Friday, February 6, 2015

Boyle County's Rebel Rowdies Are What High School Basketball Is All About

I have determined that Boyle County's Rebel Rowdies are the epitome of what a great high school basketball student section should be.

The Rowdies bring it hard every night, but perhaps the best pep section effort I've witnessed since I've been doing this site was last week when Lincoln County came to town.

I am officially naming the Rowdies the Student Section of the Season for 2015.

Some factors that sealed the deal for Boyle County:

- They are always well-organized and prepared. It is very obvious that the Rowdies have solid leadership and all the students are on board.

- They bring it hard every game but don't cross the line with inappropriate language or signage. I watched the Rowdies 5-6 times in the last 2 seasons and the worst thing I noticed was chanting "daddy's boy" at Brad Calipari, which was actually kind of funny since John Calipari was sitting in the stands smiling.

- They put a ton of effort into each game. One source told me that the Rowdies spent more than three days preparing for Lincoln County.

- They don't take a break during the games. Win or lose, the Rowdies chant throughout and never give up on a game.

- They take their show on the road. I am very impressed that the Rowdies even travel with their team.

- They had a fathead...of me. That speaks for itself. Thank you guys for doing that.

I'd like to give a shout out to Lincoln County and Mercer County, as well. From top to bottom, the 12th Region has some of the best student sections in Kentucky High School Basketball.

Oh, and one last note, this contest was about fun. Nothing more and nothing less. The student section is meant to be fun and I love that all the kids enjoyed themselves this season.

I kind of ran out of time this season but I'll be looking at some other regions soon (looking at you Covington Catholic).

Good luck in the last few games of the regular season and tournament time!

NOTE: Videos coming soon...

Murray State Gets Past SEMO for 18th Straight Win

Murray State 82
Southeast Missouri 72

Final from Murray, Kentucky

Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers kept their winning ways and winning streak going Thursday with an 82-72 victory over the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.

The Racers, who haven't dropped a game since Thanksgiving weekend, pushed their winning streak to 18 and improved to 20-4 overall and 10-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference. SEMO fell to 10-13 and 4-6.

Steve Prohm joined the first coach in school history, Carlisle Cutchin, with four straight 20-win seasons. Additionally, Prohm is the only coach in school history to begin his era with four straight.

The Racers did it with a tremendous burst after leading at halftime 36-31.

Leading 50-43 with 14:59 remaining, the Racers put together a 20-5 run over the next nine minutes to lead by 22 points 70-48. Leading by the same margin on a Justin Seymour 3-pointer with 4:55 left, the Racers had to hold off a SEMO rally that cut the lead to six with 1:02 left.

Jarvis Williams led the Racers with his ninth double-double this season and his 23rd at MSU with 23 points and 11 rebounds. T.J. Sapp added 19 points, while Cameron Payne added 16 points and a game-high six assists. Jeffery Moss rounded out four Racers in double-figure scoring with 10 points.

The Racers won the battle of the boards 37-27 making it eight-straight games winning the rebound stat.

For the game, MSU shot 52 percent on 29-of-56 shots from the field, while SEMO was 24-of-55 for 44 percent.

The Racers hit the road Saturday for the Dunn Center in Clarksville, Tenn., where they'll face the Austin Peay Governors at 7 p.m.

Complete Recap

Louisville's Wayne Blackshear Named to Capital One District 2 Academic All-District Team

Louisville forward Wayne Blackshear was named to the Capital One District 2 Academic All-District team on Thursday.

Here is a release from UL:

Louisville, Ky. - University of Louisville men's basketball senior Wayne Blackshear is one of five student-athletes on the Capital One District 2 Academic All-District men's basketball first team, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced Thursday afternoon. Blackshear earns the honor for the second consecutive year. He is one of three ACC player selected to the eight all-district teams.

To be eligible for the honor, which recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom, a student-athlete must maintain at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA. Inclusion on the all-district team allows him to be considered for Capital One Academic All-America honors.

The Chicago, Ill., native earned the 2013 NCAA Elite 89 Award, presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. Blackshear, who is majoring in communications, boasts a 3.4 cumulative grade-point average. He was a member of the 2013 UofL Athletic Director's Honor Roll while helping the men's basketball team produced a 3.33 combined GPA for the 2014 fall semester, the second-highest ever for the Cardinals and the highest among Louisville's nine men's sports programs.

Complete Release

Western Kentucky Retakes Top Spot in Conference USA with Comeback Win Over North Texas

Western Kentucky 65
North Texas 59

Final from Bowling Green, Kentucky

Game recap by WKU:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) -- T.J. Price scored 19 points, George Fant added 14 with 16 rebounds, and WKU scored the last 11 points of the game to take down North Texas 65-59 on Thursday night.

Fant has scored in double figures in 12-straight games for WKU (16-6, 9-1 Conference USA). Ben Lawson added eight points and five blocked shots.

Armani Flannigan hit two buckets and a free throw and North Texas led 7-4, but the Hilltoppers pulled ahead on a 14-1 run, then led 27-12 after a layup by Fant. Price scored 13 points in the half and the Hilltoppers led 34-25 at intermission.

The Mean Green gained ground on a 14-10 second-half run, then led 47-46 on a jumper by Jordan Williams. The lead traded hands three more times before Trency Jackson hit a 3 for a 60-59 Hilltoppers lead with 3:02 left, and WKU finished with five unanswered points.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Video: Knott Central's Evan Hall Dunks All Over Belfry

Knott County Central's Evan Hall dunked all over Belfry on Saturday.


Knott Central (22-1) knocked off the Pirates 94-58.

Transylvania Stays Hot with HCAC Win Over Mount St. Joseph

Transylvania 69
Mount St. Joseph 60

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by TU:

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Transylvania Pioneers took control with an 18-4 run in the first half and hit 12 free throws in the final 1:42 to notch their fifth straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference win with a 69-60 victory over Mount St. Joseph Wednesday night at the Clive M. Beck Center.

