Friday, August 15, 2014

Eloy Vargas Talks About Playing Against Kentucky in the Bahamas

Former Kentucky big man Eloy Vargas, who plays for the Dominican Republic, talks about the opportunity to play his former team today in the Bahamas:



* Video by Kentucky.com on YouTube

Former Murray State Center Tony Easley is Headed to Israel

Former Murray State big man Tony Easley has agreed to terms with Ironi New-Ziona in Israel's top-level Winner League.

Easley will be teaming up with former Louisville guard Preston Knowles.

Last season, Easley played for JuveCaserta  and Umana Venezia in Italy's SerieA league. In 15 games with JuveCaserta, he averaged 7.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. In 15 games with Umana Venezia, he put in 7.8 points and 4.1 boards.

Here is more from Eurobasket.com:

Ironi Nes-Ziona (Winner League) agreed terms with 27-year old American power forward Tony Easley (206-90kg-87, college: Murray State). He played previous season at JuveCaserta in Italian Serie A. In 15 games he had 7.2ppg and 5.6rpg. Easley also played at Umana Venezia (Serie A) in Italy that season. In 15 games he recorded 7.8ppg and 4.1rpg previous season.

The previous (12-13) season he played at Banco di Srd (Serie A) in Italian league. In 34 games he recorded 11.4ppg and 5.6rpg. He helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. Easley also played 6 games in Eurocup where he recorded 10.7ppg and 6.5rpg.

Read More

James Young Wants to Dunk on LeBron James

NBA rookies were recently asked who they most want to dunk on in the league.

Former Kentucky player Julius Randle said "Kobe," which can't really happen outside of practice.

Randle's former UK teammate, James Young, went another direction and said he wants to throw down on LeBron James:


Orlando Antigua Previews Kentucky vs. Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic head coach Orlando Antigua talks about today's game against the Kentucky Wildcats:



* Video by Kentucky.com on YouTube

Thursday, August 14, 2014

UK Basketball Gives Back to Kids in the Bahamas

The Kentucky Wildcats didn't have a game in the Bahamas yesterday but they used a portion of their day off to give back to children.

Watch as the team and coaches wash feet and provide footwear to needy kids through Samaritan's Feet:


Hum Diddy Diddy: John Calipari Has a Big Idea

Kentucky head coach John Calipari says he has one of his best ideas yet. When one considers all that Calipari has done during his tenure at Kentucky, this idea must be something good.

Here is a post from Calipari on Facebook earlier today:

John Calipari

When I get time to myself, you know I can’t help but think. Well, I’ve come up with one of my best ideas yet. It's crazy, ridiculous. Hum diddy diddy. BUT, I'm not going to tell you until it's ready to be executed. When I put it together, you’ll say, “That was the idea he was talking about.”

Mark Emmert and the NCAA just moved to DEFCON 2.

Statewide Poll Shows Rick Pitino Has Higher Approval Rating Than John Calipari

A statewide poll conducted by Public Policy Polling indicates that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has a slightly higher approval rating than Kentucky head man John Calipari.

According to the poll of 991 Kentucky voters, Pitino's approval rating is 89% while Calipari's is 86%. Only 3% disapprove of what Calipari has done at Kentucky while 5% disapprove of Pitino. Additionlly, 11% are not sure about Calipari while 6% are not sure about Pitino.

Of those surveyed, 64% consider themselves to be Kentucky fans while 20% identified themselves as Louisville fans. Amazingly, 16% are not sure who they support.

Complete Poll

Augusta's Brent Bach Officially Signs with Bellarmine University

Augusta High School star Brent Bach has signed with Bellarmine University for 2014-15.

Bach is Augusta's all-time leading scorer with 2,615 career points.

Here is a release from BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Bellarmine University's men's basketball team signed a key member of its 2014 recruiting class today, when Coach Scott Davenport announced that Augusta (Ky.) High School star Brent Bach will join the Knights this season.

Bach, a sharpshooting 6-1 guard, was one of the top scorers in the state this past season, averaging 31.2 points per game for the Panthers while finishing his career as Augusta's all-time leading scorer with 2,615 points. He was named the 10th Region Player of the Year, picked up 2nd Team All-State honors, and was a McDonald's All-American candidate among a slew of other accolades.

