Former UK Target and Potential No. 1 Pick James Wiseman Has Been Ruled Ineligible

For over two years, Kentucky recruited heavily for the No. 1 overall player in the 2019 class, center, James Wiseman.

For the majority of his recruitment, Kentucky was seen as the heavy favorite and Wiseman was assumed to be a write-in Kentucky commit. That all changed when for NBA All-Star, and Wiseman’s AAU coach, Penny Hardaway was hired at his alma-mater Memphis in March of 2018.

Soon after, Memphis began stealing Kentucky’s momentum and Wiseman committed to play for his AAU coach in November of 2018.

At the time, Kentucky lost it’s best chance at a big for 2019. Now it looks like it may have been a good thing Wiseman didn’t become a Wildcat.

NBA Insider and “Know All”, Adrian Wojnarowski, reported that Wiseman has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA per his lawyers.

A Memphis sports reporter says that Hardaway helped Wiseman and his family move back in high school.

While we as fans don’t ever see losing players as a good thing, it looks like it was a blessing in disguise.

In recent years, it seems like Cal knows when to walk away and there have been several recruits that Kentucky walked away or pulled back from that have rumored to have taken money or other benefits such as Bol Bol, Zion Williamson, and now James Wiseman.

Former Cat Devin Booker Becomes 8th Youngest Player to Score 6,000 Points

Devin Booker is no stranger to putting up a lot of points, scoring 70 points back in his 2017 sophomore season. On Monday, as the Phoenix Suns took on the last unbeaten team in the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers, Booker put on a scoring clinic.

Prior to the game, the Phoenix Suns accepted the challenge to take down the 76ers.

They came. They Saw. They Conquered. Beating the 76ers 114-109.

Devin Booker scored in every way possible and finished the game with an ultra-efficient stat line 40 points (15-19 FG, 3-4 3P), 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.

With the performance, Devin Booker became the 8th youngest player in NBA history to reach the 6,000 point mark, only behind LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Andrew Wiggins, and Shaquille O’Neal.

That’s some pretty elite company.

When asked about hitting the 6,000 point mark, Booker had this to say:

Every day I wake up, I get another chance to come play the sport I love in the city I love. I try to take full advantage of it. I know it’s cliche, but when people say it’s the first time somebody is watching, it could be the last time somebody was watching you also. I take that in. Every day I wake up and step in here and I know I can affect people’s lives and in positive ways. Everybody’s excited, everybody’s happy. So, you know, I just gotta keep working.

Keep working Book. 😈

It Looks Like Kentucky Finished Second for Five-Star Cade Cunningham

Coach Calipari and Company are putting together one of the best recruiting classes in his tenure at UK for 2020.

With Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston, Lance Ware, Cam’Ron Fletcher, and 2021 potential reclassification Devin Askew, the Cats are in good shape before the Spring recruiting period has even started.

Before the Champions Classic on Tuesday, 2020 No. 2 overall recruit and UK Target, Cade Cunningham, announced he was committing to Oklahoma State and would join his brother who was hired as an assistant coach.

Prior to Cunningham’s decision, all the momentum was with Kentucky, even with recruiting guru, Evan Daniels, logging a prediction for the Cats back in October. This now making him 56/57 on his 2020 predictions. 

Now, it looks like Kentucky was right there and Cunningham was extremely close to being a Wildcat.

Tipton Edits, a popular social media account, creates the edits for nearly every top recruit when they commit.

Meaning, he definitely has some inside information as he communicates with the recruits prior to their commitment and he posted this.

It looks like he is very confident in saying Kentucky was right there for landing Cunningham’s services.

Even without Cunningham, Kentucky is good shape with five-star guards Devin Askew and BJ Boston.

In recent years, Kentucky has finished second on several elite of the elite recruits including James Wiseman and Jaden McDaniels among others. While some of these recruits have committed due to special connection such as having family on the staff or their high school coach becoming a head coach.

While Kentucky is not struggling for recruits and we are spoiled as fans with the No. 2 ranked class, I want to regain that spot at the top and have the top recruiting class once again, and to do that we need to close the deal on the elite of the elite recruits.

Should the BBN Be Worried About Losing Mark Stoops?

Since Florida State fired Willie Taggart on Sunday, UK Coach Mark Stoops has had his name tossed around and there are reports Florida State has already reached out.

From 2010-2012, Stoops was the defensive coordinator under Jimbo Fischer, and was a big part of a 31-12 record in that three-year span.

In his short but impressive tenure, Stoops impressed and became respected in Tallahassee.

With the being said, he is not Florida State’s first option, which gives Kentucky a little more sense of security.

I have been told that Florida State is one of the few jobs that intrigues Mark Stoops, however, with the help of Vince Marrow, he has completely changed the culture at Kentucky.

