate Brandon Rash, who is on the team for the second year in a row. Rash, who has 972 career points, averaged 15.9 points and 4.0 rebounds a game while shooting 54.3 percent from the field.

Transy junior Barrett Meyer (11.6 points a game, 44.4 percent from three-point range) made the second team while sophomore Tate Cox (8.9 points a game) was selected to the honorable mention team. Senior Michael Stone was picked for the All-HCAC Sportsmanship team.

Complete Release

2012 All-HCAC Men's Basketball Team

Goodwin, Muhammad and Noel on 2012 USA Junior National Select Team for Nike Hoop Summit


The roster for the 2012 USA Junior National Select Team, which will take on the World Select Team in the Nike Hoop Summit, was announced on Tuesday.

Kentucky signee Archie Goodwin made the roster. He'll be joined by Kentucky recruits Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel.

Here is the release from USABasketball.com:

Featuring 10 elite high school seniors, USA Basketball today named the roster for the 2012 USA Junior National Select Team, which will take on the World Select Team in the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit.

Played at 7:00 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, April 7 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., the 15th annual Nike Hoop Summit will be broadcast nationally by Fox Sports Net and its regional affiliates.

The Nike Hoop Summit is the country's premier annual basketball game for high-school boys and features America's top seniors playing against a World Team comprised of international players who are 19-years-old or younger.

Suiting up for the USA will be: Kyle Anderson (St. Anthony H.S./North Bergen, N.J.); Archie Goodwin (Sylvan Hills H.S./Little Rock, Ark.); Gary Harris (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.); Mitch McGary (Brewster Academy/Porter, Ind.); Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); Nerlens Noel (The Tilton School, N.H./Everett, Ma.); Marcus Paige (Linn-Mar H.S./Marion, Iowa); Tony Parker (Miller Grove H.S./Lithonia, Ga.); Rasheed Sulaimon (Strake Jesuit College Prep/Houston, Texas); and Kaleb Tarczewski (St. Mark’s School, Mass./Claremont, N.H.).

Complete Release

Cawood Ledford on List of All-Time Great Announcers


A site called The Matador Sports has created a list of the 7 most legendary college sports announcers of all time.

At No. 6 on the list is legendary University of Kentucky announcer Cawood Ledford.

Here is an excerpt about Ledford:

6. Cawood Ledford:

“Hello everybody, this is Cawood Ledford.” For 39 years the play-by-play man at the University of Kentucky led off his broadcasts the same way, reintroducing himself to Wildcat fans who needed no introduction. The man was a staple of UK sports from 1953 to 1992. Coach Tubby Smith has said of him, “Cawood meant as much to fans of Kentucky football and basketball as anyone ever has.” Each fan seems to have their own favorite quote of Ledford’s. “The Cats are runnin’” he’d say in his distinctive, articulate style, meaning the Wildcats were pushing the offense. Stories of fans trying to pick up the broadcast signal far from Lexington are common. As a tribute to their beloved announcer, the school renamed the basketball court “Cawood’s Court” and painted a microphone on the floor. His final call was a loss to Duke considered by some the greatest college basketball game of all time.

Complete List

2012 SEC Awards and Honors are Shaded Blue


The Southeastern Conference has released the league's all-conference awards and honors.

Kentucky's Anthony Davis was named SEC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Davis was also named First Team All-SEC and placed on the All-Freshman and All-Defensive Teams.

John Calipari was named SEC Coach of the Year for the first time since coming to UK.

Darius Miller was named SEC Sixth-Man of the Year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was named First Team All-SEC and placed on the All-Freshman and All-Defensive Teams.

Doron Lamb was named Second Team All-SEC.

Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey was named to the All-Freshman Team.

SEC Coach of the Year: John Calipari, Kentucky
SEC Player of the Year: Anthony Davis, Kentucky

SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Patric Young, Florida
SEC Freshman of the Year: Anthony Davis, Kentucky
SEC Sixth-Man of the Year: Darius Miller, Kentucky
SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis, Kentucky


First Team All-SEC

Bradley Beal, Florida – G, 6-3, 207, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.
Kenny Boynton, Florida – G, 6-2, 189, Jr., Pompano Beach, Fla.
Anthony Davis, Kentucky – F, 6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky – F, 6-7, 232, Fr., Somerdale, N.J.

