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Kevin Knox attacked on Twitter after announcing Kentucky commitment

Photo: USA Basketball

When Kevin Knox announced his commitment to Kentucky on Twitter, fans from his other top schools attacked him on Twitter.

Of the thousand comments of under Knox’s tweet that he was heading to Kentucky, many claimed he received payments for his decision, others hoped he would be injured or would fail.

“One minute they’re saying come to my school and the next minute they’re saying … they hate you,” Knox told The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

Knox’s mother, who monitored the negative attention her son received on social media, said one person went too far and tweeted that he wish Knox would die.

It was kind of really hard to read because not only were they negative, but you had death threats and people wishing harm to your child,” she said. “It’s very disheartening because you realize people are really selfish and mean.”

Michelle Knox is a social worker who works with at-risk children and says she sees the effects of cyber-bullying can have on children.

“Kids who are not strong mentally, that stuff can really affect them,” she said. “It’s harsh things like that, that are ridiculous.”

Knox’s parents have used this as a learning experience for their son. They told him to “make the decision that makes God proud and your parents proud” and know what will make everyone else happy.

So yet again, here is your reminder to NOT tweet things at recruits after they don’t pick Kentucky unless it is something nice.

[Beloved as college basketball recruits, attacked on social media when they pick a school]

 


FIBA.basketball

Team USA Getting in the Zone

FIBA

Once again team USA wiped out their competition with a 109-68 win against Angola. During the game the players seemed to dominate with ease, holding the lead throughout. There was no question of who the clear winner would be entering halftime.

Hamidou Diallo held the team high score in their first game against Iran with 17 points along with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. He continued his performance into today’s game against Angola with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. Diallo put on a fierce performance that included both three point play and dunks.

When asked if it was hard not to get lazy when they reach such massive leads, Diallo explained that their focus went beyond one game. “We’re focused on the game that we’re playing but we’re trying to prepare for when the challenges really come,” he said, “we’re just trying to play for the long run thinking about what steps we have to take to win a gold medal, that’s how we think.”

If the first two games have been any indication, Diallo and the rest of the team have nothing to worry about.


Team USA cruises passed Angola

Team USA cruises passed Angola

FIBA

On a Sunday evening in Cairo, John Calipari’s Team USA cruised to a 109-68 victory over Angola. Today’s win is on the heels of Team USA’s 108-48 win over Iran a day ago. Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie was the leading scorer for the national team by scoring 17 points. Auburn’s Austin Wiley was extremely impressive for Team USA by scoring 16 while also pulling down 16 rebounds. Wiley can really play and I am sure Bruce Pearl is extremely excited to have him in blue and orange this coming season. Wildcats Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington scored 15 and 11 respectively. 

Here is your complete look at the stats:

Team USA will have the day off tomorrow before taking on Italy at 10am on the 4th of July. Check back later with more from the day in Cairo.


Tai Wynyard’s New Zealand team falls to France

Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington aren’t the only two Cats representing their home country in Egypt. Tai Wynyard is representing his home country of New Zealand. Today, Wynyard’s team fell to France 80-69. While his team squandered a lead at the half, Wynyard played very well. The Kentucky big man scored 12 points while pulling down 5 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists.

Today’s performance follows up a massive one from Wynyard yesterday. He scored 22 points, with 14 of them coming in the 4th quarter in a win over Korea.

If you’re curious, Calipari and company would only be able to play against Wynyard in the bracket portion of the championship.


FIBA

Watch Team USA take on Angola in the FIBA World Cup

FIBA

Team USA is waiting to tip off their second game of the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup in Cairo. Today, Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington lead the way for Team USA in a showdown with Angola. Angola lost their opener to Italy by a final tally of 70-66. They are led by Silvio Sousa, a 6’9 Power Forward. In yesterday’s loss to Italy, Sousa scored 18 points while also pulling down 18 rebounds.

Today’s game starts at 12:15EST.  You can watch all the action below and see live stats here.

Stay tuned for postgame coverage from Cairo Stadium following the game.  Until then, check out highlights from Team USA’s first win of the tournament.

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Diallo Leads Team USA in Scoring (again) After Americans Shake Off Slow

Diallo Leads Team USA in Scoring (again) After Americans Shake Off Slow

USA Basketball

It was an ugly start, but Team USA’s first game at the FIBA U19 World Cup ended beautifully.  The Americans defeated Iran 108-48 with Kentucky Wildcats leading the way.

