Links and notes for Thursday:
Who will be in Kentucky's starting five next year? With Reid Travis joining as a grad transfer, Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader examines the question with a breakdown of the roster. "We'll be a much different team than we were a year ago," UK head coach John Calipari said earlier this week.
With the NBA draft on Thursday night, I wrote on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The 6-foot-6 point guard from Canada was ranked sixth among Kentucky's incoming freshmen class last season. Now he could be the first player taken in the draft, a possible top 10 pick.
On the eve of his big night, Gilgeous-Alexander thanked UK and Calipari. “It prepared me a lot,” Gilgeous-Alexander said Wednesday of how UK impacted his NBA aspirations. “From Day One, Coach (John) Calipari has prepared us to be pros. That’s one of his main things. That’s what he does better than any coach in the country.” Jerry Tipton of the H-L reports.
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Gilgeous-Alexander could be high on Charlotte's list. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer looks at four draft scenarios for the Hornets. "(Colin) Sexton and Gilgeous-Alexander form an interesting contrast at the position: Sexton is 6-foot-3 and a brawny, explosive pick-and-roll scorer. Gilgeous-Alexander is 6-foot-6 and skinny with a wingspan of nearly 7 feet. He can be an elite defender in the switching manner that has become so valued of late in the NBA."
Kevin Knox says he has more skills. The former UK forward says the NBA will afford him a chance to show the skills he could not demonstrate in the college game. Strong workouts have moved Knox up the mocks to where he could be a possible top 10 pick. Jerry Tipton again reports.
Bam Adebayo has been working out with Rasheed Wallace. After finishing his rookie season with the Miami Heat, Adebayo has been working out with Wallace, the former NBA All-Star and former North Carolina Tar Heel. Adebayo, the center on UK's 2016-17 Elite Eight team, is from North Carolina. The Miami Herald has the story.
Ray Spalding could be the steal of the NBA Draft. That's according to former Louisville coach David Padgett, who tells Rick Bozich of WDRB, "I really think he's just scratching the surface in terms of how good he can be. Last year was just a glimpse."
Mohamed Bamba wants to be the NBA's next great big man. Bamba, who picked Texas over Kentucky, measured at a record 7-foot-10 wingspan at the NBA combine last month. "He ran a sprint in three-quarters the length of the floor in 3.04 seconds, beating times posted by both Russell Westbrook and John Wall at previous combines," writes Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.
Former Kentucky punter Landon Foster announces that he is gay. Foster did so in an essay he wrote for SB Nation's Outsports. "For the entirety of my adolescence and college career, I thought being 'perfect' was the path to a successful and happy life," Foster wrote. "Anything else would pronounce failure. And my one fear in life was failure. I wanted to be perfect."
Alabama is receiving the better monetary deal for its football game with Louisville. Jake Lourim of the Courier-Journal reports that Alabama will get $4.5 million for the Sept. 1 game in Orlando. Louisville will receive $2.75 million.
John Ward has died. The legendary play-by-play voice of the Tennessee Volunteers passed away Wednesday at age 88. Ward was the voice of the Vols for more than 30 years. His catch phrases: "It's football time in Tennessee!" and "Give him six!"
Calvin Ridley has been earning praise. The former Alabama wide receiver has turned heads during early workouts with the Atlanta Falcons, reports Jordan D. Hill of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Atlanta offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was an offensive analyst at Alabama in 2016 when Ridley was with the Tide.
John Calipari's draft picks at Kentucky