“I was wrong about LaVar Ball. He is not a Kardashian. That is far too kind. He is a misogynistic buffoon unworthy of my time.”
Basketball Recruiting News
By Nick Roush on ©August 01st, 2017 @ 7:15pm
After a bit of confusion, we now know with 100 percent certainty that John Calipari used Jamal Murray to help recruit one of the best prep basketball players in Canada.
Scheduled to see Simi Shittu — a 6’8″ ‘position-less’ forward who’s considered the No. 8 player in the 2018 class — at a clinic in Ontario last Saturday, the morning began with an unusual treat. Jamal Murray Tweeted the picture above. Naturally, this blogger inferred in this post that Murray, Calipari’s most-successful Canadian product, was helping his coach recruit one of the best players in Canada.
In the words of Lee Corso, “not so fast my friend.”
A fan of KSR pointed me toward Murray’s Instagram. His story revealed that he spent the night in Vegas. The series of Vegas pictures was followed by a snapshot of the private jet digs with Cal, then a few photos tagged in Lexington. I had been duped, revealed as an idiot for making a foolish assumption. I should’ve known what assuming does…….until things changed tonight .
My initial assumption was correct: Murray flew with Calipari to Ontario on the final weekend of the live recruiting period to help persuade Simi Shittu to follow in his footsteps at Kentucky. The evidence:
Calipari and Murray share a laugh courtside at the beginning of this highlight reel from the Clas6ic.
It makes me happy that I was not wrong, but it makes me even happier to see a former player cracking jokes with his coach courtside.
The Kentucky Wildcats are still in the hunt for one of America’s best basketball players in the 2018 recruiting class. Cameron Reddish, the fifth-ranked player in America, announced his final five schools on Twitter.
FINAL 5🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/vp0UO1trDr
— Cam Reddish (@camreddish) July 31, 2017
Listed as a small forward, on numerous occasions he played the two-guard for Calipari as a member of Team USA. It worked well for two reasons:
1. Reddish made 53 percent of his threes and averaged 10.7 points per game.
2. Once considered a Duke-lean, that’s no longer the case (unless you’re one who believes in the 247 Crystal Ball).
Calipari’s time as Team USA’s head coach has all but secured Immanuel Quickley’s spot in Lexington. After seeing the way Reddish played for Cal in Cairo, it will be awfully hard for Reddish to turn down an opportunity to play with Calipari again.
Highlights from one of Reddish’s best games; he had 14 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists vs. Iran.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 31st, 2017 @ 12:55pm
Ready for some major recruiting news? R.J. Barrett, the number one ranked player in the 2019 class, is reclassifying to 2018. The 6-6 small forward from Mississauga, Ontario just announced the news in a blog post for USA Today High School Sports.
“Really, it’s been a thought of mine for the last year, but I wanted to wait and see how the season would go and how school would go and when everything went well it became more and more real so I made the decision to go ahead and do it.”
Barrett says that Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and UCLA are recruiting him the hardest right now. John Calipari got a long, hard look at him earlier this month when Barrett led Team Canada to an upset of Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. Barrett had 38 points and 13 rebounds in that game, a statement performance on his way to MVP honors.
Barrett was ranked #1 in the 2019 class, and right now, ESPN has him at #3 in 2018 behind Marvin Bagley (who is considering reclassifying to 2017) and Zion Williamson. He says he hasn’t set his visits up yet, and instead is hard at work on chasing the #1 spot in his new class.
With the July evaluation period over and the start of the high school season looming, as Barrett writes, “Big decisions are coming.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 31st, 2017 @ 12:30pm
Last week, word broke that Mitchell Robinson, the top 10 recruit poised to help Rick Stansbury turn things around at Western Kentucky, had left campus. Today, Stansbury released a statement saying that Robinson has been suspended indefinitely from the team for a violation of team rules, and will only be allowed back if he meets a certain set of requirements.
“WKU freshman center Mitchell Robinson is suspended indefinitely from the program for a violation of team rules,” Stansbury wrote, via Adam Zagoria. “Mitchell is a good kid, but the team will always be more important than one individual player. He needs to understand the value of structure and accountability in his life, and his return will be dependent upon requirements that will be handled internally. My focus is on the team, and I’m excited about this group as we prepare for next week’s trip to Costa Rica.”
Seems to me Western’s trying to pull the ole “we dumped him first!” trick. As for Robinson, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that he has no desire to go back to Western, even if it means transferring and sitting out a year if the NCAA doesn’t grant him a waiver. LSU has already been mentioned as a potential destination, which makes sense when you consider Robinson is a New Orleans native.
Last week, LaVar Ball managed to out LaVar Ball himself, exhibiting his worst behavior yet at the adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas. Ball stole the show from his son, team, and an entire tournament of elite prospects with his sexist, demeaning comments towards a female official, whom he got pulled off a game for simply doing her job. I hit my limit with Ball after that, and it appears most of society has done the same. As only he can, ESPN’s Jay Bilas delivered a scathing takedown of Ball this morning, writing that he’s so disgusted by his latest antics that he refuses to write about him anymore.
But to whatever extent I enjoyed LaVar Ball and his antics at first, I now find him close to intolerable. Instead of being in on the joke, he has become a joke, and it is no longer funny. He started to lose me when he publicly complained about his son’s high school coach, who was ultimately out of his job. Then, he told Fox Sports’ Kristine Leahy to “stay in her lane,” which I found to be disrespectful and unnecessary to the point of being misogynistic. Then, he started to show himself through his participation as a “grassroots” summer basketball coach. He is needlessly profane and his conduct is out of control with officials and he’s not worthy of being in charge of the development of young players.
As I did last week, Bilas likened Ball to the Kardashian family in that he’s famous without having achieved anything of merit before concluding that comparison was too generous.
If you’re sick and tired of Ball, get your “Amen”s ready and click below.
We spent a portion of yesterday trying to figure out whether John Calipari took Jamal Murray with him on his recruiting trip to Canada. Well, Calipari just gave us our official answer on Twitter by posting that picture. It looks as though Cal is recruiting the help of Jamal Murray to help bring five-star recruit Simisola Shittu to Lexington. Shittu is 6’8 forward who is originally from Burlington, Ontario. Ranked as the number #9 player in the class of 2018, Shittu is currently playing for the Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont.
Currently, Calipari and Murray are watching Shittu play in the Classic Exposure Camp in Brampton, Ontario. The Cats have had luck in the past recruiting players from north of the border with the most notables being Jamaal Magloire, Mychal Mulder and Jamal Murray.
You can watch Shittu work below. You can see where he gets the comparison to Bam Adebayo.
John Calipari started his day in Vegas. After a pitstop in Lexington, Coach Cal has made it across the northern border into Canada.
I prematurely jumped the gun this morning upon seeing a picture of Calipari on a plane with Jamal Murray. Now there are multiple reports confirming Calipari’s presence at The Classic Exposure Camp at Brampton Soccer Center in Ontario, Canada.
Coach Cal made the trip to see Simi Shittu. A man whose name you should probably avoid saying on the radio for FCC reasons, the No. 9 player in the country is a prep star at Monteverde Academy and could be the fifth Canadian Wildcat in five years.
If you haven’t seen any of the previous highlights on KSR, I’ve saved the best for last. In a matchup against Bol Bol and Shareef O’Neal, Shaq’s son, Simi had 25 points and 12 assists.
By Nick Roush on ©July 29th, 2017 @ 3:45pm
Few athletes have ever created highlight reels comparable to Zion Williamson. The UK target and second-ranked player in the 2018 class has thrown down a ton of impressive dunks, but this one has taken him to another level of awesome.
With time running out during the final weekend of play on the Adidas Uprising series, Zion needed to go out with a bang. His opponents quit fouling, prepared to concede victory. Unable to go out with a whimper, Williamson gave the crowd an emphatic finish just after the final buzzer sounded.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) July 29, 2017
I don’t care that the dunk came after the buzzer. I don’t care if it’s the 343rd Zion highlight we’ve posted on KSR. Every time he dunks, I am amazed, and this 360-windmill is no exception.
By Nick Roush on ©July 29th, 2017 @ 1:00pm
See what Coach Calipari has seen on the recruiting trail.
Prior to tomorrow’s conclusion of the live recruiting period, the nation’s best basketball players put on a show for the Kentucky head coach. Arguably the most impressive performance from the last weekend of the summer was Louis King’s 41-point game in front of Calipari in Vegas. Searching for a Kentucky offer, watch King do work and you be the judge.
— HoopNationTV (@HoopNationTV) July 27, 2017
King’s teammate, Cam Reddish, has an offer and is one of Cal’s top targets. He put on a few good shows for Calipari in Cairo. This one from Vegas is not too shabby either.
Calipari recently offered another wing in the 2018 class, top-ranked point guard Darius Garland. Cal was on-hand to see Garland do this:
The other wing on the Cats’ radar might be the most talked about player in the area, New Albany shooting guard Romeo Langford.
In the 2019 class, Scottie Lewis is arguably the best wing in the country. Calipari began recruiting him early and it ain’t hard to tell why.
Another 2019 wing Coach Cal is pursuing has some personal ties to Kentucky. Trendon Watford’s brother Christian is on popcorn boxes all across the state of Indiana after he hit one shot against the Cats. Trendon is better than his brother, which is why Cal is recruiting him.
For more excellent recruiting footage, follow @CoursideFilms.
By Nick Roush on ©July 29th, 2017 @ 11:00am
John Calipari is wrapping up the July live evaluation period by going against the grain into Canada.
Coach Cal has left the talented tournaments in Las Vegas to visit Simi Shittu, a 6’8″ top ten forward in the 2018 class. No stranger to America’s northern allies, Calipari has coached four Canadians at UK over the last four years.
To help make it five, he’s bringing his most successful Canadian Wildcat with him on the private jet.
Who is this guy? Anybody know him?🏹🏹🏹 pic.twitter.com/CnXsEsrjEm
— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) July 29, 2017
We don’t know exactly why Murray is accompanying Calipari on the trip to his homeland. My best guess: to teach Shittu how to fire an arrow or two in Kentucky blue. (That was a terrible guess.)
I failed to do my social media due diligence. Tasked to infer the destination of their flight, exploring Jamal Murray’s Instagram story has led me to discover their flight was from Vegas to Lexington, not Lexington to Canada. I apologize for the misinformation.
Even though it would be cool to bring Murray as a recruiter to Canada, it’s still pretty cool that Murray can hitch a ride back to Lex on a private jet with his coach.
You smell that? Smell’s like football. Wait. Nope. Sorry. I got that confused with the humidity. Don’t panic, Big Blue Nation. The smell of football season will be here soon enough. There’s only four more Saturdays to suffer through without college football. I’ve prepared a ton of football stuff to help pass the time, but first, basketball recruiting.
1. The Balls were Scared of Quickley
LaVar Ball is all about drawing attention to himself at all costs. I thought he had blown up enough to cease and desist, but I was wrong. This is what happened with a few minutes remaining in the first half:
There are many reasons why the selfish, misogynistic act is a travesty. For the players, it was a chance to play on a big stage in front of a ton of college coaches. For Kentucky fans, it was another opportunity to see a Ball get owned by one of UK’s finest (even though Quickley technically isn’t a UK commit, yet). LaMelo has a ton of hype, but I wanted to see how he would do against a quality opponent. In the short amount of time they played, Quickley dominated.
2. Calipari was on the Road
Coach Cal was in Vegas yesterday where he made rounds to watch the usual suspects. To start the day he watched Cameron Reddish and Louis King compete for Team Final. After that he spent some time at adidas watching Zion Williamson and shooting guard Quentin Grimes.
3. Cal is Heading to Canada
It’s the final weekend of the live recruiting period, but Calipari has seen enough in the continental U.S. He’s going north of the border to see a Top 10 forward, Simi Shittu. Coach Cal is just now investing in Shittu, but if he can lure another Canadian to Lexington, Shittu will be the fifth Canadian Wildcat in five years, joining Trey Lyles, Jamal Murray, Mychal Mulder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
4. See ya, Bagley
It appears that Marvin Bagley will skip his senior season of high school basketball season to play college basketball this fall. Evan Daniels reports Bagley filed the initial paperwork with the NCAA to reclassify, the first step in the long process. If the top-ranked 2018 recruit plays this fall, it will likely be either at Duke or USC, the school that just offered his seven-year old brother in an attempt to keep him on the West Coast.
5. Bye-Bye Mitchell
It was too good to be true for the Hilltoppers. The nation’s top-ranked center was enrolled in classes at WKU, but has already left campus. There’s no word from his camp as to where his next move is. Recruiting analysts first pointed to LSU, but there’s a considerable amount of hoops to jump through to play in Division I after starting school at WKU. He’ll most likely play overseas for a year before jumping into the NBA Draft Lottery, leaving Topper fans saying ‘What if…”
6. Camp Starts Tomorrow
Football is back in the bluegrass tomorrow morning. The first official day of training camp starts with team pictures and media day. KSR will have all hands on deck when Mark Stoops takes the Kroger Field podium at 12:30. Keep the blog close as we provide updates throughout the day to prepare you for the 2017 football season.
7. Nesbitt Arrives just in Time
All hands are on deck just in time for camp. Cornerback Michael Nesbitt was the last remaining question mark in the 2017 recruiting class. Yesterday he shared a picture from the airport prior to his departure for Lexington. Every signed recruit will be on campus this fall, something you can’t say every year.
8. Tim Duncan, Kickboxer
The future Hall of Fame power forward is using his newfound free time to practice Muay Thai Kickboxing. You wouldn’t believe it if I just told you, so here’s video of a seven-footer throwing high kicks.
