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BREAKING: John Calipari raises over $1,000,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief

Unreal.

John Calipari has helped raise over $1,000,000 for Teaming Up For Texas this afternoon to help the city of Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey.

Here was the official statement from UK Athletics following the event:

Answering a call to action from John and Ellen Calipari, Joe and Kelly Craft, and the Kentucky men’s basketball team, viewers and participants of Sunday’s “Teaming Up For Texas” telethon helped generate $1 million (with matching funds) to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to aid in the relief efforts in Texas and to benefit the victims of the catastrophic storm.

“I’m just so proud of the people of Kentucky,” Calipari said. “I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and Ellen grew up in Osceola, Missouri. These are people that we just feel so comfortable around, and I know there were $25 donations, there were $50, there were $100, and you know they really were like, ‘I don’t have this $25, but I’m going to do it.’ There were people that gave $10,000 to have dinner (with us). Great. They could afford it. But it was more about how many (donated).

Throughout the afternoon, former players such as Karl Towns, John Wall, De’Aaron Fox, and Eric Bledsoe among several others called in to show support and donate to an unbelievable cause. Outside of Kentucky guys, we saw ESPN employees, other NCAA coaches, etc. call in and make massive donations, as well.

If you missed the telethon, head on over to this link and catch up on the pictures, videos, and quotes from today’s massive event.

WATCH: John Calipari leads the Teaming Up for Texas Telethon

Once again we are reminded how incredible the University of Kentucky and their fans are.

From the BBN, we’re here for you Houston.


WATCH: John Calipari leads the Teaming Up for Texas Telethon

It’s officially time for John Calipari’s “Teaming Up for Texas Telethon.”

Check out the official live stream:

If you’d like to make a donation to this incredible cause, call 859-299-5455 or 855-257-2700.

Your favorite Wildcat may be the one to pick up the phone.

Here is what Coach Cal had to say about setting up this event and Harvey’s impact:

“I have not been able to stop thinking about everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey,” head coach John Calipari said. “Every time I turn on the TV, I’m stunned at the images of devastation in Texas. It hits home for me because of the players we’ve had come from that area, including Andrew and Aaron Harrison, De’Aaron Fox and now Jarred Vanderbilt. Thankfully their families are safe, but there are a whole lot of people down there who aren’t as fortunate.

“The Big Blue Nation has already been terrific in helping us raise $150,000 for the victims of Hurricane Harvey by showing up to last week’s UK Alumni Charity Game and the response to the University of Houston’s call earlier this week for clothing has been terrific, but we can do even more. I hope our fans will join me, Ellen, Joe and Kelly Craft in helping raise money this weekend. No donation is too small.”

100% of all donations will go directly to Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.

Live updates:

Just announced: Over $800,000 raised.

Calipari says with any donation of $100 or more, he will send an autographed picture.

Current Wildcats fielding calls for Hurricane Harvey relief

Go Big Blue.


The top 15 high school mixtapes of the Calipari era

Earlier this week, we told you about John Wall’s high school mixtape being named No. 1 of all time by SLAM Online, topping high school sensations like Aquille Carr and Seventh Woods.

Today, we’re going to rank the best high school highlight tapes of the Calipari era.

Let me preface by saying this has nothing to do with actual production at Kentucky or in the NBA, rather the general excitement for each player based on mixtape/film alone.

Check out our list:

1. John Wall

The world was introduced to John Wall with this legendary Hoopmixtape. We saw some of the most jaw-dropping passes, dunks, blocks, and ball-handling skills we’ve ever seen at the high school level.

The shifty point guard electrified the BBN, bringing in the Calipari era at UK with a bang.

2. Anthony Davis

This is where the epic “growth spurt” storyline with Anthony Davis began. The lanky big man from Chicago had the ability to bring the ball up court, defend, shoot from deep, and dunk all over people, and this mixtape showed it all.

Little did we know Davis would become one of the best players in the NBA just a few years later.

3. Julius Randle

Every time Julius Randle went up for a dunk at Kentucky, we expected the rim to break off. This video was the sole reason. 

We were able to see his true athleticism and sheer power, something that translated to the college game with ease. Randle’s ability to score on just about anyone in the country was fascinating to watch, and it all started with his dominant high school highlight reel.

4. Hamidou Diallo

When Hamidou Diallo was rumored to commit to Kentucky and join the team last Winter, fans expected him to come in immediately and make a major impact. His highlight tapes showed off some of the most epic in-game dunks we have ever seen, with each one better than the one before.

His ridiculous athleticism was second to none, and with an elite potential on defense, the hype was real.

Diallo sat out for half a year to spend time refining his game, and he’s expected to be a star player next season for the Wildcats.

Like Malik Monk last year, expect Diallo to live on SportsCenter with high-flying dunks and tremendous scoring ability.

Speaking of Monk…

5. Malik Monk

Monk brought a unique ability to shoot lights-out from deep, but dunk on someone’s face if need-be. His high school tape gave us the best of both worlds.

Monk was a threat to score 30+ points on any given night in high school, and that narrative was the same in college.

Coming out of Arkansas, many Razorback fans went crazy when their prized recruit left home to join the BBN. So did we.

6. Nerlens Noel

Elite shot-blocking ability, athleticism, dunks, etc., Noel was the best big man in the country and it wasn’t close. The energy he brought to the table in this mixtape alone gave Kentucky fans a massive spark going into the 2012-13 season.

For a recruiting class that needed a superstar to anchor the unit, Noel gave them just that.

7. De’Aaron Fox

Drawing comparisons to John Wall, Fox showed off the quickness and elite athleticism we saw at Kentucky in this highlight tape.

Everything came to him so easily in high school.

(It’s weird seeing him in a headband and short hair.)

8. Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns showed off the unique ability to execute traditional post moves and shoot the ball as a big man, on top of his deceiving athleticism. His ability to run the floor with and without the ball in his hands as a 7-foot 17-year old was just ridiculous.

After reclassifying to the class of 2014, Towns was actually fairly underrated going into the season.

As the year progressed, however, the former Kentucky star developed into the best center in America and the No. 1 overall pick.

9. The Harrison Twins

The anticipation for the Harrison Twins was out of this world, as they were one of the most impressive package deals in recent memory. Considered the No. 1 point guard and shooting guard in the nation, their joint highlight tape provided some of the best examples of their on-court chemistry.

Shooting, crossovers, and ball handling, these kids did it all.

Oh, and Aaron hit three of the biggest shots in school history. That was awesome, too.

10. Kevin Knox

A 6’10 shooting guard with ball handling and ridiculous range? I don’t believe it.

Knox’s official mixtape sparked Kevin Durant-like comparisons, and those are going to keep going into the season.

This kid is special.

11. Tyler Ulis

One of the best point guards in UK history started out as a 5’9 kid out of Chicago with a chip on his shoulder looking to cross his opponents up one at a time.

His high school highlight tapes proved to tell just part of the future story of his greatness.

12. Isaiah Briscoe

Absolutely. Ridiculous. Handles.

Briscoe was known as a pit bull from the get-go, going heads up with anyone that dared to guard him in high school. There was no one in the nation with better ball handling abilities, and his scoring at the rim was impressive as well.

13. Brandon Knight

Brandon Knight was the centerpiece of the 2010-11 recruiting class, known as one of the best scorers in the nation.

Though he rarely had to show it at UK, his highlight tape showed just how athletic he really was with a few of the crazy dunks and finishes at the basket.

He also had a 4.0 GPA out of high school and into college, with that intelligence translating onto the court as a floor general and natural leader of the offense.

14. Marquis Teague

Teague was considered the top guard in America in 2011, and it’s easy to see why in his senior highlight tape.

With elite ball handling, athleticism, and court vision, Teague’s game translated into the perfect National Championship point guard.

