Tuesday, December 31, 2013

James Young Named USBWA National Freshman of the Week

Kentucky's James Young has been named USBWA National Freshman of the Week following his outstanding game against Louisville.

Here is a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – UK freshman James Young is the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for games ending the week of Dec. 29. Young was selected by CBSSports.com's Jeff Borzello, in partnership with the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Young poured in a team-high 18 points while adding career-bests in rebounds (10) and assists (4) in a 73-66 victory over No. 6 Louisville on Saturday. He registered his first career double-double effort with the team-high tying tally of boards, while the four assists also ranked as a team best.

With the game tied at 53, Young hit a layup to spark a 13-3 Kentucky spurt and put the game away for the Cats over their instate rival.

For the season, Young has knocked down at least one 3-pointer in all but two games this season and multiple 3's in eight games including the win over Louisville. Through 13 games, Young has connected for 29 long-range shots a mark that ranks 11th in program history for a freshman. He's also poured in 179 points thus far which is the 52nd most by any UK freshman in program history.

Young was also named ESPN.com National Player of the Week by Andy Katz while also receiving SEC Freshman of the Week honors as well as the UK-UofL game’s Most Valuable Player Award by the Bluegrass Sports Commission.

Terrence Williams to Join the Los Angeles D-Fenders

Former Louisville star Terrence "T-Will" Williams is set to join the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Lakers.

According to the report, Williams has been acquired off waivers by the D-Fenders.

Here is more from DLeagueDigest.com:

According to a team source, Terrence Williams will join the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA D-League affiliate team, the L.A. D-Fenders.

Williams has been acquired off waivers by the D-Fenders after being rumored to possibly play for both the Maine Red Claws (Boston Celtics NBADL affiliate) and Springfield Armor (Brooklyn Nets NBADL affiliate).

Complete Article

Monday, December 30, 2013

Morehead State Overwhelms Asbury University

Morehead State 102
Asbury University 68

Final from Morehead, Kentucky

Game recap coming soon...

For now, some highlights and a box score:

Kentucky Fans Sing the National Anthem at Rupp Arena

Take a listen as Kentucky's Big Blue Nation comes together to sing the National Anthem before Saturday's game against Louisville:

Andy Katz Names James Young National Player of the Week

Andy Katz of ESPN.com names Kentucky's James Young his national player of the week (click to play):

Marshall Henderson Will be in Kentucky Tonight

Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss will be in Kentucky tonight as they battle Western Kentucky in Bowling Green.

Henderson is averaging 18.7 points and 2.2 assists per game this season.

Tonight's game tips at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Get ready Bowling Green...Marshall Henderson is coming to town:

Murray State Falls Short at Dayton

Dayton 72
Murray State 51

Final from Dayton, Ohio

Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers dropped a 72-51 loss Sunday to the Dayton Flyers at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

MSU put three in double-figure scoring with Cameron Payne getting 13 points. T.J. Sapp added 12 while Jarvis Williams had 10.

The Racers (5-7) jumped out to an 8-2 lead early on six points by Jonathan Fairell and led 11-6 after C.J. Ford made a steal and layup at the 13:41 mark. Sapp hit his first shot coming off the bench at the 12:22 mark and MSU led the Flyers 14-10.

After starting the game 6-of-13 from the field, the Racers found it difficult making shots going 3-of-15 and fell behind UD 33-21 with 1:10 left in the half.

Sapp gave the Racers a big lift with a pair of baskets in the final 12 seconds. He got a screen and scored on an inbounds pass from Jeffery Moss and then picked off a pass with time running out and went the length of the floor and scored a layup at the buzzer to cut Dayton's lead to 33-25 at the half.
Complete Recap

What Did Rick Pitino and John Calipari Talk About Prior to the Game?

What did Rick Pitino and John Calipari talk about prior to Saturday's game in Rupp Arena?

Luckily, CN2 has a camera on the scene. Check it out:

Kentucky's James Young Named SEC Freshman of the Week

Kentucky's James Young has been named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week. Young recorded his first career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds against Louisville.

Here is a release from the SEC:

Kentucky’s James Young, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound freshman guard/forward from Rochester Hills, Mich., was named SEC Freshman of the Week after recording his first career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds against sixth-ranked Louisville. Led the Wildcats in scoring (18), rebounding (10) and assists (4) against the Cardinals. He set new career marks in rebounding and assists. With the game tied at 53, Young drilled a 3-pointer to spark a 13-3 UK run and the ‘Cats never led that fewer than five points the rest of the way.

Louisville Dismisses Chane Behanan for Violation of University Policy

The University of Louisville has announced that forward Chane Behanan has been dismissed from the men's basketball program for a violation of university policy.

Pitino addressed the situation in a press conference.

"We lost a really terrific young man in many respects," Pitino said. "Between the lines, he gave great effort, is a great teammate...a wonderful young guy to be around. Away from the lines, he just did not do the right things over and over and over."

Pitino noted that Behanan could transfer and likely play 70% of a season after sitting out a year. He has not been kicked out of school.

Louisville's Akoy Agau is Suspended Indefinitely...Or IS He?

Last week, the University of Louisville announced via a release that freshman Akoy Agau had been suspended indefinitely.

The suspension didn't last long as Agau playing two minutes against Kentucky on Saturday. No details have been released on his status or circumstances surrounding his suspension.

Ring in the New Year with College Hoops: Schedule for the Week

A new year is on the horizon and there is plenty of college hoops around Kentucky to keep you occupied.

