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The rosters for tonight’s UK Alumni Game…

The rosters for tonight’s UK Alumni Game…

Photo by Dr. Michael Huang

The rosters for tonight’s Alumni Game at Rupp Arena was just handed out. Here are the teams for the main event at 8 p.m.:

Walter McCarty will coach the Blue Team and Dwane Casey the White Team.

Who ya got, BLUE or WHITE?

WATCH: Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins Practice their Softball Swing

Three sports collided this afternoon on UK’s campus.  NBA superstars DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis played a game of softball on the Kentucky football field inside Nutter Field House.

For a couple of NBA guys, they know their way around a bat.  Unfortunately, the angle shot from the Pelicans’ Twitter account doesn’t show where each hit landed, but the reaction should help you decipher who’s better in the batter’s box.

Up first, the ball left Cousins’ bat and made a loud BOOM that echoed throughout the Field House.

Davis did not bring as much power, but the spectators went a little wilder for his hit.

Who did it better?

Karl-Anthony Towns Does Not Stick to Sports in The Players’ Tribune

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Before Karl-Anthony Towns returned to Lexington for tonight’s charity alumni game, he expressed his concerns about our country’s race relations following the last weekend’s protests in Charlottesville.

An eloquent speaker and writer, Towns used his prominent platform to have an honest discussion about racism in America.  Even though many see him as just a basketball player, he’s a black man who’s disappointed with what he’s seen across the country over the last year.  He refuses to simply “stick to sports.”

To anyone who says, “Stick to sports” … let’s be real: Our President used to host a reality TV show. You’re telling me I can’t voice a political opinion?

The piece is not primarily focused on blasting Donald Trump, but he did use a basketball analogy to condemn the President’s reaction to what happened in Charlottesville.

I was shocked by how our President responded to Charlottesville.

Our President was given a layup: Denounce white supremacists.

And he couldn’t … and wouldn’t.

He missed … he missed badly.

I think about it like this: The President’s response, in basketball terms … ’cause you may know I know a little about the sport … was just like catching the ball on a fast break — no one else is even past half court — and then tripping on your own feet inside the paint as the ball flies out of bounds.

Should’ve been pretty easy.

Before you watch him play basketball tonight in Rupp Arena, see America through Towns’ eyes by reading “There Are More of Us Than There Are of Them.”

There Are More of Us Than There Are of Them


Karl-Anthony Towns just touched down in Lexington

Karl-Anthony Towns just touched down in Lexington

One by one, the former Wildcats are coming together in Lexington.

You know why I'm here. #BBN

A post shared by Karl-Anthony Towns (@karltowns) on

It’s going to be a fun weekend!


More former Kentucky players added to the Alumni Game


The list of former Kentucky players participating in tomorrow night’s Alumni Game continues to grow. While NBA rules prohibit UK from announcing which current NBA players will take part, UK did release a list of players not in the league that will play in the main event at 8 p.m.:

  • Derek Anderson
  • Keith Bogans
  • Ramel Bradley
  • Rex Chapman
  • Erik Daniels
  • Tony Delk
  • Jamaal Magloire
  • Mychal Mulder
  • Antoine Walker

Dwane Casey, current head coach of the Toronto Raptors, and Walter McCarty, a current assistant head coach with the Boston Celtics, will serve as head coaches. Many others have confirmed on social media they will participate, including:

  • Anthony Davis
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Darius Miller
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Jamal Murray
  • Alex Poythress
  • Joe Crawford

Jamal Murray is already making himself at home in Cal’s office:

The NBA Alumni Game takes place at 8 p.m., and will be preceded by the Legends Game at 7 p.m. If you missed it, we picked the rosters for the Legends Game last Friday:

UK officially announces the rosters for the Legends Game

Lots of great tickets are still available on Ticketmaster for as low as $5, so grab yours and I’ll see you there.

