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Aaron Torres’ Take

Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E55: NBA Draft Night Special

The NBA Draft is over and the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast is your home for the most comprehensive post-draft coverage anywhere. Aaron is joined by Nick Coffey and they chat for over an hour on the draft’s biggest storylines.
Mikal Bridges’ MomBridges and his mom, a 76ers employee, were the story of the draft… right up until Bridges got traded from Philadelphia to Phoenix. Was this an even ploy by Philly? And how can Philly even make trades without a GM.
Michael Porter Jr’s FallThe guys do a deep dive on Michael Porter Jr’s fall, and why it might be the best thing for him. Did the Nuggets actually get the best player in the draft? And is it really a risk even if he is injured?
How Good is Luka Doncic? The guys debate the third overall pick Luka Doncic and whether we should actually buy the hype. Aaron explains why Sacramento didn’t make a mistake passing on him, and the guys wonder why so many draft snobs are obsessed with European prospects. Also, how many top European prospects actually work out at the NBA level?
Why Kevin Knox to the Knicks is a Perfect Fit: Aaron explains why he believes that Knox was the steal of the draft with the Knicks. The guys also talk about why they hate Mo Bamba to the Magic and give a big shout out to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Plus, stay til the end for a conversation on Reid Travis, and why John Calipari shook up all of college basketball with his decision to attend Kentucky.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Today’s episode is brought to you by IMAC:

Everything You Need to Know About the 2018 NBA Draft

After months of rumors, innuendo, lies, leaks, gossip and #fakenews media reports, we’ve finally made it. It’s draft night, people! The night where we can push aside the crap your favorite team has been peddling for months – and find out where your favorite player will actually play his professional basketball next year. What a time to be alive!

And when Adam Silver does step to that podium this evening, oh what a night it will be. Understand that while this event is always marred by chaos, tonight could be extra chaotic. After DeAndre Ayton goes No. 1, it feels like Sacramento could go two or three different ways, which could ultimately shake up what everyone does from there. Add in the fact that a major NBA star is potentially on the trading block (Kawhi Leonard) and an NBA title contender has a Top 10 pick which they could possibly move (Cleveland) and woooooah buddy could tonight get wonky.

Therefore who better than to do a little draft preview than your favorite resident college basketball insider. I’ve been watching most of these guys for three or four years dating back to their high school days and know more about them, than some of my own family members. Sorry Aunt Millie, it’s true.

It’s time to preview the draft and talk some of the biggest names and most overrated players available tonight.

With Reid Travis There is No Doubt: Kentucky is the Favorite in College Basketball Next Season

Back a few weeks ago I released my “Way Too Early Top 25” for the 2018-2019 college basketball season after the NBA Draft deadline. At the time I had Kentucky sitting at No. 2, thanks to UK’s phenomenal blend of talent, skill and experience heading into next year.  The only team I had ahead of the Wildcats was Gonzaga, a club which returns basically everyone, including two players I believe could have been first round picks had they entered this year’s draft (Killian Tillie and Rui Hachimura).

However when that Top 25 did come out a month or so ago, I did have one addendum on my section about the Wildcats: If Kentucky were able to add Stanford graduate transfer Reid Travis, a former McDonald’s All-American and two-time Pac-12 All-Conference First Team member to its club, I’d have no choice but to move Kentucky to No. 1 in my poll.

Well on Wednesday that addendum became official: Reid Travis has committed to Kentucky. And with that, there’s no other way to put it: The Wildcats are the unquestioned top team in the country heading into the 2018-2019 season.

That’s right, it’s time to move over Gonzaga. Step aside, Kansas. Adios to Duke and your big-time recruiting class. See ya Virginia and your boring offense which will produce an ACC regular season title and first weekend NCAA Tournament loss next year. The Kentucky Wildcats are the team to beat heading into 2018-2019.

Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E54: NBA Draft Preview

It’s draft week and this episode of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast is dedicated almost exclusively to the NBA Draft. Aaron is joined by Nick Coffey, where they begin the show by talking about Ashton Hagans’ arrival at Kentucky, before turning their full attention to draft week. Among the topics they discuss include:

Should DeAndre Ayton be the ‘lock’ to go No. 1? It seems as though we’ve hit a consensus that Ayton will go No. 1, but the guys must ask: is there a better option out there? Aaron calls into question Ayton’s questionable motor in college, but also says that Ayton not only has the most skill in the draft, but the most upside. Should that lock him into No. 1?

Is Marvin Bagley the safest pick in the draft? The guys think so, as they both rave about the skill of the Duke forward. Nick calls Bagley ‘can’t miss’ while Aaron says that even in a draft full of potential, Bagley is the closest thing to a finished product. Also, the guys wonder — how good can Bagley immediately be next season?

Does Trae Young have bust potential? One of the guys thinks so, as it’s fair to ask if the highest-profile player in this draft might not reach expectations. Also, Aaron explains why he believes that Kevin Knox is the player who is mostly to be better than where he’s projected to be drafted — plus thoughts on Jaren Jackson, Mo Bamba and Michael Porter Jr.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Today’s episode is brought to you by IMAC:

What Kind of Impact Can Reid Travis Have Next Season? We Asked Pac-12 Coaches

It’s no secret that former Stanford forward Reid Travis is the biggest name left on the college basketball transfer market – and it doesn’t feel like an exaggeration to say that he might be one of the most coveted grad transfers in the history of the sport. After all, it’s not often that former McDonald’s All-American’s who earn All-Conference honors in a league like the Pac-12 make it to their senior years period,  let alone decide to transfer following the season. That’s also why some of the biggest names in college basketball – most notably Kentucky and Villanova – are hoping to have the 6’8 forward on their rosters next year.

Still, despite being such a big name, the combination of injuries early in his career and playing at a low-profile Pac-12 school means that quite a few fans still don’t know much about him. That’s why KSR decided to reach out to those who do know him best – two Pac-12 assistant coaches who spent the last four years scouting and game-planning against him.

Because Travis is still a transfer in the middle of the recruiting process, neither could speak publicly about him, and agreed to these interviews on the condition of anonymity. But both coaches shared virtually the same sentiment when discussing the former first-team All-Pac 12 performer.

It was summed up succinctly by the first coach.

“I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I’m glad he’s out of our league,” the first Pac-12 assistant said laughing.

Both coaches remember Travis dating back to his days as a high school star, with one of the coaches saying he believed the Minnesota native was “the best power forward” in his high school class. And once Travis arrived in college he had an immediate impact, before a string of injuries kept him off the court for a big stretch of time. 

“His freshman year in particular in the non-conference as we were watching him, he was amazing,” the second coach said. “He was aaaaaaaamazing. And he was somebody that we were majorly, majorly concerned about. But what was unfortunate is that he had all these injuries and he was never able to show what he could do [until recently].”

Sadly, that was the reality of Travis’ career arc at Stanford, and why he is even eligible to transfer right now, period: The poor kid simply couldn’t stay healthy for his first few years on campus. He missed nine games his freshman year with a stress fracture in his left leg, then played in just eight games total his sophomore year with a stress reaction in the same leg. That lost sophomore season also allowed him to apply for a medical redshirt, which gave him a fifth-year of eligibility he will use next season.

As the second coach pointed out, it wasn’t really until this past season that Travis was able to show what he was able to do when fully healthy. He played in every Stanford game for the first time in his career this winter, averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds, playing some of his best games against the Cardinal’s best competition. That included 18 points and 11 rebounds in a win over UCLA, and 20 and 10 in a two-point loss to Arizona at home.

All the skills that Travis displayed as a high school standout finally came out for a college audience to see last year.

“His hands, his athleticism, the way that he attacked the basket, his relentless pursuit of rebounds,” the second coach said, when asked what makes Travis so special on the court.

Now the question becomes what’s next.

