Saturday, March 24, 2012

Louisville's Chris Smith: "We want to play Kentucky"

Louisville's Chris Smith isn't holding back. He frankly said after today's game that the Cardinals want to play Kentucky in the Final Four.

Smith added, "we got Gorgui Dieng playing just as good as Anthony Davis."

Check out these comments (video via CN2):

Louisville Rides Big Late-Game Run to West Region Championship


(4) Louisville 72
(7) Florida 68

Final from Phoenix, Arizona

NCAA Tournament - West Region Championship


Game recap by U of L:

PHOENIX (AP) - Hated to do that to ya, kid.

Rick Pitino nearly came unhinged, and his point guard watched the end of the game from the bench. When it was over, though, it was Pitino and Louisville making plans for the Final Four and his protege, Billy Donovan, and the Florida Gators wondering what the heck happened.

Freshman forward Chane Behanan made the go-ahead basket with 1:06 left Saturday, and the fourth-seeded Cardinals finished the game on a 23-8 run for a 72-68 victory over Donovan's stunned Florida team in the West Regional final.

Russ Smith, who finished with 19 points, followed Behanan's bucket with a pair of free throws, and then Florida freshman Bradley Beal and teammate Kenny Boynton each missed chances to tie in the final seconds.

Louisville made one more free throw to seal the game and reach its ninth Final Four, the second under Pitino, despite playing the final 3:58 without point guard Peyton Siva, who fouled out.

"What happens is, you can't lose confidence," Pitino said. "I kept telling the guys, 'We're going to the Final Four. Win the BIG EAST tournament, you're going to the Final Four,' and they did."

The BIG EAST tournament champions are now going for the NCAA title, too. They're on an eight-game winning streak, with a trip to New Orleans on the itinerary and a possible matchup with Pitino's old school, Kentucky, which will have to get by Baylor on Sunday to set up a grudge match to end them all.

Complete Recap

Quincy Who? Calipari Has a Hard Time Remembering Former Recruit


University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari says he has a hard time remembering former UK recruit Quincy Miller, who ended up at Baylor.

"It was a while ago," Calipari stated today. I don't know that he ever visited campus. I think that he had interest. A lot of player have interest in Kentucky."

Miller late said, "I visited campus about five times."

Kentucky and Baylor meet Sunday afternoon for a spot in the Final Four.

Source

NCAA President Mark Emmert Defends John Calipari


Believe it or not, NCAA President Mark Emmert actually defended Kentucky head coach John Calipari earlier this week.

Emmert was questioned about Calipari's use of one and done recruits and actually came to Calipari's defense.

Here is an excerpt from USAToday.com:

"How do you handle the Boeheims and Caliparis of the profession and the powerful programs behind them?"

Emmert responded with a defense of Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Calipari and college basketball.

He explained that the rule behind the one-and-done issue was drafted by the NBA and its players' union and that he and others in college athletics don't care a lick for it. Calipari himself says he doesn't like it.

"We're hopeful those rules get changed, but they're not ours to change," Emmert told the questioner."Maybe we'll get at least a two-and-done. I don't know where it's going to wind up. But I certainly hope that we can see some change there because I think it makes a travesty of the whole notion of student as athlete."

In a brief interview afterward, Emmert was asked whether he nonetheless had any discomfort with Calipari's recruitment of multiple one-and-done players who spend a single year on campus, then leave for the NBA. Eight of the 40 players drafted by the NBA as freshmen the past six years came out of Calipari's programs at Memphis and Kentucky, and the Wildcats team favored to win this year's NCAA tournament is expected to yield several more.

"If we need to change the rules because we think that's creating an atmosphere that's antithetical to collegiate athletes, then we ought to change the rules," Emmert said. "… I don't think it's appropriate for me to be critical of somebody who's playing inside the rules even though I don't like the rule."


Complete Article

Kansas Writer: Kentucky Makes Mockery of Student-Athlete Hype


Dolph C. Simons, Jr. of LJWorld.com says Kentucky makes a mockery of student-athlete hype.

Simons basically says Kentucky and John Calipari is only focused on winning basketball games.

Here is an excerpt:

The Kentucky Wildcats are considered the nation’s No. 1 team. Both the Kansas men’s and women’s teams are playing this weekend in their NCAA tournaments’ “Sweet 16.” This column is being written before the Friday night tipoff in St. Louis and today’s women’s game in Des Moines. Both teams have distinguished themselves, win or lose, and Kansas University, the athletics department and the coaches have performed in a manner that reflects credit on the university.

Unfortunately, the Division I NCAA tournament playoff is a bit of a scam.

The manner in which Kentucky coach John Calipari has built his team makes a joke of the NCAA’s much-ballyhooed “student-athlete” slogan.

Calipari’s record at Kentucky and the previous stops along his coaching trail, along with the apparent approval of University of Kentucky leaders, offers proof that his No. 1 priority is winning games. Any effort to suggest Calipari’s true interest is trying to provide a college education, a degree, falls apart when looking at his record, the players on his past two Kentucky teams and the outlook for players on his current team. His goal seems to be to win and make his players instant millionaires.


Complete Article

Simons ends his article with this little nugget:

Maybe, in the minds of Calipari and UK officials, million-dollar contracts totally negate the need and importance of a college degree.

Kansas basketball coaches Dr. James Naismith, Dr. Forrest C. “Phog” Allen, W.O. Hamilton, Dick Harp, Ted Owens, Larry Brown, Roy Williams and Bill Self all have tried to play the game the way Dr. Naismith intended: as an important and integral part of a young man’s development through his college experience.


Hey Dolph, what kind of degree does Josh Selby hold?

The NCAA Tournament Pays Participants in a Big Way


The NCAA Tournament pays off in a big way for participants and their respective conferences.

According to The New York Times, each game a university plays is worth $242,204 for six years. So each game is worth $1,453,224

If Kentucky advances advances to the Final Four on Sunday, it will make approximately $7.2 million for the Southeastern Conference.

Here is an excerpt:

There are usually snarky comments on Web sites around the Southeastern Conference — particularly from Alabama, Florida and Louisiana State fanatics — around bowl time when Kentucky does not play in a bowl, or one that pays well. The Wildcats still get a share of the bowl money in the distribution process, irking fans from the football powerhouses.

The Kentucky basketball team helps make up the difference — especially this Kentucky basketball team, which is favored to get to the Final Four and earn $7.2 million for the SEC.


Complete Article

Cats vs. Cards in the Final Four Would be Bluegrass Heaven


Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com is rooting for a "bluegrass heaven" matchup between Louisville and Kentucky in the Final Four.

Of course, Louisville will have to get past Florida and Kentucky still has to contend with Baylor, but there's no way to ignore the enormity of a potential national semifinal battle between the Cats and Cards.

Here's an excerpt of Wojciechowski's thoughts:

Say it with me: Kentucky versus Louisville … Kentucky versus Louisville … Kentucky versus Louisville …

If it happens -- and I'm openly and unapologetically rooting for the matchup -- the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky will need its medication adjusted. It will make the Derby look like Bible study class. One way or another, it will become basketball legend.

"I've worked here since July of 1978," said Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Rick Bozich. "It would be the biggest sporting event that I could remember covering in nearly 34 years."

"It would be ridiculous," said Lexington Herald-Leader columnist John Clay. "Totally ridiculous."

It would be six exits past ridiculous. The state would shut down on Final Four Saturday. You could run naked through downtown Louisville or Lexington and nobody would notice. Fans in the hoops-addicted Commonwealth would be duct-taped to their TVs.


Complete Article

Kentucky Gets Revenge in High-Scoring Win Over Indiana


(1) Kentucky 102
(4) Indiana 90

Final from Atlanta, Georgia

NCAA Tournament - Sweet 16


The Kentucky Wildcats avenged their only regular season loss with a 102-90 victory over Indiana in the South Regional semifinals on Friday night.