Here is a schedule for the week:

Monday, December 30

5:00 p.m. Hope vs. Centre College (at Thomas More College)
7:00 p.m. Asbury University at Morehead State University (Exhibition for AU)
7:00 p.m. Cincinnati Christian at Thomas More College (Coach Connor Classic)
7:05 p.m. Northern Kentucky University at Florida Gulf Coast*
8:00 p.m. Ole Miss at Western Kentucky University
8:00 p.m. Tennessee Temple at Lindsey Wilson College
8:00 p.m. Taylor University at Brescia University

Tuesday, Decmeber 31

4:00 p.m. Tennessee Temple at University of Pikeville
5:00 p.m. University of Louisville at UCF*
5:00 p.m. Cincinnati Christian vs. Centre College (at Thomas More College)
7:00 p.m. Hope at Thomas More College (Coach Connor Classic)

Wednesday, January 1

7:00 p.m. Northern Kentucky University at Stetson*

Thursday, January 2

6:05 p.m. Western Kentucky University at South Alabama*
7:30 p.m. Kentucky State University at Albany State University*
7:45 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at Cedarville*
8:00 p.m. Southest Missouri at Murray State University*
8:00 p.m. Morehead State University at SIU Edwardsville*
8:00 p.m. Shawnee State at Georgetown College*
8:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at Eastern Illinois*
8:00 p.m. Rio Grande at University of the Cumberlands*
8:00 p.m. University of Pikeville at Bluefield College*
9:00 p.m. St. Catharine College at Cumberland University*
9:00 p.m. Campbellsville University at Lindsey Wilson College*

Friday, January 3

8:30 p.m. Bellarmine University at William Jewell College*

Saturday, January 4

1:00 p.m. Thomas More College at Washington & Jefferson*
1:00 p.m. Western Kentucky University at Troy*
2:00 p.m. St. Andrews at Union College*
3:00 p.m. Morehead State University at Eastern Illinois*
3:00 p.m. Fontbonne University at Spalding University*
3:00 p.m. Sewanee at Centre College*
3:00 p.m. Brescia University at Asbury University*
3:00 p.m. Fort Valley State at Kentucky State University*
4:00 p.m. Shawnee State at University of the Cumberlands*
4:00 p.m. Rio Grande at Georgetown College*
4:00 p.m. Cincinnati Christian at Alice Lloyd College*
4:00 p.m. Anderson University at Transylvania University*
4:00 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at Central State*
5:00 p.m. Campbellsville University at Cumberland University*
5:00 p.m. St. Catharine College at Lindsey Wilson College*
6:00 p.m. University of Louisville at Rutgers*
7:00 p.m. Jacksonville at Northern Kentucky University*
8:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at SIU Edwardsville*

Sunday, January 5

2:00 p.m. Berea College at IU East*
3:00 p.m. UT Martin at Murray State University*
4:00 p.m. Bellarmine University at Rockhurst University
4:00 p.m. Point Park University at Brescia University*

* Conference Game

Shagari Alleyne Gets in the Wrestling Ring

Former University of Kentucky big man Shagari Alleyne made an appearance in the wrestling ring over the weekend.

Alleyne entered the ring with Martin Paquette and referee Martin Tremblay during an independent promotion. Paquette, who stands 7-foot-3, is billed as "the tallest man in Canada."

If my research is correct, the independent event was put together by (or at least included) former WWE wrestler Jacques Rougeau, aka The Mountie.

As far as basketball goes, Alleyne is still playing for the New York Jamm of the Premier Basketball League.

* Photo by Nicole Dutton Tremblay

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rick Pitino Uses Christina Aguilera and Rodrick Rhodes to Explain Louisville Front Court

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino posted an article on his website today to sum up 2013 and prepare for 2014.

Pitino talked about things his team needs to work on as they prepare for conference play and more.

He also gave an interesting analogy to explain his team's front court problems:

Let me give you an analogy of our front court knowing who they are.  It’s like having Christina Aguilera to sing at a concert, she comes out, ignores her great voice and dances for two hours. That's our front court. I remember as if were yesterday asking Rodrick Rhodes, who played for me at UK, this question.  You are a great defender, slasher and passer -- why are you trying to show everyone the 3pt shot is your thing?
People come to watch Christina sing.
People would come to watch Rodrick pass, slash, and defend.
That makes them both good.
In other words, Montrezl and Chane – Need to dominate the paint. Rebound like Kenneth Faried , defend like Dennis Rodman, block shots and dunk.  Score off rip moves and leave the dancing to Justin Timberlake.  After all, what got Amare’ Stoudemire recognized wasn't his jump shot and passing abilities.

Read More

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Video: Louisville's Russ Smith Dunks All Over Julius Randle

Louisville's Russ Smith dunked all over Kentucky's Julius Randle during today's game.

Check out this video:

NBA Scout Hammers Louisville Players, Says Harrison Twins Should Stay in College

Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com spoke to a veteran NBA scout after today's game. The scout made some interesting comments, including his thoughts that the Harrison twins should stay in college.

Here are some excerpts:

On Andrew and Aaron Harrison, who combined for 28 points, 8 rebounds and 7 turnovers and came on strong down the stretch while Randle sat on the bench: “Both of them should stay. To me, I think both have regressed from where they were coming in with all the hype they had. Aaron’s a better shooter. They both struggle to guard perimeter quickness. They both are not consistent shot-makers. Andrew’s just OK. He’s never going to be able to break any NBA  point guard down and at 6-5 you’re not going to be able to post him. I just think they should both stay in school. There’s nothing that either one of them brings that makes you say, ‘Wow, this guy is my point guard or my two guard of the future.’”

The scout said the body language thing — which many say is improving — wasn’t an issue for him.
“I never really worried about that. They’ve been the better players on their teams for a number of years. There’s a lot of hype surrounding them. I’ve never heard or seen them to be bad kids at all,” the scout said. “I don’t even factor that into the equation.”

On James Young, who went for 18 and 10 on 5-for-17 shooting: ”James Young helped himself. The guy’s going to have to get stronger, but he’s a got a knack for scoring. He’s got a beautiful stroke. He can shoot the 3-ball. He’s got a bright future I think.”

On Montrezl Harrell, who managed just 6 points and 4 rebounds as Louisville’s frontcourt players came up empty: “What did he do? What did he do? He’s a zero. He didn’t even get off the bus.”

On Chane Behanan, who went scoreless with 7 rebounds: “Did he come to the gym, did he show up?”

