Friday, June 13, 2014

UK Announces Schedule for Bahamas Exhibition Tour

The University of Kentucky has announced the schedule for the team's exhibition tour of the  Bahamas in August.

The schedule will be difficult and includes two games against the Dominican Republic National Team. The Dominican Republic, which currently ranks No. 26 in the world rankings, will use the games as a tune-up for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Kentucky will also face French ProB club team Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket and Puerto Rico's national team reserves twice each.

Last season, Chalons-Reims' roster included former Tennessee star Ronald Slay.

Here is a release from UK:

NASSAU, Bahamas – The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, the 2014 NCAA Division I national runner-up, will face international teams from the Dominican Republic, France and Puerto Rico during a foreign tour – named the Big Blue Bahamas tour – from August 10-17 in the Bahamas.

Kentucky will play the Dominican Republic national team, the Puerto Rico national team reserves and French first-division club team Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket, twice each over an eight-day span at Nassau’s 2,500-seat Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium, recently renovated in the spring of 2014. The Dominican Republic team will use the games against Kentucky as a tune-up for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, which begins in late August. The Dominican Republic is No. 26 in the current FIBA World Rankings.

NCAA rules allow for a foreign tour by an intercollegiate team once every four academic years. Kentucky’s Big Blue Bahamas tour is a joint venture between Complete Sports Management and the Bahamas Basketball Federation.

“We are thrilled to bring together top basketball teams from all over the world and showcase it at such a beautiful setting,” said Complete Sports Management President Lea Miller. “It is always a pleasure working with the Bahamas Basketball Federation, and we are very appreciative of their support. The University of Kentucky is truly one of the most dominant programs in college basketball, and it will be fun to watch them compete on this global stage against teams from the Dominican Republic, France and Puerto Rico."

The Wildcats, 29-11 a season ago, will open the tour on Sunday, August 10 against the Puerto Rico reserves at 5 pm ET. The next day, UK will face Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket at 1 pm ET. Tuesday, August 12, Kentucky will play the Puerto Rico reserves for the second time at 1 pm ET.

After a day off on Wednesday, August 13, Kentucky will face the Dominican Republic on August 14 at 5 pm ET. The second game against Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket will be played either August 15 or 16 (date to be determined) at 1 pm ET. Kentucky will finish the tour on Sunday, August 17 against the Dominican Republic at Noon ET.

"We are excited to make the trip to the Bahamas for our foreign tour,” said Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who will begin his sixth season as the Wildcats’ head coach. “Working with Lea and Mason Miller has been a pleasure. My goal is for our team to grow together, to learn about one another, to have fun and to compete against teams that will stretch us out. These teams should be a challenge that will let us really see where we are at this point. But again, learning and having fun will be the emphasis of the trip. It's another opportunity for us to fail fast.”

“The Bahamas Basketball Federation is delighted to have a team such as Kentucky embrace our shores,” said Bahamas Basketball Federation Vice President Mario Bowleg. “We know that Kentucky will bring a high level of basketball performance with lots of excitement for our Bahamian basketball fans to experience. We take this opportunity to thank Ms. Lea Miller and her team, whom have worked closely with the Federation, to bring such an elite group to our shores, not just to play basketball but to bond as a unit and experience paradise all at the same time.”

Fan travel packages for Kentucky’s Big Blue Bahamas tour will be available. For more information, visit ukfantravel.com. To book travel packages, please call 1-855-UKBBALL (1-855-852-2255). Only those who book through the Big Blue Bahamas tour travel company will have access to tickets.

KENTUCKY BIG BLUE TOUR SCHEDULE

(all games at Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium)

Sunday, August 10: Puerto Rico Reserve Team................................... 5 pm ET
Monday, August 11: Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket.................. 1 pm ET
Tuesday, August 12: Puerto Rico Reserve Team................................... 1 pm ET
Wednesday, August 13: OFF DAY
Thursday, August 14: Dominican Republic National Team................... 5 pm ET
Friday, August 15 OR: Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket.................. 1 pm ET
Saturday, August 16:
Sunday, August 17: Dominican Republic National Team................... Noon ET

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rajon Rondo Makes Appearance in World Cup Commercial for U.S. Men's National Team

Former Kentucky star Rajon Rondo appears in a new World Cup commercial for the U.S. Men's National Team.

Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. coach, doesn't believe in his own team but Rondo does:


Cleveland Cavaliers Offered John Calipari $80 Million Contract, Role of Team President

According to ESPN.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers offered Kentucky head coach John Calipari a 10-year deal worth nearly $80 million to lure him away from Lexington. The deal even included the role of team president.

Calipari turned down the offer and signed a new 7-year deal at Kentucky that is worth $52.5 million.

Here are details from ESPN:

NBA coaching sources have told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ recent pitch to Kentucky coach John Calipari was actually a 10-year offer worth nearly $80 million and included the role of coach and team president.

Kentucky on Thursday announced that Calipari has been signed to a new seven-year deal worth $52.5 million guaranteed.

Sources told ESPN’s Andy Katz also that Kentucky’s new deal with Calipari actually was completed in April, and that the Cavs’ proposal was made within the past two weeks.

Sources told Stein that part of Cleveland’s motivation to chase Calipari for its job was the belief that hiring Calipari — who is well known to be a good friend of LeBron James — would greatly enhance their chances of convincing the NBA’s best player to return to his home state in free agency this summer.

But Calipari, like UConn’s Kevin Ollie before him, ultimately resisted Cleveland’s overtures.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has been highly motivated to recruit a marquee coach to be the new face of the franchise, but Calipari and Ollie are off the market now thanks to the new contracts at their respective schools. Florida’s Billy Donovan and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo also rebuffed the Cavs during the current college basketball offseason.

Complete Article

Monday, June 9, 2014

Marcus Lewis is Still Jumping Out of the Gym This Summer

Former Eastern Kentucky University guard Marcus Lewis is still jumping out of the gym this summer.

Lewis, who won the NCAA slam dunk contest after last season, did this is a summer game last week:


Former Morehead State, Southern Miss Assistant Doing Well in New Venture

Former Morehead State and Southern Miss assistant Wade O'Connor is doing well in a new venture with the appropriate slogan "Make Plays Today."

O'Connor walked away from Donnie Tyndall's staff at Southern Miss to spend more time with his family and has since established the Wade O'Connor Elite Basketball Academy.

Currently, Coach O'Connor offers individual, group and team training; recruiting assistance and motivational keynote speaking.
 
He will be speaking at Billy Donovan's camp at the University of Florida later today. Next week, O'Connor will be speaking at the University of Akron and University of Tennessee, where Tyndall is the new head coach.
 
 
 
Make plays today!
 

DeMarcus Cousins Plays One-On-One Against Jimmy Kimmel

Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night and ended up playing a little one-on-one against Kimmel.

There was a little catch to even the playing field:

Jimmy plays a game of one-on-one against DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings. On the surface, it may seem like Jimmy doesn't stand a chance. But we leveled the playing field by asking Stephen to spin the EQ-WHEEL-IZER. Each space on the wheel has a disadvantage that hopefully leads to them playing as

Check out the appearance:


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Eric Bledsoe Expected to Get Full Max Deal This Summer

Former Kentucky star Eric Bledsoe is expected to get a full max contract this summer according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.



Bledsoe is deserving of a max deal after averaging 17.7 points, 4.7 boards, 5.5 assists and 1.6 steals for the Phoenix Suns last season.

Steve Prohm Earns a Contract Extension at Murray State

Murray State has given head coach Steve Prohm a contract extension that will keep him in Murray through May 31, 2018.

Here are details from MSU:

Murray State University director of athletics Allen Ward announced the school has extended the contracts of football coach Chris Hatcher and men's basketball coach Steve Prohm.

Additionally, Ward's contract was also extended one year by the University.

The extensions mean all three men have four years on their contracts with Hatcher's running through Dec. 31, 2017 and Prohm through May 31, 2018. Allen Ward's contract now runs through June 30, 2018.

"Murray State University is pleased to extend the contracts of Coach Prohm, Coach Hatcher and Allen Ward to ensure the stability, progress, and excellence in key programs will continue for the foreseeable future," said Murray State President Dr. Tim Miller. "The emphasis placed on academics in athletics sets the tone for our entire university community. Athletics also plays such an important role in marketing and branding the university, and it is imperative that we retain quality leadership in these key positions."

