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Marcio Jose Sanchez | AP

USA Today: The Warriors are Scared of Anthony Davis

Marcio Jose Sanchez | AP

Marcio Jose Sanchez | AP

In his first playoff appearance, Anthony Davis has the tall task of knocking out the one-seeded Golden State Warriors.  They aren’t just your typical one-seed, they’re historically great.  The good news: so is Anthony Davis.

We remember the Naismith POY; we remember the National Championship win and Final Four MOP; we remember the gold medal in London.  Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut might not be so familiar with his past.  After getting yappy through the first three quarters were Davis was held in check, the Warriors paid a price for the jaw-jerking, almost costing them the game.

While most of Game 1 supported the argument that this will be a one-sided series, Davis’ 20-point fourth quarter was enough to remind Kerr & Co. that he’s not the kind of talent you want to antagonize. Davis, who was contained by Warriors forwardDraymond Green through three quarters (15 points on 6-of-13 shooting and one rebound) of his playoff debut as the Warriors led by as many 25 points, woke up in the kind of way that the Warriors simply don’t want to see.

USA Today Sports’ Sam Amick said Steve Kerr is doing everything he can to keep his frontline from poking the unibrowed dragon.

Davis’ late surge was exactly the kind of thing Kerr is trying to avoid, and his don’t-wake-the-sleeping-giant approach has clearly made its way throughout his locker room.

Unless Draymond Green wants to be on a poster, I think it’d be in his best interest to keep quiet.

Game 2 is tomorrow at 10:30 on TNT.

USA Today: Warriors are scared of Anthony Davis, and that’s good


Watch Thon Maker and Skal Labissiere go head-to-head

Bummed out over Mike Thorne not coming to Kentucky to eat some space next season? Maybe this video of Skal and potential Cat Thon Maker battling it out will help ease your roster woes. A lot of people have been praising Labissiere’s sweet stroke and now you can see it in action thanks to a rad edit by the folks over at CityLeagueHoops.

Watch the big men work.


Skal and Diallo making a French Connection

Coach Cal may have not made an appearance at the Jordan Brand Classic last night but he still had three top recruiters on the scene. According to Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog Skal Labissiere, Charles Matthews, and Isaiah Brisco were all pushing for the Mali native to join them in Lexington next season. Skal was even doing so in Cheick’s native tongue of French. Here’s a bit from Zagsblog and Isaiah’s response to learning a second language.

English is not Diallo’s first language, and he appreciates speaking French with Labissiere.

“I’ve known Skal a long time,” he said. “It’s not even now. Ever since I came here [from Mali] I know Skal. Nike Hoop Summit, was the same roommate so we always talking French.”

Isaiah Briscoe, who nearly brought the East to the win en route to 22 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, doesn’t speak French, but would love to have Diallo join him at Kentucky.

“I would like for Cheick to come to Kentucky, I mean that would be good,” Briscoe said. “Skal, Cheick, me, Charles [Matthews] I think that’s a good class.”

Will he work on his French a little?

“Not happening,” Briscoe joked.

[Zagsblog: Kentucky Signees Recruiting Diallo to Lexington]

Diallo is meeting with St. John’s Chris Mullin and our old assistant Slice today and Coach Cal will be paying him a visit later this week. Could Coach Cal bring this French Connection to campus next season after they’ve been dominating all the all-star games? I certainly hope so.

Oui Oui.


Previewing Tonight’s NBA Action

Milwaukee @ Chicago; 6 p.m. on ESPN

Via CBSChicago

Of player taken in the 1998 NBA Draft only four remain on an NBA roster: Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, Paul Peirce, and Nazr Mohammed. That’s not a bad list to be  part of for Kentucky’s 17 year vet. Still, this looks like this playoff run could be Nazr’s last. The veteran has been used seldom this season as he provides some backup minutes for Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol.

His team today will take on the Milwaukee Bucks who are in the playoffs in-part to Brandon Knight winning a bunch of games before the trade deadline. The Bucks are young and fun to watch but ever since they dealt BK I haven’t kept up with them at all. Chicago won the season series 3-1 and with Derrick Rose finally back in the playoffs I don’t see them losing this series. Bulls in 6.

