On Saturday afternoon, I sat down and wrote an entire post about how no matter →
Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
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
The NBA All Star Games are underway in NOLA and there is plenty going on. Personally, I want to see Boogie break up a fight between Russ and KD, because we all know he’s a peacemaker, but we’ll see. Here are a couple sights and sounds from the Big Easy.
John Wall was interviewed before the game:
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 20, 2017
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) February 20, 2017
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 20, 2017
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 20, 2017
Brad and Coach Cal are there because of course they are
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) February 20, 2017
And the first bucket of the game for the west from AD
— NBA (@NBA) February 20, 2017
More to come…
By Brett Bibbins on ©February 19th, 2017 @ 7:30pm
After an All-Star Weekend filled with former Kentucky Wildcats, the actual All-Star Game is finally upon us. Make sure you’re in front of the TV tonight to watch Anthony Davis, John Wall, and DeMarcus Cousins play among the league’s best at 8pm ET on TNT.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 19, 2017
Kentucky has more players in the All-Star Game than any other school in the country. That is a pretty “underwhelming” fact, if you ask Colin Cowherd. But if you ask anyone with a brain, it is really, really impressive.
Through the first half the season, Wall is scoring 22.8 points, dishing out 10.6 assists which is second in the NBA, grabbing 4.4 rebounds, and stealing an NBA second-best 2.08 balls per game. Wall is also having his best shooting season of his career, as a 45.2% field goal percentage and 81.2% free throw percentage are both career highs.
As for Anthony Davis through the first half of the season, his numbers are just as impressive. Davis is fifth in the NBA in scoring with 27.7 points per game, sixth in rebounding at 11.9, second in blocks at 2.47, and is also averaging 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game. At 6’11, Davis is shooting 30.6% from 3 and 80.1% from the charity stripe.
And finally, the best center in the league, DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.4 steals per game. That makes Boogie fourth in the NBA in scoring and 11th in rebounding. His shooting has been a revelation this season as well, shooting 35.6% from deep and 77% from the free throw line. Keep in mind that Cousins is doing this with a pretty bad supporting cast if you consider how talented the rest of the Western Conference is.
By Brett Bibbins on ©February 19th, 2017 @ 6:30pm
Every few days, DeMarcus Cousins is questioned on his desire to stay in Sacramento long term. He has always been adamant about wanting to spend his entire career playing for the Kings and have his jersey hung in the rafters. However, news has been circling today that the Kings’ front office has been shopping DeMarcus Cousins here and there, and are definitely hearing offers for him.
The most interesting one that I’ve heard, is the report that the New Orleans Pelicans are pursuing a deal that would bring Big Cuz to Nola. Could you imagine how incredible that front court would be? Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins on the same team. Halfway to the all UK All-Star team that Coach Cal mentioned earlier this week.
Kings have had recent discussions with New Orleans on Cousins, sources tell @TheVertical. Sac still debating Cousins' future internally.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 19, 2017
Usually, I wouldn’t put a ton of stock in reports like this, but if Adrian Wojnarowski tweets a report, you best believe that things are moving behind closed doors. The guy even tweets out draft picks correctly, and he’s always two to three picks ahead of the curve. Since Woj’s tweet, Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated have also reported the same thing.
Sources: Pelicans and Kings have discussed a DeMarcus Cousins trade for Buddy Hield and multiple Pelicans first-round draft picks.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 19, 2017
Big things could be on the way for UK fans everywhere. I can barely contain my excitement.
Pelicans have made trade inquiries on DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George, per league sources. Talks have progressed further on Cousins.
— Justin Verrier (@JustinVerrier) February 19, 2017
Take a look at the entire NBA rumor mill here. The NBA Trade deadline is this Thursday at 3pm ET, so more to come on this in the very near future.
By Kory Henry on ©February 19th, 2017 @ 3:00pm
As mentioned earlier this week, Marian Catholic (Chicago) planned to retire Tyler Ulis’ #3 jersey. On Friday night, while Tyler was in town to watch his younger brother Ahron, Ulis was honored at halftime. Marian Catholic presented Ulis with his own framed #3 Spartans jersey, along with his current Phoenix Suns jersey.
The gymnasium was near capacity for Friday night’s game, knowing the Suns’ rookie point guard would be in attendance. Ulis arrived to a loud ovation from the crowd.
“I was just going to come back and see Ahron play,” Ulis said. “Then all of this happened, which is great. It’s been a long journey.”
Ulis graduated Marian Catholic as their program’s all-time leading scorer (2,335 points) and assists leader (578). He led the Spartans to consecutive Class 4A Elite Eight appearances and was a four-time East Suburban Catholic Conference selection, a two-time ESCC and Daily Southtown Player of the Year honoree, and McDonald’s All-American. Ulis is the only basketball player to have his jersey retired at Marian Catholic.
Following the presentation, Ulis stuck around to sign autographs and take pictures with every fan who was waiting.
“You get used to signing autographs at Kentucky,” Ulis said. “We did this at our home games all the time.”
By Drew Franklin on ©February 19th, 2017 @ 2:00pm
TMZ caught up with DeMarcus Cousins outside Morton’s Steakhouse in New Orleans to ask if Cousins believes if he, John Wall, Devin Booker, Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns (Calipari’s dream staring five) could win an NBA title.
Cousins simply said, “F—ing right.”
Big Blue Nation’s own John Wall has chimed in on LaVar Ball saying his son, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, is better than Steph Curry. (If you missed that one, scroll down or click here.)
Wall was asked about the outrageous comparison in an interview (that may or may not have been recorded in his hotel bed in New Orleans), to which he said, “It’s funny… I feel like he’s putting a lot of pressure on his kid though … he added fuel to the fire for when he plays Steph Curry, or any other point guards after he gets drafted.”
Sounds like the bullseye in on Lonzo’s back when he gets to the league next season.
When the participants for the 2017 Taco Bell Skills Challenge were announced, the odds were in heavy favor of the Big Blue Nation. Four out of the eight participants were former Wildcats, with John Wall and Devin Booker being two of the three favorites to win. The rules were quite simple, with players having to weave around obstacles, complete a pass through a hoop, run down the court for a layup, and come back to make a 3-pointer.
Unfortunately for the BBN, none of the NBA Cats made it through to the second round. Despite the analysts picking players from Kentucky to advance, things just didn’t go according to plan.
The first match-up saw John Wall taking on Gordon Hayward. Even though both players are considered to be top guards in the NBA, neither completed a pass in three attempts. Following the unsuccessful passes, Wall took the lead by completing his layup first, but would miss his first 3-point attempt. This allowed Hayward to drain his only shot. Game over, John Wall.
Next up, we had Devin Booker facing the overall favorite, Isaiah Thomas. Booker missed all three of his passing attempts as well, and Thomas never looked back. Thomas nailed his first pass, completed his layup, and sank his 2nd 3-point attempt before Booker even took a shot. Come on, man!
The third match-up consisted of DeMarcus Cousins and Kristaps Porzingis. Cousins would surprisingly complete his first pass, finish his layup, then proceed to have a shootout with Porzingis. Boogie actually had a 3-pointer going in first, but it was knocked out by an opposing shot. Cousins didn’t go out without a fight, as John Wall was seen falling out of his seat laughing.
That is .GIF gold.
The final showdown of the opening round was Anthony Davis taking on Nikola Jokic. Jokic was there replacing the injured Joel Embiid. Davis probably had the best showing of all four Wildcats, but his hustle was a little bit absent (it’s just All-Star weekend). Davis would get to the 3-point line first, however his first shot was a miss, which allowed Jokic to seal the deal on his initial attempt.
New York’s Porzingis would go on to win the skills challenge, defeating Gordon Hayward in the finals. Around the league, it’s really not cool if you try hard on All-Star Weekend. This weekend’s events are about having fun, which all of the former Wildcats seemed to have. It’s fun just to watch them enjoy their time in the spotlight.
One interesting note, the winner of last night’s dunk contest copied the dunk John Wall used to win the 2014 contest.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls from all around the world, good morning and welcome to Kentucky Sports Radio. It’s a big day around the Big Blue Nation. The Cats’ toughest remaining road test is in Athens, Georgia tonight at 6:00 on ESPN. At the conclusion of the game, four Wildcats will try to keep the Taco Bell Skills Challenge Trophy in the family on TNT. Without further adieu, here’s everything happening…
A Strong Start for the BBNBA All-Star Weekend
Friday Night’s Rising Stars Challenge showcased
first and second-year former Kentucky Wildcat stars. With four players on the floor, one was bound to walk away with MVP honors, right? Right. Jamal Murray knocked down nine three-pointers en route to 36 points, 11 assists and an MVP award.
— NBA (@NBA) February 18, 2017
Joining Murray on the victorious World Team, Trey Lyles had 9 points, 2 assists and 1 rebound. For Team USA, Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists while Devin Booker posted 17 points and 6 assists.
Today’s All-Star Weekend Schedule
Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress will do work in the D-League All-Star Game today at 2:30 on NBA TV. Tonight at 8:00 on TNT, Devin Booker, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and John Wall will try to keep the Taco Bell Skills Challenge Trophy in the UK familia. Last year the Big KAT became the first big to win the competition. With four of the eight competitors rocking Kentucky blue, according to my math the chances it stays in-house are 50 percent.
The Unibrow is Watching You
The UK billboard isn’t the only one in New Orleans to feature former Cats. The hometown hero watches over the city like a superhero in this enormous sign from Nike.
The Cats are 7.5-Point Favorites Over Georgia
Don’t trust it. Just stay away. I have a bad feeling J.J. Frazier is going to get stupid and take this thing into overtime. Luckily, I’m no soothsayer, so it’s possible UK’s reboot can run the Dawgs off their homecourt, but I’m not feeling it.
Can the Cats Keep a Lead?
This week’s edition of “Calipari’s Complaints” has focused on the Cats’ inability to maintain a large lead. A coach will never be satisfied until it’s proven in a game, but Cal said at yesterday’s press conference, “The situational work has been good for them.”
“We get leads and (the players) think, ‘OK, it’s my turn to go do my thing.’ Then you turn around and it’s an eight-point game. What just happened? Me thinking they would already know – they don’t know. I was tough yesterday (Thursday). Yesterday was a rough practice.”
Fox’s Hair hasn’t Changed…
…as of yesterday afternoon. These things can change on a dime, but it looks like this is what we’ll see this evening in Athens.
Renovations are Coming to the Joe Craft Center
When the Kentucky basketball practice facility opened ten years ago, it was without a doubt the “Gold Standard in College Basketball.” After spending 300 days a year in it for ten years, there was so much wear and tear, it was time for a change. With new facilities for football, baseball, softball, soccer and pretty much every other sport, it’s once again the basketball team’s turn.
“You knew we had to be in line,” Calipari said. “There’s a line because of us. I didn’t mind being last. We just had to be in line, and they knew it. ”
P.J. Washington is Doing Great Things in Marshall County
The future Kentucky power forward had an okay start to the weekend. Washington had 23 points, 18 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 blocks in a 19-point win over Hopkinsville. He’s back in action at Marshall County tonight at 6:30 .
A Fight to End All Fights
You could watch World Star fights for seven days straight without seeing anything this crazy. I don’t know what sparked the Henry Clay and Tates Creek girls to throw down, but WOW.
Tonight there was a huge fight at the Henry Clay Tates Creek girl's game.
We'll have more at 11. pic.twitter.com/hD7SeZNkIj
— LEX 18 News (@LEX18News) February 18, 2017
Today’s College Basketball Schedule
- Noon: No. 25 Notre Dame at NC State on ESPN
- Noon: Northern Iowa at Wichita State on ESPN2
- 1:00: No. 3 Kansas at No. 4 Baylor on CBS
- 2:00: No. 15 Florida at Mississippi State on ESPN
- 2:00: Texas Tech at No. 9 West Virginia on ESPN2
- 3:30: LSU at Alabama on SEC Network
- 4:00: Michigan State at No. 16 Purdue on ESPN
- 4:00: No. 17 Florida State at Pitt on ESPN2
- 6:00: The best team that ever played basketball at Georgia on ESPN
- 8:00: No. 5 Arizona at Washington on ESPN2
- 8:15: No. 14 Virginia at No. 10 North Carolina on ESPN
Jamal Murray stole the show in New Orleans tonight, taking home MVP honors in the Rising Stars Challenge.
Murray scored a game-high 36 points with nine three-pointers and 11 assists in the Team World win.
Other Wildcats statistics:
Karl-Anthony Towns: 24 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists
Devin Booker: 17 points, 6 assists
Trey Lyles: 9 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound
Murray had 20-to-1 odds to win the MVP award before the game and before he became the star of Night 1 at All-Star Weekend.
By Drew Franklin on ©February 17th, 2017 @ 8:45pm
Get on over to TNT at 9 pm to catch Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Trey Lyles and Jamal Murray in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend.
The game, formerly known as the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge, is a battle between the young stars of the United States and the basketball stars of the world.
The rosters are as follows:
Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee Bucks)
Marquese Chriss (Suns)
Brandon Ingram (Los Angeles Lakers)
Frank Kaminsky (Charlotte Hornets)
Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia 76ers)
D’Angelo Russell (Lakers)
Jonathon Simmons (San Antonio Spurs)
Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)
Alex Abrines (Thunder)
Buddy Hield (New Orleans Pelicans)
Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Trey Lyles (Jazz)
Willy Hernangomez (Knicks)
Jamal Murray (Nuggets)
Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks)
Domantas Sabonis (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Dario Saric (76ers)
Team USA is favored by 5.5 points and I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t have action on the game, while knowing full well that betting on an all-star game is one of the dumbest things a person can do.