UK Men's Basketball

Bledsoe remains eligible without signing agent

University of Kentucky freshman Eric Bledsoe remains eligible for the NBA Draft but has not signed with an agent, the school said in a news release Tuesday.

Saying the update came from Bledsoe, UK announced that the player would work out for NBA teams and then make a decision about turning pro by the deadline.

Bledsoe is eligible to return to Kentucky if he does not hire an agent and withdraws from the draft by May 8.

The 6-foot-1 Bledsoe was Kentucky's fourth-leading scorer in 2009-10, averaging 11.3 points. He also contributed 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

Bledsoe was one of five UK underclassmen to declare early for the draft, joining fellow freshmen John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton, and junior Patrick Patterson. Wall, Cousins and Patterson have all said they will not withdraw.

Iowa State hires Hoiberg

Iowa State hired former Cyclones star Fred Hoiberg as its new coach, Iowa State announced late Tuesday. He was a prep star in Ames before becoming one of the top players in Cyclones history.

Hoiberg played 10 seasons in the NBA and was the vice president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hoiberg replaces Greg McDermott, who was introduced Tuesday as Creighton's new coach after four losing seasons with the Cyclones.

■ Former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie was apparently campaigning for the head coaching job at Iowa State, according to a report Tuesday in the Des Moines (Iowa) Register.

Former Cyclones star and booster Gary Thompson told the newspaper that Gillispie was one of three coaches to contact him after it became clear Iowa State Coach Greg McDermott was headed to Creighton.

"I had a call from Billy right away," Thompson told the Register. "He's interested. I had a call from two others who are interested, too."

Thompson, who helped hire former Cyclones coaches Tim Floyd and Larry Eustachy, would not reveal the other two inquiring coaches.

"All I do is hope they get the best coach available," Thompson said. "I think there are people out there."

Gillispie was fired last year after going 40-27 in two tumultuous seasons at Kentucky.

Ex-Cat Williamsto Ole Miss

Former Kentucky player Donald Williams committed to Mississippi, the school announced Tuesday. The 6-foot-5 Williams averaged 16.6 points for a California junior college, Antelope Valley, this past season. He shot 56 percent from the field and 45 percent from three-point range in making the All-Foothill Conference first team.

Williams sat out his freshman year as a redshirt for Billy Gillispie at Kentucky in 2008-09. A native of Baton Rouge, La., he was a two-time All-State player.

"Donald is a young man who has put in a lot of time and effort in his pursuit to return to the SEC," Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy said in a news release. "He is a strong, aggressive, big wing who can really stretch the defense with his ability to shoot the ball."

Ex-Topper training for draft

Former Western Kentucky forward Jeremy Evans might be a long shot in the upcoming NBA Draft, but it's a chance the Hilltoppers' all-time leading shot blocker seems willing to take. Evans' agent, Mike Naiditch, told the Bowling Green Daily News that the 6-9 forward is preparing for the draft in Chicago with renowned trainer Tim Grover, who has trained several former and current NBA players during his career, including legend Michael Jordan.

While Evans still has work to do, the early returns on his pro potential have been positive, at least according to Naiditch.

"We're real excited about his off-the-charts athleticism — Tim actually said he hasn't seen a leaper like that in 20 years," Naiditch said. "He shoots the ball better than we thought he did, he's absolutely a great kid and he really has a lot of potential."

Tide sign Durant's cousin

Coach Anthony Grant has signed two more players for next season. The Crimson Tide signed junior college guard Kendall Durant, a cousin of NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant, and high school forward Jason Carter. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Durant spent the last two seasons at Weatherford Community College in Texas. He averaged 16 points last season and 15 as a freshman.

Carter is a 6-8, 230-pounder from Christian Life Center Academy in Humble, Texas. He is from New Orleans but was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He averaged 14.6 points and 10.0 rebounds as a senior and helped the team to a 30-1 record.

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