Dee Bost, Mississippi State – G, 6-2, 176, Sr., Concord, N.C.
Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State – F, 6-11, 249, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt – G, 6-4, 215, Jr., Hendersonville, Tenn.
Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – F, 6-7, 225, Sr., Norkopping, Sweden

Second Team All-SEC

JaMychal Green, Alabama – F, 6-8, 228, Sr., Montgomery, Ala.
^Trevor Releford, Alabama – G, 6-1, 180, So., Kansas City, Mo.
BJ Young, Arkansas – G, 6-3, 175, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.
Erving Walker, Florida – G, 5-8, 177, Sr., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Terrence Jones, Kentucky – F, 6-9, 252, So., Portland, Ore.
Doron Lamb, Kentucky – G, 6-4, 210, So., Queens, N.Y.

Justin Hamilton, LSU – C, 7-0, 260, Jr., Alpine, Utah
^Terrance Henry, Ole Miss – F, 6-9, 210, Sr., Monroe, La.
Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee – F, 6-7, 265, Jr., Madison, Wis.

SEC All-Freshman Team

BJ Young, Arkansas – G, 6-3, 175, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.
Bradley Beal, Florida – G, 6-3, 207, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia – G, 6-5, 200, Fr., Greenville, Ga.
Anthony Davis, Kentucky – F, 6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky – F, 6-7, 232, Fr., Somerdale, N.J.

Anthony Hickey, LSU – G, 5-11, 182, Fr., Hopkinsville, Ky.
Rodney Hood, Mississippi State – G, 6-8, 204, Fr., Meridian, Miss.
Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee – F, 6-8, 250, Fr., Memphis, Tenn.

SEC All-Defensive Team

Anthony Davis, Kentucky – F, 6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky – F, 6-7, 232, Fr., Somerdale, N.J.

Reginald Buckner, Ole Miss – F, 6-9, 225, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
Damontre Harris, South Carolina – F, 6-9, 214, So., Fayetteville, N.C.
Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – F, 6-7, Sr., 225, Norrkoping, Sweden

Financial Planners in Shabazz Muhammad Story are Separate


According to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, the two financial planners mentioned in last week's article about top recruit Shabazz Muhammad are not working together.

Goodman reports today that the two planners are separate entities.

Here is an excerpt:

That's not the case.

In fact, the two men have never met or spoken to one another.

This is two separate instances with Lincoln paying for a couple of unofficial visits for Muhammad and his father, Ron Holmes, and Kavanagh donating to the Dream Vision summer program that is run by Holmes and Clay Williams.


Complete Article

Joe B. Hall to be Inducted Into National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame


Former Kentucky head coach Joe B. Hall will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in November.

Here is more:

Georgetown great Patrick Ewing and former Kansas star Clyde Lovellette lead a 10-member class that will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in November.

The class was announced Tuesday in Kansas City.

The two post players will be joined by North Carolina’s Phil Ford, Wyoming’s Kenny Sailors, Grambling’s Willis Reed and Winston-Salem State’s Earl Monroe.

Also inducted will be Joe B. Hall, who followed Adolph Rupp as the coach of Kentucky, and Dave Robbins, who won more than 700 games at Virginia Union.

Businessmen Jim Host and Joe Dean will go in as contributors.


Complete Article

2012 Big East Conference Tournament Tips Off in New York


The 2012 Big East Conference Tournament is underway at Madison Square Garden.

Louisville has a first round bye and will play the winner of Providence and Seton Hall on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The Cardinals will unveil new Adidas uniforms (see image) at the tournament.

Here is the complete schedule:

2012 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN • NEW YORK, N.Y.

