Friday, October 21, 2016

USA Today Says Rick Pitino Should Be Held Accountable for Louisville Scandal

Nicole Auerbach of USA Today says Rick Pitino should be held accountable for stripper scandal at Louisville.

Here is Auerbach's take on the mess:

So, in a weird way, the NCAA’s NOA probably resulted in a huge sigh of relief for Louisville officials. The worst of the punishment, it would appear, is in the past. Last year’s self-imposed postseason ban paid off.

But we can still feel icky about it. And it’s OK for us to pin a great deal of this on Pitino, even if he didn’t know exactly what happened when it did. Of course a coach can’t know everything going on, but this is different. Pitino should have known about this; it’s his program, and these sex-for-recruit arrangements took place over a period of years in an on-campus dormitory named for Pitino’s late brother-in-law.

Sure, head coaches like to turn a blind eye to recruiting visits. It’s a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, show ‘em a good time kind of setup. But head coaches have to be smart, too. That’s why they talk to trainers, academic advisers and strength coaches, anyone who can keep the head coach in the loop about what players are talking about when coaches aren’t around — and what’s really going on.

There’s no excuse for not knowing, and thankfully the new NCAA penalty structure agrees. Coaches are now held accountable for what happens under their watch, whether they knew about it at the time or not. That’s the right approach for any and all wrongdoing.

And that’s exactly why Pitino should be held accountable here.

Complete Article

Nine Cordia Transfer Players Questioned by Social Services About Sex, Drugs and Money

Nine Cordia basketball players, all transfers from inner-city environments, were questioned by social services yesterday.

According to a report from our friends at WYMT, the players and an assistant coach were questioned about sex, drugs and money.

Here are details from WYMT's report:

Nine players and an assistant coach from the Cordia boys basketball team answered questions about sex, drugs and money.

Two officials from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services showed up at the school Wednesday afternoon and spent hours questioning the players and coach, who all live in a dorm near the school.

"I don't have any question that it's harrassment," said Alice Whitaker, director of Lotts Creek Community School, Cordia's parent organization.

Whitaker said the players who were questioned are all transfers from inner-city environments.

"I like what we do," Whitaker said. "I like that we're making them have a safe place. Some of them would be shot if they were on the street back in New York. They're safe here."

Oumar Keita and Malik Henry - the two team captains for this year's Lions team - said they were asked questions about whether they were having sex and smoking pot in the dorm or if they ever received improper benefits.

"You ask a bad person that question, but I'm not a bad person," Keita said. "I'm a good person. Everybody knows I'm a good person, so don't ask me that question. I'm here (to) make my life good, go to school, play ball."

Complete Article

Thursday, October 20, 2016

NCAA Gives Louisville Notice of Allegations; Includes 4 Serious Level 1 Violations

The NCAA has hit Louisville with a Notice of Allegations after an investigation into claims made by escort Katina Powell in the book Breaking Cardinal Rules.

The NCAA has charged Louisville with Level 1 violations, which are defined as the most serious violations a program can have. They did not charge Louisville with a lack of institutional control and failure to monitor the program.

In all, the NCAA detailed 14 strip shows, 11 sex acts and 2 declined sex acts by Powell and other escorts.

Here are details from

A year-long investigation into the University of Louisville men’s basketball program after a former Louisville escort alleged that she provided strippers and prostitutes for recruits and players has resulted in four alleged Level I violations -- the most serious the NCAA can levy -- including two against former administrative staffer Andre McGee and one against head coach Rick Pitino for failure to demonstrate that he monitored McGee, though the notice does not allege that Pitino had any knowledge of the violations.

The program escaped, however, the most severe allegations -- charges of a lack of institutional control and failure to monitor the program. The university says in a statement that it will dispute the charge against Pitino, which could include an NCAA suspension and/or a show-cause penalty if upheld.

