Four Basketball Players Certain to Make Every All-Time Best List

Basketball is a game made up of fierce matchups and tough competition. Therefore it’s no surprise that the prospect of an all-time great list is a hotly debated topic. From fans and analysts to the players themselves — everyone has an opinion.  

So that got me thinking, amidst all the arguing: which players are guaranteed a spot? And after research, there are names that continue to crop up in spite of wild takes and team allegiance, either because they are too important to the game, or the stats don’t lie.  [Read more…]

When Might the NBA Potentially Return to Action? 

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The Covid-19 pandemic sabotaged all sporting activities across the globe with major leagues and tournaments halting on its account. The NBA is no exception; the 2019-20 season had to be called off for the safety of players, fans, and other stakeholders. Two months later, it is not yet clear when the league will resume.   [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:

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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.

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John Calipari Gives Conditioning Advice for Quarantine

The new normal for sports media consists of Zoom, Cisco WebEx and teleconferences. Gone are press conferences and locker room access. For athletes doing strength training, the new normal consists of bench press pressing tires, pulling/pushing motor vehicles and jumping on to garbage cans.

They’ve had to say goodbye to the weight room and any kind of training in groups. Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari, while on Zoom teleconference with the media, pointed out the challenges basketball players have right now to stay in shape and keep their skills fresh.

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John Calipari Gives Updates on Draft Process, Recruiting, More

Zoom, WebEx, Skype- this is our lives as sports reporters for the foreseeable future. It’s an adjustment to be sure, but it’s still a bit weird. It’s what we all have to do though, as every single one of us must mobilize for the greater good. We all miss March Madness of course, but there is absolutely no way the games could have been played under current conditions.

In a year with no clear favorite, Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari had a team that could have definitely won it all. Betting on UK in the NCAA Tournament has a been a profitable endeavor over the years, as this accumulator calculator can show you. With eight NCAA Tournament championships and 17 Final Fours in their history, a lot of people have won green betting on big blue.

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Ayo Dosunmu: Future of Illini PG More Uncertain than Ever

With all of college sports shut down now for the time being, a lot of questions persist. When will they restart? How does this effect recruiting and NBA Draft early entry? What will happen with the NBA Draft exploratory process? The Combine?

Will there even be a combine or a draft? Illinois sophomore point guard Ayo Dosunmu is someone for whom all these questions definitely apply. He had an opportunity to potentially pursue the next level last off-season, and he will, at least in theory or on paper, have another chance this off-season. The Morgan Park high school graduate has very high NBA Draft stock, but his hometown of Chicago, which hosts the combine every year, might not. After all, the combine is in early May, and the way things are right now, that seems pretty soon in terms of returning to normalcy.

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DePaul Forward Paul Reed Has First Round NBA Draft Stock

DePaul is off to a 12-1 start, and junior forward Paul Reed is one of the leading reasons why. Averaging close to 16  points per game and shooting 56 percent from the field for the season, he’s truly upped his game this season. His three years in Chicago have been productive as a whole too as he entered the season among the program’s all time in field goal percentage and blocked shots.

The 6-9, 200 Orlando native has a significant amount of NBA Draft stock too. The Paul Reed mocksourcing looks as follows:  NBA Draft.net #28,   Tankathon #23   Yahoo! #25. He had an off-shooting night in DePaul’s dramatic 83-78 come from behind win over Northwestern, but changed the game in several other ways.

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Evaluating Early Favorites to Become the NBA Draft #1 Overall Pick

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At this point of the season, winning actually lies in losing for many NBA teams. True victory comes from tanking, getting the most lottery balls for the draft, and hoping that they can nab the top selection come May and then take whichever prospect is considered the most franchise impactful comes that Thursday night in June. As it stands right now, the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers are the three teams tied for the best chance (14%) of landing the #1 overall pick.

The Warriors have fallen from grace in a hurry, and it’s worth noting that they have a 48% chance of landing the fifth pick in the draft. Their rapid free-fall wasn’t anticipated by many who make free NBA predictions against the spread as their dynasty is still in fresh in all our minds. Of course, the Cavaliers win the NBA Draft lottery ping pong balls game unlike any franchise in league history.

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John Calipari Pupils Have Earned Over $2.2 Billion in the NBA

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John Calipari has succeeded, at an extremely high level, in the National Basketball Association. What an odd sentence to describe a coach whose record in the NBA was an only 72-112, right? Well, it’s not what Calipari did while leading the New Jersey Nets (1996-1999) or his stint as a Philadelphia 76ers assistant (2000) that matters in this context.

It’s the fact that Calipari-coached players who year after year are the top college basketball picks in the draft have been signed to more than $2.2 billion in NBA contracts. That’s billion with a B and $1.9 billion of that came from the University of Kentucky alone. That’s more than the GDP of the nation of Belize. In fact, Kentucky led the nation with 29 former players present on NBA opening day rosters.

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Big Ten Scoring Champ Carsen Edwards: NBA Draft Stock Update

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(Editor’s note: this Carsen Edwards NBA Draft stock article from the end of the regular season is now being re-posted with the NBA Draft tomorrow night)

It won’t be official until tomorrow, but Purdue junior combo guard Carsen Edwards (23.4 points per game entering the regular season finale) will win the Big Ten scoring title. It will make him the third Boilermaker in the last nine years to lead the Big Ten in scoring (JaJuan Johnson in 2011 (20.7) and Caleb Swanigan in 2017 (18.9).

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Ayo Dosunmu Has High NBA Draft Stock, but it’s Just Not Reflected in Mock Drafts

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Illini basketball in the Brad Underwood era has finally shown signs of a pulse in the past month as the team picked up two very high quality wins over teams ranked in the top 15 at the time. Illinois has now won four of their last five, and played their way above the Wednesday night projection in the Big Ten tournament.

If the Illini can close out the season 4-3 or better, they will avoid breaking the school record for single season losses. A primary reason for the Illini surge has been the stellar play of freshman point guard Ayo Dosunmu. His rapid development has coincided with the drastic Illini improvement.

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