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John Calipari came in second in ESPN's countdown of the top coaches in college basketball. (Chet White, UK Athletics) John Calipari came in second in ESPN's countdown of the top coaches in college basketball. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Over the last month, ESPN has been running down its list of the top-50 coaches in college basketball. As the countdown went on, John Calipari was continually (and expectedly) absent.

On the countdown's last day, Coach Cal appeared.

Ranking only behind Florida's Billy Donovan, Calipari has been named the nation's second-best coach by ESPN. Many UK fans will surely quibble with the ranking, but surely not the story that accompanied the ranking. Eamonn Brennan tells the tale of Coach Cal's first five years in Lexington, capturing what makes UK's head coach so good at what he does.

Here's an excerpt:

Last season's March run was also a helpful reminder of Calipari's sheer coaching ability. We laud coaches for bringing their teams along at the right time, for finding their peak in March. That's the Tom Izzo specialty. Calipari found that gear in his team at the last possible moment last season, and once he figured it out, it was clear why everyone -- himself included -- was so high on Kentucky in October. There is real tactical substance here: a unique, restrained offensive system, an ability to coax great defense out of young players and real fluency in advanced scouting and statistical ideas.

That's the story of John Calipari, the No. 2-ranked coach in our ESPN Forecast top 50 poll. The man is a born salesman. Sometimes, it's subtle, and sometimes, it's about as subtle as a campaign ad. When Calipari refers to himself as a "dream maker," or when he says his program doesn't play college basketball but is college basketball itself, it's hard not to chuckle. But salesmanship resonates only when you have a quality product to sell.

Calipari has both.

Link: Calipari second on ESPN's countdown


With the announcement of several games over the last few months, everyone has known for some time now that Kentucky's 2014-15 nonconference schedule was going to be special.

Just how special became clear on Wednesday with the release of UK's full nonconference slate.

Kentucky will play 10 opponents who made the postseason in 2014, seven NCAA Tournament teams and a handful of programs who have legitimate hopes of making a run at the Final Four during this upcoming season.

UK will play bluebloods like Kansas and North Carolina, continue arguably the greatest rivalry in college basketball with Louisville, and make neutral-site trips to the United Center in Chicago and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, home to two of the Cats' exhilarating games during their magical 2014 NCAA Tournament run and the site of the 2015 Final Four.

Like last year, Kentucky will kick off the season with back-to-back home games at Rupp Arena, this time against Grand Canyon University (Nov. 14) and Buffalo (Nov. 16).

John Calipari is hoping the home games will prepare his team for an early-season showdown with Kansas on Nov. 18 in Indianapolis. The matchup with the Jayhawks, who trail only UK for the NCAA's most all-time wins, is a part of the State Farm Champions Classic. It's the fourth straight year Kentucky has participated in the event.

The Cats' stay on the road will be brief as they will return for an extended home stand. Over the course of nearly a month, UK will play eight games within the friendly confines of Rupp Arena. First up will be Boston (Nov. 21), followed by Montana State (Nov. 23), UT Arlington (Nov. 25) and Providence (Nov. 30). Kentucky played and beat the latter two last season.

The schedule then heats up at the start of December.

The Cats, who return eight scholarship players from last season's national runner-up team, will face off with an equally experienced Texas team on Dec. 3 before taking on Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 7), an NCAA Tournament team a year ago, and Columbia (Dec. 10).

The final three games of the nonconference schedule are as good as it gets. North Carolina concludes UK's mega home stand on Dec. 13 before the Cats head to Chicago to face UCLA for the inaugural CBS Sports Classic on Dec. 20.

Finally, Kentucky will close out the nonconference schedule with its annual rivalry game with Louisville on Dec. 27 at the KFC Yum! Center. This year's game is being dubbed as the Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

UK's 2014 Southeastern Conference schedule will feature nine home games and nine away games, which will be announced at a later date. It's the second third straight year the SEC will feature an 18-game schedule.

