Saturday, April 4, 2015

Murray State's Jarvis Williams Plays Well in NABC All-Star Game

Murray State big man Jarvis Williams played well in the Reese's All-Star Game on Friday.

Williams scored a team-high 16 points in the East's 109-87 loss to the West.

Here's a release from MSU:

Murray State's Jarvis Williams scored a team-high 16 points Friday in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Reese's All-Star Game at Lucas Oil Stadium, site of the NCAA Final Four, in Indianapolis.

Williams, a senior from Macon, Ga., was chosen to participate after an outstanding final season for the Racers. He competed with his teammates from the east team coached by Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles.

The East had to deal with a hot-shooting West squad that started the game hitting 7-of-7 from 3-point range. Williams helped his team stay in the fight by hitting four straight shots to total nine points at half. The West held a 53-44 lead after the first 20 minutes.

The West outscored the East 56-43 in the second half to win the exhibition 109-87.

Williams ended the game with 16 points in 17 minutes of playing time. He was 7-of-12 from the field (1-of-2 from 3-point range) and 1-of-2 from the free throw line. He added four rebounds and one assist.

Corey Hawkins of UC Davis led the West team with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting including 4-of-5 from the 3-point line. Cameron Woods, a teammate with Williams, led the East with 14 rebounds.

Hawkins and Le'Bryan Nash from Oklahoma State were named the Co-Reese's Perfect Players at the end of the game.

Complete Release

Pikeville, Campbellsville Finish Season in Top 10 of NAIA D1 National Poll

The NAIA Division I Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll was released earlier this week.

University of Pikeville ends the season at No. 6 in the nation. Campbellsville University is also in the top 10 at No. 8.

Georgetown College is No. 19 in the final poll.

University of the Cumberlands holds on to the 25th and final spot.

2014 – 15 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll – April 1

1 6 Dalton State (Ga.) (8) 32-4 188
2 2 Talladega (Ala.) 32-5 176
3 21 Westmont (Calif.) 25-11 175
4 1 Hope International (Calif.) 32-3 174
5 3 Cal State San Marcos 30-4 166
6 T7 Pikeville (Ky.) 28-6 154
7 T7 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 30-5 152
8 5 Campbellsville (Ky.) 29-6 144
9 4 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 29-4 142
10 T13 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 25-11 138
11 9 Concordia (Calif.) 27-8 133
12 22 Evangel (Mo.) 21-13 114
13 11 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 27-6 106
14 18 Montana Western 23-10 104
15 20 Arizona Christian 25-9 101
16 17 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 25-6 100
17 10 LSU Alexandria 23-4 95
18 15 Columbia (Mo.) 26-7 89
19 12 Georgetown (Ky.) 25-8 86
20 RV Missouri Valley 21-11 79
21 19 Xavier (La.) 24-10 63
22 16 Benedictine (Kan.) 24-9 62
23 T13 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 25-8 57
24 23 Oklahoma City 18-9 43
25 24 Cumberlands (Ky.) 23-11 41

Others Receiving Votes: Bethel (Tenn.) 34; SAGU (Texas) 21; Philander Smith (Ark.) 20; Wiley (Texas) 18; WVU Tech 16; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 13; LSU Shreveport (La.) 13.

^ indicates ranking from March 11 final poll

ESPN Won't Renew Bob Knight's Contract for Next Season

ESPN will not be renewing Bob Knight’s contract to call games for next season.

According to a report, Knight’s last game on the air was the NIT championship game.

Here’s more from

On Thursday night, his run as one of the “damn people from television”—at least as far as being a damn person from ESPN—is officially over. has learned ESPN will not renew its contract with Knight. His last broadcast for the network will be Thursday night’s NIT’s championship between Stanford and Miami, which tips at 9 p.m. ET.

When contacted by on Thursday afternoon, ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys declined comment.

Knight, 74, was hired by ESPN in February 2008 shortly after he announced his resignation from Texas Tech. During his time with ESPN, he worked in a number of capacities, including as an on-site analyst (notably with Brent Musburger on Big 12 broadcasts) as well as appearing on select shows and platforms, including ESPN’s Selection Sunday Specials, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS. He was an interesting and distinctive voice early on, but he had some hiccups as a broadcaster, including in 2012 when he remarkably declined to utter the word “Kentucky” on air, opting instead for that “team from the SEC.” He took on fewer games in the past couple of years—he called American Athletic Conference games this year with Mike Patrick and Len Elmore—but still had a propensity to tell people to get off his lawn.

