Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ray Harper Officially Introduced as New Head Coach at Jacksonville State

Former Western Kentucky coach Ray Harper was officially introduced as the new head coach at Jacksonville State University this week.


Here is a release from JSU:

JACKSONVILLE – Jacksonville State has selected a proven winner to take over its men's basketball team.

On Wednesday, Gamecocks athletics Director Greg Seitz announced the hiring of Ray Harper as the program's 11th head coach and the fifth to run the Gamecocks at the Division I level. Harper will be formally introduced at a press conference on Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Media Room at Pete Mathews Coliseum. The press conference will be streamed live on the OVC Digital Network at this link.

"We are thrilled to have Ray Harper take over our men's basketball program," Seitz said. "He is a winner and has proven that at every stop he has made in his coaching career. We feel fortunate to be able to land a coach with his credentials at Jacksonville State."

A veteran with over 30 years of coaching experience at the collegiate ranks, Harper takes the reigns in Jacksonville with a 431-127 career record in 17 years as a head coach. That career includes four national championships - two at the Division II level and two in NAIA.

"I'm excited about the opportunity," Harper said before meeting with his team for the first time on Wednesday evening. "We are going to work extremely hard and we are going to be about winning championships. We know it's going to be a lot of work, but we are ready to get started."

"Our goal at Jacksonville State is to win championships and play in the NCAA Tournament in all of our sports," Seitz said. "Coach Harper has won championships everywhere he's been, and there's no reason to think he won't continue that success at JSU. The future of JSU Basketball is a bright one."

Harper replaces James Green, who reached mutual agreement with JSU to part ways on March 16. He was chosen from a long list of what Seitz called very qualified applicants.

"As expected, we had a great deal of interest in this job," Seitz added. "We had over 180 applicants and many very qualified coaches that showed interest in becoming the next coach at Jacksonville State," added Seitz. "Coach Harper's credentials stood out from the rest of the candidates, and we are excited to have him join the Gamecock family."

"JSU is committed to having a winning basketball program where student-athletes excel both on and off the court," JSU President Dr. John M. Beehler said. "Hiring Coach Harper is the first step in this journey. He is a top-flight coach with a track record of conference titles, post-season tournament appearances and student-athlete academic success. He is the right coach at the right time to take our program to the next level."

He comes to Jacksonville after a five-year stint at Western Kentucky that saw him post an 89-64 mark that included three 20-win seasons and two trips to the NCAA Tournament. After serving over two years as an assistant at WKU, he took over as the Hilltoppers' interim coach in January of the 2011-12 season and was named the full-time head coach in early February.

At WKU, he went to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and 2013 and won 20 games in his first three full seasons, making him the first coach in WKU history to achieve the feat.

After taking the helm at Western Kentucky in a tough situation midway through the 2011-12 season Harper began to put his stamp on the program, and the team responded in a big way. The Hilltoppers went 11-8 after he took over and 7-1 after he was named full-time head coach, which came after starting the season with a 5-11 record.

His debut with the Hilltoppers saw him rally them to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament title and a win over Mississippi Valley State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in Dayton. A 20-12 record in 2012-13 ended with the Hilltoppers' second trip to the Big Dance in as many years.

Prior to joining the WKU program as an assistant in 2009, Harper built a head coaching resume that included four national championships, five national runner-up finishes, eight conference titles, five national coach-of-the-year honors and a 342-63 record over 12 years at Kentucky Wesleyan and Oklahoma City University.

Harper was named the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year four-straight years from 1999-2002, while earning the honor at the NAIA Division I level once with Oklahoma City following the 2008 title run. He was selected conference coach of the year on seven occasions, as well as the region coach of the year twice.

In nine years at his alma mater Kentucky Wesleyan in Owensboro, Ky., Harper laid claim to seven NCAA coaching records, surpassing Division I record-holders in all instances, including becoming the fastest to 200 wins (224 games), holding the most consecutive 30-win seasons (6) and compiling the most wins in each of the first four-through-eight seasons of his career.