Prior to the regular season, the Cats will host a pair of exhibition games at Rupp Arena. The first will be Nov. 2 against Pikeville followed by Georgetown College on Nov. 7. Both are in-state schools. Big Blue Madness is set for Oct. 17 and the annual Blue-White Scrimmage will be on Oct. 27.

Complete games times and TV information will be released at a later date.

A by-the-numbers breakdown of the schedule is available below, but first a look at the full nonconference schedule.

2014-15 Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule (2).jpg
By the numbers

The schedule this season, as we mentioned above, is grueling.

Filled with some of the bluebloods of college basketball, opponents that made the NCAA Tournament last season and are only supposed to get better this year, and mid-majors who are expected to finish at or near the top of their league, it's hard to find a more challenging nonconference schedule than the one the Wildcats appear to have this year.

And that's not by coincidence.

Coach Cal, with the recent help of UK Deputy Director of Athletics DeWayne Peevy, has always tried to form a slate that will prepare his players for the NCAA Tournament and put them in a position to compete for a national championship. The end goal is to bolster his team's RPI, give his players the best chance to succeed and help his program obtain a favorable NCAA Tournament seed, but he must do all that while making sure he doesn't break down his players before the SEC schedule rolls around.

Doing that isn't always easy.

How many big-time games against the likes of a team like Kansas is enough? How many is too many? How many neutral-site games do you play? When do you play marquee games with such a young team? What "mid-major" opponents are going to help your RPI and not hurt it? All those things go into consideration when Calipari and his staff build the schedule.

The 2014-15 schedule uses the same formula of the last couple of years in that it mixes neutral-site games that reflect an NCAA Tournament setting with marquee matchups at home and on the road.

But this one, on paper, looks to be the best of the Calipari era.

Taking the final rankings from last year, the average RPI of UK's nonconference opponent in 2014-15 is 97.4. Six opponents on the slate finished last season in the all-important RPI top 50, including five of the final seven nonconference opponents.

Furthermore, the Cats' 13 opponents in the upcoming year posted a winning percentage of .655 last season, considerably better than the .570 winning percentage UK's 13 opponents in 2012-13 ended with and still better than last year's admirable mark of .634. Remember, Kentucky's strength of schedule last season was No. 2 in the country and this one appears to be even tougher.

But perhaps the most telling proof of the difficulty of the schedule lies in the opponents' postseason play last year. Ten of the 13 nonconference opponents were in some sort of postseason tournament last season (that does not include conference tournaments) and seven of them were in the NCAA Tournament. Five of the teams made it to the third round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament or farther.

Obviously there is no way to predict how those opponents will do next season, but the majority of UK's opponents look primed to build on their 2013-14 success.

For one, Kentucky's most high-profile opponents next season -- Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina, Texas and UCLA -- return a bulk of their major producers from a year ago. All five are expected to be in the preseason top 25 and several could be in the top 10.

But the depth of the schedule comes with teams like Providence, Eastern Kentucky and Boston. The Friars play an exciting style of basketball that brought out the best in Willie Cauley-Stein last season, EKU nearly knocked Kansas out of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, and Boston is expected to return four of its six leading scorers from its regular-season Patriot League championship squad.

It's impossible -- and unwise -- for Kentucky to avoid scheduling "mid-major" opponents, but UK can ill-afford to take those opponents lightly in 2014-15. Of UK's seven opponents from outside the so-called "major" conferences, five finished tied for third or better in 2013-14 regular-season play and one (Boston) finished atop the conference. That fits right in line with Calipari's philosophy to play teams that will content for their leagues' automatic bids.

Also of note, 13 of Kentucky's nonconference opponents will hail from 11 different conferences. UK will also play three opponents for the first time.

