Saturday, April 21, 2012

Andrew and Aaron Harrison List 4, Say They're a Package Deal


Andrew and Aaron Harrison, two of the top 10 players in the 2013 recruiting class, have told NBCSports.com that they have a current list of four schools.

The twins, who also say they are "100% percent" a package deal, say their current list is Kentucky, Villanova, Maryland and Baylor.

Here is an excerpt:

“Our lists are still open,” Andrew told NBCSports.com. “We have a top four, but that doesn’t mean another school can’t come up.”

The duo lists Kentucky, Maryland, Baylor, and Villanova as the leading programs at this point.

Kansas assistant Norm Roberts was in attendance to watch the Defenders win, as was Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon.

Harrison also made one thing clear: they will choose a school as a duo and are set on playing together in college.

“We’re definitely a package deal,” said Aaron. “One-hundred percent.”


Complete Article

Photo: Rivals.com

Kentucky Christian Signs Grant County's Trevor Hunt


Kentucky Christian University has signed Trevor Hunt for the 2012-13 men's basketball season.

Hunt averaged 18 points and 7 rebounds a game at Grant County High School last season.

Here is an excerpt of the release from KCU:

KCU’s men’s basketball head coach, Ron Reed, headed to Dry Ridge, Kentucky to sign Trevor Hunt for the 2012-13 basketball season. As a guard at Grant County High School Trevor turned out to be a prolific scorer. Trevor was named a member of the All District team after averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds a game, shooting 40% from the 3 point line. Trevor’s high school coach, Jim Hicks said “Trevor is a very dedicated and hardworking young man. It has been a great pleasure to coach him over the past two seasons. His desire and work ethic will assist him in becoming a good player at the collegiate level. I believe that he will have a bright future playing for Coach Reed at Kentucky Christian University.”

Complete Release

Photo: KCU

Morehead State "Storm the Court" Event to Raise Money for Tornado Victims


Morehead State University and WKYT are teaming up on Sunday to raise money for tornado victims in Eastern Kentucky.

The event, titled Storm the Court, will include a celebrity basketball game and a special performance by American Idol semifinalist Shannon Magrane.

Here is a release from MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Morehead State University and WKYT-TV are teaming up to help people in Eastern Kentucky affected by storms this spring. MSU alumni, basketball alumni, WKYT-TV personalities, and special guest coaches will storm the court to raise money for the Eastern Kentucky region.

Join us on Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m. in Ellis T. Johnson Arena of MSU's Academic-Athletic Center. Tickets are a minimum $5 donation - at the door, first come, first served. All proceeds will go to the MSU Cares Disaster Relief Fund to be distributed in the region. There will also be a special performance by American Idol™ semi-finalist Shannon Magrane.

There is quite a line up for Storm the Court:

BLUE TEAM - Coach: Donnie McKenzie, Morgan County businessman; assistant coach - Morgan County Judge Executive Tim Conley

#10 Rocky Adkins - MSU alum (class of 82, 83), former Eagle guard, KY Representative (D) - district 99, Majority Floor Leader
#33 Chris Bailey - MSU alum (97), WKYT-TV chief meteorologist
#27 Walter Blevins - MSU alum (72) and KY Senator (D) - district 27
#1 Bill Bryant - WKYT anchor
#32 Leon Buchanan - MSU alum (09), All-OVC player
#35 Megen Gearhart - 2003 Kentucky Miss Basketball, former MSU guard (07)
#12 Jaime Gordon - MSU head volleyball coach
#3 David Patrick - MSU alum (92), Communications & Marketing videographer
#30 Brett Roberts - MSU Hall of Fame, All-OVC player, 1992 NCAA Division-1 scoring leader (99, 04)
#5 Liz Shuler - former Ky all-state basketball player, 2012 MSU volleyball star
#15 Donnie Tyndall - MSU alum and head men's basketball coach (93)

GOLD TEAM - Coaches: MSU President Wayne and Sue Andrews; assistant coach - John Will Stacy (MSU alum (77) and KY Representative (D) - district 71

#40 Doug Bentz - MSU alum, All-OVC player (92, 97)
#2 Chynna Bozeman - MSU alum, All-OVC player, Eagles' all-time leading scorer (11)
#10 Greg Goral - MSU assistant volleyball coach
#4.2 Demonte Harper - MSU alum, All-OVC player, 2011 NCAA Tournament (11)
#25 Brian Lane - former MSU assistant, current head coach Transylvania University
#10 Bill Mayo - MSU national champion cheerleading coach
#22 Brian Miller - MSU alum, former Eagle guard (91)
#4 Amber Philpott - MSU alum, WKYT-TV news anchor (02)
#11 Shannon Magrane, singer, American Idol semi-finalist
#44 Julie Magrane-Muntz - MSU Hall of Fame, All-OVC player (92)
#15 Brandon Shingles - MSU alum, OVC champion guard (10)

Master of Ceremonies: Kevin Koett, dean of students
Game officials: Marla Gearhart, Marvin Gearhart, Jim Tom Trent (90)
Eagle Super Fans: Rocky (90) and Barbara Neimeyer, MSU retirees, and Merl Allen (48, 50)

Kelenna Azubuike Sees First NBA Action in Three Seasons


Kelenna Azubuike made his official return to the NBA last night in the Dallas Mavericks' 104-94 win over Golden State.

Azubuike was 0-2 from the field and did not score. He said after the game that his knee feels great and his game will return.

Here's more from ESPN.com:

“The knee feels great,” Azubuike said. “Now, the game will come.”