"Extending the contracts for Coach Prohm and Coach Hatcher represent the trust and confidence we have in these exceptional coaches as they lead our two high-profile sports," Ward said. "They do an outstanding job, represent Murray State extremely well, and are clearly the reason we compete at a championship level year in and year out. I also want to thank Dr. Miller for confidence he has expressed to me in my role at Murray State."

Hatcher has returned the Racers to relevance in the OVC in his four seasons. He has guided the Racers to a 24-21 record with one of the most exciting offenses in college football. He guided the Racers into the history books this past season by defeating Jacksonville State and Eastern Kentucky, both in overtime, in the same season for the first time. His teams have featured at least one All-American in each of his four seasons.

"I am thankful to President Miller and Allen Ward for the opportunity that they gave me and the support they have shown in my time at Murray State," said Hatcher. "Murray State is a special place and I look forward to continuing to lead the Racers back to national prominence."

Prohm has guided the Racers for three seasons with 75 wins along the way. Last spring, the Racers won the CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship and posted a school-record fifth straight 20-win season. Prohm led the Racers to a 31-2 season and the 2012 NCAA Tournament. He was named OVC Coach of the Year and Basketball Times National Coach of the Year. In Prohm's three seasons, the Racers have extended their streak of consecutive winning seasons to 27 and a school-record five-straight 20-winning seasons.

"I'm thankful to Dr. Miller and Allen Ward for the continued support and commitment they've given to me and my staff," Prohm said. "I am excited to be here at Murray State and I look forward to leading the Racers into next season."

Scott Padgett Named Head Coach at Samford University

Former University of Kentucky star Scott Padgett has officially been named head coach at Samford University.

Here is a release from Samford:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Scott Padgett, the former Kentucky standout, NCAA champion and first-round NBA draft pick, has been named the 28th head basketball coach at Samford University, it was announced Friday. Padgett's appointment follows the departure of Bennie Seltzer, former head coach of the Bulldogs.

"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach at Samford University and to coach these outstanding young men," said Padgett. "This program is going to be all about our players; former, current and future. It's going to be about promoting the mission of this great university and helping these young men in their academic, athletic and spiritual growth."

Padgett, a Louisville, Ky., native was a first-round draft pick selected 28th overall by the Utah Jazz in 1999 and spent eight years in the NBA. The 6-foot-9 forward recorded 1,142 points in four years with the Jazz before spending the next two seasons with the Houston Rockets. He played the 2005-06 campaign with the New Jersey Nets. Padgett began the 2006-07 season with the Rockets before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he finished out his career.

During his time at Kentucky from 1995-99, Padgett played for legendary head coaches Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith. Padgett helped lead the Wildcats to the 1998 NCAA National Championship, where he was named to the NCAA All-Final Four team, as well as the NCAA All-East Regional team and All-Southeastern Conference during the regular season.

"We're going to play an exciting brand of basketball here at Samford, similar to the style I played under Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith at the University of Kentucky," Padgett said. "We are going to press, get up and down the court for 40 minutes and wear down the opposition. It's going to be a playing style that recruits, current players and fans will love."

In 1997, Padgett helped Kentucky to the NCAA championship game and was also named to the All-Final Four team. A true student-athlete, Padgett received All-SEC honors twice for his work on the hardwood, and he was also honored with Academic All-SEC honors in 1998 and 1999 for his success in the classroom. Padgett scored 1,252 points over his career, which ranks 32nd on Kentucky's all-time list.

"This is an opportunity for me to extend my family," said Padgett. "I'm a huge believer in family. Our players will be an extension of my family and a part of my life forever."

Complete Release

DeMarcus Cousins to Appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live Tonight

Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight following Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

From CowbellKingdom.com:

The Sacramento Kings will have one of their own representing them on primetime television. DeMarcus Cousins will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live following Game 2 of the NBA Finals tonight on ABC.

The late night talk show, which typically airs following your late local news, is running 30-minute, basketball-themed specials during the NBA Finals. Following Game 1, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors made an appearance, taking Kimmel on in a game of one-on-one while riding a tricycle.

Read More

UPDATE: Cousins will appear on the Kimmel show during the NBA Finals pregame on the East coast and following the game on the West coast.

Patrick Patterson on a Giant Water Slide

Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson, who just finished up a nice season with the Toronto Raptors, is enjoying the NBA offseason.

Here is a picture from Patterson's Instagram...now that looks like fun:

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