Friday, October 16, 2015

Media Picks Belmont to Win the OVC, Murray State Favored in West Division

Belmont has been picked by the media to repeat as champions of the Ohio Valley Conference.

The Bruins earned 14 first-place votes and 89 total points. Morehead State is picked to finish second in the East Division with 68 points and a single first-place vote. Eastern Kentucky is third with 59 points.

In the West Division, it's business as usual with Murray State projected to finish on top. The Racers earned 85 total points and 11 first-place votes.

Belmont's Craig Bradshaw is the preseason player of the year.

2015-16 Media OVC Preseason Men's Predicted Order of Finish

Overall Champion: Belmont (14 first-place votes)

East Division

1. Belmont (14 first-place votes) - 89 points
2. Morehead State (1) - 68
3. Eastern Kentucky - 59
4. Tennessee Tech - 45
5. Jacksonville State - 32
6. Tennessee State - 22

West Division

1. Murray State (11 first-place votes) - 85 points
2. UT Martin (4) - 76
3. Eastern Illinois - 58
4. Southeast Missouri - 44
5. SIUE - 28
6. Austin Peay - 24

Preseason Player of the Year: Craig Bradshaw, Belmont

Former UPIKE Forward Shane Burrell Signs with Moncton Miracles in NBL Canada

Former University of Pikeville forward Shane Burrell has signed with the Moncton Miracles in NBL Canada.

Burrell played last season for Alza Basket Azuqueca in Spain's EBA league.

Here are details from Latinbasket.com:

Moncton Miracles (NBL Canada) signed 27-year old American (has also Jamaican passport) power forward Shane Burrell (203-114kg-88, college: Pikeville, agency: 540 Sports). He played last season at Alza Basket Azuqueca in Spanish EBA league.

The previous (13-14) season Burrell played at Ittihad (D1) in Libyan league. He helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. They also played in the cup final.

Burrell has played also professionally in Mozambique (Fer.Beira).

UK's Skal Labissiere on Watch List for 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere is on the preseason watch list for the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year award.

The award, which is presented by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, is awarded to the top center in college basketball.

Here's a look at the list:

2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates

Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona
Mamadou Ndiaye, UC Irvine
Josh Scott, Colorado
Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville
Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga
Thomas Bryant, Indiana
Jameel McKay, Iowa State
Cheick Diallo, Kansas
Skal Labissiere, Kentucky
Diamond Stone, Maryland
Stephen Zimmerman, UNLV
Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina
Zach Auguste, Notre Dame
AJ Hammons, Purdue
Jakob Poeltl, Utah
Damian Jones, Vanderbilt
Daniel Ochefu, Villanova
Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
Joel Bolomboy, Weber State
Devin Williams, West Virginia

Press Release

Chris Lofton Signs with Le Mans Sarthe Basket in France's Top-Level League

Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Chris Lofton has signed with Le Mans Sarthe Basket in France's top-level Pro A league.

Lofton played last season for Besiktas Integral Forex Instanbul in Turkey's TBL league. In Eurocup games last season, he averaged 15.9 points and 2.9 assists per game.

Here's more from Court-side.com:

Le Mans Sarthe Basket (France-Pro A) is bolstering its roster early into the 2015-16 season with the addition of Chris Lofton (188 cm, Tennessee’08). The 29-year-old Lofton spent the last couple of seasons playing for Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul (Turkey-TBL). In 2014-15 he played 15 games for them during their run in the Eurocup where he recorded averages of 15.9 ppg and 2.9 apg. Chris also logged a total of 21 games in the domestic Turkish league and there he managed to notch averages of 13.0 ppg and 2.1 apg. In 2013-14 he was a participant in the Turkish League All-Star Game, invited due to his performance that season.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network to Televise 13 WKU Men's Basketball Games in 2015-16

The Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network will televise 13 Western Kentucky University men's basketball games during the upcoming season. 

Here's a release from WKU:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network will nationally televise 18 WKU Basketball games in 2015-16, adding to the previously-announced television schedules for the Hilltoppers and Lady Toppers this season.

