The dust has finally settled on Thursday night’s successful NBA Draft. After months of interviews, →
Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
By Nick Roush on ©May 16th, 2017 @ 9:45pm
Upon first glance at the lottery results, De’Aarn Fox appeared to be a perfect fit for the Philadelphia 76ers. Built with too many bigs, he’d be the perfect point guard The Process could Trust. However, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express doesn’t see it that way, penciling Josh Jackson into that No. 3 slot to the Sixers. Here’s where he believes the Cats will fall:
5. De’Aaron Fox — Sacramento Kings
6. Malik Monk — Orlando Magic
32. Bam Adebayo — Phoenix Suns
35. Hamidou Diallo — Orlando Magic
If you’d like to see more from Draft Express, you can find scouting videos on all the Wildcats here.
Chad Ford believes one Wildcat will Trust The Process, but it’s not De’Aaron Fox. Where the Cats land in Ford’s post-lottery mock draft:
3. Malik Monk — Philadelphia 76ers
5. De’Aaaron Fox — Sacramento Kings
23. Bam Adebayo — Toronto Raptors
27. Hamidou Diallo — Brooklyn Nets
If there’s one team that could ruin any chances Kentucky has at seeing Hamidou Diallo in a UK jersey, it’s the Brooklyn Nets. With the No. 22 and No. 27 picks, no first round pick next year and no plan on improving anytime soon, Diallo is a perfect fit for the Nets. Diallo will workout with the Nets Thursday, according to Adam Zagoria.
By Nick Roush on ©May 16th, 2017 @ 9:05pm
Devin Booker’s Phoenix Suns were poised to be the second pick in this year’s NBA Draft, with a 19.9% chance to obtain the No. 1 overall pick. The Suns’ representative for the second consecutive year, Booker brought along his friend and Special Olympics athlete Noah Smith and his brother Brad. Noah gave Booker a good luck charm on stage before the lottery began.
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) May 17, 2017
Unfortunately, it didn’t help the Suns who dropped two spots to No. 4 overall.
The Draft Order
1. Boston Celtics
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Sacramento Kings
6. Orlando Magic
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
8. New York Knicks
9. Dallas Mavericks
10. Sacramento Kings
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Detroit Pistons
13. Denver Nuggets
14. Miami Heat
Booker wasn’t the only Wildcat getting airtime. De’Aaron Fox was front and center in the broadcast, sitting alongside Markelle Fultz. His former backcourt running-mate, Malik Monk, took the stage to brag about his point guard.
“He’s the fastest in his class. He thinks like that in the blink of an eye, making the right plays every time.” Monk also shared what part of his game might surprise people at the next level. “Playing the pick-and-roll,” Monk said. “I think I can do that amazing and I don’t think a lot of people have seen that.”
Jay Bilas believes Monk is the No. 7 overall prospect and that Fox is No. 5, but it’s hard to see Fox falling past Philadelphia at No. 3.
All of the other notable moments from the night came from Joel Embiid. His mind was racing until he realized they had a Top Three Pick.
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) May 17, 2017
That wasn’t Embiid’s best expression.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 16th, 2017 @ 5:00pm
I think we’re all in agreement that Karl-Anthony Towns is the nicest guy on the planet, but in case there are any doubters left out there, this interview with CBSSports.com should get everyone on the same page.
In the interview, Towns is asked about a variety of topics — from his game to his idols to his time at Kentucky and more — but one question in particular got a response that really showed who Karl-Anthony Towns is.
Q. After you got the big contract, what was the coolest thing you really wanted to buy for yourself?
A. I was really pumped to pay my parents’ house off. I paid the house off. I just came back from there [over the All-Star Break] — a lot of fun to go back home. That was it, man. When I was fortunate enough to financially be on a better standpoint, I never really wanted anything. I just wanted to take care of my parents. Make sure their house was paid off, their bills were paid for, their cars were paid off. That was it. I didn’t buy myself anything. I think the only thing I bought myself was … what was it? It was something so small, and I was so excited.
I didn’t have a car when I first moved to Minnesota. I didn’t have a car until, like, January. The only thing I bought myself was … man, I didn’t do anything! I literally didn’t do anything. I think the first time I spent a little bit of money, I bought a TV. But that was because I just moved in! And when I first moved in, I didn’t even have bedframes and stuff. My dad was like, ‘What are you doing?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m just sleeping on the mattress.’ And he said, ‘You’re not supposed to do that.’ I was like, ‘Oh. OK.’ But I really don’t remember the first thing I bought. I think it was a TV. I really, really didn’t want anything.
All together now… Awwwwwwwwwwww!
I also really enjoyed the story of Karl thinking it was okay to leave the Timberwolves arena before a game against the Warriors to buy some candy from a nearby Walgreen’s, and how he named DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis as two of the best bigs he’s ever faced in the league.