"We are extremely excited to have a tremendous winner like Brent in our program," said Davenport. "He took Augusta High School to championship level basketball against great competition. When you study Brent as a player, he is all about team and team performance. He elevated the play of his teammates to a very high level.

"Brent has a great love for the game, a skill that all great players possess. He is a great get for our program!" Davenport added.

Bach, who had interest from at least 10 different Division I schools, said he thought Bellarmine was a great fit. "Coach Davenport is a great coach and his assistant coaches showed a lot of interest and are really good at what they do. I feel that the way they play is the way I play. I'm just thankful for the opportunity to come be a part of the team and try to bring home another national championship."

"Coming from a small school, having the opportunity to play for a championship is something I'm really excited about," he said. "I want to improve my game, but I know I have a long way to go. I have to get bigger and work on my passing. I know there are several really good big guys on the team, and I want to be able work with them and make them happy, too."

Complete Release

Photo: Bellarmine athletics

Game Time Announced for Louisville vs. Minnesota in Puerto Rico

Louisville and Minnesota will tip off at 7:00 p.m. ET on November 14 in the Armed Forces Classic in Puerto Rico.



The game will match Louisville head coach Rick Pitino (father) vs. Minnesota head man Richard Pitino (son).

Jay Bilas Talks to UK Players: "You have a chance to do something historic"

ESPN's Jay Bilas spoke to University of Kentucky players and coaches last night in the Bahamas.

Bilas told the team they have a chance to do something historic this season and warned about things that can go wrong.

Check it out:


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Even Dan Dakich is Impressed with Kentucky, Doesn't See Them Losing in 2014-15

Former Indiana University star Dan Dakich has been impressed by what he's seen so far of the Kentucky Wildcats.

Dakich said on Twitter yesterday that he doesn't see the Wildcats losing.







Ex-EKU Star Jaron Jones Signs with

Former Eastern Kentucky University swingman Jaron Jones has signed with Solna Vikings in Sweden's Basketligan league.

Jones played this summer for Caborca in Mexico's CIBACOPA league. In 5 games, he averaged 19.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

Here is more from Latinbasket.com:

Solna Vikings (Basketligan) signed 25-year old American swingman Jaron Jones (198-91kg-89, college: E.Kentucky). He played this summer at Caborca in Mexican CIBACOPA, but left the team in April. In 5 games he had very impressive stats: 19.6ppg, 7.6rpg and 2.0spg. Jones was voted NABC Division I All-District 19 2nd Team in 2012 at his college time.

Jones has played also professionally in Cyprus (Apollon).

Read More

Former WKU Guard Tyrone Brazelton Signs with Le Havre in France

Former Western Kentucky guard Tyrone Brazelton has signed with STB Le Havre in France's top-level ProA league.

Last season, Brazelton played for Neptunas in Lituania's LKL league. In 17 games, he averaged 7.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

Here is more from Eurobasket.com:

STB Le Havre (ProA) strengthened their roster with addition of 28-year old American point guard Tyrone Brazelton (183-103kg-86, college: W.Kentucky, agency: Higher Vision Sports). Brazelton managed to play in four leagues in two countries last year (!!!). He played previous season at Neptunas in Lithuanian LKL league. In 17 games he recorded 7.8ppg, 1.6rpg and 2.8apg. He helped them to make it to the final. Brazelton also played at Tsmoki-Minsk (Premier League) in Belarus that season. In only one game he had 9 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. He also played 7 games in EuroChallenge where he averaged 8.1ppg, 1.7rpg and 3.3apg. The other team Brazelton played that season for was Nevezis (LKL) in Lithuanian league. In 8 games he averaged impressive 16.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.5apg and 2.1spg. He also played 6 games in Baltic League where he averaged 14.7ppg, 2.5rpg, 4.2apg and 1.8spg.

His team won Baltic League Cup.

