The final first round of KSR’s BBN Jam Tournament is here. Representing the 1994 squad, Rodrick Rhodes and Jared Prickett will face off against the Platoon Squad’s talented freshmen, Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns.
By the time their professional careers conclude, Booker and KAT may have more NBA All-Star appearances than any other combo in this tournament. That wasn’t always the case during their time at Kentucky. Devin Booker was solid but almost everyone believed he would return for a sophomore season until he scorched every single opponent in the month of February. That’s when Towns also came alive, specifically in the comeback win at LSU, a game that produced this wonderful postgame moment.
The 1994 squad is represented by Prickett, a post who put up solid numbers, and Rodrick Rhodes, one of the great ‘What If’ stories from the Pitino era. A McDonald’s All-American from New Jersey, Rhodes played in every game of Kentucky’s 1993 Final Four campaign. Replacing Mashburn’s large shoes in 1994 was a tall task, but he performed exceptionally well under immense pressure. The pressure created cracks the following season.
As Delk and McCarty, his recruiting classmates, transformed into stars, Rhodes and Pitino never seemed to see eye to eye. The tenuous relationship reached a boiling point in the 1995 SEC Championship Game. Playing against the defending National Champs in the Georgia Dome, Rhodes went to the free throw line with two shots to dethrone Arkansas. Legend says that before Rhodes shot the potential game-winning free throws in the final seconds of regulation, Pitino told him, “If you miss these, you’re done at UK.” Both free throws found iron and the game went to overtime. UK would go on to win, but Rhodes’ time in Lexington was essentially over. He transferred to USC for his final year of eligibility.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Rhodes was a talented player, but could he keep up with the 2015 Wildcats? The NBA 2K simulation has this game ending much closer than you’d think.
Final with our first 3 pointer made:
2015 Blue- 21, 1994- 18
Booker: 14 PTS, 13 REB, 13-39 FG, 1-1 3FG
Towns: 7 PTS, 12 REB, 7-16
Rhodes: 10 PTS, 10 REB, 10-24
Prickett: 8 PTS, 14 REB, 8-19 pic.twitter.com/WpQowbnU3m
— BBN JAM Simulation (@JamSimulation) April 10, 2020
Despite what the computer says, Rhodes could not guard Booker. Even at Booker’s worst, the SEC Sixth Man of the Year could score enough to carry the load when the Second Team All-American forward is not eating in the paint.
Cast that final first round ballot before things get real in the Sweet 16.