Tuesday, March 6 – First Round (ESPN2/ESPN 3D)

12:00 p.m. No. 16 DePaul (12-18) vs. No. 9 Connecticut (18-12)
2:00 p.m. No. 13 Pittsburgh (16-15) vs. No. 12 St. John’s (13-18)
7:00 p.m. No. 15 Providence (15-16) vs. No. 10 Seton Hall (19-11)
9:00 p.m. No. 14 Villanova (12-18) vs. No. 11 Rutgers (14-17)

Wednesday, March 7 – Second Round (ESPN/ESPN 3D)

12:00 p.m. DePaul/Connecticut winner vs. No. 8 West Virginia (19-12)
2:00 p.m. Pittsburgh/St. John’s winner vs. No. 5 Georgetown (22-7)
7:00 p.m. Providence/Seton Hall winner vs. No. 7 Louisville (22-9)
9:00 p.m. Villanova/Rutgers winner vs. No. 6 USF (19-12)

Thursday, March 8 – Quarterfinals (ESPN/ESPN 3D)

12:00 p.m. 8/9/16 winner vs. No. 1 Syracuse (30-1)
2:00 p.m. 5/12/13 winner vs. No. 4 Cincinnati (22-9)
7:00 p.m. 7/10/15 winner vs. No. 2 Marquette (25-6)
9:00 p.m. 6/11/14 winner vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (21-10)

Friday, March 9 – Semifinals (ESPN/ESPN 3D)

7:00 p.m. Semifinal No. 1
9:00 p.m. Semifinal No. 2

Saturday, March 10 – Championship (ESPN/ESPN 3D)

9:00 p.m. Championship Game

Complete Tournament Bracket

Steve Prohm, Anthony Davis Earn USBWA District IV Awards


The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has named 2011-12 Men's Basketball All-District Teams.

Kentucky's Anthony Davis is the District IV Player of the Year. He is joined on the All-District Team by Isaiah Canaan (Murray State) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky).

Murray State's Steve Prohm is the District IV Coach of the Year.

DISTRICT IV

KY, TN, MS, AL, GA, FL

PLAYER OF THE YEAR Anthony Davis, Kentucky
COACH OF THE YEAR Steve Prohm, Murray State

ALL-DISTRICT TEAM

Will Barton, Memphis
Bradley Beal, Florida
Kenny Boynton, Florida
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Anthony Davis, Kentucky
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State
Michael Snaer, Florida State
Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt

Complete List of All-District Teams

Kidd-Gilchrist, Davis and Canaan Are Finalists for Wooden Award


Kentucky teammates Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, along with Murray State's Isaiah Canaan have been named finalists for the coveted Wooden Award.

The award, named for the late Hall of Fame coach John R. Wooden, is given to the nation's top college basketball player.

The Wooden Award Gala will take place on Friday, April 6, 2012, and will honor winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching winner Geno Auriemma of Connecticut. The John R. Wooden Award winner will be announced on ESPN the weekend of the Final Four in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Here's what the 2011-12 Wooden Award ballot will look like (in alphabetical order):

Isaiah Canaan, Jr., G, Murray State

Jae Crowder, Sr., F, Marquette

Anthony Davis, Fr., F, Kentucky

Marcus Denmon, Sr., G, Missouri

Draymond Green, Sr., F, Michigan State

Kevin Jones, Sr., F, West Virginia

Kris Joseph, Sr., F, Syracuse

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Fr., F, Kentucky

Damian Lillard, Jr., G, Weber State

Scott Machado, Sr., G, Iona

Doug McDermott, So., F, Creighton

Austin Rivers, Fr., G, Duke

Thomas Robinson, Jr., F, Kansas

Jared Sullinger, So., F, Ohio State

Tyler Zeller, Sr., F, North Carolina

Kentucky Wildcats Dominate Blue Ribbon SEC Basketball Awards


Here is the SEC release:

FIRST-TEAM ALL-SEC

G-Dee Bost, SR, Mississippi State - If you look at the numbers that define a point guard, Bost stands out in all of them—first in the SEC in assists, second in steals, 11th in free-throw percentage, fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio. He’s also a scorer who finished fifth in the league (15.8 ppg).

G-John Jenkins, JR, Vanderbilt - Jenkins led the SEC in scoring for the second year in a row, the first time that had been accomplished since LSU’s Ronnie Henderson did it in 1995-96. He also leads the league and the nation in 3-pointers per game (3.9), and he’s shooting .461 from behind the arc despite the fact he’s a focal point of every opposing team’s defensive strategy.