The previous (12-13) season Brazelton was tested by Petrochimi (Superleague) in Iran. Another team he played that season for was BC Odessa (Superleague) in Ukraine. In 24 games he averaged 12.5ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.8apg and 1.5spg. Another team Brazelton played that season for was Nuernberg in German league. In 9 games he averaged remarkable 18.9ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.9apg and 1.4spg. Brazelton was voted All-Sun Belt 2nd Team back in 2008 at his college time.

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Kentucky Players are Enjoying a Little Fun in the Sun

It looks like the Kentucky Wildcats are enjoying their time off the court in the Bahamas:


John Robic, Kentucky Players Talk About Win Over Puerto Rico

Assistant coach John Robic, who served as head coach yesterday, along with Marcus Lee and Derek Willis discuss Kentucky's impressive win over Puerto Rico:




Kentucky Overwhelms Puerto Rico Again in the Bahamas

Kentucky 93
Puerto Rico 57

Exhibition Final from the Bahamas

For the second time in three days, the University of Kentucky overwhelmed Puerto Rico's reserve national team on Tuesday. The Wildcats broke open a close game early and dominated on their way to an impressive 93-57 win.

Alex Poythress led the way for Kentucky with 15 points and 10 rebounds in only 19 minutes of action. Marcus Lee added 14 points and 7 boards. Aaron Harrison and Karl Towns finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Andrew Harrison chipped in 9 points and 6 assists for the Wildcats. Freshman point guard Tyler Ulis contributed 7 points and 4 assists. Harrison, Ulis and Dominique Hawkins combined for 20 points, 14 assists and 7 turnovers.

The Wildcats shot 38-for-61 (62.3%) from the field and 6-for-12 (50%) from the three-point line.

Johwen Villegas led Puerto Rico with 14 points. Jezreel De Jesus scored 11 points.

Kentucky will have a couple of days off before returning to action Friday at 1:00 p.m. ET against the Dominican Republic senior national team. That game will be the first live game shown on the new SEC Network.



Box Score (click to enlarge):

Kentucky's Alumni Game Has Been Cancelled

Kentucky basketball's alumni game that was originally scheduled for August 24 has been cancelled.

Here is a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 2014 UK Alumni Charity Game, originally scheduled for Aug. 24, has officially been canceled. Anyone who purchased tickets for the game will receive a full refund.

“With what we’ve been able to do with bringing our guys back for our fans and raising money for charity, the UK Alumni Charity Game has turned into one of my favorite events at UK,” head coach John Calipari said. “Unfortunately, due to a number of circumstances out of our control, we are going to have to cancel this year’s game.”

A number of players were unavailable for the event including, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis who are participating with Team USA, and John Wall, who was committed to a function in China. Additionally, the cancellation is out of respect to Paul George and many players’ uneasiness this summer as a result of his injury at the Team USA camp in Las Vegas in early August.

“We consider the alumni game to be a first-class experience, but without the presence of several of our key alums who had previous commitments, including to USA Basketball, we didn’t feel we could meet the standard that we have set for fans,” Calipari said. “We still had enough commitments to field our team, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to secure enough members for the non-UK team.

“While I’m disappointed for our fans and for the great organizations we were able to help with the game, I’m happy we will still be able to make an impact on our community with the proceeds from my fantasy experience.”

Patrons who had previously purchased a ticket to the event will be refunded in full. Tickets purchased in person need to be returned to the point of purchase, tickets purchased online or over the phone will be credited back to the card used for the original purchase. The Rupp Arena box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Basketball will return to Rupp Arena when the Kentucky Wildcats host the annual start to the season with Big Blue Madness on Oct. 17. The Blue/White Scrimmage is slated for Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. ET.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Time Set for Kentucky vs. Texas Game in SEC/Big12 Challenge

Kentucky and Texas will play Friday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Rupp Arena as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Here are details from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – As a part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the game time for the Kentucky-Texas contest slated for Friday, Dec. 5 at Rupp Arena, has been set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The Kentucky-Texas contest will mark one of 10 total games in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge for the 2014-15 season.

UK and Texas have met only once before. Kentucky captured an 86-61 win in the 1993 Maui Classic.

