Saturday, May 16, 2015

Former NKU Guard Tayler Persons Will Transfer to Ball State

Former Northern Kentucky guard Tayler Persons has announced that he is transferring to Ball State University.

Persons, who was named Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year, averaged 13.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Purdue and Xavier has also shown heavy interest in Persons.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Lindsey Wilson Officially Adds Pepper Ben Okofile for 2015-16

Lindsey Wilson College has officially added Wesley Christian's Pepper Ben Okofile for the 2015-16 season.

Here's a release from LWC:

COLUMBIA, Ky. – The Lindsey Wilson men's basketball program added Pepper Ben Okofile for the upcoming 2015-16 season, head coach Paul Peck announced on Tuesday.

Okofile joins the Blue Raiders from Wesley Christian High School in Allen, Ky., where he averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game as a senior.

He helped Wesley Christian capture the 2015 National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) Division 4 National Championship.

The 6-foot-8, 230-pound freshman is expected to bring a strong, physical presence for Lindsey Wilson inside the paint.

"Ben is a tremendous freshman signee for us. His size an athletic ability will enable him to have great success in the tough, physical style of play in the Mid-South Conference," Peck said.

"He is just now learning the American game​ after recently moving to Kentucky from Lagos, Nigeria, but coach Jack Jarrell and his staff at Wesley Christian High School did a tremendous job working with Ben and his teammates to improve his game every single day."

Photo: LWC Athletics

St. Catharine College Hires Joe Krupinski to Take Over Men's Basketball Program

I am told by multiple sources that St. Catharine College has hired Joe Krupinski as head men's basketball coach.

Krupinski worked last season as an assistant coach at American International College, an NCAA Division II program in Springfield, Massachusetts. AIC was 24-7 overall and 15-5 in the Northeast-10 Conference.

Prior to last season, Krupinski worked six seasons as the head men's basketball coach at Lyndon State College in Vermont, where he led the program during its transition into the NCAA and the Division III level. 

Here's a little more on Krupinski's background via AIC:

Joe Krupinski enters his first season as an assistant coach for the Yellow Jackets in 2014-15.

Krupinski comes to AIC following six seasons as the head men's basketball coach at Lyndon State College in Vermont, where he led the program during its transition into the NCAA and the Division III level. Under Krupinski, the 2010-11 North Atlantic Conference Co-Coach of the Year, the Hornets posted a winning conference record in three of his final four seasons and qualified for four consecutive NAC post-season tournaments, including two NAC Final Fours, in 2011 and 2014.

The 2010-11 edition of the Hornets finished the league campaign in a tie for second place and reached the NAC title game for the only time in school history, falling to host Husson University. While at LSC, Krupinski coached five players who garnered All-League recognition, including three first team selections, and recruited the 2011 conference Rookie of the Year, Phil Warrick.

Krupinski took over at Lyndon after serving for seven seasons on the staff at fellow Northeast-10 member Saint Michael’s College, including the final three as the top assistant. While at SMC, Krupinski dealt with all facets of the Purple Knight program, including game and practice coaching, recruiting, scouting and academic monitoring of student-athletes. Krupinski recruited three Northeast-10 All-Rookie Team members to SMC, including the 2002 NE-10 and New England “Rookie of the Year,” Mike Keating. The 2007-08 edition of the Knights won 16 games and reached the conference tournament quarterfinals before bowing out to NCAA Tournament participant St. Rose.

Prior to his arrival in the Green Mountain State, Krupinski spent two years as the lead assistant at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. The Redhawks were one of the top teams in the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association each year, reaching the conference tournament final both seasons. Both teams also earned bids to the ECAC Upstate post-season tournament, reaching the semifinals in 2001 after upsetting top-seeded Cortland State. Krupinski was also responsible for recruiting two of the top seven all-time leading scorers in the history of the RPI program.