It ultimately comes down to one thing, does Stoops want to continue creating history in Lexington, or does he want to try to recreate history at Florida State?

Personally, I think there is a 65% chance Stoops is on the sideline next season with one of the greatest recruiting classes in school history.

Kentucky is 4-1-1 against Florida State, and if it comes down to it, hopefully Mitch Barnhardt and the Cats can win this battle too.

Which Athletes in UK History Would Have Profited Most off of their Likeness?

Cal is giving his thumbs up!

On Tuesday afternoon, the NCAA unanimously voted to allow athletes to profit from their likeness and created groups to explore ways on making it possible.

That creates the questions, which athletes in Kentucky history would have profited the most from their likeness?

(Excluding any potential “The Hammer” ads)

Anthony Davis

Alongside Dan Issel, Anthony Davis is considered to be one of the two best players in Kentucky basketball history. Like Cal says, “(Davis) took the fifth-most shots” but was still nationally dominate.

Being the best basketball player in the country and trademarking “The Brow”, makes you the biggest and most marketable UK athlete of all-time.

AD would have been a great representative for Harry’s razors.

Benny Snell

Benny Snell is arguably the most marketable player in Kentucky football history, and it’s not even close. His BIG time play backed it up on the field.

I mean you can buy a Snell Yeah shirt on Amazon.

Can we have a Benny Snell Commercial in third person, please?

John Wall & Demarcus Cousins

After the dreadful Billy Gillespie era, this duo brought Kentucky back to national title contention and made it the cool school in college basketball, which is why I placed them as a duo in this list.

John Wall alone had a song reach no. 76 in the Top 100 charts and created a dance used across the country. While Demarcus Cousins became one of the most likable figures in UK History.

Imagine this duo selling literally ANYTHING, could you say no?

Rex Chapman

“King Rex”

Back in the 1980’s five-star freshman were not coming year in and year out like they are today.

Rex Chapman, a Kentucky phenom, was THE MAN on campus as soon as he arrived in Lexington and every kid in Kentucky wanted to be like Rex.

Being the state’s biggest superstar sure bolds well for endorsements.

Tim Couch

The only No. 1 NFL Draft pick in the history of Kentucky Football.

Couch, an athlete so well-rounded that he was the first prep player in Kentucky history to have earned the prestigious “Mr. Football” and “Mr. Basketball” titles in the same year, and named the USA Today football player of the year following his senior season at Leslie County High School.

Couch might not have performed the best in NFL due to injury but imagine him leading an endorsement campaign for couches!

Are there any UK athletes I’m leaving out? Let me hear your thoughts!

Karl Anthony-Towns Involved in a KAT Fight with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons

Since Karl Anthony-Towns committed to Kentucky as a sophomore in high school he has always been seen as the nice guy and one that takes “invisible shots” in the Bahamas.

KAT often gets passionate in the moments of the game but on Wednesday night, he was part of a legitimate KAT fight with the Philadephia 76ers.

It appears to have started with some unnecessary physical play from Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Standing at 7’0 and 247 pounds, KAT didn’t back down against the 7’0 249 pound Embiid. With those physical stats, it would be an interesting boxing or MMA match.

Kat definitely got the advantage over the former Kansas standout, similarly to how Kentucky has dominated the Kentucky-Kansas series in college basketball 23-9 over since the first matchup in 1950.

KAT didn’t walk out unscathed though, as Ben Simmons pulled a “sissy” move from behind as he was on the ground.

As any mom would, KAT’s mom wanted take her anger out on Embiid too, being held back by security.

Both KAT and Embiid were ejected, and following an NBA review, I would expect all three players to suspended for some amount of time.

Which is unfortunate with KAT having such a hot start to the season averaging 32 points (2nd in the NBA), 13.3 rebounds (tied-3rd in the NBA), and a league-leading 40.27 player efficiency rating.

Could the 1998 “Comeback Cats” Have Gone Undefeated?

The “Comeback Cats” are one of the most memorable teams in Kentucky basketball, not just because they won a title, but in the way that they did it coming back from 10 or more points in the Final Four and title game.

Could the “Comeback Cats” have been the “Invincible Cats” and even go undefeated?

ESPN wrote an article talking about this possibility and that they might have been one piece away.

Before being forced to retire early due to injuries, former NBA All-Star, Tracy McGrady was a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. He’s confessed on more than one occasion that he would have chosen Kentucky if he’d played college ball.

Just think about what that 1998 team could have looked like.

McGrady as an insanely athletic wing, Wayne Turner running point, Jeff Sheppard and Scott Padgett as perimeter threats, Jamaal Magloire inside, and so much depth on the bench.

Key Players

  • Tracy McGrady (would have been a freshman in 1997-98)
  • Antoine Walker (would have been a senior in 1997-98)
  • Ron Mercer (would have been a junior in 1997-98)
  • Nazr Mohammed (was a junior in 1997-98)
  • Jamaal Magloire (was a sophomore in 1997-98)
  • Jeff Sheppard (was a senior in 1997-98)
  • Scott Padgett (was a junior in 1997-98)
  • Wayne Turner (was a junior in 1997-98)

Even without McGrady, the Wildcats led the NCAA in 2-point defense in 1997-98. With him, this would have been a deeper and have an even more wildly talented lineup.

They proved they could I’ll win the title. With McGrady, could they have run the table and gone 40-0?

The Last Hurdle for the Return of College Sports Video Games

Do you remember running the pick-n-roll with John Wall and Demarcus Cousins on NCAA Basketball 10 or running the Wildcat with Jojo Kemp on NCAA Football 14?

These were the last video game for each college sport.

With the NCAA voting unanimously to allow student-athletes to profit off of their names and likeness, it appears the infamous NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball games have a good shot of making a comeback as soon as 2021.

There is just one large hurdle. How are the athletes going to be paid?

That sounds like a simple question, with a simple answer but it’s not.

For professional sports video games such as Madden and NBA 2K, it’s not a complex task to pay the athletes. Their respective Player’s Associations negotiate with the video game company and receive their compensation.

Student-athletes don’t have a similar party protecting their interests. The closest organization that resembles any similarity, is the NCAA, and we know they don’t always have the student-athletes best interests.

With that being said, as of now, that is the best option and to be fair, the NCAA has made it work in the past with the previous video games with EA Sports and 2K.

In the past, EA Sports bought the NCAA license and paid dividends to each school based on their “tier”. The proposal suggested a minimum $78,000 payout to first-tier teams, $47,000 to second-tier teams, $31,000 to third-tier teams, and $7,500 to fourth-tier teams.

Back in 2014, five schools shared their revenue from each video game.

 NCAA Football 14NCAA Basketball 10
Louisville$85,845$26,594
UCLA$57,230$26,593
Clemson$85,845$18,616
Wisconsin$143,076$26,593
Texas A&M$57,000$18,616

With players now receiving a “piece of the pie”, I would expect schools to receive a smaller amount. The cleanest way to pay the athletes would be for the NCAA to negotiate a flat fee and divide annually amongst players using a similar tier system shown above.

We’re one step closer!

WATCH: Former Wildcat, Bud Dupree, Destroys a Man on Monday Night Football

Slowly but surely, more and more Wildcats are making it to the NFL and playing on Sundays.

A large part of that is due to Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow changing the culture surrounding Kentucky Football. 

One of the most fundamental players in building the program to where it is today is Steelers linebacker, Bud Dupree.

Dupree was a menace on the defensive end at Kentucky finishing with 146 total tackles, 39.5 tackles for loss, and 25.5 sacks.

But what he is most remembered for is this pick six against South Carolina to capitalize on the first big win of the Stoops Era.

Dupree is not a menace in the NFL, after being selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

On Monday Night Football, Dupree practically committed borderline murder. 

Dupree coninues to be one of the most impactful players on the Steelers defense and finished the game with 5 tackles and a sack.

Keep making the BBN proud Bud!

Start Off Your Week with a Feel Good Story of the BBN

Meet Bill.

At the age of nine, Bill started listening to the Cats on the radio in 1945 and has witnessed all eight national titles in Kentucky men’s basketball history, however, he had never been to a game at Rupp Arena.

I wanted to change that.

Back in April, upon Kentucky’s hurtful exit from the NCAA Tournament, I stumbled upon a Facebook post with a picture of Bill from his daughter, Lana, stating, “Been a fan since 1945. True blue for life, regardless of the score”.

This post reminded me that while a season without a national title is a disappointment, Kentucky is the most historical program in NCAA history and that will never change and we will always support our Cats.

I reached out to Lana and told her that her dad is a lucky man to have seen so much history since 1945, including A LOT of winning and great players. This is when I discovered that Bill had never had the opportunity to go to Rupp.

I offered to send Lana and Bill to a game but at the time she regretfully told me his health issues may be too much too overcome, but she would reach out to me if it was still possible.

As a cancer survivor of 37 years, Bill continued to fight and he is still with us and with the help of a donor named Serg, we were able to send Bill to Rupp Arena on Sunday!

He even had his own custom t-shirt made!

Bill is a beautiful person with a good heart. Bill was a licensed minister that started ministries in local nursing homes, in addition, to being their chaplain.

But first and foremost, he was a family man that always provided for his wife and children.

Thank you BBN for making this man’s dream a reality. This is what the Big Blue Nation is all about!