Friday, June 26, 2015

Antoine Walker Named to UK Athletics Hall of Fame

Antoine Walker has been named to the UK Athletics Hall of Fame.

Walker was a key member of the 1996 national championship team. He went on to enjoy a successful 12-year career in the NBA.

Here is an excerpt of a release from UK:

Antoine Walker, Men’s Basketball, 1995-96

Key member of the 1996 national championship team, regarded by many as one of the greatest college basketball teams of all-time … Averaged 15.2 points and a team-best 8.4 rebounds on the 1996 national title team… First-team All-SEC by both the AP and league’s coaches in 1996 … Named to the 1996 NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team … Two-time All-SEC Tournament Team member … Earned SEC Tournament MVP honors after leading UK to the 1995 league tourney title … Finished career with 806 points and 450 rebounds in just two seasons … Selected by the Boston Celtics sixth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft … Spent 12 years in the NBA …Three-time NBA All-Star … Averaged double-figure scoring in his first 10 seasons in the NBA.

Complete Release

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Former Hargrave, Louisville Players Harrell and Rozier Projected in First Round of Tonight's Draft

Former Hargrave and Louisville players Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier are both expected to go in the first round of tonight's NBA Draft.

Tonight will be a proud moment for Hargrave Postgraduate Coach A.W. Hamilton, a native of Scott County.

“It’s an exciting time for our program and school,” Hamilton said. “Both Montrezl and Terry had phenomenal collegiate careers at Louisville and learned so much from Coach Pitino. I was fortunate to have them under my wing for their final high school year, and always knew they would have a chance at the NBA because of their work ethic. Their future is extremely bright in the NBA.”

Here is some more information on Harrell and Rozier via Hargrave:

Chatham, VA – Hargrave Military Academy’s Postgraduate Basketball program continues to set a high standard. For the third time in program’s history, Hargrave has the potential for two first round selections in 2015 NBA Draft. NBA draft sites such as nbadraft.net and draftexpress.com currently have former Hargrave Tiger and Louisville Cardinal teammates Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier slated to be first round picks.

Harrell played at Hargrave during the 2011/12 season, leading the Tigers to an undefeated regular season (36-0) and eventual National Runner-Up finish. He is currently the all-time dunk leader at Louisville.

Rozier played at Hargrave during the 2012/13 season, leading the Tigers to a 38-8 record and National Elite Eight Appearance. Rozier’s playing style is reminiscent of current Miami Heat free agent Dwyane Wade.

Both Rozier and Harrell played their collegiate basketball under Coach Rick Pitino, a Hall of Fame coach.

“It’s an exciting time for our program and school,” Hargrave Postgraduate Basketball Coach A.W. Hamilton said. “Both Montrezl and Terry had phenomenal collegiate careers at Louisville and learned so much from Coach Pitino. I was fortunate to have them under my wing for their final high school year, and always knew they would have a chance at the NBA because of their work ethic. Their future is extremely bright in the NBA.”

The 2015 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 25, at the Barclays Center in New York, N.Y. It will air at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN.

Hargrave’s Postgraduate Basketball program was named Program of the Decade by RealGM Basketball in 2012. Hargrave has produced 20 NBA players since 1998 and over 100 Division signees in the last 12 years. Hamilton was named National Coach of the Year in 2012 and East Regional Coach of the Year in 2014 & 2015.

Hargrave Military Academy is an all-male military school focused on college preparation and character development. Founded in 1909, the Academy is noted for ongoing academic achievement in college placement, athletics, character development and leadership. Hargrave serves grades 7-12 and one postgraduate year. The Academy is affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. The Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and School via AdvancED and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. The Academy is located in Chatham, Virginia.

Jim Boeheim Loves Booker and Towns, Compares Cauley-Stein to Yannick Noah

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim joined Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio to break down the NBA Draft.

Boeheim is really high on former Kentucky players Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker, but he isn't sure what to expect from Willie Cauley-Stein.

According to Boeheim, Cauley-Stein is a lot like Yannick Noah (I think he actually meant Yannick's son, Joakim).



Take a listen:



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jamal Murray Commits to Kentucky

Jamal Murray has officially committed to the Kentucky Wildcats over Oregon.

Report: ESPN Working on Covering Jamal Murray Announcement

According to Matt Prehm of 247 Sports, ESPN is working on covering the Jamal Murray announcement this evening.


Jamal Murray Will Announce College Decision This Evening

Jamal Murray, one of the top uncommitted players in the Class of 2015, will announce his college decision tonight on Canadian station TSN.

The announcement will take place at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Here's a note from TSN:

Canadian-made high school basketball star Jamal Murray will announce his highly-anticipated 2015-16 college decision Wednesday, live on TSN during the 6 pm et/3pm pt edition of  SportsCentre.  

A high-school standout, Murray was named MVP of the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic, 2015 Nike Hoop Summit, and the inaugural BioSteel All-Canadian Basketball game on TSN.

Read More

Murray is down to Kentucky and Oregon and it's not clear which direction he will go.


Willie Schurfranz to Continue Family Tradition by Walking On at Bellarmine University

Former DeSales graduate Willie Schurfranz will continue a long family tradition as a member of the Bellarmine University men's basketball.

The 6-foot-6 Schurfranz will become Bellarmine's first-ever third generation basketball player, following the footsteps of his grandfather (Jim) and dad (Tom).

Here's a release from BU:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—With the recent announcement that Willie Schurfranz will walk-on the Bellarmine University basketball team this coming season, it means the DeSales graduate will become the first-ever third generation basketball player for the Knights, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Jim Schurfranz and his father Tom Schurfranz — both of whom are in Bellarmine's Athletics Hall of Fame.

Despite his family history and his 6-foot-6 frame, Willie said it looked as if he were destined for the college soccer field instead of the basketball court when he was a high school junior. "I was being recruited by several Division III schools for soccer, but then I had my best basketball year as a senior. This summer I started coming to open gyms at Bellarmine and sort of did what Corbin (Maynard) did," he said referring to fellow DeSales graduate Maynard earning a walk-on spot in the summer before his freshman season.

In his final season as a Colt, Willie averaged 9.6 points and 4.5 rebounds a game and helped DeSales to a strong season that ended in the Sixth Region title game.

Willie is well aware of the lofty family history at Bellarmine. In addition to a father and grandfather playing basketball at the school, an older brother (Chris) already has a Bellarmine diploma as do at least four aunts and uncles, including Mollie Niehaus Schurfranz, who earned honorable mention All-America honors from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association in 1987.

The Schurfranz family roots first sprang to life on the Bellarmine hardwood in 1964 when Jim started his playing career for Coach Alex Groza. The eldest Schurfranz averaged 10.7 rebounds over his three-year career that spanned 69 games, which makes him one of just three Bellarmine players to average double digit rebounds in their careers (Rudy Montgomery and Mike Holmes are the others). Jim also played on some of the Knights' most successful teams and appeared in the 1965 NCAA Tournament. Tom followed with a stellar career that began in 1987 and finished in 1992. Along the way, the 7-footer was named a first team All-American by NABC and earned academic All-America honors as well. He was a 3-time All-Great Lakes Valley Conference performer and is No. 3 on BU's all-time scoring and rebounding lists. The Trinity High School graduate still holds the Bellarmine record for highest career field goal percentage, making a whopping 70.2 percent. He also found team success, helping lead the Knights to NCAA tourney berths in both 1989 and 1991. Jim also was on the sidelines for those tourney games as he served as an assistant coach on Joe Reibel's staff for nine years and worked under Coach Charlie Just for another three seasons.

Complete Release

Campbell County's Matt Wilson Earns Offer from Miami (OH)

Campbell County's Matt Wilson has picked up an offer from Miami (OH).



Wilson is a 6-foot-5 forward who also plays for the Kentucky Travelers AAU program.

John Calipari Announces Changes to UK Men's Basketball Staff

John Calipari has announced that Joel Justus and Will Barton have been promoted to new positions on the University of Kentucky men’s basketball staff.

Justus, who worked last season as director of analytics, has been elevated to special assistant to the head coach.

Barton has been moved to director of basketball administration.

Here’s a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball program has elevated Joel Justus to special assistant to the head coach and Will Barton to director of basketball administration, head coach John Calipari announced Wednesday.

Justus served as the director of analytics during UK’s historic 38-1 season. He was responsible for analyzing player and team performance and utilizing various stats and data to help develop efficient strategies through video.

In his new role, Justus will continue to utilize analytics and evaluate the men’s basketball team through practice, film and meetings to provide feedback directly to Calipari and the staff outside of practice and competition. Justus will also scout future opponents, provide strategies to help advance the program and assist with special projects assigned by the head coach.

“Joel came in and did an outstanding job with our analytics last season,” Calipari said. “He showed a tremendous desire to get more involved and to help where needed. He became a valuable member of our staff and we are excited to give him even more responsibilities. He’s young, energetic and a great worker. He will do well in a position that’s been a great opportunity for a lot of our guys.”

Justus came to UK after serving as the head coach at Davidson Day High School in Davidson, N.C., beginning in 2012. In both years at the helm, he guided the Patriots to the Elite Eight in the state tournament.

“My first season in Lexington was an unbelievable experience,” Justus said. “I want to thank Coach Calipari and Mitch Barnhart for giving me the initial opportunity last season to come to Kentucky and now entrusting me with additional responsibilities to continue to make this program the gold standard in college basketball. I’m truly blessed to be in the position I’m in and excited to continue working with this staff.”

Prior to his time at Davidson Day, Justus served as the head boys’ basketball coach at Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry, Va., from 2008-12. During his time at Woodberry Forest, he guided his team to the Virginia Prep League regular season championship in 2010 while advancing to the Virginia Prep League championship game in consecutive years, a first in more than two decades for the school.

Justus also spent time in college basketball as an assistant coach at Elon University from 2004-08, where he helped guide the Phoenix to a Northern Division title in 2006 and the Southern Conference championship game in 2008.

A 2004 graduate of UNC Wilmington, Justus helped the Seahawks as a student-athlete capture two Colonial Athletic Association titles, make three postseason appearances (NIT in 2001; NCAAs in 2002 and 2003) and was team captain his senior season.

Barton has been named the director of basketball administration after serving as a team manager from 2010-14 and the assistant director of operations during the 2014-15 season. His new responsibilities will include assisting the associate athletic director for basketball operations with the day-to-day operations of the team, including budgetary matters, academics, travel, meals, ticketing and team managers. He will also assist with the direction, planning, organization and execution of men’s basketball camps and clinics, supervising student camp workers, hiring and supervising camp counselors and speakers, and coordinating all mass mailings for camps.

“Will has been with us for six seasons and has done a wonderful job,” Calipari said. “Will has done everything we’ve asked of him since we got here to Kentucky and is more than deserving of this opportunity. He’s one of those people who gets things done and has been so valuable to our day-to-day operations. We are thrilled to keep him in the family.”

Barton was previously responsible for assisting the coaches in practices, performing in-game duties such as assisting coaches with stats, preparing players pregame, and being responsible for various equipment. Barton has been a vital aide to UK’s summer camps, assisting in preparation, including transporting equipment and apparel, instructing participants on technique and skills, and camp retail management.

During his tenure as a manager with the program, Barton completed his bachelor’s degree from Kentucky in business administration marketing and recently added a master’s degree in sports leadership from the department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion.

“I want to thank Coach Calipari, Mitch Barnhart and all of the Kentucky basketball staff for giving me this opportunity,” Barton said. “These last six years have not only been a learning experience for me but a rewarding one. It’s been an unbelievable ride and I’m grateful to expand my role in what I believe is the best staff in the country.”

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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Northern Kentucky's Arena Has a New Name

Northern Kentucky's basketball arena will no longer be named The Bank of Kentucky Center. 

The arena will now be known as BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University.

Here is a release from NKU:

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky's only collegiate sports and entertainment venue has a new name: BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University, NKU announced today.

"On behalf of our campus community, I am pleased to welcome BB&T to Northern Kentucky University," said NKU President Geoffrey S. Mearns. "BB&T Arena will continue to be an excellent home for our Division I athletics programs, and also a convening spot for our entire region."

The 9,400-seat venue opened in 2008 as The Bank of Kentucky Center, named for the Crestview Hills-based firm that helped construct the arena.

BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT), the North Carolina-based financial services firm, has acquired the bank and its assets in a transaction completed on Friday.

"We are pleased that BB&T shares the same strong commitment to the communities it serves and we look forward to continuing our long partnership with Northern Kentucky University," said Andy Hawking, president of the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati region for BB&T.

Owned by NKU, BB&T Arena is home to the NKU Norse men's and women's basketball teams. The programs have a new home, and also a new conference: on July 1, NKU will join the Horizon League, whose nine other members are all located within 300 miles of the university.

Complete Release

Murray's James Boone Commits to Samford

Murray High School's James Boone has committed to Samford and head coach Scott Padgett.



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

2016 Forward Nic Reed to Visit Asbury this Week

Nic Reed of Christian Academy (IN) plans to visit Asbury University on Wednesday.


2016 Waggener Forward Jaalam Hill Visits Eastern Kentucky University

Waggener's Jaalam Hill visited Eastern Kentucky University today.



Hill is a 6-foot-5 small forward in the Class of 2016.


UPDATE: Jamal Murray Announcement Will Not Be On ESPNU

Jamal Murray's college announcement will not be on ESPNU as previously reported.

The announcement will actually be shown live on Canadian station TSN:




2016 SG Josh Langford Commits to Michigan State

Josh Langford, one of the top shooting guards in the Class of 2016, has just committed to Michigan State over Kentucky:






Photo: Rivals.com

Is Jamal Murray Headed to Oregon? Announcement Set for Tomorrow

Jamal Murray has reclassified to the Class of 2015 and will make his college announcement Tuesday evening on ESPNU at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Unfortunately, all signs seem to indicate that Murray will pick Oregon over Kentucky.

A current Oregon player even Tweeted that Murray has already committed to the Ducks (HT: ZagsBlog.com).

It is important to note that Elgin Cook's Tweet was posted on June 17.

Murray, a 6-foot-3 point guard, ranked No. 15 overall in the Class of 2016 before reclassifying.

Is Kentucky going to lose yet another elite prospect in the Class of 2015?

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