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April 17th, 2015

Jonathan Krueger’s Friday Night News And Views

Campus Community,

I am deeply saddened to let you know that a member of our University of Kentucky family was tragically killed in a shooting incident early this morning.

Jonathan Krueger, a 22-year-old junior in the College of Communication and Information, was killed while walking home in the area of Maxwell Street and Transylvania Park.  Lexington Police are questioning one person of interest in relation to the incident, and the investigation is on-going.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Jonathan’s family, friends, faculty members, and fellow students. We have reached out to his family to let them know that we are here to assist them in any way we can at this incomprehensible moment.

For those understandably shaken by this tragedy, do not try to bear the burden of grief alone. Reach out to your family and friends and members of our UK family for comfort and support. Do not hesitate to contact the University of Kentucky Counseling Center at 859-257-8701 and ask for the day-time on-call staff member.

Although this tragedy occurred off campus, it is a stark reminder that all members of our campus community should at all times be vigilant about their safety, and the safety of others. We are each other’s keeper.

It is also in a moment like this that we are reminded of how fragile and precious life is. Let us all keep Jonathan’s family, loved ones and friends in our thoughts and prayers.

Eli Capilouto

I didn’t know Jonathan Krueger. I can’t speak, as others have, to the great content of his character and the great life he was leading. But anytime you see such a young life cut so short by a senseless crime there aren’t enough words to convey the sympathy. Maxwell and Transylvania park is a place where many of us have walked ourselves or at least have known people on the same path.

RIP Jonathan.

WCS Signs With Roc Nation

@RocNAtion

What do Kevin Durant, Robinson Cano, Ndamukong Suh, Dez Bryant, James Young, Victor Cruz, and now Willie Cauley-Stein have in common? They are all member’s of Jay Z’s management company Roc Nation Sports.

Willie announced  he’d signed with the group today and then launched his upcoming signing tour. As one of the most beloved Cats in a long time you better go ahead and get in line now if you want to get his Herbie Hancock.

Coach Cal Visits Brandon Ingram

Via USAToday

With time running out on Calipari to make some moves on the 2015 class, coach made a trip to North Carolina to visit Brandon Ingram. Ingram hosted coaches from Kentucky and Duke today for in-home visits. This is the first day of six for Coach Cal to be on the road recruiting and it shows a lot he made Ingram his first priority.

The battle is on to pull him from the Tarheel state.

Cats Play Well At The Jordan Brand Classic

Keep scrolling down for a complete recap. Here are some highlights.

Cheick Diallo: MVP. 26 points, 11 rebounds.

Isaiah Briscoe: 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists.

Skal Labissiere: 11 points, 12 rebounds

For those of you worried about Skal Labissiere’s eligibility, his recent comments to the Courier-Journal are comforting.

Labissiere told Kyle Tucker“I’ll be able to play right away… The NCAA is going to clear me and I’ll be able to play right away.”

So there ya go, Cats fans. Skal Labissiere will be eligible to play next season, according to Skal Labissiere. You can put those worries to bed and move on to other things, like counting down the days till Big Blue Madness.

Charles Matthews: 3 points came on this nice and-1.

Malik Newman: 8 points

NBA Playoffs Begin Tomorrow

11:30 am John Wall and the Wizards @ Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes and Toronto

2:30 pm Anthony Davis and the Pelican head west to Golden State

6:00 pm Nazr Mohammed’s Bulls host the Bucks

8:30 pm Rondo and the Mavs travel down to Houston to face Terrence Jones and the Rockets.

Going to be a fun Big Blue Saturday.

 

I’ll see you there. Go Cats.


The West Wins The Jordan Brand Classic; Diallo Dominates

The East

(Saed Hindash | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

After dominating the McDonalds all-American game a little over a month ago, Cheick Diallo was once again the best player on the court as he went for 26 points and 11 rebounds. 17 of those points came in the first half as the West couldn’t find a way to stop the big man. Diallo just out-efforted his opponents for most of the game, bringing energy to nab rebounds and keep his team alive in the early goings.

The MVP, Cheick, could be exactly what Kentucky needs next season on the block. Can the Cats steal him away from our old assistant, Slice?

Skal Labissiere

The Big Haitian wasn’t as dominant as he was in the Hoop Summit. He worked his way to a relatively quiet 10 points, 12 rebounds.

Isaiah Briscoe

East’s Isaiah Briscoe (11) dishes the ball off to Malachi Richardson (23) (Saed Hindash | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Diallo may have scored a bunch of points but it was Isaiah Briscoe who took over the game late. Showing out in front of his home state crowd Briscoe was knocking down step-back threes, finding open teammates in the lane, and leading the East back into the game after falling behind. The point guard finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists to nearly win it for his team.

Briscoe is looking like an excellent compliment to Tyler Ulis. Add a couple of more players from this game and watch out.

Charles Matthews

After suffering an injury earlier this week Matthews was somewhat limited in tonight’s game. Still he showed flashes of what can make him special next season. A nice drive for an and-1 and some solid defense, even in an all-star game.

Jaylen Brown

Did not play tonight due to injury.

The West

Future Teammates? (Saed Hindash | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

The West won the game but they didn’t get much out of Malik Newman. Newman finished with 8 points, all in the first half. He didn’t get to showcase all that he’s capable of.

Who impressed you most tonight at the Jordan Brand Classic?


Calipari passed on Kobe Bryant for Kerry Kittles

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.28.48 PM

Last night ESPN aired “Sole Man,” the latest documentary in the 30 for 30 series, reliving the days of Sonny Vaccaro and his impact on Nike and the sneaker world. About an hour into the documentary, when telling the story of how Kobe Bryant ended up with the Los Angeles Lakers, we learned John Calipari passed on Kobe in the 1996 NBA Draft for Kerry Kittles. (Forgive me if that was common knowledge, but I had no idea.)

As the story goes, L.A. wanted Kobe and Kobe wanted L.A., so Vaccaro, representing Adidas at this point, faked a rumor saying Kobe would go back to Italy if he were drafted by the New Jersey Nets at No. 8.

“The New Jersey Nets bit,” Vaccaro said.

Calipari and the Nets brass selected Kittles over the young man who would later become one of the best basketball players ever.

“Just like we wanted,” Gary Charles, a former Adidas consultant, added. “The story was really like 99 and a half percent bullsh**.”

Vacarro and Charles pretended to be happy for Kittles, knowing Kobe would fall to Charlotte and a deal with the Lakers was already in the works.

Calipari, on the other hand, was fired by the Nets three years later.

If you think about it, had Cal gone with Kobe, maybe he keeps his job and they build an NBA dynasty together. Instead, Cal gets fired, goes to Memphis, wins a bunch of games, and now he’s the head coach of the University of Kentucky. All because he picked Kerry Kittles over future greatness.

I recommend you check out “Sole Man” next time it airs, and it will air a lot. If you don’t think you’ll ever see it, allow me to share this drawing of Cal’s intestines from the documentary…

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 6.29.01 PM


Jordan Brand Classic (Game Thread)

Isaiah Briscoe is ready for the Jordan Brand Classic and so are several members of Big Blue Nation, waiting to see the future. The game will tip off in a couple minutes on ESPN2 and you can use the comments section below to discuss what you like and dislike from the three UK signees and three of the five remaining targets on UK’s list.

Here’s a look at the two rosters:

EAST

Isaiah Briscoe, Kentucky
Jaylen Brown
Jalen Brunson, Villanova
Thomas Bryant, Indiana
Jalen Coleman-Lands, Illinois
Eric Davis, Texas
Cheick Diallo
Henry Ellenson, Marquette
Luke Kennard, Duk
Skal Labissiere, Kentucky
Charles Matthews, Kentucky
Malachi Richardson, Syracuse
Caleb Swanigan, Michigan State

WEST

Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
Malik Beasley, Florida State
Antonio Blakeney, LSU
Deyonta Davis, Michigan State
Tyler Davis, Texas A&M
Tyler Dorsey, Oregon
Austin Grandstaff, Ohio State
Dedric Lawson, Memphis
Malik Newman
Ivan Rabb, California
Allonzo Trier, Arizona
Stephen Zimmerman, UNLV

 

Go East.


Julius Randle almost beat Kobe Bryant but not really

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 3.44.49 PM

During his appearance on SportsNation today on ESPN, Julius Randle told the story of the day Kobe Bryant called him over for a game of one-on-one. Randle had said he could beat Kobe on Lakers media day and Kobe was ready for the young rook to back that talk up on the court.

Randle told Michelle Beadle, Corey Maggette and Marcellus Wiley that he went up 7-3 on Kobe in a game to 21. Then Kobe became Kobe and won the game, 21-7.

So what happened to that 7-3 lead?

“He started fouling,” Randle explained.

Later in the show, Julius broke the record on the boxing machine. Remind me to stay away from his bad side.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 3.48.28 PM


Skal Labissiere expects to play immediately

skal-cal

For those of you worried about Skal Labissiere’s eligibility, his recent comments to the Courier-Journal are comforting.

Labissiere told Kyle Tucker“I’ll be able to play right away… The NCAA is going to clear me and I’ll be able to play right away.”

So there ya go, Cats fans. Skal Labissiere will be eligible to play next season, according to Skal Labissiere. You can put those worries to bed and move on to other things, like counting down the days till Big Blue Madness.

And don’t forget: Skal will be balling on national TV tonight in the Jordan Brand Classic. He and his fellow future Wildcats will team up on ESPN2 at 8:00 pm.