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Cauley-Stein, Towns and Walden Named to 2015 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team

Virginia's Darion Atkins won the 2015 Lefty Driesell Award on Friday.

Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein were named to the Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team on Monday.

Eastern Kentucky's Corey Walden and former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey were also named to the team.

About the award:

The Lefty Driesell award is named in honor of coaching legend Lefty Driesell, who is the only person to ever win 100 games at four different Division I schools. He is best known for his time at Maryland, leading the program to the National Invitational Tournament title in 1972 and its second-ever ACC Tournament Championship in 1984. He finished his career at Maryland with a 348-159 record and concluded his career with an impressive 786-394 mark.


Karl-Anthony Towns 6-11 Fr. Kentucky
Darion Atkins 6-8 Sr. Virginia
Gary Bell Jr. 6-2 Sr. Gonzaga
Malcolm Brogdon 6-5 Jr. Virginia
Willie Cauley-Stien 7-0 Jr. Kentucky
Rakeem Christmas 6-9 Sr. Syracuse
Kyle Collinsworth 6-6 Jr. BYU
Tekele Cotton 6-3 Sr. Wichita State
Demarcus Daniels 6-7 Jr. North Florida
Nnanna Egwu 6-11 Sr. Illinois
Jerian Grant 6-5 Sr. Notre Dame
Jelani Hewitt 6-2 Sr. Georgia Southern
Anthony Hickey 5-11 Sr. Oklahoma State
Brice Johnson 6-9 Jr. North Carolina
Reggie Lynch 6-10 So. Illinois State
T.J. McConnell 6-1 Sr. Arizona
Jordan Mickey 6-8 So. LSU
Shonn Miller 6-7 Sr. Cornell
Larry Nance, Jr. 6-8 Sr. Wyoming
Josh Richardson 6-6 Sr. Tennessee
Richard Ross 6-6 Sr. Old Dominion
Justin Tuoyo 6-10 So. Chattanooga
Corey Walden 6-2 Sr. Eastern Kentucky
Julian Washburn 6-8 Sr. UTEP
Briante Weber 6-2 Sr. VCU
Jay Wright 6-1 So. UL-Lafayette

Release from

John Calipari Named AP Coach of the Year for First Time in Career

John Calipari was named AP Coach of the Year for the first time in his career on Friday.

Here's a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Already named the National Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and Sporting News, Kentucky men's basketball head coach John Calipari picked up another prestigious honor for leading the undefeated Wildcats to a 38-0 season, entering the Final Four, when he was named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year on Friday.

It's the first time in Calipari's illustrious career he has been named AP Coach of the Year. He's the third UK coach to win the AP honor, joining Eddie Sutton (1986) and Tubby Smith (2003 and 2005).

Calipari, now in his sixth season at Kentucky, has led UK to a second straight Final Four this season and the fourth in the last five years. Kentucky is the first team to enter the Final Four undefeated since 1991.

Calipari's 2014-15 Wildcats have tied his 2007-08 Memphis team and his 2011-12 national championship Kentucky team's NCAA Division I record for single-season wins (38) with last week's Elite Eight win over Notre Dame on Saturday. UK is the first team in NCAA Division I history to post a 38-0 record.

Kentucky has spent 19 straight weeks at No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 this season, tied for the fourth-longest streak in NCAA history. UK now owns the NCAA Division I record for most appearances at No. 1 in the AP poll in a single season at 19.

UK also set the school record for home wins with 19 this season.

Complete Release

Report: Cameron Payne Will Almost Certainly Enter NBA Draft

It sounds like Murray State star Cameron Payne has already made his mind up and will almost certainly enter the 2015 NBA Draft.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Payne has already been working on selecting an agent and a formal announcement will likely come after the Final Four.

Here's an excerpt:

Payne is proceeding toward selecting an agent and formalizing a decision with an expected announcement after the Final Four, sources said.

Team executives who expect to be picking in the late lottery range told Yahoo Sports they expect Payne to be a prospect they'll have to consider. Nevertheless, Payne is believed to be solidified as a solid mid-first-round pick in the June draft.

Payne, 20, and his family have hosted presentations from NBA agents in their hometown of Memphis, Tenn., this week, sources said.

Complete Article

Billy Gillispie Returns to Coaching at Ranger College

Former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie has reportedly accepted the head coaching job at his alma mater Ranger (JUCO) College.

Gillispie has been out of coaching since he was fired at Kentucky almost six years ago to the day.

Ranger College is located down I-20 just outside of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Photos from Kentucky's Open Practice in Indianapolis

Kentucky's Final Four open practice was held earlier today at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Here are a few photos that were submitted by Kenny Hall:

Steve Prohm Reportedly in the Mix at Alabama

According to Jeff Goodman of, Murray State's Steve Prohm is now in the mix for the head coaching job at Alabama.

Murray State's Jarvis Williams to Play in Reese's Division I College All-Star Game Today

Murray State big man Jarvis Williams will be playing in the Reese's Division I College All-Star Game later today in Indianapolis.

The game will tip at 4:30 p.m. ET today at Lucas Oil Stadium.

REESE'S® Division I College All-Star Game Rosters

East Team

Julius Brown - G - Toledo
Tyler Kalinoski - G - Davidson
Will Cummings - G - Temple
Darun Hilliard - G - Villanova
D'Angelo Harrison - G - St. John's
Treveon Graham - F - VCU
LaDontae Henton - F - Providence
JayVaughn Pinkston - F - Villanova
Jarvis Williams - PF - Murray State
Kameron Woods - PF - Butler
Matt Stainbrook - C - Xavier

Head Coach: Tim Miles (University of Nebraska), Assistant Coach: Ron Coleman

West Team

Mikh McKinney - G - Sacramento State
Lawrence Alexander - G - North Dakota State
Corey Hawkins - G - UC Davis
Ralston Turner - G - N.C. State
Pat Connaughton - G/F - Notre Dame
Jacob Parker - F - Stephen F. Austin
Seth Tuttle - PF - Northern Iowa
Le'Bryan Nash - F - Oklahoma State
Alan Williams - PF - UCSB
Brad Waldow - F - St. Mary's

Head Coach: Jim Crews (Saint Louis University), Assistant Coach: Chris Hollender Head Coach: Jim Crews (Saint Louis University), Assistant Coach: Chris Hollender

Rick Pitino to Receive NABC Metropolitan Award at Final Four

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino will receive the NABC Metropolitan Award on Sunday in Indianapolis.

The Metropolitan Award recognizes long and outstanding service to men's college basketball.

Here's a release from UL:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino will receive the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Metropolitan Award for long and outstanding service to men's college basketball at a ceremony at the Final Four this weekend.

Pitino will receive the award at the annual AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show on Sunday, April 5, at 6 p.m. at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre in Indianapolis.

The Metropolitan Award has a long and storied history, which began in New York City. The Metropolitan Basketball Association presented its first Metropolitan Award in 1941 to legendary City College of New York coach Nat Holman and followed that a year later with Ned Irish, who first brought college basketball to Madison Square Garden.

Over eight decades, many outstanding coaches and contributors in men's college basketball have been honored with the award, including Clair Bee, Henry Iba, Pete Newell, John Wooden and Dave Gavitt.

Pitino, like the award, was born in New York and has earned his place as one of the most outstanding coaches in men's college basketball.

In his 30 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Pitino was the first college coach to win NCAA championships with two different programs (Kentucky in 1995-96 and Louisville in 2012-13) and the first to take three different schools to the Final Four. His Providence College team reached the Final Four in 1986-87. He is third among active coaches in NCAA Tournament winning percentage with his 53-18 record (.746) in 20 tournament appearances.

Complete Release

Goodman: Alabama Should Just Go Get Steve Prohm

Jeff Goodman of thinks Alabama should just go hire Murray State's Steve Prohm and call it a day.

Prohm is an Alabama graduate and he knows the landscape in Tuscaloosa.  In four seasons at Murray State, Prohm has a 104-29 record and he's twice been named Ohio Valley Conference coach of the year.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pregame Scouting Report on the Wisconsin Badgers has obtained the actual pregame scouting report that was used by Northern Kentucky University earlier this season when the Norse played Wisconsin on the road.

The scout was prepared and presented to the team by former NKU assistant coach Ethan Faulkner.

Keep in mind, this game was early in the season so the stats are not accurate.

The notes, however, are very interesting and do a nice job presenting the team that Kentucky will face in the Final Four Saturday night from a coach's perspective.

Some notes that stood out to me:

- Wisconsin is going to move/screen relentlessly. Obviously, one chink in Kentucky's undefeated armor has been defending the pick and roll and other screening situations.

- They will expose mistakes. That's a great trait of Bo Ryan teams...make mistakes and the Badgers will expose them.

- Basically everyone that plays will be able to shoot the 3 and put the ball on the floor. That's a very important thing to note...the Badgers will have 4-5 shooters on the court at ALL times. I've watched them in person and they can flat shoot the rock.

- They have a ton of experience and they do a great job of cutting, moving and screening without the ball. Another very important note...this is a well-coached, experienced team that knows how to play the game of basketball.

- All of their guards have great size and will post up. The size won't matter much against Kentucky, but it could be something to keep an eye on when Tyler Ulis is in the game.

- Good offensive rebounding team. The Badgers will attack the glass.

- Wisconsin will play man-to-man half court defense the entire game. It will be interesting to see if this is their approach vs. Kentucky.

- In the post they are going to play one on one and make you score over them. Again, will they try this vs. Kentucky's bigs?

Here's a look at the actual scouting report that was presented to the Norse before the game:

Jeff Neubauer Introduced at Fordham; Held Practice on First Day

Former Eastern Kentucky head coach Jeff Neubauer was officially introduced at Fordham University this week.

Here is a release that was put out by FU:

Jeff Neubauer, head coach at Eastern Kentucky University for the past ten years, was named head men’s basketball coach at Fordham University on March 30, 2015.

“We are delighted to welcome Jeff Neubauer to the Fordham family,” said Joseph M. McShane, SJ, president of the University. “His ability to inspire superior performance on the court and in the classroom fits well with Fordham’s mission and our culture. Likewise his winning record at Eastern Kentucky will serve Fordham well. Most importantly, we believe Jeff will be a positive force for our student athletes, in their careers and in their lives.”

Over the past ten years, Neubauer led Eastern Kentucky to five 20-win seasons, including each of the past three years, and five trips to national postseason tournaments, including a berth in the 2014 NCAA Championships where the Colonels nearly upset second-seeded Kansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

"We are absolutely thrilled that Jeff Neubauer has decided to become the next head men’s basketball coach at Fordham,” said Roach. “He has proven himself as one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country and brings a tremendous amount of experience to our program. We are confident that Jeff can lead us to success in the Atlantic 10 Conference, one of the top basketball conferences in the nation.”

Neubauer’s 188 career wins at Eastern Kentucky is second only to Paul S. McBrayer's 214 at the school and his overall mark as the Colonels’ leader is 188-134.

“I am thrilled to get the opportunity not only to be head coach at Fordham but to coach in New York City,” said Neubauer. “I really love challenges and am very aware of how competitive the Atlantic 10 Conference is and I’m looking forward to helping Fordham move forward in the conference.”

The past five seasons have been like none other at Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels’ 101 victories over that stretch are the most during any five-year period in school history. EKU won a school-record 25 games in 2012-13 and accumulated 70 victories over the past three seasons.

Despite being picked to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division this year, Neubauer guided the Colonels to a first place finish, earning the No. 2 seed in the OVC tournament. The Colonels finished the year 21-12, falling in the quarterfinals of the Postseason Tournament (CIT) last week.

Complete Release

What did Neubauer do on his first day in New York? Practice of course:

Billy Donovan Gets a Contract Extension at Florida

Florida has extended Billy Donovan's contract through the 2019-2020 season.

Here is an excerpt from

UF athletic director Jeremy Foley and Donovan agreed to the deal last summer, and Donovan signed it in December, according to UF. The Gainesville Sun reported the extension late Wednesday.

Donovan received a $250,000 signing bonus to push his salary to $4,208,334 this past season, when the Gators finished 16-17 to miss the postseason for the first time since 1998 - Donovan's second season in Gainesville.

Donovan's total compensation will remain $3,958,334 the next four seasons before reaching $4,000,334 in 2019-2020.

Donovan's average annual compensation was around $3.7 million prior to the new deal.

Read More

Only John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Bill Self, Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski currently make $4 million or more annually.

Louisville Will Play Kennesaw State in 2015-16 Season

The Louisville Cardinals will play Kennesaw State during the 2015-16 regular season.

The Courier-Journal confirmed the game through an open records request:

The University of Louisville has agreed to a 2015 nonconference basketball home game against Kennesaw State, according to the game contract obtained by The Courier-Journal through a public records request.

Kennesaw State will receive $90,000 for playing the game, which is scheduled for Dec. 16 at the KFC Yum! Center.

Complete Article

Kennesaw State was 10-22 overall last season and 4-10 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Tubby Smith To Be Honored by NABC, NCAA at the Final Four

Former Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith will be honored by the NABC and NCAA during the Final Four.

Here are details from Tubby's current school, Texas Tech:

Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith has been selected as the 2015 honoree at the NABC and NCAA Office of Inclusion’s “Celebration of Champions” event in conjunction with the Final Four slated for Sunday 3-5 p.m. at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“I cannot thank NABC and the NCAA Office of Inclusion enough for this honor,” Smith said in a press release. “It is more of an honor for the men and women I have worked with and the players I have coached for the last 24 years. Our successes through the years have been a team effort.”

In 24 years as a head coach, Smith has been at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota and Texas Tech.

In 40 total years as a basketball coach, he made stops at Virginia Commonwealth, South Carolina and Kentucky as an assistant.

He is one of seven active head coaches who have won 500 career games and a national title.

He led Kentucky to the NCAA Title in 1998.

Complete Release

Five Tennessee Basketball Staffers Released, Two Undetermined

Five Tennessee basketball staffers have been fired and two others are undetermined following the hiring of Rick Barnes.

According to multiple reports, Justin Phelps, Todd Moyer, Beau Braden, J.T. Burton and Ty Proffitt were all released. Al Pinkins and Chris Shumate are still employed but their future is undetermined.

Here's more via

Director of basketball operations Justin Phelps, strength and conditioning coach Todd Moyer, assistant coach Beau Braden, director of player development J.T. Burton and video coordinator Ty Proffitt were all released.

Al Pinkins, named interim coach Friday after Tyndall was fired amid an NCAA investigation, and Shumate, an assistant coach who spent one year with Tyndall at Southern Miss, have not yet been released.

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In addition, Southern Miss assistant Jareem Dowling, who was with Tyndall at both USM and Morehead State, has resigned.

Gregg Marshall Passes on Alabama; Steve Prohm Could Be in the Mix

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall checked out Alabama but has decided to stay put with the Shockers.

Marshall will sign a new seven-year deal with the Shockers worth $3.3 million per season, CBS Sports reported.

Tide athletic director Bill Battle confirmed the Marshall news in a statement:

"I received word tonight that coach Gregg Marshall has chosen to remain the head basketball coach at Wichita State. I fully respect his decision and wish him and his family all the best. My objective in this search is focused on one goal: to get the best person available to lead the Alabama men's basketball program. I remain determined to bring to our program a proven head coach with impressive credentials, one who understands and values our program, wants to lead our program, and is excited about what can be accomplished at the University of Alabama."

Now, Alabama will look at other candidates and the list could include Richard Pitino and Steve Prohm.

Here's what says about Prohm and Pitino as potential candidates:

Richard Pitino, Minnesota

Three years into his head coaching career, the son of Rick Pitino has been contacted by Alabama about the position, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. He has a 61-42 overall record after two years at Minnesota and the 2012-13 season at FIU. He led a depleted Golden Panther program to an 18-14 record and within two points of an NCAA Tournament appearance. That led to the opportunity with the Big Ten program.

Pitino, 32, led the Gophers to a NIT championship in Year 1, but the team struggled last season. An 18-15 record included a 10th-place finish in the Big Ten, and a 3-6 mark in the last month of the season.

Why he'd fit: Pitino is young, but has the fire and energy of his father. He's well connected in the coaching business and has the charisma to bring enthusiasm back to the Alabama program.

Why he wouldn't fit: Well, he's young. Pitino has yet to coach a team to the NCAA Tournament.

Steve Prohm, Murray State

His name was on the early list of up-and-comers connected to the Alabama job for a few obvious reasons. First, he's an Alabama graduate. Second, he was once a student assistant and student manager. Prohm knows Alabama.

He also knows a little about winning. In four seasons under Prohm, the Racers are 104-29 and he's twice been named Ohio Valley Conference coach of the year. Murray State went 31-2 in 2011-12 with a 4-point loss to Tennessee Tech on Feb. 9 as the only regular-season blemish. The Racers rose as high as No. 9 in the AP poll. As a No. 6 seed, Murray State won the program's third NCAA Tournament game in the opening round before falling to Marquette in the Round of 32.

A last-second 3-pointer from Belmont stunned Murray State in the OVC championship game this March.

The catch? Prohm just agreed to a new contract at Murray State. The salary of $500,000 could is nearly a quarter of what Anthony Grant was paid last season.

Why he'd fit: He also has that fire. Watching Prohm coach, it's obvious he loves what he does and brings real energy to it. And he's won a tournament game.

Why he wouldn't fit: Prohm has yet to coach in a Power-5 conference, even as an assistant. Before taking the Murray State job in 2011, he was an assistant at Centenary, Southeastern Louisiana and Tulane.

Read More

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Rosters Announced for 2015 Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game

The 24th Annual Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game will be taking place on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

Here's a look at the rosters for both Kentucky and Ohio:


Jeremiah Bell, Boyle County, 6'2" Guard
Chris Coffey, Seneca, 6'7" Forward
Eljay Cowherd, Bardstown, 6'0" Guard
Richard Gaines, PRP, 6'5" Forward
Terrell Grey, Doss, 6'3" Guard
Evan Hall, Knott Central, 6'7" Forward
Camron Justice, Knott Central, 6'3" Guard
JaQualis Matlock, Hopkinsville, 6'5" Forward
Drew McDonald, Newport Central Catholic, 6'8" Forward
Trey Moses, Eastern, 6'9" Center
Will Parker, Male, 6'7" Forward
Bo Schuh, Covington Catholic, 6'6" Forward
David Simmons, Henderson County, 6'2" Guard
Dwayne Sutton, Manual, 6'5" Forward
Hagen Tyler, Boyle County, 6'3" Guard

Head Coach: BB King, Knott Central
Assistant Coaches: Steve Adams (Boyle County); Tony Williams (Doss)




Kentucky to Hold Open Practice on Friday in Indianapolis

The Kentucky Wildcats will hold a free open practice Friday in Indianapolis.

Here are details from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Members of the Big Blue Nation have the chance to watch top-ranked Kentucky practice inside Lucas Oil Stadium ahead of the Wildcats’ national semifinal rematch with Wisconsin. The Wildcats will take the Final Four floor for their open practice on Friday beginning at approximately 3 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 11 a.m.

Michigan State will have the first open practice session from 12-12:50 p.m., Duke will take the court from 1-1:50 p.m. and Wisconsin will practice from 2-2:50 p.m.

Fans who attend the Final Four open practices on Friday will have the opportunity to hear from each head coach after their sessions and engage in on-court promotions. The day concludes with the College All Star-Game tipping off at 4:30 p.m. in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Friday’s open practice will be one of many events for fans to experience in Indianapolis other than the Final Four games themselves.

The NCAA will also host the March Madness Music Festival on Friday and Saturday with acts such as Rihanna (Saturday), Imagine Dragons and Weezer (both on Friday) scheduled to perform at White River State Park. Admission is free.

Saturday’s pregame events include the Road to the Final Four 5K, with the race beginning at 8 a.m. at the NCAA Hall of Champions. The NCAA will also host youth basketball clinics at local gyms and at Final Four Fan Fest at the Indiana Convention Center with check-in beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Fan Fest will take place from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets for Fan Fest are on sale now.

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Murray State's Cameron Payne Leaning Towards Entering NBA Draft

Murray State point guard Cameron Payne is reportedly leaning towards entering the NBA Draft.

Here is an excerpt from Yahoo! Sports:

Murray State sophomore guard Cameron Payne is leaning toward entering the 2015 NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Although Payne has yet to formalize his decision, indications are strong that he’s played his final game in college, sources said.

Payne, 20, and his family are hosting presentations from several major NBA agents in their hometown of Memphis, Tenn., this week, sources said.

Read More

Payne averaged 20.2 points and 5.7 assists for Murray State this season.

UPIKE's Kenny Manigault Named NABC National Player of the Year

University of Pikeville's Kenny Manigault was named NABC National Player of the Year on Tuesday.

Here is a release from UPIKE:

PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- The awards keep coming for University of Pikeville men's basketball All-American Kenny Manigault as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) named him their 2015 NAIA Player of the Year in a press release on Tuesday.

Already named the National Player of the Year by officials from the NAIA and named the Mid-South Conference's top player, Manigault can add an award from a group that sees players the most, the coaches.

The senior from Ridgeville, S.C., led UPIKE to the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Championship in Kansas City, Mo., where its season ended with a 28-6 overall record. Manigault was the team leader at 19.1 points per game and scored in double digits in all but four games.

The transfer from Wichita State registered 10 double-doubles this season and wreaked havoc on defense, topping the entire NAIA with 83 steals.

Other players honored by the NABC as national players of the year were Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky in NCAA Div. I, Metropolitan State's Mitch McCarron in NCAA Div. II and Cabrini College's Aaron Walton-Moss in NCAA Div. III.

Rex Chapman Returns to UK TeamStream During the Final Four

The UK teamcast on TNT during the final four will consist of Rex Chapman, Dave Baker and Michael Eaves.

