Archive for June, 2010

Cats Picked In The First Round

June 28, 2010 7:10 am

After Thursday’s record setting night, Kentucky has placed 28 players in the first round of the NBA Draft. Here they are:

1949 Alex Groza- 2nd pick-Indianapolis

1949 Wallace Jones- 9th pick- Washington (traded to Indianapolis)

1953 Frank Ramsey- 5th pick- Boston

1967 Pat Riley- 7th pick- San Diego

1975 Kevin Grevey- 18th pick- Washington

1978 Rick Robey- 3rd pick- Indiana

1978 Jack Givens- 16th pick- Atlanta

1979 Kyle Macy- 22nd pick- Phoenix

1984 Sam Bowie- 2nd pick- Portland

1984 Melvin Turpin- 6th pick- Washington (traded to Cleveland)

1986 Kenny Walker- 5th pick- New York

1988 Rex Chapman- 8th pick- Charlotte

1993 Jamal Mashburn- 4th pick- Dallas

1996 Antoine Walker- 6th pick- Boston

1996 Tony Delk- 16th pick- Charlotte

1996 Walter McCarty- 19th pick- New York

1997 Ron Mercer- 6th pick- Boston

1997 Derek Anderson- 13th pick- Cleveland

1998 Nazr Mohammed- 28th pick- Utah (traded to Philadelphia)

1999 Scott Padget- 19th pick- Utah

2000 Jamal Magloire- 19th pick- Charlotte

2002 Tayshaun Prince- 23rd pick- Detroit

2006 Rajon Rondo-21st pick- Phoenix (traded to Boston)

2010 John Wall- 1st pick- Washington

2010 DeMarcus Cousins- 5th pick- Sacramento

2010 Patrick Patterson- 14th pick- Houston

2010 Eric Bledsoe- 18th pick- Oklahoma City (traded to the Los Angeles Clippers)

2010 Daniel Orton- 29th pick- Orlando

So with that we officially close the chapter on what was the 2009-201o season and turn our attention to football. I will be away this week so there will be no posts unless any news comes up. Enjoy your July 4th week! Go Big Blue!!!

2010 NBA Draft

June 24, 2010 7:38 pm

As expected, John Wall was the 1st pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. He becomes the first Wildcat ever taken with the #1 pick and he also makes Kentucky only the 10th school to have a #1 pick in both the NBA Draft as well as the NFL Draft.

UPDATE 8:01- DeMarcus Cousins has been selected with the 5th pick by the Sacramento Kings.

UPDATE 8:56- Patrick Patterson has been selected with the 14th pick by the Houston Rockets. Patterson will join former Cat Chuck Hayes in Houston.

UPDATE 9:16- Eric Bledsoe has been selected with the 18th pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bledsoe sets a new Kentucky record as the 4th player selected in the 1st round.

UPDATE 9:29- Eric Bledsoe has been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for a future 1st st round pick.

UPDATE 10:12– Daniel Orton has been selected with the 28th pick by the Orlando Magic. With that pick, the University of Kentucky has set a new record with 5 players selected in the 1st round.

NBA Draft Primer

June 21, 2010 9:11 am

The 2010 NBA Draft is only 3 days away, meaning we could be just 3 days away from yet another record the University of Kentucky can lay claim to. The Cats have 5 players entered in the draft (4 freshman and 1 junior) and could be the first school to have 5 players drafted in the first round. With that, let’s take a look at the possible destinations of our former Cats.

  • John Wall (#1)- There is no drama going into Thursday’s nights draft as to who the #1 pick will be. John Wall will join the Washington Wizards who since obtaining the #1 pick have sold over 800 season tickets in anticipation of John Wall moving to town. Wall has already signed a shoe deal with Reebok valued at $25 million over 5 years, which other than Lebron James’ deal with Nike is the largest endorsement deal for a player who has yet to play a NBA game.

Prediction: #1 Washington Wizards

  • DeMarcus Cousins (#2-#6)- This is where it starts to get interesting. There has been a lot of talk about DeMarcus Cousins inmaturity, conditioning, and the way he carries himself off the court. These issues, which I believe will be proved false, are what is keeping Cousins from being taken #2 by Philadelphia. Cousins is probably the most talented player in this draft and that’s including John Wall, but he is far from a finished product. The Detroit Pistons have shown a lot of interest in the big man from Mobile, Alabama, but picking at #7, he probably won’t be available. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pistons move up to snag Cousins by trading with Sacramento or Golden State.

Prediction: #5 Sacramento Kings

  • Patrick Patterson (#9-#16)- Pat has done nothing but help himself since the end of the season. He has always been considered a bit undersized to play the “4” in the NBA, but he measured in at 6’8 at the combine. He is very athletic for a player in his position and just like he did for 3 years in Lexington, he has absolutely blown away every GM he has had an interview with. The Indiana Pacers have expressed a lot of interest in Patterson at pick #10, but I think they will play it safe and take the hometown kid in Gordon Hayward allowing Pat to fall in to the arms of the Hornets.

Prediction: #11 New Orleans Hornets

  • Daniel Orton (#12-#24)- It’s tough to try and figure out where Daniel Orton will end up. Orton only averaged 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds during just 13.2 minutes per game. Those are not numbers that are usually associated with a first round pick, but teams love Orton’s size and potential and that is what the draft is all about. I don’t think Orton will still be on the board when the Oklahoma Thunder have their first of two first round picks come up at #21, but if he is don’t expect the hometown team to pass on the Oklahoma City native.

Prediction: #21 Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Eric Bledsoe (#12-#28)- Of the 5 Wildcat’s to enter the NBA Draft, Bledsoe’s game may be the farthest from NBA ready, but this draft is very thin at the point guard position. That opens the door up for Bledsoe to make his way into the first round and his decision to leave UK after one year the correct decision. Bledsoe is the 2nd best point guard in this draft but after 10 point guards went in the first round last year it will be interesting to see who goes for Bledsoe.

Prediction: #25 Memphis Grizzlies

It should be a great night for the Big Blue Nation on Thursday. We will be here on Thursday to update all the action. In case you missed it, ESPN’s Outside the Lines’ Andy Katz did a piece on DeMarcus Cousins and his preparation for the draft. Here it is.

Enjoy your Monday and Go Big Blue!!!

A Few Mid-Week Notes

June 17, 2010 8:23 am

A few notes for your Thursday…

  • After a few weeks of anticipation all we are left with regarding the realignment of college athletics is Nebraska joining the Big 10 and Colorado and possibly Utah heading to the Pac 10. The landscape will stay very similar to how we see it today but the question is did this all just get shoved to the back burner for a few years and will we see this issue again in 5-10 years? Who knows, but as of now all remains relatively the same.
  • Coach Calipari said on Wednesday that he may still add one more player to the roster for next season and late Wednesday night it may have become a little clearer who that player may be. A Minnesota college basketball writer said that Royce White (pictured above) is “narrowing in” on Kentucky. The interest appears to be mutual between UK and White and after Arnett Moultrie picked Mississippi State last week, White could step into his spot as a big time transfer. If the name seems familiar, it’s because White was a former 5-star McDonalds All-American out of high school before he committed to Tubby Smith and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He was then suspended indefinitely in October of 2009 for shop lifting at The Mall of America. White then quit the team in December and is currently assessing all his options. Coach Calipari has always been known for giving kids a second chance and this may be another one he hands out.
  • Reports out of Philidelphia are that rookie corner Trevard Lindley may be working his way into a starting role for the Eagles. Lindley struggled with injuries during his senior campaign but was a “lock-down” corner during his 5 seasons in Lexington.
  • Rajon Rondo will be looking for his 2nd ring tonight in the NBA Finals Game 7. A win by the Celtics and Rondo will collect the 19th NBA Championship for a former Wildcat.

We will have more this weekend previewing the NBA Draft which is a week from tonight. Untill then stay cool and Go Big Blue!!!

The Next Team In The SEC?

June 14, 2010 4:23 pm

The talk of conference realignment is starting to take on a “soap opera” type feeling. Every day a new team is mentioned with a new conference. It is largely believed that the SEC is targeting Texas A&M to join the conference trying to get them to break ties with the other Texas schools and head east instead of west. Texas A&M brings a good football tradition as well as a solid basketball program but more importantly, A&M will bring the Dallas/Houston/San Antonio media markets as well. If Texas A&M were to join the Southeastern Conference, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive would add another university to balance the league out at 14. Virginia Tech has been a name tossed around but it’s still to eary to speculate. We should know within the next 2-10 days what will happen with Texas A&M. I just hope that Coach Calipari is already figuring out a gameplan to stop these guys.

A Changing Landscape

June 10, 2010 1:26 am

Well I didn’t plan on a post today but given what has developed over the last 12 hours I felt I should address it. Nebraska has decided to accept the Big 10’s offer to join their conference and Missouri will follow shortly giving the Big 10 13 teams. Late on Wednesday night, Chip Brown of orangebloods.com (The University of Texas’s rivals.com site) reported that Texas officials had met with all of their athletic coaches to inform them that they had done all they could to preserve the Big XII but had fallen short. Texas officials are set to meet with Texas A&M officials today to make sure both schools are on the same page about the future of what conference they will be playing in. As of now all indications point to Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado joining the Pac 10, making the Pac 10 the first “mega” conference in America with 16 teams.

All of this conference shuffling is taking place for one thing, money. The majority of college athletic revenue comes from the big two sports, football and basketball. Football is by far the most profitbale sport and is therefore in the forefront of each college president and A.D.’s mind as they make the decision they feel is best for their institution. NCAA rules mandate that conferences have 12+ teams before they can hold a conference championship game. The Big 10 is looking to expand to 12+ teams so they can hold a conference championship game in football which has been a very lucrative deal for the conferences that already have one. For example, the SEC made $14.3 million last year on their conference championship game that was equally divided between their schools ($1.19 million per school). 

The Pac 10 is looking to expand so they will be able to have their own championship game as well as expand into new media markets in Texas, Oklahoma, and Denver. Bringing in the most profitable school from last year (Texas) doesn’t hurt either. After the shuffling is done in the next few weeks we will have the following amount of teams in each conference: Pac 10 (16), Big 10 (13), Sec (12), ACC (12), Big East (8 football, 16 basketball) Big XII (4).

Now why as Kentucky fans does this matter to us? As of right now it doesn’t have a whole lot of influence on us at all, other than Kansas (one of the top 5 basketball programs of all-time will probably be playing in the Mountain West Conference). Here is the scenario that will directly effect us is this: If the Big 10 decides to add more than their 13 teams, they will likely raid the Big East and invite Syracuse, Rutgers as well as probably send another invite to Notre Dame (I reviewed Notre Dame’s deal with the BCS tonight, they better get off their high horse and accept the invite this time). This would bring the Big 10 and the Pac 10 to 16 teams each. This scenario would cause the SEC to react by inviting 4 teams to the SEC to bring their total to 16 (Potentially Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Clemson). We would then likely see whats left of the ACC and Big East merge for a 4th and probably final “mega” conference. Now this is a few months away from even being discussed but with as fast as the Big 10 expansion has moved over the past few weeks it could be quicker than we expect. One more indirect effect of the SEC possibly expanding is what could happen to Louisville. The ‘Ville (no matter what any of them may think) will definitly not recieve an invite to the Big 10 due to Louisville’s academics not being at the Big 10’s level. The SEC will not extend an offer either because they once again do not meet the SEC’s academic requirements as well as the fact that the Louisville media market is already owned by the SEC due to UK’s close proximity. Then when you consider the ACC and their academic requirements Louisville really doesn’t fit in again. It is a very real possibility that Louisville could join Kansas as a major basketball school with a solid football program that is left out of the “mega” conferences.

Now this leaves one more question, what happens if a school makes it into the “mega” conference and what happens if they don’t? I really believe it will be similar to the split between the current Football Bowl Subdivsion and the Football Championship Series (formely Div1A and Div1AA). The schools in the “mega” conferences will continue to move full speed ahead and leave the ones who missed out behind. This is why Kansas President Reginald Robinson was practically begging Nebraska this week to stay in the Big XII. He knows what the future looks like without being in a major conference. Kansas Basketball Head Coach Bill Self said the other day “The face of our university could change in the next 72 hours for the next 30 years”. That is how big of a deal this is. Being in one of these conferences will not only provide the money these schools are going after, it will also provide advantages in television exposure which results in a recruiting advantage over those schools who missed out on these conferences. One more thing, a CBS Sports writer mentioned a few days ago that there could be a possibilty that the memebers of the 4 “mega” conferences could possibly leave the NCAA and form their own intercollegiate league with their own rules and requirements agreed upon by all the college presidents, but that’s a bag of worms that we’ll save for later. A new day of college athletics is upon us, as always Go Big Blue!

Wooden and Calipari

June 7, 2010 4:44 pm

The college basketball world lost one of it’s greatest coaches of all-time late Friday night. John Wooden died at the age of 99 at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center. Wooden was the first man to enter Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. All the media coverage since Coach Wooden passed away has been on his character and the development of his players into quality men. It was his record 10 national championships that put Coach Wooden on the national map and brought the Hall, Indiana native all the prestige that he “deserved” as such a remarkable man and coach.

You may wonder why I put the word deserved into quotations. Well, it was do due to a little article written by Yahoo.com Sport’s Dan Wetzel written the day before Ben Howland’s version of the UCLA Bruins took on Florida for the national championship in 2006. It is an eye opening review of what was going on in Los Angeles during the “Wizard of Westward’s” tenure, and is one of many accounts detailing the payment of players that a quick google seach will bring up.

Why do I bring this up a few days after the death of John Wooden? The national media has so much influence into how our “legends” are remembered it is sickening.  Why is it that Adolph Rupp is thought to be a racist when doing a little research shows that he was not, yet we remember him today as a racist and John Wooden as legend who did things the morally correct way.  I would venture to say that current UK coach John Calipari, regardless of how many games and championships he wins, will not be remembered the same way Coach Wooden is. But why not? Both coaches have been very successful and both have “done right by their players”. By that I mean helping them through school and helping them suceed after basketball, but Calipari will more than likely be remembered as a villian. I’m not writing all this to beat down John Wooden, or put coaches that have coached at Kentucky on a pedestal. I simply just want to point out that what you read from the media isn’t what it always appears to be. John Wooden was a great man and coach. He did great things for his players, just listen to them speak about him, but someone tell me where on his pyramid of success does it mention accept payments from a convicted drug dealer? Keep this in mind as you most surely will hear and read more and more about John Calipari as Kentucky continues to tear it up both on the recruiting trail and on the hardwood. Go Big Blue!!!

Battle For The Governor’s Cup Set

June 3, 2010 11:15 am

 

It was announced this morning that the annual Battle for the Governor’s Cup will tee it up at 3:30 P.M. on September 4. The game has been picked up by ABC which is some big news for both schools as this will be the first time this game is played on national television.