Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Alex Poythress To Play For Orlando Magic Blue Squad in Summer League

Former Kentucky men’s basketball player Alex Poythress will play with the Orlando Magic Blue squad in the annual summer league in Orlando, the team announced on Tuesday.

Poythress is one of six collegiate players to join the Magic’s blue squad for the one-week, 25-game schedule in Orlando. The games will begin Saturday.

The Clarksville, Tenn., native is hoping to impress either Orlando or other squads in obtaining a free agent contract like Aaron Harrison achieved with the Charlotte Hornets in 2015.

Poythress enjoyed a successful four-year tenure at Kentucky in which he was a member of two Final Four teams, two Southeastern Conference regular season championships and two SEC Tournament titles.

He averaged 10.2 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds in his final season in 2015-16. He charted four double-doubles and had a career-best 25-point effort at Alabama during his senior campaign. For his career, he averaged 8.6 points and 5.3 rebounds. He is one of only 12 players to register 900 career points, 500 career rebounds and 70 career blocks. A high-character player and exceptional student, Poythress graduated in just three years at Kentucky and became UK’s first Academic All-American since 1995 during his senior year.

The Orlando summer league will feature two Magic squads along with the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Fans can access box scores, game recaps and cumulative statistics at Orlando’s home page<http://www.orlandomagic.com>. NBA TV will air 24 of the 25 summer league games live.

Coach Cal Karl Towns To Host Rookie of The Year Camp on August 3rd

 Head coach John Calipari and Karl-Anthony Towns are excited to announce their Rookie of the Year Camp slated for Aug. 3 in Lexington.

The duo will team up for a camp broken up into two sessions. The first session begins at 8:30 a.m. and will last for 3.5 hours. The second session is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. for the same 3.5 hour duration. Boys and girls ages 7-17 are eligible for the camp. 

Calipari and Towns will touch on all aspects of the game, including passing, shooting, dribbling, defense and additional skill work. Towns will personally work and interact with each and every camper.

Campers are to set to be pre-assigned to appropriate age/grade level divisions. Skill work will be directed by UK coaches and staff, along with current and former Wildcats. Extensive details including gym schedules, registration location and information and itineraries will be directed in the confirmation email.

This is the second camp set to feature a member of the 2016 All-Rookie Team. Devin Booker will join Calipari for the Shooting Camp on July 30. 

Interested campers can register here. If you are having difficulties with the registration link, please send an email to ukmbbcamps@uky.edu. A limited number of spots are available for both sessions and are based on a first-come, first-served basis, with online registration recommended as the fastest and most efficient form of registering campers. 

Cancellation policy: The $80 deposit is non-refundable except in the case of injury, illness or mandatory school event. If a cancellation is made for any other reason, tuition will be refunded less the $80 deposit if the cancellation is made before the first day of camp. Once the camp session has begun there will be no refunds, except in the case of injury or illness. This includes the cancellation of practices due to severe weather. The convenience fee associated with online registration is non-refundable.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Former Cat, Demarcus Cousins Selected For 2016 USA Olympic Team

Former Kentucky great DeMarcus Cousins was selected to the 12-man roster that will represent the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, as announced by Team USA Basketball on Monday.

This is the first such appointment for Cousins, who participated with Team USA at the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Cousins participated in all nine games en route to a perfect record and the gold medal. He averaged 9.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.3 steals and shot a team-high 70.2 percent from the field in 13.8 minutes a game.

Cousins will be joined by Carmelo Anthony, Harrison Barnes, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson.

Kentucky has a long lineage of success at the Olympics as 10 total players have earned a gold medal. Anthony Davis most recently captured gold at the 2012 Olympics. Davis was among the 30 finalists for a spot on the 2016 squad, but removed his name for consideration as he recovered from offseason surgery. John Wall was also a finalist but withdrew his name for consideration after offseason surgery as well.

