NEWSSTAND (6/30): Denying interest; Top football stories; Barnhart thriving

Justin Rowland, Publisher
Cats Illustrated

The Calipari-Knicks rumors were bound to dominate the news cycle, so that leads off the Newsstand.

De'Aaron Fox is leading a cultural revolution in Sacramento. first reported yesterday that Lynn Bowden will be at Kentucky in July and hurdles have been cleared. More on his arrival and Jarren Williams' performance thus far, per sources, in Oregon.

That and Kentucky's athletics department is thriving under Mitch Barnhart.




Kentucky head coach John Calipari refuted a report from ESPN that he had reached out to the New York Knicks regarding their president of operations role. ESPN's Ian Begley reported that the Knicks weren't interested in Calipari at the moment.

"NO ONE has contacted the Knicks on my behalf," Calipari tweeted. "I am the coach at Kentucky and will be for a long time!"

Calipari, who is in Egypt coaching the USA U19 basketball team, also tweeted that he can't get away from rumors, even when he's on the other side of the world.

"Even in Egypt I can’t escape the rumors. Are you kidding me?! It’s 5 in the morning here and this is what I wake up to?"

LINK: Calipari: "NO ONE has contacted the Knicks on my behalf"

VIDEO: Calipari surprised to be named in Knicks search


Right now it's a hypothetical exercise that doesn't matter much at all. But the Calipari-Knicks uproar of the last 12-24 hours prompts a question that could be interesting to think about: If Calipari were to leave Kentucky, who would the Cats hire?

LINK: Who would Kentucky hire if Calipari were to leave?



“I thought it was time to start over.”

That line from Vlade Divac’s interview with the Sacramento Bee’s Ailene Voisin provides a nice summation of his reasoning behind the DeMarcus Cousins trade.

After years of undergoing the scrutiny that came with Cousins’ presence in the organization, Divac decided to cut ties with the only semblance of a franchise cornerstone that the team has had in years.

LINK: De'Aaron Fox is leading a Kings' cultural revolution


3-2-1: QUESTIONS, ANSWERS, PREDICTION reported earlier in the day that prize 2017 athlete signee Lynn Bowden has attained all of his necessary academic marks and will be enrolling at Kentucky before the start of the 2017 season. While we don't have an exact date pegged for his arrival, we've heard that July is when he'll make it to Lexington. There might still be some who doubt until they see that he's on campus and suiting up in the preseason, but our confidence on this is high.

What does it mean for Kentucky? It's huge on a number of levels. As we've said, the departure of Boom Williams and Jeff Badet leaves, on paper, a bit of an explosiveness void for next year's team. It's not that other players can't be big play threats, but Badet and Boom were two of Kentucky's faster players if measured by game speed.

LINK: Bowden's impact at UK, Jarren Williams at The Opening, South Florida recruiting



Kentucky will host four-star guard Marcedus Leech for an unofficial visit on Friday.

Preps Hoops Missouri was the first with the news but sources close to Kentucky have confirmed to Cats Illustrated that the No. 27 player in the class of 2019 will check out UK's campus.

Leech also confirmed the visit on social media.

LINK: 2019 basketball standout will visit UK today



The first game in Kroger Field will be between two in-state schools. UK hosts Eastern Kentucky University on Sept. 9 in the Wildcats’ second game of the season. These two schools last played in 2015. UK scored twice in the final 7:49 of the game after trailing 27-13 in the fourth quarter.

LINK: Previewing UK's opponents: Eastern Kentucky Colonels



Four-star Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity International linebacker Eriq Gilyard released his shortened 'short list' on Twitter this week. Kentucky's still in play.

The 5-foot-11, 218-pound prospect plays a position of need for Kentucky.

LINK: Kentucky makes four-star linebacker's shortened list



If there were any doubts as to the direction of Kentucky's athletics department under Mitch Barnhart's leadership the final standings of the Learfield Director's Cup should put those to rest.

Kentucky finished 10th in the prestigious competition that tracks the performance of all collegiate sports.

LINK: Kentucky finishes 10th in all-sports competition

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