Complete Release

THE HARPER FILE

Wife: Shannon
Born: October 11, 1961, Bremen, Ky.
High School: Bremen, Bremen, Ky., 1980
High School Athletics: Basketball, guard, four letters (first-team all-state, two-time district player of the year)
College: Texas: 1981-82, Kentucky Wesleyan: 1983-85 (Bachelor of Science)
College Athletics: Basketball, guard, two letters at Texas (1981-82), two letters at Kentucky Wesleyan (1984-85); 1981 Southwest Conference Rookie of the Year, 1985 third-team All-American, 1985 all-conference

Coaching Experience:

VCU, graduate assistant, 1986
Kentucky Wesleyan, assistant coach, 1987-90
Kentucky Wesleyan, associate head coach, 1991-96
Kentucky Wesleyan, head coach, 235-66 record from 1997-2005 (1999, 2001 NCAA Division II National Championships)
Oklahoma City, head coach, 95-17 record from 2006-08 (2007, 2008 NAIA Division I National Championships)
WKU, assistant coach, 2009-12
WKU, interim head coach, 2012
WKU, head coach, 89-64 record from 2012-16

Donnie Tyndall Plans to Appeal NCAA Decision, Take Legal Action if Necessary

Donnie Tyndall says he will appeal the NCAA's punishment that was levied against him Friday. If that doesn't work, he plans to take legal action.

According to Knoxnews.com:

The ruling announced Friday was "intended to drive him out of the coaching profession permanently," according to the former Tennessee basketball coach's legal representation, lawyer Don Jackson of The Sports Group, based in Montgomery, Ala.

In an emailed statement to the News Sentinel late Friday night, Jackson said the planned appeal of the Committee on Infractions' decision will "aggressively defend" Tyndall against "groundless allegations" made by the NCAA.

Tyndall's appeal will begin "within the coming days," according to Jackson, as the former coach prepares to go before the Infractions Appeals Committee.

If Tyndall isn't cleared, legal action against the NCAA could include an accusation of violation of federal anti-trust law.

"It is our belief that he will be exonerated at that time," Jackson said. "He will exhaust all administrative remedies (internally) within the NCAA system. At the close of that process, if a satisfactory resolution is not reached, it is likely that legal action will be filed against the NCAA based upon, among other things, a violation of federal anti-trust law.

"The application of NCAA legislation in this case has severely impacted Coach Tyndall's ability to earn a living. In effect, this sanction was intended to drive him out of the coaching profession permanently. Left standing, it is likely to have that effect."

The Committee on Infractions announced that, due to major violations committed at Southern Miss from 2012-14, Tyndall "acted unethically and failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance when he directed his staff to engage in academic misconduct."

Complete Article

The NCAA hammered Tyndall with a 10-year show-cause penalty, which is equal to the harshest punishment ever given to a head coach.

Here's an excerpt of the allegations made against Tyndall by the NCAA:

The former head coach directed members of his staff to complete fraudulent coursework for seven prospects so they could be immediately eligible to compete. The activity began within six weeks of the former head coach starting at the university, involved the majority of the former coach’s staff and involved approximately half of the prospects the university recruited during a two-year period. The former head coach directed two graduate assistants and a former assistant coach to travel to two-year colleges to complete coursework for prospects.

The former head coach also facilitated cash and prepaid credit card payments to two prospects from former coaches. One former high school coach mailed the money directly to the former head coach, who would then deliver the money to the student-athlete for university bills. The former head coach stated that he discussed the arrangement with the compliance director; however, the compliance director did not recall this discussion. A year later, the former head coach used a similar arrangement for the second student-athlete and his prep school coach. He did not check with compliance to ask if the arrangement would break NCAA rules. The former prep school coach was employed by an NCAA school at the time of the investigation and did not provide certain information when requested by investigators, contrary to NCAA rules.

In order to disrupt the investigation, the former head coach instructed a staff member to fabricate a document purportedly showing that the university approved the payments from the student-athletes’ former coaches. The former coach used this document to justify his facilitation of the payments, without noting that it had been created more than two years after he stated it was.

The former head coach failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance when he deleted emails relevant to the investigation, provided false or misleading information during interviews, contacted other individuals involved with knowledge of the investigation and directed the academic misconduct.

You can read the full NCAA report here.

Tyndall released the following statement:

"I am stunned and extremely disappointed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions' report stating that I directed academic fraud in Southern Miss' men's basketball program. From the beginning of this case, I have accepted responsibility for the violations that occurred when I was head coach, but I absolutely reject that the 'totality of the information' showed that I participated in the academic misconduct, as claimed by the Committee. I did not personally direct or participate in academic misconduct. In over fifty investigative interviews with more than forty people, only a single person claimed I was personally involved - and that person had previously lied to the NCAA twice and then cut a deal for full NCAA immunity based on changing his story to blame me. In the thousands of pages of records reviewed in the case, not a single one shows me performing or directing any student-athletes' academic work. The circumstantial evidence claimed by the Committee to supposedly demonstrate my personal involvement in the academic violations has been contradicted by multiple interviewed witnesses as well as the results of lie-detector tests I took. I look forward to appealing this ruling that is totally unfair because it is unsupported by the overwhelming information in the case and definitely not based on the type of credible evidence that the NCAA rules say is supposed to be required to find a violation."

DeMarcus Cousins Surprises Customers by Paying for Valet Parking at Restaurant

Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins recently surprised guests of Mikuni Japanese Restaurant in Sacramento by picking up their tabs for valet parking.

Check out the video:

Kentucky Christian University Adds 4 Players for 2016-17

Kentucky Christian University has added four players for the 2016-17 season.

Connor Greene (Alice Lloyd College, East Carter High School)

Connor Greene is a graduate of East Carter High School in Grayson, KY.

Greene initially went to Alice Lloyd College and will now be joining the Knights.

Coach Lowe had this to say about Greene: "He will be a tremendous addition to this team. He can play at both the 1 and the 2, which will guarantee him more playing time because of his versatility."

Lowe continued, "We are very glad Connor has decided to come back home and play for the Knights."

Brandon Barnes (Ave Maria University, South Point (Ohio) High School)

Brandon Barnes has chosen to transfer to Kentucky Christian University for the final two years of his college career.

Brandon was a two-year varsity player at Ave Maria University, a member of the Sun Conference (NAIA) in Ave Maria, Florida. He played high school basketball at South Point in Ohio, where he became the school's All-Time Boy's Career Scoring Leader with 1,545 points. He also made 230 3-pointers in his career.

His senior year, South Point won the league championship (OVC) and Brandon was named District Player of the Year as well as 2nd Team All-State. He also was chosen to play in the Ohio North/South Game, alongside KCU's Hayden Dunn.

Brandon is very excited to be back in the area and feels blessed to attend a quality, Christian university like KCU.

He is the youngest son of Chris and Peggy Barnes, has two brothers who also played college basketball, and two uncles who played for KCU in the '90s (Eric and Ty Barnes).

Coach Lowe had this to say, "Brandon is a great addition to our team. He can play multiple positions and is a gym rat that knows how to play basketball."

Collin Howell (Elliott County High School)

Collin Howell is a Senior at Elliott County High School.

At 6 foot 4 inches, Collin plays the position of power forward at ECHS.

Coach Lowe had this to say, "Collin will add depth to our inside game as well as being able to knock down mid-range shots. We are glad to have him as a part of our team!"

C.J. Reisinger (Middleton Town (Ohio) Christian School)

C.J. Reisinger is from Middletown Christian School in Franklin, Ohio.

Reisinger is a 5 foot 11 inch guard that shoots 40% from 3 point range.

Coach Lowe had this to say, "C.J. will play on the perimeter and provide our team with a terrific outside scoring threat."

Bellarmine University Will Hold 6 Different Basketball Camps This Summer

Bellarmine University will hold six different basketball camps this summer. 

Here is info:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Six different basketball camps will be available for boys this summer on the Bellarmine University campus under the direction of Men's Basketball Coach Scott Davenport.  

BOYS CAMP INFORMATION

  • 4 "Fundamentals" camps, 1 "Guard/Post Skills" camp, 1 "Shooting" camp
  • All last year's campers should be receiving brochure in mail this week.
  • Only mail sign ups available. (no online sign up)
  • Cash/Check only (no credit cards) 
  • Multiple multi-camp discounts 
  • Sign up, print brochure, mail in to Michael Scott 
  • Call 502-272-8310 for questions or email mscott@bellarmine.edu
 
View/Download/Print Boys Camp Brochure

Dale Brown is the New Head Coach at Eminence High School

According to his Facebook account, former University of Kentucky player Dale Brown is the new head coach at Eminence High School.