It made it even sweeter when he chose Kentucky over Louisville as a senior (wearing a red polo at the announcement, at that.)

15. Jamal Murray

To have Jamal Murray’s tape listed last in the list of top 15 mixtapes just goes to show how unreal Calipari’s recruiting ability is. Showing off elite shooting range and athleticism at the rim, Murray shot up the recruiting ranks and hype built on his highlight tapes alone.

At Kentucky, he ended up being the perfect compliment to Tyler Ulis, giving the Wildcats one of the most impressive backcourts in school history.

The Canadian superstar was one of the best surprises we’ve received in a while.

What does your list look like?


Coaches vote John Calipari the second most powerful person in college basketball

John Calipari has become the face of college basketball in the one-and-done era, but according to coaches in the sport, there’s still one person that’s more powerful. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish asked over 100 college basketball coaches who they believe is the most powerful person in the sport, and 43.7% voted for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. Calipari came in second with 20.4% of the vote. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney was third at 8.7%.

What gives Coach K the edge over Cal? His role with USA Basketball, which, thankfully, is coming to an end.

“Coach K is the biggest deal in our sport,” one coach said anonymously. “And the USA Basketball thing is what took it to another level. He gets [expletive] done. Who else could get that Marvin Bagley deal done like him? And he’s bullet-proof too. Corey Maggette situation. Nothing comes of it. Lance Thomas situation. Nothing comes of it. Totally bullet-proof. Have to respect it.”

He’s got a point. Calipari would be banned from the sport for some of the things Coach K has pulled off, but somehow, Krzyzewski not only gets away with it, he’s been put on a pedestal. However, as one coach noted, it was Calipari that forced Krzyzewski to adapt.

“He’s changed how people do things,” a coach said of Cal. “He’s changed the mindset of parents and of players. He’s made everyone up their game in terms of facilities and doing everything first class and trying to be big time. He by far has the most power in college basketball. Even Coach K has changed what he does because of what Calipari’s doing.”

Unfortunately, Coach K and Duke seem to be beating Calipari at his own game as of late, but hopefully that changes soon. (Looking at you, R.J. Barrett) Read more of the coaches’ views on Coach K and Cal at the link below.

[CBS Sports]


Denny Crum hospitalized after mild stroke

Some sad news to report from our friends down I-64. Legendary Louisville coach Denny Crum has been hospitalized in Alaska after suffering a mild stroke yesterday.

Crum’s wife, WFPL host Susan Sweeny Crum, said the 80-year-old coach became ill while fishing and was airlifted to Providence Hospital in Anchorage. Thankfully, Crum is said to be doing well and could be released from the hospital as early as this weekend.

Crum was the coach at Louisville from 1971-2001, leading the Cards to two national championships and six Final Fours. Even though he coached Kentucky’s arch rival, Crum is a lovable and well-respected figure all across the Bluegrass, and hosted a radio show with former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall for a decade. It takes a mighty big man to bridge the gap between two bitter rivals, but somehow, Crum did it, and with class. I know I’m not alone when I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

[WFPL]


Calipari had a baby bottle made for DeMarcus Cousins at Kentucky

Calipari had a baby bottle made for DeMarcus Cousins at Kentucky

Former Kentucky player and assistant coach Scott Padgett treated us to many great stories this morning on KSR, but the funniest may have been how John Calipari had a baby bottle made for DeMarcus Cousins during the 2009-10 season. Padgett, an assistant coach at Kentucky that year, said that whenever DeMarcus whined or complained during practice (which happened a lot), Cal would yell for the assistants to “get him his bottle.”

“If you see the transformation that guys like that that were a little rough around the edges have made — I can remember [DeMarcus] Cousins being in practice and throwing tantrums to the point that Cal had a baby bottle made up and said, ‘Give him a bottle.’ I mean, he didn’t ever give him the bottle, but he had it made up and it was kind of funny. ‘Get him his bottle! He’s acting like a child!’

Padgett said Cal’s ability to get guys like DeMarcus, who are used to getting their way based solely on talent, to listen is one of his best traits as a coach.

“You guys see Cuz still gets some technicals and things like that, but the real amazing thing is to see how far they’ve come, and I think it started with their time at Kentucky because Cal was always talking about the things you have to do moving on in life to be successful. I think they’ve done a great job with those guys. You don’t see very many guys come from there and get in trouble afterwards, and that’s rare with the one-and-done guys because 19-year-olds all of a sudden become millionaires. A lot of times, that becomes trouble.”

“It’s part of the testament to Cal and his staff. They’ve recruited great talents, but they’ve recruited good kids and I think that’s part of the reason the kids have been willing to accept certain roles even though they’re all stars when they get there.”

I’d love to see if that baby bottle is still around the Joe Craft Center. Listen to Padgett do his best Calipari impression in the clip below:


Scott Padgett confessed to stealing 1998 NCAA trophy

Scott Padgett confessed to stealing 1998 NCAA trophy

During his Thursday guest appearance on Kentucky Sports Radio, Scott Padgett confessed to a crime he committed while in college at the University of Kentucky.

He confessed to stealing the 1998 national championship trophy.

Padgett said that, because he sat out in ’96 and they fell short in ’97, he wanted more time with the trophy once the ’98 locker room celebration was ending; so he wrapped it in a towel and threw it in his bag and took it back to his hotel room.

“It slept in the bed with me,” Padgett told KSR. “(The next morning) I come down and I look around, and I see people panicking over this thing and it’s still in my bag. And people are looking all over and I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ and they were like, ‘We can’t find the trophy?’ and I just started laughing… I told them I’d give it back to them when we got back to Rupp.”

Padgett said a photo hangs in his office at Samford of him holding the trophy at the Rupp Arena celebration and UK finally taking it away from him.

Hear him tell the entire story:


Quade Green completes Meet The Wildcats series

Quade Green completes Meet The Wildcats series

UK point guard Quade Green is the last freshman to complete CoachCal.com’s “Meet The Wildcats” series.

As part of the series, Green went up against Rex Chapman in a friendly game of CATS while talking about what he’ll bring to the table as the team’s freshman leader.

Then in an interview with the website, Green went in depth about being next up in a long line of great point guards and how his plan is to be the best of the bunch.

“That’s my main goal right now,” he said. “That’s if I do four years, three years, two years or one year. I’m trying to be the best player I can be and better than everybody that came through here as a guard.”

Read more here.

And how about that no-look runner off the glass from Rex?


John Calipari announces “Teaming Up for Texas” telethon for Hurricane Harvey relief

John Calipari announces “Teaming Up for Texas” telethon for Hurricane Harvey relief

Last night, John Calipari tweeted that he was working on setting up a telethon to raise money for victims of Hurricane Harvey, and now, we have the details. Calipari, his wife, Joe and Kelly Craft, and the Kentucky men’s basketball team will host the “Teaming Up For Texas” telethon Sunday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on WKYT and its affiliates across the state. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to benefit the victims of the catastrophic storm.

This will be the third disaster-relief telethon Calipari has hosted while at Kentucky. In 2010, Kentucky and Calipari used a telethon to raise more than $1 million for victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and in 2012, followed it up with another telethon that generated $1 million for victims of Superstorm Sandy. Members of the UK men’s basketball team will take phone calls and donations and special guests are expected to participate in the show.

“I have not been able to stop thinking about everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey,” Calipari said in a statement from UK. “Every time I turn on the TV, I’m stunned at the images of devastation in Texas. It hits home for me because of the players we’ve had come from that area, including Andrew and Aaron Harrison, De’Aaron Fox and now Jarred Vanderbilt. Thankfully their families are safe, but there are a whole lot of people down there who aren’t as fortunate.