It was his first NBA appearance since for the 28-year-old Azubuike since tore his patella tendon on Nov. 14, 2009 and had post-surgery complications. The Mavs signed him in March to a one-year deal with a team option for next season with the hopes that he’d be regain his form from 2008-09, when he averaged 14.4 points and 5.0 rebounds, in time to be part of the Dallas rotation next season
.

Complete Article

Mike Rose Has Great Season for Sauk Valley Predators


Former Eastern Kentucky University star Mike Rose just finished up an excellent season with the Sauk Valley Predators in the Premier Basketball League.

In 17 games, Rose averaged 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

He has been named USBasket.com All-PBL Honorable Mention.

USBasket.com All-PBL Awards 2011-12

Player of the Year: Perry Petty (6'1''-G-88) of Cent.Illinois D.
PBL Finals MVP: Perry Petty (6'1''-G-88) of Cent.Illinois D.
Guard of the Year: Perry Petty (6'1''-G-88) of Cent.Illinois D.
Forward of the Year: Chris Commons (6'9''-F-84) of Scranton/W-B
Center of the Year: Anthony Slack (6'8''-F/C-84) of Cent.Illinois D.
Defensive Player of the Year: Marcel Anderson (5'9''-PG-86) of Chicago M.
Coach of the Year: A.J. Guyton of Cent.Illinois D.

1st Team

G: Perry Petty (6'1''-88) of Cent.Illinois D.
G: Keith Radcliff (6'1''-86) of Indiana D.
F: Chris Commons (6'9''-84) of Scranton/W-B
F: Jamaal Davis (6'10''-79) of Rochester R.
F/C: Anthony Slack (6'8''-84) of Cent.Illinois D.

2nd Team

G: Vincent Simpson (6'1''-88) of Scranton/W-B
G: Herman Favors (5'9''-84) of Sauk Valley P.
PG: Marcel Anderson (5'9''-86) of Chicago M.
F: Rodney Edgerson (6'5'') of Cent.Illinois D.
F: Carlton Fay (6'8''-88) of Sauk Valley P.

Honorable Mention

Billy Pettiford (6'7''-F) of Indiana D.
William Harris (6'7''-F-87) of Dayton A.S.
David Inabnit (6'4''-G/F-84) of Indiana D.
Corey Hill (6'4''-G/F) of St. Louis P.
Casey Love (6'9''-C-80) of Chicago M.
Mike Rose (6'4''-G/F-87) of Sauk Valley P

EuroBasket.com

Goodman and Parrish: UK Hurt Most by NBA Decisions, Canaan Made Mistake


Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com thinks Murray State star Isaiah Canaan made a mistake by returning to MSU for his senior season.

Goodman and CBS co-worker Gary Parrish both think the Kentucky Wildcats will be hurt the most by underclassmen leaving early - which makes perfect sense considering the Wildcats lost their entire starting five from 2011-12.

Here are some excerpts:

Program hurt most by decisions

Goodman: It's obviously Kentucky, which lost its entire starting lineup. Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are locks to go in the lottery; Terrence Jones could go in the top 15; and both Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb also have a shot to go in the first round. But don't feel too sorry for John Calipari as he'll welcome another top-ranked recruiting class to Lexington.

Parrish: Yes, it's Kentucky -- for all the reasons stated above.

Underclassman who didn't turn pro but should have

Goodman: Isaiah Canaan (Murray State) -- This was a tough call considering Canaan was projected anywhere from the late first round to the middle of the second, but how much more can he and the Racers do than they did this past season? Canaan will be on NBA guys' radars from the outset, but it'll be difficult to duplicate his junior year from an individual and team standpoint.

Parrish: Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State) -- It was Thomas, not Jared Sullinger, who was Ohio State's most impressive player during the Final Four run, and my guess is that he would've been a top 20 pick had he entered the NBA Draft. He was hot, and NBA GMs love hot. Now he'll give those same GMs 35 more games to pick him apart.

Player sure to be a star

Goodman: Anthony Davis (Kentucky) -- He's the clear-cut No. 1 pick in June's NBA Draft and should be, barring a set of Greg Oden-like injuries, a franchise player and perennial All-Star. He can impact the game on both ends of the court, and it's just a matter of time before he's a dominant player in the NBA.

Parrish: Anthony Davis (Kentucky) -- I'm with Goodman here because it's hard to imagine anything other than career-altering injuries preventing Davis from becoming an impact player in the league, and quickly. I love everything about him except for that unibrow. And, honestly, that unibrow isn't that bad.

Complete Article

Kentucky Staff Watching Top Recruits This Weekend


Kentucky head coach John Calipari was one of the big name coaches at the Spring Showdown in Indiana last night.

UK assistant Kenny Payne was at the Nike EYBL event in Minnesota last night. He checked out 2013 star Julius Randle and others.

Calipari was checking out 2013 recruits.

According to reports, Calipari is in Pittsburgh today to watch several recruits including 2013 stars Andrew and Aaron Harrison.

The Harrison twins have Kentucky in their top four.

* Photo by @keegankollmeyer on Twitter

Friday, April 20, 2012

DeMarcus Cousins Pays Tribute to Dead Dog


Sacramento Kings star DeMarcus Cousins paid tribute to his dead dog during Wednesday night's game against San Antonio.

Cousins has the words "RIP Roscoe" written on his shoes during the game. Sacbee.com reports that the words were a tribute to Cousins' dead dog.

Here is an excerpt:

When asked about it, Cousins explained that his 18-week-old bulldog died last week after suffering an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

"He just collapsed in his crate while I was on our last road trip," Cousins said. "We had an autopsy done and everything because we wanted to know what happened. The (veterinarian) said it was from a bee sting."