I have just accepted a High School Head Boys Basketball Coaching Position, Back in the Blue Grass State of Kentucky...‪#‎WishMeLuckEveryone‬

Downtown'Dale Brown Eminence High School


Brown has previously coached at Dillard University and Clark Atlanta University.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Former Manual Star Dwayne Sutton Will Transfer to Louisville

Former Manual star Dwayne Sutton will transfer from UNC Asheville to Louisville. 

Sutton, who averaged 12.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game as a freshman, will sit out next season and be eligible in 2017-18.

Western Kentucky Will Play Washington in December

Western Kentucky is scheduled to face Washington on December 19 in the semifinals of the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas, according to multiple reports. 

 Jon Rothstein at CBSsports.com was the first to report the news.

The Hilltoppers will then play either TCU or UNLV in the tournament’s championship or consolation game on December 20.

The NCAA Hammers Donnie Tyndall with 10-Year Show-Cause Penalty

The NCAA has hammered former Morehead State, Tennessee and Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall with a 10-year show cause penalty for his role in the Southern Miss case.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Clay County's Blake Smith Commits to Alice Lloyd College

Clay County's Blake Smith has committed to Alice Lloyd College for next season.


Smith led the Tigers with 20.5 points per game last season. They finished 25-8.

Paul Jackson and Greg King Are Transferring from Eastern Kentucky University

Two sophomores, Paul Jackson and Greg King, are leaving the Eastern Kentucky men's basketball program. 

Jackson played in 30 games last season and led the team in assists with 5.0 per game. He also averaged 7.1 points.

King, a 6-foot-7 power forward, averaged 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in 23 games.

The Colonels also lose seniors Jarelle Reischel, Ja'Mill Powell, K.J. Bluford, Jonathan Hood and Tommy Matthews.

Source

John Pelphrey Lands a New Job at Alabama

John Pelphrey will be joining the coaching staff at Alabama.


It'll be great to see Pelphrey back on the SEC sidelines next season.


DeMarcus Cousins Earns 17th Technical Foul of the Season

DeMarcus Cousins, who was just suspended one game for accumulating 16 technical fouls, earned his 17th violation Tuesday night.

I would call this earning one:



Cousins finished with 30 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 1 assist over 38 minutes in Tuesday's 115-107 loss to the Blazers.

His next technical foul will trigger another 1-game suspension

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Asbury University Adds Four Players for 2016-17

Asbury University has added four players to their 2016-17 recruiting class.

The Eagles have signed:

- Blaine May, Pikeville High School
- Vince Toftness, Owen County High School
- Jeron Boykins, Shelbyville (Tex.) High School
- Jared Farris, Bullitt East High School






Kentucky's Tyler Ulis Declares for NBA Draft

Kentucky's Tyler Ulis has declared for the NBA Draft and will be signing with an agent, which ends his spectacular college career.

Press release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After one of the greatest individual seasons for a point guard in Kentucky men’s basketball history, sophomore Tyler Ulis declared for the 2016 NBA Draft at a press conference in Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday. He plans to sign with an agent, which would effectively end his career at UK.

Ulis will forego his future eligibility and enter his name in the upcoming NBA Draft, to be held June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“First and foremost, I want to thank God,” Ulis said. “Without Him blessing me with the talent and the opportunity to play the game every day, none of this would be possible. To my family and friends, thank you for the love, support and sacrifices you’ve all made for me. Also, thank you for pushing and influencing me to become the best player I can be and always having faith in my game. To Coach Cal, Uncle KP (Kenny Payne) and the entire coaching staff, thank you for your tireless dedication and commitment to teach us to succeed on and off the court.

“With that being said, I’m ready to take on the challenge of playing at the next level and have declared for the NBA Draft. I will be hiring an agent.

“To all the fans, thank you for supporting me and embracing me from the moment I stepped on the floor. Your enthusiasm and spirit carried me over the last two seasons and you all make it even harder for me to leave.”

Ulis is the third underclassman from the 2015-16 Wildcats to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft. Freshman forward Skal Labissiere announced his decision Tuesday and freshman guard Jamal Murray declared for the draft last week. Senior forward Alex Poythress is also eligible for the draft.

