Friday, May 8, 2015

LaGerald Vick Plans to Visit Kentucky Soon

LaGerald Vick, a 6-foot-4 wing who recently de-committed from SMU, plans to visit Kentucky next weekend.

Vick, who is expected to return to the Class of 2015, will also visit Kansas and Kansas State in the next week.

Here is more from Scout.com:

The recruitment of LaGerald Vick didn't take long to get back going following his de-commitment from SMU. Vick, who is a four-star wing, now has three schools that he is set to visit according to Team Thad AAU Coach Norton Hurd.

"LaGerald is going to Kansas State this weekend," Hurd informed Scout. "After that he will visit Kansas on Wednesday and Thursday, and then he will go to Kentucky next weekend."

Read More

Vick is ranked No. 137 in the Class of 2016 (currently) by Rivals.com.

Photo: Rivals.com

Former Assistant Austin Newton Earns New Role at Eastern Kentucky University

Former assistant coach Austin Newton has earned a new role at Eastern Kentucky University.

Newton, who served as an assistant on Jeff Neubauer's staff from 2010-2015, has a new job focused on the EKU Athletics Annual Fund and the Colonel Club.

Here is a release from EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – As both a player and an assistant coach, Austin Newton played a key role on some of the most successful men's basketball teams in the history of Eastern Kentucky University.

Now, in a new role focused on the EKU Athletics Annual Fund and the Colonel Club, Newton will take on the challenge of securing private support to help the University's entire athletics program reach new heights of excellence.

"Eastern Kentucky University Athletics is very excited about Austin Newton joining the Colonel Club as director of annual giving," said EKU Director of Athletics Steve Lochmueller. "Austin brings a long history of playing, coaching and mentoring young men while at EKU. This will certainly be an asset as he starts his new position, increasing donations in support of moving Colonel Athletics to the next level. We need all the Colonel Nation to join us in this effort."

Newton said he was "excited" to begin his new role.

"Eastern Kentucky University is a special place to me and my family," Newton said. "This university and community have allowed me so many wonderful opportunities over the years. I've been fortunate enough to see many EKU athletic programs have success and win multiple championships. My new position will allow me the chance to help our current student athletes and coaches get the resources that are necessary to win and represent our University at a high level.

"As a former student athlete and coach, I understand and very much appreciate the importance of the people who support the Colonel Club. The contributions and commitment from these loyal Colonels are crucial to our success. I promise to bring a ton of energy and work diligently to develop new ideas and strategies to make the Colonel Club the best it's ever been. I look forward to being a part of the Colonel family for many years to come."

After an outstanding prep career at Campbellsville High School, Newton played at EKU 2001-05 and was a senior captain on the 2004-05 squad that earned a spot in that season's NCAA Tournament and won what was at that time a school-record 22 games. He excelled in the classroom as well: the three-year Colonel Scholar-Athlete graduated cum laude in August 2005 with a bachelor's degree in public relations.

Complete Release

Florida Hires Lousiana Tech Head Coach Michael White

Florida has hired Louisiana Tech head coach Michael White to replace Billy Donovan on the sidelines.

White was 101-40 in four seasons with Tech.

Here is a release from UF:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida has hired Michael White as head men’s basketball coach, director of athletics Jeremy Foley announced on Thursday.

White, the 2014-15 Conference USA Coach of the Year, comes to the Gators after leading Louisiana Tech to a 101-40 record (.716) over the past four seasons, including three straight conference championships. Born in Dunedin, Fla., White brings a wealth of SEC experience to the Gators, as a four-year starter at Ole Miss and later an assistant coach for seven seasons under two different head coaches on the Rebels’ bench.

“I have an incredible amount of respect for the University of Florida, and I am so excited to be a Gator,” White said. “Not only is Florida home for me, but the tradition and success that the Gators have built make this an incredible opportunity. I know about the great home court advantage in the O’Connell Center, which is a testament to the fans and the Rowdy Reptiles. There’s an unbelievable commitment to excellence athletically and academically at UF, and it starts with the leadership of Dr. Fuchs and Jeremy Foley. I look forward to returning to the SEC where I have a lot of great memories, and I can’t wait to create many more alongside The Gator Nation.”

White has agreed in principle to a six-year deal at an average of $2 million per year.

