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CBS Sports: “John Calipari will have his youngest Kentucky team ever – and still likely be good”

2017-class

After reports that Bam Adebayo is staying in the draft and Hamidou Diallo is considering it, it’s clearer than ever that next year’s team is going to be YOUNG. The biggest “veteran” coming back is Wenyen Gabriel, who averaged 4.6 points in 17.8 minutes this past season. Still, having a young team is no new task for John Calipari, and while a lot of fans are frustrated at the thought of another blank slate, CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish is here to remind you that history shows that Kentucky will probably be fine.

Calipari’s four teams that have relied on freshmen to score more than 60.0 percent of their points were the 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017 teams — and three of those freshmen-heavy teams (2011, 2013, 2014) lost six SEC games, which isn’t good. But let the record show that three of those four teams (2011, 2014, 2017) still made the Elite Eight. And two of those four teams (2011, 2014) still advanced to the Final Four.

My point: Even when UK’s young teams “struggle” they tend to finish impressively.

So, another roller coaster season, which means we need that talent to be really elite. Looking at you, Bamba!

[CBS Sports]


2017 target will announce decision on Wednesday

More breaking news! According to Scout.com, four-star shooting guard Mark Smith will announce his college decision Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET at his high school in Illinois. Smith is one of three shooting guards John Calipari has been pursuing to bulk up depth in the 2017 class; another, Jemarl Baker committed to Kentucky a few weeks back; the third, Pitt transfer Cam Johnson, has Kentucky in his final list, but has yet to announce a timetable.

Smith has picked up a lot of interest from major programs in recent weeks, but given Baker’s commitment and the fact that Smith decided not to visit Kentucky this weekend after trips to Illinois and Ohio State, I’m going to guess that he’ll elect to stay in the Big 10. Thankfully, we’ll know for sure Wednesday evening as the dominoes continue to fall for the 2017 class.

Meanwhile, Baker is currently on campus enjoying his official visit to his future school. His SnapChat story suggests he’s having a great time.


Monday’s Top 10: Diallo will test the waters, latest on recruiting, and UK Baseball keeps rising

Shoutout to this lovely couple for repping the Cats all the way in Machu Picchu. What a gorgeous picture, and, I imagine, one heck of a hike. After three straight days of rain down here in Nashville, I’ve pretty much forgotten what it’s like to go outside.

Yet, the sun’s making its triumphant return today, which makes Monday slightly less annoying. Let’s roll through today’s agenda, shall we?

1. Hamidou Diallo will test the NBA Draft waters

Just when I thought Sunday couldn’t get any slower, news broke around 7 p.m. that freshman Hamidou Diallo will declare for the NBA Draft but NOT sign with an agent so he can get feedback and “keep all doors open.” The news may come as a shock to some since Diallo only enrolled in January, but keep in mind that since the rules changed last year, it makes sense for him to go through the evaluation process and receive feedback because there’s no risk. He and Bam will have until May 24 to decide whether or not to stay in the draft or come back. Diallo explained his decision in this statement from UK:

“Playing in the NBA has always been the ultimate goal for me,” Diallo said. “It’s part of what makes Kentucky so special is that it prepares you for the next level better than anywhere else. When I decided to enroll in school in January, my plan was to come to Kentucky to work on my game and to focus on school. At the end of the season, I knew I wanted to see where I was in the draft process and go through that so I could get a proper evaluation.

“That plan hasn’t changed and that’s why I am declaring for the NBA Draft. I do not plan on hiring an agent at this time. I want to see where my game is and explore my options. I just want to keep all doors open, and I want to thank Coach Cal, the coaching staff and my teammates for allowing me to pursue my dreams. My game has grown so much in the four months I’ve been at UK.

“I don’t know what the next few weeks are going to have in store for me, but I do know I’m going to work as hard as I ever have and keep an open mind. At the end of the day, this is a learning process for me and I appreciate the Big Blue Nation for being both understanding and supportive of my decision. I can’t thank you enough for making me a part of the family from day one.”