Transylvania owns wins over the top two teams in the standings in Defiance College and Mount St. Joseph and currently sit in fourth place in the HCAC with five conference games remaining.

Trailing 17-16 in the first half, the Pioneers' Tristan Burgess hit a three-pointer to give Transylvania a 19-17 lead with 8:46 remaining in the half, and the Pioneers never looked back, finishing the half on an 18-4 run. In addition to their offensive prowess, the Transylvania defense held Mount St. Joseph to just 30 percent (9-of-30) in the first half including 10 percent (1-of-10) from three-point range.

For the half, the Pioneers were led by Tim Bickel's nine points and four rebounds. Robert Dence added eight point and four rebounds, and Tommy Sirkin, on his way to a career-high in points, finished the half with seven points and four rebounds.

After taking a 34-21 lead into the half, the Pioneers saw the Lions close to within six at 55-49 with 5:32 remaining in the game, but an Alex Jones' jumper from the right elbow quickly pushed the lead back to eight. Trailing 57-51 with 3:50 remaining, Mount St. Joseph was unable to convert free throws, but the Pioneers had no such trouble from the charity stripe. Transylvania, who lost a nail-biter to the Lions on Dec. 3, 2014, hit 12 free throws in the final 1:42 and held on for a 69-60 victory over Mt. St. Joseph. In the final 1:42, Sirkin converted six free throws. Jones converted four free throws, and Parker Stansberry added two free throws with just 17.9 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Complete Recap

No. 23 Union College Blows by Point for 12th Straight Win

(23) Union College 81
Point 65

Final from Barbourville, Kentucky

Game recap by UC:

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Forward Gerrard Newby (SO/Lexington, Ky. ) and center Deante Johnson (SR/Cincinnati, Ohio) scored 17 points, apiece, as the No. 23 Union College men's basketball team never trailed against Point (Ga.) on Wednesday night, rollIing to an 81-65 victory in Appalachian Athletic Conference play at Robsion Arena.

With the victory, the Bulldogs won their 12th straight game to move to 21-4 overall, 13-1 in the AAC. Point fell to 3-23, 2-13 in the AAC with the defeat.

In the victory, the game was essentially put out of Point's reach in the first three minutes of regulation, as the Bulldogs came out on absolute fire out of the gate. When the dust settled, Union had held a huge 14-0 lead with 17 minutes left in the first half.

The closest Point came to the Union lead the rest of the period was 12 points (41-29), as the Bulldogs went into the locker room up by 14 points (43-29) over the visiting Skyhawks.

To start the second half, Point was the aggressor, as they scored the first four points of the period to cut the Union lead to 10 at 43-33.

This, however, was the closest Point came to the Union lead the rest of the night, as the Bulldogs went on a staggering 21-0 run over the next six minutes to take an insurmountable 64-33 lead with 13:34 left. From there, the Bulldogs rolled, as they coasted to their 12th straight win by 16 points.

Overall, Newby and Johnson led the way for Union inside with their 17 point evenings. Newby's night was very impressive, as the sophomore registered a double-double (his third of the season) after pulling down a career-high 12 rebounds. Johnson once again didn't miss a shot in a Union win, going 8-for-8 from the floor in his fifth straight double-digit scoring game.

Elsewhere, Dominique Hagans (SR/Lexington, Ky.) went into double-figures yet again, missing just two shots (7-of-9) from the floor in a 16 point, six rebound, six assist evening. Fitzgerald White (SR/Miami, Fla. ) rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Bulldogs, chipping in with 13 points in the victory.

Complete Recap 

Cordia Will Play at Madison Central Tonight

Cordia and Madison Central have scheduled a game for tonight in Richmond.

The game will tip at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Cordia, which is limited to only 15 games this season due to KHSAA violations, is currently 8-2 on the season.

Madison Central is 14-10.

Listen to John Calipari LIVE Right Now

Listen to Kentucky head coach John Calipari LIVE right now on the video below:

Region Pairings Set for 2015 KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen

The region pairings are set for the 2015 KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen state tournament.

I'm sure several regions feel like they got a very tough draw as some of the favorites to win the title will have very difficult first round games.

Here's a look at the schedule:

March 18

12:00 p.m. Region 8 vs. Region 3
1:30 p.m. Region 5 vs. Region 2
6:30 p.m. Region 9 vs. Region 10
8:00 p.m. Region 13 vs. Region 6

March 19

12:00 p.m. Region 15 vs. Region 7
1:30 p.m. Region 11 vs. Region 12
6:30 p.m. Region 4 vs. Region 16
8:00 p.m. Region 14 vs. Region 1

March 20

12:00 p.m. Quarterfinal 1
1:30 p.m. Quarterfinal 2
6:30 p.m. Quarterfinal 3
8:00 p.m. Quarterfinal 4

March 21

6:30 p.m. Semifinal 1
8:00 p.m. Semifinal 2

March 22

2:00 p.m. Championship Game

DeMarcus Cousins' Chase Chevrolet Commercial is Great

Check out this new Chase Chevrolet commercial featuring former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins:

Male Head Coach Larry Miller to Step Down After This Season

According to reports on Twitter, Male High School head coach Larry Miller will step down after this season.

Male is 13-10 this season.

Miller told Frakes that he would still like to continue coaching in some capacity, perhaps at the college level.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

South Carolina Women's Basketball Get Their Iggy On

The South Carolina women's basketball team has put out a pretty impressive "Fancy" video.

I'm not sure who the main singer is but she is almost does a better Iggy than the actual Iggy.

Yes, I realize this has nothing to do with Kentucky but it is still a solid job by the USC girls.

Lindsey Wilson's D'on Hall Named Mid-South Conference Player of the Week

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

Here's a release from the MSC:

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

The weekly award is Hall first this season and third of his career. He becomes the first Blue Raider to earn the honor this season.

