Earlier this week, I encouraged our readers in Coral Springs, Florida to go watch Rick Pitino play in a masters basketball tournament, and of course, one of you responded. Major shoutout to UK fan and alum Marvin, who went to the Coral Springs gymnasium to check out Rick’s game and rep the Cats. According to Marvin, Pitino was “very friendly and accommodating, however, his basketball prowess and team leave a lot to be desired.” Pitino’s Redbirds lost to the Indy All Stars 100-53, but afterwards, Rick was nice enough to pose with the Indy All Stars and Marvin, who will be back in the stands today.
Never thought I’d say it again, but good for Rick. This is the most likable he’s been in years.
1. The NBA Combine rolls on
The Combine started on Tuesday, but today, it really gets going as the 67 players go through athletic testing and scrimmages. Yesterday, players were measured, but those measurements have yet to be released. This picture of De’Aaron Fox having his standing reach measured shows you just how odd and creepy this process can be:
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) May 10, 2017
2. You can watch it on ESPN2
ESPN2 will televise the combine from 3-7 p.m. ET today and tomorrow, so clear some space on the DVR. Frank Kaminsky (grr) will be a guest analyst alongside Rece Davis, Jay Williams, Fran Fraschille, Tom Penn, and Jeff Goodman.
3. Everyone’s talking about Hamidou Diallo
Every NBA scout, analyst, and fan in the world has an opinion about what Hamidou Diallo should do, and yesterday, we saw the whole gamut. While one NBA executive said that Diallo is “without question the best athlete at the combine,” as yesterday went on, more and more scouts came out and suggested he may be better off returning to school. One told Kyle Tucker that he believes Diallo is a D-League player, but could be worth the investment for a team with several first round picks, like the Brooklyn Nets. Is Diallo willing to spend a year or so in the D-League or would he rather come back to school even if it means risking injury/damaging his stock?
4. How many articles will I write about Diallo today?
Great question. My hope is only one, but I have a feeling it’ll be more like four or five as news continues to trickle out. Is it May 24th yet? (That’s the day by which Diallo has to decide if he’s staying in the draft or not.)
5. De’Aaron Fox met with the Knicks
Part of the Combine process is teams interviewing the players they’re most interested in, and according to Knicks beat writer Ian Begley, De’Aaron Fox is one of those for New York. Fox met with the Knicks yesterday, and apparently some in the front office are very big fans of his. Fox in NYC? I can totally see it.
6. Tyler Ulis had minor surgery on his right ankle
Ulis finished his rookie year on a high note, winning the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the month of April, but yesterday, he had minor surgery on his right ankle. His anticipated recovery time is about 12 weeks, which probably means he’ll miss playing in the Summer League, which starts in July.
7. UK Softball in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament
Shoutout to the UK Softball team, which won its first game in the SEC Softball Tournament by beating 10-seed South Carolina 7-3. Today, they’ll play 2-seed Auburn in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. on the SEC Network.
8. John Wall and the Wizards dropped another one to the Celtics last night
The Celtics beat the Wizards last night 123-101 to take a 3-2 lead in the series, meaning it’s do or die for the Wizards Friday night in Washington. Wall had 21 points and only 4 assists last night for the Wizards, who haven’t won a playoff game in Boston since 1982. Hopefully they can bounce back to stay alive in Washington Friday night.
9. Results of the Calipari Era Mock Draft
Last night, I shared my mock draft of Calipari era Kentucky players and at the end, asked you guys to weigh in with your thoughts. Here are your results:
10. The Preds will face the Ducks in the Western Conference Finals
On Sunday, the Preds knocked out the Blues to advance to the Western Conference Finals and last night, we finally found out who they’ll play: the Anaheim Ducks. The Preds played the Ducks in the first round of the playoffs last year, and this year’s series starts Friday night in Anaheim:
- Friday: at Anaheim, 9 p.m. (NBC SN)
- Sunday: at Anaheim, 7:30 p.m. (NBC SN)
- Tuesday: at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NBC SN)
- May 18: at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NBC SN)
- x – May 20: at Anaheim, 7:15 p.m. (NBC)
- x– May 22: at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NBC SN)
- x – May 24: at Anaheim, 0 p.m. (NBC SN)
x – if necessary
I leave for Italy a week from today, so unless the Preds pull off another sweep, I see a lot of late night hockey in my future. Hopefully the bars in Rome have NBC Sports Network.
Radio in an hour…