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Devin Davis won't play this season

Jan 27, 2015 -- 9:04am

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

Via: ESPN.com 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Devin Davis' sophomore season is officially over at Indiana.

 

On Monday, coach Tom Crean said that the 6-foot-7 forward will miss the rest of the season even though he continues to progress from a brain injury sustained Nov. 1. He was hurt when teammate Emmitt Holt hit Davis with a car. Holt was not cited in the accident, which resulted in Davis' hospitalization, but he was suspended for four games.

"Right now, he (Davis) has got a lot of different things he's having to deal with and continuing to build his therapy," Crean told ESPNU for a podcast. "But he's making progress, the doctors say he's making progress and his attitude, like I said, is great. There's certainly no way he's going to play this year, obviously, but hopefully he's going to have a full recovery and an even better understanding and maturity to be able to go next year."

Davis returned to his hometown of Indianapolis for rehab after he was released from a hospital in Bloomington, Indiana. When Davis began his rehab, Crean left the door open for a possible return this season. That is not going to happen.

No. 22 Indiana (15-5, 4-2 Big Ten) has somehow managed to overcome the injury and three early-season suspensions to stay in contention for the conference title.

Things could soon get even trickier.

With junior forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea expected to be sidelined until at least mid-February because of a right knee injury, the Hoosiers were dealt another blow in Sunday's loss at Ohio State.

Starting guard Robert Johnson left during the first half of the game with what appeared to be a left knee injury. While he returned about midway through the second half, the Hoosiers don't know if Johnson will be able to play Wednesday night at Purdue. Johnson is averaging 9.2 points and 3.6 rebounds. His loss would be yet another blow to a team that is already undersized and stretched for depth.

And the cause of Johnson's injury was distressing, too.

"When he fell, there was actually it looked like a red folder or papers that were laying on the floor close enough to the court that he slipped on, that were on the baseline by the cheerleaders," Crean said during Monday's weekly Big Ten conference call. "It's one of those inadvertent things you hope never happens, but it did and, and it was that they were just laying there as he finished his layup."

He added: "I don't think it's anything that's going to be long-lasting, but there's still nothing that says it's going to be OK for this game (Purdue), either."

If Johnson can't go, the likely starter would be junior guard Nick Zeisloft, a 3-point shooting specialist who transferred to Indiana from Illinois State during the summer. Zeisloft has made five starts this season, is averaging 6.0 points and replaced Johnson to start the second half Sunday.

UK-South Florida to Meet in Hoophall Miami Invitational in 2015

Jan 22, 2015 -- 4:23pm

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky men’s basketball team will recognize a familiar face on the opposing bench when it plays South Florida next season in the inaugural Hoophall Miami Invitational in Miami. 

UK will play former assistant coach Orlando Antigua’s South Florida Bulls on Nov. 27 in a doubleheader in American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat. South Florida will return the trip and play the Wildcats in Rupp Arena during the 2016-17 season. 

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the one-day doubleheader, which also features an Ohio State-Memphis matchup, on Thursday in Miami. 

“The Hoophall Miami Invitational is yet another opportunity for us to reach the Big Blue Nation in another part of the country,” head coach John Calipari said. “We have the greatest fans in the college basketball, so to give our fans in Miami an opportunity to see us seemed like an easy decision for us. Not only is it a Hall of Fame event, we also get to play against Orlando, who played such an instrumental part in what we have tried to build here. We are looking forward to the trip to Miami and South Florida’s return visit in 2016.” 

Next season’s UK-South Florida matchup will mark the inaugural meeting between the two schools. 

Antigua, the Bulls’ head coach, served as an assistant at Kentucky under Calipari for five seasons before leaving to take the head-coaching position at South Florida. In Antigua’s five seasons at UK, the Wildcats won a national championship, went to three Final Fours and guided 19 players to the NBA Draft. 

