Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
Today’s topic for discussion will be the comings and goings of Kentucky players to the NBA Draft. Recent news reports have Ashton Hagans leaving Kentucky and staying in the draft, which is not really a surprise to anyone, especially considering the sour note upon which this season ended.
We have also recently learned that Tyrese Maxey, also to nobody’s surprise, has decided to stay in the draft. Johnny Juzang and Khalil Whitney have transfered away from Kentucky, leaving only the decisions of Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery still pending.
With the news today that Kieon Brooks is returning to Kentucky, Kentucky is left with only he and Dontaie Allen, who red-shirted last season, on scholarship if the remaining three stay in the draft as is widely expected. In most seasons, we could expect at least one of them to return, but the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has made their entry into the draft seem more likely than not.
That leaves Kentucky with potentially two returning players and six incoming freshmen. The high number of new players is nothing special for Coach Cal, but having only eight schoarship players available is somewhat unusual and undesirable because it makes practice scrimmages quite problematic.
Still, it’s nothing that we haven’t seen here before. Most of last season Kentucky went with a short roster, and there have been other years when Kentucky struggled to field a proper two-squad scrimmage. But even so, with the quality incoming freshman recruiting ranks depleted of top talent, Calipari & Co. will no doubt be looking to find somewhere a talented player, hopefully a big, in the transfer portal.
Enter news of former Purdue big man Matt Haarms, a 7’3” center whom Kentucky as contacted as soon as he announced his intentions. Haarms, if he decided to come to Kentucky, would certainly make a big impact on the roster condition, both from an experience and physical size standpoint. There are suggestions of another wave of transfer students coming, so it is possible that UK could pick up more than one to help round out the team.
Remember the old, apocryphal Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times?” Seems apropos in more ways than one...
Tweet of the Morning
Immanuel Quickley bummed he isn’t playing in the NCAA Title game tonight....— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) April 7, 2020
(H/t @jidesodipo) pic.twitter.com/mcJZ4C4YP5
- According to Pro Football Focus, Kentucky senior cornerback Brandin Echols is the Wildcats’ best returning player. He is a good one.
- John Calipari to appear on new weekly show to raise money and awareness for COVID-19 relief.
- Kentucky has a lot of company when it comes to programs interested in Matt Haarms.
Related: Kentucky in the mix for top grad transfer.
- Redshirt a “great learning experience” for Dontaie Allen. I expect a lot from this kid next season.
- Coach Cal glad to see Eddie Sutton inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- UK incoming freshman Terrence Clarke is lobbying Matt Haarms to join him at Kentucky.
- The Leach Report: Tuesday Wildcat Links
- NCAA Coordinator of Officials says coaches and players will cut down on faking injuries in 2020. Yeah, sure...
- Kansas the overwhelming pick of coaches surveyed when asked to pick a 2020 NCAA Tournament champion. I would agree that they would’ve been the favorite, and top seed.
- Louisville’s Jordan Nwora has declared for the NBA Draft. No surprise there. Good luck to him, he is a nice young man.
- Florida’s Scottie Lewis is coming back for another year.
- Joe Lunardi plays the NCAA Tournament in his mind so we don’t have to. Nice to see UK made it to the Final Four.
ATLANTA (1120p ET)--Cassius Winston is named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2020 @FinalFour. @MSU_Basketball ends a two-decade championship drought for the @B1GMBBall. The season ends where it began, the Michigan State Spartans as No. 1. #TwitterTourney2020 pic.twitter.com/3Ba7HR7S9m— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) April 7, 2020
Other sports news
- Oregon senior Sabrina Ionescu is the sixth woman to win the John Wooden Award multiple times.
- NBA issues guidelines for “Virtual” NBA Draft and will not allow in-person workouts with prospects.
- Researchers expand search for new state of matter.
- Upside of COVID-19 lockdown: Researchers discover method of achieving room-temperature superconductivity during lockdown. This is a bigger deal than you might think...
- Coronavirus mutates much slower than the flu. This is primarily because the flu is a “segmented” virus, and COVID-19 is not.