“Michael White is someone who came to the top of our list very quickly and he checks all of the boxes we were looking for,” Foley said. “He is a winner who has a high level of integrity, plays an up-tempo style of play and has the respect of his peers and the basketball community. He has experience in coaching, recruiting and playing in the Southeastern Conference and has a strong pedigree. He has a certain authenticity with people and is not afraid of challenges.”

“Coach White brings with him a distinguished career and an extraordinary record of success,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “I have no doubt he will uphold high standards on and off the court, and am delighted to welcome him to the Gator Nation.”

Under White’s leadership, the Bulldogs have also advanced to the NIT in each of the past three seasons, including quarterfinals appearances in 2014 and 2015. In all three NIT appearances, Louisiana Tech posted a road victory over a major-conference opponent, toppling Florida State in 2013, Georgia in 2014 and Texas A&M in 2015 on their home floors. White gets the job done in friendly confines, as well, as he departs the Bulldogs with a 30-game home winning streak intact. He will be one of four new head coaches in the SEC next season, as Alabama, Mississippi State and Tennessee will have new bench bosses, as well.

White brings to Florida a high-energy, fast-paced system that allows players to flourish. In four seasons at LA Tech, the Bulldogs averaged 74.2 points, 7.4 3-pointers made, 14.0 assists, 8.4 steals, 4.9 blocked shots and 16.1 turnovers forced (seventh in the nation during that span).

The Bulldogs’ amazing team and individual feats during White’s time leading the program are a testament to the style of play that White coaches. In addition to three straight conference championships, he coached the 2015 C-USA Player of the Year, a 2015 AP All-American, two WAC Newcomer of the Year winners, the 2014 C-USA Sixth Man of the Year, multiple All-Defensive Team nods, the 2014 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and LA Tech’s all-time assists record-holder (listed in detail at the end of this release).

Complete Release


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Boyle County's Hagen Tyler is Headed to Campbellsville University

Boyle County star Hagen Tyler has committed to Campbellsville University for 2015-16.

Tyler, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, recently decommitted from Northern Kentucky University following a coaching change.


Lexington Catholic's Tanner Johnson Commits to Centre College

Lexington Catholic star Tanner Johnson has committed to Centre College.

Johnson turned down numerous NCAA Division I and Division II offers to play for the Colonels.

Danny Johnson, Tanner's dad, is one of the all-time greats at Centre.

South Carolina Loses 3 Players; Ole Miss Extends Andy Kennedy

South Carolina has announced the departure of three players from the men's basketball program.

According to an announcement by the school; Demetrius Henry, Shamiek Sheppard and Reggie Theus are all transferring.

Henry, a 6-foot-9 forward, will be the biggest loss as he started 48 games in 2 seasons for the Gamecocks.

Sheppard and Theus played sparingly during their time in Columbia.

"Following our end-of-year meetings Reggie asked for his release so that he can transfer and be closer to his family," Martin said. "Reggie is a fine young man who has represented our team and program in the best way possible ever since he stepped on campus, and we want to thank him and his family for their contributions to our team.  Demetrius and Shamiek have also asked for their release and will not be with our team next season. We wish them the best moving forward and appreciate all that they and their families contributed to our program."

Read More

In other SEC basketball news, Ole Miss has announced a 4-year contract extension for head coach Andy Kennedy.

Here is a release from the school:

OXFORD, Miss. -- After guiding Ole Miss to its second NCAA Tournament appearance in three seasons, head coach Andy Kennedy has agreed to a four-year contract extension through 2019, Athletics Director Ross Bjork announced Tuesday.

Kennedy's four-year deal is the longest allowed by the state of Mississippi and includes a base salary of $1.925 million that was earned after reaching certain performance incentives for the 2014-15 season. It also includes incentives for SEC regular season and NCAA postseason success and an increase in the investment of assistant coach and basketball support staff salaries.

"The future of Ole Miss Basketball could not be stronger," Bjork said. "Andy Kennedy is the core of that strength and we are pleased to announce his contract has been extended four more years. Coach Kennedy has built his legacy among the top coaches in SEC history, and I look forward to him leading the Rebels into a new era with the opening of the Pavilion at Ole Miss."

