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A Night in Jersey: Future Wildcat fouls out in front of Calipari, KSR

A Night in Jersey: Future Wildcat fouls out in front of Calipari, KSR

“What are you doing here?”

That is what John Calipari said to me when I walked into the Primetime Shootout at Roselle Catholic High School in New Jersey on a snowy Sunday evening. It was a fair question — and to be honest, I’m not really sure why I was there either.

The plan was to go to the Primetime Shootout to interview Nick Richards, one of six future Wildcats from the Class of 2017, for our annual series of profiles on Kentucky’s basketball signees. But after a month-long failure to establish any form of contact with Richards, his coaches or anyone from The Patrick School administration, getting a moment to speak with Richards was very unlikely.

Piling on to my improbable odds was the fact that the Shootout’s director, who did respond to my third e-mail, told me to buy a general admission ticket when I asked about media availability; and Richards was coming off a two-game suspension for fighting in a game the previous weekend.

Needless to say, I had very low expectations for my trip to the Garden State, but, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take, they say. (And it’s not like I was going on my own dime.)


cal-barbee

The talent level at this year’s Primetime Shootout was absolutely insane as it featured several of the top players in high school basketball, which explains why John Calipari and Tony Barbee were in attendance for the night session, 24 hours after coaching Kentucky to a win down in Alabama.

A young man by the name of Nazreon Reid was the star of the first game Calipari and Barbee took in, the fifth game of the day at the invitational, between Roselle Catholic and Montclair Immaculate.

Reid is a five-star power forward in the Class of 2018, ranked No. 14 overall in that class, and he was as dominant of a big man that I have seen in high school basketball, especially for only being a junior.

He finished with 36 points (26 of which came in the second half) and 18 rebounds in Roselle’s come-from-behind win on its own homecourt.

Remember that name: Nazreon “Naz” Reid.

naz

Richards v. Brown

The marquee one-on-one matchup at the shootout was also my reason for driving through a blizzard to be there: Nick Richards of The Patrick School in the primetime game against Moses Brown of Archbishop Molloy out of Queens.

Brown is the No. 1 center in the Class of 2018 and he already holds offers from Kansas, Arizona, Louisville, UCLA, Florida and Maryland, among others. Duke and Kentucky are also very interested in Brown, although neither school has extended a scholarship offer just yet, and several other schools were in the building that night to watch him play.

Richards, on the other hand, had little to prove as he already knows where he will play his college ball, but he and his TPS teammates, six of whom have already signed with Division 1 schools, were out to win the final game of their regular season.

For a team as loaded as the first-ranked Shamrocks, the expectation is to win every game and anything short of the New Jersey Tournament of Champions championship is a failure.

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As my luck would have it, Richards found himself in early foul trouble and he spent the majority of the first half on the bench. While I enjoyed watching his teammates and the sideline antics of his head coach, Mike Rice, formerly of the Rutgers abuse scandal, I did not travel to New Jersey to watch Richards sit on the pine.

At least one fan at Roselle Catholic shared my disappointment in Richards’ minutes. I heard someone yell, in a perfect New Jersey accent, “His coach didn’t come here to see him on the bench! Put him in!”

richards-bench

Richards would come back in with two fouls to start the second half, only to commit more fouls and eventually foul out of the game.

He finished with eight points and 11 rebounds in limited minutes in TPS’s 73-59 victory.

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However, in the action I did see, Richards’ athleticism was very impressive. I don’t know how suited his game is for the college level with what little I saw that night, but the seven-footer can definitely move and explode for someone of that size.

richards-dunk2

He showed off some passing ability, too:

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The ESPN scouting report on him reads, “Richards is a high major center with great size and mobility. He is a big time finisher, rebounder and good scorer in and around the lane with excellent upside. His improvement has been steady each and every season. If he continues this ascension, his future is quite bright.”

I don’t disagree.

