Aug 122015
 
Harry Giles

Harry Giles

On Wednesday, Nike released its EYBL Select Team roster of players that will participate in a training camp in the Bahamas later this month, and it’s full of UK recruiting targets.

All 10 of the uncommitted prospects on the list have scholarship offers from Kentucky, and the only two committed players who were chosen are headed to Nike schools: Jayson Tatum (Duke) and Jonathan Isaac (Florida State).

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Aug 072015
 

Owensboro Apollo basketball star Eli Wright announced Friday that he will transfer to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season of high school.

Wright — a 6-foot-4 shooting guard — has reported scholarship offers from Indiana, Texas, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Mississippi State, Tennessee and several others.

Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 125 overall recruit in the class of 2016, and he would have been among the early favorites for next year’s Kentucky Mr. Basketball honors.

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Aug 052015
 

It’s Aug. 5, and ESPN “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi already has an updated NCAA Tournament field for next March.

Kentucky is a No. 1 seed in Lunardi’s bracket, along with Maryland, North Carolina and Kansas. Defending champion Duke is a No. 2 seed, and Louisville starts out as a No. 5 seed.

The SEC gets six teams in — second only to the ACC’s nine — and Murray State (No. 13 seed) gives the state of Kentucky three teams in the Big Dance.

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Q&A: New UK assistant coach Tony Barbee

 Posted by at 10:45 AM on May 28, 2015  Comments Off on Q&A: New UK assistant coach Tony Barbee
May 282015
 

New UK assistant coach Tony Barbee met with reporters Thursday morning, a few days after officially being promoted from special assistant to John Calipari.

Barbee’s full comments:

On being back in a hands-on assistant role after a year in a more administrative job:
“It’s exciting for me to be back in the mix, working with the guys. It’s why we do what we do, obviously, to help the kids grow — off the floor as well, but basketball’s the passion. It’s what I do. It’s what we do as coaches. And to be able to get back on the floor and work with the guys individually and help the team in that way is exciting for me after a year off.”

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Apr 172015
 
Malik Newman | McDonald's photo

Malik Newman | McDonald’s photo

Five-star combo guard Malik Newman is one of UK’s top remaining recruiting targets in the class of 2015, and he’s arguably the best scorer in high school basketball.

A common narrative that has emerged in recent days — and one that has coincided with the rumors that he’ll end up at Mississippi State — is that there simply won’t be enough scoring opportunities for him if he were to come to Lexington.

Newman is at his best when he puts up lots of shots and gets in a rhythm. John Calipari has preached a team-first, shared-sacrifice approach ever since he arrived at Kentucky.

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Mike Brey: ‘We’re America’s team tomorrow’ vs. UK

 Posted by at 5:12 PM on March 27, 2015  Comments Off on Mike Brey: ‘We’re America’s team tomorrow’ vs. UK
Mar 272015
 

Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey was asked Friday if he had considered “what it’s going to be like to have everybody outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky cheering” for the Irish in Saturday night’s game against No. 1 and undefeated UK.

His response:

“We are America’s team tomorrow,” Brey said. “There’s no question about it. Got some great texts. And we love it, we certainly will take all that support. We’ve got a monumental challenge on our hands, but we play in the best conference in America. Going through the teams we had to go through in ACC play, I think has us very prepared to play against a great team like Kentucky.”

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Mar 222015
 
Photo: Jonathan Palmer/Herald-Leader

Jonathan Palmer/Herald-Leader

Louisville Coach Rick Pitino was asked about his views on the one-and-done rule, and the NBA’s control over how that rule is handled, during his press conference from the NCAA Tournament site in Seattle on Saturday.

Pitino said — if it were up to him — high school basketball players would not have to go to college before starting their NBA careers. Of course, he noted, it’s not up to him.

“It’s in the hands of the NBA and the (NBA) Players Union,” he said. “They really determine it. What we want — we obviously have a committee set up to try to make recommendations, but it’s really not in our hands. It’s in the (NBA) Commissioner’s hands as well as the Players Union. And agents have a lot to say with the Players Union. I would think that the Players Union would go for high school kids. I’m very much in favor of high school kids going pro. I had six young men commit to me out of high school that didn’t go to college, that went to the pros. I’m very much for that. Because they didn’t want college. They wanted to go to the NBA. And if they decide to go to the D league, that’s fine with them. But the six, seven month education, online classes second semester. I don’t know what that does for a young person.”

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Mar 152015
 
John Calipari

John Calipari

UK Coach John Calipari spoke to an assembled group of media members who were invited to his house Sunday to watch the NCAA Tournament Selection Show. Here’s what Calipari had to say after seeing the Cats’ draw:

On not having any NBA teams in their bracket, which he joked about earlier: “It’s a good bracket. I didn’t get to see it all. I haven’t really studied it, but you kind of wanted to know who those four were with us. When you look at all four brackets, the West may be a little lighter than the others but not much. I mean — is West Arizona and those guys? (Yes). It was pretty hard. That one’s hard. What was the other one? I don’t know. They’re all pretty — again, my concern right now is just making sure we’re in a great frame of mind, and this team right now is. We’ll take tomorrow complete off from basketball. We may watch some tape later tomorrow night, and that tape is going to be our Arkansas game. And it won’t even be with me. It will be with the staff. Let those guys go over the tape with them. We’ll come back Tuesday, practice. We probably won’t leave until Wednesday to go to Louisville.”

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UK basketball recruits earn Naismith national honors

 Posted by at 2:29 PM on March 10, 2015  Comments Off on UK basketball recruits earn Naismith national honors
Mar 102015
 
Briscoe

Briscoe

Two UK men’s basketball signees and two women’s signees were among the high school players included on the Naismith All-America teams Tuesday.

Isaiah Briscoe earned the highest honor of those players as a second-team All-American. Skal Labissiere made the third team. UK women’s signees Maci Morris and Taylor Murray were both honorable mentions on the girls’ team. Morris (Bell County) joined honorable mention Erin Boley (Elizabethtown) as the only Kentuckians to make either team. Boley is committed to Notre Dame for the class of 2016.

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State’s top players at Joe B. Hall Classic on Saturday

 Posted by at 11:05 AM on January 23, 2015  Comments Off on State’s top players at Joe B. Hall Classic on Saturday
Jan 232015
 
Ray Spalding

Ray Spalding

Many of Kentucky’s top high school basketball players will converge on Montgomery County High School on Saturday for the annual Joe B. Hall Prep Classic.

This year’s five-game lineup features the top six seniors in the state, including Louisville signee Ray Spalding, Vanderbilt signee Camron Justice and West Virginia signee James “Beetle” Bolden.

The Herald-Leader’s preseason poll of state coaches listed Spalding (Louisville Trinity), Justice (Knott Central) and Bolden (Holmes) as the top three players in Kentucky. Spalding is considered a Top 100 prospect nationally.

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