Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sacha Killeya-Jones To Participate In Great Britain's National Training Camp



Kentucky basketball sophomore forward Sacha Killeya-Jones has accepted an invitation to attend Great Britain’s national training camp that will determine the team’s final roster for FIBA EuroBasket 2017. Killeya-Jones is eligible to play for Great Britain via his British-born mother, Ley.

Killeya-Jones is one of 24 players selected to a preliminary squad for Great Britain’s senior men’s team. The eventual roster will be whittled down to 12 players for FIBA EuroBasket 2017, which will begin competition Aug. 31. 

Training camp for the team begins July 31 in Manchester, England. In addition to a game against Greece on Aug. 18,Britain will also play in two tournaments in Greece and Poland, as well as one friendly in Tel Aviv against Israel. That will complete Great Britain’s preparation before heading to Istanbul for FIBA EuroBasket 2017, where it will face Belgium, Turkey, Latvia, Serbia and Russia in Group D, starting on Sept. 1.

Killeya-Jones, a 6-foot-10 forward, appeared in 15 games during his freshman campaign, averaging 2.7 points and 2.1 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He scored a career-high 12 points in 13 minutes of a win over UT Martin in November. He also added 31 total rebounds and 10 blocks on the season.

The Chapel Hill, North Carolina, native is among a slew of Wildcats who will have experience on the world stage this summer. Wildcats Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington and Tai Wynyard participated in the FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo earlier this month. Diallo and Washington played for UK head coach John Calipari and Team USA, while Wynyard represented New Zealand.

Kevin Knox participated in training camp for Team USA before a minor hamstring injury forced him to withdraw his name for consideration for the 12-man team. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander declined an invite to join the Canadian national team for its training camp.

For more information on British basketball, please visit gbbasketball.com


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Kentucky Hall of Fame, Class Of 2017 Announced




The University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017 has been announced, with Randall Cobb (football), Collin Cowgill (baseball), Ralph Hacker (broadcaster), Sherry Hoover Bordner (cross country/indoor track/outdoor track), Sarah Rumely (volleyball) and John Wall (men’s basketball) set to be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 22-23, in conjunction with the football home game vs. Florida.

Sherry Hoover Bordner, Cross Country/Indoor Track/Outdoor Track, 1986-89
A seven-time All-America honoree … Won SEC championships in the mile and on a pair of relay teams during her career … Set 10 school records during her career, including outdoor records in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs, 4x800 meter relay and the distance medley relay, and indoor records in the 1,500 meter run and 4x800 meter relay … Broke outdoor freshman record in the 800 meters and indoor freshman records in the 1000-yard run, 1,500-meter run and the mile … Member of the 1988 national champion cross country squad, which remains the only women’s national championship team at UK.

Randall Cobb, Football, 2008-10
Arguably the most versatile, dynamic playmaker in UK football history as a wide receiver, quarterback, punt returner and kickoff returner … First-team All-America as a junior … Two-year
first-team All-SEC … Set SEC single-season record for all-purpose yardage (2,396 yards in 2010) … Set UK career record for touchdowns (37), although he played only three seasons … Clutch
player who scored five game-winning fourth-quarter touchdowns in his career, vs. Arkansas, Louisville and South Carolina at home, also at Auburn and Georgia … Left UK after his junior
season and was a second-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers … Has been a star wide receiver during his six-year career with the Packers, making the 2011 NFL All-Rookie Team and being selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2014 season … Returned to UK and finished his degree.

Collin Cowgill, Baseball, 2005-08
One of the top players in Kentucky baseball history, paced UK from a last-place finish in 2005 to its first-ever SEC Championship in 2006 … First-team All-America in 2008 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, leading UK to a then-record 44 wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament … Also first-team All-SEC by the league coaches … A two-time Academic All-America selection … Ranks among the UK career leaders in runs, homers, RBI, walks, on-base percentage, sac bunts, sac flies, hit by pitches and steals … Fifth-round pick by Arizona in the 2008 MLB Draft … Reached the majors in 2011 and has played for the Diamondbacks, the Oakland Athletics, the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians.

Ralph Hacker, Broadcaster, 1966-2000
Spent 34 years on the UK Radio Network … Served as the men’s basketball analyst for many years with legendary broadcaster Cawood Ledford … Following Ledford’s retirement, he took over
play-by-play duties for eight years, including UK’s 1996 and 1998 national championship seasons … The play-by-play voice of the Wildcat football team for five seasons … Was president of HMH Broadcasting, building a prominent network that featured then-UK flagship station WVLK … Also hosted head coaches’ pregame and postgame shows, as well as the weekly “Big Blue Line” call-in shows … All totaled, he was on the radio call for three men’s basketball national championships, seven Final Fours and four football bowl games.

Sarah Rumely, Volleyball, 2006-09
Only player in program history to be named SEC Freshman of the Year (2006) and SEC Player of the Year (2008) … Two-time AVCA All-American … Four-time All-SEC … Academic All-American third team … Led team to NCAA Tournament four times, including the Sweet 16 in 2009 … Finished career owning UK records in career assists (5,703) and aces (165) … 5,703 career assists also ranked fifth all-time in SEC history … Capped career ranking in the top 10 in sets played (3rd), block assists (9th), digs and attack percentage (10th) … Only player to record a triple-double in a match in program history (10 kills, 56 assists, 18 digs vs. Ole Miss) … Led team to No. 7 national ranking in ‘09 … Played professionally overseas … Currently an assistant coach at LSU.

John Wall, Men’s Basketball2010
First national player of the year in program history as winner of the Adolph Rupp Trophy … Named 2010 USBWA National Freshman of the Year … Consensus first-team All-American … 2010 SEC Player of the Year by Associated Press and SEC Coaches … SEC Freshman of the Year by the AP … First-team All-SEC … Named SEC Tournament MVP … Led UK to a No. 1 national ranking, SEC regular-season championship and the SEC Tournament championship … Set single-season assists record with 241 assists (broken 2016 by Tyler Ulis) … Averaged 16.6 points and 6.5 assists … First No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick in UK history … Four-time NBA All-Star through first seven seasons, averaging double-figure scoring every season … Tabbed third-team All-NBA in 2017 … Washington franchise career leader in assists and steals.

The UK Athletics Hall of Fame was started in 2005 to recognize and honor persons whose participation and achievements enriched and strengthened the University’s athletics program. The charter class included 88 individuals who had previously had their jersey retired by UK.

There is a five-year waiting period after leaving UK to be eligible for inclusion into the Hall of Fame. A committee consisting of Hall of Famers, media members, campus representatives and current coaches and administrators elects new inductees each year.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Kentucky Basketball Announces Pre-Season Schedule



In keeping with recent tradition to play at least one university in the state of Kentucky in the preseason, the Kentucky men’s basketball team will face two in-state schools in Thomas More College and Centre College for the 2017-18 exhibition slate.

The Wildcats will meet Thomas More on Oct. 27 and Centre on Nov. 3. Both games will be in Rupp Arena. Times and TV designations will be announced at a later time.

The announcement of UK’s two exhibition games completes the list of opponents for the Wildcats for the 2017-18 season. The nonconference schedule, which features 12 teams that played in the postseason and eight that appeared in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, was announced in June. Kentucky’s SEC opponents for the upcoming season were also announced, although dates have not been released at this time.

Both meetings will mark exhibition firsts for Kentucky, although the Wildcats frequently played Centre in the early 1900s. UK owns an all-time record of 25-19 vs. the Colonels (Centre consolidated with Central University in 1912), but the two schools haven’t met since Feb. 13, 1929. Kentucky has never played Thomas More in an exhibition or a regular-season game.

Thomas More went 22-7 last season and won the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. The Saints lost in the first round of the Division III NCAA Tournament. All five starters are expected to return from that team.

Centre, also a member of Division III, went 14-11 in 2016-17 and finished in second place in the Southern Athletic Association. Centre, then known as Central University, owns the distinction of handing Kentucky its largest defeat in school history – an 87-17 loss on Jan. 28, 1910.

Cawood Ledford, Kentucky’s legendary radio play-by-play announcer from 1953-92 and UK Athletics Hall of Famer, attended Centre College. Also, Will Barton, UK’s current director of basketball administration, played for Centre in 2008-09, when the Colonels went 23-5 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

UK’s season will tip off with Big Blue Madness on Oct. 13 in Rupp Arena. Long considered the official start of the Kentucky basketball season, this year’s grand show will once again take place on a Friday night. The Blue-White Game is slated for a week later, on Oct. 20, in Rupp Arena.

The Wildcats will officially open the regular season vs. Utah Valley on Nov. 10.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Three Wildcats To Participate In Orlando Pro Summer League



 Former Kentucky men’s basketball players Bam Adebayo, Dakari Johnson and Derek Willis will play in the NBA’s Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League, which begins Saturday at the Orlando Magic's Amway Center practice courtThe league will jumpstart a busy summer for former UK players either making their professional debuts or looking to enrich their opportunities in the NBA.

In addition to UK’s three lottery selections on Draft Night (Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk), Willis is among five Wildcats who inked summer league opportunities with various NBA squads. Willis is playing with the Detroit Pistons. Isaiah Briscoe is currently participating in the Philadelphia 76ers mini-camp and vying for a summer league roster spot. The 76ers are set to participate in both the Utah League and the Las Vegas League later this summer. Dominique Hawkins joins Fox on the Sacramento Kings’ summer league roster. Isaac Humphries inked a summer-league deal with the Washington Wizards, while Mychal Mulder will join the Toronto Raptors summer team. The Kings, Raptors and Wizards are not set to begin summer league action until the Las Vegas League opens on July 7.

Joining Briscoe in the 76ers mini-camp are former Wildcats Aaron Harrison (2014-15) and Alex Poythress (2013-16). The 76ers are expected to announce their summer league roster following the conclusion of mini-camp.

Up first is the Orlando Summer League. Adebayo will play for the Miami Heat, Johnson (2014-15) will suit up with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Willis (2014-17) will join the Pistons.

Monk, who was drafted 11th overall by the Charlotte Hornets last week, is listed on the Charlotte summer league roster,but the team announced last week that Monk is doubtful to participate in the Orland league because of a sprained left ankle he suffered during the draft workout process.

The Orlando league will be one week, spanning 20 games. All games will be televised on NBA TV. The games conclude Thursday. The league will feature the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Orlando Magic.

Summer league rosters for the Utah league (July 3-6) and the Las Vegas league (July 7-17) will be announced at a later time. 

The NBA summer leagues are an important time of the year for professional players to either earn a free-agent contract, solidify their spot on an NBA roster, or develop and earn additional playing time for the NBA regular season. 

Fans can access box scores, game recaps and cumulative statistics at nba.com/magic/summer-league.

Each team in the Orlando Summer League will play five games. A point system will establish the standings leading up to the final day, with eight points awarded each game based on: four points for winning the game and one point for winning a quarter (in the event of a tied quarter, each team will receive 0.5 points). In the event of ties in seeding heading into championship day, three tiebreakers will be in place: 1) total point differential; 2) total points allowed; 3) coin flip.

Briscoe

Briscoe was one of the constants during UK’s league title and NCAA Tournament runs over the last two seasons. The Newark, New Jersey native, started 69 of the 70 games he played in and averaged 10.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists during his two-year college career.

As one of the few returning players from a season ago, Briscoe’s leadership was instrumental in bringing together one of the youngest teams in the country and leading it to the top of the polls in November. Briscoe went on to average careers highs in points (12.1), rebounds (5.4) and assists (4.2) in 2016-17, the only player in the Southeastern Conference to average at least those numbers in all three categories. Briscoe scored in double figures in 23 of the 36 games he played in this season, scored 20 or more points in six games, and led the team in assists in 15 games.

Among his many highlights, Briscoe became the third Wildcat in program history to post a triple-double when he recorded 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the SEC opener at Ole Miss on Dec. 29.

Briscoe declared for the NBA Draft a season ago but returned for his sophomore year to continue to develop his game. The 6-foot-3 guard showed improvement in nearly every statistical category, including overall field-goal percentage (.470, up from .439 in his freshman season), free-throw percentage (.635, up from .460) and 3-pointers made (17, up from five).

Harrison

After going undrafted in 2015, Harrison signed a free-agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets. He appeared in 26 games during his tenure with the Hornets. His rights were traded to the Delaware 87ers in the D-League midseason.

He played in 38 games for the 87ers this season, averaging 17.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Harrison connected on 44.2 percent of his field-goal attempts, including 40.8 percent from behind the arc. In one of his final games of the season, Harrison poured in 32 points on 11-of-26 shooting with five 3-pointers. He had a 16-game double-figure scoring stretch near the end of the season and finished the year with 33 combined double-figure efforts.

Harrison will forever be remembered for his three straight game-winning 3-pointers during UK's thrilling 2014 NCAA Tournament run. He averaged 12.4 points in his two-year career with the Wildcats and sunk 121 career 3-pointers, a mark that ranked 22nd all-time in Kentucky's record books upon the conclusion of his career. 

He started all but one game in his 79 career appearances. Harrison was a Second Team All-SEC selection as a sophomore and a two-time All-SEC Tournament Team selection. For his career, he shot 41 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from behind the arc. He finished just 21 points shy of joining UK's 1,000-point club. 
Hawkins

Hawkins concluded his UK career as one of the most revered players to ever suit up for the Cats. He saved his best basketball for his final season. He appeared in all 38 games and made four starts. Hawkins earned SEC All-Tournament team honors after helping lead the Cats to the 2017 crown with a career-high 14-point performance against Arkansas in the title game. He averaged 4.7 points, 1.7 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game, while boasting a team-best 3.6 assist-to-turnover ratio during his senior campaign.

During his four-year career he played in 121 career games, the most during the Calipari era for any player. He also owns the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.943) during Cal’s tenure. He was a member of two Final Fours, three SEC regular-season championships and three SEC Tournament titles.

Hawkins recorded four double-figure scoring games after having just two during the first three years of his career, with three of the four coming during the season’s last five games. He had 10 first-half points while adding three rebounds against North Carolina in his final appearance for the Wildcats. Prior to his late-season senior run, Hawkins’ entered UK folklore with a career-high 13-points on three 3-pointers in a win over archrival Louisville during his junior season. 

Humphries

The 7-footer from Sydney, Australia, played a key role off the bench in each of Kentucky’s last two SEC regular-season and tournament championships. Humphries averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 51.1 percent from the floor during his sophomore season. 

Playing alongside some of the best talent in the country, Humphries made the most of his opportunities when he got them, most notably in last month’s Elite Eight matchup vs. North Carolina. Playing in a season-high 21 minutes under the national spotlight, Humphries scored a career-high 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. More importantly, he scored eight points during a 10-2 UK run that gave the Wildcats a 64-59 lead with 5:10 to play. The effort nearly willed Kentucky to the Final Four.

Other notable performances included a nine-point, nine rebound game in 11 minutes vs. Cleveland State and nine points, nine rebounds, three blocks and three steals vs. Stephen F. Austin. UK was 24-1 this season when Humphries scored.

A late summer addition to the 2015-16 roster, Humphries earned valuable minutes late in the year, breaking out with a six-point, 12-rebound game at Texas A&M.

Johnson

Johnson, a member of the Oklahoma City Blue, started all 49 games this season en route to All NBA D-League honors. He averaged 18.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, while shooting 55.7 percent from the floor and 68.4 percent from the charity stripe. A 2016-17 D-League All-Star, Johnson enjoyed a breakout season becoming one of the league’s most dominating post presences. He notched career highs in points (31) and rebounds (11) on April 19 against Rio Grande Valley during the playoffs. 

The Brooklyn, New York, native was the league’s seventh-leading scorer and its fifth-leading rebounder. Johnson produced 29 games with 20 or more points, along with 17 double-doubles. He led the Oklahoma City Blue to the semifinals of the NBA D-League playoffs, averaging 24.8 points and 10.0 rebounds a night. Johnson scored 24 or more points in five of six playoff appearances and had four double-doubles.

A two-year player at Kentucky, Johnson was a member of two teams that advanced to the Final Four. Johnson was a vital member of the 2014 team that appeared in the NCAA championship game where UK started five freshmen. In 2015, Johnson and company set an NCAA record by winning their first 38 games of the season. He averaged 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in his career, while playing in 78 career games before being drafted 48th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Mulder

Mulder will get his shot with the Raptors after completing a two-year career with the Wildcats. He appeared in 56 games and helped UK win consecutive regular-season and tournament SEC crowns. He came to Kentucky following an All-America career in Junior College at Vincennes University. 

During his senior campaign at Kentucky, Mulder became a reliable sharpshooter and provided valuable minutes to an Elite Eight team. He averaged 4.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.5 minutes per game. His 35 made 3-pointers on the year ranked third on the squad. He knocked down at least one 3-pointer in 21 of the 32 games he appeared, and he provided four double-figure scoring outputs. In his most impressive performance of the season, Mulder drained three 3-pointers in the second-half comeback victory at Georgia to keep the Cats in the regular-season title race. Mulder also sparked the biggest comeback in the Calipari era with five straight points to end a scoring draught in the opening half of the Senior Night win over Vanderbilt.

At Vincennes, he averaged 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game while connecting on 46.3 percent of his long-range attempts during his All-America season.

Poythress

Poythress was a D-League All-Star in his rookie campaign with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants before signing with the Philadelphia 76ers on April 11 and earned All-NBA D-League honors following a successful start to his professional career.

While with the Mad Ants, Poythress averaged 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He shot 52.7 percent from the floor, 40.3 percent from 3-point range and 78.3 percent from the free-throw line. The Clarksville, Tennessee, native poured in a career-high 35 points on Jan. 12. He scored 20 or more points on 21 occasions and had 10 double-doubles for the season.

After earning a call-up to the NBA, Poythress made the most of his opportunity. In eight games with the 76ers, Poythress averaged 10.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game and connected on 46.3 percent of his field-goal attempts. Against the Indiana Pacers, Poythress drained five 3-pointers for 15 points before concluding the season with a career-high 18 points in 32 minutes against the Knicks. 

A four-year player for the Cats, Poythress became John Calipari’s first Academic All-American during his senior season. He played in 112 career games and averaged 8.6 points and 5.3 rebounds. He was a member of two Final Four teams and was an SEC All-Freshman Team selection in 2013. 

Willis

During his four-year career at Kentucky, Willis scored 555 points, grabbed 354 rebounds and made 108 3-point field goals. His career 3-point field-goal percentage (.3985) ranks 12th among the school’s all-time leaders.

Willis was a member of four NCAA Tournament teams, three SEC regular-season championships, three SEC Tournament titles and two Final Four appearances. He played an integral role in each of the last two seasons during limited minutes in his freshman and sophomore seasons. Willis averaged 7.7 points and led the team in 3-point field goal percentage with a .442 clip during his junior season. He led the SEC in 3-point field-goal percentage a year ago during conference play.

In his senior season, in which he started 15 of 38 games, Willis notched career highs in points (267), rebounds (205), blocks (39), assists (34) and steals (25). He was a central figure in UK’s late-season defensive improvement, totaling 18 blocks over the last nine games after recording 21 in the previous 29. He averaged 5.4 rebounds on the season, including 7.3 over the last 12 games.

Among Willis’ career highlights is a 25-point performance with a career-high seven 3-pointers vs. Tennessee last season. He came up big during UK’s run to the Elite Eight, averaging 7.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament. 


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

UK Athletics To Honor 14 Sports Teams in 2017-18 Season



 UK Athletics will officially honor 14 teams across six programs during the 2017-18 athletics season, as selected by a newly formed reunion committee UK has established to honor elite teams of the past.

Over the course of the 2017-18 season, the 2006-08 Kentucky football teams, the 1978 men’s basketball team, Adolph Rupp’s men’s basketball national championship teams (1948, ’49, ’51 and ’58), the 1998 baseball team, the 1987 and ‘88 volleyball teams, the 1988 men’s tennis team, and the 1986 and ‘88 women’s golf teams will be honored.

UK Athletics recently established a reunion committee as a way to honor great Kentucky teams of the past. The committee was formed to define official parameters of recognition, identify and select deserving teams, and coordinate dates and arrangements with the specific programs. Input from current head coaches and administrators was taken into account when setting the criteria.

Standards for selecting teams each year will include but is not limited to final records, conference championships and postseason finishes. The committee will place emphasis on honoring teams that coincide with yearly markers (for example, a 25th anniversary of a team’s championship), although other factors will be taken into consideration. Special attention was placed this year on teams that would typically fall outside the committee’s reunion windows moving forward.

Dates for each group reunion are to be determined. Due to roster crossover and shared accomplishments, several teams will be honored together. Those groups include:

·         1978 men’s basketball team – Captured UK’s fifth men’s basketball national championship as well as the SEC regular-season title
·         Adolph Rupp’s national championship teams (1948, ’49, ’51, ‘58) – Kentucky’s first four men’s basketball national champions also combined for four regular-season SEC championships and two SEC Tournament crowns
·         2006-08 football teams – Won three straight bowl games for the first time in school history
·         1988 baseball team – Came within one win of becoming the only team in school history to advance to the College World Series
·         1987 and ’88 volleyball teams – Captured the program’s two most recent SEC regular-season and tournament titles
·         1988 men’s tennis team – Advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships, tied for the best finish in school history
·         1986 and 1988 women’s golf teams – Finished fifth at the NCAA Championships in 1986, the best finish in school history, and 10th in 1988

Friday, June 23, 2017

Three Wildcats Go In The 2017 NBA Draft Lottery... And Other Notes




In what has become an annual tradition for the Kentucky men’s basketball program, it was more of the same as three Wildcats achieved their dreams when they heard their names called in the 2017 NBA Draft. De’Aaron Fox (No. 5, Sacramento Kings), Malik Monk (No. 11, Charlotte Hornets) and Bam Adebayo (No. 14, Miami Heat) were selected during the 2017 draft on Thursday.

Fox is the 12th UK player since 2010 to go in the top seven picks. Monk and Adebayo added to UK’s lottery selections in the last eight years under John Calipari as UK’s mark reached 17. The trio taken in the top 14 of the draft upped the Wildcats’ first-round selections to 24 under Calipari since 2010. 

"Wow, what a night,” Calipari said. “We've been doing this a while now but this will never get old for me and I hope it doesn't for our fans. This is graduation night for our program. My stomach was in knots all night waiting to hear our guys' names called, but there is nothing better than seeing the overwhelming emotions come over our players and families when their dreams come true.

“I always believe our guys should go higher but they all ended up with great organizations,” Calipari said. “After all, there's no crying on the yacht when you get three guys in the lottery. I wish we would have had more guys get selected but I'm confident Isaiah (Briscoe), Isaac (Humphries), Derek (Willis), Dom (Hawkins) and Mychal (Mulder) will all get their shot. I'm proud of all of them and know they will all keep chasing their dreams."

The Wildcats have had more top-10 picks, more lottery selections and more first-round picks in the Calipari era than any other team in the country.

“I mean, it's extremely gratifying for me to be in that top five, and we already knew that this was going to be a pretty tough draft and it was pretty loaded at the point guard position, and for me to be up there is just a blessing,” Fox said.
In eight seasons with Calipari at the helm, Kentucky has churned out three No. 1 selections, 24 first-rounders, 17 lottery picks and 31 total players in the NBA Draft. The 31 draft picks is more than twice as many as the next school (Duke and Kansas) since 2010. With another surge of first-round picks, Kentucky has more first-round selections (37) than any other school in the NBA lottery era (since 1985).
Kentucky has now had 122 players drafted 124 times in its illustrious history with 47 players selected in the opening round.
“This has been my dream forever, and nobody ever from my town ever been drafted, ever made it this far, so I'm just thankful to be here,” Monk said.

It is the eighth consecutive NBA Draft that Kentucky was represented by multiple players in the first round of the draft. UK is the only program since the draft went to two rounds in 1989 to have multiple players selected in the first round in eight straight years. Calipari is the only coach to have multiple players selected in 10 consecutive NBA Drafts, dating back to his time at Memphis.
“(Cal told me) never doubt myself. He always told me, ‘Stay positive and everything will work out,’” Adebayo said. “I’m just blessed I could be here.”
De’Aaron Fox

Fox was UK’s first player off of the board when he was selected fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings. He’s the 10th player in program history to be selected by the Kings. With the Houston, Texas, native going fifth overall, UK has had at least one player taken in the top seven in each of the last eight drafts.

Faced with the unenviable task of replacing 2016 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award winner Tyler Ulis, Fox filled his shoes admirably this season and made his mark as one of the nation's fastest and craftiest players. He averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals, one of only four freshmen in the country to average at least those numbers in all four categories. Markelle Fultz (Washington), Dennis Smith Jr. (NC State) and Michael Weathers (Miami, Ohio) were the others.

A four-time Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week selection, Fox was named the most valuable player of the 2017 SEC Tournament after leading the Wildcats to their third consecutive title. In addition to All-SEC First Team honors by the Associated Press and the league’s coaches, Fox was named a third-team All-American by USA Today and CBS Sports.

Fox’s 4.6 assists per game was the best mark in the SEC and 11th nationally among freshmen. The Houston native also ranked fourth in the SEC with a 1.9 assist-to-turnover ratio. His scoring average was sixth in the SEC and 10th nationally among all freshmen.

His 165 assists are the third most by a UK freshman in a single season.

Fox’s two crowning achievements this season are a toss-up. He posted just the second triple-double in school history and the first since Chris Mills in December of 1988 when he recorded 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a dominating victory over Arizona State. Perhaps saving his best for last, Fox scored a record 39 points in the victory over UCLA in the Sweet 16. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the 39 points are the most ever by a freshman in an NCAA Tournament game.

Malik Monk

Monk became UK’s second selection in the opening round when he was taken by the Charlotte Hornets at 11th overall. He is the fifth-ever selection by the Charlotte Hornets in the history of the program.

The Lepanto, Arkansas, native electrified crowds with his prolific scoring outbursts and high-flying violent dunks. He finished his freshman season averaging 19.8 points per game – second among all freshmen nationally – and reached double-figure scoring in all but two games.   

A consensus second-team All-American, Monk was also the Associated Press’ SEC Player of the Year and the SEC Freshman of the Year, as chosen by the league’s coaches.

With 14 points in the NCAA Tournament second-round game vs. Wichita State, he became UK’s all-time leading freshman scorer with 721 points, passing Jamal Murray’s output of 720 from a season ago. His record-breaking season ended with 754 points. That’s fourth all-time in UK’s history books, regardless of class, trailing only Dan Issel (948; 1970), Jodie Meeks (854; 2009) and Jamal Mashburn (767; 1992).

He produced 18 games of 20 points or more, including a Kentucky freshman record 47 points vs. North Carolina in December. Monk is the only freshman in program history with four 30-point games, and six times this season he scored at least 20 points in a half. In addition to scoring 37 points at home vs. Georgia and 30 in a half against Georgia, he hit the game-winning shot vs. North Carolina and the game-tying shot to force overtime in the win at home vs. the Bulldogs.

Monk made 104 3-pointers on the season, not far behind Jodie Meeks’ school record of 117.

Bam Adebayo

Adebayo was the third Wildcat selected in the lottery when he was picked 14th overall by the Miami Heat. He is the first Kentucky player ever taken by the franchise.

Like Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns, who developed at Kentucky and went on to become NBA superstars, Adebayo evolved into an unstoppable post presence as the season progressed. The 6-foot-10 freshman from Little Washington, North Carolina, was arguably UK’s most effective player over the last month and a half, averaging a double-double during the Wildcats’ late-season 14-game winning streak.

For the year, Adebayo averaged 13.0 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game. He also led the team in blocks per game (1.5) and double-doubles (eight), including five double-doubles over his last 11 games. He was a member of the All-SEC Second Team and was also named to the All-SEC Tournament Team during his successful freshman campaign.
               
Playing in a guard-heavy lineup, Adebayo provided UK with its most consistent inside presence. His .599 field-goal percentage was the best among players attempting at least 100 shots for the season, and his 101 dunks on the year are more than any other Kentucky player under Calipari. Davis had 92 during the 2011-12 season.

Adebayo took his game to another level starting in February. He followed a 22-point, 15-rebound game at Missouri with an 18-point, 15-rebound effort vs. No. 13/12 Florida, accomplishing a pair of milestones in the process. His back-to-back double-doubles were the first of the season and put him in the team lead with five, while his back-to-back 15-rebound games marked the first such stretch since Jared Prickett accomplished the feat on Feb. 6 and Feb. 9, 1994. It was the first time a UK player had posted back-to-back games of at least 15 boards in consecutive SEC games since Sam Bowie on March 1 and March 3, 1984.

In the opening NCAA Tournament game vs. North Kentucky, Adebayo collected 18 rebounds, the most boards under Calipari in an NCAA Tournament game at Kentucky and the third most all-time in UK history in the tournament. Per ESPN Stats and Info, he became just the second UK player (Julius Randle in 2014) with a double-double in each of his first two NCAA Tournament games.

Draft Notes
·         Kentucky has had 122 guys drafted 124 times (Johnny Cox '58 and Roger Newman '60 both drafted in Jr. eligible draft, but returned for senior year and were drafted again).
·         UK has had 47 players selected in the opening round (24 have come in the last eight years) of the draft.
·         Kentucky has had 31 players selected in the draft over the last seven years, more than double the next-closest school (Kansas).
·         Kentucky has had 12 players selected in the top 10, 17 in the top 15 and 24 in the first round of the draft in the last eight years.
·         The Wildcats have had at least one player taken in the top seven of the draft in eight consecutive seasons. Since the lottery began in 1985, only two teams have had more than one player taken in at least four consecutive drafts (Kentucky, 2010-17 and Kansas, 2012-15).

·         Calipari has had two or more players selected in 10 consecutive NBA drafts dating back to 2008 with Memphis.

·         In 25 seasons as a head coach, Calipari has coached 42 NBA Draft picks, including 30 first-round selections with 15 of those going in the top 10. He has had 31 selected in the last eight years as UK's head coach, including 24 coming in the opening round.

·         With Fox, Monk and Adebayo’s selections in the 2017 NBA Draft all 21 freshmen who have declared for the draft following their freshman season under Calipari have been drafted in the first round.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington Named To 2017 USA U19 World Cup Team




Kentucky men’s basketball freshmen Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington were named to the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team competing in the FIBA World Cup in Cairo in July. UK head coach John Calipari is serving as the head coach of the team.

Team USA will be looking for its third straight title at the FIBA World Cup after capturing gold at the 2013 and 2015 tournaments.

The 12-man team was trimmed from 28 players who accepted invitations to training camp, which began earlier this week. The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee issued the invitations. Athletes eligible for the team must be 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1998) and U.S. citizens.

Diallo and Washington are among the 12-man USA team that will compete in Cairo July 1-9 at the 2017 FIBA World Cup. Fellow Wildcat freshman, Kevin Knox, made the initial 16-man pool before removing his name from consideration after suffering a minor hamstring injury.

Another Wildcat, redshirt sophomore Tai Wynyard, is already headed to this year’s FIBA U19 World Cup. It was announced last month that Wynyard was named one of 12 members of the Junior Tall Blacks, New Zealand’s U19 national team. Freshman guard Shai Gilegous-Alexander was invited to try out for the Canadian team but opted to stay in Lexington train with his college team.

The 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team drew Group D for preliminary-round games at the FIBA World Cup and will open against Iran on July 1. Team USA will then play Angola on July 2 and will cap preliminary round action vs. Italy on July 4 (game times are to be determined).

The United States earned its berth into the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup by virtue of claiming gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

Following the preliminary round, all 16 teams will be seeded according to group-play results and will advance to the July 5 round of 16. Winners will advance to the July 7 medal quarterfinals, while the remaining teams will continue playing out for classification. The medal semifinals will be held July 8, and the gold- and bronze-medal games are slated for July 9.

In the 12 previous U19 competitions held, the USA men’s teams have won six gold and three silver medals, including gold in three of the past four U19 championships (2009, 2013 and 2015).
All three Wildcat training camp participants had prior USA Basketball experience, with Diallo and Washington helping the U19 team qualify for this year’s World Cup.

After testing the waters for a potential entry into the NBA Draft in April, Diallo announced a month ago that he was returning to Kentucky. Although he didn’t play for the Wildcats after enrolling midyear, he is expected to be a leading returner on an extremely young team after becoming a vital practice player down the stretch of the 2016-17 season.

A top-10 prospect in the 2017 class before reclassifying, Diallo led Putnam Science Academy to a 38-3 record with an appearance in the state semifinals. The two-time all-state honoree averaged 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his final full season of high school. He averaged 7.6 points and 4.6 rebounds for the 2016 USA Men’s U18 National Team that won a gold medal at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Chile.

Washington, measured at 6-foot-8, 229 pounds, is rated as high as the No. 11 overall prospect in the class of 2017 rankings by ESPN. Scout and Rivals tab him at No. 14 overall and 247Sports ranks him No. 18. He was named to the All-USA Boys Basketball Second Team in March and played in the 2017 McDonald’s All American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic. He also won most valuable player honors at the inaugural Allen Iverson Roundball Clasic.

Washington started all five games and averaged 10.0 points and 4.0 rebounds for the gold-medal winning 2016 USA Men’s U18 National Team in Chile. The 6-8, 229-pound forward was also a member of the 2015 USA 3x3 U18 World Championship Team, which finished in eighth place in Debrecen, Hungary.