Friday, February 5, 2016

Dick Vitale Claims Rick Pitino Passed a Lie Detector Test

Dick Vitale claims that Rick Pitino took a lie detector test about the Katina Powell scandal and passed.

So...there's that.

Damion Lee, Trey Lewis "Truly Devastated" by Louisville's Postseason Ban

Louisville seniors Damion Lee and Trey Lewis spoke to the media tonight following today's announcement that the Cardinals will not participate in the postseason.

Lee said the pair is "truly devastated" by the news that they cannot compete in the NCAA Tournament:

Video: Louisville Announces a Self-Imposed Postseason Ban

The University of Louisville has announced a self-imposed ban from the postseason stemming from the allegations made by Katina Powell.

Here is the full press conference from earlier today:

Dan Dakich Takes a Cheap Shot at Louisville's Trey Lewis and Damion Lee

Anyone with a pulse (even Kentucky fans) should feel extremely sorry for Louisville seniors Trey Lewis and Damion Lee.

Anyone, of course, except for Dan Dakich, who continues to baffle with his sour take on practically every situation.

Dakich went to Twitter today to blast Lee and Lewis for leaving their previous schools as graduate transfers to play one season at Louisville.

"Karma is a mutha," Dakich said after commenting that those two kids screwed their previous schools.

Dakich then took the easy way out and deleted his Tweet.

Long live screenshots:

"Night of Extreme Pain" as Louisville Confirms Postseason Ban

The University of Louisville has confirmed a postseason ban for the men's basketball program.

Head coach Rick Pitino described tonight as a "night of extreme pain" after having to tell his team of the school's self-imposed punishment to a scandal that allegedly occurred several years ago.

President James Ramsey opened today's press conference by announcing that it's reasonable to conclude that violations did occur within the men's basketball program at Louisville.

Ramsey went on to say that the school is withholding itself from the Atlantic Coach and NCAA tournaments this season.

"This is a disappointing time and a very sad day for all of us," Jurich said.

Pitino said "pain" is the best way to describe the feeling around his team right now. He said that players began to hug graduate transfer seniors Trey Lewis and Damion Lee after the news was broken to the team.

"Damion and Trey have nothing...nothing to look forward to in the future now. For actions they weren't involved with," Pitino said with great emotion.

Pitino went on to ask Louisville fans to come out in full force to support Lee and Lewis during their final nine games.

During questioning from the media, Louisville officials confirmed that violations did occur within the men's basketball program. They were unable to provide specifics but said the investigation has not concluded.

Pitino compared his current situation to his eight years at Kentucky when he brought the program out of NCAA purgatory.

"There's not a coach in Division 1, 2 or 3 basketball that would tolerate anything that has been alleged," Pitino added. "If I catch anyone doing the wrong thing, there's always huge consequences to pay."

Pitino hinted at leading the Cardinals into the future.

He finished with, "I'll get them through it. I got those Kentucky guys through it."

Watch the Louisville Press Conference Live Here

You can watch the Louisville press conference below LIVE at 1:30 p.m. ET:

WDRB 41 Louisville - News, Weather, Sports Community

Source: Louisville Set to Announce Postseason Ban for Men's Basketball

The University of Louisville will hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. ET with Rick Pitino, Tom Jurich and President James Ramsey.

I'm told by a good source that Louisville will announce a self-imposed ban from the postseason. The postseason ban will be for THIS season.

More on this developing story soon...

Check Out Kentucky's New Basketball Uniforms

Check out the Kentucky's new Nike basketball uniforms that will be worn for the South Carolina game (only):

The uniforms feature UK's new logo:

The Cats will be wearing the new shooting shirts tomorrow vs. Florida:

Bracket Announced for 2016 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen Tournament

The region pairings have been announced for the 2016 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen State Basketball Tournament.

Here's a look at the tournament schedule:

Wednesday, March 16

12:00 p.m. Region 14 vs. Region 1
1:30 p.m. Region 7 vs. Region 9
6:30 p.m. Region 4 vs. Region 16
8:00 p.m. Region 11 vs. Region 12

Thursday, March 17

12:00 p.m. Region 15 vs. Region 6
1:30 p.m. Region 13 vs. Region 2
6:30 p.m. Region 10 vs. Region 5
8:00 p.m. Region 8 vs. Region 3

Friday, March 18

12:00 p.m. Quarterfinal #1
1:30 p.m. Quarterfinal #2
6:30 p.m. Quarterfinal #3
8:00 p.m. Quarterfinal #4

Saturday, March 19

6:30 p.m. Semifinal #1
8:00 p.m. Semifinal #2

Sunday, March 20

2:00 p.m. Championship Game

The bracket (click to enlarge):

Did Kansas Give Kentucky Two Losses?

Did the Kansas Jayhawks actually give Kentucky two losses in three days?

After watching Kentucky fire out of the gates against Tennessee only to falter in impressive fashion, one has to wonder if the Wildcats were too drained from the Kansas game to pick up a road win in Knoxville.

Against the Volunteers, Kentucky made uncharacteristic mistakes, particularly in the second half. The Wildcats seemed to give up defensively and showed a lack of effort on hustle plays and rebounding for 20-25 minutes of action. One might say the Wildcats were still stuck in the Phog.

Here are a few thoughts:

1. Take your perception of how tough the Allen Fieldhouse atmosphere is and times it by 10. That's what it's like during a big game at Kansas. Television really doesn't do the arena justice. Allen Fieldhouse is so loud that it's difficult to explain in words. I'll write more about this over the weekend but I can promise you that Kentucky hasn't dealt with an atmosphere like this since Indiana in 2011-12. At times, it was so loud that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Literally, the atmosphere was so powerful that it messed with my emotions.

