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Top 5 remain unchanged on my ballot

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

The top five were easy again to fill in on my top 25 ballot this week for The Associated Press.

After that, it was a case of many coin flips and hopes for the best.

Note that the ballot was turned in prior to Texas playing Southern Cal.

1. Duke
2. Ohio State
3. Pittsburgh
4. Kansas State
5. Kansas
6. Connecticut
7. Michigan State
8. Syracuse
9. Illinois
10. Villanova
11. Texas
12. Georgetown
13. Missouri
14 San Diego State
15 Kentucky
16 Minnesota
17 Vanderbilt
18 Memphis
19 Purdue
20 Baylor
21 UNLV
22 Tennessee
23 Wichita State
24 North Carolina
25 Cleveland State

* If Texas loses to Southern Cal, move Texas down to No. 20 and move everyone up one.

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BBL: Cats want Kanter in, Barnes out (of sync)

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(Raleigh News-Observer photo)

(Raleigh News-Observer photo)

Big Blue Links for Saturday:

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UK says it has ‘new information’ on Kanter’s eligibility

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

The University of Kentucky just issued a statement saying it had new information it wanted to submit in regard to the eligibility of Enes Kanter.

UK had been expected this week to appeal an earlier NCAA ruling that declared Kanter permanently ineligible because he played three seasons for a professional team in his native Turkey.

It was unclear whether that hearing took place. But according to NCAA rules, new information cannot be part of the appeals process.

UK apparently will ask or has asked to resubmit its request to have Kanter declared eligible.

Spokesman DeWayne Peevy said the NCAA did not permit UK to comment on the nature of the new information.

Here’s the UK statement:

“The University of Kentucky has requested an opportunity to submit additional information regarding the eligibility of men’s basketball student-athlete Enes Kanter. When a school receives new information that could impact a student-athlete’s eligibility, it is a standard NCAA process to provide the university with an opportunity to resubmit the case for consideration.

“Because an NCAA appellate body, such as the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, cannot hear new information on appeal, this reconsideration must first be made by the NCAA reinstatement staff.  The university would then have an opportunity to appeal the staff decision to the committee. This opportunity is available to ensure a fair and thorough consideration of eligibility matters for the student-athlete.

“The NCAA and University of Kentucky will not have any further comment regarding the specifics of this case until the process has concluded.”

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Looking ahead: UK to open against Marist next season

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

Marist College Coach Jose “Chuck” Martin — a former John Calipari assistant — told the Poughkeepsie Journal on Thursday that his team will open next season at Kentucky.

Before coming to Marist, Martin was an assistant for Calipari at Memphis.

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Like fans, UK players anxious to learn Kanter’s fate

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

Anxious. Eager to know. Believing he could make a big difference.
Kentucky players are no different than their fans when it comes to the long-awaited decision on whether the NCAA will “free” Enes Kanter.
The definite and final decision on Kanter’s disputed eligibility is expected at any time.
“I think we’re all getting pretty anxious,” wing Darius Miller said on Thursday. “He’s a great player and he’d be a huge help and asset to the team.”
But, Miller added, “We’re all waiting like everybody else.”
Earlier this fall, the NCAA declared Kanter permanently ineligible because he played for a professionial team in his native Turkey. During the last of the three seasons for that team, he received $33,033 in excess of the permitted “actual and necessary” expenses, UK and the NCAA agreed.
UK’s appeal of that ruling was expected to take place this week. NCAA procedures suggest a decision would be made the same day as the appeal hearing, but could take a day or two to announce.
“Really, I don’t have a clue when we’ll find out,” Miller said. “Hopefully, we do find out today.”
Assistant Coach John Robic, who again substituted for Head Coach John Calipari in a media session, said the program had no idea when a decision would be announced.
What is not in dispute is that Kentucky would welcome Kanter to the team.
“If he plays Saturday (at North Carolina), I don’t know, that’d be crazy,” freshman guard Doron Lamb said. “I know Kentucky would be happy.”
Lamb acknowledged that he thinks about Kanter joining the team.
“I don’t really sleep on it,” he said. “But I think about it sometimes. . . . We just have to wait and see.”