If you’re still bothered by the timing, remember that midnight last night was the deadline to put your name in the draft.

2. Calipari “fully supports” Diallo’s decision

What would you expect from the coach who wanted his entire team to declare for the draft last year once the rules changed to make the process more flexible? Here’s Cal’s statement in full:

“With the information that will be available to Hami and the feedback he will receive by going through this process, I fully support his decision,” head coach John Calipari said. “It’s in Hami’s best interests to evaluate if now is his time or if he would be better served returning to school. Whatever Hami ultimately chooses to do, you’re talking about an athletic guard with great ball skills, an unbelievable finisher and a terrific defender. He’s gotten so much better in his four months with us and he’s only going to continue to get better.”

Another round of “will he stay or will he go” may frustrate fans, but honestly, if you’re an elite college player, you’d be stupid not to take advantage of the chance to get feedback from the next level to make an informed decision. If Diallo does decide to stay in the draft, does it hurt Kentucky next year? Roster-wise, yes. From everything we’ve heard, he’s an elite player with tremendous upside and could be one of the cornerstones of next year’s squad. But, by now, you should know that Calipari will never hold a kid back, and if you don’t understand the reasons why, I suggest you go watch his “30 for 30” again, particularly the part about Dajuan Wagner.

3. What about Bam?

It’s been 19 days since Bam Adebayo declared for the draft and still no word on whether or not he plans to sign with an agent or return to school for his sophomore year. There were rumblings last week that Bam may be leaning towards staying for another year, and this past weekend, he went home to North Carolina to visit with his family, during which there were probably some talks about his future.

With one month until the withdrawal deadline, Bam and Diallo will get to go through workouts with teams leading up to the all-important NBA Draft Combine May 9-14 in Chicago. I wouldn’t expect any decisions before then.

4. Jemarl Baker is on campus

Lost in the shuffle of Diallo’s decision was new UK commit Jemarl Baker’s arrival on campus. Baker committed to UK a few weeks back, and, according to Ben Roberts, is only now taking his official visit. Welcome to campus, Jemarl. Enjoy yourself.

5. John Calipari sent out one of the swaggiest pictures ever

It was only a matter of time before Calipari found a way to mention the Air Jordan 8 “Calipari pack” Drake made in his honor, and sure enough, it came on the first weekend of the live recruiting period. In a tweet only Calipari could pull off, he posed with both pairs of shoes and asked fans which he should wear to the adidas Uprising in Dallas. As you would expect, that tweet got a lot of attention from its target audience online, with all of the UK 2017 commits and several of Cal’s current and former players sharing it as proof that their coach is a boss. Or, as many of them put it, the greatest of all time.

If you’re curious, he went with the white version:

@CourtsideFilms

@CourtsideFilms

Nice choice.

6. Here’s who Calipari and staff watched this weekend

As mentioned, it was the first weekend of the live period, and Calipari and staff crisscrossed the country to check in on their 2018 prospects. Here’s a rundown of who they saw where. Recruits with an offer from the Cats have an asterisk, those that don’t don’t.

Nike EYBL, Virginia (Calipari)

  • SF Cameron Reddish*
  • SF Louis King
  • PF Marvin Bagley*
  • PG Javonte Smart

adidas Uprising, Dallas (Kenny Payne and Cal)

  • PF Zion Williamson*
  • SG Romeo Langford*
  • PG Immanuel Quickley*
  • PG Quentin Grimes*
  • C David McCormack
  • 2019 prospects Charles Bassey, Christian Brown, Ashton Hagans, and Josh Nickelberry

Under Armour, New York (Tony Barbee)

  • C Moses Brown
  • PF Naz Reid
  • 2019 prospects Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis

Calipari and staff will be on the road against next weekend watching recruits at Nike and Under Armour events in Indianapolis and the adidas circuit in Atlanta. As for what’s going on with Kentucky’s remaining targets for next season (Mohamed Bamba, Kevin Knox, Cam Johnson, and Mark Smith), no new developments over the weekend.

