Rapper Drake to coach at Kentucky NBA Alumni Game


There were mixed reactions earlier this summer when rapper Drake shared a photo of his customized Kentucky championship ring via Instagram.

Some called coach John Calipari a marketing genius, willing to give Drake a ring while knowing he would flaunt it. Make Kentucky “cool” to recruits, as if it weren’t already.

Others panned the move, questioning why Drake, a self-professed “natural fan,” should get a championship ring when there are tens of thousands on gameday at Rupp Arena with more Kentucky spirit than he.

Regardless, he’s back in news for the Kentucky program, this time as a guest coach during the Kentucky NBA Alumni Game, John Calipari tweeted this week.

The game is to take place Sept. 15.

Reportedly on the list of participants are some of Calipari’s former players, including John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, as well as long-time NBA forward Tayshaun Prince and Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.

The game will also feature members of Kentucky’s 1996 national championship team, including Antoine Walker, Derek Anderson, Walter McCarty, and Wayne Turner.

For the priciest seats, you’ll have to fork over $100, but you can get in the door for $20 and can sit on the lower level for $40.

Proceeds from the game will be donated to charity.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, CBSSports.com reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.