For those numbers and more, check out the breakdown chart below:

Opponent2014-15 recordPostseasonFinal RPIFinal ranking
(AP/Coaches)
KenPom.com
final ranking
Series historyLast meeting
Grand Canyon15-15CollegeInsider.com first round220N/A241First meetingNever met
Buffalo19-10MAC semifinals108N/A100First meetingNever met
Kansas25-10NCAA third round410/1412UK leads 21-6UK won 67-59 in 2012
Boston24-11NIT first round90N/A130UK leads 3-0UK won 91-57 in 2011
Montana State14-17None277N/A308First meetingNever met
UT Arlington15-17Sun Belt quarterfinals204N/A215UK leads 1-0UK won 105-76 in 2013
Providence23-12NCAA second round46N/A51UK leads 2-0UK won 79-65 in 2012
Texas24-11NCAA third round41N/A39UK leads 1-0UK won 86-61 in 1994
Eastern Kentucky24-10NCAA second round95N/A119UK leads 10-0UK won 78-65 in 2007
Columbia21-13CollegeInsider.com quarters127N/A123UK leads 1-0UK won 76-53 in 1948
North Carolina24-10NCAA third round2319/2127UNC leads 23-13UK lost 82-77 in 2013
UCLA28-9NCAA Sweet 161520/1515UK leads 6-4UK lost 73-68 in 2007
Louisville31-6 NCAA Sweet 16165/91UK leads 32-15UK won 74-69 in 2014



ESPN has reached a multi-year deal with Dari Nowkhah to host the SEC Network and its weeknight news and information show, SEC Now. The deal comes on the heels of Nowkhah's 10-year anniversary with ESPN, having established himself as one of college sports' most versatile hosts. The 24-hour network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN will debut on August 14, 2014.

"You would be hard pressed to find a sportscaster with more passion than Dari Nowkhah has for covering a range of college sports," said ESPN's Stephanie Druley, vice president, production, college networks. "He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that is needed for a network that will cover all of the conference's 21 sports."

Nowkhah began his career at ESPN on SportsCenter and has been the main anchor for ESPNU since 2011, hosting a spectrum of studio shows on the 24-hour college sports network. Most notable to SEC fans, he was the primary SEC Studio host for the syndicated college sports package (produced by ESPN Regional Television) for the last four years. He is well known across the country for his show CFB Daily on ESPNU and his radio show Dari & Mel co-hosted by NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper.

In addition to his leading role on SEC Now, Nowkhah will continue to contribute his college sports knowledge and expertise on the Dari & Mel show and other ESPN Radio opportunities throughout the year.

"The best thing about college sports is the passion of the fans, and top to bottom, there is no conference that matches the SEC in that category," said Nowkhah. "To be a part of the SEC Network and continue my role with ESPN Radio is the perfect situation for me."

SEC Now


SEC Now will debut on August 14, 2014 at 6 p.m. ET and air every Monday through Friday on the SEC Network. The weeknight airings will be televised from the SEC Network studio set in Charlotte. Set renderings (seen here) were revealed at SEC Spring Meetings.

SEC Now will be produced by Brad Buchanan under the direction of Coordinating Producer Pete Watters. Buchanan is an ESPN veteran working on SportsCenter and College GameDay and most recently producing College Football Live. Watters has more than 17 years' experience and will oversee studio programming for SEC Network.

Additional SEC Network studio talent and programming details will be released at a later date.

Release originally posted on ESPN Media Zone

American sports, it seems, could be on the cusp of a revolution.

With some of the sports science concepts already prevalent overseas beginning to trickle into the United States, the way athletes train, prepare and play is likely to undergo an overhaul.

That's already happened at Kentucky.

Mark Stoops and Erik Korem have implemented a first-of-its-kind High Performance program at UK. You've read about it on Cat Scratches already, but now Fansided is taking a look as part of the overall story of America playing catch-up in the sports science department.

Here's an excerpt:

When Korem left Florida State following the 2012 season, it was to follow former FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to Kentucky. Stoops was intent on starting a football-based revolution in Lexington and Korem hopes that will be the launching pad for his own movement -- he already has unparalleled support from the university.

"The reason I came with Coach Stoops is number one I believe in him and I believe in what we're doing here," says Korem. "Number two, he was willing to make me the first high performance manager in American football.