“We look forward to the challenge of playing one of the greatest programs in the history of college basketball,” Antigua said. “I was fortunate enough to spend five great seasons at Kentucky, so obviously have great respect for that program and coach John Calipari.” 

The Hoophall Miami Invitational is the culmination of two separate multi-team events. Campus-round games will take place for UK, South Florida, Ohio State and Memphis in two brackets. A full schedule of those games and opponents will be released at a later date. 

Tickets for the 2015 Hoophall Miami Invitational will go on sale to the general public on Jan. 31 at 10 a.m., viaTicketmaster.com

The addition of South Florida adds to a strong nonconference slate for the Wildcats in the 2015-16 season, which already features Duke in Chicago in the Champions Classic, UCLA in Los Angeles in the first game of a home-and-home series, Louisville in Rupp Arena, and Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

In 2016-17, South Florida will join a nonconference schedule for Kentucky that includes Michigan State in New York in the Champions Classic, UCLA in the second year of the home-and-home series, at Louisville, and North Carolina in Las Vegas in the CBS Sports Classic. 

Top-ranked and undefeated UK will return to action on Saturday when the Cats travel to Columbia, S.C., for the first of two games vs. South Carolina this season. That game is scheduled for a noon tip on ESPN. 

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter and on the web atUKathletics.com

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame 
Located in Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women. For more information on these and other upcoming events, please visit the Hall of Fame website at hoophall.com or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA.

Art Still Named to College Football Hall of Fame

Jan 10, 2015 -- 11:01am

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

Via: UKAthletics.com

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Art Still, whose dominance at defensive end helped lead Kentucky to some of its greatest moments in school history, has been named to the College Football Hall of Fame as announced Friday by the National Football Foundation.

 

The announcement was held in Dallas, Texas, at the Renaissance Hotel, in conjunction with events surrounding the upcoming national championship game. The ceremony was hosted by NFF Chairman Archie Manning and Rece Davis of ESPN.

"It's humbling to be selected because I didn't do it alone," Still said. "It's a compliment to all the guys I played with and the coaches."

Originally from Camden, N.J., Still played at Kentucky from 1974-77 under Coach Fran Curci. Still helped the Wildcats to a 19-4 record in his final two seasons. UK went 9-3 in his junior year, winning a share of the Southeastern Conference championship, and capped the season with a 21-0 blanking of North Carolina in the Peach Bowl. The Cats were ranked 18th in the final Associated Press poll.

UK posted a 10-1 mark in his senior season, finishing the campaign No. 6 in the final AP ranking. The Wildcats went 7-3 against Top-20 ranked teams his last two seasons, winning the last five in a row vs. ranked foes Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, at Penn State and at LSU. Paced by Still's dominating performances, Kentucky led the SEC in total defense and rushing defense.

Still was a four-year starter who totaled 327 tackles during his career, an amazing figure for a defensive end. Quarterback sacks were not kept during his career and tackles for loss are available only for his senior year, when he compiled 22 TFL - a school record that "Still" stands.

One interesting fact about Still is that he also saw significant action on offense as a tight end in short-yardage or goalline situations, averaging approximately 15 plays per game and frequently helping pave the way for touchdowns or first downs. Kentucky rushed for 269.1 yards per game in 1976, the second-highest mark in school history, and rushed for 228.7 yards per game in 1977.

Still was a unanimous first-team All-America selection in 1977 as chosen by AP, United Press International, Football Writers Association of America, the American Football Coaches Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Walter Camp Football Foundation, The Sporting News and Football News.

Still was a finalist for the Lombardi Award and the UPI National Lineman of the Year. He was the Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club of South Jersey College Player of the Year.

Still's incredible performances inspired numerous memorable quotes during his collegiate days:

"He's just a great player. He divides the field in half, and I tell my boys to run at the other half!"
-- Hall of Fame Coach Charlie McClendon of LSU; Still earned Southeast Defensive Player of the Week honors twice vs. LSU

"The person who said Art Still covered one whole side of the field was right! He looked like a mountain out there! He might be as fine a defensive end as there is in the country ... or a defensive player."
-- North Carolina Coach Bill Dooley after UK shut out the No. 19-ranked Tar Heels in the Peach Bowl

"He's a very dominant player."
-- West Virginia Coach Frank Cignetti after UK defeated the No. 17-ranked Mountaineers

"I just feel Art is probably the best defensive end in the country, better than (eventual Hall of Famer) Ross Browner of Notre Dame. Anyway, I haven't seen any end I'd take over him."
-- New York Jets assistant coach Carroll Huntress, whose thoughts were proved correct when Still was selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft

"My word, you're a big one, aren't you?"
-- Prince Charles of England, when the heir to the English throne met Art at a Kentucky game

On the conference level, Still was the SEC Senior Player of the Year by the Birmingham Touchdown Club and the UPI SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He was first-team All-SEC as a junior and senior.

Even with all the team success and the individual accolades, Still's most cherished memories come from the friendships forged during his time at the University.

When asked his biggest thrill at Kentucky, Still said, "The sports side was nice but what I remember most are the relationships with my teammates and classmates. Where I came from in Camden, it was predominantly African-Americans and Puerto Ricans. (At UK) I learned how to deal with people from different environments, how to relate to people and treat people. We had players from all parts of the country and we learned to treat people the way we wanted to be treated.

"Teammates like Derrick Ramsey, Billy Williams, Mike Martin, Jerry Blanton, Dallas Owens. Coach Curci. (Strength coach) Pat Etcheberry, who set the foundation for discipline, weight training and speed. You take all those things - family, friends, teammates, coaches - and they made you a better person," said Still, who cherishes his visits to Lexington when he and his teammates have their "Curci's Cats" reunions.

Following his senior season, Still played in three national all-star games, including the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl and the Japan Bowl, where he was named the game's Outstanding Defensive Player.

After being tabbed as the second pick of the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft (only behind Earl Campbell), Still went on to a record-setting 12-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills.  He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, set Kansas City records for most sacks in a career (73) and season (14.5, twice), and was second in team history in total tackles (992).

In addition to his latest honor, Still also has been chosen for the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and Peach Bowl Hall of Fame. He was named to the UK All-Time Teams for the 100th Year of Kentucky Football as selected by the Lexington Herald-Leader and Louisville Courier-Journal. He was also picked to the Quarter-Century All-SEC Team (1961-85) by the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger. In 2002, he was named one of the Living Legends of the SEC.

Over the years, he has participated in numerous community service activities, such as Special Olympics, being a mentor in a Big Brothers program, Sickle Cell Foundation, Dare Program, etc. He is a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors, an association of former Chiefs players who participate in service activities.

Still and his wife, Liz, live in Liberty, Mo. They have 11 children - four of whom are adopted - and 16 grandchildren.

Additional Wildcats in the College Football Hall of Fame include tackle Bob Gain (1947-50), quarterback Vito "Babe" Parilli (1949-51), end Steve Meilinger (1951-53), Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant (1946-53), tackle Lou Michaels (1955-57) and Jerry Claiborne, who played at UK in 1946, '48-49 and was head coach of the Cats from 1982-89. Bernie Shively, who was athletic director at UK from 1938-67 and was head coach of the Cats in 1945, was inducted to the Hall of Fame in recognition of his playing days at Illinois.

Still will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on Dec. 8 in New York City during the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner.

Casino in line to lose if Cats run table

Jan 05, 2015 -- 9:46am

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | 105.7 FM

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

Via: ESPN.com

The Kentucky Wildcats' dominating start to the college basketball season has one Nevada sportsbook in a precarious position.

 

In July, a customer at the William Hill sportsbook requested odds on Kentucky going undefeated. The book obliged and gave coach John Calipari's team a 50-to-1 chance to win every game, including the NCAA tournament. Five months later, the top-ranked Wildcats are 13-0 and William Hill is staring at a six-figure liability that keeps growing.

