Friday, May 31, 2013

Battle of the Midwest AAU Tournament at St. Catharine College in June

Coaches, sign up now for the Battle of the Midwest AAU Tournament at St. Catharine College.

Here are details:

Walter McCarty Inspires Boston Marathon Runners

Former Kentucky star Walter McCarty inspires Boston Marathon runners looking to run the last mile of the event that was prevented due to acts of terrorism:

Daniel Orton Stops By Thunder Basketball Camp

Former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton stopped by the Thunder youth basketball camp this morning.

Here is more from NBA.com:

At a youth camp on Friday morning, Orton stopped by to help a group of five-to-eight year-old children learn the game of basketball and have some fun. Along with their coaches, Keaton Peery and Alex Moorehead, Orton taught the campers a number of different basic skills, from jump shots to dribbling.


“I can see how this can be beneficial to kids like this at such a young age,” Orton said. “Just (encouraging) the work ethic to work hard at whatever you do.”

While children at this age often need entertainment to keep them focused, Orton and the coaches managed to keep the kids engaged with a variety of basketball drills and games. The camp started with shooting drills on a lowered goal helping the campers learn mechanics, then moved into a fun “knockout” competition, in which Orton participated. Mixing drills with games is a perfect way to both teach and ensure that the kids have fun, but is also a crucial aspect to Peery and Moorehead’s ability to help campers learn.

“With just the basic fundamentals of basketball, they can go a long way,” Moorehead said. “If they learn the fundamentals now and specialize in them, they’ll be great later on. We’re trying to teach them that fundamentals are very, very important.”

Complete Article

Rick Pitino Hanging Out with Big Black in Miami

Christopher "Big Black" Boykin, an outspoken Louisville fan, and Rick Pitino have been hanging out together in Miami.

Here are the two posing together for a picture (HT: TheCardinalConnect.com):

Chris "Birdman" Andersen Destroys Tyler Hansbrough

The Miami Heat's Chris "Birdman" Andersen hammered Indiana's Tyler Hansbrough last night in the Eastern Conference finals.

While I'm not Hansbrough fans, I find it ironic that Birdman is able to play on after such a flagrant and intentional foul. I'm sure Nazr Mohammed is wondering the same thing:


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ohio State President Takes Shots at Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame and the SEC

Ohio State University president Gordon Gee recently took plenty of cheap shots at the SEC, Kentucky, Louisville and Notre Dame in statements made publicly.
Here is an excerpt of Gee's comments:

During his comments to the Athletic Council, Gee also questioned the academic integrity of schools in the Southeastern Conference and the University of Louisville.


The top goal of Big Ten presidents is to "make certain that we have institutions of like-minded academic integrity," Gee said. "So you won't see us adding Louisville," which is also joining the ACC.

After a pause followed by laughter from the audience, Gee added that the Big Ten wouldn't add the University of Kentucky, either.

Louisville spokesman Mark Hebert said the university accepted Gee's apology but planned to forward Gee information about the upward trajectory of its academic and athletic programs.

During the meeting, Gee also said he thought it was a mistake not to include Missouri and Kansas in earlier Big Ten expansion plans. Missouri has since joined the SEC.

"You tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write, then they can figure out what we're doing," Gee said, when asked by a questioner how to respond to SEC fans who say the Big Ten can't count because it now has 14 members.

Read More

2012-13 NBA Season Highlights of John Wall

Check out these 2012-13 NBA season highlights of former Kentucky star John Wall:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Study Says Louisville Has Best Fans in College Basketball, UK 7th

According to a study by Emory Sports Marketing Analytics, Louisville has the best fans in college basketball.

Kentucky ranks 7th in the study of "College Basketbal
l Fan Equity."

Here's an explanation:

For our College Basketball Fan Equity analysis we use a “Revenue Premium” method. The intuition of this approach is that fan base quality is reflected in a school’s men’s basketball revenue relative to the team’s performance. To accomplish our analysis, we use a statistical model that predicts team revenues as a function of the team’s performance, as measured by winning rates and post season success. The key insight is that when a team achieves revenues that greatly exceed what would be expected based on team performance, it is an indication of significant brand equity. The analysis therefore avoids bandwagon effects and gets at the core loyal fan bases.


