Sir’Dominic Pointer Selected 53rd Overall by Cleveland Cavaliers

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at St. JohnBy JOSH NEWMAN

NEW YORK – Former St. John’s star Sir’Dominic Pointer saw his hard work culminate in the biggest moment of his basketball life Thursday night when the Cleveland Cavaliers made him the 53rd overall pick of the NBA Draft.

“It was just an unbelievable feeling, you can’t even describe it, it’s just humbling,” Pointer told via phone. “It’s just an amazing feeling.”

“We are pleased, but certainly not surprised that the Cavaliers organization recognizes Dom has the ability to add value to their team,” former St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin told “Dom’s skill, versatility, basketball intellect and relentless competitive spirit make him a unique asset.”

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Minnesota Selects Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns No. 1 in NBA Draft

CIYlWCkWsAAcINgNEW YORK — The inevitable became reality Thursday night when the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft at Barclays Center.

The 7-foot-Towns had long been projected as the No. 1 pick, and first reported on Monday that the Wolves had informed the Piscataway, N.J., native that they would pick him first.

Towns celebrated with Kentucky head coach John Calipari, agent Leon Rose and some 40 family and friends, including his parents, Karl and Jackie.

“For me, I’m just blessed to be in this opportunity to just show that a boy from Piscataway, New Jersey, can  [the] Dominican Republic can make it,” said Towns, whose locker will be next to Kevin Garnett’s in the Wolves’ locker room. “I’m blessed to be in this situation, to be in this seat talking to all of you. It just means the world that I’m going to be able to show kids around the world that with a little hard work, determination, a little bit of luck and some guidance, you can really make it far in this world.”

Point guard D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State went No. to the Lakers; center Jahlil Okafor was selected No. 3 by the Philadelphia 76ers; the Knicks took 7-foot-2 Latvian Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4; small forward Mario Hezonja of Croation; Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein went No. 6 to the Sacramento Kings.

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Willie Cauley-Stein Calls Reports About His Ankle ‘Politics’

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Wisconsin vs KentuckyNEW YORK — Former Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein called a report that concerns about his ankle had caused his NBA Draft stock to dip “politics” here on the eve of the Draft.

“Politics, people are going to put the stories out there but I don’t feel any pain,” Cauley-Stein said here at the Westin hotel in midtown Manhattan. “My game didn’t look hindered at all. I increased my vertical about five inches so I’m putting my chin on the rim so I don’t think anything’s wrong with it. A lot of it’s just talk.”

Asked why such a report might surface, he said, “Who knows? It’s a dirty business.” To read more of this story, click here


Minnesota Will Take Karl-Anthony Towns With No. 1 Pick: Source (UPDATED)

-08b08084d89d95efThe Minnesota Timberwolves have informed Karl-Anthony Towns that they will select him with the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, a source close to Towns told

“It’s done, he’s going to Minnesota,” the source said. “[Minnesota President and coach] Flip Saunders was big on Jahlil Okafor for a minute there and after Karl came in [on Saturday], he decided to work out for them. He only worked out for them and it’s a wrap. It’s a wrap. They just told him they’re going to take him No. 1.”

Towns later denied that he had received any promise from the Wolves.

“If I had a promise I would go start eating ice cream and getting fat,” Towns joked to The Associated Press on Monday evening. “There is absolutely no promise at all. Right now I’m just trying to see where I’ll be playing. I have no idea.”

If selected No. 1 as projected, Towns would join a young Minnesota roster that features the last two No. 1 overall picks in Canadians Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins.

As noted, Towns stands to make $5,703,600 in his first year, with a four-year deal worth $26,604,195. To read more of this story, click here


Andrew Harrison Laments on Final Four Loss, But Looking Towards NBA

Andrew HarrisonBy JOSH NEWMAN

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Former Kentucky star Andrew Harrison is three days away from learning his NBA Draft fate, but he would be lying if he said he didn’t think about what could have been with the Wildcats.

Harrison was one of seven draft-eligible Kentucky players to suffer a 71-64 loss to Wisconsin in the Final Four. That defeat ended the Wildcats’ perfect season as they finished 38-1, two wins shy of the first perfect 40-0 season in college basketball history.

“No matter how long I play in the NBA, hopefully it will be a long time, I’ll always think about what we could have done at Kentucky,” Harrison said after finishing up a workout for the Nets on Monday afternoon. “At the same time, you have to let go and try and get a championship at the next level and that would be so much better. I don’t use it as motivation because you have to let it go. It’s about the journey.

“It’s not like we played bad, but Wisconsin, they just beat us.”

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NBA Draft Invitees Announced

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Michigan State vs DukeBy JOSH NEWMAN

Below is the list of 19 prospects invited to attend the NBA Draft, released late Monday afternoon by the league.

Seventeen of the 19 players are projected to be selected in the top 20 picks according to the latest mock draft from DraftExpress.

  • Devin Booker (Kentucky)
  • Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky)
  • Sam Dekker (Wisconsin)
  • Jerian Grant (Notre Dame)
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona)
  • Stanley Johnson (Arizona)
  • Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin)
  • Kevon Looney (UCLA)
  • Trey Lyles (Kentucky)
  • Emmanuel Mudiay (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Jahlil Okafor (Duke)
  • Kelly Oubre, Jr. (Kansas)
  • Cameron Payne (Murray State)
  • Bobby Portis (Arkansas)
  • Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia)
  • D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State)
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky)
  • Myles Turner (Texas)
  • Justise Winslow (Duke)

Photo: USA Today Sports

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D’Angelo Russell Denies He Doesn’t Want to Play for Sixers

Feb 8, 2015; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Bishop Daniels (2) defends against Ohio State Buckeyes guard D'Angelo Russell (0) during second half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State Buckeyes guard D’Angelo Russell could be a perfect fit for the Sixers at the No. 3 pick: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

D’Angelo Russell denied a recent report in the Los Angeles Times that he didn’t want to play for the Philadelphia 76ers, who own the No. 3 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

“The workout [with the Sixers] was great,” Russell said on SportsCenter. “What guy wouldn’t want to play for any NBA team? I [saw] Fran Fraschilla Tweet 95 percent of the Tweets this week are just a misdirection, and starting with that one. I never would say anything like that. I know what I’ve come from and I know what I’ve been through and it would just be a blessing to play in the NBA.”

The latest mock draft from has the Sixers taking the 6-foot-5 Russell at No. 3 with the Knicks taking Latvian 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis at 4, while ESPN’s Chad Ford has the Sixers taking Porzingis and the Knicks selecting Russell.

Since the Sixers have both Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, if they select Porzingis the thinking is that they would have to trade one of their bigs. Embiid, meantime, could miss several months, if not the entire upcoming season, as he recovers from surgery on his right foot.

Immediately after the draft lottery, Russell praised the Sixers. To read more of this story, click here