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Basketball Season Coverage


LOOK: Kentucky Basketball photo day sneak peek


We’re about a month away from Big Blue Madness, and to celebrate, the Kentucky basketball team got together to pose for some pictures. Thanks to @KentuckyMBB, we got a sneak peek, and man, it will get you ready for some basketball.

Remember all the people that said Quade Green couldn’t shoot? Check out this trick shot:

And one of Hamidou Diallo’s trademark dunks:

More fun moments:

Tai knows you can never let your guard down on photo day. He caught us.

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Lace 'em up.

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Cover of this year's media guide? Maybe the poster?

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Is it October 13 yet?

Today on KSR: Football prepares for South Carolina; Calipari goes on in-home visits

Today on KSR: Football prepares for South Carolina; Calipari goes on in-home visits

It’s Monday, which means it’s totally acceptable to glare at anyone who approaches you before your second cup of coffee. May we all enter the week with Bryant Koback’s enthusiasm.

Here’s what’s on today’s agenda:

Mark Stoops addresses the media at noon

After Kentucky’s 27-16 win over Eastern Kentucky, Mark Stoops will meet with his favorite media friends at Kroger Field to preview his team’s trip to South Carolina. After a scary start vs. the Colonels, the Cats seemed to find their feet in the second half, so I look forward to seeing what Stoops has to say after a day or so of reflection. We’ll have a live stream, full recap, and a depth chart for you around lunchtime.

We’ll find out the Florida game time

Kentucky will take on South Carolina at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, but what about the Florida game? The SEC will release game times this morning, so stay tuned. We’re hearing there’s a good chance the game will draw the 3:30 p.m.(CBS) or 7:30 p.m. slot.

ICYMI, John Calipari was in Houston yesterday


One week after raising $1 million for Hurricane Harvey relief, John Calipari traveled to Houston to help deliver aid. Houston natives Jarred Vanderbilt, the Harrison Twins, and their families joined him. Calipari also sent out a message to those in the path of Hurricane Irma, which was downgraded to a tropical storm this morning as it exits Florida. The images of Irma’s wrath are everywhere, and they’re absolutely devastating. Thoughts go out to all of our friends in Florida, including former KSR writer Hayley Minogue, who is covering the storm in Jacksonville. Hayley was interviewed by the New York Times yesterday about storm reporting, and I believe she’s the first member of the KSR family to make the Gray Lady. Stay dry, Hayley!

He also went to see Quentin Grimes

Kansas is thought to be the major favorite for Grimes, a five-star guard from Texas, but on Saturday, he hosted John Calipari and Kenny Payne. Bill Self will see Grimes tonight and has all the momentum here, but few coaches are better on in-home visits than Cal.

Two more big in-home visits this week

On Wednesday, Calipari will visit Keldon Johnson, and next weekend, he’ll go see Bol Bol. Kentucky was once the favorite for both, but other schools have surged ahead (in Johnson’s case, Texas; in Bol’s case, Arizona), so it will be interesting to see what effect some face-to-face time with Cal will have.

Speaking of in-home visits…

Matthew Mitchell zip-lined on one in Harlan on Saturday:

Michell was checking in on Blair Green, the 2018 Harlan County star that committed to UK a year ago.

The new iPhone will be unveiled tomorrow

Which means I will be very, very poor for the rest of the year. Thanks, Apple.

Has it really been 16 years since 9/11?

It feels like only yesterday I was walking from homeroom to Calculus when the first plane hit the towers. Shoutout to Mr. Moore for keeping the TV on the news when our principal asked teachers at DHS to turn them off. I doubt I’ll ever forget a moment from that day. I know most of you feel the same, so feel free to share where you were on September 11 in the comments.

Never Forget.

Dan Dakich uses Derek Willis’ tattoos to argue against NCAA paying players

Dan Dakich uses Derek Willis’ tattoos to argue against NCAA paying players

Once again, Dan Dakich has proven what an arrogant ass he truly is.

The former Indiana interim coach and current ESPN broadcaster believes that because college athletes like Derek Willis can afford tattoos, they don’t deserve any extra money as a student athlete.

One of Dakich’s biggest arguments in the past has been that a scholarship is the most valuable reward a basketball player can have, and anything beyond that is absolutely wrong.

Derek Willis responded with his side of the story, saying he saved up his financial aid money to help pay for his tattoos.

