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Wildcat recruits on TV

Posted by ibleedblue040 on February 12, 2010

Starting at 9PM ET on ESPNU, UK recruits Michael Gilchrist (#1 in 2011) and Doron Lamb (#23 in 2010) will be dueling off when Oak Hill Academy meets St. Patrick’s tonight. These are two of the top programs in the nation and it will show the talents of some of the premiere players in the nation.

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Rondo makes the All-Star team

Posted by ibleedblue040 on January 28, 2010

Congratulations to Rajon Rondo for making his first career All-Star game.

Rondo is averaging 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 9.7 assists per game this season and is considered one of the premiere on-ball defenders in the league (2.5 SPG).

Rondo becomes the first Wildcat to make an All-Star team since 2003 win Antoine Walker represented the Big Blue for the Eastern Conference.

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New Xavier Henry News

Posted by ibleedblue040 on June 30, 2009

 

Henry to UK? Europe? Still KU?

Henry to UK? Europe? Still KU?

Remember a few weeks ago when it looked like there was some problems with Bill Self and Xavier Henry?

 

Well it looks like there may be some more smoke to the Xavier Henry fire.

In an interview with a Kansas athletics website, Carl Henry, Xavier’s father, stated that Xavier wanted to go to Kentucky but he and his wife said they would not move to Lexington and advised him to stay home and go to Kansas.

But that’s not it.

Xavier is not enrolled in summer school and Carl Henry has met with advisors about Xavier maybe playing in Europe rather than KU. Carl Henry stated that Coach Self knew about these meetings but one has to wonder why he would even be meeting with people about these things.

More to come later.

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Derrick Rose Allegations Hurt Some More Than Others

Posted by ibleedblue040 on June 7, 2009

On May 27 news broke that Derrick Rose, a standout on the 2008 Memphis Final Four team, may have had his academic grades changed during his senior year in high school.

At the time, many people believed this would be an investigation dedicated solely into the Memphis Athletic Department. In the two weeks since the information was released, the bulk of the blame has been placed on former coach, and accused cheater, John Calipari.

Calipari has been called everything from a liar to a greasy slime ball since the allegations of alleged cheating was released.

Many people do not realize the affect that these accusations could have on Calipari and the program he now runs.

It was announced today that Will Barton, a high school senior-to-be and top 10 recruit, committed to the University of Memphis, when it was known that Kentucky was the clear leader for his services.

In an interview conducted after his verbal announcement, Barton stated that coaches at Memphis told him that Calipari was the source of the problem and, were he to play at Kentucky, he would be representing a liar and a cheater.

All the negative publicity and criminal accusations have many Kentucky fans wondering if they missed the news when Calipari was found guilty and to blame for this behavior.

The answer is no, Calipari has not been charged in any way, and in fact, the NCAA cleared Calipari before UK hired him, as these accusations were known for months by the two universities.

As it stands, the old saying ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is not being used in this situation.

It seems the college basketball world is doing all it can to rain on the Kentucky parade.

When Kentucky wrapped up perhaps the greatest recruiting class in NCAA history, there were the Duke, Louisville, and Tennessee fans to crown Calipari a cheater and to announce that there is no way Eric Bledsoe or DeMarcus Cousins could qualify—which they both have.

But where does Memphis stand in all this? The program that let Derrick Rose in, the program that looked at Robert Dozier’s two SAT scores and cleared him, and the program that is currently under investigation has been using the Calipari card the entire time.

Memphis signed Latavious Williams last week, a player known around the recruiting world as having grade issues himself.

They just took Will and Antonio Barton from Kentucky, simply by claiming their own mess was someone else’s fault.

In no way does it appear that Memphis’ reputation will be questioned, but Calipari and Kentucky however, will face the persecution of the nation and will be ushered in as the next band of cheaters who are trying to ruin this perfectly run game.