"What we're doing here at Kentucky that's different than pretty much any football program in America right now is we actually have a true high performance model where all of these pieces are working together where we literally sit down as a staff and we script everything to have a certain output, we're measuring externally from the Catapult [system] and everything internally sports science-wise. We actually have buy-in and assistance from our university exercise science department, so what we're doing here, for me is a very exciting opportunity to come to UK because it's the first time in American football that it's being done."

Stoops' first year at Kentucky was a humbling 2-10 campaign, but the signs are already there that things are working. Injuries are down, player development is a major point of emphasis and the Wildcats quietly pulled in a top 20 recruiting class this past year.

There's lots more about UK's High Performance program and the changing American sports landscape in Patrik Nohe's story. Read it all here.

Coaches from throughout the league joined the Southeastern Conference coaches' teleconference this morning to talk about their teams as the offseason wears on. Perhaps realizing he hadn't spoken publicly in some time, John Calipari was in fine form addressing topics ranging from UK's upcoming Bahamas trip, the Rupp Arena renovation and the NBA's early-entry rules.

Here's everything he had to say, plus a bonus quote about the strength of the SEC from one of Coach Cal's peers.

Coach Cal

On his team heading into next season ...
"Well, for the first time I've had players return that had a chance to put their names in the draft, so we're in a unique situation where we have veterans. Now, granted those veterans are sophomores, two of them are juniors, but the other (six) are sophomores, it's kind of unusual for us. But I'm excited about it. The returning players and the freshmen are getting along so it's all good."

On how he hopes the trip to the Bahamas will contribute to the success he has next season ...
"Well, we're doing it a little different than most teams. Most teams don't care about what the games are and, a matter of fact, will play teams that - and we did four years ago (when) I didn't care who we played in Canada - it's just practicing. But this is going to be different in that we will be traveling with 12. Ten will play. And we are having teams come with us: the Dominican Republic national team, the professional team from France, Division I, and then the older guys from Puerto Rico. They're not the national team -- they're playing in another event -- but it's that next wave of guys that almost made the team. They call it their second team. But I'm fine with that because those guys are older. It will be hard games for us to win. But we're doing it as much for the games, which is kind of unusual."

On his thoughts of the Rupp Arena renovation being suspended ...
"I haven't really--I wasn't in town with all the stuff and really haven't read anything. I kind of got a little overview from DeWayne (Peevy), but like I said (before), I just hope everybody gets together and does what's right for the city and the university."

On how it would impact his job if he had guys for another year ...
"Let me first say this one to you: Just if you know how I am and what I'm about, if you've really followed, I would rather them say that, after my entire group gets drafted - 'Yeah, I'm not really sure he develops players and he can coach' and all that stuff; 'they were pros' - but they all get drafted. OK, I'm good with that. That doesn't bother me. Say it as long as they keep continuing to get drafted. And then when they go to the league, they're on the all-rookie teams, they're rookie of the year, they're on Olympic teams, one is the MVP of the NBA. They're prepared in that sense, and that's what we're trying to do.

"The two-year rule, the reason I say that, this cycle that we're on - and there were coaches last year that had freshmen and their primary guys were freshmen and they couldn't advance in the NCAA Tournament and said after it's so difficult. Yeah, it is. Well, let's start five freshmen and try to do it. So to do this every year is, in this environment at Kentucky, is, I don't want to say impossible because for five years we've done it, but we did have a year when Nerlens (Noel) got hurt. If he doesn't get hurt, we're probably a Sweet 16 team. But he does get hurt and now we're an NIT team. Not only are we an NIT team, we lose in the first round. It's just a dangerous thing for the coach. Now, for our players, I'm happy as heck. If it goes to two years, I think they'll be better prepared, but you cannot do that unless the NCAA is going to do things along with the NBA if kids are asked to stay another year. I mean, are you going to do the cost of living? Are you going to cover their insurance? What about loss-of-value insurance that's really expensive? What about flying them back and forth once or twice a year? Why would we not do that? What about their families being flown to the NCAA events, the championship events, with the team? Why would we not do all those things? So we finally, after five years of absolute arm-wrangling, got the food right so that we can feed these kids without feeling we're going to go to jail, that we're criminals for feeding them. So those are the kind of things that have to be done. It's not just, make this about kids. We need to do stuff with combines so kids get the right information. You don't want a kid to leave and not get drafted. And if a kid should leave, he should leave. If he's a first-round pick, if he's a lottery pick, he should leave. Don't have him stay so you win more games, then the next year he's in a worse position. But if he's a second-round pick and not getting drafted and he's in a combine where the NBA can tell him that, they come back to school now. So there's a lot of things that we need to do and we're moving in that direction. Now, it's taken 40 years but we're moving in that direction now."

