2020 NBA Mock Draft 5-13-20

NBA-mock-Draft-sacramento kings

We don’t have any actual real sports, anywhere, for the foreseable future, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While playing games again, especially with fans present, is most likely months away, the respective drafts can still go ahead as planned, albeit in a very modified version.

As of now, the NBA Draft is still scheduled for June 25, but it’s hard to believe that will go on as planned given how the lottery, originally slated for May 19, is postponed. It appears the league does not want to hold the lottery until they can try and complete the season, and Lord only knows when that might be able to happen.

[Read more…]

Kentucky Wildcats: Detailing Most Comprehensive Roster Overhaul Yet

There is always a ton of turnover, every offseason, in Lexington. The Kentucky Wildcats college basketball program, the bluest of the blue bloods, sees its fair share of one-and-done and two-and-toodle loo every year. This year, you have a three-and-flee in there as well.

Factor in the transfer market, which seems to be getting busier by the season, and there’s a record (tied) amount of departures from UKMBB this spring. This past season, shortened by the covid-19 pandemic, saw eight players out the door, tying the 2011-12 and 2016-17 for the most all-time. You also have some incomings to discuss and analyze. Let’s take a look at who is gone and who is coming in to replace them.

[Read more…]

Mavericks, Illini Legend Derek Harper on Friendship with Mark Cuban

The Wikipedia page of Derek Harper describes him as one of the best players never to have made an All-Star Game. After being named to the University of Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame this week, the legendary former Illini did a teleconference call with the media.

He was asked what he believes his legacy will be, and he responded by saying he really doesn’t think too much about it, but he also offered this very substantive answer: “I think people will remember Derek Harper because he left it on the floor every single night.”

“Played with a passion, tough-minded…I gave the game every breath I had. To me, that’s enough.”

[Read more…]

Illini Basketball: Five Players Deserving of UI Athletics Hall of Fame

kiwane-garris

The Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame Class for 2020 was announced earlier today and it includes athletes and coaches from nine different sports. It’s only the fourth such class in U of I sports history and when you look at the full class, aggregated with the previous three, you still have some names missing.

(And we covered who should be next to get in, from football, in this post). What’s the most glaring omission from Illini basketball (on the men’s side)? Well, we’d argue any of the five below on this list…

[Read more…]

Illini Center Kofi Cockburn Announces Entry into NBA Draft

Illinois Fighting Illini Center Kofi Cockburn announced, just minutes ago via his Instagram page, his early entry into the 2020 NBA Draft. It is unclear, given the text of the message he posted, whether he is just testing the waters or not.

The message says nothing about hiring an agent, which is the determining factor for whether or not he can return to school for his sophomore season. If he has representation, then his college career is over. If not, then he can come back to Champaign next year, and even go through this process after his next two seasons, if he so desires. See his IG posting below:

[Read more…]

New Illini Athletics HOF Class Announced; Still No Quarterbacks

Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke, 1995 Butkus Award winner Kevin Hardy and long-time NBA star Derek Harper headline 15-person Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame Class for 2020. The class, which was announced just minutes ago, includes athletes and coaches from nine different sports and covers athletes from 1901 through 2013.

It’s only the fourth such class in Illini athletics history and when you look at the full class, aggregated with the previous three, you have plenty of snubs to point out. (And we’ll do that in another post shortly). What’s most glaring here? Still not a single quarterback in the hall yet.

[Read more…]

Manchester City Transfer Talk: Ferran Torres, Houssem Aouar

MANCHESTER CITY

Manchester City, along with the rest of global football, are off indefinitely, so instead we’ll have to do some transfer talk. If there’s one thing that can survive a global pandemic, it’s transfer rumors. We start with 21-year-old starlet Houssem Aouar, who is wanted by several big, rich clubs according to The Sun.

The list includes Manchester City, but also Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Juventus.

[Read more…]

Stellar Kentucky Wildcats Guard Duo in NBA Draft to Stay

Within the past 24 hours we’ve seen the top two players, arguably, on the University of Kentucky declare for the NBA Draft in guards Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans. Both backcourt stars are not testing the waters, they’re in the draft to stay.

And you got to like their chances of not just being drafted, but also making it big in the league given the UK track record in this arena. If you look at the basketball betting odds, chances are that you’ll see the favored team with a squad that contains at least a couple former UK Wildcats. In fact, players who were coached by John Calipari in college have earned $2.2 billion in NBA contracts.

[Read more…]

Dee Brown Retains Asst. Position Under New Coach at UIC

dee brown

Despite the change in leadership at UIC, Illinois Fighting Illini legend Dee Brown will remain on board as an assistant coach. Luke Yaklich, announced last week as the Flames new head coach, has formalized his staff, and it includes Brown, Will Veasley and Brock Erickson.

Yaklich, a former Texas and Michigan assistant, takes over for Steve McClain, who was dismissed on March 13, after leading the program for five seasons.

[Read more…]

Kentucky Wildcats Transfer Johnny Juzang Down to Six Schools

Kentucky Wildcats wing Johnny Juzang announced on Saturday that he entered the NCAA transfer portal. Last night he tweeted that he’s down to six choices when it comes to his next destination: Notre Dame, UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, Villanova and Texas Tech.

No matter where he ends up, he’ll be a big difference maker. Let’s take a closer look at what Juzang, ranked the No. 34 prospect by the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, brings to the table and how he can help his next team.

[Read more…]

Giorgi Bezhanishvili Has the Best Advice to Get Through Pandemic

Giorgi Bezhanishvili and the #21 ranked Illnois Fighting Illini were on the verge of making the program’s first NCAA Tournament since 2013 when the postseason got canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The sophomore forward from Rustavi, Georgia realizes that the world is facing problems that are much bigger than basketball, but it still hurts to think about what they missed out on.

[Read more…]

Brad Underwood Provides Updates on Illini Offseason

brad underwood

Illinois Fighting Illini coach Brad Underwood met the media via teleconference today, in an extensive session that covered a wide range of topics. Illinois finished the season ranked #21 in the nation, and they were projected to be about a #6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

They stood a great chance of progressing to the second weekend of March Madness. “We assumed we’d be making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament so there wouldn’t be any spring break,” Underwood said today of the team’s plans in early March, and how they gelled with the school’s academic calendar.

[Read more…]