Hall averaged 22.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while helping the Blue Raiders to home wins over No. 23-ranked Cumberlands and No. 2-ranked Pikeville last week

The San Bernardino, California, guard narrowly missed a double-double in Lindsey Wilson's 82-66 win over Cumberlands on Thursday. Hall scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help Lindsey Wilson beat a ranked opponent for the first time this season.

On Saturday, Hall poured in a career-high 27 points in the Blue Raiders' 98-93 win over Pikeville. He added five steals as Lindsey Wilson earned the season split with the conference-leading Bears.

Hall ended the week shooting 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the field and 76.5 percent (13-of-17) from the free throw line.

Hall is 14th in the Mid-South in scoring (12.2 points per game) and 12th in the conference with 30 3-pointers this season.

Lindsey Wilson improves to 13-10 overall and 4-6 in the Mid-South with last week's wins.

The next MSC Men's Basketball Player of the Week will be announced on Monday, Feb. 9.

Rick Pitino Shares a Message With His Team About Having Fun

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino recently gave a message to his players about having fun and enjoying the rest of this season.

Pitino shared that message on the radio last night.

Here is Pitino's message via Eric Crawford of WDRB in Louisvlle:

Kentucky State Comes Up Short at LeMoyne-Owen

LeMoyne-Owen 82
Kentucky State 71

Final from Memphis, Tennessee

Game recap by KSU:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Kentucky State University men's basketball team came up short, 82-71, in a SIAC match-up against the LeMoyne-Owen College Magicians on Monday evening at Bruce/Johnson Hall.

LeMoyne-Owen improves to 11-9 overall and 7-4 in SIAC play while Kentucky State falls to 5-14 overall and 3-9 against SIAC competition.

After both teams had success on the offensive end in the opening half, KSU connected on 40 percent of their attempts and LOC hit 42 percent, the Magicians took a slim four-point lead, 41-37, into the locker rooms.

The Magicians hit 54 percent of their field goal attempts in the final half, going 13-of-24 from the floor. Despite LOC's hot shooting, the Thorobreds refused to go away quietly. There were 16 ties or lead changes in the first 13 minutes of the second half.

With 7:47 left in the game, LeMoyne-Owen's Rashawn Brown picked up a technical after fouling Ulysses Thomas III. Thomas stepped to the line with KSU trailing by two and sank four straight free-throws to put the Thorobreds ahead by one, 62-61.

Unfortunately for Kentucky State the Magicians got a spark from the technical and went on a huge 14-0 run over the next five minutes to push their lead to 13 points, 75-62, with 3:44 left on the clock. From there LOC kept the pressure on as it coasted to the West Division victory.

One bright spot for the Thorobreds was the fact that they hit a season-high 96 percent (21-of-22) from the free-throw line as a team.

Thomas finished the game with his second straight 20-plus point performance, dropping in a team-high 23 points. Thomas went a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line. Darrien Wilkins finished with 13 points and seven boards. Malcolm Smith added 11 points.

Complete Recap

Bill Raftery and Grant Hill to Replace Greg Anthony on Final Four Call for CBS, Turner Sports

CBS and Turner Sports have announced that Bill Raftery and Grant Hill will call the Final Four this season.

Raftery and Hill will be taking the place of the suspended Greg Anthony, who was recently arrested on charges he solicited a prostitute.

Here is an excerpt from

Bill Raftery and Grant Hill will call the Final Four this season, taking the place of the suspended Greg Anthony.

CBS and Turner Sports said Tuesday that Raftery and Hill will work as analysts alongside play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz.

Complete Article

This will be Raftery's first call at the Final Four for TV after more than 30 years of broadcasting the NCAA Tournament.

No. 13 Georgetown College Overcomes Wilberforce for 8th Straight Win

(13) Georgetown 101
Wilberforce 81

Final from Georgetown, Kentucky

Game recap by GC:

Noah Cottrill finished three shy of his career-high and Georgetown needed every single one of his 32 points Tuesday against Wilberforce University. The No. 13 Tigers (20-3) pulled away late for a 101-81 victory. The 20-point cushion was not indicative of the game as the Bulldogs (6-19) clawed, scrapped and hit 11 threes to make it the closest game of the series that GC leads 4-0.

Patrick Mitchell did most of the damage with 40 points and 10 rebounds on 14-of-24 shooting, 7-of-12 from deep. The 6-foot-2 guard fouled out with 1:42 remaining and his team trailing 91-79.

Georgetown has dominated the series with the NAIA Division II team, averaging 101 points in the first three meetings and holding Wilberforce to just 61. This past December the Tigers rolled up a 103-61 win in Ohio.

GC started slow and the Bulldogs capitalized on sharp shooting for an early 15-10 lead. However, Domonique Bull started an 18-2 run and the Tigers largest advantage of the first half, 28-17.

Wilberforce stopped turning the ball over, during that stretch the Bulldogs had seven miscues, and started scoring again. Brandon Murphy capped a 16-4 run for another WU lead, 33-32.

Georgetown found enough of an offensive rhythm to close the half on a 7-6 run and a one-point lead at the break.

A quick start by the Bulldogs had them in control again by five early in the second half, but when Cottrill hit a three with 16:40 left the game was never in doubt again.

Deondre McWhorter used his much stronger and taller frame against Wilberforce in the final 20 minutes to pick up another double-double, 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Complete Recap

Kentucky Players Talk About the Win Over Georgia

Kentucky's Andrew Harrison, Tyler Ulis and Karl Towns talk to the media following last night's win over Georgia:

Rick Pitino Breaks Down the Win Over Miami (FL)

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino discusses last night's win over Miami (FL):

The "Big O" Oscar Robertson Was at Rupp Arena Last Night

The legendary Oscar Robertson was in attendance at Rupp Arena last night for Kentucky's win over Georgia.

The "Big O" is one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.

No. 9 Louisville Enjoys Fun in the Sun, Knocks Off Miami (FL)

(9) Louisville 63
Miami (FL) 55

Final from Coral Gables, Florida

Game recap by UL:

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Rick Pitino brought his Louisville Cardinals to Miami a day early for some sand, surf and shopping, and the fun continued when their game began Tuesday.

Led by Terry Rozier and Chris Jones, the No. 9-ranked Cardinals built an early 13-point lead and withstood a comeback bid by the Hurricanes in the second half to win 63-55.

The day off helped, Jones said.

''We did a lot of stuff away from the court,'' he said. ''Coach gave us a lot of time to free our minds and not think about basketball. We took it as a business trip, but also as a vacation. A lot of guys went to the beach and the mall and did a lot of things. Coach believes in us, and we got a victory.''

Jones had 16 points, six steals, eight rebounds and five assists, while backcourt mate Rozier scored 22 points. Montrezl Harrell added 18 points and nine rebounds.

It's a good thing they were well-rested, because all three played at least 38 minutes.

''We played a terrific game,'' Pitino said. ''We controlled tempo, and that's what we wanted to do.''

The Cardinals (19-3, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned their fourth consecutive victory. The Hurricanes (14-8, 4-5) lost their third game in a row and lost for the fifth time at home this season.

Miami sophomore Davon Reed sank five 3-pointers and tied a career high with 19 points. Tonye Jekiri added 10 points and 10 rebounds, but the Hurricanes shot only 34 percent and fell to 3-3 against ranked teams.

Complete Recap

John Calipari Discusses Win Over Georgia, Gives Update on Trey Lyles

Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks about last night's win over Georgia and more:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mark Fox Talks About Loss at Kentucky, Knows His Team Was Close

Georgia head coach Mark Fox talks about tonight's loss at Kentucky:

Kentucky 69 Georgia 58; Check Out the Highlights

Check out the highlights from Kentucky's 69-58 win over Georgia:

Kentucky Struggles But Pulls Away from Georgia Late to Move to 22-0

(1) Kentucky 69
Georgia 58

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

No. 1 Kentucky started with an 11-1 run and ended with a 6-0 spurt to knock of Georgia 69-58 Tuesday night in Lexington.

The Wildcats (22-0, 9-0 SEC) struggled a bit in the second half and could never put the short-handed Bulldogs away.

Andrew Harrison led Kentucky with a game-high 23 points and 7 assists. Karl Towns added a double-doubled with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Devin Booker chipped in 9 points.

Nemanja Djurisic led the Bulldogs (14-7, 5-4) with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Yante Maten contributed 13 points and 9 boards.

Georgia, which played with leading scorer and rebounder Marcus Thornton, actually out-scored Kentucky 31-27 in the second half. They cut the Wildcats' lead 5 points with 2:08 to go in the game but was unable to get any closer. Towns hit a clutch shot 1:33 to go to put the game away.

Kentucky returns to action Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. ET when they will battle the Florida Gators in Gainesville.

Box Score (click to enlarge):

UK Announces That Trey Lyles Will Miss Second Straight Game Due to Illness

The University of Kentucky has announced that Trey Lyles will miss tonight's game against Georgia due to an illness.

This is the second straight game that Lyles has missed.

Kentucky's Dakari Johnson, Dominique Hawkins Preview Georgia Game

Kentucky's Dakari Johnson and Dominique Hawkins preview tonight's game against Georgia and more:

Union College Blows By Berea College for 11th Consecutive Win

Union College 96
Berea College 72

Final from Barbourville, Kentucky

Game recap by UC:

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Guard JD Tucker (JR/Charleston, S.C.) paced four double-digit scorers with a game-high 21 points, as the Union College men's basketball team pulled away in the second half to notch an 96-72 victory over Berea (Ky.) in out-of-conference action at Robsion Arena on Monday night.

With the victory, the Bulldogs captured their 11th straight win - matching a school-record set last season - moving to 20-4 overall. Berea fell to 14-4 with the defeat.

To start things, both teams came out firing, as the score was tied on five separate occasions in the first six minutes of play. After Union took a slim four-point lead with 10:37 left in the period (24-20), Berea raced on a 10-3 run over the next few minutes to take a 30-27 lead with 8:10 to go.

This would be the final time on the evening that Berea would have a lead, as Union quickly grabbed it back at 31-30 with six minutes left. Things did, however, remain close into the final stages of the period, as the Bulldogs clung to a 41-39 lead with 2:09 left.

Here, however, the Bulldogs ended the half on a flurry, going on a 7-2 run into the locker room to go up 48-41 at the half. The run was punctuated late by a Gerrard Newby (SO/Lexington, Ky. ) dunk with under 10 seconds left in the period.

The run continued to start the second half, where Union essentially put Berea away in the first five minutes of the period.

After Berea cut the Union lead to three points (48-45) in the first two minutes, the Bulldogs went on a back-breaking 20-4 run over a seven minute span to take an insurmountable 68-49 lead with 11:59 left.

The roll continued throughout the rest of regulation, as the Bulldogs coasted to another huge win at home, avenging a loss earlier in the season to the Mountaineers in the process.

Overall, Tucker led the way with 21 points and seven assists (a season-high for the Junior). Meanwhile, forward Deante Johnson (SR/Cincinnati, Ohio) was absolutely dominant in the second half, scoring 16 of his final 20 points in the period (on a perfect 8-for-8 shooting performance from the floor).

Elsewhere, Dominique Hagans (SR/Lexington, Ky.) registered his sixth straight double-digit scoring game with 16 points (along with seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals), while Fitzgerald White (SR/Miami, Fla. ) rounded out the double-digit scorers for Union with 15 points. Newby had a strong night, as well, matching career-highs with 11 rebounds and four blocks, while scoring eight points.

Berea was led in the loss by Richard Parker, who had 14 points.

