Kentucky linebackers and defensive backs accounted for an exorbitant percentage of the team’s season-ending statistical →
Basketball Season Coverage
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 26th, 2017 @ 9:00am
Howdy, folks, and welcome to a new week. It was a huge weekend for the Calipari family, which convened on Newport, Rhode Island to celebrate Megan’s marriage. More pictures and videos should trickle out throughout the day, but it might be hard to top this one from Saturday. With the Calipari swagger in mind, let’s tackle today’s top 10.
1. ICYMI, here’s where every Cat ended up following the NBA Draft
- De’Aaron Fox: Sacramento Kings (5th pick)
- Malik Monk: Charlotte Hornets (11th pick)
- Bam Adebayo: Miami Heat (14th pick)
- Isaiah Briscoe: Philadelphia 76ers Summer League
- Isaac Humphries: Washington Wizards Summer League
- Derek Willis: Detroit Pistons Summer League
- Dominique Hawkins: Sacramento Kings Summer League
The Summer Leagues rev up this Saturday, starting with the Orlando League (July 1-6), followed by Utah (July 3-6), and Las Vegas (July 7-17).
2. Bam Adebayo seems to be settling into South Beach just fine
A post shared by Bam Adebayo (@bam1of1) on
Is there an opening at Miami Sports Radio?
3. Calipari on SEC Coaches Teleconference
John Calipari will take a break from post-wedding festivities this morning to hop on the SEC Coaches Summer Teleconference. I’ll be listening in to bring you all of Cal’s comments as he sums up the NBA Draft, Team USA, and whatever else his heart desires.
4. Team USA prepares to leave for Egypt
Training Camp for Calipari’s U19 National Team wrapped up yesterday in Colorado Springs, and NBA scouts and media were allowed in to watch practice. I think you’ll like this tweet from Fran Fraschilla:
Not putting 1-on-1 label on anyone here yet @usabasketball but PJ Washington will be "horse" for UK this year. Hope he plays from inside-out
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) June 25, 2017
Been saying it for a while now, but PJ Washington will be a fan favorite this fall. He, Hamidou Diallo, and the rest of Team USA leave for Egypt today to prepare for the FIBA World Cup, which begins on Saturday in Cairo.
5. Immanuel Quickley closing in on a decision
If you missed the post directly below this one, Immanuel Quickley, one of Calipari’s primary 2018 targets, says he’s nearing a decision. The five-star point guard is down to Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, and Miami and says he wants to announce his decision before his senior season. Kentucky’s the overwhelming favorite.
6. Erin Calipari keeps trolling her brother and I love it
The wittiest Calipari couldn’t help but give her brother a little grief this weekend, mimicking his trademark Instagram poses with one of her own:
A post shared by Erin Siciliano Calipari (@theerincalipari) on
A post shared by Brad Calipari (@brad.calipari) on
Put on a hoodie Erin, and you nailed it.
7. Stephen Johnson spent the weekend at the Manning Passing Academy
A post shared by Stephen Johnson (@stephen_h_j) on
Everyone’s favorite quarterback spent the weekend in Thibodaux, Louisiana helping out at the Manning Passing Academy. Johnson has proven to be a wonderful role model in his year at Kentucky, and I’m sure he shared his message with his campers.
8. Jordan Spieth is good at golf
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 25, 2017
The angle of the celebration at the 1:09 mark just gave Aaron Flener all sorts of #CaddyGoals.
9. Have you subscribed to the new KSR radio show podcast feed?
iHeart is making our lives a little difficult by killing our old podcast feed for the radio show, so do yourself a favor and subscribe to the new feed now. That way you don’t miss a moment of the awesome guest host schedule we’ve got lined up, which starts with…
10. Dan Wolken kicks off five weeks of guest hosts
Matt Jones is starting his five-week European vacation in Budapest, which means our five weeks of guest hosts has begun. USA Today’s Dan Wolken will kick things off with today’s show, which is sure to include some quality college basketball talk and tidbits about John Calipari, whom Wolken covered during his Memphis days. Here’s the rest of this week’s guest host schedule:
June 26: Dan Woken of USA Today
June 27: Pardon My Take
June 28: Evan Daniels
June 29: Aaron Torres
June 30: Jennifer Palumbo and Mrs. Tyler Thompson
Today’s my birthday, but because I love you guys so much (and Drew has the day off), I’m going to spend it bringing you UK Sports news in the most ridiculous manner possible. Let’s have some fun.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 25th, 2017 @ 11:00pm
John Calipari may be close to landing his first prospect in the upcoming 2018 recruiting class, and it’s a good one.
