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Immanuel Quickley blogs about UK, recruits joining him, and the FBI scandal

Photo by adidas

Like many top recruits have done lately, Kentucky commit Immanuel Quickley joined in on the blogging fun.

Quickley teamed up with USA Today to discuss his decision to commit to Kentucky, some of the top recruits he plans on bringing to Lexington with him, and his thoughts on the latest FBI scandal making waves across the nation.

The five-star Wildcat commitment started by talking about how excited he is to join #LaFamilia.

Of course everyone knows by now, but I’ve still gotta say how excited I am to be a part of the Kentucky family. I’m just glad to have gotten it out of the way before high school.

The biggest thing that went into my decision was seeing the players at my position that went before me and knowing that if I go there and listen to Coach (John) Calipari I can achieve my dreams.

He then talked about who he hopes to bring to Lexington with him next season, including some pretty impressive names.

As a point guard, I know that the more talent I have around me the easier the game is so I want everybody; Zion (Williamson), Bol Bol, Keldon (Johnson), R.J. (Barrett), Shareef (O’Neal)…

But who is the primary target he hopes to team up with?

I’m closer with Zion so I’m constantly working on him.

I’ve known him for a couple of years and spent time with him in different countries with basketball and getting to know him as a person.

I basically just turn into the coach when I’m talking to Zion just asking him what he wants out of his college experience! Haha!

Kentucky is the perfect place for a player that brings everything he brings to the table.

I know he had a great time at Big Blue Madness, but of course I was a little concerned when he was at Duke last weekend! Haha.

I want him to have fun, but not THAT much fun!

I didn’t bother him during his visit though. I still think we’ll get it done, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Quickley also discussed the FBI scandal and Kentucky’s involvement, or lack thereof.

Of course everyone has been talking about the NCAA stuff that’s been going on and I just think it’s crazy! All of those people getting in trouble with everything is just wild. I hope that everything works out for everyone.

I’m glad that I don’t have anything to worry about there.

Kentucky isn’t doing any of that so it just makes even happier about where I chose to go.

We’re happy you chose the BBN, too.

You can read Quickley’s entire blog post here.


(Photo by Bart Young/USAB)

2020 five-star point guard visiting this weekend

(Photo by Bart Young/USAB)

It’s never too early to look ahead in basketball recruiting, and this weekend, Kentucky will host one of the top players in the 2020 class.

According to Evan Daniels, five-star point guard Jeremy Roach will take an unofficial visit to Kentucky this weekend. Roach is considered the fourth best point guard and the 14th best player in the 2020 class by ESPN. So far, the Fairfax, Virginia has offers from UVA, Villanova, and Maryland. This summer, he helped the U16 National Team win a gold medal at the FIBA Americas tournament.

Welcome to Lexington, Jeremy. Enjoy your stay.


Zion Williamson taking an official visit to North Carolina this weekend

 

© Jeff Blake | USATSI

What’s the latest on Zion Williamson? After official visits to Kentucky and Duke, the five-star sensation will take an official visit to Chapel Hill this weekend to check out North Carolina.

Earlier this week in his USA Today High School Sports blog, Zion said he doesn’t have any other visits planned yet and could still sign during the early signing period, which begins in a few weeks.

“I know Signing Day is next month, and, hey, if I’m ready I’ll definitely sign. But I don’t want to feel rushed by a date so I’m just seeing how everything goes. My heart has to tell me which school I am supposed to be at.”

Even though Kentucky leads his 247 Sports Crystal Ball, he insists he hasn’t made his mind up yet.

“It’s always funny when I read different things from sports writers that think they have me all figured out and know who I’m gonna choose. I don’t even know that yet! Haha!”

That’s not stopping Immanuel Quickley from trying his best to get Zion in Kentucky blue:

In his USA Today HSS blog, Quickley said he’s “constantly working” on getting Zion to Kentucky.

“I basically just turn into the coach when I’m talking to Zion just asking him what he wants out of his college experience! Haha! Kentucky is the perfect place for a player that brings everything he brings to the table.”

He’s not wrong.