Dakich responded by calling out Willis for his public intoxication arrest while he was at Kentucky, and then decided to get into a bickering match with a woman by saying she looks older than she really is.

This was just one of his countless, mindless Twitter battles he gets into on a regular basis.


Former Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky took a shot at Dakich for his stupid comments, as well:

The BBN hates Kaminsky for obvious reasons, but I think we can all agree this is absolutely hilarious.

Quick reminder, Dakich has a career NCAA coaching record of .525 and Indiana decided to hire Tom Crean instead of him back in 2008.

Enjoy your prune juice smoothie for dinner, Danny boy.


John Calipari is in Houston for Hurricane Harvey Relief

Last week, John Calipari helped raise over $1 million for Hurricane Harvey victims during the Teaming Up For Texas Telethon.

Today, Coach Cal is putting boots on the ground in Houston.

Check out some of his tweets from today:

Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Jarred Vanderbilt, and their families are there to help out, as well.

Even with his focus on Houston, he wanted to let fans know he’s watching out for Hurricane Irma, as well.

Absolutely no one does it like Coach Cal.

UK Basketball Recruiting Rewind: Karl-Anthony Towns

It’s time for another Recruiting Rewind. Want more? Reminisce with me as we look back on the recruitments of John Wall, Terrence Jones, and Nerlens Noel.

The reality of recruiting is that players are sought after primarily for their athletic ability and skill, with intangibles like personality and academic prowess being secondary. We as fans accept this for the sake of wins, but oftentimes, we long for a player that can do it all: dominate on the court, and be an ambassador for our school everywhere else. But multifaceted players like this are few and far between, and when they do come around, it can be an absolute recruiting dogfight to get them to suit up for your team.

But in the case of Karl-Anthony Towns, one of the most articulate and personable Wildcats of all time, the stars were aligned just right for him to come to Kentucky.

The Recruitment

To make a not very long story even shorter: KAT was always pretty much a lock to come to UK. As a sophomore in high school, Karl qualified to play for the Dominican Republic national team alongside NBA players like Al Horford and Charlie Villanueva, a team which also just happened to be led by Coach Cal and Orlando Antigua.

KAT and Cal developed such a rapport early on in Karl’s recruitment that it would’ve taken a Herculean effort for any other coach to close the gap. Towns even got to see future Wildcat great Anthony Davis talk some trash with Coach Cal from the floor:

So by the time Karl was ready to commit, which was sooner than expected on account of his reclassification to 2014, he was already indoctrinated into the ways of John Calipari.

For posterity’s sake, Towns also considered North Carolina, NC State, Michigan State, Florida, and Duke, among others. But his interest never seemed to go further than just compiling a list.

The Commitment

Cal shoots…

He scores.

With the 2012-2013 season barely in full swing, UK already had the centerpiece for its 2014 recruiting class, which would go on to be bolstered by two other fan favorites and best buds Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker.

The Performance

Towns statline from his freshman season, consisting of averaging 10.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 2.3 BPG, would be considered productive regardless, but it gains some much needed context when you factor in that Towns barely averaged more than 21 minutes per game. The infamous “platoon” system generally kept individual stats low, but Big KAT’s performances shouldn’t be judged on paper anyway.


What’s it like to be recruited by John Calipari? We asked those who know him best

Football may be the focus on college campuses across the country right now, but quietly basketball coaches are starting to get busy as well. Sure, practice is about to start in a few weeks, but really, that’s just the story behind the story. Instead the focus is recruiting, where many of the nation’s top players are taking official visits over the next few weekends. And that’s certainly true at Kentucky, where John Calipari is already hard at work, ready to replace their current group of players, many who still haven’t actually played their first college game.

Therefore, for the R.J. Barrett’s and Zion Williamson’s of the world – AKA the two best high school players available – they will soon be indoctrinated with the most effective recruiting pitch anywhere in college hoops. Within the next few weeks Calipari will come into their homes and – like so many other high school superstars before them – explain why Kentucky is the place to spend their one and only year on a college campus.

But while so much of the focus through the years has been on Calipari, a man who is widely accepted to be the best recruiter in the game, few people have bothered to ask the question “why?” Why does Coach Cal have that title? And what does he say that lures the nation’s top players to whatever school he’s coaching at year after year after year?

It’s a question we decided to ask a handful of AAU coaches and parents of players – those who’ve actually sat in on a recruiting meeting with Coach Cal – and the answers we got all centered on the same themes. They painted the picture of a guy who is both brutally honest and intensely sincere. A guy who helps lay out a road map to the NBA, but makes no guarantees that they’ll get there.

But before he does all that, well… he’s Cal. In essence, he understands that recruiting comes down to building relationships. And nobody – maybe in the history of college athletics – is better at building them than Cal.

“No matter how long he’s known you,” said Etop Udo-Ema, the Director of the Compton Magic AAU program, who has known Calipari dating back to his days at Memphis. “If he’s known you for five minutes or he’s known you for 30 years, he’s going to make you feel like he’s known you for 30 years. That’s a skill. That’s not something you can just be. There are hardly any coaches like that [in college basketball].”


Rick Pitino: “Most people in Lexington don’t work”

Rick Pitino: “Most people in Lexington don’t work”

Rick Pitino held a press conference today in Louisville to discuss his team’s upcoming basketball season, and the topic of the Kentucky game came up because of course it did.

When asked about the odd Friday afternoon start for the Cats and Cards, Pitino replied, “Well most people in Lexington don’t work.”

“They’re into basketball all the time,” he added, after a pause for reaction. “Their weekend starts on Thursday night, so they’re going to take off. Believe me, it will be packed.”

Many fans have complained about the 1 pm tip, but Pitino is right: Big Blue Nation will take off and Rupp will be packed.

Louisville’s schedule confirms 1:00 pm tip-off for Cats and Cards

Louisville’s schedule confirms 1:00 pm tip-off for Cats and Cards

The University of Louisville released its 2017-18 basketball schedule today and it confirms the 1:00 pm start time for the December 29 meeting between the Cats and Cards.

Maybe that piece of information was already out there in writing somewhere, but I don’t think it was, so here ya go. The UK site still lists the game time as TBD.

In case you’re wondering, the early start time is due to the bowl schedule and holiday weekend. The in-state rivalry game in Rupp Arena will be the lead-in to the Sun Bowl’s 3:00 pm kickoff on CBS.

Go Cats.

Calipari’s first UK team missing from’s best to not win title

Calipari’s first UK team missing from’s best to not win title ranked the best teams to not win the NCAA basketball championship since 2000, and the 2009-10 Kentucky Wildcats did not make the cut.

And that’s crazy talk.

You kiddin’ me?

Obviously, Kentucky’s 2014-15 team is included (still too soon), but that 38-1 squad is John Calipari’s only UK team to make the list of 10, which includes many teams that weren’t nearly as good as the 2009-10 team.

Here’s the full list, via

2016-17 Gonzaga
2014-15 Kentucky
2014-15 Wisconsin
2014-15 Arizona
2010-11 Ohio State
2009-10 Kansas
2007-08 UCLA
2006-07 Ohio State
2004-05 Illinois
2001-02 Duke

That list is stupid.

Need some basketball highlights to hold you over till BBM? @KentuckyMBB has you covered.

Do you need just a taste of Kentucky Basketball to help satisfy your craving?

The official UK Men’s Basketball Twitter account has you covered:

Brad Calipari hitting a dagger over Jemarl Baker

Kevin Knox finishing at the rim over Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Another day. Another opportunity to get better.

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And if you missed these clips from a couple days ago, have at it:

Contact dunk drill featuring Sacha Killeya-Jones, Wenyen Gabriel, and Nick Richards

PJ Washington with the slow-motion slam

A little bit of everything, including a Calipari “play fast” quote

Is it October 13th yet?


LOOK: Even McDonald’s is embracing the new Wildcat logo


It’s been a year and a half since UK unveiled its new Wildcat logo — you know, the fornicating birds one — and despite initial backlash, it’s slowly starting to grow on fans. The McDonald’s in Lexington is even using the new Wildcat logo on its cups this fall for football season:

It is interesting to me how, for the most part, the younger you are, the more you like the new logo. My nephews in particular are obsessed with it, and the players, both football and basketball, seem to prefer it over the old Cat, which just goes go to show that the older you get, the more you hate change. Or, the older you get, the more you can’t get the image of two birds doing the nasty out of your head (NSFW!):

Let’s put it to a vote:

And yes, it’s a slow news day.

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Big 12/SEC Challenge TV schedule released; Kentucky/West Virginia game time still TBD

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Kentucky will travel to West Virginia for this season’s Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, January 27, and this afternoon, the SEC released the TV schedule, including game times. Kentucky’s game will tip at either 4:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. Texas A&M at Kansas is the other option at those slots, and a final decision regarding those tip times will be made closer to the event.