On whether more kids would go to Europe if the age limit went to 20 ...
"No. I don't, but here's the thing: You have to understand, that's between the NBA and the Players Association. We have to be on the side of the players, on the side of the students. We have to be on their side, which is, how do we get them the information so they make the right choices? How do we do things that we treat them with more dignity, that we treat them more fairly? OK, again, those are the things that we need to do. We have no control - none - on what the NBA and the Players Association agree to. I said to the NBA: Instead of a four-year contract, make it a three-year contract so by staying in school it doesn't hurt them. They still get to the money the same time, the big contracts the same time as they would have if they'd stayed in school two year. But, are we willing to do things? Are we willing to maybe have those parents request loans directly from the NBA that they have to pay back when they go to the NBA? What about that as a solution to some of the stuff? So there's all kind of things out there. And let me say this: It's not at the expense of academics. We're here, we've had four years. This past semester were a 3.11 (grade-point average). Our APR going into next year, which means every kid we've had has finished here in good academic standing. Obviously, we've had a 3.0 for the last four years. We've graduated 10 players. We've brought three players back. Our kids sign four-year deals if they leave after one or two years, the scholarship is still waiting on them. We're doing things outside of that to make sure we're taking care of what we can within the rules and going above and beyond to do that. But there's still other things that need to be done."

On what he tells players about what will happen if they enter the NBA Draft early ...

"Well, I don't do it that way. What I do is I give them the information. I have them get information directly from the NBA office. I give them information (from) GMs who are friends of mine in the NBA and say, 'This is where it appears. Check with the NBA and I'm with you with whatever you do. If you're a late first-rounder, can you deal with (it)?' I give them the downside. 'Are you going to be able to deal with being a second-round pick because that could happen. If you can't deal with that, then you come back.' If you say, 'I'm OK if that happens,' then you can think strongly about leaving. 'If you want to be a top-10 pick, you're not right now and you're going to have to come back to be a top-10 pick. But if that's OK to be the 18th or the 20th or 17th, I'm good with it.' I literally spend five minutes with them. There are no four-hour brainwashing, all the staff beating them down. Five minutes. And you can talk to all the kids. Matter of fact I thought Willie (Cauley-Stein) was leaving. The conversation we had the next morning after the national championship game was congratulating. I'm proud of you. You were a football player two years ago. No one knew who you were. You weren't a McDonald's All-American. You weren't, 'He was one-and-done before he got there.' That's not what he was and he was a top-15 pick. And he came in my office the following day and said, 'I want to come back.' I go, 'What?' He said, 'One, I'm having a ball. Two, I'm not ready for that league to do what I want to do. Three, I want to win a 'ship before I leave.' I said, 'That's good reasons to come back.' So the conversations I had with guys are kind of like that."

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin

On the strength of the SEC ...
"I'm tired of this (fallacy) and myth that our league is no good. I'm tired of it. I think it's disrespectful to the coaches in this league. I think anytime you try to convince Billy (Donovan) or Cal or Mike Anderson, guys that have had tremendous success everywhere they've been, Bruce Pearl now that he's back in the league, Billy Kennedy, the successes he's had - just keep going on down the line - the successes that they've had in their careers and trying to say that their success right now is not very good because our league is not very good, I think that's a little disrespectful and untrue. Our league is extremely hard. I've said it for a couple years: We were in transition and I think our league is now starting to take shape. I think coaches are establishing their programs for those of us that, we weren't where it needed to be. Kevin Stallings, Billy, guys that have been in the league forever, they're always going to have programs that are going to line up and go. And I think you're going to start seeing our league move forward as we continue to stabilize programs such as ours."

