Tag:Kentucky
Posted on: May 7, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2011 4:16 pm
 

Jones returning to Kentucky

Kentucky's Terrence Jones announced via Twitter on Saturday that he's withdrawing from the NBA Draft and returning to school for his sophomore season.

"I've been enjoying being a college player and plan on striving to reach my goal of winning [UK's eighth national title]," Jones Tweeted.. "I can't leave the [Big Blue Nation] just yet.

Jones averaged 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds last season while helping the Wildcats make the Final Four. The 6-foot-8 forward was a projected lottery pick but decided to return and play with Darius Miller and a star-studded recruiting class that should have Kentucky ranked no lower than second in every preseason college basketball poll, No. 1 in some.

Underclassmen who have declared for the NBA Draft have until Sunday to withdraw.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 19, 2011 9:56 am
 

UNC, UK, then what?

Only Terrence Jones and/or Brandon Knight returning to Kentucky will keep North Carolina from being No. 1 in the preseason polls, and even then it'll be debatable. For now, though, I'm operating under the assumption that both will enter and remain in the NBA Draft, which would make my preseason top five look like this:
  1. North Carolina
  2. Kentucky
  3. Syracuse
  4. Ohio State
  5. Vanderbilt
The one thing that could change this -- besides me simply changing my mind -- would be Vandy's Jeff Taylor, John Jenkins or Fest Ezeli turning pro, but there's no indication any of that will happen. Regardless, most preseason rankings will have the same two teams at the top. After that is where the debate will begin.
Posted on: April 8, 2011 8:52 am
Edited on: April 8, 2011 8:57 am
 

The annual Calipari-to-NBA rumors are here

The annual John-Calipari-to-the-NBA reports are officially underway.

(What took so long?)

Peter Vecsey's column in the New York Post on Friday is headlined "Kentucky coach may be on Knicks' radar." There's nothing concrete about the headline and really no substance to the report. It's mostly just speculation rooted in the speculation of a person Vecsey describes as a team executive "who knows a thing or two about a thing or two regarding goings-on behind the screens," which is a cute way of saying "I'm gonna toss this against the wall, and, at some point, we'll see if it sticks."

So will it stick?

Honestly, who knows?

What I can tell you, though, is that this is not the first time I've heard a Calipari-Knicks rumor. One was brought to me before the Final Four, for what it's worth, but it's difficult to separate fact from fiction with this stuff, especially when the Knicks are still playing with a coach still under contract. In other words, we'll have to wait and see where this goes, then see what happens next. But similar to how I stated that Calipari would've left Kentucky last year for the opportunity to coach LeBron James, I have no doubt Calipari would leave Kentucky this year for the opportunity to coach Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony (and perhaps Chris Paul) with the Knicks.

Will Calipari get that opportunity?

Again, who knows?

But the annual speculation is something UK fans will never be able to avoid.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 20, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Gillispie reaches agreement with Texas Tech

Texas Tech officials have finalized an agreement that will make Billy Gillispie the school's next men's basketball coach, as CBSSports.com reported would be the case last Thursday.

A formal announcement is expected later Sunday.

The introductory press conference will be Wednesday, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Gillispie is a somewhat controversial hire because of a history of drinking-and-driving arrests but an obvious home run in terms of basketball. He's a Texas native who took UTEP to the NCAA tournament in 2004, then took Texas A&M to the 2006 and 2007 NCAA tournaments. Kentucky hired Gillispie to replace Tubby Smith after the 2007 season, but Gillispie was never a good fit in the high-profile job. He lasted only two years and was replaced by John Calipari.

Texas Tech fired Pat Knight on March 7.

He coached parts of four seasons and never made the NCAA tournament.

Posted on: March 17, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: March 17, 2011 11:48 am
 

Source: Gillispie to TTU likely coming next week

Billy Gillispie will be named Texas Tech's next basketball coach barring an unexpected change of plans over the coming days, a source told CBSSports.com on Thursday. But the source added that nothing is finalized and almost certainly won't be before Monday because Kirby Hocutt doesn't officially take over as the school's athletic director until next week, and Texas Tech won't formally move on Gillispie in advance of that.

"They're in a holding pattern," the source said. "But it's headed that direction."

Gillispie would be a somewhat controversial hire because of a history of drinking-and-driving arrests but an obvious home run in terms of basketball. He's a Texas native who took UTEP to the NCAA tournament in 2004, then took Texas A&M to the 2006 and 2007 NCAA tournaments. Kentucky hired Gillispie to replace Tubby Smith after the 2007 season, but Gillispie was never a good fit in the high-profile job. He lasted only two years and was replaced by John Calipari.

Texas Tech fired Pat Knight on March 7.

He coached parts of four seasons and never made the NCAA tournament.

