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June 24th, 2017

The 2017 Draft is Over, Time for 2018 Mock Drafts

USA Basketball

Just when you thought Mock Draft SZN was over, your favorite NBA draft analysts have already compiled estimates for the 2018 draft.  Unlike Bracketology, this actually can be useful.  Let these mock drafts paint a picture of where prospects stand entering their first season at Kentucky.

Draft Express

14. Hamidou Diallo
22.  Nick Richards

Few entities have more mock draft credibility than Draft Express (I believe Givony nailed the first 11 picks), but I don’t understand how they could put more stock in Lonnie Walker than Diallo.  Walker is great, but I do not foresee him taking significant steps forward at Miami, especially compared to Diallo who’s already been given the “first one in, last one out” tag by John Calipari.

CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish

11.  Hamidou Diallo to Philly
13. Kevin Knox to Dallas
19. Nick Richards to Memphis
22. Jarred Vanderbilt to Houston

Nobody is more bullish on SEC talent than Parrish, who features eight from the conference in his first round.

CBS Sports’ Reid Forgrave

7. Kevin Knox to Philly
11.  Hamidou Diallo to Phoenix
13. Nick Richards to Milwaukee

Forgrave likes Knox’s versatility and that his father played in the NFL.

Bleacher Report

12. Hamidou Diallo
24. Nick Richards

No. 24 is the lowest Richards falls on any early draft boards.

NBADraft.net

10. Jarred Vanderbilt to New Orleans
11. Nick Richards to Charlotte
13. Hamidou Diallo to Denver
14. Kevin Knox to Miami

Four lottery picks?  Not too shabby.

It’s hard to gather anything significant from a prognostication that’s a year away, but there’s one thing you should keep an eye on: nobody knows which forwards will stay or go.  Knox, Vanderbilt and Washington are all versatile athletes that will play in the NBA, but how soon that happens will be determined by their play this season at Kentucky.


Hawkins will play in the NBA Summer League for the Kings

Dominique Hawkins has found an NBA Summer League home.

Hawkins’ high school coach Allen Feldhaus Jr. told The Courier-Journal the former Wildcat guard has reached a deal to play with the Sacramento Kings in the Las Vegas Summer League from July 7-17.  A destination for many Wildcats, Hawkins could team up with former teammates De’Aaron Fox and Skal Labissiere in Vegas.

He’s the fourth undrafted former Wildcat to sign a Summer League deal, joining Isaiah Briscoe (76ers), Isaac Humphries (Wizards) and Derek Willis (Pistons).


Keyshawn Johnson Pulls Son Out of Nebraska, Becomes Father of the Year Candidate

Brendan Sullivan | Omaha World-Herald

Parents and sports usually do not mix.  This story is an exception to that rule.

In 2017 parents often confuse “what’s best for their kid” as “defending them no matter what.”  The sports world’s most popular parent, LaVar Ball, first hit the spotlight for berating a coach for not giving Lonzo more touches.  That type of parent is seen as the norm, but the world still has plenty of parents who believe in discipline.

Former No. 1 NFL draft pick and current ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson, pulled his son Keyshawn Jr. out of the University of Nebraska to take “an extended leave of absence.”

The four-star wide receiver came to Nebraska a semester early, but struggled during spring ball, making just one catch for seven yards in the spring game.  His struggles off the field were worse.  It culminated with a marijuana possession citation in his dorm room.  Less than two weeks later, Keyshawn Sr. made his son return home to California.

“One thing you will not do as my son is you will not embarrass Nebraska, you will not embarrass Mike Riley and you will not embarrass this family,” the elder Johnson told the Omaha World-Herald. “If you mature and you’re ready to resume your football career and academic goals, then Nebraska will be ready to embrace you.”

Some parents might defend their kid, deflect the blame or ask for a second chance.  Not Keyshawn.  He dropped the hammer.

But wait, there’s more.  When Johnson Sr. was asked what Jr. thought about the move, he said:

“I never asked him,” Johnson Sr. said. “At the end of the day, I don’t think that decision was in his hands. He squandered that decision. He still wants to play football, and he still wants to play for Nebraska. But if you don’t do the things you’re supposed to do, under the guidelines of me, it’s not going to happen.”