Complete Article

John Calipari Gives Thoughts on Bo Ryan Situation

Kentucky head coach John Calipari joined ESPN New York with The Mike Lupica Show recently. He gave his take on Bo Ryan telling Jarrod Uthoff he can't transfer to a certain school (click image to play):



Here is an excerpt of Calipari's comments from the interview:

Say one of your players comes in and wants to transfer. Would you tell him he could transfer, but he couldn’t go to the Big 10, he couldn’t go to the ACC, you can’t go to Iowa State or Marquette? Yes or no?

“Well I probably wouldn’t do that, but there could be a reason why someone would do that. The reason would be if someone was messing with the kid to get him to transfer. You are not benefiting by it. He may leave, but you ain’t getting him. I’d have to have pretty solid proof that that was happening for me to do it, but that is just me. Then again there may be other reasons. You don’t want to play against him. I don’t know, but I don’t think that should play. If you wanted him to play so bad you should have played him more.”

South Carolina Cancels Remaining Two Games Against WKU


South Carolina has canceled the remaining two games of its men's basketball contract with Western Kentucky.

USC athletic director Eric Hyman said the school wants more flexibility in scheduling after firing former coach Darrin Horn.

Horn played a key role in setting up the four-game series against the Hilltoppers. The Gamecocks won the first two games of the series.

Source

Anthony Davis to Throw Out First Pitch for UK Baseball


Kentucky All-American Anthony Davis will throw out the first pitch for the UK baseball team on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Here is more from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A pair of recent Kentucky student-athlete legends will throw out first pitches at Cliff Hagan Stadium for the clash between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 UK this weekend, with former football standout Matt Roark to throw out the first pitch on Friday night and 2011-12 NCAA Champion and national player of the year Anthony Davis to throw out the first pitch on Sunday.

Roark, the senior wide receiver who filled in as the heroic playmaker at quarterback in UK’s streak-snapping win over Tennessee last year, will be on hand Friday for the 6:30 p.m. ET start at Cliff Hagan Stadium to throw out the first pitch.

On Sunday, Davis – a consensus first-team All-America honoree – will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the series finale vs. LSU, set for 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Davis helped lead the Wildcats to its eighth NCAA Championship earlier in April, as the Wildcats posted Final Four wins over Louisville and Kansas en route to the title.

In addition to the ceremonial first pitches, fans will be able to see the 2011-12 NCAA Championship trophy during the pregame on Saturday, with gates opening at 12 p.m. ET and the trophy available to fans until first pitch at 2 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Noel, Poythress and Goodwin Talk About Kentucky and More

Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin talk about their talents and how they are going to bring Kentucky another championship (video by fivestarbasketball on YouTube):

Tubby Smith's Son Earns First Head Coaching Job


Tubby Smith's youngest son, Brian, is getting into the family business. Brian has landed the head coaching job at Rancho Solano Prep School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Brian joins a great line of coaches in the Smith family. Tubby is currently the head coach at Minnesota. Tubby's oldest son, Gigi, is an assistant at Loyola (Md.). Middle son Saul is on Tubby's staff at Minnesota.

Brian played high school basketball at Lexington Catholic and played in college at Ole Miss.

Here is more from AZCentral.com:

Brian Smith, son of University of Minnesota coach Tubby Smith, has been named the boys basketball coach at Rancho Solano Prep, which is moving its campus to north Scottsdale this summer, Athletic Director Matt Harris announced.

Brian Smith has coached at Windermere Prep in Florida since 2009.

"The timing is perfect for Coach Smith to begin his head coaching career and lead the Mustang Basketball program to a new level of success," Harris said in a release. "Coach Smith has been instrumental as an assistant athletic director and basketball coach at Windermere Prep. Smith understands all of the necessary components to building successful teams at a premier private school with high academic rigor."


Complete Article

Top Recruit Nerlens Noel Signs with Kentucky


Top 2012 big man Nerlens Noel has officially signed his National Letter of Intent at the University of Kentucky.

Noel is a 6-10 forward from Everett Massachusetts. He averaged 12.6 points, 3.9 blocks and 7.2 rebounds per game as a senior at Tilton (N.H.) School. He is rated as the No. 1 overall player by ESPNU Recruiting and Scout.com. Rivals.com ranks Noel No. 2 overall.

Here is an excerpt of the UK press release:

“I’ve been blessed three times in my career to have a player that can change the game without really scoring with Marcus Camby, Anthony Davis and now Nerlens Noel,” Calipari said. “I will tell you that Nerlens, just like Anthony, is not a finished product. He’s got a lot of work to do and we have a lot of work to do to get him to where I think he’s capable of being, but he is a special player who I am ecstatic to have an opportunity to work with.”

Noel joins early-signees Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress to comprise the 2012 signing class.

“As we recruit, just like last year, it’s like piecing together a young group that will play off one another,” Calipari said. “The four that we’ve now signed will all play off one another. They’re all great kids who have a desire to win, have terrific talent and who all complement each other.”

Thursday, April 19, 2012

EKU, WKU Getting In Early on 2015 Prospect Adam Eberhard


According to N.D. Kendrick, Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky are among schools that are showing early interest in 2015 small forward Adam Eberhard of Evansville Memorial (Ind.) High School.

NDKendrick_RR 2015 SF Adam Eberhard Evansville Memorial (IN) is getting early interest from Bowling Green, Evansville, EKU and WKU http://goo.gl/ACaXc

Kentucky Recruit Jabari Parker Relies on Faith and Family


AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman has a great piece out about top 2013 recruit Jabari Parker from Simeon (Ill.) Career Academy.

