Cat Scratches
Interactive Twitter Facebook

Web Wednesday: NBA Draft week edition

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
John Calipari is touring the state of Kentucky this week for his satellite camps before heading to New York Thursday evening for the 2011 NBA Draft. (photo by Chet White, UK Athletics) John Calipari is touring the state of Kentucky this week for his satellite camps before heading to New York Thursday evening for the 2011 NBA Draft. (photo by Chet White, UK Athletics)
Each Wednesday here at Cat Scratches, we're going to take a look back at the latest week's news in UK Athletics from around the web.

Best on the 'net

UK has the edge athletic edge over UofL in 2010-11
(Mark Story, Lexington Herald-Leader)
With final baseball results still to be tabulated, Louisville stands 32nd in the Director's Cup and Kentucky is 35th. Since both UK and U of L missed the NCAA baseball tournament, neither can gain points in the final standings.

In all sports other than football, The Director's Cup is based on how a school's teams perform in NCAA tournaments only. Which means head-to-head results, conference titles etc. ... don't count.

I would argue that in the ways that matter most to sports fans in the commonwealth, UK got the better of U of L in 2010-11.

Men's basketball: Cal goes camping (Brett Dawson, Cats Illustrated)
Calipari's stop here was the first on a five-day satellite camp tour of the state, which continues Monday afternoon in Bardstown.

About 180 campers attended the camp at Bowling Green High School. It's expected to be the largest crowd of the week. Many had multiple family members in attendance as camp opened.

Calipari called the satellite camps "probably the most powerful thing we do."

Men's basketball: Wiltjer's hook a part of dad's playbook (Jerry Tipton, Herald-Leader)
Greg Wiltjer, 6-foot-11 and a former basketball player himself, worked with his son since Kyle was in elementary school. Father preached hard work and a versatile game.

The father's influence seems most telling when Kyle shoots -- if you'll pardon the expression -- a hook shot. The son came reluctantly to this largely forgotten region of versatility.

"When it's coming from dad, 'Oh, it's old school,'‚ÄČ" Greg said of the now largely extinct scoring maneuver.

Football: Fans cheer for video promoting 2011 season (Cole Claybourn, Herald-Leader)
One of the first to show was Richard Mullins, who said he rarely misses a UK football event.

"Any time UK needs me, I'll be here," Mullins said. "I've been to every game here at Commonwealth since they opened it. Any time they put out the call, I'm right here."

Men's basketball: Calipari: extending SEC slate to 22 games would be "disaster" (Darrell Bird, Big Blue 247)

"Sixteen should be fine, 18 would be OK. I'd rather not have it, but if it would be best for the league that would be fine," Calipari said. "But it's about our non-conference scheduling. If we get that right, the other stuff falls into place and we get eight teams in the discussion and have a minimum of six teams every year in the NCAA Tournament."

Calipari admits anything above the current 16-game league schedule will impact Kentucky more than any other SEC school.

"It would, but if it's going to make the SEC better then it's fine for us," the coach said. "It's not going to devastate us, but it would take money away from our other programs. Obviously, we generate a lot of money from our home games and if you take away even one home game away from us, you're talking about a million dollars."


Men's basketball: Calipari previews UK in NBA Draft (Darrell Bird, Big Blue 247)

Then there is the 'it' factor, which Calipari has already assigned a clever name.

"There is what I call the 'Kentucky Effect,'" Calipari said. "When you play at Kentucky, you get a 20 percent bump, whether it's your draft position, your shoe contract. There is that 'Kentucky Effect.' We're on national television more than any team. We move the needle more than any team in the country. When we're on TV, people watch. That may not have been the case a few years ago, but it is now."


Men's basketball: Miller is leader of the pack (Matt May, Big Blue 247)

When Kentucky coach John Calipari suggested to Darius Miller he should enroll in a martial arts class over the summer the veteran forward laughed, assuming his coach was just spewing another one of his many off-the-wall ideas.

It wasn't a joke, at least not the premise behind the suggestion. If Kentucky is going to get back to a second consecutive Final Four its most experienced player must blaze the trail for a roster that once again features four elite freshman recruits with no collegiate experience.

"(Calipari) has talked to me about it a couple of times and I feel comfortable with it," Miller said. "I can't wait to get the season started. I'll just do the best I can. I just have to do my part and lead the team and get these guys ready for what they're going to experience."


