By Hayden Adams on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
As graduate transfers have become more prevalent in college basketball, John Calipari has joined in on the sweepstakes for experienced talent. Because of this, what follows is a look at how the graduate transfers Cal has gotten (and one he hopefully will get) have fared before becoming Wildcats.
Julius Mays was the first grad transfer Coach Cal recruited to Kentucky. The fact that Mays’ name is rarely brought up is no slight against him, but rather the team he played on, which posted a 21-12 record and lost in the first round of the NIT.
The 6-foot-2 Marion, Indiana product began his career at NC State and averaged 4.66 points per game over his first two seasons. He elected to transfer to Wright State where he emerged as a talented shooter and scorer, averaging 14.1 points per game and slashing 42.8/42.4/83.2.
While Horizon League competition is certainly not on par with that of the ACC and SEC, Mays was a stabilizer in his lone season with the Wildcats, averaging 9.3 points per game and posting career highs in assists, rebounds, and three-pointers. His career may not have had an ideal ending, but at least he left UK fans with a clutch senior night performance to lift the Cats over No. 11 Florida.
After testing the NBA draft waters following his senior season at Stanford, Reid Travis transferred to Kentucky to further his basketball development and provide the Wildcats with veteran leadership. As an undersized center, the coaching staff worked with him to develop his shooting ability and change his body to be more agile.
Travis left Stanford as a first-team All-Pac-12 member after averaging 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. His numbers dipped at Kentucky, due in large part to playing alongside an All-American in P.J. Washington plus several other offensive weapons, but he never complained about it. Travis did show flashes of perimeter shooting ability that he didn’t have at Stanford and improved his free throw shooting 67.5% to 73.2%.
Travis’ lone season as a Wildcat ended when UK was upset by Auburn in the Elite Eight, but in the aftermath of this crushing loss in his final collegiate game, Travis spoke of his time as one of the best experiences of his life.
After seeing what Calipari did with Reid Travis, Bucknell grad transfer Nate Sestina has chosen to follow in his footsteps just one year later. Sestina cited wanting to play for a serious championship contender while also being part of the rotation as his reasoning for coming to UK.
Sestina was named to the All-Patriot League second team last season after a breakout senior campaign. From his junior to senior years he increased his scoring average from 6.5 to 15.8 points per game and his rebounding average from 3.9 to 8.5 boards per game. He has also increased his free throw and three-point shooting percentages every year since his sophomore season.
It remains to be seen how Sestina will fare against more difficult competition at Kentucky, but a 53.6/36.4/77.8 career shooting slash is certainly promising. Hopefully he will provide a big body and stretch shooting ability to complement his fellow frontcourt members.
Blackshear has yet to declare where he will attend school next season. Report out today is that he is scheduled to visit Kentucky on Tuesday. As seen by his production in the ACC, the Wildcats want Blackshear for good reason.
Blackshear played three seasons with Virginia Tech and increased his scoring, rebounding and assist output each year. He finished his senior year averaging 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds with a 50.8/33.3/73.6 slash. For comparison, P.J. Washington finished last season with marks of 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds shooting 52.2/42.3/66.3.
Blackshear and Nate Sestina could provide a strong 1-2 punch as stretch bigs if they were to split time at one of the frontcourt spots.
With Calipari known for recruiting one-and-done players, graduate transfers Mays and Travis were solid role players and helpful in anchoring youthful rosters. Hopefully, Sestina will do the same. Although it is unclear whether Blackshear will join the Wildcats, the opportunity of getting Washington-level production in two consecutive years makes him a welcome addition.
If you missed Part 1 from earlier on Sunday, you can catch up and read it here. Let’s jump into Part 2.
Darius Miller and Julius Randle (New Orleans Pelicans) – 29 and 24 years old
- Starting with Darius Miller, who won’t be anywhere near as popular as Julius Randle, but could still net himself a tidy deal. Resigning with the Pelicans is probably his best bet, especially after his three-point percentage plummeted from 41.1 percent last season to 36.5 percent this past year. The Pelicans hold Miller’s Early Bird Rights, so they can sign him against the cap if need be. Now that Anthony Davis has been shipped out for a flock of fresh young talent, the need for a veteran three-point specialist off the bench might not be a priority for them. The Pelicans will have cap space to spend this summer and plenty of assets to work with. Depending on how quick the franchise decides to act on its treasure chest of assets could determine if the Pelicans want Miller back. There will be teams that could use Miller’s services as a deep threat, but his inability to contribute much else on the floor will limit his potential playing time on playoff-bound teams.
Teams to watch for: Pelicans, Pacers, Grizzlies, Magic
- As for Randle, he’ll have half the NBA hitting his line the second teams are allowed to contact him. Out of all the upcoming free agents in the BBNBA, Randle is the prize. Not DeMarcus Cousins or Enes Kanter (more on him shortly), but Randle. Once the Pelicans draft Zion Williamson, the front office will have to decide if they want to move forward with two players who play in similar styles. Randle and Williamson are both massive brutes who stand around 6-foot-7 to 6-foot-9 with worrisome outside jumpers. Williamson will likely begin his NBA career playing the same position as Randle – an undersized four who helps bring the ball up the court. After adding in Brandon Ingram from the Lakers, bringing back Randle to mix in with Williamson and Ingram might not be the best idea from a stylistic standpoint.
- He also won’t come cheap. Randle recently declined his $9 million player option for next season in order to become a free agent. He knows he’s worth more and there are plenty of teams that will gladly pay him. But it might not be on a team immediately looking at making a playoff appearance.
Teams to watch for: Knicks, Bulls, Mavericks, Hawks, Celtics, Pelicans, Nets
Nerlens Noel (Oklahoma City Thunder) – 25 years old
- Nerlens Noel wouldn’t even be in this situation had he just accepted the four-year, $70 million deal the Dallas Mavericks offered him in 2017, but here we are not even two years later with an unexciting free agency period ahead for him. Not to be confused with his overall value, though, because Noel will garner attention from plenty of teams. But he had a legitimate shot not that long ago to one day be a max contract type of player. I’m betting the Mavericks are content with Noel’s decision. Noel agreed to a two-year deal last offseason with OKC and currently has a player option this summer listed at the minimum salary of $1.8 million. If he declines that, he can become an unrestricted free agent where he should expect to at least triple that yearly pay.