2. It takes time to recover from a hard fought, overtime battle in an atmosphere like that. For 45 minutes, Kentucky went toe-to-toe with a top 5 team in one of the most incredible atmospheres I've ever witnessed (certainly the loudest by far). A game of that nature takes a great deal out of a team both physically and mentally. It's particularly tough to recover enough in just three days to win a conference road game. Bill Self said after the game that he is not a fan of playing a game like this during the middle of the conference season. His team played like crap against Kansas State Wednesday night as well. Luckily for the Jayhawks, they had an additional day of rest and they were playing at home.

3. Kentucky showed all the signs of a tired team Tuesday night. The Wildcats shot out to a 34-13 lead with just under six minutes to go in the first half at Tennessee. From there, Tennessee fought back and inevitably gave Kentucky more than they could handle. The Cats struggled to shoot, couldn't play defense, made uncharacteristic errors and didn't put forth the effort to win on the road. These are all characteristics of a tired team. Anyone who has ever played basketball knows what it's like to "have it" or "not have it" during a game. I would be willing to bet that most Kentucky players felt they just didn't have it vs. Tennessee.

4. The box score doesn't lie. A quick look at the box score from the Tennessee game is very telling. Tyler Ulis was 3-10 from the field. Jamal Murray was 7-20 from the field and 3-12 from long range. The Wildcats committed 26 fouls and somehow managed to get out-rebounded by one of the smallest teams in the Southeastern Conference. Add to that a lack of defense that allowed a mediocre Tennessee team to score 84 points and it's very easy to see what went wrong on paper.

Looking ahead: Personally, I think Kentucky bounces back with an impressive performance against Florida Saturday afternoon in Rupp Arena. The Gators (15-7, 6-3 SEC) have won 6-of-7 games and are certainly capable of knocking off the Wildcats, but I think UK takes care of business.

If Kentucky handles Florida and does what they should against Georgia next week, they will be sitting 18-6 and 8-3 in the conference. They will then have a difficult road battle at South Carolina and a chance at revenge against Tennessee. Win those four games and all is well in Lexington once again. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Casey County's D.J. White Signs with Eastern Kentucky University

Casey County forward D.J. White has signed to play football at Eastern Kentucky University next season. 

White, a 6-foot-5 power forward on the basketball team, plays linebacker on the football field.

Kentucky Wildcats to Get Special Nike Basketball Uniforms

The University of Kentucky men's basketball team will be getting new uniforms from Nike.

Mitch Barnhart and John Calipari will hold a special press conference tomorrow morning to unveil the new basketball uniforms. Barnhart and Mark Stoops will also introduce new football uniforms

The basketball uniform will be a one-time wear:

The unveiling is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. tomorrow morning at Commonwealth Stadium.

Is Kentucky Ripe for a First Weekend Upset in the NCAA Tournament?

According to this guy at Get More Sports, Kentucky looks like a future NCAA Tournament upset victim.

Here is his reasoning:

1. This team simply can’t shoot. Only Derek Willis shoots over 38-percent from beyond the arc, and he’s taking less than two attempts per game. Guys like Tyler Ulis, Isaiah Briscoe, and Jamal Murray are the primary shot takers from deep and they simply aren’t good enough. That kind of weakness kills you, especially when…

2. Kentucky’s interior posses little offensive firepower. Not a single forward on this team averages double digit points per game. Part of that is due to their guards and their inability to shoot from the outside and give them space. Part of that is due to the fact that they just aren’t tough enough on the interior to back anyone down with the ball in their hands.

3. For a team that doesn’t have anyone that can be efficient one-on-one offensively, you’d think they’d be more inclined to whip the ball around and share the basketball, even within John Calipari’s dribble drive system. Not so with this group. Their near the bottom half of the country in assists per game, though Ulis’ 6.2 assists per game are encouraging.

4. Most years, Calipari finds ways to push the right buttons with his teams. Whether it’s in player management or systematic adjustments, he generally has an elite feel for his teams. Not so this year, as nothing he’s done has caught on to the point that UK has found consistency.

5. With that in mind, this appears to be one of the least mentally strong groups that he’s had in Lexington. They don’t seem to have the kind of attitude required to get tough wins, get tough stops, and fix their problems on a consistent basis.


Georgetown College, Pikeville Remain in Top 5 of NAIA DI Coaches Poll

Georgetown College and University of Pikeville remain in the top 5 of this week's NAIA Division I Coaches' Top 25 Poll.

The Tigers are No. 2 this week, just behind LSU Alexandria.

Pikeville is down 3 spots to No. 4 following a loss to the Georgetown.

Campbellsville University comes in at No. 19 in the new poll.

Here's a look:

2015 – 16 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Feb. 2 (No. 6)

1 2 LSU Alexandria (5) 19-2 245
2 5 Georgetown (Ky.) (4) 19-2 243
3 4 Columbia (Mo.) 21-2 233
4 1 Pikeville (Ky.) (1) 19-2 230
5 3 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 20-2 220
6 9 Talladega (Ala.) 19-4 200
7 6 William Penn (Iowa) 18-4 199
8 T7 Hope International (Calif.) 18-4 195
9 12 Texas Wesleyan 17-4 192
10 11 Biola (Calif.) 20-3 182
11 13 Langston (Okla.) 16-4 169
12 T7 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 17-5 159
13 14 Carroll (Mont.) 16-5 153
14 17 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 17-5 135
15 16 Park (Mo.) 14-5 134
16 15 Westmont (Calif.) 16-5 131
17 21 Peru State (Neb.) 14-7 124
18 19 William Carey (Miss.) 14-8 119
19 18 Campbellsville (Ky.) 18-6 101
20 23 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 16-6 95
21 24 Dillard (La.) 14-6 79
22 10 Arizona Christian 17-5 74
23 22 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 12-6 70
24 RV William Jessup (Calif.) 15-6 60
25 RV Oklahoma City 10-6 53

Dropped from rankings: No. 20 SAGU (Texas); No. 25 (tie) Montana Western; No. 25 (tie) William Woods (Mo.).