Kentucky (35-2) shot an amazing 35-37 (94.6%) from the free throw line while the Hoosiers were just 13-17 (76.5%).

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the Wildcats with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Doron Lamb added 21 points. Darius Miller came off the bench to net 19 points on 6-8 shooting.

Marquis Teague struggled with decision-making at times but still finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and only 2 turnovers. Terrence Jones contributed 12 points for the Wildcats.

Kentucky freshman star Anthony Davis had just 2 points and 2 fouls in the first half. After a solid second half, Davis finished with 9 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

Christian Watford led Indiana (27-9) with 27 points and 5 rebounds. Cody Zeller had 20 points and 7 boards. Jodan Hulls finished with 12 points and a game-high 9 assists.

With the win, the Wildcats avenged a loss in early December in Bloomington. Kentucky now moves into Sunday's regional final against Baylor.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Antoine Walker Waived by the Idaho Stampede


Former Kentucky star Antoine Walker has been waived by the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League.

Walker showed promise last season with the Stampede but is clearly overweight and out of shape this season.

Despite that, the team has left open the possibility of Walker re-joining the Stampede at a later date.

Here is the release:

BOISE, Idaho, March 23, 2012 - Willie Jenkins (6-6, 222, Tennessee Tech) was re-acquired by the Idaho Stampede, the club announced today.

Jenkins (b. 12/20/1981) has played 18 games this season (9 starts) and is averaging 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Jenkins was the only Stampede player to play in all 50 games in 2010-11, and averaged 7.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

To make room on the roster, three-time NBA All-Star Antoine Walker has been waived due to personal reasons. Walker will miss Friday's game versus the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, while attending to business obligations in Chicago but could re-join the team after that.

Source

Van Hoose, Young to Compete in 2012 NABC DII All-Star Game


The 2012 Reese's NABC Division II All-Star game will be played tonight in The Bank of Kentucky Center at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The game features 20 all-stars from around the country and will include Northern Kentucky's Jon Van Hoose and Kentucky Wesleyan's Anthony Young.

2012 Reese's Division II All-Star Game Participants

Ryan Aquino, Georgia College | F, 6-8, 230
Stefan Bonneau, C.W. Post | G, 5-10, 165
Scott Dennis, Christian Brothers | G, 6-5, 190
James Ellisor, Bemidji State | F, 6-5, 200
Milton Garner, Cameron | G, 6-1, 200
Ahmad Harris, Bloomfield | G, 5-9, 170
Brandon Hogg, Southern Indiana | G, 6-1, 185
Reggie Jones, Cal State Stanislaus | F, 6-9, 245
Lance Kearse, Eckerd | F, 6-6, 235
Raymont McElroy, West Virginia Wesleyan | G/F, 6-2, 190
Adrian Moss, Indianapolis | G, 5-9, 160
Paul "PJ" Reyes, Charleston (W.V.) | G, 6-5, 190
Taylor Rohde, Alaska-Anchorage | F/C, 6-9, 255
Cody Schilling, Augustana (S.D.) | G, 6-5, 195
Da'Ron Sims, West Georgia | F, 6-6, 215
Ashton Smith (Scarborough, ON/West Hill Collegiate), IUP | G, 6-2, 195
Keane Thomann, Missouri Southern | C, 6-11, 275
Dwight Tolbert, Lander | F, 6-5, 210
Jon Van Hoose, Northern Kentucky | G, 6-6, 175
Zack Warner, Christian Brothers | C, 6-9, 215
Anthony Young, Kentucky Wesleyan | C, 6-7, 244

Bellarmine's Braydon Hobbs Named NABC Player of the Year


Bellarmine University's Braydon Hobbs was recently named 2012 Division II Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Jeremy Kendle of Bellarmine joined Hobbs at NABC First Team All-Americans.

Here is more from BU:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 21, 2012) – Senior Braydon Hobbs of Bellarmine University has been selected as the 2012 Division II Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Hobbs, a NABC Coaches' Division II All-America selection this season, will receive his award at the AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game awards show on Sunday, April 1, at the New Orleans Theatre at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La.

The 6-5 guard from New Albany, Ind., has helped his team to a second straight appearance in the NCAA® Division II Elite Eight this week at The Bank of Kentucky Center at Northern Kentucky University. Coach Scott Davenport's team is the defending NCAA Division II champion, having captured the title last March in Springfield, Mass.

Complete Release

2012 NABC COACHES' DIVISION II ALL-AMERICA TEAM

Stefan Bonneau, C.W. Post, 5-10, Senior, Guard, Middletown, N.Y.

Scott Dennis, Christian Brothers, 6-6, Senior, Guard, Cincinnati, Ohio

James Ellisor, Bemidji State, 6-5, Senior, Forward, Glendale, Ariz.

Brett Green, Colorado School of Mines, 6-4, Junior, Guard/Forward, Peyton, Col.

Eric Jean-Guillaume, Franklin Pierce, 6-0, Junior, Guard, Stamford, Conn.

Braydon Hobbs, Bellarmine, 6-5, Senior, Guard, New Albany, Ind.

Reggie Jones, Cal State Stanislaus, 6-9, Senior, Forward, Paterson, N.J.

Jeremy Kendle, Bellarmine, 6-2, Junior, Guard, Jeffersonville, Ind.

Josh Magette, Alabama-Huntsville, 6-1, Senior, Guard, Birmingham, Ala.

Will McNeill, Washburn, 6-1, Junior, Guard, Alexandria, La.

Paul “PJ” Reyes, Charleston (WV), 6-5, Senior, Guard, Taylor, Mich.

D.J. Rivera, Montevallo, 6-4, Senior, Guard, Philadelphia, Pa.

Taylor Rohde, Alaska-Anchorage, 6-9, Senior, Forward/Center, Phoenix, Ariz.

Ashton Smith, IUP, 6-2, Senior, Guard, Scarborough, Ont., Canada

Keane Thomann, Missouri Southern, 6-11, Senior, Center, Olney, Ill.

Dwight Tolbert, Lander, 6-5, Senior, Wing, Tifton, Ga.

Parrish Predicts: Orlando Antigua to Get Duquesne Job


Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com predicts that Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua will be the next head coach at Duquesne.

Here are Parrish's thoughts:

GaryParrishCBS Prediction: UK assistant Orlando Antigua gets the Duquesne job, John Calipari fills spot with former Illinois assistant Jerrance Howard.

GaryParrishCBS Which would lead to Jerrance Howard recruiting Chicago for UK and the new Illinois coach (to be named later) hating everything.

Azubuike Signs with Mavericks, Will Start Comeback in D-League


Former University of Kentucky star Kelenna Azubuike has officially signed with the Dallas Mavericks.

Azubuike, who hasn't played since the 2009-10 season, will receive a deal for the rest of this season and a team option for next season, according to ESPN.com. He will start his comeback with the Texas Legends int he NBA Development League.

Here is more from ESPN.com:

The Dallas Mavericks signed swingman Kelenna Azubuike to fill the roster spot vacated by Thursday's release of Sean Williams.

Although Azubuike hasn't played since early in the 2009-10 season because of a knee injury, Mavericks officials are intrigued by the progress Azubuike has made in his rehabilitation efforts, sources said.

Azubuike will receive a deal for the rest of this season and a team option for next season and will start his comeback with the Frisco-based Texas Legends, Dallas' D-League affiliate, sources said. He is expected to practice with the Legends on Friday and could play for them as early as Saturday night against the Maine Red Claws at home.