Complete Recap

One Coach Votes Gonzaga No. 1 Over Kentucky in USA Today Coaches Poll

For whatever reason, one coach has given his first place vote to one-loss Gonzaga rather than undefeated Kentucky in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Gonzaga has only played one top 20 team and that was a 66-63 loss to Arizona. Their only other win over a ranked opponent was an early-season 72-56 win over then No. 22 SMU.

Meanwhile, Kentucky has knocked off No. 5 Kansas, No. 6 Texas, No. 21 North Carolina and No. 4 Louisville.

The two teams also share a common opponent in UCLA. Gonzaga cruised by the Bruins 87-74. Kentucky absolutely dismantled UCLA 83-44 on a neutral court.

In other words, outside of political reasons, there is no logical excuse to vote for Gonzaga over Kentucky at this point of the season.

Louisville (18-3) is No. 8 this week.

USA Today Coaches Poll

1 Kentucky (31) 21-0 799
2 Gonzaga (1) 22-1 749
3 Virginia 19-1 709
4 Wisconsin 19-2 703
5 Duke 18-3 691
6 Arizona 20-2 650
7 Villanova 19-2 595
8 Louisville 18-3 560
9 Kansas 18-3 549
10 Notre Dame 20-3 530
11 Utah 17-4 417 12 West Virginia 18-3 408 13 North Carolina 17-5 399 14 Iowa State 16-4 396 15 Northern Iowa 20-2 374 16 Maryland 18-4 319 17 Wichita St 19-3 316 18 Virginia Commonwealth 17-4 214 19 Baylor 16-5 207 20 Ohio State 17-5 173 21 Oklahoma 14-7 138 22 Butler 16-6 94 23 SMU 18-4 68 24 Georgetown 15-6 57 25 Indiana 16-6 49

Others receiving votes: Arkansas 39, Colorado St 37, Texas 37, Dayton 27, San Diego St 25, Texas A&M 16, Wyoming 10, Providence 9, Tulsa 8, Seton Hall 7, Stephen F. Austin 7, TCU 5, Michigan St 5, Stanford 2, LSU 1, Valparaiso 1

Monday, February 2, 2015

Is It Really February? Conference Tournaments Coming Soon: Schedule for the Week

Believe it or's already February and some conference tournaments tip off in just over two weeks.

Here's a complete schedule for this week:

Monday, February 2

7:00 p.m. Berea College at Union College
7:00 p.m. Kentucky Christian University at Ohio-Chillicothe
8:30 p.m. Kentucky State University at Lemoyne-Owen*

Tuesday, February 3

7:00 p.m. Wilberforce at Georgetown College
7:00 p.m. Georgia at University of Kentucky*
8:00 p.m. University of Louisville at Miami (FL)*
8:00 p.m. Brescia University at IU Kokomo*

Wednesday, February 4

7;30 p.m. Point at Union College*
7:30 p.m. Mt. St. Joseph at Transylvania University*
8:00 p.m. Thomas More College at Bethany*

Thursday, February 5

7:00 p.m. Tennessee State at Morehead State University*
7:30 p.m. Lane College at Kentucky State University*
8:00 p.m. North Texas at Western Kentucky University*
8:00 p.m. Cincinnati Christian at Asbury University*
8:00 p.m. Cumberland at St. Catharine College*
8:00 p.m. Lindsey Wilson College at Campbellsville University*
8:00 p.m. Southeast Missouri at Murray State University*
8:00 p.m. Truman State at Bellarmine University*
9:00 p.m. Belmont at Eastern Kentucky University*

Friday, February 6

7:00 p.m. Kentucky Christian University at Welch*
7:30 p.m. IU Kokomo at Berea College
8:00 p.m. Rhodes at Centre College*

Saturday, February 7

2:00 p.m. Life University at Georgetown College*
3:00 p.m. Berea College at Wilberforce
3:00 p.m. MacMurray College at Spalding University*
3:00 p.m. Thomas More College at Thiel*
3:15 p.m. Quincy at Bellarmine University*
4:00 p.m. Lindsey Wilson College at St. Catharine College*
4:00 p.m. Cumberland at Campbellsville University*
4:00 p.m. Asbury University at Alice Lloyd College*
4:00 p.m. University of Pikeville at University of the Cumberlands*
4:00 p.m. Cincinnati Christian at Brescia University*
4:00 p.m. Anderson at Transylvania University*
5:00 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at Trevecca*
7:00 p.m. Tennessee State at Eastern Kentucky University*
7:00 p.m. Lipscomb at Northern Kentucky University*
7:00 p.m. University of Louisville at Virginia*
7:30 p.m. Belmont at Morehead State University*
8:00 p.m. Murray State University at Austin Peay*
8:00 p.m. Rice at Western Kentucky University*
9:00 p.m. University of Kentucky at Florida*

Sunday, February 8

2:00 p.m. Hendrix at Centre College*

* Conference Game

Georgia Will Be Without Best Player Marcus Thornton at Kentucky

The Georgia Bulldogs will without their best player when they come to Rupp Arena tomorrow night.

According to Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph, leading scorer Marcus Thornton will not play at Kentucky.

Thornton is averaging 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Feinstein Gives In: Kentucky is Unanimous No. 1 in New AP Top 25

John Feinstein has finally been forced to give in and give his first-place vote to the Kentucky Wildcats following Virginia's loss to Duke over the weekend.

The Wildcats are now the unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 with all 65 first-place votes.

Louisville is up to No. 9 this week.

Murray State received two votes in the poll.

AP Top 25

Record Pts Prv
1. Kentucky (65) 21-0 1,625 1
2. Gonzaga 22-1 1,503 3
3. Virginia 19-1 1,470 2
4. Duke 18-3 1,416 4
5. Wisconsin 19-2 1,381 5
6. Arizona 20-2 1,338 6
7. Villanova 19-2 1,209 7
8. Kansas 18-3 1,177 9
9. Louisville 18-3 1,114 10
10. Notre Dame 20-3 1,072 8
11. Iowa St. 16-4 892 15 12. North Carolina 17-5 861 13 13. Utah 17-4 824 11 14. N. Iowa 20-2 792 18 15. West Virginia 18-3 779 17 16. Wichita St. 19-3 678 12 17. Maryland 18-4 508 16 18. VCU 17-4 479 14 19. Baylor 16-5 420 20 20. Ohio St. 17-5 358 _ 21. Oklahoma 14-7 312 24 22. Butler 16-6 250 25 23. SMU 18-4 221 _ 24. Georgetown 15-6 162 21 25. Texas 14-7 106 19

Others receiving votes: Texas A&M 40, Seton Hall 22, Arkansas 21, Indiana 18, San Diego St. 18, Colorado St. 11, Dayton 9, Tulsa 8, Xavier 8, Stephen F. Austin 5, Providence 3, Stanford 3, Louisiana Tech 2, Murray St. 2, Oklahoma St. 2, Temple 2, Georgia 1, Michigan St. 1, Rhode Island 1, Valparaiso 1.

Western Kentucky Wins at Southern Miss to Maintain Share of Lead in Conference USA

Western Kentucky 73
Southern Miss 62

Final from  Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Game recap by WKU:

HATTIESBUG, Miss. (AP) -- T.J. Price tied a career high with 30 points on 8-for-15 shooting to lead WKU to a 73-62 win over Southern Miss on Saturday night.

Trency Jackson added 14 points and George Fant had 12 points to go with nine rebounds for WKU (15-6, 8-1 Conference USA). Fant also had nine rebounds.

The Hilltoppers, who took the lead for good with a bucket from Fant early in the first half that made it 11-9, carried a 34-28 advantage into the break and padded it down the stretch.

Both teams shot comparably from the field but WKU went 24 for 32 at the free throw line while Southern Miss (6-14, 1-8) was 15 for 22.

Current Conference USA Standings:

Louisiana Tech 8-1 17-5
Western Kentucky 8-1 15-6
UAB 7-2 11-11
Old Dominion 6-3 17-4
UTEP 6-3 14-7
Middle Tennessee 5-4 12-10
UT San Antonio 4-5 10-10
Florida International 3-4 10-10
North Texas 3-5 9-11
Rice 3-5 6-14
Charlotte 3-6 9-12
Marshall 2-7 6-16
Florida Atlantic 1-6 8-10
Southern Miss 1-8 6-14

Devin Booker Named SEC Freshman of the Week for 4th Consecutive Week

Kentucky's Devin Booker has been named SEC Freshman of the Week for an unprecedented fourth consecutive week.

Can we just go ahead and name Booker SEC Freshman of the Year?

Update on Rajon Rondo's Injury

The Dallas Mavericks have put out an update on Rajon Rondo's head injury and the news is not great.

Rondo suffered an orbital fracture to his left eye as well as a nasal fracture.

Here is the update from the Mavs:

Rajon Rondo suffered an orbital fracture to his left eye as well as a nasal fracture during the game at Orlando on Saturday, January 31. His status will be updated later this week as more information is available.

Rondo will not travel with the team this week to Golden State and Sacramento while undergoing additional testing and evaluation.

Rondo is out indefinitely and will miss at least three games.

Montrezl Harrell, No. 10 Louisville Complete Incredible Comeback to Knock Off North Carolina in Overtime

(10) Louisville 78
(13) North Carolina 68 F/OT

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by UL:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A few weeks after North Carolina shocked Louisville by rallying from a double-digit deficit, the Cardinals returned the favor.

Montrezl Harrell scored 14 of his 22 points after halftime and No. 10 Louisville rallied from a 18-point second half deficit to beat No. 13 North Carolina 78-68 on Saturday night.

Harrell also added 15 rebounds in a performance North Carolina coach Roy Williams described as ''possessed.''

''It seemed like he got every rebound and ran the floor, posted our guys up,'' Williams said of the North Carolina native.

Terry Rozier scored the first six points in overtime for Louisville (18-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) to complete the comeback but said Harrell's play put the team in position for the improbable win.

''It was like we were desperate for a bucket, desperate to get something going,'' said Rozier, who finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds. ''Trez got us going. We fed off his energy. He did a good job of just talking to us, bringing us in. His energy was just through the roof.''

Rozier's sweeping layup 43 seconds into overtime gave Louisville (18-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 62-60 lead, its first since four minutes into the game. Two free throws following a Kennedy Meeks layup again put the Cardinals up and his 15-footer with 2:43 remaining gave Louisville the lead for good as Louisville scored 10 straight to take a 76-64 lead.

Harrell showed he doesn't have to be a captain to carry the Cardinals. The preseason All-America forward stepped down as a co-captain prior to Louisville's Jan. 25 win at Pitt, a move Louisville coach Rick Pitino said was Harrell's decision due in part to being too harsh on the work ethic of younger players.

Complete Recap

Box Score (click to enlarge):

Rajon Rondo Suffers Bloody Nose, Unknown Head Injury

Former Kentucky star Rajon Rondo took an inadvertent knee to the face during a game Saturday.

Rondo immediately grabbed his face in pain and blood began to pour from his nose.

He has already been ruled out of tonight's game against Minnesota and doctors are still evaluating the extent of his injuries.

Here's a look at the knee he took from teammate Richard Jefferson:

Murray High School Guard James Boone Lands Offer from Samford

Murray High School guard James Boone has picked up an offer from Samford and head coach Scott Padgett.

Boone is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard in the Class of 2016.

2015 5-Star Guard Malik Newman Will Likely Commit in April

According to his father, 2015 5-star combo guard Malik Newman will likely make his college announcement in April.

Newman has offers from Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Connecticut, North Carolina, Mississippi State and several others.

Most analysts believe it will be Kentucky or Kansas, with Mississippi State being a dark horse.

Here is more from

While Malik Newman’s father has "no idea" where his son will play in college right now, he did tell WLAP 630 in Lexington that he believes he will commit in April.