7.  The CATSPYs are tonight

You know it’s a busy day when we’re just getting to the fact that the CATSPYs, UK Athletics’ annual banquet, are tonight at Memorial Coliseum. The 15th annual awards show starts at 7 p.m. and will be open to the public this year, with tickets available for $5 online. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, and Benny Snell are all up for Male Rookie of the Year, while Dominique Hawkins seems to be a shoo-in for the Supporting Role Award.

If you can’t make it to the show, you can watch a live stream on UKAthletics.com, or, of course, check this website for complete coverage.

8. UK Baseball wrapped up a big week with a win over LSU

What a week for UK Baseball. The #10 Bat Cats beat #8 LSU 10-2 yesterday to win the series, and earlier in the week, knocked off #2 Louisville. The Cats are now 28-13, 12-6 SEC, and have won six of the last eight games. They currently hold a two-game lead over Florida in the SEC East with 12 conference games left. Next up: Xavier at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m., followed by a three-game series with South Carolina this weekend.

9. PJ Washington won MVP honors at the Allen Iverson Roundball Classic

Just when you thought the high school All-Star circuit was over, here came Friday night’s inaugural Allen Iverson Roundball Classic. PJ Washington took home MVP honors, scoring a game-high 37 points for Team Honor, which defeated Team Loyalty 198-152 (yes, that is a real score). Shai Alexander followed up his Derby Festival MVP performance with 21 points while Quade Green had 32. That makes 90 points combined for the future Cats in the All-Star Game, a pretty nice little weekend for the 2017 class.

10. Ever had a moment like Patrick Patterson did yesterday?

Man, I hate when that happens.

Radio in an hour…


Caption This: Coach Cal, Tubby scout five-star guard Romeo Langford

Feeling creative and comical this Sunday evening? Welcome to today’s KSR version of Caption This! Check out the picture below, featuring Coach Cal, Tubby Smith and others watching Romeo Langford, a shooting guard from New Albany.

Langford is being looked at by Duke, Louisville, Kansas, Indiana and of course yours truly, the Kentucky Wildcats. The five-star class of 2018 guard averaged 24.7 points this weekend in the first adidas Gauntlet session at GameOn Sports in Dallas.

So, what do you think this group of guys were saying when their photo was taken? Caption it in the comments below!


2018 Forward Naz Reid Should Be On Your Radar

Prep Insiders

Prep Insiders

There are some pretty insane athletes in the class of 2018. Zion Williamson may have all the attention, and deservedly so, but we shouldn’t forget about Nazreon “Naz” Reid. John Calipari sure hasn’t, as told by Adam Zagoria:

Reid met this past week with Kentucky coach John Calipari, who has tracked Reid for several years now out of the same high school that produced former Wildcats guard Isaiah Briscoe.

“It’s a winning team,” he said. “‘[Their message is] just stay focused, run the floor, do what I do best. Be the best version of me.”

Asked if Kentucky — who had assistant Tony Barbee on hand — might offer him after evaluating him this spring, Reid said, “Yes.”

You can read Zagoria’s full breakdown of Reid’s recruitment here. Naz is currently ranked 14th overall in the class of 2018 by 247Sports. At 6’10”, 220 lbs., your mind’s eye might picture a Marcus Lee-esque rim protecting specialist.

You would be wrong:

Tell me you don’t want this kid.

@JayWinkKSR


Cal chose the white Jordan OVO XIIIs by Drake, via @ace_hearts8408.

Five Players Calipari Watched at the Adidas Uprising Circuit

Cal chose the white Jordan OVO XIIIs by Drake, via @ace_hearts8408.

Cal chose the white Jordan OVO XIIIs by Drake, via @ace_hearts8408.

After spending Friday night watching Cam Reddish and Marvin Bagley at the Nike EYBL, John Calipari traveled to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area to see the rising stars in the adidas circuit.  He rarely sits still for long at these events, but here’s who he reportedly watched, if only for a moment, at the adidas event.

