NEWSSTAND (7/17): Cats offer another point guard, more recruiting news

Justin Rowland, Publisher
Cats Illustrated

More football recruiting updates, Kentucky offers another 2018 point guard and Demarcus Cousins played a role in landing Rajon Rondo in New Orleans.

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CATS-CARDS RECRUITING BATTLE

The recruiting process seems to be winding down for four-star cornerback Chandler Jones.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound defensive back from Miami (Fla.) Central visited Kentucky and Louisville late last week and he's going to be ready to announce a decision soon.

Jones is ranked the No. 29 corner in the nation according to Rivals.com, and he looked the part at Kentucky's Friday Night Lights camp late last week, where CatsIllustrated.comscouted him and noted he seemed like one of the top performers there.

He was in Lexington for at least parts of two days before heading off to Louisville, where he visited on Saturday.

LINK: Fresh off trips to UK and UofL, four-star DB will announce choice soon

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UK OFFERS GARLAND

Kentucky head coach John Calipari extended an offer to five-star point guard Darius Garland on Sunday. The Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood guard is ranked as the No. 12 player in the country on Rivals.com.

Calipari watched Garland at Peach Jam over the weekend and decided to offer the 6-foot, 150-pound point guard. Garland averaging 16.8 points and 4.8 assists through 19 games on the EYBL circuit for Bradley Beal Elite.

UK is considered the leader for five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley, but the offer to Garland shows Calipari is still interested in other guards in the class.

LINK: UK offers five-star point guard Darius Garland

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QB TALKS CAMP, OFFER

On Friday night in Lexington, at the Cats' Friday Night Lights camp, the program hosted one of its more impressive groups of quarterbacks from any such camp event in recent memory.

One of the standouts to seemingly everyone watching was Roman Purcell, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect from Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral. Though Purcell is only a Class of 2020 prospect, the same class as Lexington Catholic's Beau Allen (who was also in attendance and working out), he played loose and showed both raw tools and rare polish.

Even before the camp broke into position group work a loose Purcell was rolling out on his own, chucking bombs from midfield effortlessly into the back corners of the endzone. It was an impressive display of arm strength that went on throughout the rest of the camp.

After position work and 1-on-1's, where Purcell also performed well, he met with Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops with Eddie Gran nearby.

Stoops extended an offer during that conversation.

LINK: Quarterback talks about camp experience and new Kentucky offer

JERRY BIRD PASSES

Jerry Bird, a former Kentucky men’s basketball player and member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame, died Sunday morning of natural causes in his hometown of Corbin, Kentucky. He was 83.

Bird, a Kentucky men’s basketball player from 1954-56, helped Kentucky to two Southeastern Conference titles in 1954 and 1955 and was a member of the 1954 team that went 25-0 and was crowned national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation.

LINK: Former UK Men’s Basketball Player Jerry Bird Dead at 83

MITCHELL PRAISES FRESHMAN

One of coach Matthew Mitchell’s newcomers this year will be 6-3 Tatyana Wyatt of Columbus, Ga. She was ranked 63rd in the recruiting class and was also a volleyball standout who played on a state championship team.

She averaged 22.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.6 blocks per game as a senior. She finished her prep career with 1,992 points and 762 rebounds. She also hit a 124 3-pointers.

“She has got tremendous talent and skills at 6-3. She was a fantastic outside hitter on their volleyball team which gives you a little idea of her explosive jumping and leaping,” Mitchell said.

LINK: Matthew Mitchell not shy about praising talented freshman Tatyana Wyatt

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ASSIST TO COUSINS

Although Cousins has always been seen as a hothead in the media, NBA players can probably tell his basketball IQ is through the roof, and are willing to work with his talents. Hopefully, Rondo will be that key piece needed to get Cousins and Anthony Davis going for a deep postseason run.

LINK: DeMarcus Cousins played tangential role in adding of Rajon Rondo to Pelicans

Playing alongside DeMarcus Cousins, Jrue Holiday, and Rajon Rondo, New Orleans should ask Anthony Davis to do far less of the lifting on his own. The addition of Chris Finch as well should alleviate some of AD’s burden as more inventive methods of operation are implemented. Crashing the offensive glass more should be on the table, adding more easy baskets for a team that may at times struggle to space the floor.

Looking at Davis and Cousins, one would assume that Davis would be the one to float around the perimeter to give way to Boogie in the paint. Despite appearances, it is DeMarcus Cousins who is far more suited to playing around the elbows thanks to his superior passing ability and long range shooting acumen. I hope for less isolation post ups and more rim running and baseline prowling from AD in the upcoming year. Toss in a license to crash the glass and Davis should discover more attempts within the restricted area than he’s seen thus far under Alvin Gentry.

LINK: Anthony Davis will carry less of the offense, be more efficient thanks to DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo

BEST POINT GUARD?

“We got the best one, without a doubt,” said March, when talking to the Sacramento Bee. “First of all, we got the guy we wanted and I think he wanted us, I think he’s made that clear and we got the best one and we’re very excited. With that said, there’s some talented young men, it was incredible watching these guys.”

LINK: Sacramento Kings believe De’Aaron Fox is best point guard in the draft class

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