Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.
Yet Brandon Knight, the latest fuzzy-cheeked savant to place his point guard skills in Calipari’s hands, shrugs. “I feel wherever you go, you’re going to be looked at as someone stepping in, I mean, if someone’s leaving,” he said here on Thursday.
Arguably the best players in the high school junior and senior classes committed to Kentucky on national television Wednesday, the first day of the monthlong spring signing period. If UK orchestrated that spectacle in order to command the attention of other prospects, it worked.
I’m not as sure about Kentucky being in the top 10. Knight is a step down from Wall; Kanter is a step down from Cousins; and the Wildcats won’t have the same kind of depth as they did in ‘09-’10. Might we be wasting a lot of breath on a team that will be just decent, but not nearly Final Four-level good, and then faced with the same, “figure out how many guys we’re gonna lose, and replace them” situation in the spring of 2011?
He said it was Coach John Calipari pushing him from the comfortable, feathery nest that is Kentucky basketball. “Cal’s pushing me away,” Cousins said on Thursday. “He said, ‘You’ve got to go.’
Thing is, when critics knock one-and-dones, they knock them as a group, a faceless group that is not all for one as much as all for themselves. Then you see DeMarcus Cousins’ face. That goofy face. “I guess my goofiness became popular,” he said Thursday.
Video of Doron Lamb from New York:
I’m still undecided on a college and I’m still just weighing my options. The location doesn’t really matter I’m just looking for the best situation for me to come into. We have the SLAM dinner later today and then we’re going bowling so that should be fun. After that I’m just going try to rest up for another good practice tomorrow and some events we have going. Hopefully I get to see some more of the city.
Billy Donovan is much more secure in his position than Kruger ever was, but history repeated itself on Wednesday afternoon when Fort Lauderdale-Pine Crest point guard Brandon Knight, considered the top recruit in the nation by Rivals.com and a consensus five-star player by all the recruiting services, fled his home state to commit with the Kentucky Wildcats over Florida, Syracuse, UConn and Kansas.
Video of C.J. Leslie from New York:
When DeMarcus Cousins was asked Thursday what he wants to buy with his first NBA paycheck, the now-former UK center steered clear of the sports car or SUV cliché. “It’s not a car,” Cousins said, “’cause I don’t have a license.” That isn’t stopping him from rushing full speed ahead into a professional basketball career, however.
Still, despite being projected as one of the top picks in the draft and having endorsement deals and millions of dollars waiting for him, Cousins said his decision to leave UK for the professional ranks was not an easy one, but one he had to make because it was “his time.” “The love here, I mean I didn’t want to leave this place,” Cousins said. “I could stay here forever. I have so much love for this university (and) I just want to stay here and help the team to just keep winning.”
Soon, he’ll be going up against men like Dwight Howard, who can actually hang with a body and a talent like Cousins without not-so-subtly resorting to dirty tricks. It’ll be a new challenge for Cousins because even after a year of Division I hoops, he’s still never played regularly against men who can reasonably match up with him.
Video of Josh Selby from New York:
Like a young hatchling ready to take flight for the first time, Cousins said he was pushed out of the nest by head coach John Calipari and into the open air of the NBA. Cousins expressed sorrow in his decision to leave a place that saw him transform from an immature, unproven high school kid into a mature, NBA-ready player, but Cousins admitted it was time to move on.
My prediction? Yes it will happen. Steve Lavin, the new coach at St. John’s, practically begged Lamb to put off a decision and visit his school, but Lamb has said St. John’s missed the boat. in fact, Lamb says he’s already made up his mind. And it’s that message that leads me to believe he wants to go to Kentucky. I think Lamb saw the coverage of Knight and Gilchrist announcing Wednesday and he decided right then.
Video of Brandon Knight from New York: