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Tuesday Headlines: Jacob Toppin Hoops Junkie Edition

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Toppin could be setting up for a breakout season.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Lost in the midst of a wave of new transfers, recruits, and the stay/go decisions of Davion Mintz and Keion Brooks is the fact that Jacob Toppin, who showed a ton of promise in his first year as a Wildcat, will be returning for another year.

Toppin averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in about 17 minutes per game last season, while shooting 44.4% from the field and 30% from three. Toppin wasn’t expected to play much of a role last season, but with some players struggling ahead of him, Toppin began seeing more minutes and showed a lot of promise.

However, Toppin may be headed for an even more productive season in 2021-2022, and it starts with taking on more of a leadership role and a will to win following a season where the team struggled mightily.

“His mindset for this year is just winning, he wants to win,” said David Zenon, a well-known trainer in the New York area who has been working with Toppin. “There wasn’t any talk about ‘Oh, I want to average (this)’ or individual stuff. Jacob is a team-first guy and you can tell the other guys love him. He’s a great locker room guy, but he’s going to hold guys accountable; he’s taken over that leadership role. He talked a lot about winning, he really wants to win at Kentucky.”

Zenon spoke with Kentucky Sports Radio’s Jack Pilgrim about Toppin and the work he’s putting in this season to improve on the court.

“The thing I think Kentucky fans should be excited about is, he’s very technical and he takes what he does seriously, just wants to get better every day. And he did,” said Zenon. “He added a bunch of moves, a bunch of stuff off the dribble, his catch-and-shoot became so much better. I’m pretty excited for him.”

Second-year Jacob Toppin could play a major role on this Kentucky team, and the BBN should be happy to see what he does in Year 2.

Go ahead and check out the full piece on KSR here.

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Looks good to me.

Headlines

A section of UK fans get what they want in basketball roster - Herald Leader

Hard to have too many complaints about the roster composition.

How did John Calipari rebuild the Kentucky roster? - KSR

It’s been a process, but one that’s significant.

Hawks remove interim title from McMIllan - ESPN

That’s what you get for making a conference final.

Who has the edge in NBA Finals? - Bleacher Report

A fairly even matchup.

Which NFL players could have a big rebound? - CBS

Several receivers could see a bounce back.

This man ran across the United States in less than three months - Yahoo

What an accomplishment.