"It's pretty good six figures, too," William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich said of the liability on the popular prop bet. "They keep betting it."

Kentucky defeated No. 4 Louisville 58-50 on the road Saturday, the Cardinals being the biggest challenge remaining on the Wildcats' regular-season schedule. They're expected to be solid favorites in their remaining 18 games and are outright favorites to win the national championship at multiple Vegas sportsbooks. But Kentucky is still an underdog to complete the first undefeated season since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers.

Entering the week, William Hill has Kentucky at plus-450 to run the table. You can bet "No," Kentucky doesn't finish undefeated at minus-650, meaning you'd have to wager $650 to win $100. Before the Louisville game, 95 percent of wagers were on "Yes."

William Hill took 39 bets on the Wildcats going undefeated at 50-1 odds. The biggest bet at that price was $500, which would produce a $25,000 payday if Kentucky runs the table. Bogdanovich said he's taken several four-figure bets on the prop as the odds have shrunk.

At the Westgate SuperBook, Kentucky is a 4-5 favorite to win the national championship. It's rare to have a team listed as an outright favorite this early in the season.

"It's been a long time since that's happened," SuperBook oddsmaker Ed Salmons said.

At the MGM sportsbook, Nevada's largest book, Kentucky has attracted nearly double the number of bets to win the national championship than any other team.

"Arizona, Duke and Wisconsin are next, but Kentucky has more than double than most of those teams," Jay Rood, VP of MGM Race and Sports, said.

Salmons and Bogdanovich both have Duke second in their power ratings and project the Blue Devils would be "4-6-point" underdogs against Kentucky.

Kentucky opens its 18-game Southeastern Conference schedule Jan. 6 at home against Mississippi. Calipari is sticking to the moment, and not what people are saying his program can accomplish over the long haul.

"They picked the Germans in World War II also. Look, the good news is we have another break," Calipari told reporters after beating Louisville. "We have [time] to get my team right. We have to put in a different zone because we're going to face some different things. I want to put in a different rotating press. I want to do some different things offensively to try, because we have time."

Louisville's Michael Dyer academically ineligible for Belk Bowl

Dec 23, 2014 -- 11:19pm

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

Louisville's Michael Dyer academically ineligible for Belk Bowl

Louisville will be without its second-leading rusher when it takes on Georgia in the Belk Bowl. The school announced on Tuesday night that Michael Dyer has been ruled academically ineligible and will not play in the game.

 

 

 

Dyer rushed for 481 yards and five touchdowns while splitting time in the Louisville backfield with Brandon Radcliff.

This will mark the end of what once seemed like a very promising college career, but never really materialized for Dyer.

It was almost four years ago that Dyer was named the MVP of the BCS Championship game as he helped Auburn to a national title. Things quickly went downhill from there, however. Dyer left the program in 2011 after being suspended indefinitely, and transferred to Arkansas State where he would have played for Gus Malzahn. But he'd never see the field with the Red Wolves, as local police found marijuana and a gun in his car after pulling him over in a routine traffic stop. Dyer would then spend a year at Arkansas Baptist, not playing football, before finally transferring to Louisville.

 

Still, he's a talented back and will no doubt get a shot with in an NFL camp next summer. Hopefully he'll be able to take better advantage of it than he was his college career.

ACC SUSPENDS LOUISVILLE'S MONTREZL HARRELL

Dec 22, 2014 -- 11:17am

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker

PhilB@ESPNLouisville.com

Via: ACC.com

Harrell will miss Cardinals next game

GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Atlantic Coast Conference has issued a one game suspension to Louisville's Montrezl Harrell after he received a flagrant foul two during the Cardinals’ game against Western Kentucky on Saturday. 

The suspension will be served by Harrell in Louisville's next game against CSU-Northridge on Tuesday.

The ACC considers the matter closed and will not have further comment.

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