The NCAA alleges that McGee, a former graduate assistant coach and director of basketball operations, provided impermissible benefits "in the form of adult entertainment, sex acts and/or cash at Billy Minardi Hall . . . or hotels to at least 17 then men's basketball prospective and/or current student-athletes, two then nonscholastic men's basketball coaches and one then men's basketball prospective student-athletes's friend. The value of the impermissible inducements, offers and/or extra benefits was at least $5,400."

Complete Article

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Louisville's Deng Adel on Preseason Watch List for Julius Erving Award

Louisville's Deng Adel is on the preseason watch list for the 2017 Julius Erving Award.

The Erving Award is given annually to college basketball's top small forward.

2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award Candidates

Evan Bradds Belmont
Kelan Martin Butler
Jaron Blossomgame Clemson
Terry Larrier UConn
Jayson Tatum Duke
Dwayne Bacon Florida St.
OG Anunoby Indiana
Deng Adel Louisville
Justin Jackson North Carolina
VJ Beachem Notre Dame
Jae'Sean Tate Ohio St.
Dillon Brooks Oregon
Tres Tinkle Oregon St.
Vince Edwards Purdue
Dikembe Dixson UIC
Kevin Hervey UT Arlington
Jalen Moore Utah St.
Josh Hart Villanova
Markis McDuffie Wichita St.
Trevon Bluiett Xavier

Field Set for 2016 Ashland Invitational Tournament

The field is set for the 2016 Ashland Invitational Tournament (AIT).

The tournament will open with four games on December 27 followed by consolation round and semifinal games on December 28. The championship and other consolation games will be played December 29.

Here's a look at the bracket:

4-Star Small Forward Jordan Nwora Commits to Louisville

Louisville has picked up a commitment from 4-star small forward Jordan Nwora of Vermont Academy.

Nwora ranks No. 89 overall on the list for 2017.

Kentucky Picked to Win Southeastern Conference, Four Players Named Preseason All-SEC

The Kentucky Wildcats have been picked by the media to win the Southeastern Conference in 2016-17. 

UK's Bam Adebayo and De'Aaron Fox made the league's preseason All-SEC First Team.

Isaiah Briscoe and Malik Monk were named to the Second Team.

Here's a release from the league:

Birmingham, Ala. - Kentucky was predicted to win the 2017 Southeastern Conference men's basketball championship in voting by a select panel of both SEC and national media members.

The Wildcats are the overall preseason favorite for the 12th time since the 1998‐99 season. Arkansas senior forward Moses Kingsley was the choice of the media for SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year.

Georgia's J.J. Frazier & Yante Maten; Kentucky's Edrice "Bam" Adebayo, Isaiah Briscoe, De'Aaron Fox & Malik Monk; and Texas A&M's Tyler Davis also received votes in the Player of the Year voting.

Kingsley, Frazier, Adebayo, Fox and Davis were each All‐SEC First Team selections. Maten, Briscoe and Monk were second team picks along with Florida's KeVaughn Allen, LSU's Antonio Blakeney, Mississippi State's Quinndary Weatherspoon and Vanderbilt's Luke Kornet.

Points were compiled on a 14‐13‐12‐11‐10‐9‐8‐7‐6‐5‐4‐3‐2‐1 basis. Each media member also voted for a five‐player All‐SEC Team. Ties were not broken.

The 2016‐17 campaign begins November 11, with conference play set to begin December 29. The 2017 SEC Tournament will be March 8‐12 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

Preseason Media Poll

Texas A&M
South Carolina
Ole Miss
Mississippi State

First Team All‐SEC

Moses Kingsley - Arkansas, F, 6‐10, 230, Sr., Abuja, Nigeria
J.J. Frazier - Georgia, G, 5‐10, 155, Sr., Glennville, Ga.
Edrice "Bam" Adebayo - Kentucky, F, 6‐10, 260, Fr., Little Washington, N.C.
De'Aaron Fox - Kentucky, G, 6‐3, 187, Fr., Houston, Texas
Tyler Davis - Texas A&M, C, 6‐10, 270, So., Plano, Texas

