Tag: Kentucky


Highlights from Kentucky alumni game, Wall drops 40 (VIDEO)


If we learned one thing during the lockout, it’s that John Wall’s game is well suited for the pickup, free-flowing nature of exhibitions.

Say, like the Kentucky alumni game Monday night. Eric Bledsoe told John Wall he couldn’t score 40, so Wall scored 40 with 10 assists and 10 rebounds thrown in. Brandon Knight dropped 30 points, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 26 points and 14 rebounds. Plus, with this video there is a lot of Terrence Jones dunking.

Hat tip to SLAM.

Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel declares for draft, could go No. 1

Marshall v Kentucky

We didn’t get to see Nerlens Noel in the NCAA Tournament because: 1) Kentucky sucked this year and didn’t make it (they were bounced in the first round of the NIT); 2) He had already blown out his ACL and was done for the season.

Yet he shows enough potential, and this is a down enough draft year, he could still go No. 1 overall. DraftExpress and other draft watchers currently have him there.

So it’s no shock that he announced Monday he would declare for the NBA draft.

“I have loved my time at Kentucky, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA,” Noel said in a released statement. “I’ve learned so much here at UK and am thankful for Coach (John) Calipari, the staff and my teammates for all of their support. I especially appreciate the Big Blue Nation and all of the support, prayers and well-wishes I’ve received from them during my rehab and decision-making process.”

Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, plus he led the SEC in blocked shots. Why he goes No. 1 is that he is a physical specimen with a lot of potential — he measured 6’10” without shoes, has a 7’4” wing span and runs the floor like a gazelle. He can be an impact defender early on in his career.

The drawback is he needs to get a lot stronger and needs to get a lot more polished on offense. His footwork is not going to remind you of Tim Duncan. He’s okay near the basket but has no midrange game.

Then there is the knee surgery in February — he tore his ACL on a chase-down block. He’s still going to be on the comeback trail as the season starts.

But you don’t draft a guy for what he can do his rookie year, you draft him for what he can do three years from now.

In a draft where there is not believed to be a franchise player, no lock No. 1, a draft where you gamble a little with the top pick, wouldn’t you gamble on a very athletic big man? Most likely a team will in the top spot.

Video: Cousins, Davis put on show at Kentucky alumni game

United States v Dominican Republic - Men's Exhibition Game
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We told you before that Anthony Davis had quite a night at the Kentucky Alumni Game last week, dropping 40 points. What we didn’t tell you is that he was not the game’s high scorer — DeMarcus Cousins dropped 42.

It was a summer show, not a real game. Meaning there was about as much defense as there was love for Louisville in the building. John Wall and rapper Drake served as the coaches. It was a night of entertainment not high level basketball.

But that leads to good highlights. Thanks to the guys at The Mars Reel for putting this together.

Video: Anthony Davis drops 40 at Kentucky alumni game

2012 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Well, Drake was impressed. And really, if he’s impressed aren’t we all impressed?

Anthony Davis took his shiny new gold medal and his game back to the annual Kentucky alumni game, and we have the video courtesy City League Hoops and SLAM.

Yes, they played about as much defense as one expects in summer game — did anyone contest any of his shots? — still it’s a nice showing of athleticism and fluidity on the court. He’s going to have to work harder for his points in New Orleans, however.

Kentucky title team now fills up NBA draft boards

NCAA Men's Championship Game - Kansas v Kentucky

It’s a heck of a recruiting pitch for John Calipari.

Six guys from his NCAA title team are expected to go in this NBA draft — including Anthony Davis No. 1 overall and likely four or five in the first round. It’s a ridiculous number.

This is the Kentucky Wildcats NBA draft.

And really, not just this draft — every Wildcats starter the past three years has been drafted, notes the Louisville Courier-Journal.

But this year is a special load of talent Kentucky sends to the NBA. Davis is a lock No. 1, a likely franchise player, but some scouts think Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could be the second best player — and he is a favorite of coaches who love his energy and play at both ends.

Then there’s Terrence Jones, the athletic forward who can score. There is Doron Lamb, the two guard who had a good NCAA Tournament run. Marcus Teague was the point guard who ran the show for Wildcats (and whose brother Jeff is already in the NBA). And Darius Miller could slip into the first round as well. You look at that and can easily imagine how they won an NCAA title.

But it’s wasn’t just talent.

What scouts loved about that Kentucky team was how professional — how much of an NBA-style team — they were. Guys bought into their roles and did what was best for the team, not always themselves. There was ball movement, there was a real commitment to defense (led by the long-armed Davis). These were all top high school recruits who put their egos aside for the team.

It was easy to watch Kentucky and project how these guys could fit into the NBA. Much more than most teams, where the one or two guys with NBA talent dominate play.

John Calipari — about as popular in college basketball as LeBron is in the NBA — won his first ever title with this group now entering the NBA. But there could be more. You don’t have to like how he works the system or how he’s friends with World Wide Wes (and LeBron), you don’t have to like Kentucky. But right now the guy is getting a lion’s share of the best talent and if he can keep getting them to buy into the system he’s going to keep winning.

And keep filling up NBA draft boards.