Complete Article

Highlights of Kentucky's Win Over Louisville

Here are the highlights of Kentucky's win over Louisville:

BSC Names James Young Most Valuable Player of Today's Game

The Bluegrass Sports Commission named James Young the Most Valuable Player of today's game. Young finished wit 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Here is a release from the BSC:

The Bluegrass Sports Commission (BSC) named James Young the Most Valuable Player of today's men's basketball game between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. The Wildcats won the game 73-66.

Young, a freshman, notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds to help lead his team to victory in one of college basketball's biggest rivalries.

"We are proud to present this award to James," said BSC Executive Director Terry Johnson. "In a very intense rivalry game, he stood out with an incredible all-around effort."

Young will receive a trophy in recognition of his achievement.

Past winners of the award include:

•Josh Harrellson (UK, 2010)
•Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (UK, 2011)
•Russ Smith (UofL, 2012)

Young Kentucky Wildcats Get First Signature Win Over Louisville

(18) Kentucky 73
(6) Louisville 66

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

The youthful Kentucky Wildcats earned their first signature win of the season Saturday evening as they defeated Louisville 73-66.

Kentucky used several runs in the first half to take a 41-36 advantage into the halftime locker room.

Louisville (11-2) started the second half on fire to tie the game and eventually take the lead 52-51. The Wildcats finally took the lead 55-53 on a James Young jumper with 8:27 to play. From there, Kentucky extended the lead to as many as 10 points and never looked back on the way to victory.

James Young led Kentucky (10-3) with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Andrew Harrison added 18 points and 4 rebounds.

Julius Randle contributed 17 points in the first half, but battled leg cramps and did not score in the second half.

Aaron Harrison chipped in 10 points and the Wildcats. Willie Cauley-Stein only managed 2 points but finished with 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

Kentucky out-rebounded the Cardinals 44-36 and pulled down 17 offensive boards.

Russ Smith led Louisville with 19 points and 4 assists. Smith was 7-for-20 from the field and 0-for-5 from long range. Chris Jones scored 18 points.

Kentucky will be off until January 8 when they open Southeastern Conference play against Mississippi State.

Louisville returns to action Tuesday at Central Florida. That game tips at 5:00 p.m. ET and will be live on ESPN2.

Box Score (click to enlarge):

A.J. Slaughter Named Eurobasket.com Player of the Week in France

Former Western Kentucky University guard A.J. Slaughter has been named Eurobasket.com Player of the Week in France's top-level ProA league for week 14.

Here is more from Eurobasket.com:

American point guard A.J. Slaughter (191-PG-87, agency: Beo Basket) had a great game in the last round for Chalon/Saone, receiving a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 14.

The 26-year old player was the main contributor (28 points, two rebounds and nine assists) to his team's victory, helping them to outclass Nanterre (#5, 9-5) with 42-point margin 105-63. Chalon maintains the 8th position in French ProA. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Chalon will need more victories to improve their 8-6 record. In the team's last game Slaughter had a remarkable 71.4% from 2-point range. He turned to be Chalon's top player in his first season with the team. Former Western Kentucky University star has very solid stats this year. Slaughter is league's best scorer averaging so far 19.6ppg. Slaughter is in league's top in assists (9th best: 4.6apg) and averages impressive 51.9% FGP and 44.6% from behind 3-point line.

Read More

UK's Dominique Hawkins, Alex Poythress Talk About Louisville

Kentucky's Dominique Hawkins and Alex Poythress talk about today's game against Louisville:

Friday, December 27, 2013

75 Media Members (Including Me) Make Predictions on Kentucky vs. Louisville

John Clay of the Herald-Leader surveyed 75 or so media members, including myself, today to get their prediction on Saturday's Louisville vs. Kentucky game.

Here are my thoughts:

Anthony Wireman (All KY Hoops) says Kentucky 73, Louisville 72. This could go either way but I’m picking UK based on home court advantage, post play and early-season scheduling.

Some other notables:

Dick Vitale (ESPN) says Kentucky 74, Louisville 70. Cats will dig in says VBDI & bring joy to BBN.

Eric Prisbell (USA Today) says Louisville 83, Kentucky 82. I still believe UK will be the better team come march, but U of L, flying under the radar all season, is the more complete team today.

Dana O’Neil (ESPN) says Louisville 78, Kentucky 71. The Cards’ overall experience outweighs Kentucky’s inside advantage in a game where jitters will matter.

Gary Parrish (CBS Sports) says Kentucky 81, Louisville 80. I’d likely take Louisville right now on a neutral court. But I think UK is good enough to win this game inside Rupp Arena.

Andy Katz (ESPN) says Kentucky 72, Louisville 70. The difference will be Julius Randle, the one area of the floor where the Wildcats have a decided advantage.

Jeff Goodman (ESPN) says Kentucky 71, Louisville 69. It’s a complete toss-up, but I’m going with the home team here. Cards still not in sync yet.

Pat Forde (Yahoo) says Louisville 74, Kentucky 72. Russ Smith, overshadowed by freshmen this season, will remind everyone why he’s an All-American in a gym where he always shines.

Mike Decourcy (Sporting News) says Louisville 72, Kentucky 69. Last year’s Wildcats at least showed a level of comfort at home. This team hasn’t yet embraced any court as a place to comfortably do business.

John Clay (Lexington Herald-Leader) says Kentucky 94, Louisville 92. The hope is that this will be the most exciting UK-U of L game ever. Cats get the win because Cats need the win.

Check Out the Complete List

All the Early Money is Being Bet on Louisville to Win

The Vegas line for Kentucky and Louisville opened as a pick 'em but has already shifted to the Cards being favored by 3 points.

That means all the early money is being bet on Louisville to win.

You can follow the lines at VegasInsider.com.

John Calipari Previews Louisville and More

Kentucky head coach John Calipari previews the Louisville game and more:

UK to Give Away First of a Four Collective Posters at the Louisville Game

UK will give away the first of a four-part men's basketball poster series tomorrow at the Louisville game in Rupp Arena.

Here are details from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky will unveil the first of a four-part men’s basketball poster series on Saturday at the Kentucky-Louisville game at Rupp Arena.

The four-poster series will feature current Wildcats on the men’s basketball roster throughout the remainder of the home schedule.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early. Doors open 90 minutes prior to tip-off.

The first 7,000 fans in attendance at Saturday’s game will be able to pick up the poster upon entry.

Video: Rupp Arena Weekend Time Lapse

Check out this weekend time lapse of Rupp Arena which shows the transition from the Kentucky's men's basketball team to the women's team:

Louisville Ballard Overcomes Euless Trinity and Myles Turner in Whataburger Tournament

Louisville Ballard, the top-ranked team in Kentucky, defeated Euless Trinity (Tex.) 72-70 in the first round of the Whataburger Basketball Tournament.

Butler signee Kelan Martin drained a game-winning three-pointer with 5 seconds to go to give Ballard the win.

Martin led the Bruins with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Louisville signee Quentin Snider finished with 17 points and 6 assists.

Kentucky recruit Myles Turner, a five-star center, finished with 25 points.

Ballard (10-1) returns to action today at 3:00 p.m. against Atascocita (Tex.) and Oklahoma State signee Joe Burton.

Atascocita defeated Arlington Martin (Tex.) 67-65 to advance in the winner's bracket. They also feature 6-foot-11 center Zach Haney.

Here's a look at the Orange Division bracket (click to enlarge):

Former Cat Marquis Estill is Coaching at Dunbar

Former University of Kentucky big man Marquis Estill is now an assistant coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington.

Estill spent last season as an undergraduate assistant at Kentucky.

WTVQ has the story:

Detroit Sends Rookie Peyton Siva to the D-League

The Detroit Pistons have sent former Louisville star Peyton Siva to the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

Here is more from Freep.com:

With an upcoming stretch of inactivity, the Detroit Pistons decided the time was right to send rookies Tony Mitchell and Peyton Siva to the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

The team made the announcement today. The two players were to watch the Mad Ants against Reno on tonight, practice Friday and suit up Saturday against Rio Grande Valley.

The D-League schedule runs until April, but the plan is for Mitchell and Siva to stay only for a couple of weeks.

Complete Article

Thursday, December 26, 2013

ESPN's Seth Greenberg Breaks Down Kentucky vs. Louisville

ESPN's Seth Greenberg breaks down Saturday's rivalry game between Kentucky and Louisville:

*Video courtesy of ESPN.com

The Pikeville Invitational Tournament Begins Today

The Pikeville Invitational Tournament is underway at Pikeville High School.

Morgan County and Betsy are currently playing.

Here's a schedule for the entire event:

Team 1    vsTeam 2    DateTimeLocation
Betsy Layne vsMorgan Co. 12/263pmPikeville
Paintsville vsNorth Laurel 12/264:45pmPikeville
Phelps vsLetcher Central 12/266:30pmPikeville
Pikeville vsJune Buchanon 12/268:15pmPikeville
TBD 1 vsTBD 2 12/276:30pmPikeville
TBD 3 vsTBD 4 12/278:15pmPikeville
TBD 5 vsTBD 6 12/288;15PMPikeville

Republic Bank Classic Underway at Lexington Catholic, Field is Loaded

The 2013 Republic Bank Holiday Classic is underway at Lexington Catholic High School.

The field features some of Kentucky's top teams and players.

Here's a bracket (click to enlarge):

UK Signee Devin Booker Scores 42 Points in Loss

Kentucky signee Devin Booker topped the 40-point mark again today as he has 42 points in a loss to Apex.

BALLisLIFEeast Apex wins by 5 - Devin Booker ends the game with 42 for Moss Point #HSOTInvite

BALLisLIFEeast Devin Booker went 17-17 from the free throw line in the loss #HSOTInvite

Bulls Send Marquis Teague Back to the NBA Development League

The Chicago Bulls have sent former Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague back to the NBA Development League.

Teague will be sent to the Iowa Energy and his stay is expected to be a lengthy one.

Here is more from ChicagoTribune.com:

The Bulls on Thursday assigned second-year point guard Marquis Teague to their Developmental League affiliate, the Iowa Energy. This time, the move will stick.

Earlier this month, Teague flew to Iowa for a Development League assignment only to return the same day when veteran guard Mike James sprained his right MCL. James has since been waived.

Complete Article

Lindsey Wilson Head Coach Paul Peck Earns 500th Career Win

Lindsey Wilson 108
West Virginia Tech 52

Final from Columbia, Kentucky

Game recap by LWC:

COLUMBIA, Ky. – Head coach Paul Peck earned his 500th career win as the Lindsey Wilson men's basketball team defeated West Virginia Tech 108-52 at Biggers Sports Center on Friday night.

Lindsey Wilson (8-5) finished the game with four players in double-digits led by Anthony Crenshaw with a career-high 24 points. D'on Hall finished the game with 18 points while Tony Horne added 12 points and six rebounds. Keshaun Mayfield had a team-high 11 rebounds and six assists. Tyrie Orosco finished the game with 12 points and nine rebounds while Roderick Clark had a team-high five steals in the win.

The Blue Raiders jumped out to a 22-5 lead as Hall scored 12 of his 18 points in the first 6:07 of the game. Lindsey Wilson would continue to put pressure on West Virginia Tech as they expanded the lead to 35-9 after a 13-4 run with 8:49 left in the half.

Lindsey Wilson shot 47.5 percent from the field as they took a 53-21 lead into halftime. The Blue Raiders held West Virginia Tech to 22.6 percent shooting in the half as they missed seven three-point shots.

Complete Recap

Brandon Knight on Wrong End of Best Dunk and Best Crossover of 2013

Former Kentucky star Brandon Knight has developed into one of the NBA's bright young stars but he had some growing pains last season.

