Friday, May 30, 2014

Assistant Beau Braden Leaves Morehead State State for Job at Tennessee

Tennessee head coach Donnie Tyndall has announced the addition of several supporting staff members, including new video coordinator Beau Braden.

Braden spent the last two seasons as the third assistant at Morehead State University.

Here's an excerpt from a Tennessee press release:

Beau Braden enters his first season as Tennessee's video coordinator after spending the previous two years as an assistant coach at Morehead State.

This is Braden's second stint working alongside first-year UT head coach Donnie Tyndall, as Braden served in the dual role of director of basketball operations and graduate manager during Tyndall's sixth and final year as the Eagles' head coach in 2011-12.

"Beau started his Division I coaching career as my graduate assistant at Morehead State," Tyndall said. "While working together there, he proved himself as someone who eagerly accepted any and all responsibilities with absolutely no ego.

"He's a dedicated, hard-working, young coach. With his willingness to be a true team player, he is going to continue to rise in the coaching profession."

During Braden's two seasons as a full-time assistant coach at Morehead State, the Eagles recorded 35 overall victories, 18 conference wins and posted a 20-win campaign in 2013-14.

Braden spent the first half of the 2011-12 season as MSU's director of basketball operations and the second half as a graduate manager. He coordinated several administrative duties and all video operations during a season in which the Eagles won 18 games and finished third in the Ohio Valley Conference.

In 2010-11, he worked as an assistant coach under Tennessee's current Director of Player Development J.T. Burton at St. Catharine College near Springfield, Ky. Focusing much of his efforts on recruiting, scouting, individual instruction and academics, Braden helped guide the Patriots to a 24-9 record, an NAIA national tournament berth and three triumphs over eventual national champion Pikeville.

Braden's first collegiate staff experience came as a graduate assistant and junior varsity coach at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., during the 2009-10 campaign. The Tigers posted a 27-6 record that season, captured the Mid-South Conference Tournament championship and earned an NAIA national tournament berth.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Braden played basketball at Centre College in Danville, Ky., for four seasons and was a two-time team captain. The Colonels were 92-21 during his playing career, and they posted a 25-3 record and ascended as high as No. 2 in the national rankings during his junior season.

He was part of three Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship teams and played in three NCAA Division III national tournaments.

Braden received his Bachelor's degree in Government and Economics from Centre in 2009, and he is currently working toward a Master's degree in Sports Management from Morehead State.

Complete Release

Bellarmine University Signs Jarek Coles for 2014-15

Bellarmine University has signed 6-foot guard Jarek Coles from Omaha (Neb.) Central High School for 2014-15.

Coles is the son of former Tates Creek High School star Jerome Coles.

Here is a release from BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Bellarmine University men's basketball team landed a new recruit when Jarek Coles from Omaha (Neb.) Central High School signed a National Letter of Intent on Friday.

Coles, a 6-0 guard who averaged 12 points, 4.3 assists and four rebounds a game last year, is a native of Lexington and attended Tates Creek High School through his sophomore year. Coles' father, Jerome Coles, starred for Tates Creek in his high school years and went on to play collegiately at Norfolk State.

At Omaha Central, Coles joined a program that has won seven of the last eight Nebraska Class A (largest class) State Championships. Last year, the Eagles posted a 22-5 mark.

"A big reason I chose Bellarmine is because of the coaching staff," Coles said. I know that they want me to be successful, and they have a winning mentality. The players are a real good group of guys. They all play for each other—very unselfish. Playing on a team where you know the man in the same uniform is playing for you is an unbelievable feeling. Bellarmine is a winning program, and I want to come in and be a contributor to the success."

Coles also credited the entire Bellarmine community for helping draw him to the Louisville campus. "The community is very supportive. It's like one big family. Not only is the basketball program great, but Bellarmine's education is, too, and that is a big factor, as well." he added.