While neither coach is privy to Travis’ decision-making process, both understood his decision to pursue options outside of Stanford. The coaching staff which initially recruited Travis to Palo Alto was replaced following his sophomore year, and while the Cardinal are full of young talent (sophomores Daejon Davis and Kezie Okpala might have futures in the NBA) it still feels like they’re a ways away from competing with the elite in college basketball.

So after spending four years at Stanford and locking in a college degree from one of America’s most prestigious universities, why not try and play for one of the elite programs in the country?

“He’s been there a long time,” one coach said. “And you have to think that man, if you’re going to be in college that long and play at that level, and be that good of a player, why not try to win a national championship?”

He continued.

“And he’s got a Stanford degree? He’s golden.”

Looking ahead, both coaches said that regardless of where Travis ends up, he still has things to work on. Each coach mentioned that he still favors going over his left shoulder in the post (playing predominately with his right hand) and needs to develop the other hand to reach his full potential. One coach added that to truly reach his NBA potential, Travis will need to work on his mid-range game too. A 17-foot jumper is a must.

Still, both coaches believe that wherever Travis ends up he’ll have an immediate impact. He isn’t simply a good player who put big numbers on a bad team. He’s a difference-maker wherever he lands next season.

“I think he can put up monster numbers wherever he goes,” the first coach said. “He’s a talent.”

The second coach agreed. While it’s uncertain whether Travis will choose Kentucky, Villanova or somewhere else, the coach is already having nightmares of what Travis could look like alongside another talented Kentucky team.

“They [Kentucky] have a bunch of young kids, but you throw Reid Travis in that group?” the coach said. “Oh my gosh. I just hope we don’t meet them until the Final Four.”

The Aaron Torres Podcast E53: LSU Head Coach Will Wade

The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast is back with a very special guest — LSU head coach Will Wade.  The coach of the Tigers joins the show to talk about his preseason Top 20 team and the influence John Calipari has had on his career. But before the Wade interview, Aaron is joined by his good friend Nick Coffey where they discuss major news in college basketball…
Charles Bassey is going to Western KentuckyIn shocking news, the No. 3 player in America has reclassified and will play next season at Western Kentucky. Aaron and Nick go into a deep dive on a very bizarre recruitment that landed Western with a future first round pick. Also, Aaron asks, why does Rick Stansbury have such a bad reputation around college basketball, while known cheaters like Kelvin Sampson and Bruce Pearl seem to get a free pass?
LeBron’s NCAA Documentary: The guys circle back on another big story from earlier in the week, a documentary from LeBron about the NCAA which will feature Kentucky’s Nick Richards. The guys explain why they’re already annoyed with the idea and its potential to be one-sided. Also, how many college athletes genuinely make money for their universities?
Next up, Aaron welcomes on a biiiiiig guest, as he is joined by LSU basketball coach Will Wade. Wade has the Tigers primed for a monster season in 2018-2019 and discussed with Aaron the following:
The Incredible Turnaround the Tigers had Last SeasonCoach Wade explains what allowed the Tigers to go from a club that was picked to finish 14th in the SEC in the preseason, to one that surprised many on their way to an above .500 finish in the SEC. What allowed him to turn around the culture and have immediate success?
Wade’s Loaded Freshman ClassWade breaks down a star-studded freshman class which is ranked as high as No. 3 in some recruiting services. What can fans expect from McDonald’s All-American Naz Reid? And is Emmitt Williams the most underrated player in the class? Also, how will the return of Tremont Waters help the young players?
The Strength of SEC Basketball: Finally, Coach Wade wraps up discussing the strength of the SEC. Does this league get the credit it deserves nationally? Also, what has he learned while watching John Calipari at Kentucky that Wade takes with him every day?
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Sponsorship Note:

Sign on to sponsor the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast by June 15th to take advantage of a special discount. Contact [email protected] to learn more.

