Tag Archives: Kentucky

NHR Top 100: #41 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

29 Oct

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Number 41 – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Fr., Kentucky

Kidd-Gilchrist, one quarter of the Fab Four of the Kentucky freshmen, might be the most competitive freshman in all of the country. He lost one game his senior season at the famed St. Anthony. The 6-foot-7 Ron Artest like defender can defend all over the floor. He’s a sneaky shot-blocker, a pesky perimeter defender and a bully with the boards. Continue reading

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Exhibitions, quotations, scoring, oh my

27 Oct

Rick Pitino had some strong words to say about freshman PF Chane Behanan after Wednesday night's exhibition game.

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

It almost felt like college basketball was here on Wednesday night. Louisville was on national television, er, internet (thanks ESPN3 or WatchESPN or The Ocho or whatever it goes by these days), Kentucky was being Kentucky and a low-major favorite revealed some things to us. Continue reading

Preseason power: Jones puts nation on notice with 52 point outburst

26 Oct

Terrence Jones took it right to Anthony Davis in the Blue-White scrimmage at Kentucky on Wednesday night. (PHOTO: Britney McIntosh)

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

I really thought Terrence Jones could have been a top five pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Now I wonder if he’ll be the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft (assuming we actually have a professional basketball league to watch in 2012). Continue reading

Inside the SEC: Oct. 25

25 Oct

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

This week a look at the preseason media awards, where SEC schools fell in the coaches poll, four freshmen on Wayman Tisdale award list and more. Continue reading

Projecting the SEC

24 Oct

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

The SEC is heavy at the top, solid in the middle and the bottom has a number of teams that could fit the sleeper mode. So what does that mean exactly? A fun and unpredictable year in the league. Here’s the National Hoops Report crack at how we think the league will finish up. Continue reading

How do you spell awesome? With a uni-brow.

24 Oct

The college basketball season is coming soon (try to control your excitement about that on this slow Monday morning) and with that comes the wackiness.

For starters, Ballin’ Is A Habit rolled out their All-Name teams. Yes, teams. Dozens of them. Amazing work, really. I’m a big fan of the All-Scrabble team. Triple word scorers anyone?

Then I stumbled across this beauty of a T-Shirt on StormingTheFloor.net. Of course Kentucky fans are going to buy it. They love t-shirts. They love Anthony Davis. And, darn it, they will like uni-brows. – Justin Young

NHR Top 100: #49 Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

24 Oct

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Number 49 – Marquis Teague, PG, Fr., Kentucky

The college basketball world, including the NHR, has talked ad nauseum about the quality of player that is a freshman point guard under John Calipari.

John Wall, Brandon Knight, Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose have all been one and doners at Kentucky and Memphis.

Now it is time for Teague but for whatever reason, he isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Wall, Knight, Evans and Rose despite being a consensus top 10 player in the nation coming out of high school. 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: September 6

6 Sep

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

Hart Named UT Athletic Director

After nearly a three month search, Tennessee has a new Athletic Director. Chancellor Jimmy Cheek announced that the school had hired Dave Hart to replace Mike Hamilton, Monday afternoon.

“I am very pleased to have Dave as our new vice chancellor and director of athletics,” Cheek said. “He has extensive experience as an athletics director, and he has the passion and drive to lead our great athletics program”

Hart, who worked under Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore the past several years, was the AD at Florida State from 1995 to 2007, a time when the Seminoles athletic budget more than doubled.

“I want to thank Chancellor Cheek, and all of those involved in this process for their confidence and commitment” Hart said. “I am anxious to demonstrate my passion for Tennessee and the Volunteer Nation.”

Not only will Hart inherit a basketball team on probation and a football team still recovering from the Lane Kiffin era, but he will also be the first AD to be over both men’s and women’s sports at UT.

Interim AD Joan Cronan was over the women’s department before taking over for Hamilton, but is stepping away from those duties next June to become an advisor to the chancellor for two years before retiring.

Hopson Signs with to Play in Greece

Ever since not being taken in the NBA Draft, Scotty Hopson has been waiting on the right opportunity to continue his basketball career.

The former All-SEC selection from Tennessee thinks he has found just that with Kolossos Rhodes, a top level Greek team.

“This deal gives me an opportunity to jump-start my career in a great place,” Hopson said in an interview with GoVolsXtra. “I’ve had a few offers over the past month, but I wanted to wait for the right one. I’ve been getting feedback from my agent and other guys who have played overseas, as far as what would be good for me.”

Hopson averaged 17 points and 3.3 rebounds in his final year with the Volunteers.

Tennessee Gets First Commitment of 2012

Some recruits fear competition, some look at it as an opportunity to get better. Derek Reese is definitely the latter.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Orlando, Florida verbally committed to play for the Volunteers last week, saying he wanted to be play at the highest level.

“Every kid when they first start playing basketball wants to play at the best level. That’s what Tennessee does,” Reese told the Orlando-Sentinel last week. . “They play against the best teams.”

The fact that Tennessee was not facing any other penalties than those self-imposed by the University eased Reese’s mind about the decision.

“That bothered me a little bit because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” the Olympia senior said. “As I found out, they’re just going to be on probation, they’re going to be okay. It was the other coaching staff that was really in trouble, not this coaching staff. It doesn’t bother me at all now.”

While the Volunteers were the only SEC school to have offered Reese a scholarship, his AAU teammate Reggie Tucker has no doubts he will succeed.

“He’ll blossom in the SEC under Coach (Cuonzo) Martin; he fits into that philosophy and system well,” Tucker told GoVolsXtra.com.

Rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com, Reese had trimmed his list to the Volunteers, Georgia Southern, James Madison, and UCF.

Kentucky Has BIG Recruiting Weekend on Tap

Coach John Calipari and the Wildcats have no verbal commitments for the 2012 class or any class for that matter, but don’t think Kentucky’s recruiting prowess has diminished just yet.

When college basketball officially kicks off on October 15th , Coach Cal and staff will have quite the list of visitors on Lexington for Big Blue Madness.

As of now there are 10 confirmed visitors, but Scout.com’s Evan Daniels thinks a few more names might join the group, that already includes: Shabazz Mohammed (2012), Dejuan Coleman (2012), Archie Goodwin (2012), Willie Cauley (2012), T.J. Warren (2012), Alex Poythress (2012), Andrew Harrison (2013), Aaron Harrison (2013), Chris Walker (2013), and Dakari Johnson (2014).

“They’re not done yet, either,” Daniels told Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier-Journal. “There’s a couple names that I’m not allowed to put out there yet, but I’ve talked to some AAU coaches for guys who want to be there.”

None of the ten players listed are ranked lower than 28th in their respective class, leading Daniels to call the gathering of the best he can remember for a Madness event.

“It’s shaping up to be arguably the best list of Midnight Madness visitors that I’ve ever seen. Anybody that they’re recruiting, it appears they’re getting in for Midnight Madness,” he said “Kentucky fans are going to sell (Madness) out and it’s always a big-time atmosphere. Calipari seems to do everything big, and this is huge. This is classic Calipari.”

NHR Top 100: #77 Darius Miller, SF, Kentucky

16 Aug

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Number 77 – Darius Miller, SF, Sr., Kentucky

This top 100 list is packed with stars, instant impact players, all conference studs and emerging prospects. If you look closer to the players, you’ll see guys like Miller – the ultimate role player. Continue reading