Complete Article

Photo: NBA.com

Montevallo Holds Off Bellarmine in DII National Semifinals


Montevallo 79
Bellarmine 72

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky

NCAA DII Tournament - National Semifinal


Game recap by BU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.—A second half dry spell foiled Bellarmine's dreams of back to back national titles as the Knights dropped a 79-72 decision to the University of Montevallo Saturday night in the NCAA Division II national semifinals in the Bank of Kentucky Center on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.

Bellarmine suffered through an 0-for-13 shooting slump and did not score from the 8:32 mark of the second half until just 43 seconds remained. Meanwhile the Falcons hit on 58.6 percent of their second half field goals and Montevallo turned around a 7-point second half deficit into a lead that grew to as many as 13.

Bellarmine Coach Davenport said, “(The scoring drought) was just some poor decision making, but quickness does that to you. (Montevallo) played with great urgency and forced some quick shots and forced some turnovers, and they turned those into easy baskets.”

Although early foul trouble limited the first half minutes of Chris Dowe and Jelani Johnson (who started in place of the injured Keisten Jones), Bellarmine was able to maintain the lead for the majority of the first half on the strength of 57.7 percent shooting.

Complete Recap

Dallas Mavericks are Close to Signing Kelenna Azubuike


The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly close to signing former University of Kentucky star Kelenna Azubuike.

Azubuike has not played in the NBA since the 2009-10 season after undergoing patella surgery on his knee.

Here's more from DallasNews.com:

The Mavericks are close to signing former Golden State Warrior Kelenna Azubuike, presuming he can pass a physical, a source close to the situation said.

That may not be as simple as it sounds. Azubuike underwent patella surgery in 2009 and never saw the court with New York after being traded there in the David Lee deal. It was found that the original surgery on his knee was not done correctly and he had another procedure.

Azubuike has not played in the league since early in the 2009-10 season.

But, at one time, he was considered one of the best athletic talents in the league when the 6-5 swingman was with the Warriors. He was part of the 2007 team that beat the Mavericks in the first round.

Complete Article

Shabazz Muhammad to Announce Decision on April 10


Kentucky recruit Shabazz Muhammad has set a decision date, according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

Muhammad will announce his choice on April 10. His final list includes UCLA, Kentucky, UNLV, Duke and Kansas.

Here is an excerpt:

Shabazz Muhammad has set his decision date.

One of the more decorated recruits in the 2012 recruiting class will announce his choice on April 10th, according to Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice.

"That’s what it looks like," Rice said confirming the news.

"It’s definitely the 10th," Rice added. "The 10th will be the day."


Complete Article

Photo: Rivals.com

Steve Prohm Still Deciding If He'll Pursue Mississippi State Job


According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, Murray State head coach Steve Prohm still hasn't decided if he's going to stay in Murray or make a push towards landing the Mississippi State job.

Here is an excerpt:

Murray State coach Steve Prohm still hasn’t decided if he’s going to stay long term with the Racers or make a full push toward the Mississippi State job. This is another tough call for Prohm. He is in a good space, has the Racer Nation pumped for the future and clearly he would like to enjoy the benefits of such a wonderful season. But does he take a bigger gig in the SEC if he can land it? The problem is that Mississippi State isn’t an easy job. The Bulldogs have had to play all over the country for games and must search for a combination of high school seniors and transfers. I’ll be very interested to see if Prohm takes a similar approach to Shaka Smart of VCU and stays where he’s most comfortable.

Source

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tom Crean Tries to Rally the Hoosiers in Catlanta


Indiana University head coach Tom Crean is trying to get all the support he can for his team heading into Friday night's game against Kentucky.

Here are some posts from Crean's Twitter account:

TomCrean Hoosier Nation do not let this turn into CATLANTA! Get here and lets take the Georgia Dome OVER!

TomCrean I just found out that out of State and just behind Chicago, Atlanta is the 2nd largest IU ALUMNI BASE IN THE COUNTRY

Welcome to CATlanta, Tom.

Louisville Throttles Michigan State, Advances to Elite 8


(17) Louisville 57
(4) Michigan State 44

Final from Phoenix, Arizona

NCAA Tournament - Sweet 16


Game recap by U of L:

PHOENIX (AP) - Chane Behanan scored 15 points and Gorgui Dieng anchored Louisville's stifling defense with seven blocked shots, helping the Cardinals knock off top-seeded Michigan State 57-44 Thursday night in the West Regional semifinals.

Louisville (29-9) smothered the NCAA tournament's best-shooting team with its matchup zone, getting good pressure from its guards up top and some big swats by Dieng, one of the nation's top shot-blockers.

The Cardinals relied on 3-point shooting in the first half and went inside the second to befuddle the Spartans, earning a trip to the West final against Marquette or Florida on Saturday.

Michigan State (29-8) started slow and never got going against Louisville's amoebic defense, shooting 28 percent while being outscored 20-14 inside by the leaner Cardinals.

Dieng finished with five points, seven rebounds and had three steals. Peyton Siva overcame a rough shooting night - four points on 2-of-9 shooting - with nine assists.

Draymond Green had 13 points and 16 rebounds in his final game for Michigan State and Brandon Wood added 14 points.

Complete Recap

2011-12 Gatorade State Boys Basketball Players of the Year

The 2011-12 Gatorade State Boys Basketball Players of the Year were announced on Thursday.

Louisville Trinity's Nathan Dieudonne won the award in Kentucky.

Several University of Kentucky recruits and signees also won in their respective states.

Archie Goodwin won the award in Arkansas, Alex Poythress in Tennessee, Shabazz Muhammad in Nevada, Jabari Parker in Illinois and Andrew Wiggins in West Virginia.

Some other notables include Devonta Pollard (Mississippi), Amile Jefferson (Pennsylvania) and Tony Parker (Georgia).

Here's a look via ESPN.com (click to enlarge):

Calipari Says Kenny Payne Would Be a Good Choice for Mississippi State


Kentucky head coach John Calipari said today that assistant Kenny Payne would be a great choice to replace Rick Stansbury at Mississippi State.

Here is more from ClarionLedger.com:

One of his top assistant coaches, Kenny Payne, has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the opening at Mississippi State. On some levels, it makes sense. He’s a former Mr. Basketball in Mississippi and has ties to the South, where he has, reportedly, been recruiting Kemper County star Devonta Pollard for the Wildcats.

Today, before a practice in preparation for the Sweet 16 in Atlanta, Calipari pushed the conversation forward with reporters. Our friend Kyle Tucker with our sister paper, The Louisville Courier-Journal, posted a video of the conversation this afternoon.

“You’re not ready to be a head coach unless you’re ready to say no and ready to create discipline in these kids’ lives, and he is,” Calipari said of Payne. “He’s probably tougher on our kids than I am and recruiting speaks for itself. And he grew up there. He would be a good choice.”


Complete Article

Some other names that have mentioned in Mississippi State rumors include Murray State head coach Steve Prohm and Mississippi Valley State head coach Sean Woods.

Anthony Davis Wins Adolph Rupp Player of the Year Award


Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis has won the Adolph Rupp National Player of the Year Award.

Here's more from Lex18.com:

Davis will be presented with the trophy by the Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky on Thursday, March 29th at 5 p.m. at the New Orleans Marriott.

"It has been an absolute joy watching Anthony play this year. Especially considering that he's just a freshman. Regardless of records and individual achievement, the one thing Coach Rupp wanted out of a player was for him to make a difference in the game so that the team could win. That's exactly what Anthony has done this year for UK.; and, the fact that the only two Kentucky players to have won this award in 40 years have come during John Calipari's three years is a testament to his recruiting prowess," said Gerry Calvert, Club spokesperson.

The Rupp Awards awarded by the Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky, a non-profit organization established in 1972 by players and associates of former UK head coach Adolph Rupp. The awards are determined by a select national voting panel consisting of over 80 sportswriters, coaches and athletic directors representing every major Division I conference and all geographic regions of the country.