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UK players wear black in mourning of Cal’s mother

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

UK players wore black socks and block wristbands against Boston U Tuesday night to signify their mourning. Calipari’s mother, Donna, passed away at age 74 on Sunday.
Before the game, Calipari tweeted his appreciation of the gesture.
“It means a lot to me and is another sign of the kind of superb young men we have in our program,” he tweeted. “Thanks to all of (the Big Blue Nation) for your support.
“I’ll coach with a heavy heart tonight. But I know my mom is watching from the luxury boxes with a whole crew of UK luminaries cheering along with her.”

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UK Art Museum offers basketball poster as fund-raiser

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

Fans can celebrate the history of UK Basketball and support the school’s Art Museum.

That twin bill can be accomplished by buying a limited edition poster printed by the Art Museum. Former UK Coach Joe B. Hall will sign posters at the UK Bookstore on Dec. 11 from 1 to 3 pm.

John Calipari has signed a limited number of posters, which will be available for $40. Unsigned posters are $20.  Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky.

The painting, created by Clifford Amyx and entitled 1958, captures the spirit and action of UK games during the 1950s era.  Amyx, a native of Jackson County, studied at UK where he received his Master’s degree in 1943.

From 1936 to 1941 Amyx was the assistant supervisor of the Federal Art Project in San Francisco. He returned to UK as a professor of painting and drawing in 1946 and helped develop the art department.

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Arrangments set for Cal’s mother

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

In lieu of flowers, the Calipari Family kindly asks that donations be sent in memory of Donna Calipari or by using Tribute #26909623

to:

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

ATTN: Tribute Program

PO Box 100, Dept. 142

Memphis, TN  38148

or by calling 1-800-822-6344.

The Calipari Family is scheduled to have a private memorial service to honor Mrs. Donna Calipari on Sunday, December 5th.

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UK offense wants aggressive drives, but not too aggressive

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

A thin smile crossed DeAndre Liggins’ face. Isn’t there an inherent conflict to negotiate in a Kentucky offense predicated on aggressive drives to the basket, yet being chastised as being “selfish” for driving too aggressively against Connecticut last week?
“It’s very hard for me,” Liggins said Monday when asked about finding the right balance. “I’m an attacking player.”
But, he acknowledged, there is a better balance to be found than the blind man groping in the dark that UK did against the Huskies in the EA Sports Maui Invitational championship game.
“I’ve got to recognize what I have,” Liggins said. “If the defense collapses, I’ve got teammates wide open.”
Kentucky hopes to do better against Boston U on Tuesday night in Rupp Arena. In this case, the Cats have an easy act to follow. It’s hard to imagine a worse performance than one that inspired UK Coach John Calipari to label it “selfish.” Kentucky had only nine assists against UConn, which topped the seven against Washington the night before.
Unity of purpose was not in evidence on defense either.
“Just not talking,” big man Josh Harrellson said. “Not helping each other out. Just primarily focused on our own guy.
“You don’t have an assigned guy. Everybody is our guy on the court.”
As Liggins noted, the guilty were not confined to the many freshmen who form the core of this Kentucky team. Veterans were a part of the selfishness, too.
“Not only the young guys,” Liggins said. “It was me, too. I admitted it. I have to learn and keep moving.”
Of course, the very name of Kentucky’s offense — the Dribble-Drive — suggests an emphasis on moves to the basket.
“That’s the whole reason for the Dribble-Drive motion (offense),” Harrellson said. “That’s the reason it works. You’ve got to have at least two or three good drivers on the floor just to get in the lane and penetrate and find open players.”
It’s that last part, the finding of open players, where Kentucky faltered against Connecticut.

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Grieving Cal to miss radio show

Kentucky
Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

UK Coach John Calipari missed the start of practice on Monday. He was returning from Charlotte, N.C., where his mother passed away Sunday night.

Calipari missed his regular day-before-the-game news conference and the start of practice. UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said assistant coach John Robic would substitute for Calipari on the weekly call-in radio show Monday night (7-8 p.m. EST).

Calipari is expected to coach the Kentucky team against Boston U on Tuesday night in Rupp Arena.

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