Men's basketball's trip to the national championship game helped lead UK Athletics to a record Directors' Cup finish in 2013-14. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Men's basketball's trip to the national championship game helped lead UK Athletics to a record Directors' Cup finish in 2013-14. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
We have been together on this journey for 12 years now, and what a ride it's been. We have won national championships together and celebrated All-American performances. We have played in some of the best games the University of Kentucky has ever seen and had some of the best players to wear the Blue and White.

Today, we close the book on one of the most extraordinary seasons in UK Athletics history.

We received the news this morning that we came in 11th in the national all-sports standings, far and away our best finish in the 21-year history of the Directors' Cup. In doing so, we achieved our goal of becoming a top-15 athletics department a year ahead of the schedule set forth in our 15 by 15 by 15 Plan.

We did it with remarkable efforts across the program. Eighteen of our 22 teams contributed to our final point total, with seven finishing in the top 10 in their respective sports and 15 in the top 20. All those moments we'll remember for so long - Aaron Harrison shooting men's basketball to the national championship game, Kelsey Nunley pitching softball to the Women's College World Series and A.J. Reed proving himself the best baseball player in the country - made this happen.

Every step of the way, the Big Blue Nation has been there. On game day, you create the best home-court and home-field advantage in college sports. Outside of competition, we rely on you just the same. You might not be there for practices or workouts, but we call on your passion constantly.

We've needed that inspiration, because it's taken an incredible amount of work to reach this point. Our student-athletes, coaches and staff have embraced an ambitious set of goals and attacked it. In doing so, they have shown yet again how much a great group of people working together can accomplish on the field, all while excelling in the classroom and the community. I want to thank and congratulate them for all they have done in turning what seemed like a far-off goal in November 2008 into a reality.

Finishing in the top 15, of course, is an accomplishment worth celebrating, but our journey is far from over. We have moved into the same neighborhood as the best schools in the country, but we aren't content with that.

We want UK to be the best athletics department in America. Just as I challenged our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans to pursue a goal many thought impossible six years ago, I call on everyone involved with UK Athletics to seize the momentum we built in one of the best years we've ever had and turn it into something even better.

Many of our student-athletes are already on campus for strength and conditioning. Our coaches -- the best group I have been around in my three decades in college athletics -- are recruiting and honing their strategies for next season. Our staff is working hard to make sure our teams have all they need to compete for championships.

Before long, we'll open the 2014-15 season. Let's make it one to remember.

'Til the Battle Is Won,
Mitch Barnhart

Julius Randle and James Young were chosen with the No. 7 and 17 picks in the NBA Draft, respectively, on Thursday night. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Julius Randle and James Young were chosen with the No. 7 and 17 picks in the NBA Draft, respectively, on Thursday night. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Julius Randle smiled when he heard his name called.

He dished out hugs to his mother, his mentor and his head coach as he walked to the podium. He looked the part of a happy draftee when he shook hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

It wasn't until ESPN analyst Jay Williams asked Randle whether he thought he should have been selected earlier than No. 7 overall that he admitted to another emotion.

"I think I should have went higher for sure, but the teams that passed on me will regret it," Randle said.

It wasn't pride or false bravado that made Randle feel that way either. The newest Los Angeles Laker and UK's ninth lottery pick in the last five years simply believed he was the best player in the 2014 NBA Draft and plans to prove it.

Don't think mistake Randle's drive for bitterness though. He's happy to become a Laker.

"I was offered some great advice before this: It's not where you start; it's where you finish," Randle said. "And L.A.' s a perfect spot for me. I'm really happy to be going there."

When Randle's name was called, John Calipari was heard on the ESPN broadcast telling Randle Los Angeles is exactly where he hoped the bruising forward who led UK to the national championship game as a freshman would go.

