Skal goes off at number 28 to the Kings via the Suns, congrats, Skal
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
13, Isaiah Briscoe, G:
On whether or not he is surprised to be back …
“Not really with the new rule. I think I used it to the best of my ability, and, on the 25th I had a long conversation with Coach Cal and KP (Kenny Payne) and we all agreed that it was best for me to come back to school.”
On if it was an easy decision or tough decision…
“In a way it was kind of hard just because I was doing so well in the workouts, but I think that the conversation me and KP had brought everything to the light, and it made it more obvious that it was good for me to come back to school.”
On your conversation with Coach Payne …
“He was just saying, mostly what he was talking about was security and I guess that’s with me like going in the first round, you know the security. And, it made a lot of sense and I want to feel secure. And, what he was saying was, by this time next year you should only want to focus on getting better. You don’t want to worry about getting a guaranteed contract like that or anything. So, I think that played a key role into me coming back to school.”
On feedback you got from workouts …
“The feedback was good. They said my shot was better than they thought. But, going back to school and showing them that I can shoot consistently wouldn’t hurt me at all.”
On how he felt to not get an invite to the combine …
“I mean, I thought I was going to the combine, but once I found out that I wasn’t, you know, still working out and waiting on NBA teams to call and give me a full workout.”
On how many workouts he did …
On what he will do as a leader of the team …
“One, I just got to lead by example. That’s one thing, and that’s on and off the court. These freshmen came in and they look up to me. And, you know some of the guys last year look up to me and come up to me for questions like that, so my main focus this year is lead a young group, and lead by example on and off the court.”
On what he sees as his role next year as a guy in the backcourt …
“Just running the team. And, that doesn’t mean score all the points. That doesn’t mean, yeah, score all the points. It just means making sure that everything is in order. Be a second coach on the court. You know, build a better relationship with Coach Cal. And, just lead the young guys. Like a floor general.”
On what he’s told the young guys to expect …
“They don’t know what to expect, but I tell them it’s hard. But, I mean if you love to work, it shouldn’t. It shouldn’t be hard for you at all because I enjoy working out. I enjoy getting better. So, Kentucky to me is just like, you know, just like any other workout, any other place I’ve been to work out. I just love getting out there.”
On if he thinks he will get the ball in his hands more this year …
“Yeah, I think so.”
On how difficult it was the change last year to not be the primary ball handler …
“It was difficult. You know, it was a struggle for me in the beginning. I had to get used to it, you know. Not too many people can do it. But, I accepted the role. And, as a winner, I just want to do whatever it takes for my team to win. They needed me to play defense and grab rebounds and that’s exactly what I did. ”
On if he is telling the new guys about what to expect with Coach Cal …
“Everyone has their own experience. So, mine is different from Tyler’s (Ulis). Tyler’s is different from Jamal’s (Murray), mine will be different form the freshman this year. So, everyone has their own experience with Cal.”
On how to describe his relationship with Cal on and off the court …
“Well I think our relationship has been a little better. We’ve been meeting probably like once a week, or we will text maybe twice a week. And, just to make sure everyone is in check and everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. And, he looks to me to make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do. So, I think that he is trusting me more than last year. And, I don’t want to let him down so I am just out here doing whatever I have to do to make sure that the team is fine.”
14, Tai Wynyard, F:
On the experience at the 3-on-3 tournament …
“It was a lot of fun. We didn’t get to win. We came in fourth, but it was a lot of fun.”
On using his size to feel dominant on the court at the 3-on-3 games …
“Being able to be one of the biggest there that obviously has a big advantage. I’m able to play inside a lot more. I mean, having only half of the court as well, allows you to go inside a lot more instead of running up and down the court. That obviously helped a lot. ”
On playing the 3-on-3 games in Kazakhstan …
“It was a really different kind of place. Obviously whenever you go traveling around the world it’s going to be a little bit different. The people there were a little bit different. It was a really nice place and stuff, but it was just different.”
On what he is going to work on for the rest of the summer …
“Just everything really, my whole game. We’re working on a lot of conditioning and weight room right now for the summer, so that will be really good. Also my skills, my shooting.”
On the outlook for this season …
“We have a really good team. We’ve been training really well lately. We’ve had a couple of pick-up games. The team’s looking really well. We’re doing really well, so it should be a lot of fun.”
On his confidence increasing from the 3-on-3 games …
“It increases a lot, but the players that I was playing against there, aren’t really as great as the players that I’m playing against here. There it’s not really college basketball. It’s a lot easier to play against kids my own age, around the world it’s a different game. But yeah, I’m feeling confident coming into this.”
On his comfort this year after coming in late last year …
“Being able to come in late last year just got me to see the program, and see how much work you have to put in, and how much they really want you to do stuff for the program. The entire behind the scenes stuff like academically and physically. It was definitely a huge advantage for me to come in early.”
On expecting all of the stuff that comes with being a student-athlete at Kentucky …
“It was really surprising especially for me coming straight from New Zealand.”
On how coming in last year has prepared him physically …
“Definitely. Coming in earlier has gotten my conditioning up more. It got me to see how I can work back home. Obviously back home you don’t get that much conditioning or that kind of work.”
On his role this season … “I mean hopefully I have a role on this team. Everyone on this team wants a role. The first thing in the first meeting that Coach Cal said was that none of you have been promised minutes, none of you are promised anything. It’s all just completely open.”
On what he brings to the game … “I mean, I’m going to try to dunk on everyone if I can. I’m going to try to be physical. I’m going to try to play strong by setting great screens and getting rebounds and things like that.”
Monday, June 13, 2016
Weeks after Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart was selected as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, men’s basketball head coach John Calipari was chosen by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for an ad hoc committee on the tournament selection, seeding and bracketing.
Calipari will represent the Southeastern Conference on the committee that includes head coaches representing all levels of Division I, NCAA and NABC staff. NABC Executive Director Jim Haney and former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive are co-chairs.
“I appreciate this opportunity to be on the ad hoc committee, whose mission is to give suggestions to the selection committee,” Calipari said. “We all understand it’s an inexact science and our suggestions won’t make it perfect, we just want it to be better and more transparent for the players so that they know what they’re playing for. I look forward to working with all the other coaches and administrators.”
The ad hoc committee is slated to meet several times and resulting feedback will be presented to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee prior to its summer meeting.
This is the third ad hoc committee established by the NABC. The first worked with the NCAA and NBA to adjust rules for student-athletes declaring for the draft and lengthening the time to return to school after the NBA Combine. The second committee analyzed the time demands on men’s basketball and presented recommendations to the NCAA.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
As has been the case for nearly every year of the last two decades, the Kentucky men’s basketball team led the country in average home attendance, according to national attendance figures released by the NCAA on Wednesday.
UK led all schools in the NCAA with an average of 23,361 fans per home game. It’s the 18th time in the last 21 seasons Kentucky has led the country in average home attendance. Since Rupp Arena opened for the 1976-77 season, UK has ranked either first or second in average home attendance every season.
The Wildcats have averaged more than 23,00 fans at Rupp Arena in six of Calipari’s seven seasons at Kentucky.
Playing 17 home games this season, 397,148 fans attended games at Rupp Arena during the 2015-16 year. UK was one of only seven schools with at least 300,000 fans at its home games this season.
A total of 694,871 fans watched the Wildcats play at home, on the road and in neutral sites in 2015-16, which ranked second in the country. Kentucky set the NCAA record in 2013-14 with 922,653 total fans.
The Southeastern Conference had the second-highest attendance among the 32 NCAA Division I conferences. A total of 32,382,283 fans watched student-athletes in Divisions I, II and III in college basketball this past season, the 10th-highest attendance in NCAA history.
After tremendous NBA rookie seasons, former Kentucky men’s basketball stars Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein and Julius Randle have been chosen for the USA Men’s Select Team that will train July 18-21 with the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas.
The USA Men’s Select Team annually features some of the game’s brightest and most promising young players. It is often a stepping stone to making the USA Basketball Men’s National Team. DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall, who are among the 31 finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympics Men’s Basketball Team, previously played on the Select Team. Anthony Davis is also a finalist for the Olympic Team, thought he has already opted out of the Olympics because of injury.
Members of the USA Select Team will train daily with the USA National Team from July 18-21 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center as the USA National Team preps for the Olympics in Brazil later this year.
The 2016 USA Select Team features eight players who completed their rookie NBA season in 2015-16, nine who wrapped up their second NBA season, three third-year NBA players and five players who are eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft.
Booker, who made the All-Rookie First Team last month, averaged 13.8 points, 2.6 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game with the Phoenix Suns. The sharpshooter finished in third in the 3-Point Contest during the NBA’s All-Star Game festivities.
After averaging 4.5 points in November and 7.6 points in December, Booker became one of the NBA’s most explosive young scorers after the all-star break, including a fantastic month of March in which he averaged 22.4 points in 16 games. After the break, Booker logged 19.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 35.4 minutes per game.
Booker was drafted 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2015 NBA Draft after averaging 10.0 points in his freshman season at Kentucky. En route to Southeastern Conference Sixth Man of the Year honors, Booker made 58 3-pointers, second most on the team, with a .411 3-point field-goal percentage. He was also a second-team All-SEC selection by the league’s coaches and made the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Cauley-Stein, who made the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team, showed off his immense potential with the Sacramento Kings this season, averaging 7.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 block in 66 games. Cauley-Stein’s 1.0 block per game was the sixth-highest average in the NBA among rookies.
After playing no more than 21.9 minutes per game in any one month, Cauley-Stein closed out the season by averaging 31.3 minutes per game in seven April outings, and averaged 9.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.
Cauley-Stein was taken sixth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings after a banner end to his UK career. In his final season at Kentucky in 2015, in which he averaged 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for the 38-1 Wildcats, Cauley-Stein earned consensus first-team All-America honors, first-team All-SEC honors and won SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
In Randle’s first full season in the NBA, he was one of the few players in the NBA to average a double-double, posting 11.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He ranked 15th in the NBA with 34 double-doubles and led the Los Angeles Lakers in rebounding.
After suffering a devastating leg injury the first game of his rookie season, Randle returned in 2015-16 and became one of the Lakers’ most consistent players. During a stretch from mid-January to mid-March, he scored in double figures in 20 of 22 games, including 14 double-doubles. He has previous USA Basketball experience, winning a gold medal in 2012 with the USA Basketball U18 Championship squad.
Randle was selected seventh overall by the Lakers in the 2014 NBA Draft after leading UK to the 2014 national championship game. Randle led the Wildcats in scoring (15.4 points per game) and rebounding (10.4 boards per game) in his lone season at Kentucky en route to making the Associated Press All-America Third Team.