Kentucky Re-Loads…..UCLA Re-Groups???

Kentucky is up to their old tricks.

On national television, Nerlens Noel, Scout.com’s No. 1 prospect, announced he will play in Lexington for John Calipari.

Known as the nation’s top shot blocker, Noel, a 6-foot-11 center, is expected to have a similar impact on the defensive end as Kentucky’s Anthony Davis. He has terrific length, timing and athleticism.

Noel was classified as a 2013 recruit until early February when he opted to reclass to 2012. He began with a list of five schools before cutting it to Georgetown, Syracuse and Kentucky.

The move catapults Kentucky’s recruiting class to No. 1 overall. He joins five-star recruits Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and four-star big man Willie Caulely.

If Kentucky finishes No. 1 overall, this will be the the fourth year in a row the Wildcats ended up with the top recruiting class in the country.

 

 

After deliberating for much of his senior year, Shabazz Muhammad’s college choice

Is in now…Muhammad, Scout.com’s No. 2 prospect in the 2012 class, announced on Wednesday he is headed to UCLA.

Ben Howland and the Bruins have been the supposed leader in Muhammad’s recruitment for quite some time, but they had to fend off a strong run by Kentucky and Duke.

A 6-foot-6, 210-pound wing, Muhammad is a terrific scorer from the perimeter. Over the past two years he’s developed his ball handling, added a mid-range game and has even extended his shot out to 23-feet.

According to Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice, it’s his intensity and effort that makes him special.

“You can count on your hands the amount of guys that compete the way he does and go as hard as he does, and all of those guys are playing big time basketball right now,” Rice told Scout.com just two hours before the announcement.

“He has all the makings of someone that wants to be great,” he added.

Two weeks ago at the McDonald’s All-American practices, Muhammad played with an edge and seemed to play with more energy and effort than every player in practice. Rice said that was a daily occurrence at Bishop Gorman.

“Every practice,” he said. “Guys just know that if they are guarding him they better go

go hard or he’s going to go up and dunk on them.”

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Jared Sullinger ..Going Pro

 

After guiding Ohio State to the Final Four, two-time All-American forward Jared Sullinger figured he might as well see what he could do for an NBA team.The 6-foot-9 sophomore announced on Wednesday that he is giving up his final two seasons with the Buckeyes to make himself available for the NBA Draft in June. Most projections have him going in the top 10 picks.

”Going to the Final Four with a team that many people said we weren’t good enough, weren’t strong enough, weren’t mentally tough enough, and still being able to get to the Final Four with all the ups and downs we had, I think that was tremendous for this basketball team,” Sullinger said, flanked by his parents and coach Thad Matta. ”Once we got to the Final Four, we were trying to win it. But unfortunately, we fell short. I feel at peace with the decision I’m making.”

The Buckeyes lost to Kansas 64-62 in the national semifinals on Saturday.

Sullinger averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds a game while shooting 52 percent from the field, 77 percent at the line and 40 percent on 3-pointers while leading the Buckeyes to a 31-8 record and a Final Four berth. He was 63-10 as a starter.

Tony Wroten Declares for NBA

 

Washington guard Tony Wroten announced Tuesday he will declare for the NBA draft and hire an agent, ending his collegiate career after one season during which he was the Pac-12 freshman of the year but could not help the Huskies reach the NCAA tournament.

Wroten made his announcement less than 48 hours after teammate Terrence Ross announced his intention to leave Washington following his sophomore season.

The Huskies will now go from having one of the most talented guard pairs in the country to needing to replace the top two scorers from a team that won the Pac-12 regular-season title. Washington was also the first team from one of the six major power conferences to win a regular-season crown and not make the NCAAs. The Huskies reached the semifinals of the NIT before losing to Minnesota.

”I have been talking with my friends and family and I just felt like this was the right time,” Wroten said in a statement. ”I love the University of Washington, but I just feel that it’s best for me to make the jump.”

Wroten was Washington’s leading scorer for most of the season, but was the subject of constant debate by fans who were thrilled by Wroten’s electric ability to create his own shot but were often left shaking their heads when he struggled to make a simple play. He set Washington freshman records for scoring, assists and steals, but also had more turnovers (132) than assists (130).

Wroten averaged 16 points per game for the season, just slightly behind Ross’ 16.4, but will need to develop an outside shot at the NBA level. Wroten shot 44 percent for the season, although most of that shooting came from inside 12 feet. Wroten was just 9 of 56 (16 percent) on 3-pointers and didn’t make one after Jan. 28 – a span of 14 games.

