Mark Story's annual Orange Globe awards

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistJanuary 7, 2013 

Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith (2) lead the break with the whole Kentucky defense in pursuit as Kentucky played Louisville on Saturday December 29, 2012 in Louisville, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

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  • NCAA TOURNAMENT

    Louisville vs. Wichita State/Kentucky winner

    When: TBA
    Where: Indianapolis
    Radio: WMKJ-FM 105.5 Lexington
    TV: TBA
    Records: Louisville 31-5 (15-3 AAC)

At Sunday night's 70th annual Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association plans to serve the entertainment industry's A List enough champagne (a 2004 Grand Vintage Moet et Chandon) to fill 6,500 flutes.

Here at the seventh annual Orange Globes — my midseason Kentucky college basketball awards — the beverage of choice is Diet Mountain Dew.

On with the show:

Best 'actor'

The nominees are:

Isaiah Canaan. Murray State senior point guard (21.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.7 assists) has made a three-pointer in 24-straight games and has already become the Racers' all-time leader in three-point field goals (254) for a career.

Nerlens Noel. Kentucky's high-energy freshman center is Mr. Stat Stuffer — averaging 10.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 2.6 steals.

Russ Smith. Louisville junior guard (20 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.6 steals) already has seven 20-point games and is being talked about as a national player of the year candidate.

And the Orange Globe goes to: Russ Smith, Louisville

Best 'actress'

The nominees are:

Chastity Gooch. Western Kentucky sophomore forward (16.7 ppg, 11.4 rpg) has recorded a double-double in 13 of the Hilltoppers' 15 games.

Sara Hammond. Louisville sophomore forward (11.6 points, 7.3 rpg, 1.1 blocks) leads the Cardinals in rebounding and is second in scoring.

A'dia Mathies. Kentucky senior guard (14 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals) is turning it up as the games become more important — averaging 18.5 points in two SEC games.

And the Orange Globe goes to: Chastity Gooch.

Best 'director'

Michelle Clark-Heard. First-year Western Kentucky women's coach has led WKU, 9-21 last season, to a 12-3 start.

Jeff Neubauer. EKU men's coach led the Colonels (12-3, 2-0 OVC) — who were picked to finish fifth of six teams in OVC East Division in pre-season — to victories in their first nine games.

Rick Pitino. Even with starting center Gorgui Dieng lost to injury for seven games, the Cardinals head man has led Louisville men to 13-1 start (with the sole loss to now-No. 1 Duke while U of L played without Dieng).

And the Orange Globe goes to: Jeff Neubauer.

Best 'score'

Mike DiNunno. Eastern Kentucky guard dropped in a layup with 2.3 seconds left to cap a Colonels rally from 10 down in the game's final 6:38 and give the EKU men a 72-70 win over Western Carolina.

Nate Snodgrass. Northern Kentucky University freshman guard drained two free throws with 4.3 seconds left to secure a 54-52 road win at Hampton — NKU's first men's hoops victory as a Division I school.

Janee Thompson. Kentucky true freshman guard drained a cold-blooded trey with 8.4 seconds left to give the then-No. 9 UK women a come-from-14-behind-in-the-second-half 48-47 road victory over then-No. 6 Louisville.

And the Orange Globe goes to: Janee Thompson.

Best 'drama'

"Goodwin's charge." With the Kentucky men down 17 against archrival Louisville Dec. 29 and on the verge of being humiliated, UK freshman guard Archie Goodwin unleashed a one-man scoring barrage. Goodwin poured in 17 points in the final 7:24 to help the Cats throw a major scare into U of L before the Cardinals held on to win 80-77.

"Govan's 40." In the history of Western Kentucky women's hoops, only three players had ever scored 40 points in a game — until Dec. 29. Against North Texas, WKU sophomore guard Alexis Govan had the game of a lifetime, hitting 16-of-20 field goals and pouring in 40 points to carry WKU to an 82-80 victory.

"Tyndall's triumphant return." Donnie Tyndall played at Morehead State, then came back to his alma mater as head coach and led the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament twice, including the epic 2011 Big Dance upset of Louisville. On Dec. 28, the now-Southern Mississippi head man brought his new team to Kentucky to face his old squad — and Tyndall left with a 94-58 pasting of the Eagles.

And the Orange Globe goes to: Archie Goodwin for "Goodwin's Charge."

Meet you at the after parties.

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230. Email: mstory@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com

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