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Adebayo, Fox named top SEC newcomers by ESPN


C.L. Brown of ESPN’s college basketball site named the top five newcomers in the Southeastern Conference and two rookie Wildcats made the list. Brown decided to go with Bam Adebayo and De’Aaron Fox as Kentucky’s best newcomers of the six on John Calipari’s roster and all the others in the league.

Here’s what Brown had to say about Adebayo and Fox:

Bam Adebayo, Kentucky Wildcats

The Wildcats’ frontcourt was, in a word, unreliable last season. Although Skal Labissiere possessed a gifted offensive skill set, he didn’t respond well to the physicality needed on the blocks. Marcus Lee made his presence known defensively but was absent on offense. That allowed opponents to outperform the Wildcats in the frontcourt in a way that hadn’t really been done under Calipari.

Those times appear to be over. Adebayo, a 6-foot-9 power forward, has the potential to bring strong post play back to UK. He doesn’t mind the physical play inside. He rebounds well, and the description thrown around a lot by those who have watched him play most is “high motor.”

The Wildcats will need all of Adebayo’s energy, especially with Labissiere (NBA) and Lee (transfer) no longer on the roster. Adebayo will likely start immediately and be the team’s No. 1 option in the post.


De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky Wildcats

Even though he was only 5-foot-9, Tyler Ulis left a big hole at point guard in the Wildcats’ lineup. He was one of the most steady floor leaders in the country last season, and he presented a strong case that he was the best pure point guard Calipari has had at UK.

The 6-foot-3 Fox is a different type of point. He’ll bring size back to the position, but can he bring the stability that Ulis provided? That could be the difference between UK being simply a good team and UK being a special one capable of another Final Four run.
Fox has the kind of speed with the ball that has drawn comparisons to John Wall, but Wall didn’t have the athleticism that Fox possesses to finish on fast breaks. Fox will need to avoid the trap of playing at only one speed. If he can learn that nuance, the Cats have enough talent around him to shine.

See who else made the list here.


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

5 Comments for Adebayo, Fox named top SEC newcomers by ESPN

  1. Sentient Third Eye
    11:22 am August 9, 2016 Permalink

    While I do think Adebayo and Fox will be great, I think national commentators are sleeping on Monk. He’s going to be first-team all-SEC.

  2. fauxbobknight
    11:58 am August 9, 2016 Permalink

    “but Wall didn’t have the athleticism that Fox possesses to finish on fast breaks”

    LOL John Wall was a one man fast break!!

    • TrinityPills
      12:56 pm August 9, 2016 Permalink

      I caught that, too. Not sure if that guy was covering college hoops in 2009 or not but he should probably go watch some highlights. I guess there’s always the chance he knows what he is talking about and Fox is on another level from Wall…..but I didn’t think there was going to be another level after him.

    • fauxbobknight
      2:00 pm August 9, 2016 Permalink

      Turns out he graduated from UNC and used to write for the Courier Journal, which could possibly explain the john wall slight as well as the article title which misspelled Bam (Bem in the title) and De’Aaron (De’Aron in the title).

    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:17 pm August 9, 2016 Permalink

      fauxbobknight, That’s a good point you make. I know that objectivity in the press is a fast-dying thing, but this is ridiculous. A sports “reporter” trying to diminish a kid for his college ball performance a full six years after he left school? How petty can a person be?