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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

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 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 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 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’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.


Did You Know De’Aaron Fox Taught Himself to Play Piano?

Before he became a point guard for the Kentucky Wildcats, De’Aaron Fox taught himself how to play piano with an electric keyboard and YouTube videos.  It’s one of the many things about Fox you may not know that’s featured in this pre-NBA Draft profile from

A player that’s often compared to John Calipari’s first point guard, John Wall, Coach Cal makes a distinction between the two, surprisingly favoring Fox.

“But let me say this,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “John Wall used his speed as a weapon. Wasn’t as good with the ball, scoring wise, at that age. De’Aaron has floaters. Not a great three-point shooter. Good. But neither was John. But John’s thing was, ‘I am getting to that rim and I’m going to dunk on you.’ This kid (Fox) didn’t use it as a weapon and my whole thing all season (was) ‘Sprint the ball for layups. Rebound it, they outlet it, try to shoot a layup.’ And when he did, it was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ He doesn’t view it as a weapon. Yet. When he views it as a weapon, it’s a wrap. You look at a John Wall, the difference he makes, it’s just speed. One thing. Speed.”

You know a lot about De’Aaron, but you can learn more by reading this.

Julius Randle Creates a Classic Commercial with Jimmy Kimmel

Julius Randle Creates a Classic Commercial with Jimmy Kimmel

Professional athletes have big-timed local markets.  Their contracts have grown so much, local companies can rarely afford endorsements.

Jimmy Kimmel turned back the clock to the golden age of local advertising with the help of Julius Randle.  The former Wildcat does his best to promote the 2004 winner of L.A.’s Best Rocking Chair Store, appropriately named  “L.A. Rocking Chair Store.”  The results are glorious.


Julius Randle Came to Town For Cal’s First Father/Son Camp

Kentucky’s favorite Laker Julius Randle swung by the Joe Craft Center today to pay a visit to the first session of Coach Cal’s Father/Son Camp.

Julius Randle is in the house for our first Father/Son Camp!

A post shared by John Calipari (@ukcoachcalipari) on

It’s a pretty common scene to see former Cats pop up during these camps. If you’re interested in attending, Coach Cal’s official twitter has been selling a lot today:


Fox, Monk Invited to NBA Draft

De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk have reportedly received invitations to attend the June 22 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  According to Draft Express, the former Cats are two of the first ten prospects to be invited to the life-changing event.

  • De’Aaron Fox
  • Malik Monk
  • Lonzo Ball
  • Zach Collins
  • Markelle Fultz
  • Jonathan Isaac
  • Josh Jackson
  • Lauri Markkanen
  • Dennis Smith Jr.
  • Jayson Tatum

The previous ten players are the just the first ones to receive invitations.  The list will grow up to 20 over the next week.

Draft Express currently projects Fox fourth to the Phoenix Suns, Malik Monk eighth to the New York Knicks and Bam Adebayo at No. 24 to the Utah Jazz.

[Draft Express]

John Wall stars in a McDonald’s commercial

John Wall stars in a McDonald’s commercial

If you live in the Washington D.C. area, keep an eye out for this McDonald’s commercial, which features John Wall trying out the chain’s new mobile ordering app. Why is Wall the perfect fit? Because he’s fast, of course. Check out the ad, which looks like it only airs in the DMV area, below:

I’m lovin’ it.

Karl Towns is vacationing in Paris, France


Even Karl Towns takes a vacation every now and then, and this week, he’s in Paris, France with his girlfriend. Because he’s Karl Towns, Paris Saint-Germain, the famous soccer club, gave him a jersey of his very own:

Karl played basketball and baseball in high school, and even tried his hand — err, feet — at soccer:


…and tennis at Roland Garros:



Unfortunately for Karl, Roger Federer skipped this year’s French Open. He can cheer on Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, though.

Kings reportedly willing to trade two top-10 picks to move up for Fox

The Kings want De’Aaron Fox.

The Kings want De’Aaron Fox so bad, the organization is reportedly interested in packaging its two top-10 picks at No. 5 and No. 10 to move up in the draft to secure the former Kentucky point guard.

From the Sporting News’ report:

Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball are expected to be selected 1-2, but after that it gets a bit murky with the 76ers on the clock at No. 3. Fox has rocketed up draft boards and if he isn’t taken by the 76ers, then the Suns are likely to draft him at No. 4. The Kings, seeing no way Fox will drop to No. 5, would likely trade with Philadelphia to guarantee Fox is a King.

As a former Sacramento fan who knows it is run by the worst management in sports, it breaks my heart to think Fox could end up there. But as a fan of Fox, I think it’s a pretty good move if the Kings can pull it off.

Fox was in Sacramento on Sunday and Monday, and it sounds like he did too much to impress everyone.

De’Aaron Fox is putting in work before NBA Draft

De’Aaron Fox is putting in work before NBA Draft

With less than three weeks until this year’s NBA Draft, players are still working to secure their spot in the league. De’Aaron Fox is no exception. 

NBA Draft Scout Mike Schmitz tweeted a video of Fox working out and draining three-pointers on Saturday. In the tweet, Schmitz says: “Thought De’Aaron Fox showed he has more shooting potential than scouts saw at Kentucky. Think he becomes at least an AVG 3P shooter in time.”

Schmitz later added a video showing Fox hitting treys during an AAU game in 2015. Based on the video, it’s clear Schmitz recognizes that Fox has always been a decent shooter, and NBA scouts are starting to realize the same. According to the tweet, Fox was good for 1.9 threes per 40 for 32 percent over 21 games during his final AAU season. At Kentucky, Fox averaged 52.1 percent from the field and 24.6 percent from behind the arc.

Fox has put out a few pictures of his own that show the strides he’s making before the NBA Draft. An account named CyLakesBasketball tweeted these photos of Fox in the weight room following NBA Pro Day, which Fox later posted on his own Instagram:





Keep it up, De’Aaron. Only 18 more days until the Draft.


Isaiah Briscoe To Work Out For Philadelphia

Following his workout for the Knicks, Isaiah Briscoe will work out for the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. Briscoe’s workout with the Knicks went “really well” according to sources as the June Draft draws closer. The workout with the 76ers will include players such as Marylands’s Melo Trimble and George Wahington’s Tyler Cavanaugh.

Briscoe is ranked as the 80th best NBA Draft Prospect on Draft Express and there has been a rise in interest in him in the last few weeks. For more on Briscoe’s likelihood of making an NBA roster, check out Jack Pilgrim’s three reasons why he will be successful.