Category Archives: John Calipari

Follow the SEC basketball coaches teleconference

It might be something. It might be nothing, but I’ll be listening and participating so to pass along any important information from the SEC basketball summer teleconference beginning now.

We’ll see if John Calipari gets questions about the Eric Bledsoe issue or what Anthony Grant has to say about the upcoming season.

Just follow the action on the twitter feed below.

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Live from SEC basketball media day

There is no mistaking the difference between the football and basketball editions of this event. The buzz is muffled in Birmingham today compared to what it was a few months ago in Hoover.

But there were still a few stars.

Kentucky’s John Calipari led off the day’s events with an hour in front of print reporters. He sounded optimistic about the SEC’s ability to bounce back and even predicted seven or eight league teams would make the NCAA tournament. Alabama coach Anthony Grant agreed with that.

Read more tomorrow and in the coming days about some of the story lines coming out of the event.

You’ll be interested to hear Calipari’s take on Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

In this amateur photo I took, notice the difference in the crowd surrounding Calipari compared to the Arkansas women’s player in the foreground.

Basketball: UK picked to win league, Bama third in West

Sorry to interrupt the football momentum, but the Southeastern Conference decided to release its preseason media poll. The John Calipari lovefest continued as the young Wildcats were picked to win the conference.

Alabama was third in the west behind Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Auburn picked up the least number of votes in the West.

There weren’t any Crimson Tide players on the first or second teams of all-conference teams. And now, the raw data:

SEC Champion: Kentucky (20); Mississippi State (3); Tennessee (2)

Eastern Division Points

Kentucky (23) 148

Tennessee (2) 117

Vanderbilt 90

South Carolina 77

Florida 68

Georgia 25

Western Division Points

Mississippi State (22) 144

Ole Miss (2) 120

Alabama 84

LSU (1) 70

Arkansas 63

Auburn 44

FIRST TEAM ALL-SEC Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown

Devan Downey, South Carolina G 5-9 175 Sr. Chester, S.C.

*Patrick Patterson, Kentucky F 6-9 235 Jr. Huntington, W.Va.

Tyler Smith, Tennessee G/F 6-7 215 Sr. Pulaski, Tenn.

Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State F 6-9 230 Sr. Brownsville, Tenn.

Terrico White, Ole Miss G 6-5 211 So. Memphis, Tenn.

SECOND TEAM ALL-SEC Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown

Tasmin Mitchell, LSU F 6-7 235 Sr. Denham Springs, La.

A.J. Ogilvy, Vanderbilt C 6-11 250 Jr. Sydney, Australia

DeWayne Reed, Auburn G 6-1 175 Sr. Houston, Texas

John Wall, Kentucky G 6-4 195 Fr. Raleigh, N.C.

Chris Warren, Ole Miss G 5-10 165 Jr. Orlando, Fla.

SEC Player of the Year: Patrick Patterson, Kentucky

UPDATED: SEC basketball teleconference

Here are a few notes from Monday morning’s Southeastern Conference teleconference:

  • New Kentucky coach John Calipari has been the subject of several questions. Most everyone agrees that his presence will only raise the bar in the league although not everyone is looking forward to playing the Cats.
  • Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl said having Kentucky among the elite has been a long-lasting tradition in the SEC. For a while, that hurt the league because they were the only elite. But the rise of programs like Florida has risen the standard for everyone.
  • The consensus also agrees that the conference will be back this winter. Last season’s slip from the elite was not a permanent shift.
  • Anthony Grant was on for about half the time Calipari spent asking questions.
  • He he no updates on scheduling but hopes to have that done soon. Kansas State released its schedule recently and it included a game with the Crimson Tide in Mobile.
  • In regards to working with his team, Grant said he didn’t know every player from a “basketball standpoint.” Interesting.
  • Unsurprisingly, Grant said he was excited about the new basketball practice facility.
  • Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury congratulated former Decatur Daily sports writer Kyle Veazey on his recent engagement in one of the lighter moments of the 90 minute teleconference. Veazey now covers the Bulldogs for the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.

More NCAA investigation news, Alabama textbook ruling remains elusive

The vigil continues as the NCAA ruling on Alabama’s textbook scandal continues to remain a mystery. But there was one school who made the headlines yesterday for its run-in with the NCAA police with a tie to a recent SEC big-hire.

John Calipari was not named in the NCAA charges of a “major violation” coming out his the Memphis basketball program he coached at the time (read more here). But it doesn’t do much to rehab the image of the coach who has often been the subject of whispers and questions of his integrity.

As this writer points out, the bad news kept rolling in on Wednesday up in Lexington. Former basketball coach Billy Gillispie filed suit against the school and blue-chip recruit John Wall pleaded guilty on charges of breaking and entry.

Ouch. Ouch and ouch.