Second Team All‐SEC

KeVaughn Allen - Florida, G, 6‐2, 183, So., Little Rock, Ark.
Yante Maten - Georgia, F, 6‐8, 240, Jr., Pontiac, Mich.
Isaiah Briscoe - Kentucky, G, 6‐3, 210, So., Newark, N.J.
Malik Monk - Kentucky, G, 6‐3, 200, Fr., Lepanto, Ark.
Antonio Blakeney - LSU, G, 6‐4, 190, So., Sarasota, Fla.
Quinndary Weatherspoon - Mississippi State, G, 6‐4, 202, So., Canton, Miss.
Luke Kornet - Vanderbilt, F, 7‐1, 250, Sr., Lantana, Texas

SEC Player of the Year: Moses Kingsley, Arkansas

Kentucky's Malik Monk Named to Watch List for Jerry West Award

University of Kentucky freshman Malik Monk has been named to the preseason watch list for the Jerry West Award.

The Jerry West Award is given annually to college basketball's best shooting guard.

Here's a release from UK:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – When Kentucky guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk shared MVP honors at the Jordan Brand Classic game in April, the Kentucky faithful knew UK had hauled in another impressive backcourt. Just a day after Fox was named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list to honor the nation’s top point guard, Monk was tabbed to the Jerry West Award watch list recognizing the country’s best shooting guard.

Monk is one of 20 candidates on the preseason watch list for the West Award, which will be presented for the third consecutive season to the nation’s top shooting guard by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame announced its original list Tuesday.

By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players will be narrowed to 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to the award’s namesake and the Hall of Fame selection committee. The winner of the 2017 Jerry West Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 7. Players do not have to be on the watch list to win the award until the five finalists are announced.

An explosive 6-foot-3 guard, Monk is capable of scoring in a variety of ways. He captured the 3-point shooting contest at the McDonald’s All American Game and finished runner-up in the slam dunk contest showcasing his athleticism.

Monk was the 2016 Arkansas Gatorade High School Player of the Year in addition to earning the state’s Mr. Basketball award. He averaged 28.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game as a senior at Bentonville. Known for his scoring ability, Monk set a single-game school scoring record with 53 points in a game during his final campaign.

A consensus five-star athlete out of high school, Monk was rated as the No. 9 overall player by ESPN and Rivals, No. 10 by 247Sports and No. 13 by Scout.

Other previous winners of the Jerry West Award include: Buddy Hield of Oklahoma (2016) and D’Angelo Russell from Ohio State (2015).

The Jerry West Award is named after Jerry West who attended West Virginia University and averaged 24.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in his three varsity seasons. He led his team to the NCAA Championship game in 1959 and was named a consensus All-American in 1959 and 1960. In the summer of 1960, he was co-captain of the U.S. men’s basketball team and won an Olympic gold medal. As a professional player, West played 14 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers, making the All-NBA First Team 10 times. West won an NBA championship in 1972 and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1969 despite his team not winning the championship. In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

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

Union College Picked to Win Appalachian Athletic Conference in 2016-17

Union College is picked to win the Appalachian Athletic Conference in 2016-17.

Here's a release from the AAC:

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Union College is the favorite to win the 2016-17 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) men's basketball championship, according to the coaches' poll released Monday.

Union shared the 2015-16 regular-season championship with Tennessee Wesleyan University as both went 16-2 in league play. Union went on to win the AAC Tournament for the third year in a row. In fact, Union has won or shared both the AAC regular-season and tournament championships for the last three seasons.

Both Union (28-7 overall in 2015-16) and Tennessee Wesleyan (28-4 overall in 2015-16) advanced to the NAIA Division II National Championship Tournament and ended the year ranked No. 11 and 19, respectively.

Receiving six first-place votes, Union claimed the top spot with 114 points. Bluefield College, which advanced to the AAC Tournament title game, collected two first-place votes and 104 points to land second. Tennessee Wesleyan picked up two first-place votes and check in third overall with 100 points.