“The Big Blue Nation has already been terrific in helping us raise $150,000 for the victims of Hurricane Harvey by showing up to last week’s UK Alumni Charity Game and the response to the University of Houston’s call earlier this week for clothing has been terrific, but we can do even more. I hope our fans will join me, Ellen, Joe and Kelly Craft, and our team in helping raise money this weekend. No donation is too small.”

The telethon will be streamed live at WKYT.comUKathletics.comCoachCal.com, and on the official @UKCoachCalipari and @KentuckyMBB Facebook pages. It will also be televised on the stations listed below:  

City Station National Affiliate
Lexington, Ky. WKYT CBS
Louisville, Ky. WBKI CW
Hazard, Ky. WYMT CBS
Ashland, Ky./Huntington, W.Va./Charleston, W.Va. WSAZ Tri-State CW
Bowling Green, Ky. WBKO FOX
Paducah, Ky. WPSD *Channel 6.3 (antenna TV)
Lexington, KY. (radio) WLAP (radio) *630 AM (radio)

 


Legendary college basketball coach Rollie Massimino passes away

College basketball lost one of its most colorful characters today. Legendary Villanova coach Rollie Massimino passed away at the age of 82 at his home in Florida. In 1985, Massimino’s Wildcats beat Patrick Ewing and No. 1 Georgetown for the National Championship in Rupp Arena in what is still considered one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history.

Earlier this week, John Calipari tweeted an update on Massimino and encouraged Kentucky fans to pray on his behalf. A few minutes ago, he posted this tribute to the coaching legend:

Massimino won 816 games in 41 seasons of coaching, 355 of those wins coming over 19 years at Villanova. He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. To honor his memory, let’s relive that magical win in Rupp:

 


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Mark Stoops will preview the season on the SEC Coaches Teleconference

Today is the first SEC Coaches Teleconference of the season, which means Mark Stoops and the league’s coaches will chat with their favorite reporters for ten minutes each around lunchtime. With Nick Roush on the road, I’ll be tuned in to hear if there are any updates on Kentucky’s preparations for Southern Miss and also to see if I can understand anything Ed Orgeron says.

Not enough updates for you? Defensive coordinator Matt House will address reporters following UK’s practice tonight, so stay tuned.

The KSR Crew leaves for Hattiesburg

After today’s show, Matt, Ryan, Nick Roush, and Perrin Johnson will pile into the ole KSR mobile and head south towards Hattiesburg for Saturday’s season opener. That’s a ways away, so they’ll stop in Birmingham tonight, so if you’re in the area, give them recs. I’ve already made Nick Roush well aware of the best beer in the world, Good People IPA, whose taproom is right downtown.

Today’s “Something Good”: Animals being rescued from Hurricane Harvey flooding

By now you’ve seen countless videos and pictures of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which crippled Houston and southeast Texas. Over the last five days, Houston has received almost 50″ of rain, which is more than our area averages in an entire year. The damage is devastating, but the stories of people teaming up to rescue others are inspiring. As an animal lover, the footage of people rescuing pets affects me most, and this compilation from TIME will hit you right in the feels:

If you missed it in the post below this one, last night, John Calipari announced that Kentucky Basketball will host a disaster-relief telethon with WKYT on Sunday to raise money for Harvey victims. We should find out more details in the coming days. Houston native and current Memphis Grizzly Andrew Harrison also issued a plea for donations on behalf of the American Red Cross:

Want to do something to help? Click here or text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross.

Watch the Southern Miss Game in the Woodford Reserve Club

Don’t get CBS Sports Network? Or, do you just want to watch the Southern Miss game with some diehard Kentucky fans? The Fayette County UK Alumni Club is hosting a watch party this Saturday at the Woodford Reserve Club at Kroger Field. You can watch the game on over 25 flat screens and two large projector screens inside the Woodford Reserve Club — or head out to the patio and watch it on the two stadium scoreboards. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and kickoff from Hattiesburg is at 4 p.m. 