Even though they played two friendlies in Egypt prior to their opening game of the tournament, Team USA looked lost to start the game.  There were turnovers, whistles and bricks everywhere.  For most of the first quarter it was a 4-0 game.  I don’t know what John Calipari said, but things changed once the team emerged from the locker room at halftime.

Hamidou Diallo and P.J. Washington had seven points in the first 2:30 of the second half and the Americans were off and running.  Diallo had a team-high 17 points and 4 rebounds, with almost all of it coming in the second half.  Washington added 13 points and 4 rebounds.  One of the two has led Team USA in scoring every time the team has kept stats.

Even though Diallo led the team in scoring, the best player on the floor for Team USA was Cameron Reddish, a top target for John Calipari in the 2018 class.  A 6’8″ power forward, he spent a lot of time on the perimeter as a wing.  It worked well.  Reddish had 14 points and didn’t miss a three-pointer, sinking all three attempts.  Immanuel Quickley added 6 points, Romeo Langford had 5 and Louis King scored 9 points.

More to come from Cairo.


Coach Calipari keeps an Eye on All his Players

@KentuckyMBB

Coach Calipari is like a proud father to all of his players, even when he isn’t coaching them, and Team USA isn’t the only FIBA team with his boys.

UK player Tai Wynyard is playing for New Zealand in the tournament, and is off to a great start. Calipari wasn’t too busy to check in on his other UK player.

Said Calipari smiling, “I saw his game today but he got in foul trouble so I left at half time, but he had 22 points in the second half.  He played well and they won so I was happy for him.”

Wynyard went on to score 16 points in the final quarter and brought a win for his New Zealand team with 88 to 81 over Korea. The overall physicality he showed this game makes him one to watch for the Wildcat’s 2017-18 roster.

Wynyard returns to the court when New Zealand takes on France tomorrow morning at 9:30 ET.  Team USA will play Angola tomorrow at 12:15 ET.  Links to Live Streams of all the games can be found here.


Coach Calipari Confident in Team USA

Coach Calipari Confident in Team USA

Calipari with Romeo Langford

The first FIBA tournament game was a grand sweep with a 108-48 win over Iran. This is not Coach Calipari’s first time on the international stage, and he is even more confident than before.

“You know I coached the Dominican Republic national team so I’ve gone through this but I didn’t have one of the better teams.  Now I do, so hopefully it will be fine.”

Calipari said his strategy for coaching this team will be to play hard, disrupt defensively and share the ball.

Team USA is made up of some Big Blue recruits, players, and prospective players along mixed with players from other schools. When asked about his tactic on teamwork strategy he said laughing, “the team has only been together seven days so theres not a whole lot of stuff you can do.”

Calipari isn’t worried that they will come together, stating confidently, “They are good guys and they are trying.”


Coach Cal, Please Take a Seat

Coach Cal, Please Take a Seat

The USA team pulled out a massive win today under the enthusiastic guidance of Coach Calipari. The boys held the lead over Iran the entirety of the game, accompanied by the Calipari sideline dance of dramatic arm waves and shouts.

Big Blue Nation has come to know and love his signature style of coaching, but today one of the FIBA referees gestured that Calipari please remember to stay behind the line. He promptly sat down, and managed to contain himself. Restraint was short lived and he proceeded to wave, stomp and shout the team to a 60-point victory.

Unfortunately, Calipari was not available after the game for the typical postgame press conference.  The big stage Calipari normally commands was taken over by the World Cup’s Opening Ceremony.


Check Out Photos from Cairo

KSR’s Cairo correspondent Sofia Tapia was prepared to shoot photos courtside for Team USA’s opening game at the FIBA U19 World Cup. Unfortunately, a blogger-who-shall-not-be-named forgot to also request a photo credential (my bad, BBN).

Here are a dozen or so pics she was able to snap before the enforcer had to kick KSR out of the photo area.


Six Observations from Team USA’s First Victory at the FIBA World Cup

Six Observations from Team USA’s First Victory at the FIBA World Cup

1. A Brutal Beginning

Normally I wouldn’t lead with the same point in two posts, but it was so bad I must beat this horse to death.  It was reminiscent of a rec league game between five year olds.  Neither team could even possess the ball.  It looked less like basketball and more like a game of hot potato with whistles.  I don’t know what was wrong with the Americans, but I’m glad it did not last for long.

2. Hamidou Diallo’s Bounce is Incredible

While the ball was bouncing everywhere, creating pure chaos to start the game, I was transfixed upon Hamidou Diallo.  Even though he was the primary culprit behind the situation — getting a fingertip on the ball to poke it around and extend the loose ball mayhem — watching Diallo explode through the air for loose balls was captivating.

Known for his ability to finish fascinating dunks (he had a few), his athletic ability is impressive even without the ball in his hands.  This Iranian shot never had a chance.

3. Cameron Reddish is Really, Really Good

He did not lead the team in scoring, thanks to a few impressive spurts from Diallo and P.J. Washington, but Reddish was the most consistent player on the floor for Team USA.  The 6’8″ small forward spend more time as a guard on the wing than in the paint.  He was patient when leading the offense with the ball in his hands and he was money from three in catch-and-shoot situations (3-for-3 from 3).

Reddish is considered the No. 5 player in the 2018 class and the second-best small forward behind Zion Williamson.  Zion can out-dunk anybody, but I have a hard time believing he can out-play Reddish.

4. A Chance to Hear Cal Coach

During most early non-conference games at Rupp Arena, during down time you’ll hear John Calipari scream, “GO! GO! GO!” following a defensive rebound.  You hear Cal call for his players to push the ball and so much more during the FIBA online broadcasts.  The arena is pretty empty and there are no announcers.  The only thing you can hear are whistles, squeaky shoes and Calipari’s screams.

5. Washington Does Work in the Middle

Limited in the first half due to foul trouble, Washington was excellent in the second half.  He’s a big body that will surprise you.  A few times on the perimeter he took an opponent off the dribble and finished at the rim; once it looked like he wouldn’t make it, but still finished with a powerful posterizing dunk.

Where Washington is at his best is in the middle of the floor.  When teams try to test the Wildcats’ long-range shooting ability next season, Washington will be the zone-buster.  Like Darius Miller and Isaiah Briscoe, Washington has a knack for finding open space in between a crowd.  From there he makes great decisions and finishes with a soft touch.

Diallo brings the most entertainment value, but watching Washington develop throughout the tournament will be the most interesting Kentucky storyline.

6. The Purdue Kid Can Shoot

I had not heard of Carsen Edwards before today’s game, but after seeing the undersized wing knock down a few threes, I should have guessed he plays for Purdue.  The 6-footer was money, hitting 3-of-4 three and 5-of-6 shots to finish with 15 points.

BONUS: WOW Tai Wynyard

It was from a different game, but his highlights are worth sharing again.


Bam Adebayo Shows Off Finesse in Summer League Debut

@KarpGamez

Bam Adebayo’s name lives up to his physical reputation, but in his first Summer League game with the Miami Heat he used more finesse to impress.

Miami lost to Charlotte, but Adebayo had a strong stat line, headlined by double-double.  He scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out 2 assists and blocked 3 shots.  Adebayo’s points in a variety of ways, ways we haven’t seen before, like the step0back jumper.

Then he gave a jab, rip and pull-up.

He made Louisville’s Mangok Mathiang mince-meat.

Just because he used more finesse, doesn’t mean he can’t still finish with a BAM!

Adebayo returns to the court tomorrow at 3:00 on NBA TV.


WATCH: Team USA Opens FIBA World Cup Play vs. Iran

USA Basketball

John Calipari’s Team USA is taking the court for the first time in the FIBA U19 World Cup, taking on Iran in the group stage of the tournament. Here are the players you need to keep an eye on:

  • #5 Immanuel Quickley
  • #7 Cameron Reddish
  • #8 Hamidou Diallo
  • #11 Louis King
  • #13 Romeo Langford
  • #14 P.J. Washington

Go Cats. Go America.

Stay tuned for highlights, stats and more following the game.


Tai Wynyard’s Amazing Play Secured the Victory for New Zealand

An imposing figure in the post for New Zealand, Tai Wynyard can do much more than score inside.  He pulled out skills Kentucky fans have never seen to give the New Zealanders the lead for good against South Korea.

Leading by just one point with 1:21 remaining, Tai’s teammate missed a free throw.  He secured the offensive rebound, then proceeded to shake down the entire South Korean team before finishing at the rim.

We know the woodchopper is a beast in the post, but we’ve never seen him sauce an entire team with the spin move.  Of Wynyard’s game-high 22 points, 16 came in the 4th quarter. Unbelievable.

He’ll return to the court tomorrow morning at 9:30 ET to play France.


Saturday’s Top 10: Basketball is Back

Saturday’s Top 10: Basketball is Back

USA Basketball

Congratulations.  You made it to the fourth of July holiday weekend.  Enjoy it while you can, because once it’s over, summer is halfway over.  That saddens some, but it gives me joy knowing football is just around the corner.  In eight short days, Freddie and I are taking off for SEC Media Days (Don’t Geek).  Until then, there’s basketball to be played.

Team USA Tips Off in Cairo

In Team USA’s two exhibition victories in Egypt, Hamidou Diallo and P.J. Washington were the best players on the floor.  This morning we get to see them dominate with our own eyes when they take the floor against Iran at 11:30 ET in their first game of the group phase at the FIBA U19 World Cup.

Every game in Egypt is streamed on Youtube, which we will have for your viewing pleasure here on KSR.  We’ll also have coverage on the ground in Cairo from KSR correspondent Sofie Tapia.  A recent UK journalism school graduate who lives in Cairo, she’ll bring you pictures, videos and more from the tournament you can’t get anywhere else.

Tai Wynyard Starts the Tourney with a Win

People forget there’s another UK player in Egypt who is not playing for Team USA.  Playing in the first game of the tournament, Tai Wynyard led New Zealand to an 88-81 victory over South Korea.  Wynyard could not be contained, leading all scorers with 22 points (10/11 FGs), he also grabbed 6 rebounds and blocked 2 shots.

Wynyard will return to the court tomorrow morning at 9:30 ET when New Zealand takes on France.

Cats on Camels

I know these photos have been shared endlessly since yesterday morning, but I still can’t get enough.  Seeing Hamidou Diallo on a camel is a mad libs made into reality.  I just don’t know what picture is better.

The Orlando Summer League Begins

Today a few former Wildcats begin their NBA careers in the Orlando Summer League.  The games begin at 11:00 a.m. on NBATV with the Heat’s Bam Adebayo taking on the Charlotte Hornets.  The final game of the day is at 5:00, pitting Derek Willis’ Pistons against Dakari Johnson’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

Two Cats Added to Summer League Rosters

Mychal Mulder will get his NBA chance with the Toronto Raptors, a perfect fit for the Canadian.  James Young, a free agent after the Celtics declined to pick up his fourth year team option, is searching for his second NBA contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.  The two will not play today; they’ll be in the Vegas Summer League that starts July 7.

Wenyen is Doing Work

Wenyen Gabriel’s offseason has involved lifting, working out, and lifting some more.  We’ve seen him box, we’ve seen him on a football field, now he’s throwing around some giant ropes.


Don’t sleep on Wenyen.

Yahtzee! Watch

In an appearance with Mrs. Tyler Thompson and Jennifer Palumbo on KSR’s Ladies Day, Vince Marrow revealed a few important pieces of information.

1. His favorite drink is a Strawberry Daiquiri.
2. Be Prepared for a Yahtzee!

More specifically, Marrow said, “Get your dice ready, Yahtzees are on the way this weekend.”

Jarren Williams is at The Opening

The future UK dual-threat quarterback is spending his week at Nike headquarters in Oregon for the shoe company’s premier football camp.  Featuring the nation’s best football prospects, Williams has had an impressive start.  247’s Barton Simmons said Williams is a “top-tier” QB and proclaimed him as the third-best QB at the second day of the camp.

It’s the little things that jump out with Kentucky’s prized commit. He can throw really well with anticipation, his ball placement is precise, and he is unflappable through two days. Williams has had a really good spring and summer but if he plays the rest of this event like he has the first two days, he’s in for another rankings bump.

Williams has spent a lot of time with L’Christian “Blue” Smith, the nation’s top-ranked athlete that Vince Marrow is trying to pull away from Ohio State to Kentucky.  An elite outside wide receiver, maybe Smith will learn to love the way Williams throws the ball this weekend…

Jack Pilgrim has Made It

In one short year, Young Jack Pilgrim has grown from a boy into a man.  Ever since he started on KSR he’s made bold statements, but no shots have been better than the one he took at Michael Rapaport.  Shooters shoot and Pilgrim nailed it, causing the actor/podcaster to respond in a profane tirade targeted directly at Mr. Pilgrim.

I’ve never been more proud 😢.

KTR Returns

Normally we release our Game of Thrones podcasts on Mondays, but we thought it’d be nice to give our listeners a treat as they travel during the holiday weekend.  Come to hear us connect the dots, stay for the hilarious story about one former basketball player’s table manners.