Today on KSR: Nine Days ‘Til Kickoff

Good morning, friends. We are NINE DAYS from Kentucky’s season opener at Southern Miss, which should have you feeling like those fans up there. The gridiron is where we’ll start today’s agenda:

We’ll hear from Matt House and the defense

Yesterday was the first day of classes, so there was no media availability, but late this afternoon, Matt House and his defense will update reporters on their progress with little over a week to go until the first game. With classes starting, fall camp has shifted into game prep, and tomorrow, Mark Stoops will take his turn in front of the mics. While we have to wait nine more days to watch the Cats, football will actually be on your televisions starting on Saturday as Charlie Strong’s No. 19 South Florida takes on San Jose State, followed by No. 14 Stanford vs. Rice. One week from today, games start in full force, headlined by No. 2 Ohio State’s trip to Indiana.

It can’t come soon enough.

More players arrive in Lexington for the Alumni Game

We already know the rosters for the Legends game, but over the course of the week, more and more of our NBA Cats have confirmed they will participate in the main event Friday night. Per social media, here’s who we know is in so far:

  • Anthony Davis
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Darius Miller
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Jamal Murray
  • Alex Poythress
  • Rex Chapman
  • Joe Crawford

I expect that list to keep growing today. Still plenty of great tickets left (including in the lower level), so get on over to Ticketmaster to secure yours.

Aaron Harrison Workout Video of the Day

Harrison is working hard to make an NBA roster before training camp next month, and yesterday, released this impressive video of a recent workout:

“What if” of the Day

On Tuesday, Trey Lyles reminded us that had he stayed at Kentucky for four years, he would be a senior this season, along with Karl Towns, Devin Booker, and Tyler Ulis. Instead, all four are in the NBA making millions. Can you imagine? I don’t want to let myself go there.

Gorgeous football practice facility of the day: Northwestern

Northwestern’s new $260 million facility on Lake Michigan is still under construction, but check out these views of the practice field:

Kentucky’s new practice facility is great, but that is insane.

Surprise of the Day

If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise now, would it? Let’s just say that around 10 a.m., some of you are going to be very, very happy.

Summer Tour Stop of the Day: Mt. Sterling

Come on down to Mann Chrysler to enjoy the show and hear the guys break down another region of the 2017 Restaurant Bracket.

Karl Towns is in Katy Perry’s new music video

Karl Towns is in Katy Perry’s new music video

This morning, Katy Perry released “Swish Swish,” her new music video featuring Nicki Minaj, and it includes a surprise cameo by Karl Towns. The former Cat and current Minnesota Timberwolves star appears near the end of the basketball-themed, celebrity-laden video, dancing with Katy and her crew:

That is incredibly random, but I love it. Somewhere, Bam Adebayo is very jealous.

NBA 2K18 First Look: Former Wildcat edition

Some of these have been posted on the site over the past few weeks, but more Wildcat player ratings and pictures have been released for NBA 2K18.

Check out the video game versions of your favorite former Kentucky stars:

Do you agree with the player ratings? Did 2K get the animations right?

Alex Poythress’ two-way deal with the Pacers, explained

Alex Poythress’ two-way deal with the Pacers, explained

The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement created two new roster spots for each of the league’s 30 organizations, extending rosters from 15 to 17 players this upcoming season. The new rule will add 60 players to the NBA, including Alex Poythress, who signed a two-way contract with the Indiana Pacers this week.

So what’s a two-way contract, you ask?

Good question.

A two-way contract is the new player option that will make up the final two roster spots on each team. Two-way players will spend most of their time in the G-League; however, they can spend up to 45 days with the NBA team that signed them. In Poythress’ case, he will be allocated to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ G-League affiliate, but he can be called up to the Pacers at anytime for up to 45 days.

Financially, the two-way contract pays more than other G-League deals. Two-way players will make up to $75,000 per season, which is much higher than the $26,000 maximum salary for one-way G-League players. If called up to the NBA, two-way players will make the rookie minimum while in the league, which is $815,615 annually for 2017-18. If the player is called up for the maximum 45 days, he will earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 during that time, on top of the G-League salary.