G-Kenny Boynton, JR, Florida - Boynton put in a lot of time in the offseason working on his jump shot, and it showed. He finished third in the SEC in scoring and 3-point percentage (.434).

F-Arnett Moultrie, JR, Mississippi State - Moultrie, the transfer from UTEP who regained eligibility this season, averaged a double-double and led the SEC in rebounding. Was there a more valuable transfer in Division I?

C-Anthony Davis, Kentucky - See below.

SECOND-TEAM ALL-SEC

G-Erving Walker, SR, Florida - A shooter by trade, Walker turned himself into a point guard, and the numbers show he did a pretty good job of it—he finished second in the SEC in assists (4.7 apg) and led the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3).

G-Jeffery Taylor, SR, Vanderbilt - Taylor finished second in the SEC in scoring because he spent countless hours last summer fine-tuning his 3-point stroke. He shot .451 from behind the arc (60 of 133) and finished ninth in the conference in 3s per game (1.9). Not bad for a guy who was 1 of 11 from 3 as a sophomore.

F-Murphy Holloway, JR, Ole Miss - The NCAA cut Ole Miss some slack over the summer when it allowed Holloway, who played his first two seasons in Oxford before transferring to South Carolina in 2010-11, to return to the Rebels and be eligible immediately. He averaged 11.1 points and finished third in the conference in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and 10th in steals (1.4 spg).

F-Jeronne Maymon, JR, Tennessee - See Most Improved Player category below.

F-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky - The term “warrior” is overused in sports, but there’s no better way to describe this freshman, who couldn’t be kept out of the starting lineup because he’s such a competitor. Several players have contributed to the Wildcats’ success this season, but this guy provides the fire and brimstone.

ALL-SEC FRESHMAN TEAM

G-B.J. Young, Arkansas - Despite coming off the bench most of the season, Young finished sixth in the SEC in scoring. He’s a big-time shot maker.

G-Bradley Beal, Florida - Beal didn’t shoot the ball as well as he’s capable, but he averaged 14.7 points, seventh in the SEC, and 6.5 rebounds, which tied for Florida’s team high. Beal explodes to the rim like few others in the college game.

G-Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia - Like Beal, Caldwell-Pope is another strong rebounder from the guard position (5.2 rpg). He gets a ton of steals (55, or 1.8 spg, fourth in the league) and can score points in bunches, even though his 3-point percentage hovers around 31 percent.

F-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky - See above.

C-Anthony Davis, Kentucky - Again, see below.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Anthony Davis, FR, Kentucky - Has any player in the country had as much impact as Davis on both ends of the floor? He’s not only the SEC player of the year, he’s the national player of the year.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Anthony Davis, FR, Kentucky - Some people might give this award to another freshman, given that Davis is also regarded as the SEC’s player of the year. Not us. He’s a freshman, which also makes him the league’s freshman of the year. And oh yeah, he’ll be the national freshman of the year, too.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Anthony Davis, FR, Kentucky - Blocked shots don’t necessarily make a player the best defender in the league, but in Davis’ case, they do. He’s already broken the Kentucky freshman and overall records, as well as the SEC freshman record for blocks (146). He’ll own the league’s overall record (170, set twice by Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado) before the Wildcats are done playing. Yes, he’s also the national defensive player of the year.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

Jeronne Maymon, JR, Tennessee - A year ago, Maymon averaged 9.1 minutes, 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds. This season, he’s averaging 27.8, 12.6 and 7.8, and he’s racked up the SEC’s single-game highs in points (32) and rebounds (20) in one killer performance against Memphis in the Maui Invitational. Maymon was the picture of consistency down the stretch, scoring no fewer than 12 points in Tennessee’s last 12 games.

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR

Darius Miller, SR, Kentucky - Miller started 10 games this season, but he willingly came off the bench 21 times and still managed to average double-figures (10.0 ppg). He also shot the second-most 3-pointers on his team, cashing in at a solid 38 percent rate, and was third on the team in assists. But his biggest contribution was providing senior leadership for a team that started three freshman and two sophomores.

CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR

John Calipari, Kentucky, Cuonzo Martin, Tennessee - Call it a copout if you will - not being able to pick one - but the fact is, they both deserve the honor, because the two hardest things to do in coaching are exceeding expectations that are already high (Calipari) and rebuilding a program from scratch that had zero expectations (Martin).

Kentucky fans, justifiably so, always expect to win the SEC championship, but Calipari took a team filled with freshman and sophomores - OK, so they are all first-round NBA draft picks - and turned it into a defensive juggernaut. Make no mistake, that’s why the Wildcats went through the SEC scheduled undefeated.

And not to suggest that Martin inherited a down program - Bruce Pearl, fired last March after his brush with the NCAA, had guided the Vols to six straight NCAA tournaments - but Martin was left without much of a team. Top players Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson left for the NBA draft (though Hopson wasn’t chosen), two other starters departed, and the bench was filled with players who had a skill or two but hadn’t contributed much previously.

Martin also had to get his players to buy into his defensive concept, which he did masterfully as the Vols ended up 7-1 in the second half of the SEC season and claimed second place in the league after being picked by the media to finish 11th.

WKU Defeats Denver, Advances to Sun Belt Title Game


Western Kentucky 67
Denver 63

Final from Hot Springs, Arkansas

Sun Belt Conference Tournament - Semifinal Round


Game recap by WKU:

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - One win away. The Western Kentucky University men's basketball team pulled out yet another nail-biter Monday night in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinals, picking up a 67-63 win over third-seeded Denver.
With the win, the seventh-seeded Hilltoppers will meet fifth-seeded North Texas at 6:00 PM Tuesday night in the tournament championship game with a NCAA Tournament berth on the line. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

"This was another great college basketball game. Denver is a tremendous basketball team and so well coached, but our kids stuck with what we wanted to do," said Hilltopper head coach Ray Harper. "We felt like we needed to really get the ball inside. We only attempted eight three-pointers, we took good shots, and once again made plays down the stretch. But with two great basketball teams, I'm just happy we were able to win and advance."

The largest margin by either team in the second half was five points, and the game experienced 11 ties and eight lead changes - including a number of back-and-forth moments in the closing minutes.

Complete Recap

Thomas More's Jeff Rogers Named PAC Coach of the Year


Thomas More College head coach Jeff Rogers was recently named Presidents' Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

Three Thomas More players were recognized with all-PAC honors.

PRESIDENTS’ ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (PAC) 2011-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

2011-12 PAC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nick Wilcox, 6-3 Junior Guard/Forward, Bethany College
2011-12 PAC COACH OF THE YEAR: Jeff Rogers, Thomas More College

FIRST TEAM

Name School Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School
Devon Adams Thiel G 6-2 Sr. Philadelphia, PA/George Jr. Republic
British Alexander Bethany F 6-6 Sr. Dayton, OH/Trotwood Madison
Phil Feinberg Thomas More F 6-5 Jr. Tempe, AZ/Corona Del Sol
Blair Rozenblad Thiel G 6-4 Jr. Youngstown, OH/Kennedy Catholic
Nick Wilcox Bethany F 6-3 Jr. Venetia, PA/Peters Township

SECOND TEAM

Name School Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School
Dennis Bassich Saint Vincent G 6-3 Sr. Silver Spring, MD/Einstein
Zach Bellhy Washington & Jefferson G 6-3 Jr. McDonald, PA/Fort Cherry
Reece Mabery Bethany G 5-11 Jr. Natrona Heights, PA/Highlands
Brett Matson Grove City G 6-0 Sr. Wexford, PA/Pine-Richland
Colt Stafford Thomas More C 6-7 Sr. Groveport, OH/Bishop Hartley

HONORABLE MENTION

Name School Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School
Anthony Harvey Thiel G 6-0 Jr. New Castle, PA/New Castle
Matt Lorello Geneva F/C 6-6 Jr. Bessemer, PA/Mohawk
Tauvon Pettiford Saint Vincent G 6-4 Sr. Baltimore, MD/Calvert
Drew Santarsiero Geneva G 6-2 Sr. Beaver Falls, PA/Blackhawk
Daniel Whelan Thomas More G 5-10 Sr. Cincinnati, OH/St. Xavier

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