Unfortunately, Knight ended up on the wrong end of the best dunk and the best crossover of the 2012-13 season:

AlexKennedyNBA Brandon Knight was on the wrong end of 2013's best dunk (http://sulia.com/alexkennedynba/f/88787b98-1af4-45d5-827c-6bb0ab9bff1a/…) and best crossover (http://sulia.com/my_thoughts/fac686e1-50d3-4afe-8bcd-c51bb2f5a7bc/ …).

Prayers Out to SIU Head Coach Barry Hinson

Last week, Southern Illinois head coach Barry Hinson made us all laugh with his hilarious postgame rant following a loss at Murray State.

This week, things became much more serious for Hinson as his son-in-law passed away unexpectedly on Christmas morning.

I would like to ask all readers to extend a prayer to Coach Hinson and his family.

Here is a message from SIU Athletics:

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University offers its deepest condolences to men's basketball head coach Barry Hinson and his family. Hinson's son-in-law, Niles Thomason, passed away suddenly on Christmas morning.

"Words cannot express the grief and sadness we are feeling upon hearing the news of Coach Hinson's loss of a family member," said SIU Athletic Director Mario Moccia. "As a University, we stand by Barry's and Angie's side to offer them our heartfelt support. We ask Saluki Nation to keep the Hinsons in their thoughts and prayers."

Thomason and Tiffany Hinson married in 2004, reside in Colorado and have one son, Carter.

Highlights from Kentucky 's Win Over Belmont

Check out the highlights from Kentucky's win over Belmont on Saturday:

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Morehead State Comes Up Short in the Paint at Tennessee

Tennessee 82
Morehead State 67

Final from Knoxville, Tennessee

The Tennessee Volunteers dominated the paint and cruised to an 82-67 win over Morehead State Monday night in Knoxville.

Tennessee (7-4) out-rebounded the Eagles 49-28 during the game. The Volunteers pulled down 17 offensive boards and scored 20 second chance points.

Josh Richardson led the way for Tennessee with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Jeronne Maymon added 16 points and 8 boards. Jarnell Stokes chipped in 13 points and 9 rebounds. Derek Reese came off the bench to put in 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Angelo Warner and Brent Arrington led Morehead State (8-6) with 16 points each. Drew Kelly finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds.

Tennessee was 23-for-61 (52.5%) from the field while Morehead State finished 25-for-61 (41.0%).

The Eagles will be off this week for Christmas before hosting Asbury University Monday night at 7:00 p.m.

Morehead State will then enter Ohio Valley Conference games in January with a road trip to SIU Edwardsville (Jan. 2) and Eastern Illinois (Jan. 4).

Box Score (click to enlarge):

John Calipari Sends a Christmas Message

Kentucky head coach John Calipari posted a Christmas message over at CoachCal.com today.

Check it out (click to play):

Lindsey Wilson's D'on Hall Earns Mid-South Conference Honors for Second Straight Week

Lindsey Wilson College's D'on Hall was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Week for the second consecutive week on Monday.

Here is a release from the MSC:

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) junior D'on Hall is the Mid-South Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, conference officials announced on Monday.

The weekly honor is the second straight this season for Hall.

Hall averaged 22 points and five rebounds per game last week for the Blue Raiders in a pair of Lindsey Wilson wins.

The San Bernardino, Calif., forward recorded a career-high 26 in Lindsey Wilson's 74-73 triple overtime win over No. 24-ranked Martin Methodist (Tenn.) on Wednesday. During his career night, Hall scored 12 of the Blue Raiders' 14 points in the three overtimes while pulling down eight rebounds in nearly 50 minutes of action.

On Friday, Hall scored 18 points in just 19 minutes of action as the Blue Raiders won their third straight with a 108-52 win over West Virginia Tech.

Hall finished the week making 47.2 percent (17-of-36) of his shots and all six of his free throw attempts. He added 2.5 steals and 1.5 assists per game.

Hall averages 12.1 points per game this season for the Blue Raiders. He ranks third in the Mid-South with an 89.7 free throw shooting percentage and tied for ninth with 18 3-point field goals.

Complete Release

John Wall Videobombs Trevor Ariza During Interview

Watch as John Wall videobombs Washington Wizards' teammate Trevor Ariza:

Julius Randle Moves to Top of SN's Fab Four Freshman List This Week

Following a 29-point, 10-rebound performance against Belmont, Kentucky's Julius Randle is back on top of Sporting News' Fab Four Freshman rankings this week.

Randle tops the list, followed by Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon and Andrew Wiggins.

Here's an excerpt about Randle:

Why he’s No. 1 this week … Randle had a monster game against a plucky Belmont squad. The Bruins led by two at halftime, but had no answers for Randle, who scored 15 points (3-for-3 from the field, 9-for-11 from the free-throw line) in the second half. He finished the game with a career-high 29 points, to go with 10 rebounds.

Year-to-date averages: 18.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.1 steals

Kenpom.com: 115.0 offensive rating, 54.8 eFG, 29.8 percent of possessions used

On tap: December 28, vs. Louisville

Complete Article

Monday, December 23, 2013

Drew Kelly, T.J. Sapp Earn OVC Weekly Awards

Morehead State's Drew Kelly has been named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week following his 40-point, 12-rebound outburst against South Dakota.

Murray State's T.J. Sapp is the OVC Newcomer of the Week following two big games last week.

Here is the release from the OVC:


Drew Kelly, F • Sr., 6-6, 230 • Franklin, Tenn. • Morehead State

Kelly became the first OVC player to score 40 or more points in a game since the 2011-12 season in a 120-83 blowout victory over South Dakota last Thursday. The senior hit 14-of-23 (60.9%) shots, 8-of-12 (66.7%) 3-pointers and 4-of-4 free throws on his way to a career-high 40 points. Kelly also added a career-high 12 rebounds to net his first double-double of the season. It was the most points by a Morehead State player since Feb. 15, 2003 and his eight made 3-pointers was just one off the MSU single-game record. Overall it was one of just five 40-plus point efforts by an OVC player over the last 10 years (dating back through the 2004-05 season). Kelly had entered the game averaging just 5.5 points/game and had scored just 36 points over his previous seven contests.