Ace Baldwin recaps his unofficial visit to Kentucky

Ace Baldwin recaps his unofficial visit to Kentucky

In theory, June is supposed to be a quiet time in the college basketball calendar. The season is long gone, and June is smack dab in the middle of the April and July recruiting periods – yet on most college campuses this is one of the busiest times of year. Camps are going on, freshmen and new players are arriving, and recruiting? Well, it never really stops.   

That’s certainly the case at Kentucky, where this week John Calipari and his staff hosted one of the top rising players in America. Meet Adrian “Ace” Baldwin, a point guard in the 2020 class who just finished his sophomore season at Saint Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland. He is ranked No. 83 nationally in the latest 247 Sports Rankings, but is receiving interest from some of the biggest brands in college basketball, including Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, Virginia and Pitt.  

Baldwin took an unofficial visit to Lexington on Tuesday. And in an exclusive interview with KSR, admitted that he came away impressed.  

“It was a great experience,” Baldwin said. “It was my first time up there. I met some of the players, the coaches. It was a lot of fun.”

As Baldwin alluded to, the trip basically served as an introduction to Kentucky basketball. He had a chance to tour the facilities, watch the current team play and also meet with the coaching staff. In addition to John Calipari, he also spoke with assistants Kenny Payne and Joel Justus. While Kentucky hasn’t officially offered Baldwin (the staff rarely throws out scholarships to players that young), the 6’1 point guard was impressed with Calipari’s honest approach. Calipari admitted that he loved the lefty’s flair and the energy he plays with. But in a message that Calipari has delivered to quite a few recruits over the last few months, he also told him to continue to work on his shooting, which has become a point of emphasis in Kentucky’s recruiting of late.

Most importantly, Calipari let him know that this is just the beginning of the recruiting process. Not the end.

“He was just telling him you’re quick, you’re tough, you have a chip on your shoulder,” said Jide Sodipo, the Director of Team BBC, Baldwin’s AAU club. “[He said] ‘I like how you play, but now I want you in the next two years to keep improving. Every time I see you I want you to get better.’”

“You know Cal,” Sodipo continued. “He doesn’t sugarcoat anything.”

The visit was just the first of many for Baldwin this summer. The trip to Kentucky was part of a dual recruiting visit, as Baldwin also met with new Louisville head coach Chris Mack on Wednesday morning (like Kentucky, Louisville has yet to officially offer Baldwin). Later this month he will also take visits Virginia and Pitt and in September he will head to Kansas as well. Like so many others, this “downtime” on the calendar has turned into a productive couple of weeks for player who just recently completed the halfway point of his high school career.

It’s worth noting that the visit also served as a bit of a reunion of sorts for a player that Baldwin called a “mentor,” current Kentucky freshman Immanuel Quickley. Quickley is also from Baltimore and also played for Team BBC. The two are good friends and Baldwin said that he was happy to see Quickley while on his visit, even if it was only briefly. The two only spoke for a few minutes, as Quickley was busy shuttling between classes and workouts.  

If anything though, Sodipo believes that a good thing and that it taught Baldwin a valuable lesson: The opportunity to play at a school like Kentucky doesn’t happen by accident. And it doesn’t come without hard work.

“That’s a wake-up for someone young like Ace,” Sodipo said. “It’s important to see that this is serious business. That’s a guy that who I played against the last two or three years, a McDonald’s All-American, and I walk into the gym and that guy is working out at 6 o’clock in the morning, at night.”

He continued.

“You can tell them [as players] this or that, but when they see it, they’re like ‘Oh, shoot.’ They go back with a different mindset. We went through it with Immanuel, a couple other kids. They come back with a different mindset of ‘What I was doing was good, but if I want to be great, I’ve got to do more.’”

It’s a little early to tell if Ace Baldwin is the next Immanuel Quickley, and whether or not he’ll ultimately play at Kentucky.

But as Sodipo points out, the ball is now in his court.

Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E52: NBA Chatter and IHOb Insanity

It’s time for a new edition of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, as Aaron is joined by Nick Coffey to talk all things NBA Draft, as well as well as the story that has swept America — IHOP’s new name. The podcast’s dynamic duo was all over the place, touching on a number of topics, like…
Inevitable NBA Finals TalkAfter a lengthy Warriors’ conversation, Aaron allows Nick to blow off some more steam about the Warriors. Why Game Four was one of the least inspiring championship games ever played, and why yes, Aaron believes that Kevin Durant ruined the NBA.
NBA Draft, A Deep Dive on Mo BambaThe guys transition to draft talk and immediately disagree on Mo Bamba. Nick believes he can be a star in the league, while Aaron believes he might be the most overrated player in the draft. Aaron also explains why Bamba might be the “Markelle Fultz of this draft” — not in the way they play, but how Bamba never seems to make an impact when it matters most. Also, is it time to replace “WojBombs” with “TorresBombs?”
Is Kevin Knox the Most Underrated Player in this Draft? The guys switch gears to underrated players and Aaron asks — is Kevin Knox the most underrated player in this draft? Aaron believes the answer is yes, and doesn’t understand why he isn’t getting more Top 10 buzz.
IHOb Insanity: Finally, the only story in America that anyone truly cares about — the IHOb insanity that swept the nation. Aaron goes off the deep end and asks why corporations try to fix things that aren’t broken, before Nick power ranks Louisville-area breakfast chains — with a surprising winner at the top.
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Sponsorship Note:

Sign on to sponsor the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast by June 15th to take advantage of a special discount. Contact [email protected] to learn more.

Meet Jaden McDaniels: A Top 10 Prospect Whose”Dream School” is Kentucky

Meet Jaden McDaniels: A Top 10 Prospect Whose”Dream School” is Kentucky

As things stand right now, Kentucky could be headed for a historically great recruiting class in 2019. The Wildcats have already secured the services of the top two point guards in the class Ashton Hagans and . The Wildcats also are the perceived co-favorite for the nation’s No. 1 player James Wiseman, and are also heavily involved for a handful of other five-star prospects including No. 2 Vernon Carey, No. 5 Matthew Hurt, No. 10 Scottie Lewis and No. 11 Jalen Lecque. Oh, and then there’s four-star D.J. Jeffries who is also committed to the Cats.

So yeah, it’s good to be John Calipari right now, but it isn’t an exaggeration to say the rich could conceivably get richer this summer, thanks to the fastest-rising recruit in America.

Meet Jaden McDaniels, a wing from Seattle who has been the talk of the recruiting world this spring. Considered just a four-star prospect a few months ago, he is now a Top 10 prospect in America according to 247 Sports.

Not bad. But here’s the catch: According to recruiting expert Corey Evans, McDaniels has already heard from virtually every program in America, but he is still waiting for one. That’s Kentucky, which Evans described as McDaniels’ “dream school.”

Evans joined the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast this week and shared some details on him:

“Jaden McDaniels was at USA Basketball Under-18 this past week, didn’t make it. But he has been the face of spring 2018. His older brother is Jalen McDaniels, likely a two-and-done guy at San Diego State. He’s entering his sophomore year this coming year.

But [Jalen] is a 6’9 small forward that Kansas just offered, Oregon offered, UCLA offered, Arizona offered, Oklahoma and Texas are also the favorites there as well. He can be the No. 1 player in America… And his dream school is Kentucky. I really want to see if Kentucky will jump in and offer him. I know they have D.J. Jeffries coming but, this kid is different. He’s really different. His rate of progression is astronomical. His basketball ceiling for growth further is stupendous.

And he’s someone where, if Kentucky were to offer, that could change the ball-game.”

Those are some incredibly strong words on a player who has absolutely turned heads this summer, averaging 20 points and nine rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit. According to Evans he’s already measured at 6’9 without shoes with a 6’11 wingspan is a guy that both college coaches and NBA scouts are certainly intrigued by. Evans compared him to a more polished version of former Florida State star and lottery pick Jonathan Isaac.

The question of course, is what’s next. As Evans’ mentioned, the Wildcats already have a wing committed in the class of 2019 with D.J. Jeffries. Still, rarely has having one player committed ever stopped Calipari, and it will be interesting to see if he actively pursues McDaniels going forward.

