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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Today on KSR: Anthony Davis Dropped 50, Again


No Boogie? No problem.  The Brow’s got this.

Last night Anthony Davis out-dueled Devin Booker to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to their sixth consecutive win.  Booker scored 40 points, but he could not keep up with Davis, who finished with 53 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks in the 125-116 win.  Davis is only the second player to ever record a 50-point, 15-rebound, 5-block game.

Davis’ game was great, but The Real MVP is the Pelicans’ social media staff.

Davis has stepped up his game in Boogie’s absence.  Through the six-game win streak he is averaging 41.5 points, 14.8 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 3 steals per game.  Wow.

Hear from Coach Cal

The Kentucky Wildcats are rolling through a three-game win streak.  This afternoon around 2:00 the head coach will talk about his streaking team as the Cats prepare for the final two games of the regular season.

Clear Bags at the SEC Tourney

The SEC announced yesterday they will continue to have a clear bag policy at all championship events.  If you aren’t prepared for it, you probably haven’t been to a game in two years.  Click here for a clear bag policy refresher.

A Big Night of SEC Basketball

We will have a much clearer SEC Tournament picture after Super Tuesday.  All three teams tied for third place with Kentucky are in action tonight.  If Arkansas, Florida and Miss. State all fall, the Cats are primed to lock up a double-bye in the SEC Tournament.  A complete look at tonight’s packed slate of games:

Time Game Network
7:00 #16 Tennessee at Miss. State SEC
7:00 Florida at Alabama ESPN
7:00 Mizzou at Vanderbilt ESPN2
7:00 Oklahoma State at Iowa State ESPNU
7:00 St. Joe’s at #17 Rhode Island CBSSN
9:00 #14 Auburn at Arkansas SEC
9:00 DePaul at Creighton FS1
9:00 Oklahoma at Baylor ESPN2
9:00 Miami at #9 North Carolina ESPN
9:00 Kansas State at TCU ESPNU


Following a trip to Kentucky for Junior Day, Georgia outside linebacker KD McDaniel committed to Kentucky.  The three-star linebacker is Mark Stoops’ second commitment in the 2019 recruiting class.  For the “wait till Signing Day” crowd, know this: the second player to commit in the 2018 class, defensive end Davaon Hawkins, signed with UK in December and was one of Freddie’s favorite additions in the class.

Stoops Speaks

Spring Practice begins next week (you can now get your Spring Game tickets here).  Before kicking off five weeks of football, Mark Stoops sat down with Matt Jones on Hey Kentucky to reflect on his first five years as Kentucky’s head coach.

Isaac Humphries Named Australian League Rookie of the Year

Former Kentucky forward Isaac Humphries was named Rookie of the Year by Australia’s National Basketball League.

In his first year with his hometown team, Humphries averaged 8.9 points per game on 58 percent shooting.  He also had 3.6 rebounds and one block per game in 26 appearances for the Sydney Kings.

Check out some of his best highlights from this year.

Just before he was named Rookie of the Year, Isaac joined The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast to talk about his time at Kentucky, his first year with the Sydney Kings and much more.

Anthony Davis and Devin Booker combine for 93 points in head-to-head matchup

Anthony Davis and Devin Booker nearly combined for 100 points in tonight’s game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Davis finished the game with 53 points, 17 rebounds, and five blocks in his team’s 125-116 victory.

Booker managed 40 points, ten rebounds, and seven assists in the near-triple-double.

Davis became just the second player in history record a 50-point, 15 rebound, 5-block game, with Bob McAdoo being the other. (Wilt Chamberlain also accomplished the feat, but that was before blocks were officially counted in the record books.)

Over his last six games, Davis is averaging nearly 42 points and 15 rebounds per game.

Last night, Booker officially recorded the most 30-point games by any player through 200 career games since Kevin Durant, and followed it up with yet another against the Pelicans.

Here are Davis’s highlights:

And Booker’s:

The BBNBA is absolutely ridiculous

Every game is learning experience for the Sacramento Kings

Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings played five players with three years of NBA experiences or less on Saturday. Four of those players played at least 30 minutes.

Keeping young players on the court all game, no matter the situation has been the plan for the Kings all year. De’Aaron Fox, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Frank Mason all played major minutes in the fourth quarter in the close game against the Lakers.

“I want our team to go out and learn, I want our team to go out and play the right way and not just run up and down,” head coach Dave Joerger said before the Kings’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday evening.

And that is what the Kings are doing.