Others Nominated: Chris Horton, Austin Peay; Craig Bradshaw, Belmont; Sherman Blanford, Eastern Illinois; Marcus Lewis, Eastern Kentucky; Darion Rackley, Jacksonville State; T.J. Sapp, Murray State; Tyler Stone, Southeast Missouri; Patrick Miller, Tennessee State; Dennis Ogbe, Tennessee Tech; Terence Smith, UT Martin.


T.J Sapp, G • Jr., 6-3, 190 • Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. • Murray State

Sapp, the transfer from Clemson, made his Murray State debut last week in Racer games against Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky. Coming off the bench the guard averaged 20.0 points, 2.0 steals, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists/game and hit 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from the field, 77.8 percent (7-of-9) from 3-point range and was a perfect 11-of-11 at the foul line. Against SIU he entered the game and scored nine points in just over two minutes of play to spark the Racers to a victory. In 17 minutes of action in that contest he scored 15 points, had two steals, two rebounds, a block and an assist. Four days later he scored 25 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting against the Hilltoppers. In that contest the junior also had two assists, two steals and a rebound.

Others Nominated: Drew Windler, Belmont; Chris Olivier, Eastern Illinois; Avery Moore, Jacksonville State; Kareem Storey, Morehead State; Jarekious Bradley, Southeast Missouri; Kennedy Eubanks, Tennessee State; Ladon Carter, Tennessee Tech; Marshun Newell, UT Martin.

Complete Release

UK's Aaron Harrison Named SEC Freshman of the Week

Kentucky's Aaron Harrison has been named SEC Freshman of the Week following his terrific performance in Saturday's win over Belmont.

Harrison had 23 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in the win.

Here is the release from the SEC:

Freshman of the Week

Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison, a 6-foot-6, 218-pound freshman guard from Richmond, Texas, was named SEC Freshman of the Week after scoring 23 points to go with seven assists and six rebounds in a win over Belmont. Harrison has scored 20 or more points in consecutive games and four times this season. He dished out a career-high seven assists while coming within one board of tying his career-best with six rebounds. He converted eight of his 11 free throw attempts.

Complete Release

Sources: Dikembe Dixson, Montrell Dixson No Longer Part of Thomas Nelson Program

I am told by multiple sources that Dikembe Dixson and Montrell Dixson are no longer with the Thomas Nelson High School basketball program.

Both players played with the team in the King of the Bluegrass event but will not be with the program moving forward.

No details about the situation are known at this time.

Thomas Nelson is off to a 3-4 start this season.

Cauley-Stein, Polson and Randle Talk About Win Over Belmont

Kentucky's Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and Jarrod Polson talk about Saturday's win over Belmont:

Kenneth Faried Listed as Day-To-Day with Ankle Sprain

Former Morehead State star Kenneth Faried is officially listed as day-to-day after suffering an ankle sprain over the weekend.

X-rays on Faried's ankle were negative.

Houston Rockets Call Up Isaiah Canaan from the D-League

The Houston Rockets have called former Murray State star Isaiah Canaan up from the D-League.

The Rockets are dealing with several injured players in the regular rotation.

Canaan averaged 21.7 points and 9.2 assists per game with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Photo: NBA.com

Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Schedule for the Week

It's Christmas week and the college basketball schedule is light around Kentucky.

The only game before Christmas will be Morehead State at Tennessee Monday night in Knoxville.

The weekend gets underway with Northern Kentucky at North Carolina and is highlighted by Louisville at Kentucky.

Here's a look at the complete schedule:

Monday, December 23

7:00 p.m. Morehead State University at Tennessee

Tuesday, December 24

No Games

Wednesday, December 25

No Games

Thursday, December 26

No Games

Friday, December 27

7:00 p.m. Northern Kentucky University at North Carolina

Saturday, December 28

4:00 p.m. University of Louisville at University of Kentucky
8:00 p.m. Brescia University at Western Kentucky University

Sunday, December 29

2:00 p.m. Murray State University at Dayton
2:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at IPFW
2:00 p.m. Miami-University Hamilton at Georgetown College

Sunday, December 22, 2013

John Calipari Talks About the Win Over Belmont and More

Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks about Saturday's win over Belmont and more:

Enes Kanter Uses Note to "Talk Trash" to Former Teammate Al Jefferson

Utah Jazz big man Enes Kanter sent a funny note to former teammate Al Jefferson before the Jazz played the Bobcats.

Jefferson won the battle on the court, however, as he finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kanter put in 8 points and 4 boards in 18 minutes.

Kanter and the Jazz still earned the last laugh as they won the game 88-85.

dlocke09 Note Enes Kanter left for Al Jefferson. An all time classic

Saturday, December 21, 2013

LCA's Brad Calipari Goes Down with Knee Injury

Lexington Christian Academy point guard Brad Calipari went down with a knee injury in last night's game against Paris.

Calipari, the son of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, was going up for a layup when the injury occurred.

I'm told by a source close to the LCA program that an MRI revealed that Calipari suffered a torn ACL.

Calipari posted this on Twitter last night:

The_bcal25 Minor set back for an even greater come back..

Japeth Aguilar Named Player of the Week in the Philippines

Former Western Kentucky University big man Japeth Aguilar was named Eurobasket Player of the Week  in the Philippines earlier this week.

Aguilar had 22 points and 12 rebounds in Barangay Ginebra's 78-69 win over Air21 Express.

Here is more from Asia-basket.com:

Center Japeth Aguilar (206-C-85) put on an amazing game in the last round for second-ranked Barangay Ginebra, receiving a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 7.

The 28-year old player had a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds, while his team beat Air21 Express (#10, 1-7) 78-69. Barangay Ginebra maintains the 2nd position in Filipino PBA. They are still close to the very top. Barangay Ginebra would have been even better if they kept winning the games like in the last round. They have a solid 6-1 record. Aguilar turned to be Barangay Ginebra's top player in his first season with the team. Former Western Kentucky University star has very solid stats this year. Aguilar is in league's top in points (4th best: 19.2ppg), rebounds (8th best: 9.0rpg) and averages impressive 3.5bpg.


