The offseason is officially here, which means news slows a bit and most of us will spend our time daydreaming about next season. Thankfully, there are some events on the horizon to keep us moving until August. Here are six I’m looking forward to:
The freshmen and former Cats arrive (June 12)
Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker have tweeted they’ll arrive in Lexington on June 12, and assuming there are no problems with the NCAA Clearinghouse, Trey Lyles and Karl-Anthony Towns will join them. All of the players will start summer classes on June 12, as well as offseason workouts. As former Cats also come to campus to work on their degrees, the legendary pickup games in the Joe Craft Center could be absolutely epic.
Last season, we learned just how beneficial spending the summer in Lexington can be for players when the Harrison Twins and James Young weren’t able to be on campus with the rest of the team. Those three were a step behind the rest of their teammates when the season began, but this year, that won’t be an issue.
NBA Draft (June 26)
Julius Randle and James Young will find out their fates on the same day I turn 30, which means my friends better not complain about watching the draft at my birthday party. Right now, Randle is projected to be a top five pick, whereas most believe Young will go at the end of the lottery or mid-first round. That may change between now and then based on how they perform during team workouts.
We’re now in the NCAA’s “quiet” period, which means coaches can’t watch recruits play, but recruits can still visit campus, and coaches can talk to them on the phone. July is when recruiting really heats back up, with several “evaluation periods,” culminating in the Peach Jam in North Augusta from July 16-20. KSR will be on the scene yet again, so get ready for the peach puns! Some of Kentucky’s biggest targets in the 2015 and 2016 classes include Malik Newman, Ivan Rabb, Stephen Zimmerman, Quentin Goodin, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Harry Giles.
With basketball recruiting on simmer, all eyes turn to football recruiting. The Cats are off to a good start with the 2015 class, with four-star LB Eli Brown, 4-star SDE Levon Livingston, 3-star OT Logan Stenberg, 3-star OT Larry Wells, and 3-star OG Mason Wolfe. Some big prospects on the horizon include Damien Harris, Jabari Greenwood, Tavin Richardson, CJ Conrad, Alex Ofodile, PJ Simmons, and Chandler Cox. Get ready to see a lot more of those poster-sized puzzle mailings throughout the summer.
SEC Media Days (July 14-17)
The circus that is SEC Media Days has grown even bigger this year, with an additional day for
coaches and players to address the media the media to pretend they’re the most important people in the world. Kentucky doesn’t go up until Thursday, along with Ole Miss, Georgia, and Alabama, which means absolutely no one will notice because NICK SABAN GUYS.
The summer trip (mid-August)
One of the biggest questions everyone’s asking right now is where the Cats will go on their summer trip abroad. We still don’t know, but the rumor mill suggests the Bahamas in mid-August. More importantly, the team will get ten practices and five games from the trip, along with their two-hour instructional time allowed each week during the offseason. Those practices will be integral in getting a jump start on team chemistry and teaching the freshmen the fundamentals before practice starts for real in late September.
Hopefully UK will announce some real details soon, and we can start planning/starting our crash diets and base tans for the beach. #AnythingButCanada