"Jarek comes from a tremendous basketball family," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "He is a proven winner and makes plays at the both ends of the floor that winners make. He is an excellent on ball defender and offensively attacks the rim with great confidence. His greatest strength is he understands winning and what it takes to win, he is truly a team first player!"

Complete Release

UK Commit Charles Matthews - Junior Season Mixtape

Check out this new mixtape of 2015 Kentucky commit Charles Matthews:


Highlights of Former Georgetown College Star Monty Wilson

Check out these highlights of former Georgetown College star Monty Wilson:



Wilson is a 6-foot-4 guard who averaged 24.5 points per game as senior.

As a  junior, he led the Tigers to a surprising national championship. That run was highlighted by Wilson game-winners in the national quarterfinals and semifinals.

My Thoughts: I watched Monty at Georgetown for two seasons. In my opinion, he is an absolute pro.

It's Official: Montgomery County Hires Matt Daniel

Montgomery County officially hired former Rowan County High School star Matt Daniel to take over the boy's basketball program.

Daniel, who also starred at University of the Cumberlands, previously served as an assistant at Montgomery County.

Matt is the son of former Rowan County and Somerset head coach Don Daniel.

Photo: Montgomery County Schools

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Devin Booker and His Shoes are Heading to Lexington Soon

Soon-to-be University of Kentucky freshman Devin Booker is heading to Lexington soon for summer classes and workouts.

I think he is good to go on shoes for a semester or two:


Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy Has the Worst Idea Ever

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy has an "interesting" idea for college basketball. Kennedy wants to eliminate players fouling out.

Rather than fouling out after five fouls, Kennedy thinks a player should be allowed to stay in the game and foul as much as he'd like.

Here is an excerpt from InsideOleMissSports.com:

Kennedy says a fifth foul should not result in a player's ejection. Instead, let the player stay in the game and foul as much as he wants. But every foul after five would give two free throws – and the ball – to the other team.

“We're the only sport where the best players can be eliminated from the game,” Kennedy said. “Let's just make it where it really has some teeth. If you foul, the other team's going to get two shots and the ball. You talk about really having to think now as a coach! It still allows the best players to be in the game so that the fans can see what they came to see.”

Complete Article

Steve Masiello Has Completed Undergraduate Coursework at UK

According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello has completed the undergraduate coursework required to obtain his degree from the University of Kentucky.


Masiello has been on unpaid leave at Manhattan since April after it was discovered that he did not officially graduate from UK.

Here is more from ESPN.com:

Manhattan has said it would reinstate Masiello once he completed his degree.

"After an extensive review of the situation and extenuating circumstances, we determined that Mr. Masiello executed poor judgment but did not intentionally misrepresent himself in applying to the college," Manhattan president Brennan O'Donnell said in a statement released in April. "After participating in graduation ceremonies at the University of Kentucky, he enrolled in summer courses with the intention of completing his degree, but never followed through to make sure that the degree was awarded. We appreciate the counsel of all involved in assessing this complex situation. Our policy was always that the coach must have at least a four-year undergraduate degree. We are confident that Mr. Masiello will be able to complete his degree this summer and return soon thereafter to resume his duties."

Complete Article

Sources: Montgomery County High School to Name Matt Daniel New Head Coach

I have been told by two sources this morning that former Rowan County and University of the Cumberlands star Matt Daniel will soon be announced as the new head coach at Montgomery County High School.

Daniel  has previously served as an assistant coach at Montgomery County.

UPDATE: An official announcement is expected later this afternoon:


Brooklyn Nets Likely to Invite DeAndre Liggins to Summer Workouts

The Brooklyn Nets will likely invite former Kentucky guard DeAndre Liggins to summer workouts next week according to reports on Twitter:

Liggins had a very successful season in the NBA Development League in 2013-14.

Opportunity to Make a Difference in a Young Child's Life

I want to pass this along because I know this family personally and have a good understanding of their situation.

I can say without a shadow of doubt that these are good people, great friends and Ireland is the sweetest little girl.