Quentin Grimes

One of three point guards with Kentucky offers in the class, Grimes lost a point guard battle last night against Immanuel Quickley.  Hailing form College Park, Texas, 247 Sports ranks him as the No. 1 point guard in the class, but he’s No. 5 in the Composite Rankings.  You be the judge:

Jordan Brown

The fifth-ranked player in the 2018 class and second-ranked power forward hails from Roseville, California.  The 6’10” forward has impressive accolades from the recruiting analysts, but only six scholarship offers.  Cal and Kansas are considered the top two leaders.

David McCormack

The 6’9″ 300-pound center from Oak Hill Academy took an unofficial visit to Lexington last weekend.  The second-ranked center in the 2018 class does not yet have an offer from Kentucky.  Meanwhile Georgetown, Louisville, N.C. State and Kansas are taking the lead in his recruitment.

Charles Bassey

The 6’10” power forward is the third-ranked layer in the Class of 2019.  The powerful post only has three offers — Baylor, Kansas and Texas A&M — but John Calipari has kept a keen eye on him early and often.

Grant Sherfield

The 6’2″ combo guard from Arlington, Texas is a borderline Top 25 player in the 2019 class, currently a four-star prospect.  He has ten early offers — most notably from Kansas, Texas and UCLA — but Sherfield does not have one from Calipari.

Surely a few more players caught his eye, but these five will do for now.  


John Calipari is on the Move

private-jet

Coach John Calipari is leaving the Nike EYBL in Virginia to see the sights at the adidas event in Texas where UK targets Zion Williamson, Romeo Langford, Quentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley are playing. Coach Cal announced the move with the most Calipari humblebrag ever.

“I’m going to an adidas event and I can’t decide which custom Jordan’s from Drake I should wear.”  #RecruitingProbz


Romeo Langford Discusses In-Home Visit with John Calipari

Williamson (left) vs. Langford.

Zion Williamson (left) vs. Romeo Langford.

After Romeo Langford dropped 28 points to lock in a a win over Zion Williamson (who scored 26 points), the top-ranked shooting guard in the class of 2018 from New Albany, Indiana discussed his Kentucky in-home visit with Rivals’ Eric Bossi.  It sounds like Calipari’s Monday-night trip went well.

“It went really well (with Kentucky),” said Langford. “Coach (John) Calipari and assistant coach (Kenny) Payne came down to my house and they were just talking about how they would help me out in the long run.

“The first thing I look at when it comes to the schools is the education aspect. Then I look at if I can trust them and if my family can trust them and how they will treat me.”

Langford and Williamson are both far from making a decision about their future.  Pursued by every team in the country, they can play their hand as they please.  Maybe they might pick the same school?  Zion said after the game they’re “good friends,” so it’s more than wishful thinking.

If you need more highlights from their duel, have at it.

Langford vs. Williamson wasn’t the only elite matchup at the opening night of the adidas circuit.  Two of the class’ best point guards, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes, went head-to-head.  I don’t believe anybody has been recruited by Calipari longer in the 2018 than Quickley, while Grimes received an offer from Calipari at the end of March.

The lengthy Quickley got the best of Grimes last night, posting 22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals in a 15-point victory.  Grimes never could find a rhythm, finishing with just 6 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

Those numbers sound bad, but it looks MUCH worse when you see Quickley drain threes right in Grimes’ face.

John Calipari spent opening night at the Nike EYBL in Virginia where he saw Cameron Reddish, the No. 2 small forward in the 2018 class, lead Team Final to a victory behind an exceptional performance: 24-points, 7-rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.  Here’s a sample of what Calipari saw:

Reddish wasn’t the most impressive player at the EYBL.  The nation’s consensus No. 1 player, center Marvin Bagley, scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.  The 7-footer does not play like a traditional 7-footer.

Meanwhile at the Under Armour event in New York,  UK targets were busy making highlights.  Kentucky assistants saw the dynamic 2019 wings Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis before checking out 2018 forwards Naz Reid and Moses Brown.  Reid’s lob is impressive…

…but Brown’s poster is pure brutality.

