Winter is coming on Sunday in the form of the “Game of Thrones” Season 7 premiere, and what better way to get ready than this picture ofÂ HafÃ¾Ã³r JÃºlÃus BjÃ¶rnsson, aka Gregor Clegane, aka â€œThe Mountain,” throwing up three goggles with Michael, a diehard UK and KSR fan? For those who don’t watch the show, here’s what The Mountain looks like in costume:
Also, don’t worry; if you stop your life right now and start binge watching, you’ll be ready for Sunday night. Or, you can just catch up with Nick and TJ Walker’s Kentucky Thrones Radio podcast, a new episode of which you can expect later today, I hear.
In the meantime, here’s what’s going on in the world of UK sports….
1. Zion Williamson wants to decide before his senior season
John Calipari started his recruiting marathon by watching Zion Williamson at the adidas Gauntlet Finale in Spartanburg, and the five-star forward definitely put on a show, scoring 31 points to lead SC Supreme to the comeback win:
Williamson told our own Jack Pilgrim that he’d like to make his college decision before the start of his senior season, and that his relationship with Calipari is “really good.”
â€œWe have a really good relationship,â€ Williamson said. â€œHe tells me if my dream is to go to the NBA, he can help me achieveÂ that.â€
Here’s hoping that really good relationship and NBA pitch is enough to get Zion out of the Carolinas. Read more of his comments here.
2. Cal finished the day watching Marvin Bagley and Bol Bol
How big is the hype around the No. 1 player in the 2018 class? Kevin Durant came to watchÂ him play (and satÂ next to Kenny Payne)Â and Calipari fired up the private jet for the 115-mile trip between Spartanburg and North AugustaÂ to see himÂ in the night session, where he was joined by Malik Monk. The 6’11” power forwardÂ has lived up to the hype so far, averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds through three games. Here are his highlights from the early game:
Where does Kentucky stand in the race for what some are calling a once-in-a-generation type player? He’ll take an official visit to Duke following the Peach Jam, but said he plans to make it to Kentucky eventually.
3. Bol Bol says he has noÂ hard feelings over being cut from Calipari’s U19 Team
The question on everyone’s mind after 7’3″ Bol Bol was cut from the U19 Team was what effect it would have on Kentucky’s chances in his recruitment. Bol told reporters yesterday that heÂ has no hard feelings about the decision, which he knows wasn’t just Calipari’s.
â€œIt wasnâ€™t just his fault,â€ Bol said via Kyle Tucker. â€œIt was a coaching staff and a USA Basketball staff, so I donâ€™t really blame him for not putting me on the team, because he canâ€™t, like, officially decide everyone whoâ€™s on the team.â€
4. Romeo Langford re-aggravated his back injury
Langford battled back spasms throughout the FIBA World Cup, and yesterday, they flared up again during his first game at the adidas Gauntlet Finale. No word yet on if he’ll be able to go today.Â Despite a report from Evan Daniels that Kentucky is fading in the race for the New Albany native, that didn’t stop Calipari and Joel Justus from being front and center for his first game.
5. More good vibes from Immanuel Quickley
Quickley continues to give off vibes that he could be the first 2018 recruit to commit to Kentucky, telling Jack Pilgrim and other reporters that he was very impressed with Calipari during the FIBA World Cup.
â€œIt was good. We wanted to win the gold but obviously came up a little short. It was a good experience overall on and off the floor.Â (Calipari) is a great coach on and off the floor. I think it was really cool to get to learn from him. When you spend time for three or four weeks, almost a month with one person you get to know them pretty well.”
Well enough to want to spend a whole year with him? We’ll see soon.
6. Today’s schedule
- 9:00 AM: Nike Phamily (Marvin Bagley) vs. Howard Pulley
- 10:30 AM: Cal Supreme (Bol Bol) vs. Oakland Soldiers
- 6:00 PM: New York Lightning vs. Nike Phamily (Marvin Bagley)
- 9:00 PM: Bradley Beal Elite vs. Cal Supreme (Bol Bol)
adidas Gauntlet Finale
- 10:20 AM: SC Supreme (Zion Williamson) vs. Garner Road
- 10:20 AM: Team BBC (Immanuel Quickley) vs. Gamepoint Pump N Run
- 1:00 PM: Rytes Warriors vs. Twenty Two Vision (Romeo Langford)
- 1:00 PM: Team Arsenal vs. Basketball University (Quentin Grimes)
7. All-SEC Preseason Teams will be announced today
Media Days is over, but this morning,Â the media’s choices for the All-SEC Preseason Teams and conference standings will be released. DidÂ they pick Kentucky or South Carolina third in the East? Or, didÂ old habits die hardÂ and the Cats didn’tÂ get any respect?
Speaking of football…
8. The 2017 Schedule posters are available at Kroger startingÂ tomorrow
Starting tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., all seven posters will be available at Kroger stores statewide, so go get yours.Â And if you go to the Euclid one, say hi to John Short.
9. You all have a lot of french fry opinions
Yesterday was National French Fry DayÂ — one of the least annoying of the “Why is this a holiday?” holidaysÂ — and to celebrate, I ran a Twitter poll asking people to pick their favorite fries between McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Arby’s, and Chick-fil-A. Naturally, McDonald’s won, but people went after me for not including Rally’s. In the interest of a fair and complete evaluation, I’m including Rally’s (or, as it is called in Tennessee, Checkers) in a new poll below:
10. Today on KSR: Laura Rutledge
The SEC Network reporter will take over the mics today to talk Media Days, UK Football, and whatever else is on her mind. That starts in one hour.