Chris Webber Criticizes Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky on Mike & Mike Show

Former Michigan star Chris Webber was very critical of the Kentucky Wildcats and particularly Willie Cauley-Stein this morning on the Mike & Mike Show.

Listen to Webber's comments:

Austin Newton Named Interim Head Coach at Eastern Kentucky University

Assistant and former player Austin Newton has been named interim head coach at Eastern Kentucky University.

Here is a release from the school:

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University Assistant Coach and former Colonel Austin Newton will serve as interim head coach until a new coach is hired to replace Jeff Neubauer. Neubauer accepted the head coaching position at Fordham on Monday.

Newton just finished his seventh season at EKU. In addition to his coaching and recruiting responsibilities, Newton has served as the team's academic coordinator and scheduling liaison.

The Campbellsville, Kentucky native played for four years at Eastern Kentucky (2001-05). He was a senior captain on the 2004-05 squad that earned a spot in the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

Kyle Hankins Accepts Assistant Coaching Job at Oklahoma Baptist University

Former Morehead State player Kyle Hankins has accepted an assistant coaching job at Oklahoma Baptist University, an NCAA Division II Program.

Hankins announced the move on social media:

Kyle Hankins Excited to announce that I have accepted the position of Assistant Men's Basketball Coach at Oklahoma Baptist University. Beyond Thrilled to be apart of a NEW ERA of Bison Basketball at the Division II Level. ‪#‎NCAAD2‬ ‪#‎BISON

Hankins previously worked as an assistant coach at Centre College and Southwestern Christian University.

Sophomore Daniel Camps is Leaving Northern Kentucky University

Sophomore forward Daniel Camps plans to leave Northern Kentucky University via transfer.

He confirmed the decision on Instagram recently:

#thaNKU for all of the memories within these past 2 years. I've learned a lot since landing in Northern Kentucky on June 2013 being known as a cocky freshman from North Carolina that can jump out the gym haha. I've built many great relationship with people here that I will never forget. There's definitely something special at NKU and I'm going to miss it. #LongLive13

Camps averaged 4.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game this season for the Norse.

Rick Barnes is the New Head Coach at Tennessee

According to multiple reports, former Texas coach Rick Barnes is the new head man at Tennessee.

ESPN's Shannon Spake Goes to 8 a.m. Class with Kentucky Players

ESPN's Shannon Spake is in Lexington to cover the Kentucky Wildcats for a few days.

This morning, Spake went to an 8:00 a.m. class with several members of the team.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Louisville Could Be Adding a Graduate Transfer for Next Season

Louisville could be adding Cleveland State graduate transfer Trey Lewis soon.

Lewis, a 6-foot-2 guard led Cleveland State in scoring last season with 16.3 points per game. He knocked down 96 3-pointer this season.

As a graduate transfer, Lewis would be eligible to play immediately.

Photo: Cleveland State Athletics

Kentucky's Cauley-Stein, Towns Named to AP All-American Team

Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein has been named to the AP All-America First Team.

Cauley-stein becomes Kentucky's 25th consensus All-American in program history.

Karl-Anthony Towns is on the Second Team.

Former Kentucky player Kyle Wiltjer is on the Third Team.

2014-15 AP All-America Team

First Team

Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
Jahlil Okafor, Duke
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State

Second Team

Delon Wright, Utah
Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa
Bobby Portis, Arkansas
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Third Team

Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Georges Niang, Iowa State

Here is a press release from UK about Cauley-Stein and Towns:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Willie Cauley-Stein became Kentucky’s 25th consensus First Team All-American on Monday after the Associated Press and National Association of Basketball Coaches each selected the 7-foot junior as a first-teamer.

The NCAA recognizes the Sporting News, AP, NABC and United States Basketball Writers Association All-America teams in considering consensus All-Americans.

Cauley-Stein was named a First Team All-American by the USBWA and Sporting News earlier this season.

Now with 25 consensus First Team All-American selections in its history, Kentucky tied Purdue and North Carolina for the second most consensus First Team All-Americans all-time. Kansas has the most with 28.

Karl-Anthony Towns was also named to the AP and NABC’s Second Team on Monday. Towns became a consensus Second Team All-American as he was also a Third Team All-America selection by the Sporting News.

Cauley-Stein has been one of the leading contributors throughout Kentucky’s 38-0 season so far. He averages 9.1 points per game to go with 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.7 blocks.

Cauley-Stein is the first AP first-team All-America selection to average less than 10 points per game.