The 13 men's games and five women's games will air nationally on Fox College Sports, which is also available via DirecTV, DISH and Fox's FoxSportsGo provider-authenticated mobile platform. Exact clearances will be available leading up to each broadcast. All HSSN games will also air in the Bowling Green area on WKU PBS, and Hilltopper games will air in Louisville on WBNA.

2015-16 Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network TV Games

Nov. 21 – Hilltoppers vs. Stony Brook
Nov. 21 – Lady Toppers vs. Louisville
Dec. 1 – Hilltoppers vs. Eastern Kentucky
Dec. 13 – Hilltoppers vs. Indiana State
Dec. 16 – Hilltoppers vs. Alabama A&M
Dec. 22 – Hilltoppers vs. Detroit
Dec. 29 – Lady Toppers vs. Belmont
Jan. 7 – Hilltoppers vs. FIU
Jan. 9 – Hilltoppers vs. Florida Atlantic
Jan. 21 – Lady Toppers vs. Old Dominion
Jan. 23 – Hilltoppers at Charlotte
Jan. 30 – Hilltoppers vs. Middle Tennessee
Feb. 6 – Lady Toppers vs. UTEP
Feb. 13 – Hilltoppers vs. Marshall
Feb. 18 – Hilltoppers vs. Old Dominion
Feb. 20 – Hilltoppers vs. Charlotte
Feb. 27 – Lady Toppers vs. UAB
March 5 – Hilltoppers vs. LA Tech

The 18 HSSN games join 11 Hilltopper and three Lady Topper games already on the broadcast schedule for 2015-16. A continuously-updated list of game times and television information can be found at WKUSports.com.

All WKU home games not on television will be broadcast on WKUSports.tv and the C-USA Digital Network. A subscription to the C-USA Digital Network also includes Hilltopper and Lady Topper road games at fellow conference schools and feature content, and both WKUSports.tv and the C-USA Digital Network include live game audio and coaches shows.

Tubby Smith Will Receive 2016 John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" Award

Former University of Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith will receive the 2016 John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" award. 

Smith will be recognized during the Wooden Award Weekend from April 7-9, 2016, during the Los Angeles Athletic Club's celebration of the greatest players and coaches in college basketball. He will be presented the award at the 2nd annual ESPN College Basketball Awards Show on April 8, 2016.

Here is a release from Texas Tech:

LOS ANGELES -- Texas Tech men's basketball head coach Tubby Smith will receive the 2016 John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" award announced Tuesday at the Los Angeles Athletic Club's annual Wooden Award Tipoff Luncheon.

Adopted by the Wooden Award Steering Committee in 1999, the "Legends of Coaching" honor recognizes coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden's high standards of coaching success and personal integrity. The recipients are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rates of student-athletes in their basketball program, coaching philosophy and identification with the goals of the Wooden Award. The selection announcement at this afternoon's luncheon was made by Coach Wooden's daughter, Nan Wooden.

In addition, Smith will be recognized during the Wooden Award Weekend from April 7-9, 2016, during the Los Angeles Athletic Club's celebration of the greatest players and coaches in college basketball. He will be presented the award at the 2nd annual ESPN College Basketball Awards Show on April 8, 2016.

Smith has enjoyed an unprecedented level of success during his 24-year head coaching career which includes stops at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota and Texas Tech. He has amassed a 538-263 (.672) career record highlighted by the 1998 National Championship, four NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearances, nine NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 trips and 19 seasons of 20-plus victories fueled by 17 NCAA Tournament appearances. He is one of seven active head coaches to collect over 500 wins and a national championship. The 19, 20-plus win seasons are tied for seventh place among active coaches.

Smith is a five-time conference honoree (SEC - 3, MVC - 2). In 2002-03, he swept all seven national coach of the year honors recognized by the NCAA -- AP, USBWA, Naismith, Basketball Times, The Sports News, NABC and CBS/Chevrolet. He became the first consensus National Coach of the Year since 1975 when Indiana's Bob Knight accomplished the feat.

Smith is one of only nine head coaches to lead four different schools to the NCAA Tournament. If he can get Texas Tech to The Big Dance, Smith will become just the second coach in history to lead five different programs to the Tournament.

