Kentucky’s four new McDonald’s All-Americans have arrived on campus as Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyler Ulis all took to social media to announce their arrivals in Lexington, according to Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal.
All four class of 2014 freshmen will begin classes and workouts with the team this summer and it means head coach John Calipari can get his new pieces acclimated a little more quickly for next season’s potential championship run.
As Jones notes in the story, the Harrison twins and James Young didn’t arrive until August of last summer and it might have affected their timing and development slightly in the beginning of the season.
Now, Calipari can get Ulis and Booker adjusted to running with the second team and being valuable backups in the backcourt this season while Lyles and Towns can work with the talented group of Kentucky big men that will be without Willie Cauley-Stein this summer as he recovers from offseason surgery on his ankle.
The freshmen will also get more time with the team before Kentucky’s international exhibition trip in August, which looks like it will be in the Bahamas. The trip will give the freshmen minutes in exhibition games this summer and also allows for additional practice time leading up to the trip.
The narrative won’t be the same surrounding this year’s Kentucky freshmen and all four members of the 2014 class showing up on campus early points to how low key this group of players is off-the-floor compared to the 2013 class.
While the 2013 class was littered with dominant, type-A personalities and ball-dominant players who were always involved in the one-and-done talk, this 2014 group of freshmen shouldn’t have nearly as much hype or difficulty sharing the ball.
LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:
This is peak AAU basketball.
It will never be more AAU than that.
In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.
The crowd was insane for the game:
According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.
Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:
At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:
(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)
The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.
South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.
Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.
The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:
A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:
That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.
But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?