Posts from Wednesday, June 24
The list that keeps on going
Posted at 3:19 p.m. EDT – Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations
You already knew Kentucky was a basketball factory. Players come in, they compete for national championships and a decent chunk of them go on to play professional ball somewhere or another.
But it’s hard to contemplate just how many players have been selected in the NBA Draft over the years until you take a good look at the ridiculously long chart below, a list All-American Jodie Meeks hopes to add himself to Thursday night during the 2009 NBA Draft.
To prep you for the draft, I thought I’d give a complete rundown of all the players in UK history to get selected in the draft. Some names are obvious, others you might not expect. But the sheer number of players taken is something very few schools can boast.
In all, 91 players have been selected in the NBA Draft (keep in mind that would be more had the NBA not cut its draft down to two rounds a couple of decades ago), including some of the all-time UK greats. A whopping 20 players have been taken in the first round, the most recent coming in 2006 when the Phoenix Suns selected Rajon Rondo with the 21st overall pick (he was later traded to Boston).
An interesting fact you might not know: A UK player has never been selected with the No. 1 overall pick. The highest a UK player has ever gone was No. 2 overall, when the Portland Trail Blazers took Sam Bowie in the 1984 draft. Rick Robey checked in at No. 3 overall in the 1978 draft.
For more NBA Draft nuggets, check the list below, and stay tuned Thursday night to see if Meeks can become the 92nd UK player to go in the NBA Draft.
Posted at 10:04 a.m. EDT - Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations
We'll continue Wildcat Wednesdays today at about 1:20 p.m. with women's basketball head coach Matthew Mitchell. Don't forget to join us then to send in your questions and comments to the third-year coach. Until then, let's quickly run through some highlights:
UK story of the day: OK, we're going way back for this one. Like last week way back. That's how slow it's been in the form of UK news, but it makes up for a story I missed when I took time off last week.
Anyway, this story comes from Chris Low of ESPN, who writes that Randall Cobb will be played primarily at receiver in 2009. No surprise there, but Low reports that is where UK needs him the most.
Some of Big Blue Nation still doesn't agree with that and would like to see him under center, but I have to side with Low here. While a bit inexperienced, UK is actually deep at the quarterback position. Mike Hartline has shown flashes that he's capable of running the UK offense, and if he can't, he's got two highly touted quarterbacks waiting in the wings. Let's also not forget that Will Fidler looked mighty impressive for parts of the Blue/White Spring Game.
But the biggest reason for Cobb's move to wide receiver is because it's where he's needed the most. With the departure of E.J. Adams, UK's already barren wide-receiving corps becomes even thinner. It isn't so much that the Cats don't have the numbers at the position, it's that they don't have enough game-changing receivers and one who has the playmaking ability of Cobb.
Cobb provides that game-breaking talent that's been sorely missed since the days of Dicky Lyons, Keenan Burton and Steve Johnson. It might not be the most popular move, but it's the right one.
SEC story of the day: The real story is that Texas forced a game three in the College World Series after defeating Louisiana State on Tuesday, but let's take a break from that today since we've a.) already talked about it and b.) will talk about it again tomorrow once the series is decided.
Instead, I'll throw you a Southeastern Conference link from Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun, who provides a summer SEC football forecast.
With all the John Calipari hype around Lexington, football has taken a back seat in the Bluegrass State. What people don't realize is that pigskin season is right around the corner.
UK doesn't make Andreu's summer storylines, but I think this is a pivotal summer and year for the program. UK has taken a giant leap forward after three straight bowl wins, but where does it go from here? The program is good, but it still isn't great. It still has steps to take, one direction or the other, and this year could be a strong indicator of which way it's headed.
And because it really still is the SEC story of the day, a link to the CWS from the Advocate.
National story of the day: As is typically the case just hours before the NBA Draft, teams are reshuffling their lineups with last-minute trades in the NBA.
The San Antonio Spurs acquired Richard Jefferson from the Milwaukee Bucks for Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas, giving the aging Spurs a much-needed threat on the wing.
The deal hasn't been sealed yet, but there are reports that the Washington Wizards would send the No. 5 pick in Thursday's draft, Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas and Darius Songalia to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. The Timberwolves already have picks five, six, 18 and 28 in the draft, but they might also be seeking pick No. 2. Talk about rebuilding.
And the final rumored trade involves two former Wildcats. Boston and Detroit were reportedly in talks to send Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen to Detroit for Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey. The Pistons shot down the trade rumors Tuesday, but I don't think it's the end of the deal. Here's my take from Tuesday on that potential swap.