Has Kentucky opened a Dominican big man pipeline?

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This just in: every move John Calipari makes pays recruiting dividends.

Hanging with Charlie Sheen? Money.

Posing with arch-nemesis Rick Pitino? Also gold.

Being chosen to drive the Kentucky Speedway pace car? Got his name in the papers.

Not getting to drive the pace car after all? Ditto.

Losing in his hometown in the first round of the NIT? OK, maybe I’m stretching the premise here.

But you have to admit, choosing to coach the Dominican National Team – a lesser light in international basketball circles – has paid off in a big way for Calipari. And it may be the gift that keeps on giving, according to Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

John Calipari and Orlando Antigua coached [Karl] Towns for two summers with the Dominican national team. That relationship helped them land the 7-footer, who remains UK’s only commitment in the class of 2014.

Now another 2014 prospect with Dominican ties is emerging as an elite player in the class, and Kentucky’s coaching staff is in a prime position.

Angel Delgado — a Dominican native — came to the United States last year and has been steadily climbing the recruiting rankings.

Delgado is 6’9″ and reported to be a great rebounder with a motor that doesn’t quit. That may not be enough to jump him over the likes of Cliff Alexander and Trey Lyles on Coach Cal’s big board, but it wouldn’t exactly hurt the program to nab an athletic project who might stick around and be a glue guy for more than two semesters. Then again, says Delgado is coming on like gangbusters, so let’s not underestimate him.

One thing seems sure, Coach Cal has the first shot at Delgado if he wants him. All because he – and now his assistant Orlando Antigua – have put in some time coaching basketball for a small Caribbean nation.

All I can say to that is: Get on his level. The guy is in another time zone in terms of recruiting.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.