Others Receiving Votes: Montana Western 40; Voorhees (S.C.) 33; Cumberlands (Ky.) 29; William Woods (Mo.) 26; Middle Georgia State 24; Avila (Mo.) 11; Bethel (Tenn.) 9; Science & Arts (Okla.) 6; Xavier (La.) 6.

Terrence Jones Hospitalized After Car Accident

Former Kentucky forward Terrence Jones was in a car accident on the way to the Houston Rockets' flight to Phoenix last night.

Jones was examined at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and tests were negative, the team said. He remained in the hospital overnight for observation

The Rockets have confirmed that Jones won't play in Thursday's game.

2017 Wing Trace Young is No Longer at Huntington Prep

I'm told by a good source that 2017 wing Trace Young is no longer at Huntington Prep.

Young, who stands 6-foot-8, has not enrolled at any other school, yet.

As a sophomore, Young averaged 9.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game at Apollo High School. He then transferred to Huntington Prep, where he primarily came off the bench this season.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bellarmine Moves Back Into Top 10 of Both DII Polls

Bellarmine University is back in the top 10 of both Division II basketball polls this week.

The Knights are No. 9 in the NABC/Division II Rankings and No. 7 in the DII Media Poll.

Kentucky Wesleyan is No. 22 in the NABC poll and not ranked in the media rankings.

NCAA Division II Media Poll, Sponsored by D2SIDA

February 2, 2016

Rank School (1st Place Votes) Record Votes LW
1 Augustana (S.D.) (15) 19-1 375 1
2 Western Oregon 18-2 346 2
3 Fairmont State 19-1 333 T4
4 Lincoln Memorial 18-2 328 6
5 Angelo State 16-3 288 9
6 Wheeling Jesuit 20-1 285 7
7 Bellarmine 17-3 274 10
8 MSU-Moorhead 22-3 259 T4
9 Saint Anselm (N.H.) 17-2 229 13
10 Barry (Fla.) 15-3 223 15
11 Midwestern State 16-3 221 3
12 West Liberty 18-2 217 12
13 UC San Diego 17-3 213 16
14 Queens 17-2 198 14
15 Eckerd 18-3 166 11
16 Chico State 16-3 137 20
17 Saginaw Valley State 16-4 135 21
18 Fort Lewis 17-3 101 RV
19 Wisconsin-Parkside 16-3 100 8
20 Southern Conn. State 17-4 71 RV
21 Seattle Pacific 16-4 63 RV
22 Northwest Missouri State 15-5 61 25
23 Tarleton State 15-5 43 17
24 Alabama-Huntsville 15-5 30 RV
25 Wingate 15-4 27 RV

Also receiving votes: Ferris State (25), Bentley (23), Concordia-Irvine (21), Indiana (Pa.) (19), Cal Poly Pomona (16), Indianapolis (8), Rogers State (6), West Chester (5), Columbus State (4), Holy Family (3), Cal Baptist (1)

NABC/Division II Rankings

(Feb. 2, 2016 – Poll #10)

Record Points Last
1. Augustana, S.D. (15) 19-1 399 1
2. Fairmont State, W.Va. (1) 19-1 381 2
3. Western Oregon 18-2 366 4
4. Wheeling Jesuit, W.Va. 20-1 354 5
5. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 18-2 319 7
6. West Liberty, W.Va. 18-2 315 8
7. Saint Anselm. N.H. 17-2 298 9
8. MSU Moorhead 22-3 276 3
9. Bellarmine, Ky. 17-3 274 11
10. UC San Diego 17-3 246 12
11. Midwestern State, Texas 16-3 219 6
12. Angelo State, Texas 16-3 208 14
13. Queens, N.C. 17-2 207 15
14. Chico State, Calif. 16-3 184 16
15. Fort Lewis, Colo. 17-3 170 20
16. Eckerd, Fla. 18-3 157 10
17. Barry, Fla. 15-3 137 24
18. Cal Poly Pomona 16-4 117 13
19. Seattle Pacific, Wash. 16-4 99 NR
20. West Chester, Pa. 17-3 88 17
21. Saginaw Valley State, Mich. 16-4 74 NR
22. Kentucky Wesleyan 17-3 73 18
23. Wisconsin-Parkside 16-3 68 21
24. Northwest Missouri State 15-5 37 NR
25. Ashland, Ohio 16-4 23 NR

Others receiving votes: Ferris State (Mich.) 20, Alabama-Huntsville 18, Southern Connecticut State 11, California Baptist 10, Tarleton State (Texas) 9, Wingate (N.C.) 9, Lake Superior State (Mich.) 6, Bentley (Mass.) 5, Indianapolis (Ind.) 5, Lander (S.C.) 5, Findlay (Ohio) 4, Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 1, Stillman (Ala.) 1.

Cole Murray Named Horizon League Player of the Week

Northern Kentucky's Cole Murray was named Horizon League Player of the Week on Monday.

Murray scored 25 points in NKU's win at Detroit on Friday night.

Dikembe Dixson, who played some high school basketball at Thomas Nelson before transferring, was named Freshman of the Week for the sixth time this season.

Dixson is almost a lock for conference Freshman of the Year.

Excerpt from the league's release:

Cole Murray, Northern Kentucky University

Hometown: Delphi, Ind.

Murray garnered Player of the Week honors after scoring 16 of his game-high 25 points in the second half as Northern Kentucky won at Detroit on Friday night. Murray connected on nine of his 14 field goal attempts in the game, including 7-of-10 from three-point range. He was 6-of-8 from the field in the second half.

Dikembe Dixson, UIC

Hometown: Freeport, Ill.

Dixson is the Freshman of the Week for the sixth time this season. He averaged 28.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games last week. He secured his fourth double-double of the season on Thursday night with a career-high 32 points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds in UIC’s game versus Youngstown State. On Saturday, he led UIC with 24 points, including 17 in the second half, as the Flames battled back from a 12-point first half deficit to defeat Cleveland State in overtime, 72-70.

Rick Barnes Talks About Beating Kentucky

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes talks about last night's win over Kentucky:

Brescia's Austin Morris Named KIAC Player of the Week

Brescia University's Austin Morris was named KIAC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 30.0 points in two games last season.

Here's a release from the KIAC:

FLORENCE, Ky. -- Brescia (Ky.) University senior forward Austin Morris averaged 30.0 points per game in two games last week to earn KIAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week honors for Jan. 25-31.

The 6-7 native of Evansville, Ind., recorded averages of 30.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.5 apg and 2.5 bpg while shooting 68 percent from the field. He started out with 31 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in an 89-76 win at Asbury (Ky.).

Morris then played 42 minutes and totaled 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 91-87, overtime loss at Alice Lloyd (Ky.). For the week, he scored 60 points in the two games and shot 26 for 38 (.684) from the field.

Morris leads Brescia with 16.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 2.5 bpg. His blocks average is fourth in NAIA Division II, and he is 10th in the country with 47 total blocks. Morris is shooting 58 percent from the field, which is 19th in the nation.

Brescia (12-10, 6-5 KIAC) hosts No. 25 Cincinnati Christian on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. Follow KIAC Men's Basketball at, on Twitter @KIACSports and on

Can We Go Ahead and Name Nick Mayo OVC Freshman of the Year?

Eastern Kentucky's Nick Mayo was named OVC Freshman of the Week for the fourth consecutive week and eighth time overall on Monday.

Mayo averaged 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game last week.

My question: can we just go ahead and name Mayo OVC Freshman of the Year?

adidas® OVC Players of the Week


Torrance Rowe, G • Sr., 6-1, 175 • Atlanta, Ga. • Tennessee Tech

Rowe led his team to a perfect 2-0 week including handing Belmont its first Conference loss of the season by averaging 22.5 points, 3.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists/game and hitting 43.8 percent (14-of-32) from the field and 78.6 percent (11-of-14) from the free throw line. The senior has helped the Golden Eagles to a 16-7 start which is the best for the program since the 2001-02 season. Against Tennessee State to open the week he scored 19 points and dished out four assists while also hitting a pair of free throw with 0.5 seconds left on the clock to give his team the 81-79 victory. Against Belmont Rowe hit 4-of-9 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 26 points in the 89-79 win over Belmont. In that contest the senior had four rebounds, three assists and an assist. Rowe currently ranks second in the OVC in free throw percentage (87.3%), third in 3-pointers made (2.5/game) and minutes played (34.6/game), fourth in scoring (17.7 points/game) and assists (4.7/game) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8). In OVC-only games this season Rowe is second in the league in scoring (19.1/game).


Ryan Martin, F • Sr., 6-9, 225 • London, England • Tennessee Tech

Hakeem Rogers, G • Jr., 6-1, 175 • Elizabeth, N.J. • Tennessee Tech

The Tennessee Tech duo combined to average 39.0 points, 14.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals/game and hit 52.3 percent from the field as the Golden Eagles topped Tennessee State and Belmont (handing the Bruins its first OVC loss of the season) to improve to 16-7 overall and 8-2 in league play. Martin averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds/game in recording his sixth and seventh double-doubles of the season; the transfer from South Plains College had 17 points and 14 rebounds against Tennessee State and 18 points and 13 rebounds against Belmont. Coming off the bench Rogers averaged 21.5 points and 2.0 steals/game while knocking down six 3-pointers in the two victories; the transfer from Casper College had a season-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting against TSU and 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting against Belmont (where he also had a season-high three steals).


Nick Mayo, F • Fr., 6-9, 220 • Oakland, Maine • Eastern Kentucky

For the fourth-straight week and eighth time this season Mayo earned OVC Freshman of the Week honors after averaging 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks/game and hitting 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the field while also going a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. He started the week with a game-high 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting in a loss to Murray State. Three days later Mayo had his second double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds while also adding a season-best five blocks; in that contest he hit 6-of-8 field goals and was 7-of-7 at the free throw line. Mayo is the top freshman scorer in the OVC (14.7 points/game) and also ranks third in the league in field goal percentage (61.0%). In OVC-only games he is fifth in the OVC in scoring (18.6 points/game). Mayo needs three more Freshman of the Week honors to tie the all-time OVC record currently held by former EKU player Matt Witt (2002-03).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

John Calipari Not Happy After Loss at Tennessee

John Calipari was clearly unhappy following Kentucky's disappointing loss at Tennessee.

Check out his postgame comments:

Kentucky Suffers Terrible Loss at Tennessee

Tennessee 84
(20) Kentucky 77

Final from Knoxville, Tennessee

No. 20 Kentucky let a 21-point first half lead slip away on the way to suffering a disappointing 84-77 loss at Tennessee.

The Wildcats (16-6, 6-3 SEC) held a 34-13 lead over the Volunteers midway through the first half. That lead was cut to 42-36 at halftime. Tennessee then controlled the majority of the second half to earn the win.

Kevin Punter led Tennessee (11-11, 4-5) with 27 points. Armani Moore finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Detrick Mostella scored 13 points.

Jamal Murray had 21 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for Kentucky. Tyler Ulis chipped in 20 points and 5 assists. Alex Poythress had 14 points but failed to produce much offense in the second half.

The Wildcats were out-rebounded 37-36 in the game. Tennessee was 30-34 from the free throw line while Kentucky was 18-23.

Kentucky returns to action Saturday at Rupp Arena against Florida.

Some thoughts: 

- Kentucky looked like a tired team tonight. That is the downside of a road game at Kansas during the middle of conference play. Kansas plays in-state rival Kansas State tomorrow night, but the Jayhawks will be in the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse.

- Many Kentucky fans are in meltdown mode following tonight's loss. In my opinion, the Wildcats were a tired team tonight and will put forth a much better effort Saturday. Remember, there's still a lot of season to go.

- Jamal Murray struggles mightily on the defensive end.

- The UK bench produced 4 points and 5 rebounds tonight. Tennessee's bench scored 26 points.

- What has happened to Marcus Lee? 2 points and 3 rebounds tonight

- Could Isaac Humphries help? Is it worth a chance considering what Kentucky is getting in the paint right now?

Box score (click to enlarge):

Donnie Tyndall's Take on Kentucky vs. Tennessee

If there's anyone who knows the Tennessee Volunteers well it's former head coach Donnie Tyndall.

I reached out to Coach Tyndall this afternoon to get his take on tonight's Kentucky vs. Tennessee game.

Tyndall's Take on Tennessee:

- UT is playing a lot of small ball this season.

- They do a nice job of opening up the floor

- They often have 5 guys on the court who can shoot the 3-pointer

What Kentucky Needs To Do:

- The Wildcats need to make Tennessee put the ball on the court and drive

- Kentucky can hurt UT in the paint with guys like Poythress

- UK should punish Tennessee on the boards; they should set a goal of 16-18 offensive rebounds against smaller players and that goal is certainly obtainable.

- Kentucky's guards can't settle for jumpers; the guards must drive to the basket, which creates opportunities to dish to the bigs and opens up rebounding angles.

Some Key Players for Tennessee:

- Kevin Punter: he's having a great senior season; can score in bundles. Kentucky will want to wear him down with tight man-to-man defense - make him earn every dribble and every basket.

- Armani Moore: he's been sporadic this season; he was the glue guy for me last year but he's had an up-and-down season; he's dangerous enough that he could put up 14-18 points; he causes a mismatch at the 4 position. If he goes for 15 points, UT has a legit chance tonight.

- Robert Hubbs III: Coach Barnes has challenged him in recent weeks in the paper and things. Tennessee needs more from Hubbs. He's certainly shown that he can put up 12-14 points a night.

How Has Kentucky Changed in Recent Weeks?

- For me, the biggest thing is that they weren't challenging or blocking shots around the goal earlier this season. They have no real rim protector like recent seasons with Cauley-Stein and those guys.

- The last few weeks; Lee, Poythress and Skal are getting better at protecting the rim. As a result, Kentucky has improved defensively as a team and aren't giving up those layups they were giving up earlier this season.

What Is Kentucky's Ceiling This Season?

- The way Kentucky has played the last few weeks, I think they are a legit Final Four contender. There are no dominant teams in college basketball this season and UK is certainly one of 15-16 teams with a chance to win it all.

- Coach Calipari always does an amazing job of having his teams playing their best basketball in late February and March. They are on that track again this season.

Tyndall's Score Prediction:

It's hard for me to go against some of these guys that I recruited, but I'll go with:

Kentucky 78 Tennessee 68

Tennessee Coach Rick Barnes Talks About Playing Kentucky

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes talks about tonight's game against Kentucky and more:

March is One Month Away: Schedule for the Week

Believe it or not...we are now one month (a short month at that) away from March.

The college basketball season is winding down and games at this point and becoming more and more important as teams position themselves for upcoming conference tournaments.

Here's a schedule for the week:

Monday, February 1

Georgetown College 86 University of the Cumberlands 73*
Life University 77 Lindsey Wilson College 63*
Louisville 71 North Carolina 65
Oakland 85 Northern Kentucky University 74*
Union College 84 Bryan 67*
University of Pikeville 83 Shawnee State 82* F/OT

Tuesday, February 2

7:00 p.m. University of Kentucky at Tennessee*
7:00 p.m. St. Catharine College at Union College
7:00 p.m. Covenant College at Berea College - CANCELLED
8:00 p.m. Asbury University at IU East*
8:00 p.m. Cincinnati Christian at Brescia University*

Wednesday, February 3

7:30 p.m. Bethany at Thomas More College*
7:30 p.m. Transylvania University at Hanover*
9:00 p.m. Spalding University at Greenville College*

Thursday, February 4

7:00 p.m. Green Bay at Northern Kentucky University*
7:00 p.m. Ohio Valley at Kentucky Christian University
7:30 p.m. LeMoyne-Owen at Kentucky State University*
8:00 p.m. Ohio Christian at Lindsey Wilson College
8:00 p.m. Asbury University at IU Southeast*
8:00 p.m. University of the Cumberlands at Shawnee State*
8:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at Tennessee State*
8:00 p.m. Morehead State University at Belmont*
8:00 p.m. Western Kentucky University at UTSA*
8:00 p.m. University of Pikeville at Georgetown College*
8:30 p.m. Bellarmine University at Missouri S&T*
8:30 p.m. Cedarville at Kentucky Wesleyan College*
9:00 p.m. Murray State University at SEMO*

Friday, February 5

7:00 p.m. Welch College at Kentucky Christian University*
8:00 p.m. Cincinnati Clermont at Berea College
8:00 p.m. Birmingham Southern at Centre College*

Saturday, February 6

Noon Boston College at University of Louisville*
1:00 p.m. Piedmont International at Kentucky Christian University*
2:00 p.m. Berea College at Johnson University
3:00 p.m. Iowa Wesleyan at Spalding University*
3:00 p.m. Spring Hill College at Kentucky State University*
3:00 p.m. Thiel at Thomas More College*
4:00 p.m. Lindsey Wilson College at Life University*
4:00 p.m. Florida at University of Kentucky*
4:00 p.m. Kentucky Wesleyan College at Oakland City
4:00 p.m. Bluffton at Transylvania University*
4:00 p.m. University of Pikeville at Shawnee State*
4:00 p.m. Campbellsville University at St. Catharine College*
4:00 p.m. IU Southeast at Brescia University*
4:00 p.m. Asbury University at IU Kokomo*
4:00 p.m. University of the Cumberlands at Georgetown College*
4:15 p.m. Bellarmine University at Drury University*
5:00 p.m. Western Kentucky University at UTEP*
6:00 p.m. Milligan at Union College*
6:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky University at Belmont*
7:00 p.m. Milwaukee at Northern Kentucky University*
8:00 p.m. Austin Peay at Murray State University*
8:30 p.m. Morehead State University at Tennessee State*
TBA Alice Lloyd College at West Virginia Tech*

Sunday, February 7

2:00 p.m. Millsaps at Centre College*

* Conference Game

Bullitt East's Jared Farris Commits to Asbury University

According to his father, Bullitt East big man Jared Farris has committed to Asbury University.

Farris is averaging 9.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for Bullitt East (16-4).

Monday, February 1, 2016

Advice: You Should Never Stay in the Royal Inn in Mount Vernon, Illinois

I normally don't do stuff like this on the site but I'm going to warn readers of a hotel they should avoid at all costs: never, under any circumstance, stay at the Royal Inn in Mount Vernon, Illinois.

Here's my Trip Advisor review of this hotel:

“At Least I Made It Out Alive To Warn Others”

Hands down, the Royal Inn in Mount Vernon is the nastiest, unsafe hotel that I have ever stayed in. Ever.

My business partner and I decided to stop in Mount Vernon for the night during a recent trip. Since it was late, we opted to stay in a "cheap" hotel for 4-5 hours of sleep. The Royal Inn advertised rooms for $39.99 on their outdoor sign.

When we checked in with the clerk, who looked like a hobo and was clearly under the influence of alcohol, the final price was actually just under $65. We let that go and decided it was worth it to get to bed.

Upon entering the room, the first red flag was that the door had no locks on it. No deadlock. No safety chain. Nothing. We moved furniture in front of the door just in case.

We then noticed shampoo and body wash in the shower that was clearly left behind by the persons who stayed in the room before us. Next, we noticed three half full bottles of hotel shampoo that were obviously used. Finally, there were no towels or wash rags in the bathroom. Zero. Nada.

Lastly, we quickly noticed that the room keys that were left by the previous visitors were still in the room. It was pretty evident that the room was partially (maybe) cleaned.

After an extensive search for bed bugs, critters and a meth lab we decided that we could stay if necessary but would rather get our money back and try another hotel.

We went to the lobby to find the hotel clerk passed out (literally) at the desk. We could not wake him up to get our money back so we decided to risk life and limb for a few hours of sleep. I said my prayers that night.

At sunrise, we couldn't handle it anymore and headed to the car. We again attempted to complain and again the clerk was asleep...this time in the floor.

At that point, we immediately left.

I just want to thank God for allowing us to escape and have the ability to warn others about this debacle of an establishment.

After leaving, I did some online research of the Royal Inn in Mount Vernon. I discovered that police have captured drug dealers and suspected murderers in that building. There was also at least one online report of bed bugs in the hotel.

Positives: We made it out alive and can now warn others about this wretched hotel from hell.

Negatives: Everything. If you have a choice between sleeping in an uninhabited cave or this hotel, just remember that it's not safe to build a fire in an unventilated cave.

Duke Not Ranked For First Time in Almost a Decade

For the first time in almost a decade, the Duke Blue Devils are not ranked in either major college basketball poll.

Could the Blue Devils be look at an NIT season?

Meanwhile, Louisville is down a few spots to No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 19 in the AP Top 25.

Kentucky holds at No. 19 in the coaches poll and No. 20 in the media rankings.

AP Top 25

1 Oklahoma (45) 18-2 1,605
2 North Carolina (20) 19-2 1,578
3 Villanova 18-3 1,384
4 Maryland 19-3 1,366
5 Iowa 17-4 1,362
6 Xavier 19-2 1,344
7 Kansas 17-4 1,233
8 Texas A&M 18-3 1,169
9 Virginia 17-4 1,086
10 Michigan State 19-4 1,018
11 Providence 18-4 900 12 SMU 19-1 853 13 Iowa State 16-5 851 14 West Virginia 17-4 814 15 Baylor 17-4 728 16 Oregon 18-4 551 17 Miami (FL) 16-4 537 18 Purdue 19-4 511 19 Louisville 17-4 478 20 Kentucky 16-5 429 21 Wichita St 16-5 323 22 Indiana 18-4 270 23 Arizona 17-5 245 24 Dayton 18-3 168 25 South Carolina 19-2 87

Others receiving votes: Saint Mary's 63, USC 40, Utah 33, VCU 33, Notre Dame 21, Michigan 21, Valparaiso 7, Duke 6, Pittsburgh 4, Florida 3, Saint Joseph's 1, Texas 1, Stony Brook 1, San Diego State 1

USA Today Coaches Poll

1 North Carolina (18) 19-2 786
2 Oklahoma (14) 18-2 780
3 Maryland 19-3 667
4 Villanova 18-3 657
5 Xavier 19-2 650
6 Kansas 17-4 627
7 Iowa 17-4 618
8 Texas A&M 18-3 594
9 Virginia 17-4 564
10 Michigan State 19-4 517
11 Providence 18-4 464 12 West Virginia 17-4 374 13 Baylor 17-4 366 14 Iowa State 16-5 321 15 Miami (FL) 16-4 313 16 Purdue 19-4 278 17 Oregon 18-4 239 18 Louisville 17-4 237 19 Kentucky 16-5 223 20 Arizona 17-5 206 21 Indiana 18-4 200 22 Wichita St 16-5 163 23 South Carolina 19-2 156 24 Dayton 18-3 120 25 Saint Mary's 18-2 61

Others receiving votes: Pittsburgh 42, Duke 27, Utah 21, Michigan 19, Notre Dame 17, USC 16, VCU 16, Gonzaga 13, Monmouth 8, Butler 8, Valparaiso 8, Texas 7, Saint Joseph's 5, Florida 4, California 3, Clemson 2, UAB 1, Seton Hall 1, Washington 1

Team Manimal is Loading Up for Upcoming AAU Season

Team Manimal AAU, which is sponsored by Adidas and NBA star Kenneth Faried, has added three talented players to the roster for the upcoming AAU season.

According to head coach Maze Stallworth, Manimal has added Cole VonHandorf (Covington Catholic), Peyton Broughton (North Laurel) and Dylan Gaines (Taylor County) to the 17U roster.

Manimal has also added Dontaie Allen (Pendleton County) to the 16U roster. Allen is regarded as one of the top freshman players in the state of Kentucky.

Team Manimal will be running on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit this season.

Kentucky's Tyler Ulis Named Finalist for the Bob Cousy Award

Kentucky's Tyler Ulis has been tabbed as one of 10 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award.

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

Here are some of Ulis' accolades this season:

• He’s the third player at UK since 1972-73 – and the first since Roger Harden in 1985-86 – with at least four assists in 14 consecutive games in a season

• He’s the first UK player with 26 points and eight assists in a game since Jack Givens posted 27 points and eight assists vs. Auburn on Feb. 23, 1976

• He needed just 17 games to top 100 assists in a season, the sixth-fastest pace in program history for 100 or more assists in a single year

Ulis is already a two-time winner of the SEC Player of the Week award and is on the midseason watch lists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the John R. Wooden Award, each given to the national player of the year.

2016 Bob Cousy Award Finalists:

Kyle Collinsworth, Brigham Young University
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
Monte Morris, Iowa State
Tyler Ulis, Kentucky
Melo Trimble, Maryland
Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame
Khalil Felder, Oakland
Gary Payton, Jr., Oregon State
Kris Dunn, Providence
Nic Moore, Southern Methodist

Here is a press release from UK

New York Post Says Kentucky Has Look of Final Four Team

Zach Braziller of the New York Post says seemingly mediocre Kentucky now has the look of a Final Four team.

Check out Braziller's thoughts:

In fact, through 21 games this season, they have the exact same record as that season — 16-5 overall and 6-2 in the SEC — after Saturday night’s hard-fought overtime loss at No. 4 Kansas. And as was the case at this point in 2014, look closely enough and you are beginning to see signs of a big March run.

The freshmen are starting to get it, at least incrementally. Skal Labissiere remains underwhelming, but Calipari smartly moved him to the bench, as a bit player who, when productive, sees his minutes increase. New Jersey’s Isaiah Briscoe has played well of late, posting 15 points, six rebounds and six assists in a win over Missouri last Wednesday and notching 12 points and five assists against Kansas on Saturday night. Leading scorer Jamal Murray has become more productive, shooting 44 percent over his past 13 games.

This group also isn’t as reliant on freshmen. That unit was led by the Harrison brothers, Aaron and Andrew, along with forwards Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle and James Young. This team’s best player is a sophomore, point guard Tyler Ulis, and junior forward Derek Willis has emerged as a quality option up front, alongside junior Marcus Lee and senior Alex Poythress. Willis, Poythress and Lee were on that team which stunned higher seeds Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin en route to the national title game. They’ve seen it happen.

Complete Article

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Calipari, Self Say Game Was Different Without Derek Willis

John Calipari and Bill Self both noted that last night's game was different when Derek Willis was battling foul trouble.

Willis eventually fouled out after being limited to 23 minutes. He managed 6 points and 5 rebounds.

"Certainly Willis getting in foul trouble helped us a lot because that allowed us to kind of switch up what we were doing defensively," Self explained after the game.