- Somewhere in the $5 million per year range should be what Noel is looking at. The limited availability of backup big men who can actually make an impact is slim, but Noel fits into that category. Which is why he could be a popular name with teams looking to go at a title – and the Thunder will surely be one of them. He played only 13 minutes per game in OKC last season but stuffed the stat sheet every time he took the court. He’s a guy a team can depend on to make hustle plays and do everything in his power to win.
Teams to watch for: Lakers, Trail Blazers, Spurs, Thunder, Heat
Enes Kanter (Portland Trail Blazers) – 27 years old
- Enes Kanter wasn’t expected to contribute as much as he did in Portland last season. It was mostly circumstantial after Jusuf Nurkic broke his leg before the playoffs, but the Trail Blazers don’t get to the Western Conference Finals without Kanter. That stretch of basketball alone will earn him a deal this summer. After being benched by the Knicks, waived, and picked up the Blazers, Kanter had a career resurrection of sorts. He finally found himself in a winning position, something he had been desperate for, and he thrived. Kanter averaged 11.4 points and 9.7 rebounds during the playoffs while shooting over 51 percent from the field. He did most of this while fasting for Ramadan and playing with a dislocated shoulder, too. There aren’t many players in the NBA as mentally or physically strong as Kanter.
- At 27 years old, teams know what they’ll be getting with the former Kentucky big. His ability to score around the hoop is second-to-none. He’s an outstanding rebounder and an underrated passer. His defense is always going to be a mess and will continue to get him played off the court. As a starter on a playoff team, his status is questionable. As a valuable role player on a playoff team is where his value skyrockets. But after everything he went through last season, would he be willing to play off the bench or for a bad team? Odds are he won’t be able to both win and start. It’ll be a choice of one or the other. Kanter might have the most unpredictable landing spot. The $18 million he earned from the Knicks last season might be the last time he sees that type of money.
Teams to watch for: Jazz, Suns, Rockets, Bucks
Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings) – 25 years old
- Willie Cauley-Stein, like Trey Lyles, is set to be a restricted free agent this summer. Meaning the Sacramento Kings – the team that holds his Bird Rights – have priority to sign him before any other team. After a breakout season from the Kings in this past year, the future of this team has been expedited just a bit. Sacramento doesn’t have any of its core players entering free agency this summer, but they need to begin to think about how they’re going to keep De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley, and Buddy Hield once that time does arrive. And it’s approaching quickly. Ideally, the Kings would like to keep Cauley-Stein, but only at a value that doesn’t complicate future contracts.
- Sacramento could have a significant amount of cap space depending on what happens with Harrison Barnes’ $25 million player option (I’d bet he opts in) but still might not be willing to commit a large chunk of money on a non-shooting big man. Cauley-Stein is a premier rebounder and solid defender, but a limited offensive player. With Bagley and Harry Giles showing signs of promise in 2019, hope for Cauley-Stein from the front office could be at an all-time low.
Teams to watch for: Kings, Bulls
Jodie Meeks (Toronto Raptors) – 31 years old
- NBA Champion Jodie Meeks averaged only five minutes per game in the playoffs as a member of the Toronto Raptors and failed to register a single minute in the NBA Finals, but we still get to call him NBA Champion Jodie Meeks, so that’s what we’re going to do from now on. The Champ is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer with a small market value. At 31 years old, Meeks is well past his prime. He appeared in only eight regular season games last year (a chunk of that due to a failed drug test leading to suspension) and averaged fewer than 15 minutes per game the year before as a member of the Washington Wizards. He shot only 34.3 percent from deep that season, but his career mark stands at 37.3 percent. If any team does decide to take him on, it’ll be for the league minimum.
Teams to watch for: Raptors, Warriors, Cavaliers, Suns, Kentucky, literally anyone
By Zack Geoghegan on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 8:45pm
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, New Orleans Pelicans forward Julius Randle will NOT pick up his $9 million player option for the 2019-20 season. He is now set to become an unrestricted free agent once free agency begins on June 30th.
Pelicans‘ Julius Randle is not picking up his $9M player option for next season and will enter unrestricted free agency, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Randle is coming off his best NBA season (21.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 34.4 percent from 3-point range on 195 attempts).
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 17, 2019
Now that Anthony Davis has been shipped off to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Pelicans are taking its new batch of “Baby Lakers” into a semi-rebuild. In addition to the likely No. 1 overall pick, Zion Williamson, and the No. 4 pick in the upcoming draft, the Pelicans are stocked with assets and a good amount of cap space.
Randle agreed to a two-year, $18 million deal last summer including a second-year player option with hopes he could break out in his first season with New Orleans. Several career highs and a 21.4 points per game average proved he made the proper bet on himself. Now, he can sign with any team this summer, ideally on a long term contract.
Get that money, Julius.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson recently predicted Randle to the Nets. We shall see.
DLO to PHX KYRIE TO BRKLYN JULIUS TO BRKLYN
— Jordan Clarkson (@JordanClarksons) June 15, 2019
By Nick Wheatley on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 8:30pm
All we can do in these summer months is wish it was August, so Kentucky football can get going, and speculate as to how good, or not so good, the Wildcat basketball team will be.
As it stands right now, John Calipari’s squad looks like a Final Four threat. If they can add Kerry Blackshear, Jr., who is visiting Lexington on Tuesday, then they’re undoubtedly the favorite to win the 2019-20 national championship.
However, the Cats aren’t the only team in the SEC with high hopes for next season. The conference will have arguably the most talent it’s ever had, including the addition of Blackshear to one these schools.
With that in mind, NCAA.com’s Andy Katz ranked the five most important players in the SEC for next season. And coming in at No. 1 was UK’s very own Ashton Hagans.
1. Ashton Hagans, 6-3, So., Kentucky: The Wildcats have a rare returning point guard and that’s why Kentucky is one of the teams projected to go on a Final Four run. Hagans emerged as the leader midway through the season and embraced the role. His numbers in all areas should increase, and as long as turnovers don’t as well, Kentucky will have the lead guard it needs to shepherd in another elite recruiting class.
There’s no question Hagans has the potential to be an incredible talent in his upcoming sophomore campaign. He seems to be working extremely hard this offseason and his maturity as a person and player will grow exponentially.
There are things Ashton needs to improve on, however. He needs to find a more consistent outside shot (while also getting his foot off the line). He has to be more explosive, slow down, and limit turnovers. And he needs to be better conditioned, which will, in turn, allow him to be more explosive and continue to be a menace on the defensive end of the court.
