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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Devin Booker hosts Rookie Roundtable for NBA TV

Devin Booker hosts Rookie Roundtable for NBA TV

If you haven’t already had your fill of NBA Draft news, these next 5 days are sure going to do the trick. With all of the rumors of possible trades of top 10 picks swirling, there is more uncertainty about where the UK guys will be drafted than I ever remember.

Former Cat Devin Booker sat down with four of the top prospects in the 2017 draft, including former Cat Malik Monk, to discuss their feelings on the draft, who they can’t wait to match up with in the league, and a few other questions. View the roundtable here:

Love that Malik Monk mentioned he wants to go up against Russell Westbrook. Westbrook, in my opinion, is the hardest guard to defend in the league. He’s one of the fastest players in the league, and he pairs that with incredible strength. He has the athleticism to throw down some of the more impressive dunks of the season, but also has the ability to stop on a dime from a full out sprint to knock down a jumper. Monk actually drew a lot of Westbrook comparisons in his first few weeks on campus at Kentucky.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Saturday’s Top 10: football YAHTZEE, NBA Draft Update and, of course, Louisville

Saturday’s Top 10: football YAHTZEE, NBA Draft Update and, of course, Louisville

Yesterday was National Mascot Day, so it’s only appropriate to begin today’s post with a photo of our beloved Wildcat (in case you were wondering, it seems today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day, so… go crazy). It’s been an exciting week here in the BBN, so let’s jump right into today’s Top 10.

1. I have to bring it up…

I know there’s been plenty of coverage about the current situation in Louisville, but it seemed weird to not bring it up at all. I haven’t really had the chance to share my own thoughts on the subject yet, and I won’t bore you with the specifics, but I’d love to know: which part do you consider the most outrageous?

Could it be the fact that at least seven of the 15 involved recruits were under the age of 18? What about UofL trying to appeal the NCAA’s ruling because the strippers didn’t cost that much? Maybe it’s the story about an assistant coach who called the team out for poor practice performance “because y’all had strippers in there all night”? How about Brandon Williams failing to produce phone records because the phone in question was “controlled by his mother?” And let’s not forget about Rick practically saying the NCAA is to blame for Jim Valvano’s cancer?

I understand if you’re having a tough time choosing – it’s all truly ridiculous.

survey services

 

2. ICYMI: Isaiah Briscoe injury ends workouts

Yesterday, Adam Zagoria of FanRagSports.com reported that Isaiah Briscoe’s workouts with the Lakers, Kings, Bucks and Pacers have been canceled due to an injury. According to Briscoe’s agent, “it’s a minor ankle injury,” but cutting his workouts short still hurts the former Kentucky guard. Briscoe is currently projected to go undrafted next Thursday and missing his last few chances to show off his skills certainly won’t help.

3. Calipari heads west

The Under-19 Men’s National Team Training Camp begins in Colorado Springs tomorrow, so John Calipari is making his way there today. Of the 28 players who accepted their invitations to attend, three current UK players will be traveling to the camp: Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Hamidou Diallo. Several 2018 targets will also be in attendance, including Bol Bol and Romeo Langford.

4. Vote for the winner of the KSR summer host contest

Five groups remain in the competition for the opportunity to host KSR one day during Matt’s vacation. The winner will host one hour of the show, and Matt will choose which of the remaining hopefuls gets to host the second hour. Give each a listen and vote for your favorite HERE.

5. Another Yahtzee for the football team

The 2018 Wildcat class continues to grow. DeAndre Square, a four-star defenseman, tweeted his commitment to Kentucky Friday night, getting lots of love from BBN fans in the process. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound outside linebacker will be coming to Kentucky from Cass Technical High School in Detroit.

Square is just another example of the recruiting efforts being made by Stoops, Marrow and the rest of the Kentucky football staff. Square’s announcement came the day after another 2018 defenseman, Dom Williams, committed to the Cats via Twitter. 

6. ESPN’s latest 30 for 30

As an avid sports fan and 30 for 30 enthusiast, I get very excited each time a new special is released. “Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies” is enticing to me for many reasons, but mostly because I was born in 1997, long after the Celtics vs. Lakers rivalry had hit its peak. The episodes aired over two separate days, and I’m more of a binge watcher, so I haven’t started the series yet. I will freely admit I’m not well versed on the subject, but I look forward to properly educating myself through the three-part special this weekend. If you’re like me and you’re still trying to get around to it, you can stream it here on ESPN. So far, I’ve heard pretty good reviews, but what do you think? Is it up to par with other 30 for 30s?

7. NBA Draft Update

With just five days left until this year’s NBA draft, speculation is running higher than ever. Several rumors are floating around this lovely thing we call the Internet, including the idea that the Celtics could trade Julius Randle for the No. 1 pick. This would definitely cause a wrinkle in the draft LaVar Ball has planned out for himself…uhh… his son.

8. So… Where do the Kentucky players stand?

While the overall consensus puts De’Aaron Fox in the top five, Malik Monk in the top 10 and Bam Adebayo somewhere in the first round, there is plenty of variation even in the most popular mock drafts. Additionally, not everyone is counting out a sneaky, second round pick in Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis or Dominique Hawkins. Here’s where some major outlets are projecting the former Kentucky players:

  • NBA Draft has De’Aaron Fox going No. 4 to the Phoenix Suns, Malik Monk going No. 8 to the New York Knicks and Bam Adebayo at No. 17 to the Milwaukee Bucks.
  • Draft Express has Fox at No. 5 to the Kings, Monk at No. 8 to the Knicks and Adebayo at No. 19 to the Atlanta Hawks.
  • CBS Sports has Fox at No. 3 to the 76ers, Monk at No. 10 to the Kings and Adebayo at No. 28 to the Lakers.

9. KSR’s upcoming schedule

The summer tour is in full swing as the Kentucky Sports Radio crew continues to make their way across the Commonwealth. During the upcoming week, look out for the gang in Danville on Monday, Leitchfield on Tuesday, Louisville on Wednesday, Henderson on Thursday and Owensboro on Friday. Check out the full schedule here.

10. Hey Kentucky! casting call is TODAY

If you’ve been looking for the opportunity to break into the television industry, the wait is almost over – the Hey Kentucky casting call is finally here. Head out to the Fayette Mall near the Apple Store beginning at 10 a.m. for your chance to host Matt’s TV show while he’s on vacation. I’ll be there, and you should be too.


@MaggieDavisKSR


WATCH: Monk’s scouting report on Monk for The Players’ Tribune

Malik Monk chatted with The Players’ Tribune during a light workout at Manhattanville College while he was in New York recently. The video hit the internets today and it shows Monk talking about his game while getting up some shots in the Manhattanville gym.

Monk spends most of the video talking about his jump shot, which he calls a natural shot, and what it takes to see the ball go in every time. He emphasizes the feet first, then the hips, then the elbow, and then the follow through, for the perfect jumper.

See it all for yourself:


Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox get some pre-draft love

The Philadelphia 76ers have the number 3 overall pick in this Thursday’s NBA draft. While there are trade rumors swirling about Boston giving up the top spot to Philadelphia or the Lakers, for the time being, that third pick could be a landing spot for either of Kentucky’s highly talented guards from this season.

The 76ers Twitter account posted their first episode of “Draft-ology” today and this episode focused on the sharp shooters in this year’s draft class, with a good portion of the video being dedicated to discussing Malik Monk. Take a look at what Joe Lunardi here:

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report tweeted a short video today giving a little insight to what their lead NBA Draft writer, Jonathan Wasserman, thinks of the best highlight reel worthy players in this draft class. Not surprising to any members of the BBN, but Monk and De’Aaron Fox make up two of the three spots.

The draft is now less than a week away, so get ready to hear just about every rumor imaginable. And also be ready for just about all of those rumors to be a complete wash by the time the draft rolls around.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Bam Adebayo signed with Nike

Bam Adebayo has inked a shoe deal with Nike, a popular shoe company that many of you are probably familiar with.

The former Wildcat and soon-to-be NBA draft pick announced the news today on Twitter:

Terms of the deal aren’t out there, but he’s one of many in the long line of Kentucky Wildcats to sign with the swoosh out of college. John Wall and Jamal Murray are the only two I can think of who didn’t, although I’m sure there are a couple more.

Anyway, go get your money, Bam.


Could the Celtics trade No. 1 pick for Julius Randle (and No. 2 pick)?

Hold on! Don’t print those Boston green Markelle Fultz jerseys just yet!

There’s a rumor floating about the web that says Magic Johnson is so enamored by Markelle Fultz, he is considering a trade up to No. 1 to get him. Of course that trade would have to be a flip-flop with the Boston Celtics, and Julius Randle’s name is being tossed around as part of the deal.

From the Twitter account of Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com:

Word out of LA is Markelle Fultz “murdered” his Lakers workout yesterday. May be “the best one” they’ve seen. Sadly, likely all for naught.

I’m told Fultz played competitively 2 on 2, even though that wasn’t agreed to in advance. Apparently shot ball very well.Tested 40 inch vert

Multiple sources have told me that Magic “is in love” with Fultz. May try to move up to #1, possibly with a Julius Randle + #2 pick offer. [@DraftExpress]

This would really shake up the draft if it were to happen, considering Lonzo Ball refused to work out with the Celtics or anyone else because he thought he was a lock to L.A. Boston could take Josh Jackson at No. 2, Philadelphia could pass on a point guard at No. 3, and then we’d have a big mess on our hands before the draft is out of the top five.

I’m all for it, although Randle seems to really, really like the L.A. lifestyle.


Injury ends Isaiah Briscoe’s remaining workouts

An unexpected injury has forced Isaiah Briscoe to cut his NBA workout tour short ahead of next week’s draft.

According to Adam Zagoria of FanRagSports.com, Briscoe suffered an ankle injury that kept him out of workouts with the Lakers, Kings, Bucks and Pacers. His agent, Brian Dyke, told Zagoria, “It’s a minor ankle injury… He’ll probably have to pull out of the rest of the workouts.”

If you follow Isaiah Briscoe on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that he has been walking fine (he loves to show off those shoes), so Dyke must be right in saying it’s a minor injury.

But Briscoe needs every workout he can get as he is projected to go undrafted next Thursday.


De’Aaron Fox thinks an All-Kentucky NBA team could beat the Golden State Warriors

In a best of seven series, De’Aaron Fox thinks an NBA team comprised of Kentucky Wildcats could beat the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Fox was asked the question in an interview with our friend Aaron Torres, who, coincidentally, will host KSR in just a few weeks when Matt goes out of town. Torres interviewed Fox this week for an in-depth interview for Fox Sports that will come out next week, but he couldn’t help but share this tidbit with the Big Blue Nation a few days in advance. Who would Fox include on the Kentucky team to beat the Warriors?

“I’m going to have John [Wall] at the point guard, Devin [Booker] at the two. At the three, I’d say Michael Kidd-Gilchrist just to guard KD [Kevin Durant]. But now you’ve got Boogie [Cousins], AD [Anthony Davis] and Karl [Anthony Towns] for two spots. I’m going to bring Karl off the bench just because he’s the youngest. That’s my only reason, because he’s the youngest. But that’s my starting five.”

Including MKG to guard Durant? Man, we knew Fox was smart, but that’s brilliant. To see the rest of Fox’s All-Kentucky team, head on over to Fox Sports. And then weigh in on whether or not you think he’s right in the comments.

[Fox Sports]


Monk shined with confidence in Philadelphia workout

We take a break from tap dancing on Louisville’s misery today to update you on one of Kentucky’s future lottery picks.

Malik Monk had his private workout in Philadelphia on Thursday and it went well, according to several people in attendance.

Monk said afterward that he would be a “great fit” to play alongside Ben Simmons in the Sixers’ offense. When asked what skills he would bring to the table, Monk simply said, “Everything.”

See more from his workout here:


John Calipari makes the case for Isaiah Briscoe in the NBA

Isaiah Briscoe’s path to the NBA hasn’t gone as easily as he probably expected when he committed to Kentucky as the No. 2 point guard in the Class of 2015. He’s currently projected to go undrafted next week and DraftExpress.com ranks him at No. 71 in its prospect rankings.

But John Calipari is still going to bat for his former guard by talking up his game ahead of the draft. Today, Calipari took a moment during his teleconference to say Briscoe’s shooting has improved and people need to realize he is still a very young and talented player.

People are more impressed with his shooting than a year ago,” Calipari said. “The thing that is driving me crazy, he’s a sophomore! He just turned 20. So, when you look at him you think, well, here’s a veteran. No, you gotta look at him. I had a guy call me, one of the NBA personnel, and say, ‘Well, what if this kid had gone to this and done this. What would you think of him now?’ And this and this. Well, I’m looking at Isaiah and I’m saying, he’s like one of the young guys in this draft. But he played at Kentucky, he’s been through wars, he knows how to win, he’s improving his shooting.”

Calipari also pointed out the game has changed and traditional point guards are becoming a thing of the past.

“So, I think he’s going to be fine,” he said. “I think people are looking at him now and saying, ‘Wow, he is better than we thought.’”


De’Aaron Fox thinks his Lakers workout went well

De’Aaron Fox thinks his Lakers workout went well

De’Aaron Fox had a private workout with the Los Angeles Lakers this morning and it went well, according to De’Aaron Fox.

The former Kentucky point guard said, “I felt like I shot the ball well. I showed I can play point guard, getting up and down the court.”

Fox also told reporters afterward that he hoped to show the Lakers that he is a capable shooter, seeing as though that is the only thing keeping him out of consideration for the No. 1 overall pick. He also talked about his ties to the Lakers organization (his brother has always been a fan), whether or not any teams have given him assurance for a pick (no), and lots more about his NBA future.

Click below to hear Fox’s post-workout comments before he went to lunch with Magic Johnson and other Lakers front office personnel to discuss a potential future in L.A.


Calipari predicts Adebayo will go anywhere from No. 9 to No. 15 overall

No one thinks higher of Bam Adebayo’s draft stock than John Calipari.

Today, Calipari said he believes Adebayo will get picked up as high as ninth overall. That is by far the best projection for the big man, who is the No. 24 pick in the new DraftExpress.com mock draft that was released today.

“I would say Bam is anywhere from 9, 10 to 14, 15, in that range,” Cal said on his teleconference.

Cal also said teams are really surprised by Adebayo’s shooting ability in his pre-draft workouts, as was the case with some of Cal’s other UK big men.

“Right now everybody is stunned at how Bam shoots the ball,” he said. “I must have had 10 calls. Like, ‘I didn’t realize he shot the ball this way.’ But they also didn’t realize Karl shot the ball that way and you also didn’t realize that Anthony shot the ball the way he does. And so you would think following this thing how we do it, they all have to share, they all have to give up something to each other to be able to do what they’re doing here.”

Adebayo worked out with the Chicago Bulls on Monday. The Bulls pick at No. 16 overall, right behind where Calipari predicts Adebayo will go.

Chad Ford ranks him at No. 23 on his big board.


Vegas odds on Fox, Monk to win NBA Rookie of the Year

The website SportsBettingDime.com already has odds for the NBA Rookie of the Year award next season, and two Kentucky Wildcats are among the seven players one can bet on. The odds went up this morning and De’Aaron Fox finds himself at a tempting 8-to-1 to win the rookie award, followed by Malik Monk at another tempting 10-to-1.

Odds to win 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year

Ben Simmons (76ers): 9/2
Lonzo Ball (UCLA): 6/1
Markelle Fultz (Washington): 13/2
Josh Jackson (Kansas): 8/1
Jayson Tatum (Duke): 8/1
De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky): 8/1
Malik Monk (Kentucky): 10/1
FIELD: 17/2

At this time I should remind you to gamble responsibly if you choose to do so. And by responsibly, I mean HAMMER Malik Monk at 10-to-1.

NBA Offseason Odds


Watch: De’Aaron Fox names his all-time UK 3-on-3 team

Watch: De’Aaron Fox names his all-time UK 3-on-3 team

De’Aaron Fox made a stop by Mountain Dew’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Chicago last month. While there, he took a second to talk about his ideal Kentucky 3-on-3 team and his all-time NBA 3-on-3 team, which includes his favorite player, Russell Westbrook.

Give it a watch and then let us know your UK and NBA 3-on-3 teams in the comments section. I’ll be lame and agree with Fox on John Wall, Devin Booker and Anthony Davis for my UK team. For my NBA team I’ll take Magic, MJ and LeBron. Reggie Miller coming off the bench.


Photo: Leo McKay

Isaiah Briscoe and Isaac Humphries to work out for Lakers tomorrow

Photo: Leo McKay

We are now 11 days until the 2017 NBA Draft and teams are vigorously scheduling players for workouts. Tomorrow morning, the Los Angeles Lakers are hosting six NBA Draft hopefuls for in-person evaluations. Former Kentucky Wildcats Isaiah Briscoe and Isaac Humphries make up two of the six invites.

Here’s what NBA.com’s Digital Reporter Jose Ramirez had written up as small previews for each of the two Kentucky boys, as well as some pre-draft interviews the two have done at workouts for other NBA teams.

Isaiah Briscoe | PG/SG | Kentucky | 6’3 | 210 | So.
– Ranked fifth in the SEC in assists (4.2)
– Averaged 12.1 points on 47.0 percent shooting. Hit 50.7 percent from two-point range
– Cousin of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving

Isaac Humphries | C | Kentucky | 7’0 | 255 | So.
– Averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game
– Shot 51.1 percent from the field — a 12.1 percent leap from his freshman season
– Named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2014 FIBA U-17 World Championship when he led Australia to silver

Good luck to these two as they work to pursue their dreams. Hope nothing but the best for both of these kids.

@BrettBibbinsKSR