If you have the means to help, please do:

Update: As you all know. My daughter Ireland was born with Septo-Optic Dysplasia, it is under developed nerves to her eyes. In 2011 when she was just 18 months old, we took a leap of faith and made a trip to China for stem cell treatment. The results were amazing. She went from being able to track objects fro 5cm when we arrived, to being able to watch Mickey Mouse. Now, 3 years later we are given the opportunity to make another trip to boost her optic nerves even more, maybe even able to help with her autism that she was diagnosed with in December. We have been in the process of fundraising, but now our time is 5 days away from us boarding the plane for Bangkok. We still are needing $6,000.00 to pay for the treatment. Once again we are taking a huge leap of faith.

What I am asking for is a whole lot of prayers, and if you are able to donate you can. If you could find it in your heart to help us with this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Help via mail:

Benefit of Ireland Kidd
6508 Flemingsburg Road
Morehead, KY 40351

Contribute via Paypal:

Click Here

If you are like to ride, you can also attend the benefit ride Saturday morning:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Brian Evans Steps Down at Knox Central for Personal Reasons

Knox Central High School head coach Brian Evans has reportedly stepped down for personal reasons.

According to Josh McKinney of WYMT:


Kentucky Travelers 17U Qualifies for Peach Jam for Second Straight Year

The Kentucky Travelers 17U AAU squad has qualified for the prestigious Nike EYBL Peach Jam for the second consecutive year.

The Travelers finished the EYBL qualifying circuit with an 8-8 record and earned a trip to the Peach Jam by virtue of a tiebreaker.

The Peach Jam is a high-level 24-team tournament that will be held July 16-20 in North Augusta, South Carolina.

WIldcard Berths

Southern Stampede 8-8
The Travelers 8-8
Team CP3 vs. The Family Play-in game | July 16 @ Peach Jam

Division A Peach Jam Berths:

Team Final 14-2
Howard Pulley 10-6
Team SCAN Cardinals 11-5
New York Lightning 9-7
Jackson Tigers 8-8

Division B Peach Jam Berths:

All Ohio Red 13-3
Oakland Soldiers 10-6
Team Penny 10-6
Houston Hoops 10-6
Spiece Indy Heat 9-7

Division C Peach Jam Berths:

Playaz Basketball Club 13-3
Athletes First 12-4
E1T1 11-5
CIA Bounce 10-6
BABC 9-7

Division D Peach Jam Berths:

Texas Titans 11-5
Wings Elite 11-5
MOKAN Elite 11-5
Mac Irvin Fire 10-6
Team Takeover 9-7

More Info from D1Circuit.com

Travelers Roster:

- Braxton Beverly- Perry Co Central
- James Bolden- Holmes
- Cam Justice- Knott Co Central
- Jalen Perry- Ballard
- Carson Williams- Owen Co
- Drew McDonald- Newcath
- Matt Rose-Lexington Christian
- Dwayne Sutton-Manual
- Brad Calipari - LCA (has been out with a knee injury)


Florida's Billy Donovan Considering a Jump to the NBA?

We seem to have this conversation every summer, but it appears this time that Florida head coach Billy Donovan is seriously considering a jump to the NBA.

Donovan was asked about his future and he didn't guarantee that he'll be back with the Gators in 2014-15.

Here is an excerpt from ESPN.com:

Donovan said last week that he has been in contact with "several" NBA teams about head-coaching jobs. He declined again to say which teams, but reports say the Cleveland Cavaliers have shown interest.

"I think when you start making guarantees about life and start making guarantees about where you're going to be, that's not good because if for some reason I ever change my mind and did something, I wouldn't want (people) saying, 'Well, he promised, he guaranteed, he said this on record,'" Donovan said. "I just think when you start doing that, that's a mistake."