Here’s the entire schedule:

  • Baylor at Florida, ESPN, 12 p.m. ET
  • Texas Tech at South Carolina, ESPN2, 12 p.m. ET
  • Ole Miss at Texas, ESPN2, 2 p.m. ET
  • Georgia at Kansas State, ESPNU, 2 p.m. ET
  • Oklahoma at Alabama, ESPN, 2:15 p.m. ET
  • TCU at Vanderbilt, ESPN2, 4 p.m. ET
  • Tennessee at Iowa State, ESPNU, 4 p.m. ET
  • Texas A&M at Kansas, ESPN, 4:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. ET
  • Kentucky at West Virginia, ESPN, 4:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. ET
  • Oklahoma State at Arkansas, ESPN2, 6 p.m. ET

Looks like a great day of basketball to me.

RJ Barrett: “(Calipari) said I gave him 40 and now he wants me on his team to do the same thing.”


Last night, Adam Zagoria released his interview with the No. 1 player in the class of 2018, RJ Barrett, on his trip to Lexington this past weekend.

While the majority of the interview was pretty straight forward, one quote caused a stir among the BBN, where Barrett said his trip to Lexington was “alright.”

Eric Bossi of also got the chance to interview Barrett on his experience in Lexington, and it’s definitely a lot more pleasing to the Wildcat fan base.

“It was good,” Barrett told “I got to learn more about the school and how they operate. I got to meet with coach Calipari and coaching staff and really get to know them better so that was great.”

While playing for Team Canada in the FIBA event in Egypt, Barrett scored 38 points against Calipari’s USA team. According to the star forward, Coach Cal is using that game as a recruiting tool.

“That was one of the first things that came up,” said Barrett. “He said I gave him 40 and now he wants me on his team to do the same thing.”

“Positionless” basketball tends to be Cal’s go-to pitch as of late, and it sounds like he’s pitching something similar to Barrett. That being said, with no one committed to Kentucky in the class of 2018 just yet, it’s tough to get a read on the exact role the No. 1 player in the nation will have.

“Coach Cal told me he can’t give me an exact pitch for how I would play just yet because he doesn’t really know what his team is going to look like,” said Barret. “He just knows that I am a fit anywhere and that they can help me get better.”

As far as a final decision goes, Barrett says we’re right around the corner.

“November is the plan,” said Barrett of his timetable for a decision. “I’m just trying to not have to worry about during the season. It will mean more interviews and stuff like that where I’m not focused. I’m a simple person, if I go to a school and see what I like then I’m going to go ahead and commit to going there.”

For the rest of the interview with Bossi, head on over to this link.

Today on KSR: Halfway through the week

Today on KSR: Halfway through the week

Good morning, everyone. Can you believe we’re already halfway through the week? Let’s get right on it.

Mark Stoops will be on the SEC Coaches’ Teleconference

Outside of some issues with the running game and the offensive line, Stoops has praised his team’s performance on the road vs. Southern Miss. What will he say today? We’ll find out around lunch when he takes his turn on the SEC Coaches Teleconference. Defensive coordinator Matt House will talk to reporters after practice later in the day.

Yesterday, Eddie Gran, Benny Snell, Nick Haynes, and offensive line coach John Schlarman addressed reporters after practice. Check Nick’s recaps below:

Benny Snell is Preaching Patience to Lynn Bowden

Fixing Operation is the Name of the Game for the UK Offense

Basketball sneak peek of the day

Yesterday, the team hit the court for a bit, which means we were treated to another short clip from our friends at @KentuckyMBB:

Watching Kevin Knox is going to be really fun this season.

UK men’s soccer tied with Louisville last night

The 19th ranked men’s soccer team took No. 8 Louisville to double overtime last night before settling at a 2-2 draw. Mikkel Pedersen and Connor Probert got goals for the Cats, who are now 11-8-5 against the Cards all-time. They’ll come home to take on UAB at The Bell on Friday night.

Did you see the cold opening to Friday’s “Hey Kentucky”?

Matt and Perrin got topical in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium to open Friday’s show. The clip wasn’t available online until last night, so enjoy it below:

Hurricane Irma sure looks mad

Thoughts go out to our friends in the Caribbean and South Florida as they brace for Hurricane Irma, the Category 5 monster that’s the strongest storm ever recorded on the Atlantic Ocean. Earlier this morning, it made landfall on Barbuda and is now headed to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It’s expected to hit South Florida and turn northwards sometime on Sunday. My husband and I were scheduled to go to Tampa this weekend to visit some of his family, but unless something major changes in the storm’s trajectory, I doubt that will be happening. We’re much more concerned about my father-in-law, who lives in Puerto Rico and is heading inland to weather the storm. Stay safe, Louis!