“I’ve coached a lot of great leaders and great point guards in all my years of coaching. Tyler Ulis is the best floor general that I’ve ever coached,” head coach John Calipari said. “What I loved is he grew into that position. You couldn’t speed him up and you couldn’t slow him down unless he wanted to do one of those things. He coached the team this season as much as I did, and I’m proud to say that.

“Tyler did it on both ends of the floor. Being named the defensive player of the year in the SEC is quite an honor if you look at the past award winners. On the offensive end, not only was he efficient, he accounted for 17.3 points and 7.0 assists per game.

“I still remember the comments when we signed Tyler: ‘Cal finally got himself a four-year point guard!’ After two years, at his size, projected as a middle first-rounder – it’s truly an amazing story in itself. I’m going to miss him dearly because now it appears that all the coaching will fall back on my lap.”

Ulis’ season will go down as one of the all-time best by a point guard in school and Southeastern Conference history. The 5-foot-9 sophomore set the UK-single-season mark for assists in a season with 246, second all-time in the SEC.

Ulis was both an elite distributor and proficient scorer in his sophomore campaign, becoming the only player in league history with at least 606 points and at least 246 assists. He was one of only four players in the country this season to average at least 17.3 points and at least 7.0 assists per game. He ranked sixth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.6) and seventh in assists per game (7.0).

Among his most noteworthy achievements this season, Ulis had a stretch of 28 straight games with four or more assists, easily a school record. He has the single-season school record for most 20-point, five-assist games with 14, and according to the SEC Network, his three 20-point, 10-assist games this season are the most of any SEC player in the last 20 seasons.

In league play, Ulis averaged 8.4 assists with a 4.5 assist-to-turnover ratio. He played 672 of a possible 725 minutes in SEC games, committing a turnover once every 19.8 minutes per game.

Ulis’ value was probably best represented by his performances in Kentucky’s toughest games. Ulis came up big in UK’s seven games against ranked opponents, averaging an eye-popping 24.4 points and a team-high 7.6 assists. He shot 54.2 percent with a 3.8 assist-to-turnover ratio during those games.

For his efforts, Ulis was tabbed a consensus first-team All-American, the shortest consensus first-team All-American since Pittsburgh’s Don Hennon (5-9) in 1958. The SEC Player of the Year picked up All-America honors from all four of the NCAA-recognized All-American teams: Sporting News (first), Associated Press (first), the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (second) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (second). This week he will head to Los Angeles as a John R. Wooden Award and Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award finalist.

Among the honors Ulis has received this postseason:

· NCAA Consensus All-America First Team
· Associated Press All-America First Team
· Sporting News All-America First Team
· USBWA All-America Second Team
· NABC All-America Second Team
· Wooden Award All-America Team
· Sports Illustrated All-America First Team
· CBS Sports All-America First Team
· SEC Player of the Year (Coaches/AP)
· SEC Tournament MVP
· SEC Defensive Player of the Year (Coaches)
· All-SEC First Team (Coaches/AP)
· SEC All-Defensive Team (Coaches)
· USA Today All-America First Team
· CBS Sports SEC Player of the Year
· USBWA District IV Player of the Year
· USBWA All-District IV Team
· NABC District 21 First Team
· Naismith Trophy finalist
· John R. Wooden Award finalist
· USBWA Oscar Robertson finalist
· Bob Cousy finalist

Ulis will end his Kentucky career with 381 career assists, 10th most in school history.

Players have until May 25 to make a final decision based on the new rule between the NCAA and NBA so long as they don’t hire an agent.

The NBA Draft Combine will take place May 11-15. Players who have not hired agents will have 10 days following that opportunity to make a final decision as to whether to forego their athletic eligibility or return to school.

Since Calipari joined the Wildcat program for the 2009-10 season, UK has produced 25 NBA Draft picks over six seasons, more than double any other school. Included in the 25 are 19 first-round selections, three No. 1 overall picks, 10 top-10 selections and 13 lottery picks.

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

Louisville Imposes More Penalties on Men's Basketball Program

The University of Louisville is self-imposing more sanctions on its men's basketball program in the wake of a stripper scandal. 

Louisville is stripping itself of two scholarships and two official visits during coming years.

Here are details from Yahoo! Sports:

The school will announce Wednesday that it is stripping itself of two scholarships and two official visits in the coming years. The scholarship reductions, from the NCAA maximum of 13, will be one apiece for 2017-18 and 2018-19. The official visit reductions will be one apiece this year and in 2016-17.

Louisville will also reduce its recruiting days by 30 this year – missing 24 this month and the remaining six in July. That is an approximate 24 percent reduction in recruiting opportunities for the season.

"After much deliberation, the University believes that self-imposing these penalties is appropriate," outside legal counsel Steve Thompson said in a Louisville release issued Wednesday. "While the University could elect to wait until the infractions process is complete, those consulted agree that these penalties are consistent with NCAA legislation, and imposing these penalties now is the right thing to do and may advance the University's goal of expediting resolution of this matter."

A source told Yahoo Sports that the additional self-sanctions are not a result of any additional violations discovered during the ongoing NCAA investigation of the basketball program. In February, Louisville acknowledged that violations have occurred and announced that it would not play in the 2016 postseason, withdrawing itself from the Atlantic Coast Conference and NCAA tournaments. That decision was made at that point to give the ACC adequate time to plan its tournament without the Cardinals; these additional sanctions are the result of taking more time to consider the facts of the case and what a proper self-imposed penalty should be, the source said.

Read More

WKU Announces That Three Suspended Players Are No Longer Enrolled in School

Western Kentucky University has announced that three suspended men's basketball players are no longer enrolled in school and have been released from their scholarships.

Here is an excerpt from the Bowling Green Daily News:

WKU athletic director Todd Stewart announced Tuesday that suspended men's basketball guards Fredrick Edmond, Marlon Hunter and Chris McNeal are no longer enrolled in the school.

"They have been released from their scholarship and are able to pursue other opportunities," Stewart said in a statement.

The guards were suspended from the basketball team March 17 following the outcome of a University Disciplinary Committee hearing on the evening of March 16.

No information concerning the disciplinary charges or outcome has been released by the university to this point because of federal privacy law. It's not known if the players were suspended or expelled from WKU, or if the decision to leave was their own.

Complete Article

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

UK's Skal Labissiere Will Enter NBA Draft, Sign with Agent

University of Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere will enter the 2016 NBA Draft and sign with an agent, ending his college career.

Labissiere averaged 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game this season.

Here is a release from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball freshman forward Skal Labissiere has declared for the 2016 NBA Draft, he announced Tuesday. Labissiere plans to sign with an agent, which would effectively end his career at UK.

Labissiere will forego his future eligibility and enter his name in the upcoming NBA Draft, to be held June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I want to thank my family, my coaches, teammates and most importantly I want to thank God for the opportunity that he gave me to represent and play for the University of Kentucky,” Labissiere said. “I also want to thank the fans for their support through everything this season. I am excited to announce that I am entering the 2016 NBA Draft.”

Last week, freshman guard Jamal Murray announced his intentions to stay in the 2016 NBA Draft. Senior forward Alex Poythress is also eligible for the draft.

Labissiere will depart from UK after helping Kentucky to a 27-9 season that included a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season title and the SEC Tournament championship. The Wildcats made the NCAA Tournament as a four seed.

“I couldn’t be more proud of a player and the way Skal handled himself on our campus this season,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “He was a great student, a great teammate and I’m so proud of the way he handled himself in the community. He is one of the greatest kids I’ve ever coached. On the basketball court, it took him and our staff a while to figure out how to best utilize him, but his improvement on that court over the year is why he is in this position to put his name in the draft and be projected in the middle of the lottery. His future is out ahead of him and I think in time he will be in the same breath as all of our big guys who have performed well in the NBA.”

Labissiere is coming off a year in which he flashed signs of elite potential. The native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, appeared in all 36 games with 18 starts, averaging 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his lone season at Kentucky. His 1.6 blocks per game ranked seventh in the SEC, and he blocked three or more shots nine times during the year. Labissiere shot 51.6 percent from the field.

The 6-foot-11, 225-pound forward had several standout performances during his freshman campaign. He scored in double figures in four of his first six career games and posted a career-high 26 points in his second career game.