Calipari said, "Derek getting in foul trouble really affected us."

On the season, Willis is averaging 6.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. In Kentucky's last 5 games, the junior forward is averaged 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Self believes Willis changes the way Kentucky looks because he's difficult to guard and gives the Wildcats a perimeter threat.

"Willis is a hard guard because he can stretch it," Self said.

During the last 4 games, the Wildcats have looked considerably better with three convincing wins and a difficult overtime loss at Kansas...where teams rarely ever win.

Has Derek Willis worked his way into the role of Kentucky's most important big man?

It's hard to say that definitively but there's no question that the Wildcats look considerably better since Willis has been injected into the starting lineup.

ESPN Says Kentucky Was a Winner in the Big 12 - SEC Challenge

ESPN's Eamonn Brennan has picked some winners and losers from the Big 12 - SEC Challenge.

Brennan believes Kentucky was one of the event's big winners.

Here's an excerpt:

Winner: Kentucky

You read right. Yeah, sure, Kentucky didn't actually win. Here's the thing: No one wins at Kansas. Ever. And John Calipari's team was incredibly close. If not for foul trouble and sheer exhaustion, the Wildcats might even have pulled it off. The final score matters less than the way they played -- inspired and fearless and led by a point guard (Tyler Ulis: 26 points, 11-of-19, 8 assists, 3 steals) who took on every minute of regulation and overtime. It was a resounding validation of the strides they've made since the Jan. 16 loss at Auburn, even in defeat.

Check Out the Rest of the Article

Tyler Ulis Had to Leave the Postgame Press Conference Last Night

Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis was ill heading into last night's game at Kansas.

Despite being a tad under the weather, Briscoe played the entire 45 minutes, finished with 26 points and 8 assists.

After the game, Ulis started feeling sick during the postgame press conference and actually had to leave the table.

You can see Ulis starting to feel bad and finally asking to be excused:

Big 12 Dominates SEC in Challenge

The Big 12 Conference won the Big 12-SEC Challenge handily on Saturday. The Big 12 Conference won seven out of 10 games in the event.

Here's a rundown of the scores:

Oklahoma 77 LSU 75

Texas A&M 72 Iowa State 62

Florida 88 West Virginia 71

TCU 75 Tennessee 63

Kansas State 69 Ole Miss 64

Texas 72 Vanderbilt 58

Arkansas 75 Texas Tech 68

Kansas 94

Baylor 83 Georgia 73

Kansas 90 Kentucky 84

Bill Self Talks About Win Over Kentucky and More

Kansas head coach Bill Self talks about beating Kentucky and more:

John Calipari Not Happy with Loss at Kansas

Kentucky head coach John Calipari is not happy about "almost" winning at Kansas.

After the game, Calipari said this was no different than the Auburn game. The only difference is that his team played losing basketball for a longer stretch of time at Auburn.

Check out Calipari's full postgame comments:

Kentucky Runs Out of Gas in Overtime at Allen Fieldhouse

(4) Kansas 96
(20) Kentucky 90 F/OT

Final from Lawrence, Kansas

Game recap by UK:

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Wayne Selden Jr. scored a career-high 33 points, seven in overtime, and fourth-ranked Kansas beat No. 20 Kentucky 90-84 on Saturday night in the premier showdown of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Frank Mason III added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Jayhawks (17-4), who snapped a three-game losing streak to the Wildcats (16-5) by winning their 35th straight game at Allen Fieldhouse.

It wasn't easy.

The Wildcats built an eight-point lead midway through the second half before Kansas switched to a zone defense and mounted a comeback. Perry Ellis made the second of two free throws to tie the game 76-all with 9 seconds left, and Tyler Ulis coughed up the ball at the other end before Kentucky got off a shot. In fact, the turnover gave Mason a chance for a half-court heave that he nearly made. But when the game went to overtime, Selden simply took over.

He opened the extra session with a couple of free throws, and then on the next trip down drove to the rim and dunked over Ulis and 6-foot-11 freshman Skal Labissiere. Selden added two more free throws later in overtime to help the Jayhawks end the Wildcats' three game winning streak.

Ulis finished with 26 points and eight assists for Kentucky. Jamal Murray added 15 points, Alex Poythress had 13 and Isaiah Briscoe scored 12.

Complete Recap

Team Notes

- Kentucky’s 88 points tied the season high set on Dec. 9 vs. Eastern Kentucky.
- Kansas scored 90 points, the most by a UK opponent this year. UK is 0-3 this year when allowing 80-plus points. UK has allowed 74-plus points in all five losses.
- Kentucky scored 84 points, its fourth most in a game this year and most in a loss.
- Kentucky committed a season-high 33 fouls.
- Kansas made 30 free throws on 47 attempts, both were the most by UK opponent this year.
- Kentucky had four players foul out for the first time since Dec. 4, 2010 at North Carolina.
- Kentucky shot 53.2 percent from the field, UK has shot over 50 percent in three straight. UK is 10-1 this season when shooting at least 50 percent.
- Kansas won the rebounding 42-31. UK is 1-4 this year when finishing the game at a rebounding deficit.
- Kentucky grabbed 31 rebounds, the second fewest in a game this year (29 vs. Louisville).
- Kansas shot .417 (8-17) from 3-point range. That’s the second most by a UK opponent this year (Ohio State .500, 9-18).
- Kentucky extended its streak to 960 consecutive games with at least one 3-point basket.
- Calipari has a 651-183 (.781) all-time record, including a 206-42 (.824) mark at Kentucky.

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