One thing is for sure: The fast-rising senior will be waiting for his call.

To listen to the rest of the interview Evans, where the recruiting guru breaks down Team USA basketball camp, Tyrese Maxey and the future of Cole Anthony, download the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, by clicking here.

Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E51: Corey Evans on USA Basketball Trials, Scottie Lewis and Tyrese Maxey

A new episode of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast is live, as Aaron is joined by‘s Corey Evans to recap a wild first half of the summer in college recruiting. Corey brings a wealth of knowledge as always, but first things start off as Nick Coffey joins the show to break down everything in the sports world. The guys discuss:
Inevitable NBA Finals talkThe guys veer off into an NBA Finals conversation after a disappointing Game 3 from the Cavs. Nick discusses why he hates Kevin Durant and Aaron compares KD to the fake tough guy at the bar. Also, how can anyone possibly hate LeBron James at this point in his career?
The Bizarre LaGerald Vick SagaThe former Kansas Jayhawk was seen in Louisville this week and it sent the city into a frenzy. Nick explains why it was a false alarm, and why Vick won’t be coming to play for Chris Mack.
Next up, Aaron welcomes‘s Corey Evans to the show. The two take a deep dive in recruiting talk, discussing:
Scottie Lewis’ Comment on KentuckyCorey made national headlines when New Jersey high school star Scottie Lewis said he’d go to Kentucky if “all he cared about was basketball.” Corey explained what he thought of the quote and why it may have been taken out of context.
Corey’s Reaction to Team USA TrialsCorey talks about Tyrese Maxey, who he believes was the best player at camp. What does he do well and what kind of impact will he have at Kentucky? Also, who were the players who stood out who will be on college campuses next season?
Other Recruiting NuggetsWhat’s the latest on New York City star Cole Anthony? How would the removal of the one-and-done rule change recruiting? And also, who is the rising star who could become a recruiting target for Kentucky? Tune in to find out!
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Sponsorship Note:

Sign on to sponsor the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast by June 15th to take advantage of a special discount. Contact [email protected] to learn more.

Top high school players discuss how removing the one and done would change their college decision

Top high school players discuss how removing the one and done would change their college decision

It’s no secret that as things stand, the biggest story in college basketball right now actually has nothing to do with college basketball at all. It is the future of the “one and done” rule, the NBA bylaw which states that players must be one year removed from high school before being allowed to enter the NBA Draft. As anyone reading this article knows, the rule has been in place for over a decade, sending some of the best players in all of basketball (Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, John Wall, Kyrie Irving) to college for at least one season.

Still, it appears as though the rule will quietly be altered over the next few years. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has openly discussed the possibility of removing the rule for well over a calendar year now, and the FBI’s probe into college basketball seems to have been the final push needed to get things changed. The fact that Condoleezza Rice’s commission also referenced the need to end the one-and-done rule makes it seems like a matter of “when” not “if” the rule will be changed, and quietly the NBA has slowly implementing little rules changes to help ease the transition when it happens. One of those changes is to “certify” more events this summer than usual, allowing NBA scouts into high school gyms to evaluate players.

One of those events was this weekend’s Pangos All-American Camp, a noted West Coast event which in the past has drawn everyone from James Harden and Russell Westbrook to Ben Simmons, Davis, Wall and countless others. For the first time ever NBA scouts were allowed in the gym, giving the event an entirely different feel this weekend.

With so many of the top high school players in America in the building as well it, also felt like a good time to gauge their temperature on a potential rule change. It made sense to focus mostly on the top players in the high school class of 2020 (players who just finished their sophomore years of high school) since it appears as though that may be the first group of high school players allowed to enter the professional ranks.

So after speaking with some of the top high school players what did we find out? Virtually all of them know about the potential rule change. And yes, virtually all would consider a jump to the professional ranks if offered the opportunity.

The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E50: Way Too Early Top 25’s with Rob Dauster

The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast is back to celebrate a significant milestone — Episode No. 50. Just a few days after the NBA Draft deadline, Torres takes a deeper dive into the Top 25 of the 2018-19 college basketball season.  Rob Dauster from NBC Sports joins Aaron’s show to discuss it all, but first, the return of 790 KRD’s Nick Coffey. Nick and Aaron jump around college hoops discussing:
The Top 25The guys debate Aaron’s Top 25, which can be found here. The guys explain why Kentucky is not ranked too high at No. 2 and why this could be a special season at UK with the return of PJ Washington to go along with a loaded freshman class. Also, Nick joins Aaron on the “Duke is overrated” train.
Movement at LouisvilleNick breaks down a big weekend for the Cards. He shares his thoughts on the addition of a grad transfer from Richmond and why Louisville simply needs bodies going into next season. Nick answers this question: is Aaron wrong to have Louisville ranked in the Top 25 going into the preseason?
Coaching ScuttlebuttThe guys react to the news that John Beilein is a candidate with the Detroit Pistons — he can’t possibly go, can he? And Bruce Pearl gets a contract extension proving the idea that he would be fired last season was completely overblown.
Next up Aaron welcomes in Rob Dauster for the national perspective on next year’s Top 25 after the deadline. The guys break it all down starting with….
Overall Reaction to the Draft DeadlineRob and Aaron discuss all the moving and shaking at the end, including decisions by big names like PJ Washington to return to school. Rob explains why last Wednesday was a great day for college basketball overall.
Is Nevada Ranked Too High? The Wolfpack seem to be a media darling, with Aaron having Nevada ranked at No. 4 coming into next season (this after hosting Wolfpack head coach Eric Musselman on the show last week). Rob explains why the ranking is fair, but does worry how the Wolfpack will figure out a way to make all their new pieces work.
Is Duke Overrated? Finally the guys discuss Duke and Rob explains why — like Aaron — he has concerns coming into next season. Are the Blue Devils destined to disappoint once again?
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Sponsorship Note:

Sign on to sponsor the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast by June 15th to take advantage of a special discount. Contact [email protected] to learn more.

A New Name to Keep an Eye on In Recruiting: 2020 PG Jalen Cone

A New Name to Keep an Eye on In Recruiting: 2020 PG Jalen Cone

They say “Kentucky basketball never stops” and when John Calipari is your head coach, recruiting never stops either. At this point it’s pretty clear that the focus is on the 2019 class, and the potential to produce a monster recruiting haul with the likes of James Wiseman and Vernon Carey possibly joining Tyrese Maxey and D.J. Jeffries in Lexington.

However, it’s never too early to look at the 2020 class and it’s never too early to look at a new name that has emerged for the Wildcats. North Carolina point guard Jalen Cone told KSR at the Pangos All-American camp this weekend that he has heard from a number of different programs in recent weeks, including the Kentucky Wildcats.

“Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, NC State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Wichita State and North Carolina,” Cone said of which schools he’s heard from recently. He added that he hasn’t received actual scholarship offers from all those schools, although Ole Miss and Virginia Tech were amongst those who have.

The Wildcats still haven’t offered a scholarship and the reality is that it probably won’t be coming any time soon. Because of their stature in the recruiting world the Wildcats don’t need to get offers out early and the reality is, it doesn’t really make sense for them to anyway since Kentucky’s roster is so fluid from year-to-year. Heck, Kentucky is a LONG way from knowing what their 2019 recruiting class will look like, making it next to impossible to try and figure out what their needs will be in 2020. Getting out early offers is something that makes more sense at other schools (like say Ole Miss) where they have more three and four-year players and they have a better idea of what their roster will look like in the bigger picture.

Still, Cone said it would “be a dream come true” to receive an offer from the Wildcats. Like so many other players, Kentucky’s ability to produce NBA players is what intrigues him about the school.

“That’s a program that brings in five-stars,” Cone said. “And the four-stars they bring in are capable of being five-stars. They just produce NBA players, and I feel like Coach Cal and their staff do a great job of producing players that get to the league, especially point guards.”

The staff has even told Cone, who stands at just 5’10, that he reminds them of a certain former Wildcat.

“I know that Tyler Ulis, he’s about my size,” Cone said. “Seeing that is what has me really believing in that program.”

What’s most interesting (at least to me) is what Kentucky’s interest means in the “big picture” here. Cone has been a fast-riser this spring, reaching No. 73 in his current class according to 247 Sports. Still, a kid ranked No. 73 in his class doesn’t generally scream “Kentucky target.” There are a handful of surface-level reasons that Kentucky would get involved early, including the fact that Cone is from Joel Justus’ backyard of North Carolina. Justus always has a beat on what’s going on in North Carolina – as well as all over the country – most notably helping convince Bam Adebayo to come to Kentucky.

Still, UK’s interest does make me think a few different things. One, is this the classic case of UK seeing something in an under-valued recruit that others don’t yet see? For all the success John Calipari and his staff have had through the years landing the “best of the best” (John Wall, Anthony Davis, De’Aaron Fox etc.) they don’t get nearly enough credit for taking undervalued recruits like Willie Cauley-Stein, Devin Booker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and turning them into pros. As Cone said himself, the staff has a unique ability to turn four-stars into five-stars.

Also, could this be Kentucky casting a wider net than usual in the 2020 recruiting class in anticipation that by then high school players could be allowed to go to the NBA/G-League straight out of high school? Considering that those have been the rumblings for months it seems at least possible. Especially since the Pangos All-American event (the place where Cone spoke with KSR) was officially NBA-sanctioned, allowing NBA scouts and front office personnel to attend for the first time.

Regardless, there is a long way to go with this recruitment. Cone said he plans to visit a bunch of schools throughout June and Kentucky will be one of them.

Whether it ever leads to a scholarship offer, let alone Cone actually becoming a Wildcat, remains to be seen.

In the meantime, enjoy this mix-tape of Cone, compared to another North Carolina point guard – and former Kentucky recruit – Dennis Smith Jr. And remember, Cone just finished his sophomore year of high school – and will only get better from here.

The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E49: Nevada Head Coach Eric Musselman

It’s a jam-packed Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, as Aaron has a full recap of the NBA Draft deadline and winners and losers — and is then joined by Nevada coach Eric Musselman, a coach whose team will begin the season ranked No. 1. Starting with the draft deadline, Aaron breaks it all down, including:
What P.J. Washington’s Return means for KentuckyAaron calls Washington’s return the final piece of the puzzle for the Wildcats, and a move that makes them a bonafide national title contender. He also explains why the Wildcats have no true weakness heading into 2019, and should be considered a title favorite. Also, Aaron dives into Reid Travis and why Kentucky doesn’t necessarily need him.
How is Nevada a Top Five Team? Before welcoming on Coach Muss, Aaron shares why he has them in the Top 5. He breaks down their roster and explains why they are a title contender, even though they play in the Mountain West..
Why Duke is Ranked so LowMost college basketball pundits believe Duke is one of the most talented teams in the country.  Torres isn’t buying the combination of Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish.
Next Aaron welcomes the guest he’s waited a lifetime for: Nevada head coach Eric Musselman! Hop aboard the Muss Bus, as the coach of the Wolfpack discusses…
Where he was when Cody and Caleb Martin told him they’d returnCoach Muss takes listeners behind the scenes of where he was when he found out his two stars would return. What was his reaction and how did he celebrate?
How he will handle coaching a completely different team next season: Muss talks about the unique challenges facing his team. Last year they had no depth; now they legit go 12 or 13 deep. He explains why his background in the NBA makes him believe he’ll be able to keep everyone happy.
Story Time with Coach MussCoach Muss shares some incredible stories from his time coaching in the G-League, CBA and USBL. He talks about the time he had to insert a suspended player in the lineup, and the time his team found out at a McDonald’s that their game-time changed.
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

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