Gillispie is the only known candidate who has already interviewed with Texas Tech officials.

Posted on: February 28, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 7:53 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Alabama got zero votes in last week's Coaches poll. Then the Crimson Tide barely beat Auburn, lost to Ole Miss and ... got six points in the Coaches poll. Not sure how that happens. But it sure does make the Poll Attacks simple.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)

Associated Press poll:
Florida is 22-6 overall, 11-3 in the SEC, ranked 14th in the AP poll, 14th in the Coaches poll and 16th in the Top 25 (and one). The Gators are 4-2 against top-25 RPI schools, 9-2 against top-50 RPI schools, 13-3 against top-100 RPI schools and in possession of a two-game lead in the SEC East.

And yet Izzy Gould from The Birmingham News left them off his AP ballot.

But he's got Kentucky 15th and Vanderbilt 21st.

Which means he ranked two SEC East schools -- and neither of them are SEC East-leading Florida.

Beyond that, he ranked Virginia Tech 24th.

Which means he ranked a Virginia Tech team that's 1-3 against top-25 RPI schools, 2-5 against top-50 RPI schools and 7-5 against top-100 RPI schools, but didn't rank a Florida team that's 4-2 against top-25 RPI schools, 9-2 against top-50 RPI schools and 13-3 against top-100 RPI schools. Needless to say, Izzy was blown away by the Hokies' win over Duke. I mean, really, really, really blown away. Most impressive thing he's ever seen, apparently.

Coaches poll: If the NCAA tournament started today -- and it doesn't, so relax -- Alabama might sneak in as an at-large. Or it might not. The point is that it would be close, and if you're that close to missing the NCAA tournament in late February then you probably shouldn't be getting votes for a Top 25 poll ... especially when you're coming off a loss to Ole Miss.

Still, Alabama got six points in Monday's coaches poll.

And that's not even the strangest part.

The strangest part is that the Crimson Tide got zero points in last week's poll when they were 18-8 overall, 10-2 in the SEC. Then they barely beat Auburn and lost to Ole Miss, and somehow that convinced coaches to vote for them. Strange. Bottom line, Alabama shouldn't have been on anybody's ballot last week or this week, but it's impossible to omit the Crimson Tide last week and add them this week. And by impossible, I mean idiotic and inexplicable.

Posted on: February 1, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 11:42 am
 

Are Vols about to take control of SEC East?

There are two SEC basketball games scheduled for tonight.

They are:
  • Kentucky at Ole Miss
  • Vanderbilt at Florida
Kentucky and Florida are the favorites in those matchups, meaning both should win. But if Ole Miss and Vandy pull off upsets, every SEC East team except Tennessee will have at least three league losses. Either way, the Vols are 4-2 in the SEC with two winnable games (at Auburn on Thursday/vs. Alabama on Saturday) scheduled this week. That means they should be 6-2 in the league after the weekend. And because Kentucky and Florida play each other late Saturday, the Vols will likely be either tied for first in the loss column in the SEC East with one other school (Florida or Kentucky) or all alone in first place of the SEC East when Bruce Pearl makes his permanent return to the sidelines next Tuesday for a nationally televised game with Kentucky at Rupp Arena.

Who would've guessed that after the Vols started 0-2 in the league?
Posted on: January 27, 2011 4:51 pm
 

I've seen a lot of good basketball teams already

Just landed back home after a two-day trip for Kansas-Colorado and San Diego State-BYU.

I saw two nice games and three top 10 teams.

It got me thinking: Are there any relevant teams I haven't seen in person this season?

Answer: Yes.

(But not many.)

Turns out I've seen 15 of the top 20 teams in the latest AP Top 25 poll. The only exceptions are Connecticut , Texas, Villanova, Minnesota and Washington, which makes me wish I would've gone to last month's game between the Longhorns and Huskies in Austin. Live and learn, right? Anyway, what my eyeballs tell me is that you'd be wise to start any Final Four picks with Ohio State and Kansas, and probably Duke too (especially if Kyrie Irving returns before the NCAA tournament). After that, who knows? A fourth possibility could be Texas, Kentucky, Pittsburgh or either of the teams (SDSU and BYU) I watched late Monday. For now, though, I'd go with a Final Four like this:
  • Ohio State
  • Kansas
  • Duke
  • Kentucky
----- THE LATEST AP TOP 20 -----

(Bolded teams are teams I've seen in person this season.)

1.Ohio State
2. Pittsburgh

3. Duke
4. San Diego State
5. Connecticut
6. Kansas
7. Texas
8. Villanova
9. Brigham Young
10. Syracuse
11. Missouri
12. Purdue
13. Texas A&M
14. Kentucky
15. Notre Dame
16. Minnesota
17. Wisconsin
18. Washington
19. Vanderbilt
20. Illinois

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
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