Wednesday morning the Big Blue Nation learned two Wildcats would not remain in Lexington for another year. As expected, Keldon Johnson announced he would keep his name in the NBA Draft. The small forward explained the move on Kentucky Sports Radio.
“I got the feedback from the NBA scouts and it was what I wanted,” Johnson said. “They said that I have a really good chance of going in the lottery.”
Most fans probably had a feeling Johnson would make the jump to the NBA. Few expected Jemarl Baker to depart. The redshirt freshman announced he will transfer after two seasons in Lexington.
“After talking with Coach Cal, the staff and my family, I feel it’s in my best interest to continue my academic and basketball career elsewhere,” Baker said in a release. “I’ve made life-long relationships with my brothers and the staff at Kentucky and have improved so much as a player. I’m thankful for the opportunities it’s given me to be a part of this historic program.”
Baker only averaged 2.3 points in 9.1 minutes per game in 2019, but he really hit his stride in the final month of the season. Baker saved his best games for the postseason, playing a career-high 24 minutes in the first round and scoring a career-high eight points in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Without Baker, Kentucky probably does not get past Wofford.
Following Baker’s departure, the Cats’ eight-man 2017 recruiting class is now down to just one, Nick Richards. As one Wildcat enters the transfer portal, fans set their sights on who could potentially come to Kentucky from the mysterious portal.
Will Calipari add a replacement?
Virginia Tech’s Kerry Blackshear Jr. is the top grad transfer on the market. Calipari is looking to add depth in the post, but will he try to find an immediate replacement for Baker? Texas A&M’s Armond Gilder and Little Rock’s Rayjon Tucker have been the subject of speculation. They could be nice additions, but Cal already has three guards and three wings on board for next season. Adding another piece to the puzzle isn’t necessary and could rub some the wrong way. We’ll find out in the coming days if Calipari still believes he needs another player in the backcourt.
John Young sets Decision Date
The four-star offensive tackle from Christian Academy of Louisville revealed he will announce his commitment Monday, April 29. Young is down to six schools: Georgia, Louisville, Purdue, Michigan, Ohio State and Kentucky. In an interview with KSR’s Jack Pilgrim, Young said he’s been impressed with UK’s growth since they started recruiting him.
“I’m going on my third year of being recruited by Kentucky, they offered me as a freshman, so I’ve really gotten to see the development there. They develop players and turn them into high-caliber draft picks like they did with Josh Allen and Benny Snell. Those guys weren’t super highly recruited guys out of high school, Josh wasn’t really recruited at all, but they turned those guys into very high caliber guys who are going to make millions of dollars playing football. Just the way they’ve developed players is the most impressive thing for me.”
Keeneland? Snell Yeah
Benny and the Jets are taking their talents to the racetrack. The thoroughbred that bears Benny Snell’s namesake is making his debut this afternoon in a 4 1/2 furlong race for maidens. “Snell Yeah” has 15-1 odds in race 2, which is set for a 1:39 p.m. post.
UK Baseball Hosts Tennessee
The Bat Cats open a three-game series tonight against the Volunteers. First pitch at Kentucky Proud Park is set for 6:30 and can be seen on SEC Network+.
Stop it, Zion
We’re not supposed to like Duke basketball players, but he’s making it awfully difficult. Gender reveals are typically cheesy, cliched events. That’s not the case when you add a dunk from Zion. I guess we don’t have to hate him as soon as he finds a new pro team?
ZI?N SHUT DOWN THE GENDER REVEAL GAME. ????
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) April 18, 2019
Three Game 3s
The first round of the NBA Playoffs continues tonight. All three series are currently tied at 1-1. Who will break free to take a significant series lead?
- 8:00: 76ers at Brooklyn Nets on TNT
- 9:00: Nuggets at Spurs on NBATV
- 10:30: Warriors at Clippers on TNT
An Incredible Schedule Announcement
The annual NFL schedule announcement receives more hype than it deserves. This video from the Carolina Panthers has earned every piece of praise it gets. Let the classic video game nostalgia sweep over you.
Game On ? pic.twitter.com/mF5CeYnGUE
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) April 18, 2019