SEC, Kentucky Dwarf Other Leagues, Schools in NBA Prospects

TownsJonathan Givony and his colleagues at DraftExpress.com are busily cranking out videos and scouting reports on prospects for the 2015 NBA Draft.

As we look ahead to the upcoming college basketball season, and to next June’s draft, a couple of things stand out.

First, Kentucky, as we all know, is just loaded.

Givony produced videos on 10 SEC players “considered serious first-round prospects in our view,” and seven of them are from Kentucky: Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee.

The three other SEC players?

Florida’s Chris Walker, Arkansas’ Bobby Portis and LSU’s Jarell Martin. 

“It says more about the overall strength of Kentucky,” Givony told SNY.tv. “We did videos on 10 guys but seven of them are on Kentucky.” To read more of this story, click here

Brown, Simmons, Stone, Diallo, Newman Lead 2016 Mock Draft; Briscoe No. 7

LR- Jaylen Brown - Adidas Gauntlet Indy (Day 1)DraftExpress.com has a new 2016 Mock Draft out and it looks like a Who’s Who of elite players in the high school class of 2015.

The top five players are Jaylen Brown, Ben Simmons, Diamond Stone, Cheick Diallo and Malik Newman.

The 6-foot-6 Brown out of Marietta (GA) Wheeler is the No. 1-ranked player in the Class of 2015, according to scout.com.

Of the players in the Top 10 on DraftExpress, only Simmons (LSU) is committed to college.

Kentucky remains involved with numerous players in the Top 10, including Brown, Diallo, Newman, No. 6 Ivan Rabb, No. 7 Isaiah Briscoe, No. 8 Brandon Ingram and No. 9 Henry Ellenson. The Wildcats were slated to have home visits Tuesday with both Brown and Newman.

As first reported Monday by SNY.tv, Kentucky coach John Calipari will have an in-home with the 6-foot-3 Briscoe on Sept. 18 after re-entering his recruitment.

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Cavaliers Introduce Andrew Wiggins as Mitchell; Embiid Could Miss Entire 2014-15 Season

You have to wonder if it is a bad omen for the Cleveland Cavaliers going forward that broadcaster Fred MacLeod introduced No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins as Mitchell during Friday’s introductory press conference.

MacLeod tried to cover his tracks by saying, “I go back….Mitchell, you wanna make a comeback?”

Mitchell Wiggins, Andrew’s father, hasn’t played in the NBA since 1992 when he was with the Sixers.

Speaking of the Sixers, their top pick and Wiggins’s former Kansas, Joel Embiid, may miss the entire 2014-15 season while recovering from a stress fracture in his right foot. To read more of this story, click here

Kyle Anderson Goes to Reigning NBA Champion Spurs

Prairie View A&M at UCLANEW YORK — There may not be a more perfect fit for Kyle Anderson than landing with the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.

The 6-foot-9 Fairview, N.J., native was chosen at No. 30 and should flourish in the structured system and winning culture of the Spurs, who just won their fifth NBA title since 1999 over LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

“He’s unique because there just aren’t a lot of guys that size who can play the point,” UCLA coach Steve Alford told SNY.tv this past season.

Anderson was a near-triple-double last season at UCLA, averaging 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists. To read more of this story, click here

LeBron Gets His Wish as Heat Acquire Shabazz Napier

NapierBy JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK – LeBron James got his wish on Thursday evening and it had nothing to do with his looming free agency.

After Shabazz Napier led Connecticut to a second national championship in four seasons on April 7 — setting himself apart from Kemba Walker and previous UConn guards with his second championship — James tweeted ‘No way u take another PG in the lottery before Napier.’

If James re-signs with the Heat this summer, the two will be teammates. To read more of this story, click here

Kentucky’s Randle, Young Headed to Storied Franchises in L.A. and Boston (UPDATED)

RandleNEW YORK — The Kentucky duo of Julius Randle and James Young were drafted by two of the most storied franchises in the NBA.

The 6-foot-9 Randle was chosen by the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 7 overall pick in the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center, while the 6-7 Young went at No. 17 to the Boston Celtics.

“Lakers, that’s about championships. That’s what I want to bring,” said the 250-pound Randle.

He added: “I couldn’t be more blessed and fortunate to go to an organization like Los Angeles,”

“To be able to learn from those guys. They’ve had so much history and so much success in the past, and to be able to go to an organization like that, who’s had amazing players in the past and learn from a guy like Kobe — I mean, I couldn’t be more happy. This is truly a blessing for me.” To read more of this story, click here

Bill Self Calls Embiid-Olajuwon Comparisons ‘Very Fair’

Embiid2By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK – Comparing Joel Embiid to Hakeem Olajuwon has been all the rage this year, and Kansas head coach Bill Self agrees with the notion.

“They’re very fair, I said that all along and people thought I was nuts,” Self told a handful of reporters at Barclays Center on Thursday evening after the Philadelphia 76ers drafted the injured Jayhawks 7-footer third overall. “You watch him and watch his footwork and how effortlessly he moves, I think they’re very fair comparisons.”

Owners of seven draft picks entering the night,, the Sixers kept that No. 3 pick following an afternoon of rumored activity. The biggest rumor had them shopping the third, 10th and 32nd overall picks to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the No. 1 pick. In the end, it all turned out to be conjecture.

To read more of this story, click here