He also added this:

"All I can say is I love Florida, I'm happy here ... the school's been great to me," he said. "But at the same point, some of the NBA stuff, as I've said before, is intriguing in a lot of ways -- the basketball part of it. That's not to say that I'm unhappy here; that's not the case at all.

Complete Article

Morehead State Signs JUCO Forward Anthony Elechi

Morehead State has signed 6-foot-8 forward Anthony Elechi for the 2014-15 season. Elechi comes to Morehead from Labette Community College (Kan.).

Here is a release from MSU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Anthony Elechi, a 6-foot-8 post player from Labette Community College (Kan.), has signed a National Letter of Intent with the Morehead State men's basketball program.  He has two years of college eligibility remaining.

"Anthony is a great addition to our program," Head Coach Sean Woods said.  "He is a skilled young man who can play small forward, power forward or center.  Anthony fits our style very well.  He can score, rebound, defend and run the floor."

As a freshman in 2012-13, Elechi averaged 16.0 points and 8.2 rebounds en route to Second-Team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference honors and Second-Team All-Region VI accolades.  As a sophomore in 2013-14, he averaged 13.0 points and 7.3 boards.

Elechi averaged 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds as a senior at Elmont High School (N.Y.) in 2011-12.  He was an all-state selection and conference Player of the Year that season.  He also helped the Spartans to their first Nassau County Class 2A championship in school history.

"Anthony should fit our chemistry well," Woods said.  "He's a team guy who wants to help us win an Ohio Valley Conference championship.  Anthony will give us depth at several positions and is good enough to compete for playing time right away."
Complete Release

Julius Randle Joins the Nike Team

It looks like former Kentucky star Julius Randle has officially joined the Nike team:


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sporting News Ranks Kentucky No. 2 in Early 2014-15 Preseason Rankings

The Kentucky Wildcats are most everyone's pick as the preseason No. 1 team for 2014-15. Everyone except for SportingNews.com, which has the Wildcats No. 2 behind Arizona.

SN ranks Louisville No. 7 currently.

SN's Top 10:

1. Arizona
2. Kentucky
3. Wisconsin
4. Duke
5. North Carolina
6. Kansas
7. Louisville
8. Virginia
9. Florida
10. Wichita State

Excerpt about Kentucky:

2. Kentucky:

Likely strengths: The Wildcats have overwhelming size and depth up front, with five NBA prospects who are capable of performing at the power positions, and several of them capable of excelling. It will be up to coach John Calipari to figure out how these pieces fit best together, but there are so many impressive pieces: shot-blocking and athleticism from Willie Cauley-Stein, deep shooting from Karl Towns, a player in Trey Lyles who always finds a way to be productive.

Potential weaknesses: UK was a poor perimeter defensive team last season, even as the Wildcats made their run to the NCAA championship game. It's possible the greater maturity of the Harrison twins as sophomores will alleviate that, but it's not automatic, and we're not convinced it's even likely. They have to commit to paying serious attention to that phase of the game.

Key factor: Calipari must decide what he wants to do with junior Alex Poythress. Is he a small forward? There is a huge opportunity there, but Poythress has not shown he has the ability to drive the ball. Poythress is among Division I's most dynamic players, but he seems best suited to performing as a stretch-4. It's not as though UK is lacking for power forwards, though.

Complete Article

The Ville 17U Adds Ray Spalding, Gearing Up for Big July

The Ville 17U AAU team has added Louisville Trinity star Raymond Spalding to an already talented squad. Spalding, a 6-foot-9 center, had been playing for the Kentucky Travelers on the NIKE EYBL circuit.

Spalding currently ranks No. 71 overall on the Rivals.com list for 2015.


The Ville went 5-0 over the past weekend at the Music City Memorial Classic in Nashville. They advanced to the tournament semifinals but pulled out of the event due to scheduling and event organization problems.

Earlier this month, The Ville won the 17U Kentucky state championship, led largely by Knott County Central's Evan Hall, Trinity's Jax Levitch Jeffersontown's Brandon Johnson and Male's Will Parker.

