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Auburn forward Danjel Purifoy might be in trouble with the NCAA… again

Auburn forward Danjel Purifoy might be in trouble with the NCAA… again

Facebook: Waukesha W-Blevins

Auburn forward Danjel Purifoy has missed over an entire season of his college basketball career due to various NCAA violations he has been involved in since signing with the school in 2014.

Now, he might be in trouble yet again.

You see, the picture shown above isn’t a collage we made here at KSR or one the Auburn basketball team released on a social media. It’s actually a collage of images Purifoy’s mother, Waukesha Blevins, decided to put on t-shirts and sell to her friends on Facebook.

According to AL.com, Blevins, who also allegedly accepted money and violated NCAA rules in the past leading to Purifoy’s previous suspension, made multiple posts on the social media outlet advertising the shirts she was selling for prices ranging from $10 to $12.

Screenshot retrieved by AL.com

In response to Blevins’ posts, several individuals commented their requested shirt sizes, with the former four-star athlete’s mother responding “got you down” to each of them.

Screenshot retrieved by AL.com

The posts have since been deleted.

According to official NCAA rules, as found by AL.com, student-athletes are not allowed to profit off of their name and likeness, and if a third party attempts to do so, the student-athlete is required to “take steps to stop such an activity.”

If not, his or her eligibility is on the line.

NCAA Bylaw 12.1.1(h) states that “any commercial items with names, likenesses or pictures of multiple student-athletes … may be sold only at the member institution at which the student-athlete is enrolled, institutionally controlled … outlets or outlets controlled by the charitable or educational organization. … Items that include an individual student-athlete’s name, picture or likeness … other than informational items (e.g., media guide, schedule cards, institutional publications), may not be sold.”

Per, NCAA Bylaw 12.2.2, “In the event that a third party (such as a store) were to sell an image with a student-athlete, that student-athlete “is required to take steps to stop such an activity in order to retain his or her eligibility for intercollegiate athletics.”

On May 14, the NCAA announced the creation of the “NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group,” with the organization’s ultimate goal being to consider whether or not athletes should be able to profit from their likeness.

Unfortunately for Purifoy and his inner circle, that rule has still not been overturned, meaning Blevins’ actions are in violation of NCAA rules.

Add another case to the docket for the NCAA to look into.

(AL.com)


Is Nick Richards’ return more important than EJ Montgomery’s?

While all eyes and ears have been focused on EJ Montgomery and his ongoing decision between a sophomore season and a chance at the NBA, another question mark is being partially overlooked. Nick Richards is facing the same decision as his teammate, and while his potential may not be as high as Montgomery’s, is Richards’ decision more important for Kentucky’s future?

At least one person thinks so. National basketball analyst Corey Evans, of Rivals.com, claims Nick Richards’ decision will have a larger impact on UK’s success next season than EJ Montgomery’s. Off the bat, Evans is clear he believes Montgomery is a more skilled basketball player. On the other hand, Richards brings something more unique to the Cats’ roster – his height.

As it stands now, Richards (who’s 6-foot-11) is the only player listed above 6-foot-8. His ability to block shots and protect the rim is something we’ve seen glimpses of, and we know the potential is there, based on his wingspan and some of the more-impressive blocks we’ve seen throughout the past two seasons. Has he blocked as much as fans would like or as the coaching staff may have expected? Probably not. But he did finish the season with 47 total blocks (1.3 rejections per game), more than any other player on the roster. He was followed by PJ Washington’s 43 and Montgomery’s 38.

While EJ Montgomery and Nate Sestina will play more-similar styles, Richards’ is the only guy on Kentucky’s current roster who has this particular skill set. Here’s how Evans puts it:

“For Kentucky’s sake, though, Richards is a big body that can rebound and alter shots, assets that not many on its current roster can claim to do, which would be the perfect complement to the wealth of perimeter firepower set to enroll.”

Evans goes on to point out Richards’ age – he’ll be 22 years old by the time next year’s Draft rolls back around. Even though he’d be junior Nick Richards, he’d already be the age of most graduating seniors.

For me personally, Montgomery’s potential and build still puts him highest on my priority list of returners. Aaron Torres even calls him the most important stay-or-go prospect in the Draft. And yet, Corey Evans makes an excellent point in singling-out Richards’ individual assets that are unfamiliar to the rest of Kentucky’s roster.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. is listed at 6-foot-10, and his presence in the front court could have a massive impact on the Cats’ success next season. But much like Richards and Montgomery, his future is still viewed as a question mark, and there seems to be growing suspicion he’ll try his hand at the NBA Draft.

There’s also a distinction to be made between a sophomore Montgomery, a junior Nick Richards and a grad transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr., as Kentucky has seen what a few years of experience can do for the locker room and down the stretch of the season. None of these guys are the same as Reid Travis, but it’s reasonable to compare their levels of experience, especially under the spotlight that comes with UK Basketball.

The NCAA’s deadline for players to withdraw from this year’s NBA Draft and retain their college eligibility is 11:59 p.m. this Wednesday.

[Rivals]


Why Richards and Montgomery are more important than people realize

John Calipari has had great success in his tenure at Kentucky: a record of 305-71 and appearances in seven Elite Eights, four Final Fours and two championship games with one tournament championship. Through it all, there has been one common factor: strong post play.

Since Calipari took the helm for the Cats, they have been top-10 in the nation in total rebounds all but two times – years in which they failed to make the Sweet Sixteen (2015-16) and lost in the first round of the NIT (2013-14). Furthermore, Kentucky has been a top-10 team in blocked shots in all but the 2017-18 season (in which they were ranked 20th) and lost in the Sweet Sixteen. Because of this, getting quality big men is a must for the Cats next year—especially after losing Jaden McDaniels to Washington. As such, having Nick Richards and E.J. Montgomery return should be the priority for the Cats.

Bucknell graduate transfer Nate Sestina will help UK next year, but his impact will be greater as a stretch big (36.4 percent career three-point percentage) than as an enforcer down low (0.7 career blocks per game). Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear (who may join the cats as a transfer or enter the NBA draft) has more versatility than Sestina and is more proven at the Power-5 level. However, Richards and Montgomery not only have more experience running Cal’s system, they have physical tools that can’t be taught.

While neither Montgomery nor Richards saw major action last year, both have better rebounding and block totals per 40 minutes than Blackshear, P.J. Washington or Reid Travis. Richards, in two years alone, has more career blocks (80) than Sestina (70) and Blackshear (73) who have four- and three-years’ experience, respectively.

Furthermore, Richards and Montgomery were first and third on the team in blocks, respectively, despite playing fewer minutes combined than Washington, who was second on the team in that category. Lastly, the duo, though raw, have displayed flashes of shooting ability, with Montgomery hitting two three-pointers last season and Richards shooting better that 70% from the free throw line over his two years.

Sestina will most certainly help the Cats next year, and getting Blackshear would be monumental. However, their styles are not as conducive to success in Calipari’s system as Richard’s and Montgomery’s could be. Of course, both of them need to make improvements and get closer to their potential, but neither has to put up huge numbers—Anthony Davis scored only six points in the national championship but posted 16 boards, five assists, five blocks and three steals.

Because of the way Calipari runs his team, and with the talent he has at the guard spots, Montgomery and Richards are the necessary pieces for a strong interior presence. Blackshear would be a welcome addition, but what Cal really needs are quality rebounders and rim protectors. First and foremost, though, UK has to get them back.


Best NBA Landing Spots for UK Prospects

With the NBA Draft quickly approaching, the Wildcats will make their presence known once again at the event. P.J. Washington, Tyler Herro, and Keldon Johnson all are slated to be selected in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the best (and worst) landing spots for all three prospects.

P.J. Washington

Best Landing Spot: Miami Heat at pick No. 13

While this may be a bit low for Washington considering that I’ve seen some mock drafts have him selected in the 9-11 range, this is still easily the best spot for him. Plus, he is still a lottery pick which isn’t all that bad. The Heat are a franchise with a well-respected head coach and front office. Living rich in Miami is also pretty ideal for anyone.

However, this is a franchise in transition. The Heat’s best players (Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic) both have player options as free agents this summer. Plus, Dwayne Wade is retiring and Udonis Haslem will probably join him as well. This is a team that needs an influx of young talent. The bad news is that at pick No. 14, who knows who will be left over by then. Washington may be the best player available.

Whiteside might finally be on his way out of Miami, which means the frontcourt will need added depth. James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk underwhelmed last season as well. Who knows, if Washington goes here and Whiteside leaves, we could be seeing an all-Kentucky frontcourt in Miami with Bam Adebayo and Washington. It doesn’t get much more ideal than that.

Worst Landing Spot: Charlotte Hornets at pick No. 12

The Hornets are notorious for picking blue-chip college talent only to completely waste their talents. Remember Malik Monk? Cody Zeller? Frank Kaminsky? Michael Kidd Gilchirst? The list goes on. Point is, if you get picked by Michael Jordan you are probably going to be misused and turned into a bust of a pick. Also, don’t forget that star Kemba Walker is probably on his way out of Charlotte as a free agent in the offseason. The Hornets are about to be a very, very bad team next season.

Fit-wise, picking Washington would also not make much sense. They already have Zeller and Kaminsky who will be returning. The Hornets badly need a guard considering that Walker and Jeremy Lamb are unrestricted free agents. This is a franchise that has been poorly ran the past decade, could be terrible next season, and it features a roster with several terrible contracts. Personally, I’m tired of seeing Charlotte ruin talented players from Kentucky. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.

Tyler Herro

Best Landing Spot: Boston Celtics at either pick No. 14 or No. 22

I know this may seem a bit too obvious, but I really think Boston is the best fit for Herro. First off, this is another great front office and good head coach that a Kentucky player would be going to. Danny Ainge was an incredibly cocky and intensely competitive player in his playing days. Him and Herro seem like they were destined to be together.

More importantly, the Celtics need better three-point shooting from their guards. The entire basketball world knows that both Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier will most likely be on their way out of Boston this summer, so the need for shooting in the backcourt should skyrocket. Herro seems like a guarantee to be selected somewhere between Boston’s mid first-round picks so it makes a ton of sense that the Celtics will select him. That city in particular will love Herro’s spunkiness. It’s up to Ainge to make it happen.

Worst Landing Spot: Brooklyn Nets at pick No. 17

Brooklyn may be an up and coming team in the league, but Herro going here would make no sense at all. The Nets are stacked with talented guards who are all good shooters. What they badly need are wingmen and depth in the frontcourt. It seems like a sure thing that Brooklyn won’t take a guard here, but any team in the league could possibly pick the best player available when they pick. The Nets could love Herro and want to stash him away on the bench for a few seasons. The fit just isn’t right here at all.

Keldon Johnson

Best Landing Spot: San Antonio Spurs at pick No. 19

Of course, going to one of the best franchises in NBA history seems a bit too obvious as an “ideal landing spot.” However, I really do think it’s the perfect location for Johnson who has became a bit of a divisive prospect over the past few months. Some mock drafts have him going towards the very end of the first round which would be quite the fall for a player that started out the season as a unanimous top-ten guy. Going to play for the Spurs would be an amazing situation to fall into not only because of the organization but because of the fit as well.

Rudy Gay is an unrestricted free agent this summer and will surely leave a big hole at that hybrid 2/3 position. That’s exactly what Johnson is as a player. Shooting guard Quincy Poindexter also will probably be leaving this summer so at the very least Johnson will be able to provide depth for the Spurs at that swingman position. The Spurs usually only pick players who showcase solid defensive potential which is great news for Johnson. As a playoff team, San Antonio is pretty stacked everywhere except for its frontcourt depth. But at this point in the draft, teams don’t get their choice of who they want. All the good big guys should be picked by now, plus Johnson is probably going to fall to here. For his sake, staying in the top 20 and going to the Spurs is more than any young player could ask for.

Worst Landing Spot: Cleveland Cavaliers at pick No. 26

Yuck. To be fair, this would be a terrible franchise for any young player to land at. The front office is incompetent at the moment, and they have a rookie head coach from Michigan in John Beilein. The Cavs had no idea how to handle rookie guard Collin Sexton last season. Also, they earned the fifth pick in the draft which means they are going to miss out on a lot of the top prospects. Johnson is versatile enough to be a “fit” on any team he goes to. That means that it all comes down to which franchise will get the most out of him. Cleveland is not that team. Considering that he might fall to the high 20’s, the Cavs might have a chance to pick Johnson. For his sake, hopefully Cleveland goes in another direction.


Lexington, KY considered eighth-best college basketball city, No. 33 in basketball overall

Lexington, KY considered eighth-best college basketball city, No. 33 in basketball overall

Kentucky has always been considered a basketball state, and according to a recent study by WalletHub.com, we have the numbers to back it up.

WalletHub, a financial help resource, put together a list of all of the best (and worst) basketball cities in America. According to the website’s description, the study put together an equation that factored in attendance, fan engagement, stadium accessibility, and ticket costs, among 21 total key metrics.

Out of 290 total cities, Lexington, KY was rated as the eighth-best college basketball location and No. 33 in basketball (professional or college) overall.

Here is the entire list of top 25 college basketball cities in America:

  1. Durham, NC
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Lawrence, KS
  4. Philadelphia, PA
  5. East Lansing, MI
  6. Storrs, CT
  7. Chapel Hill, NC
  8. Lexington, KY
  9. Fayette, MS
  10. Loretto, PA
  11. New York, NY
  12. Morgantown, WV
  13. Kingston, RI
  14. College Park, MD
  15. Washington, DC
  16. Ann Arbor, MI
  17. Bloomington, IN
  18. West Point, NY
  19. Boston, MA
  20. Charlottesville, VA
  21. Cincinnati, OH
  22. Fayetteville, AR
  23. Lewiston, NY
  24. South Bend, IN
  25. Buies Creek, NC

Beyond Lexington, six other cities in Kentucky made the list, but they might not be in the order you expected. Surprisingly, not only is Louisville not the No. 2 basketball location in the state, they’re not even in the top three.

Here are the rankings of Kentucky cities based solely on their status as a prime college basketball location:

  • No. 37 Murray, KY
  • No. 40 Highland Heights, KY
  • No. 44 Louisville, KY
  • No. 96 Morehead, KY
  • No. 119 Bowling Green, KY
  • No. 174 Richmond, KY

And the rankings of those same cities in terms of both college and professional basketball combined:

  • No. 57 Murray, KY
  • No. 60 Highland Heights, KY
  • No. 64 Louisville, KY
  • No. 112 Morehead, KY
  • No. 132 Bowling Green, KY
  • No. 184 Richmond, KY

Murray AND Highland Heights ahead of Louisville? Ouch.

What do you guys think of the lists?

(WalletHub.com)


EJ Montgomery Might Be The Most Important “Stay or Go” Decision Left in the NBA Draft

Late Tuesday night, under the cloak of darkness, one of the last big puzzle pieces in the 2019 recruiting class officially fell. After a back-and-forth recruitment, one that left even the best recruiting experts uncertain of where he’d land, Jaden McDaniels officially decided to play at Washington.

Although Washington was the spot that McDaniels’ recruitment had trended for weeks, no one really knew where he’d end up… until he actually ended up there, choosing the Huskies over Kentucky while most fans slept the night away.

But with McDaniels’ recruitment officially closed, another reality set in for Kentucky on Wednesday morning: For the Wildcats to reach their full potential next season, they need EJ Montgomery to come back to Lexington. As a matter of fact, I think you could make a legitimate case that of all the players who are still truly “testing the waters” in the NBA Draft process, Montgomery is the most important decision left anywhere in college basketball.

Now to be clear, this isn’t just about McDaniels’ decision to go elsewhere, as it was never really an “either/or” kind of deal between the two. Although both are listed at 6’11, they play a completely different style of game, with McDaniels much more comfortable putting the ball on the floor as more of a hybrid, new-age four-man in the mold of Kevin Durant, Tracy McGrady or Michael Porter Jr. (to be clear, I’m not comparing McDaniels upside to any of those players – just his style of play). Montgomery, as we all saw last year, is more of a traditional four-man, not quite as comfortable making plays for himself, but more competent around the rim and in the paint.

Had McDaniels chosen Kentucky he wouldn’t have necessarily been a player to “replace” Montgomery, but instead one to compliment him.

Still with McDaniels finally of the picture, Reid Travis graduated, and PJ Washington gone after his sophomore year, there is in fact a gaping hole in the Kentucky front-court. And the best option to fill that spot and maximize the potential out of this entire Kentucky team would be for Montgomery to return.

The bottom-line is that Montgomery fills an incredible void for the Wildcats next year as a big-time threat down low. Admittedly, he didn’t have a great offensive season last year (averaging just four points a game) but did show flashes, with 11 points and 13 boards against South Carolina, and a couple other double-figure scoring games, to go along with several more where he helped the team on the glass. Considering his pedigree as a McDonald’s All-American it doesn’t seem far-fetched to assume that he would make a leap similar to PJ Washington last summer and become a focal point of the offense. He might not become an All-SEC caliber player like Washington. But it isn’t necessarily inconceivable either.

Just as important, his skill-set certainly fits with the other guys that Kentucky is projected to have back. If the Wildcats want to go big, Montgomery can play the four-spot, with Nick Richards (assuming Richards returns as well) serving as a rim protector and true center. If they want to go small, Montgomery would fit in well as a new-age five-man, with Kahlil Whitney stepping in at the four-spot. John Calipari wants to play position-less basketball, and the two of them really would make a dynamic duo together.

Because of that, Montgomery is the missing piece for Kentucky. The guy who makes them the heavy favorite in the SEC, and a legit national championship contender.

But without him? There is that gaping hole in the middle, with no obvious replacements available.

Looking at the other options, we all know that Richards doesn’t have the offensive upside of Montgomery, and I do worry about Nate Sestina’s ability to transition to the increased competition in the SEC. Kerry Blackshear is of course a possibility, but he seems hell bent on staying in the draft if at all possible. Beyond that, it seems like a reach to get any other high school players to reclassify, and no other grad transfers have been linked to UK either.

Yup, EJ Montgomery remains the best available option for a consistent front-court presence for the Wildcats next year.

Will he be back?

It could be the difference between the Wildcats being a legit title contender and a good, but not great team.


UK Announces Inaugural Father/Daughter John Calipari Basketball Camp

@CoachCalDotCom

The Kentucky basketball father/son camp has been a staple in the Bluegrass for years. Now it’s the girls’ turn.

This summer John Calipari will host the first ever Kentucky Basketball Father/Daughter Camp. Fathers and daughters will receive individual instruction from UK basketball players and coaches during the one-day event. The skill work is designed to give both father and daughter drills and techniques to take home and continue working on together.

The camp is set for June 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Joe Craft Center and costs $198 for the father-daughter combo. It’s open to all fathers and daughters from ages 6-17, regardless of basketball experience. Campers will receive two sessions of instruction, lunch, a camp t-shirt and photo/autograph opportunities with the players and coaches.

Online registration is now open. Click here to find more information on the camp. If you’re interested in other Kentucky basketball camps, you’ll find all that information here.