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July 19th, 2018

DeMarcus Cousins introduced as a Golden State Warrior

@NBCSWarriors

DeMarcus Cousins’ move to Golden State is complete. Boogie was introduced as a Warrior today in a press conference in Oakland and told reporters he’s ready to finally compete for a championship.

“The chance to play for a winning culture,” Cousins said of why he chose Golden State. “Also to have a chance to play with some of the most talented players of this era.”

His favorite Warrior? That’s easy.

“Just to put this out there, my favorite by far is Klay [Thompson]. In our short time together in the summers, for him to be as dull as he is, there is never a dull moment. I really enjoy my time with Klay, but they’re all great guys.”

Boogie was all smiles during the presser, even joking with reporters that he’ll bring some technical fouls with him after leading the league in the category two of the past three years.

“My main goal is to win a championship; that’s what I’m signing up for. What can I bring? I bring a toughness. I bring a skillset they say they’ve never had before. Rebounding, passing, ability to score. I’m bringing a little bit of everything and a couple techs as well.”

With Cousins out most of last season due to injury, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant ranked in the top three in technicals, and Cousins laughed when asked if he should just fight with both of them to get it out of the way.

“Might as well,” he joked.

The one serious moment came when Cousins was asked if the Pelicans offered him a contract when free agency opened on July 1.

“I’m gonna put it like this: Only me and [Pelicans GM] Dell Demps know what was said on the phone that night. We both know the truth. And I’ll leave it at that.”

Watch the complete introductory presser below:

DeMarcus Cousins is a Warrior! Watch the introductory press conference with the four-time NBA All-Star, and get more coverage of Cousins and the Dubs on NBC Sports Bay Area.

Posted by Golden State Warriors on Thursday, July 19, 2018


A Ridiculously Incomplete SEC Media Days Recap: Tennessee

© Dale Zanine | USATSI

Tennessee created the most chaotic coaching search in the history of college football to find Butch Jones’ replacement.  When the dust settled, Phil Fulmer hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.  Of the many former Nick Saban disciples who are  now SEC head coaches, nobody faces a more difficult task than Pruitt.

The Best Thing Jeremy Pruitt Said — Pruitt was asked if he got any advice from Saban after he was hired by the Vols.

You think Coach Saban is going to give me advice? There’s a lot of us in the league. We’ve known us for a while, some of us assistant coaches, and now I get an opportunity now. It is probably you better write down everything you can. You better take it all in while you have the opportunity because as soon as you go put on the other uniform, I can guarantee you, everybody, even though everybody’s friends, we want to beat the other guy. You know? So we don’t want to give the other person the edge.”

The Best Thing Jeremy Pruitt Said (Out of Context) — “We’re hungry. They’re hungry. Everybody’s hungry.”

Coach Speak 101 — Pruitt mentioned the “Power of the T” at least three times in his address.  I remember, because that’s how many times I threw up in my mouth.

One Stud — Trey Smith might just be the best offensive lineman in the Southeastern Conference.  The nation’s top-ranked high school offensive lineman in 2017, he started left tackle as a true freshman and did not disappoint.  Smith was injured in the spring but shouldn’t miss a step this fall.

Tennessee’s Scariest Player — Former JUCO transfer Jonathan Kongbo has the name of a terrifying pass rusher, even though he only had 2.5 sacks last year.  Kongbo should be better suited as an outside linebacker in Pruitt’s 3-4 defense.

Call the Whambulance — Jarrett Guarantano had quite an impressive freshman year.  Six games into the season, the dual-threat quarterback took over an offense that was in the midst of a 14-quarter touchdown drought.  In his first start he almost led the dismal Vols to a game-winning touchdown drive against South Carolina.

Down six with 1:13 to play, Guarantano marched Tennessee down to the South Carolina two-yard line.  They had a few attempts into the end zone with just seconds remaining before his final pass sailed out of bounds.  Devastated, Guarantano fell to his knees on the sideline.  South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley was there to pick up his opponent, earning a sportsmanship award from the SEC in the process.

Good News for UK — Tennessee is trash.  The program is in shambles and I don’t think Pruitt can save face in just one year.  All hatred aside, transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense isn’t easy, and the Tennessee defense lost their greatest playmaker, Rashaun Gaulden.  On offense, Alvin Kamara isn’t walking through that door.  Butch Jones scared off Jalen Hurd, Kamara was the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year and John Kelly has graduated.

Bad News for UK — The Vols do return their starting dual-threat quarterback and his top three targets.  Most importantly, this game will be played at Neyland Stadium, a place that has not been kind to Kentucky over the last three decades.

Fear Factor — 3.4

It’s been 34 years since Kentucky won a football game on Rocky Top.  History is the only thing scary about Tennessee (and that insufferable, puke in a pumpkin orange).

Ridiculous, Incomplete SEC Media Days Recaps: Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Miss. State


Vote for Kentucky in NCAA’s All-Time Starting Five Tournament

(Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports)

To pass the time until the season, the folks behind the NCAA March Madness social media accounts put together an All-Time Starting Five bracket for fans to vote on. In the first round, Kentucky faces West Virginia. Who did they pick for each team’s top five?

Kentucky:

  • John Wall
  • Tony Delk
  • Tayshaun Prince
  • Anthony Davis
  • DeMarcus Cousins

West Virginia:

  • Jevon Carter
  • Jerry West
  • Da’Sean Butler
  • Kevin Jones
  • Kevin Pittsnogle

We could argue for hours about Kentucky’s starting lineup (No Mashburn? No Issel?), but there’s no denying that this one would kill West Virginia’s. Not surprisingly, Kentucky leads the poll 83 percent to 17 percent:

There’s also a poll on NCAA March Madness’ Instagram story which will be used as a tiebreaker if the Twitter poll is 50/50.

Here’s the complete bracket:

Now, the real question, which is perfect for a slow summer day: What’s your ultimate Kentucky starting lineup?


A Couple Takeaways After Watching James Wiseman on Wednesday Night

IG: bigticket_j13

LOS ANGELES — It was an up-and-down couple days for James Wiseman at Peach Jam last weekend. Coming into the event it was a near consensus that Wiseman was one of two players (along with Vernon Carey) who should be considered the top player in the high school class of 2019. Yet after playing good but not great at Peach Jam (he averaged 16 points and 5.8 rebounds over the course of that weekend), some called into question whether Wiseman should be considered at all for the top spot.

Well, if Wiseman heard those whispers, he showed – beyond a reasonable doubt – on Wednesday night that it is way too premature to remove his name from the conversation of “the best player in high school basketball.” After electing to switch AAU teams (his normal squad, the Bluff City Legends, finished their season last weekend) Wiseman arrived at the Adidas Summer Championships in Los Angeles Wednesday night and put on a show everyone in attendance from coaches, to fans and yes this writer for KSR.

Still, despite appearing to play with a chip on his shoulder, Wiseman said that wasn’t the case at all.

“Really I don’t [feel like I have anything to prove],” Wiseman said following the game. “I feel like I played hard at Peach Jam. I think I showed everything, my offensive game, everything.”

An official scorer from Adidas said that Wiseman finished with 20 points and nine rebounds on Wednesday night, but watching him in person it felt like a much more dominant performance. Beyond just the raw numbers though, Wiseman showed off a skill-set that fits the profile of a player who many consider to be the No. 1 player in the country and a potential future No. 1 pick in the draft.

Over the course of a couple possessions, Wiseman did everything from hit a deep three, to put back a monster dunk, with a beautiful up-and-under move in the paint. Defensively he tore down a couple big rebounds and slapped away a block shot in those same few possessions. Even in a gym where there was other elite talent (consensus Top 10 prospects like Matthew Hurt and Trendon Watford were also in the building), Wiseman stood out as by far the best player at the event (for those wondering, 2020 big man Evan Mobley was probably the closest behind him).

What will be interesting to see is what comes next in Wiseman’s recruitment. Wiseman has claimed all along that his recruitment remains open, and reiterated that Wednesday night, telling me that he plans to release a new “Top 8” schools soon. Still, the consensus seems to be that there are only two really contenders in his recruitment, Kentucky and Memphis, and the crowd on Wednesday night seemed to indicate that. Kentucky assistant Joel Justus was there (multiple sources told KSR that John Calipari is expected in today) and Memphis’ Penny Hardaway and assistant Mike Miller were there as well.