"I greatly appreciate the opportunity I've been given to be the head basketball coach at Ole Miss," Kennedy said. "As a native Mississippian, it is an honor to continue in my role as a head coach at Mississippi's flagship university. I want to publicly thank Dr. Dan Jones and Ross for their unwavering support in our mission to continue to build Rebel Basketball into a program of national relevance."

The all-time winningest coach in Ole Miss history, Kennedy is one of only 10 active head coaches who have coached at least 10 seasons without a losing record, a group that includes Mark Few, of Gonzaga, Tom Izzo, of Michigan State, Bo Ryan, of Wisconsin, and Roy Williams, of North Carolina. He has averaged more than 21 wins per season in his nine years at Ole Miss, after the Rebels had posted three 21-plus win seasons in the 96 years before his arrival.

Kennedy guided the Rebels to the 2013 SEC Tournament Championship and tied the school record with 27 wins en route to SEC Coach of the Year honors that season. He boasts the third-most wins in SEC history by a coach in his first nine years in the league at one school with 192, trailing only Kentucky's Joe B. Hall (205) and Florida's Billy Donovan (193).

Complete Release

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Lexington Catholic's Jarod Griffin Flips from Samford to Centre College

I'm told by a good source that Lexington Catholic guard Jarod Griffin has flipped his commitment from Samford to Centre College.

Griffin, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, originally committed to Samford as a walk-on.

He has now changed his mind and committed to Centre College and head coach Greg Mason.

Griffin has a connection to Centre as his father, Trey, was on the Colonels' 1989 Final Four team.

Kenneth Faried Makes His Choice for Morehead State's New Court Design

As I mentioned earlier, Morehead State is allowing fans the opportunity to vote on a new basketball court design for Johnson Arena.

Of course, every vote counts, but when an NBA player chimes in, I think it has to be worth a few hundred votes.

Former Eagle star Kenneth Faried had this to say:



Go Here to Cast Your Vote

Morehead State Allowing Fans to Help Pick New Court Design

Morehead State is allowing fans to help pick a new basketball court design for Johnson Arena.

Here's a look at the choices and how you can help with the choice via social media:



As an MSU alum, my vote is in for Court 1.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Owen County's Carson Williams Picks Up an Offer from Western Kentucky

The offers are rolling in for Owen County forward Carson Williams.

The 2016 star has added an offer from Western Kentucky University:



In recent weeks, Williams had picked up offers from Saint Joseph's, Eastern Kentucky University and Oklahoma State University.

Willie Feldhaus Named Head Coach at Male High School

I've been told by multiple sources that Willie Feldhaus is the new head coach at Male High School.

The news has also been confirmed by Jason Frakes on Twitter:


Kentucky and Arizona State Working Out Details for a Game in 2015-16

According to a report from AZCentral.com, Arizona State and Kentucky are in discussions to play each other during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

The first game would be played at Rupp Arena the second game would be played at a neutral site.

Here is an excerpt:

Arizona State's nonconference men's basketball schedule is close to getting a significant upgrade.

According to a source, ASU officials are in discussion with Kentucky to play the Wildcats at Rupp Arena next season. The two schools then would play at a neutral site during the 2016-17 season. No contract has been signed, but the two sides appear close to making it happen.

Read More

Arizona State is now coached by former Duke star Bobby Hurley, who coached Buffalo in last season's game at UK.

Ballard's Anthony Eaves Adds Couple of Offers

Ballard guard Anthony Eaves has reportedly added offers from Chicago State and University of Tampa:



Chicago State is an NCAA Division I program in the Western Athletic Conference. Tampa is a Division II team.

Eaves, a 6-foot-1 point guard, also has offers from Morehead State, Tennessee Tech and Ball State.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Quentin Goodin Switches AAU Teams for Kentucky State Tournament (UPDATED)

I'm told by head coach Maze Stallworth that 2016 Taylor County star Quentin Goodin will be playing with Team Manimal in AAU State Tourney.

Goodin, a top 100 player in the Class of 2016, has been playing with Hoop Dreams on the Adidas circuit.

UPDATE: Goodin will no longer be playing with Manimal this weekend. He has now decided to play with Hoop Dreams Black.

Henderson County's David Simmons Commits to Tallahassee Community College

Henderson County star David Simmons has committed to Tallahassee Community (JUCO) College for 2015-16.

Simmons, an athletic 6-foot-2 guard, was one of the top players in Kentucky last season. He will represent the state on the Kentucky All-Star team in June.

Tallahassee is now coached by Kentucky native Mark White.

How Jaylen Brown's Commitment Impacts Kentucky Moving Forward

Scott Phillips of NBCSports.com recently gave his thoughts on how Jaylen Brown's commitment (to California) impacts the other finalists in his recruitment.

Phillips says the Wildcats have been beaten by Duke at their own game for two consecutive recruiting classes.

Here's what Phillips had to say about Kentucky:

The Wildcats still have a tremendous class coming in, highlighted by arguably the best Class of 2015 player (Skal Labissiere) and the best point guard in the class (Isaiah Briscoe). Mulder and four-star wing Charles Matthews are not scrubs either. Kentucky’s four-man 2015 class would still be the envy of most college basketball programs in America.

But after gaming the one-and-done system for so long — culminating in four McDonald’s All-Americans joining a roster that had nine total McDonald’s All-Americans on last season’s team that started 38-0 — can Calipari ever reach the recruiting levels that he was at again?

I’m not saying Calipari can’t reach more Final Fours or win more titles at Kentucky, but no college basketball team has ever gone 38-0 and even that team fell short of the title game. Kentucky has made the Final Four in four of the past five seasons — largely with one-and-done players. This 2015 recruiting class is underwhelming compared to the past few classes, especially after seven Wildcats left early for the 2015 NBA Draft. The 2015-16 roster now also seems underwhelming by Kentucky’s recent standards and only one title came from those recent Wildcat juggernauts.

It’s not as if Kentucky wasn’t trying to get more blue-chip guys to come aboard for the 2015-16 campaign before sending them on their way to shake Adam Silver’s hand on draft night. They missed on seven All-Americans who they were in on as of late March.

Jaylen Brown even called Kentucky the, “best basketball program in the country,” to reporters at the McDonald’s All-American media day and decided not to go there.

Suddenly, Calipari and Kentucky’s system of landing the best one-and-done players has taken a serious hit. The Wildcats have been beaten by Duke at their own game for two consecutive recruiting classes and the Blue Devils were the ones hoisting hardware in Indianapolis a few weeks ago.

Complete Article

Kentucky Native Mark White Named Head Coach at Tallahassee Community College

Russellville native Mark White was named head coach at Tallahassee Community College last week.

White, a long time college and high school coach, just ended an impressive eight-year run at East Mississippi Community College. He was 161-66 during his tenure at EMCC.

Here's a release from the school:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 29, 2015) - Tallahassee Community College director of athletics Rob Chaney has announced the hiring of Mark White as the Eagles’ new men’s basketball coach.

A native of Russellville, Ky., White’s coaching career spans 25 years, including 23 at various levels collegiately, from NAIA to NJCAA to the Southeastern Conference.

White comes to Tallahassee following an impressive eight-year run at East Mississippi Community College, his first as a collegiate head coach, where he inherited a struggling program and moved it into the upper echelon of the NJCAA’s Division I programs. From 2007-15, he led the Lions to a 161-66 record (.709 winning percentage) and four straight appearances in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, courtesy of four consecutive NJCAA Region 23 titles (2010-13).

In each of East Mississippi’s championship seasons, White was recognized as the NJCAA District 15 and NJCAA Region 23 Coach of the Year.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Mark White to the Tallahassee Community College family,” said Chaney. “Coach White’s track record speaks for itself – his teams have been successful both on and off the court, and he has proven himself to be a leader of young men.

Immediately prior to being hired at East Mississippi, White was an assistant coach at Mississippi State University from 2002-07 and helped guide the Bulldogs to the 2004 SEC Championship, the school’s first since 1963.

In addition to East Mississippi, White’s affiliation with the NJCAA includes stints as an assistant coach at Wabash Valley (Ill.) College (1992-93), Barton County (Kan.) Community College (1994-95), Jacksonville (Texas) College (1995-96) and North Idaho College (1996-00). Coincidentally, his first season on the bench at North Idaho ended with a 121-116 overtime loss to Tallahassee in the third-place game at the 1997 NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, still the highest-scoring game in the history of the tournament.

White has also been an assistant at Pikeville (Ky.) College (1990-92) and Georgia Southern University (1993-94), and was head coach at Central Hardin (Ky.) High School from 2000-02.

Complete Release

Photo: East Mississippi Community College

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