Take a second to enjoy Karl being peak Karl by reading the entire Q&A here.
De’Aaron Fox is in New York City for the NBA draft lottery and he took a moment to pose with hats from eight of the teams that could end up taking in him in the draft.
Fox is seen wearing the Dallas Mavericks hat, a team that would love to have him, but will need a miracle with only a 6.1 percent chance to land a top-five pick.
Meanwhile, Malik Monk is showing off his lottery night suit on the official NBA SnapChat.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 16th, 2017 @ 1:07pm
Over the weekend we told you about Devin Booker’s friend joining him at the NBA lottery, but did you know Booker has another good luck charm with him in New York?
I’m talking about his new facial hair, seen (barely) on his Instagram:
Booker told AZCentral.com, “People didn’t notice last year because I didn’t have quite as much but I’m leaving my facial hair. That’s for our top pick.”
Booker also said that’s all the facial hair he can grow, so maybe he should leave the good luck charm to Noah Smith, who seems to be having a ball in New York already.
Noah's all set for today!
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) May 16, 2017
Here’s the news story from when Noah got his surprise invite:
Today Hamidou Diallo will work out with the Milwaukee Bucks, an organization that is probably one of the most willing to take a chance on him in this year’s draft.
Last year the Bucks drafted Thon Maker at No. 10 overall in a very similar situation: Maker went straight to the NBA from prep school without ever playing a game at the college level. Diallo is in the same boat (although he spent four months in college) and with a 6’11” wingspan and a 44.5″ vertical, the Bucks may run it back by selecting a second straight unknown with its first pick, this year at No. 17.
Joining Diallo in Milwaukee today: Deng Adel (Louisville), L.J. Peak (Georgetown), Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin), Sterling Brown (SMU) and Jalen Moore (Utah State).
By Nick Roush on ©May 15th, 2017 @ 10:42pm
John Wall’s 2017 season ends one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Wizards had a halftime lead, but in the second half Isaiah Thomas and Kelly Olynyk got hot, while John Wall got cold. The former Kentucky point guard finished with 18 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds. Without a post presence or a bench of any kind (Boston’s bench outscored Washington 47-5), the Wizards had no chance.
Before things got bad in the second half, Wall was electric. Enjoy highlights from his final game of the season.
— NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2017
John Wall’s first ever Game 7:
6-10 from the field
— NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2017
— NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2017
As if we needed another reason to love Devin Booker.
This week, Booker went to go see Suns super fan Noah Smith and asked him to come to the NBA Draft in New York on Tuesday.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) May 12, 2017
Noah Smith, a fifth grader was born with a hole in his heart and, like Devin, plays basketball – for the special olympics. The plan is for Smith and Booker to spend all Tuesday together playing basketball and exploring the city before the big night. I’m sure there will be tons of adorable pictures of the duo on Tuesday. I mean, look at these ones from the announcement:
— Navarrete Elementary (@cusdnavarrete) May 12, 2017
I think I love him more than Tyler Ulis loves him.
By Eli Mitchell on ©May 13th, 2017 @ 10:00pm
De’Aaron Fox sat down with NBATV’s Kevin Harlan to discuss why he decided to come to the combine, what NBA teams are asking him, and if he will shoot a high number of 3’s in the NBA.
Fox told Harlan why he came to the combine, “It was always a dream of mine to come to the NBA combine. I have been watching it for many years. With the year I had I didn’t really have to do the testing, just measurements.”
The projected top-5 pick did not want to lose his opportunity to show teams who he is off the court, “I just wanted to meet with teams, 30 minute interviews, just gives them more of a peak at my personality.”
Check out everything Fox had to say below:
By Brett Bibbins on ©May 13th, 2017 @ 8:00pm
For all of those binge Netflix watchers out there, the Netflix original series Master of None debuted its second season on Friday morning. Like a lot of other people, I’ve spent my Saturday afternoon watching episode after episode of this fantastic show.
Not even halfway through the third episode of this new season, and we have our first University of Kentucky-related reference. The main character, Dev, played by Aziz Ansari, has his aunt and uncle come to New York from out of town to celebrate their anniversary by going to watch the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New York Knicks square off at Madison Square Garden. Dev’s aunt comes sporting a Karl Towns’ jersey, while his uncle is wearing a Kristaps Porzingis jersey.
While the male in the photo asks how someone could ever think Towns is better than Porzingis for the reasoning that Kristaps can “shoot the three”, the female, Dev’s aunt retorts in the best way possible.
Porzingis is too skinny! He can’t bang in the post like Towns! Get this guy a protein shake and then we can talk!
Gotta love seeing the former Cat get some love on a worldwide program like Master of None. And someone tell those writers that Towns has shot 36.1% from deep over his two years in the league, while Porzingis has shot 34.6%. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
If you haven’t watched the show yet, I highly recommend it. If not for wanting anything more than seeing Towns get the shout.
De’Aaron Fox has been at the center of conversations across the NBA this weekend as many believe the star point guard has gained traction as the best player in this draft.
Fox sat down with John Jackson of the Associated Press on Friday to discuss an array of topics.
Jackson asked Fox how he felt he stacked up against fellow star point guards, Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz. Fox said, “I feel like I’m the best. If they’re drafted above me, I’m cool with it. You have to play basketball at the end of the day.”
We all know about Fox’s epic 39 point performance against UCLA in the sweet sixteen, he told the AP that there was a little extra motivation behind that performance because of Lonzo Ball.
“He’s the consensus No.1 pick, he could be the No.1 pick. I’m just extremely competitive. That’s what I tell everyone. It didn’t matter if it was him or one of the other top picks. I’m competitive, and I came out hot.”
DraftExpress has Fox slated to go #5 to the Orlando Magic while Fultz and Ball are projected to be the first and second picks in the draft.
By Eli Mitchell on ©May 13th, 2017 @ 4:00pm
Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller had an interesting idea that would help to determine which college program is best represented in the NBA. Miller decided to choose eight players (starting five, and 3 bench players) from Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, UCLA, Texas, and of course Kentucky. Miller seeded the teams in order of overall supremacy and put them through an NBA style best-of-seven formatted tournament.
UK’s lineup consisted of John Wall, Devin Booker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, DeMarcus Cousins, and Anthony Davis as the starting five along with Eric Bledsoe, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Julius Randle as the bench players.
In the 1st round No.1 seed Kentucky was matched up against the No.8 seed Arizona where Miller projected UK to sweep Arizona in four games. In the final four No.1 Kentucky matched up against a Kyrie Irving-led Duke team, where the size of Davis, Cousins, and Towns would be too much for Mason Plumlee and Jabari Parker to handle. Miller projects Kentucky would win the series in five games.
In the other final four No.2 Texas squares off against No.3 UCLA in a Russell Westbrook-Kevin Durant battle. This would be a fun series to watch as UCLA has a bevy of good guards and Texas is stacked in the front court. In the end the size of LaMarcus Aldridge, Tristan Thompson and KD overpowers the shooting of Kevin Love and Trevor Ariza.
The Championship pits No.1 Kentucky vs No.2 Texas in a series that would be extremely entertaining. Texas would make things interesting with two above average big men in LaMarcus Aldridge and Tristan Thompson along with one of the best players in the world in Durant. In this imaginary scenario John Wall would have himself a field day against Cory Joseph and D.J. Augustin while Cousins and Davis would control the paint. Kentucky wins in six games.
As Miller stated himself, “Texas puts up more of a fight than any other team would, but it’s kind of hard to win an alumni battle against a program that has produced 21 first round draft picks since 2010.”
This exercise demonstrated what Cats fans have known for a while, Kentucky is by far the best represented college program in the NBA with an outstanding 25 players on rosters. To see everything Miller had to say, click here.
Bam Adebayo has expected to be a 1st round pick in this year’s 2017 NBA Draft since he committed to UK over a year ago. Throughout the season, Bam’s spot in mock drafts fluctuated, but his desire to turn pro never did.
Initially, Bam left the door open for a return to UK for his sophomore season by not hiring an agent to start the pre-draft process. Two weeks later after a meeting with assistant coach Kenny Payne, Bam’s mother, and Coach Calipari, Bam hired an agent to end his time at Kentucky.
Thanks to our friend, Kyle Tucker, over at seccountry.com we have learned that Calipari told the Adebayo’s that Bam would be crazy to consider coming back as a projected top-20 pick.
Adebayo told reporters at the combine on Friday, “He felt like I was doubting my potential. He was like, ‘What’s wrong with you, man?’ He was like, ‘Go!’ I was like, ‘All right.”
Bam has looked great at the combine this week, showing off his freakish frame while weighing in at 243 pounds with 5.2% body fat. Draft Express currently has the 6’10 big man set to join the Phoenix Wildcats with the 32nd pick in the draft.
It’s hard to be blame a kid that just wants to support his family, the BBN is behind you, Bam!
It’s safe to say that De’Aaron Fox is pretty popular at the NBA Combine this week. Honestly, looking at this picture makes me a little claustrophobic. I’m very happy I’m a 5’4″ white girl and not a superstar basketball player.
Fox has a few different options of where he could go. The Twitter account Strictly Knicks posted this interview from Fox on the possibility of playing with the Knicks yesterday:
De’Aaron Fox’s thoughts on the triangle offense and possibly playing alongside Kristaps 👀 pic.twitter.com/gG0YvK9EZE
— 🔶StrictlyKnicks™🔷 (@StrictlyKnicks1) May 13, 2017
There’s also talks of Fox going to the Kings. Kings Writer Jason Jones posted this video on his twitter last night:
De’Aaron Fox talks about his meeting with the Kings pic.twitter.com/I2vnAupB45
— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) May 12, 2017
The possibility of Fox, Skal, and Willie together makes my heart happy. It’s still early and this is all talk but, I’m crossing my fingers he goes there.
By Maggie Davis on ©May 13th, 2017 @ 10:00am
Good morning, readers of KSR. What started off as a fairly dry day quickly turned exciting… so let’s get started with what you need to know:
UK Baseball crushes Tennessee
The No. 8 Kentucky Baseball team rolled over Tennessee Friday night, defeating the Volunteers 15-5. The Wildcats are now 34-16 overall and 16-9 in league play. This team’s 16 SEC wins makes them the winningest Kentucky team against conference opponents since the 2012 team went 18-12 in league play.
Shoutout Stephen Johnson
The Bat Cats got off on the right foot, partly thanks to QB Stephen Johnson and his opening pitch. The Kentucky Baseball account tweeted this video during the game, so what do you think? Think we’re looking at a multi-sport athlete?
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) May 12, 2017
Bat Cats back in action
The Wildcats will go for round two this afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m., but it’s Senior Day, so be sure to get to the Cliff a little early. Seven seniors will be recognized before the game: Marcus Carson, Colton Cleary, Connor Heady, Gunnar McNeill, Zach Reks, Logan Salow and Storm Wilson. The series closer is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.
Kentucky Tennis advances
In more “other UK sports” news, both the Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships.
The No. 17 Women’s team advanced after defeating No. 45 Dartmouth 4-2. The Wildcats are now 17-8 on the season. Kentucky will face No. 10 Michigan at 1 p.m. this afternoon. Be sure to check out @UKWomensTennis for updates.
The No. 32 Men’s team swept No. 40 Georgia State 4-0, improving their record to 15-12 on the season. The Cats will play today at 5 p.m. Follow along with @UKMensTennis.
John Wall hits game-winning three, Wizards force Game 7
Former Cat John Wall stayed quiet in the first half of Game six of the NBA Palyoffs, scoring just three points. Luckily, the point guard came alive during the second half, scoring 26 points, including a game-winning three-pointer. The shot pushed the Washington Wizards to a 92-91 victory over the Boston Celtics. The series is now tied at 3-3, so the teams will meet again for Game 7 Monday at 8 p.m.
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) May 13, 2017
To say he was hype would be, well, an understatement. John Wall gonna John Wall (this is why we love him).
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 13, 2017
ICYMI: NBA Combine Mock Draft
We’ve had lots of coverage of this year’s NBA Combine, but the fun doesn’t end quite yet. Following Friday’s activities, Draft Express released their idea of what the 2017 Draft will look like.
They have De’Aaron Fox going at No. 5 to the Orlando Magic; No. 7 Malik Monk to the New York Knicks; No. 32 Bam Adebayo to the Phoenix Suns. And yes, they included Hamidou Diallo on their mock list – he was placed at No. 35 to the Orlando Magic. Another interesting placement? Lonzo Ball at No. 2 to the Phoenix Suns. Personally, I’d never take Ball over Fox, and, for no one particular reason other than Tyler Ulis’ sanity, I hope this doesn’t happen.
Trouble in Paradise
While looking for updates about Ulis’ recent ankle surgery, I found something much more alarming. What’s going on with everyone’s favorite bromance?! Although Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker both attended Derby last weekend, no one can find any pictures of the pair. What started off, I’m sure, as conflicting schedules or maybe some miscommunication has prompted fans to worry about the state of the friendship. When one fan tagged the players and included #weneedanswers, Booker replied he texted Ulis but did not receive a reply. What’s going on in Phoenix?!
Me too.. I texted him.. No reply😔https://t.co/8oj8AjTRfG
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) May 12, 2017
Friendly Camp Cal reminders
A month from today, John Calipari’s summer camps will once again be underway. Coach Cal issued a friendly reminder of his popular camps via Twitter yesterday afternoon – first for the overnight basketball camps on June 11-14 and June 18-21 and then for the father/son camp on June 9-10, June 16-17 and June 30-July 1. For more info, check out CoachCal.com.
Lexington’s Latest and Greatest
**this is not an advertisement – I just think it’s cool**
If you’re like me and appreciate a great burger, consider checking out Shake Shack, located at the Summit at Fritz Farm at the corner of Nicholasville Road and Man o’ War Boulevard. The burger chain, which is a staple in bigger cities such as NYC and Chicago, just opened their first Kentucky location, and it’s right here in Lexington. Love it? Think it’s overrated? I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, so be sure to let me know what you think.