Calipari, Cats welcomewalk-ons David, Pulliam
The University of Kentucky officially announced Wednesday that Jonny David and Dillon Pulliam have been added to the 2015-16 basketball roster as walk-ons.
David comes to Lexington after a productive senior year at Mount Lebanon High School in Pennsylvania, where he averaged 18.5 points last season. The 6-foot-2 guard earned all-state honors while leading Mount Lebanon to a sectional championship.
"I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Kentucky basketball program," David said in a news release.
David and his father have a long-standing relationship with UK Coach and native Pennsylvanian John Calipari.
Pulliam comes to UK after playing last season at Transylvania. He appeared in 25 games for the Pioneers, averaging 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds. The 6-3 guard was a five-year member of the varsity team at Harrison County High School, and he finished his career there as the school's fifth-leading scorer all-time, third in three-point field goals and set a school record for most three-point field goals made in a game with nine.
Per NCAA transfer rules, Pulliam will sit out the 2015-16 season and be eligible starting in the fall of 2016. "I'm excited to ... have the opportunity to play with other talented players under a great coaching staff," Pulliam said in the release.
■ The schedule is almost set for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge set for Jan. 30, 2016, on ESPN's family of networks. But the Kentucky-at-Kansas game is one of three in the Challenge for which ESPN did not announce a specific time.
The times will be announced the week of Jan. 4 for Kentucky at Kansas (ESPN); Oklahoma at LSU (ESPN), and Iowa State at Texas A&M (ESPN). The schedule is locked in for the other seven games: Noon: West Virginia at Florida (ESPN or ESPN2) and Vanderbilt at Texas (ESPN or ESPN2); 2 p.m.: Tennessee at TCU (ESPN2) and Ole Miss at Kansas State (ESPNU); 4 p.m.: Texas Tech at Arkansas (ESPNU); 6 p.m.: Georgia at Baylor (ESPN2); 8 p.m.: Oklahoma State at Auburn (ESPN2).
Japan rallies in LLWS; Pennsylvania wins 3-0
Two big comebacks and one pulsating win sent undefeated Tokyo into a Little League World Series title game.
Tokyo got down to its last strike in the bottom of the sixth inning before rallying to tie it, then overcame a two-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth for a 5-4 victory over Barquisimeto, Venezuela. The Venezuelans had to go deep into their pitching, leaving them in a tough spot for their win-or-else game. Barquisimeto plays Mexico on Thursday afternoon. The winner gets a rematch with Tokyo on Saturday — the Japanese also beat Mexico 3-1 in the tournament — for the International title and a matchup with the U.S. bracket champion a day later.
■ Left-hander Adam Cramer struck out 13 in five innings, and undefeated Lewisberry, Pa. — the closest thing to a home team in the Little League World Series — beat Pearland, Texas, 3-0 for a berth in the U.S. bracket title game.
■ The Rome Braves scored six runs in the top of the ninth and turned back the host Lexington Legends 13-9.
Coaches expect EKU men, women to repeat
The Eastern Kentucky men's and women's cross country teams have been picked by league coaches to repeat as Ohio Valley Conference champions in the fall of 2015.
Coach Rick Erdmann's cross country program has dominated the OVC over the last decade. The Colonel men will be seeking their 10th consecutive and 24th overall OVC title, while the Colonel women will be going for their ninth OVC title in the last 10 years and 29th overall.
The EKU men return five of the top six runners from a team that finished 23rd at the NCAA Championships in 2014, led by Amos Kosgey, the reigning OVC Male Runner of the Year. The women lost their top two runners from a team that finished seventh at the NCAA Southeast Regional. However, seniors Julie Mathisen, Anna Reddin and Ashley Svec and junior Ann Tum are expected to be key performers.
■ Former U.S. Olympian star Suzy Favor Hamilton will release a memoir next month that will touch on the mental health issues that compelled her to lead a double life as a Las Vegas call girl. Fast Girl will go on sale Sept. 14. A blurb on publisher HarperCollins' website says the book will recount how manic depression and bipolar disorder drove Favor Hamilton to excel as an athlete. It will also explain how medication exacerbated her mania and made her become hypersexual, driving her to secretly become a $600-an-hour Las Vegas escort.
high school volleyball
Sayre outduels Berea, goes to 6-1
Host Sayre beat Berea in volleyball for the second time in five days, winning by scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-16.
It struggled early against a young Berea squad before finding its groove midway through the third game, in which it used a 12-3 run at 9-all to help put away the Pirates. Spartans Coach Kim Hils attributed the sluggish start to a Saturday tournament, when they beat Berea 25-19, 23-25 and 18-16, and having just played Tuesday at Kentucky School for the Deaf (the Spartans won 3-0 there). Freshman Alice Rodgers led Sayre with 12 kills, including seven aces. Sayre is off to its best start at 6-1.
American Pharoah arrives at Saratoga
With a dozen roses and about 300 people waiting to greet him, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah arrived at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday and was led off a horse van next to his barn after a flight from California.
The colt left Del Mar in California on Wednesday morning, arrived at the airport in Albany about 2 p.m., and was given a police escort up Interstate 87. "It was actually a fairly quick trip, 12 hours stall-to-stall," assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said. "Traveling with Pharoah, they make it very convenient for us. We're the last one to show up to the plane and the first one off."
American Pharoah is scheduled for a Thursday morning jog and a Friday morning gallop that will be open to the public. He is the 1-5 favorite in the 10-horse Travers field.
■ A construction worker plunged 50 feet to his death at the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium site Wednesday morning in Minneapolis, while a second worker with him was seriously injured.
The man who died, an employee of Berwald Roofing Co., fell from the edge of the roof into a snow gutter on the north side of U.S. Bank Stadium about 45 minutes into his shift and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital. Another man from the same firm was injured on the roof but did not fall from it. The circumstances of the accidents weren't immediately known.
■ East Carolina said quarterback Kurt Benkert will miss the season with a knee injury that came a week after the sophomore was named the starter. Benkert felt discomfort in his right knee after Tuesday's practice. The school didn't specify the exact nature of the injury.
Coach Ruffin McNeill said he's "disappointed" for Benkert "because he has worked so hard for the opportunity."
The last word
The Hornets were 62-55 with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the starting lineup the last two seasons and 14-33 without him. That's why Charlotte agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract extension with the ex-Cat. Said Coach Steve Clifford:
"As much as anybody that we have had in the two years I've been here, he's been the guy that we can't play well without for any long period of time."