A man of very few words

After the game, I followed Adam Zagoria into the Shamrocks’ locker room in hopes of getting my conversation with Richards. With a little help from Zagoria and others in the media, I was able to pull Richards aside for a brief chat about his game and his future as a Wildcat.

richards-interview

He told me he was happy Coach Cal came out to watch him play on that particular night, but he doesn’t really pay attention to when his future coach is in the building. He also hasn’t spoken to Cal a lot recently, he said, because his focus is on finishing his high school season and “getting better everyday,” as Cal has encouraged him to do.

When I asked if he has spoken to any of Calipari’s big men, past or present, he told me, “I talk to Wenyen [Gabriel] sometimes. Wenyen, that’s probably it.”

Richards has also been in contact with Hamidou Diallo, a fellow Wildcat signee who enrolled early in the spring semester at Kentucky to get a head start on next season.

“I talk to Hamidou every now and then. He likes the campus life and he likes it down there.”

As for moving to Lexington in a couple of months, Richards said, “I’m excited to get ready for school, workouts and getting ready for the season — just trying to be the best player I can be.”

Blue got in

It is worth noting that several Kentucky fans from around the area made the trip to see Richards play at Roselle Catholic, the former high school of one Isaiah Briscoe.

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David Tulloch and his son, Ian, were impressed by Richards’ defense (although I think Ian was more excited to meet Coach Cal.)

I saw plenty of other members of the Big Blue Nation scattered across the gym as well, whenever they weren’t crowded around Calipari.

All in all, it was fun evening full of exciting high school basketball in a part of the country I had never seen. It would’ve been nice to see a little bit more of Richards on the floor, but luckily he’ll be in Lexington soon enough.

And I think you’re going to like him, BBN.


Calipari has reportedly promised Zion Williamson a scholarship (THANK GOD)

Calipari has reportedly promised Zion Williamson a scholarship (THANK GOD)

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Every time I watch clips of 2018 small forward Zion Williamson, I have two thoughts: 1) There’s no way he’s only 16 years old, and 2) Why in the world hasn’t John Calipari offered him a scholarship??

Only God and Zion’s family can verify that first question, and as for the second, well, apparently, the offer is coming. In a profile of Zion (because when you have a name like Zion, you only go by Zion) by the Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler, the 6’7″ 220 lbs. man child says even though he hasn’t officially gotten a scholarship offer from Calipari yet, he’s been promised one (whatever that means).

“Williamson has received about three dozen scholarship offers from just about every big-name school in and outside the Carolinas you can name — Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Clemson, South Carolina and Kansas among them. Kentucky is a notable exception. Williamson and his family say, however, that Wildcats coach John Calipari is ‘strongly recruiting’ Williamson as well and has promised an official scholarship offer soon.”

What the heck are you waiting for, Cal? No, really. We know you’ve seen the kid play, so you’ve seen dunks like this:

And this 360-degree windmill Monday night:

The kid apparently even loves Kentucky. He took an official visit to Lexington for the Kansas game a few weeks back and, despite UK’s loss, told reporters he was blown away, calling the atmosphere at Rupp “indescribable” and “ridiculous.” Calipari followed up with a visit to Zion’s school in Spartanburg, South Carolina a few days later, but still, no scholarship offer.

I know, in Cal we trust, but what gives? Zion is the most explosive player in the country, with Roy Williams going as far to call him one of the best prospects he’s seen since Michael Jordan. Jordan! Heck, even your boy Drake is a fan, sporting Zion’s jersey a few weeks back:

Promise me you’ll follow up on that promise, Cal.

[The legend of basketball phenom Zion Williamson]


Trae Young picks…Oklahoma

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It’s official: five-star point guard Trae Young is staying home to play for Oklahoma. Young picked the Sooners over Kansas. Kentucky wasn’t really in the picture after John Calipari accepted commitments from Quade Green and Shai Alexander, but the news is still worth sharing.

Also, after Young’s family joked that the only thing they didn’t like about Kentucky was that the Wildcat Lodge isn’t as nice as other team’s dorms, here’s a look at Oklahoma’s Headington Hall, which houses the football team as well:

Yeah, that’s actually pretty sweet. Best of luck to Young, who we probably won’t hear about again until the 2018 NBA Draft.


REPORT: Calipari to coach USA Basketball Under-19 Team this summer

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Big news for John Calipari this morning. According to Jeff Goodman, Calipari will coach the USA Basketball Under-19 team this summer in Egypt.

Why is that big news? That team will likely include some of the best players in basketball, many of which will have yet to choose a college. Like Coach K did during his tenure with USA Basketball, Calipari will have access to the top prospects in the sport, giving him an even bigger advantage in recruiting. Also, it puts Calipari back in the USA Basketball system, which is a pretty big deal.

Sean Miller coached the 2015 U19 Team that included Harry Giles, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, and Terrence Ferguson. This team will probably include Mohamed Bamba, Michael Porter Jr., PJ Washington, Trae Young, Quade Green, and others. The FIBA U19 World Championship is set for July 1-9 in Cairo, Egypt.

KSR Summer Tour in Cairo?

[ESPN]


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will play in the Derby City Classic

Herald Courier

Herald Courier

Kentucky signee Shai Gilgeous-Alexader is going to Louisville….for an all-star game.

The future Wildcat will play at Freedom Hall on Saturday April, 15 in the 45th annual Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic.  Three current Wildcats — Brad Calipari, Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins — previously played in the game.

The Derby City Classic will give many fans an opportunity to see the combo guard play in-person for the first time.  Gilgeous-Alexander will get the first taste of the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry.  Four future Cards are in the all star game: Malik Williams, Darius Perry, Lance Thomas and Jordan Nwora.  SGA is the lone UK representative because the night before Quade Green, P.J. Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt and Nick Richards are playing in the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Here’s a preview of what you’ll see if you make the trip to Freedom Hall in April.

You can get $18 tickets here.  


Trae Young’s Family Lists the Pros and Cons of Attending Kentucky

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As elite recruits near the end of their recruitment, the prospect and his family become more and more reserved, often shunning outsiders from any inside information.  McDonald’s All-American point guard Trae Young is doing the exact opposite.

Young’s family invited USA Today’s Jason Jordan into their home as they discussed Young’s six finalists: Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Washington.  To narrow his options, Trae, his father Ray and his mother Candice listed pros and cons for each school.  The pros for Kentucky will not surprise you.

“The track record is second to none to me,” Ray says. “Then you’ve got K.P. (Kenny Payne), we really liked him. Honestly, the best thing about that visit was seeing Coach Cal outside of the basketball arena and spending time with he and his wife. I love how Kentucky prepares you to be a pro because that’s all it is in Lexington – Kentucky basketball.”

Ray’s unending praise for Kentucky incited laughter by the other two.

“Oh, yeah, you’ll probably need another page for all these pros you’re about to list,” Trae says while laughing.

“Well, you already know how I feel,” Ray says. “If it was up to me this would be my pick. Coach (John) Cal, man! Coach Cal!”

When they turned to the cons, Young’s mother revealed a surprise: Kentucky’s Wildcat Coal Lodge is the worst dorm of the schools Young is considering.

“But the housing… They’ve got the worst dorms out of all the schools,” his mother said.

“Yeah they did,” Trae says with a laugh. “But to Coach Cal’s point, you don’t pick a school based on the housing.”

“Yeah, but you’ve gotta live there for nine months,” Candice replies. “I mean come on now it was one room, the sink was in the bedroom; definitely traditional old school dorm room.”

“Yeah, the rooms couldn’t compete with Kansas, Oklahoma State and those other schools,” Trae says. “It’s not up to date.”

Often referred to as “the gold standard in college basketball,” the $8 million Wildcat Coal Lodge opened five years ago in 2012.  In January of 2016, Governor Matt Bevin announced $21 million will be allotted to the lodge to expand dining for all student-athletes after the cafeteria at Blazer Hall was removed.

Pic via UKY.edu

Pic via UKY.edu

After going through all six schools, Young’s family narrowed it to three.  The first to be cut from the list was Kentucky.  After Quade Green committed to Kentucky, it essentially ensured Young would not attend Kentucky.  Even though his father wanted Kentucky to make the top three, Trae and his mother said the places that fit him best are Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

“It’s the situations; I feel like these three schools are the best situations for me now that we’ve listed everything. I feel good about these three,” Trae said.

Even though Kentucky is no longer being considered, for those who love basketball recruiting, this inside look at that decision process is a must-read.

[USA Today]

UPDATE

According to T.J. Walker of Cats Illustrated, Ray Young said the jab at UK’s dorms was in jest. “They couldn’t find anything seriously wrong with UK so Mrs. Young noted the dorms weren’t as great as other dorms.”  That sarcasm is obviously difficult to discern in Jordan’s feature.


Another Amazing Dunk by Zion Williamson

Tracy Glantz | The State

Tracy Glantz | The State

The second-ranked junior in America is pretty good at dunking.

Like many Kentucky recruits, we like to share their highlights from time-to-time.  Williamson’s dunks have reached rarified air.  He’s only a junior, but he’s doing stuff almost every game that deserves its own post. Last night, he did it again.

After failing an attempt to flush a 360-degree windmill on Friday, he pulled it off last night.

There’s a much better view about 40 seconds into this video.

Williamson had 31 points and 11 rebounds. He is considering North Carolina, Duke, Clemson and Kentucky among others.


Coach Calipari, Barbee Watching Nick Richards Tonight

Credit @JasonKahnN12

Credit @JasonKahnN12

According to Adam Zagoria, John Calipari & assistant Tony Barbee are in attendance at the Prime Time Shootout in New Jersey. Kentucky commit Nick Richards is set to tip-off shortly after 6:00 pm, so the coaches are in town to watch next season’s newest center.

Nick Richards, for those who may not be aware, is the #2 center of the 2017 recruiting class according to 247 Sports. He’s also ranked 11th in ESPN’s Top 100 Class of ’17. Richards signed his letter of intent to play for Kentucky back in November of last year. Since signing his LOI, he’s been named a McDonald’s All-American.

Nazreon Reid is also playing tonight while Coach Cal is in attendance. Reid has yet to receive an offer from Kentucky, but UK is considered to be high on his list. Reid is one of the top forwards of the 2018 class, and 14th overall according to 247 Sports.

UPDATE: Here’s a highlight of Naz Reid from moments ago:


Finish Your Night with a Few Great Dunks

The State

The State

Before you see a Kentucky recruit do some unbelievable things with a basketball, see what future Kentucky footballer Tyrell Ajian did streaking down the paint last night.

Ajian’s take was impressive, but it’s about to get much crazier.  Zion Williamson will make your jaw drop, even when he misses.  This is what the No. 2 player in the class of 2018 did last night.

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Next Man Up: Jarred Vanderbilt

Next Man Up: Jarred Vanderbilt

We may still be in the heat of the 2016-17 basketball season, but plenty of attention lies on the absolutely ridiculous recruiting class coming in next season for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats.

One of the stars headed to Lexington this summer? 5-star SF Jarred Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt committed to Kentucky back in December, where he joined Quade Green, PJ Washington, Nick Richards, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander en route to the No. 1 recruiting class in 2017. 5-star SG Hamidou Diallo later enrolled for the Spring semester, but he will be joining the Wildcats next year, as well.

Out of Houston, Texas, Vanderbilt broke through as a national target back in 2012 as a middle schooler, but the majority of his interest came as a freshman in high school. He wasn’t the tallest guy out on the court at all times, but his silky-smooth handles and ability to finish at the rim turned heads, and phone calls from various colleges started pouring in.

“I was getting attention in middle school, but in 9th grade was when people started calling my school and trying to talk to my parents,” Vanderbilt said.  “My phone started blowing up.”

Within the span of just a year, Vanderbilt shot up several inches and his soft touch at the rim soon became a powerful flush, dunking over hopeless defenders standing in his way. Throughout the next few years, he kept growing, but his guard skills remained.

“I hit a growth spurt from 5’10 to about 6’4 transitioning from middle school to high school and I just kept growing from there, but the guard skills just stuck with me,” he said.  “I learned how to get my own rebound and initiate the offense. I don’t always have to look for the point guard as soon as the ball touches my hand.”