The cost is $20 for alumni association members, $25 for non-members, $10 for children 17 and under and includes admission to the event along with complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Concessions and a full bar will be available for guests to purchase additional food and drink during the game. All proceeds will go directly to the Fayette County UK Alumni Club Scholarship Fund to support local students attending UK. Head to www.ukalumni.net/fayettegamewatch2017 for more information.

Double Take of the Day: Randall Cobb with facial hair

@packers

No, we have not flashed back to the 70s. Even so, Randall can pull it off.

Show topic of the day: Hattiesburg prep and more food bracket

Tune in to hear the guys prepare for their trip to Hattiesburg and tackle more of the food bracket one hour from now.


John Calipari announces UK will host a telethon for Hurricane Harvey victims

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The footage coming out of Texas of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is devastating, and John Calipari is ready to help. Late last night, Cal announced that Kentucky will help host a disaster-relief telethon on Sunday to raise money for the victims of the storm, which has ravaged the Houston area.

“Can’t stop thinking about everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey,” Cal tweeted. “We’re working to partner with WKYT and [the American] Red Cross for a telethon Sunday. We will have more details later. For now, let’s keep everyone in Texas in our prayers.”

Yesterday, UK shipped out several t-shirts and pairs of shoes to University of Houston head basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, and on Friday at the Alumni Game, Calipari pledged $150,000 to the American Red Cross for Harvey relief. On Monday, he told reporters that Jarred Vanderbilt’s family, who lives is Houston, is safe in Austin and he’s reached out to the families of his former players from the area, such as De’Aaron Fox, the Harrison Twins, and Marcus Camby.

“I’m waiting to hear,” Calipari said. “It looks like it’s just going to get worse too. You see the flooding and that stuff. It’s just… ugh. The worst part of this will be when the flooding recedes and those houses are all — if you don’t get back in there and deal with the mold, you might as well tear down the house. And let’s be real: Who are going to be affected by this the most? Poor people. No question. So here they are — they don’t have money to tear down walls and do that stuff. They’re probably in low-lying areas, just like in New Orleans.”

Calipari has hosted two disaster-relief telethons during his time at Kentucky, one after the deadly earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and another in 2012 following Hurricane Sandy. If those are any indication, southeast Texas has a big wave of relief coming from the Big Blue Nation.


@UKequipment

Kentucky Basketball sending items to Houston for Hurricane Harvey relief

@UKequipment

Yesterday, University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson put out a call on Twitter asking college basketball coaches around the country to donate 20 of their schools’ t-shirts and 10 pairs of shoes to UH for Hurricane Harvey relief, and the response has been incredible. Programs around the country are sending supplies to Houston, including Kentucky, whose equipment staff packed up way more t-shirts and shoes than requested this afternoon:

Other SEC schools helping out:

If you missed it yesterday, John Calipari told reporters that Jarred Vanderbilt’s family, who lives is Houston, is safe in Austin and he’s reached out to the families of his former players from the area, such as De’Aaron Fox, the Harrison Twins, and Marcus Camby.

“I’m waiting to hear,” Calipari said. “It looks like it’s just going to get worse too. You see the flooding and that stuff. It’s just… ugh. The worst part of this will be when the flooding recedes and those houses are all — if you don’t get back in there and deal with the mold, you might as well tear down the house. And let’s be real: Who are going to be affected by this the most? Poor people. No question. So here they are — they don’t have money to tear down walls and do that stuff. They’re probably in low-lying areas, just like in New Orleans.”

Want to do something to help? Text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross.


John Higgins voted one of the best referees in college basketball (Yes, really)

John Higgins voted one of the best referees in college basketball (Yes, really)

Kentucky found out the hard way that all referees aren’t created equal when John Higgins blew several calls in the Cats’ game vs. North Carolina in the Elite Eight, but somehow, he’s still considered one of the best in the sport. In the latest installment of the CBS Sports “Candid Coaches” series, more than 100 college basketball coaches were asked who they believe is the best referee in the sport, and SEVEN percent voted for Higgins, who tied for fourth. Oh boy. Although Calipari and Higgins’ dislike for one another is well known, especially after this year’s tournament, one coach (speaking anonymously) said he’s never noticed a bias:

“I think he’s fair. I think he lets the players dictate the game. I think that he’s not influenced by any coach. I don’t think any coach intimidates him. If you see where he’s at every year, you see he’s almost always in the Final Four. Like him, don’t like him, I think he’s the fairest and absolutely the most consistent official.”

Contrast that with this quote from another coach.

“There’s some guys out there, John Higgins — don’t get me started.”

That might actually have been Calipari because I feel the same way.

The top three refs in the game, per the anonymous poll? Roger Ayers, Mike Eades, and Teddy “TV” Valentine. Ayers, who received 20% of the vote, is another “don’t get me started.” Kentucky is 7-9 in games officiated by Ayers in the Calipari Era, and while the thought of him winning this poll is laughable, Higgins finishing fourth after his performance in the North Carolina game is abominable. If you want to get angry all over again, just check out Drew’s breakdown of his terrible performance from March:

No more John Higgins please.

Just don’t leave him any death threats.

[CBS Sports]


Jack “Goose” Givens to have surgery on Achilles following Legends Game

After going down with an injury in the UK Legends Game this past weekend, Jack “Goose” Givens will reportedly undergo surgery to repair a torn Achilles.

Big Blue Insider’s Dick Gabriel posted the news on Twitter:

Givens hit one of his patented baseline jumpers immediately after entering the game and came down awkwardly on his foot. He tried staying in the game, but eventually made his way to the sideline in excruciating pain.

Best of luck to the Kentucky legend as he goes under the knife tomorrow and hopefully recovers as soon as possible.


Calipari talks Hurricane Harvey, checks on former players in its path

Calipari talks Hurricane Harvey, checks on former players in its path

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Like most Americans, John Calipari has been following the horrific scene down in Texas as Hurricane Harvey devastates the area with its torrential rainfall. He sympathizes with the victims in Harvey’s path and even went as far to donate $150,000 to the Harvey relief fund with money raised by the John Calipari Foundation this past weekend in Lexington.

The city of Houston, which is catching some of the worst of the storm, has been good to Calipari over the years — it has produced several elite high school players who have gone on to play for him in college. One of those Houstonians is current Wildcat freshman Jarred Vanderbilt, whose parents are safe after they drove from Houston to Austin to get out of harm’s way, Calipari said Monday.

Cal also reached out to the families of the Harrison twins and De’Aaron Fox, as well as Marcus Camby, who currently lives in Houston.

“I’m waiting to hear,” Calipari said. “It looks like it’s just going to get worse too. You see the flooding and that stuff. It’s just… ugh. The worst part of this will be when the flooding recedes and those houses are all — if you don’t get back in there and deal with the mold, you might as well tear down the house. And let’s be real: Who are going to be affected by this the most? Poor people. No question. So here they are — they don’t have money to tear down walls and do that stuff. They’re probably in low-lying areas, just like in New Orleans.”

Sadly, Harvey isn’t done and no one knows when it will end. But even when the skies clear, Calipari noted it will be much longer before things are normal again for the area.

“The initial stuff will be that we’re all doing stuff and then it recedes and we all move on to the next issue,” Calipari said. “Well, it will be another two years for them.”


UPDATE: Montrezl Harrell and Chane Behanan banned from practicing at UofL facilities

UPDATE: Montrezl Harrell and Chane Behanan banned from practicing at UofL facilities

Former UofL star and current LA Clipper Montrezl Harrell has reportedly been denied from entering the facilities at Louisville.

Harrell was one of the main athletes involved in the UofL stripper scandal involving Katina Powell, and it looks like the team now wants nothing to do with him being around the program.

