Saturday, March 21, 2015

Owensboro Advances to State Championship Game with Overtime Win Over Covington Catholic

Owensboro knocked off Covington Catholic 69-65 in overtime tonight to advance to the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen championship game.

Covington Catholic led for a majority of the game but Owensboro took a lead in the final quarter.

It appeared the Red Devils were going to get the win in regulation but Catholic's Matthew Shumate drained a clutch three-pointer to send the game to overtime.

In overtime, division I prospect Aric Holman took charge with a huge dunk and a key blocked shot. Catholic was never able to recover and Owensboro held on for the win.

The Red Devils (29-4) will play the winner of Boyle County and Bowling Green tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. ET for the state title.

Tonight

Owensboro 69 Covington Catholic 65 (OT)
Boyle County vs. Bowling Green

Tomorrow

2:00 p.m. Owensboro vs. TBA (Championship Game)




Boyle County Stuns Ballard; Four Teams Remain in Sweet Sixteen

The Boyle County Rebels (28-6) stunned No. 1 Ballard 85-70 Friday night in the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen Tournament.

Hagen Tyler led the Rebels with 32 points and 12 rebounds. Ballard head coach Chris Renner said after the game that Tyler conjured up memories of former Mason County star Chris Lofton.

Jeremiah Bell added 26 points, including 16-for-19 free throw shooting. Colton Elkins finished with 14 points and a pair of momentum-changing dunks in the second half.

Boyle County ended Ballard's 27-game winning streak.

The Rebels will face Bowling Green (30-5) in the second semifinal game tonight.

The Purples knocked off Calloway County 65-57 in the quarterfinals last night.

Tonight's other semifinal will feature Owensboro (29-4) and Covington Catholic (31-5).

Owensboro defeated Hopkinsville 71-50 Friday afternoon. Catholic knocked off Doss 61-48.

Today

6:30 p.m. Owensboro vs. Covington Catholic
8:00 p.m. Boyle County vs. Bowling Green

Tomorrow

2:00 p.m. Championship Game


Dancing Kid Steals the Show at the Sweet Sixteen

A dancing kid stole the show at Rupp Arena last night during the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen tournament.

Check this young man out...he was feeling the flow, working it, working it.




Manigault, Simmons Lead Pikeville Into NAIA National Quarterfinals

(7) Pikeville 97
(10) Concordia 93 F/OT

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

NAIA DI National Tournament - Second Round

Game recap by UPIKE:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It took five minutes longer than it had hoped, but No. 7-seed University of Pikeville is heading to the quarterfinals of the NAIA Men's Basketball National Tournament for the third time after a 97-93 overtime win against No. 10-seed Concordia (Calif.) on Friday.

Up next for the Bears is a matchup with either No. 2-seed Talladega (Ala.) or Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. UPIKE has never lost in the round of eight, winning in 2011 on the way to the national title and in 2001.

The game nearly ended in regulation.

UPIKE (28-5) had a five-point lead at the 2:12 mark after two free throws from Kenny Manigault, but the Eagles went on a 6-0 run to take an 82-81 lead on Matt Scott's hook shot with 53 seconds remaining.

K.K. Simmons drew a foul on a baseline drive, but hit just one free throw, sending the game to overtime when May's three missed the mark at the buzzer.

The lead changed hands seven times in the extra period with neither team going up by more than two points until Jackson Hussey sank two free throws with five seconds to play to seal the win. Martin Thomas was on the attack to try and tie it up with seven seconds on the clock but traveled to give the ball back to UPIKE.

Simmons, the nation's leading 3-point shooter, hadn't hit more than three treys in a game since Feb. 23. Against Concordia, he nailed six to score a game-high 28 points. Manigault added 23 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals and five assists for one of the most complete performances of the season.

Michael Eneh came up big for the second straight game of the tournament with seven points and 10 rebounds in just 24 minutes. Still, UPIKE was outrebounded 46-37, but made up for it by outshooting the Eagles 47.1 to 42 percent.

With both teams shooting under 70 percent from the free-throw line, threes told more of the story as Concordia made 12 on 33 attempts, while UPIKE went 9 of 13 for a season-high 69.2 percent.

Scott paced Concordia (27-8) with 24 points and Justin Davis chipped in with 13. Stephen Grosey finished with 16 rebounds.

Complete Recap


Westmont Knocks Campbellsville Out of the NAIA DI Tournament

Westmont 65
(5) Campbellsville 61

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

NAIA DI National Tournament - Second Round

Game recap by CU:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — (BOX SCORE) It was a tale of two halves for the Campbellsville University Tigers in the second round of NAIA National Championships. Westmont (Calif.) shocked the Tigers and held on in the final minutes to end CU's season, 65-61.

It was the third-straight time a Golden State Athletic Conference team knocked the Tigers out of the running for a national title.

The Tigers hit just five field goals in the second half, going 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) from the floor. The seniors led the charge in their final game with D'Von Campbell scoring 13 points, followed by Darius Clement's 12 and Eric Gaines' 11. Damontre Harris also played in his final game in the maroon and gray, scoring four points.

"Westmont happened to make a couple more shots than we did," said Keith Adkins, the NABC/NAIA Coach of the Year. "I told the guys that if we kept opponents to 65 points and lower we would come out on top and that did not happen tonight."

Campbellsville had a chance late in the game with four seconds on the clock. Elliott Young threw a baseball pass the length of the court to Harris, who called a timeout. Only a half second ran off the clock and Adkins drew up a play that was designed for Campbell.

"We wanted to get a play with a lot of movement," said Adkins. "We had D'Von (Campbell) set a screen then come off of a screen himself to create space."

Young faked right and threw the ball left but the pass was a little to hot for Campbell and ricocheted off his hands out of bounds with 1.4 seconds on the clock. Westmont's Hayden Armstrong hit two free throws to seal the victory and push the Warriors into their first NAIA quarterfinals since 2003.

"That one play did not lose us the game," said Adkins. "We had a few breakdowns on defense and they hit their shots when it mattered."

The Tigers finished hitting 41.7 percent (20-of-48) from the floor after blistering the nets in the first period, knocking down 57.7 percent of their shots. Westmont, though, one-upped Campbellsville and hit 61.5 percent in the first half and finished hitting 49 percent from the floor.

Complete Recap


Mississippi State Fires Head Coach Rick Ray

Mississippi State has fired head coach Rick Ray following his third season at the helm.

The Bulldogs were 13-19 overall and 6-12 in the Southeastern Conference this season.

MSU put out the following statement:

Mississippi State Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin released the following statement on Bulldog men's basketball Saturday:

"After much thought and deliberation, I have made the decision to replace Rick Ray as Mississippi State's men's basketball coach. This has been a difficult decision, as I have the utmost respect for Rick, and am highly appreciative of the effort he put forth in leading our basketball program. To Rick's credit, we have seen great strides from our student-athletes in several areas, including academics. However, the on-court results have not been satisfactory. In order for MSU to achieve success at the levels to which we aspire, I believe that a change is necessary at this time."

"Men's basketball is important to Mississippi State University, and history illustrates that we can compete for championships on a consistent basis. MSU has won six SEC championships, in four different decades, under three different coaches. We have seen the Bulldogs play in the sport's final weekend, and I firmly believe there are more achievements like those in our future."

"The search for a new head coach begins immediately, and I'm confident we will identify someone who wants to be a part of the winning culture that is occurring at Mississippi State University."

Cincinnati's Octavius Ellis Makes Interesting Comment About 35-0 Kentucky

Cincinnati's Octavius Ellis made an interesting comment about the 35-0 Kentucky Wildcats yesterday.