He’s just the second Washington freshman to declare for the draft, joining center Spencer Hawes, who left after his only season in 2007. Wroten said he consulted with a number of local NBA players, including Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas, who left Washington last year after his junior season and has twice been named Western Conference rookie of the month playing for the Sacramento Kings. Thomas was the final pick in the 2011 NBA draft.

”They all said the same thing, ‘Take your time and do what is best for you. This is a life-changer,”’ Wroten said.

 

UK over KU….Calipari gets his Ring!!

Won and Done, indeed. Maybe even Over and Out All that really matters is that Kentucky parlayed a roster full of NBA talent into a 67-59 victory Monday night over Kansas for the team’s eighth national NCAA basketball title – its first since 1998.

Kentucky’s top freshman, Anthony Davis, had a rough shooting night, but John Calipari coached this team to a wire-to-wire victory – a little dicey at the end – to cap a season that cried for no less than a championship for their ol’ Kentucky home.

”I wanted everybody to see, we were the best team this season,” said the coach who finally has the championship that eluded him for all these years. ”We were the best team. I wanted this to be one for the ages.”

Doron Lamb, a sophomore with first-round-draft-pick possibilities, led the Wildcats (38-2) with 22 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers that put them up by 16 with 10 minutes left.

The Jayhawks (32-7), kings of the comeback all season, fought to the finish and trimmed that deficit to five with 1:37 left. But Kentucky made five free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Kentucky- Kansas Preview…Who Ya Got?

Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huskies lose a tough one

Still alive in late March, Minnesota is finally learning to win the close ones.

The short-handed Golden Gophers improved to 3-3 in overtime games this season, beating Washington 68-67 on Tuesday night in the NIT semifinals behind 20 points from freshman Andre Hollins.

Hollins scored five of Minnesota’s seven points in the extra period. With the shot clock winding down and the Gophers clinging to a one-point lead in the final minute, he banked in an off-balance shot to put Minnesota up 68-65.

”We had to gut it out in overtime,” Hollins said.

The sixth-seeded Golden Gophers (23-14) will face No. 3 seed Stanford in Thursday night’s championship game at Madison Square Garden. The Cardinal beat Massachusetts 74-64 in the first semifinal.

The top-seeded Huskies (24-11), who trailed by 15 late in the first half, sent the game to overtime when C.J. Wilcox stole the ball in the backcourt and hit the tying layup with 16.3 seconds left.

Wilcox had a good look at a potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of overtime, but the ball bounced off the rim. Darnell Gant put back the miss to pull Washington within a point, but after Julian Welch missed two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining, Abdul Gaddy’s desperation shot from beyond midcourt fell well short.

”Any time you’re fighting back, it’s always tough,” Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. ”But in the second half, I thought we were a team.”

Calipari vs. Pitino

 

Resume’

Regional Championships – Final Four (1996-vacated, 2008-vacated, 2011, 2012)

C-USA Tournament Championship (2006, 2007, 2008-vacated, 2009)

C-USA Regular Season Championship (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008-vacated, 2009)

NIT Championship (2002)

A-10 Tournament Championship (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996-vacated)

A-10 Regular Season Championship (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996-vacated)

SEC Regular Season Championship (2010, 2012)

SEC Tournament Championship (2010, 2011) Awards

Naismith College Coach of the Year (1996, 2008)

NABC Coach of the Year (1996, 2009)

Basketball Times Coach of the Year (1996)

Sports Illustrated Coach of the Year (2009)

A-10 Coach of the Year (1993, 1994, 1996)

C-USA Coach of the Year (2006, 2008, 2009)

Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year (2009)

SEC Coach of the Year (2010, 2012)

 

 

Resume’

NCAA Division I Tournament Championship (1996)

Regional Championships – Final Four (1987, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2012)

America East Tournament Championship (1983)

America East Regular Season Championship (1980, 1983)

SEC Tournament Championship (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997)

SEC Regular Season Championship (1995, 1996)

C-USA Tournament Championship (2003, 2005)

C-USA Regular Season Championship (2005)

Big East Tournament Championship (2009, 2012)

Big East Regular Season Championship (2009) Awards

NABC National Coach of the Year 6th time (1987)

John Wooden National Coach of the Year (1987)

SEC Coach of the Year (1990, 1991, 1996)

C-USA Coach of the Year (2005)