There is a kicker, though: two-way players can only be called up by the NBA team that signed them. While one-way G-League players have the freedom to go to any of the 30 league teams, two-way players are tied to only one, until the contract is up. Many agents have been critical of the contract for this reason as it limits opportunities to move up.

That being said, the new rule was put in place to create a better minor league system for the NBA. There are pros and there are cons, and every situation is unique. For Poythress, I would argue it’s a good deal as it shows a commitment from the Pacers, and pays him a little more than his fellow G-Leaguers while he develops within the Pacers organization, rather than going overseas.

WATCH: John Calipari wants YOU to come to the Alumni Game

WATCH: John Calipari wants YOU to come to the Alumni Game

As more and more of his former players arrive on campus for Friday’s Alumni Game, John Calipari took to Twitter this afternoon to encourage fans to buy tickets, reminding his followers that all proceeds go to charity.

“Let me just tell you, we have a bunch of our guys coming back, excited to be back in town. This is their family. This is their home. This is where they want to be, and we need you there with them. Again, the money we raise is going straight to charity. We’re giving checks away that night.”

A quick check of Ticketmaster shows that plenty of tickets are still available, including $25 lower level seats and $5 upper level seats. NBA rules prohibit UK from releasing the names of the NBA guys participating, but through social media, we can connect some of the dots ourselves.

Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, and Darius Miller are already in town to train with the Pelicans, and many more familiar faces are expected to join them as the week goes on. And while the main draw is obviously the NBA Alumni Game, something tells me the Legends Game right before it at 7 p.m. may be more entertaining.

See you Friday night?

Alex Poythress signs with the Indiana Pacers

Alex Poythress signs with the Indiana Pacers

Great news for one of our favorite former Cats. The Indiana Pacers just announced they’ve signed Alex Poythress to a two-way contract.

Poythress spent most of last season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ D-League affiliate. With the Mad Ants, he averaged 18.5 points and 7.1 rebounds in 46 games and was named a D-League All-Star. In April, he was called up by the Philadelphia 76ers and over six games, averaged 10.7 points and 4.8 rebounds. He had 18 points and 6 rebounds vs. the Knicks on April 12:

Welcome back to Indy, Alex!

Kentucky’s NBA rookies don’t get a lot of love from their peers in annual survey

Kentucky’s NBA rookies don’t get a lot of love from their peers in annual survey

De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, and Bam Adebayo all went in the lottery of this year’s draft, but they’re not getting much love from their fellow rookies in this year’s rookie survey.

At the annual rookie photo shoot earlier this month, asked 39 rookies seven questions about their class, and Kentucky’s rookies finished in the top three of only a handful of categories. Malik Monk got the second most votes for Best Shooter (13.5%) behind Luke Kennard (48.6%), while De’Aaron Fox tied with Jawun Evans and Dennis Smith for third in the Best Playmaker category behind Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz.

Speaking of Ball, he wasn’t the rookies’ pick for Rookie of the Year; 25.7% of the rookies voted for Dennis Smith Jr., the ninth overall pick, to win that honor. Fox received the fifth most votes (7.9%) in the Best Career category behind Ball and Jayson Tatum (tied at 18.4%) and Josh Jackson and Dennis Smith (tied at 10.5%).

Check out the full results at the link below. Judging by that picture up top, Kentucky’s trio didn’t think too much of them.


Today on KSR: Regrouping after Dorian Baker’s injury

Today on KSR: Regrouping after Dorian Baker’s injury

Good morning, everyone. All we all over the eclipse yet? Good. Shoutout to these Kentucky and KSR fans in Costa Rica. Now that we’re all sufficiently jealous of your pura vida, let’s move on to today’s agenda.

Dorian Baker undergoes surgery

After suffering an ankle injury during Saturday’s scrimmage, senior wideout Dorian Baker will undergo surgery today at the UK Chandler Medical Center. Yesterday, UK sent out a press release saying that Baker suffered a fracture-dislocation in his left ankle and will miss significant time and possibly the entire 2017 season. Mark Stoops also released these remarks:

“We’re very disappointed for Dorian, as he had a good offseason and was helping lead our receivers during preseason camp; however, we are hopeful for a full recovery and look forward to his eventual return to the field.”