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Calipari: Looking Ahead Towards The Future Of Kentucky Basketball

Posted by ibleedblue040 on May 13, 2009

 

Calipari looks towards next season

Calipari looks towards next season

When John Calipari was first brought on as the University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach he said said numerous times that he is ‘day by day’. “If you want something to happen in a year, do not hire me.”

 

But for the first time since his hiring on April 1, Calipari talked about next year.

Calipari addressed the media on numerous topics looking forward to the upcoming season. A season that already has Cats fans anxious because of the sudden high expectations.

He would not say what his expectations for this team going next season are, other than it will be a learning process. “Then by March [we] are playing [our] best basketball”.

Calipari expects to be playing great basketball in March partially because of the announcement that Patrick Patterson will be returning to Kentucky for his junior season.

“I’m excited about [Patrick returning],” Calipari explained, “I wanted him to know that he is coming back for himself and to help the university”.

Coach Calipari also detailed how surprised he was with Patterson and some of the things he could do on the basketball floor that he was not aware of.

“One of the things was that I didn’t realize how fast [Patrick] was,” Calipari smiled, “He also shoots the ball better than I thought, and handles it and passes it better than I thought.”

Another crucial topic of discussion was the incoming recruits. Eric Bledsoe will play a very crucial role on a team in desperate need of a point guard and play making ability.

“When I recruit players, I want to make sure that they play big and are big. If a guy is 6-foot-4 and plays 6-foot-2, then he is not big. If a guy is 6-foot and plays 6-foot-5, then he is big… Eric is probably 6-foot-1 maybe, but he plays big. He is fast and very physically strong and tough. He has great vision on the court, and in this offense you have to be able to react.”

Another freshman who has to step up under Calipari is Daniel Orton. Orton, an Oklahoma native, appears ready to make the jump to the college game alongside Patterson and fellow freshman DeMarcus Cousins.

“Daniel Orton is going to be terrific, because he has great size, really long arms and he is skilled. You can play him inside, or outside and he is a terrific passer,” Calipari noted. “He also has the skills that if you want to play two big guys you can. There is DeMarcus [Cousins] that you can play with him and together.”

There is no question that Kentucky is going to be a very good team under Calipari, but Coach Cal has warned the media numerous times already that this is a step-by-step process that will take time.

“But when we get it right, you notice we’re No. 1 in the country, we’re No. 1 seeds, we’re playing in Final Fours when you get it right.”

Extra News and Notes

The schedule situation was brought up today and Calipari explained it to the media that there is still two games to schedule but the rest is pretty much done. He said they got a call from Texas for a Houston-site game. Also looking at Cincinnati or a Nashville-site game.

Also talked about wanting Midnight Madness in Commonwealth Stadium (Kentucky football stadium). Said it would be great to get 70,000 people to come and have Ashley Judd and Justin Timberlake there. He said the biggest issue would be predicting the weather in the middle of October.

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Web Wednesday: 4.8.09

Posted by ibleedblue040 on April 8, 2009

This week’s installment features a few links to some articles about DeMarcus Cousins, Nolan Dennis, John Wall, Xavier Henry, Michael Porter, and the Kentucky program as well as some videos of these players.

Around The Web

Cousins makes the call

Cousins catches Cat fever

UK Basketball: Orton’s father says son has not asked for his release from UK

Porter Will Not Return to Basketball Team

Practice report: men’s basketball

Henrys Get Releases; Cousins in a Holding Pattern

Videos

John Wall


Xavier Henry


DeMarcus Cousins


Nolan Dennis

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2009-2010 College Basketball Preview

Posted by ibleedblue040 on April 7, 2009

Well the 2008-2009 season is over and I dont want to talk about who won the national championship so I feel like it’s a good time to release our preseason top 10 for next season. This is considering some players will be leaving that most likely will and I will state that in the write up of that team.

1. Villanova

Villanova loses only three players off of their Final Four team this season and adds perhaps the best recruiting class in the nation. Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson will be big losses but they add a 5-star power forward in Mouphtao Yarou and his high school teammate, a 4-star power forward in Isaiah Armwood. Not to mention signing one of the best shooting guards in the nation in 5-star swingman Dominic Cheek and not to mention also landing one of the top five point guards in the nation in Maalik Wayns, yet another 5-star player.

