By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 11:00pm
Quade Green is transferring after a season and a half in Lexington. What should we make of his career as a Wildcat? It’s a complicated question that speaks to the core of one of the biggest issues facing the program right now: what do you do with the five-star recruits that aren’t good enough to be one-and-dones?
Like most recruits, Quade came to Kentucky with high expectations. A five-star prospect, he was considered a top five point guard, described by Evan Daniels as “arguably the most balanced point guard” in the 2017 class. At 6’0″, he didn’t have the size of a typical John Calipari guard, but Tyler Ulis proved that size isn’t an issue right? John Calipari did his best to shoot down that comparison early on.
“I don’t want him compared to Tyler Ulis,” Cal said in October 2017. “Tyler Ulis was a once in a lifetime player.”
A year and a half in, it’s clear just how unfair that comparison was. Tyler was an incredible defender despite his size. Quade is not. Tyler could be counted on to make smart decisions with the ball (assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.6). As the past few games have showcased, Quade cannot (assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.5). Quade was hitting more threes than Tyler was at this point in his sophomore year, but Tyler had Jamal Murray by his side. I say all of this not to be mean, but to point out that for a guard of Quade’s size to succeed in Calipari’s system, he has to be really, really good or accept a different role; Quade isn’t the former and he wouldn’t do the latter.
Early on, it looked like Quade’s future at Kentucky was bright. After getting poked in the eye vs. Monmouth, he wore a pair of rockstar protective shades vs. Virginia Tech, coming off the bench to score 17 points and dish five assists. The awesomeness of Quade’s shades wore off after a lackluster performance vs. UCLA. A week later, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a breakout game vs. Louisville, dropping 24 points. Shai continued to shine when Quade had to miss three games with a back injury. By the time Quade returned the lineup, it was clear Shai playing point was the best bet for Kentucky to succeed, which meant Quade had to play the two-guard. It wasn’t an easy transition, but Quade still found ways to contribute, hitting the game-winner in overtime vs. Vanderbilt:
If the buzzer-beater vs. Vandy was Quade’s highlight of the season, the lowlight was the rushed, desperation three he threw up with ten seconds left vs. Kansas State in the Sweet 16. Once the season was over, rumors surfaced he was considering transferring, but he eventually shot them down. When Ashton Hagans reclassified and joined the team, Quade was still prepared to give Kentucky another shot, going to work in the weight room. As Nick Richards hilariously put it, Quade wasn’t “fat” anymore, and seemed poised to flourish as a veteran guard.
With Kentucky’s guard situation in flux for most of the season, Quade’s role has also been in flux. He’s had four games in double figures, but hasn’t started. He’s had promising performances (clutch points vs. VMI), but is still prone to defensive breakdowns and bad decisions. He came off the bench to score 14 points, including four threes, vs. VMI, but for some reason, only got eight minutes the next game vs. UNC Greensboro, and ten vs. Seton Hall. In those same games, Ashton Hagans averaged 29 minutes, Immanuel Quickley 21.5 minutes, and Tyler Herro 30.5 minutes. As has been the case throughout his tenure, Calipari is more willing to let freshmen with higher upside play through their mistakes than he is players with more experience.
Firmly fourth in the rotation with the semester coming to an end, Quade had a decision to make: play second fiddle to the freshmen or cut bait so he could be eligible somewhere else in the spring of 2020. I found Cal’s quote on the decision very telling.
“I met with Quade yesterday and we talked through a lot of different things. The thing that struck me most is what a great kid Quade is. He felt like he was in a position that he couldn’t overcome and he had the maturity to come in and sit down and talk through it with me.”
So long, Quade, and best of luck. We’ll always have Cat City.
— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) May 12, 2018
By Savannah Patton on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 10:30pm
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 at Via Email.
#10 Branden Hart
— Branden Hart (@BrandenHart1) December 12, 2018
A true look.
#9 Dalton Jones
— Dalton Jones ® (@DaltonJJones19) December 12, 2018
#8 Patrick Price
— Patrick Price (@patrick2383) December 12, 2018
We love you Q!
#7 Shawn Humpphries
I hope Quade goes to Syracuse and does reasonably well.
— Shawn Humphries (@sahump1) December 12, 2018
I hope he does well no matter where he goes!
#6 Roger Harden
I too will be a Quade fan for life hearing this as well
— Roger Harden (@HardenRoger) December 12, 2018
We should all be Quade fans!