The option to pull his son out of school with the ability to return isn’t an option all parents have, but Johnson Sr. played for Mike Riley at USC.  Their longstanding relationship established enough trust from both parties, even though the younger Johnson thought it might give him more leniency.

“You’ve watched — on Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter — everything’s a big party,” Johnson Sr. said. “You just want to get to college to party, but you don’t understand: You’re playing college football. It’s a business. And it’s a serious business. If you want to become successful — make it to the NFL — you’ve got to embrace it. You’ve got to own it. You don’t make it to the next level by cruising. There’s no cruise control.

“There’s no ‘Mike Riley is good friends with Keyshawn, so his son’s automatically going to play.’ That’s not the game. That’s not why he went to Nebraska. He went there to work his tail off. To have an opportunity to be successful. But when you don’t do that — and you squander that — what are you going to do?”

As a 25-year old, normally I don’t cater to the “back in my day was better” folks, but the world needs more discipline like this.  All too often parents do not force children to take responsibility for their actions.  It may briefly benefit the child, but it does nothing but cause harm in the long run.

Keyshawn Johnson Sr. is holding his son accountable for his actions, a lesson a few parents should learn sooner rather than later.

[Omaha World-Herald]


WATCH: Naquez Pringle Squats 595 Pounds

While you spent your Saturday morning working on your tan, the Kentucky football team went to work.

Naquez Pringle was not messing around.  The Kentucky nose guard loaded up the bar with so many plates, I needed a calculator to learn Pringle was squatting just under 600 pounds.  What’s even more impressive?  He goes ass to grass not just once, but four times.

If that clip didn’t get you fired up for football, this one surely will.

70 days till football season.


Trey Lyles Believes He Fits In Well In Denver

Chriss Grassmick | AP

Former Kentucky forward Trey Lyles will get a fresh start in Denver, one he believes he can take advantage of immediately.

Entering his third NBA season, Lyles’ fared well as a rookie with the Utah Jazz.  He played in 80 games, started in almost half of them, and shot the ball well (43.8% FG, 38.3% 3FG) to average 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.  All of those statistics took a slight dip in his second season when the Jazz added Boris Diaw.

After taking a backseat in Utah, Lyles now has an opportunity to step in and immediately contribute, especially on the defensive end.

“Growing up, I’ve always had coaches who preach defense, (including) Coach (John) Calipari at Kentucky,” Lyles told the Denver Post. “I think personally, for me, being able to be versatile and guard different positions, keep guys in front of me and just compete is the main thing for me. This past summer I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on that. I’m continuing to focus on it through different training exercises to get better with it. I think with our length, our youth and our size, we’ll be able to be one of the better teams in the league on the defensive end once everyone buys in.”

Lyles has plenty of familiarity with the Nuggets’ lineup.  He grew up competing against Gary Harris in Indiana AAU basketball, and the Canadian-born baller teamed up with Jamal Murray, Emmanuel Mudiay and Nikola Jokic during the 2012 Nike Global Challenge.  He’s excited to play with the pass-first Jokic.

“This past year he was able to step up into a role that allowed him to flourish and people started seeing he was able to do a multitude of things,” Lyles said. “I’m excited to go out there and play with him and catch some of those passes from the angles he’s throwing them at. It’s going to be a great compatibility between us.”

However, the most exciting part about the move to the Nuggets is the city of Denver.  During his pre-draft workouts, he grew to love the city and hoped the Nuggets would select him instead of Mudiay.

“When I worked out for the Nuggets, Denver was one of my favorite cities I visited,” Lyles said. “It was a city and a team that I was looking forward to hopefully getting a chance to play for.”

[Denver Post]


Former Wildcat Todd Perry Inducted into KY Pro Football Fall of Fame

@UKFootball

Former Kentucky offensive guard Todd Perry was one of six inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame last night in Lexington.

The Elizabethtown native was an All-SEC performer for Bill Curry in 1992.  A fourth round selection by the Chicago Bears, Perry spent eight seasons in Chicago and finished his 11-year career in 2003 after three years in Miami.  Before the induction ceremony, Perry caught up with his former teammate Freddie Maggard.

Perry wasn’t the only Wildcat honored last night.

