Tag:Kentucky
Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:17 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 1:37 pm
 

This is why the Memphis job is a great job

By Gary Parrish

I've always insisted -- at least since Louisville, Cincinnati and Marquette left Conference USA -- that though Memphis probably isn't one of the nation's top 10 programs, it's almost certainly one of the top 10 jobs in its current setup. You coach in a soldout and first-class arena for a school that's a national brand, charters every road trip, has access to private planes for recruiting, out-spends all other C-USA members and generally finds yourself in a position to overwhelm most of the league just as Gonzaga overwhelms the WCC.

You can make millions for as long as you want, because it's really hard to lose.

Further proof of that is what's happening down at the Nike Peach Jam.

The Memphis 16-and-under team and the Memphis 17-and-under team have each made the championship games of what is widely viewed as the premier event of the summer circuit. Both teams are loaded with high-major prospects, and most of those high-major prospects grow up wanting to play for the Tigers.

Third-year coach Josh Pastner has already offered scholarships to 17-and-under team members Jarnell Stokes, Shaq Goodwin (who, it should be noted, is not from Memphis but is playing for Memphis and is considering the Tigers) and Austin Nichols, and 16-and-under team members Nick King and Jonathan Williams III. History suggests Pastner will get at least three of those prospects, maybe all five, and one of the stars of the 17-and-under team, Martavious Newby, is practically begging Memphis to recruit him.

So to recap: The Memphis coach has a massive budget, a top-notch arena, a devoted fan base, a loaded natural recruiting base and a league filled with mostly inferior programs that should allow him to cruise through January and February more years than not. Beyond that, the C-USA tournament is played on his homecourt more years than not, meaning he's almost always the favorite to earn the league's automatic bid.

It's a nice setup. If you're wondering why John Calipari stayed nine years and left only for Kentucky, there's your answer.
Posted on: July 14, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: July 14, 2011 6:34 pm
 

Hampered Archie Goodwin attracts attention



By Jeff Borzello

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Archie Goodwin was quickly becoming one of the top scoring guards in the country, ranking as perhaps the elite finisher in the class.

Then, in the All-Star Game at the Pangos All-American Camp in early June, Goodwin broke his left wrist and had to go on the shelf.

“It’s about 50 percent,” Goodwin said.

Despite the injury necessitating that Goodwin wear a protective brace on the wrist, the 6-foot-5 Sylvan Hills (Ark.) prospect refused to sit out the Elite Youth Basketball League finals at the Peach Jam.

Originally slated to miss four to six weeks, Goodwin suited up for the Arkansas Wings this week.

“I’ve been told a lot of times that it would heal faster if I sat out,” he said. “There was no question, I love the competition.

“I wasn’t going to let my teammates go to war without me.”

More on Recruiting

That mindset has helped Goodwin impress even without the use of his left hand. He said it affects his ability to finish with both hands at the rim, and also impacts his off-hand dribbling.

The smooth and athletic wing hasn't stopped attacking the rim with reckless abandon, though. He is still playing aggressive, looking to beat his defender and get to the rim at every opportunity.

“It’s just instincts,” Goodwin said. “I’m a relentless guy. I’m going to try to dunk it. That’s the kind of guy I am.”

In terms of recruiting, Goodwin is taking his time. The No. 12 prospect in the latest CBSSports rankings has plans to narrow his choices down at the end of the summer.

“There’s a lot of schools,” he said. “The list is at about 20 now.”

Goodwin listed Kentucky, Connecticut, Baylor, Kansas, Arkansas, Memphis and Tennessee as the schools that have contacted him the most recently.

Unlike many five-star recruits who want a starting job on a silver platter, Goodwin is looking to work for whatever he gets in college.

“I want to go somewhere I feel comfortable,” he said. “And a school that’s not going to give me anything.”

Even if many schools want to.

Photo: Arkansas Wings



Posted on: July 5, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 12:07 pm
 

Calipari wants locked out ex-UK players on campus



By Matt Norlander

How appropriate that in the post below this one, I talked about being progressive.

Because there is no more progressive coach in college basketball than John Calipari, of course. Cal's got himself quite a great situation right now, what with coaching at Kentucky and having the most passionate, emotional fanbase in college basketball fawn at his feet. He's brought in five-star talent into UK the past three years, and now, with no huge recruit locked in for 2012, what's a man to do?

Simple: Invite back all of his former players -- those players who are currently earning NBA money, most notably. With the lockout only just beginning, Cal saw an opportunity. A business move as transparent and legal as it was brilliant and obvious.

Calipari sent out this update on Twitter and Facebook Friday:

"I reached out to every former Wildcat that’s in NBA and having to deal with this lockout to make sure they knew the Joe Craft Center is available to train if needed. If they want to finish up some school work while in Lexington, we will help with that as well. We just want to make sure all our players know that it’s all about family here at UK. #WeAreUK"

Buildings are literally locked out for NBA players. They can't get into official team training facilities, so what's the next-best thing? Multi-million-dollar facilities on college campuses, naturally. The selling point for Calipari doesn't just have to do with wooing recruits by conveniently crossing paths with them on campus -- it also sends an educational message. Former players, if they want, can absolutely pick up a class or two during their downtime.

And so the Cal plan is reinforced. Play with us for a year, maybe two, go to the NBA and then slowly work toward that degree you told your mom you'd get one day, just like John Wall is doing right now.

Wall is already on board.

Will other colleges do this? It's not only possible, it's likely. But no coach makes it more publicly known than Calipari, who can welcome back to campus 17 former Wildcats who are still playing in the Association. It speaks to his ability to bring in elite talent in the first place. He's personable, shrewd as hell and always ready, willing, able and eager to take advantage of every possible legal recruiting advantage he can get.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:59 pm
 

No, we didn't forget Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor

By Gary Parrish

Jeff Goodman and I spent Monday doing a 2012 NBA mock draft.

We alternated picks.

I took Harrison Barnes first.

Goodman took Anthony Davis second and said he would've taken him first.

(Note: Looks like I'm the smart one. Again.)

Then we knocked out the next 28 picks and among the players never selected was Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, which led to a few emails that asked the following questions: "Are you an idiot? Did you forget about Jordan Taylor?"

Answer to Question No. 1: Maybe

Answer to Question No. 2: No

As everybody should know by now, being a great college player doesn't necessarily make somebody a great NBA prospect, and Taylor might be an example of that. I'm not ready to give up on his NBA prospects just yet because he could reasonably go late in the first round of any draft and then develop into a quality NBA point guard. I don't know. But the fact that Taylor is a tremendous college guard means nothing ... except for that he'll be a First Team Preseason All-American.

Speaking of, I decided to take a look at how some preseason All-American teams might look.

If I'm doing two teams, here's what I've got:

G: Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin)
G: Austin Rivers (Duke)
F: Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)
F: Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
F: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)

G: Tu Holloway (Xavier)
G: John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
F: Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut)
F: Terrence Jones (Kentucky)
F: Perry Jones (Baylor)
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:59 pm
 

No, we didn't forget Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor

By Gary Parrish

Jeff Goodman and I spent Monday doing a 2012 NBA mock draft.

We alternated picks.

I took Harrison Barnes first.

Goodman took Anthony Davis second and said he would've taken him first.

(Note: Looks like I'm the smart one. Again.)

Then we knocked out the next 28 picks and among the players never selected was Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, which led to a few emails that asked the following questions: "Are you an idiot? Did you forget about Jordan Taylor?"

Answer to Question No. 1: Maybe

Answer to Question No. 2: No

As everybody should know by now, being a great college player doesn't necessarily make somebody a great NBA prospect, and Taylor might be an example of that. I'm not ready to give up on his NBA prospects just yet because he could reasonably go late in the first round of any draft and then develop into a quality NBA point guard. I don't know. But the fact that Taylor is a tremendous college guard means nothing ... except for that he'll be a First Team Preseason All-American.

Speaking of, I decided to take a look at how some preseason All-American teams might look.

If I'm doing two teams, here's what I've got:

G: Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin)
G: Austin Rivers (Duke)
F: Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)
F: Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
F: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)

G: Tu Holloway (Xavier)
G: John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
F: Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut)
F: Terrence Jones (Kentucky)
F: Perry Jones (Baylor)
Posted on: June 27, 2011 12:45 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 12:46 am
 

UK extends Calipari's contract by two years

By Gary Parrish

Kentucky will announce on Monday that John Calipari's contract has increased in value over the terms of his initial deal and been extended by two years, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com on Sunday.

Calipari's intial contract with UK was for eight years and nearly $32 million.

The Wildcats are 64-12 in two seasons under Calipari.

They made the Elite Eight in 2010 and the Final Four in 2011.

They'll be ranked No. 2 in the CBSSports.com preseason Top 25 (and one).
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 22, 2011 2:12 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

By Matt Norlander

Four super-conferences. Yes, this notion has been tossed around here and there in the past couple of years. I don't know if we'll reach that point in the next two decades, but if the NCAA is to ever pay "living expenses" for its student-athletes (also referred to as cost-of-attendance scholarships), John Calipari thinks having a separate state and government for college superpowers is the only feasible way to make it happen.