Men's basketball: At UK, experience is no PT guarantee (Brett Dawson, Cats Illustrated)

As Calipari's team spends the summer readying for a 2011-12 season high on hype, Calipari has cautioned his returning players that nothing is promised as the Wildcats welcome the nation's top-ranked recruiting class for a third straight season.

"In our program there never has been, anywhere I've coached, (a sense of) 'It's my turn,'" Calipari said. "There's no such thing as 'It's my turn.' Everybody's starting in the same spot and let's go."

 

Former Wildcats making headlines

Getting to know Randall Cobb (IMG Madden Football Academy Blog)

His childhood home  sat close enough that the lights of Neyland Stadium could practically shine through his window, but Tennessee only half-heartedly recruited Randall Cobb. After all, he only won four straight state championships -- the last two as the starting quarterback -- won the state's Mr. Football for Class AA and finished third in the state 100. So Cobb chose Kentucky, which recruited him early and honestly. Now a member of the Green Bay Packers after being selected in the 2nd round, Cobb recently took time to discuss giving back to the community, his favorite receivers and a lesson learned in middle school.

Brandon Knight confident during workout with Utah Jazz (Brian Smith, Salt Lake Tribune)
The 6-foot-3, 177-pound Knight asserted that he is a true point guard. He attended Kentucky and followed in the footsteps of NBA stars such as John Wall to learn the position. He then attempted to prove during his Jazz workout that he can excel when commanding a professional team.

"I was working with all the coaches," Knight said. "It was pick-and-rolls, spot shots, finishing with my left hand. ... Pretty much everything."

He added: "I got a pretty good vibe. Everywhere I've been has been a pretty good connection with the team and the coaches. I felt good being in this environment."
Regarding Kanter, introductions are still in order (Jerry Zgoda, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
He spent all year in Lexington attending classes and working as a student assistant coach and working out first with the team and then with coach John Calipari and others to prepare for the draft after he permanently was ruled a professional in January.

"I mean, it was really hard because when I watched the game I was crying because I could not help my team," he said.
Collin Cowgill has chance to be minor league MVP (Herald-Leader)
Former Henry Clay and University of Kentucky star Collin Cowgill has taken the Pacific Coast League by storm in his first season at Triple-A Reno.

The 25-year-old Diamondbacks prospect entered Sunday's game second in the league in hitting, first in hits, first in runs, second in total bases, second in stolen bases and sixth in on-base percentage.

"It's pretty special what he's doing," veteran infielder Andy Tracy told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "He could lead the league in most offensive categories, he's unbelievable defensively and he works every single day."
Raptors set to hire former Cat Dwane Casey (USA Today)
The Toronto Raptors hired Casey as their coach on Tuesday, nine days after the Dallas assistant helped the Mavericks win the championship.

Casey succeeds Jay Triano, a Canadian who became a consultant after the Raptors finished 22-60. Casey was the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves from June 2005 to January 2007, compiling a 43-59 record.

Casey said his No. 1 goal is to give the Raptors a "defensive identity." In Dallas, he said the coaches even used hockey footage during the NBA finals to make their point.

Josh Harrellson's life as a hopeful draft pick (Aaron Smith, Kentucky Kernel)
"Me, personally, I feel accomplished after all my workouts," Harrellson said. "A couple coaches have told me I will get picked up in the late first or second round. ... But there's no promises. There's a lot of players out there for 60 spots."

The workouts give players a chance to expand on the skills they showed throughout the year. For Harrellson, one talent that often went unused throughout the year has impressed teams: shooting.

Tweet of the week


This was already close to a certainty, but on Monday John Calipari confirmed that will indeed be in attendance with Brandon Knight and Enes Kanter in the NBA Draft green room. Eric Lindsey will bring you more comprehensive draft projections before Thursday evening's festivities, but both Kanter and Knight are expected to be picked in the first six picks. Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins will be looking to be drafted in the second round.
"Exciting week ahead (with) the NBA Draft on (Thursday). I'm looking forward to being in the Green Room w/ Enes & Brandon as their dreams come true." - @UKCoachCalipari

Video of the week

Following successful rookie seasons, the trio known during their year at UK as the "Three Amigos" has made an appearance in a homemade version of those hilarious big-headed NBA commercials. Yes, the Dougie is involved.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://cstv.collegesports.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/21380

Leave a comment




Recent Comments

Rotating image