Good morning, friends. Hope you had a nice weekend. This week, our focus will be training camp for the U19 National Team, which started last night in Colorado Springs. What does Colorado Springs look like in the summer? According to Google, something like the picture you see up there. Hopefully John Calipari and his squad can get out and enjoy the views, although I have a feeling they’ll spend most of their time in the Olympic Training Center. That’s where we’ll start today’s top 10.
1. Training Camp has begun for Calipari’s U19 National Team
Last night, the 28 players invited to try out for the U19 National Team arrived in Colorado Springs to begin training camp. That group includes current Cats Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, and PJ Washington, and 2018 targets Bol Bol, Immanuel Quickley, Romeo Langford, and Cameron Reddish. Last night, the team practiced for two and a half hours, and today, they’ll go from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. this evening. Finalists will be announced tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ll bring you any news, pictures, or videos that leak out. Some already have…
2. Diallo to Knox sure looks nice
— Overtime (@overtime) June 19, 2017
3. Bol Bol looks great as well
Calipari said the transformation the 7’2″ Bol has made since he watched him last year to when he saw him this spring is unbelievable. Look how easily he handles the ball in transition, an impressive feat considering his ridiculous size:
Here's 7-2 Bol Bol in transition pic.twitter.com/7elE5G9p0H
— Ben Roberts (@BenRobertsHL) June 19, 2017
Plenty of more highlights like that in the post directly below this one, so scroll on down to get your first sneak peek of Diallo, Knox, Washington, and the 2018 recruits.
4. Keep an eye on Immanuel Quickley
The 2018 point guard has already narrowed his list to four (Kentucky, Maryland, Kansas, and Miami), and the Cats seem to be the overwhelming favorite. Last week at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Quickley admitted that being around Calipari this week is a huge plus for Kentucky.
“Actually, I can’t lie,” Quickley said, via Adam Zagoria. “It does give him an advantage just because I get to spend more time [with him] but all the coaches tell me they’ll be able to see me in Colorado.”
With unprecedented access to many of his top 2018 prospects, it will be fascinating to watch Calipari recruit over the next month.
5. The Celtics and the 76ers have agreed to trade picks
The big news on Twitter this weekend was the Boston Celtics reportedly agreeing to trade the #1 pick in Thursday’s draft to the Philadelphia 76ers for the Sixers’ 3rd pick. The Celtics will also receive a protected 2018 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers, or the Sacramento Kings’ first-rounder in 2019. The trade should become final today, and the Sixers reportedly plan to take Markelle Fultz.
6. Boston fans seem to be taking it well
Let’s check in with #Celtics fans after the Markelle Fultz trade…
— 247Sports (@247Sports) June 18, 2017
What does this mean for De’Aaron Fox? The Sixers hosted Fox this weekend for a solo workout before deciding to trade up, and the Celtics don’t need another guard, so if the Lakers pick Lonzo Ball, look for the Phoenix Suns to take Fox at four, opening the door to trade Eric Bledsoe. If for some reason that doesn’t happen, Sacramento will be waiting at five.
7. Stoops got some big Yahtzees over the weekend
It was a good weekend for Mark Stoops and staff, who pulled in commitments from 2018 4-star outside linebacker DeAndre Square and 2019 4-star safety Keontra Smith. On Friday, Square picked the Cats over programs like Michigan State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa, and LSU, becoming the 12th commitment in Kentucky’s 2018 class. Smith is a 2019 prospect, so it’s early, but the Hollywood, Florida native picked Kentucky over Auburn, Louisville, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, and others.
On Thursday, UK landed a commitment from 2018 JuCo defensive back Domonique Williams, and if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Jack Pilgrim’s interview with him from yesterday.
8. Kroger Field is one step closer to reality
The old Commonwealth Stadium sign is officially gone, as captured by Jen Smith last night:
The stadium, which shall remain nameless (for now anyway). pic.twitter.com/Nbg7XgZ16P
— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) June 18, 2017
Sigh. I guess it’s really happening.
9. J.B. Holmes finishes 12th at the US Open
Congrats to the former Wildcat, who finished 12th at the US Open this weekend, his best finish in that major ever. Holmes was one stroke off the lead going into Sunday, but no one could stop Brooke Koepka, who finished the final round -5 for a final score of -16. Meanwhile, Stephan Jaeger, caddied by KSR’s Aaron Flener, tied for 60th at +9. Someone remind Flener to take the flag back before they leave Erin Hills, please:
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) June 17, 2017
10. The KSR Summer Tour is in DANVILLE
In about an hour, the gang will be live from Dexter Insurance in my hometown. Who’s bringing the Burke’s Bakery?