At 6’9, 220 lbs., Vanderbilt separates himself as one of the most unique athletes in the country. With elite court vision, passing ability, exceptional rebounding and lockdown defense, he’s already getting compared to the likes of Lamar Odom and Thaddeus Young.

With that, he became one of the most coveted recruits in the class.

“My freshman year, most of the schools recruiting me were most of the local schools in Texas, like Texas A&M, UT, and Houston. That summer after playing EYBL of my 9th grade year, that’s when the bigger name schools like Kentucky came in. From there, my recruitment was non-stop.”

“Two-way player” and “versatility” seem to be the most common phrases thrown around in reference to Vanderbilt, and rightfully so. With the help of his 7’1 wingspan, he has the ability to defend four positions on defense, making it tough for opponents to do much of anything with the ball in their hands against him.

For Vanderbilt, that defensive presence separates him from all of the other recruits in the class, which should come as music to the ears of Kentucky fans.

I actually love to play defense. I’m able to switch and defend four positions on the floor, sometimes five. It’s something I’ve just always been able to do.”

As far as weaknesses go, Vanderbilt understands his jump shot is still a work in progress, but has optimism he’ll be able to open the floor with some practice.

“I’ve been working on extending my range, trying to become a consistent three-point shooter. With some work there, I really feel like I can open up the floor when I get to UK.”

Vanderbilt’s recruitment came down to Kentucky, UNC, TCU, and Oregon, with the Wildcats obviously winning out. He said when it came to UK, the winning tradition and playing with great players was the selling point.

“I had it down to one or two schools pretty much the entire time, and I knew UK was where I needed to be. They come together for one common goal and that’s to win. I love to win and I love to be around great players. The goal is to win a National Championship, so I feel like Kentucky was the best place for me to grow on and off the court as a player and as a person.”

As we all know, Calipari’s pitch is unlike anyone else’s in the country. He doesn’t promise minutes or shots a game, rather the opportunity to compete against the best every day in practice and grow as a player. Vanderbilt was sold almost immediately.

“I knew from the start I’m not going to have the ball 30 minutes a game at Kentucky, and the ball is not always going to run through me like some of the other schools pitched,” Vanderbilt said.  “Calipari told me we were going to have a great team, a top player at every position, so I was going to have to earn it. I’m ready for that challenge.”

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A few weeks back, Vanderbilt received nominations to participate in the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, joining PJ Washington, Nick Richards, and Quade Green to the list of Wildcats with bids.

“As a basketball player growing up, that’s one of your childhood dreams. Just to be on that list with all of the greats to ever play the game of basketball is a real honor. I noticed all the UK guys are on the same team, so hopefully they can throw that lineup in to give you all a taste of what’s to come next year.”

UK may have four recruits in both events, but that doesn’t mean the recruiting season is over for the Wildcats.

The two biggest targets left on board for Kentucky are Kevin Knox and Mohamed Bamba. Vanderbilt has done his best to recruit each of them to UK, staying in their ears as decision time inches closer.

“We would love for Kevin and Mohamed to join in. I’ve talked to both of them here and there. Both of them are taking their visits now so I try to keep in touch just to see where they are with interest in UK. They’re both versatile players and would really fit in with what we’re bringing in.”

With Vanderbilt, Diallo, Washington, Richards, Green, and Gilgeous-Alexander already in-fold, Kentucky is stacked going into next season. Add in one or both of Knox and Bamba? We’re talking about something special.

“This is one of the greatest recruiting classes, for sure for Cal, but maybe even of all-time. Having those two join would only solidify that for us.”

@JackPilgrimKSR


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s New Mixtape is Worth Your Time

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247

Future Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the least known of UK’s five commits.  This two-minute video should help you get to know him.

The four-star combo guard isn’t flashy, but he’s smooth.  An exceptional ball-handler, you’ll notice his knack for the ball on defense and ability to finish with a soft floater near the rim.


No UK Commits are Naismith Semifinalists

Bamba and Quade Green

Bamba and Quade Green

Ten high school prospects were named Semifinalists for the Naismith High School Player of the Year.  Of the five committed prospects in the 2017 class, none of them made the list.  However, a few UK targets made the cut.