2014 SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic

Wednesday, December 3rd

· Auburn @ Texas Tech – SEC Network / ESPN3 (9pm ET)

Thursday, December 4th

· LSU @ West Virginia – ESPN2 (7pm ET)
· Baylor @ Vanderbilt – ESPNU (7pm ET)
· Arkansas @ Iowa State – ESPN2 (9pm ET)
· TCU @ Ole Miss – ESPNU (9pm ET)

Friday, December 5th

· Texas @ Kentucky – ESPN (7pm ET)
· Florida @ Kansas – ESPN (9pm ET)
· Missouri @ Oklahoma – ESPNU (9:30pm ET)

Saturday, December 6th

· Oklahoma State @ South Carolina – ESPNU (12pm ET)
· Kansas State @ Tennessee – ESPN2 (3:15pm ET)

Former Racer Ivan Aska Agrees to Terms with Maccabi Ashdod in Israel

Former Murray State star Ivan Aska has signed with Maccabi Ashdod in Israel's top-level Winner League.

Aska last played for Cangrejeros de Santurce in Puerto Rico's BSN league. In 11 games there, he averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds.

Last season, he averaged 15.2 points and 7.0 rebounds for Ikaros in Greece's A1 league.

Here is more from Latinbasket.com:

Maccabi Ashdod (Winner League) agreed terms with 24-year old U.S. Virgin Islands ex-international forward Ivan Aska (200-104kg-90, college: Murray State). He is a dual citizen owning also Puerto Rican passport. Aska played this summer at Cangrejeros de Santurce in Puerto Rican BSN league, but left the team in July. In 11 games he had 6.9ppg and 4.5rpg. The previous season he played at Ikaros (A1) in Greek league. In 25 games he recorded very impressive stats: 15.2ppg and 7.0rpg. A very spectacular season in his career as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Greek A1 League Honorable Mention.

In 2012-13 season Aska played at Leuven Bears (Ethias League) in Belgium. In 27 games he recorded 14.1ppg, 6.0rpg (#5 in the league), 1.5apg and 1.3spg. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com Belgian League All-Bosmans Team.

Read More

Ray Kasongo Reportedly Down to Indiana, LSU

According to Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com, former East Ridge and Pikeville big man Ray Kasongo is now down to Indiana and LSU:



Here is an excerpt of Zagoria's article:

Former Oregon pledge Ray Kasongo will now choose between Indiana and LSU, a source close to the situation told SNY.tv.

The 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward may visit LSU Wednesday or Thursday and Indiana on Monday, the source said.

“He won’t commit until he visits both,” the source said.

Read More

John Robic Will Coach Kentucky Today in the Bahamas

Assistant John Robic will serve as Kentucky's head coach for today's exhibition game in the Bahamas.

Head coach John Calipari will observe the game from the stands.


Kentucky and Puerto Rico's reserve national team will tip at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU.


Louisville Commit Donovan Mitchell Throws Down Hard at Rucker Park

Check out this dunk by Louisville commit Donovan Mitchell at the Reebok Breakout Classic at Rucker Park:


B.J. Jenkins Named AND1 Player of the Week in Australia

Former Murray State star B.J. Jenkins has been named AND1 Player of the Week in Australia's SEABL league for the third time this season.



Jenkins had 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals for the NW Tasmania Thunder in a win over the Dandenong Rangers.

NW Tasmania is currently third in the SEABL-South with a 13-6 record.

Here is an excerpt of the league's release:

BJ JENKINS – NW Tasmania Thunder

Despite having locked in second position on the South Men ladder last week, NW Tasmania Thunder import BJ Jenkins was determined to show the inform Dandenong Rangers that they are not the only contenders for the Championship this year. Jenkins started the game at a blistering rate with 12pts in the opening quarter to finish with 25pts@50%, 5rebs, 5ass and 4stls. This is the third Player of the Week recognition for BJ Jenkins and will be a high contender for the League MVP Award this year.

Some highlights of Jenkins in action:



Highlights of Kentucky's Win Over Chalons-Reims

Check out these highlights of Kentucky's impressive 81-58 win over Chalons-Reims in the Bahamas:


UK's Karl Towns, Andrew Harrison Discuss Win Over Chalons-Reims

Kentucky's Karl Towns and Andrew Harrison talk about Monday's win over Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket in the Bahamas:


UK Assistant Kenny Payne Talks About Win Over Chalons-Reims

Assistant Kenny Payne served as head coach yesterday during Kentucky's lopsided victory over French pro team Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket. Head coach John Calipari sat in the stands with special assistant Tony Barbee.

Here is Payne talking about the win in a postgame press conference:


Monday, August 11, 2014

Kentucky Blows By French Professional Team in the Bahamas

Kentucky 81
Chalons-Reims 58

Exhibition FINAL from the Bahamas

Kentucky blasted Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket, a team from France's top-level ProA league, 81-58 Monday afternoon in the Bahamas.

The Wildcats broke open a tight game with a 14-2 run during the first half and never looked back to move to 2-0 on their exhibition trip.

Freshman Karl Towns led the way for Kentucky with 19 points and 10 rebounds in only 21 minutes of action. Alex Poythress chipped in 16 points and 8 boards. Dakari Johnson finished with 10 points.

Point guards Andrew Harrison and Tyler Ulis combined for 11 points, 8 assists and only 3 turnovers.

Former West Virginia star Da'Sean Butler led Chalons-Reims with 10 points. Ex-LSU star Tasmin Mitchell added 9 points.

The Wildcats return to action tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. ET when they will face a rematch from Puerto Rico's reserve national team. Kentucky defeated Puerto Rico 74-49 on Sunday.

Photo: John Calipari on Twitter

Box score (click to enlarge):

John Calipari Takes Over ESPN's Camera During the Game

During the second half of today's exhibition game in the Bahamas, Kentucky head coach John Calipari took over one of ESPN's cameras:



ESPN's Jay Bilas joked that Calipari is now the highest paid camera guy in the history of the world.

Indiana Loses to a Canadian Team with "Unknown" on the Roster

The Indiana Hoosiers suffered a surprising setback on their exhibition trip to Canada over the weekend.

Indiana lost 109-101 to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.

While it was an exhibition game in August, there were some alarming numbers for the Hoosiers. First, Indiana gave up 109 points to a collegiate team in Canada that one professional coach described as, "a team that couldn't win the Ohio Valley Conference." Secondly, Ottawa was 18-for-30 from the 3-point line. Perimeter defense? Lastly, Ottawa has a played labeled as "Unknown" on the official box score. To the surprise of no one, he came in late and fired up a 3-pointer.

The news could get worse for Indiana fans as the Hoosiers return to action today against Canadian national champion Carleton University.

Head coach Tom Crean is excited about the opportunity:



Here's a box score:



John Calipari Talks About Exhibition Win Over Puerto Rico

Kentucky head coach John Calipari gives his postgame thoughts following Kentucky's 74-49 win over Puerto Rico's reserve national team:


Highlights of Kentucky's Win Over Puerto Rico

Check out these highlights from Kentucky's 74-49 win over Puerto Rico's reserve national team on Sunday:


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kentucky Blasts Puerto Rico to Open Bahamas Trip

Kentucky 74
Puerto Rico 49

Exhibition FINAL from the Bahamas

Kentucky looked a little rusty early but turned it on late in the first half to earn a convincing 74-49 win over Puerto Rico's B national team Sunday afternoon in the Bahamas.

Aaron Harrison led the Wildcats with 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Alex Poythress and Karl Towns each scored 10 points. Towns also pulled down a team-high 7 rebounds.

Devin Booker and Marcus Lee contributed 9 points each for the Wildcats. Freshman Tyler Ulis led Kentucky with 5 assists.

Kentucky out-rebounded Puerto Rico 38-31 for the game. The Wildcats shot 29-for-60 from the field but only 2-for-13 from long range.

John Calipari's team returns to exhibition action on Monday with a 1:00 p.m. ET game against Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket. That game will also be shown live on ESPNU.

Here's a box score (via CoachCal.com on Twitter):



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