Malik Monk is Honored
Before sharing a few stories from the Nike Hoop Summit, we must begin with Malik Monk, the 2017 Jerry West Award Winner, given each year to the nation’s top shooting guard. Anytime you win something named after the logo, it’s a big deal. Monk is the first Wildcat to win the prestigious award, a year after Jamal Murray fell just short of Buddy Hield.
Malik took after his coach and went to the event without a tie. He pulled it off much better than his coach.
Jarred Vanderbilt is the Unofficial MVP
Don’t take it from me, take it from those who watched him all week.
Consensus on media row is we are giving unofficial MVP of @nikehoopsummit to Kentucky recruit Jarred Vanderbilt
— Carl Berman (@carlberman) April 8, 2017
Vanderbilt came off the bench to lead all players with 19 points and 10 rebounds, one of only three players to post a double-double. Even though you didn’t see much of it during the McDonald’s All-American Game, Vanderbilt’s improved his shot (8-12 FG) has taken him to another level, one he was far from when he missed the cut for last year’s U17 World Championship team. He used that cut as motivation.
“It motivated me a lot,” Vanderbilt said after the game. “I felt like I had a chip on my shoulder, considering that I didn’t get to play last (summer). Just being able to step back on the court with USA Basketball across my chest is a great feeling. It’s a very prestigious game, and I’m just thankful to be here.”
In addition to his 19 points and 10 rebounds, Vanderbilt dished out 3 assists, stole 2 passes and blocked 2 shots to lead Team USA to a 98-87 victory. His future teammate loved it.
@JVando_ eatin rn ðŸ™ðŸ¾
— PJ Washington (@pjwashington_25) April 8, 2017
No Quade Green
Dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion suffered in practice this week, Kentucky’s next point guard was forced to watch the game through a pair of sunglasses on the sideline.
Ups and Downs for the ‘World’ Players
Jarred Vanderbilt was the only future Wildcat playing for Team USA, but Team World featured Shai-Gilgeous-Alexander (Canada) and Nick Richards (Jamaica). The starting point guard for Team World, SGA attacked the paint early and often, getting to the free throw line more than any other player on the court (7-10 FT). He took care of the ball (2 TOs) and didn’t play too flashy, finishing with 11 points.
Richards received above-average reports from camp all week, handling the physicality much better against imposing bigs. His numbers were exceptional last night — 12 points on 5-of-9 shots — but he only grabbed three boards and had one big gaffe: an air-balled dunk. I’m not sure how that works, but it happened.
UK’s Other Two Targets
Mo Bamba had an average night for his high standards. He only attempted 5 shots and scored 7 points, but he grabbed 5 boards, stole 2 passes blocked 4 shots, all while sitting next to Quade Green on the bench. Kevin Knox had a bad shooting night, knocking down just 2-of-8 shots in 14 minutes of action.
TONS of Spring Football Updates are Incoming
There’s only six days left in the spring season, but we are finally seeing a Kentucky football practice. Unfortunately, it’s only open to the media, but we’ll have so many eyes on the round, it will feel like you are standing on the sideline watching practice.
New Depth Chart Podcast
While you’re waiting for all of those updates from Spring Football, check out the latest version of the podcast that just hit the feed. There’s plenty of stuff to prepare you for the sting game, as well as a lengthy discussion about the evolution of high school football talent in the state of Kentucky. Hear it here.
Local products J.B. Holmes (+6) and Justin Thomas (+5) finished just inside the cut to earn two more days at Augusta National. Holmes will be one of the first to tee off today at 10:40, with Thomas following an hour later.
A HUGE Day for Derby Prep Races
There’s not one, not two, but three major Kentucky Derby prep races today: the Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. Load up your Twin Spires account and tune into NBC Sports Network from 5:30-7:30 to see coverage of all three races.
The UK Baseball Team is (Still) Rolling
The BatCats continued to flex their muscles by defeating the No. 22 Bulldogs in Starkville. Peep the highlights and read Trey’s recap.
They return to the field tonight at 7:00.