• Rocking the Rankings. It won't be confused with the Beatles' domination of the 1964 Billboard charts, but the state of Arkansas has three players in Scout.com's ranking of the top 100 basketball recruits in the high-school class of 2011. (Hat tip to Chris Bahn for the link.)
Ky Madden, a 6'5" guard from East Poinsett County, is the highest-ranking Arkansan, clocking in at No. 33. Hunter Mickelson, a 6'10" forward from Jonesboro Westside, is ranked 38th, and Aaron Ross, a 6'7" forward from Little Rock Parkview, is ranked 75th.
Mickelson and Ross have both made verbal commitments to Arkansas. The Hogs are currently competing with Baylor, Florida, Memphis and Ole Miss for Madden's services, Scout says. The High Priest of Hogdom — Jim Harris of ArkansasSports360 — says that Ole Miss is most likely the current leader in that race. Adds Harris:
[Pelphrey] should go full in on Little Rock Hall's David Rivers, a 6-6 swingman blessed with long arms and quick hands, over Madden anyway. After squandering the opportunity to land former Hall standout guard A.J. Walton, who played a vital reserve role for Baylor this season, Pelphrey doesn't need to lose another talented Warrior to an out-of-state program.
The Expats' oh-so-easy-to-follow recommendation? Sign both Madden and Rivers.
• Order in the Court. This is a pretty strange (and funny) story: Eddie Sutton recently testified on behalf of Jimmy Williams, one of his former Oklahoma State assistants, in a lawsuit that Williams has filed against Tubby Smith and the University of Minnesota.
Williams is alleging that Tubby "fradulently represented" that Smith had the authority to hire his own assistants. In the spring of 2007, Williams quit his OSU job to join Tubby's staff. However, several weeks later, the Minnesota AD told Smith he couldn't hire Williams because of concerns about NCAA violations that took place three decades ago, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Anyhoo, Sutton was brought in to testify that head coaches typically have the power to hire their own assistants. Sutton's testimony included a summary of his coaching career, which included more than 800 career victories, and the humble remark, "There hasn't been that many Division 1 coaches that win 800 games."
And then things got a wee bit testy. According to the Minneapolis fishwrapper:
Sutton's Oklahoma drawl and charm turned tempest when university lawyer Brian Slovut questioned him about NCAA violations in the 1980s during his tenure at Kentucky. Sutton became so angry at his limited ability to respond under cross-examination that he turned to Judge Regina Chu, "Can I ask him a question? I thought maybe it works two ways."
Of the Kentucky investigation, Sutton said he was cleared completely. Slovut noted that one of his Wildcats assistants was not. Sutton conceded that he was in charge, but said angrily: "We thought that program was as clean as Kentucky would ever be. They [NCAA investigators] were after Kentucky. They laid traps."
Speaking of which, below is actual footage of a UK administrator putting two and two together during that fateful investigation: