Posted on: August 12, 2010 11:53 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 1:35 am

MTV to film reality series on HS power in Memphis

Where Class of 2011 standout Adonis Thomas will play college basketball remains unclear.

But this much is certain: He'll be a TV star by the time he arrives on campus.

Melrose High coach Jermaine Johnson told CBSSports.com on Thursday that his Memphis-based program -- headlined by Thomas, a consensus top 10 national recruit -- will be the subject of a reality series scheduled to start shooting next week and air later this year or next year on MTV. According to Johnson, the show will be similar to the wildy popular "Two-A-Days" series MTV did on the Hoover (Ala.) High football team in 2006 -- main difference being that this version, which is yet to be named, will chronicle the lives of innercity minorities trying to repeat as state champions.

"Everybody is so excited," Johnson said. "It's going to be huge."

So what about Thomas and his future?

Johnson said his star prospect still hasn't narrowed his list of potential colleges, that all the schools that have been heavily recruiting the 6-foot-6 wing remain involved -- among them Memphis, Tennessee, Ohio State, Florida, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Truth is, most insiders believe it will be difficult to pry Thomas out of Memphis considering four of his summer teammates (Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, Jelan Kendrick and Tarik Black) are now freshmen in Josh Pastner's program, but that theory hasn't stopped many from seriously pursuing the likely McDonald's All-American.

Johnson said the latest to make a move is UCLA.

"Ben Howland has been relentless," Johnson said. "He's made Adonis his top target."
Posted on: August 9, 2010 8:47 pm

Column on the possible Anthony Davis lawsuit

Click this link to read my column on the possibilty of Anthony Davis filing a lawsuit against the Chicago Sun-Times.

I hope he does it.

But I bet he won't.
Posted on: August 6, 2010 3:04 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2010 3:05 pm

Kentucky responds to latest Sun-Times story

The University of Kentucky responded strongly Friday to a report by Michael O'Brien of the Chicago Sun-Times that alleged Anthony Davis Sr., father of heralded recruit Anthony Davis Jr., of Chicago, "negotiated a deal that promised $200,000 from someone who wanted Davis to commit to Kentucky."

"The University of Kentucky is dismayed by the continued lack of professionalism and responsible journalism exhibited by Michael O’Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times in running yet another false and defamatory story ... regarding the University’s recruitment of a high school student-athlete," the statement began. "Both the father of this student-athlete and the University have repeatedly told Mr. O’Brien that these unsubstantiated “rumors” are untrue.  Neither the University of Kentucky nor any member of its Athletic Department has offered or paid any money or other illegal benefits to the student-athlete or his family."

It could be worth noting that Kentucky only denied "any member of its Athletic Department has offered or paid money or other illegal benefits to the student-athlete or his family," and made no mention of boosters or agents. That means although the deny is lengthy and aggressively worded, it doesn't necessarily deny what the Sun-Times reported Friday, that Davis' father "negotiated a deal that promised $200,000 from someone who wanted Davis to commit to Kentucky."

Either way, Kentucky clearly denied another aspect of the story, an allegation that the NCAA is "checking" into the recruitment of Davis.  "Mr. O’Brien’s Aug. 6 story also mischaracterizes the NCAA’s involvement in this matter by stating that the NCAA is 'checking' into the recruitment of the student-athlete. The University of Kentucky spoke with David Price, NCAA Vice President of Enforcement, who advised that the NCAA contacted Mr. O’Brien simply to inquire as to the alleged sources for his article and that 'this in no way confirms an NCAA investigation of the University' or an examination of the recruitment of the named student-athlete. It is the University’s understanding that such an inquiry represents the NCAA’s normal procedure any time allegations of misconduct are made, no matter how outrageous or unsubstantiated they may be."

Kentucky concluded its statement as follows: "The University of Kentucky has put Mr. O’Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times on notice that these published statements are false and defamatory. The University fully supports any action the student-athlete and his family may take against Mr. O’Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times. The University is also evaluating all available rights and remedies it may have against Mr. O’Brien and the Chicago Sun-Times in responding to these false and defamatory statements."
Posted on: August 4, 2010 3:21 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2010 11:20 pm

Report: Chicago star set to commit to Kentucky

Anthony Davis, a 6-foot-10 forward from Chicago who could prove to be the best prospect in the Class of 2011, will announce soon that he'll play college basketball at Kentucky, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The paper cited a "reliable source."

Davis' commitment would give Kentucky three of the nation's top six prospects from the Class of 2011 (according to the latest rankings at Scout.com) and almost certainly ensure John Calipari will sign college basketball's best class for the third consecutive year. Davis would join Michael Gilchrist (No. 1 at Scout.com) and Marquis Teague (No. 6 at Scout.com) on the list of early UK commitments. Scout.com has Davis No. 5 nationally, but he is expected to be higher when the rankings are updated thanks to an unusual rise to prominence during the July evaluation period that concluded last week.

Davis was also reportedly considering Ohio State, DePaul and Syracuse.

An interesting aspect of the Sun-Times story came in the ninth paragraph, where the writer, Michael O'Brien, reported some are "alleging that the commitment cost $200,000." O'Brien described the allegation as a "rumor" and offered no sources for it. The prospect's father, Anthony Davis Sr., denied the "rumor" to the paper.