The table provides the top ten overall schools. Number one on the list also happens to be the most recent NCAA champion Louisville (note these ranking were computed prior to this past tournament). Louisville scores so well because they have a great tradition, and play in a decent sized metropolitan area that does not have any pro teams. The list does include many of the usual suspects such as Arizona, Duke and North Carolina. How does this relate to recruiting? Simple, strong fan bases equate to strong and high profile programs. If an athlete wants exposure and opportunities to play on a big stage, then it makes sense to seek out a high brand equity program. Of course, if the goal is to make it to the NBA, then this may or may not be the best strategy (we will get to this point as the NBA draft approaches).

Complete Article


Here’s the top ten:

1. Louisville
2. Arizona
3. Duke
4. Arkansas
5. North Carolina
6. Texas
7. Kentucky
8. Syracuse
9. Marquette
10. Oklahoma State

Sources: Winston Bennett Relieved of Duties at Mid-Continent

I have been told tonight by two sources close to Mid-Continent University that head coach Winston Bennett has been relieved of his duties.

Bennett was a star at Male High School and the University of Kentucky. He spent time in the NBA as both a player and assistant coach before landing the head coaching job at Kentucky State.

Off the court, Bennett works as a motivational speaker and author.

I have been unable to confirm the report but one source said an official announcement will likely be made tomorrow.

Mid Continent is a member of the NAIA and the Trans South Conference. I am told the school is going to conduct a national search for a replacement, starting next week.

UPDATE: WestKentuckyStar.com is also hearing that Bennett has been let go:

Winston Bennett is out as men’s basketball coach at Mid-Continent University. WestKentuckyStar.com has learned that university officials "relieved Bennett of his duties” on Friday. The cause for the termination is unclear at this point.


According to MCU Sports Information Director Tim Shay, MCU Athletics Director Kevin Imhoff and Bennett will release a joint statement soon regarding Bennett's future with the program. Shay said that would happen in the “very near future.”

Complete Article

UPDATE #2: WPSDLocal6.com is hearing that he is technically still the coach at MCU but his future is uncertain:

A story surfaced last night, citing two sources, saying Bennett had been fired. Tim Shay, the Sports Information Director for Mid-Continent, says Bennett is still the mens basketball coach at MCU -- but MCU Athletics Director Kevin Imhoff and Bennett will release a joint statement soon regarding Bennett's future with the program. When that statement will come out is still up in the air, although Shay said it would most likely not happen on Wednesday.


Calls to Imhoff and Bennett were not returned.

Complete Article

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lafayette's Jackson Davis Adds Offer from Texas Tech

Lafayette High School's Jackson Davis picked up an offer from Texas Tech and head coach Tubby Smith over the weekend.

Scott Anderson of NationofBlue.com broke the news on Twitter after speaking to Jackson's dad:

SAndersonNOB Lafayette's Jackson Davis has been offered by Texas Tech today by Tubby Smith. Davis and family will visit in August.

Heshimu Evans and Benfica Defend LPB Title in Portugal

Former University of Kentucky star Heshimu Evans and Benfica have successfully defended their LPB championship in Portugal.

Benfica defeated Academica 91-77 in game 4 to win the championship series 3-1.

LaceDarius Dunn scored 28 points to lead the way for Benfica. Frederick Gentry chipped in 19 points and Carlos Andrade added 17.

Evans contributed 7 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 21 minutes off the bench.

This season, Evans averaged 7.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26 games. He was primarily utilized as a key reserve, averaging 17.5 minutes per game during the season.

New Highlights of Kentucky, Louisville Recruit Trey Lyles

Check out these new highlights of 2014 Kentucky and Louisville recruit Trey Lyles:


Sources Say Orlando Antigua to Coach Dominican Republic National Team

According to sources, University of Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua will soon be named the next head coach of the Dominican Republic national team.

Antigua was John Calipari's assistant with the Dominican team the last two years.

According to Dominicanosenbasket.com, the announcement will be made in the coming days.

Source (translated by Google)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Isaiah Canaan Talks About How He'd Fit in With the Wizards

Former Murray State star Isaiah Canaan recently spoke to CSNWashington.com about how he would fit in if he happens to be drafted by the Washington Wizards.

Here is an excerpt:

“I’m only 21 years old,” Canaan said. “I have a lot of years left to play. I’m going to play until I can’t play no more. … I’d just go in and push them to the best of my ability. If they can play three guards we’d be one tremendous backcourt.