Krupinski began his coaching career at his alma mater, Springfield College. In his two seasons as an assistant, the Pride were one of the top Division III teams in New England, finishing the 1997-98 season 26-2 and ranked fifth in the country – both program records – earning the top seed in the NCAA Tournament Northeast Regional. Krupinski was instrumental in recruiting the core group that advanced to the NCAA Division III “Sweet Sixteen” in 2000 – a group which included the first two “Rookies-of-the-Year” in the newly-created New England Women’s and Men’s Athletics Conference (NEWMAC).

Read More 

Photo: AIC Athletics

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Former Male Head Coach Larry Miller Joins Staff at Hopkinsville

Former Male head coach Larry Miller has joined the coaching staff at Hopkinsville.

According to Kentucky New Era, Miller will join Tim Haworth's staff as an assistant coach.

Here is an excerpt:

One of the most respected names in Kentucky high school basketball circles will join Tim Haworth’s bench for the 2015-16 season, as former Louisville Moore Traditional and Louisville Male head coach Larry Miller will serve as a varsity assistant for the Hopkinsville boys’ squad next year.

Miller, 59, stepped down after four seasons at Male following this past season. He went 75-54 with the Bulldogs. Before that he was an assistant coach at the University of Dayton from 1990 to 1993 and compiled a 243-219 record at Moore Traditional during a 16-year stay.

Complete Article

2017 PG Najeh Banks Says He's Eligible at Morgan County High School

Najeh Banks, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Baltimore, has apparently been ruled eligible to participate in basketball at Morgan County High School.

Banks confirmed the news on his Twitter account:

Here's some footage of banks at the 2014 Adidas Midwest Elite Camp:

If Banks is indeed eligible, this likely makes Morgan County the early favorite to win the 16th Region next season.

Kentucky Will Battle Kansas in Big 12/SEC Challenge

The Kentucky Wildcats will battle the Kansas Jayhawks on January 30 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Kentucky will travel to Allen Fieldhouse for a true road game against the Jayhawks.

Here is a release:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The two winningest schools in NCAA Division I history will meet during the 2015-16 season when Kentucky plays Kansas as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The Wildcats will visit Lawrence, Kan., on Jan. 30 to play the Jayhawks in the annual league challenge between the Southeastern Conference and Big 12. The 2016 meeting will mark UK’s first trip to Allen Fieldhouse since 2006 and just its second since 1990.

This marks the third season of the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge, though this will be the first season where all 10 games of the challenge will be played on the same day. To accommodate for the new format in January, a bye in the league schedule for participating teams was created to accommodate for the format.

Ten of the SEC’s 14 teams will participate in this year’s event against all 10 of the Big 12’s institutions. Each of the 10 SEC teams participating in the 2016 games will also play in the 2017 event. The four SEC teams not participating will play each other in conference games the same day.

Eight of the 10 Big 12/SEC Challenge games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2 and two games will air on ESPNU. All 10 games will be available via WatchESPN. ESPN’s College GameDay will originate from one of the Challenge games, to be announced at a later date. Start times and network designations will also be announced at a later time.

Kentucky and Kansas have met three times over the last four seasons, with Kentucky winning all three matchups. The Wildcats beat the Jayhawks twice during the 2011-12 season, including a 67-59 victory in the 2012 national championship game. UK rolled Kansas 72-40 in this past season’s Champions Classic matchup in Indianapolis.

Overall, UK leads the series 22-6. Kansas has won the last three meetings in Lawrence, but the Wildcats own a 7-4 series advantage at the Jayhawks’ home.

Per usual, Kentucky and Kansas are expected to be among the nation’s best teams when they meet during the 2015-16 season. UK welcomes back Alex Poythress, Tyler Ulis and Marcus Lee to join another highly touted recruiting class. The Jayhawks will return the core of their 2015 Big 12 championship team. Both teams are among the top 10 in various early preseason national rankings.

The meeting with Kansas adds to what was already a super slate of nonconference games for the 2015-16 season. Kentucky is slated to play Duke in Chicago in the Champions Classic, South Florida in Miami in the inaugural Hoophall Miami Invitational, at UCLA in the first game of a home-and-home series, Ohio State in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the CBS Sports Classic, and Louisville in Rupp Arena.

UK’s full 2015-16 nonconference schedule will be released at a later time.

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

2016 Big 12/SEC Challenge Matchups

Texas Tech at Arkansas
Oklahoma State at Auburn
West Virginia at Florida
Georgia at Baylor
Kentucky at Kansas
Oklahoma at LSU
Ole Miss at Kansas State
Tennessee at TCU
Iowa State at Texas A&M
Vanderbilt at Texas

EKU Adds Georgia Tech Staffer Trent Angelucci as Director of Ops

Eastern Kentucky University has hired Georgia Tech video coordinator Trent Angelucci to fill the role of Director of Basketball Operations.

Here is a release from EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – Trent Angelucci, the video coordinator at Georgia Tech the last four years, has been hired as Eastern Kentucky's Director of Basketball Operations.

Before joining the staff at Georgia Tech, Angelucci was an assistant coach at Transylvania University for two seasons (2009-11).

"Trent is a tremendous addition to my inaugural staff at EKU," head coach Dan McHale said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our staff that will compliment us very well. Working most recently in the ACC for a great coach like Brian Gregory will be beneficial in all aspects of our program."

Angelucci's duties as the video coordinator at Tech from 2011 to 2015 included preparing and analyzing all film edits for scouting and player development, breaking down every opponent's offense for each scout, researching and completing statistical analysis reports, and developing and updating detailed recruiting schedules for each recruiting season.

The Lexington, Kentucky native is the son of Dr. Steve Angelucci, the president of Lexington Catholic High School. Steve served as the assistant athletics director for external relations at Eastern Kentucky during the early to mid 1990's.

"Being a Lexington native and his family ties to EKU makes Trent's homecoming even more special," McHale said. "I'm thrilled to welcome him aboard and excited as he is a rising star in our business."

As an assistant at Transylvania, Angelucci had on-court coaching, scouting and recruiting responsibilities.

Angelucci joins assistant coaches Michael Bradley, Reece Gaines and Doug Davenport on McHale's first EKU staff. Eastern is the only program in the nation with two former first round NBA draft picks on its staff. Bradley was the No. 17 pick by Toronto in the 2001 NBA Draft and Gaines was the No. 15 pick in the 2003 draft by Orlando.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

UK To Host Albany and NJIT in November

The Kentucky Wildcats will apparently host the University of Albany and New Jersey Institute of Technology in November.

Albany coach Will Brown confirmed to that his team will open their season in Lexington:

The University at Albany men’s basketball team will open next season at the University of Kentucky on Nov. 13, Great Danes head coach Will Brown confirmed by text message this afternoon.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported this morning that NJIT will travel to Rupp Arena on November 14:

Kentucky Wesleyan Signs Owensboro's Justin Miller

Kentucky Wesleyan College has announced that Owensboro big man Justin Miller has officially signed with the men's basketball program.

Here is a release from KWC:

OWENSBORO (May 12, 2015) — Second team all-state forward and State Championship Most Valuable Player Justin Miller from 2015 State Champion Owensboro High School, announced he will continue his basketball career at eight-time NCAA Division II Champion Kentucky Wesleyan College, according to KWC head men's basketball coach Happy Osborne.

Miller, a 6-foot-7, 260-pounder, led the Red Devils in scoring (16.4) and field goal shooting (65.0) and finished second in rebounding (8.8) in 34 starts to lead OHS to a 31-4 record for head coach and former two-time Kentucky Wesleyan All-American Rod Drake.

"First and foremost Justin’s a champion because has experienced what takes to reach the ultimate goal," Osborne stated. "He knows what it is like to wear a championship ring and wants to repeat the experience.

"Justin’s a very strong and athletic with great hands, feet and toughness. He has hit big shot after big shot after big shot throughout his career. He has been well prepared to play college ball by 2015 Kentucky State High School Coach of the Year Rod Drake.