"I get to go play in a great city, a great franchise that expects nothing but championships, great market, great organization," Randle said. "And Kobe Bryant, my idol growing up. So I couldn't be more ecstatic about where I'm going."

Similarly, the Lakers were elated when the 6-foot-9, 250-pound Randle -- who averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds in his lone UK season -- was still available.

"We had him on our board much better than a No. 7 selection, so we were surprised when he was there," Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. "When we do the draft, we rank according to what we think is going to be the best player going forward. So he was the best player on the board. We didn't think he'd be there. He's a player that will bode well in Los Angeles. He competes hard. He plays hard. He loves contact. Great kid. Those are attributes that anybody would love to have on an NBA team."

As Bryant, Randle's idol, mentioned soon after the Lakers' selection on Twitter, Randle goes from the school with the most tradition in college basketball to a professional franchise with comparable tradition.

James Young, Randle's teammate, will make a similar transition. Ten picks after Randle went off the board, the athletic swingman was tabbed by the Boston Celtics with the No. 17 overall pick, where he will join fellow former Wildcats Rajon Rondo and Keith Bogans.

"The Lakers (and) Celtics are the (two) most storied programs in the NBA (and) our guys are headed to both," Coach Cal tweeted. "What could be better?"

In the Green Room with Randle and Calipari, Young was excited when he learned he was Boston-bound.

"I'm very excited to be drafted by this organization and I can't wait to get started," Young said according to the Louisville Courier-Journal's Kyle Tucker. "It's been a long time coming."

With Randle and Young's selection, UK has now had multiple first-round selections in all five years of the Calipari era. Since the draft went to two rounds in 1989, UK is the only program to accomplish the feat. All told, UK has had two No. 1 picks, 15 first-round picks and 19 total players selected in the NBA Draft during Coach Cal's time in Lexington and 110 in the history of the program.

Succeed and Proceed indeed.

k fund big blue initiative.jpg In a matter of months, the time will come for you to choose your seats in The New Commonwealth Stadium.

Before the reseating process begins in the fall, an important date is approaching quickly: the June 30 K Fund priority point deadline.

The order in which fans will select their 2015 seats will be based on K Fund priority ranking as of June 30, 2014. The more priority points you have, the sooner you will be able to select the seats that best fit your needs. Visit this page to see a snapshot of current priority rankings.

With the deadline now less than a week away, fans can boost their priority rankings and participate in a philanthropic effort to address rising scholarship costs through the Big Blue Initiative. All K Fund donors should have received a form in the mail in May. To participate, fill out that form and increase your annual giving by 15 percent by June 30.

By joining the Big Blue Initiative, you will receive the normal three K Fund points per $100 donation, plus an additional five bonus points. It's a great way to impact the lives of UK student-athletes and improve your position for 2015 seat selections.

If you have any questions or are unable to locate your form, contact the K Fund at (859) 257-6300.

UK announced on Tuesday that freshman Trey Lyles is recovering from a medical procedure on his left leg. The recovery process will force him to miss UK's games as part of a trip to the Bahamas in August, but Lyles is expected to return in time for practice in October.

Lyles will join junior Willie Cauley-Stein on the sideline. Cauley-Stein underwent surgery after the season to repair a stress fracture in his left foot.

Soon after the news came out, John Calipari took to Twitter to talk about it.




Lyles, a 6-foot-10 forward from Indianapolis, Ind., is a member of UK's highly touted incoming freshman class. He and his three classmates -- Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis and Karl-Anthony Towns -- are on campus along with a deep and talented crop of returnees from last year's national runner-up team.

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  • Larry: Good job UK and glad to see that Coach Cal will be here for the foreseeable future. Any chance you read more
  • Wachs89: This video does a excellent job of capturing the spirit of UK basketball from the team, the anouncer, the video read more
  • Dean Geary: Walt is a fantastic athletic trainer and a fantastic person. I learned a lot under Walt while at UK have read more
  • Mark Pope: GREAT YEAR !!! Missing my 4 talented seniors already.. Went to Knoxville & did OUR thing !! Best COACH the read more