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the day as UK coaches scour all three events.


Romeo Langford and Zion Williamson get buckets, Langford goes home winner

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson

Romeo Langford and Zion Williamson are major Kentucky recruiting targets, and tonight the two duked it out.

Langford’s team, 22 Vision, came away with the win over Williamson’s, SC Supreme, in a 66-62 win.

Both came away with big points, Langford scoring 28 and Williamson scoring 26. A strong showing in front of coaches from UK.

Check out some highlights from the game here:

Dang.


@RobDauster

Kentucky coaches watching 7’1 Moses Brown in New York tonight

@RobDauster

@RobDauster

Live recruiting period has begun and according to Adam Zagoria, Kentucky basketball coaches are up in New York to watch class of 2018 7’1 center Moses Brown.

The center from Jamaica, New York is playing at an Under Armor AAU event, while several other UK signees are playing in the Adidas Uprising Event.

According to 24-7 Sports, Brown is a five star athlete, ranking first in his position and eighth overall nationally.

A laundry list of schools have offered Brown, including: Kansas, Duke, Maryland, Florida and Louisville. However, Maryland, Kentucky and Duke are predicted to be at the top of Brown’s list with Maryland leading at 50 percent, Kentucky at 30 percent and Duke at 20 percent.

 


Watch four of the six 2018 recruits Kentucky’s offered play tonight

Watch four of the six 2018 recruits Kentucky’s offered play tonight

langford-williamson

Want to spend your Friday night watching some of Kentucky’s most coveted 2018 prospects? You’re in luck because the live period starts today and to tip things off, Romeo Langford’s 22 Vision will square off against Zion Williamson’s SC Supreme at the adidas Uprising at 7 p.m. In the game following that one, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes, both point guards with offers from John Calipari, will square off. You can stream those games at adidasuprising.com.

With four of the six players he’s offered in the 2018 class in action, I have a feeling John Calipari will be in the stands in Dallas to see it all go down. If he’s not there, he’ll probably be in New York to watch Naz Reid, who doesn’t have an offer from Kentucky yet, but probably will soon.

It’s Friday afternoon and you probably don’t have anything better to do at work, so enjoy a plethora of mixtapes on each prospect I just mentioned:

Romeo Langord

Shooting Guard  6-6 195 lbs. New Albany, Indiana
Rivals: 3 Scout: 3 ESPN: 3 Top 247: 3


 Zion Williamson

Small Forward 6-7 220 lbs. Spartanburg, SC
Rivals: 2 Scout: 2 ESPN: 2 Top 247: 1


Immanuel Quickley

Point Guard 6-3 180 lbs. Bel Air, Maryland
Rivals: 15 Scout: 10 ESPN: 12 Top 247: 18


 Quentin Grimes

Point Guard 6-4 195 lbs. The Woodlands, TX
Rivals: 12 Scout: 24 ESPN: 14 Top 247: 8


 Naz Reid

Power Forward 6-10 240 lbs. Neptune, NJ
Rivals: 14 Scout: 12 ESPN: 11 Top 247: 14

 


Pitt transfer Cam Johnson includes Kentucky in his final list

Pitt grad transfer Cam Johnson is one of the last players John Calipari is pursuing for next season, and this morning, he told ESPN the feeling was mutual. According to Jeff BorzelloKentucky is in Johnson’s top six, along with Arizona, Ohio State, Oregon, UCLA, and TCU.

The 6’8″ shooting guard averaged 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season for Pitt, shooting 44.7% from the field and 41.5% from the three-point line. He picked up an offer from Kentucky back on April 7, and will have two years of eligibility remaining at whichever school he picks. Not only does Johnson hail from Moon Township, Pennsylvania, John Calipari’s hometown, his father, Gilbert, played at Pitt while Calipari was an assistant there. So, plenty of connections for a player who could be huge for next season, especially if the Cats miss on Kevin Knox.

