Good morning, everyone. It’s a been a frustrating day so far here at the KSR South compound, as I woke up early to write the wakeup post only to find out Comcast had turned my internet off. After a half hour on the phone with a nice woman named Jasmine, I’m back online, but still annoyed with the whole ordeal. I could go on and on, but for your sake, I won’t. Let’s roll through today’s top 10 before they turn the internet off again.
1. Malik Monk will be on the show
After declaring for the draft yesterday morning, Malik Monk will start his farewell tour of the Bluegrass on KSR today. With the help of The Players’ Tribune, Monk penned an emotional thank you letter to the Big Blue Nation for their support during his time in Lexington, particularly in the tense aftermath of his decision to come to Kentucky and not home state Arkansas:
Kentucky fans made one thing crystal clear to me: They had my back. No one made me wait until the fall, until I got to Lexington, to be accepted into Big Blue Nation. Man, it was just right off the bat: Like, Once you’re one of us, you’re one of us. And whether it was defending me on social media … or sending me messages about how excited they were for me to come play there … or alums getting in touch and letting me know what an amazing experience was in store for me in the fall … it really helped a lot. It helped turn an extremely tough situation into an extremely positive one. And it helped me realize that, just by committing to Kentucky, I was already a part of something special.
And I’ll never forget that.
ðŸ˜¢ You can read the rest here.
2. De’Aaron Fox came on the show yesterday and was great
Fox has always been great with the media, and yesterday, he showed that side of his personality off to fans in his most candid interview yet. Fox gave some great insight into his year at Kentucky, his bond with his teammates, and, of course, his hair. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the podcast:
3. Catch De’Aaron on the #TourDeFox
4. While you’re at it, check out Derek, Dom, and Makayla Epps
Makalya Epps will also sign autographs at Cardboard Heroes at the Florence Mall on Sunday right before the guys, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
5. Practice continues at the Nike Hoop Summit
Preparations roll on for Friday night’s Nike Hoop Summit, and while Team USA (which includes Quade Green, Jarred Vanderbilt, Mo Bamba, and Kevin Knox) seems to still be making its way to Portland, the World Team has been there all week practicing. Nick Richards and Shai Alexander have been putting in work, and since Alexander is the recruit we know the least about since he didn’t play at the McDonald’s All-American Game, here’s 30 seconds of him shooting threes to enjoy with your morning coffee:
Future Kentucky guard Shai Alexander shooting it well in drills. Low release set shot but a lifetime 41.9 3P% (31 attempts) via DX Stats. pic.twitter.com/JcyJ2smOzl
– Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) April 4, 2017
6. Calipari hits the recruiting trail tomorrow
The dead period ends tomorrow at noon, which means Calipari will fire up the ole private jet and start making the rounds to check on his 2017 and 2018 targets. With the spring signing period starting next week, here’s a reminder of who he’s still pursuing in the 2017 class:
5-star game changers: Kevin Knox and Mohamed Bamba
Picking up Bamba would take next year’s team to the next level, as he’s considered the next franchise player, while Knox would ease concerns about shooting. Picking one up would be big; picking up both would monumental.
Guards to provide depth/consistency: Jemarl Baker, Mark Smith, Thomas Allen
Calipari is expected to visit Baker and Smith this week in an attempt to shore up Kentucky’s depth at guard, while Allen, a former NC State signee, has also received interest. Don’t sleep on Pitt transfer Cameron Johnson either.
7. Want to feel better about Kentucky’s chances with Knox?
People seem to think Duke or UNC lead for the five-star small forward, but which coach did he say he’d choose to save over all others if he were in a life boat? John Calipari. For more on what the heck that’s all about, click here.
8. Kentucky seems to be a popular top pick in everyone’s “Way-Too-Early” rankings
It’s really, really dumb to me that people are putting out preseason polls and even more so, Bracketology, right now, but hey, writers gotta write, and even though we don’t really know what next year’s team will look like, for some reason they all feel great about the Cats. Kentucky was ranked 1st in ESPN and Yahoo! Sports‘ Way-Too-Early rankings, 2nd in Sports Illustrated‘s, 3rd in Sporting News‘, and 8th in CBS Sports‘. I hate to say it, but I kind of agree with Gary Parrish (CBS Sports) on this one, even if he says he expects Isaiah Briscoe to return.
9. Dick Vitale also thinks the Cats will be #1 next season
Certainly subject to change as it is so early but my VBDI says the Big 4 for 2017-18 will be KENTUCKY – DUKE- ARIZONA – LOUISVILLE
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) April 4, 2017
Gotta love Dickie V.
10. I realize it’s been a few days, but did everyone see the new “Game of Thrones” promo??
If not, you’re about to, because I really want to watch it again this morning:
– Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) March 30, 2017
Malik Monk in an hour…