NEWSSTAND (6/20): Mock drafts; UK football set up well; in-state recruiting

Justin Rowland, Publisher
Cats Illustrated

It's Tuesday morning and that means it's time for the Newsstand. Well, that's every morning.

As always, there's plenty of reading to keep you unproductive at work or to ensure that your day is jump started with the Kentucky news you need.




If you find yourself constantly refreshing the football forum or the House of Blue at, waiting for word of the latest commitment or frequently discussing what just happened at camp or on a player's visit, you've got a bad case of football fever.

There have always been football-obsessed Kentucky fans who throw inhibitions into the wind and believe that anything's possible, but for most of modern history it probably would have been fair to call those types (perhaps you?) naive or even flat-out homers.

You may still be naive on certain points, and you're probably no less a homer, but at this moment in history your optimism is more justified than ever. That's because things haven't looked this good for Kentucky football, in almost every respect, since the late 1970's. And when you consider the inglorious end that mini-run in Lexington came to, this might be the most legitimately promising era for the Cats since the days of Bear Bryant.

LINK: Things haven't looked this good for Kentucky football since the Bear Bryant era



DeAndre Square doesn't go on the record often. He doesn't seem to be the kind of recruit who needs a lot of attention.

At Kentucky's camp two weekends ago it was clear he was on a mission. His trip to Lexington was a chance for his mother to check out the school, and it was a chance for him to work out with then men we now know will be his future coaches.

Nonetheless, he took some time to answer questions about his decision, and about his future, when touched base with him this week.

LINK: DeAndre Square answers questions about his decision and his future at UK


Josh Helmholdt breaks down linebacker DeAndre Square and his commitment to the Wildcats.

LINK: Video breakdown of DeAndre Square to Kentucky from Josh Helmholdt



With the NBPA Top 100 Camp last week and the start of the USA U19 tryouts on Sunday, there's plenty to discuss on the Monday Insider Notes.

John Calipari gets his first chance to coach Kevin Knox and P.J. Washington, while mixing in Hamidou Diallo. He's also getting an inside track at building a bond with 2018 recruits Immanuel Quickley, Louis King, Cameron Reddish, Bol Bol, Romeo Langford, and Jordan Brown.

LINK: USA U19 and 2018 updates


SCOUTING SMITH continues to provide coverage of Keontra Smith's commitment to Kentucky, here with a scouting report feature on the four-star from Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna.

The 5-foot-11 Class of 2019 defensive back was a star at one of Kentucky's recent run of camps, and was there to watch.

LINK: Scouting Report: What you need to know about four-star 2019 commit Keontra Smith



With the dog days of summer on the horizon, there isn't much happening in the realm of pro and college sports, outside of baseball. We are now in the 7-on-7 season of high school football and this is where the top prospects start committing, occupying valuable scholarship opportunities, and causing schools to scratch prospects from their boards and vice versa.

A handful of Kentucky kids have made their commitments this summer and others are on the verge.

LINK: Kentucky Preps has all the in-state football recruiting news you need



College football guru Phil Steele publishes the most extensive preview of the sport's season every year, at least in print, and his magazine is out in hard copy form.

Here's a look at what he picks for the Cats.

LINK: Guru Phil Steele makes his picks: What does he say about Kentucky?


In advance of Thursday night’s NBA Draft, former Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox was on ESPN’s Mike and Mike on Monday morning.

Here’s the transcript...

LINK: De'Aaron Fox talked about the upcoming draft on Mike & Mike


The journey began in Lepanto, Ark., current population 1,853 (942 men, 911 women), estimated 2015 median income $24,920.

This was where Malik Monk cut his teeth playing ball, on the outdoor courts known locally as “The Woodz,” in the state where his half-brother, Marcus -- whom he idolized then and still does now -- played college football at the University of Arkansas on his way to a cup of coffee in the NFL before injuries detoured him to a basketball career abroad.

LINK: Malik Monk Q&A at


An eventful Sunday for USA Basketball began in the early afternoon at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as 27 of the country’s top 19-and-under men’s basketball athletes arrived for the first day of the 2017 USA U19 World Cup Team training camp.

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who is serving as the head coach of the USA U19 team, is assisted by University of Colorado coach Tad Boyle and Wake Forest University coach Danny Manning.

LINK: Calipari Is Getting 2017 USA U19 World Cup Team Ready



Well, our NBA mock draft roundup 4.0, was published just four days ago on June 15, but in that short time a big draft trade went down with the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers reportedly swapping picks Nos. 1 and 3. With that, many of the most popular mock drafts have updated their projections.

We’ve compiled eight popular mock drafts in our fifth mock draft roundup. It should be noted, the Sports Illustrated, College Basketball Talk and mock drafts only project the first round. The ESPN, DraftExpress, CBS Sports, and The Ringer mock drafts are full two-round mocks. Also, Chad Ford’s mock draft on ESPN requires Insider access.

LINK: NBA mock draft roundup 5.0


Of the 17 self-reported minor violations by Kentucky athletics, one stood out amongst the rest.

Brittany Wagner, the compassionate star of the Netflix documentary series "Last Chance U," was provided two tickets to UK’s 2016 season opener against Southern Mississippi while she still served as an athletics academic advisor at East Mississippi Community College.

LINK: Kentucky football reports violation with Last Chance U star



The 2017 NBA Draft is just a few days away. This year’s class has been lauded for the depth of potential star players at the top of the draft. Within that depth there are players that play the same position that lend themselves to debates about which is the better prospect. One of those has been a long running debate going back to their high school days, about who is the better big man prospect between Kentucky’s’ Bam Adebayo and Duke’s Harry Giles.

Harry Giles vs Bam Adebayo

Both of these big men prospects had showed flashes of what they could become during freshmen seasons. Giles didn’t match the projected impact on the Blue Devils due to knee issues. Adebayo and the Wildcats won another SEC title and made it all the way to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

LINK: Face Off: Bam Adebayo vs Harry Giles


“The pros would probably have to be all the players that have been in my position — talking about all the point guards that have come out of Kentucky — and been successful,” Quickley told SEC Country on Monday. “The cons? I don’t think there’s too many cons when you’re talking about Kentucky. It’s a really great program.”

LINK: Five-star guard Immanuel Quickley sees many pros, no downside to UK

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