Complete Article

ESPN: Multiple Sources Say Kidd-Gilchrist will Enter 2012 NBA Draft


Chad Ford reports that multiple sources have told ESPN that Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will enter the 2012 NBA Draft.

Here is an excerpt:

Kentucky freshman forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will enter the 2012 NBA draft after the Wildcats' season ends, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Thursday.

"He hopes he'll be able to announce right after they win the NCAA championship," one source said. "But even if they don't win it all, he's coming. He knows he's going to be a top-5 pick. He can't pass that up."

Back in early March, Kidd-Gilchrist told reporters that he would forgo the lures of the draft and stay in school.

Complete Article

Kidd-Gilchrist gave this response on Twitter:

MikeGillie14 I don't know where this is coming from. This is MY decision. Right now all I'm focused on my Teammates and winning Games.

MikeGillie14 After the season Ill make a decision that's best for me and my family!

Forbes: Calipari the Most Overpaid Coach in College Basketball


Forbes says Kentucky's John Calipari is the most overpaid coach in all of college basketball.

According to Forbes, Calipari has produced enough championships to warrant the highest annual salary (about $4 million) in college basketball.

Other overpaid coaches according to Forbes includes Billy Donovan (Florida), Tom Crean (Indiana) and Travis Ford (Oklahoma State).

Here is an excerpt:

He’ll be a familiar sight on the sidelines when the Wildcats tip off in primetime against the Indiana Hoosiers – sharp suit, dark hair slicked back, still looking youthful at 53, the epitome of cool. If he hadn’t chosen hoops as a profession, Calipari would be a Wall Street star. Or, maybe the car business (imagine walking into a dealership and drawing him as your salesman? By the time you walked out you’d be the proud owner of two new vehicles, both fully loaded. You might even waive your cash-back incentive).

Not that Calipari, who’s easily staked his claim as one the nation’s top basketball coaches, needs Wall Street to get rich. At $4 million annually, he’s college basketball’s highest paid coach. He’s also the most overpaid.

For all his winning, there’s little to suggest that Calipari merits the highest paycheck in the country. He’s parlayed only three of his nine Sweet Sixteen appearances into the Final Four. Only one Calipari team, the 2008 Memphis Tigers, made it to the final Monday night. And of course the big one – zero national championships. Now to compare: Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun, who’s won three national titles, makes barely more than half what Calipari does. Same for North Carolina’s Roy Williams who’s won two titles among his six Final Four appearances. Calipari’s paycheck also outpaces those of Tom Izzo, Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski, all of whom boast superior career bodies of work (the comparisons don’t necessarily hold every year, due to periodic bonuses, but all make less guaranteed money than Calipari does).


Complete Article

Calipari is also racking up the bonus money:

Speaking of Calipari and money, he has earned a $100,000 bonus for reaching the Sweet 16 and a $50,000 bonus for winning the SEC regular-season championship.

He can collect $175,000 for making the Final Four and $375,000 for winning the national championship.

Mick Pinnisi: Worst Flop in History of Basketball?

This is one of the worst (or best depending on perspective) flops in the history of basketball - some big guy named Mick Pinnisi in the Philippine Basketball Association:

Bezold, Davenport and Lee are Finalists for Clarence Gaines Award


The finalists have been announced for the 2012 Clarence "Big House" Gaines National Coach of the Year Award. The award is given annually to the coach of year in NCAA DII men's basketball.

Dave Bezold (NKU), Scott Davenport (Bellarmine) and Todd Lee (KWC) are all finalists for this year's award.

2012 CLARENCE GAINES AWARD FINALISTS

Lennie Acuff University of Alabama-Huntsville
Dave Bezold Northern Kentucky University
Jim Crutchfield West Liberrty University
Scott Davenport Bellarmine Univeristy
Nelson Haggerty Midwestern State University
Cleo Hill, Jr. Shaw University
Brad Jackson Western Washington University
Todd Lee Kentucky Wesleyan College
Ben McCollum Northwest Missouri State University
Pryor Orser Colorado School of Mines

More about the award from CollegeInsider.com:

BOSTON (MA) -- The ten finalists for the 2012 Clarence "Big House" Gaines National Coach of the Year were announced on Wednesday. The award is presented annually to the top division II men's basketball coach.

One of the true legends of all-time, Clarence Gaines retired from Winston-Salem State University in 1993 with a record of 828-446. At the time he was the winningest active basketball coach in NCAA history. During his 47-year tenure as coach and athletic director at WSSU he coached professional basketball greats Cleo Hill (first African-American from an historically Black college and university to be drafted No. 1 by the National Basketball Association, St. Louis Hawks, 1961) and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

The winner will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet on March 30 in New Orleans, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.

Two Wildcats, Canaan Named to Lute Olson All-America Team


The 2011-12 Lute Olson All-America Team was announced on Tuesday. Kentucky teammates Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are joined on the team by Murray State's Isaiah Canaan.

Here's a look:

THE 2011-12 LUTE OLSON ALL-AMERICA TEAM

Harrison Barnes 6-8 So. North Carolina
Isaiah Canaan 6-0 Jr. Murray State
D.J. Cooper 5-11 Jr. Ohio
Jae Crowder 6-6 Sr. Marquette
Anthony Davis 6-10 Fr. Kentucky
Marcus Denmon 6-3 Sr. Missouri
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 6-7 Fr. Kentucky
Michael Glover 6-7 Sr. Iona
Draymond Green 6-7 Sr. Michigan State
Tu Holloway 6-0 Sr. Xavier
Scoop Jardine 6-2 Sr. Syracuse
Kevin Jones 6-8 Sr. West Virginia
Orlando Johnson 6-5 Sr. UC Santa Barbara
Damian Lillard 6-3 Jr. Weber State
Scott Machado 6-1 Sr. Iona
Kendall Marshall 6-4 So. North Carolina
C.J. McCollum 6-0 Jr. Lehigh
Doug McDermott 6-7 So. Creighton
Mike Moser 6-8 So. UNLV
Andrew Nicholson 6-9 Sr. St. Bonaventure
Austin Rivers 6-4 Fr. Duke
Thomas Robinson 6-10 Jr. Kansas
Mike Scott 6-8 Sr. Virginia
Jared Sullinger 6-5 So. Ohio State
Tyler Zeller 7-0 Sr. North Carolina

Here is more about the award from CollegeInsider.com:

BOSTON (MA) -- The 2012 Lute Olson All-America team was announced on Tuesday. Rather than assembling a first second, third team and honorable mentions, the All-American list is one team consisting of twenty-five players.

The Lute Olson Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I player who has played at least two seasons with his respective team. Freshmen and first-year transfers can be named to the All-America team, but are not eligible to receive the Player of the Year honors.

The award is named in honor of coaching great Lute Olson, who won 780 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.

The winner of the 2012 Lute Olson Award will be announced on March 30 in New Orleans, site of the NCAA men's basketball championship. Connecticut's Kemba Walker was the recipient of the 2011 award.

Tom Crean Talks About NCAA Tournament Game Against UK

Indiana head coach Tom Crean talks about his team's upcoming NCAA Regional game against the Kentucky Wildcats:

Bellarmine Advances to NCAA Division II Final Four


(4) Bellarmine University 82
(2) Alabama-Huntsville 73

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky

NCAA DII Tournament - National Quarterfinals


Game recap by BU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.—The No. 4 Bellarmine Knights advanced to the final four of the NCAA Division II National Championship with a thrilling 82-73 come-from-behind victory over the No. 2 Alabama-Huntsville Chargers tonight in front of 4,281 fans at the Bank of Kentucky Center on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.