Fox is building chemistry as the starting point guard. Hield has become a great asset off the bench. Cauley-Stein is showing more scoring and rebounding consistency, posting a double-double on Saturday. And after missing a few weeks with a shoulder injury, Labissiere’s defense is really stepping up as he still tries to figure out his offense

“Sometimes it just comes with experience,” Fox said after the 3-point loss to OKC on Thursday. “A lot of other teams, they’ve had the same core and they struggled early on, but with that experience, you get better. You start seeing what guys can do a few years into the league.”

[Despite another loss, young Kings taking baby steps towards goal]


Julius Randle recorded a double-double in the Los Angeles Lakers 113-108 win over the Sacramento Kings. (Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

BBNBA: Randle double-double and Booker drops 30

Julius Randle recorded a double-double in the Los Angeles Lakers 113-108 win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night. (Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)


Back in December, I named Julius Randle the Los Angeles Lakers best player. It was a bit of a hot take for some, but a very real truth. With only a few days remaining in February, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind who the best player in LA is. Randle is averaging 17.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on 56.3 percent shooting over his last 20 games. He posted his first triple-double of the season a couple nights ago against Dallas and had himself another impressive performance Saturday night, putting up 12 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists in a win over the Sacramento Kings.

Speaking of the Kings, their trio of Wildcats all had solid games including Willie Cauley-Stein, who might ALSO be the best player on his team (although Kings rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic has challenged WCS for that rank). Cauley-Stein recorded himself a fancy double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds while De’Aaron Fox (13 points and six assists) and Skal Labissiere (eight points, five rebounds, and four assists) played well, also.

Devin Booker dropped 30 points including 5-10 from deep despite his team blowing a fourth-quarter lead to Damian Lillard (who had 19 of his 40 points in the final quarter) and the Portland Trail Blazers. Tyler Ulis has been cleared to play after dealing with a nagging back injury, however, Suns head coach Jay Triano elected against playing the point guard against the dangerous Blazer backcourt.

It was a busy Saturday for Kentucky players (both in college and the NBA) and plenty of other guys had stellar games. Check out the rest of the stats below which include big nights from Andrew Harrison, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Bam Adebayo.


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Devin Booker (PHX)104-106 L vs. POR3011-28 (5-10)93024-1139
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)122-104 W vs. CHI229-20 (0-5)132014+2337
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)108-113 L vs. LAL186-14 (0-0)151222-1837
Andrew Harrison (MEM)89-115 L @ MIA177-13 (0-1)46002-1428
Bam Adebayo (MIA)115-89 W vs. MEM135-7 (0-0)71100+2418
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)108-113 L vs. LAL135-13 (1-3)16100-1330
Julius Randle (LAL)113-108 W @ SAC126-12 (0-0)136214+2037
Enes Kanter (NYK)112-121 L vs. BOS94-9 (0-0)120111-1022
Skal Labissiere (SAC)108-113 L vs. LAL83-9 (0-1)54010+1325
Patrick Patterson (OKC)80-112 L @ GSW00-1 (0-0)20100-1921
Nerlens Noel (DAL)90-97 L @ UTADNP-Thumb----------------
Dakari Johnson (OKC)80-112 L @ GSWDNP-CD----------------
Tyler Ulis (PHX)104-106 L vs. PORDNP-Back----------------


Tonight in the NBA

1:00: Pistons @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk)

3:00: Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Rondo, Liggins) @ Bucks (Bledsoe)

3:30 (ABC): Spurs @ Cavaliers

8:00 (ESPN): Sixers (Young) @ Wizards (Meeks)

8:00: Rockets @ Nuggets (Murray, Lyles)

Player to watch

Tonight’s player to watch is Jamal Murray because of course it is. He’s easily one of the most exciting players in basketball and watching him go up against the league-leading Houston Rockets and their Hall-of-Fame backcourt of Chris Paul and James Harden will be a great test for him. The Nuggets are currently playing their best basketball of the season, devastating teams with a relentless offensive attack. This potential playoff matchup should give fans a peek into what the postseason might look like.


Skip Bayless calls Anthony Davis the “most overrated player in basketball,” Davis makes history two days later

Anthony Davis leads his New Orleans Pelicans team to a much-needed victory over the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

On Wednesday morning, Fox Sports One’s Skip Bayless released the hot take of all hot takes, saying former Wildcat Anthony Davis was the most overrated player in basketball.

Just two days later, New Orleans big man made history, becoming the first player in NBA history with a statline of over 40/15/5/5 in a game. Last night against the Miami Heat, Davis put up 45 points, 17 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 blocks in the team’s 124-123 victory.

Check out the highlights from Davis’ historic night:

Anthony Davis becomes the first player with 40/15/5/5 as he puts up 45 points, 17 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 blocks to lead the @PelicansNBA!

— NBA (@NBA) February 24, 2018

Immediately after the game, the official Pelicans twitter account clapped back to Bayless by showing the commentator’s college statistics, where he averaged a whopping 1.4 points per contest.

And then they called him out again.

Over his last ten games, Davis is averaging 32.7 points, 13 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 2.5 steals per contest.

In fact, Davis has been on the most impressive run of his career, scoring at least 38 points in six of his last nine games, including four games of over 42 points in that span.

With 1441 total points in 52 games this year, Davis has managed 68.6-times the total points Bayless scored as a senior in high school.

Stay in your lane, Skip.

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall hopes to make his return from knee surgery in the middle of March. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

BBNBA: 3 Things to Watch for Post All-Star Break

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall hopes to make his return from knee surgery in the middle of March. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

After a relaxing week-long break from the strenuous NBA season, games picked back up on Thursday night. The All-Star break isn’t technically the halfway point in the season, considering every team has already played at least 55 games (although it could be considered the halfway point since the NBA Finals won’t even end until June), but it marks the first signs of the closing stages of the regular season. With less than 25 games remaining on each team’s schedule and playoff seeding becoming more prevalent, every game is valuable. This is the stretch of the regular season that decides who’s going to be hot or cold going into the playoffs. Energy levels will be much higher across the league and every game matters. With that being said, here are three things to watch for as the regular season begins to wind down.

1. John Wall’s return from injury

Since John Wall’s knee surgery back in January, the Washington Wizards have actually been on somewhat of a hot streak. They beat the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers in their first game back from the All-Star break, looking fluid an under control without their starting point guard. The Wizards have gone 8-2 since Wall went out (four of those wins came against teams well under .500) and backup point guard, Tomas Satoransky, has filled in better than expected.

By no means are the Wizards better without Wall. That would be a very quick and irrational decision to make, but it is interesting that the team is playing so well in his absence. The Wizards currently sit at 34-24, fourth best in the Eastern Conference, with a locker room that appears to be improving relationships between teammates. You may recall the “beef” between Wall and Wizards center Marcin Gortat, where Wall literally said he “spoon-fed” baskets to Gortat after some other – now irrelevant – Twitter squabbling between the two. They have since aired out their grievances – even after a team meeting that didn’t go exactly as planned – during a mutual meeting including just them two.

With Wall out, the Wizards have been moving the ball at a considerably higher pace, which isn’t necessarily surprising when someone with the attacking ability such as Wall is forced to sit. The Wizards are averaging more shots per game and over seven more assists per game since Wall’s injury, who averages 9.3 assists per game. This can be attributed to Wall being the driving factor of the offense who has the ball in his hands more than any of his teammates. With no one who can attack the rim like Wall, the Wizards have to rely on constant ball movement and precision passing to make up for it, which has led to more shots and more assists. Bradley Beal is currently their best player – and he was an All-Star this season for a reason – but as long as he’s the number one option, the Wizards will eventually lose their magic. Ball movement is key to any offense, but defenses will begin to learn the Wizards’ tricks. Without many players who can consistently get themselves open looks and knock down contested shots, expect the Wizards to come down to earth right around the time Wall should be ready to return.

One of the bright sides of Wall’s injury is the emergence of Satoransky, who has bolted himself to the level of viable NBA player. When Wall comes back, Satorasnky will make an excellent backup who can run the offense at 6-foot-7 and score from various areas on the court. The return of Wall to full health is necessary if the Wizards want to do any damage in the playoffs. Wall is still the team’s best player (although Beal is quickly catching up) and they become much less of an explosive threat without him. It will be interesting to see how head coach Scott Brooks incorporates both Wall and Satoransky into their new-founded success. If Wall can sacrifice his own production in order to work within the current system, the Wizards could look a lot more dangerous than they already do.

2. Where DEN/NOP finish in the standings

This topic matters for a couple of reasons. One because the Denver Nuggets have two Kentucky players who play heavy minutes while the New Orleans Pelicans have five Kentucky players who all get consistent playing time as well (especially Anthony Davis). Two, because these two teams are only separated by half a game in the standings. The Nuggets (32-26, currently seeded at number six) are trending upward while the now DeMarcus Cousins-less Pelicans (31-26, currently seeded at number eight) are trending…. neutrally.