With that being said, Hagans is the starting point guard for the team with the best chance of winning the title next season in the SEC. The Gators are second, and could move into first with the addition of Blackshear, but I think that’s why Katz has Hagans so high on this list. Of course, it’s always important to be balanced in the frontcourt and backcourt, but in my opinion, point guard is the single most important position come March.
Now, if Blackshear does join the Cats or Gators, he’d probably take over the top spot. If he goes to Tennessee, Arkansas, or Texas A&M, he’d definitely make the list, but probably not No. 1 due to those team’s low probability of making any postseason noise.
As for the rest of the list, Florida’s Andrew Nembhard came in at No. 2, followed by Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, LSU’s Skylar Mays, and Auburn’s Austin Wiley.
You can check out Katz’s rankings here.
Follow me on Twitter: @nickwheatley23
By Brent Wainscott on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
Over time, we’ve seen many people dominate headlines. People like Michael Jackson, Kanye West, or Lebron James usually comes to mind when talking about media darlings, for lack of better words, in my time. But no one has dominated headlines more than one O.J. Simpson. From a football star to actor then to his famous trial in 1994, no one causes a stir like the juice.
Simpson has kept a low profile since his release from prison in 2017 for robbery and kidnapping over an attempt to steal back some of his sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room. It looked like O.J. was about to fade away out of our lives for good. Well, I was wrong.
The Juice is loose (on Twitter).
The 71-year-old joined twitter a few days after the silver anniversary of the killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. As well all know, O.J. famously went to trial and was acquitted of all charges.
O.J. definitely had some things to say about launching his twitter. “I got some gettin’ even to do,” Simpson said, which is never something you want to hear from the controversial figure.
Coming Soon!!! pic.twitter.com/R1tXOuuLgO
— O.J. Simpson (@TheRealOJ32) June 15, 2019
In the only other tweet he posted, he said he gets to challenge a lot of people who have said things about him with no accountability.
Thanks to all my new followers. Love learning how to use Twitter. pic.twitter.com/J4JnN59yKl
— O.J. Simpson (@TheRealOJ32) June 16, 2019
It seems like O.J. is going to take to Twitter to dish out some hot takes on football, politicals, and probably everything in between, all while challenging the people who challenge his character.
Naturally, Twitter has lost its ever-loving mind.
Live shot of OJ Simpson gaining followers pic.twitter.com/rRxukO4Bv7
— Karen Howell (@karenehowell) June 15, 2019
OJ Simpson: “I got a lot of getting even to do.”
— Josh | HOVAH (@itshovah) June 15, 2019
“OJ Simpson liked your tweet”
— Joey Langone (@JoeyLangone) June 15, 2019
“OJ Simpson and 3 others followed you”
— KFC Radio (@KFCradio) June 15, 2019
While most people have made jokes and memes about O.J. joining Twitter, many others were skeptical and questioned why anyone would follow him.
Really disturbing to see that people are actually following OJ Simpson… why?
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) June 15, 2019
is it okay to follow OJ to keep up or should i mind my own business…
— Jacob Chaffins (@biffyszn) June 16, 2019
to all the ppl asking “how could you follow a monster like oj simpson?!?” I can only answer this: an unquenchable thirst for content
— Pants Consultant (@KrangTNelson) June 16, 2019
So, I ask you, will you follow O.J. on twitter? What do you think of it? I have a feeling his PR person might be sweating bullets.
If he doesn’t twit, you must acquit. @BrentW_KSR
By Hayden Hooper on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 7:48pm
The top graduate transfer in the nation will visit the University of Kentucky this week.
According to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com, Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. will officially visit Kentucky starting on Tuesday.
Breaking: Highly-coveted Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. will take an official visit to Kentucky beginning Tuesday night, a source told @Stockrisers.
Has visited Arkansas, Florida, and Tennessee.
— Jake (@jakeweingarten) June 16, 2019
KSR’s own Matt Jones also confirmed the news:
Not sure if this out there as I have been away, but Kerry Blackshear will visit Kentucky on Tuesday
H/t to anyone that has already put it out
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) June 16, 2019
Blackshear, listed at 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds, was a second team All-ACC selection last season, averaging 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He also led the Hokies with 28 blocked shots and ranked third with 83 assists.
Before his visit to Kentucky, Blackshear has already visited Florida, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
By Brent Wainscott on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Father’s Day is about to come to an end, and these people have yet to wish their fathers a happy Father’s Day. So before it’s too late, I decided to help them out a little bit and do it for them as a nice father’s day gesture.
Mississippi State to Benny Snell
We might give Mississippi State a pass on forgetting to wish their father of one year, Benny Snell a happy father’s day, but then again, how could one forget the night Mississippi State found out who their daddy was? After a full week on denial and refusal that Benny Snell would run through any defense, the results turned out that Benny Snell was indeed their father.
Sometimes, Fathers and their sons’ quarrel. So after a pregame scuffle, Benny Snell made sure to teach them a valuable lesson. Rushing for 165 yards and four touchdowns to break Randall Cobb’s record for touchdowns scored in a career at Kentucky, Benny Snell shut up the Bulldogs while launching himself and the Wildcats into the national spotlight as a legitimate football team in 2018.
Remember Kylin Hill, you a clown in real life.
Benny Snell on behalf of Mississippi State, Happy Father’s Day!
South Carolina to Mark Stoops
Do you guys remember the time when South Carolina just seemed always to beat the Cats? No? Me either, it feels like forever ago. Nearly six years, in fact, because Mark Stoops has completely owned the Gamecocks in his tenure at UK.
After losing the first go around to South Carolina with essentially Joker Phillips’ team, Stoops has beaten the Gamecocks on five straight occasions. Over those years, these games have given us some of the best moments in the Stoops era. The first time he beat South Carolina, birthed Grove Street Party as the Kentucky football anthem while JoJo Kemp put the Wildcats on his back in a 45-38 victory at a ruckus Commonwealth Stadium decked in all black.
“We’re just getting started bro,” Stoops told Matt Jones on the post-game show, and he was right.
Beating South Carolina next year in Columbia which ran Steve Spurrier out of town, then again in 2016 with his career at UK on thin ice, Stoops once again toppled South Carolina with the emergence of Benny snell.