Five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley cut his list down to four schools, and Kentucky is seen as the overwhelming favorite.
While in Colorado preparing for the U19 games in Egypt, Quickley was interviewed by the Herald-Leader where he gave reporters insight into his recruitment, including news that he plans to be making a decision soon.
In the video, Quickley talks about what he expects from competition in Egypt, whether or not Calipari has an advantage in his recruitment by coaching the USA U19 team, and when he plans on making a decision, among other news.
Watch the interview below:
Thanks to the Herald-Leader for the interview and footage.
Michael Rapaport: “I’d check to see if I still have my wallet on me after shaking hands with John Calipari.”
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 25th, 2017 @ 9:00pm
Not really, but somewhat “famous” actor Michael Rapaport decided to throw a jab at Coach Calipari following his appearance on set during the NBA Draft on Thursday night, and it’s about as funny as you’d expect.
Known as a die-hard Knicks fan (that explains a lot), Rapaport said he’d have to check if he still had his wallet on him if he ever shook hands with Cal.
Here’s the tweet he sent out the night of the NBA Draft:
i'd check to see if I have i still have my wallet on me ,after shaking hands with John Calipari.
Go To St.Johns kids. @StJohnsBBall
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) June 23, 2017
To make matters worse, he finishes the tweet by telling kids to “Go to St. Johns” rather than the University of Kentucky.
Let’s take a look at the current NBA players that played at St. Johns:
- Metta World Peace
- Maurice Harkless
And… That’s all.
Just taking a quick scroll through his IMDB, Rapaport’s hit roles as “Bartender” in Sully and “Animation Voice” in Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life show how much weight his comments carry in the world of sports. I guess his role in a few Celebrity Challenges during NBA All-Star Weekend mean… something.
I guess it’s a good thing he’ll never have to worry about shaking hands with Calipari.
Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR
Happy Birthday to former Cat, Brandon Stockton! The former Cat turns 33 today. Stockton was a 5’9 guard from Glasgow and the winner of Mr. Basketball in 2002. In his four years as a Cat, Stockton scored 120 points and had 46 rebounds. His career high for points came in his senior season when he scored 9 points in a 40 point win over Ole Miss.
In 2013, Aaron Flener put together a “Where Are They Now” with Stockton. You can check that out here.
Last year, WBKO in Bowling Green put together a post on Stockton and what he has been up to since he left Kentucky, you can check that out here.
This is what Stockton calls one of his most memorable moments as a Cat. It is hard to argue how cool this moment is:
Thursday night’s NBA Draft went surprisingly well for the Kentucky Wildcats. Once considered a fringe first rounder, Bam Adebayo leaped up the draft board and into the lottery at No. 14, giving John Calipari his 17th lottery selection in eight years at Kentucky.
Now that the bright lights from the draft have dimmed, the former Wildcats are tasked to help rebuild three different franchises. Will they turn their team into playoff contenders, or struggle through a rebuild? Here’s how each player fares at their new destination.
— The Kings had a good draft. It’s a sentence I never expected to type. The team that used to build around DeMarcus Cousins by drafting more centers actually drafted well. Vlade Divac invested in blue bloods, teaming Fox up with Harry Giles, National Player of the Year Frank Mason III, and Fox’s former AAU teammate Justin Jackson.
If Giles can return to form following his injuries, the former projected No. 1 overall pick is the steal of the draft. Jackson and Mason are shooters that can help spread the floor for Fox, but only time will tell if they can live up to the hype.
— Kentucky connections. Only Phoenix has more Kentucky players on one team than Sacramento. If nothing else, lobs from Fox to Cauley-Stein will frequently make the SportsCenter Top Plays.