#5 christopher mudd
@KySportsRadio I cant go a day without listening. 2 hrs ksr, ESPN show, your podcast, football podcast, free money. Anything else I can listen to lol. I swear I spend 4 hours a day on average listening to ksr related material. Plus time on the site. @DrewFranklinKSR @ryanlemond
— christopher mudd (@No1ukwildcatfan) December 12, 2018
Superfan! Thank you!
#4 Jared Morris
What??? Not driving?? @KySportsRadio wouldn’t approve.
— Jared Morris (@JaredUPS) December 12, 2018
Come on Shannon.
#3 Chris Browning
All the best to the young man. Hope he finds a program that’s a good fit.
— Chris Browning (@cdbrowning) December 12, 2018
#2 Austin Brown
He realized we hate when people say they’re 100% committed, so he bumped it up an extra 10%. We’re in the safe zone
— Austin Brown (@AustinMcBrown_) December 12, 2018
#1 Charlotte Shale
Congrats, Jonny!!! #BBN
— Charlotte Shale (@crshale) December 12, 2018
By Jack Pilgrim on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 10:00pm
If any Kentucky basketball fans watched the New Orleans Pelicans game against the Oklahoma City Thunder this evening, you witnessed something pretty darn remarkable.
At one point in time, SIX former Wildcats were on the floor at the same time. Yes, SIX.
For the Pelicans, Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, and Darius Miller were all on the floor, while Patrick Patterson, Nerlens Noel, and Hamidou Diallo each suited up for the Thunder.
For those keeping track at home, that’s over $169,000,000 combined in BBNBA members alone.
That’s six of John Calipari’s nine years at Kentucky represented at one time, with Patterson playing in 2010, Miller playing in 2011 (though he played since 2008), Davis in 2012, Noel in 2013, Randle in 2014, and Diallo in 2018.
And that’s not even counting Andrew Harrison, who is also on the Pelicans right now and would’ve gladly represented the 2015 squad in that statistic. When he entered the game with Davis, Randle, and Miller, however, some of the Wildcat players on the Thunder exited the game. Could’ve been seven.
The Kentucky head coach tweeted about the moment a little after it happened.
“I heard we had SIX guys — Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Darius Miller, Patrick Patterson, Nerlens Noel, and Hamidou Diallo — on the court at the same time tonight during the Pelicans and OKC Thunder game,” he said. “CRAZY!!! Proud father right here.”
Crazy is right.
By Matt Jones on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 9:15pm
My second night of writing in one week…I am feeling the vibe
There is a lot to get to tonight and I want to finish in time to get back to Succession on HBO (which isn’t great but is very entertaining because every single character is despicable). Tonight we are excited to announce the $5,000 KSBAR Hammer Bowl Challenge. Over a year ago, when we first conceived the idea of opening KSBar, part of the rationale behind it was we wanted to have a location to do events and promotions that before, were impossible. I always love Bowl season…it is 16 days of daily Bowl games, often with stupid names and usually in locations that seem far from ideal (can you imagine making a Bowl game and then finding out you are playing in Detroit?). Over the years we have talked about ways to have a KSR Bowl Challenge, but they have usually fallen through due to a lack of coordination or time to put it together. Not this year…after partnering with out good friend Darryl Isaacs (the Heavy Hitter/Hammer always comes through), we have created a KSBar Bowl Challenge that will allow someone to win $5,000 and a host of other people to win smaller prizes. Here is how it works:
1. During every Bowl game of Bowl season starting Saturday, whoever picks the Winner/Point Margin of each game the closest becomes a finalist for $5,000. You will choose who you think wins the game, the margin of victory and (as a Tiebreaker) the actual score. Whichever person is the closest, becomes a finalist….we will have 41 finalists, one for each Bowl game
2. These 41 Finalists (or a proxy of their choosing) will come to KSBar the night of the National Championship (likely Alabama vs Clemson) and compete in a contest throughout the game to win $5,000. Players will be eliminated throughout the night as the game goes along, until the last 3 people go for $5,000. It is that simple
MATT, HOW DO I PLAY???
It is this simple…every day a Bowl game is played, if you come into KSBar at some point before the game and fill out an entry, you are in the contest…you don’t have to purchase anything (although we of course would like you to, since we have great food and an amazing Beer selection), but all you have to do is come fill in a slip before Kickoff. It’s that simple. So for instance this Saturday, there are five games…come in at any point and whatever game hasn’t started, you can enter. Next Tuesday, there is one game at 7 pm…come in anytime before 7 pm, fill out the card and you are in.