The five-star prospect has offers from Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, UConn and North Carolina, among others. Newman, who is ranked by ESPN as the No.4 player in the 2015 class, visited Kentucky, Texas A&M and Ole Miss in October and has been visited recently by Kentucky and Kansas. The Crystal Ball from 247Sports says Kentucky has the greatest chance at landing him with a 59% shot, Kansas is next at 30% and Mississippi State follows standing at 16%.

Read More


Northern Kentucky Comes Up Short at Florida Gulf Coast

Florida Gulf Coast 74
Northern Kentucky 64

Final from Fort Myers, Florida

Game recap by NKU:

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Tayler Persons posted 20 points and eight rebounds to lead Northern Kentucky, which suffered a 74-64 setback at Florida Gulf Coast in Atlantic Sun men's basketball action on Saturday night.

"Our guys competed tremendously tonight," said head coach Dave Bezold. "FGCU is a really talented team and Alico Arena is a tough place to play. We'll take this next week to rest and work on a few details, as we have a big weekend coming up with Lipscomb, Homecoming and the Hall of Fame inductions."

Northern Kentucky (9-13, 3-4 A-Sun) staked an early 7-6 lead in the first half when Persons connected on a short jumper. The lead was short-lived as Florida Gulf Coast (16-7, 6-1 A-Sun) went on an 11-0 run.

The Norse kept the margin in the 8-12 point range for most of the half and looked to go into intermission down only 10 after Jalen Billups tipped in Person's missed three with just six second on the clock. But, preseason player of the year Bernard Thompson took the ball just beyond half court and knocked down a triple as the horn sounded to push the Norse behind, 44-31, headed into the locker rooms.

Persons and Billups posted 10 points apiece in the frame as NKU shot 52 percent (12-for-23). FGCU connected on 48 percent (15-of-31) of its attempts but made nine treys in the frame on 56 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Eight offensive boards also led to a 13-6 Eagles' advantage in second chance points in the opening stanza. Billups helped NKU control the paint, where the Norse held a 16-12 margin.

The Norse fell behind by 15 early in the second half but scored eight-unanswered points to cut the deficit to 49-42 with just over 16 minutes on the clock.

An old-fashioned three-point play from FGCU's Brett Comer with 11-minutes remaining pushed the Norse back down by 13. However, NKU refused to go away.

A 5-0 spurt was later followed by another 5-0 run that was capped off with an thundering alley-oop dunk by Billups. Suddenly, the FGCU lead was a mere five points, 62-57, with four-minutes to play.

NKU came through with a defensive stop and took the ball with a chance to further whittle its deficit, but a turnover on the offensive end proved costly. Comer went the distance for a lay-in to add to FGCU's lead.

Complete Recap

Newport Central Catholic Wins All A Classic, Zach Pangallo Named MVP

Newport Central Catholic took an early lead and never looked back as they rolled to an impressive 78-36 win over Monroe County in the championship game of the All A Classic on Sunday.

Ben Weyer led the way for Newport Catholic with 26 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Drew McDonald added 19 points and 9 rebounds. Zach Pangallo chipped in 12 points and 12 assists.

Pangallo was named tournament MVP after the championship game.

Here's a recap of tournament scores:

First Round

Monroe County 63 Murray 55
Elliott County 69 Kentucky Country Day 58
Buckhorn 55 University Heights 51
Danville 68 Williamsburg 65
Shelby Valley 58 Campbellsville 46
Lexington Christian 74 Shawnee 43
Owen County 64 Augusta 50
Newport Central Catholic 67 Hancock County 31


Owen County 56 Shelby Valley 52
Monroe County 55 Danville 53
Lexington Christian 53 Buckhorn 35
Newport Central Catholic 75 Elliott County 44


Monroe County 55 Owen County 46
Newport Central Catholic 54 Lexington Christian 51

Championship Game

Newport Central Catholic 78 Monroe County 36

2015 All A All Tournament Team

Cody Woolridge - Danville
Carson Williams - Owen Co.
Conner Hoskins - Buckhorn
Corey Hamilton - Shelby Valley
Kyle Rode - Lexington Christian
Matt Rose - Lexington Christian
Lincoln Arnett - Monroe Co.
Dillon Geralds - Monroe Co.
Skyler Geralds - Monroe Co.
G. Moeves - Newport Catholic
Drew McDonald - Newport Catholic
Ben Weyer - Newport Catholic

MVP: Zach Pangallo - Newport Catholic

Murray State Holds Off UT-Martin for 17th Consecutive Win

Murray State 65
UT-Martin 62

Final from Murray, Kentucky

Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers won for a 17th straight time and Cameron Payne eclipsed the 1,000-point mark Saturday in a 65-62 victory over the UT Martin Skyhawks at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.

With the game tied 60-60, T.J. Sapp hit a corner 3-pointer for the lead with 44 seconds remaining. After a rebound and score by UTM at 32 seconds to make it a 63-62 MSU lead, the Racers overcame a turnover and held the Skyhawks out of the basket when Payne made a block with four seconds left. Jeffery Moss was fouled and sank a pair of free throws to seal the win.

The Racers improved to 19-4 and 9-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference, while UTM fell to 13-8 and 5-3.

UTM led early 13-12 when MSU took the lead at the 11:30 mark. The lead went to 11 at the half when Tyler Rambo tipped in a shot that just beat the buzzer.

MSU carried the lead until there was 5:12 left when UTM inched in front 57-56, which set up the thrilling finish as the Racers won for the 10th straight time at home.

Sapp led MSU with 20 points for his sixth career 20+ game at MSU. Payne became the 41st member of the MSU 1000-Point Club when he hit a 3-pointer at the 14:08 mark of the first half and finished with 16 points to go with seven assists. Jarvis Williams grabbed 11 rebounds for his 25th career game of 10+.

With Virginia's loss today to Duke, Kentucky has the nation's longest win streak with their 21-0 start after a win over Alabama. The Racers and Stephen F.