— No pressure. There is no pressure to win early. At all. Zero pressure. If there’s no pressure to win, you can play like you have nothing to lose every single night.
— Horribly run franchise. The Kings are competing with the Knicks for “NBA’s worst run franchise.” Their decisions consistently make no sense for even the common idiot. It’s a place where players’ careers go to die. Hopefully Fox doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
— Western Conference. Winning is hard for the Sacramento Kings. It’s even harder when you’re playing in the powerful Western Conference that just got a whole lot tougher following the Timberwolves’ acquisition of Jimmy Butler.
— Michael Jordan. If there’s one person Monk can learn from it’s Michael Jordan. A clutch scorer that was born to get buckets, Monk has the Jordan quality. Hopefully, MJ can help him harness that ability to become an all-star.
— Kentucky fans will be frequent flyers. Charlotte isn’t too far from Lexington and they already have one Wildcat on the roster, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
— The uniforms are dope. Seriously, is there anything cooler than the Hornets’ teal? I don’t think so.
— They’re not the bad. Malik Monk could be the missing piece to the Hornets’ puzzle. Kemba Walker is as close to being an all-star without officially earning the title “all-star.” Monk can play off Walker to spot up from three, and open up the lanes for Walker to create scoring opportunities.
When healthy, MKG can guard the other team’s best player well. Inside, they have the best Zeller and now Dwight Howard. Even though Dwight is a castaway, if he can return into just a shell of what he used to be with the Magic, the Hornets could easily make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
— Kemba dominates the ball. You take the positive with the negative. Kemba can draw defenders to leave Monk open, but he can also keep the ball in his hands and take all of the shots. He’s not known to be a selfish player, but Monk must get buckets in order to be effective, the biggest knock on his game entering the draft.
— Will he get immediate playing time? There’s no guarantees for Monk in Charlottes’ starting lineup. Nicolas Batum is a proven long-range shooter that will not quickly be surpassed. Monk will get minutes, but he must learn how to contribute without having his hands on the ball.
— Gets to play with Hassan Whiteside. Bam doesn’t have to bang on the inside; the Heat have Hassan Whiteside. Bam’s athleticism will allow him to get easy buckets by running the floor and playing off the pick-and-roll. If his new jump shot is all that it’s cracked up to be, Whiteside is a proven example of development throughout an organization. Miami is a great place to cultivate his talent and take him to the next level.
— He’s in Miami. Even though I trashed Fake Barney for his takes on the OTT, there’s no denying it’d be pretty dope to be a professional athlete in the city where the heat is on, all night, on the beach till the break of dawn.
— They were a game away from the playoffs this year. The Heat’s midseason turnaround ended just short of the eight-seed in the Eastern Conference. They won their final game, but victories by Chicago and Indiana in the last game of the season ended Miami’s run. Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters are formidable wings that can return the Heat to the playoffs. With the help of Adebayo, all they need is for Justice Winslow to figure out his shot.
— What are the Heat after D-Wade? The franchise’s signature player left a year ago and the rest of the world is unsure of their identity. Chris Bosh’s health concerns have sidelined him indefinitely, leaving no remaining pieces to LeBron’s big three. However, the void provides Adebayo an opportunity to become a star on a team that’s searching for a new identity.
— How much more gas does Pat Riley have in the tank? Riley is not the type of guy who can leave the game of basketball and have a life outside of the sport, but he’s been doing this a very long time. Who knows much longer he can perform at en elite level.
Just when you thought Mock Draft SZN was over, your favorite NBA draft analysts have already compiled estimates for the 2018 draft. Unlike Bracketology, this actually can be useful. Let these mock drafts paint a picture of where prospects stand entering their first season at Kentucky.
14. Hamidou Diallo
22. Nick Richards
Few entities have more mock draft credibility than Draft Express (I believe Givony nailed the first 11 picks), but I don’t understand how they could put more stock in Lonnie Walker than Diallo. Walker is great, but I do not foresee him taking significant steps forward at Miami, especially compared to Diallo who’s already been given the “first one in, last one out” tag by John Calipari.