Friday, December 20, 2013

North Carolina Announces that P.J. Hairston's College Career is Over

North Carolina will not seek reinstatement for embattled junior guard P.J. Hairston. As a result, Hairston's college career is over.

Here is the release from UNC:

CHAPEL HILL - The University of North Carolina will not seek reinstatement from the NCAA for men's basketball junior guard P.J. Hairston. The Greensboro, N.C., native has already sat out 10 games this season due to eligibility issues.

 "Unfortunately P.J. made a number of mistakes that placed his eligibility at risk and the University's joint review with the NCAA made it clear that seeking reinstatement for P.J. would not be possible," says director of athletics Bubba Cunningham. "The University thanks him for his contributions to Carolina Basketball.

"We also want to thank Coach Williams for the way in which he has held the team together over the early stages of this season despite not having two veteran players and for the level of care and concern he has for the young men on his team," says Cunningham. "We are glad that Leslie McDonald was reinstated and look forward to watching his Tar Heel teammates and him compete the rest of this season."

Hairston scored 707 points and made 127 three-pointers in 71 games as a Tar Heel. Last year, he led UNC in scoring at 14.6 points per game and connected on 89 threes, the second-most in Carolina single-season history.

Complete Release

Akoy Agau Has Been Suspended Indefinitely by Louisville

The Louisville Cardinals have suspended freshman forward Akoy Agau indefinitely for unknown reasons.

Here is a release from UL:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville forward Akoy Agau has been suspended indefinitely from the Cardinals' men's basketball team.  A 6-foot-8 freshman from Omaha, Neb., Agau (pronounced uh-KOY uh-GOW; like cow with a "G") has appeared in seven games this season, scoring two points and grabbing seven rebounds. He averaged 12.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and blocked 81 shots as a senior last season in leading Omaha Central to a 26-4 record and a fourth straight Nebraska Class A state championship.
Louisville (10-1) play at FIU on Saturday (6 p.m., Fox Sports 1).

Kentucky Wesleyan Hammers St. Joseph's for Sixth Straight Win

Kentucky Wesleyan 102
St. Joseph's 79

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky

Game recap by KWC:

Kentucky Wesleyan led almost the entire game and held St. Joseph's, a team averaging 94.6 points per game heading into Wednesday's game, to under 80 points.

Still, after a 102-79 victory over the Pumas at the Sportscenter, coach Happy Osborne wasn't ready to get too excited about the win.

"The goal was in the 60s. I'm not happy with 79," said KWC's first-year defensive-minded coach. "We quit guarding late."

Nevertheless, the effort was good enough for KWC's sixth win in a row and bumped the Panthers' record to 7-5 on the season heading into Saturday's rematch at Southern Indiana.

The Panthers got a balanced effort scoring-wise, including four players in double figures, and shot a blistering 57.8 percent from the field while scoring 56 points in the paint.

KWC also forced 15 turnovers and turned those into 25 points while also winning the rebounding battle by a convincing 45-21 margin.

KWC used an 18-6 run to close out the final 5:25 of the first half to take a 50-32 lead into halftime.

After a sluggish start to the second half, James Herzog buried a 3 at the 14:35 mark to make it a 57-38 game to keep the Panthers out by a convincing margin. The Pumas (3-6) never got closer than 14 points and trailed by as many as 27 in the second half.

KWC got a solid second-half performance from sophomore forward Devin Langford, a 6-foot-7 transfer from Illinois who missed the first 10 games of the season due to suspension.

He played 10 minutes in the second half and scored all 12 points of points in the second half on 4-of-6 shooting, including a couple poweful dunks. He also grabbed four rebounds in his second game back from suspension.

"I think Devin kind of showed glimpses of what he can do," Osborne said.

Complete Recap

Brandon Knight Scores Career-High 36 Points in Loss

Former Kentucky star Brandon Knight had arguably his best game as a pro Wednesday night when he scored 36 points in a 106-101 loss to the New York Knicks.

Knight was 13-for-25 from the field and 6-for-12 from the three-point line. He also pulled down 9 rebounds and dished out 3 assists.

Here are some highlights:

No. 2 Bellarmine Moves to 8-0 with Win Over Fairmont State

(2) Bellarmine 81
Fairmont State 72

Final from Fairmont, West Virginia

Game recap by BU:

FAIRMONT, W.V.—The No. 2 Bellarmine Knights withstood a 13-0 second half run from Fairmont State, then dug in and pulled out a gritty 81-72 victory over the Fighting Falcons at Joe Retton Arena in and NCAA Division II non-conference game.

The Knights (8-0) got a career high 28 points from Vance Hall and a double-double from Jake Thelen with 22 points and 11 rebounds.  However, perhaps the most valuable performance came from Corbin Maynard who came up with clutch steals and a key offensive rebound coming down the stretch.

"For our guys to come into this environment on the road and come away with a win…I'm very happy," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport, who added the Fairmont media and the university had pulled out all the stops to promote the game. "We will savor this (win) every minute of our six hour ride home."

The Knights and Fighting Falcons (7-3) went toe-to-toe in the game's early going with nine lead changes in the first 10 minutes.  Bellarmine relied on its customary hot shooting to establish their 45-37 halftime lead as the Knights committed 10 first half turnovers but shot 63 percent in the opening 20 minutes.

In the second period, Bellarmine quickly opened up a 12-point lead, but the Falcons upped their defensive pressure and scored 13 straight to take the lead 50-49. A pair of Rusty Troutman free throws put Bellarmine back on top 51-50.

Complete Recap

John Calipari Talks About Saturday's Game Against Belmont and More

Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks about tomorrow's game against Belmont and more:

Highlights: Morehead State's Drew Kelly Drops 40 Points on South Dakota

Here are some highlights of Morehead State senior Drew Kelly going for a career high 40 points against South Dakota:

Kelly was 14-for-23 from the field and 8-for-12 from the three-point line. He also pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked 2 shots.

Morehead State Dismantles South Dakota, Senior Drew Kelly Has Career Night

Morehead State 120
South Dakota 83

Final from Morehead, Kentucky

Game recap by MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Senior Drew Kelly, playing in his 102nd Morehead State men's basketball game, erupted for career highs of 40 points, 12 rebounds, 14 field goals and eight three-pointers in a 120-83 win over South Dakota on Thursday evening at Johnson Arena.

"Drew certainly brought it tonight," Head Coach Sean Woods said.  "We had a recent heart-to-heart about this being his last season and how we're not going to be successful if he doesn't bring it every night.  Everyone is rooting for Drew, and that's why this performance was so great to see."

Kelly, who posted 18 points in the first half and 22 more after intermission, drilled 14-of-23 from the field, 8-of-12 from long distance and all four of his free-throw attempts in 28 minutes.  He had recorded just 36 points in his previous seven games combined.

"Drew has played basketball all of his life," Woods said.  "I just told him to go relax, have fun and do what he's capable of doing.  I've known about Drew's potential for these types of big performances.  He got in a rhythm early tonight, and our guards continued to feed him."

Morehead State's offensive outburst marked the Ohio Valley Conference's top performance in 2013-14.  The Eagles tallied season highs for assists (32), field-goals made (44), three-pointers made (17) and three-point percentage (.531) in addition to recording 14 steals.

Kelly's effort marked the most points by an OVC player this season.  He was one three-point field goal from tying the school record, as was Morehead State as a team.

The Eagles improve to 8-5 overall and 4-1 at home with the victory.  MSU has now won 82 percent (64-14) of its home contests over the past six seasons.  The Coyotes, who compete in the Summit League, slip to 3-8 overall and 1-6 on the road with their fifth straight loss.

"Tonight was as good of a performance as we've had in my two seasons at Morehead State," Woods said.  "We got contributions from everyone who played, which was great to see.  From top to bottom, we really lost ourselves in the game for the first time this season."

Sophomore Brent Arrington added 19 points for MSU, while junior Angelo Warner posted 16, senior Chad Posthumus managed 14, junior Luke Pajkovic registered 11 and junior Billy Reader had 10.  Warner now owns 41 double-figure scoring efforts in 77 career tilts.

Junior Kareem Storey tied a school standard with 16 assists.  The Eagles finished with just 11 turnovers and nearly a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Complete Recap

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dante Exum Will Likely Enter NBA Draft, Still Plans to Visit Kentucky

Dante Exum, perhaps the top guard prospect in the Class of 2014, plans to visit his Kentucky soon.

Exum, a 6-foot-6 point guard, will also visit Indiana, North Carolina, Michigan and Oregon.

GoodmanESPN Dante Exum (@daanteee) told ESPN that he still intends to set up college visits to 5 finalists soon -- Indiana, UNC, UK, Michigan, Oregon.

Even though Exum plans to visit several colleges, he is still expected to put his name in next summer's NBA Draft.

GoodmanESPN Prevailing thought among NBA types is that Dante Exum will wind up putting his name in NBA Draft. But still going thru recruiting process.

Photo: Rivals.com

Kentucky's Cauley-Stein, Andrew Harrison Preview Belmont and More

Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein and Andrew Harrison talk about Saturday's game against Belmont and more:

Trey Lyles and Arsenal Tech vs. Huntington Prep Tonight on ESPN

Kentucky signee and Arsenal Tech (Ind.) will battle Huntington Prep (W.Va.) tonight on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Huntington Prep features several top recruits including JaQuan Lyle and Kentucky target Montaque Gill-Caesar.

Arsenal Tech defeated Huntington Prep 54-51 two weeks ago at the Marshall County Hoopfest.

Northern Kentucky Gets Past Hampton in Overtime

Northern Kentucky 69
Hampton 67 F/OT

Final from Highland Heights, Kentucky

Game recap by NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Jordan Jackson's driving ability helped Northern Kentucky get back into Wednesday's game against Hampton, and then he won it by drilling a jump shot at the end of overtime.

Jackson, a junior guard who scored seven of his game-high 21 points in the final 4:05 of regulation and six more in overtime, sank a 17-foot jumper from just to the right of the key with 0.9 seconds left in overtime to give Northern Kentucky a 69-67 win over Hampton before a crowd of 1,092 at The Bank of Kentucky Center.

Northern Kentucky (3-7), which won its second straight game and beat Hampton (5-6) for the second consecutive year by two points (the Norse won 54-52 at Hampton last season), had a chance to win in regulation after it battled back from a 41-29 deficit it faced with 14:12 remaining, but Jackson missed a short runner along the left baseline as time expired.

Northern Kentucky's winning basket came after sophomore guard Todd Johnson forced Hampton into an over-and-back violation and the Norse were able to inbound along their own baseline with 11 seconds left in the overtime. Jackson inbounded the ball to sophomore center Jake Giesler, who handed it to Jackson, who dribbled out to the top of the key to go one-on-one. After hurting Hampton down the stretch and early in the first half driving the ball, he opted to pull up and shoot the 17-foot jumper instead.

"How odd is it that the guy who drives it the best, one of the best guys we've ever had here exploding to the rim hits a 17-foot jump shot to win the game," said NKU head coach Dave Bezold. "We called a safety where we knew their big was a little slow in getting out so we got it to Jake and he handed it Jordan and we just want to isolate him and he has to go make a play for us. The ball's in his hands and he did a heckuva job. He had to make up for the missed layup at the end of regulation."

Jackson said he took what Hampton's defense gave him.

"I just noticed they were all packed in the paint and heavy on my left side so I figured why not just pull up," he said. "I thought it was going in all the way."

Hampton's Brian Darden attempted a 40-footer at the buzzer, but the ball hit the rim and bounced to the floor.

Complete Recap

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