Here’s the full plan, courtesy of ESPNU, for UK’s nationally televised basketball practice Sunday from the Joe Craft Center (on ESPNU from 7-9 p.m.):
UK basketball fans can get an early look at all of the team’s newcomers Sunday night, when ESPNU televises a live two-hour practice from Lexington.
The broadcast will begin at 7 p.m., and feature various agility and shooting drills, in addition to 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 scrimmaging, according to UK. ESPN announcers Doris Burke, Jay Williams, Seth Greenberg and Andy Katz will all be there.
UK’s roster this season includes several newcomers, including possible No. 1 draft pick Skal Labissiere, five-star guards Isaiah Briscoe and Jamal Murray, four-star recruits Isaac Humphries and Charles Matthews, and junior-college All-American Mychal Mulder.
NBA superstar Kevin Durant announced Thursday that he has entered into a partnership with MOKAN Elite, a grassroots basketball program that plays on the Nike EYBL summer circuit.
Durant is the latest NBA player to sponsor an AAU team, joining others like Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and John Wall. Those NBA stars are often seen at summer events supporting their clubs and interacting with high school players.
Kentucky is the No. 1-ranked team in the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook’s preseason Top 25 poll for the second consecutive season, it was announced Wednesday.
Chris Dortch — editor of the popular college basketball guide — explained the reasoning for putting the Cats in the top spot.
“As we began the process of putting together our book back in the spring, Kentucky wouldn’t have been our preseason No. 1,” Dortch said. “But then the Wildcats signed Jamal Murray from Canada in June. He’s so good we thought that, combined with the players returning and other great newcomers, including Skal Labissiere, the mix has the potential for another deep run in the NCAA Tournament.”
The Kentucky Wildcats are the nation’s No. 1 team going into the upcoming college basketball season, according to the annual preview magazine from Athlon Sports.
Senior forward Alex Poythress and sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis are on the regional magazine cover, and this season’s team will also feature arguably the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
Kentucky is followed in the Athlon preseason rankings by Duke, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia. Rounding out the top 10 are Kansas, Iowa State, Arizona, Oklahoma and Villanova.
Vanderbilt (15th) and Texas A&M (25th) are the only other Southeastern Conference schools in the Top 25. Louisville is ranked No. 23.
The Athlon Sports season preview magazine is available to purchase online and hits newsstands Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Nike released its EYBL Select Team roster of players that will participate in a training camp in the Bahamas later this month, and it’s full of UK recruiting targets.
All 10 of the uncommitted prospects on the list have scholarship offers from Kentucky, and the only two committed players who were chosen are headed to Nike schools: Jayson Tatum (Duke) and Jonathan Isaac (Florida State).
Owensboro Apollo basketball star Eli Wright announced Friday that he will transfer to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season of high school.
Wright — a 6-foot-4 shooting guard — has reported scholarship offers from Indiana, Texas, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Mississippi State, Tennessee and several others.
Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 125 overall recruit in the class of 2016, and he would have been among the early favorites for next year’s Kentucky Mr. Basketball honors.
It’s Aug. 5, and ESPN “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi already has an updated NCAA Tournament field for next March.
Kentucky is a No. 1 seed in Lunardi’s bracket, along with Maryland, North Carolina and Kansas. Defending champion Duke is a No. 2 seed, and Louisville starts out as a No. 5 seed.
The SEC gets six teams in — second only to the ACC’s nine — and Murray State (No. 13 seed) gives the state of Kentucky three teams in the Big Dance.
New UK assistant coach Tony Barbee met with reporters Thursday morning, a few days after officially being promoted from special assistant to John Calipari.
Barbee’s full comments:
On being back in a hands-on assistant role after a year in a more administrative job:
“It’s exciting for me to be back in the mix, working with the guys. It’s why we do what we do, obviously, to help the kids grow — off the floor as well, but basketball’s the passion. It’s what I do. It’s what we do as coaches. And to be able to get back on the floor and work with the guys individually and help the team in that way is exciting for me after a year off.”
Five-star combo guard Malik Newman is one of UK’s top remaining recruiting targets in the class of 2015, and he’s arguably the best scorer in high school basketball.
A common narrative that has emerged in recent days — and one that has coincided with the rumors that he’ll end up at Mississippi State — is that there simply won’t be enough scoring opportunities for him if he were to come to Lexington.
Newman is at his best when he puts up lots of shots and gets in a rhythm. John Calipari has preached a team-first, shared-sacrifice approach ever since he arrived at Kentucky.