The U.S. will start training for the Olympics in Las Vegas and play exhibition games in Las Vegas, Oakland, Calif., Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston before leaving for Rio.  The U.S. will train against the USA Men’s Select Team, which features former Wildcats Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein and Julius Randle.

Team USA’s opening game in Rio will take place Aug. 6 against China. It is slated to tip at 6 p.m. ET.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Todays Briscoe/Wynyard Press Conference QUOTES

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

Calipari Added To The NCAA Tournament ad-hoc Committee

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

Once Again; Kentucky Is Tops In This Category

 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.

Former Wildcats Make USA Select Team

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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Brad Calipari Set To Join This Years Kentucky Team

The Kentucky men’s basketball team has added Brad Calipari to the 2016-17 roster. Calipari is enrolled in summer school, which starts this week, and will be eligible to play for the Wildcats in the fall.

Calipari, the son of head coach John Calipari, joins Kentucky after a productive final season at the MacDuffie School in Massachusetts. The 6-foot, 180-pound guard spent the last two seasons at MacDuffie after starting his high school career at Lexington Christian Academy.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this special group of guys coming in,” Brad Calipari said. “It’s truly an honor to finally be with the Big Blue Nation. I’m very lucky to have this opportunity and won’t put it to waste.”

Brad Calipari developed into a sharpshooter during his final second at MacDuffie, where he shot 47 percent from behind the 3-point line. The freshman-to-be averaged 15.3 points last season, 3.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. 

He was chosen for the 2016 Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, where he scored nine points on three 3-pointers to go along with four rebounds.

In January, Brad Calipari played against incoming UK signee Wenyen Gabriel and scored 17 points on five made 3-pointers. He led his team to a 69-61 victory over Gabriel’s squad from Wilbraham and Monson Academy (Mass.).

“I’m excited for Brad to join the team,” John Calipari said. “I’m so proud of how hard he’s worked to get to this stage and prepare for this moment. Brad chose to go to prep school on his own and it ended up being a great decision. It was also his decision to be a part of this team. He knows he’s walking into a program with really good players, that he’s going to have to earn everything he gets, and that he’s going to have to strive to be his best. I’m looking forward to coaching my son.”

Kentucky’s 2016 signing class is regarded as the top recruiting haul in the country by Rivals and ESPN. In addition to Brad Calipari, the Wildcats will welcome five-star prospects Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Malik Monk. In all, UK will add five freshmen this fall who ranked in the top 25 of the final 247Sports composite rankings.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hawkins Returns Home From Reach USA Trip

Senior men’s basketball player Dominique Hawkins successfully completed his second trip to the Far East in conjunction with Reach USA for a cultural exchange trip.

Hawkins joined eight other students for the cultural exchange basketball trip in order to learn more about the Far Eastern culture, while sharing the United States’ culture.

“Not everyone is blessed with the little things that we have,” Hawkins said. “Some examples of that are clean water, clothes, food and shelter which were the biggest lessons I learned away from the court on this trip.

“My favorite part of the trip was being able to be around my high school teammate, Kenjah Bosley, again. He was a big part of why I went for a second time. On the court I learned that when I play with confidence, I’m a different player.”

Hawkins once again put together a productive performance on the court, as he did two years ago during his first journey. This time around he averaged 8.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.6 steals per game. He topped double-figure scoring twice, including a 15-point performance that was highlighted by four made 3-pointers. He also had an 11-point, seven-assist outing.

The 2016 Reach USA trip featured games against opponents from China and Lithuania. Other students who joined Hawkins on the trip hailed from Duquesne, Kentucky Wesleyan, Southern Mississippi, Southern University, Troy, Virginia Intermont and Western Kentucky. 

Hawkins has played in 83 games with nine starts in his three-year career with the Wildcats. He has scored more than 100 points and hauled in more than 60 rebounds. He enjoyed a memorable performance as a junior in helping UK knock off rival Louisville in December. Hawkins scored a career-high 13 points, which included a 3-for-4 performance from behind the arc.