(UPDATE: The Sun-Times has removed, without explanation, the $200,000 allegation from O'Brien's story.)

(UPDATE No. 2: Lawyers representing Kentucky sent a letter to O'Brien late Wednesday formally demanding that the Sun-Times "withdraw the publication from any source from which it has been published, and issue an immediate statement that you know of no credible evidence indicating that there is any truth to the 'rumors' referred to in your article." O'Brien is yet to respond.)
Posted on: August 4, 2010 9:04 am
Edited on: August 4, 2010 9:06 am
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Posted on: August 3, 2010 4:05 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 4:07 pm

UK's Kanter still not cleared by NCAA

Kentucky freshman Enes Kanter is facing extensive questioning from the NCAA about his amateur status and has not yet been cleared to play for the Wildcats this season, UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy confirmed Tuesday.

The 6-foot-10 forward's amateur status is uncertain because he played for a professional team in his native Turkey before moving to the United States. Kanter will not be allowed to accompany the Wildcats on a three-day trip of exhibitions in Canada unless he is cleared by Aug. 15.

Kanter is a projected to be a top five pick if he enters the 2011 NBA Draft.

He finished with 33 points and 13 rebounds against other top prospects in April's Nike Hoop Summit.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 1, 2010 9:03 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2010 9:08 pm

Calipari: Dodson won't play for UK this season

John Calipari announced Sunday on his Facebook page that Darnell Dodson won't play for Kentucky this season.

"Practice is underway as we prepare for our Canada trip, [and] I'm pleased with the energy everyone brought," Calipari said. "I do want to let you all know that junior Darnell Dodson will not be playing for UK this season. If Darnell, who is academically eligible, decides to return, he could practice with the team if he meets our standards."

Calipari offered no further explanation, but his announcement is hardly a surprise. Dodson's future has been in question dating back to last season because of what sources told CBSSports.com were multiple attitude and off-the-court issues. Once source described Dodson simply as a "headache."

Dodson averaged 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game last season.
Posted on: June 23, 2010 2:35 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2010 9:36 am

Questionable Cousins still must go in top four

The most intriguing debate heading into Thursday's NBA Draft is the debate about DeMarcus Cousins.

Will he be the Rookie of the Year?

Will he be a headache?

Truth is, it won't surprise me if Cousins turns out to be both. The guy is an awesome talent and uneven personality whose reputation is well earned. My guess is that he'll put 18 points and 17 rebounds on somebody in the first month of his NBA career and cause general managers who passed on him to cry, then two months later be caught on camera arguing with an assistant coach, at which point those same general managers will be thankful they passed.

And that's probably how Cousins' career will go.

Lots of nice moments surrounded by lots of shake-your-head moments.

So the question the Nets (picking third) and Timberwolves (picking fourth) must ask themselves is whether they'd rather have Cousins and his issues, or Derrick Favors, Wes Johnson or Greg Monroe, because it's not close in terms of talent. On talent alone, Cousins should probably be the second pick (behind only Kentucky teammate John Wall) and perhaps the No. 1 overall pick. As much as I've criticized Cousins' demeanor, I've never questioned his ability. He's big and strong and skilled, and he was the most dominant force in college basketball last season. I love his potential, but I'm scared he'll never be able to get out of his own way. That's the dilemma. That's always been the dilemma.

And yet I still wonder how much it should matter.

I still really do wonder if we care too much about character.

I mean, I just watched the Lakers win an NBA title with a player who has been accused of rape (Kobe Bryant), a player who ran into the stands to punch a fan (Ron Artest), a player who once demanded a trade from the team that drafted him (Pau Gasol), and a player who married the worst Kardashian just weeks after meeting her (Lamar Odom). Again, those are our world champions. Meantime, the Indianapolis Police Department believes Zach Randolph could be a drug kingpin, and he's an All-Star. Dwyane Wade has gone through some kind of crazy divorce and may or may not be a terrible father, but he's a pretty successful basketball player. Carmelo Anthony once told criminals not to snitch on other criminals, but I'd take him on my team. Tyreke Evans was the driver of a car that carried a murderer away to safety, but he was also the Rookie of the Year.

I could do this forever, but you get the point.

Character matters, sure.

But nothing matters in the NBA more than talent.

You don't win or lose with good people and bad people.

You win or lose with talented players and untalented players.

So I'd take Wall ahead of Cousins and I might -- let me stress might -- take Turner and Favors ahead of him, too. But there's absolutely no way Cousins -- a 6-foot-11, 280-pound forward who averaged 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game as a freshman -- should go any lower than fourth in this draft, absolutely no way Cousins should be selected behind Johnson, Monroe or anybody else not named Wall, Turner or Favors because you don't pass on a potential All-Star unless you're getting a potential All-Star in his place.

There are only four prospects in this draft who project as potential All-Stars.
  • John Wall
  • Evan Turner
  • Derrick Favors
  • DeMarcus Cousins
If they're not the first four picks Thursday night, somebody messed up.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com