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Official Team USA measurements from U19 camp

USA Basketball released the official measurements from U19 training camp in Colorado Springs.

Here are the numbers for the three Wildcats:

Player Height (w/shoes) Weight Wingspan Standing reach
Hamidou Diallo 6-5 199 6-11 8-5.5
Kevin Knox 6-8.75 209 7-0 8-11
PJ Washington 6-8 237 7-3 8-9

And here are the numbers for UK’s Class of 2018 targets:

Player Height (w/shoes) Weight Wingspan Standing reach
Bol Bol 7-3 220 7-8 9-7
Jordan Brown 6-11 194 7-0 8-11.5
Louis King 6-6 204 7-0.5 8-8
Romeo Langford 6-5 196 6-10.5 8-6.5
Immanuel Quickley 6-3.5 178 6-7.75 8-2.5
Cameron Reddish 6-7 203 7-1 8-8.5

That’s a pretty nice wingspan for Immanuel Quickley, who may soon be Kentucky’s first commitment from the class.


Three Wildcats invited to NBA draft green room

Twenty of the NBA’s top prospects for the upcoming draft will be seated in the draft’s green room Thursday night when the picks are announced.

Kentucky will be represented by three of its former players: De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, and Bam Adebayo. A fourth Wildcat is also expected to be in the green room as John Calipari plans to fly to New York for the night from USA training camp in Colorado to be with his “sons.”

Take a look at the entire green room list:

Bam Adebayo, Kentucky
Jarrett Allen, Texas
OG Anunoby, Indiana
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
John Collins, Wake Forest
Zach Collins, Gonzaga
De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
Markelle Fultz, Washington
Jonathan Isaac, Florida State
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Luke Kennard, Duke
T.J. Leaf, UCLA
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
Donovan Mitchell, Louisville
Malik Monk, Kentucky
Frank Ntilikina, France
Justin Patton, Creighton
Dennis Smith, N.C. State
Jayson Tatum, Duke

Go Cats.


NBA analytics predict big things from… Isaac Humphries?

NBA analytics predict big things from… Isaac Humphries?

ESPN.com got all mathematical and analytical in projecting what we can expect out of all of the NBA prospects in this year’s NBA draft. Using a very complex and complicated method of projecting the future from FiveThirtyEight.com, ESPN determined the likelihood each player will become an All-Star, a starter or a role player in the league.

De’Aaron Fox is the most likely of the Kentucky bunch to become an All-Star, according to the study, which found Fox has an 8.3 percent chance of earning an All-Star bid, a 27.8 percent chance of being an NBA starter, and a 26.5 percent chance of falling into a smaller role within a rotation. Malik Monk has a better shot at starting with a 35.5 percent chance of being a regular in a starting lineup, but only a 6.9 percent chance of playing in an All-Star game and a 24.6 percent chance of only being a role player.

See the full list here

Then there’s the surprise down in the “Beyond The Lottery” section of the report where ESPN names four sleeper picks with bright futures.

Kentucky’s Isaac Humphries, who is projected to go undrafted, received high praise as a potential contributor in the league. The study found Humphries has a 13.3 percent chance of starting one day, the 23rd best percentage of the entire class.

Read more:

Isaac Humphries (Kentucky), Thomas Bryant (Indiana), Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) and Tyler Lydon (Syracuse) are all top-30 players in our projections, though none can be found within the top 29 picks of Chad Ford’s latest mock draft.

Humphries (not listed in either round of the mock) had a very high adjusted offensive rebound percentage while at Kentucky, and rebounding is the collegiate skill that most consistently carries over to the NBA, according to the projections. Humphries has little chance of becoming an All-Star, but the model gives him a 28 percent chance of being above a replacement-level player. His likelihood of being a role player should be attractive to teams at the end of the first round and into the second. [ESPN.com]

I don’t know how believable this whole study is, but it’s interesting to read how each prospect is expected to pan out through this particular system of analytics. Isaac Humphries’ projection is quite surprising and maybe a team will roll the dice on him in hopes it’s an accurate look at his future.

Read more here.