‘I just get out there and get after John Wall, get after Brad Beal and they’ll be able to push me also. You can move guys off the ball. You can move John Wall off the ball. You’d just have a lot of good guards that can create and score at the same time. “

Complete Article

John Calipari to Be Inducted Into the Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame

Kentucky head coach John Calipari will be inducted into the Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame on Friday at Keeneland.

The Hall of Fame honors members of the Central Kentucky business community who give back to the area and help empower students as role models.

Here is more from the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Why Calipari was selected:

John Calipari has raised millions of dollars for different organizations. He helped organize a telethon in 2010 called Hoops for Haiti that raised more than $1 million to support victims of the earthquake. He also donated $350,000 to seven charities and organizations using his UK Alumni Charity game and Basketball Fantasy Experience. This included donating $110,000 to the victims of the tornado in West Liberty.


Complete Article   If you go   Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame When: 6 p.m., Friday, May 31 Where: Keeneland Entertainment Center Cost: $160 per seat. Call: (859) 219-2423

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Terrence Williams: There's Two Sides to Every Story

Former Louisville star Terrence Williams spoke with reporters over the weekend about his recent arrest. He advised the media that there are two sides to every story.



Here is more from ESPN.com:

"We all know there’s two sides to every story," said Williams. "That’s all I’m going to say about that, I’m not crazy. You guys have been around me for whatever 2 ½ months, I’m not crazy at all."


Later he added, "Before anything, I’m a father. Before anything, my job is to protect my kid. And to be there... Just dropping my son off, and something turns bad. It doesn’t affect me, because I’m a father at the end of the day -- no basketball, no NBA, no nothing. I’m a father. I’m fortunate to be here, to be able to work out, to be able to come to this facility and still be on the team now. I can’t let it affect me because the people that are saying the negative things, they don’t really control my life or my future."

Williams expressed frustration at being portrayed as the villain despite a lack of charges brought against him to this point.

"It's very frustrating, because I was there, I know what happened, and I know what didn’t happen," he said. "To anybody reading, and everybody that’s writing these stories, it makes me out to be this bandit -- whatever that guy’s name is in 'Public Enemies'... John Dillinger. It made me be like I was him. It’s very frustrating, because I know what happened, and what didn’t happen. All you can do is pray and move forward. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life when something happens."

Complete Article

Andrew Wiggins Writes a Thank You Letter

Andrew Wiggins has published a thank you letter to the folks at Huntington Prep and the Huntington community.

Here is an excerpt of the letter, which appeared in The Herald-Dispatch:

To the people and community of Huntington:


I just wanted to thank Huntington for your support for me and my Huntington Prep teammates and coaches these past two years. Without the community, none of what has been accomplished would have been attainable. I hope that when you hear or read my name, you are proud to say I played my high school days here in Huntington. Because I am proud to say I played here.

I like to represent my hometown of Thornhill, Ontario, and my country of Canada in a positive light and I will do the same for Huntington and for my team and coaches of Huntington Prep. It has been such a positive experience and I would advise any player to come to Huntington Prep.

One of the best things about my experience here is St. Joseph Central Catholic H.S. where we all attend. There are a lot of good people in that building from the principal to the teachers to the janitor; I will never forget all the positive influences they have been in my development as a young man. My peers at St. Joe have also been supportive of me and have always treated me as one of their own. I am not different, just a kid, and at St. Joe I could be. Thank you.

I also want to let the area know that Huntington Prep has brought so much here. I will be gone, but (head coach) Rob Fulford and his staff will always bring in great players and great individual community members. They will always bring national attention that Huntington wouldn't have if Huntington Prep didn't exist. In these days and times positive attention to an area isn't guaranteed so when you have it, embrace it. Support Huntington Prep because they bring such a positive outlook on Huntington, WV.

I would like to personally thank Coach Rob, Coach Arkell Bruce, Coach Dave Meddings, Coach Ryan Arrowood and Coach Baker Neal for everything. Words cannot explain how grateful I am to, in my opinion, the best coaching staff in America. They bring players like me and my teammates to this area to give this area something special. They are great coaches and are great community members who teach us to be great players and great community members as well. I appreciate them for bringing me to the area and to Huntington Prep. It's been a great ride. Our strength and conditioning coach, Chris Lane, is one of the best in the nation. I want him to know how much I appreciate his program.

Read Complete Letter

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