Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 Star Dakari Johnson Commits to Kentucky

Dakari Johnson, a 6-foot-10 center at Montverde Academy, has committed to the University of Kentucky.

Johnson ranks No. 13 overall on the Rivals.com list for 2013.



Madison Central's Dominique Hawkins Scores 2,000th Point

Madison Central senior Dominique Hawkins scored his 2,000th career point during this afternoon's victory over Conner.

He finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assist and 4 steals in today's 66-51 win.

Hawkins recently became the all-time leading scorer in Madison Central history.

Brandon Knight to Tayshaun Prince for the Dunk

Check out this highlight as former Kentucky stars hook up on the fast break - Brandon Knight to Tayshaun Prince:



Aaron Gordon Highlights vs. Bellarmine Prep

Here are some new highlights of Kentucky recruit Aaron Gordon from a recent game against Bellarmine Prep:

Emmanuel Mudiay Leads Prime Prep in Win Over Huntington Prep

Emmanuel Mudiay and Prime Prep pulled off the win over Huntington Prep and Andrew Wiggins last night with John Calipari in attendance.

Mudiay scored a game-high 18 points to lead Prime Prep to a 59-46 win. The Kentucky recruit was named MVP of the game. Elijah Thomas, a highly-talented sophomore, added 18 points and 11 rebounds.

UK recruit Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points to lead Huntington Prep.

Here is more from USA Today:

“We knew we were gonna win,” Mudiay said. “I promise you there was never any doubt with us. We told each other. Not trying to sound cocky, but we’re a really confident team.”


Prime Prep lived up to its pregame proclamation, knocking off the Express, 59-46, Friday at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, W.Va.

Mudiay scored a game-high 18 points and was named MVP of the game. Elijah Thomas, a sophomore forward, added 18 points and 11 rebounds for Prime Prep.

“We feel like this win has earned us more national respect,” Thomas said. “We feel like we deserve to be in the rankings. We’ve proved it and we’re going to continue to prove it. We’ve got everything together now so we can be ranked.”

Read More

Dakari Johnson Will Announce Tonight; Kentucky Bound?

Dakari Johnson, one of the top remaining uncommitted players in the class of 2013, will announce his college decision tonight on national television:

DaveTelep Dakari Johnson announcing on TV. Plays at 6 on @ESPN2 then announcement is halftime of @ESPNU game which tips at 8pm. UK, Gtown, SYR

Johnson is choosing between Kentucky, Georegetown and Syracuse. All signs would seem to indicate that he'll pop for Kentucky.

The 6-foot-10 center at Montverde Academy (Fla.) ranks No. 13 overall on the Rivals.com list for 2013.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Orlando Antigua are in Wheeling, West Virginia to watch Johnson and several others at the Cancer Research Classic. Montverde will battle nationally-ranked Simeon (Ill.) at 6:00 p.m. ET tonight on ESPN2.

Photo: Rivals.com


Friday, January 4, 2013

Kentucky Watches 2015 Star Elijah Thomas - UPDATED

Jason Jordan of USA Today has confirmed that Kentucky offered 2015 power forward Elijah Thomas of Prime Prep Academy earlier tonight.

JayJayUSATODAY Confirmed that UK did indeed offer 2015 PF Elijah Thomas after the big win over Huntington Prep. Thomas picked a good night to dominate!

Thomas is a 6-foot-8 power forward who is rated as a 4-star recruit by Rivals.com.

Photo: Rivals.com

UPDATE:

It looks like Jason Jordan didn't confirm an offer after all. In fact, Jordan has deleted his Tweet with no explanation.

Here is an update from Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader:

NextCats OK. Let's put a pin in that Elijah Thomas news. There's no UK scholarship offer yet. But there's definite interest from Cats.





Prime Prep Feels Confident Heading Into Game Against Huntington Prep

Prime Prep players and coaches seem to feel pretty confident heading into tonight's game against Huntington Prep and Kentucky recruit Andrew Wiggins.

Emmanuel Mudiay, a highly-regarded point guard who is also being looked at by UK, is eager to show the country what his team can do.

Here is an excerpt from USA Today:

“We should be ranked really high,” Mudiay said. “Not to be ranked has been a slap in the face and all season we’ve been waiting to play a highly-ranked team to show the country what we can do.”

The wait is over.

Prime Prep (14-0) will take on Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.), ranked No. 3 in the Super 25, tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Cancer Research Classic at Wheeling Jesuit in Wheeling, W.Va.

“We’re pumped for this game because we’ve been through a lot this season already,” Prime Prep freshman guard Terrance Ferguson said. “Now that everything is behind us we want to get our respect back and this is the game to get it. It’s been a crazy season and we’re only 14 games in.”

Prime Prep head coach Ray Forsett took things a step farther, seemingly predicting that his team will upset top-ranked Huntington Prep:

 “We’re gonna lay out our finest clothes and they’re gonna lay out there finest clothes,” Forsett said. “We don’t make guarantees or anything, but at the end of the day, I think we’re gonna dress better.”

Complete Article

Photo: Rivals.com

No. 4 Bellarmine Rolls By Quincy in GLVC Opener

(4) Bellarmine 65
Quincy 50

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Playing for the first time after an 18-day layoff, the No. 4 Bellarmine University Knights fought off a sluggish first half and posted a 65-50 victory over the visiting Quincy Hawks in the Knights' Great Lakes Valley Conference opener Thursday night in Knights Hall.

Sophomore Jake Thelen, a transfer from Spring Hill College, posted his first double-double at Bellarmine with 22 points and 10 rebounds to help keep the Knights undefeated on the season and extend their home winning streak to 26 games.

After racing out to 12-2 lead over the first 4:06, the Knights struggled offensively the rest of the way as the Hawks fought back to take a 25-21 lead into the locker room. Bellarmine committed 11 first half turnovers and totaled only three assists in the first 20 minutes and compounded their problems by going 0-7 from beyond the arc.

Bellarmine slowly turned things around in the second period. After Quincy's Tyler Thompson opened the half by canning a jumper to give the Hawks their biggest lead of the game, the Knights chipped away and finally retook the lead at the 14:22 mark on a bucket by Chris Dowe.

The jumper served as a jump start for Dowe, who scored 12 points over the next seven minutes as Bellarmine went on a 20-5 run to put the game away. The lead grew to as many as 18 at the 4:13 mark, and from there, the Knights coasted home to record the 15-point victory.

“Offensively, we didn't accomplish any of our goals,” said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport, “but defensively we hit all of them.” The eighth year coach added that he was happy to have the Christmas break behind him. “I think we do better when we have a regular routine, and we play a Thursday-Saturday schedule from here out.”

Complete Recap

No. 9 Kentucky Wesleyan Dismantles Maryville

(9) Kentucky Wesleyan 83
Maryville 53

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky

Game recap by KWC:

It doesn't appear any team is quite up to the task yet of knocking off Kentucky Wesleyan.

The No. 9 Panthers (9-0, 1-0 Great Lakes Valley Conference) dismantled visiting Maryville (11-3, 0-2 GLVC), 83-53, at home on Thursday night to take their unblemished record into the new year and into conference play.

"The biggest thing was I thought we prepared defensively," coach Todd Lee said. "It was one of our better preparations.

We had a number of days to prepare for them. They run a tough offense to guard and I thought our guys, for the most part, stuck to what we were trying to do…they're a team that shoots 50 percent on the season and we held them to 35 percent, which is a great number."

It was truly a dominant effort by the Panthers, who shot 51.9 percent from the field as a team and never trailed in 40 minutes of action.

Maryville's Asa Toney buried a 3-pointer midway through the second half to make it a 10-point game, 52-42, but that was the last of the Saints' hopes of making it a game.

KWC rattled off an 8-0 run and eventually stretched the lead to 71-45 with 5:00 left to play after mixing some inside plays with Dazmond Starke and some 3-pointers from Lucas Barker.

Complete Recap

John Calipari to Watch Andrew Wiggins Tonight

According to a report on Twitter, Kentucky head coach John Calpari and assistant Orlando Antigua will be watching top 2013 star Andrew Wiggins in West Virginia tonight:

UKBIGBLUENATION Coach Calipari and Coach Antigua will be at the Cancer Research Classic tonight to see Andrew Wiggins and Emmanuel Mudiay. Confirmed.

Wiggins and Huntington Prep will be facing Prime Prep, which features 2014 prospect Emmanuel Mudiay at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Tomorrow night, Montverde Academy and Kentucky recruit Dakari Johnson will battle highly-talented Chicago Simeon at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Complete schedule:


Friday

4:30 p.m. – Linsly (Wheeling, W.Va.) vs. Seton LaSalle (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
6 p.m. – Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) vs. Wheeling Central Catholic (W.Va.)
7:30 p.m. – Huntington Prep vs. Prime Prep
9 p.m. – Lower Merion (Ardmore, Pa.) vs. St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.)

Saturday

12:30 p.m. – St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia) vs. Wheeling Park (Wheeling, W.Va.)
2 p.m. – DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) vs. Gill St. Bernard's (Gladstone, N.J.)
3:30 p.m. – Neumann-Goretti vs. Whitney Young
6 p.m. – Montverde Academy vs. Simeon
8 p.m. – Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) vs. Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)

EKU Uses Big First Half to Put Away Eastern Illinois

Eastern Kentucky 65
Eastern Illinois 54

Final from Richmond, Kentucky

Game recap by EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky held Eastern Illinois to 18 first half points on its way to a 65-54 victory in the Colonels’ Ohio Valley Conference opener on Thursday at McBrayer Arena.

The Colonels (11-3, 1-0 OVC) took control of the game with a 16-2 run in the first half. After a lay-up by EIU’s Malcolm Herron made it a one-point game, 11-10, in favor of Eastern Kentucky with 15:26 on the clock Marcus Lewis scored six straight points to get the run started. His third basket came off an offensive rebound.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Mike DiNunno and Tarius Johnson capped the run and put the Colonels out in front 27-12 with four minutes remaining in the opening half. Johnson’s trey gave him 11 points in the first 16 minutes of the game, beating his previous EKU game-high of 10.

Eastern Kentucky took a 17-point lead, 35-18, into the locker room at the break. The Colonels hit 52 percent of their first half shots and committed only two turnovers. EIU shot 35 percent.

Eastern Illinois (3-12, 0-2 OVC) never got closer than 13 points until a late-game run. EKU led by as many as 20 points twice in the second half. A three-pointer by Orlando Williams with 4:22 to go gave the Colonels their second 20-point margin. The Panthers answered with a 14-4 run to draw within 10. Three-pointers by Josh Piper and Herron capped the spurt and closed the gap to 62-52, but only 1:07 remained in the game.

DiNunno and Johnson finished with 13 points for EKU. Lewis scored 11 off the bench. Glenn Cosey had eight points, a season-high tying five assists and no turnovers.

Complete Recap

Murray State Wins at UT-Martin for 600th OVC Victory

Murray State 73
UT-Martin 62

Final from Martin, Tennessee

Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers won for the 600th time in the Ohio Valley Conference when they came away with a 73-62 win Thursday over UT Martin at the Elam Center in Martin, Tenn.

An original founding member of the OVC from 1948, the Racers' 600 wins, 23 regular season championships and 15 OVC Tournament titles and NCAA trips are tops in the league.

Isaiah Canaan led three Racers in double-figures with 18, while Stacy Wilson added 16 and Jeffery Moss 14. Ed Daniel was a point from a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.

The Racers (10-3, 1-0 OVC) took little time to set the tone of the game when they pushed to a 15-4 lead in the game's first seven minutes and later led by a 31-13 count at the 4:10 mark of the opening half.

After leading 33-19 at the half, MSU eventually led 54-32 with 11:42 remaining.

Getting the chance to rest the starters, the Racers saw 12 players see action tonight including senior Latreze Mushatt who played for the first time this season. Mushatt's first appearance since the NCAA Tournament last March for MSU came after he suffered an Achilles injury last summer and he has been working to get back on the floor for MSU. Mushatt played seven minutes in his return.

Complete Recap

John Wall Returns to Practice; "Looked like his old self"

Former Kentucky star John Wall returned to practice with the Washington Wizards on Thursday. Wall has been sidelined since he was diagnosed with a stress injury in his left patella in late September.

According to teammate A.J. Price, "He’s still the same player. Fast. Aggressive. He looked good. Looked like his old self."

Here is more from WashingtonPost.com:

“This is Christmas all over for him, I'm sure, to finally reach this point,” Coach Randy Wittman said of Wall. “You could see the spark in his eyes — finally. So we just got to be patient. He’s got to be itching to push this as fast as he can. We got to be careful with that.”

Possibly because the team has waited more than five months to see Wall in action, or because he won’t be available when the Wizards host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, Wittman spoke with cautious tones when talking about the third-year point guard. Wittman mentioned the need for Wall to regain his conditioning and strength, but Wall’s teammates were much more encouraged by what they saw from the former No. 1 overall pick.

“He’s still the same player. Fast. Aggressive. He looked good. Looked like his old self,” said Price, who has been out since Dec. 8 with a broken hand but participated in five-on-none, non-contact drills on Thursday. “He was extremely active. Just talking. You could see that he really wanted it. He wanted it. And that’s always good to see, especially from your franchise player, coming back off injury, to show how enthused he was to be back out there and how aggressive he approached the situation.”

Complete Article

Morehead State Holds Off SIU Edwardsville in OVC Opener

Morehead State 68
SIU Edwardsville 64

Final from Morehead, Kentucky

Game recap by MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Junior Chad Posthumus collected a game-high 19 rebounds, and the Morehead State men’s basketball team used a 44-23 edge on the glass to post a 68-64 victory over SIU Edwardsville on Thursday evening at Johnson Arena.

The Eagles improve to 7-8 overall and 1-0 in Ohio Valley Conference action, while the Cougars slip to 4-7 on the season and 0-1 in league play. MSU also improves to 4-1 in the all-time series against SIUE, which began during the 2009-10 campaign.

"We limited SIU Edwardsville to one shot early and were aggressive with our rebounding,” Head Coach Sean Woods said. “I was pleased with Chad’s play tonight. He had a great mentality for rebounding and ended up getting quite a few.”

Posthumus helped Morehead State to a 28-9 first-half advantage in rebounds, including a 15-3 edge on the offensive end. He pulled down 15 missed shots in the first half alone and registered nine points in 29 minutes on the night for the Eagles.

The rebounding performance by Posthumus was the program’s best since former Eagle and current Denver Nuggets’ forward Kenneth Faried pulled down 21 boards on March 4, 2011.

“I still think Chad’s potential is off the charts,” Woods said. “He’s getting better day-by-day and game-by-game, which is why he’s now starting. We’ve also been pleased with his conditioning, and that’s why he’s played 25-30 minutes for us in recent games.”

Morehead State used its biggest rebounding margin against a Division I opponent this season to record an 11-1 upper hand in second-chance points. The Eagles managed a 19-4 advantage on the offensive glass for the night.

Morehead State senior Milton Chavis tied for game-high honors with 16 points, while sophomore Angelo Warner added 14. The Eagles knocked down 40 percent from the field (23-of-57) and 65 percent from the free-throw line (17-of-26).

Complete Recap

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Returns to Rupp Arena

Former Kentucky star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was back in Rupp Arena last night. He served as the ceremonial "Y" in the Kentucky cheer:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

No. 4 Pikeville Blasts Ohio Christian, Setty Nets 26

(4) Pikeville 109
Ohio Christian 60

Final from Pikeville, Kentucky

Game recap by UPIKE:

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – No. 4 University of Pikeville scored the game's first 20 points and never looked back in a 109-60 win over Ohio Christian University Thursday night.

Playing for the first time since Dec. 17, Coach Kelly Wells' team showed no signs of rust as it exploded out of the gates. The Bears needed only 5:18 to have the 20-point lead, with senior Trevor Setty pouring in half of them and classmate Jamar “Deuce” Briscoe adding six, including the layup to make it 20-0.

The Bears didn't slow down for the remainder of the half in the final nonconference game of the regular season. Hitting 58.1 percent overall and 42.9 percent from the arc, the home team led 63-28 by recess. Setty had 23 markers while Briscoe had 11. Senior guard Chris Johnson had handed out eight assists by the break, as the team had 19 to go with nine steals.

Setty, who is 12th on the school's scoring list, finished with a game-high 26 points along with eight assists. Briscoe followed with 24 and five rebounds.

Junior Josh Whitaker tossed in 14, senior Terrance Saintil 12 and freshman Cody Malicoat two.

Senior point guard Chris Johnson stuffed the stat sheet with five points, nine assists, six steals and four rebounds.

Complete Recap

Kentucky Commit Karl Towns Drops 40 in Win Tonight

Kentucky commit Karl Towns put in 40 points tonight according to multiple reports on Twitter.

Towns and St. Joseph Metuchen defeated South Brunswick 71-43.

BOWNCEwithme Congratulations to Karl Towns (@KATis32) for his impressive 40-point performance in tonight's game... #KENTUCKY bound
GiveNGobball Karl Towns, Class of 2014 Kentucky commit, dropped 40 points tonight.





Leron Black Opens Up Recruitment; Cats, Cards on New List

According to Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com, 2014 star Leron Black had broken off his commitment to Baylor and opened up his recruitment.