The Chargers surged out to a 41-32 halftime behind 54.2 percent first half shooting and converting all 11 of their free throws. The Knights struggled in the opening half shooting just 41.4 percent including just 4-of 14 from long range.

The second half was a completely different story as Bellarmine stormed out of the gates with a quick 6-1 spurt to open the final period. The flurry, 3-pointers by Chris Dowe and Luke Sprague sandwiching a UAH free throw, put Bellarmine right back in it, and the Knights never took their foot off the accelerator the rest of the way. Bellarmine scorched the nets with 70 percent second half shooting while their defense put the clamps on UAH, holding the Chargers to just 12 of 30 shooting in the second period, which included just four of 18 3-point attempts.

Bellarmine overtook the Chargers just 2:57 into the second half and eventually built a 10-point lead at 67-57 at the 8:06 mark. However, the Chargers battled back and after the Knights missed two missed front ends of the one and one and committed a turnover, UAH whittled the Bellarmine margin to just one on a Jaime Smith trey at the 3:12 mark.

Complete Recap

John Calipari and Paul Peck are Finalists for John McLendon Award


Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Lindsey Wilson College head man Paul Peck are finalists for the inaugural John McLendon National Coach of the Year Award.

2012 JOHN MCLENDON AWARD FINALISTS

Ken Ammann Concordia University Irvine
Mike Brey University of Notre Dame
Horace Broadnax Savannah State
John Calipari University of Kentucky
John Cooper Tennessee State University
Jim Crutchfield West Liberty University
Steve Green South Plains College
Frank Haith University of Missouri
Tom Izzo Michigan State University
Marcus Kahn Cabrini College
Ben McCollum Northwest Missouri State University
Danny Miles Oregon Tech
Pat Miller Wisconsin-Whitewater
Matt Neil Hope College
Paul Peck Lindsey Wilson College
Chad Warner Shorter University

Here's a little about the award:

BOSTON (MA) -- The fifteen finalists for the 2012 John McLendon National Coach of the Year were announced on Wednesday. The John McLendon award is presented annually to the top collegiate head coach. The award will encompass Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA and JUCO.

A trailblazer and one of the true pioneers of the game, McLendon became the first African American coach to win an integrated national championship. His team went on to win the NAIA Division I Men's Tournament in 1957, 1958 and 1959, making him the first coach in history to win three consecutive NAIA championships.

In 1962 he became the first African American head coach in a major professional league (ABL) with the Cleveland Pipers. In 1966 he became the first African American head coach of predominantly-white university, when he took over the Cleveland State program. He led the team to their best record in school history.

In 1969, McLendon was hired by the Denver Rockets and became the first African American head coach in the American Basketball Association. After a brief stint with the Rockets, McLendon ended his 25-year professional coaching career with a winning percentage of .760 and a lifetime career average of 523 victories and 165 losses..

The winner will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet on March 30 in New Orleans, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.

Release

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Troy Williams Says He's Down to Three Schools


Troy Williams, a 6-6 small forward in the 2013 class, says he is down to three final schools, according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

Williams is down to Kentucky, Georgetown and North Carolina.

Here is a post from Daniels on Twitter:

EvanDanielscout Troy Williams just texted me that he is down to UNC, Georgetown and Kentucky.

Williams ranks No. 14 overall on the Rivals.com list for 2013.

Crawford, Bradley Staying Up All Night to Watch UK, Talking Trash to Former Duke Star


Former University of Kentucky stars Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley have been staying up all night (literally) to watch the Wildcats in this year's NCAA Tournament.

The two former Cats are now playing in Israel and must pull late hours to watch live NCAA Tournament action.

Bradley, who gets completely decked out in Kentucky gear, has been talking plenty of trash to former Duke star Jon Scheyer. Duke was stunned by No. 15 seed Lehigh last Friday night.

Here is more about the former Cats from Tabletmag.com:

In his four years at the University of Kentucky, Ramel Bradley played in four NCAA tournaments; his rookie year, the team made it to the Elite Eight. Now, after a stint playing for Maccabi Ashdod, he’s a guard for Hapoel Jerusalem. This month, his focus is the Wildcats, no matter the hour: “I don’t care about anyone else,” he said in a recent interview. “I just can’t believe how good they are.” He predicted the Wildcats will go far—meaning two more weekends of very late nights in front of the television.

Bradley’s brought March Madness onto the court as well: He comes to Jerusalem’s practices in Wildcat blue. He also gets decked out in Kentucky gear when he watches his college team play, and tweets with fans back home during the games. Along with former Kentucky teammate Joe Crawford, who now plays for Maccabi Rishon Letzion, Bradley does his share of trash-talking with the other American players in Israel. When we spoke, he had some thoughts for Jon Scheyer, the Jewish former Duke star who was a key part of the 2010 Blue Devils team that went all the way. After Duke was upset 75-70 by No. 15 seed Lehigh last Friday night, Bradley said Scheyer “should be in tears.”

Scheyer is taking Duke’s loss in stride. “Ramel and Joe have to be feeling pretty good right now. Kentucky is certainly looking like the team to beat,” said Scheyer, who now plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv, the perennial Israeli champion and powerhouse in the European league. (Israeli teams compete in the European league in professional basketball.) Even though Duke is now out of the tournament, Scheyer says the games are still “a lot of fun for me to watch.”

There’s plenty of NCAA talk in the Maccabi Tel Aviv locker room as well. Scheyer’s teammate Richard Hendrix played for Alabama; Devon Smith went to Virginia; and Keith Langford scored 19 points in the 2003 final for Kansas when they lost 81-78 to a Syracuse team led by current New York Knick Carmelo Anthony. Besides Duke, Alabama and Virginia were also knocked out of the tournament on Friday. “It was a tough night for Richard, Devon, and me. Keith, though, had plenty to say,” said Scheyer, as Kansas advanced to the next round.

Their consolation, however, was that they were able to remind the team’s other American-born player, Sean James, that his Duquesne team didn’t even make the tournament.


Complete Article

Sean Gillespie Resigns as Union College Head Coach


Union College head coach Sean Gillespie has resigned as the head men's basketball coach to accept a job at a private Christian school in Orlando, Florida.

Here is the release from UC:

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Sean Gillespie resigned as the Union men's head basketball coach to accept a position at a position at a private Christian school in Orlando, Fla., Interim Director of Athletics Tim Curry announced.

"We appreciate everything Sean has done for us here at Union," Curry said. "He was a part of an exciting time of Bulldog basketball as he led the team to the national tournament for the first in 43 years.

"Sean's now been given a great opportunity for him and his family," Curry continued, "and we wish him well as begins this new endeavor."

Gillespie will be a senior athletic director and girls' basketball coach at the school.

During his three seasons at Union, Gillespie posted a 44-52 overall record. In his first season, Union went 20-13 overall, won a share of the Appalachian Athletic Conference regular-season championship and advanced to the conference tournament title game. The Bulldogs finished 16-16 in 2010-11 but won the AAC Tournament to advance to the national tournament for the first time since 1968. Union suffered through an injury-plagued season this past year, posting an 8-23 mark.

"We are thankful for the opportunity that former athletic director Darin Wilson gave me and my family to work here at Union," Gillespie said. "We were able to break through some barriers in the basketball program, and we are pleased with what we did in our time here. We are blessed to accept this position in Florida, but we leave with plenty of positive memories."

Curry said the search for a new head men's basketball coach will begin immediately.