(Stop right there. CBSSports.com senior writer Dennis Dodd has a different solution for this issue. Do give it a read.)

Sort of like turning the NCAA into a big game of Risk, I guess. Move the pieces into new territories and take over the world.

Calipari went on Kentucky Sports Radio this morning (hosted by friend of the blog, Matt Jones) and clarified and expounded upon some answers he gave to Dan Rieffer of WTVQ-Lexington yesterday.

The Kentucky coach said he agrees that the living expense/cost-of-attendance scholarship should be implemented into the college game. Certain universities are receiving so much money these days, it's his belief that players should be compensated for reasonable items. In the interview, he harkens back to a few decades ago when buying a player a soda wasn't deemed criminal.

But those days are gone, and since the hard-and-fast rules of the NCAA are so strict when it comes to money, Calipari's only solution to getting student-athletes funding beyond their scholarships is to have major programs break off from the NCAA and start a rogue set of nations. Basically, have the richest schools move to a fairer, more-balanced playing field. Call it the adult table of college athletics, if you'd like.

"My thing was, there's only one way you can do this," Calipari said. "This is the only way I can see it. You have four super-conferences. A West Coast conference with 16 or 18 teams; a northern conference, you know, where the Big Ten area, of 16 or 18 teams;a southern conference, like the SEC teams, 16 or 18 teams; and an eastern conference like the ACC teams, that have 16 or 18 teams in them. Now, I say 16 or 18 because you could [have] 64 or 72 (teams) and be fine. Because, in football, you'd have nine in each division. They have a playoff championship in their league, the four leagues. Those four winners would be semifinalists for the football championship, and then there'd be a national title game, and the others would play in the bowls. All that television, all that revenue goes back to the 64 or 72 teams -- only those teams. Then you have a basketball tournament with those teams. Those 64 or 72 are in the tournament. Everybody's team is in the tournament."

And that's where you lose me. An NCAA tournament that consists of only the teams from the super-conferences? And everyone automatically qualifies? No. A million, billion times: no. But, for clarity's sake, this isn't what Calipari explicitly wants. He's claiming that it's the only conceivable way he can think of to sufficiently and fairly pay student-athletes.

The football model seems judicious on a few levels, by the way. Interesting to hear one of college basketball's most prominent coaches dispense a plan about how college football can expand and improve its product, and to do it in a way that's pretty imaginable, even if far off. Plenty do believe the swells have already started, though, and that more and more universities are gaining more money and power in the hopes of one day splitting from the NCAA and governing themselves in a way that's unprecedented in American collegiate athletics.

On the topic of fairly paying players, though, if this is the answer, there is no answer.

If you'd like to hear the eight-plus minutes of Calipari's half-baked -- but well-articulated -- plan, have at it.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Five-star big man Robert Carter rises up rankings

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By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – In a class filled with high-quality big men, Robert Carter might have a leg up on everyone in one area: post play.

Simply put, Carter might be the best back-to-the-basket scorer in the country.

The 6-foot-7 power forward from Thomasville (Ga.) made it clear at the NBPA Top 100 camp that he wasn’t backing down from anyone.

“I’m trying to prove that I want to be the best guy, not just one of the best big guys,” Carter said. “I want to show people what I can do.”

While smaller than most of the other five-star big men, Carter has a great jump hook and very good fundamentals around the basket. He is strong enough to bull through defenders and finish at the rim, while also possessing the touch to knock down face-up jumpers from the arc. Carter has tremendous hands and knows how to create space and make himself available on the block.

He went against some of the top players in the class, and held his own for much of the week.

“I’m going to go at everyone, go out and battle,” Carter said. “I’m going to show my athleticism, agility, show my footwork, blocking shots, dunking, everything.”

Carter has been on the high-major radar for quite awhile, but really picked up his recruiting of late.

With so many schools in pursuit, Carter is just taking his time with the process.

“I have no list, all the ACC, all the SEC,” he said. “I’m going to cut my list at the end of July.”

He currently holds offers from a number of schools, including Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Virginia Tech. Most of the ACC and SEC schools are on his trail as well.

One school that has been associated with Carter recently is Kentucky. Some reports stated the Wildcats offered the rising senior, but Carter said he hasn’t personally talked to the coaching staff at UK.

“I’ve heard about it, but I can’t confirm that,” he said.

With major schools like North Carolina and Kentucky sniffing around but not offering yet, and so many other schools in the mix, Carter is not ready to name favorites or places he wants to visit.

“No one’s coming at me the hardest,” he said.

Photo: NBA Camp

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com