11. Hamidou Diallo to Philly
13. Kevin Knox to Dallas
19. Nick Richards to Memphis
22. Jarred Vanderbilt to Houston
Nobody is more bullish on SEC talent than Parrish, who features eight from the conference in his first round.
7. Kevin Knox to Philly
11. Hamidou Diallo to Phoenix
13. Nick Richards to Milwaukee
Forgrave likes Knox’s versatility and that his father played in the NFL.
12. Hamidou Diallo
24. Nick Richards
No. 24 is the lowest Richards falls on any early draft boards.
10. Jarred Vanderbilt to New Orleans
11. Nick Richards to Charlotte
13. Hamidou Diallo to Denver
14. Kevin Knox to Miami
Four lottery picks? Not too shabby.
It’s hard to gather anything significant from a prognostication that’s a year away, but there’s one thing you should keep an eye on: nobody knows which forwards will stay or go. Knox, Vanderbilt and Washington are all versatile athletes that will play in the NBA, but how soon that happens will be determined by their play this season at Kentucky.
By Nick Roush on ©June 24th, 2017 @ 2:45pm
Dominique Hawkins has found an NBA Summer League home.
Hawkins’ high school coach Allen Feldhaus Jr. told The Courier-Journal the former Wildcat guard has reached a deal to play with the Sacramento Kings in the Las Vegas Summer League from July 7-17. A destination for many Wildcats, Hawkins could team up with former teammates De’Aaron Fox and Skal Labissiere in Vegas.
He’s the fourth undrafted former Wildcat to sign a Summer League deal, joining Isaiah Briscoe (76ers), Isaac Humphries (Wizards) and Derek Willis (Pistons).
By Haley Simpson on ©June 23rd, 2017 @ 10:00pm
KYWildcatsTV is not taking a break this summer and were at the NBA Draft last night and of course cranked out another awesome video to recap the amazing day.
— KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) June 23, 2017
I just can’t get enough of this. Dreams came true last night.
On an unrelated note: I’m ready for some lit pre-game hype videos for football.
By Haley Simpson on ©June 23rd, 2017 @ 9:00pm
We all love draft day. We soak up every bit of coverage of it and try to imagine what we would do if we were in those athletes shoes. Well, thanks to the Worldwide Leader, we can get a taste of what it was like to be Malik Monk yesterday.
What a day.
Also, big fan of the camo, no matter what y’all say.
By Haley Simpson on ©June 23rd, 2017 @ 8:00pm
Calipari may have been in Colorado at a training camp for USA Basketball U19, but it may as well been one giant recruiting trip.
After three days of instruction with their potential coach Immanuel Quickley, Cameron Reddish and Romeo Langford all agree that the training camp was an advantage for Kentucky.
Thanks to the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts, we know what the three recruits think:
Quickley: “It’s definitely an advantage,” he said. “No doubt.”
Reddish: “I get to see how he really coaches. How he is outside of recruiting,” Reddish said. “I like him. He pushes me to get better. That’s what I need — somebody who’s going to push me to the limit, and that’s what he’s doing.”
Langford: “I like the way he coaches,” he said. “He doesn’t let you slide on anything. Little things like catching the ball with two hands. Little things like that — that’s what makes you better as a player.
“It kind of gives him a head start. I get to see how he coaches, and I get to see if I like the way that he teaches his kids.”
I like the way these guys are talking.
By Haley Simpson on ©June 23rd, 2017 @ 7:45pm
Since the beginning of the Calipari era, the NBA Draft night has become like an added holiday for Kentucky fans.
It always seems like the draft is historic in some way for men’s side of the table, but this year they weren’t the only ones.
For the women’s basketball program, center Evelyn Akhator became the highest WNBA draft pick in program history as the number three overall pick by the Dallas Wings. A record previously held by A’dia Mathies who was the 10th pick in 2013.
History happened again 30 picks later as Makayla Epps was selected by the Chicago Sky. Before this year, two Cats had never been selected in the same WNBA draft.
