Thu May 23 06:16pm EDT
Julius Mays is a long shot to get to the NBA.
But he might have taken a step closer with his performance in 5-on-5 workouts in front of NBA general managers on Thursday.
Mays - who played at point guard - scored 17 points in 24 minutes, according to Adam Zagoria, while matched up on former Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson.
"He played so well that people are probably wondering why I didn't play him at point guard," tweeted John Calipari, who flew up to attend the workout. "Couldn't be more proud of Julius."
Wed May 22 06:17pm EDT
The U.S. under-19 national team roster was released today, and none of Kentucky's ultra-talented recruiting class are on it.
John Calipari told Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy that it was the players' choices, not his.
"Most of it is, they didn’t want to play. I’m not forcing kids to do anything,” Calipari told Sporting News. “I think the reason they all turned it down is, they want to get started.”
Calipari said Willie Cauley-Stein and Julius Randle were invited to try out for the World University Games, as well, but both declined.
“Willie said, ‘This is not the summer for me to do this stuff. I just can’t wait to get back. I want to get prepared,'” Calipari said. “I’m happy they’re thinking in those terms. They know the spotlight’s on them.”
Some of the incoming freshmen have prior national team experience. Randle was on the U18 team last year, and the Harrison twins tried out (but were cut) from that squad. Dakari Johnson was on the U17 team last season.
Two years ago, a similar situation occurred when none of UK's recruiting class that featured Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague participated in national team events despite doing so in previous summers.
This year, Kyle Wiltjer will try out for the Canadian national team.
Other universities do have their top freshmen and sophomores playing. Arizona has Aaron Gordon, Rondae' Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley on the list of finalists. Other top talent includes Louisville's Monrtezl Harrell, Duke's Rasheed Sulaimon, Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes and Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart.
Wed May 22 11:30am EDT
With the NBA draft picture getting a little clearer following the lottery on Tuesday night, it's time to take another look at some mock drafts.
As expected, Nerlens Noel remains at the top of the board in Chris Mannix's draft for SportsIllustrated.com, going to the Cavaliers. But it's what happening on the other end of the first round that might be more interesting.
Archie Goodwin, despite a putrid performance at the NBA combine, remains in the first round. Mannix has Goodwin going 29th overall to Oklahoma City, where he could contribute as a scorer off the bench or spend a couple years developing while the Thunder continue to compete for the top of the Western Conference.
You can see the full mock draft here.
Wed May 22 10:02am EDT
With the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers (probably) select Nerlens Noel.
The most recent round of mock drafts at ESPN, Sports Illustrated and DraftExpress.com -- all updated following Tuesday's draft lottery -- tab Noel as the top pick.
(It does come with a potential caveat - the Cavaliers are open to moving to the pick, mainly because of how risky drafting Noel is relative to most No. 1s. A trade involving the top pick hasn't happened in 20 years.)
If Noel ends up being the top selection - either by Cleveland or anyone else - it will be the third Wildcat in four years to have their name called at the top of the draft, following John Wall in 2010 and Anthony Davis in 2012.
Before them, no Kentucky player had ever been taken No. 1.
The only other school to have at least three No. 1 picks taken in the NBA Draft is Duke (Kyrie Irving, Elton Brand, Art Heyman). The first and last of those picks happened 48 years apart.
Tue May 21 07:45pm EDT
Julius Mays will be part of a big, multi-player workout for 30 NBA teams on Wednesday, according to Chad Ford.
The workouts include 5-on-5 basketball and are hosted by the Brooklyn Nets.
They feature mainly potential second-round draft picks. Peyton Siva, Phil Pressey and Trevor Releford are among others scheduled to attend.
Mays isn't expected to be drafted, but he said he hoped pro basketball of some sort would be in his future prior to Senior Day.
Here's a chance for him to impress.
Tue May 21 09:58am EDT
The NBA Combine is a valuable chance to influence your draft stock, especially if you're one of the relatively few participants to actually go through the skills portion of the event.
Archie Goodwin, who entered as a fringe first-rounder, did just that.
According to SI.com's Chris Mannix, Goodwin was among the "losers" of the NBA Combine:
Goodwin struggled with his jump shot throughout the combine -- "Very flat," a Western Conference coach said -- and looked like the player who said he would be "delusional" to think he was ready for the NBA. There is a raw, Jamal Crawford-like talent in Goodwin, an athletic, dynamic combo guard who can score in a variety of ways. But it could take years to develop that player in him, if it can be brought out at all.
Could Goodwin still go first-round? Yes, potentially, if there's a team that a) sees enough upside and b) is okay with perhaps stashing him in the D-League for a year or two and bringing him along pretty slowly. But it seems just as likely he ends up as a second-round "development/project" type of pick.
While viewing Goodwin as a developmental pick is nothing new - that's how Calipari assessed him last week - it seems like he's proving he has even farther to go than maybe originally thought.
Here's video of Goodwin going through shooting drills at the Combine:
Mon May 20 11:54am EDT
As part of its NBA Draft coverage, ESPN went All-Access with Nerlens Noel to discuss his torn ACL injury and his recovery process.
It's worth a watch, especially seeing him get back on a basketball court for the first time since the injury:
Mon May 20 09:54am EDT
Twitter has come a long way since John Calipari made his first million (followers). Most major college coaches have at least some presence on Twitter, and some are big-time players. They range from the generic to the outlandish, the quiet to the confrontational, and tweet from Disney World and bass fishing boats.
Here are all 14 SEC coaches on Twitter:
Bret Bielema - He's feisty. Has fired back at fans who criticized him for leaving Wisconsin. Relative newcomer, but don't underestimate his Tweetability.
James Franklin - A prolific Tweeter that I highly recommend as a follow. He uses the account heavily for recruiting, but also gives a broad look at the program.
Hugh Freeze - Probably my favorite SEC coach to follow. Lots of updates about his off-field life, and enough fishing tweets to make Rich Brooks jealous.
Butch Jones - You'll find plenty of orange updates in your timeline, though most are retweets providing generic information about the program.
Gus Malzahn - Has been on for about a year, but only started tweeting consistently since arriving at Auburn. The jury's out here.
Les Miles - A little disappointing considering Miles' unique personality, but still a bit of fun to be had here.
Dan Mullen - Supplies plenty of motivational quotes and #hailstate hashtags. If that's what you're into, follow away.
Gary Pinkel - Tweeted once at the beginning of last season, once at the end. No tweets since. Can't recommend you follow someone who doesn't tweet.
Mark Richt - Judging by his tweets, he is very, very, very, very, very proud of many of his players.
Mark Stoops - Tweets in flurries. Some days will have a dozen updates, then he'll go quiet. Lots of references to recruiting, lots of exclamation points, and links to videos.
Kevin Sumlin - Doesn't tweet a ton, but doesn't have long stretches without tweets. Some nice updates about stuff he does off the field.
Not on Twitter:
Steve Spurrier (don't be confused by his son, Steve Spurrier Jr.)
Nick Saban (like you would expect anything else)
Mon May 20 09:47am EDT
Bill Keightley is a legend despite never playing a game in a Kentucky uniform.
"Mr. Wildcat" was Kentucky's equipment manager for 46 years. His jersey was retired in 1997. And now he's got an event named for him in the upcoming season.
Kentucky put together the Keightley Classic, a four-game event in which Kentucky plays (at home) Robert Morris, Texas-Arlington, Cleveland State and Eastern Michigan on consecutive days.
"Bill, you know what kind of legacy he left here," Calipari said. "Selflessness, he was about everybody else, could make anybody in the room feel like he was his best friend.
Calipari said he wanted to ensure Keightley's legacy continues, and the event promotes that.
"I think just keeping that legacy going, the history of this program for the fans -- I love the fact Coach Hall has a statue out front, that Coach Rupp is revered the way he should be," Calipari said. "This is one of those kinds of programs."
Fri May 17 01:11pm EDT
Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin begin the pre-NBA Draft process this week at the NBA Combine.
The first step: physical measurements, the basic profile of a player.
Here are their pre-Combine physical measurements, via DraftExpress, along with how those official numbers compare to the listed figures on Kentucky's roster last year.
Height (without shoes) | 6-foot-10
Height (with shoes) | 6-foot-11.75
Weight | 206
Wingspan | 7-foot-3.75
Reach | 9-foot-2
Body fat | 4.2 percent
Hand length | 9.5 inches
Hand width | 10 inches
(At Kentucky, Noel was listed at 6-foot-10, 228 pounds.)
Height (without shoes) | 6-foot-3.75
Height (with shoes) | 6-foot-5.25
Weight | 189
Wingspan | 6-foot-9.5
Reach | 8-foot-8
Body fat | 4.6 percent
Hand length | 8.5 inches
Hand width | 9 inches
Standing vertical: 30 inches
Max vertical: 36 inches
Lane agility: 10.75 seconds
3/4-court sprint: 3.27 seconds
(At Kentucky, Goodwin was listed at 6-foot-4.5, 198 pounds.)