How could we forget the year after that with the second straight victory in Columbia that was won on fourth down-goalline stands and an iconic picture?
Then, of course, Stoops once again got the victory over the Gamecocks en route to a 10-win season last year.
Mark Stoops, on behalf of South Carolina, Happy Father’s Day!
Lonzo Ball to De’Aaron Fox
Poor Lonzo Ball. If there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to have their father in the spotlight at all times, it is Lonzo Ball especially after his father, De’Aaron Fox, dropped 39 points in a Sweet 16 game two years ago in Las Vegas.
Since then, Fox just won’t leave the spotlight. After a stellar Sophmore season in the NBA, Fox has earned himself a shoe deal with Nike, while being in plenty of commercials and being heralded as one of the NBA’s young bright stars.
It’s so bad Ball tries to stay away from Fox. Seemingly coming down with an injury or a reason not to play every time Fox is in town, Ball just doesn’t want to be associated with Fox. Maybe it’s just a phase. I’m sure getting traded by the team that drafted you while your father is still proving to be a worthy pick will help open your eyes, Lonzo.
I hope these two can patch it up. So, on behalf of Lonzo Ball, Happy Father’s Day De’aaron!
Louisville to Coach Cal
If we want to get technical, John Calipari has only lost to Louisville once at Kentucky. (Thank you, Andre McGee) So with a record of 10-1 and an average margin of victory of nine points, Cal has OWNED the Cardinals at Kentucky. Some of Kentucky’s best moments came from the Louisville games in the Cal era. Here’s some, for example.
Pictures are worth a thousand words.
Coach Cal, on behalf of Louisville, Happy Father’s Day!
Tennesse Fans to Matt Jones
You know what, Matt’s on vacation, we probably shouldn’t go into to details on this one. But, as a little KSR secret just for today, we all know it’s free real estate on Vol twitter.
Sincerely though, happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there, especially mine! We wouldn’t be possible without you all and if you’re able to and haven’t called your pops up yet to tell him happy father’s day, don’t be like these guys on the list and do it.
He was the last one to arrive, but Johnny Juzang has finally made his way to the University of Kentucky’s campus.
— Maxie Juzang (@MAXIE_JUZANG) June 16, 2019
The other freshmen have been here since early June participating in satellite camps around the area, but Juzang had to wait to enroll until after his high school graduation. Now that he’s officially in Lexington, the entire class of 2019 is on campus and ready to get to work.
By Hayden Hooper on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
Sought-after Virginia Tech grad transfer, Kerry Blackshear Jr. might be down to three schools for next year.
Don't buy the Kerry Blackshear/Memphis rumors. His final choices will come down to Texas A&M, Kentucky and Tennessee. One way or another, @Vol_Hoops fans will see him play in TBA. He's one of the most impactful players in the grad transfer era.
— Chris Dortch (@cdortch) June 16, 2019
Blue Ribbon College Basketball editor, Chris Dortch reports that Blackshear is down to Texas A&M, Tennessee and Kentucky.
This is coming off a visit to Tennessee last week. Here is what Nick Roush said yesterday on the visit.
No official reports have come out for a visit to Kentucky.
Stay tuned to KSR for updates on Kerry Blackshear’s recruitment.
By Brent Wainscott on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 5:30pm
We are only 69 days away from football season (nice) and a few months away from the ninth and final installment of the latest Star Wars film in the Skywalker era.
So, if you are like me and patiently waiting around for both, @Mattheww_18 has us covered with an amazing Star Wars themed hype video to get you through the summer.
You can watch more of Matthew’s videos by following him on Twitter.
Go Cats, beat the Sith.
By Hayden Hooper on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
Although they were bounced by the Golden State Warriors in the first round, the Los Angeles Clippers are looking brighter than ever at something special.
Former Kentucky point guard and soon-to-be second-year player for the Clippers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander showed out when it mattered.
Here are some highlights from his stellar performance in the postseason with the Clippers.
Not only did Gilgeous-Alexander, do it on the best team in the West last season, he was making moves on the two-time NBA MVP, Stephen Curry.
For most people this was a shock for this team to make the playoffs. At the trade deadline, the franchise dealt its leading scorer in Tobias Harris to the Sixers. No one saw this coming after the trade.
Gilgeous-Alexander played a major role in their run to the postseason, something that should not be overlooked.
In his rookie year, SGA averaged 10.8 PPG 3.3 APG and 2.8 RPG which was bumped in the playoffs up to 13.7 PPG.
With his performance, many think he is untouchable this summer and will be a part of their team moving forward.
This past year, the Clippers beat you not only through their starters, but their bench played stellar, as well. As Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell came off the bench and were awarded with Sixth Man of the Year nominee honors. This mix together for the Clippers can make them one superstar away from from doing something in the West.
Could Kawhi Leonard be the answer?
Before the Kevin Durant injury, many thought they would get a meeting but now, it seems like it would not fit what they are trying to accomplish. To win now, one name comes to mind that would fit great. Kawhi Leonard.
Coming off an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors. Leonard to the Clippers would make sense. Actually this team can be seen as a younger Raptors team. The Clippers have excellent defenders and multiple players that can create shots.
Kawhi Leonard always wanted to be in L.A. As the Lakers snatched up Anthony Davis, SGA and Leonard seem like a wise fit for the Clippers that would put them up there for title contenders next season.
Here's Woj on Sportscenter a day after the Raptors won the title, saying Kawhi Leonard will decline his team option and saying the Raptors have been in an uphill battle with Kawhi all year long and still have a alot of work to do in keeping Kawhi away from the LA Clippers. pic.twitter.com/4yyA8BGyHK
— In The Know (@In_the_know__) June 14, 2019
In the video, ESPN’s own Adrian Wojnarowski had this to say about the possible move to LA for Kawhi, his home town:
”The Clippers are in a good position to lure Kawhi Leonard away.”
Other ESPN analysts such as Max Kellerman believe this can lead to a title for the Clippers.
"If Kawhi Leonard goes to the Clippers … the Clippers are winning the NBA title next season."
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 14, 2019
Even though Kellerman has a history of some not so great takes, this is not one of them.
Bring Kawhi to L.A.
As the season is now over, the one year with the Golden State Warriors is up for DeMarcus Cousins. So, what is next for this former Kentucky big?
Now, coming off of not one but two injuries has made the road much worse for DeMarcus.
