John Calipari

Kentucky takes time to give back while in the Bahamas [VIDEO]

Leave a comment

Much of the focus on Kentucky’s six-game trip to the Bahamas has been on what they’ve been able to do on the court, as John Calipari’s team has rolled to three wins to this point in the journey. After beating Puerto Rico for the second time in three days on Tuesday the Wildcats have a couple days off ahead of their next game on Friday, and they put their time to good use Wednesday.

Wednesday head coach John Calipari and his players took time to help Samaritan’s Feet, a program that works to provide shoes for children lacking an item of clothing many of us take for granted. They interacted with the children, bathing their feet before giving them a fresh pair of socks and a new pair of shoes. In one case they ran out of socks, resulting in this heartwarming move by freshman center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Nearing the end of their work with Samaritan’s Feet, Karl-Anthony Towns realized they had run out of new socks to give a little boy. Rather than send him off without a pair, Towns had a better idea. He flipped off his sandals, took off the new socks he had put on his feet an hour ago, and rolled them up the boy’s ankle.

The little boy, size 20 socks rolled up nearly to his knees, smiled back at Towns.

Multiple college basketball programs have been involved with Samaritan’s Feet over the years, including both IUPUI and Georgia State with current Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter being a staunch supporter of the program. And every year some coaches even coach a game barefoot as a way of bringing attention to the program.

The full photo gallery of Kentucky’s time with Samaritan’s Feet can be viewed here.

h/t Kentucky Sports Report

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
Leave a comment

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
Leave a comment

The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.