Nick Haynes, Perry, Courtney Love and Mike Edwards via @UKFootball.

Mike Edwards, Nick Haynes, Courtney Love and Stephen Johnson were honored as members of the All-Commonwealth Team.  The quarterback could not make it to the event because Johnson is spending time in New Orleans, improving his game at the Manning Passing Academy.

The gang also ran into a sharp-dressed Marty Moore.

UKFootball | IG

The emcee of the event cleaned up pretty well.

Don’t worry Lexington drivers. This photo was taken by Amanda.

Sorry to include this unflattering photo of your bald spot Mr. Lemond, but I had to.  It’s in my contract.

UK Football | IG


Saturday’s Top 10: Draft Leftovers, Boxing is Back, Podcast SZN

What do you think Monk, Bam and Kennard are looking at? CAPTION THIS, via UK Athletics.

The dust has finally settled on Thursday night’s successful NBA Draft.  After months of interviews, analysis and mock drafts, three Wildcats heard their names called in the lottery.  It was a wild time.  We’ve covered just about everything, but there’s a few leftovers.  If I don’t cover them all now, you’ll hear more from me throughout the day.

1. Summer League Teams for Each Cat

After they did not hear their names called Thursday night, three Wildcats discovered their NBA Summer League destinations.

  • Isaac Humphries: Washington Wizards
  • Derek Willis: Detroit Pistons
  • Isaiah Briscoe: Philadelphia 76ers

Briscoe will team up with Aaron Harrison and Alex Poythress for the Sixers in the Utah (July 3-6) and Vegas Summer Leagues (July 7-17).  The verdict is still out on Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder. 

2. James Young to New Orleans?

One report says the former Wildcat guard will sign with the New Orleans Pelicans once free agency officially begins.  A Top Ten player in the class of 2013, Young’s professional career with the Celtics has been lackluster at best.  All of his career statistical highs are from his first season in 14-15: 31 games played, 10.7 minutes and 3.4 points per game.

3. Louisville was the Draft’s Top TV Market

Once again, nobody watched the NBA Draft more than the city of Louisville.  What’s even more astonishing, the UofL College World Series baseball game drew an 8.0 rating and a 13 share, yet there were still enough people watching the draft to beat out professional basketball cities.

1. Louisville (5.3)
2. Charlotte (4.7)
3. Indianapolis (4.4)
4. Norfolk (4.0)
5. OKC (3.9)

To all the curmudgeons who think Louisville can’t support an NBA team, get outta here.  This place loves basketball and needs more of it.

4. Cal Reviewed the Draft on KSR

John Calipari gave KSR listener’s a departing gift before Matt leaves vacation by calling into the show to discuss Thursday night’s NBA Draft and take a shot at Roy Williams.

“I’m the father in the stands that embarrasses his kids because he goes and takes pictures, he’s yelling, he’s screaming, he’s hugging. That’s a big day for parents. And it is for me.” Cal added, “You’re maybe not real close to the kid or he didn’t or he wasn’t grateful enough — it doesn’t matter to me. I’m going.”

For more talk about the draft, the U19 team and the UofL sanctions, listen below.  If the new iHeart widget doesn’t work, click here.

5. Check out KY Wildcats TV’s Draft Recap

6. Boxing Returns to Freedom Hall

People forget that Boxing is Back in Louisville.  Returning to the place Ali won his first professional fight, Freedom Hall hosts the Real Deal Championship Boxing tonight.

With Evander Holyfield as the mastermind, 11 fights will happen tonight, starting at 6:00 p.m.  It’s headlined by a heavyweight title fight.  Contender Derric Rossy will face Carlos Negro in a 10-round bout for the WBC Continental Americas Championship belt.

Even if you’re not a boxing person, this will be an entertaining event, one we are not used to seeing around these parts.  Tickets are still on sale through Ticketmaster.  If you can’t make it, the event will air on CBS Sports Network beginning at 10:00 p.m.

7. One Fantastic LaVar Ball Quote

It’s a fantastic quote because it’s not coming from his mouth.  This quote is about LaVar as a player from Washington State.  This is an excerpt from a January 27, 1988 column in the Lewiston Tribune.

@BlogMyRabbit

8. Podcast SZN on KSR

Every day this week we released a new one, covering something completely different each time.  After a season three Game of Thrones review on Kentucky Thrones Radio, Nick Mingione joined the KSR Baseball Podcast to wrap up the historic baseball season.  Fake Barney shared his awful opinions on NBA cities with Tyler Thompson (Barns might have the worst takes ever) on the OTT.  Finally, Pookie Jones joined The Depth Chart Podcast for what might be my favorite episode we’ve ever recorded.

If you aren’t subscribed yet to the “Kentucky Sports Radio” podcast feed on iTunes, do so now.   You can also stream them on Pod Paradise and a variety of other platforms.

There’s one other podcast feed you need to subscribe to.  The old KSR Radio podcast is dead.  To hear new episodes of the radio show, you must subscribe to the new feed here.

9. SEC Media Days are Coming

It’s hard to believe that football season is almost here.  Three weeks from tomorrow Freddie and I will depart for Hoover for SEC Media Days.  The hotel has been booked, but your company can still be a part of our adventure.   Your business has the opportunity to sponsor content on KentuckySportsRadio.com, receive live reads on our KSR podcasts, and mentions on our social media accounts.  Contact us at KSRads@kentuckysportsradio.com to learn more.

10. World’s Ugliest Dog Crowned

The World’s Ugliest Dog isn’t that ugly…

Justin Sullivan | Getty

…until you see her flaps up.

Josh Edelson | Getty

Martha, a 125-pound Neapolitan Mastiff, was awarded $1,500 for winning the competition.  It’s great to see a big dog win the competition, especially one that’s a rescue.  If you’re thinking about getting a dog, get a rescue.  Mine are the best; don’t at me.


Celebrate Summer Sale at the KSR Shop!

The summer season has officially arrived. The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are celebrating summer with some big sales. Head to ShopKSR.com to received 25% OFF short sleeve tees! We have a great selection of Kentucky-themed tees, Simply Southern tees, and patriotic tees that will look great when you celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. Hurry, this online sale ends tomorrow at midnight!

 

[Celebrate Summer Sale: 25% OFF short sleeve tees at the KSR Shop!]


June 23rd, 2017

Pat Riley on drafting Bam Adebayo, his first UK player at Miami: “Thank God we got one”

@MiamiHEAT

Pat Riley’s been waiting to draft a Kentucky player for years. Today, the former Cat and current Miami Heat president said that for too long, he was stuck in the “Duke mold,” which is why he’s thrilled to finally have a fellow Kentucky Wildcat on the roster in Bam Adebayo, whom the Heat selected with the 14th pick.

“I couldn’t get out of the Duke mold,” Riley quipped when asked what took him so long to draft a Kentucky player. “I’d fight like crazy on draft night. Thank God we got one. There’s always been a lot of guys on the board from Kentucky, but since 2009, Coach Cal, he’s had 17 freshmen lottery picks. A lot of times, we have been a good team picking in the 20s, we very rarely are picking on the lottery.”

“I’m not saying this is personal last night, that I wanted to get a guy from Kentucky. I just wanted to get Bam. I just felt that he was the best guy on the board, no doubt about it. We rated him at that time and when our pick came, his name was the one on the board, I was tickled to death.”

I think you can tell that from the hug Riley gave Bam when he walked into his office in Miami today:

Last night, Riley called Bam “the perfect fit” for Miami’s system.

“There were other bigs that were available that had specific skills, but there were other things we didn’t like about them. I think he’ll be a perfect fit for us,” Riley said. “It’s a wow factor. He’s not 7-1 like [Hassan Whiteside], but he plays like him at 6-9. He’s an above the rim player for real while other guys try to play above the rim. His speed, quickness, ability. We put him in situations to guard perimeter guys. We felt the need to get an athletic big. He’s a gamer. He’s hungry. He’s as clean as a whistle.”

Once again, Riley praised the job John Calipari has done at Kentucky, as well as Bam’s maturity.

“I’m a big fan of what John [Calipari] does from a coaching standpoint at Kentucky. He comes from a great system,” Riley said. “Also, when we sat and talked to Bam for an hour, you get blown away by his story, his background, his motivation. We felt he was the best player on the board at that time. Now he’s not the best shooter, but that all comes. When he was in the workout for us, he made 30 out of 50 threes and had a great release. All that comes with young big men.”

“He played 30 minutes a game, shot about 60 percent. He’s a very efficient player around the basket. Doesn’t need the ball. What [Calipari] said to me was, he was a great teammate, a wonderful teammate to have. When we talked to him, he had a level of maturity about him, a quietness about him that we really liked. I saw him play two or three times and a number of film sessions. There were three or four or five guys in the mix. He was actually ahead of the 14th pick [on our draft board]. We feel he’s going to be a special player.”

Simply awesome. Watch Bam’s introductory press conference below:


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s

has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for
the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us Via Email

#10 Tucker

Tons of kinds all over the BBN this year are gonna dress up as this, aren’t they?

#9 Ryan Lemonds Cell Phone

This could be an interesting summer…

#8 Chris Davis

It’s worth a shot.

#7 Zach

Does he also rap about sports?

#6 Tyson Davis

I’d bid on it.

#5 Dawson Rule

Don’t worry guys, Matt may be gone but we have Dawson and JROCK.

#4 Pat Ingram

Borderline creepy but also, I love it.

#3 Kentucky Basketball

That’s a fact we can all count on.

#2 Tater Allen

Drew has the power now.

#1 Mike Fields

I think the fans are having a harder time dealing with Matt’s absence than we are.


KYWildcatsTV was at the draft and made a sick video

@NBADraft

KYWildcatsTV is not taking a break this summer and were at the NBA Draft last night and of course cranked out another awesome video to recap the amazing day.

I just can’t get enough of this. Dreams came true last night.

 

On an unrelated note: I’m ready for some lit pre-game hype videos for football.


Go behind the scenes of NBA Draft day for Malik Monk

We all love draft day. We soak up every bit of coverage of it and try to imagine what we would do if we were in those athletes shoes. Well, thanks to the Worldwide Leader, we can get a taste of what it was like to be Malik Monk yesterday.

What a day.

Also, big fan of the camo, no matter what y’all say.


Watch Hey Kentucky! in Evansville

Matt and Drew are on the road and today they hit up Evansville to talk about the NBA Draft and Cal’s USA team.

Check out the full episode after the jump:

(more…)


Coaching Team USA is an advantage for Cal, recruits agree

Scout

Calipari may have been in Colorado at a training camp for USA Basketball U19, but it may as well been one giant recruiting trip.

After three days of instruction with their potential coach Immanuel Quickley, Cameron Reddish and Romeo Langford all agree that the training camp was an advantage for Kentucky.

Thanks to the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts, we know what the three recruits think:

Quickley: “It’s definitely an advantage,” he said. “No doubt.”

Reddish: “I get to see how he really coaches. How he is outside of recruiting,” Reddish said. “I like him. He pushes me to get better. That’s what I need — somebody who’s going to push me to the limit, and that’s what he’s doing.”

Langford: “I like the way he coaches,” he said. “He doesn’t let you slide on anything. Little things like catching the ball with two hands. Little things like that — that’s what makes you better as a player.

“It kind of gives him a head start. I get to see how he coaches, and I get to see if I like the way that he teaches his kids.”

I like the way these guys are talking.


NBA and WNBA 2017 Draft nights historic for both Kentucky programs

@KentuckyWBB

Since the beginning of the Calipari era, the NBA Draft night has become like an added holiday for Kentucky fans.

It always seems like the draft is historic in some way for men’s side of the table, but this year they weren’t the only ones.

For the women’s basketball program, center Evelyn Akhator became the highest WNBA draft pick in program history as the number three overall pick by the Dallas Wings. A record previously held by A’dia Mathies who was the 10th pick in 2013.

History happened again 30 picks later as Makayla Epps was selected by the Chicago Sky. Before this year, two Cats had never been selected in the same WNBA draft.

Last night was obviously a huge night for Kentucky’s program as the newest NBA Cats just added on to already record-breaking numbers. For instance: all 21 one-and-done’s at Kentucky have done in the first round, Calipari has more former players (24) in the NBA than all other Kentucky coaches behind (23) and finally, for the third time in program history, Kentucky had three lottery picks, more than any other school. 

Not too shabby y’all, not too shabby.

 

@haleysimpKSR