9. Last Chance U is Leaving East Mississippi
The popular Netflix documentary has reportedly filmed its final season at East Mississippi Junior College. Next year they’re heading to Kansas to film at Independence Community College. I guess this means KSR will not be featured in the opening scene of season three.
10. Something you NEED to tell Siri
I’ll help you start your day the right way, with a smile. Tell Siri, “I see a little silhouetto of a man,” and see what happens. Enjoy your Saturday, folks.
Details are still sparse regarding Mitchell Robinson suddenly bolting from WKU just a couple weeks after enrolling. All signs seem to point to the 5-star center looking elsewhere to spend his next year, but where could he realistically go at this point? CBS’s Gary Parrish gave a brief summation of his options:
If he wants to play Division I basketball at all this season, his only option now — without getting an unusual waiver from the NCAA — would be to return to Western Kentucky because he has already been enrolled and practicing at the Conference USA school. Playing overseas would be the most likely professional option, a source told CBS Sports.
The whole piece from Parrish is right here.
So, to lay out every possibility, Robinson’s choices are:
- Crawl through the mud trying to get a waiver from the NCAA so that he could be immediately eligible at another school.
- Not get a waiver, transfer anyway, and sit out for a year.
- Get paid overseas.
- Tuck his tail between his legs and go back to Western.
Robinson has really backed himself into a corner on this one. LSU seemed to be his alternative to WKU during the recruiting process, so maybe that’s where his sights are set, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
By Drew Franklin on ©July 28th, 2017 @ 5:59pm
It appears Marvin Bagley is seriously considering reclassifying to the Class of 2017 and playing college basketball next season.
Evan Daniels of Scout.com reported Bagley has filed the paperwork to the NCAA Clearinghouse to “potentially reclassify,” per sources. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean he will reclassify, but it’s the first major step in the process to do so.
Ranked No. 1 overall in the 2018 class, Bagley is unlikely to pick Kentucky now or next year, whenever he comes out of high school. He recently took visits to Duke and USC, and has plans to check out Arizona and UCLA.
Some have said Bagley would’ve been the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s draft over Markelle Fultz. He’s that good.
By Drew Franklin on ©July 28th, 2017 @ 5:10pm
When LaVar Ball stole the show and pulled his team off the court (for the second time this week) earlier today out in Las Vegas, UK target Immanuel Quickley was on pace for a record day against one of LaVar’s baby Balls, LaMelo.
Quickley had 23 points and six rebounds when LaVar took his Balls and went home with two minutes to go in the first half, and he rolled his emoji eyes at the situation on Twitter on Friday afternoon.
It was only halftime too….🙄 till they ended the game https://t.co/OPpFcYoM5n
— Immanuel Quickley (@IQ_GodSon) July 28, 2017
Those who don’t mind some salty language can watch Quickley’s reaction below in this clip from Overtime’s video.
He has a right to be upset as he was devouring Big Baller Brand with lots more eating to do in the game.
By Drew Franklin on ©July 28th, 2017 @ 2:15pm
That’s it. I’ve had it with LaVar Ball. Some of it’s funny. The branding is good and we’re talking about him all the time or whatever, but this is too far (again).
Today, Ball and one of his little bitty Balls, LaMelo, received technical fouls in their game against UK target Immanuel Quickley out at the Adidas event in Las Vegas. Ball then demanded the official, a female, be replaced or he and his team would walk.
For some reason that needs an explanation, Ball got his wish and the female was replaced with a male official so the game could continue.
LaVar Ball gets his wish. The official who called the technical foul, the lone female on the crew, has been… https://t.co/8uPH2lnFks
— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) July 28, 2017
After the switch, Ball was then asked to leave the floor, according to reports, but he did not comply. He kept up his LaVar Ball ways, shouting, “She needs to stay in her lane because she ain’t ready for this.”
The game was then called off as the Big Ballers walked off the court with two minutes left in the first half, giving the win to Immanuel Quickley and Team BBC.
Video and reaction can be seen here:
Here’s why this sucks for everyone not named LaVar Ball, who got the attention he so desperately craves:
The game was billed as a big head-to-head matchup of Quickley and LaMelo Ball, considered to be two of the best point guards at the event, and everyone was robbed of the competition. The Balls were probably scared of getting exposed by a better point guard, per usual.
But even worse than that, the game was an opportunity for the guys who aren’t named Immanuel Quickley or LaMelo Ball to play on a big stage in front of several scouts and coaches so they can earn their way into college, too.
Instead, LaVar Ball showed his ass again and robbed two teams full of kids with college basketball aspirations of a big moment to prove themselves. Oh, and he offended women, again.
Immanuel Quickley can be heard screaming, “This is bullshit!” in the video above.
It’s bullshit indeed.