Smith has sent 19 players to the NBA which includes three who have won an NBA Championship and one an Olympic gold medal. He won an Olympic Gold Medal as an assistant coach on Rudy Tomjanovich's Team USA staff in 2000.

Complete Release

Schedule Released for 2015 Marshall County Hoop Fest

The schedule has been released for the 2015 Marshall County Hoop Fest. 

As expected, there will be several Kentucky recruits playing in the annual showcase.

The schedule is highlighted by Kentucky recruit Harry Giles and Oak Hill Academy. The Warriors will play Thursday in a nationally-televised game and Saturday.

You can look at the entire schedule below:

Thursday, Dec. 3

4 p.m. — API (Texas) vs. Sunrise Christian (Kan.) (ESPNU)
6:30 p.m. — Oak Hill Academy (Va.) vs. Chaminade (Mo.) (ESPN)
8:30 p.m. — Marshall County vs. Massac (Ill.), girls

Friday, Dec. 4

4 p.m. — Marshall County vs. Dyersburg (Tenn.)
5:30 p.m. — Athlete Institute (Can.) vs. Curie (Ill.)
7 p.m. — Huntington (W.Va.) Prep vs. Prolific Prep (Calif.)
8:30 p.m. — Graves County vs. Bowling Green

Saturday, Dec. 5

Session 1

9 a.m. — McCracken Co. vs. Massac (Ill.)
10:30 a.m. — Marshall Co. vs. Hopkins Central, girls
12 p.m. — Marshall Co. vs. Pope Co. (Ill.)
1:30 p.m. — Paul Laurence Dunbar vs. Madison (Ala.)
3 p.m. — Hopkinsville vs. J.O. Johnson (Ala.)

Session 2

5 p.m. — Huntington (W.Va.) Prep vs. Quality Ed (N.C.)
6:30 p.m. — Oak Hill (Va.) vs. Athlete Institute (Can.)
8 p.m. — Prolific Prep (Calif.) vs. API (Texas)
9:30 p.m. — Victory Prep (Texas) vs. Sunrise Christian (Kan.)

(All times Central)

More Info

Attorney Says Katina Powell's Daughters Were Adults

An attorney for Katina Powell says that her daughters were actually adults when they engaged with alleged illegal activities, including prostitution.  

In 'Breaking Cardinal Rules', Powell had indicated that her daughters were 15 and 17. 

Her attorney says that is not true. 

Here is an excerpt from the Courier-Journal:

Larry Wilder, a criminal defense attorney in Jeffersonville, Ind., said Powell retained him because of concerns she could face criminal charges based on allegations involving her three daughters in her book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules.’’

In the book, Powell wrote extensively about parties — which took place between 2010 and 2014 and involved sex — for which former Louisville staffer Andre McGee allegedly paid her thousands of dollars. Wilder said Powell cannot be prosecuted because prostitution is a misdemeanor with a one-year statute of limitations that has expired. He did not address possible charges of child endangerment.

“The book does not indicate that any of her daughters were not of legal age to undertake the activities they undertook,” Wilder told USA TODAY Sports Wednesday

Complete Article

Funny Interviews from Kentucky's Media Day

Check out these funny interviews from Kentucky's media day:


John Calipari Agitated by Skal Labissiere Questions at Media Day

Kentucky head coach John Calipari was noticeably unhappy when asked about Skal Labissiere's eligibility at UK media day Wednesday.

“Everything is good to go,” Calipari said. “There’s probably 50 players that have a review. Last year, we had five players have a review; a couple of them got cleared the week before the game."

Calipari was clearly agitated when asked about Labissiere again.

Watch the videos below to see Calipari's reactions:




Call DeMarcus Cousins for Tickets to Kings vs. Pelicans

DeMarcus Cousins wants fans to call him for tickets to Saturday night's NBA preseason game (Kings vs. Pelicans) at Rupp Arena.

Cousins is giving away lower-level tickets and many other prizes in a Call Me Scavenger Hunt Thursday (today).



