The Kentucky Wildcats will once again be well-represented in the NBA All-Star Game.
The 2016 All-Star reserves were announced Thursday night during a special one-hour edition of NBA Tipoff, one week after the starters were revealed. Though no Cats were named starters, several will be in the game as reserves.
They are DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and John Wall.
Last year, DeMarcus Cousins was initially left out of the lineup before replacing the injured Bryant. This time around, the Sacramento Kings star doesn't have to wait.
After scoring 104 combined points over a two-game stretch, Cousins is averaging 27.3 points, which ranks third behind only Stephen Curry and James Harden. He's also notching 11.3 boards, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.
To put that production in perspective, the only other players in NBA history to average at least 25 points, 10 rebounds a steal and a block for an entire season are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Bob Lanier, Moses Malone and Chris Webber, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
Cousins has scored 30 points or more in nine of Sacramento’s 13 games this month as he's fighting like hell to push the Kings into the postseason. The Kings recently used Kanye West's "Waves" album announcement as a way to make a case for Cousins to be an All-Star.
Though some actually considered Davis to be one of the league's two or three best players coming into this season, he's struggled mightily at times due to having one of the worst supporting casts any star player has. He has recorded a career-low 49.2 field-goal percentage, and the 16-28 Pelicans have taken a big step backwards after squeaking into the postseason last year.
Still, Davis has been averaging 22.9 points, 10.2 boards and 2.4 blocks per game this season, so an All-Star selection was certainly possible. Hopefully his team gets things turned around and allows Davis to show his true potential going forward.
Wall is averaging a career-high 19.6 points per game to go with 9.8 assists, 2.1 steals and 4.1 boards per game. Although the Wizards have floundered this season, Wall's 9.8 assists per contest rank second behind Kings guard Rajon Rondo.
Speaking of, Rondo was among several other Cats that were in contention for an All-Star bid, but just didn't have enough support to get there. Rondo, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns and Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight are also having good seasons, but not enough to get into the All-Star game this season.
The 2016 NBA All-Star Game is set for Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.