The Nuggets are now winners of nine of their last 12 games, including wins over the Warriors, Thunder, and Spurs. Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles are playing the best basketball of their still incredibly young careers and have been huge factors in the Nuggets success. Murray might be one of the hottest players in the entire league right now, shooting over 48 percent from deep in his last 12 games while averaging 20 points per game in that span. Everything Murray touches turns to molten lava. He simply can’t miss. He refuses to miss. His shooting splits (FG%/3PT%/FT%) over the last 12 games is a mind-melting 54.1/48.6/90.5. Only four other players have hit at least the 40/50/90 over their last 12 games; Karl-Anthony Towns, Steph Curry, Joe Ingles, and (you guessed it) Tomas Satoransky.

Lyles has continued to build off his surprise start to the season, averaging 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds over his last 12 games. He and Murray (along with Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic) have the Nuggets looking like a team ready to win now. Throw in the imminent return of four-time All-Star Paul Millsap and Denver should continue their current tear in the Western Conference. Getting Millsap back from injury will likely have a negative impact on the overall team offense to start (although a positive one on defense) which might limit Murray’s touches, but he’s been the starting point guard for a while now and should still have the ball in his hands for most of the game. The best way to get Murray going is to let him do him. If Millsap’s return doesn’t diminish that, the Nuggets will be looking mighty dangerous as a mid-level seed.

The Pelicans, on the other hand, are struggling. They’re 4-5 since the Cousins’ injury, however, currently on a three-game winning streak (all three opponents had a losing record). Anthony Davis has been nothing short of extraterrestrial during the nine-game span. He’s averaging a cool 31.3 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.2 steals, and 2.1 blocks per game with shooting splits of 49.8/42.4(!!!)/81.1. Those are Hall-of-Fame numbers, people. The MVP talk will surely poke it’s head out if he keeps this up, if it hasn’t already.

With Davis and no Cousins, the Pelicans can likely keep themselves afloat and stay above .500 for the rest of the season. Their schedule for the remainder of the regular season isn’t a cakewalk by any means, but there are more than enough games against very bad teams that will be winnable.

The bad part is the two teams slowly creeping up on them. The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA right now (oddly enough), winning 11 straight games behind hot shooting from Donovan Mitchell and excellent team defense from Rudy Gobert and co. The Jazz currently sit at 30-28 but are shooting up the standings with impressive wins.

Slightly ahead of them is the Los Angeles Clippers, who are 30-27 and also going through a renaissance of sorts. The Clippers have won seven of their last 10 and have looked like a legitimate playoff over the past month or two, despite having a roster riddled with once borderline NBA players.

It will be an uphill battle for the Pelicans, a team already close to the top than the ones charging after them, but Davis can get them there. As we get closer and closer to the playoffs, we’ll find out pretty quickly if the Pelicans are in a position to keep their current playoff seed. Then the question becomes whether or not they decide to fall completely out of the playoffs if they can’t keep up with the Jazz and Clippers, potentially gunning for a higher lottery pick. Either way, there are eight teams all within 4.5 games of each other in the West with only six available spots, so it should be an exciting end.

3. Bam Adebayo catching up to Hassan Whiteside

Bam Adebayo is in the news for the wrong reasons at the moment, but the rookie season he’s put together should not be ignored. He’s become a reliable backup for the Miami Heat when center Hassan Whiteside is on the bench. His numbers don’t stick out, not just yet, but the energy and knowledge for the game he possesses shine a bright light on his future. So much, in fact, that it wouldn’t be surprising to see him steal some of Whiteside’s minutes as the playoffs approach.

The Miami Heat are eighth in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 30-28. With only the Detroit Pistons to worry about as far as another team potentially stealing their spot, the Heat are in a much better situation than the Pelicans to make the playoffs. Miami won’t need another miraculous run like they had last season (where they won 13 games in a row during the middle of the season before riding that to a 41-41 record), but they’ll absolutely need help from everyone on their roster, which includes Adebayo.

You’ll find more dedicated Heat fans who favor Adebayo over Whiteside than you would the other way around. His play has been so infectious that there have been Heat media members asking the question of whether or not they should trade Whiteside altogether and build around Adebayo. These are strong words about a rookie, but Adebayo has been that good in a limited role. The Heat have been using both Whiteside and Adebayo together at times, which has worked for the most part but will eventually hurt them in the playoffs. The two center lineup is great for rebounding and paint scoring, but horrendous for outside shooting and guarding quicker forwards.

Not even one year of Adebayo has fans and media alike questioning if Whiteside and the three years/$75 million left on his contract is a piece they take with them in the future.


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Kanter notches a double-double in Knicks win

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was the first night of NBA action back from the All-Star break, and as usual, a handful of former Kentucky Wildcats took the floor. The New York Knicks knocked off the Orlando Magic by the score of 120-113, and former Cat Enes Kanter finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. His efforts were good for his 29th double-double on the season which ranks 10th in the NBA.

In fact, former Kentucky guys are riddled throughout the top 10 in double-doubles in the league. Karl-Anthony Towns sits at the top of the list with 51, DeMarcus Cousins is fourth at 38, and Anthony Davis ranks sixth at 36. That means Kentucky makes up 40% of the top 10 in the NBA in terms of double-doubles. Is that good? That seems good.



PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Enes Kanter120-113 win over Magic126-9 (0-0)121010-521
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist111-96 win over Nets134-7 (0-0)51011+1424
Malik Monk111-96 win over Nets21-1 (0-0)00002+01
Willie Cauley-Stein110-107 loss to Thunder115-12 (0-0)60210-1919
Skal Labissiere110-107 loss to Thunder83-5 (0-1)10020+2413
Patrick Patterson110-107 win over Kings00-1 (0-0)10000-78
Jodie Meeks110-103 win over Cavaliers103-8 (2-4)01000+017




  • Boston Celtics at Detroit Pistons, 7pm ET
  • Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers (Alex Poythress), 7pm ET
  • Charlotte Hornets (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Malik Monk) at Washington Wizards (John Wall, Jodie Meeks), 7pm ET
  • Milwaukee Bucks (Eric Bledsoe) at Toronto Raptors, 7:30pm ET
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (Karl-Anthony Towns) at Houston Rockets, 8pm ET on ESPN
  • Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies (Andrew Harrison), 8pm ET
  • Miami Heat (Bam Adebayo) at New Orleans Pelicans (Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins), 8pm ET
  • San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets (Jamal Murray, Trey Lyles), 9pm ET
  • Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns (Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis, Brandon Knight), 9pm ET
  • Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz, 9pm ET
  • Dallas Mavericks (Nerlens Noel) at Los Angeles Lakers (Julius Randle), 10:30pm ET on ESPN


Bam Adebayo’s high school coach: “Let the truth come out”

© Brad Penner

According to documents seized by the FBI, Bam Adebayo received payments of $12,000 and $36,500 from ASM Sports. Jerry Tipton spoke to Bam’s high school coach Brandon Clifford, who spoke to the Miami Heat rookie this morning and denied knowledge of any wrongdoing.

“As far as I know, Bam has never taken a dime from anybody,” said Clifford. “He committed himself to doing things the right way.”

Clifford urged fans to “let the truth come out in due time.”

“You have a star athlete that’s 16 or 17 years old. They’re not calling the shots. Bam wouldn’t even talk to college coaches without it coming through me or his family.”

According to the Miami Heat, Bam will not comment on today’s report.


Kevin Hart interviewing Nerlens Noel is really hilarious

Kevin Hart interviewing Nerlens Noel is really hilarious

Kevin Hart has a new web series called “Cold As Balls” in which he interviews star athletes in a cold tub. Nerlens Noel is one of his first guests, and though I had some doubts going into it, I found it to be absolutely hilarious.

If you need a little more convincing before you spend eight minutes watching a YouTube video with Kevin Hart, just know it has a lot of talk about the University of Kentucky and Noel’s personal life. Noel also calls DeMarcus Cousins an asshole, so you get that too.


Maybe they caught me in a good mood and I laughed more than I should have, but this is one of the funniest videos I’ve seen online in a long time.

Rajon Rondo treats 320 students to screening of Black Panther in Louisville


This weekend, former Wildcat Rajon Rondo took over 300 students in Louisville out to go see the new Black Panther movie.

Rondo, a Louisville native, did this kind gesture as part of his”Assisting Youth Foundation,” where he bought the movie ticket, popcorn, and a drink for each individual.

The price of admission for the kids? An essay on the historical events, people, or places in Black History to celebrate Black History Month.

“He congratulated us all for coming, read through some of our papers, shook all of our hands, and took pictures with all the kids,” said MJ Romaine, a Central High School student.

“I was happy to put a smile on kid’s faces,” said Rondo. “I didn’t grow up in a two-person household, and a lot of these kids don’t. I can relate to some of these kids in those ways. There are some nights you’re on your own and you don’t know who is there or who’s willing to help you.

“(Rondo) is not doing this to gain notoriety,” Rondo’s high school basketball coach, Doug Bibby, said. “He’s doing this because he cares for the community.”

Non-profit groups Nerd Louisville and Wibby’s Foundation have decided to follow in Rondo’s footsteps, and are combining to send nearly 200 students from West Louisville to a Black Panther screening in the coming weeks.

Check out the entire package from WDRB, featuring more from the former Kentucky point guard:

WDRB 41 Louisville News

Derek Willis joins USA Basketball World Cup Qualifying Team

Derek Willis joins USA Basketball World Cup Qualifying Team

Derek Willis got some good news on Tuesday when he was informed he has been named to USA Basketball’s 12-man World Cup Qualifying Squad.

Willis was a late addition to the roster, so he will have some catching up to do when he joins the team, which has already practiced for five days, in California today.

“I’m glad to be going,” said Willis, who tried out for the team in August. “I think it shows I’ve improved this year and that it’s been seen and they want me on the team. I’m excited about it.”

Team USA is made up of some of the top G-League players and is coached by Jeff Van Gundy. Its next game in the World Cup qualifying process is only two days away, when it hosts Cuba in Santa Cruz on Friday; followed by a Feb. 26 game against Puerto Rico, also in Santa Cruz.

Aaron Harrison is also on the team.

Malik Monk crashes car in Arkansas, is okay

While in Fayetteville during the All-Star break, Malik Monk crashed his car early Sunday morning near the Arkansas baseball stadium. Thankfully, he’s fine, but was cited on charges of careless driving and no proof of insurance. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the crash happened around 5:45 a.m.:

A witness told authorities that he heard a loud noise and then “saw that a vehicle had hit the gates” to the park, which sits just southeast of Baum Stadium.

According to a copy of field notes signed by Monk and released Sunday night by police, the Lepanto native wrote he “looked down for a second” when he “just hit a bump.”

Monk was the only person in the car and was wearing his seatbelt. The Charlotte Hornets rookie’s numbers have dropped significantly since the start of the season. In the month of February, he’s averaging only 2.7 points in 4.7 minutes per game. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said he needs Malik to be able to play both point guard and shooting guard, which he’s struggled with in recent games. Hopefully he can find his niche (and get some insurance) moving forward.

[Arkansas Online]

The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E22: De’Aaron Fox

De’Aaron Fox joins the latest episode of the Aaron Torres Sports podcast, to discuss his rookie season in the NBA and what he misses most about Kentucky. But first, Aaron is joined by his buddy, Louisville-area radio host Nick Coffey, where they break down the weekend that was in college basketball.

— The latest from the FBI probe into college basketball. Did Thursday’s bombshell Yahoo Sports report tell us something we didn’t already know, and how soon until we get all the details of those involved?
— The unintended consequence from the FBI investigation that no one is talking about.
— Louisville loses again on Saturday and Aaron asks: Why does everyone think they’re such a lock for the NCAA Tournament?
— The guys take a deep dive into Kentucky’s win over Alabama. They also explain how this proves that Kentucky was never in as much trouble as many prognosticators said they were.
Next up, Aaron welcomes Kings’ rookie De’Aaron Fox live from All-Star weekend in Los Angeles:
— The pair discusses De’Aaron’s rookie year in the NBA. What has been the biggest adjustment? And why does he believe it’s actually been easier than he expected?
— What does Fox miss most about UK? How did playing for John Calipari prepare him for the NBA? And what would he say to high school recruits who are thinking about coming to Kentucky?
— Finally, Fox admits that Kentucky should have won the national championship a season ago.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

NOTE: Sponsor the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast for a special price if you sign up by March 15th. Email to learn more.

John Wall returning to UK this summer to work on degree

Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

John Wall is coming back to Kentucky. For the summer at least.

During the NBA All-Star festivities this weekend, Wall revealed that he’s returning to Lexington this summer to work on his college degree, fulfilling a promise he made to his father, who passed away when he was eight.

“I’m going back to school this summer to get my business degree,” Wall said, via the Washington Post. “That’s what I’m focusing on. I promised my dad that.”

Wall was unable to play in last night’s All-Star Game due to his recent knee surgery, but represented the Wizards and his family in style, honoring his father with a necklace featuring a childhood picture of the two:

If you missed it a few weeks ago, Wall penned a letter to his father that will bring tears to your eyes. Even without any of his basketball accomplishments, I know he’s making his dad proud.

John Wall Pens Emotional Letter to his Dad

[Washington Post]