Here are more details from WKYT.com:

Do you want tickets to see DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday? Well, just call DeMarcus.

That's at least one way to try to score lower-level tickets to Saturday's game. The former Kentucky Wildcats star is giving away tickets and a bevy of other prizes for his Call Me Scavenger Hunt on Thursday. Other prizes include gift cards, DMC T-shirts, autographed jerseys and sneakers.

Fans are encouraged to follow Cousins' Facebook page, Facebook.com/demarcuscousins, to figure out where the prizes will be left throughout the city.

Addtionally, "Call Me" T-shirts will be available -- while they last -- at 11 a.m. Thursday at Oneness Premiere Boutique, 431 Jersey Street. Proceeds go to benefit youth basketball camps in Alabama and Sacramento.

Read More

Valpo Picked to Win the Horizon League, NKU Tabbed to Finish Last

Valparaiso, which returns almost everyone from last season's NCAA Tournament team, is picked to win the Horizon League. 

The Crusaders are followed by Oakland, Milwaukee and Detroit in the league's preseason poll.

New league member Northern Kentucky is picked to finish dead last in the 10-team conference.

Preseason Poll

1. Valparaiso (36) – 418
2. Oakland (6) – 368
3. Milwaukee – 344
4. Detroit (1) – 289
5. Wright State – 253
6. Green Bay – 215
7. Cleveland State – 173
8. UIC – 125
9. Youngstown State – 93
10. Northern Kentucky – 87

Preseason Player of the Year: Kahlil Felder, Oakland

Preseason All-League First Team

Kahlil Felder, Oakland (Jr., G)
Alec Peters, Valparaiso (Jr., F)
Matt Tiby, Milwaukee (Sr., F)
Paris Bass, Detroit (So., G/F)
Jordan Fouse, Green Bay (Sr., F)

Preseason All-League Second Team

Bobby Hain, Youngstown State (Sr., C)
JT Yoho, Wright State (Sr., F)
Vashil Fernandez, Valparaiso (Sr., C)
Tevonn Walker, Valparaiso (So., G)
Darien Walker, Valparaiso (Sr., G)

Louisville to Host Red-White Scrimmage and Coat Drive Saturday

The Louisville Cardinals will host their second Red-White scrimmage and a coat drive Saturday at the Yum! Center. 

The scrimmage is set to tip at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Here are details on the game and coat drive:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Fans are encouraged to donate a new or gently used winter coat when the University of Louisville men's basketball team plays its second Red-White intrasquad scrimmage presented by Mark's Feed Store on Oct. 17.  The event will being at 4 p.m.

The first 200 fans to donate coats in the lobby of the KFC Yum! Center when entering the scrimmage will receive a free appetizer certificate to Mark's Feed Store.  Individuals may also drop coats off at their nearest Mark's Feed Store location through October 17.  The first 100 fans to bring a new or gently used winter coat to a Mark's Feed Store restaurant will receive a UofL gift bag that includes a $10 gift card to Mark's Feed Store.  All coats will benefit Uspiritus, helping local Louisville youth and families in need.

Tickets for the scrimmage, are on sale for $10 at the UofL Ticket Office, located near Gate 2 of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium at 2800 South Floyd Street. The ticket office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Cardinal fans may also purchase the tickets by visiting Ticketmaster online at www.Ticketmaster.com, calling 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting any Ticketmaster Ticket Center, including statewide Kroger locations. Convenience fees are applied with Ticketmaster orders.

A limited number of tickets are available for UofL students to each scrimmage at no charge. Student tickets — no more than two for each scrimmage — must be obtained with a valid student ID in advance at the UofL ticket office.

A crowd of 9,643 attended the Cardinals' first scrimmage on Oct. 3 as the Red team prevailed in both halves.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Derek Willis' Dislocated Finger Went Through the Skin

When Kentucky's Derek Willis dislocated his finger, it actually broke the skin.

Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal snapped a picture of Willis' finger at UK media day.

Ouch:



John Calipari Doesn't Believe Rick Pitino Knew Anything About Alleged Escorts

John Calipari doesn't believe Rick Pitino knew anything about the escort scandal at Louisville.