Junior guard Scottie Reynolds looks to be coming back for his senior season and if he does it looks like Nova will have perhaps the best backcourt in the country. Jay Wright knows how to coach guards and he will have plenty of them next season.

2. North Carolina

You kn0w what they say, they don’t rebuild, they reload. It looks like the Heels will lost perhaps their four best players but they simply fill those voids with underclassmen stepping up and by bringing in elite recruits each year. Next season the Tar Heels will replace Tyler Hansbrough with the emergence of Ed Davis and by signing 5-star big man John Henson, and 4-star twin bigs Travis and David Wear. 5-star point guard Dexter Strickland will help Larry Drew run point when Lawson leaves for the NBA and Leslie McDonald will try to fill the void of Danny Green and Wayne Ellington.

3. Syracuse

Syracuse, unlike the two teams above, returns all five starters to a team that made it to the Sweet 16 this season, as long as sophomore point guard Jonny Flynn returns for his junior season. Syracuse already has size, length, athleticism and will add even more of these things with the three players coming in next season.

Next season the Orange will have much more experience after going to the Big East championship game this season and making it through the first weekend in the NCAA Tournament.

4. Purdue

Purdue, like Syracuse, returns all five starters from a Sweet 16 team this past season. They already play very smart basketball and have as unselfish a team as you will find. Robbie Hummel, Chris Kramer, and E’Twaun Moore provide much needed quickness and versatility while JaJaun Johnson gives them perhaps the most athletic big man in the Big Ten.

Purdue is expected to build upon their Sweet 16 berth next season, maybe even to the Final Four.

5. Kansas

Many people have Kansas projected as the preseason #1 team in America for next season. Kansas, in my opinion, lacks a consistent perimeter scorer aside from Sherron Collins and that is what keeps them out of the top spot. If Collins returns, Kansas will also return all five starters. In fact, they will only lose a TOTAL of 8 points off their current roster, or 0.3% of their scoring from this season.

Kansas also has a 5-star point guard and a 5-star power forward coming in to add even more depth to a remarkably deep team. Kansas will be the Big 12 favorite hands down to begin next season.

6. Duke

Duke returns all five starters from the end of the season and will add two McDonald’s All-American big men to help Second Team All-ACC performer Kyle Singler down low. Duke will have experience around the perimeter with Jon Scheyer and perhaps Gerald Henderson if he returns for his senior season.

7. Washington

Although they lose two of their top three scorers from this season Washington will be a top 10 team. They bring in the #2 point guard in the country in Abdul Gaddy to go along with First Team Freshman All-American Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt, Quincy Pondexter on the wing, and freshman Clarence Trent and junior-to-be Matthew Bryan-Amaning in the post.

8. Kentucky

Although many people believe Kentucky will struggle next season I think they will do very well. Their current roster actually seems to be more well suited for Coach Cal’s system than with the former coach. Kentucky returns all five starters to a 19 win team and will add at least two of the top 50 players in the nation, and may add as many as three more 5-star players.

Realistically it looks like at least 1 of the top 3 players in the nation will be wearing a UK jersey and it will most likely be #1 power forward DeMarcus Cousins. Kentucky has as much length as anyone in the nation and will be able to run with teams and play their traditional tough defense to smother opponents.

9. Butler

Butler is the suprise team in the top 10 because they are the only non-power conference program in the rankings. Butler returns literally every player from a team that made it to the NCAA Tournament this season. Butler plays as mature and consistent as any team in the nation year in, year out and they will be a year better and a year smarter next season. They have size in Matt Howard and Gordan Hayward, perimeter scoring in Shelvin Mack and Zach Hahn, and amazing leadership in Willie Veasley and Avery Jukes

10. Louisville

Louisville loses a few key pieces from this season’s Elite Eight team, but can realistically replace them with this season’s role players. Seniors Terrence Williams and Andre McGee depart as well as junior Earl Clark for the NBA. Sophomore-to-be Samardo Samuels will have to step up his play for the Cards to be a factor but that is well within reach, especially under a Hall of Fame caliber coach like Rick Pitino. Peyton Siva will run point with Jerry Smith and Edgar Sosa on the wings and Terrance Jennings, Samuels, and Rakeem Buckles will solidify the paint.

Posted in Basketball, Basketball Recruiting, Media, Statistics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

With Calipari signed, what’s next?

Posted by ibleedblue040 on March 31, 2009

Things move rather quickly in the life of a UK basketball fan. John Calipari signed his contract to become Kentucky’s head basketball coach at a little past 9:00 PM tonight and although people are still ecstatic, many fans want to know about the future.

The first item on the new agenda is the recruiting situation. Many people in the media and in the fan base are wondering which, if any, of the sparkling recruits leaning, committed, or signed to Memphis will join Coach Cal at Kentucky.

John Wall

John Wall, the #1 high school player in the nation, has stated in an interview with Rivals.com’s Jerry Meyer today that he would replace Memphis with Kentucky on his short list of schools and would seriously consider the Cats. With Calipari moving on to UK the speculation is that he would narrow his college choice down to Duke or Kentucky. One has to wonder why Duke would get the nod over the Cats; UK has the better tradition, the better system to prepare him for the next level, potentially the most attention on one program in the nation this upcoming season, and the coach who Wall likes best. If I had to bet I would say Wall will commit to the Cats within the next two weeks, maybe at the Jordan Brand Classic.

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins is rated as the #2 high school player in the nation and has verbally committed to play for the Memphis Tigers next season. But unlike some of the commitments he has yet to actually sign his Letter of Intent, meaning he can still visit any school and commit to any other school in the nation. Cousins has publicly stated that he loves Coach Cal and loves the NBA system that he ran while at Memphis. There is no doubt that Calipari will implement the exact same system in Lexington, leading one to believe that Cousins too may join Cal at UK. This would give the Cats the top two players in the nation to go along with two First team All-SEC performers from this season in Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson.

Xavier Henry

Xavier Henry, the #3 rated high school player in the country, is the most intriguing player in the conversation at Memphis and Kentucky. Unlike Wall and Cousins, Henry has indeed signed his LOI to Memphis, meaning he would have to go through the process of backing out in order to consider other schools. Usually a prospect must first get the school to sign off on the backing out of a LOI, but in the case of this Memphis Tigers recruiting class each and every member has a clause in their LOI stating that they may get a free and unconditional release without question and may commit to any other school without exception. This means that technically Henry could also join Calipari at Kentucky. The difference between the previous two players and Henry though is that Henry made a tough choice choosing Memphis over Kansas for his recruitment. Both of Henry’s parents played sports at KU and are graduates of the university. Kansas is very close to their Oklahoma home as well, which is another selling point. Many believe that Henry will indeed back out of his LOI to Memphis, but will sign with Kansas instead of the Cats.

Nolan Dennis

Nolan Dennis is rated the #47 high school player in the nation and has already stated that he would like to join Calipari at UK. The only thing in his way is the fact that Calipari and the Cats would be running very thin on open scholarships and there may just not be enough room for him. Dennis would be fourth in line behind the three players mentioned above.

Currently signed Cats

All three of the players already signed in the 2009 class for Kentucky, Daniel Orton, Jon Hood, and GJ Vilarino, have stated that they will remain committed and will not ask for their release until they meet with the new coach. Actually the Orton family was the only family that said that they would be backing out under any circumstances. Both the Hood and Vilarino families have stated that they love the program and will remain committed.

Press Conference

A press conference has been confirmed to be taking place tomorrow at 9:30 AM ET at the Joe Craft Center to introduce John Calipari as the new Head Coach at Kentucky. The press conference will air live on ESPN News.

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Media: Patrick Patterson Freshman Highlights

Posted by ibleedblue040 on June 7, 2008

New UKmadness video

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