Last night, Baker took to Twitter to thank everyone for their support:

The offense regroups

What now? Eddie Gran and the offense will address reporters after practice today, and with Baker out, Kayaune Ross, Tavin Richardson, and Josh Ali are all expected to get more snaps. Check the site after lunch for a full recap.

New episode of “Kentucky Thrones Radio”

Nick and TJ Walker were up bright and early yesterday to recap Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones, so if you’re not over the episode yet, refresh your KSR feed to check it out.

Eclipse Traffic Horror Story of the Day

That easily belongs to Ryan, Drew, Chris Tomlin, and Daniel, who were among the thousands stranded in Eclipse traffic yesterday. It took the group almost nine hours to make a trip that normally takes three. Apparently the junction near Elizabethtown was one of the main causes of all the issues, and, insanely, Matt managed to avoid the major pile up because he left 15 minutes earlier than they did. Something tells me we’ll hear plenty about this in about an hour.

Pick-Up Game Snap of the Day

Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, and Darius Miller brought the entire Pelicans squad to town to train ahead of Friday’s Alumni Game, which means pickup games will be going down all week. We can’t be there (until Friday at least), so until then, we will live vicariously through the players’ SnapChats. Oh to be a fly on those walls…

Summer Tour Stop of the Day: Kentucky State Fair

Today, the gang will be at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, where you can potentially see Ryan Lemond in a UK basketball jersey and short shorts. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, catch the gang on the last few stops of the 2017 summer tour:

  • Tue 8/22 –Louisville – KY State Fair
  • Wed 8/23 – Northern KY – Dickman’s
  • Thu 8/24 – Mt. Sterling – Mann Chrysler
  • Fri 8/25 – Louisville – KSR Golf Scramble @ Oxmoor Country Club

UPDATE: Nerlens Noel signs with LeBron’s agent, pushing for max contract

Last night, we told you Nerlens Noel was opting for agent Dan Fegan to negotiate a new contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

Today, the former Kentucky big man had a change of heart.

According to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, Noel has signed with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.

Considered one of the top agents in all of professional sports, Paul also represents LeBron James, John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Ben Simmons, Trey Lyles, and several others.

Paul just negotiated John Wall’s $207 million contract and has gotten every dime possible for LeBron and his cast of talent in Cleveland, as well.

For Noel, it’s max money or bust, and he hired the stud agent to make that happen.

It was once a foregone conclusion that the former Kentucky star would be re-signing with the Dallas Mavericks, but now, things are up in the air.

As we told you guys yesterday, NBC 5 in Dallas reported the 6’11 forward and the Mavericks were far apart on a deal, and other teams have resisted Noel’s hefty price tag.

No other NBA clubs tried to sign the restricted 6-11 center. He has a one year qualifying offer of $5.8 million on the table but it’s not to his liking so he switched agents.

“We’re in a holding pattern,” is what Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle told me back in July on NBC Sports Radio when I brought up the contract talks between Dallas and Noel. The NBA salary cap didn’t go up has high as many previously projected, so the summer of 2017 was not a bonanza some players hoped for.

The Mavs will have the opportunity to match any offer sheet Noel (RFA) signs, but if Paul is able to work his magic and negotiate a massive deal for Noel elsewhere, he might be a goner.

If anyone can get the former flat-top sensation that bag of money, it’s Rich Paul.

Derek Willis misses final cut for USA AmeriCup Team

On August 14, former Wildcat Derek Willis was one of 16 players invited to training camp for the USA FIBA AmeriCup team.

This afternoon, Willis was not included on the final roster.

Check out the official list from USA Basketball:

The AmeriCup will be held in South America starting on August 28, where Team USA will begin group play in Montevideo, Uruguay.

On the bright side, this will give Willis more time to start working with the Detroit Pistons and (hopefully) make the final roster.

Go get that money, D-Will.