Staying with the Warriors
One thing is for certain, and that is the Warriors are not going to be the team we have seen the past five years. After major injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, it is rehab time in the Bay.
Maybe signing an extension with Golden State might not be the worst thing to happen for Boogie. More time for rest in a less stressed environment than to come back early and mess it all up. After everything that has happened, the one thing I see the staff at the Warriors doing is not hurrying a player back on the court.
At the first press availability after the NBA Finals, Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr had this to say about his speculation on Cousins’ decision to possibly coming back another year:
“I can absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back. It’s just a question of what are his goals for him.”
Even with hope, Kerr obviously pointed out that Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are the team’s focus of the summer.
With the Warriors, DeMarcus played 30 games and averaged: 16.3 PPG 8.2 RPG and 3.6 APG
Compared to his career numbers, both points and numbers were down, however, his assists numbers stayed the same.
Signing into Free Agency
We are almost one year out Cousins signed with the Warriors. When he signed that minimum contract, everyone including myself thought he would be gone after one season. I still believe that.
Although he tore his quad, I think the recovery and the work he put in this year shows what type of player he really is. When this process is done, the double-double guy will be back in full force. What you saw in the playoffs is not the Boogie people remember.
Since entering the league, @AntDavis23 is one of only 3 players to average 20 PPG & 10 RPG.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 16, 2019
This is the guy we remember. Grabbing a lot of rebounds and putting up points for his team.
There are also a lot of more teams with more cap than there were last year.
Someone who can wait for the injury are the teams that might be getting an interview with Boogie.
One thing recently that shines light in his decision during the summer might be some foreshadowing in his recent Twitter activity. The last sentence to be exact.
“Look forward to getting 100% healthy this summer. I’m at ya necks next season!”
. @KDTrey5 and @KlayThompson get healthy killas true definition of warriors! #dubnation thank you for all the support this season. You guys are amazing fans. Look forward to getting 100% healthy this summer. I’m at ya necks next season! ? ?
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) June 15, 2019
As free agency starts here in a few weeks, stay with KSR for more updates on DeMarcus’ decision in the coming months.
As we all celebrate this special day with our Fathers, it takes me back to moments with my Grandfather and Dad and how I got mixed with Kentucky athletics.
First to my Grandfather, without him there is no way I would be doing what I am doing now. He started the obsession. I remember the time looking at a picture of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe in their uniform. He told me, they will be good. I asked him why and he said because of their wingspan, that is how you get rebounds and dominate the opponent. I say he was right.
Or the multiple calls I have with him in between games. He is and will always be the first person I call after the big games. Screaming over a dumb play, or a missed call. If I was not with him physically, we always share the blue and white together.
When growing up in Louisville, I knew where I was going to school. It was no difficult decision. I didn’t even need a campus tour. One way this happened was how my dad would take me every Father’s Day weekend to the Father-Son camp with Coach Cal.
I still remember my first. It was the year before the 2011-12 National Championship. Seeing Anthony Davis coming down the floor and stuffing the rim on Darius Miller during a scrimmage. The time he and I went through a shooting drill and getting to talk with Coach Orlando Antigua. This would not happen without my Dad.
Without them, I do not know what I would be doing, without them I know I would not be me.
So to all the Father’s out there, happy Father’s Day. To mine, I love you both.
That’s what makes today special, I know I would not be half the man I am today without my Dad and my Grandaddy around me.
NBA free agency begins on June 30th at 6:00 p.m. EST, several hours earlier than the previous start time in past years. That leaves us fewer than two weeks before the summer spending frenzy officially kicks off and all hell can finally break loose. With a plethora of top free agents available, ranging from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to Khris Middleton and D’Angelo Russell, teams are going to shell out tens of millions of dollars this offseason.
Now that it appears the Golden State Warriors might have a down year ahead of them (injuries to Durant and Klay Thompson), the organizations sitting near the top of the standings all have a shot at the title. The 2019-20 season could be the most wide-open the league has been in over 10 years. But it’s not just the top free agents that will attract attention once the calendar slides in July. Teams will be trying to improve from top-to-bottom and the talent pool will dry up quick. Among those players will be some familiar names. Let’s take a look at the list of former Kentucky players who are set to be free agents this summer.
Spoiler, there are 12 BBNBA players that finished the 2018-19 season on an NBA team featured in this series. But for Part 1, we’re going to cover just the first six.
Isaac Humphries and Alex Poythress (Atlanta Hawks) – 21 and 25 years old
- Isaac Humphries joined the Hawks in April and played only five games with the team as he shuffled between the G League and NBA. He was named the NBL (National Basketball League in Australia) at the end of the 2018 season and found some success with the Erie BayHawks last year. The Hawks signed him for the remainder of the season on April 1st, but it’s hard to say if the Hawks will bring him back or if he’ll even find another NBA roster by the start of the season. He could be looking at another year working his way through the G League.
- As for Alex Poythress, he’ll be a more sought after player. Along with Humphries, both players are restricted free agents but do not have Bird Rights with the Hawks. Meaning, Atlanta has priority to sign them first, but it will count against the team salary cap. Poythress averaged 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 21 games for Atlanta last season, but the Hawks are in hardcore rebuild mode. They are constantly bringing in new pieces that they believe can be incorporated into the future. Atlanta would be the most familiar situation for Poythress and they could sign him for cheap, but his market value won’t be anything too significant elsewhere.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Hornets) – 26 years old
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist currently holds a $13 million player option for the upcoming season. If he declines it, he sets himself up to become an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team. The value on MKG – a non-shooting wing player with slightly above average defensive capabilities – isn’t going to be astronomical. Honestly, $13 million is probably right around what he’d garner on the open market, if not a bit less than that per year. He’ll be entering his eighth NBA season next year at only 26, but hasn’t shown much improvement in that time. The odds of him developing a jumper at this stage are waning and his minutes began to nosedive halfway through this past season. Averaging under seven points in under 19 minutes per game while having your starting job stripped away is not how you want to enter free agency. His best option might be to take the player option from Charlotte and try to improve his stock for next summer. But then again, if Kemba Walker dips out for a city such as New York or Los Angeles, the Hornets will enter disaster mode. Would MKG be willing to suffer on a team destined for the lottery knowing the best player openly left the only team he’s ever known? Or would he be more willing to test the waters, take a smaller amount of money, and go somewhere where he can specialize on defense/hustle for fewer minutes and more wins?
Teams to watch for: Hornets, Warriors, Rockets, Mavericks
Trey Lyles (Denver Nuggets) – 23 years old
- Trey Lyles could never find his shooting stroke this past season. After shooting over 49 percent from the floor and over 38 percent from deep in his third NBA season and first with the Nuggets, Lyles regressed in year four. His shooting numbers dipped to 41.8 percent from the field and 25.5 percent from deep. It wasn’t due to poor shot selection, either. Lyles just could never get into a rhythm. According to NBA.com, 26 percent of all of Lyles’ shot attempts last season were considered “wide-open”, or at least six feet from the closest defender. He converted on only 33.1 percent of those chances.
- Lyles will be a restricted free agent and the Nuggets hold his Bird Rights, so they can offer him the best deal and have the best chance of keeping him on board. The question is going to be whether they want to. Micahel Porter Jr. – the 14th overall pick from 2018 – is expected to be healthy. Torrey Craig, Malik Beasley, and Monte Morris all had big seasons. The Nuggets would ideally like to give Jarred Vanderbilt more opportunities next season at full strength. This is going to be a deep team with not many minutes to spread evenly. Not to mention they have to think about paying Jamal Murray in a year, too. If the Nuggets decide to take the $30 million team option on Paul Millsap – or work with him for a new, long-term deal – the need for Lyles diminishes even more. What Lyles has going for him is his youth and ability to space the floor. He’ll earn some attention from several teams based off that alone, but likely not in the form of a big payday or even a long term deal.
- A team in rebuild mode might be more willing to take him on for a small amount of money and give him ample minutes as opposed to Denver stretching themselves too thin just for a guy to ride the bench.
Team to watch for: Nuggets, Hawks, Bulls, Kings
DeMarcus Cousins (Golden State Warriors) – 29 years old
- DeMarcus Cousins is the unknown in this group. He could very well find a way to resign with the Warriors (although unlikely) or secure a long-term contract with a team looking to contend. Hell, he might even opt for another one-year deal on another title contender. The thing with Cousins is we don’t know exactly the type of player he’s going to be next season.
- Coming off the Achilles injury, Cousins had some struggles fitting in with the star-studded Warriors lineup but showed signs that he could return to the player he once was. Even after suffering a torn quad in the playoffs, another setback, he came back in the NBA Finals under more extreme circumstances and provided his team with a lift at multiple times. He definitely needs a full offseason and regular season to get back into game shape, but from watching him in the playoffs, it’s obvious he still contains an instinctual touch around the basket. But can he get back into All-Star form? That is the question that will potentially cost him millions of dollars. It only takes one team to believe in him, though. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent. It’s open season for whichever team wants to take the chance on him.
Teams to watch for: Lakers, Warriors, Knicks
Rajon Rondo (Los Angeles Lakers) – 33 years old
- I’ve already made the case for the Lakers to bring back Rajon Rondo on a small deal. He’s one of the few characters in that locker room who understands the dynamics of working with LeBron James – and now Anthony Davis – that could aide in building team chemistry. Rondo is a born leader. Even though his shooting hinders his on-court ability, his intellect and court awareness can usually mask that. His age is beginning to creep up on him, but he’ll find a team sometime this summer for somewhere close to $8 million (rough estimate).
- But even if the Lakers don’t bring him back, there will be several teams looking to add a veteran presence in the backcourt, even it means having him come off the bench full-time.
Teams to watch for: Lakers, Pacers, Knicks, Jazz, Magic
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming later in the day.
By Sam Gormley on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Just under one month ago, offensive guard Justin Rogers announced his commitment to Kentucky. The Michigan native became one of the highest ranked recruits in the history of the Kentucky Football program.
At the time, Rogers said that his recruitment was shut down, but later announced that he would take one more official visit.
I have decided to take another official visit??
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) June 1, 2019
It was no secret that this visit would be to Alabama. This weekend, that visit came to fruition as the top commit in the class of 2020 made the visit to the Tide.
My dog ??? pic.twitter.com/qgjkSo2EOU
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) June 16, 2019
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) June 16, 2019
Like Jared Lorenzen said on KSR this past week, you cannot blame him for taking a visit to Alabama. The former UK quarterback added that facility wise, there is not a big difference between the two schools, but it is no secret what the Tide have that the Cats don’t; championships.
Rogers making this visit really could mean nothing at all. It is very possible that he comes out this week and doubles down on Kentucky.
If Rogers does decide to come to Lexington, it is no secret what he could bring to Stoops and company. For each prospect that 24/7 Sports rates, they give a specific rating/prediction on what their career will turn out to be. For example, they call recent Kentucky commit John Young a “Power Five Starter.” Rogers’ prediction is even better. The site says he is already a projected second round NFL pick. That fact alone should excite Kentucky fans.
We will hopefully know more about his visit and what is next for Kentucky in his recruitment soon, but I think it is safe to say that no news would be good news.
By Sam Gormley on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
I love Minor League Baseball. Whether it be watching guys attempt to live out their dreams, cheap tickets, or smaller atmospheres; there is a lot to love about it. The best part though? Minor league promotions.
The Frontier League’s Florence Freedom have continued to pave the way in this category. You may remember a few years back, they had “Manti Teo’s Girlfriend Bobblehead Night” which turned out to be an empty box.
Situated off the Florence exit, about 20 minutes before Cincinnati, the Freedom are once again putting their creativity to work for a promotion for tonight’s game.
When the team takes the field, they will be wearing “Dad Bod Jerseys.” You really have to see it to believe it.
For it being Father’s Day, I think this is a great way to celebrate. The best part about it is the Freedom are allowing fans to bid on the jerseys to presumably donate the money to charity.
So I now ask you, what are your thoughts on “Dad Bod Jersey Night?” Fantastic or not?
By Zack Geoghegan on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 12:30pm
The inevitable finally happened. Anthony Davis has been traded to the only team he ever truly wanted to play for; the Los Angeles Lakers. And the price for one of the most valuable players in the sport was something that has never been seen before.
When I say that the New Orleans Pelicans received a haul from the Lakers in order to obtain Davis, I really mean that they fleeced them. Bamboozled them. Robbed them. Any other over-the-top adjective you can think of. The Lakers were backed into a position where they had to go all in on Davis and they bet the next five years of the franchise’s future in the process.