It doesn’t seem that Johnson’s in a hurry to make his decision, so, in the meantime, enjoy these highlights:

 


Friday’s Top 10: Preds complete the sweep, UK Baseball starts a doubleheader, the Unicorn Frappuccino looks disgusting

Photo via Yahoo Sports

Photo via Yahoo Sports

It’s a happy Friday at the KSR South Compound because last night, the Nashville Predators completed their improbable sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks. As they did the entire series, the Preds dominated, winning 4-1 to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where they’ll face either St. Louis or Minnesota (probably St. Louis). Shoutout to goalkeeper Pekka Rinne, who has been phenomenal in the postseason, stopping 123 of 126 Chicago shots over four games. Unbelievable.

I wasn’t there, but the scene outside Bridgestone Arena after the win was crazy, with fans flipping over the Blackhawks “smash car” in celebration:

And that was only round one.  Phew. Let’s go over today’s agenda, shall we?

1. Kevin Knox will announce his decision in May

If you were hoping for an April announcement from Kevin Knox, well, sorry. Rob Jones spoke with Knox’s father, who said his son will announce his decision sometime between May 1-7. Which means it will certainly come while everyone’s busy celebrating Oaks or Derby.

2. Meanwhile, I’m going to try not to read too much into this tweet from Jarred Vanderbilt

I mean, that could be about anything, right? He could be talking about losing a game of NBA2K, not his foot injury, of which we still haven’t heard the severity despite it being almost an entire week.

…Right?

3. ICYMI, Calipari says he’s “not done quite yet” with the 2017 class

Calipari’s been a busy man this week and yesterday, took to Twitter to tell fans he’s “not done quite yet” with his 2017 class:

“Been a great last few days meeting with potential future Cats and learning about their dreams and aspirations, talking about what UK is and isn’t,” Calipari wrote. “For those asking about our current signing class, we announce the entire group together when we are finished with the class. Not done quite yet!”

Sounds like a confident man to me.

4. Louisville met with the NCAA Infractions committee

Yesterday, UofL met with the NCAA Infractions Committee for over ten hours to discuss the ongoing investigation into the sex scandal, during which they were able to appeal the charges against them. We won’t know the verdict for another six to eight weeks, which makes June quite an exciting month in the Bluegrass.

5. Because of a schedule change, UK Baseball will play a doubleheader with #8 LSU today

Bad weather is expected in Lexington tomorrow, so UK had to change the schedule for their series with #8 LSU. Starting at 2 p.m., the Bat Cats will take on the Tigers in a double header. The third game will take place Sunday. If you’d like that laid out in an even simpler format, here you go:

  • Game 1: Friday, 2 p.m.
  • Game 2: Friday, one hour after end of game 1 (about 6:30 p.m.)
  • Game 2: Sunday, 1 p.m.

If you had tickets to Saturday’s game, don’t worry, you can use them today. Or watch on SEC Network+ on your computer. Or listen on ukathletics.com, 630 WLAP, or iHeart Radio.

6. Last night in the NBA Playoffs…

…Patrick Patterson’s Raptors lost to the Bucks, while Andrew Harrison’s Grizzlies beat the Spurs. Meanwhile, LeBron James messed around and got a triple double to lead the Cavs over the Pacers. This dunk was impressive:

King things 👑 #SCtop10

A post shared by SportsCenter (@sportscenter) on

He’s pretty good at this basketball thing.

7. Tonight’s games

  • 7:00 PM: Celtics (James Young) at Bulls (Rajon Rondo), ESPN
  • 9:30 PM: Rockets at Thunder (Enes Kanter), ESPN
  • 10:00 PM: Clippers at Jazz (Trey Lyles), ESPN2

8. The 2017 NFL Schedule was released

Last night, schedules were released for the 2017 NFL season. You can see them all here, but I’ll do you a solid and copy and paste the Bengals’ slate:

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Sep. 10    Baltimore Ravens    1:00 PM
  • Sep. 14    Houston Texans (Thu)    8:25 PM
  • Sep. 24    at Green Bay Packers    4:25 PM
  • Oct. 1    at Cleveland Browns    1:00 PM
  • Oct. 8    Buffalo Bills    1:00 PM
  • Oct. 15    BYE
  • Oct. 22    at Pittsburgh Steelers    1:00 PM
  • Oct. 29    Indianapolis Colts    1:00 PM
  • Nov. 5    at Jacksonville Jaguars    1:00 PM
  • Nov. 12    at Tennessee Titans    1:00 PM
  • Nov. 19    at Denver Broncos    4:25 PM
  • Nov. 26    Cleveland Browns    1:00 PM
  • Dec. 4    Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon)    8:30 PM
  • Dec. 10    Chicago Bears    1:00 PM
  • Dec. 17    at Minnesota Vikings    1:00 PM
  • Dec. 24    Detroit Lions    1:00 PM
  • Dec. 31    at Baltimore Ravens    1:00 PM

And the Titans’:

Tennessee Titans

  • Sep. 10    Oakland Raiders    12:00 PM
  • Sep. 17    at Jacksonville Jaguars    12:00 PM
  • Sep. 24    Seattle Seahawks    3:05 PM
  • Oct. 1    at Houston Texans    12:00 PM
  • Oct. 8    at Miami Dolphins    12:00 PM
  • Oct. 16    Indianapolis Colts (Mon)    7:30 PM
  • Oct. 22    at Cleveland Browns    12:00 PM
  • Oct. 29    BYE
  • Nov. 5    Baltimore Ravens    12:00 PM
  • Nov. 12    Cincinnati Bengals    12:00 PM
  • Nov. 16    at Pittsburgh Steelers (Thu)    7:25 PM
  • Nov. 26    at Indianapolis Colts    12:00 PM
  • Dec. 3    Houston Texans    12:00 PM
  • Dec. 10    at Arizona Cardinals    3:05 PM
  • Dec. 17    at San Francisco 49ers    3:25 PM
  • Dec. 24    Los Angeles Rams    12:00 PM
  • Dec. 31    Jacksonville Jaguars    12:00 PM

Is it September yet?

9. The Unicorn Frappuccino looks absolutely disgusting

In case you somehow missed it this week, everyone’s talking about Starbucks’ new “Unicorn Frappuccino,” which, as the title implies, looks like a unicorn crapped into a cup. Seriously, this thing looks gross, which, of course, means everyone wants to try it:

Blegh. I’ll stick to tea and cappuccino as God intended, thanks.

10. KSR is at Red State BBQ in Lexington

Come on out to 4020 Georgetown Road to enjoy the show, register for some prizes, and eat some delicious BBQ.


Pros and Cons: Making Bamba’s Decision For Him

Pros and Cons: Making Bamba’s Decision For Him

mohamed-bamba

Time is winding down on the recruitment of Mohamed Bamba, the No. 2 high school senior in America. Bamba has made no plans to make and announce his decision in the near future, but as May draws closer, Bamba’s decision does too.

Once the seven-footer’s college destination is announced, it will be one of four schools: Duke, Kentucky, Michigan or Texas. All good schools, all with their own pros and cons. Let’s break those pros and cons down tonight and decide which is the better option for Bamba. (We’ll be unbiased here.)

 


Pros:

1. Academics. Of the four schools Bamba is considering, a diploma from Duke will look best on the mantle. Education is important to Bamba and Duke would challenge him in that area, if not for the fact he will likely be there for only one year.

2. Coach K. Best college basketball coach ever? He’s in the conversation.

3. Elite program and title contender. Per usual, Duke will be one of the top teams in the preseason rankings and conversations. That will continue ad nauseam throughout the season up until somewhere around the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Cons:

1. Wendell Carter and Marques Bolden. Duke’s frontcourt is pretty much set already with incoming freshman Wendell Carter and returning sophomore Marques Bolden inside. Bamba would obviously challenge those two for a spot, but somebody ain’t going to be happy in the end.

2. Having to play with Grayson Allen. Earlier this week Grayson Allen announced his return to Duke. And who would voluntarily share a locker room and play basketball with that guy? He’s a crazy person.