I investigated Stephen Johnson’s helmet situation

…and, no offense to Chester, but I don’t think there’s much to it. If you missed it, Chester called into yesterday’s show and said Johnson’s helmet was sitting too high on his head, limiting his vision, but after comparing pictures from this year to last, it seems the same to me. His face mask is slightly different, but it sits just as high on his head this season as it did last season. Boy’s just got a lot of hair. I reviewed the tape and found this one clip of him pulling it down at the beginning of the game:

So, you know, who knows. I’m sure we’ll talk about it on the show, which starts an hour from now.

Rodrick Rhodes and Cordia subject of new documentary on racism in high school basketball

Rodrick Rhodes and Cordia subject of new documentary on racism in high school basketball

In 2013, the Cordia High School basketball team and its head coach, former Kentucky Wildcat Rodrick Rhodes, found themselves victims of racism and hate-mongering as they vied for the state title. That story is the subject of a new docuseries by Uproxx entitled “Us Against The World,” which debuts September 19:

The trailer is a little jarring, so here’s some background. Rhodes took the job at Cordia in 2011 and in February 2013, two players on his team, Canadians Emmanuel Owootoah and Marlon King, were tagged in Facebook and Twitter photos depicting a noose and a flag burning. Both were also the subject of “USA!” chants at games, which may seem harmless until you consider the social media posts and that their guardians reported multiple attacks on the boys, including gunshots at their door.

In May 2016, Rhodes was removed as coach after the program was slapped with several KHSAA sanctions for violations ranging from recruiting to providing illegal benefits to players. Earlier that year, Cordia won its first ever All “A” Basketball Championship.

The 10-episode docuseries will debut September 19 on Watchable, a streaming service. Something tells me it will get people talking.

NCAA proposal may allow all transfers to play immediately

The number of transfers in college sports is on the rise, and if this new proposal from the NCAA becomes a reality, it could really get out of hand.

247 Sports’ Andrew Slater is reporting that the NCAA is considering a rule that would allow all Division-I transfers to be eligible to play immediately. In all sports. All players would have to do to play immediately at the school of their choice is meet a minimum grade point average (GPA) requirement. If they were to transfer twice, they’d have to sit out a full year. The proposal, which is reportedly gaining traction, must be completed by November 1, and will be likely be voted on next April. It could go into effect as early as the 2018-19 season. Whoa.

So, basically, if this proposal goes through — and considering it was leaked, there’s a good chance it might — college athletes would essentially become free agents. That has its pros and its cons. For college basketball’s giants like Kentucky and Duke, it may mean the rich get richer, but smaller programs could find it even more difficult to hold on to top talent. The one-year sit out period may seem unfair, but it is a weighty reminder of how serious the decision to transfer is. Honestly, the more I think about it, the more chaotic it seems, but if coaches can leave schools whenever they like, why shouldn’t players be able to?


[247 Sports]

BREAKING: John Calipari raises over $1,000,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief


John Calipari has helped raise over $1,000,000 for Teaming Up For Texas this afternoon to help the city of Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey.

Here was the official statement from UK Athletics following the event:

Answering a call to action from John and Ellen Calipari, Joe and Kelly Craft, and the Kentucky men’s basketball team, viewers and participants of Sunday’s “Teaming Up For Texas” telethon helped generate $1 million (with matching funds) to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to aid in the relief efforts in Texas and to benefit the victims of the catastrophic storm.

“I’m just so proud of the people of Kentucky,” Calipari said. “I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and Ellen grew up in Osceola, Missouri. These are people that we just feel so comfortable around, and I know there were $25 donations, there were $50, there were $100, and you know they really were like, ‘I don’t have this $25, but I’m going to do it.’ There were people that gave $10,000 to have dinner (with us). Great. They could afford it. But it was more about how many (donated).

Throughout the afternoon, former players such as Karl Towns, John Wall, De’Aaron Fox, and Eric Bledsoe among several others called in to show support and donate to an unbelievable cause. Outside of Kentucky guys, we saw ESPN employees, other NCAA coaches, etc. call in and make massive donations, as well.