Reinhardt University (81 points) and Bryan College (65 points) round out the top five. Newcomer Allen University received the remaining first-place vote as it ended up in a tie for sixth with Milligan College as both picked up 59 points.

Making up the rest of the field are: Truett McConnell University (43 points), Point University (41 points), St. Andrews University (37 points) and Montreat College (23 points).

The 2017 AAC Tournament is set for Feb. 22-25 at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport, Tenn.

2016 AAC Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll

School (1st Place Votes) Total Votes
Union (6) 114
Bluefield (2) 104
Tennessee Wesleyan 100
Reinhardt 81
Bryan 65
Allen (1) 59
Milligan 59
Truett McConnell 43
Point 41
St. Andrews 37
Montreat 23

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Louisville Will Reportedly Receive NCAA's Notice of Allegations This Week

According to a report from the Courier-Journal, the University of Louisville is expected to receive a notice of allegations from the NCAA on Thursday.

The allegations will be the result of the NCAA's examination into claims made by Katina Powell in the book Breaking Cardinal Rules.

Here's an excerpt from the CJ:

After a yearlong investigation, the NCAA this week is expected to provide the University of Louisville with a notice of allegations of violations in its men’s basketball program and the university is expected to make them public Thursday, according to sources familiar with the probe.

A notice of allegations outlines the rules that the institution is alleged to have broken and describes the facts of the case. Louisville's notice will set out findings from the NCAA's investigation of self-proclaimed escort Katina Powell's claims that former U of L staffer Andre McGee paid her and other escorts thousands of dollars and gave them game tickets from 2010-14 in exchange for them providing sex with and dancing for recruits and players.

The university acknowledged in February that it was "reasonable to conclude" violations occurred, which prompted then-President James Ramsey to self-impose a postseason ban. U of L later announced additional voluntary penalties, including restrictions on recruiting and campus visits for prospects as well as a reduction of four basketball scholarships over two years.

John Karman, a university spokesman, declined to comment on when the allegations are expected or will be announced, and Larry Benz, chairman of the board of trustees, said he didn’t know that either was set for this week. Larry Wilder, one of Powell’s lawyers, said he had heard the university might receive the allegations this week.

Complete Article

University of Pikeville Blast-Off Scheduled for Tomorrow Night

The University of Pikeville will hold its annual Basketball Blast-off event tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. in the UPIKE Gym.

Here are more details:

Kentucky is No. 2 in Dick Vitale's Preseason Rankings

The Kentucky Wildcats are No. 2 in Dick Vitale's preseason college basketball rankings.

Vitale has the Duke Blue Devils at No. 1.

Villanova, Kansas and North Carolina round out the top 5.

Louisville comes in at No. 7.

Here is an excerpt:

1. Duke Blue Devils
Grayson Allen should be the preseason player of the year. Amile Jefferson is back, and a stellar recruiting class comes in.

2. Kentucky Wildcats
John Calipari will not rebuild, he will reload. De'Aaron Fox will be special at the point guard slot. Isaiah Briscoe has a year of experience that will help.

3. Villanova Wildcats
The defending national champions have Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins returning. Coach Jay Wright is glad they didn't enter the NBA draft.

4. Kansas Jayhawks
Frank Mason III and Devonte' Graham form an outstanding backcourt. Look for big things from diaper dandy Josh Jackson.

5. North Carolina Tar Heels
Joel Berry II, Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, Nate Britt, Theo Pinson ... a lot of experence returns.

6. Michigan State Spartans
Miles Bridges will become a star in East Lansing. Eron Harris will step up his game and develop into a consistent, double-figure scorer.

7. Louisville Cardinals 
Last year's top scorers are gone, so guys like Donovan Mitchell and Ray Spalding will have added responsibilities. Keep an eye on diaper dandy V.J. King.

Complete Rankings

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