NEWSSTAND (6/19): Lots of basketball, recruiting

Justin Rowland, Publisher
Cats Illustrated

The Monday morning CatsIllustrated.com Newsstand is heavy on basketball reading today.

Bam Adebayo impresses in Charlotte, Malik Monk is profile, the draft's top five isn't all that much a mystery and John Calipari begins work with USA's U19's in Colorado.

Also, basketball recruiting (emphasis on Immanuel Quickley) from the NBPA Top 100.

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STANDING OUT

Three-point shooting range isn’t required of NBA centers, but in these days when spacing and versatility are at premium, it can only help Edrice “Bam” Adebayo.

Adebayo, who played his final high school season in High Point before entering Kentucky, was one of six draft candidates at a Charlotte Hornets workout Sunday. At the end of each pre-draft workout, the Hornets have all players take five NBA 3-pointers from each of five semi-circle spots.

Adebayo, who missed his only 3-pointer in his single college season, swished 13 of 25 attempts in that drill. Granted, Adebayo was shooting unguarded, but that accuracy didn’t surprise him.

LINK: Here's how Kentucky's Bam Adebayo stood out at Sunday's workout with the Charlotte Hornets

FOREGONE CONCLUSION

The consensus from many NBA executives is that the players who’ll be taken with the top five picks in Thursday’s NBA draft are a foregone conclusion.

It’s the order in which these one-and-done collegiate players will be selected that remains open for debate.

Except that all the executives, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the draft, agree that the Lakers will use their second pick in the draft on UCLA’s Lonzo Ball.

LINK: The top five picks in the NBA Draft are already a certainty

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MONK INTERVIEW

Here's a video featuring Malik Monk from NBA.com in advance of the upcoming draft.

LINK: Malik Monk pre-draft video

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FACEOFF: FOX VS SMITH

Fox has been projected as high as two to the Lakers in some mock drafts, with a perceived floor of five to the Kings. Meanwhile, Smith has been projected as high as five to the Kings, with a floor of going at nine to the Mavericks.While Fox is projected to go higher in the draft, it may not be warranted. Fox may have had a more successful college career at Kentucky, but Smith played in a much more difficult situation at North Carolina State.

LINK: Faceoff: De'Aaron Fox vs Dennis Smith

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BASKETBALL RECRUITING PREDICTIONS

One of the biggest talkers in the camp, Quickley is not going to back down from a soul. The 6-foot-4 lead guard has thrown his name heavily into the mix as to who the best point guard prospect is in the 2018 class. On top of it all, Quickley has asserted himself into the conversation as to who the most competitive is, which equates to a dynamic playmaker in the backcourt.

LINK: NBPA TOP 100: Updates, predictions on top prospects

SELFLESS PLAYER

As PJ Washington gets set to try out for the USA under 19 team that Kentucky’s John Calipari will coach, I thought it might be interesting to share some insights from Washington’s younger brother, Spencer, on the Kentucky freshman.

The two played together at Findlay Prep (Nev.) on the team coached by their father, Paul Washington.

Spencer said it was “awesome” playing with his brother, a McDonald’s All-American.

“He really finds people. You think players at that level are selfish, but not him. He averaged six or seven assists per game, which is crazy for a dude his size,” Spencer said. “He is almost like a point forward. He finds you. He rebounds. He scores. He can do all that. He plays defense, too. Blocks shots. He’s an all-around player. He’s amazing.

LINK: Brother says P.J. Washington has always been a selfless player

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TOP TEN

Louisville (Ky.) Trinity four-star defensive end Stephen Herron cut his list to 10 schools on Sunday afternoon. Kentucky is still in the mix. Herron, one of the nation's top defensive end prospects in the 2019 class, has visited UK several times in the past.

LINK: UK makes top 10 for four-star defensive end Stephen Herron Jr.

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FEELING GOOD

From the class of 2018, there weren't a lot of major Kentucky targets on hand. Five-star combo guard Quentin Grimes played for a day or so and five-star big man Nazreon Reid had some flashes. But the reason we think the Wildcats should be feeling good about camp is because of five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley.

LINK: NBPA Top 100: Four programs that should feel good

READY FOR A CHALLENGE

For most of his first training camp session at the Team USA Basketball facility here Sunday night, John Calipari was relegated to the role of spectator.

UK’s coach stood between courts, wearing his new navy blue Team USA polo, and watched as more than two dozen of the top young basketball players in the country ran three-man transition drills to kick off his U19 training camp.

Calipari then took a seat on the sideline — his Team USA assistants, Tad Boyle of Colorado and Danny Manning of Wake Forest, on either side of him — and watched, clipboard in hand, as the players ran through individual drills and scrimmaged for nearly two hours.

LINK: Calipari right at home, ready for ‘challenge’ after his first USA Basketball practice

The future stars of basketball are in Colorado Springs trying to earn the right to wear U.S.A. across their chest.

The U.S. under-19 men's basketball team, coached by Kentucky's John Calipari, are having tryouts this week to determine the 12 members of this year's team. The list of talent that has been a part of this squad in year's past is phenomenal.

LINK: John Calipari tries to pick, mold U.S. U19 team

There were three interesting, actual things I remember about Hamidou Diallo on a basketball court during last season. Generally, we marveled about his savvy move to enroll early, discussed whether he should play in games and waited until the final hour to learn he would not leave for the NBA draft.

Specifically, there were three things I remember...

LINK: Plenty to check at John Calipari's Team USA training camp

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GALLERY

Exclusive Rivals.com images featuring new four-star defensive back commitment Keontra Smith, who pledged to the Cats just days after camping in Lexington.

LINK: Photo gallery of new Kentucky commitment Keontra Smith

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