The final results of the trade are as follows:
New Orleans receives Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 Draft, and two other future first round picks. The Lakers get Davis. The real power move executed by David Griffin and the Pelicans front office was the ability to swap those future first-round Laker picks.
The Pelicans will get the following picks from the Lakers, league sources tell ESPN:
No. 4 pick in 2019
Top-8 protected in 2021, becomes unprotected in ‘22
Unprotected swap in ‘23
Unprotected first in ‘24
Unprotected swap in ‘25
Tremendous haul for David Griffin & the Pelicans.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 16, 2019
Now, if the Lakers are consistently at the top of the standings for the next several seasons, these picks will be somewhere in the 20-30 range – or late first round – but allowing the opportunity to swap those picks allows the Pelicans to pick and choose which draft and which prospects will suit them best. It also makes them incredibly valuable trade assets in the future. There’s already been talk that Griffin was shopping the Lakers No. 4 pick before the trade was even executed. You can guarantee he won’t stop doing so. We still have five days before the NBA Draft.
But before we dive into how this trade affects the Pelicans, let’s focus on the Lakers first.
What the trade means for the Lakers
Los Angeles has put all its basketballs into one basket with this trade. They ostracized the young core last season and then shipped out 3/4 of them, leaving only Kyle Kuzma behind. Ideally, losing all those picks won’t be too big of a deal if the team is winning 50-55 games per season, but they have severely handicapped themselves if things turn sour quick. LeBron James will be 35 this December. No matter how adamant Davis has been about staying in Los Angeles, he’s still a free agent next summer and there are a million different scenarios that the upcoming season can and will produce.
At this very moment, the Lakers only control five players under contract for next year; James, Davis, Kuzma, Moe Wagner, and Isaac Bonga.
So, the Lakers have five players under contract and only three are legitimate NBA players. They have enough cap space to theoretically go after another free agent seeking a max contract – although they’ll come up just short of the required money with both James and Davis under contract. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter Sunday morning that since the deal won’t go through until July 6th (instead of June 30th), the Lakers will have slightly under $24 million in cap space to spend. Players such as Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving have already had their names pop up in connection with the Lakers. If L.A. secured one of those bigger names, they would then do what they did last summer, which is to surround the core with veterans on minimum salaries who are willing to chase a ring. Now, if they can properly do that this year instead of signing ‘Shaqtin’ a fool’ superstars Michael Beasley and Lance Stephenson, they could be a serious title threat.
However, I think a duo of Davis and James is more than enough on its own to reach a Western Conference Finals, especially given the potential down year for the Golden State Warriors. In my opinion, adding two players on smaller contracts that will complement Davis and James would be a more optimal route to get the most out of two superstars. The free agent crop this summer is going to be ripe with playmakers, shooters, and stretch-big men. Could they snag someone such as J.J. Redick or Danny Green on semi-long term deals for somewhere in the $15 million range? Versatile big men such as Marcus Morris and Thaddeus Young would thrive in a LeBron James system and would come at a much cheaper price tag than say a Butler or Kevin Durant.
The Lakers have the entirety of last season to look at in terms of things they shouldn’t repeat. They won’t go after non-shooters again (or they shouldn’t). I think trying to bring back Rajon Rondo – who is a free agent this summer – on a cheap, one-year deal would be smart, too. He was one of the few components to the team last year that actually understood the drama and how to cope with it. Plus, he’s played successfully alongside Davis before. But first and foremost, the Lakers need to add shooting. Keeping Kuzma out of the deal was huge (although I would have preferred they keep Ingram) and allows at least a little bit of continuity between him and James.
What the trade means for the Pelicans
As for the Pelicans, they pulled off the biggest trade heist since the Brooklyn Nets were swindled out of every possible draft pick for the decaying bodies of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce by the Boston Celtics. Obviously, this trade is in its earliest stages, but we can confidently state that there hasn’t been a more loaded deal in recent history that only yielded one player in return. Yes, the player was Anthony Davis. But the risk is still outstanding. How the rest of it pans out – future draft picks, current prospects, etc. – will determine the success of this trade, but that’s years away.
Now let’s take a peek at the Pelicans roster for the 2019-20 season.
Under contract for next season, the Pelicans have Jrue Holiday, Solomon Hill, and E’Twaun Moore plus the new crop of Ball, Ingram, and Hart. Add in the No. 1 pick, which will be Zion Williamson, plus whatever they do with the No. 4 pick (trade it, use it, etc.), and that’s a solid, exciting foundation.
Julius Randle has a player-option for just under $9 million this summer that I would expect him to decline (he can easily garner a long term deal worth somewhere in the mid-teens) and New Orleans has a team option on Jahlil Okafor’s minimum salary, which I wouldn’t be shocked to see them entertain.
Drafting Williamson and bringing back Randle seems a bit redundant, and Bobby Marks states the Pelicans have roughly $18.8 million in cap space this summer. A starting lineup of Ball, Holiday, Ingram, Williamson, *fill in the blank* isn’t a bad way to begin a rebuild. The Pelicans traded away the best player in its franchise history and came away in a far better situation. They have several young prospects, a bevy of draft picks, in addition to an All-Star caliber guard with Holiday, plus cap space.
The Pelicans could potentially bring back Darius Miller on a cheap contract, too. New Orleans controls his Early Bird Rights, meaning they can sign him for a short deal and have it not count against the salary cap.
The Anthony Davis trade immediately shifted the entire landscape of the NBA. The Lakers are frontrunners once again. The best young player not in the NBA (Williamson) will begin his career on a team that actually has the means to properly execute a rebuild. Davis and James is a talent – and personality – pairing unknown to the NBA world. This is different than Durant teaming up with Steph Curry. The risks are more calculable.
The NBA Finals feels like it finished weeks ago. Free agency is two weeks away still. Buckle up.
By Sam Gormley on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
Kentucky head coach John Calipari doesn’t need many more “bullets in his recruiting gun.” We could sit here and list everything that he has to offer players who are considering coming to Lexington. Cough cough… Kerry Blackshear… cough cough
What he is still trying to figure out is how to surpass Duke when they go head to head. Well, if he is recruiting a big man, ESPN has helped him out with a stat that no one can argue.
Since entering the league, @AntDavis23 is one of only 3 players to average 20 PPG & 10 RPG.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 16, 2019
Only three active players have averaged at least 20 points and at least 10 rebounds since they entered the league, all three played basketball at Kentucky.