Here is what he had to say about the incident on his Instagram story:

(H/T to Cardinal Connect for finding the images on social media)

Harrell’s barring likely stems from the ongoing process between the NCAA and the school about deciding which players will be declared ineligible, and thus, which wins will be taken away from the program between 2010 and 2014.

(Hint, it’s all of them.)

It’s uncertain if this is a temporary or permanent rule being implemented at UofL with players involved in the scandal, but it’s hilarious either way.

————————————UPDATE——————————–

Former UofL star Chane Behanan also came out and said he was banned from all UofL facilities.

@JerryEaves5

Behanan later said he “wants his name off of everything that has to do with Louisville.”

@JerryEaves5

What a circus.


Seth Greenberg visits UK Practice

This morning’s Kentucky basketball pick-up game had a special visitor. ESPN College Basketball analyst and College Gameday’s Seth Greenberg was in attendance and took to Twitter to give his opinion on the Cats. Greenberg had this to say:

“Watching @KentuckyMBB on open gym pick up was impressed with their overall size and length. Big Long skilled athletic hybrid wings.

Would not be shocked to see @KentuckyMBB play with 4 hybrid wings and a point guard at times. That lineup could be versatile on O&D.

Quade is a very important piece 4 @KentuckyMBB Natural leader with a very good feel Sees plays early especially in transition & S/R.

Gabriel looked improved. Stronger, shot it and finished better but his key is to be more active and play harder play by play. Washington Gabriel Vanderbilt Knox could pose problems defensively all can defend any position.

@KentuckyMBB This years @SEC is the deepest in years. @KentuckyMBB will take some hits during the season. Key will be embracing the grind of the season.”

Greenberg had high praise for the Cats and only makes me more excited for this season!


Can’t Miss Highlights from the UK Alumni Charity Basketball Game

Can’t Miss Highlights from the UK Alumni Charity Basketball Game

For those who couldn’t make it to Rupp Arena last night for the UK Alumni Charity Basketball Game, these highlights reveal the best things you missed.

There are a few views of the Legends Game, but they can’t compare to the dunks from the NBA players.  Karl-Anthony Towns has one magnificent “rock the baby” dunk, but Rajon Rondo stole the show.  He threw one ridiculous lob pass after another, culminating with one off his own head.  You have to see it to believe it.

The intro video might be even better than the highlights.


Why Karl-Anthony Towns Penned the Piece for The Players’ Tribune

In addition to his letter, The Big KAT rocked these shoes last night at Rupp.

Karl-Anthony Towns took a risk, one he believed was worth taking.

Athletes are criticized more than they are praised for voicing their opinions outside the realm of sports.  Usually a guy who “takes the safe road,” Towns believed it was time to take a different route.

“The first thing you always do when you write an article like that is you think about all the consequences and the backlash that can come from it,” Towns said after last night’s charity alumni game.  “The first thing I thought about all of that is, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do it.’ That’s exactly what I think people wanted me to do.  I decided to go the route that I felt was right.”

Towns believed the right thing to do was use his prominent platform to do something positive.

“When you live in this time you want to make sure that you don’t have history repeat itself.  I felt that with the platform that I have, everything I learned, how to use my voice effectively at the University of Kentucky, while in the NBA I felt that I could do something positive for the world.”

Towns did not use his forum simply to call out the President.  He did not want to be critical, he just wanted to spread love.

“I put my passion, my soul, my feelings, my ideals, my values, my morals into there,” he said.  “The intention was to spread love.   Racism, bigotry, gender equality can all be fixed with love.  It seems that a lot of times in life when you go to work, you look at your kids, you do anything in life, you always seem to do better when you put love into it.  I feel one of the biggest components the gives me an advantage over my opponents is the love I have for the game.  Nothing about talent, nothing about mentality, just straight love.  That’s what the article was about, just trying to spread love.”

There Are More of Us Than There Are of Them

The only thing missing from his piece: 

w