Last week, John Calipari and the Kentucky staffed reached out to Isaiah Briscoe, a five-star →
Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
The waiting game has paid off for Eric Bledsoe. After turning down a very attractive offer to stay in Phoenix, it appeared he was headed toward being without a team during the start of training camp. But now the Minnesota Timberwolves are likely going to land him with a max contract offer for the former Wildcat. The reported deal is worth 63 million over four years, the most he can get from anyone.
Remember when Eric Bledsoe was living in a car? Now he’s rich. Soon-to-be 63 million rich.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is in Lexington tonight, doing things Michael Kidd-Gilchrist does. First he stopped by the UK Soccer game to watch the Cats defeat Xavier 1-0 in overtime. Then he made his way over to Raising Cane’s for a Caniac Combo.
Does this mean we’ll see MKG at the Big Blue Madness campout? The safe bet says absolutely.
Team USA captured the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup with a 129-92 beat down of Serbia. The Americans didn’t have any trouble throughout the tournament, winning by over 30 points per game on average, and they never had a game decided by less than 20 points. Their strong play was in large part due to the success in shooting the basketball; last night alone they were 15/30 from 3-point range including a 6-6 shooting night from MVP Kyrie Irving. However, it wasn’t just the perimeter players who shined for Team USA during the Basketball World Cup.
Former Kentucky standouts Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins each had outstanding games along the way for Team USA. Davis really shined in the first three games of the tournament, going for 17 & 4, 19 & 6, and 21 & 9. The three games after that were three of the best for Demarcus; he shot 14/18 from the field in that 3 game stretch and scored in double figures each game while also doing a great job on the offensive glass. Boogie’s best game was probably the championship game last evening where he scored 11 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in just 17 minutes of work for Team USA.
For the tournament, Demarcus averaged 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting over 70% from the field. Anthony averaged 12.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. It was great to see this outstanding pair of former Wildcat big men shine for Team USA and help them bring home the title in yet another international competition.
With all of the talented big men who are on campus in Lexington now, it is not hard to imagine Wildcats dominating the paint on the international stage for many, many years to come. Karl-Anthony Towns already has some experience playing for the Dominican National Team and a guy like Willie Cauley-Stein could certainly develop into the type of player we see on Team USA.
As a Kentucky fan it is really neat getting to watch our players go on to represent the United States, especially when you get to watch former UK greats play key roles on Team USA. Even though it appears Big Blue will be represented for a long time on Team USA, let’s never take for granted how cool it is that two of our former players helped win a title for our country.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©3:00 pm
How much does John Wall love Kentucky? Enough to risk wearing a Florida Gators onesie to practice. According to CSN Washington’s J. Michael, Wall and former Gator and Wizards teammate Bradley Beal bet on the UK/Florida basketball game last spring, and since the Cats lost, Wall had to agree to wear a Gators onesie to the first day of practice this fall. Wall said he’s having the onesie custom-made, but is determined to follow through on his punishment:
“It’s getting made,” Wall said as a guest on CSN’s SportsTalk Live on Friday night. “It’s taking forever to get a onesie made in my size. I’m always paying up on my bets.
The Wizards’ first day of training camp is September 30, and Wall says he’ll wear the onesie the entire time. I imagine there will be plenty of pictures.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:30 am
I don’t think any of us are huge Mike Krzylwkjearieski fans around here, to the point that I’m too lazy to bother looking up the correct spelling of his name. This morning, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski posted a piece slamming Coach K for using his job as the head coach of Team USA to benefit Duke in recruiting, and Team USA’s participating in the FIBA World Cup, a tournament that he says has “outlived its usefulness for the NBA.” Woj writes that after Paul George’s injury, Team USA’s participation in the FIBA World Cup “was in vain,” and really only benefitted Coach K, who “taps into every element” of USA Basketball to recruit for Duke:
When Team USA goes to the U.S. Military Academy to practice on its pre-tournament tour, guess what the stories are: Krzyzewski returns to his West Point roots. There’s Coach K with the cadets. There’s Coach K in the mess hall. There’s Coach K teaching those rich NBA players about sacrifice and selflessness. People call Calipari the greatest self-promoting coach of his time, but Krzyzewski doesn’t get nearly the credit due him. USA Basketball is a machine with its tentacles deep into every level of basketball, and Krzyzewski taps into every element.