Complete Release

Kent Sterling Needs Some Hits, Says UK/IU is a "Battle for College Basketball's Soul"


Noted Kentucky hater Kent Sterling needs some hits on his blog. I recommend you don't give him that pleasure (although I've linked it at the bottom) but rather give him some thoughts on Twitter (@KentSterling)

Check this garbage out:

Families looking for the big payday see the tidal wave of talent pouring from Calipari led teams, and they choose to buy into the bill of goods that he has something tangible to do with that success. The other reasons for their pledging UK are up for discussion, but there is no doubt that Kentucky Basketball is about nothing other than Kentucky Basketball winning games and championships. Look up the term “the ends justify the means” and there is a picture of Richard Nixon and a Kentucky Wildcat logo.

Indiana does it the right way. Kids go to class. They succeed in the classroom. The academic facility used by Indiana student athletes speaks to the priority Athletic Director Fred Glass places on education. Glass is dedicated to Indiana Basketball doing it right, and his edict that coaches adhere not only to the letter of the NCAA rulebook, but the spirit as well is made clear both in words and deeds.

The creation of the Excellence Academy is a great example of Glass’s vision for Indiana Athletics as an extension of the learning experience student-athletes enjoy in Bloomington.

Coach Tom Crean has recruited to Indiana a collection of great kids who talk about their plans after basketball with the same enthusiasm as they use when describing their basketball dreams. These Hoosiers are great kids who are very good at basketball.

There are winners in basketball and there are winners in life. Indiana is committed to helping build winners of young men who play basketball. Kentucky is committed to winning basketball games.


Indiana vs. Kentucky – a Battle for College Basketball’s Soul

Beijing Ducks Win Game 1 of 2012 CBA Finals Series


The Beijing Ducks, led by big games from Stephon Marbury and former Kentucky big man Randolph Morris, won game 1 of the 2012 CBA Finals series this morning.

The Ducks picked up a 108-101 victory over favored Guandong ST in the series' opening game.

Marbury led Beijing with 36 points on 12-17 shooting. He also chipped in 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.

Morris added 16 points on 7-12 shooting.

Aaron Brooks, who also spent time in the NBA, led Guandong with 36 points. Former Murray State star James Singleton contributed 17 points and 16 rebounds.

The series now moves to Guandong for a game 2 battle on Friday.

2012 CBA Finals

Best of seven (1-2-2-2 format)

Date Matchup Time (ET)

Wed Mar 21 Beijing 108 Guangdong 101 (Beijing Leads Series 1-0)
Fri Mar 23 Beijing at Guangdong 7:45 a.m.
Sun Mar 25 Beijing at Guangdong 7:45 a.m.
Wed Mar 28 Guangdong at Beijing 7:45 a.m.
x-Fri Mar 30 Guangdong at Beijing 7:45 a.m.
x-Sun Apr 1 Beijing at Guangdong 7:45 a.m.
x-Wed Apr 4 Beijing at Guangdong 7:45 a.m.

x-if necessary

Box Score (click to enlarge):



Source: Asia-Basket.com

Here is some footage of Morris trading dunks and technical fouls with Marcus Williams in game 5 of the semifinal series:

Calipari, Prohm Named NABC All-District Coaches


Kentucky's John Calipari and Murray State's Steve Prohm have been named 2012 NABC Division I All-District Coaches in their respective districts.

Here's a look:

2012 NABC DIVISION I ALL-DISTRICT COACHES

District 1: Jimmy Patsos, Loyola (MD)
District 2: Leonard Hamilton, Florida State
District 3: Rick Byrd, Belmont
District 4: Fran Dunphy, Temple
District 5: Mike Brey, Notre Dame
District 6: Wayne Tinkle, Montana
District 7: Tom Izzo, Michigan State
District 8: Frank Haith, Missouri
District 9: Dan Monson, Long Beach State
District 10: Bruiser Flint, Drexel
District 11: Larry Eustachy, Southern Mississippi
District 12: Scott Nagy, South Dakota State
District 13: Tommy Amaker, Harvard
Co-District 14: Keith Dambrot, Akron
Co-District 14: Rob Murphy, Eastern Michigan
District 15: Horace Broadnax, Savannah State
District 16: Gregg Marshall, Wichita State
District 17: Steve Fisher, San Diego State
Co-District 18: Jim Ferry, Long Island
Co-District 18: Andrew Toole, Robert Morris
Co-District 18: Glenn Braica, St. Francis (NY)
District 19: Steve Prohm, Murray State
District 20: Tad Boyle, Colorado
District 21: John Calipari, Kentucky
District 22: Mike Young, Wofford
District 23: Scott Cross, Texas Arlington
District 24: Kermit Davis, Middle Tennessee State

Patrick Patterson is Appealing NBA Fine Regarding Twitter Post


Patrick Patterson is appealing the $25,000 fine he was given by the NBA earlier this week.

The league took exception to a post Patterson made on his Twitter account on Saturday.

Here is more from CHRON.com:

“(I) started the appeal. Started it yesterday,” Patterson said. “So we’ll see how that goes.

“Basically, I claimed my side. Nowhere in the tweet did I mention anything about the referees, refs or officials. I’ll fight for my end and we’ll see what happens.”

Patterson said he’ll learn from it.

“You learn from your mistakes,” Patterson said. “This is a mistake that I made and I’ll have to learn from it. We’ll just see what happens.”


Complete Article

Royce White to Enter NBA Draft, Signs with Agent


Iowa State's Royce White plans to enter the 2012 NBA Draft and has already signed with an agent, according to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com.

Here is an excerpt:

Royce White is NBA-bound.

Sources close to White told CBSSports.com that Iowa State's versatile 6-foot-7, 270-pound forward has signed with an agent.

An official announcement is expected on Wednesday.


Complete Article

White is projected to be a first round pick following an outstanding season at Iowa State.

Bob Knight Says Kentucky Five Times on Mike & Mike

ESPN's Bob Knight can say the word "Kentucky" after all. In fact, he appeared on Mike & Mike this morning and said that word over and over.

Listen to the interview:

MSU Search Firm Contacted Prohm During NCAA Tournament


Murray State athletics director Allen Ward is not happy with a search firm that is working on behalf of Mississippi State to find the school a new head men's basketball coach.

According to Ward, the search firm contacted Murray State head coach Steve Prohm about the job while the Racers were still playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Here's more from WPSDLocal6.com:

Ward told WPSD today a search firm, on behalf of Mississippi State, reached out to Prohm last week to gauge his interest in the Mississippi State job -- while the Racers were still in the middle of their season. Ward says no one from Mississippi State has contacted him for permission to speak with Prohm, although that is just a professional courtesy rather than a mandate considering Prohm still has three years left on his contract.

"I think there's a right way to do things," Ward said Tuesday. "Considering we were still playing -- it is what it is."

Ward said after the search firm contacted Prohm, Prohm told Ward about the call. "Steve handled it the right way," Ward said.


Complete Article

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sacramento Kings to Sign Terrence Williams to 10-Day Contract


According to Sam Amick of SI.com, the Sacramento Kings will sign former Louisville star Terrence Williams to a 10-day contract.

Williams was recently waived by the Houston Rockets.

sam_amick Sources say the Kings will pick up Terrence Williams on a 10-day contract. He was cut by Houston this week.

Western Kentucky AD Ross Bjork is Leaving for Ole Miss Job


Western Kentucky athletics director Ross Bjork has reportedly accepted the same position at Ole Miss.

Here is an excerpt from BGDailyNews.com:

Western Kentucky athletic director Ross Bjork appears headed to Mississippi, according to multiple sources.

Bjork, who started his second year at WKU on March 12, is rumored to take the same position at Ole Miss and replace Pete Boone who is expected to step down by year’s end. WKU associate athletic director Todd Stewart and Mississippi assistant athletics director Kyle Campbell would not confirm nor deny the reports. Efforts to reach both Bjork and WKU president Gary Ransdell went unanswered.

Bjork’s legacy, albeit a short one, included retaining football coach Willie Taggart – a move that lifted the Hilltoppers from the doldrums of the Sun Belt Conference and FBS to a 7-5 record.