Dallas @ Houston

Last year the Rockets dropped their opening two games of their playoff series at home to the TrailBlazers and were never able to recover. This year the law firm of Harden, Howard, and Jones are going to make sure that doesn’t happen against their in-state rivals from Dallas. After missing much of the year with various injuries Terrence Jones has played well when healthy. He’s averaging 11.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2 blocks on a team that doesn’t need him to do a whole lot. After being dominated by LaMarcus Aldridge last season, I think Jones has a breakout series this year.

For Rajon Rondo and the Mavs it’s one last chance to figure things out. Dallas had the association’s best offense before Rondo was acquired and since then have had chemistry issues putting the pieces in place. He’s back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012 so maybe that will inspire the all-star point guard to bring back the stellar play he displayed back in those Celtics runs. Now a break for Dirk rapping.

Houston won the regular season 3-1 and I think they take a tough series in 7 games.

Which former Cats will you be pulling for?


Where in the world is John Calipari?

Yesterday kicked off the spring open recruiting period that lasts until the 22nd and Coach Cal took full advantage by traveling to North Carolina to visit Brandon Ingram. Since then all has been quiet on the John Calipari front. Where is Cal right now? The answer is way up north.

Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal spoke with the Coach of Orangeville Prep, Larry Blunt, where teammates Thon Maker and Jamal Murray attend school about the possibility of a visit from Cal this weekend. I think there is a strong possibility that visit could be going on right now.

“I can neither confirm nor deny” that Calipari will visit this weekend, Orangeville coach Larry Blunt said with a laugh. “Those guys have tried to put plans together to meet with (Murray’s) family and the young man. They’ve been up a few times and hopefully they’ll be up again soon.

Orangeville prep is located on the outskirts of Toronto, where John Wall is taking on Patrick Patterson today in the playoffs. As Kaan mentioned earlier, Coach Cal just so happened to be in attendance for that game.

Where will Cal pop up next? We here at KSR will keep following the clues to keep you up to date. For more info on Jamal and Thon, check out Kyle Tucker’s article. It’s got some good tidbits on if Murray will reclassify, Thon playing overseas, and more.

[Courier-Journal: UK’s Calipari Courting Canadian Teammates]

 


Calipari in Toronto for the playoffs

Calipari in Toronto for the playoffs

Getty Images

Getty Images

Coach Cal is in attendance at the Wizards-Raptors game to check out some of his former Cats. Word on the street is he and Kenny Payne are sitting in Drake’s personal courtside seats. Cal, you’re the man.

I’m hearing there is also a possibility he drops in on Jamal Murray and Thon Maker, both Canadian natives, while he is up in the Great White North.

@kaansoloKSR


This weekend’s NBA playoff schedule

Saturday

12:30: Wizards-Raptors, ESPN (John Wall, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes)

3:30: Pelicans-Warriors, ABC (The Brow)

7:00: Bucks-Bulls, ESPN (Nazr Mohammed, yes, he still plays in the NBA)

9:30: Mavericks-Rockets, ESPN (Rajon Rondo, Terrence Jones)

Sunday

3:00: Cavaliers-Celtics, ABC (James Young)

5:30: Hawks-Nets, TNT

8:00: Trail Blazers-Grizzlies, TNT

10:30: Clippers-Spurs, TNT

Which ex-Cat’s NBA team will you be rooting for? Mine are the Pelicans and Rockets.


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

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


Young Kentucky Fan had a Special Gift for Karl Towns

Young Kentucky Fan had a Special Gift for Karl Towns

towns-letter2

After seeing Karl Towns letter to the Big Blue Nation, Autumn Bales from London decided to write him one in return.

You can read her handwritten letter to Karl below:

towns-letter

For being 10 years old, she is quite the little artist.


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.


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.


KentuckyOne Health Anywhere Care’s Afternoon Notes

KentuckyOne Health Anywhere Care’s Afternoon Notes

AnywhereCare_7200_300dpi_600x600_v2

KentuckyOne Health Anywhere Care at home, at the office and everywhere. Anywhere Care is a 24/7 service that lets you see or talk live to a primary care provider by phone or video chat… even from the comfort of your own couch.

Click here to learn more or get care now.

****

— 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.