It was a wild NBA Draft withdrawal deadline. After more than 12 hours of chaos, college basketball was the real winner Wednesday.
It was the best case scenario for the Big Blue Nation. Just before 6:00 p.m., E.J. Montgomery announced he would return to UK for a second season in Lexington. The addition guarantees John Calipari will have three posts — Montgomery, Richards, Sestina — to work with in 2019-20. They may not be alone.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. was one of the last players to remove his name from the NBA Draft pool. The former Virginia Tech All-ACC forward will explore grad transfer options. Kentucky has the name brand and championship potential, but a crowded backcourt could push him to join Andrew Nembhard, Scottie Lewis and Keyontae Johnson not far from his hometown in Gainesville, Florida.
Blackshear’s future will remain uncertain a little longer, just like Quentin Grimes. Not long after Devon Dotson announced he would return to Lawrence, we learned his backcourt running mate removed his name from the NBA Draft. Instead of returning to Kansas, Grimes will transfer, capping off a bizarre offseason for the Jayhawks.
Closer to home, Jordan Nwora is giving Louisville fans hope. With the return of the Cards’ leading scorer, they’ll be a preseason top five team. After years of rule-breaking, they finally have hope, maybe too much hope. An assistant coach AND the athletic director are calling for a Final Four. How cute.
?hold on mom, Steven is beeping in
?I’m back …he’s back
?hold on again mom, Jordan is beeping in now
?I’m back….he’s back too
?Final Four….it’s in Atlanta
— Vince Tyra (@vincetyra) May 30, 2019
— Luke Murray (@CoachLukeMurray) May 30, 2019
Many fringe players could have made the leap, but decided to return to college basketball.
- Myles Powell — Seton Hall
- Mamadi Diakite — Virginia
- Charles Bassey — WKU
- Devon Dotson — Kansas
- Xavier Sneed — Kansas State
Those were just a couple of the decisions from yesterday. See who will stay and who will go in this long list from Jeff Goodman.
The SEC Basketball Schedule is (almost) Set
We do not have the dates, but we do know UK’s SEC opponents. In a surprising twist, the league will not make the Cats play LSU twice. Instead, the Cats will play a Nic Claxton-less Georgia at home and on the road.
|2019-20 SEC Home Games||2019-20 SEC Away Games|
|Mississippi State||South Carolina|
A Big Addition for Michigan?
Juwan Howard could make a splash with one of his first hires. The Michigan head coach has reportedly offered an assistant coaching job to Phil Martelli, who spent the last 24 seasons leading the St. Joe’s basketball program. Martelli would be the perfect ying to Howard’s yang.
Rex Chapman is BACK
The King of Twitter was taken off the social media site for a few days. “Twitter jail food is better than real jail food,” he said.
Block or charge??????? pic.twitter.com/bnMyhRjPCD
— Rex Chapman?? (@RexChapman) May 30, 2019
Florida Offers Richie Leonard
Since the Florida offensive tackle de-committed from UK, Florida State has done everything to convince Leonard to commit to play in Tallahassee. Yesterday, the Florida Gators joined the fold, giving Leonard an offer from each of Florida’s “Big Three” schools. Leonard is set to officially visit UK next weekend.
I’ve been cooking up a few voluminous football recruiting pieces that will be ready to hit the presses this afternoon. Hold onto your butts.
Great News from Alex Trebek
Just three months ago the Jeopardy host announced he had stage four pancreatic cancer. Luckily, his body has responded to chemotherapy.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” he told People. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory…some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”
Keep fighting the good fight, Mr. Trebek.
The NBA Finals Begin
The basketball hiatus is over. For the first time, an NBA Finals game will be played north of the border. Toronto hosts Golden State at 9:00 p.m. on ABC. DeMarcus Cousins returned to action in practice this week, however, Steve Kerr is still unsure how he will be able to use Boogie.
“DeMarcus has done an amazing job coming back from the injury, which we felt at the time was season-ending. So he’s done an incredible job of rebounding, rehabbing, and now here he is. He’s scrimmaged a couple times this week. He’s pain free, so it’s really more a matter of rhythm and timing and conditioning, all those things.
If this were the regular season, I’d throw him out there and he’d play whatever minutes he could tolerate and we’d build him up from there. This is not the regular season, it’s the Finals, so we have to figure out what’s the best way to utilize him. How many minutes he can play, what the game feels like, what the matchups are like. So some of that will be determined by what’s happening in the game, and the other stuff is just internal with our staff.”
Ryan Lemond’s Last Day in Jail
It’s been a wild ride over the last two weeks. Tonight Ryan Lemond says sayonara to KSJail. Last night the inmate received some company from the rest of the KSR crew. They’ll talk about their haunting experience beginning at 10:00 a.m.