Labissiere came on late in the season with an 11-point, eight-rebound game in the win at Florida and an 18-point, nine-rebound, six-block effort in the regular-season finale vs. LSU. He made 8 of 10 shots in the victory over the Tigers. In his NCAA Tournament debut, Labissiere scored 12 points and blocked six shots, tied for the second most in an NCAA Tournament game in school history.

Twice Labissiere won SEC Freshman of the Week, earning the honor in the first week of the regular season and the last.

Most mock drafts list Labissiere as a first-round pick.

Labissiere will try to bolster Kentucky’s unprecedented recent success of helping players reach the NBA. Since Calipari joined the Wildcat program for the 2009-10 season, UK has produced 25 NBA Draft picks over six seasons, more than double any other school.

Included in the 25 are 19 first-round selections, three No. 1 overall picks, 10 top-10 selections and 13 lottery picks.

Players have until May 25 to make a final decision based on a new rule between the NCAA and NBA so long as they don’t hire an agent. The NBA Draft Combine will take place May 11-15. Players who have not hired agents will have 10 days following that opportunity to make a final decision as to whether to forego their athletic eligibility or return to school. For the latest on the Kentucky men's basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on the web at UKathletics.com.

Ricardo Johnson Will Join Xavier Staff as a Graduate Assistant

Former Holmes High School star Ricardo Johnson will be joining the Xavier University men's basketball staff as a graduate assistant.

Johnson had this to say on social media:

First and foremost, I would like to thank god for this opportunity. Secondly, my family, coaches and friends. Proud to announce that I will be apart of the Xavier men's basketball team... Dreams do come true, just keep believing!

Johnson played four seasons at Ohio University.

Tennessee Tech Has a New 3-D Court

Tennessee Tech has a new 3-D court projection system and it looks pretty cool.

Check it out:


Roster Released for 2016 Derby Festival Classic Game

The roster has been released for the 2016 Derby Festival Classic game in Louisville. 

As expected, Kentucky walk-on Brad Calipari will be playing in the game. UK signee Sacha Killeya-Jones said he might play in the game but is not listed on the roster.

Louisville walk-on Tyler Sharpe and Xavier signee Quentin Goodin will also be playing in the game.

The game will be played April 15 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Freedom Hall.



LMU's Josh Schertz Named Clarence Gaines National Coach of the Year

Lincoln Memorial's Josh Schertz was named Clarence "Big House" Gaines Division II National Coach of the Year over the weekend. 

Schertz led LMU to a 34-3 record and an appearance in the DII national championship game.

Here is a release from CollegeInsider.com:

HOUSTON, TX -- Lincoln Memorial's Josh Schertz is the recipient of the 2016 Clarence Gaines division II National Coach of the Year.

Schertz led the Railsplitters to a 34-3 record and the first NCAA Division II National Championship game appearance in program history, breaking the league and school record for wins and becoming the first program in SAC history to go undefeated in conference play with a 22-0 mark.

One of the true legends of all-time, Gaines retired from Winston-Salem State University in 1993 with a record of 828-446. At the time he was the winningest active basketball coach in NCAA history. Gaines was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.

During his 47-year tenure as coach and athletic director at WSSU he coached professional basketball greats Cleo Hill (first African-American from an historically Black college and university to be drafted No. 1 by the National Basketball Association, St. Louis Hawks, 1961) and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe.

2106 CLARENCE GAINES AWARD FINALISTS

Ken Amman Concordia (California)
Tobin Anderson St. Thomas Aquinas
Justin Barkley, Rogers State Rogers State
Randy Baruth Saginaw Valley State
Tom Billeter Augustana
Lonnie Blow, Jr. Virginia State
Michael Cooney West Geogia
Jim Crutchfield West Liberty
Keith Dickson Saint Anselm
Mick Durham Alaska-Fairbanks
John Ellenwood Ashland
Blake Flickner Dallas Baptist
Donte Jackson Stillman
Jamahl Jackson Emmanuel
Steve Kinder Humboldt State
Ben McCollum Northwest Missouri State
Bob Pietrack Fort Lewis
George Pitts King University
Luke Reigel Wisconsin-Parkside
Steve Roberts Lander
Tom Ryan Eckerd
Danny Sancomb Wheeling Jesuit
Josh Schertz Lincoln Memorial
Jim Shaw Western Oregon
Chad Walthall Minnesota State-Moorhead

Someone Punched the North Carolina Mascot After Last Night's Game

Someone punched the North Carolina mascot in the seconds after Villanova nailed the game-winning shot last night.