Maybe even more interesting, was who wasn’t there. Although Wiseman said that schools like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Vanderbilt have reached out to him (in addition to his top two), outside the contingent from Memphis and Kentucky, as best I could tell, only North Carolina’s Roy Williams seemed to be there explicitly for Wiseman. Kansas didn’t appear to have a coach in the building (although maybe I missed them). And in a wild twist, no one from Duke watched him either. That is especially telling, considering that both Coach K and assistant Jon Scheyer were not only in Los Angeles, but at the same court earlier in the night to watch Matthew Hurt. All they had to do was literally not move from where they were, and they could have seen Wiseman play a few minutes later. Yet they were gone by the time his game tipped off.

Understand, that is a knock on Coach K, but instead, feels to me like an indicator of where Duke believes they stand in Wiseman’s recruitment.

Even though Wiseman claims that Duke has been in touch, if the Blue Devils were seriously pursuing him, I find it hard to believe that Coach K wouldn’t be courtside, especially since he was already in the building. Some will argue that Duke has prioritized other big men including Vernon Carey and Isaiah Stewart and that’s fair, but let’s be honest, it’s not like Duke hasn’t recruited multiple guys at the same position before (like R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson this year, for example).

Therefore, seeing both Coach K and Scheyer leave once Wiseman took the court can only lead me to one conclusion: They don’t believe they have a real shot at him. To which I ask, when was the last time that Duke basically punted on even trying to recruit the best player in high school basketball?

Those are the times we’re in however and – as has been reported by everyone – it appears as though Wiseman’s recruitment will ultimately come down to Kentucky and Memphis when it’s all said and done.

In the meantime, Wiseman doesn’t seem particularly worried about recruiting, or much else for that matter.

“I just want to keep working hard,” he said when asked about his plans for the rest of the summer. “And just keep getting better.”

If Wednesday was any indication, he is well on his way to doing just that.


WATCH: Harlan County man tries to feed bear, is almost attacked

You know what’s a bad idea? Feeding bears. A Harlan County man learned that lesson the hard way earlier this week.

Jonathan Shelton decided to test his luck on Black Mountain recently, opening his car door as a bear walked by and asking if it wanted food. Not surprisingly, the bear did, lunging at Shelton as he extended his hand. Luckily, he was able to get the car door shut just in time:

Shelton told WYMT he filmed the incident to bring awareness to how comfortable bears have become around people and didn’t actually have any food with him. Except, you know, his flesh.

However dumb this attempted PSA was, it is a good reminder NOT TO FEED BEARS. Not only is it dangerous, it’s actually against the law in Kentucky, with fines up to $1,000.

[WYMT]


Duke’s getting an All-Access Show

Today in “Coach K copies John Calipari,” ESPN just announced that Duke’s getting an all-access show; however, while Kentucky’s four games in the Bahamas will be televised on the SEC Network, Duke’s games in Canada and the all-access show will only be available on ESPN+, the network’s premium (aka $) streaming service. The games will also be televised on TSN and RDS in Canada.

Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas will call Duke’s exhibitions in Canada, which take place August 15-19. The Blue Devils will play three Canadian universities: Ryerson, the University of Toronto, and McGill. The all-access show, entitled “Earn Everything,” will be eight episodes long and follow the Blue Devils through summer workouts, the foreign tour, and the fall leading up to the season opener vs. Kentucky.

“Along the way, college basketball fans will get an inside peek at how Coach K and his staff mold a group of talented basketball players into a group of  ‘Duke Basketball Players,'” the release reads.

Gag. Of course, Kentucky’s no stranger to all-access shows; ESPN documented the 2012-13 season (which in retrospect is pretty unfortunate), the “Let’s Ball” documentary followed the 2014-15 season, and Facebook did a series on the Cats last year.

At the very least, I’m looking forward to seeing how Coach K plans to get R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, and Cam Reddish to share minutes. That actually might be worth forking over $4.99 a month.

[ESPN Media Zone]