Steve Spurrier working out in a sweater vest

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 2.50.25 PM

The HBC is about to turn 70 years old and he’s still crushing it in the weight room like a college bro bulking up before Spring Break.

A South Carolina reporter recently tagged along with Spurrier during one of his workouts and the whole thing was captured on video:

Once the workout was over, Spurrier removed his sweater vest (but kept the bandana) to flex on his haters in this photo:

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 2.51.46 PM

What did YOU do today?


MSN.com asks, “Did Coach K embarrass Calipari’s biggest critics?”

The days of criticizing John Calipari for his one-and-done “basketball factory” are over, thanks to Mike Krysjskeskisskwi and Duke’s own mass exodus. You see, it was easy to pick on Calipari when he was the only one doing it, but with three freshmen from Duke’s national championship team jumping to the NBA, the media’s mindset has shifted. Shocker, right?

Glenn Logan from SB Nation wrote about the media hypocrites and Coach K’s adoption of Calipari’s style today for MSN Sports. Logan reminds us that Bob Knight, Coach K’s mentor, once called the one-and-done system “a disgrace” to college basketball. Now that K is doing it, what will Knight and the other haters have to say?

What will they say, indeed? Well, that question has now been largely answered, but the mendacity has merely changed its focus from scorn directed at Calipari to lauding Krzyzewski for “adapting” and “changing focus.”

This is hypocrisy in another form. Many of the writers lauding Krzyzewski are doing so at the expense of their own arguments, their own expressed opinion that when Calipari is winning this way, it is somehow evil. They don’t write that Krzezewski has embraced Calipari’s evil, but rather that his touch turns “evil” in to necessary, even good.

Logan also calls out Pat Forde’s hypocrisy, so he gets a high-five from all of us here at KSR.

Take a second to read his piece here.


There is already a line for Devin Booker and Karl Towns in Hazard tonight

@ash_roby

 

It’s safe to say the people of Hazard are ready to see Devin Booker and Karl Towns. Here’s a picture of the line for tonight’s signing, taken about four hours before Booker and Towns are scheduled to arrive.

You people are the absolutely craziest.


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AnywhereCare_7200_300dpi_600x600_v2

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****

— First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Jonathan Krueger, the photo editor at the Kentucky Kernel who was shot and killed early this morning just off UK’s campus. Krueger was walking down East Maxwell near Transylvania Park with a friend when he was shot in an attempted robbery. He was pronounced dead at UK Chandler Hospital at 2:35 am.

Krueger most recently attended the Final Four for the Kernel and he is responsible for some of the best photos from this past basketball season, including the shot of Willie Cauley-Stein dunking on Florida. We did not know him personally but saw him around at games and his work for the Kernel speaks for itself.

I can’t imagine what his co-workers, journalism classmates, friends and family members are going through right now. Again, if praying is your thing, say one for all the people who are dealing with such a tragic loss today.

Eli Capilouto issued this statement regarding Krueger’s murder:

Campus Community,

I am deeply saddened to let you know that a member of our University of Kentucky family was tragically killed in a shooting incident early this morning.

Jonathan Krueger, a 22-year-old junior in the College of Communication and Information, was killed while walking home in the area of Maxwell Street and Transylvania Park.  Lexington Police are questioning one person of interest in relation to the incident, and the investigation is on-going.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Jonathan’s family, friends, faculty members, and fellow students. We have reached out to his family to let them know that we are here to assist them in any way we can at this incomprehensible moment.

For those understandably shaken by this tragedy, do not try to bear the burden of grief alone. Reach out to your family and friends and members of our UK family for comfort and support. Do not hesitate to contact the University of Kentucky Counseling Center at 859-257-8701 and ask for the day-time on-call staff member.

Although this tragedy occurred off campus, it is a stark reminder that all members of our campus community should at all times be vigilant about their safety, and the safety of others. We are each other’s keeper.

It is also in a moment like this that we are reminded of how fragile and precious life is. Let us all keep Jonathan’s family, loved ones and friends in our thoughts and prayers.

Eli Capilouto

President

Some of the players sent their condolences on Twitter:

Now back to sports…

— Three-star guard Dazon Ingram committed to Alabama over Kentucky today and I have a problem with the way he did it. Ingram pulled the ol’ switcheroo, picking up the UK hat first then dropping it for the Bama hat, a move we’ve seen plenty of times.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 1.39.22 PM

The issue with Ingram doing it is he didn’t have an offer from UK. He wanted one and didn’t get it, so he pretended Kentucky was in the mix when it really wasn’t. A lot of these guys love to pretend Calipari wanted them. This isn’t the first or the last time a recruit included the Cats in a final decision without an actual offer.

— John Calipari is scheduled to meet with Brandon Ingram in North Carolina today. Keep your fingers crossed. Ingram is one of the top two or three small forwards in the class and he would make a great addition to next year’s UK roster. It will take some work to get him out of his home state, though.