Parker, who is being recruited by Kentucky and many other top programs, is an outstanding role model off-the-court. He deals with a great deal of pressure through faith in God and strong family ties.

Here is more from Seligman's article (appearing at Boston.com):

What it means is that Parker, a soft-spoken young man who likes old "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" reruns and NBA matchups on ESPN Classic, feels a lot of pressure to be perfect.

"You can't really mess up," he says. "There's always going to be a camera on you everywhere you go."

So how does he cope? Answer: faith and family.

A devout Mormon like his mother, Jabari worships at a church near the University of Chicago and the Parker home, a simple brick bungalow in a working-class section of the city's largely African-American South Shore neighborhood.

It is not a flashy place, but it is, like Parker and his family, solid.

"I take for granted having two parents and a good inner circle," he says. "And I know that a lot of people that are superstars in the sports world right now didn't have a lot of the resources that I have."


Later in the article, the story is told about Parker's state championship medal:

After last year's state championship win, Jabari gave his medal to the son of a former bishop from his church because the boy's family had traveled all the way from California to see him play.

"That little piece (of metal) doesn't really mean that much to me, but the memory means a lot," he says.

The family's faith is a respite for Jabari, who rises at 5 a.m. three days a week to attend a Bible study at his church before school. On one particular morning, he is the first to arrive, taking the rare moment of quiet to gather his thoughts and pray
.

Complete Article (Highly Recommended)

Photo: Rivals.com

Western Kentucky Lands JUCO Guard Brandon Harris


Brandon Harris, a 6-1 guard from Otero (Colo.) College, has committed to Western Kentucky University.

Harris averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game last season at Otero.

Chad Bishop spoke to Harris:

Why WKU? “For a lot of reasons. It’s a perennial powerhouse you hear a lot of from their winning tradition and everything. I just wanted an opportunity to play against the best and I feel like I have that opportunity at Western Kentucky.”

Final choices: “I ended up canceling visits because we ended up going to the national tournament of JUCO. I didn’t really have a lot of time to settle my recruiting down, you know? The whole season I told my head coach I didn’t want to talk to any schools because I just wanted to focus on my team. After I took them to the national tournament, we got out and there was a dead period right after. I really only had, heck, a week or so to schedule visits. Then the calls poured in, a lot of schools went to the chopping block and I ended up having, I want to say, close to 20 Division I offers at the end of it all. I had to narrow it down. At the end of it all I had a top five or six, only took three visits. But it was Mississippi State, Utah State, Western Kentucky, of course, Oral Roberts University and another school that is just actually going Division I, they were the first school that called me at the beginning of the year, the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I’m the kinda kid – I just wanted to be loyal to them. Some schools were just there when I go 7-for-10 from 3, or something like that. Nebraska-Omaha was there through it all. I wanted to stay loyal to them and see what they had to offer.”


Complete Interview and Article
Harris confirmed the news on his Twitter account:

PrinceHarris12 As of today, I am now a Hilltopper, thanks to OJC and all of the people there that took a chance on me... I wont let yoyu down!!!

UPIKE to Introduce Three New Players at Press Conference


The University of Pikeville will hold a press conference at 7:00 p.m. ET tonight to introduce three members of the 2012 recruiting class.

The three players are Elisha Justice, Terrance Saintil and Chris Johnson.

Here is a release from UPIKE:

PIKEVILLE, KY. – Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kelly Wells will introduce the University of Pikeville’s 2011-2012 recruiting class during a press conference on Thursday, April 19, at 7 p.m. Coach Wells and the UPIKE family will formally welcome the newest Bears, signing Elisha Justice, Terrance Saintil and Chris Johnson. The press conference will be held at the East Kentucky Expo Center at the Billy Johnson Stage.

Former Players to Participate in 2012 John Calipari Prasco Pro Camps


Seven former Kentucky stars will participate in this summer's John Calipari Prasco Pro Camps.

Here is an announcement from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The UK men’s basketball program has announced the line-up of former Wildcats for the 2012 John Calipari Prasco Pro Camps, where seven former Wildcats will join campers for four days in early August. With limited spots available, the scheduled players are as follows:

August 1-2

Anthony Davis
Doron Lamb
Darius Miller

August 3-4

Terrence Jones
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Marquis Teague
Eloy Vargas

Any camp related questions can be called into the Men’s Basketball Camp line at 859.257.9457 or the Men’s basketball office at 859.257.1916.

Online registration is available at www.ukathletics.com/camps.

USA Today Releases 2012 All-USA High School Team


The USA Today 2012 All-USA high school boys basketball team has been released.

The First Team is highlighted by National Player of the Year Nerlens Noel, who is headed to Kentucky. Joining Noel on the first team are Kentucky recruit Jabari Parker, Kyle Anderson, Shabazz Muhammad and Marcus Smart.

Kentucky recruits Anthony Bennett and Amile Jefferson are on the Second Team. Alex Poythress is on the Third Team.

All-USA first-team

Name Pos. Ht., Wt. College Choice Details
- Nerlens Noel, Tilton School, Tilton, N.H. Center 6-10, 215 Kentucky National Player of the Year. Noel averaged 12.6 points, 3.9 blocks and 7.9 rebounds this season at Tilton and he's being heralded as Anthony Davis 2.0
- Jabari Parker, Simeon, Chicago, Ill. Forward 6-8, 220 Undecided (Junior ) Led his team to a third straight state championship while averaging 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game
- Kyle Anderson, St. Anthony, Jersey City, N.J. Guard- Forward 6-7 210 UCLA Went 93-1 in his last three years of high school, with two consecutive state titles at St. Anthony.
- Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas, Nev. Strong Forward 6-6, 215 UCLA Averaged 29.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game while leading his team to Nevada's 4A state title
- Marcus Smart, Marcus, Flower Mound, Texas Guard 6-4, 200 Oklahoma State Led Marcus HS to its second straight Texas 5A state championship this year while averaging 15.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game

All-USA second-team

Name Pos. Ht., Wt. School Key Statistics College Choice
- Tyler Lewis Guard 5-11, 165 Oak Hill Academy, 12.1 ppg, 8.1 apg North Carolina State
- Kasey Hill Guard 6-1, 170 Montverde Academy, 15.4 ppg, 7.2 apg, 3.4 spg Undecided
- Amile Jefferson Forward 6-9, 205 Friends Central, 19.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.7 bpg Undecided
- Anthony Bennett Forward 6-7, 230 Findlay Prep, 16.8 ppg, 10.3 rpg Undecided
- Perry Ellis Center 6-8, 220 Wichita Heights, 25.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg Kansas

All-USA third-team

Name Pos. Ht., Wt. School Key Statistics College Choice
- Rodney Purvis Guard 6-4, 190 Upper Room Christian, 26.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4.2 apg North Carolina State
- Katin Reinhardt Guard 6-5, 193 Mater Dei, 18.6 ppg UNLV
- Brandon Ashley Forward 6-9, 215 Findlay Prep, 16.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg Arizona
- Alex Poythress Forward 6-8, 225 Northeast, 28.2 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 4.3 bpg Kentucky
- Isaiah Austin Center 7-0, 210 Grace Prep, 19.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 5.0 bpg Baylor

Photo: Rivals.com

Anthony Bennett Down to 4 Schools, Cuts Washington


Anthony Bennett, the top remaining prospect in the 2012 recruiting class, is down to a final list of four schools.

Bennett has eliminated Washington and is now down to Kentucky, Florida, Oregon and UNLV.

Here is more from Zagsblog.com:

“He’s definitely taken Washington off the list,” Mike George of CIA Bounce told SNY.tv Thursday morning. “He’s down to four.”

The remaining four schools in the mix for the 6-foot-7 Findlay Prep forward are Florida, Kentucky, Oregon and UNLV
.

Complete Article

Florida and Kentucky are thought to be the two schools on top of Bennett's final list with UNLV having a slim chance.

Photo: Rivals.com

Daniel Orton: "Maybe I Should Have Stayed" at Kentucky


Former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton, who has had a rough start to his NBA career, told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that he sometimes questions his decision to leave UK early.

Orton says he has never regretted the decision to leave early but admits that he sometimes thinks he should have stayed.

Here is more from OrlandoPinstripedPost.com:

Orlando Magic rookie Daniel Orton says he sometimes thinks he should have stayed at the University of Kentucky instead of declaring for the 2010 NBA Draft after just one season at the NCAA level. "There's times when I think maybe I should have stayed," the 6-foot-10 center told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, "But I never regretted the decision."

Orlando made Orton the 29th overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, but a knee injury he suffered in just his second game with the NBA D-League's New Mexico Thunderbirds kept him out of action for the rest of the season. Now healthy enough to play, Orton came up in a big way Sunday when Glen Davis hyperextended his right knee against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 29 minutes, the former Bishop McGuinness Catholic High star tallied 11 points, four rebounds, five steals, and three blocked shots. One night later, he earned the first start of his career and posted six points, six boards, and one block
.

Complete Article

Memphis Head Coach Accidentally Tweets "Tony parker"


Memphis had to self-report a secondary violation to the NCAA after head coach Josh Pastner accidentally posted an unsigned recruit's name on Twitter.

College coaches are not allowed to publicly discuss unsigned recruits according to NCAA bylaws.

Pastner said he intended to search for "Tony parker" on Twitter, but somehow managed to Tweet the name out publicly.

Here is his sensational explanation from CommercialAppeal.com:

"We're a couple men down and I'm very methodical in my hiring. Plus, you're in a recruiting period and we're making sure that we're finishing up strong academically. So I was probably doing too many things at once," Pastner said Wednesday.

"My wife was yelling at me because I was on the phone too loud. I was waking (the couple's infant daughter) up and waking my wife up because I had the TV on. She was complaining that I not only woke my daughter up, but I also woke the baby inside her up because she's pregnant.

"So I was waking everybody up, I was getting yelled at and on top of that I was thinking, 'What's going on with recruiting?' and 'Who am I going to hire?' and I made a mistake."


Complete Article

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Torian Graham is Back on Kentucky's Radar


According to Garrett Tucker of NationofBlue.com, Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua checked out 2012 shooting guard Torian Graham on Wednesday.

Graham is a 6-4 shooting guard at Christian Faith (NC) Center Academy. He currently ranks No. 67 on the Rivals.com list for 2012.

While Kentucky currently has the top-ranked recruiting class for 2012, they are expected to be short-handed at the shooting guard position. Graham could potentially fill that void.

Photo: Rivals.com

Former Morehead State Head Coach Passes Away


Former Morehead State head coach Bob Wright has passed away at the age of 86.

Here is more from MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. – Bob Wright, who coached the Morehead State men’s basketball team for four seasons and guided the Eagles to the 1969 Ohio Valley Conference co-championship, has passed away at the age of 86.

Wright died Sunday at the Pikeville (Ky.) Medical Center. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday in the original Millard High School with Shane Lockard officiating. Arrangements are under direction of Lucas & Son Funeral Home of Pikeville. Visitation is in the Lucas & Son Funeral Home Chapel, after 6 p.m. Wednesday, with special services at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Following his playing career at Marshall University, Wright served as the highly successful head boy’s basketball coach at Ashland (Ky.) Paul Blazer High School where he led the Tomcats to the 1961 state title. He posted a 168-29 record in five years at Ashland. He graduated from Marshall with a bachelor’s degree in 1950 and received his master’s degree from Morehead State in 1961.

He was named the Outstanding Athlete at Marshall following his senior season when he led the Thundering Herd with 19.5 points per game.

Wright was named head coach at MSU prior to the 1965-66 season and led the Eagles through the 1968-69 campaign. He compiled a 58-38 record at MSU, including an 18-9 mark his final year when the Eagles won the share of the conference championship.

Complete Release

Video: Alex Poythress at Jordan Brand Classic

Check out these new highlights of Kentucky signee Alex Poythress at the Jordan Brand Classic game (video by CityLeagueHoopsTV on YouTube):

John Wall Thinks He Played in Too Many Charity Games


Former Kentucky star John Wall thinks he is struggling a bit this season because he played in too many charity games and leagues during the summer.

Here are some of Wall's thoughts from Yahoo! Sports:

At various times this season, we've noted that Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, once thought to be a franchise savior, hasn't exactly developed as hoped. His turnover rate is higher than ever, and his shooting percentages are lower than ever. While the Wizards are moving closer to relevance, they can't become a truly good team unless Wall turns into a star.

It's as yet unclear exactly why Wall hasn't progressed, but there are plenty of possibilities: no help from the supporting class, the shortened season, etc. Wall, for his part, thinks he could have spent less time playing in charity games during the lockout. From a video interview with Wizards.com, as transcribed by Mike Prada at Bullets Forever (via PBT):

QUESTION: Did you feel like you were at a disadvantage this year? Nobody had a summer, nobody had much of a training camp, but for a younger player, that would seem to be pretty important.

ANSWER: No ... I didn't think I had a disadvantage. I just think that, instead of working out more, I did more of playing in charity events and summer leagues, when I should have been working out more. That's the only thing I think I should have done differently, but it was a great experience going to different states and venues
.

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Eloy Vargas Visits Cordia High School

Kentucky senior Eloy Vargas visited Cordia High School on Tuesday (video by uknationofblue on YouTube):

Hundreds of Fans Attend Louisville's Final Four Celebration

Louisville has a big turnout for their Final Four celebration on Tuesday:



Here is more from WDRB.com:

Fans lined up to get these posters--that say "IncREDible" and were even signed by the artist. But the fanfare came when the players hopped onto the stage, throwing T-shirts to the crowd, and holding trophies high for all to see. Coach Pitino got the crowd riled up, listing the qualities this team possesses. "Humility, hunger, a never give up attitude, a desire to make their fans proud of them. And now we get to hang another final four banner," said Pitino.

But for the fans the best part came at the end, with a chance to see the players up close as they walked through the crowd. Fans took pictures of Coach Pitino shaking hands and making one lady's day with a big hug. Louisville is the only school to appear in a bowl game and earn wins in the NCAA volleyball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball tournaments
.

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Brandon Knight Explodes in Big Win Over Cavaliers

Former Kentucky star Brandon Knight led the Detroit Pistons to a 116-77 route of Cleveland last night.

Knight scored a career-high 28 points in only 30 minutes of action. He was 11-12 from the field and also dished out 7 assists. Knight has now topped 7 assists in 4 consecutive games.

Former Kentucky star Tayshaun Prince added 15 points for the Pistons.

Knight also had one of the top plays of the night:

Nerlens Noel Trying to Recruit Anthony Bennett to UK


According to Jason Jordan of ESPN.com, Nerlens Noel is working hard to recruit 2012 star Anthony Bennett to Kentucky.

JayJayESPN My man @NerlensNoel3 tells me that he's "trying hard" to get @ABennett24 to join him at Kentucky. Puts his chances at "a lil over 50%" #BBN

Troy Williams Cuts Final List Down to Kentucky and UNC


Troy Williams has cut his final list of schools down to Kentucky and North Carolina.

Williams told NationofBlue.com that he has dropped Georgetown from his list:

"Georgetown was dropped because they didn't play my style. They didn't keep in touch as much as Kentucky and North Carolina," the Phoebus (VA) product said by text Tuesday night.

It has been assumed these two schools would be the schools coming down the stretch for the junior, and he has some reasons to favor them.

"I like both schools' playing styles and coaches. I also like how I get along with the players.

John Calipari took the time to personally call Williams last week. That could go a long way for the talented star.

"Coach [John] Calipari told me I would fit well in their program. He asked me if I was ready to work hard because that is what it is going to take to play at UK," Williams explained. "He also said I have a high-motor like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but he is bigger and stronger.


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Williams is a 6-6 small forward at Phoebus (Va.) High School. He hopes to make his final decision "between now and May."

Photo: Rivals.com

John Calipari to Watch Harrison Twins and Others at Jam Fest


University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari is one of many coaches expected to attend this weekend's Under Armour Hoop Group Jam Fest in Pittsburgh.

Calipari will be checking out 2013 stars Andrew and Aaron Harrison. Andrew, a 6-5 point guard, is No. 1 overall on the Rivals.com list for 2013. Brother Aaron, a shooting guard, is ranked No. 7 overall.

The Harrison twins will play their first game at 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday night at North Hills High School.

Here is more from Post-Gazette.com:

The JamFest had been played at the University of Pittsburgh in recent years, but a new NCAA rule prevents the event from being played on a college campus. So, the event will be played at a dozen sites in the Pittsburgh area, including North Hills, Perry, Sewickley Academy, South Fayette, Brashear, Sto-Rox and Langley. Most of the playoff games and championships for the juniors and sophomores will be played Sunday at North Hills. Schedules are available at www.hoopgroup.com.

Also, this year's JamFest is during a live recruiting period, which means a number of Division I college coaches will be in attendance. Zak Boisvert, director of events for the Hoop Group company in New Jersey, said Kentucky coach John Calipari and Kansas coach Bill Self will attend, as well as many other coaches.

The Harrisons' first game will be 9:30 p.m. Friday at North Hills. Besides the Harrison twins, other players in ESPN's top 60 who will be in the JamFest are No. 16 Tyler Roberson (6-7 forward for the New Jersey Roadrunners), No. 17 Nate Britt (6-1 guard, D.C. Assault), No. 34 Rysheed Jordan (6-3 guard, Philly Pride), No. 40 Kris Jenkins (6-5 forward, D.C. Assault) and No. 54 Aquille Carr (5-8 guard, Under Armour Baltimore Finest).


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Tournament Site

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Report: Rod Strickland to Join Larry Brown's Staff at SMU


Coaching great Larry Brown has agreed to take over the men's basketball program at SMU according to ESPN.com.

It appears that Kentucky staffer Rod Strickland will be joining Brown's staff as an assistant coach.

Here is an excerpt from ESPN:

Jankovich has been around Brown a lot over the years because of his relationship with Self, who considers Brown a mentor.

Former Illinois assistant Jerrance Howard also is expected to join Brown's staff along with former Kentucky assistant Rod Strickland. Howard is regarded as one of the country's top recruiters. Strickland has spent the past two years on John Calipari's staff in an administrative role. Strickland was a first-round pick out of DePaul in 1998 and played in the NBA until 2005
.

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JUCO Star Andrew Young Signs with Texas A & M

Andrew Young of Monterey (CA) Peninsula College has signed with Texas A&M and head coach Billy Kennedy.

Young had previously spoken to several schools, including Kentucky.

Lamb, Jones, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist and Teague to Enter NBA Draft


At a press conference tonight, Kentucky underclassmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb officially announced their intentions to enter the 2012 NBA Draft.

John Calipari opened the night by praising his players and noting that this is "a player's first program."

Calipari added that tonight's news conference was the idea of his players and they wanted to do it "as a team."

Senior Darius Miller is also expected to be drafted in the late-first or early-second round.

Kentucky Press Conference to Air Live on ESPN Network


Tonight's University of Kentucky men's basketball press conference will air live on ESPNU and ESPN3 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Here is more:

ESPNU and ESPN3 will air the Kentucky Press Conference featuring coach Calipari and five players - Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague - live and in full tonight at 7 p.m. ET. SportsCenter on ESPNews will also feature live coverage during the 7 p.m. show.

ESPN3 link (will go live at 7 p.m.)

Kentucky fans can also watch the press conference locally on WKYT, WYMT and LEX 18.

It will be available online at several sites, including UKAthletics.com, LEX18.com, WYMT.com and WKYT.com.

Kentucky Basketball Press Conference Moved to 7 p.m.

The press conference with Kentucky's five underclassmen and John Calipari has been moved to 7:00 p.m. ET tonight. It was originally scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

UK sent out a release saying the change was "due to unforeseen travel arrangements and academic schedules."

Anthony Davis Accepts Wayman Tisdale Award in OKC

Kentucky star Anthony Davis was in Oklahoma City last night to accept the Wayman Tisdale Award.

Here is Davis speaking to the media (video via NewsOK.com):

Rod Strickland to SMU as an Assistant?


According to reports, Larry Brown will likely be the new head coach at SMU and is already working to assemble his coaching staff.

One report says Brown is potentially hoping to bring Kentucky staffer Rod Strickland in as an assistant coach.

Here is more from DallasNews.com:

The feeling seem to be mutual. After Brown visited with SMU officials over the weekend, he came away with a glowing report of his time on the Hilltop. And now Brown seems to be recruting assistants he could bring to Dallas with him.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski , Brown is seeking help from Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Creative Arts Agency agent William Wesley in putting a potential coaching staff together.

Sources told Wojnarowski that current Kentucky assistant Rod Strickland, a longtime NBA point guard, has been discussed as a possible candidate to join Brown at SMU should he land the job.


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Video: Rick Pitino Recaps the Season, Looks to the Future

Here is footage of Rick Pitino's season-ending press conference from Monday afternoon (video by CardsandCats2011 on YouTube):

Monday, April 16, 2012

Report: Sean Woods a Finalist at North Carolina A & T


Former University of Kentucky star Sean Woods is reportedly a finalist for the North Carolina A&T job.

According to Hoopdirt.com, the finalist are Woods, Savannah State's Horace Broadnax, Winston-Salem State's Bobby Collins and former Tennessee State head coach Cy Alexander.

Here is an excerpt:

Savannah State's Horace Broadnax, MVSU's Sean Woods, and Winston-Salem State head coach Bobby Collins are all finalists who have been interviewed on campus last week. There is a fourth candidate who I just learned about who also interviewed last week. Former SC State and Tennessee State head coach Cy Alexander is also in the mix. In 22 seasons as a head coach, Alexander has complied a 343-306 record. The Winston-Salem native was most recently an assistant at Texas A&M - Corpus Cristi.

