Drake joins layup line at Kentucky’s ‘Big Blue Madness’ (VIDEO)

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For the last few years Drake has been a fixture at Kentucky basketball events, with his relationship with head coach John Calipari being one of the reasons as to why. Of course he was at the program’s Big Blue Madness event Friday evening, donning a warmup suit (just like the one the players wore) and being introduced to the crowd along with the players and Calipari.

This also led to Drake taking part in the team layup lines before the players got going with some 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 action in front of a sold-out Rupp Arena. And as one would expect, things didn’t go so well for Drake as his first shot attempt failed to draw iron.

To be fair, following up an impressive dunk is tough. And if you can read lips, you can tell that’s exactly how Drake felt prior to his shot attempt. Drake’s appearance can fire up the students in attendance, and also the current players he’s likely already established relationships with. But it can also have an impact on recruits, and some of the nation’s best players are visiting Kentucky this weekend.

Those players are 2015 prospects Jaylen Brown, Carlton Bragg, Brandon Ingram, Charles Matthews (Kentucky commit), Malik Newman and Stephen Zimmerman, and 2016 guard Tyus Battle.

Two players who didn’t make the trip to Lexington: 2015 center Caleb Swanigan and 2016 forward Jayson Tatum. Here are their tweets regarding Drake’s appearance at Big Blue Madness:

Vine credit: TheSEShepherd

h/t The Sporting News

Drake celebrates with Kentucky in locker room after Final Four win (VIDEO)

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Recording artist Drake has been a visible Kentucky fan. Maybe he’s not as loyal of a Kentucky fan like actress Ashley Judd is, but he considers himself one.

He’s has developed a strong bond with Kentucky head coach John Calipari over the years. Coach Cal even attended Drake’s high school graduation. That relationship has apparently earned him all-access around UK, such as entering the locker room moments after a thrilling 74-73 win over Wisconsin in the Final Four on Saturday night.

Drake says John Calipari attended his high school graduation, gave him a Kentucky jersey (VIDEO)

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Drake was on the ESPN First Take set today to talk about his involvement in sports, such as his friendship with LeBron James, and his weekend in Toronto with Johnny Manziel.

The musician’s relationship with John Calipari in the Kentucky Wildcats has been well-documented. Drake has made the trip to Lexington many times, and there are numerous photos of the two together. But on Tuesday, he mentioned just how close the two are. Drake recently graduated high school, and Coach Cal — as if he was a blue chip prospect — hopped on a plane and was in attendance for his graduation in Canada.

“He’s a great man,” Drake told Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith.

He also mentioned Calipari presented him with a Kentucky jersey, though as Drew Franklin from Kentucky Sports Radio points out later in the day Drake missed three open net goals while still on the ESPN campus, so offering him a spot on the team won’t be necessary.

Former Drake forward Joey King returning home to Minnesota

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Rick Pitino Jr. received some good news recently learning that Joey King will return home to play for Minnesota. King, a native of Eagan, MN, averaged 6.9 points as a freshman at Drake earning All-Freshmen honors in the Missouri Valley.

In early May, King announced his decision to leave the Drake program. Ryan James–a writer for GopherIllustrated.com–explained King’s reasoning for transferring back on May 10th:

Per Evan Daniels, who broke the news on Sunday afternoon, King will likely receive a waiver to play immediately:

On the court, King has the ability to stretch a defense standing at 6-foot-9, but spending a fair amount of time beyond the arc. King shot 34.7% from the perimeter last season (33-95), and actually took more three-pointers than twos.

While it’s always nice to have a big forward who can step out and hit a three, it would behoove King to continue to develop his inside game as the Golden Gophers will have to replace two big bodies on the inside: Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams.

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

Drake holds off second-half run to upset Doug McDermott, No. 17 Creighton

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In line with Wednesday’s theme of Top 25 upsets, unranked Drake used 20 points from guard Richard Carter to beat No. 17 Creighton, 74-69, at Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

Trailing by five with 0:33 remaining, Creighton senior Grant Gibbs drove to the basket and absorbed a foul, finishing the layup and hitting the ensuing free throw to pull Creighton within two points, 71-69.

On the Drake in-bound, the ball was stolen by sophomore Will Artino, who called a timeout. Gibbs couldn’t finish a layup with 9.2 seconds to play and Creighton fouled.

Carter hit one of two free throws to put Drake up by three, 72-69. Creighton brought the ball up for a final possession, looking to tie, but a pass to the left wing was stolen by Ben Simons to seal the game.

Creighton trailed by 17 points at halftime, but used an 18-4 second-half run to pull within two points, 51-49, with 12:24 to play. It was the ultimate “bend but don’t break” game for Drake.

Creighton star Doug McDermott finished with 21 points and six rebounds while battling flu-like symptoms. Reports were that he vomited at halftime. Likely because of that, he struggled with just four points in the second half, despite the Bluejays’ comeback.

For Creighton, the Bluejays have lost two in a row, including this one to previously 8-10 Drake.

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

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_