Rise and shine, BBN! Happy Friday!
Sadly, this is the first weekend since September without Kentucky basketball or football to look forward to. But luckily for us, the world of UK Athletics never slows down, and there’s almost always something to talk about.
Let’s take a look at the crazy day we saw yesterday and what we have to look forward to today.
Nate Sestina commits to Kentucky
Just one day after his visit to Kentucky, Bucknell graduate transfer Nate Sestina made the decision to make the move to Lexington for his final season of eligibility.
It’s been an amazing ride from Emporium to Bucknell and everywhere in between, and it’s surreal to think my college basketball career isn’t over yet.
— Nate Sestina (@NateSestina23) April 4, 2019
A 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward out of Emporium, Pa., Sestina averaged 15.8 points (53.6 percent shooting, 38 percent from three, 80.8 percent from the free throw line), 8.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game last year for the Bison. The graduate transfer scored in double figures in 27 of his 31 games last season and had 11 double-doubles overall.
He was also named Second Team All-Patriot League and was a Patriot League All-Tournament selection this past season.
Following the announcement, I wrote a long feature on what Sestina brings to the table from a playing perspective, the timing of his commitment, and what it means for the 2019-20 roster, specifically in terms of recruiting to close out the class.
Take a look:
Tyler also wrote a great feature on Sestina’s personality off the basketball court to help you get to know the future Wildcat a little bit more.
You can find out his favorite TV show, favorite dog, why he loves dad jokes, and plenty more here:
John Calipari Maker’s Mark bottles go on sale
This year’s Maker’s Mark-Keeneland collaboration is dedicated to John Calipari’s 2012 National Championship team, featuring Coach Cal cutting down the nets after Kentucky’s victory over Kansas to secure the program’s eighth national title.
This morning, those bottles are officially on sale in various liquor stores across the bluegrass.
The fifth in the series dedicated to UK’s title teams, this year’s proceeds will benefit CATS, the organization that helps student-athletes in the classroom.
After picking up your bottle, John Calipari and members of the 2012 title team will be signing bottles at Keeneland’s Keene Barn beginning at 7:00 a.m. next Friday. Tickets to the event are free, just register here.
If you’re not in line already, you better get out there before they’re all gone.
Maci Morris finishes third in State Farm College 3-Point Contest
Bell County native Maci Morris suited up in a Kentucky uniform one final time yesterday evening, representing the school in the State Farm College 3-Point Contest in Minneapolis.
After finishing with the third-highest point total overall (17) in the quarterfinals, Morris moved on to the semifinals. There, the former Wildcat finished with an impressive 15 points, but it wasn’t enough to move on to the championship round.
Central Michigan’s Presley Hudson, who knocked off Morris in the semifinals, went on to win the title after finishing with 23 points in the finals.
Keion Brooks Jr. competes in the national semifinals
Yesterday afternoon, Kentucky fans got their very first chance to see future Wildcat Keion Brooks Jr. play since his decision to join the Big Blue Nation.
Competing at the GEICO High School National Championships in New York City, Brooks finished with 18 points (7-12 shooting), ten rebounds, and three blocks in La Lumiere’s 74-69 double overtime victory over Bishop Gorman.
The future Kentucky forward got things started with a steal leading to an impressive alley-oop slam on the other end:
— Who's Next (@WhosNextHS) April 4, 2019
Brooks followed it up a bit later with a putback dunk that brought those in attendance to their feet:
Keion Brooks putback slam. pic.twitter.com/ldc11ttR3N
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) April 4, 2019
And he closed out regulation with a go-ahead three to take the lead with just 14 seconds remaining:
The end of regulation in Bishop Gorman-La Lumiere was ? pic.twitter.com/tC5vJ8HYoZ
— ESPN (@espn) April 4, 2019
Brooks and the La Lumiere Lakers will take on Oak Hill Academy in the semifinals today at 5 PM ET on ESPN2.
Other BBNBA News
Anthony Davis fined $15,000 for flipping off a fan
Former Kentucky star Anthony Davis wasn’t too thrilled with a fan talking trash to him after his team’s loss to Charlotte on Wednesday evening, throwing up his middle finger on the way out of the arena.
Take a look:
Anthony Davis is ready for the season to end ? pic.twitter.com/zng9L6cUoS
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) April 4, 2019
As a result, Davis was fined $15,000 by the NBA.
Davis has been dealing with lower back spasms and has missed the last four games for New Orleans. With just three games remaining in the regular season, the superstar forward is expected to return to action this evening.
Devin Booker has been shut down for the year
Sitting at No. 15 overall in the Western conference with just a week to go in the regular seasons, the Phoenix Suns have absolutely nothing to play for.
Because of that, the franchise decided to shut down star shooting guard Devin Booker (ankle sprain) for the rest of the season.
Suns guard Devin Booker has been shut down for remaining three games of season with his ankle sprain, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Booker closed season scoring 59, 50 and 48 points in three of final five games.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 4, 2019
This means Booker will end the regular season averaging 26.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.
Isaiah Briscoe waived by the Orlando Magic
After playing 39 games with the Magic this season, the franchise decided to waive former Kentucky point guard Isaiah Briscoe this morning in order to make room for free agent guard Michael Carter-Williams.
Briscoe, who signed with the Magic on July 6, 2018, averaged 3.5 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game this season.
Eric Bledsoe isn’t playing games with Joel Embiid
Early in the first quarter of last night’s matchup between Milwaukee and Philadelphia, former Kansas star Joel Embiid realized Eric Bledsoe is the wrong guy to mess with.
Embiid got caught up with Bledsoe on the rebound and proceeded to toss the ball his direction. Immediately, the former Wildcat slung it right back his, pelting him in the chest Josh Harrellson style.
Embiid (fake tough guy) walked up on Bledsoe (actual tough guy) like he was going to actually do something about it, but found himself hiding in the back of the scrum when the Milwaukee guard showed he wasn’t playing games.
Eric Bledsoe was ejected after throwing the ball at Joel Embiid ?
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 5, 2019
KSR in an hour
Matt, Ryan, Shannon, and the entire KSR radio crew will be LIVE starting at 10:00 a.m. through noon today.
There, they will break down Sestina’s commitment and plenty of other wacky nonsense to get your day started right.
We’ll see you then.