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All Five Kentucky Starters to Announce NBA Intentions Tuesday


The University of Kentucky has announced that a press conference will be held at 2:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Kentucky's Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones, Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will announce their NBA Draft intentions during the press conference. Head coach John Calipari will also speak to the media.

It is widely expected that all five underclassmen will announce their intentions to enter the 2012 NBA Draft.

Darius Miller, a senior, is also expected to be taken in the Draft.

Rick Pitino Confirms Elisha Justice Transfer and More


Here are some notes from Rick Pitino's press conference this afternoon:

- Pitino confirmed my report from Saturday that sophomore Elisha Justice is transferring to the University of Pikeville. Pitino wished Justice nothing but the best and cited playing time and a need to be closer to ill grandparents as primary reasons for the decision.

- He also confirmed my Saturday night report that his son, Richard Pitino, will be named head coach at Florida International later today.

He added that he's hoping to schedule a game against FIU next season because "I didn't get to spank him (Richard) as a kid so I hope to bring him in here and give him a good spanking next season."

- Peyton Siva and Luke Hancock will serve as co-captains for the Cardinals next season.

- Pitino joked that he'll be gone for a month because he plans to join the pro golf tour following all of his golfing success in Florida. Pitino played in a pro-am event over the weekend with Kenny Perry (Pitino mistakenly called him Kenny Payne while speaking).

- Pitino noted that the infraRed uniforms the Cards sported during tournament time will be shelved.

"We're putting them on the shelf," he said.

Wizards Sign James Singleton for Remainder of Season


The Washington Wizards have announced that they have signed former Murray State star James Singleton for the remainder of the season.

Singleton, who was signed to a 10-day contract on April 5, has averaged 9.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in six games with the Wizards.

Release from NBA.com

Daniel Orton Has Career Game, Earns First Start Since High School


Former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton is finally getting an opportunity to play for the Orlando Magic.

Orton played a career-high 29 minutes in Sunday night's 100-84 win over Cleveland. He finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocked shots - all new career highs.

Other Magic players cheered and yelled when Orton entered the locker room following the game. Teammate Glen Davis doused him with a pitcher of ice water.

"He did a great job," head coach Stan Van Gundy said after the game. "I'm really happy for him."

Orton's hard work will pay off tonight when he earns his first career start:

PaulKennedyFOX "Social Media Night" 76ers-Magic. Daniel Orton's 1st start since HS. At center vs Elton Brand. Let us hear from you #TweetMagic. 6:30 FS FL

Murray State Checks Out 2013 PF Harold Givens


Murray State recently checked out 2013 power forward Harold Givens of Norcross (GA) according to a report on Twitter:

OntheRadarHoops Murray State was in to see 2013 PF Harold Givens of Norcross (GA), Givens will be on the circuit with Worldwide

The 6-7 Givens is ranked as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com. He has offers from many schools including Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Arkansas.

Report: Anthony Davis and Marquis Teague Headed to NBA


According to Adam Zagoria, a source has confirmed that Kentucky's Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones and Marquis Teague will all enter the NBA Draft.

From Twitter:

AdamZagoria Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones & Marquis Teague all coming out, source confirms to @SNYtv. Would expect MKG & Lamb, too.

Randolph Morris on Sports Illustrated Cover in China

Former University of Kentucky big man Randolph Morris has landed a Sports Illustrated cover in China.

Morris Stephon Marbury led the Beijing Ducks to the 2012 CBA championship this season:

Report: Kentucky Star Terrence Jones to Enter NBA Draft


According to Dan Rieffer of ABC36, Kentucky sophomore Terrence Jones will enter the 2012 NBA Draft.

Here is a post from Twitter:

drieffer Not that we don't already know, but ABC 36 has confirmed Terrence Jones will declare for NBA draft. Announcement could be as early as tmrw.

Several Kentucky underclassmen are expected to follow Jones into the NBA Draft. The official announcement could come as early at Tuesday.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

More from Nerlens Noel at Jordan Brand Classic

Here is more from future Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel at the Jordan Brand Classic game (video by rowdyracing on YouTube):

Derek Willis Tops Herald-Leader All-State Team


The Herald-Leader All-State boy's basketball team has been announced. Bullitt East star Derek Willis, who is committed to the University of Kentucky, is the Player of the Year.

Willis is joined on the first team by:

- Nathan Dieudonne, Trinity
- Tamron Manning, Scott County
- Mekale McKay, Moore
- Quentin Snider, Ballard
- Matt Day, Buckhorn
- Adam Wing, Rowan County
- Dominique Hawkins, Madison Central
- Darryl Hicks, Trinity
- Jack Whitman, Lexington Catholic

Here is an excerpt about Willis:

Derek Willis, Player of the Year

It was a big year for Bullitt East's 6-foot-9 junior. He committed to Kentucky and led the Chargers to a second consecutive 6th Region title.

Willis showed off his versatility, averaging 17.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 2.1 assists. He had 20 double-doubles (points and rebounds). He shot 56 percent from the field and 77 percent from the foul line.

Willis will be a strong favorite to win Mr. Basketball honors next season.

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Confirmed: Richard Pitino to Replace Isiah Thomas at FIU


It has been confirmed by multiple sources that Louisville associate head coach Richard Pitino is the new head coach at Florida International.

Here are some of the reports:

Report: FIU hires Pitino's son to replace Isiah Thomas

Report: Richard Pitino hired to replace Isiah Thomas as head coach at FIU

FIU Basketball: Richard Pitino To Be Named New Head Coach, According To Reports

Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin at Jordan Brand Classic Game

Here are future Kentucky Wildcats Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin at the Jordan Brand Classic all-star game (videos by SportsXpressVids on YouTube):



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