Austin each have the second longest streak with 17 wins in a row.

The Racers' three-game home stand ends Thursday when they host the Southeast Missouri Redhawks in a 7 p.m. tip.

Complete Recap

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Eastern Kentucky Uses Big Second Half to Earn Key Road Win at Morehead State

Eastern Kentucky 66   
Morehead State 57

Final from Morehead, Kentucky

Game recap by EKU:

MOREHEAD, Ky. – A late 14-3 run allowed Eastern Kentucky to escape with a 66-57 victory at rival Morehead State on Saturday.

The Colonels (12-9, 4-4 OVC) trailed 47-44 with 6:58 left in the game. Corey Walden put back his own miss to begin the run. He hit two free throws for a 48-47 lead and Eastern never trailed again. The teams then exchange a trio of three-pointers. Denzel Richardson hit one from the left corner to put EKU in front by four.

Angelo Warner answered with a triple at the 4:23 mark to get the Eagles (10-14, 5-4 OVC) within one. Eastern Kentucky's Isaac McGlone found the bottom of the net at the other end as the visitors rolled off seven unanswered to cap the run and make it a 58-50 lead with less than three minutes remaining.

EKU made 6-of-8 at the free throw line down the stretch to secure the victory. After Warner's three-pointer got MSU within one, the Eagles made just 2-of-7 from the field the rest of the game.

Walden didn't attempt a field goal in the first half and didn't make his first shot from the field until the 15:55 mark of the second half, but the senior finished with 20 points, four rebounds, four steals, two blocks and two assists. He finished 4-of-8 from the floor and 12-of-13 from the charity stripe.

Eric Stutz came back into the game with four fouls at the 6:58 mark and played the rest of the way, including going 4-for-4 at the free throw line to cap Eastern's game-changing run. He recorded his sixth career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Colonels were out-rebounded 20-9 in the first half, but turned the tables in the second half to the tune of a 20-11 edge. Morehead State shot just 26 percent (6-for-23) over the final 20 minutes of play.

Warner scored a team-best 17 points off the bench for MSU.

Complete Recap

Morehead State Head Coach Sean Woods Mic'd Up For Practice

Tanner Hesterberg of WYMT had Morehead State head coach Sean Woods mic'd up for practice recently.

Check out this behind-the-scenes look at an MSU practice:

Follow Tanner on Twitter

Marlana VanHoose Delivers Stunning Rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner

Young Marlana VanHoose delivered one of the best renditions of the National Anthem that I have ever heard Saturday evening at Rupp Arena.

Those who were in attendance were surely blessed with this incredible performance:

Highlights: Kentucky 70 Alabama 55

Check out all the highlights from Kentucky's 70-55 win over Alabama on Saturday:

No. 1 Kentucky Cruises Past Alabama to Stay Undefeated

(1) Kentucky 70
Alabama 55

Final from Lexington, Kentucky

Game recap by UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) To hear Kentucky coach John Calipari tell it, being the nation's only unbeaten team in men's basketball simply means the target on the No. 1 Wildcats only gets bigger and the scrutiny is bound to increase.

The goal is staying undefeated in March and April, but the challenge doesn't seem to faze Kentucky after a season-best 59 percent shooting performance that put away Alabama.

Karl-Anthony Towns got off to a quick start and the Wildcats topped the Crimson Tide 70-55 Saturday night to complete a season sweep. Coupled with No. 2 Virginia's 69-63 loss to No. 4 Duke, Kentucky (21-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) will likely attract more attention in its quest for perfection.

Calipari's point was keeping things in perspective.

''We are playing every game to win,'' Calipari said. ''I told them last night, `We lose today, we are 20-1. ... You lose in March, your season is over.' Right now, you should just find out how good you can be.

''I had a team at UMass that started the season like this. I had a team at Memphis that started the season like this. Both of those teams took an `L' by the end of the year and were the best versions of themselves by the end of the year. I would rather for them to win them all but if they don't, they don't. Just as long as we are getting better.''

That Massachusetts team lost to Kentucky in the 1996 Final Four, and his Memphis squad fell to Kansas in overtime in the 2008 championship game.

Kentucky wasn't perfect against Alabama (13-8, 3-5) but was impressive in many areas while posting its third straight win by at least 15 points.

Two weeks after romping 70-48 in Tuscaloosa, the Wildcats made 24 of 41 from the field to surpass their previous best of 58 percent against Boston University on Nov. 21. They also controlled the paint 28-14 while their bench dominated the Tide 31-8.

Kentucky also committed just five turnovers while forcing Alabama (13-8, 3-5) into 13 mistakes that resulted in 20 points.

Towns scored all 12 of his points in the first half to put Kentucky ahead. Willie Cauley-Stein snapped out of a mini-slump with 12 points and four rebounds, Devin Booker added 11 points with three 3-pointers and Aaron Harrison had 10.

Complete Recap


• Kentucky is 21-0, 8-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama is 13-8, 3-5 in league play.
• Kentucky leads the series 105-37, including 55-10 at home.
• With 21 consecutive victories to begin the season, UK is off to the third-best start in program history.
• Kentucky is now the lone undefeated team in the nation following Virginia’s setback tonight to Duke.
• Kentucky is 198-27 all-time when ranked No. 1 and has won 43 of the last 45 games as The Associated Press top-ranked team.
• Calipari has led three schools to a No. 1 ranking (Massachusetts, Memphis, Kentucky) and has an 87-9 record as the top-ranked coach, including 46-4 at UK.
• Calipari is now 173-37 (.824) as head coach at Kentucky, the best winning percentage of any coach in UK history.
• Kentucky was behind for only 20 seconds tonight. UK has trailed for only 103:43 of a possible 855 minutes this season.
• Kentucky returns to action Tuesday at home against Georgia. Game time is 7 p.m. EST and it will be televised on ESPNU.

Box Score (click to enlarge):

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