Point guard Trae Young, small forward Kevin Knox and power forward Mohamed Bamba could win the coveted award that’s only been won by one other Wildcat, Ron Mercer.

Young will announce his college decision next Thursday, but will likely choose Kansas.  The Cats are in good shape with Bamba after he took his official visit for the South Carolina game.  Knox officially visited campus for the Kansas game.  Calipari followed up with Knox the following Friday by watching him play in Tampa.  Knox will officially visit North Carolina next weekend.


Saturday’s Top 10: College GameDay, Part II

Saturday’s Top 10: College GameDay, Part II

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Today could be a turning point for the 2016-17 Kentucky Wildcats.  After losing consecutive games for the first time all year, the Cats got a hard-fought win over Georgia at home.  Today is their most difficult SEC test remaining.  Will they fight through adversity and carry some momentum into March, or will they succumb to the pressure and drop three out of four?  You’ll have to wait until 8:15 to find out.  Until then…

1. Fox is in Florida

After missing Tuesday night’s game against Georgia, many were worried De’Aaron Fox would miss Kentucky’s road test in Gainesville.  No updates were given during yesterday’s press conference, but Fox did reveal on Snapchat that he made the trip to Gainesville.  John Calipari told Andy Katz Fox will be a game-time decision.

There’s been a lot less scuttlebutt about Mychal Mulder, who hasn’t played since the January 17th road trip to Starkville, but according to KSR sources, Mulder is closer to returning to the court than Fox.  Both players participated in Thursday’s practice.

2. Cats Opened as a 2-Point Favorite

The opening line in Las Vegas gave the Cats two points.  Since then the script has flipped; the Gators are now two-point favorites in most Las Vegas sports books.

It’s Kentucky’s first trip to the renovated O Dome, now officially known as the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center after the university invested $64.5 million for improvements.  It re-opened in December.  Today’s game will without a doubt be the biggest stage the renovated arena has seen.

3. Kentucky’s Poor GameDay Record

The Cats have been the featured game on ESPN’s premier pregame show 13 times, but things rarely go their way.  The Cats are 5-8 on GameDay and have lost three consecutive games.  Kentucky’s last win in front of a GameDay audience was actually in Gainesville, when Willie Cauley-Stein was charged with first degree murder.

That was the only time Kentucky has even taken down Florida in a GameDay showdown.  Florida is 5-1 vs. UK since they first met on GameDay in 2006.

4. Drew Franklin will be in the Building

We know at least some blue will get in today.  Make sure you’re following Drew on all the social media platforms (@DrewFranklinKSR, drew_franklin on Snapchat and Instagram) to see what he is seeing in Gainesville.

5. Coach Cal Watched Kevin Knox

Calipari with Karl Towns' parents, via @paulwclark.

Calipari with Karl Towns’ parents, via @paulwclark.

John Calipari and Kenny Payne made the short two-hour trip from Gainesville to Tampa to see five-star 2017 small forward Kevin Knox.  Knox didn’t disappoint, scoring 26 points in a ten-point victory.  Cal saw him do this…

…and this…

6. Trae Young Sets Commitment Date

Five-star point guard Trae Young revealed on Twitter he will announce his college decision at his high school on Thursday, February 16 at noon.  Even though he was the first point guard Calipari pursued in the 2017 class, the chances of landing Young dropped dramatically after Quade Green signed with Kentucky.  According to the 247 Crystal Ball, Oklahoma and Kansas are the favorites (tied at 36%) with UK not far behind (20%).

7. Booker’s Buzzer-Beating Bank-Shot

There are rumors around the league that Boogie could be traded to Phoenix.  I’m sure Cousins is much more open to the move after watching Devin Booker silence the Sacramento crowd, for the win.

Booker finished the night with 33 points.  Now with 15 straight games with 20 points or more, he’s only the second player to do so before turning 21. The first? LeBron James.

8. Podcast Plugs

Yesterday we were delighted to record the Depth Chart Podcast at Jack Kain Ford.  It will hit the iTunes feed within the hour.  Until then, you can keep your ears busy by listening to a pair of podcasts from the KSR archives, with postgame shows from Kentucky’s 2012 Final Four and National Championship.  Even though many will say the championship show is better, I prefer the one following the win over Louisville.  The relief is real and the championship game predictions couldn’t be more incorrect.

Subscribe to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or listen on the KSR app.

9. The Unforgettable Fairytale

Graphic-for-KSR-02

Author Temple Stites has an exciting treat for UK fans that he would love to share with you today.

25 years ago, The Unforgettables inspired us all. That season, and the Greatest Game Ever Played, inspired a young father, who is a lifelong member of the BBN, to want to pass this story of grit and determination on to his young son.

Problem was, the little guy couldn’t yet follow basketball. He was more interested in knights, duels, and castles. So his dad decided to write an epic knight’s tale inspired by the Unforgettables.

“The Unforgettable Fairytale” is a new children’s book filled with heroic knights, jousts, a Tournament of Knights, honor and ultimately, redemption.

This is our story and I think you’re going to want to share this book with your kids and grandkids. And you’ve got to see how beautiful this thing is.

Please go to www.theunforgettablefairytale.com and use promo code KSR to save 10% off the book. That’s www.theunforgettablefairytale.com to share this inspiring tale with your little wildcats.

10. Today’s College Basketball Schedule

  • Noon: No. 23 Purdue at No. 17 Maryland on ESPN
  • Noon: No. 9 Virginia at Syracuse on ESPN2
  • 1:00: Pitt at No. 21 Duke on CBS
  • 2:00: Georgia at No. 19 South Carolina on ESPN2
  • 2:00: Iowa State at No. 3 Kansas on ESPN
  • 3:00: Xavier at No. 22 Creighton on Fox
  • 4:00: No. 5 Arizona at No. 13 Oregon on ESPN
  • 4:00: UConn at No. 14 Cincinnati on ESPN2
  • 5:00: Oklahoma State at No. 7 West Virginia on ESPNU
  • 6:00: Ohio State at Michigan on ESPN2
  • 6:00: No. 20 Notre Dame at No. 12 North Carolina on ESPN
  • 9:00: Exas A&M at LSU on ESPNU

Trae Young announcing decision in two weeks

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At one time, most people thought Trae Young would be John Calipari’s next great point guard; however, after waiting on Young to commit for months, Cal went ahead and accepted a commitment from two other point guards, Quade Green and Shai Alexander. Now, Young is finally ready to make his decision. Today, he tweeted that he’ll announce where he’s going to college on February 16 at his high school:

Is Kentucky still an option? With two point guards already on the roster, probably not. Earlier this week, Young’s dad said the family eliminated two schools from consideration, leaving three to choose from. The smart money’s on Kansas or Oklahoma, and after his dad chastised Oklahoma media for writing a critical article about his son’s team, I’d say Trae’s probably going to be a Jayhawk.


Calipari going to see Kevin Knox tomorrow

Five-star small forward Kevin Knox took his official visit to Kentucky last weekend for the Kansas game, and this afternoon, his dad told Chris Fisher that John Calipari and Kenny Payne will follow up with him tomorrow night. While Kentucky travels to Gainesville, Calipari and Payne will detour to Tampa to watch Knox’s Tampa Catholic play Jesuit Friday night.

Knox Sr. said he and his son were very impressed by the atmosphere at Rupp Saturday.

“We got a taste of the Big Blue Nation. We had never been to an actual Kentucky game. That was a very, very loud venue. A lot of excited fans.”

Knox is down to Kentucky, Duke, Florida State, and North Carolina and isn’t expected to announce until March. Although Kentucky will be loaded on the wing next season with Jarred Vanderbilt, PJ Washington, and potentially Wenyen Gabriel, Knox is a pretty good shooter, which is a role Calipari’s been selling him on thus far. I have a feeling that will be part of the conversation tomorrow.

Kevin Knox
Small Forward | 6-8 | 195 lbs.
Tampa, FL | Tampa Catholic
AAU: E1T1
★★★★★
ESPN No. 7 | 2 SF Top247 No. 13 | 3 SF
Rivals No. 9 | 2 SF Scout No. 7 | 2 SF