Tag Archives: Cody Larson

Inside the SEC: Oct. 18

18 Oct

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

Vanderbilt’s Ezeli Suspended 6 Games

One of the SEC’s premiere big men, Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli, has been suspended six games by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits.

The 6-foot-11 Ezeli had his dinner and hotel room paid for by a Commodore alumnus, which is deemed a violation by the NCAA. The school self-reported the incident to the NCAA and SEC in August, and the verdict was handed down on Monday. Continue reading

Inside the SEC: Oct. 11

11 Oct

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

“Madness” Festivities Kick-Off Season on Friday

The start of the college basketball season is nearly here, and teams can officially start practice this Friday. Nine teams from the SEC will get straight to work on Friday, while three schools Kentucky, Auburn, and Mississippi State have opted to have one more night of fun before getting down to business.

The three schools will all have some sort of “Madness” event on Friday night, giving their fans of preview of what to expect in the upcoming season.

Kentucky’s annual “Big Blue Madness”, which sold out Rupp Arena in just over ten minutes, will highlight both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Both teams will go throw drills and finish up with an intra-squad scrimmage.

Auburn’s “Tiger Hoops Madness” will include everything from an autograph session to a dunk contest. Both the men’s and women’s teams will also play an intra-squad scrimmage.

“It’s a great way to welcome back the guys and meet the new players,” Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. “Get there early for a seat.”

While Kentucky and Auburn will focus solely on basketball, Mississippi State’s “Maroon Madness” will be an evening long affair.

The first activity will be the annual “Pumkinapalooza,” which is the football’s annual pep rally before playing South Carolina, in downtown Starkville. After the pep rally is over, Bulldog fans will be encouraged to attend the volleyball team’s match against Kentucky, in an attempt to set a new SEC attendance record. At the conclusion of the volleyball game, the basketball teams will get their shot on the floor of Humphrey Coliseum.

“There’s a lot of hype going into the basketball season,” the Director of Athletic Marketing, Chris Thomas said. “It’s the 100th year of basketball, so we really want to do something to kick off the season in true-maroon fashion.”

In an attempt to make sure The Hump is rocking Friday night, Mississippi State is giving away and iPad 2, courtside seats to a non-conference game, and $500 book scholarship.

Alabama’s Grant Talks New Faces; Gueye Injury Update

Not many coaches have the luxury of having JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell playing in the same frontcourt, but it isn’t all going to be easy for Alabama coach Athony Grant, who  will have to bring six newcomers into the mix as well.

Alabama’s high profile recruiting class featured shooting guards Trevor Lacey, Levi Randolph, and Rodney Cooper, point guard Retin Ojomoh, and centers Nick Jacobs and Moussa Gueye.

“We have got a lot of new faces. We have six new guys that need to learn the system, expectations, and each other,” Grant told Don Kausler Jr. last week before a speaking engagement. “We have to be able to blend the guys, who are returning, with the newcomers in a very quick order. But that is no different than any other college team is facing right now.”

Once practice starts on Friday, the Crimson Tide will have just over three weeks before their first exhibition game against Alabama-Huntsville. The first regular season game will be just four days later against North Florida.

Gueye, a 7-footer from Lake Land College, tore his ACL just after arriving in Tuscaloosa is a pickup game.

“I’m not a doctor, so it is really hard for me to judge where his is at, but I think he is progressing as expected,” Grant said. “And for his sake I hope he is able to continue on that path to a full recovery.”

Grant hope that the Gueye will be able to play later in the season, but he said it is too early to tell if that will be the case.

“It is way premature for me to even talk anything about that,” he said. “The biggest issue is getting him healthy, where he needs to be from a physical standpoint.”

Calipari Thinks Kentucky Is One Program State

Ever since arriving in Lexington, Kentucky coach John Calipari has not wasted a chance to throw a shot at the University of Louisville or Rick Pitino, but his latest jab may be the biggest yet.

While visiting the fans waiting in line for “Big Blue Madness” tickets, Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports TV caught up with Calipari to talk about how unique Kentucky basketball is.

“It’s a unique thing,” Calipari said. “There’s no other state, none, that’s as connected to their basketball program as this one. Because those other states have other programs. Michigan has Michigan State, California has UCLA, North Carolina has Duke. It’s Kentucky throughout this whole state, and that’s what makes us unique.”

Louisville coach Rick Pitino obviously didn’t like the statement and offered a not-so-subtle jab at Calipari in return.

“Four things I have learned about people in my 59 years about people. I ignore the jealous, I ignore the malicious, I ignore the ignorant, and I ignore the paranoid,” Pitino told Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com. “If the shoe fits anyone. Wear it.”

The two sides will play their annual meeting on December 31st at Rupp Arena.

Gamecocks’ Harris Out Four Weeks

South Carolina sophomore forward Demontre Harris is out four weeks after suffering a right big two sprain a little over a week ago.

The 6-foot-9 forward sustained the injury in a pickup game on September 30th.

Like the rest of the college basketball, the Gamecocks will begin practice on Friday, but their first regular season game is not until November 15th against Elon, so it doesn’t appear that Harris will miss any games. He could, however, miss the team’s two exhibition games against Kentucky Wesleyan and Western Carolina.

No Jail For Florida’s Larson

It appears as if Cody Larson is one step closer to rejoining the Florida men’s basketball team.