If you missed the telethon, head on over to this link and catch up on the pictures, videos, and quotes from today’s massive event.

WATCH: John Calipari leads the Teaming Up for Texas Telethon

Once again we are reminded how incredible the University of Kentucky and their fans are.

From the BBN, we’re here for you Houston.

WATCH: John Calipari leads the Teaming Up for Texas Telethon

It’s officially time for John Calipari’s “Teaming Up for Texas Telethon.”

Check out the official live stream:

If you’d like to make a donation to this incredible cause, call 859-299-5455 or 855-257-2700.

Your favorite Wildcat may be the one to pick up the phone.

Here is what Coach Cal had to say about setting up this event and Harvey’s impact:

“I have not been able to stop thinking about everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey,” head coach John Calipari said. “Every time I turn on the TV, I’m stunned at the images of devastation in Texas. It hits home for me because of the players we’ve had come from that area, including Andrew and Aaron Harrison, De’Aaron Fox and now Jarred Vanderbilt. Thankfully their families are safe, but there are a whole lot of people down there who aren’t as fortunate.

“The Big Blue Nation has already been terrific in helping us raise $150,000 for the victims of Hurricane Harvey by showing up to last week’s UK Alumni Charity Game and the response to the University of Houston’s call earlier this week for clothing has been terrific, but we can do even more. I hope our fans will join me, Ellen, Joe and Kelly Craft in helping raise money this weekend. No donation is too small.”

100% of all donations will go directly to Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.

Live updates:

Just announced: Over $800,000 raised.

Calipari says with any donation of $100 or more, he will send an autographed picture.

Current Wildcats fielding calls for Hurricane Harvey relief

Go Big Blue.

The top 15 high school mixtapes of the Calipari era

Earlier this week, we told you about John Wall’s high school mixtape being named No. 1 of all time by SLAM Online, topping high school sensations like Aquille Carr and Seventh Woods.

Today, we’re going to rank the best high school highlight tapes of the Calipari era.

Let me preface by saying this has nothing to do with actual production at Kentucky or in the NBA, rather the general excitement for each player based on mixtape/film alone.

Check out our list:

1. John Wall

The world was introduced to John Wall with this legendary Hoopmixtape. We saw some of the most jaw-dropping passes, dunks, blocks, and ball-handling skills we’ve ever seen at the high school level.

The shifty point guard electrified the BBN, bringing in the Calipari era at UK with a bang.

2. Anthony Davis

This is where the epic “growth spurt” storyline with Anthony Davis began. The lanky big man from Chicago had the ability to bring the ball up court, defend, shoot from deep, and dunk all over people, and this mixtape showed it all.

Little did we know Davis would become one of the best players in the NBA just a few years later.

3. Julius Randle

Every time Julius Randle went up for a dunk at Kentucky, we expected the rim to break off. This video was the sole reason. 

We were able to see his true athleticism and sheer power, something that translated to the college game with ease. Randle’s ability to score on just about anyone in the country was fascinating to watch, and it all started with his dominant high school highlight reel.

4. Hamidou Diallo

When Hamidou Diallo was rumored to commit to Kentucky and join the team last Winter, fans expected him to come in immediately and make a major impact. His highlight tapes showed off some of the most epic in-game dunks we have ever seen, with each one better than the one before.

His ridiculous athleticism was second to none, and with an elite potential on defense, the hype was real.

Diallo sat out for half a year to spend time refining his game, and he’s expected to be a star player next season for the Wildcats.

Like Malik Monk last year, expect Diallo to live on SportsCenter with high-flying dunks and tremendous scoring ability.

Speaking of Monk…

5. Malik Monk

Monk brought a unique ability to shoot lights-out from deep, but dunk on someone’s face if need-be. His high school tape gave us the best of both worlds.

Monk was a threat to score 30+ points on any given night in high school, and that narrative was the same in college.

Coming out of Arkansas, many Razorback fans went crazy when their prized recruit left home to join the BBN. So did we.

6. Nerlens Noel

Elite shot-blocking ability, athleticism, dunks, etc., Noel was the best big man in the country and it wasn’t close. The energy he brought to the table in this mixtape alone gave Kentucky fans a massive spark going into the 2012-13 season.

For a recruiting class that needed a superstar to anchor the unit, Noel gave them just that.

7. De’Aaron Fox

Drawing comparisons to John Wall, Fox showed off the quickness and elite athleticism we saw at Kentucky in this highlight tape.

Everything came to him so easily in high school.

(It’s weird seeing him in a headband and short hair.)

8. Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns showed off the unique ability to execute traditional post moves and shoot the ball as a big man, on top of his deceiving athleticism. His ability to run the floor with and without the ball in his hands as a 7-foot 17-year old was just ridiculous.

After reclassifying to the class of 2014, Towns was actually fairly underrated going into the season.

As the year progressed, however, the former Kentucky star developed into the best center in America and the No. 1 overall pick.

9. The Harrison Twins

The anticipation for the Harrison Twins was out of this world, as they were one of the most impressive package deals in recent memory. Considered the No. 1 point guard and shooting guard in the nation, their joint highlight tape provided some of the best examples of their on-court chemistry.

Shooting, crossovers, and ball handling, these kids did it all.

Oh, and Aaron hit three of the biggest shots in school history. That was awesome, too.

10. Kevin Knox

A 6’10 shooting guard with ball handling and ridiculous range? I don’t believe it.

Knox’s official mixtape sparked Kevin Durant-like comparisons, and those are going to keep going into the season.

This kid is special.

11. Tyler Ulis

One of the best point guards in UK history started out as a 5’9 kid out of Chicago with a chip on his shoulder looking to cross his opponents up one at a time.

His high school highlight tapes proved to tell just part of the future story of his greatness.

12. Isaiah Briscoe

Absolutely. Ridiculous. Handles.

Briscoe was known as a pit bull from the get-go, going heads up with anyone that dared to guard him in high school. There was no one in the nation with better ball handling abilities, and his scoring at the rim was impressive as well.

13. Brandon Knight

Brandon Knight was the centerpiece of the 2010-11 recruiting class, known as one of the best scorers in the nation.

Though he rarely had to show it at UK, his highlight tape showed just how athletic he really was with a few of the crazy dunks and finishes at the basket.

He also had a 4.0 GPA out of high school and into college, with that intelligence translating onto the court as a floor general and natural leader of the offense.

14. Marquis Teague

Teague was considered the top guard in America in 2011, and it’s easy to see why in his senior highlight tape.

With elite ball handling, athleticism, and court vision, Teague’s game translated into the perfect National Championship point guard.

It made it even sweeter when he chose Kentucky over Louisville as a senior (wearing a red polo at the announcement, at that.)

15. Jamal Murray

To have Jamal Murray’s tape listed last in the list of top 15 mixtapes just goes to show how unreal Calipari’s recruiting ability is. Showing off elite shooting range and athleticism at the rim, Murray shot up the recruiting ranks and hype built on his highlight tapes alone.

At Kentucky, he ended up being the perfect compliment to Tyler Ulis, giving the Wildcats one of the most impressive backcourts in school history.

The Canadian superstar was one of the best surprises we’ve received in a while.

What does your list look like?

Coaches vote John Calipari the second most powerful person in college basketball

John Calipari has become the face of college basketball in the one-and-done era, but according to coaches in the sport, there’s still one person that’s more powerful. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish asked over 100 college basketball coaches who they believe is the most powerful person in the sport, and 43.7% voted for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. Calipari came in second with 20.4% of the vote. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney was third at 8.7%.

What gives Coach K the edge over Cal? His role with USA Basketball, which, thankfully, is coming to an end.

“Coach K is the biggest deal in our sport,” one coach said anonymously. “And the USA Basketball thing is what took it to another level. He gets [expletive] done. Who else could get that Marvin Bagley deal done like him? And he’s bullet-proof too. Corey Maggette situation. Nothing comes of it. Lance Thomas situation. Nothing comes of it. Totally bullet-proof. Have to respect it.”

He’s got a point. Calipari would be banned from the sport for some of the things Coach K has pulled off, but somehow, Krzyzewski not only gets away with it, he’s been put on a pedestal. However, as one coach noted, it was Calipari that forced Krzyzewski to adapt.

“He’s changed how people do things,” a coach said of Cal. “He’s changed the mindset of parents and of players. He’s made everyone up their game in terms of facilities and doing everything first class and trying to be big time. He by far has the most power in college basketball. Even Coach K has changed what he does because of what Calipari’s doing.”

Unfortunately, Coach K and Duke seem to be beating Calipari at his own game as of late, but hopefully that changes soon. (Looking at you, R.J. Barrett) Read more of the coaches’ views on Coach K and Cal at the link below.

[CBS Sports]