Bjork also made headlines by firing men’s basketball coach Ken McDonald in January, then hiring assistant Ray Harper on a full-time basis in February.


Complete Article

John Calipari Talks NCAA Regional in Atlanta and More


Here are John Calipari's comments on the upcoming NCAA Regional in Atlanta and more:

On how things have been going since Louisville
“Good, they’re good. We had a tough road, five games in eight days and every one was high level and pressure packed. Sunday off, yesterday’s practice was OK, it wasn’t great but it was OK. Today we have to zero in on a few things and get ready for a tough ball game. It’s funny how now everybody is trying to give Tom (Crean) billboard action, ‘they’re going to kill them.’ Come on now, this is going to be a war. There are 16 teams left, every one of them can play and every one of them is inspired, every one of them is playing out of desperation, every team. So if you’re still playing now, you’re fortunate and if you get in a chance to play in a game and you expect it is going to be easy you’ll get beat. These games are going to be tough, every one of them.”

On what he saw looking back at the last meeting with Indiana
“Well the score wasn’t indicative, they beat us every way; they were more physical, they played with more intensity, they executed better, made shots that they had to make. We had a couple guys, literally, no-show the game. Wasn’t just one, you guys got one but if you watch the tape it was more like two or three. Michael (Kidd-) Gilchrist was really a man that kept us in; Marquis Teague played better in the second half; first half was not very good. That was like a season ago, literally four months ago. That was so long ago I had to watch the tape to remember anything. But they played well, the one thing about it is we are better but so are they. Both teams are better now than they were then. They execute better, they have a better plan for what their strengths are, and how they are playing is to cause mismatches and trying to get (Cody) Zeller the ball. Their guys that are drivers are driving and doing a great job and then defensively they are way better than they were, they are more physical.”

On Indiana without Verdell Jones III ...
“Well (Jordan) Hulls is their point guard, he is another handler for them. They just shorten their rotation. This time of the year you can get by with playing five guys if they stay out of foul trouble. You are getting two and a half minute timeouts, sixty minutes half-time; it’s like, ‘what in the world, let’s play the games.’”

On emphasizing winning each weekend
“Well I said play that first weekend just worry about that but you have to win the game you are in and you have to play every possession. At this point, one of the things they do a great job of is they (Indiana) take off their four and their five, especially their five. They go from defense to him sprinting, if you lose track of that two or three times a half that is six buckets, you lose the game. ‘Well I just, one time coach.’ It’s the third time this half, three times this half, you must sprint back, you must be focused on all possessions. You break down on a couple pick and rolls and they bang 3s, say its two or three, just three possessions now, that’s nine points. You have seven, eight possessions you break down, you cannot win the game. It is about possessions, taking yourself out when you’re tired or you lose focus. Losing your concentration is as bad as being tired, you are mentally tired, come out, get your breath then get back in.”

On the ESPN commercial
“It wasn’t rhetoric, it was true. What I would tell you is, I don’t ever teach anger because the physiology of that is really close to fear; so if you try to make your team angry and when anger doesn’t go right it turns to fear within their own bodies. I don’t do that, we are worried about us being our best, if that’s not good enough then someone played an outstanding ball game and deserved to win. As long as we are doing what we do and doing our best, how do we get our team to play their best? I feel I have a terrific team with terrific players, let’s worry about us playing well; let’s not worry about what happened with four months ago, it doesn’t matter now. We haven’t talked about it in any of the meetings, it’s we have a ball game, a team in front of us that can beat us because we know that, they’ve already beaten us. We’re going to have to play a terrific ball game and that may not be enough because they may come out of their minds, they may play crazy. They are the leading 3-point shooting team in the country or one of them. If you foul them they shoot almost 80 percent as a team from the free throw line so if you foul them or give them 3s you’re losing. Its how it is, that’s what they do.”

On teams having to pick their poison when guarding Kentucky
“What Indiana is going to do, they are going to back off of (Marquis) Teague and they’re going to back off of Michael (Kidd-) Gilchrist. The only issue is that it’s dangerous because we have all seen those guys have big games and what you’re hoping is, let’s hope they’re not making shots. That’s what I would think they would do. I think what we are is a good defensive team, we are an athletic team, we’re a driving team, if we make 3s we are a really strong team. Again, Iowa State played a heck of a basketball game. They missed 3s but we were up on them, they didn’t get many open looks and when they got open looks they made them. We acted like they should have beat Iowa State well let me just tell you, Kansas didn’t beat Iowa State, you’re talking about a terrific basketball team but we played well. They played well, we did what we’re supposed to do and that’s what you have to do each game here. It’s about how do we play our best, let’s not get too fancy, let’s not get too crazy. This isn’t the time to trick them, when you try to trick people at the end of the season, you trick yourself. We have established who we are, they have established who they are, we have a good idea of how they will play us. (Indiana coach Tom Crean) knows how we will play them. Throw it up and let’s see what happens.”

On talking about the ultimate goal
“No, just being our best. The ultimate goal is about being our best, there are so many things that can happen, there is one thing that we can control, us being in a great frame of mind and playing our best and that’s all we talk about. I know that you have all this stuff out here, to us it’s a closed house, closed shop, let’s just be our best. Here’s what we look like when we are our best.”

On playing against a good friend in Tom Crean
“I don’t enjoy it but during the game I am just thinking about one thing, let’s do the best we can, let’s win this, let’s just be at our best. I’m not worried about anything else, when the game ends one way or another. For me, if we go down, if he goes down I’m going to be ecstatic but I’ll feel bad for him. I think the same, he’s a terrific coach; he has done a great job. Look where he has his team. The games that I have watched him play, they have played well.”

On Terrence Jones
“I don’t know; I hope he’s playing, keep doing what he’s been doing. Told him whatever you’re eating tell the rest of the guys. He’s doing good.”

On a new offense
“We’re just trying to tweak what we have and let’s get better at what we do. Be ready for a physical war, I’m watching all these games, I don’t know where this physical play stuff that we were supposed to be calling went to. I swore one team had lacrosse equipment. We’re doing stuff physically so that we can be in that kind of game and withstand it. Because you don’t have any control over how it is going to go, is it going to be a rough game or not, is it going to be called closely or not.”

On what Anthony did to get in foul trouble in the first meeting
“He left his feet twice; he didn’t need to either time.”

Parrish: Mississippi State Has Reached Out to Steve Prohm


According to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com, Mississippi State has reached out to Murray State head coach Steve Prohm about the school's open coaching position.

Sources have told Parrish that Prohm is Mississippi State's "primary" target.

Here is an excerpt:

According to sources, at least one person working on behalf of Mississippi State has already reached out to Prohm, whose Racers were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Marquette on Saturday. The next step in the process remains unclear. But, multiple sources said, Prohm is Mississippi State's primary target for now.

Prohm would be interested in the Mississippi State opening for at least two obvious reasons -- prestige and millions of dollars. Combine those things with the fact that he grew up in Georgia and graduated from Alabama, and it's simple to see why the opportunity to coach in the SEC is intriguing. It should also be noted that Prohm has for years recruited the state of Mississippi -- first as an assistant under Billy Kennedy, then as the Racers' head coach. That's how Prohm discovered a little-known point guard from Biloxi named Isaiah Canaan who this season developed into a CBSSports.com First Team All-American while leading Murray State to a 31-2 record.


Complete Article

Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist and Canaan Named to NABC All-America Teams


Kentucky's Anthony Davis has been named to the NABC Coaches' Division I All-America First Team.

UK's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Murray State's Isaiah Canaan are on the Third Team.

2012 NABC COACHES’ DIVISION I ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM

Anthony Davis, Kentucky, 6-10, 220, Freshman, Forward, Chicago, Ill.

Draymond Green, Michigan State, 6-7, 230, Senior, Forward, Saginaw, Mich.

Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6-7, 220, Sophomore, Forward, Ames, Iowa

Thomas Robinson, Kansas, 6-10, 237, Junior, Forward, Washington, D.C.

Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, 6-9, 280, Sophomore, Forward, Columbus, Ohio

2012 NABC COACHES’ DIVISION I ALL-AMERICA SECOND TEAM

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, 6-8, 215, Sophomore, Forward, Ames, Iowa

Marcus Denmon, Missouri, 6-3, 185, Senior, Guard, Kansas City, Mo.

Kevin Jones, West Virginia, 6-8, 260, Senior, Forward, Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Kris Joseph, Syracuse, 6-7, 210, Senior, Forward, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Tyler Zeller, North Carolina, 7-0, 250, Senior, Forward, Washington, Ind.

2012 NABC COACHES’ DIVISION I ALL-AMERICA THIRD TEAM

Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, 6-0, 193, Junior, Guard, Biloxi, Miss.

Jae Crowder, Marquette, 6-6, 235, Senior, Forward, Villa Rica, Ga.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky, 6-7, 232, Freshman, Forward, Somerdale, N.J.

Damian Lillard, Weber State, 6-3, 195, Junior, Guard, Oakland Calif.

Austin Rivers, Duke, 6-4, 204, Freshman, Guard, Winter Park, Fla.

NABC Release

Anthony Davis Comments on USBWA National Player of the Year Award


Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis has given some statements about winning the 2012 USBWA National Player of the Year award:

"It means a lot to me to win this award,” Davis said. “To win the award is very touching and a big accomplishment, but all the thanks goes to my team, because without them I wouldn't have received these awards.

The recognition is nice, but I want to win the biggest award of them all and that's the national championship. I have to stay humble and keep working.”


Davis is the first Kentucky player to ever win the award.

Frustrated Daniel Orton Leaves Orlando Bench Early


Former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton reportedly left the bench early Monday night after not receiving any playing time in a blowout loss.

Orton received no playing time in Orlando's embarrassing 85-59 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

After Monday’s loss, Daniel Orton, who was not inserted into the game despite the large deficit the Magic faced, appeared to leave the bench early. Glen Davis followed Orton and yelled at him for leaving the bench.

“Me, the team, the most important guy to the least important guy have to buy in,” Davis explained.

There have been times when the Magic do indeed appear to have bought in. Those recent wins over the Heat and Bulls can be used as evidence. Giving a good effort and being on the same page as your teammates consistently is something the Magic seriously lack. The Bulls, for example, are a team that brings it every night, which is one reason their record stands at a league-best 38-10 despite their injury woes.

“Consistency,” Davis said. “Sometimes we get bored with the journey and just play to the level we need to.”


Source

Steve Prohm: "I'll be back at Murray" Next Season


Murray State head coach Steve Prohm and star point guard Isaiah Canaan both say they expect to return to Murray State next season.

Here is an excerpt from TheRepublic.com:

"I'll be back at Murray," Prohm said. "I love Murray. I want to be at Murray. We've signed a great class. We've got great kids coming back. We've got a great future here."

Prohm along with point guard Isaiah Canaan took the Racers to the greatest heights ever for the program in the southwestern corner of Kentucky with a top 10 ranking and an NCAA tournament victory.

"If they're all like this," Prohm said. "It'll be a heck of a career."


Canaan said he plans on returning but "won't know until later on":

"I plan on (it). We'll all settle that in the offseason and see what happens," Canaan said. "I won't know until later on. I just want to spend time with my team, make sure everybody's all right. Me being a leader of this team, I wish I could've pulled it out for them."

Complete Article

USA Today Writer Takes Hilarious Jabs at Bob Knight


Mike Lopresti of USAToday.com takes some funny jabs at Bob Knight in his NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 preview.

Lopresti, like Knight, refuses to say the word Kentucky in his article. Instead, he uses hilarious adjectives to describe the team.

Here is an excerpt:

But as intriguing a match as any will be Friday when Indiana goes against the team that sometimes wears blue and sometimes wears white.

All that comes from Dec. 10, when the Hoosiers won on Christian Watford's three-pointer at the buzzer, handing the team from the Fayette County seat its first loss of the season. As Assembly Hall partied, the team 28 miles down the road from Frankfort slumped on the floor, shocked and beaten.

"We hate to lose any game. But the way we lost, that just made it that much worse,'' said Marquis Teague, who plays guard for Adolph Rupp's old team.

"I was the first one to cry. It just hurt,'' said Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a freshman for the team with the nickname of a small mammal found in many countries, including parts of India, China and Mongolia.


Complete Article

John Wall Dunks All Over Marc Gasol

Former Kentucky star John Wall dunked all over Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night:



Wall finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks in the Wizards 97-92 loss.

Monday, March 19, 2012

John Calipari Expected to Play Indiana in NCAA Tournament


Kentucky head coach John Calipari expected to play Indiana in the NCAA Tournament. He told Indiana head man Tom Crean the two teams would meet again.

Here is an excerpt of Calipari's comments from InsidetheHall.com:

“He [Tom Crean] and I talked, and I told him ‘you are going to be in our region,’” Calipari said Saturday following the Wildcats’ third-round win over Iowa State at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. “Has nothing to do with match-ups or story lines or any of that. I knew we would be playing him.”

As it turns out, the third-year Kentucky coach was right.

In perhaps the most anticipated Sweet 16 game, Calipari and the Wildcats will get the opportunity to avenge their 73-72 loss to Indiana in Atlanta on Friday in a South Regional semifinal in the Georgia Dome.

For Calipari, the game will be difficult for two reasons: His friendship with Crean, and the relentless approach IU’s coach takes when preparing his team.

“I cannot stand playing friends because, if they win, I’m sick after the game,” Calipari said. “And if I win, I enjoy it, but I don’t enjoy it because I know what they’re going through because I know how it is.

“Tommy, if you’re watching,” Calipari continued, addressing Crean. “I’m putting in new out of bounds plays. I’m going to put in side out of bounds and two new offenses because he will watch every tape and know everything that we’re doing except for that stuff. He won’t know that stuff.”


Complete Article

NBA Fines Patrick Patterson $25K for Twitter Comments



The NBA has fined former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson $25,000 for publicly criticizing officials on Twitter.

Patterson wrote: ‘This game shows how biased & one-sided the **** are in this league. Wish we had a superstar. #smh. #nocalls. Still proud of how we fought.’

Ironically, the league did not fine the referees for blowing several calls.

TheBigLead.com Calls Bob Knight's Cell Phone to Ask About Kentucky


Jason McIntyre of TheBigLead.com called Bob Knight earlier today to ask why he won't say the word "Kentucky" on air.

As expected, Knight was less-than-friendly on the other end of the call.

Here's an excerpt:

Anyway, I called Knight on his cell phone today inquiring about why he won’t say the word “Kentucky” on air. Here’s how it went down:

Q: Hi Mr. Knight, my name is Jason McIntyre and I write for The Big Lead. We write about sports and the media and I was calling to ask you about the NCAA tournament, specifically, Kentucky.

Knight: How did you get this number?

Q: Just a source. I’ve been in the media for a few years and … [cuts me off]

Knight (voice audibly raised): HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER?

Q: Just a contact I …. [cuts me off]

Knight: I’m going to ask you one last time. Who gave you this number?

Q: Mr. Knight, I’m just calling to ask about Kentucky, and why you won’t mention the Wildcats by name on air. It seems … [cuts me off]

Knight: If you won’t tell me who gave you the number, I’ve got nothing to say to you. [Click]

Complete Article

Blog Archive