Black has both Kentucky and Louisville on his new list.

jeffborzello Leron Black's new list, per AAU coach: Kentucky, Baylor, Ohio St, Florida, UConn, Memphis, Kansas, Missouri, NC St, Louisville, Tenn, Vandy.


jeffborzello Leron Black's AAU coach on Baylor, where the five-star Black just decommitted: "Very high on the list. He loves Baylor."

Black is a 6-foot-7 power forward at Memphis White Station High School. He is regarded as a five-star recruit by Rivals.com.

Photo: Rivals.com

Kentucky's Game at Vanderbilt to Air on ESPN

Kentucky's game against Vanderbilt next week in Nashville will air on ESPN at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Here is a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky-Vanderbilt men’s basketball game on Jan. 10, has been designated for ESPN at 9pm ET.

The game marks the conference opener for both schools and the first contest for both schools in eight days.

The Wildcats enter conference play with a 9-4 mark, including a 90-38 win over Eastern Michigan in their most recent outing.

The Commodores bring a 6-6 record into league play, including a 64-50 win over William & Mary, in their most recent outing.

Kentucky swept Vanderbilt in the regular season last year, but the Commodores beat the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament Championship. UK leads the all-time series, 136-45.

Northern Kentucky Earns First Conference Win at North Florida

Northern Kentucky 65
North Florida 52

Final from Jacksonville, Florida

Game recap by NKU:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Chad Jackson and Eshaunte Jones combined for 40 points Wednesday night as Northern Kentucky won its first Atlantic Sun Conference game with a 65-52 victory at North Florida.


Jackson finished with 21 points and collected five steals as NKU improved to 3-7 overall, 1-1 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Jones added 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Norse, who held North Florida (6-9 overall, 1-1 A-Sun) to just 32.7 percent shooting from the field.

North Florida, in fact, went the final 7:29 of the game without a field goal as NKU closed with a 16-2 run after trailing 50-49 with 6:12 remaining.

Ethan Faulkner ignited the late spurt by scoring seven points in the final three minutes, including a clutch 3-pointer that extended NKU's lead to 56-50. Faulkner finished with a season-high 12 points.

“We wanted to control the tempo, and I thought we did a good job of that,” NKU head coach Dave Bezold said. “Sometimes if the home team is behind at halftime, they have more energy at the beginning of the second half, and North Florida did.

“They rebounded the ball very well, but we handled some of the rebounds late and made big plays when we had to in order to get a huge road win.”

Complete Recap

No. 4 Louisville Hammers Providence in Big East Opener

(4) Louisville 80
Providence 62

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by UL:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - As Louisville maintains its tough defensive reputation, the fourth-ranked Cardinals are building a nice offensive game as well.


Wednesday night's Big East Conference opener against Providence was a perfect example.

Russ Smith came off the bench to score 23 points and Louisville shot 63 percent in the second half to run away from Providence 80-62. The Cardinals finished at 53 percent from the field (30 of 57), the fourth time this season they have shot at least 50 percent and the fourth straight game they have converted at least 48 percent of their attempts.
Making this performance more satisfying for Louisville was doing it against a tough Big East foe such as Providence, which routed the Cardinals by 31 points last Jan. 10 in Rhode Island.

"We're continuing to win with offense," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "Once our defense catches up with our offense, we have a chance to be a special team."

The Cardinals were pretty stout defending the Friars, scoring 27 points off 16 turnovers. Louisville had 10 steals, compared to just one for Providence.


The Cardinals' payoff was their second-best shooting percentage this season along with five players scoring in double figures. Center Gorgui Dieng posted his 14th career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, adding four blocks.

Complete Recap

UK Recruit Aaron Gordon Scores 28 to Lead Mitty in League Opener

Kentucky recruit Aaron Gordon scored 28 points to lead Archbishop Mitty to a 65-63 win over Bellarmine College Prep last night.

The game was the league opener for Mitty, who is trying to win back-to-back-to-back state championships.

Here is more on the game from MercuryNews.com:

Archbishop Mitty's road to another West Catholic Athletic League boys basketball championship might not be as smooth as it was last season.

But the two-time defending Division II state champion Monarchs managed to survive their league opener Wednesday night, rallying in the second half to edge previously unbeaten and host Bellarmine College Prep 65-63 before an overflow crowd.

Aaron Gordon, despite being swarmed by defenders nearly every time he touched the ball, finished with 28 points to lead Mitty. But the 6-foot-8 forward needed help down the stretch, which he got.

Complete Article

Last week, Gordon won the dunk title, scored a career-high 43 points and averaged 29.5 points per game in 4 wins at the Les Schwab Invitational tournament.

Here is more from OregonLive.com:

It happened last week in the opening game at the Les Schwab Invitational. The Southridge Skyhawks, a Class 6A team from Beaverton, Ore., gave Gordon a late Christmas gift and opted to defend him with a 6-8 junior while trying to shut down everyone else.


Gordon responded with a career-high 43 points. He connected on 20 of 25 field goals and collected 15 rebounds to lead Archbishop Mitty to an 80-70 victory.

The dynamic senior forward from San Jose, Calif., has narrowed his college choices to three — Washington, Kentucky and Arizona. He was a major attraction at the four-day holiday tournament, claiming the dunk title and thrilling fans with a highflying assault during games.

Complete Article

Photo: Rivals.com

Kentucky Players Discuss Win Over Eastern Michigan

Kentucky's Ryan Harrow, Julius Mays and Alex Poythress spoke to the media after last night's big win over Eastern Michigan.

Harrow talks about his improving play and tries to explain And1 mixtapes to Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader:



Mays talks about breaking out of his shooting slump and more:



Poythress on his individual workouts with John Calipari and more:

EMU Head Coach Rob Murphy Says UK Has Final Four Potential

Eastern Michigan head coach Rob Murphy talks about last night's loss at Kentucky and says the Wildcats have Final Four potential:

John Calipari Talks About Win Over Eastern Michigan

Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks about last night's win over Eastern Michigan, some out of the box training methods that he'll introduce today and more:


Kentucky Overwhelms Eastern Michigan

Kentucky 90
Eastern Michigan 38

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats used a 17-2 run midway through the second half and never looked back as they destroyed Eastern Michigan 90-38 earlier tonight.

Kyle Wiltjer came off the bench to lead Kentucky (9-4) with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Alex Poythress had 16 points. Ryan Harrow continued his excellent play with 15 points, 8 assists and 4 steals.

Willie Cauley-Stein put in a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards for the Wildcats. Nerlens Noel just missed a double-double, finishing with 8 points and 13 rebounds.

Glenn Bryant led Eastern Michigan (7-6) with 10 points on 4-13 shooting.

Kentucky will have a week off before travelling to Vanderbilt next Thursday night for the Southeastern Conference opener.


Box Score (click to enlarge):

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Former NKU Star David Palmer Signs with Saigon Heat

Former Northern Kentucky University standout David Palmer has signed with Saigon Heat in Asia's ASEAN League.

Here is more from Asia-Basket.com:

Saigon Heat (ASEAN League) landed 26-year old American power forward David Palmer (206-113kg-86, college: N.Kentucky). Palmer managed to play in three leagues in two countries last year (!!!). He played in the summer at Sichuan in Chinese NBL league. In 5 games he averaged impressive 36.8ppg and 14.6rpg. He also played at Tennessee Dragons in UBA that season. In two games last season he had very impressive stats: 18.0ppg, 14.0rpg, 4.5apg and 1.0spg. The other team Palmer played that season for was Bighorns in D-League. In 18 games he had 4.9ppg and 3.8rpg. Another team he played that season for was Bakersfield Jam in D-League. In 25 games he had 8.8ppg and 6.7rpg.

His team made it to the UBA Semifinals.

Palmer received USBasket.com All-UBA Honorable Mention award in 2012.

Read More

Morehead State Ends 2012 On Both Sides of Blowouts, OVC Schedule Looms

I made the trip back home to Morehead last Friday night to watch Morehead State and Southern Miss.

Technically, "home" is in Salyersville, but I consider Morehead a second home as I graduated from MSU and lived there for just over 10 years.

Of course, it's always nice to get back to familiar surroundings and as you can see from the picture, I made a stop at China Star. If you're a fan of Chinese food, make sure you check out this place if you're in the Morehead area.

After eating a little (a lot) too much food, I ventured over to Johnson Arena to watch the new-look Eagles against former Morehead State head coach Donnie Tyndall and his talented Southern Miss squad.

Unfortunately for Morehead State fans, things did not go well.

Donnie Tyndall Returns to Morehead, Southern Miss Rolls

Southern Miss opened the game on an 11-0 run in the first 56 seconds of action and never looked back as they rolled to a 94-58 victory over Morehead State.

Morehead State cut the lead to 9 points, but the Golden Eagles went on a 16-3 run to take a 30-8 advantage.

The Eagles showed signs of life early in the second half, cutting the USM advantage to 54-39. Neil Watson then drained a three-pointer, which keyed another big run. From there, Southern Miss out-scored the Eagles 40-19 to set the final score.



Rashard McGill and Jerrold Brooks each scored 18 points to lead Southern Miss. Watson added a double-double with 14 points and 11 steals.

Bakari Turner scored 16 points to lead Morehead State. He was the only Eagle to reach double figures.

"Embarrassing," Morehead State head coach Sean Woods said after the game. "We didn't compete at all."





A Note on Donnie Tyndall

On a personal note, D.T. is a great friend and I'm ecstatic to see him get off to a tremendous start in Hattiesburg (Golden Eagles are currently 10-4). 

Keep up the good work, Coach!

The Long Ride Home

The trip from Morehead to Danville, which typically takes an hour and a half, took just over three hours Friday night after the game. I think it's self explanatory:
























Two Non-Basketball Things We Learned Friday Night:

1. MSU women's head coach Tom Hodges is always the most colorful man in the arena























2. Donnie Tyndall still has some moves on the sidelines. Check out this cat-like speed:



MSU Gets Back on Track, Hammers Union College


Morehead State rebounded from the tough loss against Southern Miss by hammering Union College 114-67.

The Eagles (6-8) placed 8 players in double figures, led by 15 each from Milton Chavis and Drew Kelly.

Devon Atkinson put in 11 points and dished out 9 assists. Angelo Warner contributed 11 points and 7 assists.

Jason Holmes, Bruce Reed and Chad Posthumus all  finished with 12 points.

Woods was happy to see his team get back in the winning column, but admitted that his team has reached a low point in recent weeks.

"Well, we had no choice, I mean we hit rock bottom," Woods explained after the game. "We had no place to go but up."

Despite a difficult December, Woods hopes to right the ship as the Eagles head into Ohio Valley Conference play.

"Thursday starts a new season for us, and we're excited about it," Woods added. "The slate is wiped clean and everyone starts over at 0-0. We still feel like we have a quality basketball team, and we need to show that when SIU Edwardsville comes in here for the conference opener."

Union College, an NAIA Division II program, was led by sophomore Tyler Wagner's 24 points. Deante Johnson added 11 points and 9 boards.



Where Does Morehead State Go From Here?

Honestly, it's hard to predict the future based on the 2012 portion of the schedule. The Eagles opened the season in convincing fashion, even competing with Kentucky in Rupp Arena.

Since the Kentucky game, the Eagles are 3-6 and haven't played well.

The Eagles have an opportunity to get 2013 off to a good start and get things back on track as they open the OVC schedule at home against SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois. Most prognosticators would pick the Eagles to win both of those games at home and anything else would be disappointing.

Morehead State has plenty of talent on the roster to compete in the OVC but haven't pulled all the pieces together just yet.

With conference play looming, the time is now for the Eagles.


ESPN Names Nerlens Noel Defensive Player of the Month

ESPN has named Kentucky's Nerlens Noel as its Defensive Player of the Month for December.

Here is an excerpt:

Defensive Player of the Month – Nerlens Noel, Kentucky

(November: Jeff Withey)

Noel finished in the top 10 in both blocks (4.0 BPG) and steals (2.8 SPG), while also finishing in the top 25 among rebounders (9.7 RPG). He’s now on track to be the first player since Houston’s Bo Outlaw in 1992-93 to average 3.5 blocks and 2.5 steals.

Complete Article

Van Gundy: John Wall Isn't Good Enough to Build a Team Around

Former NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy certainly didn't hold back when asked to give some thoughts on the Washington Wizards.

ESPN 980′s The Sports Reporters interviewed Van Gundy last week. He was asked if the Wizards have the talent in place to improve.

He gave his thoughts, including a statement that former Kentucky star John Wall is not good enough to build a team around.

Here is an excerpt:

So how do you get out of this hell, he was asked.

“You know, I don’t know,” Van Gundy admitted. “I don’t know if it’s a trade, a free-agent thing, but I do know this: you build a team around certain people, and then you find complementary parts. There’s been no one to even build around there. There’s certainly nobody on that roster now you can build around.

“I think maybe they thought it was gonna be John Wall – maybe they still think it is. I think there’s a lot of people in the league – I’d certainly be one that would share this opinion – I don’t think John Wall’s good enough to be the guy that you build around. I think he’s got great speed and quickness, but point guard is a decision-making position. That’s what makes you great as a point guard, is your decision-making. I haven’t seen any indication that John Wall is a great decision-maker.”

Complete Article

UK Recruit James Young at the 2012 Motor City Roundball Classic

Check out these new highlights of 2013 Kentucky signee James Young at the 2012 Motor City Roundball Classic :
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Video: Kenneth Faried Robs and Reigns

Ever wondered what happens if you get a rebound but fail to secure it when Kenneth Faried is nearby? Here you go:

eRUPPtion Zone Tickets Available to General Public Today

There are eRUPPtion Zone tickets available for this evening's Kentucky game against Eastern Michigan.

Here are details from UK:

Eastern Michigan eRUPPtion zone tickets will be sold to the public on Wednesday.

- $5 cash only,
- 1 ticket per person,
- First come, first serve
- Line up at Noon and buy at 4:30 p.m.



Jalen Lindsey, Braxton Blackwell to Visit Louisville

According to Evan Daniels of Fox, Jalen Lindsey and Braxton Blackwell will visit Louisville tomorrow for their game against Providence.

EvanDanielsFOX Jalen Lindsey and Braxton Blackwell will visit Louisville for their game against Providence on Wednesday.

Lindsey is a 6-foot-6 small forward at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville. He is rated as a four-star recruit in the class of 2014.

Blackwell is a 6-foot-5 power forward at Christ Presbyterian. He is a 2016 recruit.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Camron Justice Talks About 62-Point Game and More

TheRoadtoRupp.com recently caught up with Knott Central star Camron Justice to discuss his recent 62-point game, Central's outlook for this season and more.

Here is an excerpt:

"It's a real tough region and there are 4 teams that really compete every year," said Justice. "This is going to be a big game with Letcher Central and it will let us know where we will be in the district."

On a statewide level, the 15 year old thinks his Knott County Patriots have a great shot to win it all if they get out of the tough 14th.

"No doubt in my mind, I think we have a great opportunity to win a state championship."

Even though it is early, Camron Justice has been able to check out a couple of colleges and spoke to some coaches.

Justice named , "Tennessee, UAB, Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Butler, and I heard from Louisville the other day, and a couple more that I can't name off the top of my head right now."

Complete Article

Kings GM on DeMarcus Cousins: "He's not going anywhere"

According to David Aldridge or NBA.com, Kings GM Geoff Petrie has said publicly that former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins is not on the trading block.

Unfortunately, Aldridge also reports that Cousins' Sacramento teammates have not been very sympathetic of the big man's recent problems.

Additionally, sources claim Cousins has refused any form of counseling to help with anger issues.

Here is more from NBA.com:

The team was surprised when Cousins showed up for practice on Christmas Eve, thinking the suspension was indefinite. Upon his arrival, "the Christmas spirit was gone," said the league source who is familiar with the Kings. And there was not much sympathy for him afterward when Cousins tried to apologize.

"When he apologized to the team, two players stood up and said 'we've heard this bull(bleep) before,'" the source said. "'You're either going to be with us, or you're not. We don't want to hear any more excuses.'"

Reached Monday morning, Petrie said Cousins is not on the block.

"You can put that one to rest," Petrie said. "He's not going anywhere. You can lay that to rest. Some of that stuff lives in its own reality."

Petrie said the return of Cousins to the team provided "resolution" to the shouting match with Smart.

"Everybody's moving forward," Petrie said. "He's still a young, developing player that's yet to reach his potential and is still a major piece of the future planning here. Everyone's committed to working with his development as a player and his overall growth...he's still an important part of the future. He's like a lot of people. Some have good days, and some days are better than others. We're going to continue to work with him to help him reach his potential, which is still very high."

One significant problem, according to sources, is that Cousins has refused the Kings' entreaties to undergo any type of counseling to deal with his anger issues, which were at the heart of many NBA teams' reluctance to take Cousins high in the 2010 Draft. The push has been especially strong recently, "but that's going nowhere," says a source familiar with Cousins' thinking, citing Cousins' unwillingness to even discuss the subject.

Complete Article

Pitino: Chane Behanan is Doubtful for Providence Game

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino says big man Chane Behanan is doubtful for Wednesday night's Big East opener against Providence.

According to Pitino, Behanan has the flu.

Here is more from the Courier-Journal:

Pitino, himself, and assistant coach Kevin Keatts also have been sick.

"We’re a little under the weather right now, and our practices have not been good," he said. "I hope it’s not a long bug."

Pitino said that if Behanan can’t play against the Friars (8-4), then freshman Montrezl Harrell would start in his place for the Cards (12-1).

Complete Article

Northern Kentucky Falls Short in Atlantic Sun Debut

Jacksonville 53
Northern Kentucky 51

Final from Jacksonville, Florida

Game recap by NKU:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Russell Powell made two free throws with 1.8 seconds remaining in the game to give Jacksonville a 53-51 victory over Northern Kentucky on Monday night in the Veterans Memorial Arena.


NKU had just tied the game at 51-all with 5.8 seconds left when Stretch Watson converted a steal of a Jacksonville inbounds pass into a basket. After a timeout, Powell darted up the floor and appeared to slip just outside the 3-point arc, but NKU freshman Tyler White was called for a tripping foul.

Powell calmly hit both free throws with 1.8 seconds remaining. NKU had one final chance, but Glenn Powell intercepted Anthony Monaco's length-of-the-court pass and Jacksonville escaped with the victory in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener for both teams.

NKU freshman guard Nate Snodgrass equaled his career-high point total with 12, all coming on 3-point field goals. He buried a trio of 3-pointers in the second half as the Norse rallied from a nine-point deficit to eventually take a 46-42 lead when White drained a trey with 6:13 remaining.

The Norse still owned a 49-45 lead with 4:08 left after Snodgrass connected on his final 3-pointer of the night, but Jacksonville scored the next six points to take a 51-49 advantage on Russell Powell's off-balance layup with 23 seconds on the clock.
Complete Recap

Looks like the trip wasn't a total loss for the Norse (pic posted on NKU men's basketball Facebook page):

New Kentucky Locker Room is the Gold Standard

The new University of Kentucky men's basketball locker room is simply unbelievable. Here is John Calipari giving a walk through:

Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Basketball is Here; Schedule for the Week

Northern Kentucky will wrap up basketball around the state with their first Atlantic Sun Conference game tonight.

Then, conference action heats up as the 2013 portion of this season's schedule gets underway.

Here's a complete schedule for the week:

Monday, December 31

7:15 p.m. Northern Kentucky University at Jacksonville*

Tuesday, January 1

No Games

Wednesday, January 2

3:00 p.m. IU-East at Brescia University*
6:00 p.m. Eastern Michigan at University of Kentucky
6:00 p.m. Providence at University of Louisville*
7:30 p.m. Northern Kentucky University at North Florida*
7:30 p.m. Transylvania University at Franklin College*
7:30 p.m. Thomas More College at Geneva*

Thursday, January 3

7:00 p.m. Eastern Illinois at Eastern Kentucky University*
7:00 p.m. SIU Edwardsville at Morehead State University*
7:30 p.m. Albany State at Kentucky State University*
7:30 p.m. Union College at Reinhardt*
8:00 p.m. Murray State University at UT-Martin*
8:00 p.m. Ohio Christian University at University of Pikeville
8:00 p.m. Georgetown College at University of the Cumberlands*
8:00 p.m. Lindsey Wilson College at Shawnee State*
8:00 p.m. Campbellsville University at Rio Grande*
8:00 p.m. Quincy University at Bellarmine University*
8:30 p.m. Western Kentucky University at Arkansas-Little Rock*
8:30 p.m. Maryville at Kentucky Wesleyan College*
9:00 p.m. St. Catharine College at Cumberland University*

Friday, January 4

4:00 p.m. Point Park at Alice Lloyd College*
9:00 p.m. Centre College at Millsaps*

Saturday, January 5

1:00 p.m. Defiance College at Transylvania University*
1:00 p.m. Kentucky Christian University at Berea College
2:00 p.m. Point Park at Asbury University*
3:00 p.m. Thomas More College at Thiel*
3:15 p.m. Illinois Springfield at Bellarmine University*
3:30 p.m. Kentucky State University at Fort Valley State*
4:00 p.m. IU Southeast at Alice Lloyd College*
4:00 p.m. Spalding University at Westminster College*
4:00 p.m. St. Catharine College at University of the Cumberlands*
4:00 p.m. University of Pikeville at Bluefield College*
4:00 p.m. Lindsey Wilson College at Rio Grande*
4:00 p.m. Campbellsville University at Shawnee State*
4:00 p.m. Georgetown College at Cumberland University*
4:15 p.m. Missouri-St. Louis at Kentucky Wesleyan College*
6:00 p.m. Murray State University at Southeast Missouri*
6:00 p.m. Montreat College at Union College*
7:00 p.m. Brescia University at Cincinnati Christian*
7:00 p.m. SIU Edwardsville at Eastern Kentucky University*
7:00 p.m. USC Upstate at Northern Kentucky University*
7:30 p.m. Eastern Illinois at Morehead State University*
8:05 p.m. Western Kentucky University at Arkansas State*

Sunday, January 6

4:00 p.m. Centre College at Birmingham Southern*

* Conference Game

Louisville is No. 4 in Both Polls, Kentucky No Longer Ranked

The Louisville Cardinals (12-1) are ranked No. 4 in both major college basketball polls this week.

Kentucky (8-4), which played arguably its best game of the season in an 80-77 loss at Louisville, is no longer ranked in either poll.

