Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky basketball breakdown, NBA mock drafts and UT legend passes away

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has had a top 10 NBA draft pick every year since coming to UK in 2009.
Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has had a top 10 NBA draft pick every year since coming to UK in 2009.

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.

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.

Mock drafts

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

2010John Wall11Washington
2012Anthony Davis11New Orleans
2015Karl-Anthony Towns11Minnesota
2012Michael Kidd-Gilchrist12Charlotte
2011Enes Kanter13Utah
2010DeMarcus Cousins15Sacramento
2017De'Aaron Fox15Sacramento
2013Nerlens Noel16New Orleans-c
2015Willie Cauley-Stein16Sacramento
2014Julius Randle17LA Lakers
2016Jamal Murray17Denver
2011Brandon Knight18Detroit
2017Malik Monk111Charlotte
2015Trey Lyles112Utah
2015Devin Booker113Phoenix
2010Patrick Patterson114Houston
2017Bam Adebayo114Kentucky
2014James Young117Boston
2010Eric Bledsoe118Oklahoma City-a
2012Terrence Jones118Houston
2016Skal Labissiere128Sacramento
2010Daniel Orton129Orlando
2012Marquis Teague129Chicago
2013Archie Goodwin129Oklahoma City-d
2016Tyler Ulis234Phoenix
2012Doron Lamb242Milwaukee
2015Andrew Harrison244Phoenix-e
2011Josh Harrellson245New Orleans-b
2012Darius Miller246New Orleans
2015Dakari Johnson248Oklahoma City
2011DeAndre Liggins253Orlando

a-traded to LA Clippers

b-traded to New York

c-traded to Philadelphia

d-traded to Phoenix

e-traded to Memphis

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader