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Kentucky Wildcats Saturday Quickies: Nike Hoop Summit Edition

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. Bat Cats lose opener to Missouri, series continues today. Softball takes opener off Ole Miss. Two UK basketball commits play in the Nike Hoop Summit tonight. More

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Jonathan Daniel

Tonight is the Nike Hoop Summit. Of course, there will be an open thread. Karl Towns Jr. and Trey Lyles are the only two UK recruits participating, and both are on the World Team representing the Dominican Republic and Canada respectively.

I didn't realize Lyles had Canadian roots. You learn something every day, they say. I do like the world team best in this one, but it should be a very competitive game.

Tweet of the Day

Indeed. Best of luck!

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
Kentucky basketball
  • NBA Draft rumors. I'm pretty sure we'll see Julius Randle and James Young declare in the next, and I think Chad Ford's take is pretty much spot on:

    "Julius Randle and James Young are, for sure, gone," reports ESPN’s Chad Ford. "I would say Willie Cauley-Stein too, but his comments the other day indicated he might not be a sure thing to leave."

    I expect Willie to eventually decide to enter the draft, but you never know. He is a free spirit and I don't think he's nearly as anchored to the NBA as most guys, although he's no more immune from the influence of money than the rest of us.

    The big mystery is the Harrisons. I have no idea. Most of us might think it's a close call, but we don't know what all their considerations are. I'm sure they'll give this decision their full attention of the coming weeks.

  • Interview with Dominique Hawkins. I'm so glad Coach Cal signed this kid. Consider:

    Who have you learned the most from this season?

    "I would say I have learned the most from Jarrod (Polson). He helped me realize what coach Cal likes and he gave me confidence. He told me when to shoot and when not. He helped me with the plays also. It’s definitely different considering I also competed with him, but that’s what a veteran player should do. They should be able to play well and help the freshmen out on what they need to do to help team."

  • I have decided that even if Jim Calhoun or Rick Pitino were hired as the New York Knicks GM, the Calipari to Knicks rumors will never, ever stop. Ever. If Calipari were to meet a premature demise, God forbid, there will be rumors he will coach the Knicks from the grave, or rise, Dracula-like, from the tomb to haunt the Knicks sidelines. It's almost creepy.

  • We always hear the same thing; nobody ever "rushes" into their NBA decisions at Kentucky. This article could have been written at any time this season. Having said that, there is some comfort associated to hear that these guys are taking this decision seriously.

  • What Gary Parrish says:

    "Sources have told that both are leaning toward entering the NBA Draft but that it's nowhere close to a done deal..."

    So in other words, he doesn't have any idea. I wonder if his sources are the same as Rex Chapman's?

  • Alex Poythress likes school, so the decision for him to stay at Kentucky, if he does, is easier than it is for some players:

    "He does a great job with that, and that kind of helps him out. Some of these kids have to leave school early just because they don’t like school. In his case, he enjoys school. So he can decide to leave when he’s ready or when the opportunity presents itself. But academically, he’ll do fine. He’ll graduate. He’s probably already way ahead of schedule. He’s been going to summer school and taking classes for the last couple of years. He’s probably got three years worth of credits built in already, which is great from a graduation standpoint. His GPA is close to 4.0, so he is doing excellent in his classes and UK provides a lot of support," Antoine Poythress said.

    Bob Knight, your office on line 1. Hat tip: KSR

  • If the Harrison twins decide to take their talents to the NBA, Kentucky is going to have a guard shortage next season. Xavier's Justin Martin, who graduated this season with eligibility remaining, might be a possible answer.

  • Rush The Court looks back at Kentucky's amazing run.

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College basketball
  • Off-season story lines. Of course, Calipari's status as coach is perennially among them.

  • Some NBA scouts say that 2014s freshman class may be as good as 2013s

  • Jim Boeheim's efforts to keep Tyler Ennis in school is pissing people off. This is exactly what makes it harder for him to recruit the better players. I understand the sentiment, even as I a positive it is bad from almost every direction. The contrast between Calipari and Boeheim when it comes to honesty could not be more stark.

  • I'm not sure I buy the statement that Joel Embiid is "the best prospect at center in nearly a decade." But this is legit:

    But still. The red flags. The team that picks Embiid -- and he'll be picked early; I'm hearing no later than third overall, barring medical reports that are worse than what NBA teams already know about him -- will be drafting a guy with a broken bone in his back right now. A broken bone. In his back! In the NBA he will be asked to play 80 or so regular-season games in five months, every year, and to expand that to 100 or more games in six or seven months once the team starts making the playoffs. At Kansas he couldn't play 34 games in 4 1/2 months without being injured.

    This is absolutely legit. Back problems, to me, are a major red flag, especially problems like Embiid's which could become chronic. That injury needs up to a year to heal properly. Are NBA GM's willing to wait for him like they were willing to wait for Nerlens Noel? Even if so, that has got to affect his draft status.

    Rushing back from injury is something I would absolutely discourage, but the pressure is very significant. When you leave college, you become little more than labor. Chronically injured labor is no good to the NBA.

  • Kevin Ware is transferring to Georgia St. Wow, if he is able to play right away, Georgia St. is likely to be really good next season.

  • Jabari Parker still claims to be undecided, consulting with Coach K. Not sure how you stay out if you are projected in the top five, or even top ten.

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