KentuckyMBB| IG

Cal’s Cats are Roommates at Team USA Training Camp

KentuckyMBB| IG

Add another benefit to the endless positives surrounding John Calipari’s time as Team USA’s U19 coach.  During their time at training camp in Colorado Springs, Kevin Knox, P.J. Washington and Hamidou Diallo are roommates.

“It’s all fun and games, and on the court we do our business,” Kevin Knox told Kyle Tucker after the first day of practices.

“Everyday it (our bond) gets stronger and stronger and this environment here, playing with each other, being on the same team, it’s just helping us for the season.”

As they become closer off the court, Hamidou Diallo believes they’re building chemistry on the court.

“We’re in the gym together all the time.  We’re just trying to find our chemistry.  You just gotta stick with it and run with it.  We’re just in the gym competing and trying to get each other better everyday.  That’s our ultimate goal for this summer.”

Diallo also discussed his eleventh hour NBA Draft decision, the advice he is giving the new guys and much more in the video below.

Knox talked about playing guard, his secretive decision and why he picked Derby day to make it.  “I didn’t know it was Derby day till the day of.”

[Kyle Tucker]


De’Aaron Fox continues to charm on ESPN media tour

It’s been quite a day for De’Aaron Fox, who has appeared on almost every show on the ESPN networks over the past twelve hours. Fox’s day began on “Mike and Mike,” where he fielded the usual questions about Lonzo Ball, the loss to North Carolina, and what it’s like to play for John Calipari. When asked about Foot Locker’s Father’s Day commercial last week that went viral, Fox said he found Lonzo Ball’s deadpan breakdown of his father’s antics just as funny as everyone else.

“Going into it, I knew Jayson (Tatum), Jonathan (Isaac) and I were going to talk about how our dads did this and that, good things. All they told us was Lonzo is going to go off a list of kind of what his dad’s been doing. I didn’t know how it was going to come out, but when I watched it the first time, I probably watched it 50 times in a row. It was hilarious. He has a sense of humor. I liked it.”

Next, he made the first of two appearances on “SportsCenter,” which I recapped earlier. On “First Take,” Fox explained his comments about wanting to shut LaVar Ball up in the Sweet 16 game vs. UCLA and how he believes his game will translate to the next level:

At some point, he met up with draft insider Chad Ford, who was absolutely charmed:

He also taped an interview for “The Paul Finebaum Show,” which will air at 6:30 p.m. Producer John Hayes is hoping this quote gets the #BBN talking:

I mean, that’s the new normal, right?


Katina Powell has been approached about a “Breaking Cardinal Rules” movie

Katina Powell has been approached about a “Breaking Cardinal Rules” movie

Katina Powell’s tell-all book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” opened the door one one of the most salacious scandals in NCAA history, and now, a movie could be on the way. Over the weekend, Powell participated in a candid Facebook Live Q&A with Louisville comedian Jason English in which she revealed some graphic details about the UofL sex scandal following the release of the NCAA’s infractions report, which will require the university to vacate 108 wins, including the 2013 National Championship. Sadly, English took down the interview due to its explicit nature, but Powell reportedly said that while she is “so sorry” for the fallout from the scandal, it was worth exposing it considering her financial situation at the time.

“It was worth putting food on the table,” she said, via ESPN. “It was worth me driving what I drive. It was worth me living the way I live.”

According to Wave 3, during the interview, Powell described having sex with one of the recruits and told English she’s been approached about a movie deal, as well as a sequel to “Breaking Cardinal Rules.” 

…which begs the question, who would play Rick Pitino in a movie? Gotta be Al Pacino, right?

Alfonso Ribeiro as Andre McGee…

Angela Bassett as Katina Powell…

Xosha Roquemore as Rod Ni Powell…

Vintage Steve Urkel/Jaleel White as Russ Smith…

Get ready to hear more from Katina, because she’s appearing on “Hey Kentucky!” tomorrow night.

UPDATE: How could I forget Dave Fleming as Matt Jones?


Where Kentucky’s prospects stand in mock drafts following the Celtics/76ers trade

Where Kentucky’s prospects stand in mock drafts following the Celtics/76ers trade

The trade between Boston and Philadelphia is now official, meaning the Sixers will choose first in Thursday’s draft and the Celtics third. How does that affect Kentucky’s draft prospects? Judging by the latest mock drafts, De’Aaron Fox will go either fourth to the Phoenix Suns or fifth to the Sacramento Kings. ESPN draft guru Chad Ford seems to believe it will be the latter.

“The Kings have also explored moving up to No. 2 or No. 3 in the draft,” Ford writes. “Their target has been Fox. Not only is Fox the fastest player in the draft and a major fit at point guard, but he has shown genuine interest in playing for and leading the Kings. If Fox is gone, Tatum seems like the next most likely pick for the Kings.”

Interestingly, Ford has Malik Monk sliding to 11th to the Charlotte Hornets and Bam Adebayo 20th to the Portland Trail Blazers. Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Sharp still believes the Knicks will take Monk at 8th.

“This would be a big win for New York. Monk will struggle on defense, and it’ll probably take him another year or two before he adds enough weight to finish at the rim and score consistently in the NBA. But even with those qualifiers, he’s probably one of the most underrated players in this draft. Everyone was falling in love with De’Aaron Fox a month ago, and recently Dennis Smith has been getting that affection, but Monk’s best-case scenario remains just as impressive as either one. He’s got unlimited range on his jumper like Jamal Murray, but he’s a more explosive athlete, with better instincts as a scorer. If anything, playing next to Fox might have held him back a little bit. Monk will be very, very dangerous.”

A roundup of the rest of the mocks:

Just think, in three and a half days, we’ll know for sure!


WATCH: Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo continue to impress on Day 2 of Team USA Training Camp

WATCH: Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo continue to impress on Day 2 of Team USA Training Camp

@USABasketball

Day two of USA Men’s U19 Training Camp is underway in Colorado Springs, and Kentucky freshmen Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox are picking up where they left off after an impressive first practice. Watch as Diallo delivers this perfect pass to Knox for the slam:

And Diallo’s nice step-back (hop-back?) jumper:

Knox showed off his range with this three:

And some ridiculous speed and control in transition:

Look at those hops:

Don’t worry, PJ Washington made his presence known with this emphatic slam:

Meanwhile, Bol Bol says NO!

It’s just videos of scrimmages, but man, it’s good to watch basketball in June, especially when most of the highlights include future Cats.


How fast is De’Aaron Fox? Let ESPN’s “Sports Science” show you

How fast is De’Aaron Fox? Let ESPN’s “Sports Science” show you

We all know De’Aaron Fox is fast, but how fast is he? ESPN’s “Sports Science” crew put him to the test, measuring his acceleration and hand speed. Fox was able to dribble from the three-point line to the hoop in 1.28 seconds, 15% faster than Kyrie Irving, who clocked in at 1.5 seconds. That’s fast.

The crew also tested Fox’s hand speed by pitting him against WBC Heavyweight boxer Gerald Washington, who has a 82″ reach. How did Fox fare vs. a professional boxer? I think you know the answer, but tune in below to find out.

 


Brittany Wagner and AJ Stamps (@Brittany_MSgirl)

One of UK’s minor self-reported NCAA violations involved “Last Chance U” star Brittany Wagner

Every year, UK has to self-report violations to the NCAA, and last year, one of them involved “Last Chance U” star Brittany Wagner. Wagner, the former athletics academic advisor at East Mississippi Community College, became a star after Netflix’s series came out and was invited to a UK’s season opener vs. Southern Miss last year. (You probably remember that she appeared on the KSR pregame show, along with my podcast and Matt’s podcast.)

According to the Courier-Journal, an SEC Network color commentator requested tickets for Wagner to the game, which UK Football assistant Lamar Thomas left at will-call under his name. Apparently, because Wagner is an employee of a junior college, that’s a violation, which UK immediately reported to the NCAA. In response, UK Football staffers had to go through training about what to do in that situation (put Wagner on a pass list for recruits instead of leaving her tickets at will-call) and were prohibited from visiting EMCC prospects off campus for a month. The NCAA at work, my friends.

All 17 violations UK reported in the 2016-17 year were Level 3 (minor). Women’s basketball accounted for five; football, women’s golf, gymnastics, men’s soccer, and swimming diving two; and men’s basketball and track and field one each. The men’s basketball one is especially trivial. A freshman player posted a picture with a recruit on Snapchat, which violates the NCAA rule for publicizing the visit. Because it’s SnapChat, the image disappeared after 24 hours, but the entire team still had to go through a rules education session.

Read more about UK’s 17 self-reported violations over at The Courier-Journal. And then shake your head.

[The Courier-Journal]


De’Aaron Fox: John Wall said Lonzo Ball will have a target on his back next season

De’Aaron Fox: John Wall said Lonzo Ball will have a target on his back next season

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

De’Aaron Fox is making the rounds at ESPN today, and just said on SportsCenter that he’s heard rival point guard Lonzo Ball will have a target on his back in the league next season. Fox, who expects to go anywhere from second to eighth in Thursday’s draft, said his friend and mentor John Wall told him Ball will have an especially tough rookie season in part because of his outspoken father, LaVar.

“I’ve heard it,” Fox said. “Playing point guard [in the NBA] is going to be tough anyways, but what’s been said is — it’s going to be tough…John said you have a few other players who have actually said it.”

“Lonzo is a quiet kid, I’ve known him for years. I didn’t know his dad until our senior year of high school but he does things his own way, let’s put it that way.”

As we all know, Fox outplayed Ball in both head-to-head showdowns last season, putting up 29.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 1.5 turnovers per game to Ball’s 12.0 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.0 turnovers. Most pundits believe the Los Angeles Lakers will still take Ball with the second pick in the draft, but Fox worked out for LA last week, and, as he said repeatedly, no one knows what will happen until the names are called on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, when pressed, De’Aaron didn’t give away any secrets about his draft night attire, except that JC Penny will outfit him and fellow Cat Malik Monk.

“JC Penny is who me and Malik’s, our suits are by. I’m not going to tell you what it looks like, the color or anything.”

What about his famous hair?

“Actually, right now, I got it done yesterday. It actually just does its own thing. Thursday, it’ll be different and I won’t even do anything to it, but it’ll be different than this.”

Just please not the ponytail/man bun.

 


Monday’s Top 10: All eyes on Colorado Springs

Good morning, friends. Hope you had a nice weekend. This week, our focus will be training camp for the U19 National Team, which started last night in Colorado Springs. What does Colorado Springs look like in the summer? According to Google, something like the picture you see up there. Hopefully John Calipari and his squad can get out and enjoy the views, although I have a feeling they’ll spend most of their time in the Olympic Training Center. That’s where we’ll start today’s top 10.

1. Training Camp has begun for Calipari’s U19 National Team

Last night, the 28 players invited to try out for the U19 National Team arrived in Colorado Springs to begin training camp. That group includes current Cats Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, and PJ Washington, and 2018 targets Bol Bol, Immanuel Quickley, Romeo Langford, and Cameron Reddish. Last night, the team practiced for two and a half hours, and today, they’ll go from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. this evening. Finalists will be announced tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ll bring you any news, pictures, or videos that leak out. Some already have…

2. Diallo to Knox sure looks nice

3. Bol Bol looks great as well

Calipari said the transformation the 7’2″ Bol has made since he watched him last year to when he saw him this spring is unbelievable. Look how easily he handles the ball in transition, an impressive feat considering his ridiculous size:

Plenty of more highlights like that in the post directly below this one, so scroll on down to get your first sneak peek of Diallo, Knox, Washington, and the 2018 recruits.

4. Keep an eye on Immanuel Quickley

The 2018 point guard has already narrowed his list to four (Kentucky, Maryland, Kansas, and Miami), and the Cats seem to be the overwhelming favorite. Last week at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Quickley admitted that being around Calipari this week is a huge plus for Kentucky.

“Actually, I can’t lie,” Quickley said, via Adam Zagoria. “It does give him an advantage just because I get to spend more time [with him] but all the coaches tell me they’ll be able to see me in Colorado.”

With unprecedented access to many of his top 2018 prospects, it will be fascinating to watch Calipari recruit over the next month.

5. The Celtics and the 76ers have agreed to trade picks

The big news on Twitter this weekend was the Boston Celtics reportedly agreeing to trade the #1 pick in Thursday’s draft to the Philadelphia 76ers for the Sixers’ 3rd pick. The Celtics will also receive a protected 2018 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers, or the Sacramento Kings’ first-rounder in 2019. The trade should become final today, and the Sixers reportedly plan to take Markelle Fultz.

6. Boston fans seem to be taking it well

What does this mean for De’Aaron Fox? The Sixers hosted Fox this weekend for a solo workout before deciding to trade up, and the Celtics don’t need another guard, so if the Lakers pick Lonzo Ball, look for the Phoenix Suns to take Fox at four, opening the door to trade Eric Bledsoe. If for some reason that doesn’t happen, Sacramento will be waiting at five.

7. Stoops got some big Yahtzees over the weekend

It was a good weekend for Mark Stoops and staff, who pulled in commitments from 2018 4-star outside linebacker DeAndre Square and 2019 4-star safety Keontra Smith. On Friday, Square picked the Cats over programs like Michigan State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa, and LSU, becoming the 12th commitment in Kentucky’s 2018 class. Smith is a 2019 prospect, so it’s early, but the Hollywood, Florida native picked Kentucky over Auburn, Louisville, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, and others.

On Thursday, UK landed a commitment from 2018 JuCo defensive back Domonique Williams, and if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Jack Pilgrim’s interview with him from yesterday.

8. Kroger Field is one step closer to reality

The old Commonwealth Stadium sign is officially gone, as captured by Jen Smith last night:

Sigh. I guess it’s really happening.

9. J.B. Holmes finishes 12th at the US Open

Congrats to the former Wildcat, who finished 12th at the US Open this weekend, his best finish in that major ever. Holmes was one stroke off the lead going into Sunday, but no one could stop Brooke Koepka, who finished the final round -5 for a final score of -16. Meanwhile, Stephan Jaeger, caddied by KSR’s Aaron Flener, tied for 60th at +9. Someone remind Flener to take the flag back before they leave Erin Hills, please:

10. The KSR Summer Tour is in DANVILLE

In about an hour, the gang will be live from Dexter Insurance in my hometown. Who’s bringing the Burke’s Bakery?


The early Kentucky highlights from Team USA camp are awesome

The Team USA camps to decide Coach Cal’s U19 national team in Egypt have begun, and the future Wildcats in attendance are already impressing.

UK signees Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, and Kevin Knox are participating, along with several Kentucky targets.

Check out some of the videos from reporters out in Colorado Springs:

Diallo with the no-look pass to Kevin Knox for the Kentucky connection:

Future Kentucky guard Quade Green said he might have to move over to shooting guard if Diallo keeps making plays like these:

Diallo throws down the lob above the rim:

PJ Washington comes from the baseline to punish the rim:

Knox with the step-back jumper over Washington:

Diallo showing off his 45-inch vertical on the slam:

Diallo showing off his updated (and impressive) jumper:

Knox finishes on the defense with his left at the rim:

Special thanks to SEC Country’s @KyleTucker_SEC and @Overtime for the footage.


Current and Future Cats Celebrate Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, whether you’ve spent your day grilling, napping, watching golf, or just doing regular dad things.

Some of your favorite UK players are surely putting in work, while others are probably celebrating with their dads. A few took to social media to sound off on the holiday:

@JayWinkKSR


The FIBA U19 Training Camp Kicks Off Tonight

Beginning this evening, Coach Cal is overseeing a week long camp to narrow down just which players will represent the USA in the FIBA U19 World Cup in July.

The Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts ran through some of the details:

Assuming they all make the final team, UK freshmen Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox and PJ Washington will get close to 20 practice sessions with their new head coach before the FIBA World Cup itself. All three of those players traveled overseas with Team USA last summer.

Calipari will also have an opportunity to make an impression on the four high schoolers with UK offers: Bol Bol, Romeo Langford, Immanuel Quickley and Cameron Reddish, who have all emerged as top recruiting targets for the Wildcats’ class of 2018.

You can read the whole piece here, which goes into much more depth about the four 2018 targets.

@JayWinkKSR