3. Google ‘Jahlil Okafor’. With all due respect to Coach K’s greatness, he doesn’t have the track record of other coaches (*cough* Calipari *cough*) when it comes to star one-and-done big men.


Pros:

1. Academics. Like Duke, Michigan provides a great education. It’s considered one of the best public schools in America, while bringing the big-time university atmosphere, unlike Duke.

2. Football tickets? Game’s at the Big House look fun. I hear Michigan has a pretty nice campus too.

3. I got nothing. Literally can’t think of a third pro.

Cons

1. Big Ten. Why would anyone want to play in the Big Ten? I’m falling asleep just thinking about it.

2. John Beilein’s never had a young star. In his 10 years at Michigan, John Beilein has never had a five-star prospect. Can he coach one up? Can he get one ready for the NBA? I wouldn’t want to be the first to find out.

3. It’s not Duke, Kentucky or Texas. Sorry, Michigan fans. Good luck against Ohio State in football next year. Harbaugh should have you in the playoff.


Pros:

1. Living in Austin, Texas. Austin is awesome.

2. Chance to put Texas basketball on the map. One of the top two or three athletics schools in the country is lacking in basketball. Bamba could bring the program to the top and put an end to Kansas’s Big 12 dominance.

3. The spot’s wide open. Texas lost its star big man, Jarrett Allen, to the NBA. Bamba would walk into his position with nobody challenging him for one minute of action. It’d be his show, although with little help.

Cons:

1. Farthest from home. Bamba is originally from Harlem and he played his high school basketball in Philadelphia. Of the four schools he is considering, Texas is the farthest by about a million miles.

2. Shaka Smart. He’s not at VCU and it’s not 2011. Smart is still milking all he can get out of that one magical run six years ago.

3. Nobody cares. Unless Bamba is playing defensive end or tight end, nobody at Texas is going to care that he is on campus. I don’t think anyone on campus today knows Kevin Durant played there, nor could they find the basketball arena on a map.


Pros:

1. Quade Green and Hamidou Diallo. Bamba has been open about his close friendships with Quade Green and Hamidou Diallo, the projected starting backcourt at Kentucky next season. Green has been the lead recruiter for Bamba, while Diallo has been in his ear about what it’s like to be a Wildcat. Together, the three are best buds.

2. No. 1 overall pick. John Calipari’s pretty good at producing those. He’s responsible for four of the last nine.

3. National Championship. Kentucky’s due for one.

Cons:

1. Having to sign all those autographs. And having an entire Nation adore him.

2. Being on TV every game. It must get exhausting playing in front of so many people every single game and building his own brand for the future.

3. Picking friends and family for green room table. The NBA draft won’t let its top player bring everyone to New York, so there’s the difficult decision of narrowing friends and family down to one table. Plus he’d have to buy a nice suit and pay all those taxes and all of the other struggles that come with being a superstar before the age of 20.


 

OBVIOUS PICK: KENTUCKY

(Unbiased opinion, of course.)


New school trending for Mark Smith

New school trending for Mark Smith

Last week, UK got a commitment from four-star shooting guard Jemarl Baker, but apparently the staff is still keeping an eye on Mark Smith. Smith, who also hosted Duke earlier this week, will visit UK before making his decision, but a different suitor is currently trending in his 247 Sports Crystal Ball: Illinois. Brad Underwood seems to have made landing Smith, the Illinois Mr. Basketball, a priority, and Smith will visit his home state school this weekend, along with Ohio State.

The last four picks in the Crystal Ball have been for Illinois, including that of the site’s primary recruiting guru, Jerry Meyer, who flipped his pick from Michigan State:

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 3.09.02 PM

Smith played in the Derby Festival Classic last week, and afterwards, told Ben Roberts that Illinois is recruiting him as a point guard, his preferred position, whereas Kentucky and Michigan State see him more as a shooting guard. Will Underwood seal the deal this weekend or will Smith hold out to take a visit to Lexington? Great question. While you figure out the answer, I’m going to watch these highlights: