Volume Scorer Those two words are the best best way to describe Malik Monk’s game. →
Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
By Drew Franklin on ©February 23rd, 2017 @ 3:30pm
The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and Brandon Knight is still a member of the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns were seeking a second-round pick in exchange for the former Wildcat (a small asking price for one of SI.com’s top 100 NBA players) but could not find any takers before today’s 3 pm deadline.
Had Knight been dealt, Tyler Ulis was expected to see an increase in minutes. That still may be the case, although keeping Knight will not help Ulis’ shot.
To recap, this year’s trade season saw DeMarcus Cousins join Anthony Davis in New Orleans; Nerlens Noel get out of Philadelphia; and Phoenix still has four ex-Kentucky Wildcats.
By Drew Franklin on ©February 23rd, 2017 @ 12:00pm
Nerlens Noel is on the move, hours before the NBA trade deadline.
Adrian Wojnarowski (who else) is reporting the Philadelphia 76ers have shipped Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks. The Sixers will reportedly get a protected 2017 first-round pick, forward Justin Anderson and center Andrew Bogut in exchange for the former Kentucky big man.
There aren’t many teams out there that are worse off than the Sixers, but Noel might’ve found one.
Good luck to him at the next stop.
By Drew Franklin on ©February 22nd, 2017 @ 4:00pm
Our dear friend Aaron Torres over at FoxSports.com released a ranking of John Calipari’s former Wildcats who are currently in the National Basketball Association. And though he won’t admit it, I firmly believe this is Aaron’s indirect response to Colin Cowherd’s asinine comments about the ex-Cats “underwhelming” in the league.
In the rankings you’ll find Anthony Davis up first at No. 1 overall. Behind him, John Wall at No. 2. Behind him, Davis’ new teammate, DeMarcus Cousins. Then there’s the debate of Eric Bledsoe or Karl-Anthony Towns at No. 4, which went to Bledsoe in a close call here.
You’ll have to click here to check out the entire rankings to see where each Wildcat falls on the rest of the list.
The best part is it never gets old seeing all the Kentucky names in the league. The ranking is a great visual reminder of the Cats’ “underwhelming” NBA dominance.
By Drew Franklin on ©February 22nd, 2017 @ 3:08pm
DeMarcus Cousins was officially introduced as the Pelicans’ new starting center in a press conference down in New Orleans earlier today, and if it was his first test with his new organization, he passed with flying colors.
Cousins was funny, honest and very candid in his remarks about leaving Sacramento and moving to the Big Easy. Many of his best quotes from the afternoon have been passed around Twitter and replayed on ESPN, but I’ve narrowed it down to my favorites for the Boogie-lovin’ crowd here on KSR…
— When asked about teaming up with Anthony Davis in the Pelicans’ new front court, Cousins said, “You got a little fire, you got a little ice.”
Fire and Ice, love it.
— Vlade Divac reached out to Cousins after the deal went through, but the two did not speak. “It’s done,” Cousins said of the whole thing.
— “The way it was done and the dishonesty that came with it. But I’m okay with it,” he added.
— In the funniest part of the press conference, when asked how competitive he is, Cousins replied, “About 17 technicals worth.”
— Cousins said Anthony Davis sent him a text that read, “Yo, I really want you to come to New Orleans,” but then blew it off without realizing he was actually being recruited. “I kind of ignored him because I didn’t know how to answer it. Then I ran into Dell (the Pelicans GM) and it’s just like ‘What the hell is going on?”
— The lack of talent on the Kings roster was weighing on him in Sacramento: “I would go home, just stressed out, pulling my hair out, you know, praying, praying, praying: Just send me some help.”
— And the most exciting quote of the day? “We can wreak havoc on this league. Will it happen overnight? Probably not, but our potential is scary.”
Watch Cousins’ entire press conference:
By Drew Franklin on ©February 22nd, 2017 @ 1:00pm
After wearing the No. 15 throughout high school, his one season at the University of Kentucky and his six-plus years with the Sacramento Kings, DeMarcus Cousins has a new jersey number.
Cousins will wear the No. 0 with the Pelicans.
When asked why the change, he simply told ESPN, “New life…”
At today’s press conference down in the Big Easy, Cousins told reporters he and Anthony Davis will be like “Fire and Ice” in the Pelicans’ frontcourt.
“I think we can wreak havoc on this league,” he said. “The potential is scary.”
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to run to the mailbox to see if my Pelicans gear has arrived yet.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 21st, 2017 @ 6:35pm
After nearly breaking down in tears in front of a group of fans last night, DeMarcus Cousins just released an emotional farewell letter to Sacramento, promising fans that just because he’s with the New Orleans Pelicans now, he will never forget the city that was his home for almost seven years:
Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family…and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove
A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on
Leaving fans in Sacramento must have been tough, but Boogie sure looked happy when he stepped of the private plane in Nola:
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 21, 2017
This picture of Boogie reading the New Orleans paper on the plane from his manager Andrew Rogers is also very cool:
— Andrew Rogers (@Andrew_Rogers_) February 21, 2017
Here’s to a clean slate.
By Nick Roush on ©February 21st, 2017 @ 9:00am
Yesterday was pretty wild. Get caught up with all the shenanigans from Monday before you begin to prepare for a late Tuesday night with your Kentucky Wildcats.
The Three Biggest Stories from Monday
The Kentucky fan’s dream team of Davis and Cousins in New Orleans dominated the sports news cycle around the country. Last night Boogie said an emotional goodbye to the city of Sacramento.
My friend got transferred to another city because of his job. He had some things to say. Rough to watch. pic.twitter.com/iBRyMf1UP7
— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) February 21, 2017
If you asked a UK fan from the state of Kentucky and surrounding region, the second-biggest story would be “Cowherd’s an ass.” However, if you were on the elliptical in the gym and looked up to see OTL on ESPN, you would see Jay Bilas discussing Calipari’s postgame comments on college coaches being dismissed during the season (if that scenario sounds oddly specific, it’s because I’m referencing myself).
The dichotomy is interesting. The regional outrage at Cowherd is merited. After refusing to give him attention until after 11:00 p.m. last night, my insides churned as Cowherd talked down on my beloved Cats. That feeling compares to the surprise when I heard Calipari ask a crowded press room in Athens, “We’re firing coaches in midseason…Are you shitting me?” A man that doesn’t like to curse didn’t give a damn. The scope and power of Cal’s words are more profound than I previously believed.
The news cycle changes quickly. With a game against Mizzou tonight, all of these stories will quickly go away. Is it good or bad or both? I don’t know. The only certainty is that I gotta quit watching The Newsroom late at night or I’ll continue to subconsciously rant about the philosophy and current climate of the media industry.
Alex Trek’s Rap Game is 💯
That got a little heavy. Let me lighten things up with the best Jeopardy category ever.
How about Alex Trebek rapping on Jeopardy! tonight pic.twitter.com/MNy9CEkf1p
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) February 21, 2017
But wait, it gets better.
— Mark (@tole_cover) February 21, 2017
There’s a New Hey Kentucky, The Bachelor
You probably missed that fantastic Jeopardy category because you were busy watching the latest installment of Hey Kentucky, The Bachelor. If you missed it, re-watch it here, and if you’re in Louisville, you no longer have to watch it online. Beginning last night, Hey Kentucky! is airing every night at 10:00 on WBNA-21 in Louisville.
Kentucky Plays Mizzou Tonight
I’m not are why they’re actually making them go through with it. To say “Mizzou is trash” wouldn’t adequately describe the state of their
basketball program athletic department. After some early success on the football field, the Tigers have given the SEC nothing except a coerced trip to St. Louis for the SEC Tournament in 2018. If the Cats can’t win tonight, they can’t win another basketball game ever again.
All the Info on UK/Mizzou
It’s a late starter that gets the rare SEC Network treatment. Adam Amin, Joe Sundvoid and Laura Rutledge will have coverage from Columbia, starting at 9:00. The No. 10/11 Cats are 16-point favorites. The tale of the tape:
The UK Women are in the NCAA’s Top 16
The NCAA placed Matthew Mitchell’s team at No. 15, a four-seed, with just three weeks of basketball left until Selection Monday. The men’s committee only released one preview of the bracket, while the women received three early looks. Kentucky was a four-seed in two of the three previews. They return to action Thursday at 7:00 against Miss. State for Senior Night at Memorial Coliseum.
I Can’t Get Crocodile Rock Out of my Head
After hearing the Elton John jam at a piano bar Saturday night, I can’t stop singing, humming and whistling the catchy tune. I’ve tried all the tricks to get it out of my head, yet Crocodile Rock persists. Luckily, I’m a big fan of the song. For those who hate it, I hope the “Laaaaaa, la, la, la, la, la,” is immediately imprinted on your brain.
Killed a Guy Dunked the Basketball
I can’t say he “killed a guy” when Bob Huggins almost died on the sideline. That’s insensitive. Huggins fell to his knees in the first half after he apparently began having issues with his defibrillator. The good news: Huggins is fine. He returned to the sideline for the second half. However, one of his player’s is not fine, not at all.
OH MY JARRETT ALLEN! pic.twitter.com/UI0CRTVgx8
— Will Baizer (@WillBaizer) February 21, 2017
College Basketball on TV Tonight
The first game on this list could have an impact on Kentucky’s chances for an SEC regular season title.
- 7:00: South Carolina at No. 13 Florida on ESPN
- 7:00: Oklahoma at No. 9 Baylor on ESPN2
- 7:00: Clemson at Va Tech on ESPNU
- 7:00: Auburn at LSU on SEC Network
- 9:00: Ole Miss at Miss. State on ESPN2
- 9:00: Indiana at Iowa on ESPN
KSR Starts in an Hour
Get with it or get lost.
The pairing of Kentucky’s elite post players was the biggest story in the sports world today. It was covered in a variety of angles from essentially every sports media institution. Instead of wading through it all by yourself, let this post get you caught up.
If you’d rather see the reaction from players instead of writers, The Washington Post’s blog has you covered. Speaking of the The Washington Post…
While the rise of the positionless player in the NBA is well documented, New Orleans is now presented with an interesting spacing conundrum. Cousins and Davis represent two of the league’s premier big men, athletes that draw ample attention — and frequent double teams — in the half-court offense. They’re rare breeds who oscillate between the two frontcourt positions, power forward and center.
For New Orleans, the trade opens a new era with Cousins and Davis as a fascinating big man duo. This isn’t a traditional old school Twin Towers approach, as Cousins can stretch out to the three-point line and Davis is comfortable operating far away from the hoop. Both face questions regarding their defensive impact, and pairing the two together could produce stretches of mismatches against spread lineups. But this is a gamble that a shaky ownership group, a beleaguered GM and a helpless Davis all badly needed. Cousins’s arrival should spark interest in a team that’s been stuck for years, it should improve New Orleans’ pitch to future free agents (“We’ve already got two stars”), and most importantly it gives Davis reason to believe that his heroic efforts aren’t in vain.
Every time Cousins earned an All-Star moment, disarray hijacked it. NBA commissioner Adam Silver recognized Cousins’ overwhelming talents by naming him an injury replacement in 2015, but he spent the entire weekend addressing questions about the Kings hiring George Karl as head coach. Last year, Cousins had to address his ongoing feud with Karl. This year, Cousins avoided any upsetting questions the first two days, then the Kings put him in the awkward position of finding out that he could be traded moments before he was asked about it. “I was happy coming in, but the last day and the last couple of minutes, something had to happen,” Cousins said. “It’s disappointing.”
Pairing Cousins with Anthony Davis is the most fascinating frontcourt duo of the decade; there have rarely been pairings of two legitimate top-10 big-man talents. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph patrolled the paint for years, while Blake Griffin to DeAndre Jordan’s air show made jumpstarted the Lob City Clippers, but this is different. We haven’t seen this before.
The Ringer’s Danny Chau asked on Sunday: “Is it too indulgent to imagine a 5–4 pick-and-roll with Cousins handling and Davis rolling to the rim?” I hope not. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry would be shorting himself if he doesn’t take full advantage of all the tactical possibilities this pairing presents. The Brow and Boogie can both handle the ball, shoot outside, dominate inside, and create space off the dribble like guards. While other teams are zigging by going small, the Pelicans are zagging with two of the most purely talented big players in the league.
Cousins has an unbelievable opportunity here. He gets to start over — in a city that will embrace him in a way that few will. You want a redemption story? New Orleans is a great place to find it. You want somewhere that wants its guys a little less than squeaky clean? Try the Big Easy. He joins a good friend and fellow Wildcat in Anthony Davis, who also happens to be a top-10 player.
He gets to change everything about his career. If he keeps his emotions in check (unlikely) and embraces the defensive end, he’s going to have a chance to do real damage in this league. Davis can play power forward next to him, and their combination of scoring, rebounding and passing is going to be a nightmare for opponents.
Davis gets the scoring partner he needed in NOLA and a chance to finally break through and make a splash in the Western Conference. The team is still painfully thin at the wings, and if Jrue Holiday gets hurt again I’m not sure who will play point guard (Boogie, maybe?). They have too many bigs as well — Omer Asik still has three (!) years on his deal.
But Davis finally has a partner in crime, and that might be enough. With Cousins commanding a double-team down low, Davis will have his pick of 15- to 18-footers. And if Boogie wants to step out to the perimeter and take 3s (which he can), Davis will have more room to work inside. This could work extremely well for both of them.
This is less about the trade and more about Boogie in general: nobody in the NBA gets their shot blocked more than Cousins.
Cousins’s shots get blocked 1.6 times per game, which represents a slight decrease from the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, when opponents stuffed Cousins 1.8 times per contest. (He was the most-blocked player in those seasons, too.1) All of which is surprising, considering the 26-year-old’s clear advantages in height, strength and skill.
Cousins’ blunt explanation is fantastic.
Before he was traded, I asked Cousins why he gets blocked so much, and he said that I didn’t have to search for a complicated explanation. “It’s because I can’t jump,” he said. “It’s really as simple as that.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 20th, 2017 @ 4:15pm
Everyone’s been weighing in on the DeMarcus Cousins trade today, but lost in the shuffle has been this awesome video of John Wall learning the news last night. When a reporter asked Wall for his thoughts on Boogie and Anthony Davis teaming up in New Orleans, Wall did his best impression of the “Kermit sipping tea” meme:
Wall will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019…could he join Boogie and the Brow in the Big Easy? That would give the Pelicans 3/5 of John Calipari’s dream team, something I’m sure Cal will ask Wall about on his podcast, which drops on Thursday.
In case you were worried it was just a dream, the NBA just approved the Kings/Pelicans trade that will send DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans. The Pelicans shared the news with this picture of Boogie in his new jersey minutes ago:
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 20, 2017
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 20, 2017
We are all King Cake Baby right now:
If you’re like me and trying to find a time to go see the Pelicans play, here’s the rest of their schedule:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 20th, 2017 @ 11:30am
While DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis teaming up is insanely exciting, it’s worth pointing out that it comes at a cost for Boogie. Cousins was poised to sign a $209 million extension with the Kings this summer, but now that he’s going to New Orleans, he’s only eligible for a $180 million max extension with the Pelicans. So, while DeMarcus has to be happy to get out of a dysfunctional franchise like the Kings, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst points out, he can’t be thrilled about being out $30 million.
“That $200 million extension was only possible with the Kings. Under the new rule, he can’t get the same deal with the Pelicans or any other team. If he were to sign a max extension with the Pelicans this summer, it would be for five years and $180 million. So the trade might cost him $30 million. His agents were afraid of this. They were saber rattling in hopes that he wouldn’t re-sign if he was traded; they were trying to scare the Pelicans and other teams off. It did not work.”
I realize that I’m a full-time blogger, so you know, not rolling in the dough, but what’s $30 million when you don’t have to deal with the Kings, get to play alongside Anthony Davis, and live in New Orleans?
Lots of good details on the trade in the link below, so check it out:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 20th, 2017 @ 9:00am
Good morning, friends, and to those in the banking industry, happy President’s Day. While these days, the holiday has become synonymous with mattress sales (what up, Sleep Outfitters!) and school breaks, the majority of us are at our computers per usual, just trying to get through another Monday morning. Thankfully, there’s plenty going on in the world of UK sports to distract us, such as last night’s monumental late breaking news that…
1. DeMarcus Cousins has been traded to New Orleans
In case you’re like me and woke up to that news, well, what a way to wake up. What started as rumors at the beginning of All-Star Weekend turned into reality late last night when Boogie and Omri Casspi were traded to the Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, New Orleans’ 2017 first round pick and the Sixers’ 2017 second round pick. No one has ever accused the Kings’ front office of being smart, but that was a really, really dumb trade. Sure, it was probably best that they parted ways with Boogie, but that’s what they got?! Ha!
No wonder the Pelicans are feeling so good this morning:
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 20, 2017
2. Boogie’s reaction to the news was priceless
How happy is DeMarcus to get out of Sacramento? Check out his reaction to finding out the news last night during interviews:
DeMarcus Cousins reaction after he finds out he was traded. pic.twitter.com/gqM1mTvwPY
— NBA Inside Stuff (@NBAInside_Stuff) February 20, 2017
New Orleans is already one of my favorite cities in America, and now that they’ve got Boogie, Anthony, and Terrence Jones? Thank goodness I have friends who live there because I’m going to visit all the time.
3. Calipari and Kenny Payne were also at the All-Star Game
Of course John Calipari was in New Orleans last night to see Anthony, DeMarcus, and John Wall play in the All-Star Game. Before the main event, he, Brad, and Kenny Payne posed with Anthony’s family, who had to be proud because…
4. Anthony was named MVP
Davis took home MVP honors after setting an All-Star single-game scoring record of 52 points in addition to 10 rebounds. Davis broke Wilt Chamberlain’s previous scoring record of 42 points set in 1962 in leading the Western Conference to a 192-182 victory over the Eastern Conference. Davis was 26 for 39 from the field, and had an astounding 18 dunks.
Watch all of his highlights below:
5. Don’t forget, Jamal Murray was named MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge
Making All-Star Weekend even sweeter for Kentucky was Jamal Murray’s performance in the Rising Stars Challenge Friday night, which earned him MVP honors. Murray put up a game-high 36 points and 11 assists in just 20 minutes. Murray scored 27 second-half points and made a ridiculous nine 3-pointers. In a game that also featured Devin Booker, Karl Towns, and Trey Lyles, Murray shined.
I mean, really, what a weekend for Kentucky basketball, and we haven’t even gotten to what happened with the current team yet.
6. The Cats found a way to win at Georgia
I was in Marshall County watching PJ Washington on Saturday night, but I did watch the replay of Kentucky’s win over Georgia and I’ll say this: a win is a win is a win. When I saw Yante Maten went down, I thought the game was in the bag for Kentucky, but the Cats didn’t look alive or fight until De’Aaron Fox turned it on the last eight minutes. There are plenty of positives from the win — Dominique’s continued good play, Derek’s 12 rebounds, Mychal Mulder’s resurgence — and no matter how much some want to nitpick, I’m just going to accept the win and move on. Looking at the schedule, the road game at Georgia was arguably the toughest task left in the regular season, so instead of worrying about Isaiah Briscoe, I’m going to take solace in the fact that Kentucky found a way to win a game they would have lost a month ago.
7. How bad is Missouri?
Well, horrible, but after a 13-game losing streak, the Tigers rallied for their first conference win at Texas A&M a few weeks back, and then topped it off with a home win vs. Vandy on February 11. With that momentum, they took Alabama to the wire last week before getting routed by Tennessee in Knoxville this weekend:
Needless to say, Kentucky should take care of business tomorrow night in Columbia. One thing is for certain…
8. The crowd will be larger than this:
As you can see in the picture above, Missouri fans have reacted just about as you’d imagine to their basketball team thus far this season, but three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and crappy SEC teams packing their arenas for Kentucky.
9. Calipari will be on the SEC Teleconference at 11:35 a.m.
John Calipari and his fellow SEC coaches will take turns talking about their team on this week’s SEC Coaches Teleconference. If this week’s appearance is anything like Cal’s last one, that means I get to hear him talk about his team while huffing and puffing on the elliptical. Since the Cats are on the road tomorrow, this will be Calipari’s only media availability today, so check the site around lunch for a recap of his comments.
10. Tony Barbee, Kenny Payne, or Joel Justus will address the media at 2 p.m.
Calipari’s doing the SEC call, so he’s handing the Missouri preview presser to one of his assistants. Kenny Payne, Tony Barbee, Joel Justus…who will it be?! I know the suspicion is just killing you, so check the site around 2 p.m. for a live stream or shortly thereafter for a recap.
Radio in an hour…
By Drew Franklin on ©February 20th, 2017 @ 12:47am
There is video evidence of the moment DeMarcus Cousins learned he had been traded, during his postgame interviews following the All-Star game.
Watch as someone leans in and whispers something to Cousins and then how he answered the next question:
— Manny Vieites (@manny_vieites) February 20, 2017
Boogie loved Sacramento and wanted to be there forever, but he seems excited to be going to a playoff contender, two hours from his hometown.
By Drew Franklin on ©February 19th, 2017 @ 11:51pm
Some late breaking news out of the NBA tonight as Sacramento has agreed to trade DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The deal includes Buddy Hield and a 2017 first-round draft pick, according to the reliable Adrian Wojnarowski.
Boogie and Davis together in one frontcourt. Big Blue Nation, you have a new favorite NBA team.
UPDATE: The Kings got ripped off.
In one of the all-time worst trades, the Kings will get Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, one future first-round pick and one future second for Cousins.
By Haley Simpson on ©February 19th, 2017 @ 11:10pm
Despite being underwhelming to some people *cough Colin Cowherd cough*, former Kentucky players took up three selections in this years NBA All Star game.
Because that wasn’t enough, Anthony Davis was on it from the very start. Scoring the West’s first points of the night and defeating Wilt Chamberlain’s record for most points scored in a single All Star game. Davis ended up with 52 points and 10 rebounds compared to Chamberlain’s 42 points.
JUST LOOK AT THIS
Anthony Davis. 52 points. pic.twitter.com/KPw65uSnxi
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) February 20, 2017
John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins also competed in the event. Wall finished with 12 point and six rebounds while Cousins only got three points in two minutes of playing time. However, rumors of the Kings eagerness to trade Cousins could have contributed to his lack of playing time.
Sacramento’s been fully engaged in trade talks centered on DeMarcus Cousins with multiple teams on Sunday, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 20, 2017
Sources: Divac delivered to owner Sunday what front office believes are two best Cousins trade proposals. Of course, @Vivek has final say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 20, 2017
Boogie addressed the rumors in post game interviews with the “whatever happens, happens mentality.”
Cousins on trade rumors pic.twitter.com/s4ZiObXvyB
— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) February 20, 2017