"What I love about him the most is he wants to be here. His signing is monumental because we want to have the best high school players in the state at Kentucky Wesleyan. Along with Ken-Jah Bosley, Justin give us two of the last three state championship heroes.”

Justin will participate in the annual Kentucky-Indiana High School All-Star series on Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13.

The last signees from Owensboro High School was Rod Drake and Dwight Higgs in 1980.

Harrison Twins Say They're the Best Guards in the 2015 NBA Draft

Kentucky guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison are confident heading into the 2015 NBA Draft.

The twin brothers believe they are the best two guards in the draft.

In an interview on, Andrew said, “I definitely feel I’m the best point guard in the draft, all around. I just want to prove that, prove that everyday.”

Aaron followed with, “I’m the best two-guard in the draft. I just have to show my athleticism…be a consistent shooter…just keep working hard.”

Check out the full interview here (click to play):


Louisville to Play at Michigan State in ACC/Big 10 Challenge

According to Jody Demling of Cardinal Authority, the Louisville Cardinals will travel to Michigan State in 2015-16 as part of the ACC/Big 10 Challenge.

Emmanuel Owootoah Will Transfer from Fresno State

Former Cordia High School guard Emmanuel Owootoah plans to transfer from Fresno State after two seasons.

Fresno State has granted Owootoah a release that allows him to transfer to any school except: any Mountain West Conference schools, USC, CSU Northridge and CSO Long Beach.

The 5-foot-11 guard averaged 3.8 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game as a sophomore at Fresno State.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Northern Kentucky is Headed to the Horizon League

Northern Kentucky University is leaving the Atlantic Sun Conference and joining the Horizon League.

The move will be official on July 1, 2015.

Here is the official press release from NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. –Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey S. Mearns announced today that NKU will join the Horizon League effective July 1, 2015.

The Norse will become the 10th member of the league, joining Cleveland State University, University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Oakland University, Valparaiso University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wright State University and Youngstown State University.

"This is an exciting day for Northern Kentucky University," said President Mearns. "I am proud to announce that we will become a member of the Horizon League beginning with the 2015-16 season.

"We made the move to Division I in order to align with similar aspirational institutions. The Horizon League member schools are located in areas that are ideal for student recruitment., In fact, seven of the nine schools are located within 300 miles of NKU's main campus. The future of Norse athletics is bright, and the Horizon League is an excellent fit," he said.

President Mearns also said the move will significantly reduce travel costs and will allow the university to engage with more alumni, with more than 14,000 NKU graduates living in the states covered by the League's footprint.

NKU Director of Athletics Ken Bothof said the move also advances the university's athletics mission of supporting student-athlete well-being; engaging the university and local community; and establishing relationships with alumni, friends, and fans.

"We are able to achieve each of these ideals in the Horizon League," Mr. Bothof said. "As part of the Horizon League, we will reduce the amount of travel for our student-athletes, allowing them to spend more time in the classroom. The closer proximity also provides our fans with more opportunities to travel to see their Norse in action. Plus, the League's television deal with ESPN delivers great visibility for NKU athletics."

The Horizon League sponsors 19 sports, including all 17 in which NKU competes. A rich tradition of success in NCAA championships also exists within the conference, including a 19-16 record and two national title game appearances in the men's basketball tournament over the last 13 years. Green Bay's women's basketball team reached the Sweet 16 in 2011 and advanced to the second round a year later. Success has also come in men's soccer, women's soccer, softball and track & field.

"Northern Kentucky University's mission, vision and values align with the Horizon League," said Commissioner Jonathan B. LeCrone. "We look forward to working with President Geoffrey Mearns, Director of Athletics Ken Bothof and his staff on behalf of NKU's student-athletes. The Horizon League is adding a well-respected, growing athletics program and an aspiration university."

Complete Release

Video: UK Recruit Miles Bridges Dunk Reel from the Storm Classic

Check out these highlights of 2016 Kentucky recruit Miles Bridges getting nasty at the Storm Classic:

Bridges, a 6-foot-6 small forward at Huntington Prep, ranks No. 27 on the list for 2016.

2016 Waggener Forward Jaalam Hill Gets First Offer from Eastern Kentucky University

Waggener forward Jaalam Hill has picked up his first Division I offer from Eastern Kentucky University.

Hill, a 6-foot-5 forward, averaged 14.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a junior as Waggener (17-12) last season.

What in the World Was John Wall Wearing Last Night?

Former Kentucky star John Wall showcased an interesting suit during the Eastern Conference semifinals last night.

Wall, who is currently out of action with a fractured hand, wore this suit on the bench:

Fellow NBA star J.R. Smith wasn't a fan of Wall's look:

TNT analyst Shaquille O'Neal believes Wall's suit has a special place in the garbage can:

Apparently, Wall was wearing a $635 belt. So...there's that.

Owensboro's Justin Miller to Sign with Kentucky Wesleyan College

Owensboro High School big man Justin Miller has committed to Kentucky Wesleyan College and plans to sign with the Panthers later today.

Miller, a powerful 6-foot-7 power forward, originally committed to NCAA Division I Coppin State.

He then decommitted and chose Kentucky Wesleyan.

John Brannen Completes Coaching Staff at Northern Kentucky

John Brannen has hired David Ragland, Ronald Nored and Sean Dwyer as assistant coaches to complete his staff at Northern Kentucky University.

Brannen has also hired former Northern Kentucky player Tony Rack as director of operations.

Here is a release from NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky men's basketball head coach John Brannen has completed his staff, adding David Ragland, Ronald Nored and Sean Dwyer as assistant coaches and former NKU standout Tony Rack as director of operations.

"I am very excited about the staff we have assembled, and I belive these hires speak to the excitement level surrounding our athletics programs here at NKU," said Brannen. "Our focus during this search was to find intelligent and highly motivated coaches who want to be a part of the Northern Kentucky community. We are excited about getting started."

Most recently an assistant coach at Bowling Green, Ragland also spent four years as an assistant coach at Indiana State, two years as head coach at Vincennes University and three years as the assistant coach at Vincennes. In all five seasons at the Division I level, Ragland's teams have reached the postseason. This year's Bowling Green team earned a berth in the Postseason Tournament (CIT). In his four seasons working with the Sycamores, Indiana State made appearances in the NCAA Tournament (2011), NIT (2013, 2014) and CIT (2012).

"Coach Ragland brings a wealth of experience at the Division I level, as well as an understanding of the region from a recruiting and coaching perspective," Brannen commented. "Our young men will feed off his energy and passion every day."

"I want to thank John Brannen, Ken Bothof and the NKU administration for the opportunity to be a part of the Norse family," commented Ragland. "The core values and progressive and energetic mindset of the leadership here at NKU is extremely exciting for the future of our programs.

"John's belief in creating a family environment, trust within the program and focus on skill development for our players will enforce the fact that NKU men's basketball will soon become special," Ragland continued. "I look forward to the process of creating a championship caliber program with Coach Brannen, our staff, players, University and community. Norse up!"

Nored comes to Northern Kentucky following a two-year stint with the Boston Celtics of the NBA, where he served as a player development assistant coach under current Celtics head coach and former Butler head coach Brad Stevens. A championship pedigree, which was forged during back-to-back appearances in the men's basketball NCAA Division I national championship game while a player for Stevens at Butler, follows Nored to Highland Heights, Kentucky. Nored and Co., lost to Duke in the 2010 title game and then fell to UConn in the 2011 championship. On the bench in Boston, he was vital to the success of the 2014-15 Celtics team, which reached the NBA East Division playoffs.

"Coach Nored has achieved tremendous success as a player and a coach during his career. His energy and knowledge will be a tremendous asset to the young men of NKU basketball, as well as our staff as a whole."

"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that Coach Brannen has given me," commented Nored. "Being back in college basketball was a goal of mine. I couldn't be happier to join Coach Brannen and Norse Nation."

Complete Release

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