In the video, it appears that a North Carolina cheerleader sucker-punched his own mascot:

Charles Barkley Really Liked Villanova's Game-Winner Last Night

I think it's safe to say that Charles Barkley REALLY loved Villanova's game-winning shot last night.

Watch as Barkley reacts:

Monday, April 4, 2016

Villanova Stuns North Carolina at the Buzzer in National Title Game

The Villanova Wildcats drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to stun North Carolina 77-74 in one of the better NCAA national championship games in recent memory tonight.

As time expired, Villanova's Kris Jenkins calmly drained a 24-footer to give the Wildcats their second ever national title.




Jacksonville State Close to Hiring Ray Harper

It sounds like Ray Harper might land in the Ohio Valley Conference. 

According to multiple reports, Harper is close to working out a deal that will make him head coach at Jacksonville State.

Butler's Jackson Davis Will Transfer to EKU

Butler forward Jackson Davis will transfer to Eastern Kentucky University to continue his college basketball career.

The former Lafayette High School star made the announcement on social media:


Davis will have to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will be eligible in 2017-18.

Georgetown College's Chris Briggs Was a Finalist for The Don Meyer Award

Georgetown College head coach Chris Briggs was a finalist for the The Don Meyer National Coach of the Year Award.

The Don Meyer Award is presented annually to the top coach in NAIA basketball.

Briggs led the Tigers to the national championship game, where they came up just short to Mid-America Christian. Georgetown finished the season with a 32-4 record.

York College's Delton Deal was the recipient of the award.

2016 DON MEYER AWARD FINALISTS

Chris Briggs Georgetown (Ky.)
Bob Burchard Columbia (Mo.)
Larry Cordaro LSU Alexandria
Delton Deal York (Neb.)
Josh Gamblin Mid-America Christian (Okla.)
Sean Hanrahan Warner (Fla.)
John Henry William Penn (Iowa)
Dave Holmquist Biola (Calif
Stan Holt Langston (Okla.)
Rocky Lamar MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)
Rollie Massimino Keiser (Fla.)
Nic Nelson Briar Cliff (Iowa)
Mike Newell Dillard (La.)
Burt Paddock Davenport (Mich.)
Brandon Rinta Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)
Bryan Rooney Cal Maritime
Brennen Shingleton Texas Wesleyan
Greg Tonagel Indiana Wesleyan
Ryan Wall Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)
Dale Wellman Nebraska Wesleyan

Valpo's Bryce Drew Will Likely Replace Kevin Stallings at Vanderbilt

It sounds like Valpo's Bryce Drew will likely be Vanderbilt's next coach.

Drew just led the Crusaders to a 30-7 season that ended in the finals of the NIT tournament.

According to USA Today:

Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew is expected to become Vanderbilt's next men's basketball head coach, a person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke under the condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't finalized and nothing was signed yet. But it's "heading that way," the person said.

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Drew will replace Kevin Stallings, who is now the head coach at Pittsburgh.

Brandon Knight Will Miss Rest of NBA Season, Surgery Possible

Former Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight will miss the remainder of the NBA season (which happens to only be 5 games) with a sports hernia. 

The injury, which kept him out seven weeks this season, might require surgery.

Here are more details from CBS Sports:

Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight's season is over. Knight missed the last two games and will get a second opinion on his sports hernia, the groin injury which kept him out for seven weeks this season and might require surgery, per the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro. With only five games left and the 20-57 Suns headed to the lottery, it sounds like this was an easy decision.

"I can't live with myself putting our players at risk for further injury just to secure a job," Phoenix interim head coach Earl Watson said, via the Associated Press. "Whatever is best for Brandon is best for our entire program."

Knight appeared in 52 games for the Suns this year, and he was generally effective. He averaged 19.6 points, 5.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds. Knight has been inconsistent, though, and the team has been a disaster, with and without him on the court.

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Aaron Harrison Recalled by the Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets have recalled former Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison from the NBA Development League.

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