The team will now look for a huge summer, particularly in July when they will be playing in some major events (Adidas Tournament in Indianapolis, Peach State in South Carolina, invitation only AAU Showcase in Louisville, etc.).

The Ville 17U Roster:

0 Jax Levitch (Trinity)
11 Michael Stafford (Trinity)
23 Brandon Johnson (Jeffersontown)
24 Evan Hall (Knott County Central)
22 Will Parker (Louisville Male)
4 Dieon Cochran (Collins)
3 Kiefer Dalton (Clinton City) 
? Simon Christon (Knott Country Central)
? Ray Spalding (Trinity)


Forde Looks at Brandon Bender, Shady Connections at Oregon

Late last week, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports took an in-depth look at the recent personnel problems at Oregon.

Forde said the player problems show a disconnect between head coach Dana Altman and his roster.

One name Forde mentioned as a "shady connection" is former Louisville player Brandon Bender, who has faced his share of scrutiny in recent years.

Here is an excerpt:

As for names on the current roster, freshman Ray Kasongo and junior Michael Chandler stand out. Both have ties to Bender, identified by the NCAA as a runner in its investigation of UCF that led to sanctions of the Knights in 2012.

Chandler, a big man from Indianapolis, was involved in the UCF investigation. The NCAA found that Bender and an associate, Ken Caldwell, whose LinkedIn profile said he worked for agent Andy Miller, assisted UCF in its recruitment of Chandler. He committed to the Knights but did not enroll there, sitting out the 2011-12 year for academic reasons. He spent the previous two years at Northwest Florida Junior College before committing to Oregon. It was his fourth Division I commitment, after previously pledging to Louisville, Xavier and UCF.

Chandler committed to Oregon on Oct. 29, 2013, four days after Kasongo. The 6-foot-9 freshman from Canada has been associated with Bender for quite some time, dating to at least 2011-12 when Kasongo showed up at East Ridge High School in rural Eastern Kentucky. After spending a season there Kasongo transferred to Pikeville High School for one year, and spent this past season at Phase 1 Academy in Arizona. In January 2013, Kasongo told Zagsblog.com that Bender is "my mentor."

Oregon’s comfort level in dealing with Bender is unclear – multiple attempts to reach athletic director Rob Mullens for comment were unsuccessful. Instead, assistant athletic director Craig Pintens referred Yahoo Sports to a May 9 statement from the university regarding the investigation of the alleged sexual assault, and a press conference Altman held earlier this month.

Complete Article

Hoop Dreams Orange 17U Finishes Second at Memorial Day Classic in Atlanta

Hoops Dreams Orange 17U had a successful weekend at the Nike Memorial Day Classic in Atlanta.

The squad finished pool play with a 2-1 record then advanced in the tournament with a 63-62 victory over Southern Stampede. Boyle County scoring machine Hagen Tyler led the way with 22 points, including a game-winning three-pointer.


In the quarterfinals, coach Steve Quattrocchi's team defeated Karolina Diamonds by 19 points with Tyler putting in a team-high 19.

Hoops Dream fell short in the championship game as they lost 60-52 to SC Raptors.

Overall, it was an impressive showing for Hoops Dreams Orange, which is led largely by 12th Region stars Tyler (Boyle County), Jacob Conway (Lincoln County), Timmy Taylor (Lincoln County) and Ronnie Carson (East Jessamine).

Hoop Dreams Orange Roster for This Event:

00 Jacob Conway - Lincoln County
1 Timmy Taylor - Lincoln County
2 Marshall Griffith - Daviess County
10 Ronnie Carson - East Jessamine
21 Tanner Johnson - Lexington Catholic
23 Hagen Tyler - Boyle County
42 Trey Moses - Eastern
? Jared Farris - Bullitt East
? Malik Dow - Ballard
? Will Hager - Mercer County

* Hager, Dow and Farris played up from the 16U team in several games



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