Bol Bol insists there were no hard feelings over Team USA snub

(Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

For the past several months, recruiting insiders have insisted that Kentucky took a step back with Bol Bol when he didn’t make John Calipari’s U19 National Team for the FIBA World Cup. With Oregon surging as the likely destination for the 7-3 center, he took to Twitter tonight to clear something up:

Does that mean Bol is rethinking things and may come to Kentucky? Probably not, but good on him for a very mature move.


Today on KSR, powered by Lextran: Grumors, recruiting tidbits, and Anthony Davis’ knee

A message from our friends at Lextran:

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One step closer to Tennessee

Today, we’ll get a double dose of football with Mark Stoops on the SEC Teleconference around lunch and Matt House after practice. If you missed it last night, Eddie Gran, Stephen Johnson, and Benny Snell said this week’s practices have been going as well as one could hope heading into Saturday’s game vs. Tennessee.

“It was good energy level. It was a really good start yesterday to practice,” offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said. “I’m really excited about today. They came out and really worked on the theme: focus, detail, execute, (offensively especially) that every play matters. Every single play matters.”

More from that in Roush’s practice notes:

Cats get on the Same Page with High Energy Practice

Meanwhile, in Knoxville…

The rumor mill continues to swirl around the Tennessee football program, and as such, I’ve been a frequent visitor to their message boards this week. Most of the rumors are actually “Grumors,” meaning they center around Jon Gruden, the former NFL coach turned Monday Night Football announcer. Gruden just threw fuel on the fire when he showed up at a Tennessee game a few weeks ago (he was calling the Titans game the following Monday).

How badly do Volunteer fans want Butch out? In a Knoxville radio station poll, 39% said they’d cheer for Kentucky if a loss to the Cats would get Butch fired:

Did you see Immanuel Quickley’s interview on “Hey Kentucky!”?

Quickley said more commitments are coming…

Other recruiting quick-hitters:

The news may not be great for Bol Bol, but Kentucky still has the buzz for Keldon Johnson, who will also play at the Marshall County Hoop Fest November 30 – December 2, along with 2019 stars James Wiseman and DJ Jeffries. Johnson is still expected to make his decision this fall.

Anthony Davis’ knee injury doesn’t look too serious

Davis gave everyone a scare last night when he knocked knees with Damian Lillard, but an MRI found no structural damage. He’s day-to-day and will likely miss Thursday night’s game vs. the Kings, per David Aldridge.

Stay healthy, AD!

Don’t forget to sign up for the Women’s Clinic

Believe it or not, the annual UK Basketball Women’s Clinic is this Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at Rupp Arena. There are still spots available, so if you’re interested, head on over to UK Athletics to register. I’ll be there, along with Jennifer Palumbo and 1,000 or so crazy Kentucky fans. This team is probably the least known of the Calipari era, and there’s no better way to get to know them than the women’s clinic. From what I’ve seen from them so far, they’re a really fun group, so come spend your Sunday with us.

Radio in an hour…


Zion Williamson blogs about official visit to Kentucky

© Jeff Blake | USTSI

Last weekend, 2018 five-star forward Zion Williamson took a visit to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness, and all reports have been positive for the Wildcats and their chances since.

Tonight, Williamson wrote a blog post to update his recruitment, and he had a whole lot to say about his visit to Kentucky.

Here is the UK segment of his post:

First, I went to Kentucky.

I started my visit on a Friday and we had breakfast at the hotel with Coach (John) Cal then we went and met with the academic advisor so that was cool.

We toured the facility and I really liked getting the chance to watch the team practice. The thing that stuck out to me was that everything is built around going hard all the time. With so many freshmen out there, Coach Cal was showing them that they have to play hard every possession.

Later that night was Big Blue Madness and one of my favorite parts was the player introductions. They came out from behind the stage and had the big screens and they were doing their dances and everything!

It was fun.

Of course everyone knows that Drake was there and it was dope! That’s my guy!

I didn’t know he was coming, but he came in and gave a speech about how much love they’ve always shown him ever since day one.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet him due to NCAA rules! They told me before everything started that I wouldn’t be able to talk with him even though we had a pre-existing relationship.

Of course I hated that, but we keep in touch pretty regularly so it’s all good.

One thing I’ll say about Drake is that he never talks about me about going to any schools. I know people think that, but he has never done that. He just talks to me about how I’m dealing with life and things like that. He’s like a big bro and I really appreciate that about him.

The next day I went to a horserace and that was my first time going to an event like that. I could definitely see myself going to more of those when I get older. I had a good time there.

I watched two practices that day and after that Coach Cal and his assistants sat down with my family and I and talked to us about how I’d fit in there. Basically, he said I’d get to play my game there.

The one thing I always do is talk to the players that are experiencing what I could be experiencing if I choose to go to that school and I did that on the visit.

All of the guys I talked to said it really feels like home and talked about the things they love about Kentucky.

I would give the visit an 8 out of 10 overall.

Williamson visited Duke this past weekend for Countdown to Craziness, and he wrote about the embarrassing video going viral of the team dancing to “Everytime We Touch” during Grayson Allen’s intro.

So I saw on Twitter that a lot of people were joking about how the players were dancing around to Duke’s song (Everytime We Touch) on Grayson Allen’s intro. Haha!

It was funny; people were saying stuff like “Zion is definitely going to Kentucky after Duke did this.”

Maaaaan, they were going pretty hard on them for that, but you just have to understand Duke and the tradition there with that song. That’s the thing there and I actually thought it was cool of him as a senior to want to come out to the Duke song for the fans.

I respected that he wanted to make it special for them.

He gave his visit to Duke an eight out of ten, the same score he gave Kentucky.

He also said he would be visiting North Carolina, but announced he had no plans to visit other schools for now, along with a timetable for his decision.

I don’t have any plans for any other visits right now.

I know Signing Day is next month, and, hey, if I’m ready I’ll definitely sign. But I don’t want to feel rushed by a date so I’m just seeing how everything goes.

My heart has to tell me which school I am supposed to be at.

Hopefully his heart will tell him to end up in Lexington with his buddy Immanuel Quickley.

Check out the entire blog post here.


Immanuel Quickley tells Hey Kentucky more Commits are Coming “Pretty Soon”

Immanuel Quickley tells Hey Kentucky more Commits are Coming “Pretty Soon”

Last month, Immanuel Quickley chose to join the long line of great UK point guards by committing to Kentucky.  Tonight he talked about his future as a Wildcat with Hey Kentucky!

Quickley explained why he chose to play for John Calipari, he shared his thoughts on Drake’s “Kentucky Dad” sweatshirt from Big Blue Madness and gave the BBN some optimistic news on the recruiting front you cannot afford to miss.

For more Hey Kentucky, click here, and check out the entire episode after the jump.

(more…)


Uh oh… There’s movement in Bol Bol’s Crystal Ball picks, and it’s not good

(Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

I’m afraid there is some not-so-good news regarding Kentucky’s chances with Bol Bol, if we’re to believe 247Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions. There were three new picks made for Bol Bol today, and they’re all for Oregon.

The most notable was Evan Daniels, who is as good as it gets when it comes to basketball recruiting. I reached out to Evan to ask why he went with the Ducks, and he told me, “I just think Oregon is the leader as we head down the stretch.”

The two other picks came from two people I’ve never heard of — one from an Arizona website and another from a Louisville blog that looks like a middle school computer project. My guess is they are piggy-backing Evan’s pick to boost those 247 prediction numbers because I can’t imagine they know anything substantial.

Let’s hope Evan is wrong. (Sorry, Evan.)


UCLA no longer in the running for Zion Williamson

 

© Jeff Blake | USTSI

With only a few weeks left until the fall signing period, what’s the latest on Zion Williamson? Adam Zagoria is reporting that the five-star forward has cut UCLA from his list and canceled his official visit for this weekend. He’s now down to Clemson, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The news comes on the heels of Williamson’s official visit to Duke this past weekend and to Kentucky the weekend before that. In Lexington, he had a front row seat for Drake’s appearance. In Durham, he had a front row seat for…this.

What was his reaction?

Sounds like an easy decision to me, Zion.

[ZagsBlog]


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We’ll hear from Mark Stoops at noon

To say Kentucky’s performance in Starkville was disappointing would be an understatement. The Cats got whooped, but it’s time to turn the page and prepare for Tennessee. Mark Stoops will address reporters at noon, so check the site around lunch for a live stream and recap.

If you missed it yesterday, both Blake Bone and Gunnar Hoak’s father raised concerns about Eddie Gran’s conservative playcalling:

Blake Bone had some interesting thoughts following UK’s 45-7 loss to Mississippi State

Gunnar Hoak’s dad is not a fan of Eddie Gran right now…

Something tells me the Mark Stoops call-in show could be interesting tonight.

We’ll find out the Ole Miss game time

Kickoff times for November 4 will be announced later today. Anyone else hoping for a noon kick? Just me?

The UK coaching staff will visit Tyler Herro this week

Buzz has been quietly been building around Kentucky and four-star shooting guard Tyler Herro, who decommitted from Wisconsin last week. Herro’s play at the Team USA minicamp a few weeks back has several major programs interested, including the Cats. Could he be the extra guard Calipari wants to add to the 2018 class? We’ll find out if the coaching staff gives him an offer on a visit later this week.

Karl Towns dunked on Patrick Patterson

There was some vicious Cat on Cat crime in last night’s Timberwolves/Thunder game:

More highlights coming in our BBNBA recap later this morning.

I can’t stop watching the video of this volleyball play

I don’t often share clips of high school volleyball games, but when I do, they look like this:

Radio in an hour…


Keep an eye out for 2018 four-star SG Tyler Herro…

Keep an eye out for 2018 four-star SG Tyler Herro…

Photo credit: 247 Sports

If you haven’t heard of the name Tyler Herro, you may want to get familiar with him…

The four-star shooting guard out of Greenfield, WI re-opened his recruitment, and the Kentucky Wildcats are one of the early favorites to land him.

Herro is listed as a consensus top-40 prospect, with his highest ranking being No. 27 by ESPN. After a recent growth spurt brought him up to 6’6, he’s now considered one of the hottest names on the recruiting circuit, as he’s a knockdown shooter from beyond the arc with impressive athleticism. Corey Evans of Rivals.com recently called him one of the most polished scorers in the class.

Let’s break down his timeline:

Back on October 17, Herro announced his decommitment from Wisconsin due to his growth on and off the court, along with several new options on the table.

In an interview with Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Herro said he wanted to make sure he was making the right move, and going to Wisconsin just wasn’t that.

“Talking to my family the last couple of months, I felt eerie about it and wasn’t sure it was the move I wanted to make,” Herro, a 6-foot-5 guard, told Scout.

“I just want to make sure I was making the right move,” he added. “Obviously I pulled away and I’m going to explore some other options.”

Almost immediately after Herro’s decommitment, Kentucky was listed as one of the top schools expected to get involved with the four-star guard.

He told Daniels he isn’t sure where he’s going yet, but he knows what he’s looking for in his next school.

“I don’t know where I want to go, but I have a pretty good idea of what I’m looking for and what I want going forward,” Herro said.

Herro said he’s looking for a school where he can thrive in the offense and contribute early.

“I’m just looking for a college that I can excel in the offense, come in right away and contribute, have a great relationship with the coach and hopefully that school can get me to next level,” Herro said.

Get you to the next level, eh? I know a place that can do just that.

Two days after he backed off his pledge, the Wildcats picked up three Crystal Ball picks on 247 Sports for Herro.

Just a few days later, it was reported the Kentucky coaching staff will visit Herro this week.

Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports reported Herro was looking for an offer from the Wildcats, and one may be on the horizon when the coaches see him in-person in the coming days.

Needless to say, Wisconsin fans are a bit upset to see blue bloods get involved…

With Immanuel Quickley locked in, and Keldon Johnson right on the fringe of a commitment, the Wildcats will be looking for one more guard to finish out the backcourt for next season. Quentin Grimes is certainly a top option, and Darius Garland recently raved about his visit to Kentucky, but neither of them are certainties by any stretch.

Herro recently played at the Team USA training camp, where he was one of 54 recruits invited to compete. According to several reports, the four-star guard was one of the top performers at the event and really turned heads.

When Calipari finds late bloomers, he usually jumps on the opportunity immediately. Tyler Herro may be that guy. 

Watch him work:

Come on down, Tyler.


SEC Country: Immanuel Quickley gives recruiting update on Zion Williamson and Keldon Johnson

© Jeff Blake | USATSI

It’s no secret Kentucky’s 2018 recruiting class is expected to grow sooner rather than later. As of today, five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley is the lone commitment for the Wildcats, but names like Zion Williamson, Keldon Johnson, and Bol Bol could pop at any moment.

Kyle Tucker of SEC Country caught up with Quickley to ask him his thoughts on UK’s chances with some of his buddies left on the recruiting board and when they may make a decision.

Quickley opened with his thoughts on Zion Williamson and what he felt about his time at Big Blue Madness.

“He said it was even better in person. He liked it a lot,” said Quickley, who has spent months selling Williamson on their connection from the Adidas AAU circuit and as roommates at several international events. “I think in the end it’ll work. I think Kentucky fits him and I know he liked the visit, so I think it’ll work.”

After Big Blue Madness, Quickley tweeted a picture of both he and Williamson in Kentucky jerseys.

According to Quickley, however, it wasn’t an indication of a silent commitment or anything of the sort.

“Nah, nah, nah,” he said, laughing, “just trying to get one of my good friends to come play with me.”

The latest hot rumor, however, is that five-star forward Keldon Johnson is a heavy Kentucky lean, and a commitment is on the horizon.

Quickley agrees.

“I’ve been talking to Keldon a lot. He says he likes Kentucky a lot, too, so hopefully I can get him to come with me,” Quickley said. “I think Kentucky is definitely his leader.”

A few weeks back, Quickley told reporters a few commitments were coming for Kentucky. Tucker asked him to follow up on those comments, and who he’d like to play with as a Wildcat.

“I can’t say when, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some decisions come before basketball season,” he said. “I’m just trying to get all my friends to come play with me. I just want to play with good players.”

You can read Kyle Tucker’s entire article over on SEC Country here.


Misleading Headline: Calipari tossed Ferrari keys to five-star recruit

Misleading Headline: Calipari tossed Ferrari keys to five-star recruit

Let’s turn our attention to Oklahoma for a moment, where there is a new behind-the-scenes story about Trae Young’s recruitment, and it includes a little tale about John Calipari.

According to The Norman-Transcript, Calipari once tossed the keys to his Ferrari to Young and asked him what he will do with it.

The wild recruiting process, both fun and exhausting, was over. Some of the moments were unforgettable. Kentucky coach John Calipari once tossed the keys of his Ferrari to the five-star point guard and asked him something like, “You’ve got the keys to my offense now. What are you going to do with it?” Norman North students chanted OU coach Lon Kruger’s name at he watched Young play. Kansas coach Bill Self was in the locker room, joining the celebrations following a win in the Bishop McGuinness Classic. [The Norman Transcript]

Are we sure this story isn’t exaggerated? I bet it was the keys to his Vespa. We all know Cal’s a Vespa guy; not a Ferrari guy. Or maybe it was the black and blue Mustang with his signature down the side. Yeah, I bet he tossed him the keys to that. Does Cal even own a Ferrari?

Read the story here.


Hey, look who’s the new leader in Zion Williamson’s Crystal Ball

After what appears to be a very successful official visit, Kentucky is now the new leader in Zion Williamson’s Crystal Ball.

Kentucky jumped Kansas in Zion’s predictions yesterday, and while we’ve learned over the years that the Crystal Ball definitely isn’t gospel, the swing supports the buzz we’ve been hearing in recent days. Word has it the explosive forward enjoyed his time in Lexington so much he stayed an extra night. Even before Madness, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello picked Kentucky to land Zion, putting his confidence level at 60 percent.

Let’s hope those good vibes hang around while he takes his official visit to Duke this weekend, and UCLA the weekend after that.

Zion Williamson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Forward 6-7 | 230 lbs. Spartanburg, SC Spartanburg/SC Supreme
ESPN: 2 | 1 PF Top 247: 1 | 1 PF Rivals: 2 Scout: 3 | 2 SF


2019’s No. 1 prospect Vernon Carey lists Kentucky in his final eight

The top prospect in the class of 2019 released his final eight schools tonight, and the Kentucky Wildcats were included.

Here was Vernon Carey’s announcement:

The five-star forward out of Fort Lauderdale, FL has reported offers from 19 different schools, including every top program in America. That being said, it looks like it’ll be a battle of the bluebloods for the top talent, including Kansas, UNC, Duke, and the Wildcats.

Coach Cal visited Carey on September 20, and immediately offered a scholarship.

Judging by his highlight tape, it’s easy to see why.

Come on down, big fella.