Ellis is somewhat lucky to be playing in today's game following an ejection for a flagrant 2 foul in Cincinnati's second round win over Purdue.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Who Will Be the Next Coach at Northern Kentucky University?

There are a bunch of names being floated around for the open head coaching job at Northern
Kentucky University.

The three names I have heard mentioned the most:

- Travis Steele (assistant coach at Xavier)

- Larry Davis (assistant coach at Cincinnati)

- John Brannen (current interim head coach at Alabama)

Hoopdirt.com is hearing similar rumblings:

A bunch of names starting to surface at Northern Kentucky. The one that I’ve heard the most is Xavier assistant coach Travis Steele. He has been at Xavier for the past seven years, and also worked as an administrative staffer at Indiana. I’ve also heard acting Cincinnati head coach Larry Davis’ name mentioned here. Xavier and Cincinnati are both located about 15 minutes from NKU.

Obviously, Steele (NCAA), Davis (NCAA) and Brannen (NIT) are all currently competing in the postseason so this one will likely go on for a week or two.

St. Catharine College and Matthew Taylor Part Ways After One Season

St. Catharine College and head coach Matthew Taylor have parted ways after just one season.

The split was said to be a "mutual decision between both parties."

A source at St. Catharine says the school's administration wanted to "go in a different direction."

The Patriots finished the 2014-15 season 11-18 overall and 5-11 in the Mid-South Conference.

Taylor has already accepted an assistant coaching job on Happy Osborne's staff at Kentucky Wesleyan College.

"Excited to say the least," Taylor expressed on social media after accepting the job at KWC. "I'm proud to take the next step to a higher level in my journey. Also to join an incredible school and staff with a great winning tradition."

Update: Terrence Jones Has a Partially Collapsed Lung

The update on Terrence Jones is not great. The Houston Rockets have confirmed that Jones will miss at least one week with a partially collapsed lung.

Here's a diagram that illustrates pneumothorax (via Wikipedia):

Campbellsville Holds Off LSU Shreveport to Advance in NAIA Tournament

(5) Campbellsville 88
LSU Shreveport 80

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

NAIA DI National Tournament - First Round

Game recap by CU:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Going almost two weeks without playing a game takes it toll of a team and Campbellsville men's basketball was no different. The Tigers sprinted out of the gates like a well-trained Lexington, Ky. thoroughbred but fatigue settled in, slowing the sprint to a steady trot. Campbellsville outlasted a late LSU Shreveport run to defeat the Pilots, 88-80, to move on to the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Round of 16.

It is the first time in the university's history both the men's and women's team have advanced to the Round of 16 in the same year. CU's women also beat LSU Shreveport Thursday, 55-46.

Campbellsville will now play the winner of Thursday's late game between Westmont (Calif.) and Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), in Friday's night cap at 10:45 EDT. You can listen to the game live on 88.7 The Tiger.

"We are happy to be moving on," said NAIA Coach of the Year Keith Adkins. "The name of the game this time of year is survive and advance and we were able to do that. We had spurts where we were really good but also had spurts where we struggled defensively. I think the rust of not having a game in almost two weeks hurt us."

The Tigers were on fire all night, hitting 53.7 percent (29-of-54) from the floor and 45.4 percent (10-of-22) from 3-point land. D'Von Campbell led the Tigers' offensive attack scoring 22 points, including six 3-point baskets. Damontre Harris was not far behind his fellow senior, scoring 20 points and brought the Municipal Auditorium crowd to its feet with multiple ferocious dunks.

Eric Gaines finished right behind the duo of Campbell and Harris, finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

"I thought our best players played well," said Adkins. "I said it since October, I think our three top players (Campbell, Harris and Gaines) are as good and competitive as anyone else's best three in the country."

Complete Recap

Up Next: Campbellsville battles Westmont (Calif.) at 10:45 p.m. ET tonight

Quarterfinals Set in Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen

The quarterfinal round is underway at the 2015 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen Tournament.

Here's a look at today's games:

Noon Owensboro vs. Hopkinsville
1:30 p.m. Covington Catholic vs. Doss
6:30 p.m. Ballard vs. Boyle County
8:00 p.m. Bowling Green vs. Calloway County

Tomorrow

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

Sunday

2:00 p.m. Championship Game

How They Got Here:

Covington Catholic 64 Campbell County 43



Doss 56 Williamsburg 50



Hopkinsville 76 Taylor County 64



Owensboro 55 Collins 38



Ballard 82 Johnson Central 69



Boyle County 60 Lexington Catholic 59



Bowling Green 86 Elliott County 44



Calloway County 73 Knott Central 68




Arizona Christian Upsets Georgetown College in Kansas City

Arizona Christian 94
(14) Georgetown 82

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

NAIA DI National Tournament - First Round

Game recap by ACU:

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The 20th ranked Arizona Christian Firestorm men's basketball team shots lights out in the second half to earn a 94-82 comeback victory over the 14th seeded Georgetown College Tigers in the 2015 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division 1 Men's Basketball National Championship First Round game in Kansas City, Missouri.

"Georgetown is a great program and has had a lot of success in this tournament in years past, so this is a great first win for us," said ACU head coach Jeff Rutter.

The Firestorm and Tigers felt each other out for the first 10 minutes of the ballgame. Each team seemed to have some early jitters and struggled out of the gate. As the game progressed, Georgetown started to settle in as they shot the ball 38 times in the first half; knocking down 16 shots. The Firestorm shot 40% from the field in the first half, but struggled to shoot from beyond the three-point arc (25%) and from the free-throw line (63%). Georgetown would go into halftime with a 43-35 lead.

The Firestorm found their shooting stroke in the second half, led by senior guard Charles King.

"My teammates told me at halftime to shoot the ball," said ACU guard Charles King. "Coach ran a lot of plays for me and I was able to take my time and use my legs and I felt real comfortable."

King finished the second half, going 5-of-7 from the field as he finished the game with a team high 17 points. The Firestorm as a team shot 57% from the field in the second half and held Georgetown to just 39% shooting in the second half.

After scoring just two points in the first half, Brandon Newman exploded for 12 points in the second half to help propel the Firestorm to the victory. ACU had five players finish with double-figures in scoring. Along with Newman and King, Sharif Watson tallied 15 points, Bobby Gray with 16 and Kevin Lawson chipped in with 15 points. The Firestorm outscored Georgetown 59-39 in the second half on their way to the upset victory over the 14th seeded Tigers.

Complete Recap

Unviersity of Pikeville Gets Past Bethel in NAIA DI National Tournament

(7) Pikeville 94
Bethel (Tenn.) 86

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

NAIA DI National Tournament - First Round

Game recap by UPIKE:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- UPIKE was outrebounded 57-40 and had its top scorer Kenny Manigault limited to six first-half minutes with early foul trouble, but still found a way to win 94-86 against Bethel (Tenn.) in the first round of the NAIA National Championship on Thursday.

Macari Brooks pushed the UPIKE (26-5) offense with a team-high 21 points, while Michael Eneh made the most of a starting role with three points and eight big rebounds. The Bears shot 46.9 percent from the field while limiting the Wildcats to a 37.9-percent showing.

Free throws paid off for the Bears as well, hitting 30 of 40, compared to 18 of 31 for Bethel.

The Wildcats were led by Caleb Hardy with 31 points and 11 rebounds, while Mikel Terrance also posted a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards.

UPIKE advances to a 1:30 p.m. ET second-round matchup against either No. 10-seed Concordia (Calif.) or Oklahoma City on Friday.

Bethel (23-9) was on the attack early and often, doing its best to get the Bears in foul trouble.

The plan worked perfectly over the first several minutes as the Bears had a 6-2 foul advantage with 13:05 on the clock. Two of those fouls were on Manigault, putting him on the bench for the rest of the half.

Despite the circumstances, the Bears found energy from a breakaway, one-handed slam from Eneh energized the team. It was only a 9-8 lead for UPIKE before the dunk, but it started a 14-2 run to see it go up by 13 points.

It wasn't only UPIKE ready to go on a run as the Wildcats went to work on the offensive glass and answered with a 14-2 burst of their own. At the end of the rally, it was back to a one-point game with UPIKE on top 25-24. It didn't stop there either as the Bears came right back with an 8-0 run and led 38-29 after a Brooks three with 2:45 left until halftime.

Complete Recap

Up Next: Pikeville plays 10-seed Concordia (Calif.) today at 1:30 p.m. ET

Terrence Jones Hospitalized Overnight in Houston

Former Kentucky star Terrence Jones spent last night in a Houston-area hospital.

Jones had to leave last night's win over the Nuggets with a rib injury.

Here is more from CBS in Houston:

The Rockets’ power forward started off with 10 points in the opening eight minutes of the game, but had to leave with a rib injury. He was out for the remainder of the game.

“He’s at the hospital,” Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said afterwards. “They’ll keep him overnight. They’re doing some more tests on him.

Read More

Here's a look at how the injury occurred:


Player and Team Notes From Kentucky's Win Over Hampton

Check out the postgame player and team notes from Kentucky's NCAA Tournament victory over Hampton:

Kentucky vs. Hampton, Men’s Basketball – NCAA Tournament – Second Round
KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Ky., March 19, 2015
Attendance: 21,639

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 79, Hampton 56

· Team records: Kentucky is 35-0, Hampton is 17-18.
· Kentucky and Hampton played for the first time.
· With Kentucky’s 35 consecutive victories …
· It extends the longest win streak in Kentucky history.
· It extended the longest season-opening win streak for any team in SEC history.
· It extended the longest win streak for a John Calipari-coached team.
· Kentucky is 212-27 all-time when ranked No. 1 and has won 57 of the last 59 games as The Associated Press top-ranked team.
· Calipari has led three schools to a No. 1 ranking (Massachusetts, Memphis, Kentucky) and has a 101-9 record as the top-ranked coach, including 60-4 at UK.
· Calipari is now 187-37 (.834) as head coach at Kentucky, the best winning percentage of any coach in UK history.
· Next for the Wildcats: UK will play Cincinnati in the NCAA third round on Saturday at approximately 2:40 p.m. ET (30 minutes following the UCLA vs. UAB game) in the KFC Yum! Center.

In the NCAA Tournament

· Kentucky is 44-10 in tournament openers, and has won 22 of its last 23 second-round (previously first-round) tournament games.
· The Wildcats are 6-1 in NCAA Tournament games held in Louisville. UK is 3-0 in NCAA Tournament games held in the KFC Yum! Center.
· Kentucky won its nation-leading 117th NCAA Tournament game. UK is 117-47 (.713) all-time in the Big Dance.
· Since 1992, the Wildcats are 116-32 (.784) in postseason play (NCAA, NIT and SEC).
· Kentucky also leads the country in wins in the tournament since 2010 (19), when John Calipari first led UK into the Big Dance.
· UK is 19-3 in tournament games under John Calipari.

Team Notes

· Kentucky entered the game as the nation’s top-rated shooting-percentage defense, and the Wildcats held Hampton to 28.8 percent from the field.
· Kentucky held a team to less than 30-percent shooting for the first time since South Carolina (Feb. 14).
· Kentucky has now held 12 opponents to less than 30 percent shooting for the game.
· Kentucky is now holding opponents to a combined total shooting percentage of .353.
· Kentucky shot 71.4 percent from the foul line, 20 of 28. The Wildcats have made 78.4 percent at the charity stripe over the last five games (105 of 134).
· UK trailed for 29 seconds. The Wildcats have trailed for only 179:23 of a possible 1,415 minutes this season.
· Kentucky won bench points today, 24-10. Kentucky has won bench points in all but one game this season (vs. Arkansas, SEC Championship).

Game Facts

· Kentucky’s opening lineup featured Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Trey Lyles, Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein for the 16th time this season.
· Marcus Lee, Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis and Dakari Johnson entered the game at the 16:24 mark.
· Kentucky started the game 3 of 10 from the floor in the first 5:31 of the game.
· Kentucky’s streak of 935 consecutive games with a 3-pointer was extended when Andrew Harrison connected from deep with 49 seconds to go in the first half.
· Kentucky started the second half with Booker, Ulis, Andrew Harrison, Karl-Anthony Towns and Cauley-Stein.
· Kentucky started the second half on an 8-0 run in the first 2:50 of the period.

Player Notes

· Karl-Anthony Towns had his eighth double-double of the season and second in the last four games.
· He finished with a career-high 21 points. He added 11 rebounds and two blocks.
· Andrew Harrison scored 14 points. It was his 15th double-figure scoring game of the season.
· Trey Lyles scored 10 points and added six rebounds.
· Tyler Ulis scored 11 points and had a game-high three assists.
· Ulis has scored in double figures six times.
· Ulis has scored in double figures in two games he has played at the KFC Yum! Center (at Louisville on Dec. 21, 2014).
· He has led UK in assists in seven of the last eight games.

No. 1 Kentucky Walks Past Hampton in NCAA Tournament

(1) Kentucky 79
Hampton 56

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

NCAA Tournament - Second Round

No. 1 Kentucky started and ended the game sluggishly but still had plenty of firepower to put away Hampton 79-56 late Thursday night in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

''I didn't like how we started the game, I didn't quite like how we finished the game, but it is 1 o'clock at night,'' said coach John Calipari after the game. ''And we had an overtime game where the guys were hanging out in the locker room for an hour and a half, so I'm going to chalk it up to that and move on.''

Karl-Anthony Towns led Kentucky (35-0) with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. Andrew Harrison finished with 14 points. Tyler Ulis added 11 and Trey Lyles chipped in 10.

Willie Cauley-Stein had 7 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats, who out-rebounded Hampton (17-18) 51-31.

Quinton Chievous led the Pirates with a game-high 22 points and 10 boards.

Hampton shot just 17-59 (28.8%) for the game.

Kentucky returns to action in the Round of 32 against Cincinnati at 2:40 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Box Score (click to enlarge):

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Willie Cauley-Stein Named Finalist for the Naismith Trophy

Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein has been named one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy.

The Naismith Trophy is given annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the national player of the year.

The other finalists are Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor.

Here's a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky forward Willie Cauley-Stein is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy, given annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the national player of the year.

Cauley-Stein joins Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor as the remaining candidates for the award. The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, which based selections on individual performances throughout the 2014-15 men’s college basketball regular season.

The winner of the Naismith Trophy Men’s College Player of the Year will be revealed during Final Four weekend, on April 5 in Indianapolis.

For the 11th consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to vote for who they believe should be the 2015 Naismith Trophy winner. Beginning March 23 and running through April 4, fans can cast their vote at NaismithVote.com. The fan vote represents 25 percent of the selection process, more than any other college basketball award.

Cauley-Stein has been one of UK’s top contributors during its historic 34-0 run that’s led up to the NCAA Tournament. The 7-footer averages 9.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 25.5 minutes of action.

A force on the defensive end, Cauley-Stein leads UK’s in steals (44) while ranking second in blocked shots (56) for the nation’s top-ranked field-goal percentage defensive team. Capable of guarding all five positions, Cauley-Stein is the only 7-footer in the country to rank in the top 215 nationally in steals per game.

The Olathe, Kan., native has been particularly good in Kentucky’s biggest games, averaging a team-high 11.6 points and 8.4 rebounds vs. UK’s seven ranked opponents.

Earlier this season, Cauley-Stein became the first player in school history to collect 200 or more career blocks and 100 or more career steals. He’s also one of just eight players in program history with 500 or more rebounds, 100 or more blocks, and 75 or more steals.

In addition to being named a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Cauley-Stein has already earned several other honors this postseason, including:

· United States Basketball Writers Association First Team All-American
· Sporting New First Team All-American
· USBWA District IV Player of the Year
· Southeastern Conference Tournament MVP
· SEC Defensive Player of the Year
· All-SEC First Team
· USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Finalist
· John R. Wooden Award Finalist
· Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Finalist

UK begins its NCAA Tournament run on Thursday when it faces Hampton at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. That game is scheduled for a 9:40 p.m. tip on CBS.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.

Male's Will Parker Has Committed to Walsh University

Male High School's Will Parker has committed to Walsh University, an NCAA Division II school in Canton, Ohio:




Eastern Kentucky to Host High Point in CIT Tournament

Eastern Kentucky University will host High Point in the next round of the CIT Tournament.

Here's a look at the upcoming schedule:

THURSDAY MARCH 19 (First Round)

UT Martin (18-12) @ Northwestern State (19-12) 7:30

SECOND ROUND

FRIDAY MARCH 20

High Point (23-9) @ Eastern Kentucky (20-11) 7:00

SATURDAY MARCH 21

Canisius (17-14) @ Bowling Green (21-11) 1:00
UL-Lafayette (21-13) @ Sam Houston State (26-7) 3:00
UT Martin (19-12) or Northwestern State (19-12) @ USC Upstate (24-11) 6:00
Northern Arizona (20-14) @ Sacramento State (21-11) 10:00

MONDAY MARCH 23

Cleveland State (18-14) @ NJIT (19-11) 7:00
Evansville (20-12) @ Eastern Illinois (18-14) 7:00
Kent State (22-11) @ Texas A&M Corpus Christi (20-13) 8:00

All Times EST

Here are details from EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky will host High Point in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) on Friday at 7 p.m.

High Point is 23-9 this season and carries an RPI of 89. The Panthers went 13-5 in the Big South and tied for first. The Colonels are making their third straight appearance in a national postseason tournament. Eastern is now 20-11 after knocking off Norfolk State, 81-75, on Tuesday.

EKU students will receive free sunglasses, while supplies last.

All kids 12-and-under and all Eastern Kentucky University students will receive FREE admission to the game. General admission seats are $8. Tickets for lower level chair-back seats will be $15 and upper chair-back seats are $10. EKU season ticket holders and Colonel Club members can purchase chair-back tickets for half price in advance. EKU faculty and staff can receive half price general admission seats. To order tickets, or for more information, call the ticket office at 859-622-2122.

There is no formal bracket for the tournament. The match-ups for each round are determined after the preceding round is completed. Second-round CIT games will be played Friday and Saturday, quarterfinal games March 24-25 and semifinal games March 31. The championship game will be played on April 2. The semifinals and the championship game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

Eastern Kentucky withstood a 16-4 late-game run to beat Norfolk State. Corey Walden and Eric Stutz both finished with 22 points. Walden added eight assists and three steals. Stutz scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, making five of six shots. Ja'Mill Powell contributed 12 points. Timmy Knipp added 13 points, two rebounds and three assists.

The Colonels made 13 three-pointers. The 81 EKU points were well above the 68.5 average Norfolk State had given up per game this season.

With its victory over Norfolk State, the Colonels recorded the 10th 20-win season in program history. In 2012-13, Jeff Neubauer became the first EKU coach to win 20 or more games three times. In 10 seasons on the EKU bench, he has now led the Colonels to five of the ten 20-win campaigns in EKU history.

Complete Release

University of the Cumberlands Advances in NAIA DI National Tournament

(24) Cumberlands 55
(10) LSU Alexandria 47

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

NAIA DI National Tournament - First Round

No. 24 University of the Cumberlands used a 12-2 run late in the game to earn a 55-47 NAIA national tournament win over LSU Alexandria late Wednesday night.

Trailing 40-39, D'lando Carter nailed a three-pointer to give Cumberlands a 42-40 lead. Alexandria hit two free throws to tie it at 42-42 before the Patriots scored 9 straight points to take a commanding 51-42 lead.

Xavier Owens led Cumberlands with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Tony Bradley added 14 points, 9 boards and 5 assists. Carter chipped in 12 points off the bench, all on three-pointers.

DeAngelo Coleman led LSU Alexandria with 14 points. Austin Adams finished with 10.

University of the Cumberlands will now play Martin Methodist (Tenn.), the tournament's No. 8 overall seed, on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Murray State Thumps UTEP to Advance in NIT; Will Play at Tulsa Monday Night

Murray State 81
UTEP 66

Final from Murray, Kentucky

National Invitation Tournament - First Round

Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers advanced in the National Invitation Tournament Tuesday when they won a first-round game over the UTEP Miners, 81-66, at the CFSB Center in Murray, Kentucky.

The win put the Racers into a second round game at Tulsa, who defeated William & Mary at home, 70-67. The Racers will play at Tulsa with the game date and time being announced soon.

The Racers got a double-double from Jarvis Williams with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while T.J. Sapp tossed in 21. Cameron Payne flirted with a triple-double with 14 points,10 assists and seven rebounds.

The Racers improved to 28-5 and won their 15th straight home game.

Leading 37-32 at half, the Racers turned on the speed and hit UTEP with a 13-2 run and built a 50-34 lead when Sapp nailed a 3-pointer with 16:16 left.

MSU matched their 16-point lead at 4:45 when Williams hit a pair of free throws.

The win for MSU was their first NIT home win and their first overall win in the tournament since beating Alabama under head coach Ron Greene in 1980.



The Racers will travel to Tulsa for their next game on Monday night

The Murray State Racers have received their second round assignment in the National Invitation Tournament.

The Racers travel to Tulsa, Okla., for a Monday game at the Donald W. Reynolds Center against the Tulsa University Golden Hurricane.

The tip time and ESPN network channel will be announced soon.

After an 81-66 win at home Tuesday, the Racers are 28-5 and heading to play a Tulsa team that also won at home 70-67 over William & Mary and are 23-10. Murray State is the No. 3 seed in their portion of the NIT bracket, while Tulsa is the No. 2 seed. The winner of Monday’s game will be meeting one team that comes out of two matchups. No. 1 seed Old Dominion hosts No. 8 Charleston Southern and No. 4 Illinois State hosts No. 5 Green Bay. Both games are played Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. on ESPN3 and 8 p.m. on ESPNU.

Racer fans should call the MSU ticket office at (270) 809-3000.

President Barack Obama Picks Kentucky to Win 2015 NCAA Tournament

President Barack Obama finished up his annual "Barack-etology" this morning and he picked the Kentucky Wildcats to cut down the nets in Indianapolis.

Check out the video (click to play):

EKU Knocks Off Norfolk State to Advance in CIT Tournament

Eastern Kentucky 81
Norfolk State 75

Final from Richmond, Kentucky

CIT Tournament - First Round

Game recap by EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky withstood a 16-4 late-game run to beat the Norfolk State and advance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), 81-75, Tuesday night in McBrayer Arena.

The Colonels will play at home again Friday at 7 p.m. against an opponent yet to be determined. Updates will be sent out through EKUSports.com and @EKUHoops on twitter in the coming days. There is no formal bracket for the tournament. The match-ups for each round are determined after the preceding round is completed.

The Spartans (20-14) cut a 13-point EKU lead to one, 71-70, with 3:31 to go. After a drawn charge by sophomore guard Isaac McGlone, a Ja'Mill Powell three-pointer brought the lead back to four. Three scoreless minutes later, senior guard Corey Walden put the game away with an and-one layup with 47 seconds to go that pushed the Colonels' (20-11) lead to seven.

Walden and senior forward Eric Stutz both finished with 22 points. Walden added eight assists and three steals, equaling his nation-leading average of 3.1 per game. Stutz scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, making five of six shots.

Powell contributed 12 points to the total, all coming from three-point land. Fellow senior Timmy Knipp added 13 points, two rebounds and three assists.

Rashid Gatson, a 6-foot-9 forward, finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead Norfolk State. Gatson went 10-of-11 from the field in 38 minutes.

The Spartans shot 61 percent from the field and from three-point range. NSU also totaled 44 points in the paint but had 14 turnovers, seven more than EKU. The seven-turnover difference between the two equaled EKU's nation-leading ratio of plus 7.3.

Both teams started the game hot. Norfolk State made their first 10 shots and EKU made seven of its first eight. The Spartans went into the half shooting 68 percent from the field.

The 81 EKU points were well above the 68.5 average Norfolk State had given up per game this season. EKU also added nine steals. EKU's largest lead was 14 with 12:33 to go in the second half.

Complete Recap

UK to Have Open Practice in Louisville Today

The Kentucky Wildcats will have an open practice at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville today at 5:10 p.m.

The practice will be open to the public and free to attend.



Of course there was one hardcore UK fan already in the arena at 11:00 a.m. this morning (photo via the kentuckymbb account on Instagram):

Walter McCarty Showing Interest in Holy Cross Job

Former Kentucky big man Walter McCarty is showing interest in becoming the next head coach at Holy Cross.

McCarty, who currently works as an assistant for the Boston Celtics in the NBA, feels he is a good candidate for the job.

Here is an excerpt from Telegram.com:

McCarty believes he'd be a good fit for the Crusaders.

"They don't have any candidates," he said, "who go out and have a wow factor in a kid's home like I would."

McCarty returned to the NBA to become an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers under Jim O'Brien for one season, and this is his second season as assistant on Brad Stevens' staff.

Last year, McCarty spoke with Boston College about its head coaching vacancy, but was never officially interviewed. He did interview with Fairleigh Dickinson and spoke with UMass-Lowell, but wasn't hired for either job.

McCarty said he has heard of HC athletic director Nathan Pine, but doesn't know him.

"I don't want to get my name out there," McCarty said, "and go through all this stuff if there's no mutual interest. I'm very happy here. We have a great staff, and it's great working for Brad. I've never been on a staff where we've all worked together with great relationships and we all pull for one another. I'm in a great situation, but if it was something they'd be interested in, I'd love to sit down with them."

McCarty said he wouldn't mind the 6-hour bus trips to Bucknell.

"Sometimes people look at NBA coaches," he said, "and say we're lazy or we're accustomed to certain things. People who know me know that's not my character. I'm not worried about bus trips. Recruiting for Louisville, I would drive places because I like being on the road instead of taking a plane. That doesn't bother me at all."

Read More

2015 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament Tips Today

The 2015 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen® Basketball Tournament tips off at Noon today in Rupp Arena.

Tournament Schedule

Wednesday, March 18

12:00 p.m. Collins vs. Owensboro
1:30 p.m. Taylor County vs. Hopkinsville
6:30 p.m. Covington Catholic vs. Campbell County
8:00 p.m. Williamsburg vs. Doss

Thursday, March 19

12:00 p.m. Johnson Central vs. Ballard
1:30 p.m. Lexington Catholic vs. Boyle County
6:30 p.m. Bowling Green vs. Elliott County
8:00 p.m. Knott County Central vs. Calloway County

Friday, 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

Saturday, March 21

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

Sunday, March 22

2:00 p.m. Championship Game

My First Round Picks

Today: Owensboro, Hopkinsville, Covington Catholic, Doss
Tomorrow: Ballard, Boyle County, Bowling Green, Knott Central

Complete Bracket (click to enlarge)

Rodrick Rhodes Opens Up About Cordia Basketball, Admits That Rick Pitino Asked Him To Leave UK

Cordia head coach and former University of Kentucky player Rodrick Rhodes recently opened up in a lengthy article at DailyYonder.com.

Rhodes talked extensively about the situation at Cordia, the ongoing fight vs. the KHSAA and his time at Kentucky.

After years of telling a different story, Rhodes finally admits in the article that he didn't want to leave Lexington before his senior season.

Here is an excerpt about Rhodes' situation at UK:

A few games later, Kentucky flamed out against North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen. Not long after, Rhodes announced he was transferring to Southern California. Rhodes was done with Kentucky, and Kentucky, armed with another stud freshman in Ron Mercer, was done with Rhodes. Rumors abounded that Pitino, wanting to keep Mercer happy, forced Rhodes out. Rhodes denied that, saying the transfer was his idea. “I won out,” Rhodes said to ESPN at the time.

Today, he tells a different story. “Everyone knows I didn’t want to leave Kentucky. Every single Kentucky fan knows what happened with me and Coach P. and Ron Mercer. Kentucky fans are smart enough to think they can out-coach [current UK head coach John] Calipari. If you’re smart enough to be a Kentucky fan, you’re smart enough to know I never wanted to leave Kentucky.”

As he sat out his transfer year, Kentucky won the National Championship in Rhodes’s native Northern New Jersey. After college, Rhodes went to three NBA cities, then the international leagues, and then worked as an assistant coach at the college level. But after several years, he lost his passion for assistant coaching. “I got burnt out on travelling, recruiting kids, losing out to bigger schools,” Rhodes says. “I put something on Facebook saying I’d be interested in coaching high school. The dumber schools put something right there on my Facebook wall, but the smart ones hit my inbox. Cordia sent something to my inbox.”

“Rodrick was the initiator,” says Whitaker, head of the nonprofit that supports the Cordia School. “He wanted to come back this way and be closer to his daughter in Virginia. He applied and we all had our jaws drop.” Within three years, Rhodes has turned tiny Cordia into a successful basketball school. In doing so, he’s won a lot of fans and made a lot of powerful enemies.

This particular fight is about the students Rhodes has brought to East Kentucky. They are usually students from rough, often violent homes, and they see Cordia as a sort of asylum. When the state athletic association banned two Canadian students from playing, the students sued the organization to restore their eligibility.

It bears mentioning that the out of-town students that come to play for Rhodes are largely black and Cordia’s Knott County is overwhelmingly white, a detail that has been noticed by approximately everybody.

Complete Article (recommended reading)

Bellarmine University Wins Midwest Regional; Thelan Named Most Outstanding Player

(1) Bellarmine 81
(4) Indianapolis 72

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

NCAA DII Tournament - Midwest Regional Championship

Game recap by BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The chant from the Bellarmine University student section rose to a fevered pitch.

"Feed the beast. Feed the beast," the BU faithful bellowed.

When Jake Thelen, the object of their affection, raised his arm in gracious salute, the roar reached a deafening level. On this night, as the senior forward has all season, Thelen transformed into beast mode. And in this game, as they have all season, the Knights had an unwavering drive to succeed that would not be denied.

Bellarmine has punched its ticket to the Elite Eight in Evansville, Indiana, after the third-ranked Knights captured the Midwest Regional championship of the Division II NCAA Tournament on Tuesday with an 81-72 victory over No. 15 Indianapolis in front of a raucous fan base at Knights Hall.

"This is one of the best feelings I've ever had, this is one of the best days of my life," exclaimed Thelen, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. "This is something you dream about as a kid. It's unbelievable."

Believe it.

Bellarmine (30-3) earned its third Elite Eight appearance in the last five years by beating Indianapolis (25-6) for the third straight time. In doing so, the Knights gained a measure of revenge, as it was the Greyhounds who ended their season last year. In fact, BU turned the Midwest Regional into its own personal playground for payback, triggering the three-game title run with a blowout win over Drury, which had upset the Knights in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament finals.

"They gave absolutely every ounce of energy and passion they had," praised BU Coach Scott Davenport, who pumped his fist after cutting down the last strand of net amid the exuberant postgame celebration.

Bellarmine will meet No. 4 Minnesota State Morehead (35-3) on March 25 at the Ford Center.

Thelen collected Most Outstanding Player honors after piling up game highs of 24 points and 15 rebounds. Senior guard Chris Whitehead netted All-Tournament accolades and scored 19 points with six assists. Sophomore guard Rusty Troutman chipped in 10 points, five assists and five rebounds, junior forward George Suggs added nine points and five rebounds, and sophomore forward Josh Derksen contributed nine points.

Complete Recap

Updated NCAA DII Tournament Bracket (click to enlarge):

Campbellsville's Keith Adkins Named NABC/NAIA National Coach of the Year

Campbellsville University head coach Keith Adkins was named NABC/NAIA Division I National Coach of the Year at the annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championships tip-off banquet last night.

Adkins has led the Tigers to a 28-5 overall record so far this season. They will enter the national tournament as the No. 5 overall seed this week.

Here's a release from CU:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a record-breaking year, the trophy case is filling up, and Campbellsville University men's basketball head coach Keith Adkins has yet another award to squeeze in. Adkins was named the NABC/NAIA Division I National Coach of the Year at the annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championships tip-off banquet hosted at the Kansas City Convention Center Tuesday night, March 17.

It is the first time a CU men's basketball coach has received the honor and also the first award for any Mid-South Conference men's basketball head coach. (Georgetown's Jim Reid received the honor in 1994 prior to the MSC's formation).

"This is an incredible honor," said Adkins. "It really does mean a lot to be recognized for having a great season. As I mentioned at the banquet, this is an award shared with all of our players and the entire coaching staff. I am blessed to be surrounded by a group."

Campbellsville will enter the NAIA National Tournament as the No. 5 seed with a 28-5 overall record. The Tigers will play LSU-Shreveport in the opening round on Thursday, March 19 at 9 p.m. EDT. You can follow the game live, HERE.

CU was ranked No. 1 in the polls for three-straight weeks in January and played its way into being named Mid-South Conference Regular Season co-champions and winning the MSC Tournament championship. It was the first regular season title since 2010 and first tournament title since 2006. Adkins was also named the Mid-South Conference Coach of Year for the second time in his 15-year career as head coach.

Adkins is only four wins shy of the 300-win milestone. He brings a 296-192 overall record into the five-round national tournament.

"Everything just seemed to click this year," said Adkins. "I really enjoyed coaching last year's group and we have enough talent to win but we never could get any breaks. This year we stayed healthy and stayed together and the ball just seemed to bounce our way more times than not."

Adkins' squad went from a 14-15 record and being eliminated in the first round of the conference tournament in 2013-14 to tying the most wins in program history with 28. The win total ties former coach Travis Ford's record of 28-3 in 1998-99.

The CU coaching staff brought in three high-caliber transfers (D'Von Campbell, Damontre Harris and Rob Robinson) to compliment their returning All-Conference players Eric Gaines and Darius Clement and also 2014 MSC Freshman of the Year Miles Rice.

"Congratulations to Coach Adkins on this great honor," said CU Athletics Director Rusty Hollingsworth. "He has done a great job of recruiting and blending talent and this year was certainly an outstanding year."

Adkins isn't just a coach on the court but also helps mold young college basketball players into men once they graduate. During his time, three Tigers have been awarded MSC Champions of Character with the most recent coming this year in Darius Clement.

"Keith works and coaches hard but he never loses sight of why these men are in this program," said Hollingsworth. "He holds them accountable off the court with academics and the way they represent Campbellsville University."

"Knowing Coach Adkins for close to 10 years I can tell you that I am extremely proud of this accomplishment," said CU senior guard Darius Clement. "This is an award long over due. Coach A has been a major asset to the development of my game but also the other players games as well. He's been very hard on me the last four years, probably more than any other player he has coached but that has helped me more than he knows. I would not be the player or person I am today if its wasn't for the tough love displayed by him every day. I just want to say that I love you coach, I appreciate everything and it's been a great four years on your team."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SEC Teams Have "Partial" Sellouts for NIT Games

Texas A&M and Alabama are both hosting NIT first round games tonight.

Needless to say, attendance is subpar at best.

NOTE: Both Alabama and A&M are winning handily and should (will) be advancing to the second round.

Check out these picks (submitted by Beth Hampton Duff and Mackenzie Bates):


Hampton's Coach Tries to Call Jesus for Advice on Beating No. 1 Kentucky

Hampton head coach Edward Joyner Jr. is pulling out all the stops for his upcoming game against No. 1 Kentucky.

After tonight's win over Manhattan, Joyner attempted to call Jesus during his postgame press conference.

Check this out:


Knott Central's Camron Justice Named Kentucky Mr. Basketball

Knott County Central's Camron Justice has been named Kentucky Mr. Basketball.

The announcement was just made at the Mr. Basketball Banquet.

Justice, the fourth all-time leading scorer in Kentucky high school basketball history, has signed with Vanderbilt.

Cordia High School's Gym Condemned Following Damage

Cordia High School's gym has been condemned following damage to the walls and foundation.

The damage was apparently caused by water or possibly a landslide according to this report from WYMT.com:


Scott Padgett Named Finalist for Joe B. Hall Award

Former Kentucky star Scott Padgett has been named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall Award that is presented annually by CollegeInsider.com.

The Joe B. Hall Award is given to the top first-year coach in college basketball.

Padgett led Samford to a 13-19 overall record in his first season as head coach. The Bulldogs were 6-12 in the Southern Conference.

Former Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts is also a finalist.

JOE B. HALL AWARD FINALISTS

Jon Coffman IPFW
Dennis Cutts UC Riverside
Travis DeCuire Montana
James Fox Appalachian State
Chris Jans Bowling Green
Kevin Keatts UNC Wilmington
Scott Padgett Samford
David Richman North Dakota State
Craig Smith South Dakota
Keith Walker Delaware State

John Calipari is a Finalist for Naismith Coach of the Year

Kentucky's John Calipari has been named a finalist for Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year.

The finalists are Calipari, Virginia's Tony Bennett, Wisconsin's Bo Ryan and Villanova's Jay Wright.

The winner will be announced on April 5 as the Naismith Awards Brunch in Indianapolis.

Here's a release from UK:

ATLANTA – For the seventh time during his illustrious career, Kentucky head coach John Calipari is a finalist for the Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year award, announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Tuesday.

Calipari is a two-time winner of the award, having earned the honor in 2008 as head coach at Memphis and in 1996 while at Massachusetts. He’s been tabbed a finalist in five additional seasons – including 2015, 2012 and 2010 while at the helm of the Wildcats.

UK’s head coach is joined on the ballot by Virginia’s Tony Bennett, Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan and Jay Wright of Villanova.

The finalists were determined by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, which based its criteria on the coaches’ performances to this point in the 2014-15 men’s college basketball season. The Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year will be announced on April 5, at the Naismith Awards Brunch Delivered in Indianapolis.

Kentucky is off to a perfect 34-0 start after claiming the Southeastern Conference’s regular-season and tournament championship. It was the third regular-season crown and the third tournament title under Calipari’s direction. Calipari has led the Wildcats to their best start in school history, best start for an SEC team, longest overall winning streak in school history and his personal overall longest winning streak.

UK went 31-0 in the regular season – the first among power five conference teams since Indiana achieved the feat during the 1975-76 season. The Wildcats head into the NCAA Tournament as the top overall seed, assigned to the Midwest Region.

Calipari has already hauled in National Coach of the Year honors by Sporting News and is the United States Basketball Writers Association’s District IV Coach of the Year. Furthermore, he is the SEC’s Coach of the Year per the Associated Press and the league’s coaches.

Ashland Blazer Fires Buddy Biggs After Historically Bad Season

Ashland Blazer High School has dismissed head coach Buddy Biggs after 9 seasons at the helm.

Biggs had a 172-115 record during his 9 seasons as head coach. His teams won six 64th District titles and finished as 16th Region runner-up four times.

Ashland was 5-27 this season for the worst record in the program's storied history.

Here's an excerpt from DailyIndependent.com:

“We have decided that in the best interests of the basketball program to make a change in leadership and that coach Biggs would no longer be our head coach,” wrote Derek Runyon, Ashland Blazer High School’s principal. “This was not an easy decision but one we felt was necessary moving forward.”

Biggs spent nine seasons at the helm. The 44-year-old guided the ’Cats to six 20-win seasons, six 64th District titles, four 16th Region runner-up finishes and a composite record of 172-115.

Ashland endured its worst season in Biggs’ tenure — and its worst in history — in 2014-15 as the Tomcats battled an injury to key senior Nick Miller en route to a 5-27 output. They won four of their final eight games, including a crucial district semifinal triumph over Fairview to launch Ashland into the region tournament field for the 24th consecutive postseason.

Biggs said he was “surprised by the decision, but I wasn’t shocked.”

Read More

Thomas More's Drew Mumford Named D3hoops.com All-Great Lakes Region

Thomas More College's Drew Mumford has been named All-Great Lakes Region by D3hoops.com.

Here is a release from TMC:

(MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.) – Thomas More College senior guard Drew Mumford (Louisville, Ky./Christian Academy) has been named All-Great Lakes Region by the internet website D3hoops.com.

Mumford, who was named first team All-Presidents' Athletic Conference earlier this month, was a second team All-Region selection. He led the team in scoring and rebounding with 18.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Mumford shot 55 percent from the field and dished out 78 assists, while recording 10 blocked shots and 39 steals.

Thomas More ended the season at 17-10 overall and 11-5 in the PAC as it advanced to the semifinals of the PAC Championship Tournament.

Eastern Kentucky to Host Norfolk State in the CIT Tournament Tonight

Eastern Kentucky University will host Norfolk State in the 2015 CIT Tournament, which began last
night.

UT Martin and Eastern Illinois are other Ohio Valley Conference teams in the event.

2015 CIT Tournament Schedule

FIRST ROUND (All Times EST)

Monday March 16

NJIT 84, New Hampshire 77

Tuesday March 17

Eastern Illinois (17-14) @ Oakland (16-16) 7:00
James Madison (19-13) @ USC Upstate (23-11) 7:00
Bowling Green (20-11) @ Saint Francis (16-15) 7:00
Norfolk State (20-13) @ Eastern Kentucky (19-11) 7:00
UL-Lafayette (20-13) @ Incarnate Word (18-10) 8:00

Wednesday March 18

UMES (18-14) @ High Point (22-9) 7:00
Dartmouth (14-14) @ Canisius (16-14) 7:00
Texas A&M Corpus Christi (19-13) @ Florida Gulf Coast (22-10) 7:00
Cleveland State (18-14) @ Western Michigan (20-13) 7:00
Kent State (21-11) @ Middle Tennessee (19-16) 7:00
UNC Wilmington (18-13) @ Sam Houston State (25-7) 7:30
Northern Arizona (19-14) @ Grand Canyon (17-14) 8:00
IPFW (16-14) @ Evansville (19-12) 8:05
Sacramento State (20-11) @ Portland (17-15) 10:00

Thursday March 19

UT Martin (18-12) @ Northwestern State (19-12) 7:30

NOTE: The CIT uses the old NIT model in which there is no set bracket. Future round opponents are determined by the results of the previous round. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ashley Judd Defends Dick Vitale Kiss, Says She's Going to Press Charges Against Twitter Bullies

Actress and Kentucky celebrity fan Ashley Judd defended Dick Vitale's kiss on MSNBC today.

Judd also hinted that she's considering pressing charges against social media bullies who called her unthinkable names on Twitter following her comments about the SEC Championship game.

Check out her interview (click to play):

Dave Bezold Out as Head Coach at Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University has announced that the program will make a head coaching change soon.

Here is the announcement from NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky University Director of Athletics Ken Bothof has announced a change in leadership of NKU's men's basketball program, as Dave Bezold will no longer serve as head coach of the Norse.

"This is difficult given Dave's role in our university and our community," said Bothof. "Dave is a good man and has given much of himself to the development of the young men in our basketball program. I am grateful for his service and wish him and his family well."

NKU just completed its third year of the four-year transitional period to Division I.

A national search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Bellarmine Dismantles Lake Superior State to Earn Spot in NCAA DII Sweet 16

(1) Bellarmine 85
(4) Lake Superior State 59

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

NCAA DII Tournament - Second Round

Game recap by BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—How sweet it is. The top-seeded Bellarmine University Knights punched their ticket to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 with an 85-59 victory over the fourth-seeded Lake Superior State Lakers on Sunday night in Knights Hall in the Midwest Regional Semifinals.

The Knights (29-3 and ranked third nationally) used a balanced scoring attack and a stifling defense to post the 26-point win, the worst defeat of Lakers' season. Bellarmine had four players score in double figures, led by Chris Whitehead's 16, and held LSSU to just 32.8 percent shooting.

Jake Thelen posted his 16th double double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while the 22nd-ranked Lakers were led by Tony Harris' 20 points. Lake Superior, which saw its season end with a 26-7 record, also got a double-double from Devin Daly with 16 points and 12 boards.

"We're just delighted to be one of the 16 teams left in the country," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "Our motto this year has been to do our job, and that's what we did tonight."

Bellarmine ran out to a 19-9 lead less than 10 minutes into the game and held a 36-24 advantage at the break. George Suggs nailed a three to open the second period, and the Lakers got no closer than 12 the rest of the way.

The Knights made 52.7 percent of their shots and owned a 39-37 edge on the backboards, despite giving up 16 offensive rebounds to the Lakers.

Bellarmine was solid in all phases of the game, and the stats bear that out. The Knights dished out 20 assists on 29 made baskets, committed just seven turnovers, made nine of 16 treys, and converted 18 of 21 free throws.

"All the things you do in postseason play to make you successful, we did them tonight," Davenport said. "I talked to the four seniors at halftime, and I thought those four kids (Whitehead, Thelen, Corbin Maynard, and Josh Sewell) were just outstanding."

Complete Recap

Tuesday Night's Game is SOLD OUT

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. --- Tuesday night's Midwest Regional final between the University of Indianapolis and Bellarmine University is sold out.

Fans not able to obtain tickets can still cheer on the Knights at two official watch parties at Shenanigans Irish Grille and O'shea's Irish Pub as well as the free webcast available at BUKnights.com.

Tip is set for 7:00 PM with doors opening one hour prior.

Willie Cauley-Stein Earns First Team All-America Honors from the USBWA

WKentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein has earned First Team All-America honors from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, a Louisville native, is also on the First Team.

Former Kentucky forward Kyle Wiltjer is on the Second Team.

All ten players will be finalists for the coveted Oscar Robertson Trophy, which is given annually to college basketball's top player.

Here's the release from the USBWA:

2014-15 USBWA MEN'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM

FIRST TEAM 

Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
F Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky 7-0 240 Jr. Olathe, Kan.
G Jerian Grant, Notre Dame 6-5 204 Sr. Bowie, Md.
F Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin 7-0 242 Sr. Lisle, Ill.
C Jahlil Okafor, Duke 6-11 270 Fr. Chicago, Ill.
G D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State 6-5 180 Fr. Louisville, Ky.

SECOND TEAM

Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
G Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia 6-5 215 Jr. Atlanta, Ga.
F Bobby Portis, Arkansas 6-11 242 So. Little Rock, Ark.
F Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa 6-8 240 Sr. Sheffield, Iowa
F Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga 6-10 240 Jr. Portland, Ore.
G Delon Wright, Utah 6-5 190 Sr. Los Angeles, Calif.

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The 2014-15 USBWA Men's All-America Team features a true five-man lineup of first-teamers, led by two seniors who pushed their teams to conference tournament championships: Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky and Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant. Joining Kaminsky in the front court is junior forward Willie Cauley-Stein of unbeaten and top-ranked Kentucky and Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor. Grant's backcourt mate is another freshman, Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell.

Based on regular-season performance, the entire USBWA membership of nearly 1,000 selects the nation's top five players on each of two teams regardless of position.

Overall, the Atlantic Coast Conference leads all selections with three, including Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon, who was named to the second team. The Big Ten and SEC each boast two All-America selections. Joining Brodgon on that second team are Bobby Portis from Arkansas, Seth Tuttle from Northern Iowa, Kyle Wiltjer from Gonzaga and Delon Wright from Utah. Portis, Tuttle, Wiltjer and Wright are all USBWA District Players of the Year.

Cauley-Stein, a 7-0 junior from Olathe, Kan., contributes to Kentucky's potent and balanced attack with 9.3 points per game to go with 6.4 rebounds. He is the USBWA's District IV Player of the Year and was a first-team All-SEC selection in leading the Wildcats to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Complete Release

Team, Player Notes from Kentucky's Win Over Arkansas

Check out the team and player notes from Kentucky's SEC title game win over Arkansas:

  • Team records: Kentucky is 34-0, Arkansas is 26-8.
  • Kentucky leads the series 27-11. Earlier this season, UK defeated Arkansas 84-67 in Lexington
  • With 34 consecutive victories …
    • It extends the longest win streak in Kentucky history.
    • It extended the longest season-opening win streak for any team in SEC history.
    • It extended the longest win streak for a John Calipari-coached team.
  • Kentucky is 211-27 all-time when ranked No. 1 and has won 56 of the last 58 games as The Associated Press top-ranked team.
  • Calipari has led three schools to a No. 1 ranking (Massachusetts, Memphis, Kentucky) and has a 100-9 record as the top-ranked coach, including 59-4 at UK.
  • Calipari is now 186-37 (.834) as head coach at Kentucky, the best winning percentage of any coach in UK history.
  • Next for the Wildcats: UK awaits its NCAA Tournament destination, which will be announced Sunday night.

In the SEC Tournament

  • Kentucky has an all-time record of 124-25 (.839) in SEC Tournament games.
  • UK has won 28 tourney titles with a 28-10 record in championship games.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein was named the SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player after totaling 42 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocked shots over the three days. His averages for the three games were 14 points, seven rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
    • The Most Valuable Player Award was instituted in 1979 at the tourney renewal. A Kentucky player has won the MVP 16 times, most recently Darius Miller in 2011.
  • In addition to Cauley-Stein, Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison were named to the All-Tournament Team.
    • Andrew Harrison totaled 39 points, eight assists and four rebounds during the tournament.
    • Aaron Harrison totaled 36 points, six assists and six rebounds during the tourney.
  • Today’s attendance was 20,315, most ever for an SEC Tournament game in this arena. This was the fifth time the event has been held in this building.

Team Notes

  • UK shot 51 percent from the field (25 of 49).  It is the 11th time this season, and the second game in a row, that the Wildcats have made at least 50 percent.
  • UK shot 58.3 percent from three-point land, 7 of 12.  It is the fourth game this season, and second in a row, that the Wildcats made at least half their shots from long range.
  • Kentucky shot 77.8 percent from the foul line, 21 of 27. The Wildcats have made 77.9 percent at the charity stripe over the last 10 games (187 of 240).
  • UK was never behind today. The Wildcats have trailed for only 178:56 of a possible 1,375 minutes this season.

·         Arkansas won bench points today, 27-20.  This was the first game this season that UK did not win the bench points. 

  • Kentucky’s streak of 934 consecutive games with a 3-pointer was extended when Andrew Harrison connected on the first possession of the game.

First-Half Facts

  • Kentucky’s opening lineup featured Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Trey Lyles, Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein for the 15th time this season.
  • On the first three possessions, UK got threes from Andrew Harrison sandwiched around two Cauley-Stein foul shots, giving the Wildcats an 8-0 lead and prompting an Arkansas timeout at 18:21.
  • Arkansas rallied to tie it at 10, 12, 14 and finally at 19 with 10 minutes to go in the half.
  • From that point, UK closed the half on a 22-6 run, making seven straight field goal attempts at one stretch and all six free throws. 
  • Halftime score was 41-25 and the 25 points scored by Arkansas tied their lowest half of the season.

Second-Half Story

  • Kentucky started the second half with Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Andrew Harrison, Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein.
  • Arkansas steadily ate into the UK advantage, getting within nine points on four occasions, the last at 54-45 with 9:47 to go.
  • At that point, UK put the game away with an 11-2 run, bulging the lead to 65-47 with 6:23 to play.
  • UK led by as many as 21 points before coasting to the 78-63 win.

Player Notes

  • Willie Cauley-Stein had 15 points and 10 rebounds, his third double-double of the season.
    • He was named the SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player after totaling 42 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocked shots over the three days. His averages for the three games were 14 points, seven rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
  • Andrew Harrison also led the Wildcats in scoring with 15 points. It is his 14th double-figure scoring game of the season.
  • Aaron Harrison sparked the first half performance with eight points and six assists in the opening stanza.  He finished with 11 points and six assists, his team-leading 21st double-figure game of the season.
    • Six assists is a season high and just one short of his career best.
  • Trey Lyles scored nine points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.
  • Tyler Ulis played another solid game with eight points and six assists in a career-high 34 minutes.
    • He has become more of a scoring presence recently, averaging 6.7 points over the last nine games.
    • He has averaged 4.1 assists over the last nine games, leading UK in that category in six of the last seven games.

 

 

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