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Wildcats Quickies: Karl-Anthony Towns Edition

KAT is off to a great start in the preseason, Kentucky preps for Mississippi State and the Indians are shocking the world.

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NBA: Preseason-Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning BBN, these are your Thursday quickies. Karl-Anthony Towns is having quite the preseason. Not only was the Timberwolves big man selected as the first player that NBA GMs would sign if they were starting a new franchise, but Towns also put up a 31-point performance in three quarters, going 7-10 from the field and a perfect 17-17 from the free throw line. Towns also had 9 rebounds. And this wasn’t just anyone that Towns had this performance against. He was up against veteran - and talented defender - Marc Gasol.

Towns was of course the rookie of the year last year, and is expected to have a big season this year, as 13.8 percent of NBA GMs said he’d have a breakout season in 2016-17 (as if his rookie campaign wasn’t a breakout season). Towns is certainly off to the right start for that with his preseason performance.

Tweet of the day

This is crazy, but it wouldn’t surprise me. The center seems like a dying position, and Towns plays the position with an unmatched versatility and incredible athleticism. Definitely one of the best big men in the NBA right now.

Your quickies

Cats Confident, Recharged after Bye | UK Wildcats News
Though Saturday was a day off, the week preceding it was anything but. Having won three of four – with the only loss coming on the road to top-ranked Alabama – Kentucky was already riding a wave of confidence entering its bye. A Saturday without a game only reinforced that.

Group of 6 sophomores leading Kentucky's defensive turnaround - SEC Country
Past their wide-eyed freshman days, a group of sophomores is responsible for Kentucky's newfound defensive success. The results from the first three games to the last three have shown a world of difference, much like the progression the sophomores have made from their freshman campaigns.

John Wall posts heartfelt message to BBN - 247
Back in Lexington last weekend, Wall received a resounding ovation when he took the stage at Big Blue Madness in Rupp Arena Friday night, seven years after his famous dance at the event in 2009.

Kentucky picked to win SEC, four make preseason All-SEC teams -
The Wildcats also had four players named to the preseason All-SEC teams, including Bam Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe and Malik Monk. The media also picked Kentucky to once again win the Southeastern Conference title.

SEC Nation to Air Live from UK Campus on Saturday | UK Wildcats
SEC Nation, the SEC Network’s popular pregame show, will broadcast live from the University of Kentucky on Saturday prior to UK’s game vs. Mississippi State.

The SEC would love to quiet Kentucky, but its up to them - SEC Country

SEC basketball is always seen as Kentucky, and then everyone else. The conference wants to make a splash as a whole, but the rest of the league has to step it up to compete with Kentucky’s dominance both on the court and in the media.

Hawkins gearing up for senior season - KyForward

Hawkins is working on driving the lane and shooting shots as he preps for his final season.

Other sports news

The Indians are in the World Series - SB Nation

The Indians are continuing to shock the world as they progress through the postseason; they’re now four wins away from being world champions.

Cubs level series with Dodgers - Fox Sports

The Chicago Cubs found their bats last night as they put up 10 runs on the Dodgers in order to tie up the series at 2-2. The Indians are watching and waiting to see who comes out of the tightly-contested series.

Richie Incognito isn’t mending fences with Jonathan Martin - ESPN

Incognito says that Martin has tried to talk to him, but he’s not interested in making up with Martin after the bullying scandal.

Doug Martin suffers injury setback - ESPN

Jacquizz Rodgers is likely to start for the Bucs against the 49ers this week.

The four teams that can win the NBA title - Fox Sports

None of the teams are much of a surprise; they’re the powerhouses of today’s NBA.

Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict fined $75,000 - USA Today

The Bengals linebacker is facing disciplinary action once again after hitting Martellus Bennett low and allegedly stomping on Legarrette Blount.

Other news

Elon Musk is having all Teslas made with self-driving gear from now on - Forbes

European spacecraft reaches Mars orbit, landing uncertain - Space