In nine wins over ranked opponents he averaged team highs in points (10.6) and rebounds (8.1).

One of the nation’s most effective defenders, Cauley-Stein leads UK in steals (65) while ranking second in blocked shots (65) on the nation’s top-ranked field-goal percentage defense.

This season Cauley-Stein has been a First Team All-Southeastern Conference selection and SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He was also the SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player, and was named to the Midwest Region All-Tournament Team.

Averaging 25.8 minutes per game as part of UK’s platoon system, Cauley-Stein’s numbers are more impressive when viewed on a pro-rated basis, as he averaged 14.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 1.9 steals per 40 minutes.

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. His length came into play in Saturday’s Midwest Regional Final when he altered multiple Notre Dame shots down the stretch.

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 eight players in program history to have 500 or more rebounds, 100 or more blocks, and 75 or more steals.

Towns leads UK with eight double-doubles this year. Having averaged 10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game, Towns stepped up his scoring down the stretch in the Elite Eight scoring a career-high 25 points while also notching career highs in assists (four) and steals (two) in what to-date was the biggest game of his career.

Towns was named Midwest Region MVP last weekend.

He was also SEC Freshman of the Year, First Team All-SEC and a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Complete Release

Sophomore Anton Gill is Leaving Louisville

Sophomore Anton Gill plans to transfer from the University of Louisville.

The school confirmed the news today:

Here is an excerpt from the school's release:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville sophomore guard Anton Gill has decided to transfer to another institution at the conclusion of the spring semester.

"Anton is one of the finest young men that I have had the privilege of coaching the past two years," said UofL Coach Rick Pitino. "He is a bright, articulate, hard-working young man that we will miss very much. I agree with his decision and have given him his release to attend any university he desires. He wants to play major minutes and I believe he has a bright future ahead of him. We thank him for his dedication to our team."

"I want to thank all of my coaches and teammates for two great years," said Gill. "I really appreciate all of the support I received from everyone. I've talked to my family and will take my time to look at my next step after I finish out this semester. I'm just looking for a fresh start to try something new."

Gill averaged 2.5 points and 0.8 rebounds in 31 games this season, but had two of his finest games late in the season. In the Cardinals' regional semifinal game against NC State on March 27, he scored seven points and grabbed two steals off the bench in the last six minutes of the game, making all three of his field goals. His jumper with 5:55 remaining gave the Cards the lead for good.

Complete Release

Former UK Player Mark Pope Lands a D1 Head Coaching Job

Former University of Kentucky player Mark Pope will be the next head coach at Utah Valley, an NCAA Division I program in the Western Athletic Conference.

Pope had been working as an assistant coach at BYU.

EKU's Jeff Neubauer is the New Head Coach at Fordham University

Eastern Kentucky University head coach Jeff Neubauer is leaving to be the new head coach at Fordham University.

Neubauer has been at Eastern Kentucky since 2005 and has a 188-134 career record. He won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament in 2014 and got the Colonels into the NCAA Tournament.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kentucky Survives Notre Dame to Advance to the Final Four

(1) Kentucky 68
(3) Notre Dame 66

Final from Cleveland, Ohio

NCAA Tournament - Midwest Region Championship

Kentucky survived perhaps their greatest test of the season and defeated Notre Dame 68-66 to win the Midwest Region and advance to next weekend's Final Four.

With the Wildcats trailing 63-61 with 3:15 to go, Aaron Harrison drained a clutch 3-pointer to take the lead. Notre Dame's Jerian Grant answered with a long 3-pointer of his own to give the Fighting Irish a 66-64 lead.

Karl-Anthony Towns put in a layup with 1:12 to go to tie the game. The Wildcats tightened down on defense to get a key stop and the ball back with 33 seconds on the clock.

Kentucky (38-0) then took the clock down to 6 seconds before Andrew Harrison was fouled on a drive to the basket. Harrison drilled both free throws and Notre Dame missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer.

Towns led the Wildcats with 25 points on 10-13 field goal shooting. Devin Booker was the only other UK player in double digits with 10 points. Trey Lyles finished with 9.

Notre Dame (32-6) got 20 points and 9 boards form Zach Auguste. Steve Vasturia finished with 16 and Demetrius Jackson chipped in 15.

Kentucky shot 25-47 (53.2%) from the field for the game and made every shot they attempted in the final 12:16 of game time.

Notre Dame was 26-56 (46.4%) from the field and only turned the ball over 7 times.

This will be the 17th Final Four appearance for Kentucky.

Box Score (click to enlarge):

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