Last night was obviously a huge night for Kentucky’s program as the newest NBA Cats just added on to already record-breaking numbers. For instance: all 21 one-and-done’s at Kentucky have done in the first round, Calipari has more former players (24) in the NBA than all other Kentucky coaches behind (23) and finally, for the third time in program history, Kentucky had three lottery picks, more than any other school.
Not too shabby y’all, not too shabby.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 23rd, 2017 @ 3:41pm
After bouncing from table to table to check on his guys and essentially hitting the pause button on the draft with his six-minute segment on ESPN, John Calipari called into KSR this morning to talk to the Big Blue Nation. Calipari discussed the draft, his U19 National Team, and the NCAA sanctions on the UofL scandal. He even took a bit of a shot back at Roy Williams for his comments yesterday regarding Calipari attending the draft. Highlights and audio below:
He jabbed back at Roy Williams
Yesterday, Roy said on a North Carolina radio show that, unlike Calipari, he doesn’t like to attend the draft because it’s a special moment for players and their families, an eye-rolling comment if there ever was one. Today, Cal seemed to jab back when he said that he loves going to the draft because he feels he is family.
“For me, I’m the father in the stands that embarrasses his kids because he goes and takes pictures, he’s yelling, he’s screaming, he’s hugging. That’s a big day for parents. And it is for me. So, you can shake it anyway you want. You’re maybe not real close to the kid or he didn’t or he wasn’t grateful enough — it doesn’t matter to me. I’m going. And none of it — it’s what I do. I didn’t start just doing it when I went to Kentucky. I was always there. If a kid was going to get drafted, I was there. I think it’s important.”
Pat Riley texted him a 💥 emoji after drafting Bam
“Bam goes to Miami. Before the pick, I hit Pat Riley, said ‘Pat, I hope you’re taking my kid, you will love him.’ And after they made the pick, he had BAM with an emoji, like an explosion emoji, like BAM! You know, like that, which was kind of neat.”
Like this? “BAM 💥”
Watch out guys, Calipari has discovered emojis.
He thought Isaiah Briscoe would be drafted by the Knicks
Cal believed Briscoe would be drafted by New York in the second round, but apparently that plan went out the window when a higher prospect fell down the board. The Knicks drafted Damyean Dotson at 44 and Jaramaz Ognjen at 58.
He’s still trying to figure out PJ Washington
The conversation turned to Calipari’s U19 Team in Colorado Springs, and after praising Kevin Knox, who had to withdraw due to injury, he talked about PJ Washington, a player so positionless that he’s trying to figure out exactly how to use him.
“I’m still trying to figure him out. I want some people to tell me, professional people, what they want him to look like. I’ll need some help because I’m still — like, I’m going to ask him this question today, ‘Alright PJ, the game is on the line and we need a game winner. Where do I give you the ball? You tell me. Where do I give you the ball where you’re getting fouled or scored. How are we doing it?'”
Hamidou Diallo “has a winner’s mentality”
Hami has been an offensive machine in Colorado this week, but Calipari wants him to play on the ball more than off because “he has a winner’s mentality.”
“I want his hands on the ball. Now, that’s going to force him to make better decisions, throw better passes, because going right to the rim, he’s really good. He’s shooting the ball better, but got a ways to go. And he has a winner’s mentality. He’s okay defensively, but I’m different, I want guys that really lock people down and he’s not quite there yet, and neither is PJ and neither is Kevin. But they’re so long and we should be a great defensive team. That doesn’t mean we will be, but we should be.”
He both answered and didn’t answer Matt’s question about UofL’s NCAA sanctions
Matt couldn’t help but ask Calipari about the sanctions the NCAA handed down to UofL. As someone who is pretty familiar with the NCAA’s strict liability policy, Calipari offered this response.
“I’ve always said coaches should stand up when they did these, you know, the strict liability. I said, where is everybody and why is everybody silent? I said, it’s going to hit everybody. But we didn’t have anybody say anything, so it’s like, okay. The second thing is, I’ve never thought vacating games had an effect other than affecting the other players and maybe the fans that had nothing to do with anything. I’ve always believed that. But again, no one said anything so we’re here. This is where we are.”
Cal changed the subject, bringing up how busy he’s been lately (Megan’s getting married! He’s trying to lose weight!), but circled back to the topic again a few minutes later.