AP Top 25

RK TEAM RECORD PTS

1 Duke (63) 12-0 1,623
2 Michigan (2) 13-0 1,547
3 Arizona 12-0 1,474
4 Louisville 12-1 1,434
5 Indiana 12-1 1,378
6 Kansas 11-1 1,313
7 Syracuse 11-1 1,197
8 Ohio State 10-2 1,079
9 Minnesota 12-1 978
10 Gonzaga 12-1 946
11 Illinois 13-1 929 12 Missouri 10-2 912 13 Florida 9-2 810 14 Cincinnati 12-1 761 15 Georgetown 10-1 718 16 Creighton 12-1 629 17 Butler 10-2 591 18 Michigan State 11-2 447 19 San Diego State 11-2 437 20 New Mexico 13-1 389 21 Notre Dame 12-1 361 22 Oklahoma State 10-1 333 23 North Carolina State 10-2 270 24 Pittsburgh 12-1 219 25 Kansas State 10-2 149

Others receiving votes: UNLV 52, North Carolina 38, Wyoming 28, Temple 21, Virginia Commonwealth 15, Kentucky 13, Wichita State 11, Connecticut 9, UCLA 6, Maryland 5, Oregon 3

USA Today Coaches Poll

RK TEAM RECORD PTS

1 Duke (30) 12-0 774
2 Michigan (1) 13-0 744
3 Arizona 12-0 692
4 Louisville 12-1 678
5 Indiana 12-1 654
6 Kansas 11-1 643
7 Syracuse 11-1 575
8 Ohio State 10-2 530
9 Florida 9-2 451
10 Gonzaga 12-1 439
11 Creighton 12-1 436 12 Missouri 10-2 420 13 Minnesota 12-1 417 14 Illinois 13-1 358 15 Cincinnati 12-1 352 16 Georgetown 10-1 281 17 San Diego State 11-2 242 18 Michigan State 11-2 228 19 Notre Dame 12-1 201 20 Butler 10-2 194 21 Oklahoma State 10-1 146 22 Pittsburgh 12-1 124 23 New Mexico 13-1 109 24 UNLV 11-2 100 25 North Carolina State 10-2 95

Others receiving votes: Virginia Commonwealth 36, Kansas State 35, North Carolina 34, Kentucky 31, Wyoming 30, Wichita State 7, Colorado 6, Maryland 5, Connecticut 3, UCLA 2, Bucknell 1, Colorado State 1, Temple 1

Andrew and Aaron Harrison Dominate at MaxPreps Event

Check out the highlights of Kentucky signees Andrew and Aaron Harrison at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic:

Angel Nunez Will Transfer to Gonzaga

Former Louisville forward Angel Nunez will transfer to Gonzaga.

Ang_nunez_1 Had a great time in Spokane... Heading back to ny in a few hrs ... Then I'll b back at Gonzaga in 2 weeks

He announced his choice on Instagram:

Glenn Cosey Named OVC Newcomer of the Week for Fourth Time

Eastern Kentucky Glenn Cosey, a transfer from Columbus State Community College, has once again been named Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week after scoring 21 points against West Virginia.

Here is the release from the OVC:

adidas® OVC Players of the Week

NEWCOMER

Glenn Cosey, G • Jr., 6-0, 182 • Flint, Mich. • Eastern Kentucky

Cosey earned his fourth OVC Newcomer of the Week honor of the season after scoring 21 points in Eastern Kentucky’s narrow loss at West Virginia on Sunday. Cosey hit 8-of-14 (57.1%) shots and 5-of-10 (50%) 3-pointers while also pulling down four rebounds, dishing out two assists and not committing a turnover in 36 minutes of action. The transfer from Columbus State Community College keyed a second half comeback that saw EKU overcome a 16-point deficit to take a two-point lead with less than five minutes to play. His fifth 3-pointer of the game cut the WVU margin to just three with 24 seconds to play. Cosey currently leads the OVC in minutes played (36.5/game), ranks third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4), third in 3-pointers made (2.9/game), fourth in steals (1.8/game), sixth in scoring (16.5 points/game) and seventh in 3-point percentage (43.2%).

Others Nominated: Jeremiah Samarrippas, Tennessee Tech; Tobias Dowdell, UT Martin.

Complete Release

John Calipari Previews Eastern Michigan Game and More

Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks to the media about where his team is following a loss at Louisville and the upcoming game against Eastern Michigan:

Eastern Kentucky Comes Up Just Short at West Virginia

West Virginia 74
Eastern Kentcuky 67

Final from Morgantown, West Virginia

Game recap by EKU:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Eastern Kentucky overcame a 16-point second half deficit to take a 2-point lead with less than five minutes to play, but couldn’t hold off West Virginia in a 74-67 loss on Sunday.

The Mountaineers (7-5) went on top by 16, 38-22, on a dunk by Deniz Kilicli with 18:36 left in the game. However, the Colonels (10-3) answered with a 13-3 run to get back in the game. A lay-up by Mike DiNunno cut the deficit to nine. Tarius Johnson came up with a steal on the ensuing inbounds play and Glenn Cosey knocked down a three-pointer to cap the run and make it a 6-point game with 15:31 to go.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, EKU closed the gap further. Cosey connected on a lay-up and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but the Colonels came up with the offensive rebound and Orlando Williams hit a three-pointer to bring the visitors to within two, 52-50. A second three-pointer by Williams 30 seconds later made it a 1-point game, 54-53, in favor of the Mountaineers.

Williams, a transfer from Miami (Ohio) made his debut for the Colonels. The junior made his first two shots from the field before finishing with 10 points.

West Virginia pushed back out in front by six before Eastern Kentucky made another run. Eric Stutz and Morgantown native Ryan Parsons keyed a 10-2 Colonel spurt. After Parsons came into the game, Stutz got the run started with a lay-up. Parsons drew a charge on the other end leading to a Cosey three-pointer. After WVU made a pair of free throws, Parsons nailed a three-pointer and Stutz connected on two free throws to turn a 59-53 deficit into a 63-61 EKU lead.

West Virginia scored the next five points and led the rest of the way. A three-pointer by Cosey, his fifth of the game, with 24 seconds left to play got Eastern Kentucky to within three, 70-67, but Juwan Staten went to the line and hit two free throws to seal the victory for the Mountaineers.

Cosey led all players with 21 points. Stutz finished with a team-best eight rebounds and four assists. Staten and Gary Browne led WVU with 17 points each. Aaric Murray had eight points and 12 rebounds.

Complete Recap

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