— Random question: Anyone got a place for me to stay in Louisville Derby weekend? Serious offers only. I’ll pay you and buy late night tacos and/or pizza.

— Speaking of Derby, our friends with Ferdinand’s Ball have added Karl Towns and the Harrison twins to this year’s guest list. I highly encourage you to go. This will be my fifth year going and it’s been a blast every time. For more information and tickets, check out FerdinandsBall.com. And for the wilder crowd, you need to do whatever it takes to get in the Fillies & Stallions Derby Eve party. FilliesStallions.com will tell you all you need to know about that. Shaq took up half the VIP area last year but there’s still plenty of room for a good time.

— The Jordan Brand Classic tips off in six hours on ESPN2 and it’s your first opportunity to see all three future Wildcats on one court. Charles Matthews, Isaiah Briscoe and Skal Labissiere will team up on the East roster (coached by Matthews’ high school coach) alongside two UK targets in Jaylen Brown and Cheick Diallo. If you’re not doing anything out on the town tonight, tune in for a glimpse of the new guys, live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It will be BBN’s first look at Charles Matthews, I believe.

— Wanna see Willie Cauley-Stein? Here’s your chance…

WILLIE FINAL FLYER

It’s the Roc!

— I’m thinking about going to Hillbilly Days tomorrow… Is that a good idea or nah? I’ve never been. Leave a comment or shoot me a tweet with your thoughts.

Go Cats, everybody.


Dazon Ingram re-commits to Alabama over Kentucky*

Former Alabama basketball commit Dazon Ingram re-committed this afternoon, choosing Avery Johnson and the Tide over Kentucky, so he says. It’s the classic example of a recruit wanting Kentucky on his final list when, in reality, he never had an offer. UK did reach out to the three-star guard, but never extended a scholarship offer and had already moved on. Whatever, I guess.

Congrats to Ingram and congrats to Alabama for beating Kentucky for a recruit. Kind of.


Mike Thorne is visiting Illinois today

The Mike Thorne Transfer Tour hits its second stop today in Champaign for an official visit to Illinois. Illinois is one of the four schools Thorne is considering for his final season of college basketball, along with Kentucky, Kansas and Pittsburgh.

The former Charlotte 49er big man checked out Pittsburgh last weekend. He will travel to Kansas for a couple days next week, then wrap things up in Lexington on his fourth and final official visit next weekend. A decision will come soon after that.

With Stephen Zimmerman’s commitment to UNLV last night, Thorne is the last hope to add another body to Kentucky’s frontcourt next season. The Cats could use some more muscle to join Skal Labissiere, Marcus Lee and Alex Poythress inside, so he’s kind of a big deal.


Willie Cauley-Stein signs with Roc Nation

Willie Cauley-Stein is the newest member of Roc Nation Sports, Jay Z’s management company announced today. Cauley-Stein is the second Wildcat to sign with the Roc, joining James Young on the short list of basketball clients.

Other notable clients include Kevin Durant, Robinson Cano, Ndamukong Suh, Dez Bryant and Victor Cruz.

“The Roc Boys in the building tonight; oh what a feeling I’m feeling life…”

@RocNation

 


Charles Matthews expects to play tonight

matthews

Charles Matthews did not practice yesterday during Thursday’s pre-Jordan Brand Classic action in Brooklyn, after a hard fall on Wednesday left him with a sore wrist and back. The hope in yesterday’s rest was that he will be ready to go in tonight’s Classic, his first big chance to prove himself against 2015’s best. (He did not get an invite to the McDonald’s game or the Nike Hoop Summit.)

According to Ben Roberts over at the Herald-Leader, Thursday’s rest paid off and Matthews expects to go tonight. “Keeping my fingers crossed,” his mother, Nichole Matthews, told Roberts. “He worked so hard for this.”

Matthews will team up with future UK teammates Skal Labissiere and Isaiah Briscoe on the JBC’s East squad, if he’s able to go. It will be Big Blue Nation’s first time seeing all three members of Kentucky’s 2015 class together on the court. Jaylen Brown and Cheick Diallo will also side with the three Cats.

The Jordan Brand Classic will tip off tonight at 8:00 pm on ESPN2, live from the Barclays Center.


Brandon Ingram is hosting Kentucky today

According to Adam Rowe over at Blue Devil Lair, Brandon Ingram will open his doors to coaches from Kentucky and Duke today for in-home visits. Today marks the first day of a six-day recruiting period and Calipari will spend at least part of it in North Carolina with the nation’s third-ranked small forward.

Duke is the presumed leader in Ingram’s recruitment, though he does have interest in the Cats. He would make a lovely addition to Calipari’s roster if he were to make his way to Lexington next season.

Ingram will meet with coaches from Kansas tomorrow and then North Carolina on Wednesday.