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Posts Tagged ‘Memphis’

Jackson, Christmas cut lists

Posted by ibleedblue040 on August 11, 2009

Two top prospects have cut their lists this week and neither included the University of Kentucky.

Joe Jackson, a top point guard in the 2010 class, narrowed his choices down to Memphis, Tennessee, and Kansas. Kentucky was thought to be in pretty good position for Jackson and he was thought to be attending Big Blue Madness in October. Being a Memphis native it is believed Jackson is a heavy Memphis lean, he has already visited the Tigers campus and facilities many times and feels comfortable with the program.

Rakeem Christmas, the best low post defender in the 2011 class, narrowed his list down to eight teams, none of which are Kentucky. Many people around the country are surprised with this decision because it was thought that UK was perhaps the leader—or one of the leaders—for Christmas’ services. Dave Telep, the lead recruiting analyst for Scout.com “tweeted”, “I would have bet my son’s college savings that Kentucky made Rakeem’s Christmas list of 8”.

Many people believe that UK IS still in the mix and it is odd that he would not list them. Either way it would be a big blow if UK were eliminated while Coach John Calipari is in China.

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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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Wall, Bledsoe to announce soon

Posted by ibleedblue040 on May 5, 2009

Wall will decide if Kentucky is best for him

Wall will decide if Kentucky is best for him

Both of Kentucky’s remaining 2009 targets, Eric Bledsoe and John Wall, are beginning to close down their recruitments and plan to make decisions relatively soon.

Bledsoe is announcing his choice between Memphis and Kentucky in a press conference tomorrow at 10:00 AM, while John Wall has stated he plans to narrow his list to 2-3 schools next week and a decision will definitely come before May 20.

Bledsoe to choose UK or Memphis

Bledsoe to choose UK or Memphis

If Kentucky were to land Bledsoe and/or Wall they would automatically jump to the #1 spot for team recruiting in the nation. If UK is able to land both of them it appears that they may have an arguement for the greatest recruiting class of all-time. They would have four 5-star players, including the #1 and #2 players overall, and two 4-star players committed for next season. Calipari has already brought in a 5-star player and a 4-star player in just over a month at the helm and it looks as though at least one more 5-star player will be coming.

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Kentucky Prospects Update: Nike Hoop Summit

Posted by ibleedblue040 on April 12, 2009

John Wall: Down to Kansas, UK, Duke, UNC, NC State, & Miami

John Wall: Down to Kansas, UK, Duke, UNC, NC State, & Miami

Xavier Henry: Down to Kansas, UK, and Memphis

Xavier Henry: Down to Kansas, UK, and Memphis

DeMarcus Cousins: Future Wildcat

DeMarcus Cousins: Future Wildcat

The 2009 Nike Hoop Summit was played tonight in Portland, Oregon and many of the UK prospects played and played well.

  • DeMarcus Cousins probably played the worst out of the bunch but still showed glimpses of why he is rated a topo 5 prospect in the nation. Cousins has an NBA-type game, meaning he has matured passing abilities and has a rare combination of inside and outside abilities. Cousins used his pure strength to muscle his way to the rim a couple of times, but besides that he did not seem to be involved scoring wise too much. He displayed many high-low passes that would have been really brought to the fore front under Billy Gillispie, but can still be utilized by Coach Calipari.
  • Xavier Henry showed his elite scoring ability tonight, leading the game in scoring overall.  Henry probably has the most diverse offensive game amongst all high schoolers in the U.S., although Avery Bradley could probably make a case, by showing off his slashing abilities, mid range jump shot, and super silky three point shot. Henry has a quick release as well, making it very difficult to block, and he is able to beat his defender off the dribble if played too closely. Henry named off his school list at halftime, listing Kansas, Kentucky, and Memphis as the only three left for his services.
  • John Wall played by far the best of anyone on the U.S. team, and probably should have won MVP even in a losing effort. Wall displayed his ability to get into the lane literally any time he wanted and showed off his fastbreak game, which is second to none. Wall showed that he is also a lockdown defender when he sets his mind to it, and was able to finish with contact many time. Wall also is the next coming of Dominique Wilkins because he too is a human highlight film. Wall had one play where he stripped the ball from a lackadasical World player, went left to right on a behind-the-back dribble, and then crossed to his left and proceeded to whip a behind-the-back pass to a teammate for a layup. He also had a sick double pump dunk in transition.

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Pastner named head man at Memphis

Posted by ibleedblue040 on April 6, 2009

Josh Pastner

Josh Pastner

Josh Pastner, one of the rising stars in assistant coaching in the nation, was named head coach at Memphis today, filling the vacancy left by John Calipari when he left for Kentucky. Many speculated Pastner would follow Calipari to Lexington and use his recruiting abilities to land top studs year in, year out but he landed a coaching job too large to pass up.

Pastner is known as one of the best young coaches in the country, one reason he got the job. He is also widely considered perhaps the best recruiter in the nation and will help solidify many, if not all, of the current Memphis signees, including top swingman Xavier Henry. Speculation is that Henry’s father will take a job at Memphis to basically keep Xavier and his brother CJ in Memphis.

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Coach Calipari Press Conference

Posted by ibleedblue040 on April 1, 2009

Many great quotes from the press conference introducing Coach Calipari to the media. My favorite was when Cal said, in response to what he could bring to the program and why he was hired, “I recruit THE BEST of THE BEST”! Another great one was when asked about the Dribble Drive Motion offense he said it’s an offense that “Can’t hide you”, and “If you can’t play, I’m sorry.

On a side note, Calipari said he has already met with the team and will further once he arrives back from Memphis where he will be doing a send away press conference at 12:00 PM CT. Noted the roster could be shaken up a bit as well.

Further news will be reported as it comes.

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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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Coaching View: Day Four

Posted by ibleedblue040 on March 31, 2009

News about John Calipari seems to be changing by the minute. One minute he is informing his assistants that he is leaving and the other he is talking to boosters at Memphis about a potential contract from them. Although there are many conflicting stories, word is that Coach Cal IS going to take the UK job and a press conference is set for today or tomorrow. That is all we have so far

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Coaching View: Day Three

Posted by ibleedblue040 on March 30, 2009

 

John Calipari

John Calipari

 

 

The previous two days on Coaching View we have listed four or five different coaches who could be getting the job, and stories surrounding them. But today there is one. It appears that John Calipari WILL indeed become the next coach at Kentucky. Although it is not official, many different outlets are reporting that he has met with his players this morning and is meeting with his assistants as I write. Although no one is certain he discussed leaving with his players, it is confirmed that he talked about his interest in the UK job.

These are just a couple of the outlets reporting Calipari is leaving for UK, many Memphis message boards are beginning to confirm it now as well.

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Coaching View: Day One

Posted by ibleedblue040 on March 28, 2009

Today begins the Coaching View series, which will be brought to you each and every day until UK finds their next coach. We will post links to articles saying yes and no from certain coaches and we will post what we have been hearing about the issue.

1) Billy Donovan

2) John Calipari

3) Travis Ford

4) Tom Izzo

5) Jay Wright

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