And as a Bonus prize, beginning Tuesday and on every non-Saturday of Bowl season, we will give $100 to whoever has the score the closest that is left in the Restaurant when the game ends…so if you are the kind of person that likes to hang out until late on a Tuesday when MAC teams play Football…you have a great chance at cash.
So that’s it…come in to the Restaurant, feel out picks and win. Become a finalist (which 40 of you will do) and $5,000 could be yours. And for those of you that LIVE TOO FAR AWAY TO COME IN, I will be having contests on Radio, Social Media and this Blog for a handful of the games so you can participate too. Thanks to the Hammer for being a part of it and we can’t wait to see you at KSBar every night to win
With that a couple of other thoughts….
Quade Green’s Departure
I got word of Quade leaving Kentucky last night and was disappointed with the news. He informed the coaching staff yesterday that he was going to leave and they asked if he would take a night to sleep on it and make sure. Because of the possibility of a change of heart, I only tweeted out the tease this morning and then at 1:30, UK and Quade made it official. The ending isn’t a huge surprise as the relationship between UK and Quade has been rocky from the beginning. Green was never the Calipari prototype of Point Guard that he prefers…he is undersized, isn’t particularly quick at getting to the whole, his defense is lacking and his score-first mentality is mostly with jump shots. That formula worked with Tyler Ulis because he was phenomenally tough, could disrupt with steals and became a very good passer. Those traits did not pass onto Quade and it made a square peg in a round hold.
Quade was very close to transferring last year and I think he considered it strongly. He ultimately came back, believing he could play some off-guard and still succeed in Year 2. But his defensive issues made it almost impossible for Calipari to trust to play him and the emergence in the last two games of Ashton Hagans, led Quade to decide to leave (he only played 8 and 10 minutes in the last two games). As I said on radio today, I think Quade is a good kid who will be a very good college basketball player in the right system. I don’t think he is a pro and I think the disconnect between what he thinks he is and what Calipari/Scouts do, ultimately led to the problems here. He was not a malcontent but he was a bit of a grump and I think he never truly embraced the UK model. I hope he has a ton of success and I think wherever he ends up (he will have lots of options but I think Washington is the early leader) will get a good player.
Quade’s departure does however showcase one of the issues and difficulties of recruiting at Kentucky under John Calipari. There are two types of players that truly excel and work here…top-level talents who have NBA potential and are here for 1-2 year apprenticeships and are ready to sacrifice to learn and move to the next level and 4 year players who understand what they are, accept their role and want to help the team and wait for their moment (think Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Julius Mays, Reid Travis, etc). The latter group isn’t a very large one and for the most part has only been populated by kids from Kentucky or Grad transfer. What I don’t think works here is the mid-level talent that believes he is a One and Done but is actually a 4 year college contributor. Players like that at Kentucky (including transfers from Stacey Poole to Charles Matthews to Marcus Lee to Ryan Harrow to Quade Green and players who leave and don’t get picked where they believe they should like Gabriel//Briscoe, etc) just don’t seem to excel here. I think they pick Kentucky because of the dream of a 1-2 year path to the pros…but when that doesn’t happen, they don’t feel there is a place for them and they leave or don’t reach their potential. I think part of the fault comes from a delusional sense of their ability (both the players and those around him) but it also comes from a culture that UK has to change…one that seems to suggest if you don’t make it after 2 years, you are a failure. I don’t think that culture is anyone’s fault but it doesn’t make it easier
I wish Quade the best. Just like Charles Matthews, I will pull for him wherever he goes. As for this team, I don’t think it will have a huge impact on how Kentucky plays. Hagans/Quickley will get his time and Calipari will look to Baker to replace his three point shooting. The key to this team’s success won’t be whether or not Quade is on the team…it will be getting better PG play, PJ Washington showing consistency and Tyler Herro making shots. If those happen, UK will be fine. If they don’t, they won’t.
I will leave you with one of Quade’s best moments, his game winner versus Vandy
So after the loss to Seton Hall on Saturday, I decided to make the trek to Broadway and see the most hyped Broadway production since “Phantom of the Opera” and catch “Hamilton” in all its glory. I came into the show a complete virgin…while I obviously had heard about it for years, I had never listened to any of the music or read any of the dialogue. I knew the story of Hamilton because I had read the book the play was based upon but otherwise, I came in fresh, hoping to experience it with sight, rather than just audio or Youtube clips. I can say after the experience, that it was amazing. There are very few times in life when you hype something up in your mind to a high degree and then it exceeds your hope, but that happened to me with “Hamilton.” I went expecting to see a cultural phenomenon, but instead found myself engulfed in the experience in a way that I can say has never happened to me at a live theater performance. Look, I have been to my share of plays and musicals and have enjoyed them throughout my life (I once yelled at Ashley Judd post-“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” from the audience and said “Cats won” after a UK game ended that went on during the performance…she smiled and pumped her fist). But never have I gone to a performance, forgot I was watching a production and been completely encapsulated in what I was viewing.
I really am in awe at what they were able to do…the musical takes an American Founding Father that most knew (if they knew him at all) simply as the “Treasury guy” and places him in his historical context in an amazing entertaining and innovative way. When you can find yourself not only bouncing to a rap battle diss track between two founding fathers that is focused on the topic of whether there should be a nationalized bank, but actually learning while doing it, you have to shake your head and simply say, “well done.” Lin- Manuel Miranda’s work is that of a genius and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The performance I saw obviously didn’t have the original cast, but those playing the characters were all tremendous singers, highly entertaining (I would enjoy playing the King George part, who kills) and were worthy of the material. I know some of you have seen a performance, and many others of you have heard the soundtrack, but if you ever get a chance to see it LIVE, please do so. It is extremely expensive in New York, but will be playing in Louisville in March and hopefully you can find a way to weasel in and catch it.
I actually have more to say, but I will save it for another day. Before you go (WARNING….NOT STICKING TO SPORTS), take a second and watch this interview I did with GOP State Rep Jason Nemes. I like Jason a lot and he is one of the authors on two bills that I bet many of you care about this legislative session in Frankfort…Sports Gambling and Medical Marijuana. We discuss both below and it is a good conversation
By Aaron Torres on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 9:00pm
A bad couple months for Kentucky basketball got worse on Wednesday with the news that Quade Green has decided to transfer from the school. When it rains it pours, and right now it’s pouring in Lexington. The Wildcats are 7-2, basically have no quality wins and are coming off a disappointing and at times head-scratching loss to Seton Hall on Saturday. Now they’ve lost a key reserve off their bench.
And if we’re being totally honest, Green’s departure really hurts. Sure, Ashton Hagans is slowly evolving into a solid starting point guard for the Wildcats, and yes, Green has deficiencies in his game that limited how much you could play him depending on the opponent, but that doesn’t change the fact that Kentucky lost a very valuable piece on Wednesday afternoon. On a team lacking three-point shooting, Green was the team’s best outside shooter (hitting 42 percent) and brought a veteran poise to games that neither Hagans or Immanuel Quickley has at this point. As Jon Rothstein pointed out on Twitter, Kentucky now has zero guards on its roster who have ever played in an NCAA Tournament game.
With Quade Green's departure, Kentucky now doesn't have a single perimeter player on its roster that played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Something to remember long term. #BBN
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 12, 2018
More important than Green’s individual departure however, is that this decision continues a disturbing trend for the Wildcats. For the fourth time in the last 30 months, Kentucky has now lost a non-freshman who has seemingly gotten lost in the rotation, with Green joining Charles Matthews, Marcus Lee and Sacha Killeya-Jones on the transfer market since spring of 2016. Not to mention that Wenyen Gabriel, Isaac Humphries and Isaiah Briscoe went pro despite minimal NBA prospects (although Briscoe has played himself into an NBA prospect during that stretch) during that stretch as well.
Add it up, and what has become a common talking point among fans has become an increasingly obvious trend. With each passing departure, it’s becoming more and more apparent that for whatever reason, players don’t seem to think there is a future for them at Kentucky after their sophomore seasons. Kentucky has become a place where it’s basically become “one-and-done or bust” for their players.
And it’s led me to one simple question: Does Kentucky basketball have a branding problem right now?
It seems so.
By TJ Walker on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 8:00pm
This tweet from Darren Rovell dropped my jaw:
JUST IN: New Jersey has biggest month yet. Takes in $330.7 million in bets in November.
Total handle in first five and half months is $928.1 million.
In first 169 days of sports betting legalization, $5.49 million has been bet PER DAY.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 12, 2018
Absolutely nutty. I don’t think (unlike pretty much everything else) that Kentucky will drag its feet with legalized sports gambling. I can go buy a lottery ticket at any gas station. I can play Keno at most bars. I can bet my mortgage on horse races throughout the year and now I can go play slots in Louisville. Surely our lawmakers will see the money coming into other states like New Jersey and want a a piece of that pie.
At least I hope so.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 7:00pm
The Kentucky football program added yet another in-state talent this evening.
Dagen Rash, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound offensive guard out of Belfry High School, has committed to the University of Kentucky.
He made the announcement tonight on Twitter:
BBN, I’m staying HOME ???! 110% Committed!! pic.twitter.com/IWlmfYU7R1
— Dagen Rash (@DagenR54) December 12, 2018
Rash, a two-star product, was committed to play at Army until Kentucky extended a preferred walk-on position on the team. A diehard Wildcat fan growing up, Rash couldn’t help but take advantage of the opportunity.
247 Sports lists Rash as the No. 3108 player in the nation and the No. 31 player in the state. Rivals has him listed as a 5.2 two-star.
Kentucky redshirt freshman offensive tackle Austin Dotson also played with Rash at Belfry High School, as did Louisville offensive lineman Cole Bentley.
Rash is expected to play center at Kentucky.
Here is his senior-year highlight tape:
Welcome home, Mr. Rash!
By ShopKSR.com on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 6:45pm
Posted in Main
The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are having a huge ONE DAY SALE. Now is the perfect time to finish your holiday shopping with KSR sweatshirts, UK tees, hats, and more.
Head to ShopKSR.com to receive 50% off select sweatshirts and 30% off the rest of the site. Hurry, sale ends at midnight! Tell your family and friends.
By TJ Walker on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 6:00pm
Remember those new NCAA recruiting rules that were released in August? More access for college coaches while trying to squeeze out AAU/shoe company influence in recruiting (among other points of emphasis). Well, college and high school coaches learned about a new caveat on Wednesday.
The long and short of the rule is that the NCAA added two weekends in June for college coaches to watch recruits. More access = seeing more recruits and more evaluations. Not a bad idea from the NCAA and everyone seemed on board. But we learned today that the NCAA will only allow coaches to watch recruits that play within the National Federation of State High School Associations, which recognizes just one basketball association in every state. For example, the NFHS recognizes the KHSAA as “the” basketball organization in Kentucky. You may remember earlier this year Aspire Academy in Louisville was desperately trying to be admitted by the KHSAA. They said they wouldn’t compete for state championships, but being an NFHS school has benefits.
As of right now it means UK couldn’t watch schools like La Lumiere, Paul VI (Virginia), Oak Hill Academy and several other top prep schools in the country in June. UK has recruited all those schools and several more during the John Calipari era.
Here’s a statement from the NFHS via the NCAA to ESPN:
“At the NCAA’s request, the NFHS was asked to develop criteria for the June Scholastic Basketball Evaluation Events — both with regard to hosting the events in education-based settings and parameters for participation in the events,” the statement said. “With the task of bringing recruiting back into the scholastic environment, the criteria were developed by a subcommittee of NFHS-member state association representatives and NFHS staff members with input from the National High School Basketball Coaches Association (NHSBCA).
“In keeping with the NFHS’ model of its sanctioning program, this subcommittee determined that these events would be limited to individuals and schools from NFHS member state associations. Other opportunities continue to exist in July for those individuals and schools outside NFHS member associations.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 4:45pm
J.J. Weaver got a lot of people worried earlier this week when he visited Louisville and reports surfaced he was going to wait until February to sign with Kentucky. Kent Spencer of WHAS11 spoke with the four-star defensive end, who said that he’s still 100 percent committed to Kentucky, but wants to wait to sign so he can do it with his teammates at Moore Traditional School in Louisville.
Just caught up with Moore’s JJ Weaver (@jjtimeee)
1. Says he’s 100% committed to Kentucky
2. Plans on signing in February to do it with his teammates at Moore
3. If other schools approach him he’ll listen because it’s a business decision but he plans on signing with UK.
— Kent Spencer (@WHAS11Kent) December 12, 2018
I’d like to believe J.J.’s explanation for waiting to sign, but I know better with football recruiting.
UPDATE: Weaver has spoken, tweeting that he’s not 100% percent committed to Kentucky, he’s 110% committed to Kentucky!
Check my bio, I’m not going nowhere BBN ???? I’m 110% committed
— JJ Weaver (@jjtimeee) December 12, 2018
By Zack Geoghegan on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 4:00pm
Good afternoon, folks. It was a very, very slow night for the BBNBA, which means it’s time for another installment of me spurting out basketball nonsense. Let’s talk NBA.
- Just to give a quick recap of Tuesday night, Brandon Knight (HOU) and Devin Booker (PHX) both sat out. Knight continues to rehab his ACL injury and expects to return to the court sometime next week. Booker has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury, but has started practicing with the team and should return soon, as well.
- The one former Wildcat that did play was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA scored seven points for Los Angeles to go along with two rebounds and two assists, but his Clippers were ripped apart by the East-leading Toronto Raptors – who were also without superstar Kawhi Leonard.
- So, on to a few topics of discussion that I’ve been meaning to talk more about.
Where is Skal Labissiere?
- I’m not entirely sure even he knows where he is. If you haven’t heard me reference Labissiere’s name much this season it’s because I haven’t. He’s been relegated to the very last seat on the Sacramento Kings bench – maybe even into the second row of the crowd. Labissiere has made a total of seven appearances for the Kings this year, averaging a mere 5.7 minutes in those games – most of which have been at the end of blowouts. He’s recorded a total of 17 points and nine rebounds in 40 minutes this season. Spoiler alert: that is not good. I feared at the beginning of the season that the Kings loaded frontcourt could pose to be an issue for one of Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, Harry Giles, or rookie Marvin Bagley III. There was obviously never going to be enough minutes for all four of them and Labissiere has been the odd man out to begin the season. The Kings even reassigned forward Zach Randolph’s role from the team’s leading scorer last season to a strictly locker room/mentoring type presence. Randolph hasn’t even appeared in one game this season yet Labissiere still finds himself on the pine. As we know, WCS has had a breakout season, clearly separating himself as the top big man Sacramento employs with Bagley following him and Giles soaking up the remaining minutes. If you remember correctly, this is the same Harry Giles who is essentially playing on two chopsticks instead of actual bones. Giles has had, like, 45 knee surgeries since he was a sophomore in high school, but still plays more minutes than Labissiere. The former Kentucky forward is still only 22 and in his third NBA season, but it might be time to put him in a different situation. Labissiere will be a restricted free agent this summer and I wouldn’t expect the Kings to offer him much of anything. It wouldn’t be shocking to see them decline his qualifying offer altogether and allow him to be an unrestricted free agent. At this point, that may be his only hope of finding some playing time. That or a trade, which hypothetically could happen before the deadline in February.
How good is Kevin Knox?
- I’m not sure just yet, but I will say he’s had spurts that show he’s capable of being a legitimate NBA player. The early season ankle injury threw off his development a little bit, but he’s hit double figures in 10 of his 21 games played, including two different 26-point outbursts. Not shockingly, Knox hasn’t been ultra-efficient shooting the ball, as with most rookies. In his 26 point games, he shot 9-20 in the first one (acceptable) and 10-25 in the second one (gross). But what frustrates me the most is the games that follow where he shoots 3-11 or 4-12. He’s only knocking down 35 percent of all his field goals this season. His 41.8 effective field goal percentage ranks him in the 6th percentile among all NBA forwards. To put it plainly, he’s not very good right now, but that’s okay. The Knicks are bad. Terrible, actually. Knox is being given free rein to play loosely and his head coach is encouraging his aggressive play. It’s going to be a process for Knox. I’d also like to note that Knox has a relatively high usage rate (20.9 percent) coupled with a low turnover rate (8.8 percent), so it’s not like he’s playing out of control, he’s just still learning how to find his shot. It’s going to take the entire season for him to feel comfortable getting to his spots. Although, first he needs to find his spots. Once he can be confident doing that and begins to understand how to let the game come to him, that shooting percentage should spike a bit. I wouldn’t put too much stock into Knox’s rookie stats, he’s going to be all eye-test and potential the rest of the season.
A brand new KAT
- Before the Jimmy Butler trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves were 4-9 and Karl-Anthony Towns was playing like a pissed off sack of insecurity. Since Butler was shipped off to Philly, the Wolves have gone 9-5 and KAT is back to looking like the transcendent offensive flamethrower that we know and love. Here’s a little before and after of Towns’ stats pre- and post-trade.
- Pre-Butler trade (13 games): 19.9 PPG/10.8 RPG/2.1 APG/2.1 BPG/45.9 FG%/40.6 3PT/91.7 FT%
- Post-Butler trade (14 games): 23.1 PPG/12.8 RPG/2.6 APG/1.3 BPG/52.6 FG%/40.0 3PT/80.8 FT%
- With the departure of Butler, Towns became energized and reengaged. He’s taking more shots and making them at a considerably higher clip, especially working within the paint. At the beginning of the season, you’d often catch Towns settling for threes without hesitation, now, he’s abusing the block and demanding the ball in the post more than he ever was just a few weeks ago. Towns is averaging 6.4 paint touches per game since the Butler trade and he’s converting on 71 percent of shot attempts in that area. Before the Butler trade, Towns was only averaging 5.2 paint touches per game while shooting a measly 52 percent on those shots. Watching Towns now is night-and-day compared to when the season began. It’s also helped that the two players brought over in the trade – Dario Saric and Robert Covington – have meshed with the team seamlessly. The frontcourt duo of Saric/Towns has been an optimistic pairing so far and Covington has filled the defensive void left by Butler quite nicely. Before the Butler trade, the Wolves ranked 17th in offensive rating 28th in defensive rating. Since the trade, they’ve ranked 16th in offensive rating and 6th in defensive rating. I’m still not exactly sure if this is a team that can sneak into the playoffs when considering the other 13 Western Conference teams that surround them with playoff aspirations, but there is no denying at this point the Butler move was anything but necessary. KAT is back and the Wolves are fun again.
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)||99-123 L vs. TOR||7||3-6 (1-2)||2||2||1||0||2||-29||21|
|Devin Booker (PHX)||86-111 L @ SAS||DNP-Hamstring||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Brandon Knight (HOU)||111-104 W vs. POR||DNP-Knee||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: Pistons @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk)
7:00: Knicks (Kanter, Knox) @ Cavaliers
7:00: Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Pacers
7:00: Nets @ 76ers
7:00: Celtics @ Wizards (Wall)
8:00: Trail Blazers @ Grizzlies
8:00 (ESPN): Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) @ Pelicans (Davis, An. Harrison, Miller, Randle)
8:30: Hawks (Poythress-out) @ Mavericks
9:00: Heat (Adebayo) @ Jazz
10:00: Timberwolves (Towns) @ Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere)
10:30 (ESPN): Raptors @ Warriors (Cousins-out)
Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan
By KSR on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 3:45pm
Have you been struggling to find that perfect gift this holiday season? You’re in luck! KSBar and Grille gift cards are now available online. You can purchase them in $25, $50, $75, and $100 increments. Plus, you will receive $5 free for every $25 you purchase!
Simply head to ShopKSR.com, select your gift card amount, enter the address and payment info, and your special gift is on the way.
You can finish all your holiday shopping right now with these KSBar gift cards! Cards must be ordered by December 18th to arrive in time for Christmas. Tell your family and friends.
By TJ Walker on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 3:00pm
Want to watch the UK vs. Louisville game live at the KFC Yum! Center? You can! UofL made single-game tickets available on TicketMaster.com and they’re waiting to be purchased by eager UK fans looking to paint the arena blue (again).
The Cats packed Cardinal Stadium in November and now they can do the same at the Yum! Center in a couple weeks. But this game will certainly be a little tougher than what Mark Stoops and the boys faced in November. Louisville is off to an impressive start and have already defeated Michigan State at home. It will be UK’s first true road game of the season and maybe the wildest of the season for the Cats.
By KSR on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 2:45pm
T.J. Walker is back for another episode of KSR’s basketball recruiting podcast, Hardly Committed. Of course, there’s plenty of recruiting chatter, but this week’s edition of The Annex is extra special. To celebrate the best Christmas special in television history, Trevor Kelsey makes a surprise appearance with Nick and T.J. Highlights:
— Could Anthony Edwards still visit UK? Does it even matter?
— The latest on Keion Brooks.
— So you’re telling me there’s a chance?
— Talking through the Jaden McDaniels situation.
— Michael is lucky Carol hung around for as long as she did.
— Karen Fillipelli is the ultimate Office victim.
Subscribe to Hardly Committed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app to get the podcast delivered directly to your phone. You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play, and streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.