The Sacramento Kings have three of the most intriguing former Kentucky Wildcats that could be on one team. Demarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Rajon Rondo, are all players who kept the BBN waiting to see what they would do, or say next, and for that reason, them as all teammates, makes the BBN want to follow the Kings. After the Kings drafted Willie I think most of the BBN thought the two former Cats could definitely mesh and maybe be the Kentucky NBA connection we all want to see. Now Rondo is on the scene in Sacramento and the BBN is biting their finger nails as we all hope and pray that Rondo does not cross Big Cousins in any kind of way, just for his own sake. This is probably why Terry Brown of the WildcatBlueNation website wrote an article on Rondo and what could happen in Sacramento one way or another.
"So here he sits, at a career crossroads. After a disastrous turn in Dallas, Rondo signed with the Sacramento Kings this offseason. In Sacramento, Rajon joins former Wildcats Willie Cauley-Stein and DeMarcus Cousins, who’s trying to right his own ship. The questions for Rajon Rondo that everyone will be looking for answers to are: Can he still be an elite NBA point guard? Now that he’s older, will Rondo be the team leader the Kings need? Will he, can he, finally open up and learn how to be a people person or at least not come off as aloof and condescending? The only person that can answer these questions is Rajon Rondo."
Interesting questions, but the one that worries me the most is the last question. I do believe Rondo has eliteness in him still, and I do believe he can be a leader on the court, but I am not sold on that he could open up and be personable, but who knows. I do know this, if Rondo does make this a positive thing the Kings are going to be nasty!
~ Scott Roach ~
It has been a wild and crazy week in the world of Kentucky football. After a three commitment day from the 2017 class the 2018 class get's rolling. As most of you have heard by now Kentucky picked up a five-star receiver from the 2018 class - Jermaine Eskridge, and with a long way to go it could be a task to keep this young man heading to Lexington, but if that task is conquered what does this mean for the 2018 class? Read the quote below as Justin Rowland of CatsIllustrated explains.
Cats reach new heights in Florida
It's not really Jones' ranking in Florida that has made him a huge figure in the state. It's the fact that he's camped so many places, had networked with so many recruits, and is so well-known in the talent-rich state. His recruiting coordinator told Cats Illustrated that he would be a huge asset as a recruiter and ambassador for the program, and he obviously wasn't exaggerating.
Here is the key to recruits sticking around at Kentucky, first getting two or three guys that every recruit likes. Then those guys have to be networking the Kentucky brand. Lastly, and maybe the most important, is forming a bond with the classmates while on recruiting visits and camps. Stoops has yet to have a respectable recruit commit so early so if Eskridge does his part of the recruiting the 2018 class could get very interesting.
One key note to remember, if Stoops is going to keep all these recruits excited about Kentucky, then Kentucky must have a decent season. A bowl game will help to keep the excitement, and if not a bowl game then two or three upsets will keep the interest there as well.
You can read more of Rowland's write up, which discusses keeping Eskeridge and the momentum of the Kentucky recruiting scene, by clicking the blue link below.
~ Scott Roach ~
Head coach Mark Stoops was posed the question..."What's the latest on the quarterback competition?" Kentucky has not yet named a starter, it's still an open competition for the starting nod between Towles and Barker. Stoops had this to say according to vaughtviews...
“I have not put Patrick No. 1 on paper yet because I want people to earn the position. He has done a lot of good things to be starter, but he has to continue to progress and improve and earn the job just like everybody else. We change our depth chart around a lot to keep guys on edge and not get complacent.
"Patrick has a chance to be a great quarterback. He missed easy throws last year, and he knows that. But also we need to get better around him to where he is more confident. But the routine plays have to be routine. To win games in the SEC, when we have routine plays they better be done. You see the flash but sometimes not the routine. I see him getting much better than that."
I am excited about the future of our Kentucky football program with Drew Barker, but for now I want Patrick Towles to lead this team, this year. He has a year of SEC football under his belt and that is huge. Towles can make all the big throws and if he's improved on his accuracy, this may be his last year in Lexington. I look for big things from Patrick Towles this season and possibly on Sundays. #STOOPSTROOPS
The 2016 recruiting class is considered by many, the BEST class of all time when it comes to talent. For one to be the clear cut No. 1 player in this class says it all. That player is Harry Giles. ESPN reached out to 50 coaches of the "Power 5" conferences and they gave their list of what turned out to be the top 12 players in the class of 2016. Standing in at #1...
1. Harry Giles, PF, 6-10 -- 115 points (29 first-place votes, left off four ballots)
This was a landslide win for Giles, who entered the summer as the No. 1 prospect in the ESPN 100. A couple of years ago, he was considered the clear-cut best prospect in his class, but a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus at the 2013 FIBA Americas kept Giles sidelined for his entire sophomore season and hampered him for much of his junior campaign. As a result, other players emerged as competitors for the No. 1 spot. Now healthy, Giles went into the summer looking to reaffirm his status -- and he succeeded. He was terrific at the FIBA U19 World Championships, and then went out and averaged 18.2 points and 11.0 rebounds at the Nike Peach Jam for Team CP3. Coaches we polled compared him to Chris Webber, and said his ability to pass and dribble at his size separates him from the rest.
Many believe Giles will join his friend Jayson Tatum at Duke, but I believe the longer he stays uncommitted, bodes well for Kentucky. Giles recently announced he would transfer to play at Oak Hill Academy. Kentucky has had success with Oak Hill players and let's hope Giles becomes the latest. For more on ESPN's top players check out this article by Jeff Borzello...
The top 50 players nationally were ranked in college basketball and three Cats made the list. The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre released these rankings. Sitting in at No. 2 is Skal Labrissiere. Here is what McIntyre had to say about Skal...
"Doesn’t quite enter college with the post skills of Jahlil Okafor, but he’s got more range on his jumper. He looks like a more offensive-minded Karl-Anthony Towns.
Second of the Cats was Jamal Murray sitting in at No. 3 of the top 50 best players. The Canadian's stock is rising after a strong Pan Am games. McIntyre had this to say about Murray...
"If you watched any of the Pan-Am Games, you know this kid became a star. Is this a bit knee-jerk? Perhaps. We do this list last month … he’s probably not in the Top 20. Murray is from Canada, and he lit up anyone who tried to check him this month. He’ll have a bigger impact in Lexington than Devin Booker did last year. And Booker was a lottery pick."
Last, but to me, most importantly on the list, coming in at No. 38 is Tyler Ullis. Ullis is the kid that will run the show for Kentucky and I am most excited about his sophomore year. McIntyre had this to say about our point guard...
"Played a pivotal reserve role last year (shooting 42 percent on 3-pointers), but now will have to fight off incoming studs Isaiah Briscoe and Jamal Murray."
Trust me, Ullis won't be fighting off anyone for playing time. He could be one of, if not the best, true point guard Kentucky has had suit up in the Blue and White. For more on this check out CoachCal.com
Looks like Kentucky might be getting a big time visitor sometime soon. It's still up in the air, but five-star rated - Rashan Gary - has told Brian Dohn, of AllWildcats, that he would like to visit Kentucky.
Gary is still looking at making several visits, and he said two schools he is yet to visit, but could check out, were Kentucky and USC.
I'm not sure if Rashan will make it to Kentucky or not, but it is always a good thing when he says he wants to visit. Just getting Rashan to visit would be big enough and if he did make it for a visit it could open the eyes and doors of some other five star players. Just having a number one player overall, saying that he wants to visit Kentucky is a big deal right now.
~ Scott Roach ~
It all began with the commitment of 4-star Russ Yeast and snowballed from there. Yeast is the son of former UK star Craig Yeast and considered one of the 9 best prospects of Ohio for 2017. Hours later came the commit of a couple 4-star teammates James Hudson and Michael Warren from Toledo Central Catholic. What a GREAT day for Stoops and the Kentucky football program!
Hudson is a 6'5, 270 pound lineman and Warren is a 5'10, 200 pound running back. Both are considered in the top 10 rising juniors of Ohio. Warren is the No. 13 running back in the class of 2017 and the fifth-best prospect from Ohio, according to 247Sports. He ran for 2,246 yards and 28 touchdowns as a sophomore this past season. For more on this check out Kentucky.com article...
Vince Marrow had this to say via twitter..."Triple Yahtzee. "And we are still rolling."
As a new season of basketball is upon us Kentucky fans, so is the "new" talent that Cal rakes in every year. One of those talents is Charles Matthews. Matthews grew up the middle child and gives all credit to his parents as having the greatest impact on his life. Coach Cal describes Matthews as a "slasher", his strength is getting to the rim. The Chicago native was one of Cal's first 2015 recruits, but yet we know little about him compared to a Skal or Briscoe.
According to CoachCal.com--Matthews, a former skateboarder – “skinny jeans and everything,” he laughed – on the South Side of Chicago, Matthews got serious about basketball midway through his freshman year as the light came on for him about his basketball abilities. He lists Kobe Bryant and Anfernee Hardaway as his favorite players, among others, but says he doesn’t like to mold his game after just one player, referring back to his love for individuality instead. When asked if there is any added pressure to this group of Cats because of last year's accomplishments, Matthews responded...
“Each and every team is different,” he said. “Each and every player is different. Each and every year is going to be different, so we’re just going to try to create our own identity and be the best we can be."
I like his style and feel that he has wisdom beyond his years. As a Cat fan, I look forward to seeing what Matthews can do on the court. Something tells me he's going to be an unselfish, hard working, complete basketball player. Go CATS!
Being a top high school basketball player sounds like a great time but it has it's challenges. If you are a social kind of guy it could cramp your style as a report from Jason Jordan of USA Today proves that point.
See when you are wanted by some of the most well known basketball teams and coaches in the country it's hard to not answer their calls and text messages, but when you are out with your homies, or your main chick, you might not want to be bothered at that time. So what do you do? Many of the Kentucky targets like the idea of having two cell phones. One for personal use, and one for when the coaches and media call. In Jordan's report, many players explains why another phone would help out.
Here is what some of the Kentucky targets had to say:
~ Scott Roach ~