Woj even goes as far to call NBA commissioner Adam Silver “another Dukie thrilled about how this partnership has closed the gap on Calipari and Kentucky, and gone a long way toward burying the North Carolina Tar Heels.” Wow. A part of me is thrilled to read Coach K, viewed by most in the national media as a holy figure, get slammed like this, but the more rational side of me is fine with Coach K using Team USA as a recruiting advantage. Who wouldn’t? Woj points to Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow’s commitments to Duke after participating in the 2013 under-19 USA Basketball national team as particularly damning evidence, but didn’t Cal essentially do the same thing with Karl Towns? We all know if Cal was the Team USA head coach (and one day, he may be…), he’d do the same thing. And who could blame him?
An interesting read, nonetheless. Go check it out.
Nerlens Noel ran the 72 stone steps before the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art today, also known as the Rocky Steps. Noel made the climb and threw up the famous Rocky pose at the top for an NBA TV segment to be released later.
The former Wildcat also crashed a wedding outside the museum and documented it with a wedding party selfie.
After Jonas Valanciunas threw a cheap elbow to DeMarcus Cousins’ neck, it was all over for Lithuania. Team USA cruised by them 96-68 to advance to Sunday’s FIBA World Cup Finals, where they’re face either France or Serbia. Boogie had 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 bogus technical, while Anthony Davis contributed 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Go Cats. Go America.
If you’re watching USA/Lithuania right now, you almost saw DeMarcus Cousins go to town on Jonas Valanciunas after he threw an elbow to Boogie’s neck. Almost. Check out Boogie showing some restraint, even if he did still get a technical.
Jonas better write him a thank you note tomorrow. Team USA is currently leading Lithuania 43-35 at the half.
Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Team USA are getting ready to take on Lithuania over on ESPN. The winner advances to Sunday’s FIBA World Cup Finals to play either France or Serbia. France upset Spain, the tournament favorite, yesterday.
So far, Anthony Davis leads Team USA in scoring with 13.7 points per game, but former Morehead State star Kenneth Faried is close behind with 13 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 9.7 points and 5 rebounds per game, which isn’t too shabby for a player Coach K considered cutting for Mason Plumlee. By the way, Plumlee has the lowest scoring average on the team, with 2.6 points per game.
Very rarely will I encourage someone to go to a baseball game, but for Cats fans in the Philadelphia area, tonight’s Phillies contest may be worth attending. Well, the pregame stuff, anyway.
Nerlens Noel is scheduled to throw out the first pitch tonight when the Phillies host the Pittsburgh Pirates. Noel is one of many former UK greats under John Calipari to attempt the ceremonial first heave in recent years. We all remember John Wall’s poor excuse of a fastball in Washington a couple of years ago, and Julius Randle is the most recent to take the mound, tossing out this one for the Dodgers two weeks ago.
Predictions for Nerlens? I think he’s got a strike in him.
Following today’s USA Basketball practice in Barcelona, DeMarcus Cousins further proved he is a great American by firing back at a European reporter who questioned his knowledge of Central Europe.
The reporter asked, “Do you know where Slovenia is?”
DeMarcus, in typical DeMarcus fashion, replied, “No, do you know where Alabama is?”
Eric Bledsoe took a break from his workout with LeBron James yesterday to attend the Ohio State game. Don’t worry though. He would never betray Kentucky.
I wonder if he introduced himself to Damien Harris?
The Hawks are looking for a new owner after Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson self-reported a 2012 email in which he implied white fans were more valuable than black fans.
There isn’t a real reason known why he reported it, but it could be due to the reaction to Donald Sterling incident. However, Levenson was one of the owners to speak out against Sterling. Levenson has decided to sell the team before the NBA even completes its investigation.
Levenson did issue a lengthy apology:
I wrote an e-mail two years ago that was inappropriate and offensive. I trivialized our fans by making clichéd assumptions about their interests (i.e. hip hop vs. country, white vs. black cheerleaders, etc.) and by stereotyping their perceptions of one another (i.e. that white fans might be afraid of our black fans). By focusing on race, I also sent the unintentional and hurtful message that our white fans are more valuable than our black fans.
The Hawks were one of the teams who were reported to be interested in taking Rondo in a trade, but now it looks like that might be put on the back burner until they work this issue out first.
It’s weird writing a post about Team USA where Anthony Davis didn’t dominate the game. The Brow finished with only 4 points (2-8 shooting), six rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks.
DeMarcus Cousins picked up the slack for the BBN. Boogie was a perfect 5-5 from the floor, finishing with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Team USA will play the winner of the Dominican Republic/Slovenia game at 3:00 pm Tuesday.