I doubt Calipari has to sit and show recruits about what these guys are doing, but this is definitely a stat to keep in the back of his mind to throw out when necessary.
Now with Davis making the move to Los Angeles, it will be interesting to see if he could combine with LeBron to make a run at an NBA Title. It is obvious that the Lakers are going to need a lot more help than Davis, James and Kyle Kuzma, so could we see DeMarcus join him and Rondo in LA as well? It will be interesting to watch.
By Sam Gormley on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 11:00am
10 shows down and only five more to go in this year’s KSR summer guest host schedule. This past week, we had Tony Vanetti, Kyle Tucker/Curtis Burch, Tom Hart, Jared Lorenzen and DeWayne Peevy/Ellen Calipari.
If there was ever a year that the Pardon My Take guys could see themselves knocked from the pedestal as the best summer host, it would be this year. Each day has brought their own positives. Whether it being the Vanetti vs. Shannon rivalry, PJ Washington Sr. calling in to the show, Tom Hart and Ryan Lemond on snakes, Chris Lofton joins KSR or Billy Joe calling in on Friday.
This week, the heavy hitters continue with ESPN’s Michael Eaves making his KSR debut tomorrow.
Monday, 6/17 — Michael Eaves | ESPN
Tuesday, 6/18 — UK Football Staff
Wednesday, 6/19 — KSR Football Podcast
Thursday, 6/20 — Matthew Mitchell | Kelly Clarkson Superfan
Friday, 6/21 — Laura Rutledge | ESPN/SEC Network
For those that like football, this is definitely your week as Tuesday and Wednesday will be strictly focused on the gridiron as we get you ready for this year’s Kentucky football team.
The fun begins tomorrow so be sure to find your local affiliate to tune in and if you missed anything last week, catch up with the podcasts below:
Davis and the Lakers Win Big, Pelicans Waste A Generational Talent
Last night, Anthony Davis was traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers where he will be joining superstar LeBron James. This is an amazing trade for Davis no matter how you slice it. He got exactly what he wanted by teaming up with James and by ending up in the desirable city of Los Angeles.
At just twenty-six years-old, Davis has the better part of his career in front of him with arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time. With the Golden State Warriors being depleted with injuries for most of next season, this was the perfect window for anyone to snatch up Davis for at least a one-year rental. If you think that’s a bad idea, then just ask Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors who are still partying it up in Canada after winning the NBA Finals this year.
The point is that no other team wisely went after Davis with the exception of the Lakers so kudos to them. Not only did they secure Davis, but the Lakers also kept Kyle Kuzma who was their best young player. Sure, they gave up Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks. However, Ingram and Ball are riddled with injuries and have disappointed so far in their careers. Hart is just a simple bench player, the fourth overall pick isn’t going to be that great this season, and the other two draft picks will be late in the first round.
Overall, it’s a risk to give up so much for the Lakers, but nothing they gave away was great or even good for that matter. The Lakers gave away a bunch of “fine” assets for a generational talent who New Orleans never surrounded with adequate talent. Congrats to the Lakers and to Davis!
Now, let’s see what Lavar Ball has to say about his son getting traded….
LaVar Ball on the Lakers trading Lonzo Ball: ‘I guarantee… it will be the worst move the Lakers ever did in their life and they will never win another championship. Guarantee it.” pic.twitter.com/Nv7ctg2Lr0#NBA #LakeShow
— Josly Ngoma (@joslyngoma) June 16, 2019
Did you really expect him to say anything different? At least the man is consistent in his personality.
Another Great Boxing Moment
Two weeks ago, the boxing world witnessed a historic upset as the chubby Anthony Ruiz jr. defeated heavy favorite Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title of the world. However, there is a newcomer who has stepped onto the scene in a big way. His name is Tyson Fury, and just look at how he entered last night’s fight against Ton Schwarz.
Only Tyson Fury could pull off an Apollo Creed entrance in Las Vegas ???pic.twitter.com/2FLRklUkbk
— The Fantasy Panda ? ? (@FantasyPanda) June 16, 2019
Doing the iconic Apollo Creed entrance from Rocky 4 is a bold, bold move. One could say that its a stupid and even disrespectful decision. Apollo died shortly after his entrance. Yes, its just a movie, but I still have hard feelings about it. However, Fury did an amazing job living up to Creed’s namesake as he knocked out Schwarz in just the second round of the fight. What’s even cooler is that he looked a lot like Creed while doing it.
? Tyson Fury with a second round TKO against Tom Schwarz.
Is he the best Heavyweight on the planet?#FurySchwarz
— All Of The Belts ? (@AllOfTheBelts) June 16, 2019
Boxing has been on a bit of hot streak this month with Ruiz Jr.’s upset and now with Fury’s entertaining and flashy performance. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the sporting world talk about this sport this much. Who knows? Maybe boxing is making a full comeback onto the national scene. Personally, I’m just glad that some sport is keeping my attention while we must wait for college football to come back.
Big Blue Nation Waits on Blackshear’s Decision
After taking visits to Florida and Arkansas, Virginia Tech star Kerry Blackshear Jr. will be visiting Tennessee as reported by Evan Daniels on Friday. An All-ACC forward that averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game at Virginia Tech in 2018-19, Blackshear is reportedly still interested in Kentucky, Texas A&M, Gonzaga, Michigan State and Memphis.
It is widely believed that not only will Blackshear make a visit to Kentucky, but that Lexington will be the last campus he will visit before he transfers. While this may seem like positive news, the visit still needs to happen first. The mind of a recruit can change awfully fast so I won’t be convinced that the best transfer left on the market is truly considering the Wildcats until that visit happens.
With no trip to Lexington this past week, Kentucky could be getting Kerry Blackshear Jr.’s final visit. https://t.co/Qy3a8F95bw
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) June 15, 2019
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) January 6, 2018
Blackshear will most likely be a preseason All-American by many publications so it’s safe to say that Kentucky could really use his services. With E.J. Montgomery and Nick Richards believed to be leading the frontcourt, the Wildcats certainly need more star power there.
Adding the former Hokie would vault Kentucky up to a preseason No. 1 ranking in most publications as the Wildcats would have a truly stacked team for the 2019-2020 season. Cross your fingers on this one Big Blue Nation. This is a guy Kentucky really does not need to miss on.