“I haven’t — I just know we have issues that we should have dealt with 10 years ago but everyone ran from because it was personal vs. what does this do to our profession? And now we’re paying a price for it. I don’t know exactly what went on. I don’t wish ill on any program. This about our game and coaching.”
Make of that what you will.
This morning, Isaiah Briscoe and Derek Willis signed summer league deals, and now, Isaac Humphries is getting an opportunity. According to Olgun Uluc of Fox Sports Australia, Isaac has agreed to a summer league deal with the Washington Wizards. The Wizards will participate in the Las Vegas Summer League, which runs from July 7-17.
If you missed it below, Derek Willis’ fiancee Keely corrected an earlier report that Derek will play for the Heat this summer. According to Keely, he will play for the Detroit Pistons.
Let’s celebrate by listening to Isaac sing “Let it Go,” just because:
One of the best parts about the NBA Draft is breaking down the ridiculous fashions and last night gave us plenty of looks to scrutinize, ranging from great to good to “What the hell were they thinking?”. Even though somebody in the comments section last week accused me of having the fashion sense of both a mom and a male college student (because that’s not weird at all), I’m going to give it my best shot because it’s Friday and I’m having fun.
Here are the best and worst looks of the night, according to this here blogger:
De’Aaron Fox: A-
Fox’s suit from JC Penney was a subtle shade of aubergine that didn’t really pop on camera; however, he gets major bonus points for the lining, which featured breast cancer awareness ribbons to honor his mother, and his custom shoes:
And the blingtastic watch, which he made sure to show off to the ESPN cameras:
De’Aaron Fox only cares about his watch pic.twitter.com/20tyMe5LzB
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 22, 2017
All in all, a sharp look, but not my favorite of the night.
Malik Monk: A
Monk was also outfitted by JC Penney in a similar suit, but his blue suit jacket popped a little better under the lights. Like Fox, he customized the lining on his jacket. His honored “The Woodz,” the basketball courts in his hometown of Lepanto:
I’ll forgive the camo because these shoes are sick:
Markelle Fultz: B-
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about the number one pick’s suit, but with the plaid shirt and ugly bowtie, it just felt a little too casual for the moment. That being said, I did love the tribute to his family/journey on the lining:
I did not love his shoes, which were made of basketballs:
Lonzo Ball: B
You’ve gotta give Lonzo credit: he dressed the part of a villain, right down to the Big Baller Brand bowtie:
Lonzo’s suit was nice, but I’m personally not a fan of the all black look, especially with the chain on top. But hey, Balls gonna Ball.
Frank Ntilikina: B+
At first, I hated the Frenchman’s look, but the more I study it, the more I have to give him props for pulling off a style few could. The red tartan suit was made in Ntilikina’s hometown of Strasbourg and even the bowtie is patterned. That is a heck of a look, but he pulls it off.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 23rd, 2017 @ 12:30pm
Want a rematch with UCLA in Rupp Arena? Due to a California state travel ban, you may have to wait a while. Yesterday, California’s attorney general banned state-funded travel to Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, and South Dakota, citing “discriminatory legislation” enacted in each state.
In Kentucky’s case, the bill in question is the “Charlie Brown law,” which prevents school officials from punishing students for wearing religious messages on their clothes and expressing religious or political beliefs in homework, artwork, and speeches. (The law is named so because a Kentucky school cut a Bible verse from their production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”) As with all of the laws singled out by the California attorney general, LGBT advocates argue the law would allow people (in this case, students) to discriminate against LGBT students under the guise of religion.
With Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, and South Dakota, the California travel ban is now at eight. Earlier this year, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee were also placed off limits. As a result, California state agencies, universities, and commissions won’t be allowed to travel to those states, meaning that their sports teams can’t play their either. The law does allow current contracts to be honored, but it’s unclear whether or not California state teams will be allowed to play in the 2017 Final Four, which will take place in San Antonio, Texas. Kentucky’s home-and-home series with UCLA wrapped up with the Bruins’ trip to Rupp last December.
It must suck to be in charge of UCLA’s scheduling right now.