Larson will not have to serve any jail time for a violating his probation, when he and fellow Gator Erik Murphy were arrested in April. Instead he will face two more years of probation and his license is suspended for 120 days. He is also not allowed to consume alcohol or any other controlled substance.

Murphy was reinstated to the team last month, but Florida coach Billy Donovan refused to comment at that time.

Sina Opens Up recruitment

Jaren Sina, one of the better point guards in the class of 2013, is back on the market after de-committing from Alabama.

“Yes, I de-committed,” the 6-foot-1 guard from New Jersey told Zagsblog.com

According to reports, Sina was just not sure about his decision to join the Crimson Tide and wanted to check out his other options.

“I visited the campus a couple times and I still have a good relationship with the coaches and everything. I want to have the opportunity to get a better look at some other schools and some other options just to compare it to.”

While Alabama is still among his list of suitors, that list now also includes Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. Johns, and Cincinnati, among others.

Inside the SEC: Sept. 20

20 Sep

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

Calipari Commits Violation Unheralded Recruit

Other than conference realignment, it has been a relatively quiet few months on the college hoops scene, and a least one college coach has an explanation  telling  Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com that Kentucky coach John Calipari was out of the country.

 http://twitter.com/#!/GoodmanCBS/status/114136832752619521

Calipari, who spent spent several weeks in Argentina coaching the Dominican Republic’s national team, is back in the United States and once again creating news.

Late last week, Yahoo!’s Prep Rally reported that Calipari had committed a “bump” violation on July 15th when he shook hands with Austin Kyles after a game at the ScoutsFocus Super 60 Sowcase.

A “bump” which characterized by any face-to-face contact between a Division 1 coach and player during the non-contact period, is considered a seconday violation by the NCAA and rarely has sever ramifications.

“After the game, Calipari shook his hand and said, ‘Great game,'” Dr. Kyles told Prep Rally. “I think he was just acknowledging, ‘Hey, this kid is holding down my senior.’”

The act is not all that of an uncommon occurrence in July, what makes this interaction between Kyles and Calipari interesting is the fact Kentucky is not recruiting the 6-foot-7 forward, who attends high school in South Carolina. Calipari was at the game to watch Devonta Pollard, who the Wildcats are heavily involved with.

Calipari declined comment Friday night to ESPN’s Andy Katz.

Arkansas, Kentucky Recruit Changes Mind Not Once But Twice

Super shooting guard Archie Goodwin caught both college coaches and recruiting analysts off guard last Wednesday, when he tweeted his decision may come in the next week or so.

http://twitter.com/#!/A1Laflare10/status/114119856453992448

But after just a several hours the 6-foot-4 Little Rock native tweeted that he had decided he was going to go with original plan of signing in the spring.

http://twitter.com/#!/A1Laflare10/status/114190979917029377

In an interview with National Hoops Report in mid-June, Goodwin’s AAU coach Ron Crawford said the plan for the number 12 overall player by Rivals.com was to sign in the late period.

Goodwin announced on Twitter Monday that he will not consider Kansas or Connecticut as college options, and while Memphis is still in the mix most believe it will come down to either Arkansas or Kentucky. Goodwin played this summer with the Arkansas Wings, a program that produced three member Mike Anderson’s first recruiting class in Fayetteville. Although, Hunter said that will not play into Goodwin’s decision.

“He told us even though he has played with current Razorback signees Aaron Ross, Hunter Mickelson, and Ky Madden with our Arkansas Wings Elite Team that will not be a part of the decision making process, he respected their decision and knows they will respect his.”

The timing of the tweets has led some to believe that they have been in reaction to Kentucky’s in-home visit with consensus number Shabazz Muhammed. After the visit, Muhammed said the Calipari had told him he was the Wildcats number one priority and they wanted him to play shooting guard, his preferred position, in college.

Could the tide be shifting be shifting once again with Mr. Goodwin, Monday night he tweeted “It’s getting close to decision time.”

Florida’s Larson Makes Plea Deal

Florida’s Cody Larson now knows the outcome form his criminal trespassing charges, however his status on the Gators basketball team is still to be determined.

According to the Florida Time-Union part of the 6-foot-9 forward’s agreement will be to complete 200 hours of community service, attend any recommended drug treatment and go through drug evaluation program, pay the victim $240 and write them a letter of apology, pay an addition $200 in prosecution and other charges, and not consume alcohol of any other drug.

Larson may still have to server jail time however, for violating his probation of a previous arrest in South Dakota.

Erik Murphy, who was arrested with Larson on April 2, was reinstated to the men’s basketball team last week, but Billy Donovan has not spoken about Larson’s status since suspending him indefinitely following the arrest.

Ellis Set to Make Decision

One of the most sought after prospects in the county, Perry Ellis, will be making his college decision this week.

Ellis, a 6-foot-8 forward from Wichita, Kansas will be making his decision at 3:45 eastern time on Wednesday.

The three-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Kansas has his list narrowed down to Kentucky and three in-state schools: Kansas, Kansas State, and Wichita State.

Kentucky coach John Calipari was the last coach to conduct an in-home visit with Ellis last week.

Both Kentucky and Kansas both were in attendance for nearly every single game Ellis played in during July.

He is rated #24 by Rivals, #33 by Scout, and #37 by ESPN.

Ranking the SEC frontcourts

29 Jun

Terrence Jones anchors a strong frontline for Kentucky next year. (Getty Images)

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

The SEC has a strong base of guards for the upcoming 2011-2012 season. The frontcourts could be even stronger. Continue reading