Calipari said he hopes the allegations "aren't true" and "can't believe" Pitino "would know anything about it."

Here are Calipari's comments about Pitino today:


Brandon Knight Gets Dunked On Again

Brandon Knight, who has mastered the art of making lowlight plays, got dunked on hard by Houston's Clint Capela last night.

Last night wasn't as bad as the time DeAndre Jordan flirted with ruining Knight's life, but it was still bad.



In the past few seasons, Knight has also missed a game-winning layup, had one of the worst turnovers in the NBA last season, got crossed up by Kyrie Irving at All-Star Weekend, been swatted by Joakim Noah and ended up in a pool of Gatorade.

Rajon Rondo Says Relationship With George Karl is Not "Going Too Well"

It's still the NBA preseason and Rajon Rondo is already having issues with Sacramento Kings coach George Karl.

"It's not been going too well," Rondo said in an interview with Manny Vieites of Cowbell Kingdom. "We got into a couple arguments the last couple days. Hopefully we continue to talk and get better."



Rondo has traditionally had problems with head coach, even dating back to Doug Bibby in high school and Tubby Smith in college.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Will Dillard, Geoff Cody Inducted Into Alice Lloyd College Athletc Hall of Fame

Former men's basketball players Will Dillard and Geoff Cody were inducted into the Alice Lloyd College Athletic Hall of Fame over the weekend.

Here are excerpts of a release from ALC:

On Saturday, October 10, 2015 Alice Lloyd College inducted three former athletes into its Athletic Hall of Fame.  The induction ceremony took place on the college campus at the Grady Nutt Athletic Center as part of the annual Appalachia Day Homecoming activities.

This year’s inductees were: Geoff Cody (Lexington; formerly of Knott Co.), Jason Smith (Clay Co.), and Will Dillard (Beckley, West Virginia).

Geoff Cody

Geoff Cody attended Alice Lloyd from 1993-1998 where he majored in Education. He received a duel degree in History and Social Studies. He was a four year member of the Eagles basketball team, and was known for his competitiveness and rugged play. He had a solid career, but saved his best work for last. As a senior in 1997-1998, he was the second leading scorer in the TVAC conference, averaging 22.3 points per game. This mark is still the sixth highest single season average in men’s history. He was also named First Team All- Conference that year as well as being chosen Honorable Mention All-American. Additionally, he was selected as Alice Lloyds team MVP.

He was accompanied by his wife Aimee Cody, his son Peyton, his daughter Noel, and his son Major. Also on hand were his parents, Tom Cody and Patty Wood, as well as his in-laws, Ron and Pat Chaffins.

Currently, he resides in Lexington, KY and is employed by the Franklin County Board of Education. He has served his community for 16 years as an educator and boys’ basketball coach, and for the past 3 years he has been a teacher of American History, AP Government and Politics at Western Hills High School in Frankfort.

Will Dillard

Will Dillard hails from Beckley, West Virginia and attended Alice Lloyd from 2005-2009 where he majored in Business. He was a four year member of the Eagles basketball team and was known for his incredible athleticism and hardnosed play.

As a freshman, he led the team in assists, while finishing second in the conference. His sophomore year saw him finish fifth in the league in assists, lead the team in assists for a second year, and finish third on the team in scoring. His junior year saw him finish third in the conference in assists, lead the squad in assists for the third straight year, and finish third on the team in scoring. For his play, he was chosen First Team All-Conference. It was his senior year, however, when he exploded on the league with an incredible display. He led the team in scoring at 19.1 points per game which also placed him second in the conference, and he had a season high 36 points against Union College. His field goal percentage of 52.7% was tops in the league. Additionally, he led the league in assists at 5 per game, was third in free throw percentage at 75.7%, and finished sixth in steals per game at 1.5 per outing. When the season was over, he was recognized by the league for his complete performance by being voted the 2008 KIAC Player of the Year, and he is just the third male in school history to be so honored. He completed his career with 1490 points, 529 assists, and 161 steals. He is also the only player in school history to lead the team in assists for four seasons and was named ALC’S Most Valuable Player twice.

He was also well respected on campus. He was named to the Dean’s list several times and was chosen as the school winner of the Outstanding Citizenship Award. He was further honored by the school when he was named the winner of the prestigious Algernon Sydney Award, which goes to the senior who demonstrates both the highest spiritual character and humanitarian qualities.

He was accompanied by his parents, Rick and Dollie Dillard, his brother Ricky and sister-in-law Kim, his niece Hayden and nephew Kyrie, and his girlfriend Hanna Metrick.

Currently, he resides in Beckley and is presently employed by P.P.P.F.D. Incorporated. He has served his community for the past 5 years in the field of business, and for the past two and a half years, has been a bookkeeper and Human Resources Director. He also is a member of the Drug Free All Stars, a group of former athletes who travel across several states delivering positive anti-drug messages to schools. Furthermore, he played for 2 years for the West Virginia Blazers semi-pro basketball team.

Complete Release

CBS Sports Ranks Kentucky No. 2, Louisville No. 50 in Team Rankings

CBS Sports has ranked every team in college basketball for the 2015-16 season.

The Kentucky Wildcats come in at No. 2 behind North Carolina. Kansas, Maryland and Virginia round out the top 5.

Louisville, which is in the midst of the escort scandal, is No. 50. The Cardinals are ranked below Valparaiso, Davidson and Stephen F. Austin.

Murray State comes in at No. 107. Western Kentucky is No. 137. Eastern Kentucky cracks the top 200 at No. 189.

Morehead State is all the way down at No. 223. Northern Kentucky rounds out the state teams at No. 261.

Here is the top 10 and some other notables:

1. North Carolina: Our No. 1 team in the country has a veteran point guard in Marcus Paige, a slimmed-down and improved big man in Kennedy Meeks, an even more dynamic big man in Brice Johnson, and a wing set to break out this season in Justin Jackson. All four are projected in next June's draft. For UNC, this is the time. The right mix of veterans and skill, and with NCAA sanctions possibly on the horizon next spring or summer, it's set up to be a memorable season regardless for Roy Williams.

2. Kentucky: The Wildcats are probably the most talented team in the country, but they have some questions to fulfill still. Will Skal Labissiere be eligible? Can all of Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe co-exist? Are the freshmen for real? If all the pieces fit together, they'll have a shot to make another Final Four.

3. Kansas: As long as Cheick Diallo gets eligible, his is the team I feel most confident in being successful. They return Frank Mason and Perry Ellis, along with a host of other players that could contribute to yet another Big 12 championship under Bill Self.

4. Maryland: The starting five is going to be so good by midseason. Robert Carter is eligible following a redshirt year, and Jake Layman still doesn't get enough love nationally. A lot of pressure on Melo Trimble to perform like an All-American, but he'll have so much talent around him, the Terps should be top 10-good almost wire to wire.

5. Virginia: The Tony Bennett Experience will continue to keep Virginia near or at the top of the ACC. How good can these guys be? Well, the Hoos were 30-4 last season and only lost Darion Atkins and Justin Anderson. Yes, a dent, but still a lot of talent here. Malcolm Brogdon, hello.

6. Iowa State

7. Duke

8. Oklahoma

9. Wichita State

10. Gonzaga

13. Indiana

22. Vanderbilt

25. Cincinnati

39. XAVIER

41. Valparaiso

50. Louisville: Damion Lee could have a good year. There's also the current scandal. How much does that affect what goes on in the program? No way to tell. But no denying this is the weakest Pitino roster in more than five years.

58. Belmont: The Bruins made the Tournament one year ahead of schedule behind a miracle Taylor Barnette 3 against favored Murray State. This was always going to be Rick Byrd's next great team, and there's a chance he leads them to 25 wins with leading scorer Craig Bradshaw looking like the favorite for OVC player of the year.

104. Tennessee

107. Murray State: Murray: prizint! Lose their coach to Iowa State, but the good news is Matt McMahon now runs the show, and he's spent years as an assistant at MSU previously. The Racers are always respectable. That's not going to change now.

137. Western Kentucky: Losing T.J. Price and George Fant won't be easy, but Chris Harrison-Docks should pick up the slack as Aaron Cosby enters the fold from Illinois for a season.

170. Tennessee-Martin

175. East Tennessee State

189. Eastern Kentucky: They have to not only replace Corey Walden and Eric Stutz, but also their coach in Jeff Neubauer. Expect a bit of a step back this year as they figure out how to do that.

223. Morehead State: Sean Woods' team loses big contributors but should have enough young talent to keep things optimistic.

242. Marshall

261. Northern Kentucky: A new member of the Horizon, NKU still can't play for the league title until 2017. They also feature a new coach in John Brannen, who replaces Dave Bezold.

Complete Rankings

Alex Poythress, Damion Lee on Watch List for 2016 Julius Erving Award

Kentucky's Alex Poythress and Louisville's Damion Lee are on the preseason watch list for the 2016 Julius Erving Award.

2016 Watch List for Julius Erving Award

Player Name School
Jaylen Brown California
Daniel Hamilton Connecticut
Rodney Purvis Connecticut
Brandon Ingram Duke
John Brown High Point
Troy Williams Indiana
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk Kansas
Wayne Selden, Jr. Kansas
Alex Poythress Kentucky
Damion Lee Louisville
Ben Simmons Louisiana State
Jake Layman Maryland
Denzel Valentine Michigan State
Justin Jackson North Carolina
DeAndre Bembry Saint Joseph’s
Malik Pope San Diego State
Michael Gbinije Syracuse
D.J. Hogg Texas A&M
Brandon Taylor Utah
Nigel Hayes Wisconsin

Tyler Ulis on Preseason Watch List for Bob Cousy Award

Kentucky's Tyler Ulis is on the preseason watch list for the coveted Bob Cousy Award.

The Cousy Award is given annually to college basketball's top point guard.

2016 Watch List

Player Name School
Kyle Collinsworth Brigham Young University
Tyrone Wallace California
Maodo Lo Columbia
Xavier Rathan-Mayes Florida State
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera Georgetown
Juan’ya Green Hofstra
Yogi Ferrell Indiana
Monte Morris Iowa State
Frank Mason Kansas
Tyler Ulis Kentucky
Melo Trimble Maryland
Marcus Paige North Carolina
Demetrius Jackson Notre Dame
Gary Payton, Jr. Oregon State
Kris Dunn Providence
Carson Puriefoy Stony Brook
Jalen Brunson Villanova
Ryan Arcidiacono Villanova
Fred VanVleet Wichita State
Bronson Koenig Wisconsin

Former UK Guard Joe Crawford Has Signed with AmeriLeague

Former University of Kentucky guard Joe Crawford will try to resurrect his professional career in the newly-formed AmeriLeague.

Crawford last played with the Erie BayHawks in the NBA Development League in 2014-15.

He was drafted by the Lakers in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft.

Here are details via an AmeriLeague release:

The AmeriLeague and guard Joe Crawford (6'5''-G/F-86, college: Kentucky, agency: CAA Sports) have agreed to the terms of a contract that will allow the former University of Kentucky Wildcat to compete in the 2015-16 season. Per league policy, terms of the contracts were not released. Crawford was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 58th overall pick in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft. Crawford performed in a handful of exhibition games for the Lakers before being waived. He would later join the New York Knicks on a 10-day contract, leading to his signing for the remainder of the season and later being subsequently waived. Crawford has spent three seasons in the NBA D-League, playing two seasons with the Los Angeles Defenders (2008-2010) and his last (2014-15) with the Erie BayHawks. Crawford's brother is Jordan Crawford, a shooting guard who recently accepted a non-guaranteed training camp deal with the Chicago Bulls.

Monday, October 12, 2015

All 30 NBA Teams Attend Kentucky's Nationally Televised Practice

Representatives from all 30 NBA teams were in attendance for Kentucky's nationally televised practice Sunday night.








Louisville Assistant Ralph Willard Taking an Indefinite Medical Leave of Absence

According to Rick Bozich of WDRB, Louisville assistant coach Ralph Willard is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence.

Here is an excerpt from WDRB.com:

Ralph Willard, an assistant coach for the University of Louisville basketball team, is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence.

Willard, a close, longtime friend of Cardinals coach Rick Pitino, re-joined U of L in April of this year and has been instrumental in working with the team while Pitino was away coaching the Puerto Rico National Team.

Complete Article

My thoughts and prayers are certainly with Coach Willard.

Atlanta Hawks Waive Former Louisville Guard Edgar Sosa

The Atlanta Hawks have waived former Louisville guard Edgar Sosa.

Sosa, who has played for numerous teams overseas, was with the Hawks in training camp and wasn't expected to make the team's final roster.

Here are more details from USBasket.com:

Atlanta Hawks waived 27-year old Dominican point guard Edgar Sosa (190-80kg-88, college: Louisville, agency: Duran International).

The last season Sosa played at Banco di Srd (Serie A) in Italian league. The team played in three different competitions (!!!) that year, and he had a chance to explore basketball on different levels. In 40 Serie A games he recorded 11.5ppg, 1.6rpg and 3.0apg. He helped them to win the league title and the supercup. Sosa also played 10 games in Euroleague where he averaged 10.4ppg, 1.4rpg and 4.2apg. He also played 5 games in Eurocup where he averaged 6.0ppg, 1.2rpg and 3.2apg.

He was voted Latinbasket.com All-Marchand Cup Honorable Mention in 2015. The previous (13-14) season Sosa played at ratiopharm Ulm (BBL) in German league. In 34 games he averaged 10.8ppg, 1.4rpg and 2.7apg in 2013-14 season. He contributed to his team making it to the cup final. Sosa also played 15 games in Eurocup where he averaged 11.5ppg, 1.3rpg and 3.9apg in 2013-14 season.

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UK's Derek Willis Out Two Weeks with a Finger Injury

University of Kentucky junior Derek Willis will miss two weeks of basketball due to a finger injury.

Willis is expected to be back in time for the Blue-White Scrimmage on October 27.

Here's a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men's basketball junior forward Derek Willis will miss the next two weeks after suffering a finger injury on his left hand in Saturday’s practice. Willis is expected to return in time for UK’s Blue-White Scrimmage on Oct. 27.

"I’m happy that it’s not something that will keep Derek out very long, but I’m disappointed because I really wanted him to participate in tomorrow’s open practice,” head coach John Calipari said. “It’s nothing serious and he will be back in a couple weeks, but I’m disappointed for him because he had been doing so well. He deserved to show his stuff tomorrow. He’s made great strides and will bounce back from this.”

Willis has appeared in 33 games in his career, including 19 in 2014-15, his sophomore season. The Mt. Washington, Ky., native scored in seven of his first eight appearances and logged time in three of UK’s five NCAA Tournament games in 2015.

Willis, a 6-foot-9 forward, is expected to add key depth this season to a front line that lost Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles and Dakari Johnson to the NBA Draft.

UK lost junior guard Dominique Hawkins earlier in the week with a broken right hand. He underwent successful surgery Tuesday and is expected back in approximately four weeks.

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

Terrence Williams Says He Didn't Pay for Escorts Because He's the Elvis Presley of Louisville

Terrence Williams has responded to the claims in 'Breaking Cardinal Rules' in a way that only T-Will could respond.

Williams, who was mentioned several times in the book, basically told TMZ he didn't pay for escorts because he didn't have to. He even said he's like Elvis Presley to the city of the Louisville.

Here is an excerpt from TMZ:

"I am not a part of that. To Louisville I am f**king Elvis Presley. So why would I pay anybody for anything?"

"Motherf**kers pay me for pictures and handshakes. And that's not being cocky, 'cause I don't play around with my blessing. I'm very honored to be in that position in Louisville. Louisville is the greatest city, the fans are great, Rick Pitino is great."

He's not finished ... Williams says Katina Powell -- the woman behind the book -- is nothing more than a thirsty, money hungry liar looking for a pay day.

"Nobody's gonna pay attention to a b*tch searching for money. So you make up stuff, and you put out all these allegations. If my name's on anything, provide proof."

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